Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged members of Myanmar’s powerful military on Tuesday to support her opposition party in April by-elections as she campaigned for votes on the regime's doorstep.
In a sight almost unthinkable until recently, several thousand people turned out each time the National League for Democracy (NLD) party leader delivered a speech in areas on the fringes of the showpiece capital Naypyidaw.
Most people in the crowd appeared to be farm or construction labourers, not government workers or personnel with the “Tatmadaw” armed forces, for whom the daughter of Myanmar’s independence hero General Aung San had a special message.
“Every member of the military should note what my father said. What he said was very simple. He said openly that people should not become the slaves of the Tatmadaw but the Tatmadaw must be the foundation of the country,” Suu Kyi said. “It’s completely untrue that the NLD is against the Tatmadaw. We welcome them. So I would like to ask them to vote for us,” she added.