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Burma Opposition Rejects Warning

 .c The Associated Press  

RANGOON, Burma (AP) - The opposition National League for Democracy has
rejected a warning from the military government to cease political activities
for security reasons. 

The party, led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, said in a statement Friday
that the government was to blame for avoiding a political dialogue demanded by
the opposition. 

Officials met with members of the NLD's executive committee on Thursday and
told them to stop trying to hold rallies, saying it could slow down national
reconciliation, a government statement said. 

The NLD statement said that Home Minister Col. Tin Hline repeatedly asked that
the party stop handing out pamphlets. The statement said that the party had a
right to engage in legal organizational activities. 

``The government is deliberately avoiding the dialogue, since it has no desire
to follow the path of meaningful negotiation to solve existing political,
economic and social problems,'' the party statement said. 

The NLD long has called for a dialogue with Burma's military rulers. Top
officials met with senior leaders of the party for the first time in July, but
their refusal to see Suu Kyi or her top two deputies prompted accusations that
the government was trying to split the opposition leadership. 

The military has ruled Burma since 1962. The present regime came to power in
1988, crushing protests against military rule that brought Suu Kyi to the
leadership of the pro-democracy movement. 

AP-NY-12-20-97 0717EST