Nadi Nadi on Wed, 31 May 2000 13:00:39 +0200 (CEST)

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[Nettime-bold] The WRTC's contribution to the Globalisation E-conference

Dear ALL,

 The following is the contribution the WRTC made to the Globalisation
 E-forum organized by the World Bank. A four week long forum was 
 successfully ended on last week Friday.

 Approximately more than two millions people around the world
 participated including myself. The reflections for over
 all discussions were posted on Tuesday because Monday was the 
 US holiday. Your feedback is *most* welcome. We hope to have many 
 feedback as much as we did received from the Forum itself. 

 Oops..  a feedback from Brazil just pops in while I am writing this.

 Warm regards,

 ---------- Forwarded message ----------
 Date: Sat, 27 May 2000 00:03:52 +0200 (W. Europe Daylight Time)
 From: "Dr. Khin Ni Ni Thein" <>
 To: Globalization E-Conference <>
 Subject: [globalization] A view from Burma/Myanmar

 Original Subject: A view from a unique country which bears two 
                   names: Burma and Myanmar
  Dear ALL,
  This is my first and last posting to the forum. I have learnt 
  a lot during the past four weeks. The best experience of all 
  is being enlightened by those whom I think have much knowledge, 
  dignity and experience than I ever had and going to have in 
  this very life. Thanks to you ALL.
  My humble self is called Khin Ni Ni Thein, a woman from Burma. 
  I am originally a water resources engineer who ended up as a 
  Hydroinformatician after obtaining a Ph.D. degree in 
  Hydroinformatics. To utilise this knowledge in its fullest I 
  founded a non-profit NGO called Water, Research and Training 
  Centre for a new Burma (WRTC), URL is, 
  a knowledge-based resource centre which uses ICT as its 
  primary vehicle. The WRTC is three years old now. It took an 
  initiative to set up *an unprecedented example* for other NGOs 
  to operate in Myanmar or Burma. Hence it is a pioneer-role-model 
  NGO of its kind. The current activities are (1) capacity 
  building, (2) institutional building, (3) research, 
  (4) advocacy, (5) learning, (6) gender issues, 
  (7) networking, (8) mediation and (9) free consultancy. 
  Having introduced both the organisation and myself, I would 
  like to contribute a short discussion which is based upon the 
  overall discussion that has taken place during the past 
  4 weeks and our own aspirations as a unique nation with 
  two names, Burma and Myanmar.
  There were about 50+ points I wrote down and commented on. 
  I then boiled them down to six.
  (1) Globalisation, empowerment and the poor
  (2) Learning
  (3) Fair share mechanism
  (4) Peace 
  (5) Transitional Economy
  (6) Poverty eradication
  Although six points are listed the first five can be seen as 
  means to reach an end called poverty eradication. Transitional 
  economy is listed instead of economy because my emphasis is on 
  the developing countries in general and my own nation in 
  particular as a LDC country. Please excuse me for a 
  From point one to five following its path with correct 
  definitions, which give us ways to eradicate poverty, 
  to promote the real development and to sustain the planet 
  Earth, our only home. Correct me if I am wrong or incomplete. 
  What I mean by following its path with correct definitions is 
  this. For example, peace is not just lack of fighting. Peace 
  is a state of living that prevails and at the same time 
  assures harmony, freedom and happiness based upon fair 
  sharing of all tangible and intangible human needs within 
  inter- and intra-communities. Also the definition of fair 
  share mechanism/paradigm/narrative can be found in the 
  postings of Anne K. Haugestad <> and 
  relative responses during week 4.
  Issues of globalisation, empowerment and poverty had been 
  discussed to the extent that we do have enough knowledge to 
  work on - or act upon. The same to the case with development 
  models and modes of development. In fact, all these have been 
  a great learning period with the aid of ICT, Information and 
  Communication Technology. Without Internet and e-mail 
  facilities how could we all (more than two million participants) 
  discuss and interact as we have done during past four weeks. 
  At this point, let me be a Myanmar-Burmese-centric here. 
  As a woman from this unique country, I can't help but fitting 
  my country into this gigantic GLOBALISATION business and its 
  *dynamism*. For us, to be on the Globalisation train is 
  "a Nivirna problem", so to speak, it means more than life 
  and death. 
  We are poorest of the poor, at the bottom of the LDC country 
  list. We have a problem defining "the sovereignty" let alone 
  to exercise it or empower it. We have a problem of learning 
  which ranks two on the above list. I am not complaining about 
  the closure of the universities and institutes. In fact, on 
  the Co-operative Community Life-long Learning Centres 
  electronic forum, we have been talking about de-schooling and 
  um-schooling. The problem in Myanmar or Burma is deeper than 
  that. *The deprivation of learning environment*, so to speak. 
  The empowerment of locals, poor-people and women follow the 
  same suits. For these reasons Burma or Myanmar is not on the 
  Globalisation train, I am afraid. Not yet.
  So, why I am here for? This forum is to discuss about 
  Globalisation. However, my first duty is to put our country 
  on the train nicely. The second is to make sure that the train 
  won't derail - by all means.
  To this end, I would like to point out without money and water 
  we won't live. The second World Water Forum was held in March 
  2000 in The Hague. We, all participants, discussed about WATER 
  thoroughly, furiously, positively, desperately and enthusiastically.
  Although ALL of us agreed to acknowledge that water is both a 
  commodity (with few conditions) and *a human right*, the latter 
  did not appear in an official statement signed by the ministers 
  at the ministerial meeting held on 22 March 2000. In consolation 
  it appeared on the separate document as an official 
  acknowledgement. Be sad or happy is entirely up to an individual. 
  What lesson we have learnt is money speaks louder. Well, then, 
  if it is the reality, let's face it. But the question is HOW?
  As a dedicated Buddhist, I would go with a middle way, a 
  Buddhist's way. The essence is "facing the harsh reality with 
  wisdom and compassion". However, correct and precise definitions 
  for these two words, 'wisdom' and 'compassion', is necessary. 
  [To keep the posting short, let me refer to the book entitled 
  "Good question good answer" by S. Dhammika, pp 36-39, ISBN- 
  983-9382-08-x]. True wisdom is to directly see and understand 
  for ourselves. The middle way approach gives us an option to 
  develop things in the right direction. Keeping wisdom and 
  compassion work hand in hand harmoniously for us, we can avoid 
  making decisions as a good hearted fool (a compassion driven 
  person) or as a robot (a strict rational being). The belief that 
  wisdom can best be developed when all emotions, including 
  compassion, are kept out of the way, provide us nuclear bomb, 
  germ warfare, and the like.
  Having this middle path in mind we still need professionals who 
  can reconstruct the country. My best bet is to train and 
  capacitate 'Socio-technologists' instead of 'technologists'. 
  *Right-minded professionals* instead of professionalised 
  professionals!!! Dissemble the 'separatism' in all levels of 
  education and promote 'holism'. We don't need schools. We can 
  learn something under the trees practically. What we need is 
  just a 'different way of thinking' and a bit of 'creativity'. 
  I am looking forward to the next 'Globalisation' forum and I 
  am sure we (Burmese-Mynmarnese people) will be talking about 
  our experience on globalisation then.
  Thanks for your time and attention.
  Dr. Khin Ni Ni Thein
  Water, Research and Training Centre for a new Burma (WRTC)

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