Toward Democracy, Human Rights and Federalism

Friday, February 3, 2012

Bommersvik Declaration (1995)

- Embargoed until 27 July 1995 -
BOMMERSVIK DECLARATION
of the
CONVENTION OF ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNION OF BURMA
16-23 July 1995
Bommersvik, Sweden

We, the representatives of the people of Burma, elected in the 27 May 1990 general elections, meeting at the First Convention of Elected Representatives from the liberated areas of Burma, hereby –

Warmly welcome the unconditional release of 1991 Nobel Peace laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on 10 July 1995;

Thank all who have worked tirelessly and consistently for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the cause of democracy in Burma;

Applaud Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's determination, in spite of having spent 6 years under house arrest, to continue to work to bring true democracy to Burma;

Recognize the courage and leadership of Senior General Than Shwe, Chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), in initiating the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi;

Welcome Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's return to politics to take up the mantle of her father, General Aung San, in Burma's second struggle for independence;

Affirm that the forces of democracy in Burma remain strong and dedicated to serve the people;

Re-affirm our determination to implement the principle that the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government as declared in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

Re-affirm our commitment to the establishment of a multi-party parliamentary democracy within the framework of a genuine federal union;

Fully agree with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that in order to bring about peace, have stability and re-build the nation, there is an urgent need for genuine political dialogue and negotiations between the Burmese military led by SLORC; the democracy movement led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; and Burma's ethnic leaders;

Believe that bitter enemies can work together for the betterment of their people as expressed by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and as can be witnessed today in South Africa; Bommersvik Declaration July 1995

Encourage the people of Burma to respond to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's appeal for support by continuing to work fearlessly for a genuine democracy;

Call on the people to exercise restraint and refrain from acts of unnecessary violence.

However, note with great concern that:

To date, SLORC has not responded to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi offer of a dialogue,
SLORC has broken its cease-fire with the Karenni National Progressive Party,
SLORC is pursuing a policy of armed confrontation with Burma's ethnic peoples,
Gross human rights violations such as forced labour are still being perpetuated,
SLORC's National Convention to give the military a political role is still in progress,
SLORC has not lifted its laws restricting fundamental rights of the people,
Other political prisoners have not been released, and
International agencies are still being denied access to monitor the situation.

Join Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in expressing our disappointment with Japan for immediately renewing Official Development Assistance to SLORC without first ensuring that the military will engage in a substantive political dialogue with its opponents.

Fully agree with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that foreign governments should not restore full diplomatic and trade ties with Burma until there is a transition to democracy;

Strongly urge governments contemplating improving relations with SLORC to refrain. Improved relations will only embolden SLORC to continue to ignore Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's offer for a dialogue. Instead, they should work directly with her and her associates and colleagues to improve the situation Burma;

Call on international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank to refrain from resuming loans and grants until there is a transition to democracy;

Fully support Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's position that Burma needs foreign investments in the long term but that foreign firms should not invest in Burma for the time being;

Call on Total, Unocal, Texaco, Nippon Oil, Premier, and other oil and gas companies to suspend their operations in Burma pending a more stable political climate;

Strongly urge all companies already invested in Burma to pull out from Burma if their workers are not allowed by SLORC to organise independent trade unions;

Strongly urge nations that wish to see SLORC engage in a substantive and meaningful political dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, to enact economic sanctions to force SLORC to accept a negotiated political settlement;

Encourage individuals and organisations to express their opposition to SLORC by continuing to boycott products and companies investing or doing business in Burma; Further encourage individuals, clubs, organisations, unions, universities, town, cities, and states, to boycott products from Burma and companies doing business in Burma;

Call on the US government and other concerned international agencies to not renew `drug eradication' assistance to SLORC in any form until a political solution to Burma's problems can be found;

Call on all Burma's neighbours and the international community as a whole to impose an embargo on arms and war supplies to SLORC

Call on international agencies and non-government organisations to not increase humanitarian assistance to Burma until substantial progress is made towards a transition to democracy. Under Slorc's current restrictions on NGOs and international agencies, no assistance to the people of Burma can be delivered without indirectly supporting SLORC's repressive policies;

Call on tourists not to support "Visit Myanmar Year - 1996" which is causing great hardship to the people of Burma. Forced reallocations, forced labour and a disruption of essential services are direct by-products of SLORC's beautification program in anticipation of tourists;

Call on the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) not to accept Burma as a member at this point. Instead, we would like to see regional organisations such as ASEAN, co-ordinate their efforts with the United Nations to find a political solution to Burma's problems;

Urgently urge the Secretary General of the United Nations to fully implement the December 1994 resolution of the General Assembly which calls for the Secretary General to assist in the national reconciliation process; and finally, we —

Call on SLORC to implement the following to facilitate political dialogue and negotiations in the interest of national reconciliation:

Respond officially to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's offer of a dialogue,
Declare a nation-wide cease-fire,
Cease all human rights violations including forced labour and porterage,
Abolish the current National Convention,
Lift all laws restricting the fundamental rights of the people,
Immediately and unconditionally release all other political prisoners,
Officially establish a political dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and
Allow international agencies free access to monitor the situation.

Until such time as these above requirements are met, nothing will have changed in Burma except for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

We, hereby, call on all patriotic forces inside and outside Burma, whether they have signed cease-fire agreements with SLORC, are in the process of negotiating cease-fire with SLORC, or are We, hereby, call on all patriotic forces inside and outside Burma, whether they have signed cease-continuing to resist SLORC, to unite and redouble
their efforts to end militarism in Burma and to re-build a truly democratic and civil open society.

Free the People of Burma!

NATIONAL COALITION GOVERNMENT OF THE UNION OF BURMA
WASHINGTON, D.C. INFORMATION OFFICE
815 Fifteenth Street NW, Suite 910, Washington DC.20005
Tel: 202-393 7343, Fax 202- 393 7343
CONVENTION OF ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES
OF THE UNION OF BURMA
16-23 July 1995
Bommersvik
Sweden


Signed :
1. BO HLA TINT MP, Mogok 2
2. BO THAUNG MP, Yinmabin 1
3. HLA OO MP, Kyauktaga 1
4. MARKO BAN MP, Pekkon
5. MAUNG MAUNG LATT MP, Belin 1
6. MAUNG MAUNG AYE MP, Mandalay N.E. 1
7. SANN AUNG MP, Ingapu 2
8. SEIN WIN MP, Paukkaung
9. TEDDY BURI MP, Loikaw 2
10. THEIN OO MP, Mandalay S.W. 2
11. TINT SWE MP, Pale 2
12. TUN OO MP, Kaukgyi
13. ZAHLETHANG MP, Falam 2

Invited but unable to attend:
1. DANIEL AUNG MP, Mong Pyin
2. LIAN UK MP, Haka
3. THA NOE MP, Rathedaung 2
4. THAN SEIN MP, Pale 1

Observers:
WIN KHET Chairman, National League for Democracy / Liberated Area (NLD/LA )
Chairman, Convention of Elected Representatives, Bommersvik
TIN AUNG Vice-Chairman, National League for Democracy / LA ( NLD/LA)
Secretariat, National Council of the Union of Burma
NAING AUNG Chairman, All Burma Students Democratic Front ( ABSDF)
Secretariat, National Council of the Union of Burma
LIAN HMUNG Secretary, United Nationalities League for Democracy (UNLD)
MAUNG MAUNG Secretary, Federation of Trade Unions, Burma (FTUB)
NWE AUNG NCGUB Representative, Europe
NYUNT AUNG NCGUB Representative, United Kingdom
OUNG MYINT TUN National League for Democracy (LA), Europe
THAUNG HTUN Foreign Secretary, All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF)
HARN YAWNGHWE Advisor

Press Release-

CONVENTION OF ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES -Press Release
FROM BURMA HELD IN SWEDEN
NEW DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT OF BURMA FORMED

Following the release of Burmese democracy leader and 1991 Nobel Peace laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on 10 July 1995, the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) led by Prime Minister Dr. Sein Win, convened the first ever Convention of Elected Representatives from the liberated areas of Burma in Bommersvik, Sweden, from 16-23 July 1995.

The representatives of the people of Burma elected in the 27 May 1990 general elections, met to discuss the drastically changed political situation in Burma and to re-organize the NCGUB into a more effective force to support Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's political initiatives in Rangoon.

The Convention supported Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's call for a genuine political dialogue and called on the Secretary-General of the United Nations to implement the UN General Assembly resolution which called for him to assist in the national reconciliation process in Burma. A tripartite dialogue between the Burmese military led by SLORC; the democracy movement led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; and Burma's ethnic leaders; was endorsed by the elected representatives.

The Convention welcomed the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and thanked all who worked for her release. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's return to politics and her determination to continue working for democracy in Burma was applauded and welcomed. The leading role played by SLORC Chairman Senior General Than Shwe in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s release was also recognized.

To give the leadership more flexibility to deal with the rapidly changing situation, the government formed by elected representatives in Manerplaw on 18 December 1990 was officially dissolved by the Convention of Elected Representatives on 21 July 1995 in Bommersvik. The Convention unanimously re-elected Dr. Sein Win by secret ballot to head the new government.

The new government re-affirmed its commitment to the establishment of a multiparty parliamentary democracy within the framework of a genuine federal union.

The broad-based support of the new coalition government is reflected in the make up of the cabinet:

Prime Minister: Dr. Sein Win PND
Foreign Affairs: Dr. Sein Win
Finance: U Bo Hla Tint NLD
Prime Minister's Office: Teddy Buri NLD
Information: U Maung Maung Aye NLD
Federal Affairs: Khun Marko Ban DOKNU
Justice: U Thein Oo NLD
Health & Education: Dr. Sann Aung Ind.
Prime Minister's Office: Dr. Tint Swe NLD
Social Welfare & Development: Dr. Zahleithang CNLD
Labor Minister: U Thar Noe ALD

The elected representatives were joined in their deliberations by representatives from the National Council of the Union of Burma, leaders of the National League for Democracy (Liberated Area), the United Nationalities League for Democracy, the All Burma Students Democratic Front, the Federation of Trade Unions - Burma, and NCGUB representatives.

The Convention was hosted by the Stockholm-based Olof Palme International Centre and the Norwegian Burma Council in Bommersvik, the training centre of the Social Democratic Youth of Sweden.

Note:
Teddy Buri is an elected representative from Karenni State
Khun Marko Ban is an elected representative from Shan State
Dr. Zahleithang is an elected representative from Chin State
U Tha Noe is an elected representative from Arakan State
PND = Party for National Democracy
NLD = National League for Democracy
CNLD = Chin National League for Democracy
DOKNU = Democratic Organization for Kayan National Unity
ALD = Arakan League for Democracy
Ind. = Independent

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