The Myanmar polls would have little impact on the activities of north-east Bharateeya militants inside Burma, where they were hiding for years with inherent supports from China and creating troubles in north-east Bharat.
Unlike the hype created by some Western media outlets on Burma’s forthcoming general elections to be held on November 8, the new government there may not be led by pro-democracy icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Present President, Then Sein, is likely to get reappointed as head of the State and government after November 8 polls,” feels Bertil Lintner, an eminent journalist and expert on Myanmar affairs.
Attending an interactive session with mediapersons at Guwahati Press Club, the Swedish journalist also clarified that the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) would regain power even if Suu Kyi led opposition party National League for Democracy (NLD) sweeps the polls, because 25 per cent of the Parliamentary seats of Burma are already reserved for military personnel and the USDP has been fully backed by the Army. He also added that Suu Kyi has been prevented to attain the Presidency as she married a foreign national and her two sons live outside Burma. Shockingly, any amendment in the 2008 constitution needs to be supported by more than 75 per cent Parliamentarians, which is unlikely unless there emerges a miraculous crack in the Burmese military clout in support of Nobel laureate Suu Kyi. The NLD had registered won a landslide victory in 1990 general elections, which were largely free and fair, but the brutal and isolationist military regime did not recognise the voters’ mandate and refused to hand over power to the elected representatives. The head of the regime, senior general Than Shwe, who grew enmity towards Suu Kyi, even ordered brutal crack downs over NLD activists. Subsequently, Suu Kyi was also put under house arrest for years as a political prisoner.
After 15 years of house arrest, Suu Kyi was released, but her party was not allowed to participate in the last polls for lower house of Myanmar Parliament that took place in 2010. The military backed USDP swept the polls. The present President also came to the scene in place of Than Shwe and the reform process started gaining momentum. Lastly, the NLD participated in 2012 Parliamentary by-elections, where it won 43 seats (including Suu Kyi) out of 45 contested constituencies. One more aspect, which should not be ignored here is that, in 1990 Suu Kyi was the most popular personality in Burma, as she stood firmly against the military people and was also loved, respected and trusted by all communit ies and ethnic groups of the country. But the scenario has changed to a great extent today as Suu Kyi has become a part of the semi-civilian regime at NayPieTaw, Myanmar’s new capital.
A major allegation framed against the iconic lady by the international community is that she remained silent when thousands of Rohingya Muslim families of Arakan province in West Myanmar continued to suffer because of majority Buddhist nationals’ religious persecution. Even her party NLD has allegedly not provided due space for the Muslim leader in the polls. Currently, a writer with Asia Pacific Media Services, Lintner, who earlier worked with ‘Far Eastern Economic Review’ argues that the reports on Burma were groundless and based on wishful thinking. Lately, he returned to report about Burma as the government relaxed many relevant rules. Presently based in Chiang Mai of Thailand, Lintner’s wife Hseng Noung hails from Shan State of Burma. They have a daughter who lives now in Sweden.
Lintner also opined that the result of the Myanmar polls would have little impact on the activities of north-east Bharateeya militants inside Burma, where they were hiding for years with inherent supports from China and creating troubles in north-east Bharat. According to the scholar, the Burmese Army would never disturb the foreign armed militants in their soil, as they have less resources and more precisely they are not interested in them with little political will. -NJ Thakuria