A New Government in Exile?
Burmese politicians in exile have been considering the formation of a new government body, according to several exiled political sources. The General Secretary of the National Council of the Union of Burma, Maung Maung, has been discussing the idea with the prime minister of Burmas government in exile, Washington-based Sein Wincousin of detained democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyiand other exiled cabinet members since last year.
The idea has received a chilly reaction from border-based politicians and opposition groups. Sein Wina former university lecturerfled Rangoon for the Thailand-Burma border and formed the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma in 1990, but he has been considered by many to be an ineffectual leader.
Rumors have circulated for years along the border that Maung Maunga labor rights activist and one of the founders of the exile governmentmay be forming a new government and preparing to appoint himself prime minister.
Several politicians and dissidents in Mae Sot, Thailand, have confirmed to The Irrawaddy that the idea of a new exile government has recently been raised again, but added that Maung Maung has not directly addressed it with NCUB members. Rather, he thinks new leadership is needed for aggressive international lobbying and diplomacy campaigns against the military regime.
Border-based dissidents admit that the future of the current exile government does not look bright, faced as it is with leadership problems, disunity among Karen leaders who have provided sanctuary for several dissident groups on the border and lack of sufficient funding.