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Resolution of FDL-AP

Declaration on Transition from Dictatorship to Democracy
by the Conference of the Forum of Democratic Leaders in the Asia-Pacific 
(Manila , Philippines, November 2-4, 1996)

The FDL-AP was inaugurated in Seoul, Korea in 1994 as an Asian regional 
of democrats and their supporters world wide dedicated to advancing the 
of all members of society in the decisions affecting their lives.

The members and supporters of the FDL-AP met in Manila Philippines 2-4 
1996 to address the issue of "Transition from Dictatorship to Democracy: 
the lessons 
for Burma and Asia".

The conference believes that military role, indeed authoritarian rule by 
any kind, 
anywhere, is out of tune with the spirit of out times, and is 
unacceptable. It is clear 
from the recent experiences in Bangladesh, Korea, Pakistan, the 
Philippines and 
Taiwan that the will of the people for a truly representative government 
cannot be 
ignored or resisted for long.

the lessons from successful transitions underline the need for a 
broad-based unity to 
be sustained by the pro-democratic forces and for their effort to be 
striving for national reconciliation, eschewing reprisals and assuring 
development of all sections of the people. And these efforts need 
significant and co-
ordinated support from the United Nations and other international 
including ASEAN.

Accordingly, procedures for the restoration of democracy in Burma should 
take place 
without delay and without further violence through a process of dialogue 
and in  a 
spirit of achieving national reconciliation among all parties involved.

The conference observes:
- the election in Burma in May 1990 expressed clearly the will of the 
Burmese people 
for representative democratic government, with overwhelming support for 
National League for Democracy (NLD ) led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

- Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the leaders of the NLD continue to call for 
dialogue with the State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc).

- the Slorc continues to reject dialogue and has recently employed 
methods of arrest, 
detention, and public propaganda against the democratic forces in Burma.

The conference participants do hereby:

- send their warm greetings to and express their solidarity with Daw Aung 
San Suu 
Kyi and others in Burma who are engaged in the struggle for the 
restoration of 
democracy and assure them of the unstinted support of the conference 
participants and 
all democracy-loving people everywhere;

- express their grave concern at the worsening political and economic 
situation in 

- condemn the recent tightening of controls over the Burmese people, the 
arrest of 
their elected representatives and the members of the NLD, the imposition 
restrictive measures on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and the escalating military 
in ethnic areas;

- recognize that Burma's economic and social development will only be 
by the restoration of democracy and human rights, and the creation of a 
free and vital 
civil society;

- note the failure of the ASEAN policy of constructive engagement to 
meaningful political change in Burma and call for the international 
community to 
critically review the merits of the constructive engagement policy;

- note the importance of the supporting role of the international 
community- within 
the Asian Pacific region and beyond- in bringing democracy and peace to 

-commend the initiatives taken by the leaders and members of FDL-AP to 
focus world 
attention on the situation in Burma.

The members and supporters of the FDL-AP do therefore recommend that no 
steps be 
taken or allowed which may be construed  as encouraging legitimacy of the 
regime, and specifically:
1) Urge ASEAN governments not to grant early membership to Burma, but 
rather to

- strongly support the beginning of a meaningful tripartite dialogue 
between Slorc, the 
democratic forces led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the ethnic nationalities;
- urge Slorc to completely restructure the composition and procedures of 
the national 
convention in such a way that it reflects the true will of the Burmese 
people, as 
expressed in the May 1990 elections, and to guarantee full freedom of debate.

2) Urge the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to critically and openly address 
various security related issues deriving from the continuing military 
rule in Burma 
such as the oppression of major ethnic nationalities and rapidly growing 
refugee, health and narcotics problems.

3) Urge the ASEAN dialogue partners to play an active and 
critically-supportive role 
in redefining ASEAN's position towards Burma.

4) Urge the international business community not to invest in Burma until 
government regarded legitimate by the Burmese people is in place. We, 
urge the regional business an tourist associations to critically review 
their current 
position regarding entering the Burmese market.

5) Urge the international aid and lending agencies not to resume 
multilateral or 
bilateral assistance.

6) Urge ASEAN and the international community to help and encourage the 
Philippines and Thailand to take a leading role in promoting a peaceful 
and rapid 
transition towards democracy in Burma.

7) Encourage closer co-operation among regional non-governmental 
organizations to 
strengthen their support for the non-violent struggle in Burma, sot hat 
the causes of 
human dignity and peaceful conflict resolution through consultation an 
consensus will 
be furthered.

8) Encourage political parties in the region to positively influence 
their respective 
government's Burma policy.

9) Urge the UN member countries to exert all possible efforts for 
implementing UN resolutions on Burma.

10) Urge China and ASEAN to join an arm embargo on Burma as observed by 
the US 
and the EU.

11) Encourage Japan, the world's largest economic assistance donor, to 
take a leading 
role in convincing the Slorc to enter into a decisive political and 
economic reform 

12) Promote awareness among all parties concerned that solving the 
ethnic conflicts in Burma is a key to achieve a peaceful and democratic 
future for 

The conference participants endorse the efforts of the FDL-AP's leaders 
and members 
to encourage the peaceful restoration of democracy in Burma, and in 
furtherance of 
these efforts to regularly meet with ASEAN governments, and to urge the 
Slorc to 
allow Madame Corazon Aquino and Dr. Kim Dae-jung, co-presidents of the 
to visit Burma to meet with the Slorc, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and 
representatives of 
ethnic nationalities.

the conference participants encourage the FDL-AP members and supporters to
implement a FDL-AP action plan for Burma.