Contact: Roland Watson, roland@dictatorwatch.org


January 17, 2020
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Burma is having a general election later this year, its first since 2015 and in many ways more important. The National League for Democracy, under the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi, won the last election, but it has done nothing. The Parliament did not confront the ruling generals, to force through a new constitution, to pressure them to end their war against the country's ethnic nationalities, and to halt their unbelievable persecution of the Rohingya people.

Instead, Suu Kyi personally cheered the generals on, and in what for the last quickly became a genocide. Most horrifyingly, Burma Army soldiers, regime police, and mobs of frenzied local men perpetrated gang rape against Rohingya women and girls. In many cases they literally raped them to death; in others, they murdered them after the rapes by burning them alive in their houses. For women who had babies and young children, they threw them in the fires as well.

That these crimes against humanity had been committed was irrefutably documented from the stories, scars, and pregnancies, of the survivors who made it to Bangladesh, leading to international outrage. Suu Kyi, in response, loudly declared that the stories were FAKE RAPE.

What type of person would ridicule the rape and murder of women and young girls, and the murder of their children and babies? Suu Kyi is a monster.

She is a genocidal racist, and not only against the Rohingya and other Muslim communities. She is bigoted against anyone who is not from her own group, the ethnic Bamar.

In 2014, Burma conducted its first national census in decades, with the assistance of the United Nations, and which covered the entire country except areas where the Burma Army was attacking local populations. The census included questions about ethnic identity, but Suu Kyi, through her Minister of Population, refused to release the results.

The data would have resolved the issue: How many Bamar are there in Burma, and Mon, and Karen, and Karenni, and Shan, and Ta'ang, and PaO, and Wa, and Kokang, and Kachin, and Naga, and Chin, and Arakan, and for many other smaller groups. The count would have been short, though, for the people in the Northeast, in the areas of Burma Army aggression, and with the Rohingya, too - they weren't counted at all. But it still would have answered the basic question: who lives in the country.

The reason Suu Kyi did not release the results is obvious. The Bamar are not the majority they have always claimed to be. Instead, the ethnic nationalities, taken together, constitute the majority.

This simple fact would destroy the Bamar national myth, that Burma is THEIR country. They believe: Bamar Uber Alles! (Bamar above all.) They would be forced, for the first time in history, to accept the rights, and even potentially the leadership, of the other groups.

Suu Kyi, a Bamar Supremacist, could not countenance this. Hence her censoring the results.

This is why this year's election is so important. In 2015, many ethnic nationality people voted for the NLD to show their support for her, in accordance with her own personal myth as national savior (and because of the shortage of ethnic parties). But in the years since she has never, not once, in Parliament or in speeches, truly backed ethnic interests. Her racism has become clear, and many ethnic people now disdain if not despise her.

If the ethnic nationalities vote for their own candidates this year, they - as a group - will win the election. They will be able to appoint the President. They will be able to take up any issue they want in Parliament, including all those that Suu Kyi has blocked. For the very first time, the people will be able to confront, in a democratic system - not only through rebellion, the Bamar military dictators.

To this end, the different parties for particular groups, e.g., Shan, Karen, Kachin, should put aside their differences and unite. They will be stronger if their vote totals are not split. Similarly, and as is being discussed, the two ethnic party alliances, the United Nationalities Alliance and the Nationalities Brotherhood Federation, should combine as well

The best thing that could happen is for the NLD to be defeated - to secure only minimal representation. Then Suu Kyi would disappear from the scene and die. New democratic leaders, including Bamar leaders, would finally be able to take their rightful place on the national stage.

In a democracy, you would ordinarily not want to reflexively support your own group. Instead, you should try to choose the best overall candidates. But Burma is not a democracy. Therefore, this year, not a single ethnic nationality person should vote for anyone from what is now Suu Kyi's National League for Dictatorship. Enlightened Bamar shouldn't vote for the NLD either. For all the good-hearted Bamar in the country, it is time to take a stand. Yes, life is a little bit easier for you, because the regime is directing its repression against the other groups. But are you really willing to settle for this? Suu Kyi has done her best to kill the goal of freedom. If you turn against her, and join with the ethnic nationalities, Burma can be free. Centuries of repression once and for all can be stopped.