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Daily Press Briefing by U.S. State (r)

Subject: Daily Press Briefing by U.S. State Department

Attn: Free Burma Activists
Re: Daily Press Briefing by U.S. State Department

                 Department of State
                 Daily Press Briefing
                   October 4, 1996

QUESTION: Do you have any response yet to Burma's counter move to
restrict travel by U.S. citizens, and is this leading to some kind of 
greater breakdown in relations?

MR. BURNS: We did note here that the Burmese Government sought to
retaliate against the United States today by putting into effect the 
sanctions that are comparable to our own on access to visas by United States 
Government officials and their immediate families. This is really ludicrous.

The Burmese Government is the one that has been a major and consistent
violator of the human rights of its own people. It shut down the democratic 
elections that took place several years ago. It has arrested several hundred 
members of the National League of Democracy.

It has prevented Aung San Suu Kyi and her followers and her associates
from convening peaceful meetings in Rangoon simply to express their beliefs 
about the situation in Burma. There's no question who the violator of human rights 
is here. This is a desperate attempt by the military dictators in Burma to try to 
do something to divert the attention of their own people from the real problem which 
exists in the Burmese Government.

I can assure you that it's not going to matter one bit to any of us in Washington, 
D.C., who make policy or implement it or talk about it, that we can't travel to 
Rangoon at this time, because we are able to maintain an American Embassy there. 
Marilyn Meyers, our very fine Charge d'Affaires, has departed Rangoon. On her heels 
were these outrageous attacks by the Burmese Government on her and on her behavior, 
which we have repudiated.

Kent Wiedemann, who's a very senior American diplomat, specialist in East Asia, will be
taking up his duties as the American Charge d'Affaires in about 10 days' time. We expect
that Mr. Wiedemann will be well treated, and that he will not be subjected to these
scurrilous attacks.

It would almost be comical if it wasn't so serious. These people have made fools of
themselves by the allegations that they've hurled against the United States -- the
military dictators. In taking these steps today, they're not going to affect the opinion
of the United States by one bit.

Yes, Bill.

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