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Statement by Lim Kit Siang, MP, Mal

Subject: Statement by Lim Kit Siang, MP, Malaysia

    The following are comments made by Lim Kit Siang, the Opposition Leader
in the government of Malaysia. He is dedicated to promoting the peaceful democ
ratization of Burma and is actively working in conjunction with members of par
liament in several countries to that end.

********* FORWARDED *****************
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 1997 20:22:53 +0800

Dear Martin,

Thank you for your information/article on the drug problem of Burma. The
representative of pdburma in ASEAN region, Mr. Lim Kit Siang has issued some
press statements on this problem. This is the recent one.

Best regards.

Statement by Lim Kit Siang - Parliamentary Opposition Leader, DAP
Secretary-General and MP for Tanjong in Petaling Jaya on Sunday, 
19 January 1997 

ASEAN should not admit Burma as a member so long as SLORC is not prepared to
remove its "pariah" status in the international community

Two reports in the last two days show that the military junta in Burma, the
State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), is not prepared to remove 
its "pariah" status in the international community - which is the strongest
reason why ASEAN should not admit Burma into the regional organisation this

On Friday in Geneva, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child
urged Burma to end what it called systematic, forced enrolment of children
in the Burmese army and called for "urgent efforts to end child military
conscription and forced use of children as porters for the army." 

Yesterday, SLORC announced that it had convicted 20 persons for inciting
student protests in December and each had been sentenced to seven years in
prison. The sentencing followed secret trials under emergency legislation 
passed 46 years ago and frequently used against politicaldissidents. 

Those imprisoned include six members of pro-democracy leader Aung San 
Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy while the identities of the other
14 people given prison sentences are not known. 

Also yesterday, the Burmese security forces blocked one of Suu Kyi's senior
deputies from entering Rangoon's holiest shrine to meet supporters braving 
the military regime's crackdown on political dissent. Police and soldiers 
told Tin Oo, 69, vice chairman of the National League for Democracy,
not to climb a steep staircase to a hill topped by the gilded Shwedagon
Pagoda, where 30 supporters were waiting for him to speak. 

Meanwhile, university campuses at the heart of the student unrest in Rangoon
last month remain closed. 

These are not the only marks of SLORC's "pariah" status in the 
international community. 

On 12th December last year, the United Nations General Assembly in a 
resolution adopted without a vote specifically referred to Burma, asking 
SLORC to permit unrestricted access to Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Aung San 
Suu Kyi and to hold substantive dialogue with her, other political leaders
and ethnic representatives. SLORC was also urged to release political
prisoners, allow citizens to participate freely in the political process, 
and to end torture, abuse of women, forced labour and relocations and
summary executions. 

Last June, the 83rd International Labour Conference of the International
Labour Organisation (ILO)in Geneva specifically referred to child labour 
and abuses under the SLORC regime, including child-trafficking routes from

On the drug trafficking front, Burma has more than doubled its illicit drug
exports since the SLORC takeover in 1988. 

The United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP) reported at the UN-sponsored
Heads of Narcotics Law Enforcement Agencies international meeting in
November last year that the Asian heroin trade reaps US$63 billion in
profits annually. Burma is by far the largest exporter in the region,
providing over 50 percent 
of the world's supply. Various reports have highlighted the integration of 
narco dollars into the Burmese national economy with one study estimating
that at least 50 percent of Burma's economy is unaccounted for and extralegal.

What is most shocking and intolerable is that SLORC had remained unmoved to
demands by international opinion for greater respect for human decency and
dignity for the people of Burma so as to cease to be regarded as an
international "pariah" state. 

ASEAN's international reputation and credibility will suffer a severe blow
if SLORC is admitted into the regional organisation without having to make 
serious efforts to remove its "pariah" status in the international community.