Sunday, 17 November 2019

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Home > News > Inside Burma > Than Shwe should not let go of Suu Kyi’s offer: Observers

Than Shwe should not let go of Suu Kyi’s offer: Observers


New Delhi (Mizzima) - Detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s proposal to meet the ruling junta’s military supremo Snr Gen Than Shwe in person to further discuss easing of sanctions, is a good step and could lead to a breakthrough in Burmese politics, observers said.

Detained Nobel Peace Laureate, through her party spokesperson, Nyan Win, on November 11, sent a second proposal requesting Than Shwe for a meeting in person to further discuss easing of sanctions.

According to the letter, released on Tuesday by the National League for Democracy, Aung San Suu Kyi also requested Than Shwe to allow her to pay homage to ageing party Chairman Aung Shwe, Secretary U Lwin, and executive committee member Lun Tin, at their respective residences.

She also requested to allow a meeting with the NLD Central Executive Committee (CEC) at her lakeside residence after which she is willing to cooperate with Than Shwe on activities that serve the interest of the nation.

“I would like to request a meeting with Senior General Than Shwe to discuss on activities that we should be cooperating with him for the interest of the nation,” she added in her letter.

Aye Thar Aung, Secretary of the Committee Representing Peoples Parliament (CRPP), an alliance formed among various ethnic political parties and the NLD in Rangoon, said he welcomed Aung San Suu Kyi’s proposal.

“We would welcome any initiative that could start a dialogue and ultimately lead to national reconciliation,” Aye Thar Aung said.

Though the pretext of the meeting might be to follow up on easing western sanctions, it could be the first step in building trust between the opposition and the military, which can kick-start a process of national reconciliation.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s letter to Than Shwe is the second proposal sent by her in three months. In September, the Nobel Peace Laureate, told Than Shwe she is willing to cooperate with the government to help ease western sanctions, and requested to arrange a meeting between her and diplomats from United States, European Union, and Australia, which was granted.

“It is a good move from Aung San Suu Kyi. Than Shwe should have agreed for the talks a long time ago. But it is not too late now either. He should grab this opportunity and start the process of national reconciliation,” Aye Thar Aung said.

Meanwhile, Nyo Ohn Myint, foreign affairs in-charge of the NLD in exile (NLD-Liberated Area) said, he believes that Than Shwe is likely to make a positive response and meet the Burmese pro-democracy leader, as it would be more beneficial for the military regime to hold talks at this moment.

“Because after Aung San Suu Kyi offered her help to cooperate with the regime to ease sanctions, Than Shwe seems to be happy, and is becoming softer,” Nyo Ohn Myint said.

He said, the Burmese democracy icon is taking the right step in proposing a direct meeting with Than Shwe, and believes that it is the first move in her effort to start a process of national reconciliation.

“Aung San Suu Kyi’s action reveals that she is putting the people as her priority. And it is also timely for her to make the proposal,” he added.

But he said, Than Shwe will have to deal with political problems including ethnic nationalities aspiration for federal union, and democratic movement.

Aye Thar Aung said, “If Than Shwe fails to grab the opportunity and agree to meet Aung San Suu Kyi, the country would further suffer, and both sides would not benefit. But the military must understand it can no longer go ahead with its plan, and will lack support from the international community.”

Aung San Suu Kyi’s proposals came as the international community, particularly the United States, is throwing light on the situation in Burma with an announcement of its new policy on the country.

It also coincided with the ruling junta’s effort to contain ethnic armed groups into its Border Guard Force issue, in conformity with its newly drafted and approved 2008 constitution, on which next year’s general elections would be based.

The US has made it clear that it will abandon its old policy of isolation and directly engage the military regime, but will maintain existing sanctions, which would be expandable or ease it depending on the junta’s behaviour.

 

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