[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

Democracy forces can topple Burma j

Subject: Democracy forces can topple Burma junta - exiles 

	Democracy forces can topple Burma junta - exiles

    	By Somchit Rungchamratasami

    	PA-AN, Eastern Burma, Dec 11 (Reuter) - The self-proclaimed
	Burmese government-in-exile predicted on Wednesday that various
	democratic forces at play in Burma were poised to topple the
	military junta. 
	A minister in the Washington-based National
	Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) told Reuters 
	in an interview that current student protests in the country were
	a manifestation of such forces, and they would grow.
    	"I think democratic forces are having the upper hand right
	now. So I think in the near future, democratic forces will be
	able to topple military rule," said Tint Swe, a minister in the
	office of NCGUB Prime Minister Sein Win.
	The NGCUB was set up by elected members of parliament of the
	opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party who fled
    	The NLD is led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and is
	active in Rangoon.
	The exiles formed the parallel government after the ruling
	State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) refused to
	recognise the NLD's landslide victory in 1990 elections.
    	Tint Swe said a dual strategy to apply pressure on the SLORC
	from inside and outside the country was now working and building
	up as more countries and businesses were opposing the Burmese
	military regime.
    	"Now the international community are on our side, and inside
	the country the people including students, lecturers and workers
	are expressing their will to move for freedom, to form the
	unions and Suu Kyi has tried her best," he said.
    	Tint Swe lives in exile in India and travels to the jungles
	of Burma and Thaland from time to time to meet opponents of
    	He believed that the SLORC would not use force to repress
	current student street protests as the military did during
	pro-democracy uprisings in September 1988, when thousands were
	killed or jailed.
    	"It was the good sign that the SLORC did not use force to
	crack down on the student demonstrations and I don't believe
	they will use force to crack down on them," he said.
    	Riot police and soldiers used water cannon and batons to
	disperse a student protest on Saturday. More than 860 students
	were detained by the government following last week's protests
	but the government said all were later freed.
	Maung Maung Aye, the NGCUB's Information Minister, who was
	also present at the interview, urged the Association of
	Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to delay Burma's admittance to
	the regional bloc.
    	"I think like Aung San Suu Kyi said, if SLORC becomes a
	member of ASEAN it will be a disgrace for the ASEAN and I don't
	think the ASEAN leaders will be fooled by the SLORC," he said.
	The seven-member ASEAN, which groups Thailand, Malaysia,
	Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brunei, has
	agreed in principle to admit Burma as a full member in 1997.
    	"We want the ASEAN leaders to reconsider and to delay the
	membership of Burma as long as the military regime is in power
	in Burma," Maung Maung Aye added.
1124 111296 GMT