Mon, Sep 25, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Pro-army party in Myanmar slams `alien' democracy

DPA , YANGON

The pro-military National Unity Party (NUP) yesterday warned Myanmar against copying alien cultures, norms and politics such as "democracy," a senior party official said.

The NUP, set up to contest the 1990 general election as the successor of the Burma Socialist Program Party (BSPP) that monopolized the country's politics between 1962 to 1988, celebrated its 18th anniversary yesterday at its party headquarters in Yangon.

NUP chairman Tun Ye told a gathering of 400 senior party members that the party must strengthen its identity as "a concrete stabilizing national force."

NUP was set up by the military to replace the BSPP, which was the country's sole party during the 26 years under former military strongman U Ne Win and his disastrous "Burmese Way to Socialism."

Ne Win stepped down and the country dropped socialism as the state ideology in 1988 after largee anti-government demonstrations that year.

At a press conference, NUP general-secretary Khin Maung Gyi made clear that the party was still representing the military junta that has ruled Myanmar since 1988. The party came to power in a bloody crackdown on the pro-democracy movement that left thousands dead.

"We have to learn from history, but not to copy alien culture, norms and politics such as democracy," Khin Maung said.

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