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BurmaNet News: September 30, 1995 [

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The BurmaNet News: September 30, 1995

Noted in Passing:
I intend to bring the matter before the Senate in the very near
future. No one should doubt my resolve to have the US Senate
fully debate the deplorable situation in Burma and bring about
the trade and investment sanctions I propose against the State
Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). - Senator Mitch
McConnell (quoted in BKK POST: SENATE THROWS OUT


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September 29, 1995     by Ralph Bachoe       Washington

TOUGH sanctions against Burma, approved last week by the US
Senate, have been thrown out of Capitol Hill.

The architect of the Free Burma Act of 1995 has acceded to the
wishes of a fellow Republican senator and withdrawn the bill.

In a tersely-worded statement released to the press on Wednesday,
Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said:

"Today, I acceded to the wishes of Senator John McCain
(R-Arizona) and withdrew my Free Burma Act of 1995 as an
amendment to the Foreign Assistance Appropriations Bill currently
under consideration by the US Congress."

The bill, which needed reconciliation with comparable legislation
in the House of Representatives, would have banned all US trade
and investment with the illegitimate Burmese military regime,
including travel to that country by US citizens.

The bill also would have suspended aid to countries selling arms
to the Rangoon government.

Its withdrawal was fully anticipated by the sanctions proponents
in Washington.

McConnell's decision appears to have been the result of intensive
pressure from McCain, and, according to a knowledgeable
Republican source, the obvious political clout the US oil
companies, Unocal and Texaco, have over Congress with their
powerful lobbying capabilities.

The oil companies have billions of dollars at stake, and the
SLORC more than $400 million a year to lose, should the bill
become law.

The senator from Kentucky has lost this battle but definitely not
the war in his fight to pressure the Burmese military regime to
restore democracy to the country of 43 million, and to honour the
result of the 1990 elections won overwhelmingly by Aung San Suu
Kyi's National League for Democracy.

The defeated but unbowed McConnell said.

"I intend to bring the matter before the Senate in the very near
future. No one should doubt my resolve to have the US Senate
fully debate the deplorable situation in Burma and bring about
the trade and investment sanctions I propose against the State
Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc).

McConnell was not alone in his defeat. The National Coalition of
the Union of Burma (NCGUB), the parallel Burmese
government-in-exile which has lobbied intensively for the bill's
passage, also expressed its disappointment at the outcome.

It, however was pragmatic saying that "this process of invoking
economic sanctions ,against Slorc is a step-by-step process", and
thanking McConnell for his efforts.

Dr Sein Win said: "I want to thank Senator McConnell for his
outstanding efforts on behalf of the Burmese people in responding
to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's call for economic sanctions against

"The senator has set aside $2 million in funds that will be used
for humanitarian aid for ethnic groups and support for
democracy groups working inside Burma."

Dr Sein Win is an elected MP in the 1990 election and is prime
minister of the NCGUB. He is also the cousin of Suu Kyi who was
released by Slorc on July 10 after nearly six years of house

"I look forward to assisting the Senator over the following weeks
when a full Senate floor debate will take place spot-lighting
Slorc's atrocious human rights record, their refusal to engage in
a dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the continued arrest and
detention of democracy advocates, and Slorc's role in narcotics
trafficking," he concluded.

In an interview with the Bangkok Post, Senator McCain said he
does not believe that sanctions against Slorc would work.

He instead proposed that a step-by-step approach, which the US
adopted against Vietnam in normalising relations, be applied in
dealing with the Burmese military government to restore democracy

He said he was glad to hear that Suu Kyi had been released from
her house arrest.

Of the Slorc, he said there are signs that the military
government is "very interested in bettering relations, not only
between themselves and the US, but more importantly in the

"What I would really like to see if it were at all possible, and
I am not sure that it is, is to lay out a road map for the
Burmese like we did with the Vietnamese, that if they do certain
things we would in return try to do certain things as well.

"What we did with the Vietnamese was a very reasonable and
logical step-by step process."

He said he would like to see the US begin a similar process with
Burma. In theory a process similar to Vietnam's would be a great

"But here is the problem. It was clearly in Vietnam's interest to
have better relations with the United States and have the embargo
lifted and normalisation of relations.

September 28, 1995       by Steven Greenhouse 

A disagreement has broken out among Senate Republicans over an amendment
quietly stuck into the foreign aid bill that would withdraw
most-favored-nation trading status to any country that does not back
sanctions against the Burmese military government. 

While floor managers of bills often insert amendments that have unanimous
support, several lawmakers criticized Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who
managed the foreign aid bill, for inserting an amendment, without unanimous
backing, that could have huge repercussions. 

Several lawmakers said the bill could, for instance, cut off China's
most-favored status because Beijing does not honor sanctions against Burma. 
After the Senate approved the bill last Thursday, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,
a leader on foreign policy, took to the Senate floor to attack the way the
amendment on Burma was inserted. 

``I was quite upset about it and thought it was highly inappropriate to do
it,'' McCain said in an interview. ``I have a special concern about Burma -
60 percent of the heroin coming to the United States comes through Burma -
and if there was an amendment on the issue, I wanted to be involved in the

Joining this unusual intraparty feud, Sen. William Roth, R-Del., who is
chairman of the Finance Committee, wrote a letter to McConnell expressing his
great disappointment with the amendment. Roth complained not only that the
provision involved matters that were the jurisdiction of his committee, but
also that its call for withdrawing most-favored-nation trading status would
violate trade treaties. 

In an interview Wednesday, McConnell said he inserted the amendment without a
vote to apply some quick pressure on the Burmese military dictatorship. The
foreign aid bill, approved 91 votes to 9, would cut overseas assistance by 10

In addition to calling for suspending trade privileges to countries that do
not honor sanctions against Burma, McConnell's amendment calls for banning
travel to Burma, barring Burmese imports and withholding money to the
International Monetary Fund if it provides aid to Burma. 

``I do think there is some urgency about this - the situation there is quite
terrible,'' McConnell said. ``I thought it would be helpful to the situation
in Burma to have some language in the bill.'' 

He called McCain late Wednesday to say he would move to delete the amendment
when House and Senate lawmakers meet to rework the bill in conference.
Nonetheless, McConnell vowed to continue trying to pressure Burma and ``fight
this another day and soon.'' 

Several Republican Senate aides said they had been reassured by Robin
Cleveland, a top aide to McConnell, that no Burma amendment would be put into
the foreign aid bill. 

Several Republican aides said they were stunned to learn that a Burma
amendment had been inserted into the overall bill, especially since several
senators had expressed reservations about a bill on Burma that McConnell had
been floating for several months. 

McConnell defended his decision to insert the amendment. Speaking about
McCain, he said, ``What was unusual was that John wanted to clear every
amendment we handled,'' he said. ``That's just not possible. You can't manage
a bill that way.'' 

But a senior Republican aide said, ``It violates all Senate rules of
tradition and comity to surreptitiously insert an important amendment that
does not have unanimous consent.''<

27 September 1995  Orange County Edition

Colleges: Campus Scene - Costa Mesa

For more than 30 years, U Kyaw Win has been an outspoken critic of the 
brutal political system in his native Burma.  But getting American 
policy-makers to listen was difficult--until he went to Hollywood.  Win 
took a leave of absence two years ago from his job as a counselor at 
Orange Coast College to work on "Beyond Rangoon," a film about the 
early days of the revolution in Burma, now called Myanmar.

Win said the movie, released last month, has been a windfall for groups 
that collect food and clothing for Burmese refugees and has drawn the 
attention to his cause. 

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) introduced a bill in Congress that would 
restrict U.S. trade and investment with Myanmar.  The bill has been 
passed by the Senate and awaits action in the House of Representatives.

"If we can get this through," Win said, "that will be a big step."


IN LABOUR CAMPS AND PRISONS  (Amnesty International)

AI INDEX: ASA 16/23/95
embargo until 0001 hrs gmt 22 September 1995

(This News Service is posted by the International Secretariat of Amnesty
International, 1 Easton Street, London WC1X 8DJ (Tel +44-71-413-5500,
Fax +44-71-956-1157) Sender: Amnesty_International@xxxxxx Precedence:

New information about torture and appalling conditions in
labour camps and prisons in Myanmar are highlighted in an
Amnesty International report released today.

      Unofficial sources report details of torture, prolonged
shackling, lack of proper medical care, and insufficient food
for both criminal and political prisoners.

      "Torture techniques, which include beatings --
sometimes to the point of unconsciousness,  being forced to
crawl over sharp stones and being held in the hot sun for
prolonged periods, are used by Myanmar's security forces to
punish and intimidate prisoners, " the organization said.

      Amnesty International has also received new information
about nine labour camps throughout the country where hundreds
of prisoners have died from ill-treatment, lack of food and
medical care. Thousands of  criminal prisoners are forced to
work on infrastructure projects breaking rocks and
constructing roads for long hours, often to the point of

      The organization is further concerned about the
transport of convicted criminals from prisons to act as
porters for the military during counter-insurgency
operations, many of whom die as  a result of ill-treatment
and disease. 

      Myanmar's military government has stated publicly that
prisoners can reduce their sentences by contributing
voluntary labour. Although Amnesty International recognizes
that some prisoners do volunteer for such work, it remains
concerned at current reports of thousands of other prisoners
who are forced to work in terrible conditions.

      Thousands of political prisoners remain in prisons
throughout Myanmar, including at least 800 in Insein Prison
near Yangon, the capital. Some have been held in iron
shackles for two months at a time. They are kept  in
overcrowded conditions and are given an inadequate diet.
Prisoners sometimes die from untreated illnesses, receiving
medical care only when desperately ill.

      These new reports confirm a documented pattern of human
rights violations. Amnesty International is calling on the
Myanmar military government to end torture and ill-treatment
and to allow international monitoring of its prisons.

{You may re-post this message onto other sources but if you do
then please tell us at AINS@xxxxxxxxxx so that we can keep
track of what is happening to these items.

If you want more information concerning this item then please
contact the Amnesty International section office in your own
country. You may also send email to amnesty-info@xxxxxxxxxxx,
an automatic reply service.  A list of section contact
details is posted on the APC <ai.news> conference. If there
is not a section of Amnesty International in your country
then you should contact the International Secretariat in


CHE: PORTRAIT - College Counselor on Location
September 29, 1995    (The Chronicle of Higher Education) by Amy Wahl    

(With photograph by Tim Rue for The Chronicle)

Before answering any questions, U Keat Win has a few of his own:
"How many people were in the theater?  What percentage full?  How
many people have seen Beyond Rangoon?" 

Mr. Win is not worried about revenues from the movie, which was
released last month.  He wants to know how many people are
learning about what has happened in his native Burma. 

When British film director John Boorman asked him to be his
adviser for the film, Mr. Win told him he would do it free.  If a
movie was finally to be made about Burma and his people's
struggle for democracy, he wanted the filmmakers to get it right.

So in December 1993, Mr. Win took a five-month unpaid leave from
his job of 26 years, counseling students at Orange Coast College.


He flew to Malaysia, where he was on call to anyone in the film
crew.  "My job was to check their work," he says, and he did.  He
taught actresses how to dress and walk like Burmese women.  He
helped the set designers build Burmese villages, boats, bridge 

Beyond Rangoon tells the story of an American doctor, played by
Patricia Arquette, who travels to Burma in 1988 and finds herself
caught up in the democracy movement led by Aung San Suu Kyi. 

The historical background is accurate, Mr. Win says.  "That scene
when Aung San Suu Kyi walked and the soldiers tried to shoot her,
it really happened.  The shooting in front of Rangoon General
Hospital did happen.  The general chasing after students, tha 

Ms. Suu Kyi is no fictional character.  Her leadership of the
democracy movement won her the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, along
with six years of house arrest, which ended only last month.  She
is a hero and personal friend of Mr. Win's.  He monitors her sa 

Born in 1934, he is the son of a Buddhist priest who converted to
Christianity.  The young Mr. Win left Burma to be schooled in
India, then came to the United States for his higher education. 
He studied psychology, eventually earning a doctorate in couns 


At Orange Coast, Mr. Win taught psychology before turning full
time to counseling students.  A banner with "Peace" written in
Burmese hangs in his office with a world map close by.  He is
quick to point out his homeland to anyone who is curious. 

Mr. Win's feelings about Burma are no secret.  He supplies
newspapers with a stream of letters and edits a newsletter, The
Burma Bulletin. 

The movie was heaven-sent, he says.  "All these letters to
editors, articles. I speak here, there, at the Kiwanis Club, the
Rotary Club.  All these little things put together are nothing
compared to the impact of this film." 


Most people have no idea of Burma's internal problems.  The
Texas-sized country, sandwiched between India, China, and
Thailand along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea, has been an
independent nation since 1948.  Its current military government

Mr. Win says he worked hard to bring accuracy to the film.  He
corrected the make-up crew, the wardrobe crew, the production
crew, even the director when they erred. 

He says he learned one useful phrase for the Sri Lankan sign
painters in their native Sinhalese: "ah-ing-karang," which means
"erase it."  They had no idea what the Burmese alphabet looks
like and had trouble with its various semicircles.  "A little

Mr. Boorman talked Mr. Win into playing two small roles.  For one
scene, he shaved his head and donned the saffron robes of a
Buddhist monk.  In the other he played the elder escort of Ms.
Suu Kyi.  He found himself weeping, overcome with emotion.  "I

Filming in Malaysia was difficult.  Along with snakes, heat, and
rain, the Malaysian government had the film crew under
surveillance and sent daily reports to the Burmese Embassy, he
says.  "We shot under very edgy circumstances." 

He knows the Burmese government will go through the film frame by
frame.  "I don't care," he says. 

Mr. Win's family history is all over Beyond Rangoon.  A tour boat
bears the name of his birthplace, Thon Gwa.  He listed relatives'
names on some of the storefronts on the set. 


Because of his political views and anti-government writing, Mr.
Win has been banned from returning to his country since 1962.  "I
don't keep quiet.  I write.  I talk," he says.  "My father said,
'You want to live long, don't come back.'" 

However, Mr. Win does go back, usually under the cover of night
and always escorted by the rebels who roam the Burma-Thailand
border.  He says he has made dozens of clandestine visits,
bringing food and medical supplies to the rebel forces. 

Once he asked a BBC correspondent what it would take for the
press to pay more attention to Burma.  The man told him, "Blood;
lots of it." 

But when blood has been spilled in the past seven years, no one
was around to document it.  The government expelled foreign
reporters from the country.  That is why this film is so
important, Mr. Win says.  The massacre at Tiananmen Square, in
Beijing, ha 

"My mission is to talk about Burma," he says, "let the world know
about Burma." 


Dear Burmese Scholars and Students;

	As a result of the Burmese Student Educational Seminar hosted by Indidna
University International Services from July 28 to July 30, the MAYKHA-L 
listserv came out to serve Burmese Scholars and Students for communication
purpose. MAYKHA-L is now active and we would like to invite all Burmese Scholars
and Students to joine the list. To subscribe to MAYKHA-L, just send a note to:

	LISTSERV@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx , in the body place the command:

	SUBSCRIBE MAYKHA-L 1stname Lastname


Your contribution of knowledge and resources will help Burma's young generation
to educate themselves and prepare for the future of them and their country. 
Burma interest scholars and researchers are also invited to join the list. It 
is our goal that the listserv will facilitate all list subscribers to do 
successful research, discussion, sharing resources, and preparing for the 
future of Burma.

	It is the time for us to prepare for 'what is next after democratic
revolution in Burma?' We would like to respectfully request especially to 
Burmese scholars to share and contribute knowledge with young generation of 
Burma. This knowledge contribution can be made by sending your postings to
MAYKHA-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx since this list is going to facilitate for 
communication among the scholars and students. The generation which lost almost
a decade of formal study have now luckily get opportunity to continue their 
studies in many countries around the world. However, we still have many things 
to learn and many ways to be mature in order to be able to handle country's 
many delicate and important issues when the country become an open society. And
it is our duty to serve for the social justice and national development at the 
same time. With that in mind, all 120 scholars and students who attended the 
Educational Seminar at Indiana University agreed to proceed with their group 
research in the following panels:


	There are 15 panel mambers who are preparing to draw
	national development plan for future Burma. 


	There are 7 panel members who are preparing for the research paper
	and plan.

	There are 27 panel members who are planning to launch varieties of 
	programs and development plans.


	There are 11 panel members who are preparing for the plan.


	There are 12 panel members working on the plan.


	There are 10 panel members working on the plan.

	These all panels and members of each panel are working on the voluntary
basis. They are not associated with any individuals or associations. They are
Burmese students and scholars who volunteered to do so. Therefore, any one who
would like to participate in any panels should send the message to: 


	Then IUBURMA will send your name to the selected panel. Mostly the 
communication among the panel members will take place in MAYKHA-L 
listserv group.

	Thank you.

	Moderator of MAYKHA-L, Tun Myint. 


September 29, 1995

A FORMAL trade agreement, demolition of the structures
encroaching on the Moei River, and recognition of the last
meeting of the Thai-Burmese Joint Regional Boundary Committee _
these are the steps which must be taken if there are to be better
Thai-Burmese ties, according to Burma's envoy in Bangkok.

In an interview with the Bangkok Post on Wednesday, Mr Tin Winn
urged Thailand and Burma to conclude a trade agreement to
regulate the flow of trade and guarantee the safety and interests
of traders from both countries.

He said the agreement will pave the way for the reopening of
three strategic checkpoints closed earlier this year as a result
of misunderstandings between the two sides.

The volume of cross-border trade between the two countries is
estimated at 10,000 million baht. Illegal trade is said to be six
times higher.

Tachilek-Mae Sai checkpoint in Chiang Rai and Myawaddy-Mae Sot in
Tak were closed in March in retaliation for what Rangoon claimed
to be Thai support for ethnic groups fighting its control.

Victoria Point-Ranong was closed early last month following the
brutal murder of at least five Burmese fishermen working on a
Thai trawler.

"If border trade is formally legalised, we could expect economic
development of the border areas on both sides, which would in
turn contribute to peace and stability in these regions," said Mr
Tin Winn in his written answer to questions submitted earlier.

Both Thailand and Burma have been trying to conclude some form of
formal agreement for the past few years.

Both have worked on their own drafts. Concerned Thai officials
will be meeting next week to review the Thai draft before opening
talks with the Burmese side.

Both sides have also reached a common position that a new border
trade committee need not be established, as the existing
Thai-Burmese Regional Border Committee can do the job.
Thailand initially wanted a new border trade committee.

Burma has signed border trade agreements with three of its five
neighbours: China in 1988, India and Bangladesh last year,
leaving out Thailand and Laos.

Mr Tin Winn expressed confidence that a formal agreement will not
deter the mostly unofficial trade between the two countries, but
instead will facilitate trade between the . people from both
sides of the border.

Regarding the structure encroaching on the Moei River, a natural
border line between the two countries, Mr Tin Winn said he had
found out yesterday that all owners had agreed to the demolition.

Initially six out of the 15 were going to take their case to court. He said 
he had informed both the Foreign and Interior ministries
about the new development yesterday morning.

He expects the Burmese side to send a fact-finding team to
inspect the site and discuss border demarcation soon.
The Thai side has already nominated the officials to negotiate
the issue with the Burmese side, he said.

Burma suspended construction of the Friendship Bridge, which
links Thailand's Mae Sot and Burma's Myawaddy, alleging that
buildings on the Thai side were encroaching on the Moei River and
altering the natural border line.

It said it would not resume construction of the bridge, initially
expected to be completed in April 1996, unless all structures are
removed, "the quicker the better," he said without setting a

"When all these buildings are removed, both sides have to inspect
the site and after that the construction can be resumed," he

Regarding the security issue,: Mr Tin Winn repeated the view of
the Thai side that all issues can be solved through Thai-Burmese
border committees at the local and regional levels.

But he pointed out that for the Thai-Burmese Regional Border
Committee to hold its next meeting, both sides have first to
recognise the talks of its last meeting held in April in
Phitsanulok which the Thai side ended abruptly.

The Thai side walked out of the meeting in protest against the
intrusion onto Thai soil of the pro-SLORC Democratic Kayin
Buddhist Army, the breakaway group of the Karen National Union.

The Burmese side was proposing six points which were quite a
challenge for the Thai side. One of the points was that Thailand
deny support and refuge for anti-SLORC groupings on its soil and
for drug kingpin Khun Sa.

The Burmese side also felt it had lost face. Outgoing Army chief
Wimol Wongvanich also declined to accept their courtesy call.

Mr Tin Winn stressed that Burma was not setting any conditions
for the improvement of ties. Not even that Senior Gen Than Shwe,
Prime Minister and Chairman of the State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC) asked Defence Minister Chavalit
Yongchaiyudh during his official visit to Rangoon early this

He quoted Senior Gen Than Shwe as explaining "frankly, openly and
very brotherly" to Gen Chavalit that there was no dispute, only a
"misunderstanding" which can be resolved by both sides.

He said Burma has recognised that Thailand has made a serious
effort and in regard to the murder of Burmese fishermen, Thailand
has taken "the necessary steps," he said.

A similar incident occurred five years ago, when a crew of 20
Burmese fishermen were killed by the former Thai owner of a
trawler seized and later auctioned by Burmese authorities. The
case remains unresolved today.

As for ethnic minorities and drug warlord Khun Sa, Mr Tin Winn
said: "It is up to the Thai government. We are not suggesting,
asking, or demanding. When we mention it, the Thai side knows
what they should do."


September 29, 1995

THE recent breakaway by a number of Mong Tai Army personnel was
the work of the State Law and Order Restoration Council, claimed
drug kingpin Khun Sa.

Khun Sa accused the Slorc of being behind the defection of
between 500-1,000 MTA soldiers led by Lt-Col Gunyod in mid-June.
Lt-Col Gunyod might be backed by someone in the Rangoon junta in
a trick to spilt the unity of the people of Shan State, claimed
Khun Sa.

Such a stratagem will help the Slorc easily drive Shan nationals
to fight against each other and eventually there will be no more
Shan people left in the state, said Khun Sa.

Rangoon has also successfully applied the same trick to splinter
the forces of the Karen National Union (KNU) noted the drug

Khun Sa blamed Lt-Col Gunyod for not bothering to spare his
feelings and likened him to an "untamed tiger".
"When a tiger is sleeping we can see only its tail swishing. But
when it stands up, we are able to see its stripes."

In 1988, Gunyod, who was then an exiled Rangoon student, joined
Khun Sa's Mong Tai Army with the rank of lieutenant.  Due to his 
outstanding performance in MTA affairs, Gunyod became
most trusted by Khun Sa who later promoted him to battalion
commander with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Shortly after Gunyod and other military personnel left the MTA
umbrella, however, there was a major change in the Shan State.

On August 12, Shan State National Congress (SSNC) president Zao
Gunjade, in collaboration with 10 other high level military
officers, seized power over the MTA congress and the organisation
They then set up a group called the Central Executive Reform
Committee (CEC).  The 11-member committee, chaired by Mr 
Gunjade, included key men from the SSNC and prominent MTA 

Khun Sa's name, however, was not on the list.
Sources close to  the committee said the CEC was trying to
(last part lost) 


Aung Zaw on the persecution and torture of dissidents.

Recently, London-based Amnesty  International (AI) accused
Burmese military leaders of increasing the use of torture
against political detainees. But the question is who can prove
AI's allegation? The junta's leaders will probably deny its
existence, and brand it as a "baseless accusation".

However, there is at least one person who is ready to tell the
world how he was treated in prison.

Aung Ze Ya left Rangoon soon after the Burmese military staged a
bloody coup in September 1988.

When he arrived at the Thai-Burmese border, he was determined to
topple the ruling military government in Rangoon known as Slorc
(State Law and Order Restoration Council). He joined the All
Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF) upon reaching the Three
Pagodas Pass. But he only encountered more frustration, and this
resulted in depression. Worse, he was arrested in Thailand and
charged with illegal entry. He was beaten up by Thai policemen
while in custody as he had the same name of a former Burmese
king, Aung Ze Ya, who led an invasion against Ayutthaya.

Finally, he decided to return home upon hearing Slorc's
pronouncements on state-owned radio, asking students and
democracy activists who went to jungle or Thailand to come back.
As a newly established military regime, Slorc promised that the
returnees would not be harmed.

On September 1991, Aung Ze Ya went to the Burmese embassy in
Bangkok to surrender without any inkling on what was in store for
him.He was brought to Kawthaung (Victoria Point) where he was
interrogated for almost a week by military intelligence unit No 19.

During his stay there, Aung Ze Ya saw the physical condition of
some inmates who were severely tortured. He was warned by his
interrogators: "Tell the truth and give us the information we
need. Otherwise, you will be beaten up like those people."

>From 7:00 am to 2:00 am, Aung Ze Ya was forced to write his
"autobiography". Ml 19 demanded that he write at least 30 pages
on his previous involvement with the democracy movements
particularly on his role there and on the people he met in
Thailand and insurgent-controlled areas.

Finally, they sent him to Rangoon. Upon his arrival at Rangoon
Airport, he neither saw his family nor his relatives. The
welcoming party was made up only of military intelligence

He was taken to Ka Ba Aye interrogation centre. Again, Aung Ze Ya
was asked to write his autobiography. He refused and paid for it
dearly. After being interrogated the whole night, he was beaten
up and forced to crawl over sharp stones. "I was locked in a
small cell for three days," said Aung Ze Ya. He was given only
one meal a day. Soon after, military intelligence officers asked
him to write a new autobiography.

He was detained at Ka Ba Aye interrogation centre for about a
month. He was then taken to the office of the township law and
order restoration council where he met his family whom he had not
seen since his "official return". They were all asked to sign a
paper wherein they agreed not to get involved in politics again.
If not, he and his family members would be punished.

But his ordeal was not yet over. He was kept under surveillance
and had to inform the authorities if he wanted to visit other

During Christmas eve of 1991, Aung Ze Ya was taken to Burma's
most infamous military intelligence unit No 7. One of the Karen
insurgent groups had launched an unexpected attack in the
Irrawaddy region. Therefore, surveillance on all suspected
activists was increased, while some persons were ordered

His interrogation would have been brief but, unfortunately, Aung
Ze Ya's photo appeared on a regional magazine and Bertil
Lintner's "Outrage _ Struggle for Democracy in Burma".

"Your photo is everywhere. You must be well-connected. Who did
you work for while you were in Thailand?", a military officer
asked him while holding the lighted end of a cigarette near his

Aung Ze Ya showed his scars and said he believed other prisoners
were tortured by electric shock.

Aung Ze Ya said he was clubbed, beaten and later detained in a
small and unlit cell. He was also naked.

"I was there for almost seven months," Aung Ze Ya recalled. On
the first day, there was no food or water. On the second day, I
was given water but it smelled and was dirty," he added.

Military intelligence officers forced him to chew stones. He was
tied up and punched and soon fell into unconsciousness.

In June 1995, Aung Ze Ya decided to leave again. This time, he
may not go back, He; will try to settle in a third country.
"Whenever the insurgency along the border flares up or when the
anniversary of a previous uprising comes around the corner, we
(former activities) are taken for interrogation, or are detained
for a week," he noted. He said he cannot stand the interrogation
anymore. "I've had enough," he said.


September 28, 1995

THE Andaman Club _ Thai-owned resort on Thahtay Kyun Island,
Burma, is getting ready to open early October.
Located on an 1,800-acre plot of the island (Ko Song), the
205-room resort began construction in April 1993 at a cost of 660
million baht.

According to Danny Chan, executive director of the Andaman Club,
the island is on the 30-year leasing contract. It is directly
adjacent to Victoria Point, 10 minutes by ' sea from Ranong town.

Although the border is still closed, the project development is
going on with a positive conviction that both Thai and Burmese
governments are trying to solve the problem.

Its just received a letter from the government to receive
guests," he said.

It is also developing an 18 hole golf course on the island and
further plan is to develop a safari park and a butterfly
enclosure. For the rest of the island, it wants to maintain the
natural surroundings.

Assets of the property are proximity to Ranong and location in
the southern part of Burma _ ideal for resort development and
other leisure activities: sea sports, scuba diving.

The resort is working very closely with the Burmese tourist and
trade development authorities, allowing tourists to go over to
Victoria Point on a day trip There are a lot of potential for
leisure and business there: in Mergui and Tavoy.

The company is actually ticking on another island nearby to
develop a resort consisting of 45-50 chalets targeted for those
who seek total relaxation. There are a lot of good diving sites
in this area.

On the Thai side, the firm has 300-room Ranong Highland Resort to
be completed at the end of 1996. The project will target business
markets, such as seminar, meeting groups and also leisure markets
from Bangkok.

There are several ways and more in the future to get to the
island. Apart from land link from Bangkok and Phuket to Ranong,
Bangkok Airways plans to fly to Ranong in October, making it more
convenient. Since the airline has operated flight to Phuket, it
will be a good link route.

The company's office in Rangoon has received enquiries from
Japanese tourists how they can approach the island. By air, from
Rangoon to Victoria Point. Air Mandalay might fly to Victoria
point if there is potential.

Apart from air link, Sea-tran and Andaman Princess also plan
cruises into this region. They will be a possible sea link that
helps boost the increase of the market.

While the resort on the island targets leisure market while the
Ranong side's property targets both leisure and business markets.
We; will come up with a lot of activities: scuba diving, fishing.
One of the interesting things is it is in another; country
although it is 10 minutes from Ranong, said Danny.

The resort aims to attract mainly Thai leisure market and
subsequently travellers from Asean countries, Hong ' Kong, Taiwan
and even from mainland China.

Ranong is in great potential to be developed as the southern
gateway to Burma, a lot of trading.


September 28, 1995

DIETHELM Travel is ready to greatly expand inbound tours to Burma
now that the Rangoon office of Diethelm Travel Myanmar, a joint
venture with local partners Myanmar Express Travel Ltd, is fully

Diethelm has been marketing inclusive tours to Burma for 28
years, figuring consistently among the leading producers by
selling up to 7,000 five- to eight-day tour packages annually to
markets worldwide.

New opportunities are anticipated with the relaxation of entry
formalities to Burma over the past year, including extension of
tourist visas to 28 days, plus the surge in new hotel projects in
anticipation of Visit Myanmar Year in 1996.

The Rangoon office should enable Diethelm to control all aspects
of ground handling more effectively, to improve quality of
service and to price tour products more attractively.

Specifications and costs are now complete for a new programme of
five- to 15-day itineraries. These include a Five-Day Myanmar
Classic package, aimed at a wider market and presented either as
a weekly-departure extension out of Bangkok, or as a flexible
group arrangement starting on any day in Rangoon.

The "Classic" itinerary features Rangoon, Mandalay, Bagan and Mt
Popa. Based on full-board, with all accommodation, domestic air
and overland travel and sightseeing included, it costs under
US$600 per passenger to agents for a group as small as six, out
of Rangoon.

Future plans include the development of a wider range of standard
inclusive packages, stopover arrangements in key cities, and a
"mix and match" programme designed for agents and tour operators
who wish to market their own exclusive packages. Plans are also
underway for outbound air-ticketing services in Rangoon for
leading international carriers.

The new Diethelm Myanmar operation is located at 1, Inya Road,
Kamayut Township, Rangoon, telephone (95-1) 37110. 37117. fax

Typed by the Research Department of the ABSDF {MTZ}    29.9.95