A New Year Round Robin from Myanmar 2018

In April a bridge over the Salween in Mon State was named General Aung San Bridge, despite the opposition from Mon people. In July two Aung San statues were erected in a park the size of a football pitch in South Okkalapa in Yangon by two rival political groups. Today he begins to resemble retired Generalissimo Than Shwe. His organization, the Mabatha (the Patriotic Association of Myanmar), was banned in May, but has reemerged as the Buddha Dhamma Charity Foundation, just in time to chip in for the Rakhine crisis. She now wants to go to Singapore to work as a housemaid to help mother, but, alas, the ban imposed on Myanmar women going abroad to work as maids means that we now have to entrust her soul to a human trafficker. That would serve well to remind any skeptic of the un-contestable legacy of the architect of Myanmar’s independence. Solved murders turned out to be murder-suicides — case closed. No matter what Bono or Bob Geldof say, the Myanmar people will never unlove the pooh-bah Mother Suu. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is irreplaceable. Jet Ni’s teenage sister Mya May has quit school. The most distressing news of the year of course is the Rohingya exodus since August. Filling stations are as ubiquitous as General Aung San statues. Retired Lieutenant General Aung Win Khaing, the key suspect in the high-profile assassination of the NLD lawyer U Ko Ni in January, remains at large. Long live Mother Suu! They are all Rohingya today! We found no point in making a complaint. After General Aung San, it took 70 years [for us to have a leader like Daw Aung San Suu Kyi]. How can Jet Ni whinge about his land loss? In Myanmar we all know that General Aung San’s favorite verse, Kipling’s “If,” is also Mother Suu’s favorite. Shwe Mi has tested HIV positive and her family, under pressure from the community, has expelled her from the village. The Rakhine teachers would always sit Jet Ni and his kalar classmates in the back rows. When in primary school in Sittwe in Rakhine, Jet Ni was often derided as a Bengali kalar. Jet Ni has several relatives in Rakhine, on both sides of the conflict. We lived in our own ghettos in Sittwe, which were burned down in the 2012 pogrom. As you know Jet Ni’s mother’s life has been hanging by a thread since she was diagnosed with cervical cancer a few years ago. The loser of the year is the hate-speech master Abbot U Wirathu, who was banned from preaching for one year in March. Of course Jet Ni’s personal problems are nothing, compared to what his country is facing toward the end of the year. 2017 has been yet another year of mad tidings from Myanmar. Bullying was routine. She now looks like an Angelina Jolie who has been on a year-long fruit juice diet. The celebrity of the year is British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who was caught on camera reciting Rudyard Kipling’s orientalist verse “The Road to Mandalay” at Shwedagon in September. Most of Jet Ni’s classmates who remained in Rakhine are now either in the IDP camps or in the refugee camps in Bangladesh. Such is the hostility in Rakhine. Amid opposition from locals, General Aung San statues were unveiled in Mon State and Kachin State early this year. The good news is that, for the first time in history, the Myanmar government is receiving the return of billions of Kyat from over-budgeted development projects. With loads of Metta for the year ahead,
Jet Ni (Kyak Ni)
Hotel Zone 24 (formerly Gyobingone Village)
Myanmar (formerly Burma)
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Jet Ni is a character created by ko ko thett. In Sagaing, Jet Ni has seen a family of beggars who owns a scooter, albeit a tattered one. JANUARY 22, 2018

A SUPER AUSPICIOUS Mingalar New Year to dear, dear friends of Myanmar! Jet Ni was lucky to have left Rakhine before the 2012 pogrom. Jet Ni still answers the door at Mingalar Hotel, which, you might recall, was built on the land seized from Jet Ni’s peasant father. Perhaps the mumbling-bumbling Johnson was simply remembering Mother Suu’s all-time favorite poet? Good news is that General Aung San, the biopic project, which had been stalled because too many auteurs were involved in the same film, will be resumed in 2018. 2017 saw General Aung San statues multiplying like Myanmar beer joints all over the place. Long live the UN! Reiterating the report in India, when 22 children died after receiving the vaccine in 2006, the WHO investigation maintains that the children’s deaths had nothing to do with the inoculation, but everything to do with their preexisting health conditions, which were unknown to the medics who administered the vaccine. The recent arrest of two Reuters reporters for stealing state secrets sounds like a set-up, as the state secrets were handed to them by the state police themselves. Shalfi, who had lost most of his assets to “the Burmese Way to Socialism” in 1979. All of Jet Ni’s income goes into mother’s treatment. To the dismay of the locals, he is running for the office again in 2018. ¤
Banner Image by DYKT Mohigan. Don’t expect any newcomer to replace Daw Aung San Su Kyi!”
In the year when a headline read “Up to 150 Children Under Five Die Each Day in Aung San Suu Kyi’s Myanmar,” the WHO and the Myanmar Ministry of Health declared the Japanese Encephalitis mass immunization campaign a success — only five children have died from adverse reaction to the vaccine out of a five-million target. Jet Ni shall no longer dwell on father’s suicide six years ago, following the seizure of our farmland. What should Jet Ni do? Absolutely yes — when President Trump and all the living presidents of the United States are in the dock for the genocide of the Native Americans, slavery, Vietnam War, and all other atrocities elsewhere in the world, committed in the name of freedom and the war on terror. To top all that off, the parliament has also approved General Aung San images to be printed on future Myanmar currency notes. As such, it would be apt to end this round robin with the following lines:
If you can meet with Trump and Disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son! Loving Mother Suu means loving her father General Aung San. Should Mother Suu face Rohingya genocide charges? Long live Mother Suu! Jet Ni’s cousin Shwe Mi, the Zhang Ziyi lookalike, who was walking the streets of Mong La, a Myanmar town owned up by China, came back this summer. And yet fuelization of the economy has invaded even the most impoverished regions in Myanmar. When asked if the NLD has thought of an heir to Mother Suu in an interview with a Myanmar journal, the NLD’s most-cheerful Uncle U Win Htein made it absolutely clear: “Of course not. Development is as slow and scenic as a ride in a Yangon Water Bus. The exodus wasn’t the first, nor will it be the last. Compare Jet Ni’s situation with that of a local administrator in Mawlamyine, who was found flaunting two national identity cards in 2015. Let Jet Ni remind you that U Ko Ni was taken out not because he was a Muslim, but because he was an ardent detractor of the 2008 Constitution, which, among other things, offers impunity to the Burmese generals. We were not supposed to outshine Rakhine classmates. “Motorized poverty,” we call it, and more than a third of all Myanmar denizens, not including the Rohingya population, now live in motorized poverty, which is way smoggier than absolute poverty. Even the UN headquarters in Yangon sits on property owned by the Burmese Muslim businessman Mr. Long live Myanmar children who have survived the vaccine! It was extremely difficult to get a national identity card for Jet Ni, until he bribed the authorities Kyat two lakh in 2010 so he could travel outside Rakhine. Jet Ni hesitates to write this, but write he must. What about Jet Ni’s life? Transitional societies are known to have pulled down the old statues, but here in Myanmar we are over-building new ones! The apartheid has been very, very real for us all along. No one can do her job. In keeping with the custom, the Myanmar Tatmadaw Artillery Unit had pounded four times at the Kachin Independence Army Headquarters at Laiza on Christmas Eve, seriously wounding a schoolteacher. Long live General Aung San! Most of the crimes remain unsolved in this country. Jet Ni is hoping they pick the World War II–era image of General Aung San in Japanese army garb, wielding a samurai sword with both hands over his head, as if he was about to chop off someone’s head. This has yet to happen in the civil society sector, where the millions of dollars of excess cash are carefully ironed out by chartered accountants. However, the main actor, the Aung San lookalike who had been picked by Mother Suu herself, has gained weight in recent years. In September, one of Jet Ni’s aunts, a Buddhist from Myebon in northern Rakhine, was accused of selling supplies to “Bengalis.” A mob beat her up, shaved her head, and hung a board with “Traitor of the Nation” written on it around her neck, before parading her around town. And yet a group of interlopers calling themselves Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, waging jihad, is there to fan the fire of Islamophobia.