CRPP backs NLD's call for national reconciliation

Jan 2, 2009 (DVB), The National League for Democracy has called for national reconciliation and the immediate release of all political prisoners in a New Year statement backed by MPs-elect and ethnic parties.

The NLD released the statement yesterday with the support of members of the Committee Representing the People's Parliament and seven election-winning parties.

The other parties were the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy led by Hkun Htun Oo, the Arakan League for Democracy led by Aye Thar Aung, the Mon National League for Democracy led by Nai Tun Thein, Kyaw Min's National Democratic Party for Human Rights, the National Democracy Party led by MP-elect Soe Win, the Zomi National Congress led by Cin Sian Thang and Htaung Ko Thang's United Nationalities League for Democracy.

The statement was signed by all the party leaders apart from Hkun Htun Oo and Kyaw Min who are currently in prison.

NLD spokesperson Nyan Win said the party had decided to release the statement under the NLD banner, but highlighted the significance of the support of other groups.

"NLD central executive committee member decided in a meeting to [release it as an NLD statement] but all CRPP members except two absentees signed," he said.

"We believe that we cannot rebuild Burma without the participation of ethnic nationalities."

Aye Thar Aung of the ALD, who is also secretary of the CRPP, said the groups had met to discuss the content of the statement.

"It is an effort to persuade the SPDC to start the national reconciliation process with the release of political prisoners," he explained.

"One of our plans for 2009 is to persuade the SPDC to release political prisoners and change the constitution before the planned 2010 election."

Aye Thar Aung said that the CRPP also wanted to expand to include other political parties and to rally non-political groups to join calls for the release of political prisoners.

Reporting by Htet Aung Kyaw

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