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ASEAN Fax/Email Campaign

As ASEAN's foreign ministers prepare to meet in Kuala Lumpur on May 31 to
discuss Burma's membership in the regional grouping, Burmese Relief
Center--Japan encourages you to voice your opposition to SLORC's admission
by faxing a letter (sample follows) to the ASEAN Secretary-General.  Please
also e-mail or fax a copy of your letter to regional news media (list
follows -- anyone have e-mail/fax for New Straits Times in Malaysia?).

* * * * * * * *


H.E. Dato' Ajit Singh
Secretary General
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
c/o ASEAN Secretariat
70A Jalan Sisingamagaraja
Jakarta 12110
Fax: (6221) 7243504 / 7398234

Dear Sir:

We understand that ASEAN is planning to admit Burma, Laos and Cambodia as
members during 1997, its 30th anniversary year.  While we support Burma's
eventual inclusion in the regional grouping, we strongly object to its being
admitted now, when the political situation is so explosive.  Already this
year SLORC has launched a military offensive against the Karen National
Union that sent tens of thousands of Karen villagers (including many
Muslims) fleeing into Thailand; incited violence between Muslims and
Buddhists in Mandalay, Rangoon and other cities; sent thousands of Rohingya
Muslims fleeing into Bangladesh to escape continued religious persecution;
and arrested hundreds of members and supporters of the National League for
Democracy (NLD) as they prepared to attend a party congress in Rangoon.

Admitting Burma under such volatile conditions would make it extremely
difficult for ASEAN to fulfill its objectives of promoting regional
economic, social and cultural development, safeguarding the region's
political and economic stability, and serving as a forum for the resolution
of intra-regional differences.  If ASEAN embraces Burma now, the grouping
will have surrendered its best weapon for promoting peaceful change in the
country -- change which can be achieved only through dialogue among SLORC,
the NLD led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and leaders of the ethnic minorities.

More importantly, Burma's premature admission to ASEAN would increase the
Burmese people's already unbearable suffering.  SLORC's elevation to
observer status last year only emboldened it to increase repression.  What
atrocities can we expect it to commit as a full ASEAN member?

We implore you to do what is best for the Burmese people and their ASEAN
neighbors:  do not interfere in Burma's internal affairs by rewarding SLORC
with ASEAN membership.

Very truly yours,

* * * * * * * *

Media Contacts in ASEAN Countries


Asia Times



Borneo Bulletin


Indonesia Times

Jakarta Post
Fax:  6221-5492685


Suara Merdeka

Suara Pembaruan

Surabaya Post


Berita Harian

The Star


The Manila Chronicle 
Fax: (632) 530-1051 or (632) 530-1208


The Straits Times

Business Times Singapore


Bangkok Post

The Nation

Matichon Newspaper