After over 21 years, Suu Kyi's party bids farewell to Burmese politics

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London, May 3 (ANI): Burma's National League for Democracy (NLD), which sprang to life on a wave of opposition to military rule more than 21 years ago, has said that it will cease to exist.

According to The Independent, under laws drawn up by Burma's ruling generals to govern elections this year, the NLD was forced to choose between expelling its detained iconic leader Aung San Suu Kyi on grounds that she is a prisoner, or not registering for the vote.

It chose the latter, a decision that means the party cannot legally exist after the May 6 deadline for registration.

Born out of the failed uprising of 1988, the party won a landslide victory in the last national elections in 1990, but the military never allowed it to take power.

Senior members of the party, most of them now elderly, have been harassed, imprisoned and tortured.

Yet through all this, and despite this final, killer blow to their party, NLD activists have extraordinary belief.

"We do not feel sad. We have honour. One day we will come back; we will be reincarnated by the will of the people," said Tin Oo, the NLD's 83-year-old deputy leader who has endured several spells in prison and was freed from house arrest in February.

Win Tin, Burma's longest-serving political prisoner who was released in 2008 after 19 years in jail, said: "We won't dismantle our party ourselves. Symbolically, that would be wrong. But remember, this is nothing new for us. We've seen our offices closed all over the country, our flags and signboards pulled down. We are used to this repression."

NLD members plan to continue their social work, which includes small education and health projects and offering financial and moral support for the families of Burma's estimated 2,100 political prisoners.

"But we will not do political work here. We want to avoid any misunderstanding with the authorities," said Tin Oo, choosing his words carefully. (ANI)

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