There once was a mother who had seven little kids. One day she had to go into the wood to fetch food for her beloved kids, so she told her children not to let anyone in the house except her and to beware of the wolf that had hoarse voice and black paws may come in disguise. Not long after she left, there was a knock at the door and the voice called out that it was their mother returned and she had brought a goody for each of children. The children heard the rough voice and taunt the wolf saying that that they knew it was the wolf. The wolf left and went to a shop and ate a lump of chalk, which apparently softened his voice. Anyway, the wolf returned with a nice soft voice and called for children again and again, promising the goodies. Unfortunately for the wolf, the children saw his paws on the window sill and they cried out they would not let him in because of his black paws.
The wolf left again and went to a baker and, asked a miller to make his paws white. The wolf then returned and told the children that he was their mother returned from wood and the children heard the sweet voice and saw the white paws and they opened the door. They finally realized their terrible mistake when the wolf barged in to eat all up. The story tells us that constant vigilance is a must and the wolves are always wandering to devour us at any cost.
Fifteen years ago, there was a remnant armed group of Burmese Communist Party called Mongkoe Defense Army (MDA) that controlled some part of northern Shan State in China –Burmese border area. Soon after the group reached a ceasefire deal with Government , the group would financially benefit from lucrative business deals under the pretext of regional development .The leaders of that group said to have the cozy relation with a former General who used to be the second most powerful man and notorious military intelligence chief in Burma. When the group split up into two factions due to the power struggle or internal dissension among leadership, Burmese military intelligent personal would mediate between two parties by facilitating a venue in order to resolve their differences on the table. Since the tentative location was inside the government controlled area, both factions were allowed no weapons with them. Before finishing their meeting, a group of masked gunmen stormed the room and shot all participants to death. Since then, the group and its leaders disappeared from the list of ceasefire groups. The incident proved that having reckless optimism rather than cautious approach toward the enemy would pay deadly price. It also highlighted the fact that longtime foe will never become trustworthy friend overnight.
It is sickening to see some ethnic leaders selling the agenda of military government and campaigning for the option of piece meal deal. The ceasefire followed by development will appease the aspiration of ethnic people and eventually gain the political equality they have been longing for over 60 years is a silly hypothesis. If the interest of general public is overwhelmed by the personal interest of their leaders, then it will be recipe for the “downfall”. History had shown us that any revolution without public support faced the fiasco. The rhetoric of ceasefire and development sound good but it is actually a bait decorated by juicy faked meat. KIO’s 17 year ceasefire is a good example for anyone who rushes to ink nationwide ceasefire without the affirmative action. Since the so called development actually developed the land confiscation, arbitrary arrest, deforestation, rape, mass killing, mushroom military posts, not to mention drug addicts, the support of Kachin public to KIO/KIA down to near zero during 17 years ceasefire period. A handful of cronies and government’s militias were enjoying the gravies of so called ‘development projects’ whereas Kachin public was swimming in a turbulent sea of adversity.
Heeding the constitutional amendment of United Nationalities Federal Union (UNFC) rather than government’s 2008 constitution which do not guarantee for ethnic political future would be kind of idiocy. In fact, there will be no genuine federal system in Burma, unless 2008 constitution is completely amended or redrafted.
Now is critical time for us to take collective action in order to dig out the root cause of the decade long civil war in Burma and get out of the spell of wicked witch. Since we have been dealing with the most cunning people on earth, we all have to hold fast our hand and speak in harmony, otherwise we all will end up living in the hell forever. So, here is what a general turned president Eisenhower once said, “A people that value its privileges above its principles will soon lose both.”