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AUSTRALIA: STANDARD NEWS (8/12/95)
BURMA SHOULD LISTEN: FISCHER
BURMA FISCHER (CANBERRA)
National Party leader Tim Fischer -- currently touring Burma --
has expressed deep disappointment that the Burmese government has
ignored the result of the 1990 election.
The result was an overwhelming victory for Burma's National
League for Democracy leader AUNG SAN SUU KYI, but a military junta
has refused to let her govern.
Mr FISCHER -- the coalition's foreign affairs spokesman -- met
Ms SUU KYI at her Rangoon residence, where she has just finished
six years home arrest.
He says the reluctance of the military-based ruling committee to
recognise the judgment of the people is a denial of the democratic
AAP RTV fh/jg/ag/rt
ASIA: FISCHER SAYS BURMESE OPPN FEAR PRO-DEMOCRACY CRACKDOWN
By Ron Corben through AAP
BANGKOK, Dec 8 AAP - Burma's Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi
fears the Burmese military may launch a crackdown against the
pro-democracy opposition early next year, according to National
Party leader Tim Fischer.
Mr Fischer, who held an hour-long talk with Suu Kyi in Rangoon
this week, said Australia needed to monitor developments in Burma
at the start of 1996.
Threats of a fresh crackdown against Burma's opposition have
intensified since Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD)
withdrew last week from the junta's organised national
Following the withdrawal, the junta, through official media,
described Suu Kyi as a traitor and threatened to crackdown on the
50-year-old Nobel laureatte and her pro-democracy colleagues if
they tried to destabilise the country.
In an interview with AAP in Bangkok, Mr Fischer, asked if there
was a threat of a crackdown, said: "That was my observation and Suu
Kyi did not discourage me in that observation."
Burmese junta representatives are expected to attend next week's
Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit with the
The ASEAN states include Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and recently Vietnam. Burma - also
known as Myanmar - and Laos and Cambodia will attend as observer
Mr Fischer said the junta is likely to be kept in check until
the ASEAN summit and UN meetings passed.
Mr Fischer, the first Australian parliamentarian to meet with
Suu Kyi since her July release from six years of house arrest, said
she had restated her call for dialogue with the junta and urged the
international community to monitor developments in Burma.
He described Suu Kyi as an extremely brave, focused, capable and
Suu Kyi appeared quite relaxed despite the difficult
circumstances, he said.
The junta, known as the State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC), came to power in 1988, when it brutally suppressed
pro-democracy protests calling for an end to military rule in Burma
extending back to 1962.
Mr Fischer described the atmosphere in Rangoon between the junta
and the NLD as tense.
While in Rangoon, Mr Fischer also met with an official from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In Thailand, he met with the Thai opposition leader Chuan
Leekpai and held talks with the Thai deputy minister for
Agriculture and Cooperatives Suvit Khunkitti.
Earlier this week Foreign Minister Gareth Evans appealed to
Asia's regional states to pressure Burma's military to begin talks
with Suu Kyi, describing the situation in Burma as delicate.
Senator Evans also warned the rising tensions may led to a
reaction of the kind in 1988 when the armed forces gunned down
hundreds of students and demonstrators.