“Is he out of touch from reality?”



Q: In out last interview, you were telling us that the legal standing of NLD party should be resolved through lawful means with the new regime. Some commented to us that you become soft in standing up against the Burmese regime.


A: What I told was our party was born from the uprising of 1988 by the Burmese people. We had registered our party accordingly to the regime’s election commission on 30th September 1988. If they (the new regime) take these facts under the consideration and if they regard us as a standing political party to be able to carry on under the fair and just rules and law, we are also willing to sit and discuss the terms and conditions.


Q : If they say that they don’t have law and rules to regard yours as political party, what is your reaction ?


A: It is very clear and obvious. The Burmese people have recognized us as people’s party. We will carry on to stand as people’s party. Not only the Burmese people, but also the International community have already regarded as long standing political party so that we cannot just abandon the fact.


Q: Now you are not in good health, and now in hospital. You cannot attend NLD office and miss meetings. So some are saying that you are out of touch with NLD and from the current situation of Burma. What would you like to say?


A: I am dedicating myself into the political process of our country. I have visitors, answer phone calls and discuss with all the people of all concerns day in day out. Please understand that Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo were not visiting me just to say “How are you”. There’s a lot of on going discussion and talks among us. With old and young generation of our time, I have opened my phone, doors and even my hospital doors to them. I have not closed anything out.


Q: Let me talk about this year on 19th July – the Martyrs’ Day event. This is the first time ever for you and your fellow political opposition leaders together out of jail and house arrest to commemorate this event. In the past, 22 years ago, you all, U Win Tin, U Tin Oo and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi with many students and party members were detained, arrested and jailed by the Regime for calling “civil disobedience” movement on this very day against the rule of the regime. Now 22 years has passed. How do you mark this event today?


A: We embrace with broad mindedness, understanding, compromise and transparency when marking this historic day of Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi has accepted the invitation from the ruling regime to attend their Martyrs’ Day commemoration. And also as leader of NLD and leader of all Burmese people, together with Burmese public, we marched to the Martyr’s Mausoleum and paid respect as a public event.  We have marked the day with 2 kind of way. The regime’s way and also with the wish of the public way, both we have managed to accommodate. What I would like to point out is that if the current regime is reasonable, just and fair, we will also be flexible in the same manner too. And also the Burmese public will be disciplined, united and solidarity in their action facing such situation. So we have 2 ways to handle the commemoration of Martyr’s Day.


Q: Back in 19th July 1989, we used to have the slogan of “ Don’t obey the law that are unjust, this is our responsibility”. We don’t need this anymore now?


A: As I have answered to you previously, we are born from the people uprising and we are the People Party. We have always stood against any unjust and unfair law and rules as responsible People party. If there’s a need for civil disobedience against any unjust law and unfair rules, we are always ready and willing.


Q: On last 23rd July, there was an anniversary event marking the passing of Burmese literary and national icon, Thakhin Kodaw Hmine. At the event, they circulated the request of one renowned artist, Dagon Taryar – calling for peace and end of civil war in Burma and beyond.  You were with Dagon Taryar on last May at his 93rd birthday event and also mentioned of the “Peace Movement in Burma”. Anything to add?


A: Yes, I did tell such in his birthday event last May. We used to have “Peace Movement in Burma” back in 1952 – 1962 where there was civil war in Burma.  Thakhin Kodaw Hmine was an inspiring leader of the movement. Due to the civil war, the Peace Movement for Burma became a major public campaign in Burma. We had a lot of public discussions and workshops for Peace Movement of that time. So we should have such campaign and movement again today as a need and we need all public and ethnics participations with all old and new generations. This should be public movement and activity. We as NLD should not lead it.


Q: At the anniversary event of the passing of Thakhin Kodaw Hime, we have seen Aung San Suu Kyi attending the event. So can we say that she also support new “Peace Movement in Burma”?


A: Yes, I think this peace campaign should be participated with all walks of life in Burma. It is necessary and important for Burma. She knows it too.


Q: If we are just demanding one-sided peace in Burma, what will happen to the perception of the international community? Right now armed ethnics groups are defending their lives and their livelihoods at the border area from the ruthless attacks of the ruling regime. The current regime is waging war on minorities at the borders killing and displacing thousands of nationals. Refugee’s numbers are now growing. We need to protect them and defend for them. Peace could only be attained if both sides participate in the process, right?


A: Sometime ago, I heard that there was a conference on China in Hong Kong. There was a suggestion-circulating saying that for Peace Movement, we should call for cease-fire and we should first call for it. What I would like to point out is – it should not be one-sided call or demand. For Pace, all of the whole Burmese people and ethnics nationals in solidarity should act as national campaign. And it should not be abused or taken advantage from unfair party. And the international community should at the same time know where they must stand. They have to stand with the right and not side with the wrong.


Q: Thank you Saya U Win Tin. We will see you again soon.