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HRSUB5.E: OBLF; SLORC'S LATEST POLI
Subject: HRSUB5.E: OBLF; SLORC'S LATEST POLITICAL CRISIS
/* posted MAY 4 1996 6:00pm by DRUNOO@xxxxxxxxxxxx on igc:reg.burma */
/* ---------" HRSUB: OVERSEAS BURMA LIBERATION FRONT "-------------- */
[Subject: To inquire into and report on the human rights situation
and lack of progress towards democracy in Myanmar(Burma) by the
Human Rights Sub-Committee of the parliament of Australia.
Submissions made to this enquiry by various people and
organisations are re-posted here.-- U Ne Oo]
# SUBMISSION NO. 5E.
OVERSEAS BURMA LIBERATION FRONT
FOUNDING MEMBER - DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE OF BURMA(DAB)
15A, 2 Beattie Street, Balmain, NSW 2041, AUSTRALIA.
24 June, 1995.
Ms Margaret Swieringa
Secretary, Human Rights Sub-Committee
Joint Standing Committee on
Foreign Affairs and Trade
CANBERRA ACT 2600
Dear Ms Swieringa,
I enclose our recent assessment on "SLORC's latest Political Crisis and
material on the continuing human rights violations on the Burma-Thailand
border, for the Committee's attention.
Sd. PHILLIP E SMYTH.
OVERSEAS BURMA LIBERATION FRONT
SLORC'S LATEST POLITICAL CRISIS
In the months of March and April 1995, the international community focused
its attention on unrelenting cross-border skirmishes along the Thai-Burma
border - resulting in SLORC's groundless allegations, and the outcry and
the filing of complaints by the Thai Government. Whilst these events were
occurring along the border, SLORC was being challenged in its so-called
national convention in Rangoon, from an unexpected quarter of the attending
representatives. To completely conceal this explosive political crisis,
SLORC without giving reasons, again halted the convention on the 8 April,
1995 - by declaring an intermission of six months.
Ever since the 9 January, 1993, when SLORC inaugurated the national
convention, there has been numerous stoppage, and because of such
stoppages the media as well as prominent Burma-watchers, have all ignored
the 8 April, 1995 intermission , as they considered it to be - just another
The latest crisis at the convention emerged from SLORC's handling of the
remaining chapter for discussions - a chapter on the Self Administrative
Zones for the ethnic minorities, which was carried over from last year's
session of the national convention - without being specifically placed on a
current agenda for discussion by the representatives. SLORC attempted to
by-pass the need for discussions, by proposing that the convention would
create Self Administrative Zones for ethnic minority groups, in its future
On hearing of this unexpected stance taken by SLORC, the National League
for Democracy (NLD) party in association with all the representatives of
the ethnic minority groups, protested to the governing body of the
convention. In the arguments which were put forward unanimously to the
convention, they strongly referred to the fact that, the setting up of Self
Administrative Zones was a very delicate political issue, and if this
matter was not tackled properly and appropriately, it would cause serious
damage to national unity.
The opposition in its protest, also relied on the convention's own
fundamental guideline number 104, which basing its arguments on why Self
Administrative Zones could not be established by the convention. Draft
guideline number 104 was officially implemented by SLORC on the 16
September, 1993. It briefly stated that:"All matters relating the
establishment of Self Administrative Zones, Divisions and Districts shall
be carried out by a Commission established by the State(government)".
Undeterred by the opposition rational and reasonable arguments, Lt.
General Myo Nyunt, the "chief controller" of the convention, countered the
dismissed these arguments by asserting that, the convention authority to
establish Self Administrative Zones - was contained in the six aims and
objects of the convention. Disregarding the heated debate and protests, the
convention officially declared establishment of six Self Administrative
Zones for the [NAGA],[DA-NU],[PA-O],[PA-LAUNG], [KOKANG] and the [WA]
ethnic minority groups on the 7 April, 1995. Thus, SLORC has shamelessly
breached its own written and documented guidelines of its so-called
national convention, a convention by which it actively seals to create an
"approved" constitution, to secure its political future.
We believe that the reasons for SLORC's haste to declare the setting up of
Self Administrative Zones, was due to unexpected political developments
that had occurred in 1994. On the 28 October 1994, while General Khin Nyunt
was holding a second meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the ethnic leaders
of Shan State (ethnic minority leaders) were at the same time attending a
preliminary meeting at Pang Sang to form the Peace and Democracy Front
As previously indicated, all this was happening at a time when SLORC was
encountering stiff resistance to its creation of Self Administrative Zones
at its national convention - resulting in the representatives of the ethnic
minority groups (those who had signed cease-fire accords with SLORC in
early 1989) immediately leaving the convention and traveling to Pang Sang,
to attend the PDF's preliminary meeting. This meeting was held continuously
from the 28 October to the 3 NOvember 1994, resulting in the formation
Peace and Democracy Front (PDF). The formation of the PDF was publicly
announced on the 7 December, 1994.
The most interesting aspects of the statement, on the formation of the PDF
were that, its members had unanousmously agreed to:-
(1) The establishment of a Coalition State for the KOKANG, WA, SHAN, LA-HU
and AH-KAR ethnic nationalities. The Coalition State was formed within the
areas bordering the Eastern part of the Salween river in the Shan State,
and stretching from the Kokang area in the NOrth, to the Kayah State
boundary in the South.
(2) The establishment of Kengtung, as the capital of the Coalition State.
(3) Endeavour until these aims were achieved.
In addition to the above mentioned objectives, the PDF has called upon
SLORC to release Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners, and to
establish a genuine national convention, that will be attended by the
representatives of all the political parties and the ethnic nationalities.
The PDF has at the same time openly declared that, if any one of its
members, comes under attack from SLORC, the PDF as a whole will not
hesitate to retaliate by military means.
It appears to be coincidental that at the time of publication of PDF's
statement, a declaration contained in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's personal
statement, which was released by her husband on the 22 January, 1995, is in
phase with one of the demands of the PDF. In her statement, she expressed
that she fully endorsed Article 5 of UN Resolution, which urged SLORC to
convene a tripartite meeting, which was to be attended by all the
representatives of ethnic nationalities, and all other political leaders,
The worst case scenario feared by SLORC's generals, is the co-ordination
and the affiliation between all the registered political parties (excluding
the National Unity Party [NUP] - formed with Ne Win's cronies) and all the
armed ethnic resistance groups. Burma's democracy movement, which has the
full backing of the entire nation, has now gained enough momentum, and
because of these recent developments it can now be stated that - the worst
case scenario for SLORC is now subtly emerging. To break-down the unity of
the opposition groups, and to appease some of the heavily-armed and
well-financed groups, SLORC in its desperation -was forced to announce the
granting of Self Administrative Zones to six minority groups, on the 7
Many critics of SLORC's current policy on the establishment of Self
Administrative Zones have indicated that, there are three fundamental
issues which need to be properly addressed, before the establishment of the
Self Administered Zones. They are said to be -
(1) Defining of the properties and characteristics of the Self Administered
This is an extremely challenging and delicate issue, that can only be
handled by the respective representatives of the ethnic tribes in the
area to be designated. The present SLORC'S creation of Self Administered
Zone is based primarily on geographical limitations, and without
consideration for ethnic issues such as language, culture, history,
economic development and the size of population.
(2) Redrawing of State, Division and Township boundaries.
The present day boundaries have been in existence since 1974, when the
military junta headed Ne Win (known as revolutionary council) redraw the
boundaries without consultation and consideration for ethnic groups -
based solely on military maps. Many tribal lands have partitioned into
many sub-divisions which are now under the control of different
administrative organs. To illustrate this issue, the loss of the Kayan (
also known as PA DAUNG) tribal land is a classic example. After the
redrawing of the State boundary, the tribal land of Kayan was divided
into four portions, and respective portions were incorporated into the
Karen State, Kayah State, Shan State and Mandalay Division.
(3) Nation-wide collection of census accurately.
It has been over twelve years since the last census was collected. At
that time, no data had collected in the areas which have been under the
control of the ethnic resistance groups, which now signed cease-fire
accords with SLORC.
SLORC in total disregard of the above issues, and in blatantly ignoring the
basic essential procedure laid down by its own convention, has declared the
establishment of the six Self Administrative Zones - a move which clearly
indicates that it has been caught up in its own tangled web, and it is now
under formidable political dress. The establishment of the six Self
Administrative Zones, in such unusual circumstances, can only be viewed as
being an offering of the "LARGEST POLITICAL BRIBE" in the history of modern
By observing these political developments, it is apparent that SLORC is not
sincere, and that it has no sincere intention to resolve the nation's
conflicts - through peaceful dialogue. As for the democratic opposition
parties and the ethnic groups - they have all exhausted their efforts to
avoid violence and bloodshed, as SLORC refuses to settle the age-old
conflicts by peaceful dialogue. SLORC on its part only seeks to establish
cease-fire accords which are devoid of a political settlement, through
force and coercion.
It is observed that, SLORC has neither the courage to accept the people's
verdict, nor has it the desire to grant the people their rights to
participate - in the peaceful and the non-violent political process in the
country. We believe that the continuing intransigence by SLORC, will only
breed crisis after crisis in the country - which will ultimately lead to
violence and bloodshed, and create further instability in the region.
The question now is "How will the next political crisis be resolved by
SLORC, when it reconvenes its convention in October ?". A situation which
will need to be closely observed and scrutinised.
THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
OVERSEAS BURMA LIBERATION FRONT (OBLF)
15 June 1995.
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