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News: August 12

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Subject: Thai papers on 12/8/95
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More Burma forced labour claims
The Nation/Regional news/12.8.95 Local 

BURMA'S military junta is forcing villagers from Heinze Island to
help build a gas pipeline linking Yadana gas field in Matarban
Gulf to Thailand's Ratchaburi province, according to a statement
released yesterday by the All Burma Students' Democratic Front.

The Front claimed 300 people from 10 villages are being forced by
the State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) to work in an
environment where medical supplies are insufficient.

The Front said anyone who does not wish to work on the pipeline
has to hire another civilian for between 8,000 and 10,000 kyats
per month to take his place.

Slorc, it added, has been using Heinze Island as its logistical
base for regional security and building equipment storage.

The new Light Infantry Regiment 273 has been dispatched to
provide security in the villages of Kan Bauk and Ohn Pin Gwin for
Total, the French company that is among shareholders in the
multi-billion-kyat gas supply project. Other shareholders are the
American firm Unocal and Petroleum Authority of Thailand
Exploration and Production Co Ltd.

Suu Kyi says she's keeping in contact with ruling junta
The Nation/ Regional/12.8.95


RANGOON-Dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday she
maintains contact with the authorities for dialogue and added she
will speak about the developments at the right time.

Speaking at a press conference one month after her release from
house arrest, she said: "If speak too soon it might hurt the
process toward dialogue."

Suu Kyi said she was satisfied with the unity and discipline
among members of her party, the National League for Democracy

A new executive committee cannot yet be elected due to certain
regulations, she added without elaboration.

The former chairman of the NLD, U Tin Oo, former acting chairman
and spokesman of the party, U Kyi Maung, and the current
chairman, U Aung Shwe, were present at the press conference.

When Suu Kyi, U Tin Oo and U KYi Maung were detained, they were
expelled from the NLD as required by law, and U Aung Shwe has
subsequently served as chairman.

Asked whether it was a denial of democracy when the State Law and
Order Restoration Council (Slorc) failed to honour the results of
the 1990 elections, Suu Kyi replied: "It was certainly a lack of
respect for the people. The 1990 elections undoubtedly showed the
will of the people.

"They made very clear that they want democracy. So in line with
the mandate of the 1990 elections, I think we have a duty to work
toward genuine democracy."

The Nation adds: An ethnic Muslim rebel group in Karen State, in
defiance of the Burmese military junta's fury, has reiterated its
support for Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in her
fight for democracy in Burma, its senior military officer said.

Col Sobuna told a group of journalists at Kyainginsaikgyi in
territory controlled by the group that the group's declared
support for Suu Kyi earlier had angered the military junta and
could become an excuse for it to breach a ceasefire agreement
between them.

Suu Kyi has line for talks with military 
Bangkok Post/ Region/12.8.95

Rangoon, Reuters 

BURMESE democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday she had
a line of communication with the military government but declined
to say if progress had been made towards the dialogue she has
called for.

"We do have a line of communication with the authorities but
until we think it is the right time I'd rather not comment on
it," she told a news conference at her Rangoon home.

Suu Kyi, released from nearly six years of house arrest on July
10, did not say if there had been any talks with the ruling State
Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC).

After her release, Suu Kyi called for dialogue with the military,
stressing the need for national reconciliation between the
military and the opposition, including the democracy movement and
autonomy-seeking ethnic minorities.

Suu Ky said she was encouraged that her supporters had done
nothing which might harm the chance of negotiations with SLORC.

"We had indicated last month that our intention was to get to the
negotiating table and that nothing should be done that would in
any way disturb this process," she said.

She pointed out that there were no disturbances last Tuesday, the
seventh anniversary of a bloody crackdown on protesters during a
failed six month pro-democracy uprising which swept the country
in 1988.

"This is a sign of the maturity and discipline of the people" Suu
Kyi said.

She said she was pleased with the state of the National League
for Democracy (NLD) party, which she co-founded in 1988. "There'a
a lot of solidarity and unity within the NLD. We allow people to
disagree. We are more united now."

The NLD swept more than 80 per cent of the seats in 1990
elections, even though Suu Kyi and other top party leaders were
already in detention.

The SLORC ignored the election outcome and launched a sweeping
crackdown on all opposition to its rule.

Burma's military has ruled in one guise or another since the
ousting of the last democratic government in a 1962 coup. The
SLORC was established in September 1988 when troops finally
succeeded in crushing the democracy uprisings.

# Meanwhile, Defence Minister Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh's trip to
Burma will be an unofficial one aimed to reminisce about the good
old days during the time when the minister was still serving in
the armed forces.

The army assistant commander Gen Chetha Thanajaro said; "He will
be there to recall good old memories."

The 58-year old assistant commander noted that no special topics
would be raised for discussion with Burma during the two-day trip
during September 1-2.

Gen Chetha said Defence Minister gen Chavalit had already told
the armed forces the trip would help strengthen ties and
understanding between the two countries.


Typed by the Research Department of the ABSDF(MTZ)       12/8/95