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Burma Net News May 27, 1996 #423

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Date: Mon, 27 May 1996 22:25:40 -0700 (PDT)

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"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: May 27, 1996
Issue #423

Noted in Passing:
	I came here at 9:00 a.m., I had not planned to come today but 
	since I heard the government was trying to prevent their meeting 
	I purposely made, sure I would come."
	A 65-year old woman said on Saturday




       SEOUL, May 27 (Reuter) - South Korean President Kim Young- sam
expressed concern on Monday about recent events in Burma, saying human rights
should be respected, a presidential Blue House statement said.

    President Kim expressed deep concern about the continuing virtual house
arrest of Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the recent arrests
of her supporters in connection with a pro-democracy meeting in the country,
the statement said.

    ``President Kim strongly called upon the Myanmar (Burma) Government to
exert a greater effort for democratisation and respect human rights,'' it

    Kim, who became South Korea's first civilian president in 1993, had for
decades fought for the nation's democracy. On several occasions he was placed
under house arrest.

    Suu Kyi, who was released last July after being placed under house arrest
in 1989 for her outspoken attacks on the military, has vowed not to bend to
government pressure but continue in her struggle for democracy.

    She opened a three-day meeting of her National League for Democracy on
Sunday despite the arrests of more than 200 of her supporters.

04:41 05-27-96



Burma Centrum Netherlands News (BCNN)
AMSTERDAM - The Dutch government is strongly protesting to SLORC about the 
wave of arrests. "Slorc should have a dialogue with the democratic 
opposition. This to work co-operate to solve the current deadlock, that will 
bring Burma peace and stability that it deserves."
The Dutch statement is the next in a series of statements of the member 
states of the European Union. Sofar the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy 
have issued condemnations of the arrests.

The Dutch statement came late. Over the weekend just before the 
NLD-congress, the Dutch government did not take a bilateral position. 
Instead officials from the Dutch Foreign Ministry pointed to the statement 
from the EU, that would be read to the SLORC in Rangoon by the Italian 
On monday morning May 27th, it became clear to the Dutch government that 
there was no statement by the EU. The EU-statement had been veto-ed by the 
British, angry over the import ban on British Beef.
Later on Monday, the Dutch government released its own statement. 
(Full translated text included below this news-message)

Full text of the Dutch statement:


Statement of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (original in Dutch): 

The Hague, May 27, 1996.
The Dutch government is very worried on the latest developments in Myanmar 
(Burma). It protests strongly to the local autorities against the wave of 
arrests among the followers of the National League for Democracy (NLD). The 
NLD has in spite of that started her congress on the 26th of May.

The government calls on the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) 
to immediately release those arrested and to start a dialogue with the 
democratic opposition. This in order to together to work on a solution to 
the current deadlock, which should bring the peace and stability which it 



 BANGKOK, Thailand (Reuter) - Asian governments were mostly silent
Monday over the stand-off between Burma's military rulers and the embattled
democracy movement, but there were rumblings of concern from two of Rangoon's
few donors. 

Only Thailand among the members of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations expressed concern about the arrests and their consequences for the
future of democracy in Burma. 

President Kim Young-sam of South Korea, which earlier this year extended
a $15 million loan to Rangoon, said it should respect human rights. 

``President Kim strongly called upon the Myanmar (Burma) Government to
exert a greater effort for democratization and respect human rights,'' the
presidential Blue House said in a statement. 

Japan, Burma's major source of foreign aid, Monday called Aung San Suu
Kyi's convening of her pro-democracy National League for Democracy (NLD) a
``step forward'' in terms of increasing the activities of the country's
political parties. 

But Vice Foreign Minister Sadayuki Hayashi said Tokyo would monitor
Burma's military junta to see that it met demands for an immediate release of
detained dissidents and a halt to its harassment of pro-democracy advocates. 

Tokyo, whose $133 million of assistance in 1994 makes it Rangoon's
largest donor, will weigh its aid policy considering the country's progress
in democratization, Hayashi added. 

Commentators in the region were more vocal and questioned the wisdom of
admitting Burma to southeast Asia's regional association before democratic

Japan and Australia were quick to criticize Burma last Friday, denouncing
the sweep of NLD politicians. 

Western countries have been more forthcoming, condemning last week's
arrest of more than 250 Burmese dissidents by the military government which
has sought to block a congress of the NLD. Suu Kyi defiantly held the
congress Sunday. 

 Indonesia's biggest English-language newspaper said in an editorial that
it believed the concern expressed by Thailand reflected the feelings of the
other ASEAN members -- Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the
Philippines and Vietnam. 

``Given the widespread support which the NLD...appears to enjoy both in
(Burma) and throughout the world, we hope that both sides in the present
standoff...will see the wisdom of trying to jointly work out some kind of
solution that could gradually lead the country to the genuine peace and
stability which it deserves,'' the Jakarta Post said. 


11:50 05-27-96



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.



 Associated Press Writer
RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi opened the
second day of her opposition party's congress today, while Burma's military
rulers denounced her and her followers as dupes and "maggots" for going
ahead with the meeting.

The junta had staged mass arrests of delegates to try to block the
congress, the most important gathering of Suu Kyi's National League for
Democracy since she was released in July from six years of house arrest.
Proceedings were closed to the press, but she promised to talk to reporters

Opposition members also said today that an unknown number of the 262
delegates and party members arrested last week had been transferred to the
notorious Insein Prison near the capital, Rangoon. Human rights groups say
political prisoners at Insein are routinely tortured.

Suu Kyi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, opened the congress
Sunday despite the arrests of 238 congress delegates and 24 other party
members. She said the nationwide roundup was designed to prevent the
meeting; only 17 delegates were able to attend.
Wearing a traditional sarong, her hair tied back in jasmine flowers, Suu
Kyi spoke from her home, at a bamboo-and-thatch pavilion built especially
for the event. Banners displayed her party's emblem, a fighting peacock.
Some 300 supporters applauded every sentence and chanted "Long Live Aung
San Suu Kyi."

In a speech Sunday at Rangoon University, the leader of Burma's military
government, the State Law and Order Restoration Council, or SLORC,
denounced the opposition meeting. He accused the opposition of falling prey
to the United States and other Western nations, who he claimed seek to
colonize Burma, which the military calls Myanmar.

"There is a group of persons in Myanmar swaying to the enticement of a
big nation, which is attempting to bring Myanmar under its influence
through the pretext of democracy and human rights," Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt
said, in comments carried today in the state-run newspaper New Light of
Myanmar. "What they see is the bait and not the hook. They are doing as

The same newspaper ran a harsh editorial that called the pro-democracy
movement a foreign-orchestrated conspiracy using "maggots that can eat away
into the flesh."

It was impossible to confirm opposition claims that some detainees had
been transferred to Insein Prison. The regime claimed last week that those
detained were only being "questioned ... as guests of the government" at
undisclosed locations. None is known to have been released.

Amnesty International, the London-based human-rights group, reported
last year that at least 800 political prisoners were being held at Insein.
Interrogators reportedly beat prisoners unconscious, made them crawl over
sharp stones and forced them to remain in the blazing sun for hours.

In her comments Sunday, Suu Kyi said overriding goal of the congress is
to get the military rulers to accept the results of 1990 elections, in
which her party took 392 of 458 contested seats. The military rulers
refused to let the parliament convene.

Suu Kyi said the congress would be the first in a series of party
gatherings -- the next could be held within a few months, she said.
 She also took time out from the conference to make her weekly address to
the public. Some 8,000 people -- the biggest crowd in years -- gathered
outside the gates of her compound.

Authorities made no move to interfere with the crowd. The only security
forces visible were traffic police guiding vehicles away from the throng,
which remained peaceful.

More lively than usual, the crowd clapped and cheered as Suu Kyi and
other opposition leaders said they had grown tired of waiting for the
military regime to meet their appeals for dialogue.
"The SLORC should make up all the promises they have broken," Suu Kyi
said. "It's time they changed their ways. It's better late than never."
Even so, she held out an olive branch to the junta.
"We not only invite the people of our country, but also the authorities,
to join us," Suu Kyi said. "Because that is the only way we can bring good
and happiness to our land."


27.5.96/Bangkok Post

A REINVIGORATED Burmese opposition vowed yesterday to increase
the pace of its struggle for democracy as thousands turned out to
support it on the first day of a controversial party meeting.

Ebullient National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu
Kyi told a cheering crowd of about 10,000 people outside her
Rangoon home that the party would not bend to pressure from the
military government, but would push ahead towards its goal of
democracy for Burma.

"Giving into bullying is not good for ... the bully or those who
are bullied," she told a chanting crowd that lined both sides of
University Avenue. "We must have the courage to face the bully's
challenge. I am very pleased and satisfied to see the people have
real courage.'

Suu Kyi spoke after, the first day of a three-day party meeting
which the ruling militaryled State Law and Order Restoration
Council (SLORC) tried to scuttle by arresting most of the elected
politicians due to attend.

Instead of being cowed by 258 arrests, including 238 elected NLD
representatives Suu Kyi announced at the opening ceremony that
the meeting was only the first in a series of party gatherings to
chart the course of their campaign.

She told a news conference later the party hoped to hold a
meeting of all the NLD members elected in the May 27, 1990 polls,
once they were freed from detention.

The SLORC says it has not arrested NLD activists but only
detained them for questioning in order to avoid "anarchy".

Most Southeast Asian states have kept an official silence on
Burma's crackdown in contrast to protests voiced by the United
States, Britain, Australia and Japan.

The US said on Saturday it was "deeply concerned" about the
arrests and had sent a special envoy to discuss a coordinated
response with European and Asian allies.

Suu Kyi said the NLD, formed in September 1988 but later
intimidated into silence after the detention of its leaders and
hundreds of its supporters, plans a more active future.

"Our party work must increase in momentum. We need to have the
right to do more. We'll have to create opportunities and do more
as a political party.

"As you all know, the authorities tried very hard to prevent us
from holding this conference, but we were determined to go ahead
with it," she said.

Suu Kyi, 1991 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent
campaign, has stressed patience and moderation since her release
in July from six years' house arrest.

She said the campaign must now be stepped up, although that
decision was not made to test the SLORC's tolerance.

"We do what we feel we ought to do as a political party. We have
to have patience to a certain degree .... but patience does not
mean sitting and taking everything that they do to us. We have a
responsibility to the members of our party, we have a
responsibility to the people who elected us in 1990 ....?

The NLD was co-founded by Suu Kyi just days after the SLORC
finally crushed a 1988 uprising against military rule in which
thousands were killed of imprisoned.



27.5.96/Bangkok Post
by Deborah Charles 
Rangoon, Reuters

DESPITE a widespread DESPITE a widespread military crackdown on
pro-democracy activists, many Burmese who wait for hours in rain
or shine to see their heroine Aung San Suu Kyi are hopeful
democracy will come to their country.

Every weekend, thousands of citizens, seek a place to sit outside
the front gates of Suu Kyi's University Avenue residence, hours
before she begins her regular speeches.

Yesterday, as rain fell, people began staking their claims to
prime space as early as 11:00 a.m. five hours before Suu Kyi was
due to speak.

Young and old, they come from all walks of life and say they
listen to Suu Kyi speak to foster their hopes that democracy will
return to Burma.

"We are believers of democracy. We believe we will be victorious
because we are right," said Khin Nyo, who arrived several hours
before Suu K i's Saturday speech to get a good seat before the
first set of barbed wire road blocks that stop the people from
spilling into and blocking University Avenue.

"She answers our questions. She tells us not to make
confrontation," he added. "We want to change our country
peacefully, we don't want to make any strikes or protests."

The government's brutal supression of a 1988 pro-democracy
uprising is still fresh in the minds of many. Thousands of people
were killed or imprisoned during the demonstrations.

Many people said this weekend's attendance at the speeches was
particularly important as a show of support for Suu Kyi and her
National League for Democracy (NLD) party.

"I came here at 9:00 a.m., a 65-year old woman said on Saturday
when about 5,000 people endured pouring rain to hear Suu Kyi
speak. "I had not planned to come today but since I heard the
government was trying to prevent their meeting I purposely made,
sure I would come."

Yesterday, the NLD began a three-day party meeting-which was
originally meant to unite party members elected in a 1990
election. But after the military government detained
most of the 300 representatives due to attend, the meeting became
a party conference to discuss policy.

The NLD won a landslide victory in the 1990 election, but never
assumed power because the State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC) refused to recognise the results of the vote.

The weekend speeches at Suu Kyi's house are the only real show of
public support for the democracy movement in Burma, where it is
forbidden to hold public gatherings with out approval.

Same Burmese people said they were afraid to attend Suu. Kyi's
weekly meetings, or publicly support the party, because they
feared military reprisals.

"I want to have democracy but I am afraid to go to the speeches,"
one man said. "I do not want to go to jail. I have an old mother
and an old father.

"But nobody likes this military government," he added, echoing
the opinions of many interviewed recently. "They are very bad."
Many Burmese fear talking to foreigners, since the omnipresent
military intelligence often picks people up for questioning if
they are seen conversing with a foreigner.

But those attending the weekend speeches, which are monitored by
dozens of camera-toting plain-clothes intelligence officers, do
not show their fear.

"Long live Aung San Suu Kyi," the crowd chanted as sh appeared at
her traditional speaking position, peering over the top of her
front gate.



27.5.96/The Nation
Japan and Asean are emerging as the most important foreign
influences on the future course of Burma. Japan's generous
financial and humanitarian assistance and Asean's unconditional
political support have permitted the military regime, officially
called the State Law and Order Restoration Council, or Slorc,
to consolidate its position and withstand mounting pressure from
the West since 1988.

The release of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi last July
manifested Slorc's increased confidence in its ability to handle
domestic problems as it moved to brush up its international image
and improve ties with the countries in the region, especially
Asean states. Growing confidence, or perhaps arrogance,
subsequently convinced Slorc leaders that they could pre-empt
yesterday's National League of Democracy meeting by detention
more than 250 of its members.

Of all the countries, Tokyo is best-placed to ensure that Slorc
does not incarcerate the opposition because the Slorc leaders
have good relations with Japan and that country's politicians.
Before Suu Kyi was freed, the Japanese embassy was the only
country to be informed in advance.

It was not surprising that Japan was the first country to resume
the so-called "humanitarian aid" to Slorc immediately after her
release. Last year, Tokyo gave US$15.4 million (Bt385 million) to
Rangoon. Tokyo stopped its official aid to Burma after the 1988
coup but lifted the freeze last July and offered grants-in-aid
for programmes in nurse training.

Before 1993, countries like the US, Australia and Canada, and the
European Union were critical of Slorc. They had called for trade
sanctions against the regime which refused to surrender power
after losing the election in May 1990 and stands accused of
committing mass violations of human rights. Their attitudes have
somewhat softened mainly because of lobbying from Asean that the
situation would be better tackled by Slorc and the Burmese people
as well as countries in the region.

Sad but true, Asean has succeeded to a certain extent in the past
three years in bringing Slorc out of its cocoon and encouraging
it to participate in various activities. Burma, through Asean's
encouragement, attended numerous seminars on trade and economic
and political and security cooperation. The Slorc leadership's
coming out culminated with its attendance at a meeting for the
head of governments of Asean, Laos and Cambodia. Burma also
signed the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone last
December. In return, trade and investment between Burma and
individual Asean members has grown considerably.

Asean hopes that with repeated exposure and increased investment,
Slorc will change for the better. That has not happened yet.
Rangoon has conceded little in the areas of democratisation and
human rights. That explained why Thailand, one of the strongest
supporters of Slorc, took a different line this time. Foreign
Ministry spokesman Surapong Jayanama minced no words when he said
Thailand was concerned with last week's developments. He said the
arrests were considered counter-productive to the democratisation
and national reconciliation process in Burma.

Whether Thailand's tough response will prompt support from other
Asean members remains to be seen. At the least, Asean can no
longer ignore the Burmese issue and political developments there.
Asean needs to reappraise and, if need be, to forge a common
strategy in engaging Burma more seriously when its foreign
ministers meet in mid-July in Jakarta.

One of the options is to initiate dialogue between Asean and Suu
Kyi, after years of negligence. Such action would strengthen her
demand for a meaningful dialogue with the military leaders.

Asean's recognition of Suu Kyi will be a positive step in
bringing pressure to bear on Slorc. After all, Asean together
with Japan do have considerable leverage against the regime.
Postponing Burma's observer status in Asean and membership in the
upcoming Asean Regional Forum is an additional bargaining chip.

It is interesting to note that Asean has never adopted a common
position on Burma, especially on the constructive engagement
policy. This policy was first pronounced by Thailand in July 1991
in Kuala Lumpur in defending its support of Slorc against growing
criticism of Asean's Western dialogue partners at the time.

Since then, this policy has been mentioned or used by Asean
leaders sparingly. Each Asean country continues to pursue its
policy of Burma to ensure maximum benefit for itself, and its
trade and investments. Likewise, Asean has never criticised
Slorc. Among the dialogue partners, Japan has maintained the
highest profile in trade and economic cooperation.

In return, Burma has been trying to maximise its association with
Asean. Rangoon thought at the time that Suu Kyi's freedom would
win over Asean and gain it observer status in Asean and a seat in
the second Asian Regional Forum in Brunei last year. To Slorc, it
would serve as a rubber stamp for the much-needed legitimacy. But
it did not happen.

Most of the Western friends of Asean have now pursued a policy
that essentially follows in Asean's footsteps. They said that
they have common objectives to see a democratic Burma. They also
agreed to disagree on their approach toward Burma.

Some key political figures in the US have advocated strong
measures against Slorc for last week's crackdown. But this
pressure has yet to translate into a tangible policy against
Slorc. For instance, Senator Mitch McConnell, chairman of the
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, has
called for all-out trade sanctions against Burma. m the past,
former Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans had insisted that
Rangoon be set a a series of benchmarks in exchange for
international acceptance. Releasing Suu Kyi was but a small step
toward that objective.

Granted their close ties Slorc, Japan and Asean could have done
more to positively influence the future course there. At the
least, they should hold film that any deterioration of the
current political situation will not be welcome and it could
affect Burma's desire to integrate with the regional grouping.

Strategically speaking, both Japan and Asean see eye to eye that
Burma is too important to be left alone and excluded from the
Asean Regional Forum. They learned one hard lesson that leaving
Burma out in the cold was to leave the door open for China to
play a more dominant role there. In a similar vein, India, which
used to strongly oppose Slorc, turned around and in 1994 began to
court the regime as a balance to China.

In the final analysis, Japan and Asean can not go on backing
Slorc for the sake of countering the Chinese influence or merely
to prove the West wrong. They have to take into consideration the
public sentiment and the opposition's legitimacy. 

After all, a future Asean member that is popularly supported by
the Burmese people would be an asset. A pariah nation joining
Asean would be a shamed and undermine the organisation's



27.5.96/The Nation
Reuter, Agence France-Presse
WASHINGTON - The White House on Saturday said it was "deeply
concerned" about arrests by the military in Burma and will
dispatch a special envoy to discuss a coordinated response with
European and Asian allies.

"The United States is deeply concerned y reports that the
military regime in Burma is detaining hundreds of members of the
democratic government," White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry
said in a statement.

He also urged Rangoon to release "immediately and
unconditionally" more than 250 members of the opposition National
League for Democracy (NLD) who were arrested in the past week to
prevent them from attending the party congress, which began

"We have urged the regime to release all the detainees
immediately and unconditionally and not to interfere with the
effort of the National League for Democracy to meet at a
conference in Rangoon on Sunday [yesterday]," McCurry said.

He added that Washington would bring up the problems in Burma at
future G-7 meetings and at regional meetings in Asia.

McCurry said that the situation in Burma was "reviewed on Friday
at a senior-level White House meeting, where a decision was made
to dispatch an envoy to consult with European, Asian and other
friends and allies on a coordinated response."

An administration official, who asked not to be identified, said
it was expected that the White House will '"make a decision early
next week" on naming the individual who will consult with allies.

"We are very interested in seeing how the events of this weekend
unfold" before recommending an allied response, the official
said. The statement added that the United States had informed
Rangoon's military leaders of its concern as well as members of
the international community.  

In Rangoon, NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi announced at the congress
yesterday that 262 NLD members - 238 elected MPs and 24 ordinary
supporters  have been arrested and detained by the ruling 
Burmese State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) since
last Monday.

She said more arrests were likely, since nothing had been heard
from some remote parts of the country.



27.5.96/Bangkok Post
A New crisis confronts the pro-democracy movement in Burma.

Activists in Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy,
the largest opposition element, have been arrested one after
another by the military junta, the State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC).

The National League for Democracy is planning a rally beginning
yesterday in front of Suu Kyi's house to mark the sixth
anniversary of the 1990 election, in which the organisation won
by a landslide. Those arrested had expressed their intention to
join the demonstration. It is clear that SLORC intends to block
the rally.

About 200 have been arrested, and there are fears for the freedom
of the league's leaders, including Suu Kyi. The situation is

It has been a little more than 10 months since Suu Kyi was freed
from a six-year-long house arrest. We had hoped and urged that a
dialogue be re-established between the military junta and the
pro-democracy elements.

Each nation has its own history and certain stages of
development, so the question of democracy cannot be addressed
uniformly. But the guarantee of free speech and assembly is a
universal element of democracy. SLORC has warned that the planned
demonstration by the National League for Democracy would be
contrary to law and order, and said it would take resolute action
to stop it. In Burma, gatherings of five or more people are

It may be said that SLORC seems confident of being able to
forcibly suppress the pro-democracy movement. But the junta may
also be acting out of haunting fear.

The military junta came to power in 1988 through bloody
suppression of the democracy movement, conducting a general
election In 1990 while holding Suu Kyi under house arrest. With
the stunning victory for the National League for Democracy,
however the Junta retained control by asserting that a change of
government. would be conditional upon enactment of a new
Constitution. The junta has continued to cling to power while
controlling the process of writing the new constitution.

The cause for concern is that Suu Kyi and other leaders of the
democracy movement are seen to have changed their approach
adopting a desperate effort to mobilise the masses to press for a
breakthrough. This pent-up discontent could erupt and very
suddenly get out of control. The tragedy of 1988 proves that.

Asahi Shimbun



by-Atsuo Hirata ( Asahi Shimbun )
 27 May, 1996 
Rangoon- Pro-democracy Leader Aung San Suu Kyi said Sunday that
her National League for Democracy( NLD ) has started discussing
a new constitution for Burma in its three-day congress.The NLD 
was planning to setup a special committee to draft a new 
constitution, Suu Kyi told a press conference after the first
day session of the congress of party members. The NLD move is
being seen by knowledgeable observers as an attempt to draw the
military junta's State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)
into negotiations with the NLD. Since Suu Kyi's release from
house arrest in july, 1995 there has been no contact between the 
two sides.
	By presenting its draft constitution, the NLD will able 
to publicize its blueptint for a democratic society, thus forcing
the hand of the junta, observers added. Originallly the NLD 
congress was intended to be a three-day meeting of the NLD 
legislators elected in the 1990 general election, which the military
refused to recognize after first-time opposition candidates won
392 out of 485 contested seats. This plan had to be drastically 
revised after the junta last week arrested 238 parliamentarians,
plus about 30 other NLD party members, in an obvious effort to block 
the congress. 
	About 300 NLD members attended the first-day session held in 
Rangoon, but only 17 of them had won parliamentary seats in 1990.
Embassy officials of several countries including Japan, the United-
States, France, Thailand and Australia were invited to the meeting's
opening session Sunday. The military regime did not block roads
leading to the congress or obviously interfere with Sunday's 
proceedings." The first thing that the government must do is to hold
a parliament according to the result of the 1990 election," said 
Suu Kyi. But Suu Kyi also said the NLD will keep the door open to 
negotiations with the SLORC. "The only way we will go along is to
invite not only the people but also the government." she said.
	NLD's central committee, its top decision-making body, will
announce a declaration or resolution on Tuesday, the final day of 
the congress. Suu Kyi told about 5,000 citizens gathered in front of
her house  that the first-day session was a great successs.



source : ABSDF (WR)
On 26 May 1996 at 10:30pm, Capt: Kaung Zan Oo, The Chairman of the 
Tamu-Township Law & Order Restoration Council intruded to the NLD 
office in Tamu (Near Indo-Burma border). When U Kyi Sung Khan(a)Pa Khan, 
the Chairman of the Tamu-Township NLD resisted the order to remove NLD 
signboard by him, Capt: Kaung Zan Oo called the carpenter and removed the 
signboard by force.



1. The 4th Conference of the NCUB was successfully held from May 16, 1996
to May 23, 1996 at a location in the liberated area.

2. Representatives of all four member organizations of the NCUB, being
those of the Democratic Alliance of Burma (DAB), the national Democratic
Front (NDF), national League for Democracy - liberated Area (NLD-LA), and
Members of parliament Union (MPU) which is composed of elected members of
parliament of the May 1990 general election and ministers of the National
Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), attended the
conference, in force.

3. At this 4th Conference of the NCUB, representatives of the four member
organizations have held discussions and deliberations, in a free and frank
manner, and have successfully established, a step further, a stronger
unity between the prodemocracy and resistance forces. After elevating the
NCUB as a unified force, on the basis of equality, mutual respect and
understanding, the conference firmly laid down the four main objectives,
viz. the abolition of military dictatorship, establishment of peace and
democracy, and the establishment of a genuine federal union.

4. The unanimous approval of a draft Constitution for a further federal
Union of Burma, which is an improvement of the Constitution drafted by the
DAB, as the NCUB's proposed first draft and the decision to further make
improvements on it until a better and more complete second draft is
achieved, by collective effort, show that the cooperation within the NCUB
is gaining greater momentum.

5. The following objectives have been laid down as the grand strategic
programmes of the NCUB. (1) To oppose the results of the Slorc's sham
National Convention. (2) To assist and support the anti-military
dictatorship campaign launched by the NLD under the leadership of Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi and pro-democracy forces inside the country. (3) To work for
the emergence of nation-wide and politically directed movement against the
military dictatorship. (4) To work for the reduction of international aid
and assistance to the Slorc.

6. the Conference unanimously decided to demand the Slorc to hold a
tripartite dialogue participated by pro-democracy forces led by Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi, the ethnic nationalities forces and the Slorc, for the
solving o the political problems by political means, on the basis of
equality and mutual respect. In anticipation of the Slorc agreeing to hold
a genuine tripartite dialogue in accordance with the demand of the NCUB,
the Conference laid down, as mentioned below, a political programme that
can be agreed to by all, in order to realize, in practice, genuine
national reconciliation. (1) After signing an agreement based on the
positions formed by the leaders in the tripartite dialogue, the Slorc is
to declare a nation-wide cease-fire, to release all the political
prisoners and to rescind all the repressive laws and orders; (2) To form a
parliament consisting of representatives elected in May 1990 general
election; (3) This parliament is to declare a general amnesty, to form an
interim coalition government consisting of persons chosen pursuant to an
agreement reached at in the tripartite dialogue and to adopt an interim
constitution for the interim government. (4) The interim government is to
organize and hold a genuine national convention for laying down principles
for the constitutionof a future federal union. (5) The parliament is to
draft a constitution based on the principles laid down by the national
convention and to enact it. (6) A government of the people is to be
elected and formed in accordance with this new constitution.

7. This conference seriously calls upon the Slorc to stop arresting
leaders of the NLD led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the elected
representatives, and release them unconditionally, to cease oppressing the
people and to hold a genuine tripartite dialogue for the establishment of
national reconciliation.

8. Finally, this Conference of the NCUB earnestly calls upon governments
of the world, international organizations and the people to keep a close
watch on the current developments in Burma, to review the policy of
constructive engagement and to suspend relation or aid to the Slorc until
and unless the Slorc undertakes genuine political change for freedom and

Date. may 27, 1996


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