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daw suu news briefing on national c

Subject:       daw suu news briefing on national convention


Rangoon (Burma) -- November 22 -- The Oslo-based Democratic Voice of Burma  reported that 
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has expressed her opposition to the national convention being held by the 
Burmese military regime because it is "not acceptable to the people of Burma."

Holding a press conference at her residence here today to clarify the National League for 
Democracy's position on the national convention, Daw Suu said, "the present National 
Convention is not acceptable to the people of Burma.  A convention which is not acceptable to 
the majority is not likely to be not accepted by the National League for Democracy.  The people 
will not have any faith in or support a constitution being drafted by this national convention.  A 
constitution not supported by the majority of the people will not be worth more than the paper it 
is written on."

Calling on the military-run State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) to back down,  
she said: "we wish to ask all those concerned to strive for the convening of a national convention 
that is acceptable to the majority so that a constitution can be drafted to establish a strong, 
democratic Union of Burma."

Most delegates attending the present convention, scheduled to resume on November 28, are 
handpicked by the SLORC.  Representatives elected in the 1990 elections are a minority at the 
convention.  SLORC's attempt to legitimize military rule in Burma through the national 
convention has been criticized by the international community.

Stressing that it is the duty of the National League for Democracy to represent the people in 
opposing the convention, Daw Suu said, "As a party which has won the votes of  the people in the 
1990 elections, the National League for Democracy has the responsibility and is therefore making 
this statement.  I am convinced that our position will be supported by the majority of the people."

"The objectives of the NLD are one and the same with the aspirations and wishes of the people 
and the NLD will not deviate from that path," she added.

Meanwhile, a BBC correspondent reported that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has hinted that the 
National League for Democracy may boycott the national convention.

She said, even though her party was leaving the door opened to dialogue, "a decision still has to 
be made to decide whether the party was taking part in the next week's convention."

She criticized the way delegates were chosen to attend the convention, saying "...the military 
authorities had appointed the delegates".  Since these people are responsible for drafting the 
constitution "it is completely unacceptable to the majority of the people."

Asked how she would propose making changes so that the process will be democratic, Daw Suu 
said, "We have asked for a dialogue to discuss that very issue, about what changes we can make.  
The decision for the changes should be made following the dialogue."

On the situation for a dialogue with the SLORC, Daw Suu said: "We shall clarify that when the 
time comes.  The declaration today concerns our position on the national convention.  The 
present national convention does not even follow the rules stipulated in SLORC's Order No. 1/90.  
All the political parties were made to sign a commitment that they would be guided by that Order. 
That Order 1/90 clearly states that the responsibility of drafting a constitution lies with the 
representatives elected by the people.    The national convention does not follow the rules of that 
order.   In addition, national convention procedures are not democratic.   For example, delegates 
do not have the right to freely submit their position papers on national convention.  The Panel of  
Chairmen constantly scrutinizes the papers and ask that changes to be made."

Asked if the National League for Democracy had any plans to attend the national convention, 
Daw Suu said: "At the moment, we have not yet decided about attending the national 
convention."  She added, "we feel that it would not be in the interest of the people to attend a 
national convention that is not in harmony with the wishes of the people.  If the convention is 
detrimental to the interest of the people, it would be our duty to avoid attending that convention."

On how she proposed going about to achieve national reconciliation, Daw Suu said: "We have 
said time and again that for a national reconciliation process to take place, we will have start off 
with a dialogue.  Without the talks, there can be no national reconciliation.  In the concluding part 
of our declaration on the national convention, we have said that if the national convention 
continues in its present form, it will not lead to national reconciliation, or to the establishment of a 
genuinue multiparty democratic nation, or to the emergence of a constitution that has the trust 
and support of the majority of the people.  Hence, we cannot accept a national convention in its 
present form.  We however continue to extend our invitation for talks and discussions that would 
lead to national reconciliation."