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Aung San Suu Kyi calls on foreign s

Aung San Suu Kyi calls on foreign support

Thu 24 Sep 98 - 07:22 GMT

YANGON, Sept 24 (AFP) - Nobel Peace laureate and Myanmar opposition leader
Aung San Suu Kyi has called on "democratically-elected parliaments around
the world" to support a de-facto parliament established last month.

Aung San Suu Kyi said the parliamentary committee set up on September 16 had
a mandate to act as a de-facto assembly in defiance of the ruling military
junta, according to a speech received by e-mail late Wednesday from an
exiled Myanmar student group.

"We're going to work on the parliament's behalf," she reportedly said in the

"Ours is indeed a committee that represents parliament elected by the
people. So we want all citizens including members of the armed forces to
support us unanimously," she said.

"We also want all democratically-elected parliaments around the world to
recognise our committee and stand by our government."

She said the committee was established with a mandate from more than half
the MPs elected to the assembly eight years ago.

A war of words has been escalating between the junta and Aung San Suu Kyi's
National League for Democracy
(NLD) as the opposition party tries to convene the parliament elected in
1990 but never allowed to sit.

About 20,000 people, mostly civil servants, packed a sports stadium east of
Yangon on Thursday in a "rally" to show their support for Myanmar's junta
and denounce the opposition.

In one of the junta's most visible efforts to counter mounting pressure from
the NLD, the crowd voted unanimously to protect "peace and stability" in the
military state. It also denounced the NLD and other "destructionists".

Opposition groups say more than 1,200 dissidents, including up to 196 NLD
MPs, have been arrested since May this year in what they describe as the
worst crackdown on the democracy movement since the brutal supression of
student demonstrations in 1988.

The ruling State Peace and Development Council accuses the NLD of trying to
create "political chaos" by trying to convene the parliament.

It says some opposition members have been "invited for discussions" and are
being well cared for at government guesthouses.

In reports posted on the Internet late Wednesday, the junta repeated
allegations that the NLD was claiming support from bogus political groups in
its alleged bid to undermine peace and stability.

The NLD won more than 80 percent of the seats in the 1990 poll, but the
junta, which seized control in 1988, has refused to give up power, saying a
constitution must first be drafted.

)AFP 1998