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Burma Net News #422

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Date: Mon, 27 May 1996 10:50:18 -0700 (PDT)

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

The BurmaNet News: May 25-27, 1996
Issue #422

	Noted in Passing:

	There is a group of persons in Myanmar (Burma) swaying to the
	enticement of a big nation which is attempting to bring Myanmar 
	under its influence in the pretext of democracy and human rights.
	- Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt.




RANGOON, May 26 (Reuter) - Aung San Suu Kyi emerged from six years of
house arrest last year unbowed and as determined as ever to see democracy
restored in her country but under no illusions it was going to be easy.

"I am happy to be able to say that despite all that we have undergone,
the forces of democracy in Burma remain strong and dedicated," she told
reporters on July 11, 1995.

The day before the ruling military had surprised the world, announcing
in a terse statement that she was no longer confined to her Rangoon home.

>From the day she was released, the woman who won the 1991 Nobel Peace
Prize for her non-violent campaign for democracy, stressed the importance
of dialogue.

She said talks between the military, the democracy movement and ethnic
minorities was the only answer for her troubled country, riven by
generations of mistrust and its people largely cowed by authoritarian
military rule.

"We have to choose between dialogue or utter devestation. I would like
to believe that human instinct for survival alone, if nothing else, would
eventually lead us to prefer dialogue."

"We've got to understand that things are not just going to be smooth,
we've got to work hard and we've got to convince those who do not believe
in dialogue that dialogue is the best way," she said in an interview after
her release.

Calling for patience and moderation, she clearly saw the possibility
of dangers ahead.

"Extreme viewpoints are not confined to any particular group and it is
the responsibility of the leaders to control such elements which threaten
the spirit of reconciliation," she said.

>From mid-1988, when she emerged to head the democracy movement, the
slight but steely Suu Kyi articulated a popular urge for an end to the
military repression that has gripped the country since 1962 and beggared
one of Asia's richest lands.

Millions took to the streets in 1988 demanding change. The army
crushed the demonstrations with brute force, killing thousands according to
estimates by diplomats there at the time.

Despite her detention Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD)
won a landslide victory in a May 1990 general election, taking 392 of 485
contested seats.

The ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) refused to
honour the result and silenced the NLD through arrests and intimidation.

Undoubtedly her appeal stemmed from the legacy of her father, national
hero Aung San, who led the country to the brink of independence from
British colonial rule before his assassination in 1947 at the age of 32.

Suu Kyi was born in Rangoon on June 19, 1945 and educated in Burma and
in India, where her mother was ambassador.

She won a scholarship to Oxford University and obtained a degree in
Politics, Philosophy and Economics before getting a job with the United
Nations secretariat in New York.

In 1972 she married British academic Michael Aris and brought up two
sons in the course of moves between Bhutan, India and Japan.

 Suu Kyi was working on a postgraduate thesis at London University when
she returned to Rangoon in April 1988 to nurse her dying mother.

She soon found herself caught up in the student-led revolt.
In her first political speech at the height of the uprising she drew a
crowd of several hundred thousand people, perhaps the largest public
gathering then known in the capital.

"I could not, as my father's daughter, remain indifferent to what was
going on. The national crisis could in fact be called the second struggle
for independence," she declared.

In early 1989, she broke a virtual taboo by publicly attacking
officially retired military strongman Ne Win as the source of Burma's ills,
sealing her popular appeal, but also her fate -- she was placed under house
arrest on July 19, 1989.

"Everyone knew who was responsible for all the bad things in Burma,
but she was the first to blame Ne Win. No one had the guts to do that
before," one Burmese exile said.
She called the struggle of the Burmese people one of freedom from fear.
 "For me real freedom is freedom from fear and unless you can live free
from fear you cannot live a dignified human life. It's not possible," she



08:28 GMT  
By Deborah Charles
RANGOON, May 27 (Reuter) - Burma's military government has sent mixed
signals to the country's reinvigorated democracy movement, suggesting there
may be some uncertainty about how to deal with the challenge to its power,
analysts said on Monday.

A day after National League for Democracy (NLD) leader Aung San Suu Kyi
defied government detention of NLD supporters and vowed to carry on with and
even step up the campaign for democracy, the military rulers seemed
uncertain how to respond.

Commentaries in state-run Burmese-language newspapers on Monday were at
odds, one warning the democracy camp it was committing treason while another
took a milder tone, even suggesting support for democratic principles.

"This dual track does generally reflect there are urgent discussions going
on within the SLORC," one diplomat told Reuters, referring to the ruling
military State Law and Order Restoration Council.

He and other analysts said the reaction, and government attitudes toward the
weekend congress of NLD members, showed there could be some change to the
SLORC hard-line tactics.

The SLORC in recent months has attacked the NLD and tried to make life
difficult for Suu Kyi and her party.

It imprisoned one of Suu Kyi's close friends and other NLD supporters,
prevented her from going to Mandalay and made a steady stream of attacks in
official media on the opposition.

In a crackdown launched last week, the SLORC seized more than 250 NLD
members who planned to attend the three-day party congress that began at Suu
Kyi's lakeside home on Sunday.

After widespread international condemnation of the arrests, SLORC spokesmen
said the NLD members had only been detained for questioning because the
meeting might lead to "anarchy."

"What happened last week backfired," one diplomat said. "I think they
underestimated the NLD."

Far from being cowed by the arrests of most of the members due to attend the
congress, Suu Kyi opened the meeting on Sunday saying the NLD would increase
its activities and hold a series of conferences to plan party strategy.

"It seems the SLORC has bungled. Far from dismaying the opposition, they
have given it more strength," said another diplomat, agreeing with a comment
Suu Kyi made earlier this week that the SLORC could be the NLD's "secret

The meeting was to be the first gathering of about 200-300 NLD members who
won parliament seats in the 1990 election. The SLORC called the poll, but
annulled the results when the NLD swept 82 percent of the seats.

One diplomat said the SLORC likely would be forced to rethink its plans
after being surprised by the strength of the international reaction to the

"They were widely taken aback by the international condemnation...
especially that of Japan and Thailand," he said.

In a rare, strongly-worded protest, Japan's foreign minister called for the
release of the detainees and an end to harassment of the pro-democracy camp.
A Thai spokesman expressed concern.

Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda last week also warned visiting Burmese
Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw in Tokyo that Rangoon's crackdown had dampened the
enthusiasm of Japan's business community for investing in Burma.
Similar statements were made by many Western nations.

"One thing I know: the landscape has changed now. There is more of a feeling
of hope," said one diplomat, referring to the thousands of people who
chanted outside Suu Kyi's gates at the weekend to show support for the
democracy movement.

"The nitty gritty is that the democracy opposition can no longer be
ignored," he added.

Another diplomat agreed, but said it was too soon to tell what might happen
next or if the SLORC should ever agree to Suu Kyi's repeated calls for dialogue.
"It's a waiting game. Let's see how it plays out over the next few days," he
(c) Reuters Limited 1996



08:29 GMT  
RANGOON, May 27 (Reuter) - 
The following is a chronology of key events in
Burma and in the life of Aung San Suu Kyi.
June 19, 1945 - Aung San Suu Kyi born in Rangoon.
July 19, 1947 - General Aung San, Suu Kyi's father and the architect of
Burma's independence from Britain, is assassinated in Rangoon along with six
members of his pre-independence cabinet.
January 4, 1948 - Burma becomes independent.
March 2, 1962 - Army commander General Ne Win seizes power.
April 3, 1962 - The ruling military publishes its ideology, the Burmese Way
to Socialism, an idiosyncratic cocktail of Buddhist metaphysics, socialist
ideology and xenophobia.
September 5, 1987 - Government announces 25, 35 and 75 kyat bank notes no
longer legal tender, rendering some 70 percent of money worthless. Students
demonstrate for first time in 11 years.
March 12, 1988 - A fight between students and locals in a Rangoon tea shop
snowballs in subsequent days into demonstrations in which dozens of students
are killed by riot police and troops.
April, 1988 - Suu Kyi returns to Burma from England where she has been
living with her British husband and two sons, to care for her ailing mother.
July 23, 1988 - General Ne Win resigns as chairman of Burma's sole party,
the military's Burma Socialist Programme Party, as anti-government protests
August 8, 1988 - Millions of people all over Burma join demonstrations. Many
die when troops open fire on the crowds.
August 26, 1988 - Suu Kyi makes her first public appearance. Speaking to a
huge crowd outside the Shwe Dagon Pagoda in Rangoon she compares the unrest
to a "second struggle for independence".
September 18, 1988 - The military steps in to end the protests, setting up
the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). Hundreds killed as
troops fire at crowds.
September 24, 1988 - Suu Kyi and other democracy leaders form the National
League for Democracy (NLD). She is party general secretary.
July 20, 1989 - Suu Kyi placed under house arrest for "endangering the
state". Many other NLD leaders arrested.
January 16, 1990 - The SLORC's Election Commission rules Suu Kyi ineligible
for elections due in May.
May 27, 1990 - The NLD wins 392 out of 485 parliamentary seats in the first
multi-party general election since 1960.
June 19, 1990 - SLORC chief Saw Maung rules out a quick transfer of power
saying a new constitution needed first.
October 14, 1991 - Suu Kyi wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
December 15, 1991 - Following pressure from SLORC, NLD expels Suu Kyi from
January 9, 1993 - The SLORC's National Convention meets to begin drawing up
guidelines of a new constitution.
February 14, 1994 - In her first meeting with non-family members since she
was detained, Suu Kyi tells U.S. Congressman Bill Richardson she will never
be pressured into leaving Burma but is ready to discuss anything else with
September 20, 1994 - Suu Kyi has her first talks with SLORC leader Than Shwe
and the second most senior SLORC member, military intelligence chief
Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt.
October 28, 1994 - Suu Kyi has another meeting with Khin Nyunt and two
military officials. State media says talks were "frank and cordial" and
covered political and economic situation.
March 15, 1995 - The SLORC releases from prison two senior NLD members, Tin
Oo, former defence minster and co-founder of the party, and Kyi Maung, who
led the party in the 1990 polls.
July 10, 1995 - Military officials in Rangoon announce Suu Kyi released from
house arrest.
July 11, 1995 - Suu Kyi tells reporters she still dedicated to restoration
of democracy in Burma and calls for dialogue on political reform between
SLORC, democracy movement and ethnic minority groups. She also urges foreign
businessmen thinking of investing in Burma to wait until democracy restored.
Oct 10 - NLD reappoints Suu Kyi as party secretary general in defiance of a
SLORC ban on changes to party leaderships.
Nov 28 - Suu Kyi informs SLORC the NLD is withdrawing from National
Convention and shortly afterwards senior SLORC official warns armed forces
will "annihilate" anyone disturbing national interests.
March 13, 1996 - Suu Kyi forced to cancel trip to Mandalay to attend
supporters' trial after train coach she booked on develops last-minute
fault. She later tells reporters the SLORC trying to prevent her meeting the
March 25 - NLD chairman Aung Shwe calls on SLORC to convene the parliament
which was elected in the 1990 poll.
April 16 - Authorities prevent Suu Kyi and supporters performing traditional
new year ceremony at a Rangoon lake.
May 20 - State newspaper commentary calls Suu Kyi and other senior NLD
figures poisonous snakes and calls for her weekend talks to crowds outside
her house to be stopped. Two senior SLORC generals warn of action against
"destructionist groups" and "traitors" and sweep is launched against NLD
members planning to attend party congress at Suu Kyi's house coinciding with
sixth anniversary of May 27, 1990, election win.
May 25 - NLD officials say 218 party members detained but party conference,
which due to begin on May 26, still on.
May 26 - NLD party congress goes ahead.  
(c) Reuters Limited 1996



          JAKARTA, May 27 (Reuter) - Burma's military government and opposition
should jointly seek to ensure peace and stability in the country, the Jakarta
Post said on Monday. 

    The English-language newspaper noted that six of the seven members of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) had not commented on the
Burmese situation, following its policy of ``constructive engagement''
through dialogue. 

    But it said in an editorial it thought the concern expressed by Thailand
reflected feelings in the other ASEAN states -- Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia,
the Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. 

    A Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman last week expressed concern over the
Burmese government's crackdown on opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's
National League for Democracy ahead of an NLD conference in Rangoon on

    ``Given the widespread support which the NLD...appears to enjoy both in
Myanmar (Burma) and throughout the world, we hope that both sides in the
present standoff in Yangon (Rangoon) will see the wisdom of trying to jointly
work out some kind of solution that could gradually lead the country to the
genuine peace and stability, which it deserves,'' the Post said. 

    Suu Kyi kept her pledge and opened a meeting of her democracy party on
Sunday despite the arrest of the majority of the politicians expected to

    Some 238 of 300 NLD representatives due to attend have been detained in
the most sweeping crackdown by the ruling State Law and Order Restoration
Council (SLORC) against the opposition since 1990. 

    The SLORC says it has not arrested NLD activists but only detained them
for questioning in order to avoid ``anarchy.'' 

    The Post said it hoped national reconciliation would be achieved before
Burma joins ASEAN. ``It would be to the benefit of ASEAN to have a genuinely
stable and internationally respected Myanmar join it.'' 

    Burma and India are to join the 19-nation ASEAN Regional Forum at a
ministerial-level meeting in Jakarta in July. ASEAN founded the ARF last year
to promote regional security. 

    The main Indonesian-language newspapers reported the NLD conference
without comment. 

00:26 05-27-96


         RANGOON, May 27 (Reuter) - Burma's military intelligence chief has
attacked Western countries for interfering in the country's affairs, and said
Burmese people must not fall prey to bids to trap them under foreign

    ``There is a group of persons in Myanmar (Burma) swaying to the
enticement of a big nation which is attempting to bring Myanmar under its
influence in the pretext of democracy and human rights,'' Lieutenant-General
Khin Nyunt said in a speech.

    The speech, reported in state-run newsapers on Monday, was given on
Sunday as democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi opened a meeting of her National
League for Democracy (NLD) party.

    Khin Nyunt was apparently referring to the United States, which has
strongly criticised the military government over recent days for detention of
more than 250 democracy activists in an unsuccessful bid to scuttle the NLD

    The United States said on Saturday it was deeply concerned by the
situation and had sent a special envoy to discuss a coordinated response with
European and Asian allies.

    Other Western countries have condemned the crackdown and called for the
release of those detained.

    Khin Nyunt said the West had continued to trap developing nations in a
bid to bring smaller countries under its influence.

    ``Memories of misery and distress under servitude for over 100 years are
still etched in the minds of Myanmar (Burmese) nationals who foresee that the
nation will disappear if it comes under other's influence,'' he said,
referrring to British colonial rule in Burma that ended in 1948.

    An editorial in newspapers on Monday urged people to beware of the
``maggots'' who colluded with foreigners -- an apparent reference to Suu Kyi
and her NLD party.

    ``If we do not learn from the past and beware of the maggots that are
active today, the nation will suffer another disaster that will take a long
time to mend, much less heal, and we will be responsible for the shackling
that the new generation will suffer as the result of our folly,'' the
editorial said.

    ``Today, colonialists do not necessarily invade a nation or plant their
banner on another's land. They use maggots that can eat away into the flesh.
They rule by proxy,'' it said.

    Editorials and commentaries in Burma's tightly-controlled state-run
newspapers are assumed to reflect the thinking of the ruling generals.

00:42 05-27-96


On 23.5.96, MIS people from Tamu township raided the residence of 
Tamu MP of the United National League for Democracy, U Thonkhothang 
and after the interrogation they released him early morning of 
24th May 1996. Again on the same day at 7:00 am they took him away 
from Tamu giving excuse of his personal security cases.
It is believed that he was fetched to Mandalay. MP had to follow the 
MIS persons. He could not take his clothes and any money for his 
necessary expenditure.


 Associated Press Writer

   RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- Despite a crackdown that detained hundreds of her
supporters, Burma's pro-democracy leader opened an opposition congress
Sunday that signaled a renewed courage among Burmese to stand up to their
military rulers.
   Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning dissident, threw down
her biggest challenge to the ruling junta since her release from six years
of house arrest last July.
   In her opening speech, Suu Kyi said her National League for Democracy
would "increase our actions to fulfill the will of the people and bring
about national reconciliation."
   Her challenge signaled that she no longer would allow the regime to
simply ignore her repeated calls for dialogue to bring democracy to Burma.
   Wearing a traditional sarong, her hair tied back in jasmine flowers, Suu
Kyi spoke from a bamboo-and-thatch pavilion at her home built especially
for the event. Banners displayed the emblem of her party, a fighting
   Though 300 supporters applauded every sentence and chanted "Long Live
Aung San Suu Kyi," only 17 were original delegates to the party congress,
the opposition's most important planned meeting since it swept
parliamentary elections in July 1990.
   At least 238 other delegates and 24 other party members were detained in
a nationwide roundup last week intended to prevent the meeting, Suu Kyi
   Suu Kyi's party won 392 of 458 contested seats in the 1990 vote, but the
military rulers never let the parliament convene.
   Suu Kyi took time out from the conference to make her weekly address to
the public. Some 8,000 people -- the biggest crowd in years -- gathered
outside the gates of her compound, indicating a renewed courage among
Burmese who many believed had been cowed by the regime.
   Authorities made no move to interfere with the crowd. The only security
forces visible were traffic police guiding vehicles away from the throng,
which remained peaceful.
   More lively than usual, the crowd clapped and cheered as Suu Kyi and
other opposition leaders said they had tired of waiting for the military
regime formally known as the State Law and Order Restoration Council to
meet their appeals for dialogue.
   "The SLORC has broken a lot of promises," Suu Kyi said. "The SLORC
should make up all the promises they have broken. It's time they changed
their ways. It's better late than never."
   Suu Kyi said the congress would run through Tuesday.
   She refused to discuss the party policy being debated until the end of
the meeting. But she said the party's top priority would be to push for the
1990 vote to be honored.
   Even so, she held out an olive branch to the junta.
   "We not only invite the people of our country, but also the authorities,
to join us," Suu Kyi said. "Because that is the only way we can bring good
and happiness to our land."
   Suu Kyi said the meeting would be the first in a series of party
gatherings, the next of which could be held within a few months. "This is
no longer a meeting of elected representatives of the NLD," she said. "We
have decided, therefore, this will be the first in a series of NLD
   The arrests last week focused international attention on Burma and
brought new criticism of foreign companies eager to profit by helping the
junta to develop Burma's economy, destroyed during nearly 34 years of
military rule.
   Diplomats from the United States, Japan, France, Britain and Australia
attended the meeting, evidence of the new international support for Burma's
beleaguered opposition.
   Suu Kyi's vow to hold more meetings implicitly dared the junta to try to
stop her -- and further damage its reputation.
   There was no response to the meeting from government officials. The
state-controlled press, which usually ignores Suu Kyi's remarks, reported
on business deals and junta leaders visiting Buddhist shrines.
   Asked by reporters why the meeting was allowed to go forward at all, Suu
Kyi said: "It's always like that with the SLORC. They're not very
   Before Suu Kyi's speech, opposition supporters bowed their heads twice,
once for the country and once for Suu Kyi's father, Aung San, Burma's
independence hero. He was assassinated by a political rival in 1947 when
Suu Kyi was only 2.
   A moment of silence was observed for the hundreds of Burmese killed when
troops opened fire on protests against the dictatorship in 1988, when Suu
Kyi first rose to prominence.


The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP			Central Committee of ABSDO
Minister for Foreign Affairs				PO Box 4010
Room MF27						Auburn South
Parliament House					Vic 3122
Canberra 2600
Fax: (06) 273 4112					27 May 1996

Dear Foreign Minister,

The All Burma Students Democratic Organization (ABSDO) in Australia  
welcomes the decision to award Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (1991 Nobel Peace 
Laureate) the Companion Order of Australia. This is an important  
acknowledgement of the Democratic Oppositions struggle against the SLORC. 
We thank you for your firm denunciation of the SLORCs current crackdown 
and we hope that this move is a sign of initiating a new forceful policy 
on this illegitimate regime.  

We look to your government to provide further appropriate action to make 
it clear to the SLORC that their oppression is not acceptable to the 
international community. We urge that your government consider 
incremental action against the SLORC as a response to their persecution 
of the democratic movement. We would like to suggest that you begin with 
closing down the AusTrade office in Rangoon and change the current 
Australian policy to one of discouraging trade, as the current policy is 
ineffectual in encouraging  or informing Australian business about the 
corrupt and oppressive nature of  SLORC. 

We feel that the Benchmark policy needs a real diplomatic stick attached 
to it if it is to be meaningful and we would urge that you consider this 
shift to a more action based policy towards SLORC. We request that you do 
your utmost to assist Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the National League for 
Democracy and Burmese people by providing opportunities for her to meet 
with Australian parliamentarians and other dignitaries.

We would like Australia to take note of American  initiatives on Burma 
such as Senator Mitch McConnells bill to implement trade sanctions. 

This is a crucial time in Burma and the situation is very different from 
1988. We have friends in the international community and the worlds 
attention focused  on Burma now. We request that you do your utmost to 
help legitimise the elected representatives of the people of Burma and 
design policies  to remove the illegal junta. We would like you to push 
the democratic point of view strongly with  ASEAN countries, as Daw Aung 
San Suu Kyi has stated the current ASEAN policy of constructive 
engagement is just a facade for business dealings with the SLORC. We 
would like Australia to be more vocal in criticising this policy and 
pushing for a change in Burma. 

Thank you for your support to the democracy movement  of Burma.

Central Committee
All Burma Students Democratic Organization (Australia)


Mainichi Daily News 
May 26, 1996


It is not often that NHK WATCH gobbles up an entire
column. But sometimes the broadcasting network we are
all expected to pay for behaves so much like a political
agency that it astonishes even
hardened NHK-watchers like myself. 

It certainly astonished John Pilger, a renown Australian
hack who recently made a clandestine film in Burma. As
part of the program, his production company approached
NHK earlier this year for permission to use footage of the
famous 1988 Rangoon massacre, when the Burmese army
shot hundreds of civilians who were demanding an end to
decades of military rule. 

A Burmese stringer for NHK had risked his life to shoot
pictures of the massacre, and took further risks in
smuggling the film out of Burma to the NHK bureau in
Bangkok, Thailand. It remains the only document of the
massacre, and is therefore widely in demand.

At any other television network, a request such as Pilger's
would have been routine. But not at NHK. The broadcast
network we are all expected to pay for wrote: 

"Unfortunately, It is NHK's policy that the footage showing
the Burmese army shooting people who demonstrated
cannot be used by anybody in the world, because it is too
delicate and might threaten Myanmar's stability.... Please
erase the material in your library.... I appreciate your
understanding the situation."

It comes as no surprise that NHK would take such a line.
But it was clearly a slip that the policy was openly stated in
place of the usual kind of lame excuse. It is also a sign of
the network's complete removal from reporting norms that
it would even consider the possibility of a Western
journalist 'understanding' the need to secure the stability of
Burma's military regime rather than accurately report

So I called NHK to ask exactly what was meant by the
phrase 'might threaten Myanmar's stability,' and followed it
up with a fax in which I asked:

'Does this policy of not releasing film that might harm a
country's stability extend to all countries in the world, or
just to Burma? For example, if you had exclusive pictures
of North Korean troops shooting people, would you refuse
to show it because it could threaten North Korea's stability?
How does NHK decide which governments deserve its
protection and which do not?'

A very nice spokesman for NHK promised to look into the

After several hours he phoned back and explained that, oh
dear, there had been a misunderstanding:

   -- "We don't have any such policy."
   -- You don't have any such policy? So why did the letter
say you did? 
   -- "So... I will tell you... (pause for laughter). I contacted
the woman who wrote the letter, and she said Sorry, but she
thought it was NHK's policy."
   -- You mean that while she was writing the letter she just
dreamed up the idea? She even told the production
company in the letter to erase all copies of the film in its
   -- "I know, I know. In any case, (in the past) we allowed
the film to be shown."
Which is true. At first, NHK treated the film as a scoop. It
produced a special documentary featuring the film, and
was proud to have other broadcast companies copy the

But when Britain's Central Television asked permission in
September 1993 to use the footage in a program, NHK
International wrote that NHK had 'decided to supply the
footage without worldwide distribution rights.' Either the
company would have to make its program without the
crucial footage, or limit the distribution and viewing times.

Coincidentally, this was about the time NHK broadcast a
program called 'Myanmar' for its 'Asian Highway' series, in
which NHK proudly boasted of being the first foreign
broadcaster to film certain areas of Burma. 

 Could there have been any connection between the
regime's hospitality and NHK's decision to limit viewing of
the 1988 footage? And is there any connection between
NHK's interest in maintaining 'Myanmar's stability' and the
Japanese government's stated policy of not isolating or
destabilizing Burma's military regime? Nah... surely not. 

If anyone out there does sincerely believe NHK's letter was
all a mistake, and that NHK does not have a political
agenda, NHK's public relations department has come up
with two alternative explanations for its refusal to release
the Rangoon massacre film. The first, given to Central
Television in 1993, is that NHK wanted to save the film 
exclusively for its Asian Highway program. The second and 
latest version is that the cameraman who risked his life to shoot 
the film has suddenly 'requested' that NHK not show it any more.

Which brings us to the moral of this story: If you risk your
life to document the murder, beating and torture of your
fellow citizens in an effort to alert the world, don't entrust
the film to NHK.

May 24,1996

In a letter to General Than Shwe, dated 27.04.96, leader of the Shan United
Revolutionary Army ( SURA ), Major Yod Serk urged the SLORC's leadership to
abandon its total elimination and suppression policies in resolving the ethnic
conflict and opt for a comprehensive in the Shan State and political settlement
in Burma.

SURA, which spearheaded the unity of the Shan resistance movements was headed by
the late General Kornzurng in 1985. He was able to unify the SSA, SUA  and SURA
to form the MTA which lasted for a decade before its disintegration.

After the surrender of the MTA and Khun Sa to the SLORC early this year, the
former SURA troops refused to surrender and put up stiff resistance against the
invading SLORC forces. SURA is now led by Major Yod Serk, a charismatic young
leader of a new generation. He made a name for himself during the MTA military
campaign against the SLORC in Murng Jyawt area in 1993 and rose rapidly among
the Shan Nationlists.

The letter further stated that the forced relocation of the villages, burning,
property confistication and raping will only prolong the conflict. The
continuation of the conflict in Shan State and other non - Burman ethnic 
areas only indicates the bankruptcy of the SLORC's total elimination policy. The
letter goes on to point out that so long as there is suppresion, the resistance
will also continue.

Copies were made available to the NLD,the SNLD, the Eastern command, the
Northern command and all the Resistance movements in general.


Thailand Time article

Burmese students yesterday called on the
international community to send their message and take severe action
against the ruling junta the State law and Order Restoration Council
(Slorc), which has arrested some 110 opposition members in the past a few
days in various parts of Burma.

Twenty-two Burmese students -- representing a group of
Bangkok-based student organization-- staged a peaceful rally outside the
Burmese embassy, denouncing unjust arrests of members of the National
League for Democracy (NLD), who had been invited to attend a four- day
meeting this Sunday at the party leader Aung San Suu Kyis Rangoon home.

It will be the first important meeting of the elected NLD
representatives of the 1990 election-- which won 392 of 485 contested
seats- since the released of Suu Kyi from six years house arrest last
July. The meeting coincides with the fifth anniversary of the election
which falls on Monday.

The junta refused to hand over power, however, and is now
sponsoring a national convention to prepare a new constitution eventually
leading to fresh elections.

The student demanded the immediate release of NLD members and a
halt to all illegal arrests. They urged the junta to hold a dialogue with
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for progress towards democracy in
"We denounce the illegal arrest of NLD representatives and demand Slorc
to release all NLD members and stop the arrests," Aung Myo Min,
representative of All Burma Student Democratic Front (ABSDF) told AFP.
Some 110 NLD members are believed to have been detained so far by
Burmeses military authorities. Both plainclothes and uniformed Thai police 
were present but did not intervene.

Meanwhile, the Bangkok-based Asian Forum for Human Rights and
Democracy (Forum-Asia) asked Burma to unconditionally release all those
detained and to guarantee their physical and psychology safety. Thailand
Times, May 24, 1996



Date.: 25 May 1996.
1. The military rulers of Burma has recently arrested and detained 
over 220 MPs and supporters of  NLD, preventing them from 
attending the party conference scheduled to hold on 26-28 May, 
1996 at the residence of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
2. This arbitrary arrests clearly reveal the regimes attempt to 
impose restrictive measures on a legally founded political party 
in order to bar its freedom and to prolong the military 
machinery of the rulers.
3. Forth coming 27th May, 1996 marks the sixth anniversary of the 
multi-party general elections in which NLD won a landslide 
victory. It is well known to all that SLORC failed to keep its 
words for numerous times and neglected to hand over the power 
to the winning party in spite of several appeals and demands 
from both the Burmese opposition groups as well as international 
communities and bodies.
4. A constant observer of Burmese situation can easily see that the 
recent crackdown of  SLORC upon peoples elected Mps is 
another preventing and barbaric step of military junta to bring 
democracy in Burma and dissuade the Burmese people and entire 
international community as well.
5. In stead of entering a face to face tripartite dialogue offered by 
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led democratic forces and ethnic leaders, 
the SLORC has ignored and keep on implementing all measures 
and tactics which prevents from the way to restoration of multi 
party democracy and national reconciliation.
6. We, the pro-democracy activists based in India unitedly condemn 
the such illegal, unlawful and irresponsible steps of the SLORC. 
Its recent crackdown on NLD MPs and activists is totally 
contradictory to democracy and human rights.
7. As such we urge the entire nations in general and India, the 
largest democratic country of the world in particular, to 
denounce the unlawful steps of  SLORC and stop all sorts of 
their economical and diplomatic ties with the military junta 
which has very obstinately turn its deaf ear towards any appeal, 
request and demands of  Burmese people and international 
community as well.
8. At the same time, we strongly support Daw Aung San Suu Kyi 
endeavouring to assemble the elected representatives of NLD to 
chalk out the ways and means for the restoration of multi-party 
democratic system and genuine peace in Burma.
9. Once again, to this statement, we jointly appeal to peace, 
freedom and justice loving people of the world to come forward 
and extend their effective and practical supports for the cause of  
the restoration of democracy and basic human rights in Burma.
10.  We firmly demand the SLORC  :
     - for the immediate and unconditional release of the detained MPs
       and supporters of NLD as well as all political prisoners .
     - for its non-interference into the legal and political rights of 
       NLD, the winning party of the 1990 general elections. 
NLD/LA (Western Sector)                  DSB
ABYMU                                 	  WRWAB
FTUB (West Burma)                       	  CSU
ABSL                                    	  SDB
ABSDF                                                 ABDLWO


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