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BurmaNet News May 2, 1996

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

The BurmaNet News: May 2,1996
Issue #397

THE NATION: ALL IS NOT WELL (Letter to the editor)

April 30, 1996

        The Union of Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) was
first established by the Slorc as a social organization. However, it has
since become the political support group for Slorc and its ongoing
National Convention much like the Indonesian Golkar. As such, USDA now
exercises a monopoly over State properties in its business projects and
investments amounting to billions of kyats.
        USDA began its business and investment dealings in early 1995.  Wit=
h the
assistance of Slorc, USDA established the Myan Gon Myint company with a 68
billion kyat investment. Likewise, 382 shops in Pinlon Yadana market in
northern Dagon satellite, owned by Rangoon City Municipality Committee was
handed over by Slorc to USDA Central Committee on January 24, 1995 as a
special privilege for the organization. USDA earned 55 billion kyats by
reselling the shops to the individuals and one billion kyats monthly from
renting the shops, according to the USDA's annual report submitted at the
USDA annual meetings on September 15, 1995.
        In Burma, the government establishes markets and sells the shops to
individuals, who can buy a shop for the amount required and proceed to run
their business.  USDA has the unique privilege of free shops to operate
itself or to resell.
        The annual report also revealed that an additional 11 shops in the
State-owned Theingyi market in Rangoon were handed over to the USDA.  The
organization got 39 billion kyats for selling some of these shops and
another 65,000 kyats monthly for renting.  Similarly, the newly -
renovated Myaynigone market owned by Rangoon City Municipality Committee
was transferred to USD Central Committee and earned the USDA a profit of
200 billion kyats.
        Within the past year, USDA earned 362 billion kyats in profits by u=
states properties in their business, the annual report said.
        In addition to these major business, USDA is running highway bus
stations, passenger bus companies, restaurants and recreation centers,
buying shares in other companies, taxing transportion and many other small
businesses with the assistance of Slorc, according to the report.


April 30, 1996 By Thane Peterson in New York

Recently, Purchase (N.Y.)-based PepsiCo Inc. said it plans to sell its 40%
share in its joint-venture bottling company in Burma, probably to its Burme=
partners. The move is widely attributed to pressure from student groups, wh=
cost the company a $1 million food-service contract at Harvard University a=
a Taco Bell outlet at Stanford. Now, in advance of Pepsi's annual meeting o=
May 1, some student groups plan demonstrations outside PepsiCo campus
outlets. Here is an E-mail interview [slightly edited] that Business Week
Online conducted with Zarni, a Burmese native and University of Wisconsin
graduate student who helped start the Free Burma movement:

Q. Why are you dissatisfied with Pepsi's response to the Free Burma campaig=
and what other actions/protests do you expect against the company?

A. Pepsi's announcement of its "withdrawal" [from the Burmese market] was
well-calculated [to coincide] with its annual shareholder meeting on May 1,
1996.  Whereas it said it would sell its 40% minority interest (the other 6=
is owned by local contractor named U Thein Htun) PepsiCo will continue to
supply syrup to the local contractor, which is needed to make soda products=
 Also its brand logo will still be used in Burma's soda market.... Put in a
nutshell, Pepsico will still be making profit in Burma.  Nothing short of
complete withdrawal will satifisfy our members.
   We are planning a worldwide hunger strike to be staged during the first
week of October 1996 (the beginning of fall semester) and urging our groups
to continue to pressure their dining services and procurement officers to
drop Pepsi and its products from their campuses. We also are asking the
university board of trust officers and boards of regents and trustees: 1) t=
first vote in favor of the adoption of a code of conduct pertaining to doin=
business with human rights violators; and 2) to eventually divest from Peps=
 Also selective city purchasing ordinances are being pursued successfully.
 Six U.S. cities now have selective purchasing ordinances:  Madison [Wis.],
 Ann Arbor [Mich.], and San Francisco, Berkeley, Santa Monica, and Oakland

Q. What other companies are you trying to influence and how?

A. Mainly U.S. oil corporations such as Unocal, Texaco, and ARCO,
French-owned Total, and Japanese corporations such as Mitsubishi.
    We will use the same tactics which forced PepsiCo to even announce thei=
"withdrawal."  But the oil corporations are less vulnerable to campus
pressure simply because not a whole lot of students drive cars and hence [c=
exert] less pressure as a consumer boycott....
   With the growing momentum of our Free Burma grassroots movement, we are
hoping to lobby for the passage of the Burma Freedom and Democracy Act.  Th=
bill will effectively ban all U.S. companies from operating in Burma, eithe=
directly or indirectly.  In this phase of our movement, we plan to use a
combination of shareholder activism, consumer boycott, campus protests and
pressure through university investment offices and committees, and grassroo=
lobbying for the bill.

Q. How are you making use of the Internet in the campaign?

A. We have a Free-Burma listserv  which we use for coordinating various
ongoing Free Burma campaigns.  We also have a cluster of websites where we
upload campaign-related information, Boycott Pepsi stickers, photographic
evidence of human-rights violations in Burma, campaign posters, flyers,
copies of relevant documents such as city council resolutions, the Burma
Freedom and Democracy Act, and daily Burma news edited and disseminated by
our Free Burma activists in Thailand.  These are all activism-oriented news
and info and are of solid value for our worldwide campaign.

For more detailed and pointed criticism of Pepsi's activities in the Burma,
the Madison (Wis.)-based Free Burma Coalition can be reached online at


April 28, 1996

 " But if you don't stand up and speak out against injustice, you will be=
encouraging that injustice." said Nobel Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi=
It is one of the major aims of the Burmese democratic mission to stand up a=
speak out  injustice and lawlessness in Burma under the rule of the militar=
dictatorship SLORC.=20

The Burmese democratic mission to Europe has been annually organised by the
National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) with the intent=
to cultivate the existing good relationship with the European governments,
political parties, parliamentarians,supporting foundations and NGOs, trade =
and Burmese expatriates. As in previous years the democratic mission is led=
Prime Minister Dr. Sein Win with the cooperation of tne mission's secretary=
Dr. Thaung Htun, the head of the Burma-UN Affairs in New York.

The democratic mission has been warmly received and cordially welcomed=20
by the leading politicians, parliamentarians, political parties, government=
officials, supporting foundations and NGOs, trade unions and Burma expatria=
of the European countries such as Belgium, Danmark, Finland, France, German=
Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, European Council and European Parliame=
The mission has been given friendly atmosphere to discuss present political=
, social
and economic situation in Burma. It is noteworthy to mention that the Repub=
lic of
Poland is a new friendly nation this year that invited  Dr. Sein Win's demo=
mission to the Parliament in Warsaw. Last year, the democratic mission was =
to the Parliament of the Czech Republic in the capital of Praha.

The final and significant task of the Burmese democratic mission has been
fulfilled in Geneva at the 52nd. session of the United Nations Human Rights=
Commission from March 18 to April 28, 1996 with the cooperation of the lead=
ethnic representatives such as Dr. Zahleithang (elected representative of C=
hin and=20
NCGUB minister in Burma-India border), Col. Khun Okker (Member of the NCUB
-Secretariat & NDF)& Saw Nadah Mya (Representative of the KNU).  In additio=
to the various friendly organisations in Geneva  the democratic mission has=
fully supported by the Burmese expatriates such as Harn Yawnghwe (Canada),=
George Khan (Chairman, Burma Bureau/Germany), U Kyaw Win (KNU-
Representative in Germany),  Salai Kipp Kho Lian (Chairman, European=20
Burmese Association),  Salai Thawm Hlei Mang (Chairman, Restoration for Chi=
Democracy Committee/Switzerland), U Maung Maung Yan (Association France=20
Burma), U Ko Ko Oo,  U Htay Aung & U Khin Maung Win ( Burma Youth=20
Volunteer Association/Germany), U Sein Win & U Shwe Win (Restaurant Palais=
de Chine, Geneva) and U Nwe Aung (NCGUB/Europe).

Once again the Burma democratic mission had a chance not only to meet and
discuss with the delegates of the countrys' representing missions to the UN=
Human Rights Commission, but also with the UN officials and UN Special=20
Rapporteur on  Burma Prof. YozoYokota as well as accredited NGOs to the=20
UNHRC. The UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva has adopted a=20
strong-worded resolution on SLORC rule in Burma which can be noted as=20
"probably the harshest" any UN body has issued on the situation in the=20
Southeast Asian country. One of the most significant points recommended=20
by Prof. Yokota in his final report is that the UN HRC request the UN High=
Commissioner for Human Rights to consider placing a team of human rights=20
field officers in such locations as would facilitate improved information f=
and assessment and would help in the independent verification of reports on=
the situation of human rights in Burma. Interventions were made by Prime=20
Minister Dr. Sein Win, Dr. Thaung Htun and Karen Human Rights activist=20
Kevin Heppner to the statement made by the SLORC group.
One of the highlights of this year's events in Geneva was the videotaped=20
message from Nobel  Peace Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi sent to the=20
UN Human Rights Commission. In her message to the international community,=
she clearly stated that :

+ It is time the world knew what is going on in Burma today. It has come to=
the point when we have to worry, not simply about the violations of human=
rights in Burma, but about the lawless activities of the authorities.
+ But even those who do not believe in human rights must certainly agree th=
the rule of law is most important. Without the rule of law there can be no =
Either in a nation, a region or throughout the world. In Burma at the momen=
there is no rule of law. Unless there is rule of law there can be no peace =
justice in this country.
+ It is no use saying that Asian people are not interested in democracy=20
when the people of Burma, who are of course Asians have expressed so=20
very clearly that what they want is a democratic government that will=20
guarantee their rights fully.
+ Our request to the international community is in fact a quite simple one.=
We would simply like them to be aware of the fact that situation in Burma=
is a threat not only to its own people, but to the region and to the world.=
Injustice and lack of peace in the country means injustice and lack of peac=
for the rest of the world because it threatens peace and injustice everywhe=
+ We are confident that we shall achieve our goal of building a genuine=20
democratic state in Burma. However, we also wish the international=20
community to take part in our struggle, and to be  supportive of our=20
endeavours. We would like the whole world to join us in our call for=20
justice in Burma and for the quick implementation of the terms of the=20
General Assembly resolution with regard to human rights in Burma.=20
 Another highlight during the UN Human Rights Commissino in Geneva=20
was the launch of the International Network of Political Leaders Promoting=
Democracy in Burma. The goal of the network is to promote the=20
democratisation process in Burma. The International Network of Political=20
Leaders  is composed of a President,a Prime Minister, Ministers,=20
Parliamentarians, Members of House of  Councillors, Congressmen and=20
leading politicians from Asia, Europe and the USA.  The Network considers=
the democratic opposite leader and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, Aun=
San Suu  Kyi, to be the legitimate leader of Burma. The chairman of the=20
political network, former Foreign Minister of Norway, Mr. Kjell Magne=20
Bondevik  presented a five-point strategy to promote the democratisation=20
process in Burma:

1. Contribute to increasing contact between countries and institutions so t=
they improve coordination of their policies in relation to Burma.
2. Persuade Japan and the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN)=
to intensify their efforts to promote the democratisation process in Burma.
3. Work for increased political and financial support of the democratic=20
opposition in and outside of Burma, as well as contribute to improving the=
opposition's international contacts with political leaders and representati=
of authorities, prioritizing Asian countries and important trading partners=
4. Contribute to increasing interest in, and knowledge of, the political si=
in Burma among important international decision-makers, prioritizing Asian=
countries and important trading partners.
5. Exert influence in decision-making processes in order to maintain suffic=
international pressure on the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLOR=
as well as counteract the SLORC's attempts to legitimise its regime.

On behalf of the Burmese democratic mission Prime Minister Dr. Sein Win=20
expressed his heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation to all the perso=
concerned for the cordial  cooperation and support that have been given=20
during the recent visit in Europe.

Nwe Aung / Germany / April 28, 1996.    =20


April 22, 1996  (slightly abridged)

The Burmese military attache in Washington, Kyi Tun, and Aung Gyi, an
intelligence agent stationed in Washington both embezzled money from=20
their offices' budgets. For example, when Aung Gyi drove the Lincoln Town=
car, DCB016, which belongs to the military office, to Dulles  Airport, he h=
another car at the airport. Later on, Kyi Tun and Aung Gyi fixed the car fo=
$ 1,000, but they took  $5,000 from the budget. They also embezzled money
when claiming for utilities bills and telephone bills.

Aung Gyi also exploited his relatives; namely, Mr. Myint Thing-23 and Mrs. =
Ni Win-35. Both are living and working illegally in Washington D.C, accordi=
to a former embassy staff member, who does not want his name mentionned. =
Mrs. Win is the wife of a military officer who works in the Rangoon Zoo, in=
Rangoon. Mr. Thing and Mrs. Win paid thousands of dollars to Aung Gyi to=20
sponsor them so they could gain entry into the United States.

Moreover,  Aung Gyi cheated the Washington Post by using his friend's=20
social security number.  Mr.Tin Win, his friend, is a former officer of Air=
50, Hmobe Air Force, ten miles from Rangoon.  He is living in Virgina now.=
Mr. Win was granted political asylum in the United States.

"It is unclear that how he got political asylum here even though he does no=
have any threat of persecution from the Slorc upon his return to Burma" the=
former embassy staff member said. He also said that Tin Win usually comes=
to the embassy with news about Burmese politics. Another source suggested
he may be an informer. However, the relationship between the two soured bec=
Aung Gyi refused to pay taxes to the IRS.

Not only the military attache's staff work on the side delivering the Washi=
Post, but also almost all the Burmese Embassy staff persons deliver the pap=
They have been delivering the paper for twenty  years, since shortly after =
Ne Win
took over power in 1962, according to the former staff member. They deliver=
paper in Ponder Street and Ordway Street in Washington D.C. Mr. Ponder is
the head  of  the Washington Post's distribution in the area.

Mrs. Ma Myo, a daughter of Major Gen. Hla Bu in Rangoon, and her husband,
Mr. Aung Swe used to deliver the paper every morning. Mrs. Myo is an
accountant in the embassy, but her husband is a former reporter for a state
run newspaper in Burma.=09=09=09

Moreover,  Mr.Thing Hlaing, a staff of the military office, is still workin=
illegally at Cameron Sea Food in Silver Spring, Maryland. He works 60-hours=
week, and he makes $1,300 a month. He has two full time jobs. One is in
the military office, and another is in the seafood store, but he does not
pay  taxes.=09=09=09=09=09=09=09

Under Burmese Ambassador U Thoung's supervision, all his staff
work illegally doing things such as "baby sitting, dishwashing, making deli=
and house cleaning", the former staff member said.

In short, the ambassador does not perform his diplomatic duty in the United=
States and meanwhile, he allows his staff to commit crimes.  His staff brok=
IRS tax laws and immigration laws.


April 1996

On March 27, 1996, SLORC IB no. 247 and IB no. 516 ordered the villagers of=
Hoong and Nar Poy wards, Murng Nai township, to move away and gather in oth=
places.After the people moved away, the soldiers rounded up as many of thei=
remaining cattle as they could and took them to Nam Zarng by truck.

People of Wan Phar Som, Kho Oong, Nar Lur and Mui Tor villages also met the=
fate. Houses and properties of those who failed to move within the given ti=
were burnt down by troops from SLORC IB no. 99 from Lang Khur.


On April 24, 1996, SLORC LIR no. 524 at Wan Pang Sam village, Wan Phul ward=
, Ke
See township, summoned all the headmen in the area of Khum Parng, Keng Lum =
Wan Hai in Ke See township, and ordered them to move all their village peop=
le to
gather at Wan Nar Zarn village, Murng Zarng ward, 10 miles west of Murng Su=
 . The
movement must be completed within 8 days. All the headmen of the villages a=
wards in Ke See township also received an order to move their villagers int=


THE NATION: ALL IS NOT WELL (Letter to the editor)
By L Huron, Bangkok
May 1, 1996

In what other country beside Burma could one find a minister of=20
tourism commenting freely on defence policy, sensitive political=20
issues, and cases?  In a recent interview, Lt Gen Kyaw Ba did=20
just that.  He that if the Karenni National Progressive Party=20
soldiers don't surrender, "we are going to smash them." He=20
"speaking nonsense" and being "power crazy".  And he declared,=20
"We must forgive ]Khun Sa and let bygones be bygones."

You would think that Kyaw Ba would be busy dealing with "Visit=20
Myanmar Year 1996".  He has had to lower the estimated number of=20
arrivals and change the starting date already.  Moreover, Western=20
campaigners are lobbying hard for a tourist boycott because of=20
the many documented cases of the Slorc's use of forced labour to=20
develop tourist sites and the expropriation of land for tourist=20
hotels as well as gross human right violations all over the=20
country.  There have also been plenty of cases of foreign=20
tourists having unpleasant encounters with local officials who=20
have sent them back to Rangoon or kept them under surveillance=20
for no reason.

When the leaders of a cycling group showed up for their=20
appointment with Kyaw Ba to discuss the harassment they had=20
faced, he arrived over two hours late- Is it too mischievous to=20
wonder if perhaps Kyaw Ba was out Planning joint tourism ventures=20
with ]Khun Sa? ]Khun Sa has been given the rights to start up a=20
long distance bus company and rumour has it that he has been=20
buying up prime real estate all over the Shan state.  Kyaw Ba may=20
have a vested interest in keeping ]Khun Sa out of jail.

Kyaw Ba's aggressive statements may represent the Slorc's=20
policies accurately, but they will do little to reassure tourists=20
that all is well in Burma. (TN)


May 1, 1996

TWO prominent Burmese comedians who were each sentenced to seven=20
year's imprisonment after performing at the residence of Burma's-
Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi have been transferred to a=20
hard labour camp in Kachin State.

Meanwhile, U Saw Hlaing, a member of Suu Kyi's National League=20
for Democracy (NLD) who was sentenced to a five-Year jail term=20
after a minor car accident on March 15 near Taungoo, was also=20
sent to the Kyienn Kran Ka labour camp located about 16=20
kilometres form Myitkyina, Kachin's capital.

Saw Hlaing and the two comedians Par Par Lay, 49, and Lu Zaw, 45=20
- are enduring hard physical labour and have lost a considerable=20
amount of weight in the past month, prisoners released from the=20
camp were quoted as saying.

Those who know Par Par Lay said he is hardly recognisable as the=20
man who entered the camp just over a month ago.

The three prisoners, whose arrests and sentences are considered=20
politically motivated, are shackled with a special iron bar=20
across the legs to restrict their mobility, according to the=20
released prisoners.

Par Par Lay and Lu Zaw were among 13 artists arrested on Jan 7=20
and 10 after their Jan 4 performance at Suu Kyi's house in=20
Rangoon.  Nine were released after a few weeks but the rest were=20
tried and sentenced to long-term imprisonment in March.

The two comedians, strong supporters of the NLD, spent eight days=20
in the Mandalay jail before being quietly transferred to the camp.

Western and Burmese observers believed the Burmese junta arrested=20
and sentenced NLD members and supporters to impose psychological=20
pressure on Suu Kyi, seeking to isolate her by attacking those=20
who are around her or associate themselves with her."'

The observers also noted the junta's denial of a visa to Suu=20
Kyi's husband, who applied for a visitors visa during the Easter=20
holiday in early April.  They also drew attention to the=20
continued detention of her godfather, James Leander Nichols. =20
Nichols, an Anglo-Burmese who is being held without charges, is=20
reportedly ailing.

The ruling Burmese State Law and Order Restoration Council has=20
chosen to ignore Suu Kyi's calls for a political dialogue to=20
resolve the country's political turmoil, saying such talks would=20
only put her "on the same footing' as the government. (TN)


May 2, 1996
Lennie Magida

Old Rangoon: City of the Shwedagon
By Noel F. Singer. Kiscadale Publications,
Gartmore, Strirling, Scotland. $45.

This immense octagonal gilt-based monument is surrounded by a=20
vast number of smaller pagodas of the Burman deities. This=20
height.... and the elegance with which this enormous mass is=20
built, combine to render it one of the grandest and most curious=20
sights a stranger can notice."

That is how, in 1827, traveller T.A. Trant described the=20
Shwedagon Pagoda in Rangoon. Countless others before and after=20
him have been just as mesmerized by the great pagoda, including=20
Noel singer. Right from the title of his new book he makes it=20
clear that the Shwedagon has been and continues to be Rangoon's=20
heart, soul and great international drawing card.

In the richly illustrated Old Rangoon: City of the Shwedagon,=20
Singer traces more than 1,800 years' worth of provocative,=20
eventful history and many faceted culture in the place we now=20
know as Rangoon. He begins with the earliest historical reference=20
to civilization in the area -Ptolemy's description in 125 A.D. of=20
"cannibals and white skinned, flat-nosed, hairy dwarfs"=20
inhabiting Lower Burma - and ends at the moment when Japanese=20
forces overwhelmed the city in March 1942.

But the story really begins with the pagoda. There are many=20
notions about when the shrine appeared; some legends date it back=20
as much as 2,500 years. Singer, preferring to focus on=20
archaeological finds and verifiable writings, says there was=20
apparently religious activity in the area by the fifth century=20
A.D., but no records of the pagoda until the late 14th century.=20

In the end, though, the timing doesn't really matter. What is=20
important to Singer, who grew up in Rangoon and who is also the=20
author of Burmah: A Photographic Journey, is the pagoda's=20
dominating presence over the centuries. As he explains, it was=20
central not just to the Burmese who worshipped there but to the=20
foreigners who thought it made Rangoon a place worth being in.

The liveliest bits in Singer's book are the writings of other=20
people: journalists, adventures, colonial residents, royal=20
visitors and others. Many of them are dazzled, but many others=20
are grumpy: In India Under Royal Eyes (1906), Prevost Batter by=20
found the city".... past redemption by any sort of beauty.... an=20
amorphous mess of hovels, mansions, half- way houses, spread out=20
over eight square miles of mud at the meeting place of two=20
rivers...." Either way, their comments are often revealing not=20
only of life in the city but of the perspective of the writer -=20
such as the journalist who went to the races in 1886 and reported=20
that "the natives... hung like birds on the branches and" Chinese=20
bettors "contrived to win money, as they do in every transaction."

Unfortunately, Singer's own writing does not, well sing. He=20
presents his vast amount of research chronologically, writes it=20
dryly and has not had it edited well.

The illustrations, however, are generally wonderful.There are=20
reproductions of artwork, photographs and drawings of=20
architecture and street scenes through the years, a 1932 menu for=20
a French dinner at the Strand Hotel, and many marvellous,=20
lingering images: the bejewelled Burmese woman of the 1890s with=20
her "whacking great charoot," and the intensely coloured,=20
postcard-type image of an elephant being hoisted onto a ship.=20
And, of course, there are many drawings and photographs of the=20
Shwedagon. It is the current that runs throughout the book, and=20
Singer refers to it one last time in his final paragraph: As=20
wartime fires blazed in Rangoon, as the Raj crumbled and the tide=20
of history turned, "the miraculously unscathed golden cone of the=20
Shwedagon glistened, detached and aloof." (FEER)


NO.4 VOLUME.6-7, APRIL 15, 1996

Burma is ruled by the military regime, the State Law and Order=20
Restoration Council=97one of its objectives is to restore 'law and=20
order' in the country.=20

Have the military leaders done it yet?=20

On 6 March 1994 a Mazada 929 ran over a university student on=20
Prome Road. Ye Win, a final year student from the Institute of=20
Economics succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. But the=20
driver Htut Kyaw Win who was drunk received no punishment. The=20
driver, Htut Kyaw Win, happened to be the son of Col Kyaw Win who=20
is also known as Dr Kyaw Win, a personal physician to military=20
strongman Gen Ne Win.

Sources from Burma said Ye Win's body was flown out overnight on=20
a military aircraft and returned to the family in Sagaing division.=20

A source said the military leaders feared the possible unrest,=20
therefore they blacked out the news and forced the family to hold=20
a brief funeral ceremony.

Being a son of an army officer and close friend of son of a=20
powerful general dealt Htut Kyaw Win a good hand. Htut Kyaw Win=20
enjoys a special relationship with Ye Naing Win, son of Lt Gen Khin Nyunt.

Whatever the case, Htut Kyaw Win was sent to trial. According to=20
reliable sources, during the trial period he was kept at a=20
'house' in Insein prison. Shortly after he arrived there the=20
house was furnished with an air-conditioner and other luxury=20
facilities including a refrigerator.=20

Moreover, he was allowed to take his final year exams from=20
prison, and when the results were announced, he had finished=20
first, said a former friend of Htut Kyaw Win. =20

After the trial process, he was acquitted of drunk driving and of=20
killing Ye Win. According to some sources, the trial process=20
lasted nearly one year but the opposition party's recent statement said
he was released from prison within a few weeks.  But if the case was=20
handled in accordance with the law, Htut Kyaw Win could be=20
sentenced to 3 to 5 years under section 338, said a lawyer from Burma.=20

"Many other students who are now in prison haven't received such=20
grand treatment," said the source. The NLD's recent statement=20
signed by Aung Shwe said: "It has also been heard that during his=20
[Htut Kyaw Win] sojourn in jail he was provided with full=20
facilities to enable him to take the annual medical college examinations."=

Meanwhile, hundreds of student activists are under detention in=20
Insein, Myin Chan and Thayawady prisons and enduring harsh treatment.

There was a recent car accident presented by Aung Shwe in his=20
recent statement which was released on 28 March.=20

On 15 March 1996 in Taungoo, NLD supporter Saw Hlaing drove his=20
Toyota van into a trishaw pedalled by San Win and carrying Maung=20
Hla Soe and Maung Thein Naing. The trishaw, according to an NLD=20
chairman, was slightly damaged and its passengers received=20
bruises and minor injuries. It was just a minor car accident=97no=20
one was killed. Saw Hlaing was coming back from Mandalay where he=20
and other NLD members made necessary preparations for Suu Kyi's=20
planned trip to Mandalay. Saw Hlaing was accompanied by Saw Ne=20
Win and in another car were Ba Soe Tint and Soe Win.

Saw Hlaing, Aung Shwe stated, took responsibility for the trishaw=20
passengers: taking the injured people to the local hospital for=20
medical treatment, reporting the accident at the police station and=20
informing the families [of the trishaw passengers] of what had happened.

But the statement said: "While the police were in the process of=20
preparing the case as one involving simple injury, the whole=20
situation changed due to perceptible pressure exerted from higher=20
authorities. An attempt was even made to arrest both passengers=20
travelling in the car involved in the accident as well as the two=20
in the accompanying car, but due to the refusal of Ba Soe Tint=20
and others to submit to such illegal proceedings, and to the=20
police officers' decision to act in accordance with the law, only=20
Saw Hlaing was placed under arrest."

Subsequently, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment.=20
Obviously, the punishment was not for the car accident but for=20
his involvement with the NLD and support for the Nobel Peace=20
prize winner, Rangoon-based NLD supporters said.=20

Saw Hlaing's family members were not permitted to provide the=20
defendant with legal assistance. They were not permitted to=20
either contact him or to accompany him to court.

Saw Hlaing was charged under section 338 [grievous injury] and=20
the three witnesses [the passengers of the trishaw] were=20
forbidden to leave the hospital. One of the witnesses, according=20
to Aung Shwe, had dislocated a thumb, another had cut his chin=20
and received two stitches.=20

The point, stated Aung Shwe is that, there is a glaring contrast=20
between Saw Hlaing and Htut Kyaw Win.=20

The two car accidents on Prome road and Rangoon-Mandalay road=20
have proven that the judicial system in military-dominated Burma=20
is a real failure.=20

It demonstrates that the military authorities are not acting=20
according to the laws. One lawyer put it bluntly, "Perhaps it is=20
naive to expect that a regime that has committed so many serious=20
violations of human rights against its citizens is capable of=20
meeting any standards and existing laws."=20

Saw Hlaing is now in prison. But he isn't alone. There was a=20
minor traffic incident in front of Aung San Suu Kyi's residence.=20
Three NLD members were accused of trying to remove barbed wire=20
barricades placed to regulate traffic. They were charged under=20
section 353, obstructing a public servant in the performance of=20
the duties. They were given two years imprisonment. While Saw=20
Hlaing and three other members are in prison ironically, Htut=20
Kyaw Win is now a free man even though he killed Ye Win.

But his father Col Kyaw Win, despite his close relationship with=20
Gen Ne Win and Lt Gen Khin Nyunt, was criticised by other=20
generals including Gen Maung Aye who is going to succeed chairman=20
Gen Than Shwe in the near future.

Sources said some senior army leaders suggested Lt Gen Khin Nyunt=20
and Col Kyaw Win 'to do something.' "They feared protest because=20
Htut Kyaw Win killed a student," said the sources.

Inside the Slorc, a row began shortly after Htut Kyaw Win's car=20
accident, said the source.=20

Finally, Gen Ne Win was forced to intervene added the source.=20
Then there was a punishment for Col Kyaw Win. He was sent to=20
Canada as the Burmese ambassador. Actually, in the past, Ne Win's=20
former foes, rivals and friends were sent abroad as ambassadors.=20
It could be considered as 'gift or punishment.'

Htut Kyaw Win has returned as a doctor. Dr Htut Kyaw Win later=20
opened Rangoon's most famous boutique, Living Color at Bogyoke Market.=20

In 1991 military intelligence chief Lt Gen Khin Nyunt explained=20
at a press conference when Burma was still under martial law he=20
said he had studied about martial law... "it means no law at=20
all." Was it the general's intelligible understanding in laws?=20
His statement bewildered many foreign observers and Burmese however.=20

In reality, there is nothing shocking after all - Burma has been=20
ruled by the military junta for almost eight years in the absence=20
of a constitution or popular mandate.=20

The junta itself has continued to commit serious human rights=20
violations and political persecution since it came into power.=20
The opposition party was brutally crushed and the outcome of the=20
1990 general elections was ignored.

Still, at home and abroad the junta is regarded as a pariah.=20

Opposition leader Aung Shwe's recent statement said there is a=20
lawless nature in Burma. It also said "....the authorities at=20
various levels are perpetrating many lawless acts." In fact, it=20
is not a new phenomenon in Burma.=20

Now the NLD asked the chairman of Slorc to bring to light all=20
lawless conduct occurring throughout the nation and to effect=20
rectification as soon as possible.=20
The question remains is when and how? If they do, the=20
authoritarian rulers of Burma will be the first group to find=20
themselves in the dock. =97The editor =20


NO.4, VOLUME.6-7, APRIL 15, 1996

Slorc might no longer issue passports for women. The reason for=20
this decision was that some Burmese women were lured to become=20
bar girls in Japan. =20

Since 1995, Ye Sein and the Japanese Art Creation Company=20
auditioned about 100 women for a Burmese dancing troupe to=20
perform in Japan promoting 'Visit Myanmar Year 1996.' After a few=20
weeks of training, Ye Sein and his Japanese counterparts selected=20
24 women to perform at a reported salary of US$500 per month. =09

On 16 December 1995, the first 12 girls and 4 Japanese identified=20
as Kushida, one of his wives, Kuninsa, and Fujisawa were sent to=20
Japan. One of these Japanese chaperones is a daughter of a high=20
ranking official from the Ministry of Culture and reportedly paid=20
Ye Sein and his brokers 100,000 kyat for the shipment of women.

The troupe arrived in Osaka and then were transferred to Wakimatchi=20
city on Shikoku Island where they were to dance from 6p.m. to 2a.m.=20
However, Fujisawa ordered them to change out of their traditional dress=20
and on to the floor to wait tables and welcome customers.

The next day, one girl called Ye Sein in Rangoon complaining that=20
the customers touched them and asked them for sexual favors.

Ye Sein assured the woman. "This is their style. It should be=20
okay as long as they don't go further." The restaurant owner=20
concurred explaining that it is merely Japanese style.

Finally, one girl who is close to senior Slorc officers began to=20
contact Rangoon as well as embassy officials in Tokyo.   12 of=20
the girls escaped to the capital by train after a brief fight=20
with Kushida. The Japanese chaperone argued with the officials=20
and ordered them back to Shikoku or they would be arrested. =20

On 9 January 1996, the first group of six girls returned to=20
Rangoon and the second group of six arrived two days later.=20

According to sources in Rangoon,  Japanese foreign ministry and=20
Japanese war veterans help the girls to return.=20

However, the other 12 girls whereabouts remains a mystery. [BIG&NLM]


NO.4, VOLUME.6-7, APRIL 15, 1996

THE relationship between the Slorc and Kachin rebels is=20
deteriorating. One incident that occurred recently was the junta=20
ordered the immediate dismantling of their ceremonial Manau posts=20
(totem poles) erected on private land during the centennial=20
celebration of the advent of the Kachin alphabet last Dec 31, in Mandalay.

The move, said sources, further strained relations with the=20
Kachin people and Kachin rebel leaders.

Sources in Bangkok said this act is considered the most=20
sacrilegious deed which can be carried out against the religious=20
and cultural beliefs of the Kachin.

The order, dated April 1, 1996, was followed by the forced=20
dismantling of the sacred symbols the following day with orders=20
to leave no trace of the poles or even their concrete foundations.

Sources said Gen Maung Aye, the Burmese army's chief of staff,=20
was scheduled to pass through Mandalay on his way to Maymyo and=20
did not want to see the Kachin symbols, so he ordered their=20
removal before his trip. Maung Aye went to meet senior army=20
officials and cadets at Maymyo's Defense Service Academy.=20

Upon hearing this order, Kachin elders pleaded with the Secretary=20
One, Lt Gen Khin Nyunt, who earlier had seemed supportive and had=20
even participated enthusiastically in the festivities, to help them.

But their pleas were in vain since Khin Nyunt himself was party=20
to this insulting and condescending injunction. Ironically,=20
Kachin leaders backed and kept faith in Khin Nyunt as they=20
believed Khin Nyunt would become Burma's No.  1 in the future.

The Kachin revere these symbols as a lasting reminder of the highly-
successful Manau, which had brought together over 60,000 people from=20
all over the world to mark the handing over of written language by American=
missionary Dr Ola Hanson to the Kachin people in 1895.=20

This affront is viewed by the general public as inimical to the=20
peace process. The Kachin have placed great stock in the process=20
as they try to achieve lasting peace for themselves and the entire country.=

Kachins' other dilemma is their relationship with current=20
commander Maj Gen Saw Lwin is at odds. Around the same time,=20
Kachin rebels are distrusted by other rebel groups as they had=20
opened a secret dialogue with Slorc in early 1990. [TN&BIG]