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NCGUB Statement on Aug 8 Anniversar

Subject:       NCGUB Statement on Aug 8 Anniversary 

                       INFORMATION OFFICE 
    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.