01 2007


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MYANMAR: Misna; Some believe that a popular revolt is taking place in Yangon; others sy what is happening is just a clash within the leadership of the regime. MISNA has asked an expert on the subject of Myanmar, who is now based in a neighboring country, his thought on the situation. The source wishes to remain anonymous. “It is very difficult to suggest there is a split in the military dictatorship.

The military have always managed internal issues in secrecy. You would realize that some had fallen in disgrace when you would suddenly notice, in a matter of hours, that an important figure was transferred to be mayor in a remote village. He added that with the transfer of the capital to Naypyidaw, in the far north of the country, even that little contact between the administration and the people on the street is lost”. “The capital is an isolated citadel, where the leaders live and meet by themselves. The move was made in expectation of trouble, as well as the spread of rumors that an attack launched by another international power might come from the sea” said the source. “Certainly, within the interior of the leaders of Myanmar there isn’t the unity that appear to exist on the surface.

I cannot speak of a specific fracture, but there has been an intensifying pressure by international actors on the generals could have ended up generating different currents” he said. Our source believes that the military juntàs decision not to intervene in the first days of the protests, should not necessarily be interpreted as a signal of a fracture within the leadership. “it could also be a sign of political continuity with the policies of recent years, the one, that after the massacre of 1998, showed that the generals prefer other subterranean methods rather than frontal clashes, in order to demolish dissent from within through ’spies’”.

“A softer way " said the source. On one side there is an effort not to anger the people any further; on the other hand, there is pressure not to hand over to some in the international community further reason to contest the government, because the massacres of 1998 showed the power of the people even to himself”. The source also noted that to quell the protests, the government called on young soldiers normally deployed at the border to come to Yangon. “The latest soldiers come directly from the Jungle, where they have become harsher with the guerrilla. They are very young recruits, indoctrinated but paid very little, but having the right to rape, loot and steal.. . “In these days, a man of culture said during dinner: ’In 1988 we won but we allowed ourselves to be tricked.

When the president resigned we believed that they would have handed over power, held elections and then we stopped. Then they unraveled everything. Next time, I don’t know when or where I will start, but nobody shall be able to stop us anymore, and it will be a bloodbath’. “I don’t know if we have reached the time describe by that man, but certainly in the last months the people were exasperated and the recent increase in prices might have blown over the fire that was laying under the ashes” he said. [AB]

Source by Misna

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