Unimportant Topics Take Up All the Time, Says Suu Kyi
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Unimportant Topics Take Up All the Time, Says Suu Kyi

By Wai Moe Thursday, January 31, 2008


In the reconciliation talks between Burma’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the junta’s liaison officer, Aung Kyi, most of the time is taken up on trivial subjects, according to sources in the National League of Democracy.

Senior members of the NLD who asked for anonymity told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that sometimes an hour- long meeting is filled up with explanations and questions, such as “What is cooperation?” and “What is collaboration?” by the junta liaison officer, Suu Kyi told a group of NLD members whom she met with on Wednesday just prior to her fifth meeting with Aung Kyi.

Suu Kyi said she has spoken to Aung Kyi about important issues, and he replies that he will report her remarks to top officials and then a month goes by with no discussions, NLD sources said.

Suu Kyi told her colleagues that Aung Kyi told her to endorse the regime’s “seven-step road map” to democracy because it’s the foundation of the junta’s plan for the country.

Instead, Suu Kyi suggested an inclusive reconciliation process that includes participation by ethnic group leaders in any talks about the country’s future.

“She [Suu Kyi] is not pleased with the talks,” said an NLD member. “She does not mean the process is hopeless, but it is being drawn out and prolonged.”  

Suu Kyi’s request to meet with the head of the military junta, Snr-Gen Than Shwe, has received no response from the junta, and the talks are proceeding without a time frame.

Suu Kyi said she does not want to give false hope to the people of Burma, but in such conditions something positive could happen.

On Wednesday, she said she recalled her father Aung San’s famous remark before he held talks with the British government in London during the pre-independence period, “Let’s hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.” 

A veteran journalist in Rangoon, Sein Hla Oo, commenting on the talks, said, “She [Suu Kyi] is not satisfied with the process. She thinks meaningful dialogue is very important for the country, but others think it is not important.”

Suu Kyi reportedly told her NLD colleagues to move forward without her, said the source. Sometimes she can lead the party; sometimes she will follow others’ leadership within the party, he said.

She suggested that sometimes the party needs to push and sometime it needs to pull, and if it is necessary, everyone needs to give up everything, he said.

He said she asked authorities to allow NLD deputy leader Tin Oo to participate in the meeting on Wednesday, but the authorities rejected the proposal.

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