၂၀၁၅ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲ Irrawaddy.org
Military

Suu Kyi Still Wants to Meet Burma Army Chief

The opposition leader has attempted unsuccessfully to talk with the commander-in-chief about constitutional reform, and says she plans to try again.


NAYPYIDAW — Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will continue to propose a meeting with the commander-in-chief of the armed forces before the national election in 2015.

Speaking to reporters in Naypyidaw, she said she had tried to meet Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing in the past, but her attempt had proven unsuccessful.

“My relations with him have not progressed at all because I have not even been able to meet him yet,” the National League for Democracy (NLD) chairperson said Tuesday. “But I have never given up on something after failing only one time.”

She added that since her release in 2010 from house arrest under the former military regime, and since she joined Parliament in 2012, she has established good relations with President Thein Sein and Union Parliament Speaker Shwe Mann because they have held meetings.

In late November, the opposition leader called for a four-party meeting between herself, Thein Sein, Shwe Mann and Min Aung Hlaing to discussion constitutional amendments. The president turned down her request, saying Parliament’s Constitutional Review Joint Committee had not yet come forward with proposals to change the 2008 charter.

Formed in July and chaired by the deputy speaker of Union Parliament, the 109-member committee is expected to issue recommendations for amendments later this month.

Suu Kyi said she planned to continue requesting a four-party meeting.

“It will be better if we can hold informal discussions about the Constitution in advance. Otherwise, it may be difficult to change the Joint Committee’s decision later, as they may become official,” she said.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate is pushing for changes to the Constitution that would allow her to become president in 2015. The current charter makes her ineligible because her sons hold foreign citizenship.

In a regular speech to the general public on Jan. 1, Thein Sein said he supported changes that would address these eligibility concerns. But he cautioned, “I would like to urge people to be mindful that a political crisis may occur and we may lose possible and practical opportunities if we expect more than what the current political situation can fulfill.”

Suu Kyi’s NLD party is organizing a constitutional talk with members of the public at about the same time that the government’s Union Peace-Making Work Committee plans to meet with ethnic armed groups in the Karen State capital of Pa-an. The opposition leader told reporters Tuesday that she did not plan to join the peace talks but would consider the possibility if she were invited.

“I just want to tell the participants to work together as much as they can to develop a situation in which we don’t need to take up arms to solve problems,” she said.