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Reuters-Suu Kyi urges party loyalty

Subject: Reuters-Suu Kyi urges party loyalty on poll anniversary 

Suu Kyi urges party loyalty on poll anniversary
09:56 a.m. May 27, 1999 Eastern
By Aung Hla Tun

YANGON, May 27 (Reuters) - On the ninth anniversary of its landslide
election victory ignored by the ruling military, Myanmar's opposition called
on its members on Thursday to remain loyal to the cause of democracy.

``Be loyal to the objectives set for democracy, be loyal to the multiparty
democracy general elections held in 1990, be loyal to the resolution we have
made,'' Nobel Peace laureate Aung san Suu Kyi told members of her National
League for Democracy.

``We are sure to succeed, but I can't say when for sure. When there will be
political changes depends on many factors, but the greater the unity and the
loyalty, the faster it will come.'' Suu Kyi spoke to about 350 party
supporters who gathered at the NLD headquarters in Yangon to commemorate its
victory in an election on May 27, 1990, which the generals have never

In calling for loyalty, Suu Kyi criticised a group of renegade NLD MPs who
earlier this month accused the party leadership of being too confrontational
towards the military.

In particular they opposed a resolution adopted last year in which the NLD
established a committee to represent the parliament that had never been
allowed to convene. The military responded to the call for parliament by
detaineding hundreds of NLD members. Suu Kyi said NLD MPs owed their
election to what the party stood for and had a duty to remain loyal.

Party vice-chairman Tin Oo read a statement criticising the military for
failing to convene parliament and for resisting dialogue with the

He stressed the need for a tripartite dialogue involving the government, the
NLD and representatives of ethnic minorities.

The government has opposed such three-party talks and has long refused to
enter talks with Suu Kyi, who has been the biggest thorn in its side for
more than a decade.

Earlier on Thursday, Tin Oo appeared to wave an olive branch by saying the
party was willing to enter a dialogue with the military at any time and
whatever level.

``I think they (the military) are trying to find a way to come up with
dialogue,'' he told Reuters. ``We are quite optimistic...If they are genuine

and sincere about democracy, it can be dialogue at any time.''

However, the powerful intelligence chief, Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt,
said on Thursday the government believed it was on the right political

The general, considered the most powerful figure in the government, said
this chosen path would guarantee peace, stability and prosperity.

Khin Nyunt said the government was laying foundations for a democratic
system ``in keeping with the conditions of the country as well as the
aspirations of the entire people.''

He said a ``constitutional government'' would be be established once the
drafting of a new constitution had been concluded.

Drafting of a new constitution began in the early 1990s and has stalled for
some years now. Khin Nyunt gave no indication when the process might be