Alternative Asean Network on Burma
campaigns, advocacy and capacity-building for human rights





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June – April 2003 Report Card

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On 30 May, a date which has come to be known as “Black Friday”, Sr-Gen Than Shwe authorized a murderous attack on NLD leaders Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, U Tin Oo, and their entourage. This ambush and the ensuing crackdown was the most ruthless and bloodiest attack on the democracy movement in Burma since 1988.

This updated summary of the Black Friday attack and its aftermath indicate:

• The premeditated nature of the brutal attack and subsequent crackdown
• Active official involvement of the regime in planning, implementing and mopping-up operations
• Endorsement at the highest levels of the junta, as evidenced by rewards, including promotions, for those involved.
• Ongoing operations to aggressively expand military and militia capacities throughout the country, in order to inhibit pro-democratization efforts.

Despite its promises to ASEAN and the international community, the regime that calls itself the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has no intention of allowing democratic reform. The attack, which happened days before the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting & ASEAN Regional Forum, was a slap in the face of ASEAN’s well-meaning but ineffectual efforts to encourage reforms in Burma. The insult has been further compounded by SPDC’s snubs at subsequent efforts to facilitate a process of national reconciliation in Burma.