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Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksa's Plea for He

Subject: Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksa's Plea for Help to the International  Community!

This from soc.culture.burma

For more information, contact:   <tongbanarak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksa's Plea for Help to the International Community!
On 9 May 1997, I had the honor to drive Ajarn Sulak to the Los Angeles
International Airport.  On the way to the airport we were discussing the
Yadana gas pipeline project from Burma to and through Siam (Thailand). 
I recorded a message from Ajarn Sulak requesting each and every one of
you-the concerned citizens from the international community to help the
Kalayanamitra Council.  Ajarn Sulak's message to you is as follows:
I would like to ask your help!  The UNOCAL Company has signed a contract
with the Thai government and the military regime in Burma.  This gas
pipeline from Burma to Siam is now under construction.  The construction of
the pipeline in Burma right now is at the expense of the very basic human
rights of the Burmese people and various ethnic minorities in Burma that
have been forced to work as slaves in Burma-which is unjust.  

The routing of this pipeline through my country will ultimately destroy
a "Class-1A Watershed" area and along an ancient wild elephant path
through a proposed World Heritage Nature Preserve where elephants are
still roaming.  This is why I ask you to sign this petition to our Prime
Minister and our Members of Parliament.  Hopefully, that they will
revoke this contract so that it would help the people of Burma and the
people of my country and the environment.  Furthermore, I ask that if
the contract is to be continued, that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who
represents the democratic forces of Burma should be invited to
participate in the negotiations and sign the contract.  Otherwise, we
should revoke the contract.  With your myriad signatures I would like to
present them to the Prime Minister and Members of Parliament of
Thailand.  Hopefully, he will have to decide to do
something-good-something-just-not merely to have gas at the expense of
human rights and the environment.  I hope that you can help us.  Thank
you very much for your attention and I thank you in advance for your
Thus concludes Ajarn Sulak's request for help!  I have provided a brief
description of the charter and premises that the Kalayanamitra Council
was founded on, implications of the Yadana pipeline, and Kalayanamitra
activities.  Please fax all your signed letters to: 662 222-5188.  
The letter to the Thai Prime Minister and Members of Parliament is on an
attachment.  If you have trouble obtaining it, fax a note to me: (818)
350-1232 or e-mail: tongbanarak@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx  I will fax you the
letter or e-mail when I return from work this afternoon.  You may also
fax your signed letters to me at the (818) 350-1232 fax and I will fax
them to Thailand.  Thank you for your help and concern!
Bangkok, Thailand
Fax:  662 222-5188
	Kalayanamitra ("Good Friends") is an ad-hoc council of religious,
political, and NGO leaders, both from Thailand and other nations, whose
purpose is to support human rights and environmental values in
Thai-Burmese relations and joint projects.  The council's immediate goal
is to temporarily delay the completion of the Yadana gas pipeline
project from Burma to Thailand until substantial progress toward
democratization and justice in Burma, and adequate environmental
protections along the pipeline route in Thailand, has been achieved.
	The Yadana pipeline project has been initiated to supply natural gas to
Thailand from the Yadana field beneath the Andaman Sea forty-three miles
off the coast of Burma.  The pipeline crosses the Tenasserim region in
Burma which is inhabited by ethnic and indigenous groups in Burma, many
of whom have been forcibly removed and their lands confiscated.  Many
have also been conscripted for forced labor on projects related to the
pipeline.  The pipeline, once completed, will supply Burma's military
junta, the SLORC, with up to US$400 million a year-the regime's largest
source of foreign capital.  This money will finance arms purchases for
the army, thus assisting and ensuring SLORC's position to stay in power
and continue its oppression of Burma's peoples.  Thailand's
collaboration in the currently on-going project implicates it in the
human rights abuses and environmental abuses involved in the
construction of the pipeline.  This does not help to promote long-term
peace and security in the region.  In addition, as currently planned,
the pipeline is routed in Thailand through a "Class-1A Watershed" area
and along an ancient wild elephant path through a proposed World
Heritage Nature Preserve.
1.  The drafting and circulation of a letter requesting a temporary halt
to the Yadana pipeline project to be signed by international spiritual
and environmental and political leaders, Nobel laureates, and all
concerned citizens from the international communities.  These letters
will be presented to the Prime Minister and members of the Thai
2.  The establishment of a network among existing religious,
environmental and political organizations currently involved in
confronting the pipeline issue.
3.  The initiation of formal and informal dialogues addressing
democratization and justice in Burma coupled with adequate environmental
protection along the pipeline route in Thailand with high-level
officials in the Thai government and with appropriate NGOs, UN agencies,
and leading figures in Southeast Asia.
4.  The planning and staging of appropriate non-violent actions led by
interfaith religious leaders to draw attention to the critical problems
associated with completion of the pipeline under current agreements and
within the present political context.  The first Kalayanamitra action is
planned for mid-1997, near Kanchanaburi, and will include hundreds of
Buddhist monks and nuns, Christian priests and ministers, Moslem clerics
and ethnic spiritual leaders, coupled with many other supporters.  It is
planned to include twenty to thirty elephants as part of this
demonstration.  The assembled religious leaders will culminate this
action with a special interfaith ceremony and will present all the
international letters of concern described in item number 1 above to the
Prime Minister and Parliament of Thailand.