(Yesterday, Burma Review received following opinion of one of the Burmese readers as a non-violent strategy to restore genuine democracy in Burma. And, after much deliberation, to seek & establish freedom of thought on Burma’s democratic agenda, Burma Review is publishing this opinion to receive other reader’s comment and reaction on it.) 

By: Maung Sit Naing 

One of the world’s renown  psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow (April 1, 1908 –  June 8, 1970) contended in his pioneering research – “A Theory of Human Motivation”, that as humans meets ‘basic needs’, they seek to satisfy successively ‘higher needs’ that occupy a set of hierarchy known as “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs”. It is often depicted as a pyramid consisting of five levels. The lowest level, at the bottom of the pyramid, consists of eating, drinking, sleeping and reproduction. The Second level belongs to the Security and health.  The friendship and sense of belonging / acceptance by others and supportive family are included in the third level .The fourth level contains needs to be respected, to have self – esteem/respect, to gain a sense of contribution and to have recognition and fame. People who are deprived of the needs of third and fourth levels would feel loneliness, social anxiety and depression.  Those who reach the fifth and highest level seek knowledge and become creative, can appreciate their lives with high degree of humanity and morality.   

In view of the current turmoil in Burma, the strongest blow one can make against the military circle would be to hit them hard at the heart of their needs. At present, the military junta and their associates can easily fulfils the needs of the lower two levels. We therefore need to deprive them of the opportunity to satisfy the needs of third level and above. To do that all, Burmese people (including Burmese living outside of Burma) are recommended to take following actions:  

  1. Avoid socializing with any body associated with the military regime by not inviting them or accepting their invitations on religious and social occasions.

  1. The Burmese ladies are earnestly requested to reject the marriage proposals of military personnel and their associates. This action will also deprive them of the opportunity to fulfill a part of the first level needs, namely reproduction.

There is a group of people in Burma who earn living by digging graves in cemeteries. They are called, in Burmese, “Sandarlahs”. In old days, even some of those who were fortunate enough to become rich sometimes had difficulty in finding a suitable marriage partners due to the fact that such a marriage was considered by some inauspicious or ill-fated. They were effectively ostracised. Although this practice is no longer very much prevailing in the country, majority of Burmese people are aware of it. The writer does not condone such unfair practice but just to highlight it as an example. In short, Sandalahs are harmless, innocent and do not deserve to be treated in such a manner but the military personals and their associates do deserve it. Let us redirect such treatments to the Burmese military circle.  

The recent announcement of the President of the United States, that the Burmese military personnel and their families would be denied visa to visit United States can also be considered in line with the above tactics.  

What the Buddhist monks are doing by refusing the offering and donations from the military families exactly hit them in the hearts of their needs of the third and fourth level.  It is now Burmese people’s turn to follow the suite and hit them hard. Deprive them of their needs. It is a kind of peaceful and passive movement. Let the future mothers of Burma lead this passive resistance.     

(The End)


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