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Subject: REPORT ON COMMUNICATION(15/1/96)(repost)

/* Written Sat 10 Feb 6:00am 1996 by DRUNOO@xxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:reg.burma */
/* -------------" Report on Communication (15/1/95).repost "------------ */

Dr U Ne Oo
48/2 Ayliffes Road
St Marys SA 5042
Adelaide Australia

January 15, 1995.

Dear Friend:

Greetings from Adelaide Australia and wishing you to a happy and
prosperous new year of 1995.

Re: The activities at the UNGA'1994 and emerging issues
Please  find  enclosed  materials  reporting  the  activities at the United
Nations General Assembly-1994. Reports from  the  Special  Rapporteur,  the
Secretary-General  and  related draft resolution for 1994 indicate that all
of our efforts are yielding good  results  in  promotion  of  human  rights
situation  in  Burma.  In  this  connection, I should like to thank you, in
particular, for your kind attention given to the problem  of  refugees  and
displaced people from Burma.

I  also  enclosed  the  paper "An Operational Guideline Proposal for United
Nations' Agencies in Myanmar". That paper was prepared in  April  1994  for
the  operation  of  UNHCR  and  other UN agencies in Arakan State where the
Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh are repatriating.  As  the  campaign  for
refugees  in  Thailand now closer to some conclusion, the natural extension
of such operation can be considered as the possibilities.

In order to participate in this humanitarian action and  also  to  actively
promote a peaceful solution to Burma's conflicts, there are still much work
needed  to  be done in the part of the pro-democracy forces. It is apparent
that the policy as well as the action  by  the  international  actors  (the
U.N.,  U.S.  and  all  major  democracies  and  the  ASEAN)  have  now been
consolidated. Therefore, the strategies to participate effectively in  this
action  needed  to  be  formulated  by  pro-democracy  groups.  The Burma's
pro-democracy forces must participate in such humanitarian  action  and  to
take active role in peace building in Burma.

The  following are some of the issues which I believe would be important in
promoting a peaceful solution to Burma's conflicts. I would appreciate  and
valued your opinion on these issues.

1.  Empowerment  of  the  elected  representatives: By way of following the
prescriptions outlined in the paper, the U.N. and  international  community
will  be able to encourage some form of interim administration which may be
acceptable to both military and civilians.  At  present,  these  committees
should  be  working  at the regional level. considerations should be made t
promote to the central level when it runs smoothly.

It is crucial for  the  Burmese  Army  and  elected  representatives  works
smoothly  in  those interim committees. At present, such operation has been
in place in the Arakan State. According  to  the  Special  Rapporteur,  the
Military  Government  of  Myanmar  agreed  to the operation of humanitarian
agencies at the grass-roots level. I would  advocate  the  UN  to  consider
sharing  their  evaluation on this process. I would communicate you further
when this becomes available.

2.  The release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi: There has been a speculation about
possible release of Daw Aung  San  Suu  Kyi  as  early  as  mid-Janary  95.
Concerns  has  also  been  raised  for  a  possibility of renewing conflict
between the SLORC and her.

Although Daw Aung San Suu Kyi  herself  has  been  devoted  to  non-violent
methods in opposing the urling junta, the existing laws that promulgated by
successive military governments are not permitting anyone to express freely
of  their views. Therefore it'll be appropriate to request Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi to voluntarily refrain from making  comments  about  the  role  of  the
Burmese  Army  publically. However, she should be allowed to discuss freely
with the representatives of pro-democracy forces,  the  elected  member  of
parliament  and military personnels. The public should only be informed via
the press statements made by the ocuncil of  these  representatives,  which
may avoid the possibility of her being target for persecution.

There  are  numerous  laws  in  Burma  restricting  freedom  of  speech and
association, and forming of  peaceful  assembly.  When  dealing  with  such
oppressive   laws,   the   pro-democracy   forces   should   avoid   direct
confrontations. The usual method,  which  used  in  1988  movement,  is  to
act-in-defiance  of  the  law  which  inevitably promote confrontation with
military authorities. However, in present circumstances, the  pro-democracy
forces  should  recognize that the law(s) as it is has been repressive, and
therefore seek the mediation of the U.N. for repeal of the law. These  laws
will have to be revoked when drafting the constitution. Such an approach to
these oppressive laws will be consistent with the policy of benchmarks.

3.  Participation of ehtnic freedom fighters in national political process:
The  representatives  of  the  ethnic  freedom  fighters  should  be  given
appropriate  political  plafrorm  in  drafting  the  federal  constitution.
Currently, the Japanese Friendship Association is brokering  peace  between
last  remaining groups of DAB. As I have no further information on this and
therefore please share information about this if you  know  anything  about

Although  the  pro-democracy  forces  cannot  directly  participate  in the
operation of interim committees (wihch described in 1. and referred  to  as
Reception  committees  in  the  paper),  the  pro-democracy  forces  can be
transformed into local political and social  groups  -  such  as  returnees
associations,  ethnic  youth  and  cultural  organizations,  etc - and make
influence in decision-making process  through  the  local  representatives.
This  move  must  eventually be aimed at initiating/consolidating political
parties at the regional/state level.

There has been fears felt by some freedom  fighters  that  they  may  loose
their  legitimacy  by  making  peace  with  the SLORC. This may be due to a
belief that the respect by its own  people  (hence  legitimacy)  is  earned
through fighting oppressive Burmese military. It is essentially the problem
of   transforming   to   the   real   political   organizations   from  the

4. The role  of  student  freedom  fighters:  Present  political  situation
appeals  re-assessment  of  the  role  of  students  within  the  democracy
movement. The students had fled to the border areas and joined with  ethnic
freedom  fighters  in  1988 in the hope that they may be able to topple the
central government by armed struggle.

One difference between student  army  (the  All  Burma  Student  Democratic
Front)  and  ethnic  rebels  is that students do not have an aspiration for
political power.  All  they  want  to  do  is  to  dismantle  the  military
dictatorship  in  Burma.  Since  present  trend  of the movement is the one
leading to non-violent struggle, it may be appropriate for student army  to
consider phased-out their armed-wing.

It  must  be aware, however, the sensitivity of this issue. Recent internal
conflict within KNU has caused distress to the leadership of last remaining
pro-democracy  forces.  A  gesture  of  withdrawal  of  students  will   be
detrimental  to the morale of these remaining forces. One possible solution
may be to consider the option of gradually phasing-out student's armed-wing
after the cease-fire is implemented between remaining ethnic  rebels  (NMSP
and KNU) and the Burmese Army.

5.  Institutionalizing  Human  Rights: The success in human rights movement
this  year  is  much  attributed  to  various  non-partisan  human   rights
organizations'  efforts  in  documentations  and  reports  provided  to the
international  community.  As  the  non-violent  struggle  in  Burma   must
continue,  there  is  a  need  to  encourage  the  continued  operation and
expansion of non-partisan human rights  organizations.  Efforts  should  be
made to expand the network to a national level and training in human rights
documentations  and  reportings.  Continuation  of reports to international
human rights organizations such  as  Amnesty  International,  Human  Rights
Watch and the U.N. Special Rapporteur are essential.

The  establishment  of  such non-partisan human rights organization will be
beneficial to the population in longer term,  even  beyond  the  democratic
government  came  into  power. Human being's strife for greater respect for
human  rights  is  necessary  to  continue  even  in  the  well-established
democratic societies.

Although  the  governments  in  the Asian countries tend to label the human
rights as an alien concept, the universal values such  as  social  justice,
observance  to  just  rule of law, respect for human being and the humanity
are not. It then is as a matter of interpreting these values  in  terms  of
human rights. Such non-partisan organization can be popular amongst Burmese
populace  once  it  established,  since  these  values  are  not  an alien,
particularly, to the Burmese.

6. Controlling the business community: There has been a  renewed  interests
from the international business community to go into Burma as the political
tension   eased.  The  UN  initiated  economic  embargo  will  unlikely  be
implemented as long as  things  going  smoothly.  It  might  not  be  quite
necessary  to  advocate  the  Business community to withdraw entirely or to
discourage entering Burma. However,  it  will  certainly  be  necessary  to
inform  the  illegal status of SLORC and therefore not to invest with large
financial sums within Burma. Businesses must be ready to pull out if things
are not going smoothly. Nonetheless, any genuine  business  will  need  the
time  to  study  the situation in Burma and will whish to make contact with
the people of Burma, it may be reasonable to allow them  to  open  official

7.  The  operation  of  UN humanitarian agencies and NGOs: There has been a
difficult task of advocating the governments for financial supports to  the
repatriation program. The community groups should advocate their respective
governments  to  lend  financial  support  in  this humanitarian operation.
Especially, we would need the information regarding who  to  ask  for  such
financial support.

Present  operation  will  particularly suited for the NGOs who have already
working  in  collaboration  with  UNHCR.  In   Australia,   there   is   an
inter-governmental  agency  -  known  as  AUSTCARE which already working in
co-ordination with UNHCR. The community groups should advocate  support  to
such organizations wherever possible.

Some  NGOs  might  wish  to  have  more  freedom in supporting a particular
targeted group. It is also natural for NGOs in showing  their  significance
and  to  claim  a  success  in  their  work.  However, present situation in
Burmaneed NGOs' coordination with the UN humanitarian agencies  -  such  as
UNICEF and WHO - in order to avoid duplications in efforts and to show that
all  NGOs are operating in a cohesive fashion in promoting the humanitarian
situation in Burma.

8. The contingency measures  and  the  role  of  NCGUB:  According  to  the
Memorandum  issued  by  the  Burmese Embassy at the UNGA, "Myanmar is fully
committed to the voluntary and safe repatriation of returnees and  will  be
faithful  scrupulously  in  implementing the agreement and arrangement made
between the concerned parties ...".  In  spite  of  such  an  assurance,  a
contingency  plans  must  be  made  in  order to ensure the democratization
process be not deviate from its final objective. The anology  of  situation
may  be  seen  in  Haiti,  where  the  withdrawal of civilian peace-keeping
mission in 1993 has led to a  stronger  U.N.  intervention.  Therefore,  we
should  appeal  the  National  Coalition  Government  of  Union of Burma to
maintain its high-profile status until  democratically  elected  government
came into power in Burma.

9.  Participating  in  political  action:  There  has  been  some differing
opinions on how to unite  such  groups  and  organizations  of  diverse  in
background  and  interests  to reach a unified political action. One of the
solution may be to encourage these groups to communicate  more  frequently,
and  if  possible,  discuss  the  issues. Formalizing the relations between
groups, and hence the national political consolidation, should be made at a
much later stage. Participation to any political action by various groups -
large or small - must be based on  the  fundamental  understanding,  mutual
trusts  and  co-operations. This process may boil down to even to the level
of individual co-operations.

As in any  political  process,  the  success  or  failure  of  a  political
organization  will  depend  on  the  understanding of general trend and its
ability to participate in the general action. Therefore, all  pro-democracy
organizations  needs  to  open-up  their views to others and cooperate each
other with an open-mind. In this  way,  Burma's  pro-democracy  groups  can
achieve the "Unity in Action".

I shall be grateful for you to give your views on these matters. I would be
able  to  send your message and views to various groups, which may help the
other make known of your views. Those who have computer  account  can  send
their messages to following e-mail address, a place where discussions about
Burma are usually held.

Once  again,  I should like to thank you for your kind attention to Burma's
democracy movement and, in particular, the refugees  and  displaced  people
from Burma.

Yours sincerely
Sd. U Ne Oo

e-mail(BurmaNet): reg.burma@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx (or) strider@xxxxxxxxxxx

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