Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The devils on the backs of the citizens (1)

Zaw Thet Htwe
Our country that was once the richest and the most prosperous nation in South East Asia has become the poorest and the most disadvantage nation in the region due to various civil wars, bigotry and chauvinism, nowadays. The current democratization in Burma aiming to overcome these obstacles still is overshadowed by the devils on the backs of the citizens in Burma. These devils’ egocentric approach to do business with any governments in Burma has always deprived the ordinary citizens in practice for some decades. So, I would like to discuss about the devils on the backs of our citizens.

1. Igniting the social unrests via the internet

I have read much news with regard to the recent riot in Arakan state on the Face book. Most of the remarks and comments by the readers of it have led to retaliation other than finding the way to sort out the crisis peacefully. Many of the comments are curses and threats especially after looking at the bloody dead bodies posted on it. Some of the dead pictures are not really related to the actual riot, but from the other unrelated news sources years ago. A bunch of well intended misinformation and fake photos were posted on it as well. I wonder why they are doing it and what they want from it. Some overzealous readers even cry for Daw Suu’s point of view in this regard. Some of the popular figures and politicians are dragged into the crisis and forced to say something about it. Au Pi Kyae, one of the most popular cartoonists in Burma, is blamed for not saying something about it. Once someone says something the readers don’t want to hear on the face book, then, there will be a tremendous backlash against him/her in this regard.

I am fully aware that all of us have the responsibility to react upon the real threat to the security of our nation. As for the unfortunate circumstance like this, I think, it would be more pragmatic to assist the needs of the children and mothers who became the victims of it instead. If someone thinks that it would be better to see more bloodshed and deaths other than finding the real solution, he/she needs to do his/her head exam, honestly.

2. The media from the western breeze

With regard to the Arakan riot, some of the western media portrays the Arakanese people as the bad guys looting, beating and intimidating against the Rohingya minorities, by showing the burning houses in the villages over and over. Some of them posted that the Rohingya ethnic people are being attacked by the Arakaneses in their own Rohingya land. At this point, it’s is not clear whether they really don’t know the real fact or intentionally mislead it with their own hidden agenda. That’s what the responsible citizens of Burma need to find out about it.

I have the sympathy and humanity for any other human beings in crisis. However, there are certain laws that we, all the citizens, must follow. We must respect the citizenship laws. We can’t just fool ourselves by accepting the lectures and advises from the organizations overseas that don’t know the history of Burma and the reality on the ground. One thing that we have to note about is that if the tyranny of the majority really took place in the Rakhine state, there would be tremendous violent attacks and bloody killings in the big cities like Mrao Oo, Myipya and Aan where nothing ever has happened still.

It indeed was not a sectarian violence but the crime committed by both parties out of the frustration and dissent against the lack of “rule of law” for decades.

I am for the humanitarian assistance for everyone, no question about it. But, for the stability and security of the territory of Burma, I won’t give up a piece of Burma’s territory easily or cowardly, not even an inch of it. If we give up our piece of lands to the invaders little by little as part of the “appeasement engagement policy” recently endorsed by the UN and other INGOs, the western part of Burma will disappear within 50 years, believe me. In this case, we must be aware of the infiltrators with the NGO masks, who are taking advantage of Burma’s current political crisis so that they could implant their political agenda forward. While, the real NGOs are helping the refugees in need, the infiltrators with NGO masks are building a solid ground to occupy our piece of land as their breeding ground, as I notice. Some of the foreign media groups already know about it. They just ignore the real fact and simply follow the money trail without regarding the media ethic in this regard. As a result, the whole world might view Burma as a repressive state against the minorities. We, as the individual media and the journalists inside Burma, must be vigilant in this case. We need to put our ultimate effort for spreading the real news around the world without any bias.

3. The threat of the alcohol companies

Today, the death rate among the youths and middle-age people in Burma is growing rapidly because of liver disease according to the doctors. The budget for health care in our country is just a fraction of other countries’ as we all know.

I begin to notice the alcohol advertisements, without mentioning it as alcohol, in the news and journals here and there. Some of the companies even announce it as a safe drinking water. The other companies are openly promoting it with the rewards like cars, gold chains and GSM phones. The winning rewards are marked inside the caps of the liquor bottles of course. To my understanding, the law doesn’t allow the advertisement of it in the newspapers and journals. Still, both readers and the promoters don’t pay attention to it. We must find a way to make the law effective in this regard. Otherwise, the whole world couldn’t understand what kind of society we have in Burma in this regard.

There is no regulation for the government to certify the ingredients and quality of the liquors produced by the national alcohol companies. The neighbors living near the liquor factories are at the health risk because of the sewage systems that are contaminated with the wastes coming from these factories. All of these situations demand the government’s urgent intervention. As a struggling nation, sort of thriving industrialization, the environmental issue is willfully or unknowingly ignored by both foreign and domestic companies as of now. In case of any violations on part of the companies, money plays a vital role to solve any problem in Burma. If everyone cares about the country, the healthy existence of Irrawaddy, the water contamination and deforestation are the key issues to pay attention for the companies working together with the citizens to be respectful.

4. The automobiles running ahead of the traffic signal

The traffic lights are allocated everywhere in Rangoon for the smooth traffic flows and public safety. The lanes are clearly marked on the roads for the drivers to drive safely. The current car import laws allow more cars running on the streets in Rangoon nowadays. The traffic congestions are more likely to be occurred on the streets as a result. More and more aggressive drivers cut off the other cars by risking their own lives and others especially near the traffic points. The decent drivers become the victims of their aggression. To my knowledge, the aggressive cars mostly are high model cars or expensive cars. Obviously, the people who drive these cars are the intellectuals or highly regarded people who suppose to know and obey the existing laws including the traffic laws. 

Instead, it’s funny to learn that they are the ones to run ahead of the green lights by taking unnecessary risks. With this kind of mentality, I can’t imagine how they will exploit others at their jobs or in their business sectors in a broader sense. I am so ashamed to call them as Burmese people who normally are recognized as kind and generous people. This is the close call for all the citizens of Burma to reexamine their morality.

Zaw Thet Htway
(Pyithukhit Journal Volume 2, No 100, June 28, 2012)

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