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BKKPOST:Jul13 Burmese students thre
- Subject: BKKPOST:Jul13 Burmese students thre
- From: strider@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 13 Jul 1994 11:50:00
/* Written 10:07 AM Jul 13, 1994 by kamol@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:soc.culture.th */
/* ---------- "BKKPOST:Jul13 Burmese students thre" ---------- */
BURMESE students have vowed to stage a hunger strike during the
forthcoming meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers unless host country
Thailand withdraws its invitation to Rangoon's military junta.
"It is obvious that ASEAN, like the SLORC (State Law and Order
Restoration Council), has so far refused to honour the mandate
given by the Burmese people to the legitimate representatives
elected in 1990," said an edited version of a letter released
yesterday from eight students.
"Although SLORC's attendance at the opening and closing ceremonies
is largely ceremonial, we strongly reject this Thai initiative to
accord enhanced international acceptance to this illegitimate
regime," the letter, circulated by the Student Committee for Human
Rights in Burma (SCHRB), said.
Host country Thailand formally extended an invitation in April for
Burma to attend the 27th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM).
Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw is expected to represent the ruling
SLORC at the meeting, which begins two days after the fifth
anniversary of Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi's detention
under house arrest in Rangoon.
Under SLORC's own law, five years is the limit for detaining any
political prisoner without trial.
"We believe that Thailand should demonstrate the attributes of a
good neighbour by helping to restore peace, democracy and
prosperity for the entire populace of Burma, instead of supporting
only the SLORC and the Burmese military," the Burmese students
"We hope that ASEAN's vital political and economic role in the
Asia-Pacific region will be accompanied by a moral obligation
towards the long-suffering Burmese people who continue to
restlessly struggle for national liberation from military
The students, who have been under detention for seven months in
Bangkok's Special Detention Centre (SDC), called on the Thai
Government to cancel the invitation to the SLORC and offer
"legitimate representatives" of the Burmese people the opportunity
to participate in the ASEAN meeting.
They also urged removal of a ban on the political activities of
fellow students, other students and ethnic minority groups
currently residing in Thailand.
"If these demands are not met, we will stage a hunger strike in
the SDC during the AMM," the letter said.
The SDC is located at the Bang Khen Police Training Academy in
This year's meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers is drawing special
attention as it will be followed, on July 25, by the first meeting
of the ASEAN Regional Forum which will be attended by foreign
ministers from 17 countries and one organisation, including the
United States, China, Russia and the European Union.