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BurmaNet News: December 12, 1995 #2

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Subject: BurmaNet News: December 12, 1995 #299

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

The BurmaNet News: December 12, 1995
Issue #299

Noted in Passing:

	It's pointless to make any proposals because they will not be 
	heeded anyway. - Thai Lt-Gen Thanom on the next border 
	committee meeting with Burmese officials (see: BKK POST: 


December 12, 1995

Southeast Asian Information Network
PO Box 217, Chiang Mai University
Chiang Mai, 50202, Thailand

(Note from SAIN: This is a brief preliminary report - a more detailed report 
with further evidence and analysis will be put out soon.)


Eyewitnesses travelling through Burma in the last month from the Southeast
Asian Information Network by land from Moulmein to Ye in the Tenassarim 
Division have reported that resumption of forced labour on the Ye-Tavoy 
Railroad is occurring.  Thousands of people are being forced to labour on 
a new section of the railroad from Ye to Kanbauk.  Villagers from Kaleiung
and Kanbauk in particular are suffering enormous hardship as a deadline is
given for the embankments on either side of the railway to be finished by
December 15th.

Over the last two years reports from human rights groups, embassies, media, and
relief agencies have given details of how forced labour was being used to build
a new section of railroad from Ye to Tavoy.  These reports revealed how 
30-60,000 civilians were being used as corvee labour by the SLORC army.  
Village headmen from villages in the Ye-Tavoy Townships were receiving
orders directly from SLORC commanders to send members of their village for 
work on the railway.  Many people died, were forced to work even though
sick, and no-one, whether  man, woman, child, pregnant, old or sick, was 

The situation in the Ye-Tavoy area is again very serious.  According to reliable
sources in Rangoon, the SLORC were told not to build the railroad along
the route they have taken, that is west of the valley in Ye Township as there
could be problems come rainy season with the earth possibly subsiding.  
The rainy season is now over and indeed the valley has completely subsided 
leaving the railway track suspended with very little support.  So, a new route
is now being used, from Ye to Kanbauk and reports of up to 50,000 people
being forced to work on the railroad are being confirmed by those fleeing
from the area to Thailand.  Two foreign eyewitnesses have also confirmed
that forced labour is being used along the railroad from Moulmein to Ye
and have seen people living in makeshift tents supplied by the SLORC from
the Ye-Kanbauk railway.  The big difference this time is that the majority
of people being forced to work on the  roads and railways at the moment
are children, some as young as 8 years old.  It is harvest time in Burma and
villagers are having to fulfill their increased rice quotas.  Thus men and 
women are fully engaged at work on the harvest.  At the same time, orders
come from the SLORC demanding labour from the villages for work on the
railroad.  The only labour left in most villages is therefore children.

According to a statement issued by Professor Yokota, the SLORC have 
said that they have sent a "secret directive" to regional commanders to
stop forced labour.  As the above information proves, this is either not
true or not being followed.

Other eyewitness accounts state that there is forced labour being used to
repair and widen the highway in Pegu township.  Local sources state that
each household is being ordered to pay 50 kyats per member in the house
every tow weeks for their contribution to the construction of this highway.
The money is not going to those who are being forced to work but towards
the use of steamrollers and machinery for making tar.  The jobs that people
do range from sorting out stones that come from a quarry, carrying the stones 
from one point to another, sifting gravel through bamboo sieves, and mixing
and laying down the tar.  The eyewitnesses state that conditions are very bad,
head and dust being the major factors of hardship, especially for the children.
The quarry is being worked on by prisoners, some of whom are extremely
young, and all are in chains.  Other areas where confirmed reports from 
eyewitnesses exist about the use of forced labour are in Bilin, Thaton
township and periodically on the car road to Moulmein.


The impact of tourism on local communities in Mandalay, Sagaing, and 
Ammapura is now becoming apparent.  Children wait for tour groups to 
arrive in places such as pagodas and other sites of interest.  They follow
tourists around begging for presents and money and at times perform for
the tourists, smiling, holding their hands, etc.  These children are earning
up to 800 kyats a day which is four times what their parents are earning.
According to conversations that members of SAIN had with some parents
and other local sources at these sites, these children are now being sent
to earn money for their families in this way and not going to school.  There
is great concern about the increase of this situation, especially for young 
girls who will, when older, be uneducated and unable to have a chance to
enter what is already a competitive workplace.

The SLORC has now issued a directive that all hotels in Myanmar must
join the recently created Hotel and Tourism Committee.  Hotel managers
are complaining that you have to pay to join, then contribute funds to the
committee for "community projects".  Their attitude is that these "com-
munity projects" do not benefit the community at all but a corrupt State
raking in the money from tourism.


Aung San Suu Kyi has told members of SAIN that the NLD is in the
process of creating a health and education unit that hopes to implement
projects for the people of Burma.  She is approaching UN agencies to
see if assistance can be made available.  She is also asking why NGOs that
wish to work in Burma do not approach the NLD to discuss the possibilities
with them.  This is a very interesting development, and anyone interested in 
pursuing it should contact the NLD in Rangoon.


December 10, 1995
Today some of the people from Tamu (border town) were gather by the local 
SLORC, to show the "Support National Convention".
Every two persons from each family must attended to the public meeting.
If  those person who will not attend to meeting must give 200 Kyats as fine 
ordered by local SLORC.
In Tamu twonship SLORC also tried to make a big rally last 2-day back, but 
people did not go to these rally willingly. Therefore rally program was 
abolished. And now the local SLORC made forced to gathering of public 
meeting on 10/12/95 (6:00 AM.) at Tamu.


December 11, 1995                                    
                                 PROFILE By Subin Kheunkaew
KHUN Sa announced last month he was stepping down as leader of
the Mong Tai Army (MTA) in its fight for independence for the Shan State.

He said he hopes to spend his life simply in Thailand during his
remaining years.

But his notoriety as a "drug kingpin" is unlikely to diminish
while the majority of heroin distributed throughout the world
continues to originate in areas under MTA control.

The MTA under Khun Sa is considered the strongest of the groups
fighting for independence of the Shan State, and he is highly
regarded among his men in terms of ability.

According to Cans Jaiyen, a close associate, the MTA leader
exercises strong self-control and never allows his feelings be
known. Even those very close to him never know what he is
thinking from one moment to the next.

During those times when his territories have come under attack by
Burmese government forces, Mr Cans said Khun Sa has displayed
excellent leadership skills in building confidence and morale
among his troops.

Prior to the attack, a religious ceremony is held during which
monks sprinkle holy water on the soldiers in order to boost their

Khun Sa himself sits besides the monks and shakes hands with each
of the troops and firmly tells them:

     "Mong Tai is in the hands of you all. Please bring it back
and drive the enemies away. We back here will take very good care
of your families."

Even when they are on the battlefield, Khun Sa regularly sends
messages encouraging their efforts and has many times turned out
himself to show they are not alone.

He also ensures his troops never run-short of provisions.
 "He treats everyone equally," said Mr Cans.

When dealing with other people, Khun Sa is modest and polite, but
with his soldiers he is serious _ strong yet composed, and always
exuding self-confidence.

Khun Sa is known as a fighter and an opium king, but he is also a
bookworm. His personal favorites are Chinese literature and
books on military strategy.

And so it is not surprising that when discussing his army and
people, he always uses impressive and profound analogies.
An example of this is when a close aide, Gun Yod, defected
earlier this year along with about 1,000 soldiers. Khun Sa expounded:

"When a tiger is lying down, we only see his tail wave to and
fro. It is only when he stands that we see his stripes. But by
the time we appreciate what his stripes look like, he has already
moved off away from us."

Khun Sa admits he was negligent in this case, but says it was a
good lesson for him.

Gun Yod was among five or six former Burmese student activists
who came to him to explain how much they hated the State Law and
Order Restoration Council.

"I can be like a hen mothering a duckling and should not be
surprised when the duck grows up and flies away. The only thing
the hen can do is stand and watch the duck on the river bank. No
matter how loud she calls, the duck will never return," he said.

The Shan leader also loves reading history books. Two Thai
politicians he admires are Bhichai Rattakul and Chuan Leekpai of
the Democrat Party.

When announcing his decision to step down as MTA leader, Khun Sa
told associates he wanted to spend more time alone cultivating
vegetables and breeding animals.

In response to recent allegations that he is not Shan but
Chinese, he said: "The Thai people are well-educated and understand things. 
I know the ancestors of certain influential politicians in Thailand are
not Thai, but still the Thai people consider these politicians
Thai who love the country." 

He insisted he had worked all his life for the Mong Tai Army and
the independence of the Shan State.
"The Shan people are not educated so they don't understand the
situation and are easily fooled," he said.

He also plans to spend the rest of his time with some 1000 war
veterans in Shan States.

But Col Cham-juen, one of his sons and a commander of an MTA
battalion, disagrees with the plan.  He says Khun Sa has worked for the 
army for almost 40 years only to be subject to accusations concerning 
himself and his family.

Khun Sa was born Chang Si Fu in Hpa-perng village, Doimaw Waed 
Mong Yai Township in China's Lashio Province on February 17,
1943. He was orphaned when only five years old.

He was adopted and care for by his grandfather, Khun Yi Sai, who
taught him to read and write Chinese, cultivate tea bushes and
breed horses and mules

He was also influenced by his uncle, Khun Ja, who fought
alongside the Allies against the Japanese during World War Two
and remained politically active afterwards.

Khun Sa learned to be fighter as part of his dream to bring
independence to Shan State, which has been invaded throughout
history by foreign forces ranging from the Japanese to the
Kuomintang, who were defeated by the Communists in 1949, land the

As a major source of raw opium and heroin, the MTA is the strongest 
the forces in Shan State fighting for independence from SLORC.

The earnings from the illicit trade are spent supporting military
operations and Improving the living conditions and welfare of the
Shan people including the building of temples schools and hospitals.

His decision to step down does not guarantee the supply of drugs
to the world will decrease as this represents the only source of
income for the group.

It also does not mean Khun Sa will relinquish power as he remains
the only person responsible for the group's funding.

But Khun Sa once said it was possible for a government to
successfully suppress the narcotics trade if the parties involved
benefit in return citing the case of Thailand where the
cultivation of opium has virtually been stamped through various
programmes enacted by successive governments.


December 11, 1995 
by Sutin Wannabovorn,  Ho Mong, Burma, Reuters

A MARKET vendor in this jungle town capital of opium warlord Khun
Sa's outlaw kingdom offers visitors fresh sea fish and prawns
which she says have just arrived by truck from Chiang Mai.

Expensive Taiwanese-made over-coats are hanging in showcases
nearby and a wide range of products from Thailand and China are
available at market stalls throughout the town.

Khun Sa is condemned as one of the world's most notorious drug
barons and is officially wanted by police in at least three
countries, including the United States.

But despite his pariah status, he and his guerrilla organisation,
as well as the thousands of civilians living here under his
control, do not appear to be suffering too many deprivations.

"We have everything here. We're linked up to the Internet, we
have a satellite dish. Money talks," a rebel army officer told Reuters.

"Khun Sa spends 200 million baht a month to maintain the army and
this town. He will never let his kingdom die," said the officer
who declined to be identified.

The 61-year-old commander of the powerful Mong Tai Army rebel
force has been branded a drug-trafficking "terrorist" by Burma's
military government. They have vowed to crush his guerrilla army
and put him on trial.

Khun Sa was indicted by a US court on drug-trafficking charges in
1990 and Thai authorities say he would immediately be arrested if
he were ever to foot on Thai soil.

Last year, responding to complaints from Rangoon that Khun Sa was
benefiting from cross-border smuggling, Thai authorities said
they were sealing the frontier with his areas in northeastern
Burma's Shan State.

Some Thai officers said Khun Sa was like a cornered dog as
Burmese forces closed in on his heartland from the west and
Thailand sealed the frontier to choke off his black-market
supply lines to the east.

But any hardship the blockade had was shortlived and this valley
town 30 km from the border with Thailand is now seeing a building boom.

There were abundant supplies of cement and other building
materials for a castle-like house now under construction, said to
be for Khun Sa's teenaged wife.

Among the dozens of new buildings going up is a 40-room hotel and
the town's electricity supply is better than that in many parts
of government-controlled Burma.

"The border closure just means we have to pay a little bit more,"
one shopowner told Reuters.

While a steady flow of consumer and construction goods cross into
Khun Sa's zone from Thailand and other parts of Burma, timber is
once again flowing the other way.

A close aide to Khun Sa who declined to be identified said the
logging business resumed three months ago when a Thai company
came in to fell trees in Khlong Luang District, near the Salween River.
A large quantity of logs has been transported out of the area
since then and hundreds of logs were seen piled up at a Khun Sa
outpost waiting to be transported to Thailand. "Logging companies
pay 2,500 baht for every truck that passes through this area,"
said an MTA officer.

Villagers living on the border told Reuters that at least 10 trucks loaded
with logs have crossed the border into Thailand every night since October 15. 
The logs were transported only at night, they said.
Burma's military government revoked logging deals with Thai
companies in 1993 and it was not clear if the current logging
going on here was with Rangoon's blessing or not. Meanwhile 
Khun Sa, who recently said he had retired as leader of his Shan 
political and military organisation, said in an interview he felt safe
living in his capital.

His home is under constant heavy guard and an elite security unit
bristling with weapons accompanies him everywhere he goes.


December 11, 1995 (abridged) By Vichit Sirithaveeporn

Thailand believes Asean can help strengthen cooperation 
between East Asia and Europe. Foreign Minister Kasem S. 
Kasemsri told Sir Leon Brittan, Vice President of the 
European Commission in charge of external relations, that 
Asean could play a coordinating role between the two regions.

Kobsak Chutikul, director general of the Economic Affairs 
Department of the Foreign Ministry, quoted M.R. Kasem as 
saying Asean not only can play a coordinating role between 
East Asia and Europe, but it was also playing an increasing 
role in the Asia Pacific Economic cooperation forum which 
links Asia and North America.

He said Burma was also raised for discussion yesterday. Sir 
Leon told M.R. Kasem that the EU doubted whether the Burmese 
government was ready to accept foreign investors.

"M.R.Kasem S. confirmed that Burma has improved its internal 
law in light of foreign direct investment, and next year was 
designated Visit Myanmar Year, which should open the country 
to more investment," Mr Kobsak said.


RANGOON  December 9, 1995

FOREIGN Minister Kasem S Kasemsri while suggesting that 
Burma should be given positive suggestions on how to achieve 
national reconciliation, denied that Thailand would use the 
Fifth Asean Summit to improve relations with its northern neighbour.

In an interview with The Nation, Kasem said the latest row 
between Burma's rulers and opposition leader Aunt San Suu 
Kyi has caused growing concern among the international community.

"But mere concern will not help the country find its way out 
(of internal strife)," the foreign minister said.

The State law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) last 
week disqualified Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy 
from the National Convention to draft a constitution - a 
move which has been frequently delayed since 1991 - 
following the party's description of the proceeding as 
"undemocratic." This was considered to be the first 
confrontation between the two sides since Suu Kyi's release 
in July.

Burmese Prime Minister Gen Than Shwe and will be attending 
the first meeting of leaders from the seven Asean nations 
and Laos, Cambodia and Burma on Dec 15, the day after the 
Asean summit.

It remained unclear whether Asean would take this 
opportunity to discuss the situation with Gen Than Shwe: 
However, the leaders will discuss the region's current 
political and economic situation, and Asean cooperation and 
assistance to Laos, Cambodia and Burma to ease the three 
countries' integration into the grouping.

Malaysian delegates at the Asean meeting in Bangkok said 
yesterday that it was unlikely that the leaders would raise 
this matter with Burma.

Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Suvidya Simasakul also the 
Burmese issue was not part of the agenda for the 10 leaders' meeting.

During preparatory meetings for the summit, however, Asean 
resolved the event should generate guidelines prospective 
members must follow before they are allowed to join the grouping.

Australian Foreign Minister Gareth Evans warned Asean 
against rushing to welcome Burma into its fold, given the 
country's still-precarious political climate. He said the 
grouping has clout several other communities lacked.

"Burma wants respectability from (joining) Asean," he said, 
during his meeting with Kasem here last week.

Evans said the international community should not deviate 
from its call for universal human rights, but admitted some 
pragmatism would be necessary when trying to bring Burma 
into the world community.

The two foreign ministers held opposite opinions about 
Burma's political development since the 28th Asean Ministerial 
Meeting after Slorc released Suu Kyi from house arrest.

Evans said the would community should put more pressure on 
Burma for political reform and improvement of human rights, 
but Kasem responded by pointing out that improvements to 
situation in the country would be triggered from the inside 
rather than by global pressure or constructive engagement with Asean.

Kasem visited Rangoon last month to see whether Prime 
Minister Banharn  Silapa-archa could visit Burma before the 
summit to improve the deteriorating bilateral relations, but 
lingering tension over bilateral issues has apparently 
killed all possibility of such a visit. (TN)


December 5, 1995
>From mbeer@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

The following excerpts from 4 articles provide a background on Michael
Dobbs-Higgenson about whom there was a question recently on the burmanet.
He is a greedy apologist for the SLORC regime.  He currently serves as a
consultant for the Indosuez Bank (an early entrant into Burma). If a
substantial link can be made to him and Phoenix Pictures, a boycott maybe
in order. 

November 29, 1995

THE small investor should have something like 30 per cent of his money in
cash in today's fast-moving, speculative financial environment, says Michael
Dobbs-Higginson, former chairman of Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific.
Mr Dobbs-Higginson does not speak from a narrow perspective, for he has seen
more of the world -and from more angles -than most other people.
The businessman, author and former Buddhist lay monk spent his youth studying
in Dublin, Germany and London.
	He later took up an offer to live in a Tibetan monastery, went on to build an
office block in Tokyo, became an investment banker with Credit Suisse, advised
the Liberian government on how to manage its money and eventually joined Merrill
Lynch. After leaving Merrill in 1990, he wrote the book, Asia Pacific: Its Role
in the New World Disorder.
   The world is a rapidly changing place. And the pace and degree of change will
accelerate between now and the turn of the century, he says.
   Asians have the strength to deal with such difficult circumstances, Mr
Dobbs-Higginson believes. As he points out: Asia has strong Confucian ethics,
most Asians are prepared for a tough life and they understand the importance of

September 25, 1995 Rangoon

   Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's calls for a quick transition to
democratic rule appear to be striking an increasingly responsive chord among
Rangoon residents, analysts said Monday.  Audiences at her informal weekend
speeches outside her home have increased from an average of about 700 to about
3,000 in the past few weeks. .....................Suu Kyi described two articles published
recently in the government-run New Light of Myanmar newspaper as ''biased,
acrimonious reading matter.'' One of the articles made a subtle comparison
between Suu Kyi, who is the daughter of Burmese independence hero Aung San, and
Maung Ba Than, who posed as a Burmese prince in order to help British
colonialists take control of the country in 1885.  The other article, written by
M.S. DOBBS HIGGINSON, described as a former chairman of the Asia-Pacific
division of the U.S.-based Merrill Lynch Company, ran in five installments in
the New Light of Myanmar.  The article praised the military junta that seized
control of Burma in a coup in 1992 for ''gradually bringing about order and
economic progress with comparatively little of the wholesale repressive, brutal
and corrupt practices of other regimes elsewhere in the world.''

October 9, 1994

    ASIAN investors are being courted to put their money into Hollywood
blockbusters through a fund launched last week.
The US$ 75 million (HK$ 579 million) Phoenix Pictures Investors, based in
the British Virgin Islands, is a private placement fund which will contribute
money to start a major film production company in Los Angeles.
    A likely rival to established names such as Orion, TriStar, Disney and
Colombia, the fund - part of the new Phoenix Pictures - has already attracted
significant interest from institutional and corporate investors in the region.  

    According to Niles Helmboldt, chairman of the fund's management committee,
the initial response has been favourable; the company was quietly introduced to
potential investors in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore last week by former
Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific chairman, Michael Dobbs-Higginson.
About 50 high-net-worth individuals from Hong Kong gathered in the China
Club last week to hear Mr Dobbs-Higginson's sales pitch.

The minimum purchase of US$ 500,000, equal to one share, helps fund the
making of between 35 and 40 feature films over a five-year period.

    The two main Hollywood chiefs behind Phoenix Pictures are Mike Medavoy,
former production head at Orion Pictures and chairman at TriStar, and Peter
Hoffman, previously president and chief executive officer of Carolco Pictures.
Nomura Securities is co-lead manager of the fund, and the financial house's
Zurich brand will act as custodian bank/  Pheonix just incorporated last week.

Name:  Phoenix Pictures Inc.

Type of Corporation:  Statement and Designation by Foreign Corporation
Corporate Status:  Active
Date of Incorporation/Qualification:  11/21/1995

Mailing Address:  Gipson Hoffman
                  1901 Avenue Of The Stars Ste. 1100
                  Los Angeles, Ca 90067

Registered Agent:  Lawrence Bernstein
Registered Office:  10125 W. Washington Blvd
                    Los Angeles, Ca 90232

Tax-Basis:  Stock
State Of Incorporation:  De
Corporate Number:  1899182

To Order Or File Corp Documents Or For Registered Agent Serv. Call 800-634-9738

December 8, 1995

OFF and on for almost three years. Myanmar's ruling Slorc 
has been drafting a constitution-its idea of a constitution. 
When the generals opened the much-delayed fifth session of a 
constitutional convention on Nov 28, Aunt San Suu Kyi 
announced that the 81 delegates from her NLD would boycott 
the meeting until the junta agreed to talk to them about 
real political reform. Slorc said the boycott didn't much matter. 
Suu Kyi, the country's leading dissident, is besting they're wrong.

"We are not trying to destroy the National Convention," Suu 
Kyi said at a press conference  outside her home in the 
capital, Rangoon. "We are trying to make it one that will be 
acceptable to the people of Burma and to the international 
community." Suu Kyi and the NLD have criticized the 
convention as undemocratic and aimed at legitimizing the 
position of the military, which snatched back power in 1988. 
"Decision are laid down before an issue has been discussed," 
Suu Kyi said, and  some of the proposed principles are "not 
consonant with a truly democratic state." Only 15% of the 
more than 700 delegates which Slorc organized and then ignored.

The military claimed that the NLD's move was aimed at 
prompting its own interests. An editorial in the government 
run New Light of Myanmar attacked the NLD demands for a 
dialogue about national reconciliation as an attempt "to mar 
the ongoing works of the convention and successes achieved." 
The junta has intimated it will hand power over to a 
civilian government once a constitution has been drawn up. 
But the military insists on maintaining a leading role. The 
constitution so far calls for a multi-party system with a 
bicameral legislature. A quarter of the representatives in 
each house will be military officers.

In this session, delegates are supposed to discuss the 
legislature, executive and judiciary of a new democratic 
Myanmar. Suu Kyi no doubt has plenty to say about the 
separation of powers in government. But she won't say it, 
since the generals won't listen (AW)

December 10, 1995

A 300-strong force is hunting armed pro-Rangoon Karen 
renegades who crossed from Burma and clashed with police on 
Friday. The police, paramilitary rangers and volunteers were 
concentrating on the border area at Tha Song Yang in the 
search for the 50-strong band.

At least two of the intruders of the Democratic Kayin 
Buddhist Army were shot and believed killed in the clash at 
Ban Mae La when they tried to hijack a long-tailed boat to 
pick up 50 of their comrades from the Burmese side. Boatman 
Art Jaimote, 28, jumped into the water and swam to the Thai 
bank during the clash, in which the vessel was hit and capsized. 

The combined force, with V-150 personnel carriers, was sent 
into the border area yesterday morning after villagers 
reported seeing 20 DKBA troops trying to force a boatman to 
ferry them across the Moei to Burma. The incident was 
reported in Ban Poo Soeng, 30km west of Ban Mae La.

Military sources said the renegades, who broke from the 
anti-Rangoon Karen National Union this year, had crossed 
over to attack a Karen refugee camp. Refugee camps were 
attacked and key members of the KNU abducted this year by 
the renegades after they sided with the Rangoon junta.

The renegades might have changed their attack plan after 
they clashed with police, the sources said. A dozen villages 
along the border have been armed and placed on 24-hour 
alert. (BP)


CHIEF    December 10, 1995

Foreign activists can stage protests during the Asean Summit 
so long as they do not break the law, a top policeman said 
yesterday. Special Branch Bureau commissioner Veera 
Visuthakul warned that rallies must not ruin Thailand's good 
relations with the countries they are targeted against.

He said a number of Indonesians, with support from certain 
non-governmental organisations, may protest in front of the 
UN building against their government on the human rights 
situation in East Timor.

And Burmese students may rally to call for the abolition of 
Burma's draft constitution. Pol Lt Gen Veera said the Police 
Department considered the protests by the Indonesian and 
Burmese activists were about internal affairs in their countries 
and therefore Thailand, as a democratic country, would not prohibit 
them for exercising their basic human rights.

A rally by 47 Thai fisheries associations against Malaysia 
over fishing disputes should also be staged in a peaceful 
way, he said. Pol Lt Gen Veera warned that legal action 
would be taken against protesters who failed to maintain 
peace and order during their rallies. (BP)


December 9, 1995

Burmese officials can do all the talking at the next 
Regional Border Committee meeting, the Third Army Commander said 
yesterday. Representatives of Rangoon never responded to 
proposals at past meetings so there was little point doing 
anything but listen, said Lt-Gen Thanom Wacharaput.

"I suggested to Deputy Army Commander Gen Chettha Thanajaro 
we should not make any proposals and just listen to what 
they say," he said. "It's pointless to make any proposals 
because they will not be heeded anyway," said Lt-Gen Thanom, 
who co-chairs the committee, due to meet in Rangoon on Dec 
26-29.Among issues not to be discussed is the stalled 
construction of the Thai-Burmese friendship bridge. The 
issue would be left for the border demarcation committee, he said. 

Lt-Gen Thanom said Thailand did not support minority groups 
in Burma but helped refugees on a humanitarian but temporary 
basis. The commander also dismissed reports Khun Sa had 
stepped down as leader of the Shan liberation movement. (BP)


December 9, 1995  By Bhanravee Tansubhapol (slightly abridged)

Asean and its three potential members Burma, Cambodia and 
Laos_ will for the first time seek ways to work together to 
improve the quality of life through education. Burma, which 
has been strongly criticised for human rights violations, 
has agreed to give more importance to this issue, according 
to Sukhum Rasmidatta, director-general of the Asean 
Department at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

"Burma has expressed enthusiasm to join talks on personnel 
development with other Asean members, plus Laos and 
Cambodia," he said. Leaders from Brunei, Indonesia, 
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and 
the three potential members will meet for two hours on 
December 15 without an open agenda.

Regional integration is likely to be raised at the session, 
the first of its kind in the history of Asean. Before the 
summit of all 10 countries, the seven Asean leaders are to 
officially announce that the group will give more importance 
to social issues through its five working committees 
covering science and technology, culture and information, 
social development, environment, and drugs and narcotics control.

"Asean shall elevate social affairs to a higher plane to 
bring shared prosperity to all its members," the leaders' 
draft declaration states. These issues, especially the health of youths 
and women, will be given first priority.  Other issues include public health, 
food, labour, education and HIV/AIDS.


December 10, 1995 (abridged)

A Nobel Peace prize laureate is being accused by the military
 government in her own country of being a ' traitor', out to "incite"
 people and disrrupt the process of making a new constitution.
In Myanmar, formerly Burma, this is the irony.

[T]he State controlled media has launched a tirade against the NLD and 
Ms. Suu Kyi without naming them. A strong warning was issued by the 
authorities that disruptionist tactics would be countered and crushed.

In a not-too-subtle comparison, " The New Light of Myanmar " 
one of the ths state-run English dailies, spoke of a 19th century "traitor" called
 Maung Ba Than who is supposed to have helped the British. "True young patriots
 are well aware of all our activities and they will hold hands with people and 
annihilate anyone who makes the country unstable", the newspaper said in an
 article. "If you really have a true desire to do so as you directed by the 

Ms. Suu Kyi, known of patience, seems to be tiring too. She has
 spoken out at last both against the undemocratic approach of  the junta and 
The National Convention, as also the clear messages that are coming out ot her
 party, the NLD. It is now clear that both sides are bracing themselves for 
another protracted struggle.

The military rulers have hinted at what they have in mind_ dubbing her a traitor, 
castigating her for trying to incite people and pleding to continue with the task 
set by the Slorc to complete the constitution and hold an election according to the 
new gameplan.

If Ms. Suu Kyi decided to step out again and begin a campaign for
the restoration of democracy, she could again find herself in house arrest. 
Knowing her hold on the people , the malitary rulers may not give her too
much time if she jumps into the political arena to mobilise the people.

On her part, the Noble-laureate is keen on keeping the struggle
 non-violent and forcing the generals, at some stage, to see reality and give up
 power. The stalemate has come about at a critical time in Myanmar's 
development. Next week's fifth summit of ASEAN leaders has invited the
 prime minister of Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos to attend their meeting in
 Bangkok and share with them their vesion of new South East Asia. 

Any struggle or showdown at this juncture will be an embarrassment
 for the military junta. It will also make things difficult for the ASEAN countries
 to close their eyes to the struggle for democracy in Myanmar and continue to do
 business with the generals as though everything is fine in Yangon.

V. Jayanth ( Singapore )

December 11, 1995

BURMA in the Ashfield Uniting Church, and Hon.
Justice Marcus Einfeld will be participating.

180 Liverpool Road, Ashfield, Sydney, on Thursday,
14 December, 1995 at 7.00 p.m.

All are most welcome to come and participate.

For further details, please ring Maisie Warburton,
International Coordinator, Australia Burma Council,
(02) 7993786 (home);    (02) 569 2444 (work)


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