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NLD's efforts for dialogue and nego

Subject: NLD's efforts for dialogue and negotiation

National Leagur for Democracy
No:(97/B), West Shwegondine Road
Bahan Township, Bahan

Efforts made by the National League for Democracy for dialogue and


1. The National League for Democracy (NLD) was formed on the 27 September
1988.  From the start, one of the policies adopted was that in the task of
catching up with the rest of the world politically, economically, and
we would work in accordance with the united wishes of all the citizens of the
Union. Also, it was openly declared that we would discard the over forty years
practice of settling disputes between the ethnic nationalities by resort to
arms but would settle the issues in a political way. It was also our strong
conviction that the only way to find solutions to internal problems facing the
country was by dialogue and negotiation.  To achieve that goal we have
tried to
meet with the State Law and Order Restoration Council many many times. We set
out below the many efforts made by us since 1988 to negotiate with them.

Initial period

2. In her travels throughout the country since October 1988, the first message
that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the General Secretary of the NLD gave was that the
only and genuine democratic way to finding solutions was by dialogue and

3. In response to the above the authorities said that since there were over
parties, it would not be fair to the other parties to talk to one party alone.

4.  In the months of May to July 1989, approximately over one hundred parties
were permitted to register and the NLD held discussion with many of them on
several occasions. An alliance was formed with the agreement that Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi be the spokesperson for this alliance should an opportunity arise for
talks with SLORC.  The then chairman of  SLORC was General Saw Maung and in
speech to the nation on the 5 July 1989 said that such talks could not be held
and statements were made to the effect that he felt he would be trapped if he
had to hold talks with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who would be representing all the
different parties.

5.  At the beginning of the month of April of 1989, U Tin Oo, (Chairman of the
NLD) and U Aung Shwe, (NLD Central Executive Committee member) went to pay
their respects to the reverend sanghas of the Sangha-maha-nayaka who were
residing at Kabaye. U Tin Oo respectfully petitioned them thus:- "The SLORC
government had not complied with the admonition given by Ba-dan-ta-wunna-thiri
on T.V during the 1988 crisis that the authorities and the political parties
meet and hold talks so would the reverend sanghas please remind and urge them
to do so".

6.  On 3.12.88, U Aung Shwe, (member of NLD) approached Captain Kyaw Nyein who
was then in the Military Intelligence (MIS) assisting unit, to obtain contact
with those in authority for discussions.  Though the captain agreed to make
necessary arrangements, nothing came of it.

7.  On 15 July 1989, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, (General Secretary of the NLD) and
other members of the NLD met with members of the ethnic nationalities at their
head office in Bo Aung Gyaw Road.  Their discussions were towards giving
priority to finding solutions for the future that would be good and acceptable
to all.  Daw Aung San Suu Kyi emphasised that only by such discussion and
mutual exchange of ideas, solutions can be arrived at.

Pre-election period

8.  NLD Chairman U Tin Oo and General Secretary Daw Aung San Suu Kyi were
placed under house arrest by the authorities from 20 July 1989. On 17th July, 
Central Executive Committee member U Aung Shwe and Secretary U Chit Khine, met
General Than Shwe and Secretary (1) Lt General Khin Nyunt.  Some matters were
discussed at that meeting but Lt General Khin Nyunt made it specifically clear
that it was not meant to be a "dialogue".  Furthermore, on 19 February 1990,
General Than Shwe, Lt.General Khin Nyunt and Lt. General Myo Nyunt met with U
Kyi Maung (Central Executive Committee member) and informed him of the program
and work that they were engaged in. When U Kyi Maung asked that there
should be
meetings and discussions the reply given by Lt General Khin Nyunt was that
had been said by them could be interpreted as "dialogue".  The request for
such occasions on a regular basis was made.  Shortly after that, when U Chit
Khine met with Secretary (1) he was informed that Major Win Naing from an MIS
assisting unit had been given the duty of intermediary.  U Chit Khaing met
Major Win Naing on three occasions regarding several matters after which he
instructed to make all further submissions in writing.  As directed, written
communications were made after that but they were all ignored.

Post election period.

9.  In June 1990 after the general elections, a request in writing was made to
SLORC for a meeting and discussions. On 11 July, 1990, SLORC Secretary (1)
a press conference  where he stated   "arrangements were being put in place
them to meet all the successful candidates in the elections who were leaders
and People's Parliament representatives and for this purpose letter dated
11/7/1999 had been sent to the respective political parties. This has been
written and sent to all. We intend to hold discussions with all the political
parties and individuals that have been successful in the elections.  It is not
just to one political party this letter has been sent. " But SLORC has failed
to act according to their words.  It is not just us who know.  The entire
is aware of this.

10.  On 28 and 29 July 1990, a meeting of  People's Parliament representatives
which was organised by the NLD, issued the Ghandi Declaration in which it was
also stated that
(a) We are fully aware of the current difficulties in the transition from a
party to a multiparty system.  We are wholly convinced that solutions can be
found only by mutual respect, frank and honest discussions of the issues by
National League for Democracy and the State Law and Order Restoration Council
in a spirit of national reconciliation while adhering to democratic
(b) Our belief for maintaining and declaring that internal current disputes in
our country must be amicably settled by face to face discussions is because we
have adopted and laid great stress on this pattern of meeting together and

11.  The NLD's statement dated 17 September 1990, clarifying the decisions
taken at the Central Committee's meeting (9/90) :- clearly acknowledges that
"In accordance with the stated policy of the  National League for Democracy
that we will work for the good of all the  people and as stated in the Ghandi
Declaration it is our belief that only by face to face meetings and
negotiations in a spirit of general harmony can solutions be found to the
political problems that we are currently facing in this country. "  This is a
factor, which is evidence of our efforts to bring about negotiation.

12.  On the 29 August, 1990, the NLD and the United Nationalities League for
Democracy(UNLD) issued a statement on the current situation of the state and
one of the resolutions mentioned was "that authorised representatives of the
NLD and representatives of SLORC are urged to meet immediately and negotiate".
However, there was no response to this.

National Convention period

13. At the coordination meeting for the convening of the National
Convention, U
Aung Shwe, (Chairman of NLD) made the following statement on June 23 and 30,
and July 10, 1992.  "If, with all honesty and clean, open and virtuous
minds we
hold deliberations without any discrimination whatsoever against ethnic
religious groups, rich or poor, people of different occupations, then the
greatest benefit can be achieved for all the people in the country and the
valuable goal we hope to reach - a democratic and prosperous system - will
truly and surely be born and flourish".

14.  At the National Convention, which commenced on 9 January 1993, we
repeatedly made this point.  The following passage appears on page 27 of
suggestions presented on 7-2-94 at the discussions on the subject of The
The Constitution and its formulation, and The President :- "In any matters
whatsoever, we can only overcome problems if  we meet and have discussions,
free of prejudices and in a charitable spirit placing the good of the country
as the sole objective. Problems that occur in a family are solved through
discussion and negotiation. We find a common denominator to solve mathematical
problems in fractions. Discussions have good results. Therefore, to write a
sound and lasting constitution and establish a new state, the time is ripe for
the government and those of us who are engaged in this work to meet face to
face and hold discussions. In every situation where there is compromise (give
and take) problems are solved. It is a law of human nature".

15.  Also, on the 24 March 1994, at a meeting of the National Convention
Committee and the group of chairmen, U Thar Zan Hla (authorised leader of the
NLD team) suggested that on issues where there was dissent, face to face
discussion should be held between the National Convention Committee and the
Chairman group.

Discussions that took place during Daw Aung San Suu's house arrest period.

16.  On 20 September 1994, Daw Aung Suu Kyi (General Secretary of NLD) met
and held discussions with SLORC Chairman , Senior General Than Shwe and
Secretary (1) Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt. Another meeting and discussion took
place on
28 October 1993 with Secretary (1), Brigadier Than Oo (Judge Advocate General)
and Brigadier Tin Aye (Inspector General). There were no further meetings.

17.  In connection with this matter, Colonel Kyaw Win (Deputy Director of MIS)
at a press conference on 11 February 1995 stated that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had
not made further requests to meet with the leaders of SLORC. However, when he
was questioned about the request by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for frequent
discussions with the leaders at the time she was informed of her release from
house arrest on 10-7-95, his response was that there could have been a mistake
in the translation from Burmese to English of what he had said. He
undertook to
make  further clarification at later press conferences but Daw Aung San Suu
said that it would not be necessary because she would clarify the matter

Post house arrest period.

18.  The day after her release from house arrest on 10 July 1995,Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi issued a Press Release wherein it was stated " Many unbelievable
changes have come about in the world during my period of detention. The good
thing was that dialogue and negotiation brought about these changes.
there can be no doubt that the key to solving longstanding disputes and hurts
is by discussions and negotiation.  Thanks be to the angels in heaven and to
humans on earth".

19. When Colonel Kyaw Win informed Daw Aung San Suu Kyi of her release from
house arrest he made remarks to the effect that in his opinion the present
circumstances were the result of misunderstanding because of little contact.
Frequent meetings and exchange of ideas would be a step in the right

20. On the evening of the 27 July 1995, Col Kyaw Win and Lt. Col Than Htun
(Grade One Officer of MIS) went to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and made statements
that could be interpreted to mean that there  would be consultations, in
response to which she said that regular meetings and talks was highly
desirable.  After that, only Lt.Col Than Htun met her with the excuse that
Kyaw Win was too busy with other tasks. In the next meetings, only Lt.Col Than
Htun came.

21. Every time Daw Aung San Suu Kyi met and discussed matters with Lt Col Than
Htun, she emphasized the necessity to avoid misunderstanding and for this
purpose there should be meetings and negotiations to bring about beneficial
results for the country.  An early meeting was necessary to help solve the
problems that the people were facing and that her party was always desirous to
find solutions - this was the repeated message she was giving. He then told
that there was a possibility of talks round about November to which Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi replied that this was too much of a delay. She desired a meeting
before the NLD convention.

22.  On 8 September 1995, Ms. Madeleine Albright the permanent representative
of the United States of America visited Burma and met with Secretary (1) who
informed her that it would be sometime before talks could be held but that it
would not be before November and that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi had accepted this
fixture. When Ms Albright met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and informed her of
what she had been told by Secretary (1), Daw Aung San Suu Kyi clarified the
position and denied that she had agreed to such an arrangement.

23.  A few days later, when Lt. Col Than Tun met with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,
this matter was brought up and he confirmed that she had not agreed to the
fixture of a meeting in November.

24.  Daw Aung San Suu Kyi then contacted Lt. Col Than Htun and gave him the
message which was a resolution of the Central Executive Committee of the NLD
requesting a meeting with SLORC on a date prior to 10 October 1995 and if the
response was in the positive, a reply be sent to them before 1 October
1995. No
reply of any sort was received. When inquiries were made one of the MI team
stationed in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's compound informed her that Col Kyaw Win's
reply was that since Lt Col Than Htun had been assigned to duties outside the
country she should await his return  and that the date for holding the NLD
convention had been postponed to 28 November.

25. On his return, Lt Col Than Htun  contacted Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and
contrary to the information that he had given before, all he said was that
prior notice of the date of the November meeting could not be given. He saw
again in November and she informed him that she wanted the meeting to be fixed
for a date prior to 10 November and requested a reply on or before the 1st
November.  She tried to contact him on the 1st of November but his excuse was
that he was busy with preparations for the Kathein (Buddhist religious)
celebrations after which there was no contact.

Efforts of other individuals

26.  A letter dated 24 November 1995, addressed to both the Chairman of SLORC
and the NLD urging them to meet and discuss the current political situation
written by twenty three experienced politicians and staunch democracy
supporters including Bohmu Aung, Thakin Chit Maung,, Thakin Thein Pe.  They
were called in on 27-10-95 to meet with U Tin Hlaing, (Deputy Home
Minister), U
Thein Sein (Deputy Information Minister), Col Soe Win (Director General of
Police), Col Kyaw Win  (MIS) and were accused of echoing the voice and message
that Ms. Albright (USA representative) had given. Those individuals reply to
that was that they acted in the interest of the country and that they were
taking no orders from anyone.

27.  The Shan Nationalities League for Democracy expressed similar sentiments
in a letter dated 26 November 1995 addressed to the Chairman of SLORC and to
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.  In a similar fashion they were called up by the Home
Ministry on the 27th and told not to be acting as followers of the United
States of America and the NLD.

Efforts by the leaders

28.  The NLD prepared in detail the experiences, situations and resolutions
taken in the past three years for U Kyi Maung, U Tin Oo, and Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi,  the three who had returned to the party. Based on the above facts a
was prepared and confirmed by the five leaders on the 2nd November. This was
then summarised and presented at the NLD Convention as a statement of NLD's
position which was signed and approved by the Central Executive Committee. The
conclusion of that paper stated that solution for 
(a) National reconciliation,
(b)Creation of genuine multiparty democratic system,
(d) Production of a constitution acceptable to most of the citizens
can only be arrived at through meeting and negotiation.

29.  On 1 December 1995, at Number 54/56 University Avenue, the NLD Convention
was held attended by the Central Executive Members and NLD representatives. A
paper entitled "The way of negotiation with dialogue" was confirmed and a copy
of the same was posted to the Chairman of  SLORC on 1/12/95 .

30.  Similarly a letter was posted to the chairman of SLORC on 26/2/96. Sr Gen
Than Shwe made a speech on 27 March 1995 and sated that " If  the peace and
tranquility of the nation is not effected, and if it will not cause
deterioration to the  prosperity of the country the Military has no reason to
seek revenge. The Military's program for reconciliation of the nation includes
all aboveground political parties.  We have always stated that we are always
striving to work with the political parties. This being our basic attitude I
have recommended that we make urgent arrangements to meet face to face with
NLD which is a legally constituted political party".


31. From the above, it is very obvious that since its inception on the 27
September 1988, the NLD has always tried to solve political, economic and
social problems through negotiations and discussions.  SLORC appears to have
started to adopt that road again and again, but they have steadfastly
failed to
follow through. 

32. Simultaneously, at government sponsored public meetings and in newspaper
articles, SLORC leaders have accused and slandered the NLD and treated it
as an
enemy of the state threatening to completely annihilate it.

33.  We specially make this point that at the 1990 May general elections, the
NLD gained 82 % of the votes which is a resounding demonstration of the
will.  To threaten and treat the NLD that has the support of the people
to ignoring the will of the people and to do so for this length of time is an
impossible situation.

34.  Shortly after Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was released from house arrest, she 
often spoke to the members of the party and the people that it was up to each
individual to find ways and means to obtain democracy that was cherished  so
much by them. They should not wait for this or that to happen. They should be
creative and follow appropriate political strategies.  No matter what
difficulties or obstacles they faced, the NLD would with a calm spirit and
steady persistence, work towards achieving genuine democracy for Burma. 
Therefore the NLD would continue to make overtures for meetings and
negotiations for finding solutions to problems. The door would always be open
for that purpose.

Central Executive Committee
National League for Democracy

13 May 1996.

(For NLD members only)