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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 
entirely responsible.
(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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