Burmese oppositions aligned to form a ‘United Front’
by Ko Wild
Tuesday, 07 April 2009 22:26
Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Several Burmese opposition groups during a meeting last week in Thai-Burmese border had decided to form an inclusive united front to strengthen unity and consolidate.
The meeting held from April 2 to 4 was attended by representatives of pro-democracy organizations, including women’s and ethnic united fronts and the coalition government in exile.
“We badly need unity and consolidation at this juncture. We need to pave the way for setting up of a sole, unified and consolidated united front, which will be more effective. We will oppose the 2010 election, but how. So we discussed these at the meeting,” Pado David Taw, Joint-Secretary (1) of the Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC) said.
The meeting was attended by 58 delegates representing seven alliance organizations namely the ‘National Council of Union of Burma’ (NCUB), ‘Ethnic Nationalities Council’ (ENC) (Union of Burma), ‘Women’s League of Burma’ (WLB), ‘Forum for Democracy in Burma’ (FDB), ‘Students and Youths Congress of Burma’ (SYCB) and the ‘Nationalities Youth Forum’ (NYF).
The goal of the meeting was to explore and adopt a common programme for the Burmese democracy movement.
The meeting decided to form a 14-member working committee from among the delegates; to draw and adopt the basic principles for forming the alliance. But it did not set a deadline for completing these basic principles.
Pado David Taw said that one of the common programmes adopted in the meeting was the ‘elimination programme’ of the new 2008 constitution. This is fundamental for the implementation of democratic transition and conforms to the principle with the four-point agenda being called for by the NLD and political forces for ‘reviewing the constitution’.
“In fact, the stand of our revolutionary forces is total elimination. But as for the NLD, its stand is reviewing the constitution. We concluded that it was difficult for the NLD to call for total elimination explicitly. So we added one more point in the agenda in keeping with their demand,” he said.
The timing of trying to set up a single united front by merging all the seven separate alliance organizations coincides with the pressure being mounted on the oldest revolutionary group among them, the ‘Karen National Union’ (KNU), to enter into a dialogue with the Burmese junta by the Thai government.
But KNU Central Executive Committee member Pado David Taw said that KNU will only discuss political affairs with the regime, not territorial and economic issues so that it will not reflect on the stand and expansion of the alliance organizations.
Pado David Taw also said that the KNU delegation led by ‘Karen National Liberation Army’ (KNLA) Chief of Staff Gen. Mutu Saypho and comprising KNU Vice-Chairman Pado David Tarkapaw and General Secretary Naw Zippora Sein held discussions with Thai officials on Monday.
But who represented the Thai side and the subject of the meeting are not yet known.