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AUSTRALIA RESCUSES BURMESE STUDENT FROM BANGKOK
The Australian July 23-24, 1994.
By RON CORBEN in Bangkok
Two Burmese student activists protesters theratened with deporttion to
Rangoon by Thai authorities have been "rescued" by Australia and flown out
of Thailand after serving eight months in a THAI Detention centre.
Six remaining students also arrested in early December are still detained
and have now gone on hunger strikes in a plea for their release.
The two male students, Mr Muang Muang Than,27, and Mr Par Pa, 28, were
flown to Australia late on Wednesday after being heldin a detention cebtre
at Bangken ,near bangkok.
Both are known to have been active in the Burmese student movement in
Thailand protesting against the military junta in Rangoon and moves by
Thailand to establish "safe camp" outside of Bangkok.
The two students were captured and detained by Thai intelligence during a
meeting between Thai and Burmese strdents in Thailand eigh months ago.
The pair, who are relieved to be in Australia but worried for their fellow
students detained in Thailand and Burma, are angry about the lack of
international presure bein brought to bear on the Burmese dictatorship.
Mr Than told THe Weekend Australian yesterday the students wanted sanctions
imposed on Burma by the international community but particularly corntries
such as Japan, South Korea and Singapore.
"THe Burmese military are gaining advantages from all over the world and
are working hard to suppress the pro-democracy movement, " Mr Than said.
"But they will never change besause of their world view. They will only
change under pressure from the world community. They don't care how the
Burmese people suffer."
Mr Than and Mr Pa want the international community to withdraw their
investments from Burma and halt economic ties to the country. "The more
they invest the more they suffer" they say.
The twe join an incressing nrmber of student refugees now finding new homes
in Australia as well as other key Western countries, including the United
States, Canada and European countries.
Under a special program in 1993-94, australia took in 50 of the Burmese
students who had met special cuiterisa set down under Australian
A 1994-95 study and sponsorship program has seen the quota double to 100
but still with "more aplications than places". Some eight students amonth
are travelling to Australia.
An estimated 2000 Burmese students are now living in Thailand, having
fledBurma amid the continued suppression of the prodemocracy and student
Last year, the Thai authorities etavlished a safe camp some 120km west from
Bangkok, where the twe detained had been living at the time of their
THey were arrested in Bangkok after leaving the safe camp to attend the
meeting . They had been refused day leave, which was normally granted by
the Thai authorities.
But other students detained had passes that had been valid at the time of