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National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi, en route to Shan State for a three-day tour, was not granted permission to land at the military airbase in Nansang on Thursday and instead had to reroute to Heho about 150 km from her original destination, according to her trip planner, Ye Hlaing, who is the party’s local district coordinator.
Ye Hlaing said that landing permission was requested from the Burmese military and Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing to allow Suu Kyi’s charter flight to arrive at the Nansang military airbase before she delivers a public address in the town on Saturday morning.
“We even reached out to the defence commander-in-chief, but they haven’t responded to us as of today,” Ye Hlaing told DVB on Thursday.
Nansang Airport, once operating as a civilian airport, was later commandeered by the military.
Suu Kyi will arrive in Heho on Friday afternoon before heading to Nansang by land. She is scheduled to spend the night in Nansang, then head south to Mongnai and then Langkho after her public address.
Ye Hlaing said that this is not an isolated incident; Suu Kyi also cancelled plans to meet with a local militia group from Homein while in Mongnai, after they were pressured by the Regional Military Command.
“The militia initially expressed a wish for the meeting, but the group’s officials told us they were pressured to call it off by the Regional Military Command,” said Ye Hlaing.
Suu Kyi is set to spend three days in Shan State, where she will hold a series of public rallies to explain the position of her party, the National League for Democracy, regarding Constitutional reform. The opposition leader and a party delegation have spent recent weeks on a whirlwind tour of country meeting with supporters in several of Burma’s ethnic states, including Chin and Karen States.