BURMA: Manifesto of the People’s Liberation Army

In the interest of promoting support for and spreading information about the newly reinitiated people’s war in Burma, we reproduce the following unofficial translation of a recent declaration by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Burma.

Image description: Fighters of the People’s Liberation Army in a guerrilla zone.


Proletarians of all countries, unite!
There is one goal, the conquest of power!

MANIFESTO OF THE PEOPLE‘S LIBERATION ARMY

Central Committee
Communist Party of Burma
23.08.2021

Reproduced by
The Red Flag

This Manifesto was issued as a declaration by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Burma on the 23rd of August, 2021, as the Party announced the reinitiation of the people‘s war in Burma.

PREFACE
THE PRESENT NEED FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A REVOLUTIONARY ARMY TO LIBERATE THE OPPRESSED MASSES OF OUR COUNTRY

A. DOMESTIC SITUATION

1. Ever since we have obtained our independence in 1948 to this day, every successive government, from parliamentary democracy to military dictatorship, has practiced Burmese chauvinism over every ethnic group in our country. Although the worker, peasant and poor urban classes constitutes the majority of the country (above 80%), they have been deprived of their deserved rights under all governments and they were the most oppressed classes in the country.

2. Beginning from 2010, the 2008 Constitution, written carefully by the military junta for their own benefit, was put into motion. Through sham elections, they gave General Thein Sein the position of President of the country and started their attempt of realizing their version of „democracy“ within the control of the junta (or) the „2008 Constitutional Democracy“. Such facade of a democracy concocted by the military junta was touted by liberal democrats in our country as „Transitional Period Democracy“ and wholeheartedly supported it.

3. In 2012, the NLD led by Aung San Su Kyi, approved the 2008 Constitution and decided to work with the junta under the 2008 Constitution. Such action was heavily criticized and denounced by people like Hanthawaddy U Win Tin and many NLD forces. Then, the NLD party became a government after winning the elections by landslide in 2015. Despite calling for ending the 2008 constitution, securing peace and stability within the country, improving the livelihoods of the citizens, and so on, once the NLD was in power, there was little to no improvement in the lives of the worker, peasant and poor urban classes. And in fact in some situations things even became worse and poverty rose during the last five years the NLD was in charge and they did little to nothing meaningful during that period.

4. Generally the NLD government bent to the will of the military junta and colluded with them on multiple occasions. In the ICJ case for Rohingya crisis for instance, Aung San Su Kyi decided to take the blame and responsibility, showing up at the court in place of the military generals who were responsible for the Crisis.

5. Worker strikes and protests were occurring on regular basis. There were also peasant strikes across the country due to the military personals, military-owned enterprises, cronies and big businesses occupying and seizing the lands of the farmers illegally. Many workers and peasants were jailed subsequently. And in these instances, the NLD government chose to stand with the oppressors instead of the oppressed. In the meantime, students started to protest because they were losing students‘ educational rights and the reform of the education system. Students and student unions who cannot stand and watch the injustice happening over the oppressed people enacted strikes and protests frequently (for example, students cooperating with workers on worker strikes).

6. Regardless, the NLD managed to win the 2020 elections, again with a landslide, same result as the last time. The military junta deemed the election results as a threat to their future economic interests and attempted to change the election results. But this time, negotiation between the junta and the NLD government fell through and to cancel the election results the junta decided to resort to military coup to protect their economic interests and possessions. But the coup was widely protested against by various political forces and all the oppressed citizens.

7. Once in 1962 the military coup led by General Ne Win, and once in 1988 the military coup led by General Saw Maung and General Khin Nyunt, the instigators of the coup quell the masses through bloodshed. And this time it was no different. Starting from the day of the coup, the current body count ranging from children to elderly has reached over a thousand numbers. In addition to this, there were also mass killings being carried out blatantly in some regions of the country.

8. After the violent suppression of people‘s uprising in 1988, many had a ideological revelation on how armed struggle is the only means to triumph over the military dictatorship and thousands of people retreated to the countryside and waged armed struggle against the junta. Today, we are witnessing history repeating once again with rekindled interest on armed struggle among the masses.

9. As the various situations above have proven, our current ongoing history desperately call for the establishment of a revolutionary army that will unwaveringly stand on behalf of the oppressed classes of the country and bring forth the emancipation of the helpless workers, peasants, poor urban classes, students and the ethnic minorities who were the constant victims of Burmese chauvinism.

B. INTERNATIONAL SITUATION

10. With the dissolution of the USSR in 1990, the Cold War waging between the U.S.-led capitalist bloc and the Soviet-led socialist bloc since the end of the 2nd World came to an end. The U.S. emerged as a victor of this conflict and gained the golden opportunity to dominate the world without the Soviets and other socialist countries getting in its way. Hence, in order to „americanize“ the entire world, the U.S. has been forcing upon their ideological arms of liberal democracy; free market, human rights and liberal democracy system, to every country around the world. This coincided with the boom in computer and information technology which began the process of globalization and it turned out to be greatly beneficial to the U.S. in its agenda to solely dominate the world. This process of globalization also advanced world capitalism into its latest stage and as a result, poor countries become poorer and rich countries become richer than ever. The same also applies to personal wealth as poor people gets much poorer and vice versa. Wealth disparity is increasing at alarming rate in every country. Even the U.S., the richest country in the world, faced country-wide protests and strikes against globalization that resulted in the exploitation of the poor 99% of the population by the rich 1% of the population.

11. The „we are the 99%“ movement later spread to other western countries (Great Britain, France, Australia, etc) outside of the U.S.

12. The COVID-19 pandemic, which began on the eve of 2020, has infected 200,000,000 people around the world and has already claimed the lives of over 4,000,000 people globally. Businesses around the world tanked during the pandemic and the U.S. GDP growth fell below 1%. With the exception of China and few other countries, most countries around the world suffered serious economic decline and those who got hit the hardest in this crisis are the workers, peasants and poor urban classes of the world. Our country wasn‘t exempt from this crisis either, as the workers, peasants, poor urban classes, the middle class along with the ethnic minorities already suffering from Burmese chauvinism faced the effects of it too. In such trying times, the military junta choosing to take over the country by force didn‘t help the matters as we are now witnessing the disgruntled and distressed masses deciding to rise up against the military dictatorship. And the action taken by the military junta to suppress the uprising through armed violence made things clear, that this will only get worse and they will resort to more violent terror tactics moving forward.

13. Therefore, it is clear that there are no other path aside from that of armed struggle revolution across the country, if we truly want to liberate the oppressed people of our country and end the tyranny of the military junta which relies on their control of the arms to enact their terrorist acts.


MANIFESTO OF THE PEOPLE‘S LIBERATION ARMY

1. THE POSITION OF THE PEOPLE‘S LIBERATION ARMY

14. The People‘s Liberation Army will serve to liberate the oppressed classes of our country and every actions we take will be for the benefit of the exploited masses. We uphold marxism-leninism-Mao Tse-tung thought as our guiding ideology in order to achieve our goals.

2. THE BASIC FORCES OF THE PEOPLE‘S LIBERATION ARMY

15. The People‘s Liberation Army will wage the revolution until the oppressed people of our country such as the workers, peasants, poor urban classes, small-bourgeois students and the ethnic minorities who are victims of Burmese chauvinism are all completely liberated.

16. The basic forces of the People‘s Liberation Army will include labor Unions, peasant unions, student unions (and the upcoming employee unions), progressive youth forces and all Left-leaning political forces (both individuals and organizations).

3. ALLIANCES TO BE MADE BY THE PEOPLE‘S LIBERATION ARMY

17. The People‘s Liberation Army will need to ally with the aforementioned oppressed classes of the country that also form the basic forces of the People‘s Liberation Army.

18. For example, labor unions, peasant unions, student unions, ethnic armed organizations, non-reactionary people, groups, associations and political forces that are against the military dictatorship, all must be sought out as allies to form a united front against the military dictatorship.

4. GOALS OF THE PEOPLE‘S LIBERATION ARMY

19. With the guidance of marxism-leninism-Mao Tse-tung thought, thePeople‘s Liberation Army will follow the people‘s democracy revolution path and strive to liberate the oppressed citizens of our country from the tyranny of the military dictatorship and the military junta who has been ruling the country for many decades through „might is right“ with reliance on their access to all kinds of weaponry.

20. Once we have carried out our people‘s democracy revolution to liberate the masses, we seek to establish a people‘s democratic government led by the proletariat and bring forth a new, peaceful, prosperous and united People‘s Democratic Republic in our country.

5. DEFINITIONS OF THE PEOPLE‘S LIBERATION ARMY

A. PEOPLE

21. People‘s Liberation Army defines the word „people“ as those who are not of the military junta, comprador crony bourgeoisie and their pawn personals and organizations. The word „people“ encompasses the oppressed citizens of the country. The People‘s Liberation Army will not serve any interests of the oppressors and will fight for the oppressed citizens only.

B. BOURGEOISIE

22. We, the People‘s Liberation Army, sees the bourgeois class within our country as such:

23. Small bourgeoisie: This class made up overall of the bourgeoisie class in the country percentage wise. The People‘s Liberation Army considers them to be among the allies that should be recruited.

24. National bourgeoisie: This bourgeois class do not collude with the military personals and their connections to pursue their economic endeavors. This progressive aspect of the national bourgeoisie is the reason why they are considered as allies by the People‘s Liberation Army.

25. Military comprador cronies: From the military coup of General Ne Win in 1962 to this day, each successive generations of military junta carefully groomed businesspeople that will collude in cahoots with them for common economic interests. This class of compradors takes advantage of the power and authority granted to them by the military junta to dictate the domestic economy on their whim. They amassed ample material wealth by plundering the national resources and economic industries. Thus, this class was dubbed as the „crony class“ and some of the cronies are already billionaires now.

C. OUR HOMELAND

26. In each historical epoch, the feudal monarchs named our country „Myanmar“ (or Burma), such as „The 1st Burmese Empire“ of King Anawrahta, „The 2nd Burmese Empire“ of King Bayinnaung and „The 3rd Burmese Empire“ of King Alaungpaya. These names came from the victorious conquests of the feudal monarchs over the lands of other ethnic groups (for example; the invasion and annexation of Thaton Kingdom of Mon people by Anawrahta‘s Pagan Kingdom). In other words, „Myanmar“ stands for the imperialist empires of the Burmese feudal monarchies. Hence, through the ages, the word „Myanmar“ was coined to signify their unjust conquests and the triumphs. This is why „Myanmar“ as a name of the country will only stands for the triumphs of the Burmese chauvinism. And as a result, the People‘s Liberation Army vehemently disagrees with the name of the country being „Myanmar“ as it is tainted with Burmese chauvinism. The acknowledgement of this name implies the continuous practice of Burmese chauvinism over other ethnic groups in the country. Therefore, once the liberation of the oppressed citizens of the country is realized by the People‘s Liberation Army, a congress made up of people‘s representatives will be held to abolish „Myanmar“ as the name of the country and decided upon a new name for our country that is inclusive and agreed upon by everyone.

D. ANTI-EXTREMISM

27. The People‘s Liberation Army is against Burmese chauvinism and other extremist nationalisms of every ethnic group. In addition, the People‘s Liberation Army is also always against religious extremism, taking advantage of religious violence in politics.

6. CONCLUSION

28. Our strategic aim is to eradicate the military dictatorship from our country through armed struggle revolution. Once we accomplished this goal, we will continue to work together with various revolutionary forces, our colleagues-in-arms, in our collective struggle against the military dictatorship, to establish a new, united, peaceful and prosperous country.

Every step taken by the People‘s Liberation Army is none other than for the interests of the oppressed citizens.“