Friday, April 29, 2011

A new translation of Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago --

Peter, Paul and Mary, Puff the Magic Dragon

I saw Peter, Paul and Mary perform in Colonial Williamsburg in March 1988.

Kyi May Kaung

Mozart's The Magic Flute - 3 little boys save Pamina from suicide -

With French subtitles, but costumes a bit outre, outdated and off putting.

Kyi May Kaung

Nana Mouskourie sings Song of Liberty

Fear no more the heat of the sun -

FEAR no more the heat o' the sun
Nor the furious winter's rages;
Thou thy worldly task hast done,
Home art gone and ta'en thy wages:
Golden lads and girls all must,
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

--Shakespeare, From XLV. Fidele

Princess Grace's funeral in 1983

"Golden lads and girls all must
Like chimney sweepers, come to dust."

Sarah Burton who designed Kate Middleton's wedding dress.

Viewed Thursday night at Goring Hotel -- :)

the late Alexander McQueen

Burma's Big Lie

About Naresuan who fought off the Burmese in the 15th century

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Maung Zarni's Al Jazeera article on ICG report

Maung Zarni on International Crisis Group's report.

Don't buy into Burma's cosmetic reforms
When the EU reviews its position on Burma it would be wise to discard the ICG's recent report on the country.
Maung Zarni

Web Exclusive
Outrageously optimistic 08 April 2011

By Maung Zarni
The intellectual crisis of reporting on Burma by the International Crisis Group.

Why the ICG's Burma analyses and calls for ending sanctions cannot be taken seriously

Published on April 11, 2011

Grasping at Straws- International Crisis Group's recent report
ill-informed, unsubstantiated and wrong headed - by Ben Rogers

Bring in the clowns - "Military plays a civilian-looking game" by Larry Jagan in The Irrawaddy -

Fouad Ajami - Middle East expert - Iraq hawk

Magnificent response to (Burma junta apologist) David Steinberg

Yahoo! Mail

Dear Kyi May Kaung,

Thank you for your kind words. Please feel free to put my statement on
your blog.



> Dear Roland and Anonymous Dissident Co-Writer of Response,
> That was magnificently put together.
> I passed by SAIS in a taxi Monday morning on my way to a previous appt.,
> and saw some folks with Shan Bags on the street, whom I hope were
> demonstrating.
> For reference purposes, in Gottenberg in 2002, at the Burma Studies
> Conference, Steinberg invited me to co-produce a panel, then titled
> Democracy and Dialog in Burma/Myanmar, (I think the "slash Myanmar" was in
> the title).
> On Steinberg's side of the panel were Morton Pedersen and I don't remember
> who else, but I brought in, or attempted to bring in, Ko Aung Zaw, Ko Zaw
> Oo, and Ko Zarni and the late Chao Tsang Yawngwe was also present, as was U
> Thet Tun, former head of CSED Statistical board coming from Burma.
> Zarni pointed his finger "point blank" at Steinberg and accused him of
> using Georgetown Univ etc to advance his own views.
> Ko Aung Zaw came in a few minutes late, at which point Z. had just
> finished speaking, and S. was so angry he snatched the microphone back
> from me and did not even allow me to summarize the remarks from my side of
> the panel. He also would not allow Ko Aung Zaw to come onto the podium,
> saying to me "Enough of your people." How childish can an 80 year old
> professor be?
> Zarni and I even have photos that I took of the actual confrontation.
> Previously, FYI, Steinberg was unable to see Dr Sein Win at the office
> because PM in Exile declined to see him.
> From a reliable source ( a contemporary of his, not mine) Steinberg
> allegedly does not even have a doctorate, and this you can check for
> yourselves on line. I've never bothered to check as to me it seems
> apparent from his lack of knowledge and logic that he does not have a
> solid academic footing.
> I look forward to hearing more from you all about the actual conference
> from those who were able to attend.
> I am writing now to ask you for permission to post the letters on my blog.
> My article about Ma Thanegi's "fell flat" presentation that I wrote in
> 2002 is still on the Irrawaddy site, and my 2006 debate with Steinberg in
> Foreign Policy in Focus is also still on line, as is my BBC Hardtalk
> interview where co-interviewee was Derek Tonkin.
> I hope the US Government will not be taken in by these anti-sanctions and
> pro-regime views.
> In 2007, U Tin Maung Maung Than, who was also scheduled to speak on Monday
> at SAIS, argued (I saw the video) that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in fact never
> won the 1990 election.
> Now what kind of b-s is that??
> Kyi May Kaung.
> --- On Tue, 4/12/11, Free Burma wrote:
> From: Free Burma
> Subject: Response to David Steinberg
> To:
> (
> Contact: Roland Watson,
> April 12, 2011
> Please forward.
> We received the following reaction from David Steinberg to our statement
> about the Washington SAIS conference. (Of note, Mr. Steinberg, and also
> Priscilla Clapp, former U.S. Charge d’Affaires to Burma, both
> subsequently
> argued at the conference that the recent “election” in Burma is a
> significant pro-democracy accomplishment.)
> “I do not know what fortune teller Mr. Watson has consulted to so
> characterize the nature of the conference as "pro-military," since the
> conference has not been held, any papers from it have not been
> distributed, and the participants judiciously chosen to address the topics
> under discussion--North and South Korean relations with Myanmar--the
> accepted title of that country by each of those states. The readers of
> Mr. Watson's many diatribes are no doubt aware of his consistent views
> and by now must cautiously approach what he has written with judicious
> care; they might well search for verification of his often dubious
> charges. I suggest they do so in this case.
> Ad hominem charges will be dealt with separately.
> David Steinberg
> School of Foreign Service
> Georgetown University”
> My initial response to this was with passion, and is the type of thing
> that Mr. Steinberg confuses with diatribe. (I also included a more formal
> analysis from another Burma activist, of Than Shwe’s strategy to have
> the
> election accepted and thereby bring about the end of western economic
> sanctions.)
> “I thought my reasoning was clear. This is America. We say Burma. The
> says Myanmar. And why aren't there any speakers from Burma's pro-democracy
> movement on the panels? For that matter, why wasn't I invited, since I
> first broke the story of North Korea's involvement in Burma's nuclear
> program.
> Of the many people who responded to the Dictator Watch release, only one
> other was not favorable, possibly one of your former students. My answer
> to this individual, which holds for you as well, is as follows:
> In case you are unaware, Burmese are dying every day at the regime's
> hands, and have been for years. Some of the people at this conference have
> done everything they can, also for years, to deflect pressure on what is
> nothing less than a gang of murderers. I could be much stronger.
> Maybe you don't think what is happening in Burma is that bad. Maybe you
> don't care. I do.”
> I have now decided that I should address Mr. Steinberg’s charges, and
> his
> academic position on the military regime, more formally as well.
> Dear Professor,
> If I can stand up to the dictator of Burma, I can certainly stand up to
> you.
> The most important issue in Burma by far is the need to save lives. The
> people of the country are being put to death by the murderous gangster and
> terrorist Than Shwe, either directly at the hands of his soldiers - as is
> now most egregious in Shan and Karen states - or indirectly through the
> lack of food and medical care that he enforces and which among other
> things has led to one of the worst rates of child mortality in the world.
> (According to Unicef, an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 children under the
> age of five die every year in the country, many due to preventable
> diseases.)
> I believe that we all should care about Burma, and similar situations that
> exist in the other dictatorships of the world. Of course, not everyone can
> do something about it. Most people must focus on their own survival, in
> part because they themselves are subject to political and other forms of
> dictatorship. But anyone who enjoys freedom, particularly the luxury of
> financial freedom, should be involved, certainly well-paid professors at
> prestigious universities and who are so-called experts in the field. Not
> to be involved, not to dedicate oneself to ending the murder and saving
> lives, is unethical. To act in a way that actually supports the dictators
> is despicable.
> There is only one conference that should ever be held on Burma: How to get
> rid of Than Shwe, to save the people of the country and to give them the
> freedom that they so truly deserve. Even a focused examination of Burma's
> nuclear cooperation with North Korea, not to mention the program's
> connections to China, Russia and even possibly Iran, should be secondary
> to this subject. If we can free Burma, the nuclear proliferation problem
> there will go away.
> Some people will argue that such an idealistic stance ignores political
> realities, and I suppose in a way it does. The question then becomes,
> whose realities are we talking about, and being forced to accept.
> In my book Freedom From Form, I asked the question why, with the top
> universities of the world graduating one class after another of highly
> intelligent and motivated young men and women, and who rise to positions
> of leadership in society's different institutions, does the world continue
> to deteriorate? The answer to this is that such men and women are
> conditioned by their teachers, and then channeled into an employment
> structure where the conditioning intensifies, such that by the time they
> obtain the leadership roles (all doubters are weaned out along the way),
> they fully accept the system's principles, including that money and power
> are everything and that all possible means to them should be pursued.
> The idea that money and power are everything is the core force behind
> social and environmental decline.
> How do I know about the embedded structure of society? I was part of it as
> well, a graduate of universities that are well regarded and also on my way
> to a position at the top of a major corporation. I could easily have
> remained a part of the incestuous framework of schools, corporations,
> media, and yes, even democratic governments. But I became a doubter as
> well, and rather that wait to be expelled, I purposefully
> de-institutionalized myself.
> This actually explains why activism is so difficult, even though the vast
> majority of the general public want real change. We live in an
> institutional world, and in this system only institutional voices are
> accepted. Why weren't there any Burma pro-democracy activists on the
> panels at the SAIS conference? Because they don't have institutional
> standing. Why are human rights secondary to such things as the pervasive
> Kremlin-think about the intricacies of Burma's military junta? Because the
> people of the country don't have any institutional standing.
> Schools of Foreign Service teach political realism, the dominant paradigm
> - with a few cultural exceptions - of all human history. This is simply
> that "might is right." In technical terms, in international affairs only
> nations have standing, and national sovereignty is supreme. It does not
> matter a single iota how the rulers of a particular country obtained
> power, or what they do once they have it. Tyrants such as Than Shwe are
> embraced fully, and as equals.
> Also, all nations compete, and any one nation can - and should - do
> anything to further its own interests relative to all others.
> Political realism is a wonderfully immoral system of selfishness.
> Surprisingly, it is taught in the universities of democratic nations, and
> pursued as policy by the governments of those nations. The reason this is
> surprising is that democracy is an idealistic system, predicated on
> reason, not power, and because of this equality and rights. But a
> democracy that fairly holds elections does not guarantee that its leaders
> will follow democratic principles. And as is evident now with the United
> States and Europe, through their responses to Burma, China, and the
> pro-democracy uprisings in Arab nations and Iran, they regularly don't.
> The historical system is still untouched. It remains stable. As George
> Orwell commented in 1984:
> "… the essential structure of society has never altered. Even after
> enormous upheavals and seemingly irrevocable changes, the same pattern
> has always reasserted itself, just as a gyroscope will always return to
> equilibrium, however far it is pushed one way or the other."
> This will continue to be the case until we reach the tipping point and
> refuse to accept it for even one second more, until we find a way to
> overcome power with reason, and such that it can never revert. I don't
> pretend to have all the answers to this, but I do know that democracy, and
> education - real education - are essential. It is clear that democracy
> still has a long way to evolve. And, along the way we will have to deal
> with the likes of major universities such as Johns Hopkins and Georgetown,
> to which young people aspire, and which continue to use instructors with
> amazing institutional backgrounds and who are so enamored of realism that
> they don't even recognize their bias.
> We will have to work with determination, and find the way. It will be
> extremely difficult, considering the financial and military power of the
> opponents that we face. As Orwell observed, we may well fail. But we have
> to try. People power - democracy - is our only option. This is the only
> conceivable way we can successfully end oppression and save the multitude
> of lives that tyrants so ruthlessly take.
> For Burma, as many of the people in the country now recognize, they can
> expect little help from the international community, and this will extend
> to the new U.S. envoy. International support for the Burmese people is an
> artifice: crocodile tears. As long as Chevron and Total fund Than Shwe,
> anything else that the U.S. and Europe does is rendered moot. The Burmese
> people will have to win freedom on their own.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The London Review Cake Shop -

An apple pie from O'Hare Airport in Chicago, dressed up on my plate from China - Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung.

As our dear Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said, "I have been to Bristol" -- when she was recently named honorary convenor of a festival in Bristol "Next time I am in Bristol, I must go to the Festival."

Next time I am in London, I shall go to this cake shop.

R K Narayan's short story - Trail of the Green Blazer in London Review of Books -

RK Narayan was president of India, his wife Usha Narayan was born in Mandalay - translated Burmese short stories.

Kyi May Kaung

Saif Gaddafi and offshore banking

3 Burmese Poems, introduced and translated by Kyi May Kaung

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Kyi May Kaung's Moulmein Riverfront poem in Counterpunch

So far 81 movers and shakers wish to donate 52 Merchant St. former US Embassy Rangoon to Suu Kyi and the NLD

Jesse Ventura

Libyan multiple rape victim fears for her life

Comment left by Kyi May Kaung on New Mandala site ref. blurb about Zarni's upcoming piece and mostly infantile "comments."

"Anyone can change their opinion as many times as they wish, they may change their ideology, their religion, their clothes, their shoes, where they live, their spouses etc etc.
The way they blow their noses.

It's their lives, No??

Being stuck is known as being dogmatic, "textual" "fundamentalist" didn't you all know?

At least Zarni has the courage to confront reality and to write about it.

Criticizing is allowed in a free society as long as it's all true. In fact, it's a good thing.

Enough said,

Kyi May Kaung"

Monday, April 04, 2011

Kay's poem - The Formal Reception - translated by Kyi May Kaung

actually - don't quite know what padeikthantara san myiek means?

and did you do the sketch yourself also?

I will post on my blog with internet photo of Obamas greeting Hu Jin Tao

but I need you to post the original in Burmese pdf with the sketch on my Burmese blog -

-- translation:

The Formal Reception

I dress up
for one of life's

clip on my head
one fall of false
fake hair

tame my unruly
tresses with
the spiked hairpin
of forbearance

let fall my
fringe or bangs

add on two
bling bling
ear rings

then - for defense
cover myself with
my pawa or stole --

There -

I'm all dressed up

to go.

English translation copyright Kyi May Kaung

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Loveliest of trees the cherry now --

To see the cherry hung with snow - photo copyright Kyi May Kaung - In memory of my father.

Loveliest of Trees

Loveliest of trees, the cherry now

Is hung with bloom along the bough,

And stands about the woodland ride

Wearing white for Eastertide.

Now, of my three score years and ten,

Twenty will not come again,

And take from seventy springs a score,

It only leaves me fifty more.

And since to look at things in bloom

Fifty springs are little room,

About the woodlands I will go

To see the cherry hung with snow.

A.E. Housman

Washington DC cherry blossoms peak - all photos copyright Kyi May Kaung

Jefferson Memorial at Tidal Basin

DC Washington Monument

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Re-posting - from 07 Saffron Revolution, Burma - interesting in light of current intervention in Libya -

during the Saffron Revolution - an interview by Rose Aguiler of Dr Michael Aung Thwin, Ko Nyunt Than of Burmese American Democratic Alliance and Dr. Kyi May Kaung -

interesting in light of what is happening with Libya now.

"A bay of goats?"

Burl Ives-Ave Maria