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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 12 Sep 1995 06:04:42 +0930

/*  Written  12  Sep 6:00am 1995 by DRUNOO@xxxxxxxxxxxx(DR U NE OO) in igc:reg.burma */
/* ------------" NUS-Australia/ABSDO move on SDC students "---------- */

I received following copy of letter from the ABSDO in Australia, expressing
concerns about the continued detention of Burmese  students  in  Thailand's
Special Detention Center. -- U Ne Oo.
National Union of Students
West Melbourne 3003
P.O. Box 14278
Melb City Mail Centre
Melbourne 3000

Mr Benhar Silparcha
Prime Minister
Royal Thai Government
c/o Thai Embassy
111 Empire Circuit
Canberra Australa

8th September 1995

Your Excellency,

The National Union of Students in Australia is the peak  body  representing
Australian  University  Students.  We  represent  over  400,000 students in
Australia on most university campuses.

I  am  writing  to  raise  our  concerns  about   the   Thai   Government's
'constructuve engagement' policy towards Burma. Although the Government has
used  the  reasons  that  they  are  not  intending to interfere in Burmese
internal affairs, the fact remains that the Thai Government was one of  the
first  national  Governments  to recognize the illegal Burmese regime which
came to power after a  brutal  crackdown  on  people  peacefully  demanding
democracy and human rights in Burma.

NUS  deeply  regrets the indefinite detention of 30 Burmese students in the
Sepcial Detention Centre in Bangkok. These students have not  received  any
proper  trial since December 1993. These students are not criminals but are
the non-violent students activistss who are fighting for  democracy,  human
rights  and  freedom  for  the  people  of  Burma.  They  are recognised as
political refugees by the United Nations High  Commissioner  for  Refugees,
and  we  would  request  that the Thai Government treat them as such. It is
ironic for a democratic country cush as Thailand to treat students in  such
a  sya  that  invites  comparison  with  the  brutal treatment that similar
students have received at the hands of the Burmese military dictator ship.

It is clear that their continued imprisonment stands against all principles
of natural justice,a nd undermine the respected position of Thailand in the
region. We would ask that they be released  immediately  in  Thailand.  the
forced  repatriation  of three hundred students to Burma following the 1988
visit of General Chavalit Yongchaiyut was unacceptable and resulted in  the
arrest and imprisonment of many of those students.

The  continued  support by your Government for the military regime in Burma
lends support to such mistreatment of students. Yor planned visit to  Burma
and  the invitation to the leaders of the Burmese junta to the ASEAN summit
in December of this year, further reinforces this view. It is inappropriate
to use such a summit to lend further acceptance to this regime.

The NUS has further concerns which relate to the environmental  devastation
which  is occurring within Burma. Despite the fact that Thailand banned the
logging in 1989 to save the  environment,  the  Government  has  encouraged
logging  companies  to engag in intensive logging causing deforestation and
the destruction of marine resources. Thailand's own intesest in maintaining
its status as a Newly  Industralised  country  should  not  jeopardise  the
Burmese people or thier existence.

We  would  like  to  express  our  dispaaointment that the burmese Students
Organisation (All-Burma Students'  Democratic  Organisation)  in  Australia
have  not  been able to put their views to the Thai Ambassador in Australia
in order to address the above  concerns.  We  will  certainly  continue  to
support  them  in  their  campaign on this issue and take such steps as are
necessary until these demands are met.

Yours in union,
Sd. John CRAham
National President

/* Endreport */