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The BurmaNet News, October 8, 1997

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------          
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"          
The BurmaNet News: October 8, 1997             
Issue #839


September 28, 1997

In August 1997, heavy rain caused floods in four of Burma's States and
Divisions (Irrawaddy, Pegu, Mon and Karen), killing at least one thousand
local people and destroying one fifth of the whole country's 12 million
acres of rice fields, according to the confirmed estimates. The most
affected people were along the Salween, Sittaung and Belin rivers. Many
villages between the Sittaung River and the Belin River were swept into the
Bay of Martaban at midnight in the middle of August.

Sittaung river

Burma has only two paper mills and both are located along the Sittaung
valley, Yeni Paper Mill, at the upper part of the river and Sittaung Paper
Mill at the lower part. The Mills cut down thousands of tons of trees per
year, causing land erosion in the Sittaung Valley. Moreover, the SLORC built
many small and medium size dams (all together 76 dams throughout the
country, most of which were built without concern for the environment) by
the local peoples' work force for the SLORC army owned rice fields and
electricity for the army compound.

In Pegu Division, Kyauk Kyi, Nyuaung Lay Bin, Shwe Kyin and Waw townships
were under water for 10 to 20 days in August. Waw township alone lost over
900 villagers who were staying around the mouth of the Bay of Martaban. The
water level reached higher than the Sittaung Bridge for about 5 days and Pu
Gyine dam's embankment was broken. The villagers who survived had canoes and
were able to cross to the other side of Sittaung river, Thein Zayat, where
the elevation is higher than other places in that area. The local people
lost most of their livestock. Sources said that 80 percent of the rice
fields in Waw Township were damaged. The most affected villages were Pagan,
Oat Po, Pauk Tann, Sin Ywar, Gwa Gyi, Jee Kalay, Myit Kye and Lay Ein Suu
where about 1200 families resided, and each village lost at least 100 people.

The junction of the Sittaung River and Shwe Kyin stream was the most
critical place in Shwe Kyin township. The water level reached 7 feet above
the danger level in Shwe Kyin in August. In Kyauk Kyi and Nyaung Lay Bin
townships, the flood started in the third week of July (the full moon day of
the Burmese month Wakhaung) when about 50 percent of the rice fields were
destroyed. Small bridges were broken. Ten days later, the water level had
fallen a little. But at the end of the first week of August, the flood
worsened again for 15 days. Most of the rice fields in those areas were
covered with water as high as 3 feet for 10 days. Farmers said that they
could not grow rice again for this year and said that there was no hope for
saving these rice fields and worrying about the future.

On August 24, the minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement
Maj.-Gen. Soe Myint inspected Waw Township and said some regions in the
country suffered flash floods and Waw was one of the worst. Maj.-Gen. Soe
Myint is the one who forced local villagers to build dams, working even at
nighttime for the rice fields of IB, 60 and LIB 351 in Kyauk Kyi, as he was
the commander of the Southern Command. Dams built of poor materials, using
unskilled labor and built under insufficient light would certainly be unsafe
and unreliable. But the SLORC policy seems to just concentrate on quantity
and not be concerned with the strength of dams and the ecological impact.

Belin River

Belin River, which flows into the Bay of Martaban, crosses Karen State and
Mon State. One tragic event occurred in Kyeik Hto Township, near the famous
Kyeik Htee Yo pagoda. In the middle of August, Hnat Pyaw Taw village, which
lies beneath Yathea mountain, was destroyed by a landslide and also flooding
from the Belin river and Thea Pyu stream at mid-night. There were about 100
families living there and only around 60 people survived.
One day before Hnat Pyaw Taw village was destroyed, the SLORC soldiers tried
to demolish the ordination hall of Kyeik Htee Yo pagoda to build a hotel.
Monks and holy men begged the soldiers not to demolish it but the soldiers
continued. Therefore, people were saying the flooding was caused by the bad
behavior of the SLORC in relation to the religious building. So the
authorities arrested many people and ordered that nobody tell of the
incident and flooding in Kyeik Hto Township.

Salween River

Myaing Gyi Ngu, the headquarters of the DKBA, which is located due north of
a big island in the Salween River, was badly flooded and because it is quite
far from towns, people in Myaing Gyi Ngu had to face starvation and the lack
of medicine. Therefore, many DKBA members and their families left their
headquarters and defected to the KNU (Karen National Union) Pa-an district
authorities. Rice fields from the southern part of Pa-an town were badly
destroyed. Htone Ein and Zar Tha Pyin villages lost many houses and livestock.

The Irrawaddy division, the rice bowl of Burma, was also significantly
flooded. In Myaung Mya, Bogalay and Hinzada, 70 percent of the rice fields
were destroyed. Even though these floods occurred throughout the country,
the SLORC paid very little attention to the issue. Newspapers were busy with
articles of ASEAN matters for the whole month of August. Flood alerts and
weather reports were lost among the SLORC's propaganda. Even though news of
29 Thais dying in the flooding appeared in the SLORC's media in August, the
Burmese people have not been informed of details of flooding in Burma.

Hsaw Wah Deh
Human Rights and Trade Union Rights Section


October 7, 1997

    MANILA, Oct 7 (Reuter) - President Fidel Ramos has asked to meet Burmese
dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi when he visits Burma next week but has not
received any positive response from Rangoon's military rulers, a Philippine
diplomat said on Tuesday.
    Manila is arranging the proposed meeting through diplomatic channels,
said the diplomat who asked not to be identified.
    Burma's State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) is yet to
respond to the request but lower ranking Rangoon officials have told Manila
the SLORC considers it a 'very sensitive' matter, the diplomat said.
    Ramos is to leave next week for visits to Hong Kong on October 13-15,
Burma on October 15-17 and Laos October 17-18.
    Ramos would be the first head of state from the Association of South
East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to visit Burma since that country was admitted by
the group in July as a new member.
    ASEAN also includes the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia,
Singapore, Brunei, Vietnam and Laos.


October 6, 1997

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 6 (Reuter) - European Union foreign ministers on Monday
decided to extend for a further six months an EU ban on granting visas to
senior Burmese officials, saying political developments in the country were

The ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, also reiterated their concern over the
human rights situation in the country. 

In a statement, they noted that the Burmese authorities had authorised a
congress of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) party in
Rangoon for the first time since 1990. 

``The Council thought, however, that political developments in Burma continue
to be most unsatisfactory and called on the SLORC (Rangoon's State Law and
Order Restoration Council) to implement a substantial dialogue with all
opposition parties, including the NLD,'' it said. 

As a result, ministers confirmed their intention to roll-over the EU's common
position on Burma and continued to examine the question of possible
additional measures, it said. 

Swedish Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen said Denmark, Sweden and Britain
were among EU countries open to the idea of imposing further sanctions in
the future. 

Ministers also agreed to try and involve United Nations Commissioner for
Human Rights, Mary Robinson of Ireland, in their work on Burma, she added. 

British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook last month condemned Burma for
profiting from the drugs trade and said the visa ban meant Burmese officials
would not be included at a summit of European and Asian nations in London in

The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) is a forum linking the 15 EU member states
with Japan, China, South Korea and some members of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

ASEAN admitted Burma to its ranks this year, despite heavy Western criticism
of Rangoon's record on human rights and its flourishing narcotics trade.  


September 7, 1997
     Human Rights Watch/Asia
     485 Fifth Avenue
     New York, NY 10017
     Telephone: 212 972 8400 ext.290
     E-mail: joness@xxxxxxx
     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              
     October 7, 1997
     For further information:
     Zunetta Liddell, London                            (44) 171 713 1995; 
     (h) 171-278-4485
     Sidney Jones, New York                     (212) 971 8400 ex.290; (h) 
        Human Rights Watch/Asia expressed deep concern today about Burmese
political prisoner U Win Tin, sixty-seven years old, who is reported to be
seriously ill and perhaps close to death in Rangoon General Hospital. He was
apparently transferred there within the past week from Myingyan jail, known
to be one of the worst in Burma. Human Rights Watch calls on the Burmese
authorities to drop all charges against U Tin Win, to ensure that he has
access to adequate medical care and the doctors of his choice, and to allow
him to return to his home once he has recovered.
         U Win Tin, a journalist, was a founder of the National League for
Democracy and was imprisoned in October 1989, accused of being a member of
the banned Communist Party of Burma.  He was sentenced to fourteen years by
a military tribunal in Rangoon's notorious Insein jail and sometime in early
1996 was transferred to Myingyan, a town about 150 miles north of Rangoon.
The transfer meant that relatives and supporters could no longer visit him
or send him food and medicines.
        U Win Tin took a prominent part in a hunger strike in Insein jail in
September 1990 and was reported to have been badly beaten.  In 1993 and 1994
he was one of four political prisoners to meet with Congressman Bill
Richardson.  In photographs taken during the meetings, U Win Tin was seen to
be wearing a surgical collar.  He told the congressman he suffered from
spondylitis (degeneration of the spine).
         In mid-1995 U Win Tin was one of a group of eight prisoners accused
of sending letters to the United Nations detailing conditions within Insein
prison. He was reportedly beaten and kept solitary confinement in the
prison's "dog cells" (formerly the kennels for the prison guard dogs). It
was later learned that he was sentenced to an additional five years under
prison regulations banning the possession of writing materials.  The
transcript of this trial, which again took place in Insein jail, was
translated and published in full by the exiled All Burma Students Democratic
Front (ABSDF) in 1997. 


October 7, 1997
Puangthong Rungswadisab

A REPRESENTATIVE of the Burma Lawyers' Council yesterday called for the
dissolution of the National Convention, established by the ruling State, Law
and Order Restoration Council in 1991.

Speaking to hundreds of regional legal experts and social scientists at a
regions symposium on 'Law, Justice, and Open Society in Asean,' Aung Htoo
said that the National Convention, which has the responsibility to draft
Burma's constitution, is just Slorc's attempt to manipulate the political
process through a legal device.

"The convention has been cloaked in legal and consultative artifices to
bring an appearance of form to an illegitimate process. And with that, the
military junta wish to gain domestic and international legitimacy and
credibility," said Aung Htoo.

The symposium was organised by Thammasat University's Law Faculty and the
Konrad Adenauer Foundation.

After the popular uprising in Burma in 1989, the military junta decided to
hold a national democratic election in 1990. But it abruptly aborted the
election after the National League for Democracy led by the Nobel Peace
Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory. Soon after that, Slorc
retrospectively decreed that those elected in 1990 have a duty to frame a
constitution for the future democratic state. Then in April 1993, the ruling
junta issued a declaration titled "The Convening of a National Convention."

"This was in fact to negate the 1990 democratic election. The essence of the
declaration was that power would not be transferred to the elected
representative, but it would continue to reside with Slorc," said Aung Htoo.

The National Convention process is controlled by the ruling military junta,
as out of the 485 elected representatives, only 99 were permitted to attend.
The other 603 members were chosen by Slorc. The junta has also ordered the
convention to turn out a constitution that guarantees the military the
leading role in future national politics, said Aung Htoo, who is also the BLC


October 2, 1997

WASHINGTON, Oct 2 (AFP) - The United States, Japan, and Europe held
inconclusive talks Thursday on a controversial US state law that major
trading partners say violates WTO rules on government contracts.

The one-day, working-level talks in Geneva on the Massachusetts Burma law
were "broad and constructive," US Trade Representative (USTR) spokesman Jay
Ziegler said.

No further talks are scheduled, and Japanese and European officials
reportedly did not exercise their option to call for a dispute settlement
panel -- the next step in seeking trade sanctions against the United States.

"This was an opportunity to lay out our mutual interest in seeing reforms
in democracy and human rights practices in (Burma) and take note of
different actions that European countries and Japan have put forward,"
Ziegler told AFP.

The military government that has ruled Burma for the last decade is
accused of gross and widespread human rights abuses.

But the spokesman had stronger words of support Thursday for the 1996
state law, which effectively bars Massachusetts contracts with US and
foreign companies operating in Burma.

"We have indicated that we intend to defend the Massachusetts law, and
that it is fundamentally consistent with US foreign policy objectives,"
Ziegler said.

A first round of talks in July failed to resolve differences over the
Massachusetts law, modeled after the sanctions leveled at South Africa in
the 1980s.

Continued disagreement over the measure could eventually result in trade
sanctions against the United States, if a WTO panel deems that US states
have violated WTO government procurement rules.

Those rules, which took effect last year, prohibit governments from
awarding contracts based on political rather than economic criteria.

How the WTO deals with the law could set a broad precedent for its
handling of local sanctions laws -- which are proliferating as Washington
clashes with allies over federal sanctions targeting Cuba and Iran.

A dozen US cities have so far passed similar selective purchasing laws
aimed at Burma, while other state and municipal legislatures are considering
measures aimed at Indonesia and China as well.

"Massachusetts companies don't do a lot of business with Burma, so from
that point of view the stakes aren't that high," said Nicholas Rostow,
executive director of the state's international trade and investment office
and a former White House adviser.

"But there's a larger US domestic law question, which is not resolved,
that has to do with the constitutional authority of the states to do this
kind of thing," he added.

The constitutionality of state and local sanctions laws may yet be the
subject of a federal lawsuit, said J. Daniel O'Flaherty, vice president of
the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), a lobbying group based here.

The NFTC will likely decide by mid-November whether to proceed with such
a court challenge, with an eye toward setting a legal precedent against
sanctions laws by state and local governments, he said.

Sarah Jackson-Han


October 5, 1997

Statement of Mr. George Fernandes MP (Lok Sabha) regarding Moreh 
The Historic Satyagraha Against Drug smuggling from Myanmar (Burma) to India
through Moreh which was launched at Moreh under the leadership of Mr. George
Fernandes M.P. came to an end yesterday, the 4th Oct. 97. The Satyagraha was
started on the 2nd Oct. with certain confusion and was cleared and people
from all works of life, from all community had joined the Satyagraha in
thousands. On the last day i.e. the 4th of Oct; 97, a statement was declared
and all the people unanimously pledged to stand by it. The statement reads:-

The human wall Satyagraha at Moreh is an effort by the concerned persons to
draw the attention of the people and the Government of India to the havoc
caused by drugs and AIDS, particularly in Manipur and the North-east. We
want the Government to take concrete and immediate steps to stop drug
smuggling into India from Burma. We demand Governmental Action and support
to deal with the tragedy in the lines of the drug-addicted and
AIDS-affected. We want stern action against all those engaged in drug
trafficking and those who have failed in their duty to apprehend the
We believe that the Military Junta in Burma has a vested interest in drug 
trafficking, as the money earned from it is used for purchase of weapons and
to suppress the movement for democracy in Burma. A blow to drug trafficking
will be a blow for the democracy movement in Burma. We believe that a
democratic Burma is the best insurance against drug smuggling from across
the border. Our movement is against the free movement of drugs from Burma to 
India and not the free trade between the two countries. Free trade does not
mean free smuggling of Drugs. We appeal to each and every citizen to fight
against the deadly Drugs. 
We demand that the Manipur state and the Union Government together bring out
a white paper to inform the people about the efforts made to control the
influx of drugs from Burma and prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in Manipur.
We together pledge that: -
(1) We will stand united in our struggle against drug trafficking.
(2) We will spread our message against drugs from Moreh to the rest of 
the country.
(3) We will work for the development of Moreh and the rest of the state 
to bring health and security to all its people.  
This statement is circulated on behalf of Mr. George Fernandes, M.P. by 
Ms. Valley Rose Hungyo, Convenor, Local Co-ordination committee, 
Imphal for Moreh Satyagraha.
Dated: October 5, 1997. 

People Defense Force report omitted]
October 7, 1997

ITF Asia Pacific Resolution on Burma

29 September - 01 October 1997, Tokyo, Japan


The ITF Asia/Pacific Regional Conference meeting in Tokyo, Japan from 29
September to 01 October 1997:

RECALLED the Resolutions adopted by:

The 3rd ITF Asia/Pacific Regional Conference 16-19 February 1993,
Singapore; and
The Asia/Pacific Regional Committee meeting, 31 January-01 February
1994, Manila, Philippines; and
The Asia/Pacific Regional Committee meeting, 9-10 February 1995, Bombay,
India; and

RECALLED FURTHER the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association's report on the
oppression of Burmese Seafarers on foreign flag ships by the
Government of Myanmar, duly approved by the ILO Governing Body at its
261st Session in November 1994: and

NOTED the repeated and unheeded calls from the ILO Governing Body for
the SLORC military regime to enact legislation giving effect to ILO
Convention No. 105 - Abolition of Forced Labour; and

NOTED ALSO that in spite of the pressure exerted by the ITF, the wider
international trade union community and the ILO on the Burmese SLORC
military regime, violations of fundamental trade union and human rights
have continued; and

NOTED FURTHER the SLORC regime's refusal to enter into political
dialogue with democratic forces led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and ethnic
nationalities, despite repeated calls from the United Nations to do so;

CONDEMNS the unjustified arrest on 13 June 1997 of Seafarers' Union of
Burma official Khin Kyaw and Federation of Trade Unions-Burma executive
Committee member Myo Aung Thant and their families and the subsequent
sentencing of Thant to life imprisonment for high treason; and

CONDEMNS the SLORC regime for its continued violation of basic trade
union and human rights including its continued use of forced labour; and

CALLS UPON the SLORC regime to implement the recommendations of the ILO
Committee on Freedom of Association regarding the trade union rights of
Burmese seafarers and to immediately allow the Seafarers' Union of Burma
to return to the country and to continue legitimately to represent the
interests of Burmese seafarers; and

FURTHER CALLS UPON the SLORC regime to discontinue the sham  National
Convention process and to immediately enter into genuine tripartite
discussions with democratic forces led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and
ethnic nationalities, with the aim of achieving national reconciliation
and the restoration of democracy; and

DEMANDS the immediate release of Khin Kyaw, Myo Aung Thant and other
imprisoned political and trade union activists; and

CALLS UPON all ITF affiliates to continue to put pressure on SLORC
whenever possible to endeavour to improve the trade union and human
rights situation in Burma and

URGES the ITF to continue its support for the Seafarers Union of Burma
in its struggle to represent the interest of Burmese seafarers and to
promote the restoration of democratic trade unions to Burma.

Federation of Trade Unions-Burma (FTUB)


October 1, 1997

A new Karen group known as the Karen Solidarity Organization, or KSO, which
was officially established on 31 August this year issued a statement
last month pledging to fight the violation of human rights by the Burmese
The KSO, with Saw W. Po Ni as president and  Mahn Aung Htay as
secretary general, is run by a 21-member executive committee. However, a
source close to the organization disclosed that the person who really
controls the organization is KSO Vice-President Robert Sann [sic, Zan].
Prior to the issuance of the statement, the organization called itself as
"All Karen
Solidarity and Regeneration Front."
Robert Sann, 50, is a son of  the late Karen leader Mahn Bah Sann.
Robert Sann was regarded as one of the young turks of the Karen National
Union, KNU, of Gen Bo Mya.  Before working for the KSO, Robert Sann led a
number of soldiers of the Sixth KNU Division from the areas opposite
Umphang District of Tak Province to set up a military and political
training school in an area under the responsibility of the Fourth KNU
Division in Mergui and Tavoy opposite Kanchanaburi Province.   Robert Sann
had reportedly ordered his soldiers to heroically resist the government
troops before the debacle of the Forth KNU Division in February.
The policy declared by the KSO calls for a cease-fire nationwide and
the settlement of all problems of the country through negotiations.  The
KSO maintains that the conflicts between the Burmese Government and
minority groups can be settled on the negotiating table with the
participation of three parties namely the Burmese Government, the affected
minority groups, and democratic organizations.
The statement says: "The objective of the KSO is to promote peace,
liberty, and equality and upgrade the standard of living of the Karen
people.  The KSO will serve the interests of all Karen people regardless of
their gender,  skin color, religion, and political affiliation."
Meanwhile, First KNU Secretary General Phado Manh Sha told Phuchatkan
correspondents that the KNU has no problem with the setting up of the new
organization provided that prior permission be sought from the KNU.  Any
organization set up without a permission from the KNU will have nothing to
do with the KNU.
The first KNU secretary general says: "If they really want to help the
country, they should have not set up a new organization."
A Buddhist Karen group, known as DKBO [Democratic Karen Buddhist
Organization], also broke away from the KNU because the young turks of the
group were not satisfied with the way Gen Bo Mya ran the organization.


October 7, 1997

Oct, 7th 97. Insurgents operating along the Indo-Burma border have started
buying arms and ammunition formerly used by Burmese drug warload Khun Sa's
armies. Khun Sa recently surrendered to the Burmese  junta.
Intelligence sources across the border told The Asia Age that a number of
underground activists - the Kuki National Army , the People's Liberation
Army, the armed wing of the Revolutionary People's Front and the United
National Liberation Front- recently bought arms and ammunition from Khun
Sa's armies.
Source add that the underground activists on the Indo-Burma border had
bought arms and ammunition from the Khmer Rouge armies of Cambodia on
earlier occasions also. Arms are brought into the northeast region through
Burma and Bangladesh.
Four PLA activists have recently been arrested by the Royal Thai Navy off
the Andaman shores. They are now languishing in Bangkok Jail.
Sources among the Indian authorities along the border told The Asian Age
that about 100 Kuki National Army activists are now running operations in
the New Somtal, Molcham, Joupi, Sajik and Tampak areas located on the
Burma-Manipur border.
Relations between the KNA and the Burmese armies went cold in the recent
past. The KNA demands a separate homeland in western Burma. The sources
said, about 100 insurgents belonging to the PLA and the UNLF have taken
shelter in western Burma. The rebels were reportedly on warm terms with the
Burmese armies.
Indian Intelligence sources said, weapons have been available at Bokkan
Bazar in Burma near the border. One 0.9 MM Pistol is priced at around
Rs.40,000 at Bokkan. The weapons, including AK 47 rifles, have also been
available at the Rs. 1 lakh in Tamu and Namphalong in Burma. 
There are now four Muslim gun runners at Moreh. They are close to the Burma
gun runners. Sources say that communal clashes between the Meiteis and
Manipuri Muslims on May 3, 1993, were the result of gun smuggling between
valley rebels and the agents. In the clashes, about 105 persons died. The
affinity between the rebel outfits has been a cause of concern to the
security forces.  

October 7, 1997 
Nussara Sawatsawang and Saritdet Marlt Tat

Asean and the European Union will meet next month for the first time since
Burma was admitted as an Asean member. The EU does not want Rangoon to
attend the meeting, which is sure to discuss its human rights issue.

Burma's poor record on human rights and democracy is expected to make
Thailand the unwilling host of a major battle between the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union next month.

As host of the November 17-19 meeting of the Asean-EU Joint Cooperation
Committee, Thailand is expected to push for the inclusion of Burma and Laos
under the agreement that has formed the basis for cooperation between the
two groupings since 1980.

Burma and Laos were admitted to Asean in July, two years after Vietnam was
brought into the fold. EU officials have made clear that they have no
objections to allowing Laos to follow Vietnam into the Asean-EU Cooperation
Agreement, which offers a number of trade and training benefits, but Burma
is an entirely different matter.

"In [the] case of Laos, there's no problem from the EU, but for Burma, the
(European) Commission would give negative opinion of opening relations to
the Council of Ministers," said Glyn Morgan, head of the Commission's
Southeast Asian Unit, in a recent interview in Brussels.

Another high-level EC official said: "We hope Asean won't send the request
because we have to say yes for Laos and say no for Burma."

EU officials don't even want to see Burmese delegates join the meeting next
month. If Thailand insists on inviting them as observers, the atmosphere
will change as Burma will be a target of criticism, they said.

The meeting should be reserved for countries stated in the agreement,
emphasised one EU official.

These include the seven Asean member states - Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia,
the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - and the 15 member states
of the EU - Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece,
Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the
United Kingdom.

The inclusion of any new Asean party under the agreement requires this party
to sign a protocol with the EU member states.

Under complicated EU procedures, the Council of Ministers mandates the
European Commission to negotiate with a new party to the agreement after it
has approved the proposed addition by Asean. The commission then returns the
work to the council for approval before sending it to the European
Parliament for adoption.

For Burma, every step looks unfriendly because opposition to the ruling
State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) in Rangoon runs high among
members of the European Parliament.

Glyn Ford, a British member of the European Parliament, said the house's
position on association with Burma in any field is "absolutely clear".

"If it were to debate [the question] this week, the parliament would say
no," said Eamonn Noonan, an Irish member and strong human rights advocate.

Although Asean remains firm and believes in engagement with Burma as a 
means of bringing about improvements in that country, the EU has suspended
trade privileges to Burma under the Generalised System of Preferences since
early this year and banned visas for Slorc members.

Mr Morgan argued that Asean's policy would work only if it decided to
intervene in Burmese affairs, as it was doing with Cambodia by putting its
Asean membership on hold after the coup on July 5.

"But now that Burma is a member, now it's Asean's decision against our
opinion," said Mr Morgan, a former head of the European Commission mission
in Bangkok. "If Asean took in Burma, Asean [should have] shown the progress."

EU officials say Burma's human rights record has not improved since it
joined Asean three months ago. Some officials maintain that there is no
other way of dealing with this problem except by continuing to exclude Burma
from Asean-EU cooperation projects.

But Mr Ford, a prominent advocate of sanctions against Rangoon who met
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon last December, said 
"pragmatic ways" such as dispatching Asean and European parliamentarians to
hold talks with Slorc could work.

He also expressed the belief that relations between the EU and Asean would
continue. "If they don't, we both make mistakes," he said.

The Burma issue is probably the main thorn in the side of Asean-EU relations
although the problem of East Timor - which pits Indonesia against Portugal -
has lingered longer, since Indonesia's annexing of the territory in 1975.

Otherwise, environmental and social issues occasionally have also tested
Asean-EU relations, said Rita Bauter, an analyst who monitors European ties
with Asean at the European Institute for Public Administration in
Maastricht, Holland.

Nonetheless, the two groupings cannot afford to let the confrontation over
Burma jeopardise the future of their lucrative trade ties, she contended.


October 7, 1997
Bhanravee Tansubhapol, Nussara Sawatsawang

Foreign Minister Prachuab Chaiyasarn will pay a two-day official visit to
Burma later this month in a bid to strengthen bilateral relations while
mending ties between Burma and the European Union.

Cooperation between the two nations will top the agenda, but relations
between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and other
regional groupings will be given high priority during October 29-30 talks
between Mr Prachuab and his Burmese counterpart Ohn Gyaw, according to
permanent secretary foreign affairs Saroj Chavanaviraj.

Burma and Laos were admitted into Asean in July, amid strong concerns from
the grouping's Western dialogue partners over Burma's poor human rights 

The 15 - nation EU made clear its stance not to include Burma into a 1980
Asean - EU cooperation agreement which offers trade and training benefits.

Asean also groups Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore,
Thailand and Vietnam.

Thailand currently plays a role as co-ordinator between Asean and the EU.

Mr Saroj said Asean foreign ministers agreed, during their informal meeting
on the sidelines of the United Nations Assembly on September 24 in New York,
that no Asean member should be excluded from that inter-regional cooperation.

"We [Asean] will uphold our principle that all Asean members are subject to
the [Asean-EU agreement] because it is a bloc-to- bloc arrangement," he said.

As for the Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem), which was launched in Bangkok last
year, the ministers agreed that invitations to the meeting will not be
granted automatically to any of the new Asean members, Mr Saroj said.

The 25-nation Asem brings the EU, seven members of Asean, along with 
China, Japan and South Korea, into political, economic and cultural cooperation.

Mr Prachuab is expected to convey Asean's position when he meets Manuel
Marin, the European Commission's vice president who is in charge of the EU's
external economic cooperation, during his officials visit to Belgium on
October 16.

The minister will visit Spain for three days from October 13 to 15 before
departing for Brussels.    


October 7, 1997

[BurmaNet Note - This information was received by BurmaNet but has not been
independently confirmed]

People Defence Force (PDF)
Date: October 7, 1997

On 22-9-97, Major Zaw Lin Tun from LIB (354) summoned the headmen from  11
Mon villages and 11 Karen villages in Kya-in-seik-kyi and Win-yay township
to Wae-thar-li village and ordered that  the villages had to be relocated
before 15th of October. He also reminded that the persons who did not comply
with the order would be regarded as rebels and eliminated. 

These 11 Mon villages mentioned above are under the joint administration of
NMSP and KNU. In this case, these villages were ordered to relocate in
Taung-pauk and Wae-thar-li villages. 

Since the beginning of August, KNU troops have been undergoing guerilla
warfare against SLORC troops claiming casualties of more than 30 SLORC
soldiers dead. The main aim of this forced relocation is to stop this KNU
attacks by applying usual 4-cut policy to the local population.

At the meeting, the headmen requested to the commander to allow them to stay
at the villages until they had reaped the paddy which was nearly due for
harvesting. But it was turned down by the major saying that he had to follow
orders. So, many acres of paddy will be lost.

It was learnt that the NMSP officials were trying to meet and persuade SLORC
officials to stop this relocation.

Local people were angry about this order and it made many Karen join the KNU.

The villages ordered to relocate were as follows:


1) Bo-ga-daw 
2) Wae-thar-li (West)
3) Chet-tu-yway-taung
4) Bay-dar-yi
5) Ta-yoke-hmaw
6) Ta-dar-pyet
7) Chauk-cha
8) Par-ka-bo
9) A-yoe-ka-lain (AKA)Ka-yu-ka-lain
11) Kyun-thee-jan


1) Shway-po-hart
2) Htee-par-taw
3) Chaik-taung
4) Thar-yar-gon
5) Taung-ga-lay
6) Da-weh-pauk
7) Chee-naung-jee
8) Shway-hmaw-sa-khan
9) A-jar
10) Yay-leh
11) Htee-par-leh


October 3, 1997

Rangoon, October 3 (XINHUA) -- A four-member Myanmar delegation, led by
Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Soe Myint, left here
today for Beijing on a week-long visit to China. During his visit in
Beijing, Soe Myint will have discussions and exchange views with his Chinese
counterpart, Minister of Civil Affairs Doje Cering, who visited Myanmar in
June last year.
The Myanmar delegation will also visit Shanghai, a developed industrial and
commercial city in China.