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DATE=8/24/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=BURMA - POLITICS UPDATE (L-O) NUMBER=2-253066 BYLINE=RON CORBEN DATELINE=BANGKOK CONTENT= VOICED AT: ///// CHANGES LEAD ADDS TEXT GRAF 5 TO CR2-253063. ///// INTRO: Burmese opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is quoted as giving support to Burmese dissidents campaigning for a mass movement and possible civil unrest on September ninth. Ron Corben reports from Bangkok the Nobel Laureate says her party, however, is not leading the campaign. TEXT: In an interview with the French news agency, A- F-P, Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is quoted as supporting a mass demonstration called for by dissident groups and students in exile. The so-called - Four-Nines Campaign -- marking September ninth, 1999 - has been launched as part of a mass movement, which opposition students say is aimed at trying to create a political spark for change. Aung San Suu Kyi is quoted as saying that while the campaign has not been led by her party, the National League for Democracy, she would not abandon dissidents calling for the Four-Nines Campaign. The news agency says the opposition leader warned the military could use the campaign as an opportunity to crack down against the country's pro-democracy movement. Diplomats in Rangoon told V-O-A Aung San Suu Kyi's comments appear to be in response to statements, made by military officials at recent news conferences. The military has accused what it termed -- destructive elements -- of plotting civil unrest around the September ninth date. The military has also accused the National League for Democracy of being involved with those plans. A student leader in exile, Naing Aung, of the All Burma Students Democratic Front said the Four-Nines Campaign is aiming to create a mass movement rather than street demonstrations or an uprising. The group reports 150-people have been arrested in connection with the campaign. The military government says at least 37-people have been detained. The campaign -- linked to the Burmese belief in numerology -- has been dismissed by the military. In a statement, the government appealed to the dissidents to halt their activities and to make a meaningful contribution to the country. The government is encouraging the anti-government forces to become, what it calls, responsible members of the Burmese community and engage as constructive forces, adding efforts to incite unrest were frivolous. But Aung San Suu Kyi said if there were a general uprising it would be due to the discontent of the people, and the hardships the Burmese people face. Burma's economy is deep in recession and human rights groups allege mass human rights violations by the military-led government. Little progress toward political or economic reform has been made, despite international pressure. Talks between the military government and the National league for Democracy led opposition have also been at a stalemate. NEB/RC/GC/FC/RAE 24-Aug-1999 08:42 AM LOC (24-Aug-1999 1242 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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