Opposition party offices to reopen

Burmese authorities yesterday allowed the reopening of National League for Democracy (NLD) party offices that were shut down after the infamous Depayin massacre in 2003.

The party, which is still reeling from the news that it may be forced to expel leader Aung San Suu Kyi if it is to run in elections this year, was informed yesterday evening of the news.

“We are to accept back our Rangoon divisional office in Tamwe township and then reopen it,” said the party’s Rangoon division organising committee member, Dr Win Naing.

Other NLD offices in Rangoon division’s Kawhmu, Yameth and Thanlyin townships, as well as a number of branches in Mandalay division, are also allowed to reopen.

“We were informed around 8.30pm in Thanlyin by an intelligence official,” Win Naing said. “He said our office will be allowed to reopen and asked whether if we want our office in the same place we run before.

“We told them that it depends on the landlord; if the landlord agrees, we will open the office in the same place, and if the landlord doesn’t agree, we will find somewhere else.”

Heavy restrictions have been placed on the NLD since the Depayin massacre, in which a government-backed mob beat to death around 70 NLD supporters travelling in a motorcade led by Suu Kyi.

Following the incident, around 300 party offices were closed and Suu Kyi was again placed under house arrest, where she has since remained.

Nyan Win, spokesperson for the NLD, said that around 100 offices had already reopened and the rest would follow suit.

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