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SLORC admits detention of 559 activ

Subject: SLORC admits detention of 559 activists

By Deborah Charles
RANGOON, Oct 1 (Reuter) - Burma's military government said on Tuesday it had
detained 559 members or supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for
Democracy (NLD) party since Thursday.
Officials of the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) told
a news conference that roadblocks on the road to Suu Kyi's house would
remain in place until the government was sure the party had no plans to meet
or create any disturbance.
Senior officials said it had detained the activists only temporarily to
prevent unrest. They would be released shortly.
Senior Defence Ministry official Colonel Kyaw Thein said 159 NLD members who
were planning to attend a three-day party congress from September 27-29 at
Suu Kyi's home were brought in for questioning to prevent the gathering from
taking place. "Altogether, 159 persons...were detained. All of them were
accomodated at guest houses. As I speak to you, some are now on their way
back home," Kyaw Thein told reporters. He said police detained an additional
400 NLD supporters on Saturday night.
"We have got information from the people's police force that about 400
persons were taken in temporarily on the night of September 27. This has
been done in accord with the rules and procedures in a bid to prevent crime
likely to harm law and peace and tranquility of the state," he said.
The government says the party meeting was meant to incite instability and
cause riots. The NLD says the gathering was to celebrate the eighth
anniversary of the founding of the party, which was born in 1988 after
unprecedented protests against years of military rule.
The United States, Britain and international human rights groups have
condemned the detentions and demanded the immediate release of detainees.
Suu Kyi's party also issued a statement to reporters this week calling for
the SLORC to release the detainees and demanding an end to restrictions
imposed on the party.
The road leading to Suu Kyi's University Avenue home has been blocked by
heavily-armed security police and military intelligence officers since early
on Friday morning.
Police originally said the roadblocks would be in place through Sunday, but
they were still there on Tuesday.
"So long as it is necessary for peace and tranquility the blockades will be
there," said another senior Defence Ministry official, Colonel Thein Swe.
Kyaw Thein and other officials at the news conference could not say when the
roadblocks would be removed, saying this would depend on the circumstances.
Officials also claimed Suu Kyi had been trying to cause unrest and
confrontation with the government since she was released from six years of
house arrest in July 1995.
Kyaw Thein said weekly speeches given by Suu Kyi and other top party
officials were illegal, and the government might decide to take action
against them.
"The government has repeatedly acknowledged that holding these kind of
weekend meetings violated existing laws," he said. "I don't know what lies
ahead but anything that violates existing laws will have measure taken
against (it)."
The Saturday and Sunday speeches, which attract thousands of supporters, are
the NLD's only real forum for disseminating information.  
(c) Reuters Limited 1996, REUTER NEWS SERVICE

RANGOON, Oct 1 (Reuter) - Burma's military government said on Tuesday former
opium warlord Khun Sa was still under official supervision and was not
involved in any business dealings inside the country.
"He is now under the supervision of our law enforcement officers," senior
Defence Ministry official, Colonel Kyaw Thein, told a monthly news conference.
Members of Khun Sa's former Mong Tai Army (MTA) had said he was doing
business out of a luxury lakeside villa in the capital, Rangoon.
"He is not doing any sort of business in Yangon (Rangoon) or elsewhere
inside our country," Kyaw Thein said.
He did not confirm whether Khun Sa, who surrendered to government troops
early this year, was living in the capital.
Khun Sa, 62, a half Shan-half Chinese former commander of the 20,000-strong
MTA had claimed he was fighting for the Shan state's independence from the
central government.
But international drug agencies accused him of using the MTA as a personal
guerrilla force to protect his heroin business in the Golden Triangle, which
borders Burma, Laos and Thailand.
The Triangle is one of the world's top heroin producing areas. The U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administraton estimates 70 percent of heroin supplied to the
international market comes from the region.
Khun Sa is wanted by the United States after an American court indicted him
in 1989 on various charges of heroin trafficking into the country.
Washington demanded that Burma hand him over to face trial in the U.S. and
offered a $2 million reward for his head.
But Burma's ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council rejected the
American request and said Rangoon would deal with him under Burmese law.  
(c) Reuters Limited 1996


By Deborah Charles
RANGOON, Oct 1 (Reuter) - Senior Burmese officials said on Tuesday that
democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, in collaboration with foreigners, was
trying to destabilise the country and cause confrontation with the military
Suu Kyi had a hostile attitude toward the government and had been goading it
since she was released from six years of house arrest in July 1995,
officials told a monthly news conference.
"Daw Suu Kyi and her companions, synchronous with the expatriates, are
causing hardship to the State Law and Order ReEstoration Council (SLORC) to
eventually create direct confrontation of the people and the government with
pressure brought on it from two directions, internal and external," said
Colonel Kyaw Thein, senior Defence Ministry official.
Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace laureate, is the daughter of Burma's revered
independence hero, Aung San. She was put under house arrest in 1989 for her
outspoken attacks on the military regime.
Kyaw Thein told the news conference Suu Kyi had been colluding with foreign
diplomats and journalists to spread false news and create instability in Burma.
He said a plan to hold a September 27-29 congress of the National League for
Democracy (NLD) was meant to cause internal and external problems for the SLORC.
The government arrested more than 550 NLD members and supporters and set up
checkpoints manned by heavily-armed police on all roads leading to Suu Kyi's
house to prevent the NLD from holding the three-day meeting at Suu Kyi's home.
"It is evident they timed it to lead government into difficulties internally
and abroad even though they gave the excuse that it would be on an
intra-party and democracy agenda," Kyaw Thein said about the meeting.
The government said Suu Kyi and the NLD conspired with Western nations,
specifically the United States, to plan the meeting to coincide with the
United Nations General Assembly and discussion in the U.S. Congress of an
economic sanctions bill against Burma.
The United States and the NLD have dismissed the accusations as groundless.
Kyaw Thein said Suu Kyi and other senior NLD members, such as Tin Oo and Kyi
Maung, had instigated unrest during regular weekend speeches outside Suu
Kyi's front gates.
"It is evident that the speeches and acts of some party leaders like Daw Suu
Kyi, U Tin Oo and U Kyi Maung were meant to lead to direct confrontation
with the government," he said. "This can be seen in the speeches and acts
after the restraining order imposed on Daw Suu Kyi was lifted."
Asked if Suu Kyi might be re-arrested in the future, Kyaw Thein said action
still may be taken against her.
"If Daw Suu Kyi and her NLD colleagues... are violating the laws we will
impose measures... as and when necessary to the extent we feel is
necessary," he said.  
(c) Reuters Limited 1996


Tokyo, Sept. 30 (Jiji Press)-Japan expressed concern Monday over scores of
democracy supporters being detained in Myanmar and urged the country's
ruling junta to release them as quickly as possible, Foreign Ministry
officials said.
Japanese Ambassador to Myanmar Yoichi Yamaguchi made the request to the
ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council, which in turn said it plans
to release the 109 supporters of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as soon
as they finish questioning them, the officials said.
Japan also asked that Myanmar refrain from arresting any more supporters of
Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, while reiterating the hope that
Myanmar will continue moving toward a more democratic system, they said.
Myanmar's military rulers, hinting at a more flexible approach as
international pressure mounts, told Yamaguchi they will lift the blockade of
traffic around Suu Kyi's residence within a couple of days and also hinted
that they may allow democracy rallies outside her home this weekend,
depending on the circumstances.
The junta plans to hold a press conference on Tuesday, the ministry
officials said. 


Source: Radio Myanmar, Rangoon, in Burmese 1330 gmt 29 Sep 96
Lt-Gen Myo Nyunt, minister of religious affairs, met monks who are members
of the State Sangha [Buddhist Order] Maha Nayaka Committee in Rangoon on
29th September, Burmese radio reported. The minister and the monks discussed
the need to keep religion and politics apart.
The report said: "It has been discovered that the NLD [National League for
Democracy] covertly directed its groups to engage in the anti-government
movement by entering monkhood so as to benefit their party. They are doing
this to divide the monks. Although they are Buddhists, they are unaware of
the sin of dividing the monks."
Myo Nyunt told the monks: "I would like to inform the Sangha that these
monks are covered in the darkness with avarice, anger and ignorance; and
they are creating disturbances to destroy the people and the country."
The report continued: "He [the minister] also urged the revered monks to
clarify and inform all levels of Sangha organizations about their [the
NLD's] plan to enter the monkhood. The State Law and Order Restoration
Council's Orders No 6/90 and No 7/90, and Law No 20/90 on Organization of
Sangha, were issued to protect them from this danger. The Sangha has also
been directed to coordinate with the respective division, state, district,
township and ward law and order restoration councils."
(c) BBC Monitoring Summary of World Broadcasts. 


Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1100 gmt 29 Sep 96
Text of report by opposition radio Democratic Voice of Burma, broadcasting
from Oslo
As a measure to ban the National League for Democracy's [NLD] planned
three-day congress, the SLORC [State Law and Order Restoration Council]
military clique has arrested many NLD members. It has been learned that the
SLORC also arrested many NLD youths, including Ko Soe Naing and Ko Tun Naing
from Mingala Taungnyunt Township; and Ko Myo Maung, Ko Aung Myint, Ma Tin
Tin Maw and Ma Tin Win Maw from Kyauktada Township. They were at Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi's house when the security forces staged a surprise raid on the
house at about 0100 [local time] on 27th September. An eyewitness from
Rangoon said they were arrested while they tried to escape by scaling the fence.
It has been learned that on 28th September, small groups of students and
civilians marched towards a meeting point at the Shwedagon Pagoda and
shouted "Long live Daw Aung San Suu Kyi" on the way. One of the marching
groups was arrested when it was confronted by the security forces on
Shwedagon Pagoda Road. Another group marching from the Shwegondaing side was
cornered, beaten, arrested and immediately taken to Insein Jail by the army
and security forces.
It is currently very common in Rangoon suburbs to see dogs carrying on their
necks the names of authors who are writing [anti-Suu Kyi] articles in
newspapers. It has been learned that police, fire services and municipal
personnel are catching and killing these dogs at night.
Aung Hlaing U filed this report.
(c) BBC Monitoring Summary of World Broadcasts. 

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