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BurmaNet News: October 15, 1996

"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: October 15, 1996
Issue #542


October 15, 1996

Dear BurmaNet Readers:

The BurmaNet News would like to begin including websites with Burma=20
info in our resource section which we post at the bottom of the BurmaNet=20
News once or twice a week. =20

We would appreciate it if you could send any useful website addresses along
with a brief description - a line or two will do.

Please send this info to strider@xxxxxxxxxxx

Thanks in advance,
BurmaNet Editor


October 14, 1996
Nussara Sawatsawang=20

Top officials to discuss Burma request.
But will not try to set time-frame for eventual membership

Senior Asean officials will meet in Malaysia on Friday to discuss how they
should respond to Burma's request to advance its timetable for integration
into the seven-member grouping from 2000 to next year.

Burma, which currently holds an observer status, is the high point of the
two-day talks during which officials will discuss how to prepare the
military-ruled country for eventual membership of Asean, but the meeting
wouldn't try to set a timeframe for Rangoon's acceptance as a full member, =
Foreign Ministry source said.

The meeting will evaluate Burma's readiness and seek to establish condition=
which Rangoon has to ensure are in place before it can be accepted as a
member, an Asean source said.

Permanent Secretary Saroj Chavanaviraj will represent Thailand at the meeti=

Other issues on agenda include the evaluation of progress made by Cambodia
and Laos, the Asia-Europe Summit, a plan to streamline the procedures for
the grouping's annual talks, the Mekong development projects and Asean's
quest for a nuclear weapons free zone treaty.

Asean - the Association of Southeast Asian Nations - groups Brunei,
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Cambodia and Laos will join Asean next year.
Burma's request to advance its entry comes at a time when Rangoon is being
roundly criticised for human rights violations and crackdown on the Nationa=
League for Democracy party.

Asean foreign ministers, supported by the Philippines and Thailand, agreed
not to rush for an early entry of Burma and left it to their leaders to mak=
the final decision during the Asean Summit on November 30 in Jakarta.

Malaysia has been the chief advocate of Rangoon's early membership.

Earlier this month Philippine President Fidel Ramos said Asean's
constructive engagement policy with Burma might be reviewed as a result of
the latest reound of crackdown on the NLD, during which some 800 supporters
were arrested.

The most surprising shift came the way of Singapore last Wednesday when The
Straits Times questioned the Asean's policy towards Burma in the wake of th=
latest military crackdown on civilians.

A Bangkok-based diplomat interpreted the comment as a policy shift on the
part of the Singapore government.

The editorial said the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council
(Slorc) has to "show results in its constitutional manoeuvres," otherwise
Asean "will feel under increasing pressure...to reassess Its policy of
constructive engagement.

"It would be foolish to pretend that ASEAN can, or should, continue to
remain non-judgmental when the national reconciliation in Myanmar (Burma),
which the grouping's benign, hands-off policy is meant to encourage, remain=

The editorial urged the Slorc to respect the outcome of the 1990 general
election when the NLD won by a landslide, and bring the party back into the
constitution-drafting process.

"As much as investments from Asean countries and the West have brought a
noticeable change among the people from the poverty and listlessness of old=
the Slorc authorities have to reciprocate by moving more purposefully to
engender political pluralism," the editorial said.

"A way has to be found for the Slorc to have the NLD brought back into the
constitutional process; its huge 1990 election win demands that," it added.

Singapore has normally kept quiet on this sensitive issue because the islan=
state ranks top among foreign investors in Burma, the diplomat said.

In New  York, Burmese Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw defended his country's
position on human rights by calling on the international community to take =
more "holistic approach" on the question.

Human rights should depend on national and regional priorities under
historical, cultural and religious backgrounds, he said in a speech
delivered at the United Nations General Assembly.

"In Myanmar (Burma) and other developing countries poverty remains an
effective obstacle to the full enjoyment of those rights," he said.

"For this reason, we are redoubling our efforts to ensure the right to
development of our peoples so that they can be delivered from the clutches
of poverty."

Contact the Bangkok Post   -- webmaster@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx=20


October 14, 1996

World Wide 54 hrs Hunger Strike staged by pro-democracy activists
based in New Delhi was completed in the evening of Oct 10, 1996.

In the end of the fast, participants were treated with boiled
rice. Today eminent speakers, who came to express their
solidarity to the participants were Mr. George Fernandes, the
president of Samata Party and an honourable member of Parliament
and Ms. Jaya Jaitly, the General Secrtary of Samata Party and a
founder member of Friends of Burma.

The participants also sent a memoradum to the Honorable Prime
Minister of the Government of India.

Today we displayed more placards protesting against the visiting
deputy minister from Health from SLORC, Col. Thant Zin who came
to attend the International Conference on Leprosy in New Delhi.

Reported by
Ko Myat Thu(ABSL)
Information Section
Hunger Strike Committee


October 14, 1996
RANGOON, Oct 14 (Reuter) - A senior Burmese military official said the
government will launch tough internal security measures beginning on
Tuesday, official media reported.

"Serious action will be taken concerning security beginning October 15,"
Lieutenant-General Tin Oo, a member of the ruling State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC), was reported on Monday as saying in a speech.
He did not explain why October 15 was chosen to begin the tougher measures,
but he said crime had been on the rise lately.

"At a time when all-out efforts are being made to develop and modernise the
nation, internal axe-handles (traitors) are attempting to destabilise the
nation through various means to coincide with Visit Myanmar (Burma) Year,"
he said.

Visit Myanmar Year is Burma's official tourism campaign that begins in Nove=

"Unscrupulous persons have committed crimes such as theft...intimidation an=
robberies recently, posing a threat to the public security," said Tin Oo,
who is also Army Chief of Staff.

SLORC recently launched a new crackdown on the democracy movement, led by
Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The government arrested 573
activists, who were later released, and blocked off roads for 12 days to
prevent a September 27-29 meeting of her National League for Democracy from
taking place.

The government said the moves were taken to avoid unrest. SLORC also set up
roadblocks around Suu Kyi's house from early on Saturday to prevent her fro=
giving regular weekend speeches to supporters outside her front gates.

The roadblocks were still manned by heavily armed security police on Monday=
Government officials said they were in place to prevent the talks from
becoming a flashpoint for any disturbances. =20


October 18, 1996

The debate Slorc has left fissures in Southeast Asia's policy consensus

By Susan Berfield

LISTEN carefully and its not difficult to hear the sound of Asean's
cherished consensus creaking under pressure. The source of the tension is a=
oh-so-restrained, but increasingly public debate about admitting Myanmar
into the Southeast Asian group next year. The issue came to a head Sept 27
when Asean foreign minister gathered in New York to attend the opening of
the current United Nations General Assembly session; for the first time the=
discussed Yangon's membership bid. It was hardly the most auspicious moment=
Myanmar's ruling junta was in the midst of detaining at least 550 democracy
activists and temporarily barricading the home of the country's leading
dissident, Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Philippines and Thailand cautioned against rushing Yangon into their
fold, later Malaysia and Indonesia continued against waiting. That helped
bring into the open the type of inter-Asean debate that traditionally gets
settled behind closed doors. More than Myanmar policy and Asean consensus
are on the table. Philippine President Fidel Ramos even questioned Asean's
"constructive engagement" strategy - the notion that building up relations
and toning down public criticism will eventually lead to more open
governance and freer trade. Romos said that Asean may have to "review the
matter" at an informal summit in Jakarta Nov 30.

No one doubts Myanmar will eventually join Asean. The goal is a 10-member
group that links Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar to Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and newly admitted Vietnam. The question i=
one of timing. Some worry that making Myanmar a family member next year wil=
bring Asean into disrepute. The UN General Assembly is soon expected to pas=
a tough resolution calling for the end to human rights abuses in Myanmar,
the release of political detainess and the opening of a dialogue between Su=
Kyi and Slorc. Says Lim Kit Siang, head of Malaysia's Democratic Action
Party: "There has been a regression in political reforms, and that gives th=
whole constructive engagement policy a bad name."

Under pressure from Philippine critics of the junta, known as Slorc, Ramos
spoke out at a weekly press conference on Oct 2. "The Asean consensus to
admit Burma (Myanmar) into Asean, in due time, still goes," the president
said. But in the meantime, the expectations that Burma will also fulfill th=
standards within Asean for liberalised trade and a democratic system are
also there." And unfulfilled. "Manila is not happy," says the more blunt
Ernesto Maceda, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations  Committee. "We
want to make the Myanmar government feel that we are not happy about their
policies. Based on that, it is not yet time to accept the country into Asea=

What's the hurry? Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad has said he
wants to establish the Asean 10 by 1997 - the group's 30th anniversary and
the year Kuala Lumpur serves as chairman. Malaysia treated top Slorc men t =
state visit in August; soon after Myanmar made clear it would like to join
the group. "I think the (constructive engagement) policy is a good policy,"
Mahathir said last week. "I see evidence that it has caused a change in
Myanmar. Today the government has expressed an interest in improving the
living conditions of its people."

For his part, Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas, who was visiting Kual=
Lumpur, dismissed doubts about Myanmar's fitness for Asean membership.
"Asean," he said. "Should not be looking at the internal situation o a
particular country." But a senior Thai official, who acknowledges that a
large rift has developed among Asean leaders, is skeptical that Malaysia an=
Indonesia will insist Yangon be admitted in 1997. "The Malaysians will have
to think about not pushing this because that prestige of the Asean
chairmanship is at stake," he says.

Laos and Cambodia are more certain to become members next year; the former
has been an Asean observer since 1992, the latter since 1995. But when
Myanmar applied for membership in August, just one month after becoming an
observer, not all were happy to see matters move so quickly. "Several of us
felt that perhaps the speed was a little too fast," Philippine Foreign
Secretary Domingo Siazon told Asiaweek. Adds a senior official in Siazon's
department: "There really should be a two-or-three-year transition period
for  Myanmar."

Others would wait even longer. "Why do we need with a non-elected military
regime in order to uplift that country socially sand economically?" asks Fa=
Yew Teng, a former Malaysian MP. "We can do it (when the country has) a dut=
elected government." But the absence of a popularly elected government is
not necessarily to stumbling block to becoming an Asean member.
Communist-led Vietnam, which joined last year, makes no pretense of
preparing for popular elections. Brunei id ruled an absolute monarch.

But in Myanmar, the junta's rule was supposed to be temporary. It held
elections in 1990 in which Suu Kyi's NLD won 80% of the vote. Then the
generals ignored the results. Six years later they still promise a gradual
transition to "multi-party democracy" - while they round up NLD supporters
each time Suu Kyi calls a party congress. Last week the junta closed NLD
offices around the nation and hinted it would ban the party altogether.

Outside of Asean, there is far more consensus on how to deal with Slorc. Th=
Clinton administration, for instance, recently banned Myanmar leaders from
entering the US. Slorc, however, has shown pressure, blatant or otherwise.
But after the military removed the barricades from around her home later
last week, Suu Kyi said: "The past 10 days have shown that Slorc is
extremely nervous about the political situation here." Hearing the recent
murmurs emanating from Asean, it sounds like the junta's generals may not b=
the only ones anxious about developments in the country.

Reported by Dominic Faulder/Bangkok. Antonio Lopez/Manila and Roger
Mitton/Kuala Lumpur. (AW)


October 13, 1996

Visit Myanmar Year officially kicks off this month, but Aung San Suu Kyi,
the country's leading dissident, doesn't want visitors. Should we stay or
should we go?=20

RANGOON - If you're one who believes in visiting Myanmar, the former Burma,
you may or may not be up - to - date on the fatal repression, the global
heroin trade and the strange stranded - in - the - '50s atmosphere here. Bu=
either way, your most visible enticement to this Southeast Asia country is
probably the tower that stands gleaming on a hill above Rangoon.=20

The 100-meter-high spire of the Shwedagon Pagoda is layered with tons of
gold and thousands of jewels, a 76 carat diamond on top, surrounded by a
riot of red and yellow paint, dragons and elephants in effigy, steeply
pitched ornament - heavy roofs and smoldering incense.=20

>From dawn to dusk, workaday Myanmarese and red - robed monks circle the
2,500 - year - old site, their faces cooled and protected from the sun's
rays by a yellowish paste that is a derivative of tree bark. They nod to
tourists, acquiesce to photos, kneel to meditate, reach to place a drooping
blossom in a cup beneath a holy figure.=20

The British author W. Somerset Maugham wrote that the pagoda stood out "lik=
a sudden hope in the dark night of the soul. "=20

One can take it as a symbol of Myanmarese spiritual resilience despite
tyranny and poverty, as many American visitors do, or one can take it merel=
as a pretty picture, as Myanmar's nonelected military junta, the State Law
and Order  Restoration Council, or SLORC, would probably prefer.=20

In any event, the pagoda sells well. And the SLORC, eager to silence human
rights activists calling for a tourism boycott of the country, is looking
for more customers.=20

Over the past year, even as political pressures have led several
international corporations to scale back their investment, Myanmar's leader=
have stepped up a ferocious campaign to lure Western tourists - and their
hard currency. That campaign is accelerating this month with the official
start of "Visit Myanmar Year."=20

The tourism campaign may pique the interest of adventurers who have heard o=
Myanmar as a gorgeous, exotic land that once, along with India, was a colon=
of the British and has been isolated for more than 30 years. But the case o=
Myanmar raises a nagging question for modern-day travelers Is my vacation a
political act?=20

Many travelers, and most of those who make their living from tourism, argue
that a tourist can't be blamed for all doings in their destinations, or no
one would ever leave home.=20

Under that philosophy, crossing borders may put some money in the pockets o=
objectionable leaders but stands as a chance to communicate the ideals of
democracy and perhaps spread some wealth among strangers living in need.=20

Visiting Myanmar "is not appropriate," says Kyaw Tint, who fled the country
in 1985 and now lives in Alhambra, Calif.=20

"All the facilities - the roads, the hotels and almost all the
infrastructure used by tourists=97are built by forced labor or foreign
workers," he says.=20

"Almost all of these hotels where tourists are going to stay are owned by
the military or their families. If you go, the military is going to get
profits. And if they have more money, they are going to make more oppressio=

Yet by some measures, the "Visit Myanmar" campaign is a success already.=20

Several large, upscale American travel companies have begun bringing
travelers into Myanmar, including Abercrombie & Kent International,
Classical Cruises & Tours, Geographic Expeditions, Butterfield & Robinson,
Mountain Travel-Sobek and Radisson-Seven Seas Cruises. Stressing that they
put as little money as possible into the government's pockets, those
companies report a small but growing number of bookings from adventurous
American travelers.=20

Myanmarese government officials say tourist arrivals have grown to more tha=
60,000 in 1994 from fewer than 10,000 in 1989 - the year after troops opene=
fire in the streets of Rangoon, killing an estimated 3,000 pro - democracy
demonstrators and bystanders.=20
Those travelers who reach Myanmar find a world unto itself.=20

As tourists arrive on a sunny Saturday outside the monstrous concrete red
and yellow Karaweik restaurant, designed to resemble a hulking royal barge
on Rangoon's Kandawgyi Lake, a mysterious fellow appears, wearing a Tourism
Department badge and wielding a video camera. He tapes the foreigners, then

On a muggy afternoon in the rural outskirts of Rangoon, amid the buzz of
mosquitoes and the smell of cows and chickens, a group of foreigners gets
off a bus, expecting a glass factory but finding instead a sort of junkyard
path strewn with dust-coated glassware from years past.=20

Inside a broad barn, they find a crew of shyly smiling workers standing in
the blasting heat of a furnace; prodding, turning and blowing orange ingots
of molten glass.=20

The cooled, hardened results of their work are spread on a table, including
dozens of egg-size art pieces, twinkling with blue and green hues and
suspended bubbles. These nuggets are the kind one finds in the elegantly
lighted shop windows of upscale American resorts for $40 apiece.=20

"A year ago, the price was about 5 cents each," proprietor Myat - Aywe
confesses in halting English. Now that more foreigners have come, he says,
"it's 50 cents. Half a dollar. Still not too high."=20

The most affluent visitors stay at the teak - lined, 95 - year - old, $300 =
a - night Strand Hotel, once the refuge of old colonials, now restored and
run by the Amanresorts luxury chain.=20

Others choose a cruise on a newly refurbished 128 - berth luxury ship, The
Road to Mandalay, that since December has plied the Irrawaddy River between
Mandalay and Pagan under the operation of Orient - Express Hotels. With two
cruises weekly scheduled from September through May, and prices beginning a=
$1,500 per person for a three-night cruise, the company forecasts about
4,000 passengers this year.=20

"Generally, Myanmar people are quite content," a government tour guide
announces to a busload of Americans as they head toward the waterfront.=20

One American asks if the bus can make a detour past the home of Aung San Su=
Kyi, the leader of anti - government dissenters. The guide and driver ignor=
the request. Another American asks how many people died in the 1988 unrest.=

"Nobody knows," says the guide.=20

Alistair Ballantine, president of Abercrombie & Kent, an American travel
company that brings high - end tours into the country, has suggested that
"being exposed to the political aspects of day - to day life in Myanmar . .
 . turns ordinary travelers into advocates for a cause. They return home as
goodwill ambassadors, bringing pressure to bear on their own governments to
facilitate change."=20

But Carol Richards, an independent anthropologist who is cofounder of the
Santa Monica - based Burma Forum, asserts that there really is no free
communication between the Myanmarese and tourists because "it's very risky
for a common person to speak with foreigners, and many tourists don't
realize that."=20

In an armchair tour of Myanmar's unromantic realities, the first stop would
be just a few kilometers northwest of the Shwedagon Pagoda, on University

There, under constant surveillance stands the home of Suu Kyi, 51, winner o=
the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize. In that home she endured house arrest for six
years. Since her formal release in 1995, Suu Kyi has delivered regular
anti-SLORC speeches here, sometimes with American tourists in her front-yar=

But in recent interviews, she has denounced casual tourism to her country a=
"tantamount to supporting authoritarianism in Burma" and thrown her support
behind the effort - much of it circulating around the world via the Interne=
- to keep tourists away during Visit Myanmar Year.=20

Next stop on the anti - itinerary might be the forests along Myanmar's
western and eastern borders. There, poppy-planting drug lords produced an
estimated 220 tons of heroin last year, which the U.S. State Department say=
makes Myanmar the world leader in opium and heroin production.=20

The surrender to the SLORC early this year of the person said to have been
the region's most productive drug lord, Khun Sa, has done little to stem th=
tide, according to Western drug enforcement officers.=20

Stop three: perhaps a prison somewhere up the Irrawaddy, where SLORC has
jailed two comedians whose crime was making jokes about the government on
Independence Day, Jan. 4. Amnesty International estimates the country's
political prisoners at more than 1,000, which doesn't count most of the 300
dissidents arrested and released in a May crackdown.=20

Following that action, on May 23, the U.S. State Department cited "the
potential for violence" and recommended "that U.S. citizens exercise all du=
caution in traveling in Burma and consider curtailing nonessential travel t=
Burma for the time being."=20

Still, for a Westerner who sees a benefit to crossing lines, curiosity can
be stronger than repulsion.=20

Along the alleys between Bogyoke Aung San and Anawrahta streets, travelers
browse among booksellers who stack their wares on the sidewalk, the
inventory running to Paul Erdman ("The Crash of '79"), Thomas Hardy ("Tess
of the D'Urbervilles"), a few Tom Clancy offerings and many romances. A
Lands' End catalog is also for sale. English - language books are so prized
that an entire cottage industry has risen in improvising cardboard bindings
to lengthen these volumes' lives.=20

Downtown in the Bogyoke Aung San Market, where locals gather to gossip and
sip tea, visitors wander through a cavernous market area stuffed full of
lacquerware puppets, jewelry of varied quality and cheap T-shirts.
Hand-carved teak picture frames fetch $9.=20

In the dim bar of the Strand Hotel, meanwhile, a Mandalay beer goes for $4.
Rarely filled with more than five or so expatriates and visiting tourists,
the freshly mopped marble floor is often empty of customers and a melanchol=
clarinet - guitar - piano trio is at work. With a ceiling fan slowly
circling overhead and colonial ghosts of Maugham and Rudyard Kipling
floating just out of view, the players struggle through "Love Me Tender" an=
"Blue Moon," waiting for those Westerners their government wants so badly t=


October 13, 1996
Associated Press

LONDON - An international organisation prompting free speech has accused
Burma's military regime of systematically cutting off the telephone of
dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi to prevent her from communicating with th=
outside world.

"As a result, she is again being made virtually a prisoner in her own home
and people abroad, as well as those within the country who can pick up
international broadcasts, are being denied access to her views," said
Frances D'Souza, executive director of Article 19. Which campaigns against

Describing the junta's action as an "outrageous interference" in the Nobel
Peace Prize winner's fundamental human rights, Article 19 called for urgent
international action to restore her freedom of expression.

"Even thought it has been constantly tapped, in direct violation of her
right to privacy, the telephone has been Suu Kyi's main lifeline the outsid=
world," D'Souza said.

The junta has chipped away at Suu Kyi's organisation in recent months. Mass
arrests and the sentencing of scores of members to long prison  terms have
restricted her freedom to maneuver and organise. Suu Kyi's supporters
overwhelmingly won democratic elections in 1990 but the regime never
honoured the victory or allowed parliament to convene. She spent six years
under house arrest.

Since she was freed in 1995, the government has refused to enter a dialogue
with her. She said the crackdown indicated the regime was growing nervous.

The military has ruled Burma since 1962. The current regime came to power i=
1988, bloodily suppressing street protests against the dictatorship while
Suu Kyi emerged as leader of the democratic movement. (TN)


October 14, 1996

The Belgian Brewery group Interbrew decided to stop all export
to Burma. Via Pokka, A Japanese company based in Singapore, Interbrew
exported the Canadian produced Labatt Ice Beer to Burma. The efforts of the
Canadian Friends of Burma, Burma Centre Netherlands (BCN)and KWIA brought
the Interbrew management to this wise decision.

Text of Interbrew's press release (unofficial translation from Dutch):

Interbrew demands its independent distributors to stop sale to Burma

Leuven, 14 october 1996 - Interbrew, the Belgian brewery group, affirms
neither to have investements, neither to have plans to do so in Burma (Myan=

There is no direct sale of Interbrew products to this country. Interbrew ha=
no plans at all to set up any selling organization or distribution network.

Interbrew exports her products to 80 countries, mostly by means of
independent distributors. So Interbrew has demanded her independent
distributors in the region to stop all possible sales to Burma.

By this way Interbrew takes her responsibility as a good international citi=

(Interbrew, a family company, is one of the market leaders in the world of
beer and has settlements in Belgium, Canada, the United States, Netherlands=
France, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Interbrew has join=
ventures in the USA, the Dominican Republic, China, the Philippines and
Luxembourg and has a minority participation in the Mexican brewery Femsa.
Interbrew also exports her products to more than 80 countries via direct
sale, participations and licences for Stella Artois and Labbat In England,
Italy, Sweden, Ivory Coast and Canada)

For more information, you can contact Interbrew, Gerard Fauchey
(32)(0)16/24.73.99 (end press release)

KWIA Steungroep Inheemse Volkeren - KWIA Supportgroup for Indigenous people=
- KWIA Grupo de Apoyo para los Pueblos Indigenas
Breughelstraat 31-33, 2018 Antwerpen, BELGIUM
Tel. 32-3-2188488
Fax  32-3-2304540


October 14, 1996

The word from Washington is that President Clinton is not expected to ban
new US investment in Burma before the elections. Simply put, the President
wants to coast towards the election without making any changes to foreign

However, the worst mistake we could make right now is to stop sending
letters. Each letter or petition that the President makes it more likely
that the Administration will impose economic sanctions once the election is
over. Each letter will:

1. Impress on the Adminstration that there is grassroots political support
for sanctions
2. Empower those within the Administration who support sanctions on Burma
3. Make it more likely that the Administration will act quickly in response
to any further crackdown on the Burmese democracy movement
4. Encourage your US senators and representatives to support sanctions on
Burma (provided you send them a copy of your letter to Clinton)
5. Help neutralize pressure from the oil companies not to impose sanctions

AND, of course, if you have already written yourself, ask a friend, co-work=
or family member to write too.


If possible, send your letter using Express Mail, FedEx or another
guaranteed two-day or overnight service.  It gives your letter more impact.

A personal letter has more impact than a phone call, postcard or email=3D

Keep the tone direct but friendly...

First, specifically ask the President to implement the ban on new
investment in Burma outlined in the Burma sanctions law

Include a personal paragraph describing yourself and your interest in Burma=

Mention that you consider that the recent arrest of nearly 800 Burmese
democracy movement activists constitutes large-scale repression

Stress that the SLORC's recent release of some of those detained should
not cause the Administration to desist from imposing a ban on new US invest=

Stress Aung San Suu Kyi's support for economic sanctions on Burma

Reiterate your request for a ban on US investment in Burma and ask
President Clinton for a reply.

President William Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

For extra impact, please send copies of your letter to:

Ambassador Madeleine  K. Albright
US Mission to the United Nations
799 UN Plaza
New York, NY 10017
(212) 415 4050
(212) 415 4053 fax

Secretary Warren Christopher=09=09
Secretary of State=09=09=09
Department of State=09=09=09
2201 C Street, NW=09=09=09
Washington, DC 20520=09=09=09

National Security Advisor Anthony Lake
National Security Council
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Your US Senators and Representative

Thank you for writing.  Only *sustained* grassroots pressure will prompt th=
Administration to take action.

Free Burma!

Simon Billenness
Franklin Research & Development
711 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02111
(617) 423 6655
(617) 482 6179 fax


October 5, 1996 (SLORC Press)

Source: `Myanmar Alin', Rangoon, in Burmese 5 Oct 96 p 6
Excerpts from article by "Monsieur England-Returnee"=20

Madame Aris Suu Kyi makes quick moves in Myanmar [Burma] but her moves are
wrong, and that is not surprising, because she has the wrong attitude.

Madame Aris Suu Kyi, who lived in Myanmar till she was 13 years old, does
not know and understand much about Myanmar traditions and culture. The
adolescent Suu Kyi accompanied Amae Kyi [reference to Aung San Suu Kyi's
mother, Daw Khin Kyi] when she was sent to India as Burmese ambassador. At
first Suu Kyi studied in India but she later moved to England, where she
married Michael Aris, gave birth to her children, and was transformed from
Aung San Suu Kyi to Madame Aris Suu Kyi.=20

I am not blindly criticizing Madame Aris Suu Kyi, but that is the English
custom, and General Aung San's [father of Suu Kyi] name, historically
cherished by the Myanmar [Burmese] people, was replaced by the name of the
Englishman Michael Aris. If anybody wants confirmation they can ask the
person concerned.

Madame Aris Suu Kyi lived permanently in England. She was reserved and did
not involve herself much with the Myanmar community. The Myanmar community
in England formed the Myanmar Association... They celebrated prominent
Myanmar feasts and festivals at the Myanmar House sponsored by the Myanmar
embassy... The Myanmar people in London would never miss the show but you
rarely saw Madame Aris Suu Kyi at those functions because she stayed aloof
from the Myanmar community. I think that if only she had attended those
functions regularly, Madame Aris Suu Kyi would not have become an
Englishman's wife. In fact, Madame Suu Kyi was avoiding the Myanmar
community. The Myanmar community in England was close-knit, with the
ambassador acting as the chairman of the Myanmar Association. The
association started to crumble when the expatriates formed the CRDB
[Committee for Restoration of Democracy in Burma]...

Regarding the BBC Myanmar-language programme, all employees working there
are Myanmar citizens born and bred in Myanmar. One unusual thing is that
there is no one from the districts; all are from the elite society. While
their father was working with the [Myanmar] embassy, these citizens made
contact with the BBC, and when the father's tenure was over the children
stayed behind - although some joined the BBC through their own contacts. As
soon as they started working for the BBC they began to speak ill of Myanmar=
Since they will get promotion only if they exaggerate the news, they began
reading articles about Myanmar in the daily newspapers, presenting them and
obtaining approval from their English bosses and then began their slanderin=

I heard Madame Aris Suu Kyi blaring from the BBC airwaves, sometimes in
English, trying to prevent foreign countries from investing in Myanmar unti=
democracy is achieved; calling on powerful nations to impose economic
sanctions on Myanmar for lack of human rights; and encouraging foreign
tourists to refrain from visiting the country during Visit Myanmar Year 199=
Madame Aris Suu Kyi definitely thinks no end of herself. That is why she
made the remarks, which she should not have done. She is undermining the
status of Oxford University, which produces cultivated, intelligent
graduates and I am appalled to see that the administrators of Oxford
University have done nothing.

Where is the essence of democracy if Madame Aris Suu Kyi gains power throug=
international sanctions and does not practice what she preaches? Myanmar is
a sovereign and independent country and has the right and the capability to
create its own future. But if democracy is achieved only with assistance
from Michael Aris' relatives [a reference to the West], then such a
democracy will be only a sham democracy or a domineering one. Can Madame
contest that? If so, I would like to hear your argument at the weekend... I
would like to remind Madame Aris Suu Kyi, a former employee of the United
Nations, that you have the responsibility to observe the UN Charter and
should also refrain from using insulting words.
Don't bother wondering whether I am a SLORC [State Law and Order Restoratio=
Council] ally. I wrote this letter because I could not stand your assertion=
and your pushing the Myanmar people over the abyss. The moment you entered
the political stage with expatriate Htwe Myint as your mentor, I knew you
had made the wrong choice. Madame must have known expatriate Htwe Myint
while in England, because the Myanmar community there is small and everybod=
knows everybody. Although Madame stayed away from the Myanmar community,
everybody knows what Madame does. But I would like to let you know that the
silent masses will speak up and say what they know once Madame gains power.