Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – On her second major campaign tour, Aung San Suu Kyi drew an estimated 30,000 supporters to a rousing political rally in Myaungmya Township in Irrawaddy Region on Tuesday.
In her speech, she emphasized the practical needs of the people such as employment, education and healthcare.
“I want to nurture the youth, and I want to make them more educated,” she said. “Getting proper healthcare for all adults and youth is the objective of the NLD. It’s very simple. We must work for better education for the people. We must work for better healthcare for the people. We must try hard to get decent employment and proper salaries,” Aung San Suu Kyi told the crowd.
She said the National League for Democracy (NLD) had a plan on how to amend selected articles in the 2008 Constitution, imposed by the former military government, and would work for peaceful co-existence with all ethnic people in the Union and for the rule of law to correct a police and justice system that is seen as unfair.
“The rule of law means rule by laws which will protect the people,” she said. “The laws must protect the people. They are not for harassing people.”
Supporters applauded her remarks and repeatedly shouted, “May you have good health, Mommy Suu,” a common crowd response to visits by Suu Kyi.
Observers noted that government employees wearing normal street clothes welcomed her during her tour of Myaungmya. A local resident said he had never seen such a large crowd and such an emotional welcome in the town.
Suu Kyi toured Pathein and Myaungmya. Local people lined the highways and streets. Karen demonstrated folk dances. She was offered hundreds of garlands and bouquets and flags with the NLD logo, a fighting peacock, waved in the wind.
The road leading to Pathein was packed with a huge crowd sprinkled with students from Pathein Technical University wearing T-shirts and hats bearing the fighting peacock symbol. Local people claimed that, counting people along the roads, several tens of thousands were gathered around the Koe Thane playground to welcome her.
In her speech there, she urged people to learn the correct voting procedures and to monitor the voting and counting to ensure fairness and accuracy.
“Don’t make a mistake in casting your vote,” she said. “Please don’t let your votes become invalid. We will distribute leaflets on voters education, how to vote, how not to make a vote invalid.”
Suu Kyi joked that if the NLD didn’t win in Pathein after such a large turnout, then something was wrong.
Suu Kyi tried to visit Irrawaddy Region in 1989 and 1990, but the authorities blocked her tour. The army barred her way in Danuphyu when she visited Irrawaddy Region on April 5, 1989. Violence was averted when a military officer withdrew an order to fire at the last moment.
On January 29, tens of thousands of supporters in Dawei in southern Burma turned out for her first one-day campaign tour. Suu Kyi plans to visit Mandalay in central Burma soon.