Written by U Ne Oo on 2003-12-03

Recently, I've talked with one of my Burma activist colleague from South Africa. He has expressed a sense of frustration, shared somewhat here, that the Burma activist and their action worldwide are not coordinated and consolidated. He is comparing our democracy movement with that of anti-apartheid movement of ANC (African National Congress). A political movement, such as democracy struggle for Burma, cannot be completely coordinated in theory, but I believe we can make a more informed and efficient campaigners by utilizing existing technologies. Here, I have make some starter as to how to improve our efficiency in dealing with current technological problems:


1. In this age of internet forums, especially mailing lists, we are suffering from bombardment of e-mails (spam + legitimate). For example, we may receive the same news item half a dozen time over the internet. I for one, subscribed to three Burma mailing lists and therefore received even more on the same subject. When it comes to information, it is not appropriate for one forum/person to control all the information.

Then again, for people whose internet resources are limited, managing e-mail is time consuming and, even in a sense, an overwhelming task. In this case one can even have psychological depression. How will you solve this problem ?

2. Other thing we have discussed is, in a sense, we still do not have-- or probably don't know -- persons with specialised knowledge. There are several Burmese intellectuals and resource persons living outside and also willing to provide knowledge when needed. For example, knowledge on Burma border situation, displaced people, drug trafficking etc. We need not only identify existing ones; but also nurture and provide yourself to become resource person (analyst) to the movement.

3. First and foremost, we will need to start a human resource database within the activist circle. Admitting one centralised database is neither possible nor necessary, we should first start building proper contact group/persons for several settings.

I would be grateful any expression of interest, or any other issues and idea relating to this matter. Let us hope we can transform ourselves from scattered people and scattered action to scattered people with united action.

In solidarity, U Ne Oo

Free-Burma movement: Scattered people -- scattered action