Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dr Maung Zarni on "Burma's reforms"

Quote of the week: An anonymous friend to me as I walked into Bender Arena for the Daw Suu event: We lost again, just like 1988.

Monks and Daw Suu - blurry - photo copyright Kaung. It was so exciting to see Shwenyawar Sayadaw - whom I had previously seen only on TV.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi interviewed by the NY Times This well-regarded reporter, Bill Keller, has many typos in the interview and repeatedly has written "right of succession" instead of "right of secession" of the states. kmk

Democractic Voice of Burma interview of 1988 student leader Moe Thee Zun just before he went back to Burma - 3rd Sept. Read the comments.

Aung San Suu Kyi meets her peers - from The Daily Beast This is a must read for the perils that activists everywhere must confront, even up to yesterday and shows us how skillful and resilient Suu Kyi has been to survive so long - and now be on world tours. kmk

US Campaign for Burma opposes lifting of sanctions

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi should avoid becoming a scapegoat in the Rohingya Issue -

Aung San Suu Kyi - a sad moment at the NED Awards Ceremony - Sept 20th, 2012, Washington DC - Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung. After all she is not the sitting government - she is being used by the junta to "prove" they are liberalizing. The disturbances in June were most likely instigated by the junta, who at least fanned the flames. As recently as a few days ago, there was a rumor (in Burma rumors are often planted by the government) that a young (Arakanese) boy had gone into the Rohingya refugee camp to sell ice popsicles and not come out - he emerged safely a few hours later unscathed saying nothing happened. Rohingya Blogger has complained about RFA coverage of the event. Here is PressTV interview of Raza Kahim of Islamic Human Right Commission, who blames Suu Kyi for her silence - but her silence did not cause it. I don't believe she is unsympathetic to the Rohingya or Kachin. In fact, in the few days she was in Rangoon, between her Thai trip and her European tour, she was photographed with her hand on the heart of a Muslim demonstrator in front of the big mosque near the Sule Pagoda. I think after each of her foreign trips, the junta yanks her chain and reins in her remarks further. K. M. Kaung

Of grass, leaves and flowers -

Rose mallow on the High Line, NY. Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung
Delicate un-named rose - NY City - photo copyright Kaung
A touch of blue with potatoe vine - copyright Kaung
Grass and NY asters - a k a Michealmas daisies - photo copyright Kaung

Page views on this my KyiMayKaung blog have gone through the roof -

Capital Garden - Washington DC - photo copyright Kyi May Kaung. data as of 10 AM, 9-30-2012 page views total 100,286 last month 5,294 yesterday 240 today to 10 AM - 149 today at 10.43 - 167 I think at least for peaks last 3 days, it is due to Burmese democracy leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's victory lap through the USA. However, I don't know why my blog had over 5,000 hits last month - I hardly posted a thing. Anyway, dear Friends, with whom I might be working on various writing and other projects, please understand no writer can miss an audience like this, and so - Self will be blogging more in near future and since there are only 24 hours a day, and my energy is low, well, I will be doing less of everything else. But Family will have first dibs. From here, I thank all of you who checked my blog site and here - i.e. on my blog, I will post you some grass and flower and tree shots. Kyi May Kaung

Excerpts from Thein Sein's BBC Hardtalk interview + Maung Zarni's comments/analysis

Tis a blurry picture - Buddhist monks in Bender Arena, American University, during Aung San Suu Kyi's community meeting with area Burmese and Burmese-Americans - photo copyright Kyi May Kaung - BBC Hardtalk Host, Stephen Sakhur, was so polite to the general, whereas they are notorious for attempting to browbeat Burmese democracy activists. UK and USA are all for trade, and as regards their economic downturns, Canada and USA are going to share an embassy in Rangoon. So - Burma President Thein Sein and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are both living in their fictions, or else knowingly mouthing this change rhetoric - it's a pity. Kyi May Kaung --- On Sun, 9/30/12, wrote: From: Zarni Subject: My BBC World Service Analysis (30 Sept) of President Thein Sein's BBC HardTalk interview (29 Sept) To: Date: Sunday, September 30, 2012, 7:41 AM Here is Burma segment which begins about 5 minute into the 1-hr program and ends at about 16 minute. The BBC World Service "Week in Review" (scroll down to 0805 hr) Zarni's scathing comment follows bits of Thein Sein's Hard Talk interview, 29 Sept 2012 BBC - BBC World Service Programmes - Schedule, Sunday 30 September 2012

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Our editorial policy- occasionally, in the interests of balance and variety, we post pieces with which we might not agree totally - here is another -

Burmese Theater by Naypyidaw Inc. by Maung Zarni President U Thein Sein is saying all the right things on camera while the puppeteers behind the scene are doing all the bad things. Ask the Kachin, the Rohingya, the Rakhine, the land-lost farmers, down-trodden workers, the professionals, and the bulk of the Burmese population, really. On her part, the beautiful min-tha-mee or the Princess loves to perform. The audiences loose their mind. This is Burmese theater, Zat Pwe. At some point a curtain will be drawn. The director (s) will move onto to next episode. Well-known advisers, famous dissidents, Noble icon, etc. are all props in this Burmese theater orchestrated deep within Naypyidaw's bunkers. Sanity and reason are virtues when all-around madness is enveloping in and about Burma. Half-century of dictatorship in Burma has produced a citizenry that is mad and hate-soaked. Enjoy the Pwe while it lasts! Maung Zarni
Ben Franklin in Philadelphia's Independence Hall, vaulted ceiling decoration, US Capital, Washington DC, photo copyright Kyi May Kaung

Our editorial policy- occasionally, in the interests of balance and variety, we post pieces with which we might not agree totally - here is one -

DICTATOR WATCH ( Contact: Roland Watson, AUNG SAN SUU KYI AND HUMAN RIGHTS September 29, 2012 Please forward and post. Aung San Suu Kyi has now visited America. She has been treated by politicians and the media as nothing less than a saint. She is being revered if not deified. The reason for this exaltation is her role as a human rights champion for Burma. She is considered to be wholly responsible, and is receiving all the credit, for what is perceived to be a dramatic improvement in human rights in the country, and the now viewed as inevitable achievement of real freedom and democracy. We can imagine President Obama’s private words: “Well done Aung San Suu Kyi! You are a hero for the ages and your nation’s savior. Thank you also very, very much for changing your mind on economic sanctions, so our companies can now race into Burma to profiteer from its new Gold Rush, alongside China, Thailand, Japan, Singapore and Europe.” Views from Burma though on Suu Kyi’s role, particularly on human rights, are not so unanimous. In Burma, people pay close attention to what she says and does, and to what is really happening on the ground. There are a number of problems here: The Burma Army has been committing crimes against humanity against the country’s ethnic minorities. The crimes have been underway for decades, and are exceedingly well documented. In a recent iteration, since June last year the Army has been attacking the Kachin people. It has actually been suffering huge casualties from the Kachin resistance, and has retaliated viciously against Kachin villagers. There are now some 70,000 Kachin refugees, who have fled scorched earth Army campaigns that have reduced their villages to rubble, and where all Kachin are at risk of execution, and all women of being raped. One of the latest atrocities: Four male villagers were arrested, and then forced to have sex with each other for the entertainment of regime soldiers. The soldiers then burned the villagers’ genitals using candles. The Kachin crisis in turn is but a drop in the bucket. Hundreds of thousands - maybe a million or more - ethnic villagers have been driven from their homes to become internally displaced persons, or refugees in neighboring countries. For the refugees alone, this includes huge populations of Karen, Karenni, Shan and Mon in Thailand; Kachin in China; Chin in Malaysia; and Rohingya in Bangladesh. There is no question about what is behind this. The answer is Burma’s military dictatorship, which is run by generals from the country’s largest ethnic group, the Burmans, and who are racist and who have been persecuting the ethnic minorities. Aung San Suu Kyi is Burman, and while no one in the pro-democracy movement has been willing to accuse her overtly of being a racist, she has consistently backed the generals. She has said that she has a “soft spot” for them. She also said that “resolving conflict is not about condemnation, it is about finding out the root, the cause of the conflict.” Kachin people took great affront at this. To repeat, there is no question at all that it is the regime that is the cause of the conflict. In protest of her position, Kachin invitees boycotted the ceremony in Washington where she was given the Congressional Gold Medal. Another controversy occurred during her visit to Queens College in New York. At this forum, she was asked why she wouldn’t speak out against the Burma Army’s brutal war against the Kachin. She aggressively responded that if there were human rights violations, she would of course condemn them. She then refused to do just that, leaving everyone to conclude that as far as she is concerned there are no regime human rights violations against the Kachin, or Burma’s other ethnic groups for that matter. Discussion of this incident has erupted on the Internet, and she is now openly being called a racist. Further, this past June, a new ethnic crisis developed, this time in Western Burma. Following a series of criminal actions, and which are still the subject of dispute, interethnic clashes broke out between the Rakhine and Rohingya peoples. Analysis of the crisis revealed that it was both motivated and orchestrated by regime organs, and that it led to the full scale ethnic cleansing of many Rohingya townships. (There are as many as 100,000 new Rohingya IDPs and refugees.) When pressed on the issue, Suu Kyi also refused to describe it as a human rights concern. (Of note, she refuses to even use the words Kachin or Rohingya in her English language comments.) She effectively threw her support behind President Thein Sein, and other senior leaders in her National League for Democracy, who have argued that the only real “solution” to the “Rohingya problem” is to intern them all in camps or deport them to any country that is willing to take them. On her behalf, her supporters argue that Suu Kyi is not willing to blame the regime - for anything - so as not to antagonize the generals. What she doesn’t appear to understand is that by not confronting them, she is definitely irritating the ethnic groups. (Some people also believe that it is unfair to criticize her, while she works her magic. The problem with this is that Burma is not a dry, academic issue. Regime soldiers and police are committing murder. Democracy demands uncensored communications, and this is paramount when lives are at stake.) Suu Kyi appears to believe that the only way to accomplish change is to flatter and cajole. The fallacy of her approach however is that it is dependent on “hope.” She is not calling for any pressure at all. The problem here is that there are two power centers in Burma, the Army and Thein Sein. It is absolutely certain that the Army has power, the power of the gun. It is not clear if Thein Sein has any real power at all - many people believe he is Senior General Than Shwe’s puppet, and that the scenario in Burma now is but carefully orchestrated political theatre. Hope as a means to influence the Army is absurd. It won’t - it cannot - work. Indeed, this writer believes that the only reason there has been any change in Burma is the generals’ reaction to the large losses they have suffered at the hands of the ethnic forces. Suu Kyi deserves no credit at all for the “reform” that is underway. (The top unspoken story in the country now is the number of Burma Army soldiers who have been killed in the regime’s civil war against the ethnic groups - at least 4-5,000 and perhaps 10,000 or more in the last two years, and with a similar number of wounded. The generals are covering up their losses, by letting the bodies rot on the battlefield and through rapid cremations.) The ethnic groups despise the regime, and they are extremely suspicious of Burmans in general. Suu Kyi was the only Burman leader who had any of their trust. This trust is eroding, and being being replaced with hostility. Suu Kyi is also 67. She doesn’t have many years left where she will be able to play a hands on role, and in any case under the Constitution, which she swore to uphold, she cannot run for President. Even more, if she loses her reputation with the ethnic groups, she will not even be able to serve as an elder statesperson, as personified by such people as the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela. Suu Kyi is trying to play politics, and she is making a fatal mistake. The Burma military regime is a gang of serial killers. By not condemning them, she is empowering them. It is not too much of a stretch to say that she has become their accomplice. Because of her position, her reluctance to demand - among other things - that the regime end its war against the Kachin - more ethnic people will die. I am not the first person to say it: She has blood on her hands. Moreover, she may succeed in splitting Burma such that ethnic reconciliation becomes impossible. Nations in the West have learned a number of hard lessons from history, which lessons Suu Kyi does not recognize. The United States has been damaged by its own record of slavery and racism. Europe stood by when the Germans committed the worst case of genocide ever. What we learned from these unspeakable tragedies is that in the face of crimes against humanity, you cannot be silent. You cannot sacrifice your principles, and become a politician. (It is beyond words that Germany, perpetrator of the Jewish genocide, is the leader of the European corporate assault on Burma. Berlin is so greedy for Burma lucre that it is not even willing to wait until the crimes are stopped.) Suu Kyi, by not condemning the Burma Army’s human rights abuses, is sabotaging the country. She has shown that she does not understand, and is not even an advocate for, human rights, and freedom, and democracy. She is underserving of both the Congressional Gold Medal and the Nobel Peace Prize. It is difficult to see how Burma is going to recover from her “leadership.” Roland Watson - Dictator Watch.

Meanwhile in the green hell of Burma - fighting continues - from the Bangkok Post

On 20th Sept - when Aung San Suu Kyi met President Obama

San Francisco Bay Area gives Aung San Suu Kyi a rock star welcome

Aung San Suu Kyi gets doctorate at San Francisco Univ., at the UN + Germany based dissident U Nwe Aung asks to be put back on Black List

Germany based U Nwe Aung asks to be put back on Black List. Very odd that they ask Qs of her like head of state and she sometimes replies as one! Dr Nyi Nyi looks so old. His doctorate is in geology. He told a fellow dissident - "You young people may not know it, but Uncle is very important here"(at the UN). --

By special request - hanging out - dusty workers outside my window -

Maybe three is enough? MV?

Video - Aung San Suu Kyi in Fort Wayne, Indiana From Mizzima News - Very emotional for people separated from their leader for decades. KMK

Hits on this, my Kyi May Kaung blog, have exceeded 100,000 last three days there were 191+ 166 and 150 hits each. I was not doing anything I don't normally do, not even writing/blogging. I only posted links to rare (maybe) footage of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on her USA tour. According to the data Blogspot provided me, most visitors are from N. America and Canada. Kyi May Kaung
My blurry pic of Daw Suu paying her respects to monks at Bender Arena in Washington DC, Sept 20, 2012. Copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Aung San Suu Kyi in San Francisco -

Interview of Burma's Presdt Thein Sein, his gloss in Burmese -

Kyi May Kaung's blog page views are over 100,000 with 150 and 166 last two days

Live blog - from Aung San Suu Kyi at Harvard Univ -

from Global Post.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Wall Street Journal - Honoring Aung San Suu Kyi says Bush administration has done more for Burma than Obama administration.

Aung San Suu Kyi in San Francisco

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at Harvard Univ. Kennedy School of Government - scroll down to a guy named Zaw Htut -

Time magazine article on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's US visit

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dr. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at Columbia Univ in NY City
The Low Library at Columbia University where Daw Aung San Suu Kyi spoke on 9-26-2012 We were also there for the Rohingya Conference on 9-14

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Time Magazine - Aung San Suu Kyi's tour of the USA

Monday, September 24, 2012

BBC - Aung San Suu Kyi - The Choice

A touch of humor never ever hurt anyone - my friend's very very funny blog I met Marianne at a writers' conference in Berlin in 05, we were especially invited as (SE Asian) writers who "dare to confront." You would never know it from this blog, but her serious writing is absolutely dark like mine. Read her Mayor of the Roses. kmk

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at Columbia U Leadership Forum in NY exactly where we were on 14th Sept. typo- prisoner of conscience not "prisoner of consciousness." She said it right, you wrote it wrong. kmk

Grim conditions for Rohingya in Cox's Bazaar -

Asian Development Bank - Burma draft report- Very annoying to read as so jargon ridden and does not address key issues, which is land grabbing by the government and cronies, large scale corruption, problems of central control,lack of human and workers' rights
The comedian Zarganar when first released from prison - frame grab. . *

late as usual the m times comes with AFP piece -

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Photo of the day - Aung San Suu Kyi meets First Dog of the United States Bo - Will President Thein Sein be received in the Oval Office? Will Bo bark at him? We will see.

Slide show - Aung San Suu Kyi tours the USA

Aung San Suu Kyi at US Institute for Peace - 19th Sept 2012 on sanctions, US-China-Burma relations etc

Aung San Suu kyi - BBC coverage

Aung San Suu Kyi - VOA coverage in English In Washington DC on Sept 20th, 2012

Aung San Suu Kyi awarded Global Citizen Award -

Step by step - from Aung San Suu Kyi at Columbia Univ. NY

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi accepts the Global Citizen Award - entirely in English

Aung San Suu Kyi's week in DC and visit to VOA - in Burmese

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in New York Low Library Auditorium, Columbia Univ campus was where we were also on 14th September for the same World Leaders Series for the "Rohingya conference" kmk

Excellent macro-political economic analysis of Burma situation, including so-called transition and the Rohingya issue

This is an excellent macro political-economic analysis which I recommend highly. kmk --- On Sat, 9/22/12, Maung Zarni wrote: From: Maung Zarni Subject: The Week In Review: Covering Myanmar - 30-minute radio analysis of Burma on Malaysia's Business FM To: Date: Saturday, September 22, 2012, 10:55 AM The Week In Review: Covering Myanmar 22-Sep-12 10:30 [ Programme Segment: The Week In Review ] The Week In Review Podcasts Is the international media missing the real story in Myanmar? Is Aung San Suu Kyi’s role essentially one of being a smoke-screen behind which the military operates with impunity? Is the Rohingya problem being manufactured to cast the Myanmar government as ally of the West in the battle against militant Islam? The answers will shock.
Yoko Ono with Aung San Suu Kyi's name written on her palm, when Suu Kyi was still a political prisoner. frame grab

I dance my beloved country -Congolese dancer/story teller

Friday, September 21, 2012

Excellent - Christianne Amanpour interviews Aung San Suu Kyi who mentions economist Sean Turnell by name

Moment when The Lady recognized me caught on tape -

from VOA - 9-22-2012 broadcast in Burmese at abt 9.30 in the broadcast. In the past 7 days AK Sen and Daw Suu both recognized me. Thank you Lady in Yellow Blouse who got me into the Capital Building, my first time there too. Just one giddy moment when my friend and I followed the wrong line by accident and went around in a circle. It was a tour group. What a very happy day. On the way out, I also saw an American jujube tree (zee thee) in Burmese, in the park, but forgot to take pictures of the young ladies in formal Burmese dress going crazy picking up the plums. kmk

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

State of the Union of Burma - intv of Zin Linn and Aung Thu Nyein by Khin Maung Nyane you will need Burmese font which you can download kg The woods are lovely dark and deep but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep. Robert Frost - Walking by Woods.
Ashes of Old Documents a k a Trash Photo copyright Kyi May Kaung

The Coptic text might have been speaking metaphorically

Ancient Coptic text mentions "Jesus's wife" Just the alphabets themselves, so like modern English are fascinating - kmk

Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi in DC - at US Institute for Peace and interviewed by VOA

Monday, September 17, 2012

some plants we saw on High Line NY in mid-September

plant of the week - High Line the grass was prairie drop seed American Magnolia rosa mutabilis rose mallow toad lily golden rod

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Burma - not yet an Asian tiger - By Dr Sean Turnell

Monday, September 10, 2012

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Cover of Kyi May Kaung's upcoming novel Wolf here --

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on 18th Sept at US Institute for Peace, DC on Transition in Burma - sold out

Open letter to Radio Free Asia Burmese Dear All, I want to remind you that the 2 women anchors at RFA chirping about the "biggest demonstration of monks since 2007" was extremely objectionable (the clips did not even show more than 50 monks), when we know what VOA's Daniel Schearf has written. They are just regurgitating junta propaganda. I had to listen to it twice before I could even discern what they were demonstrating for or against. This is bcc-ed to Burma Activists. On the other hand - you should watch VOA's excellent interviews of Dr Sein Win, (yesterday) and Daw Hpyu Hpyu Thin (a few days before that)- and why have you (RFA) not interviewed Dr Wakkir ud Din again, and never to my knowledge ever interviewed Rohingya specialists Nora Rowley and Chris Lewa?? Chris has been working on Wn Burma since at least 2001 and Nora has even worked there as a medical doctor with Doctors without Borders. kmk

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

upcoming Sept 14, Burma in Transition in NYC unable to upload Poster but event features A K Senn, Nobel Laureate Ecos.
Wakkar Ud Din - Rohingya Advocate Chris Lewa Nora Rowley Dr Maung Zarni T Kumar - Burma desk officer Amnesty International Kyi May Kaung & others.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

H G Wells - the father of science fiction - In Electric City by Tom Hanks, there are characters named Welles, but it seems to be a confusion between HG Wells and actor Orson Welles. The other reference of course is to George Orwell. But some of the characters are lazily named - that is without making much creative effort, like "Roger Moore" and actually making the animated figure look like the real Roger Moore - just because a public figure cannot sue you, and anyway, malign intent has to be proved, But I am not a lawyer, do not take me word for it. KMK

A not so positive review of E City

Electric City trailer

Super duper Electric City by Tom Hanks Wonderful cast of characters and city map. a must see - wish I had written it. k

Vietnamese born poet and political analyst Linh Dinh on US elections

Navy Seal's book on bin Ladin raid

Kunming- Bangkok Expressway

Monday, September 03, 2012

Burma's "niggers" by Maung Zarni
Portrait of the late Burmese pop singer Htoo Ein Thin - not black or white, he looked most like Kermit the Frog. Portrait, photo, blog note copyright Kyi May Kaung.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

John Burdett of the albino detective fame Thank you M.V. for directing me to this writer. High praise to be compared to this gentleman! K

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Not so black list and black list - a poem by Zarni -

Myanmar is a mess and a hellhole/ Myanmar under generals and ex-generals/ is a complete mess and/ a hellhole for 60 million/ ... the mess is stinky/ those who lick their lips in anticipation of profiting/ from the "Myanmarese" mess are even stinkier./ the generals and the ex-generals are least interested/ in nation-building, but only in nation-pick-pocketing/ and lining their pockets./ These men had 50 years to prove themselves as worthy national leaders./ Instead they expose themselves as irredeemable failures - a nationwide mafia./ Now they want the exiles to come whitewash their leadership disasters./ Maung Zarni, posted with permission.
Buddha's right hand man - photo copyright Kyi M. Kaung

Burl Ives-Ave Maria