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Excerpts from Interview, Articles on 1989 Aung San Suu Kyi House Arrest


Excerpts from the interview with Aung San Suu Kyi by VOA's David Dyar prior to her first house arrest in 1989 along with excerpts from the Burmese government newspaper explaining the decision to detain her

Excerpts from interview on July 19, 1989
Interview focused on an observance of the Martyrs Day anniversary marking the 1947 assassination of General Aung San, father of Aung San Suu Kyi, and other Burmese leaders. (Burmese portions in quotation marks)

(Dyar)) Well, what happened? What did you decide to do?
((Aung San Suu Kyi)) Well, we decided that it was best to boycott the whole arrangement since they had prepared a killing field for the people. They have said that the people could gather in a football field in order to go up and pay their respects, but that football field was filled with armed troops and armed vehicles.
((Dyar)) You called it the killing field. So, you have really felt that it was very dangerous to go out then?
((Aung San Suu Kyi)) Oh, yes. They are all prepared to kill. It is very much the mentality of SLORC; if you can't win them over, kill them.
((Dyar)) Well, did anyone turn out today at all? What happened to the commemoration at all?
((Aung San Suu Kyi)) I don't think it was a success. Apparently, some of the ... ((changes thought)) at least, I know that one party which had given their names in order to go to the SLORC ceremony and they were turned away. I think some of the parties did make it and some didn't. It wasn't much of a ceremony.
((Dyar)) What did ... ((changes thought)) the announcements they made yesterday about giving new powers to the military commanders, martial law powers, was that part of today's intimidation, you think?
((Aung San Suu Kyi)) Oh yes, it is just SLORC showing their true fascist colors.
((Dyar)) Could I get you to speak in Burmese about your reaction to what happened today so I can put it on the VOA?
((Aung San Suu Kyi)) Well, I'll just read out a statement which is in Burmese. Shall I read it out?
((Aung San Suu Kyi)) It is a very short one.
((Dyar)) Okay, Go ahead.
((Aung San Suu Kyi)) "General Aung San was a leader of the masses who dedicated his efforts to the rights and freedoms of the people of Burma. The people who wish to pay their respects to General Aung San should therefore be able to do so freely. However, the SLORC Government has intimidated the people through a varietry of means. This is a blatant attack on the aspirations and principles of General Aung San. Therefore, as a gesture of love and respect for General Aung San, the people are urged not to support the Martyrs Day ceremony being staged by the SLORC today and to remain inside their homes to let the world know that the people of Burma are like prisoners in their own country deprived of all freedom under military rule."
((Dyar)) Okay.
((Aung San Suu Kyi)) Shall I continue a little bit.
((Dyar)) Yes, if you could add some more in Burmese to the questions I asked I would appreciate it.
((Aung San Suu Kyi)) Which questions? About what happened?
((Dyar)) Yes, your general reaction of what you saw and then how you felt about what happened today.
((Aung San Suu Kyi)) Alright. "All the political parties wanted to attend today's Martyrs Day ceremony peacefully. The people also wanted to pay their respects in a peaceful manner. However, the SLORC government set up what amounted to a killing field and planned to lure the people into this trap. This is why we did not attend the ceremony. General Aung San gave his life so that the people could enjoy their freedom and rights. Hence, we will never do anything which might cause loss of life. The lives of the people are too precious. We are not like the SLORC which places no value on human life. The military government's declaration of martial law clearly shows that our country is now subject to fascism. Our people, therefore, will have to struggle even under fascism. To achieve democracy, the struggle against fascism must be continued with courage."
((Dyar)) Okay. Thank you very much. I would like to ask you: what do you think will these events today ... is it going to force you to change any of your plans to observe other anniversaries later on in the year that you said you were going to do?
((Aung San Suu Kyi)) We will have to change our plans to suit the situation. One thing is clear, of course. This is a fascist regime we are dealing with, so we have to make plans accordingly.
((Dyar)) I suppose you would expect a similar kind of reaction will occur on the other anniversaries, as far as the government is concerned?
((Aung San Suu Kyi)) We have to see. One good thing about this anniversary is that as I said earlier, it has forced the SLORC to come out in its true fascist colors, so everybody knows exactly what we are dealing with now.

Excerpts from an article in the Burmese state controlled newspaper
The Working People Daily, July 22, 1989 pages 1 and 2
HEADLINES:
Action has been taken against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo under the Law Protecting the State from Dangers of Disruptive and Destructive Elements as of 20 July, 1989

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's allegation against the Tatmadaw as being fascist is very viciously loathsome and categorically false

The allegation against the Tatmadaw as being a fascist Tatmadaw is aimed at sowing misunderstanding and discord between the Tatmadaw and the people; it is nothing but a false allegation
STORY EXCERPTS:
YANGON, 21 July—The Information Committee of the State Law and Order Restoration Council held its 50th press conference with local and foreign journalists at the Guest Hall No 2 of the Ministry of Defence at 10.30 am today...

The Information Committee spokesman gave clarification on the action being taken against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo under the Law Protecting the State from Dangers of Disruptive and Destructive Elements. The spokesman affirmed that action has been taken against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and U Tin Oo with effect from the morning of 20th July...

In accordance with the law, the spokesman said, the persons against whom action has been taken are restricted to their respective abodes which they are presently resident in; only their legal family members who are on the household lists may go outside with guards; they are not allowed to visit foreign embassies, political parties and those who have contact with political parties; outside indviduals are also prohibited from making contact with them either in person or through phone; the State takes the responsibility of providing medical treatment to and health care for them.

Such action has been taken owing to their repeated infringement of law, especially their activities which threaten the safety of the State; another reason is that they have also attempted to sow discord between the people and the Tatmadaw so that the former would bear hatred against the latter;

The VOA at 6 pm on 19 July broadcast Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's voice saying to the effect that "Therefore, we will never kill the people. We highly value the lives of the people. We are not a group like SLORC (Na-Wa-Ta) that does not value the lives of the people. Therefore, the announcement of military government or military administration in our country clearly reveals that facism is dominating the country. Our people must struggle under fascism...to continue their struggle valiantly under fascism for the attainment of democracy.''

The spokesman declared, "Since her false accusation compares our People's Tatmadaw with fascists, it is very bitter for us. The people and the Tatmadaw abhored
the fascists. So, the people joined hands with the Tatmadaw to fight against the fascists. Her accusations aim at deliberate sowing of discord between th people and the Tatmadaw which have unitedly fought the fascist imperialists."

Continuing, the spokesman said: if the people come to regard the Tatmadaw as fascists, they would come to abhor the Tatmadaw; they would also go against the Tatmadaw and if that happens, you can imagine the fate of the country; if the Tatmadaw disintegrates, so will the country and if that is so, the country will face the gravest danger; the Tatmadaw has fine traditon—the tradition of safeguarding the country from all sorts of danger for many times; such allegations such as calling the Tatmadaw fascist cannot be regarded as anything but deliberate efforts to sow discord between the - Tatmadaw and the people; it is accusation with malice; the allegation aims at endangering the country...
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