Burma/Myanmar: Revolution by a people´s army and a Silent strike?
The Burmese opposition radicalizes. The times of civil disobedience seem to be over. First there was a call for revolution.In his first video message to the population, the incumbent deputy chief of the underground goverment fromed after the coup called for resistance to the coup regime and spoke of revolution. Mahn Win Khaing Than said in his video posted on Facebook on Saturday evening, according to a translation by the AFP agency: “In order to shape a federal democracy that cares about all ethnic brothers who have suffered from various oppressions of the dictatorship for decades, this revolution is an opportunity, to bundle our efforts. ” The 63-year-old Christian from the Karen ethnic group, who was elected to the House of Lords for the National League for Democracy (NLD) by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in November, has been elected deputy head of the underground government by members of both chambers of parliament who have gone into hiding.
Now after the first attrocities of the Burmese military and its martial law the next step are ideas about an armed struggle and a people´s armyy:
“Myanmar’s besieged resistance dreams of ‘people’s army’ to counter junta
Protesters say their calls for serious international intervention have fallen on deaf ears, and warn that the struggle for democracy has entered a darker phase. Black flags flutter above makeshift barricades, signalling a willingness among the demonstrators to fight back, and calls are growing for a “people’s army” to shield civilians from Myanmar’s armed forces, the Tatmadaw.
Younger protesters are using YouTube to learn gun preparation and shooting, according to Aung.
“Yangon looks like a war zone, except only one side has weapons,” he says. “That’s why we need an army. We will have to train and fight at the same time; we have no time left.”
Hlaing, 30, has been encouraged by the Committee for Representing Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (CRPH) – Myanmar’s parallel civilian government – which has labelled the regime “terrorists”, told civilians to defend themselves against security forces and has met several of the country’s ethnic armed groups. On Thursday, a CRPH representative said the body was exploring ways to hold the military to account, including at the International Criminal Court.
At least two ethnic armed groups in Myanmar’s borderlands are known to be sheltering politicians, activists, journalists and striking civil servants who have fled the regime.
“I would support the CRPH if it decided to form an army,” she says. “I would force my husband and brother to join, but I need to look after my kid.”
Calls for a federal army are not limited to protesters in Yangon. A nationwide mobile internet shutdown has made communication difficult, but many of those across the country who can access wifi talk on Facebook about the need to incorporate ethnic rebel groups into the wider anti-Tatmadaw movement. Hiding their real names and profile pictures, they urge ousted elected officials to build an army that would finally end the military, which, dominated by the Bamar ethnicity, is often cited as the source of the country’s major problems.
A shield-like seal for the proposed federal army has been circulated on social media, with 14 stars representing Myanmar’s states and regions and seven red lines symbolising principles, including political impartiality, ethics and service to a civilian government.”
The Burmese military tries to prevent such a people´s army right from the beginning:
“Myanmar Regime Arrests NLD Members for Seeking ‘Explosive Training’
By The Irrawaddy 25 March 2021
The military regime said it arrested 14 people at the outskirts of Yangon on Monday who were trying to join “explosives training” in the area controlled by an ethnic armed group in the country’s southeast.
Military-control news media said security forces arrested 14 people between the ages of 21 and 47 in Hlegu and Htauk Kyant of Yangon Region and in Nyaung Khar Shey junction in Waw township of Bago Region on March 22.
Labeling the detainees “rioters,” the report alleged “some youths who participated in the riotous protests [attempted to] go to an ethnic armed group to attend an explosives course.”
The state-controlled media report added that the junta’s security forces are “tightening security in respective areas” following an informant’s tip that those people would be travelling.
Of the 14, three are drivers and the rest are the members of National League for Democracy (NLD) in Thanlynn, South Dagon, Thingangyun and Hlaing Thayar townships.
The report said the detainees were planning to travel to Bilin, in Mon State, and from there they would join an ethnic armed organization. It did not identify which group.
In the country’s southeast, where Karen and Mon states are located, several Karen and Mon ethnic armed groups are active. They have been fighting with the Myanmar military for the last seven decades, aside from a ceasefire in the past decade.
On Tuesday, the regime’s spokesman also said that more than a thousand people have fled into the country’s southeast border areas.
It said the regime would take effective action against the detainees, accusing them of “destabilizing the state and rule of law.” In addition to those arrests, the regime also said it is preparing to arrest another 13 NLD members of Thanlynn, South Dagon and Mingaladon townships.
Some armed minority groups as the Kachin which could be the potential force to arm such a people´s army demonstrate the Burmese military that it does not control Burma when conquering their outpost and its border regions to China, that the armed struggle wants also defend minoritiy rperesentatives of the NLD and among the opposition and that also China could become targeted:
“Kachin Rebels Seize Myanmar Military’s Strategic Outpost near Chinese Border
By The Irrawaddy 25 March 2021
Yangon — The Kachin Independence Army (KIA), a major ethnic armed group based in Kachin State, has occupied a strategically important hill in Bhamo District held by Myanmar’s military, KIA information officer Colonel Naw Bu told The Irrawaddy.
KIA Battalion 30 attacked the military outpost on Alaw Hill on Wednesday at 5pm and had taken control of the hill by around 4am on Thursday, said Col. Naw Bu.
“Alaw Hill is relatively close to the Chinese border. From the military point of view, it is relatively strategic. British troops deployed there during World War II. The reports that we have occupied three outposts are untrue. The rest were just groups of sentries guarding the outpost,” said Col. Naw Bu.
The attack was made in retaliation to the military’s attacks on KIA outposts near Laiza, which are under the control of KIA headquarters, he said.
“The troops of the military regime fired at our outposts on Hpalap Hill [near Laiza] with artillery throughout the night on March 22. They fired again at Battalion 3 in Sadone the following day. They have been carrying out assaults for two to three days.
“Their artillery shells fell on our cantonment. What’s worse, artillery shells also fell on Hkau Sau [internal displacement] camp [on the Chinese border] and in Chinese territory,” said Col. Naw Bu.
The KIA claimed that two artillery shells fell on Chinese territory on Tuesday. Myanmar’s military has made no comment.
“We heard gunshots through Wednesday night. But everything is fine in the town. Everyone is safe,” said a Laiza resident.
In response to heightened tensions, residents at the Weichyai displacement camp dug bomb shelters this month.
The military and KIA were in the process of negotiating a ceasefire before the Feb. 1 coup. The Kachin armed group asked the military’s Northern Command not to harm peaceful Kachin protesters opposing the military regime.“
However, an armed struggle must be organized and should not be the only form of resistance , but embedded in various tactic forms of resistance you choose according to the situation.While Mao said „The power comes from the barrels of the gun“, he also said „The Party controlls the guns“. Therefore just to start an armed struggle, spontaneously shooting around is not sufficient. The CCP always had armed struggle in combination with intelligence wars, desinformation and propaganda,united front, boycotts, demonstrations, suicide missions, strikes and other forms of political struggles which were synchronized by the party as a holistic and comprehensive apporach towards a revolution. Some sort of hybrid warfare. Therefore before you want to start an armed struggle and feel like Che Guevara, it is also important that you have an organization with clear political targets and goals which can coordinate the whole spectrum of struggles. Of course in Burma you have to deal first with the state within the state, the alleged monolithic Burmese army as the main pilar of dictatorship and to address it. How?
What is important? First the Buremse army is a state within the state and very big: 470 000 soldiers. That is at the first sight a very powerful force. To think that the armed minoritiy groups could train Burmese opposition leaders to form a people´s army, is not suffiecient alone. First the armed minority groups have only limited resources, personal and financical and military to train and arm Burmese people amry soldiers, if not the CIA is giving aid as the agency did before when Robert Helvey was still in place.
When I met Helvey in the 90s at the Manerrplaw, he was desperate. The USA and its CIA had supported for decades the Karen guerilla and the armed struggle of other minorities as you could read in Bob Brown´s Soldier of Fortune, but had no progress. When the Burmese urabn pacifist , mostly Buddhist peacenik opposition fled to the minority´s regions, he came in contact with Gene Sharp , the Albert Einstein Institute and writings „How to bring down a dictator“..As the armed struggle was not successful, he tried a combination and Aung San Suu Kyi returned to power in Burma. But it was a foul compromnise. The Karen National Union with its chief Bo Mya wanted a seperate Karen state which should not belong to Burma, but Helvey for decades supported it. Then came the split between the more Christian KNU and the Buddhist Karen Union, which supported with the Burmese refugees and peacenik students Aung San Su Kyi, but also supported the Burmese military against the KNU and paved the way to make this former KNU army which controlled a territory between Thainland and Burma into a guerilla army which had not the power anymore to establish an own Karen state.. Sme Karen even thought that the USA and Helvey betrayed the KNU. However, there was a gentleman agreement between the later Burmese goverment and the KNU, but the Burmese military didn´t care too much about that and expanded military infrastructure, fortresses and sorts of Vietnamens Hamlets to controll the Karen while still commiting atrocities against them. KNU chief Bo Mya died in 2006, but parts of the KNU still work as undergroud guerilla. However the empowerment of Aung San Su Kyi was a compromise with the military and not a result of an revolution or success of a armed struggle as the Burmese military still held most of the power, but hidden. But now these compromises have failed. and the Burmese youth is not the 1988 peacenik generation, but much more assertive, demanding, radical and even thinks about armed struggle, military means and revolution by a people´s army. and wants to engage with the armed minorities for a federal Burma.
.Secondly it would be a unbalanced power struggle and esatrous if you just think you can fight with minority gureillas and a relatively small people´s army against a brute force and power of 470 000 soldiers of the Burmese army. It would be possible that you fight some sort of guerilla war, partisan war, sort of urban guerilla and limited military sabotage strikes to exhaust the Burmese army, but it would be a eternal fight, very bloody and even produce a new Syria in South East Asia.
Therefore an armed struggle has also to be a political struggle and also use complementary forms of struggle. While the formation of an own people´s army could be pushed, on the other side it would be helpful to start a political campaign for the promotion of soldiers´councils which can disintergate the alleged monolithic entity of the Burmese military. The army has two pillars: On the one side ideological, on the other side financial. Ideological the Burmese military portrays itself as a guarantator of Burmese independence, souvereignity and national unity. Many soldiers are told that the protesters are agents financed by foreign powers and if the Burmese opposition only relies on armed minority guerilla forces to form a people´s army, the Burmese generals will tell the soldiers that this shows that they are betraying the Burmese Baman nationalism and that the minorities will prevail and destroy Burma/Myanmar. Therefore the apologets of the new people´s army have to counter this nationalist propaganda? How?
First by national heroes as the father of Aung San Suu Kyi General Aung San who fouhgt for independence or former Burmese UN General Secretary U Thant who symbolized the progressive and better Burma before they became toppled by Ne Win and the other Burmese generals who brought socialism and mass poverty to the country. Secondly that the generals in power now try to rely more and more on China and threaten to let become Burma a Chinese colony and raw material appendix , eating up the profits for their own corruption and well being, but not for the Burmese people.
Thirdly, the opposition should try to see that while most of the soldiers are brainwashed by Burmese nationalist propaganda of the generals, they can portray the generals as traitors of the Burmese cause. And you have to fight the idea that Burma can be a Bamen society and not a multicultural state which integrates the minorities which are also a big proportion of the Burmese. You also have to resist the extremist nationalist Buddhist monks who want Burma to become a pure Buddhist-Bamen society. This can only be achieved by eternal suppression and resistance as it was before or by the idea of a federal state on which the NLD and the Burmese opposition agreed now.
Forth, not all of the 470 000 soldiers are priviliged, nor is the Burm4ese army a monolithic bloc. The Burmese army also recruits many bad paid sons of peasants and workers, many urban middle class members have brothers in the military and between the upper class of the military and the lower ranks exist a big gap.and even the middle ranks are not eternal supporters of the generals if the situation changes. Therefore the opposition should also try to make propaganda within the military for the formation of soldiers´ councils and deserters which could sabotage the military, give insider informations as whistleblower or agents , build cells in the military for sabotage and a possible counterstrike against the Burmese militaries in order to promote a revolution. Those cells could give the opposition arms and ammunition, insight of the strategic, tactical and operational plans of the military command at ech possible level,make propgadanda within the military, mislead troops to wrong places to avoid a conflict, giving wrong informations to the military´s intelligence, boycott and undermine orders or even organize soldiers to a rebellion and to change sides, bring troops to ally in a combat with the people´s army, get wellknown and popular militaries as deserters and as new heroes and members for the people´s army on all social media, etc.
Fifth, another important ideological aspect is the connection between Buddhism and nationalism. On the one hand, Buddhism tends to produce very patient, authoritarian and mostly peaceful subjects. It is also significant that so far civilian forms of resistance have dominated, armed struggle mainly came and comes from ethnic, mostly non-Buddhist minorities, but this does not mean that the capacity to suffer is unlimited. Cambodia was also a very Buddhist country, but then brought about the Khmer Rouge with all its brute force. That is no longer to be feared today as Communis except China, Vietnam North Korea and Cuba has vanished. But while Buddhists are more capable of suffering compared to other religions, this example demonstrates when a certain critical point of peaceful and patient suffering is exceeded, the Buddhist 8 ways to igore suffering are ignored and it often tips to the other extreme, especially since the Burmese youth is more radical than the 1988 generation and their parents.
The military legitimizes itself by means of a ethnic-religious Bamen nationalism, which declares Buddhism to be the dominant culture, which is accepted by many Burmese and many Buddhist monks. The Buddhist monks also play an important role. As in the saffron revolt, where they set the tone, but parts of the monks now also support the military , especially those fundamentalist nationalist-Buddhist militant monk groups who supported the military so fanatically during the Rohingya crisis. In addition, the military has amnestied and released several of these monks in order to use them as auxiliary troops, both ideologically and militarily. The Buddhist monks also played an important role in the Vietnam War, not to mention the Buddhist monk who selfimmolated himself in Saigon in protest against the Catholic US puppetr Diem and caused the mood of the population to change so that the US had Diem murdered by the CIA not to drive the angry majority Buddhist population to the Viet Cong.
Selfimmolation of Buddhist monks or Buddhist as a form of protest was also used by the Chinese fundamentalist Buddhist mass sect Falungong in China, when Falungong members selfimmolated themselves onthe highly symbolic Tiananmen Square or the Dalai Lama also used the selfimmolation of Tibetean monks in China-Tibet to get attention from the international community. However, China is not a Buddhist country, even if there are 200 million Buddhists out of 1,3 billion Chinese, but Chan Buddhists and not Tibtean Buddhists and the CCP managed it to portray the selfimmolation of the Falungong members and the Tibetean monk as obvious symptoms of a dangerous evil superstitious cult promoted by foreign powers against China. However, in Burma such a selfimmolation could be harder denounced by the military as Burma is a dominant Buddhist society and Buddhis part of the Bamen nationalism of the military. And the pacifist and peaceful elements in Buddhism can also be used to bring Buddhist main stream society and the the Buddist monks against the violent and brutal military as it betrays the peaceful side of Buddhism.It is a little bit like Christian debates about the Old and the New Testament, the theory of a just war and the Sermon on the Mount.
Sixth, would be the fight of the opposition to expand the support by Western and other countries for sanctions against the generals, promote strikes and even general strikes of the Burmese working class, sabotage Chinese business, piplelines and other Chinese projects of the New Silkroad and RCEP because China wants to intergrate Burma in its geopolitical and economic framework and maybe to get military support for the formation of a people´s army. There are many opportunities to boycott and sabotage the Burmese generals. Be it strikes or general strikes by the working class, be it the currency Kyat which is produced by German company Devirient and Giesecke in Burma and could be boycotted and lead to a shortage of currency and money for the Burmese generals, be it the sabotage of economic projects as the Chinese pipeline or the Chinese rare earth mining in North Burma and Naga land which already has become a topic in the CCP´s mouth piece Global Times:
“Myanmar rare earths heading toward China encounter shipment obstacles amid upheaval
Orderly increase in domestic mining, technology crucial for secure supplies: experts
Some Chinese rare-earth companies and their downstream firms are finding that their raw materials could not be shipped smoothly from Myanmar, a key supplier of medium and heavy rare earths for China, amid political upheaval in the Southeast Asian nation, although mining operations remain unaffected, several sources at those companies told the Global Times on Sunday.
Myanmar’s rare-earth exports to China have dwindled to some extent, which has led to soaring rare-earth oxide prices in the market, a manager of a rare-earth enterprise in Ganzhou, East China’s Jiangxi Province, told the Global Times on condition of anonymity.
He noted that the rare-earth mine in Myanmar from which the company gets its supplies has been operating as usual. But logistics issues have hindered exports since mid-March.
„When the political upheaval erupted in February, rare-earth exports to China remained unaffected, as most rare-earth mines are located in the northern part of the country where the situation had been stable, but things worsened in recent days,“ the manager said.
He said that Myanmar sits at the upstream of the global rare-earth industry chain, accounting for half of the global rare-earth ores. Its heavy rare-earth minerals are exported to China for extraction and processing, and then exported to the world.
Another manager of a private rare-earth magnet producer based in Ganzhou surnamed Zhang confirmed the existence of logistics barriers in speaking with the Global Times on Sunday.
„The biggest issue is that rare earths from Myanmar cannot be shipped to China, and it is not clear when this barrier will be removed, as it is highly dependent on Myanmar’s political situation,“ Zhang said, predicting that the world may suffer from rare-earth shortages for some time.
The general manager surnamed Chen at a Dongguan-based company that makes magnetic material from rare earths told the Global Times on Sunday that its raw material costs have surged at least 30-40 percent since beginning of the year.
With the COVID-19 pandemic already brought under control in China, downstream firms in the fields of consumer electronics and new-energy vehicles have been buying more rare earths, which have driven prices higher.
Chen also confirmed to the Global Times that one of the firm’s upstream suppliers of rare earths could not ship the metals from Myanmar at the moment.
Given the current situation, China’s rare-earth imports from Myanmar might plunge in March, said an industry insider who asked to remain anonymous.
In the January-February period, rare-earth oxide imports went up 24.6 percent year-on-year to 3,546 tons, customs data showed.
China’s rare-earth imports from Myanmar rose by 23 percent from 2019 to around 35,500 tons last year, accounting for 74.39 percent of total imports, followed by Malaysia with 17.06 percent and Vietnam with 4.46 percent, according to customs data.
China has been heavily dependent on medium and heavy rare earths from Myanmar in recent years, which account for more than 60 percent of China’s total ion-absorption rare-earth use, as the Chinese government has cracked down on illegal mining and strengthened measures in environmental protection.
Compared with light rare earths, heavy rare earths are less common and more valuable, and they are used in high-tech fields such as aerospace, military, national defense, and the synthesis of new materials.
A report by Soochow Securities pointed out that medium and heavy rare earths will potentially be affected the most during the unrest in Myanmar. If the unrest affects mines, which could lead to production declining or being halted altogether, or even export controls, it will have a greater impact on the supply of this category of rare earths.
The industry insider said that „China should diversify its import sources like from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, but we should also be clear that transferring the supply chain is not that easy to do in a short time, and there are a lot of uncertain and unstable factors surrounding new supplies from those potential sources.“
He underscored the significance of guaranteeing resource supply security.
Looking internally, China’s own reserves of heavy rare earths, mainly in southern China, can easily meet rising domestic demand.
„We should ramp up mining at a pace and in an orderly way under the condition that the activity meets environmental protection requirements,“ said the insider.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Ministry of Natural Resources hiked the first batch of quotas for rare-earth mining output this year, to be shared among six major producers, to 84,000 tons, a significant increase from the 66,000 tons in 2020.
Zhang Anwen, a vice secretary-general of the Chinese Society of Rare Earths, told the Global Times on Sunday that there are several approaches to deal with tightening heavy rare-earth supplies in China and high technologies turned out to be an effective way, by reducing the usage of dysprosium and terbium in making neodymium magnets, which are widely used in various products such as electric vehicles and hard disks.
„The technology has become more mature and is a direction that needs more efforts,“ said Zhang.
“Draft rare-earth rule aims at high-quality development, doesn’t target US: MIIT
By Global Times Published: Mar 01, 2021
The stock market rallied on Monday after China’s industry ministry said that a draft rare-earth management rule aimed at high-quality industry development doesn’t target the US.
A gauge of 58 rare-earth related stocks rallied over 5.54 percent on the A-share market on Monday, with seven stocks closing 10 percent higher — the daily limit.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) said on Monday during a press briefing that China’s release of a draft rare-earth management rule in January aims at standardizing the industry in line with long-term development and market demand, in response to speculation that China is likely to impose restrictions on rare-earth exports to the US.
„China’s rare earths don’t sell at a ‚rare‘ price, they sell at an ‚earth‘ price,“ Xiao Yaqing, minister of the MIIT, said.
Xiao noted that due to strong market demand, some Chinese rare-earth enterprises pursued a strategy of price-based competition, leading to a downward spiral of prices and waste of these valuable resources.
The hasty and often high-risk mining by a number of enterprises has created environmental protection problems affecting the lives of local residents, and led to the inefficient utilization of resources, he added.
„Economic globalization is a major trend. We need to work together to meet the needs for resources, energy and products in the process of economic and market development. I think that this is mainly about promoting healthier and more sustainable development, in view of our current problems,“ he said.
The draft regulation includes 29 clauses, clarifying a quota control regime for rare-earth mining, smelting and separation, and for the approval of investment in rare earths. It also emphasizes stronger management of the industry chain and supervision, according to the ministry.
Liu Enqiao, a senior energy analyst at the Beijing-based Anbound Consulting, said the draft regulation is not China’s card against the US but is based on its own need to upgrade the sector and encourage the enterprises involved to tap into more high-end, value-added production instead of exporting rare-earth ore at low prices.
„China has been working hard to add value in the production chain of rare-earth products. The proportion of rare earths used in high-tech fields has been increasing year by year, such as LCD panels and aviation engines,“ Liu told the Global Times.
“China’s Myanmar dilemma grows deep and wide
Protest movement suspects China backs the coup regime but risk is rising anti-PRC sentiment wrongly morphs into anti-Chinese attacks
March 25, 2021
But today’s wave of anti-PRC sentiment among anti-military protesters and CDM supporters cannot be explained only in the context of Beijing’s perceived support for the coup makers and their junta.
Rather, it has spawned from decades of simmering discontent with what is seen as China’s plunder of the country’s natural resources, especially valuable timber, which has led to widespread deforestation in northern Myanmar.
Anti-PRC demonstrations were first held in 2011 against a joint PRC-Myanmar hydro-electric power project at Myitsone in Kachin state, which was designed to flood hundreds of square kilometers of forest land and to export 90% of the electricity generated to China.
That project was suspended by then-president Thein Sein in September 2011 because, as he said at the time, “We have the responsibility to address public concerns in all seriousness.”
Then came a popular movement against another joint PRC-Myanmar venture, this time a copper mine at Letpadaung northwest of Mandalay. It was causing extensive environmental destruction and threatened Buddhist holy sites. Many villagers were injured in a security force clampdown on protests against the mine.
Beijing-backed mega-infrastructure projects including a high-speed railroad designed to connect the southern Chinese province of Yunnan down to a partly Chinese-built deep-sea port at Kyaukphyu on the coast of Myanmar’s Rakhine state have also faced local criticism for environmental and land rights reasons.
These often military-steered ventures have contributed to portraying the PRC as interested mainly in exploiting Myanmar’s natural resources and geostrategic location between South and Southeast Asia with little to no consideration for the livelihoods of local Myanmar people.
During the present uprising, social media has been full of reports and rumors claiming that Chinese experts — and even special forces snipers — have arrived at Yangon’s Mingaladon airport to assist in the suppression of the anti-coup movement.
Other posts have claimed secret flights from China have delivered sophisticated surveillance equipment and other military-related items to be used in suppressing the protest movement.
Those widespread and largely unsubstantiated rumors prompted China’s Yangon embassy to issue a statement on February 13 that denied Beijing had sent technical experts and equipment to help establish an online firewall in Myanmar.
Of course, China would support the generals financially, economically, sell weapons and surveilance technology and send military and police advisers, try to built a social credit system and hamlets , however China would not get militarily directly involved as it would fear a quagmire as it knows the power of guerilla warfare since Mao and the Vietcong or the last experience with Vietnam.It could also become a proxy war. China focuses on great power wars against the US about Taiwan, the South China Sea or East China Sea and doesn´t want to be draged in in some sort of Chinese Vietnam war. It remains to be seen if the Burmese opposition really will form a people´s army or if this is just radical talk of a desperate youth and the minorities. However if a people´s army should emerge, China at the beginning would try to support the generals against the insurgency, but if they should be not succesful as wished China could be forced to act as a mediator between both forces.
However, while the opposition is discussing about an armed struggle, a people´s army, they till now also use the method of a general strike. A Silent strike. Most Burmese cities experienced ghost towns where all business and factories denied the military its streetfighting opponents. A Silent strike. However, the question is how long can that last as the workers and the business men suffer income losses and will get no subsidies from the military controlled state. The hope is to bring the top generals down by a silent strike, to show that the majority of the Burmese people, be it workers or business men have no sympathy for the military dictatorship, hope to split the upper class of the military in a corrupt, selfinterested faction and a people´s faction as foreign boycotts try to bring a top-down split within the military, and avoid a armed struggle. However, it will be interestting to see, if this aproach works or if you still need an armed struggle against the alleged monolithic Burmese 470 000 soldiers´military. And maybe a silent strike could bring faultlines and flawlines within the military and not only the top-down spilt , but also a down-top spilt and solidarisations of parts of the military with the Burmese people. However, the silent strike will cause discussions within the militar and their relatives and could change a lot before you start an armed struggle. However the idea to use a silent strike in favour to agitate soldier councils which support the people could be an alternative to a people´s army which has to rely on basic training from some minorities and maybe the CIA in order to challenge the Burmese military. But it remains to be seen if this slent strike option works.