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Burma political meeting held
RANGOON, May 26 (UPI) - A handful of activists met Sunday at the
home of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as dozens of pro-
democracy lawmakers who were scheduled to attend her rally remained
in the custody of Burma's military regime.
The meeting, attended by only about 20 supporters, was held on
the eve of the sixth anniversary of elections won overwhelmingly by
the National League for Democracy but voided by the military
More than 200 of Aung San Suu Kyi's supporters were rounded up by
the government, known as the State Law and Order Restoration
Council, in the days before the scheduled meeting.
"Tomorrow is the sixth year of the multiparty elections held for
the first time in 30 years in 1990 and these elections were a clear
demonstration of the people's desire to supplant dictatorship with
democracy," Aung San Suu Kyi said.
In Washington, the White House again condemned the detentions of
pro- democracy activists as it has done several times in recent
"The United States is deeply concerned by reports that the
military regime in Burma is detaining hundreds of members of the
democratic movement. We have urged the regime to release all
detainees immediately and unconditionally, and not to interfere with
the efforts of the National League for Democracy to meet at a
conference in Rangoon on Sunday," the White House said in a
The NLD won 392 of 485 contested seats in the 1990 election but
the military refused to hand over power.
"To implement the results of the elections is the duty not only
of the Burmese people but also of the world community and this is
clear from the resolutions on Burma adopted by the United Nations,"
said Aung San Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate who spent
six years under house arrest in Rangoon before being freed last
She called on the government to convene a Parliament formed with
the representatives elected in 1990, arguing that the longer this
step was delayed, the more the country would suffer.
"I would invite the authorities to join us in this task," she
told reporters gathered at her lakefront home.
Last week, the U.S. State Department said it would pressure
Burma's Asian neighbors to urge the Rangoon government to respect
human rights and freedom of expression.
"We are gratified that a number of governments around the world
have joined us in condemnation of the actions of the Burmese
military regime, " the White House said.
Aung San Suu Kyi said Sunday's meeting was intended to be a
conference of the elected parliamentary representatives of the NLD,
"but since 235 of them have been detained, we are unable to carry on
with the original plan."
"So this is not a meeting of the NLD parliamentary
representatives but the first of a series of congresses we are
holding," she said.
Speaking earlier, NLD President U Aung Shwe, a retired general
and ambassador, urged the government again to open a dialogue with
the NLD to find solutions for the country's political problems.
The state council was established in 1988 after a military junta
seized power from the socialist government. The military voided
democratic elections held in 1990.
Copyright 1996 United Press International. All rights reserved.