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Panlong Agreement: February 1947 
To  overcome  the  last  obstacle to independence from Britain, the Burmese
National Leader Aung San (father of  Daw  Aung  San  Suu  Kyi)  arranged  a
conference  at  Panlong  on  12 February 1947 for the purpose of forming an
alliance between the Burmese and the leaders of the ethnic minorities.  The
ethnic  minorities  agreed  to  form  a union with the Burmese in which the
ethnic states would acquire equal status based on  the  principles  of  the
right to self determination and political autonomy and social equality with
the  Burmese  majority.  All  signatories to the Panlong Agreement demanded
independence from Britain. The Panlong Agreement  formed  the  basis  of  a
unified federal Burmese state.
24 September 1947 
On  19  July  1947  General Aung San was assassinated along with six of the
country's Executive Councillors. Following  the  death  of  Aung  San,  the
proposed  Constitution  was  amended  to  establish  a  unitary  system  of
Government thereby abolishing the federal system which had formed the basis
of the Panlong Agreement.  The  Constitution  was  hastily  adopted  on  24
September 1947.
4 January 1948 
On 4 January 1948 Burma became and independent nation formerly known as the
Federal  Union of Burma. The Constitution contained Article X which granted
the right of succession to the Shan and Karenni states  at  the  end  of  a
period of ten years from the date of the adoption of the Constitution.
1948 to 1960 
After 1948 Burma experienced a brief period of parliamentary democracy. The
first  post  independence  general elections were held in 1951. This period
was  characterised  by  unresolved  constitutional  crises  including   the
question of whether the Karenni and Shan minorities were entitled to secede
from the Union in accordance with Ariticle X of the Constitution.
Conference of the Ethnic States Unity and Solidarity Organisation in 1961 
At  a  conference of the Ethnic States Unity and Solidarity Organisation in
1961 the ethnic minorities expressed their concern at  the  ineffectiveness
of  the  1947 Constitution and reasserted their adherence to the principles
underlying the Panlong  Agreement,  namely  federalism  and  the  right  to
self-determination   for   ethnic   minorities.  The  conference  delegates
supported the Karenni and Shan's decision not to secede from the Union.
2 March 1962 
The army headed by General Ne Win seized power from  the  Burmese  civilian
government.  The  military  regime  subsequently  instituted  a campaign of
systematic human rights violations and arrested all of the constitutionally
elected Burmese national and ethnic leaders. Although the 1947 Constitution
was never formally repealed it was replaced by the 1974 Constitution in  an
attempt  to  underpin the power base of the socialist government of General
Ne Win.
8 August 1988 
Pro-democracy uprisings were violently suppressed  on  the  orders  of  the
Burmese  military.  Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators were massacred
or imprisoned.
18 September 1988 
General Saw Maung issued Declaration 1/88 which announced the abolition  of
all  civilian  government  institutions and the establishment of a nineteen
member junta known as the State Law and Order Restoration Council  (SLORC).
Thereafter, SLORC outlawed all public demonstrations and arrested thousands
of  Burmese  citizens,  ethnic  minorities  and  opposition political party
20 July 1989 
On 20 July 1989 following a further campaign of suppression, Daw  Aung  San
Suu  Kyi,  the Secretary General of the National League for Democracy (NLD)
was placed under house arrest without trial. She  presently  remains  under
house arrest.
27 May 1990 
National  elections  for Burma's Parliamentary Assembly were held on 27 May
1990. The opposition NLD party secured 392 of the 485 seats in the National
Assembly. The National UNity Party (the former  Burmese  Socialist  Program
Party)  supported  by  SLORC won only ten seats. SLORC refused to recognise
the election and transfer power to the elected NLD civilian government  and
refused  to  allow  the  National Assembly to convene. SLORC imprisoned the
NLD's  main  party  leaders.  SLORC  issued  Declaration   1/90   in   self
justification of its refusal to relinquish power.
First Session of National Convention 9 January 1993 to 11 January 1993 
The  National  Convention  Commission  was formed by SLORC in 1992 with the
objective of convening a National Convention of delegates  to  discuss  and
formulate   a   new  federal  and  democratic  constitution.  The  National
Convention first met in January 1993 and continues to meet in  session  for
the  purpose  of  finalising  a  new  federal constitution. Despite SLORC's
apparent desire  to  create  a  constitutional  foundation  for  a  genuine
multi-party  democratic  system  in Burma, its insistence that the military
participate in the political leadership of Burma illustrates  that  SLORC's
pronouncements of constitutional reforms are a mere "sham".

After  seizing power on 18 (September) 1988, SLORC has progressively issued
laws, declarations and martial law orders in  an  attempt  to  justify  its
abolition  of the civilian government institutions and to secure power unto
itself. The principle declarations and laws are briefly set out hereunder.
Declaration Number 1/88 
Declaration Number 1/88 was issued upon the violent assumption of power  by
SLORC  on  18  September  1988  "in order to save the general deteriorating
situation in the whole country". The military assumed the  responsibilities
of  all  state  organs  purportedly  "for the welfare of the people". SLORC
outlined four objectives in accordance with its "basic  duty  to  save  the
Union of Burma from the dangers of disintegration", namely:
   "(a)  maintenance  of law and order, prevailing peace and tranquility in
   the country;
    (b) providing secure and smooth transportation;
    (c) ... better conditions of food, clothing and shelter of  the  people
    and  to  render  necessary  assistance  to  the  private sector and the
    co-operatives to do so;
    (d) to hold multi-party democratic general  elections  when  the  above
    measures are completed."
Law Number 1/88 
On  21  September 1988 SLORC promulgated Law Number 1/88 for the purpose of
"holding multi party democracy general elections successfully in the  Union
of Burma."
Law Number 4/88 
On  27  September  1988  Law  Number  4/88  was  issued  for the purpose of
registering all political parties. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's  National  League
for Democracy Party ("NLD") was registered pursuant to that law.
Declaration Number 6/88 
On 24 September 1988 Declaration Number 6/88 was issued. That Declaration
stated that:
    ".... all laws existing on the 18 September 1988, the date on which the
    state  Law  and Order Restoration Council took charge of the sovereign
    powers of the State, shall remain in force until and unless repealed."
Pursuant to Declaration Number 6/88 SLORC continued to rely upon  a  regime
of oppressive laws previously enacted by the U Nu Government. For instance,
the Emergency Provisions Act 1950 had prohibited a wide range of activities
such  as  those  allegedly  aimed  at  the   "disintegration  of  the moral
character of the people and methods causing harm to the security,  the  law
and  order  and  rehabilitation  of the State". That Act had been passed in
1950 to contain communist and ethnic rebellions following the  promulgation
of Burma's independence in 1948.
Martial Law Order Number 1/88 
Military  tribunals  were    established on 17 July 1988 by Martial Law Order
Number 1/88 which empowered the military to  conduct  "summary  trials"  of
civilians.  Martial Law Order Number 1/88 Allowed no right of appeal from a
conviction and provided only three form of sentences, namely:
  (a) three years imprisonment with hard labour;
  (b) life imprisonment;
  (c) death sentence.
Law Number 2/88 
Law Number 2/88 known as the "Judicial Law"  was  issued  on  26  September
1988.  Pursuant  to  the Judicial Law, SLORC constituted the Supreme Court.
The Judicial Law was purportedly based upon the  following  principles  and
   (a) to administer justice independently according to law;
   (b)  to  protect and safeguard the interests of the people and to aid in
   the restoration of law and order and peace and tranquility;
   (c) to educate the people  to  understand  and  abide  by  the  law  and
   cultivate in the people the habit of abiding by the law;
   (d) to work within the framework of law for the settlement of cases;
   (e)  to  dispense  justice  in open court unless otherwise prohibited by
   (f) to guarantee in all cases the right of  defence  and  the  right  of
   appeal under law;
   (g)  to  aim  at  reforming moral character in meeting out punishment to
Martial Law Order Number 2/89 
Despite the passing of the Judicial Law, SLORC continued to rule by  decree
and military tribunals exercised jurisdiction over all criminal matters. In
1989  Martial  Law  Order  2/89  established the following procedures to be
observed by the military tribunals:
   (a) the waving of unnecessary witnesses;
   (b) conviction without hearing prosecution witnesses;
   (c) all decisions to be final.
Persons tried by the military tribunals were commonly charged  pursuant  to
Section  5(j)  of  the  Emergency  Provision  Act  1950 which prescribed an
offence for anyone who:
    "Causes or intends to disrupt the military or the behaviour of a  group
    of  people  or  the  general  public  ... or to disrupt the security or
    reconstruction of stability of the Union."
Another commonly applied offence was Section 10 of the State Protection Law
1975. When SLORC arrested more than forty members of the NLD including  Daw
Aung  San  Suu  Kyi on 20 July 1989, they were initially held and sentenced
under Section 10(b) of the State Protection Law 1975 which provided:
    "The Government may order up to three years detention or  house  arrest
    without charge or trial for anyone the authorities believe, will do, or
    is  doing,  an  act  which  endangers the peace of most citizens or the
    security and sovereignty of the State".
In September 1992, the military tribunals were abolished. Since that  time,
the civil courts have dealt with all criminals as well as political trials.
Almost all political cases are tried in court rooms in prison compounds and
are not open to the public. Reports from Burma indicate that due process is
largely  ignored and verdicts are manipulated in political trials. In other
cases, although defendants  may  have  access  to  a  defence  attorney,  a
defendant's  counsel  serves  little  real  purpose other than to provide a
pretence of justice. Although defence attorneys are permitted to  call  and
cross  examine  witnesses,  their  primary purpose is to "bargain" with the
judge to obtain the shortest possible sentence for their clients.

Declaration 1/90 
On 20 July 1989 Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was  placed  under  house  arrest  and
excluded from participating in the forthcoming multi-party elections. Those
elections  were  eventually  held  on  27  May  1990  which  resulted  in a
resounding victory for the NLD Party.  The  NLD  secured  392  of  the  485
contested seats in the National Assembly.
On  27  July 1990 SLORC issued Declaration 1/90 in an attempt to legitimise
its refusal to transfer power to the democratically elected NLD party.
SLORC continually cites Declaration 1/90  as  self  justification  for  its
continued  legitimacy  as  a  military government and its governing of the
country by martial law.
Clause 2 of Declaration 1/90 refers to the four basis  duties  outlined  in
Declaration  1/88  following  the  assumption  of  power by the military in
September 1988.
Declaration  1/90  blatantly  admits  the  SLORC  is  not  bound   by   any
constitutional  or  legal  imperatives  other  than  those laws, orders and
directives which SLORC has itself issued. Clause 6 states:
     "The State Law and Order Restoration  Council  (Tatmadaw)  is  not  an
     organisation  that  observes  any  Constitution; it is an organisation
     that is governing the nation by Martial Law. It  is  common  knowledge
     that  the  State  Law  and  Order Restoration Council is governing the
     nation by Martial Law. It is common knowledge that the State  Law  and
     Order  Restoration  Council  is  governing  the  nation  as a military
     government and that it is a government that has been accepted as  such
     by the United Nations and the respective nations of the world."
SLORC  therefore  also  attempts  to derive legitimacy from the fact of its
recognition by other sovereign nations as well as its  participation  as  a
member state in the United Nations General Assembly.
A  full  copy of Declaration Number 1/90 is attached to this Submission and
marked "A".
Order Number 11/92 
On 24 April 1992 Order Number 11/92 was issued for the purpose of convening
a National Convention to draft a new federal constitution. The  drawing  up
of  such  a  constitution  was  first foreshadowed by SLORC in Clause 21 of
Declaration 1/90 referred to above.
Order Number 13/92 
On 2 October 1992 SLORC issued Order Number  13/92  which  established  the
National Convention Commission with the following objectives:
     (a) Non disintegration of the Union;
     (b) Non disintegration of the national solidarity;
     (c) Perpetuation of sovereignty;
     (d) Flourishing of a genuine multi-party democratic system;
     (e) Further burgeoning of the noblest and worthiest of worldly values,
     namely justice, liberty and equality in the State;
     (f)  For  the  Tatmadaw  (military)  to  be able to participate in the
     national political leadership role of the State.
Since the convening of the first session of the National Convention from  9
January  1993  to 11 January 1993, the National Convention has continued to
meet in session up to the present time. Given the  objective  contained  in
sub-paragraph  (f)  above,  if  the  new federal constitution is ultimately
approved by the National Convention Commission, the  military's  domination
of  Burmese  politics  will  be  formalised  and legitimised for all future
governments in Burma.
The role of the military in Burma's political future was reiterated by Mr U
Aung  Toe,  the  Chief  Justice  and  Convening  Chairman  of  the  National
Convention's Work Committee. In a speech delivered on 16 Spetember 1993, he
referred  to  the  military's  participation  in  the  "national  political
leadership role  of  the  State".  Mr  Aung  Toe  also  proposed  that  the
membership of the lower and upper houses of the proposed parliament and the
state  and  regional  assemblies  include  military  personnel  "in numbers
stipulated by the State Constitution". Such military personnel were  to  be
appointed  by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The head of state
would be a president drawn from the ranks of the military and the  military
would  be govern the autonomy and "the right to independently administer all
affairs concerning the armed forces". In the  case  of  state  emergencies,
"the  Defence  Services  Commander  in Chief has the right to take over and
exercise State power".
The role of the military outlined by Mr Aung Toe  and  in  particular,  the
powers  of  the  Commander in Chief in the case of a State emergency, would
legitimise  any  further  military  coup  by   reason   of   the   proposed
constitutional provisions.
Shortly  thereafter,  the  "Panel  of  Chairmen"  of the various committees
comprising the National Convention announced that there was  a  "consensus"
in  support  of  the  proposals  concerning the role of the military in the
Constitutional framework referred to above. Although SLORC has attempted to
create an  imprimatur  of  legitimacy  for  the  National  Convention,  the
pronounced   objectives  of  the  Convention  and  the  membership  of  the
Convention   and   its   committees,   illustrates   SLORC's   attempt   at
constitutional  reform  to  be nothing less than a "sham". For instance, of
the approximately 690 members of the National Convention, approximately 600
delegates were selected directly by SLORC to represent groups such as  "the
workers",  "the peasants" and "the intellignetsia". Further, of the 392 NLD
Party members of Parliament elected in the May 1990 elections, only 15 were
allowed to participate in the Convention. Similarly,  only  15  of  the  23
elected  members  of parliament from the Shan National League for Democracy
(SNLD) were permitted to participate in the Convention. Six  delegates  who
attended  the  Convention  were from parties which did not win any seats in
the 1990 elections.
Until a new constitution is drafted by SLORC which embodies its  objectives
for Burma, SLORC is determined that it alone will exercise all Legislative,
Executive  and  Judicial  power.  SLORC  refuses  to  convene  the National
Assembly on the pretence that such  power  can  only  be  obtained  from  a
constitution  and it refuses to recognise the legitimacy of either the 1947
or 1974 Constitutions.
On  16  May  1991  the  Australian  Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade,
Senator Gareth Evans, stated to the Australian Parliament:
        "Indeed, it is now increasingly difficult to avoid  the  conclusion
        that,  as much as we hoped and believed otherwise at the time, [the
        election in Burma] was a fraud to flush out democratic leaders  and
        make   it  easier  to  move  against  the  dissident  groups  using
        increasingly intimidatory methods."
Senator Evans reiterated his belief that Australia "should do what  we  can
to focus the world's attention on the situation in Burma."
It  its "Reviews of Australia's Effort to Promote and Protect Human Rights"
in December 1992, the Human Rights Sub-Committee of the Joint Committee  on
Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade identified various courses of action for
Australia  aimed  at  promoting  and  protecting  human  rights  in  Burma
   1. Sponsoring a resolution in the United  Nations  General  Assembly  to
   declare Burma's seat vacant;
   2.  Calling  for  Burma's  Least  Developed  Country  (LDC) status to be
   3. Calling for the United  Nations  General  Assembly  to  instruct  the
   United  Nations Development Program (UNDP) and all allied UN agencies to
   cease all operations in Burma;
   4. Calling for a UNited Nations trade and arms embargo against Burma;
   5. Closing Austrade office in Rangoon.
Unfortunately, none of the recommended  actions  identified  by  the  Human
Rights Sub-Committee have been implemented by Australia. Partly, the reason
for the government's reluctance to pursue those recommended avenues was the
difficulty in mobilising international support.
The Australian Government's current policy towards Burma is based upon:
   1. No resumption of bilateral development assistance without substantial
   progress in the political and human rights field;
   2. A ban on defence exports;
   3. A suspension of Austrade visits to Rangoon although a locally staffed
   Austrade  office  in  Rangoon  would  be  maintained  with guidelines to
   "neither encourage nor discourage" trade;
   4. The provision of  humanitarian  assistance  to  Burmese  refugees  in
   Bangladesh and Thailand "as needs dictate";
   5.  Endeavouring to restrict the assistance programs of UN organisations
   to "grass roots activities";
   6. Support for UN consensus resolutions calling for political and  human
   rights reform;
   7.  Urging  influential  and  mainly  regional countries to assert their
   influence with SLORC to promote a policy change.
The  Australian Government has announced several benchmarks in  its  policy
which, in addition to the unconditional release of Daw Aung  San  Suu  Kyi,
   (a) the commencement of a serious dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi;
   (b) access to political prisoners by international human rights groups;
   (c) progress in the proposed dialogue between SLORC and the UN;
   (d) a clear timetable for the constitutional process;
   (e)  the  provision  of  legal  guarantees  for  the  rights  of  ethnic
   (f) the cessation of forced labour and forced porterage;
   (g) the repeal of censorship and state protection laws;
   (h) a review in reduction of sentences imposed for political activity.
The Australian Government's benchmark policy on Burma does not address  the
more fundamental issue of denying SLORC the legitimacy which it purports to
enjoy  by  reason of its recognition by the international community and its
participation in the United Nations General Assembly  as  a  member  state.
Declaration 1/90 clearly reveals that SLORC derives a significant amount of
its "legitimacy" from its recognition by the international community.
Furthermore,   the   Australian   Government's   benchmark   policy  merely
perpetuates SLORC's  misleading  and  deceptive  pronouncements  concerning
constitutional  reform  and  attempts to institute multi-party democracy in
Burma.  SLORC's  purported  desire  to  institute  a  genuine   multi-party
democratic  system in Burma cannot reconciled with its objective to involve
the military in all aspects of national political leadership and  reserving
to  the  military  full  autonomy  and  full  state  powers  in the case of
SLORC continually relies upon the National Conventions as being part  of  a
program towards the establishment of a constitutional multi-party democracy
in  Burma  in  accordance  with Declaration 1/90. The representation of the
membership of the Convention and of its committees illustrates the lack  of
genuineness  of  SLORC's public pronouncements in support of constitutional
and democratic reform.
For  these  reasons,  the  benchmarks  proposed  by   Senator   Evans   are
SLORC's attempt to rely upon the sham of the National Convention to satisfy
international  concerns  at  the  lack  of  progress  towards democracy are
evident from a publication on 30 December 1992 in the state owned newspaper
"The Working People's Daily". The  article  was  in  response  to  a  draft
resolution  introduced  in  the  UN  Third Committee deliberations on human
rights questions on 3 December 1992. The article stated:
        "One thing that surprised (and saddened) me was the  total  neglect
        to  mention  the  National  Convention  soon  to be convened. Every
        structure of society will be represented at the Convention, elected
        represented of the  1990  elections,  representatives  of  all  the
        national  race  of  our  country,  representatives of the political
        parties under the very strata of our society - which will unite the
        diverse desires of these peoples under one mandate that will be the
        backbone  of  the  constitution  to  be  drafted  by  the   elected
        representatives.  Everyone  is  looking forward to the convening of
        this very significant convention and as it is the only way  towards
        establishing  a  constitutional  democracy  in  our country. If the
        biased and unsubstantiated views of a country's outlaws are  to  be
        give  more  consideration  than  those of its government, then what
        hope is left for the future of our people ?"
The resolution  was  adopted  on  4  December  1992.  In  response  Burma's
permanent  representative  to  the United Nations said that "the caravan of
Myanmar's political process will role on along its set course  and  at  its
set  pace  until  it  reaches  its  goal.  [The  resolution] will in no way
influence the measures which my government is   committed  to  implementing
with  a view to establishing a strong and enduring constitutional democracy
in Myanmar".
That statement accords with several other published  statements  over  many
years  by  SLORC's  members. For instance, on 23 September 1988 General Saw
Maung announced in a speech  that  "all  the  armed  forces  personnel,  my
colleagues  and I would like to solemnly promise not to hold onto power for
a long time. We will not break this promise for any  person.  Moreover,  we
additionally  promise  that  the armed  forces, after transferring power to
the democratically elected government which will emergence from a free  and
fair  election, shall only perform its principal tasks of defence, security
of the state and maintaining law and order ...."
On 7 October 1988, U Maung Maung Gyi, SLORC's permanent  representative  to
the  United  Nations,  addressed  the  43rd  Regular Session of the General
Assembly and said:
        "No outside power can prescribe for Burma what her future political
        destiny should be, for it is the right of the peoples to  determine
        their own future. In order that the Burmese people would be able to
        exercise  the  rights, the state authorities have announced and are
        making arrangements for holding general  elections  that  would  be
        free  and  fair  and which all political parties can participate so
        that a multi-party democracy system  which  the  people  have  been
        aspiring may be successfully established."
In  October 1990, Burma's Foreign Minister stated that "SLORC will continue
to exercise martial law, until  such  time  that  a  firm  constitutionally
established   government   is   accepted.   In  the  exercise  of  judicial
responsibility, martial law is being applied in serious cases which warrant
such actions."
After the general elections in  May  1990,  SLORC  abandoned  all  previous
promises  and  issued  Declaration 1/90. SLORC's violations of human rights
and disregard of the rule of law has continued unabated. SLORC's refusal to
relinquish power and recognise the results of the general election  are  in
no  way  excused  by  its  convening  of the National Conventions or by the
holding or recent meetings with Aung San Suu Kyi.
The recent increased military activity and  continued  hard  line  policies
cannot  in  any  way  suggest  that  SLORC  is  genuine  in  its desire for
multi-party democratic reform, the assimilation of ethnic minorities into a
federated  union  or  the  removal  of  the  military  from  the  political
leadership.  The fall of Manerplaw in late January 1995 will only encourage
SLORC to maintain its present policy of pursuing military solutions  in  an
attempt to destroy its political opponents.
It  is  therefore  encouraging  that Senator Evans announced on 21 February
1995 that he has received regional backing for Burma  to  be  discussed  in
detail  at  the  first  ASEAN  Security  Meeting in July. Senator Evans has
stated that Australia and regional nations should be prepared to reconsider
their current position since the  regime's  apparent  desire  for  peaceful
reconciliation  has  been  reversed  by the fighting and stalled talks with
Aung San Suu Kyi.
Australia must remember that SLORC has no intention of relinquishing  power
either  now  or in the near future. SLORC's blatant disregard for the human
rights of its people has continued unabated; it has increased its  military
activities against the ethnic minorities and political opposition groups in
the  Thai-Burmese  boarder  areas;  it  has  continually  broken its public
promises to institute multi-party democracy in Burma and created a pretence
at  constitutional  reform  by  the  establishment  of  the  Constitutional
Convention.  SLORC's framework for reform merely reinforces and perpetuates
the role of the military in all burmese  political  matters.  It  is  worth
remembering  the  words of Lieutenant-General Aung Ye Kyaw who announced in
September 1991 on state Burmese radio:
        "We cannot say for how long we will  be  in  charge  of  the  State
        Administration. It might be five years or ten ..."

<I>Sd. MALCOLM R. GRACIE                  
Convenor, Burma Sub-Committee               
International Commission of Jurists            
Secretary, Overseas Burma Liberation Front</I>
<I>Full  text  of State Law and Order Restoration Council Declaration No. 1/90
is as follows:-</I>
The Sixth Waxing Daw of Wagaung, 1352 ME
(27the July, 1990)
1.      Myanmar Naing-Ngan became an independent and  sovereign  nation  on
4th January, 1948.
2.       The  situation in the whole of the country deteriorated because of
the disturbances during 1988. The Tatmadaw took over State Power  in  order
to  control the deteriorating situation in time and in the interests of the
people. The Tatmadaw abolished all the Organs of State Power including  the
Pyithu  Hluttaw,  formed  the  State  Law  and  Order  Restoration Council,
declared that it would carry out the four  main  tasks  and  undertook  the
responsibility of all the affairs of the State.
3.        The   State  Law  and  Order  Restoration  Council  issued  laws,
notifications, declarations  and  orders  which  have  the  force  of  law,
required  for effectively ensuring prevalence of law and order, the rule of
law and peace and tranquility throughout the country.
4.      In order to cease the food, clothing and shelter  problems  of  the
people  and to enable private, co-operative and joint venture businesses to
be undertaken, the State Law and Order Restoration  Council   has  repealed
the  restrictive laws and has issued necessary laws, orders, directives and
orders which have the force of law. Moreover, it is carrying  out  measures
which  should  be undertaken with a view to serving the long-term interests
of the State.
5.      The State  Law  and  Order  Restoration  Council  is  carrying  out
measures  which  should  be  undertaken  in order to ensure safe and smooth
transportation and communications and to improve the same.
6.      The State Law and Order Restoration Council (Tatmadaw)  is  not  an
organization  that observes any constitution; it is an organization that is
governing the nation by Martial Law. It is common knowledge that the  State
Law  and  Order  Restoration  Council is governing the nation as a military
government and that it is a government that has been accepted  as  such  by
the United Nations and the respective nations of the world.
7.       As  regards  international  relations,  the  State  Law  and Order
Restoration Council has declared that it will  pursue  an  independent  and
active  foreign  policy  and  has  friendly  relations  with the respective
nations of the world. With a view to promoting better diplomatic  relations
with  the respective nations the Government has not closed down any embassy
in Myanmar Naing-Ngan but has allowed them to continue to operate;  neither
has  it  withdrawn  Myanmar  embassies  from  foreign  countries,  but  has
continued to keep  them  open  and  maintains  normal  relations  with  the
respective  nations. Furthermore, the Government has even opened an embassy
in a country in which there was no Myanmar embassy previously.
8.      Myanmar Naing-Ngan being  a  member  of  the  United  Nations,  the
Myanmar  Embassy  to the United Nations strictly pursues the foreign policy
of Myanmar Naing-Ngan in international matters and in performing its duties
concerning the United Nations. Myanmar Naing-Ngan abide by  the  principles
of  peaceful  co-existence  in  its relations with other nations. MOreover,
Myanmar Naing-Ngan defends and safeguards its independence and  deals  with
other  nations' interference in its internal affairs in accordance with the
provisions of the United Nations Charter.
9.      In order to avoid disruption and  severance  of  relations  between
Myanmar Naing-Ngan and other nations, the Government magnanimously has time
and  again  told  some diplomats who have violated their diplomatic code of
conduct not to interfere in its internal affairs without  mentioning  their
names  and  the  nations to which they belong. Furthermore, it has informed
the matters to the embassies concerned through diplomatic channels.  As  it
has  been  able  to  avoid  matters  that may cause disruption of relations
between nations and governments by doing  so,  there  has  not  arisen  any
problem.  Misunderstandings  due  to  the activities of some diplomats have
been cleared with magnanimity, through diplomatic channels.
10.     The State Law and Order Restoration  Council  (Tatmadaw)  has  been
persistently  carrying  out  the  three  main  tasks  -  that of preventing
disintegration  of  the  Union,  preventing  disintegration   of   national
solidarity  and that of ensuring perpetuity of the sovereignty of the State
from the time it has assumed the duties and responsibilities of the  State.
Everybody  is aware that on the other hand it has launched major offensives
and crushed all  sorts of armed insurgents, sacrificing  the  lives,  blood
and  sweat  of  many  members  of the Tatmadaw. Since the Tatmadaw is not a
political organization, it did not hold negotiations with the insurgents by
political means. However, it welcomes all  those  who  have  renounced  the
programme  of  armed  struggle  and  returned  to the legal fold and a body
formed by it is carrying out resettlemet work for them. Since the State Law
and Order Restoration Councial is not a political  government,  it  has  no
reason  at  all  to  negotiate  by political means with any armed insurgent
11.     In order to enable the Multi-Party Democracy General Election to be
held, the State Law and Order Restoration Council enacted  the  Multi-Party
Democracy  General  Election  Commission  Law  and  formed  the Multi-Party
Democracy  General  Election  Commission.  It  also  It  also  enacted  the
Political  Parties  Registration Law to enable political parties wishing to
stand for the election to get themselves registered. Moreover, in order  to
hold a free and fair multi-party democracy general election, it enacted the
Pyithu Hluttaw Election Law.
12.      Section  3  of  the Pyithu Hluttaw Election Law provides that "The
Hluttaw shall be constituted with  the  representatives  elected  from  the
constituencies  in  accordance  with  this  law."  The  State Law and Order
Restoration Council  will  take  measures  for  summoning  the  Hluttaw  in
accordance with this provision. The Information Committee has, from time to
time  explained that the Multi-Party Democracy General Election Commission,
the parties which won seats in the election and the elected representatives
should carry out measures which should be carried out  in  accordance  with
the law and rules.
13.      Today,  after  the Multi-Party Democracy General Election has been
held, matters relating to summoning the Hluttaw and transfer of  power  are
being discussed in bulletins and panphlets published; guidelines in respect
thereof  are  being  given  and  incitements  and  instigations  are  being
undertaken by foreign broadcasting  stations  and  illegal  pamphlets  and
leaflets are being distributed.
14.     The matter of summoning the Hluttaw has been explained earlier. The
Chairman  of  the  State  Law  and  Order Restoration Council has explained
matters relating to transfer of power in the addresses  he  has  made  from
time  to  time  in  his  meeting with the Command Commanders, Commanders of
Light Infantry Divisions and  Chairmen  of  State/Division  Law  and  Order
Restoration   Councils.   The  Secretary-1  of  the  State  Law  and  Order
Restoration Council explicitly dealt with this matter at  the  100th  Press
Conference held on 13th July, 1990.
15.      There  will  be  no necessity to clarify the fact that a political
party cannot automatically get the three aspects of the State  Power -  the
legislative  power,  the  executive  power  and  the  judicial power - just
because a Pyithu Hluttaw has come into being and  that  they  can  only  be
obtained  on  the  basis  of  a  constitution. The Constitution of 1947 was
accepted and approved by the Constituent Assembly on 24th September,  1947.
However,   it  can  clearly  be  seen  from  the  legal  aspect  that  that
constitution came  into  force  only  on  4th  January  1948  when  Myanmar
Naing-Ngan  was  declared an independent and sovereign State. There are two
types of constitutions for a nation  -  one  drawn  up  before  the  nation
becomes  independent  and  the  other  drawn up after the nation has become
independent. The tradition followed by the respective  nations  which  have
attained  independence is that they hold constituent assemblies and draw up
the constitutions only after they have acquired sovereign  power.  However,
in  Myanmar Naing-Ngan independence was declared only after the Constituent
Assembly had drawn up the constitution. It is clear that this  was  due  to
the  fact  that  the  leaders  of the nation in those days wanted to obtain
independence from the British by peaceful means as early as possible.
16.      The  Constitution  of  1974  was  drawn  up  after  the   nation's
independence  had  been  gained  and no one can deny the fact that it was a
constitution promulgated through a national referendum.
17.     It is necessary to note particularly the  difference  in  that  the
Constitution of 1947 was drawn up before the independence of the nation was
attained  and  that  the  Constitution  of  1974  was  drawn  up  after the
independence of the nation had been attained.
18.     It can be seen from the statements issued that the  desire  of  the
majority  of  the  political  parties  which  contested  in the Multi-Party
Democracy General Election is to draw up a new  constitution.  It  will  be
seen  that  when  the Constitution of 1947 was drawn up, matters concerning
the national races were discussed only  with  the  Shan,  Kachin  and  Chin
nationals  at the Panglong Conference and that they were not discussed with
the Mon and Rakhine nationals. Today, in Myanmar Naing-Ngan there are  many
national  races  who have awakened politically and it is obvious that it is
especially necessary to draw up a firm constitution after soliciting  their
wishes and views.
19.      As  the  State  Law  and  Order  Restoration Council is a military
government, it exercise Martial Law. As such it  exercises  the  following
three aspects of State Power in governing Myanmar Naing-Ngan:
    (a) Legislative power: Only the State Law and Order Restoration Council
        has the right to exercise it.
    (b) Executive  power:  The State Law and Order Restoration Council has
        the right to exercise it. However, it has delegated this power  to
        the   Government,   State/Division,  Township  Zone,  Township  and
        Ward/Village-tract Law and Order Restoration Councils at  different
        levels and has caused administrative work to be carried out through
        collective  leadership.  This  is  a form of giving training to the
        service personnel so that they will be able to perform, by  keeping
        themselves  free  from party politics their departmental work under
        the  government  that  will  come  into  being  according  to   the
    (c) Judicial power: The State Law and Order Restoration Council has the
        right  to exercise it. However, the Government has formed courts at
        different levels to adjudicate on ordinary criminal and civil cases
        so that they will have practical training when a constitution comes
        into being.
20.     Consequently under the present circumstances,  the  representatives
elected  by the people are those who have the responsibility to draw up the
constitution of the future democratic State.
21.     It is hereby declared that the  State  Law  and  Order  Restoration
Council will in no way accepting the drawing up of a temporary constitution
for  forming  a  government  to take over State Power and that it will take
effective action if it is done so, and that in the interim period before  a
government  is  formed  in accordance with a new firm constitution drawn up
according to the desires and aspirations of the people, the State  Law  and
Order Restoration Council (Tatmadaw) will defend and safeguard -
    (a) the  three  main  causes  -- such as the non-disintegration of the
        Union,  non-disintegration  of  national  solidarity  and  ensuring
        perpetuity of the sovereignty;
    (b) of  the  four  main  tasks  mentioned  in  the State Law and Order
        Restoration Council Declaration No 1/88 such as the  prevalence  of
        law  and  order,  the  rule of law, regional peace and tranquility,
        ensuring safe and smooth transportation and  communication,  easing
        the  food,  clothing and shelter problems of the people and holding
        Multi-Party Democracy General Election, the first three main  tasks
        (with  the  exception  of  the  task  of  holding  the  multi-party
        democracy general election) and
    (c) the task of bringing about the  development  of  all  the  national
        races of Myanmar Naing-Ngan.
                                        By order,
                                        Sd. Khin Nyunt
                              The State Law and Order Restoration Council

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