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BurmaNet News January 14, 1997
- Subject: BurmaNet News January 14, 1997
- From: strider@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 14 Jan 1997 07:27:00
------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"
The BurmaNet News: January 14, 1997
Noted in Passing:
Suu Kyi and her clique are wrongfully planning to use the deceitful
tactic of dialogue for their strategy of gaining power.
(MYANMAR ALIN: THE MEANING OF DIALOGUE)
THAILAND TIMES: BURMA ADOPTS LATEST BLOCK TO SUU KYI
BKK POST: INDICTMENTS FOR KEY DEALERS PREPARED
ABSDF: NEWS FROM CHINA-BURMA BORDER (3)
MAIN FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU: BAVARIA TURNING TO BURMA
DHAKA BANGLADESH RADIO NETWORK: ACCORD REACHED
NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR: GENUINE DEMOCRACY IN THE HEARTS
MYANMAR ALIN: THE MEANING OF DIALOGUE
INDEPENDENT LETTER: RE ASIA TIMES--MYANMAR OPPOSITION
ANNOUNCEMENT: J CREW STOPS SOURCING FROM BURMA
CSI: ESCALATING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY SLORC REGIME
THAILAND TIMES: BURMA ADOPTS LATEST BLOCK TO SUU KYI HOME
January 13, 1997
RANGOON: Burmese authorities mobilized civilians rather than
armed riot police Sunday to keep crowds of Aung San Suu Kyi
supporters from gathering near a busy intersection in Rangoon,
Dozens of men in civilian clothes, wearing yellow arm-bands
saying "on duty for the people," were stationed near a busy
intersection where the opposition National League for Democracy
(NLD) leader's supporters have been gathering on weekends.
The men approached people in the area and asked them to move on,
performing the same function that three truckloads of armed riot
police had on the previous day.
NLD supporters, spread out along the street over about 100
meters, quickly converged along with bystanders and
photo-snapping military intelligence officers when NLD co-vice
chairman Tin Oo made an appearance.
"I come here at the bidding of Aung San Suu Kyi, who sends her
best wishes and thanks you for your support" Tin Oo said.
As the men with yellow armbands approached, Tin Oò told the
crowd they should leave the area to avoid giving any excuses to
security forces or provoking any incidents.
He left after about one minute and the crowd quickly dispersed.
NLD supporters have used the intersection, about one kilometer
from Aung San Suu Kyi's residence, as a meeting point to greet
party leaders since the authorities halted regular public
meetings outsides the Nobel Peace Prize laureate's compound.
The meetings were held every weekend following her release from
house arrest in July 1995 until the end of September last year,
when her residence was blockaded to prevent the party from
holding a national congress.
The roadblocks have come down intermittently but are remounted
every weekend and when public disturbances or events take place,
such as the large student demonstrations last month or the
current national sports festival.
Groups in civilian clothes and yellow armbands were often used to
patrol areas when large public events are held, but Sunday was
the first time they were used against Aung San Suu Kyi
supporters, one observer noted.
Major Hla Min, a Burmese intelligence official, told AFP in a
facsimile send from Rangoon to Bangkok Saturday that NLD members
had been dispersed because they had been gathering in the path of
the sports festival's torch bearer.
"This move by the NLD showed clear indications that, given the
chance, they intended to disrupt the opening ceremonies of the
National Sports Festival, so security personnel are now on the
alert and carrying out their duties with vigilance to prevent any
untoward incidents," he said.
BKK POST: INDICTMENTS FOR KEY DEALERS PREPARED
January 12, 1997
Nusara Thaitawat, Anucha Charoenpo
INDICTMENTS for key drug dealers in the Golden Triangle are being prepared
by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, a DEA source said.
Agents, working in cooperation with local police in the Mekong region, are
gathering evidence to put before US courts. They hope to issue the
indictments this year.
The measure, though seen by some Thai narcotics officials as time consuming,
raises the change of catching the big fish, who usually escape arrest due to
weak Thai laws and the limited resources for conducting investigations in
Key dealers from three groups in Burma, named as Wa, Kokang and the Eastern
Shan State Army, have been identified.
According to a senior police source, a number of Thai nationals could also
The US allows its courts to indict suspects in foreign countries, if there is
proof that the drugs are intended for the US.
Khun Sa's indictment on 10 federal counts of drug trafficking by the Eastern
New York Court in 1989, together with 20 of his key lieutenants, contributed
to his downfall a year ago.
Following the indictment, a US-Thai joint operation led to the arrest of 13
According to both the DEA and Thai narcotics officials, the arrests led to
the collapse of Khun Sa's network in Thailand, disrupting sales and supplies
for his 20,000-strong Mong Tai Army.
There was also the Thanong Siripreechapong case. He was the first former
Thai politician to be extradited to stand trial in US. (BP)
ABSDF: NEWS FROM CHINA-BURMA BORDER (3)
January 13, 1997
Slorc Hands Over Namtee Sugar Mill To The KIO
As an economic privilege, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc)
handed over the Namtee Sugar Mill, situated in Moekaung Township, Kachin
State, to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) which reached an
cease-fire agreement with the Slorc in 1994.
The mill was not in operational condition at the time that Slorc handed it
over to the KIO because the workers had sold off the tools from the mill
when they heard the news that this mill was going to be given to the KIO.
The KIO is now purchasing the necessary equipment for the mill from China's
Yunan Province. There are about 100 workers working in that factory, and the
KIO has also hired a number of skilled workers. The salaries of the workers
2,000 Kyat to 10,000 Kyat a month.
The KIO has spent a lot of money on this mill. However, it has not been able to
gain any profits as production at the mill has not yet begun. Furthermore,
the KIO is having problems in transporting essential equipment and machine
spare parts from China.
During the period of the Burmese Socialist Program Party (BSPP), there were
two sugar mills in Hsarhmaw and Namtee within Kachin state. Hsarhmaw Sugar
Mill was shut down when Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 105 was established
there in 1980. Namtee sugar mill was poorly run under the BSPP's so-called
Economic Projects and had a low production rate.
At that time, people were being forced to grow sugar cane, and the
government paid them low prices for their crops. Therefore, sugar cane
for Pharkang jade mine area to find another livelihood. The departure of
the sugar cane growers resulted in a lack of raw materials for the mills. The
KIO now has to organize the local people to grow sugar cane for them.
It appears that the business ventures granted by the Slorc to the cease-fire
groups are not in operational condition when they are awarded. Regarding
such ventures, local people watch with interest to see if they can be turned
into profitable enterprises.
All Burma Students Democratic Front
MAIN FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU: BAVARIA TURNING TOWARD BURMA
January 8, 1997
by Brigitte Spitz (translated from German)
The Free State of Bavaria is financially supporting business contacts with
the military junta in Burma. The Economics Ministry in Munich wants to
subsidize Bavarian companies, which exhibit their products at a technology
fair in Burma's capital, Rangoon. By doing so, the Christian Social Union
[CSU] land government is deviating from Bonn's policy. The Federal
Government halted any subsidies to this southeast Asian country after the
bloody crushing of the Burmese democracy movement by the military nine years
ago. Therefore, the FRG Economics Ministry is not granting German companies
any subsidies for their participation in the technology fair, a spokeswoman
told Frankfurter Rundschau in Bonn.
In contrast, the Bavarian land government has included the "Technology
Myanmar 97" fair, which is organized by the Munich Fair Association [Messe
Muenchen GmbH] in Rangoon, in its program for participation in fairs. "We
are primarily oriented toward the wishes of our local industry, with a view
to jobs," Karin Haucke, spokeswoman for the ministry in Munich, said when
asked about political reservations. One relies on the principles of "change
In an interview with Deutsche Welle on Wednesday [8 January], Aung San Suu
Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and leader of the Burmese opposition, once
again came out against business contacts with the junta in Rangoon, which
denied her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), election victory
in 1990. "In view of German history, I find it shocking that German managers
are interested only in business but not in politics," Suu Kyi said.
In addition to the Bavarian Government, the CSU- affiliated Hanns-Seidel
Foundation will also be getting involved in Burma. The Foundation plans to
hold a conference with the working title "Technology Transfer" in autumn. This
conference is to be attended by companies, the Burmese military government,
and scientists. It is hoped that this does not give a "wrong signal,"
Burkhard Haneke of th Foundation said.
As DPA has reported, a member of Suu Kyi's NLD has been sentenced to 10
years in prison. A court in the northeastern district of Kayah found
politician Saw Oo Rai, who was elected to parliament in 1990, guilty of
publishing a book
illegally and of collecting money for the Karenni rebel movement.
DHAKA BANGLADESH RADIO NETWORK: ACCORD REACHED TO COMPLETE REFUGEE
REPATRIATION BY MARCH
January 8, 1997 (translated from Bengali)
Bangladesh and Burma have agreed to complete the repatriation of Rohingya
refugees by 31 March. The remaining 26,000 Rohingyas will be repatriated
during this time. The agreement was reached at the 21st senior official-
level meeting between the two countries in Chittagong today. It has been
officially learned that the meeting was held in a cordial and good-
neighborly atmosphere. At the meeting, the Burmese side handed over an entry
permit for 2,709 Rohingya refugees. They also agreed to issue another permit
for 5,000 refugees within the next 15 days. These refugees are awaiting
repatriation at various camps in Bandarban and Cox's Bazar districts.
Foreign Secretary M. Aminul Islam led the 12-member Bangladeshi team at the
meeting, while the Burmese side was led by U Maung Aung, director general of
immigration and census department.
NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR: GENUINE DEMOCRACY IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
January 7, 1996 by Maung Nwe Sit
Parents of the students were worried during the early days of December. The
parents of the children who were studying at the universities were
particular so. They were greatly worried because of inciting broadcasts of
the Western stations, the BBC and the VOA, and rumours of the axe-handles
inside the country bent on causing unrest.
The parents want their children to be educated. They are desirous of
favourable conditions for peaceful pursuit of education in order that their
children may concentrate on their studies. They want prevalence of stability
throughout the nation to be able to work for the progress of their business
Not only the entire mass of national races but also the people of the world
and friendly nations wish for stability, peace and progress of Myanmar
[Burma]. However, the neo- colonialist and meddlesome western group would
dominate the world and serve its selfish ends; it is against stability not
only in Myanmar but also in other nations. Lackeys of the colonialists and
axe-handles inside the country are more opposed to peace, stability and
the country. In Myanmar, peace and stability prevails and there is nearly
cent per cent [one hundred percent] achievement in ensuring peace, growing
national economy, on- going construction projects in all fields,
national solidarity and the rise in patriotism and nationalism among the
people. Though all these are the blessings for the entire mass of the people
in Myanmar, they constitute the source of jealousy for the destructive
elements at home and abroad. Those who have intentions to secure positions
in time of chaos and destruction in the country are excited.
It has been for quite some time that a group with the political party
backing has been trying to perpetrate a re- play of the second synchronised
four-eights incident [the mass demonstration of 8 August 1988] between those
and outside the country. It has also been for a long time that they have
been violating the existing laws, directives, and orders in the country. The
west has been supporting such breaches of law and attempts to incite unrest
taking them as the struggle for democracy. Myanmar public regard the western
stations, the BBC and the VOA, as the broadcasting stations in exile.
Those political groups plotted to make incitements in the student circle.
Majority of students realize that the State is providing unprecedented
support for them to be able to pursue education peacefully and conveniently.
They sympathize their parents. They foresee their future as well as the
The Government has already clarified the matter in detail on what happened
at Sawbwagyigon highway bus terminal in which three students were involved.
Those who were present at Sawbwagyigon highway bus terminal know what
really happened. It has been clarified in the newspapers that in connection
with this matter, two development committee police personnel were fired and
sentenced to two years' imprisonment with rigorous labour. The
destructionist groups who wanted to drive wedge politically, mongered all
sorts of rumours in the circle of students, made incitements to riots and
instigated them to
make protests. They attempted to create an uprising through the student
strike timing at the situation while the road is open for Myanmar to become
a member of the ASEAN and while the events of Visit Myanmar Year opening
Performing Arts Competitions, Myanma Regatta Festival, Student Sports
Festival and National Sports Festival, the ceremony to convey the Lord
Buddha's Tooth Relic for the third time, htidaw -- sacred umbrella hoisting
the Tooth Relic Pagoda, opening ceremony of University Diamond Jubilee Hall,
various international sports contests, international conferences, meetings,
seminars and workshops and Mayor's Marathon etc, were being held.
On 2 December 1996, some students of Yangon Institute of Technology [YIT]
made demands; they demanded that effective action must be taken against the
two development committee police personnel involved the case that happened
at Sawbwagyigon and how action was taken must be clarified in the newspaper;
and the group who issued declaration identifying themselves as those who
wanted to pursue education peacefully must be exposed. There were meddling
footwork of outside political subversives in the protests of some students
of Yangon Institute of Technology. It was started as if they staged a strike
as they were plagued with indignation for what happened to the two students
of YIT at Sawbwagyigon. Those who prolonged the protest from the evening of
2 December up to the morning of 3 December were political "wildcats". The
students were given to hold the flags bearing peacock portraits as those in
the NLD [National League for Democracy] flags. In the early morning on 3
December, the strikers led their way to the West bloc's embassy, the four
8's core, that the persons of deviated political outlook had paid their
salute throughout the four 8's disturbances. They shouted some slogans of
the four 8's uprising. Faculty members were able to persuade and dispersed
the students. A total of 424 students and 172 civilians who had continued to
demonstrate were detained temporarily. It is learnt that all students were
sent back to their faculties and civilians were sent back to their parents
through the respective Law and Order Restoration Councils. One of the three
students who were involved in
Sawbwagyigon incident expressed regret for what had happened due to them. By
floating rumours that one of the three students had died, the destructive
elements made continued attempts to stir up the students. As the destructive
elements are lackeys of aliens, they are good at spreading rumours. I will
present an example that a rumour which began on 5 December had already
spread in Yangon, especially in schools, the next day.
The rumour was none other than the false information that a plane, with film
stars May Than Nu, Htet Htet Moe Oo, Ye Aung, and Min Oo, who were flying to
Dawei to stage entertainments at the Student Sports Festival, crashed on
its way. The rumour was floated with an evil intent to ring anxiety among
parents of students and to discourage students from attending the festival.
However, people had seen May Than Nu for many times on TV among artistes
singing religious songs in paying obeisance to the Sacred Tooth Relic which
arrived Yangon on 6 December. People also saw Ye Aung, Min Oo, and Htet Htet
Moe Oo rehearsing for a play in the evening news on TV the same day. In
reality, rumour is like a soap-bubble that always easily busts in the sun
light. Those muddling in politics with rumours are persons engaged in
On 6 December morning, some YIT students met again at the institute and
demanded formation of Student Union and also shouted anti-Government
slogans. As the demands for the Government to step down have no connections
totally with the Sawbwagyigon incident, political interferences in this
incident have become fully visible.
These students left the institute on 6 December afternoon to gather at
Hledan junction in Kamayut. However, due to persuasion of the Minister for
Education and faculty members, they returned back to their institute. Some
of these YIT students arrived Hledan junction in the evening. After they
were joined in by some persons, they began to gather at the junction.
Political wild cats joined them, shouting slogans, accelerating
stimulations, and distributing anti-Government leaflets and papers on
political demands. They were making acts and shouting demands brazenly for a
External destructive political forces and diplomats, who did observe their
norms, arrived at both incidents -- disturbances and shoutings on 2 December
and creation of disturbances on 6 December -- providing rations and money
and distributing alien instigative leaflets. These persons also handed
rioters with sticks and other weapons to fight back security personnel.
Those who distributed such weapons into Tiananmen Square demonstrations were
spies of the Western block. They are attempting to fuel an ordinary
demonstration into an armed fight by sacrificing students. By posing
themselves as onlookers or those who happened to be at the scene by chance
or who were watching the incident as it was happening in front of their
houses, destructive politicians on the platforms made instigations to fuel
the demonstrations to become large like the four
eights disturbances. The Minister for Education and faculties persuaded them
and took them back to their institute by cars.
As 75-kyat notes were demonetized in 1987, some hostel students holding
75-kyat notes began to express their sad feelings and find means to return
back home as their institutions of higher learnings were closed after the
conclusion of examinations. Students expressing their feelings while dining
at coffee shops were instigated by outside interferences to create
disturbances. A group of
outsiders destroyed a nearby saloon and created disturbances. But the
students returned back to their hostels. The case ended peacefully as the
Education provided all the allowances for the students' home bound journey.
Outsiders, circling the students, began to make attempts to enlarge the
clamour by creating disturbances on 6 and 7 December. Their methods were the
same as in 1987. They destroyed a building and a traffic light at the
junction. It could be seen visibly that none of the students were involved
in these destructive acts. More so called politicians began to gather at the
scene, managing from beside.
As students were coming towards Hledan junction, political wild cats and
evil persons, who will snatch goods from shops when a chance to do so
occurs, tried to create riots by showing students as a cause. Onlookers on
the roadside and residents of the building in front of the former Kamayut
Police Station insulted police on security duty at the scene by throwing
stones at them. The police put
down the rioters only after students had been dispersed and took away safely
from there. Police have no other way to act like this for the maintenance of
law and order and community peace.
Foreign correspondents, who entered Myanmar by posing themselves as original
tourists, some diplomats, and political news gatherers shot with cameras and
video cameras on police putting down the rioters. When they got abroad
they exaggerated the incident, announcing fabrications that the police had
forcefully put down the student demonstrations.
VOA and BBC fabricated and exaggerated news on demonstrations which occurred
on 2 and 6 December. Security personnel asked those who were igniting patrol
they had poured to cause trouble to some students' peaceful
demonstrations to disperse. These trouble-makers would have left the scene
willingly and peacefully if they were only ordinary onlookers. They were
creating disturbances as they were political destructive forces. There were even
defiances, insolent retorts and insult towards security personnel when these
rioters were told by police to disperse.
Voice of America, VOA, had broadcast lies on 7 December at 1800 that police
threw stones at onlookers and rioters. VOA announced just the opposite of
the true situation after making introduction remarks that the information was
received from Bangkok VOA regional correspondent Gary Thomas of South-East
Asia information branch. I think readers will remember thoughtless news on
Myanmar which were blindly informed to BBC by Christoper Gunnis from Bangkok
and Bangladesh during the four eight disturbances. I wonder how
Gary Thomas, who is staying in Bangkok, could get true information on the
incidents occurred in Yangon. I don't know whether he was just reporting all
the news to VOA which were sent to him by destructive axe-handles inside the
Rumours inside the country and fabrications by BBC and VOA cannot harm
Myanmar's desire for stability, peace, and tranquillity and there is no way
to harm the people's desire. Buddhists wish to pay obeisance to Buddha's Tooth
Relic for many times with peace of mind, to maintain and enhance all-round
progress and stability and peace which have already been achieved. They
never accept disturbances. People had already learned the lessons of
the 1988 disturbances. It is the desire and also the responsibility of the
entire peoples to maintain the momentum of stability, peace, and development
the nation is achieving at present. It is important to know whether the
hearsay news, which are floating in the nation, should be believed or not.
I would like to restate that the genuine desire of the people comes out from
their heart. The desire in the hearts of the people is the genuine
democracy. The wish of a parliament of any alien country, any organization,
individual, alien broadcast station or journal, a small group of traitors
inside the nation or the vote of any whitehouse is not the people's genuine
MYANMAR ALIN: THE MEANING OF DIALOGUE (excerpts)
January 3, 1997 (SLORC press - translated from Burmese)
by Kaytu Nilar
Meeting and having a dialogue, which represents the essence of finding peaceful
solutions to various problems, is welcomed as a noble act. The success of a
dialogue, the essence of which is achieving a peaceful solution, depends on
the honesty and integrity of the parties involved.
Successive governments have tried in vain for national reconciliation talks
with various armed insurgent groups to extinguish the fires of internal
insurrection which emerged together with Myanmar's independence. The talks
failed because the insurgents were more concerned with political and
military gain with the objective of gaining power or to find a solution to a
military impasse rather
than obtaining internal peace and national reconciliation. Moreover, the bad
effects of the internal strife became a chronic disease for the people.
Successive governments have been accused of being anti-peace-loving and the
The State Law and Order Restoration Council had talks with various armed
groups from 31 March 1989 through 1996 and they were successful due to the
same bilateral views on national reconciliation.
There is a lot to think about and reflect upon why at present Suu Kyi and
her clique, who has legal standing but engaged in various illegal activities
with support from their minions abroad, have been seeking dialogue with the
SLORC while the so-called international community including the United
States and the colonialists, and the expatriate Sein Win and his traitorous
cohorts are exerting external pressure.
In fact the position of Suu Kyi and her clique seeking dialogue with the
SLORC is neither for national reconciliation nor democracy. If their
intention is true
then why did they oppose, boycott, or not recognize the National Convention
which is committed to bring about national reconciliation and democracy. The
answer is pretty clear: the call for dialogue is a propaganda ploy. The
problem lies with their fundamental objective of gaining power.
If talks are held they will coerce the SLORC to transfer power, write a new
constitution of their choice, and abolish the ongoing National Convention
rather than seek national reconciliation and democracy. Their fundamental
objective is not sincere and is not in line with the prevailing situation.
In other words, the dialogue which Suu Kyi and her clique are seeking will
finally end up like the now defunct Burma Communist Party's [BCP] quest for
Today is not 1988 and we have passed 1990. The people can differentiate what
is right and wrong, what is constructive and destructive. They have decided
not to tread the path of anarchy laid down by Suu Kyi and her clique and
stay away from their weekly magic shows. They have stood firm on the SLORC's
national political path and remain clear of Suu Kyi and clique's concoction
of a call for dialogue.
At this stage minions of Suu Kyi and clique have made attempts to pressure
the SLORC from all sides reiterating democracy and human rights. The neglect
of Myanmar's real improved political, economic, and social situations alone
shows the insidiousness of neocolonialism. The superpower and their allies'
interference in other country's internal affairs by installing puppet
regimes or leaders of their choice is an undisciplined and shameful act.
Although the people are being influenced, agitated, persuaded, and
manipulated by internal and external destructive elements they have stood
the leadership of the Defense Services, a national political force. That is
why Suu Kyi and her clique with dwindling public support are cunningly
calling for a dialogue.
In conclusion, the BCP at one time laid down a strategy to gain absolute
power with external assistance and used the peace talks as a tactic but
their deceitful idea, unacceptable to the people, led to the BCP's demise.
Similarly, at the present time, Suu Kyi and her clique are wrongfully
planning to use the deceitful tactic of dialogue for their strategy of
gaining power with external
assistance. I dare say that as their tactic is rejected by the people, Suu
Kyi and her clique face total obliteration.
INDEPENDENT LETTER: RE ASIA TIMES--MYANMAR OPPOSITION BANISHES DISSENTERS
January 10, 1997
(This letter to editor was sent to the Asia Times for publication.)
The article "MYANMAR OPPOSITION BANISHES DISSENTERS" by Stephen Brookes
(January 10, 1997, Asia Times) prompted me to write this cautionary note. I
don't think Mr. Brookes did justice to the complex issue of dissension
within the National League for Democracy party under the leadership of Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi.
SLORC has manipulated just about every segment of the society at large. In
SLORC-orchestrated mass rallies aimed at denouncing "internal and external
destructive elements" (i.e., Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters), SLORC
has used college administrators with advanced degrees, nouveau riche with
little schooling such as Pepsi's business partner Thein Htun, renowned
Buddhist monks, Union Solidarity Development Association (USDA) students--an
organization whose behavior and actions toward the democracy supporters Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi likens with Hitler's Brown Shirt--the so-called ethnic
leaders such as Naing Shwe Kyin, and the like, and state employees, not to
mention the world-renown drug wardlord Kunsa.
SLORC has been making attempts to create a split within the NLD, which has
so far acted in unison--more or less--under the leadership of the 10-people
Central Executive Committee of the NLD including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, U Kyi
Maung and U Tin Oo.
Disagreement and dissension in any revolution are to be expected. They are
vital to, and needed for, a genuinely democratic politics. But urging other
NLD members to resign, as the two recently expelled from the NLD has done,
is against the interest of Burma's democratic revolution. (The word
revolution is used here classically to refer to any social and political
movement with liberty as its ultimate goal).
SLORC has secretly "asked" some of the NLD members and elected
representatives to resign from the NLD, as a way of discrediting the NLD
leadership. They use many tactics including intimidation, fear, harassment
of family members, the threat of loss of one's livelihood--, non-renewal or
revocation of business or professional licenses, or open bribery such as
granting business contracts, promise of professional advancement, betterment
of one's position in society, or outright giving away of money and modern
amenities such as telephones, TVs, VCRs, cars, etc., or the good old tactics
of blackmailing. Further, SLORC has planted its moles within the NLD
party. In one instance, one NLD member was sighted as handing over an
audio-cassette tape (of an important NLD meeting) to SLORC intelligence at a
teashop in Rangoon immediately after the said NLD member left the meeting
where he was a participant. This action lost his NLD membership, and
There are also some NLD supporters, sympathizers, or NLD members, former as
well as current, who have lost stamina in Burma's strugggle's for democracy
and freedom. There are also those who are believed to be working for or
with business interests on backstage.
Originally, some joined the NLD thinking that they were jumping on board
something that was winning. Soon after the 1990 elections, SLORC decided
that the election-winning NLD was NOT to be the government of the country,
and began cracking down on the NLD bases. Many NLD supporters and members
distance themselves from the NLD for reasons among which is the fear of
persecution by SLORC intelligence.
I don't think Stephen Brookes, in "MYANMAR OPPOSITION BANISHES DISSENTERS"
addressed these issues of SLORC's infiltration of NLD, their divide-and-rule
tactics, and the fear- and distrust-ridden political climate of the country .
Another thing is readers should really read between the lines, not only
when it comes to reading articles/"news" from SLORC's mouthpiece "The New
Light of Myanmar," but also when reading articles about the NLD or Burma's
democracy movement. For many, not all, journalists--particularly the
foreign ones--, of various political orientations, still do not SEEM to be
able to scratch beyond more than the surface (of political realities in
Burma). Ironically, Brookes is the one who authored "READING BETWEEN THE
LINES IN MYANMAR", (January 8, 1997, Asia Times) about why foreign
journalists should read SLORC's official paper "The New Light of Myanmar"
and how they should read it: between the lines. Brookes apparently failed
to follow his own advice in "MYANMAR OPPOSITION BANISHES DISSENTERS."
As the late Rudyard Kipling once wrote, "Things are not quite what they
seeem. For this is the Orient, Young Man." (This is not the exact wording,
but it essentially conveys Kipling's insightful observation.)
Founder, The Free Burma Coalition
University of Wisconsin, Madison, U.S.A
ANNOUNCEMENT: J CREW STOPS SOURCING FROM BURMA
January 9, 1997
I am not sure if this has been announced or not, but I just received this
letter from J. Crew clothing today.
December 30, 1996
Thank you for your expression of concern regarding commerce with
Myanmar. Prompted by you and others, we are ceasing entirely our
purchases from Myanmar subsequent to April 1997.
We want you to know that we have done business in Myanmar in the belief
that as in other dictatorial countries (the USSR, Yugoslavia, etc, etc.)
commerce with the free world, though encouraged by the regime, would be
one factor in ultimately ending the regime. The strength of the feeling
that you and others express leads us to feel, however, that it is not
suitable for us to continue in Myanmar at this time.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our customer
relations department at 1-800-932-0043. We appreciate your comments and
look forward to serving you in the future.
Senior VP, Manufacturing
625 Sixth Ave., NY, NY 10011
CSI: ESCALATING HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY SLORC REGIME AGAINST BURMA'S
December, 1996 (Christian Solidarity International)
While the SLORC regime encourages tourism and investment, and crushes
students protests, it is carrying out massacres, torture, forced labour,
mass deportation and ethnic cleansing of Karen and Karenni minorities,
according to evidence obtained by CSI (Christian Solidarity International)
representatives who returned today (December 14). Caroline (Baroness) Cox
(CSI-UK) & Dr. Martin Panter (CSRI-Australia) met Karen and Karenni people
recently driven from their homes and heard first-hand evidence of
atrocities and ethnic cleansing by SLORC. Caroline Cox crossed into Burma
to visit remaining strongholds held by the Karen people in their desperate
struggle to stay in their own land.
Inside Burma, they found Karen people trying to retain their traditional
way of life desperate reports that SLORC are building up a massive military
force of 20-25,000 to attempt a final elimination of Karen people from
their land. CSI also met General Bo Mya who confirmed the threat of an
imminent offensive. Karenni people gave evidence illustrating SLORC's
ethnic cleansing policy:
*An estimated 70-80,000 Karenni have been forced to go to 'Relocation
camps' in the last 3 months. Typically, the local Head man of a village
receives a notice that everyone must evacuate within 3-4 days, leaving all
possessions behind, and move to a specified Relocation camp. Then SLORC
troops attack the village killing any civilians they find, looting, and
burning the past 4-5 months.
*Many people die in the Relocation camps from starvation and disease
reportedly 400 have died in one camp alone (Shadow Camp) during the past
*It is estimated that there are about a further 10,000 Karenni people
displaced in the border area camps in Thailand.
*Many others have escaped into the jungle to avoid going to the camps,
which are, in effect, concentration camps; others have fled from the camps
to the jungle, because of the appaling conditions and are now trying to
live in the jungle. Those now hiding in the jungle will not be able to
survive there indefinitely, because of disease and lack of food.
*The SLORC authorities allow no aid organisations into the camps and the
people are thus totally dependent on the SLORC for survival.
*All Karenni State territory is now controlled by SLORC troops; there are
over 30 battalions, with up to 500 soliders in each, totalling a military
presence of 15,000 soldiers in Karenni State. They frequently kill people
on sight, whom they find left in villages or in the jungle. In November
alone, 20 civilians are known to have been killed by troops.
CSRI urges the international community to require SLORC to allow
independent observers access to all area and people to monitor Human Rights
and take aid. If SLORC deny access, they stand condemned and strong
political and economic pressures should be applied as a matter of urgency,
before these ethnic minorities are finally driven off their land and their
ethnic cleansing by SLORC has been accomplished.
For further information, contact:
Caroline Cox, Tel. 0181-204-7336; fax 5661
Revd. Staurt Windsor, CSRI-UK, tel. 0181-042-8819; fax 8821
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