National League for Democracy turns 28
From rag-tag student-supported opposition to ruling party, the NLD has undergone momentous changes in its nearly three decades of existence, which it celebrated yesterday with a renewed pledge to overseeing national reconciliation and the establishment of a federal state.
CELEBRATING its birthday for the first time as Myanmar’s ruling party, the National League for Democracy marked its 28th anniversary yesterday by emphasising its commitment to national reconciliation and the establishment of a federal state based on the principles of freedom, justice and equality.
A statement released by the party said the NLD was prepared to tackle the nation’s problems, and urged members of the public to work handin-hand toward a more prosperous future.
“The NLD will march on along with the people into a future that we ourselves will create,” read the statement.
The party’s statement also expressed gratitude for the understanding of the public, ethnic nationalities and all other stakeholders as it faces down deep-rooted challenges and pushes for historic change.
“Stakeholders have demonstrated the democratic culture of perseverance, compromise, mutual respect and fairness for the nation,” said the statement.
Party patron U Tin Oo, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein and regional parliamentary Speaker U Tin Maung Tun (NLD; Dagon 1) joined more than 100 other NLD members in commemorating the 28th anniversary of the party’s founding at its headquarters in Yangon.
U Tin Oo yesterday said national reconciliation and bringing an end to armed conflicts in the country were among the party’s highest priorities.
“There is no word to substitute for national reconciliation and we cannot make any successful changes without national reconciliation,” he said.
Though not in attendance yesterday, party leader and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi sent a message to the NLD faithful urging them not to worry about her health, after her office revealed this week that she was suffering from fatigue and other health issues that doctors blamed on the rigours of a recent trip abroad.
“Her health condition is good. She is taking a rest because of the long trip and different climate [in Britain and the United States],” U Tin Oo said. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi returned from a two-week trip to London, Washington and New York on September 25.
NLD spokesperson U Nyan Win said the state counsellor planned to take a week’s respite before returning to work.
The NLD was founded on September 27, 1988, a product of the nationwide pro-democracy uprising that had reached its apex the month prior. For the more than two decades that followed, party chair Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and thousands of her supporters were persecuted by the military junta that ceded power in 2011.
Following political reforms by the quasi-civilian administration that preceded hers, the state counsellor’s party rejoined the electoral fray in a 2012 by-election and won a landslide majority in the November 2015 general election. Amid sky-high expectations and in spite of a constitutional ban on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi assuming the presidency, the NLD government – with the state counsellor as its de facto leader – was sworn into power in late March.
National League for Democracy supporters attend the 28th anniversary ceremony at the party’s Yangon headquarters yesterday.
Supporters of the National League for Democracy attend a ceremony marking the party’s 28th anniversary in Yangon yesterday.