MYANMAR MINORITIES HAVE A DREAM
Anyone could SHARE or translate (edit or roughly) into Myanmar or other language or made into audio file in Burmese as a speech like Martin Luther King.
MYANMAR MINORITIES HAVE A DREAM not unlike the American Dream
I hereby revised my article first published in Burma Digest and my blog, “Opening Heart on Equal Rights for All Ethnicities” which is actually Burmanized the famous, “I Have A Dream” speech given by Martin Luther King in the August 1963.
But their dreams changed to a dreadful nightmare under the successive Military rulers up to the present Myanmar Government.His Royal Highness Prince Hso Khan Pha, also known as Tiger Yawnghwe, the eldest son of Sao Shwe Thaik, the former Saopha [Prince] of Yawnghwe [Nyaung-Shwe] and the first President of Burma after Burma’s Independence from British colonial rule said_
“Might I add that the problem that exists is not ethic ‘minority’ rights versus the ‘majority’ Burmese rights but rather of equality of rights for all?
The 1948 Union of Burma was understood by us to be a federal union of equals. And though the intent of the 1948 Constitution was federal, in rushing it through the Constituent Assembly by the AFPFL [Fa-sa-pa-la], the federal Union in practice became unitary.
When we, during 1958-62, tried to institute constitutional reforms in the Union Parliament towards a more equitable federal system as envisaged by the 1947 Panglong Agreement, Ne Win staged his military coup and he and his successor Burmese military troops in Shan country raped, murdered & tortured to oppress, suppress and intimidate.”
Yes, we all have to admit this momentous Panglon Agreement or treaty came as a great hope or dream of a paradise to millions of Burmese Ethnic Minorities who had been scorched in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyful dawn to end the long nightmare of cruelly subdued downtrodden Minority Races and Religious Groups.
But Sixty five years later, we must face the tragic fact that not only the Ethnic Minorities are still not free but Minority Religious groups and mixed blooded people are also discriminated and marginalized under the present Myanmar Government like under successive military rulers.
Sixty five years later, the life of the Ethnic Minorities and Minority Religious groups and mixed blooded people are still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination.
Sixty five years later, the Ethnic Minorities and Religious Minorities live on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.
Sixty five years later, the Ethnic Minorities and Religious Minorities still languishing in the corners of Myanmar society and finds themselves an exile in their own land.
Sixty five years later, it is like a dreadful dusk or sunset triggering the repeat of the never ending night-mares of a winter.
So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition. In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital Nay Pyi Taw to cash the equal rights promise of General Aung San, “Bama one Kyat-Shan one Kyat…” .
When the architects of our Union of Burma wrote the magnificent words of the 1947 Panglong Conferences leading to the Panglon Agreement and the 1948 Constitution and the Declaration of Independence of the Union of Burma on the 4th January 1948, they were signing a promissory note to which every Burmese citizen was to fall heir with equal status and equal rights.
This note was a promise that all the citizens of Burma would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is obvious today that successive Myanmar (Military) leaders have defaulted on this promissory note insofar as the Ethnic and Religious Minority citizens are concerned.
1. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, Myanmar Military leaders have given the minority people a bad cheque, which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” For the “Kyat for Kyat” equal benefits and equal rights promise of General Aung San, we realized that we are just given “Khae Mu seat” or fake Kyat made of lead only.
2. However, we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt and the coin we got is a fake “Khae Mu seat”.
3. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.
4. So we have come to cash this cheque or redeem our “Khae Mu seat” coupon.
5. A cheque or coupon that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind Myanmar (Military) leaders of the fierce urgency of now because we could not wait any longer as we are suffering the injustices and occupation for dozens of years which increased under the present (Military) “civilian” Rule.
1. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. To express in other words, we could not wait any longer.
2. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children.
3. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
It would be fatal for the Myanmar (Military) leaders to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the all the Myanmar People including downtrodden Ethnic Minorities, Religious Minorities and mixed blooded people. This sweltering summer of the Myanmar People‘s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality.
2012 is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Myanmar People needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the Myanmar (Military) leaders return to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in Myanmar until the all the Myanmar Citizens are granted his citizenship rights.
The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our Myanmar until the bright day of justice emerges.
1. But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice.
2. In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.
3. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
4. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline.
5. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
6. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Myanmar People must not lead us to distrust of all the Myanmar (Military) Personals.
7. Because many of our Myanmar Military Personals brothers, as evidenced by been the children of their founding father General Aung San, would one day come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
1. And as we walk,
2. We must make the pledge that we shall march ahead.
3. We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights,
“When will you be satisfied?”
1. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.
2. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Myanmar People’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.
3. We can never be satisfied as long as a Shans in three Shan States and in other parts of Myanmar cannot vote or cannot live earn and live peacefully.
4. We can never be satisfied as long as a Kachins in the Kachin State and in other parts of Myanmar cannot vote or cannot live earn, pray at their Churches of choices and live peacefully.
5. We can never be satisfied as long as a Chins in the Chin State and in other parts of Myanmar cannot vote or cannot live earn, pray at their Churches of choices and live peacefully.
6. We can never be satisfied as long as a Kayin, Kayah, Mon Rakhine etc in their respective States and in other parts of Myanmar cannot vote or cannot live earn and live peacefully
7. We can never be satisfied as long as Muslims, Chinese and mixed blooded citizens of Burma in Myanmar cannot vote or cannot live earn, pray at their Churches or Mosques of choices and live peacefully together with their brethren Bamas.
8. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
9. Yes! We can never be satisfied until there is a Federal Union based on equal status of all the races and religions.
10. We can never be satisfied until the Myanmar (Military) leaders accepted the basic characteristics of democratic system such as_
a. Accept the plurality.
b. Must allow multi-political parties even if based on different races and religions.
c. There must be no intimidation of the candidates.
d. There must be no intimidation of the oppositions.
e. There must be no threats or restrictions on all the candidates and parties.
f. All the citizens irrespective of race or religion must be allowed to participate in the election process, voting as well as standing as a candidate or people’s representatives up to the Ministers, Prime Ministers and President.
g. There must be an independent unbiased Election Commission.
h. We strongly recommend a UN Election Watch Dog.
i. The opposition must be given a free hand to campaign.
j. The opposition must be allowed access and usage of mass media even if it is controlled by the (military) government.
k. And all must accept the result of the elections whether any one win or loss.
l. Voters must be able to freely choose their preferred candidates/parties without interference
m. Federal Union based on equal status of all the races and religions.
11. We can never be satisfied until the Myanmar (Military) leaders recognize each and every person’s rights, minority races, minority religions, workers, women, children including handicapped persons etc.
a. And those minorities’ rights must be protected from the “bullies” of the majority.
b. The new National Panlong Conference should be conducted in a more meaningful way and a more inclusive or all-inclusive process.
c. All the people of Myanmar must be allowed to be participated by representation.
d. NLD, all the oppositions, civil society, ethnic minorities and minority religious groups must be allowed to be participated or allowed to present an open official stands, give suggestions, requests or objections.
e. No one commenting about the new Panlong National Conference must be prosecuted.
a. the new Panlong National Conference.
12. We can never be satisfied until the Myanmar (Military) leaders expedite the democratization process and they must follow the guidelines of democracy.
a. No delegates should be arrested for the activities carried out in relation to the Conference.
b. And no one should be expelled or barred from the Conference.
c. Political parties or other groupings should not be expelled from the Conference for what they say or advocate peacefully.
d. Especially Daw Aung San Suu Kyi should not be disqualified also.
13. We can never be satisfied until the Myanmar (Military) leaders release all the political leaders and all the political prisoners.
14. We can never be satisfied until the Myanmar (Military) leaders accept our following demands_
a. Police & Military must be under the control of civilian elected politicians.
b. There must be Rule of Law and the practice of Rule by (military) Law must be abolished and never allowed to surface again.
c. The Laws must be fair and practice justice on all the citizens without any discriminations.
d. No one must be allowed to stay above the law or allowed to break the law. The LAW or JUSTICE must be BLIND.
e. There must be the presumption of innocence until proven guilty;
f. Trial by jury of peers;
g. The right to a fair trial with appeal rights;
h. The right to adequate and independent legal representation
i. Not only there must be fair and justice but it must be seen that there is fairness and justice.
j. The government’s decision-making must be transparent and must allow the public scrutiny.
k. The present and future elected officials in the Government and civil servants must be held accountable for their actions.
l. The government must be responsive to the public complaints and grouses.
m. Governments must grant the Freedom of speech for all the citizens and all the media. There is FREEDOM OF SPEECH and FREEDOM AFTER SPEECH.
n. Freedom of association for all the citizens, organizations including the opposition parties. Various Religious & Political organizations must be permitted to form, organize and active freely.
o. Change to a True full democracy but not the guided or disciplined democracy or the corrupted flawed nor hybrid democracies,
p. There must be Separation of Powers between the Legislative (Parliament), Administrative (Government) and Judiciary.
q. Must allow independent free media allowing investigative journalism allowing probing the Government officials and Government Servants. It must be Independent, competitive, non-monopolized, media free from government censorship or editorial restrictions.
r. Allowing setting up the independent Anti Corruption Agency.
s. Full freedom of religious-thought, belief, expression & practice, including abolition of Government controls of religious affairs.
t. The right of self-determination for each and every citizen, irrespective of race, religion, creed, colour, gender etc. That means we all have to agree for the Rights of all the Ethnic Minorities and all the Religious Minorities.
u. There must be a strong and firm Non-discrimination by Governments, individuals or organizations on the basis of race, nationality, colour, religion, gender, marital status, political belief or affiliation, physical or mental disability.
v. Government must set up the antitrust legislature to control the monopoly in each and every field.
w. People must have the power to monitor and record at the distribution of wealth and opportunity among the different groups depending on race, religion and political alignment.
x. People must have the power to monitor and record the Political patronage- awarding government contracts, appointments, promotions, scholarships, land distributions, permits etc.
y. Government must take care of the Rural development and the Urbanization, squatter relocation and settlements must be properly planned.
z. Government must take care of the Basic infra-structure facilities, water, electricity, highways, telephone, multimedia facilities must be taken care of for the benefit of all the citizens.
15. We can never be satisfied until the Myanmar (Military) Government leaders respect and recognize each and every person’s rights, minority races, minority religions, workers, women, children including handicapped persons etc.
Wake up all Myanmar Citizens, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
a. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
b. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment,
c. I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the America’s famous Martin Luther King’s dream.
I have a dream that one day this Secular Democratic Federal Union of Burma will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
1. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Shan States the sons of Shan rebels and the sons of former political prisoners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood with the Bama soldiers and leaders.
2. I have a dream that one day even the state of Chin, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
3. I have a dream that our children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the race, creed and religion but by the content of their character.
4. I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Rakhine, whose militant leader’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little Rakhine boys and Rohingya girls will be able to join hands with little Bama boys and Bama-Chinese girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
a. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the Federal Union of Burma.
b. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.
c. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of Myanmar into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
d. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
There will be the day when all of all the children of Myanmar will be able to sing our National song with a new and meaning feeling. Moreover, if Myanmar is to be a great nation, this must become true.
1. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of Kachin.
2. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of Pegu Yoma.
3. Let freedom ring from the heightening Kachin State! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped mountains far north in Putao!
4. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of Chin!
5. But not only that; let freedom ring from Shan Yoma!
6. Let freedom ring from Popa!
7. Let freedom ring from Mandalay hill, Sagaing Range. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
8. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, Bama , Shan, Kachin, Karin, Chin, Mon, mixed blooded Chinese, Indians, Rohingya, Bengali and all the Ethnic Minorities, Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus, as well as Nat believers and Free Thinkers will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the Union of Myanmar National song.