Shwe Mann Calls for More Dialogue Between Suu Kyi, Political Leaders

By The Irrawaddy 16 December 2015

RANGOON — Burma’s Lower House Speaker has said there is a continuing need for “mutual trust” between major political players during the current political transition, and has called for continued political dialogue to ensure that the next government is able to take office smoothly.

Referring to a question posed to him by National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi, which asked what was the biggest challenge during the transitional period between the November election and the appointment of a new government at the end of March, Shwe Mann wrote on Facebook of the need for regular political dialogue to build trust between Suu Kyi and her political opponents.

Shwe Mann, who was ousted as chairman of the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in an August purge, has met with Suu Kyi regularly since last month’s election. Though his post on Tuesday did not specifically refer to any individuals, it was likely, at least in part, a reference to the meeting between Suu Kyi and former dictator Than Shwe on Dec. 4, which Shwe Mann helped to broker.

Most details of the discussion are still unknown, aside from the fact that it was much longer in duration than Suu Kyi’s separate meetings with outgoing President Thein Sein and military chief Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing on Dec. 2. According to Than Shwe’s grandson, the junta-era leader referred to Suu Kyi as “the future leader” of Burma and said he would assist her to his best ability.

Shwe Mann also also warned that if there is no dialogue and negotiation between Suu Kyi and others, there would be no hope for national reconciliation, national unity and peace in the future.