Written by U Ne Oo on 1998-10-02
The SPDC/SLORC Foreign Minister, in his latest address to UNGA, openly refused to accept UN mediation and, hence, refuse to make reconciliation with opposition. It is rather n. It is rather disappointing, to my view, the junta not accepting a most reasonable political offer that give continued role for current military leaders in future government.
EXTREME NERVOUSNESS IN RANGOON
Recent arrests, as well as previous mass-arrests of opposition MPs since May 1996, is the evidence of junta's nervousness at its current position. The NLD, from its part, never had plans(i.e. to my knowledge) to simply announce a parallel government or to exploit division within the military. The NLD's con NLD's conduct towards the junta, in fact, has been most magnanimous. The courage and discipline of the NLD leadership, in the face of junta's campaign of oppression and intimidation, have been very remarkable.
The leadership of junta has been facing resistance and obstacles from every direction. Wild mood swings and inconsistencies in junta's conduct regarding with opposition and political matters indicate the top military leadership has simply lost the capacity to deal with situation and may be in a stage of paranoid delusid delusion. As many would have no doubt, things for junta are likely to get even worse and, sadly, chances for a successful reconciliation with opposition is diminishing by the day.
CONTINUING RELEVANCE TO OPENING FOR DIALOGUE
In spite this particular difficulty of intransigence of junta's leaders, especially General Khin Nyunt, regarding dialogue with opposition, the NLD's offer to opening dialogue is still relevant. This is because the NLD's offer for dialogue and reconciliation is directed not only not only at top junta leaders, but must be understood to have included the whole rank and file of military establishment. In other words, the NLD must continued to be approachable to all those in the military.
Normally, it is to be assumed that the leadership of an establishment, for example SPDC/SLORC, to respond in the best interest of its followers and supporters. Unfortunately, current SPDC/SLORC leadership has no ability to judge the situation and cannot make best possible response. Only way the junta know now arew now are to use brute force--i.e. arresting all opposition members--and to reject any reasonable approaches--i.e. UN and international community offers to solve problems. The junta is also lacking sense of responsibility and obligation towards those having sympathy on junta, such as ASEAN countries. We have seen the junta's sympathizers within ASEAN, one after the other, disappeared from the scene as if SPDC/SLORC was an unlucky piece.
ODD-MAN-OUT IN POLITICS
On evaluating the political moods of Buods of Burmese people and international community, the will for a change of situation in Burma is too strong. There is no doubt, whatever it may come next, the survival and victory of the pro-democracy movement. Only question is whether this SPDC/SLORC leadership will survive current situation and, at what cost will this junta disappear from Burma's political scene. As in any political situation, the survival of a leadership depends on its ability to cooperate with emerging substantive political forces. Those who stand at odd at odd with such forces will simply be out of the scene sooner or later. In spite of the SPDC/SLORC refusing to cooperate, from our part, we must continue welcoming for dialogue and continue with the work of enhancing the legitimacy of NLD and the elected parliament.
With best regards, U Ne Oo.
ANALYSIS-Myanmar NLD stranded on moral high ground
03:39 a.m. Sep 20, 1998 Eastern, By David Brunnstrom
BANGKOK, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Myanmar's opposition has held ton has held the moral high ground in its long battle against military rule, but its declaration of a parliament is likely to achieve little except further repression, analysts say.
While the ruling generals can expect fresh criticism at the U.N. General Assembly next week for their recent crackdown on the opposition, they have ignored international pressure during 10 years in power and are likely to respond by retreating further inside a hard xenophobic shell, the analysts said.
Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's Nati Kyi's National League for Democracy said on Thursday that a 10-person committee it formed last week would act for a parliament elected in 1990 general elections which the military never allowed to convene.
It named a chairman of parliament and declared laws introduced since the military seized direct control on September 18, 1988, illegal unless approved by the body.
The apparently bold and defiant step, while well-timed ahead of the U.N. session, was essentially a symbolic gesture and was seen by some analysts as an acs as an act of desperation.
``I think it was the only thing they could think of as a last resort,'' said Swedish journalist and Myanmar scholar Bertil Lintner. ``Some say they did it as a means to get a dialogue with the military, but the military isn't interested in a dialogue.''
The opposition acted after the military responded to its vow to call a ``People's Parliament'' this month by detaining a large number of NLD members.
The NLD says that since May more than 800 of its members, including 196 elected represected representatives, have been detained. Most have been picked up in the past two weeks.
A measure of the symbolism of the NLD move, which has been ridiculed by the military, is that the man named to chair the parliament is himself among those currently in detention.
State newspapers have dismissed the parliament as ``bogus'' and a government statement on Friday dripped with sarcasm.
``It would be interesting to hear more about how this committee intends to govern,'' it said, adding that the NLD had never put forwar put forward any specific policy ideas.
``While the NLD's committee puzzles over these issues, the current government will continue to shoulder the real responsibility of governing Myanmar.''
A government spokesman accused the opposition of attempting to provoke harsh counter-measures to highlight its cause at the U.N. General Assembly, where foreign ministers and other senior leaders are to deliver policy statements from next week.
Maureen Aung Thwin, Washington-based director of the Burma Project of the Soros Fothe Soros Foundation's Open Society Institute, said the military would want to avoid criticism at the U.N. session and in that respect the NLD move was well timed.
``I think it's very difficult for the military to act now, but they may decide to crack down again later once attention is elsewhere.''
Suu Kyi, the daughter of Myanmar's foremost independence leader Aung San, was held under house arrest for six years until 1995. State media has urged that she be deported.
A state newspaper commentary repeated the call on he call on Friday, saying: ``Your offences have now harmed the people...The only words we have to say to you are: Get Out!''
A week ago, state media warned that NLD deputy leader Tin Oo, another member of the party committee, faced possible arrest, saying he had been involved in distributing leaflets aimed at sowing discord in the military.
Analysts say that however much the generals may want to deport Suu Kyi, they were aware of immense practical obstacles.
``She would refuse to get on the plane then refuse to get use to get off it,'' said one Yangon-based diplomat. ``They would have to carry her on and carry her off -- what government would accept her under those circumstances?''
Lintner said it was possible the generals might detain all NLD leaders except Suu Kyi, who is afforded a measure of protection as her father's daughter, and has become an international icon in her fight for democracy.
Josef Silverstein, a Myanmar specialist at Rutgers University in the United States, said the main hopes for change rested on the emergence oergence of divisions in the army, something analysts have been searching for unsuccessfully for decades.
``We should really begin to see some cracks in the army because it has nothing left to go on -- it has no popular support and hasn't achieved anything in the past 10 years.
``There has to be some emergence of opposition within the army in order to break this intransigent position,'' he said.