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                     Guest For  TUESDAY APRIL 7, 2009



                                   MOE  HEIN


    Former General Secretary of the Democratic

                Party for a New Society - Burma


               Former Political Prisoner - Burma  


Student Leader for the 1988 Generation in Burma


 The program can be viewed in its entirety by clicking the you tube link below:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S36RupE-2JM - MOE HEIN






Welcome to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's pages 3 April 2009
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's pages > Interviews > Student leaders warn of chaos if Burma?s NLD abolished
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 Student leaders warn of chaos if Burma?s NLD abolished Click to print this page Send this article to a friend

In an interview with the DVB today, the leaders of the 1988 generation of Burmese students expressed their concern about the future of the country as a result of the intensifying pressure against the main opposition party, theNational League for Democracy (NLD) led by detained Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

DVB staff Moe Aye talked to one of the renowned student leaders Ko Ko Gyi:

Moe Aye: How do you, Ko Ko Gyi, feel about the present pressure on the NLD members to resign, and the plan to hold mass rallies to pressure the NLD, which we have heard about, and which had been done before?

Ko Ko Gyi: What I understand and accept is that politics is very delicate. It is a work to win over the masses and their minds. It is a work that is aimed at winning over both the physical aspect and the mental side of the people. That is the essence of politics. We had experienced many mass rallies which were held either to denounce or to support issues prior to 1988 also. Hundreds of thousands of people attended those rallies at Kyaikkasan Grounds which we ourselves had to attend because each household had to be present there and the adults in our household sent us ? the children - in their place because they were not free.

Those rallies only showed the quantity - in other words, those were "hard power" only. But, how many among those people were in support of issues both physically and mentally or how many of those people represented the "soft power"? That is most important. What proves my line of argument is that in 1988, almost all of these more than 100,000 people, including the members of the only party in existence then, came down to the streets to join the protests. The fact of the matter is, once when a person gets involved in politics - whether to bring about political change or development in the nation - he will not get very far in doing either of that without the wholehearted support of the people. That is my understanding. Hence, whether one is forcing others to resign or planning mass rallies, these are all "hard power" acts or simply materialistic approaches.

Our country actually has strong Buddhist foundations and Buddhism is a faith which gives priority to the mind. According to our culture, the mind comes first in "soft power", which is popular these days, if observed from a Buddhist perspective. The physical and vocal aspects come next. It is, therefore, very hard for me to understand why materialist ideas - the use of force and threat and giving priority to a small group - could flourish in a country like ours, where Buddhist culture is so prevalent. I try to understand the situation and believe that it could not be the result of our culture or something that originated from it.

Moe Aye: I see. As reported in the newspapers about people resigning, how do you view that issue?

Ko Ko Gyi: Personally, the democratic system that I understand is the establishment of a contract between the elected representatives and the electorate. When establishing that contract, as I have mentioned before, there can be no threat or persuasion, and the process must be carried out voluntarily and the contracting parties must be physically and mentally sound. These are the factors that legalize a contract. If resignations, or objections, or expressions of support take place because of threats or persuasion they cannot be legal because the decisions were not made voluntarily by the people concerned.

Moe Aye: You may say that the acts are not legal but the other side is stepping up the rhetoric and even saying at press conferences that the NLD can be declared unlawful because they have proof, and so forth. Do you believe that they will declare the party as unlawful and if they do declare it, what will be future of the country be?

Ko Ko Gyi: The fact is many parties have been abolished, one after another, even before now. But, if they are to abolish this party which not only has won 82 per cent of the seats but also represents the people, then it would also be tantamount to reneging on the pledge made by the military at the time of the coup to build a multiparty democratic system. At the same time, we believe that the present leaders of the NLD are people very devotedly and delicately trying to bring about peaceful change. They have remained stoic and calm and have stayed on their course despite criticisms by people who felt frustrated with their approach. The consequences of destroying such a party would be chaos. I cannot guess to what extent it would happen but I am concerned about the unpredictable response. Once an organized approach is destroyed, there is a possibility that we will head for disorder. That is something I would very seriously like to say.

A similar concern was expressed by another student leader Htay Kywe about the oppression of the NLD.

Htay Kywe: What would happen if the NLD is abolished? Of course, you can use force to destroy the NLD but the real problems facing the country today are political issues and if we are to negate the only option left to resolve the problems through political means, then the ensuing chaos and complications may create a situation that will be uncontrollable by anyone.

Author: Democratic Voice of Burma - Date: 05.14.2006  Click to print this page Send this article to a friend

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Democracy Exploration

A journal on Burma studies reflecting views and opinions of the practitioners and supporters of Burma’s struggle for democracy, is published every four months by the Research and Study Centre of the Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS) and funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Journal of Democracy

Selected best articles from the Journal of Democracy for people of Burma to study.

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                                       Tuesday April 7, 2009

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