Written by U Ne Oo on 1994-08-03
To: groups and individuals
Re: The Ceasefire Agreements in Burma
Warment greetings from Adelaide and firstly wishing to thank you for your efforts in helping Burmese people and their struggle le and their struggle for democracy.
As you have been a person/organization which closely working with Burma pro-democracy groups, I would like to call your attentions to the concerns raised in the enclosed documents. In particular, the proposal for DAB to enter ceasefire on the condition that they be able to participate in political process and writing a just constitution.
My appeal to you - as a person/organization influential on the Burma's pro-democracy groups - it to persuade DAB to enter ceasefire agreements and also to give helps in any possible way to consolidate their political position.
I believe this is the critical time for pro-democracy groups to focus their attention on the political developments and also to be vigilant. As the pro-democracy groups have unfortunately been scattered throughout the globe and, for most part, under suppressions, the advise from the NGOs and expatriate groups are vital for their very survival. Please help as anyway you can.
I usually work with a small Adelaide baAdelaide based NGO - the Burma Action(SA) - and various expatriate groups within Australia, but this initiative has to be considered largely of my own and may not necessarily reflect the views of those groups.
ONce again, I thank you for your kind attentions and helps.
Yours sincerely, U Ne Oo.
THE DIALOGUE FOR NATIONWIDE CEASEFIRE IN BURMA
A CALL FOR ACTION TO NGOS AND PRO-DEMOCRACY GROUPS
Date: August 3, 1994.
From: DR U Ne Oo, Adelaide Australia.
As you may already know, the UNHCRknow, the UNHCR made a statement on 21 JUne regarding with repatriation of Burmese refugees in Thailand. In the statement, the UNHCR informed of its willingness to monitor and assist the repatriation and also urged both SLORC and democratic forces to implement ceasefire in order to create a safe return for refugees. The SLORC'S foreign minister at the Bangkok ASEAN meeting has indicated that the junta will talk with the UN Secretary General. This appear to be the first step towards repatriation of refugees in Thailand as nd as well as a starting point for a possible mediation of Burma's conflicts by the international community.
There have been news about Nai Shwe Kyin has been assigned to a senior DAB post and DR Naing Aung and Moe Thee Zun ABSDF factions are going to unite into one team. These have been encouraging signs from democratic forces that may actually leads to their consolidations. The NCGUB have also made a suggestion on 12 July that the current process of writing constitution should be abandoned. This has been s been a necessary step to create a just constitution for all the people of Burma.
From NGO's point of view, the best way to help the refugees and these
democratic forces to urge UN to make a 'Comprehensive Response to the
Refugee Problem'. This includes the UNHCR verification of ceasefire,
monitoring human rights situation as well as safety of returnees, and that
follows by UN assisting in reintegration process. We, the NGOs, should put
forwards such a proposal to the UN in the forthcoming UNGA.
At present, the democratic forces should be encouraged to enter the ceasefire agreement. The agreement should be signed upon the condition that (1) the democratic forces, i.e. the exiled parliamentarians as well as ethnic freedom fighters (including that of student rebels), must be able to participate in political process and drafting of a just constitution;(2) a time table for completing constitution with transfer of power to the civilian government must be presented; (3) the UN must be able to supeto supervise in writing of the constitution and (4) the ceasefire agreement must be implemented under the supervisions.
It appears that DAB also need to promote a concrete strategy on how to transform itself to a political organization. In this regards, K.I.O. have formulated their strategy, for example, the need to retain arms until a new (Federal) constitution is in place; the necessity to form a political party and a provision for the disarmament at a final stage. DAB certainly needs to formulate a similar stimilar strategy. These strategy must be in consistent with the UN human rights/humanitarian policy towards Burma.
Presently, the DAB is seen as a mere grouping of highly autonomous bodies. Only after a concrete policy being formulated, that will becomes a political organization. The DAB undoubtedly have a lot of sympathizers abroad. However, these sympathizers can not help in practice unless the democratic forces have made the public known of their strategy on how to establish a Federal Union. In particulparticular, the Burmese populace inside have to be explained about this policy.
It is also important that the democratic forces must be able to judge their proposals are truly achievable. An unreasonable or unrealistic proposals can discourage the international community. So far, the democratic forces have been good in regards to cooperating with the international community. But they always must be aware that present repatriation movement is a purely humanitarian in nature and therefore resist the temptation to use this movement as a bargaining chip for their political ends. The democratic forces must always show their willingness to put the welfare of the people of Burma above their political interests and, at the same time, not giving in too much in the ways of SLORC.
LETTER FROM UNHCR (CANBERRA 16/8/94)
UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES
Office of Regional Representative for Australia
New Zeland and the South Pacific
9 Terrigal Crescent
O'Malley, A.C.T. 2606
16 August 1994
Dear Dr. Oo,
I refer to your letter of 3 August 1994 in which you inform us of your interest in promoting a ceasefire between SLORC and the Democratic Alliance of Burma (DAB) and in promoting a democratic Burma.
I should like to thank you in particular for the attachments to your letter which included many excellent references/materials of a factual nature. They also gave us a clear idea of your activities and ideals.
On behalf of UNHCR I can assure you that we will continue to seenue to seek an improvement in the political climate in Burma so that not only will it be possible for Burmese refugees to return to Burma, but so that there will also be far less reason for future outflows of refugees. UNHCR's Office in Thailand is taking a particularly active role, notably of recent in connection with the problems in Halockhani Camp about which you are undoubtedly aware.
In closing, I should like to thank you for your obvious interest in human rights and the plight of refugees. Withees. With the organization, commitment and perserverance that people such as yourself display, "people power" is given substance and we in the U.N. are encouraged.
Sd. PIerre-MIchel Fontaine