Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Political Stagnation

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Political Stagnation

Article excerpt

The National League for Democracy (NLD) has continuously called for dialogue with SLORC, which the latter has prevented in spite of a couple of meetings between SLORC and Aung San Suu Kyi two years ago. On 17 July, just prior (and perhaps related) to ASEAN entry, discussions were held between General Khin Nyunt and NLD Chairman, U Aung Shwe. The NLD has maintained, however, that if there were to be subsequent discussions, they should involve Aung San Suu Kyi as one of the principals. The SLORC/SPDC has refused to include her, and dialogue has stopped. It seems apparent that the SPDC will attempt to carry out discussions with others in the NLD rather than with Aung San Suu Kyi, and two key Vice-Chairmen, Tin Oo, and Kyi Maung. The NLD has indicated it is determined to avoid this, as it believes such talks would be directed towards splitting the League, and thus vitiating its potential. In June 1997 the NLD indicated interest in rejoining the Constitutional Convention, from which they withdrew in November 1995 because it did not allow free debate on all issues, but SLORC did not agree to that request and, in any case, the Convention is in a prolonged recess with no date set for reconvening.

Foreign observers, seeing in the tea leaves indications of an amelioration of SLORC's hardline stance on political change, are likely to be self-deluded or deceived. …

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