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Date:    Thu, 30 Nov 95 14:15:20 GST+0930

[From "The Australian" Wednesday November 29 1995]
Rangoon: Burma's military regime refused to make any concessions to 
Ms Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy movement at yesterday's national 
convention, re-emphasising its crucial objective of a new 
constitution enshrining a permanent armed-forces role in national 
political leadership.
The disappointed head of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, 
Mr Aung Shwe, walked from the national convention after hearing a 35 
minute speech by Lt General Mya Nywnt, a senior member of the SLORC
Mr Shwe  summed up the general's speech in two words: "Nothing new".
Earlier he had told The Australian that his delegation had come to 
listen to what SLORC had to say and would then make a decision on 
whether to boycott the convention. Asked when the decision would be 
made, he said with typical Burmese ellipsis," The time will come and 
then you will know".
Ms Suu Kyi and the NLD are now between a rock and a hard place. Last 
week she described the convention as flawed, fixed and its present 
form not acceptable to the people of Burma. "And a constitution that 
is not supported by the people will be nothing more than a piece of 
paper" she said.
Lt General Nywnt said yesterday that the national convention had been 
achieving successes and SLORC did not want this threatened " at any 
cost". It was looked upon by the army and the people as "the apple 
of their eye".
He told the delegates that SLORC would not accept any disturbances or 
disruptions - apparently another warning to the NLD that it would be 
held responsible if the people took to the streets in protest against 
the refusal to even discuss compromise.
He had begun his speech by saying that the guiding principles of the 
convention would be maintained. They include the establishment of a 
"flourishing multi-party democracy". So would the procedures - which 
include a selection process of delegates giving SLORC appointees an 
overwhelming majority.
The NLD won a landslide victory in the 1990 elections, taking 392 of 
486 contested seats, but SLORC blocked it from power. In the 
natiuonal convention it has 97 delegates out of 703.
If it contineus to participate it will either give the national 
convention credibility or simply lose its own. On Monday it made 
another attempt to open a dialogue with the SLORC by writing a 20 
page letter to the Election Commission, requesting reform of the 
convention and the beginning of talks.
The commission however is regarded as a rubber stamp of the SLORC.
An NLD source said yesterday that if Ms Suu Kyi only recently 
released from six years house arrest, led a boycott of thre 
convention, she faced rearrest and imprisonment for 20 years under 
regulations that procrsibe the blocking of its objectives. The NLD 
could alsobe disbanded.
It is doubtful whether any of the other political parties which share 
token representation, would follow the NLD out of the convention. 
Certainly the 234 peasants, woprkers, intelligentsia, technocrats and 
bureaucrats chosen by local SLORC-appointed committes would not.
The other major bloc - 215 representatives of Burma's ethnic 
minorities- are fighting their own battles in the convention. Many of 
the minorities have been fighting the central government troops in 
jungle and mountain battlefields for decades.
A leader of the Karen delegation, Mr U Saw Than Aung told The 
Australian, that the convention gave them a chance to work for an 
autonamous State with real power. He said, however, that the Karen 
had not surrendered to the SLORC.
"We have come with guns in hands to work together for a solution". he 
One minority representative said that Ms Suu Kyi had played one card 
with her public attack on the convention and the propsoeed 
"Now we are waiting to see is she has another".