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Burma Net News May 25, 1996(#419)

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Date: Sat, 25 May 1996 21:05:15 -0700 (PDT)

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: May 24, 1996
Issue #419






By Deborah Charles
RANGOON, May 25 (Reuter) - Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi
prepared to give her regular weekly speech on Saturday afternoon despite
continued arrests of democracy activists ahead of a Sunday National League
for Democracy (NLD) party congress.

An NLD source at Suu Kyi's house told Reuters on Saturday the 1991 Nobel
Peace laureate was preparing for the speech -- made every weekend to
supporters from her front gates -- and was also finalising plans for the

The NLD source also said the arrest toll of pro-democracy activists had
risen to 218 after a young woman party supporter was detained by the
military government late on Friday night.

Since Monday, the government has been plucking NLD members off the streets,
taking them from their homes or arresting them off buses as they attempted
to travel to Rangoon, opposition sources said.

Most of those arrested are elected representatives of the NLD who were
heading for Rangoon to attend the party congress beginning on Sunday.
It is due to be the first meeting of the elected representatives as a group
since they scored a landslide election victory in 1990, winning more than 80
percent of the seats. They were never allowed to serve as members of
parliament because the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC) -- which called the election -- never recognised the results.
The SLORC has repeatedly said this week they had not arrested the NLD
members but were only detaining them for questioning in order to avoid
unrest or anarchy that could result from the Sunday congress.

Although SLORC spokesmen said earlier this week they had no plans to stop
the Saturday speech from taking place, Suu Kyi and diplomats said they would
not be surprised if the government made it impossible for people to attend
by blocking off the road in front of Suu Kyi's home, as they had done in the

"We are still hearing rumours that they won't let it happen," said one
diplomat. "It will be interesting to see, because it may be a sign of what's
to come on Sunday."

Suu Kyi told reporters on Friday she had heard the government might try and
stop the Saturday speech and the Sunday meeting, but they would both go on
as planned.

"We are still going to go ahead with our plans unless they make it
physically impossible for us to do so," she said, even though more than
two-thirds of those due to attend the Sunday meeting had already been
arrested. By Saturday morning, there was no sign of a police presence
outside her house, and the roads were still open.  Suu Kyi's house has been
abuzz with activity as workers constructed a thatched meeting hall and party
members readied posters and pictures of Suu Kyi to give to representatives.
But despite the brave facade, stress was apparent on the faces of Suu Kyi
and those working with her.  "Not yet, that's all I can say," one of her
office staff said when asked if any prominent NLD members had been arrested.
"And as for me, you can see I haven't been arrested yet." Although
half-joking, the staffer's face was strained. His boss, Aye Win, a relative
and personal assistant to Suu Kyi, was picked up in the middle of the night
earlier this week after giving interviews to foreign media. Suu Kyi,
released from six years of house arrest last July, also jokingly asked
reporters to stay outside her house and those of other senior NLD members to
stave off further arrests. 


25.5.96/The Nation

Rangoon - The Burmese Junta yesterday continued to ignore
domestic and international condemnation of its sweeping crackdown
on opposition politicians, with the number of arrests swelling to
close to 220.

Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Burma's National League for Democracy
(NLD) party, announced yesterday that at least 217 NLD members
have been arrested by the military government in an effort to
stop a party congress scheduled for tomorrow.

She said 195 elected representatives of the party have been
detained, along with 10 regular members and 12 members of the
youth wing.

"During the last 24 hours they have taken to arresting members
who are not elected representatives. They seem to be
concentrating particularly on the youth wing of the NLD who have
come to help us arrange the ceremonies," she said. "I think the
intention is to try and make it impossible for us to hold our
conference. But we are still going to go ahead with our plans
unless they make it physically impossible for us to do so."

Officials from the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council
(Slorc) said they have detained the NLD members for questioning
in order to avoid unrest or anarchy.

Suu Kyi said she did not know how long the NLD members will be
held, but Burmese Foreign Minister U Ohn Gyaw said in Japan
earlier that they will be detained "for a short period".

The weekend meeting of about 300 elected NLD representatives was
to be the first gathering since the May 1990 election in which
the NLD had a landslide victory. It would also be the first time
for Suu Kyi, who in July was released from six years of house
arrest, to meet them as a group.

Suu Kyi did not rule out the possibility that she and other
members of the 10 person NLD executive committee might be
arrested before tomorrow's meeting. She also said she had heard
that officials might try and block off the road to make it
impossible for people to come to her house to attend the meeting
or her regular weekly speech, which she plans to make today.

"I think [today] will be very interesting," Suu Kyi said, then
jokingly suggested that reporters stay outside her gate and those
of the executive committee members, to help prevent arrests.

Repeated broadcasts announcing mass arrests worried ordinary
Burmese but activities in Rangoon continued as usual. Burmese
went to work as normal, but started asking friends whether the
time had come to hoard rice - a traditional hedge against

Wariness set in the day after the government repeatedly broadcast
statements from a rare news conference in which high-ranking
officials acknowledged arresting more than 100 NLD members. Most
Burmese were unaware of the roundup until then. State-controlled
newspapers have made no mention of the arrests, and few Burmese
have access to foreign radio broadcasts.

Government-controlled newspapers radio and television did not
carry Suu Kyi's remarks. The press yesterday devoted front pages
to a conference attended by junta leaders to promote foreign

While the arrest toll kept rising in Burma, Japan and the United
States joined human rights groups and exiled Burmese dissidents
to condemn the Slorc's actions, and strongly pushed for the
release of the NLD members.



25.5.96/ The Nation
TOKYO - Burma's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday
criticised the ruling military junta for pursuing a hard-line
policy, which she said is undermining the democracy movement in
her country.

In a telephone message coinciding with a press conference in
Tokyo by the Japan chapter of the National League for Democracy
(NLD), Suu Kyi said she wants Japan and its people to "observe
very carefully" the detention of more than 200 NLD members and
other developments in her country.

In the message, she also took issue with western countries'
"constructive engagement" toward Burma's junta, formally known as
the State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc).

"It is time that the international community realised that
'constructive engagement' has not helped us to achieve
democracy," she said. The government has not done anything to
bring about democratisation. In fact, they seem intent on
following a hard line.

"So I think that future policies with regard to Burma should be
decided by how well or how badly the present regime treats the
forces of democracy in our country," Suu Kyi added.

Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minster Yukihiko Ikeda protested
yesterday to his visiting Burmese counterpart U Ohn Kyaw over the
Slorc crackdown, calling for an immediate release of all
detainees and an end to harassment of the pro-democratic camp.

But Ikeda did not raise the threat of cutting economic aid in
talks with Ohn Kyaw, a Japanese official said.

"We are worried that the detention of many members of the NLD
since the day before yesterday goes against the trend of
democratization, a Japanese official quoted Ikeda as saying.

Burma s crackdown on democracy activists while the country's
foreign minister pays a Visit to Japan has cast a harsh spotlight
on Tokyo's ties with the military junta and raised calls for
Japan to re-examine its, aid to Rangoon.

Ikeda did not bring up the issue of Japan's economic assistance
to Burma, which at! US$133 million (Bt3.32 billion) in 1994 is
the isolated military junta's largest source of aid, the official

Ikeda warned Ohn Gyaw that the crack-down had dampened the
enthusiasm of Japan business commnunity for investing in Burma
the official said. He dismissed the Burmese minister's
explanation that as a developing country. Burma needed to take
strong measures to protect order, saying the arrests had no legal
basis and were "unacceptable to Japan", the official said.

lkeda's strong language - rare from a Japanese diplomat --
coincided with a call from Japan-based NLD activists and
sympathetic Japanese politicians to Tokyo to cut off aid to Burma
in retaliation for the military government's  crackdown.

Japanese lawmakers urged Tokyo, which has avoided the sharp
condemnation of Rangoon and sanctions calls made by Western
countries, to use the economic leverage it has as Burma's largest
aid donor to bear down on the military government.

The parliamentary League to Support Burma (Burma) Democratization
demanded that Tokyo halt economic aid to Rangoon unless it
immediately released the activists and began talks with the NLD.


  RANGOON, May 24[INTELASIA]- Atlantic Richfield Co (ARCO) and Myanma Oil
and Gas Enterprise signed a production-sharing contract to drill on an
offshore block in the gulf of Mottama in the Bay of Bengal, official media
reported on Friday.

    The contract, to drill in block M-7 off the southwest coast of Burma, is
the second signed between U.S.-based ARCO and Burma, energy minister Khin
Maung Thein said. The first was signed last July for Offshore Block M-9.

    Khin Maung Thein said ARCO has already identified six prospective leads
for hydro-carbon accumulations in the first block.

    He said the second block for ARCO also appeared promising, as natural gas
had been tested in 1975 by Martaban Cities Services.

    Khin Maung Thein added progress was being made at the Yadana Project,
also in the Gulf of Mottama, which is being jointly developed by Unocal Corp
<UCL.N> and Total SA <TOTF.PA>.

    "Great efforts are being made to complete the Yadana Project in time to
supply natural gas to Thailand and discussions with the Petroleum Authority
of Thailand are at their final stage."

    Yadana has exploitable deposits of 5.7 trillion cubic feet of natural
gas, official data shows.
    The companies plan to produce 650 million cubic feet per day (mcfd) of
natural gas from the field.

    Of that, 525 mcfd will be sold to Thailand and the remainder will be used
to operate a 200 megawatt power plant and a Burmese urea fertiliser plant
which has an annual capacity of 500,000 tonnes.


   SINGAPORE (AP-Dow Jones)--Other investors may avoid Burma, put off 
by complaints about human rights abuses, the pitfalls of its military-dominated
 economy and the threat of boycotts or trade embargoes.   But where they
 see only frustration, Singapore sees a land of opportunity. 
   Just as the U.S. Congress is considering a trade ban to press Burma's 
ruling generals to allow democracy, Singapore is actively promoting business 
withthem, offering investment, training and a way out of their diplomatic
   Singaporean companies are buying and selling Burmese seafood, rubber 
and timber. With official encouragement, they're building hotels, supermarkets and
a $100 million port in Burma, also known as Myanmar. 
   Singapore's total investment there surged to $603 million by the end of 1995,
surpassing France to make it Burma's second-largest investor after Britain,
according to Singapore's Trade Development Board. 
   'While the other countries are ignoring Myanmar, it's a good time for 
us to go in. You get better deals, and you're more appreciated,' said Tay Thiam
 Peng, the board's director of foreign operations. 
   Critics of Burma's rulers are trying to steer investors away, arguing 
that their money only strengthens the generals who became international pariahs
after their violent crackdown on pro-democracy activists in 1988. 
   But Singapore and other Southeast Asian governments reject pressure 
for boycotts, saying they don't want to interfere with their neighbor and 
instead prefer 'constructive engagement.' 
   'There is absolutely no evidence so far that increasing investment 
in the country has improved the situation in terms of forced labor and other 
human rights violations,' said Zunetta Liddell, a researcher in London for Human
Rights Watch-Asia. 
   Under threat of boycotts, PepsiCo Inc. announced in April that it was 
selling its business in Burma, although it will continue to supply cola syrup 
to a local company. Other investors have pulled out in frustration at difficult
working conditions. 
   Singapore isn't alone in defying such challenges and the pressure to isolate
   Burma enjoys close relations with China and Thailand, which said this 
week it wouldn't 'dictate' to the Burmese about the arrest of pro-democracy 
   U.S. and French companies are helping Burma sell natural gas. Israeli,
Japanese, Australian and U.S. companies are installing telephone networks
 in Rangoon, the Burmese capital. Scores of Thai companies are involved in
businesses ranging from logging to mining to fishing. 
   But while most of those investments occur on a private level, Singapore has
made Burma a focus of its official trade strategy, giving it prominent 
status alongside the development of industrial parks in China and Vietnam. 
   Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong visited Burma in 1994. Since then, his
government has sent 17 trade missions, opened an office in Rangoon to 
advise investors and set up a Burma business group that publishes a monthly
   According to Tay, trade with Burma grew 40% last year to $1.2 billion 
and could reach $1.5 billion this year. 
   'By investing ... Singapore hopes to encourage other foreign investors
 to similarly invest here,' Industry Minister Yeo Cheow Tong told Singapore's
Straits Times newspaper during a visit to Rangoon in January. 
   Some of Singapore's investments are in direct conflict with efforts 
by human rights activists. 
   Companies are building hotels and promoting boat tours of the 
Irriwaddy River while Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burmese pro-democracy 
leader and Nobel Peace laureate, is calling for a tourist boycott. 
   'Singapore's position is not to judge them and take a judgmental moral high
ground,' Tay said. 
   'I think without constructive engagement, the economic situation in 
Myanmar is not likely to move fast, and I don't think that will help any other 
   Congress is considering a bill that would ban U.S. trade with Burma until
political prisoners are released and power is transferred to elected leaders. 
   The E.U. is investigating reports of forced labor and may withdraw 
favorable tariffs on Burmese goods - which would hurt Singaporean 
exports from Burma to Europe. 



25.5.96/The Nation
BURMA'S Karen National Union (KNU) guerrilla group yesterday
denied that it was responsible for an attack on a train in
central Burma earlier this week that killed nine people.

Burma's state-run media reported on Wednesday that nine people
had been killed when a landmine planted by Karen guerrillas
exploded under a train on the main railway line between Rangoon
and Burma's second city Mandalay on Tuesday night.

The blast, near the town of Kanyutkwin, in Pegu Division, about
160 kilometres north of Rangoon, also wounded seven people.

The KNU said in a statement yesterday:

"The KNU was in no way connected with the blowing up of a
Rangoon-Mandalay train near Kanyukwin."

Based in pockets of remote territory in southeastern Burma near
the border with Thailand, KNU guerrillas have not launched
attacks in central Burma for several years.

The group, fighting for autonomy since 1949, opened ceasefire
talks with the ruling military body, the State Law and ~Order
Restoration Council (Slorc) late last year.

"The KNU has stopped all military  activities in Slorc-controlled
areas since the commencement of a dialogue with t the SLORC" the
group said, adding the allegations that it was responsible for
the blast were "completely unfounded".

The ethnic minority guerrillas, allied with pro-democracy
dissident groups, i also condemned the crackdown against Aung San
Suu Kyi's party and called on the Slorc to release all those
being held.

"Free and frank dialogue" was needed to resolve Burma basic
political problems, the KNU said.



25.5.96/Bangkok Post
AN associate of Khun Sa was extradited to the United States
yesterday to face drugs trafficking charges.

Chang Fu-sheng was handed over to United States marshals, who
took him to New York after the Criminal Court cleared his

The court's decision was in line with a request from the Office
of the Attorney-General after the Cabinet annulled a f resolution
allowing a Thai court to consider the extradition of Chao, 34,
and nine other drug suspects.

Under a Thai-US treaty, a suspect can be extradited without
having to go through legal procedures if he requests extradition

Chao, alias Vicha Sitthiphan or Somboon Khamdaeng, who had
falsified his identity was said to be closely involved in the
drug baron's narcotics operations.

It was possible the New York court could use Chao as a witness to
help US authorities suppress Khun Sa's operations, said Pol
Maj-Gen Ammarin Neamsakul, commander of the Police Department's
Foreign Affairs Division.

Ho Mong has become a virtual ghost town since Khun Sa handed the
former Mong Tai Army stronghold to the ' Rangoon junta five
months ago.

Shan refugees say only 1,500 of the 10,000-20,000 civilians
remain in Ho Mong, which was also home to thousands of troops
loyal to the drug _warlord.

Fearing harassment and Mistreatment at the hands of Rangoon
troops, most people from Ho Mong have moved to smaller towns such
as Nai and Lang Kel, or across the border to seek refuge with
their relatives in Mae Hong Son.

An average of 50 Shan civilians leave Ho Mong each day, they say.



25.5.96/Bangkok Post
THAI students have condemned the arrest of Burma's opposition
politicians and called on Thailand and its ASEAN partners to stop
aiding or investing in Burma.

ASEAN should "stop all assistance and investment to force the
Burmese government to stop abusing human rights," the Students
Federation of Thailand said in a statement released yesterday.

"The ASEAN governments must have a clear stand on democracy, they
must conduct consistent domestic and foreign policies, not have a
bias towards the dictatorial military government," it added.

The federation called for the ruling State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC) to immediately release the National
League for Democracy (NLD) members, and allow the opposition
party to hold its congress.

As of yesterday evening, 212 NLD members had reportedly been
arrested. But NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi maintained the party
would go ahead with its three-day congress set to open tomorrow.

The federation urged ASEAN to review its constructive engagement
with Rangoon, saying the policy "does nothing but exploit the
economic benefits of the Burmese people."

ASEAN has defended the policy as a means of encouraging SLORC to
liberalise and improve the lives of Burmese.

Thai pro-democracy activists have urged SLORC to begin talks with
Suu Kyi and other democratic leaders in Burma, including heads of
the country's ethnic minority groups.

"It's not time to arrest Burma's democratic leadership, it's time
to negotiate," said the Thai Action Committee for Democracy in

The Burmese government tried yesterday to woo business investors
even as its sweeping crackdown on- the opposition and detention
of some 200 democracy activists provoked protests from around the

Pro-democracy sources said 192 members or supporters of the NLD
had been arrested.

"So fat it is 192, but call back later, because the number will
probably go up as we get more news," an NLD source told Reuters

Most of those detained are elected representatives of the NLD
planning to attend the party congress Suu Kyi's lakeside home,
where she was held under house arrest for six years until July.

Many were seized in their homes in the middle of the night or
plucked off the street, Suu Kyi said.

She said on Thursday the arrests were made because SLORC was
afraid of the NLD's popular support.

SLORC said it had not arrested activists, only detained them in
government guest-houses for questioning because it feared the
upcoming congress could cause unrest and a repeat of violence
that erupted during 1988 pro-democracy demonstrations.

The congress coincides with sixth anniversary of the party's
overwhelming victory in a 1990 general election. But the NLD,
which won 82 percent or 392 seats, did not take their elected
positions because SLORC never recognised the vote.

While news filtered out of the growing number of detentions,
senior Burmese officials were promising stability to a group of
potential foreign investors in Rangoon.

"Whoever comes to Myanmar (Burma) for investment will have a just
and fair deal," Deputy Prime Minister Maung Maung Khin told the
"Myanmar: Open for Business" seminar on Thursday.

The conference closed to the media, will continue through today.
The speeches were in official papers yesterday. (Bangkok Post,



25.5.96/ Bangkok Post
BURMESE democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi forged ahead with her
planned congress tomorrow despite the arrests of 217 of her
supporters by the military government.

Senior Burmese officials, meanwhile~ were busy trying to woo
potential foreign investors by promising stability and Burma's
foreign minister told his Japanese counterpart that the
detentions would be brief.

Suu Kyi, who won the 1991 Nobel-Peace Prize, told reporters most
of those arrest were elected representatives of her National
League for Democracy (NLD) party but added that <in the last 24
hours non-elected representatives from the party's youth wing had
been detained as well.

"I think the intention is to try and make it impossible for us to
hold our conference on Sunday," she said.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Jose Ayala-Lasso has
complained to the Burmese government about the mass arrests of
opposition supporters in Rangoon, a UN spokesman said on Friday
in Geneva.

The spokesman told a news briefing that Ayala-Lasso met U Aye,
Burma's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, on Monday and expressed
his "profound and acute concern after the arrests of dozens of
members of the opposition."



Kyodo News Service, Tokyo, in English 1010 gmt 24 May 96
[2] Text of report by the Japanese news agency Kyodo

   Myanmar's Burma pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday 24th May
criticized the ruling military junta for pursuing a hard-line policy, which she
said is undermining the democracy movement in her country. In a telephone
message coinciding with a press conference in Tokyo by the Japan chapter of the
National League for Democracy (NLD), Suu Kyi said she wants Japan and its people
to " observe very carefully" the detention of some 200 Suu Kyi supporters and
other developments in her country. In the message, she also took issue with
Western countries'" constructive engagement" towards Myanmar's junta, formally
known as the State Law and Order Restoration Council.

   "It is time that the international community realized that constructive
engagement' has not helped us to achieve democracy," she said. "The government
has not done anything to bring about democratization. In fact, they seem intent
on following a hard line.

   "So I think that future policies with regard to Burma should be decided by
how well or how badly the present regime treats the forces of democracy in our
country," Suu Kyi added.


(Article warns opposition NLD party will collapse
SOURCE: Source: Kyemon', Rangoon, in Burmese 19, 20 May 96 p6
[6] The government newspaper Kyemon' has carried an article comparing the
opposition the National League for Democracy (NLD) party to a " snake charming
act" , calling for an end to the weekend "shows" at the house of Aung San Suu
Kyi. Surveying the factured history of Burmese party politics and resulting
political instability the article points out that no revolution from below has
ever lasted. Military leaders, bitter about anarchism, had learnt the lessons of
1926-88 and rescued Burma from anarchy in 1988. In their striving for
socieconomic restructuring the government's leaders are advised by the article
to get rid of the "rubbish" which could start a fire and burn down the house.
Meanwhile, the government should continue its endeavours to win over Suu Kyi
from her "antagonistic" position. Folows text of first installment of article by
U Than Maung entitled: " When will the snake charming act end?" ; carried by
Burmese newspaper Kyemon')


19th May,
 (with three poisonous snakes - one female Cobra, a banded Krait, and a Viper) 
which usually begins at about 1600
local time in the afternoon every Saturday and Sunday on the platform by the
road in front of No 54-56, University Avenue, Yangon Rangoon has been going on
for many months. How long will they continue the act? When will it end?

   Dear leaders, who are striving steadfastly day and night for building a
united, developed, prosperous and modern nation in Myanmar Burma or in the
Myanmar community:

   I read an article by West German Historian Michael Sturmer name rendered in
English on page 38 in the Newsweek magazine of 10th September 1990. Take note of
this quote: "When empires collapse, they do so with a bang not with a whimper."
quote rendered in English

   To judge whether this historian's proposition is correct or not, we can
consider the collapse of the Soviet Union, which thrived for over 70 years, and
that of the communist countries of East Europe, the German Democratic Republic,
Romania, and Yugoslavia (and how the rulers who lost power were killed or

   Unexpectedly, in the post Burma Socialist Programme Party's 26-year era,
there were 8-8-88 as published democracy and political disturbances and the
formation of various "unions" of universities, schools, factories and mills,
offices, and governmental and private organizations (a primary school union, a
pupils' union, a monks' union, a young monks' union, a doctors' union, a
teachers'union, a nurses' union, a nuns' union, a beauticians' - gays - union, a
housekeepers' union, an aged persons' union, and a trishaw peddlers' union) all
over the country led by leftist, centrist and rightist political opportunists,
those who were old members of the Revolutionary Council, senior and junior
ministers of the Burma Socialist Programme Party BSPP , military officers, old
White-and Red-flag communists and old socialists of the AFPFL Anti Fascists
People's Freedom League .

   They incited huge public riots and demonstrations and waged strikes all over
the country, opened strike camps, coerced the Burma Socialist Programme Party,
pulled the administrative machinery to a halt, prompted anarchic acts in both
urban and rural areas, and elected Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who, after marrying an
Englishman and living in England for 28 years, was showing instant "love" for
Myanmar, as "a great, great leader" ; and due to political coercion and
anarchism, the state power collapsed with a bang within a few days.

   The opinion that "When empires collapse, they do so with a bang, not with a
whimper" quote rendered in English is very well-founded. " The collapse or
annihilation of rulers and empires comes with a bang leaving no time for
whining," and all collapses have happened in this manner. Bitter and painful
lessons can be learnt from various communities or the socioeconomic and
political situations of various countries.

   The collapse of "human civilizations," including the Roman civilization,
which emerged 1,600 years ago, can be studied in world history. Karl Marx and
Engels said "a race should and must take lessons from countries that developed
or collapsed earlier."

   Shin Maha Ratthasara renowned Burmese laureate exhorted us to study
diligently to be able to say what we want to say without forgetting the meaning
so that we would be bold and have no fear, like a lion, and our resolve would be
firm and strong like a pillar. What I would like to tell some SLORC State Law
and Order Restoration Council leaders, who are striving strenuously for a new
united, prosperous and modern nation in the course of "revolution from above" ,
preceding three words in quote rendered in English" is this:

   In Myanmar Burmese history between the end of World War II in 1945 and the
post-independence period starting from 1948, there were splits within the AFPFL,
which was led by Bogyoke Aung San in 1946-47 . The Burma Communist Party led by
Thakhin Than Tun was expelled from AFPFL; the "Red Socialist" party led by
Widura Thakhin Chit Maung and Thakhin Lwin quit the Socialist Party, which was
led by U Ba Swe, U Kyaw Nyein and Bogyoke Aung Gyi; Thakhin Soe also split from
the Burma Communist Party, which was led by Thakhin Than Tun, Thakhin Thein Pe
(U Thein Pe Myint), and himself and formed the "Red Flag Communist Party
(Burma Communist Party)."

   The People's Voluntary Organization, PVO, which was founded and led by
Bogyoke Aung San also split into "the PVO Yellow faction" led by Bohmu Aung and
"the PVO White faction" led by Bo Po Kun; within the Thakhin Soe-led Red Flag
Communist Party itself, Ko Htoo and Ko Tun Sein quit forming "the Htoo Sein
Party" ; and the AFPFL, which was in power again split into two - "the AFPFL
Clean faction" led by U Nu and Thakhin Tin and "the AFPFL Stable faction" led by
U Ba Swe and U Kyaw Nyein in 1957-58.

   During this period, there was no consolidation of unity within "
Pa-ma-nya-ta," which was a legal opposition party. There were various groups and
organizations and it was all mayhem. Again in 1960-61, the ruling Pyidaungsu
Party (Pa-hta-sa Party), which reorganized the AFPFL-Clean Party led by U Nu and
Thakhin Tin, separated into "the U Group" "the Bo Group" and "the Thakhin Group"
(but they did not reach a state of secession).

   The story of Myanmar political history that I have described above does not
include the splits of the nationalities parties such as the KNU Karen National
Union , KIA Kachin Independence Army , the Shan State Liberation Party, and the
Kayah State Liberation Party. It does not include the splits of the GCBA General
Council of Burma Association , which was very famous and popular for about 20
years between 1926 and 1943, nor the splits of "the Doh Bamar Asiayon (Thakhin
Asiayon)" which was well-known all over the country between 1938 and 1943.

   The splits I have touched upon took place between the post-war period from
1945 and the post-independence period of 1948-58. Now, let's continue to discuss
the history of the Myanmar divisions.

   Some military leaders, descendants of old rulers who felt bitter about
anarchism and had learned lessons from the 60-year political history of 1926 to
1988, rescued Myanmar communities vigilantly and conscientiously; these were on
the verge of collapse from anarchic acts such as the 8-8-88 demonstrations,
strikes and strike camps, huge riots, coercion, arson, looting, destruction and
brutal killings . The "8-8-88 heroes" , "the strike committees" , and "the
strike camps" or overt and underground destructionists who were becoming
political anarchists preceding two words rendered in English were demolished.

   The "enlightened top brass" preceding three words rendered in English of the
military leaders

   a. disbanded the one-party system,

   b. scrapped the socialist economy,

   c. is sowing seeds to establish a multiparty democracy that will be suitable
for the socioeconomic development of developing nations,

   d. is slowly and gradually implementing a market economy, and

   e. has officially permitted foreign investment and technical know-how after
promulgating the necessary laws.

   With the aforementioned political policies of the SLORC, the formation and
movement of political parties was allowed in accord with item C.

   Because of this permission, various political opportunists who were silent
and had not dared to show their "heads" during the entire 26-year BSPP rule
reappeared like croaking "frogs" in the rainy season and formed more than 200
political parties without having any political ideology. This can be correctly
viewed politically and ideologically as "the political retaliation" of coercive
and anarchic politicians who came out of the 8-8-88 movement and the strike

   It can be seen in world history that the "revolutions from below" such as the
Great October Revolution, which took place in Russia in the early 20th century
(1917), and the French Revolution of the 18th century (1789) collapsed and are
no more in existence at the present day because they could not practically carry
out the socioeconomic development of the world's communities.

   The 8-8-88 groups and strikers led by Daw Suu Kyi attempted in 1988, 1989 and
1990 to copy the type of old-fashioned revolution found in the Russian and
French Revolutions, which does not conform to the needs of the times, the place
or the community in Myanmar. The formation of over 200 political parties was the
outcome of this process. Daw Suu Kyi's group attempted to replenish the faulty
socioeconomic revolutionary ideals of the post 18th century and early 20th
century periods.

   If we objectively review the formation and organization of the Daw Suu
Kyi-led National League for Democracy, which was the most amazingly popular
party of the over 200 political parties, it can be seen that:

   lt could not stand for long as a united, consolidated party organization like
the GCBA, the Doh Bamar Asiayon Thakhin Groups, the Socialist Party, the
Communist Party, the AFPFL and the Pa-hta-sa Party, which had emerged and become
very prominent 60 years before it . It drowned in the splits of political
history. Evident proof of this was that the "National League for Democracy, 
NLD", split into two - the Bogyoke Aung Gyi-led group and 
the Daw Suu Kyi-led group- less than two years after its formation. 
It can be seen that even within the current female-led NLD of
Daw Suu Kyi there are an old military officers group,
an intellectual group, a student youth group and an old AFPFL, communist, and
socialist group.

   If the more than 60-year-old Myanmar political history is studied
appropriately, it can be clearly seen that there has been no political party
able to effectively serve the national interest (in the political, economic and
social sectors) up to now (1996). Regarding the political parties that can serve
the national interest effectively, an East European politician once said:

   "Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa do not in fact have political parties in the
Western sense. They are only groups brought together under a prominent leader,
who for the most part dwarfs the entire party in importance." preceding
paragraph rendered in English

    20th May, p 5 Now, firm proof of this statement can be seen in the
prominence of Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-dong, Chiang Kai-shek, Ho Chi Minh, Tito,
Ceausescu, Bogyoke Aung San, Thakhin Soe, Thakhin Than Tun, and General Ne Win
and their leadership in their respective political parties and organizations.

   The prominence of Suu Kyi and the popularity of her National League for
Democracy also fits in with the aforementioned statement.

   Suu Kyi's prominence dwarfs her party in importance. Her party is not as
prominent or important as her.

   Therefore, the so-called "revolutions" in the post 18th century and the early
20th century are, in fact, "revolutions from below" .  preceding three words
rendered in English

   The politically and theoretically enlightened top brass preceding words given
in English of the Tatmadaw Defence Services leaders took over the
responsibilities of the State with goodwill and conviction to serve the national
interest; they do not behave as Daw Suu Kyi's group does, which whispers or
shouts slanders in its smear campaign against SLORC preceding four words in
English , saying that " they took over state power forcibly to protect the life
and property of the Burma Socialist Programme Party top leaders and themselves."

   The validity of such accusations and allegations can be checked with the
following quotable quote;

   "England, it is true in causing social revolution in Hindustan (in India),
was actuated only by the vilest interests, and was stupid in its manner of
enforcing them. But that is not the question. The question is, can mankind
fulfil its destiny without a fundamental revolution in the social state of Asia?
If not, whatever may not have been the crimes of England she was the unconscious
tool of history in bringing about that revolution." (Karl Marx - The British
Rule in India) Quote published in English

   Karl Marx and Engels made this assessment of the social revolution in India
caused by England, the colonial power, which transformed the old-fashioned
Indian civilization into a modern one and dragged it into the civilized world

   Dear England-returnee miss and your accomplices, when any ideological
assessment of the SLORC's activities is made, there can be no question that it
took over the duties of the state with goodwill. It is necessary only to observe
that SLORC is building the nation into one that is united, prosperous, and
modern in thoughts, words, and deeds. In politics, it is reasonable and
realistic to find a solution to the problem not in words (oration), but with
deeds (practice).

   It is easy to make an outcry, just as an English saying has it: " Easier said
than done" saying given in English .

   The England-returnee miss, who, after living in England humbly for about 28
years, is showing off herself in Myanmar in a saucy manner, and her accomplices
should consider and logically apply Karl Marx's aforementioned deep thought.

   Desiring and willing are not important; they do not play a decisive and
primary role. Only what is done practically with a theoretical concept preceding
two words rendered in English and a clear and vigilant theoretical outlook
preceding two words rendered in English is important and plays the primary,
decisive role.

   There is an English proverb: "If wishes were horses, beggars might ride"
proverb published in English . Priority must be given to what is more than what
is wished to be.

   Dear SLORC leaders, one of the verses of the Magadeva Treatise says if a man
is wise and has a good heart, he can finish every task, big or small, like a
sculptor who carves any way he wishes. I will not go into detail about the
meaning of this verse, for it would amount to teaching a crocodile how to swim
or preaching to a monk.

    20th May, p5 To shine in wisdom and knowledge, the state leader (government)
must possess proper reasoning and a clear theoretical concept and outlook. It is
also exhorted in the Lawkaniti Treatise that a ruler must constantly be diligent
and vigilant. The ruler (government) usually encounters an enemy within and
without as well as the lackeys of the alien. There are plenty of examples in
world political history. It is therefore essential to have constant vigilance
preceding two words rendered in English against these dangers. According to
Lawkaniti, contentment will lead to the downfall of a ruler (government).

   The references given in the Magadeva Treatise and the Lawkaniti clearly
indicate that they are the same in essence as the statements of Karl Marx and
Engels. This can be seen in comparison with the following statement. "Theory is
a guide to practice (to action); practice is blind without theory. Theory is
sterile without practice" statement given in English .

   As a Myanmar saying puts it: "Starting from the rubbish, the fire burnt down
the house." Beginning with a fight between some students of the Rangoon
Institute of Technology and some youths of the Insein Gyogon Ward at a roadside
tea shop, a series of strikes such as the Phone Maw strike, the 8-8-88 strike
and the general strike broke out all over the country, and, within a short
period, anarchy was rampant and the country was on the verge of collapse. It was
a regrettable experience.

   Now, I would like to advise the SLORC leaders, who are striving for
socioeconomic restructuring, to get rid of the rubbish that can start a fire and
burn down the house and extinguish the remnants, which can flare up at any time.

   "In this process of making positive endeavours of the government, certain
lackeys of the imperialists are resorting to various means to create instability
in the state. To breed suspicions and divisions among the national races and to
slacken or impede pace of development of the national economy" (Lt-Gen Khin
Nyunt - 24/3/96 The New Light Of Myanmar' page 1, col 3) Khin Nyunt's address
published in English .

   What he means is that there are lackeys of the West who are creating
instability within the country and suspicions and disunity among our national
brethren and attempting to make national economic development stagnant. The
SLORC leaders must therefore have constant revolutionary vigilance. They have to
act like a lion, but not like a tiger. The lion king always makes the same
effort to catch his prey, big or small. He never reduces his diligence or loses
his vigilance.

   The SLORC, which is leading a kind of revolution after demolishing the old
Myanmar political, economic and social systems, triumphed over the huge riots;
the anarchic persons who threw stones, committed arson, lootings, destruction
and brutal killings in the 8-8-88 uprising; the strike camps; the strike
committees; and the various unions that emerged in l988-89. It has won victory
over the one-party system and the socialist economic system. It has made peace
with 16 groups of our brethren, who resorted to armed struggle for nearly 50
years due to political, ideological and racial differences.

   Similarly, the SLORC has to continue its endeavours with unswerving diligence
and constant vigilance to win over Daw Suu Kyi, whose position is an
antagonistic one.

   It may happen that the snake charmer can accidentally be bitten by the female
cobra, the banded krait, or the viper. If the snake charmer is not skilled, one
of the three poisonous snakes might escape and bite people. Therefore, I would
like to suggest that the snake charmer's show, which has been on for months,
should be ended and the three poisonous snakes be put back in the snake
charmer's basket. It is necessary to escape from a state of having a viper in
the pouch.

   Dear SLORC leaders, "When empires collapse, they do so with a bang, not with
a whimper." Let's prevent with brilliant and clear theoretical concept and
outlook any reoccurrence of a revolution from below or the kind of disturbances
seen in the 8-8-88 general strike.


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