Monday, December 26, 2005
On Christmas day, I went to Bangkok Christ Church and met some of my BARS students who visited Bangkok from Vientiane, and Yangon. They were here for vacation. After church, I went to visit their dorm. We had lunch together. Good Burmese food. We then went to Calvary Church at Sukhumvit Soi 2 in the late afternoon. After church, we went to watch a movie at the theater. We watched King Kong. It was an exciting movie. The movie basically compared New York city with the jungle, human beings with animals. The cost was 120 bahts a person. It was only $3. Compared to the States, it was very cheap. Don't you love being in Asia? I do :-)
At Calvary church, there were a lot of Burmese. I was wondering how many people from Burma were outside of Burma. One of my BARS students wished me merry Christmas from Chiang Mai.
I also met Joey Tun, who lived with us while studying in the States. His family was in Bangkok for Christmas vacation. I spent Sunday night with my friends hanging out with them and eating Burmese food with them.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
I will have to figure out a way to present it to you if none of the Unicode fonts is mature enough. What I will probably do is try to convert the HTML to PNG image on the fly and then present it to the user. I will just have to wait until one of the Unicode fonts is stable and usable. If you have any suggestions, please send me an email. :-)
Here is our SEALang project link: (note: Internet Explorer won't work properly with our site because of its lack of compliance to standard)
Burmese will be up in the spring of 2007 if you look at the schedule. So stay tuned :-)
The above site is hosted on my Linux machine which I maintain and use daily, which I am using right now to update this blog :-)
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
The Internet has come a long way since then. So are web sites from Burma. My web site has been up and running since May 1998 and I can't believe time flies whether you are having fun or not ;-)
My old web site was at the student web server from my school. It no longer exists because I am not a student there any more.
He is a great scholar. He came to MIT once to talk about how to do research on history. He commented about censorship. I am sorry we lost a great scholar of Burma.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
virus and trojans anyways.
Here in Burma, we made old computers work with pirated Windows software. Linux is not a big thing because most people don't have reliable Internet connections. Nobody sells software for Linux. However, we can buy any versions of Windows, Adobe Suite, AutoCAD, Macromedia DreamWeaver and any software you name it. It cost only 500 kyats (50 cents) a piece. I love Burma. All local Christian organizations use pirated software, which cost 50 cents a piece. (Note: The maximum salary of a professor at a seminary is $20 a month.)
Sunday, October 16, 2005
KIO banned the environment report saying it tarnished the KIO image. Is it as bad as any repressive ruling class?
Ceasefire Groups Defiant
Ethnic ceasefire groups in Burma will not surrender their arms to the junta, despite the government's stated claim that all such groups must disarm, said officials from three ethnic ceasefire groups.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Fortinet, a company in Sunnyvale, California, is supplying filtering software to censor the Internet in Burma
I came home from Myay Ni Gone at about 6:00 in the evening. There were a lot of people at the bus-stop. When I got on a bus, it was crowded and I decided to go to the back of the bus. The conductor of the bus shouting at everybody to go to the back. He wants to have more passengers. A poor mother was sitting on the floor, breast-feeding her baby. A father was holding his baby in his arms. The scenes I would miss if I take a taxi or if I am out of the country. The general public of Burma and their daily lives are very interesting. It would be both disappointing and rewarding at the same time if you take a bus during rush hours.
The following picture was taken from Times magazine. I don't remember who took the picture.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Sunday, September 25, 2005
OJ (one of the teachers) and Me
They are my students, whom Neil Sowards and I taught "Entrepreneurship."
Standing: from left to right: Mun Shawng Tsin Nan, Nang Awng, Z. Kai Nu, N. Seng Ra, Lwin Moe, Roi Awng, Lum Tse, Htu Raw.
Sitting: From left to right: Awng Ba, H. Tang Mai.
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Friday, August 12, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Saturday, August 06, 2005
I had a chance to talk to Saya Augurlion who just came back from the States after finishing his Master in Theology from Pittsburg Theological Seminary. He also had to go through some reverse culture shock.
He gave chocolates to the immigration officer and cigarette cartoons to the customs officer at the airport.
I went to the dinner hosted by the Myanmar Christian Fellowship of the Blind (MCFB). I was involved, in early days, in the project to convert Burmese fonts into Burmese Brey.
The government has really cracked down unlicensed cars all over the country. The car in the picture was imported from Thailand through Three Pagodas border pass. People in Mon state were using those cars with fake licenses. The offical price of that car in Rangoon would be US $ 100,000, which is ridiculous and only the richest of the rich can afford. However, the price of that car smuggled in through the border would be US $ 10,000, which it should be. The control of import license is causing the jump in price for cars. The powerful are abusing the system.
Cars were smuggled in through Thailand and China border towns, such as:
- Three Pagodas in Mon State
- Mya Wa De in Kayin (Karen) State
- Muse in Northern Shan State
- Thachileik in Southern Shan State
- Laiza and Mei Ja Yang in Kachin State
Somebody was joking that Burma is the most expensive place in the world for:
- Phones (US $ 1,000-2,000)
- Prawns (Shrimps)
Friday, August 05, 2005
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
The situation has changed a little bit. I think it is getting slightly more open. I am saying what I think. You can call me stupid as I studied Political Science. I wrote not only about Political Science, but also about the Burmese Constitution, they became more frightened. What I want to say is, I want more Burmese to attend and participate in the international organisations and universities. I want their eyes to be more open. We have been cut off from the outside world around 40 years. We are quite behind in academic outlook, academic standard and the like. As you know, is there a Political Science in Burmese Universities? Before 1962, it is said that Political Science was taught by History departments. During the Burma Socialist Programme Party (BSPP) time, La[n]zin Youth studies political science for their propaganda purpose. If you want to have progress in a country's university education system, you can't leave aside and omit this subject, or be afraid of it. To say it openly, because of this vacuum, there are some outdated political views. I dare say it. Our mode of thinking is outdated. We are unable to think in a modern way. Our views are outdated. I want to urge young and middle-age[d] people to continue studying.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Monday, July 11, 2005
Sunday, July 10, 2005
http://www.irrawaddy.org still remains blocked. It seems the users and the ISP are having fun playing Tom and Jerry. These kids in Burma probably know better than me how to bypass Bagan's firewall to get the information they want.
126.96.36.199 (cache-dial.bagan.net.mm) is a proxy server for dial-up users.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
I told him I travelled for research purposes, and he let me go. I had to wait for a long time to get my suitcases. I went through custom officials and one of the officers checked my backpack. It all went fine because I had books in my backpack. Lucky enough, she didn't find my laptop in it. Come on, what's wrong with bringing in a laptop into the country? :-) Even in Lao, they didn't search me like that.
At least, I had a better experience than my last time coming back from the States. Nobody asked chocolates from me this time :-)
Thursday, July 07, 2005
In addition, Burmese government is also not recognizing these problems and is not looking for solutions whereas Laos and Cambodia are issuing passports for migrant workers from their countries so they can live and work legally in Thailand. At least, they recognized the problems and provided a solution.
Worse thing is Thai media really demonizes Burmese people. In many Thai soap operas, they often portray Burmese housemaids speaking Thai with a funny accent. As I learned more and more Thai, I am understanding what they are saying on TV about the Burmese. I don't like Thailand because of their prejudice and discrimination but I am going to live here for a long time and I am sure God wants me to understand the fear of my people and the situations they are in.
If we look at the following map, we will have a better sense of why people from Taunggyi, Loikaw, Pa-an and Dawei area are working in Thailand.
Friday, June 24, 2005
Monday, May 30, 2005
Friday, May 13, 2005
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
http://khitpyaing.org/modules.html?name=Sections&op=viewarticle&artid=38 from the New Era Journal.
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Friday, April 08, 2005
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Thursday, March 17, 2005
Question: What is the truest definition of Globalization?
Answer: Princess Diana's death.
Question: How come?
An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel, driving a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scottish whisky, (check the bottle before you change the spelling) followed closely by Italian Paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles; treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines. This is sent to you by an American, using Bill Gates's technology, and you're probably reading this on your computer, that uses Taiwanese chips, and a Korean monitor, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by Indian lorry-drivers, hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen, and trucked to you by Mexican illegals..... That, my friends, is Globalization.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
I never knew that Burmese most prominent student leader, Min Ko
Naing, had relatives in Mudon, Mon State, where I was from and my
parents still live. Min Ko Naing spent 16 years in prison for his leading role
in the 1988 pro-democracy uprising.
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
Friday, January 14, 2005
Bangkok Post, January 13, 2005
Whatever the colour of our skin, we all look the same when our bodies decompose. That is what the array of corpses at Wat Yanyao informs us, the living. So why the fuss about our racial or ethnic differences?
No matter how rich or poor we are, the loss of our loved ones is equally overwhelming in our hearts. Since we are all the same, don't all the victims and survivors of the Dec 26 tsunami deserve equal assistance? Sadly, the Thai authorities do not think so, not when it comes to migrant workers from Burma. As we Thais celebrate the massive outpouring of our own generosity for the tsunami victims _ particularly for the foreign tourists, the country has totally ignored the plight of poor migrant workers who, like us, lost family members and their source of income when the killer waves hit the Andaman coast.
Like us, their lives have been shattered. But we do not recognise their deaths and their losses. We do not give them relief aid. Worse, we punish those who survived the disaster by deporting them to a precarious life back in Burma, which refuses to accept its own citizens. What has become of us?
There are more than 120,000 registered manual laborers from Burma in the fisheries, construction, rubber and other industries in Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi, Satun and Trang provinces. The real number of migrant workers could be at least twice that figure.
Thousands of these people are believed to have perished when the tidal waves hit those provinces. According to survivors' accounts, at least 1,000 are missing in Phangnga alone. These survivors believe many of their loved ones are lying unattended at Wat Yanyao among the unidentified. But they are too scared to go and check and collect the bodies for fear of being arrested and deported.
The fear is well-grounded.
Thanks to the media and nationalist history, the general Thai public harbor a deep prejudice against the Burmese as a ruthless and untrustworthy people who destroyed our once glorious capital and now steal our jobs, rob their employers and bring us contagious diseases. Right after the tsunami, an actor who served as a rescue volunteer told the media he suspected a group of looters he saw were migrant Burmese workers. The mere suspicion awakened the deep prejudice against the Burmese.
To confirm these suspicions, the police immediately arrested a group of migrant workers accused of looting. The media proclaimed the Burmese were out to hit us again in out time of tragedy.
Instead of sending the accused to court, as is their basic right, the migrants were immediately deported. And then the authorities began rounding up all migrant workers with the excuse that the crackdown was necessary to prevent further crimes during this time of emergency.
Who cares if these people are registered workers legally entitled to the same assistance as all Thai workers? Who cares if deporting them will aggravate their plight? Who cares if will they face danger in Burma, which was also ravaged by the tsunami? According to local NGOs, more than 1,000 migrant workers have been deported. When Koh Song in Burma refused to accept them, the officials reportedly left them to their own devices on nearby islands.
To avoid deportation, many survivors have fled to the mountains where they are hungry, afraid and jobless. Is that why some have turned to theft? Many Thais agree with the deportations, saying the scarce resources available during the emergency should be for Thais alone.
The foreign tourists may applaud Thai generosity, but the tales our neighbors tell their children and grandchildren about us Thais will be much less flattering. These will be tales of racism, cruelty and heartlessness. They will be tales of a deep prejudice that could not be moved even by a natural disaster that highlighted the transience of life, the sameness of humanity and the futility of all prejudice.
When will we ever learn?
Sanitsuda Ekachai is Assistant Editor, Bangkok Post.
Thursday, January 13, 2005
An excerpt from the article: http://www.irrawaddy.org/aviewer.asp?a=4283&z=153
The Boston, Massachusetts native said he had a sign next to him which read: "Buddha says, 'Quality of sidewalk and quality of government is same thing.'" The capital's sidewalks, like much of its infrastructure, are crumbling.
People fleeing their home
What is going on in the border? Check this article out.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Monday, January 10, 2005
This is just to inform you about our present situation about the Tsunami disaster. As you have already known on 26th December. There was an underwater earthquake in the India ocean causing lost of lives and distructions to many people.
Here in Myanmar too, we faced this disaster and the areas which were hit by the Tsunami were attached. The latest news tell us that (59)people died, (517) household distroyed and more than (2745) lost their farms and fisher men were homeless. They all need shelter, blankets, clothings, food, medical treatment and drinking water. Emergency relief activities were done by the government, local authority, Red cross society. Many well wishers make donations for that area people. But still help is needed endlessly. Drugs on cholera, fever and dysentry are most wanted by the local doctor who are active in medical treatment. Clean drincking water is a demand because all the deep wells and natural lakes are over whelmed by salt water. The wind is strong and so people need shelter and protection. Housing constructions are urgently in process.
I'm be coming to Ashram for the Advance GLT and then only I will being able to give more information about the matter.
See you soon.
Here are some pictures of Tsunami in Thailand from a web site
Saturday, January 01, 2005
Buddah Park is situated about 25 minutes drive outside of the Vientiane city. Although not an old temple, it is nevertheless fascinating for its huge structures that combine Buddhist and Hindu Philosophies. Here are some pictures:
We also visited Friendship bridge. It was built by the help from Australia. The Friendship bridge was named so to illustrate the friendship among three different nations -- Laos, Thailand and Australia.
Here are some more pictures from around the village.