Tuesday, April 3, 2012

2-4-2012 In exile, Suu Kyi’s men still fear going back to Myanmar

Shubhadeep Choudhury/TNS
Bangalore, April 2
Burmese democracy leader Suu Kyi may find her in Parliament soon but this is not enough assurance for her exiled colleagues in India to think of returning to Burma.

Talking to The Tribune, Tint Swe, National League for Democracy (NLD) MP from Pale (near Mandalay), who is in exile in India since 1990, said: “I do not trust these guys (the military). Suu Kyi may sit in parliament but I shall wait and see how the political situation develops in Burma before thinking of returning to my country”.

Tint Swe, a doctor who had a decent practice in Pale before he contested the tumultuous 1990 General Election in Burma (Myanmar), said he had been sentenced to 25 years in prison in his absence. “I was sentenced for being a part of the government-in- exile”, Swe said.

The pro-democracy activist said his house and clinic in Pale had been sealed by the military and his licence was cancelled. “I do not have a place to live in Burma now. However, it is not the existential issue that I am bothered about. It’s the military that worries me,” he said.

Suu Kyi’s victory in the byelection to the lower house of the Burmese Parliament has been announced by her party.

The NLD MP had sneaked into India through the Indo-Burma border in Mizoram’s Saiha district. His family members - wife and three sons - joined him in Delhi four years later. Two of the sons are in USA now where one is working and the other is a student.

Tint Swe said Burmese political refugees in India number around 100. Besides, 7,000-8,000 ethnic minority refugees from Burma are also living in India. “The ethnic minorities staying in India as refugees are mostly from the Chin state. They are in India as a part of a United Nations arrangement. They will be sent to other countries where they can find work. These category of refugees will think of returning to Burma only after the economy of the country improve”, Swe said.

He said the political refugees would continue to watch the scene in Burma for some more time. The general elections in Burma are slated for 2015. “If Daw Suu Kyi asks me I shall go to Burma any time. I am in touch with my party colleagues inside Burma”, Swe added.

The NCGUB, of which Tint Swe is a member, is scattered in various countries including USA where the Prime Minister Sein Win, a first cousin of Suu Kyi, is putting up. Burma, ruled for decades by a repressive junta and isolated on the world stage, has seen promising changes since the November 2010 vote brought to power a nominally civilian government. The government allowed Suu Kyi’s party NLD, disbanded after it boycotted the 2010 poll, to re-register to contest the by-elections.