Tokyo — The following are excerpts from an interview with Aung San Suu Kyi. She is the daughter of the founder of independent Burma and in recent weeks has emerged as one of three leaders of a new Burmese opposition. What's happening with the democracy movement?
Well, we're going right ahead with it.
Has the military succeeded in cowing the people?
I don't think they've succeeded .... I think they've succeeded in breaking up the crowds. After all, there's no sense in getting shot for nothing. And it doesn't mean they've stopped the movement.
Where is the movement right now? If it's not in the streets, what is the movement working on?
It's in the homes. It's everywhere the people are.
What is your current plan?
... We have just written to Gen. Saw Maung asking for negotiations. ... [Part of the letter reads:]
In the act of assuming power of this country, the armed forces on the one hand have been declaring that they are striving to implement the just demands of the people for democracy, while on the other hand they have violated basic human rights, for example, by closing down newspapers and forbidding public speeches and demonstrations by force of violence. Such actions are the very antithesis of democracy and thus there is a total contradiction between words and deeds. ...
It's signed by Gen. Tin Oo, Brig. Aung Gyi [two other leading opposition figures], and myself.
How would you characterize the current junta? ... Is it just another tactic by a military that is still being run by Ne Win?
Everybody believes it's just another tactic. I don't think it's a real coup d'etat.