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BurmaNet News: October 25, 1996

"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: October 25, 1996
Issue #551

Noted in Passing:
		Not only does the project constitute moral and economic 			support for the
ruling junta, but the work site is the occasion 			for massive and
systematic human rights violations, including 		population movements, forced
labor and summary executions


October 24, 1996

THE HAGUE (ANP) - Members of the military junta in Myanmar (Burma) will not
be getting visa's for the European Union. The EU-ministers of Foreign 
Affairs will decide on Monday to this measure as a reaction to the continuing 
repression and violations of human rights in the Asian country.
With this decision the EU is following the example of the United States of 
America, that announced forbidding traveling into the USA by leaders of the 
SLORC. Rangoon in return forbade American citizens from going to Myanmar.
EU-diplomats in Brussels are now finalizing the visa-measure. Earlier 
pressure-methods did  not  fulfill their wishes. The EU-development fund 
ended in 1993 already aid to Myanmar. Also the Netherlands cut aid to 
Rangoon in that time.


October 24, 1996 (abridged)

STRASBOURG- The European Parliament called yesterday for a
comprehensive European embargo on Burma, to protest at the human
rights record of the military regime in Rangoon.

In a resolution agreed by a plenary session of Euro-MPs, it
called on the European Union's foreign ministers to "break all
links between the European Union and Burma" When they meet in
Luxembourg next Monday.

The embargo urged by Euro-MPs would cover trade, tourism and
investment in Burma by  European companies, it said. The
parliament's proposal has no binding effect on the EU ministers.
Meanwhile, the Paris-based International Human Rights Federation
(FIDH) yesterday released a report accusing French oil company 
Total of human rights violations linked to a gas project in Burma.


October 24, 1996

The following very interesting resolution was adopted unanimously on 
October 1996 by the European Parliament in Strasbourg. 

Resolution on the political  situation and continued human rights abuses in
Burma The European Parliament, having regard to its previous resolutions on
Burma, having regard to the Council declaration of 5 July 1996 on the political
situation in Burma, which calls in particular on the State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC) to respect the fundamental rights of  the
Burmese people,

A.	deeply concerned at the SLORCs denial of basic human rights in Burma, and
noting that Burma is categorized by the UN as a least developed country,

B.	reiterating its deep concern at the circumstances surrounding the death
of James Leander Nichols on 22 June 1996,

C.	whereas the SLORC has detained more than 800 National League for
Democracy (NLD) members of the unconvened Parliament since 26 September

D.	noting that, since the end of March 1996, more than 80.000 people have
been forced by the Burmese army to leave their homes and villages in Shan
State and Karenni State,

E.	noting that Aung San Suu Kyi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the
Sakaharov Prize and democratically elected leader of the Burmese people,
recently reiterated her offer to open a dialogue with the SLORC, and
regretting that this offer was turned down by the SLORC.

F.	noting once again that Aung San Suu Kyi has called on the international
community to implement economic sanctions against the SLORC,

G.	noting that on 17 September 1996, the US Congress passed the
Cohen-Feinstein Amendment and that, under this legislation, the US President
will prohibit new businesses from investing  in Burma if the SLORC rearrests
Aung San Suu Kyi or carries out large-scale repression in Burma, and noting
that, on 3 October, US President Clinton signed a Proclamation barring any
SLORC members or their families from entering the USA,

H.	noting that the Commission is preparing to respond to the evidence
presented at an investigation into forced labor in Burma, and aware that
other authoritative estimates have calculated that forced labor accounted for
a significant part of Burma's GDP in 1994-5,

I.	whereas the General Affairs Council of the European Union will be meeting
on 28 and 29 October 1996 and is due to consider the imposition of further
measures against the SLORC,

J.	whereas all foreign direct investments in Burma, and in particular
investment by EU firms, have to be made via joint ventures with companies or
financial institutions which are entirely in the hands of the Burmese military,

K.	whereas the EU considers the promotion of democracy and respect for human
rights to be an integral part of its relations with third countries,

L.	whereas, under Article J.2 of the Treaty on European Union, the Council
may define a common position on any matter of foreign and security policy of
general interest,

M.	whereas Mrs Sung Hngel, an active opponent of the SLORC, was arrested by
the Indian authorities on 7 August 1996 and charged with illegal entry into
the country,

N.	Pointing out that, if Mrs Sung Hngel is declared an illegal immigrant in
India by the Court, which will hold the third hearing on her case on 22
November 1996, Mrs Hngel will be deported to Burma, where she might be
executed by the Burmese army.

1.	Reaffirms its unshakable attachment to respect for democratic principles
and human rights and its conviction that the development of democracy and
the rule of law and economic development are interdependent;

2.	Strongly condemns the violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms
being perpetrated against the Burmese people;

3.	Is particularly concerned about the fate of the more than 80,000 people
who have been forced by the army to leave their homes in Shan State and
Karenni State since the end of March 1996, accompanied by gross human rights
violations and arrests;

4.	Is equally concerned about reports that the UNHCR repatriation program of
250,000 Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh back to Burma might be jeopardized
by the fact that the human rights situation in Arakan State,
place of origin of the Rohingya Muslim minority, has further worsened since
their exodus in 1991, and that forced labor in many areas has increased to
an average of twenty days per month;

5.	Calls once again on the SLORC to provide a full and satisfactory
explanation of the circumstances surrounding the death in custody of James
Leander Nichols;

6.	Confirms its opinion that the SLORC has shown itself incapable of
participating in any form of critical dialogue with the international
community likely to achieve a transition to democracy and respect for human
rights, and calls on the international community to take steps through the
UN to isolate the SLORC both politically and economically;

7.	Reaffirms its opinion that foreign direct investment in Burma makes an
important financial contribution to the SLORC, while failing to provide even
indirect benefits to the Burmese people, and therefore welcomes the recent
decisions by already 15 international companies to cease investments in Burma;

8.	Notes with concern reports to the effect that investment by UNOCAL and
TOTAL in Burma has caused significant violations of human rights and has
indirectly led to both forced relocation and forced labor;

9.	Supports those ASEAN countries who announced that they oppose full
membership for Burma and calls on all ASEAN members to refuse Burma's
application for membership until the SLORC has stepped down from power and
democratic rule has been restored, bearing in mind that Burma's full
membership would harm relations between the EU and ASEAN;

10.	Calls on the Commission to ensure that it employs only those aid
agencies whose operations are clearly independent of the SLORC when it
provides Burma with humanitarian aid;

11.	Welcomes the determination of the Danish Government to secure forceful
measures by the EU against the SLORC following the death of James Leander

12.	Expresses its concern that the inquiry of the Commission that must lead
to the withdrawal of GSP is taking so long and asks the Commission to
present the conclusion of its inquiry into the use of forced labor and
present them to the Council and Parliament without delay, bearing in mind
that the withdrawal of GSP would cost Burma tens of millions of US dollars
per year and that such a sanction is the only immediate step which may be
taken to put effective pressure on the SLORC;

13.	Calls on the Council to respond to Aung San Suu Kyis request that the EU
implement economic sanctions against the SLORC by ending all links
between the European Union and Burma based on trade, tourism and investment
in Burma by European companies when it meets on 28-29 October 1996;

14.	Expresses its concern about the arrest of Mrs Sung Hngel and calls on
the Indian authorities to suspend local proceedings and grant her refugee

15.	Instructs its president to forward this resolution to the Council, the
Commission, the SLORC, the NLD, the government of  India, the UN
and the boards of all European companies investing in



The All Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF) was informed
on 23rd October that U Kyi Maung, co-vice chairman of the 
National League for Democracy (NLD), was arrested by the 
State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) in connection 
with recent demonstrations in Rangoon.

U Kyi Maung, 75, a former student leader of the 1938 
movement against British Colonial rule and ex-military 
officer of the Burma Army, has been arrested for 
allegedly colluding with some Rangoon University students who 
were involved in a demonstration yesterday morning against 
the SLORC and the detention of three university students.

U Kyi Maung was jailed for five years from 1990 to 1995 for 
his prominent role with the NLD and democracy movement in Burma.

We are gravely concerned for his health as SLORC detention 
centers are notorious for their brutal and inhuman treatment.

The ABSDF demands that the SLORC immediately release U KYi 
Maung and other students who have been detained during 
the demonstrations. We also call for the international 
community to pressure the military regime to secure his 
release and other political prisoners from detention.

Central Committee
All Burma Students' Democratic Front


Dr. Naing Aung                Aung Naing Oo
Chairman of ABSDF             Central Executive Committee
Mobile phone: 01923 1687      Tel/Fax: 66 2 3000 631


October 23, 1996

The United States urged the Myanmar junta Wednesday to release a
detained top official of the National League for Democracy (NLD),
which won the 1990 general election but was denied power by the junta.
 ''The Burmese (Myanmar) government authorities should release
him immediately,'' State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said of
Kyi Maung, who was taken into custody Wednesday.


October 19, 1996 (Dutch Daily Newspaper)

The Dutch financial  firms  ING and ABN Amro are being named in the American
press as the most probable candidates for a possible takeover of the
BankBoston, the largest bank in the state Massachusetts.

The hindrance for such a takeover is however the fact that ING and ABN Amro 
are doing business in Burma, the country in Southeast Asia governed by a 
military dictatorship. Massachusetts has just adapted a law which prohibits 
this state  from buying products or services from firms which have a 
relationship with Burma.
This is reported by the Burma Centrum Nederland. According to this 
action committee a possible takeover of BankBoston by ING or ABN Amro would
have  as  result  that these companies would have to close their offices in
Burma, or that the state Massachusetts would have to cancel all her contacts
with BankBoston.

A spokesperson of ABN Amro in Amsterdam yesterday did not wanted to react on
the 'rumour' about the interest of this bank for BankBoston.  He did however 
confirmed that his bankfirm has an office in Burma. In the United States ABN 
Amro already has extensive bankfirms in Chicago and New York.

ING also refuses to comment on the supposed interest  for BankBoston.  It is 
however  unlikely that ING could takeover a bank in the US, because 
according to the strict American anti-trustlaws this is incompatible with 
the extensive insurance interest which ING already has in the US. The 
spokesperson of the ING contradicts that his firm has a presence in Burma. 
He confirmed that the bank has received a bank license for Burma. "But we 
have not used this yet." Heineken and other western firms earlier this year 
felt obliged to pull out of Burma.

Paulus Potterstraat 20
(31)20-6716952 (tel)
(31)20-6713513 (fax)

visit these sights:

October 24, 1996

VIENTIANE -  The Mekong River Commission (MRC) will only hold
low-key discussions on Burma joining the grouping at its meeting
next week for fear of alienating its Western donors.

The MRC will meet about 20 donor countries and multilateral aid
agencies at the newly - formed Donors Consultative Group's (DCG)
forum on the day after its second Mekong Council meeting, which
will be held from Oct 29 to 31 in Vientiane.

As the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) wants to phase
out its funding for the MRC's administration work, the
organisation expects international donor support to finance the
setting up of a trust fund, as well as finance its numerous
projects planned for 1997, a senior official in the National
Mekong Committee of Laos said.

However, the MRC will take a low profile on the question of
Burma's future membership because most of the Western donors are
concerned about the ongoing human rights abuses in the country,
said an official of the Bangkok based Mekong Secretariat, who
asked not to be named.

"This time we will not talk much about Burma' s future membership
in the MRC. We are afraid of spoiling the atmosphere when we meet
the DCG, particularly its European donors, " said the official,
who is in Vientiane to prepare for the council meeting.

He said European countries, which are a major funding source for
the MRC's work, are concerned about the situation in Burma.
Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland are the largest donors.

The official said that the MRC has already refused Rangoon's
request to fund the Burmese delegation to participate in the
council's meeting . 

"We are worried that  it will upset our donors," the official said.

Since its inception last year, the MRC has previously shown
enthusiasm over inviting Burma and China, which are located on
the upper Mekong basin, to join the organisation. This  will, in
effect, make them come under the same water use regulations as
the lower basin states: Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.

Burma's catchment contributes about two percent of the water
inflow to the Mekong River. Burma and China have so far gained
the status of dialogue partners with  the MRC, paving the wave
for negotiations for future membership.

The DCG meeting will be co-chaired by Dr Nay Htun, UNDP's Asia
Pacific office director, and Dr Kithong Vongxay, the Laotian head
and also this year's chairman of the Mekong Council.


October 24, 1996

The French oil company Total came under fire again for alleged
human rights violations linked to a gas project in Burma, in a
report to be published here yesterday.

"Not only does the project constitute moral and economic support
for the ruling junta, the State Law and Order Restoration Council
(Slorc) but the work site is the occasion for massive and
systematic human rights violations, including population
movements, forced labour and summary executions," said the report
of the Paris-based International Human Rights Federation (FIDH).

The FIDH added that such violations could be considered crimes
against humanity.

The report, a copy of which has been seen by AFP, was to be
presented at a press conference later yesterday.

Total, which is taking gas from Burma's Yadana field in a
consortium with Unocal of the United States and Rangoon's
state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas, denied the allegations.

The company said it had not seen the whole report, but called the
extracts published Tuesday  "scandalous"

A Total spokesman insisted: "There are no human rights violations
on our site in Burma."

The spokesman said Total officials had talked last month with
FIDH officials, including president Patrice Baudouin and
Anne-Christine Hab bard, the author of the report.

"We replied to all their questions on this matter," the spokesman said.

"We said in particular that our gas line project cannot be
considered a financial support for the political regime; Burma
has a 15 percent stake in it, which involves heavy investment
over several years."

The pipeline will start exporting gas to Thailand from mid-1998
and begin showing a return on investment around 2001.

Previous press and other reports on the project have also alleged
human rights violations, if not in areas under the direct control
of the western oil companies, in associated work being carried
out by the Burmese government.

These include the forced employment of children and the
ill-treatment of workers by troops.

Earlier this month alleged victims of rape and forced labor sued
Unocal and its corporate officers, Total, Myanmar Oil and Gas,
and Slorc in a Los Angeles district court.

She lawsuit is an attempt to stop the horrendous human rights
violations going on there," said Dan Stormer, an attorney for a
group of Burmese who are identified only as John and Jane Does from the
Tenasserim region of Burma.

"It is also to prevent Unocal from making a profit from forced
labour. Shareholders are making a profit on these atrocities and
we intend to stop  it," he said.

One of the plaintiffs, who spoke under the assumed name of "Htoo
Saw," said that Burmese troops forced families from their homes
burned villages and forced villagers to work on the pipeline
project with little or no pay.

"Their homes and animals have been forcefully taken away. They
can no longer live where they were born," he said through Louisa
Benson, a US citizen living in Burma who acted as an interpreter
and is herself a plaintiff in the case.

"Many mothers with children have died," she said.

Htoo Saw said hundreds who had refused to be conscripted to work
had fled into the forest to live while 1,300 are at a refugee
camp near the Thai border.

Unocal spokesman Dave Garcia said that everyone who works on the
Yadana natural gas project had come to the company for jobs and
were being paid above-average salaries. No village has been
evacuated, he said.

The suit was brought on the same day that US President Bill
Clinton slapped sanctions on Burma for human rights violations,
including a ban on new investment by US companies. 
California Governor Pete Wilson has also signed an anti-slavery
law that would bar companies operating in countries that use
coercive labour practices from doing business in California.
Massachusetts has a similar law.

Apple Computer recently joined a long list of American companies
which under pressure from human rights groups have shut down
operations in Burma.

Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has also alleged that
Total's  investment makes the group one of the leading props of
the military regime.


October 24, 1996

Burma will open an office in Rangoon next month to deal with
Asean affairs as part of preparations for membership of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations, source said.

The Burmese government recently approved the opening of the Asean
Division, which will be under the Foreign Ministry's Political
Department, the sources said.

A councellor currently attached to the Burmese embassy in
Indonesia is expected to head the office, they added.

Having an office to take care of Asean affairs and embassies all
Asean countries is the grouping's requirement for a new member.

At present Burma has embassies in all seven Asean countries
except Brunei. Other Asean member countries are Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Brunei Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Lim Jock Seng said
recently  that the two countries were preparing to open embassies
in their respective capitals.

The Burmese embassy in Singapore is currently accredited to the
oil-rich state.

Burma and Cambodia agreed to exchange ambassadors during the
first official visit to Rangoon early this year of Cambodia's
First Prime Minister Norodom Ranariddh.

Currently, the two countries' ambassadors to Laos are also
accredited to respective capitals. But they are expected to
appoint ambassadors in Rangoon and Phnom Penh in the near future.
Burma cut ties with Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge's victory in
1975. They re-established diplomatic relation in 1994.

Meanwhile, Asean Secretary General Ajit Singh will pay a
week-long visit to Rangoon beginning November 2 to assess
Rangoon's preparations for entry into the grouping . 
Burma applied for full membership in August. But concerns
expressed by the Philippines and Thailand stemming from a recent
crackdown against opposition politicians in Rangoon prompted
Asean foreign ministers to decide not to rush the process.

Last week senior Asean officials met in Kuala Lumber to follow up
their foreign ministers' recommendation which calls for
provisions to be made for Burmese officials to familarise
themselves with the Asean system.

Philippine Foreign Under-Secretary Rodolfo Severino denied that
Manila wanted to delay Burma's full integration.

Thai Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Saroj Chavanaviraj
said the caretaker government did not put Thailand in a position
to make any suggestions.

But his Malaysian counterpart, Secretary-General for Foreign
Affairs Kadir Mohamad, reaffirmed the stance but acknowledged the
consensus of all seven members.

"We would like to see Myanmar become a member of Asean as soon as
possible. But of course it's not Malaysia's alone to say", said
Mr Kadir, chairman of the meeting.

Singapore "goes along with (the) Asean consensus", said its
Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Kishore Mahbubani.


October 22, 1996 (Malaysia)

[Transcribed Text] Yangon [Rangoon] -- Myanmar's [Burma's] State Law and
Order Restoration Council [SLORC] has assured Malaysia and ASEAN that it is
committed to bringing about economic development and improving the
situation in the country. 

SLORC chairman Gen Than Shwe relayed the assurance to Foreign Minister Datuk
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi during a 90- minute meeting yesterday and explained in
detail the plans and economic programmes. 

Abdullah said he told Gen Than Shwe that, as friends and neighbours,
Malaysia and the other Asean states were sensitive to developments in Myanmar. 

"I said that we hoped the SLORC could do something to instill confidence in
all of us, and that this would enable us to play an active role and
cooperate with Myanmar to contribute to its development and economic growth. 

"He explained that it was not easy for one party to work to bring about
development and growth if other parties only brought provocation after
provocation that would hamper efforts for economic growth and could disrupt
stability in the country," Abdullah told journalists. 

Myanmar has been under immense pressure from the United States and European
countries to bring about democratic reforms especially of late following the
SLORC's move to set up blockades to prevent the National League for
Democracy (NLD) from holding its assembly. 

The West has been sympathetic towards the NLD, which is led by Aung San Suu
Kyi.  Abdullah said Gen Than Shwe explained that the SLORC was taking short-
and long-term plans to ensure peace and stability in the country to spur
economic growth and improve the living standards of the people. 

"He made it clear that Myanmar was keen to join ASEAN and it valued ASEAN's
stand and policy towards Yangon," Abdullah told Malaysian journalists here
after meeting Gen Than Shwe at the SLORC chairman's office at the Dagon House.


October 22, 1996 (Voice of Malaysia)

There has been much misunderstanding over Malaysia's perception of how the
problems that affect the people of Myanmar [Burma] ought to be handled. The
visit of Malaysian Foreign Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to Myanmar, which
ends today, should align any misconception over Malaysia's policy towards
Myanmar. The visit in fact is now being regarded as a major move in
helping to improve the domestic political situation in Myanmar. 

The immediate crisis in Myanmar is fairly straightforward. The military has
been running the country for several decades now. For a lot of that time,
Myanmar then known as Burma, isolated itself from the rest of the
world and practiced its own brand of socialism. That experiment obviously
failed and much discontent among the people surfaced a few years ago. It
forced the military regime to hold elections and rethink its domestic and
foreign policies. The elections were won by a party led by Aung San Suu Kyi,
who won the Nobel peace prize for her struggle for democracy in Myanmar. The
military was unwilling to give up power to the opposition and rejected the
outcome of the elections. This is at the heart of the ongoing political
crisis in Myanmar and why many countries, especially those in the West, want
to take punitive action
against the Myanmar government. It is now widely acknowledged that Asian
values, thinking, and attitude are quite different from those of the West. 

There is a need to understand the predicament the people of Myanmar are in
and see how countries on the outside can judiciously help them without
trampling on their serenity and their right to deal with their own problems
their own way. In the Myanmar crisis, it serves no purpose to try to blame
one party or the other for what has happened. Rather, it is more realistic
to see how both sides can be brought to a middle ground and enable them to be
pragmatic in seeking a solution. 

This is what Malaysia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or
ASEAN, are doing. The military has been running the show in Myanmar
practically from the time the country became independent more than 50 years
ago. It feels threatened at the thought of yielding power to the civilians. 

That is why Malaysia and ASEAN are placing emphasis on having close contact
with the military regime to bring it around to the thinking that change is
not only inevitable, but can also be positive and constructive. There need
not be
any losers if it is through a policy of seeking consensus in all matters
that ASEAN has emerged as the strongest regional bloc in the world in terms
of solidarity and mutual cooperation [sentence as heard]. 

The military rulers in Myanmar have now realized that the ASEAN way is good
for their country and they want Myanmar to be a member of ASEAN. The ASEAN
way is to strive to create prosperity, mainly through strong economic growth
which can benefit people at all levels. ASEAN has proved that once people
begin to benefit from economic progress, inevitably social and political
conditions also improve.  

Abdullah, the Malaysian foreign minister, said in Yangon [Rangoon] that the
Myanmar authorities have been asked to take some steps that will show the
people of that country and the rest of the world that the government is
willing to make changes that will benefit the people. Many countries,
especially from the industrialized world, object to Myanmar becoming a
member of ASEAN, but as Abdullah pointed out, it is a move that will benefit
the people of Myanmar because it means that the government will have to
follow the ASEAN style of doing things, which means no violence, no
repression of the people, seeking compromise and consensus in every issue,
and all the time working to improve the lives of the people by creating
prosperity. When a hungry man steals a fish from the market, the immediate
reaction of most people will be to punish him. But wouldn't it be better if
he is given a fishing rod and taught how to fish in the river? That is
exactly what Malaysia and ASEAN are trying to do in the case of Myanmar. 


October 21, 1996 by Byatti  (abridged)

[BurmaNet Editor's Note: This article give some interesting information
about what transpired at the recent NLD meetings.  We have cut some of the
SLORC propaganda at the beginning and the end of the article]

The great attempt to hold the [NLD] party congress since 27, 28 and 29
September was not yet over. Senior gang leaders and a group of their
followers who are adept at evasion and trickery took advantage, as much as
possible, of the situation and found ways to make maximum profit. The
colleague brought the news that when a gathering could not be held in the
compound of
the "commonwealth" on the University Avenue [reference to Aung San Suu Kyi's
house], a meeting was held at the house of Central Executive Committee
member U Than Tun from 1000 to noon on 14 October. It is learnt that seniors
including chairman of the league U Aung Shwe and about forty delegates from
the States and Divisions attended that meeting.  At the meeting, the person
titled "Shwe Phyin Gyi" [reference to NLD Leader U Kyi Maung] said the league's
eighth anniversary meeting could not be held due to preventive measures;
hence the present meeting; and representatives-elect and delegates were to
sign to entrust powers to the Central Executive Committee. 

It was also learned that Mrs Michael Aris [Aung San Suu Kyi] read out the
letter to be signed. The letter said: "I, the undersigned, submit opinion to
the Central Executive Committee led by Chairman of the League U Aung Shwe and
General Secretary Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to enable the NLD to carry on its
duties without losing momentum."  "I as a functionary engaged in National
League for Democracy's Central/State/ Division/ Township or Women's
Work Committee personally sign this letter to empower the NLD Chairman and
the General Secretary to conduct, on my behalf, necessary discussions and
coordination, pass decisions and carry on till the emergence of genuine
democratic machinery in Myanmar in accord with our aspirations." 

Mrs Michael Aris went on to say that the present signing was legally
binding; once signed one could not go against it; inner- party democracy
could not be granted fully at present; it was necessary to give full support
of the work done by her in the meantime; say afterwards if there were
mistakes made by her; as such, all must sign this agreement; the league
would be reorganized at central/division/township/ward and village levels;
formerly expelled representatives-elect would be reorganized; and those who
resigned out of their own volition would be readmitted if they signed in
that undertaking etc.  When the meeting continued at the house of "Shwe
Phyin Gyi" about 1600 on that day, it is learnt, some 50 persons including
Mrs Michael Aris and politburos attended it. It is learnt that a total of 55
representatives-elect and about 80 delegates of the divisions and townships
had had to sign two undertakings each at those meetings held in the morning
and evening. 

Mrs. Michael Aris said to the politburos of the NLD on 31 July 1995, after
restriction order imposed on her was lifted, as follows: "...Two tasks.
The first one is for holding dialogue. It is important and concerns the
whole country.  According to the situation, only five of us are discussing
and tackling this matter. This does not conform to the democracy practice
as I have said earlier. I request to entrust this matter only to five of 
us to prevent leaking of the secret from their side or on our side..."
They gain political advantage by using the democracy ruler and making big
fuss of the trifles. "This does not conform to democracy practice" and
"This is dictatorial practice" are her jargons she always uses to talk
about whatever happened. 

If democracy cannot be permitted fully even in such a minuscule particle
as a party implementing quite inferior aims, there is no reason to blame the
government which is having to lead a country, which is having to take
responsibility in the transitional period and having to strive with the
aim for the interest of the entire nation for not yet being in a position
to permit full democracy. 

Mrs Michael Aris is not deserving of the kind of democracy cherished and
accepted by Myanmars. The democracy, which Mrs Michael Aris is shouting,
vying with the boiled-pea vendor, is democracy that is not democracy.


October 23, 1996

Anti-Muslim leaflets currently being distributed in Rangoon
obtained by the All Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF), is
the latest effort by the State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC), to divide the Muslim-Buddhist communities in Burma. The
regime has turned a blind eye to the distribution of these leaflets
which accuse all Muslims of wanting to expand their territory, and
of "unscrupulously" organizing non-Muslims such as Burmese Buddhist
to join their sect in order to gain control of the entire country.
The pamphlets also ascertain that once the State of Islam has
gained control of the entire nation, Burma will become like
Malaysia and Indonesia where Buddhism once flourished before the
Muslim takeover. These inflammatory leaflets include the urging for
all Burmese Buddhists to:

* uphold good moral and ethical conducts
* preserve the culture, historical heritage, sense of nationality
(Burmese), and national characteristics
* uphold patriotism 
* promote standards of health care and education, and solidarity
* boycott all Muslim stores
* not to marry Muslim girls

Martial Law was declared in early October in Kyauk Padaung, a town
in central Burma citing a conflict between the believers of two
religions. Tensions have been mounting between the two communities
with the SLORC responsible for heightening the situations an effort
to divert the mounting anger and dissatisfaction of the general
population, away from them especially during a crisis situation.
Tactics such as these assist the regime in justifying their use of
violent and oppressive methods to quieten the dissent of the
various forces inside the country struggling for the restoration of
democracy and human rights.

In March 1988 and before the general uprising on August 8th in the 
wake of the crackdown on the student movement, the military was
responsible for religious conflicts resulting in clashes between
Buddhist and Muslim communities in Taung Gyi (Shan State), Prome
(Pegu Division), and Tat Gone (Mandalay). In addition the
persecution of thousands of Rohingya Muslims in Burma's western
Arakan State is testament to religious suppression and manipulation
of Buddhist Arakans by the SLORC to achieve their objectives
through the tactic of divide and rule.

The ABSDF strongly urge all citizens of Burma to respect each
others religious beliefs and learn lessons from past mistakes
created by the military regime. We appeal to the international
community to double their efforts in assisting the Burmese people
and to pressure the SLORC in order that Burma can be established as
a 'plural society' based on democratic values.

Please note: Copies of these leaflets are available at the
following number:

Aung Naing Oo
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Tel/Fax: 66-2-300 0631

The following is the translation of a copy of unsigned letters
being circulated in Rangoon attacking the Muslims 

Burmese Citizens - Beware! 
The Muslims living in Burma are attempting to expand their religion
while destroying Buddhism in Burma by using these following ways. 

(1) Land: All the land in the country shall be owned by the Muslims.

(2) Money: To organize Buddhists to become Muslims using the
power of money, 

(3) Women: To organize the Buddhist women to get married with               
Muslim using money and other ways.

(4) Doctrine: To preach Muslim doctrine in every place.                         

(5) State power: After successfully using these above methods and majority
of people become Muslim, to take the state power. In addition to these five
methods, try to mix Muslim blood into the Burmese Buddhist.
Anyone who can get married with a Burmese girl shall be awarded,
please try. Please contact with mosques if you need anything to
accomplish these goals. Please buy things from the shops with
Muslim symbol (786). Don't consume anything from the non-Muslim shops.

Muslim are launching this bloody tactic to become Burma as the
Muslim country in the future. The symbol (786) means that the
Muslims will turn all the countries including Burma around the
world into Muslim countries by 21st century, according to the page
30-500 of Religious Guide book written by Mohammed Ali Smat. Please note
that 7+8+6 is 21).

Malaysia and Indonesia were once Buddhist countries in history, but
unfortunately the Muslims used these methods so successfully that
they have become Muslim countries;  Buddhism was disappeared from
these countries. In 1860, Muslims committed massacre of hundreds of
thousands of Christians in Lebanon. During the rein of "Sher"
dynasty in Iran, members of different religions were discriminated.

The five times daily gathering in mosque is to help Muslims  share
the information regarding business opportunities and other
advantages so as to further their aims. There are large number of
Muslims in Burma that clearly express that Muslim are applying
these methods in Burma successfully.

To Burmese citizens, I would like to recommend you to: 
-Defend our religion from the destructive methods by the Muslim,
-Do not sell the lands to Muslim,
-Do not buy anything from the shops with '786' Muslim symbols,
-Buy food and other things from the shops owned by Buddhists,
-Don't use the sidecar (trishaw), horse cart and cars serviced by Muslim,
-Do not get jobs such as house maids in Muslims houses,
-Don't get married with Muslims,
-Don't' behave like fish which do not see the bait.
-Don't let your greed for money be destructive for our religion,
-Safeguard Buddhism in Burma,
-Bear in mind the danger of Muslim and defend the our own religion,
-Bear in mind that four social causes adopted by State Government
(SLORC) must be accomplished. These causes are" 1) to uphold good
moral and ethical conducts 2) to preserve the culture, historical
heritage, sense of nationality (Burmese), and national
characteristics 3) uphold patriotism 4) promote standards of health
care an education, and solidarity. 

Please distribute this leaflet as much as you can. 
(Translated by the All Burma Students Democratic Front (ABSDF))