RANGOON — Burma’s main opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the leaders of the former students’ group 88 Generation Peace and Open Society met earlier this week to discuss how to garner greater public involvement in their joint campaign to amend the 2008 Constitution.
The meeting, which took place at Suu Kyi’s lakeside villa in Rangoon, was attended by Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Jimmy, Mya Aye and Pyone Cho—all prominent leaders involved in Burma’s 1988 student uprising. It was the fourth meeting between the Nobel peace laureate and the student leaders, who earlier this year announced an alliance to push for changes to the country’s military-drafted charter.
Jimmy told The Irrawaddy that the meeting involved further discussions about their constitutional reform efforts, in particular how the public can become more involved in order to push parliamentarians to pay attention to the campaign.
“People need to be more involved. They say ‘the Parliament’s voice is the people’s voice.’ But now is the time to see to what extent they listen the people’s voice. We will push them by all means to do it,” he said.
According to the student leader, Suu Kyi said during the meeting that she would respond to the proposal to increase public involvement on behalf of the National League for Democracy, after discussing the plan with her party’s Central Executive Committee.
The NLD and 88 Generation Peace and Open Society—formerly known as the 88 Generation Student Group—have been meeting since February in an attempt to present a united front calling for constitutional amendments ahead of national elections in 2015. Demonstrations have been held across the country in support of constitutional reform.
They have agreed to first target Article 436 in the Constitution’s Chapter 12. The article gives the military a veto over constitutional reform, stating that amendments require approval of more than 75 percent of all MPs—at least a quarter of whom are from the military. The article also calls for a nationwide referendum to approve amendments to certain parts of the charter.