Journal of Burma Studies - Volume 4
"The North Win and the Sun: Japan's Response to the Political Crisis in Burma, 1988â1998"
Donald M. Seekins
Japan's response to the political crisis in Burma after the establishment of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in September 1988 reflected the interests of powerful constituencies within the Japanese political system, especially business interests, to which were added other constituencies such as domestic supporters of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's struggle for democracy and those who wished to pursue 'Sun Diplomacy,' using positive incentives to encourage democratization and economic reform. Policymakers in Tokyo, however, approached the Burma crisis seeking to take minimal risksâa "maximin strategy"âwhich limited their effectiveness in influencing the junta. This was evident in the February 1989 "normalization" of Tokyo's ties with SLORC. During 1989-1998, Japanese business leaders pushed hard to promote economic engagement, but "Sun Diplomacy" made little progress in the face of the junta's increasing repression of the democratic opposition.
"Pottery in the Chin Hills"
During my research on contemporary pottery villages in Burma, I was given the name of one such village, Lente, by a native now living in the United States. Lente is located in the Chin Hills, a remote area of western Burma difficult to access, inhabited by many tribes speaking a large number of languages. Foreigners are rarely given permission to visit the Chin Hills, and although I obtained permission to travel to Lente, I was ultimately prevented by the authorities from going further than nearby Falam. I was nevertheless able to collect data from Lente in three ways: first, my guide Daw Moe Moe was able to visit Lente and take photographs of the potters there; secondly, Daw Moe Moe was able to return to Falam with a potter from Lente village and with enough of the proper kind of clay to facilitate a demonstration which I photographed and documented; and thirdly, I was given a copy of a videotape showing the potters working in Lente village. This tape was taken by a young man from Falam who is interested in recording local crafts processes. The tape allowed me to observe a process of making pots with which I was totally unacquainted, and which has otherwise escaped recent photographic or video documentation. This was a true "discovery" concerning the ways in which pots can be made, and still another indication of the imagination and ingenuity of humankind.
"Languages in Contact: The Case of English and Burmese"
Julian Wheatley, with San San Hnin Tun
This article deals with the nature and the effects of the long period of linguistic contact between Burmese and English. Part 1 deals with general issues of contact and borrowing; part 2 provides examples of English loanwords in Burmese, and considers the processes of phonological and semantic accommodation that they reflect.
"Sariputta and Moggallana in the Golden Land: The Relics of the Buddha's Chief Disciples at the Kaba Aye Pagoda"
In this article, the author reconstructs and documents the story of the relics of the Buddha's chief disciples, Sariputta and Moggallana, at the Kaba Aye Pagoda in Burma. Using previously unpublished archival materials, including first-hand archaeological reports and internal museum documents, as well as contemporary newspaper accounts, the author details the discovery of the relics by British military officers in 19th-century India, the subsequent removal of the relics to England where they were placed on museum exhibition, and their eventual reenshrinement in Burma and India 100 years later.