Will Suu Kyi Face ‘Another Depayin’ When Released?

After she is freed on Nov.13, detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will tour the country to rally supporters and ignore the possibility of attacks similar to the  Depayin massacre, say political colleagues.

“She will go around the country and reach out to the people even if she faces another Depayin,” said Win Tin, one of the leaders of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), which  has been disbanded for failing to register as a political party.

Photos of Depayin Massacre

2004 Second Preliminary -Ad hoc Commission On Depayin Massacre Eng

“The political awakening will be high again in the public once Daw Suu is released,” Win Tin said. “Even while under house arrest, she has posted letters outside her compound and given us political messages.”

On Nov.13, a week after the elections, the Nobel Laureate will be freed when she completes her 18-month term of house arrest, the Agence France-Presse news agency reported on Thursday, quoting unnamed Burmese government officials.

Win Tin said he expects that the regime will impose restrictions on Suu Kyi’s movements when she is released. But the NLD is currently consolidating and preparing itself so that it can carry out mass-based activities under Suu Kyi’s leadership in the post-election period, he said.

“But we have no plans to carry out a mass uprising,” he said. “We were not in a position to do that. But with the aim of opening a dialogue with the regime, we will put pressure on the regime through non-violent activities.”

Meanwhile, the Burmese regime’s political oppression continued as it detained a number of university students last week for advocating an election boycott, and its courts on Thursday sentenced 13 people accused of bomb plots and other activities to disrupt the elections to long prison sentences.

Despite the fact that some NLD members quit the party to contest the election, saying the election is a chance for gradual democratic changes, the party retains hardcore members across the country.

Khin Saw Htay is one of them, an NLD leader in Yenanchaung Township in Central Burma. She said she had decided to turn her back on Suu Kyi if the latter had not chosen to boycott the polls.

“Daw Suu once called for civil disobedience against unjust decrees,” she said. “Now she must call for defiance against unjust laws.”


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