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Date: Wed Dec 13 11:04:08 1995
Subject: News on The Times of India (Dec. 13, 1995)
>From : FTUB(WB) <burtu.atubdo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject : The news on The Times of India.
Free political prisoners, UN asks Myanmar Govt.
The Times of India. Dec. 13, 1995.
UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 12: A UN committee urged Burma on yesterday to
release all political prisoners and open dialogue "substantive political dialogue"
with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to live up to its promises to protect
The resolution, approved by the Human Rights Committee, will be referred to
the General Assembly at a later, unspecified date. Resolution endorsed at
committee level are usually approved by the General Assembly with little
In the resolution, sponsored by Britain and 28 other countries, the United Nations
deplored continued human rights violations in Burma, also know as Myanmar.
It cited reports of arbitrary arrests, killing civilians, forced labor and restrictions
of freedom of speech and assembly. The resolution welcomed the military
government's decision to release Suu Kyi from arrest last July.
The resolution urges the government of Myanmar to engage at the earliest
possible date in a "substantive political dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi and
other political leaders including representatives of the ethnic groups as the best
means of promoting national reconciliation and the full and early restoration of
It also called on Burma to "ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental
freedoms," including freedom of assembly, expression and religion. (AP)
At 4 p.m. every day, traffic stop for Suu Kyi
>From S.N.M Abdi
Yangon, Myanmar: With red and pink roses in her hair and flashing a radiant
smile every now and then, she looks almost like a fun-loving school.
But Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the Opposition leader of Myanmar is talking to
her people and preparing for the next phase of a long-drawn battle with the
military junta to restore democracy in her country.
Every Saturday and Sunday the audience squat on the pavement of the posh
University Avenue outside her bungalow number 54/56. Sharp at 4 pm, she
appears on the other side of the wroughtiron gate, where she stands on a
wooden pedestal, a microphone in hand. The waiting crowd breaks into
spontaneous cheers which she happily acknowledges.
The busy five-lane University Avenue is reduced to three lanes as long she is
there. The traffic police cooperate. Passing motorists wave at her. Some pause
to take a snap. Her presence seems to electrify the atmosphere. Television
cameraman of foreign networks vie with one another for a vantage point.
Last Saturday, a group of Indian correspondents joined the crowd. The
assembly was approximately 7000-strong. There were men, women of all ages
and elderly persons. Many had evidently come from villages, which account
for 80 per cent of Myanmar's population. Monks stood out in the gathering.
Badge-wearing volunteers controlled the crowd. Countless tape recorders were
raised in the air and switched on as Suu Kyi, clad in a magenta dress, began her
The crowd was a sample of the huge votebank, Suu Kyi, daughter of the
legendary independence leader, U Aung San, commands despite oppressive
military rule. She was put under house arrest before the 1990 election, which
she swept. Victory did not lead to her release. She was freed only on July 10
For six weeks, she addressed her supporters each afternoon. Then it became too
tiring for her and those who came to listen to her. Only day she told them to
write letters to her instead of assembling outside her residence daily. At the
weekend meetings now, her supporters turn up in strength to hear her replies.
A doctor wrote to her that the poor were suffering as medicines were not
available in hospitals. The next weekend, she advised the doctor publicly to
raise donations from ordinary people. She added a word of caution: don't
approach the rich as the privileged hate to donate.
Three weeks ago, monks and abbots wrote to her that the government had
threatened to evict them from monasteries if they attended her rallies. For two
weeks, the monks did not show up. When a few did last Saturday, she told
them that even the British did not dare to disrobe monks for participating in
the independence movement after a monk went on hunger strike in a jail and
Standing in the midst of that crowd and watching her deal with her people in
a seemingly casual manner, one felt one was witnessing history in the making.
Some day, her battle will end and probably she and her people will snatch
democracy from the iron grip of the military rulers. These meetings, where
she is doing the spadework for a crucial phase of the struggle, will from part
of Myanmarese role.
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