RANGOON — Top leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD), including Aung San Suu Kyi, met with around 170 trishaw drivers in Rangoon on Saturday to convey the party’s appreciation for their support during the election campaign.
Suu Kyi praised the drivers’ spirited backing during the party’s ultimately successful election campaign, during which trishaw drivers, many sporting NLD flags or other party paraphernalia, were a ubiquitous presence on the streets of the commercial capital and at various political rallies.
After party patron Tin Oo opened proceedings on Saturday, the NLD chairwoman delivered a 20 minute speech before taking questions and hearing feedback from workers in the three-wheeled profession.
“Good ideas don’t only come from experts but also from people working on the ground,” Suu Kyi said.
Given the floor, several drivers detailed various difficulties of the vocation, including licensing issues, questions of legality over categories of vehicle, financial, housing and educational issues.
Many drivers also spoke out over the need to form a union to support and defend workers’ interests.
Suu Kyi replied that issues of education and housing would need to be addressed nationwide. She said the establishment of a drivers’ association should be straightforward and that the licensing issue would be tackled by the relevant authorities next year.
The NLD leader also asked the drivers’ opinion on Rangoon’s now notorious traffic congestion, to which one worker, Tha Aung, replied: “I would like to say mother Suu, Rangoon has too many cars.”