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BurmaNet News: December 2, 1995

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

The BurmaNet News: December 2, 1995
Issue #293

Noted in Passing:

	The Tatmadaw (armed forces) will resolutely take action against 
	and annihilate those who mar or disturb the interests of the 
	entire nation. - SLORC Army Chief of Staff Lt Gen Tin Oo 
	quoted in the New Light of Myanmar  (see NATION: BURMA 


November 30, 1995
>From : FTUB (West Burma) <butro.atubdo@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Report from our field organizer
Bomb blasts took place in two different places in Tamu (Indo-Burma border 
town of Burmese side) on 28.11.95 at 5:00 a.m. ( India Standard Time). 
One was at the TLORC (Township Law and Order Restoration Council) office 
and the other was at the USDA (Union Solidarity and Development 
Association) office.
The first explosion took place in front of the USDA office.
The second one was found by the army personnel near the office of the 
TLORC and purposely the soldiers explode the bomb by gun fire.
There were no causalities at the site of explosion.
Paper notes were scattered near the blast site.
The contents of the notes are as follow:-
(1) To denounce the National Convention held by the SLORC.
(2) To stop the forced labor, porterage and all activities which trouble to 
      the people.
(3) People in the Saggaing Division need to be united and actively against the 
      SLORC's activities.
The SLORC considered to this event that it was systematically pre-planed and 
aimed not to hurt the people, only to show the agitation against the National 
Convention. Regarding this event the SLORC suspected on Chin activists.
The border was banned by the SLORC and the investigation and detention 
are being done.

STATION     November 29, 1995
from mbeer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Monitoring observations have confirmed that the Karen-language radio
station reported by Radio Netherlands "Media Network" programme on 16th November
to be operated by the opposition Karen National Union, KNU (see WBI/0047 1995,
page 2) is in fact broadcasting on behalf of the Burmese government, not the KNU.

   The station identifies itself as Thabye Radio (Burmese: Thabye Athan Hlwint
Htar Na). "Thabye" is a reference to the aromatic leaves of the eugenia tree
which, according to Burmese belief, denotes victory.

   Its programmes appear to be aimed at a Karen audience and reflect the
positions of Burma's ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC).
SLORC is directly opposed to the activities and policies of the KNU.

   Thabye Radio operates on a variable shortwave frequency around 6355-6357 kHz.
It announces that it broadcasts on 47.24 metres (equivalent to 6350 kHz). It has
been heard recently with the following daily transmissions:

0030-0130 gmt in Burmese;
0530-0630 gmt in Pwo Karen;
1030-1230 gmt in a mixture of Sgaw Karen and Burmese.

The Burmese programme at 0030-0130 gmt consists of music and news carried
earlier by the government-controlled Radio Myanmar in Rangoon . On 20th November
it carried a statement by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Organization (DKBO)
criticizing the KNU leader, General Bo Mya, and inviting KNU members to join the
DKBO in working for the peace and development of Karen State.





Burmese dissident groups in Japan responded swiftly by
condemning Thailand's November 28th arrests of veteran
journalist U Ye Gyaung, 75, and dissident students attempting
to stage a peaceful hunger strike in support of Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi and her recent decision to boycott SLORC's convention, 
which she has frankly characterized as undemocratic and a sham.  

Members of Burmese Relief Center--Japan and International
Network for Burma Relief expressed their support for the
recently arrested Burmese in Bangkok and urged Thailand to
stop supporting the military junta SLORC, which is brutally
oppressing ordinary Burmese citizens.  They also voiced
concern for the health of U Ye Gyaung, chief writer for the
well-respected New Era Journal, a politically sophisticated
newspaper distributed world-wide, including Japan.

Some of the students,  reportedly already accepted as refugees
by Australia, were beginning a hunger strike to draw attention
to the critical situation inside Burma and to show support for
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for
Democracy party which is courageously risking retaliation
from the SLORC junta by refusing to take part in the so-called
national convention.  Others, ironically, were arrested at
UNHCR offices in Bangkok, the place they should be the safest. 

While the Thai authorities may be currying favor with the
SLORC before the visit of Khin Nyunt and Than Shwe to
Bangkok, these arrests are shortsighted and regrettable.  As
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has pointed out, Thailand and Burma
are neighbors, yet Thailand's treatment of honorable, peaceful
Burmese patriots is harsh and unfair, and the military seems
intent on propping up the SLORC for the business
opportunities it provides them personally.  Many Burmese
want to believe that ordinary Thais are sympathetic to their
plight, but they have yet to hear any expression of public support. 

The pro-democracy groups in Japan urge the Thai government
to immediately release U Ye Gyaung, his wife, and the Burmese 
students, and to cease its blatant support for the SLORC military 
dictatorship in its oppression of the Burmese people.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Kyaw Tint
International Network for Burma Relief


November 30, 1995


Japanese general contractor Taisei Construction will open an office in
Rangoon to enhance the company's activities which largely relates to
Japan's ODA to the military regime in Burma, business and technology
newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun reported today. This company was the sole
contractor of the project for expansion of Rangoon airport facilities which
had been halted after Burmese military killed thousands of  demonstrators
in 1988 demonstrations. 



Up to July,1995, SLORC has reportedly made 151 agreements with foreign
investors that values a total of 2900 million dollars, The Nikkan Kogyo
Shimbun reported.  The report detailed a list of countries as well as type
of business that bring money for SLORC to emphasize the fact that Japan is
at the seventh place.  This is apparently because Japanese government did
not provide insurance for investment to Burma until February, 1995. 
The data in the report can be tabulated as follows:

Table 1.
Country                 No of Contracts         Value in Million US$
Britain                 16                              640 
France                  1                               460
Singapore            31                              450
Thailand              27                              410
USA                     14                              240
Japan                    6                              100

Table 2.
Investment Type         No of Contracts         Value in Million US$
Petroleum & Gas         24                              1430
Hotel & Tourism         31                                600
Fishery                       50                                250
Real Estate                  4                                 190
Mining                         21                                180
Manufacturing             51                                170

December 1, 1995

>From his perch in Australia breathing freely and enjoying the
fruits of freedom, Omar Farouk has faulted Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi for surrounding herself with former senior officers of the
Armed Forces (Letters & Comment, Nov. 17) History is replete
with warriors who later renounced violence and came to terms
with themselves and with the world.  Among them, in recent
memory, are Anwar Sadat, Yassir Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin. 
That these men possessed the wisdom to change their hearts in
search of peace is courageous.

U Kyaw Win
Laguna Hills, California

Omar Farouk ignores a relevant fact.  Gen. Tin U was jailed for
seven years because he and two other regional commanders
were asked by the "Young Turks" to lead the unsuccessful coup
against Gen. Ne Win in 1976.

I was a foreign service officer assigned to the Prime Minister's
Office in 1974.  I personally knew the "Young Turks" involved
in the 1976 coup attempt.  These young majors and captains
served as aides to cabinet ministers and we used to wait outside
when the cabinet was in session.

None of the present generals was involved with the "Young
Turks" coup attempt.  They loyally served Gen. Ne Win and
participated in the killing of unarmed civilians in 1988 for
demanding freedom, democracy and human rights.

U Hla Shwe
General Secretary, Federation for Human Rights and Democracy in Burma
Long Beach, California


November 1995 from brelief@xxxxxxx

Thanks to the successful lobbying by human rights advocates
the Swiss Federation of Travel Agencies (SFTA) recommends
that its members should refrain from expanding travel to Burma
and ignore Visit Myanmar [Burma] Year.  The following is the
English translation of a statement by the SFTA Subject Section
for Environment and Social Affairs (SFTA publication:
August/September 1995, No. 8/9):

In 1996, Burma shall be opened during 'Visit Myanmar
[Burma] Year' to large international tourist inflows.

According to information of the Working Group Tourism and
Development in Basel, for example, 120,000 to 150,000 people
were in prospect of this event forcefully conscripted last year for
railway construction in the South of the country.

According to information of Amnesty International, political
prisoners and minors are also used for works in tourism projects
under most difficult conditions.

Human rights violations of this kind, which are directly related
to tourism, must be a concern for our industry.

In addition. safety and health risks for travellers in Burma are
manifold.  The infrastructure, established in haste and with
forced labour, will probably hardly meet the safety needs of our
customers.  Our customers can already imperil themselves and
local people simply by communicating with each other, as in
Burma, contact with foreigners alone can be considered as subversive.

The recent release of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu
Kyi is in the eyes of most observers an attempt of image
improvement.  The disregard of fundamental human rights and
the critical safety situation continue to exist.

The Subject Section for Environment and Social Affairs of the
SFTA therefore recommends that its members relinquish plans
for special expansion of travel to Burma and ignore Visit
Myanmar [Burma] Year. (Beat Obrist, Board Member)

*** A Coalition of Swiss NGOs has been formed to campaign
and lobby in relation to Visit Burma Year.  It includes
representatives of Amnesty International Switzerland,
Pfaffhausen, the Society for Threatened Peoples, Bern; Swiss
Aid, Bern; the Swiss - Burmese Association, Geneva; the
Women Information Centre (FIZ), Zurich; and the Working
Group Tourism and Development (AKTE), Basel.


[KNU:  July 1995] - ACCORDING to a report of the Karen
National Union (KNU) entitled 'The Rape of the Rural Poor,
SLORC hopes that in future, tourists will pour into the coastal
area around Tavoy in large numbers.  The completion of the Ye
- Tavoy railway section has been a priority for the authorities. 
Reports of forced labour and other human rights violations in
connection with railway construction are widely known.  But
SLORC has lately changed its policy.  Instead of calling villagers 
for labour, every family in the whole district must now pay 500 kyats 
every month.  Those who fail to contribute are punished with 15 days 
of unpaid labour.  In addition, SLORC officials at all ranks regularly 
demand labourers for their own personal needs.

Works related to tourism around Tavoy include cleaning and
maintenance of the Tavoy airport, golf course, and public areas
in the city -- streets, government buildings compounds, parks,
etc. Last year, villagers had to contribute labour in the
following tourism projects: the establishment of a statue of
Bogyoke Aung San, a long pavement along the river bank and
on top of a dam, a golf course, as well as cosmetic works at the
airport, the jetty and a divisional athletic ground.

New Frontiers is prepared by Tourism Investigation and
Monitoring Team
Fax: (66-2) 691-0714
Email: TERRAPER@xxxxxxxxxx


December 1, 1995    Agence  France-Presse

BANGKOK- Burmese authorities have revoked the licences of 
two private firms based in Rangoon, on charges of  "commercial misconduct," 
state-run Burmese radio reported on Wednesday.

The firms, punished by the National Planning and Economic 
Development Ministry, included Ever Green Company Limited and 
Kayzar Company Limited, Radio Rangoon said in a broadcast monitored here.

Both companies were involved in "...cheating and using the 
government's market economy policy for their gains," the 
radio quoted the ministry as saying. (TN)


December 1, 1995    Reuter

RANGOON- One of Burma's ruling generals has promised that 
the armed forces will stay strong and "annihilate" anyone 
who tries to disrupt the state, official media reported yesterday.

Army Chief of Staff Lt Gen Tin Oo, who is also a senior 
member of the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council 
(Slorc), said in a speech on Wednesday that the country was building 
strong, consolidated and durable armed forces, state-run newspaper reported.

Tin Oo also spoke out against anyone who relied on "alien 
forces" and did not wish to see the country prosper. The 
newspaper said such people were resorting to disturbances 
and levelling false accusations to belittle the country.

"He also declared that the Tatmadaw (armed forces) will resolutely take 
action against and annihilate those who mar or disturb the interests of the 
entire nation," the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.

On Wednesday the government accused Nobel Peace laureate 
Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) 
party of trying to disrupt Burma and its moves toward democracy.

The comments were made after the NLD withdrew from 
government-sponsored constitutional talks where several 
hundred delegates, mostly handpicked by the military, are 
drafting guidelines for a new constitution.

The NLD won more than 80 per cent of the seats in a 1990 
general election but the ruling junta refused to hand over power. (TN)

December 1,1995): 

A tense stand-off continued between the authorities and the NLD as Ms Suu
Kyi met the party executive to discuss the next move, Police and military
intelligence agents continued their surveillance of the homes of several
senior party officials but no move was made to arrest them.

The official New Light of Myanmar newspaper quoted the convention chairman,
General Myo Nyunt, as accusing the NLD of "acting with unrightteous intent,
resulting in acts of perpetration to wreck the national convention". He
insisted the drafting of the new constitution would go ahead without the NLD.

"Just because a group turned its back on the noble objectives and programs
for peaceful and prosperous development of the State, we have no reason at
all to abandon all our programs," he said.


December 1, 1995       Kyodo

RANGOON- All 86 delegates of the National League for 
Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu Kyi formally ended their 
participation yesterday afternoon in a government-sponsored 
national convention on constitutional reform.

The NLD delegates lost their right to participate because 
they stayed away from the convention for two consecutive 
days without leave, s senior convention official said.

Suu Kyi said on Wednesday that her party decided to boycott 
the convention, which resumed on Tuesday, because the 
country's ruling junta has refused dialogue.

When the plenary session of the national convention opened 
yesterday morning, the 86 NLD representatives were absent 
without leave. Altogether, 545 out of 677 delegates attended 
yesterday's session, the official said.

Suu Kyi told a press conference on Nov 22 that the 
convention in its present form was not acceptable. "The work 
procedures of the convention are not democratic and the 
basic principles for the proposed constitution include some 
which are not consonant with a truly democratic state," she said.

The NLD chairman Aung Shwe, in his letter to the chairman of 
the national convention convening commission on Tuesday, 
said,"The NLD delegates will not be attending the national 
convention until such time as a dialogue with a view to 
achieving national reconciliation, genuine multi-party 
democracy and a constitution that can with the support and 
confidence of the people, has been successfully put into effect."

Agence France-Press adds: Delegates at Burma's national 
convention carried on yesterday with the business of framing 
a new state constitution despite a boycott announced the 
previous day by the main opposition party.

Members of the NLD were to meet later to discuss their 
boycott of the convention, party sources said, as the 
official press sought to play down its impact.

The front page of the official New Light of Myanmar was 
devoted to the national convention and included a speech on 
Wednesday by convening chairman Myo Nyunt, who mentioned Suu 
Kyi by name and criticized the NLD.

Myo Nyunt, who is also religious affairs minister, said Suu 
Kyi and the NLD were using the boycott as a means of pushing 
their own interests but said the session would continue nonetheless.

"We will carry on, joining hands with the delegates who have 
honest and sincere aspirations only for national interests, 
till the successful conclusion of the national convention," he said.

The junta has promised to hand power over to a civilian 
government once the constitution is completed, but insists 
on a strong presence in future administrations.

Associated Press adds from Bangkok: Exiled Burmese opposition 
groups yesterday supported Suu Kyi's boycott of the convention.

The government "has no authority to convene the national 
convention to decide the future of Burma," said a statement 
from the All Arakan Students and Youths Congress, representing 
an ethnic group. Only Suu Kyi's party has that right, it said.

In a statement, the All Burma Students' Democratic Front 
said it had been frustrated with the slow movement of Suu 
Kyi's party, so the boycott was welcome. The boycott could 
unify the various opposition forces, it said.

Thousands of students and other dissidents fled to the Thai 
border and inside Thailand after the military seized power 
by killing hundreds and possibly thousands of anti-
government demonstrators in 1988.

Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won an election in 
1990, but the military would not let it take power and 
instead said a new government would be formed after the 
national convention drafts a new constitution. (TN)


December 1, 1995

Five months after her release, Suu Kyi draws a line in the 
sand. AP's Robert horn reports.

Maung Hla keeps a picture of Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel 
laureate and leader of Burma's democracy movement, displayed 
on the dashboard of his taxi.

"It's no problem," Maung Hla says when asked what would 
happen if a policemen stopped him and saw the picture. "In 
Burma we love democracy."

Will Burma, which has been under military rule since 1962, 
get democracy? Maung Hla laughs briefly before his face tightens.
"No," he says.

Five months after Suu Kyi's release from six years of house 
arrest, movement towards democracy in Burma seems stalled. 
Suu Kyi's calls for dialogue with the country's hardline 
military rulers have been met by silence. The National 
Convention, dominated by representatives hand-picked by the 
military, reconvened in Rangoon Tuesday to draw up a 
constitution that will ensure military rule.

That same day, Suu Kyi's political party, the National 
League for Democracy, defied the military's warnings and 
announced it was boycotting the convention.
Observers say the NLD's move was no surprise.

Suu Kyi has been under pressure to take some sort of action 
or risk losing credibility at home and internationally, said 
a diplomat in Rangoon who demanded anonymity.

Suu Kyi had already been stepping up the pressure on the 
military government. In recent weeks she branded the 
convention undemocratic, held a ceremony at her home where 
students mocked the military, and criticized foreign investment.

The crowds that come to hear her speak each weekend are only 
two or three thousand strong, but they are growing. The 
military has been intolerant of even mild dissent in the past, and 
now some observers think  the regime is preparing to put its foot down.

"I believe a crackdown is coming," said Bertil Linter, a 
Swedish Burma expert based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Linter's belief is based on the government's seeming 
disregard for international opinion. Burmese observers say 
the government is willing to risk the worldwide condemnation 
that a crackdown would likely provoke to retain its grip on power.

That grip is getting stronger. Ceasefires that ended 
decades-long insurgencies by many ethnic minorities are 
holding. Despite rumours of rifts, the military remains the 
most unified force in Burmese politics.

Trade links and financial support are increasing. Japan 
recently announced resumption of government loans to Burma. 
The International Monetary Fund is discussing assistance, 
which would pave the way for help from the World bank and 
Asian Development Bank.

Both have denied assistance to Burma since the military 
crushed pro-democracy demonstrations in 1988.

"It's obvious now that the government released Aung San Suu 
Kyi not because they are committed to political change, but 
because they want foreign investment," said Christina Fink, 
who runs Burmanet, an Internet source on Burma. "And it's worked."

Martin Smith, a British expert on Burma, says foreign 
investment may prove double-edged, as there is no class of 
technocrats capable of managing change. "Along with 
investment they may be letting in problems they can not handle."

The gap between rich and poor is growing. Inflation is above 
35 per cent. The price of rice has been rising to record levels.

Still the people seems fearful of speaking out. And although 
Suu Kyi's popularity is still strong, the NLD is weaker than 
she will admit. Many of its members are still in prison. 
More have been arrested in recent weeks.

Shut out from the state-controlled media, she is rebuilding 
its organization by videotaping meetings with party 
delegations from around the country at her home, Fink said. 
The videotapes, and audio tapes of her weekend talks, are 
then distributed in the provinces. Although the NLD is a 
legal entity, its tactics are typical of an underground organization.

When she was released in July, Suu Kyi warned her supporters 
not to expect too much too soon. Asked how long it would 
take to bring democracy to Burma, she said, "What does it 
matter how long it takes, as long as we get there."

Whether a crackdown is imminent or not, Smith said Suu Kyi 
should continue talking to representatives from foreign governments 
and UN agencies, and getting the message out to the Burmese people.

"Something will eventually happen, whether it is sudden or 
slowly, over time," Smith said in a telephone interview from 
Britain. "But Suu Kyi should stay in Rangoon, because when 
it does she will be there for the Burmese people to rally around." 

December 1, 1995
Aung Zaw on Gen Tin Oo's recent trip to Moscow.

According to a Russian Embassy official in Rangoon, the 
recent visit to Moscow by Lt Gen Tin Oo, Secretary 2 of the 
State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc), was 
intended to help foster a stronger relationship between the 
two countries. It was a "good-will familiarization visit, 
with a relatively broad programme," the London-based 
Financial Times was told.

But analysts and western diplomats in Rangoon were quick to 
suggest that something more was involved. Specifically that 
Tin Oo's real mission was to buy arms from Moscow.

Burma is seeking to modernize its Tatmadaw and "...cash-
strapped Moscow has become an eager seller of weapons to 
Asia," the Financial Times reported.

Traditionally China has been Rangoon's major arms supplier.
Since the Slorc seized power in 1988, relations between 
Rangoon and Beijing have steadily improved. Both countries 
faced democracy uprisings, in 1988 and 1989 respectively, 
and both used similarly brutal methods to put them down.

Chinese military officials have been visiting Burma since 
1989 and China has became the Slorc's most important ally. 
In 1990, China started delivering military hardware 
estimated by western military observers to be worth about 
$1.2 billion, which many considered to be a bargain.

Last year Rangoon bought $400 million worth of helicopters, 
ammunition, field guns, six Hainan Class patrol boats and 
armored vehicles from China. The new weapons have been used 
to attack ethnic minorities and Khun Sa in Shan State. 
Additionally, they have been used to intimidate the population.

Last year Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng, as well as other 
high ranking military officers, visited Burma.

Sino-Burmese relations now seem stronger than ever. A common 
Burmese saying goes: "Beijing is exporting everything from 
sewing needles to tanks." Speculation around the region is 
that Beijing is seeking access to Burmese ports in the Bay 
of Bengal. But this has been denied by officials from both countries.

But if relations have been so close why has Russia suddenly 
entered the picture? Have Sino-Burmese ties been strained? 
Analysts note that Burma is eager to become a member of 
Asean, in part as a way to balance the relationship with 
Beijing. In July Burma acceded to Asean's Treaty of Amity 
and Cooperation (TAC).

It is believed that some Burmese military officers have complained about 
the shoddy workmanship of the hardware sold by Beijing.

Moreover, some military officers who were sent to China for 
military training in recent years have been asked not to 
return but to stay there.

Another dilemma facing Rangoon is that many civilians, 
including soldiers, are unhappy with the Chinese presence. 
Patriotic and nationalist military officers, as well as 
influential Burmese, have made known their disdain for 
China's "unofficial invasion."

"Whether privately or openly, the Burmese have not hidden 
their dislike for the Chinese," a Burmese professor in 
Rangoon said. In recent years Burma's writers and cartoonists 
have taken their limited freedom of expression to the limit and 
ridiculed the Chinese presence and influence in Burmese cities.

So has Burma found a new ally in Russia? Maybe not. But Beijing 
might not be Rangoon's major arms supplier any more, analysts said.

Last month, Thailand's Defence Minister Gen Chavalit 
Yongchaiyudh visited Beijing and met with several high-
ranking Chinese officials. On his return Chavalit told the 
local press: "We discussed my concern about the arms build-
up in this region, especially in our neighbouring country." 
Though Chavalit did not name what that "neighbouring 
country" was, he was certainly referring to Burma.

Chavalit said he received an assurance from Beijing that it 
stop supporting the military build-up in "that country" - Burma. 
"From now on I can assure you that it will stop," he said.

But Beijing is not the only arms supplier to Slorc. 
Singapore and various European countries have also been 
selling weapons to Burma. And today the Tatmadaw has more 
than 300,000 men under arms.

With Beijing's help, Burma's military rulers have been able 
to transform the Tatmadaw into a "semi-modern" force.

Even though Burma was accorded Least Developed Country (LDC) 
status in 1987 the junta went on an arms buying spree as 
early as 1989. The reason given was to maintain "law and 
order" in the country.

Burma today is still a poor country. But with increasing 
foreign investment the junta itself is well-to-do. Analysts 
noted that the present defence spending is higher than 
during that of previous socialist regime.

Despite the end of the Cold War and communist insurgencies 
in Southeast Asia, Burma and its immediate neighbours have 
kept up huge military budgets.

Burma's military rulers may have been miffed at Chavalit's 
mention of the arms build-up in Burma since Thailand itself 
is spending gigantic sums in arms purchases. It has bought 
F-16 jets and also wants to purchase F-18 jet fighters, M-60 
tanks and two submarines which Burma's military rulers cannot afford.

Other Asean counties like Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia 
have also beefed up their defensive capabilities by buying 
several jet fighters and vessels.

But regional analysts said there won't be any war in the 
region within the next decade. So why are these countries, 
including Burma, buying more weapons? They could have 
different reasons, but analysts believe the purchases are 
mainly for defensive reasons.

Unlike the old days, when Burma was able to invade Ayuthaya 
with impunity, the country now faces several problems at home.

The ruling junta has proudly declared its successful 
ceasefire agreements with several ethnic groups. So far 15 
out of 16 insurgent groups have returned to the "legal 
fold." Recently, Burma's deputy tourism minister said Burma 
is the most peaceful country in Southeast Asia. If that is 
true, why is the Slorc still buying more weapons?

Is it to be used in fighting warlord Khun Sa or is it to be 
used as a deterrent to possible uprisings in urban areas? Or 
is it because the ceasefire with ethnic groups can be broken 
anytime? Some observers argue that the vagueness of Slorc's 
ceasefire pacts with the armed groups will not guarantee 
genuine peace in the country.

This year saw a resumption of hostilities between the 
Karenni rebels and the Slorc. (TN)


November 25, 1995

+ Paper reprints authorised. Electronic redistributors +
+ must request permission from Amnesty International.  +
+ Contact:   rmitchellai@xxxxxxxxxx (UK)               +
+            sharrison@xxxxxxxxxxx (USA)               +
+            ggabriel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (Germany)      +
EXTERNAL                          AI Index: ASA 16/29/95
                                  23 November 1995
UA 261/95         Fear of torture / Legal concern
MYANMAR          Maung Aye   )     representatives of the
                 Toe Aung    )     National League for Democracy
                 Myo Zaw     )     (NLD) Youth
Amnesty International fears that three young men arrested in
Yangon on 18 November 1995 may be facing ill-treatment or torture
in detention and may have been arrested solely for exercising
their rights to freedom of expression and association.
All three are representatives of the National League for
Democracy (NLD) Youth. Maung Aye represents Yangon (Rangoon)
Division, Toe Aung represents  Tanintharyi (Tennasserim) and
Magway (Mergui) Divisions, and Myo Zaw represents Magway
On 18 November, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the NLD,
addressed a large crowd outside her house.  Such meetings have
been held every weekend since Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's release from
house arrest in July.  However, for the first time, police
officials were present and put up barbed-wire barricades to keep
the road outside the house clear.  As Daw Aung San Suu Kyi began
to speak from the house gates, people in the crowd ignored the
barricades and moved around them to get closer.  Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi asked for the barricades to be removed, but the police did
not respond.  Maung Aye, Toe Aung, Myo Zaw and one other person
then tried to talk to the police in order to have the barricades
removed.  At the end of the meeting the four young people were
arrested.  The unnamed detainee was subsequently released.
On 19 November Maung Aye, Toe Aung and Myo Zaw were charged with
allegedly assaulting police officials and preventing civil
servants from carrying out their duties.  The exact legislation
used is not known, but according to unofficial sources, the
allegations made against the three are exaggerated and are a
pretext to detain political activists. All three were reportedly 
tried on 20 November but the outcome of the trial is not known.
Torture and ill-treatment is common in Myanmar both during
interrogation and after sentencing. In addition, conditions in
the country's prisons fall far short of international minimum 
standards, with lack of access to proper medical treatment,
overcrowding, and insufficient food all concerns.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/airmail
letters in English or your own language:
- seeking assurances that the treatment of Maung Aye, Toe Aung
and Myo Zaw conforms to international standards and that they are
being given proper access to family, lawyers of their own choice
and medical personnel;
- seeking information about the whereabouts of the three young
men, the exact charges against them, and prison sentences imposed; 
- urging that if they have been arrested solely for exercising
their rights to freedom of expression and association, they
should be immediately and unconditionally released.
Senior General Than Shwe, Chairman       [Salutation: Dear General]
State Law and Order Restoration Council
c/o Ministry of Defence, Signal Pagoda Road
Yangon, Union of Myanmar
Telegrams: General Than Shwe, Yangon, Myanmar
Telexes: 21316
Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, Secretary 1    [Salutation: Dear General]
State Law and Order Restoration Council
c/o Ministry of Defence, Signal Pagoda Road
Yangon, Union of Myanmar
Telegrams: Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, Yangon, Myanmar
Faxes: + 95 1 229 50
COPIES TO diplomatic representatives of Myanmar accredited to
your country
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Please do not send appeals after
8 January 1996.
+ If you have any queries about this Urgent Action or about +
+ the UA scheme in general, please contact:                 +
+   Ray Mitchell                                            +
+   Amnesty International British Section                   +
+   99 - 119 Rosebery Avenue                                +
+   London EC1R 4RE      email: rmitchellai@xxxxxxxxxx      +


November 28, 1995

Australian Human Rights Sub-Committee Report (October 1995).

The  the Australian Government:
(a) continue to direct its assistance program to the people on the
        border; and
   (b) consider an increase in health and sanitation programs for the
         people in the camps.

Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID):
set aside some of its funding to Burma for educational programs
   directed at the development of civil society and an understanding of
   democratic processes amongst the people in the border camps.

The Australian Government
(a) increase the intake of students from Burma in this category to a
         minimum of 12 per year; and
  (b) encourage students to undertake, possibly through the TAFE system,
         skills based courses relevant to the fture development needs of Burma.

The Australian Government:
increase numbers in the Special Assistance Category for people from Burma
   residing in Thailand to bring it up to the level of the intake from Rangoon.

The Australian Government urge the Government of Thailand to:
(a) ratify the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and
        its 1967 Protocol; and
  (b) permit the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to provide
        greater assistance to the refugees on the Thai-Burma border.

The Australian Government continue to press the Government of Burma to:
(a) recognise the popular legitmacy of the NLD and builds on DAw Aung
        San Suu Kyi's call for power sharing on a South African model; and
  (b) begin negotiations with Aung San Suu Kyi with a view to bringing
         about this end.

The Australian Government urge the Government of Burma to:
include a greater number of the National League for Democracy
representatives and a more representative group of delegates from the 
ethnic minorities in the deliberations of the National Convention.


Date: 26 Nov 1995 18:57:49

If you would like to know about Burma, please come, listen and join us.

The International Project for Educators of the World Affairs Council of 
Washington, D.C. cordially invites you to a workshop for teachers on

" Escape from Rangoon: Preparing for the Return to Burma".

with Khin Ohmar
Refugee and Pro-democracy student activist from Myanmar(formerly Burma)

at Nations Bank
730 15th Street, N.W, 10th floor conference room, Washington, D.C
(closest metro stations: McPherson square and Metro Center)

	From 4:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m.
	Burmese dinner included, Fee: $ 10

Khin Ohmar was involved in student demonstrations which led to a 
nationwide, pro-democracy uprising.After fleeing to Thailand where 
she was documented as an "illegal immigrant", she sought protection 
from the United States. She applied for refugee status at the U.S 
Embassy in Bangkok and was approved. She arrived in Washington, D.C 
in 1990. Ohmar earned a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Simon's 
Rock College in Massachussets in May, 1994 and then returned to 
Washington to work as a research associate with Refugees International. 
Ohmar's mother, two sisters and brother remain in the former Burma.

If you want to registration, please contact this number,
Phone (202)293-1051     Fax   (202)833-2369

Thank you for your support to Democracy toward Burma.


November 30, 1995

· December Burma Roundtable

The next Roundtable will take place on Monday, December 11. The meeting will
start at 7pm at the office of Franklin Research & Development at 711
Atlantic Avenue 4th floor, just across the street from South Station and
opposite the Greyhound Bus terminal.  

At the December meeting, we plan to show a recently-obtained copy of Aung
San Suu Kyi's August 31 video address to the Women's NGO Forum in China.