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Four NLD members missing
- Subject: Four NLD members missing
- From: brelief@xxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 20:49:00
Four NLD members missing
RANGOON, Oct 29 (AFP) - Four members of the party of Burmese
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi are missing after being detained
by security forces on Tuesday, a party source said Wednesday.
The four were held after authorities moved in to stop Aung San
Suu Kyi addressing a youth meeting at the National League for
Democracy (NLD) office in Mayangone township on the outskirts of
They were taken away after a tussle with riot police when they
refused to leave the area of the office. There was no information on
them as of Wednesday evening.
Aung San Suu Kyi was stopped outside the barricaded party office
in a three hour standoff early Tuesday, as security forces dispersed
a gathering that was waiting for her.
The party source said 70 members of the NLD who were caught
inside the office building when barricades were set up were taken
away in trucks and released miles away. They had since returned
The NLD will try to hold similar meetings in the future at other
Rangoon townships despite Tuesday's crackdown provided local party
branches are willing to face the consequences, the source said.
The party has said Aung San Suu Kyi will take a personal role in
promoting the organisation of the party's youth wing.
The ruling junta has shown signs of moderating its
uncompromising stance against the NLD since Burma's controversial
entry into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in July. It
offered talks, albeit without Aung San Suu Kyi's participation.
Hundreds of delegates from around the country were finally
allowed last month to attend a party convention -- the biggest in
seven years -- at Aung San Suu Kyi's residential compound in the
A foreign analyst said the junta was making clear it would not
allow the NLD leader to hold political meetings outside her
residence, where she was previously kept under house arrest for six
A senior government official on Tuesday slammed the NLD for
"defying" the law and trying to cause confrontation by attempting to
hold what he called a rally without official permission.
The NLD was hoping to use Tuesday's incident to embarrass the
ruling junta so that the international community would be "tricked
into exerting pressure on the Myanmar (Burma) government," he
Authorities routinely maintain a traffic blockade either side of
the NLD leader's home and restrict her outside political activities.
Visits to the compound are limited and phone lines are often cut.
The NLD won the last elections held in the military-run state in
1990. The ruling junta, the State Law and Order Restoration Council,
never recognised the result.
The NLD leader had been told she could invite supporters from
townships to her house but had ignored the request of the
authorities not to hold the meeting at Mayangone, the government
The NLD's "political activities" risked "disturbing the
prevailing tranquility and stability the township people are
enjoying," he added.
Amnesty International said this month there had been no
improvements since Burma became an ASEAN member and that some 57 NLD
members had been sentenced to long prison terms in the first six
months of this year.