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WHAT IS DPNS?
DEMOCRATIC PARTY FOR NEW SOCIETY (DPNS)
The emergence of Democratic Party for New Society (DPNS) was rooted in the 1988
national uprising. All Burma Federation of Students' Union (ABFSU) had taken the
leading role during the uprising. When the military crushed the uprising and took
over power on September 18, 1988, we considered that there were three main forms
of struggle against the military dictatorship, namely:
(1) Armed struggle
(2) Non-violent legal struggle and
(3) Underground secret networks.
The ABFSU leadership decided that part of the student activists should establish a
legal political party and participate in the non-violent form of struggle. Thus the
DPNS was founded on October 14, 1988.
During our organizational campaign we focused on the youths of grass root
population such as peasants, workers and urban poor population. After six months the
DPNS emerged as the second most powerful Political party in legal fold. We were
able to form our branches in more than 250 townships and could produce more than
1,500 qualified organizers. The number of party members are extended to more than
150,000. The DPNS became the most reliable alliance of the NLD (National league
Furthermore, we were able to organize the League for Democratic Alliance (LDA)
comprising of twelve registered political parties. We succeeded in establishing in
another political front named Democratic Front of Union of Burma (DFUB) in which
forty one registered political parties participated.
In spite of such achievement, we were the target of the Slorc's oppression. After a
mere six months the party was founded, the chairman had to flee to the eastern
border. Meanwhile more than one hundred party members were apprehended by the
During that six months period we were involved in the struggle:
(1) mobilize the masses to protest and resist the Slorc when residents of the AFPFL
residential quarter were forced out their homes and sent to remote places.
(2) to protest the Slorc when numerous employees of the cooperative department
were dismissed by the Slorc.
Because of our involvement in the above mentioned struggles, no less than three
hundred party members were imprisoned within six months and two of them died in
During the political defiance campaign led by Daw Aung San suu Kyi in the first half
of 1989, almost all leaders were imprisoned by the military junta.
The following are some of them imprisoned.
(1) Yin Htwe Central Executive Committee
(2) Jimmy Central Executive Committee
(3) Thein Zaw Central Executive Committee
(4) Moe Hein General Secretary
(5) Aung Zay Ya Chairman
(6) Tin Than Oo Central Executive Committee
(7) Ngwe Lin Central Executive Committee
(8) Tin Htoon Hlaing Central Executive Committee
(9) Win Myint Naing Central Executive Committee
(10) Ze Ya Central Executive committee
Most of them are still in the prison. Though Aung Zay Ya and Tin Than Oo were
released in late 1993, they were re-arrested when they attended the funeral procession
of the last elected prime Minister U Nu in February 1995.
Because of such suppression we were forced into difficult situation. But the
perseverance of party members helped our party to survive.
DURING THE GENERAL ELECTION AND AFTER
We never intended contest in the general election held on 27 May, 1990. Our aim was
to participate in the struggle for political rights and create a democratic atmosphere.
But the Slorc issued a decree ordering every registered party to submit no less than
three constituencies to participate in the contest. So we have to submit eleven
But we adopted a strategy to concentrate all our efforts in support of the NLD, so
that the NLD become stronger enough to challenge the dictators. During that time
we organized a campaign committee together with All Burma Federation Of Students'
union (ABFSU), various trade unions, Youth Front, Young Monks Union and other
After the election, we adopted a four point program. The four points are:
(1) to convene the parliament as earliest as possible,
(2) to release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners,
(3) to terminate the civil war,
(4) to convene a national convention where all political groups are able to participate.
We continued our co-operation with various organizations. The Slorc responded by
retracting the permit to print and disseminate political pamphlets and newsletters,
prohibiting publicity practices, raiding the party's branch offices in Rangoon and
various parts of Burma.
However we were able to convene a special meeting of the party activists where the
delegates from all parts of the country attended. The new central committee was
elected. Before the new CC could perform our political programs, the Slorc launched
their offensive against our party. Giving the excuse that they are taking action against
those who opposed the order 1/90 of the Slorc, our chairman and most of the CEC
members were imprisoned, the party HQs was sealed, party office of the Rangoon
division and about fifty of the branch offices were also sealed.
In the prison, party chairman and the CEC members were forced to sign the order
1/90 of Slorc and then released. That event deprived us of even minimal political
activities. We, therefore, decided to resort to under ground activities. Then we
contacted the DAB and then our chairman and eleven of the CEC members sneaked
out of Rangoon in November 1991 and established our HQs at Manerplaw, the HQs
of Karen National Union (KNU). The remaining ten members of the central
committee were intercepted on the way by the Slorc and detained.
THE ROLE OF DPNS IN THE LIBERATED AREA
We hoisted our flag at Manerplaw on November 14, 1991 and became a member of
the Democratic Alliance of Burma (DAB), the Anti-Dictatorship National Council
Solidarity Committee (ADNSC) and, later, the National Council of the Union of
Burma (NCUB). Then we became one of the element of the struggle again. We were
able to establish contact with the members of our party who remained inside. We
formed secret party committees in various places in the five divisions via Rangoon,
Mandalay, Pegu, Irrawaddy and Sagain. In the Thai-Burma border area, we served as
a member of political committee of the NCUB, joint secretary of the DAB, secretary
of the Political Defiance committee, all of which are still functioning, though in a
Furthermore we have closed relations with Karenni Nationalities People's Liberation
Fronts(KNPLF), Kayan New Land Party(KNLP), Shan Nationalities People's
In order to improve our involvement in the anti-military dictatorship struggle, we are
now working together with all of the ethnic revolutionary groups. Our urgent tasks
(1) to strengthen the underground activities inside Burma,
(2) to improve and extend our organizational and information activities,
(3) to assist, and participate whenever necessary, in the guerrilla war waged by our
allies against the military dictatorship.
Central Executive Committee
Democratic Party for New Society