Major General Nerdah Bo Mya, head of the Karen National Defence Organisation, congratulated the National League for Democracy for its winning performance in the national elections on November 8th, 2015.
“We welcome a victory that wins Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD government. Under a democratic government it will be easier for ethnic people to achieve our goals.”
General Nerdah, speaking to Karen News, pointed out that ethnic rights should not be forgotten in the euphoria now sweeping the country.
“The rights of ethnic people are equally important as democracy, without them you don’t have justice. If they fail to acknowledge us, they will fail.”
General Nerdah said that people had shown with their votes that they had spurned the Thein Sein government.
“The people of Burma have rejected the military backed government and its policies by voting them out.”
General Nerdah said the much-lauded Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement signed on the October 15 by some ethnic armed groups and the government was now worthless.
“The NCA in its present format was never going to work or be accepted. How could it, when only eight out of 17 ethnic [armed] groups signed it and the government forces were even bombing Shan people on election day?”
General Nerdah said that the NLD and its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi now had the opportunity to do better than Thein Sein.
“They need to not only recognize ethnic rights, but need to hold real political dialogue with us and to legislate for our rights.”
General Nerdah said it was too early to predict how the Burma Army would react to the election result, but warned that the General’s had previous.
“They have history, in 1990 it took months for them to react, but they did, by refusing to acknowledging the huge vote for the NLD and by jailing Aung San Suu Kyi for 14 years.”