Reconciliation —'Don’t Let’s Lose Hope'
covering burma and southeast asia
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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

By Tin Maung Than Wednesday, December 15, 2004

(Page 3 of 5)

What is your view? 


A: My understanding [is that the] yardstick most people used to [delineate] moderate and hardliner was dialogue. Diplomats and media gave credit to Gen Khin Nyunt for the meetings between his men and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. I thought that the meetings were hardly possible without the blessing of Sr-Gen Than Shwe, especially when you portrayed him as the strongman. Instead of focusing on hardliner and moderate, why don’t we ask ourselves: why did the generals decline to get into dialogue? I think dialogue denial is a collective decision.


Q: How can the opposition make the military withdraw from politics?


A: You may see it as a lie, but Sr-Gen Than Shwe has already [accepted] that Burma’s only road to modernization is [through] democracy. He confirmed it [during] his India visit.  We must make a double effort: a pragmatic proposal that takes personal and institutional military interests into account and, on the other hand, domestic and international pressure. In other words, we should stage a domestic mass movement and international pressure for a possible, pragmatic political demand. The target is not to the hardliners but moderate forces in the military.


I think the wine bottle is the same whether Gen Khin Nyunt or Sr-Gen Than Shwe holds it


Q: You said once that if the military withdraws from politics, it will obtain legitimacy. Please explain.


A: Although democratic forces, including me, cannot accept it, the new constitution may have legitimacy when six conditions are met. First, the ethnic groups support the constitution. Second, the military sets a reasonable time schedule for withdrawal from politics in the constitution. Third, amendments [to] the constitution [are possible] or this constitution is transitional. Fourth, the referendum is free and fair and people vote for it. Fifth, elections are free and fair. Sixth, the National League for Democracy takes part in the election.

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