Suu Kyi Plays A Long Game; Burma Is Not Out of the Woods
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  • I would not agree that Burma today is “more bitterly divided” than the South Africa Mandela was elected to rule.

    Tribalism in South Africa has no parallel in Burma where peoples of different nationalities often live in harmony in close proximity, with widespread intermarriage. Nor has anything like “apartheid” by the while minority against the non-white majority ever existed in Burma. Some major groups like Burmans, Shans and Mons share a common culture. Karens are to be found all over eastern, southern and western Burma and it is at times hard to say who is pure Karen still speaking one of the mutually unintelligible Karen languages and who is Burman-Karen speaking mainly the Burmese language. Suu Kyi’s mother was brought up in a Karen environment and her maternal grandfather was converted to Christianity. Little surprise that Suu Kyi chose to be elected in a part-Karen community south of Rangoon.

    True, the British divided the country into “Burma Proper” and the “Frontier Areas”, but in general the British only continued the existing division between the old Burmese Kingdom and adjacent peoples, some still living in pretty remote areas.

    One day perhaps we might learn something of the exchanges between Mandela and Suu Kyi. They never met, but in the mid 1990s, according to my South African sources, were in contact by telephone. It is of interest that Bishop Tutu and Suu Kyi maintain a very close relationship, but Mandela has kept well away from the Burmese imbroglio. There was clearly no meeting of minds.

  • Tun

    Via Meadia, what is ethnic and what is Rohingya? You are burning Arakan State. Mr. Suu Kyi does not need to solve what you are saying. Rohingyas or who, now they are living there. The problem is an another, do you know what? if not, come to Rakhine and study and the world and religions….. the source, what.

  • Tide

    I still don’t understand why people have not seen the patterns of Suu Kyi being a hidden-dictator. It’s beyond her lack of diplomacy, e.g. Mr.Ibrahim Gambari was turned away without given any reasons from her entrance. Remember, the loud-speaker greeting? Suu Kyi does not respect any law when she does not want to. Suu Kyi goes to courts that govern Myanmar laws when she wants to, for example her fight with her cousin (physical fight or domestic violence – she slapped her cousin, and her cousin punched her back). Suu Kyi knows very minimal of Myanmar and the society, and she clearly listens and looks up to Western countries for now. As soon as Western leaders turn their back, she would be sulking first, then go back to generals. Just wait and pray that she lives long.

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