Written by U Ne Oo on 1998-08-30

One important element in confidence-building in political conflict situation, such as in the case of SPDC/SLORC and NLD, is that all parties to the conflict must avoid using rhetorical language. Using rhetorical language, such as the one made by Burmese Ambassador, can heat-up political temperature and damage the process of confidence-building between the parties.

It has become a routine exercise for the New Light of Myanmar to attack Aung San Suu Kyi and other NLD leaders with such rhetorical language. Fortunately, though, most Burmese inside the country are simply able to ignore those articles. On the other hand, the NLM in some way have an 'adverse impact' on pubilcity: if the NLM attack someone to defame, that person is sure to become popular amongst the Burmese general public. Hardly anybody inside Burma in these days treat NLM articles seriously since these are written, mostly, by the civilian underdogs.

At this stage, the fear by SPDC/SLORC is the possibility of NLD announcing a parallel government if elected representatives have the chance to convene parliament. From my point of view, the NLD leaders should communicate to SPDC/SLORC leaders that the elected representative would not make the initiative to form an alternative government. The people's parliament must nevertheless seek improvements to the existing cabinet and should endorse the appointment of that cabinet to work under the policy guidelines laid-down by parliament.

To my observation, democracy is not about enforcing a simple majority will on every issue -- in doing so, we would fall into the trap of the so-called 'tyranny of majority'. The democracy is about respecting the 'truth' and seeking viable 'compromise' on the issues in conflict. To be able to make compromise, the parties to the conflict should all the time show fair mindedness and must also respect the truth. To build trust between the two sides, one must understand the others' views, respect the truth and understanding of the difficulties on each sides.

For example, SPDC/SLORC complained about the presence of U Tin Oo and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in CEC of NLD. True, these two members were not being elected in the 1990-election, for they were being put under detention at that time. However, the SPDC/SLORC must recognize the fact --i.e. a truth-- that these two persons are the leaders of NLD-party and, whether the military authorities like it or not, have influence on the decision makings of NLD-party.

Looking another example: it is true that the NLD won the 1990 election and the NLD does have the right to form a Government of Burma. While the truth about NLD's right to govern Burma must be respected, at the same time the view of the minority--Burmese Army--to participate in government of Burma has inority--Burmese Army--to participate in government of Burma has to be taken into account. The compromised solution is the existing cabinet to take the responsibility of EXECUTIVE BRANCH and People's Parliament to take LEGISLATURE. In this case, the views of Burmese Army, although unreasonable, has to be taken into account to maintain stability. The Burmese Army, on the other hand, must recognize the truth that NLD has the right to govern Burma.

In putting forwards views in public, it is in everybody's interest not to stir-up the public sentiment by making statements such as "SPDuch as "SPDC/SLORC would dissolve NLD" etc. Nobody but itself can dissolve the NLD, a legitimate political party. Neither SPDC/SLORC could ignore the result of election in 1990. The truth is that NLD will be in Burma to stay and Burmese junta must simply find its ways to work together.

With best regards, U Ne Oo.


27 August, 1998 by Sutin Wannabovorn

Bangkok, Aug. 26: Burmese's government has told foreign military ign military attaches, it will neither allow the opposition to form a parliament nor talk to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Rangoon -based diplomat said on Wednesday.

In meeting with 15 military attaches on Tuesday, the ruling State Peace and Development Council argued that Ms Suu Kyi, general secretary of the National League for Democracy, and Mr Tin Oo, the party's vice chairman, had been officially stripped of their posts in 1990, the diplomat said

"The bottom-line is that the door is closed for dialogue between Su between Suu Kyi and SPDC," said the diplomat. The attaches were briefed by SPDC spokesman Colonel Hla Min, he said.



Burmese Ambassador to Thailand Hla Maung yesterday said his government was prepared to dissolve the main opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party if it-acts illegally.

The ambassador's remark underscored a state-controlled Burmese media report suggesting the NLD should dissolve and itssolve and its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, should be deported following recent confrontations between the two sides.

The NLD announced early this week that it plans to summon a "people's parliament" after the failing to convince the ruling military junta to convene representatives of a parliament elected in 1990.

But Hla Maung suggested such action would be considered illegal because the government, known as the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), has no intention of convening the parliament.

"No matter whoever tter whoever they are, they are not entitled to convene the parliament if the Burmese government doesn't mean to do it " he said.

"And no matter if it is the NLD or whatever group, it may be warned or dissolved if it goes beyond the law ... We are prepared to dissolve it."

Hla Maung, who is known to be close to powerful SPDC secretary Khin Nyunt, also insisted the government will not hold talks with Mrs Suu Kyi on national reconciliation, as demanded by the international community, including the Thai government.

"We will talk to the NLD. We will not talk to only one person ... That person is not chairperson of that party," he said, referring to Mrs Suu Kyi, who is the party's secretary.

Rangoon last week had a one-hour meeting with representatives of the NLD, but excluded Mrs Suu Kyi.

Other Rangoon officials said yesterday it wants to keep fledgling meetings going with the opposition, but diplomats questioned government intentions partly because Nobel laureate Suu Kyi would not be included.

The government, facing a monthacing a month of low-level but concerted agitation by pro-democracy forces, reiterated that it found other leaders of the NLD more "responsible".

Government officials have been briefing diplomats and foreign military attaches over the past few days, stressing that the NLD's demands to convene a civilian parliament would upset attempts to hold talks between the two sides.

The officials have described recent meetings with party officials as confidence-building measures, but diplomats said the briefings were filled with thread with threats to arrest opposition members and declare Mrs Suu Kyi's party illegal.

"We do not feel such actions are 'confidence-building measures' by any stretch of the imagination and are thus skeptical of the government's sincerity," a US embassy official said on condition of anonymity.

Mrs Suu Kyi has been recovering since Monday from a 13-day roadside standoff against authorities preventing her from travelling to the provinces to meet supporters. She was suffering kidney and urinary tract problems, dizziness and low bs and low blood pressure, according to the NLD.

Meanwhile, the country's holiest Buddhist shrine, the gold encrusted Shwedagon pagoda, reopened after an unprecedented one-day closure due to apparent fears of anti-government protests.

The temple was closed on the anniversary of an important speech given there by Mrs Suu Kyi in 1988 during a nationwide uprising against military rule. Troops eventually crushed the unrest, killing an estimated 3,000 people.

The government said yesterday in a fax to the Associated Press iiated Press it views NLD chairman Aung Shwe as "the most responsible person of the party" and is also willing to meet with "officially recognised central executive committee members".

SPDC/SLORC corps must tone-down the rhetorics