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BurmaNet News: October 17, #253 (r)
Dear Mr Strider
Thank you for your comment. You are not alone in showing the
concern for repatriation of Burmese, especially the students.
One of my close friend is even more blunt. But I must say that
it is quite unnecessary to be worried about a forced repatriation
right now. I may re-state that I myself is a refugee
who seek a voluntary repatriation from Australia.
The voluntary repatriation has to be carried out as a stage by
stage process. One can not expect these students to repatriate
safely while SLORC's repressive laws are in place. To those students
to be able to return to Burma, one will need a more political
libralizations take place in there ( which we must not expect
SLORC will pave the way - we will need even more pressure ).
What we need in Burma is more confidence building measures, which will
enable both sides (i.e. people and the army) to sort out things
in a peaceful environment. These confidence building measures,
(i.e. cease-fires and repeal of repressive laws) have to
be carried out in parallel with the voluntary repatriation process.
This, together with the UNHCR presence may help us to be able to
return to Burma.
I have received US Committee for Refugees report on the repatriation
of Rohingyas recently. I'll be happy to put that report on to the net
over the weekend. The report do deserve examining by all our colleagues
on the net.
With best regards, U Ne Oo.
>Date: Mon, 16 Oct 1995 11:15:25 GMT+0930
>I have just read your message on the Burma-net about repatriation of
>Burmese refugees from Australia to Burma. I have to tell you that I
>think that you are absolutely crazy. Do you really beleive that the
>SLORC will give you a kiss and forgive you for having asked for
>political asylum. You have made them lose face, and I realise that
>home is home and family is all but what good will those sentiments do
>you when you are in a Burmese gaol - or being brutalised or worse?
>In any case if you want to go to Burma can you not just go. I presume
>that you are an Australian citizen? So just buy a ticket and go.
>And I cannot understand your letter to the UN H Commissioner. Burmese
>students in Bangkok are "traitors" according to SLORC. What do you
>think will happen to them if they return?
> I am sorry my friend, I do not think that you are thinking straight.
On Tue, 17 Oct 1995 strider@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> INDEPENDENT LETTER: TO UNHCR(GENEVA) AND THAI PM
> October 12, 1995
> (Editor's Note: The Editor of BurmaNet strongly disagrees with Dr. U Ne
> Oo's proposal. It is not safe for the Burmese refugees to return to Burma
> at this time. The recent arrest of Ye Htut and the continued imprisonment
> of numerous political prisoners in Burma clearly indicates the SLORC's
> attitude toward those who have been involved in political activities. Moreover,
> the repatriation of the Rohingyas, which Dr. U Ne Oo refers to, has been a
> disaster. Not only have refugees been repatriated against their will, but also
> many who returned were promptly taken off as porters for the SLORC army.)
> From: Dr U Ne Oo
> 48/2 Ayliffes Road, St Marys SA 5042, Australia
> To: Ms Sadako Ogata
> UN High Commissioner for Refugees
> Case Postale 2500, CH - 1211 Geneva 2 Depot, Switzerland
> Dear High Commissioner
> RE: Repatriation of Burmese Refugees from Australia and Thailand
> Firstly, I should like to thank the High Commissioner for your continuing
> attention to the situation of refugees from Burma. I also wish to express
> my sincere appreciations to the Branch Offices of UNHCR in Canberra
> and Bangkok in particular, for their continuing assistance to ensure the
> safety of the refugees residing in Thailand. As a Burmese refugee, I am
> particularly encouraged that the UNHCR become increasingly interested in
> addressing the root causes of human displacements regarding Burma.
> I have recently received the newsletter from UNHCR about the repatriation
> of Rohingyas to Burma. In spite of precarious situation existing in my
> home land, it has always been the refugee's dream that one day we will
> be able to return to Burma.
> In this connection, I have enclosed my appeal to the Government of
> Australia to promote a Memorandum of Understanding with UNHCR for the
> repatriation of Burmese refugees from Australia. I also appeal
> the UNHCR to promote a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with
> the Royal Thai Government for the repatriation of Burma's refugees
> from Thailand. My appeal to the Royal Thai Government to cooperate with
> UNHCR in promoting an MOU is also included for your information.
> Our refugee communities shared the view that the cease-fires that followed
> by the political settlement by various parties to the conflict as the important
> factor for building a long-lasting peace. Therefore, appeals have been made
> to the United Nations Security Council to implement a nationwide
> cease-fires in Burma. In order to deter the build-up of military machinery
> in Burma, which has been a major source of instability to that country, the
> UN Security Council have been urged to implement international arms
> embargo. I wish the UN High Commissioner to assist and support us in
> implementing these measures.
> I further wish to request the UNHCR to make adequate funding for various
> Quick Impact Projects that currently implementing in Arakan State, West of
> Burma. I also wish to advocate the increasing of UN personnel within Burma
> for monitoring returnees/refugees.
> Finally, I thank you for your kind attention to Burmese refugees and
> Burma matters. We, the refugees, are in much hope that we will soon be able
> to live in Burma peacefully.
> Yours respectfully and sincerely
> U Ne Oo
> Copy to:
>  Dr Pierre-Michel Fontaine, The Regional Representative for Australia,
> Branch Office of UNHCR, 9 Terrigal Crescent, O'malley ACT 2606, AUSTRALIA.
>  Mr Ruprecht von Arnim, The Regional Representative for Thailand,
> Branch Office of UNHCR, P.O. Box 2-121, Rajdamnern, Bangkok 10200,
> /* -----------" Letter to the Thai Prime Minister "------------ */
> Dr U Ne Oo
> 48/2 Ayliffes Road
> St Marys SA 5042
> October 12, 1995.
> Mr Barnharn Silapa-acha
> Prime Minister
> Government House
> Thanon Nakhon Pathon
> Bangkok 10300
> Dear Prime Minister
> I am a Burmese national presently residing in Australia and I firstly
> should like to thank you and your administration for continuing
> humanitarian support for the refugees and displaced people from Burma.
> Burmese nationals are grateful to the Royal Thai Government and, particularly,
> the people of Thailand for their understanding and tolerance towards
> Burma's refugees. We sincerely appreciate your Government's cooperation
> with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for arranging
> better security for the Burma's Karen refugees.
> I should like to call your kind attention to the situation of Burmese
> students who were detained for their non-violent activities in the
> Special Detention Center in Bangkok. These Burmese students are still
> at young age and the previous administration had taken action against
> their youthful behaviour in protesting the Myanmar Military Government.
> I appeal you to release those students from Special Detention Center.
> I further appeal the Royal Thai Government to promote a Memorandum of
> Understanding with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
> for the organized repatriation of refugees to Burma. Various refugee
> community from Burma have already expressed their interests in voluntary
> repatriation to Burma. Therefore, I appeal your government to cooperate
> with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in solving Burma's refugee
> Finally, I thank you for your kind attention to this matter.
> Your respectfully and sincerely
> U Ne Oo.