Suu Kyi joins campaign to clean up Yangon

Chairperson of the National League for Democracy Aung San Suu Kyi led a drive to clean up litter and rubbish in Kawhmu town on 13 December in a move aimed at highlighting her party’s commitment to public service.

Suu Kyi has told MPs from her opposition National League for Democracy party, which took nearly 80 percent of contested seats in the November 8 polls, they are quite literally responsible for keeping their constituencies clean.

She arrived in her parliamentary constituency and joined in an NLD-led programme that too place across the Yangon region to attempt to clean up the large amounts of rubbish discarded in public places.

Clutching a large white garbage bag and wearing protective gloves, Suu Kyi rummaged through the dirt to pick up tangles of old plastic bags and other debris.

Garbage collection is “the first thing we can do to serve the people,” Thet ThetKhine, a newly elected MP from Yangon, told AFP.

“This is very fundamental and an important lesson to all MPs.”

Observers say the NLD will struggle to meet the soaring hopes of a long-suffering people seeking remedies for the nation’s economic and social problems.

“We need a good leader who shows us how to live… when she says something, people are ready to perform. She does the work, she doesn’t just talk about it,” said Myo Aung, who joined the clean-up.

In northern Mandalay city, the NLD has organised a garbage collection drive and many people, from monks to city officials, have pitched in.

“We will clean all of Mandalay. People are eager to help,” lawmaker Zarni Aung from Mandalay told AFP.

Myanmar is increasingly facing the problem of people being irresponsible in dumping rubbish or throwing away litter, according to NGOs.

Over the years, some small NGOs have made attempts to clean up, particularly in tourist areas.

While few will have expected Suu Kyi to get too dirty in helping with the programme, her involvement sends an important message.


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