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BurmaNet News October 28, 1996

"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: October 28, 1996
Issue #552


October 25, 1996	By Dewi Fortuna Anwar
from: Julien Moe <moe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

[BurmaNet Editor's Note: It is significant that even Indonesia is now saying 
that Burma is not ready for ASEAN membership.  The ASEAN shift appears 
to be due partly to distaste with the crudely repressive policies of the 
SLORC.   But as important is a serious concern about the SLORC's ability to 
manage the economy. ASEAN businessmen are beginning to report back that 
SLORC demands for majority control of joint venture projects are unacceptable. 
They simply cannot do business in Burma under these conditions.]

JAKARTA -- While Cambodia and Laos are fully expected to become ASEAN
members in July 1997, such is not the case for Myanmar. Although most
people in the region, and supporters outside the region, adhere to the long-term
ideal of a united South-east Asia under ASEAN, questions remain about the 
appropriateness of Myanmar's immediate entry into the association. The
political and human rights situations in Myanmar are detrimental to the
grouping's interests, particularly in terms of dealing with its Western
dialogue partners.

Asean's opposition to Western criticisms of the constructive engagement of 
Myanmar is understandable and defensible. Given the grouping's ultimate aim
to bring all 10 South-east Asian countries within its fold, the gradual
inclusion of Myanmar in various regional activities is clearly important.

Myanmar's self-imposed isolation had led to economic stagnation which
does not promote greater political openness and better respect for human rights.
In this light, it is hard to justify how further sanctions, as most Western
countries propose, would speed up political progress in Myanmar and improve
the living  standard of its people.

Moreover, it is consistent with Asean's objective to establish an autonomous 
regional order free from external interference that the association refuses to
bow to outside pressure about which nations are eligible for membership.

Nevertheless, while fully acknowledging the importance of continuing
Asean's constructive engagement of Myanmar, there are at least four compelling
reasons for delaying Yangon's full entry into grouping for a few years.
These are:

The more immediate need of facilitating entry of Cambodia and Laos into
ASEAN. The lack of unanimity within and among member countries regarding
Myanmar's membership.

Myanmar's attitudes towards the grouping.

The possible implications of precipitating Myanmar's membership on Asean's
extra-regional relations.

The most important consideration for delaying Myanmar's full membership 
into Asean is clearly the immediate need to devote its attention and resources 
to facilitate Cambodia's and Laos' entry into the association and to integrate 
them fully into its activities. There is no doubt that these two countries
are now 
fully committed to joining the grouping next year, and Asean has long awaited 
the participation of Cambodia and Laos. But the challenges will be enormous.

Asean did not have to do too much to integrate Brunei which though tiny
is very rich. Once the political obstacle was overcome, the integration of
Vietnam was relatively easy because of its relatively trained manpower and
economic potential.

However, incorporating Cambodia and Laos, two of the world's least developed
countries, into a vibrant regional body with a relatively affluent
membership, is 
clearly another matter. Within the space of 10 months, these two countries have
to overcome such basic problems as the lack of English-speaking officials
who can take part in the grouping's activities, the lack of relevant
institutions and a severe shortage of financial capabilities and other
technical facilities necessary to carry out intensive regional cooperation.

It is to be expected that both Laos and Cambodia will look to the grouping
for help in overcoming these basic problems. In the next two to three years,
it will have its hands full trying to mobilise resources, from within the
region as well as from friends outside the region, to assist in the regional
integration of Cambodia and Laos.

Without active help from Asean, the new members may feel marginalised
and soon disillusioned. If Myanmar, a country that is also categorized as 
one of the world's least developed, and also carries a political stigma, is
to be 
included in the membership package at the same time, the grouping's resources 
will be stretched very thin. It is also possible that including Myanmar may
it more difficult for ASEAN to mobilize international assistance for its
efforts to 
ease the new members into the association.

The second important consideration is the lack of agreement among the ASEAN
countries themselves, as well as within the various member countries,
concerning Myanmar's immediate entry. On important issues, the grouping has
always based its decisions on consensus, and one leader, Philippine
President Fidel Ramos, has gone on record that he prefers to postpone
Myanmar's full membership.

That important groups of people within the member countries are opposed to
Myanmar's membership should also be considered, particularly since ASEAN 
wishes to make itself into a more popular organisation that is no longer the
monopoly of bureaucrats.

Myanmar's attitude towards the grouping also raises questions. The opposition 
under Aung San Suu Kyi is vehemently opposed to Myanmar's membership in
ASEAN, fearing that such a membership would only legitimize Slorc. The Slorc
leaders' commitment to the idea of regional cooperation in general and ASEAN in 
particular is not unequivocal.

Only 1-1/2 years ago, Slorc still considered ASEAN a Western colonial tool,
membership in which would compromise Myanmar's long-held neutrality.
There is clearly a need for Myanmar to spell out its commitment to the ideals of
ASEAN more definitively. Without such a declaration, one might wonder whether 
the Myanmar government is trying to use the grouping as a public relations
vehicle to improve its international image.

In such a case, ASEAN is open to vilification from a substantial part of Myanmar
population, a situation that would be detrimental to its image as the harbinger 
of peace and prosperity in the region.

Finally, while recognizing that its strength depends on its internal
the association's effectiveness in the international arena owes much to its
support from other countries, particularly from its dialogue partners. Without
bowing to external pressure, the grouping, nevertheless, needs to be sensitive 
to the views of its dialogue partners. Its ability to play an important role
in the 
wider regional and international forums will depend a great deal on how it
manages its relations with the world's major political and economic powers.

Given these four main considerations, it would clearly be wiser for ASEAN to
another two or three years to complete the unification of South-east Asia. Once
Cambodia and Laos are fully integrated into the association, it will be in a
better position to receive the full membership of Myanmar.

Perhaps by that time, Myanmar's own commitment to ASEAN will become
more unified and unequivocally clear, signifying a reconciliation or at least a
compromise between Slorc and the opposition group.

The writer is head of the Regional and International Affairs Division at the 
Center for Political and Regional Studies of the Indonesian Institute of
She contributed this article to the Jakarta Post.


October 25, 1996

1) The SLORC reportedly forced the RIT (Rangoon Institute of
Technology) students from provincial areas to go home today. The
regime arranged transportation for them.

2) Informed sources as of today said there was another problem at
the Insein Government Technical Institute (GTI) which is similar
but lesser kind of school for those who are not qualified to
enter RIT. The problem however appeared not to escalate into a demonstration.

3) High schools in Rangoon broke up earlier than usual. An
unconfirmed report said that schools in Mandalay had been closed today. 

4) Two NLD youth by the names of Than Htike Aung and Ma Than Yi
were arrested at Hletan near the Rangoon University last night.   

5) Police (of the Development Committee) and traffic police
seemed to disappeared from the streets of Rangoon. Residents saw
an officer giving instructions to police lining up in front of
the  Rangoon City Hall within its compound about 7:00 pm Rangoon
time. They also saw the soldiers there. 

6)  Residents saw about 70 trucks including jail trucks driving
through Gwit Talit. Security forces comprising police, fire
fighters and soldiers have been deployed at the Rangoon Uni and
nearby Hlaing campus (a community college) with a large number of
students. Other reports indicated that security forces have been
deployed at the Tha Mine Intersection near the Hlaing campus.

7) The restaurant where the scuffle started between three
students and the police is said to be owned by MI-6 (The MI-6
headquarters is near the Rangoon Airport. The name of the
restaurant is "Shew Zeegwet or Golden Owl". Sources in Rangoon
informed the ABSDF that there is another restaurant nearby which
is owned by the same people.

8) Another report indicated that the regime is using the members
of USDA to monitor the movements of the people in Rangoon as
Burmese are going to celebrate the end of Buddhist Lent or the
Lighting Festival. Coincidentally, there was a promotion for the
'Visit Myanmar Year' at Midar Field last night.  

9) U Tin Oo is reportedly allowed to go to see Daw Suu.


October 26, 1996 (abridged)

UNITED NATIONS - The United States will push for the "strongest
possible UN resolution" to condemn the Burmese military regime
for suppressing civil liberties, US Ambassador Madeleine Albright said.

During a speech at Columbia University marking the 51st anniversary of the
United Nations, Albright also urged Burmese authorities to begin a dialogue
with democratic forces, including Nobel Prize winner and National League for
Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

"This fall, we will be pushing for the strongest possible UN resolution
condemning the continued violation of human rights in that country,"
Albright said.

The regime has increased pressure on Suu Kyi in recent weeks, erecting
roadblocks to her home that prevented a party congress and customary weekend
rallies of her supporters.

Burmese authorities have denied reports that they had confined Suu Kyi. But
police kept a senior leader of her party in custody for questioning about a,
student protest

Albright noted that Burmese leaders claim opposition is foreign-inspired.

"It's not true," she said. "The democratic forces are indigenous
and deeply patriotic."

She said the international community had an obligation "to call upon Burma
to meet basic international standards."

That we are doing, and that we will continue to do through the UN and other
means until [the regime] begins moving down a democratic path," she added.

Agence France-Presse adds from Washington: The United States
warned that it could still tighten sanctions on Burma if military
authorities there step up suppression of government critics. 
State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns also said any detention of Suu Kyi
"will be a very disturbing escalation of the  harassment" against her and
her party.

Under a new law, the Clinton administration may ban all new
investment in Burma in the event of a wide-scale crackdown or
marked worsening of repression there.

But exactly what it will take to trigger such a ban remains
unclear, and administration officials are reluctant to impose any
new sanctions without backing from Burma's other major
investors in Europe and Asia.


October 24, 1996

PARIS, Oct 24 (Reuter) - France urged Burma's military rulers on Thursday to
free immediately a detained top official in Aung San Suu Kyi's democracy
party, saying the European Union was studying possible measures.

"France has repeatedly called for a true dialogue between parties to
facilitate national reconciliation," Foreign Ministry spokesman Jacques
Rummelhardt told reporters.

"We hope for the immediate release of Kyi Maung, vice-president of the NLD,
as of all those jailed for their opinions. The European Union is studying
measures which might be taken as far as the situation in Burma is
concerned," he said.

Rummelhardt was asked about a report by an international human rights group
which accused French oil and gas company Total on Wednesday of supporting
Burma's military junta and said its construction of a pipeline there had
caused an increase in rights violations.

"Total is part of a consortium in the Yadana pipeline project, it has a 31
percent stake in it. Other oil companies are involved in this project,
including the American UNOCAL with a 28 percent stake," he answered.

The International Human Rights Federation (FIDH) said in a report that
Total, the single largest stakeholder in the pipeline project in southeast
Burma, had "knowingly closed its eyes to massive, systematic and violations
of human rights and thus made itself an accomplice".

Total has denied the allegations.

The report echoed others issued by the United Nations special rapporteur on
human rights and such groups as Amnesty International, which have denounced
widespread violations under Burma's State Law and Order Restoration Council


October 26, 1996 (abridged)
Hong Kong,Reuter

Europe will press the Burmese junta over human rights, diplomats
in Brussels said yesterday, while Japan and Australia both voiced
concern at Rangoon's latest crackdown on a fledgling democracy
The European Union would ban high-level visits to Burma and
refuse visas to members of Burma's ruling State Law and Order
Restoration Council, the diplomats said. The decision was
expected at a meeting of EU foreign ministers on Monday.
"The situation in Burma has deteriorated," one diplomat said. "A 
number of EU states have indicated the need for a strong signal."

In Tokyo, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said Japan had Kyi
Maung had been detained for questioning and that he would be
released as soon as it was over.
"The Japanese government has notified the Burmese government that
this runs against the move towards fostering democracy and that
it should respect the right of free activities by all political
parties" the ministry spokesman said.

"We have consistently asked the Burmese government to act with
restraint and release all those being held for political reasons
and have asked them to follow this in the future."

In Canberra, a spokesman for Foreign Minister Alexander Downer
said the Australian Embassy in Rangoon had been instructed "to
express our strong concern" over Kyi Maung's detention and to
call for his immediate release.

"While the full picture is not yet clear this looks like yet
another instance of Slorc increasing repressive action against
the democratic opposition," the spokesman said.

The United States, Britain and Amnesty International earlier
called for the immediate and unconditional release of Kyi Maung,
who was in Rangoon's infamous Insein Prison from 1990 to 1995 for
his role in democracy movement activities in Burma.
In Bangkok, a senior official at the Foreign Ministry would not
comment on the recent events but reiterated Bangkok's desire for
Burma to return to democracy.
The Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (Forum Asia)
said Slorc had placed Mrs Suu Kyi under "de facto house arrest".

In a statement, it said Slorc's practice of putting people under
its control through house arrest, detention, and taking them in
for interrogation has become a vicious cycle.
"It is aimed at putting up a facade that the practice is not a
systematic or deliberate violation of human rights, but is for
security purposes," said the group.
Forum-Asia also called on Asean to reconsider its decision to
admit Burma as a full member.


October 25, 1996

Burma's latest crackdown on the democracy movement and rare
student protests show its military rulers are worried the two
forces could merge and become a source of trouble, diplomats said
The crackdown also  signalled that the ruling State Law  and
Order Restoration Council (Slorc) was insecure despite its firm
grip on power, they told Reuters.

They said the fact the government was trying to link the
democracy movement with the student demonstrations  which were
held to protest the way police handled a nonpolitical argument
between students and restaurant owners was a sign of the
government's insecurity.

There are no formal links between university students in Burma
and the democracy movement because most students say they are
afraid to get involved in politics.
"I think the government is paranoid the two will come together,"
said one Rangoon-based diplomat. "That's why they have arrested U
Kyi Maung."

Mr Kyi Maung, a close confidant of democracy leader Aung San Suu
Kyi and a top official in her National League for Democracy 
(NLD) party, 'was picked up for questioning on Wednesday morning
for his involvement in the student protests.
A senior government official told  Reuters yesterday that Mr Kyi
Maung was being detained because he had talked for an hour with
two student leaders on Tuesday. He did not say when Mr Kyi Maung
would probably unnerved by the similarity between the argument on
Sunday that sparked the protest and a tea shop quarrel in 1988.
In 1988, a scuffle between students and shop owners in a tea shop
sparked nationwide outrage against the previous military
government, leading to pro-democracy street demonstrations that
left thousands dead or in jail.

The scuffle on Sunday between three students from the Yangon
(Rangoon) Institute of Technology (YIT) and restaurant owners
resulted first in a sit-in on Tuesday then a major sit-in
demonstration by up to 1,000 people early on Wednesday.

The students say the demonstrations were apolitical.
They said they were staged to protest the violent way the three
students were handcuffed and treated by police before being
eventually freed, and the inaccurate way the scuffle was reported
in national media.

Slorc said in a statement the protests were a ruse to foment
unrest among students and the public.

"I think there are people among them who are agitating, although
most of the students just want to pursue their studies," the
government official told Reuters.

He said the situation was different from that in 1988 because
Slorc, which seized power after the 1988 protests, was in firm
control now while in 1988 there was widespread discontent. with
the  previous government's policies.
But most diplomats said it was unclear  why the students who have
been closely monitored since their strong role in the 1988
uprisings would hold a large protest in the street and hope it
would not be seen as a political statement.


October 24, 1996 (Asian Wall Street Journal)

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nations prepares to discuss Burma's
bid for membership in late November, there is a growing realization that the
region's governments must play a key role in promoting basic human rights
and lasting stability of their troubled neighbor.  The ASEAN states could
help break the current deadlock in Burma by breathing new life into their
policy of "constructive engagement."  
Burma's rulers, the generals of the State Law and Order Restoration Council
are gradually tightening the noose around the opposition National League for
Democracy, detaining over 1,000 people this past May and September and
handing out jail terms to key pro-democracy activists. The army erected
barricades again on University Avenue last weekend, and it appears to be on
the verge of outlawing the NLD and marginalizing its leader, Aung San Suu
Kyi.  But it is unlikely that her popularity and Burmese aspirations for
democratic and human rights can be squashed without further bloodshed and
Should the generals suppress the forces of democracy, however, it will not
only be the people of Burma who will lose out.  The governments of ASEAN
will also suffer a serious loss of prestige and regional authority, as they
inherit the blame for not averting a human and political catastrophe on the
grounds of "non-interference" in the internal affairs of another country.
ASEAN could play a crucial role in persuading the Slorc to undertake
concrete changes, while offering economic and political support along the
way. And it could do so on its own terms, under its own time-table, but
acting within the
framework of unanimous United Nations resolutions on Burma. The UN General
Assembly is expected to pass another such resolution in the next couple of
ASEAN is considering welcoming Burma as a full member of the association in
1997 mainly for strategic reasons, to offset China's growing dominance in
Burma. Beijing has sold military hardware worth $1.2 billion since 1992,
including naval warships, and ASEAN is deeply concerned about China's
actions in the Indian Ocean and South China Sea. China's dominance of the
Burmese economy is perhaps an even greater concern.  There are no accurate
estimates of the amount of cross-border trade between China and Burma, much
of which is unofficial. This trade flow is complimented by generous grants
and cooperation agreements from Beijing to build roads and bridges that
improve China's access to southern Burma. 
But ASEAN governments come in a close second as Rangoon's top economic
partners, with Singapore the leading investor.  As activists groups
discourage large-scale Western investment - except, perhaps, in the oil
sector - Asean's
share of the market is likely to increase or remain steady. It is equally
unlikely that Slorc will allow unlimited Chinese investment in the face of
popular discontent and unease within the military over the extent of
Beijing's influence.  All sides may be overplaying the China card - in which
case ASEAN
should not feel pressured into expediting Burma's membership. 
In recent years ASEAN has acquired a strong self-image based on its economic
performance and its rejection of dictates from the West -- especially on
human rights. In fact, the Slorc has alluded to this in seeking to boost its
own image and legitimacy.  Burma's finance minister, Brigadier General Win
Tin, boasted at the World Bank's  annual meeting recently: "Our good
economic performance has been made possible by the prevalence of law and
order.  This in turn has earned us wide acceptance of our neighbors and
trading countries as worthy partners...In fact, the ASEAN nations have
welcomed us and
granted us observer status."
Yet even on human rights, there are divisions among the members of ASEAN in
their attitudes toward Burma.  Some officials in Thailand and the
Philippines are unwilling to lower human rights standards within the region
in order to
accommodate a country widely viewed as a pariah state due to its abysmal
human rights record. In addition, Thailand, though beset with political
difficulties itself, is reluctant to see its belligerent neighbor become a
member without some attention to international norms. Since May, when the
Philippine government refused to condemn the arrests of NLD supporters,
lobbying by opposition groups and nongovernmental organizations within the
Philippines seems to have compelled Manila to rethink its position on Burma. 
Malaysia will have a decisive voice on Burma's membership, as the chair of
the annual ministerial conference next year, and  Prime Minister Mahatir has
declared his intention to admit Rangoon. But Malaysia's deputy prime
minister, Datuk Ibrahim, declared in a speech last August that "democracy is
not a luxury that Asians cannot afford, as some would have us believe."  And
a recent editorial in The Straits Times warned that "constructive
engagement" was never meant to be "an infinite process" or to give "carte
blanche for the generals to perpetuate their hold on power without reference
to the people." 
Under the cover of its need for consensus, ASEAN could decide to balance the
push from President Ramos of the Philippines to "reassess" constructive
engagement, against the pro-Burma faction lead by Singapore and Indonesia.
It could strike a middle ground and decide to put off Burma's membership for
at least one year, that is until 1998, "on technical grounds." In the
meantime, it could exert quiet, but firm and consistent pressure on Burma to
restore stability and basic human rights.
 Such a policy could be adopted not in response to Western demands, but in
order to protect the interests of ASEAN's existing members.  And for Burma's
closest neighbors, those interests go beyond the issue of loss of prestige
in the event of a catastrophe. Thailand has borne the brunt of the SLORC's
brutality and economic mismanagement, enduring a series of incursions by the
Burmese military, plus a flood of 90,000 refugees and over one million
migrant laborers.  Thus it was not surprising that Bangkok supported
Manila's call to reconsider Asean's engagement approach.
Asean has shown that it can exert its influence on behalf of human rights in
Burma if it so chooses.  During Burmese premier Than Shwe's first visit to
Singapore in June 1995, Goh Chok Tong declared bluntly that "besides a
conducive economic environment, political stability and reconciliation are
necessary for encouraging trade, investments, and tourism." 

One month later, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was released from six
years of house arrest, and Burma was invited to Bangkok to sign the ASEAN
Treaty of Amity and Cooperation -- a first step towards its official
integration. It seems doubtful that SLORC would have been allowed to sign
the treaty if the NLD leader had not been released; her freedom may even
have been an explicit pre-condition. 
The White House is now considering imposing a ban on all new U.S. private
investment in Burma, as called for in legislation enacted by Congress last
month with the Clinton Administration's support.  In addition, the European
Union is
considering a timetable for the possible withdrawal of preferential import
tariffs due to the massive use of forced labor in Burma, and other possible
sanctions.  If 
"constructive engagement" is to have any credibility - even among Asean's
own members - as an alternative to sanctions, ASEAN should undertake an intense,
ongoing diplomatic initiative, urging Rangoon to take steps to begin
defusing the confrontation with the NLD and the international community,
such as:

     -- Release of all detained NLD activists and members of
parliament and agreement with international humanitarian agencies on prison
    -- Reversal of the decision to effectively close all NLD offices and
instead offer a commitment to allow the NLD to meet freely and to refrain
from security roundups every time Aung San Suu Kyi convenes a meeting;

     -- Issuing a welcome to the U.N. Secretary General's representative to
come to Burma promptly to facilitate dialogue, as called for by U.N.

     -- Verifiable efforts to end forced labor, which could result in a
deferment of EU sanctions and further censure by the International Labor
None of these measures would lead to the immediate downfall of SLORC and the
country's disintegration, as the Burmese generals might claim. Rather, they
would be first steps toward a lasting solution to Burma's long-term political
instability by encouraging dialogue with the opposition. By pressing for
these changes, the governments of ASEAN might help end the current human
rights disaster in Burma, while upholding the group's integrity and
international standing.

Mr. Jendrzejczyk is the Washington director of Human Rights
Watch/Asia and Ms. Liddell is a research associate in the


October 25, 1996

A special correspondent for The Nation spoke to Kyi Maung, a
close confidant of Burma's democracy leader Aung San Suu, a day
before he was arrested.

How do you feel about the recent curbs and restrictions over the
last few months on the activities of the National League for
Democracy  (NLD)? 
     They  have restricted our movements and they have barricaded
Daw Suu Kyi's residence; they have made it difficult for us to
bring out notices or to carry on with  our normal work. It's
actually like living in prison, but we're getting used to it. But
it's a very strange way of  living.
Within the last five months the military regime has made a
number of arrests. When they found they couldn't detain people
for any length of time, they  had to release a lot of people.    
They are actually giving short courses to our people (laughing). 
Is Slorc now in a fix?
     The situation in this country is well known to you . I
think, Everything that matters in the governance of this country
is going wrong. We are in economic debt. The market economy is so
corrupt. You know it just benefits a very elitist section of this
society. Further, we do not have the basic necessary economic
infrastructure for this country to be lifted off. Every thing is
in a topsyturvy situation. And the regime has all along adopted
the same methods. They want to sort out Burma's problems using
repressive measures. This is wrong.

Do you think the junta is coming closer to agreeing to a dialogue?

     Yes. As they have found out, the international community is
putting on pressure. They will soon come to the realisation that
they will have to look inward - and not to the Chinese.

There has been a lot of discussion recently in ASEAN, especially
by the Philippines and Thailand, and even by Singapore, about
delaying Burma's entry into it.

     The Singaporeans have changed their tune. They couldn't
close their eyes anymore and fool themselves because their share
of total investments in Burma is about 50 per cent. So you see
money talks.

So you would see the discussions as being important?

Yes, absolutely. This is a critical time to reconsider
because the majority of the hotels belong to the Singaporeans and
they are banking on the expected target of tourist arrivals for
the so-called "Visit Myanmar Year". But this is October and the
season has already started, and they are extremely concerned by
calculations of the income they are actually accruing. This is a
very realistic problem. Only money could convince these people
about whether it is  to place their bets on an unpopular
regime with a record of brutality.

How do you feel about the "Visit Myanmar Year", to start next month?

     This  is one big flop, I think. Not that we wish it. Look at
the situation. You  walk across the crossroads and look at the
billboard there. What would a foreigner and a stranger to this
country  when they read slogans such as "To resolutely crush
destructive internal and  external elements jeopardizing the
state'. Then if you go downtown, across he American Embassy you
find slogans such as "Down with the minions of colonialism" and
"Down with the army".  When the roads are blocked. The tourists
will really wonder what is going on in Burma.
Slorc has created this mess for itself. After reading the
New Light of  Myanmar for three days continuously you get the
idea. Well they'll tell themselves "Let's leave the country." 


October 25, 1996
	MANILA (AP-Dow Jones)--A lawmaker proposed on Friday that 	former President
Corazon Aquino go to Burma as a special envoy to 	convey Philippine concern
about a crackdown on the pro-democracy 	movement. 
	Representative Ranjit Shahani, a nephew of President Fidel Ramos, 
	made the suggestion during a hearing on Philippine policy toward 

	Burma has repeatedly denied Aquino a visa for talks with Nobel 
	laureate and pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi.
	Shahani described the visa rejections for Aquino as a 'slap on the 
	face of the Filipino people.' 

	Aquino wasn't immediately available for comment. 
	While the Philippines supports Burma's military government, the 
	State Law and Order Restoration Council, 'we have to express our 
	concern about the anti-democratic tendencies being undertaken by 
	the military junta, which is brutal and self-serving,' Shahani 
	said. In a speech at a U.S. State Department ceremony where she was 
	awarded the J. William Fulbright Prize for International 
	Understanding earlier this month, Aquino urged U.S. officials and 
	other international leaders to support democracy in Burma in the
	same way they backed her a decade ago. 

	Aquino took office after a 'people power' revolution in February 
	1986 ousted the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. She said she had 
	tried several times to visit Suu Kyi, but military rulers refused her 	entry. 


October 25, 1996

Up to three squadrons of F-7 fighter aircraft;
24xA-5M ground attack fighters;
Transport aircraft and helicopters;
145 x Type 69 Mk II main battle tanks;
05 Type 63 light amphibious tanks;
250 Type 85 armoured personnel carriers;
100 x 122 mm howitzers;
30 multiple rocket launchers;
24 Type 74 37 mm twin-barreled towed anti-aircraft guns;
Ten Hainan-class fast attack patrol boats.


October 27, 1996 (abridged)

RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi relieved weeks
of isolation Sunday by meeting with Buddhist monks and members of her
opposition party, although roadblocks continued to restrict access to her home.

The meetings came a day after Suu Kyi left her home for the first time in
four days, dampening speculation that she had been placed under house arrest
by the military regime following a rare student protest. The government had
denied the allegations.

The roadblocks on streets leading to Suu Kyi's home continued to curtail her
political activities. The barriers have prevented the Nobel Peace laureate
from holding a congress of her party and from appearing before the thousands
of people who attend her customary weekend rallies.

Officials from Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy said that she offered
food Sunday to the monks, as she does on the 27th day of every month to
commemorate the death of her mother eight years ago. Sunday also marked the
end of the three-day Buddhist Lent.

On Saturday, Suu Kyi attended the 10th birthday celebration of the grandson
of Tin Oo, vice chairman of her party.

It was the first time she had left her home since Tuesday night, when she
was advised to stay in her compound and not attend a street protest by
university students.

Burma's military regime, the State Law and Order Restoration Council, denied
reports that Suu Kyi had been confined to her home, but authorities refused
to allow all but her closest associations to visit her. The phone line to
her home has apparently been cut for weeks.


October 27, 1996 (abridged)

RANGOON - Burma's state-run media continued its attacks on
democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday, saying she is being
manipulated by the United States Central Intelligence Agency
(CIA) to try and bring down the government.

"It is not that the CIA is having her play a ploy to be able to
get political power as a democracy leader," a commentary in the
official New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.

"The aim of putting her onto the political stage is just to have
her plotting to bring down the ... government that is striving
day and night and making progress all round while maintaining
stability, peace and tranquillity in the country."

Burma's media is tightly controlled by the ruling State Law and
Order Restoration Council (Slorc) and is considered to be the
government's mouthpiece.

"The  CIA is pulling strings from behind, just to have her
disparaging, vilifying and obstructing everything being done by
the government and to instigate the unwitting youths in devious
ways to create disturbances," the commentary said.
Diplomats quoted an NLD official as saying Suu Kyi had been
virtually placed under house arrest but a government official
said that Suu Kyi was under no restrictions.

But as of yesterday, there was still no word from her as the
roads leading to her house remained blocked. Her telephone has
not worked since late September, when the line was apparently cut
as the junta took various steps to prevent the NLD from holding a
party meeting.

United Press International adds: Burmese Prime Minister General
Than Shwe, under fire for cracking down on the country's
democratic opposition, has urged the international community to
refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of other
countries, the official media reported. In a speech to mark the
51st anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, Than Shwe
emphasised the principle of non-interference 
"It is essential for member countries to scrupulously respect,
both in words as well as in deeds, to refrain from interference
in another's internal affairs," he said.

Than Shwe urged UN members to "rededicate ourselves to achieving
a world where principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity,
independence, sovereign equality and non-interference in the
internal affairs of states are respected."

The speech came amid an international outcry against the jailing
of Kyi Maung, 75, vice chairman of the NLD.

US State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns described the arrest
of Kyi Maung as "a very serious situation" and an "escalation" of
repression in Burma.
Burmese exile groups and the London based Amnesty International
have also condemned the arrest, saying Kyi Maung  faced possible
physical abuse in the country's prison system, which is known for
cruel treatment of inmates.