Arakan NLD urges action against referendum

Mar 17, 2008 (DVB), National League for Democracy members in Arakan state and Magwe division have said they are ready to oppose the constitutional referendum the government plans to hold in May.

Arakan state NLD members vowed to sabotage the upcoming referendum and said they hoped other NLD branches would do the same.

U Than Hlaing, secretary of the Arakan NLD organising committee, said a meeting of committee members and 1990 elected people's parliament representatives had agreed it would call on people within the state and in other regional NLD branches to join them in their activities to oppose the national referendum.

"We are going get in touch and cooperate with NLD organising committees from other regions of Burma," said Than Hlaing.

"At this time, they already know what should be done and we are all going to do it together."

In a statement released by the Arakan NLD representatives and organising committee members, the group said it firmly opposed the SPDC's draft constitution.

"We are making a very clear statement here of our strong denouncement of the SPDC government's unbalanced constitution, written without the full involvement of true ethnic leaders and parliament members elected by the people, and of the upcoming referendum where votes will be collected to approve it," the statement said.

"We stand firm on our policy of not giving the SPDC a chance to hold the referendum successfully and bring all the people of Burma under the military dictatorship, and we will organise effective campaigns and encourage people to work with us."

In Yay Nan Chaung township, Magwe division, the local NLD denounced the planned referendum in their monthly meeting, which was held on Thursday at the house of chairperson U Khin Win.

U Than Aung, a member of the Yay Nan Chaung NLD communication committee said the group would follow any instructions from NLD headquarters on how to work against the referendum.

"This national referendum is illegitimate and we cannot accept it in any way," Than Aung said.

"But we are ready and standing by to deal with it according to whatever guidelines the headquarters gives us."

Reporting by Aye Nai

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