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Burma Military Allows Opposition Me
Reuters New Media
Friday September 26 5:01 PM EDT
Burma Military Allows Opposition Meeting
By Aung Hla Tun
RANGOON (Reuter) - Burma's ruling military government said Friday it would
permit the opposition National League for Democracy Party (NLD) to hold a
two-day special meeting from Saturday to mark the ninth anniversary of its
But the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) said in a statement
permission had been granted on condition the number of participants was
limited to 300 and the meeting was conducted in an orderly manner.
"The permission has been granted to hold the meeting with 300 participants and
to conduct in in a peaceful and orderly manner," a government statement said.
The SLORC statement laid rest to fears that the military might disrupt the
special meeting planned by the NLD in Rangoon at the lakeside residence of its
leader, Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
When the NLD planned a similar meeting on Sept. 28 and 29 last year, the
military government thwarted it by detaining over 400 delegates in different
regions and preventing them from attending temporarily.
An NLD source said hundreds of party delegates had already arrived in the
"About 500 delegates from different parts of the country have now arrived in
Rangoon to attend the meeting," he added.
He said about 600 delegates had been expected to attend the meeting, which
would review the party's activities and lay down future plans and policies.
In May this year, regional authorities prevented about 100 NLD delegates from
attending a meeting to mark the seventh anniversary of a general election in
1990 which the party won but whose victory the ruling military never
The NLD has been at loggerheads with the SLORC over human rights abuses,
repression and the military's curbs on its political activities.
The NLD has sent invitation cards to Rangoon-based representatives of the
foreign media to attend but government sources said foreign journalists were
not given visas to come to Rangoon to cover the meeting.
Suu Kyi, whose telephone went unanswered, and other senior NLD party officials
were not available for comment.