Rul­ing NLD cel­e­brates 30th an­niver­sary

The Myanmar Times - Weekend - - Front Page - CHAN THAR chan­thar@mm­times.com

The rul­ing Na­tional League for Democ­racy on Thurs­day cel­e­brated its 30th an­niver­sary, with a se­nior of­fi­cial of the party call­ing on mem­bers to help strengthen the NLD to bet­ter serve the peo­ple.

LEAD­ERS of the rul­ing Na­tional League for Democ­racy on Thurs­day urged its mem­bers to be law-abid­ing cit­i­zens to strengthen the party and gain the pub­lic’s re­spect.

U Nyan Win, a mem­ber of the NLD cen­tral ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, said that while the party is not al­ways united, it al­ways works to­gether to pro­mote the peo­ple’s wel­fare.

“Some say the NLD has di­vi­sions. Over the past 30 years, the NLD has not been al­ways united. Some­times we fight … but we unite when it comes to cru­cial is­sues af­fect­ing the peo­ple,” he said at an event mark­ing the party’s 30th an­niver­sary in Yan­gon at­tended by NLD mem­bers, MPS, diplo­mats and mem­bers of other po­lit­i­cal par­ties.

The NLD was estab­lished on Septem­ber 27, 1988. Al­though it won in the 1990 gen­eral elec­tions, the win­ning can­di­dates were not al­lowed to take their seats in the leg­is­la­ture. The party boy­cotted the 2010 elec­tion but fielded can­di­dates in the 2012 by-elec­tions. In the 2015 gen­eral elec­tions, the party won a land­slide vic­tory, re­plac­ing the mil­i­tary junta that has been in power for over half a cen­tury.

U Nyan Win said that a stronger NLD would be more ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing ba­sic ser­vices to the peo­ple and pro­mot­ing their wel­fare.

He urged party mem­bers to pro­tect the peo­ple’s ba­sic so­cial and eco­nomic rights and to ex­pose those who abuse power or ob­tain it dis­hon­estly.

“Party mem­bers are bound to watch for, dis­close and fight against abuses of peo­ple’s rights. We must shape the rule of law for the peo­ple as well as pro­tect and pro­mote peace, he said.

Since it took over the gov­ern­ment in 2016, the NLD has made the na­tional peace process the cen­tre­piece of its pro­gramme, but so far only 2 of the 10 armed eth­nic groups in­volved in the peace process have signed the Na­tion­wide Cease­fire Agree­ment.

In the past three years un­der the NLD and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the gov­ern­ment has held three ses­sions of the 21st cen­tury Pan­g­long Peace Con­fer­ence, with few tan­gi­ble re­sults.

But U Min Zaw Oo, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Myan­mar In­sti­tute for Peace and Se­cu­rity, said the key achieve­ment of the peace process was the eas­ing of ten­sions be­tween the Tat­madaw (mil­i­tary), the gov­ern­ment and armed eth­nic groups.

“In the past, dis­cus­sions had to be held in order to meet face-to­face. But now there is less ten­sion on each side and con­struc­tive dis­cus­sions can be held,” he said.

How­ever, crit­ics say the NLD gov­ern­ment has not achieved any sig­nif­i­cant progress to­ward peace among the armed eth­nic groups.

U Khin Maung Swe, chair of the Na­tional Demo­cratic Force party, said the NLD has yet to erect a po­lit­i­cal frame­work where ev­ery­one can be in­volved in the peace process and de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try.

“Al­though the NLD is 30 years old, leads the gov­ern­ment, and holds the most seats in par­lia­ment, it hasn’t been able to em­power the op­po­si­tion par­ties,” he said.

U Sai Nyut Lwin, sec­re­tary of the Shan Na­tion­al­i­ties League for Democ­racy, said the NLD has been un­able to re­solve many prob­lems, such as the Rakhine is­sue, the eco­nomic slow­down and high in­fla­tion.

“Our party has an al­liance with the NLD, but we have never dis­cussed pol­i­tics since it took over the gov­ern­ment,” he said.

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