Sustain-Able 余 : ♥ www.CeciliaYu.com

….wild is the wind…creative freedom is the seed….

(Updated 1 Jan 2014) Burma: Road from Mandalay is not so Romantic when you supported Aung San Suu Kyi in 1988!

1 Jan 2014: My friend from Mandalay in Burma will be going to the hospital to check for possible breast cancer. Please consider giving generously to Breast Cancer support charities on her behalf if the story of her courage and escape from an oppressive communist dictatorship moved you to stand up for those who cannot do so for themselves and oppose Communist dictators still killing and harming prolifically in the East and the West. 

BCA Campaign Image 2

My burmese friend’s photo taken of a young aung san suu kyi when she visited the Chin state (where my friend’s village was) before she was jailed at house arrest for decades! :p

A young Aung San Suu Kyi on a visit to the Chin State, Burma (c) www.ceciliayu.com, 2013

A photo of a young Aung San Suu Kyi, my refugee friend carried with her from Burma to India to England

My friend ended up as “anne frank” for 20 yrs because her village refused to stop supporting Aung San Suu Kyi….and well…oh…you know the story….now family in different country/different passport of the ones of her people who escaped!

My Burmese Friend’s story: Her Journey from Mandalay:

In 1988, my country had a nationwide protest. When I was a cloth trader living in the Chin (ethnic minority ) State in Burma. We used to go to the border between Burma and China to trade. One trip I made changed the course of my life. I came back from a trip to China and was staying at a hotel in Mandala on my way back to Rangoon. It was the moment of the 1988 protest. Overnight all our currencies devalued, suddenly from being able to go out to eat chinese food and staying at a hotel, all our paper money was worthless. We could not buy food. The hotel we stayed at, the hotel owner did not have enough money to buy food to cook in his restaurant. Suddenly all the students staying there and at all other towns in Burma, were stuck because their money were worthless and all of us woke up to the end of the world as we know it. We just stayed where we were, perplexed. Everything was shut down. A few days into the nationwide protest all students were ordered to go back to their home down under martial laws. They were just told to get home in the free transport provided at the risk of heavy penalty or death if they defied military law. 

Traditional costume of the chin minority people from burma…i’m like..i want a skirt..get me one!!! (c) www.ceciliayu.com 2013

Cloth of the Chin Minority People of Burma

I got involved in the protest because it was a way to get out of Mandalay, by using the free student transport so I could get home. When we travelled, there were lots of check-points by the military. We were all harassed and because I was travelling with the students but was not a student, I was under suspicion by the military.

When  I got back to the Chin State, to my home village, we were told to join the nationwide protest. We did. We were told in 1990, there will be an election. Aung San Sui Kyi came to see us at the Chin State and to talk to us about a possible future for Burma, different to this (what we knew!). We got involved.

By the time the election came and went, the military dictators ignored the election results and locked up Everyone involved who were elected. People were rounded up. We knew we were in trouble. There was no peace, no freedom. Life was going to be an endless time of fear and constant oppression. Anyone who had ever been involved risked being rounded up by the military. 

By 1992, Life was impossible. Our usual life of trading was  unendurable because of  the corruption of the military. What used to be  easy trading trips became like a black market. If we did not have enough money to pay the bribes to the military to get to our destinations or back, they did bad things to us. They did very bad things to the women. There was no freedom. There was no such thing as peace. Everything was controlled. No external media. No newspapers from outside. No news from anywhere. Everyone had to hide their pictures of Aung San Sui Kyi. Mentioning her name could get you into a lot of trouble. 

burma_map-mandalay

  Many many people ran away to India to refugee camps just to stay alive. I went     with them. I stayed there and continued to trade and try to make a living. But being there, being Burmese could also get you arrested and sent back to Burma where you will never find out what will happen to you. People just disappeared and was never heard about again or even talked about by their own family. We had to hide the fact that we were Burmese and picked out a living in the hope of getting enough money to get our refugee status.  There was still no peace and no freedom in India because there, being Burmese could still mean arrest and worse…

When I scrambled together enough money to pay an agent, I took a risk and tried to get to England as a political refugee. It was very difficult. It costed everything I ever had. It took a very long time for them to believe that I was really Burmese and not an Indian pretending to be a Burmese. I still couldn’t talk about Aung San Sui Kyi because I think people get sick of me so I learnt to keep quiet about such things and talk about more British things. Many were very kind but there was also a long time where I had to hide, just like in Burma, just like in India.

While Aung San Sui Kyi lived in-house arrest by the military dictators in Burma for the last 20 years, since 1990, my life since 1990 consisted of hiding and running….there has been no peace. There was a time when you knew in Burma, you did not know what will happen to you from one day to the next. You cannot be sure that people you see will be there tomorrow. In India, it was a lot of hiding and then in England, it was for a long time, endless waiting and wondering if I will go back to the life of endless fear.it all began in that moment, when stuck in Mandalay…I, like the other women from my village, did what we could to get home when all our money and hard work was worth nothing.

My friend told me her story while we watched this story about  Aung San Suu Kyi:

Who is Aung San Suu Kyi?

Aung San Suu Kyi MP AC (Burmese: ; MLCTS: aung hcan: cu. krany, /aʊŋˌsæn.suːˈtʃiː/,[2] Burmese pronunciation: [àʊɴ sʰáɴ sṵ tɕì]; born 19 June 1945) is a Burmese opposition politician and chairperson of the National League for Democracy (NLD) in Burma. In the 1990 general election, the NLD won 59% of the national votes and 81% (392 of 485) of the seats in Parliament. She had, however, already been detained under house arrest before the elections. She remained under house arrest in Burma for almost 15 of the 21 years from 20 July 1989 until her most recent release on 13 November 2010,[10] becoming one of the world’s most prominent political prisoners.
Suu Kyi received the Rafto Prize and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 1990 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. In 1992 she was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding by the government of India and the International Simón Bolívar Prize from the government of Venezuela. In 2007, the Government of Canada made her an honorary citizen of that country, the fourth person ever to receive the honour.[13] In 2011, she was awarded the Wallenberg Medal.

On 19 September 2012, Aung San Suu Kyi was also presented with the Congressional Gold Medal, which is, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honour in the United States.
On 1 April 2012, her party, the National League for Democracy, announced that she was elected to the Pyithu Hluttaw, the lower house of the Burmese parliament, representing the constituency of Kawhmu;her party also won 43 of the 45 vacant seats in the lower house.

The election results were confirmed by the official electoral commission the following day. Later in that year, she was criticized by some activists for her silence on the anti-Rohingya riots in Rakhine State. Suu Kyi is the third child and only daughter of Aung San, considered to be the father of modern-day Burma.

Aung_San_Suu_Kyi_nonviolence www.ceciliayu.com

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13 comments on “(Updated 1 Jan 2014) Burma: Road from Mandalay is not so Romantic when you supported Aung San Suu Kyi in 1988!

  1. lianpuichhing
    May 7, 2015

    Reblogged this on Lian Chhingpui and commented:
    This is my friend write about me .

    • ceciliawyu
      May 8, 2015

      Yes it is…i am so happy you finally found the courage to tell your story with your full name!!!!

  2. Pingback: My Accidental Social Entreprenuer Annual Report (2012-2013)! | Sustain-Able 余 : ♥ www.CeciliaYu.com

  3. Doutt
    March 5, 2013

    … the reason for such level of abuse must be made known to the world.

  4. Gopy for Canada Goose
    February 5, 2013

    great post, I am interesting in it. Hope we help Burma people. Stop bad ruler, you kill grass lift root must. Can you look english in goose site?

    • ceciliawyu
      February 5, 2013

      From Cecilia: Gopy, Do not use Google translate to translate directly from chinese idiom to english, it turns into jibberish. You mean: 斬草除根…as in if you have to get rid of the grass, you gotta kill the root! 🙂 I KNOW! Goodluck Canada Goose!

  5. I'm Jia also Canada Goose!
    February 5, 2013

    wonderful post, thank you for english correct to help Canada goose! I’m Jia also from Canada Goose! We do not like dictators too!

  6. Norimasa
    February 3, 2013

    Again, one strategy of peace is usually a lot more affordable than another if you are outside the country but again, her way is likely to last longer and be durable inside the country in the end, but what a tough way to pay for peace. 😦

    • ceciliawyu
      February 11, 2013

      I know, Norimasa. I know. Namaste for your insightful comment.

  7. Britteny Saunders
    January 28, 2013

    Is anyone else having this issue with this kind of ruthless dictators or is it an issue on my end? I know the world don’t like it when American army march in on places like Afghanistan and Iraq. But you read stuff like this and you gotta ask: Is this the alternative? A young kid put through 20 yrs of abuse over Nothing! I’ll check back later and see if there are other comments.

    • ceciliawyu
      February 1, 2013

      Dear Britteny, it is a complicated and complex issue. I think it is good that you see nuances. There is no absolute and only fascists and commies want to turn everything into an absolute “ism”. I pitty arseholes like that who after seeing so much overwhelming evidence STILL want to support dictators because in their insular, low IQ little lives they have no idea what it is like to even for 1 day live with this kind of oppression.

      I do not pretend to know. I am glad we both think about this issue. Yes it is so very hard to know what is right or wrong, but I tend towards Gandhi’s methodology, if nothing else one of the brightest minds in the world Einstein (yes god forbid a jew..that the commies and nazies both hate..probably because they hate all things they can’t understand which means they have to hate the world given their IQ level. Lol.) said of Gandhi:

      (in Einstein’s own words)

  8. helpinghow
    January 22, 2013

    Very sad, and inspiring story of a strong woman! Thank you for sharing this Cecilia! This gives hope to many to never, never, never, never give up! It’s wonderful to be enlightened by such strong and dedicated people! xoxo

    • ceciliawyu
      January 23, 2013

      Working in Asia as we both have on grassroot projects…we both know the asian tendency is to keep so much to themselves…I feel it is an honour to hear her story from a place of trust. Without trust….life is wasted. Thank you for your daily acts of compassion in Asia working with HOW. X Cecilia

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