Reconciliation —'Don’t Let’s Lose Hope'
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Reconciliation —'Don’t Let’s Lose Hope'

By Tin Maung Than Wednesday, December 15, 2004


Tin Maung ThanThe Irrawaddy spoke to Tin Maung Than on the possibilities for political change in Burma and the need for the opposition to make a realistic plan with the regime. Tin Maung Than is a researcher at the Burma Fund based in Washington DC. He was formerly editor of the banned Thintbawa (“Your Life”) magazine in Rangoon.


Question: Do you see any hope for change in Burma with the ouster of Gen Khin Nyunt?


Answer: I still have hope for change after dreadful decades of military dictatorship. But, sadly, I don’t see any sign of it. There are two different approaches and I do not hear anyone coming up with [any] creative idea[s] to bridge the gap between the parties.    


Q: How do you see the leadership change affecting the National Convention? Will it lead to democracy?


A: I think the wine bottle is the same whether Gen Khin Nyunt or Sr-Gen Than Shwe holds it. [The] international community expected that Gen Khin Nyunt would hold a dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi within the framework of [the] National Convention. He just gave a hint but did not come forward with any political proposals. The road map, which Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] thought [of] as Prime Minister Khin Nyunt’s proposal, was in fact, not different from the old one in 1993 and the adopted chapters would not lead the country to democracy.

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