NLD calls for dialogue without preconditions

Feb 18, 2009 (DVB), The National League for Democracy has issued a special statement supporting the United Nations' call for dialogue without preconditions and urging the military regime to accept the proposal.

The statement, which was issued yesterday, addressed the ruling State Peace and Development Council's claims that the party's calls for sanctions against the regime were harmful to the country.

"Section 7 of the SPDC statement No. 1/2007 says that confrontation, utter devastation, severing of economic ties and total blockades are not useful to the nation and the people," the statement said.

"Therefore, to prevent these, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi notified the authorities through liaison minister U Aung Kyi that [the NLD] is ready to issue statements regarding bilateral cooperation and agreements," it continued.

"Therefore, the NLD seriously urges again with good intentions that the two people who could decide these matters should meet for discussions."

The party also refuted claims that detained NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi had refused to meet the government's liaison minister.

"Daw Aung San Suu Kyi didn’t refuse to meet with liaison minister U Aung Kyi on 2 September 2008, she was just unable to do so at that time," the statement said.

The statement also echoed calls by the UN for dialogue between the opposition and the ruling junta without preconditions.

"On 5 February 2009, the UN secretary-general issued a statement which says that the SPDC, the NLD and pro-democracy groups should hold dialogues without preconditions, with the aim of attaining national reconciliation and meaningful dialogue," the statement said.

"The NLD welcomes that statement. On this subject, the NLD has always tried to walk a path to reconcile both sides by means of negotiations, while the SPDC has never made an effort to make dialogue happen."

The NLD's Thein Nyunt, who read out the statement, said the party had wanted to clarify its position on preconditions to dialogue.

"Recently, when it comes to the dialogue, we have seen some news reports implying that the NLD has imposed preconditions unilaterally," Thein Nyunt said.

"When it comes to dialogue, the NLD has never imposed any preconditions. The NLD doesn’t want tensions between groups," he said.

"One point is to emphasise is that the NLD has not set out any preconditions and the UN secretary-general issued a statement on 5 February urging dialogue without preconditions," he explained.

"Based on this, if the secretary-general himself comes to Burma to make the situation better, the NLD will welcome his trip in accordance with our policy of cooperation with the UN," he went on.

"The third and most important point is that the people who have the ability to decide the fate of the nation, general Than Shwe and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, should engage in dialogue pragmatically and quickly."

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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