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
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.