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/* ---" Various Analyses on SPDC's Political Affairs 
  Committee by NCUB,ABSDF,SHAN and Independent Researcher "------ */

/* Posted 29 Oct 98 by maungma@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:reg.burma */

Subject: NCUB statement on SPDC Political Affairs 
Committee formed on Sept.

October 22, 1998

Statement on SPDC Political Affairs Committee 
formed on Sept. 18, 1998

1. The Committee has 16 members with SPDC Secretary-1 
Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt (Chief of OSS) as Chairman, Lt. Col. 
Pe Nyein, Director General of the Office of the SPDC as 
secretary and Col. Than Tun, Head of the Department
of Office of Strategic Studies (OSS) of the Ministry of
Defence as Joint Secretary. The members are SPDC
secretary-3 Lt. Gen. Win Myint, commander of Rangoon
Command Maj. Gen. Khin Maung Than, Interior Minister
Col. Tin Hlaing, Information Minister Maj. Gen. Kyi  Aung,
Science and Technology Minister U Thaung, Education
Minister U Than Aung, Chief Justice U Aung Toe, Attorney
Gen. U Tha Dun, Election Commission Secretary U Aye Maung,
Joint-secretary of National Convention Convening Working
Committee U Thaung Nyunt, Deputy Information Minister
U Thein Sein, Deputy Chief of OSS Brig. Gen. Kyaw Win
and Head of the Department of OSS Col. Than Aye.

2. A study of the list shows that the committee is
composed of people connected to Khin Nyunt and supporting
him. The Committee has been formed with the aim of
controlling political development, through it bears a name
suggesting something else. It therefore seems to indicate
that the Khin Nyunt led faction of the SPDC has managed
to strengthen itself compared to the other members of the
SPDC and that Khin Nyunt aims at gaining political
control of Burma.

3. The SPDC has consistently been saying, since it seized
state power on 18 September 1988, that it is only a
military government and that, as it is not a political
government, it cannot discuss political matters with any
political organization. Now, it seems that this committee
could serve as a side door for escape by proffering
political negotiation, should the situation of the
country deteriorate further or a crisis develop within the
SPDC. It is evident that Khin Nyunt and his supporters
have made a clever  preemptive move for political
initiative. The move is calculated to make themselves
appear as a moderate group trying to avoid bloodshed,
while making other members of the SPDC appear as culprits
of the savagery and repression in Burma. The cease-fire
agreements concluded between the SLORC/SPDC and 15 armed
ethnic groups are a good illustration of how  Khin Nyunt
attempts to increase his influence. At that time , he was
the one who stepped forward to take the credit and honour.
When negotiations broke down, such as was the case with
the KNU, and a brutal military offensive involving
indiscriminate killings and whole-scale destruction
was launched, Khin Nyunt's supporters spread the rumour
that it was done by Maung Aye and Tin Oo.

4. Moreover, both the chief justice, the attorney general
and the secretary of the election commission are included
as ordinary members in the committee under Khin Nyunt.
If a government were to implement a transition to
democracy, there should be separation of powers among
the executive, legislative and judicial branches. There
should not be any interference in one from another.
However, in the case of present Burma, Khin Nyunt
controls all the three powers. 

/* posted 30 oct 98 by lurie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:reg.burma */

Media Release
October 29, 1998

                        ON PRO-DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT

Burma's military junta has formed a political affairs committee
comprised of 16 people led by Secretary-1 Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt,
revealing the gravity with which it views the current political
impasse.  The committee appears to be an attempt by the regime to
improve its strategy for dealing with the crisis.

The newly formed committee has not yet been officially announced
in the military-controlled media, but has held a series of
meetings since its formation on September 18. Sources in Burma
say that the Committee appears to take have taken the lead in
organizing pro-military mass rallies.

Members of the committee include Secretary-3 Lt. Gen. Win Nyint
and the Ministers for Home Affairs, Information, Science and
Technology, and Education.  Also on the committee are the Chief
Justice, the Attorney General and executives of the National
Convention Committee and the Multiparty Commission. 
Significantly, a number of high-ranking officers from the Office
for Strategic Studies (OSS), headed by General Khin Nyunt, are
also on the committee.

Foreign Affairs Secretary of the All Burma Students' Democratic
Front, Aung Naing Oo, said the formation of the committee was a
desperate move following initiatives by the National League for
Democracy (NLD) to convene Parliament.  "It seems more like a
crisis team to counter the students and the NLD-led democracy

"We fear that this committee intends to nullify the 1990 election
results and resume the National Convention, giving Burma a
constitution guaranteeing military dominance in the future.  Up
until now, the regime has always claimed that it has had no need
for political discussion, as it is a military government." 

A source in Rangoon close to the military said that the formation
of the committee indicates that Khin Nyunt and officers from the
OSS are going to take full control of Burma's political
situation, rather than try to reach consensus within military

A student in Rangoon said that people in Rangoon suspect the
committee of preparing to outlaw the NLD.  "People also think
they will deport or arrest Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and will later
force the people to accept the constitution from the National
Convention through mass rallies." 
The ABSDF calls on the junta to enter into tripartite dialogue
with ethnic leaders and the NLD, led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. 
The dialogue should address the convening of Parliament in
accordance with the 1990 election result as well as the peaceful
democratization of the country.  The ABSDF calls on the
international community to support the call for dialogue to
prevent further escalation of the tensions within Burma.

All Burma Students' Democratic Front
For more information please contact 01-253 9082, 01-654 4984

/* posted 28 Oct 98 by shan@xxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:reg.burma */


The Political Affairs Committee formed and led by General
Khin Nyunt, the all-powerful intelligence chief, does not
appear to be standing idle, according to reports coming
from the Shan States.

The long shelfed Army Organizing Committee has been
reactivated, for one thing. It's 27 September directive
No: 3 / 98 instructs the Army to form organizing committees
at all levels beginning with company level upwards.
The aims and objectives were reported as "to be able to
shoulder the  national political responsibility and to
remain an invulnerable force" the formation of the
committees were to be completed on 30 September and they
were to begin work on 1 October. 

It was also reported that the non-Burman political
parties have begun to feel the screw tightening on
them also. The junta is increasingly demanding
them to make a clear choice between the NLD and itself. 

"It looks like the junta doesn't want a tripartite
dialogue. Instead, it is ill-advisedly working towards
a bipartite one and ultimately a monopartite
i.e. themselves", said the source. 

As to the question of the junta's recent move coinciding
with the UN Assistant Secretary General's visit, the
source could make no comment.

S.H.A.N. (Shan Herald Agency for News) 

The BurmaNet News: October 19, 1998
Issue #1120

by Chao-Tzang Yawnghwe

General Khin Nyunt has formed a Political Committee.
The creation of another level of authority by Khin Nyunt
and his MI allies and loyalists should be seen as a
significant (and clever) move. It would be wise to
closely watch the action of the Committee and its
members, most of whom are high-level MI personnel.

The move could mean that the junta is preparing to
set up a political party (using the USDA as base)
and at the same time to accelerate the
constitution drafting process.

Secondly, it could mean that Khin Nyunt is preparing
for some significant political move in order to
manipulate the transition and democratization
process (which is in fashion in international
circles).  In this regard, one aim will be to
outflank Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD and all
opposition forces, especially those overseas.
It is likely that the Political Committee's  main
strategic thrust will take the form of attempting to
co-opt opposition elements. The democratization and
transition aspirations of the people (and favored by
the international community) will be used or
manipulated to recruit non-military elements and
transform them eventually into docile and powerless
supporters. Fence-sitting or free-floating military
factions and elements will also be similarly
co-opted and rewarded.

Thirdly, the Political Committee can be seen as a
tool to consolidate the position of the Khin Nyunt-MI
camp in the intra-military power equation. The Committee
will likely be used to outflank and marginalize military
factions that are hostile or indifferent to the idea of
Khin Nyunt becoming the second military strongman of Burma.

Fourthly, it is likely that Khin Nyunt and his MI
allies and loyalists will use the power which the
formation of the Political Committee provides them
with, to counter-balance the Zone Commanders. Since
November 1997, these commanders have, as members
of the SPDC, been elevated to positions above
the regular military line-of-command. There is
certainly a need to remedy this problem of
administration and hierarchy.

The thrust of Khin Nyunt's co-option politics is
clear. It is to create a limited and controlled
pluralistic political arena, manipulated by the Khin
Nyunt-MI camp. A political arena with limited and
controlled form of pluralism is the ideal situation
which military power-holders strive for, often without
much success, due to lack of sophistication and
political skills on the part of the military.
The best example of a "pluralistic", essentially
authoritarian (if not autocratic), arrangement is
Suharto's  Indonesia, which lasted over 30 years
and has yet to be dismantled.

However, Khin Nyunt's aspiration to become a
Suharto-like military ruler will not be easy since
Indonesia of 1965 is different from Burma in 1997.
Moreover, General Suharto worked to consolidate
power and set up his autocratic New Order regime
within the parameters of the 1945 constitution,
already put in place by Sukarno in 1959-1960.
Further, the Indonesian military's claim to a
dual political-military function was more or less
recognized by Sukarno and other elite groups in
Indonesia politics, well before Suharto's advent
to power. Technically therefore, the Suharto system
was a constitutional military-authoritarian regime.
This is not, nor was it  ever, the case in Burma.

In summary, Khin Nyunt's Political Committee is an
important and very significant move. It aims to
create a new level of authority under his control
and direction, one which will stand above the
government body (the cabinet), the SPDC (the military
junta), and the regular military establishment
(and by extension within the country as well).
The Political Committee will also serve to empower
Khin Nyunt or the Khin Nyunt/MI camp politically,
giving it (i.e., Khin Nyunt) wide political authority to
engage flexibly with non-military elements and the
opposition. The aim is of course not real transition
and democratization, although this rhetoric
will be used to gain international approval.

The formation of a Political Committee by Khin Nyunt
indicates the opening of a new and perhaps very
decisive phase of political struggle. The opposition
must therefore have a counter-strategy and a clear
roadmap of where the many paths (or options) will
lead to, as well as have an overall picture of the
unfolding political landscape and its dynamics.
Most  importantly, the opposition -- at home and
abroad -- must be careful not to underestimate the
sophistication and political savvy of, especially Khin
Nyunt's as well his close MI allies. Much more
importantly, it would not be very wise to demonize
Khin Nyunt and thus shut him off completely.
Although it seems unlikely, given the crisis
conditions in Burma and within the global economy,
however, Khin Nyunt and allied MI factions may be
compelled by circumstances (and against their wishes)
to undertake real reforms; in other words, to restore
civilized and normal politics in Burma: namely, to
push the military back into the barracks where it
rightly belongs.

/* Endreport */
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