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BurmaNet News January 23, 1996

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"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: January 23, 1996
Issue #329


Information Department, ABSDF
January 22, 1996


The DKBO (Democratic Buddhist Karen Organization), the breakaway
faction of the Karen rebels, has set up a radio station with the
help of the Burmese military, sources which monitor foreign and
local radios in Burma said.

'Thapyay' or the eugenia tree as the station is called by the
Buddhist Karens is known to be operating under the direct
supervision of the Burmese Army's Psychological Warfare
Department. In Burmese the name symbolizes auspicious victory. 

It is broadcast three times a day: from 07:00 to 08:30 in the
morning, from 12:00  to 13:00 in the afternoon and from 19:00 to
20:00 hours in the evening. It can be monitored at 6354 MHZ. The
base or the whereabouts of the radio station is not known to the

The radio station is said to have broadcast slanderous attacks on
the KNU (Karen National Union) and the ABSDF (All Burma Students
Democratic Front). It also airs reports that are conspicuous
attempts to urge these groups to 'return to the legal fold'. 

In a separate report, another source informed the ABSDF that the
SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration Council) is preparing to
launch an offensive against the 4th Brigade of the Karen National
Union (KNU) in February 1996. This military operation is
codenamed "Pyi Lone Nyein" or the peace-in-the-whole-country.
Burmese army 44, 66 and regional troops are believed to be
deployed for the offensive.   


(2) Over One Hundred Die at Boke Pyin Prison Labor Camp

Reliable sources inside Burma informed the ABSDF that 108 out of
530 prison inmates have died at a prison labor camp in the south
of Burma in one year. According to the sources from that area,
530 inmates were sent to Boke Pyin Prison Labor Camp last year.
As the new year began the statistics for 1995 showed that 108
people have died of hunger, lack of proper medical care,
worsening living conditions and the severity of word load. An
increase in the number of escape attempts by prisoners has also
contributed to the increasing death toll as Army troops open fire
on escapees.

The report also mentioned the use of prisoners as porters in the
military operations. At the time of reporting, 80 out of the
remaining prisoners were being used as porters.


(3) Forced Labor for Mergui-Moe Taung-Kaw Thaung (Victoria Point)
Motor Road  

Forced labor is being used for the construction of a motor road
connecting Mergui-Moe Taung-Kaw Thaung (Victoria Point), reported
the sources from the area in Tenasserim Division in the south of Burma.

The report also confirmed that battalions 358,224 and 103 of
regional Burmese Army have been rounding up the villagers in the
area for use in the construction. It said that each family in the
area is required to dig 10 x 70 feet for the road. The villagers
are ordered to bring their own food and tools. It is said that
there is no proper medical care. The villagers are said to have
fled their villages since October 1995.


(4) Forced Labor in Tenasserim Township

As of January, 1996, a total of 383 from 10 villagers have been
forced to work on various forced labor camps. These villages in
the Tenasserim township - Than Law, West Than Law, Ban Laung, Tha
Kwet (6) mile, Kywel Htein Gonn, Taung Wein, Yei Pho, Lamu, Sin
Kaung and Ganan Gwin - have had to send 80, 40, 50, 30, 25, 13,
60, 25, 30, 30 villagers respectively for the forced labor.

ABSDF, Information Department
Tel/Fax: 66-2-379 2002    


EQUALITY (excerpts)
January 20, 1996
from brelief@xxxxxxx

"Political Analysis of Constritutional Principles Laid down by
the Slorc National Convention"

The Burma Lawyers' Council

The State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc), ruling
junta of Burma has convened a so-called National Convention
since early 1993 aiming to lay down the basic principles for
state constitution.  All the analysis show that the junta is
attempting to gain the right to legally prolong its rule by
framing up a state constitution.  In order to do so, the military
junta manipulated both convening process of the National
Convention and its outcomes.

In Burma, in aftermath of military coup of 1962, the ruling
military junta has manipulated the laws as an instrument to
oppress the people in order to prolong their power.  Most
Burmese people no longer believe in the laws and the concept
of the rule of law as- a shield protecting their fundamental
rights and freedom.  As a result, common Burmese people are
not interested in laws and law making processes as they have
been convinced the laws as a tool of oppression.

The Slorc is taking advantage upon the lack of people's
awareness on constitution making process.  At the same time
they are deterring the politically - conscious dissidents from
taking part in the constitution making process.  By putting up
in jails or forcing them to live in exile, their voices are unheard
in the National Convention that Slorc is working on to
complete a state constitution.  Despite the Slorc strictly deters
the people from taking part in constitution making, it is the
right and duty of all citizens of Burma to prevent the creation
of Slorc proposed constitution which will surely not uphold the
aspiration of the people.

Very few people's representatives in the ongoing National
Convention want to work out for the interest of Burmese
people and get aware of the people's aspiration.  Unfortunately
they hold very small percentage of the representatives and can
not be able to convert the constitutional principles set up by
Slorc.  The Burma Lawyers' Council sincerely feels that it is
the responsibility of those who have better chance than those
who are under total control of the Slorc to examine what are
wrong in Slorc constitution making process and its
constitutional principles.  For this reason, the Burma Lawyers'
Council, as an independent organisation, takes responsibility
for examining on the constitutional principles laid down by
Slorc's "National Convention." ..........

8.2  Slorc desired political system can not be possible; ethnic

The main examination 'in this analysis is about the
incompatibility of the Slorc's proposed political system with the
ethnic diversity of Burma.  There have been enough
experiments by successive governments and the Slorc that show
that the ethnic conflict in Burma, the prime problem of civil
war, can not be solved by military means.  Only the design of a
proper political system with the participation of the concerned
ethnic groups can end the civil war.  The Asian ideology may
not work in Burma where the ethnic diversity is deeply involved
in the political problems unless these problems are solved

8.3  Slorc desired political system can not be possible;

During the Slorc's period, economic development may not be
possible as long as this problem has not been solved.  The
regular increase of inflation which happens because of increase
of the overall government expenditure is one of the most
important problems to be solved for a successful market
economy.  As it is usual in totalitarian governments, the
Burmese government prints more money without balancing the
national production to cover its expenditures, while the supply
of money depends on the national production in a market
economy.  In a market economy, the relative position of
inflation and unemployment must be balanced.  But in Burma,
the position of the inflation and unemployment is
simultaneously high.  This situation indicates that despite a
potential increase in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the
government expenditure is more than the increase of the GDP. 
As long as the Slorc can not solve this inflation problem, the
development of the economy is just a dream.  In addition, as
long as Slorc is trying to control the politics through coercive
agencies of the government, main tools of the military junta and
for which the government is expending a large amount of the
national income, there will be regular increase in inflation.  The
decrease of government expenditure may be possible only when
the government trusts its people, and this trust can be, obtained
when the authority of the government is based on the will of the
people.  It is why the economic development before political
liberalisation in Burma may not be possible.  The political
liberalisation must come first before economic reform.

Conclusions and recommendations

The National Convention through which the Slorc needs to
create a political system which they desired is crucial political
process for Slorc.  Even after Aung San Suu Kyi was released,
the National Convention is still playing in a crucial role. 
Despite expectation that there would be some changes concern-
ing the continuation of the National Convention which has
widely spread among the Burmese population after Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi's release, there is no sign that Slorc accepts that
change or compromise with Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Slorc's National Convention manipulated to lay down the
basic constitutional principles is nothing more than their ploy to
ensure its control in future politics, under the new name of
Slorc.  The military has given a written order to the convention
instructing it turn out a constitution that guarantees the military
the leading role in national politics in the future.  If the Slorc
has an honest desire to resolve political problems by political
means, it should completely stop the National Convention and
start dialogue to do so.  As long as the concept of solving the
political problems by peaceful political means is ignored, it is
impossible to draw up a long- lasting constitution which
maintains unity of diversity in Burma.  The desire of a political
force to manipulate the national politics can not bring out the
happiness of others in a human society.  The lack of democracy
and equality in the constitutional principles laid down by the
National Convention is a prime mistake of Slorc.

Although some changes including the release of Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi have been occurred, there is no evidence can be
pointed to that the Slorc is moving towards democracy.  Hand
to hand with Burmese people who are fighting for democracy,
the international community, with their concrete action, can
play in an important and critical role to deter the birth of
constitutional authoritarianism in  Burma.  To accomplish these
actions, we, the Burmese  Lawyers Council, call upon the
international community as follows;

- Not to recognize the outcome of the National Convention
unless political dialogue between Slorc and opposition groups
led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has come out to solve the
political problems,

- To work alongside with democratic forces in order to solve the
political problems and create a genuine democratic constitution,

-  Not to renew the foreign investment or resume the foreign
economic assistance to Slorc which directly strengthen the
perpetuity of military rule.  As well as stop doing any new
economic investment in Burma until and unless human rights

The Burma Lawyers' Council
October, 1995


January 19, 1996

According to a highly placed source from Rangoon, the SLORC, despite initial
agreement with the MTA's envoys to reorganize its post-surrender status as a
militia unit, is pushing the latter to totally disband itself and become
ordinary civilians at the former's mercy.

In a secret directive, radioed a few days ago to SLORC's representative in Ho
Mong, Gen Khin Nyunt instructed him to " absolutely demilitarize " the MTA  " in
rapid stages ". The report put the option of becoming a homeguard unit totally
out of the question.

In the meantime, reports have been received that all " retired " soldiers of the
MTA are being given 
K 2,000 each and being flown by helicopters to Lang Kho, where they are being
put into units of porters who carry supplies from the depot there down to
Salween crossing.

A reliable source has also reported that Maj Kham Pha, once a most loyal
follower of Khun Sa, has gone with 1,000 troops deeper into Kengtung territory
from the Pa Kae stronghold opposite Chiang Rai province of his immediate
superior, Col. Sulai, who surrender to the Burmese authorities yesterday. It is
not yet known where his destination is.


TERRORIST WOUNDS      January 22, 1996

BURMA and North Korea are quietly restoring diplomatic relations
that have been strained since North Korean agents planted a bomb
that killed 17 high-level South Korean diplomates, including four
cabinet ministers, 12 years ago in Rangoon.

The two countries have over the past few months speeded up talks
to normalize ties, and Bangkok is being used as a centre for
negotiations, an informed source said.

The source said the Burmese Ambassador to Thailand, U Tin Winn,
invited North Korea's charge d'affaires in Bangkok, Pang
Song-Hae, to an official reception on Jan 4 to celebrate Burma's
48th independence anniversary.

Western diplomats at the function believed that Rangoon and
Pyongyang want to restore relations as quickly as possible. Ties
were severed after the bomb t attack on Oct 9, 1983, at the Aung
San Mausoleum. The bomb detonated when ; then-South Korean
president Chun Doot Hwan was paying his respects to Aung # San,
hero in the fight for Burmese independence.

The blast killed four South Korean ministers in the delegation
and 13 accompanying officials and wounded 14 others. Burma
condemned the act of terrorism and cut ties with North Korea on
Nov 4 that year.

Pyongyang has since tried unsuccessful to restore the bilateral
relations, but Rangoon was negative to their overtures.. A number
of North Korea's efforts were made through Bangkok.

Last year North Korea, suffering from a food shortage due to
severe flooding, sent an official delegation to Rangoon to
negotiate the purchase of rice after Thailand refused unless
previous large payments were met. Rangoon was positive in its
response to North Korean.

Pyongyang hoped that economic relations through "rice diplomacy"
would help improve its long-lost relation with Burma.

A North Korean expert said he believed that China, which is "a
good friend" to both Pyongyang and Rangoon, has played a key role
in helping the two countries restore relations. Beijing hopes
that normalization of relations between Burma and North Korea
would lead to peace and stability in the region, he said.

Apart from Burma, North Korea has also used Bangkok as a channel
to open ties with Brunei and the Philippines, the only two Asean
countries Pyongyang does not have diplomatic relations with, the
source said.

Pyongyang has repeatedly expressed its desire to become a
dialogue partner in Asean and attend the Asean Regional Forum,
where the grouping and its dialogue partners from developed
countries, including South Korea, hold annual talks to discuss
political and security issues in the Asia-Pacific region.

Since Laos established relations with South Korea on Oct 25, the
communist North Korean influence has dwindled:

Only Cambodia, through personal relations between King Norodom
Sihanouk and the late North Korean president Kim Il-Sung, has
retained good relations with Pyongyang, but this still creates
problems for South Koreans seeking diplomatic relations with
Phnom Penh.

Chung Tae-Tong was appointed the first South Korean ambassador to
Laos and will soon travel to Vientiane to formerly establish
diplomatic relations.

The new North Korean Ambassador to Thailand, Ri Sam-Ro, has
already arrived in Bangkok, replacing Li Do-Sop, who recently
finished his four-year term.

The source said Ri Sam-Ro has been a key player in three-year-old
negotiations with Japan to normalize relations.

Ri was sent to Bangkok after having served as ambassador to
Indonesia for less than a year.

He is keen on Southeast Asian affairs and his duties here will
likely include attempts to restore relations with Burma and to
establish new ties with the Philippines and Brunei, the source said.


January 22, 1996   by YINDEE LERTCHAROENCHOK

KYAINGDON, Burma _ Some 200 Burmese troops made an early morning
raid on the Karen village of Wabaw, killing one man and wounding
another, the same day a Karen delegation left Moulmein for
scheduled ceasefire talks in Rangoon, Karen sources said.

The attack, which was preceded by shelling, occurred on Dec 21,
as 300 villagers were celebrating the traditional Karen New Year,
an eyewitness said.

The same day, a seven-member delegation of the Karen National
Union (KNU) led by P'doh Klee Say travelled to Rangoon for a
ceasefire meeting with Lt Gen Khin Nyunt, a top leader of the
ruling Burmese junta, the State Law and Order Restoration Council

Burmese troops from the 106th and 343th Battalions, under the
command of San Lwin and Myint Thein respectively, ransacked the
village, burning down a house belonging to U Maung Taung and
stealing people's valuables, the witness said.

The witness, who asked not to be named because the nature of his
work requires him to travel extensively inside Burma's eastern
Karen state, identified the villager killed as U Palaw Tu, 30,
from Wakamay in Thanbyuzayat township, and the wounded man, hit
in the knee, as U Aung Yi, 32, from Wabaw.

He said Burmese artillery began shelling the village about 8.45
am, and the troops followed as people fled into the jungle.

"We didn't expect Slorc to do it, because we thought peace talks
were going on in Moulmein. And it was our traditional New Year
celebration. All the villagers ran away when the artillery opened
fire," he said.

The witness believed the attack order must have come from a top
army or regional army commander.

"They must have got the order from the top man. How could they
launch the . operation without an order? It may come from Maj Ket
Sein or maybe from the top men," he said. Ket Sein heads the
Burmese army's southern command.

The witness said the Burmese troops robbed U Aung So, 32, of 40
silver coins, 20,000 kyat and clothing, and U Saw Maung, 58, of
his gold necklace and 22,000 kyat, one ox and some clothing,
while U Gyi Nyo, 60, lost a gold necklace and 8,000 kyat.

One US dollar fetches 120 kyat on the black market and six kyat
at the official exchange rate.

The witness added that the Burmese troops also ransacked Kalatoke
village during their retreat back to their barracks.

The 106th Battalion is based in Mokani, about 13 km by road from
Wabaw, and the 343th Battalion in Ye.


January 22, 1996

    Burma's military hopes peace with rebels will increase its power,                        
AP's Robert Horn writes.

Khun Sa, Burma's notorious opium warlord, stood at a table in his
jungle headquarters this past week with generals he has been
fighting for nearly two decades, raised a glass of whiskey and
toasted to the end of war.

Peace in Burma, however, may still be far off.

Khun Sa's surrender of his territory in eastern Burma does bring
the Burmese army a step closer to gaining control of the chaotic
hinterland and borders for the first time since independence from
Britain in 1948.

Burma's military rulers are eager to achieve that goal for more
than security reasons. Analysts say the junta believes that would
legitimize its rule, support the argument that only it can unify
the insurgency-wracked nation and improve an image tarnished by
brutal handling of democracy activists.

The prospect of peace with the various rebel movements raises
some fears. Democracy advocates contend the government would use
peace as an opportunity to tighten its grip on power and
dismantle their movement.

Some analysts also are concerned that a strong Burmese army controlling 
the frontiers would create problems for neighbouring countries.

The army, which killed thousands of unarmed pro-democracy
demonstrators in 1988, has shown no willingness to compromise
over its role in ruling Burma. Arrests of followers of democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi are continuing.

The military is using the border situation to try and gain
support from the international community," said Josef
Silverstein, a leading Burma expert at New Jersey's Rutgers
University. "If they get it, that will be a crushing blow to the
democracy movement."

But the junta may not be able to focus just on political dissent.
Most of the minority ethnic groups that have signed truces warn
that the agreements are not a permanent peace. They say the
government still must address their demands for some measure of
autonomy and control of natural resources.

"There is no peace in Burma," said Abel Tweed, an official with
ethnic Karenni rebels, who along with ethnic Karens are one of
two groups along the Thai-Burmese border still fighting the
government. "You can hear the mortars and machine guns from

As tweed spoke from an office in Mae Hong Son, Thailand, near the
Burmese border, 400 Karenni guerrillas were struggling to hold a
peak called Rambo Hill against an attack by 2,600 Burmese

A cease-fire signed by the Karenni collapsed when the Burmese
army attempted to seize control of the lucrative cross-border
timber trade that helps finance the Karenni militia.

Burma, a nation of 45 million people, is made up of eight major
ethnic groups divided into 135 subgroups. Burmese dominate the
central plains, while the Kachins, Karens, Karennis, Shans,
Chins, Mons, Rakhines and others predominate in outlying areas.

The minorities do not trust the government in Rangoon, and most
spent decades fighting for autonomy or independence.

Much of Burma's natural resources are in the ethnic areas. The
minorities have used cross-border trade in items like timber and
gems - and some have used opium trafficking - to finance their

Because the truces do not address their political aspirations,
the ethnic groups are reluctant to give up control of their
natural resources and economies.

Suu Kyi says the disputes can be solved through dialogue.

The junta argues that if it was not in control, Burma would
disintegrate in violence like the former Yugoslavia.

"It is the most legitimate argument they make for their continued
rule," said Mari Smith, a Burma expert in London. "They truly
believe they are the only guys capable of holding the country

Bertil Lintner, a Burma expert in Bangkok, sees a Burmese army
with no insurgencies to quell as a threat to regional stability.

Thailand and Burma are ancient enemies and the Thais supported
the ethnic groups as a buffer between them and the Burmese. In an
effort to improve trade with Burma, that support has ended. But
there are still 70,000 mostly Karen refugees along the Thai-
Burmese border.

Burmese raids on refugee camps have been common. Thai attempts to
negotiate the problems have failed.

"The Burmese aren't interested in solving the border problems,"
Lintner said. 'They want to humiliate the Thais."


January 20, 1996

This info is from the URL: http://www.wi.net/airborne.tours/main.html:

Between 1993 and 1995 active-duty and former paratroopers of all of the
U.S. services and paratroopers from foreign countries jumped with
Friendship Airborne and earned wings in Thailand (Royal Thai Army, Air
Force, & Marines), Myanmar (Burma), China (Beijing), and Cambodia. Send $10
and we will send you a two-hour videotape of these Airborne tours.

The approximate cost of the Thailand/Burma jump tour will be $3,000. This
covers your air transportation (from L.A.),food, lodging, training, jumps,
wings/certificates, manifests, prop-blast party and touring. You must be
parachute-qualified to participate, and you will make one jump for each set
of wings.

Participation is limited to first come, first served basis. Past
participants have ranged in age from 19 to 73 years old with the majority
being Vietnam Veterans. Official wings, certificates, and signed manifests
are awarded by senior active-duty officers of the country. U.S. Army and
Air Force active-duty and Reserves and National Guard are authorized to
wear these official wings on their uniforms.
                                  Dr. Frank Osanka, Special Forces
Association LIFE Member.

United States Contact
 82 Woodfield Court  Racine, WI. 53402
Phone: (414)-639-0780  Fax:(414)-639-7686

United Kingdom Contact
R. Ricketts
Telephone: 01395-264624

Burma Navy SCUBA/DIVE badger (hard hat flanked by sea horses) awarded to
those who qualify on the Burma Navy SEALS dive cruise, April 1996.
Friendship Airborne will once again jump with the Royal Thai Marines Corps
(as well as the Thai Navy SEALS) in 1996 (water jump).

                              JUMPS IN THAILAND AND BURMA-APRIL 1996
                                                     TENTATIVE ITINERARY
April 6 Depart for Bangkok airport; fly to Yangon, Myanmar (Burma); guided
tour in p.m.
April 7 Guided touring; R&R in the p.m.
April 8 Pre-jump training and Burma Airborne demonstration.
April 9 Jump with the Burma Army Airborne; wings awarded; Òprop-blastÓ
dinner party hosted
by Mayor of Yangon (Colonel-ret,.Abn.); R&R in p.m.
April 10 Depart Yangon for Bangkok; R&R in p.m.