I will tell the real truth (21)

(1) When we were young, we thought it took very long for a year to pass. It was a long wait for New Year or Thingyan (Myanmar New Year). Now that I have aged, a year is so fast. The trip is long, yet the way back is short. It is natural. Our days are passing without our notice. Now 2015 is here. (2) It has been two years my father had passed away. I still thought it was yesterday. I still remember the time he died. December 2nd marked two year anniversary of his death. Last year, we made a donation in Tipittaka monastery in my father’s memory. However, I could not be there this year as I was in Naypyitaw facing a trial. This only makes me miss him more. It was half pass four when I had arrived Singapore where my father was hospitalized. He drew his last breathe between six to seven o’clock. As he laid dying, he had a worried look and wanted to say something. He was struggling to say something. But he later calmed and concentrated to Dhamma (Buddhist Teachings) before passing away. I did not understand what he wanted to say and I never will. All I know is he wanted to speak to me. He was worry about me. There were reasons to make him worry. I had had a conversation with my father a couple months before he died. He asked how would I continue my works, and said that I have dangers. It seemed he had realized his time was coming. He never admitted his pains and sufferings. He wished to fight until the last breathe. How will I continue? ‘2015 is a turning point for all of us and very important for our country. Therefore, I am ready for whatever the hardships 2015 is bringing. I feel responsible. I can no longer avoid my responsibility as I am now responsible for the wellbeing of my country.’ That was my answer to my father. The decision I had made. He did not reminded me that I was in my fifties, that I was no longer a youngster, that I had heart disease, that I might die if imprisoned, that my children were still young, that I was already rich, nor that I should retire to a peaceful life. He knew I never change a decision I made. He knew I would not let 2015 fly away since it may be the last opportunity for a real change. That was why he said only one thing: to stay and abide the teachings of Buddha no matter the hardships, to be careful and to concentrate fully in present. The words were my father’s last gift. I still remember. Now that I am in hard times, I recall the words. (3) My decision is strong. 2015 is the last chance for us, for our country, and ultimately for next generations. Your generation that include 45 to 70 year-olds including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is X Generation. Some of us were born before Ne Win’s coup some were born under Ne Win’s iron fist. We grew up under the regime of the strongman. We saw first-handed how the dictatorial regime ruined our country and how hard we strived against the dictatorship to develop the country. Sacrifices were and are still made. Next year is our last chance to pass down our experiences and struggles against the authoritarian regime to next generations. The second generation is Y Generation made up with 20 to 45 year-olds. The lived under oppressive regime and studied in repressive education system. They work in foreign countries. They lack political awareness. Soon the generation will reach their prime time. However, they will have weaker fighting spirit as a result of having little or no political sentiments. Yet they are learning and opening. They will soon be educated thanks to freer media environment and information technology. Time is coming fast for them to ripe. The third generation can be called Z Generation and is under 20s including my sons. They are in time to rise up with strong fighting spirit. 2015 is where these three generations meet. If there is no peaceful transition in 2015, the country will face dangers of falling into pieces or worse dictatorship. New authoritarian elements are rising. We will be facing the worst forms of dictatorship. That is why 2015 is essential. Will the country change just like Indonesia? If so, a country that peacefully changed to democracy from military dictatorship will modernize faster. Faster than communist countries. Indonesia and South Korea are greatest examples. Therefore, our country still have this chance. We had similar opportunities in 2011 and 2012. Yet the country is now going backward. The neo-dictatorial elements are doing everything to hold on to their powers: plaguing the country, destroying the future of the country, and ruining the future of the youths. They are trying to cheat on the upcoming elections. Trying to suspend it. If all failed, they will stage civil disturbance that will lead to another military coup. I cannot let the handful of people put the country in chaos. (4) As a journalist I have the responsibility to let the people know the truth. I am responsible to say what the people deserve to know. According to my reliable sources, heads of previous military junta, Than Shwe and Maung Aye, are not included in the neo-dictatorial groups. Secondly, most of the current military leaders including Commander-In-Chief Ming Aung Hlaing are not part of the groups. Likewise, the leaders and former leaders of the USDP are also excluded from the neo-dictatorial forces. The military is preparing a systematic retreat following Indonesia’s example. That is Exit Strategy set by Than Shwe. Similarly, USDP will try to win the election or form a coalition government if they fail to form their own. Thus said, they will not lead the country into chaos. The military will firmly hold onto their principle of having parliamentary representation, not drag the country into oblivion. On the other hand, a handful of people are trying to revive dictatorship in fear of their wrongdoings being made public. That was what Ne Win did. In 1988, Ne Win could have transferred the ruling power, yet challenged the public saying ‘it (the military) does not fire into the air to scare’. That marked the downfall of his oppressive regime. He threatened the whole country before stepping down. In the wake of his fall, he appointed Sein Lwin president to torture the public further. After administrations of Sein Lwin and Dr. Maung Maung, he used General Saw Maung through Brigadier General Khin Nyunt to stage a military coup. Saw Maung’s ending was also not a pleasant one. His name remains as a stain in the history. The events from 1988 must not repeat in 2015. (5) What should happen in 2015 is to form a true civilian government through free and fair elections after a compromise on constitutional amendment. Even though article 436 is a constitutional debate, it actually is a political issue. Conservatives should explain why they do not wish to change it. And there should be discussions on changing other articles: for instance, reducing military representation to 20 percent of the parliamentary seats as oppose to 25 percent. The main goal of 2015 general elections is to form a true civilian government through free and fair elections. Only then, the country will be on the path of openness and development like Indonesia and South Korea. (6) I am not one who prefers confrontation nor seek revenge. Not one with a grand political or economic ambition. I am not a hero and I do not wish to be one. I am not one full neither of courage nor without fear. But I am one with a strong decision. I take accountability for my decision. I am ready to face any pressure for ensuring a change in 2015. What I want to say to the president about 2015 is to look back to the decent records and to not repeat Ne Win gruesome history. We the people that suffered different oppressions, the generations that lost future are not trapped in the corner. I want to remind the president to not extinguish the hope of the people and stop the injustice. Moreover, I want to urge the Commander-In-Chief to elude from political powers and consent some constitutional changes in 2015 so as to fulfill the people’s desire while being careful of not following Gen. Saw Maung’s fate. Last but not least, I wish the people to be able to make a strong decision to ensure a positive change in 2015 no matter what the danger is.