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NCGUB Statement on Aug 8 Anniversar
- Subject: NCGUB Statement on Aug 8 Anniversar
- From: maung@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 08 Aug 1995 22:54:00
Subject: NCGUB Statement on Aug 8 Anniversary
NATIONAL COALITION GOVERNMENT OF THE UNION OF BURMA
815 Fifteenth Street N.W. Suite 910 Washington, D.C. 20005
Tel: (202) 393-7342 (202) 393-4312, Fax: (202) 393-7343
August 8, 1995
Statement on the 7th Anniversary of the 8-8-88 Democracy Uprising
Today is the seventh anniversary of the nationwide uprising by the
people of all nationalities in Burma. For over 26 years, the people had
lived under a military dictatorship and a student-led strike by people
from all walks of life on August 8, 1988 spread nationwide. A democracy
movement was born and the military-led Burma Socialist Program Party
government was toppled in that year.
The gains made by the democracy movement were, however, quashed by the
military when it staged a coup in September 1988. Thousands of
demonstrators were gunned down on the streets while thousands more were
arrested, tortured and imprisoned.
Today, many of these political prisoners still remain in jail and
national leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who was kept under house arrest
for almost six years, was released only on July 10, 1995.
Her release had raised expectations in the international community which
immediately took the release as a sign of "flexibility." The sentiment
was even more pronounced among those looking for an excuse to do
business with the military junta.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest was illegal in the first place and
her release should not be taken as a signal that all is well now. Daw
Suu has said "nothing has changed" in the country, and until the junta
enters into a meaningful and substantial dialogue for national
reconciliation, the international community should refrain from giving
the junta aid, assistance and recognition.
So far, the SLORC military junta ignored to the calls for a dialogue by
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. A senior member of the SLORC military junta,
General Maung Aye, has even issued a warning against "creating
disturbances" and the SLORC Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw was quoted as
saying Daw Suu cannot assume a leadership role or participate in the
politics of the country because she is "married to a foreigner." The
SLORC has also made a veiled threat against her a few days ago by
summarily trying and imprisoning three well-known democracy activists
for seven years for "meeting foreigners."
Where then is the progress toward democracy or the "flexibility" that so
many are trying to credit the SLORC with? The forces for democracy and
the international community should not allow themselves to be lulled
into believing democratization is about to take place in Burma. We urge
them to maintain their pressure until the generals begin taking
substantial steps towards restoring genuine democracy.
As for us, the National Coalition Government, we firmly pledge on this
momentous occasion of the 8-8-88 democratic uprising, to be faithful to
the memory of the thousands of heroic martyrs who have laid down their
lives for democracy and human rights. We will uphold the aspirations of
these martyrs and those who continue to languish in prisons today.
Unless the SLORC responds positively by releasing all political
prisoners and begins a dialogue with Daw Suu to initiate a process of
genuine democratization and national reconciliation, it will never be
able to convince the Burmese people or the international community about
its claimed intent to promote democracy.