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BURMA'S NEW RULING BODY A WOLF IN S
Date: November 16, 1997
BURMA'S NEW RULING BODY A WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTH
The All Burma Students' Democratic Front considers the formation
of the military's so-called State Peace and Development Council
(SPDC) to be just as illegal and illegitimate as the now
disbanded State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC).
ABSDF spokesperson Aung Naing Oo says the top four generals in
Burma have retained similar positions in the new organisation and
that the change is one in name only.
"The new name changes nothing. The top brass remain in power and
we don't believe we'll see any positive policy change emerge from
this new body. It's merely the wolf attempting to hide in sheep's
"All the change has done is to clear out some of the corrupt old
guard and pave the way for the military's younger generation to
share in the spoils of office. It has also served to resolve some
of the internal rivalries and dissension among the top brass."
Since the military coup in 1962, Burma has only had a
constitution from 1974 to 1988. Meanwhile over this 35 years, the
military has changed the name of the country three times, changed
the flag once, and has adopted four different names for its
ruling body - the latest being the SPDC.
"It is therefore not surprising that the military has once again
made only cosmetic changes. At the same time, it is disturbing
the military continues to look after itself, rather than tackle
the severe economic problems facing the country and work towards
solving the ongoing political crisis.
The ABSDF is restating its call for a tripartite dialogue with
the military regime and opposition groups, led by Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi, and ethnic nationalities in order to bring about genuine
peace and progress in Burma. It is also imperative for the
military to release all political prisoners and abolish all
repressive laws and rules to ensure a meaningful dialogue.
For further information call 01 654 4984, or 01 923 1687.