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Military regime wants to see touris

Subject: Military regime wants to see tourists (Dutch ANP-news on Visit  Myanmar Year '96)

Original in English, published in Holland in Dutch, re-translation by BCN

Military regime Myanmar wants to see tourists

November 18th, 1996

Rangoon (RTR) - In the next twelve months, the military government of
Myanmar (Burma) wants to see 300.000 tourists; irrespective of strong
international criticism on the violations of human rights in the country and
the call for a boycott. Accusations of human rights organizations that the
beautiful new hotels are built by people randomly picked from the streets,
or that the roads have been constructed by forced lab our does not disturb
the regime.
According to member of the junta, lieut-general Khun Nyunt - head of the
military intelligence - "Myanmar has decided to open its doors to the
world". Foreign tourists can travel the whole country unhindered, since the
State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) has assured there is peace
and stability.
The tourists can travel to Burma, and "see for themselves". "When they
return to their home, they will explain how things really are here, and all
fabricates stories will disappear," says Nyunt.
Monday - a day with a little star, according to the junta, the
SLORC-organized "Visit Myanmar Year" has begun with a bombastic ceremony
that looked more like the opening of the Olympic Games than the launch of a
tourist campaign.
The three hour show in the stadium of the capital Rangoon consisted of
paratroopers, dancing elephants and floats. The presence of the military was
made obvious by the barking of orders at the colorfully dressed dancers.
Only since four years does Myanmar have a minister of Tourism. Before that,
tourists were bound by strict rules.
The presentation of the Visit Myanmar Year takes place at a moment that the
junta is again heavily criticized for the suppression of the democratic
opposition, led by nobel peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.