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Reuters Myanmar dissidents shed blo
- Subject: Reuters Myanmar dissidents shed blo
- From: koko@xxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 27 May 1999 10:37:00
Subject: Reuters Myanmar dissidents shed blood,burn flag in Bangkok
Myanmar dissidents shed blood,burn flag in Bangkok
01:51 a.m. May 27, 1999 Eastern
BANGKOK, May 27 (Reuters) - About 200 Myanmar dissidents protested in front
of their country's embassy in Bangkok on Thursday to demand democracy and
human rights on the ninth anniversary of an election ignored by the military
Three of the protesters slashed their arms to drip blood on to a Myanmar
flag before setting it alight.
The demonstrators demanded that the military government in Yangon recognise
the result of Myanmar's last election on May 27, 1990, and allow the
creation of a civilian administration.
The opposition National League for Democracy, which is led by Nobel peace
laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, won the election by a landslide but the generals
ignored the result and have attempted to silence the party through arrests
A statement from protesters called for the release of all political
prisoners. Diplomats in Yangon say the government is holding as many as
2,000 political prisoners.
The protesters in Bangkok were among thousands of dissidents who fled their
homeland to escape the bloody military suppression of a nationwide
pro-democracy uprising in 1988.
Many of them wore red headbands emblazoned with a fighting peacock, a symbol
of the democracy struggle.
Earlier on Thursday, the NLD waved an olive branch to the military saying it
was willing to enter a dialogue at any time.
``I think they (the military) are trying to find a way to come up with
dialogue with the National League for Democracy,'' NLD vice president Tin Oo
told Reuters in a telephone interview.
``We are quite optimistic that they will come up with dialogue. We have our
door open. If they are genuine and sincere about democracy, it can be
dialogue at any time,'' he said.
The military's refusal to talk to Suu Kyi has in the past been a stumbling
block to dialogue. Tin Oo said NLD did mind at what level the talks started.