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NLD urges junta to seek national reconciliation

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The opposition National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, today repeated its call for the Burmese military junta to strive for national reconciliation as soon as possible, as it celebrated Burma’s National Day at NLD headquarters in Rangoon.

90anniversary-national-dayThe call came as pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi attended a ceremony to mark the 90th anniversary of National Day at NLD headquarters in Rangoon for the first time in seven years. The day marks the student strike against the British colonial administration’s Rangoon University Act in 1920, the start of the resistance movement that led to independence from British rule.

All three nationwide strikes against the British began at the university and her father Aung San, a student at the university at the time, participated in the protest in 1936.

“If you ask all the people living in this country what they would like to have, one answer is certain, that everybody wants to live peacefully,” Suu Kyi said in her address.

“To live in peace, we need safety and freedom. We need to be free from want and need. We must strive for all of these things. The national cause is not the cause of a single organisation, it is the cause of everyone, including civil servants. The civil service includes servicemen [military] also. This word includes everyone including political parties and individuals,” she added.

A genuine democratic country cannot be built without the participation of ethnic nationalities, party spokesman Ohn Kyaing said.

“Significant victories have been achieved whenever all the national races participated and strived in unison. The most important thing nowadays in our country that we need for resolving political issues is national reconciliation,” he said.

Also called for at the celebration was the release of all political prisoners including monks, laymen and student leaders, who could play a decisive role in resolving political issues practically, and for the creation of an appropriate political atmosphere to achieve this.

Poet Ko Lay (Inwa Gone Yee) drew a correlation between literature and patriotism, and between patriotism and national victory, by sharing his own experiences.

More than 2,000 people attended, including states and divisions NLD leaders, and those pf women’s young people’s wings, Committee Representing the People’s Parliament (CRPP) member Aye Thar Aung, Zomi National Congress chairman Pu Cing Tsing Thang, Thaung Ko Thang, veteran politicians Thakin Thein Pe, Thakin Thein Maung and Nai Tun Thein.

A similar celebration was held at the home of Thanlyin Township NLD branch secretary Soe Han, attended by NLD young people, and past and present Rangoon University students. They recited poetry and sang traditional thangyat songs, Burma Pro-democracy Activists Front (Ba Da Ta) secretary Yan Naing said.

The thangyat is one of the oldest examples of Burmese folk art. Often amusing and satirical, the form combines poetry, dance and music, sung to the beat of a traditional drum on festive occasions. In 1989, a year after taking power in a coup, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) generals banned public performances but it has been kept alive by Burmese communities in exile.

In his National Day message today, reported by junta mouthpiece New Light of Myanmar, SPDC leader Than Shwe said: “Now the Union Election Commission has successfully completed the fifth step [of the junta’s ‘seven-step road map to disciplined democracy’] holding free and fair elections to form Hluttaws according to the new constitution.”

“So only the remaining … sixth and seventh steps are left to be implemented to transfer state power to the people,” his message said.


His message failed to mention anything about educational issues, but merely called for the perpetuation of national sovereignty and the successfully completion of the state’s “road map”.

The National Day is marked the 10th day after Tazaungmone, 1282 BE (AD 1920), when the first Burmese students’ strike was launched, led by Rangoon University students in protest against the British colonial administration’s Rangoon University Act, which forbade Burmese people from pursuing higher learning.

Meanwhile, NLD members meeting in Meiktila District, Mandalay Division, issued a statement that interpreted the essence of National Day, saying that the first and foremost task (for the party) was to consolidate divisions in pro-democracy forces.

“When Aung San Suu Kyi was released, she was recognised as the national leader. On this occasion of National Day, despite the regime’s vote rigging and electoral fraud during the recent general election, the people unanimously chose her as their leader. We can work for national reconciliation with the military only if we have strength of this National Day victory,” Meiktila NLD branch secretary Myint Myint Aye said, without elaborating on what “victory” he meant.

The ceremony at the district’s NLD office was attended by 50 members from a total of eight townships. The mission statement adopted would be sent to Suu Kyi, he said.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 02 December 2010 14:32 )  

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