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Mainichi Exclusive w/DASSK
- Subject: Mainichi Exclusive w/DASSK
- From: carol@xxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 27 May 1996 11:01:00
Mainichi Daily News, Sunday, May 26, 1996
Exclusive interview: Suu Kyi vows to stay course
RANGOON -- Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi declared her will
to continue the struggle against the country's military rulers, in an
interview with the Mainichi Shimbun on Friday.
"They are just nervous. They are just frightened. They're acting like
this because they are frightened," says Suu Kyi, the leader of the National
League for Democracy (NLD), in her first exclusive interview with a news
organization after the junta detained over 200 opposition activists.
"They just want to stop the conference and they want to stop democracy
because they don't want to give up power,"she said.
The NLD plans to hold a party conference starting Sunday to mark its
victory in abortive general elections in 1990, when the NLD took 392 of 485
"We can't ignore the results of the 1990 elections, and the government is
trying to ignore them but can't ignore them," said Suu Kyi. "We will go
ahead with the conference and we will do what we have to do."
"When I was released (from house arrest in July last year), I said nothing
has changed. I was released and that was all," the Nobel Peace Prize winner
said. "Now you can see I was right. This is not progress. This is going
Suu Kyi appeared tense but showed no signs of exhaustion during the interview.
She criticized Japan and ASEAN countries for their "constructive
engagement" with Burma, a policy of strengthening trade ties and providing
economic assistance to promote the democratization of Burma.
"If the Japanese government says it (constructive engagement) works, show
us the proof, or some proof of development toward democracy. Constructive
engagement does not help us to achieve democracy in Burma." She urged Tokyo
to reconsider its policy.
Activists urge halt to aid
In response to the junta's crackdown on opposition activists, Burmese
pro-democracy organizations in Tokyo also called for an immediate halt to
Japanese economic assistance and investment.
Win Khet, chairman of the National League for Democracy Liberated Area,
urged the Japanese government to stop its assistance, including humanitarian
The government has granted a total of 1.6 billion yen for a nursing school
At a press conference held Friday at the Foreign Ministry, Win Khet said
there is no system to verify if aid granted by Japan is actually used for
Burmese in need. He gave as an example a welfare association that had
received a Japanese grant run by the wife of a high-ranking military official.
Aung Thu, secretary of Burma Youth Volunteer Association, also said at the
Tokyo press conference that the Burmese people do not like the fact that the
Japanese government and corporations are working with Burma's military rulers.
According to the Myanmar Investment Committee, Japanese private investment
in Burma reached about 107 million dollars during the first nine months of
1995. Japan is the seventh largest investor in Burma, following Britain,
Singapore, France, Thailand, the United States and Malaysia.
* * *
Typist's Note: Many thanks to Watanabe-sensei, a Tokyo lawyer, and his
assistant "Billy" Ishikawa for arranging the press conference at the Foreign
Ministry. They are true friends of the Burmese people (and lots of fun at