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BurmaNet News January 3, 1996

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News: January 3, 1997
Issue #603


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1997.  Key astrologers in Burma are predicting political change in early
1997.  BurmaNet sincerely hopes that if change occurs, it will be in a
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Wishing you all the best in 1997,



January 2, 1997

RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- The military regime declared the home of Aung San Suu
Kyi off-limits to journalists Thursday, confirming that the relative freedom
the pro-democracy leader enjoyed after her release from house arrest has ended. 

Diplomats and members of her party will be allowed to enter Suu Kyi's
lakeside compound, which is sealed off by roadblocks, provided they obtain
prior permission from the government, officials said. 

``Journalists can meet her at other places,'' Col. Thein Swe said at the
government's monthly news conference. Asked when the roadblocks would be
removed, he said that ``depends on the situation.'' 

Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent promotion
of democracy, has met only rarely with journalists since November, and only
at the homes of friends or at social functions. 

Since blocking her from holding a party congress in May, the military
government has steadily increased pressure on Suu Kyi and her National
League for Democracy party, detaining and releasing hundreds of members and
sentencing scores to prison. 

Suu Kyi's only opportunity to meet ordinary Burmese -- weekend rallies
before thousands outside her home -- ended in late September when the regime
put up the roadblocks. 

The restrictions culminated last month when authorities told her not to
leave her home for her own safety -- and blocked her at one point with riot
police -- amid demonstrations by hundreds of students demanding an
independent union and greater freedoms. She has been able to leave with
greater ease over the past week. 

The December protests marked the biggest street unrest in Burma since the
pro-democracy uprising of 1988, which was crushed when the army gunned down
thousands of demonstrators. The recent protests were broken up more gently,
with riot police and water cannon. 

The demonstrations fizzled out after university classes were suspended and
thousands of students were sent home. 

At Thursday's briefing, a government spokesman said some universities would
be reopened as scheduled Monday after the normal winter break, ``but
universities which had problems in December will not be reopened yet.'' 

The military junta has accused accused Suu Kyi's party and ethnic rebels of
fomenting the unrest. It also accuses the two groups of involvement in a
Christmas Day bombing of a Rangoon pagoda compound that killed five people
and injured 17. 

Suu Kyi has denied the allegations, and the rebels claimed separately that
the government staged the bombing to create a pretext for a crackdown. 

The government said Thursday that peace talks with the rebels will not be
affected by the bombing. 

``We are prepared to resume talks ... whenever they are ready,'' said Col.
Kyaw Win, a senior military intelligence official. 

Kyaw Win said the rebels had contacted the government Wednesday, but did not


January 2, 1996  Rangoon, AP

A defiant Aung San Suu Kyi marked New Year's Eve by urging the
world to apply more pressure on Burma's military government in
1997 to allow democracy. 
In her first meeting with reporters after nearly a month of being
largely confined to her home, Suu Kyi spurned accusations by the
regime that her party played a role in recent student unrest and
a Christmas Day bombing that killed five people.

Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent
promotion of democracy, greeted journalists and about 40 members
of her National League for Democracy at a New Year's Eve party at
the home of a senior party leader, Kyi Maung. 

They watched a television news report featuring Lt Gen Khin
Nyunt, one of the four chief generals of the ruling State Law and
Order Restoration Council, or Slorc, blaming recent unrest on Suu
Kyi's party and diehard Communists.

Reporters afterward asked Suu Kyi to make a prediction for the
new year and send a message to the world.

"The coming new year I hope will bring progress in the direction
of democracy, but it won't come without effort," she said. "I
would exert the maximum pressure possible on Slorc."

Street protests by hundreds of university students in early
December marked the most important unrest since the 1988
pro-democracy uprising which was bloodily suppressed when troops
gunned down thousands  people.

Khin Nyunt, head of the omnipresent military intelligence
apparatus said in a  two-hour news conference earlier Tuesday
that 56 people remain in custody from the recent demonstrations.
Hundreds more were arrested and released.

Those still in custody included 13 members of Suu Kyi's party, 34
remnant members of the defunct Communist Party, and nine people
who threw rocks at security forces during the demonstrations.

Suu Kyi said that she believed that more than 13 of her party's
members were in custody and said that Khin Nyunt had failed to
provide "hard evidence" any were involved in the protests.

"The only proof is that the students agree with everything we
said about the education system," Suu Kyi said. "That doesn't
mean that we were inciting the students.  It just means that the
students think the same way we do."

Khin Nyunt blamed a bombing December  25 that killed five people
at a Rangoon pagoda compound on Karen ethnic insurgents and a
rebel group formed by exiled students after the 1988 uprising.


January 1, 1997

RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- A temple compound closed for a week after a deadly
bombing reopened Wednesday, and thousands of Burmese endured delays caused
by tight security to see a sacred Buddhist relic inside. 

In a defiant New Year's Eve news conference, meanwhile, pro-democracy leader
Aung San Suu Kyi predicted progress toward democracy in 1997 and urged
foreign countries to step up pressure on Burma's military government. 

``In politics, it's very difficult to say when something is going to
happen,'' she said. ``Who would have thought that in 1989, the political map
of eastern Europe would change so quickly?'' 

The Kaba Aye pagoda compound had been closed since Dec. 25, when a pair of
explosions killed five people and injured 17. Many senior officials had
visited the relic earlier in the day, but none were hurt. 

At the site Wednesday, soldiers made visitors leave their belongings 15 feet
from the entrance to the compound. The line to get into the compound
stretched for 200 yards. 

People wanted to pay respects to a 2,500-year-old tooth believed to have
belonged to the Buddha. The tooth has been on loan since Dec. 6 from China,
the government's biggest ally and arms supplier. 

The government has blamed ethnic Karen and student rebel groups based along
the Thai border for the bombing. Those groups, in turn, have accused the
government of staging the blast to create a pretext for a crackdown. 

The explosion and a series of student protests earlier in December marked
the most important unrest since a pro-democracy uprising in 1988, and have
deepened enmity between the hard-line regime and groups seeking multiparty

Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, the powerful chief of military intelligence, on Tuesday
accused Suu Kyi's party and Communists of fomenting the unrest. 

The general said 56 people are in custody in connection with the protests.
Hundreds of others have been arrested and released. 

Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her non-violent promotion
of democracy, denied the allegations Tuesday when she met reporters at the
home of a senior aide. It was her first news conference since being largely
confined to her own house in early December. 

Suu Kyi, who stared down armed soldiers in 1988 at the head of pro-democracy
marches, was asked why she had not joined the student demonstrations this time. 

``I do not believe in arousing the masses just to create a situation that
will be favorable for our organization,'' she said. ``We want the kind of
change that comes because people understand the need for a change and are
committed to make it.'' 


December 31, 1996

YANGON, Dec. 31 (Kyodo) -- Myanmar's ruling junta claimed Tuesday that the
National League for Democracy (NLD) led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi
and underground communists were involved in recent student unrest in the

The allegation was made by Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, one of the top military
rulers and secretary of the junta, known officially as the State Law and
Order Restoration Council (SLORC).

Citing seized documents, Khin Nyunt also alleged at a special press
conference that the student rebel group and Kayin National Union rebels were
responsible for the recent bombing at the Kaba-aye Pagoda, which left five
persons dead and wounded 17 others.

Resident foreign correspondents, the local press, members of a national
convention-convening commission and a multi-party election commission, and
the rectors of universities were invited to the press conference held at the
Defense Ministry. A number of government ministers were also present.

In a two-hour speech at the gathering, Khin Nyunt said that of 596 people
detained in connection with the Dec. 3 demonstration, 13 NLD members and 34
''communist underground elements,'' including Burma Communist Party (BCP)
leader Nyein Myint, are still under interrogation.

Documents, pamphlets, letters and books seized from the arrested persons
were displayed at the conference hall to back up the allegations of NLD and
communist involvement.

''Taking adavantage of the student unrest in protest against police beating
of three students of the Yangon Institute of Technology (YIT) in October,
both the NLD and BCP underground launched their activities to destabilize
the country,'' Khin Nyunt said.


December 31, 1996  (abridged)

RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- The military government today blamed Aung San Suu
Kyi's pro-democracy party and Communists for the biggest protests to sweep
Burma in years and said 56 people were being held in connection with the

Speaking at a press conference, Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt also claimed that an
ethnic insurgency group and exiled students had set off a bomb Christmas Day
at a Rangoon pagoda which killed five persons. 

The general also criticized the United States for alleged interference in
Burma's internal affairs. 

The student demonstrations, which erupted in early December, and the bomb
explosion have further heightened enmity between Burma's hard-line military
and pro-democracy groups. 

Khin Nyunt blamed the bombing on the Karen National Union, Burma's last
major insurgency group still fighting the central government for greater
autonomy, and the All-Burma Students Democratic Front. 

Both groups have denied any role in the bombing and accuse the regime of
staging the explosion so it can crack down on pro-democracy opponents. 

Khin Nyunt, head of military intelligence, also blamed unnamed
``above-ground destructionists'' for the bombing, a term that usually refers
to Suu Kyi's party. 

He also blamed ethnic Karenni rebels for setting off a land mine Dec. 21
near a passenger train. It was not clear where the mine was set off, and he
did not say there were any injuries. 


December 29, 1996

RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- Aung San Suu Kyi attended a wedding celebration and
visited a museum Sunday, but Burmese authorities signaled the pro-democracy
leader would still need permission for any trip she makes outside her home.

Suu Kyi, confined to her closely guarded compound since a series of student
demonstrations earlier this month, could leave her house ``on a case-by-case
basis'' -- after a security review of her request to go out, officials said,
speaking on condition of anonymity.

Government security cars will accompany her.

Suu Kyi failed for the fifth straight weekend to appear at an intersection
near her home where she has addressed supporters in the past. About 120
people turned up, waited an hour, then left.

Winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to bring democracy to
military-ruled Burma, Suu Kyi spent six years under house arrest. The
military regime freed her in 1995, but is steadily increasing restrictions
on her movements again.

Suu Kyi left her home for the first time in three weeks Friday to visit the
grave of her mother.

Until then, she had either not been able to leave her lakeside compound --
being blocked at one point by riot police -- or refused on principle to seek
official permission.

Sources in Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy confirmed that she
attended a religious wedding celebration at a downtown monastery.

Afterward, on her way home, she stopped by the former house of her father,
Burma's independence hero, Aung San. The home was turned into a museum after
he was assassinated July 19, 1947.

Aung San's legacy is claimed by both Suu Kyi, who was 2 years old when he
was gunned down during a Cabinet meeting, and the military he founded to
fight British colonial rule. The army has been in power since 1962.

Suu Kyi, 51, was thrust into prominence during the pro-democracy uprising of
1988. The army crushed the uprising by gunning down thousands of protesters.

Suu Kyi's supporters won elections in 1990, but the regime never allowed
parliament to convene.


December 31, 1996
by Assawin Pinitwong

MAE HONG SON ; Ethnic Shans in Burma's Shan state who surrendered
to the .Burmese government early this year are still victims of economic and
military oppression, according to Thai military sources in this northern
border province. 
Despite the surrender of the Mon Tai Army (MTA), led by drug warlord Khun
Sa, the military junta are continuing to favor ethnic Burmans in the state,
whose population comprises both ethnic Shans and Chinese Haw.

Under a deal brokered  the junta, who have provided him with a house in
Rangoon, Khun Sa continues to control the MTA' s stronghold at Homong under
the supervision of the government. His former MTA troops act as a volunteer

The Burmese government has recently evacuated more than 5,000
poor Burmans from Rangoon to Homong and have allegedly accorded
the new- comers greater privileges than local Shan villagers.

The Burmans have been issued ID cards, thus becoming first-class
citizens, while Shans, promised ID cards by the military regime
when the MTA surrendered, were refused them.

The State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) is said to
have put a limit on the amount of trade Shans may engage in each
day, while no such restrictions have been placed on the ethnic
Burmans. The government's action has prevented Shans from
engaging in border trade, while expanding that of the ethnic Burmese.

The SLORC has also dealt a blow to the political role of Shan
people in the Homong' s affairs by increasing the number of
Burmans in the committee set up to develop town. In addition, say
the sources, Burmans have been appointed as Homong police officers. 
According to Shan villagers, the Burmese regime has of yet made
no serious attempts to eradicate opium plantations in the Shan
state. While they destroyed roadside plantations, they left
others untouched, hoping to deceive the world into thinking that
the region' s drug problem had been solved.

The military junta is said to keep those opium plantations either
for its own financial benefit or to keep Shans addicted to the
drug, in order to reduce the likelihood of a concerted rebellion.

In another development, several ethnic minority groups including
parts of the Kayah, Mon, and Wah, have begun to gather their
troops to wage an onslaught against the Slorc. Although they
earlier signed a ceasefire agreement with the Slorc, the junta
betrayed them, Burmese troops attacking several of their villages.

About 500 Mon soldiers  reportedly clashed with  Burmese troops four or five
times at the border area opposite the Thai province of Kanchanaburi last week.

The Karen National Union (KNU), led by Gen Bo Mya, is also preparing to
fight the Burmese troops. The group refuses to surrender unless the Slorc
steps down and lets the National League for Democracy (NLD run the country.
Although the NLD won a landslide victory in 1989's general election, the
Slorc refused to acknowledge the result.

A reliable source from the KNU said that the group is not afraid of the
military  junta. The KNU's  stronghold was a mobile one, he said, which
makes it difficult for the Burmese troops to  launch an attack. The KNU's
greater familiarity with the jungle area gave them an additional advantage
over the  Burmese army.

The latest meeting of the KNU resolved to employ both military measures,
including guerrilla attacks, and negotiation, the source said. 


December 31, 1996
Parith Iampongpaiboon

DRASTIC increase in heroin production due to an insurence by
Burma's ethnic groups and their trafficking activities through
newly-created networks will hurt Thailand in the coming years,
top Thai anti-narcotics officers said.

Although some 15 armed ethnic groups have already reached
ceasefire agreements with the Burmese junta, known as the State
Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc), both sides remain
highly suspicious of one another.

Slorc, said the officers, will not be able to eliminate all the
ethnic insurgencies over the next two to three years and there
may e a tendency for some of the groups, which are unhappy with
the truce to resume their armed struggle.

Several groups in Burma's northeastern Shan state - particularly
opium warlord Khun Sa's Mong Tai Army (MTA), its arch rival Wa
group, as well as ex-MTA forces that have defected and formed
their own movement - will continue to rely on heroin production
and trafficking as their main source of income. 
The officers, who asked not to be identified, said that Slorc has
made secret deals with the ceasefire groups in Shan state,
particularly the MTA, that allows them to continue producing
drugs for three years because the government does not have
sufficient funds to feed them.
With that scenario, Burma's production of narcotics both opium
and heroin] is likely to increase. Moreover, the Burmese
government will mobilise all its resources to resolve the
country's first priority national security," one officer said.

Khun Sa's surrender to Slorc last December had an impact on
Thailand as MTA defectors are now establishing their own source
of income to fight Slorc.

"Thus, the main trafficking network in  Burma will break up into
many new  ones," the officer said.
Moreover, Khun Sa's surrender has made the United Wa State Army a
new major drug trafficking player, as it manages to maintain its  
controlled territory in addition to its trafficking network in heroin.
(BurmaNet Editor's Note: The UWSA has long been a major player but has
prefered to be less public than Khun Sa about its activities.)

"The breakup of Khun Sa's group was a golden opportunity for the Wa to
expand and strengthen its net- works to replace those of Khun Sa." he said.

The officer added that after Khun Sa's surrender, some MTA forces
fled across the border into Laos where they later established new
strong holds. This faction has already started  sending drug
shipments to world markets using Thailand's Phayao, Nan and
Uttaradit provinces as their major routes.

According to the officers, the price rise for heroin in May was a
key factor in the increase in opium cultivation this year by
hilltribes in Thailand. Apart from personal consumption, the highland tribes
also grew more poppies to take advantage of the price increase.

Because of conducive domestic and external factors, it is highly
likely that some independent groups will establish more heroin
refineries in Thailand, exploiting sufficient raw material
supplies from both Thailand and Burma, they added.

The high price has also attracted hilltribes in remote villages
to start illegal heroin production, a scenario which used to take
place in years past.

The rugged mountainous terrains in  Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and
Mae Hong Son provinces are identified as the most probable areas
for the setting up of small mobile heroin refineries.

The officers said that heroin traffickers in northern Thailand
are forming  net works to re lace those used by Khun Sa, with the
Wa group standing out as the most prominent. Apart from heroin,
the traffickers are also dealing in  amphetamines.

>From the changing situation in the  Golden Triangle, Thailand
will see new forms of heroin smuggled into the country.

Apart from heroin, Thailand will also in the  next few years
suffer badly from amphetamine use. The officers said the number
of amphetamine abusers will increase.
While truck drivers and factory workers remain the prime user of
the pill, the drug has quickly found new customers  from other
walks of life, such as farmers and  students. Over the next few
years amphetamine producers will be scattered  across some 40
provinces in Thailand, a drastic change from the past when
production was mainly located in Bangkok and its, neighboring provinces.

Drug-trafficking bosses and  government; officials involved in
the illicit trade have three months to turn over a new leaf or 
"drastic action", Interior Minister Snoh Thienthong said yesterday.

Snoh said that he wants the bosses  and government officials to
stop drug trafficking as a New Year's gift to the people.

"I'll keep a close watch on them during the first three months
the year," Snoh said "I have their names here, including  
senior; government officials and political officials who have
become rich selling drugs. Let me be straight - there are a lot
of them. I ask them to stop now. If not, I'm sorry to say that I
will not tolerate their crimes and will deal with them severely."


January 1, 1997

IF I were Unocal, the Los Angeles-based giant that is a partner in the
controversial gas pipeline project in Burma (officially known as Myanmar),
I'd be worried sick. 

The Clinton administration, sullied by the sordid picture of a stream of
exceptionally generous Asian businessmen sauntering by the White House for
little policy chats, may soon have to take a high-minded moral stand
somewhere in Asia. China is obviously too important to mess with, so Burma
may just fit the bill. 

I think it'll be a bumpy road at best for any US company still doing
business there. 

Almost no one outside Asia can abide Slorc, the odd acronym for the State
Law and Order Restoration Council, the ruling junta's official name. 

Pointedly, US Secretary of State-designate Madeleine Albright heaps public
praise on Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, the internationally
acclaimed internal opponent of SLORC.  Protests are popping up on US college
campuses, and some localities have already voted to spurn contracts with US
businesses involved with Burma. 

Major US newspapers, including Los Angeles Times and The New York Times,
have published editorials critical of Unocal. 

The pressure mounts on the world's 12th largest oil company to head
gracefully for the exit, as have companies like Apple Computers and Levi
Strauss. It's easy to envision US economic sanctions, or at least selective
boycotts, in Burma's star-crossed future. 


December 31, 1996

RANGOON, Dec 31 (Reuter) - Burma's military government on Tuesday said it
had arrested  47 members of the outlawed Communist Party and the opposition
National League for Democracy (NLD) party for their  involvement in recent

Here is a chronology of the unrest and other key events that have taken
place in Burma  since the NLD's leader, Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu
Kyi, was released from house arrest in July 1995.

July 10, 1995 - Government releases Suu Kyi after six years of house arrest.

July 11, 1995 - Suu Kyi says still dedicated to restoration of democracy in
Burma and  calls for dialogue on political reform with ruling State Law and
Order Restoration Council (SLORC). She also urges foreigners  not to invest
in Burma until democracy is restored.

Nov 28, 1995 - Suu Kyi withdraws NLD from National Convention which is
drafting guidelines for a new constitution, saying the exercise does not
represent will of the people.

May 20, 1996 - SLORC launches sweeping arrests against NLD members planning
to attend  party congress at Suu Kyi's house coinciding with sixth
anniversary of NLD's May 27, 1990 election victory.

May 26, 1996 - NLD three-day party congress begins despite arrests of at
least 258 NLD  members who had planned to attend. SLORC says it only
detained the NLD members to prevent anarchy.

May 28, 1996 - Party meeting ends with NLD passing series of resolutions
including  controversial one giving NLD leadership power to draft version of
a constitution.

May 28, 1996 - Government begins series of mass rallies condemning Suu Kyi
and the NLD  as destructive elements aimed at destabilising the country.

June 7, 1996 - SLORC passes new law effectively muzzling NLD from saying or
doing  anything contrary to planned constitution. Law says violators face up
to 20 years in prison.

June 22, 1996 - James Leander Nichols, honorary consul to several European
nations and  close friend of Suu Kyi, dies in Rangoon jail. He had been
arrested for operating telephones and fax machines without  permission.

July 3, 1996 - Bomb explodes at the base of a propaganda billboard opposite
U.S. embassy in Rangoon, no one injured.

Sept 27, 1996 - Heavily armed riot police man checkpoints barring access to
road leading to Suu Kyi's house to prevent NLD congress from taking place.

Oct 1, 1996 - SLORC officials say they temporarily detained 559 activists
since Sept  27, and will keep roadblocks in place to prevent unrest. Suu Kyi
says up to 800 were arrested.

Oct 23, 1996 - About 500 Burmese university students hold rare demonstration
against  SLORC's handling of scuffle between students and restaurant owner.

Oct 23, 1996 - Kyi Maung, top aide to Suu Kyi, detained for five days for
questioning  on involvement in student protest.

Nov 3, 1996 - Police detain at least a dozen people forced away from blockades 
preventing them from attending Suu Kyi speech.

Nov 9, 1996 - Club-wielding, stone-throwing crowd attacks Suu Kyi's car and
others in a  motorcade as Suu Kyi heads to meet supporters standing outside
barricades. Suu Kyi accuses SLORC of orchestrating  attack, SLORC says it was
investigating incident.

Dec 2, 1996 - Up to 2,000 students stage rare street protest late into the
against police brutality and demanding political freedom and rights.

Dec 3, 1996 - Students stage new protest and march through streets. Police
briefly  arrest about 600 protesters.

Dec 4, 1996 - SLORC restricts Suu Kyi's movements, requiring her to obtain
approval  before she can leave her house.

Dec 7, 1996 - Soldiers and riot police round up 263 students and
sympathisers after  using water cannons and batons to end 11-hour street
protest early in the morning.

Dec 9, 1996 - Burma accuses NLD and underground communist activists and
student exiles  of instigating protests. The NLD and Thai-based exiles deny

Dec 26, 1996 - Two bombs explode at Buddhist religious site on outskirts of
Rangoon,  killing five and wounding 17. SLORC blames exiles and rebel Karen
guerrillas for blasts. They deny accusations.

Dec 31, 1996 - Burma says arrests 34 members of the Burma Communist Party
(BCP) and 13  NLD members for involvement in recent unrest.


December 30, 1996
by Assawin Pinitwong

TAK: Recent protests against the Burmese government in Rangoon
have adversely affected the logging business along the Thai-
Burmese border, according to Thai businessmen in the border area.

The demonstrations have prompted the State Law and Order
Restoration Council (Slorc) to suspend the export of logs,
particularly from the Kayah and Karen states. More than 10,000
teak logs due to be exported still remain on the Burmese side,
the businessmen said.

The junta were afraid that the protests could spark off
anti-SLORC offensives led by ethnic minority groups in the border
areas, which in turn could provide an opportunity for the groups
to benefit from the lucrative logging trade.

The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), whose stronghold
is at the border area opposite the Thai province of Mae Hong Son, has
reportedly issued a statement calling for assistance from democratic countries.

The statement, made by the group led by Kayah Prime Minister Gen Aung Than
Lay, also indicated that they will support any moves against the SLORC.

The KNPP condemned the SLORC, which it considers to be an unlawful
government, and its use of military force against pro-democracy campaigners.

The latest student protests started early this month when a large number of
students took to the streets in Rangoon. Hundreds of protesters were
reportedly detained by the junta, although some of them have since been

A meeting among eight anti-SLORC ethnic minority groups (Karen National
Union (KNU), KNPP, Mon. Pao, Arakan, Wah, and Chin) will be held next month.
Representatives from the Shan minority, some of whom defected from drug
warlord Khun Sa, will observe the gathering as well.

Khun Sa, leader of the Mong Tai Army, surrendered to the military  regime in
January.  However, many of MTA soldiers fled the troops before the surrender
in order to continue the struggle for independence.


December 25, 1996

Tokyo, Dec. 25 (Jiji Press)--Marubeni Corp. has agreed with the Myanmar
government to jointly produce rice for livestock feed in the country,
company officials said Wednesday.

The major trading firm, together with Myanmar's Ministry of Agriculture 
and Forests, will set up a joint venture there in the spring of 1997 to 
propel the project.

Marubeni will put up the majority of the new company's capital, which is 
expected to total around 1.5 million dollars. Using the seeds and 
technical skills developed by an Indian company which is in a business 
tie-up with Marubeni, the joint venture will aim to produce 3 million 
tons of livestock feed rice annually in the future, according to company 

Marubeni's move came in response to growing demand for livestock grain in 
line with a rise in meat consumption, the officials said.

The company will export the products to Asian countries from the year 
2000, and plans an annual output of 150,000 tons in the year 2004, they said.