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We are now passing through a period where different national interests of the nations of the world clash against each other. In this charged atmosphere we shall have to decide, without delay what would be in the best interest of Burma. Any delay in confronting this issue will be detrimental for us- it will not be in our national interests.
We, communists, forwarded the following suggestion in this regard.
What is meant by the interest of our nation?
In our opinion, any consideration of Burma’s national interest must take the following into account.
1. Independence and self-reliance.
2. Sovereignty and territorial integrity.
3. Peace, stability and development.
(a) Independence and self-reliance.
For a nation, being independent is not enough; it must be free economically. If it is not free economically, it will have to rely upon others for many related issues. We don’t think it necessary to explain the fact that Burma has never been self-reliant since its independence.
National interest is not a transitional one; it’s perpetual just as national debt is not only the debt of the government. When there is a change in government the new government has to inherit it. It can’t deny the obligation of the debts borrowed by the former government. Even a government that is formed through a revolution is still obligated to pay back the debts assumed by the previous government. It may have to pay back by one means or another.
Self-reliance of a nation cannot be achieved in a short period of time. It’s a long process. It can be achieved gradually through the efforts of a popular elected government working hand in hand with its people.
(b) Sovereignty and territorial integrity.
It will be wrong to assume that with the granting or declaration of independence, the sovereignty and territorial integrity will forever abide in a particular country. These are established only after many struggles. In our country, the problem of Loi Lerng area has not been settled with Thailand yet. This is sop- in spite of the fact that the nation has been independent for more than fifty-five years. Foreign threats still persist even after the settlement of the territorial problems. Therefore, we have included the maintenance of sovereignty and territorial integrity as an issue of paramount important national interest for our country.
Things are more complicated in international affairs. Iran and Iraq went to war due to territorial disputes and problems. During the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war, the United States aided Iraq. Henry Kissinger, who is dubbed as America’s foreign policy “guru” once said, “It’s best to let them kill each other off.” Millions died in that war between Iran and Iraq.
It is said that President George W. Bush has invited this “guru” to the White House to give advice. Who will be the victims this time? Will it be the Kurds, or the Sunni Muslims, or the Shiite Muslims or the Palestinians? Let us wait and see. Those who said, “oil is too valuable a commodity to be left in the hands of the Arabs” may consider eliminating all the Arabs.
We are concerned that one day, they may also say that natural resources and gems of Burma are too precious to be left in the hands of the Burmese. We must cast off the illusions like the ones we heard during the 8888 Upheavals that said, “The US government is waiting ready to support us with arms and equipment.” Or as some people say, “ waiting to help us with bundles of greenbacks.” We will not be self-reliant if we have a dependent mentality.
(c) Peace, stability and
The nation has been deprived of these features since 1948. In 1987, it was listed among the least developed countries thanks to the BSPP rule. Even worse, we fear that Burma would be a lost nation due to the stubborn actions of the SPDC-SPDC military clique. At the time when national interests are clashing against one another, Burma will be a completely failed nation if its national interest is neglected.
One of the present rulers’ serious defects is not keeping to their own words. The first successor of the BSPP government, General Saw Maung, in response to public opinion demanding handover of power before the 1990 elections, said, “we will handover power to the political party that wins the election and return to the barracks.” But when the election results were contrary to their expectations, Saw Maung and the SLORC turned their backs to those words. Then at the time of the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on 6 May 2002, Khin Nyunt declared that they had turned a new leaf of history, and the negotiations between the government and the NLD would be carried out without delay. Yet, nothing materializes until today. If they go on doing like this, the nation might face disaster. the communists of Burma, raised this proposal so that all the people who love our nation may be able to avert this danger.
Junta’s interest is not national interest.
Just as we have repeatedly heard the word “socialist” during the BSPP era, we are now hearing the word “national” repeatedly. We shall say that it is more than enough.
Perhaps the junta think that erecting statues of Burma’s historical warlords, rebuilding palaces, worshipping white elephants, bringing back the traditions of the Burmese kings into life, reviving marionettes and forcing the ordinary people to pay obeisance to the military brasses amount to promoting national interest.
The SPDC leaders are, in fact, cheating the public by representing their interests in clinging to power as the interests of the nation. In fact, there was not such a thing as national interest during the feudal days. The wars waged by Anawrahta, Bayinnaung and Alaungphaya are not national wars. The junta is praising feudal lords with the message and claim that they too are like the “warrior-conqueror” kings of the past, saviours of our country.
We cannot let the national interests be damaged by the military regime.
Despite ruling the country with an iron fist and open political activities, the generals claim that they are not involved in politics. They are more shameless than Bo Ne Win’s BSPP government. If they are really staying away from politics then, they should return to the barracks. Politic activities should be left to the politicians. If the junta persists on political activities, they should set up a political party of their own. The party thus formed will be a party among the contemporary politics. It will have the right to take part in discussing issues on national politics.
We can’t allow the junta that wants to stay above everyone, to be the decider of the fate of our nation. The nation will be devastated if it is left wholly in the hands of the military.
The tug of world for the new world era is growing tenser than ever.
The war in Iraq is just a scene from this play of constructing a new world order. World’s powers will carry on with the play to realise their dreams.
As the stage is built in Asia (according to Bush all the states belonging to his “axis of evil” are situated in Asia), Burma may not have much choice but to bear the brunt of the repercussions of the war. Even if the SPDC do not want to get involved, someone will drag them in.
Some people naively think that the US will turn to Burma after winning the war in Iraq. If so, how will a nation that is not only poorer and weaker than Iraq but more disunited than Iraq face a super power’s aggression?
The plan for national interests should be mapped out with vision.
The scope of this issue must be far-reaching. It will be short-lived if it is based on the interest of a party, a few people or only that of the ruling government.
Actions in the best national interest must be decided with wide consultation and after trying to obtain as much consensus as possible. The plan will be more short-lived if it is meant to go through a world event. That’s why we suggest that it should be mapped out with vision and broad-mindedness.
With this in mind we have put forward the above three points to all patriotic persons to consider.
1st April , 2003
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