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The Prime Minister Hon. Tomiichi Murayama
Japanese Government
                                                   Date: October 30, 1995

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,

Warm greetings from the All Burma Students' Democratic Front.

We are writing to you with regard to recent developments in our home country,

Like you, all governments and democracy loving people all over the world, we
welcome the release of Aung San Suu Kyi, as an encouraging first step toward
democratisation. It was welcomed because of the hope for Slorc's recognition of her
as a democracy leader representing 43 million people of Burma, holding critical
dialogue with her and finding a solution to the political deadlock for the sake of the

However, the Slorc has shown no indication of willingness to reconsider its sham
national convention and has even denied Aung San Suu Kyi's offer of dialogue.
Slorc's unwillingness is further demonstrated when Slorc's Ambassador to Thailand
told the press that the government will not discuss reforms with Aung San Suu Kyi,
but would continue to orchestrated change through the National Convention.  

Recently, a member of the Election Commission of the Slorc who asked anonymity
told the press that they denied the reappointment of its founder Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi in the National League for Democracy (NLD). This is a betrayal of the will of
Burmese people who regards  her as the sole prodemocracy leader representing the
country. ABSDF seen this as negligence to the call of the international community for
democratisation. It is also an obstruction to the peaceful process of positive political
changes and democratisation in Burma. 

We were therefore surprised at the statement by Japanese Foreign Minister, Yohei
Kono, 24 hours after the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, that the Japanese
government was considering the full-scale resumption of ODA assistance to the ruling
military junta. 

We were dismayed when in March, this year, the Japanese government partially
withdrew its suspension since 1988 of ODA assistance to Burma and began providing
aid for increasing food production. We believe that although well-intended, while the
SLORC remains in power, such humanitarian assistance cannot reach directly and
effectively to the people in need. (We have discussed many times the question of
ODA assistance with representative of the Japanese authorities providing them with
much concrete information.)

All assistance to Burma and cooperation with the Slorc should be related to the
implementation of democratisation in the country. Otherwise, aid will encourage the
Slorc military regime which took power through a bloody crack down on democracy
uprising in 1988, in its grip on power.  Aid to Slorc is the obstacle on the way to the
restoration of democracy and human rights, strengthening the Slorc's short sighted
and trivial legal manoeuvre to try to harass its opposition.

At the moment, there are still the hundreds of political prisoners in different jails in
Burma, including sixteen representatives elected in the 1990 elections, and we are
aware of continuing serious abuses of human rights by the military regime throughout
In the past, I also discussed the matter of the need for the release of Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi and all political prisoners, and democratisation in Burma with one of our
Japanese friends who is closed to the Japanese government, expressing our frustration
at what we saw as the weakness of the pressure applied to the SLORC by the
Japanese government and urged the Japanese government to step up its efforts in
every way to secure the unconditional release of all political prisoners including Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi, and also the full restoration of democracy and human rights in
We are greatly appreciative of the continuing efforts which have been made by the
Japanese government to this end and urge you to continue those efforts. It is not yet
the time to relax the pressure. It is still too early to be confident that the first step,
represented by the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, is anything more than an
isolated gesture by the SLORC designed precisely to secure foreign aid. May we
remind you that not only are there many political prisoners and continuing human
rights abuses, but as well the civil war continues in a number of areas, the SLORC
breaking its own cease-fire declarations, and where cease-fires have been achieved the
SLORC has shown no willingness to discuss the necessary political settlement with the
ethnic minorities which can lead to real and lasting peace.  
We the students fully support the effort initiated by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to bring
about national reconciliation and a peaceful transition to democracy. We fully support
the need for a political settlement to be achieved through tripartite dialogue between
the SLORC and the democratic forces and leaders of the ethnic groups. We urge the
Japanese government to demonstrate clearly to the SLORC that there must be clear
progress towards such a political settlement before ODA assistance can be fully
resumed and that ODA assistance should be resumed only by small increments in
response to further appropriate, concrete steps by the SLORC to facilitate such a
political settlement and peaceful transition to democracy.

Sincerely yours,

Moe Thee Zun
Chairman, Central Leading Committee,