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BurmaNet News January 2, 1996 #312

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

The BurmaNet News: January 2, 1996
Issue #312

Noted in Passing:
		Burma had a middle class in 1948, 1958 and 1962. The
		fact that we presently don't have a middle class is because 
		of the Burma Army's meddling in politics. - Myint Thein


December 29, 1995                    Ta Song Yang, Tak

AN eight-year-old girl was killed and a man was kidnapped when a
border village was attacked by some 30 gunmen of the Democratic
Karen Buddhist Army on Wednesday night.

Suda Panyasupatho ran out of her house and was shot in the neck.
She died instantly.

Her father, Suphor Panyasupatho, 53, was shot in the shoulder. He
was taken to Mae Sot hospital.

About 1,000 residents from three villages nearby threatened to
leave their houses to seek temporary shelter in the Tha Song Yang
district office compound.

A district official said at least 30 DKBA gunmen crossed the
border into Thailand at about 8.30 p.m. on Wednesday and
plundered Tee Nor Koh Village, Tambon Mae U Su, at Kilometre 95
on Tha Song Yang-Mae Sa Rieng Road.

Preecha, Suda's elder brother, was held hostage by the group
after they took gold ornaments weighing 12 baht, cash and other
valuables worth over 100,000 baht from three houses before
returning to Burma.

A Border Patrol Police officer said the incident, which lasted
for about half an hour, took place two kilometres from the border
and only one kilometre from a police checkpoint.

Boonping Klinhom, 40, the in Tambon Mae U Su, yesterday morning
petitioned the Tha Song Yang District Officer.

Mr Boonping said about 1,000 residents from Villages 3,4 and 5
will move to the district office until measures are taken to
ensure security of life and property.

The Assistant District Chief of Tha Song Yang, Sompong Ditcharoen, 
yesterday went to inspect the scene of Wednesday's attack.

He assigned a Burmese speaking interpreter to negotiate with DKBA
leaders for the release of Mr Preecha.

Earlier on Tuesday, the nearby Sho Klo camp which houses 9,405
Karen refugees was attacked by a group of armed men from the
DKBA. Two people were injured.

Karens in the camp said Burmese soldiers have stopped providing
consumer goods to members of the DKBA during the past few months,
prompting them to resort to crossing the border into Thailand on looting forays.

On Monday at least 10 people armed with AK47s, carbines and
pistols reportedly crossed the border and plundered a shop owned
by Manit Chaisikham at Wang Ta Khian Village in Tambon Tha Sai
Luad, Mae Sot.

Mr Manit was said to have been hit in the head by carbine and
shotgun bullets.

He was robbed of his ID card, 7,000 baht and 8,000 kyats in cash,
a crate of whisky and five hens.


December 29, 1995               from lurie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

All the readers on the net,

We received this request letter, which was written in Burmese
text and undersigned by 23 senior politicians, from inside Burma.
I hereby enclosed with the direct translation from Burmese text
to English. And it is our responsibility if there are any
mistranslation in the Burmese to English translation.

Foreign Affairs
ABSDF (88 camps)

Date: December 29, 1995


    A Request to Slorc and NLD led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to open a
                dialogue for the national reconciliation

1. We, the undersigned veteran politicians who had contributed in
the successive stages of the struggle for Burma independence,
hereby jointly  request the Slorc and the NLD led by Daw Aung San
Suu kyi, with sincerity and goodwill, to hold a dialogue for the
sake of the people and the country. 

2. We believe that Burma gained her independence because people
of Burma, monks, political parties and Tatmadaw collectively had
endeavored their best, with solidarity and cooperation, in the
period of the independence struggle. Not only to safeguard her
independence but also to construct a peaceful, democratic and
developed country, all the people of Burma must attempt with
solidarity for the cause. 

3. The present day is the most relevant time for establishing
national solidarity in Burma.

4. In order to establish the national solidarity, the first
requirement that we should implement is national reconciliation.
In the present world history, there are many numerous examples of
solving longstanding national and regional conflicts through

5. We sincerely believe that the only way to achieve "National
reconciliation," the first ever most inspiration of entire people
of Burma in accordance with the current situation in Burma and
international community as well, is dialogue between the Slorc
and the NLD led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Therefore we would like
to request the Slorc and the NLD led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to
immediately hold the dialogue. 

Signed by:

1. Bo Hmu Aung                17. Bo Sein Aung Lin
2. Tha Khin Chit              18. U Ba Tun             
3. Tha Khin Thein pe          19. Dr. Maung Maung Kyaw      
4. Bo Aung Naing              20. U Ye Myint 
5. Bo Thar Htun               21. U Thar Ban
6. Bo Tin Hla Oo              22. U Myint Aye
7. U Aung Myint               23. Bo Nyo
8. U Nyunt Thein
9. Nai Ngwe Thein
10. U Min Lwin
11. U Tin Tun
12. Tha Khin Chit Maung
13. Tha Khin Khin Aung
14. Tha Khin Lwin
15. U Than Sein
16. Bo San Thar Kyaw
 Date: Friday November 24, 1995


NEGOTIATIONS    December 30, 1995     Reuter    (abridged)

A GROUP of veteran Burmese politicians has issued a rare public
statement calling for dialogue between the ruling military junta
and democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

A copy of the statement by the 23 politicians, including former
colleagues of Suu Kyi's father, Burma's national hero Gen Aung
San, was smuggled out of Burma and distributed by Thai-based
dissidents yesterday.

Heading the list of the veteran politicians who issued the
statement was Bohmu Aung, a member of the Thirty Comrades, young
nationalists smuggle out of then-British-ruled Burma in the 1940s
and trained in Japanese-occupied China to fight for Burma's independence.

The Comrades included Aung San, who negotiated independence from
Britain in the aftermath of World War 11. All 30 Comrades are
modern Burma's national heroes.

Also on the list of politicians signing the statement were
veteran nationalist members of Burma's pre-independence army,
various trade union leaders and leftist politicians prominent
during Burma's brief period of democracy in the 1950s.


December 31, 1995

The following information has just been reported from KNU 2nd Brigade area
in Taungoo District, northern Karen State.

On 26/12/95, Battalion Commander Khin Maung Win of SLORC #55 Infantry 
Battalion called a meeting in Klaw Muh Der village.  At the meeting he
gave orders to the villagers that all the villages listed below must
relocate to Klaw Muh Der by 30/12/95 at the latest.  He said that all
people who do not move will be considered as enemy insurgents and treated
as such [i.e. killed on sight].  The following villages are subject to the order:

Dta Pa Kee
Mwee Loh
Plaw Baw Der
Kho Poh Loh
Kheh Der
Ler Kla Der
Hu Muh Der

On 27/12/95 Strategic Commander Myo Hla of Strategic Command #1 and 
Intelligence Officer Tin Myo gave orders for villages around Kler Lah
to send over 500 porters.  These porters are to gather at Kler Lah by
27/12/95 at the latest, or their villages will face action.  The following
list gives the number of porters demanded from each village:

Kler Lah village          190 porters
Gkaw Thay Der village     100
Pah Thaw Der village       70
Gkaw Soh Koh village       60
Deh Doh village            30
Ler Ko village             10
Wah Tho Po village         10
Maw Pah Der village        20
Nya Plaw Der village       20
Maw Ko Der village         20

TOTAL                     530 porters

They also ordered 1 private truck to be provided from Kler Lah village and 
another from Ler Ko village.  They also placed severe restrictions on
movement of anyone in all of these areas. Anyone found moving between
villages faces arrest, torture, conscription as a porter or summary execution.

On 26/12/95 Strategic Commander Myo Hla of Strategic Command #1 ordered
all villagers in Gkaw Thay Der and Kler Lah villages who own vehicles
which travel to Taungoo to come and remain in Kler Lah by the end of
December at the latest. He said they will no longer be given permission
to go to Taungoo. They will only be allowed to travel between Kler Lah
and Si Kheh Der areas using the Naw Soh road. No other roads may be used.
The apparent purpose of this order is to make all private vehicles readily
available to be commandeered by SLORC forces in the Kler Lah area.

All of these events are signs of an imminent SLORC military offensive in
the Taungoo District area.  For several months now, SLORC forces in the
area have been on a systematic campaign of destroying villages and burning
crops and food supplies in the area in an effort to cut off civilian support
of the KNU. Now SLORC clearly plans an offensive to try to gain complete 
military control of the region. Villagers are in a desperate situation, as
SLORC has blocked the escape route from the area to the Thai border. Many
of their homes and food supplies have already been destroyed by SLORC, and
now they face conscription as porters for a major offensive and forced
relocation to SLORC labour camps while SLORC declares their home villages
to be free-fire zones. Should SLORC succeed in gaining stronger control of
the area, the majority of villagers will be herded into forced labour camps
indefinitely.  It should be noted that all of these events are happening 
at a time when SLORC claims to be sincerely seeking peace with the KNU,
and when SLORC Secretary-1 Khin Nyunt has told UN Special Rapporteur Yozo
Yokota that he has supposedly issued a "secret directive" to stop all use of forced labour.


TO INDIA    December 29, 1995


More importance has been attached to the prize to Suu Kyi than bilateral
relations An interview with the ambassador of Myanmar to India, U Win

- For years, Indo-Myanmar relations were virtually frozen. There has
been a thaw in the last couple of years. What led to this? - When I
presented my credentials to President R. Venkataraman in January 1992,
he spoke of democracy, human rights and transfer of power in Myanmar.
But after sometime, I could notice the Indian side not using the words
transfer of power or human rights. 

I feel this was because the Indian leadership understood what was going
on in Myanmar. In fact, our leadership has tried to have better
relations with all neighbours, including India. 

- What is the state of bilateral ties today? Are they strained because
of the Nehru Award given to Aung San Suu Kyi? - Should I use the word
strained? Actually it is not strained. There is a slight turbulence. 

- Is it because of the Award? - There are two things. Giving the award
is one factor and having a big ceremony for it is another. According to
our rules and regulations regarding receiving of awards from foreign
governments and institutions, the person concerned has to take prior
perm ission to the Myanmar government. Similarly, the institution giving
the award also has to take the permission of the Myanmar government for
doing so. 

- What about the Nobel Prize? - It was the same. No one took permission. 

- Did your government lodge a protest when the Nehru Award was given? -
We said nothing when the award was announced. But when the ceremony was
announced, we show our displeasure. 

- Has this turbulence affected cooperation in checking insurgency and
drug trafficking along India's North-Eastern border? - For the time
being I do not if this cooperation has been affected. Official level
meetings are taking place. There will be another meeting soon. 

- What can be done to improve ties? - There are certain basic things. We
do not wish to do anything that will cause any embarrassment to the
Indian Government. For instance, we have never expressed our opinion on
anything that may be your internal matter. Did you ever hear anything
from us about Ayodhya? That's Myanmar's way to behaving with other
countries. We do not interfere in the internal affairs of anyone and we
feel that our neighbour should do the same. In the days of Jaraharlal
Nehru and Indira Gandhi, when U Nu and Gen Ne Win were
 in power, the relations were fine. I am supersede how they have
changed. I wish I knew who changed the policy towards Myanmar and what
were the reasons for it. Are we not behaving well? Have we done anything
objectionable to India? All governments in Mya nmar have been sincere. I
would say India has changed, but our policy has not. 

- Are things likely to improve soon? - There are many factors, including
India's sincerity. Our people feel they have been sincere. They expect
reciprocity from India. 

- Why did things go wrong? - I should not point my finger at anyone. I
feel both governments would try their best to improve relations. I hope
there will be no more turbulence in future as it has happened this time.
Tell me, how would you feel if we gave a similar prize to someone who is
doing something against India and shouting about democracy and human
rights. If a far-flung country gives such an award or commits an act, it
is something. But if it is done by a brother neighbour, it is different.
It's tragic that more importance has been attached to the prize than
relations between the two countries. 

- But Suu Kyi has complained that India is collaborating with Myanmar
and not doing enough for democracy in her country. - Let me ask you
something. What is the Indain Government collaborating with the Myanmar
Government on? It is the Myanmar Government which is collaborating with
your government to counter the problem in the North-East. At the same
time you gave a prize to
 Suu Kyi. By the way, who put pressure to gave the award to Suu Kyi? Do
you think your government gave it on its own or was it under pressure
from somebody or some country? 

- You mean there was pressure from the West? - I do not know. You have
lots of lobbies and NGOs, within and without India. Many things are
orchestrated in the media and else where against Myanmar. Some NGOs
receive funds from the west. 

- Suu Kyi says the national convention drafting the constitution has no
credibility since it lacks elected members. - The national convention
does not need to have all MPs as long as it has representatives from all
sections of the society, including all political parties. The national
convention is not a show for a single political party. The convention is
to draw up a framework for a future modern state. 

- Suu Kyi's party was elected to power, but it was not transferred to
her. Why? - Things are now different from 1990. We are going into 1996.
In all countries elections are held every four years because people
change their minds. So she cannot go by the 1990 polls. 

- She has said the military is trying to gain a permanent role through
the proposed constitution. - She has been giving different excuses.
Sometimes she speaks of democracy, then of power not being handed over
to her. If she did not agree with the national convention, why were her
representative sitting in it for the last two years? Why withdraw now? 
 It was done by Suu Kyi on her own. There is no democracy in her party. 

- India has been home to dissidents from Myanmar. Any comments?
- There are many joint communiques between India and Myanmar which speak 
of not allowing one's territory to be used against the other. But since the late 80s, 
India claims it has allowed these people to come here on humanitarian grounds. 
India and Myanmar are like brothers. If India wants democracy, it should help 
our government in bringing a democracy with values. Myanmar does not need 
relations have to be viewed in wider perspective, which the Indian leadership is 
now doing.


December 28, 1995

Editor's Note: This article was listed in the headings of BurmaNet News #303,
but the article did not appear.  Here it is in full.

Hi all!  The following is a special report that was aired on Sunday on CBC
Radio (Canada's national radio station)..thought it would be good to share
it with everyone.  Happy New Year in advance from all of us here, let's hope
1996 brings change to Burma. - Christine

(National Office)			tel: 613 237-8056
145 Spruce Street, Suite 206		fax: 613 563-0017
Ottawa, Ontario  K1R 6P1		email: cfob@xxxxxxxxxxx

Report aired on Dec. 17, 1995 on CBC's "Sunday Morning Report"
by Dick Gordon in Rangoon.

  At the ancient shrine of Rangoon's Buddhists, amid the silver
towers and golden steeples of the Shwedagon Pagoda, pilgrims from
across this land come to pray.  Local astrologers guide the
people to different statues.  The white marble Buddhas draped in
petals of purple orchids, washed with the holy water from the
apprentice priests.  For nearly 2000 years, the people have come
here in search of serenity and peace.
  Now there is another place where the people are gathering for
sustenance of another sort.  The sidewalks outside of 54
University Drive.  Every Saturday and Sunday afternoon people
come by the thousands.  They spread newspaper to sit on the hot
pavement and settle in.
  Vendors step lightly through the crowd selling lime slices on
sticks sprinkled with red pepper.  It's a time to smoke and talk.
  Everybody here calls this place by the same name, not 54
University Drive.  Certainly not Aung San Suu Kyi's home.  The
mere mention of her name's been enough to get people arrested.
Instead they come to The Lady's House.  We're going to The Lady's
House, they say, or I'll meet you at The Lady's House.
  Anticipation is in the air.  Everyone's watching the high-
painted metal gate.  It's at this point a man in the crowd edges
himself close enough to whisper something.

  UNIDENTIFIED: I'll meet you in front of the....

  GORDON: Meet me in front of the Strand Hotel, he says.  It's a
big downtown hotel where foreigners on street corners don't
attract a lot of attention.  He leans and speaks looking in
another direction.

  UNIDENTIFIED: Meet me in front of the Strand Hotel.

  GORDON: And you'll see me?

  UNIDENTIFIED: I'll see you, I'll meet you there.


  GORDON: Then the man turns back to the metal gate and joins in
the clapping as The Lady, Aung San Suu Kyi, steps into view.

  Suu Kyi looks out at the people who have gathered.

  Aung San Suu Kyi: (speaking in Burmese)....

  GORDON: After joking with the crowd she starts reading from a
sheet of paper in her hand, letters, she says, that people send her.

  AUNG SAN SUU KYI: (Speaking in Burmese)...

  (then talking with Gordon)
  One of the letters that I read out was from somebody in a
Sasalak (?) township saying that the price of rice water...do you
know what rice water is?

GORDON: No, I don't

  SUU KYI:  It's...well, there are two ways of cooking rice.
The healthy way really is to cook it so it absorbs all the water,
but I'm afraid a lot of Burmese people still cook it in the
unhealthy way, which is to boil it in a lot of water and then
pour out the water.  Now that water which is poured out is called
rice water.  In some very extravagant households they will just
throw that water away, but in most sensible householders they
drink that water as well.
  Now apparently in the Sasalak township of (inaudible), they
have been selling this water, what you call rice water, for those
who can't afford to ear rice.  Now, when I was first told about
it, about a month ago, the price of each bottle of rice water, I
suppose it's about a pint bottle, was two kyats.  Then this
letter came off to me, saying one bottle of rice water costs
three kyats.  And then somebody in the crowd said no no it's five
kyats now.  So, how's that for inflation.  Inflation is
absolutely terrible.  People in Burma, people from a country
which used to be the world's biggest exporter of rice, if people
in Burma, and not people very far from the capital, are having to
live on rice water, and the price of rice water has gone up from
two kyats last month, or five kyats this month, that tells us
about both development and inflation.

  GORDON: It is the attention to simple, practical issues like
rice water, rather than political rhetoric, which endures Suu Kyi
to her followers.  But there is another sound, competing with the
cheers of the people.

  BRIGADIER GENERAL DAVID ABEL (Government Minister in Charge of
National Planning and Economic Development): Well, you know, when
we came to government in 1988 the economy was in very bad shape.

  GORDON: The government minister in charge of national planning
and economic development is Brigadier Gen. David Abel.  He likes
to talk about all the hotels, and plazas and shopping centres
currently under construction.

  ABEL: ...with investments and you know, with a prudent, sound
policy we have managed to come all along this way now.  Never in
the post-independence history of Myanmar, the post-war history of
Myanmar, has Myanmar ever achieved this economic growth.  Never.

  Suu Kyi: There have been economic opportunities, but these
opportunities are limited to those who have the right, shall we
put it, contacts.  Bur the majority of the people, their lives
have not improved.
  Now, if you consider that the pay of policemen starts at
around 670 kyats a month, and that is costs more than that to
feed a family of four for a week, you can see that things are not
going well in this country.

  GORDON: Suu Kyi, meanwhile, is pushing hard to persuade
foreign investors to stay away.  The military leaders depend on
that money from abroad for their grand capital products.  Suu Kyi
knows that and she thinks her campaign is working.  The Brigadier
General thinks it's funny.

  ABEL:  You know, that's a joke.  Money, it motivates man.
Even if you are in the grave.  You show a dollar, a ten dollar
bill over the grave, it moves.  You show a hundred dollar bill
over the grave, one hand will come up.  If you show one thousand
dollar bill over the grave the fellow will get up and say I'll
walk with you.  So, I think, you know, this type of thing
is...it's motivation.  I mean, when they can do good business
here, they can do...they can do business, they can make money.  I
think the businessmen, the investors, they're motivated to make
money, either for themselves or for their shareholders.  That's
their responsibility.  So, if they can make money, why not?  The
are not worried about what the politicians say because today they
might be on the phone, tomorrow they might be on the ground, you see.

  SUU KYI:  Do you not consider that a very telling comment?
That he thinks everybody can be bought with money.  Is that not a
very telling comment on the kind of society, on the kind of
community in which he lives?

  GORDON: But it's obviously a measure by which he gauges his
own success.

  SUU KYI: That's not what everybody is like, you see.  It is
very disturbing that the authorities should be surrounded by
people who will do anything for money, and that they themselves
should believe that money can buy anything.  That would show a
gross lack of principles.  But there are many people in Burma who
have sacrificed not just their wealth, but their liberty and
their lives for what they believe in, and I think it's these
people who will lead Burma to happier times.

  ABEL: It doesn't worry me what the world says, as long as the
grassroots people, they are happy, that they are having a better
life, a good quality of life.  I don't worry about the rest.

  SUU KYI:  And the fact that they say they don't care, shows
exactly why they are so bad for the country.  A government should
care, a government that does not care, either about the opinion
of the people or of international...of the opinions of the
international community, is badly out of sync with the rest of
the world.  This is not a time when we can live isolated.  You
know, now man can be an island onto himself in this day and age.
And for me the most important thing is opinion of the people.
And the majority of the people of Burma are solidly behind the
cause for democracy.
  Yes, they are very frightened.  They have been badly
intimidated.  So many people have been flung into prison for so
many different reasons.

  GORDON: Yet one of these people has asked for a secret rendez-
vous.  A meeting outside the Strand Hotel.  Soon enough a voice
by my right shoulder says, you better follow me.  For the next 15
minutes, I'm walking behind a man through the back streets of
Rangoon, stepping over the open sewers, past the beggars.
Eventually, deep inside one of the city's cafes.  The owner puts
Pepsis and cigarettes on the table and stands by the door.  The
man I followed, who asks not to be named says he's a local
organizer for the National League for Democracy.  He does not
have a Nobel Peace Prize for protection.

  UNIDENTIFIED: Ho ho, it's very difficult....very difficult. At
present, you see, I take you to this place, you see, we have...
security here, see I mean, and privacy, and we can talk freely
here, see.

  GORDON: Is there anyone, are there people in Rangoon that you
can trust?  Is it difficult?

  UNIDENTIFIED: Oh very difficult, because you see even among
our...fellow members, you see, are not reliable you see.

GORDON: Can you explain for me how it is that the people who are
running this country have created such fear among the people?

UNIDENTIFIED: By means of terrorism, when they ask for democracy
you see.  There's a big danger.

GORDON: My companion, it turns out, wants to pass along a
message.  Please, he says, help get the United Nations to mediate
between the military leaders and Aung San Suu Kyi.

UNIDENTIFIED: Mediation, you see, the UN can help our country,
you see, can mediate between two groups, you see.  That is the
only hope I have.

GORDON:  My companion does not want to talk for a long time.
He's worried we'll be seen.  He's also anxious to say how
important he feels Aung San Suu Kyi is to the democratic cause in
his country.

UNIDENTIFIED: We trust her, very much.  She has a very, I mean,
clear conviction about how people are suffering in this country.

GORDON: Do you worry about her, do you worry that...?

UNIDENTIFIED: Of course, really I'm worried about her.  I trust

GORDON: What would happen if something happened to her?

UNIDENTIFIED: Oh, it's unthinkable, you see.

SUU KYI: It's...what I feel uncomfortable about is the fact that
a personality cult might grow up around me.  I think that is not
healthy for democratic politics.  But on the other hand, one has
to be practical, and we recognize the fact that at certain times
during...in the course of the struggle, it is good to have one
person on whom the world can focus.  That does a lot for our
cause.  So we have to find a healthy balance.

GORDON: Do you think there comes a time when a people has been
beaten and intimidated and frightened by its own government for
so long that it loses the will or the energy to take up anything
in a political battle?

Suu Kyi: I don't think so.  When you consider the countries of
Eastern Europe, which were so much more oppressed than we were
for so much longer, they did not lose this concept of freedom and
of innate dignity.  I think there is something in us that tells
us that we have a right to lead secure, dignified lives.  And I
think that will always assert itself.

GORDON: It is a curious time for the people of Burma, the people
of Myanmar.  After six years under house arrest, their Lady is
speaking out.  The military leaders are hoping such a gesture
will ease their acceptance internationally as a legitimate
government.  And yet her voice remains the clearest and most
consistent condemnation of the legitimacy of the generals.
  If democracy comes to this country, if Myanmar once again
becomes Burma, it may come from the private prayers of the
pilgrims here, but it will happen at that other address, the one
of University Drive; the Lady's House.


December 27, 1995   by F. J. Khergamvala

	The economically progressive but politically defensive
 South East Asian Nations last week sent a strong signal of welcome 
to the Generals in Burma (renamed by them as Myanmar). The top 
gun among those depots is now due to visit Beijing. Japan too is 
playing ducks and drakes with one of Asia's most repressive regimes.
	The three power centres of East Asia are now engaged in 
a policy of trying to draw the State Law and Order Restoration Council 
(SLORC) into their embrace. Of them, only China, a similarly repressive 
and backward system can claim it  is wooing a like-minded regime. The 
members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 
Japan are trying to obtain or reopen a new market as well as attempting to 
undermine China's influence in Myanmar. Only the U.S., among the major 
East power is, largely in response to Congressional pressures trying to 
bridle the ambitions of the SLORC but occupy primacy in Sino-U.S. ties, 
so too one day the U.S. will resist the urge to surrender a virgin market to 
it Asian competitors.
	When Gen. Than Shwe, the Chairman of the SLORC visits 
Beijing shortly his hosts will greet him with a big toast to repression, 
accompanied by derisive mirth at those Western champions of human 
rights and democracy. Gen. Than Shwe's visit was finalised some 10 days 
ago when China sent a 58 member delegation to Myanmar under Mr. Li 
Ruihuan, Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference 
the fourth ranking member of in the Chinese leadership. Gen. Than Shwe's 
success with his South East Asian neighbours represents not only a gain for 
his method but also for China's own model.
	At almost the same time as Mr. Li's visit Gen. Than Shwe made 
his first visit to an ASEAN country since he took over as head of the SLORC 
in April 1992. Last July the SLORC Generals showed that whatever they 
may e lacking in democratic values they makes up through political savvy. 
After releasing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from detention, they acceded to the 
ASEAN's Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in South East Asia, which almost 
guarantees observer status in ASEAN which in turn clears the way for full 
	But then on reflection, its birds of a feather flock together. "We will 
accept you for what you are," said the Singapore's Prime Minister, Mr. Goh Chok
	It was Japanese aid, investment and technology that were the 
biggest disincentive to political change in South East Asia and Myanmar 
hopes for the same. In Indonesia the Japanese have financed 45 per cent 
of hydroelectric power stations, 15 per cent of expressway and 54 per cent of 
the capital's water treatment installations. Having dropped two anchors, one each 
in Beijing and the ASEAN capitals, the Generals of Myanmar know that the 
dual face of Japanese diplomacy under its policy of "conditional resumption 
of aid" will keep the yen flowing, especially now to catch up with the 
investments of Singapore and Thailand which are four times as much as 
Japan's in a market of 43 million people.
	In its annual survey of nearly 300 companies, the Export-Import 
Bank of Japan found that Myanmar had moved to seventh place as an 
investment destination. This is certainly to influence Japan's policy which, 
until July was linked to the release of Ms. Suu Kyi. That done, Daiwa 
Securities Co. immediately announce plans to open a brokerage office in 
Myanmar and to set up a stock exchange. Last October Japan provided yen 
1.6 billion in grants for nurse training school, despite Ms. Suu Kyi plea that 
"I would like conditions (for aid resumption) that are very firm." A 
memorandum was signed to allowed the establishment's blue eyed boy 
Mitsui to do a feasibility study on a $700 million power unit and fertilizer 
plant. The Bank of Tokyo, the financial chaperone of Mitsui decided to become 
the first Japanese Bank with a Myanmar branch, after its pull out in 1984. 
After all 15 foreign banks, especially those from Singapore and Thailand were 
soaking up too much business.
	Commenting on the ASEAN's welcome to repressive regimes, the 
Japan Times said "there is something demeaning in the idea that tariff rates are 
worthy of scrutiny while treatment afforded fellow human being is not." But 
the Japanese press is unable to stop the rush to Myanmar. One firm is to build 
a 21 storey "intelligent building," Marubeni an industrial park and 
banks are  busy organising investment seminar for pleasing the Generals.
 Ms. Suu Kyi's voice is scarcely heeded.
	It must though be said the Murayama Government itself has drawn 
back slightly while giving a free hand to the big companies. A yen 4.8 billion loan
has not been cleared, an aid mission has twice been put off but with the Mekong
 development projects coming up, the pressures from the private sectors are 
bound to tell. Japan agreed this month to let both countries' air carrier exchange 
flights and three Japanese airlines are to share the spoils. The Human Rights 
Watch report was  correct in calling Japan's policy a mockery of its own aid 
	There are supporters of the dubious theory of "constructive 
engagement." Japan's new Ambassador to the U.S., Mr. Kunihiko Saito 
admits "we (U.S. and Japan) have taken different approaches to countries 
like China and Myanmar." "Democracy should not be ashamed to encourage 
business people to be first in Burma," wrote the U.S. Ambassador to the 
United Nations, Ms. Madeleine Albright. That betrays the U.S. own attitude 
in many places, including China, but the bottom-line is that powers like Japan 
which unflinchingly played the financier of the U.S. interests in Asia during 
the cold war are now turning their back on morality.


December 24, 1995     by Myint Thein   (abridged)

THE Slorc will do just about anything to hang on to power. They
will cheat, they will lie and they will engage in cosmetic
thanakha (face powder paste) reforms with a combination of
threats and vague promises.

The Slorc generals spend billions of dollars on war weapons to
"protect" the country. At the same time they surrendered Burmese
sovereignty to the Thahtay Kyun Islands in the Andaman Sea to a
Thai company to operate a gambling casino that is illegal under
both Burmese and Thai law.

This Andaman Club Myanmar will have duty-free shopping which
means they are exempt from Burmese immigration and customs laws.
China lost Hong Kong to the British due to the Opium War. Burma
lost sovereignty of its territory to a Thai company to line the
pockets of the Slorc.

We must fight for basic freedoms in Burma. Only fools and liars
think that the Slorc will voluntarily transfer power to the
elected civilian government. If the Slorc refuses to negotiate,
the only remaining option is to get rid of it. Its as simple as
that. But it should be very clear that it was a choice made by the Slorc.

Burma in 1948, 1958 and 1962 had a higher standard of living for
the average Burmese than the Slorc's Myanmar of 1995. The talk
that the Slorc is saving Burma is rubbish.

The theory that Burma needs economic development to develop a
middle class which will demand political reforms is also
rubbish.. Burma had a middle class in 1948, 1958 and 1962. The
fact that we presently don't have a middle class is because of
the Burma Army's meddling in politics.

Burma's middle class was forced to leave Burma because of 30
years of military rule that destroyed Burma. Approximately one
million Burmese reside outside Burma. The Burmese did not
immigrate when the Burma Army tried to "save" Burma.

There is indeed a Burmese middle class. They are now successful
and well-connected in many countries. They will help fight for
basic freedoms in Burma since their countrymen are held at
gun-point by the Burma Army.

Burma in 1948, 1958 and 1962 had an excellent educational system.
Burma also had excellent hospitals with medicine and
foreign-trained doctors. We also did not have Burmese prostitutes
in Thailand. The Slorc's Myanmar has devastated the Burmese
educational system. Slorc's Myanmar has hospitals without
medicine or foreign trained doctors. The Slorc's Myanmar also has
50,000 Burmese women working as prostitutes in Thailand.

Burma in 1948' 1958 and 1962 was free and independent. The
Slorc's Myanmar is an economic colony of foreign investors. No
Burmese can afford to stay in these hotels that charge US$140 per
day. We have become a nation of bellboys, clerks and prostitutes
working for hotels owned by foreigners which eater exclusively to
foreigners. Mandela's South Africa dismantled apartheid. The
Slorc's Myanmar is building apartheid.

During the past year I have been privileged to notice the next
generation of Burmese leaders. One of them represented the
Burmese Resistance at the Beijing Conference on Women. She has a
PhD from MIT.

I was also impressed with a young Burmese in Wisconsin who
recently earned his PhD degree. He organised the very successful
"Free Burma" rally at 70 college campuses around the world.

None of these outstanding young Burmese are returning to Burma.
This is the tragedy of Burma.

This has been a bad year for Slorc and its collaborators. They
were forced to release Aung San Suu Kyi. Chinese military sales
were terminated to improve Sino-American relations.
Their-negotiations with Rosvooruzheniye, the Russian State Arms
Export Agency, have been complicated due to US government
enquiries. The Burma Army is divided into three factions, and the
National Convention is illegitimate without the participation of
Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD.

The Slorc's New Light of Myanmar, the military newspaper, called
Aung San Suu Kyi a traitor and threatened to annihilate her.
These are desperate acts of desperate men. They know they are on
the verge of losing.

There are many good officers in the Burma Army. In 1988 the
commander of one Light Infantry division refused orders to shoot
unarmed civilians and marched his troops out of Rangoon. In 1996
we will cut a deal with one faction in the Burma Army. We will
act swiftly decisively and with extreme prejudice when an
opportunity is presented to restore freedom and democracy in Burma.

The flag of freedom will fly again in Burma.


December 29, 1995

With the official signing last week of the joint-venture
agreement establishing Total Quality PR, came news that the new
public-relations network may be stepping into the emerging market
of Burma via TQPR Thailand and Spa Today.

Spa Today, a 60-40 joint venture between Future Communications
and Today Advertising, is in the process of registration and wil1
formally open its doors in March.

Another joint-venture agreement signed recently in Burma is
between McCann-Erickson and its affiliate, Saan Aung Imaging Ltd
(SAIL). Sail started five years ago as a merchandising and sales
promotion company. Sail McCann-Erickson, as the new agency is
called, will be fully operational next month. A Thai general
manager, currently working at an international agency in Bangkok,
with marketing experience in Burma, will be stationed there in February.

Unlike Vietnam, the number of international agencies present in
Burma is still small. However, the legislation governing ad
agencies is not as strict, and they may open fully-fledged
100%-owned shops if they wish. Joint ventures with local partners
are preferred, however, since knowledge of the local market, not
to mention connections, are keys to success.

The only other two international publicity agencies that have set up
joint-venture companies are Bates, the first international agency
to set foot in Burma and the largest. Bates has substantial
tobacco business (this one of the few markets in the region where
cigarette advertising has not been abolished) from clients such
as British American Tobacco.

Prakit/FCB is the other agency in a joint venture, although
McCann-Erickson maintained an affiliation with SAIL for 18 months
before its joint venture came to fruition. Other foreign-owned
agencies include some Singaporean companies such as Maccom,
Myanmar Media international (which Leo Burnett has targeted for
affiliation) and Premier.

The embryonic state of the industry is summed up by the number of
local agencies: four in total, two freshly set up. Spa Today's
partner, Today Advertising, began only six months ago as a member
company of the Today Media Group. The group started two years ago
as publisher of magazines and is now one of five media
representative offices in Burma. The others are Golden Myanmar,
Panorama, Seven Dragons and Digital Media.

Although magazines are freely circulated, private companies are
restricted from owning mass media. Newspapers, television and
radio are in the hands of the government. TV commercials can be
seen on two state-run stations: MRTD and Myawadee. MRTD commands
the highest rates with a 30-second spot costing the equivalent of
19,000 baht. Total annual spending on measured media (excluding
outdoor) stands at the equivalent of 250 million baht, according
to statistics from McCann-Erickson.

With all of the Unilever business and other McCann-Erickson
international accounts such as Gillette, San Miguel, Nestle's
Milo and Nescafe, SAIL Advertising's total capitalised billings
are expected to reach US$3 million next year. It will operate
with a total staff of 32 (12 in advertising and 20 in merchandising).