By Zin Linn
Dr. Sein Win, Prime Minister of ‘The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma’ in exile, released a press statement declaring dissolution of the NCGUB today. The NCGUB is a “parallel government” formed in Manerplaw on 18 December 1990 by elected representatives of various political parties, including the National League for Democracy, other ethnic nationality parties and independents.
The then members of NCGUB were members of parliament elected in 1990 General Elections. They left Burma in order to implement the results of the multiparty democratic general elections of 1990 and realizing the ardent democratic aspirations of the people of all nationalities, who had expressed their determination through the elections.
The NCGUB had been formed with the energetic support of the organizers and other elected representatives of the National League for Democracy when the idea to form a parallel government was conceived inside the country, according to the statement dated 14 September 2012.
It also said that the “parallel government” may not emerge without the friendly recognition from the Manerplaw-based leaders of the National Democratic Front (NDF), the Democratic Alliance of Burma (DAB) and other democratic forces who extended financial as well as other needed assistance.
The press statement clarifies NCGUB as the government in exile which has firmly adhered to democratic principles in democratically electing its members once every four years at the Congresses of the Members of Parliament Union (MPU).
The statement also highlights important objectives of the NCGUB saying to bring an end to the military dictatorship, implement the results of the 1990 elections, achieve internal peace and build a genuine democratic federal union guaranteeing democratic and basic human rights to every citizen of Burma.
NCGUB had firmly ensured that all its fundamental programs and policies were in harmony with the policies and objectives of the NLD which won landslide victory in 1990 Elections. The statement also underlines that NCGUB has persistently endeavored to carry out the political aspirations of the NLD.
It says that the situation of human rights and democracy have not yet reached the goals. However, the NLD is now re-registered as an official political party, Aung San Suu Kyi and some 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.
NCGUB also gives details in its statement that the present situation permits Aung San Suu Kyi and other elected members of parliament, political leaders, and student leaders to travel freely around the country and overseas to perform services needed by the country. Moreover, many exile opposition leaders are allowed to visit the country.
“Under such changing conditions, 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. In accordance with this belief, the NCGUB discussed the issue of dissolution with the leaders of the Members of Parliament (MPU), which had democratically bestowed official rights to NCGUB through MPU Congresses held once every four years,” the statement says.
“With the approval of the MPU, the NCGUB, which was formed on 18 December 1990 in Manerplaw, the headquarters of the Karen National Union (KNU) and the Democratic Alliance of Burma, hereby declares that it will officially be dissolved with effect from Friday, 14 September 2012,” it says.
The NCGUB expressed its deep gratitude to the elected representatives of the 1990 elections, NLD leaders and members at various levels, and individuals who participated and assisted in the establishment of the NCGUB.
It also showed profound credit to the leaders of the NDF and the DAB, ethnic nationality forces and democratic forces who cordially welcomed and provided financial and other forms of assistance to exile elected representatives when they arrived in the liberated areas. It also expressed its deep gratitude to the leaders of the KNU at different levels, who, before the fall of the old KNU headquarters in Manerplaw had provided security, food and other needs and facilitated the travels of NCGUB members.
In conclusion, the statement puts emphasis on expressing its special thanks to the governments and humanitarian and human rights organizations which for many years have regularly supported democracy and human rights programs of the NCGUB. Its unique testimony goes to the International Center for Human Rights and Democracy Development (ICHRDD) or (Rights & Democracy) based in Canada, the Foreign Ministry of Norway and the Norwegian Burma Council, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) based in Washington, DC, the Open Society Institute and (OSI) based in New York, the Foreign Ministry of Denmark and the Danish Burma Committee (DBC), and the Foreign Ministry of Ireland and the Burma Action Ireland (BAI).
The statement says as well of the highest honor to colleagues who sacrificed their lives for the cause of democracy and human rights, like NLD members U Hla Pe, elected representative from Pyawbwe Constituency (2), Mandalay Division, and U Win Ko, elected representative of Ye-U Constituency (1), Sagaing Division, and also to comrades who served long prison terms in connection with the formation of the NCGUB.
It also expresses its thanks to all the news agencies and radio stations inside and outside Burma for distributing NCGUB’s policy statements and opinions.
Although the NCGUB will no longer exist as an institution, its members are committed to continue supporting all democratic forces of different nationalities until a genuine democratic federal union emerges, the statement says.
A short summary of NCGUB’s activities and achievements in the past 21 years was also released with the statement which was signed by Dr. Sein Win who is a cousin of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.