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US Ambassador's statement on SPDC
US Mission to the United Nations
USUN Press Release #218-(98)
New York, Nov. 19, 1998
Statement Ambassador Betty King, US Representative on the UN-Economic &
Social Council, on Agenda Item 110(c), in the Third Committee, Nov. 19,
Situation of Human Rights in Myanmar
Mr. Chairman, the United States is a Co-sponsor of the Resolution on the
of Human Rights in Myanmar" which is before the Third Committee of the
Assembly. This resolution enumerates a systematic and persistent record of
rights abuses by the Government of Burma over many years and calls on the
Government of Burma to reverse its abysmal behavior, particularly with
the restoration of democracy.
The United States also wishes to point out that, even as this resolution
prepared, the Government of Burma was engaged in an intense campaign of
intimidation and forced detentions, designed to weaken and isolate the
League for Democracy and its Secretary General Aung San Suu Kyi and to
the establishment of a parliament freely elected by the people of Burma in
Since September, nearly 1000 opposition figures from the NLD and other
including elected members of parliament, have been detained arbitrarily by
government and forced to renounce their party affiliation as a condition of
from detention. Eighty year-old Dr. Saw Mra Aung, chairman of the Arakan
League for Democracy, has been held in detention for months by the State
and Development Committee (SPDC), simply because he refuses to refrain from
political activity. U Aung Min, one of the many NLD deputies detained by
died recently while in custody.
The SPDC's campaign against the opposition parties has now been carried to
areas, where NLD members are being intimidated by the government into
from political life and local NLD offices are being closed. Other
have also been pressured by the government to distance themselves from the
and to withdraw their previous support for the NLD and the Committee
the People's Parliament.
The government's claim that these resignations are voluntary is a blatant
The evidence is overwhelming that the government has adopted a deliberate
of systematically depriving its citizens of the fundamental right of free
and individual political beliefs.
The United States calls on the Government of Burma to cooperate with the
General, his representatives and the Special Rapporteur, to live up to its
under the Charter, international human rights instruments and this
will continue to work with the UN, the international community and all
sides in Burma
to this end.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.