Written by U Ne Oo on 1997-06-12
Australian's fighting-spirit help Burmese causeFollowing is a letter from my long-time Australian friend who living in Sydney, Australia (Name and Address suppressed for good reason). In the world and so also is in Australia, the governments seek to promote national self-interests as a priority, while the so-called NGOs tend to look, firstly, for "What's it in for us?" (Not all NGOs, of course, are of this type.) In such atmosphere of a self-interest driven world, it is to be acknowledged that the fighting-spirit of this Australian being truly selfless and extraordinary. I have taken the liberty to broadcast his letter on BurmaNet NOT ONLY to inspire our friends around the world, BUT ALSO to "SHAME" those Burmese who took refuge and comfort in Australia and elsewhere and then failing to take part in any action on Burma. Those indifferent-Burmese in Australia, perhaps, will have their moments of truth in discovering theirselves when a Boat-load of Burmese refugee hitting the coast of Australia.
With best regards, U Ne Oo.
* FAIR-DINKUM (an australian-english word) = genuine
A letter from Australian friend
Thank you for the material you have been sending me. I have put this to good use sending copies of selected items to my colleague in the United States who use material that I send him to lobby members of congress.
Unlike you I did not congratulate Alexander Downer for allocating 1.8 million dollars more to help Burmese refugees. I regard this as just another example of the sort of band aid diplomacy that is part of the foreign policy of this government. It is no use helping to pick up the pieces. It is necessary to address the cause. The cause is long years of military totalitarian rule in Burma, mismanagement and corruption.
I have attacked the Australian government, and in particular the Minister for foreign affairs for lacking the courage to stand up to the SLORC, and I have stated that in my opinion the department of foreign affairs is morally bankrupt.
As you are no doubt aware I have first hand knowledge of human rights violations in Burma having penetrated more deeply into the black areas of Burma than any other Australian to obtain this evidence which has been accepted by the United Nations as evidence against Burma. As I feel that the present Australian government is unlikely to take strong action over Burma I have been concentrating on getting action through the United States and the EC nations. I have contacts in many places and am only restricted by lack of funds being on a pension and having by and large spent all my savings on trips to Burma etc.
I shall continue to fight tooth and nail until the people of Burma including the many different ethnic groups achieve their object or at least a measure of democracy.
I hope that I shall be able to meet with you one of these days as I would be interested in having a frank discussion with you.
I hope to be able to travel to Canberra for the usual 8/8 demonstrations outside the Burmese embassy in Canberra and meetings with the members of other groups.
The Reply --
Dr U Ne Oo
48/2 Ayliffes Road
ST MARYS SA 5042
June 12, 1997.
Thank you so much for your letter of 29/5. I am also very happy to hear that my communications, in some way, have been helpful to you in assisting our campaign for freedom and democracy for people of Burma.
I am very much encouraged and very appreciative of your determination to help us despite a lack of funds and resources. This kind of fighting spirit of yours is lending a great moral support to us. Such support from grassroots individuals is most important, I believe, in sustaining our democracy movement.
I myself is also in the same struggle about lack of resources. Being a Burmese refugee in Australia and basically unemployed since 1993 - that was the year I have completed my degree - to stay in the struggle is a struggle itself, to say the least. However, as I have a great faith in the cause for democracy in Burma, and held a belief that I, as a Burmese national, must do the best of my ability to help furthering the cause; I just keep moving forward. I must also say that the commitment and actions by Australians such as your's have always been good inspiration to me.
Fortunately though, for me there has been ways to communicate with our pro-democracy groups around the globe with little cost. As you may know, the E-mails and Web-pages technologies have certainly been helping us - though we cannot count much on security of the communication - in dissemination efforts. I however still use the snail-mail (normal post-mail) as a secured-form of communication.
I have enclosed some communications/discussions regarding various matters relating to Burma. Most of my writings and works were summarised in my personal Web-pagehttp://netipr.org/~uneoo
Please do not hesitate to visit My house (of which I often claimed as a "Burmese Refugee Camp in Australia") in Adelaide if you happened to be in South Australia. For any matter please feel free to contact me in Adelaide.
(U NE OO)