RE­NAM­ING BRIDGE

New Straits Times - - World -

the nearby Karen eth­nic group, was part of a con­tin­gent of pro­test­ers who joined in sup­port of the Mon.

He said many mi­nori­ties felt Suu Kyi’s gov­ern­ment was deaf to their wishes.

The fight over the bridge’s name is seen as more than just a sym­bolic des­ig­na­tion, but part of a larger fight for eth­nic self-de­ter­mi­na­tion.

Suu Kyi’s fa­ther Aung San is re­garded as a na­tional hero, es­pe­cially among the Ba­mar ma­jor­ity.

But many eth­nic groups see him as a more con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure who failed to de­liver on prom­ises of greater au­ton­omy and fed­er­al­ism for them.

For decades, Myan­mar’s bor­der re­gions have been plagued by in­sur­gen­cies and civil wars against the Ba­mar-dom­i­nated mil­i­tary which is widely loathed by eth­nic mi­nori­ties.

Since win­ning a land­slide elec­tion vic­tory in late 2015, Suu Kyi has made it a flag­ship pol­icy to find a last­ing peace.

But those ef­forts have been ham­pered by some of the worst fight­ing in decades, par­tic­u­larly in the coun­try’s northeast.

Mon state re­mains peace­ful, but Suu Kyi’s party faces a by-elec­tion over a sin­gle seat there next month in which the bridge has be­come a ma­jor is­sue. AFP

AFP PIC

Pro­test­ers demon­strat­ing against plans to name a bridge after Aung San Suu Kyi’s fa­ther in Myan­mar’s Mon State yes­ter­day.

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