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BurmaNet News February 13, 1996 #34

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Subject: BurmaNet News February 13, 1996 #342

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: February 13, 1996
Issue #342

Noted in Passing:

	. 	Watch for expats or returning nationals in trading
		businesses. They are your most active organizers and 
		invisible. Any you know or suspect- harass a lot.
		- Miriam Marshall Segal to the SLORC on how to
		spot potential dissidents in Burma

February 7, 1996

        Since last month, 9 households from loh Thaing village and 5
households (total about 100 people) from Rah-Pu village, Yebyu township in
Tenassarim Division have fled to Payaw camp on the Thai-Burma border due
to the harassment and threats by the Slorc troops.  Many more are on the
way to the refugee camp said San Nhan Si, 52 year old Karen -Christian
refugee who arrived last week to the refugee camp.
        The villagers especially from the Loh Thaing Karen village have
been subjected to human rights abuses by the Slorcs IB 104, stationed at
Kyauk Kadin village commanded by Major Htaung Zar Lian.  After the
fighting of Slorc troops and KNU troops led by Dah Ley on December 2
between the Loh Thaing and Rah-Phu village, the harassment towards Karen
local villagers has been intensified.  On December 18, 1995, about 40-60
soldiers from IB 104 led by Capt Myint kyaw entered Loh Thaing village and
searched for the people in their lists.  They all searched one house to
house for the suspects who were accused of having contact with Dah Leys
group from KNU or relatives of Dah Ley.  Pe Shwe (male over 50 years old)
Pho Kel (male, 30-year-old), Pho Khe (male 50-year-old), Yea Shu (male,
24-year-old), Pe Yeo (a) Saw htoo Khe (male, 42-year-old), Pha Pe (male,
21-year-old), Paw Lwe (male, 35-year-old) Cha Na (male, 45-year-old) Bli
Na (male, 35), Hel Wah (male, 24), Baw Tho (male, 24-year-old) , Naw Kyel
(female, 39-year-old) with her 8-month-old baby, Naw Aye Lo (female,
42-year-old) Naw Phaw Chel (female, over-30-year-old), Naw Deeje (female,
over-30-year-old), Saw Htoo Tha (male, 67-yar-old) Naw Khlo (female,
29-year-old), Naw Phaw Pla (female, 21-year-old) with her 2-year-old baby,
Naw Daw The (female 30-year-old), Naw Lu Phaw (female, 20 year-old) and
Kyaw Pho Kho (male, over-30-year-old) were arrested in their house. Some
of them were relatives of Dah ley but some were arrested while they were
visiting their friends houses.
        Pe Shwe was dragged out of his house and beaten up with the rifle
butt into his head. The soldiers asked him whereabouts of Dah Ley and his
family. At least three time, he was beaten up. All men were tied up with
the rope in their waist and all were taken to Kyauk Ka Din village where
the military stationed.
         "They tied up and tortured us. All the men were forced to stand in
the scorching sun for all day long and they were tied both in their hands
and legs.  The women were forced to strip off their clothes before
standing in the sun and interrogated for all day long without giving any
food nor water" said Naw Kyel, Karen mother of one child who also fled to
Payaw camp last week while she was breeding her child in the refugee camp.
        They were kept in the hut and interrogated for four days. Naw Kyel
told her nightmare of interrogation.  "There were about three soldiers and
one captain ( Captain Myint Kyaw) interrogated me.  They asked whether my
husband (Pe Yeo who also got arrested with her) had a gun or not. I said
no. The captain pointed out gun into my head and threatened if I did not
say truth, he would have shot right away.  I was scare. He slashed into my
face several time."
        After four-day-long interrogation and torture one by one, all were
released except Pe Yeo, Pho Khel and Baw Lwe. The release were ordered to
get the information whereabouts of Dah Ley.  Pe Yeo managed to escape the
next day at night but he stepped on booby traps planted around the army
camp and seriously wounded. He could manage to returned back to his
village was given a secret treatment at the hut outside his village. He
died three days later, according to his wife, Naw Kyel.
        On January 12, 1996, a group of soldiers from IB 401 led by Major
Htaung Zar Lian again came to Loh Thaing village. They ordered the
villagers not to go to the east river side of Ye stream where most of them
had the farm. Anybody would be shot with any questioning if found in that
area.  Major Htaung Zar Lian told the villagers that those who failed to
comply with the order of the military in this village would be punished.
we cannot bear any more arrest or torture by the military. Moreover, the
army ordered us to work on the extension of Ye-Tavoy motor road. Our
village was assigned to work between 71 and 74 miles. Villagers are
required to cut and burn the trees and make the ground level of 150 ft for
each side of the motor road. How can we work for our survivals. We cannot
go and work to our farm and furthermore we have to work without any pay
for many forced labor projects. Thats why we fled to the refugee camp.
told Saw Htoo Thar.
        The villagers from Rah- Phu village also faced that fate. The
soldiers from 401 also came to the village and threatened to the village
on the same day. They also were not allowed to go and work their farms in
the east side of Ye stream. According to the San Nhan Si from Ra Phu
village, Major Htaung Zar Lian said "You Christian Karen are
trouble-makers. Only you have left to make the destructive things to the
State. All other ethnic have returned to legal-fold even the Buddhist
Karen. You Christian and students are minion of colony. I will kill all
Christians and students for the sake of our state."
        Many refugees are on the way to the Payaw camp or in the another
camp right on the border.  Payaw camp is under order or relocation deeper
inside Burma by the Thai authorities.  The food and medical supplies to
the refugee in the Pa Yaw camp will be cut off in the future and all will
be relocated into Burma. The future of refugees is unknown. But the
increasing number of new arrivals indicates the ongoing human rights
violations inside Burma. There are many human rights violations again the
Mon local people although New Mon State Party has reached cease-fire
agreement with Slorc. Karen villagers are particularly targeted for giving
more pressure towards KNU to sign ceasefire.



February 9, 1996


1. Resettlement of the refugees who become homeless due to
the oppression of Rangoon military regime.

2. To help for the welfare of the refugees who become jobless
due to the oppression of Rangoon military regime.

3. To take care and look after the health of the refugees.

4. To fight against illiteracy for the children in the refugees camps.

5. To struggle for human rights.

The Organization of The Mon National Relief Committee

1. Phra Wongsa Pala  Chairman
2. Nai Shwe Thein  Vice- Chairman
3. Nai Banya Leir  Secretary
4. Nai Kasanh Mon  Joint- Secretary
5. Nai Chit Nyunt   Member
6. Nai Pho Sein  Member
7. Phra Tay Jae  Member

(January, 1996)

Difficulties in Repatriation Process

Even though the MNRC would like to repatriate the Mon
refugees according to international refugee principles like
other repatriated refugees over the world, the situation in
Burma has not been allowed and decided to move them back
into areas under control of New Mon State Party (NMSP) to
ensure for their safety and defend human rights abuses. The
MNRC has realized that human rights situation in Mon State
and Tenasserim Division is still worsening and at the same
time, the Thai government never agreed to recognize the
victims who escaped for persecution from Burma as refugee
status, and thus, even the repatriation program should not plan
in the time of NMSP - SLORC cease - fire, but it has no more
choice except moving back to NMSP territory.

The Mon refugees, they also understand the situation due to
their past experiences and decided to move back to NMSP
control areas. To plan to return back to their native places,
they may wait for some time. At the moment, the NMSP will
provide for safety for those returnees, but it is still not enough
according to consideration of MNRC. The international
community should also provide regular monitoring for safety
of them and protect for committing human rights abuses on
those returnees. Hopefully, the international access or presence
in ethnic areas of Burma enable to collect accurate information
from concerning ethnic community and such facts must be
helpful to solve the problem of Burma to attain genuine peace
by initiating or attempting so called reconciliation of all groups
that have been participating in prolonged conflict.

For the time being, the Ye - Tavoy railway construction which
connected the Mon State and Tenasserim Division, is still
implementing to complete section by section. Since June of
1995, the SLORC's railway authorities and the military have
consistently conscripted local inhabitants to provide manual
labours in the construction work sites. On May 30th of 1995,
the most southern 12 miles long Tavoy - Yebyu section was
completed and the SLORC officials also arranged an opening
ceremony. Then, in June, the SLORC has constructed the
Yebyu - Kalein Aung section, about 40 miles long and
completed the embankment of the route in second week of
January, 1996. Because of the present conscription of forced
labours, many thousands of local villagers have to work in the
construction work sites, at the end, they were suffered for
shortage of foods and no cashes for payment to hire labourers
for replacement of defined work duty. Similarly, the SLORC
troops also mistreated to Karen local populations in Yebyu
township harshly after they were attacked by KNU guerrillas.
As a result, over 100 families of Mon and Karen villagers from
Yebyu Township has steadily arrived to Payaw, an only Mon
refugee camp in Thai territory, since last week of November.

At the same time, while many families of new arrivals were
reaching to border area, the MNRC could not send the needed
assistance for Payaw refugees in time, because of the delay of
extension of MOI permission for December and January
assistance. Moreover, when the Mon Resettlement Committee
arranged to get the bulldozer to rebuild the road to Payaw
camp from Sangklaburi, it has faced delays to get permission
for crossing the reforestation area and only in last week of this
month the road was started for rebuilding. Due to April 30
death - line, the smooth transportation of assistance must be
provided to MNRC by all concerning organizations. As
MNRC has consistently suggested before, it would like to
transport all assistance allowed by MOI without waiting the
permissions of district level which have made time - waste and
delay all arrangements to complete in time.

The Visits of US Embassy and UNHCR Team

On January 18, an official from refugee department of US
Embassy, based in Bangkok, visited to Payaw refugee camp
and investigated the repatriation process of Mon refugees.
When he arrived to the camp, he also met with camp leaders,
members of resettlement committee and many new comers
from the railway construction and fighting.

Additionally, a team of UNHCR officials also visited to the
camp on January 25 and also met with camp leaders, members
of resettlement committee and many new comers from the
railway construction and fighting. Before the team visited to
the camp, they arranged a meeting with MNRC and
investigated for development of repatriation process.

The MNRC explained them the difficulties it has been faced
for building the road and transporting assistance to Payaw. The
situation is very complicated for the repatriation of Payaw
refugees while many new arrivals have been arriving to camp,
but the refugees have no more choice. The most new arrivals
have not built their houses yet and they are staying with
refugee families in the camp temporarily and registered to
resettlement sub - committee to get land for house surrounding.

Both US and UNHCR officials talked with camp leaders and
resettlement committee members to get information on
repatriation. According to the registration of resettlement sub -
committee, the Payaw returnees can obtain enough lands for
plantations and house surrounding for all returnees in NMSP
control areas. But to achieve self - sufficiency of those
returnees, they may need some emergency assistance for foods
and development assistance for three years after they were
resettled. And the resettlement areas must be safe or where
there will be no more fighting, the returnees can make their
farmlands in stable situation. If the situation was not stable
enough like they hoped or the fighting occurred again, they
will separate into Thailand.

Then, the officials also conducted interviews with new arrivals
who were recently suffered from forced labours in the railway
construction and the victims who were tortured by SLORC
troops after fighting occurred with KNU. The most slave-labour 
victims explained their terrible experiences in the work
sites. According to the interviews, the railway authorities and
military used more villager labourers than last year. In the
work sites, about 60% of all labourers are women and children
under 16. For every family has had to dig at least five holes of
10 square feet and one foot depth and carry dirt to the
embankment. For the families who could not provide manual
labours had to hire for labourer replacement. They had to work
in the construction work sites for two weeks in every month
since June and if one family could not provide labours for a
defined work duty of two weeks, they had to pay 2500 up to
3500 Kyat to headmen of village group or railway authorities.

In such situation, the MNRC is still requesting the presence of
international community in the repatriation process and to
provide possible protection of human rights committed by any
armed groups.

The Refugee Population of the Four Camps are as follows:
Camp      Families  Total
Bee Ree   271       1645
Payaw          697       4170
Prachaub  317       1725
Halockhani     852       5219

Total          2137      12,759

(N.B.  Of the total, 7,319 are children)


ON BURMA FRAY     January 24, 1996
by Erik Guyot

Peregrine Files Documents That Chronicle a Partnership Gone Sour

The battle became public when a single fax wound up in the wrong hands.

Now, a messy tug - of - war over a Burmese prawn -
processing venture has hit the courts. Documents submitted
recently in a lawsuit in a New York federal court illustrate
how an American businesswoman allegedly called on her
formidable allies in Burma's military government in her efforts
to take over the joint venture. The documents go far beyond
previous reports on the fray, and include a claim by the
woman's erstwhile business partner that she even asked a top
Burmese official she called "my dear general" to "frame" a
rival employee and raid his house.

Peregrine Investments Holdings Ltd. alleges in the lawsuit that
last June Miriam Marshall Segal was involved in a plot to
wrest back control of the prawn venture she had sold to the
Hong Kong based investment bank the year before. The 55 -
year - old businesswoman appeared confident that she could
oust one of Asia's most aggressive investment banks from the
business she had founded. "Peregrine is about to put another
US$1.5 million in, . . . but they will not see the return
anticipated," Mrs. Segal wrote to a friend, according to
documents Peregrine filed in the court. Mrs. Segal advised her
friend that after Peregrine pumped in the cash, it would be time
to squeeze out the investment bank and take over the joint
venture, according to those documents.

There was just one hitch: Mrs. Segal's fax was mistakenly sent
to Peregrine, the investment bank says. The misguided fax
touched off a chain of events: Peregrine fired Mrs. Segal as
chairman of the prawn business in July. In September, it sued
her for US$20 million. The investment bank also sued Mrs.
Segal's alleged co-conspirators: Claude Charles, a retired
Peregrine director, and Michael Dobbs - Higginson, a former
chairman of Merrill Lynch Asia Pacific in Hong Kong. Mrs.
Segal hit back in December by filing a US$20 million
counterclaim against Peregrine in New York, alleging breach
of contract and defamation. Among other things, she questions
the authenticity of the crucial fax.

The widening legal tangle illustrates how, in frontier markets
like Burma, powerful international players can be tripped up
by much smaller local partners. Peregrine, which has offices in
16 Asian countries and prides itself on finding well connected
local partners in emerging markets, originally thought it had
found a valuable ally when it teamed up with Mrs. Segal in
1992. The diminutive blonde, who has divided her time
between New York and the Burmese capital of Rangoon for
the past 20 years, boasts of extraordinary access to Burma's top

At first, Peregrine bought only a minority stake in the cash -
starved prawn business that Mrs. Segal founded in 1990. But
Peregrine eventually took a bigger bite and in 1994 bought out
Mrs. Segal's privately held company, which owns 50% of
Myanmar American Fisheries Co., a joint venture with
Burma's Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries to process prawns
and other seafood. Although Peregrine hired Mrs. Segal as
chairman of the money - losing business and pumped in more
than US$3 million, the two sides squabbled about how the
business should be run.

The fighting didn't end when Peregrine received Mrs. Segal's
errant fax and fired her on July 11. Within weeks, the
businesswoman was able to seize control of the prawn
business, Peregrine's only direct investment in Burma so far.
The investment bank claims Mrs. Segal has taken over its two
prawn plants and barred Peregrine officials from entering.

Outgunned in Burma, Peregrine is fighting back in court. The
investment bank's US$20 million suit against Mrs. Segal
alleges that the businesswoman violated her employment
contract by pursuing other business deals and plotting to
undermine the prawn business so that Peregrine would be
forced to sell out.

The firm also alleges in a separate lawsuit in Hong Kong that
Messrs. Charles and Dobbs - Higginson conspired to aid Mrs.
Segal. Peregrine says it will seek "substantial" damages from
the two bankers similar to those it's claiming from Mrs. Segal.

How was Peregrine locked out of its joint venture?

Speaking from her Manhattan apartment, Mrs. Segal says in a
soft voice that the investment bank made the mistake of taking her too 
lightly. "They thought that I'd just go away and disappear," she says.

Mrs. Segal says Myanmar American Fisheries, known as
Mafco, reverted to her control in accordance with Burmese
law. She also disputes Peregrine's allegations that she violated
her contract, saying it gave her the right to pursue other
business opportunities. Even so, she says in her counterclaim,
she didn't begin to do so until Peregrine breached her contract
by not paying her expenses in early 1995.

Mrs. Segal's lawyer alleges that Peregrine failed to pay the
businesswoman more than US$100,000 in expenses. The
lawyer also claims that after Mrs. Segal was fired, Peregrine
defamed her and interfered in her rightful attempts to pursue
other business opportunities.

Peregrine disputes all of Mrs. Segal's allegations. A lawyer for
the investment bank denies that it owes her any money or that
it defamed her. Messrs. Charles and Dobbs - Higginson also
reject Peregrine's allegations against them. 

At the heart of Peregrine's allegations are computer printouts
of 12 memos, including Mrs. Segal's fax that went astray,
which Peregrine obtained from Mrs. Segal's assistant in New
York. Mrs. Segal's assistant swears in an affidavit that she
faxed the memos. But Mrs. Segal's attorney denies the
authenticity of the errant fax and the other memos, noting that
Peregrine hasn't produced the original faxes.

Even so, the New York judge presiding over Peregrine's
lawsuit, Robert Patterson Jr., has accepted the memos as
reliable enough to enjoin Mrs. Segal from asking Burmese
military officials to raid the houses of Peregrine employees or
otherwise interfere with Peregrine's business.

The saga began early last year, when the prawn business was
still losing money and Mrs. Segal was furious with Peregrine,
which she felt was limiting her say in running the company.

It looked like help was on the way from her good friend Mr.
Dobbs - Higginson, who retired as chairman of Merrill Lynch
Asia Pacific in 1990 after an adventure - filled career that
included a stint as a lay Buddhist monk in Japan. The 54 -
year-old banker, author of the book "Asia Pacific: Its Role in
the New World Disorder," credits Mrs. Segal with persuading
him that Burma is ruled by a forward - looking "collegiate
military government."

Mr. Dobbs - Higginson, who also works as a consultant to the
Japanese trading firm Mitsui & Co., says he introduced Mitsui
officials to Mrs. Segal and Peregrine Chairman Philip Tose.
Mitsui wanted new sources of seafood and was interested in
taking a stake in the prawn business. (Peregrine says it
connected with Mitsui on its own.)

Mrs. Segal apparently realized that a bid by Mitsui could
provide a means to regain control of the prawn business. The
businesswoman began firing off memos to Mr. Charles, whom
she had befriended before his retirement as Peregrine's head of
regional corporate finance in mid - March 1995. On May 31,
according to memos that Peregrine submitted in court, Mrs.
Segal allegedly wrote: "I really do hope you and Michael
(Dobbs - Higginson) come up with something creative by
which Mitsui buys all of Peregrine's stake in Mafco and then
we are able to buy 35% - 40% back."

Mr. Charles denies he was in any sort of a conspiracy with
Mrs. Segal, adding that he "always acted properly for
Peregrine." Mr. Charles says he isn't sure whether he received
a fax from Mrs. Segal on May 31; he says he often ignored her
faxes and never wrote back.

Mr. Dobbs - Higginson says that his dealings with Mrs. Segal
were completely aboveboard and that she told him her contract
with Peregrine allowed her to enter into deals with other
parties. The banker says Mrs. Segal came up "with a number
of absurd schemes" that he strongly advised against. He adds
that Mitsui had decided in April or May not to buy Peregrine's
interest in Mafco. But, he says, Mrs. Segal persisted in her belief that 
Mitsui was interested despite his repeated statements that Mitsui wasn't.

Mr. Dobbs - Higginson defends Mrs. Segal's behavior as
"understandable" because "Miriam Segal was obsessed with
Peregrine's failure to manage Mafco properly and realize its
true value." Peregrine says it has managed the business well
considering that it was in disarray when Peregrine took over in
mid- 1994.

On June 12, Peregrine claims, Mrs. Segal dictated a three -
page memo to Burma's Brig. Gen. Maung Maung, head of the
Fisheries Ministry, which is in partnership with Peregrine. Mrs.
Segal urged him to expel a Peregrine employee and U.S.
citizen named Hector Lwin. "Hector's very active - pin something 
on him, frame him - anything. . . . I would raid Hector's house!" the 
letter said, according to documents filed in court.

The businesswoman also provided the man she called "my dear
general" with advice on a range of issues such as handling re-
lations with the U.S. or how to spot potential dissidents in
Burma. "Watch for expats or returning nationals in trading
businesses," the June 12 letter allegedly said. "They are your most 
active organizers and invisible. Any you know or suspect- harass a lot."

On July 14, Mr. Lwin, an ethnic Burmese, was interrogated by
military intelligence officials and quickly deported for
traveling on an illegal passport, Peregrine says. The investment
bank admits there's no evidence that Mrs. Segal caused Mr.
Lwin's deportation. Mrs. Segal's lawyer denies that she asked
that Mr. Lwin's house be raided or that he be deported, adding:
"Mrs. Segal has not encouraged the government to interfere" with Peregrine.

By late June, relations between Peregrine and Mrs. Segal were
stretched to the breaking point. Mrs. Segal apparently worried
that Peregrine's chairman, Mr. Tose felt snubbed by her. Mr.
Tose and a senior Mitsui official had just visited Burma. Mrs.
Segal set up a rare meeting between the Mitsui official and Lt.
Gen. Khin Nyunt, Burma's intelligence chief. Mr. Tose was left out.

In a fax to Mr. Dobbs - Higginson on June 22, according to
documents Peregrine filed in court, Mrs. Segal allegedly
thanked him for his faxes that she received on the same day,
discussed other business proposals, and stated: "I am making
sure that nothing is achieved by PCM (Peregrine Capital
Myanmar) in Yangon (Rangoon)."

Mr. Dobbs - Higginson recalls that after receiving the fax, "I
rang her up and said, 'Miriam. Miriam. For God's sake be
realistic!" The banker says he urged Mrs. Segal to solve her
problems with Peregrine. Mr. Dobbs - Higginson declined to
provide copies of his June 22 faxes to Mrs. Segal.

A week later, Peregrine says, it received another alleged fax
from Mrs. Segal addressed to Mr. Dobbs -  Higginson.
Reacting swiftly, the investment bank on July 3 eased out an
ally of Mrs. Segal's who had been managing Mafco. The
investment bank fired Mrs. Segal the next week.

It looked like clear sailing for Peregrine. Alan Mercer,
Peregrine's in - house lawyer who has taken the lead in
cleaning up the mess in Burma, told this newspaper in mid
July that the business would soon be making a profit and
predicted annual sales of US$60 million in two to three years.
Mr. Mercer dismissed the possibility that Mrs. Segal could cause 
trouble, stating "she has an overinflated idea" of her importance.

But in Mrs. Segal's darkest hour, she played her trump card.
Back in April, Mrs. Segal had apparently learned that the Min-
istry of Fisheries was questioning the validity of Peregrine's
acquisition of her half of the joint venture. Mrs. Segal says that
although she sold Peregrine her shares of MMA Financo
Fisheries Co.. which held a 50% stake in the prawn venture,
Peregrine failed to properly register its ownership of the shares
with Burmese authorities.

Peregrine heard the news two months after it sacked Mrs.
Segal. On Sept. 12, the Ministry of Fisheries wrote to
Peregrine, stating that the transfer of MMA Financo Fisheries
was subject to Burmese law, even though the company was
incorporated in Hong Kong. 

The businesswoman moved even faster. On about Sept. 6 and
7, Mrs. Segal entered Mafco's two prawn - processing plants in
Rangoon and told staff that she had been reinstated as a
director, Peregrine alleges. Peregrine claims that at one of the
plants, Mrs. Segal and a Burmese ally who she reinstated as
Mafco's managing director told staff that Peregrine personnel
entering the plant would be prosecuted.

Mrs. Segal's lawyer says her actions were justified under
Burmese law because the Ministry of Fisheries found that the
share transfer was invalid. Peregrine claims that its purchase of
Mrs. Segal's Hong Kong - registered company doesn't come
under Burmese jurisdiction and that it properly registered the shares.

On Dec. 7, Judge Patterson in New York issued an order that
would have reopened the prawn plants to Peregrine. The judge
permanently enjoined Mrs. Segal from asking Burmese
military officials to "raid" the houses of Peregrine employees
or otherwise interfere with Peregrine's interest in the prawn
business. Nevertheless, Peregrine's Mr. Mercer says the
investment bank's staff have given up trying to go into the
prawn processing plants since October, when Mr. Mercer says
he was barred from entering. The lawyer says Peregrine is no
longer talking with its joint - venture partner, the Ministry of Fisheries.

A trial isn't set to begin in New York for several months on
Peregrine's claims and Mrs. Segal's counterclaims. Nor are
Peregrine's lawsuits in Hong Kong against Messrs. Charles and
Dobbs -  Higginson expected to go to trial any time soon.

Meanwhile, Peregrine wants to put the prawn business behind
it and move on to other possible ventures in Burma.

As for Mrs. Segal, she vows that despite the lawsuit, she'll
continue to do business in Burma. "I'm not about to walk away
from it," she says.


February 10, 1996

Bonn -- German's development minister canceled a trip to
Burma after the military government forbade him from meeting
with activist Aung San Suu Kyi, officials said Friday.

Burmese authorities said Development Minister Carl Dieter
Spranger could meet with either officials of the military
government or with Suu Kyi -- but not both, the ministry said.

Spranger canceled the visit, set for next week, because he felt
the choice would damage his commitment to human rights, the
ministry said, adding that the ultimatum would harm Burma's
attempt to strengthen ties with the West.


February 12, 1996 

Dear friends,

The Burma Bereau/Germany would like to express its gratitude for your 
instant action bringing the above positive news on the BurmaNet. Our 
Bureau was unable to bring out this news in time. We are yet pleased to 
comfirm this news and would like to add following points:

+German Minister for Economic Cooperation, Carl-Dieter Spranger belongs 
 to the Christian Socialist Union (CSU) party, which is a coalition of 
 the ruling CDU (Christian Democrat Union) party.
+The Minister has had prior agreement with the SLORC before his visit 
 that he will be able to meet with Aung San Suu Kyi.
+In March 1995 German Deputy Foreign Minister Helmut Schaefer had broken 
 off his Burma visit after an e'clat.
+Germany had been one of the biggest foreign aid donors to Burma prior to 
 the bloody crackdown of the democratic movement in 1988.

Nwe Aung / The Burma Bureau - Germany, Feb.11,1996.  


February 7, 1996
By Alex Robbins

Despite demonstrated student opposition and an increasingly publicized
national debate on the consequences of visiting Burma, the Association of
Yale Alumni still plans to sponsor its February alumni tour package,
officials said.

Entitled "The Road to Mandalay," the tour includes a weeklong stay in
Myanmar, a country whose government human rights activists accuse of
practicing torture, interrogation and forced labor.

The Association for a Free Burma, a Yale-based student activist group that
presented the AYA with a petition requesting a de-sponsorship of the tour,
argued that tour funds will finance the country's oppressive authoritarian
regime and further human rights violations.

"The tour brochure advertises Burma as a beautiful, unblemished country. In
reality, since the State Law and Order Restoration Council took over in
1988, Burma is home of the worst human rights violations in any country on
any scale," AFB Co-Director Rachel Kleinfeld '98 said.

But student objections and a few angry letters from alumni have not
persuaded the AYA to withdraw from the tour.

"We reconsidered it, but we didn't feel there was any new information that
changed the fundamental reasons we had for going on the tour," AYA
University Relations Director Judy Cole said.

Last month, the United Nations General Assembly decried Burma for

"continued violations of human rights...including killings of
civilians...restrictions on freedom of expression...torture, forced labor
[and] forced portering."

The Burmese government designated 1996 as "Visit Myanmar Year," with a
projected goal of 500,000 foreign visitors, in an attempt to bring foreign
dollars into the country.

In a New York Times interview last month, Suu Kyi said tourism will not
benefit the Burmese citizens' quest for democracy.

Activists said the NLD's anti-tourism stance should be reason enough for
alumni associations to de-sponsor their tours.

"When a legitimate representative of a democracy movement says, 'Don't go,'
for tourists to go, knowing the movement's stance, is a political statement
they can't wriggle their way out of," said Simon Billenness, Senior Analyst
at Franklin Research and Development, an investment firm currently
pressuring corporations to withdraw from Burma.

But AYA officials said their tours have no political agenda and therefore do
not defy the NLD.

"Basically, we're trying to step back from the political debate and not be
involved in the politics at all," Cole said. "We view it as an educational

AYA officials said alumni will learn more by touring the country than by
altogether isolating it from foreign contact. "We did not choose to do this
trip in a vacuum," Cole said. "It is inevitable that [alumni] will see ...
some of the pain of the human rights violations there."

But Zar Ni, a former Burmese tour guide, said the military junta is more
successful at hiding abuses than foreigners realize.

"The SLORC is very effective in terms of covering up what's going on. Tour
groups see only the places SLORC lets them see," Ni said. "There is no way
tourists will see the reality of the country, where everybody's scared to
death. They won't see the soldiers shooting at people on the street."

As a tour guide in 1986-1988, when Burma was under a Socialist regime, Ni
said authorities told him to report any "suspicious" tourists to the secret
police. The government, which trained all tour guides, specified the places
he could take tourists and the information he could impart, he said.

Meanwhile, nationwide, human rights activists continue to fight to persuade
alumni associations to de-sponsor their tours. While Bucknell University,
Emory University, and Syracuse University have already sent alumni to Burma,
universities such as Yale, Brown and Duke continue to promote their upcoming

Currently, the University of California in Los Angeles is the only school to
have withdrawn from the tour.

"We have withdrawn our name based on the issues we heard," said Keith Brant,
Executive Director of the UCLA Alumni Association. "In the long run, we did
the right thing."

SLORC revoked permits from Stanford and the University of Michigan, who had
no choice but to cancel their tours.

Stanford canceled its tour, which was to include 1992 Ross Perot
running-mate Admiral James Stockdale, after an alumni association official
wrote a letter requesting a meeting with Suu Kyi.

Because the organization addressed the letter directly to Suu Kyi, SLORC
intercepted it and revoked the tour group's landing passes, said David
Wolfberg, Director of the Los Angeles Campaign for a Free Burma.

The incident escalated into an international scandal, Wolfberg said, because
Stanford wrote an additional letter to SLORC, "begging them to let them
continue with the tour" and a succinct note to Suu Kyi, withdrawing their

In the letter, Stanford Alumni Association Director of Travel Duncan
Beardsley stated to SLORC, "I wish to emphasize in no uncertain terms that
neither I nor any of the passengers or staff will contact this person ... I
humbly and respectfully request your assistance."

The letter was "sycophantic towards SLORC," said Stanford junior Nick
Thompson, regional coordinator for the Student Environmental Action

"Beardsley focused on placating one of the most brutal regimes in the
world," Thompson said, adding that irate NLD supporters flooded the official
with e-mail until his server crashed.

SLORC skews the presence of Westerners in Myanmar into a Burmese
media-publicized fortification of regime support, Ni said.

"Foreigners are used as a source of legitimacy. In the Burmese newspapers,
you will see a SLORC general shaking hands with a Cornell professor with a
caption indicating Westerners are accepting SLORC," Ni said.

"Since they need to convince the public they are getting Western support,
they use a wide range of media coverage on group travel, especially, to show
that they have the foreign support," said Indiana Campaign for a Free Burma
Coordinator Tun Myint, who fled Burma in 1988.

SLORC will use Yale tourists as justification for the efficiency of their
regime, said Larry Dohrs, director of the Seattle Campaign for a Free Burma.

"Whether or not Yale likes it, it's going to be portrayed that they approve
of SLORC," he said.

But AYA officials said they remain convinced the educational nature of the
tour package absolves them from accusations of sympathizing with the
authoritarian government.

"Our travel to Myanmar is not indicative of an endorsement of the current
regime in power, just as having diplomatic relations in a country does not
mean the United States supports their government," Cole said. "If the media
chooses to characterize things differently, we can't control that."


BURMA TRIP        February 6, 1996   (abridged)
By Dawn Reiss

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 
the trip.

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 

"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."

"The real issue is that the trip to Burma lends credibility and the good 
reputation of IU to SLORC regime," Fourman said.

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.


February 10, 1996

The Free Burma Coalition and the Midwest Regional Student Environmental
Action Coalition put together a Pepsi protest at a Pizza Hut, a Pepsi
subsidiary, near the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus.  The rally
was attended by over 50 Burma activists and SEAC activists from various
mid-west campuses and organizations including University of M., St. Cloud
State University, St. Olaf College, Beloit College, University of
Wisconsin-Madison, -Oshkosh, -Milwaukee, -Stevens Point, -Eau Claire, Earth
First, Democracy Unlimited of Wisconsin, labor and community activists.
The students and community activists gathered for the Midwest Student
Environmental Activist Conference at the University of Minnesota-Twin

The protest organizers delivered a statement explaining the reasons behind
the call for international boycott of PesiCo and its subsidiaries such as
KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Frito Lay, etc. to the manager of Pizza Hut off
of 13th and University Ave. in Dinky Town, MN.

The protestors chanted "Boycott PepsiCo, Free Burma Now!" "No justice no
Pepsi" "Corporate scum here we come."  Two activists confiscated
temporarily extra Pizza Hut signs from the Pizza Hut itself and set the
sign upside-down as a symbolic protest against PepsiCo's collaboration with
Burma's dictatorship, State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc).

The local traffic was also blocked for about half hour and three squad cars
escorted the protestors back to the campus, after a peaceful negotiation.
Leaflets were passed out to interested individuals.  A few individuals
turned away from Pizza Hut due to the protest.

Students ended their protest rally with the refrain "This is a public
school, not a corporate tool."  PepsiCo currently has a franchise on the
University of Minnesota campus.


February 10, 1996

Information Services on Burmese Democracy Affairs  (ISBDA) which
temporarily halted for a couple of weeks  is ready to reume its works in
the United States. Our function includes  distribution of video and audio
tapes, news reportings, and publications for  democracy in Burma. Other
than e-mail, we can be reached by phone and fax number (818) 284-7059. 

Dr. K. Tint


February 10, 1996

Check out the following web sites for tourism (Visit Myanmar year)