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ABOUT THE SLORC'S PROPAGANDA WRITER
Subject: ABOUT THE SLORC'S PROPAGANDA WRITERS
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 1996 10:42:38 +0930
/* Written Sat 1 Jun 6:00am 1996 by DRUNOO@xxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:reg.burma */
/* -------------" About the SLORC's propaganda writers "-------------- */
There was a puzzlement about some articles - of which are distinctive in
tone and contents - recently featured in the SLORC's media. One article
said to have taken a tougher stance on the NLD's weekend congress while
the other seems to have taken a softer tone.
To my knowledge, the SLORC's propaganda-writers, most of the time, write
rather independently of the SLORC's decision making circle. These people
are just some individual underdogs who try to make a living out of
writing (there are no alternatives either - all media in Burma are
controlled by the government.) Although it must not be ignored altogether
of their contents and tones, these articles in SLORC media cannot be
considered strictly as the policy pronouncements of the SLORC.
In these days, SLORC also seems to have hired foreigners to write its
propaganda. In 1994, for example, SLORC hired a public relation firm to
deal with the task. The contents of various speeches delivered by SLORC's
foreign minister at the international forums - including the rebuttals
given to the inquiries of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights - are highly
suspectable to be the products of those firms (or individuals). How the
SLORC will react to a situation cannot be judged simply from its media,
including its own statements.
Helpful in this regards is to look at the direct speech of SLORC's top
officers - it may give a little more accurate picture. Even these speeches
cannot be considered strictly as SLORC's policy since the contents are mixed
with SLORC's usual xenophobic-rhetoric.
The best way, in my opinion, to predict how the SLORC will react to a
situation is to judge by our own experience. Too many time it is learnt
is that unless the SLORC been put into a corner and thoroughly being
intimidated, no concession would be forthcoming.
With best regards, U Ne Oo.
ASIA: BURMA REGIME SEEN UNSURE HOW TO REACT TO SUU KYI
BURMA SIGNALS (NEWS ANALYSIS)
By Deborah Charles of Reuters
RANGOON, May 27 Reuter - Burma's military government has sent
mixed signals to the country's reinvigorated democracy movement,
suggesting there may be some uncertainty about how to deal with the
challenge to its power, analysts said today.
A day after National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San
Suu Kyi defied government detention of NLD supporters and vowed to
carry on with and even step up the campaign for democracy, the
military rulers seemed uncertain how to respond.
Commentaries in state-run Burmese-language newspapers today were
at odds, one warning the democracy camp it was committing treason
while another took a milder tone, even suggesting support for
"This dual track does generally reflect there are urgent
discussions going on within the SLORC," one diplomat told Reuters,
referring to the ruling military State Law and Order Restoration
He and other analysts said the reaction, and government
attitudes toward the weekend congress of NLD members, showed there
could be some change to the SLORC hard-line tactics.
The SLORC in recent months has attacked the NLD and tried to
make life difficult for Suu Kyi and her party.
It imprisoned one of Suu Kyi's close friends and other NLD
supporters, prevented her from going to Mandalay and made a steady
stream of attacks in official media on the opposition.
In a crackdown launched last week, the SLORC seized more than
250 NLD members who planned to attend the three-day party congress
that began at Suu Kyi's lakeside home yesterday.
After widespread international condemnation of the arrests,
SLORC spokesmen said the NLD members had only been detained for
questioning because the meeting might lead to "anarchy."
"What happened last week backfired," one diplomat said. "I think
they underestimated the NLD."
Far from being cowed by the arrests of most of the members due
to attend the congress, Suu Kyi opened the meeting yesterday saying
the NLD would increase its activities and hold a series of
conferences to plan party strategy.
"It seems the SLORC has bungled. Far from dismaying the
opposition, they have given it more strength," said another
diplomat, agreeing with a comment Suu Kyi made earlier this week
that the SLORC could be the NLD's "secret friend."
The meeting was to be the first gathering of about 200-300 NLD
members who won parliament seats in the 1990 election. The SLORC
called the poll, but annulled the results when the NLD swept 82
percent of the seats.
One diplomat said the SLORC likely would be forced to rethink
its plans after being surprised by the strength of the
international reaction to the arrests.
"They were widely taken aback by the international
condemnation... especially that of Japan and Thailand," he said.
In a rare, strongly-worded protest, Japan's foreign minister
called for the release of the detainees and an end to harassment of
the pro-democracy camp. A Thai spokesman expressed concern.
Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda last week also warned visiting
Burmese Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw in Tokyo that Rangoon's crackdown
had dampened the enthusiasm of Japan's business community for
investing in Burma.
Similar statements were made by many Western nations.
"One thing I know: the landscape has changed now. There is more
of a feeling of hope," said one diplomat, referring to the
thousands of people who chanted outside Suu Kyi's gates at the
weekend to show support for the democracy movement.
"The nitty gritty is that the democracy opposition can no longer
be ignored," he added.
Another diplomat agreed, but said it was too soon to tell what
might happen next or if the SLORC should ever agree to Suu Kyi's
repeated calls for dialogue.
"It's a waiting game. Let's see how it plays out over the next
few days," he said.