Myanmar Elections, Charter Reform Risk Causing ‘Unrest’: President

Burma Elections, Charter Reform Risk Causing ‘Unrest’: President

Myanmar, constitution, Burma, amend, Election, 2015, Suu Kyi, Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, NLD, Union Solidarity and Development Party,

Burmese President Thein Sein (center) is seen at an event celebrating a literacy campaign in Mandalay on Thursday. (Photo: Tayza Hlaing / The Irrawaddy)

MANDALAY — President Thein Sein has warned that Burma faces the risk of unrest as it prepares to amend its military-drafted Constitution and conduct free and fair elections.

Landmark elections in 2015 will see Thein Sein’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party go up against the popular opposition of Aung San Suu Kyi. A parliamentary committee is currently discussing amendments to the 2008 charter, with an alliance of opposition groups, including Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), holding public rallies around the country calling for the military’s role in Burmese politics to be reduced.

Speaking at a literacy event in Mandalay on Thursday, Thein Sein stressed that both upcoming challenges were internal Burmese affairs.

“We will have to work within the boundary of law to not affect the sovereignty of the country. Nobody wants unrest based on these two matters,” he said.

“If there’s unrest, it will affect the country. Every citizen—monks and everyone—should take examples from countries around the world that have seen unrest, and should protect the country’s stability.”

He also urged citizens to participate in the country’s democratic development. Thein Sein came to power in 2011, ushering in a program of political and economic reforms that have seen Burma’s relations with the West improve and investment from overseas increase.

The president was speaking at a ceremony to honor literacy campaigners and students in Mandalay Division. In a 45-day campaign across the division, volunteers reached more than 4,000 elderly learners.

During the speech, Thein Sein stressed the importance of literacy in building a democratic country.

Thein Sein’s Mandalay visit came just three days ahead of a public meeting on Constitutional reform to be held in Mandalay on Sunday. Suu Kyi is set to speak at the rally organized by the NLD and the former students’ movement 88 Generation Peace and Open Society.

Thein Sein’s visit was criticized as a cynical exercise to win praise for the current government and undermine the campaign for significant changes to the Constitution.

“His trip before Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s visit is not honest as he is airing propaganda speech regarding the amendment of the Constitution,” said Mya Aung, a local NLD supporter.

“The same thing happened in 2012 before the by-elections, where Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also planned to come to Mandalay.”


10 Responses to Burma Elections, Charter Reform Risk Causing ‘Unrest’: President

  1. It seems the President has unmasked himself.
    He is going back on his words, and stepped into the shoes of generals and dictators Ne Win and Than Shwe. Sad to say, but what else can we expect of an old hand of dictatorship?

  2. What ever little acheivement obtained, what ever resognition given so far are all relating to observing the people’s wishes and conducting their MOTHER’s agenda. People know.

  3. Unrest can be avoided if regime is pushing real reform. Instead, regime is trying to build their own fortress. The people are tired of watching fake reform from Thein Sein administration and undemocratic constitution.

  4. Mr Thein Sein should genuinely have a plan to get education and free knowledge for the vast majority of population. More than 50 years, the fascist military regime had choked the public of educated know-how, closed the universities merely for the sake of avoiding unrest, promoted the illicit drugs, forced people into prostitution and ruled the country by corrupting heart and mind of the people.Yes, Burma can descent into popular unrest because of your refusal to accept the reality of people power. You pretend to be a saint balancing badly. Everyone knows that you will face the historic defeat in the 2015 election. Stop behaving like a sheep and start changing your attitude, stand with the people and kick the army general back to the barrack. You will become a great retired president of Burma.

  5. The public will be very happy if the undemocratic Nargis constitution is amended to become democratic constitution. By blocking real reform, regime will make the public angry. People have never been problem-makers. The real problem-makers have been the military dictators. Thein Sein is trying to intimidate us. His tone is very much threatening. But he needs to blame himself if unrest happens in Myanmar. He is the one who is cheating the public. He talked a lot about reform but actually he is not meeting what he promised us. His reform is no way near to the real democratic reform.

  6. None sense.
    The only possible risk can be expected from the military dictatorship, not from the people who make their rightful claims, showing their aspirations in a peaceful manner. That is not a dangerous noise, but a beautiful melody in the ears of democrats.
    I wish the generals were all democrats!!!

  7. By any-means the constitution should make amendment, otherwise how can call Burma ( Myanmar ) is democratic state. Burmese military should try to do themself how to make constutution amendment. If they do not amend the constitution it is meaningless to show the international communities that Burma ( Myanmar ) is on way to democratic reforms. Since Burma Myanmar )created this consititution during cyclone Nargis period, how many percent it is perfact to say democrtic constitution. This constitution was made of insincerity and ilicit intention to hold political power forever by a group of peoples look like a family company.
    Therefore it is the time calling them to do amendment. Do not allow to create unrest in the country any more. Be sincere to your country men.

  8. (((( President Thein Sein has warned that Burma faces the risk of unrest as it prepares to amend its military-drafted Constitution and conduct free and fair elections. ))))

    Does he means Military will try to derail free and fair election if Military MPs were ousted from Parliament?

    President U Thein Sein seems to be trouble with his reform. He may be under pressure from former dictator Than Shwe.

    We need to do anatomy on U Thein Sein speech and recent comment come from other Government officials.
    It looks like Army will coup power if Military MPs were ousted from Parliament. President U Thein Sein is carefully revealing what can happen if Military MPs were ousted.
    I believe he has been directly warning by Than Shwe or via Gen Min Aung Hlaing.

    I believe peoples of Burma are ready to face consequence of changing former dictator Than Shwe’s Constitution.

    President U Thein Sein and Gen Min Aung Hlaing must choose which side they will stand by either side of majority Burmese peoples or former dictator Than Shwe and his cronies’ side.

  9. I am the people—the mob—the crowd—the mass.
    Do you know that all the great work of the world is done through me?
    I am the workingman, the inventor, the maker of the world’s food and clothes.
    I am the audience that witnesses history. The Napoleons come from me and the Lincolns. They die. And then I send forth more Napoleons and Lincolns.
    I am the seed ground. I am a prairie that will stand for much plowing. Terrible storms pass over me. I forget. The best of me is sucked out and wasted. I forget. Everything but Death comes to me and makes me work and give up what I have. And I forget.
    Sometimes I growl, shake myself and spatter a few red drops for history to remember. Then—I forget.
    When I, the People, learn to remember, when I, the People, use the lessons of yesterday and no longer forget who robbed me last year, who played me for a fool—then there will be no speaker in all the world say the name: “The People,” with any fleck of a sneer in his voice or any far-off smile of derision.
    The mob—the crowd—the mass—will arrive then.

  10. How many people applause Suu Kyi and Min Ko Naing? Thousands. People are hungry for democracy. People join the rallies not because they are forced but because they need and hungry for democracy which regime does not really want to have and to see. Democracy, people and Suu Kyi – Min Ko Naing are inseparable. More showdowns are on the way if the voice falls on the deaf dears of the regime. Than Shwe will end up like Saddam Hussein and Muammar Kaddafi if he keeps pulling the string behind the scene(We all know that current regime is his puppet).

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