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BurmaNet News: November 17, 1995

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------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: November 17, 1995
Issue #280


Editor's Note: In accordance with some subscribers' requests, the 
subject resource list and other information about BurmaNet have 
been moved to the end of each BurmaNet issue.

B300M LOAN November 15, 1995    By Nussara Sawatsawang

In yet another move reflective of soured Thai-Burmese ties, the 
Burmese Government yesterday rejected conditions attached to a 
300-million baht loan the Thai Government offered for upgrading 
the Tachilek-Kengtung road in northern Burma.

The Burmese Embassy in Bangkok has notified the Foreign Ministry 
that Rangoon wanted to use Burmese contractors for the project 
instead of Thai companies as conditioned by the loan package, 
according to Director-General of the East Asian Affairs 
Department Somboon Sa-ngiambutr.

The Government two years ago offered to lend Burma the sum to 
develop the 164-kilometre Tachilek-Kengtung road opposite Chiang 
Rai's Mae Sai District. The road in Burma forms part of the 
economic quadrangle zone encompassing China's Yunnan, Laos, 
Burma and Thailand.

The loan to Burma carries standard strings set by the Finance 
Ministry_ that Thai companies participate and that materials and 
equipment be sourced in Thailand. Burma's latest request not to 
have Thai companies bid in the project would further delay 
disbursement of the loan, already put on hold once since a Thai 
private company which volunteered to undertake the road repair 
failed to secure financial backing.

Informed sources said they are under the impression Burma wants 
to use its own labour forces and its Construction Ministry to 
implement the project. This will violate a condition set by the 
Finance Ministry, which requires a concessionary loan recipient 
to allow participation of Thai companies in bidding.

The 300-million baht loan offered to Burma carries a 1.5 per 
cent interest rate with a 10-year grace period. Burma can pay 
back the principal over a period of 20 years. Half the sum must 
be used to buy materials from Thailand.

Rangoon has also sought to use the money to purchase equipment 
and materials "of competitive price" from Thailand. Thailand has 
not yet decided on further moves as both sides have to discuss 
Burma's requirements.

"If they want something like tractors which we can't produce, it 
might be difficult for us to get them at a good price because we 
have to import heavy machinery ourselves. But if they need 
certain materials like cement and steel, then there is no 
problem," said Director-General Somboon.

Foreign Ministry Deputy Permanent Secretary Saroj Chavanaviraj 
said officials from the Department of Technical and Economic 
Cooperation which handles Thai aid programmes will discuss 
matters by the end of the month in Rangoon.

The Finance Ministry will also have to be consulted because it 
set the loan conditions. The Government has already agreed to 
halve the interest rate from three to 1.5 per cent for this 
particular loan. (BP)

PEACE  November 16, 1995

Thailand and Burma were expected to soon have joint Navy patrols 
to ensure security and order on the sea, Burma's Minister for 
Livestock and Fishery U Aung Thein said yesterday.

The project was to be considered by respective ministers and 
departments concerned, the Burmese minister said in Bangkok. U 
Aung Thein was accompanying Burma's Deputy Prime Minister Maung 
Maung Khin on an official visit as guests of Defence Minister 
Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh.

His comments come after both countries have been engaged in a 
number of fishing disputes which have led to casualties on both  sides.   

It was believed that a majority of the problems stemmed from 
disputes over territorial water boundaries and Thai vessels 
fishing illegally. According to the minister, 90 per cent of the 
Burmese fleet did not have adequate communication equipment, 
making it difficult to locate them and help when they got into trouble.

"We are making attempts to rectify this but it is very difficult 
to do the same with illegal fishing boats," he told reporters. U 
Aung Thein said there were more than 100,000 Thai boats 
illegally fishing in Burmese waters, adding that the best way 
out was for both governments and the authorities concerned to communicate.

He said the fishing disputes were not a problem between the 
governments of the two countries and would not have any impact 
on bilateral relations. Meanwhile, Darun Hongviset, an owner of 
a fishing boat in Ranong province, said more than 300 fishing 
vessels refused to leave port for fear of being attacked by 
Burmese forces. Darun's vessel, the Chok-udomsap 3, was one of 
the four craft attacked on Monday. Since he stopped going out to 
fish, Darun said he lost about Bt30,000. (TN)


November 16, 1995   Pichaya Changsorn

The Petroleum Authority of Thailand is expected to forward to 
Cabinet next month the Bt14 billion gas pipeline project to 
transport natural gas from Burma, the president of PTT's natural 
gas business said.

Prajya Phinyawat said that PTT would be ready to submit the 
project to Cabinet for approval as soon as the environmental 
impact assessment is completed. The PTT's gas pipeline would 
receive gas from the Thai-Burmese border at Kanchanaburi to 
supply a new combined-cycle power plant to be constructed by the 
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand in Ratchaburi 

A gas pipeline in Burmese territory is being planned by the 
Yadana gas field gas developer_ a consortium between Total, 
Unocal and PTT Exploration & Production Plc_ to transport gas 
from Burma's Gulf of Mataban to the PTT's planned pipeline at 
the border.

Early this week, PTT agreed to appoint a consortium consisting 
of Canadian-based Nova Gas International and Malaysian-based OGP 
Technical Services, one of seven bidders, as the engineering 
consultant for the gas pipeline project.

Nova/OGP was chosen because it offered the cheapest price of the 
seven bidders at Bt480 million. Petronas, Malaysia's national 
oil enterprise, is partly owned by OGP. The other six bidders 
were Bechtel and Gulf of Interstate from the US, Penspen from 
the UK, Pipeline Engineering from Germany, Sofrexid from France 
and KRJ Brown from Singapore, which is headqusrtered in Norway.

PTT would separate the project into two main contracts, as it 
has done with previous gas pipeline projects. The first 
contract, expected to be awarded by the middle of 1996, would be 
for the supply of pipeline materials and would be followed by another 
contract involving the laying of the pipeline by the end of next year.

Prajya said the project cost is above the original estimation of 
Bt11 billion since PTT later decided to increase the pipeline's 
diameter from 36 inches to 42 inches_ a capacity increase to 
1,000 cubic feet per day from the 800 cfd earlier planned.

PTT decided to increase the pipeline's capacity since it 
foresees more gas sales from Burma to Thailand. The authority is 
currently negotiating to buy gas from another field, Yetagun, 
which is being explored by US-based Texaco Corp. (TN)


November 16, 1995

The Visit to Thailand by Burma's Deputy Pirme Minister Maung 
Maung Khin should lead to improvement in relations between the 
two countries, Deputy Army Chief Gen Chetha Thanajaro said yesterday.

Since problems between the two countries have been accumulating 
for some time, it will take time to solve them, he said. He said 
the Foreign Ministry alone is not to blame for the problems but 
the whole administrative system.

The entire stretch of the Thai-Burmese border has been closed 
because of border conflicts and problems over fisheries. Gen 
Chetha said the Ranong-Kawthaung border problem would be tackled 
first before "we go on to tackle the Mae Sai-Tachilek and Mae 
Sot-Myawaddy (the Thai-Burmese Friendship Bridge) issues.

"The problems were mostly spawned by some selfish groups of 
people and not by the Government, but the whole country is being 
made to suffer because of their misdeeds," he said. He was 
optimistic that with the two countries stance to negotiate at 
all levels, the problems would eventually be overcome.

Meanwhile, the United Nation High Commissioner for refugees is 
sending a delegation to Rangoon  next week to discuss with the 
ruling military junta the question of international monitoring 
for the repatriation of Mons currently on the Thai-Burmese border.

The UNHCR's representative in Bangkok, Ruprecht Von Arnim, said 
he believed the State Law and Order Restoration Council would 
find the proposal for international monitoring "interesting."

The repatriation of Burmese Muslims_ known as Rohingyas_ from 
Bangladesh to Rakhine State was "proof of cooperation", he said. 
The UNHCR has 19 international officers in Rakhine and an office 
in Rangoon to monitor the process, he added.

As of the middle of this year, only 50,000 of the 250,000 people 
who fled Burma 1991-92 remained in Bangladesh and the 
repatriation is scheduled to be completed by the end of this 
year, according to UNHCR figures.

But Mr Von Arnim noted that there were "two schools of thought," 
within the Slorc on the Muslims, and that the Burmese leadership's 
response to the proposal on international monitoring for the 
repatriation of Mons might be linked to bilateral relations 
between Thailand and Burma.

The Mon repatriation programme is envisaged for 20,000 people. 
But only about 10,000 are recognised as refugees, and only half 
of this population is in Thailand, Mr Von Arnim said. The other 
half are in Halockani, in a disputed area on the border.

The Mons on June 29 became the 15th ethnic group to sign a 
ceasefire agreement with the Slorc. The UNHCR on September 1 was 
informed by the president of the New Mon State Party of plans 
for a voluntary repatriation.

Mr Von Arnim subsequently went to the border district of 
Sangkhaburi, and international monitoring was requested by both 
the Mon National Relief Committee and the refugees themselves.

Thai authorities are aware of the proposal for international 
monitoring. The delegation going to Rangoon next week is made up 
of UNHCR people from Geneva, and follows close on the heels of a 
UN report circulated at the UN last week which spoke of serious 
human rights violations in Burma.

Burmese troops have made repeated incursions into Mon villages 
since the Slorc seized power in 1988, sources noted. In July 
1994, some 2,000 refugees fled into Thailand after fighting 
between Burmese troops and an armed wing of the New Mon State 
Party. A large number of the refugees were later relocated to Halockani. (BP)


WITH BURMA   November 16, 1995

A bilateral agreement on tourism between Thailand and Burma 
should result in benefits for both sides, according to a top 
official of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. During a briefing 
with Burmese Deputy Prime Minister Vice-Admiral Maung Maung 
Khin, TAT deputy governor for planning and development Pradech 
Phayakvichien told him if an agreement was reached, Thailand 
could help Burma plan and market its tourism industry and train 
industry personnel.

Burma has designated next year the Visit Myanmar Year with a 
view to generating foreign exchange and boosting its local 
economy. Pradech said Thailand would benefit from an agreement 
because it would be able to obtain and disseminate more 
information on tourism in Burma.

Thailand has already entered tourism cooperation arrangements 
with China, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos. Maung Maung Khin and a 
27-member delegation are visiting Thailand as guests of Deputy 
Prime Minister and Defence Minister Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh. 
The Burmese delegation has also held meetings with officials at 
the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry to try to solve 
fishing disputes. (BP)


November 15, 1995   (slightly abridged)
Burmese gunboat fires on trawlers in new border incident

A BURMESE gunboat opened fire on four Thai trawlers off the
western coast and captured an unknown number of Thai fishermen on
Monday in the latest of a new wave of border violence which
marred yesterday's visit to Thailand by a senior Rangoon junta member.

The arrival of Rear-Admiral Maung Maung Khin, the deputy prime
minister of Burma's military-led State Law arid Order Restoration
Council (Slorc), who led a 27 member delegation for a five-day
official visit, followed last weekend's visit to Burma by Thai
Foreign Minister Kasem S Kasemsri.

The trawlers' owners claimed the shooting took place within Thai
territorial waters. A deputy governor of Ranong said provincial
authorities were asking the Foreign Ministry to raise the issue
with Maung Maung Khin's delegation before it returns to Rangoon.

Deputy Governor Boonyarong Nilwong quoted the fishermen's reports
as saying that the Burmese gunboat, No 443, fired on the
Petchsuwan, Pitakchoke, Chokudomsap 3 and Chok-udomsap trawlers
after the Thai fishermen ignored an order to stop their vessels.

Several Thai fishermen and Burmese crew members jumped into the
water during the shooting. The Burmese then took control of the
Petchsuwan, Pitakchoke and Chok-udomsap trawlers.

Badly-damaged Chok-udomsap 3 managed to escape and reported the
incident to the authorities.

"I saw the three other trawlers being seized by the Burmese,"
said Udon Kapsom, skipper of Chok-udomsap 3. "I saw people being
arrested, but I'm not sure how many."

Deputy Governor - Boonyarong confirmed Udon's claims that the
navigation device of Chok-udomsap 3 indicated that it was in Thai
waters when it was fired on.

Maung Maung Khin met briefly with Defence Minister Gen Chavalit
Yonchaiyudh and Prime Minister Banharn Silapa-archa yesterday but
Chavalit said both sides had not yet discussed border issues.

"We still have many more days before the delegation leaves,"
Chavalit said. "There's nothing to worry about. The situation has
returned to normal now."

Burmese dissidents in Thailand urged Bangkok to exercise caution
in discussing relations with the junta and wait until a
democratic government is installed in Burma.

"We are very surprised by the visit of the prominent member of
the Slorc." said Zaw Aung of the All Burma Students Democratic
Front (ABSDF).

In his meeting with Banharn and Chavalit yesterday Maung Maung
Khin was given a formal invitation for Burmese Prime Minister Gen
Than Shwe to attend the Asean summit  meeting in Bangkok.


November 15, 1995

BURMESE Deputy Prime Minister Maung Maung Khin yesterday told
Prime Minister Banharn Silpaarcha that he believes border
conflicts will not affect relations between Burma and Thailand.

Vice-Adm Maung Maung Khin yesterday met Mr Banharn at Government

Mr Banharn conceded that it was normal for two countries which
share 2,000 kilometres of common border to have disputes or some
misunderstanding over border problems.

He said he believed the problems could be settled through mutual
understanding. He said he believed the exchange of visits between officials 
of the two countries would enhance relations.

He also asked Vice-Adm Maung Maung Khin to convey his good wishes
to his counterpart, Gen Than Shwe, who will visit Thailand next
month during the ASEAN summit.

Earlier, the Burmese Deputy Prime Minister called on Defence
Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh at his office for a brief
discussion. Also attending the meeting were Army Deputy
Commander-in-Chief Chetha Thanajaro, Air Force Assistant
Commander-in-Chief ACM Prachoen Bunnag and Armed Forces Deputy
Chief-of-Staff Gen Oraphan Wattanavibul.

Gen Chavalit declined to give details about what was discussed
during the hour-long meeting.

An informed military source, however, said Burma wanted Vice-Adm
Maung Maung Khin's itinerary to be kept confidential for fear of
attracting protests from Burmese students in Thailand.

Gen Chetha yesterday said he met SLORC First Secretary Khin Nyunt
in Rangoon last week, and was asked about the progress of Burma's
earlier request seeking compensation from the Thai side for the
killing of three Burmese last March during an attack on Tachilek
by Shan rebels.

Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, he said, wanted the problem to be settled

Burma felt that Thailand should share responsibility for the
attack because the attackers came from Thailand. But this was
denied by the Thai side.

The All Burma Students' Democratic Front yesterday issued a
statement urging Thailand to help play a role in supporting democratic 
development in Burma and help restore democracy in Burma.

The statement made demands seeking the unconditional release of
Burmese student leader Min Ko Naing and other political prisoners.

It also urged the SLORC to "open a dialogue with democratic
forces led by Aung San Suu Kyi and leaders of ethnic nationalities in 
order to bring national reconciliation, democracy and peace to Burma."

The statement also voiced doubt over Thailand's constructive
engagement policy towards Burma and did not think that such a
policy had produced any significant move towards democracy.

Informed military sources said yesterday that Burmese military
attache Col Thein Swe had earlier urged Thailand to deny entry
into the country of ABSDF chairman Moe Thee Zun who might help
instigate protests in Bangkok during Vice-Adm Maung Maung Khin's
official visit.

Moe Thee Zun is reported to be living in the United States with
support from the Albert Einstein Institute.


November 16, 1995

 Statement of the All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF) on the 
75th Anniversary of the National Day
        10th Waning of Tasaung Mong 1357 Burmese Era or 16th of November 
1995 marks the 75th anniversary of the National Day in Burma which caused  
the  first students strike against the British colonial education in Burma.  The 
National Day in Burma attains its significant meanings and important role in the 
Burmese nationalism movement from British colony for its influence for the 
birth of nationalism and anti-colonial education sentiment among the Burmese 
        It is also the historic day of significance for the beginning of the important 
role of the students in the Burmese national politics. The Burmese students will 
for liberation, readiness to fight for the justice and their sacrifice in the struggle 
for the sake of their own country and their citizens has marked the symbol of 
students movement, and  was born along with the spirit of Fighting Peacock from
this historic first students strike. It also paved the way of the next student generation 
and remind them to take a forefront role in the struggle of freedom from oppression.
        We have been fighting against the military dictatorship in Burma 
with respect to the good dignity of our  former generation. It is a crucial time right 
now for building up the national unity and cooperation in the struggle against 
the cunning and foxy military regime in Burma.
        The dignity of Burma and its citizens have been defamed in the 
world for its  ruling military regime in Burma.  The human dignity, the rights 
to life and political rights of the Burmese people are restrained entirely by 
the military dictator to grip the power in their hands.  Furthermore the military 
made ruined of our education system which is the basis of the human develop-
ment in our life. Due to their mismanagement and corruption in their 
military Bureaucracy in the state economy, Burma has become one of  the 
least developed countries designated by the UN.  Burma that once gained the 
reputation among the international community  has become the country branded 
as a number one exporter of heroin, with the alarming numbers of AIDS/HIV 
positive patients and prostitutes and also with its corrupted Bureaucracy system.
        Under the thirty-three years reign of military dictatorship, Burma is under 
poverty and has lost its national dignity in the world forum. Thousands of 
Burmese youth fled their own country and study or work any odd jobs they can get 
regardless of low working condition and discrimination. Over 100,000 illegal 
Burmese workers are working in neighboring Thailand without migrant workers 
rights and suffering many forms of discrimination in their working-place. The 
educational documents and certificates they have earned in the Burmese educational 
institution are quite low from the current international standard and norm.
        We need to work hard to build up our meaningful future in order 
to emerge the dignity of Burma again. Thus it is an essential duty in implementing 
our work to terminate the military dictatorship which deterring our will of 
        If we can not build up the national esteem and awareness for that, we will 
be the prolongly military servitude under their dictatorial and our rights will 
be barred from participation  in the current  development of the world. We, the 
ABSDF would like to urge the people, on this auspicious National Day which 
marks the beginning of Burmese students struggle for liberation, to fight in 
unity and harmony with strong determination against the military dictatorship 
in Burma that causes the depreciation of national dignity and esteem. The spirit 
of National Day and the history of Burmese students struggle must keep alive in 
our heart.
Central Committee
All Burma Students Democratic Front (Dawn Gwin)
10th Waning of Tasaung Mong 1357 Burmese Era
16, November 1995

GUERRILLA WARS         November 16, 1995

Burma's military dictators, also not known for their subtlety, have
posted a "home page" - an electronic NB offering bland information about
temple sites and business opportunities - via  commercial service in the US.

In the struggle between the authoritarian governments of Asia and
their critics there is a new and invisible front line in cyberspace.

>From Berkeley, California, to BKK, computer keyboards chatter with
information (and misinformation), advice, exhortations and insults
(known as "flaming" in Net-speak).  Participants in the unpoliced forums
are as likely to be exiled dissidents and activists as computer nerds.

Outgunned in battle, Burma's rebels have fought back on-screen.

"The Burmese regime got away with so much because they controlled the
information.  They can't do that any more," says "Strider", the young
American moderator of the BurmaNet network who takes his pseudonym
from the character who guided the hobbits in Lord of the Rings.

Banning unwelcome information does not work in cyberspace.  Governments
obsessed with control cannot dictate who speeds down the information highway
 and what he or she does.

Bowing out of the global communications revolution is not an option for
anyone outside of North Korea.

While home pages are used to promote a cause or interest group, the
electronic discussion groups host the most inflammatory exchanges.

The quality of debate can leave something to be desired. Discussing the
ramifications of the Burmese junta's constitutional convention is one thing.
Suggesting that a military figure had a nose replacement because of the
effects of syphilis is quite another.

BurmaNet decided to allow the Burmese Embassy in Washington to subscribe
in the interests of freedom of information.  But attempts to go on-line with
the junta in Burma have been met by stony silence.

The regime was asked what opposition leader ASSK was doing, how to
subscribe to the New Light of Myanmar propaganda sheet and what the
junta's comments were on the latest AI report on human rights abuses.

There followed a long wait and no reply.


November 15, 1995

                               5809 Burgundy Street Capitol 
                               Heights, MD 20743 
                                fax: 301 808 0872 
Eighteen people from the Chin State in Burma, who are 
seeking REFUGEE STATUS from the UNHCR in New Delhi are on 
hunger strike starting yesterday the 14th of November 1995. 
Their complaint: processing of their application for refugee 
status took too long, and they have waited in New Delhi for 
too long, where they have no friends or relatives.  Their 
money and food have run out.  They have been surviving on 
rice soup as long as six months.  They have no place to stay. 
Among the hunger strikers is over sixty years old Pu (MR.) 
Tial Khar, the founder of the Chin National Front. 
Many people from the Chin state in Burma fled their homeland 
to neighboring Mizoram State in India to escape political 
opression, repression, and hardship. Most of them had been 
active politically against the military regime in Burma, some were 
members of the Chin National Front, the armed resistance group. 
Since last year there is a crack down on illegal foreign 
residents in North East India, especially in the Mizoram State 
where most of these refugee seekers found shelter. Many of them 
had been arrested last year and deported to the border to Burma. 
The Burmese authorities refused to accept them back in Burma 
even in their jails and they were forced to return to India. 
The UNHCR has no facility in Mizoram and these refugee 
status seekers had to travel 4 days by bus and rail to New Dehli. 
This year the Mizoram State government ordered all illegal 
foreigners to leave Mizoram by the end of December 1995. At 
the end of December all illegal foreign residents of MIzoram 
will be rounded up and send to their respective countries. 
That is why it is so important for these refugee seekers to 
get their applications processed. 
Please help. 
Dr. Vum Son 


17 November 1995

(To reply, fax your letter to Letters Dept. (852) 25715384
or Internet: editors@xxxxxxxxxxxxx ) 

"The Sound of Silence" and the accompanying photograph
(THE NATIONS, Oct. 27) have exposed Daw Aung San Suu 
Kyi's clay feet.  It was pathetic to see (Myanmar's) "voice of 
freedom" Suu Kyi flanked by two former senior army officers 
who in the past had no love for democracy.  Today elevated to 
top posts in the National League for Democracy, these two 
born-again democrats -- Kyi Maung and Tin U -- were once 
closely linked to the much - hated Socialist dictatorship that 
had made life hell for ordinary Burmese for 26 years.

For the record, Col. Kyi Maung was a member of the 17 -
man Revolutionary Council that overthrew the
democratically elected government of U Nu in March 1962. 
Four months later, the military - led Council ordered troops
to Rangoon University who opened fire on students
protesting campus regulations.  Scores were killed.  A year
later, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Col Kyi Maung
was purged and jailed following a power struggle.

Meanwhile, during the Socialist era, Gen. Tin U was head of
the army as well as minister of defense when troops again
shot and killed hundreds of students during the crisis over
U.N. Secretary - General U Thant's funeral in December 1974.

Two years later, in March 1976, Gen. Tin U was fired from
the army, ostensibly because his wife was involved in corruption.  
Pathetically, it was longtime rivalry between him and Gen. San 
Yu, who were deemed most likely to succeed dictator Gen. Ne 
Win, that led to his ouster. Six months later, Gen. Tin U was 
jailed for seven years for "misprision" of treason -- that is, 
having known of a coup plot but not reporting it.

The leader of the abortive coup was a young captain, Ohn
Kyaw Myint, who was later sentenced to death.  Three other
captains and a major were given long prison terms.  The
young officers had apparently been plotting a coup to alter
the country's Socialist course because of its economic failures, 
and either to press for a sustained all - out offensive against the 
insurgents or to try to come to terms with them.  Sound familiar?

Suu Kyi and other purged military officers in the NLD are
under the delusion that the people voted for them in the 1990
elections.  The truth is that it was more a vote against
Socialism -- the dream of most nationalist leaders including
Gen. Aung San, U Nu and Gen. Ne Win.

Today the new military leaders of (Myanmar) -- led by
Young Turks -- have quietly abandoned an ideology that had
turned into a nightmare.  The era of nationalism is over.  The
young officers hold the old guard responsible for the economic 
and political malaise, and are in no mood to share power with them.

There is no doubt that an economic recovery will eventually
lead to a more responsible government.  Already laws against
nationalization of economic enterprises and demonetization
of banknotes -- the twin evil policies of the Socialist era which 
pauperized the country -- have been enshrined in the new draft 
constitution.  Most importantly, it will be a no -coup charter.

Omar Farouk
Canberra Australia

Dallas, Texas:

"The Sound of Silence" seems to indicate that SLORC thinks
time is on its side.  But this is not supported by hard
evidence.  It has been reported that Chinese military sales to
SLORC have been terminated; this was one of the conditions
for improving Sino - American relations.

The U.S. Congress recently passed legislation to fund
resistance activities against SLORC, and $2.8 million has
been funded to promote freedom and democracy in
(Myanmar).  Also, like Cuba, (Myanmar) is resorting to
tourism to earn hard currency and this has led to increasing
prostitution and division in the army over tourism.


November 15, 1995
from mbeer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx


A Myanmar division court has sentenced nine local drug traffickers to prison
terms ranging from 12 to 15 years, the official report confirmed today.
according to the report, the Sagaing division court also ordered confiscation of
a plot of land, a two-story house, three motor cars and 502,655 Myanmar kyats
(83,775 US dollars) in cash which belonged to the traffickers.  The nine drug
traffickers were arrested in July in Monywa, a city in central Myanmar, after
772 bottles of phensedyl were seized by a combined force of the Myanmar defense
services intelligence and Monywa special narcotics squad, the report added.


Chairman of the Myanmar State Law and Order Restoration Council senior
general Than Shwe urged all the Myanma people to be aroused with dynamic
patriotism and strive to prevent the nation from falling into servitude again.
according to an official report today, senior general than shwe, who is also
patron of the union solidary and development association (usda), made the
remarks at an opening of the advanced management course for usda here tuesday.
he also said that the form of war nowadays is no engagement between armies but
it takes the form of waging wars on policy matters and opinions.  he said that
Myanmar maintains friendly relations with all nations. however, politics is too
difficult to foresee. hence, it will be necessary to be able to defend the
country and to be prepared for any eventuality.  he pointed out that the usda is
now in the process of gradually changing into a national organization. the usda
has to provide leadership to youths of the nation. youths who are to take over
state responsibilities in future will have to be fully qualified persons.  The
USDA as a social organization established in 1993 has become an organization
with a membership of 2.5 million at present.


Myanmar and India have coordinated to curb trafficking of narcotic drugs and
psychotropic substances and chemicals used in refining drugs at the
Myanmar-India border, it was reported today.  According to the report, Myanmar
and India held their third meeting last wednesday in Tamu, a border town of
Myanmar, attended by the Myanma delegation led by commander of the Sagaing
division police force Maw Lwin Tun and the Indian delegation led by commander of
the Assam state police T. N. Mishra.  during the meeting, they had discussed the
issues on the exchange of information, destruction of opium poppy plantations,
suppression against drug trafficking and promoting cooperation between the
narcotic squads of the two countries, the report added.  Myanmar and India
signed an agreement for cooperation in narcotic drug enforcement in Yangon in
March 1993. high-level meetings were held in New Delhi and Yangon in 1994.
Myanmar is also cooperating with other neighboring countries in the subregion in
the field of drug abuse control. a bilateral agreement for cooperation has
already been signed between Myanmar and Vietnam.  in 1993, Myanmar, China, Laos,
Thailand and the United Nations drug control program (UNDCP) signed at the UN
headquarters in New York a memorandum of understanding to control illicit drug
trafficking and abuse in the subregion.

By William Barnes, in Rangoon

A senior member of Burma's military junta has visited Russia for the first
time, underlining that the once-isolated regime's reliance on China, its
principal foreign partner, has become less vital. The Russian embassy in Rangoon
confirmed Lt Gen Tin Oo, the army's chief of staff, who is also a member of the
so-called State Law and Order Restoration Council, recently visited Russia.   An
embassy official described it as a 'goodwill familiarisation visit, with a
relatively broad programme'.

    Diplomats in Rangoon first learned something was afoot when Gen Tin Oo
'disappeared' from the pages of the local state-controlled newspapers for about
two weeks. They strongly suspect the Russians will have offered to sell arms to
the regime: cash-strapped Moscow has become an eager seller of weapons to Asia.

    China is thought to have supplied the Burmese army with arms and equipment
worth Dollars 2bn (Pounds 1.3bn) when Beijing was an international outcast after
its bloody suppression of pro-democracy demonstrations in the late 1980s.
Burma was refusing to stand aside for a popularly elected government. The
Chinese military hardware helped transform the Burmese armed forces into a
'semi-modern' force that has grown in strength from around 190,000 to at least
300,000. The Burmese army has used its new strength to help many of the
country's decades-old ethnic insurgencies. 

November 13, 1995

    Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has said that the five
precepts of Buddhism are a prerequisite for the people to prepare for a
democratic state.

    Speaking at her weekly public appearance Saturday evening, she said the
precepts which Burmese Buddhists usually observe for religious merit were also
significant for political purposes. She gave a political interpretation of those

    The precepts or commandments require a man to abstain from five specific
acts: killing or taking the life of any living being, stealing or theft, telling
lies, committing sexual crimes and taking alcoholic drinks.

    The opposition leader appeared before an audience of about 3,000 people,
including monks and a sprinkling of foreign tourists and journalists.

    Speaking about the first precept - thou shalt not kill - she said killing of
man by man is prohibited in all democratic countries.

    Some democracies had even banned killing of persons through a judicial
process, such as executing a person to punish him for the crime or crimes he has

    But not only killing by physical means but also killing by non-material
means - such as killing a conscientious movement of the people through
psychological pressure - amounted to a breach of this precept, Suu Kyi asserted.

    On stealing, the opposition leader said that taking anything not voluntarily
given by the owner amounted to an act of stealing or theft. In a democracy, she
said, the real owners of political power were the people. "Have not you read
statements to this effect in newspapers countless times?" she asked amid

    This power, she said, was temporarily entrusted to a group in a democratic
system, and the group was charged with exercising power for the benefit of the
entire people.

    If it failed to do so either through incapacity or for any other reason,the
group had to return the power to the original owners, the people, said Suu Kyi.

    If the people's political power was taken away without their consent, that
amounted to stealing and a breach of the second Buddhist precept, she said,
drawing hearty cheers from the audience.

    On the third precept, regarding adultery, Suu Kyi said this commandment
could be extended to cover the case of young Burmese women being used as
prostitutes in a neighbouring country.

    It was the government's duty not only to suppress sexual crimes among the
people but also to protect the young women of the country from becoming victims
of the illegal sex trade, she said.

    The fourth precept, regarding lying, was particularly relevant in a
democracy, she said, because of the democratic right of freedom of speech. This
right was not meant to allow anyone tell lies or deceive others freely, the
opposition leader warned.

    This precept also covered pledges made by a government, because if pledges
were not honoured, they amounted to lies, she said to the applause) of the

    Closing, Suu Kyi added that the fifth precept, dealing with drinking,
covered not only alcoholic drinks but also varieties of narcotics.

    It was the government's duty to suppress narcotics production and trade in
the interest of the people, said Suu Kyi. It also ought to ensure that no-one
could get rich quickly through narcotics trafficking.

    If a government could not satisfactorily stop the drugs trade, it could be
said to have broken the fifth precept, she said.

    Suu Kyi urged her audience to begin observing the five precepts immediately
to prepare for what she termed the virtuous life of a democratic society in the

November 13, 1995

Myanma and Malaysian officials have met here on bilateral trade and sale of
Myanma fish and prawns to malaysia, it was reported today.  During the talks
held here Sunday, Myanmar Minister for Trade lieutenant general Tun Kyi and
visiting Malaysian deputy minister of land and cooperatives development of
Malaysia Goh Cheng Teik also discussed the issue of building cold storage in
myeik, a southern port city in Myanmar.  it was learnt that thailand, japan and
china have established joint ventures on fishery business with Myanmar since the
beginning of this year.  According to latest official statistics, there are 15
foreign fishery projects in Myanmar with a total investment of 252 million US
dollars by August 31, 1995.


November 14, 1995   Tokyo

Yasuda fire and marine insurance co. Tuesday opened a representative office
in Yangon, Myanmar, to become the first Japanese nonlife insurer to station a
permanent representative in the country.   Mitsui Marine and Fire Insurance co.
already has an office in the Myanmarese capital, but the company has yet to have
a representative stationed there.  Yasuda fire officials said the company will
underwrite reinsurance in Myanmar through government-controlled Myanma
Insurance, the country's only insurance company.


November 13, 1995

   Japan's big automakers are moving into MYANMAR.  Nissan Motor [7201] plans to
establish a JV marketing company within the year and expects sales of passenger
cars to start in the spring of 1996.   Nissan anticipates sales of 700 to 800
cars in 1999.  Mitsubishi Motors [7211] also plans to set up a marketing
company.  And Toyota Motor [7203] will provide follow up services in the capital
city of Yangon.  Nissan, Mitsubishi and Toyota expect it will take time to
develop the local market, as cars are not simple purchases for MYANMAR citizens.
There are currently about 200,000 cars in operation in MYANMAR and half of these
are old models.


November 13, 1995   by Kevin Murphy

Sleepy, once-socialist Rangoon, rarely considered among the growing list of
Asian boom towns, suddenly is showing all the outward signs of fast money and
rapid change.

   Workers toil through the night under floodlit cranes on a host of hotel and
office projects, racing to finish before a feared glut punishes the late

   Rush-hour traffic jams in the city, which is now called Yangon by the
government, delay fleets of used cars imported from Japan. Until quite recently,
Jeeps and Land Rovers from the World War II era had the wide streets largely to

   Heavily advertised beers from around the world offer stiff competition to the
local brew, Mandalay Beer, which is produced by a state-owned monopoly that has
itself entered into a joint venture.

   The new appearance of modern consumer goods, the razing of European-style
colonial buildings, the sounds of Western pop music, and the new Japanese,
Korean and Singaporean restaurants show clear parallels with Ho Chi Minh City or
Hanoi only a year or two ago.

   Despite economic reforms, most Western companies remain reluctant to deal
with BURMA, which is now called MYANMAR by the ruling State Law and Order
Restoration Council, because of its poor human rights record and harsh
suppression of dissent.

   But many Asian and a few Western firms have no such qualms because the local
government's need to attract foreign investment is enticing companies that have
become frustrated with Vietnam. Stricter rules and regulations, administrative
delays and requests for ''unofficial fees'' have dulled the Vietnam's shine,
business executives say.

   Investing in Rangoon is also not easy, foreigners say, but a meeting on short
notice with the relevant minister or general is possible.


Produced with the support of the Burma Information Group (B.I.G)
and the Research Department of the ABSDF {MTZ}  

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