Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NLD, Suu Kyi receive official letter challenging its legal status and activities

Wednesday, 29 June 2011 15:45 Mizzima News

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Burma’s central government has officially informed prominent National League for Democracy (NLD) leaders of their precarious legal status, a little less than a month before the opposition party plans to undertake a national tour of the country.

The NLD party led by Aung San Suu Kyi has been directly
challenged in an official government letter only weeks
before she is scheduled to undertake a nationwide tour.
Photo: Mizzima
In the Wednesday edition of the state-run New Light of Myanmar, the government’s English language daily, an article says the Ministry of Home Affairs has sent a letter to  NLD General- Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi and party chairman U Aung Shwe informing them of the importance of abiding by the country’s laws.

The letter––which contains several direct warnings that the NLD has violated laws––comes as Suu Kyi prepares for a countrywide tour starting July 22, her first foray beyond the limits of Rangoon since her most recent release from house arrest in November 2010. Her ability to travel unencumbered throughout the country is seen by many as a crucial test of her freedom.

The ministry’s letter said that because the NLD failed to re-register as a political party for the 2010 general elections, it has forfeited its right to exist as a legal political entity.  The letter said that the NLD continues to operate party offices and conduct party affairs despite its formal dissolution.

‘The NLD is found to have kept opening its party headquarters and branches in states and regions and other towns, erecting signboards and hoisting flags at some offices, issuing statements, publishing periodicals and videos, meeting with other organizations and holding meetings and ceremonies’, the letter said, according to the New Light of Myanmar.

The government said that NLD activities were potentially disruptive to the parliamentary system and threatened national stability.

‘If they [the NLD] really want to accept and practise democracy effectively, they are to stop such acts that can harm peace and stability and the rule of law as well as the unity among the people including monks and service personnel’, the letter said.

The NLD has not recognized the legitimacy of the 2010 election, opting instead to uphold the validity of the 1990 poll, citing the lack of a free and fair democratic process in both the 2008 constitutional referendum and the general election.

The government warned the NLD that if wants to continue work as a social organization it must apply for a license from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

In a 2003 tour of the country, Suu Kyi’s motorcade was attacked by a government-sponsored mob outside the village of Depayin in Sagaing Region. The resulting clash led to scores of dead and injured, and Suu Kyi narrowly escaped. The opposition leader was subsequently detained and sentenced to house arrest, only to be released a week after the 2010 general election.

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