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Suu Kyi urges U.S. Boycott

		Suu Kyi Urges U.S. Boycott 

                          By GENE KRAMER 
                          Associated Press Writer 
                          Sunday, January 26, 1997 6:19 pm EST 

                          WASHINGTON (AP) -- Burma's leader for democracy 
and a winner of the 1991 Nobel
                          Peace Prize asked students Sunday to ``please 
use your liberty to promote ours'' and urged
                          them to discourage corporate America from doing 
business in ``the shadowlands of lost

                          American University awarded Aung San Suu Kyi an 
honorary doctorate of laws. But it was
                          her husband, British scholar Michael Aris, who 
accepted it and delivered her message at the
                          university's winter commencement ceremony. 

                          Burma's military rulers released Suu Kyi from 
six years of solitary confinement house arrest
                          in July, 1995. She has not traveled abroad out 
of concern that the regime would deny
                          re-entry to her Southeast Asian homeland and 
cancel her Burmese citizenship. 

                          American University President Benjamin Ladner 
conferred the degree, declaring it ``public
                          confirmation that you have friends and 
supporters ... throughout the world'' in the nonviolent
                          pursuit of human rights, democratic ideals and 
the truth. 

                          Universities in several countries have awarded 
degrees and other honors to the Burmese
                          freedom fighter. This was her first U.S. 
doctorate, officials said. 

                          In the brief address read by Aris, Suu Kyi 
invited roughly 400 new degree recipients ``to
                          cast their eyes beyond their own frontiers 
towards the shadowlands of lost rights ...to assist
                          our fight for a Burma where young people can 
(also) know the joys of hope and

                          Her plea for graduates to ``take a principled 
stand against companies which are doing
                          business with the military regime of Burma'' 
and to ``please use your liberty to promote
                          ours,'' drew brief applause followed by a 
half-minute standing ovation from the audience of
                          more than 4,000 professors, students and family 
members assembled in the sports arena. 

                          The appearance was sponsored by the Free Burma 
Coalition which is coordinating efforts to
                          restore democracy in Burma at more than 150 
universities and through human rights groups
                          around the world. 

                          Suu Kyi disagreed with the argument that a 
corporate presence in Burma would foster
                          democratization. ``Investment that only goes to 
enrich an already wealthy elite bent on
                          monopolizing both economic and political power 
cannot contribute towards equality and
                          justice, the foundation stones for a sound 
democracy,'' her message said. 

                          The National League for Democracy Party that 
she heads won Burma's 1990 national
                          election but its results remain unrecognized by 
the junta. 

                          The United States cut off economic aid to Burma 
after the military crushed a 1988 popular
                          uprising and renamed the former British colony 
Myanmar, its pre-colonial name. 

                          President Clinton last year barred the 
government's officials from U.S. visits, but some
                          American companies operate there. 

                          The state of Massachusetts and a growing number 
of local governments have begun denying
                          tax concessions or otherwise penalizing 
corporations doing business in Burma, prompting
                          some to shut down there or transfer operations 
to foreign subsidiaries. 

[The Associated Press, 26 January 1997].