In Condemnation Of The Military Coup In Burma On This 41st Years Of Military Coup Since 1962
(Perspective ) Under the pretext of saving the Union from disintegration, Burman chauvinist ex-dictator U Ne Win on 2nd March 1962 took state’s power in a bloodless military coup after sweeping a way the civilian government in the Union of Burma. From today 2nd march, 2003 it has been an already 41st year since Burma was forced into a complete control of Military regime.
The union of Burma is a multi-ethnic country, which was formed on the basis of the right of equality for every member state. No member state is superior or subordinate to others. Strictly speaking, the Union of Burma came into existence through the historic agreement known as Panglong Agreement which treaty was signed between the leaders from Burma proper or ministerial Burma and the pre-colonial independent nationalities leaders from Shan, Kachin and Chin.
In a nutshell, to point out the political crisis facing the Union of Burma, we can argue that the crisis is mainly rooted in the U Nu and his led successive party AFPFL’s for thier failure to implement the already agreed terms or an expressed views of non-Burman nationality leaders who came to Panglong voluntarily into the Union Constitution. During the decade-long democracy under the leadership of U Nu in Burma from 1948 to 1958, the Union, which was formed on equal footing, became a unitary parliamentary state under which the majority Burmans had right to impose their tyranny of majority against the ethnic minorities. As a result of a Non-burman peoples being discontented with the center or being the fake Union, our leaders convened conference in Taung Gyi, Shan State in 1961, the movement that was known as federal movement in which they intended to address the problems facing country constitutionally in accordance with Panglong spirit.
During these tent years parliamentary Democracy under U Nu’s leadership, the center interruption in the state’s internal affair was one of the major problems. For example let’s look at the 1950-51 general election in Chin state. As U Nu led party won the general election in Center, it was legitimate and legal for their Party to have formed the government. Similarly in Center, the winning party in every state had a legal right to form a government and choose the Chief minister of their respective states by the winning party itself. It is the essence of Democracy. However, the Chin National Congress headed by Pu Za Hre Lian, the party that won 10th parliamentary seats (they won a landslide victory) in Chin state was first refused by prime minister U Nu to head the state government. What I would like to point out here is the center intervention, which caused problems for the respective state.
With the reasons of deteriorating Law and order situations and multi-rebellious arms group against the Center government in 1958, Prime minister U Nu requested the Ne Win to form a Caretaker Government to prevent the Shan and Karenni states from exercising their constitutional rights to secede from the Union after 10 years if they were not satisfied.
In February 1962, the leaders of non-Burman nationalities, the Kachin the Shans, the Karenis, the Karen, the Mons, the Arakanese and the Chins gathered in Rangoon to finalize their version of the federal Constitution of the proposed genuine Union of Burma. However, the military misinterpreted the prevailing situation as a threat to the sovereignty of the country. On march 2, the military led by ex-dictator Ne Win took state’s power by suspending the 1947 Constitution.
There are different perspectives on the military coup headed by U Ne Win at last took over the state power. To some, U Ne Win was accused of being ” power hungry” and the military took advantage of the situation just for power since they had first tasted with power during 1958-1960 caretaker government. Some viewed U Nu was being indecisive with the demand of non-Burman nationalities to amend the Union Constitution on the basis of the original text of 1947 constitution, which was already approved in May convention, 1947.
Now with the 41st years leadership of military generals in Burma, the country was listed as one of the least developed countries due to their – military generals – mismanagement of the country’s economy though throughout the world Burma is known as a “Golden land” for its numerous golden stupas and being in rich natural resources.
To the Shan, Kachin and Chin, the suspension of the 1947 constitution nullified the Panglong agreement which bound us legally to the ministerial Burma or with the Union. In another terms therefore, we can say that we are no longer apart of the Union from the time the 1947 constitution was suspended by dictator U Ne Win and his elites.
Ex-dictator U Ne Win and his successive generals ruled Country from 1962 to 1974 under the name of revolutionary Council, from 1974 to 1988 as Burmese way of socialism under Burma Socialist Programe Party (BSPP), State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) from 1988 to 1998 and from 1988 to present as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). The successive and constant changes of their names indicate that they – the generals are not sincere in the national reconciliation process- have no intention of handing state’s power to the winner of 1990 general election, NLD Party led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
On this date of 41st years since the military coup in 1962, let’s (all democratic forces inside and outside) continuously strengthen by uniting all together in our efforts to uproot this brutal and illegal regime that rule our country.
By Salai Zaceulian
2nd March, 2003