Ohn Myint is an ethnic Mon born in
Please describe your present
position and activities.
head of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National League for
Democracy- Liberated Areas (NLD-LA) and a member of the National
Council of the Union of Burma, responsible for the Foreign Affairs
Department in Chiang Mai, I liaise with the ASEAN countries,
are the roles of the NLD and the NLD-LA and the differences
NLD is not only a political party, it also represents the majority
of Burmese citizens. After the May 27, 1990 multi-party general
election, when the regime refused to transfer power to the NLD, we
formed the NLD-LA. We believed that our organization could deliver
the political messages to all ethnic groups for future national
reconciliation, unity and understanding and also advocate
much support do both organizations receive from the people of
NLD received 82% of parliamentary seats in the 1990 elections. It
was a landslide victory that meant the Burmese people said
no to the military and yes to the democracy.
As for the NLD-LA, it is difficult to say how many people support
us, but I am sure there are many because they can judge what we
achieve for the whole movement.
is your view on the imposition of economic sanctions by the
international community on
my view, more international pressure should be put against the
State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Since 1988 the regime
has faced the international pressure, including economic
sanctions, mostly from the western countries. But it would be more
effective with regional participation. The sanctions harms the
SPDC more than the people because they create a huge impact within
the regime and are currently causing quarrels among the generals.
The people have nothing more to lose from the regime’s
mismanagement, corruption and wrong economic policies.
pressure by the international community to release Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi from house arrest, the SPDC remains defiant. How long this
detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is no more than a part of the
SPDC’s political tactics to keep her as a hostage. The
international community must review their policies on
June 2003, you have openly criticized the stance of some ASEAN
countries on the detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Have there
been any changes since then?
ASEAN interest is mainly on economics. They do not want to disturb
the SPDC politically as they want to show the grouping’s unity
to the world. But they have now realized that the political crisis
should be the role of
have always considered that
you observed any change in policies after the removal of General
Khin Nyunt from all government positions?
SPDC now plays a dangerous game with
you have any information on Khin Nyunt’s present situation? Will
the SPDC put him on trial? What happened to his family?
don’t know about his whereabouts and his status. But his removal
from power increased the current power struggle within the SPDC,
which can be described as the biggest split in the Burmese
military history. He could face the bribery charges with which
many political prisoners has the SPDC actually released from
far as I know, less than 100 political detainees were freed, out
of about almost 20,000. All of them must be released
unconditionally, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi!
are the actual objectives and effectiveness of the democratic
forces inside and outside of
is a very simple answer; our main objective is to provide a better
life, security and basic human rights for our people. They badly
need a new political system that can provide them freedom. During
our struggle for democracy, we all agree that the ethnic rights
and other basic principles of equality are the keys to a peaceful
future. We still have many challenges ahead and a long way to go
to achieve our goals.
the financial aid from foreign donors to the exiles sufficient?
Has it been spent properly or just wasted?
financial aid to the democratic movement is not sufficient at all.
Donors appear currently to be interested in the post-regime
transitional period than in focusing on capacity building. Many
donors feel that democratic movement could be a prolonged
struggle, so they look to
do you see the role of the NCGUB? Are you satisfied with its
leadership as representative of the world-wide opposition
NCGUB should focus only on the political issues and I would like
to see them be more effective and efficient. Today, the opposition
movement is not just a survival issue, and you have to prove that
you can lead the movement. We can’t wait or think that the
generals will change their mind and provide us with a democracy
instantly. This is just a wishful thinking!
NEW ERA JOURNAL - FEBRUARY 8, 2005
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