Letters to the Editor — November, 2010
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Letters to the Editor — November, 2010

By THE IRRAWADDY Monday, November 1, 2010

(Page 15 of 17)



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Than Shwe May Be Dumb …

Regarding the article, “No Concrete Results for Gambari” [February 3, 2009;  URL: http://www2.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=15055]:

What are you talking about? Gambari came to Burma just to listen to what the NLD and Daw Suu have to say, don't you know that? He had heard it all and thus, his mission is “accomplished” like our good friend who just left the White House, after the capture of Saddam Hussein. Gambari may make another trip to Burma like the Terminator who said, "I’ll be back" for a couple of bowls of Burmese noodles—with a lot of chili, fried peas and curd, boiled eggs, etc.—in Gambari's case. He didn't show Daw Suu and the other NLD guys the package he brought with him. It is only for Than Shwe's eyes and ears. Maybe, he showed it to Thein Sein. Than Shwe has no time for a guy from Nigeria, only a UN Envoy deputized by a guy from South Korea holding the reins of the UN today. China and Russia, Than Shwe's infamous big brothers, wielding nuclear weapons and veto powers, help and shield the one and only military dictator in the world, keeping the only Nobel Peace Laureate in the world locked up in her own house for 13 years out of 19, means they have little or no esteem for the world body. Keeping U Win Tin and Khin Maung Swe out of the group meeting with Gambari smacks of ingenuity and more of a insult on the part of Than Shwe. Win Tin is very close to Daw Suu and the top dog in the military has purposely acted to separate Daw Suu from Win Tin, even after more than 19 years. Though he may be dumb, Than Shwe is certainly not stupid. He knows how to keep people apart and play the game of “divide and rule.” And he fears Win Tin like he does Daw Suu. He lets Win Tin play the game while he watches the moves. Put it another way—he wants to find out whether Win Tin has any new moves up his sleeve, even after nearly two decades in detention. In case the veteran journalist makes a false move, or one that crosses the path of the top dog in the Burmese military, then Win Tin has his cell waiting for him for at least a century this time. He did 19 years last time. Than Shwe is keeping all options open and if the NLD and others don't fall in line, then they can expect lengthy (decades and centuries) lives in prison—this time with hard labor, no doubt. As for the review of Than Shwe's constitution, just forget it, if you really know him. If you don't know, Than Shwe believes the power only comes from the barrel of the gun. Only if you play his game will he listen and take note. Shooting off your mouth or putting words on paper would hold no water.

George Than Setkyar Heine

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Turn Up the Volume

Regarding the article, "Gambari Meets NLD Executive Members, Including Suu Kyi" [February 2, 2009; URL: http://www2.irrawaddy.com/article.php?art_id=15047]:

A new light seems to shine against all odds as global concerns are growing about the human rights issue in Burma following the Nargis storm (May, 2008) and the Saffron Revolution (Sept 2007). It seems like the odds are stacked in Gambari’s favor—after failing a couple of times—to eventually persuade the stubborn regime into a tripartite dialogue for the first time: between the UN envoy, the regime, and members of the opposition. With its notorious belief in astrologers, the regime nevertheless might veer off track on a whim when time approaches. Who knows? Lies travel round the world while the truth is putting on its boots. Poor Gambari could possibly return empty-handed again. The truth is the change lies ahead on the shoulders of all Burmese. Not on one person’s only, and not only on one organization’s either. Exiles in third countries, rather than those who live in Burma, have more opportunity to raise voices for freedom. Many times our chanting of slogans does not seem loud enough to be heard from the White House, senators, governor offices or foreign embassies. We need to increase the volume. Let us not just bury our time and labor in warehouses and factories, merely for nepotism. Take a little time. And take a glance at your story briefly: where you come from, and why you are here? That may remind you of reality, your cities that you have left, your poor neighbors, and how the majority of Burmese struggle all their lives for daily food. He that fights and runs away, lives to fight another day. We have mighty power if we stick together.

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