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REUTER: SLORC Starts Dangerous Medi

Subject: REUTER: SLORC Starts Dangerous Media Juggling

SLORC Starts Dangerous Media Juggling

    By Deborah Charles
     RANGOON, May 27 (Reuter) - Burma's official media on Monday gave
democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi mixed signals, with one newspaper saying
her supporters were committing treason, while another backed democratic
     The commentaries were the first government reaction after the National
League for Democracy (NLD) party, led by Suu Kyi, defied a military
crackdown and held a Sunday party congress.
     They appeared in the two Burmese-language newspapers and were written
in sharply different styles.
     One entitled "Don't muddy up a clear thing," was a clear attack on Suu
Kyi and the NLD.
     It referred to the demand made by Suu Kyi and the NLD over the weekend
that the military government recognise the results of a May 27, 1990,
election which the party convincingly won.
     "If these people do what they please uncontrollably, they will be
committing high treason," the commentary said, referring to the NLD's
     The result of the poll was annulled by the ruling State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC) six years ago.
     The commentary said Suu Kyi and her supporters were "power-crazy
people" who did not want the country to succeed. It said only when they
were removed would the democratic future of Burma proceed.
     "Only if the traitors who are seeking external influence are
annihilated will independent sovereign power last," it said.
     But another commentary took a much milder tone, calling Suu Kyi by a
respectful title for the first time. In the past few weeks she has been
called a "poisonous snake" and "sorceress."
     "We want and support the democratic principle of freedom of gathering
and freedom of meeting among the people," it said.
     But it said the government was concerned about unrest in the country,
and said the NLD must understand the government's concerns and that it must
cooperate with the government.
     The commentaries came after two days of defiant public support for Suu
Kyi's democracy party.
     Thousands of people packed the street outside her house on Saturday
for her regular weekly gathering and on Sunday for the first day of the
party congress.
     The government had tried to scuttle the three-day meeting by arresting
more than 250 NLD members set to attend.
     Instead of being cowed by the crackdown, Suu Kyi and the NLD announced
the party would forge ahead with its quest for democracy and the meeting
would only be the first in a series to plan party strategy.
     The second commentary also mentioned dialogue between the SLORC and
opposition, which Suu Kyi has repeatedly called for since her release from
six years of house arrest last July.