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Myanmar opposition members gather a
Myanmar opposition members gather at Suu Kyi home
11:29 p.m. May 26, 1998 Eastern
YANGON, May 27 (Reuters) - Some 200 opposition National League for
Democracy members began gathering on Wednesday at the home of their leader
Aung San Suu Kyi's in Yangon to mark the eighth anniversary of the NLD's
unrecognised 1990 election victory.
Witnesses said delegates were steadily pouring into Suu Kyi's lakeside
University Avenue residence compound in small groups of two or three as the
military posted checkpoints along the street to monitor the gathering.
There were no complications as the military allowed delegates to enter the
``By now about 200 of them have already gathered in the compound of her
house,'' a witness told Reuters.
This is the first time the ruling military, which seized power in a bloody
coup in 1988, has allowed the opposition to mark its landslide May 1990
Last May, the military thwarted a similar gathering, detaining hundreds of
NLD members despite international criticism.
The ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) issued a statement
late on Tuesday saying the gathering could go ahead provided certain rules
and regulations were observed. It did not spell out the rules.
On Sunday, the SPDC had warned the NLD not to gather and disturb the peace.
The NLD and the military have been at political loggerheads since the
fateful 1990 election. The opposition has accused the military of abusing
human rights and curbing its political activities.
One witness, who is familiar with the political movements in Myanmar, said
although the military increased its presence in the area, he did not
anticipate any violence.
``It seems that both sides have made some compromises and that is why the
gathering is going ahead. The soldiers also look unusually relaxed,'' he
Suu Kyi on Tuesday extended an olive branch to the SPDC by saying that her
NLD did not seek revenge on the military.
``We want dialogue because we want to find a solution that is best for
everybody, that is to say particularly for the people of Burma (Myanmar)
and for the government,'' Suu Kyi said in a statement released in Bangkok
through the Alternative ASEAN Network on Burma, a non-governmental
``We do not seek revenge, we do not think there is anything particularly
honourable or admirable in seeking revenge. We want to find a peaceful
settlement,'' she said in assurance that the opposition would not engage in
violence to achieve its goals.
But the military has refused to hold direct talks with Suu Kyi, while the
NLD insist she must represent the party in any future dialogue with the
military. This has resulted in a political stalemate between the two sides.