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The Statement of ABSDF (Dawn Gwin

Subject: The  Statement  of ABSDF (Dawn Gwin)

Today is the seventh anniversary of the proud 8-8-88 uprising during 
which  the people of Burma rose up to struggle for democracy.  The 8-
8-88 popular democratic uprising awakened the political awareness of 
the entire  multi-ethnic Burmese nation; and soon, the fighting motto 
of "8-8-88" became the emblem of the democratic cause.  During this 
uprising the students and youths, the new generation of Burma, proved 
that they had truly adopted the tradition of the"Fighting Peacock," 
which has long been the symbol in Burmese  history of the students 
leading the fight against oppression of the people.
As a result of the 8-8-88 uprising and its aftermath, the attention of 
the international community has been focused on the human rights 
violations inside Burma caused by the oppressions of the military 
dictatorship.  One extremely important consequence of the momentum 
of the democratic uprising was that the struggle for democracy and the 
struggle for equal rights for all ethnic nationalities harmoniously 
merged into each other with a joint aim to establish national solidarity 
and long-lasting peace. The sacrifices of the thousands who gave their 
lives to create the democratic revolution in Burma will never be 
forgotten.  Determined to remain loyal to the memory of these martyrs, 
we are unswervingly determined to continue our struggle until the 
objective of democracy has been achieved.
In Burma today, the objectives of the 8-8-88 uprising and the wishes of 
the people have not yet been implemented.  Systematic human rights 
abuses remain; democracy has not yet been achieved; SLORC 
continues to deny the results of the May 1990 election in which the 
Burmese people voted for their own representatives in an 
internationally  recognized free election; and the rule of the SLORC 
military dictatorship has seriously stunted the economic and social life 
of the common people.
Despite the fact that the SLORC military dictatorship claims to be 
pursuing a policy of non-disintegration of the union and national 
solidarity, its actions tell a different story.  The dictatorship applies 
overwhelming military pressure against the ethnic organizations to 
force them to enter cease-fire agreements while simultaneously 
refusing to engage in any political discussions or consultations with 
them outside of SLORC's so-called "National Convention."  
Unfortunately, this body is not a "National" Convention; it is a 
"Military" Convention which SLORC completely controls and  which 
is designed to insure that democratic and ethnic minorities play no 
important role whatsoever in the writing of a so-called constitution.  
The outcome of SLORC's so-called "National" Convention has already 
been predetermined by the military which has issued orders to the 
convention to write a constitution that will guarantee military, not 
democratic, control of society and a constitution which will not 
recognize equal rights for and self determination of the ethnic 
Although the ASEAN countries refused to apply pressure after 8-8-88, 
the rest of the international community did apply pressure on SLORC 
over its continuing record of systematic human rights violations and 
over its failure to honor the May 1990 elections. To try and blunt the 
force of this pressure, SLORC made some token superficial moves.  
These included releasing a few political prisoners (with warnings not 
to engage in politics); allowing a UN Special Rapporteur limited visits 
to some prisons; and allowing Aung San Suu Kyi, while under house 
arrest, to meet a few people from outside.  At the same time, however, 
the true nature of SLORC was revealed when it launched a major 
military offensive and occupied the headquarters of the Karen National 
Union; when it forced civilians to act as military porters and collected 
porter "fees" (bribes paid to military officers to avoid being forced 
portering) all over the country; and even more recently, when it broke 
the cease-fire agreement it signed with the Karenni National 
Progressive Party (KNPP) and launched unprovoked attacks into the 
KNPP designated areas.  Then, last month, just two days before a bill 
was to be introduced in the US Senate calling for imposition of 
economic sanctions on the SLORC military dictatorship, SLORC once 
again responded to outside international pressure and released Aung 
San Suu Kyi from house arrest after illegally holding her for six years.
In reality the only route to peace, justice and development in Burma is 
for all parties to come together in good faith for political dialog.  
Political questions should be solved by political means.  In order for a 
meaningful political dialog to begin the following must occur:
- Unconditional release of all political prisoners
- Laws that restrict the basic human rights of the Burmese people must 
be repealed.
- Human rights violations, including but not limited to forced labour 
and forcing civilians      to act as military porters, must be stopped.
-  A nationwide ceasefire must be declared.
- The so-called "National" Convention (which is in reality a "Military" 
Convention) must be dissolved.
-  SLORC must initiate preliminary talks with Aung Suu San Kyi.
The ABSDF calls on the people of Burma and the international 
community to join together to help achieve the objectives listed above.  
With the example of the 8-8-88 uprising against oppression always 
before us, and the power of  the people behind us, the ABSDF calls on 
the oppressed people of Burma to stand together in solidarity until 
victory and democracy are in hand.
The people of Burma must be free.
Central  Committee
Dawn  Gwin  
Headquarters                             Date.  August  8, 1995.