Tuesday, January 29, 2013

twitter and tweet - here we go

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kyi May Kaung - Is it Sci Fi without the Science

I am thinking of Dune, or A Canticle for St. Leibowitz, or George R. R. Martin's work, where technology is changed to magic or all technology is almost all lost. Why isn't sci fi fantasy? Why should we worry so much about labels and categories. What is the bottom line.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kyi May Kaung - comment on IFC and microfinance in Burma -

Microfinance alone cannot solve even all of Burma's agricultural sector problems, when so much land has been taken by the cronies and govt projects./ where would the microfinance be used - maybe in small scale craft projects?/ but if there is so much land lost - so many displaced - it will be as the Burmese say, "throwing sesame seeds to feed an elephant."/ Dr Kyi May Kaung, DC-based analyst./

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Interview of Burmese singer Daw Mar Mar Aye, Death Railway etc -

http://www.rfa.org/burmese/ Mar Mar Aye: As for new creations in Burmese music, there is rap and there is hip hop, but it all started elsewhere, in the west./ So far nothing has come from within the Burmese tradition itself -/ I know because even from an early age, I was cavorting on the rainbow (her first best selling song, at about age 13, was thet tant paw hmar kasar me - or "I shall play on the rainbow")/ so until I see something generated within Burma itself, I will have to reserve judgement -/ About whether she is coming back for good - "I thought I would never be returning and so I had made certain arrangements there, and I could not just get up and move back suddenly, now could I? -- so it's just coming to visit./ About how she made the decision to visit -/ "Well, my age is coming along and I wanted contact with my family and my audience and the people of Burma - now, my family, I can call them on the phone, but how would I call all the people of Burma? -- and also they want to hear Mar Mar Aye's voice - and I also, I want to sing for them, I want to see if I can still sing." Informal translation and summary Kyi May Kaung

Penguin enters self-publishing

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-18922561

Monday, January 21, 2013

Comment on writing and publishing -

I scanned through all comments here and majority opt for small presses, which they don't equate with "self-publishing" except for one comment - Small presses have small or non-existent PR/budgets, and one I approached was set up mainly to publish works of founders, I believe - so - bottom line is if you self publish, or publish at all, you yourself MUST do most of the PR, like it or not - In the 90s I met a dedicated and talented writer who got a three book deal with a big advance - 1996 - but she still did most of PR herself - had a top of the line NY agent - and publisher - so - 1996 economy being much different from this present recession, you have to do most of heavy lifting yourself - another friend spent 30,000 of his own money, 1996 $$ - to promote his work in NY etc/travel and it was not a novel but an academic journal - so go figure. Try and learn what is called guerilla marketing (and self promotion) - many good books - Kyi May Kaung

Comment left on Kanlaon Blog - The Structure of a Play -

Did you like Homebody Kabul - I met the actress who understudied for part - she did a monolog at my other friend's house, they met in Afghanistan! I am a great admirer of Angels in America and my play Shaman has a similar structure - saw Angels 9 times as an usher at Philadelphia's Annenberg Center. Kyi May Kaung

Despite "ceasefire" Kachin war rages - Simon Roughneen - The Irrawaddy -

http://www.irrawaddy.org/archives/24747

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A garden to die for --

http://myhesperidesgarden.wordpress.com/

Quote of the day - Sir Thomas More to Martin Luther -

"throw back into your paternity's shitty mouth, truly the shit-pool of all shit, all the muck and shit which your damnable rottenness has vomited up" :) From Sir Thomas Moore Wikipedia - accessed 1-19-2013

Young man celeb admits falling in love with fictional creation (hoax)

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/19/sport/manti-teo-controversy/index.html?hpt=hp_t1 Rather sad don't you think -/ Henry VIII was angry with a portrait artist for bringing him a picture of a woman he did not like at all when he met her "I like her not" - in fact he could not stand her as marriage partner - no chemistry, as we say these days - This was Ann of Cleves./ - strangely she did not get beheaded like the ones he "liked" and bedded -/ this woman managed to negotiate for herself a "sister" position and even got a pension and a house/home - and acted sometimes as a political adviser and sounding board - and died a natural death of old age -/ I would say with Henry's daughter Elizabeth - she was one of the few success stories from that saga - an example of "satisficing" rather than "optimizing" or playing all one's cards and losing./ kmk

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Burma's "Lady Gaga" - med school graduate and anti-human trafficking activist -

http://www.irrawaddy.org/archives/22745

Breaking news - Algerian hostage crisis, BP facility

http://thedianerehmshow.org/ NPR Tom Gjelton interviews experts and takes calls -/ Algerian forces attacked hostage takers - who had taken over BP oil and gas facility - many foreigners including Americans among hostages -/ Something similar could happen in Burma./ --

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Carolyn Jewel, romance novelist, on joining critique groups -

http://www.carolynjewel.com/craft/critique.php

Burma - central government attacks Kachin Independence Army - air strikes -

http://www.rfa.org/burmese/commentaries/kachin-air-strike-01082013193915.html informal summary -/ It's in the 2010 "constitution" that the ground forces do not always need to obey the president, so this seems to be pre-planned./ Both sides should stop. KIA had a 17 year ceasefire, unlike KNU, whose ceasefire is quite recent./ However, KIA found that during the ceasefire period, the Burmese army and the cronies took advantage of them./ The present strategy by the "new government" seems to be to cut off the KIA's main economic base at the Hpakant Jade Mines, and to attack Laiza, the KIA headquarters./ The estimates of civilian refugees has increased from 60 to 80 to 90 to even 100,000./ In this cold winter weather, there is no help that we heard of from the "new" Burmese government, nor from China and the UNHCR and the international NGOs cannot go there./ Former captain in Burmese Army Sai Win Kyaw, based in USA said that though govt's policy may "succeed" in short term, in long term this cannot be solved by military means -/ Host - Khin Maung Nyane at RFA/ informal translation and summary- kmk/

My George R. R. Martin series, Song of Ice and Fire arrived in the mail -

The Mutt barked her head off - the black postman muffled up against the cold brought my boxed set of George R. R. Martin's fantasy series Song of Ice and Fire -/ Someday soon someone will also order my novels and novellas in the mail and be similarly pleased and happy when they arrive./ kmk

Obama signs sweeping gun controls, gets secret service protection for life

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/16/politics/gun-laws-battle/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sightings of Gordon H. Luce and Daw Tee Tee Luce - a long ago "love affair"

sent to a fellow blogger - 1-12-2013/ Thanks again, glad you translated and put it up, in years I knew them she looked just as in photo -/ I had only 1/2 a day to go to see Luce's archive at Australian National Library, in Canberra, which my brother had catalogued, but I did not know it till I got there and Burmese students told me-/ Luce corresponded with a large # of people, including John Maynard Keynes, the Bloomsbury Group etc - Chinese scholar Arthur Waley -/ he was very fond of me and I of him - one memorable occasion in 50s when I was 13 when he cast me as Juliet while at 80? he read Romeo in a reading of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet was unforgettable - all the other readers were his students in Eng Lit at Rangoon Univ. and I don't know how the ma mas and ko kos felt abt me - I was too shy to chat with them, and just read the role Saya Luce told me to read and then came home./ I have other memories which I should write down /- do you mind if I post this addition on my blog?/ aunty/ --- On Sat, 1/12/13, wrote: > From: > Subject: Re: present (today) + past - blog post > To: > Date: Saturday, January 12, 2013, 12:54 AM > what a shameful act of Burmese > authority who force to put off wedding > ring from Daw TT Luce. > > here is my old translation abt her, back on 5 years ago. The > original > link can't even accessed anymore. > > http://kthwe.blogspot.com/2008/05/blog-post_24.html >

Friday, January 11, 2013

So we have all these followers? Now what? From Chronicle of Philanthropy

http://philanthropy.com/webinars/detail/1020

National Geographic photographer and humanitarian, Reza -

http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photographers/photographer-reza/ So privileged to have met him in person at NEIU a few years ago. As we say in Burmese, full pots don't thrash around and make a lot of noise.

Dawdawtaung cave near Kyaukse in Burma

http://www.photobotos.com/buddha-temple-datdawtaung-cave-myanmar-lin-tun/

Aung San Suu Kyi defends the NLD's right to accept donations from "well connected" crony businessmen - for charity work

http://www.mizzima.com/news/inside-burma/8710-nld-right-to-accept-donations-from-well-connected-businessmen-suu-kyi.html

Cambodia - people living among the tombs of a cemetery

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-c4Tkc-vz4&list=UUv-YbGueeYCp8_CdjgXQD3A&index=8 From VOA

International Day of Protest for the Rohingya

Date: Friday, January 11, 2013, 12:38 PM > http://interoccupy.net/blog/ai1ec_event/international-day-of-protest-for-rohingya-120/ > > InterOccupy | INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PROTEST FOR ROHINGYA > 1/20 > > INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PROTEST FOR ROHINGYA 1/20 > > When: January 20, 2013 @ 12:00 > pm - 1:00 pm > Where: Myanmar's embassies > internationally > > We appeal all who have hearts and called for Human Rights to > break the wall of silence . . activities around the world > > Calling for peaceful demonstrations around the world in > front of the Myanmar’s embassies to show our silent anger > and peaceful support for the innocent people who are facing > Genocides WITHOUT no sin ,, only for their religion > > On 20th of Jan – 12 pm around the world ,, all of us will > go and protest against INHUMANITY crimes in Arakan – > Myanmar > > INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PROTEST FOR ROHINGYA | Global Day Of > Action! : > > From BERLIN : http://www.facebook.com/events/383469365078749/ > From United State of America : http://www.facebook.com/events/391122774314038/ > > >

2004 tsunami movie The Impossible

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1649419/ The only thing I don't like about it is the built in premise that the world is not aware of what happens unless it happens to white people, so fetching in their swimwear.

Vietnamese-born artist Huong unveils Peace Mural in Miami

Contact: Huong Peace Mural Foundation Phone: 305-596-9280 7700 SW 77th Ave Miami, FL 33146 www.peacemural.org THE OBAMA INAUGURATION Peace Mural Foundation Announces the Unveiling of The Obama Inauguration Mural on Lincoln Road The new exhibit by the artist Huong celebrates renewed American patriotism and hope . When: Saturday, January 19th, 5pm Where: 430 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach FL 33139 Miami, January 10, 2013: The artist Huong will unveil her largest painting designed to honor and inspire the renewed patriotism of our nation. OBAMA INAUGRATION will be open daily from 10am-10pm and parking is available in the parking garage behind the building at the entrance to 16th Street. The exhibit is sponsored and presented by Ambassador Paul Cejas of 420 Lincoln Road Associates, Ltd. THE OBAMA INAUGURATION captures the transformative swell of joy and pride felt by the nation as President Barack Obama was sworn into office for his first term. This enormous canvas, measuring 84 feet by 240 feet is a celebration of history in the making as well as a reminder of what it truly means to be an American. Huong who emigrated from her native Vietnam following the fall of Saigon, remains dedicated to world peace. Reflecting on the brotherly love she felt during the inaugural festivities, she says, “ I was part of a new era in the history of America. The country had gently but securely adopted me. I was arm in arm with daughters and sons of other immigrants, some refugees like me, and others who took a different road to freedom. I smiled and knew, yes, this is my country –the land of promise, a promise of hope, and a hope for new life. Our faces read, ‘We are citizens of American and of the world.’ We are accountable to both. I think this is what we mean by feeling patriotic.”

BBC TV host raped children on a vast scale

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/11/world/europe/uk-savile-sex-abuse/index.html?hpt=hp_c1 be aware and protect children -/ children and teenagers are most often abused by relatives and others, such as priests,sports counselors, coaches etc, who have access to them./ Teach your children what is acceptable and what it not at an early age - don't leave them alone with others -/ Azar Nafisi "What I have been silent about" writes of being groped by an iman that her mother worshipped./

Dr Laurie Maund's work - Thai temples and AIDS education by John Williams

http://www.buddhanet.net/sangha-metta/thaitemples.html

"fashion magazine" Hnyo - banned as too racy by Burmese censors -

http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/01/10/too-racy-for-myanmar-censors/ Sex and gender education should be in schools -/ Hnyo - the name itself means "seduction."/ Probably a "near-pronographic" magazine is not the right place for proper sex education./ The lack of education of individuals in all fields, even those who have lived outside for so long, is phenomenal./ In my years at Penn, I met several people who worked in anti-AIDS education and outreach - and also in Thailand, I know for a fact that CDCE arranged for visiting non-profit workers and groups of social worker monks to receive AIDS-related information from expert Dr. Laurie Maund./ Of course those inside Burma are not well served - the whole culture needs to change./ A medical student told me that even medical texts had the reproductive system blacked out!!/ kmk

Myitkyina train, Burma, hit by mine, Soros meets Daw Suu, anti-Kachin genocide demonstrations world wide, Burmese govt creates anti-corruption organisation - plus some of my memories

http://www.rfa.org/burmese/ Myitkyina is in Kachin land -/ anti-Kachin genocide demonstrations in London, Bangkok, Canberra and on Chinese side of Burma-China border./ Kachin headquarters in Laiza on Burmese side was attacked by helicopter gunships and heavy artillery./ Govt. spokesperson said they "just used practice aircraft."/ On corruption, the lawyer, in black jacket said -"This is like government employees investigating themselves."/ Generation 88 U Ko Ko Gyi said, "With existing law, the maximum, even if millions were appropriated, is 7 years. With this and that, some serve only 4 years. -- as we (political prisoners were so long in prison -/ (U Win Tin for instance was in there 19 years) --/ I for one have never seen a prisoner serving a sentence for corruption in prison."/ What no one said - as we say in Burmese, The roof always leaks from the top down --/ no one mentioned the greatest thieves of all./ The 98th birthday of the late historian Col. Ba Shin, who died in 1970, was celebrated in Rangoon. I saw Col. Ba Shin when I was a child and teenager, and he was working regularly with Prof. Gordon H. Luce and famed geographer, Dr Daw Thin Kyi. To this day I regret not having gone with them on a trip to Bagan (formerly spelled Pagan)because I had to take my exams - subsequently Luce was forced by the Ne Win government to leave Burma and his property and the Home for Waifs and Strays (of course an old fashioned name) near Inya Lake was taken over. Some other time I will relate what a relative saw at the airport on the day the Luces left - oh well, it might as well be here and now./ All personal jewelry was not allowed out of Burma. Mrs Luce(Daw Tee Tee Luce)never wore nor probably had any jewelry, but the airport officials forced her to leave her wedding ring - As she had worn it so many years, she could not take it off easily. Finally with soap and a lot of tears, I am sure, she got it off and left it with the British Embassy person who came to see them off./ I feel this random or not so random act of cruelty towards an old woman who never did anyone any harm, in fact even was renowned for her social work, was a winner of the Ramon Magsaysay Prize, needs to be documented./ My beloved aunt always wanted me to "be like Daw Thin Kyi" and herself was so pleased to tell me that when the Duke of Edinburgh visited Burma, the only Burmese person he talked with at length at an official reception, which my aunt and uncle also attended, was Daw Thin Kyi./ There!/ Daw Thin Kyi, like the Luces, was similarly lovely./ I loved the way she walked on campus in her later years, supported by two students on either side, like a great she-elephant out of the Buddhist jataka (stories of the former lives of Gautama Buddha) --/ At the Luces' house, Daw Thin Kyi would be peering at aerial photos of Bagan with a viewing device, while Col. Ba Shin and Prof. Luce chatted with each other about their work. My father at the time was the first Chairman of the Burma Historical Commission. He was trying to get Saya Luce to stop making changes to his book and send it off for publication./ Informal summary, paraphrase and comments, reminiscences - Dr. Kyi May Kaung

Protect you child during flu season

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/10/health/protect-children-flu/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

Thursday, January 10, 2013

George Orwell's 1984

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nineteen_Eighty-Four

Left on Kanlaon's blog - opportunity costs and Chinese imports

I just love Self and this blog -wondered why you were walking - for me Walmart is 2.31 miles away so I walk 4.62 miles if I go and back. I found that to order George R. R. Martin's 4 pack I would only have to pay less than $2 for delivery, while pick up or home delivery, the date I will get it is the same - so what with waiting for good weather and forgetting and feeling tired all the time - less than $2 for walking over 4 miles is OK, not to factor in my time, and getting dressed and ready to go out. There's nothing very interesting to see along the way and the people watching is also useless here as everyone is in a car. Seeing a bus is very rare and I heard there is one bus accident a day. Epiphany of the day - I never knew Walmart sells guns, and books! I know it all comes from China, but was I glad to get a coat, padded, red for $20. In 30 years I have never bought a $20 coat. The army surplus jacket I have was $20, off a truck, but it is old and not as warm -- bought during the first Iraq War, and I really could not wear it on Penn campus - go figure - it all comes off the backs of Chinese workers I know, but what to do - I am retired and on a limited income - Kyi May Kaung

Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit, George Orwell's 1984 (movie version)

http://www.amazon.com/Little-Wordsworth-Classics-Charles-Dickens/dp/1853261823#reader_1853261823 I saw a TV series some years ago and it was excellent - the intro in the Amazon sample pages are soo interesting - D was an early activist - and also had a magazine where he energetically addressed all the problems of the day, and Orwell wrote a great article on him in 1948 - it is Amazing -- I watched "1984" - movie version and it was very good though extremely bleak and depressing - Julia hiding the small gifts like chocolate, real coffee, real sugar in the fireplace and giving them to Winston Smith so like 1982 when I left Burma. The real 1984 was an important year for me, because I went to see Burma expert Josef Silverstein at a MacDonald's near the train line for the first time - I had never heard of him in Burma. My Karen friends lived close by and gave me his phone number as he was a supporter of Karen National Union leader, the late Saw Bo Mya - I went because I had read Silverstein's books in the Penn library and I wanted to be like him. kmk

dictionary definition of a premonition

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/premonition

meaning of epiphany - a momentous realization

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphany_%28feeling%29

16 year old shooter in California school talked out of giving up shotgun

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/10/us/california-school-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

Left on Kanlaon blog - gardening fire and ice -

Love this blog - I just ordered box set of George R.R. Martin's Song of Fire and Ice series, and am eagerly waiting - am about to try ordering plants by mail - gearing up for The Child's lectures. Kyi

George R R Martin - fantasy and sci fi writer

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_R._R._Martin

latest lists of Burmese political prisoners from Ko Tate Naing of AAPPB

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yI0IMVo-Yks Association for the Assistance of Political Prisoners, Burma says there are 380 plus about a 1000 people detained in Arakan - whose status as to whether they are political prisoners is being debated -

I want to change myself - by Fadhil al Awazzi via Ko Ko Thett

I want to change myself/ After all my heavy losses/ Here and there/ After all my ever-bleeding wounds/ From the lost wars of my short life/ I saw how fragile I was./ I sat and thought about what I should do/ To rebuild the ruins of my afflicted soul./ * I think I have to change my body parts/ One by one,/ Some of them, at least – / To earn the happy days to come./ * I think I need/ A new pump for my heart/ To love as many women as I want./ I´ll need a lung, washed out of tar and nicotine/ To smell the streets after rain,/ And nerves of steel/ To bear the blows of fate,/ And new blood, rich with red and white blood/ To donate/ (to) The victims of the coming wars./ * I need/ A stomach that thankfully digests all I give it,/ Sharp teeth to tear the barbarians/ Coming down upon us from their snowy mountains,/ A wide chest to be kind to treacherous friends,/ Long limbs to win the Olympic Games,/ And tender lips for burning kisses./ * What would it matter if I were bald?/ My remaining hairs/ The wind will gently comb back./ * My liver and spleen/ I will leave as they are –/ I really must spend as little as possible – / And my head will just have to find its way out of the trouble/ The way it has always done./ * In short: I have to be alive enough/ To still look like myself after all./ *

Some people on and taken off the Burmese gov. black list - including me - from Irrawaddy blog

http://blog.irrawaddy.org/2012/08/blog-post_9967.html

Burma - George Soros gets down to business with 88 Generation leaders -

from The Irrawaddy - http://www.irrawaddy.org/archives/23641

funny transliteration - for real

billionaire = bee lee yohn narr :) http://www.rfa.org/burmese/ this is almost as good as THS Loh! If you don't know Burmese, I decline to translate - ask someone you know well. --

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Irrawaddy Literary festival in Rangoon, Burma in February --

http://ukinburma.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=842188082

Comment left on Kanlaon's Anthropologist blog - ref. Asian calligraphy and writing -

Your insights on calligraphy and using the form/structure of what you are currently reading to write is great - that's what I do too. I am sure you must also like Franz Kline's "calligraphic" paintings - I did not know about him and his work until one critic compared my paintings to his. Kyi May Kaung

Images from my travels -

Screen printed scarf bought in Bali - photo copyright Kyi May Kaung
Two young men in Bali - painting and photo copyright Kyi May Kaung

A must see for all artists and writers in exile - Marlene Dietrich: Her Own Song --

http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/410471|18559/Marlene-Dietrich-Her-Own-Song.html quotes and paraphrases from the documentary: Goebbels - "We must have German literature, German art, German music --" Dietrich on her Hollywood work "prostitution and real prostitution" ---

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Comment left on Irrawaddy site - ref Burmese writer Ma Thida

I am very privileged to have seen her outside Burma, once for about 45 minutes at Baltimore Penn Station,and to be distantly related to her -- However, I wish her books and articles and short stories were more widely available - inside and outside Burma. I read with interest her translations of Japanese writer Noriko's recollections of Daw Suu and Daw Than E Fend.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

The script of Amadeus by Peter Shaffer

http://sfy.ru/?script=amadeus

F. Murray Abraham

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F._Murray_Abraham

Excellent interview of F. Murray Abraham by Diane Rehm on NPR

http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2012-10-15/academy-award-winning-actor-f-murray-abraham Who would have ever guessed he grew up in El Paso, TX?

Matt Damon's new film The Promised Land about fracking

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/movies/2013/01/03/promised-land-review/1765207/

Two sweaters hand knit by Aung San Suu Kyi over 20 years ago go at auction for $123,000

http://worldnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/29/16236953-sweaters-made-by-aung-san-suu-kyi-net-123000-at-political-fundraiser?lite

Fantastic opening lines - from Harry Crews' A Feast of Snakes

http://www.amazon.com/Feast-Snakes-Novel-Harry-Crews/dp/0684842483/ref=la_B000APXSBS_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1357241014&sr=1-2#reader_0684842483

The man who ate a car - LA Times obit of writer Harry Crews

http://articles.latimes.com/2012/apr/01/local/la-me-harry-crews-20120401

My favorite interview of my favorite personality, Daw Mar Mar Aye - singer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RIu3aSNIb0&list=UUv-YbGueeYCp8_CdjgXQD3A&index=5 I have other stories of my encounters with Daw Mar Mar Aye - but won't relate them here as it's the new year and the circumstances of the first of these meetings was not happy - she was offered a "job" that only paid $200 a month and that she could not live on. I will recount it some other time - she herself is incredibly lovely and always will be. KMK

Sculptor Jim McNalis meets Min Ko Naing in person

http://www.irrawaddy.org/archives/22992

Sunrise in Pranburi, Thailand -

Thank you Dr. T- photo copyright Dr. T.

Interview with late successful writer Crews

http://anthropologist.wordpress.com/author/anthropologist/

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

going viral right now - a new year round robin letter from Myanmar

chin paun (roselle - a Burmese vegetable) pods on front burner - photo copyright Kyi May Kaung a new year round-robin letter from myanmar My dear friend,/ What a jolly good year we’ve had. Every village is democracy, democracy, democracy these days. Every villager is Mother Suu, Mother Suu, Mother Suu now. Long live Mother Suu!/ Of late even some oligarchs have become slightly socially responsible. After Mother Suu, one of those tycoons might plunge into politics to become ASEAN’s Berlusconi in the mafia state of Myanmar. Touch wood! Long live Mother Suu! / This tourist season hundreds of tourists descended upon our village stupa. Many of them complained we didn't have beer bars. They shouldn’t whinge. Everyone has something to sell here. Palm wine is 100 percent organic and cheaper than Myanmar Beer. Tourists can even buy peacock feathers, tiger claws, bear paws and porcupines./ You might recall, when you visited us last year, my father kept talking about genetically modified rice seeds until his mouth foamed with saliva. Now he has gone quiet for a while. Nor does he have to worry about the impotent fertilizer supplied by his dealer./ He killed himself in June when they told him the land he had tilled since he was twelve was not his. He didn't have any document that showed he owned the land. How could he produce any paper? He didn’t even have the pinkish card that said he was a Myanmar. I myself now need 5 lakh to buy the pinkish card so I can vote for Mother Suu in the coming election./ Our land has recently become a zone, a hotel zone or an industrial zone…I am not sure what, but the news journals say employment opportunities are better in the zones. I hope to find a job there soon...I need to look after my mother and keep my little sister Mya May in school. By the way, little Mya May may still be a quarter of a shrimp but she is ready for the Pacific. She says she wants to make money to get herself an Eyepad or something like that./ Remember Shwe Mi, my pretty cousin, who was always the flower bearer at village pwes? She mysteriously disappeared after Thingyan water festival in April. Before Thingyan, her mother had died from food poisoning—the poor old lady had eaten too much tea Shwe Mi had pickled in the fake cooking oil she was sold at the village market. We recently received a letter from Shwe Mi from China. In her photo Shwe Mi could pass for Zhang Ziyi. She seems happily married to a Chinaman. Women are running out in China, Shwe Mi says. / In November, some of our distant relatives ran to scoop up petrol from a derailed oil cargo train in Kantbalu, upper Myanmar. Dozens of them were instantly grilled in the ensuing flash fire. Even their immediate relatives could not identify the bodies. May they never be born again in the bottomless pits of poverty./ Scores of other relatives who had marched north to Kachin State for jade mines and teak jungles never came back too. Never mind them. I heard, there are no more tigers in Sri Lanka. Tigers have been long gone in Kachin state but the Kachins are still there. Of course, we have taken war against our own ‘national races’ for granted and it doesn’t bug me as much as the Rohinja question. Yes…Muslims in Myanmar undermines our core Buddhist values such as metta (loving-kindness), karuna (compassion) and mudita (appreciation)./ No doubt you knew what happened to our venerable abbots when Latpadaung copper mine protest was broken up by the police in November? We still don’t know what hit them. No one deserves expired teargas canisters. An abbot has had to undergo a skin transplant surgery in town and he seems ok, at least physically…but the 100,000 USD medical bill for the venerable U Nyarna who was sent to a private hospital in Bangkok has become a national issue. Even little Mya May’s soul wouldn’t sell for that much money. Even our government which has privatized everything over the decade felt ripped off, and U Nyarna has been moved to a Thai public hospital./ Good news is that this year I don’t have to live in fear any more. The Tatmadaw has stopped dragooning young men into army corvee, at least in our area. I am proud to tell you that our patriotic Myanmar commandos will soon be showing the US marines how to win battles by surviving on bamboo shoots, how to make the locals absolutely loyal to you and, in general, how not to be a wuss in the joint military exercise in the plantations in Thailand. In turn, I am sure they will learn from the US troops how to use damage as collateral, how to justify invasion-occupation of resource-rich/strategically-significant lands, how to regime-change through espionage, how to drone-bomb the Kachins or the Rohinjas to extinction and how to piss on your enemy's corpse./ There is a lot of freedom these days, my friend. We now have freedom to ogle at the ivory thighs of model girls in see-through dresses on magazine covers. Even the village elders who used to have shy eyes are now buying those magazines behind our back. Some of those tasty legs have even walked up to our village monastery bookshelves. / I hope I will be receiving good news from you and your family as ever. Hope you will be visiting us again very soon…Mya May wishes for more chocolate…Whiter Shades of Grey for me please. Have a wonderful 2013!/ Yours faithfully, Jet Ni (Kyak Ni) Zone- 24 (Gyobingone Village) Myanmar (Burma) Posted with permission -

Kyi May Kaung - new logo

Happy 2013-

For Burma, welcome back to 1950s! See posts below.

Fighting escalates between Burmese government and Kachin and ABSDF (North), Mandalay-Myitkyina train line mined etc -

http://www.rfa.org/burmese/ One government plane shot down - helicopter gunships also used by Burmese army/ Billionaire George Soros will meet Shan and other ethnic leaders during his Burma visit,Generation 88 goes to Laiza - Min Ko Naing will make first trip overseas to the Philippines and/ mine blasts in Tavoy damage old historic pagodas -/ note mine workers working with their bare hands in sarongs and flip flops./ unofficial translation & summary.

Foreign visiters like Burmese longyi or sarong

http://www.irrawaddy.org/archives/22894