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BBC's Larry Jagan
"Ms Suu Kyi totally rejected calls for fresh elections"
 real 28k

Saturday, 27 May, 2000, 09:16 GMT 10:16 UK
Suu Kyi demands power handover
Aung San Suu Kyi
About 300 supporters heard Suu Kyi's address
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi marked the 10th anniversary of nullified elections won by her National League for Democracy (NLD) party by demanding that the military hand over power.

Ms Suu Kyi said the NLD rejected any proposal for a fresh ballot, saying the government must respect the results of the last multi-party elections.

Burmese riot police earlier surrounded the NLD headquarters in Rangoon.

Witnesses said the military authorities had erected barricades around the building, and were barring non-members from attending the anniversary ceremony.

But about 300 people managed to cross the security cordon to hear Ms Suu Kyi promise the fight for democracy would continue despite government attmepts to intimidate them intoo silence.



[NLD meeting] a pure political ploy designed merely to give a false impression of the [party's] support

Burmese government spokesman

In the days leading up to the anniversary, the military regime heightened its crackdown on dissent, warning the media and Buddhist clergy not to mark the anniversary.

The opposition says several hundred opposition members have been detained throughout the country in the past few weeks.

Capital quiet


A Burmese official holds up an empty ballot box to representatives of political parties in the May 1990 elections
The 1990 election result stunned the military
Rangoon was reported to be quiet, with people going about their normal business.

There was no sign of a march on the capital by a monks organisation which had been predicted by dissident activists in neighbouring Thailand.

Officials told the French news agency AFP that about 100 protesting monks had arrived individually from Mandalay, the country's second city.

The government says there is no significant support for either the NLD or the monks.

Opposition victory

On 27 May 1990, the people of Burma - also known as Myanmar - overwhelmingly rejected decades of isolationist military rule.


Burma's strongman Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt
Burma's strongman Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt
The NLD and its allies won more than 80% of the seats, despite the intimidation of pro-democracy candidates and Aung San Suu Kyi's house arrest the year before.

Stunned by the defeat of its own front party, the military annulled the NLD's election victory, claiming it had been rigged by foreigners and communists.

The military has been in control of the country, in various guises, since 1962.

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See also:

28 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Burmese forced labour condemned
27 Mar 00 | Asia-Pacific
Burma warns opponents
20 Jan 00 | Asia-Pacific
Burma clamps down on web
08 Aug 98 | Burma
Special report: Burma
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