During her visit to Chin State in western Burma, National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi spoke to supporters in Tedim on Tuesday about her party’s vision for Constitutional reform.
“It is not only now that we are talking about amending the constitution. The NLD officially stated before the charter’s approval that the party would absolutely not accept it,” said Suu Kyi. “It [the 2008 Constitution] was drafted in an undemocratic manner, without input from representatives elected by the people, and its clauses do not facilitate the establishment of a democratic union.”
She also criticised the nationwide referendum in 2008, claiming that the vote was unfair and did not reflect the people’s will.
“The [government] claimed that the 2008 constitution had 92 percent approval by the public – let me ask you this: did 92 percent of the residents in Tedim really support it?” she said. “I can tell you that this is completely untrue.”
More than 3,000 residents of Tedim attended Suu Kyi’s rally on Tuesday afternoon. Prior to her public appearance, Suu Kyi attended the opening of a primary school in Zonawnzan village where she encouraged teachers to impart critical thinking skills upon students, as opposed to what she termed the “parrot learning” that has previously characterised Burma’s educational approach.
Suu Kyi and her convoy will depart from Tedim on Wednesday, and will travel to Falam and Chin State capital Hakha.
The opposition leader has visited Chin State only once before – in April 2003. Members of her entourage have stated that during the tour they aim to both inform constituents about the party’s concerns over the 2008 Constitution – which bars Suu Kyi from the presidency she has publicly announced a desire to assume – while also gauging popular opinion about whether to amend or completely rewrite the controversial charter.