The Nation



Suu Kyi urges unity and trust among ethnic-group MPs

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) have urged ethnic political parties to find a common solution to the problems facing ethnic groups.

At their meeting in Nay Pyi Taw on Monday, opposition parties and ethnic-group representatives talked about unity, stressing the importance of mutual understanding and trust to the bid to achieve equal rights for ethnic groups.

"People can join hands only when they have common faith," Suu Kyi said. "We must cultivate a culture based on trust and mutual understanding so that people can find solutions to these problems through negotiation. Now we have the chance to do so. If we miss this rare chance, we will be held responsible by our country. Such opportunities do not come twice. We have to grab them when they arise."

Parliamentarians from the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) also attended the meeting.

"We are drawing up a bill to protect ethnic people's rights. We will strive to ensure all ethnic people have rights. This is in the interest of all [Myanmar's] ethnic peoples," said Ti Khun Myat, a USDP MP and member of the parliamentary committee drafting the bill. "I hope our Bamar brothers and sisters will help us" in seeking equal rights for ethnic minorities, he added.

Both sides agreed that such meetings were an important step towards reaching mutual understanding.

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