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DAB Statement (r)
DAB statement on the mere change of name from SLORC to SPDC
The SLORC, which was always just another name for the old BSPP dictatorship,
has now changed its name to the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)
on November 15, 1997. Since 1962, there have been so many empty name changes
and promises made by the regime, but the essence of the dictatorship has
In 1962, when Ne Win seized power from U Nu's civilian government, he called
his regime the Revolutionary Council. This Council pretended to hold "peace
talks," then changed its name to the Burmese Socialist Program Party; it
then held a so-called "referendum" and set up a "parliament." All these
fine-sounding terms were simply cloaking the fact that the regime was
entrenching itself firmly in power.
The SLORC's attempt to legitimize itself with its name change after nine
years in power, is in fact depressingly similar to the BSPP's "referendum"
in 1973, ten years after the military coup that brought Ne Win to power. The
referendum was simply a charade rigged to prove that people throughout the
country supported BSPP rule.
The DAB believes that the SLORC is seeking by its latest name change simply
to divert the attention of the peoples of Burma and the international
community, and to mend the rifts and rivalry within the SLORC inner clique.
If the SLORC and the SPDC were really different in essence, the SPDC should
have declared a new policy.
The people of Burma, with their long and painful experience under
dictatorial military rule, have no more trust in the military rulers. The
fundamental cause of this distrust is that the military rulers are not the
elected representatives of the people.
If the SPDC was really sincere in wanting to unify the peoples of Burma and
ensure the country's stability, it should be seeking to solve the political
problems of Burma by political means. If, according to its name, the SPDC
really aims to promote peace and development of the state, they should
abandon their tactics of solving political problems by means of force.
Moreover, the SPDC should immediately allow freedom of the press, freedom of
movement and association, and allow a multi-party system so that people can
develop their political consciousness. Only this will lead to the genuine
development of the nation.
The ruling elite of the army should realise that their days of using force
to control the people and exploiting the country's wealth for their own
benefit are numbered. It is time for them to start working for the
betterment of the people as well as the nation.
Unjust tactics, pretence, and the granting of favours to particular groups
or individuals are not the proper means to solve the prevailing political
problems. Instead, the military leaders are simply sowing the seeds of
We demand that the SPDC take the following actions immediately:
1. Establish a genuine multi-party system.
2. Release all political prisoners.
3. Stop the sham national convention.
4. Hold a tripartite dialogue in order to achieve national reconcilitation.
5. Allow freedom of the press and freedom of association.
Only if the mistakes of the BSPP and SLORC are not repeated, will Burma be
able to enjoy peace prosperity and stability.
Work for the people.
Democracy is the basic means for development.
18. November. 1997. Central Executive Committee DAB