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Reuters 5/28 11:00
- Subject: Reuters 5/28 11:00
- From: mcs@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 28 May 1996 09:43:00
RANGOON (Reuter) - Burma's military government stepped up
the pressure on Aung San Suu Kyi Tuesday by staging a second
mass rally to denounce her just as she unveiled a series of
proposals to further her quest for democracy.
Some 40,000 people joined in a government-sponsored rally in
western Rangoon Tuesday. This was the second large rally in two
days where people chanted slogans to denounce traitorous acts by
the democracy camp to destabilize the country.
The rallies were intended to support the government's
current ``constructive activities'' and to condemn traitors, an
information ministry source said. More rallies are planned over
the next few day, he said.
Government-sponsored rallies are often staged, with the
military forcing people to attend, diplomats say.
Earlier Tuesday the government lashed out at Suu Kyi and the
NLD in official media, saying they should be regarded as
``public enemies'' and ``crushed'' for trying to destabilise the
The rallies and verbal attacks came just as a controversial
three-day meeting of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy
party was coming to a close with the party approving a series of
measures likely to infuriate the military government.
Suu Kyi said party delegates approved proposals to allow
senior members to draw up a draft constitution and proposed a
constitutional conference in the future that represented the
people of Burma.
The NLD angered the ruling State Law and Order Restoration
Council last November when it pulled out of government-sponsored
talks to draft a new constitution.
The NLD said the talks of mostly SLORC-appointed delegates,
which have been going on intermittently since 1993, did not
represent the will of the people.
Suu Kyi said the NLD also wants any future government to be
ruled by an elected parliament, with the armed forces taking an
``honourable'' but not a leading role. The government
constitution calls for military to play a leading role in a new
When asked about the rallies planned by the SLORC, Suu Kyi
dismissed them as organised by the authorities and ``awash with
hatred and vindictiveness.''
``It's very funny. They were supposed to be people's
rallies. In that case, I think we should also be allowed to go
out and have a large people's rally in the open field,'' she
``If these are really people's rallies...that means all the
people are free to go and have a rally. Actually of course they
are all organised by the authorities.''
Large public gatherings are not permitted by the SLORC
without approval. Every weekend, thousands of people gather
outside the gates of Suu Kyi's house to hear her speak, but so
far the government has not put a stop to them.
Suu Kyi also said the NLD passed resolutions urging the
SLORC to release all political prisoners and to free the 261 NLD
members it detained last week in an effort to scuttle the party
The SLORC says it has not arrested the NLD members, but only
detained them for questioning temporarily in an attempt to avoid
``anarchy'' or unrest that could have resulted from the