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Democracy forces can topple Burma j
- Subject: Democracy forces can topple Burma j
- From: nin@xxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 07:54:00
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
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
"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