Freeing prisoners shows Suu Kyi's determination

By Ge Hongliang
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Global Times, April 20, 2016
Adjust font size:

On Sunday last week, Myanmar's traditional New Year's Day, a pardon for 83 political prisoners signed by the new ruling party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), unveiled the government's determination to promote comprehensive national reconciliation in the coming year. Since the NLD government's term started on April 1, a total of 282 political prisoners have been freed. Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the NLD, stated that her new government will work toward releasing all remaining political prisoners within the next fortnight.

This is only one of the major issues that the NLD has dealt with this month. Apart from forming a new government, the party has also adopted and announced three other important measures. To begin with, after Myanmar's President U Htin Kyaw signed the State Counselor Bill, Suu Kyi officially assumed the office as state adviser, a position that is higher than the president.

Both Htin Kyaw and Suu kyi highlighted the importance of amending Myanmar's constitution. Moreover, Suu Kyi vowed to strive for greater autonomy for the country's ethnic minorities.

Over the past two weeks, the NLD has emphasized its resolution to promote democratic construction within the country as well as Suu Kyi's wisdom in ruling the nation. However, it does not mean that the party's rule will be smooth in the future. A series of challenges that test the NLD's patience and wisdom are coming up.

The public's hunger for change was the key factor in the NLD's victory. It will also undoubtedly become the driving force as well as pressure for the party to put forward overall reforms in days to come. Therefore, in order to fulfill its promise to voters, the most urgent task for the NLD so far is to turn its long-term political ideals into concrete policies. Suu Kyi's statesmanship will be tested as she tries to promote the country's reform and opening-up, following the work of former president U Thein Sein.

Economically, the NLD's administration will need to explore innovative development, speed up the nation's economic growth as well as attract increasing foreign investment. The members of the new government led by the NLD are mostly intellectuals and members of the economic elite. Unlike the military officers in the country's previous administration, the current cabinet members know what Myanmar needs the most and what Myanmese people need the most.

Politically, the new government showed its determination to accelerate the construction of a truly democratic republic. But this requires a balance of interests among the NLD, the military, and ethnic minorities. The relationship between the NLD and Myanmar's previous ruling powers, the military and the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), will be the most direct and significant factor in the country's future political development. The relations between the NLD and ethnic minority groups will also be a crucial element for the nation's national reconciliation.

The author is a research fellow with the Charhar Institute and the College of ASEAN Studies at Guangxi University for Nationalities.

Follow on Twitter and Facebook to join the conversation.
Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.