6 thoughts on “This is the real Aung San Suu Kyi

  1. No comments on The Lady.

    No need to condemn her. We expected too much (especially the democracy and human rights suckers in the West ) from her. I thought she was exceptional. I did not recognise that she has become a politician, no longer a civil society activist. She is, in fact, her father’s daughter with a legacy and an ambition to hold the highest office in the Land. She is said she is higher than the President and has a plan.

    Her father Aung San, who collaborated with the Japanese in WWII, was assassinated. He was also an ambitious politician. It is natural for her to be what her father could not. To get there she has to get on with the military, keep the support of her people and stay away from “lost causes”. If she is deceitful, then tell me if Najib Razak who is a champion of the Rohingya cause (because they are Muslims) is a paragon of virtue and a democracy and human rights advocate. To me, Najib is a big crook. In terms of background, however, both The Lady and Najib are aristocrats who cannot relate to the sufferings of their people.

    I am personally disappointed that she did not deal with the Rohingya issue head on. But I recognise she is an ambitious and astute politician with a promise to keep in honour of her parents. In stead of giving her hell over the issue, the United Nations and the international community should deal with the military. Give the Myanmarese generals the heat instead. I think tough talking and uncouth (after his speech at UNGA) Donald Trump should deal with it since he seems to have answers for everything. CLF and Ambassador John Malott, what do you think? –Din Merican

  2. I happen to believe that Daw Suu Kyi has been a politician all along. She is a Bamar. Her views on the Rohingyas are on line with the majority of the Bamar people of the country. She herself had pointed out that it was the Western media who made her out to be fighter for the rights of others and she had never claimed any such. Western governments and their media love to put other countries’ dissidents on a pedestal, projecting onto them their own beliefs, agendas and ideals – be it Aung San Suu Kyi or Liu Xiaobo of China. I believe the persecutions and sufferings of the Rohingya people are real, very real and, due to the strategic importance of Myanmar, the problems are complicated by geopolitics. I don’t believe China and Russia will let this Rohingya problem pass the Security Council of the UN.

    Actually, these all are just my interpretations of the “facts” around me. In science there’re facts and there’re interpretations. And there’s a striking difference. As humans we’ve to interpret the data around us to make sense of the world. When people are interpreting data, they’re assigning meaning to certain abstract objects. About two weeks ago I’ve told the story about the valuable lesson I learned from my professor with his kaleidoscope – “Chaos there, structure here.”

    I believe that a core aim of scientific research is to arrive at objective, true beliefs about the subject matter of the discipline: about what sorts of entities are to be found, what their properties are, and what causal relations obtain among them. Science aims at producing knowledge about natural and social phenomena. And this aim brings with it a concern for truth, a concern for rational standards of belief assessment, and a commitment to the notion that the standards of belief assessment are conducive to truth.

    But the concepts of objectivity, truth, and the authority of empirical standards have come under serious challenge by some critics of the social sciences in the past several decades. Feminist critics charge that the concepts and methods of the social sciences reflect an essential patriarchalism that discredits the objectivity of social science knowledge. Marxist critics sometimes contend that the social sciences are enmeshed in a bourgeois worldview that makes objectivity impossible. And post-modernist writers seem to disdain the ideas of truth and objectivity in the social sciences altogether, preferring instead the slippery notions of multiple discourses and knowledge/power.

    These aspirations towards objectivity encounter a number of skeptical concerns in social sciences. Disputes are inherently underdetermined by the evidence. There’re no pure “facts,” but only facts as couched in one conceptual system or another. There’re no pure observations, but rather observations couched in a theory-laden vocabulary. Theories bring with them their own empirical criteria, which bias the findings in support of them. The relations between observation and theory are hopelessly circular, with theories generating the observations that supposedly support them. Research projects are guided by antecedent assumptions about the structure of the phenomena which shape the eventual empirical findings in an arbitrary way. Research communities are regulated by other criteria altogether (individual career advancement, the political demands of funding agencies, etc.) rather than epistemic criteria (evidence, logical coherence, etc.). Social phenomena are not objective in the first place, but rather defined by the fluid and changing intentions, meanings, and beliefs of the participants and observers. All observation in social science requires the interpretation of behavior, so there’re no brute facts at all; the investigator constructs the world he observes; or all social observation depends upon the perspective of the investigator, so that there’re no perspective-independent facts.

    Who is the real Aung San Suu Kyi? Only Suu Kyi knows.

    • W.I. Thomas’ theorem : if people believe something to be real, it will be real in its consequences. For example, socially destructive ideas such as biologically-based “race”, the “one true religion”.

  3. Din, i’ve already summarized most of the angst i’ve felt about this on-going Rohingya crisis, since 2012. In my first visit to Yangon in 1991, i’ve repeatedly engaged with the Burmese of all strata of society and of different ethnicity. I’m well aware of the ethnic tensions, ‘apartheid’ treatment of minorities and the shifting ‘official’ stand of the authorities.

    Earlier this year, an influential person within the Business (i.e Political) Community of Myanmar (which ASSK prefers to call ‘Burma’), offered the post of Economic adviser to ASSK to someone close to me. The offer included a villa in Naypidaw, a secure Yangon condo and several other perks, as long as we were stationed there. There were discussions involving building the infrastructure there under the aegis of the ADB and World Bank involving a PRC-Malaysian entity.

    I thought ‘short’ and hard and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t something i could pursue without an affront to my conscience. So it was no go. Besides, i still had other dead-duck interests, i wanted to pursue before i croak.

    I have experienced a small part of the brutality by the Tatmadaw and their police (which is more or less, the same thing). A few years ago, one of my contacts who brought me to the destitute hovels across the Yangon river (unofficially forbidden to foreigners), was arrested for over a month and subjected to horrendous deprivation, during that time. While they let me go – basically to avoid a diplomatic incident, i had to prevail on the local paramilitary police to release my friend – for whom i paid a ransom. My Bamar language skills remain rudimentary, so the bargaining was made through intermediaries. Perhaps, i was ripped-off but that’s okay as long as my friend returned safe and sound.

    I was watched during a short journey out of Yangon to see an ostracized Zomi (Chin) pastor. But since i took a local bus (the heat and smell made me nauseous) and not a personal conveyance, no action was taken. I’m amazed that most poor agrarian folk world over would slaughter one of their very few chickens for a bloke like me to make a meal.. Happens in Uganda and locally. I feel terribly guilty, yet strangely blessed. Haha..

    My interaction with the Imam of a Yangon mosque was interrupted by bellicose ‘handlers’, who insisted that as a non-Muslim foreigner, i had no right to be within the precincts of the mosque. I’ve no idea why that was, but this is Burma. So we had another meeting in a Chicken Briyani shop in downtown Yangon. I can’t tell you what was discussed, except that it ain’t pretty. My Christian brothers there, are now taking care of some of the destitute Muslim students who had their madrasas burnt to the ground.

    From what i foresee, the ‘Rohingya’ genocide will come in waves – and there is very little anyone can do – except to give relief and succor to the refugees. Sanctions don’t work and the cards are stacked against anyone who thinks they want to act as Sheriff. That is why i seldom watch ‘journalistic’ pieces on Myanmar.

    Anyway, that is that.

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