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NLD Statement 105 in English
National League for Democracy
No: (97/B), West Shwegondine
Bahan Township, Rangoon
Statement 105 (11/98)
1. The National League for Democracy was formed to create a genuine
democratic system within which it can operate legally . Working for
democracy includes working for human rights.
2. As a legally registered organisation, its activities for obtaining
democracy and human rights are legitimate. First, the State Law and
Order Restoration Council (SLORC) and now the State Peace and
Development Council (SPDC) usurped state power and have been making
flimsy excuses and taking illegal action against the NLD as if it was
not a legitimate organisation. The NLD parliamentarians-elect, members
of NLD organisational committees at every level and ordinary NLD members
have not only been subjected to illegal restraint, illegal arrest, held
in unlawful custody, tortured and persecuted but have been falsely
charged with offences and sentenced to long terms of rigorous
imprisonment in jails.
3. Those NLD parliamentarians -elect who are being held in unlawful
custody by the military intelligence units are being treated in a
deliberately offensive and derogatory manner as below:-
(1) They are returned to their homes for short periods under guard and
without the consent of the individuals, their every movement, their
conversation with members of the family, their eating of meals with the
family are recorded by video cameras. This is an invasion of privacy
which every human being has a right to.
(2) Permitting only short periods of stay at one's home has no meaning
or significance. It only causes anguish and is another form of
persecution and torture to the individual and his family and is an
indication of the lack of compassion for a fellow human being.
(3) One extremely degrading treatment is the placing of sumptuous food
in front of the individuals held in unlawful custody and taking pictures
with video cameras as if they were being offered this banquet. Our
information is that they are fed with filthy, sordid videos.
(4) The truth is that the food given to them is of a very poor
quality-tasteless vegetables without salt or oil.. U Than Win ,
parliamentarian-elect of Constituency (2), Tharbaung township, Irrawaddy
Division was one of those who received such treatment. (see our
Statement 99 (11/98)dated 5 November 1998) . We have been informed that
in some cases, the SPDC orders the private food stall owners to supply
food for them.
(5) There have been cases where individuals held in unlawful custody
have been allowed medical attention but there is no genuine compassion
or concern. The required medicines are not administered nor are they
given treatment to restore them to health. Fear of death in custody has
induced them to set some free. Video cameras are always there to record
any medical treatment given.
(6) We hear that these pictures depicting medical attention have been
transmitted on the internet by the Military Intelligence to make it
appear that these individuals are being well treated.
(7) Though the Military Intelligence have deliberately lied and said
that the individuals held by them are lodged in the government guest
houses for purpose of discussion and consultation, the actual fact is
that they have been given written questionnaires to which they are made
to respond in writing. There is no consultation whatsoever. There isn't
even an appearance of consultation. A consultation is a conference at
which advice is taken or views are exchanged. There is no representative
of the authorities who is capable of exchanging views. In addition there
should not even be any custodial appearance leave alone being held by
the scruff of the neck. If a genuine consultation is being held why
don't the authorities have a live radio broadcast session and why is
not publicised in the international news media.
(8) Our information is that those persons whose written answers are
favourable to the military intelligence authorities are given their
freedom while the others are being persecuted more severely. Some have
been sent to the Insein Jail. These innocent people who have violated no
law nor committed any offence are being confined and fed like criminals.
4. Not content with arresting and holding in unlawful custody the NLD
parliamentarians-elect, NLD members of organising committees and
ordinary members they are now extending their unlawful activities
forcing the closure of branches by intimidation and other illegal
5. The reasons given for closure of the branches are in a stereotyped
form. Set forms are issued by the higher authorities with blank spaces
for details regarding address, department and population which have to
be filled in by the persons in charge. This action by the authorities is
overwhelming evidence of the fact that they are themselves abolishing
the provision of law they have promulgated. The allegation against the
NLD is that it is engaged in party-politics. This is an outrageous lie
to undermine and ridicule the organisation which is operating within the
law for a genuine democratic system. Striving for democracy is an
honourable cause for the good of the country.
6. The illegal constraints engaged in by the authorities to abolish the
NLD branches in the township is becoming increasingly obvious from day
to day. They have set free the organising committee members of ThaYet
township in Magwe Division but they are still illegally holding the
owner of the house where the NLD signboard has been hung for no
justifiable reason. Similarly, the owner of the house where the NLD
signboard is hung in Henzada township, Irrwaddy Division, has not been
freed though the NLD members have been freed. It is so obvious that
because of pressure and intimidation, NLD signboards have had to be
removed but the authorities have made it appear that the signboard have
been voluntarily removed by the members. Their actions are so unjust and
illegal . The house owners should be immediately and unconditionally
7. The authorities are even using obstructive tactics in matters that
have to be attended to where death occurs. The aunt of one Daw Kyu Kyu
San, a member of the women's wing of the NLD, Rangoon Division died on
31-10-98 . The funeral was arranged for 2nd November 1998 and buses were
hired to transport the relatives and friends to the cemetery. The
drivers of the buses had been intimidated by the chairman of the local
SPDC Mone-lat-saung-gone ward, Sanchaung Township, Rangoon Division and
the members of the USDA(the group formed by the SPDC), so they failed to
turn up as arranged.
8. This interference by the USDA group and the chairman of the local
SPDC is entirely opposed to Buddhist teaching and Burmese culture. It
has nothing to do with law and order . This is a direct contravention of
the accepted Buddhist maxim " one trip to a funeral equates to ten
trips to a monastery ".
9. (a) The NLD strongly deplores the above illegal and extreme methods
of exercising authority that is being practiced. We ask that for the
set below all persons that are being held in unlawful custody for no
offence whatsoever be released forthwith and unconditionally:-
(1) The inability of the authorities to supply and give adequate and
suitable food commensurate with the dignity and standing of the persons
they are holding .
(2) The inability to provide adequate and necessary medical treatment in
time of illness.
(b) Should the lives of the NLD members held in unlawful custody be
endangered because of the food and drinking water they are given or
viruses, bacteria or dangerous animals like poisonous snakes they may be
exposed to while in custody, the authorities holding them will be held
(c) The authorities are instrumental in making this darkest of dark
spots in the annals of Burma's history and the fight for democracy. It
is time to retreat.
Central Executive Committee
National League for Democracy
11 November 1998.
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