Communication impeded as NLD pressured to cancel meetings

Mar 16, 2009 (DVB), Rangoon's Thanlyin township Peace and Development Council has told a local National League for Democracy leader to postpone their March meeting in an effort to stop top NLD leaders from seeing local members.

The authorities have told the NLD branch that if members arrive, they will have to postpone the meeting or they will be reported to the authorities, said NLD leader Aye Than.

"We said we do not have time to stop our members from coming to the meeting, and that we cannot postpone the meeting as it is a regular activity," she said.

The authorities also told her to stop divisional-level NLD leaders from coming to see them if they could not postpone the meeting, Aye Than added.

"We said we could not do that either," she said.

"They come down to townships when it is necessary, depending on the situation at division level, and hold discussions with us. They also asked us who was coming."

NLD spokesman Nyan Win said the authorities’ latest attempt is not in accordance with the law.

"Although they say that the 2010 election will be fair and free, the government has no readiness when it comes to democracy," he said.

"I don’t know whether grassroots organizations such as Township Peace and Development Council have power or not, but they are carrying out bans and restrictions."

Reporting by Aye Nai

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