The Extraordinary Session of the BSPP Congress, 23-25 July 1988

(extracted from “The Burma Press Summary” – “WPD” = ”Working People’s Daily”)

BSPP Congress Convened

July 7: The BSPP Central Executive Committee will convene an Extraordinary Congress of the Burma Socialist Programme Party on Saturday, July 23, 1988, "for purposes of effecting change in the State economic policies and guidelines and for amending the Party Constitution." (WPD 7/8)

Central Committee Meeting

July 22: The ninth meeting of the BSPP Central Committee met in the Saya San Hall, Kyaikkasan Grounds, Rangoon, at 9 am, under BSPP Vice-Chairman U San Yu.

BSPP General Secretary U Aye Ko presented "the state of affairs concerning the convening of the 1988 Extraordinary Party Congress. Joint General Secretary U Sein Lwin presented the matter to be submitted to the Extraordinary Party Congress: to invest in the the Central Committee the right to amend the guiding philosophy of the Party, "the System of Correlation of Man and His Environment", and the Central Committee gave their decision by ballot.

U Aye Ko then presented the matter to be submitted to the Congress "in connection with making changes in the State economic policies and guidelines and implementing them." The Central Committee voted.

Central Committee Headquarters Secretary U Htwe Han then presented the matter to be submitted to the Congress "for investing the right to the Central Committee for amending the provisions and procedures contained in the Party Constitution which have direct bearing on the changes to be made in the State economic policies and guidelines." The Central Committee voted.

Other procedural matters were approved.

U Sein Lwin presented the questions of permitting the resignation of one Central Executive Committee member, and of two vacancies in the Central Executive Committee, and the Central Committee gave their decision. The decisions were approved. (WPD 7/23)

Co-Ordination Meeting

July 22: The preliminary co-ordination meeting for convening the Extraordinary Party Congress opened in Saya San Hall at 1 pm, presided over by the Chairman of the Convening Commission Party General Secretary U Aye Ko. The 15 members and 15 reserve members of the Panel of Chairmen was approved. The list of delegates "who will discuss the speech to be delivered by the Burma Socialist Programme Party Chairman...amending the guiding philosophy of the Party, the System of Correlation of Man and his Environment, matters on State economic policies and guidelines, matters on the provisions and procedures contained in the Party Constitution, were discussed and approved." (WPD 7/23)

Panel of Chairmen

July 22: The following were elected to the Panel of Chairmen of the Congress:

Yebaw D Ja Yaw [Kachin]; Yebaw Phyu [Kayah]; Yebaw Say Nay Wai Htoo [Karen]; Yebaw Aung Tha Ban [Chin]; Yebaw Win Maung [Sagaing]; Yebaw Ohn Maung [Tenasserim]; Yebaw Tun Shwe [Pegu]; Yebaw Aung Bwint [Magwe]; Yebaw San Maung [Mandalay]; Yebaw Han Yin [Mon]; Yebaw Maung Kyaw Zan [Rakine]; Yebaw Aye Thwin [Rangoon]; Yebaw Sai Tun Kyi [Shan]; Yebaw Saw Naing [Irrawaddy]; and Yebaw Kyaw Tint [Tatmadaw]. (WPD 7/23)

Congress Opening Day

July 23: The Extraordinary Session of the BSPP Congress opened at 8:30 am at the Saya San Hall, presided over by Yebaw Aung Tha Ban. 1062 of the 1089 delegates were present, or 97.52%. It heard five addresses: one by Chairman U Ne Win [see text below]; one by General Secretary U Aye Ko on the convening of the Congress [see excerpts below]; one on by U Aye Ko changes in State economic policies [see excerpts below]; one by Joint General Secretary U Sein Lwin on investing the Central Committee with the right to amend the guiding philosophy, "the System of Correlation of Man and His Environment"; and one by U Htwe Han on investing the Central Committee with the right to amend the Party Constitution. (WPB 7/24)

Win's Speech

July 23: [Text] Party Congress delegates. I speak on matters for calling Extraordinary Party Congress and the matters to be presented, discussed and approved by this Congress and carried out. Other points which need to be included will also be included. I believe the 1988 March and June bloodshed and disturbances were meant as moves by those who took part in the disturbances and those behind them to show lack of confidence in the Government and the Party leading the Government.

It is necessary to assess whether among the people of the entire country, a majority is behind those lacking confidence or a minority. As I believe that holding a national referendum on what they wish--a one-party system or a multi-party system--would bring out the answer, I am asking the Party Congress to hold a referendum.

If the majority want a multi-party system, the present Constitution's provision under Chapter II, Paragraph 11 for the sole political party leading the State will have to be substituted with wording in consonance with a multi-party system. A suitable lapse of time would of course be needed for convenient movement of the people, production of ballot cards and other requirements.

Roughly said, it should be set up no later than end of September. It should be held earlier than that if possible. If, after the referendum more votes are for a multi-party system, elections must be held at the earliest for a new parliament. Part[ies] formed by bonafide citizens, organizations and individual citizens will have to register themselves with the elections supervisory body. Last date for registration will have to be prescribed. The elections supervisory body should co-ordinate with the organizations taking part to set the last date for registration and decide whether or not individual independants should be allowed to compete. At the end of the registration period, the elections supervisory body should co-ordinate with the registered organizations the date for holding elections. I believe all will be best satisfied if the date for election is set as soon as possible. The Hluttaw elected thus, can write the Constitution and other necessary laws according to its own wishes. I request the organizations currently taking responsibility to assert control as much as possible to keep the country from disarray till the organizations formed by the Hluttaw can take over.

I request the present organizations to hand over authority without delay, if the new Hluttaw or the organizations formed by that Hluttaw say that they are no longer needed or continue assistance if asked to do so for some time.

If the majority of the people decide on a single party system, the present party and organizations will have to continue to lead in keeping with the changes made and the regulations which continue to be accepted. I want to specially point out my role if the present party is to continue to lead.

As I consider that I am not totally free from responsibility even if indirectly for the sad events that took place in March and June and because I am advancing in age, I would like to request Party members to allow me to relinquish the duty of Party Chairman and as a Party member. In order to do so, Paragraph 14 subpara (c) of the Party rules will have to be amended. I request you to do so. If you do not want to amend the rule, I request this Party Congress to treat it as a special exemption.

Formerly, whenever I talked of relinquishing Party chairmanship, my confidants and, colleagues prevented me and, unhappily, I have had to stay on in this political samsara. This time my confidants have not only consented to allow me but have also asked that they too be allowed to leave along with me and have entrusted their resignations to me.

They are (1) U San Yu (2) U Aye Ko (3) U Sein Lwin (4) U Tun Tin (5) U Kyaw Win. There are others, quite a number, who have as seniors been shouldering high responsibility, who want to retire, leave the Party. I would like this Party Congress to accede to their wishes to do so after transferring responsibility with the emergence of the new Hluttaw. I want to tell those wanting to retire, to leave the Party, to tender their letters of resignation in time while this Congress is in session.

In short, (a) I submit to this Congress to seek the decision through a nationwide vote which the majority of the people choose from the two, a one-party system or a multi-party system (b) if the majority supports a multi-party system, then, as I have said before, arrangements will have to be made in accord with the terms concerning a multi-party system, (c) if the majority of the people support a one-party system, those of us who want to retire, must be allowed to do so in deference to our wishes while other remaining Party members continue to shoulder responsibilities of State, (d) please accede to the wishes of those who want to leave with me, (e) multi-party system or one-party system, whichever of the two the people support, may I conclude, declaring that I shall leave the political arena and turn away from politics.

That is what I have to say in connection with the Congress and I have said it. However, from what is currently happening--from what happened in Taunggyi, what is happening in Prome--I cannot say if there is something imitative, thinking that they could do as they like against discipline. We made arrangements to exercise restraint so that the events of June in Rangoon would not lead to further bloodshed. Despite this, what occured was not of our creation--for example, it was in March, was it? What happened was between some locals and students. The locals and students had it out in a teashop. As a matter of duty, the Government could not but intervene. So, what ensued? What happened between the students and the locals faded away and the Government and students met head-on. Therefore, we tried all means to avoid recurrence of such things in future.

What occurred in Prome started on the 16th, and we knew it only on the 17th. When we heard it on the 17th we thought it could be controlled by the police and the council, we hoped. As I said earlier, in what concerned preventing bloodshed, I asked that the Tatmadaw be not used in trifling matters and that it be used only when really necessary. I told them not to use the Tatmadaw without my knowledge. The Prome affair however did not subside but became bolder. So, I allowed the Tatmadaw to go in yesterday.

There is what I said earlier that I would retire from politics. Although I said I would retire from politics, we will have to maintain control to prevent the country from falling apart, from disarray, till the future organizations can take full control. In continuing to maintain control, I want the entire nation, the people, to know that if in future there are mob disturbances, if the army shoots, it hits --there is no firing into the air to scare. So, if in future there are such disturbances and if the army is used, let it be known that those creating disturbances will not get off lightly.

I now have this to say. Be patient and listen to what I have to say. This part is separate from the other parts concerning the convening of the congress.

This may be the last time I am speaking before a gathering so, after putting before you matters concerning the Party Congress, I want to tell you about an episode which has led to misconception by students concerning me and the entire Revolutionary Council. The destruction of the University Students Union building on 8 July 1962 morning is known by all. Only if I reveal the role I played on July 7 evening will the events of the day become more complete, so I will do that. Around 5 that evening I heard gunshots, so I telephoned Bo Kyaw Soe to enquire. He said Sayagyi U Kar and family had been sent to a safe place, and that some 8 or 9 police had been injured. Asked if the students leaders creating disturbances had been apprehended, he said not yet and that some were in the Student Union building. In order that no more police and Tatmadawmen may get hurt I instructed him as follows:

(a) To use loud hailers to urge those in the union building to come out and submit to arrest, and to warn that large-calibre arms would be used if they did not do so.

(b) To use recoilless gun if necessary if they failed to submit to arrest peacefully

And that it be done before dark.

Here, I will tell you what is important. I and some of the Revolutionary Council members did not take part in the discussion and decision for the explosion which destroyed the building. Only when I enquired on hearing a very loud bang like the explosion of a big bomb on July 8 morning did I learn that the union building had been dynamited. There were also quite a number of Revolutionary Council members who knew of it only after they heard that explosion. However, all members of the Security Council composed of some of the Revolutionary Council members, Security Council Chairman Colonel Kyaw Soe who took responsibility for security, all security council members and all officials in charge of security were at the broadcasting station. Those persons were Security Council Chairman Colonel Kyaw Soe, Colonel Hla Han, Colonel Saw Myint, Colonel Ba Ni and from among officers Intelligence Colonel Maung Lwin and Chief of Police U Ba Aye. There were also many others present. When I called Bo Kyaw Soe and asked of what I had learned of the destruction of the union building on July 8, he (Bo Kyaw Soe) replied that when I said on July 7 evening that recoilless gun could be used in necessary in apprehending the ring leaders in the union building, he had thought that he was being told to destroy the union building and had therefore destroyed it. That being the case with the acceptance of the concept of collective leadership, the statement by Revolutionary Council leader which included the words "Sword with sword and spear with spear" was broadcast.

Three or four months later I heard that foreign correspondent circles were saying that I gave the order to destroy the union building while I was drunk. I told Bo Kyaw Soe that I alone was being accused as the culprit who ordered the destruction while I was drunk, and asked him to tell me about the incidents of July 7. Then only did Bo Kyaw Soe say he would tell the truth. He said that, previously, soon after the Revolutionary Council emerged, some differences of opinion had appeared and that he was trying to cover that up. The fact was that one of those at the broadcasting station on July 7 had said that the union building was becoming a rebel headquarters and declared that it would be good to have it destroyed and thus whether or not to destroy it was discussed. Finally, he (Bo Kyaw Soe) said, it was decided to let me know about it and to destroy the building if I agreed.

Bo Aung Gyi had said he would go and submit it to `Bogyoke' and bring a reply as to whether it was agreed or not. He (Bo Aung Gyi) left in a car taking Ko Hla Han along. Later, Bo Aung Gyi returned to the broadcasting station and claimed that `Bogyoke' had agreed. The group at the broadcasting station collected explosive materials and destroyed the building. After getting that answer, I called the Revolutionary Council member excluding Bo Aung Gyi and told them that Bo Aung Gyi, without submitting to me and without asking my opinion had told the group at the broadcasting station that I had agreed to the destruction of the building.

After learning the truth, I called Bo Aung Gyi to my office and told him that I had discovered that he had claimed that I agreed to destroying the building. So I told Bo Aung Gyi--if you want to be leader and think you can lead I will get out; do I get out or do you get out? Decide, I told him. He said he would get out. He went back to his room and tendered his resignation.

I will provide evidence to support my statements:

First evidence: Beginning with second line on page 24 of Bogyoke Aung Gyi's letter dated 9 May 1988 --the person called Bogyoke Aung Gyi who became the culprit heard Bo Hla Han tell Rector Sayagyi U Kar who was temporarily staying at a bungalow near Inya Lake Hotel when he went along to Bogyoke's House with Bo Hla Han and dropped in at that house that permission had been obtained to destroy the union building and ventured to call Bo Kyaw Soe at the broadcasting station on the phone and asked that the matter be delayed while he took the matter up with `Bogyoke'; but when he arrived at Bogyoke's house he did not tell Bogyoke anything; but he claims to have tried to to stop the matter in a devious way--that is the first evidence from what he had written.

Second evidence: When I called those concerned and asked them to write down what they knew to be true, there was in what Colonel Hla Han submitted--I have his letter with me--in line four, page 5 of his letter "Bogyoke Aung Gyi also arrived at that time. When there was talk about the union, (he said) Wait, I will go and submit it to `Bogyokegyi' and ask for orders, and taking me along, started out. On the way we dropped by to call on Sayagyi U Kar who was at Colonel Tin Soe's house. He also talked about the number of students killed and injured."

"At that time, I also told the Sayagyi about the plan to destroy the union building. Afterwards, the two of us proceeded to Bogyokegyi's house. Bogyoke Aung Gyi reported the situation when we met Bogyoke. The union building matter was not in what he submitted. We got into the car to return."

"In the car, I reminded him `Bogyoke, that matter has not been included.' Bogyoke Aung Gyi said `Let it be' and I kept quiet. When we got back to the broadcasting station, I heard Bogyoke Aung Gyi say `Okay' to Colonel Kyaw Soe"--those are the points.

So, these two points are, as I said earlier, what were told to others without my knowledge but as if I knew; as if I had asked them to, and others destroyed it as they had been told that I agreed. So, taking the above-mentioned points into consideration, I conclude by asking the entire people to judge for themselves who the real culprit was in the destruction of the union building. (Applause) (WPD 7/24)

U Aye Ko on Congress

July 23: BSPP General Secretary U Aye Ko addressed the Extraordinary Party Congress on why it was convened [excerpts]:

The Fifth Party Congress...was held from August 2 to 7, 1985. The Congress laid down the 23 future tasks...and approved the guidelines for the Fifth Four Year Plan. Although it was possible to implement to a certain extent the future tasks on political organizational affairs for the period, it was found that those in economic affairs and the plan guidelines were not implemented as successfully as original envisaged....

At the Central Committee Seventh Meeting held on October 8 and 9, 1987, the Party Chairman said...the situation required laying down of new principles.... is with a view to expeditiously effecting policy changes in political, economic and social affairs in order to bring about better conditions that the Central Executive Committee has convened this Extraordinary Party Congress.

The Burma Socialist Programme Party is firmly standing as the sole political party leading the state.... [Party organizations] still have to do more to function well.... [They must] keep close touch with the people and heed the wishes of the people, get rid of bribery and corruption and do away with weaknesses....

In the judicial field...some judicial bodies are found to have handed down judgements which are not in conformity with the law and not in accord with directives, and there are instances of undue individual influence, bribery and corruption....

At present in the country, deterioration of morality and lowliness in spirit is spreading amidst the people in various sectors. In the various State organizations and departments, there is too much weakness in performing duties and rampant misappropriation of public funds and property, bribery and corruption and such practices as fostering mentors and disciples to get protection on default and secure undue privileges.

[Review of military and foreign affairs]

In the economic sphere...a situation has been reached where there has been almost no development.... While the economic situation is in such a state of affairs, private capital is being widely used in blackmarketeering.... The majority of the working people are having to depend on the blackmarket trade.... The value of exports fell annually from K 918.9 million in 1983-84 to only K 785.3 million in 1986-87.... In connection with foreign currency receipts and expenditures there was a deficit of K 1777.2 million in 1986-87.... Mainly because of trade deficits, there was a main account deficit of K 1949.6 million in 1986-87.... Borrowings from abroad ...totalling K 1214.9 million in 1977-78 came up to K 1730.4 million in 1986-87. In terms of debt service ration, it was 15.11 per cent in 1977-78 and it rose to 59.16 per cent in 1986-87....

[In education] there are still defects...such as being still unable to get the education system meet the needs of the nation,...the number of unemployed persons increasing from day to day; the number of qualified teachers still being low and students from primary classes to post-graduate classes and also those seeking to join services having to depend on private tuition.

There are weaknesses in the field of health such as difficulty to get admitted to hospitals...; insufficiency in medical equipment and supplies; prevalence of bad dealings between health services staff and patients and their families and frequent losses of lives owing to harmful substances faked as medicines....

[In agriculture] although the controlled crops were decontrolled stage by stage, it did not ease the situation as much as expected and the people are still having to buy basic foodstuffs paying exhorbitant prices....

To halt and rectify the country's economic downslide...positive assurances and proper arrangements must be made so as to encourage enthusiastic and increased private investment.... Changes which ought to be made in the different lines of economic activity have been submitted separately to this Extraordinary Party Congress....

It is essential for the guiding philosophy [of the BSPP] to always reflect changing conditions.... In Chapter 3 of the guiding philosophy it is stated, "When the economic relations of a given age can no longer serve the interests of his society, man...endeavours to establish new systems which can better serve his interest...." The matter of empowering the Central Committee to amend the Party's guiding philosophy...has been presented separately to the Extraordinary Party Congress...." (WPD 7/24)

U Aye Ko on Economic Reform

July 23: [Text of substantive portions of BSPP General Secretary U Aye Ko's address on economic reforms:]

...In effecting changes to reverse the present economic decline of the country, it is necessary to mobilize and utilize the productive forces of the country in full and to utilize the productive forces of the country by bringing public, co-operative and private sectors to operate abreast of one another as a basic principle....

To raise agricultural production, the following is to be done:

(a) To permit public, co-operative and private sectors to carry out agricultural production and trade as they want. (Including jute, rubber, cotton, industrial sugar-cane, coffee seed and virginia tobacco, all currently scheduled crops).

(b) To give assurance of the right to work the land so as to arouse enthusiasm to develop new farm land.

(c) To grant ownership as long as one is commercially producing long-term industrial crops and long-term fruit-bearing trees.

(d) To permit private individuals as well to buy and use agricultural machinery including tractors and trailers for reclaiming more fallow land and extending multi-cropping.

(e) To bring about harmony and fairness between production cost and selling price of crops to contribute towards better agricultural production and to effectively employ the means of economic incentives including price policy.

To raise livestock and fishery production, the following is to be done:

(a) To permit public, co-operative and private sectors to catch and sell fish and prawns in all inland, coastal and off-shore works.

(b) To permit public, co-operative and private sectors to work all fisheries by auction except those designated for research work by the State.

In forest industry the following is to be done:

(a) Forest nurseries and forest conservation are to be carried out by the State;

(b) Teak extraction, local distribution and export are to be carried out by the public sector;

(c) Extraction and production of hardwood, other wood and forest product raw materials and finished products and their local distribution and export are to be permitted to be carried out by public, co-operative and private sectors.

In mining, the following is to be done:

(a) Oil and natural gas exploration, production and distribution work is to be carried out only by the public sector. Exception: To allow co-operatives to work small oil wells not worked by the State;

(b) Exploration, production and export of pearls, jade and gems are to be carried out only by the public sector;

(c) Apart from the articles to be handled only by the public sector as mentioned in Sub-paragraph (b), exploration, production and sale of other minerals are to be carried out by the co-operative and private sectors only with the permission of the State.

In manufacturing and processing sector, the following is to be done:

-- Apart from the production of arms and ammunition, the public, co-operative and private sectors are to be permitted to set up small-scale, medium-scale and large-scale industries and produce and sell the products.

In production and utilization of electric power, the following is to be done:

-- Permission is to be granted to public, co-operative and private sectors for the production of hydro-electricity, electricity generated by machines and other means. However, if such work is carried out by the co-operative and private sectors, they are to be done according to law, rules and regulations.

In construction sector, the following is to be done:

-- Public, co-operative and private sectors are to be permitted to carry out such construction works as the building of roads and bridges, structures and buildings.

In transport and communications, the following is to be done:

(a) Communications work is to be carried out only by the public sector;

(b) Air and rail transport activities are to be carried out only by the public sector;

(c) In the field of transportation, apart from the modes mentioned in Sub-paragraph (b), public, co-operative and private sectors are to be permitted to construct, assemble and repair all other modes of transportation;

(d) Public, co-operative and private sectors are to undertake all other forms of inland transportation work.

In financial sector, the following is to be done:

(a) Only the State is to undertake and manage financial enterprise.

(b) The banking systems are to be changed as necessary with a view to getting the working people to have confidence in the banking business and conveniently deal with the banks.

(c) The revenue collection systems are to be changed in conformity with the changes in the economy.

(d) Loan plans and cash plans are to be systematically drawn up in conformity with the changes in the economy.

In trade, the following needs to be done:

(a) The State sector, the co-operative sector and private sector are to be allowed to engage in all internal and external trading business.

(b) However, in external trading business, the main crops such as rice, paddy, and maize may be exported only after consideration for sufficiency for domestic consumption.

(c) Private services are to be to be expanded.

(d) Trading in border areas is to be undertaken.

(e) Checks, curbs, hindrances are to be avoided in order to ensure expeditious flow of goods in the country and in order to ensure that there are no hindrnces in commercial activity.

The following are to be undertaken in conformity with the economic changes:

(a) In connection with the matters of accumulating capital and utilizing higher techniques and knowhow for the sake of increasing production in all the branches of economy, joint ventures between the public sector and the co-operative societies, between the public sector and the private sector, between private concerns, between governments, between the public sector and foreign private concerns, between the co-operative sector and foreign private concerns and between internal private concerns and foreign private concerns are to be allowed with the permission of the State.

(b) The State is to make effective arrangements and give guarantee in connection with business and capital invested by private concerns in the economic enterprise permitted by the State.

(c) The Fifth Party Congress's guideline to the effect that mutually beneficial co-operation with foreign countries and foreign economic organizations be undertaken for limited periods of time when large amounts of capital investments are needed and knowhow and machinery and equipment are required to be undertaken; and laws and by-laws needed for such undertakings are to be made.

(d) The laws and rules made for each kind of business are to be reviewed and revised in order that the public sector, the co-operative sector and the private sector can do business without any difficulty.

The following are to be undertaken in connection with the mass communications:

(a) The broadcasting work and television work are to be undertaken by the public sector.

(b) The public sector, the co-operative sector and the private sector are to be permitted to undertake newspaper, journal and magazine publishing work.

The following are to be undertaken in connection with the public entertainment.

-- The public sector, the co-operative sector and the private sector are to be permitted to undertake cinema hall construction and film screening anywhere including cities and the public sector, the co-operative sector and the private sector are to continue to be permitted to undertake thabin and musical entertainment.

[Closing exhortation] (WPD 7/24; repeated 7/25)

Second Day of Congress

July 24: On the Second Day of the Extraordinary BSPP Party Congress, 15 delegates implored Chairman U Ne Win to reconsider his resignation, 12 delegates endorsed the economic changes proposed by U Aye Ko, and three delegates endorsed giving the Central Committee the right to amend Party philosopy. [Summaries of these interventions contained little of substance] (WPD 7/25)

Pyithu Hluttaw Convened

July 24: An emergency session of the Fourth Pyithu Hluttaw was convened by Council of State Proclamation No. 3/88, beginning at 10 am on Wednesday, July 27. (WPD 7/25)

Party Congress Concludes

July 25: The Extraordinary Congress of the BSPP concluded on its third day, with 1,061 out of 1,089 delegates present. General Secretary U Aye Ko responded to the second day's discussion [see below]. The Congress then voted [favorably] on the changes in economic policies, on investing the Central Committee with the right to amend the Guiding Philosphy of the Party, and to amend Party Constitution provisions relating to the changes in economic policy. These decisions were announced. Joint General Secretary U Sein Lwin then submitted matters relating to not holding a national referendum, to permit the Party Chairman [U Ne Win] and Vice-Chairman [U San Yu] to resign from Party duties and not to resign from Party membership but to retire, and not to permit the resignations of other leaders who submitted their resignations. He "procured the decision of the Congress on these matters." The Congress then concluded. (WPD 7/26)

U Aye Ko's Replies

July 25: General Secretary U Aye Ko replied to the delegates discussions [excerpts]:

Esteemed Chairman and Party Congress delegates,

The Party Chairman delivered a speech of special significance to the nation at the first...session .... The Party Chairman, expressing his belief in connection with the events that took place in March and June 1988 that it was an expression of lack of confidences in the Government and the Party leading it by those who actually took part in the disturbances as well as those who supported them from behind. He pointed out the need to assess whether the majority of the country's population is on the side of those who lack confidence or whether only a minority is on their side. He said that as it is his belief that holding a national referendum on what the people wish, a one-party system or a multi-party system, he asked this Party Congress to hold a national referendum.

Party Congress delegates from the 14 Party Regional Committee areas and from the Tatmadaw Organizing Committee...submitted that since arrangements have already been made to bring about economic changes and other allied changes, it is necessary at present to give priority to the success of economic enterprises. The disturbances that broke out in some townships actually arose out of some petty personal quarrels. These disturbances arose as a result of machinations by a handful of people while the majority of the people throughout the country did not take part, desiring only to live in peace and tranquillity. With regard to the adoption of the one-party system and the leadership role of the Lanzin Party of the State, they pointed out that these had been approved by an overwhelming majority of people in the national referendum held in 1973.

The delegates earnestly discussed at this Extraordinary Party Congress the matter of whether a national referendum should be held or not on the adoption of a one-party system or a multi-party system. Hence the matter of obtaining the decision of the Party Congress in connection with the holding of a national referendum will be dealt with separately.

The Party Chairman made a request to the Extraordinary Party Congress to permit him to resign as Party Chairman and also as Party member, and also to permit five other Party leaders to retire from the Party along with him at the same time.

...all Party delegates...expressed deep sadness at it and emphatically submitted to to this Congress not to accept the resignations of the Party Chairman and the other leaders. Citing instances of practical achievements, they also described how the Party Chairman and the other Party leaders are personalities with great historic traditions and rich experiences fully able to provide leadership to overcome difficult and stringent conditions being faced in the country. Moreover they emphatically expressed great concern that the country would be left in disorder and disarray if the leaders of such great traditions resigned.

It is clear that their discussions in this matter of resignation of the Party Chairman and the other Party leaders at this Extraordinary Party Congress reflect not just their individual sentiments but those of the delegates of the regions to this Congress and those of the entire mass of Party members.

The Party Congress delegates are totally unconsenting about these matters of permitting the resignation of the Party Chairman, other leaders from Party membership, and similar resignations of other persons in leading positions. However, the Party Constitution already contains a provision that could permit retirement of a Party member on account of old age or health. Some who are shouldering duties in leadership are still able in respect of age and health to go on undertaking responsibilities of the Party and the State. That there is need for continuity in leadership and continuity of endeavours for realization of the objectives of the Party has also been stressed in the discussions of the Party Congress delegates.

So, decision of the Congress will be taken in a separate arrangement on the matter of permitting retirement from the Party and on the matter of not permitting some leaders to resign and having them continue performing duties....

The delegates who discussed the matters unanimously agreed that the Central Committee should be authorized to carry out the matter of changing the Party's guiding philosophy and Constitution as they are broad ones and there could be difficulty in preparing them completely during the present session of the Extraordinary Party Congress. As they have discussed the matters without any additional suggestions, the Central Committee shall proceed with the task.

On economic changes, there were suggestions and so I shall now reply to them. [Remainder of speech devoted to extensive economic commentary, most of it restating the proposed economic changes contained in U Aye Ko's earlier address to the Congress]. (WPD 7/26)


U Sein Lwin Becomes Chairman

July 26: The tenth meeting of the BSPP Central Committee met at 1 pm in the Conference Hall of the Pyithu Hluttaw, presided over by Joint General Secretary U Sein Lwin.

Central Committee Headquarters Secretary U Thein Ngwe "submitted matters relating to Party duties and meting out punishment and the Central Committee approved the matters."

Central Committee Headquarters Secretary U Aung Thein then "submitted matters relating to annulling the Private Enterprises Rights Law and the Central Committee members gave decision." Other matters considered were "holding elections in connection with the duties and vacant seats of the Central Executive Committe members" and "matters concerning the Pyithu Hluttaw."

The Central Committee elected U Sein Lwin as Chairman of the Burma Socialist Programme Party, Thura U Kyaw Htin as Party Joint General Secretary, and U Khin Maung Gyi, Dr. Maung Maung, and Lt.Gen. Than Shwe as members of the Party Central Executive Committee. U Sein Lwin gave a short address [text below]. (WPD 7/27)

U Sein Lwin's Speech

July 26: Following his election as Chairman of the BSPP, U Sein Lwin made the following address [text]:

Comrade Central Committee members,

You comrades have given me a very heavy duty--that of the Party chairmanship. I will perform this duty to the best of my ability. I would like to request you to help me, in the performance of this duty.

Another matter is that since ours is one and the only party, it is necessary for us to always seek out mistakes and defects in our serving the interests of the State and to carry out the tasks in accordance with the wishes of the people.

In this regard our experiences have shown us that mistakes and defects are caused not by work principles but mostly by personnel and as such I would like to ask you to present the matter of the Party Units and the Party Regional Committees taking prompt action in the matters caused by personnel and of always scrutinizing the personnel and taking action. If they are found to have been caused by work principles, it is imperative that they be speedily submitted to the higher level.

I would like the Party organizations concerned to always study ways and means of having the people carry out, without any difficulty, the economic changes principally laid down by the Extraordinary Party Congress and submit them to the higher organizations at different levels for further action.

There are Party organizations and cadres in the respective organizations and at the respective departments. There are also Party members. However, on various pretexts, they are overbearing on the people with such ways as bribery, causing wastages and hindering work and malpractices. I would like to warn the Party fraction leaders, Party cadres and Party member service personnel and workers to put an end to such practices soonest.

In conclusion I would like to urge you to strive to achieve success as quickly as possible in effecting the economic changes laid down by the Extraordinary Party Congress in whatever capacity you may be serving and wherever you may be assigned. (WPD 7/27)

Prime Minister Fired

July 26: Council of State Notification No. 97/88 provides that as it has been found that Prime Minister U Maung Maung Kha was not free from responsibility of the consequences of the disturbances that broke out during March 1988, he has been removed from the premiership with effect from 26 July, 1988. (WPD 7/27)