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REPORT ON COMMUNICATIONS(8/11/95)+S
Subject: REPORT ON COMMUNICATIONS(8/11/95)+SOME AAP NEWS
/* Written Sun 5 May 6:00am 1996 by DRUNOO@xxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:reg.burma */
/* -------------" Report on Communication (8/11/95) "-------------- */
LETTER TO TRIBEL REFUGEE WELFARE
November 8, 1995.
Ms C.V. Allmark
Secretary, Tribal Refugee Welfare
Dear Ms Allmark
Thank you for your letter of 3rd November. I am so sorry to learn that my
letter on 21/9/95 has caused some of you in W.A. an anger. It is
un-intentional and it is not a provocative letter. But I believe I have
good enough reason to do this which I explained to you shortly.
I also have written to Senator Schacht and DFAT following that letter
because there is a good chance of it being mis-interpreted as a protest
letter to the Senator Bolkus. I should again apologise you for I am not
giving a copy of that letter to you because of some sensitivity in that
letter. I think I have promised you over the telephone to give a copy, but
later I have a second thought about it.
The reason I have promoted such proposal is that the Australian Government
to become legally involved in the Burmese refugee repatriation process. You
might remember that in 1992, Senator Evans tried to mediate NCGUB/DAB and
SLORC. It was rejected by SLORC saying that Australia is interfering the
internal affairs of Burma. We, the Burmese, certainly need Australian
Government involvement in Burma movements (repatriation process of
mediation of whatever) and therefore the best way to secure Australian
Government involvement is to promote an MOU, I believe. Therefore, I seek a
repatriation of myself - and it is a legitimate request too, I think.
I know that there are not a lot of Burmese refugees in Australia. People
who were granted refugee status have been offered permanent residency and
most of them take it quickly. That why I am quite confident to write such
letter. Burmese who came to Australia under SAC are not refugees; they are
classified as permanent residents of Australia. Of course, there are some
Burmese asylum seekers, who will most likely to be staying in Australia if
they were granted refugee status. I thought about it and have appealed to
various refugee committees in Australia to help them. That is as much as I
could do for them.
Most important thing is how to get things right for the KNU negotiation. We
are hoping that federal constitution to be secured with the UN in their
negotiations with SLORC. But please remember that I am doing here at the
individual basis, which lacked organizational supports. I could only give
suggestions to groups. I simply do not have ways or means to enforce any
group or individuals for my suggestions. As you know, I am simply refugee.
I enclosed recent discussion on internet about the protection issue of
refugees in Thailand. The source that responded appears to be in line with
the Royal Thai Government's policy. As you know, the Thais are always
defensive on this issue. Not a lot of news coming out recently about
refugee situation in Thailand. Please share any new information when Mr
Keith come back.
I will sincerely apologise any of you who might be offended by the tone of
the 21/9 letter - but please be assured that the letter has written with a
good heart for a good cause. It is not at all intended to indicate any of
you who have resettled here long time ago. Please just keep remember that I
am from the whole new different generation.
Please do keep in touch and best wishes to you all in W.A.
Yours sincerely, U Ne Oo.
LETTER FROM THE DEPT OF IMMIGRATION AND ETHNIC AFFAIRS
21 NOv 1995
Dr U Ne Oo
48/2 Ayliffes Road
ST MARYS SA 5042
Dear Dr U Ne Oo
Thank you for your letter of 21 September 1995 to the Minister for
Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, Senator the HOn NIck Bolkus, concerning
your request for a Memorandum of UNderstanding (MOU) ensuring the safe
repatriation of Burmese refugees in Australia. Senator Bolkus has asked me
to reply on his behalf.
Australia offers protection to persons who have been determined to be
refugees according to the 1951 UN Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to
the status of Refugees.
Consideration is only given to MOUs to return refugees where they have
already gained the protection of another country or to arrange the return
of those who have had access to asylum procedures in other countries and
have been determined not to be refugees.
Should you wish to return to Burma it would, of course, be a personal
desicion. The UNited Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
monitors the humanitarian situation in Burma and you may wish to seek
advice from UNHCR as to whether it is safe to return.
I hope this information of assistance.
Sd. BRAWYN McNAUGHTON
LETTER FROM DFAT (31/10/96)
31 October 1995
Dear Dr U Ne Oo
48/2 Ayliffes Road
ST MARYS SA 5042
Dear Dr U Ne Oo
Thank you for your letter and attachments of 12 October addressed to
Senator evans concerning the situation of people who have fled from Myanmar
and obtained sanctury in neighbouring countries. Senator Evans has asked me
to reply on his behalf.
The Australian Government shares your concern about the situation of people
who have fled Myanmar to escape human rights abuses, military activity and
civil strife. We will continue to urge the Government of Myanmar to
undertake reforms that will permit people from Myanmar to return to their
country in safety and dignity. As you are probably aware, the Australian
Government assists people in the border camps in Thailand and Bangladesh by
funding humanitarian assistance that is delivered through NGOs.
The Australian Government publicly welcomed the release of Aung San Suu Kyi
on 10 July 1995. Her release is an important step by the MYanmar
Government, but we believe it needs to do a lot more to demonstrate that it
is serious about fundamental political and human rights reform. Of the ten
benchmarks identified by Senator Evans at the 1994 ASEAN Post Ministerial
Conference in Bangkok as means to gauge progress in Myanmar, only one has
been achieved: the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. The Myanmar Government has
made little or no substantive progress against the other benchmarks, and in
some instances - such as access by the INternational Committee of the Red
Cross to prisoners - things have actually gone backwards.
We share your concern at the slow pace of political reform in Myanmar and
agree that it is important to maintain the pressure on the Government of
Myanmar. Australian policy will remain unchanged while we monitor events in
Myanmar over the coming months to ascertain whether the Myanmar Government
is genuinely committed to political reform and true national
reconciliation. We will continue to use all available avenues, including
the UN, and the forthcoming debate on Myanmar at the UN General Assembly
next month to promote positive change in Myanmar.
Sd. Frank Milne
Mainland South-East Asia Branch
DEc 5, 1995.
BURMA SHOULD LISTEN: FISCHER
BURMA FISCHER (CANBERRA)
National Party leader Tim Fischer - currently touring Burma -
has expressed deep disappointment that the Burmese government has ignored
the result of the 1990 election.
The result was an overwhelming victory for Burma's National League
for Democracy leader AUNG SAN SUU KYI, but a military junta has refused to
let her govern.
Mr FISCHER - the coalition's foreign affairs spokesman - met Ms SUU
KYI at her Rangoon residence, where she has just finished six years home
He says the reluctance of the military-based ruling committee to
recongise the judgment of the people is a denial of the democratic process.
AAP RTV fh/jg/ag/rt
CANBERRA, Feb 14 AAP - The main stories on the 0800 edition of
ABC Radio's AM program:
* Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans was refused entry to
Burma in December in a ban
on foreign critics following US Ambassador to the United Nations
Madeleine Albright savaged the regime for not opening talks with
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Mr Evans would have been the
first Western foreign minister to visit Burma and meet Suu Kyi
since the bloody crackdown in 1988.
DEMOCRACY LEADER SAYS MILITARY HAS FAILED TO BREAK HER MOVEMENT
By Robert Horn of The Associated Press
RANGOON, Burma, Feb 16 AP - Burma's democracy movement is
gaining strength behind the scenes, despite a campaign of arrests
and intimidation by the military government, says dissident leader
Aung San Suu Kyi.
"The National League for Democracy is not a spent force," the
1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner said of her political party during a
recent interview with The Associated Press.
However, it is getting harder for Suu Kyi to communicate that
message. The military has told foreign leaders and diplomats, such
as Prime Minister Paul Keating, that they are not welcome in Burma
to see Suu Kyi.
It's a stark change from the heady days last July when the
military suddenly released the 50-year-old party leader after six
years of house arrest. Hopes were high that Burma's leaders might
finally be prepared to loosen their grip on power.
Suu Kyi called for a dialogue but the government spurned the
demand. In November, she pulled her party out of a constitutional
convention that democracy advocates labelled a sham. The generals
responded with a crackdown, arresting several of her supporters.
Some say time is now working against the democracy movement and
Suu Kyi is losing credibility. Meanwhile, the military is arming
itself, using funds from foreign investment.
But the elegant woman people simply call "The Lady" said people
were increasingly turning to the NLD, which is rebuilding into a
more unified and effective organisation.
NLD delegations from around the country regularly travel to Suu
Kyi's home to discuss strategy and tactics. She has met with
thousands of representatives from villages.
"We all sit down on the floor, mainly because, as you can see,
we don't have enough chairs," Suu Kyi said, laughing.
She was forced to sell most of her furniture to survive during
her arrest. Today, her home is largely bare except for a few tables
and photos of her father, Burma's independence hero Aung San, who
was assassinated in 1947, and her mother.
NLD Vice-Chairman Tin Oo said the party was building a
political, social and administrative network to counter the
government. Villagers are asked to work with local NLD legal aid,
health and education committees.
Simply because outsiders can't see what's happening, Suu Kyi
stressed, doesn't mean there is no progress.
"People never admit that when they say they want to see
something happening, what they really mean is that they want to see
people pouring out into the streets demanding democracy," she said.
That won't work, she said. In 1988 the army killed thousands of
unarmed demonstrators, firing freely into crowds of university
students, schoolchildren and medical workers.
"After I was arrested in 1989, there were no demonstrations,"
Suu Kyi said. "Most observers came to the conclusion that the NLD
was not going to win (the 1990 elections), because obviously the
people were not supporting us enthusiastically."
Her party captured 80 per cent of the vote, but the military
government refused to honour the outcome and jailed many elected
The recent wave of arrests, NLD leaders said, was proof that
their movement was growing, not dwindling.
While the military leaders appear confident in the economic
future, NLD leaders believe the economy will deteriorate, turning
the tide in their favour. Economic hardships helped spark the 1988
"It is becoming increasingly obvious that (the government)
hasn't succeeded with their economic policies," Suu Kyi said.
Several economists agree, saying the military government is
selling off the country's diminishing natural resources to raise
money for massive arms purchases. Economic failure, they say, is
closer than people realise.
"The Burmese people know how to bide their time," Suu Kyi said.
"They know when they have to wait. They know when they have to act.
This is exactly how we want them to be."