Friday, May 26, 2006

Future of Burma?

Rev Nandasara (Buddhist monk) added that the situation in Burma is so bad that the Burmese people within and without Burma are too ashamed to say that they are Burmese.


http://english.dvb.no/news.html?id=7124

Many Burmese people in Thailand are ashamed to say that they are Burmese. Most of my Mon friends won't say that they are from Burma. They always say that they are Mon. Not Burmese :-) I partly agree with them that they are Mon. But they are citizens of Burma (Myanmar). However, nobody wants to say that they are from Burma.


Dr. Khin Maung Kyi also said "Within a hundred years from now, there will be no Burmese. There will be no Shans, no Karen no ethnic races. It is a serious problem--killing historical achievements, traditional knowledge and pride of a nation."


I think successive Burmese governments since the days of U Nu have killed the identity and pride of Burma. Let's look for the room for improvements and developments in Burma. I sure hope that as Burma opens up to the International community, there will be freedom of speech and expression.



Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Contemporary Art from Myanmar in Chiang Mai

The Nation has an article about the art exhibition by Burmese artists in Chiang Mai.

Burmese artists are not falling behind. If they have freedom of expression, I am sure they will do better.

Modern art may have originated in the West, but it offers limitless territory for outward-looking artists to explore. The Burmese whose works are on view here have discovered as much by looking within.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Life goes on in Burma

There have been news about Burma lately in the International media. As I just got back from Burma last Sunday, I have to say life goes on in Burma no matter what the International media say. Life is tough but people are moving on with their lives. People are all used to living without any human rights. People seem to have forgotten what the words "human rights" mean because there is none in Burma.

Two days before I left, I went to the Immigration department to apply for my Departure form, which is no longer needed in Thailand or even Laos. Burma is the only country that I know of where you have to go to the immigration department to apply for the departure form to leave the country.

Being pressed for time and lazy, I didn't want to do it myself. I paid the immigration officers 3000 kyats (US $3) to do the forms for me. It is hassel-free and saves time too. That seems to be what many people do. While I was waiting, sitting at one of the chairs, I noticed what the officers used to put the money in --- the trash bin :-) 3000 kyats from each person is enough to make the trash bin full of money :-) :-)

I had no problem at the airport last Sunday when I left Burma. The customs officers saw some Thai Bahts (about 500 bahts), and US $13 in my wallet. However, he didn't say a word about it. I think it's still illegal to hold foreign currencies in Burma -- the law which definitely needs to be changed. Passengers' wallets were not searched in Laos, a communist country.

When I got back to Bangkok, one of my friends, who came on the same plane with me, needed to exchange some money. It was so easy compared to Burma, where you had to look for brokers on the street or know their houses. Burma needs to keep up with its neighbors let alone the rest of the world. We have the most outdated and stupid laws which are not relevant to today's situations. We still have to rely on brokers on the street to exchange money because banking systems won't work and the market exchange rate is not recognized by the government. I think it's time to draw a curriculum of Economics 101 for our leaders :-) Just a joke, ok?

Sometimes, I feel like my country is going backwards instead of forwards. It will take years to keep up with Thailand. I think it's time for a change in Burma. We can't afford to go on like this. It's already a shame that Burma is this way. Let's think about what we can do for the better of our country.

I am interested in the announcement of Dr. Salai Tun Than. Here is his announcement in English, Burmese.


Monday, May 15, 2006

http://www.xanga.com/htoon_l

http://www.xanga.com/htoon_l



Thanks for linking to my site. But what he said about me is too good. I have my own weaknesses and do not deserve that much. That blogger said "His heart is as beautiful as a white rose, so pure and so perfect." My heart is just like any other ordinary human beings :-)



Friday, May 05, 2006

Cyclone Marla

A 150mph cyclone (named Marla by some) ripped through southwest Burma, killing at least 2, injuring over 20 people and destroying nearly 600 homes in Rangoon Hlaingthaya Township alone, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Misc.

I have been really busy, and did not have a chance to write my diary. Helping people is what I have been doing lately. I helped a friend with her US immigration visa application procedures. It was good to be able to help people. It also boosted the confidence in myself. My Thai is getting better and I hope to be able to have intelligent conversations in the near future.



I am going back to Burma on Saturday and I am excited about the trip. I won't get back to Bangkok until May 14. I will have a lot to write about when I get back from Burma. I want to see how the real situations in Burma are.