National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma
October 21, 2004
Moving Chairs About on the Titanic?
The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma does not believe that the
dismissal of Prime Minister General Khin Nyunt will drastically change the country's
political direction. This is because the military has already hijacked the country moving
on a course toward a military-dominated political future which is what Senior General
Than Shwe and his cohorts have been working for over the years. Besides, General Khin
Nyunt -- regardless of whether he is a "moderate" or a "hardliner" -- never really had
the decision-making power at the national-level which remains solely in the hands of
Senior General Than Shwe. This situation will continue to hold true for the new Prime
Minister Lt Gen Soe Win as well.
Factional struggles over the years have been depleting the ranks of generals and
they belie the claim that the Burmese Army is a monolithic institution. These struggles
will continue until the military seriously considers working with the people to resolve
the ills of the nation. Only a genuinely democratic system of governance can guarantee
the stability and security of the country and the military as well.
The generals will not be able to overcome the economic backlash, regional instability
arising from unrest among armed cease-fire groups, and dissatisfaction within the armed
forces if they refuse to work with the people. The country will be dragged to doom and
the current change in the military hierarchy will become nothing more than what must be
described as "moving chairs about on the Titanic".
But, the opportunity to do the right thing is here and now. The military can start
anew and bring peace to the country by starting a dialogue with the election winning
political parties, particularly the National League for Democracy, to work toward national
Prime Minister Dr Sein Win said: "Without corrective intervention, we are concerned
that the generals will continue to ignore popular opinion and step up the hostilities
against ethnic and democracy movements and threaten the safety and security of Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi and other democratic leaders. Regional and neighboring countries, which have
been supporting and defending the Burmese generals regardless, should also adopt
appropriate measures to guide Burma back on to the correct path toward democracy."
Contact: NCGUB, 1319 F Street, NW, Suite 303, Washington, DC 20004
Tel: 202 639 0639 Fax: 202 639 0638
Oct. 18, 2004
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
New EU Sanctions on Burma
The United States welcomes the European Union's announcement of new
sanctions on Burma, following the Burmese junta's failure to meet the EU's
October 7 deadline for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and the completion of
certain concrete steps toward democratization. The EU action is a positive
step that underlines the international community's continued desire to see
positive and peaceful change in Burma, and we urge the EU to move quickly to
final adoption and implementation of the sanctions. Should Burma continue to
deny its citizens basic human rights and freedoms, we urge the EU and other
democracies in the international community to consider further strengthening
sanctions, including placing a comprehensive import ban on Burmese products.
We urge the international community to remain focused on this vital matter
in order to generate more cooperation in support of the Burmese people's
enduring desire for freedom, democracy, and national reconciliation.
We are deeply disappointed that the Burmese junta continues to ignore the
demands of the international community and their own citizens for democracy
and the free exercise of fundamental human rights. The situation in Burma
has further deteriorated since the brutal May 30, 2003, attack on Aung San
Suu Kyi and members and supporters of the National League for Democracy
(NLD). The United States remains deeply concerned by the continued detention
of Aung San Suu Kyi and over a thousand other political prisoners, the
failure of the junta to permit the NLD to open its offices nationwide and
operate freely, the denial of full and free participation of ethnic minority
and NLD representatives in the National Convention, and by recent reports of
serious abuses in southern Shan, Karen and Karenni States.
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