NLD Urged to reach out to Ethnic Groups in Burma
06 April 2012: Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy (NLD), a party that won a landslide victory in this weekend’s by-elections, has been urged to cooperate with Burma’s ethnic groups to bring peace in the country.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the UNFC (United Nationalities Federal Council), called on Daw Aung Suu Kyi and U Thein Sein to endeavour to achieve a genuine ‘democratic governing system’ in Burma as it congratulated NLD for its by-election success.
UNFC, an alliance of ethnic armed resistance groups, said it is willing to work closely with NLD to bring about ‘peace, rule of law and amendment of the 2008 Constitution,’ key campaign platforms of the NLD in the lead up to the by-elections.
“We, the UNFC, would like to make known our position that we will cooperate, participate and act to the best of our ability for achievement of the said three political objectives,” said the statement.
NLD’s victory in winning 43 out of 45 available seats in Sunday’s Burmese by-elections is now seen to test the ‘true’ stance of Thein Sein’s government on reform, as well as, Aung San Suu Kyi’s performance towards resolving the political crisis in Burma.
The Burma Army is still at war with ethnic Kachins in the country’s northern region where the by-election was not held, and cancelled due to lack of security as claimed by the authorities.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the Karen National Union (KNU) is set to leave for Rangoon today after holding state-level ceasefire talks with the government in Pa-an, Karen State on 4 April.
Many believe that failure to address the issues of the ethnic groups, who have been struggling for their rights for decades, will not bring about genuine peace and stability in Burma, a country ruled by successive military regimes since 1962 until the 2010 Elections.
Founded in February 2011 at a meeting held on a Thai-Burma border with 51 representatives from Burma’s ethnic groups in attendance, UNFC is committed to working for a better recognition of the ethnic armed groups, for ethnic equality, rights and self-determination, and for a genuine democratic federal Union of Burma.
Van Biak Thang