My Family And Friends At Burma Essay

1109 Words Dec 18th, 2015 null Page
My family and friends in Burma are burning to vote. The national election this Sunday, Nov 8, will be the first chance for many of them to participate in a competitive (though deeply flawed) democratic election.

There’s a longing for change surging throughout Burma — and world-famous opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has succeeded in capturing this longing. This is true even in Arakan State, where sectarian conflict between Muslims and Buddhists has torn entire communities apart. Buddhist nationalist groups have criticized the Lady, as she is often called here, for being “too supportive of Muslims,” leading some observers to conclude that she would find little support from these communities. But all the same, thousands of Arakanese showed up at her rallies to offer the Lady a rapturous welcome.

Not even the threat of violence has deterred Burma’s voters.Not even the threat of violence has deterred Burma’s voters. Several sword-wielding assailants attacked and severely injured an opposition candidate last week, raising the possibility of further bloodshed. But ordinary Burmese have defied such fears, turning out in huge numbers to show their loyalty to Aung San Suu Kyi and her opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD).

I share their sense of hope. My training in political science demands that I construct scenarios and models as an “objective” researcher — but as a former activist who has been deeply involved in Burma’s democracy movement since 1988, I…

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