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Resolution of FDL-AP
Declaration on Transition from Dictatorship to Democracy
by the Conference of the Forum of Democratic Leaders in the Asia-Pacific
(Manila , Philippines, November 2-4, 1996)
The FDL-AP was inaugurated in Seoul, Korea in 1994 as an Asian regional
of democrats and their supporters world wide dedicated to advancing the
of all members of society in the decisions affecting their lives.
The members and supporters of the FDL-AP met in Manila Philippines 2-4
1996 to address the issue of "Transition from Dictatorship to Democracy:
for Burma and Asia".
The conference believes that military role, indeed authoritarian rule by
anywhere, is out of tune with the spirit of out times, and is
unacceptable. It is clear
from the recent experiences in Bangladesh, Korea, Pakistan, the
Taiwan that the will of the people for a truly representative government
ignored or resisted for long.
the lessons from successful transitions underline the need for a
broad-based unity to
be sustained by the pro-democratic forces and for their effort to be
striving for national reconciliation, eschewing reprisals and assuring
development of all sections of the people. And these efforts need
significant and co-
ordinated support from the United Nations and other international
Accordingly, procedures for the restoration of democracy in Burma should
without delay and without further violence through a process of dialogue
and in a
spirit of achieving national reconciliation among all parties involved.
The conference observes:
- the election in Burma in May 1990 expressed clearly the will of the
for representative democratic government, with overwhelming support for
National League for Democracy (NLD ) led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
- Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the leaders of the NLD continue to call for
dialogue with the State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc).
- the Slorc continues to reject dialogue and has recently employed
methods of arrest,
detention, and public propaganda against the democratic forces in Burma.
The conference participants do hereby:
- send their warm greetings to and express their solidarity with Daw Aung
Kyi and others in Burma who are engaged in the struggle for the
democracy and assure them of the unstinted support of the conference
all democracy-loving people everywhere;
- express their grave concern at the worsening political and economic
- condemn the recent tightening of controls over the Burmese people, the
their elected representatives and the members of the NLD, the imposition
restrictive measures on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and the escalating military
in ethnic areas;
- recognize that Burma's economic and social development will only be
by the restoration of democracy and human rights, and the creation of a
free and vital
- note the failure of the ASEAN policy of constructive engagement to
meaningful political change in Burma and call for the international
critically review the merits of the constructive engagement policy;
- note the importance of the supporting role of the international
the Asian Pacific region and beyond- in bringing democracy and peace to
-commend the initiatives taken by the leaders and members of FDL-AP to
attention on the situation in Burma.
The members and supporters of the FDL-AP do therefore recommend that no
taken or allowed which may be construed as encouraging legitimacy of the
regime, and specifically:
1) Urge ASEAN governments not to grant early membership to Burma, but
- strongly support the beginning of a meaningful tripartite dialogue
between Slorc, the
democratic forces led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the ethnic nationalities;
- urge Slorc to completely restructure the composition and procedures of
convention in such a way that it reflects the true will of the Burmese
expressed in the May 1990 elections, and to guarantee full freedom of debate.
2) Urge the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to critically and openly address
various security related issues deriving from the continuing military
rule in Burma
such as the oppression of major ethnic nationalities and rapidly growing
refugee, health and narcotics problems.
3) Urge the ASEAN dialogue partners to play an active and
in redefining ASEAN's position towards Burma.
4) Urge the international business community not to invest in Burma until
government regarded legitimate by the Burmese people is in place. We,
urge the regional business an tourist associations to critically review
position regarding entering the Burmese market.
5) Urge the international aid and lending agencies not to resume
6) Urge ASEAN and the international community to help and encourage the
Philippines and Thailand to take a leading role in promoting a peaceful
transition towards democracy in Burma.
7) Encourage closer co-operation among regional non-governmental
strengthen their support for the non-violent struggle in Burma, sot hat
the causes of
human dignity and peaceful conflict resolution through consultation an
8) Encourage political parties in the region to positively influence
government's Burma policy.
9) Urge the UN member countries to exert all possible efforts for
implementing UN resolutions on Burma.
10) Urge China and ASEAN to join an arm embargo on Burma as observed by
and the EU.
11) Encourage Japan, the world's largest economic assistance donor, to
take a leading
role in convincing the Slorc to enter into a decisive political and
12) Promote awareness among all parties concerned that solving the
ethnic conflicts in Burma is a key to achieve a peaceful and democratic
The conference participants endorse the efforts of the FDL-AP's leaders
to encourage the peaceful restoration of democracy in Burma, and in
these efforts to regularly meet with ASEAN governments, and to urge the
allow Madame Corazon Aquino and Dr. Kim Dae-jung, co-presidents of the
to visit Burma to meet with the Slorc, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and
the conference participants encourage the FDL-AP members and supporters to
implement a FDL-AP action plan for Burma.