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Suu Kyi urged to give priority to ethnic politics

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Burmese ethnic leaders have asked Aung San Suu Kyi, the MP-elect of the National League for Democracy [NLD] party, to make her first priority solving ethnic political issues, after decades of political and armed struggle against the government.

Shan ethnic leader Khun Htun Oo said, “I don’t think that Aung San Suu Kyi will forget ethnic affairs. Because of events, she cannot ignore it.”

Released from prison in early 2012, Khun Htun Oo noted it is a critical moment for ethnic groups across the country, which are trying to engage with the newly formed government and to build trust while forging a new political relationship.

Suu Kyi has said that she would give priority to three areas: the rule of law, establishing countrywide peace and trying to amend the 2008 Constitution. In the by-elections, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won seats in 40 constituencies, according to official Election Commission results. Results for five more constituencies are still pending.

NLD candidates won in ethnic areas in Kalaw in Shan State and Mawlamyaing in Mon State.

The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), an alliance of ethnic groups, said the electoral results show ethnic people trust Suu Kyi, and she could be a mediator in ethnic-government relations.  

Ethnic leader Nai Hong Sar said Suu Kyi wants to work with ethnic groups and the Parliament should “give her responsibility to work for ethnic people.”

“I believe she will work to amend the 2008 Constitution,” he said, which has been cited as a way to realign political relations between the government and ethnic groups, which have sought more autonomy over their affairs.  

A spokesman for the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) said Suu Kyi should give first priority to ethnic affairs like her father, General Aung San, who forged deep relations with ethnic groups.

“Establishing nationwide peace is the most important affair. I want her to do it first, and then she can work to establish democracy,” he said.
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 03 April 2012 21:13 )  

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