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Lawyers seek an end to Burma's nati
Date: 07 Oct 1997
Lawyers seek an end to Burma's national body
A REPRESENTATIVE of the Burma Lawyers' Council yesterday called for the
dissolution of the National Convention, established by the ruling State, Law
and Order Restoration Council in 1991.
Speaking to hundreds of regional legal experts and social scientists at a
regional symposium on ''Law, Justice, and Open Society in Asean," Aung Huoo
said that the National Convention, which has the responsibility to draft
Burma's constitution, is just Slorc's attempt to manipulate the political
process through a legal device.
''The convention has been cloaked in legal and consultative artifices to bring
an appearance of form to an illegitimate process. And with that, the military
junta wish to gain domestic and international legitimacy and credibility,"
said Aung Huoo.
The symposium was organised by Thammasat University's Law Faculty and the
Konrad Adenauer Foundation.
After the popular uprising in Burma in 1989, the military junta decided to
hold a national democratic election in 1990. But it abruptly aborted the
election after the National League for Democracy led by the Nobel Peace
Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory. Soon after that, Slorc
retrospectively decreed that those elected in 1990 have a duty to frame a
constitution for the future democratic state. Then in April 1993, the ruling
junta issued a declaration titled, ''The Convening of a National Convention."
''This was in fact to negate the 1990 democratic election. The essence of the
declaration was that power would not be transferred to the elected
representative, but it would continue to reside with Slorc," said Aung Htoo.
The National Convention process is controlled by the ruling military junta, as
out of the 485 elected representatives, only 99 were permitted to attend. The
other 603 members were chosen by Slorc. The junta has also ordered the
convention to turn out a constitution that guarantees the military the leading
role in future national politics, said Aung Htoo, who is also the BLC