Young activists form network after seminar with Suu Kyi

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Young political activists have formed a network after a conference called by Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi at National League for Democracy headquarters in Rangoon today, an activist who attended the gathering said.

suu-kyi-meets-youth-storyBurmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks at a closed meeting with young people at National League for Democracy headquarters in Bahan Township, Rangoon, on Tuesday, December 28, 2010. More than 150 people attended. Photo: Mizzima

About 200 young people from various sections of society agreed to form the network after the six-hour seminar with the NLD leader, held at Suu Kyi’s request in her desire to listen to the issues affecting young people as the party prepares its action plan for next year.

The young activist who attended said those gathered discussed education, health, labour, social and economic issues and that more young people would be invited to participate in and through the network. 

“The network will work towards maintaining lines of communication between Auntie Suu [affectionate reference to Aung San Suu Kyi] and young people and to listen to what young people want and what they are willing to do to achieve it … Some young people have their own organisations but they are not linked by any kind of network. Auntie said that it could be arranged at once and then it appeared,” he told Mizzima.

In October, the then-detained party general secretary Suu Kyi expressed a wish to catch up with 21st Century technology, connect to the internet and use such social networking sites as Twitter after her release from house arrest to build contact with young people, senior NLD member and one of her lawyers, Nyan Win, told Mizzima.

Factory worker Thida (full name unavailable), who staged a demonstration in Rangoon’s Hlaing Tharyar industrial zone, presented her experience of exploitation by employers. Health workers and lawyers spoke on workplace hardships, and the irresponsibility and corruption of Burma’s ruling military junta.

Participants asked for Suu Kyi’s attitude towards the touted second Panglong conference, how to overcome fear in their political struggle, how to cope with repression of political activists by the junta. They also asked for her views on violent struggle, the 1990 election result, the 2008 constitution, and her attitude towards the 2010 national elections last month.

“Safety of our future can be achieved only if the young people’s organisations exist. Young people must participate in the country’s politics. They can feel safe if they are fully aware of their responsibility to the country. Otherwise, we couldn’t feel safe even if we could achieve democracy tomorrow,” a young person who attended the meeting quoted Suu Kyi as saying.


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