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NLD RENEGADES, ANYBODY HAVING THOSE
POSTED 14-MAY-99, 12:00AM
I LIKE TO HAVE THE TRANSCRIPTS OF BOTH THE LETTER FROM THE SO-CALLED
"RENEGADE MPS" AND THE REPLY STATEMENT MADE BY THE NLD-CEC (IN BURMESE
AND/OR IN ENGLISH, IT IS FINE). I DO LIKE TO COMMENT ON THIS MATTER. BUT
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE A COMMENT OUT OF INCOMPLETE INFORMATION FROM
THE NEWS THREADS. FOR EXAMPLE, THE REPORTERS MAY BE QUOTING THOSE
LETTERS OUT OF THEIR CONTEXTS. IF ANYONE WHO HAVING POSESSION OF THOSE
LETTERS, PLEASE POST IT TO THE INTERNET OR DIRECTLY TO ME. THANK YOU IN
ADVANCE. U NE OO.
AFP: OPPOSITION DIVISION EXPOSED IN BURMA
Date: 17:32 12-May-99
News Analysis by Stephen Collinson
BANGKOK, May 12 AFP -- Dissident MPs have exposed splits in Burma's
opposition but analysts say years of distrust have so poisoned political
life that their call for talks with the junta has little chance of
They call by a small group of renegade MPs of Aung San Suu Kyi's
National League for Democracy(NLD) evoked a furious reaction from the
The MPs, elected in the 1990 NLD election landslide which the junta has
refused to recognise, were nothing but "lackeys of military
intelligence," the NLD charged.
The MPs had colluded with the government to sow disunity in the party,
The ferocity of the attack surprised many observers and diplomats in
Rangoon, who said it further highlighted divisions in an opposition
badly disabled by a junta crackdown.
A Rangoon-based diplomat told AFP it was impossible to say if the call
for talks was made at the MPs' own volition, as they insist, or was the
product of intense pressure by intelligence agents.
"It is very difficult to analyse the siutation, it's hard to know if the
initiative of the dissidents is genuine, if they are popular," said the
HOwever, many in the diplomatic community in Rangoon are sceptical as
the group of MPs linked to the appeal, which was sent to the leadership
tow weeks ago, had recently been in detention, he said.
What is clear is that not all those who count themselves as opponents of
the military government agree with the NLD's hardline approach.
In a statement obtained by AFP, one of the three instigators of the
letter, NLD MP Than Tun, denied conspiring with the government and
implicitly questioned party tactics.
"I was elected by the people not because I would nod and acquiese to
every matter but rather that I would strive for attainment of democracy
with the least hardship for the people within the shortest period," he
"It is evident that the country is now under a more rigid governing
system than the former BSPP governing system" which ruled under dictator
Ne Win from 1962 to 1988, he added.
"On whoever the responsibility rests, it is evident...that the NLD has
not been able to solve even a segment of the problems faced by the
Diplomats say dissent has been slowly guilding within the NLD for some
"There is truly a problem, and it has not just emerged overnight," said
one, who added that the leadership's furious reaciton to the challenge
appeared to indicate a new, harsher attitude.
Another diplomat also detected a more autocratic line coming from the
party's top echelons toward dissent.
"Any political organisation has to have some discussion. It's common
knowledge that ther ahve been some difference of opinion within the NLD
for a long time," he told an AFP reporter in Rangoon.
"But the Burmese have a long tradition of autocratic rule from the top
and the NLD is a Burmese organisation led by Burmese."
Few analysts, including some who think the NLD's refusal to deal with
the military government is futile, believe that Nobel laureate Aung San
Suu Kyi has lost support in the country.
"The government is doing its best to dcrack it (the NLD) up," said the
"Nevertheless, I don't think there is any doubt that she (Aung SAn Suu
Kyi) is immensely popular."
Even had party leaders been convinced by the appeal, Burma's fractured
political climate is unlikely to permit even low-level talks soon, said
"There is no room between the two (NLD and the junta) for a different
approacy, for independent dialogue--there is complete stalemate."
The government says it is always ready to speak to the NLD, but refuses
to sit down with Aung San Suu Kyi, whom it regards as a puppet of the
West. NLD leaders say dialogue is unthinkable without her.
The case of the dissident MPs, led by a core group of Tin Tun Maung,
Than Tun and Kyi Win, is not helped by the fact that the letter was
released soon afdter they were released from a government "guest house."
Analysts say there have been many cases during the government's
crackdown on the NLD in recent months of members being forced to sign
repudiations of support drawn up by intelligence agents.
In addition, Than Tun is understood to have been expelled from the NLD
about two years ago for refusing to sign a mandate giving the central
committee authority to acto on behalf of the party.
Sources in Burma say that only around 90 out of an original total of
382 NLD MPs elected in 1990 are still claiming affiliation to the
The rest have either died, are in jail or have distanced themselves from
teh party, they say.
AP: RENEGADES FROM SUU KYI'S PARTY DENY SPLITTING MYANMAR OPPOSITION
11 May, 1999
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- Eight renegade members of Myanmar opposition
Aung San Suu Kyi's political party denied Tuesday that they are working
military intelligence in an attempt to split the group.
Suu Kyi and other leaders of the National League for Democracy have
them as traitors for producing a petition calling on party leaders to
reconsider policies which the renegades said have led to a standoff with
the military government.
The controversy is a rare sign of dissent within the beleaguered
in Myanmar, also known as Burma, which has been ruled by the military in
various guises since 1962.
While the military regularly vilifies Suu Kyi in its state-run press and
public statements, challenges to the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner from
within her party are rare.
"We submitted the proposal to perpetuate the existence of the party, and
not to destroy its unity," Tin Tun Maung, one of three party members who
drafted the petition, said at a news conference at the Yangon home of a
fellow party member.
"We did it in the best interest of the party, with our own free will and
under the influence of nobody," he said.
They cited in particular Suu Kyi's attempt to convene the parliament
was elected in 1990 in a poll that the NLD won by a landslide. The three
petition drafters were elected then.
The military government refused to honor the election. After attempts to
persuade the military to open a dialogue with her and other NLD leaders
failed, Suu Kyi said the party would convene the parliament in September
The military responded by detaining nearly 1,000 party members at what
called government guesthouses. It also shut down NLD offices around the
country and said that thousands of party members had voluntarily
NLD leaders said the resignations were coerced.
Either way, Tin Tun Maung said, the resignations "don't bode well for
future of the party."
Of Suu Kyi, Tin Tun Maung said: "I think she wanted compromise, but
around her were against it."
The renegade petition was signed by 25 party members, most of whom
diplomats in Yangon said were under detention in government guest houses
the time. The renegades said the main goals of their petition is to
the deadlock between the party and the military.
Hla Soe, another NLD lawmaker, said dialogue between the party and the
military could have taken place long ago if Suu Kyi and Vice Chairman
Oo were content to let other NLD leaders carry it out while obeying
instructions from the sidelines.
"Tin Oo and Aung San Suu Kyi were expelled from the party when they were
under detention and the government does not recognize them as legal
leaders," he said.
Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest and Tin Oo sent to Insein Prison
1989-95 for their roles in attempting to restore democracy in Myanmar.
Since their release, party members have voted to restore them as general
secretary and vice chairman and empowered them to negotiate with the
The military passed a law while the pair were under detention forbidding
political parties from enlisting new members or changing their officers.
Therefore it does not recognize Suu Kyi and Tin Oo as legally
Neither Suu Kyi nor Tin Oo could be reached for comment. The military
government places some restrictions on their movements and discourages
journalists from contacting them.
BURMA-OPPOSITION ASIA: BURMA OPPOSITION SLAMS "RENEGADE" MPS
AAP, DATE: 12:59 02-May-99
ASIA: Burma opposition slams "renegade" MPs BURMA OPPOSITION
RANGOON, May 2 AFP - Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition has furiously turned
on a group of its MPs, branding them "lackeys" of Burma's junta after
they called for talks with the party's bitter enemies in the military.
In a sharply worded statement received in Rangoon at the weekend, party
leaders accused three MPs of "collusion with the military intelligence"
for questioning opposition tactics in the long struggle with the
"Three of our parliamentarians, who have vowed to fight for democracy
and human rights have now become lackeys of the military intelligence,"
said the statement issued by the National League for Democracy (NLD).
The leadership, clearly angered by the appeal, accused the group of
"attempting to sow disunity" within the party.
"We strongly condemn their despicable act," said the statement.
The three MPs targeted by the statement, Than Tun, Tin Tun Maung and
Kyi Win are long standing NLD members elected in the party's crushing
1990 general election victory which the government has never
All three have been recently detained by the military during a
country-wide sweep against the NLD apparently designed to crush its
The MPs were behind a letter sent to NLD leaders urging fresh attempts
to initiate dialogue with the junta, which is accused by the party and
foreign groups of gratuitous human rights abuses.
The letter, a copy of which has been obtained by AFP, said Aung San Suu
Kyi's call last year for a meeting of a parliament elected in 1990 had
It said the move had led to a political stalemate, encouraged the
government to systematically dismantle the NLD by arresting MPs and
triggered mass forced resignations from township organisations set up
with "great difficulty".
"This stalemate has also slowed down economic development and much
needed foreign investment and strained international relations," the
letter, signed in all by 25 NLD MPs, said.
Tremendous damage had also been inflicted by the continued closure of
universities and colleges by a military government fearful of student
revolt, it added.
The military government says it is always ready to talk to the NLD but
refuses to sit down with Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi whom they
regard as a traitor.
NLD leaders say talks are impossible without the presence of the woman
regarded by many in Burma and abroad as a heroic figure of political
However, the letter says dialogue is the only way out of Burma's
"We firmly believe that the authorities continue to leave the door wide
open for such a dialogue which would finally lead the way to democracy
and the acknowledgement of the 1990 general elections," the letter
In an interview with AFP, one of the instigators of the initiative
urged the NLD leadership to change tactics and fervently denied
colluding with the government.
"We firmly believe that the authorities continue to leave the door wide
open for dialogue," he said.
"We are willing to provide an alternative plan so that both sides can
save their faces but it is too early at this stage to reveal it."
It is understood that any such plan would recommend low level contacts
between the military and the NLD to test the ground for full talks in
The instigator of the letter, who asked to remain anonymous said most
of the hundreds of NLD members detained in what the government refers
to as "guest-houses" had now been freed.
Only those regarded as prime agitators are still in custody following
the crackdown, he said.
However, large numbers of government opponents are still in jail on
politically motivated charges according to dissident groups and foreign
AFP: NLD SIGNATORIES RETRACT CALL FOR TALKS
4 May, 1999
Party Leaders Issue Harsh Condemnation
Some of the 25 Burmese opposition members who signed a letter calling
for dialogue with the junta, have retracted the statement following a
sharp rebuke from opposition leaders, sources in Rangoon said.
Diplomatic sources said "most" of the National League for Democracy
(NLD) members had withdrawn the statement which drew official
condemnation from the party.
"They said they were led to believe it was a discussion paper of
suggestions rather than a 'call' for the NLD to do something in
particular," one diplomat said.
The NLD under Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi on Saturday attacked the
three instigators of the letter, calling - them "lackeys" of the junta
for urging a dialogue with the military regime.
"Three of our parliamentarians, who have vowed to fight for democracy
and human rights, have now become lackeys of the military intelligence,"
an NLD statement said.
It said they were "attempting to sow disunity" within the party, an act
described as "despicable".
The three MPs targeted by the statement, Than Tun, Tin Tun Maung and Kyi
Win, are long-standing NLD members-elected in the party's crushing 1990
general election victory which the junta has never recognised.
Than Tun is understood to have been expelled from the NLD about two
years ago for refusing to sign a mandate giving the central committee
authority to act on behalf of the party.
At the time he was quoted as saying: "We must get dialogue ... the
[junta] is ignoring us all the time. They [the NLD] want to stick to
principles. To get compromise you must not always stick to principles."
Sources said it was unclear to what extent the letter was the result of
coercion by military intelligence. They said many of the signatories had
been held in government custody in recent months.
"From what we understand Than Tun was taken to see the detainees in the
government guesthouses and he circulated this paper, which some of them
signed," the source said, adding he had been unable to speak to the
The letter, plus the vehemence of the response from the usually cautious
NLD, has added to speculation that the party is fraying at the edges
under constant harassment and intimidation from the military, although
Aung San Suu Kyi seems as strong as ever.
EMAILS: drunoo@xxxxxxxxxxxx, uneoo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
POSTMAIL: Dr U Ne Oo, 18 Shannon Place, Adelaide SA 5000, AUSTRALIA
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