Opposition party ‘obeys the junta’

Burma’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party has kowtowed to the military government for 20 years and has been silent on key issues in the country, a veteran pro-democracy journalist has stated.

In a strongly-worded interview with US-based Burmese multimedia magazine, MoeMaKa, renowned journalist Ludu Sein Win said the party was “no different to…the [pro-junta Union Solidarity and Development Association]” and blasted its “neglect of all crucial events in Burma”.

He later told DVB that the comment was a reference to the NLD’s silence during the September 2007 monk-led uprising and several other key incidents in recent Burmese history.

“When [farmers] were imprisoned after having their land confiscated in Magwe division, the NLD acted like it had nothing to do with it. It took the same position on the child soldier issue,” he said.

“The group also showed no concern over the tension between the government and the ethnic ceasefire groups such as the [United Wa State Army] and the Kokang army.”

The NLD’s spokesperson, Nyan Win, admitted recently that the party was “in crisis” following the announcement of elections laws that require the expulsion of NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi if the party is to run for office.

It is due to announce next week whether it will participate in elections already decried by the party as illegitimate, although Ludu Sein Win appeared in no doubt about the likely decision.

“The NLD will go for the political party registration and enter the elections,” he told MoeMaKa, adding that it was a party “without a policy”.

“A party without a policy will always change its colour according to the weather, like a chameleon which constantly nods its head,” he said.

Nyan Win responded however by saying that “it is irresponsible for someone to be already saying something before the decision is made”.

Ludu Sein Win, a Marxist and an outspoken critic of the NLD who began his career on the left-wing Ludu newspaper, said last year that the 2010 elections were unlikely to bring any change in Burma.

Observers have said that the election laws provide further evidence that the polls are little more than attempt to provide legitimacy for the ruling regime as it continues under the guise of a civilian government.

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