Choose Capable Leaders, Suu Kyi Tells NLD Congress

About 900 NLD members from across Burma assembled in Rangoon for the party’s first ever congress. NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged the member to choose capable leaders. (Photo: Jpaing / The Irrawaddy)

RANGOON—During the second day of the National League for Democracy’s first ever congress, its chairperson Aung San Suu Kyi urged party members to choose Central Committee leaders who could best serve Burma and its people.

“You have to choose someone who could make the best contribution to the country and people, rather than someone who wants higher positions just for their own interests,” Suu Kyi said in an opening speech on Saturday.

About 900 representatives of Burma’s main opposition party assembled for a three-day national congress in Rangoon in order to vote in 120 Central Committee members and 30 Reserve Committee members, according to party officials.

Suu Kyi said the NLD should be revived by choosing new leaders who meet the party’s requirements and who are effective in the current political situation. “We want someone who loves to take responsibilities, not positions,” the 67-year-old leader added.

After being repressed during most of its 25-year history, the NLD needs to strengthen its political organization ahead of the 2015 national elections, as many in its leadership are in their 70s and 80s, while questions remain about the effectiveness of its lower and mid-level organization.

Suu Kyi admitted that in the past the NLD had acted somewhat undemocratically as some decisions were solely made by its central committee, but this was due to restrictions imposed by the former military government, which also prevented the party from holding a congress.

“We were criticized for being centralized. It’s true to some extent. But, now today, I think it’s over,” she said.

In a sign of the NLD’s intentions to have harmonious relationships with all groups in Burma, it also invited ethnic minority leaders, as well as a vice-chairman from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USPD), Htay Oo, to its congress.

The NLD was founded during the 1988 pro-democracy movement and it won a landslide victory in the 1990 election. But the then military government refused to honor the outcome. Instead it sent Suu Kyi and many party members in detention for years.

In 2010, the military formed the USDP party and put a quasi-civilian government in power as part of political reforms leading to the 2015 elections. During free by-elections in April 2012, the NLD won almost all available seats and Suu Kyi and 42 NLD colleagues entered Parliament.

During her speech on Saturday, the Nobel Laureate advised party members to have strong principles while doing politics and said that honesty is the best policy.

“Don’t make any promises to people that you can’t keep, just to gain their support. Plus, be loyal to fellow members. Don’t be ungrateful to anyone who was good to you,” she said. “With these three things, we will be able to overcome any obstacles we will face.”


8 Responses to Choose Capable Leaders, Suu Kyi Tells NLD Congress

  1. Three golden rules from Daw Su: 1. Don’t make any promises you can’t keep.2. Be loyal to your Fellow members. 3. Be grateful to anyone who is good to you.

  2. “After being repressed during most of its 25-year history, the NLD needs to strengthen its political organization ahead of the 2015 national elections, as many in its leadership are in their 70s and 80s, while questions remain about the effectiveness of its lower and mid-level organization.” (it is good awareness )

    “Suu Kyi admitted that in the past the NLD had acted somewhat undemocratically as some decisions were solely made by its central committee, but this was due to restrictions imposed by the former military government, which also prevented the party from holding a congress.” ( good lesson but more manipulation and dirty will come from USDP in next 2005 election)

    In a sign of the NLD’s intentions to have harmonious relationships with all groups in Burma, it also invited ethnic minority leaders, as well as a vice-chairman from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USPD), Htay Oo, to its congress.” ( useless because all ethnics want clear view from DASSK upon first or second Panglong agreement)

    DASSK is aware that many of its leaders are too old to serve now. The other important problem is there are no prominent politicians from ethnic minorities as well in NLD so USDP will manipulate to get faked votes from ethnic minority regions by cheating after occupying and suppression as well as manipulation. DASSK is trying to keep distant from ethnic minorities with the wrong strategy of silence on all ethnics issues. It makes most ethnics have no interest in 2005 election so it gives more chance for USDP to get faked votes by cheating incoming election.
    DASSK is not easy to win this coming election if she has no ethnics’ votes.

  3. “1.Talk the talk, walk the walk. 2. Loyalty. 3. Expressing gratitude. These are the rules to be abide by N.L.D members.” By Daw Su.

  4. Suu Kyi:

    Your 3 doctrines are ironic, indeed, primarily because these doctrines are inconsistent with what you have done and what you are now doing, suggesting the logic you hold here as the basic principles of your party for 1015 election and the actual life you live are in sharp contrast to one another.

    First, you insisted 20 years ago that you shall champion human rights in Burma forever as the unwavering principle of the campaign for change in the country, and you have been compared to Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Nelson Mandela. But when the barbaric army was pounding its offensive attacks against the Kachin, including the Kachin civilians, you not only kept silent but also said that you loved the army. We shall never forget the comment you made at that time.

    Second, you shamefully talked about loyalty here as if you were loyal to the ethnic groups, who remained loyal to you and NLD during your critical time in house-arrest at the expense of persecution. The ethnic groups remained loyal to you when you were in trouble, but you now abandon them at all when you join the military-led regime.

    Third, you stated that the ones who do good things to you deserve your appreciation. It is also ironic here. You accepted the money given by the cronies, who took lands and resources from the poor public by force. I hope you are at least aware of what is taking place between the police officers and the poor public whose lands were taken by the cronies.

    Taken all together, stop telling us what to do if you yourself are unable or unwilling to follow them.

  5. Politics, Love and Religion are all abstract things/very subjective. At least Saw Su comes up with some objective rules as a guideline to the party. She can not please everyone. She’s been doing her best for NLD since ….which we are all very grateful.

  6. She’s right!
    Who should replace her?

  7. daw su i can’t trust on u anymore… you are same side with junta … everybody knows … you cant hide … you dont care poor people .. nld broken because of u … overseas leaders not like u anymore as you already knew it …..

  8. I absolutely agree with Salai Mang. If you can’t follow your own guide and promise, then you are just another politician with no different than the generals. I also partially agree with Joe Sein, Daw Suu is doing her best for NLD but apparently not for the people, it seems!
    In my opinion, she is no longer the leader of the people and she is only the leader of NLD. She has been used by many including herself; by the generals to appeal to the West and international communities to lift sanction and for doners; By the West to counter the military regime; by cronies to clear their names and by herself to raise more fund and her ambitious to become president in 2015.

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