Aung San Suu Kyi erected icon in Rangoon in March 2012 (AL Porée)
The changes initiated in Burma at the highest state level does not affect the poorest populations. However, with the recent entry of Aung San Suu Kyi in the electoral race, the fear that haunted the desert spirits and dreams of a better tomorrow reborn.
In the Pagoda Shwe San Yar popular suburb of Rangoon - Burma's economic capital - echoing the prayers of twenty monks.
Zaw Win, 58, returned from a leisurely pace to her room, wrapped in his coat color plum. Former fisherman, he joined the Buddhist religious center of his native village after the death of his parents, eight years ago. This quiet and attentive man embodies gentleness and compassion:
"People here are poor. Miserable to the point that some are asking for food at the pagoda. Many people are unemployed. For us who live here, nothing has changed except the schedule more flexible ferry, which docks to 22 hours instead of 21 hours. "
Aung San Suu Kyi, the hope of change
Poor improvement in terms of the political opening initiated by the military junta since the November 2010 elections . The transition to a civilian government led by former general Thein Sein in March 2011 (after decades of military rule and oppression) and the acceleration of reforms for several months does not reach the poor: neither in the common Vibrant stuff that grew Zaw Win or Rangoon or in the countryside where nearly 75% of the population.
Burmese aspire to get out of a difficult day, and they are unanimous: the only one who can make this change is Aung San Suu Kyi. Flower icon on the bun, daughter of the national hero who led the country to independence, it now embodies the hope for many Burmese who are grateful to have as his father sacrificed so much for his people.
His campaign has attracted huge crowds. "Daw Suu [respectfully call Aung San Suu Kyi, ed] is Daw Suu! "Zaw Win slips into a smile. "There is it to change the lives of poor people. "
Priorities people, education and employment
The U Myent, a neighbor of the pagoda is busy renovating her house with planks and metal sheets new. Without hesitation, he displays his affinity with Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy (NLD)
"You see, this young man who helped me rebuild my house, it has to work as a laborer for 3,000 kyat [about 3 euros, ed]. It is not enough to feed his family, and he has a health problem, it's his salary goes. What we need is a free access to health care, jobs, better education. "
A short distance, the ferry crossed the Rangoon River docks to discharge are daily flow of passengers returning from their day's work in Rangoon.
Since its restaurant, U Win Naing looks at the crowd go into a concert of horns. He, whose father migrated from India in the 1920s to work as a train driver in Burma colonized by the British, remembers many stories about the paternal golden age of country.
At 59 years, bookworm and Burmese newspapers and Tamil got an opinion on the future of his country. He is adamant that education and employment, especially in industry and the transformation of national resources should be priorities. But so far, the newspaper has not improved.
For activists from the local office of the NLD, the changes are obvious, however. Htoo Thit, who spent ten years in prison for participating in student protests in 1988, the notes:
"Today, there are portraits of Aung San Suu Kyi everywhere, especially in the papers, and stickers and flags with the colors of the NLD are visible. And we can meet in public without being monitored and systematically photographed. Until 2010, meetings of more than five people were prohibited. "
A bloody crackdown against protesters who are still deeply marked the spirits. But his long stay in Burmese jails was vaccinated against fear, he says:
"What is needed is that we work with civil society to eliminate this fear. "
Decrease in purchasing power
On the other side of the river, the decrepit Rangoon vibrates and bubbly. In this setting of abandoned buildings to the vagaries of time, where buses and taxis dilapidated whirring, passing cars clashes. But it is less rare.
Taxis were indeed encouraged to invest in new models against a redemption of their old vehicle. The terms for buying a car would also be relaxed. Nilar Myaing protests:
"How can people buy a car? I'm looking for just one and a basic Toyota from 1990, I was asked this morning $ 22 000 [17 000 euros, note]! "
Burma was deemed to be the country where the cars are the most expensive in the world. The image is still required ...
The heart of the problem is the declining purchasing power of the population, evidenced by several families of teachers who value drops to 40% in a single year. Nilar Myaing says:
"People who earn $ 500 to $ 700 per month should be the middle class. However, they are struggling to meet their basic needs. They are wondering when they can buy an apartment ... "
A new expression of freedom
However, these same middle classes observed some improvements. Hla Hla Win, who spends an enormous energy to teaching English in Rangoon, evokes much better communications:
"Now I have Internet at home, the connection is faster than in the office, and I also have a cell phone that allows me to call when I want. It gives me freedom. "
Like her, her colleague htar htar Ei bought his sim 500,000 kyat (460 euros) six months ago. Prohibitively expensive, which is obviously not within the reach of every budget, but became accessible to a small segment of the urban population.
Pyasone, 21, also has a mobile phone for six months. His mother, editor, and his father, an archaeologist, found the means to offer him.
When fear fades
Hope woke up in recent months by the relaxation of government and more recently by the candidacy of Aung San Suu Kyi and her party in the elections of April 1 infiltrates especially the lives of workers in Rangoon.
Cho Cho Aung, discreet young woman of 28 years, working for the very political Bayda Institute, which trains young people in the NLD. She saw the opening course with great relief:
"In one year, things have changed. At home, no one argues for a long while, I hid my parents that I was working for the Institute for not worry. But I lived in fear. Today, the fear is gone. "
Htar htar Ei, who heads the Humanitarian Aid Program Network Activities Group in the dry zone 400 km north of Yangon, in turn finds she has "gained confidence" in what she could do.
More options and flexibility: this is the impression seems to win a particularly vibrant civil society, although caution or skepticism get involved.
Certainly, delays or administrative obstacles remain, corruption plagues the system, complications still occur, but Nilar Myaing, the energetic and pragmatic director of local resource center (LRC), reflected in his words the hopes of so many Burmese :
"Over the past ten years, I worked in fear. Today, I finally dared to dream. "