Shan nationals urged not to join pro-government rallies

Oct 15, 2007 (DVB), The Restoration Council of the Shan State, the political wing of the Shan State Army-South, released a statement on 12 October urging Shan nationals not to support the National Convention and the resulting constitutional guidelines.

Major Sai Lao Seng, a spokesperson for the SSA-S, told DVB that the Shan-language statement had also been sent to cease-fire groups and organizations across Shan state.

He urged people not to attend the government mass rallies in support of the National Convention.

"It is obvious that people are only attending the government mass-rallies showing support on the results of the National Convention because they were forced by authorities to do it. We released this statement to urge all the cease-fire groups, political parties and people of the Shan state to not to join those rallies," he said.

Burmese state-run media has been carrying daily articles on the rallies, which the government claims are an expression of public support for the National Convention and condemnation of the recent anti-government demonstrations.

DVB sources who attended the rallies have reported that people were offered money to attend or forced to take part by local Union Solidarity and Development Association members.

Major Sai Lao Seng also expressed his dissatisfaction with the National Convention and resultant constitutional guidelines.

"The National Convention was a sham and the constitutional guidelines that resulted from it will be no good for us," he said.

Reporting by DVB

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