Films and Stories of the Burmese/Myanmar. This is an exclusive inside look into the lives of the Karen people who fled to the USA and want their stories heard. They have picked a writer with fire in his words to be their voice.
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Burma Celebrates New Years by Launching Air Strikes on Kachin Civilians in Laiza
In Time Square, they dropped the ball for New Years. In Burma, they dropped bombs for New Years. Call it Than Shwe’s gift to the ethnic Kachin People (Jinghpaw) on this New Years Day as he stepped up military operations with renewed air strikes by attack helicopters and jet fighters. Civilians in the Laiza area were forced to dig bomb shelters as *Burmese Government forces destroyed infrastructure, civilian & military targets in clear violation of International Law as well as mandates issued by the UN. Guess those international laws only apply when convenient and profitable. And where is the western media, asleep at the wheel again but its not the first time they deliberately ignored the Kachin People.
It is unfortunate to note the media as a whole are owned by multinational corporations who are also eager to exploit Kachin States natural resources as Than Shwe. So it does not come as a surprise as Burma continues its exercise in eugenics by systematically murdering countless human beings in broad daylight in the face of the western world and their strategically ambivalent leadership. Should the media be held accountable for masking genocide in an effort to assist their parent companies? After all, they do have Kachin blood on their hands as thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDP) begins to die from starvation and exposure. Should they also be held culpable for the ongoing rapes and tortures of civilians as well? It is time to take down names and identify organizations for future International Criminal Court proceedings or is that a sham as well? Do your homework and follow the money and you will learn corruption runs deeper than any conspiracy could have ever imagined. It is all about the money and that is the bottom line.
The Kachin War was in full swing well over a year before the Burmese government instigated the feud between the Rohyinga and the Burmese while tossing in a religions theme to their dastardly deed. The corrupt media failed to report about the 100,000 Kachin IDP who fled advancing Burmese Troops that violated the original ceasefire then launched a murderous attack on farmers and villagers. The crisis in Kachinland also highlighted the fact President Their Sein is only a straw boss and Burma’s political arena is nothing more than a store front for international investors to sugar coat their involvement with the Junta.
In fact, the bogus civilian government of Burma was intentionally designed to mask the multitude of international corporations that continued to violate sanctions and do business with Than Shwe and the boys over the years. Unsurprisingly the media failed to make any mention of that ‘coincidental’ tidbit of hard facts. And don’t think for one second Than and his crew of miscreants were cleaver enough to devise this ‘civilian government’ scheme for the true architects are corporate vermin and their coven of elitist oligarchists. It’s funny in a dark and twisted way to note that General Than Shwe and his ilk are actually pawns to the corporate dollar for they allowed Burma to become colonized once again.
To his credit, Their Sein did issue several ceasefires in the Kachin Civil War only to have his orders officially ignored by Than Shwe’s military. Aunty Suu is equally hapless and is only a pretty pawn in the grand scheme of things and there is no question her life & freedom was threatened if she ‘stepped out of line’. Now with absolutely no one willing to step forward and stop the genocide in Kachin State, the Junta has the green light to exterminate the remaining Kachin people by what ever means possible. All the world has offered is lip service, fanciful speeches and ‘feel good visits’ that only legitimized this criminal military regime. Than Shwe and his murderous criminals barely got their hands slapped, like a kid who stole lunch money, for crimes against humanity.
Guess it’s just a coincidence that mining corporations from the west have shipping containers filled with mining supplies in Burma waiting for the last Kachin to die. With the population vanquished there would be little opposition as they grab up the land and mine KachinState into oblivion. Stock holders from around the world are accessories after the fact for their profiteering on blood money and a party to genocide, not only in Kachin State but around the world. But in the meantime, let’s bomb the Kachin people into oblivion. Rape, torture and murder a few civilians for entertainment. When everybody is dead and gone we can pillage Kachin State for absolutely every natural resource this region possesses. After all, the media is in the pockets of corporate thugs who eagerly await news the Kachin people have been snuffed out of existence. And I doubt they will bite the hand that feeds them.
I renew my support for the Jinghpaw and the valiant men and women of the KIO/KIA who are sacrificing everything for their very existence. I also offer a special salute to the ‘White Tigers’ for their tireless efforts to save their people, you are not forgotten. And though Burma is well supplied with Russian and Chinese weaponry they continue to loose troops in great numbers and the Tatmadaw should be held accountable to the Burmese people for this needless loss of life for this is an unjust and evil war. The Kachin know who their allies are and when the war is over there will be many corporate ass kissers who will want to join the celebration but I doubt the Jinghpaw will send an invitation.
The Buddhist Burmese Community of Amarillo Texas is a cultural bastion that adheres to ancient customs and traditions brought from Burma by political exiles and refugees who fled tyranny, torture and death by the hand of the Military Dictatorship. The community thrives within their culture and religion in spite of the fact their beloved homeland is thousands of miles away. And this story is about a thriving community that conquered the issues of assimilation and has excelled in ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’.
The Kathina Festival was held at the Sadimon Jeyawdi Buddhist Temple under the stewardship of Ashin Nanda Vamsa. Kathina. It is a time of giving and showing appreciation where the people bring gifts and robes to the monks. The ceremony is also a time of fellowship and feasting combined with traditional entertainment. I was fortunate to be invited to this hallowed event by my friend Kyaw Hein and frankly, I had a great time and enjoyed some of the finest Burmese cuisine I had ever eaten. It was heartening to note that Amarillo as a whole has embraced these humble and hard working people as members of their community proving that everything truly is bigger in Texas including their hearts.
What really impressed me about this cultural event was that the younger more Americanized folks were participating along side the older more traditional people in total harmony. The younger generation has embraced their culture, language and religion in such a way there is no question the spirit of Buddhism & Burma will continue to live and flourish for generations to come. The Buddhist Burmese religious & civil leaders have managed to build a healthy and thriving community that should be the envy of other communities that face divisions between generations.
Of course I must thank my interpreter, Madam Butterfly, who introduced me toBurmaand her culturally diverse people. With her priceless assistant I managed to explore the Burmese culture where few have ever delved and in the process I also ate some real good food. Being the foodie that I am, I enjoyed every scrumptious moment. Exploring and experiencing the peaks and valleys of these refugee/political exiles has offered me greater insights on their epic human challenge and happily I must report that this journey to Amarillo Texas is one of the highlights of my Burmese experience, so far. But then again, I’ve had many richly rewarding experiences with these ancient culturally diverse people from the Far East.
In all fairness it must be noted the videos produced do not include all of the brilliant performances but rest assured the ones I did miss where just as vibrant, culturally rich and colorfully entertaining. In some way it was as if I was taken back in time when Burma was still the ‘Land of Alaungpaya’. Within my tradition we believe everything comes in cycles and there is no question that one day Burma will regain her rightful place as Asia’s ‘Jewel of the Orient’. ‘The Yellow Rose of Texas’ has been complemented with priceless glimmering emeralds, and they are the Burmese people.
Thanksgiving in Amarillo Texas with Sitt Nyein Aye was as rewarding as it was tumultuous. He was up to his high jinks since his return from the ISCP New York Art festival. After painting a beautiful Buddhist mural inside the home of U Kyaing & wife Daw Khin earlier this month he decided to transform the front of their home into yet another Sitt Nyein Aye creation. As usual, he was ultra energized as he described his latest project. Not meaning to be a stick in the mud my only concerns focused on building codes, but what do I know, I’m just a crusty journalist and turkey chef.
Sitt was enthusiastic and looking forward to his Texas tour to show off art work that did not make the trip to NYC. Fortunately for me, I was privy to another Sitt Nyein Aye exclusive showing of his work. His narratives were captivatingly filled with passion and deep emotion for each and every piece of art had a very real meaning. It was more than obvious he put his heart and soul in everything brush stroke. But to have Burma’s most iconic world renowned artist give me the royal tour was over the top and an unexpected Thanksgiving treat indeed. I liken it to Leonardo Di Vinci showing me the Sistine Chapel while munching on a slice of pizza, “Hey Leo, are you going to eat that cannoli?”. Needless to say, I was elated when Sitt drew a caricature of me and that was just way cool. I learned one thing about my friend Sitt; expect the unexpected and you will still be amazed.
As we prepared for the holiday meal and festivities I found it difficult to keep up with that enigmatic ancient artisan because he was everywhere at once, painting here and painting there. And all the while he was chatting about his desire to have his own studio, conduct art classes for sincere artists and do some writing. Truly, artistic juices flow in his veins but as we enjoyed the day I could not help but feel his inner sorrow. It was a familiar one that I have encountered time and time again as I journey throughout the Burmese enclaves I am privy to. Since I was also in the company of Burma’s heroes from the ABSDF, 88 Generations, NLD and other valiant organizations who fought for democracy and human rights, it was clear they shared this deep inner sorrow as well. The love for their homeland, Burma, and the fact they can never return has become an unquenchable fire that burns deep within their souls and Sitt is no exception.
On a much lighter note I was pleasantly surprised, culinary speaking, since I was introduced to a Burmese approach to eating this giant bird. It was my responsibility to cook the bird but I was also cautioned not to stuff it with conventional stuffing because many folks did not care for the taste. One person went as far as to say that conventional stuffing made his family and friends sick to the stomachs. I did not explore this stuffing issue to see if everyone shared this opinion but for the people I encountered on my 6 day stay there was no question that traditional stuffing was not palatable and not on the menu. I never cared for the taste either and if the truth were told, I prefer wild turkey to domestic bird also.
In any event I roasted not one but two birds with simple seasoning, garlic salt and pepper. We also had coconut noodle soup, lahpet, catfish, rice and a sundry assortment of other dishes and veggies but what totally rocked with the turkey was the variety of dipping sauces. I managed to dine at several places and discovered a new and delicious way to eat turkey and I learned of many tasty dipping sauce ideas. From hot and spicy to sweet and savory, sauces were the hot ticket combined with traditional Burmese cuisine and a quality red wine, of course. I must admit there were three sauces I really favored; one was a preparation of mint leaves, fish sauce and a thick soy sauce, another was mixture of ngapi and a variety of spices I was not familiar with, and finally there was a red chilly and cilantro sauce, it was all good.
As we all milled around and enjoyed the day I noticed Sitt outside with the Burmese children and he was conducting an art class. It was very heart rendering to observe him as he described colors, designs and of course, the art of expressionism. The kids were listening intently and were all smiles as he shared with them his techniques and other nuances that bedazzled the art world. My only hope is that his dreams come true and he does finally acquire that art studio where he can exhibit his art and share his craft to those who can appreciate him for the master artesian and philanthropist he truly is. When it was all said and done Sitt did pose a puzzling question about his trip to NYC. He found it perplexing that there were many artists at the show but only a few had art to display. He, as an artist, could not fathom the notion of not painting or expression himself through art for it was his passion.
Sitt did want me to give a loose itinerary of his December schedule in Texas but when I questioned him about the exact locations of the shows he scoffed, “They will find me”. So for what it’s worth this is Sitt’s December agenda; 1st Austin, 2nd Houston, 3rd San Antonio, 4th Fort Worth, 5th Amarillo and culminating in India on December 10th or 12th @ *Kochi – Muziris Biennale 2012, but things may change since there is a controversy over the misappropriation of funds by organizers that must be resolved and many artists from the Kerala area are up in arms. But true to form, leave it to Sitt to walk into some controversy and excitement wherever he goes.
*Kochi-Muziris Biennale: The Biggest Story of Corruption in the Indian Art Scene
President Barack Obama Shows His Mettle & Stands Tall for American Values in Burma
In a dynamic speech President Barack Hussein Obama broke the media’s code of silence, acknowledged Burma’s Secret War in Kachin State and urged Burma to stop the violence, allow freedom of religion and begin humanitarian aid. He also addressed the need for all ethnic groups to live in harmony that was reflective of the Panglong agreement. Truly this was a monumental speech and I am happy to say that I was truly smitten.
Admittedly I was pessimistic about his Asian Tour and expected the worst, thankfully and gleefully I was wrong. The fact President Barack Obama addressed Burma’s most pressing issues has made him stand taller than other American Presidents who failed to address Burma’s plight in earnest, if at all. Now the world does not have an excuse for ignoring the atrocitious activities being perpetrated against Burma’s ethnic minorities. At this juncture President Barack Obama is a trailblazer who is forging a true path for democracy in Burma. I pray the momentum he fostered continues. Granted, no sooner did his plane touched down in Burma the Tatmadaw continued their campaign of terror in Kachin State and revelations arose the Burmese Army was killing the Rohingya people during the same time period.
It must be noted that President Thein Sein did try in vane to order a ceasefire in Kachin State several times only to be rebuffed by direct orders from the Tatmadaw who mandated that troops to ignore his orders. This isolates the true root of the ethnic violence that has haunted Burma for so many years and that lays in Naypyidaw and not the will of the Bamar people. Now the ball is in the Tatmadaw’s court and if they truly want to rebuild Burma they will need to correct their policy of ‘Four Cuts & Burmanization’ against the ethnic minorities and embrace the future as a truly United Burma. Naypyidaw has a golden opportunity to stand along side President Barack Obama and be a part of this positive historic time in Burma’s history.
President Barack Obama made history in Southeast Asia and within Asian culture as a whole, he showed face and stood his ground for American values and the cause of humanity and I am very proud to be an American. The dynamic of what he, my president, just did is hard to measure at this time since violence continues in Kachin and RakhineStates but his speech will resonate throughout Burma and Asia for he planted the seed for National Reconciliation. My only hope is that he sets the pace for true democracy and not the fetid Disciplined Democracy that haunts this ancient empire. It is time for National Reconciliation. It is time to heal this nation.
Surely this will put a kink in China’s expansionism and the multi billion dollar dam projects & pipelines they are proposing with no regard for the people who live in the regions China has earmarked for construction. There is a better way to develop Burma and socio-economic growth should include every citizen of Burma. They must be a part of growth and not be cast aside like they have for so many years in the past. Personally, I know the Kachin people would entertain positive development of their natural resources and I also know they would love to live in harmony with their brothers and sisters throughout Burma, contrary to the flawed conventional wisdom the government has purported in the past. The Kachin do not hate the Bamar or any other culture, all they want is peace, live in harmony with their neighbors and allow commerce to flourish. Surely that is not too much to ask.
It’s time for the people of Burma to enter the 21st century and become a full fledged member of the global community and embrace positive change. The countless benefits are ripe for the picking if the Tatmadaw would only relinquish their iron fisted xenophobic grip on this beleaguered multi cultural society. Let Burma breath the sweet smell of true democracy and achieve the greatness this nation deserves. With an abundance of natural resources there is no excuse as to why this land lived in abject poverty for there is enough wealth within this nation to line all the streets with gold and provide fresh clean drinking water to every citizen in this nation. Economic development must work hand in hand with the rebuilding of infrastructure.
But first things first, we must stop the violence and summon a binding ceasefire in all ethnic regions NOW, not tomorrow or the next time parliament meets. People continue to die needlessly and IDP’s are dying from exposure. Open up the flood gates of international aid to quell the suffering of innocent people. Let’s face Burma’s realities and foster immediate positive change for all Burmese citizens. Let President Barack Obama’s words be the blueprint for true reform and provide justice and equality for all. Pull the troops out of Kachinland and allow the Jinghpaw to heal their wounds and save their people from impending death and disease. Stop the war of attrition being perpetrated in RakhineState and end the needless violence & death. And most important of all, allow President Thein Sein to govern as president should, allow Daw Aung Suu Kyi to be totally free from constraints imposed on her with no stipulations and release ALL the political Prisoners.
May the Land of Alaungpaya rise out of the ashes of tyranny with the second coming of the Konbaung Dynasty!
Will Obama Ignore The Slaughter of Jinghpaw People In Resource Rich Kachin State??
Men, women and children have continued to be slaughtered by the Burmese government over the past 1 ½ years with barely a peep from the western media. Thousands of people have been displaced and killed in relative secrecy as government troops murdered, raped and pillaged this region of Burma with no end in sight. The primary reason is the fact Kachin State is a resource rich cornucopia of oil, gas, gold, uranium, gem stones of every kind and the exalted rare earth minerals. Is this trip all about the money Mr. President? Or are you going to make REAL history and make a concerted effort to stop the blood shed in ALL ethnic regions, including Kachin State?
Are natural resources the real reason the world has chosen to ignore the continued genocide of these people? Will US President Barack Obama be the hallowed western leader who will address this Asian Holocaust and put an end to genocide? Or will he be just like the rest of the western world who has chosen to ignore this crime against humanity? Will the America celebrate Obama’s visit and cash in on the death of innocent people simply for the corporate bottom line and curse their nation with yet more blood money from slave labor and genocide as in the case of China and other nations who cater to the affluent and powerful corporations and stock holders.
The Burmese Tatmadaw (Military) continues to flood Kachin State with fresh troops and supplies while killing innocent men, women and children. IDP’s are dying in makeshift shelters while Burmese authorities continue to rob aid money and supplies that were destined for Kachin State. Unfortunately the parent corporations who control most of the mainstream media of the west are also parent corporations of the mining industry that is eager to exploit Kachin State and its bountiful natural resources. Ironically, they are the very same corporations who continue to fill the coffers of Hillary & Bill Clinton’s library in Arkansas or is that just a coincidence? Sadly, if the plight of the China’s, African’s, and Central & South American indigenous people is any indicator about the western corporate agenda, the people of Kachin State are doomed.
President Barack Obama, step up to the plate and make a stand for the Jinghpaw People of Kachin State Burma and stop the genocide. Make real history and alter the course of Burma’s atrocitious acts of genocide being perpetrated at the very time you are visiting Burma. Make a stand for humanities cause and stem wholesale genocide in Burma’s Secret War. Just remember, this is the time of change and what you do this week will reflect on the nation you represent and the blood on your hands will be the blood that will soon curse this nation if you choose to ignore the cries of the Kachin People. The truth will ultimately be known and what will you say then?
Burma’s military junta imposed tighter internet restrictions after the … virus was written in Russian script and sent via an Internet protocol address based in Panama. … clear” that the Burmese government had launched the viral attack, …Internet service providers, influence and control over the country’s two … cpj.org/reports/2008/05/burma-internet.php - 34k
On Tuesday, we received reports that the Internet in Burma was running … explained: “Your server is under a major attack. … Burma’s regime sent an army of students to Russia for cyber… has shifted from the streets to the jungle and now to the computer. … Archives. 2009 (479); 2008 (588) … theirrawaddy.blogspot.com/2008/09/burmese-regimes-cyber-offensive.html - 55k -
Internet users often use the “Lebanese server” – a connection via a long distance phone call … But some websites are the targets of computer attacks. …. Russian blog platform Livejournal was blocked in February 2009 by Uzbek access … www.scribd.com/doc/13229487/SPDC-Burma-Internet-Enemy-2009- 173k -
Spam with ur addresses ….. UR is from Russia. They link up and use peoples computers to swamp and crash Servers.