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Leading 88 Generation Peace and Open Society member Mya Aye steps down

88 Generation Peace and Open Society member Mya Aye talks to protesters near Sule Pagoda in Yangon on 5 June 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Mya Aye, a stalwart pro-democracy activist who rose to national prominence as one of several young leaders to emerge during Burma’s decades-long struggle against military rule, has resigned from the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society.

The society is led by members of the so-called ’88 Generation, a cohort named after the year that nationwide pro-democracy protests swept the nation, forcing a change of junta leadership but ultimately failing to abolish military rule.

Mya Aye — one of the country’s most prominent Muslim political activists — declined to provide any specific reason for his resignation from the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society, which he tendered on 29 November.

“There are different attitudes in organisations. But my resignation is not related to the different attitudes. I will still be a politician of the ’88 Generation and I believe that my resignation will not affect the organisation,” Mya Aye told DVB on Thursday.

Other members of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society including Ko Ko Gyi and Min Zeya have already left the organisation to establish a political party. Prominent leaders of the organisation still remaining with it include Min Ko Naing, Ko Jimmy, Nilar Thein and Mie Mie.

Mya Aye, 51, said that in recent years members of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society could largely be divided into two camps: those who favoured the establishment of a new political party and those against such a foray into electoral politics. He said he had no plans to join the former group.

“I will not join a political party and I also won’t form [my own] political party. But I will still work in politics,” he said.

Mya Aye has led the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society’s peace initiatives, but he told DVB there was no need to be concerned about the effect his departure might have on those efforts, saying other members would take on his responsibilities.

Ko Jimmy of the 88 Generation Peace and Open Society told DVB that remaining members would fulfil Mya Aye’s duties for the organisation, adding that they would not seek to prevent his resignation.

“We are brothers and we have no problems. I think that nobody can work a long time for their organisations. So, we won’t prevent his resignation,” said Ko Jimmy, who also declined to shed any light on why Mya Aye had decided to resign.