By Kumar David –
Aung San Suu Kyi bears part of the responsibility for this umpteenth coup in Burma (now also known as Myanmar). She danced with the wolves, shut her eyes to genocide of Rohingya Muslims, and was a party to an attempt to fool the people about tinsel constitutionality. It is heartless to skewer her at this moment when the military has again trampled Burma with leaden boots. But now it is not about tender feelings for the lady. It is about drawing the right lessons from these appalling events. Lesson One: The military at all times and everywhere, is a threat to public liberty unless it is firmly held on a tight leash. In the reign of Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa it has been empowered in all walks of life – public administration, over-lordship of state corporations, incompetent management of the covid pandemic, foreign affairs including leaking a UNHRC confidential Report and strutting like a peacock in the public domain.
Lesson Two: The Burmese military is viciously racist; it is a deeply Burman institution with implacable hatred of ethnic minorities in the interior (9% Shan, 7% Karen, 4% Rakhine and 3% Mon) and genocide of Rohingya Muslims (4%) in eastern Rakine Province. Hatred of the Muslims is vicious because 90% of the country is Buddhist including majorities of all ethnic and tribal communities. About 8% are Christians, spread across many ethnic groups, who face persecution and debarred from all high appointments. Very few Burmans are Christian unlike the 5% Sinhalese Catholics-Christians in Lanka. The difference from Lanka is that the majority (70%) Burman people too have been victims of brutal military dictatorships which seized power in 1962 and trampled on all – except for the brief November 2015-January 2021 period.
The Burman majority has no love for the army, unlike Lanka where the army is the poster boy of Sinhala Buddhists, Catholics and Christians.