Sunday, January 22, 2012

We Are One In Our Struggle For Freedom ( )

The common goal of ethnic armed struggle is to achieve the autonomy from the burman regime. The blood, sweat and tears we have been shedding over 60 years are not for the economic opportunities but for the cause of the freedom. If we get derailed from the track before reaching our goal, the sacrifices our fore father, comrade and friends have been making will be in vain. Since we have been ignored and marginalized by Burman regime from mainstream politic for decades, this is the time we must revive the promise of Panglong agreement. Without solving the root cause of the ethnic problems, there will be no lasting peace and genuine democracy in diverse country of Burma. After all, the desperate efforts being made by the current regime to impose its self defined democracy and peace in the country will go nowhere but into the dustbin of history.

History taught us to be extra cautious in term of dealing with cunning Burman regime. There is a saying that states, “Blame other if you get cheated for the first time, the situation for the second time but yourself for the third time.” Once again, regime is trying to deceive the ethnic armed group by using the same old tactics. Rhetoric of economic development will actually lead to benefit regime cronies and regime backed militia groups by plundering natural resources at all cost. It is not only a façade to lure ethnic leaders but also a powerful weapon to disintegrate the unity among ethnic armed group. Proposed political dialogue, under the condition of 2008 constitution which paved the way to the domination of Burman over all other ethnic people, is a trap for ethnic people. We must remember the fact that current quasi civilian rulers are the same one that nurtured 2008 constitution, which give no fundamental right and equality for the ethnic nationalities.

17 years period of KIA/O peace agreement with Burman regime proved that peace without a political freedom was a nightmare and economic development without of individual right and economic freedom was a disaster for the kachin public. Kachin people are still enduring the dire consequences in many aspects of their lives as a result of 17 years peace and development. Well documented case of mass killing, land confiscation, forced labor, forced relocation, ganged rapes and religious persecution committed by Burman regime all across the ethnic land, in the pretext of peace and development during cease fire period, indicated the regime’s true intention toward all ethnic people. One of the American civil right leaders Malcolm X once said “you cannot separate peace from the freedom, no one can be at peace unless he/she has freedom”.

Although, we ethnic people lived parallel to the Burman people with a distinct culture, language and history, we joined our hand with them in order to gain independence from British. Since we had inked historic Panlong agreement, which guaranteed equality and self-determination, with Burman leaders, led by independence hero general Aung San, in 1947, every successive regime failed to implement the promise they made. Rather, ethnic people sustained the systematic discrimination and the brutal oppression by Burman regime. We should not rush to translate the current dramatic reforms being carried out by regime as a positive and sincere one until it abolish the constitution, or make the constitutional amendment regarding ethnic right. Becoming a democratic country will not automatically solve ethnic issue unless Burman dominated regime fulfills the promise of Panglong agreement.

This is the crucial time for us to show our solidarity, work collectively and speak in harmony. If one make mistake, the rest will suffer. If one down, the rest will follow. If we cannot hold fast the pillar of our principles, then the so called wind of change will wipe out our cause. Here is what founding father of America, Bejamin Franklin said, “those who would give up essential freedom/ liberty to purchase a little temporary safety do not deserve freedom/liberty.”

As one of ethnic Kachin, I believe we have just reached the crossroad of the journey, not the vintage point. If we are not able to make the prudent decision and move the right step in this moment, then we will inevitably fall into the bondage of evil forever, and the generation to come will pay the heavy price for the mistake we now make. As we, all ethnic people, are marching the same destination, we are one in our struggle of freedom. So let stay the course, do our job.




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