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Attempt to liquidate Suu Kyi?s party

The Statesman (New Delhi)
November 22, 2000

BIZARRE events are taking place in Myanmar whose sole purpose is to
liquidate Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy. After
having forced several middle level party leaders to resign in September,
the military junta is now resorting to a variety of dirty tricks.
Recently it forced two elderly landladies of the building where the
NLD?s modest headquarters is located in Yangon to serve a quit notice.
The argument ? neighbours complain that frequent army roadblocks for
conducting search and seizure operations disrupt normal life. The
giveaway was that ?no pressure form outside? forced the landladies to
serve the notice. If the eviction order is carried out it will mean the
NLD will have no central office. Another proof of the junta?s intention
is the hate campaign in the Government-controlled media. Stage-managed
rallies are held daily outside Yangon where ?forced? resolutions demand
NLD?s dissolution.

The junta has put Suu Kyi and her senior aides under house arrest and
holds them incommunicado. Public meetings have long been banned. As a
result the functioning of the party has almost been brought to a
standstill. The junta is simultaneously projecting the Union Solidarity
and Development Association (USDA) as a rival to the NLD and ?as the
true representative of the Myanmarese people?. Membership is compulsory
for bureaucrats and all those seeking favours form the Generals. The
junta has already got Chinese recognition for USDA and the Chinese
Communist Party has forged ?fraternal? ties. What has also boosted the
morale of the generals is the resignation of the UN human rights special
rapporteur on Myanmar. Mr Justice Rajsoomer Lallah, who was not allowed
to enter Myanmar but submitted well-researched and legally acclaimed
reports. It is tragic that lack of funding forded his resignation. His
predecessor, Professor Yozo Yokota, resigned in 1996 on similar grounds.
Have the votaries of democracy the world over suddenly become so poor
that they can?t support a UN-sponsored watchdog on Myanmar? The junta
must be amused.