Popular Shan Party Vows to Cooperate With Myanmar’s NLD Under New Govt

By Nan Lwin 15 January 2021

YANGON—The most popular ethnic Shan party, the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), on Friday held talks with the country’s ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) on ways of cooperating in the legislature and administration under the upcoming government, and said the meeting’s “result was very good”.

On Friday, three representatives of the SNLD met with three members of the NLD’s Central Executive Committee in Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State. The dialogue was one of a series of negotiations the NLD is holding with ethnic parties on its plan to form a national unity government with them in its upcoming second term. Since its landslide Nov. 8 election victory, the NLD has been calling on ethnic parties to join it in establishing a federal union.

One of the SNLD participants, Joint General Secretary 2 U Sai Kyaw Nyunt, said his party told ruling party representatives that the SNLD was willing to cooperate with the NLD’s efforts to achieve national unity, and explained to them the SNLD’s core democratic values.

U Sai Kyaw Nyunt said the SNLD urged the NLD to build a union based on those values.

He said that if the NLD is really eager to cooperate with them, it would have to give SNLD members positions in the new government that will allow the party to assume greater responsibilities.

In the Nov. 8 election, the SNLD won a total of 42 seats: two in the Upper house, 13 in the Lower House and 27 in the state parliament.

The SNLD also offered to play a mediation role between the NLD and ethnic parties in Mon and Kayah states. In recent weeks, the ruling party’s scheduled meetings with the Mon Unity Party (MUP) and the Kayah State Democratic Party (KySDP)  were canceled after the NLD insisted the talks be held at its local offices. The ethnic parties demanded the meetings be held at neutral venues.

“If the NLD gives us this task [to mediate between the NLD and ethnic parties], we will try our best,” U Sai Kyaw Nyunt said. “We are ready to help.”

Led by Magwe Region Chief Minister Dr. Aung Moe Nyo, the NLD delegation also included Karen State Chief Minister Daw Nan Khin Htwe Myint, who is also a member of the party’s Ethnic Affairs Committee, and Ntung Hka Naw Sam, the chair of the committee.

Dr. Aung Moe Nyo said the SNLD urged the NLD to meet all 48 ethnic parties and said they would work hard with the NLD to build trust with other ethnic organizations.

In order to perform effectively to build a federal union, the SNLD asked the NLD to give its technocrats and experts effective positions in the legislative and administrative branches of the new government at both the state and union levels, Dr Aung Moe Nyo said.

He said his delegation would report back to the party’s top leadership, adding that any decision on that request would depend on them.

During its visit to Shan State, the NLD delegation also met with representatives of the Ta’ang National Party (TNP), Pa-o National Organization (PNO), Kayan National Party (KNP), Wa National Party (WNP),  Lahu National Development party (LNDP) and Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP).

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