Suu Kyi ‘Neutralized’: Shan Leader

Shan Leader Hkun Htun Oo, pictured in January shortly after his release from prison. (PHOTO: Reuters)

Shan Leader Hkun Htun Oo, pictured in January shortly after his release from prison. (PHOTO: Reuters)

WASHINGTON—Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been “neutralized” by the government and, as such, she can no longer speak for the people, a prominent Shan leader alleged in the US on Wednesday.

“Opposition forces in the Parliament including Aung San Suu Kyi have been neutralized by the government by giving them posts in the Parliament. So, she [Suu Kyi] can no longer speak for the rights of the people, ”Hkun Htun Oo told reporters at a news conference in Washington.

Hkun Htun Oo is the chairman of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy. He was arrested in 2005 for opposing the military regime, but was released earlier this year in a presidential amnesty. He is currently in Washington where—alongside Kyaw Thu, Dr Cynthia Maung and Aung Din—he is scheduled to receive an award at a ceremony on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Suu Kyi is also scheduled to deliver remarks at the awards ceremony.

His remarks come ahead of a visit to the US by President Thein Sein next week. Hkun Htun Oo has accepted an invitation to join the Burmese president at the UN General assembly in New York.

Responding to reporters’ questions at a news conference organized by the National Endowment for Democracy for the five Burmese recipients of the 2012 Democracy Award, Hkun Htun Oo said, “The trust in her [Suu Kyi] has gone down.”

Hkun Htun Oo said that the Burmese Government has neutralized all those who try to speak against them by offering them positions in the administration, parliament or other bodies.

“If she goes on like this she will not represent the people. She does not say anything for the public,” Hkun Htun Oo continued. He said he resented Suu Kyi’s statement that she supported the lifting of sanctions.

Meanwhile, the US-based Burma Task Force on Wednesday announced it was organizing solidarity rallies in 100 locations across the US to mark Suu Kyi’s visit. “We respect Aung San Suu Kyi tremendously for her struggle and sacrifices for democracy in Burma,” said Dr Shaik Ubaid, a founding member of the Burma Task Force.

“We will be rallying in the seven cities Suu Kyi will be visiting to show our solidarity with her struggle, and to urge her to speak up for her Rohingya fellow citizens,” he said.

The Burma Task Force also announced that it will protest the visit to the US of Burmese President Thein. “The military junta has brainwashed generations of Burmese to hold the darker skinned Rohingya in contempt. It is the only genocide in the world where the twin evils of racism and religious bigotry are at work,” said Raafay Mohammad, a Task Force board member.

“We urge the [US] State Department not to lift the import sanctions on Burma till it restores the citizenship rights of Rohingya, rehabilitates the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees, brings the perpetrators to justice, and institutes anti-racism curriculum in Burmese schools,” he said.

Aung Din of the US Campaign for Burma said that the democratic and political reforms in the country are fragile and reversible. More than 300 political prisoners are still in jail, and there is a need to continue the international pressure, He said.

If all the sanctions were lifted, the international community would have no leverage on the Burmese government, he argued. Countries including the US must make their own judgment on sanctions and not be driven by what Suu Kyi says. “For me this is not the time to lift all the sanctions,” he said, adding that the Burmese government has already been given too much by the international community.

34 Responses to Suu Kyi ‘Neutralized’: Shan Leader

  1. Hero worship in the sense of expressing our unbound admiration is one thing. To obey the hero
    is a totally different kind of worship. There is nothing wrong in the former
    while the latter is no doubt a most pernicious thing. The former is people’s
    respect for which is noble and of which the great are only an embodiment.
    The latter is the serf’s fealty to his ruler. The former is consistent with
    respect, but the latter is a sign of debasement. The former does not take away
    one’s intelligence to think and independence to act. The latter makes one
    perfect fool. The former involves no disaster to the state. The latter is a
    source of positive danger to it.

  2. For me, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi doesn’t understand politics well whoever or wherever she is. She just happened to join Burmese politics on emotions. When she came to see her ailing mother, she saw a lot of people suffering. That was the trigger for her to join the politics.

    One of the main reasons of the regime behind creating violence in Arakan was to de-popularize her among Burmese society. Sadly, though she had the supports of Burmese people, she failed to deploy a counter strategy. Instead, she has been doing everything according to the regime’s wish.

    Besides, she has been exclaiming as “Rule of Law, Rule of Law, Rule of Law.” For what use is the rule of Law if it is not practised? She has taken oath to safeguard the current constitution. As long as the current constitution is in effect, there will be no new Rule of Law. The current Rule of Law is to serve the regime. And the Rule of Law in Burma is and will be what the regime say and do. 

    With due respect, she nowadays has become a tool for western capitalists to get access into and exploit Burma’s natural resources. It is not worth even expecting anything out of her. She is another Megawati Sukarno Puteri!!!

    •  This comment gives a deep insight into profile analysis of DASSK.
      I agree most of the points.
      Thanks .

    • mohammed sheikh Anwar. I respect anyone its own opinion. I have read your comment and I do understand you don’t know about Daw Su.
      Daw Su was well preparing for democratization in Burma one day and she is waiting for time right time to come.  That’s why Daw Su has learned Burmese history and she never missed Burmese political situation in her sight. She more than Burmese lady than some of our Burmese women. She has never forget about Burma when you look at the fact.
      I also though Daw Su can not speak Burmese like us because she has been living in overseas almost her entire life. I was wrong when she speak up and talk about Burmese current situation in 1988. She can speak and write better than our university educated peoples.
      Her entering to Burmese politic is not coincident but she was well prepared for that kind of opportunity in her life. However, it must be right time and right place for to start it. So 8888 is right time and right place to start for her political career. Without Daw Su, we may live another half century under different dictatorships. If you know Burmese history and then you can know how ex dictatorship Ne Win technically he sent whole family to exile.  She has degree in politic.  I bet Daw Su knows Burmese history better than you and most of peoples in Burma. You may upset about her silent on illegal migrant Bengali so called Rohingya problem in Arakan. Illegal migrant problem is not her duty to deal with but that problem is Burmese Government law enforcement and Immigration department duty to sort it out. As you know, overseas Muslim organizations are dishonestly released manipulated pictures and video to the world.
      In Arakan, illegal migrant Bengali mob start killing, burning and robbing of Arakanese and Burmese Muslim houses and businesses after killing of 9 Muslim men and one Buddhist woman by Arakanese mob at Taunggok Township.  Muslim starts spread rumor about ethnic cleansing in Arakan state by Burmese army and Arakanese peoples. Now what really happened in Arakan state was cleared and most of Muslim countries and organization realized they were misled by some of Muslim extremist groups.
      We must respect Arakanese peoples concerning about increasing illegal migrant Bengali peoples in their state and their safety. Arakan state is belong to Arakanese peoples. In history, Sittagong (Chittagong) and Sittagong Hills Track are Arakan’ territory and Arakaneses, Mrama Buddhist (Myanmar, Chakma and other Tibeto-Burman ethics are living in Sittagong and surrounding area before Mughal invasion and spread Islam religion in Bengal.
      Historians never found evidence of Rohingya ethnic in Arakan state or Sittagong area in history. So Bangladeshi Government denied it has Rohingya ethnic in Bangladesh. 
      Even majority of Burmese-Muslim does not know and never heard of Rohingya other than Bengali from Bangladesh.
      Daw Su knows about Rohingya story and so she has nothing to say about fictional Rohingya ethnic. However, she said the problem happened because of less of Rule of Law in Burma. Immigration officers have to deal with illegal migrant Bengali problem but I’m sure it’s not Daw Su duty.



    Well, Khun Tun Oo won’t be here to talk like that if she no
    longer speaks for others and becoming mute by Government.
    Daw Su doesn’t need to speak about illegal migrant Bengali so called Rohingya
    because illegal migrant problem is not her problem. It’s Government’s law
    enforcement and immigration department duty.  Burma
    does not have Rohingya ethnic in history. However, Burma
    has had legal Bengali migrant in history and they were granted
    Citizenship. By the way, Rakhine and other ethnics living Bangladesh Sittagong
    (Chittagong) area and Sittagong
    Hill Tracks are not migrants but they are indigenous to those areas. Sittagong
    and Sittagong Hill Tracks were Arakan territory before Muslim invaded.
    Khun Tun Oo needs to learn about outside world and who actual control the current
    Government is. I’m Shan ethnic but I don’t agree with his view on Daw Su. She
    does not need to talk to media everyday about human right in Burma.

    Daw Su was unable to involve in negotiation for peace
    agreement with minority ethnics’ army because that idea was probably rejected
    by Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.

    I believe President U thein Sein and his Minister U Aung Min
    really want peace and reconciliation with ethnics groups but Gen. Min Aung
    Hlaing wants continue war with some ethnics because it make Army important role
    in Government.

    needs true democracy. Now President U Thein Sein and Daw Aung San Su Kyi are
    working hard to rebuild our nation which was mutilated by crazy military
    dictatorships for half century. If we have true democracy and military will be
    under President’s controls and Burmese Army can no longer independently running
    by Military Chief. Currently, peace and reconciliation with minority ethnics
    are dependent on Gen. Min Aung Hlaing.

    I respect Khun Tun Oo as our Shan leader but I want him to
    use constructive engagement approach with other politicians rather than talking
    negative about what he really yet to know when we rebuilding our country.
    Sai Lin Kan

    •  Chopchop2012, do not you understand what the world is talking about? It is clear that you are a raciest. Neither you know the truth not try to know. There is evidences in the whole world and all the people studied well all those evidences before talking about rights of Rohingya. Your chauvinism brain can not make them all fool. If still you like to say in this bully way, remember you and your Burman colonized Arakan since 1784. Arakan is never been a part of your Burma before that and you are no more than invaders.

  4. “We will be rallying in the seven cities Suu Kyi will be visiting to show our solidarity with her struggle, and to urge her to speak up for her Rohingya fellow citizens,” he said. 
    What’s he on about?? If you love them so much, why dont your relocate them in your home. Rohingyas are not part of MM. Full stop. How many times do we need to explain that to an exile traitor like you?

  5. Perhaps during her long years in the wilderness of house arrest, the Nobel laureate had the epiphany that co-operation with the generals is the only way for her to be politically relevant again.

    •  Gradually , the Lady is becoming strong ally of corrupt, cunning Generals.
      Khun Htun Oo is pointing out this fact in plain language.
      Khun Htun Oo is a real courageous unorthodox statesman.

  6. I
    don’t understand why people still think sanctions had that much
    leverage in making the junta change their direction. Actually it played
    the least significant role in recent changes (even though everyone
    concerned wants to believe the opposite). Myanmar’s recent reforms come
    from the interaction and reaction between many intrinsic factors and
    some extrinsic ones rather than from super sanctions. Lifting sanctions
    will help ease economic ills of the country as a whole which in turn
    improve the everyday life of ordinary citizens. Again on ethnic
    issues, people blame the lady for not speaking up on behalf of them
    even after she clearly mentioned – what she believes – that speaking up
    or condemnation of action won’t solve the real problems. Instead of
    seeking an advocate or mouthpiece for their every single cause like a 5
    year old, it will be more helpful in overcoming the barriers (sadly most
    of which are either psychological, emotional or of paranoidal) by
    approaching them in practical terms and in the light of compromise. It
    is already late to transend ethnicism.

  7. One must admit that the Myanmar politicians are quite adapt and quick to learn and play the “democracy game”. It is also amusing and entertaining to see them do it right here in the U.S. while rubbibg shoulders with the Wshington political elite and being showered with honors and awards. Khun Htun Oo was frank and open in expressing his disappointment that Suu Kyi has been effectively neutralized by Thein Sein and his military comrades and she no longer says anything for the people. This is freedom of speech in practice before our eyes – as Khun Htun Oo is also a member of Thein Sein’s official U.N. delegaion and Suu Kyi will be keynote speaker where Khun Htun Oo will be honored and receive is award. On the other hand Aung Din’s urging the U.S. to keep the santions regardless of Suu Kyi’s position that “outside props” are no longer needed, appears to be motivated by self-interest political agend. This trend is good but hopefully the temperature will not rise and personalities will not beome invoved.

    But in all fairness to all parties, one must recognisie and commend the speed with which Suu Kyi has
    matured in parliament as “opposiion leader” and her statements here in the U.S. (as one can see) are carefully thought out(as it should be), since she is obligated to represent Myanmar (and Parliament) at the “National Level” and not just NLD and her constituents. She is comporting and conducting herself remarkably well and always extending due referece and regard to the President’s leaderhip in achieving successful reforms so far. A politician must adapt to changes and she is doing jut that.

     Naphetchun MaungSein

     California USA

  8. A true leader will still continue speaking for the interest of the people, who are still being oppressed, if she or he wants to maintain a great legacy. Obviously, the condition of ethnic people in Burma/Myanmar has not still improved, especially in Kachin state. War crime is still directly committed by the military government. However at present time, we gradually have learnt that those who are in oppressive condition, their voices remain unheard and their voices have no representation at any level of diplomatic conversation. The ability of those leaders will be judged and graded by public eventually.  
    Mr. Khun Tun Oo keeps your spirit up and continues speaking for those people. Business people and pro-Burmese government circle won’t transmit and promote your voices and profile  through news channels but that is fine. There is always a way to get it through.

  9. We need a leader who are deeds to their words. Besides, Kun Tun Oo and Aung San Su Kyi are different backgrounds, the lady is a Burmese and Kun Tun Oo is a Shan. Kun Tun Oo is fighting for the rights of the ethnic people and democracy at the same time Su Kyi is shooting for democracy. We have different and sensitive top agendas which is Su Kyi and the ruling Burmese governments never ever dare to think of and consider. Take my word; dealing with the ethnic political conflicts, honesty must be the first priority for the that the Burmese politicians.

  10. Hkun Htun Oo is a real statesman.
    He could  reflect the the situation in Burma in true perspective.
    “Opposition forces in the Parliament including Aung San Suu Kyi have
    been neutralized by the government by giving them posts in the
     DASSK  can no longer speak for the rights of the
    This statement is exact situation I feel currently.

  11. Hkun Tun Oo might have forgotten that he also is an indirect beneficiery of Su Kyi’s changed stance that had led to the junta’s recent release of the political prisoners. Otherwise he would have remained locked behind the bars without a chance to air such an opinion of his. Su Kyi is only human and her present actions may eventully be proven to be not being the best choice. But she is trying her best before she gets old, infirm and die. One can disagree with her outlooks but it’s another story to accuse her as a “sold out” just because she had accepted a parlimentary seat. Come on you people, do you really think she accepted it for her own personal welfare? She could have obtained a much higher level of wealth and creature comforts many years ago at any place on this earth had she wanted to. Reunite with her family, lead a comfortable middle class life, write books and give lectures etc, etc. Has Hkun Tun Oo missed the rallies that Su Kyi drew during her campaign trail to conclude that she doesn’t represent the ordinary Burmese people anymore? Or was he blinded by ego and jealousy?

    •  Thanks for your balanced view.
      Any how, we expect SHE could do more.
      I think current speed of democratic change is too slow(changing  at snail-speed).
      The  old ways of doing things still  prevail.
      I  still feel we are under military dictatorship.
      With her international stature she could pressure the regime to speed up to stop armed conflicts in ethnic areas(call back Burmese soldiers )  , timely punishments of law breakers in the civil administration & in the military. announcements made  to deter further corruption & law breaking.
      Unless DASSK could do these IN TIME, she would become just another mythical Nobel Laurette.
      hla myint, from mandalay with love.

    • To some extent, Hkun Tun Oo reflects mainstream feeling.
      Hkun Tun Oo is a stateman.
      He dares to speak what he believes.

      Of course SHE could attract massive audience, she is very charismatic.
      SHE had made sacrifices.
      But SHE is not GOD.
       We could not measure with no. of audience of  her effectiveness    as a national leader.
      Index should be stopping of civil war, rule of law, smoothness of function of civil administration & military machine.
      I feel democratic change is taking place at  snail-pace.
      I feel we are still under military boots.

      hla myint , from mandalay with love.


    It is regrettable that a leader like Hkun Htun Oo would
    accuse President U Thein Sein of neutralizing opposition leaders by bribing with
    parliamentary posts and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of surrendering her principals for
    mere a chairmanship of a parliamentary committee. People are fond of accusing
    others without any reasonable grounds and hope that something will stick. Even
    though he was accusing the world-renowned Nobel Laureate of being corrupt just
    because she changed her stance regarding economic sanctions, he himself agreed
    to become a member of U Thein Sein’s delegation to the United Nations General Assembly
    at the same time. Citizens of Burma are expecting that there would be a
    fruitful outcome from this cooperation. Now they should be concerned about his
    dubious intentions.


    After Burma has staged watershed popular uprisings in 1988,
    China, East European Countries and South and Middle American Nations followed
    suit. And all those countries have since then changed to the betterment while
    Burma is still struggling with various groups who continue bickering among
    themselves. Who ultimately is to blame?


    People are sick and tired of those self-righteous leaders
    who have led different ethnic and political groups for decades to the worse.
    What has changed in Burma due to sanctions championed by the West except that people
    become poorer and poorer? The military regime wasn’t affected much and they went
    ahead to rule the country with iron fists for more than two decades until last


    Hkun Htun Oo was quoted as saying that “the trust in her –Aung
    San Suu Kyi– has gone down”. Nothing could be farther from the truth. People
    will trust her more because she changed her opinions in order to facilitate the
    wellbeing of the populace. She was adamant and rigid with her principals before
    and achieved close to nothing. As a good politician, she is right to compromise
    if it benefits the people.


    People who were said opposing to her change of mind seem to
    be afraid that they won’t have no longer leverage and excuses to extend their present
    financial supports. Their existence and their role in a foreign country could well
    be jeopardized if there are no more purposes. Poor opportunists!


    As Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said “Burma should not depend on US
    sanctions to keep up the momentum of our movement for democracy” and Burmese
    should be ready to breath with own nose.

  13. Respect to Khun Htun Oo, a rare outspoken leader at this time of complex situation. We need help establishing a central government that has legitimacy with all the different ethnic groups. The way Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is heading we are back to the same situation like in the 60s where central Burma benfit from engagement with outside world, particularly with the golbal economy, while others will fall further behind. How can this do anything but increase our conflicts and empower the military? Unless the root causes of conflict are resolved, State failure will only continue. After many disappointments in the past, we need to realise that political, economic and ethnic issues are closely inter-linked.

    • Root causes of conflicts is the military taking improper role and trying to legitimize their role.
      Remind the Lady that she might be helping them.
      Khun Htun Oo is a rare outspoken person who dares to remind the LADY of that trend.

      from mandalay with love.

  14. The last by-election showed DAASK has solid support from the people. The coming election in 2015 will definitely show how much support from the people she has or is able to retain.
    On what grounds is Khun Tun Oo stating such remarks “.. So, she [Suu Kyi] can no longer speak for the rights of the people,..” ; of course she cannot be getting the support of 100% of the people.

    • In the by elections of April,  NLD candidates were in towns where the local ethnic parties were standing as well. Most of these NLD candidates had never lived there or even been there at all. This should be the wakeup call for the non-Bamar ethnic nationals.

  15. Hkun Htun Oo is a real statesman.He gets insight about the real situations & has the courage to speak out in “plain language”.

  16. hlamyintzaw1967 @[email protected] If SHE goes on like this she will not represent the people. SHE is gradually becoming a virtual religious preacher.View conversation.

  17. Sometimes by too much compromising with evils, we ourselves become evils.

  18. Sometimes by too much compromising with evils, we ourselves become evils.

  19. Welcome  to the rough and tumble world of politics, Yebaws.

    Dissent is good for democracy.  Non? 

    Great to see the Burmese talking . . . and not hurling abuse.

  20. Fake id holder as Shan, a Bangali Magh worte there is no Rohingya in the history of Burma. Check Mr. fake check again 1972 ethnic list of 144 races of Burma. I think you have never learn a single class in Burmese school. If so, you may know the map of distribution of the citizens in High school. How bully he said sittagong maghs were indigenous to Bangali and not migrants also for Burma becuase it was once a part of Arakan. Mr. Fake, Were there living only your Magh in sittagong on that time? Do you know yourself from where you came and what is your orginal?

  21. George Than Setkyar Heine

    U Khun Htun Oo is RIGHT in his opinion of Burma’s popular national leader as per scenario and situation as well. 
    Than Shwe took a decade and a half to CRAFT and ORCHESTRATE  the SETUP (parliament and parliamentarians) at Naypyidaw.
    He has taken a decade and a half also to write the SCRIPT (constitution) for that matter as well.
    All MECHANISMS are in PLACE for continued rule of the Burmese military under the facade of a civilian one where the SAME ACTORS changed their COSTUMES (military to civilian) only but not their SPOTS.
    Than Shwe’s TOP PRIORITY is to LAUNDER the ILL-GOTTEN WEALTH (his and his cronies’ as well) after PUTTING HIS SHOW on STAGE at the Naypyidaw and HOODWINKING the INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY as well for that matter.
    Today Than Shwe’s DREAM has COME into REALITY no doubt.
    And Daw Suu has to OBLIGE accordingly and IMPLEMENT IT as well of course.
    Than Shwe OPENED A HOLE in the WALL and Daw Suu RUSHED IN for a PLACE and SPACE to PLAY for her people and country according to her of course.
    Today Than Shwe’s clerk has Daw Suu safely CORRALLED in his PUPPET THEATER (parliament).
    And she is SINGING DIFFERENT TUNES as well today leading  U Khun Htun Oo to EXPRESS OUTBURSTS like today.
    Daw Suu has GIVEN UP A LOT of TERRITORY as well in the name of NATIONAL INTERESTS and for the COUNTRY for that matter no doubt as well.
    Despite the fact, Than Shwe’s clerk has DONE NOTHING SUBSTANTIAL in RETURN for that matter other than PUT ICING on the CAKE as Europeans say.
    Ethnic wars are still WAGING and tens of thousands of ethnic people are DISPLACED in their own country on the run from the marauding Burmese forces under the command of Min Aung Hlaing China’s chosen C-in-C of the Burma Army a PAID MERCENARY FORCE according to some Palaung activist groups to CLEAR the KIA out of Kachin land where China’s projects and interests are largely located in the country and for conclusion in 2013.
    Freedom of speech, rally, expression and to organize etc. are still CONFINED, STIFLED and RESTRICTED as well.
    Of course hundreds of POLITICAL PRISONERS still REMAINED in PRISONS in Burma until today.
    And Thein Sein has NO PRESIDENTIAL POWER much less MANDATE to ACT as ONE in the first place as evidenced by the Chinese continuing their work on Myitsone Dam Project ORDERED to SUSPEND by Thein Sein not to mention Min Aung Hlaing’s forces assaulting the KIA strongholds DESPITE ORDERED by Thein Sein to HALT the HOSTILITIES on SEVERAL OCCASIONS.
    Hence, WHO IS IN CHARGE in BURMA is the JOKE of the DAY of course.
    And it HELD ME IN AWE when Daw Suu said “I TRUST Thein Sein” for Burma’s DEMOCRACY, FREEDOM and HUMAN RIGHTS.
    Given the APPLAUSE and OVATION given to Daw Suu by the international community not to mention her people in Burma it is APPARENT WHO IS REALLY IN CHARGE in BURMA of course.
    Despite the fact Than Shwe is USING Daw Suu as SECOND FIDDLE ONLY RILED ME A LOT folks.
    Of course Daw Suu knows it as well.
    However, she has to ENDURE the FACT if not the SHAME in the NAME of HER PEOPLE and the SAME for her COUNTRY as well of course.
    Simply put: Thein Sein is playing his part well in PROTECTING his BOSS’ ASS, FAMILY and HIS CRONIES as well lest people forget.

  22. Khun Tun Oo  speaks , for whom—  for the  Shans of Burma  .    He   speaks to   Power , but   not to Truth.     As  Bertolt  Brecht  said ”  How long do works  endure ?  As long as they are not completed since as long as they demand  effort they do not decay”.   Myanmar(Burma ) is still in the making.  History is not dead .  Democracy is us, we will do it.   The  struggle for  democracy and human rights in  Burma , is  still unfinished .  Daw Aung San Su Kyi ,  President  U Thein Sein and the  Myanmar State  recent efforts in  bringing about  peace and reconciliation and  prosperity  for  Burma and all Burmese people still  “demand  effort” by us.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available. Comments with external links in the body text will be deleted by moderators.