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Junta snubs Suu Kyi offer to negoti

Subject: Junta snubs Suu Kyi offer to negotiate.


Herald Correspondent.

SINGAPORE, Wednesday: A key member of Burma's military leadership has 
rejected a proposed dialogue with the country's democracy leader, Ms Aung 
San Suu Kyi, and declared the regime is pushing ahead with a new 
constitution which will entrench the army's grip power.

The Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Mr David 
Abel, said talks with Ms Suu Kyi, who was freed two months ago after 
spending six years under house arrest, would make no difference to 
Burma's future.

"Dialogue is not the final solution," said Mr Abel, who is attending a 
regional economic summit here.

"There has been a dialogue, in the future there can be dialogue, but that 
doesn't resolve the issues."

The US and other Western governments, including Australia, have demanded 
substantive dialogue between Ms Suu Kyi and the military as a condition 
for resuming international aid and development loans.

But Mr Abel made it clear a compromise on political reform is unlikely. 
He said a national convention backed by the military was close to 
ratifying the new Constitution, which will reserve a quarter of 
parliamentary seats for military personnel and ensure the head of state 
is a former army officer.

The convention, due to resume on October 24, had already agreed on the  
15 main chapter headings of the Constitution, and the 104 basic points to 
be included, he said.

Mr Abel said the regime was hopeful of a resumption of loans from the 
World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. "In the meantime we can 
carry on."

He said there had already been dialogue with Ms Suu Kyi - an apparent 
reference to informal contacts between her and General Khin Nyunt soon 
after her release.

(THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, September 21, 1995, page 10).