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Suu Kyi says "Wave of arrests won't
Subject: Suu Kyi says "Wave of arrests won't stop us".
Wave of arrests won't stop us, says Suu Kyi
The pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said today that Burma's
ruling military junta had arrested 44 of her key supporters in an
attempt to prevent the most important opposition meeting since her
release from house arrest last year.
Ms Suu Kyi said the three-day meeting of her National League for
Democracy would go ahead on Sunday at her home in Rangoon despite
increasing Government pressure to derail it.
"So far, 44 NLD elected representatives and who wives have been
arrested," she said.
The arrests began late yesterday, Ms Suu Kyi said.
"This won't affect palns to hold the conference," she said.
"Everyone is calm...Every person knows how to do their duty."
Burma's military rulers killed thousands of pro-democracy
activists in suppressing demonstrations in 1988, and opposition
leaders are keen to avoid a new bloodbath.
The gathering would be the biggest opposition meeting since Ms
Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, was freed last July
from six years of house arrest.
It coincides with the sixth anniversary of democratic elections
in 1990, when Ms Suu Kyi's NLD won an overwhelming majority of
parliamentary seats. The junta, known as the State Law and Order
Restoration Council, never allowed parliament to convene, and the
meeting is seen as a challenge to its legitimacy.
General Maung Aye, the army commander and deputy chairman of the
military junta, warned in remarks published today in state-run
newspaper that the Government would "annihilate" anyone who disturbed
Burma's peace and tranquility.
The press has sharpened attacks on Ms Suu Kyi and her party,
comparing her in an article yesterday to a poisonous snake and
calling for a halt to regular weekend meetings outside her home.
[AP, 22 May 1996]