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Date: Mon, 4 Dec 1995 21:49:02 +0000
Subject: from india
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Organization: Forum for Democracy and Human Rights

The Asian Age ( India )
3rd Decembar

The test of Myanmarese Opposition leader, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi's
resolve in dealing with a Junta seemingly working itself up for
a program will be a crucial development in contemporary South Asin
history. Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has shown 
it has not losy any of its earlier fire. Neither repression nor 
the prospect of another bout of incarceration will weaken the 
heroine of our times. The Myanmarese leader is, however, more than 
a feraless fighter for Democracy; she is an astute politician in 
her own right. Ms Suu Kyi will not walk into the State Law and 
Order Restoration Council's crude political trap. The generals 
are feeling the pressuring of wearing the mask of good behaviour.

The evil smirk underneath is showing. Their calculation that, faced 
with a seemingly hopeless situation, Ms Suu Kyi would capitulate 
into a supplicant, has gone haywire. The military officials have 
the option of either acceding to the growing pressure for reforms
or undertaking another bloddy purge. The other alternative is to 
manufacture a  consensus. That will not happen with the NLD 
walking out of the constitutional convention where it was more 
powerful than what its negligible presence of 15 per cent 
representation suggested. This could not have been an easy decision
for the Opposition. Ms Suu Kyi releases that by opting out of the 
barrack showroom, the NLD will lose whatever little immunity it
enjoyed from the Slorc. The convention chairman, Lt. Gen. Myo 
Nyunt's reaction is instructive. He has accused Ms Suu Kyi of 
deliberately wrecking the convention and blamed her for the palpable
increase in domestic political tension. The average Myanmarese will 
instantly recognise the implicit warning. The Oppositon has to be 
prepared for the worst if it does not waltz with the army.

Ms Suu Kyi is not unaware of the implications either. Her defiant 
reaction, in which she remainded  the country that she was ready 
for any backlash, must have dissappointed the generals. The opposition
leader has thrown a challenge at them but the timing could not have 
been more disastrous for the ruling clique. Myanmar is on the 
threshold of an economic trnsformation. Yangon has realised the 
pinch of trade embargoes. If it could bring the immensely more 
powerful white South African regime to its knee- and it was no less
obdurate- there is no reason why it will not harm the business 
interests of the generals if sanctions are enforced once again.
The Nigerian example has induced caution amoung the mad malitarists.

Without such developments, Ms Suu Kyi and her courageous  band would 
have been condemnedto a life in prison, if not worse. The generals 
understand they can not afford to appear incapable of decisive 
action either. That would lift the cloud of fear hanging over 
the country. The people have been converging in strength before 
Suu Kyi's house. A political life independent of what the army says 
or does is re-emerging in Myanmar. None of this can please the 
soldiers and they are bound to react. The Slorc is not known to 
be consistent. There is very danger of thier taking reckless and 
extreme measures in defiance of world opinion. The lives of 
Ms Suu Kyi and her comrades are endangered once again. 
It is for the governments of region, NewDelhi included, to 
remainded Myanmar that it must treat its opposition with 
respect if it does not want to become an international pariah.
Only a mightly global campaign can keep Ms Suu Kyi and her
supporters out of danger.

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