Feb 11, 2008 (DVB), The 88 generation students group has criticised the Burmese regime's claims that it will hold a referendum this year and a general election in 2010, in a statement released yesterday.
The government said in an announcement on 9 February that a referendum on the draft constitution would be held in May 2008, followed by multi-party democratic elections in 2010.
But the 88 generation students groups has criticised the announcements, claiming that the constitution drafting process has been unrepresentative, and has cast doubts on whether the government would accept the results of a democratic election.
The group asserts that a constitution drawn up without incorporating the views of the people can only lead to national discontent, and cites the 1974 constitution and subsequent national uprising in 1988 as an example of this.
"Using such an unfair process to create a constitution and force it through could drive the nation into even deeper poverty and instability which could eventually lead to a national uprising," the statement said.
The group called for tripartite dialogue as the only way to bring about national reconciliation and democratic transition.
"We will never give in to one-sided progress and threats. We are making a clear commitment to oppose these activities with peaceful public movements," it said.
The statement also criticised the regime's intention to hold another election when the results of the 1990 election have still not been recognised.
88 generation student leader Ko Soe Tun said that the regime had still not kept the promises made by State Law and Order Restoration Council leader general Saw Maung when the military took power in 1988, namely to hold elections and hand power to the winners within a year.
"To this day, the military has refused to recognize the National League for Democracy’s landslide victory in the 1990 elections," Soe Tun said.
"And yet they are now making more promises about holding a national referendum this May and then another election in 2010, when they haven’t even started honouring the 1990 election results."
Reporting by Maung Too