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BurmaNet News: July 25, 1996

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

The BurmaNet News: July 25, 1996 
Issue #474

Noted in Passing: 		
		Democratic reforms should be left to the country or 
		national concerned. Don't dictate to us and say only 
		the Western type of democracy is good and acceptable.
		said Indonesia's Foreign Minister Ali Alatas(see: THE 

July 23, 1996
by Sarah Jackson-Han

Administration officials and Senate staff were working on a compromise 
Tuesday that would derail tough new sanctions on Burma while still 
pressing for change in the military-ruled country. 

Draft legislation under discussion much of the day would nullify a
measure backed by Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky that
aims to ban any US aid or private investment in the Southeast Asian

But while the administration opposes unilateral sanctions, it also wants to 
send a more resolute message to Burmese military leaders who seized power 
in 1988 and have kept a stranglehold on the country ever since. 

Senators were expected to debate competing bills on the Southeast
Asian country as early as Tuesday night or Wednesday. 

McConnell's sanctions bill picked up support last month, fuelled by a
renewed crackdown on Burmese pro-democracy activists and a grassroots
campaign here aimed at toppling the junta. 

Both the Clinton administration and American oil companies have
lobbied hard against the McConnell sanctions. 

Oil firms account for the largest share of the roughly 225 million
dollars that some 25 American firms have invested directly in Burma,
according to the nonprofit Investor Responsibility Research Center. 

Backing them up are Republican Senator Don Nickles of Oklahoma and
Democratic Senator J. Bennett Johnston of Louisiana, both of whom
represent major oil-producing states. 

In a "dear colleague" letter dated July 19 and seen Tuesday, Nickles
and Johnston cite "unanimous agreement that the regime currently in
power in Burma is brutal, illegitimate, and deplorable in almost every

Echoing the White House, the two senators argue nonetheless that US
sanctions would be ineffective without support from other countries
investing in Burma, which has so far not been forthcoming. 

Compromise language proposed by Johnston and Nickles, and
co-sponsored by five senators by late Tuesday, would maintain a ban on
International Monetary Fund and World Bank loans to Burma. 

It would, however, allow counter-narcotics assistance from the United
States -- 60 percent of whose heroin imports originate in Burma -- and
aid that promotes democracy and human rights. 

   A draft version of the compromise bill also would allow private US
investment in Burma wherever foreign competitors could reasonably be
expected to move in and pick up contracts left by vacating American

The essence of the alternative legislation, according to Johnston's
spokeswoman Audra McCardle, is that "we have to be engaged where we 
can be engaged." 

   Forcing US companies to pull out of Burma will accomplish nothing if
foreign companies move in to take up contracts Americans leave behind,
she said. 

   That argument resonates among US officials, who have consistently
fought unilateral sanctions against Rangoon. 

   But Washington has also turned up pressure recently on Burma's
Southeast Asian neighbors, urging them to use their influence to help
bring about change in the reclusive nation of 46 million people. 

   Those countries have long shied away from any direct interference in
Burma's internal affairs, though they have signalled greater concern
recently about the junta's propensity to detain its critics. 

   The United States and its allies are meanwhile warning the junta
against rearresting pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was freed
a year ago from six years under house arrest and remains an outspoken
advocate of sanctions against her country. 

   There is little doubt, officials say, that detention of the Nobel
Peace Prize-winner would draw additional sanctions from Burma's most
frequent critics: the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia. 


July 24, 1996 (excerpts)

(Written Statement-excerpts)
We must take measures to crack down on the narcotics traffickers
and international criminals who threaten citizens and undermine
societies on both sides of the Pacific. The cancer of heroin and opium
from Burma -- the world's largest producer -- is metastasizing
throughout East and Southeast Asia, sapping the vitality of its youth
and corrupting its officials. The illicit networks that channel drugs,
illegal aliens, and stolen merchandise between Asia and the United
States and Europe in turn use their ill-gotten gains to prey on
legitimate commerce.

President Clinton has intensified our efforts to combat crime and drug
addiction at home and called at the 50th UN General Assembly for a
sustained campaign against these global predators. The United States
hopes to deepen our cooperation with ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific
nations against illegal narcotics, especially to stem the flow of
heroin from Burma. And we call on all nations -- especially the
growing economies of ASEAN -- to adopt strict measures to combat money
laundering and to deny criminals refuge and access to their assets.

Another new priority for the United States at the Singapore
ministerial is to begin a dialogue on the relationship between trade
and core labor standards. Our approach recognizes that different
countries have different comparative advantages, including different
wage rates. But workers everywhere should have the benefit of
internationally recognized basic worker rights that we have all
endorsed such as freedom of association and an end to child labor
exploitation and forced labor. Ensuring such protections is also
essential to maintaining the consensus for further trade
liberalization in the United States and around the world.

Democracy and Human Rights

The United States will also maintain its support for human rights and
democratic government. The spread of democracy throughout Asia has
been a critical factor in reducing the risk of armed conflict and
ensuring the stability required for sustained growth. In the coming
century, the most stable and prosperous societies will be those where
creative ideas are freely exchanged, where political debates can be
resolved peacefully at the ballot box, where the press can expose
corruption and courts can root it out, and where contracts are
respected. As every business person knows, the rule of law is a
comparative advantage for those nations that guarantee it.

In Burma, the vast majority of people have expressed their desire for
a peaceful transition to democratic rule. The longer their legitimate
wishes are denied, the greater the chance of instability, bloodshed
and migration within Burma and across its borders. The danger is
compounded by growing economic distress felt by ordinary Burmese.

As the rule of law deteriorates in Burma, the threat its heroin trade
poses to our nations is growing. Major drug traffickers receive
government contracts and launder money with impunity in state banks.
The warlord Khun Sa remains unpunished. The longer the political
impasse continues, the more entrenched the drug trade will become.

The only way to protect our shared interests is to encourage a genuine
political dialogue between the government and the chosen
representatives of the Burmese people. We want to work with the
nations of the region, but we retain the option of taking more
forceful action as developments in Burma warrant. We recognize that
ASEAN has a different approach -- indeed, President Clinton's decision
to dispatch two special envoys to the region last month reflects the
importance we attach to hearing your views. We hope that the ASEAN
nations will use their engagement in Burma constructively -- during,
and most important, after our meetings here -- to promote greater
openness and stability. As Burma draws closer to ASEAN, it will be
especially important that the process of reconciliation in that
country move forward, not backward.


July 24, 1996 (excerpt)

Jakarta, Indonesia -- Secretary of State Warren Christopher and
Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeniy Primakov held a bilateral meeting
July 23 while attending the ASEAN Forum in Jakarta.

Q: Do both of you share a concern on Burma becoming an observer to

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Burma has become an observer in the 
ASEAN Regional Forum, and there is value to having them in the 
ASEAN Regional Forum. There was extensive discussion last night 
of the situation in Myanmar, or Burma. I think that was a healthy 
discussion and it resulted in a further discussion today of that subject. 
The fact that those subjects can be discussed is one of the great values
of the ASEAN Regional Forum, with a very strong membership and an
ability to discuss differences of opinion. The United States has a
different approach and a different opinion on this subject than some
of the other members of the ASEAN Regional Forum. We expressed our
views quite forcefully last night with respect to the situation in
Burma, and the value of dialogue here in the ASEAN Regional Forum, I
think, was established today.

Russia highly values the status of a country partner in the dialogue that 
Russia received. We regard ASEAN as one of the poles of the multi-polar 
world which is being shaped now after the end of the Cold War. 
The integration processes in Southeast Asia are quite successfully being 
implemented.The human, industrial, and intellectual potential of this 
area isquite high. That was manifested both yesterday and today during 
thedialogue on many vital issues. It was the first time that Iparticipated 
in this forum as the minister of foreign affairs ofRussia. I liked very 
much that matters of concern and interest for the entire area have been 
dealt with in depth -- sufficient depth -- and I liked very much the 
atmosphere of goodwill which has prevailed during the work of this 
Forum. In many respects this is the achievement of Indonesia, which 
was the host country and was represented by the Chairman of the Forum 
during this intersessional period. Thank you.


July 24, 1996

Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations 
wind up two days of consultations Thursday in Jakarta. The 
consultations follow a ministerial-level meeting of Asean and a 
one-day conference of the Asean Regional Forum on security issues

Since the beginning of the consultations, Asean foreign 
ministers have tried to separate human rights from other issues. 
They have deflected western efforts to ostracize Burma because of
its suppression of the democracy movement and urged trade not be 
linked to other issues such as fair labor standards.

But these positions did not stop western nations from raising 
human rights matters during this post-ministerial conference.

In the open public session, the United States, Canada, and 
Australia all discussed the situation in Burma.

US Secretary of State Warren Christopher said the United States 
hopes Asean nations will use their engagement to promote greater 
openness and stability in Burma.  He added the United States wants 
to work with Asean on the issue of democracy in Burma.  But he 
noted Washington retains the option of taking what he termed -- 
a  more forceful approach if developments warrant.

Canadian foreign affairs minister Lloyd Axworthy suggested the 
creation of a US sponsored contact group on Burma, as was done 
in the case of the former Yugoslavia.  Mr. Axworthy gave no 
further  details of his proposal.  Western analysts say privately
they do not expect Asean nations to back such a proposal.

The issue of human rights was also raised in connection with 
trade.  Earlier, Indonesian foreign minister Ali Alatas said -- what he 
called -- such extraneous issues not to be brought into the 
world trade organization.  He accused western countries of 
engaging in a new form of protectionism under the guise of 
promoting labor standards.

Diplomats here say the two widely differing views underline the 
wide gap that exists on these issues between asian and western 
countries.  Asian nations stress the importance of harmony and 
stability in society, while western nations place greater 
emphasis on individual freedoms.  


July 24, 1996 (Staits Times) (abridged)
By Lee Kim Chew in Jakarta 

US SECRETARY of State Warren Christopher yesterday said the United 
States wanted to work with Asean, but would retain the option of taking a 
stronger line against the military regime in Myanmar. 

In his opening remarks at the post-ministerial conference here, he again 
spoke about American opposition to the generals in Yangon. 

So did Australia, the European Union and Canada, when Asean ministers 
began talks with their dialogue partners on a wide range of political and 
economic issues. 

The Western countries disagree with Asean's policy of constructive 
engagement with Myanmar's military regime, which they had condemned 
for suppressing the pro-democracy movement and for human rights abuses. 

On Tuesday, they heard Myanmar's Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw explain his 
government's policies when he took part in the Asean Regional Forum for 
the first time as a new member. 

But Mr Christopher raised the Myanmar issue again yesterday. "The new 
myth is that democracy in Asia must wait for development," he said, citing 
Mongolia and the Philippines as examples of countries which could practise 
democracy to galvanise economic revival. 

He added: "We want to work with the nations of the region, but we retain 
the option of taking more forceful action as developments in Burma warrant. 


July 24, 1996
Don Pathan, Yindee Lertcharoenchok

JAKARTA - The Asean and their Western dialogue partners failed to 
work out their differences on how to achieve peace and democracy 
in Burma.

Although the European Union and the US did not oppose Burma 
participating in yesterday's ARF, they have not ruled out 
possible tougher measures, including economic sanctions, if the 
country's opposition is harassed.

Asean and China are Burma's strongest supporters, if not 
defenders, of the ruling Burmese Slorc by insisting on a non-
interference policy.

Japan, which is Burma's largest aid donor, has adopted a moderate 
policy combing the Asean and Western approaches, calling for 
Slorc to move towards national reconciliation and democracy 
through dialogue with the opposition.

Asean officials said yesterday that Burma dominated the three-
hour informal ARF dinner on Monday night, with the US taking the 
lead in discussing the issue. He said ARF ministers later decided 
to put also agreed to let Burmese Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw 
express Slorc's view on the political situation in the country.

Hard pressed by the media asking about the Burmese situation, 
Indonesia's Foreign Minister Ali Alatas replied emotionally  that 
Asean is "not oblivious" to what is happening in Burma and was 
closely monitoring the situation.

But the grouping does differ from the West on how to help improve 
the political situation there, he insisted.

Alatas did not comment when asked if the "from of democracy 
currently existing" in Burma under the Slorc regime was 
acceptable to Asean members, and instead retorted by saying : 
"Can we (Asean) have the freedom to have a different view" (from 
the West)?

He said democracy in Burma remains an Asean aspiration but "not a 
condition" to its membership in the association. He added that 
while the basic values of democracy and democratisation were 
universal in nature, Asean believes "democracy has different 
forms as distant from its values".

He attacked the West for trying to dictate a homogeneous from of 

"Democratic forms should be left to the country or national 
concerned. Don't dictate to us and say only the Western type of 
democracy is good and acceptable," said Alatas, who has been 
hounded to talk about Burma since early last week. "Why do you 
want homogeneity for the rest of the world? It's sorry to say, 
but I think that is either a bit of intellectual arrogance or 
intellectual hypocrisy."

China yesterday joined Asean in advocating different values and 
approaches towards Burma. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Shen 
Guofang said the internal affairs of a country should not 
obstruct that country from participating in regional and international forum.

He urged the US and the EU to change their "(political) ideology" 
by supporting countries in East and Southeast Asia to cooperate 
and develop their economic affairs, peace and stability.

East and Southeast Asia must try to get rid of external interference 
and resolve their own matters. Shen said.


July 23, 1996 (editorial)

Try as it might, Asean has never again achieved the level of single-minded 
determination and effectiveness that characterized the organization's role 
in ending the Vietnamese occupation of Cambodia. To be sure, no Asian 
country today is occupied by a foreign power. But the absence of an 
invading army does not mean Asia is out of danger.

On the contrary, the region is crying out for care and maintenance, and the 
richer it grows the more it stands to lose if any one of a dozen large and 
small fires flares out of control. From Sri Lanka to Kashmir, Asia is home 
to some of the world's longest-running conflicts. A nuclear shadow hangs 
over India and Pakistan, above the Korean peninsula and wherever else the 
winds might carry the fallout. Meanwhile, as democracy takes hold around 
the fringes of Asia, succession struggles elsewhere and other forms of 
political warfare threaten to destabilize the entire region.

What can Asean do about all this? The answer is not much. An article on 
this page today gives the organization low marks so far. Yet well-wishers- 
among whom we number ourselves--must keep in mind that there is a 
limit to what Asean or its offshoots, like the security-oriented Asean 
Regional Forum (ARF), can accomplish in their present form.

Opening today with 21 members, ARF is a good idea that has grown into 
something unwieldy overnight. In the rush to gain respect and stature, 
Asean has been so busy bringing other countries on board as dialogue 
partners and whatnot that it's difficult to see the trees for the forest. 
Having all those outside observers milling around makes it easy for Asean 
to lose sight of real goals and tempts members to forsake the difficult tasks 
for simpler ones.

It also makes for peculiar misunderstandings. A case in point is Asean's 
dismay and anger over the way the Burma issue seemed to dominate media 
coverage as the Asean meetings opened in Jakarta at the weekend. The 
governments of the United States and the European Union disapprove of 
Asean's close association with the repressive military regime in Burma; 
not least because the publics in the Western democracies have been moved 
by the plight of Burmese democrats. But Asean apparently expected the 
outsiders it invited to Jakarta to sit on the sidelines politely applauding 
like parents at a child's first piano recital. When the guests spoke up about 
Burma instead, their Asian hosts were indignant. How dare they, sputtered 
Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas, "this is our organization, not 

What happens to Asean may be the business of its members only. But what 
happens to and in Asia is the concern of everyone who trades and travels 
there, participates in the region's defense or feels moved to defend 
fundamental human rights. That gives outsiders not only the right but an 
obligation to rate Asean's performance. Moral questions aside, the 
organization's Burma strategy is still worrying.

For instance, Asean maintains that its policy of "constructive engagement" 
with the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) is in 
effect a strategic ploy to keep Burma from falling under China's spell. 
Assuming that is Asean's purpose, it's a bit late to have any effect. The 
Chinese military, investment and political machine has its fingers deep 
into every slice of the Burmese pie. The second problem is that such a 
strategy assumes Burma is incapable of doing what China and Asean have 
been trying to do with the Europeans and Americans, playing on the 
Westerners' fears of losing out on fat deals unless their Asian trade 
partners get what they want. What's to stop Slorc from taking all it can get 
from Asean and still ending up in Beijing's camp? If push came to shove 
and Burma had to choose between China and Asean, is there any doubt about 
which way Rangoon would go?

In an interview in the current edition of Asiaweek, Beijing University 
Professor Zhang Xizhen says China values Asean for the organization's role 
in blocking U.S. influence in the region. Doubtless Asean does not see itself 
as a stalking horse for Beijing. Unless the organization shows more 
imagination and determination in dealing with China than it has so far, 
however, that may be how history mislabels it.

It's been years now since China revived claims to islands and waters of the 
South China Sea, and nearly as long since Chinese engineers and their 
structures began popping up on and around atolls. The buzz in Jakarta this 
week centers around Beijing's latest move of drawing base lines from the 
Paracel Islands that could end up vastly extending claimed Chinese 
sovereignty over the South China Sea, including vital lanes for much of the 
world's shipping. Asean's response to all this so far has been a flabby 
attempt to de-fang China by drawing it into "dialogue," all the while 
watching hopefully for tiny shifts in the way Beijing asserted its claims, 
or appeared to back off them ever so slightly. But the fact is that while 
Asean members were fixated on diplomatic nuances and talking shops, 
China never took its eyes, its men or its materiel off the goal, and is 
moving like lava toward what it wants.

If Asean prefers to tackle easier issues, like the make-work business of 
declaring the region a nuclear free-zone, who can blame it? The goal of 
getting new Asean dialogue partner India to sign the nuclear test ban treaty 
is a lofty one, and regrettably almost certainly doomed to failure. But if 
Asean can pull India away from things nuclear even gradually it will have 
done all the world a great favor. Indeed, there is much to admire in Asean's 
stated desire to avoid confrontation and threats, and to aim instead at 
resolving conflicts through negotiation and expressions of concern. It can 
be noted with at least some validity that the concept of passive resistance 
was born in Asia, where it gave birth to modern India.

The difference between now and then is that the Mahatma Gandhi had his 
eyes fixed on one clear goal, and never wavered. Moreover, as George 
Orwell pointed out at the time, Gandhi and his followers were fortunate in 
having an opponent as relatively benign as Britain. If they had faced Slorc 
and China instead, would that strategy have prevailed? Asean should ask 
itself a somewhat similar question as it pursues its policy of engagement.


July 24, 1996
Don Pathan, Yindee Lertcharoenchok

JAKARTA - Japan has expressed strong concern over the political 
situation in Burma, saying the international perception of the 
trouble-plaguede country is not based on bias reporting but on 
facts, citing the recent wide-spread crackdown on Burmese 
opposition party members.

The concern was expressed on Monday by Japanese Foreign Minister 
Yukihiko Ikeda during a bilateral meeting with his Burmese 
counterpart U Ohn Gyaw, Japanese government spokesman Ken 
Shimanouchi said after the talks.

"Minister Ikeda said the perception of the international 
community was not created by one-sided reporting by the media.

He said that this perception is based on fact - referring to the 
detention of a large number of NLD (National League for 
Democracy) members," Shimanouchi said.

The Japanese view of the arrests in May of more than 260 NLD 
members before their party congress by the Burmese junta was seen 
as a rejection of the argument repeatedly forwarded by Ohn Gyaw 
that the detained political activists were "only invited" for 
temporary questioning.

Ikeda's strong comments on the NLD arrest reflected similar 
explanations given by NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi in her letter 
dated June 14 to Japan Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto.

Suu Kyi praised Hashimoto, saying his remarks on the crackdown 
"did much to dissuade the State Law and Order Restoration Council 
(Slorc) from committing excesses that would have destroyed the 
peace and harmony in Burma".

In the letter, Suu Kyi urged Japan which "is in a particularly 
effective position, to exert influence on the trend of events in 
Burma by linking aid and economic cooperation indissolubly to 
genuine progress in the process of democratisation". She also 
urged Japan and the international community to take "united 
action to implement the terms of successive" United Nations 
resolutions Burma.

Shimanouchi said Ikeda also told Ohn Gyaw that it was necessary 
for Burma to "dispel the concerns of the international community" 
and to establish a government through "democratic and fair 

Ohn Gyaw in return said Slorc planned to relinquish power to a 
new and elected government after the drafting of the country's 
new constitution was completed by the National Convention. The 
Burmese foreign minister insisted that the Slorc-influenced 
National Convention, which has been holding intermittent meetings 
since January 1993, was the only legitimate forum to draft a 
constitution and that the NLD has boycotted it, Shimanouchi said.

He quoted Ikeda as expressing concern over the promulgation in 
early June of Slorc Law which called for restrictions on 
the activities of NLD members and its supporters.

"He (Ikeda) was referring to the enactment by the government of 
(Burma) which restricted the rallying in front of Aung San Suu 
Kyi's home," Shimanouchi said.

"He said that he hoped the government of (Burma) will approach 
this matter in a spirit of unity," the spokesman added.

Ohn Gyaw insisted that the new law does not prohibit the weekend 
NLD rallies but considers any attempt to draft a rival 
constitution other than being drafted by the Slorc's National 
Convention as illegal.

Shimanouchi said Ikeda considers it necessary to include the NLD, 
as well as the views of various ethnic groups in the drafting of 
Burma's new constitution.

Ikeda was quoted as saying that their inclusion was necessary for 
the continuation of the democratisation process and in overcoming 
political tension in Burma.

"(Ikeda) also underscored the importance for the parties involved 
to over come tension and to continue the process of 
democratisation through dialogue.

He also said this is conducive to stronger ties between Japan and 
(Burma)," Shimanouchi said.

The spokesman added that (Ikeda's comments were made in a 
friendly manner and that Japan does not consider these 
suggestions as a form of interfering in the internal affairs of 
Burma as Tokyo believe human rights are a universal value.


July 24, 1996

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Tuesday urged foreign 
tourists and investors to boycott her country on order to put pressure on 
the military in Rangoon. " We would like people to keep away during 
Visit Myanmar Year as a symbol of solidarity with the for democracy 
in Burma" she told Singapore-based satellite network Asia Business News.
Myanmar is the name given to Burma by the junta, known as State 
Law and Order Restoration Council. "Visit Myanmar Year" is a 
tourism promotion campaign launched by the SLORC, starting in 
November. The interview coincided with the ongoing annual meeting in 
Jakarta of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations, which gave the 
Burmese junta an added measure of legitimacy by granting it observer 
status at the weekend.
The SLORC, has embarked on a hotel-building spree and anticipating 
of a surge in tourist arrivals. 

Aung San Suu Kyi, who was freed from six year of house arrest one year ago, 
told ABN that " we would like everybody who loves democracy and human  
rights to keep away from Burma to demonstrate the fact that they do not 
support a regime that practice injustice and oppression." "I don't think 
any tourist has ever been invited to examine the prisons of Burma or to 
study forced labour camps or to see what is like when people are moved 
from their homes of  many, many years," she said. 

She also urged foreign investors to shun Burma, calling in particular for 
French oil giant Total to server its ties with  the junta. Total is engaged 
in a major energy project in Burma. "We do not think now is the time for 
any foreign company to invest in Burma because the investment do not  
benefit the public at  large. These investment only benefit a privileged 
few," she said. Earlier this month, European brewers Heineken and 
Carlsberg scrapped plans to invest in Burma amid pressure from human 
rights groups in their home countries to pull out of the  projects. 
Despite continued Western pressure, Burma is expected to be eventually 
admitted as a full ASEAN member  in few years.

July 18, 1996 (The New Light of Myanmar)

SLORC's Martyrs' Day tribute to Aung San and his daughter:  

"or would he take out the automatic from it's holster and empty the 
bullets into her. These were the thoughts which flashed into my mind"

by Bo Daewa; "The Unforgettable 19th July" in the Burmese 
government English language daily.

My grandchildren, grandpa will tell you something. It is about the
matter that we can never forget, 19th July. You must have heard about it
as high school students up to the time you grandchildren got to college.
You must have heard a lot about l9th July at the talks given by teachers
each year as this day was about to approach. Yes! In connection with the
talks there are important facts which you should never forget. At 10 am
on 19 July, our National Leader Bogyoke [General] Aung San and his
colleagues who were working for the country were brutally assassinated.
These murderers were sent by the country's traitor power-crazy U Saw. As
the Arzani Leaders [Martyrs] fell, the entire country mourned bitterly
at their loss. How can we, who also suffered such a grievance on that
day ever forget it? However, for people like us, it is not only on this
sad day of 19th July that we feel the loss and remember about it, but
forever and never forgive and forget about it for a single day. Grandpa
must relate to your grandchildren about this. We do not think lightly
that our leaders fell due to power-crazy U Saw, nor do we lose sight of
it just by viewing it casually. But we studied, made enquiries and
reviewed who had sent them from behind the scene to execute the plot and
who had provided assistance and who had given support. We had noted
these down never to be forgotten and made note of it and has remained
indelible up till now. I will not go into details who all were involved
in the conspiracy. These will be written and told by historians in
detail. What we have noted down are simple. At that time, owing to the
power of unity of the AFPPL [Anti Fascists People's Freedom League] of
Bogyoke Aung San and others, the British Government had to form a
Consultative Cabinet. Bogyoke Aung San came out of the City Hall, spoke
at a mass rally and gave an ultimatum thus -- if independence is not
granted within a year, then we'll fight. The British had to take Bogyoke
to Britain and make arrangements to grant independence. U Saw objected
to these arrangements. Not long afterwards, the assassination of Bogyoke
and others was carried out. The links which could not be covered
up were later unfolded. They revealed who the real culprit was.

At that time, British forces were deeply rooted in Myanmar [Burma] and
the generals and the British Governor were still ruling the country
firmly. A huge ammunition depot where the arms and ammunition of the
British Army were kept was in Botahtaung Township. A junior British
officer by the name of Vivian drew a large number of assorted arms and
ammunition from there and handed them to U Saw's house. U Saw packed
these arms in iron drums and hid them in the Inya Lake in front of his
house. After that U Saw brought his trusted followers from Minhla and
Thayawady, gathered them and trained them. U Saw then carried out his
plot successfully. We did not point our accusing fingers at U Saw only
just by thinking lightly what U Saw had done. The real culprits were the
senior officers of the British Government and the generals. In the
British Army which is very systematic and fully disciplined taking out a
few number of ordinary arms and ammunition had to go through a series of
checking and inspection and permission from high-ranking officer. The
drawing of a large number of arms and ammunition sufficient enough for a
company of soldiers by a junior officer cannot be done without the
knowledge of the highest ranking officers and without their permission.
Therefore, according to concrete proof and significant evidence we can
never forget that it was the British who assassinated our Leaders on 19
July and have made a mental note of it, my grandchildren. Moreover,
there is another fact which we can never forget. You should remember
properly in every detail together with the names of all the Arzanls from
Bogyoke Aung San and Deedok U Ba Choe right down to U Ohn Maung 
and Maung Htwe. As for grandpa, I can never forget their qualities and
abilities, their patriotic spirit and their leadership abilities rather
than their names. They mean a great loss to us as well as the cruelty of
the British. Their plot to kill two birds with one stone is a thing
never to be forgotten.  It is not an easy thing to happen to a person
like Bogyoke Aung San, a good leader and an Arzani to be born in our
lifetime. Deedok U Ba Choe who was scholar in all fields, Sayagyi U
Razak who had far-sightedness for Myanmar education, Shan national
leader Mongpawn Sawbwagyi and Kayin national leader Mahn Ba Khaing 
who had nationalist fervour in them and made selfless efforts to forge
Myanmar unity, were all patriotic nationals who can never be replaced.
These dignitaries had gathered and were deliberating on that day on
matters relating to progress and prosperity of the State and the people
who would soon become independent, drawing up political, social,
economic and education plans. At this very vital time for Myanmar, the
British with an evil plot dealt a heavy blow by eliminating and
destroyed Bamar, Shan and Kayin leaders to near extinction. They turned
the entire Myanmar, a leaderless country, into total disorder and
created a situation in which the Myanmar public, who were about to make
energetic efforts to shoulder independence duties, to become weak and
listless. We constantly remember this evil plot, more so on 19 July, my
grandchildren. There is another reason why we can never forget 19th
July. Aung San Suu Kyi came back to Myanmar temporarily, the time which
coincided with 19th July. Well, I don't remember the exact year. Up to
that time, we were not even aware that she existed. When we became aware
of her, we became greatly disconsolated. It is because we came to learn
that she had fallen in love and married a long-nosed Englishman Michael
Aris and even given birth to two sons. As soon as I learnt this I burst
out into uncontrollable rage. She had smeared her own father's face
black and had no regard for the honour of her own race and honour of her
own father, a Myanmar leader. She had forgotten how patriotic leaders
had died together with her father in a brutal manner and had joined
hands with a person whose race had brutally taken her father's life. I
felt so deeply that I even began to utter to myself that she had no
shame to come and even live in Myanmar. On that day, when I saw the
picture of Aung San Suu Kyi laying a wreath at the tomb of Bogyoke Aung
San, my thoughts began to wander. If her father, Bogyoke Aung San should
become alive again and rise from his tomb and see his daughter, what
would he do. I thought of the things I would do if I was in his place.
Would he slap his daughter's face left and right like the Japanese do
[in World War II] or would he take out the automatic from it's holster
and empty the bullets into her. These were the thoughts which flashed
into my mind. Then at once I came to remember that although Bogyoke 
Aung San apparently looked rough in speech and manner, he was a true
gentleman and had a kind and gentle heart. He would not indulge in any
acts like those which came into my mind. I then realized that he would
simply admonished her like true Myanmar people do and spit on her face
and make her become shameful. Whenever these thoughts flash into my 
mind I come to remember 19 July. There is another thing which I want 
to tell to let my grandchildren know. As she had forgotten the honour of 
her parents and relatives and was enjoying herself in the West as much as
she liked and had forgotten everything, it would have been better for
her and it would have nothing to do with us. But now, it is nothing like
this, my grandchildren. She was incited and instigated and forced to
climb the Myanmar stage and she was made to dance according to their
tune and according to the strings they pulled. While made to dance
according to their tune, they change their play into another pattern and
began the story of direct con- frontations. I think it was on 19 July
1989. She pulled out a confrontation trump card and used it in the
political arena on that day and is creating problems in succession up to
the present day, my grandchildren. Even on the day the British
colonialists killed her own father, she wants to make political gain.
This is very surprising and a big shock to me and 19 July is the most
unforgettable day for Grandpa, my grandchildren.