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(1) Burma's true picture (2) Rango

Subject: (1) Burma's true picture (2)  Rangoon University (3) U Tin Oo.


The withdraw by Aung San Suu Kyi from talks with the Burmese military regime
over the proposed new Constitution for Burma gives the lie to those who have
suggested the State Law and Order Restoration Council has had a change of
heart toward the democratic process.

In fact, they are seeking, through a combination of threats and vague
promises, to entrench their power and give it a patina of legitimacy.
Unfortunately, they are assisted in the processby greedly "businessmen" and
exploitative corporations close to neighbouring governments to view their
tactics as potentially sucessful. They are peddling the line that it is
preferable to have Burma within the community of nations so that practical
collegiate influence may be brought to bear rather than keeping the
dictators out in the cold.

Indeed, this is presented in Australia as the legitimate "Asian" approach in
the hope that, thereby, Australian leaders will accede to a new cultural
cringe that seeks to substitute compromise for principle. As Suu Kyi's
action themselves reveal, there is nothing "Asian" about bearing the yoke of
the oppressor. She and her colleages in the National League for Democracy
are preparing themselves for SLORC retribution as SLORC reportedly prepares
the entire wing of a prison to take them and their confederates.

(Editorial, The Canberra Times, 1.12.95, p 12)


There was a strong military presence outside Rangoon University yesterday,
the focal point of celebration of the university's diamond jubilee. Some
troops were in full combat gear and wore flak jackets.

But inside there was a carnival atmosphere and the man regarded as the key
figure in SLORC, Lietenant-General Khin Nyunt, walked unconcerned among the

SLORC was evidently taking precautions because there had been unrest on the
campus during the university's golden jubilee celebrations.

(The Australian, 3.12.95, p17)


Rangoon, Friday: U Tin Oo remembers how the long prison years began. Called
before a military court outside Rangoon's Insein Prison, the former armed
forces commander and defence minister was accused of sedition and conspiracy
to split the military. No cross-examination was allowed, and no defence
witnesses could be called.

"In the end, I turned and faced them," he says. "And I told them: "I joined
the army when I was 16, with the taste of my mother's milk still on my
teeth. I have always loved the Burmese Army, but I love the people more. I
take this punishment as a dignity."

Tin Oo's real crime was to have joined Aung San Suu Kyi in forming the
National League for Democracy (NLD) in late 1988. While the daughter of the
hero of Burma's struggle for independence spent six years detained in her
home, Tin Oo was held in solitary confinement in the squalor of Insein
Prison and was only released in April. Late this week, the threat of jail
again hung over the 78-year-old vice-chairman of the NLD. "If they put me
back in prison will you come and interview me there? he joked, nervously.

(The SMH, 2.12.95).