Q: I think that the Burmese people are very weak in matters of economic knowledge and entrepreneurship when compared with people from our neighboring countries. For example, in [the Burmese city] Mandalay, the local Burmese people are selling land, houses, and buildings to Chinese people, thinking they will get better prices from the Chinese. In this way, Mandalay has become a Chinese city in which the Burmese people cannot even get close to the land they have sold. How can we improve the economic education of our people?
A: Apart from the question of our people not being wise in business, this situation has come about because the laws and regulations restricting the purchase by foreigners of immoveable properties—such as land and houses—are not being properly and strictly enforced.Q: Wouldn’t it be appropriate for the NLD [National League for Democracy] to squeeze in some discussions on topics related to science and technology when it conducts its political seminars? This is because during the Nargis and Giri cyclones, the government turned a blind eye to those catastrophes. Also, because it is difficult to get help from one country to another, advance preparations may be needed for such emergencies.
A: Since the NLD is focusing on issues relating to environmental preservation, it is my aim to arrange educational programs on this topic. Issues related to science and technology will be included in those discussions. Topics related to changes in the weather will also be included.Q: I have heard that your trip to Pagan went very well without any problems. After that, I also heard that on Martyrs’ Day, when you went together with the people to pay your respects at the Martyrs’ Mausoleum, there was no interference by the authorities. I understand that in both cases this was because of successful coordination between you and the authorities. Are there any methods we can use to coordinate with the authorities in the future?
A: Coordination can be achieved only if both sides have the will to do so. Based on that willingness, attitudes that are not yet in sync will have to be coordinated. There is no one method to achieve this. It depends on the matter that is being coordinated.Q: From among all the countries in the world, which country’s foreign policy do you like best? Also, many countries take their own interests into consideration in their relations with other countries. To what extent is that kind of thinking correct and appropriate?
A: You must already know that I like and prefer democratic systems. Each country is different from the others in democratic systems, so it is difficult to say that one country is better than another. For a country to be called democratic, essential characteristics must exist, such as the rule of law, respect for human rights, and a government that is elected through the wishes of the people. Specific kinds of infrastructure usually emerge depending on the time and place involved. Countries that think only of their own interests will not have any friendly countries to help them when they are in need. That is why it will be beneficial in the long term for a country to consider not only its own interests, but the interests of others and of the whole world.Q: What kinds of actions are required for peace to be established in Burma?
A: If the people work together for peace in any way they can, there will be beneficial outcomes. As for myself, I plan to write open letters calling for peace among the organizations that are now in conflict. If everyone makes as much effort as they can as individuals, no matter how small that effort may be, this will give a huge boost to achieving peace.Q: It has now been over a month that the Kachin people have been in danger because of the fighting [with Burma’s army]. We have heard that the government has met with the Kachin elders two or three times now. Coincidentally, we have heard that you have met with them as well. Were those meetings due only to pressure from the international community, or were they truly guided by positive intentions? We have also heard reports from inside the country that the government of U Thein Sein has blocked UNHCR [United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees] plans to provide help in the Kachin State along the Burma/China border. Is there anything that we can do, and can you help us in this matter?
A: Everyone who has a strong sense of national union, including myself, is very sad that the people are suffering because of the fighting in the Kachin State. That is why I have sent open letters to the people and organizations concerned urging them to resolve their problems in a peaceful manner. I have also requested help from donor countries so that the UNHCR can try as much as possible to help the people who are suffering, including the refugees.Program broadcast on August 5.