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BurmaNet News: October 24, 1996

"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: October 24, 1996
Issue #550

Noted in Passing:

=09=09The students' unrest was mixed with politics on purpose to =09=09=09m=
ake the
matter worse, - excerpt from SLORC issued =09=09=09statement. (see: REUTERS=


October 23, 1996

Here is an update from sources in Rangoon:

During the day of October 23rd, there were no demonstrations in Rangoon,=20
but there may be a demonstration tonight.  50 military trucks were seen=20
entering Rangoon University campus, near the site of the recent=20
demonstrations, this afternoon. =20

The altercation that started the demonstrations broke out at a restaurant=
at a bus stop across from Mingaladon airport.  The students were from=20
Rangoon Institute of Technology  and were beaten by some "galon", an=20
auxiliary police force which usually goes after vendors who are selling=20
in illegal locations.  They wear tan uniforms and have lesser=20
responsibilities than the actual police force.  According to one=20
unconfirmed report, a military officer was also involved in the beatings. =

The students organized demonstrations protesting police brutality and=20
asking for an accurate report to be given in the official media.  They=20
have presented the SLORC with a list of 8 demands, 4 of which the SLORC=20
supposedly agreed to.  They are as follows:

1. The SLORC should not take any action against the demonstrators
2. Those who have been detained in connection with the incident must be rel=
3. Those who beat the students should be taken into custody
4. Accurate news reports of what happened must be put out by the SLORC

The SLORC has appointed the Deputy Minister for Education and the=20
Minister for Railways to meet with the students.  They asked to meet with=
the top five student leaders, but the students responded that they were=20
using a system of collective leadership and could not send 5 top leaders.

There is an UNCONFIRMED report that 1 student died from the beatings.

The SLORC media have put out 3 very different reports of the incident on=20
Myawaddy TV, Radio Myanmar, and in the newspapers.  The students are not=20
happy about this.

Some foreigners were seen videotaping the demonstrations.  It is not yet=20
known who they were or if anything has happened to them (i.e. if their=20
film has been confiscated as it was from journalists filming during the=20
September NLD Congress period).

Different student groups have been working together over the past couple=20
of days.  Whether the demonstrations will spread is not yet clear. =20
University lecturers were trying to encourage the students to go back to=20
the classroom, but the students replied that university degrees in Burma=20
today are useless and the lecturers themselves can't even make ends meet=20
on their meager salaries.

This incident is eerily similar to the incident in March, 1988 that lead=20
to the massive uprisings later that summer.  This time, the military=20
junta may be less likely to use guns to solve the problem, because the=20
international community is watching them much more closely than they were=
eight years ago.


October 23, 1996

RANGOON, Oct 23 (Reuter) - About 500 Burmese university students on
Wednesday staged a rare demonstration against the military government and
its handling of a recent scuffle involving students at a food shop,
witnesses said. The three-hour demonstration ended peacefully after teacher=
from the Yangon Institute of Technology (YIT) and education ministry
officials persuaded the students to disperse.

The government said on Wednesday they had not arrested any of the students
involved in the protest.  The students said they were protesting against th=
detention of three classmates who were involved in an argument at a food
stall on Sunday.  A similar quarrel at a tea shop in 1988 sparked nationwid=
outrage against the military government, leading to pro-democracy street
demonstrations that left thousands dead or in jail.  The students involved
in the protest said government-run television and radio broadcasts on
Tuesday night on the arrest of the three students were inaccurate and said
the police had manhandled those who were detained.

The demonstrators demanded an apology from the police within 48 hours and
said they wanted the government to broadcast a correct chronology of the
events leading to the detention and the release of students. The ruling
State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) issued a statement calling
the demands impossible, and said the students were trying to instigate unre=

"If we study the chronology of this incident, it can be found that a
restaurant quarrel was forged and diverted to become public unrest," said
the statement.

It accused the students of colluding with democracy leader Aung San Suu
Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party.  It said the students and
the politicians were trying to turn the quarrel into a bigger political iss=

"The students' unrest was mixed with politics on purpose to make the matter
worse," the statement said.

"Members of the security forces had to control the situation by taking a
preventative measure so as not to let peace be spoiled, and in order to
maintain community peace and tranquillity and the rule of law," it said.
No one from the group of demonstrating students or the NLD was immediately
available for comment.

(added AP)
On Wednesday night's 8 p.m. radio and television news broadcasts, a
brief report about Sunday's incident was read. It claimed the police
had not realized they were dealing with students. But the broadcast
made no mention of the students being beaten.=20

In response, some 300 to 400 students returned to the intersection at
about 9:30 p.m. to repeat their demand that the beating incident be
fully and truthfully reported. At about 11:30 p.m., they were joined
by up to 200 students from Rangoon University's Institute of Economics.=20

The students, who appeared well disciplined, sat down and chanted slogans.=

They insisted they only wanted the truth about the incident to be
told, and said their main demand was ``the peaceful pursuit of


October 23, 1996 (abridged)

In its 13.00 GMT news bulletin, the BBC World Service
developed its previous reports on the arrest of U Kyi Maung
and the student demonstration.
NA: "Is there any truth in the authorities' claim that the NLD
was trying to piggyback the student demonstration?"
IS: "I don't think it's true that the NLD was trying to
piggyback the demonstration. What may be true is that the
students were talking to some people in the NLD to try to
involve them. It's not absolutely clear what happened, but
there were rumors in Rangoon this morning that what had
happened was that the students had actually tried to get to
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's house and have a meeting with her last
night, and that the Military Intelligence and the police had
prevented them from getting there and had reimposed the
roadblocks on the street outside her house in University
Avenue, and the roadblocks this morning were certainly still there.
"The interesting thing about this I think is that the students
held a public protest in the first place; because that's a
fairly rare event in Rangoon, and the fact that they were able
and willing to protest in public against what they say is
police brutality, a direct protest against the authorities, is
a very brave and possibly dangerous move."
NA: "What's the situation like in Rangoon at the moment,
because we keep seeing increases in tension, decreases in
tension, almost as if the two parties were uncertain of each
other's strength?"
IS: "I think the tension is very much there; the only increase
and decrease really is in the number of arrests and the number
of detentions. The tension is there all the time, particularly
for ordinary people living in the city. They try to go about
their daily business, but when something like this happens,
when the students are faced with direct police action against
them, then they take the matter into their own hands; they
stage the demonstrations, and really they are then at risk,
because in the past when demonstrations like this have
happened, the authorities have cracked down very brutally on them."=20


October 23, 1996
RANGOON, Oct 23 (Reuter) - One of the top officials in Aung San Suu Kyi's
National League for Democracy (NLD) party was picked up for questioning by
Burma's military government, diplomats and party sources said on Wednesday.
Kyi Maung, the deputy chairman of the NLD and one of Suu Kyi's closest
confidants, was detained for questioning by the ruling State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC) on Tuesday.

No one from Kyi Maung's family could be immediately reached to say if he ha=
been released, but diplomats said they heard he was still being questioned.
SLORC officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

Kyi Maung, 75, was in Rangoon's infamous Insein Prison from 1990 to 1995 fo=
his role in the democracy movement.=20

(added BBC) The BBC reported that U Kyi Maung, Deputy Chairman of the NLD,
was arrested and taken to Insein Jail.

The SLORC on Wednesday accused him of colluding with some students involved
in an early-morning protest. They said he was helping politicize a scuffle
between students and restaurant owners and trying to create unrest by
staging a protest.

About 500 Burmese university students on Wednesday staged a rare
demonstration against the military government and its detention of three
classmates involved in the scuffle.

Kyi Maung gave speeches to supporters along with Suu Kyi on Sundays at the
front gate of the Nobel Peace laureate's house.

The government has regularly attacked Kyi Maung through official media,
saying he was trying to undermine the peace and stability of the nation. =


October 23, 1996

Human Rights Watch/Asia calls for immediate release of Burmese
opposition parliamentarian U Kyi Maung, aged seventy, who was
arrested from his home in Rangoon early this morning, (October
23).  His arrest, apparently in connection with a series of
student protests in Rangoon earlier in the week, is the latest
move in an ongoing crackdown by Burma's State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC) against the political opposition.

A Ministry of Defense statement issued after the arrest alleged
that U Kyi Maung had met with two students, Maung Ye Thiha Thwin
and Maung Nyi Nyi Myo, from the Rangoon Institute of Technology
(RIT) and that he had been detained because of that meeting.=20
Other reports suggest that U Kyi Maung had met the students in
order to mediate an end to demonstrations that began in the
aftermath of an incident on Sunday October 20, when three
students from the RIT had an argument with a shop owner in Sabwa-
kyi-gone ward, Insein township, Rangoon.  In the ensuing scuffle,
the three were arrested by the local police.  They claim they
were then beaten all night, and the following morning their
fellow students from RIT demonstrated for one hour in Insein
township, demanding an apology from the police.

On Monday evening, when their demands had not been met, over 200
students from the Insein area were reported to have marched to
the main Rangoon University campus, at the corner of Prome Road
and University Avenue.  On Tuesday evening, in the 8 pm news
broadcast, the government radio and television issued their
account of the incident, which the students rejected as
inaccurate.  At around midnight on Tuesday, a group of 500
students gathered at the Prome Road/University Avenue junction,
and conducted a sit-down demonstration.  Most of the students
then left quietly, but at 3:30 am Wednesday morning hundreds of
armed troops forced the remaining students to leave.  The
government has denied arresting any of the students, although
other reports suggest that some 100 students were arrested in
Insein township over the weekend and are still being held at the
Kyaik Kassan sports ground in Rangoon.

U Kyi Maung, an elected member of parliament for the National
League for Democracy (NLD), the party led by Nobel Laureate Aung
San Suu Kyi, is reported to have met the leaders of the RIT
students at some time on Tuesday evening in an attempt to mediate
an end to their demonstrations.  U Kyi Maung was briefly acting
chairman of the NLD until his arrest in September 1990.  He then
served five years of a twenty year sentence and was released from
Insein jail in March 1995.  He is also a former colonel in the
Burmese army and served as a military attach=E9 to the Burmese
Embassy in London.  It is not known where U Kyi Maung is held,
nor whether he has been charged.

University Avenue, where the student demonstrations took place,
is well-known for being the address of Aung San Suu Kyi, leader
of the NLD.  Barricades and checkpoints have been set up at
either end of University Avenue almost continuously since the
NLD's attempt to hold a party congress on September 27.  The
barricades were reported to have been taken away temporarily on
Monday evening, but were replaced after the demonstrations on
Tuesday night, and were still up late Wednesday afternoon.

In September, the SLORC arrested more than 500 members of the NLD
in an effort to prevent them from holding a meeting.  Most were
held briefly and then released, but the pattern of intimidation
against the opposition continues.

For further information contact:
Zunetta Liddell, London       + (44) 171 713 1995
Sidney Jones, New York        212 971 8400

*****************************************************************          =

October 20, 196

[Translated Text] The State Law and Order
Restoration Council [SLORC] continues to block University
Avenue, the road leading to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's house, so
as to prevent NLD [National League for Democracy] members
and the public from approaching her house. That is why the
democratic meet-the-public sessions could not be held for a 4th week.=20

A person who came from Rangoon recently told the
Democratic Voice of Burma [DVB] that there are four barriers
on University Avenue, and the authorities are now collecting
money from the nearby houses by telling the residents that
it costs about 20,000 Kyats per day to maintain the barriers.=20

The same person said the authorities took NLD members
and supporters away from their houses last Friday night. He
added that tension is rising between the democratic
activists and the SLORC. Moreover, the SLORC has now ordered
tea shop owners in Rangoon to report on topics discussed by their customers=

He said there are many anti-Muslim leaflets emerging in
Rangoon nowadays. These leaflets say the Muslims will steal
land from Buddhists, marry and convert Buddhist women to
Islam, spread the Islamic religion, and try to take over the
state power. The leaflets urge Buddhists to boycott the
Muslims. Moreover, the leaflets say the Muslims took over
Malaysia and Indonesia, which were once Buddhist countries.=20
A dusk-to-dawn curfew has been imposed in Kyaukpadaung
for two weeks due to tension between Muslims and Buddhists.
The same person told DVB that the present situation is
similar to the tense situation during the 1988 disturbance.
He said that is why the SLORC is now using the same tactics to control the

It has been learned that there were four clashes
between the security forces and people who were approaching
Daw Suu Kyi's house on 12 October. In the first incident,
the security forces chased and attacked the crowd at the
Kokkine intersection. The crowd dispersed later. When the
people began to assemble again the security forces moved the
barricade away and let the people pass. When the people were
in they put up the barricade and attacked the crowd. At that
time, soldiers on two army trucks were waiting outside the
barricade. On the same day, there were also clashes between
the people and the security forces in Campbell and Hamidtit
areas. Although the SLORC says 25 people were arrested and
later released, witnesses say about 60 persons were arrested
and their whereabouts is unknown. The SLORC troops are now
stationed inside the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda and Chinese temple
compounds and there are many intelligence personnel in the area.=20

At 0300 on 16 October, the SLORC troops arrived at the
NLD Headquarters on Shwegondaing Road and told the
civilians, who came along with them, to install the signboard
and the flag at the NLD Headquarters. The SLORC troops made
a video of this and then left.=20


October 21, 1996 (excerpts)

The opening ceremony of the Special Refresher Course No 24 for Basic
Education Teachers was held at the Central Institute of Civil Service [CICS=
in Hlegu Township at 1400 today [21st October]. Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, chairman
of Myanmar [Burma] Education Committee and secretary-1 of the State Law and
Order Restoration Council [SLORC], attended the ceremony and delivered an
address. The ceremony was attended by ministers, responsible personnel,
departmental head, CICS Rector U Tin Tun and teacher trainees.

Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt said, as is known to all teachers, the SLORC is striving
with momentum to implement the political, economic and social objectives fo=
the emergence of a peaceful, tranquil, modern and developed nation. He
explained the importance of a firm and proper education sector for the
development of the nation's political, economic and social infrastructure,
noting that only when many technicians capable of building their own nation
emerge will the national economy develop and national defense capability be
enhanced and will the nation be able to build political, economic and socia=
bases conforming to national cultural concepts independently and without
external reliance and interference.

He noted that at a time when the SLORC is striving for stability, peace and
the strengthening of political, economic and social qualities, a group, wit=
the assistance of some big nations, is attempting to destabilize the nation
and hinder progress with the sole aim of making difficulties for the
government. He remarked that in spite of such collusion between the
neo-colonialists and axe-handles [traitors] inside the country, some
dignified personalities and economic organizations inside the country and
some friendly nations have expressed their recognition and support for the
correct efforts of the Myanmar government.

Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt said, after differentiating nation-builders from
destructionists, the people have expressed their opposition to such element=
in the People's Desire [Oppose those relying on external elements, acting a=
stooges, and holding negative views; oppose those trying to jeopardize
stability of the state and progress of the nation; oppose foreign nations
interfering in internal affairs of the state; and, crush all internal and
external destructive elements as the common enemy].

He noted that people with common sense are well aware that an individual or
a party or a group cannot decide national affairs. He emphasized that
whether the efforts of the government are correct or not can be decided by
its contribution to the national interest. He added, whether the government
is able to provide leadership or not can be decided by its services to the
national interest.

Similarly, he said whether the people are suppressed or not can be decided
by whether there are basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and social
needs or whether they enjoy stability and peace. He said the people believe
that as the SLORC is serving the interests of the nation and the people, th=
policies and the objectives being followed are correct...
He stated that it is essential to systematically develop the national
forces, to upgrade their qualifications and to use them effectively at a
time when endeavors for national development are being made with added

In conclusion, the secretary-1 urged teachers to study the lectures to
achieve the state's political, economic and social objectives; to continue
the peaceful pursuit of education to realize the state's education policies
and goals; to organize the youth to crush destructive acts, jointly
committed by internal and external elements, based on patriotism in
accordance with the People's Desire; to organize students to participate in
the functions of the Union Solidarity and Development Association which lea=
towards the national interest and to have discipline; and, to try hard for
the successful realization of the aims of the Special Refresher Course...


October 22, 1996

=09=93Burma's actions against democratically elected Daw Aung San Suu=20
=09Kyi and her supporters should make the ASEAN countries ashamed of=20
=09their counter-productive "constructive engagement" =93

=09=93We should say ASEAN governments, not countries, as there is no=20
=09proof of public followed. Indonesia these days seems to be doing=20
=09hardly better than Burma.=94

=09=93In the case of the Philippines, several years ago it was=20
=09gratified by the international support for Mrs. Cory Aquino in=20
=09ridding the country of the Marcos conjugal dictatorship.=94

=09=93We were very close to getting the Nobel Peace Prize for Mrs. Aquino.=

=09=93The lack of support for Saw Suu Kyi, who deserves to be=20
=09president, is quite shocking, even disgusting.=94
=09[ W-A Burke Miailhe, Siran Margaux, France].


October 23, 1996
Adelaide, Australia

External pressure is important for change to come in Burma, Mr. John=20
Haseman told a group of students here yesterday.

Mr Haseman, who was Defence and Army Attach=E9 of US Embassy in Rangoon fro=
1987 to 1990, said that the pressure of the United Nations, the=20
IMF and the World Bank are very important for change to come in this countr=

He does not believe that ASEAN's constructive engagement is effective. He=
sees it as a policy that came out of economic interest. ASEAN could=20
exert more pressure on Burma before this country gained the=20
organization=92s observer status. Realizing this, ASEAN nations are now=20
thinking deeper on whether to admit this country into the organization, he =

On the question of 'will the Slorc finally suppress Burmese democracy?',=20
he said "Probably not". He said that neither party has the=20
possibility/capability of eliminating the other one. Internal dissension=20
within the Burmese Army or at the event of General Ne Win's death, there=20
might be a collapse of SLORC and some movement towards democracy, he said.

On possibility of building democracy, he said that the role of exiled=20
forces are important. There is no good bureaucracy in place in Burma today.=
Only third/fourth level civil servants exist. The Burmese have to build=20
the country from the scratch. The Burmese people in exile can go back and=
help it out in some say, he said.=20

One student asked him whether Burma is similar to Indonesia. He said,=20
Indonesia's military is admired and supported while it is not the case in=
Burma. Burmese military lost the people's love on 8/8/88. It would take=20
years to build it up again, he said.

When asked whether SLORC could lead the country into prosperity, he said,=
"No. Uneducated and unsophisticated SLORC literally do not know=20
what they are doing".

Referring to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, he said, "I admire her. She is=20
charismatic. But, the SLORC does not see her as her father's daughter,=20
but as her husband's wife. In the view of SLORC, she lost her political=20
right when she married a foreigner".

When asked his opinion on one Asian politician's statement that western=20
style democracy is not suitable for a country like Burma. He said, Burma=20
should have a different form of government.


October 19, 1996 (abridged)                        =20
   CONSTRUCTION on the Burmese section of the controversial Yadana gas
   pipeline has begun, Total officials have announced. Work on the Thai
   section of the 669-kilometre pipeline, which will transport gas from
   the Yadana field in Burma's Gulf of Martaban to a power plant in
   Ratchaburi, was delayed pending a technical hearing now scheduled to
   take place in Kanchanaburi in November, added Petroleum Authority of
   Thailand (PTT) Corporate Relations Department Director Dr Songkiert
   Tansamrit, on Thursday.
   The Burmese project has been dogged by accusations of human rights
   abuses, while work on the Thai side has been delayed because of
   environmental concerns. But officials from both Total and PTT said
   they expected the project to come online by its scheduled starting
   date of July 1, 1998.
   In a talk given to the Society of Petroleum Engineers on Thursday,=20
   Herve Chagnoux, Total's business development manager for Thailand and
   Burma, denied previous reports that the Bt30 billion Yadana gas
   development project would provide US$400 million (Bt10 billion) in
   annual revenues to Burma's ruling State Law and Order Restoration
   Council (Slorc).
   He said that figure should roughly equal the total annual revenues
   from the project, out of which roughly half will eventually go to the
   Burmese junta and the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise.
   Alain Lepage, project manager for Total Myanmar Exploration and
   Production, said that work on the onshore section of the pipeline
   began ''a week ago", although he later told The Nation that the actual
   installation of the pipeline would not begin until next month.
   Total's schedule calls for the 63-km onshore section of the pipeline
   in Burma to be completed by the start of next year's rainy season,
   while work on the 346-km offshore section will run through to 1998.
   The pipeline will pass 13 villages with a mixed population of ethnic
   Burmese, Mon, and Karen in Burma's Tennaserim district, Chagnoux said.
   Total has set a three-year, $6 million (Bt150 million) budget for
   socio-economic programs in the villages to improve health care,
   educational facilities and economic opportunities.
   ''We have been careful not to cross any villages," he explained. ''But
   near the coast, the pipeline must cross some cultivated land. We have
   explained to villagers that they will be fairly and personally
   compensated for loss of crops and/ or land," Chagnou said.
   Human rights groups have charged that some villagers were forcibly
   relocated to make way for the pipeline prior to the time Total
   officially began working in Burma.
   Chagnoux replied that Total has maps of the area dating back to the
   time of British rule.
   Chagnoux said, ''We can be positive the villages have been in the same
   place since 1992," when the gas production sharing agreement was
   Asked whether the project has led to a militarisation of the area in
   order to secure the pipeline, Chagnoux said that this was a matter of
   ''concern" to Total.
   ''There have been several civil wars and a lot of violence there in
   the past," he said. ''The only way to make progress is to develop
   Chagnoux declined to comment on reports of a massive influx of Slorc
   troops into the area. ''The army was there before," he noted, ''We
   don't count the number of soldiers."
   Civil rights groups have also announced a lawsuit against French-based
   Total and US-based UNOCAL, one of its partners in the project, and the
   Burmese government. The suit, filed in a US District Court in Los
   Angeles, accuses them of human rights abuses including the use of
   forced labor, assault, rape and executions - all vehemently denied by
   the accused.
   ''We have not been officially notified about the suit," said Chagnoux.
   ''But we don't consider it a major problem. Personally, I find it
   surprising as a French citizen to be sued in a US court for [alleged
   actions] in Myanmar."
   As for the pipeline route, Lepage said, ''the problem was to find a
   route that would be most acceptable from environmental and
   socio-economic points of view." Three routes were initially drawn up,
   he said.
   ''The southern route was the shortest, but it crossed a very nice
   forest. The middle route would have gone up a nice river valley and
   would have presented stabilization problems. We chose the northernmost
   route, even though it is about 6 kms longer, because there is almost
   no primary forest, only a section of degraded forest and some scrub,"
   Lepage said.
   This claim has been rejected by some watchdog groups, including
   Kanchanaburi-based Earth Rights International, which say the pipeline
   will pass through some areas where dense forest remains intact. The
   area is closed to outsiders, however.
   Lepage said that in flat areas the width of the clearing around the
   pipeline will total 18 metres, ''assuming that an acceptable level of
   safety can be maintained", a Total publication adds. A service track
   will run alongside the buried pipeline.
   In mountainous areas, however, Lepage admitted that the clearing would
   have to be wider. For the last 10-km stretch on the Burmese side the
   pipeline will have to make a steep climb from an elevation of 80
   metres above sea level to 900 metres at the border with Thailand.

   Both UNOCAL and Total have admitted to discharging significant
   quantities of mercury into the Gulf of Thailand from their Thai gas
   production operations. The latest study carried out on UNOCAL=92s behalf
   found that nearly 12 per cent of the fish around its Erawan platform
   had mercury levels above the health standard for human consumption.
   Total has yet to release its latest findings.
   Other environmental impacts are expected to arise from the development
   of infrastructure for the project. Total has built two bridges -
   crossing the Heinze Chaung and the Tavoy River, a large pier in the
   Heinze Chaung to receive incoming equipment and an 8-km road
   connecting the pier to the pipeline route.


October 23, 1996

RANGOON: A top-level Burmese military delegation left yesterday
for a 10-day visit to China, the country's close ally and chief
weapons supplier.

The government news agency said the 20-member delegation, led by
army commander-in-chief Gen Maung Aye, was invited by Gen Zhang
Wannian, deputy chairman of China's Military Council.

Zhang and a 16-member Chinese military group visited Burma in
April, further strengthening ties between the neighboring

In recent years, China has supplied the military-run state with a
wide variety of weaponry including aircraft and artillery.
Burma's armed forces number about 300,000.

Included in the Burmese delegation were the navy commander, Rear
Admiral Tin Aye, and the air force chief, Lt Gen Tin Ngwe, said
the agency which did not provide details of the China trip.


October 22, 1996

RANGOON - A Leading member of Burma's ruling State Law and Order Restoratio=
Council (Slorc) has described as "despicable traitors" anyone who tries to
discourage tourists from visiting.

"It is only the people who will suffer if tourists are prevented form comin=
here ... and I would like to say that these unscrupulous persons with
negative views are despicable traitors," Hotels and Tourism Minister Kyaw B=

Observers said Kyaw Ba was clearly referring to the efforts of opposition
leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters, who have appealed repeatedly to
foreign visitors to stay away until Burma's generals allow greater democrac=

Tourism is one of the cornerstones of Burma's efforts to transform its
battered economy and bring in much needed foreign exchange.

The tourism minister said that despite such efforts, Burma hoped to receive
record numbers of tourists this year - although he added that this depended
on increasing international flights into the country.

Kyaw Ba was speaking at the opening on Sunday of the new 96-room Golden
Butterfly hotel - one of a host of new hotels that have gone up in the
Burmese capital in the past year.

"There are now 472 hotels, motels and inns with a total of 10,876 rooms run
entirely by local entrepreneurs who have invested over seven billion kyat
(about Bt1 billion) in the business," he said.=20

Kyaw Ba said that this, together with 40 new hotels being built with foreig=
investment worth more than US$1.48 billion (Bt36 billion), meant that Burma
will have more than 18,505 rooms available for tourists.

"As of this moment, 409 hotels with 9,276 rooms are already in operation,"
he said, pointing out that prior to the military takeover in 1988 there wer=
barely 20 state-owned hotels in the whole country. Kyaw Ba said that the
number of tourist destinations across the country had also increased from
five to more than 20 at present, due to the government's success in bringin=
peace to Burma.

Burma has reached cease-fire agreements with most of its ethnic insurgencie=
although pockets of resistance remain along the country's borders.


October 22, 1996

   Myanmar will increase crude oil and fuel imports to meet the growing loc=
fuel consumption, according to "The New Light of Myanmar" today.  The repor=
said that the Ministry of Energy is coordinating with foreign oil companies=
local enterprises to extend crude oil and fuel imports as local demand for =
is growing due to adoption of the market-oriented system in the country.  A=
present, Myanmar imports 100 million us dollars worth of fuel annually.  Th=
daily consumption of petrol in the country is over 150,000 gallons and dies=
oil is over 400,000 gallons.


October 21, 1996

Korea first bank opened its representative office for operation here today.
Earlier, Korea Exchange Bank had been granted the permission to open its
representative office in the country.  According to official statistics, th=
have been 43 foreign banks granted the permission to open representative of=
in Myanmar. They are from Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, France, Hon=
Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Singapore,
Thailand and the United Kingdom.  Most of them have opened for operation.


October 23, 1996

It was heartwarming to read the news that Cambodians, led by
Khmer Nation Party president Sam Rainsy, demonstrated against the
Slorc leader's visit.

He stressed "that the people of Cambodia have had enough
experience with dictators and human rights violations."  It is
not only the Burmese and the Cambodians who have had this
experience but also the Thais, Indonesians, Filipinos, and the
people of ASEAN countries whose leaders greatly eulogize
genocidal regimes such as the Khmer Rouge and Slorc with their
"constructive engagement".  It is time that these leaders
listened to the true sentiments of their people.

Kanbawza Win