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Democracy Is Not the End Game


By MSU News


The end game is not to restore democracy. In reality the going on problem of the Union of Burma (UB) is a constitutional crisis. In 1962 General Ne Win over took power because the constitutional government led by Prime Minister U Nu was about to amend the Union constitution in federal form in the Union parliament. It was not taking power against democracy. It was rather taking power against federalism.

If we take the cause and the effect of Burma crisis, the cause was federalism and the effect was militarism. The reason was Ne Win interpret wrongly that federalism is disintegration and secession of the country. The present ruling military regime holds high this wrong concept of federalism as Ne Win’s doctrine.

So the Burmese military regime is now drafting the country constitution in unitary form with one party system known as disciplined democracy. It will be a very good weapons for them to violate human rights and practice ethnic cleansing program to wipe out the existence of non Burmans minority peoples and their territories to make Burma one people one religion and one language everything to be Burmans/Burmese and there will be allowed no other different ethnic people other than the Burmese/Burmans in the country.

The military regime is now starting to force people to demonstrate that they support the military regime constitution draft. They are now trying to adopt it by forcing the population to vote for it at gun point again like they did in the fake constitution of the Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma 1974.

The democracy forces in exile also have a draft of constitution known as the constitution of the Federal Republic of Burma to be in the process of democracy freedom. That is the reason the military regime, the Burmese democracy led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the ethnic minority groups so far led by Ethnic National Council of the Union of Burma (ENC) should have tripartite dialogue.

         The way the United Nations is trying to solve the problem might be on these two constitutions to let the people vote for either of the two constitution in  each territory in democratic freedom and adopt any one which get majority votes in more than half of the number of the existing territories. So the problem is just constitutional crisis if we think of the cause of the crisis.

         But we cannot reach to establish federalism without restoring democracy system in the country. It is like   our destination is to build federalism in the Union of Burma and democracy is like a vehicle with which to get to that destination. So the people of the Union of Burma to get democracy and human rights are what are vitally so important to get to their destination of federalism. That means to build a federal Union in the country is clearly the end game.

The Union of Burma is the coming together of the existing eight different ethnic territories to form a union in federalism according to General Aung San and his cabinet had designed the formation of the Union constitution.

The Burmese territory is a lowland plain from zero level to about 1000 ft above sea level and the non-Bumans territories in some places reach over    10, 000 ft. to 12000 ft. above sea level. So the climates and vegetations in the Lowland Burma and highland non-Burmans areas are greatly different with different cultures and languages.

So it is not possible to develop the whole country uniformly as if the country is all the same as all flat land and same climate and as a homogenous people of a country of only single language and single culture in the whole country. To make them fully developed  in their respective territories in their own ways , there must be decentralization of political power so that each local state can develop their local state in their own way to suit their different topographies,  climates and different cultures and languages.

The reason is each of their territories is larger than the size of many independent nations of the UN members. For example Chin State territory is 14000 square miles most of which are between 1000 ft to 10, 000 Ft. above sea level. It is larger than Maryland plus Massachusetts.

But many people in the lowland have never been to the highland to see what different they look like from the low land especially because communication to the high land is not easy as they have been neglected for half a century since the UB  independence.  Most people except some very few from the low land can get to the Chin Hills, Kachin Hills, the Shan Hills, Karenni and Karen Hills etc.

Many of the lowland people therefore always think and consider everything in term of flat lowland they could see around them and try to do things uniformly throughout the country which is impossible. Thus it leads them to favor the country in unitary form in which everything should be treated uniformly as one though it is not possible.

         That is why they have no notion of how federalism could serve best for all the people in different territories of different topographies, climates and cultures and languages in the country.  What is needed in such different topographies and climates with several different cultures and languages is to decentralize political power which is just federalism.

What is needed is to educate the military regime and the whole population about federalism that it is not disintegration and secession of the country and it is just only decentralization of political power which they are not familiar. It is just, we should say, short sightedness and ignorance of federalism.

So we need education in federalism in the whole country that federalism is not disintegration and secession of the country. We cannot compare Burma problem with the problems in former communist countries from communism to democracy and like dictatorship in Philippine under a dictator there.

It is somewhat like the problem in South Africa as it is somewhat like a matter of racial problem between the Burmese majority and the non-Burman in the sense that the Burmese military regime as the Burmese majority wants to dominate not only the Burman own territory, but they want to dominate beyond their territory over the territories of the non-Burmans to control even into their internal affairs,

If Burma problem is treated as just to restore only democracy, it will not solve the problem.  The reason is, because it will be a unitary form of constitution in democracy. Thus everything will be treated as one flat land and one homogenous country which is impossible and it will be back to 1947 and 1974 Union constitution in unitary form of constitution which have been in failure dragging the whole country in to miserable life up to now.

It will be only democracy and federalism which will totally solve the constitutional crisis and not only just democracy. That is why we are to forecast the federalism as our last target and goal to solve the problem in the Union of Burma.

Note: This article is quoted from Pu Lian Uk’s original opinion.

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