Myanmar’s ruling party, The National League for Democracy (NLD) is being accused of charges including oppression, and censorship – some of the very problems it long fought to overthrow.
And, just a week ahead of the first national elections since it came to power five years ago, is starting to see younger Myanmarese line up to accuse the party’s leadership of the very things it was seen as sweeping aside in the nation of 54 million.
“Just because they’d been political prisoners didn’t mean they knew how to run a country.”
Thinzar Shunlei Li, a ‘youngster’ of the modern era pointed to the fact that now, the numerical majority of people in Myanmar were born after the period of political imprisonment but many still glorify those that had to suffer.
“This is not the right way to judge a person,” she says, adding “Our issues, concerns and struggles are different.”
“People who served jail time longer are more important — that’s the philosophy of the NLD,” one former NLD MP called Thet Thet Khine told the AFP in an interview.
Still a relative youngster at just 53, he was expelled from the party in 2019 and now runs a rival political party.
Boiling the current issues down to the barest bones, NLD spokesman and a one-time ’88 Generation activist Myo Nyunt admitted that responsibilities are given to friends and comrades from the old days.
“Older people have thicker skin, while newer members can be susceptible to criticism” it seems.