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                                                         12 February 1996

The following letter has been endorsed by the following NGOs:

(1)  ABIM (Islamic Youth Movement of Malaysia)

(2)  ALIRAN    



(5)  MSRI (Malaysian Sociological Research Institute) 

(6)  Third world Network

(7)  South East Asia Forum for Development Alternatives (SEAFDA                                                                                                           

(8)  Tamil Support Group for Human Rights

(9)  Malaysian Gurdwana Council

(10) World Tamil Relief world 

(11) Jarmu-Kashmir Forum for Human Rights

(12) Society for Christian Reflection

(13) JCS (Jaffnese Cooperative Society)

(14) PKPIM (National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students) 

(15) MEM (Malaysian Youth Council) 

(16) IIFSO (International Islamic Federation of Student              
               Organisations, East Asia)

(17) PRM (Parti Rakyat Malaysia) 

(signed here)
Kan Yaw Theng
Campaign Coordinator


                                             12 February 1996
General Than Shwe
State Law and Order Restoration Council

General  Than Shwe,

NGOs Call to Boycott " Visit Myanmar Year "

When the State Law and Order Restoration Council ( SLORC )
military dictatorship unconditionally released Aung San Suu Kyi,
the leader of the democracy movement of Burma, from almost six
years of house arrest, in July 1995, we heartily welcomed the
move as a possible sign that at long last, the long night of
brutal repression in Burma could soon be over.

Subsequent action by SLORC have proved that our cautious optimize
was somewhat misplaced. It is crystal clear by now that your
release of Aung San Suu Kyi was merely a tactical move to placate
growing international and domestic opposition to your brutal and
corrupt regime, in last desperate attempt to perpetrate illegal
and illegitimate and unrepresentative power in Burma.

The following facts are proof that the SLORC military
dictatorship has, no intention of giving up its ill-gotten power:

(1) Far from releasing all political detainees, the SLORC has in
fact arrested and detained more of its critics, especially those
from the National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Aung San Suu

(2) There are still all sorts of restrictions on legitimate and
democratic political activities by political parties: 

(3) Although the SLORC has taken back the Rohingya Muslims from
Bangladesh, between 30,000 and 40,000 of them are still
languishing in refugee camps in that country, moreover, the
Rohingya Muslims allowed to go back to Burma are taken back as
"aliens", not as citizens of Burma or Myanmar:

(4) The SLORC is still persecuting and killing many Karens, the
Rohingyas and other minorities:

(5) The SLORC is continuing with the uncivilized practice of
using forced labour on a massive scale. Human Rights watch/Asia   
estimates that the SLORC has used two million people as forced
lobour for the development of railways, roads and tourist
facilities since 1992. Many of these people have been either
Subjected or exposed to severe human rights abuses including
arbitrary killings, dismemberment, systematic rape and beatings.
Most have been denied food, shelter or access to medical
treatment. The abduction of people to be used as slave lobour is
widespread throughout Burma. Forced labour is also rounded up
from village areas, according to quotas set by local army

(6) The SLORC is devastating Burma's environment with foreign
companies. The world Bank estimates that Burma is being
deforested at mammoth rate of 776,000 hectares per years.

(7) The National League for Democracy which won 82% of the seats
in the May 1990 elections under the leadership of Nobel Peace
Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi has eversince been denied its right
to assume power and governance, NLD supporters continue to be
arrested , harassed , interrogated and detained.

(8) In October 1995, Professor Yozo Yokota, the United Nations,
Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma/Myanmar reported that
women are also the target of serial abuse and systematic rape.
This lack of economic and personal security has been conducive to
debt slavery, particularly amongst poor villagers in rural areas.
Young Burmese girls as young as 10 are sent to work in brothels
in Thailand. And thanks to SLORC's lack of commitment to public
health, a horrifying HIV/AIDS epidemic is brewing in Burma.

(9) In December 1995, the United Nations General Assembly passed
a resolution deploring the continued violations of human rights
in Burma. It was the fifth consecutive resolution on Burma
adopted by consensus since the situation was brought to the
intention of the United Nations General Assembly in 1991. The
resolution expressed grave concern and named the abuses as (a)
killings; (b) arbitrary arrest; (c) restrictions on freedoms of
expressing and association;(d) torture; (e) forced labour; (f)
forced portering; (g) human rights abuses in border areas in the
course of military operations; (h) forced relocations and
development projects; (i) abuses of women; (j) imposition of
oppressive measures directed in particular at ethnic and
religious minorities.

We, the undermentioned NGOs, strongly condemned the continued
refusal of the SLORC to hand political and administrative power
to the NLD and the continued grave violations of human rights as
listed above.

We hereby give notice that we are calling on Malaysian to totally
boycott 'the Visit Myanmar Year' in 1996 as launched by the SLORC
military dictatorship. We shall also call on  people in other
parts of the world to join the boycott.

For immediate release
                      12 February, 1996
Media Release:
         Malaysians call for Burma Boycott 


Kuala Lumpur: A group of demonstrators representing 17 local NGOs
(Non Governmental organizations) today condemned Burmas Slorc
regime for its continuing human rights violations and called on
their fellow Malaysians and other citizens of ASEAN nations to
boycott the Slorcs Visit Myanmar Year campaign. they also called
on people in other part of the world to join the boycott. 

The group of concerned Malaysians condemned the Slorc for its
refusal to hand over power to a democratically elected civilian
government at a rally which was held outside the Burmese Embassy
in Kuala Lumpur, at 11.30am this morning. Activists who displayed
posters and placards highlighting the crisis in Burma attempted
to deliver an open letter to Slorc Chairman General Than Shwe,
but found the Embassy closed.
The 17 participating local NGOs represent a range of human
rights, youth, environment, religious, student and development
interests. they include ABIM (Islamic Youth Movement of
Malaysia), ALIRAN, CENPEACE, SUARAM, Malaysia Sociological
Research Institute, Third World Network, South East
Asia Forum for Development Alternatives, Tamil Support Group for
Human Rights, Malaysian Gurdwara Council, World Tamil Relief,
Jammu-Kashmir Forum for Human Rights, Society for Christian
Reflection, Jaffnese Cooperative Society, national Union of
Malaysian Muslim Students, Malaysian Youth Council, International
Islamic Federation of Student Organizations (east Asia), and
Parti Rakyat Malaysia. 

The open letter described the July 1995 release of Burmese
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as a tactical move to placate
growing international and domestic opposition against (the)
brutal and corrupt regime, in a last desperate attempt to
perpetuate illegal and illegitimate and unrepresentative power in

The rally was organized as part of a series of actions in the
region to mark Burmas Union Day. Last Saturday (10 February), a
public meeting was held in Penang to raise awareness of the Burma
crisis and discuss the Slorcs tourism and foreign investment

                    NOTE: 3 PAGE OPEN LETTER FOLLOW

For more information, please contact: 
Mr. Fan Yew Teng, CENPEACE, Tel: ++603 758 3272/755 fax:++ 603
758 3273 or 
Ms. Debbie Stothard, SUARAM, tel: ++ 603 794 3525, fax ++ 603 794