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Peace is our first priority, says NLD patron Tin Oo

NLD patron Tin Oo (Photo: DVB)

Tin Oo, a founding member and patron of the soon-to-be-ruling National League for Democracy (NLD), has vowed that his party will focus on bringing peace to Burma.

Speaking on Wednesday at an event to mark the 140th anniversary of the birth of literary and political icon Thakin Kodaw Hmaing, Tin Oo said that the people of Burma want peace, so that must be the NLD’s priority.

He also promised to respect the losers of last November’s national elections, which saw a dramatic shift in power away from the army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party to the NLD, led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

“In April, the NLD will take office as the new government. We are victorious with the people’s support, but we’re not going to be arrogant about it. We will have respect for those who didn’t win,” he said.

Yesterday’s event in honour of Kodaw Hmaing–a poet and nationalist leader who spearheaded Burma’s peace movement after civil war broke out soon after the country achieved independence in 1948–was the first to be held at his mausoleum at the foot of Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon.

Forty years ago, on the centenary of Kodaw Hmaing’s birth, more than a hundred students were arrested by the regime of dictator Ne Win for holding a peaceful ceremony at the site.

In addition to Tin Oo, the event on Wednesday was also attended by other prominent literary and political figures, including leaders of the 88 Generation Students group.

Reporting by Zayar Chan Aye