The military junta fears her, and undermine her appeal, has launched a defamation campaign against her. November’s useless vote is but another stage in the fight for democracy.
New Delhi (AsiaNews) – The military’s lies, the pullout of the pro-democracy forces, and widespread lack of confidence among ordinary people should not stop the fight for democracy in Burma. The country, which soon goes to the polls for the first time in 20 years, should be united on that day, which the generals have made off-limits to the international community.
AsiaNews spoke to Tint Swe, a member of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), set up by refugees from Myanmar following the 1990 elections. After fleeing to India, he has lived in New Delhi since 21 December 1991.
Like everywhere, in Burma, there are always pros and cons as well as positives and negatives whenever a move is done from either side. By and large, the military rulers made moves first and the opposition has to react. At times, the opposition started the move ahead the regime has to counter it.
When the people of Burma demonstrated in 1988, ultimately General Ne Win who has ruled for 26 years gave up. But the next two presidents tried to kill and quell the protest.
When the people voted for the National League for Democracy (NLD) in 1990, the then junta in the name of the State Law and Order Restoration Council had to hurriedly act in response to the legitimate call for a new government and the parliament by issuing the historic announcement 1/90 on 27th July 1990 which assigned that all elected Parliamentarians were to merely draft a new constitution. However, when the national convention to draw up the constitution was practically held on 9th January 1993 the elected MPs constituted only 15.24% at outset and in the later sessions, it was reduced to barely 1.38%.
“A dead woman bites not.” When Aung San Suu Kyi was gathering more and more public crowds during her around-the-country tours, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) attempted to kill her on 30th May 2003. Fortunately, she survived and the world outraged. The junta had to respond with announcement of the Roadmap. The upcoming election is the key of that.
A long fight against the dictatorship takes exceptionally lengthy in Burma. Meanwhile both sides lost so-called own men. From the NLD more than a hundred elected parliamentarians have died, three of them killed in the prisons and two assassinated outside the country. Meanwhile a number of intellectuals who have advocated for democracy collaborated with the regime. One of Aung San Suu Kyi’s assistants turned hostile. Before the upcoming election, a few scholars are visiting abroad to lobby for the junta’s election.
The dilemmas also caused the NLD causalities. After the unanimous decision was made on 29th March 2010 not to re-register, some leaders of the NLD left the party and formed the National Democratic Forum (NDF) to field 164 candidates in the election to be held from 7th to 11th November this year. It is more than hearsay that NDF received fund from junta’s party UNDP, which will contest almost all seats.
The regime is not immune. Look at General Ne Win, General Saw Maung, and General Tin Oo who died shockingly and disgracefully. There are also living dead army officers such as Brigadier Aung Gyi and Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt.
So far, the opposition keeps the top leader alive. Although the party has been stripped off the legal attribute, all NLD members disallowed to contest and the constitution has been made as no-woman head of the state possible, Aung San Suu Kyi is still regarded as a person whose liberty might bring the regime down. The junta feared of holding the election before she was freed. Only when she said about boycott election, the election commission made a correction and informed that she had the right to vote. The message to her people is that the people have the right to vote as well as the right not to vote.
Propaganda machinery if effectively used can turn events upside down. Rumour machine also can efficiently mislead and misinform to some extent. Now and again, the military intelligence has printed thousands of leaflets of Aung San Suu Kyi to defame her. There have been numerous mischievous articles about her in the state-run newspapers written by various pseudonyms. Almost all subordinates have been taught or ordered of false accounts of Aung San Suu Kyi. A deserter soldier who fled to India told that Aung San Suu Kyi was the woman who made troubles. Continue reading “Notwithstanding the election farce, Aung San Suu Kyi is “Burma’s one leader” by Tint Swe”
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