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INDIANA DAILY STUDENT Feb 5, 1996
- Subject: INDIANA DAILY STUDENT Feb 5, 1996
- From: dhorne@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 05 Feb 1996 15:04:00
IUSA SUPPORTS EFFORTS TO CANCEL BURMA TRIP
By Dawn Reiss
Indiana Daily Student
Feb 6, 1996
THE IU Alumni Association's trip to Burma has drawn fire from the IU
Student Association, including President Shawn Domeracki, junior.
Domeracki said Sunday he will talk with Jerry Tardy, executive director
of the Alumni Association, about IUSA's concerns about the Burmese trip.
He also will send a copy of a letter by Burmese Student Association
President Tun Myint, along with IUSA resolution and also a personal
letter, to Kenneth Beckley, President of IU Alumni Association.
Yet as of Friday, the Alumni Association maintained its endorsement of
"Our Alumni can choose from a wide array of travel offerings and
visiting a country does not mean endorsing the policies of its
government," Tardy said in a news release Friday.
IUSA decided at its Congress meeting Thursday to support efforts to
cancel the Alumni Association's scheduled trip to Burma. IUSA made its
decision after listening to Myint and IUSA Sen. Matt Fourman's supportive
The trip is scheduled for departure early Friday afternoon from Los
Angeles. Twenty-five alumni are currently signed up for the tour, which
includes stop in Burma, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Hong Kong.
"I think we are doing the right thing," Domeracki said. "I really hope
that we can stop this trip, it is wrong for (the Alumni Association) to
be there, it seems that students' concerns aren't really a big deal for
them on this issue."
In the IUSA bill, it states that more than 500,000 Burmese citizens have
been forcefully removed by the Burmese regime in power, the State Law and
Order Restoration Council (SLORC).
Fourman, a senior, said he respects the Alumni Association but disagree
with the decision.
"The real issue is that the trip to Burma lends credibility and the good
reputation of IU to SLORC regime," Fourman said.
"It's important to visit places to let sunshine in," said IU Alumni
Association Travel Director Joan Curts. "I wish the free Burma movement
"I think it is really sad that IU Alumni Association has zero regard for
what the IU students feel," IUSA sen. Joel Miller said.
First-year graduate student Steve Ma, who attended the Congress meeting,
said Burmese people are being tortured.
"It has been well-documented that SLORC has been using forced labor at
their tourist sites and railway stations which international travelers
will pass on their trip to Burma," Myint said.
IUSA's resolution states that Northwestern dropped its sponsorship, and
UCLA and University of Michigan have canceled such alumni packages
because of human rights violations in Burma.
The White House had issued a statement Dec. 1 calling on SLORC to
transfer power to the elected government led by Aung San Suu Kyi, the
winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Normally, when there is a worldwide issue, it is difficult to make a
difference, said junior Regina Boatz, IUSA Vice President of
Administration. But "we are going to try and make an impact," she said.
"We are taking a stand for the students, to show the Burmese student
association that they are being supported.
NOTE: This article appeals in today, Feb 5, on the front page of the main
section of IDS.