By Peter Aung
Burma’s ‘parallel government’ in exile, the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), announced its dissolution today in an effort to support “national reconciliation”.
The NCGUB’s Foreign Minister and spokesperson Bo Hla Tint said the group’s dissolution was intended to aid the country’s reform process, and that the decision was made after lengthy discussions with its parliamentary members – MPs who were denied their seats in the annulled 1990 general elections.
“The NCGUB believes that its dissolution will contribute to the achievement of national reconciliation which is inevitably needed in Burma as well as to the endeavors being made for the emergence of a national political program that all deserving participants can join.”
The NCGUB’s Prime Minister — and Aung San Suu Kyi’s cousin — Dr Sein Win led the Washington DC-based exiled government since its formation in 1990.
The body was founded in Manerplaw, Karen state, which served as the headquarters for several of Burma’s largest resistance groups in the early 1990s until it was captured in a major army offensive in 1995. Its membership consisted of representatives from the National League for Democracy (NLD) and major ethnic parties.
“The situation of human rights and progress of democracy have not yet reached the goals that the NCGUB has been striving for or envisages,” said Bo Hla Tint.
“However, the National League for Democracy, a party that NCGUB considers as its political leader, is now re-registered as an official political party, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and elected representatives of the 1990 elections are now in the parliament after contesting in and winning the by-elections of April 2012, and ethnic political parties of 1990 have also re-registered as political parties.”
Bo Hla Tint said although mistakes were made during the past two decades, the group was able to take issues concerning Burma to the UN Security Council.
“This organisation didn’t flee the country to take throne in the exile; they were representatives elected by the people in 1990 elections and respected by all ethnic and activists in exile,” said National League for Democracy’s patron Win Tin.
“They are a government [body] respected and recognised in history. I don’t want to comment much on their dissolution, but I hope that the decision was made in accordance with the majority’s opinion.”
According to their statement, the NCGUB’s members “are committed to continue their endeavors by cooperating with all democratic forces of different nationalities until a genuine democratic federal union emerges.”