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Shan Ethnic Leader Meets with Razali - 2002-11-16


On his ninth visit to Burma, the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Envoy for Burma – Razali Ismail – on Thursday met for about 15 minutes with the country’s military leader Senior General Than Shwe. He later met with ethnic party leaders in Rangoon.

U Khun Tun Oo, leader of the SNLD ethnic party, told VOA Burmese Service of his meeting with Razali. He said the UN envoy told him that, as an option, he had proposed to the military leader that the National Convention aimed at drafting a new constitution be revived so as to move the national reconciliation process forward.

On principle, the Shan ethnic leader said he had no objection to this proposal. However, he’d rather it convened along the lines of the Panglong Conference of 1947 which finally forged national unity under General Aung San – the late father of Aung San Suu Kyi – in the nation’s bid for independence from the British.

He also said he is willing to participate in the National Convention because he feels that all the issues facing the country could be voiced at that forum and compromise and understanding could be reached there for the future good of the country.

The National League for Democracy walked out of the National Convention in 1995 calling it a sham. Failing to come back within the stipulated 48 hours, the military government officially dismissed the NLD from the National Convention.

U Khun Tun Oo recalled it was only after that that the NLD attempted to form the Committee Representing the People’s Parliament with elected representatives of the 1990 election in which Aung San Suu Kyi’s party won a landslide victory.

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