Thu 22 Dec 2005
Filed under: Inside Burma,News
The Burmese military government is reportedly stepping up pressure on pro-democracy activists to refrain from openly criticizing the resumed National Convention.
Several members of the National League for Democracy, other activists and opposition lawyers have been called in to hear warnings from the authorities since the National Convention resumed its work on December 5 to draw up a national constitution.
They say they were warned not to discuss the National Convention with outside media. Win Mya Mya, an organizer of the Mandalay branch of the NLD, said she had been summoned to meet the authorities earlier this month and told â€œto be careful when talking to the outside media and not talk about the National Convention.â€ Said Win Mya Mya: â€œThey said they don’t want to arrest me and see me in jail.â€
A source close to former political prisoners and student leaders said he also knew of activists who had been warned: â€œWatch your mouth or you will return to prison.â€
An ethnic politician in Rangoon, speaking anonymously, said he and two others had also been warned by the authorities not to talk openly about the National Convention.
Zaw Hein, secretary of the NLD’s Patheingyi Township branch in Mandalay Division, said the regime was pressuring pro-democracy activists in other ways apart from on the National Convention issue.
An NLD spokesperson, Myint Thein, said: â€œThe authorities are always finding a way to oppress the NLD and this is one of them.â€
At the opening ceremony of the resumed National Convention on December 5, Lt-Gen Thein Sein, secretary -1 of the State Peace and Development Council, charged that â€œexternal and internal elementsâ€ were trying to derail the assembly.