[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]



Burma general calls for solidarity in the
           armed forces

           (RECASTS, ADDS background)

           RANGOON, April 13 (AFP) - A top Burmese general has called for
           personnel to be on guard against "destructionists" seeking to
cause a split in the
           armed forces, the state-run press reported Sunday.

           Lieutenant-General Tin Oo, chief of staff of the army and second
secretary in
           the ruling junta, the State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC) made
           the comments to personnel at the ministry of defence in Rangoon
Saturday, the
           New Light of Myanmar daily reported.

           He was quoted as saying that "above ground political
organisations in collusion
           with underground destructionists and foreign media" were seeking
to disrupt
           rapid national development.

           "All must be vigilant against those who are spreading slanderous
news and
           concoctions and making instigations to split the unity of the
Tatmadaw (armed
           forces) and spoil its morale."

           The comments, which came in Tin Oo's first publicised speech
since his eldest
           daughter was killed in a mail bomb attack on his home last
Sunday, follow
           speculation of a split within the SLORC.

           The rumoured rift in the junta is said to be between factions led
by military
           intelligence chief Khin Nyunt and the armed forces chief Maung
Aye, reported
           to be allied to Tin Oo.

           Some opponents of the junta, including the rebel Karens and
dissident Burmese
           students in exile claim that infighting within SLORC was behind
the blast at Tin
           Oo's house. Burma has blamed it on anti-SLORC groups operating in

           In his speech, Tin Oo, who is also chief of the bureau of special
           further called on armed groups within Burma, to make peace with the
           government in the interests of national development.

           "It is time for a few brethren groups who still remain
underground to think
           seriously and make the right decision," he said, in a pointed
reference to rebel
           groups including the Karen National Union (KNU).

           The KNU is the only major ethnic insurgency yet to reach a
ceasefire with the
           SLORC and is currently facing a massive offensive by junta troops
who have
           overrun the rebels' territory close to the Thai border.