Public Enemy Number One

By | March 19, 2015

Many of us will agree that the students won a moral victory at Letpadan on Tuesday. The message “Students won” went viral in social media, and people know exactly what that means. [1] For the recidivist regime however it will yet prove to be a Pyrrhic victory. Their stock (built up in the last few years by deception) has plummeted in the eyes of both the peoples of Burma and the international community .

The cream of our country’s youth have shown exemplary courage, principled determination and admirable maturity in the way they conducted themselves on the day in the face of brutal hostility. Contrast that with the hate-filled, immature, barbarous and wanton state violence in action in the full presence of the media reporting in real time. It was there for all to see under the hot afternoon sun. [2]

Why do they regard the students as their public enemy number one? A “threat to stability”?! [3] Indeed these young people have been treated more like a threat to national security. Of course in practice the ruling military clique means their stability in power and their personal security which as the ruling class they naturally identify with the nation’s. It is the strongest evidence yet that the nominally civilian regime is actually the same old wine in a new bottle. The mask of Prince Charming was always going to slip sooner or later, and now the Ogre of Vesali is left standing red in tooth and claw.

It goes to show that they in their own nefarious way have never forgotten 1988. The student led popular uprising in August of that year had already toppled the government, and its members had gone into hiding. Civil administration was now in the hands of neighbourhood public safety committees and in Mandalay the city’s monks played an important role. The 88 generation pleaded with the elder politicians in vain to take a unified stand and form an interim government for a decisive victory. They were let down so badly the rest as they say is history. [4]

This post-88 generation grew up under the reincarnated military dictatorship and is therefore no stranger to authoritarian rule. They see through the superficial “transformation” being implemented by the generals, still in charge, of themselves shedding the uniform and of the country’s political and economic landscape. More importantly and immediately the students see the unending pointlessness of a nightmare of an education system that will continue to lay waste their own future and the nation’s by leaving them at its culmination deprived and disadvantaged in the modern world. [5]

All the regime cares about on the other hand is the perpetuation of the military’s control of the nation’s resources – the relentless extraction of its natural resources and the enslavement of its human resources in their own selfish interests impoverishing the peoples of Burma, both mainstream and minority. No expense nor effort has been spared in building up an elite officer class to that end. [6] By contrast, merely a pittance grudgingly spent when it comes to healthcare and education for the people. [7]

The truth of the matter is – to the regime the entire public is now the enemy, children and parents alike. Because they are so contrary and unruly! The promise of jam tomorrow is just not good enough for them. The EU training of crowd control will make little or no impact on these restless natives who are complete strangers to discipline and good citizenship. When are they going to learn that they should know their place, they should know what is good for them and just do as they are told?

As for the peoples of Burma, they are left with no lingering doubt whatsoever who their public enemy number one is.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *