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Civil servants and students in Chin State were instructed by regional authorities not to show public support or welcome Aung San Suu Kyi during this week’s tour of the remote western Burma state, according to a National League for Democracy (NLD) party official.
Hla Oo, a member of the NLD Youth Conference Organising Central Commission who accompanied Suu Kyi’s delegation to Chin State, said, “We were told that civil servants and students were instructed not to welcome the party or attend any of our public events – some were instructed verbally but other individuals were asked to sign an agreement pledging not to attend NLD rallies.”
Speaking at one such public rally in the town of Falam on Wednesday, NLD leader Suu Kyi said she would demand an explanation from the Chin authorities on why her supporters were prevented from attending the event, and she suggested that such an action should be considered a crime.
“Nobody has the right to stop people like this,” she declared. “I am personally going to demand to know who handed down these instructions and why. And I will officially denounce the Chin State government if we find evidence that they are responsible.”
The Burmese opposition leader continued: “This is very unfair – an insult to the public, and a violation of democracy which I view as a crime.”
The NLD delegation arrived in Chin State capital Hakha on Wednesday evening and held a public rally in the town the following morning, when Suu Kyi addressed some 5,000 local supporters on her party’s views and efforts to amend the 2008 Constitution.
Hoke Chun, chairman of the NLD in Chin State, said Suu Kyi reminded party supporters that the upcoming elections in 2015 will not bring genuine democracy to Burma unless the Constitution is amended, and that it is the responsibility of all citizens to push for constitutional reform.
He said that “almost everyone” at the rally voiced support for Suu Kyi’s recommendations to amend the Constitution.
Following the Hakha rally, the NLD delegation returned to Kale in neighbouring Sagaing Division where Suu Kyi was due to speak at another event on Friday morning.