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BurmaNet News January 7, 1996

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

The BurmaNet News: January 17, 1996
Issue #323


January 15, 1996

Letter from Burma #8 by Aung San Suu Kyi
Mainichi Daily News, Monday, January 15, 1995

Burmese Are Always Ready to Celebrate a Festival
"Christmas in Rangoon"

Burmese people love festivals.  There is something to celebrate every month
of the year.  There are the better known festivals such as /Thingyan/ (the
water festival) in April and /Thidingyut/ (the light festival) in October as
well as lesser known ones such as that connected with the religious
examinations held for monks.  In spite of the large number of our own
festivals we are not averse to celebrating those of other countries and
cultures.  Whether it is the Muslim /id/ or the Hindu /divali/ or Chinese
New Year or Christmas, the Burmese are quite ready to take part in the fun
and feasting.
	When I was a child there used to be Christmas fairs in aid of various
charities where Santa Claus, sweltering in his full regalia of thick red
robes and flowing white cotton wool beard, would be in charge of the lucky
dip counter.  At one of those fairs I won a bottle of whiskey, which was
then a rare and expensive object.  Of course to me it was a total
disappointment as I had been hoping for a toy or at least a packet of
sweets, and I was thoroughly puzzled by the number of old men (at least they
seemed old to me then) who congregated to congratulate me on my great good
fortune.  My mother advised me to give away the bottle to one of the
enthusiastic throng around me, which I did willingly, but I could not
understand why the recipient was so effusive in his thanks.  The whole
incident somewhat diminished my faith both in lucky dips and in adult taste.
	Christmas in Rangoon is not yet quite the commercial festival it has become
in many of the larger cities of Asia.  But there is an increasing selection
of Christmas decorations, all made in Asian countries, and Christmas cakes
on sale during the season.  Christmas is seen as a time for eating together
and exchanging gifts in an atmosphere of mutual good will, whether or not
one belongs to the Christian faith.
	Carol singing is an activity which instantly recalls pictures of rosy
cheeked children and hearty adults, all wrapped in thick coats with colorful
scarves wound around their necks, standing under a Victorian lamp amidst a
gentle swirl of snowflakes.  Thick coats, woolly scarves, Victorian lamps
and snowflakes are not part of any Christmas scene in Rangoon, but here too
we have carol singers, usually groups collecting for charity.
	A carol singing group which has been coming to our house every 
Christmas since my mother was alive is from a Christian institution for the blind.
Last week they came again after a gap of six years.  The blind singers and
guitarist were led by three or four sighted persons as they made their
rounds, part of the way on foot and part of the way on public buses.  By the
time they reached our house it was late in the afternoon, but their voices
were still strong and fresh as they sang of peace and joy and goodwill among
men.  Later we talked over coffee and sesame crisps and I learnt that the
sighted members were themselves children of blind parents and that there
were in the institution several blind couples with young children, none of
whom suffered from any visual defects.  It sounded as though the inmates
were one large family, no doubt with the usual quota of family difficulties
but quietly determined to lead a full, independent life.
	The next day came another group of carol singers from an international
organization.  They too were collecting for charity and among them were many
non-Christians.  The day had been warm and there were a large number of
outsized mosquitos swooping and attacking with the swift aggression of
dive-bombers.  The song of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer in cold, snowy
Santa Claus country sounded a little surreal under the circumstances but it
did not detract from the seasonal cheer.
	Because they knew my sons were coming, friends had commandeered 
from other friends a potted plant (perhaps a species of Chamaecyparis?) That
approximated to a Christmas tree "for the children" and decorated it with
lights and baubles.  We produced presents to pile at the foot of the tree
and on Christmas day itself gave lunch to all our regular helpers, numbering
about 100.  After giving out the presents, we had a lucky dip.  In
remembrance of the time when I had been so disappointed by the bottle of
whisky, I had chosen prizes which were entirely different.  The best one was
an "executive stress tester" which proved immensely popular.  Of all those
who tried it out to see who had nerves of steel we discovered that two young
men who came from a part of Rangoon known for its strong political
traditions did best.  They were careful and steady and had tremendous powers
of concentration.  Such are obviously the qualities necessary for those who
wish to pursue politics in Burma.  Let us hope the New Year will bring the
right atmosphere of goodwill in which these qualities will be allowed to flower.


January 17, 1996

As of January 16, 1996, U Ye Gaung, the 71 year old editor of the New
Era Journal (Khit Pyaing), his wife, Daw Khin Hlaing, and their son,
were still being held in the Immigration Detention Centre in Bangkok.  
Arrested in late November, they have been held over 40 days.  Although 
they were told in early December that they would be sent to the safe camp in 
mid-December, they have not been released.  According to U Ye Gaung's
son, the family could be sent to the border if they pay a bribe of 10,000
to 20,000 baht to the Immigration officials.  The Burmese students who were
arrested around the same time have already paid transportation charges
for their deportation and were bussed to Mae Sot.  However, it is dangerous 
to be sent to the border, because SLORC troops are stationed just across 
the river, and the family's safety cannot necessarily be guaranteed.

U Ye Gaung has not been eating much, because he has no front teeth and 
the rice is very hard.  Other inmates have reported that the curries served
with the rice are often rotten.  Daw Khin Hlaing has a serious heart
condition.  The cement cells are filled with people, who must sit in three
long rows.  Much of the time there is not enough room for all the inmates 
to lie down at the same time.

Amnesty International has issued an urgent action appeal for U Ye Gaung
and his family.  Two U.S. Congressional  staffers also recently visited the 
IDC and have urged the US Embassy to work for the family's release.  It
is unclear whether the family is still being held because of orders from the
SLORC to Thai officials or because the Immigration authorities are waiting
for a bribe.


January 17, 1996

Paul Berkowitz, a staffer for Congressman Benjamin Gilman, and Grover
Joseph Rees, the Staff Director of the Subcommittee on International Relations
and Human Rights, were denied visas for a two-day trip to Burma this week.
Both Berkowitz and Rees have been involved in the drafting of the Burma 
sanctions legislation in the House of Representatives.  Berkowitz had been to 
Rangoon and met with Aung San Suu Kyi once in 1995.  Both had hoped to 
visit Aung San Suu Kyi this week.

Berkowitz and Rees applied for official visas at the Burmese Embassy in 
Bangkok on Monday, January 15.  After their visas were denied, they asked 
the United States Embassy to appeal on their behalf.  According to Berkowitz, 
the staff at the Burmese Embassy told the US Embassy that no one from the 
United States Congress could go into Burma at this time.  


January 17, 1996
compiled from information provided by Carol Schlenker

The former Japanese Ambassador to Burma was reported to have rather cozy 
relations with the SLORC, and Burmese sources have claimed that he and his 
wife had a number of business ventures going in Burma.  Because of complaints 
by democracy/human rights groups about this, the Foreign Ministry recalled
him and replaced him with Yoichi Yamaguchi.

Before Yamaguchi's appointment as ambassador to Burma, he was the
Foreign Ministry's top man in Osaka.  His political leanings are not yet
clear, but an inkling can be gleaned from a speech he gave at the APEC 
Summit in Osaka.  In that speech, he followed many other Japanese 
businessmen, bureaucrats, and academics in using the phrase
"hakujin no shakai".  Japanese who wish to emphasize closer Asian 
relations often use the phrase /hakujin no shakai/ ("white society") when 
referring to philosophical, historical, social and religious differences 
between "non-white" (Asian) and "white" (Western) nations.
Yamaguchi tried to separate Japan from the West and align it with
Asia by employing this phrase at several points during his speech.


January 15, 1996

>From the Los Angeles WORLD REPORT
A Special Section Produced in Cooperation with the Yomiuri Shimbun
By Jim Mann 

WASHINGTON- Japan is pressing ahead with a troubling
idea of how it and America should deal with the rest of Asia.

Let's divide up our roles, Tokyo in effect tells Washington. 
You play the bad cops, and we'll be the good cops.  You
Americans make the threats, and we Japanese will distribute
the rewards.  You be the tough-guy superpower, and we'll run
around as the sympathetic sugar daddy.

Americans seem to be too naive or too inattentive to have
thought about the implications of this curious division of labor
Tokyo apparently is suggesting.  But they should.  For in
effect, if not intent, Japan is moving in the direction of
undermining American policy toward Asia.

In the process, Tokyo is also giving credence to some of its
severest critics, such as Japan scholar Chalmers Johnson, who
says the Japanese government expects the United States to
retreat from Asia over the next decade and is quietly, gradually
preparing for what happens in the region after the Americans fade away.

The best case study of Japan's approach is its policy toward
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, and the military junta
called the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). 
Military officials in Myanmar massacred thousands of
civilians during demonstrations in 1988.  The junta reluctantly
agreed to hold parliamentary elections in 1990, but then
refused to honor the results or leave office after opposition
forces led by Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory at the polls.

Threatened by her popularity, the junta ordered Suu Kyi
detained for "endangering the state" and held her under house
arrest for six years.  She was finally released in July amid talk
of new efforts toward political reconciliation in Myanmar.

Since then, however, it has become increasingly clear that
Myanmar's generals viewed the release of the Nobel Peace
laureate as the end, not the beginning, of its steps toward an
easing of repression.  They have refused to make compromises
with Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy,
which after all won more than 60% of the votes in the 1990 election.

The junta has stationed soldiers outside the homes of
opposition officials.  Last month, state - run newspapers in
Myanmar suggested Suu Kyi was a traitor and said she and her
pro - democracy colleagues would be "annihilated" if they
made the country "unstable."

Within Washington, there have been some internal divisions
about policy toward Myanmar.  But on the whole, the U.S.
policy has been relatively firm: The Clinton administration has
tried to exert as much pressure as possible on the military junta
to give up the power it seized six years ago.

Japan is another story.  It has shown a disturbing willingness to
give recognition, legitimacy and benefits to the junta.

Last summer, soon after the release of Suu Kyi, the Japanese
government announced it was opening the way for Myanmar
to begin receiving foreign aid from Tokyo once again.  So -
called Overseas Development Assistance funds from Japan to
Myanmar, which had been cut off in 1988, began flowing this
fall when: Tokyo approved a $16-million grant for a nursing
school in Yangon (formerly Rangoon).

When asked, Japanese officials defend their more conciliatory
policy as merely another way, of doing what the United  States
wants: encouraging the military to open up to democracy.  One
of Tokyo's top officials for Myanmar, Shigeo Matsutomi,
director of the First Southeast Asia Division within Japan's
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the rounds in Washington
recently, visiting the White House, the State Department,
Congress and some journalists.

Matsutomi's pitch was sophisticated.  He did not challenge
American policy toward Myanmar.  Indeed, he seemed to
praise and encourage it: You Americans approach Myanmar
with a clenched fist, and there are advantages to that tough
approach, he said.  At the same time, he went on, Japan wants
to persuade the generals through "dialogue" and to use its
development funds as a "carrot" to persuade the generals to
change their ways.  America should use its clout as a military
superpower, and Japan will use its economic leverage.

Japanese officials seem to be executing their new Myanmar
policy in a fairly slow and careful way.  This fall, Japan was
talking about giving Myanmar a second infusion of foreign aid
with a $48 million project to improve electric power in
Yangon.  But Tokyo held up the loan after the junta toughened
its policies toward Suu Kyi and her allies in the National
League for Democracy.

"In the current situation [in Myanmar, it is extremely difficult
[to give more foreign aid]," explained Matsutomi, who has
visited Myanmar four times in the past year.

However, you can see the pressures at work in Tokyo from a
recent statement issued by the Keidanren, Japan's most
powerful business lobby.  Last month, the Keidanren urged the
government to resume lending to Myanmar immediately.  It
said holding up on foreign aid was one of the most important
roadblocks to better business ties between Japan and Myanmar.

For the United States, the problem is not in how well or badly
Japan carries out, its resumption of foreign aid to Myanmar.  It
is much more fundamental: The whole concept of Japan playing good 
cop to America's bad cop in Asia is flawed in the first place.

The conciliatory policy allows Japan to have it both ways. 
Japan can tell the junta that it is working to moderate
America's tough policy on Myanmar, while telling Washington
that it is attempting to ease the Myanmar regime's hard-line
opposition to democracy.

Tokyo's policy permits it to give the foreign aid which, as the
Keidanren knows, Japan has historically used as a spur to trade
and other business activity.

Japan's approach conveniently opens the way for it to curry
favor with the rest of Southeast Asia, while leaving the United
States as the odd man out.

Other countries in the region, like Thailand, Malaysia and
Singapore, have long favored a policy of "constructive
engagement" toward the Myanmar junta.  Japan now seems to
be lining up more closely with these countries and breaking
ranks with the Americans.

It may have the ring of plausibility for Tokyo to talk about a
division of roles on Myanmar, with the United States wielding
clout as a military superpower and Japan using its leverage as
an economic superpower.  But the argument doesn't stand up
to critical analysis.  The whole American approach to the
generals has been based not upon military threats but on
economic sanctions and political isolation.  Japan's aid to
Myanmar undercuts the American policy and helps the
generals remain in power.

On Myanmar, Japan is showing that its policy toward Asia,
and its interest in democracy, is quite different from that of the
United States.  President Clinton might keep that fact in mind
when he makes his trip to Tokyo this spring. 

(Jim Mann is a Times staff writer and columnist based in

 JANUARY 8 1996 By Joel Bleifuss


Burma's military junta has proclaimed 1996 "Visit Myanmar Year," hoping
that an influx of tourists will add luster to the royal regime's tamished
image and at the same tirne bring in hard currency. But the Free Burma
Coalition, a network of student groups based in Madison, Wisc., has other
plans. The coalition intends to make sure everyone knows why Nobel Peace
Prize Winner Aung San Suu Kyi has urged tourists and investors to stay away
from the southeast Asian nation. Though Kyi was freed from house arrest
last July, Burma's military still refuses to honor the country's 1990
elections, in which her party, the National League of Democracy, won 82
percent of the seats in the National Assembly.

Thanks to the coalition's efforts, the Burma campaign is on its way to
becoming the anti-apartheid movement of the '90s. But this decade's
students are coordinating their movement over the Internet and highlighting
their demands for corporate responsibility.

At the central keyboard of this electronic nexus sits a 32year-old Burmese
dissident named Zarni. He left his country in July 1988, just weeks before
the military regime, known as SLORC, killed an estimated 5,000 student
protesters in a series of massacres. "I haven't been back since," says
Zarni, now a graduate student in education at the University of Wisconsin.
"I am on the hit list. Even at home in Madison I get threatening phone
calls that stop just short of explicit threats on my life."

"Everything has been done on the Internet so far," says Zarni, who founded
the Free Burma Coalition in September. "Through the Internet, which most
students have access to, I can post announcements inviting people to join
us in this movement. And on the World Wide Web we have a page where we post
flyers, campaign posters, and photographs. There is the economic factor as
well. It costs nothing for students to use the Internet."

Since its September inception the Coalition has mushroomed. "At this point
we have about 90 campuses working on the Burma front," says Zarni. Though
U.S.based, the group is also active on campuses in Japan, India, Germany,
France, England, Thailand, Canada, the Netherlands and Norway.
The Internet provides Zarni easy access to far-flung Free Burma outposts.

The Free Burma group in Thailand keeps everyone in the coalition up to date
on current events in neighboring Burma. And the groups in England provide
information on the tourism boycott that is taking off there.
"The Internet is our mainstay," says Davide Horne, who is coordinating
action at the University of Indiana at Bloomington. "We can't afford to
send out mass mailings like more established groups, but we can distribute
all of our information to the 2,500 names on our local list over the
Internet. Only about 50 aren't on the net so we mail to them, and to pay
for that we do bake sales." 

Horne, a 19-year-old freshman who says he's had an interest in Burma since 
middle school, has recently been organizing opposition at Indiana to a luxury 
cruise up the Irrawaddy River to Mandalay that is being sponsored by the 
university's alumni association. The association, and its counterparts at Yale, 
Illinois, Northwestern, University of Southem California, Penn State, Notre Dame, 
Duke, Brown and Stanford, have invited rich alums to take the "The Road to 
Mandalay" and explore what the promotional brochure describes as an 
"unspoiled country."

The historic temples that the alumni will visit have all been prettified
using forced labor. Periodically, SLORC enslaves Burmese citizens-men,
women (pregnant or not) and children as young as eight-to work on civic and
military building projects. The only people exempt from what the government
terms "self reliance" projects are military families and those wealthy
enough to pay the monthly fine imposed on those who refuse to work. At
times, this forced labor includes walking in front of military units to act
as human mine sweepers.

Outside of the academy, Don Erickson has been organizing opposition to
Burma tours sponsored by civic organizations. Erickson, the coordinator of
the Burma Project at Synapses, a peace and justice group in Chicago, is a
self-acknowledged straggler on the information superhighway. A colleague at
Synapses has helped keep Erickson plugged into the Burma coalition's.online
efforts by sending and retrieving Internet messages for him. Thanks to
Erickson's organizing, the Art Institute of Chicago withdrew its
sponsorship of a Burma tour. But the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations,
along with councils in at least 30 other cities, are pushing ahead to
Mandalay. Erickson publicly chided  the Chicago council: "The tour, which
includes a three day boat trip down the Irrawady River, is the equivalent
of sponsoring a boat trip down the Rhine in the summer of 1939."

Like the critics of American companies who did business with Germany's Nazi
regime, the Burma coalition is targeting multinationals who continue to
work with SLORC. Stanford University students have led the way in devising
campaigns against the few corporations still doing business in Burma-most
notably Pepsi and three oil companies, UNOCAL, ARCO and Texaco. Stanford
students are demanding that their school use the university's voting shares
in Burma-invested corporations to support stockholder resolutions. In a
report distributed over the Internet last month, the Stanford students
explained their strategy and provided the text of a resolution that will be
voted on by ARCO shareholders. That resolution would require ARCO's board
to "develop guidelines on maintaining investments in or withdrawing from
coutries where ... there is a call by human rights advocates, pro-democracy
organizations or legitimately elected representatives for economic
sanctions against their country."

For David Wolfburg in Los Angeles, the Stanford report was just one of the
many indispensable Burma documents he has pulled off the Internet. "The
Internet serves a great purpose for organizing," says Wolfburg, a
27-year-old environmentalist who works with the L.A. Campaign for a Free
Burma. "SLORC has shut out the media in Burma, but we are able to get the
information because we have human-rights people in and out of the
Burma-Thai border area. Refugees fleeing SLORC are interviewed in Thailand
by students with lap top computers."

The Free Burma Coalition has also posted photographs on the World Wide Web
of tribal villagers holding up signs that proclaim, "UNOCAL your dollars
are buying SLORC guns." Wolfburg's group downloaded those photos and
brought them to a nearby Kinkos, where they were blown up and used in
demonstrations against UNOCAL, the Los Angeles-based oil company that, in
partnership with SLORC, is building a natural gas pipline from the Indian
Ocean to the Thai border. Tens of thousands of Burmese people have worked
as forced laborers making UNOCAL's pipeline a reality (sic: *BurmaNet editor's
note: tens of thousands have had to do forced labor, but not on the pipeline itself).

In response, the Free Burma Coalition is organizing a national boycott of
UNOCAL's Union 76 gas stations. Much of the boycott organizing has been
done over the Internet-but not all. Wolfburg, with a chuckle, offers a
few words of caution: "Groups need to be aware that that their
communication on the net is being read by the SLORC and everyone else. We
put together a package to help groups boycott UNOCAL, and we announced it
on the Internet. Among the dozens of requests we got back was one from
David Garcia at UNOCAL public relations."

Wolfburg is upbeat. "Thanks to the Web sites and to Zarni in Wisconsin, we
pulled ourselves together on the Internet into focus groups," he says.
"There are now Burma focus groups on tourism, oil and gas, on media and
public speakers, and on international outreach. And a lot more student
groups are coming on board. It is exploding."

Indeed. On Janauary 15, Amnesty International USA will kick off a Burma
campaign aimed at and directed by the group's 1,300 chapters at colleges,
high schools and elementary schools. Meghan Faux, of Amnesty's national
youth program in Washington, D.C., says that the campaign will call for the
release of the 20 members of the Burmese parliament-elect who have been
imprisoned by SLORC since the aborted 1990 elections. But rather than
appeal directly to SLORC, the Amnesty campaign, in a change from its usual
government-directed efforts, will publicly pressure the corporations doing
business with the military regime to use their influence to gain the
release of Burma's prisoners of conscience. In its campaign, Amnesty will
be working closely with the Free Burma Coalition, except in the area of
boycotts, which as a matter of policy Amnesty does not advocate.

And Amnesty isn't the only campus-based political network that has turned
its attention to Burma. In October, Zarni garnered support at the national
conference of the Student Environmental Action Coalition (SEAC), a Chapel
Hill, N.C.-based organization with more than 180 campus affiliates. Linda
Kwan, SEAC's national council coordinator, is helping organizing the
group's Burma efforts. Kwan, a 21-year-old senior in graphic design at
University of Illinois-Champaign, argues that the Burma struggle has the
"potential to reach the breadth of the antiapartheid movement."

"We are reaching the stage where people are begining to realize that
corporate accountability is an important issue," says Kwan. "We need to do
what we can to send a message to these multinational corporations that
their business-asusual is not going to be acceptable, and that they need to
start taking some kind of social responsibility. That is quite a goal, but
we have the potential here to change corporate behavior in Burma and the
rest of the world."


January 15, 1996        Associated Press

BEIJING - The leader of Burma's ruling military council 
discussed ways of fighting illegal drugs during a stop in Yunnan 
province before he ended a one-week visit to China on Saturday.

Gen Than Shwe said his trip succeeded in expanding economic 
and trade cooperation with China, the Xinhua News Agency 
reported. Than Shwe returned to Burma on Saturday.

Four prefectures in southern Yunnan on the border with Burma 
have helped Burma farmers replace opium poppies, the raw 
material for heroin, with rice, rubber trees, tobacco and 
sugar cane, Xinhua said in a reported on a new institute in 
Yunnan that will study how to eradicate illegal drugs.

China and Burma signed agreements on Chinese loans, economic 
and technological cooperation and cultural exchanges during 
Than Shwe's visit.

A joint communique said both sides wanted to preserve 
friendly relations and seek new ways to expand economic cooperation.

Than Shwe, chairman of Slorc, was accompanied by Lt Gen Khin 
Nyunt, secretary of the Slorc, Burma's foreign minister and 
five other generals. The delegation met with Chinese 
President Jiang Zemin and other leaders in Beijing.

NATION added on January 16:

Than Shwe reiterated Burma's "One China policy", describing 
Taiwan as "an inalienable part of China", it said. The 
Burmese leader met Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Prime 
Minister Li Peng in Beijing.

Burma traded goods with China worth an estimated US$600 million 
last year, 18 percent more than in 12994.

Burma's neighbours, including India, fear that China's 
motives in cultivating ties with Burmese rulers are not 
purely economic. Some say Beijing wants to project its 
military power into the Indian Ocean, and beyond.

Western intelligence reports show that China has helped for 
several years to build three deep-water ports in Burma and a 
sophisticated radar facility on the Coco Islands in the Indian Ocean. 

Agence France-Presse reports from Rangoon: Burmese democracy 
leader Aunt San Suu Kyi on Saturday lauded the eight members 
of a dance troupe still held for questioning about a performance that 
satirized the government, and urged the public to back them.

"I sincerely respect Par Par Lay and his group for having 
the courage to use their great artistic talents for the 
greatest benefit of the people and the country, and I urge 
you to honour their bravery and give them your full 
support," she told a huge crowd outside her lakeside compound. 


January 15, 1996     Nation, Reuter   (abridged)

CHIANG MAI - Police yesterday arrested two suspects and 
seized 370 kilogrammes of heroin, believed to be smuggled 
from Burma after the recent surrender of drugs warlord Khun 
Sa to the Rangoon junta.

Pol Lt Gen Kovit Phakdeephum, assistant police chief, said 
arrests of drug dealers and smugglers had become more frequent 
in the northern provinces since Khun Sa's self-proclaimed retirement 
from his drug business two weeks ago.  He believed Khun Sa's men 
were trying to disperse their store of heroin to keep it from being seized 
or destroyed by Burmese troops.


15 January 1996

A BURMESE official and close aides to opium kingpin Khun Sa 
shrugged off US demands that Burma extradite the drug lord 
to the US where he is wanted on heroin trafficking charges.
A senior Burmese official insisted that the Slorc would not 
hand over Khun Sa, Sa.

"That all the Americans do, they talk and talk. But if they 
are serious why didn't they assist us in the first place... 
these people never appreciate what we are doing.

"They always say nonsense about the Slorc and now they want 
this guy back so let them talk. When they get tried they 
will stop," one Burmese official told to Reuters.

"We will deal with the guy by ourselves. We are not going to 
send him to the States."

"We would urge the Slorc.. to not only convict, or detain 
Khun Sa, but in fact to extradite  him to the US," Winston 
Lord, US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and 
Pacific affairs told in Bangkok.

"If the Slorc has made a deal..this would be extremely 
serious.. defeat for the control of drugs in all our 
countries," he said. "The entire international community 
would be distressed if one of the world's leading drug 
traffickers.. were to be let free," he said.

"Myanmar is a sovereign country," he said when asked why the 
Slorc would not likely to cooperate with the US and 
extradite Khun Sa.

A close aide of Khun Sa's said his boss was still living in 
his Ho Mong Hqs under heavy protection of Burmese troops.

"Not sending him to face trial in US is one crucial point 
among the 10-point agreement," an MTA officer told in a 
telephone interview.

The MTA official said Khun Sa and about 8,000 of his 
civilians followers are being treated well by Slorc 
officials at the Ho Mong jungle town on the edge of Shan 
State, about 30 Km from the Thai border.

"The Slorc officials have issued Burmese identity cards to 
the people who used to live under control of MTA. Everyone 
is legal now, so they can travel anywhere in Burma," the official said. 

BUSINESS DAY: Myanmar to Put Khun Sa on Trial and Frustrate U.S.
January 16 1996  adds:   (abridged)

The source said that SLORC is working out terms of surrender with Khun Sa. 
He noted that Khun Sa may get a jail sentence of at least three years and be 
granted an amnesty shortly after his sentence is handed down.

"Khun Sa will be jailed in Mandalay prison for a short time [before his
release]," he said. Khun Sa was jailed in Mandalay once in the early 1970s.

"Slorc believes if they get rid of Khun Sa, there will be another [warlord] like 
him, and yet another," said the source. 

The source said Slorc has returned light arms to Khun Sa and his men to 
protect themselves against tribes hostile to them.

on January 16, the BKK POST added:

THAILAND has declined Washington's request to help persuade 
Burma to extradite drug warlord Khun Sa to stand trial in the United 
States, Foreign Minister M.R. Kasem S. Kasemsri said yesterday.

He said any legal action against Khun Sa would be done in 
accordance with Burmese laws. M.R. Kasem said Winston Lord, 
US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific 
Affairs, had sought Thailand's cooperation on the matter 
during their meeting last Saturday.


January 16, 1996

Dear Burmanet readers,

In its January issue, the French travel revue `Grands Reportages' has published
about 50 pages on Burma without a single word on human rights problems.
If you'd like to write to the editor to explain him what's happening in Burma
and what does `Visit Burma' campaign means to the population, here is the
Grands Reportages                     	Director: Kevin Hand
9-13, rue du Colonel Pierre-Avia        Chief editor: Yan Meot
75 754 Paris cedex 15
ph: +33 1 46 62 2000
fax: +33 1 46 62 25 31

David Boilley


January 13, 1996
>From caroline@xxxxxxxxxx

Human Rights abuses going on in Karen State after the preliminary talks

        On 13, December, 1995, a Karen National Union delegation left for
Moulmein and Rangoon in response to the Slorcs invitation to talk about
arrangement for peace talk.  Seven-member led by Pdoh Klee Say met with
Slorc officials and returned back to headquarters on 28, December.
According to the KNU delegation, the talks consisted of a preliminary
exchange of views concerning the desirability of achieving peace in Burma.
The ceasefire process is going on as the second delegation of KNU will be
sent again to Pa-an in the second week of February, 1996.
        However, in the mean time of cease-fire process, at 4:00pm on
December 29, 1995, about 150 Slorc troops from Light Battalion No(63),
under the command of Division (77) led by Major. Than Win attacked Saw See
Phoe village, in Papun township, Karen State with small and heavy weapons.
The troops opened fire into the houses and looted and destroyed all the
valuables and properties by the villagers. Some villagers who were not fast 
enough to run away were arrested by the troops and beaten up.
        Similarly, on 21, December 1995, at 8:45 am, when the official
Karen New Year ceremony joined by the villagers nearby at Wah Raw village
was nearly finished, about 200 Slorc troops from the 106 Light Infantry
Division led by San Lwin and the 343 Light Infantry Division led by Major
Nyunt Tin opened fire on the civilians.  They beat Saw Plaw Doh from Yaung
Suu village to death. They also shot and wounded Saw Oo Yeh from Wah Baw
village and Saw Pah Way from Klo Law village. The troops later entered the
village and looted and destroyed the villagers property. They also took
all the money they could find and stripped watches and necklaces off the villagers.
        Sel Pho Hta, Arnel Khaw Da, Kalaw Hta, Thay Phla Hta, Kala We Del,
Maw Khaw Del, Bob Thay Del village in Luthaw district, Papun township were
ordered to move before 13, February, 1995. They would be burnt down they
fail to do the order, according to the order issued by joint column of LIB
391 and LIB 105.  Villagers from these unfortunate villagers are fleeing
into other places and they become internally displaced people in Burma.
        Kel Pa Hta village in the same region as burnt to ash on December
29, 1995 by Slorc troops from LIB 391 and LIB 105 joint column, The military 
accused the village for having communication with the KNU troops.
        General Mya of KNU said on January 4, 1995 concerning with these
ongoing human rights abuses in the Karen State while the cease-fire
process is underway.  He said that he deeply concerned the destroying and
forced relocation of the villages, arbitrary arrest and execution against
the civilians in Taunggu township, Thaton township and Papun township
while the KNU is attempting to solve the political problems on the
political roundtable in order to gain the genuine internal peace.

ABSDF News Agency


January 17, 1996
Information provided by M. Beer and edited by BurmaNet


Kumagai Gumi [1861], a construction company, has announced plans to 
establish a representative sales office in Yangon in early 1996 with the goal 
of expanding orders throughout Southeast Asia.  Kumagai Gumi's new office, 
which is expected to open in February 1996, will have a staff of fewer than 10 people. 


The Korea Exchange Bank (KEB) of South Korea has been granted license 
to open a representative office in Myanmar.   The KEB is the first South 
Korean bank to open an office in Myanmar and will become the 32nd foreign 
bank to do so in the country.  Of the 32 foreign bank offices, six are from Thailand, 
five from Singapore, four from France, three from Malaysia, two each from 
Indonesia, Bangladesh, Japan and the Netherlands, and one each from Britain, 
Hong Kong, Canada, Cambodia, Brunei and South Korea.  According to another 
official report, Myanmar's Ministry of Finance and Revenue will soon start the 
second phase of the country's financial reform and allow the formation of joint 
venture banks between foreign banks that have opened representative offices 
here and domestic private banks.  at present, there are 15 domestic private banks 
in operation, of which four have been allowed to conduct foreign exchange 
transactions, four to issue credit cards and one to introduce automatic teller 


Myanmar is inviting foreign firms to conduct mineral prospecting and
exploration operations as part of its efforts to expedite its economic
development.  Up to now, six foreign companies have been involved in gold and
copper exploration in Myanmar this year, out of which three are from Canada and
one each from Australia, Singapore and the United States.  Mineral resources to
be developed in myanmar include gold, copper, lead, zinc, silver and nickel.
The first round competitive bidding had just been finished for 16 blocks each
having an area of 1,400 sq-km and the second round of bidding has been announced
since the end of october involving 11 blocks of the same size. According to the latest
official statistics, foreign investment in the mining sector amounted to 192.51
million US dollars in 25 related projects as of August 31, 1995.


The third batch of five powered vessels made by China for Myanmar inland 
water transport under the first contract, was delivered at Yangon port recently. 
Khin Nyunt and other ministers as well as Chinese ambassador to Myanmar 
Chen Baoliu attended the delivery ceremony. So far, China has provided 42 
vessels with a loan of 30 million US dollars.


the Myanmar government plans to set up 13 more "model villages" of mechanized
agriculture throughout Myanmar with the aim to boost rice production.
Agriculture minister Lieutenant Gen. Myint Aung said the establishment of the 
villages was aimed at more than doubling the per-acre rice
yield so as to attain the long-term goal of exporting three million tons of rice
every year.  One "model village" each has been set up in Yangon and Mandalay
divisions and plans were underway to build a third in Khingyi, Bago division.
The so-called "model villages" are normally equipped with more and better farm
machinery, enabling them to offer higher yields. 


Japan's Mitsui Marine and Fire Insurance Co Ltd has opened a representative 
office in Rangoon to become the first foreign insurer to set up in Burma since 
the early 1960s, official media reported.