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NLD rejects warning to stop politic

NLD rejects warning to stop political activities

Rangoon, Dec. 20:
The Opposition National League for Democracy has rejected a warning from
the military government to cease political activities for security

The NLD, led by Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, said in a statement on
Friday that the government was to blame for avoiding a political
dialogue that the Opposition has demanded.

Officials led by home minister Tin Hline met members of the NLD's
executive committee on Thursday and told them to cease trying to hold
mass rallies, saying it could slow down national reconciliation, a
government statement said.

The NLD statement said that Col. 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, economical and social problems," the party statement said.

The NLD has long 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

The military has ruled Burma since 1962. The present regime came to
power in 1988, crushing protests against military rule that brought Ms.
Suu Kyi to leadership of the pro-democracy movement. The government
changed its name last month from the State Law and Restoration Council
to State Peace and Development Council, but many of the leaders remain
the same. Ms Suu Kyi was under house arrest from 1989 to 1995 and has
again been largely confined to her home for the past year. She won the
Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Her Supporters won elections in 1990, but the
military refused to yield power.

Meanwhile, a Burmese dissident trade union group protested on Friday
against a reported called by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for fresh
democratic elections in military run Burma. The Federation of Trade
Unions, Burma said Mr. Annan had agreed with the chairman of Burma's
ruling junta on new polls, although the 1990 election victory of the
pro-democrat leader Aung San Suu Kyi had yet to be recognized. On
Tuesday, Mr. Annan met Senoir-General Than Shwe on the sidelines of an
Asean informal summit in Kuala Lumpur.

The Asian Age
21. Dec 1997