Na­tional League for Democ­racy turns 28

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - YE MON yeemon­tun@mm­times.com

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.

PHOTO: ZARNI PHYO

Na­tional League for Democ­racy sup­port­ers at­tend the 28th an­niver­sary cer­e­mony at the party’s Yan­gon head­quar­ters yes­ter­day.

Photo: Zarni Phyo

Sup­port­ers of the Na­tional League for Democ­racy at­tend a cer­e­mony mark­ing the party’s 28th an­niver­sary in Yan­gon yes­ter­day.

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