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Wired News on September 20 & 21, 19

Subject: Wired News on September 20 & 21, 1995

Attn: Burma Newsreaders
Re: Wired News on September 20 & 21, 1995

Japan to donate $400, 000 to Burma for schools

      RANGOON, Sept 21 (Reuter) - Japan will give Burma $400,000 to build
schools in border areas, official media reported on Thursday. 

    State-run newspapers said powerful military intelligence leader
Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt made the announcement on Wednesday at the
opening ceremony of a school for orphans donated by the Japanese government. 

    Japan has occasionally provided assistance to Burma through the United
Nations for anti-drug activities and development of border areas, Khin Nyunt

    Japan, once a major donor to Burma, froze all its aid programmes when the
military-run State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) took power in

    Tokyo announced its intention to resume overseas development aid to Burma
in July after the military government released opposition leader Aung San Suu
Kyi from nearly six years of house arrest. 

    Japan has not yet made any formal announcement concerning the amount of
aid or when it will resume. 

Reut06:39 09-21-95

Burma says legal matters delay talks with Suu Kyi

      SINGAPORE, Sept 20 (Reuter) - Burma said on Wednesday it would not open
a dialogue with opposition leader and Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi
unless certain ``legal procedures'' were followed. 

    But Burmese Minister of National Planning and Economic Development David
Abel stressed such dialogues would not be the final solution. 

    ``There have been dialogues. In the future there can also be dialogue but
that doesn't resolve the issue,'' he told reporters at a seminar on Burma. 

    ``There are legal matters also that we have to consider... all sorts of
legal matters,'' he said. He declined to elaborate. 

    The seminar was held on the fringes of a three-day Europe-East Asian
economic meeting which began on Wednesday. 

    Burma's military government freed pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi in July
after nearly six years of house arrest. 

    The State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), which took power
after suppressing pro-democracy uprisings in 1988, recently gave a clear
indication it planned to open a dialogue with the opposition. 

    U.S. envoy to the United Nations Madeleine Albright said this month that
Washington wanted a dialogue to be initiated between the SLORC and the

    ``I don't want to make too much of it, because I think that the progress
here is one that we'd have to watch. But I do think that it is significant
that it is the first time they have made such a statement,'' she said. 

Reut08:08 09-20-95

Burma says it will join Mekong River Commission

      SINGAPORE, Sept 20 (Reuter) - Burma said on Wednesday it would accept
an invitation to join four other Indochinese nations in jointly tapping the
resources of the Mekong River for economic development. 

    David Abel, Burma's minister of national planning and economic
development, told reporters Rangoon was identifying projects for development
as part of the Mekong River Commission (MRC). 

    But it was unclear when Burma would officially join the MRC, whose
members are Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. China has also been invited
to join. 

    ``We believe that despite having our own national identity, we have one
common aspiration, that is cooperation and development for peace and
stability,'' Abel told a Singapore seminar on the Mekong's development. 

    Cambodia's First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh said the MRC had
outlined a framework for the development of trans-Indochinese highways. 

    ``We have the time frame, I think we have found the funding,'' he said.
``The idea of the Mekong Six is not a simple concept anymore but a reality.''

    But he said much work had to be done, including attracting private-sector
investment in developing key infrastructure projects. 

    The Mekong Six refers to four existing MRC members, along with Burma and

    The Mekong River rises in Tibet and flows south, passing through southern
China. Along its 4,184-km (2,600-mile) course it serves as the boundary
between Laos and Burma, most of Laos and Thailand, before passing through
Cambodia and southern Vietnam and emptying into the South China Sea. 

    Cambodian officials said priority areas for projects include
hydro-electric power, irrigation, fisheries, navigation and transport. 

Reut09:54 09-20-95

Senate clears U.S. foreign aid budget

    (Adds quotes, details) 

    WASHINGTON (Reuter) - The U.S. Senate Thursday easily approved a reduced
$12.4 billion foreign aid budget for the coming fiscal year, continuing a
steady decline over the past decade. 

    The Senate approved the bill on a vote of 91 to 9 after conservative Sen.
Jesse Helms of North Carolina withdrew his proposal to force the State
Department to close several agencies. 

    As in past years, the largest share of the funds -- more than $5 billion
-- will go to Israel and Egypt as part of the Middle East peace accords. 

    The Senate placed conditions on U.S. aid to the countries of the former
Soviet Union, agreed to permit a one-time shipment of arms to Pakistan, and
imposed sanctions on Burma. 

    The level of aid in the bill is $2.4 billion less than the administration
sought, an issue that brought complaints from the White House but not a veto
threat. It is $440 million above the amount approved by the House. 

    Lawmakers from both chambers must now meet to iron out differences before
a unified bill can be sent to the White House. This process gives the
administration another opportunity to remove provisions it doesn't support,
including a provision that ties a ban on aid to the former Soviet Union to
its sale of nuclear technology to Iran. 

    Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont, senior member of his party on the
foreign operations subcommittee, argued that the deep cuts could lead to the
United States ceding its economic influence to Japan or other world economic

    ``If we continue down this path, in a very few years, we will have no
money to carry out foreign policy other than to fight wars,'' he told the

Reut21:34 09-21-95