Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Blowing up the magic show

Part II of Jotman's interview with Maung (Part I)

At at a hideout in somewhere in the Thai-Burma border region, my conversation with the Burmese revolutionary leader continued.

Maung said, "I think this is just a magic show from the SPDC (the junta), this talk about organizing a dialogue. I have a question: when? And where? Or how?"

I asked Maung: “So you are confronted with this 'magic show' -- and I understand you are trying to do real work to change the situation, but how does their 'magic show' -- the feigned negotiations -- effect what you plan to do?”

“That’s a good question." said Maung. "Because you know we are winning. If you just look at the situation in September: A lot of people were killed; so many monks were beaten up. And we know how it affected the people of Burma. Even within the military. They have a problem with this. Some people who really care about religion might ask: who gave the order? Who gave it to shoot the monks? Because in ‘88 Ne Win’s government used the soldiers by telling them to shoot . . . the Communists. And that movement wasn’t as popular as this movement. "

Maung continued:
This time someone ordered the soldiers to shoot the 'fake monks.' How did these people become the fake monks? To think these fake monks recited the Meta Sutta! That’s absurd. It’s in Pali, and only the real monks know Pali.

The people are winning the psychological war. I think if they (the military regime) continue to do more to against the monks, I think they are preparing the rope to hang themselves. And at the same time I think people should prepare something different. They cannot put their hope in outside countries coming to save them.

A US invasion? Very rare hope. UN Security Council? Just one country can object and nothing happens. No hope there either. And although there is a very rare hope about sanctions, those sanctions need to be ensured. If a country is ordering sanctions, it must make sure – it must ensure -- its companies are out. This is very important.
Maung would have more to say about foreign companies in Burma at a later time (which relates to what he said next):

"So I think people have to go ahead in any way they can. We will try to find the easiest target; one that will make the SPDC weak. If the SPDC is not weak, they will not consider dialogue. Clearly.

I asked Maung about the next move:
The next move? We don’t know. We will see the situation. If they are really thinking about a change, it is good.

But we must prepare something at the same time. If not, well then, we are ready to do different things. Maybe this could violence -- as well. And when this happens, don’t call Burmese people, and the Burmese People Movement “terrorists.”

Because nobody is calling the SPDC “terrorists.” Everyone understands that the SPDC has robbed the power of the people of Burma – for many years. And now people are trying to rob the power from SPDC. This is fair! We can use any way. We can use any method. This is fair!

Who can we hope for? Who will save us? We see no one. So that we must stand up, to do.

We are all leaders. We don’t hope about leaders. We are all leaders. Whoever is doing are the leaders. They are the leaders of the future. We will find our own leaders in the fight, in the struggle. We will not hope for any leaders (to drop down) from the sky. We will find our own leaders in the fight.

So we are planning possible things that would force the regime to enter into dialogue – which is what we all want.
Which is what we all want. Maung tapped out each syllable of the phrase on the side of his chair with the palm of his hand.

"To force the country to change in a peaceful way." he added. "If not, what do we have to do? That will be our last choice."

Continued. In future interview segments, Maung talks to Jotman about potential targets and defends the right of the Burmese people to take up arms against the regime.
Photo: By Jotman, depicts a building in Myanmar.

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