January 30th 2016
by Barbara Tedaldi
Rome – The transition in Myanmar has started and now Aung San Suu Kyi with her leadership should speed it up, starting new civil institutional and economic reforms, but the international community international must help this difficult but irreversible path. Sandra Zampa, president of the Parliamentary Association Friends of Burma, explains to AGI prospects and issues on the eve of the formal start of the new Burmese course.
Monday February 1st 2016 the new Parliament of Myanmar, decided by the vote of November 8th, is going to take office for the first time and so a new phase for the country is going to start with the leadership of Aung San Suu Kyi party and a large parliamentary majority. The Nobel Prize laureate cannot become president of the country, since she was married to an Englishman, but she is going to be deputy president and is definitely going to have a central role in guiding the achievement of the democratic transition in Myanmar. Sandra Zampa explains that certainly the big political push for change impressed by popular vote on November 8th is acquired, the transition will be accelerated but it will take time before democracy can be considered as acquired. After the installation of the new parliament and the new government all democratic procedures will come into operation, national reconciliation will start, the role of the army will be stabilized, fundamental rights will be guaranteed. It is thought that the Constitution prepared in 2008 by the military which does not allows Aung San Suu Kyi to be elected president must be changed, and the end of the ethnic conflicts must be assured. It will take some time for the transition to be complete. Aung San Suu Kyi has recently proposed to establish a federal state to heal the ethnic conflicts and get to a “national reconciliation” but the road seems uphill and some fear that her leadership could be tarnished. But for Sandra Zampa “the road of national reconciliation could be less difficult than expected. The retiring government and the military have recognized her victory, Aung San Suu Kyi has met them to put on the table the target of national reconciliation. After all, her democratic and non-violent approach accounts for her credibility, as much as her whole life.” “The leader of the National League for Democracy has recently asked the ceasefire in the areas of ethnic conflict as a prerequisite for the democratic development of the country – Zampa points out – and nothing is easy for her, after more than fifty years of dictatorship; but today she and her party are summoned to lead the country and that makes the difference. Her leadership is great, and no difficulty is going to tarnish it.” The Nobel laureate and Myanmar have a manifold challenge in front of them, concerning civil rights but also many economic reforms timidly initiated by the previous government. “It is expected that the Government of Aung San Suu Kyi is going to bring, as promised, a radical change in the country, tried by poverty and dictatorship oppression. The political, economic and social reforms – assures Sandra Zampa – will be in the foreground, and Aung San Suu Kyi will lead her country to become prominent on the Asian and global scene. Among her first meetings after the vote there were those with ambassadors and representatives of the main countries: USA, UK, China, Japan, India. And also with the Ambassador of Italy. ”
Now the international community expects new developments in terms of civil rights and the presence of a Nobel laureate as leader of the country bodes well: “Aung San Suu Kyi has fought for many years in the name of human rights and democracy in her country and now as the government leader of Myanmar she is going to do everything in her power to achieve them. She always said – the president of the Parliamentary Friends of Burma recalls – that her role was not that of an icon, a human rights Nobel prize winner; she is a politician taking on the responsibility of practical choices for the good of her people. What she did so far is not only a lesson in life and politics, but a concrete action to conquer democracy for her people using a non-violent approach. Aung San Suu Kyi is going to continue on this road, I am sure. The International Community already noticed the great political change Aung San Suu Kyi was able to bring about. It is now time to commit and help Burma with investments, as Romano Prodi recently invited to do, given that Myanmar is placed in one of the most dynamic areas in the world. ”
Sandra Zampa adds that “poverty, diseases, inadequate nutrition are among the greatest difficulties of the country, especially for children. Aung San Suu Kyi has clearly pointed this out in her message for World Expo 2015. The ongoing opening of the market can push growth and the opening of the country to the world but this will require education and healthcare, which are now at a very low level.” Italy, as the whole of Europe, is called to support the transition. Aung San Suu Kyi “has always asked to foreign countries to take contact not only for business but also to support democracy and the welfare of the people. Her Foundation has always been dealing with education and healthcare; she asks to her MPs, currently under training, to study, to understand the needs of the country, to be honest, to learn to speak English. This is a giant investment in ideals, politics and culture to prevent the setting up of the market, finance and mass consumption from leading to further disparities and from threatening the spiritual values of her people. In fact the impetus for change is very strong, new technologies open up the world to the Burmese people and everything is at stake. It is up to the Burmese people to be aware of this change and it is up to the world to support and respect this extraordinary people, who gave us back our love for freedom and democracy. ” (AGI)
(30 January 2016)
Questo articolo è disponibile anche in: Italian