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12 October, 1999 produced by PD Burma, Altsean

Message to the 102nd Inter-Parliamentary Conference by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, General Secretary National League for Democracy and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate

[From Sponsored by the Danish IPU Delegation. For the first time Daw Aung San Suu Kyi will address the IPU conference by a video smuggled out of Burma. Also present is a delegation of Burmese MPs in exile seeking for stronger support from the IPU and parliamentarians around the globe. They will draw attention to the current situation of the elected MPs in Burma, where parliamentarians has been denied the rights to convene for 9 years. For this reason the NLD have set up the Committee Representing the People's Parliament (CRPP) to act on behalf of parliament until the official parliament can be conveyed. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi appeals to the world torecognise the committee as genuinely representative of the people of
Burma. Currently more than 40 MPs of the National League for Democracy and numerous members and leaders of parties representing different ethnic groups have been arrested and incarcerated.]

May I start by extending the greetings of the Committee Representing the People's Parliament to the 102nd Conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The CRPP was founded last year to represent the parliament that was elected by the people of Burma in 1990. Nine years have gone by but the MPs who were elected by the democratic will of the people have still not been allowed to perform their duties. It is our intention that Burma follows the democratic process in a non-violent systematic way that we may establish a good precedent for good generations to come. This is the main reason why we insist that the parliament that is elected by the people in 1990 must be allowed to convene and must be allowed to take up their duties. 

With regard to the recent happenings in East Timor, it has been said that the democratically expressed will of the people should not be flouted and should not be overturned through violence and intimidation. This is exactly what happened in Burma nine years ago. The democratically expressed will of the people was overturned through violence and intimidation. 

We depend on parliamentarians all over the world to support us in our just cause. We would like to thank all of you who have given us your sympathy, your moral support and your practical help. The concern for the IPU has shown for those MPs who are in detention in Burma has been a tremendous boost to our morale. More than 40 MPs still remain under detention.

They remain under detention because they refuse to reject the will of the people and stand by their principles that the democratically elected parliament must be allowed to meet. Our MPs will do their duty until the very end and the CRPP will represent them until they are allowed to convene.

We would like parliamentarians from all over the world to take a greater interest in what is going on in Burma. This is not because we are concerned with our own country alone. This is because we want to establish the democratic principles must be allowed to work in the name of justice in peace.

We believe in democracy because we believe that democracy is the only system that ensures respect for basic human rights and without basic human rights there can be no peace in our world. When the Burmese parliament is allowed to meet, we are confident that it will represent the true will of the people and that the true will of the
people of Burma will go a long way towards assisting democracy and peace in our region and in the world.

It is now over a year since many of our MPs were taken into detention. Some have been released because of ill-health or extreme over age. There are those who have been forced to give up their duties as members of parliament, although it is a little ironic to say that they have been forced to give up their duties because they have never been allowed to take up their duties anyway. Before they have even been allowed to act as members of parliament they have been made to resign. This of course is unacceptable because under the democratic precedent laid down by our previous democratic government, no MP can resign without the consent of our People's Parliament. And since the parliament has not met, none of our MPs can be made to resign. There is
no channel by which they can resign.

So as far as the CRPP is concerned, all those MPs elected in 1990 who are still alive today remain the representatives of the people who elected them.We make no distinction between the MPs from
our party, the National League for Democracy and those MPs from other parties. The Committee Representing the People's Parliament represents not just the National League for Democracy but also four other parties,
all representing different ethnic groups. Because of that we are confident the CRPP has the support of the whole country. Ours is a union of different peoples and it is a very good sign, it is a most auspicious
sign that the CRPP represents different ethnic nationalities. 

When democracy comes to Burma, we hope that we may be able to make our own contribution towards the progress of justice and peace in the world. But until that time comes, we would like to call upon our friends all over the world to help us in our struggle. 

To struggle on a daily basis against a dictatorial military regime is not an easy business. Many of our people have suffered grievously and some are still suffering but they continue with their struggle because of their deeply held beliefs in the ability of the human race to do better for themselves now than they have done in the past. We believe that humanity is capable of progress,which is not to say that we are not aware of our own weaknesses. But we believe that we have the ability to overcome these weaknesses. But in our times of trial, we would like to call upon our friends to help us to combat our own weaknesses as well as the harshness and injustices of our enemies.

I would like to conclude by thanking all of you and all those others who have helped us in our struggle for democracy and who are helping to establish democracy all over the world.

Thank You.