The 35th anniversary of Democratic Party for A New Society (DPNS) fell on 14 October. During this period, the military regimes dissolved the party two times. However, they are standing together with people for fighting against military dictatorship.
This interview with Daw Hnin Hnin Hmwe, the joint secretary of DPNS, is about the future roadmap of their party and their ongoing challenges.
TLT: Could you talk about the progress in implementing the goals of Democratic Party for A New Society (DPNS) as it has passed 35th anniversary of establishment?
Daw Hnin Hnin Hmwe: The founding of our party has been 35 years on 14 October. We have been trying to root out military dictatorship which is a common enemy of people throughout 35 years in coordination with other nationalities. However, we experienced oppressions of the military dictators. Our party was forced to dissolve two times during this period. Members and leaders of the party were arrested and tortured many times. But we keep on working for our political belief. We have got many experiences and lessons.
The founding slogan of our party is ‘People are Mother; People are Father. We keep on tracking this slogan whatever challenges we have faced until now. We will maintain it in the future. I believe our senior leaders of the party have made progress to a certain extent in their attempt to remove military dictatorship. We may need more time, but we become closer to the destination of our revolution. We will continue fighting against the military dictatorship.
TLT: What will the DPNS continue in the future?
Daw Hnin Hnin Hmwe: Our goal is to see peace and development of our country. However, we had to choose confrontation unavoidably as the military is trying to crack down our revolution. When our party was forced to dissolve and party members were arrested and tortured, we moved to the border and remote areas of ethnic armed groups. Until, we could not remove the military dictatorship totally, we will surely face the ongoing crisis.
In 2021 Spring Revolution, the military regime has used more brutal strategies in oppressing people, political groups and revolutionary forces. Then, we have to choose armed struggle. This revolution was caused by the military. Although we solve the problem with political means, armed struggle is unavoidable. We total support this struggle as it is a defensive war.
Although our party cannot take part in the revolution, we are supporting the revolution as possible as we can. Those who expect peace for our country are supporting the revolution, and that we will also help in all the possible efforts to ensure peace, freedom, justice and unity.
TLT: When was the most challenging period for DPNS in the past 35 years?
Daw Hnin Hnin Hmwe: The military regime dissolved our party. We have already decided not to support the military council since the coup happened. We issued anti-coup statements, and turned down their invitation and offers to participate in military’s administration. In this circumstance, we need to use tactics in the politics in considering security and goals of our party members. We have both internal and external forces. We have to work with them to continue our political activities.
In reviewing our past, we had to struggle for our party all the times. The military oppressed and cracked down its opponents in many ways to maintain their power and interest. So, we have encountered many challenges for a long time. We were in prison and some of our party members were tortured and killed in interrogative center. We cannot mention any specific time of worst situation in the history of our party. However, the military regime is facing the most difficult situation in Spring Revolution. The existing military regime is more brutal, cruel and inhumane than the previous ones. As they are like thieves and bandits, we have to find all the possible ways to confront them and to fight for our survival.
TLT: Could you explain the obstacles in 2008 Constitution to remove the military from politics?
Daw Hnin Hnin Hmwe: Both the onset and the objective of 2008 Constitution were not good. The National League for Democracy secured a landslide victory in 1990 general election. However, the military breached its promise to return their fundamental duties after the elections. Then, they convened the National Convention to draft the 2008 Constitution. It was approved with a referendum just after hundreds of thousands of our people were killed in deadly Cyclone Nargis. The deceased persons were included in the list of voters who supported the constitution. The 2008 Constitution was adopted to maintain the military’s power and administration, and to lengthen the military dictatorship under the guise of democratic rights. The constitution has favoured the military for coup. However, they has staged coup in violation of constitution. Under this constitution, our country will not become a democratic state or a federal union. This constitution is protecting the military dictatorship. So, we need to root out totally. And we also need to develop a federal democracy constitution.