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ABSDF's statement on May 27 electio

Subject: ABSDF's statement on May 27 election

Statement of the ABSDF on the Sixth Anniversary of 1990 May 27 General 

To:  Oppressed Burmese people, international friends and comrades in struggle

        	Today marks the sixth anniversary of the victorious election, the
first multi-party general election in the past thirty years in Burma. 
        	In the summer of 1988, the Burmese military dictatorship bloodily
suppressed peaceful demonstrations calling for democracy.  Then on
September 18, 1988, the military staged another bloody coup and changed
its name to the State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc).  Twenty
months later, on May 27, 1990, the Slorc felt confident enough of its
control to hold a multi-party general election.  Prior to the election,
however, opposition party leaders, students and other activists were
systematically rounded up and sentenced by military tribunes without legal
procedure. Actually, this election was held only after Slorc declared
martial law and banned any gathering of more than five persons. Moreover,
basic freedoms of assembly, speech, and press were severely curtailed
during the campaign period. 
        	However, Burmese people exercised their right to vote to
unequivocally express their desire to end the military dictatorship.  That
is they voted overwhelmingly against the military regime and clearly voted
for democracy.The Burmese people's obvious desire for and love of
democracy was shown with great courage and unity in the election.With the
election's decisiveness the people of Burma moved to another stage in the
struggle for democracy.
	Through the elections people gave mandate to the National League
for Democracy (NLD) to lead them to democracy. Despite the clarity of the
call, the Slorc not only failed to hand over power to the people's elected
representatives, but also thoroughly ignored the result of the 1990
election.  In addition to turn a blind eye to the will of the entire
people, Slorc moved to further suppress the democracy movement by threats,
harassment, and continuous arrests of elected representatives. In spite of
repeated attempts to silence the opposition, the popular movement led by
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has continued with unwavering commitment, to
implement the will of the entire people. 
        While the Slorc side, clinging to the concept of military
authority over the whole population, continues to push its own sham
national convention in order to decree the leading role of the Tatmadaw
(military) for the political future of Burma, against the will of people. 
Without considering the people's wishes and with no way to benefit the
people, it was obvious that the sham national convention could offer
nothing to national solidarity.  Realizing the futility of participation,
the NLD decided to boycott the national convention on November 29, 195. 
        For the six years following the election, Slorc simply ignored the
election results, and pursued a policy of "divide and rule" to defeat all
the armed ethnic groups by forcing them to submit to a temporary
cease-fire agreement and to abandon their armed struggle.  This maneuver
serves to prolong the military dictatorship as well as to extinguish the
national liberation struggle of the ethnic groups. 
        Despite their efforts to retain power by all means, without the
support of the people, Slorc will one day collapse. The occasion of sixth
aniversary of general elections reminds us of the principle that state
power shall be held in the hands of peoples' representatives elected by
the people. 
        We would like to urge the Burmese people, recalling the results of
1990 elections, to continue their struggle with harmony. Their goals must
remain to abolish the military dictatorship, to transfer power to the
people, to end the civil war, to restore genuine internal peace and to
bring about true national reconciliation. 
        ABSDF also urges the Burmese people to continue the struggle in
order to achieve the following aims:  (1) the unconditional release of all
political prisoners including Min Ko Naing.  (2) the halt of the ongoing
sham national convention.  (3) the abolition of all laws and practices not
according with international legal standards. 

Central Committee
May 27, 1996