In a speech to mark Burma’s 66th Independence Day on Saturday, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi stressed that both the government and the military should play important roles in amending the constitution and urged them to cooperate in the process.
“The Tatmadaw [Burmese armed forces] should not be ambiguous about its role in amending the constitution as they absolutely do have a very crucial role to play in the process as does the ruling government,” said Suu Kyi, speaking at the National League for Democracy (NLD) headquarters in Rangoon. “Likewise, the government should not act as if the constitution is not their concern – the constitution is a concern for everyone in the country and so it should be for the government, too.”
“We should not be uncertain about the fairness of the 2008 constitution – the constitution is unfair and not in conformity with democratic standards,” she said. “We have to openly and manifestly accept that it carries no bright future for our country.”
She also warned about the challenges ahead on the path to national reconciliation, asserting they should be dealt with through honest and open dialogues.
“When we look for a future based on national reconciliation, we need to be open about discussing certain necessary issues,” she said. “For the sake of national reconciliation, we should courageously and incisively face the challenges and problems ahead.”
The event was attended by most of the NLD leadership, including Suu Kyi, Win Tin, Tin Oo and Than Tun, as well as members of the party’s Central Executive Committee, and members and guests from other political parties and civil society organisations including 88 Generation Peace and Open Society leaders Min Ko Naing and Ko Ko Gyi.
President Thein Sein marked the 66th anniversary of Burma’s independence from British colonial rule by addressing the nation in a statement carried by the national press in which he urged the Burmese public to live together “through thick and thin” and to support non-disintegration of the Union. He also called on all Burma’s nationalities to participate in the peace process to end armed conflicts in the country.