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NYBSG: New York City Burma Sanction

Received: (from strider) by igc4.igc.apc.org (8.6.12/Revision: 1.16 ) id VAA00108; Fri, 23 Feb 1996 21:10:01 -0800
Date: Fri, 23 Feb 1996 21:10:01 -0800
Subject: NYBSG: New York City Burma Sanctions Move Ahead

The following article was forwarded for posting by the New York Burma 
Support Group.

One comment-- Chang Chi Fu, (Khun Sa), the Sino-Burmese opium warlord 
is under indictment in New York for heroin trafficking.  He recently 
joined a  string of other traffickers who have signed pacts with the 
SLORC which allow them to operate freely in exchange for not opposing
the regime.  After years of demonizing Khun Sa as an opium warlord, SLORC's 
refusal to extradite him for trial in the U.S. and it's installing him in 
a house in Rangoon seriously call into question the sincerity of its counter 
narcotics policy.  That apparent hypocrisy makes it easier for groups 
like those in New York to get sanctions policies adopted.  It may also 
have had something to do with the new found willingness of U.N. Drug 
Control Program officials to meet with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.


New York Burma Support Group

Friday, February 23, 1996			for immediate release

For further information, please contact:

NY Burma Support Group - phone: 212-338-0048   fax: 212-489-8455

New York City Burma Sanctions Move Ahead
Testimony on Junta's Heroin Links, 
Human Rights Abuses Heard

Legislation barring companies doing business in 
Burma from doing business with the City of New York 
was discussed today (Friday) in a three hour hearing 
by the New York City Council Governmental Operations 
Committee and is expected soon to be considered by 
the full Council.

The measure, Bill #647, was supported by over 20 
witnesses who offered detailed and vivid testimony 
regarding the Burmese military dictatorship's links to 
the heroin trade and responsibility for severe human 
rights abuses and ecological devastation in Burma.

"This sort of selective purchasing legislation was very 
effective against apartheid South Africa in the 1980s and 
led to wider sanctions," said Committee Chair Mary Pinkett 
of Brooklyn,. "it hits the dictators and companies doing 
business with them where it hurts the most Q in the pocketbook."

Burmese heroin production has jumped almost 400% in the 
seven years since Burma's State Law and Order Restoration 
Council (SLORC) seized power after massacring thousands of 
pro-democracy demonstrators in 1988. SLORC cease-fires with 
ethnic rebel groups allow unhindered opium growig and heroin 
trafficking in the Southeast Asan nation of nearly 50 million 
people. The American market is being flooded with ever cheaper 
and purer supplies of the drug. In 1995 alone, the number of 
heroin addicts in New York City rose by an estimated 20%.

"Passage of this law will be a victory for the citizens of 
New York City as well as the citizens of Burma," said City 
Council member Thomas Duane of Manhattan. "Burma's generals 
are relying on foreign investment for cash to buy guns to 
oppress their own people. Local action like this will place 
real pressure on the dictators to honor human rights and stop 
heroin trafficking."

Unocal, Texaco, Pepsi-Cola and Columbia Sportswear are today 
targets of consumer boycotts because of their business in Burma. 
Other companies, have alreay pulled out of Burma or announced 
they will not do business there, including Macy's (Federated 
Dept. Stores), Amoco, Levi-Strauss, Reebok, Eddie Bauer and 
Liz Claiborne. grass roots consumer boycotts are encouraging 
this trend. Selective purchasing laws already adopted in 
Berkeley, California and Madison, Wisconsin and now under 
consideration by the State of Massachusetts are putting 
more teeth in the movement.

Sanctions legislation against the Burmese junta has also 
been introduced in the U.S. Congress, with the bi-partisan 
backing of Senators Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Alfonse 
D'Amato. New York City Bill #647, co-sponsored by City 
Council mems Mary Pinkett, Wendell Foster, Thomas Duane, 
Kenneth Fisher, Julia Harrison, Sheldon Leffler, John Sabini 
and Juanita Watkins reaffirms New Yorkers' determination to 
act locally in response to global problems affecting the City.