Tatmadaw is the biggest dacoit of Burma | Greenwatch Dhaka | The leading online daily of Bangladesh

Tatmadaw is the biggest dacoit of Burma

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By Kanbawza WinTamadaw, as the marauding Burmese Army is known is the greatest dacoit and robber the country has ever known since it assumes power in 1962.For three quarter of a century, it has been pillaging, killing, raping, robbing, displacing, and robbing the people, encouraged by the neighbouring countries of ASEAN, China and India. Burma’s military leaders have siphoned billions of dollars into offshore accounts in Singapore over the past nine years, and Singapore’s Constructive Engagement Policy, hitherto used to accepting Narco dollars have gleefully accepted it as this is the only way to keep Burma from rising up.The money comes from the Yadana gas project in Burma. “Some $5 billion[Dh18.3bn] from the Yadana gas pipeline has been stolen from the Burmese people,” Mathew Smith, the main author of the Earth Rights International (ERI) report said in an interview. “Rather than contribute to Burma’s economic development, the billion-dollar revenues from the project have gone into the pockets of the top generals.” The money has been put in two Singapore banks, the Overseas Chinese Banking Corp. (OCBC) and the DBS.
Burma earns $150 million (Dh551m) a month from gas exports, and that is set to raise substantially in the future, according to Sean Turnell, an Australian academic at Macquarie University in Sydney and an expert on Burma’s banks and economy.”Foreign reserves have now just passed $5 billion. Meanwhile, the international community is being berated over its failure to stump up for the government’s post-Nargis reconstruction funding proposals,” he said. While the gas revenues are the most substantial part of the regime’s schemes, according to diplomats in Rangoon who monitor the economy, they are only the tip of the iceberg. “Every deal done with foreign companies involves a cash-back component,” a European diplomat familiar with the government’s business practices.
“The industry minister, Aung Thaung, always asks foreign businesses which approach him for government approval for 25 per cent of the projects value as a kickback,” according to a German entrepreneur who has been dealing with the regime for more than a decade. Most Western businesses baulk at this request, but the Constructive Engagement Policy of Asian firms are much more compliant, seeing it as an acceptable cost of doing business with the generals, as perhaps this is the core of the Asian values.
The Generals managed to keep the $4.83bn off its national budget accounts by using a 30-year-old exchange rate from dollars to the local kyat currency, which produced a sum in kyat that was a mere fraction of the real amount generated, according to ERI.3 But the cat was let out of the bag when Jelson Garcia, Asia Program Manager with the Banking Information Center (BIC), said World Bank, ADB and International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials informed that Burma’s government held up to $11 billion in several Singaporean bank accounts.4 This angers Naypyidaw and reluctantly revealed that a total US $7.6 billion was kept offshore by Burmese state-owned and private banks.5 But they declined to specify in which offshore locations or clarify exactly how much of these funds were government-owned and how much was in private Generals hands. Something very fishy is going on.
Mentality of the Tatmadaw: The first pre requisite and unavoidable step to democracy and the Federal Genuine Union of Burma is that the evil Tatmadaw must go. The Burmese army must be disintegrated and in its place the Union Army what in Burmese call Pyidaungsu Tat (jynfaxmifpkwyf) must come into being. Essentially it will be the people’s army on the lines of Switzerland and some Asian countries where national service in the army is compulsory for every able bodied men and women get the basic military training annually. There will be no standing army save the trainers and this will save the expenses but in times of emergency and war if there is an aggression on the sovereignty of the country then all the people can be called up to defend the mother land. Just like in Switzerland or even like Singapore if there is an aggression then for example if in a household there is a father, mother and children above 16 years, then all became soldiers as they have been given the military training and specific duties in specific areas. This is what we called people`s army.(jynfol hwyfrawmf). The unwritten philosophy of the Tatmadaw that “We alone are can do it.” must be uprooted once and for all for the sake of the Genuine Union, Pyidaungsu. This, endorse the argument that only the Tatmadaw is patriotic and that that rest are parasites that does not have a pale of patriotism. What an unbelievable and paradoxical phrases as the Tatmadaw is our father and mother are posted throughout the length and breadth of the country and forcing the people to believe, when in fact it is a rapist army, committing unaccountable human rights violations with impunity. Tatmadaw has no regards except the lip service for Pyidaungsu.
Their thinking is “We the Tatmadaw are the only one imbued with patriotism and that is why we make a supreme sacrifice for the country while the rest of the people are just parasites living on the fruits of our labor. And they don’t harbor a pale of patriotism and as such should be treated as a second citizen”. With this kind of attitude and behavior how can one expect to have the Genuine Pyidaungsu (Union) or Democracy in Burma? Why is it a state within a state? The founder of the, Tatmadaw, our beloved Bogyoke Aung San had clearly depicted in an unambiguous terms that the Tatmadaw has been founded for one man or one party but for the entire country. He clearly rejected the view of those military personnel who harbored the opinion that only they were capable of patriotism.6
The military’s view that they are the only ones capable of patriotism is made explicit, when they change the ‘Resistance Day’ as their exclusive ‘Army Day’. This is the day when the rag tag Burmese army went out to battle the retreating Japanese forces. In the Japanese records there was no such thing as the Burmese resistance or the Burmese army in the 2nd World War, let alone the Army Day (Resistance Day) which falls on 27th March when the allies and the British Burma Army has already occupied Mandalay, and the whole of upper Burma. There is no such day as resistance day, not to mention Army Day.7 It was an outright lie because it was an excuse to justify their grip on the country. The British also have no knowledge of the Burmese resistance. But during this unstable time there were several dacoits, robbers and cut throats roaming the country and claiming themselves to belong to the Burma army and the British administration has to pacify them. This is the Tatmadaw mentality to look good either by hook or by crook. The truth is that most of the Tatmadaw men are ragamuffins, poorly educated and have no future in the globalize and digital world of civilization and as such it soldiers could not survive, as what in Burmese call A Kyan Kone Ga Lone Hsar Chet (t=uHukef8VKefqm;csuf) which means there is no other way or choice and so have to join the army to make both ends meet. If lucky they will be rich in exploiting the people to whatever advantage they get, either by robbery or forced labour or whatever means, at least they have a chance to rape the ethnic women. Hence no doubt they become marauding Tatmadaw whenever they met villagers especially in the ethnic areas.
Why Should Tatmadaw Go? When General Aung San founded the Tatmadaw he had set the example by resigning from the armed forces to compete in elections and does not compete as a representative of Tatmadaw. Hence in the first place historically the Tatamadaw has no place in the making of future the Federal Genuine Union of Burma.
The second aspect is that the majority, if not every university student starting from 1959 Ava Hall crisis (the army tank destroyed the gates of Ava hall in order to access to the students holed up in the hall) up to this day including the 8888 generation vehemently hated the Burmese army. The Tatmadaw is the ones that destroyed the educations system and the country. Every time there was a crisis they always killed off a number of students. The generations from 1959 up to the 8888 and the upcoming generations of students up to this day vehemently hated the Tatmadaw. This explicitly means that as long as the Tatmadaw is there the animosity and the antagonism will goes on and on between the generations of students and the Tatamadaw. And since the future of the country depends on young people and students there is no place for the Tatmadaw in the making of future Genuine Union of Burma.
The third aspect is that there must be no single entity that can wield the power of the gun, to eliminate the threat of a military coup. If it is a genuine federal union there must be the province armed forces just like in the old days when we have Karen Rifles, 1st to 4th Chin, 1st to 4th Kachin, 1st Shan, Kayah Yae and so on to protect their own State and Divisions. There must be a Pyidaungsu Tat (Union army) conscripted from all the ethnic and Myanmar forces, to defend the country from outside encroachment. So, if any particular army be they Myanmar or Non Myanmar make an attempt to seize power by force, then the rest can come and defend the Union (Pyidaungsu), as it had done in the late 40s and early 50s. So viewing from every angle there is absolutely no place for the Tatmadaw in building a better world the future of the Union of Burma.
The fourth aspect is the fact that they want to have 25% of the administrative power in the new administrative structure reveals that Tatmadaw is a power maniacs. The evil Tatmadaw, with the connotations of the Burmese word, Taw (such as Naing Gan Taw) depicting a Myanmar empire, if not a chauvinist tone over the ethnic nationalities treating them these ethnic nationalities as if they were the second citizen will have to be eliminated once and for all to get real peace and genuine Pyidaungsu.
The fifth and most crucial aspect is that the Burmese army is not sincere and has no love and good will cetena (apwem) to the people of Burma. The classic example is the Nargis Cyclone when it prevents the international help from reaching the people.
However the most conspicuous sixth aspect is that. Tatmadaw is sorely afraid that the people of Burma will be happy and prosperous e.g. when it came to power in 1988 after killing thousands of peaceful demonstrators they opened up the country economically and of course the investors rush in thinking that it was a genuine market economy and the middle class prosper for a couple of years. Tatmadaw knows that with the rise of the middle class the country will be inching towards democracy because it is a matter of time that this middle class will have a say in politics and so it at once reverse the trend, chasing the investors out of the country and destroying the middle class with the result that the country has now became poor at the bottom of the world’s ladder. What more Tatmadaw, is still not satisfied and is hindering the works of the NGOs who has come into the country with a sincere heart to help the down trodden and marginalized people and to help the victims of cyclone Nargis.
The seventh aspect is that their inhuman atrocities which they committed to the people of Burma are well recorded not only in the annals of the history of Burma but also by the UN and the international NGOs. They cannot be forgotten and in time even though the people may forgive them of what they have done to them it will be taken as a lesson for any defense organization not to repeat this kind of atrocities which the Tatmadaw has committed to its own people.
The eight and the final aspect of the Tatmadaw is that it is against Buddhism, the hate the genuine monks who sympathize with the people and kill them enemas and sent them to prisons and lunatic asylum and place the Tatmadaw in its place.
On the whole Tatmadaw has a cruel heart, to look on the suffering of the people but not the world community and when these well meaning NGOs came in they prevent them. They even indirectly forced out the Global Fund and only off and on will let the International Red Cross in. the question we can ask ourselves is that are we going to give this Tatmadaw a role, which continues to harbor such mentality? In short if one were to solve the Burmese problem from its root this pugnacious Tatmadaw has no place and must be substitute with a more suitable force.9
Achievements of Tatmadaw: Analyzing the achievement of the Tatmadaw we can see that the first achievement of the Tatmadaw is that it was able to alienate all the ethnic nationalities, so much so that there is not a single ethnic nationality group that does not rebel against the Tatmadaw. Not to mention the seven major ethnic nationalities of Shan Chin, Kachin, Karen Mon, Karenni, Arakanese and Mon, even the smaller groups as the Pa Oh, Palaung and the proto Burman groups such as Mergui and Tavonian rebelled. This gives the much needed pretext for the Military administration to expand the Tatmadaw. Since then the defense budget is more than half of the annual national budget.
The second achievement was that it was able to take down the level of education especially that of the tertiary level. Previously Rangoon University ranks with Oxford and Cambridge University level now the Tatmadaw has brought it down to the lowest level because it construe that once the Burmese youths were properly educated, then they would be in a position to questions the doings of the Tatmadaw. Under the new educational system, English was discarded as the medium of teaching in the high school and subjects like moral and civic were eliminated with the sole purpose of perpetuation of the rule of Tatmadaw, for only then with the uneducated population they would be in a position to manipulate things.
But the third and the most successful aspects of the Tatmadaw was wrecking of the economy of the country knowing full well that it can control the masses, once it controls their stomach and this led to the rice crisis as early as 1965. Restrictions or rather the popular word Sanctions were imposed on the population of Burma to carry the consumer goods from one place to another or to engage in big business.10 Hence to fuel price hike was done deliberately to control the belly of the people. Now with the quasi military government it grabs the farmers land and all major economic enterprises under cover of cronies.
The fourth achievement was that it was able to downgrade the moral of the people of Burma, the Burmese Buddhist concept of Anadaw Anada Nga Par,(teaEWmteEWig;yg;) better translated as the five jewels of respecting the Lord, the teachings, the monks, the parents and the teachers were discarded. Traditionally these Buddhist teachings had control the moral and the civic lives of the people and the Burmese were considered to be one of the most civilized and hospitable people of the world. In a traditional Buddhist country even some of the teachings and the predictions of Lord Buddha that were too obvious and not compatible with the regime’s policy were prohibited. For example the Kawthala Ein Met Hset Chaut Chet (aumovtdyfruf 16 csuf ) translated as the sixteen predictions of King Kawsala, where the idiots and murderers will become rulers and the educated and respected people will have no place, where abundance will flow only to those who are already rich by foul means but the truthful and the mass of the people will remain desperately poor that coincide with the current situation, were banned. The people watch sadly as these thing began to unfold in front of the eyes.
The fifth achievement is that it had succeeded of making the untruth to be the truth. Of course all the government lies but “lie-ing the very concept of truth” has become the norm of the Burmese Generals and its Tatmadaw. By the 80s with the successive demonetizing of bank notes the people realized that the Burmese army was all the time lying to them. This was proven more when the Burmese army promised to hand over power to the winning party of its own election was never honored up to this day. Hence nobody believes in the Tatmadaw.
The Tatmadaw must go in Burma because the decades-long experience of human rights abuses is deeply rooted in the militarization which has characterized the country since 1962. This militarization has exasperated ethnic tensions, which has, in turn, created a civil war in which human rights abuses will never abate unless the war itself is finally brought to an end. The primary task in Burma, therefore, is the dismantling of the military system and the Tatmadaw and its total control over the economic, social and political life of the country.11
Once this military system is removed then the civil war will really come to an end, national reconciliation begun and human rights abuses addressed in a constructive and decisive way. The Defense of the country must be the people`s army like in Singapore or Switzerland and its leader must be in a professional hand just as Bogyoke Aung San has chosen General Smith Dun a Karen. To implement this internal administration smoothly there must be a system of check and balance. This explicitly means that a provincial peacekeeping force (call it a police or whatsoever) must be set up in every ethnic State and Divisions to balance the Federal Forces (which must be confined to barracks and come out only when there is an external threat). Only then the country would be in a position to prevent another coup d’ tat by another strongman be a Myanmar or a non-Myanmar. The people should enjoy their own natural resources within their own state and must not be exploited by the Central government. Presently the electricity generated at Lawpita in Karenni (Kayah) State is used only for Burma proper while the Karenni has to stay in the dark. So also the ruby mines and forest of Shan and Kachin states are exploited by the Generals while all the mines and minerals of Mon and Tennaserim/Tavoy states are geared for the central government leaving the local people poor and desperate and so on. There must be an equitable distribution of the fruits of the natural resources with each state and divisions enjoying its own products. Then and only then there will be peace in Burma.
Now it has been revealed that the Tatmadaw Generals have put billions of dollars in foreign country while the country remains poor and uneducated. Through their crony system it will continue to exploit the country and the people of Burma.12 This biggest dacoit and robber of the country Tatmadaw will continue to rob the country and commit all sorts of atrocities and moreover it will try to prevent democracy and obstruct genuine union (ppfrSefaomjynfaxmifpk) if it is allowed to survive, hence must be ousted once and for all. – Eurasia Review

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