Monday, 18 November 2019

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88-Generation students brief FM Hague


Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – 88-Generation students told the visiting British foreign secretary before he left Burma the National Defence and Security Council is more powerful than the president in making important decisions in the country.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague with 88-Generation student leader Myat Thu at the residence of the British ambassador in Rangoon on January 6, 2012. Photo: Ko Myat ThuMyat Thu of the 88-Generation group told Mizzima he told FM William Hague at an hour-long meeting on Friday: “In every important decision for the country such as releasing political prisoners and the stopping the civil war, the real power does not rest with the president but it is in the hands of the powerful Defence and Security Council, and most of the members of this council are army leaders. Reforms in Burma can be realized only after the their approval.”

88-Gen student leaders who met Hague included Myat Thu, Zin Mar Aung, Myat Ko, in addition to Myo Yannaung Thein, Phyo Min Thein and comedian and activist Zarganar.

Other matters discussed during the meeting included the April 1 by-election, ethnic affairs, the political prisoners issue and humanitarian assistance to Burma.

“We told him not to ignore the plight of war refugees and the internally displaced persons who have taken refuge along the Thai-Burma border. He told us that they would spend £ 2 million on the refugees,” said Myo Yan Naung Thein.

He said the FM asked about the opinion of 88-Generation student leaders on the economic sanctions imposed on Burma.

Myo Yan Naung Thein said, “We have different opinions on this issue. But all agree that the economic problem must be solved. In my opinion, Chinese businessmen dominated the economy of our country for so long that they would benefit from the sanctions. So we told them they should invest in Burma only after it has a real market economy and the necessary rules are enacted.”

Myo Yan Naung Thein also said the international community expressed great interested in how the 88-Generation students and the National League for Democracy (NLD) party would cooperate in working for democratic reforms in Burma.
 

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