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NEWS - NLD to emerge stronger from

Subject: NEWS - NLD to emerge stronger from junta crackdown: Suu Kyi

The Nation - May 16, 1999

NLD to emerge stronger from junta crackdown: Suu Kyi
filed at 17:42 hrs (THLD time)

YANGON, May 14 -- Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Friday
admitted her National League for Democracy (NLD) faced internal
but insisted public support was stronger than ever.

She said a concerted government crackdown in the past year had taken a
on party's infrastructure and membership and some members had found the
going too ''tough'' to continue.

But the general public was more committed to the NLD than at any time in
past and pressure from the regime was a kind of ''test'' which would
ultimately strengthen the party, she said.

''We have stronger public support than ever,'' she told AFP in her
party headquarters in Yangon.

''Our official apparatus has been affected by the government, in the
of forcing our offices to close down, but in some ways this is, how
shall I
put it, a kind of test.

''From this it emerges who are the really dedicated members, who are the
really strong ones.''

She said Myanmar itself was under huge economic and social pressure and
public was not fooled by the junta's daily propaganda placing her as the
cause of every problem.

''Every day that the country deteriorates the credibility and the
respectability of the authorities suffer,'' she said.

''Our offices may be forced to close down but the people are very aware
the fact that we have nothing to do with the rising prices, or the fact
child mortality is rising and elementary school dropouts are rising.

''That's entirely to do with what the government is able to do, or
not able to do.'' (AFP)