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Suu Kyi Denounces Burma

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Date: Wed, 11 Oct 1995 18:55:28 -0700

/* Written  5:06 PM  Oct 10, 1995 by wov.central@xxxxxxx in igc:soc.cult.burma */
/* ---------- "Suu Kyi Denounces Burma" ---------- */
   MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu
Kyi urged foreign companies Tuesday not to invest in Burma, saying the
military government uses forced laborers in joint venture projects.
   "All we are saying is that investments should be made in the right
way at the right time," Mrs. Suu Kyi said in a videotaped message to a
meeting of world trade unionists in Manila.
   "In the long run, it will be the businessmen themselves who will be
hurt by investing at the wrong time," she said.
   The Burmese dissident also urged her countrymen to form independent
labor unions to protect themselves from forced labor and other forms of
"slavery" practiced by Burma's military government.
   Mrs. Suu Kyi was released from six years of house arrest in July in
what was seen as an attempt by the Burmese junta to attract foreign
investors and international recognition.
   According to a recent report by Amnesty International, hundreds of
people have died in Burmese labor camps, which often provide the labor
for joint venture construction projects.
   "Our greatest resource, our greatest asset, is our people," Mrs. Suu
Kyi said. "We need organizations to protect the rights of our people."
Her latest attack on the regime of Gen. Saw Maung drew loud applause
on the second day of the conference organized by the International
Confederation of Free Trade Unions.
   Participants include trade union leaders from the United States,
Japan, Denmark, Sweden, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka,
Bangladesh, Australia and the Philippines.
   Conference spokesman Alexander Aguilar said the conference was a
show of solidarity with Burma's clandestine trade union, the Federation
of Trade Unions of Burma.
   The union was forced underground after the military regime crushed
pro-democracy protesters in 1988 and stopped Ms. Suu Kyi from assuming
the presidency. She was placed under house arrest in 1989, and won the
Nobel Peace Prize in 1991.

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