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BurmaNet News May 5, 1996

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

The BurmaNet News: May 5, 1996
Issue #399

Noted in Passing:	We may not be kings, but it is our responsibility
			to crush all internal as well as external enemies
			and insurgents.  - Kyaw Aye, SLORC UK rep-
			resentative  (see EMBASSY OF MYANMAR:


February 13, 1996

BurmaNet Editor's Note:=20
Below is a copy of a letter from the Burmese Embassy in London to=20
Paul Strachan.  Paul Strachan has been a tireless promoter of Visit Myanmar=
Year and a defender of SLORC policies.  It seems that Paul Strachan and=20
Miriam Segal are vying for the coveted position of closest Westerner to the=

Embassy of The Union of Myanmar
19A Charles Street
London W1X 8ER
Tel: 071-499 8841
Telex:267609 MYANMA G


13th February 1996

Mr Paul Strachan
Kiscadale Publications/Irrawaddy Princess
Stirlingshire FK8 3R1

Dear Mr Strachan,

It is my duty as UK representative at the Myanmar Embassy, London of the
Defence Service Intelligence, on the request of the Deputy Director in
Yangon Col Kyaw Win, to thank you wholeheartedly for your committed and
unflinching support of our "Visit Myanmar Year 1996".  I am proud to say
also that this expression of gratitude comes on behalf of your close friend=
our Secretary No. 1.

It is partly thanks to your most generous support of our policies, which
have been unfairly slighted by certain neo-colonialist, misguided cockerels
in the West who know nothing of our Myanmar traditions, that,  in the words
of our Deputy at the Ministry of Hotels & Tourism, " roads in Myanmar are
now wider, lights brighter, tours cleaner, grass greener and people happier=

Together with your one hundred per cent collaboration, we can pursue our
forceful drive towards more tourists and reasserting Myanmar's legitimacy
and credibility, which has been stymied in the past by the misconceptions o=
nefarious and subversive destructive elements.

And yet, there are still those, I am sure you are aware to whom in
particular I refer, in certain misguided pockets, who assert that it is not
us who speak for the citizens of Myanmar Naing-ngan.  But with your
assistance, we can ensure that there is no platform for such voices.
Leaking of state secrets is not permissible in any way.  We may not be
kings, but it is our responsibility to crush all internal as well as
external enemies and insurgents.  We cannot be seen to be lenient, for then
others will step on us, as a white elephant steps on a golden foot.  We
cannot allow such a recurrence in our country.

On behalf of all the law-abiding citizens of the Union of Myanmar for whom =
speak unanimously, we thank you unequivocally for your loyal collaboration.

Yours sincerely

Kyaw Aye

for and on behalf of the Embassy of the Union of Myanmar, London

cc=09Ministry of Hotels & Tourism, Yangon
=09Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yangon
=09Col Kyaw Win, Deputy Director, Defence Service Intelligence, Yangon


May 2, 1996

Dear All,
I am happy to announce that 1996 Indra Gandhi Golden Award for=20
International Understanding goes to 1991 Nobel Laureate, Aung San=20
Suu Kyi of Burma. This award is granted by Asiatic Society base in=20
Calcutta. Prize distributing ceremony will be held on 6th May 1996.=20
This ceremony also included distributing for other prizes regarding=20
Scientists and Historians. There will be altogether 15 prize winners.
Aung San Myint
on behalf of Joint Action of NCGUB, ABSDF & FTUB (West Burma)

May 2 1996.

CALCUTTA, May 1. Aung San Suu Kyi, would conferred the Indra=20
Gandhi Gold Plaque by the Asiatic Society for her contribution to=20
international understanding  and inter-cultural cooperation.
Ms. Suu Kyi is one of the 15 eminent scientists and scholars from=20
India and abroad who will be awarded by the Society for their=20
contribution in their respective fields of research and study.
A society release said the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court,=20
Mr. V.N. Khare, would give away the awards at a convocation=20
ceremony here on May 6.
The highest honour of Society, TAS (<italic> Honoris causa=20
<italic>), would be awarded to Prof. Yashutomi Kobe University,=20
medical scientist and president of the Kobe University, Japan, for his=20
contribution in detecting cancer through cell-signalling.
The astronomer, Dr. Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, would be presented the=20
Rindra Nath Tagore Birth Centenary Plaque.
The other recipients are Dr. J.W. Atkinson in psychology, the=20
scientist and former UGC Chairman, Dr. Yashpal, the scientist, Dr.=20
Akshayananda Bose in solid state physics, the historian and social=20
thinker, Dr. Ashok Mitra, Dr. Soumitra M. Katre in linguististics, the=20
former Vice-Chancellor of the Visva Bharati University, Prof. Ashin=20
Dasgupta, the orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Durga Bakshi, the social=20
scientist, Dr. B.K. Roy Burman, Dr. Sanjoy Sanyal in mineralogy and=20
petrology. The thinker Mr. H. Y. Sharada Prasad, the Indologist Prof.=20
Suresh Chandra Bandyopashyay, and Ms. Champa Saharoy. (PTI)


D.C. ON MAY 14
May 2, 1996

Dear Burma Democracy Activists,=20

This is to let you know about a:=20


Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is
holding a conference which is open to the public on May 14, 1996 in
Washington, D.C.  The line-up, which will include many top-level U.S.
policy-makers including Senator McConnell, is listed below.  The conference
will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Kenney Auditorium of SAIS,
which is located at 1740 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C.  The
entrance fee is $10 (payable at the door, includes breakfast and lunch) but
you must make reservations before the conference beforehand.  To make
reservations, fax the following information to (202) 663-5782  attention:
Lois Weiss.  They are requesting reservations on or before May 10, so act f=

Your name
Your organization
Your telephone number
Your fax number

Do not send this information to me at this e-mail address!  If you need
additional information, call SAIS at (202) 663-5600 and ask to be connected
to the Southeast Asian Studies Department.   It's important that many of us
who feel strongly that additional pressure and sanctions are the way to
persuade SLORC attend, in order to make sure that our view is represented
and carries the argument.  This will also be an excellent chance to find ou=
who the oil companies and other special interests who want to engage in
Burma have lined up to be their front men in their effort to try and finess=
their reprehensible support (throught their dollars and their actions) for
SLORC.   So please plan to attend!   =20

Here's the line-up: =20

"Burma/Myanmar Today and American Policy" =20

A conference to discuss the merits of 'constructive engagement' with Burma'=
SLORC vs. isolation (and possible imposition of sanctions) as a means of
advancing U.S. interests in Asia.=20

8:30 - 9:15   Registration & Continental Breakfast =20

9:15   Welcome and Introduction

9:30 - 12:00  First Panel: "Burma Today"

Current political and economic situation in Burma, with special attention t=
human rights, the status of minorities, and international narcotics
trafficking.  Status of foreign direct investment; attitude of internationa=
financial institutions; and policies of ASEAN, Japan, China and European

Chair:  Lorne Craner, President, International Republican Institute

Participants of Panel:=20

Mike Jendrzejczyk, Washington Director, Human Rights Watch/Asia
Douglas Paal, Asian Pacific Policy Center (invited)
Douglas Rasmussen, Division Chief for Asia, Bureau of International
Narcotics    Matters, Department of State
David Steinberg, The Asia Foundation
Harn Yawnghwe, Editor, Burma Alert

12:00 - 1:30  Keynote Speaker:  Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), introduced
by                                   SAIS Dean Paul Wolfowitz=20

1:30 - 4:00  Second Panel:  "US Policy: Engagement or Isolation -- What Wor=

Chair:  Ken Wollack, President, National Democratic Institute

Participants: =20

Sein Win, Prime Minister, National Coalition Government of the Union of Bur=
Ernest Bower, Executive Director, US-ASEAN Council for Business
Robert Hathaway, Professional Staff Member, House International Relations
Aryeh Neier, President, Open Society Institute/
Tom Vallely, Director, Harvard Institute of International Development,
Indochina                        Project
Eric Schwartz, National Security Staff (invited)


May 3, 1996

This intro was posted by Howard Sargent:

"I don't think anyone doing business with SLORC is
interested in exerting moral leverage, anyway.  No business that wishes to
exert moral leverage would be engaged in Burma under the present

from Democracy Activist Suu Kyi argues for a boycott
Dominic Faulder, Bangkok
Asiaweek, May 3, 1996, p. 37

The following was contained in a Texaco NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING
dated March 28, 1996. The meeting will be held in Houston on May 14th.

Item 4-Stockholder Proposal Relating to Burma

   WHEREAS the illegitimate government of Burma (Myanmar), which calls
itself the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), brutally
suppresses the Burmese people's movement toward democracy and has massacred
or imprisoned thousands of human rights demonstrators.

   WHEREAS in July, 1995, SLORC released from six years of house arrest
Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party, the National League for Democracy, won a
landslide victory in 1990 elections. SLORC still refuses to permit the
elected Parliament to meet. Further, human rights monitors agree Aung San
Suu Kyi's release has not lessened human rights violations against her or
against the Burmese people. Reports by human rights observers and
organizations regularly report forced relocations of villagers, forced
labor, political prisoners estimated at 1,000, and other human rights

   WHEREAS SLORC gains political legitimacy and maintains financial
solvency, in part, through partnerships with foreign oil companies. When
Texaco explorations are successful, SLORC will be paid significant amounts
of money and may exercise its option to own 15 percent of the production.
SLORC will be a corporate partner in this operation with Texaco.

   WHEREAS Texaco will not state publicly that internationally recognized
standards of human rights are being violated in Burma and publicly urge
that political prisoners be released and political power transferred to the
democratically elected government of Burma.

   RESOLVED the shareholders request the Board of Directors to adopt as
policy: Texaco shall terminate operations in Burma until political
prisoners are released and political power transferred to the
democratically elected government of Burma (Myanmar).

Statement of Support

   Representatives of the religious shareholders, filers of this
resolution, met with management to raise human rights concerns about our
company's operations in Burma. While we understand that Texaco cannot
simply move its operations to another location as other companies have
done, nonetheless, we believe it must not do business with a government
that flagrantly violates common standards of human dignity without at least
protesting that injustice. Indeed, the SLORC justifies its forced labor by
cleverly manipulating statements about Asian cultures and merit gained,
according to the tenets of the Buddhist religion, by laboring

   Texaco and other corporations claim political neutrality in Burma. At
the same time Texaco is striving mightily to distance itself and its
operations from Burma's military regime and its policies. However, doing
business within a repressive regime is inherently political, and SLORC is
such a regime. We believe the facts associated with Burma and the release
of Aung San Suu Kyi call for a dramatic public statement of support for an
end to human rights violations against Burmese students, daily laborers,
ethnic minorities, peasants, refugees in camps along both sides of the

   If you are concerned about Texaco's presence in Burma, please vote "yes"
for this resolution.

The Board of Directors recommends a vote AGAINST this proposal for the
following reasons:

   Texaco's business is exploring for and developing hydrocarbon reserves
where they can be found to exist in the world and providing quality
petroleum products and related services to the world's people. In the
pursuit of this business, we operate in more than 140 countries and
encounter a variety of political climates. Unlike many other industries
that often can choose sites for their operations, the oil industry must go
where hydrocarbon deposits lie or are expected to lie. Texaco believes that
potentially significant natural gas reserves lie off the coast of Myanmar.

   We are aware of the charges directed from a number of sources and toward
the present Myanmar government concerning human rights abuses. We abhor
violations of basic human rights where they occur. We have reviewed our
policies and guidelines, which require that Texaco apply high ethical and
moral standards in everything we do, with officials at the highest levels
of the Myanmar government, and we have been assured by them that our
proposed activities there can be carried out consistent with our

   In those instances where the United States government has, for human
rights or other reasons, mandated that U.S. companies refrain from commerce
with or in various countries, the company has scrupulously complied with
these directives - oftentimes at a significant exposure or loss of property
and earnings - and would do so in Myanmar should the U.S. government take
such action.

   In addition, should we elect to move forward with our development plans
in Myanmar, we fully intend to back up our words with actions that clearly
demonstrate Texaco's high level of respect for the individual. We believe
that our presence there could help build economic conditions that encourage
human rights advancement through the creation of jobs, the transfer of
technology and the establishment of essential social services. We believe
we would also provide a positive influence there by respecting the rights
of individuals and by conducting our operations under the same high ethical
standards that we employ throughout the world.

   If we were to leave Myanmar, prior experience indicates that other
international petroleum companies, including quite possibly our current
partners, would simply assume our role. And there is no guarantee that
these companies would represent as positive a force for economic and social
change or uphold the same high ethical standards in business that Texaco
traditionally practices. We believe that constructive engagement, which is
advocated by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and nearly all its
Western partners, will encourage Myanmar to further open its economy and
establish links with regional and international economies. We also believe
a number of positive and responsive steps have been taken in the country as
a result of its opening itself to international commercial activity.

   In the final analysis, we have no disagreement with the general
objectives of the proponents. We do, however, have a different outlook on
how to effect change in what is reported to be happening in some areas. We
believe U.S. companies such as Texaco can support the people of Myanmar by
staying there and working with them to build their economy and, over time,
their society.

   Therefore, the Board of Directors recommends a vote AGAINST this proposa=


May 2, 1996

(ABSDF frontline information)

A SLORC column, combination of two companies from Infantry
Regiment 101 and 103, led by Captain Thein Yi entered into Lale
Thit village (both east and west river sides), situated in
Tennissirm township, Mergue district, southern Burma, at 14 hour
April 28, 1996 and destroyed the houses. The troops burnt down
the village at 08:00 hour and left about 14:00. Totally 37 houses
were burnt down and over 100 houses were destroyed absolutely;
moreover, the properties of the villagers which cost over
4,000,000 kyats including stored rice were pillaged and destroyed
by the SLORC soldiers. After shifting Col. Tin Aye with Col. Khin
Maung as a commander of Divisional Operation Control Headquarters
in Mergue District, the new commander ordered his operating
columns to destroy the villages in a particular area in accursed
of rebel camps.=20


May 1, 1996

Dear All,

In the USA Today Article "College Cry:  Free Burma"
Internet links campuses in 90's-style protest,  by Joe Urschel, (Monday,
April 29,1996), there was a factual mistake as to how I left my country.

I was portrayed as having fled Burma after the 1988 uprising and massacres
in Rangoon.

I left the country officially on July 12, 1988 and I am NOT part of the
students and civilians who fled the Thai border after the bloody crackdown.

While the article was in progress, I spoke with Patty Edmonds, a co-author
of the article, for about half hour.  And the phone interview was solely
focused on how, when, and why the Free Burma Coalition came into existence.
I have no idea how the USA Today reporters got the info (or
misinformation, more precisely) on the issue in question.

I hope this clarifies some of the confusions caused by the article among my
fellow Burmese students in the US and else where.




NO.4 VOLUME.6-7, APRIL 15, 1996
By Steve Thompson

The surrender by Khun Sa and the MTA is the latest victory in the=20
at-tempts of Burma's Slorc to retake control of areas that=20
hundred of years ago were part of the Burmese empire. While the=20
generals claim that they are trying to build the country into a=20
modern nation they seem instead to be bringing the past into the=20

Indeed, observing their actions they seem more like twentieth=20
century colonialists, combining the worst features of the=20
Japanese imperialists, the old Myanmar kings and the British=20
colonialists. Their rule over the people they have subdued is=20
both brutal and despotic, and their exploitation of the natural=20
resources in the territories they have occupied is=20
environmentally destructive and unsustainable.

The regime has given promises of development, outright bribes and=20
business concessions to ethnic leaders. It has also evidently=20
made deals with the drug trafficking groups that have facilitated=20
greater production of opiates.

Many of the ethnic peoples fighting against the Burmese Army see=20
them as traditional enemies, and have long sought independence=20
from them. This is particularly the case with the Karen, Mon,=20
Karenni and Arakanese, the latter two of whom had an independent=20
kingdom at the time that the British annexed their lands.=20

The regime appears to be now on the verge of reaching its goal of=20
recolonising  the last major "liberated areas" held by the ethnic=20
nationalities, which have been the bases for the armed resistance=20
Burman hegemony.

Having largely subdued the ethnic revolutionaries the junta has=20
been making efforts to establish itself as the legitimate ruler=20
of the ethnic lands, as well as of Burma proper. The Slorc lost=20
any trace of a legal mandate to rule Burma after losing in the=20
1990 elections. Having been uncomfortably exposed to=20
international condemnation for their detention of the election=20
winning Aung San Suu Kyi and her party members, the regime has=20
tried to deflect criticism and delay any transition from power by=20
organising a "National Convention" of carefully selected ethnic=20
and Burman delegates to draft a new constitution in such a way=20
that the military will have the "legal" right to rule the country=20
and the outlying territories.=20

While the Slorc's legal farce has dragged on indefinitely with=20
prolonged adjournments the junta has on the other hand been=20
working overtime to try to prevent the development of a unified=20
opposition through the use of classical colonial style "divide=20
and rule" tactics. This it has achieved to a certain extent by,=20
among other methods, upholding martial law edicts preventing=20
gatherings of more than four people, deploying large numbers of=20
agents and informers to sow misinformation and suspicion,=20
targeting channels of communication between the ethnic and=20
democratic political opposition, and by attacking and overrunning=20
places such as "liberated areas" like Manerplaw where they could=20
meet and resolve their differences.

Now that the Slorc has more or less secured control of the border=20
states it is worth reviewing what form this recolonisation has=20
taken, or is likely to take.

In many respects the rule of the dictatorship shares many of the=20
characteristics of the British colonial model. The British used=20
the wealth they gained from the exploitation of the natural=20
resources of other lands, and from their monopolies on trade and=20
resources, to build a huge military institution with which they=20
maintained their rule and attempted to take control of yet=20
further territories. This has its parallel in the actions of the=20
Slorc, which has now built and equipped an army now=20
conservatively estimated at 300,000 strong =97 and still growing.

Revenues from the wholesale plunder of natural resources from the=20
ethnic lands have been used to pay for the roughly US$2 billion=20
worth of weaponry the Slorc has bought, and for the military=20
offensives, soldier salaries and the general costs of the armed=20
forces, as well as for other activities of the state. These costs=20
however, according to the official national accounts, will have=20
exceeded by far even the money received from the selling off of=20
the resources and from the investments from foreign companies=20
seeking to do business in Burma.=20

It has been suggested that revenues from the products of opium=20
are the  source of the extra funds.

Another parallel is that during the colonial era, treasures from=20
the conquered territories went towards the personal enrichment of=20
the privileged elites. Some of these amassed huge fortunes from=20
outright plundering, others from timber extraction, plantations=20
and the monopolies they were able to establish. It is widely=20
alleged that some of the Slorc generals have also become=20
extremely rich, with their wealth being in large part derived=20
from precious stones, heroin trafficking, logging, fishing and=20
cross border black market trading , much of which takes place in=20
the border states.

The similarity stops at industrial exploitation. In this area the=20
generals have failed totally in comparison to the British and=20
Japanese imperialists. The past and present incarnations of the=20
military regime have been unable to develop an industrial base=20
which could have added value to what they have stripped from the=20
colonised lands. Analysts attributed this failure to=20
"inefficiency and managerial problems" including rampant=20
corruption, nepotism and serious education deficiencies.

As a result of this failure the military government has depended=20
almost completely on agricultural produce and the extraction of=20
the natural resources that the country is considered rich in to=20
maintain any form of national income.=20

Consequently a substantial amount of the most easily accessible=20
resources have been squandered in a remarkably short time, and=20
the country is now faced with serious shortages of teak, oil and=20
other traditional foundations of Burma's economy. From an=20
environmental perspective the exploitation of Burma's "rich=20
natural resources" has been and still is an example of completely=20
unsustain-able development.

The serious depletion of the resource base in Central Burma is=20
without doubt a critical motivating factor behind the Burmese=20
military regime's colonisation of the ethnic states.

In the border states significant potential sources of wealth=20
remain, although the forests have already been largely stripped=20
of the valuable species of timber by the numerous "legal" and=20
"illegal" loggers. Much has also been deforested by unnaturally=20
frequent forest fires, opium growers, disposed shifting=20
cultivators and other factors. Marine resources along the coastal=20
states have also been rapidly depleted by licensed and unlicensed=20
foreign fishing fleets. The most economically promising sources=20
of income for the regime and its cool aborators consist of=20
minerals, the opium crops, the remaining natural gas and oil=20
deposits, and the vast hydro-electric potential of the rivers.=20
Various programmes to access and control these are currently on=20
the drawing board or are being implemented.

The most prominent of the programme are the road railway=20
projects, which are designed to open up the last remote areas of=20
the lands of the indigenous peoples. A number of roads and=20
railways are presently under construction, and in true=20
imperialist style, the Slorc is using the forced labour of=20
hundreds of thousands of press-ganged, mostly ethnic villagers to=20
build them.  One could also liken the process to that of the=20
making of the Radon roads, or to the use by the Burmese kings of=20
captured prisoners to carry their spoils and build edifices to=20
their undying glory.

In this plundering of the states the Slorc is obviously not=20
acting alone. Powerful Western multinational corporations,=20
Japanese and Korean conglomerates, and Chinese and Asean=20
businesses ranging from individual entrepreneurs to giant state=20
corporations appear ready and willing to participate in joint=20
ventures with the Slorc to take what they can from the still=20
relatively resource rich states.=20

In this light, it is tragic that the development model the junta=20
is currently pursuing differs in few respects from the=20
exploitative colonial example. It should be noted that this is=20
hardly surprising considering that most of the rudimentary=20
education the generals have received was in schools that=20
inherited the British education system. To do the generals=20
justice however, it should also be noted that the entire "modern"=20
development model being aggressively promoted throughout the=20
whole world by governments, economists and institutions like the=20
Asian Development Bank is also deeply rooted in the exploitative=20
colonial model, focusing on the unsustainable extraction on non-
renewable resources and the inequitable utilisation of cheap=20
labour in "less developed countries".

It is hard to imagine that the people whose lands are being=20
plundered and who are being forced to work for the Burman=20
overlords will be appreciative of the brutal experience of=20
recolonisation, any more than the Burman appreciated the rule of=20
the British or the Japanese. In this light it is perhaps time for=20
the Slorc generals, who so often indulge in invective condemning=20
Burma's former colonial rulers, had a good hard look in the=20
mirror and reflected on their own deeds - which have such=20
striking parallels with what they so readily criticise.(Steve=20
Thompson contributed this article to the Irrawaddy.)=09=09=20


May 1, 1996

To the Editor:

     Re: "China gains ties with Burma, by default" (April 30,
p.A8).  Reading Ethan Casey's 'realpolitik' analysis of Burma and
the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) reminds us of
a comment made by Prof. Josef Silverstein in the December '95 issue
of Current History:  "cosmetic changes may fool foreign journalists
and businessmen, but not those who have fought and are ready to die
for real change."  There is nothing practical about abandoning
democratic values in the name of promoting them.

     Mr. Casey never even mentions Burma's elected represenatives,
such as Aung San Suu Kyi, but relies heavily on pro-SLORC
diplomats.  It is no surprise, then, that his errors are too
lengthy to list here.

     Two errors stand out.  One, neither ASEAN nor the West has
closed the door on the Burmese dictatorship.  Britain actively
promotes trade with Burma, the U.S. has just received a new SLORC
ambassador, and France's Total is a key investor in Burma's natural
gas industry.  India not only nurtures trade with Burma, but the
Indian military has worked with SLORC in battling the Chin on their
shared border.  Thailand was Burma's first ally after the 8-8-88
uprising, for which its generals were richly rewarded with logging
and other contracts; meanwhile Singapore, one of Burma's biggest
trading partners, has long supported SLORC's opposition to
"Western" democratic values.

     Two, geography and history allow China to loom large in Burma
regardless of what the West, India or ASEAN does.  Does Mr. Casey
suggest the West sell arms to Burma because the Chinese government
does?  If so, perhaps he will kindly explain how helping a
totalitarian regime battle democrats will promote democratic values.

     Mr. Casey got one thing right:  the West has "dithered".  If
Burma is the acid test of the West's commitment to support
democratic movements in the post-Cold War world, we are failing.
As various companies which have left Burma have learnt, the terms
which SLORC requires foreign investors operate under make it
impossible for them to avoid complicity in SLORC's pervasive human
rights violations - yet companies such as Unocal, Heineken and PepsiCo=20
(despite recent reports to the contrary) continue to do business there.


Corinne Baumgarten, Reid Cooper, Terry Cottam
Burma-Tibet Group, OPIRG-Carleton


May 4, 1996

Don Erickson of Synapses urges everyone everywhere to look for Burma or
Myanmar labels on Osh-Kosh clothing.

Osh-Kosh denies they manufacture in Burma but we here at Burma Action
Committee have good reason to believe they are lying or just incredible
idiots. Osh-Kosh also has not put their denial in writing.

If you find any Burma labels, please inform Don at synapses@xxxxxxxxxxx


May 2, 1996


Dear friends of Burma,

On May 17, 1996, a Senate Hearing will be held by Sen. D'Amato (R-NY),
Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. It is
expected that those issues detailed in the "Burma Freedom and Democracy Act
of 1995 (S.1511)" will be discussed at the Hearing. S.1511 was introduced b=
Senators McConnell, Moynihan, Leahy and D'Amato, and was referred to Chairm=
D'Amato's Banking Committee. Hopefully, Senators McConnell will testify at
the Hearing and will be joined by Dr. Sein Win, Prime Minister of the
National Coalition Government of Union of Burma and other supporters of the

Now is the time to urge the members of the Senate Banking Committee to atte=
the Hearing and support the bill since members in the Committee will be
voting on this bill. If your Senator is on the Banking Committee, your lett=
will be crucial. Even if your senator does not serve on the Banking
Committee, please forward a letter to Chairman D'Amato and Senator Sarbanes=
the Ranking Democrat. We strongly recommend that you write to your Senator =
every single letter will impact on the decision of those Senators. We reall=
need this bill to be passed by the Senate Banking Committee. Therefore, we
strongly ask that you write and urge them to support the bill.

Since this is only a tentative schedule, the actual date and time will be
posted as soon as it is confirmed.

Once again, please write to members of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urb=
Affairs Committee to attend the Hearing and support the bill. The following
are members in the Senate Banking Committee and their addresses.

In peace and solidarity,
"Campaign for Burma Freedom Bill"

Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
The United States Senate
534 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510-6075

(The city and zip code are same as above.)
Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, Chairman (R-New York)     same as above
Sen. Phil Gramm (R-Texas) =09=09370 Russell SenateOffice Bldg.
Sen. Christopher Bond (R-Missouri) =09293 Russell SenateOffice Bldg
Sen. Connie Mack (R-Florida) =09=09517 Hart SenateOffice Bldg.
Sen. Lauch Faircloth (R-North Carolina) =09317 Hart Senate OfficeBldg
Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah) =09=09431 Dirksen SenateBldg.
Sen. Rod Grams (R-Minnesota) =09=09261 Dirksen SenateOffice Bldg.
Sen. Pete Domenici (R-New Mexico)=09328 Hart Senate OfficeBldg
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama)                  110 Hart Senate OfficeBldg
Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Maryland) =09=09309 Hart Senate OfficeBldg
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut)        444 Russell Senate Office Bldg
Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts)               421 Russell Senate Office B=
Sen. Richard Bryan (D-Neveda)                     364 Russell Senate Office=
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California)                  112 Senate Hart Office B=
Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun (D-Illinois)            320 Hart Senate Office Bld=
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington)               111 Russell Senate Office Bl=

(For fax. number or email address, please email to freeburma@xxxxxxx)


April 30, 1996  (abridged)

A THAI HUSBAND and wife are trying to improve understanding
between Thais and Burmese by rejecting the traditional way of
looking at Burma from the political and security perspective.

Wirat and Oranut Niyomtam, linguists with the Institute of
Language and Culture for Rural Development at Mahidol University,
have spent most of their working life studying Burma. They see
cultural ties as the way to overcome centuries of mistrust.

A Thai-Burmese/Burmese-Thai dictionary published two years ago
was the first product of their efforts. "Nevertheless, it was so lifeless,"=
Mr Wirat said. Linguistics alone could not benefit society.

They decided to go to Burma to discover the "real" country. They
made their first trip in 1993 and have paid regular visits since,
taking in Rangoon, Mandalay, the ancient capital of Pagan, a
centre for monk education in Pakokku, and Kyaikto, a holy place
where Burmese pilgrims pay respects to the Golden Rock pagoda.=20
Focussing on culture, they studied information at the central and
national libraries and the Institute of Foreign Language at Rangoon Univers=

Their pending new book, tentatively titled "Burmese Way of Life",
tells of annual cultural and traditional activities, national days, social =
religious events, and why Burma was renamed Myanmar.

Culture can also explain the country's politics as well,
according to the couple. The junta, the State Law and Order
Restoration Council, always quotes old sayings to promote
reconciliation among Burma's numerous ethnic groups.

Mr Wirat said Thais, particularly those in trade and investment,
were increasingly interested in learning Burmese. The first 1,000
copies of their dictionary sold quickly to universities, businessmen,=20
embassies and the public.

In a few months, the couple plan to leave Mahidol University to
join the Burmese Studies Institute recently set up by Naresuan
University in Phitsanulok province.

They plan to continue writing about Burma, including works on the=20
country's way of life and a book on the general characteristics of the=20
Burmese language.

They plan to publish the second edition of their dictionary
60,000-80,000 words. The first edition contains about 27,000 words.=20