Burma’s exiled government, the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), has announced that it will dissolve on Friday after 22 years of opposition.
A statement signed by NCGUB Chief Minister Dr. Sein Win, a cousin of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, said that the decision follows a discussion by MPs that determined that the move will contribute towards national reconciliation.
“The NCGUB believes that its dissolution will contribute to the achievement of national reconciliation which is inevitably needed in Burma as well as the endeavors being made for the emergence of a national political program that all deserving participants can join,” said the final statement.
Dr. Tint Swe, information minister of the NCGUB who lives in India, said that since Suu Kyi is leading the main opposition National League for Democracy towards national reconciliation in cooperation with the former military regime, the exiled government now believes its presence is inappropriate.
“We do not want the NCGUB to become a disturbance for national reconciliation. In support of the process for national reconciliation in Burma, we decided to dissolve,” said Tint Swe. “This doesn’t mean that the NCGUB wants to do nothing or can do nothing in the future.”
“Unlike the situation in 1990, they now are reachable and are able to going out of the country to explore and are able to do much more for the needs and services of the country and people,” he added, giving the examples of the participation of NLD party and its elected members in Parliament and political leaders and students going overseas to study and exchange knowledge.
“However, we will contribute any possible support and work which may be needed by our hands in the future,” said Tint Swe.
During 22 years in exile, the NCGUB worked together with many opposition groups and ethnic forces such as the Karen National Union (KNU) and urged the international community to put pressure on the former junta to move towards democracy.
The NCGUB was formed as a parallel government of Burma in Manerpalaw, Kayin State, headquarters of the KNU, on Dec. 18, 1990, with MPs from various political parties, including the NLD, for the purpose of implementing the results of the multiparty democratic general elections of 1990 in which the NLD won around 80 percent of seats.
The military government of the time refused to honor the result and instead imprisoned much of the party’s leadership. The NCGUB has not been particularly prolific in the pro-democracy movement in recent years.