Re: Burmese vowels -- comments from A. Strube

From: Joan Aliprand (
Date: Fri Oct 16 1998 - 21:26:03 EDT

Arnd R. Strube <> irately questioned certain aspects of
the encoding for Myanmar script developed at the recent WG2 meeting, and
also cast aspersions on the WG2 process.

Rick McGowan wrote in reply:
> Well, Arnd, Ken Whistler wrote the passage in question. He was at WG2
> and I presume was part of the ad-hoc meeting, as were other people. Were
> you there? Do you know who was there?

Ken Whistler is overseas at another ISO meeting right now, so I am going to
reply on his behalf. I was there for the entire WG2 meeting, as a member
of the US delegation. I was seated next to the Myanmar delegates.

The Ad-Hoc committee on Myanmar script met several times during the WG2
meeting. Their final report is WG2 document number N1883R2 (formally,
ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 N1883R2). WG2 unanimously accepted the
recommendations in this document (Resolution M35.14).

Any comments on Myanmar script should be based on this document, and not on
earlier proposals (there have been several).

For the record, those who participated in the Ad-Hoc committee meetings
Kyaw Thien (Myanmar, Chairman of MITSC)
Aung Maw (Myanmar)
Khin Maung Lwin (Myanmar)
Thaung Tin (Myanmar)
Thein Htut (Myanmar)
John Clews (SESAME, UK)
Michael Everson (Ireland)
Hugh McGregor Ross (UK)
Ken Whistler (USA)
John Okell (invited expert, School of Oriental and African Studies)

Arnd R. Strube wrote further:

> [Expletive deleted]
> I happen to have seen the proposal that the Myanmar delegation
> submitted to the WG2. Yes, surely you got INPUT from the Myanmar
> experts. Your communications give me very good reasons to believe
> that you are IGNORING that input.

Ken's posting summarized the contents of N1883R2, which reflects the
*consensus* of the Ad Hoc committee on Myanmar script.

> You also fail to mention that
> this group of professionals was an official delegation, sent by
> and on behalf of, not only the various organisations they stand
> for, but the government of the Union of Myanmar.

Participants in the WG2 meeting were well aware of that the delegates from
Myanmar were official representatives of the national standards body of

My impression was that everyone was extremely pleased that the government
of the Union of Myanmar had sent their experts to this meeting.

> This is THEIR language, not yours, or anybody elses. You have no
> right to manipulate their choices just because you are in a
> position to do so, or because you happen not to agree with their
> government politically. Even if your proposal was linguistically
> or otherwise superior, which it is not, you would have no right to
> do so.

This is a completely unfounded assertion, and is a slur on the integrity
of the individuals who worked so hard on the Ad Hoc committee.

It is a slur on the Myanmar delegates in particular, to imply that they
would allow themselves to be manipulated by the other members of the Ad Hoc


> If I am doing anyone an injustice in any of the above, I am
> willing to stand corrected. However, nothing less than a full
> transcript of the proceedings of the Ad Hoc WG2 proceedings, or
> the word of one of the delegates from Myanmar, will convince me
> otherwise.

On what, then, are you basing your assertions? You admit have not seen the
Ad Hoc meeting report (that is, document N1883R2), which is the official
record. If you require the word from one of the delegates from Myanmar,
you cannot have asked any of them about the WG2 meeting and the Ad Hoc in

You are shooting from the hip, with insufficient facts, and not only should
you stand corrected, but you should offer an public apology.

I suggest you start baking your Humble Pie now.

-- Joan Aliprand
   Member of US delegation to WG2 Meeting #35


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