Published on Thursday, 18 October 2012 06:00
Minn Lwin (Ahnakala), a member of a political student organisation, writes in this article the way forward for Myanmar’s youth.
I was shocked to read a news report on the website of Eleven News Journal, which reads, “An angry and reckless group of young people came back in motorbikes and beat up a government night guard and other people at the Inya Lake embankment in Kamayut Township of Yangon, after the guard asked them to leave the place past midnight, the time when it’s off limits.”
In our country, who is in authority?
If we are to link this issue with the concerned body, with much regret, we might look to the Committee for Rule of Law and Stability chaired by Aung San Suu Kyi.
The above case is in fact a criminal case. In every country, either democratic or autocratic, there is no leniency towards crime. Autocratic regimes or democratic governments never tolerate crime. Existing laws are there to handle such matters, and aid victims in their grievances. There are many reasons to reflect on.
Since the formation of the Committee for Rule of Law and Stability, crime cases and offences have been on the rise. The violations and wrongdoings were committed not by single person, but by large and small groups, posing challenges to the community. In this backdrop, it could be assumed that there might be a hidden agenda behind such felonies committed in groups.
If one asks whether the Myanmar people want democracy, the answer would be that 99 per cent of the population wants democracy. However, some may abhor democracy in their inner hearts.
I would like to offer a paradigm from the logistic subject taught at the Yangon Institute of Technology. On the right side, there was “A” and on the left side there was “B”. There was a conflict between “A” and “B”. Those who support “A” stood on the side of “A”, while the supporters of “B” did the same. It was found that the supporters were in three rows behind “A” and “B”. When the people in the last row were asked whom they were supporting, they replied that they support neither “A” nor “B”. It could be observed these people are not taking sides, but they compose a large group and they could trigger disturbances.
Now is the time for the government to forge ahead with democracy, and it must keep up with the required speed. People in the country know President Thein Sein and Suu Kyi are hand in hand endeavouring with strong will for the good of the country.
Whether the hidden agenda is to frustrate the government’s efforts or whether the misdemeanour is purely based on the traits and characters of the Myanmar youth, mob violence would paint a bad image. At a time when the international community is eyeing developments in the country, such incidents of outrage would badly tarnish the nation and diminish the dignity of the citizens.
There are two to the rule of law, namely the authorities who implement laws and the citizens follow and respect laws.
If incident similar to Inya Lake would continue, who will protect and safeguard the nation? (Revoking and rescinding unjust and impractical laws is another matter to be considered separately).
I would like to offer some advice to the youth who are thinking of committing wrongdoings.
There were accusations that during the years of autocratic rule, almost all matters were decided and acted on based on emotions and at whim. Moreover, there were charges of lawless acts done by the repressive regime. During those years, the people were performing their obligations withal their heart and soul, striving for a democratic nation. Now, will the youth do the same and act based on emotions like the dictators? Will they keep on committing crimes? I would like to urge them not to disturb the rule of law.
Today’s youth will become adults soon. It does not necessarily mean they will come of age, be matured and grow with a sense of calm and wisdom. But that is what I wish for them.
There were 30 young people involved the Inya Lake incident. Had the number of scoundrels been down to only one or two, I would not pose these questions. I would like to ask the rest of the youth, how did we benefit with the beating up of a guard at Inya Lake?
I believe that the youth born and brought up in Myanmar will surely love the country. The future of the country lies on the shoulder of the youth, even those involved in the incident.
Violence must be avoided. No foreign guest will dare come to the country, and the elders in the country will have no place to run and hide. A rowdy group of 25 to 30 could not affect 60 million people in the country. But if such untoward incidents happen frequently, then the people, including the foreign guests, would be worried about their safety.
When we were very young, we were told that an ugly killer who will shave our head was roaming on the street, so we did not dare to go out of the house. That is the mindset of Myanmar people. But are we losing the soft-hearted, highly cultured and passionate characteristics of the Myanmar people?
Are we all to rot in jail for a bad fish?
I don’t want to discuss about such things at a time when we are heading for democracy. I am very sad about this incident.
What were the young people involved thinking? First of all, for sure, the family members are worried. Are they part of a mob or gang out for money or did they just do it for fun?
During the Saffron Revolution in 2007, the upheaval of the Buddhist monks against the military regime, the die-hard thugs of the suppressive government beat and hit the monks. Today’s youth should not emulate these immoral acts.
These rowdy thugs are not imported from the foreign countries. They are bred in the country.
Now, the anarchist acts are not imported, but available inside the country, for which my heart is heavy even to think about it.
I am writing this opinion to urge the youth to be away from committing crimes and breaching laws, to be free from committing violence, and to shun away from a bad culture, and for the parents and the people to come together to cooperate for this cause for the good of the youth and the country.
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