I am a Burmese exile taking a near-permanent refuge in New York and Sydney. Here are my essays about Burma and anything else I feel like writing about. And posting the articles I like from selected sites. Bridging Burma to the world this Blog is more of a Politically-Oriented Literary Blog than a Plain News Blog or a Sophisticated Thoughts Blog.
Harn Yawnghwe & NCGUB: Ali Baba and Forty Thieves?
(Direct translation of Htun Aung Gyaw’s Ali Baba and Forty Thieves.)
The large-scale embezzlement of donors’ funds by the senior staff of DVB (Democratic Voice of Burma) basically highlighted the fact that a major house-cleaning for our community of Burmese democracy exile activists is urgently needed.
What DVB Board had done (The removal of Executive Director Aye Chan Naing and Deputy Executive Director Khin Maung Win, and the appointment of Harn Yawnghwe as Acting Executive Director) was akin to appointing the great robber Harn Yawnghwe in the place of the petty thief Khin Maung Win so that they will keep on stealing the donor funds off DVB.
This democratic struggle for Burma is quickly becoming a great opportunity to make a lot of money for a select group of Burmese Exiles who have been making a very good living out of our revolution.
Harn Yawnghwe who was once appointed by the NCGUB (National Coalition Government of Union of Burma) as their European Representative has been submitting many useless proposals to various European Governments and NGOs and then sharing with the NCGUB the millions of Euros donated by the European donors to implement his lame-duck proposals.
Back then he had never mentioned the word Transparency even once. As the sole European Representative of NUGUB he could even afford to send his children to the expensive boarding schools in Switzerland from his home in faraway Canada.
Only later when he blatantly betrayed his NCGUB bosses by founding and leading the ENC (The Ethnic Nationalities Council) with the European aid money and splitting the Burmese and the ethnic nationalities from Burma the NCGUB finally kicked him out.
But by cleverly and systematically cooking the books Harn Yawnghwe has so far continued receiving the European funds while NCGUB has been almost cut off from the funds as they had not much to show to their donors as improvements on the political front.
Harn Yawnghwe and corrupt NCGUB has never disclosed their true accounts on how much the donor funds are or how much their spending are to the suffering people of Burma as they do not dare to expose their extremely dirty laundry.
Dr. Sein Win, NCGUB PM.
Here, I would like to share with the readers a historically memorable speak of Sein Win the great leader of NCGUB. Once a young man in our meeting with NCGUB asked Sein Win how much money they get from the donors and how prudently they spend that money. I couldn’t even believe my own ears when Sein Win angrily and arrogantly let out as the reply to the surprised young man right in front of me.
“Who are you to ask me and why should we tell you that? Have you been giving us taxes? The Government explains their accounts to only the tax-payers. We answer only to the NGOs giving us money!”
But the gullible NGOs are still providing meager funds to NCGUB just to survive and Sein Win and his cohorts are still around to live off that measly aid money instead of terminating their useless and toothless old paper-tiger NCGUB.
On the other hand our Harn Yawnghwe as the founder of ENC is quickly becoming the behind-the-scene controller of various ethnic leaders and he is now spending the aid Euros like water. As some EU governments like Germany and France have started pushing for re-engagement with Burmese Government as a compromise to solve the political deadlock our once-staunchly-pro-sanctions Harn Yawnghwe has also changed his color.
He recently started calling for the lifting of sanctions and successfully invented another way to make money by cooperating with people like Ne Win Maung and Khin Zaw Win who are running the pro-Government NGOs inside Burma.
Now he is the acting Executive Director of DVB and basically he has fallen into a possible gold mine courtesy of Norwegian taxpayers and the American NED.
We will soon be seeing him replacing the DVB management with his trusted men like Khin Maung Win had done before him. Don’t be surprised when all Khin Maung Win’s men from Mae-sot are replaced by the ethnic nationalities close to Harn Yawnghwe.
DVB's Khin Maung Win.
When NCGUB sent Khin Maung Win from Camp Min-tha-mee near Mae-sot to DVB in Norway as the Deputy Executive Director he basically brought along many of his relatives and cohorts into DVB. Soon the people from both inside and outside Burma began to ridicule DVB for their announcers who could not even speak fluent Burmese (and English).
Since the beginning the DVB, unlike BBC and VOA and RFA, never has had necessary qualification check, voice check, and education check for its prospective employees as nepotism basically rules its recruitment process.
Famous writer and newspaper editor U Thaung (late Kyemon U Thaung) who was once a regular columnist for DVB was completely banned from DVB for his serious crime of criticizing NCGUB once. And they still call themselves An independent Burmese media organization committed to responsible journalism.
U Thaung himself personally confided in me of that harsh and unjust censorship from DVB. Anyone can confirm that by calling his surviving wife still living in Florida, USA.
Khin Maung Win became a member of ABSDF Central Executive Committee at the Second ABSDF Congress as the Secretary of the Information Department. After that Congress he took over the Congress minutes and photos and books from the old CEC. This was what he happily proclaimed while he was putting away them into a box.
“These are gold, one day this stuff will become gold!”
What he meant then was he would be making loads of money by selling them or publishing them in near future (when they take over Burma).
(Translator’s Notes: What a fool he was. Not just him but the whole ABSDF was fooling themselves during those days by blindly believing that they would be in power within two or three years. I met ABSDF’s so-called Foreign Minister Aung Naing Oo in Sydney in 1991 and I was thoroughly amazed by his proclamation to the Burmese Community in Australia that ABSDF together with Ethnic Rebels mainly KNU/KNLA would win the war in Burma by defeating the almost-half-a-million strong Burmese Army within two years.)
Khin Maung Win as the ABSDF Information Minister couldn’t really do anything significant and thus he stole the three articles written by me, The Philippines Election and The Nicaragua Elections and The Last Days of a Dictator, and labeled them Published by The ABSDF Information Department and used up the donated funds we had requested for the publication of those three articles.
He published and distributed those articles just before 1990 Elections in Burma and shamelessly claimed as his own works at a Meeting of ABSDF Central Committee right in front of me.
Another nasty job of Khin Maung Win was firing Htet Aung Kyaw (Win Htein), who is really strong in both writing and research and also Khin Maung Win’s old comrade from the same jungle camp on the Thai border, from DVB by using a minor budget cut as the reason.
Among the student warriors of ABSDF Htet Aung Kyaw was a rare man who could write articles fluently in both Burmese and English and who had been constantly writing. So why did Khin Maung Win kick him out of DVB?
Maybe Khin Maung Win had known very well that he doesn’t have same capabilities as Htet Aung Kyaw and he was afraid that Htet Aung Kyaw, who is from same locality as him and knowing him very well, would eventually expose him a fraud.
Khin Maung Win really has no adequate qualifications for the DVB job and he got the job simply because the NCGUB had picked him as their trusted man for their important money spinner DVB.
When ABSDF split into two factions namely Moe Thee Zun’s Faction and Dr. Naing Aung’s he took Dr. Naing Aung’s side and fought bitterly against Moe Thee Zun personally. He even banned Moe Thee Zun completely from DVB.
When he was in ABSDF he also served on the All Burma Lawyers Council and earned good money from both positions. And when he was appointed at DVB by NCGUB he had basically prospered.
NCGUB's Dr. Thaung Htun.
Dr. Thaung Htun from NCGUB was the man who together with NCGUB’s Sein Win in putting his own man Khin Maung Win at the Deputy Executive Director position of DVB. Dr Thaung Htun was also the same man who recruited traitor Dr. Zaw Oo, now the leader of Vahu Group (Vahu Development Institute), as the trusted NCGUB man and put him at the Burma Fund as the managing Director.
Anyone could clearly see how fraudulent Dr. Thaung Htun’s men are and it clearly highlighted the selfish role of NCGUB scum in slowly destroying our democratic revolution by constantly picking only the Yes Men (with no suitable qualifications) to spend and pocket the donor funds from American NED and the European Countries especially Norway.
DVB embezzlement is not just the sole responsibilities of its two executive directors Aye Chan Naing and Khin Maung Win but also the responsibilities of NCGUB Sein Win and Dr. Thaung Htun who had assigned them at the senior positions.
Vahu's Dr. Zaw Oo.
Thus in my opinion they all should honorably resign from their positions at the helm of our democracy activist organizations such as NCGUB and DVB. Not just temporary resignation and then the reassignments at their old positions. New faces with really good characters should be seen in both NCGUB and DVB.
Harn Yawnghwe also doesn’t deserve to be the Acting Executive Director of DVB. He has a reputation as the man who earns his living by putting a splitting-wedge between Burmese and the ethnics. He is also well known to be a man with no moral principles and who selfishly keeps on changing his colors to suit the situation so that he will always be financially beneficial.
We all democracy activists should be writing to DVB the protesting letters and emails not to appoint Harn Yawnghwe as the Acting Executive Director of DVB unless they want the grand embezzlement of the donors’ funds to be continued.
My last word for this article is about the catch phrase DVB keeps on saying recently that their DVB is a Neutral Media Organization. Are they out of their fucking mind? What they mindlessly claiming that they are neither on the democracy side nor the military Government side are basically an insult akin to exposing their tiny collective cock at all of us revolutionaries fighting for democracy in our Burma.
Htun Aung Gyaw.
The DVB is where it is now just because of our revolution and its existence must be for the benefits of our revolution. Now they are claiming that they are experienced journalists and they don’t have to be on the side of our revolution. Not even having a good feature article under their names these so-called Executive Directors of DVB claiming to be neutral is like shitting in the Lord’s room of our democracy-revolution’s house.
In other way they are shamelessly saying that they will work for their own self-interest after taking advantage of our revolution for so many years. Their so-called neutral stance is just like the goat’s testicles swinging freely from one thigh to another. What a disgusting policy DVB now has?
DVB just cannot replace the thieves with the robbers. DVB needs good men and real patriots. And all their expenditures require the transparency so that they couldn’t misuse the scarce donors’ funds secretly like they used to do in the past.
Htun Aung Gyaw,
P.S. Please telephone DVB Board Chairman Mr. Harald Bockman (Tel +47 9414 3838) and protest against appointing Harn Yawnghwe the Acting Executive Director of DVB.
(Now residing in USA Htun Aung Gyaw was the founder and the first Chairman of ABSDF and also a prominent student leader of 1974 U Thant Uprising in Rangoon.)