It was while the Burmese people came together when cyclone Nargis struck, driving aid to victims and pulling fallen trees from the capital’s roads in the absence of any governmental help, that Suu Kyi’s noticeboard leapt into life. One of those prompted to talk out by the bizarre martyrdom message was Tun Myint Aung, a student leader from 1988. He concluded: “No one can deny that we are on the side of truth and the people. But what we also have to consider seriously is whether our sacrifices alone will actually bring victory.” Being a martyr was simply not good enough.
It was a point underscored by Burma’s longest-serving political prisoner, Win Tin, a 79-year-old former journalist and advisor to Suu Kyi, who was released by the junta on September 23 this year. Reappointed secretary to the NLD’s central executive committee, he immediately entered the fray. The fight for democracy “hadn’t ended yet”, he announced. However, “the NLD alone can’t work it out”. Instead of waiting the junta out, and turning its back, the party and its leader would have to begin engaging with its enemies as well as its friends. With any one, in fact, with whom it could form a dialogue. But when it comes to leaders, some in the party are asking whether it is it time to move on from Aung San Suu Kyi.
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