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Questions from a curious citizen of
- Subject: Questions from a curious citizen of
- From: nin@xxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 05:59:00
Subject: Questions from a curious citizen of Europe
The following is the curious questions from an ordinary citezen of Europe.
It shows an interest in Burma and hope you all enjoy sharing it.
With metta and solidarity,
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 11:49:24 +0100 ()
To: *** from Europe
Subject: Re: ReReReReReReReRe: Good morning!
Your questions........I will try my best to answer.
Q> Are you a Karen national?
Q> What is the major difference between a Karen and a Burmese?
Source of origin of the blood line.
Q> Or is a Karen a Burmese? Or Karen and Burmese are distinct nationalities?
No. Yes and No. The answer depends on what
time-span we are talking.
The people of Burma are of Mongoloid stock and derive from three
main branches: Tibeto-Burman, Mon-Khmar and Tai-Chinese.
(1)The Tibeto-Burman group includes the Burmese and Proto-Burmese, Kachin,
Karen, Kaya, Chin and Lolo. The Burmese and Proto-Burmese include the Burmese,
Zi, Lashi, Maru, Hpon, Danu, Taungyo, Intha, Yaw, Chaungtha, Arakanese, Tavoyan,
Merguian, Anaultha, Myauktha and Zabein.
(2)The Mon-Khmer includes Mon, Palaung, Wa, La, Riang.
(3)The Tai-chinese includes Shan, Hkun, Lu, Lao, Shan-Tayoke,
It is impossible to mention more than a few of the races, for
Burma is an anthropologists' paradise. (It says in the book)
We have 135 ethinic groups according to another author.
Note: These data are refered to the book I got from the library of
International Institute of Social Study, The Hague. Theories and
data usually differ from one historian/author to another. Besides,
I am not a historian but a book warm :-) Please don't expect much
Q> Now you see how ignorant I am.
.. :-) Then read Burmanet :-)
Q> Karen must be different in some respect since they fight the Burmese
> for some reason. Why do they fight? Why not just trade?
They fight for the fairness, equality and self-determination. Of course
they want to trade, BUT with the fairness. You can never trade fairly unless
you get your self-determination.
Q> Why is it such a big problem if one city, which happens to be
> Burmese, plays the role of the cultural and trade center of a
> whole geographic entity, a self-contained region inhabited by
> many nationalities?
It is the relay of the combination of power, know-how, mentality,
knowledge, business acquaintances and spirit from one generation
of Burmese( mostly military and its relatives) to the next. Its a
vicious circle of handling power. Please bare in your mind that there
are good Burmese and bad Burmese. Good Burmese do not approve the
acts of bad Burmese.
Q> It is only natural.
If the nature is just that "might is right", yes it is natural. But it is
an systematic abuse if you look at it other way around.
Q> Why do they insist on a "Shan State" for example?
Because it is their land. They claim righteriously. They want to do what
is good for themselves and for their own people. They don't want
to be told by the Burmese who possess the-Great-Burmese-mentality
such as "We know what you need!". They know perfectly well what they need
and what is good for them etc. etc.
Q> There are certain self contained
> geographic entities, which develop a cultural and commercial
> center as a matter of course. They constitute an equilibrium
> by doing so. The region and its center belong together. They
> are unable to survive without each other. One country can
> contain more than one such entities, but cannot be a country
> without being a whole entity. There is an exaple close by:
> Vietnam is made up of two such entities. Nepal is not a whole
> one. If China would not have taken it, India would. Now China
> is slowly integrating Northern Burma into its commercial channels.
> That means a new entity will take form, and it will converge
> towards China.
Facts concerning these hypothesis or logic (if I may call) are (almost all)
taken into account in the Draft Constitution of the Federal Union of Burma
produced by NCUB, National Council of the Union of Burma.
Q> It is high time to stop all the fighting in Burma.
Everybody said so. It is always very convenient to say such a nice word.
Q> I know it is hard to stop, since always the other party has to do it first.
No need. We can do it at the same time by putting trust on each
other, through dialogue. No need for only one party(perhaps weaker in arm
forces) should lay down the arms first! This way of thinking reflects
incompetent, mistrust and insecure manner. Eg. The Slorc asks other
parties to lay their arms down before the cease-fire talk. What
does it mean?
I hope this answers all your questions.
a Burmese (but a good one)