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INFORMATION SHEET No. A-0187(I/L) (r)
- Subject: INFORMATION SHEET No. A-0187(I/L) (r)
- From: nin@xxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 28 Oct 1997 04:05:00
RANGOON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Burma's military authorities on
Tuesday set up barricades and blocked opposition leader Aung San
Suu Kyi from holding a political gathering in a small town
outside the capital, an opposition source and witnesses said.
The government said Suu Kyi and her National League for
Democracy (NLD) party were told not to hold the gathering, and
said their insistence on trying to hold it despite the warning
would only slow down the country's moves towards democracy.
The gathering at Mayangon Township, about 11 km (seven
miles) from Rangoon, would have been the 1991 Nobel Peace
laureate's second political meeting outside the city since she
was released from house arrest more than two years ago.
Parts of the main Kaba Aye Pagoda road, including the lane
leading to the township NLD office, were still blocked with
barricades by early afternoon, witnesses said.
"They had a plan to hold a ceremony at a township NLD office
there at 9:00 (0230 GMT) this morning," a source from Suu Kyi's
NLD party told Reuters.
"The purpose of the ceremony was to reorganise the township
NLD youth wing and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was supposed to attend
it. However, access to the venue was barred by barricades by
security personnel," he said.
A statement issued by the ruling State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC) said it had warned Suu Kyi not to
hold the political meeting because it threatened the peace and
stability of the town.
The statement said Suu Kyi was requested several times, on
Monday and Tuesday, not to hold the meeting.
It said it regretted the decision by Suu Kyi and other top
NLD officials to try to continue with the gathering.
"It is very...regretful that in spite of the efforts the
authorities have made in meeting its own commitments the NLD
seems to have refused to meet theirs while it has chosen to hold
to its rigid and confrontational approach with the authorities,"
said the statement, released in English.
It said Suu Kyi's moves not only created conditions that
would embarrass the government but they were made with the
intent of bringing more international pressure on the SLORC.
Burma has been widely criticised for failing to recognise
the NLD's sweeping 1990 electoral victory.
A second statement issued by the SLORC late on Tuesday said
the NLD could be slowing down the country's moves towards
democracy by staging such activities.
"The NLD's taking advantage and exploiting this kind of
situation will regretfully prevent Myanmar (Burma) from becoming
a democracy in a reasonable amount of time if conditions
necessary to create a fully functioning democracy in Myanmar is
neglected and ignored by the NLD," the statement said, without
"The government as any other government in the world has
obligations to enforce laws intended to maintain tranquillity
and stability in its country," it said.
The first statement said Suu Kyi could hold meetings with
NLD members from townships at her home, but it did not want her
to travel and possibly cause unrest.
Suu Kyi could not be reached for comment.
Last week Suu Kyi -- who has been under close surveillance,
with her movements limited since last December -- was allowed to
meet NLD youth members and speak in a different township a few
miles outside Rangoon.
Analysts had said the move, which came on the heels of talks
between the government and some NLD officials, and after the
SLORC allowed an NLD party meeting to take place, could have
been a possible easing of tension between the military
government and the opposition movement.
1053 281097 GMT