Hkun Htun Oo, leader of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD) that won statewide in the 1990 elections, yesterday called for more decentralization by the central government for the states and regions, according to reports from Rangoon.
“Power is still very much concentrated in the central government,” he said. “The state governments should be empowered more so they get used to handling their own affairs by themselves in the future.”
President Thein Sein, a few days after his inauguration by the end of March 2011, spoke of “reduction of centralization.”
The Shan State was a self-supporting state during the pre-independence days. The 1947 Panglong Agreement that cemented Burma, Chin, Kachin and Shan together into a union also promised administrative autonomy, democracy, human rights and “financial autonomy.”
On the ongoing peace process launched by President Thein Sein last year, he said, “What all the ethnic nationalities aspire is neither ownership of lands nor business concessions, but to resolve existing political issues by political means. We should draw lessons from our past experiences and apply them.”
On the question of sanctions, he said. “Some of them have already been withdrawn, but not all. To remove them, human rights violations should end, the people and the government should work together to shape a more open society.”
He was speaking to more than 250 representatives from over 20 political parties and CBOs at the official opening of the SNLD head office at his home in Mayangone township, Rangoon Region.
The party held a meeting on the same day to elect an 11 member central executive committee:
Hkun Htun Oo Chairman
Sai Saw Aung Vice Chairman
Sai Nood aka Sai Nyunt Lwin General Secretary
Sai Lake Joint Secretary and Spokesperson
Sai Fa Public Relations
Nang Htwe Mon Treasurer
Sai Lern Myat Auditor
4 others represent Shan State (North, South and East) and Outside Shan State.