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Myanmar Nixes ASEAN Plea For Suu Ky
- Subject: Myanmar Nixes ASEAN Plea For Suu Ky
- From: soewin@xxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 04 Jul 1997 19:16:00
Subject: Myanmar Nixes ASEAN Plea For Suu Kyi Talks
> From The Japan Times: 5 July 1997. (Front page story)
MYANMAR NIXES ASEAN PLEA FOR SUU KYI TALKS
BANGKOK (Reuter) Myanmar's military rulers have shrugged off a request by
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations that they hold talks with
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Thai officials said Friday.
The ASEAN request was conveyed to leaders of the State Law and Order
Restoration Council, or SLORC, last month by Malaysian Foreign Minister
Abdullah Badawi when he visited Yangon, a Thai official said.
SLORC would not agree to the talks, he said. Suu Kyi's National League for
Democracy party has never been allowed to rule, despite its landslide
victory in a 1990 poll.
ASEAN foreign ministers held another meeting Tuesday while in Hong Kong to
witness the return of the former British colony to China and agreed to
reiterate their position on Myanmar, a Thai foreign ministry source said.
ASEAN, which comprises Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, agreed in May to accept Myanmar, Laos and
Cambodia as new members. The decision was widely criticized because of human
rights violations in Myanmar and concerns about political instability in
The Thai official said he thought SLORC would never hold talks with Suu Kyi
and would ignore anyone who asked them to. He also predicted SLORC Would
hold on to power for several more years. "ASEAN's effort to urge SLORC to
hold talks with Aung San Suu Kyi will be fruitless," the official said.
Myanmar's Deputy Prime Minister Maung Maung Khin rejected any dialogue
between SLORC and Suu Kyi during a Thursday visit to Manila.
SLORC was formed after the military crushed a popular uprising in September
1988, killing or jailing thousands of prodemocracy supporters. The military
government has ruled Myanmar with an iron grip ever since.
"SLORC cited national security and economic development for their reasons to
continue in office for several more years. I don't think there will be an
election in Burma in the next 10 years," said an ASEAN official close to the
Suu Kyi has urged the SLORC to recognize the results of the 1990 poll but
the government has never responded. It also refuses to answer her call for
dialogue, which she has sought since being released from six years of house
arrest in July 1995.
Suu Kyi, 52, who has been in poor health for the past few months, was
injured last month when she slipped down a staircase at her lakeside Yangon