The National League for Democracy (NLD) hand-delivered a letter of complaint to Burma’s Union Election Commission (EC) office in Naypyidaw on Monday in an attempt to prevent the breakaway National Democratic Force (NDF) party from using the kha mauk, a traditional Burmese farmer's hat, in its logo.
The official seal of the NLD, used by the party during its landslide victory in the 1990 election, prominently features the kha mauk. The official seal of the NDF, a newly registered political party (NDF) whose founding members are former leading members of the NLD, also uses the kha mauk.
Nyan Win, the NLD spokesman, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday, “We have evidence that the kha mauk is the symbol of the NLD, which won the 1990 election. It is misleading and against the law for another party to use an imitation of our symbol.”
He said the letter of complaint was signed by 15 leaders of the NLD, which was officially dissolved by the military government in May for failure to register with the EC for the upcoming election. Separate copies of the letter, signed by 150 party members from Magwe Division and 100 party members from Rangoon Division, were also delivered to the EC.
Dr. Than Nyein, an NDF leader and former executive member of the NLD, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that the EC will decide whether the NDF can use the symbol, adding that Khin Maung Shwe, also an NDF leader and former executive member of the NLD, was the person who chose the kha mauk as a symbol for the NLD in the 1990 election.
Last week, the EC published an announcement in the state-run newspapers which included pictures of the NDF’s proposed flag and official seal. According to the black-and-white pictures in the newspapers, the seal portrays a kha mauk under two stars.
In a similar controversy, about 40 Burmese intellectuals sent a letter to the EC in May complaining about the use of the “fighting peacock” symbol, which is the logo of the Burmese student movements. They claimed it was being used in the flags and seals of two new political parties: the Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics and the 88 Generation Student Union of Myanmar.
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