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Thailand Urges Burma to F

/* Written  2:36 PM  Jul 25, 1994 by wov.central@xxxxxxx in igc:soc.cult.burma */
/* ---------- "Thailand Urges Burma to F" ---------- */
Subject : Thailand Urges Burma to Free Aung San Suu Kyi

   BANGKOK (Reuter) - Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai Monday
urged Burma to release detained Nobel Peace laureate Aung San
Suu Kyi as the key to solving many of the isolated country's
political and economic problems.
   Chuan made the recommendation in talks with Burmese Foreign
Minister Ohn Gyaw, who is in Bangkok as the guest of Thailand at
a ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN).
   "Settle the question of Aung San Suu Kyi first; then Burma
will have time to concentrate on developing the democratic
process and the economy," Thai government spokesman Abhisit
Vejjajiva quoted Chuan as telling Ohn Gyaw.
   "If the problem of Aung San Suu Kyi was resolved it would
make other problems easy to settle," Chuan was quoted as saying
during the 40-minute meeting.
   The Thai leader said Bangkok had incurred sharp criticizm
for inviting a representative of Burma's ruling military junta
to attend the talks, though Thailand has made clear other ASEAN
members backed the invitation.
   ASEAN also includes Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the
Philippines and Singapore.
   Developed nations led by the United States say Burma's
ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) must
continue to be isolated by the international community.
   ASEAN countries have continued to deal with the Burmese
leaders and invest in the country under a policy of
"constructive engagement."
   SLORC has been criticized for human-rights violations, the
detention of opposition politicians, notably Aung San Suu Kyi,
and its refusal to accept the results of a 1990 general election
decisively won by her National League for Democracy.
   Chuan, referring to the rarity of Burma's presence at an
international forum, said Rangoon should learn from this
experience and implement change at home.

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