NLD warned over 'dictatorship' remarks

Oct 1, 2008 (DVB), National League for Democracy leaders in Yenangyaung township, Magwe division, have been warned by local authorities over their use of the word 'dictatorship' to describe the military regime.

Yenangyaung NLD leaders were summoned by the local electoral commission yesterday morning and given a warning due to phrases used by speakers at an event to mark the party's 20th anniversary, according to vice-chairperson Daw Khin Saw Htay.

"On the 27th, we held an event for the party’s 20th anniversary at U Khin Win’s house," Khin Saw Htay said.

"They said their informers had told them the phrases had been included in our speeches."

The officials listed 13 examples of unacceptable phrases that had been used.

"One point was ‘the dismantling of the SPDC military government’," Khin Saw Htay said.

"U Khin Win responded that he had used the word ‘dictatorship’ but he said ‘for dictatorship never to re-emerge in the future’," she said.

"As to why he used ‘the SPDC military government’, as it was the SPDC which held the 1990 election, we only want to talk to the SPDC government, that's what chairman U Khin Win said."

Khin Saw Htay said she told the officials that the NLD was following its principles in working towards a democratic government.

"The establishment of a government that guarantees basic human rights is the NLD’s aim, and therefore stopping the re-emergence of dictatorship is also the aim of the NLD," she said.

"We are not working because we are paid to do so, we are doing it honestly and truthfully, and we are an organisation working for democracy with strong faith," Khin Saw Htay said she had told the officials.

"You authorities are following orders from above. You are doing it for the sake of order and duty. For us, in democracy, we have the right to disagree. We have the right to express our desires to the top."

More members of the NLD organising committee were summoned last night for a meeting today.

Khin Saw Htay did not say if the authorities had threatened an further action against party members.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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