Burma: NLD appeals to the UN for its legalization

Aung San Suu Kyi. (Photo:NLD)

Source: Mizzima, reproduced by Burma News International

The National League for Democracy (NLD), opposition party banned by the Burmese military regime, plans to take its case to the United Nations Council of Human Rights (UNCHR). Thai-based Burma Lawyers’ Council (BLC, focal point of Social Watch) supports the move, reported Mizzima, a news agency run by Burmese journalists exiled in India.

According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, freedom of association and organization is a universally recognized human right. However, the NLD is considered an illegal organization by the Burmese government.

“According to these procedures, the case can be presented to the UNCHR when all the domestic legal remedies are exhausted in a certain country,” NLD spokesman and lawyer Nyan Win told Mizzima.

The Union Election Commission (UEC) announced on 2010, that the NLD legal status as a political party had been nullified because it did not reregister. A complaint lodged in court was dismissed, as well as a final appeal to the Supreme Court in Naypyitaw.

The NLD won the 1990 general election, but the regime did not acknowledge the results.. Last month, the Home Ministry sent a letter to the NLD warning it not to engage in political activities.

NLD General-Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi replied in a letter that only the Parliament can enact laws pertaining to political parties, hence, the NLD has not been dissolved.

Some hardliners who are frustrated with the UN role of democratization in Burma criticized the NLD move to present its case to UNCHR, but the BLC supported the move.

“If the UNCHR accepts the case, it can pass a resolution saying the government’s move disregards the international laws. The Burmese Parliament cannot ignore such a resolution,” BLC Chairman Thein Oo told Mizzima.

“The NLD is not an armed group working for an armed struggle. It only works to promote and propagate democracy and human rights in the country. It only works for development of ethnic rights. Such an organization should exist in our country. Under these circumstances, the UN has to accept this case and the argument,” he added