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Burma Net News May 29-30. #427

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Date: Thu, 30 May 1996 03:43:36 -0700 (PDT)

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

The BurmaNet News: May29-30, 1996
Issue #427

	The future of course is democracy for Burma. It is going to 
	happen, and I'm going to be here when it happens.
	-Aung San Suu Kyi said confidently


May 30,1996

Asean-Burmese relations have been shaken by last week's crackdown 
on opposition activists and this could affect Burma's membership 
in regional forums, a senior Asean diplomat said.

"It is no longer smooth sailing," the diplomat who asked not to be 
identified said. "Observer status in Asean is not an automatic 
thing," he added. "Burma's recent action suggests that it would 
not be logical to allow the country into Asean."

The diplomat also urged the grouping to develop a common position 
with regards to Burma, and added that he could not see how the 
country could contribute constructively to international forums, 
such as the Asean Regional Forum (ARF), Asean Free Trade 
Agreement, or any others if Rangoon continued with its present 
course of action.

"Asean has yet to develop a common definition of what 
'constructive engagement' is, and now it is time to come up with a 
common stance towards Burma," he said. "We have agreed on the 
words [constructive engagement] only, but not on its contents."

Asean foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Jakarta in mid-
July to discuss their relations with Burma, which has applied for 
observer status in Asean, as well as a seat in ARF.

He said Asean can help Burma achieve democracy and national 
reconciliation by facilitating a forum where the military junta, 
known as the State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc), can 
talk to its opposition, namely the National League for Democracy 
and its leader Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as the various armed 
ethnic groups in the country.

When asked if such a forum means that Asean is formally 
recognising the existence of the minority groups, he said the fact 
that Slorc signed a ceasefire agreement with them, or was in the 
process of doing so, means that Rangoon acknowledged their 

He said a ceasefire between Slorc and the armed ethnic groups, 
expect for the Karen National Union, was a positive development 
towards stability. He, however, said that Rangoon had to go beyond 
a simple truce and establish a full and constructive dialogue with 
the groups in order to achieve reconciliation.

"You can't have democracy and stability without national 
reconciliation," he said. "There has to be some dialogue that goes 
beyond a simple ceasefire," he added. (TN)


May 30,1996

The ruling military regime fired back yesterday at pro-democracy 
leader Aung San Suu Kyi, declaring that the armed forces would 
never accept a back seat in Burmese politics.

Pro-government rallies also continued to denounce Suu Kyi, packed 
with people under orders to go and cheering only on command from 

The State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) rejected 
resolutions adopted during a landmark opposition conference that 
Burma _ ruled  by the military since 1962 _ be governed 
exclusively by an elected Parliament, with the armed forces 
assuring only national defence.

The vehement rejections via state-run newspapers indicated that 
Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) touched a raw 
nerve among the ruling military elite and that any near-term shift 
to civilian rule was unlikely.

The New Light of Myanmar ran an editorial that accused the 
opposition of trying to "alienate the Tatmadaw", or armed forces.

"It would be folly to think of sidelining the Tatmadaw, with all 
it noble traditions," it said. "The Tatmadaw must always be in the 
know, for without such vigilance, it would not be able to work 
together with the people in the long-term national interest."

Suu Kyi, the 1991 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, threw down a 
gauntlet to the regime by going ahead with a three-day party 
conference even after the authorities arrested 262 of her 
supporters to prevent it from occurring. Only 18 delegates eluded 
arrest and attended.

The meeting was to reunite those NLD opposition candidates not 
already killed, tortured or driven into exile who won 392 of 485 
seats in parliamentary elections in May 1990. The regime rejected 
the result and the gathering challenged its legitimacy.

The opposition closed yesterday that only two detainees were known 
to have been released, one because his wife had died. An unknown 
number have been reported transferred to a prison near Rangoon 
notorious for torture.

The congress closed on Tuesday with resolutions demanding the 
release of detainees, the convening of Parliament, and for the 
military to stick to an "honourable" role of national defence.

Suu Kyi also announced that the opposition would draft an 
alternate constitution separate from one being considered by a 
government-stacked panel.

Though unenforceable, an opposition constitution would show 
Burmese a clear contrast between a system emphasising democracy 
and human rights and one weighted toward marked a paramount 

The recent congress marked the most important opposition challenge 
to the junta since Suu Kyi was released from six years of house 
arrest last July. The heavy-handed attempts to stop it reaped 
international condemnation and fresh scrutiny of the government's 
crushing of dissent while quietly doing business with foreign 

The Burmese media yesterday portrayed business as usual, with 
Slorc officials attending the lunch of an IBM seminar, receiving 
business delegations from Thailand, Singapore and Germany, and the 
opening of a representative office of Deutsche Bank AG.

Slorc tried to counter perceptions of a swell in overt support for 
Suu Kyi by staging the mass rallies. Reporters were barred from 
one on Tuesday at a sports stadium in  Thalyin, near Rangoon, 
attended by 10,000 people.

Participants said outside that local leaders had required three 
people from each household to attend. They cheered only when 
organisers said, "Please cheer."

In London, the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that a 
live broadcast of Suu Kyi beamed at Burma "disappeared off the 
airwaves" halfway  through the scheduled programme on Monday.

Implying that Slorc was responsible for cutting off the telephone, 
Marcia Poole, head of the BBC's Burmese service said, "Although 
this was not an entirely unforeseen occurrence, we are of course 
very disappointed that it happened.

Speaking by telephone from her home in Rangoon, Suu Kyi was taking 
part in the broadcast with two studio guests in London. Listeners 
were able to call in via the link-up to ask her and the two people 
in London questions on air.

The BBC quoted Suu Kyi as saying afterward, "I hope another live 
discussion programme can be organised again. After all, I believe 
in perseverance." (TN)


May 30,1996

The detention of more than 200 democracy activists in Burma was 
"an internal affair," Indonesian foreign minister Ali Alatas said 
yesterday, adding that he held "no value-judgement about what is 
going on."

"We are not making any comment on the internal situation in any 
country," said Alatas, on the margin of the opening of an 
international seminar on humanitarian law.

"This is a principle we stick to religiously, even as we would not 
want any foreign country to intervene in out internal affairs," 
said Alatas, whose country holds the presidency of the Association 
of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). "What is going on in Burma is 
an internal affair and we hope they can overcome it," he added.

Burma's ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) 
began a crackdown on members of the opposition National League for 
Democracy (NLD) ahead of the sixth anniversary of the 1990 
elections won by the NLD. The junta had refused to relinquish 

The detentions have aroused international condemnation outside 
Asia, with only muted reaction from most Asian countries. In 
Sydney, Indonesian Ambassador to Australia Wiryono Sastrohandoyo 
said that his country would not condemn Slorc, preferring to 
pursue the constructive engagement policy with the ruling Burmese 

"We believe in Southeast Asia that we simply cannot join Western 
countries in condemning our neighbour and we think a more 
constructive way is a better way of trying to be helpful to this 
country," he said. (TN)


May 30,1996

There has been no let-up in attacks by Karenni National 
Progressive Party rebels on Burmese government troops in Kayah 
State, according to a high-level KNPP source.

The rebels have been pursuing guerrilla warfare against Burmese 
forces for the past two months. The source claimed the KNPP had 
killed 14 Burmese soldiers and detained three, while only three of 
their own had been killed and two injured.

During April-May 1996, KNPP troops clashed with the Burmese forces 
three times. The first was in Fuso on April 18, the second on the 
western bank of the Salween River on April 24, and the third on 
May 1 in Sato, a town on the west bank of the Salween.

In response, more than 3,000 Burmese government soldiers have been 
dispatched to its strongholds along the border opposite Muang and 
Khun Yuam districts of Mae Hong Son.

Burmese troops of Division 99 in Loikaw Province are now ready to 
attack the Karennis in the forests of Kayah State near the border. 


May 30,1996

Some 27 Burmese workers have been found to be suffering from 
elephantiasis. Dr Chuchart Pornnimitr of the provincial health 
office said the discovery was made after a total of 1,200 Burmese 
and Mon workers were living in 22 refugee camps in three 

There had been reports that the influx of refugees had spread 
malaria to border provinces. Elephantiasis is also spread by 
mosquitoes. (BP)


Thailand Time
May 30, 1996
About 50 Burmese students yesteray stged a demonstration in front
of the Burmese embassy in Bangkok to protest the detention of 22
anti-Rangoon protesters by Thai police.

The student Federation of Thailand also delivered an open letter
to Prime Minister Banharm Silpa-archa demanding the immediate release of
the students.

In the letter to the PM, the studnets asked Banharm to send the
dissidents back their refugee camp in Ratchaburi province.

The camp has been financed by the Thai governmen ever since the
United Nations High Commission for Refugees reduced its funding to Burmese
students in Thailand, who fled from the bloody 1988 massacre in Rangon.
There are about 700 students in the camp.

The demonstrators also demanded that the Thai government review
the "Constructive Engagement" policy of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN), saying that they policy does not take into account the
volatile political situation in Burma.

" ASEAN has to stop all aid and investment to pressure the State Law
and Order Restoration Council's (Burma's military junta) to stop human
rights abuses," said the leader of the demonstration, Moung Pain.

The Burmese students were arrested on the way back from a
demonstration in front of the Burmese embassy on Monday. the protest
marked the sixth year anniversary of the 1990 general elections in Burma. 



By Philip Sherwell in Rangoon 
London Telegraph 5/30
CAREFULLY-orchestrated rallies are being staged across Burma by
the country's military junta in response to the pro-democracy
congress at the house of Aung San Suu Kyi, the opposition leader,
this week.

The gatherings have an Orwellian air. Local people are being
brought in to chant slogans, hold banners and hear pro-regime
speeches and denouncements of "destructionists" and their
"neo-colonialist" strategies. The New Light of Myanmar, the
government mouthpiece, has given front-page coverage to several
such rallies. They have officially been attended by about 40,000
people and identical speeches have been given at each meeting.

The newspaper reports all concluded: "The public in attendance
expressed their ardent support with tumultuous chanting of slogans
after which the mass rally came to a close." The events are also
given extensive coverage on state television. About 10,000 people
turned up early yesterday for the latest rally at a sports stadium in
the southern Rangoon suburb of Thanlyin.

Although foreign journalists were denied entry, many participants
said the local authorities had told them that at least three
members of every household had to attend.

But after they had registered with officials, several young men
hitched up their wrap-around longyis then jumped over a wall and
slipped away. It is standard practice for locals to be press-ganged
into attending government meetings under the threat of punitive
fines or forced labour.

Observers say the current spate of rallies appears to be a direct
response to the National League for Democracy congress which
ended on Tuesday. Delegates of Ms Suu Kyi's party agreed that a new
Burmese constitution should be drawn up, a clear act of defiance at
a time when the regime is drafting its own official version.

Similar rallies were staged in November after the NLD pulled out of
the junta's National Convention, its rubber-stamping constitutional
forum. The meetings have heard exhortations to "support the state's
nation-building endeavours" and the denunciation of those "who are
trying to oppose and destroy the nation's developments". Ms Suu Kyi
and the opposition have been portrayed as the minions of foreign
powers and the international media.

Meanwhile, about 260 NLD activists remain in detention after being
rounded up by the authorities last week in an attempt to prevent
the congress taking place. Several have been charged under harsh
security laws, according to the opposition.


May 30, 1996 
Straits Times 5/30

YANGON -- Myanmar's military junta kept up a war of words with opposition
leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday by denouncing her and the democracy
movement in official media. 

News of mass public rallies held to support government actions and to protest
against the democracy activists took up several pages in the state-run

The newspapers said tens of thousands attended two rallies on Tuesday,
chanting slogans against Ms Suu Kyi's democracy movement. 

They said medical superintendent Dr Hla Pe delivered a speech to a rally of
40,000 people in Yangon, calling for "collective efforts to destroy the
axe-handles trying to thwart developing conditions and stability in the

The term "axe-handle" is used by the Myanmar media to refer to Myanmar
citizens who are seen as helping foreigners attack the country. 

His speech was similar to those made at rallies on Monday and Tuesday. More
rallies will be held in the next few days, said officials. 

Diplomats say these government-sponsored gatherings are usually staged, with
the military forcing people to attend. 

In an interview published yesterday in the Asia Times, Myanmar's Finance
Minister, Brigadier-General Win Tin, assailed Ms Aung San Suu Kyi for urging
investors to stay away from the country. He also defended the ruling junta's
efforts to develop democracy the way it saw fit. 

Interviewed on Monday in Yangon, Mr Win Tin said: "The Americans may try to
block our country, but they'll try in vain. . . . We have been isolated since 1988,
and we have grown with our own resources, so we are not bothered by any

"It has no effect on our economy," he said, noting the rising numbers of
businessmen setting up in Myanmar, which showed their faith in the country's
economic growth, policies and its political and economic stability. 

Meanwhile, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi vowed yesterday to bring democracy to her
country, now ruled by fear. 

"The people of Burma are very, very frightened. They are ruled by fear. Slorc's
weapon is fear," she told Reuters in an interview. Slorc is the State Law and
Order Restoration Council. 

"The future of course is democracy for Burma," she said confidently. "It is
going to happen, and I'm going to be here when it happens." -- Reuter, AFP.


Sydney Morning Herald 5/30
May 30, 1996

By MARK BAKER, Herald Correspondent in Rangoon

Burma's military regime is forcing thousands of people to attend mass
rallies in an attempt to answer the growing campaign of the democracy
leader Ms Aung San Suu Kyi.

A series of rallies has been staged in Rangoon over the past two days to
attack Ms Suu Kyi and defend the record and legitimacy of the ruling
State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC).

Officials have been ordering city residents to attend, providing banners
with slogans and even telling the crowds when to chant and when to raise
their fists in choreographed protest.

At one rally at a sportsground on the outskirts of Rangoon yesterday -
where foreign journalists were refused entry - arriving demonstrators
said local neighbourhood committees had ordered every household to send
three members.

State television has been carrying extensive coverage of the meetings,
with grossly exaggerated crowd estimates, and speeches by officials
accusing the democracy movement of undermining national stability and
being manipulated by foreigners.

Many of those attending are members of the Union Solidarity and
Development Association, a mass political movement established by the
regime two years ago. It has recruited students and young workers with
incentives including cheap travel on public transport, computer classes
and paid excursions.

Diplomats and local observers see the rallies as a direct response to this
week's congress of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), at
which she outlined plans to intensify her campaign to force a return to
civilian rule.

"It is clear that the SLORC is really starting to feel the pressure and
their response is to stage-manage these rallies," one diplomat said.

Despite the arrest of more than 260 NLD members and official threats
against the congress, a record crowd of about 10,000 people turned out
last Sunday to cheer Ms Suu Kyi during the weekly speech she gives from
the gates of her home.

On Tuesday she ridiculed the latest rallies and the use of banners
indirectly accusing the NLD of being enemies who wanted to destroy
Burma's stability and development.

"They seem to think they are surrounded by enemies," she said. "It's all
about enemies and destruction, very negative and absolutely awash with
hatred and vindictiveness. Not nice."

A similar series of anti-NLD rallies was staged across the country late
last year after the party decided to boycott a national convention which
is drafting a military-dominated constitution.

Despite government claims last week that those detained before the NLD
congress would be held temporarily, only two - a female member of the
party's youth wing and another elected MP whose wife is seriously ill -
are believed to have been released so far.

Party officials say at least 10 of the detainees have now been charged
under tough internal security laws and they expect others to receive long
jail sentences.



Hong Kong Standard 5/30
RANGOON: Burma's military government organised another mass rally on Wednesday to
denounce Aung San Suu Kyi's revitalised democracy movement, but the opposition leader
dismissed the gathering as a farce. 

A public rally of about 43,000 people was held in a southern Rangoon district with crowds
chanting slogans and speakers accusing Ms Suu Kyi's and her pro-democracy supporters of
being traitors bent on destabilising Burma. 

News of the mass rallies, staged in various parts of the country for three consecutive days
now, has been widely-reported in state-run local newspapers. 

But Ms Suu Kyi, in an interview with Reuters at her Rangoon home, laughed at the military's
show of its people power. 

``It's funny. They claim that they are peoples' rallies, well then we should be allowed to
hold public rallies too. Why can't we go and hold a public rally?'' she asked. 

Under current law, meetings of more than five people in a public place are prohibited
without government permission. 

``They stop us from organising a simple...ceremony on the grounds it will upset public order,
so why have they allowed these people to hold public rallies?'' she asked. 

``Of course they are all bussed in, forced to come.'' 

``It's a blatant piece of comedy, it's a farce.'' 

Diplomats claim government-sponsored rallies are usually staged by the military which
forces people to attend. 

An information ministry official told Reuters similar rallies would continue to be held in
various places. They were meant to show support for the government's current programs
and to denounce recent actions by the democracy movement. 

The rallies are part of a war of words the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)
is waging against Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party, which defied
intimidation in the form of the arrest of 261 party activists, and went ahead a three-day
congress of senior party members. 

Some demands made by Ms Suu Kyi at the end of the three-day NLD meeting on Tuesday drew
sharp retorts from editorials in state-run newspapers on Wednesday. 

The editorials said democracy forces were moving towards a repeat of 1988 democracy
demonstrations when ``all hell let loose, unleashed by those selfishly causing a
conflagration in their shortcut to power''. 

``The very group which did that is today seeking a replay of that macabre scenario,'' an
editorial said. 

The SLORC came to power in 1988 after crushing a pro-democracy uprising. Thousands of
people were killed or imprisoned. 

The newspaper editorials stressed the importance of the armed forces in the Burmese
government, and said only a strong military would make a strong country. 

Ms Suu Kyi has said a resolution passed by NLD members during the meeting was that the
next government of Burma should be ruled by an elected parliament and the military should
play an ``honourable'' but not dominant role. 

She also said the NLD planned to draw up a draft constitution for Burma. 

Contrary to the NLD's demands, the SLORC which is sponsoring a convention to draft the
guidelines of a new constitution, wants the armed forces to play a ``leading role'' in future
politics. _ Reuter




1) Chairman           : General Mya      (DAB/KNU)
2) Voice Chairman (1) : Dr. Sein Win     (MPU/NCGUB)
3) Voice Chairman (2) : General Tarmalar Baw  (NDF/KNU)
4) Voice Chairman (3) : U Win Khat       (NLD- LA)
5) Member             : U Tin Maung Win  (DAB/CRDB)
6) Member             : U Maung Maung Aye(MPU/NCGUB)
7) Member             : Saline Myo Aye   (NDF/CNF)
8) Member             : U Aung Saw Oo    (NLD/LA)


 9) General Securatary     : U Tin Aung       (NLD-LA)
10) Joint GS                 : U Moe Thee Zun   ( DAB/ABSDF)
11) Member                 : U Myint Zaw      ( DAB/DPNS)
12) Member                 : Dr. Naing Aung   (DAB/ABSDF)
13) Member                 : U Khon Var Ko Bann (MPU/NCGUB)
14) Member                 : U Maung Maung Lat (MPU)
15) Member                 : U Khine Soe Naing Aung (NDF/APL)
16) Member                 : U Khon Oakar (NDF/PAO)
17) Member                 : U Than Thut (NLD-LA)
18) Member                 : Pado Mann Shar (DAB/KNU)


May 28, 1996

In mid April ( 15-16/4 ), Khun Sa's second son Zao zarm Hurng ( who has taken
over the responsibility from Khun Sa and Fah Lang to see that the remaining
1,600 ex-members of the MTA and 300 disabled soldiers still have their monthly
allowance of rice and money ), who had gone to Rangoon to see his father
returned to Ho Murng. He had gone to see his father with the hope of getting
some of the business concessions or contracts such as for timber, mining, gems,
gem factories, road construction, etc.which they had asked from SLORC generals.
But Zao Zarm Hurng said that he had waited in vain for over a month without
gaining anything as yet. SLORC officials kept on telling him to wait a little
more and if urged they would suggest him to go to so and so person or to apply
at this or that office. It had been a waste of time, he said, and the only
worthwhile thing was that he had the opportunity to visit Mandalay, the gem
mines of Murng Su, Murng Kut ( Mokok ) and jade mines of Phar Karnt and Ta Mark

But, in his speech to some remaining 7-8 officers and military trainers, he
urged them not to lose heart, and not to trust any rumors and go away. He said
that he had arranged to ask the SLORC Division Commander of Ho Murng for
permission to open up factories to make chopsticks, toothpicks, paper,
limestones etc. And if they were not permitted to do this, they would go to work
in gem mines in a group.

When Zarm Hurng went to see him, Khun Sa was staying at a small house on an
island in Inyar Lake.

Since February, most of the former MTA officials who are Chinese nationals (
Khun Sa's men of the original SUA ) have moved to live in Burma proper. They did
not want to live in Ho Murng nor dare to live in Shan State, as if they were
afraid of Karn Yord's group, SSNA, or others. ( There has been widely spread
news that Shan soldiers often rob and kill Chinese nationals. ) When they left
Ho Murng in 3-4 groups, though safe in their own cars, they dared not leave
until there were 7-8 cars to form a group.

Gem cutting machines and equipment which Khun Sa's men had taken to Taunggyi are
being piled there ( at the newly expanded quarter called Myo Thit ). There is
still no place to use them.

Khun Seng, Khun Sa's uncle, and a group of Loi Maw Chinese, consisting of 10
households, have gone to live in Rangoon at an extended V.I.P quarter called
Shwe Pyi Than Myo Thit. Some have gone to buy or rent houses and live at Sein
Mya Karn Thar quarter in the outskirts of Rangoon. Khun Seng and Fah Lang (
former chief of Staff of MTA ) can rent house and live freely, not like Khun Sa
who is under the control of the MI. Khun Seng is said to be trying to set up a
brick factory on the road to Mingaladon. Of the gem mining concessions they have
requested, SLORC have granted them 10 plots at Phar Karnt jade mine and 10 plots
at Murng Kut ( Mokok ) ruby mine ( nothing has been heard about Murng Su ruby
mine ). But the granted plots are places which are not wanted by others and they
would have to go and choose by themselves.

Contracts which Khun Sa and his group have been granted and are in the process
of registering are trading companies ( tranportation, gem mining, ore mining )
etc. They are looking for places in Pegu, Mandalay and Lashio to open up
branches. Timber and road construction contracts have not been given to them but
to Lo Shin Han ( former famous opium warlord ) and his group in association with
other 5 companies. They have been given the contract to build, repair and
improve roads from Mandylay to Muse.

At the moment the Khun Sa and Khun Seng group does not look very financially
strong  ( perhaps because they have not yet drawn enough money from their bank 
accounts in Thailand ). In early May, a man from Ho Murng ( a reliable source ) who had
been near to Khun Sa said that SLORC had agreed to pay ( as compensation )
500,000,000 Kyats for the surrender of the Ho Murng area and 200,000,000 Kyats
for the areas of Mai Sung, Murng Taw and Murng Thar.  A former Shan junior
officer under Khun Sa had the following remark, " This SLORC money will only go
to Khun Sa, and a group of his relatives. It won't go to anyone else . " 

On 22-23/4/96, Khun Sa sent for 4-5 of his old followers and trusted men to go
and work for their group in Rangoon : Khun Sa has formed a 25-member-committe in
Rangoon and they are to take the leading posts in business and military affairs
( according to their plan to recruit men and establish home-guard paramilitary
unit called Kar Koy Yay. )

The 4-5 men which he sent for were mostly Chinese of his original SUA group. A
Shan Lt. Col. Zai Lurn Sau was also called, but could not go because he was not
one of those who had surrendered. He said " My life is not in their hands. Khun
Sa himself had made a pledge in front of the spirit-house that he would not
betray our national cause and kowtow to the Burmese as long as he was alive. But
now he has duped the people of Shan State. How could we continue to work with
them ? ". Khun Sa had sent word to Zai Lurn Sau to go to him in Rangoon and to
Maj. Zai Kham Phar to lead his 4-500 men to surrender at Tachilek. But Zai Kham
Phar said he could not surrender. If he could not stand on his own feet, he
would have to go and seek help from UWSA at Parng Sarng.

Col. Suu Lai, who had been the commander of the areas north and west of Tachilek
and who has not surrendered, was approached by Lt. Col. Lurn Sau and Maj. Kham
Phar to join their force. But he refused, and even told them not to come near
him. He said that at the moment he would not work with any other group, because
he had worked with Khun Sa as his follower for so long that he could not do
anything that would hurt him.

inside sources

USA Today: Editorial Roundup

About 90 have been arrested (in Burma), and there are fears for the freedom of the
National League for Democracy's leaders, including (Aung San) Suu Kyi. The situation
is disconcerting. 

Arresting people just because they intend to join a peaceful assembly must be
regarded as being counter to development of democracy. Such forcible action cannot
be condoned. 

The cause for concern is that Suu Kyi and other leaders of the democracy movement
are seen to have changed their approach, adopting a desperate effort to mobilize the
masses to press for a breakthrough. This pent-up discontent could erupt and very
suddenly get out of control. The tragedy of 1988 proves that. 

And because of that, we urge the democracy advocates to be cool-headed. 



MANILA, May 29 (Reuter)
 Filipino protesters on Wednesday called for
an international arms embargo on Burma and a Manila newspaper said Rangoon's
recent crackdown on Burmese pro-democracy activists showed it was panicking.

A small group of protesters from the Free Burma Coalition picketed the
Burmese embassy in Manila and demanded to see ambassador U San Thein. Guards
refused to admit them.

In a statement, the group denounced the arrests last week of more than
250 pro-democracy activists from the National League for Democracy led by
Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.

``The Free Burma Coalition...calls on all Burma's neighbours and the
international community as a whole to impose an embargo on arms and war
supplies to SLORC,'' the statement said, referring to Burma's ruling State
Law and Order Restoration Council.

The statement also urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) to withhold action on Burma's application to join. ASEAN comprises
Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam.

``Myanmar's (Burma's) military dictatorship is panicking,'' the
Philippine newspaper Today said in an editorial, denouncing the arrests as a
``blatant show of dictatorial force.''

The daily accused the Philippine government of failing to respond
swiftly to Rangoon's crackdown, saying it was only on Monday that Manila
issued a statement expressing concern about the situation in Burma.

02:22 05-29-96



KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 (Reuter) - Burma will be invited to join the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations conference of police chiefs to help
fight problems such as heroin trafficking, the Malaysian news agency Bernama
said on Wednesday.

Malaysia's Inspector-General of Police Rahim Noor said the three-day
ASEAN national police chiefs (Aseanapol) conference that ended on Wednesday
agreed to make Burma a full member. Burma currently has observer status
within ASEAN.

Malaysia has long been a conduit for heroin, smuggled from Burma, Laos
and Thailand, and destined for Australia and Western countries.

Rahim said Burma could share intelligence about heroin trafficking with
other members through the conference.

Burma is slated to become a full member of ASEAN -- which groups Brunei,
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam -- by
the end of the decade.

It was not clear if Burma's mass political arrests were discussed at the
police chief's conference.

ASEAN members have refrained from criticising Rangoon over its
suppression of a pro-democracy movement led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung
San Suu Kyi.

ASEAN has said it is trying to influence Burma into becoming more
democratic through a policy of ``constructive engagement'' at various ASEAN

Rahim said Aseanapol is growing in strength and widening its networking
among member countries. It officially launched a computer-linked database
system during the conference which will be connected to all Asean police
forces, except Vietnam's, by the end of the year.

Vietnam's police director-general Le The Tiem said his police force could
not link up with the database system yet because of financial problems.

     By Eduardo Lachica and Laurie Lande 
WASHINGTON (AP-Dow Jones)--The U.S. has warned that it may tighten 
economic pressure on Burma if the ruling military junta continues to harass and 
arrest the followers of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, reports Monday's 
Asian Wall Street Journal. 

The threat surfaced last week when a senior State Department official told
the Senate Banking Committee that the administration is willing to apply
certain 'discretionary sanctions' on Rangoon if necessary. 

At the same time, the Clinton administration is reaching out to other
countries to see whether a concerted effort can be made to moderate Rangoon's

In a statement issued Saturday, White House press secretary Mike McCurry said
a special envoy will be sent to 'consult with European, Asian and other friends
and allies on a coordinated response' to the widening crackdown on Burma's
democratically elected opposition. 

The White House indicated that it wanted to see how events unfolded over the
weekend before deciding on the details of the trip. The detentions, which
began last week, were apparently aimed at disrupting a convention held by Suu 

Kyi's National League of Democracy (NLD) on Sunday. 
The number of arrests rose to 256 by Saturday. The meeting, the NLD's first
full party conference since it won national elections six years ago, was held
without further incident on Sunday. 

It isn't clear at this point whether further unilateral U.S. action would
have any effect on the regime, or whether the European Union and Japan will be
sufficiently responsive to U.S. suggestions to a multilateral approach. 

The U.S. already denies Burma export financing and loan guarantees and
routinely votes against World Bank and Asian Development Bank loans to that
country. But such restrictions haven't deterred U.S. companies, including
Texaco Inc. and Atlantic Richfield Co., from seeking to cash in on Burma's rich
natural resources. 

In Tokyo, Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda on Friday urged Burma's regime to
release all detainees in its custody and to refrain from jailing more of Suu
Kyi's followers. 

However, Ikeda didn't raise the possibility of cutting off Japanese economic
assistance to Burma. Japan was one of the few countries to resume aid to Burma
after Suu Kyi was released from six years of house arrest last July; Tokyo said
the recent flows are solely humanitarian in nature. 

In Washington, Kent Wiedemann, deputy assistant secretary of state for East
Asian and Pacific affairs, told the Senate panel last week that the administration
wants to broaden its range of policy options. 

Wiedeman said so in reference to the more narrow legislative proposal of
Senator Mitch McConnell, who has been a longtime advocate of sanctions against

However, Suu Kyi, who previously has shied from seeking such intervention,
has said that she wouldn't oppose mandatory U.S. sanctions as drastic as those
proposed by the Kentucky Republican. 

Among other things, the McConnell bill would ban U.S. nationals from
investing in Burma and virtually deny members of the ruling junta and their
families the right to visit the U.S. 

McConnell, who heads the Senate panel that oversees foreign aid disbursement,
has had impeccable timing this year. Just days after he announced he would try
to push his bill through Congress, news reports surfaced of the mass arrests of
democracy advocates in Burma. 

McConnell also has gotten Senator Alfonse D'Amato, a New York Republican and
chairman of the Senate Banking committee, to co-sponsor the bill. 

The legislation would put at risk an estimated $241 million of U.S. private
investment - most of it energy-related - according to 1994 Burmese government



May 29, Hong Kong Standard Editorial

THE conservative backlash is under way in Burma. No, it is not the kind of backlash that has
seen leading intellectuals being purged with surprising speed. 

Instead, some leading intellectuals have denounced recent moves by the democracy

On Monday, the military government held a massive rally in Rangoon to denounce
``destructionists'' in the country. No surprise there. 

What was surprising was that about 40,000 people from 14 townships chanted slogans and
denounced ``the traitors' acts to destabilise the country and to spoil progress''. 

It would, surely, be impossible for the government to force 40,000 people to take part in a

Dagon University rector Kaung Nyunt, the main speaker at the rally, said recent moves by
the democracy movement were intolerable _ especially at a time when ``the momentum of
constructive development is being achieved''. By implication, he accused the pro-democracy
activists of woolly-headed thinking. 

Meanwhile, the military government weighed in with a less surprising verbal assault on
``the colonial puppet'', Aung San Suu Kyi. 

We certainly do not view Ms Suu Kyi as a woolly-headed idealist, but we believe she made a
mistake when she attacked the soft-line approach towards the junta taken by neighbouring

She claims that the constructive engagement practised by the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (Asean) countries has not worked. But the confrontational stance adopted by
the West has not only failed, it has been counterproductive in Burma and elsewhere. All it
has done is make matters worse. 

By aligning herself with the West in this way, she only reinforces the government's
description of her as ``the handle of the axe'' being wielded by ``the colonialists''. 

Yes, Ms Suu Kyi is courageous. Yes, her party won a landslide victory in a May 1990 general
election but the military leadership refused to acknowledge the result. Yes, the arbitrary
arrests of her supporters were deplorable and unpardonable. 

In an editorial last week, we pointed out that the military leaders in Burma have definitely
not governed their country well, caring for their people and striving for their support. We
agreed that Asian countries must provide a government of the people through democratic

But we stressed that Americans and Europeans must not mistake that determination for
uncritical acceptance of their own value systems. 

We sympathise with Ms Suu Kyi's ideals. But she has gone about things the wrong way.
Appeals to the West and uncritical acceptance of Western values will not bring democracy
to Burma, but only make matters worse.


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