Suu Kyi Slams Reforms, Says Govt Introduced ‘No Tangible Changes’

National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi addresses her party’s Central Executive Committee on Monday. (Photo: Jpaing / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON—Burma’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday criticized the government’s reform agenda, saying that little progress had been made in establishing rule of law and peace. She urged President Thein Sein to push ahead with more reforms, adding that “only a desire for change is not enough.”

Suu Kyi also questioned the recent introduction of a two-child policy for Rohingya families in northern Arakan State, saying that the measure is “illegal” and “not in accordance with human rights.”

She made her remarks during the first meeting of the National League for Democracy’s new Central Executive Committee in Rangoon on Monday.

“The last three years saw no tangible changes, especially in [the area of] the rule of law and the peace process,” she told her committee members. “The reform started in 2010, now we have to ask the question: ‘Have we got any tangible results so far’?”

“If we want success in reforms, everyone involved in the process must change. [Providing] only lip-service doesn’t work,” the NLD chairperson said during a 20-minute public speech.

She said reforming the military-drafted 2008 Constitution, ending ethnic conflict and establishing rule of law remains key to Burma’s development and democratic transition.

Reforming the Constitution so that it guarantees more rights for Burma’s ethnic minorities should be a priority, Suu Kyi said, adding, “My ethnic representatives said that as long as there is inequality among the races of Burma, there will not be peace.”

The NLD leader also called on the government to stem the growing drug trade. The issue has long plagued northeastern Burma but it has significantly worsened in recent years. “If you want international support, you can’t neglect the drug problem,” she warned.

Since Thein Sein began leading a nominally civilian government in 2011, he has won international praise for introducing a range of political and socio-economic reform measures, and for releasing hundreds of political prisoners. Suu Kyi was released from house arrest in late 2010.

His government brokered ceasefires with most ethnic militias, but negotiations to reach stable peace agreements have made little progress.

A former general, Thein Sein was appointed civilian president following the flawed 2010 elections. His appointment was part of a roadmap to full democratic elections in 2015, which has been planned by Burma’s powerful military.

Asked by The Irrawaddy if she still believes that Thein Sein is a genuine reformer, Suu Kyi said, “For a reformist, just only having a desire to change is not enough. He or she has to prove it. At the same time, they need to know if they have the ability to do so. Their actions also need to be effective.”

The NLD leader also criticized the recent introduction of a two-child policy for Rohingya Muslims in northern Arakan State. “That kind of discrimination is illegal. It’s not in accordance with human rights,” Suu Kyi told reporters after her speech. “Whether they’ve really issued that kind of order is beyond my knowledge,” she added.

Last week, Arakan State officials told The Irrawaddy that a ban on polygamy and a two-child policy had been introduced in Maungdaw District on May 12, in order to curb the supposed “rapid population growth” among Rohingya Muslims, who form the majority in the district. The restriction does not apply to the local Arakanese Buddhist minority.

Win Tin, a senior member and NLD founder, said that Suu Kyi was right to criticize the government’s reform agenda, adding that such remarks were in fact overdue.

“I agree with what Suu Kyi said; I have found no tangible results in Thein Sein’s reforms,” Win Tin said. “I think Suu Kyo is three years late in making criticisms like that.”

“In Burmese politics, nearly everyone … is following Thein Sein. [But] now, the NLD sees that following Thein Sein is no longer realistic. That’s why Suu Kyi is speaking out now,” he said.


41 Responses to Suu Kyi Slams Reforms, Says Govt Introduced ‘No Tangible Changes’

  1. What a ridiculous assertion. So much has changed here in the last 2 or 3 years. To say that nothing tangible has changed is a ridiculous statement. There is still a long way to go, but the journey has just begun. Thein Sein has tried his best and no one can expect 60 years of incompetent rule to be reversed overnight. The more things change the ground is set for even more change in an exponential fashion. What is not tangible about release of political prisioners, freedom of the press, freedom of the internet, freedom to invest, being able to exchange currency, being able to afford mobile phones, being able to import cars, being able to buy fuel, having the international sanctions lifted, etc etc,

    • Politically, nothing has changed! economically? Everything. There is still civil war going on. There are still human rights abuses. There are still ethnic cleansing which should fall the blame to general population if you insist that the country has changed to democracy.

      If you claim that the country is in democratic society, then all these human rights abuses, civil war, and ethnic cleansing that goes on must be wishes of general population
      .

    • But no real transfer of power back to the people. Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow but never jam today.

    • In terms of the rule of law and peaceful resolution of disputes, not much has changed. Daw Suu did not say ‘no tangible in all facets of life has changed’. Lots of things have changed but not in the area of the rule of law and obtaining peace. For example, even on their own assertion that some of the prisoners were not released because they have committed crimes under their existing laws. Khin Nyunt was convicted of corruption (a crimes under their laws) and how come he is free. What kind of law and justice system is that? Has that changed? I guess not. .

  2. Stupid is what stupid does. We had seen enough. We had seen what Thein Sein and USDP did, we have seen what they are doing and we will see what they will keep doing. Thein Sein is not smarter than Ne Win. Thein Sein is not smarter than even idiot Than Shwe. Thein Sein is just a puple of Than Shwe. Whatever he has been credited into his account recently were not earned by himself but Daw Suu. lends her hands. Thein Sein may be a good “Oo Talone Nay Shwe Yoe” dancer.

  3. At least she has come to senses that running an incompatible software on a machine won’t achieve much. At least she tried.

  4. Sounds like a fairy tale. Am I dreaming?

  5. Thank goodness the appeasement is finally over. Now get on with the job of putting the generals back in the barracks – where they actually belong.

  6. Reforms merely corrects past mistakes. Revolution transfers power.

    • Revolution has to come from below, from the People, to serve the People and not from above, from the Oligarchy, to serve the very rich 1% (and the Chinese).
      As the late Thakin Than Tun, Suu Kyi’s uncle-in-law would have said:
      “Rise up you wretched Proletariat, Power to the People”

  7. How could she think to trust Thein Sein – The Right hand man of cunning Than Shwe. She herself was in illusion and took some with her in that illusion.

  8. ‘If it isn’t fit, you must have quit’

  9. Of course, one obvious change is Theien Sein let NLD to register and participate in the 2010 by-election and he puts her on the post of judge. Some EU and US sanctions were lifted for the benefits of the former generals and biz-co. The sad fact is Daw Su has been used by the regime whilst she tried to lay her compromise for a spring board of her potential presidential candidate. Please continue to dream and never wake up when ethnic people needs you for a little support. Again, we do not want your lip service and desire for the support of ethnic but as you said, “For a reformist, just only having a desire to change is not enough. He or she has to prove it. At the same time, they need to know if they have the ability to do so. Their actions also need to be effective.”
    We need your clear stance and tangible supports but not lip service in order to fool the ethnic people.

  10. According to the Islamic law, in term of polygamy, they can marry four wives at a time- divorce one of the four wives and marry another brand new wife. Nobody can say NO to this custom- this is their right to be a muslim gentleman. In addition, except for some or a few countries, which has family planning, every family can have as many children as they want- that is the human right. Why do the authority in Rakhine State ban Rohingya (only Rohingya) not to have more than two children when the other people, rich or poor, Buddhist or Christian, are not prohibited to do the same. This is DISCRIMINATION. I agree with Daw Suu.

  11. Make up your mind lady!

  12. Thein Sein government is following according to ThanShwe’s road map. How can he will be able to change? His master Than Shwe will sack him from the job. Don’t expact any thing from Thein Seion, he is just playing diplomacy to get world support till 2015 before election. He can not change the country. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi knows that from the beging, but she also playing her double tactice to ensure Thein Sein government will make free and fair election in 2015. Any way we all get togethere and support ASSK in 2015 election.

  13. @ puzzled: don’t tell me you’re gonna praise one of the keyfigures / active member of “60 years of incompetent rule”. the only reason burma is seeing some transition is simply because the situation was becoming untenable. NONE of your rulers ever cared about the people and their desires, they only care about themselves,and that includes the puppet president. ok, so some people now have access to mobile phone, the internet, cheap chinese crap, etc. ever wondered how many inhabitants of burma have access to jack shit? for them NOTHING has changed.

  14. This time Rohingya have been used for political issue , they think they are clever , finally the become disaster , Daw Aung San Su Kyi is very smart and pure politician , she make it up . She really take the chance on crisis’s of Rohingya . Now around the world and other side of organization like, HRW & UN will give her cheer up and she will take step back in roll again . Rohingya and Myanmar government & Myanmar citizen , pity them of they have been use for under Daw Aung San Su Kyi politicize .
    ————————————————————————————————————

  15. Once she said that , she can’t give any common ground on Rohingya issued , because of she is not Minister or President , also her party is not elected government . Now suddenly she come up with different story upside down . What the hell is that’s mean ? She think she can just simply said whatever she want , I realized she only need ivory , she really don’t know how to take care elephant and she don’t need rest of parts.

  16. This time Rohingya have been used for political issue , they think they are clever , finally the become disaster , Daw Aung San Su Kyi is very smart and pure politician , she make it up . She really take the chance on crisis’s of Rohingya . Now around the world and other side of organization like, HRW & UN will give her cheer up and she will take step back in roll again . Rohingya and Myanmar government & Myanmar citizen , pity them of they have been use for under Daw Aung San Su Kyi politicize .

  17. ( The NLD leader also criticized the recent introduction of a two-child policy for Rohingya Muslims in northern Arakan State. “That kind of discrimination is illegal. It’s not in accordance with human rights,” Suu Kyi told reporters after her speech. “Whether they’ve really issued that kind of order is beyond my knowledge,” she added. )

    – Once she said that , she can’t give any common ground on Rohingya issued , because of she is not Minister or President , also her party is not elected government . Now suddenly she come up with different story upside down . What the hell is that’s mean ? She think she can just simply said whatever she want , I realized she only need ivory , she really don’t know how to take care elephant and she don’t need rest of parts.

  18. In China there is simailar restriction for having more children. That Law applied to all people of China. Not selected on one community. Here in Burma only enforcing the Law on Muslims from Maung Daw and Buthidaung. It is really unbelievable. In America Thein Sien said he would try his best to root out any discrimination based on religion. When he returned from the trip, new rule came out for Rohingya Muslims. He should not put the excuse that he did not have any idea about the Law. The commission members for Rakhine conflict were selected by him. Rakhines got chance to enforce the law as per racist commission members’ advised them to do so.

    • fyi – one child policy has been strictly enforced on Han Chinese only – all other 56 plus minorities – Yi, Myaung, Le Su, Tai, tibetan, Wa, Dong, Hui etc. are not restricted since seventies besides pouring millions of aid to preserve all minorities’ culture.

  19. I agree with Amy Su , Tow child policy is not the way to control Bengali bombing population and off cause, this is not the right way. But Myanmar government have the right to introduce one wife one husband policy not only on Bnegali groups in Arakan but also for across the whole country. It will make a better understanding and acceptable for all.

    There must be equal rith for all Myanmar citizen. One wife, one husband policy is the right way to introduce for all . We all knew that those Bengali muslim were using a women for human producing and they allow to married up to four wife according to Koran law , if they can support but some of them used it for their sexual plasure and they married unlimitede wife.

    Two child policy iwill not stop Bengali bombing population in Arakn state or in Myanmar but one wife one husband policy will stop their bombing population. I do not think this way will abuse their human right.but this is gender equal right for all.

  20. I do not agree with DASSK completely this time!

    In my view, the government did the right thing. Over population is a very serious concern for every country! UN also have UNFPA for global population issues! This population explosion of illegal immigrants is a very serious issue on our land as our country has limited land space. Where can this illegal people to live? Growing after growing on our land. Have our all national races to give them our land regardless of their status and no control of their births? If so, we all would have to stand day and night in future as no land’d be left as filled by those people. No one should see only as a human right view! Our government has its own right to do on Immigration, just like other countries!

  21. So also, the earth has limited land! Food productions are limited because it needs land to harvest/to build factories, etc! Not only we can think about humans on the planet! What these people to eat if no land to produce food? It’s not right to shout “human rights” all times! Every human needs to survive by having enough food as well that is also human right! What about animals? They also need food. Food productions have to be boosted instead of boosting baby production when parents do not take responsibility to feed them!

    • Hi
      violet
      Are you lady from your name, not violent ? Are you married? Are you worry that those Muslim children will ask social warfare from than shwe and thein sein? I never hear that in Burma there is children’s fund from social warfare. I never hear that all hospitals and health clinics in Burma are full of Muslim children attending. If there is a proof that rich Muslim countries support Burmese Muslim and their children financially, it is a good and kind manner from Muslim religion around the world. However, faked Buddhist , than shwe did not accept donation for Nargic victim in 2008 and you might support this cruel than shwe’s decision.
      To have how many children in married couple is their personal choice , like food choice, and it is not your concern and your matter , even in term of when the couple will make love or not in the fear of having pregnancy or not. In return, all Burmese couples can have many children and can make love whatever and whenever they like. Do you want to say Burmese couple can make love anytime without any fear but not in Muslim couple in Burma ? If you say so, you violet lady becomes witch lady, like cruel monk killer , fox than shwe.
      China one child policy is for the whole China due to the reason of poor China nation at the beginning of real reform from Chinese paramount leader Tang siu ping and at the time of economic sanction from west rich countries on China. Now, many Chinese children are attending Oxford, Cambridge, Barclay, Standford ,MIT and Harvard now.

  22. Power to the People will only work if the people unite and this is not the case in myanmar. if the Karen would have been UNITED they would have won the fight.

  23. Who are real Rohingyas in Arakan? In those days of Golden Mrauk-Oo, both Mujslims and Buddhists peoples are called Rohingya only at that Mrauk-Oo area, not other places of Arakan. Then, other places of Arakan Muslims are called Arakanese Muslims, Kaman not Rohingya. You can ask Dr. Aye Chan, an Arakanese historian who cannot deny the fact.

    Why Arakanese Buddhist burnt Kaman village in Ramree and Arakanese Muslims villages in Kyaukpyu? The real motive is that they want Muslims’s land and also want to change demography in Arakan. But it is mearly a dream which will never happen due to SArakanese Muslims and Kaman has no place to go and settle, they will do or die stay in Arakan only.President Thein Sein does not know the fact or just pretend that does not know. Muslims of Kyaukpyu will never give up their land. Buthidaung and Maungdaw settle Muslims during the time of many many centuries, not only after 1824 which Ne Win and U Hla Tun Pyu made 1982 law to oppress and exterminate Muslims in Arakan. 1982 lAW IS TOTALLY UNDEMOCRATIC AND UNJUST and all Burma Muslims can not accept it.

  24. Cheer DASSK
    We , all know you have no military power so you are not minister and Commander in chief as you said. But the naive idiot some Burmese do not understand about what DASSK says and said. Those naive , idiot knows superficial meaning only as they have no abstract thinking. It means their education is far below the standard because the Asia famous Rangoon university, built by British colony was and is destroyed by ne win and than shwe. Those naive Burmese can read the books from the publisher, than shwe so they are so low to understand what DASSK said and says. However, those naive Burmese, particularly known as “teaspoonful shitt” are lucky to have the educated leader , DASSK who is also invited by future giant and rich China for visit.

    • I totally agree with you Mr Norman Hla. These Burmese people actually have no brain to think and they don’t even give a try to think. Their education level is down in the drain. These people are not deserve to a have a leader like Suu Kyi.

    • So you want Suu Kyi to become a Chineses stooge just like that Cambodian guy Hun Sen?
      By the way if China is so great why are there so many ” naked functionaries” in China parking their money in the West? You should ask Mingze Xi and Guagua Bo why they are living in the West and not where there daddies Jinping Xi and Xilai Bo live. Upper class Chinese are all greedy selfish hypocrites and hopefully Burmese are not dreaming of becoming Chinese.

      • andamanonge
        Do you have a proof, DASSK is sided to China or USA? Than shwe previously hided behind China and now is trying to hide behind Obama. So, obviously than shwe is stooge ( double act in between China and Obama ) How coward, urinated, your man , than shwe is now. Before you point finger to China or DASSK, see your than shwe and yourself what you all are in the position now. China and Obama are not naive and idiot as you think.
        Everywhere , there is and are a lot of corruption and corruption but compared to China, Burma is the most corrupted country as well as the world most poorest country in the world. I am very upset that there are a lot of Burmese ladies selling their bodies as prostitutes in China , Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. This is due to the failure of thein sein and than shwe economic plan although thein sein acts a beggar to go here and there to get loan and oversea investment for Burma. Than shwe needs tempo and time for survival so than shwe will create small uprisings in Burma with his paramilitary men ( USDP) to delay the democratic reform in Burma with the various naive plots and conspiracy but killing innocent ethnics and minorities.
        Than shwe kills Muslim to please Obama who might not seek UN resolution for ethnic cleansing by than shwe for the time being.
        Than shwe needs vote or political gain from naive Burmese that Burma is under the threat of ethnics or minority. In history and at present time, i never hear that ethnics invade Rangoon and Mandalay for occupation.
        In addition, than shwe is the most cruel bama king, your beloved king, your proud and pride one as you are bama. You take pride of than shwe because than shwe is the only bama cruel king , being dared to kill Buddhist monks who peacefully demonstrate to against the world most corrupted bama military thugs.
        The future giant and rich China is at least now showing their sincerity to the DASSK who scarified her life for fighting democracy without having any military power. Please, do not irritate USA who has drone strike. At the same time, do not irritate rich China who can make Burma divide into 2 parts ( north and south ) easily and readily within hours because China is our close neighbor. Not very long , China will have drone strike as well. Fortunately , Bin Laden’s men still has no drone strike for you and your beloved, the most corrupted , the most cruel king , fox than shwe you take proud and pride. If you still have no insight in your mental illness ( lack of logical sense) , continue to enjoy with than shwe’s stooge and rubbish conspiracy ( killing innocent ethnic minority) as well as blocking the rich Chinese investment in Burma for pleasing Obama. Obama investment will come but Obama needs DASSK’s rule and law in Burma. If Obama and China agree in UN that than shwe is the main leader in ethnic cleansing in the past and at present , your beloved corrupted than shwe has no where to go. 2008 nargic fox than shwe’s constitution will be null at once and it ( this constitution ) is the strong evidence for ethnics cleansing-than shwe’s law in Burma. I still want to be Burmese but not bama or Myanmar from than shwe.

  25. I fully agree, over population is a very serious concern for every country so let the culling begin! Let’s say we start eliminating all radical religious people, folks that believe in a liberating afterlife. They can go build a party in their respective “paradise”, far away from earthly “complications” …

  26. Maung Lu Aye ( Law ) R.A.S.U 1976

    Daw ASSK is the Lady who is the International Figure. She was not falling from the Sky. She had devoted ,sacrificed for her long Period of Life without her husband & her sons. Finally, She Criticized the Govt’s Reform Agenda and As Hanthawaddy U Win Tin said ” The Remarks were in fact Overdue & Suu Kyi is 3 years late in making criticism “. Saya U Win Tin is One of the Chosen few,Gifted Intellectual Writer who devoted his whole life for the good of the People. Both Daw Suu & U Win Tin are telling the Truth of ” What Happen in Burma “. Better Listen carefully, U Thein Sein & if your Thinking & Acting are logical You will know the Advice from Uncle Sam on your Return Trip. Don’t be ashamed of becoming the Puppet of Second Aphaygyi !!

  27. U Win Tin said that ASSK is 3 years late in making criticisms to Junta.
    Oh my God !
    As a matter of facts U Win Tin was several years late to criticize ASSK.
    Because of lack of timely criticisms and control to ASSK by elderly NLD members she has
    made a lot of undemocratic ways of doing her job.
    What about her relation to cronies?
    What about Copper Mines decision?
    What about her relation with old supporters in other countries?
    What about her relation with monks and students ?
    Are they have united front for Democracy for Burma? Did she make any attempts for unity?
    No -No-No–
    She only wants to be a president of Burma in 2015 and as she knows that current condition is not favorable to her and she suddenly changes her tunes.
    No wonder !
    Dear Lady !
    Whatever ..whatever you have said
    Our ears are hard to accept
    Siding with Junta and cronies
    you are hoping to get a trophy …
    At the end of the day
    dignity and reputation has decayed
    and
    trust and love of peoples have already gone away.

  28. I remember a Burmese saying . ‘.monkey pet frightens it’s own master”
    ASSK endorsed Thein Sein and nowadays Thein Sein was widely praised and became a well known figure world wide.
    He even intends to be a second term president of Burma in 2015.
    Needless to say without ASSK endorsement Dictator wlll never became a international figure.
    So, whatever happened in Burma was indirectly responsible for so called Democracy icon.
    We have to wait and see “Monkey will be tamed by it’s master or master will be bitten by monkey”
    Circus is coming to town.

  29. Maung Lu Aye ( Law ) R.A.S.U 1976

    Everybody can write his/her ideas/comments freely in The Irrawaddy. I had read & respect The Commentators that they had given their Precious Time, except that Which side they are really.The People Side or the Dictator’s Side. And do they really believe what they wrote. Do they Clear from the Influence of the Governing Body ? The Late Author Saya Zaw Gyi said ” If your Idea/Thinking is Clear, your Writing would be Clear “. Therefore, One has to be very Clear of Writing the Comments for the Sake of the People.

  30. Maung Lu Aye ( Law ) R.A.S.U 1976

    I Believe that Everybody can write his/her Comment Freely in The Irrawaddy. And I respect the Commentators except Which side are they from. Are they from The People’s Side Or Are they from Dictators’ Side ? The Irrawaddy has No Prejudice about that. I Assume that One has to believed What he wrote or What he Commented. If he/She doesn’t believe his/her Writing and was Influence by Someone. That is Bias or Prejudice. The Late Burmese Author Saya Zaw Gyi said ” When Writing, if your Idea/Thinking is Clear,Your Writing would be Clear “.

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