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Suu Kyi pledges to fight


RANGOON, Sunday: Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has vowed to
continue her struggle for a popular political system in military-ruled
Burma, rejecting government suggestions she has been inciting the people to
take to the streets.

Ms Suu Kyi, speaking to a crowed of 3000 outside her Rangoon home yesterday,
said if anyone would suffer in the fight for democracy in Burma it would be
her, not the ordinary people. 

Last week, ms Suu Kyi pulled her National League for Democracy out of a
government-organised convention drawing up the guidelines of a new constitution.

The NLD's boycott was the pro-democracy party's most significant act of
defiance since Ms Suu Kyi was released from six years of house arrest in July.

(The Canberra Times, 4.12.95, p 8).



BANGKOK, Sunday: Thailand has bluntly rejected a plea by the Australian
Foreign Minister, Senator Gareth Evans, for countires in the Association of
South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to slow their rapidly expanding ties with
the military regime in Burma.

The Thai Foreign minister, Mr Kasem Kasemsri, told Senator Evans: "We are
here, we have to deal with our nighbours and we will not change in order to
please anyone."

mr kasem said Thailan - which shares a troubled border with Burma - and the
other members of ASEAN had no right to interfere with the internal affairs
of other States.

In a meeting with Mr kasem on Friday, Senator Evans appealed for continued
restrictions on regional economic and political links with Rangoon while the
regime there continued to refuse to open a dialogue with the Burmese
democracy leader, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi.

he also said that australian companies should avoid trade and investment in
Burma until there was evidence of reform.

Thailand and other regional nations are leading an investment push that has
been about $4 billion in new deals signed with the Burmese regime in the
past two years.

The head of the Burmese regime, General Than Shwe, has been invited to
attend the ASEAN leaders' summit in Bangkok late next week, and preparations
are being made for Burma to become a full member of the regional alliance.

About 30 australian companies are believed to be involved in mostly
small-scale investments in Burma, and Australian investment in the country
totals about $40 million. A number of big companies, including BHP,
Transfield and CRA, have been exploring new investment opportunities.

Senator Evans said the Australian Government's policy continued to be to
neither encourage nor discourage private business dealings with Burma, but
he appeared to question the integrity of companies dealing with the regime.

(The SMH, 4.12.95, p 11).