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AP: The NLD Congress Resolution Urg
- Subject: AP: The NLD Congress Resolution Urg
- From: ktint@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 28 May 1996 12:36:00
Subject: AP: The NLD Congress Resolution Urge SLORC to Talk
The NLD Congress Resolution Urged SLORC to Talk
By AYE AYE WIN
Associated Press Writer
RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi ended a daring
meeting of pro-democracy forces Tuesday by urging Burma's military regime
to honor the results of a 1990 election and return the country to civilian
Taking the challenge to Burma's ruling junta a step further, Suu Kyi
announced opposition plans to draft an alternate constitution to one being
drafted by a government-stacked panel.
An opposition-drafted constitution -- even while unenforceable -- would
provide Burma's people with a clear contrast between a system emphasizing
democracy and human rights versus one weighted toward a paramount military.
"They regard everything we do as confrontational," Suu Kyi told
reporters, referring to the government. "But there's nothing in the law
that says you have no right to draft a constitution."
The three-day meeting, which opened on the sixth anniversary of the 1990
parliamentary election, posed a symbolic challenge to the legitimacy of the
junta, which arrested 238 of the delegates in a nationwide roundup last
week. Only 18 eluded arrest and attended.
Suu Kyi, who won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to bring
democracy to Burma, appealed to the military Tuesday to free the detained
The delegates were opposition candidates who competed in the May 27,
1990 parliamentary elections that Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy
won by a landslide. The junta refused to let the parliament convene.
Suu Kyi pledged in her opening speech Sunday to step up opposition
activities and hold more conferences -- implicitly daring the regime to
crack down again and risk a new round of international condemnation.
Reading the congress' resolutions to reporters Tuesday, Suu Kyi also
urged the government to open a dialogue with the opposition and said the
powerful military should be subject to control by a civilian parliament.
Offering an olive branch to the military, the resolutions stated that
the armed forces were "a necessary institution in this country and we
endorse the view that the armed forces should be an honorable institution
which will take care of the defense of the nation and help bring about
Burmese music played as Suu Kyi walked to the podium to read the
resolutions before about 200 supporters under a specially built
bamboo-and-thatch meeting hall draped with the fighting peacock banners of
her National League for Democracy.
The meeting was the most important gathering of opposition activists
since Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent
promotion of democracy, was freed from six years of house arrest in July.
Newspapers reported Tuesday that 90,000 people -- far higher numbers
than visible on state-run television reports -- attended
government-orchestrated rallies in Rangoon on Monday to denounce the
opposition as "destructionists" bent on causing anarchy.
Banners at the pro-government rallies bore slogans such as: "Those who
create disturbances are our enemies. Those who destroy law and order are
our enemies. Those who let themselves be used by foreigners are our
The junta's reaction to the meeting has swung between calling Suu Kyi a
"maggot" and politely but firmly refusing any dialogue with her. The tone
is harsher in the English-language press, with the apparent aim of
countering foreign criticism of the regime.