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Pro Views: Naw May Oo and Salai Hremang of Free Burma Coalition Burma Study Group - 2004-07-25


The founder of a U.S-based grassroots organization Dr. Zarni's one day trip to Burma for talks with military officials last May has generated both pro and con views among the members of the pro-democracy movement in exile.

Even within his own group Dr. Zarni of anti-military government and pro-sanctions fame since the inception of the Free Burma Coaltion he founded nine years ago is now facing some dissension. Some say the uproar could hurt the group's future standing and relevance in Burmese pro-democracy movement.

Naw May Oo is one of the supporters of Dr. Zarni and the communications director of Free Burma Coalition. She told VOA Burmese Service that the majority of the members of FBC maintains a view that an alternative approach to solve Burma's problems is imperative and must be carried through.

She emphasized that in line with this view, Dr. Zarni initiated his recent trip to Rangoon to explore the possibilities of working together with all forces within Burma for the common good of the nation which has been in a malaise politically, economically and socially for too long.

Naw May Oo, an ethnic Karen national, said this concept of pulling together for the common good was born out of the minds of what she calls "forward-looking and fresh outlook of the young educated Burmese men and women in exile'. Some of these people she says belong to the Burma Strategy Group.

She also said FBC will release in August a comprehensive and analytical report on the Burma situation including the assessment of other political groups as well as the rationale of Dr. Zarni's recent visit to Burma.

Salai Hremang, an ethnic Chin national and member of the Burma Strategy Group, also holds the view that a fresh look at the political stalemate in Burma is vital and says he is determined to work relentlessly with like-minded colleagues in his group to put this concept through until national reconciliation leading to peace is achieved.

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