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/* written 16 January 1995 by uneoo@ physics. in igc:reg.burma */
/* -------------------" Action Letter Reposting "----------------- */

To  :  reg.burma-list and HRNet subscribers

Note:  Please do not repost to the Public networks, such as soc.culture.burma

Dear Friend:

I have sent following letter with U.N.reports described to the Burmese  
community in Australia as well as people I know abroad. I particularly
wish to have all of your opinions on how to go about the Burma democracy
movements forwards. Please do contribute discussions and articles that
may also help the democratic groups to consilidate their opinions.
Your attention to these issues are much appreciated.

With best regards, U Ne Oo.

Dr  U Ne Oo
48/2 Ayliffes Road
St Marys SA 5042
Adelaide Australia.

\date{January 15, 1995.}


   Greetings from Adelaide Australia and
   wishing  you to a happy and prosperous new year of 1995.

Re: The activities at the UNGA'1994 and emerging issues

Please find enclosed materials reporting the activities at the
United Nations General  Assembly-1994.  Reports  from  the  Special
Rapporteur, the Secretary-General and  related draft resolution for
1994  indicate that of all of our efforts are yielding good results
in promotion of human rights situation in Burma. In this connection,
I should like to thank you, in particular,  for your kind attention
given to the problem of refugees and displaced people from Burma.

I also enclosed the paper ``An Operational Guideline Proposal for
United Nations' Agencies in Myanmar". That paper was prepared in April
1994 for the operation of UNHCR and other UN agencies in Arakan State
where the Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh are repatriating. As the
campaign for refugees in Thailand now closer to some conclusion, the natural
extension of such operation can be considered as the possibility.

In  order  to participate in  this  humanitarian  action  and  also
to actively promote a peaceful solution to Burma's conflicts, there 
are still much work  needed to be done in the part of the pro-democracy
forces. It is apparent that the policy as well as the
action  by  the  international actors (the U.N., U.S. and all major
democracies, and the ASEAN ) have   now been consolidated. Therefore,
the strategies to participate effectively in  this  action needed to be
formulated by pro-democracy groups. The Burma's pro-democracy forces must
participate in such humanitarian action and to take active role  in
peace building in Burma.

The following are some of the  issues  which  I  believe  would  be
important  in  promoting a peaceful solution to Burma's conflicts. I
would appreciate and valued your opinion on these issues.

1.  Empowerment of the elected representatives: By way of following the
prescriptions outlined in the paper, the U.N. and international
community will be able to encourage some form of interim
administration  which  may  be  acceptable  to  both  military  and
civilians. At present, these committees should be  working  at  the
regional  level.  Consideration  should  be  made to promote to the
central level when it runs smoothly.

It is crucial for the Burmese Army and  elected  representatives
works   smoothly  in  those  interim  committees.  At  present, such
operation has been in place in the Arakan State. According  to  the
Special  Rapporteur,  the  Military Government of Myanmar agreed to
the operation of humanitarian agencies at the grass-roots level.

I would  advocate the  UN  to consider   sharing  their  evaluation  
on  this  process.  I  would communicate you further when this 
becomes available.

2. The release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi: There has been a speculation 
about possible release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as early as mid-January 94. 
Concerns has also been raised for a possibility of renewing conflict 
between the SLORC and her.

Although Daw Aung San Suu Kyi herself has been  devoted  to  non-violent
methods in opposing the ruling junta, the existing laws that promulgated by
successive military  governments   are  not  permitting  anyone  to
express  freely  of their views. Therefore it'll be appropriate to
request Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to  voluntarily  refrain  from  making
comments  about  the  role of the Burmese Army publically. However,
she should be allowed to discuss freely with the representatives of
pro-democracy  forces,  the  elected  member    of  parliament  and
military  personnels.  The  public  should only be informed via the
press statements made by the council  of  these representatives, which 
may avoid the possibility of her being targeted for persecutions.

There are numerous laws in Burma restricting freedom of speech and
association, and forming of peaceful assembly. When dealing with  such
oppressive laws, the pro-democracy forces should avoid direct
confrontations. The usual method, which used in 1988 movement, is to
act-in-defiance of the law which inevitably promote confrontation
with military authorities. However, in present circumstances, the
pro-democracy forces should recognize that the law(s) as it is  has
been  repressive, and therefore seek the mediation of the U.N.
for  repeal  of  the  law.  These laws will have to be revoked when
drafting the  constitution.  Such an approach to  these  oppressive
laws will  be  consistent  with  the  policy of benchmarks.

3.    Participation  of ethnic freedom fighters in national
political process: The representatives of the ethnic freedom
fighters should be given appropriate political platform in drafting the
federal    constitution.   Currently,   the   Japanese   Friendship
Association is brokering peace between  last  remaining  groups  of
DAB.  As I have no further information on this and therefore please
share information about this if you know anything  about  this.

Although the pro-democracy forces cannot directly participate in
the  operation  of  interim  committees ( which described in 1. and
referred to  as  {\em  Reception  Committees}  in  the paper),  the
pro-democracy    forces     can      be      transformed      into
local  political and social groups - such as returnees associations,
ethnic youth and cultural organizations, etc  -  and  make influence  in
decision-making process through the elected local representatives.
This  move  must  eventually  be  aimed at initiating/consolidating
political parties at the regional/state level.

There has been fears felt by some  freedom fighters that they
may loose their legitimacy by making peace with the SLORC. This may
be  due  to  a  belief  that  the  respect  by its own people(hence
legitimacy) is  earned  through  fighting  oppressive  Burmese
military. It is essentially the problem of transforming to the real
political organizations from the freedom-fighter.

4.    The  role of student freedom fighters: Present political
situation appeals re-assessment of the role of  students  within  the
democracy movement. The students had fled to the border areas and joined with
ethnic freedom fighters in 1988 in the hope that they may be able to topple
the central government by armed struggle.

One   difference  between  student  army  (the  All  Burma  Student
Democratic Front) and ethnic rebels is that students do not have  an
aspiration for  political  power. All they want to do is to dismantle the
military dictatorship in Burma. Since present trend of the movement
is the one leading to non-violent struggle, it may be  appropriate
for student army to consider phased-out  their armed-wing.

It  must be aware, however, the sensitivity of this issue. Recent internal
conflict within KNU has caused distress to  the  leadership  of  last
remaining pro-democracy forces. A gesture of withdrawal of students
will  be  detrimental  to  the morale of these  remaining  forces.  
One  possible solution may be to consider the  option  of gradually  
phasing-out student's  armed-wing  after the cease-fire is implemented 
between remaining ethnic rebels (NMSP and KNU) and the Burmese Army.

5.  Institutionalizing   Human Rights: The success in human
rights movement this year is much attributed to various non-partisan 
human  rights organizations' efforts in  documentations  and reports   
provided  to  the international  community.  As the non-violent struggle 
in Burma  must continue,  there is a need to encourage  the  continued  
operation and  expansion  of non-partisan human  rights  organizations.
Efforts should be made to expand the network  to  a  national level
and training in human rights documentation and reportings.
Continuation of reports to international human rights organizations
such  as  Amnesty  International,  Human  Rights Watch and the U.N.
Special Rapporteur are essential.

The establishment of such non-partisan  human  rights  organization
will  be  beneficial  to the population in longer term, even beyond
the democratic government came into power. Human being's strife for
greater respect for human rights is necessary to continue  even  in
the well-established democratic societies.

Although the governments in the Asian countries tend to label the  
human  rights  as  an  alien concept,  the universal values such as  
social  justice, observance to just rule of law, respect for human 
being and the humanity are not. It then is as  a  matter  of  
interpreting  these values in terms of human rights.  Such  non-partisan  
organizations can be popular amongst Burmese populace once it 
established, since these values are not an alien, particularly, 
to the Burmese.

6.   Controlling  the  business  community: There has been a renewed
interests from the international  business  community  to  go  into
Burma  as  the  political  tension eased. The UN initiated
economic embargo will unlikely  be implemented as  long  as  things
going   smoothly.  It might not be quite necessary  to  advocate  the
Business community to  withdraw entirely or to discourage  entering
Burma.  However, it will certainly be necessary to inform the illegal
status of SLORC and therefore not to invest with  large   financial
sums within Burma. Businesses must be ready to pull out if  things
are not going smoothly. Nontheless,  any  genuine business  will  
need  the  time  to  study  the situation in Burma and  will wish 
to  make  contact  with  the people of Burma, it may be reasonable to
allow them to open official contacts.

7.  The operation of UN humanitarian agencies and  NGOs:  There  has
been  a  difficult  task of advocating the governments for financial
supports to the repatriation program. The community groups should advocate
their  respective  governments to lend financial support in this humanitarian
operation. Especially, we would need the information regarding who  to
ask for such financial support.

Present  operation  will  particularly suited for the NGOs who have
already  working in collaboration with UNHCR. In Australia, there is an
inter-governmental  agency - known as AUSTCARE which already working
in co-ordination with UNHCR. The community  groups  should  advocate
support to such organizations wherever possible.

Some  NGOs  might  wish  to  have  more  freedom  in  supporting  a
particular targeted group. It is also natural for NGOs  in  showing
their  significance and to claim a success in their work. However,
present situation in Burma need NGOs' coordination  with  the  U.N.
humanitarian  agencies - such  as UNICEF and WHO - in order to avoid
duplications in efforts and  to  show  that  all       NGOs  are
operating   in  a  cohesive  fashion  in promoting the humanitarian
situation in Burma.

8.  The contingency measures and the role of NCGUB:  According
to the Memorandum issued  by  the  Burmese  Embassy at the UNGA, 
{\em ``Myanmar is fully committed to the voluntary and safe repatriation 
of returnees and will be faithful scrupulously in implementing the 
agreement and arrangement made between the concerned parties...."}. 
In  spite  of such  an assurance, a contingency plans must be made 
in order to ensure the democratization process be not deviate from 
its final objective. The analogy of situation may be seen in Haiti, 
where the withdrawal of civilian peace-keeping mission in 1993 has 
led to a stronger U.N. intervention. Therefore, we should appeal the 
National  Coalition  Government  of Union  of Burma to maintain its  
high-profile  status  until democratically elected government came 
into power in Burma.

9.  Participating in political action: There has been some differing
opinions  on  how  to  unite  such groups and organizations of
diverse in background and interests to reach a unified political action. 
One of the solution may be to encourage these groups to communicate 
more frequently, and if possible, discuss  the issues. Formalizing 
the relations between groups, and hence the national political 
consolidation, should be made at a much later stages. Participation 
to any political action by various groups - large or small - must be 
based on the fundamental understanding, mutual trusts and co-operations.   
This process may boil down to even to the level of individual 

As in any political process, the success or failure of a political 
organization will  depend on the  understanding of general trend and 
its ability to participate in the general action. Therefore, all 
pro-democracy organizations needs to open-up their views to others 
and cooperate each other with an open-mind.  In  this  way,  Burma's 
pro-democracy  groups  can achieve the "Unity in Action".

I shall be grateful for  you  to give  your views on these matters. 
I would be able to send your message and views to various groups, 
which may help the  other make  known of your views. Those who have  
computer  account  can send  their messages to following e-mail address, 
a place where discussions about Burma are usually held.

Once again,  I  should like to thank you for your  kind  attention  to
Burma's  democracy  movement  and,  in particular, the refugees and
displaced people from Burma.

\closing{Yours sincerely,}

e-mail: reg.burma@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (or) strider@xxxxxxxxxxx

snail-mail: Dr U Ne Oo, 48/2 Ayliffes Road, St Marys Adelaide,