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BurmaNet News September 3, 1995

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------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News:  September 3, 1995
Issue #214

Noted in Passing:
  Aung San Suu Kyi is an ordinary politician. There's nothing significant
in her so why do I have to see her.  - Thai Defense Minister Chavalit
Yongchaiyudh (quoted in Thai Minister Meets Burma's Top Generals)

NLM: DESINITY OF THE NATION-24 (on Aung San Suu Kyi)
Produced with the support of the Burma Information Group

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[Feel free to suggest more areas of coverage]

September 2, 1995              by Nustara Sawatsawang

BURMA has set conditions for Thailand to meet before the two
countries can expand cooperation, Defence Minister Chavalit
Yongchaiyudh said yesterday.

The State Law and Order Restoration Council identified security
along its border with northern Thailand, the suspended
construction of the Thai-Burmese Friendship Bridge and fisheries
conflicts in Ranong province as the problems that need to be
resolved first, Gen Chavalit quoted Gen Than Shwe as saying.

Gen Than Shwe is chairman of the ruling SLORC and also defence
minister and commander of the armed forces. He and Gen Chavalit met 
yesterday after he arrived in Rangoon for the two-day visit.
Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw was also included in the Burmese
delegation discussing bilateral issues with the Thai side.

Although SLORC did not mention any group by name which
threatens its security, it is known that Rangoon was referring to
drug warlord Khun Sa and his aides who sometimes take refuge and
receive medical treatment on Thai soil.

Concerning the suspension of bridge construction, Gen Than
Shwe was quoted as saying that the Burmese government wanted to
see the construction resumed "as soon as possible" but the
problem stemmed from the fact that "there are some groups of
Thais who abused a small island in the (Moei) river for their
own benefit."

The present land encroachment into the river where there are
stalls and shophouses including rock filling along the river
bank, is considered by the Burmese authorities as altering the
borderline and infringing on its sovereignty.

Burma sets conditions for improvement in ties Gen Chavalit
promised that Thailand would not stay idly by but intended to
tackle all problems to strengthen bilateral ties.

"I wished our relations could date back into 1988 when it was
very warm and Gen Than Shwe said he feels the same," he told
reporters.  He said Thai authorities concerned have plans to enforce 
measures on the border but refused to elaborate.

The murder of Burmese fishermen deepened already soured relations
between the two countries.

Gen Chavalit handed a letter on behalf of Prime Minister Banharn
Silpa-archa to his counterpart.  The letter expresses the Premier's intention 
to visit Rangoon as soon as possible, probably before the summit of the 
Association of Southeast Asian Nations in December in Bangkok.

An official in the Thai delegation said the prime minister
would arrange for the visit after tension has eased and
temporary checkpoints are reopened.

Foreign Minister Kasem S. Kasemsri said yesterday he plans
to consult the Burmese government in his forthcoming trip to
Rangoon to pave way for the prime minister's visit.  M.R. Kasem 
departs. for Phnom Penh this afternoon and is scheduled to return 
on Monday.

The visit of the prime minister would follow a series of exchange
visits over the next four months between Thailand and Burma, he
said.  "I wish to speed up the adjustment procedure to make relations
back to normal and step further into bilateral cooperation.

"Mr Banharn's trip is the end of all bad things (between the
two countries) and the beginning of future cooperation," said
M.R. Kasem.

M:R. Kasem said he would visit Burma in his capacity a
co-chairman of the Thai-Burmese Joint Commission and hope to lay
the groundwork for future relationships.

He said Gen Than Shwe would come to Bangkok to participate
in the summit of leaders from 10 Southeast Asian countries, to
be held back-to-back with the ASEAN Summit at the end of the

The Foreign Ministry also plans to invite Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt;
secretary of the SLORC, to visit Thailand. M.R. Kasem said he
telephoned on Wednesday to extend an invitation to Khin Nyunt for
the visit.

Lt-Gen - Khin Nyunt agreed in principle last January to visit
Thailand as guest of the then-Deputy Prime Minister Chamlong
Srimuang, but the plan was shelved due to border tension between
the two countries.

The foreign minister also commented on the keynote address
by Burmese dissident Aung San Suu Kyi at the NGO Forum on Women
in Beijing, that this should not lead to any problem between
Bangkok and Rangoon.

The videotape was originally scheduled to be brought to Beijing
by MP Khunying Supatra Masdit who is convener of the NGO Forum on
Women.  She was banned from entering Burma but the forum still managed 
to smuggle the tape out of the country.

Chavalit proposes fence-mending trip ahead of December Asean
Summit                September 2, 1995

RANGOON In a paramount effort to restore strained Thai-Burmese
relations, Prime Minister Banharn Silapa-archa has officially
notified the Burmese junta that he wants to visit Burma before
the Asean summit in mid-December.

The message was conveyed to the junta leadership by Defence
Minister Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, who began a high-profile
two-day visit to Rangoon yesterday.

Banharn cannot make the trip to Burma at the moment because he
is engaged in several other official activities, Chavalit said
after a one-hour meeting with Gen Than Shwe. Chairman of the the
ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc).

The meeting was also attended by Slorc leader and military
intelligence chief Lt Gen Khin Nyunt and Burmese army commander
Gen Maung Aye.

Chavalit said Banharn wants to meet Than Shwe before the Asean
summit, but if that is not possible, the two leaders will meet
during the Bangkok meeting.

Chavalit, also deputy prime minister, handed Than Shwe a letter
from Banharn expressing his regret at the murder in early August
of Burmese crewmen aboard a Thai fishing vessel.

The former Army chief said Than Shwe had requested that Bangkok
help resolve three outstanding problems _ encroachment on the
Moei River bank by Thais, the need for direct control by the
central government of events along the Thai-Burmese frontier, and
a "fair settlement" of the murder of the Burmese fishermen.

Chavalit said the Burmese were pleased that Thailand was
"sincere" in wanting to resolve the Moei River encroachment
issue. The river's banks serve as the natural Thai-Burmese

He had informed Than Shwe that authorities have already ordered
that the bank of the Moei be returned to its original condition.
The two countries will later hold talks to delineate the common
frontier, he said.

Than Shwe replied that construction of the Thai-Burmese bridge
across the Moei River will resume if the river bank encroachment
issue is resolved, Chavalit said.

Chavalit added that he gave an assurance the handling of the
murder investigation would be accelerated and those found
responsible would be prosecuted.

Than Shwe said the two sides could resume fisheries cooperation
once the murder case is settled, he said.

The visiting minister said Than Shwe urged Thailand to follow
international practice and ensure that the central government, in
Bangkok, plays the leading role in overseeing border activities
and resolving any problems or conflicts that occur. This was also
the Burmese approach, Than Shwe said.

Chavalit, who hopes his military background and personal
connections with the Slorc leadership will facilitate an
improvement in relations, said he tried to clear up all
outstanding issues with Than Shwe.

He pointed out that Banharn is personally concerned about the
bilateral problem and stressed that "just a verbal message is not
enough to restore Burmese confidence, there needs to be serious

Chavalit, who was warmly welcomed by Slorc leaders upon arrival,
tried to score early credit, saying that because of their
long-standing acquaintance, the Slorc leader had openly discussed
Thai-Burmese relations with him.

"If we had not known or understood each other before, [Than
Shwe] would not have told us so many things, or he could have
spoken out very strongly [against us]," he said.

So I made the trip here as a person with a good understanding of
the minds of the people of the two countries, in order to promote
peace in the region.

"We [Thailand] will try to resolve the problems that have
affected the feelings of the people and the governments of both
countries," he added.

Chavalit also visited two museums and played golf with top Slorc
leaders yesterday. He is due to have more talks today before
returning to Bangkok.

Speaking in Bangkok before his departure, Chavalit told reporters
Thailand does not have any special interest" in Burma's
pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and considers her just "a
Burmese citizen' with an interest in politics".

Prime Minister Banharn will start his two-leg tour of Thailand's
Asean partners on Sept 24 with an official visit to
Malaysia and Singapore as part of the first leg of the tour, set for 
Sept 24-25, said Veerasak.  The visit will enable him to familiarize himself 
with the leaders of the region.

September 1, 1995  
(editor's note: sections identical to above two articles have been deleted)

    RANGOON, Sept 1 (Reuter) - Thai Defence Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh
met the leaders of Burma's military government on Friday in the first
high-level meeting between the two countries since a recent period of
strained ties. 	
	Earlier on Friday Chavalit told reporters in Bangkok he would offer Burma
full cooperation in its military campaign against opium rebel Khun Sa. 
	``Khun Sa is a narcotics trafficker so Thailand is ready to offer full
cooperation in crushing him if the Burmese government asks for it,'' Chavalit
told reporters before leaving for Rangoon. 
	Chavalit declined to elaborate in what particular areas Thailand could
help Burma in its campaign against the warlord, who controls zones in
northeastern Shan state near the border with Thailand. 
	Last week a senior official from Burma's military government told Reuters
Thailand must stop supplies being smuggled across its border to Khun Sa if he
is ever to be defeated. 
	Thailand officially sealed its northern border with areas controlled by
Khun Sa last year. But smugglers are known to still operate along some remote
sections of the frontier. 
    Chavalit was visiting after a period of strained bilateral relations
since the beginning of the year, when Burmese forces launched an offensive
against autonomy-seeking guerrillas in southeast Burma, forcing thousands of
refugees into Thailand. 
Chavalit said he would not seek a meeting with Burma's democracy leader
Aung San Suu Kyi. 
    ``Aung San Suu Kyi is an ordinary politician. There's nothing significant
in her so why do I have to see her,'' he said. 
	While army chief in December, 1988, Chavalit became the first foreign
dignitary to visit Burma in the aftermath of the bloody crushing of a
pro-democracy uprising that year. 
    Shortly after his visit Thailand repatriated scores of Burmese dissidents
who had fled the crackdown in Burma to the Thai side of the frontier, many of
them by force.  At the same time Burma granted extensive logging concessions to Thai
companies in southeastern and eastern Burmese frontier areas. 

September 2, 1995                  Rangoon

BURMESE authorities have been keeping Thai reporters busy during
every moment of the day, apparently fearing they might try to
sneak out and visit pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Twenty reporters travelling to Burma with Deputy Prime
Minister and Defence Minister Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh have
found themselves occupied according to an air-tight schedule
prepared by the Burmese government.

All this despite their requests yesterday afternoon to be able to
return to their hotel to file articles.

After covering the meeting between Gen Chavalit and Gen Than
Shwe, chairman of the ruling State Law and Order Restoration
Council, the Thai reporters were immediately whisked off on yet
another series of activities that left them without a single
minute to spare.

While Gen Chavalit spent the afternoon playing golf with Gen
Than Shwe and other senior Burmese military officials, the
reporters together with Assistant Army Commander Gen Chettha
Thanajaro were taken on a guided tour of the Gem Emporium,
Defence Museum and Thanlyin Kyauktan industrial zone.

The Burmese authorities even declined the Thai reporters'
petition to be able to return to the Inya Lake Hotel to file
articles or contact their headquarters.

One Burmese official explained that his government was "afraid
that the reporters would have free time and find ways to do a
story in front of Aung San Suu Kyi's house."

Nobel peace prize laureate Suu Kyi was released on July 10
after six years under house arrest.  This was the first visit ever
 by such a large group of foreign reporters since her release, the 
official pointed out.

In addition the reporters were repeatedly instructed by the
Thai Defence Ministry not to ask "sensitive questions," including
any on Suu Kyi, fearing this may send the already soured
Thai-Burmese relationship even further down the drain.

"This is a confidence-building trip, so everyone should help.
Even if you ask him (Gen Chavalit) about her (Suu Kyi), his
answer will be that it's Burma's internal affair" said a Thai
Defence official.

September 2, 1995

THAILAND does not give special recognition to Burmese dissident
leader Aung San Suu Kyi, considering her merely a Burmese citizen
carrying out political activities in her country, Defence
Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said yesterday.

"I don't know why we have paid much interest to her," he said.

Speaking before leaving for an official visit to Rangoon
yesterday, Gen Chavalit said there is nothing wrong with
following up on political movements and political parties in
other countries but it is not proper to place emphasis on any
particular person.

Thailand views Mrs Suu Kyi as a local Burmese politician and
that the country sees no difference with the way it looks at Thai
politicians such as Seritham Party leader Arthit Ourairat, he
said.  "We see political struggle as a common matter," Gen Chavalit
said.  The Thai delegation will not discuss the issue concerning
Mrs Suu Kyi during the visit, he added.

The Defence Minister apparently tried to avoid comments about Mrs.
Suu Kyi, who was released in July by the State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC) after almost six years under house
arrest, for fear that it might affect the relations between
Thailand and Burma.

Gen Chavalit also brushed aside remarks that his visit might
affect Thailand's image because Burma is still under dictatorial
rule, saying it is Thailand's duty to convey messages of the
world community to see peace in Burma.

Thailand has established diplomatic relations with several
countries which are ruled by the military governments, he said.

Gen Chavalit said the Thai delegates will discuss general issues
with the Burmese authorities during the visit, ending today.

Thailand is ready to cooperate and coordinate efforts with
Burma in narcotics suppression through exchanging information
and stepping up joint crackdown operations.

But Gen Chavalit said Thailand may not be able to comply with
Burma's request that it stop providing medical care to wounded
troops of drug warlord Khun Sa fighting the military government.

It is necessary for Thailand to provide humanitarian assistance
to people seeking refuge in its territory, he said.  But any refugees
suspected of involvement in drug trafficking would be detained for 
questioning after treatment he said.

Gen Chavalit said Thailand has mercy in allowing Burmese students
to take refuge in the country.

However, those students should know that it would be inappropriate
to use Thailand as a base to stage protests and other political
activities against the Burmese government.

"We may already have given them too much by allowing them to stay
peacefully in Thailand," he said.

Gen Chavalit said his visit to Burma is not based on Thailand's
constructive engagement policy or any other policy towards that
country.  "I go there because we are brotherly countries."
Those accompanying Gen Chavalit to Burma include his adviser
Pat Akkanibut, his secretary Boonchu Wangkanond and Assistant
Army Chief Gen Chettha Thanajaro.

September 2, 1995  Mae Hong Son

FIGHTING between SLORC troops and the Karenni National Army over
the past two months has forced a Thai logging firm to cease its
operations in Burma.

The fighting along the Thai-Burmese border opposite Mae Sariang
District has prompted the Thai Industrial Vinyl 1992 Co to cease
transporting 400,000 cubic metres of processed wood into Thailand
from its sawmills at Ban Mae Jae in Doi Kaw Province Burma.
The company was previously transporting its wood through the
Ban Sao Hin and Ban Huay Ton Noon border passes.

Illegal taxes imposed by the Karenni National Party Liberation
Front (KNPLF), which controls the area, is another factor
discouraging the company from continuing with its business,
according, to a company source.

Between March and June the KNPLF seized two of the company's
excavators which were returned after ransom was paid to the
group, he said.

The company, which was granted a logging concession in Burma,
decided to hand over its excavators to Rangoon troops and
officially notified the SLORC that it wanted to temporarily cease
operations. The company requested the troops take care of the sawmill 
and its equipment, worth over 50 million baht.

The Thai Industrial Vinyl 1992 Co earlier signed a contract
with the Polpana Co Ltd to transport the processed wood products
from Burma.  So far, the Polpana Co has brought out 21,961 cubic metres 
of wood products and 57,300 wooden planks, worth a total of 108.2
million baht through the Ban Sao Hin pass.

But Thai Industrial Vinyl 1992 Co may have other motives for
ceasing its operations, other sources claim.

One could be to close this particular logging route to prevent
smaller logging companies from using it to illegally transport
logs from that area into Thailand.  This would force the small 
operators to deal directly with the company.


   UNITED NATIONS, Sept 1 (Reuter) - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
Madeleine Albright intends to visit Burma next week, the highest U.S.
official to do so since the military junta took office, her spokesman
announced on Friday. 
	Albright, head of the 46-member U.S. delegation to the Fourth
International Women's Conference in Beijing, also will visit Indonesia and
the Philippines after her three-day trip to China. She leaves the United
States on Sunday for Hawaii to meet first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton for the
trip to China. 
	In Burma, where she arrives on September 8, Albright will visit
government officials as well as democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi,
released last month from house arrest after six years. She led pro-democracy
uprisings in Rangoon in 1988, brutally crushed by the military which
prevented her party from taking office. 
	Albright's spokesman James Rubin said the visit was ``not a signal of any
acceptance of their practices or a reward for releasing Aung San Suu Kyi.'' 
	Instead, he said Albright would tell the military leadership that it sees
``progress on democracy, human rights and the rights of minorities in Burma''
as a necessary precondition'' for any further relations. 
	The ruling military-run State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)
has been criticised by the United Nations and all major human rights groups
for its crackdown on democracy and forced labour, rape and other abuses by
the army against peasants in border areas. 
	The Clinton administration has been harshly critical of Burma and froze
economic assistance but it has not stopped any U.S. investments in the
Southeast Asian country. The last visit to Burma was in November 1994 by
Thomas Hubbard, the deputy assistant secretary of state. 
	In Indonesia and the Phillipines, both leaders in the non-aligned
movement, Albright will meet government leaders and discuss U.S. goals and
objectives for the upcoming 50th anniversary session of the U.N. General
Assembly, Rubin said. Albright has already said she wants to focus on reform
of the U.N. bureaucracy, under attack in Congress. 

	 RANGOON, Burma (Reuter) - In most parts of South Asia
chewing betel leaf is easy. In India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh, a 
betel-leaf seller can be found within a few paces on any city street.
	 That used to be true of Rangoon, the capital of Burma, until
recently. Now, Burmese betel-leaf sellers have gone underground
because a city ban on the sale of this local favorite is being
strictly enforced.
	 Prices of ``kunya'' or the dark green betel-leaf -- usually
folded with a host of condiments such as white lime, areca nut
parings, tobacco and a host of other aromatic Indian spices --
have risen sharply.
	 Betel-chewing has been a gentle and possibly addictive South
and Southeast Asian habit for centuries, but the trouble with
kunya is the blood-colored saliva it generates -- which is
promptly spat out.
	 As in many parts of neighboring Bangladesh and in India,
many betel-chewers have rampantly turned the city streets into
one big spittoon. Systematically, they continue to leave
pavements, drains and corners of buildings with red stains.
	 Irked by this, the Rangoon city municipality imposed a ban
on kunya sales in April in six central townships to save the
city's streets and buildings ahead of Visit Burma Year in 1996.
	 ``Some kunya which used to cost 75 pyas (three quarters of a
kyat) now sell for two kyats or more because sellers cannot sell
them openly and face fines if they are caught selling it,'' said
an ardent Burmese fan of the leaf.
	 (The official exchange rate of the kyat is six to the U.S.
dollar but it trades at 110 to the dollar on the black market.)
	 The fan says he used to chew up to 50 pieces of kunya a day
until the recent price hike. ``I now chew about 10 at the most. It's getting 
expensive, you know,'' he said with a smile which revealed his red-stained
teeth and lips.
	 Chewing kunya is one of the few luxuries left for the
ordinary, poverty-stricken Burmese, who generally earn anywhere
from $15 to $25 a month in the local currency.
	 Kunya is mainly sold in Rangoon by Bangladeshi migrants.
	 Conspicuously absent these days are the hundreds of little
kunya trays, with their sellers perched nearby, which used to
openly line Rangoon lanes at intervals of a few paces.
	 The kunya trays are now either hastily carried around by
energetic, roving sellers to avoid city enforcement officers or
are parked along alleyways or on secluded staircases leading up
to shophouses.
	 ``I was just photographed for selling kunya by the city
officer,'' said a seller sitting by his kunya tray near a drain
on a side street. ``I think they have got me this time.''
	  Kim Maung, 45, who has been in the business for many years
reported brisk sales since the ban was announced. ``People now
don't even look at the price. They need it, so they just pay for
it,'' he said squatting at his mini-store with kunya
strategically placed hidden below the counter.
	  He said he can easily sell up to 700 pieces of kunya a day.
	 A housewife said the ban had affected the quality of kunya
sold. ``The kunya is now pre-wrapped and can get stale. They are
not as fresh as before when they made it in front of you and the
quality of condiments is dropping,'' she said.
	 But one thing is clear. The Rangoon authorities have stepped
up their war on kunya and the days of relaxed betel-chewing may
be numbered.

FOR MISERY IS POWER  by Patrick E. Tyler 
September 1, 1995    (abridged)

HUAIROU, China - In a videotaped address that seemed to radiate across
Asia with its admonitions against intolerance by authoritarian governments
and violence against women, the Burmese Nobel laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,
Thursday opened a mammoth meeting of private women's groups gathered from all
over the world to shape the issues of the Fourth World Conference on Women,
which opens Monday. 
      "For millenia, women have dedicated themselves almost exclusively to the
task of nurturing, protecting and caring for the young and the old, striving
for the conditions of peace that favor life as a whole," Mrs. Aung San Suu
Kyi said. 
      "It is time to apply in the arena of the world the wisdom and experience"
that women have gained, she added. 
      Her criticism of repressive and male-dominated governments was as blunt,
perhaps more so, than any statement the opposition leader has made since her
release from house arrest this summer, and she said her video-taped message
had only reached China after unspecified "difficulties." 
      The address was an extraordinary beginning for what may be the largest
convocation of women ever assembled to lobby world governments, if only
because it was delivered in China, whose Communist Party leadership has
become so intolerant to the kind of challenge Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi represents
that it has jailed thousands of dissidents and persecuted those who have
undertaken even modest efforts to petition for democratic reform. 
      The women's meetings here, an hour away from the main conference in
Beijing, are private and separate, yet officially connected to the main
conference by an agreement between the United Nations and China. 
     Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi's videotaped message was in marked contrast to
 the official male-led Burmese delegation, which, reports say, will insist Burmese
women already have full equality with men. 
     "Insecure people tend to be intolerant," she said, "and their intolerance
unleashes forces that threaten the security of others." 
     In the videotape, recorded in Myanmar, formerly Burma, she said, women
have not been given political power in the countries around the world and
have been exploited in Asia's sex trade. 
     "It is want that has driven so many of our young girls across our borders
to a life of sexual slavery where they are subject to constant humiliation
and ill treatment," she said. "It is fear of persecution for their political
beliefs that has made so many of our people feel that even in their own homes
they cannot live in dignity and security." 
     The official Chinese news media did not report her words, but the many
foreign, shortwave-radio broadcasts that reach China are likely to carry the
speech within a day or two. 
     More than 4,000 women showed up for Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi's address at a
converted cinema that sat only 1,500. Most were turned away. 
     It was not clear what prevented her from delivering her speech in person
except that her arrival as an pro-democracy opposition leader would have
drawn obvious parallels to China's suppresion of its own opposition movement.
     The opening day of the conference, where more than 17,000 delegates have
arrived so far, was also marked by acts of defiance against the Chinese
authorities, who have erected one of the most pervasive and intrusive
security environments ever put in place for a U.N.-sponsored meeting. 
     Outside, the human rights group Amnesty International staged a
demonstration to call attention to the plight of political prisoners around
the world. 
      The Chinese authorities had said they would not tolerate demonstrations
outside the perimeter of the conference site here, and they repeated Thursday
that they will not brook any criticism of Chinese leaders. 
      "The Chinese have said they will not allow free speech on the grounds of
the forum," said Pierre Sane, secretary general of Amnesty International.
"We're calling their bluff." 

September 1, 1995

FIGHTING raged yesterday between the army of a minority ethnic
tribe that supports the government and troops of a drug warlord
in Burma's opium-rich Golden Triangle.

Border Patrol Police reported more than 200 troops had died in
heavy fighting between he United Wa State Army and opium warlord
Khun Sa's Mong Tai Army.

The Wa, who were allied with the Communist Party of Burma until
its collapse in 1989 and until recent times were headhunters,
have a history of territorial disputes with the ethnic Shan
people who make up the majority of Khun Sa's troops.

The Wa are now also allied with the government, which has started
its third military campaign in as many years to smash khun Sa.
Government troops have been advancing on Khun Sa's positions
outside of Tachilek and near Loi Lun on the Thai border.
Loi Lun is across the border from Chiang Mai. Tachilek is
opposite Chiang Rai.

A force of 5,000 Wa fighters clashed with about 2,500 of Khun
Sa's troops near Mong Yong, adjacent to Loi Lun. The Wa succeeded
in capturing two of Khun Sa's bases while losing one of their

A recent factional split in the Mong Tai Army left the drug
warlord weakened as 2,000 of his fighters allied themselves with
the government.

The Mong Tai Army has sent representatives to the Wa asking for
ceasefire negotiations, the BPP said, but the Wa have demanded
that the Mong Tai Army withdraw its troops from the disputed
areas first.

Meanwhile in Rangoon, Gen Khin Nyunt, co-leader of the
government, said Burma's leaders were trying to end armed
insurrections among the ethnic minorities. He said the rebellions
were the result of mistrust from the divide-and-rule policies of

His remarks were from a speech to leaders of the Mon ethnic group
that was published in the state-owned New Light of Myanmar
yesterday.  The Mon are the 15th ethnic group to sign a ceasefire 
accord with the government.

Also yesterday near the border at Tak, 100 Karen troops, who had
earlier joined a faction that allied itself with the government,
returned to the rebel Karen National Union army, said a spokesman
of the National Democratic Front who demanded anonymity.

The returnees said the government broke its promise of giving
them arms, ammunition and a salary. They said many others wanted
to return, but were waiting to hear how other returnees were
being treated by the Karen National Union. _ AP

By Nawrahta	(New Light of Myanmar)

There were some who vigourously asserted that the Political
Defiance Programme was Bogyoke Aung San's Programme. Others
made preparations to attack the Tatmadaw from aboveground and
underground. Those who still stank of slavery kept asking the
West Bloc for help. Some persons appropriated to themselves
part of help received. Bombs kept exploding. At that juncture,
signals were given to create disturbances on the Martyrs Day.

It was impossible to just skip Martyrs Day. It was impossible
not to commemorate Martyrs Day. And when it was learnt that
disturbances had been prepared to take place on the Martyrs'
Day, the Na-wa-ta was compelled to do what it had to do.

On 19 July 1947, the national leader Bogyoke Aung San along
with other leaders were gunned down by a group of imperialist
henchmen. 19 July was therefore designated Martyrs Day and
commemorated every year. It marks a day of sorrow. It is a day
when anti-imperialist spirit and patriotic spirit need are

In the year 1989, chances for an orderly commemoration of the
day appeared bleak. The government, in keeping with tradition,
invited families of the Martyrs to the ceremonies. It permitted  
ten leaders from each political party to come and pay
their respects at the Martyrs' Mausoleum. There were over 200
parties and they would be sending over 2,000 representatives.
But then they laid plans to turn the Martyrs Day ceremonies
into a political stage.

On 8 July 1989, the General Secretary of the National League
for Democracy met Correspondent Connergoski of the Thai Nation
and said: "Tatmadaw is doing the work of a thug: it is trying
to keep a group of old men in power." She also made a false
accusation at a Press conference that the Tatmadaw bayonetted
to death eight young men mining jade. The same leader alleged
that "militarists are trying to crush by force of arms ar-
rangements being made by the masses to honour the Martyrs:
they are making dastardly plans to again stain the Martyrs Day
with blood".

Verbal attacks on the Tatmadaw gradually escalated. They said
they would march in procession to the Martyrs Mausoleum on the
Martyrs Day and thus laid plans to create disturbances. The
Tatmadaw had to issue Martial Law Order 1/89 and 2/89 to
prevent possible disturbances.

The General Secretary of the National League for Democracy did
not lay a wreath at the Martyrs' Mausoleum but she tried to
lay a wreath in Myenigone as a political stunt. It was claimed
that students died at that spot. In fact, no student died
there: only some policemen died under the attack of violent
elements near Sanchaung Police Station.

Gene Sharp's methods to achieve democracy called for demon
strations during funeral processions. It was like alleging
deaths of demonstrators at Tadaphyu (White Bridge) when in
fact nobody had died there and then ceremonially renaming the
bridge the 'Red Bridge.' Trying to lay a wreath in Myenigon
was of the same pattern. Gene Sharp however did not say that
this method, adopted by a single person, would become a mere
political stunt.

Beginning 20 July 1989, action had to be taken against the
President and the General Secretary Secretary of the National
League for Democracy under Section 10 of Law Protecting the
State from the Threats of disruptors. The Law was prescribed
to protect National Sovereignty and National Security or the
Public Peace from dangers of disruption. Another aim of the
law was also to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens.

Persons against whom action has been taken under this Law are
not imprisoned: they have to stay in their own residence. They
are not allowed to have any contacts with outsiders. The State
takes responsibility for the person's health and medical
attention. It is generally understood as house arrest.

This sort of action, as compared to the magnitude of the
offence said to have been committed, can be regarded as very
lenient. Though action was taken against persons as individu
als the party concerned was not dissolved. That the party
concerned remains legitimate up to now is an illustration of

The State Law and Order Restoration Council has been compelled
to take action against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. The Na-wa-ta
government has full sympathy with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, she,
being daughter of national leader Bogyoke Aung San. The NA-wa-
ta leaders could not have had any intention to hurt Aung San
Suu Kyi. But they , at the same time, will not act contrary to
mass interest.
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi slanded to the Tatmadaw her father had
founded to the point of opposing it which was not a happy
augury. She could even have misled those who were supporting
her with their eyes shut. And there were numerous persons
inside and outside of the country who were waiting for a
chance to make her their stepping stone to exploit political

When Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's movements were thus restrained a
howl of protest rose from political parties as well as abroad.
They propagandised as if Daw Aung San Suu Kyi have been ar
rested and mistreated: Na-wa-ta leaders did not appear to have
been nursing a personal malice on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Pre-
sumably Daw Aung San Suu Kyi also did not have any personal

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who had lived away from Myanmar for many
years returned to Myanmar on 22 July 1988 , together with her
husband, an Englishman named Michael Aris, to attend to her
mother who was ill. And then she took part in political move-
ment. Within one year she began to tread an anti-Tatmadaw
path. Her husband was entitled to only one week visa but he
sought permission from the government and remained in the
country for three months and twelve days before he left. He
made frequent visits later on.

Two days after action had been taken against Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi, on 22 July 1989, her husband Michael Aris arrived. He
stayed with his wife until 12 August 1989: the British Embassy
citizen has been detained under guards Michael Aris and Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi then remained in constant contact.

Though Michael Aris is said to be an Englishman he lived not
only in England. He kept going about the whole world taking
part in Myanmar politics on account of his wife. It cannot
however be said who are behind him. HE is an activist in
concert with the international NGOs hostile to Myanmar. He
came to Myanmar twice in 1989 and 1991 and eight times between
1992 and 1994 altogether ten times and lived with his wife for
284 days.

The Na-wa-ta readily issued visas to Michael Aris.
Requests for visa extensions were readily granted. In fact,
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, for-bidden to have contacts with the
whole world through Michael Aris. The Na-wa-ta was unlikely to
be unaware of this. No searches were made at the airport on
Michael Aris' arrival and departures. HE was treated as a
gentleman. And nothing was said against Michael Aris making
contacts by means of computers.

The State Law and Order Restoration Council made arrangements
to have discussions with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at an appropri
ate time. On 20 September 1994, the State Law and Order Resto
ration Council Chairman and Defence Services Commander-in-
Chief Senior General Than Shwe had a cordial meeting with Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi at the No1 Tatmadaw Guest House. Lt-Gen Khin
Nyunt was present  at this meeting. The masses were delighted
to notice a TV footage of this meeting in anticipation of a
solution to a crisis.

The Slorc, Secretary-1, Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt had another cordial
meeting on 28 October 1994 at the Tatmadaw Guest House No 1. A
press communique issued after the meeting stated that prevail
ing political and economic situations progress of Na-wa-ta' s
political,economic and reform programmes, tasks that should be
undertaken for the long term welfare of the nation were cor
dially and frankly discussed. Also present at the meeting 
were the Judge Advocate General Brig-Gen Than Oo and the
Defence Services Inspector-General Brig-Gen Tin Aye.

Discussions between the the Na-wa-ta leaders and Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi were a process that would surely contribute to na-
tional reconciliation. The masses were happy with anticipa-
tion. The Na-wa-ta leaders were also apparently satisfied and
pleased with the prospects of easing of tension in one area.

But all these hopes were dashed when Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's
press statement appeared in Bangkok after Michael Aris came to
Myanmar on 24 December 1994 and left for Bangkok on 22 January
1995. It is learnt that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, in her statement,
had promised to continue her struggle.

Perhaps Michael Aris came butting in as Na-wa-ta leaders and
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi were on the verge of an understanding,
and ruined it. What sort of a person is this Michael  Aris who
keeps roaming about the whole world? Has he been dominating
his wife? and who has been dominating him?

But, allow Myanmar to be a Myanmar in a Myanmar way. Myanmar
had lived as an imperialist slave: spare Myanmar from domination
of any sort of foreign again.

Between 17 July and 18 August  1989, 181 persons in Yangon and
27 persons in the districts, totalling 208, had to be detained
under Martial Law. But today Martial Law is no more and those
detained who posed no threat to national security had been

The Tatmadaw remained strictly to prevent political distur-
bances escalating into violence and anarchism. But political
defiance did not come to an end. Incitements and instigations
continued unabated from foreign countries. Human rights slo-
gans were introduced. All sorts of help were given to insur-
gents on the border. Clandestine activities continued.

The Tatmadaw concentrated attention to holding elections
successfully. To ensure smooth balloting, new National Regis-
tration cards were issued across the whole country. At the
juncture rumours appeared flying about like moths. All bank
deposits would be confiscated! Currency notes would be de
monetised. Leaders are being rounded up! These rumours covered
all and diverse subjects.

The Martial Law promulgated in July 1989 did not apply to the
whole country. It covered only the Yangon Command, the Central
Command (Bago Division) and the North-West Command (Mandalay
Division, Sagaing Division and Chin State). Military Courts
appointed under the Martial Law tried cases of decapitation,
murders during the disturbances and agitators. Civil Courts
were not abolished.

Civil Courts passed death sentences on about a hundred persons
who had committed major crimes. But these sentences have since
been commuted, and not one sentence has been executed up till
now. Military Courts also passed death sentences but none of
these sentences has been carried out.

One return of peace and stability the Martial Law was with
drawn township by township. The rule of law made noticeable
gains. Peace returned to the countryside. Political distur-
bances declined.

As elections drew near, party candidates were allowed to
launch their election campaigns. Masses watched TV programmes
with interest when candidates canvassed votes on TV.

Multi-party democracy general elections were successfully held
on 27 May 1990. Out of the 235 parties were able to field
candidates. Only 27 parties won seats, some of them winning
only a single seat. Political party inflation gradually disappeared.

The Tatmadaw remained strictly neutral in the elections.
Tatmadaw personnel were permitted to cast their ballots
freely. There were absolutely no armed intimidations of voters.
 Speculations that the Tatmadaw would rig elections in
favour of National Unity Party were proved absolutely wrong.

In the elections the National League for Democracy won 392
constituencies out of a total 485 and the Burma Socialist
Programme Party, renamed National Unity Party, won ten con
stituencies. The rest of the constituencies went to regional
nationalities parties.

When the National League for Democracy won a victory, politi-
cians inside the country and the West bloc media heartily
lauded the elections as being very free and very fair. Had the
National League for Democracy not won a victory the Tatmadaw
would again be bashed and disturbances likely to resume.

The Tatmadaw remained strictly neutral in the elections but
some political forces were found to have resorted to unfair
means to win the elections. Mobs coerced voters into casting
their ballots to particular candidates. Whole communities were
threatened to vote for their party candidated if they did not
want their homes to get burnt down. Village level and Ward
level election commissions were also intimidated.

But the Tatmadaw dealt with these irregularities strictly in
accordance with Law. Had there been no elections, or had the
National League for Democracy not won the elections, it would
have to be the Tatmadaw's responsibility to cope with problems
that might arise. That might even lead to warfare.

The problem of transfer of power arose after elections. The
Tatmadaw had earlier declared that power would be transferred
only to a government constitutionally formed after the elec-
tions. But as successful election results seemingly signified
strong public support, persistent demands came to be made for
immediate transfer of power.

In the 27 May 1990 multi-party democracy general elections 93
political parties took part: The National League for Democracy
fielded 447 candidates of whom 392 got elected. There were 485
constituencies. Rakhine National League for Democracy won 11
constituencies and the National Unity Party won 10 constituen
cies. The Mon National League for Democracy won 5 constituen
cies and other parties shared 38 constituencies among them
selves. Six independent candidates were elected.

All sorts of comments emerged after the elections but all of
them were dominated by the assessment that the elections were
very fair. Those who said the elections were supporters of the
National League for Democracy. There were objections against
elections held were multi-party democracy general elections
but some took them to be a contest between the National League
for Democracy and the National Unity Party.

It is pertinent here to see who those persons were who won the
elections. A wealthy man living on Sule Pagoda Road in Yangon
contributed large sums to three parties which meant buying
Hluttaw members. That wealthy man was a religious fundamental
ist. He desired to segregate Buthitaung, Maungdaw and
Rathetaung areas a religious zone. Some of his candidates won
seats under the guise of party candidates and if a democratic
course of action was to follow a possibility of northern
Rakhine State breaking away arose. This was one incident.

The Tatmadaw realised, as early as about a year before elec-
tions that transfer of power immediately after elections would
become very problematic. But it was the Tatmadaw's responsi-
bility to prevent the Union from collapsing, to prevent na-
tional solidarity from disintegrating and to strengthen sover-
eignty. It would not be fair for people to do whatever they
wished to do and later on blame the Tatmadaw for the conse
quences. The Tatmadaw had therefore to extinguish the sparks from
a fuse leading to a powder keg. The Tatmadaw had to defuse the
powder keg. (The New Light of Myanmar)