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AFP-Albright slams "arrogant and br

Subject: AFP-Albright slams "arrogant and brutal" Myanmar junta

   Albright slams "arrogant and brutal" Myanmar junta

   WASHINGTON, May 26 (AFP) - On the eve of the ninth anniversary of
last democratic election, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright slammed
military junta there and called on it to allow democratic reforms.
   In a statement to Radio Free Asia, Albright called on the military rulers
of the country formerly known as Burma to establish a "meaningful dialogue
with the democratic opposition."
   "Instead of yielding power, the military has abused it, denying the
of Burma not only democracy, but also virtually any free expression of
political and other basic human rights," she said in the statement which was
to be broadcast in Myanmar on Thursday.
   "Our message to the Burmese military is to reverse course and begin to
in a democratic direction."
   In 1990, two years after the military killed thousands of protesters
a pro-democracy uprising, Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy
(NLD) won a landslide victory in Myanmar's first democratic election in
30 years.
   But the junta has refused to give up power, and for years confined her to
house arrest.
   Myanmar's military rulers say that before they can release Aung San Suu
they must draft a constitution through a convention of handpicked
though no timetable has been given.
   Last month the UN Human Rights Commission condemned Myanmar for sweeping
human rights violations, including increasing numbers of arbitrary and
politically motivated arrests and detentions without trials.
   "The United Nations General Assembly, the European Union, the United
and many others have urged the junta to change its policies," Albright said.
   "Our message to the NLD and other democratic forces in Burma is to have
faith," the secretary said. "The world is aware of your struggle and deeply
sympathetic to your cause."