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The BurmaNet News, October 7, 1997

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------          
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"          
The BurmaNet News: October 7, 1997             
Issue #838

Noted in Passing:

The assumption that the moment you have a more open society you invite civil
strife cannot scare us away.

-- Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim on his vision of ?civil


October 4, 1997

Bangkok --REASONS to be cheerful about politics in Myanmar are as rare as
working telephone lines to the house in Yangon of Aung San Suu Kyi, the
opposition leader. For a year, the street outside has been barricaded. Official
newspapers have directed a stream of abuse at Miss Suu Kyi and her party,
the National League for Democracy (NLD).  Many of her supporters remain
behind bars; and the government is so uneasy that big universities are still
closed for fear of protests. Prospects for reconciliation between the NLD
and the ruling military junta have seemed negligible.

Yet for two days from September 27th, nearly 800 party members were allowed
to attend a congress at her house. Several dozen others who wanted to be
there were manhandled into lorries and dispatched by the authorities, who
also deported a foreigner picked up on her way to the meeting. But there was
no repeat of the mass detentions and harassment that have marked previous
gatherings. Miss Suu Kyi herself praised the authorities' help. Suddenly,
hopes for the "dialogue" she has long sought no longer seem quite so

Have the generals had a change of heart? At the least, they seem more
concerned than usual to show themselves in a good light. They made much of
their offer to hold talks on September 16th with one of Miss Suu Kyi's
colleagues, Aung Shwe. When it was turned down by the NLD, because Miss Suu
Kyi was not invited, they accused the party of hypocrisy and of being
hostage to the "whims of a single person". As some members thought Mr Aung
Shwe should have gone to the talks, the junta probably hopes for a split in
party ranks.

Cynics believe that the congress was allowed to go ahead in the belief that
divisions would become apparent. But it is unlikely that the government
would be so ill informed. The generals have enough spies to have known that
it would turn out as it did: a display of unity in the face of adversity,
and of loyalty to Miss Suu Kyi.

The sudden bout of tolerance may have been urged on the generals by foreign
and local businessmen-among whom are some of the junta's few sympathisers.
Myanmar is running out of money; and a dire economic predicament has been
made worse by dreadful flooding. Nor has accession in July to the regional
club, the Association of South-east Asian Nations, brought a bonanza of
foreign capital. It has not even brought great diplomatic support. Rather,
some ASEAN governments regard the regime as an embarrassment.

The generals are at least fortunate in the patience of their chief opponent.
The congress marked the ninth anniversary of the NLDs founding during a
popular uprising put down at the cost of thousands of lives. Since then,
many party members have been persecuted, jailed and sometimes tortured.
Understandably, some delegates voiced a thirst for vengeance. Miss Suu Kyi
made a passionate speech arguing against rancour and in favour of co-operation.

That still depends on the generals' willingness to talk to her. There have
been false dawns before-notably when Miss Suu Kyi was "freed" from six years
of house arrest in July 1995. In May 1996, after another NLD congress had
been allowed to go ahead, one of her deputies, Tin Oo, spoke of a "glimpse
of a glimmer of light," which was soon snuffed out. At least a flicker is
better than no light at all.


October 6, 1997

[Following are excerpts from an interview with Malaysia's Deputy Prime 
Minister Anwar Ibrahim.  The interview was conducted by Charles Alexander, 
Adi Ignatius, Anthony Spaeth, and John Colmey]

TIME - Are the proponents of Asian values essentially authoritarian?
ANWAR - Asian values are about more than that.  What about virtue?  What 
about abhorrence of corruption?  What about regard for the rights of others?  
What about fundamental liberties?  What about an inculcation of knowledge?  
Those are also essentially Confucian ethics, but this has not been
What is highlighted again and again is filial piety, respect for elders,
respect for 

TIME - Do you and the Prime Minister disagree on this?
ANWAR - I should say we have a different emphasis.  Coming from my 
generation, I emphasize the issues of civil society, fundamental liberties
and the 
trust and wisdom that the public, with exposure to education and knowledge, 
should be able to exercise.

TIME - Do you feel you are leading a new generation into power in Malaysia?
ANWAR - Yes, there's a new generation that has no hang-ups about the 
colonial experience.  That may seem disrespectful, antagonizing the elders, but 
I don't believe so.  I mean this was a generation that was fighting for 
independence and had to contend with militant communist insurgents.  You 
can sense their total obsession with order and security.  I'm not disputing
I'm arguing the case that things have changed, and you don't have militant 
communists now.  I don't want to sound like a super-liberal democrat here.  I 
don't think I would be tolerant of any kind of militant activity or groups 
carrying M-16s.

TIME - Your vision of a "civil society" involves an independent judiciary, a 
free press and a devolution of power.  Are Malaysians ready for that?
ANWAR - A country needs to be exposed to a wider, open discussion.  I don't 
claim that I have all the answers, be they economic or political.  But
we'll have to go beyond our present understanding of what democracy is in our 
society.  We have to be more tolerant.  The assumption that the moment you 
have a more open society you invite civil strife cannot scare us away.

TIME - Has constructive engagement with Burma worked?
ANWAR - My personal view is it is not progressing as well as expected.  And 
ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] governments need to be seen 
to be more engaged with both the government and [Burma's democratic leader 
Aung San] Suu Kyi. 


October 6, 1997

AFP, RANGOON - Burma's official press yesterday hailed Singapore as a
"staunch ally" of Rangoon, which is leading the way in engaging the military
state and investing in the country's developing economy.

Bilateral relations had "deepened" in the past decade and Burma's entry into
Asean was allowing relations to move to a "higher level," said an editorial
in the English-language New Light of Myanmar daily.

The comment came after Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, first secretary of the
ruling junta, attended a joint ministerial meeting with Singapore on
Saturday and declared that Burma was ready to enter the regional mainstream.

"Singapore has been among Myanmar's [Burma's] staunchest allies practising
constructive engagement when those hostile to Myanmar were trying to keep
her out of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [Asean]," the
editorial said.

Despite Western pressure, Burma was admitted into Asean last July, joining a
group committed to establishing a regional free trade area over the next decade.


October 6, 1997
Supamart Kasem

Govt urged to quickly settle territorial row

Tak --People living in border areas of Mae Sot district will officially seek the
demarcation of the Thai-Burmese border near a disputed area in Tambon Tha
Sal Luad.

The villagers agreed yesterday to submit a letter to Mae Sot district
officials soon to ask the government to quickly settle a border dispute
between Thailand and Burma over land near Wat Prathat Khok Chang Phuak and
seek a permanent demarcation along the Moei River.

Yesterday, the local people met in Tambon Mae Tao to discuss the problem
that Burma has laid claim to a 200-rai plot in Mae Sot by building two
watchtowers and digging bunkers.

Burma has also deployed more troops to guard the site, frightening about 20
Thai families who had farmland near the troubled area.

Thuay-ong Thatoom who holds a Sor Khor 1 ownership document for a four-rai
plot near the disputed area said he wanted the government to speedily
negotiate with Burma for a resolution so that the villagers could live
without fear of danger posed by Burmese troops.

"If Burma has the right over the land which has been cut off, Thai people
also have the right over our land and can plant on it. But we now fear that
Burmese troops will hurt us or place anti-personnel mines there. We want
Thai officials to inspect the area and ensure safety for us," he said.

Muen Kho-inta who owns a 13-rai plot near the troubled area urged the
government to speed up the demarcation of the border along the Moei River,
saying the problem existed not only near the temple but also in many other

Many villagers said most area of an islet in the Moei River opposite Ban
Huay Muang on the Thai side has been eroded due to the change of the river
course since Burma started dredging work in the Moei River in June.


by H.A. Stonor

[Note from BurmaNet Editor: BurmaNet was pleased to receive this commentary
from H. A. Stonor, one of the British officers who were in Burma at the time
of General  Aung San's assassination.  Few British officers from that period
are still alive today, so H. A. Stonor's commentary is particularly
valuable.  Another commentary on how the assassination plot developed was
recently posted by  "Naing Win / Kyin Ho, M.D." on the burmanet-l newsgroup,
so we have also included it below.]


                                                  3 October 1997

On 19 July, the BBC transmitted a television documentary, "Who Really Killed 
Aung San?", which was also the subject of an article by the correspondent 
Fergal Keane, printed in the Guardian newspaper on the same day and in the 
South China Morning Post on 22 July. In these reports it was insinuated that 
the assassination of Aung San and five fellow cabinet members in July 1947 
was somehow the work of a secret conspiracy involving not only a jealous
Burmese politician, U Saw, but also an amalgam of different British officials, 
including the former governor Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith and Captain David 
Vivian as well as a group of British Burma veterans in the United Kingdom, 
known as the Friends of the Burma Hill Peoples.

With time and distance, it is, of course, easy to play flights of fancy with
fading traces of history. However, as one who not only lived through those 
terrible events in Rangoon but was also a member of the Friends of the Burma 
Hill Peoples, the programme made no sense whatsoever and was a gross 
distortion of many events.

Firstly, while U Saw was executed for his alleged role in the
assassinations, it is 
true that many contemporaries - both Burmese and British officials alike - 
always felt further questions needed to be answered over U Saw's actions at the 
time: whether he had organised the assassinations alone, on behalf of others, or
whether, indeed, he was victim of one of the most successful frame-ups in 
history. Certainly, in the violent climate of those times, there were many
bands and much confusion in the country. U Saw himself had recently survived 
an assassination attempt on his own life, while Aung San and his Cabinet had 
been discussing the mass arrest of political opponents that very day. 
Furthermore, there was evidence of two rogue British officers, Captain Vivian
and Major Young, conspiring for financial gain to supply U Saw with arms.

Most curious of all, however, were the actions of U Saw himself. As a former 
prime minister, U Saw no doubt retained political ambitions, but his behaviour 
that day was not that of a man who had any immediate master-plan for power. 
In fact, U Saw did absolutely nothing but sit in his house until he was
Moreover, although the BBC programme conveniently overlooked this, there 
was never any question of the British governor, Sir Hubert Rance, appointing U 
Saw in Aung San's place. If guilty on his own, it appeared to be a heinous 
crime without motive.

Inevitably, although U Saw was swiftly arrested, speculation remained rife in 
the following weeks. The Burmese communists, who were also armed and then 
very powerful, immediately believed that there must have been some British 
involvement, since they claimed that Aung San, frustrated at the slow pace of 
the British withdrawal from Burma, was considering rejoining their ranks. 
Aung San, it should be remembered, was a co-founder of the Communist Party 
of Burma in 1939. Indeed, I personally witnessed Aung San's brother-in-law, 
the communist leader Than Tun, march into the British Club in Rangoon after 
the assassination, where he began smashing glasses and generally berating the 

Those of us in the British services, however, began to hear other reports, 
suggesting other possible perpetrators amongst Aung San's political rivals, who 
had either framed U Saw or used him as their fall-guy. To my knowledge, 
although such reports were circulating, they were never formally investigated, 
but amongst names mentioned were socialist activists, whose leader, U Nu, was 
fortuitously absent from the Secretariat building that day and subsequently 
became prime minister in Aung San's place. Other rumours pointed at corrupt 
factions within the fledgling Burmese armed forces (later led by Ne Win), who 
were privately jealous of Aung San's dominating political power.

The BBC programme, however, did not look at these issues, but instead tried to 
link together a very disparate group of British officials and Burmese
in an alleged conspiracy where the only real connections are a succession of
herrings or, at best, coincidences. Much was made by Feargal Keane and the
programme-makers of the alleged discovery of secret British documents, but 
not only were they not quoted but the programme did not even demonstrate 
how all the different characters were supposed to be linked by these supposed 
new documents. Indeed, in some cases, the individuals never even met nor were 
they known to each other.

Much, for example, was made of the connection between U Saw and the British 
Council representative, John Bingley, but the BBC programme provided no 
evidence of complicity in the actual crime other than the suggestion that 
Bingley, who was acting as an individual, made a nod and a wink remark to U 
Saw at a tea party. U Saw's actions in prison certainly show that he looked to 
Bingley for help and the communications between the two men appeared odd, 
but again this does not prove Bingley's involvement or, more importantly, go on 
to link to any greater conspiracy.

Another example is the role of the two corrupt British officers, Captain Vivian 
and Major Young, who had stolen guns for profit, and these were later found 
conveniently dumped in the lake by U Saw's house and were reportedly used in 
the assassination plot. In another curious twist, in 1949, when serving a jail 
term in Insein prison for his crimes, Captain Vivian was released in fighting
after troops from the Karen National Union took control of the town during the 
civil war that broke out after independence. The programme then follows this 
trail and concentrates on the embarrassment of a later British government, 
which was hardly surprising, at repatriating a convicted gun-runner, Vivian, 
back to the United Kingdom from a war-zone. However, again, this does not
link--nor was it shown to link--into any secret British conspiracy.

And this is where the programme made even more dangerous errors, when, in 
the attempt to find an instigator, it tried to somehow link the Karen question 
with the assassination of Aung San. The group it accused was the Friends of 
the Burma Hill Peoples. As a member of this group, all I can say is that
such an 
accusation is manifestly untrue.

Firstly, the Friends of the Burma Hill Peoples did not really develop into
until 1948, a year after Aung San's death. Secondly, the Friends began life
as a 
talking shop of British veterans who, quite rightly in the view of Burma's 
subsequent history, were concerned at the deep ethnic tensions within the 
country and the fate of Burma's ethnic minority peoples, who had been 
extremely loyal to the Allied Forces in the fight against fascism in the Second 
World War.

Thirdly, diverse opinions were expressed within the group, which included 
such very different people as H.N.C. Stevenson, the ex-director of the Frontier 
Areas Administration, Sir Reginald Dorman- Smith, the former Burma 
governor, Raymond Blackburn, the socialist M.P., and Frank Owen, the editor 
of the Daily Mail. Indeed, when a number of us considered it appropriate to 
become more actively involved in support of the Karen cause (which, 
incidentally, was the subject of a very accurate television documentary, 
"Forgotten Allies", in April 1997 by the BBC's historical Timewatch series),
members such as Stevenson made their disagreements clear and withdrew.

Finally, the programme was quite wrong to state that the ex-Burma governor, 
Sir Reginald Dorman-Smith, was the key figure behind the Friends of the 
Burma Hill Peoples. Although Dorman-Smith attended at least one meeting out 
of interest (where he said nothing), the main activist was, in fact, Col. 
Cromarty-Tulloch, a veteran of Force 136.

Of course, since Dorman-Smith was well-known to U Saw, it no doubt suited 
the programme makers to play up this angle in the attempt to try and prove a 
secret British plot, but it has no foundation in historical fact.
Nevertheless, the 
late Dorman-Smith is the main  target for many of the innuendoes and 
conspiracy theories that are trailed throughout the programme.

However, not only is there no suggestion of how this plot was organised by 
Dorman-Smith (or how it was supposed to work), but the programme 
conveniently overlooked Dorman-Smith's words and actions at the time, when 
he was a man very much in tune with the sufferings and feelings of Burma. In 
1950, for example, following the assassination of the Karen leader Saw Ba U 
Gyi, Dorman-Smith movingly wrote to The Times newspaper in London, "The 
major tragedy is that Burma is losing her best potential leaders at far too
a rate. Aung San, U Saw, Saw Ba U Gyi, U Tin Tut, all have gone." This was 
the contemporary view of Dorman-Smith, but the programme-makers 
selectively disregard it, even though his analysis has great meaning today.

Fifty years later, the tragedy of Burma lives on and, even worse, by quite 
incorrectly trying to link innocent Karens and the long-departed colonial 
government in the assassinations, the programme has a very distorting 
resonance in the present tense. In Burma today, the sufferings of the Karen 
people are immense, and the struggle for justice and democracy for all the 
peoples of Burma still continues.

Very sadly, then, the programme--and its many speculations--have recently 
been picked up by Burmese government officials for their own propaganda 
purposes in denouncing both the British and Karen nationalists, so it is vital 
that the historical record is put straight now before any further damage is
There are, indeed, questions to be asked and many lessons to be learned from 
the tragic events at Burma's independence, but these must be based on reality 
and not with the leisure of conspiracy theories and speculation.

H.A. Stonor, ex-Welch Regiment and Friends of the Burma Hill Peoples

AUNG SAN  (slightly abridged)
October 4, 1997
by Naing Win / Kyin Ho, M.D. 

September 26,1997
Who Really Killed General  Aung San And His Cabinet Members?

	One of the prescribed textbooks in our 7th grade, "Little Birds 
Behind Bars" by Lu Du U Hla contains the story about the assassination of  
Gen. Aung San with the attempt on the life of U Saw.
	Since then I was thinking all along why, as a people, the Burmese 
masses  could not prevent the death of our hero Gen.Aung San, and this has 
been  felt as  a deep frustration by Burmese people especially on Martyr's Days 
(19th. July)
	The story unfolded and opened my eyes wide with disbelief in the
beginning, but upon closer scrutiny I found it to be true- that was when I
became close friends with Yebaw Mya Hlaing! I shall relate for all
humankind  to know:

	I was treating Yebaw Mya Hlaing as his family physician since 1988,  
and as a trusted friend he told me about his involvement in the selfish traitors
General Ne Win and Aung Gyi's subversive plot. The cunning  plan was to kill
Aung San by a deceitful approach- since U Saw was  Aung San's adversary, try
and attempt on U Saw's life, just to injure but not to kill him, and he (U
Saw) will definitely retaliate by  assassinating  Aung San.
	At this juncture, the two trusted deputies (Yangon Ba Swe &  Ye 
Baw Mya Hlaing) of Ne Win and Aung Gyi came into the picture  -Ba Swe was 
an expert sharpshooter and he (Mya Hlaing)  followed orders precisely. Then, 
one day they followed U Saw's car  wearing the uniforms  of Aung San's
personal troops and  shot to  injure U Saw.  That was the beginning of their
successful plot.
	Of course Gen. Aung San and his cabinet members were killed by  U 
Saw's gunmen ? but to make that happen was due to Ne Win &  Aung Gyi's  
traitors underhand plot. NE WIN WITH  THE HELP OF   AUNG GYI AND HIS
	I could not publish the booklet on this story before Mya Hlaing's  
death ; he would surely have been tortured and killed by Ne Win's stooges ?
the SLORC!
	1.Ne Win plotted the assassination of Gen. Aung San who was his 
rival. Ne Win knew the ability of U Saw, and what he would do if provoked, and
planned his traitorous plot and succeeded. [ I am absolutely flabbergasted up
to the present day about Ne Win's cunning plot  to assassinate Gen. Aung San.]
	2. Ne Win ordered Yangon Ba Swe &  Mya Hlaing to "make sure not 
to kill but only to injure U Saw. ?Expert shooter Ba Swe's bullet only
grazed  the left temple of U Saw ( He went to India for treatment.) Whenever
U Saw felt the pain over his face or scar his tantrums boiled  and wanted to
take revenge against Gen.Aung San, who knew nothing about the plot
orchestrated by the cunning Ne Win.
	3. It was later found out that the gun used to kill U Saw belonged to 
Ne Win.
	4. U Mya Hlaing dare not to tell to anyone in Burma, as he would 
surely  be tortured and killed by Ne Win's stooges, particularly by the secret
	police chief Khin Nyunt.
	5. Yangon Ba Swe and Mya Hlaing later regretted immensely about 
this plot resulting in Gen. Aung San's death; they eventually refuse to
take Ne 
Win's offering of good jobs.

	 Naing Win / Kyin Ho, M.D. 


October 6, 1997

Most governments in the region have seen the necessity of cooperating to
fight drug trafficking. The United Nations and others also have become more
deeply involved. Narcotics merchants have been extremely quick to strengthen
their hands as gaps in the cooperation were exposed.

There has been significant progress against drug trafficking in the past two
months. Association of Southeast Asian Nations members have mapped out
serious new steps to combat narcotics peddlers. Their dialogue partners
pledged anew to unify in the war on drugs. That is the realistic end of the
good news. The bad news is that the drug producers, smugglers and sellers
also have chalked up successes.

To Asean's credit, all but two of its nine members now seem committed to a
long-range strategy to slow trafficking. The Asean meeting last July in
Kuala Lumpur marked a serious new effort. For one thing, Vietnam climbed
aboard. Hanoi has never abetted drug trafficking, but had been slow to
realise the threat that organised narcotics peddling presents to all
countries. At Kuala Lumpur, the foreign minister described trafficking as a
major global issue.

Asean was not alone. Dialogue partners stressed that the world community has
a responsibility to its citizens to fight the drug merchants. Australian
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer urged Asean to increase the resources it
has dedicated to the battle. Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov
promised Moscow's cooperation in sharing intelligence. He noted
international criminals exploit differences in national laws and suggested a
meeting of technical experts to bring various national laws into harmony.

Earlier, the five nations of the Mekong sub-region approved three new United
Nations projects. The five - Thailand, Burma, China, Laos and Vietnam -
approved the training of law-enforcement agencies and, to improve
intelligence sharing, as well as working together to bring traffickers to

If the two months of stronger cooperation is encouraging, it is offset by
new advances by the traffickers. These have come because of the actions of
two countries vital to the anti-narcotics campaign. The most important
breakthrough by drugs merchants was the violence in Cambodia. The second was
the continuing cooperation by Burma with drug peddlers.

Businessmen, government officials and generals already under investigation
had increased their use of Cambodia as a drug-export base.

The take over of Cambodia by Hun Sen was a windfall for the country's
traffickers and their friends. UN officials warned publicly it would leave
the country prey to big-time drug traffickers. Cambodian Pol Gen Skadavy
Lyroun told a meeting in Bangkok that the situation was serious.
Businessmen, government officials and generals already under investigation
had increased their use of Cambodia as a drug-export base. In addition,
powerful individuals have increased marijuana production, established a
traffic in methamphetamines and ecstasy, and set up a black market in
precursor chemicals used in the production of heroin and amphetamines.

Burma's collusion with big-time narcotics traffickers and money launderers
is well documented. Since the renewed effort by most Asean countries, Burma
has officially joined the regional group, and continued to pay lip service
to combatting narcotics. Heroin shipments continue, and have increased
across the Indian border. Thai police in the North claim they are
overwhelmed by Burmese made amphetamines.

All of this makes it crucial that a peaceful solution be found to. the
Cambodian conflict. Trafficking and money laundering will flourish so long
as a frontier-style way of life continues. Burma must be pressured
continually to pick up its responsibilities as an Asean member. The single
largest problem in the anti-drugs struggle is the cooperation of both these
regimes with known drug traffickers. This cannot continue.


October 4, 1997
Nussara Sawatsawang

Burma: Chavalit gave right to dig channel

The Foreign Ministry wants Prime Minister Chavalit Yongehaiyudh to
give a written statement that he did not give Burma the right to dredge a
channel on Thai soil In order to extend its border along the Moei River.

The ministry came out in support of Democrat Party MP Preecha Suwannathat's
proposal that the premier clarify his position, said Deputy Foreign Minister
Pitak Intrawithayanunt.

He said the letter would help Thailand in further negotiations with Burma
over the border dispute.

"The premier will be asked to write a letter to the Foreign Ministry to be
kept as evidence that [he] did not allow tie Burmese authorities to dig up
[the channel]," Mr Pitak said after meeting the Bangkok MP at Saranrom Palace.

Mr Preecha accused the premier during last week's censure debate of allowing
Burma to dredge a river channel at Khok Chang Phuek in Mae Sot district,
Tak, in a bid to reclaim land they said was lost after floods in 1994.

Mr, Preecha, who is a legal expert, yesterday repeatedly urged the PM to
formally deny the allegation.

If he did not address the issue it would be tantamount to giving consent to
Burma, he said.

Mr Preecha said the ministry had explained that Thailand claimed sovereignty
over some of the 200-rai disputed area, while other parts were under

A ministry source said Gen Chavalit did not discuss the Moei River row with
Gen Than Shwe, chairman of Burma's ruling State Law and Order Restoration
Council (Slorc), during his official visit to Rangoon in May.

However, Slorc's Secretary One, Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, had raised
the issue with Army Commander in-Chief Gen Chettha Thanajaro.


October 6, 1997


For Immediate Release                       Media Contact: Pam Wellner,
October 4, 1997                                         (415) 695-1956

Free Burma Coalition Mourns Victims of Unocal's Burma Pipeline at Company

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 6 - At the culmination of their conference at UCLA, Free
Burma Coalition (FBC) participants will hold a funeral on Monday, Oct. 6
at 7:30AM at Unocal's El Segundo headquarters, 2141 Rosecrantz Ave., in
memory of the victims of the company's gas pipeline project in Burma.

Wearing black, carrying coffins and burial reefs, over fifty people will
lead a funeral procession to Unocal's office in memory of the people who
either died or suffered at the hands of Burma's State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC) soldiers ordered to protect the pipeline project.

Unocal and Total oil companies have a partnership with the Myanmar Oil and
Gas Enterprise (MOGE), a regime controlled agency, for a natural gas
pipeline through Burma's Tennasserim area to Thailand. Since the beginning
of pipeline construction troops have been used by the consortium to provide
security and oversee construction. In the process the troops have committed
gross human rights violations such as forced labor, involuntary relocation,
torture, rape and even the murder of tens of thousands of local people.
These abuses are typical repression tactics practiced by SLORC troops
throughout the entire country.

Unocal, with knowledge of the atrocities, continues with both their project
and support of SLORC and is not following the spirit of the Burma sanctions
law passed this April by President Clinton. The sanctions, barring new US
investments, are a way to limit financial support to SLORC. Multinational
oil companies provide the largest legal source of foreign currency to
Burma's SLORC.

Other sources of currency are from the heroin trade where money is laundered
through official SLORC agencies, including MOGE. "Not only is Unocal's
partnership with MOGE backing the ruthless brutal regime, but they are
complicit in pushing heroin in US streets, 60% of which is from Burma." said
Edith Mirante, FBC member.

The FBC works internationally to support Burma's democracy movement and to
end SLORC's repressive rule. The FBC has been pressuring oil companies to
withdraw from Burma and is celebrating a victory with Texaco's recent
announcement that it is selling all its Burma operations.

This weekend over 200 FBC members, including Burmese democracy advocates,
university students, US oil workers, human rights activists, and
environmentalists agreed to escalate their campaign against oil companies
such as Unocal and ARCO.


October 5, 1997
Supamart Kasem

Immigrant workers encourage its spread

Mae Sot, Tak --Local organisations, non-governmental organisations and the
private sector will be encouraged to play a more active role in fighting the
HIV/Aids epidemic in the country under an Aids prevention scheme which will
be kicked off next year.

The government has set aside the fund for the project which will be jointly
undertaken by municipalities tambon administration organisations, and NG0s,
said the Public Health Ministry's Aids Control Division director.

During the past two years, the government has spent 90 million baht to
control the spread of the deadly disease, which was reportedly rampant along
the border area, particularly among immigrant workers who sought jobs in
Thailand, said division director Dr Wut Phoolcharoen, who spoke during a
seminar on Aids, organised by the World Vision Foundation (WVF).

The four-day seminar, which ended yesterday, was held in Tak's Mae Sot
district and attended by Thai and Burmese officials.

Concerns have been raised over the wildfire spread of Aids among immigrant
workers who became the main carriers of the disease.

The HIV/Aids epidemic has spread unnoticed to other parts of the country by
immigrant workers who shifted from border areas to work in central provinces
where they were better paid, said Tak governor Pongpayom Wasaphut.

To control the disease more effectively, cooperation from local
organisations, NG0s, and the private sector is needed, added the governor.

According to Dr Wut, about 200,000 people have been infected with HIV during
1991-1992. Due to campaigns, the infection rate was gradually reduced to

Since 1995, the rate has increased sharply, particularly among immigrant
workers and Thai workers who seldom used condoms when visiting prostitutes,
noted Dr Wut.

The migration of HIV-infected workers to central provinces has led to the
spread of the deadly disease. In Thailand, there are about 950,000
HIV-infected people, said Dr Wut.

A senior Burmese official said the Aids epidemic has posed a threat to Burma
with 2,917 people contracting the disease last year, compared to 1988 when
there was only one HIV infected Burmese national.

But, a World Health Organisation report showed that about 300,000 - 500,000
Burmese people, were infected with HIV.


October 5, 1997

Burmese accused of slaying shrimp boss 

Songkhla --TWO migrant Burmese workers have been arrested at a hotel in
Songkhla and charged with the slayings of their employer and three other
family members at a shrimp farm in Satun.

The suspects were charged in connection with last week's murders of Lalana
Kasiwut, 58, her two daughters Mesa, 28 and Jitsiri, 27 and her son
Pongsakorn, 25, at their shrimp farm in La Ngu district.

Police said the defendants beat their victims to death using hammers.

The suspects allegedly took 70,000 baht cash, gold rings and other valuables
and then went into hiding at the Taipei hotel in Hat Yai. They were said to
be preparing to flee back to Burma through Ranong province at the time of
the arrests.

Police said the alleged killers admitted the charges and said they will be
handed over for further questioning and a crime re-enactment for
investigators in Satun.

Yesterday, Police Director-General Pracha Promnok joined the interrogation
and said that drastic measures would be taken against migrants charged with



Information Sheet No.A-0157(I)			Date. 5-10-97
(1)		Factories Striving for Producing 6,000 power-tillers
		The Agricultural Equipment Factory, 9th Mile Pyay Road, and Ingon Factory
are striving to produce 6,000 power-tillers in time for cultivation of
summer paddy this year. Altogether 1,080 engines and gear-boxes for the
machine were imported from the People's Republic of China and they arrived
at Yangon Port on 3 October. It is targeted to cultivate monsoon paddy on 12
million acres and summer paddy on four million acres, and the Ministry of
Agriculture and Irrigation is striving for realization of this target with
effective use of agricultural equipment and implements.
(3)		Myanmar Delegation Leaves for ROK
		Myanmar delegation led by Director-General of Advanced Science and
Technology Department U Kyin Soe left Yangon by air for the Republic of
Korea 4 October to attend the Seminar on Science and Technological Planning
under the programme of Korea International Cooperation to be held from 6 to
18 October in Korea.

Information Sheet No. A-0156(I)                                   Date.4-10-97

(2)             Myanmar Delegation Leaves for China
                Myanmar delegation led by minister for Social Welfare,
Relief and
Resettlement Maj-Gen Soe Myint left here by air this morning for the People's
Republic of China at the invitation of the Minister of Public Affairs of PRC.

(3)             MoU on Economic Cooperation Signed
                The Union of Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and the Korea
Chamber of Commerce and Industry signed a Memorandum of Understanding on
economic cooperation at the Sedona Hotel on 3 October.

(5)             Farm Equipment Handed to AMD
                Shiroyama Shoji Co Ltd of Japan donated five harvesters and one
transplanter. The hand-over of agricultural equipment was held at
Agricultural Mechanization Department, Kyaikkalo, Mingaladon Township, on 24
September. Manager Makio Yachi of the company handed the equipment to
Director -General of AMD U Win Maw.



27 September, 1997


YANGON, 26 Sept -Myanmar Sutech Co Ltd and Export Import Bank of Thailand
signed an  agreement on a 21.06-million-dollar loan at the Ministry of
Agriculture and Irrigation this  morning.

Myanma Sugarcane Enterprise and Sutech Engineering Co Ltd & Associates of
Thailand are jointly  undertaking construction of 2,000-ton Nawade Sugar Mill
near Mya Village, Papy Township,  Bago Division, after forming Myanmar
Sutech Co Ltd, a joint-venture company.

The Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation plans to build 10 sugar mills this

September 28, 1997


YANGON, 27 Sept Myanmar delegation led by Ambassador to the Federal Republic
of  Germany U Tun Ngwe left here by air this afternoon for Austria to attend
the Forty-first General  Conference of the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) to be held in Vienna from 29  September to 3 October.

The IAEA general conference will discuss broad areas of technical
cooperation for development of  applications of nuclear science and
technology, nuclear safety, budget and finance and general  policy issues.
Myanmar has been a member of the agency since  1957, the year of its
formation. The IAEA is providing technical assistance to Myanmar for nuclear
technology applications ranging from nuclear medicine and research to
agricultural uses of  radiations.

 Currently, eight ministries have programmes for nuclear technology

 Along with the IAEA general conference, the 17member states of the Regional
Cooperation  Agreement for Nuclear Technology (RCA) will also convene a
meeting of representatives in  Vienna.

 RCA is an interregional cooperation activity in nuclear technology sponsored
by IAEA Myanmar  hosted the previous RCA meeting in Yangon in March 1997,
and Dr Tin Hlaing, as RCA National  Coordinator, was elected chairman. He
will also chair the RCA meeting in Vienna.

October 3, 1997


YANGON, 2 Oct Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander -in
-Chief  (Army). General Maung Aye received Defence Attaché of the Embassy of
the Republic of Korea  Col Kwan Soo Oh, who has completed his tour of duty,
and his successor Lt-Col Lee - Nae Chan  at Dagon Yeiktha of the Ministry of
Defence this morning.

 Present also were Chief of the Office of Strategic Studies and Director of
Defence Services  Intelligence Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, Chief of Staff (Navy)
Commodore Nyunt Thein and Chief of Staff  (Air) Brig-Gen Kyaw Than.