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Clinton blasts Burma Rulers (The Ti
Subject: Clinton blasts Burma Rulers (The Times of India, 28/11/96.)
Clinton blasts Burma rulers
People will punish Suu Kyi, says Rangoon
The Times of India, 28/11/96.
BANGKOK; US President Bill Clinton singled out military-led
Burma for criticism as he closed a mostly positive 12-day
Pacific trip filled with warm receptions and tours of ornate halls.
In Bangkok, the president delivered a speech at Chulalongkorn
University, where he said the refusal of Burma's rulers to move
towards democracy and the regime's involvement in narcotics
"are really two sides of the same coin, for both represent the
absence of the rule of law."
A day after Mr Clinton criticised Burma's rulers for repression,
the, country's military regime said on Wednesday that the
Burmese people would punish the pro-democracy leader
Commentary in Burmese newspapers reflecting the view of the
ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)
asserted that Nobel Peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi was
destabilising Myanmar, as the regime has officially renamed the
"The people of Myanmar are disgusted with Suu Kyi and her
cohorts, whom they have branded as traitors and ax handles,"
the commentary said. "Suu Kyi and her followers will be
punished by the peace-loving Myanmar people."
"Ax handle" is jargon the regime uses to mean stooges of
foreign countries the official view of Suu Kyi using pressure for
democratic reforms as a way to bring Burma under foreign
A mob allegedly organised by the government attacked Suu
Kyi's car on November 9 with iron bars and rocks. She was
unhurt. The attack signalled a new willingness by the regime to
use violence in increasing harassment of Suu Kyi and her
National League for Democracy.
Referring to her brief appearance before 500 supporters at a
Rangoon intersection last week, the commentary said Suu Kyi
"hoped to instigate unrest under the pretext of the democracy
movement. No one will accept her policy of disrupting peace
The US president praised the " brave reformers in Burma led by
Aung San Suu Kyi," the pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace
Prize laureate who has come under increasing pressure and
harassment from the military.
"Every nation has an interest in promoting true political
dialogue in Burma a dialogue that will lead to a real fight
against crime, corruption and narcotics and a government more
acceptable to its people," Mr Clinton said.
Earlier this year, the Clinton administration banned visits to the
United States by members of Burma's military government and
their families. The United States cut off economic aid to the
country following the crushing of a pro-democracy uprising in
1988. However, American companies continue to do business in