Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Libya - $1.5 b in unfrozen moneys will start to flow soon -

Let's hope the USA does not "kill it with money".

Bones Crow - upcoming bilingual edition of Burmese dissident poetry -

Burmese democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, pays her respect to her assassinated father, and Burma's founding father, Aung San, on July 19th, Martyrs' Day. This was the first time the junta allowed her to participate in the official ceremony.

Bones Crow is edited by James Bryne and edited/translated by Ko Ko Thett.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dr. Kyi May Kaung's comments on 10 papers on Economics, presented at Naypyitaw, Burma - much vaunted "economic reforms".

Aung San Suu Kyi and her son Kim Aris reunited after many years. Photo, screen grab from Internet.

Is Suu Kyi being used big time?

It looks to me from a cursory skim through that the papers are advocating

- more ties with ASEAN, AEC
- better/more taxation
- industrialization
- dealing with corruption
-how to deal with international financial crisis through IMF/about IMF (U Myint)

However, all this is under pretense that it is "a government elected by the people" - one of the papers (in Burmese) explicitly states this blatant untruth upfront as if it were true.

None of papers deal with structural/systemic issues -

so nothing can be done about nepotism for instance when surely Thein Sein's and Than Shwe's relatives and others among junta cliques, are all involved, just like Gaddafi sons, "who were given country to loot"

so ultimately it is all "Show Business" as we Burmese say, and an exercise in futility.

No wonder Daw Suu looks serious and not so happy.

There is also concern that Daw Suu is separated from her usual phalanx of (unarmed) "bodyguards" and NLD supporters/loyalists.


I am sending my comment to others.

--- On Wed, 8/24/11, wrote:

Subject: Fwd: 10 papers of Nay Pyi Taw Workshop (U Myint, Dr Zaw Oo, Minister U Soe Thein, Daw Mya Thuzar, U Thein Zaw, U San Thein)

Paulo Sergio Pinheiro -

Sergio Pinheiro's Report - Crimes in Burma - Harvard Law School

Artist Shepard Fairey creates new poster for film The Lady, about Aung San Suu Kyi

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

As Gaddafi falls, K St. rises -

Exerpts from Maung Zarni, LSE, WAKE UP BURMESE -

Quote: The regime is finding out that the charade of multi-party elections
and all the expertly spun talk of a “post-election landscape” have not
brought them closer to international acceptability. To be sure, the
generals have found no shortage of “friends,” strategic allies,
co-exploiters of resources, investors and business partners among
Asian rulers, from Beijing and Delhi, to Bangkok and Singapore. But
the regime has been unable to dilute the world’s perception of it as a
despicable pariah, and Washington’s dogged refusal to relax its
opposition against key international lenders and development banks
such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and its Asian
offshoot, the Tokyo-dominated Asian Development Bank. This dampens
even the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) enthusiasm to
let Burma’s not-so-presentable generals chair its overly ambitious,
business-oriented bloc, lest Naypyidaw drives potential investors away
from the ASEAN region, in fierce competition for capital and
investment inflows with China, India and other international rivals.

Last but not least, the generals have been on a mission to militarily
subjugate politically defiant ethnic communities such as the Shan,
Kachin, Karen, Mon and so on. The Burmese military’s zero-sum policy
towards any of its critics, non-violent or armed, has already
backfired, as it has predictably resulted in the complete breakdown of
a 17-year ceasefire with the Kachin. The fact that the regime invited
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi “as an individual observer” to the “poverty
workshop” can only be seen as a cynical public relations ploy, part of
the generals’ “pacification campaign”.

. . .

What the late Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme remarked truthfully
about the apartheid in Mandela’s South Africa – that apartheid cannot
be reformed, but it must be dismantled – equally applies to Burma
under half-century of military dictatorship. The generals’ class rule
in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s Burma cannot be reformed through talk of
poverty and talks of ‘the Talk’. The Burmese electorate gave Daw Suu
and her hundreds of NLD colleagues their overwhelming support in the
ballots two decades ago in order to specifically help end the military
dictatorship and usher in a new era of “government of, for and by the
people” – and not simply to play the game of dialogue and engage in
the talk of poverty over fancy meals in Naypyidaw

. . .

Ultimately, politics is about power—power to reform politically
repressive institutions and economically dysfunctional structures, as
well as, and above all, the military which created (it).

My foregone conclusion is that there is absolutely no plan among the generals to
share power with other popular stakeholders of Burma such as Aung San
Suu Kyi and ethnic minority leaders.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyitaw - economic forum with military government

in Burmese, from Moemakha News

The other Burmese woman in the photos is Ms. Mary Yin with an MBA from an American university.

But it is doubtful any of the advice will be followed by military - in fact in its patron client relationships, authoritarian structures and corruption as a way of life and buying support, it may be unable to relinquish central control.

Notes - copyright Kyi May Kaung.

The "Myanmar goers" in Burmese from Burmese government affiliated The Voice

From outside anonymous commentator -

"Why aren't Bob Taylor and (Mary) Callahan there? Maybe in due course."

Comment by Kyi May Kaung on Rangoon and Burma in the fifties - left on Sitmone blog

Dr. Kyaw Thet was a student of my father, educator Sithu U Kaung, and when they were children, Lin Aung Thet and his 2 sisters often came to visit with their parents.

Yes, the fifties were a time of openess and democracy - even U Nu in the same Ed Morrow program, who was supposed to have better Burmese than English, spoke good English and was able to hold his own with a foreign interviewer.

U Nu wrote and translated several books and his niece Khin Hnin Yu was a famous novelist.

U Nu's great mistake was being naive and "too religious" and giving Ne Win virtual carte blanche after NW quelled the Karen uprising. (This from a close friend of Dr. Kyaw Thet's who was born on the same day and has also passed away).

Kyi May Kaung (Ph.D.)

Dr. Lyn Aung Thet on his father Dr Kyaw Thet's appearance in 1957 Ed Morrow program -

Burmese Rebel Blog -

This is from a real life person who has nothing at all to do with my novel of the same name Burmese Rebel (which I started in 2005)

though I recognized some mutual friends in the photos(when they were much younger)

Kyi May Kaung


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Robert Ludlum's 2001 New York Times Obit -

Self portrait - Eyes -

Painting and photograph, copyright Kyi May Kaung

Re-posting - famous Alaungsithu Sutaung or Pledge -

Thus, in an inscription in the Shwegu Temple, we find this beautiful prayer, written in Pali verse, by King Alaungsithu (1112-1167):

By this my gift, whatever boon I seek,
It is the best of boons to profit all;
By this abundant merit I desire
Here or hereafter no angelic pomp
Of Brahmas, Suras, Maras; nor the state
And splendors of a monarch; nay, not even
To be the pupil of a conqueror.
But I would build a causeway sheer athwart
The river of Samsara, and all folk
Would speed across thereby until they reach
The Blessed City. I myself would cross,
And drag the drowning over. Aye, myself
Tamed, I would tame the willful; comforted,
Comfort the timid; wakened, wake the asleep;
Cool, cool the burning; freed, set free the bound.

And Alaungsithu’s predecessor, the conqueror and builder Kyanzittha (1084-1112), inscribed his edicts on massive pillars in this vein:

O King of Devas, hear thou! . . . The sage Bisnu shall become the king Kyanzittha, and he shall uphold the religion of the Lord Buddha . . . . All vice, which is as a stench, shall the king utterly blot out with true morality, which is as a perfume. . . . The tears of those who have lost their friends shall the king wipe away with the hand of loving-kindness. . . With his right hand shall the king give boiled rice and bread to all the people, and with his left hand ornaments and wearing apparel to all men. . . .He shall soften the hearts of those who intend evil, and exhort those who speak evil to speak good. . . .

From Zawgyi (U Thein Han's) article on early Burmese art in The Atlantic, 1959, under the pseudonym Thaw Ka.
The inscription translations are by the renowned scholar, Gordon H. Luce.

re-posting - Kyi May Kaung's art show - Mostly Burmese Monks of 2009

Saturday, August 13, 2011

America's water main breaks - in record heat

K.M. Kaung: A Masterpiece from One Whose Life was Too Short - book review of Utz by Bruce Chatwin -

I had "heard about" Bruce Chatwin from an article about him and the fatwah, by Salmon Rushdie who traveled with him in Australia before he died. Rushdie had just heard of the fatwah when he went to Chatwin's funeral.

Around 1994 a friend had recommended Utz to me.

But I did not get to read it till relatively recently.

The inexpensive Amazon price was a real deal, though Chatwin's books have been published, it seems to me, on cheap paper, but that's not Amazon's fault.

Anyway, the book did not disappoint at all.

In fact, it more than lived up to its advance billing.

It's a very satisfying read, though tightly written it does not sound terse at all.

I read about the Meissen Collection and August the Strong in an issue of Architectural Digest.

Utz's obsession was with European china, but the Collection consists mostly of blue and white Kang Xi china, real China china.

Kyi May Kaung

Left on site

Kyi May Kaung's painting - Shan Black Belt Saves the World, or Running Leap, on display at Space 7-10, Silver Spring, MD

Painting and photo copyright Kyi May Kaung.

My painting Shan Black Belt Saves the World or Running Leap is on exhibit at Space 7-10, Kefa Cafe, 963 Bonifant St., Silver Spring MD as part of the Alumni Potluck Show.

No opening reception is scheduled, but if you wish to come down there, I may be able to come too.

Check times at the link above.

I am available for interviews via phone or at Kefa.

Please email me or leave message on this blog or at Kefa

with "interview request" in subject line.

We can talk about?

What is Shan?

Is there really a "civilian government" in Burma right now?

Why is the world falling? What does this painting mean?

How to be an artist when stocks are falling in a recession.

How I conceived of this painting -

How to forge your own individual style, etc.

Kyi May Kaung.

Note - images from my previous show in 2009 "Mostly Burmese Monks" is on the Kefa Blog, in the video about Kefa Cafe on the right.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

NPR's Terry Gross interviews author Erik Larsen about his book - In the Garden of Beasts

About US ambassador to Hitler's Germany, 1933-1937.

Canadian Friends of Burma - Ivanhoe received $103 m from Burmese copper mines in Monywa

--- On Wed, 8/3/11, CFOB wrote:

From: CFOB
Subject: Info Release: Ivanhoe received US $103 million from Burma's copper mines
Date: Wednesday, August 3, 2011, 11:30 AM

Ivanhoe received US $103 million from Burma's copper mines

Information release of Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB) – August 3, 2011

OTTAWA - Vancouver-based Ivanhoe Mines has announced early today in its press release that it received US$103 million from Burma asset it held through Monywa Trust.

Ivanhoe owned a 50% operating interest in a joint venture with Burma's state-owned company and transferred its asset to a third party Monywa Trust in 2007. However, Ivanhoe still keeps tight-lip on revealing the name of company that acquired its asset in Burma.

According to the mouthpiece of Burma's regime The New Light of Myanmar, Chinese arm-manufacturing company Norinco reached a "Production Sharing Contract" with the state-owned Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd (UMEH) that covers the mining rights for Monywa copper mine.

CFOB is disturbed by reports of Norinco's involvement in the Monywa mine and recently urged Canada to immediately investigate the present status of Ivanhoe's Burmese assets and take punitive action against Ivanhoe if sanctions have been violated. Please see the relevant press release.


Media contact at 613-279-6835


The Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB) is federally incorporated, national non-governmental organization working for democracy and human rights in Burma. Contact: Suite 206, 145 Spruce St., Ottawa, K1R 6P1; Tel: 613.237.8056; Email:; Web:

My archive at IISH, Amsterdam--