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BurmaNet News: October 4, 1996

"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: October 4, 1996
Issue #531

Noted in Passing: 
		Do you think it is not enough that so many people get themselves 
		arrested? It is very irresponsible...that people wait to see blood on 
		the street and violence before they can accept that  something is 
		very, very wrong - DASSK (see: REUTERS: RISING TENSION 


October 3, 1996

Suspension of entry as immigrants and nonimmigrants of persons
who formulate or implement policies that are impeding the
transition to democracy in Burma or who benefit from such

       The current regime in Burma continues to detain significant 
  numbers of duly elected members of parliament, National League 
  for Democracy activists, and other persons attempting to promote 
  democratic change in Burma.  The regime has failed to enter 
  into serious dialogue with the democratic opposition and 
  representatives of the country's ethnic minorities, has failed 
  to move toward achieving national reconciliation, and has failed 
  to meet internationally recognized standards of human rights.
       In light of this continuing political repression, I have 
  determined that it is in the interests of the United States to 
  restrict the entrance into the United States as immigrants and 
  nonimmigrants of certain Burmese nationals who formulate or 
  implement policies that impede Burma's transition to democracy 
  or who benefit from such policies, and the immediate families 
  of such persons.
       NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, by the power 
  vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws 
  of the United States of America, including sections 212(f) 
  and 215 of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as 
  amended (8 U.S.C. 1182(f), 1185), and section 301 of title 3, 
  United States Code, hereby find that the unrestricted immigrant 
  and nonimmigrant entry into the United States of persons 
  described in section 1 of this proclamation would, except 
  as provided for in section 2 or 3 of this proclamation, be 
  detrimental to the interests of the United States.  I therefore, 
  do proclaim that:
       Section 1.  The entry into the United States as immigrants 
  and nonimmigrants of persons who formulate, implement, or 
  benefit from policies that impede Burma's transition to 
  democracy, and the immediate family members of such persons, 
  is hereby suspended.
       Sec. 2.  Section 1 shall not apply with respect to any 
  person otherwise covered by section 1 where the Secretary of 
  State determines that the entry of such person would not be 
  contrary to the interests of the United States.  Section 1 
  shall not apply to officials assigned to Burmese missions in 
  the United States or working-level support staff and visitors 
  who support the work of Burmese missions in the United States.
       Sec. 3.  Persons covered by sections 1 and 2 shall be 
  identified pursuant to procedures established by the Secretary 
  of State, as authorized in section 6 below.
       Sec. 4.  Nothing in this proclamation shall be construed 
  to derogate from United States Government obligations under 
  applicable international agreements.
       Sec. 5.  This proclamation is effective immediately and 
  shall remain in effect until such time as the Secretary of 
  State determines that it is no longer necessary and should 
  be terminated.
       Sec. 6.  The Secretary of State shall have responsibility 
  to implement this proclamation pursuant to procedures the 
  Secretary may establish.  The Secretary of State may subdelegate 
  the authorities set forth herein as he deems necessary and 
  appropriate to implement this proclamation.
       Sec. 7.  This proclamation may be repealed, in whole or in 
  part, at such time as the Secretary of State determines that the 
  Burmese regime has released National League for Democracy 
  members currently being held for political offenses and other 
  pro-democracy activists, enters into genuine dialogue with the 
  democratic opposition, or makes significant progress toward 
  improving the human rights situation in the country.
       IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
  third day of October, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred 
  and ninety-six, and of the Independence of the United States of 
  America the two hundred and twenty-first.

October 3, 1996

	The President today signed a Proclamation suspending the entry
into the United States of persons formulating, implementing or benefiting
from policies that are impeding the transition to democracy in Burma, and
their immediate family members.

	The Proclamation reflects the strong concerns of both the
Administrations and the Congress about ongoing repression by the State Law
and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in Burma, in flagrant defiance of
international norms, the SLORC has disregarded both the human rights and
the will of the people of Burma.

	Most recently, the authorities have arrested or detained hundreds
of members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) and activists
nationwide, who had planned to attend an NLD Conference in Rangoon last
weekend.  We deplore these actions, and call on the SLORC to release,
immediately and unconditionally, all of the NLD members and other
democratic activists.  We also urge the SLORC to enter into a dialogue
about the political future of the country with democratic opposition
leaders and leaders of the ethnic minorities.  We believe this is
essential to political reconciliation in Burma.

	We are keeping the situation under review while consulting with
friends and allies.  We will continue our efforts to encourage human
rights and democratization in Burma.


October 3, 1996

QUESTION: It's a pretty unusual step to take to exclude the leadership of a
country even if there are human rights suppressions there, and I'm just
is there a specific legal basis for this? Is this required under some act of
or law or some other provision? 

MR. BURNS: First of all, I think the rationale is quite clear. There was a
White House statement on this, and you know the President and Mike McCurry 
have spoken about this. The fact is that the SLORC has consistently and 
fundamentally undermined the democratic political opposition in Burma, 
especially the National League of Democracy, and done it in a brazen,
way. That is quite unusual in Asia or any place else in the world. 

We have very deep concerns about the direction of the Burmese Government and
the policies that it's following towards its own people, including towards a
Nobel laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi. So we've taken this rather extraordinary
step in order to express our very deep unhappiness with the policies of the
Burmese Government. 

The United States does not require any prior legislative or judicial
authority to do 
this. This is a decision that the President of the United States can make
under the
Constitution, using his executive powers. But it is consistent with the recent 
legislation on Burma passed by the United States Congress on a bipartisan
which gave the Administration the leeway to take this kind of action --
if you will -- should that be necessary. 

I think given the fact that several hundred democracy activists, including
many democratically elected legislators, were arrested and detained last
week just
for the sole purpose because they wanted to convene to have a meeting, that was 
in essence the last straw. 

I think you also may have seen some of the ludicrous and outrageous charges
made by the Burmese Government about the activities of the American Charge
d'Affaires in Rangoon. These charges are fundamentally untrue. They're false,
and they're a fabrication by the Burmese Government, and frankly it is just
extraordinary to see the Burmese Government launch an attack against an
American diplomat of the type that was launched against our diplomat this

So for all these reasons, I think the United States has just decided that if
we can't have a civil discourse with the Burmese Government, we can certainly 
keep their officials out of our country; deny them the pleasure of visiting our 
cities. If they want to come on official visits to the United Nations, we'll
that on a case-by-case basis. But they're not welcome here in the United

QUESTION: Nick, what is the level of drug enforcement assistance to Burma
from the United States, and is there any consideration being given to
cutting it? 

MR. BURNS: I will have to check on the level, David. I remember several
months ago we had those figures, and we actually gave them to you, and I'm
sure we can give them to you by the end of the day. 

QUESTION: Is there any further consideration being given to cutting it? There
have also been reports that the money is not going for the purpose that it
was supposed to be sent for. 

MR. BURNS: I think it's certainly the will of the U.S. Congress. We've worked
very closely and well with the Congress on the question of Burma that the
States should retain the option to consider other actions, should that be
in order to put forward a policy towards Burma that reflects our own beliefs
and our 
own self-interest, and that would be one of the questions that one would
have to ask. 
But I'm not aware that any decision has been made about that. 

QUESTION: Are there members of the families of the Burmese leadership who are
in the United States now or who are being educated here who will have the
immediate result of being expelled? 

MR. BURNS: The visa proclamation that was issued this morning by the White
House does not apply to diplomatic personnel of the Burmese missions in
Washington and New York, and there will be occasions where the United States
has an international obligation that would require the issuance of a visa,
fundamentally for Burmese diplomats attending United Nations events in New

But it does suspend the entry into the United States of persons who are
judged to be formulating or implementing policies that are impeding the
to democracy in Burma, or people who benefit from such policies and their 
immediate families.

So the Department of State will be implementing this Presidential decision
and order, and we will be drawing up specific guidelines. But I think we know 
where the lines of separation are here, and I think we'll be very careful in 
implementing this. 

QUESTION: But my question is, are there students -- let's say Burmese
students from the children of the executive branch there or the SLORC 
who are in this country who will now be expelled as a result of this order? 

MR. BURNS: We'll just have to try to, I think, survey who the likely people
are in the United States presently who might fall under the purview of this 
decision. Immediate family means immediate family, and our Bureau of East 
Asian and Pacific Affairs will be directly responsible for dealing with this
I can't answer the question at the present time, but I'm sure we can get you an 
answer as we go down the road implementing this.


October 2, 1996

The President
The White House

Dear Mr. President:

Over the past few days, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) 
has arrested more than five hundred democracy activists in Burma.  In addition, 
armed SLORC troops have been deployed blocking street access and the home 
of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's legitimately elected leader.  Her movements 
and ability to hold meetings with supporters have been completely restricted 
leading us to the unfortunate conclusion that she is, once again, under de
house arrest.

On Monday, with the passage of the omnibus appropriations bill, you signed 
into law provisions setting a new policy course for Burma.  Given the sweeping 
arrests in May and the continued repression of the Burmese people, we had 
urged an immediate imposition of sanctions.  Nonetheless, the Administration's
preferred approach was adopted to impose a ban on new investment in the 
event that "the Government of Burma has physically harmed, rearrested for
political acts, or exiled Daw Aung San Suu Kyi or has committed large scale
repression of or violence against the Democratic opposition."

Just as it has in the past when the United States has issued ultimatums and 
demarches, SLORC is clearly challenging the Administration's resolve and
determination to live up to policy pledges.  If the united States fails to take 
concrete action immediately, consistent with the law and your commitments,
American leadership and credibility will be severely damaged.  Actions short 
of sanctions will persuade SLORC they can act with impunity, paying no 
price for crushing any hope for the restoration of democracy, civil liberties 
and human rights.

On behalf of forty three million innocent Burmese, the five hundred recent
victims of arrest and their families, and their courageous leader, Daw Aung 
San Suu Kyi, all of whom look to our nation for support, we implore you to 
take immediate and decisive action to impose sanctions.


Mitch McConnell, US Senator
Patrick J. Leahy, US Senator
Daniel Patrick Moynihan, US Senator


October 2, 1996

The uniformed thugs who rule Burma under the rubric of the State Law
and Order Restoration Council, or SLORC, are finding out that there is 
a price to pay for their continuing abuse of human rights and their crude
attempts to suppress the democratic will of the peoples under their boot.

Arrogantly defying the outside world, the Burmese junta has arrested 
more than 500 people in the past few days for seeking to assemble 
peacefully at the house of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
Her party, the National League for Democracy, had been hoping to hold
a celebration of its eighth anniversary.

The military dictatorship held a press conference to charge that the 
gathering was planned in collusion with the US government and was 
intended to incite instability and rioting in the streets.

In the past, SLORC has performed its tyrannical acts without much 
objection from abroad.  But this time SLORC has gone too far.  Though
the regime says it will eventually release citizens rounded up this week,
SLORC has a record of casting innocent people into prison for terms of 
10 to 20 years after such promises.  Moreover, Suu Kyi has once again
been placed under virtual house arrest, her followers kept from her gate, 
her family prevented from contacting her.

Fortunately, President Clinton signed Burma sanctions legislation this 
week.  To make SLORC and its current repression, Clinton will soon
forbid the issuing of visas to members or accomplices of the junta.  And
if Suu Kyi is harmed or rearrested, or if there is "large-scale repression,"
sanctions on investment will go into effect.  Even more telling is the 
dramatic decision by foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN) to prevent SLORC from gaining full 
membership next year as originally planned.

Sad to say, European governments have been slow to follow the lead of 
Washington and ASEAN.  Their tolerance for tyranny in Burma taints
their diplomacy everywhere.  Clinton is wise to lobby for European 
solidarity now - before he may have to apply the sanctions approved by


October 3, 1996

BANGKOK, Oct 3 (Reuter) - Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has urged the
European Commission to adopt sanctions against Burma for using forced and
child labor, an international trade union group said on Thursday.

The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) said in a
statement received here that Suu Kyi made the call in a filmed interview
that was smuggled out of Burma to Brussels and shown at EC hearings on Monday.

The hearings could lead to Burma being denied access to the European
Generalized System of Preferences, the Brussels-based ICFTU said.

The EC began an inquiry into forced labor in Burma earlier this year after
complaints from the ICFTU and the European Trade Union Confederation.
Witnesses from non-governmental organizations active in Burma have testified
against the government at the hearings.

Suu Kyi said in the interview that strong sanctions were needed to loosen
the grip of the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) on
the nation.

The ICFTU report on Burmese forced labor says that many Burmese have been
killed or reported missing after being recruited by the army as forced

Suu Kyi and the SLORC were involved in a standoff this week in Rangoon. The
military government cut off access to her house and detained 559 National
League for Democracy (NLD) members to prevent them from holding a congress
at her home.

The Burmese Embassy in Bangkok said this week that 88 of those detained had
been released.

But on Wednesday, Suu Kyi slipped past police cordons and met reporters. She
said up to 800 of her NLD members and supporters were being detained.  


October 2, 1996

WASHINGTON, Oct 2 (Reuter) - The United States on Wednesday dismissed
charges by Burma's military government that the U.S. charge d'affaires in
Rangoon, Marilyn Meyers, had interfered in the country's affairs.

A senior official in Burma's foreign ministry said Tuesday that comments by
Meyers warning that action against opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi could
spark a negative reaction in the United States were regarded as unwanted

"Those allegations are groundless. It's ridiculous to characterize her
contacts with Burmese government officials or with others in this way,"
State Department spokesman Glyn Davies said.

"She's been carrying out her diplomatic role on instructions from
Washington. She's shared information with the Burmese government about the
status of legislation pending in Washington that could affect our relationship."

The U.S. Congress this week passed a Foreign Operations Appropriations bill
which includes an amendment allowing for possible sanctions against Burma
because of its human rights record. (Corrects to make clear that bill has
now been passed)

Although Meyers is leaving Rangoon next weekend and retiring from the
diplomatic service, Davies denied what he said was a report circulating in
Rangoon that she had been declared persona non grata.

"This was a decision made months ago," he said.
Her replacement, Kent Wiedemann, is due to arrive in Rangoon in the next
couple of weeks, he said.  


October 3, 1996

THE Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the European
Union and the United States have in separate moves reflected a
shared concern over the political situation in Burma, where
security units have recently renewed action against the
democratic movement there.

In Manila, Philippine President Fidel Ramos said yesterday that
Asean leaders might review the organization's policy of
"constructive engagement" with Burma at their forthcoming
informal summit in Jakarta.

In Bangkok, Prime Minister Banharn Silpa-archa told visiting
former Philippine president Corazon Aquino that Thailand and the
Philippines shared a similar position on Burma's entry into Asean
that Rangoon should be given time to develop politically and
economically toward a more democratic framework.

The two governments have been among the most vocal in Asean
circles against the regional grouping.

At a special meeting in New York last week, Asean foreign
ministers delayed a decision on Burma's request to join the
association next year. They agreed to leave the decision to Asean

The developments coincide with US President Bill Clinton's move
on Tuesday to sign into law a bill that will allow him to ban new
investment in Burma if the ruling military junta, the State Law
and Order Restoration Council (Slorc), harms or re-arrests
pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.  

The punitive action, which will be invoked at the president's
discretion, was authorised by an amendment to the 1997 Foreign
Operations Appropriations Bill, and finalized by the US
Congress on Sept 17.  
The so-called Cohen amendment allows the president to prohibit US
citizens from new investment in Burma if it is determined that
Suu Kyi is "harmed, re-arrested for political acts or exiled".

It could also be invoked if Slorc commits "large-scale repression
of or violence  against the democratic opposition".

Meanwhile in Luxembourg, the European Union (EU) has demanded
that Burmese military authorities release the 500 pro-democracy
activists detained in recent days and resume talks with the

Foreign ministers from the 15 EU nations issued a statement
calling for the "immediate and unconditional release" of all
The EU said that Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD)
should be allowed to resume normal activities.

However, the EU stopped short of threatening retaliation if
Burmese authorities fail to free the prisoners.

Reuter reported that President Ramos told his weekly news
conference that there was  still a consensus among Asean foreign
ministers that the seven-nation group should eventually admit
Burma if it makes progress on trade and political reforms. But
Asean might review its policy, he said.

"The Asean leaders will have their summit in late November 1996
and maybe the matter can be reviewed at that stage," Ramos said,
"but we're leaving this to the Burmese themselves to correct or
to improve upon."

He was responding to a question on whether Rangoon's latest
crackdown on NLD followers could compel Asean to think twice
about its policy on Burma.

Asean's policy of constructive engagement toward Burma calls for
quiet persuasion rather than confrontation to bring about
democratic reforms.

The group - comprising Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, the
Philippines, Thailand, Brunei and Vietnam - has resisted pressure
from the United States and other Western governments to adopt a
tougher stance.

The Asean consensus to admit Burma into Asean in due time,
meaning following the step-by-step accession process, still
goes," Ramos said. In the meantime, the expectation that Burma
will also f If the standards within Asean for liberalised trade,
a democratic system, [is] also there."
A senior Philippine diplomat said that the latest developments in
Rangoon could impair Burma's chances of early entry into Asean.
"It might delay Asean action on the application," said the
diplomat. "Membership is a political act, an exercise of policy,
and along this line any development which will intrude into this
policy will affect the membership issue."

The diplomat expects Asean to discuss events in Rangoon and
Burma's application for membership among its senior officials on
Oct 18 and Oct 19 in Kuala Lumpur.


October 3, 1996

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 (Reuter) - The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is
concerned about Burma's crackdown on democracy and next month will hold
talks on the touchy issue of admitting Rangoon as a member, Malaysia's
foreign minister said on Thursday.

But this did not necessarily mean that ASEAN would review its constructive
engagement policy with Burma -- which requires Rangoon's military government
to improve its human rights record -- or waiver from admitting Burma as a
member by 1997, Abdullah Badawi said.

"Myanmar's (Burma's) opportunity (to join ASEAN) is still there...it's not
closed," Abdullah told reporters after opening a two-day ASEAN officials'
meeting in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the group's activities for next year.
"But we need a full consensus, and may need a discussion at the informal
level," Abdullah said.

On Wednesday, Philippine President Fidel Ramos said ASEAN might review its
constructive engagement policy with Burma at the ASEAN summit in Jakarta in

Abdullah played down Ramos' statement and declined to say categorically if
ASEAN members were divided over allowing Burma into the grouping, which
comprises Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and
Thailand and Vietnam.
"We view what is happening in Burma with some concern and hope the
government of Burma will be able to deal with it in a manner acceptable to
all," Abdullah said.

"But it's too early to decide on Burma's membership as they only sent in
their application in August. Thailand is also unable to give its decision
now as it is forming a new government," Abdullah said.

He said the informal meeting could be held before the Jakarta summit.
Burma's joining ASEAN is part of a plan to expand it into a 10-member
association, with Laos and Cambodia to follow.


October3, 1996
By Deborah Charles

RANGOON, Oct 3 (Reuter) - Tension between Burma's military government and
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi reached a peak this week, but diplomatic
analysts said on Thursday that the standoff was unlikely to result in her

Although diplomats agreed that tension had mounted with the government's
latest crackdown -- among the toughest since it seized power in 1988 -- and
Suu Kyi's outspoken criticism of the regime's actions, no one expected her
to be arrested again.

Suu Kyi, who won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent efforts to
bring democracy to Burma, lived under house arrest for six years for
outspoken attacks on the military.

"Nobody wants to see her arrested, not even the SLORC," said one diplomat,
referring to the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council. "It would
elevate her to martyr status."

In a move to prevent a three-day meeting of pro-democracy politicians, the
government arrested up to 800 members or supporters of Suu Kyi's National
League for Democracy (NLD) and set up armed barricades to prevent access to
her house, where the congress was to be held.

SLORC said it only detained 573 activists for questioning to prevent unrest
that could have resulted from the September 27-29 meeting. Suu Kyi said the
number was closer to 800.

After being muzzled for five days due to the barricades and the loss of her
telephone line, Suu Kyi slipped by the blockades to hold a news conference
on Wednesday where she lashed out at the government and vowed to continue
fighting for democracy.

Diplomats say the SLORC's latest crackdown could not have come at a better
time for Suu Kyi, who has been struggling the past few months to breathe
life into her democracy movement and convince the world that the NLD had not
been marginalised.

"It was a gift," one diplomat said. "The NLD was looking pretty directionless."
Many diplomats and analysts have said the NLD was losing support due to
effective intimidation tactics by the SLORC. They also said the party lacked
clear cut policies and plans.

Suu Kyi chided people for saying support for her party was flagging.
"Do you think it is not enough that so many people get themselves arrested?
What do you want us to do? You want us to die out on the streets?" she asked.
"It is very irresponsible...that people wait to see blood on the street and
violence before they can accept that something is very, very wrong," she said.

But Suu Kyi admitted the government's latest moves have been a help to the
democracy movement.

"What has happened over the last week has been a great help to us," she
said. "People are fed up with this kind of stupid behaviour and the
international community agrees now the SLORC is getting worse, not better."

The arrests came as the U.S. Congress debated a sanctions bill against Burma
and at the beginning of the United Nations General Assembly, which regularly
issues a statement condemning Burma's military government for human rights

The crackdown also came at a time of sensitive regional negotiations, as
Burma seeks early entry into the seven-member Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN).

Diplomats said the strong attacks made by Suu Kyi at her news conference on
Wednesday and the SLORC's tough comments about her earlier this week show
neither side is willing to budge from their positions, and that progress
toward democracy was not expected to come soon.

"Neither side gave us much comfort or encouragement that there would be room
for negotiations. Neither side will give concessions," a diplomat said.

"It's all short-term positioning. But the question is what is going to
happen in the long run?"  


October 3, 1996

We appreciate your effort to liberate Burma.
We are interested in your October Fast Campaign.
This morning at the "demonstration against the massive crack-down
in Burma" I announced your campaign to the "Western border-based
pro-democracy group" in New Delhi.

So far I got the following list of activists who will join the Fast.

U Mya Nyo (NLD/LA)
Salai Aung Dun (Chin Students Union)
Zakhar ((Chin National Council)
Phwe Kyone (Chin National Council)
U Nan Oo (Monk)
U Myint Aung (Monk)
Dr. Ro Dinga (NLD/LA)
Nanda Tint Se (Burma Library)
Daw Mya Mya Aye (Women Rights & Welfare Asso., Burma)
U Nyunt Hla (Comm. for Non-violent Action in Burma)
Aung Myint Kyaw (NLD/LA)

If the FBC has definite program for the Fast, please let us know e.g. to
stage in a group at a separate venue etc.



October 3, 1996

Hundreds of heavily armed troops manned roadblocks on University
Avenue because SLORC is bankrupt and is afraid of nation-wide
riots precipitated by soaring rice and petrol prices. Recently
SLORC defaulted on $30 million in oil payments and Mit sui
announced suspension of future oil deliveries to Burma. Petrol
prices in Rangoon jumped from 200 kyats per gallon to 500 kyats
per gallon. Rice prices also have gone through the roof because
Burma is having a very poor harvest. I have also been privately
informed by foreign investors that they have suspended $1,000
million in announced investments in Burma because of lack of
progress on a political settlement in Burma.

SLORC is refusing to transfer power not for political reasons but
for economic reasons. Corruption has made them filthy rich and
they are very reluctant to give up those corrupt practices.
General Chavalit, SLORC's "best friend", in 1988 announced that
Thailand will teach democracy to the SLORC generals. Instead the
SLORC generals learned corruption from the Thai politicians. The
best example of this behaviour is described in the Bangkok Post
article of September 14, 1996. Thai officials fear rise in
criminal activities because of construction of  two casinos near
the border. A company owned by a Chart Thai  MP is building one
casino. Another is being built  by Zam suen, the third son of
drug war lord Khun Sa.

When Khun Sa cut his sweetheart deal with SLORC, he announced
that he will name four Thai politicians who were also his
business partners. Subsequent to that threat, the Thai government
gave a $150 million loan to SLORC to prevent Khun Sa from
disclosing embarrassing information. The $150 million loan is the
same thing as a gift since SLORC does not have the ability to
repay the loan. Extending this $150 million loan to SLORC is a
very clear case of economic mis-management by the Thai

1,500 Burma Army officers (many of them captains and majors) and
soldiers were killed or injured in battles with drug war lord
Khun Sa. Yet SLORC negotiated a political settlement with Khun Sa
and now treats him-like a visiting head of state. This is
becoming clear to the young majors and captains that they have
been used and abused by the SLORC generals. These young captains
and majors-will do their duty when the need arises.

Myint Thein 
Dallas, Texas


October 3, 1996

WASHINGTON - Disappointed by the legislative defeat of tough
federal sanctions against Burma, a tiny suburb north of the US
capital is taking matters into its own small, globally oriented

Takoma Park, Maryland (population 17,000) - which had imposed
sanctions against South Africa, declared itself a nuclear-free
zone, and granted illegal aliens voting rights in the past - is
expected this month to ban city contracts with firms that do
business in Burma.

And while the provision enjoys broad support among residents of
this white-collar suburb it has prompted a small-scale replay of
the debate_sanctions that nearly  passed the US Senate in July.
"We want to have an effect on multinationals, but we don't want
to hurt our neighbour with a Texaco franchise," said Bruce
Williams, a member of the city council and sponsor of the
legislation. "We'd like to get the franchisees' support."

Williams said the provision, which aims to protest at human
rights abuses by the Burmese junta, has also prompted residents
to question  why Burma?" when plenty of other governments - from
sub-Saharan Africa to the Caribbean - commit similar abuses. But
a small group of Burmese-born residents, including students
forced to flee the country after a violent military crackdown in
1988, weighed in with what could be decisive support for the
Asked how Takoma Park came to add Burmese democracy to its list
of left-leaning causes, Williams said, "This one came to us
because we have Burmese students who were there, who had to leave
the country to go to school here."

Conversely, Republican Sen Mitch McConnell attributed the recent
failure of his sweeping anti-Burma  sanctions to the small number
of ethnic Burmese Americans, which community leaders estimate at
several thousand.
A bigger bloc would have eased passage of the measure, he
suggested. It was, after all, only when apartheid became a
domestic civil rights issue for African-Americans - who make up
17 per cent of the US population - that the US Congress  passed
sanctions against South Africa in the 1980s. 
That could yet prove irrelevant, said Simon Billenness, a
Boston-based investment analyst working to foment a growing
anti-Burma student movement and exert shareholder pressure on
companies to pull out of Burma.
"We don't need a movement as big as the South Africa campaign, "
said Billenness. "I see this issue appealing to young Asian
Americans across the board, anyway," though they trace their
roots to other Asian countries, he said. The Takoma Park City
Council must conduct two readings of the legislation before it
can become law, said deputy city clerk Tom Espinoza. 
They are scheduled for October 14 October 28, after which "if
everything goes OK, it would become part of city law," he said,
adding that the sanctions " do have broad support in the council
and the city." 
How many existing contracts would be affected is unclear,
Williams said, predicting that the sanctions would make their
biggest impact on how the town spends several thousand dollars
annually on police radios.
The non-profit, Washington-based Investor Responsibility Research
Centre in August listed 20 US and 130 foreign companies as having
employees or direct investment in Burma.
And that's enough to keep Takoma Park or any of the half-dozen US
cities and one state that have passed "selective purchasing "
laws from signing any contracts with those firms.


September 30, 1996

[Translated Text] Citing poor health, U Ngint Tang
of the National League for Democracy [NLD], a member of the
People's Assembly in Tiddim Township Constituency-1, Chin
State, elected during the multiparty democratic general
elections, has submitted his resignation of his own volition
in order to withdraw as an elected representative. The
Multiparty Democratic General Election Commission has
accepted his resignation, effective today, in accordance
with Section 11, Subsection E of the People's Assembly Election Law. 

Similarly, citing his family's health problems, U Zaw
Win of the NLD, an elected member of the People's Assembly
in Ayadaw Township Constituency-1, Sagaing Division, elected
during the multiparty democratic general elections, has
submitted his resignation of his own volition in order to
withdraw as an elected representative. The Multiparty
Democratic General Election Commission has accepted his
resignation, effective today, in accordance with Section 11,
Subsection E of the People's Assembly Election Law.