Setting the Record Straight: NLD Statement (Unofficial Translation by CG)
[Impression of Official Seal]
National League for Democracy
No (97/b) West Swhegondaing Street
Bahan Township, Rangoon
1371/Tago/8 [Burmese Calander]
“Appeal to the People”
1. The National League for Democracy was founded on the pledge to fulfill the objective toward democracy, as was the basis of demands made by the entire people during the 8888 pro-democracy struggle.Since its founding, the National League for Democracy has consistently made efforts to achieve the following objectives:
(1) The emergence of genuine democracy in Burma
(2) The realization of the full enjoyment of human rights
(3) To lay down a solid democratic foundation so that no forms of dictatorship can return to the country in the future
(4) To solidify the Union on the basis of equal rights given to the ethnic nationalities
(5) To contribute to international peace and security through building a stable and peaceful country by delivering modern economic progresses to the lives of the people
Members of the party and their leaders have made many sacrifices toward the realization of national reconciliation, which lies at the heart of efforts to achieve these goals.
2. The National League for Democracy had won 392 of the total 485 national constituencies during the 1990 multi-party democratic elections. In realistic terms, it was the Burmese voters conferring democratic legitimacy to the National League for Democracy party led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Accordingly, NLD Members of Parliament Elects have continued to try to work towards the realization of national reconciliation, the convening of People’s Parliament, as well as, finding a solution to the various problems faced by the people of Burma. Believing in the principle of finding a solution through dialogue and negotiation, the NLD had attended the National Convention organized by then State Law and Restoration Council (SLORC). Delegates of that Convention had, to the best of their abilities, tried within that framework so that a genuine democratic constitution can emerge. Unfortunately, all of those efforts were met with failure. The State Peace and Development Council had failed to convene the Parliament based on the results of the 1990 elections and in accordance with their own promulgated laws. And this is the reason why the People’s Parliament has not emerged.
3. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the National League for Democracy party, has a firm belief in the possibility that all political problems can be resolved through a dialogue and negotiation. Accordingly, she has consistently tried to seek meetings with the Tatmadaw (Burmese Military) leaders to find ways toward national reconciliation. But she was locked up in her own house despite her calls to have a dialogue. She immediately renewed her calls when she was released from house arrest. Despite all this [her commitment to non-violence] an assassination attempt was made on her life in 2003 during the Depayin massacre, which she barely escaped.
She remained focused on achieving solutions to the political problems by continuing to ask for a dialogue, putting aside grudges against those attempting to end her life. She was further convicted of a criminal offence using the case of the American tourist John Yettaw as a pretext. Placing the interests of the nation above any grudges, she continued to ask for a dialogue. In her latest letter to the Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council Senior General Than Shwe, she stated: “I plead to have a meeting with Senior General Than Shwe so that we can discuss matters relating to how the international sanctions on Burma can be lifted.”
In a nutshell, it is plainly evident that through these periods the National League for Democracy, which includes its leadership, its Members of Parliament and the broader party membership, have worked hard towards the ideals of democracy and national reconciliation in the country. These goals remain unsuccessful as the State Peace and Development Council has made absolutely no meaningful response.
4. The State Peace and Development Council has now promulgated new electoral laws that will govern the 2010 elections. These include laws governing the election commission; registration of political parties; election of the People’s Parliament; the National Parliaments; Election of Divisional (or) State Assemblies. These laws and regulations are both unjust and against the fundamental principles of fairness and justice.
Throughout world history, human societies have been built upon the notion of “fairness and justice.” It is already evident that these new laws [electoral laws] will not provide a just and equitable society in which there can be an equitable and just relationship between individuals, as well as, among different groups within the Burmese society. Moreover, these laws are not consistent with democratic principles which allow for the ability of people to enjoy such concepts as (distributive justice), (natural equality) [and] (political equality.) These are also against natural laws. Furthermore, the strict enforcement of the 2008 constitution, in fact, is a violation of basic tenets of democracy and human rights. These laws serve to obstruct the efforts of the United Nations Secretary-General and the international community in demanding that an inclusive and participatory election be implemented.
5. It was for these reasons that the Central Committee meeting of the National League for Democracy held on March 29, 2010, unanimously decided not to re-register the party to contest in the elections due to the unjust electoral laws.
6. Since its inception, the League has stood together with the people in the efforts to achieve democracy and national reconciliation, and has endured various forms of repressions, including arrests, incarceration, intimidations and restrictions at the hands of the military regime. The League expresses regrets to the people that these goals have not yet been realized.
7. Under no circumstances will the League turn its back on the people and the democratic struggle. The League would like to assure the people that it will continue to firmly stand with the people in continuing to pursue all available means of non-violent actions towards the realization of democracy, in accordance with the message of popular leader and Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi “I would like to assure the people that I will continue to work to the best of my abilities toward democracy.”
In accordance with the decision of the Central Executive Committee on 5-4-10
Central Executive Committee
National League for Democracy
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