Declaration on Transition
from Dictatorship to Democracy

by the Conference of the Forum
of Democratic Leaders in the Asia-Pacific (FDL-AP)

(Manila, Philippines, November 2-4, 1996)

The FDL-AP was inaugurated in Seoul, Korea in 1994 as an Asian regional network of democrats and their supporters worldwide dedicated to advancing the participation of all members of society in the decisions affecting their lives.

The members and supporters of the FDLAP met in Manila, Philippines, 2-4 November, 1996 to address the issue of "Transition from Dictatorship to Democracy: the Lessons for Burma and Asia".

The conference believes that military role, indeed authoritarian rule of any kind, anywhere, is out of tune with the spirit of our times, and is unacceptable. It is clear from the recent experiences in Bangladesh, Korea, Pakistan, the Philippines and Taiwan that the will of the people for a truly representative government cannot be ignored or resisted for long.

The lessons from successful transitions underline the need for a broad-based unity to be sustained by the pro-democratic forces and for their effort to be coordinated, striving for national reconciliation, eschewing reprisals and assuring equitable development of all sections of the people. And these efforts need significant and coordinated support from the United Nations and other international organizations including ASEAN.

Accordingly, procedures for the restoration of democracy in Burma should take place without delay and without further violence through a process of dialogue and in a spirit of achieving national reconciliation among all parties involved.

The conference observes:

The conference participants do hereby:

The members and supporters of the FDL-AP do therefore recommend that no steps be taken or allowed which may be construed as encouraging legitimacy of the SLORC regime, and specifically:

  1. Urge ASEAN governments not to grant early membership to Burma but, rather, to:
    • strongly support the beginning of a meaningful tripartite dialogue between SLORC, the democratic forces led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the ethnic nationalities;
    • urge SLORC to completely restructure the composition and procedures of the national convention in such a way that it reflects the true will of the Burmese people, as expressed in the May 1990 elections, and to guarantee full freedom of debate.
  2. Urge the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to critically and openly address the various security related issues deriving from the continuing military rule in Burma such as the oppression of major ethnic nationalities and rapidly growing related refugee, health and narcotics problems.

  3. Urge the ASEAN dialogue partners to play an active and critically-supportive role in redefining ASEAN's position towards Burma.

  4. Urge the international business community not to invest in Burma until a government regarded legitimate by the Burmese people is in place. We, furthermore, urge the regional business and tourist associations to critically review their current position regarding entering the Burmese market.

  5. Urge the international aid and lending agencies riot to resume multilateral or bilateral assistance.

  6. Urge ASEAN and the international community to help and encourage the Philippines and Thailand to take a leading role in promoting a peaceful and rapid transition towards democracy in Burma.

  7. Encourage closer cooperation among regional non-governmental organizations to strengthen their support for the non'-violent struggle in Burma, so that the causes of human dignity and peaceful conflict resolution through consultation and consensus will be furthered.

  8. Encourage political parties in the region to positively influence their respective government's Burma policy.

  9. Urge the UN member countries to exert all possible efforts for effectively implementing UN resolutions on Burma.

  10. Urge China and ASEAN to join an arms embargo on Burma as observed by the US and the EU.

  11. Encourage Japan, the world's largest economic assistance donor, to take a leading role in convincing the SLORC to enter into a decisive political and economic reform process.

  12. Promote awareness among all parties concerned that solving the long-standing ethnic conflicts in Burma is a key to achieve a peaceful and democratic future for Burma.
The conference participants endorse the efforts of the FDL-AP's leaders and members to encourage the peaceful restoration of democracy in Burma, and in furtherance of these efforts to regularly meet with ASEAN governments, and to urge the SLORC to allow Madam Corazon Aquino and Dr. Kim Dae-jung, co-presidents of the FDL-AP, to visit Burma to meet with the SLORC, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. and representatives of ethnic nationalities.

The conference participants encourage the FDL-AP members and supporters to implement an FDL-AP action plan for Burma.

-- END --
Signatories 1996 Manila Conference Participants Australia

Hon. Michael Beahan - International Secretary, Australian Labor Party
Prof. Garry Woodard - University of Melbourne
Ms. Malissa M. Dryden - Australian Foundation for Democracy
Dr. Rikki Kersten - Director, Research Institute for Asia and the Pacific, University of Sydney
Prof. Jean Beaumont - University of Melbourne


Dr. Kamal Hossain - Former Foreign Minister


Dr. Sein Win - Office of the Prime Minister, National Coalition Government of United Burma
Mr. Aung Htoo - Coordinator, National Coalition Government of United Burma
Hon. Aung San - Minister, National Council of the Government of United Burma
Mr. Thein Oo - General Secretary, NLD(LA)/Justice Minister, NCGUB
Mr. Charan Singh Sohal - Joint General Secretary
Mr. Khun Teddy Buri - PMO Minister, NCGUB, Foreign Affairs Committee
Ms. Khun Okkar - Member, NCUB Secretariat/Foreign Secretary, KNU


Hon. Son Soubert - Vice President, National Assembly

Hong Kong

Ms. Angela Lee - Education Department, Amnesty International


Dr. Jose Mededog - Acting President, University of Guam
Mr. Hubert Ho-Sun Lee - Chairman, Pacific Economic Research Institute
Atty. Robert J. Torres Jr. - Guam Attorney's Association
Ms. Nora Hitosis - President, Young's Insurance Agency


Hon. M. Rasgotra - Vice Chair, Rajiv Gandhi Foundation
Hon. George Fernandes - Member of Parliament


Dr. Kim Dae - jung - Resident Co-President, FDL-AP, Leader of National Congress for the New Politics
Madame Lee Hee Ho
Mr. Lim Dong Won - Secretary General, Kim Dae-jung Peace Foundation
Ms. Nakyun Shin - Vice President, NCNP/Member of Parliament (MP)
Mr. Lee Jong Chan - Vice-President, NCNP
Madame Yoon Jang Soon - Advisor to Korea Red Cross
Mr. Kown Ro-gap - MP
Mr. Chung Soo Park - Vice President of the NCNP
Mr. Sonn Se-II - MP, Chairman of Board of Directors of the FDL-AP
Gov. Yoo Jong Keun - Provincial Governor, Board Member of the FDL-AP
Ms. Lee Oo-Chung - Board Member, FDL-AP
Mr. Hahn Wha-kap - MP, Board Member of FDL-AP
Mr. Chang Chae-shik - MP, Member of Board of Auditors, FDL-AP
Mr. Jie Won Park - Chief of the Planning Department of the NCNP
Dr. Kim Sang Woo - MP, Board Member of FDL-AP
Prof. Han Sang-jin - Board Member of the FDL-AP, Political Science, Seoul National University
Prof. Ra Jong-II - Board Member of the FDL-AP, Political Science, Kyung Hee University
Mr. Hwang Yong Bae - Deputy Director, Support Committee, Kim Dae-jung Peace Foundation
Ms. Kim Hee Sun - Member, NCNP
Mr. Kim Sei - ung - Secretary-General, FDL-AP
Ms. Keum - Ok Park - Deputy Chief of Secretariat, Kim Dae-jung Peace Foundation
Ms. Jun Hee Park - Program Officer, FDL-AP
Mr. Jason Kercher - Program Officer, FDL-AP


Prof. Khrisna Khanal - Tribhuvan University

New Zealand

Mr. Geoffrey Thompson - President, New Zealand National Party


Hon. Kjell Mange Bondevik - Chair, International Network of Political Leaders Promoting Democracy in Burma
Mr. Thomas Olsen - Executive Assistant, International Network of Political Leaders, Promoting Democracy in Burma


Hon. Aitzaz Ahsan - Senator


H.E. Corazon C. Aquino - Former President; Co-President, FDL-AP
H.E. Raul S. Manglapus - Former Foreign Secretary; Chair, General Assembly, FDL-AP
Hon. Jose de Venecia Jr. - Speaker, House of Representative, Congress of the Republic of the Philippines
Hon. Amado L. Lagdameo - Secretary, Department of Transportation and Communications
Hon. Ernesto Garilao - Secretary, Department of Agrarian Reform
Hon. Leonardo Quisumbing - Secretary, Department of lbour & Employment
Hon. W. Russell Sobrepena - Underscretary, Department of Tourism
Hon. Guiling Mamondiong - Undersecretary, Department of Transportation & Communication
Hon. Ernesto Ordonez - Undersecretary, Department of Trade & Industry Hon. Juan C. Tan - Chair, Social Security System
Hon. Felicisimo Joson - Director, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
Hon. Danilo M. Coronacion - Deputy Director, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration
Hon. Nasser Marohomsalic - Commissioner, Presidential Commission on Human Rights
Hon. Heherson Alvarez - Senator, Congress of the Republic of the Philippines
Hon. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. - Senator, Congress of the Republic of the Philippines
Hon. Roberto Pagdanganan - Governor, Province of Bulacan
Hon. Justo Orros - Governor, Province of La Union
Hon. Florencio Miraflores - Governor, Province of Aklan
Hon. Rolex Suplico - Provincial Board Member, Province of Iloilo
Hon. Daniel Genotiva - Provincial Board Member, Province of Leyte
Hon. Edward Hagedorn - Mayor, Puerto Princesa, Province of Palawan
Hon. Elvira Tan - Vice Mayor, Ozamis City, Misamis Occidental
Hon. Betty Lou F. Tabanda - City Councilor, Baguio City, Province of Benguet
Hon. Abdulghani K. Umag - Regional Director, OverseasWorkers Welfare Authority
Hon. Jaime Lopez - Chair, House Committee on Foreign Affairs
Hon. Alberto S. Veloso - Chair, House Committee on Labour & Employment
Hon. Emigdio A. Bondoc - Representative
Hon. Percival B. Catane - Representative
Hon. Gregorio A. Andolana - Representative
Hon. Pedro M. Pancho - Representative
Hon. Eriberto V. Loreto - Representative
Hon. Belma A. Cabilao - Representative
Hon. Angelito M. Sarmiento - Representative
Hon. Erico B. Aumentado - Representative
Hon. Amadeo R. Perez, Jr. - Representative
Hon. Mariano LL. Balledes, Sr. - Representative
Hon. Ma. Elena T. Palma-Gil - Representative
Hon. Eduardo R. Gullas - Representative
Hon. Orlando B. Fua - Representative
Hon. Romeo G. Guanzon - Representative
Hon. Ronald M. Cosalan - Representative
Hon. Roberto S. Guanzon - Representative
Hon. Carmencita O. Reyes - Representative
Hon. Milagros Laurel - Trinidad - Representative
Hon. Jeremias Z. Zapata - Representative
Hon. Hernani A. Braganza - Representative
Hon. Emmanuel B. Pimentel - Representative
Hon. Teodulo T. Natividad - Representative
Hon. Ernesto Verceles - Representative
Hon. Mahammad Omar Fajardo - Representative
Hon. Leonardo Q. Montemayor - Representative
Hon. Ramon J. Jabar - Representative
Hon. Belma Cabilao - Representative
Hon. Mariano Ll. Badelles Sr. - Representative
Hon. Baltazar A. Sator - Representative
Hon. Alejandro S. Urro - Representative
Hon. Leandro B. Verceles - Representative
Hon. Reginaldo N. Tilanduca - Representative
Hon. Luz-Cleta Bakunawa - Representative
Hon. Bensaudi Tulawie - Representative
Atty. J. Antonio Carpio - Former Director, National Bureau of Investigation
Atty. Michael Mastura - Former Representative
Atty. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. - Former Senator
Atty. Santanina T. Rasul - Vice President, LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP
Atty. Camilo Sabio - Former Secretary-General, House of Representatives
Hon. Exequiel Javier - Representative
Dr. Leopoldo Dejillas - Professor, de la Salle University
Dr. Julius Caesar Parrenas - Professor, University of Asia & Pacific
Prof. Eduardo Morato Jr. - Professor, Asian Institute of Mangement
Atty. Vicente L. Calejesan Jr. - Former Assistant Secretary, Local Government
Hon. Reynaldo L. Maclang - Deputy Secretary General, LAKAS-NUCD-UMDP
Ms. Elsa T. Escano - Consultant, Philippine Nationa Oil Company
Mr. Emmanuel Cruz - Director, San Miguel Corporation
Hon. Margarito Teves - Representative
Hon. Manuel Villar - Representative
Hon. Bren Guiao - Executive Director, KABISIG
Mr. Rey Magno Teves - Executive Director, CONSUMO, Davao
Mr. Damaso Vertido - Director, TAC Group of Davao
Ms. Virginia Pasalo - Director, Wom,en-in-Development
Mr. Glenn Leo Barroga - Executive Director, Movement for a Free Philippines Mr. Antonio Asper - Vice President for International Affairs, Federation of Free Workers
Rev. Jose Blanco, S.J. - Chair, AKKAPKA
Ms. Tess V. Ramiro - Secretary-Treasurer, AKKAPKA
Mr. Jose Romero - Director, United Coco Planters Bank
Ms. Amelita G. Ledesma - Executive Director, Cable Association of the Phil.
Mr. Manuel P. Pena - Director, FDL-AP Manila
Ms. Bernardita C. Benzal - Special Assistant, FDL-AP Manila
Ms. Lilia R. Luna - Secretary to Mr. Manglapus
Hon. Luwalhati R. Antonino - Representative
Hon. Miguel L. Romero - Representative
Hon. Jovito Claudio - Representative
Hon. Wilfredo L. Enverga - Representative
Hon. Marcial Punzalan Jr. - Representative
Hon. Eric Singson Jr. - Representative
Hon. Alberto J. Lopez - Representative
Hon. Charito B. Plaza - Representative
Hon. Roque R. Ablan Jr. - Representative
Hon. Victor F. Ortega - Representative
Hon. Ranjit R. Shahani - Representative
Hon. Venice Borja Agana - Representative
Hon. Isidro C. Zarraga - Representative
Hon. Antonio V. Cuenco - Representative
Hon. Carmencita O. Reyes - Representative
Hon. Edmigdio S. Tanjuatco Jr. - Representative
Hon. Candu I. Muarip - Representative
Hon. Erico B. Aumentado - Representative

Mr. Chee Soon Juan - Secretary-General, Singapore Democratic Party


Mr. Jan Hodann - Program Officer, Olaf Palme International Center


Ms. Pornpimon Trichot - Professor, Chulalongkorn University

Ms. Chalida Tajaroensak - Asia Forum

Taiwan Mr. Yao Chia-wen - Secretary-General, Council of Asian Liberals & Democrats


Ms. Jane O'Grady - Lecturer, Birk Beck College, London University


Prof. Leonard R. Sussman - Executive Director, Freedom House

Mr. Mihail N. Mihajlov - Vice President, Democracy International

Mr. Stephen Costello - Director, Kim Dae-jung Peace Foundation-Washington, DC.

Ms. Maureen Aung-Thwin - Director, Open Society/Soros Foundation

Mr. Kenneth D. Wollack - President, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs

Mr. Chris Human - National Democratic Institute for International Affairs

Mr. Dean Pittman - National Democratic Institute for International Affairs

Mr. Derek Mitchell - National Democratic Institute for International Affairs

Mr. David Timberman - Consultant, National Endowment for Democracy

Dr. Thor Ronay - Transitions to Democracy Project, George Washington University

Friederich Naumann Stiftung Dr. Peter Traub - Regional Representative, Friederich Naumann Foundation, Thailand

Dr. Ronald Meinardus - Regional Representative, Friederich Naumann Foundation, Korea

Asia Foundation
Dr. David Steinberg - Regional Representative, Korea

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