NLD youth members to quit over committee reform

Sep 18, 2008 (DVB), Over 100 National League for Democracy youth wing members are preparing to quit the party due to dissatisfaction with the leadership and the lack of consultation over changes to the central youth committee, members said.

Thanlyin township NLD youth coordinator (1) Ko Naing Win Tun said youth members had become disillusioned by the leadership's lack of political direction.

"We are going to quit as we are ashamed of chairman U Aung Shwe and his Central Executive Committee who have failed to provide unambiguous political guidance to the people of Burma in the 20 years since the NLD was formed," he said.

"They decided to reform the central youth wing committee without consulting youth members or taking into account the structure of the NLD youth wing groups across the country which were formed by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi herself."

Ko Nay Thu Soe, a youth wing member from Tontay township, said party leaders had failed to consult youth members about the planned changes.

"I told the chairman to let the youth decide for themselves , to ask our opinion and take a vote. But he said this was not a time to think but for action according to the circumstances," Nay Thu Soe said.

"Another problem is that some of the people they have chosen do not have political ethics , some of them work closely with the military government and they just do what U Aung Shwe tells them regardless of the people and the policies set out by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi," he went on.

"We are very sorry to make this decision [to quit] but we have to do this to keep our own integrity for the time when Daw Suu has been released or when we win our fight for democracy."

Nay Thu Soe said more than 100 youth wing members plan to quit when the official announcement on the reform of the central youth committee is made.

Ma Win Leh Phyu, South Okkalapa township NLD youth coordinator (1), said the changes were being forced through without the agreement of youth wing members.

"During a monthly meeting on 5 September, CEC member U Lun Tin said everyone had to follow the CEC's orders and those who disobeyed would be punished according to regulations," Win Leh Phyu said.

"He said they had to make some changes as they do in military structures and that we had to agree with it , it sounded very much like a threat," she said.

"Not long after that, at the meeting [on 15 September], they announced the formation of two new groups without asking our opinion."

The selection of central committee members has also met with resistance, Win Leh Phyu said.

"One of the people chosen by the chairman, named Ko Aye Tun, said in the meeting that there is no Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in the NLD," she said.

"We don’t like the people who were chosen for the central committee and we cannot stand what U Aung Shwe is doing. They have failed to do anything for politics in Burma or to give us unambiguous guidelines as leaders."

NLD information wing member U Nyan Win said he had not heard anything about the youth members' decision as he did not attend the meeting on 15 September.

"There is a lot to talk about on this from both sides , it is a very controversial issue," he said.

Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

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