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SUU KYI SEES DETERIORATION IN FREED
- Subject: SUU KYI SEES DETERIORATION IN FREED
- From: moe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 10 Jul 1997 10:42:00
Subject: SUU KYI SEES DETERIORATION IN FREEDOMS IN BURMA
Suu Kyi sees deterioration in freedoms in Burma
12:22 a.m. Jul 10, 1997 Eastern
By Deborah Charles
BANGKOK, July 10 (Reuter) - Burmese democracy leader Aung
San Suu Kyi said on Thursday repression has increased and the
political and economic situation in her country has worsened in the
two years since she was released from house arrest.
``I'd have to say that repression has increased in the past two years,''
Suu Kyi told Reuters in a telephone interview on the second
anniversary of her release from six years of house arrest.
``The economic situation has certainly not improved, and neither has
political freedom in any way improved,'' she said in the brief
interview that was cut off when the telephone went dead.
It has been virtually impossible to contact the 1991 Nobel Peace
laureate over the past few months. The government has barred
access to her residence and her telephone is almost always
In her first comments since being accused of collaborating with the
United States, Suu Kyi also flatly denied a Burmese government
accusation made last month that she had received $85,200 in
financial assistance from Americans this year to aid in subversive
``I have certainly not received whatever they claimed, $85,200 I
think they said, from any American source,'' Suu Kyi said with a
laugh just as the telephone line was cut off.
It was impossible to contact her residence again.
Suu Kyi said it was clear that the Association of South East Asian
Nations' (ASEAN) policy of ``constructive engagement'' with
Burma's military rulers was not working. ASEAN follows the policy
of non-interference because it says isolation is not the way to help
The seven-member ASEAN was expected to admit Burma as a full
member this month despite vocal opposition from Suu Kyi and many
Western governments who said it was tantamount to legitimising the
Burmese government which has been accused of widespread human
``We do not think constructive engagement has worked,'' Suu Kyi
said. ``The fact that SLORC rejected ASEAN's call for dialogue
Since she was released on July 10, 1995, Suu Kyi has made
repeated unanswered calls to the government to hold talks with her
National League for Democracy (NLD) party to try to find a way to
bring democracy to Burma.
Despite its vow not to interfere, ASEAN officials have urged leaders
of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) to talk to
Suu Kyi, ASEAN officials have said. The request was refused.
The NLD won a landslide victory in 1990, while Suu Kyi was under
house arrest. But the SLORC never recognised the result of the poll
and instead of allowing the party to take power it cracked down on
elected party officials.
Over the past two years, thousands of NLD party members and
supporters have been arrested, most of them for a short period of
time. The SLORC has also prohibited most major party gatherings
and has intimidated NLD officials across the country, Suu Kyi said.
Suu Kyi said she was ``on the mend'' after injuring her neck and
back in a fall last month. Some diplomats had said she was thin and
suffering from ulcers, but she said she was getting stronger.