I took a break from the grueling studying to post this. In my breaks, I’ve been reading The River of Footsteps: Histories of Burma by Thant Myint-U. I’ll probably write up my reactions and thoughts on the book after I’ve finished reading it.
Anyway, the following is a small collection of messages (mostly from Flickr and one of my own) that are supposed to appeal to the masses in Burma.
“The Tatmadaw shall never betray national causes” billboard in Kentung, Shan State. Photo by immu.
“Love your motherland, respect the law” billboard in Nyaungshwe, Shan State. By michaelnewport.
“Tatmadaw and the people, cooperate, and crush all those harming the Union” banner in Mandalay. By me.
“People’s desire” billboard in Rangoon. By markku_a.
“People’s desire” billboard in Mandalay. By rmnl.
According to the government, the people’s desire(s) are:
- Oppose those relying on external elements, acting as stooges, holding negative views
- Oppose those trying to jeopardize stability of the State and progress of the nation
- Oppose foreign nations interfering in internal affairs of the State.
- Crush all internal and external destructive elements as the common enemy.
- ပ္ရည္ပအားကုိး ပုဆိန္ရုိး အဆုိးမ္ရင္ဝာဒီမ္ယားအား ဆန့္က္ယင္က္ရ။
- နုိင္ငံတော္ တည္င္ရိမ္*အေးခ္ယမ္းရေးန္ဟင့္ နုိင္ငံတော္တုိးတက္ရေးကုိ န္ဟောင့္ယ္ဟက္ဖ္ယက္ဆီးသူမ္ယားအားဆန့္က္ယင္က္ရ။
- နုိင္ငံတော္၏ ပ္ရည္တ္ဝင္းရေးကုိ ဝင္ရောက္စ္ဝက္ဖက္ န္ဟောင့္ယ္ဟက္သော ပ္ရည္ပနုိင္ငံမ္ယားအား ဆန့္က္ယင္က္ရ။
- ပ္ရည္တ္ဝင္းပ္ရည္ပ အဖ္ယက္သမားမ္ယားအား ဘုံရန္သူအဖ္ရစ္ သတ္မ္ဟတ္ခ္ယေမ္ဟုန္းက္ရ။
*‘Nyein’ as in ‘calm’. For some reason, that word doesn’t appear correctly.
I’ve noticed how pervasive these “desire(s)” are in online and print publications in Burma. From what I’ve heard, not even an Internet chatroom can get away without posting the “objectives”, “desire(s)” and “national causes” of the country. No publication would be complete or legal without this stamp of approval (namely the dictates of the government).
What is really the point when ordinary Burmese overlook and habituate themselves to the blaring posters, banners, and notices? To reinforce the notion that the government is inescapable and omnipresent.