The Great Debate UK
- Soe Paing is Director of the Office of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, based in the U.S. The opinions expressed are his own. -
The arrest and the filing of criminal charges against Aung San Suu Kyi for alleged violation of house arrest rules under Section 22 of the 1975 State Protection Law or “Law to Safeguard the State Against the Dangers of Those Desiring to Cause Subversive Acts” indicate that the incumbent military regime in Burma is not interested in the offer of Aung San Suu Kyi’s party — National League for Democracy (NLD) — to join the elections scheduled for 2010 if certain conditions are met.
The NLD recently issued, what is known as the “Shwegondaing Declaration”, in which it was suggested that the Burmese generals (1) release all political prisoners, (2) review the constitution, and (3) establish a “genuine” (federal) union based on the principle of equality for all the ethnic nationalities… and the party would join the elections scheduled in 2010.
NLD Central Executive Committee Member U Win Tin said the action taken against Suu Kyi suggested that “the political future of the country is very bleak”.
If statements of concern were enough to influence the brutal dictatorship ruling my country, then opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma would have been freed many years ago. It is impossible to count the number of statements from world leaders condemning the dictatorship, whether it be for imprisoning Aung San Suu Kyi, crushing democracy uprisings, or blocking aid after Cyclone Nargis last year.