N.B Chyoi / April 16, 2021
There has been a series of statements from different organizations including CRPH, Ethnic Armed Organization (EAOs), NGOs, Human Rights Groups and UN bodies. But there is hardly any impact over the strategies framed by China and Russia to counter or kill the spirit of movement against the Burmese Military regime.
Past experiences also tell us that the “Governments in Exile” formed by the leaders abroad hardly generate success except it helps us to keep the issue alive at the international platforms. At later stage seminars, webinars, protests, generation of aid/donations, inclusion of think tanks, human rights activists becomes a routine affairs of such Govt-in-Exile. On the other hand press and publishing houses generate the material and mint money.
Lively instance is of Tibet (annexed by China in 1959). His Holiness Dalai Lama, Religious & Political Authority of Tibetans, more precisely Tibetans in Exile, crossed over to India in 1959 and established his Govt-in-Exile at Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh in India. The Govt-in-Exile has been functioning since then. But if one questions what it has achieved during last six decades, except the welfare of Tibetan Refugees all over the world, there has been no breakthrough as far as status of Tibet is concerned.
The voices of independent Tibetan can be heard every year on March 10th (Tibetan Uprising Day) as routine affair at international forums, protests in front of Chinese Embassies or Prayers in Tibetan Refugee Settlements with 1-2 immolation attempts. The new generation has already moved ahead and old generation is not position to do anything. The voices inside Tibet are not heard and to the extent the spirit of freedom has been reconciled with reality. China has managed to transform Tibet culturally. The Qinghai-Lhasa railway has changed the demographic and economic profile of Tibet and people have embraced development but Tibetans have paid the cost by losing sovereignty and culture.
The wars are actually fought by the people on the ground, the digital world can influence the movement to the certain extent but can’t change the realities. Statements or sanctions alone can’t fight the Burmese junta. Burma Army had ruled this country for more than sixty years so they understand the implications or impacts of sanctions as it was a calculated move.
Burma has no shortage of eatables, water, electricity or gas or petrol. The technical or medical voids can be filled up by China and Russia or even friends in Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN). Take example of Iran, despite sanctions for decades by international community, they have survived and excelled since the will of common Iranian remained strong and they are self reliant now. Imposition of sanctions have hardly worked anywhere in the world.
If we have to get rid of these “power snatchers” once and for all, then we have to devise a mechanism and take the call, mobilize our resources available and unite ourselves overlooking minor issues among us. The confrontations among us needs to be shelved for a while as priority is to dislodge or over throw these power hungry generals. They are powerful since we carry a notion that they are strong but this notion needs to be eroded. They are bunch of wolfs who have snatched away the legitimate mandate and we need to get it back. Don’t wait for CRPH, UN or other nations to help us , it’s our fight and we are capable enough to do it.
Any assistance, help or debt always comes with some liabilities or implications, this needs to be watched. Chinese debt has gripped us, Russia’s arms supplies has made Junta more powerful and west had agenda of conversion. So nothing comes free, it has a price tag. NGOs do great business in developing or under developing countries and Burma has been a favourable option due to obvious reasons. West or US want bases in Burma to check China’s influence, this is simple.
How a small country like Israel has survived so the Judaism? It’s the will of the people not the regime which decides the fate of any country or state. Junta too has fault lines and it is equally weak inside and it won’t take time to detonate the disintegration provided we generate that will. The recent visits of top generals to garrisons speaks of their imminent worries and they know mutiny can change the course. Instilling the feeling of intimidation among the families of army personnel by monitoring their mobiles communication and movements are signs that all is not well inside Junta and they too are not at peace.
It is foolishness to confront a well equipped soldier with hand made devices or single shot guns, it’s just an invitation to death. Be organized and have strategic approach. We may be feeling bad as EAOs are not coming for help. But the truth is that Ethnic Armed Organizations can’t fight conventional wars and they need to hold the ground in their respective regions first.
N.B Chyoi is a Kachin lawyer and geopolitical analyst focusing especially on Burma, India and China.
The opinion expressed here is the author’s own, and does not represent the editorial policy of The Kachin Post.