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Blank cheque for Aung San Suu Kyi

Bkk Post/Perspective/30.7.95

History is repeating itself in Burma.

Burma's national leader Daw Aung San Suu kyi is asking the
Burmese people to support her campaign for democracy,
unconditionally. She said she really needs unified support of the
Burmese people.

I will march towards the goal and I want 100 percent of you
behind me. I need 100 percent of your support, and after we have
achieved our goal, then you can criticise me", she said.

About 50 years ago, in April 1947, U Aung San, the national
leader, asked the nation to support him unconditionally. "Elect
the candidates that we name," he said at a public meeting, "For
they are trusted and true. We do not need educated persons. We
want revolutionaries."

His request to the nation was to give his leadership complete
support to obtain freedom from the British.

Since the beginning of the struggle for freedom, U Aung San faced
a bitter experience of disunity of political leaders in Burma.
His political front, the Anti-fascist People Freedom
league(AFPFL) was founded under the Japanese occupation in
August, 1994.

When the Japanese were driven out, the AFPFL began a battle with
the British for freedom, and it started a split with communists
who argued for an arms struggle. U Aung San embraced the
democratic way.

In December 1946, the British Government invited Burmese
political leaders to talk about Burma's future. U Aung San led
the AFPFL delegation and U Saw and Thakhin Ba Sein represented
their parties to take with Mr. Clement Attlee, then prime
ministers of his majesty's Government.

And Aung San- Attlee agreement was signed on January 17, 1947. U
Saw and Thakhin Ba Sein refused to sign the document and declared
that U Aung San had sold the nation to the British.

"We will obtained our freedom within one year," declared U Aung
San and began his campaign for election on his return to Burma.
As the agreement called for general elections to the constituent
Assembly, U Aung San prepared for the contest.

The first called of the leader to his nation was a rather
strange. U Aung San said he did not want educated candidates in
the assembly, because they talk too much, but would use educated
persons later when Burma obtained freedom.

His celebrated words, "I only want candidates who only know how
to raise his hand to vote" was the response by the media with
rowdy, stormy criticisms. But the nation assented to their
leader's freakish solicitation.

Accordingly, U Aung San, with committee members U Nu and U Tin,
selected 182 candidates from the proposed 2,000 names. U Aung San
requested the nation to vote for his front's candidates claiming
the nation faced two roads_ freedom of a longer life of slavery.

People gave their mandate to U Aung San at the 1947 April
election. The AFPFL won with landslide majorities. The communist
Party won seven out of 255 seats. Many ethnic representatives
were elected too_ the Karens, the Shans, the Chins, the Karennis
and the Anglo-Burmans.

U Aung San moved his basic points for the new constitution at the
Constituent Assembly on June 16 and the Assembly, continuously
pushed for Union and States powers; The Judiciary; fundamental
Rights and other clauses. Eventually the Constitution was drawn.
The outcome was that the British transferred power to the Burmese
parliament, peacefully.

U Aung San asked the nation for 100 percent support for his fight
for freedom and as the nation heeded his demand, Burma became an
independent nation peacefully. The trust in U Aung San was

Today, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is demanding 100 percent support for
her goal to achieve true democracy. There was no doubt the entire
Burmese nation's response is solid support to their national
leader. Most people inside Burma and exiles abroad have pledged
absolute support to the lady.

However, one or two dissident voices came from stray politicians
abroad. They are demanding a conference with the Burmese generals
and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi which includes ethnic leaders.

It is obvious that as almost all ethnic groups signed ceasefire
agreements, what they want is nothing but a chair at the meeting
table for themselves. It was suspected that they want to delay
the process of democracy just to continue their enjoyment of
lavish assistance provided by friendly nations abroad.

To priorities the ethnic problem ahead of the democratic process
would certainly delay the main goal.

U Aung San faced a similar question of ethnic endorsement. He
sincerely promised their rights at the Panlong Conference and
skillfully asked them to be united behind him.

His succeeded in building a harmonious nation. It should be noted
that even a leader like U Saw, who later staged the bloody
assassination, supported for racial policy in building a new
nation at that time.

Today's, struggle for Democracy led by Saw Aung San Suu Kyi is
for all people of Burma, that includes ethnic groups. The ethnic
people fighting minority rights, understand that they can enjoy
their rights only on a Democratic Unions, and are supporting Aung
San Suu Kyi solidly. Priority one is democracy. It is simple and
easy to settle differences in a democratic union.

Thus, the greedy political line would be fainted in due course
and the full support of the Burmese for their national leader
would become louder and clearer up until to the end of their
national leader would become louder and clearer up until to the
end of the goal.

The road to democracy in Burma is solidly paved by the Burmese
people and their leader and the future now rests with the Burmese
generals. The Burmese as well as civilized nations of the world
are watching the Burmese military government step.

Will they sincerely cooperate with Aung San Suu Kyi? Will they
join the people in building a democratic rule? Beyond any doubt,
there is still hope for a peaceful pace towards this goal.
Otherwise the consequences would be a dangerous ending for the

To priorities the ethnic problem ahead of the democratic process
would certainly delay the march toward that goal.

U Thaung is former editor/Owner of the Mirror Daily. He now edits
New Era journal, and is base in  Pompano Beach Florida.