November 29, 2011

The Burmese generals keep slipping words off their tongues

by Hka Shi Maran

No matter how hard the Burmese generals try to mask themselves with some cheesy rhetoric of reforms, their mouths just can’t keep from slipping off words that naturally speak their evil minds. There is an english slogan, “loosing lips sink ship.” Which was used as a campaign phrase during the WW II to prevent people from inadvertently giving the information to the enemy spies. But for the case of Burmese generals, the slogan should change to “loosing lips tell all about the true us.” If we consider the junta enemy, can we say we got the information from their loosing lips?

Political people know how important it is to use certain words in certain situations. We know how the junta’s mouthpiece “Myanma Ahlin” takes seriously on terminologies. It is understood that our political status has officially changed when “Myanma Ahlin” described us as “Taung Kyan Thu.” That was the message from the junta basically announcing the ending of cease-fire agreement and the resuming of war with the Kachin army.

There are times the generals can’t help themselves from directly conveying words intentionally or unintentionally. Those words slipping off of their tongues are too precious to ignore because they convey the true nature of their mentality. Here are a few example of how they can’t perfectly mask themselves because their inner will are just too strong to contain.

The Ne Win’s infamous television speech once naturally portrayed the mentality of Burmese military that they are not hesitant to shoot civilians. “I want all the people of the country to know- if you gather as crowds and kick up a fuss, the military will shoot so as to hit the target. It doesn’t shoot into the air to scare people.”

Another example is from the then Commander Brigadier General Soe Win of Northern Command in Kachin State loosed lips in his Kachin State Day speech by saying the Pang Long agreement is outdated now. We know that the generals have been undermining the Pang Long discourse as well as Bogyoke Aung San’s legacy for decades. But such bold statement by a high-level official just confirmed officially of their true attitude.

And the latest flop came from the president Thein Sein himself. Here read the excerpt from a Irrawaddy report:

On Nov. 18, Burmese President Thein Sein answered questions at an Asean press conference about the ongoing conflict between government troops and the KIA. In his remarks he said that it was impossible to hold negotiations with all the ethnic groups at the same time, and that bilateral talks were always necessary. He also said that if the Burmese armed forces truly wanted to annihilate the KIA, they could do so “within a day.”

Really? Mr President. So do we have to thank you for the fact that we are still breathing because you have been graciously holding the date to “annihilate” us?

In the wake of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s trip to Burma, we, the Kachin people are seriously critical of President Thein Sein’s attitude towards us. It is not healthy to say the military could “annihilate” the Kachin army “within a day” if he is really into genuine reforms. Is it a reform, whose agenda is to collaborate with Aung San Suu Kyi ‘s mainstream democracy movement and to rule the ethnic issues out of the stage? Sorry, we don’t buy into your reform rants.

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