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NLD party makes parting gesture for pupils

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The National League for Democracy made a final goodwill gesture towards jailed colleagues as a party by providing scholarships to children of political prisoners a day before the party re-registration deadline under the Burmese ruling junta’s electoral laws announced in March.

Bursaries of 23,000 Kyats (US$23) each were given to 127 children from 14 townships in Rangoon Division from the final balance of party funds during a ceremony at NLD party headquarters in Shwegondine Street, Rangoon, on Wednesday night.

The ceremony was usually held on party leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s birthday on June 19 but this year she had suggested holding it before the expiry date for party re-registration and the party’s abolition by the authorities, party vice-chairman Tin Oo said.

NLD won a landslide victory in the 1990 general election but the junta refused to honour the results and clung to power by force. The party decided against re-registering in protest at electoral laws apparently targeted by the junta at excluding it from participating in upcoming national elections. Under the laws, May 6 is the last date by which old parties registered for the 1990 polls can re-register. If they fail to do so they will be deregistered.  educational-aid1s

Party women’s wing chief Dr. May Win Myint said this was the ninth time stipends were given to students of classes from primary to university level. NLD Rangoon Division branch gave these stipends to family members of political prisoners in the division after their requests to the party’s social aid group. Similar awards were made to students in other states and divisions, she said.

“We have no provisions or appropriations for the cost of educating these students, per head per year”, Tin Oo said.  

More than 2,100 political prisoners remain behind bars and they too are barred under the electoral laws from contesting the forthcoming elections. 

Tin Oo said the party intended to provide more educational stipends to such students if the organisation continued to receive donations.

The NLD and Aung San Suu Kyi had presented applications for an injunction and a lawsuit for declaration with the Supreme Court, seeking deletion of some sections of the Political Parties Registration Law last week, but the court dismissed the bids yesterday.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 06 May 2010 21:04 )  

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