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Junta vows not to seize power again

'Junta vows not to seize power again'

Asean Age 17 Dec 1997.

Rangoon, Dec. 16: Bunna's military government has vowed to develop the
country so that the nation's armed forces never will be able to seize
power again, officials said on Tuesday.

Lieutenant-General Tin Oo, Army Chief of Staff and the second in command
of the ruling State Peace and Development Council, was quoted as making
the statement on Monday in a meeting with armed forces officers.  The
meeting was convened to explain the country's present situation.

"The SPDC government is building good political, economic and social
unions with genuine goodwill in order that the Tatmadaw (the military)
will never take over the state power in future," Lt.-Gen. Tin Oo was
quoted as saying.  The SPDC abolished the former ruling body - the State
Law and Order Restoration Council -and with a surprise government change
last month, reportedly aimed at rooting out corrupt ministers.

  The change involved some major reshuffles at ministries and in the
ruling military body.  Several allegedly corrupt ministers were removed
from the Cabinet and placed on an Advisory Group, which the SPDC
dissolved last week.  Rumours have been sweeping that authorities had
arrested several members of the group and were questioning them, but the
government has denied makin any arrests.

Lt.-Gen. Tin Oo, who is also chief of the Bereau of special Operations,
said the SPDC was a-military government that plan to transfer state
power back to the people.  He did not say when this would occur, but
stressed the government was laying the groundwork.

"Without these good foundations, the country will ever be free from the
endless cycle of the situation under which the Tatmadaw will have to
take responsibility" The Army seized power in 1988, after crushing a
nationwide pro-democracy uprising.  The junta allowed elections in 1990,
which was won overwhelmingly by the opposition National League for
Democracy, led by Aung San Sun Kyi, but the SLORC refused to recognise
the result and held on to power. (Reuter)