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Aung San Suu Kyi Picks up Trash, Literally

  • VOA Staff

Leader of National League for Democracy party (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi, front center, picks up garbage during a clean-up drive in Kawhmu, Myanmar, Dec. 13, 2015.

Leader of National League for Democracy party (NLD) Aung San Suu Kyi, front center, picks up garbage during a clean-up drive in Kawhmu, Myanmar, Dec. 13, 2015.

Myanmar's leader of the National League for Democracy, which dominated national elections last month, was picking up garbage in her home district Sunday.

Noble laureate Aung San Suu Kyi was setting an example for her fellow, newly-elected NLD lawmakers after having told them they are literally responsible for keeping their constituencies clean. She urged reporters following her to stop taking photographs and instead pick up trash.

Myanmar, also known as Burma, does not have regular trash collection or proper landfill sites. The lawmakers-as-garbage-collectors is a move designed to highlight NLD's commitment to public service and to make Myanmar trash-free.

Under Myanmar's constitution, the military retains control of 25 percent of all parliamentary seats, as well as control of several key government posts, including defense, interior and border security.

Many in the country fear the military will ignore the results of last month's election and maintain its grip on power, just as it did in 1990 when it cast aside a landslide victory by the NLD and put Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest for most of the next 20 years.

But the president and army chief have pledged to accept the results of the November election.

Myanmar's constitution prevents the 70-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi from serving as president, since her late husband and two sons are British. But she has suggested that she will rule through a proxy candidate.

Some material for this report came from AFP and Reuters.

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