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Commission on Human Rights
53rd Session
Agenda Item (10)
April 9, 1997                      
              Oral Intervention made by Dr. Sein Win
I am Dr. Sein Win, an elected representative of the 1990
general election from the Paukkhaung constituency in Burma. 
First of all, I am disappointed to know that the Special
Rapporteur on Burma has not been allowed to visit Burma to
perform his mandate given by the 52nd Session of the UN
Commission on Human Rights.  SLORC's failure to comply with
the terms of successive UN resolutions and its denial to allow
the Special Rapporteur and the Envoy of the UN Secretary-
General to visit Burma are clear violations of articles 55 and
56 of the UN Charter in which member states "pledge themselves
to take joint and separate action" to "promote universal
respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental
freedoms for all." 
At every UN session, SLORC authorities appear to be very
defensive about the resolutions on Burma and the Special
Rapporteur's reports on the situation of human rights in our
country. SLORC mistakenly claims that the right of non-
interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state is
paramount to all other articles in the UN Charter.  In our
view, national sovereignty must descend from the people;
sovereignty should not be used as a veil to hide human rights
Instead of cooperating with the UN, improving the human rights
situation and opening the country to human rights monitoring,
SLORC has chosen a different path.  Its total denial to all
human rights violations and its closed door policy to UN       
human rights monitoring are not the acts of a responsible
member of the UN that adheres to the principles of the rule of
The situation of human rights in Burma is moving from bad to
worse.  The rights of the people, especially elected
representatives and supporters of the National League for
Democracy, to freely participate in the political process have
been severely restricted by unjust laws and orders. In esponse
to the efforts of the people to freely express their will,
SLORC has resorted to violent suppression, arbitrary arrests,
unfair trials and harsh prison sentences.  While SLORC is able
to reconcile with drug traffickers, even trying to make them
into respected leaders of some ethnic groups and legitimate
businesses, democratically elected representatives are being
treated like criminals.
Since May, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has again been put under
virtual house arrest.  Her freedom of travel is severely
restricted. SLORC has forbidden the weekend rallies in front
of her home, the only place she could communicate directly
with the people.  Even worse, on November 9th of last year,
she was physically attacked by a group of about 200 young men
from the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA),
a SLORC-organized youth group.
  This is SLORC-orchestrated, state-sanctioned terrorism.  We
continue to be seriously concerned about the personal security
of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi because Win Sein, the Minister of
Railways and Transportation, told members of the USDA that Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi should be killed. 
  Now SLORC is also putting much more pressure on elected
Members   of Parliament (MPs) to resign from their posts. 
SLORC has ntimidated, harassed and arrested many MPs and their
families as well as used economic coercion to try to force
their resignations. 
  In addition, under the restrictive  measures imposed in the
country, lawyers and medical doctors involved in the democracy
movement are finding it increasingly difficult to practice
their professions. 
  Restrictions have also been imposed on the travel of NLD MPs
and members.  They are confined to their respective townships
unless they receive prior permission from their local
authorities to leave.  Some MPs who have traveled without
permission have been arrested and sentenced under the 1961
Restrictions and Bond Act which was originally enacted to
limit the travels of ex-criminals. 
  There are many other restrictions on NLD activities.  Many
NLD branches have been forced to take down their party sign
boards. Also, landlords have been forced not to rent office
space for the NLD.  And when NLD members want to meet, they
must request permission from the local authorities. Permission
rarely follows.
  The NLD also tried to organize a meeting of elected MPs and
party members in May and again in September.  In May, around
200 MPs and supporters were detained in intelligence buildings
to prevent them from congregating in Rangoon, and in
September, around 600 suffered the same fate. When student
demonstrations broke out in December, SLORC accused the NLD of
inciting the demonstrations and arrested more NLD members.
They released the majority, but there remain approximately 100
members and  24 MPs in detention. We are greatly disturbed to
see continued cases of death in custody due to torture and
lack of food and medical care.  Two elected Mps, Tin Maung Win
from the Khayan constituency and U Hla Than from the Coco
Island constituency, have died in prison since 1990.
  The purpose of arresting, torturing and allowing MPs to die
is to undermine and nullify the 1990 election results.  Of the
392 elected NLD MPs, 68 were disqualified by the Election
Commission for no valid reason, 39 have been forced to resign,
24 remain in detention and two have died in prison.
  As the Special Rapporteur pointed out, the lack of rights
  pertaining to democratic governance is the root cause of
major violations of human rights in Burma. The remedy for
improving the human rights situation is to have a substantive
triparte dialogue at the earliest possible date among all
concerned parties.  It is the will of the Burmese people to
seek national reconciliation through dialogue.  
  In the light of the deteriorating situation in Burma, I
would like to recommend that the Commission:
  (1) extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for another
  year; and(2) pass a resolution on Burma that reflects the
appalling human rights situation in Burma.  
  Thank you.