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REPORT ON COMMUNICATIONS (24/6/94,
Subject: REPORT ON COMMUNICATIONS (24/6/94, 10/8/94)
/* Written Sat 3 Feb 6:00am 1995 by DRUNOO@xxxxxxxxxxxx(DR U NE OO) in igc:reg.burma */
/* -----------" Report on Communications (24/6 & 10/8, 1994) "------------- */
LETTER TO MR LEE BROWN, DIRECTOR, DEA(24/6/94)
Dr U Ne Oo
48/2 Ayliffes Road
St Marys SA 5042
June 24, 1994.
Mr Lee Brown
Director of the National Drug Control Policy
C/O The US Department of State
Washington, DC 20520 USA.
Dear Mr Brown,
I am a Burmese national presently residing in Australia. Formerly, I was a
teacher at the Rangoon Arts and Science University, and left Burma in 1988
for further study in Australia. I took asylum from Australia as a refugee
after Burmese Government's cancellation of my passport in 1992; and
subsequently engaged in the movement for democracy in Burma. Enclosed with
this letter are some of my work relationg with democracy movements for
Firstly, please allows me of taking the liberty of writing to you regarding
with your initiatives at the US Congress about anti-narcotics operations in
Burma. I particularly agree with you that Burma's narcotics problem should
be addressed in relation with its human rights concerns. I believe the
problem could be resolved if we approach with patience and diligence on the
issue of reducing narcotics production and not to lend legitimacy to
Burma's military regime (SLORC).
There have been considerable concerns amongst pro-democracy groups if
US-DEA were to resume Aid directly to SLORC. The main concerns are (1) this
will give internal as well as international credibility to SLORC and (2)
Aid monies might be used for Burma Army (see also enclosed paper to the
UN). Apart from this, all pro-democracy groups certainly share the
international community's concern on narcotics problem in Burma.
In my opinion, the narcotics problem should be divided into two stages: the
production and trafficking. Given that SLORC's own political insecurity and
lack of credible law enforcement agencies with the absence of independent
judiciary, it seem impossible to [take] counter [measures on] trafficking
problem. There have been credible reports of Burmese Army's official
complicity in production and trafficking of narcotics. Burma has a large
enough intelligence apparatus, such as Military Intelligence Service (MIS),
in order to counter drug trafficking but the MIS have been too busy in
cracking-down political opponents. Even if the MIS have enough evidence of
trafficking by army officers, SLORC regime cannot discipline to those
officers for obvious reasons. The political instability as well as lack of
observant of rule of law by officials are the main obstacle to counter drug
trafficking in Burma. I believe a more efficient and practical approach to
the narcotics problem is the one that oriented in reducing production than
to crack-down trafficking.
Such an approach based on the principle of reducing production had been
carried out by UNDCP in Burma through SLORC: The Border Area Development
Programme (BAD). The BAD fails because the international monitoring and
evaluation processes were inadequate, I believe. On the otherhand, a
well-planned participation of the grass-roots to this programme seem to
have been neglected at the policy level. The method of resources given to
SLORC and get them to administer the programme give some political
legitimacy to SLORC, which becoming a concern to human rights groups; and
also makes impossible to determine whether SLORC were doing good job. This
method, therefore, need to be rectified.
I think the most feasible approach may be a modified version of Border Area
Development Programme, with more international monitoring instruments
placed. Those monitoring procedures that described in the enclosed paper
may have some relevance to this. Followings are some steps that may require
to implement this.
(1) First stage: maintain existing cease-fire between WAs rebels and SLORC
by deploying the ICRC and NGOs within the area (i.e. Shan State). I would
like to suggest this step could be taken together with nation-wide
cease-fire by other ethnic groups. We hope this to be implemented after the
next UNGA in September (1994).
(2) Second stage: NGOs to increase contact with drug producing grass-roots
(mostly hill-farming communities). It would take some time for NGOs to know
local people. A trust between NGOs and grass-roots should be created by
involving in the humanitarian activities. It is a necessary step because
these hill-farming communities, traditionally, tend not to have contact
with government authorities.
(3) Third stage: eradicate poppy fields by manpower. This task can be done
by mobilizing urban population and Burmese students of lower-land areas as
volunteers. This kind of public movement once a year at poppy harvesting
time is quite possible.
(4) Fourth stage: NGOs to provide education for substitution of crops and
relief to the grass-roots. This is important in order that the grass-roots
are not turning into rebellion after their cash-crops were destroyed.
I think these steps will bring about the medium and, possibly, long term
drug eradication programme. However, there can be a lot of unknown and
uncertain factors can exists in this process. Firstly, about the nature of
WAs' rebellion. It is not clear, at least to me, what has been their
aspirations for rebellion. Prior to 1989, the WAs are under communist
party's consolidations. Soon after China opened trades with Burma, the
Moist-Burman leaders left and, consequently, WAs took to the form of ehtnic
rebellion. It has also been reported that some personnel within WAs army
are originally of China's intelligence supporting groups. It is quite
possible that China still have some security interests in this. But, if DEA
can negotiate with China, this problem might be resolved.
Another factor unknown is whether there are political aspiration of WAs
rebels and, if there is any, how that might have to reconcile with the
policy of DAB and that of Burmese Army. /* --------- */ These are the
concerns that may be affecting to such solutions to narcotics problem.
In any case, it seems that a comprehensive and nation-wide cease-fire with
all ehtnic groups will be first important step that have a common interest
in not only for Burma's political solution but also for narcotics problem.
We are presently working towards nation-wide cease-fire to be implemented
possible after UNGA in September-94. I wish to urge US-DEA, The State
Department and the Congress to support in this endevour for peace in Burma.
Furthermore, I whish to appeal the US-DEA to take some patience and not to
make favour to SLORC by pouring resources into military's hand. Pressure
must be mounted upon SLORC that it is Burma's international obligation to
eradicate narcotics. The time would come when the international community
is able to make contact with grass-roots for meaningful initiatives in this
regards. I believe the strategy outlined would serve for long term benefits
at a relatively low risks.
With this, hoping that I have made some useful inputs to the DEA policy
towards Burma. Please feel free to contact me in case of a need for
clarifications and further planning.
Sd. U Ne Oo
(1) Mr Tim Wirth, Undersecretary for Global Affairs, US Department of State
(2) Mr John Shattuck, Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and
Humanitarian Affairs, US Department of State.
(3) Senator The Hon. Gareth Evans, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Canberra,
Australia for information.
LETTER TO MR JAN ELIASSON, UNDER-SEC GENERAL, UNDHA (10/8/94)
The Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs
United Nations, New York 10017
New York, U.S.A.
Please find enclosed materials regarding with the cease-fire negotiation
proposed for the Military Government of Myanmar(SLORC) and the Democratic
Alliance of Burma(DAB) - the umbrella organization of elected
parliamentarians in exile, ethnic rebels and Burmese students. This
initiative has been one of the continuing efforts by expatriate Burmese and
NGOs to implement a notionwide cease-fire and to create a conducive
environment for repatriation of the refugees.
Burmese refugees and displaced persons have been scattered throughout
neighbouring countries: Thailand, India and China. There are also Burmese
illegal workers in Malaysia, who might as well be considered displaced
persons. I wihs the Under-Secretary and UNHCR approach respective
governments to address displaced Burmese problem and make initiative for
organized repatriations for these Burmese. In particular, I wish the UN to
make tripartite agreements with those countries for repatriations of
displaced Burmese. This will set-up a legal framework for the
implementation of the UN organized repatriation programme.
I also wish the Under-Secretary and UNHCR to approach Military Government
of Myanmar to implement cease-fire. Teh Military Government of Myanmar must
be supervised to sign cease-fire agreement with any ethnic rebel and
political organizations which were willing to resolve their political
differences by peaceful means. The continuing armed hostilities at the
ethnic minorities areas are responsible for the occurrence of serious human
rights abuses. Therefore, it is urgent to implement cease-fire in order to
create a safe return for the refugees.
There has already been a cease-fire agreement in place between Burmese
military and Kachin Independent Organization (K.I.O) in northern Burma. The
K.I.O. appear to have tendency to resolve the conflict by peaceful
There have also been cease-fire agreements by Burmese military with WA and
KOKANG rebels in Shan State. The SLORC cease-fires with WA and KOKANG
appear to be more fragile as some neighboring influence upon those rebels
being suspected. Furthermore, osme elements within Wa and Kokang Armies are
reported to be engaging in opium-production and drug-trafficking.
It will be more difficult to implement the cease-fire agreement between DAB
and SLORC because of the SLORC's reluctance to make political settlements
with the opposition democratic forces. Recent response from SLORC seems to
be favorable nonetheless UN should be more forceful of the approach if
There are also Karenni ethnic rebels outside of DAB and will need to enter
the cease-fire. There are few different factions in Darenni ethnic rebels.
Some have already signed cease-fire with SLORC. Some factions are still on
the negotiation with SLORC. Some elements of Karenni rebels believed to
have an inclination towards secession, which could become an obstacle for
the nationwide political settlement. Nonetheless, any group, regardless of
their political inclinations, should be encouraged to enter cease-fire,
provided that the group has genuine will to settle their difference by
There have been armed hostility between the drug warlord Khun Sa and
Burmese Army since December 1993. It appear that the Military Government of
Myanmar staged the offensive on Khun Sa in the hope that US and western
countries will support the operation. The Government of United States,
however, announced its drug policy on Burma last July that dashed SLORC's
hope for western support. As Khun Sa has been well known for its
drug-trafficking and opium-producing records, he should be barred from
entering cease-fire agreement. However, if the Mong Tai Army (Khun Sa's
private army) can find an alternative leader who doesn't have criminal
record, it should be allowed to enter the cease-fire provided that the
political settlement be made in a peaceful way.
Finally, I wish to thank you for your attention on this matter. I also
thank the UN and UNHCR for their efforts made on Burmese refugees.
Sd. U Ne Oo
1. Ms Sadako Ogata, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Case Postale 2500,
CH-1211 Geneva 2 Depot, Switzerland.
2. Senator Gareth Evans, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Parliament House,
Canberra A.C.T. 2600, for information.
/* Endreport */