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!
Thank You President Barack Hussein Obama
President Barack Obama’s Historic Speech in Burma
Your Devil’s Advocate
Buffalohair (Shanhtoi Gam)
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