RANGOON — Aung San Suu Kyi met with ethnic lawmakers in Naypyidaw on Monday, urging all members to work together for the sake of the country under a National League for Democracy (NLD)-led government.
Dozens of incumbent ethnic MPs, including outgoing and re-elected lawmakers, from various political parties joined the meeting in the country’s capital on Monday afternoon.
“We need to work together,” Suu Kyi told attendees in an address that was posted to the NLD’s official Facebook page. “We should not work alone as this is a Union. By working together, we can successfully reach our goals.”
Suu Kyi said the country should be built on the spirit of the Panglong agreement, signed by her father Gen Aung San and a handful of ethnic leaders in 1947 and seen as affording significant autonomy to ethnic nationalities.
One month after her party’s convincing victory in the Nov. 8 general election, the NLD chairwoman stressed the importance of unity and of working to achieve a permanent peace.
“Our ethnic people need to consider what they can give to our Union instead of thinking of what they could get from our Union. Our ethnics are poor, but there are many good values they could [impart] to build a better union,” Suu Kyi said.
“I am very happy to be able to work together with you all. We did not expect a lot in Parliament in the beginning… [But] we could do much more than we expected. There was good value in being able to talk to each other.”
Speaking to elected NLD candidates from regions in upper Burma on Saturday, Suu Kyi said the party should join hands with former foes and not seek retribution for past wrongs. Since the NLD’s victory at the polls last month, Suu Kyi has met separately with President Thein Sein, Burma Army chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing and former junta head Than Shwe.
On Monday, Suu Kyi also had a message for candidates who failed to win their respective seats in November’s poll.
“Those who cannot participate in Parliament this time, you may be able to participate next time. We need to be good friends, to love each other, and have a better relationship,” she said. “We should not lose contact with each other even though you are not in Parliament.”