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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 19, 1994
                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT
                         ON THE FIFTH ANNIVERSARY 

July 20 marks the fifth anniversary of the detention of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the democratic opposition in Burma and a symbol of human rights and democracy worldwide.

The remarkable resurgence of democracy in so many parts of the world in recent years demonstrates that authentic voices of freedom cannot be stilled and ultimately will triumph. Aung San Suu Kyi reflects the fundamental yearning of the Burmese people for freedom and justice. She honors the memory of her father Aung San, the founder of modern Burma, and continues to embody the hopes of the people of Burma for an end to the military dictatorship and the re-establishment of popular, representative government.

I urge the Burmese military regime to heed the will of its own people by releasing unconditionally Aung San Suu Kyi and all other remaining prisoners of conscience in Burma. I also call on the regime to honor the results of the 1990 election and to undertake genuine democratic reform. To this end, the regime should begin a substantive dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi aimed at achieving a political settlement that respects the sentiments of the people of Burma.

This issue remains a priority for my Administration. For this reason, we welcome any efforts by the international community and by Burma's neighbors to encourage genuine reforms. The United States also looks forward to discussing these vital issues later this month during the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference in Bangkok, where we will seek an intensified effort to gain the release of Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, and to promote genuine democratic reform.

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