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Cablegate: Thirteen Years On, Nld Calls On Junta to Honor

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.





E.O. 12958: N/A

1. (U) Summary: At a ceremony honoring the 13th anniversary
of multiparty elections in Burma, the National League for
Democracy, which won 392 out of the 485 elected seats, called
on the regime to honor the election's results. Citing the
junta's pledges from the pre- and post-election period that
it would allow elected representatives to take office, the
NLD lambasted the State Peace and Development Council for
failing to honor these commitments. NLD leader Aung San Suu
Kyi did not attend the ceremony, as she continued a
month-long visit to northern Burma. Despite continuing junta
harassment of her party and supporters along the route, large
crowds have greeted her at every stop. Finally, there were
new arrests of political activists on May 19, while others
arrested in February were released. End Summary

2. (SBU) On May 27, at a crowded and sweltering ceremony at
NLD headquarters, party representatives called on the SPDC to
honor the results of multiparty elections held in 1990. With
electricity to the building cut off (purposely?), the
temperature inside soared as well wishers, press, and
representatives of other political parties crowded in to hear
the proceedings. Diplomats from the U.S., UK, Germany,
France, Japan, and a smattering of UN agencies attended the
event. Conspicuously absent were any diplomats from ASEAN
countries. Speakers from the NLD and other parties held the
SPDC to account for its failure to follow through on public
statements over the years that it would return to the
barracks and allow the elected officials to govern the
country. There were tributes to elected Members of
Parliament who continue to press for recognition of the
elections and, as a result, have sacrificed their freedom and
the well being of their families. Although 40-50 MPs-elect
attended the event, a rumored larger turnout of MPs from
around the country did not materialize.

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ASSK Still On the Road

3. (U) NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi, reportedly in Mandalay
on her return from a trip to Kachin State, did not attend the
ceremony. Her traveling party and citizens hoping to see her
have been harassed and intimidated at almost every location
on the trip. Large crowds of supporters have nonetheless
turned out, ignoring authorities' threats of retaliation.
ASSK is expected to return to Rangoon on or about June 2, in
anticipation of UN Special Envoy Razali's visit from June

New Political Arrests and Releases

4. (U) Three NLD members, including one MP-elect, were
reportedly arrested in Sagaing Division May 19 for discussing
rice problems with local farmers. The three were reportedly
sentenced to 2 years in prison under a law dealing with
public disturbances. The MP-elect, U Win Myint Aung, was the
first MP-elect since 1998 to receive a prison sentence
(although many have been detained or put under house arrest).
The other two members were officers in the NLD Tabayin
township office. We have heard reports that six other NLD
members may have been arrested in the same township, but no
additional information is yet available.

5. (SBU) Late-May Foreign radio broadcasts report three
members of the Arakan League for democracy were released
April 6 - 12. On May 20 the SPDC released Sai Nyunt Lwin,
the Secretary General of the Shan Nationalities League for
Democracy (SNLD) from Insein prison in Rangoon. Sai Nyunt
Lwin was arrested along with several NLD members on February
8 for allegedly distributing democracy literature and for
acts against the State. Sai Nyunt Lwin turned state's
witness and was not charged, while those he testified against
received sentences ranging from five years to life. Sai
Nyunt Lwin reportedly claimed his testimony did not lead to
the convictions as the others did not deny the charges
against them. He is being reinstated as the SNLD's Secretary
General. This episode has soured relations between the NLD
and the SNLD, Burma's second largest party. SNLD Chairman
Hkun Htun Oo was noticeably absent from the May 27 elections
ceremony at NLD headquarters.

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