MoeMaKa – Interview with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi


MoeMaKa : The next thing is that Burmese nationals living abroad, bonded via social networks, are doing self-financed humanitarian work [as time and money permit]. They also promote, support and honor social activists inside Burma. “Pyithugoneyi [Citizen of Burma award] activity” is a prime example. What do you want to tell about this?


DASSK : I’ve heard it and I’m glad. I want them to keep doing the [good] work. You all should be united to do so. It is not good that the groups in exile have been repeatedly blamed for the splits and disunity. I think the conditions sometimes will be better if they try to reconcile their political differences and perform collective social work.


MoeMaKa : Yes, Burmese nationals and ethnic nationalities in exile have had to migrate to border areas.  It has happened for almost 20 years. However, no matter where they are residing, they remain interested [on news and events back home] and have actively participated in activities on behalf of Burmese people, who are being oppressed at home. They have rejected and opposed the 2008 constitution and the 2010 election. What do you want to say about this?


DASSK : I want to say that these activities are very important. Especially now. I want you not to forget to join hands with ethnic groups. In fact, now is the critical time for us. All of us have to do things with collective forces at the moment. You know it. At present, the league has got more support in Burma than previous days. But claims that NLD is not a registered organization is [unfortunately] taking place inside Burma. So, it is the time for us to do [and resolve] many things.


MoeMaKa : Yes, as much as we learn and see, we want to tell you that almost all the people of Burma have already recognized the National League for Democracy not only as a political party but a state organization. How would you like to see the international attitudes to the NLD?


DASSK : Yes, another thing I want you to do is to help tell [the world] that it is unlawful to revoke the status of NLD. Our lawyers have registered NLD [as a political party] in accordance with the law. It is therefore illegal [and unethical] to revoke NLD’s registration. I also want the academics from all over the world to highlight this fact and to endorse us from legal view. I want you to do as well.


MoeMaKa : Yes, it is widely said that all the people have been closely following the activities and guidelines of political leaders like Daw Suu, and that they are carrying out the same movements.


DASSK : Thanks.


MoeMaKa : The next fact is that NLD’s movements and tasks for national reconciliation are being backed by the Burmese people, ethnic groups and political organizations. On the other hand, there are Tatmadaw (military), possibly new parliaments and other political forces in Burma. We want to know if you can manage to join hands with these groups. If so, how?


DASSK : We are trying. Currently, after meeting with individual candidates and two parties which ran for the election, we have reached an agreement to do for common good as much as we can. We will try to create more opportunities to cooperate. We believe that all of you will support the efforts.


MoeMaKa : In pro-democracy movements, one of the basic principles of NLD is to change the 2008 constitution. It also supports to develop a new constitution which fully guarantees democracy. NLD aims at founding a genuine federal union. In order to do this, how do you expect to organize other forces and political groups?


DASSK : It depends on organizations and individuals. They have experienced the situation somewhat. They, at first, said that they ran in the election to get political space. Now, you have to point to them if there [really] is political space for them. For such cases, what we should start with in to have a dialogue between two sides. Let’s say in today’s word. “Exchange and Engagement”. There should be exchange, engagement and exchange of ideas in a dialogue. Only after that, we need to decide how we should make them understand.


MoeMaKa : Supposing that the current junta and political forces cause troubles and dangers to the NLD,  what is your opinion on how we should carry out the activities in which the entire populace can participate in?


DASSK : I want to say that the main point is to have awareness within the people. International level awareness is needed in Burma. The communities in exile have more capabilities to get the people more understanding on the situations, and to support our movements than we can do at home. I want to ask you to help our activities in Burma when you know. I think I don’t need to say it because you always do.


MoeMaKa : Yes, well, at this point, one thing we want to present is that the international communities and democracy countries have been imposing sanctions against Burmese military junta in order to show their supports to pro-democracy movements in Burma. Our opinion about sanctions is these are signs of supports to our activities. These actions must be taken until the obvious political changes occur in Burma. It is the view of Burmese communities in exile.


DASSK : We agree with you about this. We only just said that we would review the situations. We have nothing to disagree with what you just said. We believe it is not true that the economic situations in Burma are becoming worse because of sanctions. We are going to make this fact clear. If the country suffers from sanctions, we will need to reconsider it. But, the facts you have just told me are our principles too.


MoeMaKa : Despite being taken actions by the international communities, the Burma’s regime, later, manipulated violent crimes like the 2003 Depayin Massacre to Daw Suu and NLD’s members. In the famous “2007 Saffron Revolution” and “2008 Cyclone Nargis’ tragedy”, the regime and its cronies committed crimes on unarmed and innocent Burmese people, including human-rights abuses, unlawful arrests, tortures and imprisonments. Therefore, we, Burmese communities in exile – with the United Nations and international organizations concerned- have been trying to form investigation teams in order to seek justice for those crimes, and to prevent them from happening again. These actions are clearly reflecting our stance.


DASSK : We agree on this as well. Nothing to disagree. We believe these principles are right. But, according to the situation, we have a duty to review. After reviewing, we will disclose what we really see. I think I have to reveal that sanctions have not caused economic crises in Burma. We acknowledge that it is worth.


MoeMaKa : Last but not the least, I would like to tell you that all the Burmese people expect to help “Panglong conference” arise. They themselves are eager to participate in it regardless of how and where they will be.


DASSK : I am grateful to you. We will need help for it. We will contact you when we need. I think you’d better tell the responsible people in NLD. What we have discussed is really worthwhile. It is encouraging to us that the opinion of the communities in exile is not different from ours. Take care of your health. Please [convey and] give my greetings and love to others.


             Presented above are the discussions of MoeMaKa’s members with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. During the interview, Daw Suu recalled about the late [Saya] U Tin Moe, poet of Burma, and told  Moe Cho Thin, younger daughter of Saya Tin Moe, that she always listened to Saya’s program over the air. Although Daw Suu can no longer hear the live voice of Saya Tin Moe, she finds it comforting to hear the voice of Saya Maung Swan Yi, a close friend of Tin Moe, on the air. Finally, she sent her greetings to Saya Maung Swan Yi and pen friends.