Shwe Ohn and ‘Third Force’ to ally

by Nem Davies
Friday, 04 September 2009 22:25

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The veteran ethnic Shan politician Shwe Ohn, who will contest the forthcoming 2010 general elections, said that he would forge an alliance with a group of persons known as the Third Force.

His group the ‘Union Democracy Alliance’ formed in 2008 will have an alliance with the five-member group popularly known in Burma as the ‘Third Force’, which has adopted a policy of equidistance from both the military regime and the main opposition party the ‘National League for Democracy’. The new alliance group is now drafting and formulating its electoral policy.

“Yes, we will form it when the election law is enacted and announced. In future, it will be very difficult for us to work separately. We must amalgamate with the broad minded and cooperate,” Shwe Ohn who attended the historic Panlong Conference told Mizzima.

Those who join this new alliance are members of independent candidates’ network Nay Myo Wei, Htay Oo, Thein Tin Aung, Than Min Soe and Thaung Win.

“Now it’s 99 per cent sure. It’s difficult to contest as a lone party. There are only few people who dare speak and stand alone. So we decided to form an alliance,” Nay Myo Wei said.

“We do not have much difference with them in terms of policy. Anyone can join this alliance if the basic policy is the same as it allows a broad policy window. We have no plans to seize the top position as the founder. We are ready to follow any powerful leader who will join us,” Shwe Ohn said. Despite joining the alliance, he will maintain his own organization, he added. The so-called Third Force accepts the junta’s 2008 constitution and believes that only a peaceful and smooth transition from military rule to civilian rule is viable and practical.

“We do not hope to get executive power. It’s impossible. But we hope to get into the legislative. We will get into the Parliament as Member of Parliament,” Thein Tin Aung from the five-member group said.

“Some parties have idealistic hopes of having the Prime Minister’s post. This is just an ideal. It’s impossible,” he added.

Their position is not to be stooges of the army and they will not oppose the regime either. They will also not follow the NLD. Neither will they slander it, they said.

The NLD won a landslide victory in the 1990 general elections but the ruling junta, which grabbed power in a coup, is still refusing to transfer power to the party.

Shwe Ohn (86) wrote a book titled ‘Let’s build unbreakable Union’ which has 17 chapters with 311 pages. He wrote on the migration route of ethnic nationalities in Burma, emergence of Bagan Kingdom, the landmark Panlong agreement and his views on the constitutions of Burma in the book.

The book was widely circulated among political activists in 2008 but the censor board has not yet given permission for publication of the book.

He also wrote a book titled ‘How about the Third Union’ in 1993. In the same year he was arrested and sentenced to one year in prison for submitting the ‘8-States Union’ paper at the National Convention.

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