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Geopolitics

Aung San Suu Kyi's First Party Conference Marks Milestone In Myanmar

FRANCE 24, THE GUARDIAN (UK), AFP

Worldcrunch

RANGOON – In a milestone for the fledgling Burmese transition away from its longtime military autocracy, the first party conference for Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy’s (NLD) opened Friday.

After decades of oppression under strict military dictatorship, leaders of the longtime opposition, are set to meet publicly for the first time to set out future policy in the country now known as Myanmar, though still referred to by many as Burma. Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who had spent years under house arrest, is expected to be reappointed head of party two years before slated legislative elections.

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Aung San Suu Kyi, from Wikipedia

The process starts with a committee of 120 members who will elect a high executive panel of 15 people. Political analysts remain cautious towards the party’s ability to govern Myanmar: "The NLD will need to build capacity within the organization if they become the next government. I don't think they have anyone capable of running this show," said a Burmese political analyst quoted by France 24.

As a matter of fact, most party members, the “Uncles,” are in their 80s and 90s and tend to rule out the ideas of the younger people given influence, according to a US diplomatic cable from 2008, relayed by the Guardian: “The way the Uncles run the NLD indicates the party is not the last great hope for democracy and Burma. The party is strictly hierarchical, new ideas are not solicited or encouraged from younger members and the Uncles regularly expel members they believe are "too active.""

Suu Kyi’s challenge over the course of the three-day conference is to use it as a spark for renewal of the party.

She can count on support from at least one fellow Nobel laureate who knows something about a country transitioning to real democracy. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has arrived to attend the conference as an observer.

“It is wonderful to be here and to see her," Tutu said, as quoted by the AFP. "The potential of this country is immense and we want to see the potential fully realized.”

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Geopolitics

Utter Pessimism, What Israelis And Palestinians Share In Common

Right now, according to a joint survey of Israelis and Palestinians, hopes for a peaceful solution of coexistence simply don't exist. The recent spate of violence is confirmation of the deepest kind of pessimism on both sides for any solution other than domination of the other.

An old Palestinian protester waves Palestinian flag while he confronts the Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Beit Dajan near the West Bank city of Nablus.

A Palestinian protester confronts Israeli soldiers during the demonstration against Israeli settlements in the West Bank village of Beit Dajan on Jan. 6.

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — Just before the latest outbreak of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, a survey of public opinion among the two peoples provided a key to understanding the current situation unfolding before our eyes.

It was a joint study, entitled "Palestinian-Israeli Pulse", carried out by two research centers, one Israeli, the other Palestinian, which for years have been regularly asking the same questions to both sides.

The result is disastrous: not only is the support for the two-state solution — Israel and Palestine side by side — at its lowest point in two decades, but there is now a significant share of opinion on both sides that favors a "non-democratic" solution, i.e., a single state controlled by either the Israelis or Palestinians.

This captures the absolute sense of pessimism commonly felt regarding the chances of the two-state option ever being realized, which currently appears to be our grim reality today. But the results are also an expression of the growing acceptance on both sides that it is inconceivable for either state to live without dominating the other — and therefore impossible to live in peace.

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