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BurmaNet News: January 20, 1997

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

The BurmaNet News: January 20, 1997
Issue #615

Noted in Passing:

		If they were actually guilty, there is no reason why the
		government should not be in a position to make their trials
		public. - Aung San Suu Kyi, re: NLD arrests


January 19, 1997 AFP

(BurmaNet Editor's Note: The above title is inaccurate.  No students were
sentenced in this batch.  They were NLD members and others accused of
inciting the students)

BURMA said yesterday that 20 people, including six members of
Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), have been
jailed for seven years for their role in student unrest last month.

The 20 were jailed for "inciting students and non-students during
December 1996 student demonstrations" in Rangoon, Burmese
military intelligence said in a statement.

The statement said the sentences were carried out under the
country's emergency act of 1950 but did not say when: It added
that none of those sentenced, whose identities were not given,
were students.

Opposition officials reached by telephone in Rangoon said they
had not been informed of the sentencings.

Up to 1,000 students took part in the biggest protest, which was
ringed by non-student supporters before it was violently broken
up by armed riot police and troops on Dec 7.

The demonstrations were triggered by the beating of three
students while in police custody following a minor incident at a
tea shop, but the demands quickly expanded to encompass the right
of students to form a national union.

Burma's military government has accused the NLD of being partly
responsible for instigating the spate of demonstrations.

At a briefing for Burmese journalists on Dec 31, military
officials said 47 people, including 13 NLD members, had been
arrested for instigating the student unrest.

NLD officials earlier said 64 members of the party had been
arrested, while a Thailand-based dissident group said more than
100 were under arrest in connection with the demonstrations.

December's street protests were the most defiant student actions
seen in the Burmese capital since the military took power after
brutally suppressing nationwide pro-democracy demonstrations in

The Burmese government responded to the protests by closing
university campuses in the capital and maintaining a heavy
security presence on the streets, including the stationing of
tanks downtown.

Although Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD denied any connection with
the student demonstrators, the opposition leader's movements have
been restricted since then, although she has been allowed on
occasion to leave her home.

Aung Naing Oo of the All Burma Students Democratic Front said
that the military junta's accusations that the NLD was behind the
demonstrations were unfounded.

"The demonstrations were triggered 100 per cent by the students
themselves," [ he said. "[But the junta] cannot blame the
students because their grievances are legitimate."

The ruling military found a convenient scapegoat in the NLD,
which it wanted to discredit as the legitimate winner of
parliamentary elections held by the junta in 1990 but never
ratified, Aung Naing Oo said.

He also cast doubt on the legitimacy of the judicial process
under the regime, saying that those arrested on political charges
are denied access to legal counsel and subjected to summary trials.

Slorc leaders have accused her party, die-hard elements of the
moribund Burmese Communist Party, and ethnic and student rebels
of fomenting the protests and orchestrating a Christmas Day
bombing at a pagoda compound that killed five people and injured
17. They deny the accusations. 

The military has ruled Burma since  1962 Suu Kyi, daughter of
independence hero Aung San, was propelled to the leadership of
the pro-democracy movement in 1988. Her supporters won
parliamentary elections in 1990 that the regime refused to honour.


January 19, 1997
Agence Franc -Presse

BURMESE opposition leader Aung  San Suu Kyi said yesterday that
20  people jailed by the junta for their role in student unrest
were denied access to counsel and must be presumed innocent.

"The families were not given access to the people concerned and
neither were the lawyers we had arranged to defend them ... in
direct contradiction to the spirit and the letter of the law,"
the National League for- Democracy (NLD) leader said.

The seven-year sentences may have been passed at summary trials
known to have been held on Thursday, she said by telephone from Rangoon.

But she could not confirm this, as political prisoners are
usually transported to trial with hoods over their heads.

The illegitimacy of the proceedings cast doubt on the verdict,
the Nobel  Peace Prize laureate said.

"If they were actually guilty, there is no reason why the
government should not be in a position to make their trials
public," the Nobel Peace Prize laureate said.

The 20, including six NLD members,  were jailed for "inciting and
agitating students and non-students during December 1996 student
demonstrations in Rangoon, Burmese military intelligence said in
a statement received yesterday.

Though the military government has accused the NLD of being
partly responsible for instigating the spate of  demonstrations,
Aung San Suu Kyi has repeatedly denied any involvement.

"Not that I would have been ashamed had I been connected to the
demonstrations ... It is just a fact that I had no connection." she said.


January 18, 1997

We are informed that native Naga people of Sagaing division are 
forced to covert  from Christianity to Buddhism. 
In early  November 1995 State Law and Order Restoration Council 
of Saggaing  division chairman and commander of North-West command Gen. Hla
Myint Swe  issued an order in which all the battalions deployed in Sagaing
division were  ordered to do all the possible ways for the propagation of
Buddhist orders among native Naga  people.
There were forced conversions from Christianity to Buddhism in this region
after this order had been issued.
One village chief said that State Law and Order Restoration Council forced the 
villagers to construct Buddhist monasteries and sent abbots to each
monastery in Pansat, Kokailong, Kutki, Phongtharet, Leyon and Ngakyan
villages in Sumra Naga hill tract. These abbots taking protection of Burmese
army are organizing the local Christian people to be converted into Buddhism. 
In these regions local Christian people are forced to cut down the bamboo
and wood and have to carry for the construction of monasteries. 
When the army authorities summon the village chiefs to army camp in order to
instruct them for the construction works, they used to send a piece of
bullet or 
charcoal or chilli enclosed with the letters. The village chief explained that 
-bullet means if they fail to come to the army camp they will be killed.
-charcoal means if they fail to come to the army camp the villages will 
be burnt down.
-chili means if they fail to come the army camp they will be tortured.
Soldiers from Light Infantry Regiment (229) and (222) deployed in these
regions were asked to marry with local Naga girls and those who married to the 
soldiers were forced to convert into Buddhism. After they had converted into
Buddhism were sent to big cities like Rangoon and Mandalay for touring and
provided good clothing. In this way the army authorities persuade more local
Naga girls to convert into Buddhism. 
In addition native Naga people who converted into Buddhism are provided
(500) to (1000) Kyats by the army authorities. The army authorities also
the native Christian people that they will provided ration supplies and
clothing regularly to those who have completed six months after conversion.
Ministry of home and religious affairs has funds for the propagation of
Buddhism in hill tract. From this funds they bare all the expenses of above
mentioned plans.
Furthermore Buddhism people from these regions are freed from porterage,
forced labour and supply rations to Burmese army. Only Christian people were 
asked to work. And they were forced to do village sanitation, constructions
of the roads and army camps on Sunday. Majority of the local people are
Christian and they usually do not work on Sunday.  Going to the Churches and
saying prayers on Sunday is the must for Christian people. 
Village chief also that one day army commander of the said region angrily
shouted at the villagers that what he ordered them to do is only for the
sake of the development of the villages and village people. As such village
people have to work whether it is Sunday or not.  The commander added that
those who refused his order would be in trouble. 
There was an order issued by the army authority in which if the pastors want
to hold prayer meeting or bible training course or youth gathering or any
religious function, firstly they have to ask permission from the Buddhist
monks. Regarding this matter the pastors were not satisfied. So, they
complained to the Ministry of Home and Religious Affairs but yet any
appropriate action has been taken.
Moreover, the army authorities made the Christian youths busy at work a week
ahead of Christmas in order not to celebrate Christmas functions in this 
region. They order them to carry army supplies from Leshi town which took
ten days journey on foot. When they got back home the Christmas was over.
Three Christian youths who refused the order were badly beaten by the soldiers. 
One villager said in the year 1995 in Sumra village while the village people
were celebrating Christmas function, the Burmese soldiers deployed in that 
village fired in the air and came over to the place and order them to stop
the function immediately for security purpose. The section commander
explained to the villagers that according to their information insurgents
were planing to enter the village on that very night. In fact there were no
insurgents.  But the army did purposely in order not to celebrate the
Christmas function.
The above mention villages are located in Leshi township. But local people
said the Burmese army is practicing the same tactic in other townships of Naga 
hill tract.
Previously, Khamti, Namyon, Leshi, Lahe and Homlin townships were 
considered as Naga hill tract. But after the National Convention held by the
SLORC, only Namyon, Leshi and Leha townships were considered as " special
autonomous area ". Almost all the Naga people are not satisfied on this
Finally  the village chief said that to eradicate all the Naga insurgents,
the SLORC is creating a problem between Buddhist and Christian people in
Naga hill tract as they did in Karen state last two years back.
News and information Unit
ABSDF (Western-Burma)  


January 13, 1997

Text of the State Law and Order Restoration Council Law No 2/97, The Law
Amending the Central Bank of Myanmar Law 
Date 13th January 1997

   The State Law and Order Restoration Council [SLORC] hereby enacts the
following law:

   1. This law shall be called the Law Amending the Central Bank of Myanmar
[Burma] Law.

   2. Sub-Section A of Section 83 of the Central Bank of Myanmar Law shall be
amended as follows:

   Sub-Section A. Licensing, revoking the licence of, inspecting, supervising
and regulating persons who deal in foreign currencies or any instrument or
certificates incidental to foreign exchange.  

   3. After Section 84 of the Central Bank of Myanmar Law, Section 84-A
shall be inserted as follows:

   Section 84-A; Sub-Section A. No licensee who deals in foreign currencies or
any instrument or certificates incidental to foreign exchange shall violate any
condition of the business licence;

   Sub-Section B. No person shall violate any prohibition contained in an order
or directive issued by the Central Bank with respect to dealing in foreign
currencies or any instrument or certificates incidental to foreign exchange;

   Sub-Section C. No person shall deal in foreign currencies or any instrument
or certificates incidental to foreign exchange without a business licence.

   4. Section 87 of the Central Bank of Myanmar Law shall be amended as follows:

   Section 87. Whoever violates any provision of Section 84 shall, on conviction
be fined in an amount not to exceed to kyats [Burmese currency unit] 10,000 or
with imprisonment for a term not to exceed two years or with both. In addition,
the exhibits shall also be liable to confiscation.

   5. After Section 87 of the Central Bank of Myanmar Law, Section 87-A and
Section 87-B shall be inserted as follows:

   Section 87-A. Whoever violates any provision of Sub-Sections A and B of
Section 84-A shall, on conviction, be fined in an amount not to exceed 100,000
kyats or with imprisonment for a term not to exceed 5 years or with both. In
addition, the exhibits shall also be liable to confiscation.

   Section 87-B. Whoever violates the provision of Sub-Section C of Section
84-A shall, on conviction, be fined in an amount not to exceed 200,000 kyats
or with imprisonment for a term not to exceed seven years or with both. In
addition, the exhibits shall also be liable to confiscation.

   6. The expression "Under Section 87 or Section 88" contained in Section 93 of
the Central Bank of Myanmar Law shall be replaced by the expression "Under
Section 87, Section 87-A, Section 87-B or Section 88."

   Signed: Than Shwe Senior General Chairman of the SLORC


January 18, 1997

Burma's human rights record has long been appalling. Now,
however, some of the harshest treatment is doled out to that
country's children, writes Inter Press Service's GUSTAVO 
CAPDEVILA in Geneva.

The United Nations Committee on Children's Rights recommended on
Thursday that the Burmese government take specific action to
eradicate child labour, the recruitment of minors into the army,
and child prostitution.

It also recommended that the government tackle the issue of

Members of the committee - the mechanism responsible for
monitoring the implementation of the Convention on Children's
Rights - expressed concern over reports that the army uses young
boys as porters and that the anti-guerrilla squads rape girls.

The independent experts who make up the committee said they were
unsatisfied with the explanations offered by the Burmese military
regime, the State Law  and Order Restoration Council (Slorc), 
which attended the two-day session of the panel this week. 
Rangoon's delegation, led by vice minister of social protection,
Maung Ky, said the accusations could be ignored as they were, in
his opinion, "false" reports provided by opposition groups.

Members of the committee insisted the complaints had come from
United Nations agencies and well-respected non-governmental 
organisations whose reports can be trusted.

However, Burma's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, U
Aye, said the charges were "totally pitiful" and would be
counter-productive for the promotion of human rights in the Asian

Sources close to the committee said that in recent months the
Slorc has received serious warnings over its human rights record
from the international community, including the UN General Assembly.

The only international treaty on human rights ratified by Burma
to date, is the Convention on Children's Rights.

During the discussions, said the source, the committee managed to
persuade Rangoon to adopt a more open policy on human rights.
The Brazilian expert, Marilia Sardenberg, one of the vice
presidents of the Committee, presented recommendations asking the
military government for "a change of attitude, not only to 
children, but also to the world which surrounds them."

The UN Committee called for reforms in the Burmese legislation in
order to adapt it to the Convention on Children's Rights.

One of the recommendations demands the elimination of
discrimination between children at the moment of granting
citizenship, for at present Burmese law has three categories:
citizens, associated citizens and naturalised citizens.

Director of Burma'sAttorney General's Office, U Sann Maung, said
most rights and privileges are an entitlement of all three
categories of citizen.

A report by Human Rights Watch, a human rights group which works
in 70 countries, showed the associated citizens have no rights to
own land or houses; cannot be doctors or engineers nor work for
foreign companies, the UN or an embassy.

The identity card, which is obligatory for the 46 million
Burmese, includes details of the religion and ethnic group of the
owner details which give away the class of citizen, said Human
Rights Watch.

Other recommendations included press freedom and the right of
association. Sardenberg asked for clear dispositions prohibiting
torture and ending the detention of children and adults together
in the same prison.

The Burmese government must also translate the text of the
Convention into the greatest possible number of the 135 national
ethnic languages.

The dissemination of the international treaty must also include
the information and education campaigns the Committee requested
for parents, teachers, members of the military and the

The Burmese government acknowledged that the gap between the
poorest and richest people of the nation has widened due to the
transition from a socialist regime to a market economy.

However, the committee demanded the social budget be improved and
a reduction in military expenditure.

The Human Rights Watch report showed that the Burmese army still
uses children from ethnic minorities as porters to deliver army supplies.

The child porters 'often end up exhausted, ill and sometimes die,
not only for the lack of medical attention but also because
of the beatings, said the group.

In the cities, children are arrested and detained, often with
neither charges nor trial being brought simply for chanting 
slogans or distributing pamphlets.

Human Rights Watch said that children are commonly used as unpaid
workers in government construction programmes throughout the
nation, while  adoption here is often  a way of getting free 
child labourers for domestic service or other business.

Frontier posts controlled by military authorities also do a swift
trade in trafficking Burmese girls to neighbouring Thailand,
where they are made to work in conditions of slavery.


January 18, 1997  (abridged)
Geneva, AFP

The Committee on the Rights of the Child issued its conclusions
following a two-day meeting in Geneva attended by a Burmese
government delegation.

Laws restricting freedom of expression and association should be
reviewed and the Citizenship Act and the Village and Town Act,
which discriminate against ethnic minorities, and the Whipping
Act, which sanctions corporal punishment, be repealed.
Burma ratified the UN convention in 1991 a year after it took
force but Human Rights Watch/Asia said the action was just a ploy
to curry favour with foreign countries.
Experts said a report submitted by the government on its efforts
to improve child rights was "insufficient".

They also called for closer cooperation between Burma and
non-governmental agencies, saying Unicef and other bodies could
help the country implement the convention.

Childrens rights and Burma's 1993 child law "should not be
politicised", the ambassador for Burma's permanent mission to the
United Nations in Geneva said after the committee's wrap-up.


January 18, 1997  Tak

A plane was spotted plunging to ,. earth with its tail on fire in the 
Thai-Burmese border area moments before an explosion was heard.

Several villagers in Tha Song Yang district said they saw the plane in 
trouble at about 6.30 p.m. on Thursday before it crashed in Burma.

Paramilitary ranger, Sgt Pradit Kamhaeng, also saw the aircraft.
He said villagers in Ban Mae Salid also heard an explosion.

Bangkok air traffic control said there were no reports of a plane
missing in the area.


January 19, 1997
by David Wallechinsky

[BurmaNet Editor's Note: The interviews for this article must have taken
place before late May, 1996, because the author talks about meeting with U
Aye Win, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's press secretary, who was arrested at the
time of the NLD party congress in late May.  He is being held in Insein
Prison and has not yet been sentenced - meaning he cannot receive food or
visits from his family.]

	In the exotic southeast Asian nation of Burma,   a country of 46 million
people, a battle of wills of heroic proportions is taking place.  On one
side is a 
brutal military dictatorship known as SLORC (State Law and Restoration
Council).  On the other is a slim, 51- year old mother of two named Aung San
Suu Kyi, who is  leading her people in a nonviolent struggle for democracy.
	For six years, from 1989 to 1995, Aung San Suu Kyi (pronounced
Awng-Sahn-Soo-Chee) was kept in isolation under house arrest for speaking
out against the government, which has used torture and forced labor and
which refuses to hand over power, even though it lost a national  election.
In 1991, still under house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi was awarded the Nobel
Peace Prize.
	Following her release in 1995, she continued to challenge the junta, every
weekend addressing the  thousands of followers who congregated in front of
the  gate to her house and across the street.  It had become the only forum
for free speech in the country.  But since September the government has
cracked down on these  gatherings.  It has usually arrested more than 1000
usually in the middle of the night.  And Aung San Suu Kyi is again
restricted to her home.
	Aung San Suu Kyi has been an inspiration, but the personal cost has been
great:  Since her struggle began, she has been allowed to see her husband
and children only infrequently.  While under house arrest, she did not see her
children for 2 1/2 years.
	Aung San Suu Kyi comes from a politically prominent Burmese family, but
until the age of 43 she had been leading a quiet life in England as a
housewife and academic.  How did she transform herself into the leading
speaker for  democracy and a symbol of freedom?  And what gave this woman,
by all accounts a devoted mother, the strength to sacrifice the
satisfactions of marriage and motherhood, as well as the courage to risk her
life again and again?
	I visited Aung San Suu Kyi before the latest crackdown [May, 1996] at her
home in Rangoon, the capital of Burma.  (While the military government has
changed the country's official name from Burma to Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi
and other supporters of democracy continue to use the name Burma.)  After
entering the front gate, I was forced to sign in by the military
intelligence officers who camp out on her property.  Her home sits beside a
lake, but the view is marred by the bales of barbed wire that the government
has set up between her house and the government.
	My first glimpse of Aung San Suu Kyi had come earlier, on a hot Saturday
afternoon, as she addressed the crowd near her home.  I expected her to
appear stern and serious in the manner of other revolutionaries, and I
expected her speech to  be angry and defiant.  So I was surprised when she
appeared above the gate, smiling and waving, dressed in a brightly colored
longyi, or sarong, and wearing three different kinds of flowers in her hair.
Later, at her home, she was wearing more fresh flowers.
	"People give me flowers all the time," she explained,  "and I wear as many
of them as I can.  My mother often quoted a Burmese saying: 'A man without
knowledge is like a flower without a scent.' I prefer scented flowers."
	The speech itself that Saturday had been full of  laughter and good
spirits.  Aung San Suu Kyi answered  questions submitted by the audience.
Most were serious queries, but many were sly digs at the military dictatorship,
such as, "Why do the wives of government leaders were  diamond jewelry?"
	For the Burmese people, much of Aung San Suu Kyi's  power comes from her
being a living link to history.  She  is the daughter of Burma's greatest
modern hero, Aung San,  who founded the Burmese Army in 1941 and is
considered the father of his nation.  At the end of World War II, Aung San,
like George Washington, made a successful transition from  military leader
to political leader.  He negotiated with the  British and arranged for
national independence to be  proclaimed by Jan. 4, 1948.  But before that
day arrived, 
Aung San was assassinated by political rivals.  He was 32.  His daughter was
barely 2 years old.
	Besides his wife and daughter, Aung San left two sons:  One died while
still a child; the other is now an American citizen, and engineer living in
San Diego.  "Although I was too young to retain a direct memory of my father,"
Aung San Suu Kyi told me, "my mother taught me about his  life and his
principles, as did his old friends."  (As an  adult, she wrote a biography
of Aung San.)
	At 15, Aung San Suu Kyi moved to New Delhi when her mother, Khin Kyi, was
appointed ambassador to India.  Later,  she studied at Oxford University in
England.  After graduating with a degree in philosophy, politics and
economics, she worked for almost three years at the United Nations in New
York City.
	It was a time of political and social turmoil in the U.S.  "The young
people were for love and not for war," she recalled.  "There was a feeling
of tremendous vigor.   I had been moved by Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream'
speech and how he tried to better the lot of black people without fostering
feelings of hate.  It's hate that is the problem, not violence.  Violence is
simply the symptom of hate."
	In 1972, Aung San Suu Kyi married Michael Aris, a British scholar
specializing in Tibetan studies.  He is now a don at Oxford. Prior to their
marriage, she wrote these words to him:  "I only ask one thing, that should my 
people need me, you would help me to do my duty by them."
	In the meantime, she lived a reasonably normal life.  She gave birth to two
sons, Alexander in 1973 and Kim in 1977.  For several years, she devoted
herself to  raising her family and continuing her studies.  Then her life
changed dramatically.
	In April 1988, she received word from Burma that  her mother was gravely
ill.  She returned to Rangoon to  care for her.  This visit coincided with
unusual political activity in Burma.  In March, riot police has shot to
death 200 demonstrators, most of them students, who had protested government
policies and repression.  Despite the shootings, the demonstrations grew.
Increasingly, protestors demanded free multiparty elections.
	"Government leaders are amazing,"  Aung San Suu Kyi said.  "So often it
seems they are the last to know what  the people want."  Many demonstrations
were staged in front of the U.S. embassy, because the U.S. was seen as a symbol
of democracy.  Between Aug. 8 and 13, 1988, the police killed nearly 3000
	Aung San Suu Kyi watched these developments with growing concern.  Many of
the pro-democracy demonstrators carried signs with pictures of her father.
On Aug. 26, a  general strike was called and several hundred thousand
attended a rally in front of Rangoon's Shwedagon pagoda.  Here, for the
first time, Aung San Suu Kyi spoke to the  crowd.
	Recalling her father's assassination, she said,  "People have been saying I
know nothing of Burmese politics. The trouble is, I know too much."  As the
crowd warmed to  her, she concluded, " I could not, as my father's daughter,
remain indifferent to all that is going on.  The national crisis could, in
fact, be called the second struggle for independence."
	Overnight, Aung San Suu Kyi became the leading representative of the
movement for freedom and democracy.  In September, the military seized
control of the government, declared martial law and killed 1000
demonstrators.  Aung San Suu Kyi joined with other anti-government leaders
to form the National League for Democracy (NLD).  She travelled the country,
giving more than 1000 speeches.
	During this period she was involved in a dramatic incident.  On the evening
of April 5, 1989, as they were returning home, she and a group of
pro-democracy organizers were stopped and ordered off the road by government
soldiers.  "It seemed so much simpler," she later explained, "to provide
them with a single target."  A captain ordered his troops to raise their
rifles and shoot.  She continued advancing.  At the last second, a major ran
forward and overruled the captain.
	Three and a half months later, exasperated by her growing popularity, the
Burmese dictators placed Aung San  Kyi under house arrest.  She was not
allowed to see her children for more than 2 1/2 years.
	"I felt very guilty about not looking after them," she said.  "The antidote
to such feelings was knowing that  others had it much worse.  I knew that my
children were safe with my husband in England, whereas a lot of my 
colleagues were in the terrible position of being in prison themselves and
not knowing how safe their children were going to be."
	She described seeing her younger son for the first time in almost three
years:  "I would not have recognized him if I had seen him on the street."
	Later, in England, her husband told me that he  supports his wife fully but
could not talk on the record for fear that the Burmese government will
accuse him of being a foreigner interfering in their affairs.  I also met in 
London with Burmese women who had been arrested by SLORC and kept apart from
their families.  They confirmed what Aung San Suu Kyi had told me.  One
woman I met, who had been  jailed for three years, gave birth in prison and
immediately had the baby taken away from her.
	In 1990, SLORC agreed to hold an election - an attempt to satisfy potential
foreign investors.  Only the military leaders were surprised by the results:
Aung San Suu Kyi  herself was not allowed for office, but her party, the
NLD, won 80 percent of the vote and seats.  The party of the  military won
only 10 seats out of the 485 contested.
	SLORC announced that the election didn't count.  Since then, it has
followed "the Chinese model": liberalize the economy while keeping a tight
lid on political dissent.  Unfortunately, only a small percentage of the
has become richer, while most Burmese, suffering from  spiraling inflation,
actually have seen their lives become harder.
	But even if the economy were to improve, Aung San Suu Kyi stressed that
there is more to life than material success. "This is something you
Americans would be in a better position to talk about," she told me,
"because there is  certainly material prosperity in the United State.  And
yet  material prosperity has not insured happiness and harmony or even
contentment.  I do believe in the spiritual nurture of human beings.  To
some it's a strange or outdated idea, but I  do believe there is such a
thing as a human spirit.  There is
a spiritual dimension to man which should be nurtured."
	Aung San Suu Kyi is adamant about sticking to her policy of nonviolence.
"There are those," she explained, "who believe the only way we can remove
the authoritarin and replace it with a democratic one is through violent
means.  But then, in the future, those who do not approve of a 
democratic government would be encouraged to try violent means of toppling
it, because we would have set a precedent that you bring about political
change through violence.  I  would like to set strongly the precedent that
you bring about political change through political settlement and not
through violence."
	The government, meanwhile, is trying to persuade foreign investors to bring
their business to Burma.  They also have declared 1996-97 "Visit Myanmar
Year" for tourists.  Aung San Suu Kyi's advice:  "Tourists should wait until
Burma is a freer and happier country."  Foreign investors, she said, 
"will get better returns for their money if they invest in a  country that
is stable and which has a strong framework of  just laws."
	I asked what Americans can do.  Although Aung San Suu Kyi stressed that it
is up to the people of Burma to solve their own problems, it is possible for
others to help.  "Don't support businesses which are supporting injustice in
Burma," she said.  In the U.S., support for Aung San Suu Kyi has united
liberals and conservatives.  Groups monitoring democracy in Burma have been
formed on more than 100 American college campuses.
	The day before I left Burma, I talked in Aung San Suu Kyi's garden with her
cousin Aye Win, who served as her press secretary.  I was concerned that
custom officials might confiscate my  photos and tapes of Aung San Suu Kyi.
"You have nothing to
worry about," he reassured me, "because you have the power of the U.S.
government behind you.  It is we Burmese who have to worry."  He nodded in
the direction of Aung SAn Suu Kyi, who was walking toward us.  "All we
have," he added, "is Aung San's daughter."


January 17, 1997
by Assawin Pinitwong

TAK: Thailand made little headway in an unofficial talks held in
the  Burmese town of Myawaddy yesterday between the head of
Thailand's Thai-Burmese local border committee and his counterpart, 
with the Burmese commander dominating the two hour discussion.

Col Suwit Maenmuen, Mae Sot' s 4th Infantry special task force
commander, had ostensibly crossed the border to congratulate
Myawaddy's 275th Battalion Commander Lt-Col Sei Phone on the
occasion of his appointment. He had hoped to  use the occasion to
discuss  border affairs.

However, the only issue Suwit  was able to raise during the
occasion was that of Thailand' s construction of a barrier on the
bank of the Moei river to prevent soil erosion.
Sei Phone  informed Suwit of Burma's concern that the 400-meter
barrier being built at Mae Sot district's Tha Sai Lu
ad sub-district would change the course  of the Moei river and
adversely affect its bank.

Suwit however, managed to reassure his counterpart that Burma
would remain unaffected by the construction. Sei Phone gave
Thailand the go-ahead for work to continue.

Burma had sank stakes into the Moei river and built a permanent
concrete barrier on its bank to prevent soil erosion in January last year.

The barrier resulted in the change of Moei river' s course,
causing the Thai bank to suffer from erosion. As a result,
Thailand lost a large amount of land last year. Thai official s
had sent several letters protesting the barrier's construction
which Burma failed to respond. 


January 17, 1997

A U.S. zoo is conducting research on the insemination of elephants in
Myanmar with the cooperation of the state-owned Myanmar Timber Enterprise
(MTE). The research will cost about 450,000 U.S. dollars, the official daily
the New Light of Myanmar said today.  In his meeting with Myanmar Minister
of Forestry Chit Swe here on Thursday, researcher of the U.S. Park Zoo
Michael J. Schmidt discussed measures to promote cooperation and research on
the insemination being undertaken.  The U.S. Park Zoo donated 42,000 U.S.
dollars' worth of insemination support facilities to the mte for the
research, the report added.