During the one-hour meeting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the DPP delegation held a discussion over the current challenges Burma is facing politically and economically. Aung San Suu Kyi explained to the delegation that her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), are currently engaged in helping the Burmese people in the areas of education, legal aid, and humanitarian assistance. She stated that it is important to “get closer to the people” and that she has also started plans to visit townships outside Rangoon.
When asked about her opinions on sanctions, Aung San Suu Kyi stated that the party’s position has not changed. She called for the sanctions to remain in place until the human rights and political situation in Burma improve. She also noted that people in Burma are frustrated with the economy, namely lack of adequate jobs and the high cost of living. She further mentioned cronyism as the main problem in Burma, which prevents the middle class from emerging, she said. She also stated that, to improve the life of the people, what is needed is “a healthy economy that a genuine democratic society can offer.”
The DPP delegation conveyed a message from Chair Tsai Ing-wen, who wished to express her greetings to Aung San Suu Kyi in person, but as she is currently running as the first female candidate for the next presidential election, she was unable to visit Burma this time. Aung San Suu Kyi said she was glad to see women taking up important roles in politics in Taiwan and expressed her best wishes to the DPP.
The delegation also visited the NLD party headquarters in Rangoon and met with Vice Chairman U Tin Oo and party’s executive committee members before the meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi. The DPP delegation spoke to NLD members about their experiences in fighting for democracy and freedom in Taiwan.
“One party rule never prevails,” said Vice Chairman U Tin Oo after sharing their stories in the struggle for democracy in Burma.
On this mission to Burma, Bi-khim Hsiao said, “It was an honor to personally witness the courage and persistence demonstrated by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her colleagues in the NLD. Most of them spent years in prison, and yet you can feel the energy and optimism that helped them overcome decades of hardship and difficulty. It was truly inspiring. We learned that democracy can’t be taken for granted. We keep the same spirit as our Burmese colleagues and we are committed to continue working with them and together with the international community in bringing change in Burma.”
The DPP delegation members included Bi-khim Hsiao, vice president of the DPP’s New Frontier Foundation; Shyh-fang Liu, deputy mayor of Kaohsiung; Yi-Jin Yeh, legislator; Maysing Yang, vice president of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy; Hsieng-hwei Chang, special assistant to Chair Tsai Ing-wen, and Jessie Chou, DPP international officer.