Six-party talks are a must: Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi at the stake-driving ceremony for the new NLD headquarters. (Photo-EMG)

Aung San Suu Kyi said that the government must set up the six-party talks which are proposed by the Union Parliament.

Her words renewed efforts to establish talks with the president, Speakers from both houses of the Parliament, commander-in-chief, an ethnic representative and herself.

“Six-party talks are a must,” she said after the central committee meeting of National League for Democracy. “We’ve called for the talks in unison with ethnic parties.”

Speaker Thura Shwe Mann said on February 11 that six-party talks were likely to be held before the general election, scheduled for late this year.

President Thein Sein has told Parliament that he welcomed the meeting.

A 14-party meeting with the government, Parliament, military, election commission and party leaders was held last October with no particular outcome.

Suu Kyi named eight hurdles: lack of enthusiasm; the government’s reluctance to reform the controversial Constitution; weak human rights protection; failure to work for the poor majority; continuing centralisation; inability to tackle corruption; the executive’s intervention in the judiciary; and the government’s reluctance to hold six-party talks.