Letters to the Editor — September, 2011
covering burma and southeast asia
Monday, July 15, 2024

Letters to the Editor — September, 2011

By THE IRRAWADDY Monday, September 19, 2011

(Page 20 of 20)

The delegates were bulldozed into accepting whatever the generals put before them. The majority of people did not accept the outcome of the convention simply because it was unfair. The generals had the obligation to explain to the people the pros and cons of the convention; they avoided that and imposed an information blackout. The people were not allowed to examine the outcome of the convention. There was no freedom of speech, press, association, assembly or information. Government servants, civil servants, the armed forces and all workers employed by the government, who were not supposed to be aligned to any party, were actually forced and intimidated into voting "Yes" with promises of serious consequences if they voted “No.” The USDA was visiting ordinary people’s houses and forcing them to vote “Yes” one day prior to the voting day. These are not the democratic principles the junta has been proclaiming. Before the referendum, the junta promised the people that voting would be free and fair. The referendum voting was not democratic, nor free and fair by any means. In fact, it was grossly illegal the way the referendum was rigged disgracefully. Votes were stolen by the junta officials posted at the polling booths. The junta officials would approach simple people who did not understand and are fearful of these officials with cameras in their hand ready to blackmail them if they voted “No.” These officials would follow the voters into the polling booth and force them to vote “Yes.” The people were betrayed; the generals stole the referendum—without shame or conscience they proclaimed that they won the referendum by 92.8 percent. It is abundantly clear why the generals did not want overseas observers in the country to monitor the referendum. The referendum was illegal and cannot be accepted by the world community. And they continue to publish such falsehoods in the New Light of Myanmar day after day repeatedly to psychologically deceive the people. All this is absolutely wrong. The generals do these despicable deeds to keep themselves in power because they are afraid of the people and afraid of reprisals as the blood on their hands is still wet and is refusing to dry. One wonders how these generals go to bed each night with such dreadful consciences.


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