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Wired News on November 30, 1995

Attn: Burma Newsreaders
Re: Wired News on November 30, 1995

Burma army pledges to stay strong, crush opponents

      RANGOON, Nov 30 (Reuter) - One of Burma's ruling generals has promised
that the armed forces will stay strong and ``annihilate'' anyone who tries to
disrupt the state, official media reported on Thursday. 

    Army Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Tin Oo, who is also a senior
member of the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council, said in a
speech on Wednesday the country was building strong, consolidated and durable
armed forces, state-run newspapers reported. 

    Tin Oo also spoke out against anyone who relief on ``alien forces'' and
did not wish to see the country prosper. The newspapers said such people were
resorting to disturbances and levelling false accusations to belittle the

    ``He also declared that the Tatmadaw (armed forces) would resolutely take
action against and annihilate those who mar or disturb the interests of the
entire nation,'' the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said. 

    On Wednesday the government accused Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi
and her National League for Demcoracy (NLD) party of trying to disrupt Burma
and its moves toward democracy. 

    The comments were made after the NLD withdrew from government-sponsored
constitutional talks where several hundred delegates, mostly handpicked by
the military, are drafting guidlelines for a new constitution. 

    The NLD won more than 80 percent of the seats in a 1990 general election
but the ruling junta refused to hand over power. 

    The NLD pulled out of constitutional talks because it said they were
undemocratic and did not represent the will of the Burmese people. 

23:39 11-29-95

Burma's opposition stirs into action after hiatus

      By Deborah Charles 

    Rangoon, Nov 30 (Reuter)- Burma's opposition, led by charismatic Aung San
Suu Kyi, has stirred into action after a long lull, choosing a boycott of
military-run constitutional talks to fire its first major salvo. 

    The boycott was a timely move by Suu Kyi. 

    Diplomats, some dissidents and opposition members had speculated the
Nobel peace laureate had lost some of her fight after failing to hold
dialogue with the military government that released her last July from six
years of house arrest. 

    ``There was a view that she was being marginalised, and the SLORC was
winning out,'' one diplomat said on Thursday, referring to the ruling State
Law and Order Restoration Council. ``People were saying the fire had gone out
of her.'' 

    But diplomats said Suu Kyi made her fighting spirit known on Wednesday
when she sparked a war of words with Burma's generals by announcing her
National league for Democracy (NLD) party would pull out of the national
convention aimed at drafting guidelines for a new Burmese constitution. 

    The NLD decided the talks, which have been held sporadically since
January 1993, were undemocratic and did not represent the will of the Burmese

    Suu Kyi said the NLD representatives were the only democratically-elected
delegates to the national convention, and without them the SLORC could not
try to convince Burma or the international community that the process was

    The NLD won more than 80 percent of the seats in a 1990 general election,
but the SLORC did not recognise the results and never allowed them to govern.

    Most diplomats said Suu Kyi's decision was made more out of sorrow than
anger. They said she would have preferred to reach an amicable compromise
with SLORC through dialogue. 

    But after the pull out by the NLD, which had previously participated in
talks and attended Tuesday's opening session to see if any requested changes
had been made to the process, the government lashed back. 

    National Convention chairman Myo Nyunt, who made a hardline speech at the
opening session saying the convention would continue as usual without any
changes, on Wednesday denounced the NLD and Suu Kyi. 

    ``We can see that the attitudes opposing the National Convention appeared
soon after the restriction order to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was lifted,'' he

    ``By studying what she said about the National Convention since her
release it can clearly and obviously be seen that it was intentionally
prepared to spoil (it).'' 

    Diplomats said it was unusual for the SLORC to mention Suu Kyi by name,
but said it could be the beginning of an effort to discredit her and the NLD
and claim they were upsetting the SLORC's democratic process towards change
in Burma. 

    Ever since they unexpectedly and unconditionally released Suu Kyi, the
SLORC has rarely referred to her, saying she is just one of the country's 45
million people. 

    But a senior army and SLORC official, Lieutenant General Tin Oo, said on
Thursday the armed forces would crush anyone who attempted to disrupt the

    ``The Tatmadaw (armed forces) will resolutaly take action against and
annihilate those who mar or disturb the interest of the entire nation,''
newspapers quoted him as saying. 

    Myo Nyunt said earlier the NLD was aiming to disrupt Burma. 

    Suu Kyi has said her party's decision to withdraw from the constitutional
talks might be viewed as provocative by the SLORC, and could be dangerous for
some members. 

    Diplomats said it was possible the SLORC may decide to crack down on Suu
Kyi and other NLD members if the government felt the opposition was causing
too much dissent. 

    But although Suu Kyi has acknowledged she and other senior NLD members
could be detained for their views, she said they planned to continue to fight
for democracy in Burma. 

    ``We are going to continue. We have always worked well under pressure.
It's good for us,'' she said. 

02:27 11-30-95

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