Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A former political prisoner, a retired police officer and various politicians all say that they have little interest in news about the newly formed Burmese Parliament and the future government.
A former political prisoner told Mizzima that the military junta dominated the elections and now it dominates the Parliament, and that offers little hope for Burma’s future in terms of democracy and improvement in human rights.
Expressing sentiments shared by many people who Mizzima spoke with, the former political prisoner, now in his 50s, said: ‘I’m not interested in it. Whether I like it or not, they will go on. I have a horrible feeling about it’.
A retired policeman in his 30s in Bogale in Irrawaddy Division said that he was uninterested in the Parliament because he was facing a daily uphill struggle in his life.
‘I’m interested in nothing except working for a living’, he said. ‘In my town, people never watch the Parliamentary news on television. Our town is not developed. To add insult to injury, Cyclone Nargis hit it.
‘We are still struggling to recover. Each of us needs to struggle for a living. We’re interested in the Parliament even less than we were in the elections’, he said.
Whether Prime Minister Thein Sein will be elected as President or not, the people have little hope, he said.
Similarly, Aye Lwin, the chairman of the Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics, told Mizzima, ‘As usual, the junta will dominate everything. I think they will try to avoid negotiating in the parliamentary sessions, and they will say everything they do is good’.
Naing Tin Aung, a former member of the New Mon State Party, said, ‘They are from the military. So, they don’t have political experience. All they have is military experience’.
Than Win, the secretary of the Monywa Township (Sagaing Division) branch of the National League for Democracy, told Mizzima, ‘There could be minor changes. There could be trials of strength between the military and the Parliament. But, I don’t think there will be dramatic changes.
He said the Parliament was meant to affect the international community’s view of Burma: ‘You see, in the economic sector, the military and their cronies have special privileges. To attract foreign investments, they need to build trust’.
In general, in the political area, he said he believed that Aung San Suu Kyi would try to talk with the new government to move democratic principles forward.
Loke Paung, the chairman of Wa National Unity Party, said that the junta had planned everything out in advance, so he doubted that the new government would bring about any major changes.
Adding to a potential status quo in politics, the Union Solidarity and Development Party dominates the Parliament and current Prime Minister Thein Sein is likely to become president, observers said.