a youth's perspective
CAN WE TRUST PRIME MINISTER KHIN NYUNT?
(By Lawi Weng)
Can the ethnic nationalities and the democratic movement
trust Prime Minister Khin Nyunt? The more politicians there
are, the more there will be political views on this issue.
Some people may question if Khin Nyunt is a moderate person
or not and if he possesses the tolerance needed for democracy
to work in Burma. One can make a comparison to President Frederik
W. de Klerk (former president of South Africa); Mr. de Klerk
drew up a non-racial constitution, held a referendum, and
an election. He won a Nobel Peace Prize because of his achievement
in reaching peaceful negotiations with President Nelson Mandela
Some people may view Khin Nyunt as a hardliner after he criticized
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for instigating the May 30 ambush. He
also criticized the international community for taking sides
in supporting Aung San Suu Kyi and thus tarnishing his country's
What can we make of Mr. Khin Nyunt? Is he a puppet? A liar
clinging to power? A hack powerless to persuade his cronies
to reform. Or all the above? Did he lie to the Thai Foreign
Minister Surakiart and the international community, to Mr.
Surakiart when he went to the opening ceremony bridge in Myatwatty?
Is he committed to starting a dialogue with ASSK? He proclaimed
to the International community that the regime was willing
to open a new page in Burma's history back in May 2002. He
insisted they wouldn't limit ASSK in traveling around the
country. But they soon arrested her out of fear and sidelined
her again under house arrest. So, it is possible to highlight
the contrast between Khin Nyunt and Mr. de. Klerk?
He promised that the UN special envoy Mr. Razali would be
allowed to see ASSK and that dialogue would soon begin, but
Than Shwe denied implementing of dialogue and Khin Nyunt's
permission to resign. Than Shwe knows that Khin Nyunt's ideas
could be used to control power.
Instead of promptly dismissing him, Than Shwe bumped him
up to the post as the new Prime Minister. Reshuffling of the
Burmese military leaders is a common occurrence for the people
of Burma, a practice done every five years. Can Khin Nyunt
walk the tight rope of politics during the next five years?
If he trips, he falls from power for good, who then will Than
Shwe use to preserve the power of the military? That is the
ultimate strategy, isn't it?
Khin Nyunt's road map to democracy will have him stepping
down from power in the next five years. According to his proposed
road map, there will be free and fair elections. How about
1990 election's result? Will it be the same as Saw Maung's
election in 1990? Therefore, can we believe him as an optimistic
person who is committed to solving a 50-year conflict and
can help the millions of people in Burma?