President Thein Sein goes to Washington



You have gotta love this 11 minutes US Cold War propaganda showcasing Ne Win's dictatorship as the one 'dedicated to peace'!



It seems George Orwell's ghost from his much-despised Burma has moved in to the White House, taking the same Washington-bound flight out of Rangoon with President Thein Sein. 

"The world knows and appreciates Burma's dedication to peace', so flattered the US President Lyndon B. Johnson on the occasion of General Ne Win's official visit to the White House in Sept 1966.

 By 1966, Ne Win's Revolutionary Council regime has contributed to the peace in tangible ways: The 'distinguished' visitor had by then: 
1) ended an imperfect, but functioning and fledgling parliamentary democrracy; 
2) locked up over 100 most prominent politicians, judges, civil servants, journalists and ethnic leaders of the country - summarily having executed some (for instance, Sai Kyar Hsai of Si Hpaw) or tortured others to death in interrogation (for instance, Sao Shwe Thaike, the first ceremonial President of the independent Burma and a key signatory of the Panglong Treaty on which a modern Burma was founded); 
3) blew up historic Rangoon University Student Union Building; 
4) massacred at least 300 un-armed students, activists and on-lookers on Rangoon campus; 
5) drove out at least 100,000 Indians whose businesses and properties were confiscated (nationalized) out of the anti-Indian economic racism; 
6) held sham 'peace talks' with different armed ethnic resistance groups after which the general sent assassination teams to those who came for negotiations in Rangoon; and last but not least, 
7) triggered the armed resistance movements of all ethnic groups which had not taken up arms against the civilian parliamentary government of U Nu by the time of the coup in 1962

Notice towards the end in this clip UN Secretary General U Thant - by 1966 - was still very warm and friendly to Burma's dictator Ne Win during the latter's visit to New York as part of his first and last US official visit, contrary to the popular myth among the ill-informed or gullible Burmese that U Thant was for the people, for democracy and for peace.

Indeed Ne Win was 'the distinguished leader of the Burmese people' - as LBJ put it. LBJ was not incorrect, in fact. Ne Win in due course distinguished himself as the man who laid the foundation for the world's longest and most neo-Nazi military rule. He put Burma on the path of impoverishment and imprisonment. He further spread war and destruction among the country's communities, the process that shows no signs of slowing down or ending under Thein Sein's rule, 25 years after Ne Win officially stepped down as head of state. 

I am sure Mr Obama, true to a distinctly US Presidential tradition of lying with a straight face, will be saying similarly disgusting Orwellian things about Thein Sein as LBJ did about the despot Ne Win. 

Too bad for the Rohingya who have been ethnically cleansed for the past 30-some years. 

Never mind that the Kachins are subject to the colonial war for land, resources and eternal subjugation. And too bad for the Burmese farmers who suffer corporate and military land grab and economic dispossession. 

Never mind that 'that great country' (of Burma) is also undergoing an ecological rape. And you get the drift. 

Alas, the more things change the more they stay the same. 

In fact, with the depraved generals and ex-generals continuing to be at the helm, Myanmar's future looks far grimmer than Ne Win's Burma of 50 years ago. 

The last time the United States embraced Burmese liars and tyrants, unconditionally, out of its odorless national (strategic) interests the lives of the Burmese people became pauperized and hellish.   

This time the plight of the bulk of the Burmese, especially in the periphery, will be far worse - and is already worsening.  Ask the Kachins, the Shans, the Rohingya, the Muslims and Buddhist farmers.

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