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The BurmaNet News, October 14, 1997

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------          
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"          
The BurmaNet News: October 14, 1997             
Issue #844


October 13, 1997

MANILA, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Philippine President Fidel Ramos said he would
use gentle persuasion rather than criticism to spread the gospel of democracy to
Burma during a three-nation Asian tour. 

``We will share, but will not impose, our experiences in rebuilding our
democratic institutions, in forging national reconciliation, in moving the
peace process forward and reforming our economy,'' Ramos said of his October
15-17 visit to Burma. 

The president is unlikely to meet Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu
Kyi, despite attempts by the Philippines' government to set up a meeting. 

``As far as we know, it is not on the agenda,'' a spokesman for the
Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said when asked about the
possibility of a meeting. 

He said ASEAN's policy of constructive engagement would help Burma and Laos
``evolve in ways that will lead to the greater growth of their economies and
unleash the full participation of their citizenries.'' 

Ramos last year received a Burmese official mission in Manila and said they
had asked him for advice on how the Philippines had shifted successfully from
dictatorship to democracy. 


13 October 1997
By V.Jayanth

12 October 1997: Emboldened by last month's meeting of the National League
for Democracy (NLD), the opposition party in Myanmar is planning to hold
another conclave next Friday, ostensibly to celebrate a traditional festival.

Sources say the NLD is hoping to gather again at the residence of its
leader, Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, to mark the Thadingyut festival, a customary
occasion to honor the elderly. About 500 party activists and seniors are
expected to assemble for the event, provided the junta does not ban it.

This festival gathering will almost coincide with the State visit of the
Philippine President. Mr. Fidel Ramos.

Not surprisingly, Mr. Ramos asked his foreign ministry to work out with
the junta a possible meeting with Ms. Suu Kyi during his visit. Initial
reports from Yangon say that the meeting is not coming through for obvious
reasons, but speculation is rife that a low-key, no publicity meeting may
be arranged at a natural meeting place.

It may be difficult for the ruling generals to openly deny such a meeting
for an ASEAN Head of State and that too the first to visit Myanmar after
it joined the group. But the junta will also consider it as "pressure
tactics" to balance the equations between the ruling military and the
pro-democracy opposition. This may be difficult for Yangon to reconcile

For Mr. Ramos, there will be a major protest or demonstration on the
streets of Manila if he returns without seeing the Nobel laureate, because
that will be interpreted by the vocal pro-democracy groups in the
Philippines as cohorting with the generals by former general himself.

To keep the democratic instincts in place at home, Mr. Ramos may deem it
necessary to have at least an informal chat with Ms. Suu Kyi. The
opposition parties in Manila are already criticising him for the visit,
which may end up "sanitizing" the junta.


October 13, 1997

Move follows truce talks with Slorc

Mae Hong Son --The Kayah minority rebels under the anti-Rangoon Karenni
National Progressive Party (KNPP) may agree to lay down their weapons
following truce talks with representatives of the State Law and Order
Restoration Council, a source said. The source said signs of success were
seen during the October 9 meeting in Mae Hong Son town between Aung Mya, a
Kachin businessman, another Slorc representative who came from Rangoon and
KNPP leaders including Kayah "premier" Aung Ta Le, KNPP secretary-general Le
Mon Thu and commander Brig Gen Bee Thu.
The two sides agreed to hold more talks. The Slorc agreed to KNPP's
conditions that the talks be held in Thailand or any other third country and
the Kayah minority rebels would not lay down arms during the talks.
It was believed the two sides would be able to reach a peace settlement by the 
end of this year, the source said.


October 12, 1997

[BurmaNet Editor's Note: This report was posted on burmanet-l by Orchestra
Burma.  Slight corrections have been made]

A delegation from SLORC arrived at Mae Hong Song airport on October 9 at 3
PM. Although the appointment was scheduled for October 8, delay occurred due
to bad weather. There were five members including Roman Catholic Bishop
Sotero from Loikaw and businessman U Khun Mya. After their arrival bishop
Sotero alone led a Catholic ceremony at Nann Swear village in Mae Hong Song
province. On Friday, October 10 at 1 PM, five SLORC delegation members,
including bishop Sotero, held talks with the KNPP government, including
Chairman Htae Phuu Phae, Deputy Chairman U Aung Than
Lay, Secretary U Re Man Htoo, Minister of news and information U Rae,
General Be Htoo at Baiyoke Hotel. U Khun Mya and bishop Sotero were the
main leaders of the discussions, which lasted one hour. U Khun Mya from
SLORC stated that the cease-fire agreement was not cancelled and the KNPP
government was invited to Rangoon to meet with SLORC for the benefit of
people from both sides. Good results can be expected only after peaceful
discussions regarding past events. General Aung Than Lay said that if they
had to come, they must be legally invited. The KNPP sought assurances from
SLORC that future agreements and talks would not be unofficial, and that
discussions would conclude with a deed of agreement signed in the presence
of witnesses. Previous agreements regarding Kayah State have been violated.
U Khun Mya replied that violations of agreements should be discussed with
those responsible. In the evening, they discussed matters relating to a
visit Rangoon at their KNPP central committee meeting. The meeting continued
the next evening on October 11. SLORC delegation left on October 11, 1997,
it was learnt. 

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October 11, 1997

October 10 1997: Dr. Tint Swe, exiled Member of the Burmese Parliament, who
spoke to pressmen here today expressed regret that the Indian government was
indirectly supporting the military junta in Burma by opening the
Indo-Myanmar Free Trade Agreement.

Dr. Swe, a member of the National League for Democracy, alleged that the
State Law and Restoration Council, SLORC, of Burma was acting against
India's interests by giving training and arms to the militants of northeast
India, while at the same time dealing directly in drug trafficking and
heroin processing.

He charged that the SLORC had spent upwards of 3 lakh kyats to counter the
campaign held at Moreh from October 3 to October 4.

According to Dr. Swe, about 400 students, who fled the military regime, are
sheltering in India. He however stated that they were not given any official
documents, nor allowed to engage in political movements that may hamper the
Indo-Burmese relations.

Two ministers in the National Coalition Government, Union of Burma, Dr.
Zallithang and U Tha Noe were also sheltering in India, while the Prime
Minister, Dr. Sein Win was in the U.S.A.

All of them fled after the infamous 8-8-88 massacre where almost 3,000
people were shot dead when security forces fired on a huge demonstration
demanding installing of a National League for Democracy government in
accordance with the results of the May 1998 elections.

The National Coalition Government, Union of Burma, formed by the NLD along
with several other pro-democracy groups has been fighting for the return
of democracy in Burma, Dr. Swe said.

He disclosed that Norwegian Burma Council; NBC has been given financial
assistance to the Burmese exiles in India. A radio station, the Democratic
Voice of Burma, broadcasting from Oslo, has also highlighted the problems
and struggles of the Burmese against military rule, he said.

Note: On 10 October, the "Burma Info" called a press conference at the FTUB
office in Imphal. Dr. Tint Swe (MP), U Bo Thaung (MP), U Ramjeet Verma
(NLD/LA), and U Bala (FTUB) answered numerous questions of ten local press


October 13, 1997

Burmese market torched, border sealed, situation tense

IMPHAL, Oct. 12: The Myanmarese market complex at Nanphalong on the
Indo-Myanmar border was burnt down and six persons including four security
personnel were gunned down in a raid carried out by unknown gunmen late last
night, unofficial sources said.

Following the incident the international border has been sealed and Burmese
authorities have made massive security deployment at the area. The border
gates have also been closed.

Report from across the border said armed persons set ablaze the newly opened
market complex of Myanmar at about 11:30 PM and six Burmese personnel were
shot dead.

However, sources at Moreh said three Burmese immigration official were
killed in the incident. No official report of exact number of casualty was

The market complex is located just across the gate Number 2 of the
international border at Moreh. It was opened in mid April this year. As the
Tamu market of Myanmar has been shifted to this new complex trading
operations at Moreh on Indian side has been severely affected.

Sources at Moreh suspected the hand of Kuki militants and Tamil traders in
the raid. Burmese authorities also charged that the firing came from a
nearby Indian security post.

Dead body of a Tamil who suspected to have been involved in the arson was
recovered with bullet wounds at Canan Veng near the gate No. 2, which is
close to the market complex.

The man is later identified as Ralbia, 33 of Dalpati Moreh. According to the
reports from across the border, the market complex was seen burning till 6
AM today. There was also gunshots late last night which lasted about 20
minutes, they said.

The barbed wires dividing the boundary of the two countries near the Gate
No. 2 were found snapped this morning. There were signs that kerosene oil
was taken along this point.

Sources said an attempt had been made by unidentified persons to set the
Namphalong market shed on the fire on September 20 this year.

The value of properties destroyed by the fire has been estimated at 15
crore* Burmese kyat, the sources said. Some Burmese officials are also
believed to be injured in the shootout.

They also said that the Burmese authorities had turned down a suggestion by
Indian security authorities at Moreh to hold a meet about the incident.

It may mentioned that the incident came close on the heels of the satyagraha
organised by Samata Party led by George Fernandes.

Meitei community at Moreh reportedly informed the police and Army about
the fire in time.

Note. 1 crore = 10,000,000


 October 10, 1997

The Burmese military junta, the State Low and Order Restoration Council, has
evinced keen interest in having a good border trade relationship India.
The SLORC recently shifted its main shopping centre from Tamu in Kabaw
Valley, under the Sagaing division of Burma, to Namphalong in the same
division a few yards away form Moreh, a free trade centre at the
Manipur-Burma border.
Tamu has a population of about three lakhs and is mainly inhabited by
Burmese. There are seven divisions and seven states in Burma divisions being
areas with Burmese majority and states beings those with ethnic majority.
The change from Tamu to Namphalong was made following an increase in the
volume of trade between India and Burma, a businessman at Tamu said quoting
Captain Kawn Zan Oo, chairman of the Township Law and Order Restoration
Council, Tamu. The trade centre was changed, as businessman from Moreh had
to travel about four-Km to Tamu, while Namphalong is very near Moreh.
Moreover, anyone willing to enter Tamu has to pay Rs. 10 as border pass.
U Pow Ka, a businessman at Tamu told The Asian Age that the town has a small
population. He expressed unhappiness that before the opening of Namphalong
Bazaar, goods worth about Rs. 10,000 (Indian currencies) were sold daily at
Tamu. But at present, goods worth only Rs. 2,000 are sold, he added.
Business has been thriving in Namphalong Bazaar. Tang Two Co, a
businesswoman said goods worth about Rs. 7,000 are sold everyday. Buyers are
Indian Burmese immigration officials said, over Rs 3 crore have been
collected monthly as levy from free trade.
Introduction of taxis from Namphalong to Tamu recently has been a boon to
the traders and customers. The primitive, Tonga (horse carrier) is still a
popular mode of transport between Namphalong and Tamu. 

October 13, 1997
Rangoon AFP

Misplaced priorities 'block reconciliation'

A top general has charged pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi with 
bearing a personal grudge that was blocking reconciliation with the junta, 
official press reported yesterday.

Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt, first secretary of the State Law and Order
Restoration Council (Slorc), accused Ms Suu Kyi and her party of giving
priority to an "individual" rather than its "policy".

"It is essential for a person who will lead an organisation to possess the
spirit of sacrifice and to avoid ego and personal grudge," Khin Nyunt told a
gathering of 1,500 teachers in Rangoon on Saturday.

His comments followed the refusal of Ms Suu Kyi's National League for
Democracy (NLD) to hold talks with Khin Nyunt last month without the
participation of the NLD leader.

Khin Nyunt said good faith and good will as well as "full confidence" in the
Slorc's "sincere nation-building efforts" would be needed for any kind of
dialogue with the NLD to get off the ground, the New Light of Myanmar 

The NLD swept the last elections held in Burma in 1990. The Slorc, which
took power in 1988 after crushing pro-democracy protests, ignored the
election result.

Khin Nyunt, who is also chief of military intelligence, warned that the
Slorc would not tolerate any antigovernment disturbances.

The junta would be obliged to take "preventive measures", in accordance with
its responsibility to maintain law and protect the people and their property.

"Attempts to incite riots, causing panic among the people and deliberately
manipulating and upsetting commodity prices are acts detrimental to the
welfare of the people," he said.


February 26, 1997
(a copy of this letter was sent to BurmaNet)

[BurmaNet Editor's Note: The Unocal spokesman below claims that Unocal's
presence will help Burma "to open its society".  BurmaNet wonders what
evidence Unocal might give to support this.  Indeed, despite the fact that
Unocal and Total have paid their workers higher than average salaries, the
SLORC has continued to depend on its usual methods for obtaining labor:
force.  In the pipeline area, the SLORC has used forced labor to build the
military posts and roads in the pipeline area which will be used to provide
security for the pipeline. Moreover, the revenues from the sale of the gas
to Thailand will go directly to the SLORC, without any percentage being
redistributed to the people in the pipeline area.  Will the SLORC use the
profits from the pipeline to create greater openness or to extend its
repressive practices?]

				Unocal Corporation
				2141 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 4000
				El Segundo, California 20245
				Telephone (310) 726-7743
				Facsimile (310-726-7872

Michael W. Thacher                              February 26, 1997
General Manager
Public Relations & Communications

				Mr. Roger Hilsman
                                                       448 Riverside Drive #122
                                                       New York, New York 10027

Dear Roger:

I enjoyed learning more about your school project during our phone
conversation yesterday.  Please forward the additional information you
mentioned concerning this project, and we'll review it with interest.

As discussed, I am enclosing background material about the Yadana Project.
You will see that it is already having a very positive impact on the lives
of nearly 35,000 villagers who live near the pipeline route.  It is also
serving as a powerful example of U.S. business practices, standards and
values to many other people throughout the country.

Your experience as Assistant Secretary for the Far East and your first-hand
knowledge of Myanmar gives your views real credibility.  I appreciate your
willingness to consider writing on the unilateral sanctions issue or to
contact members of Congress or the Administration at an appropriate time.

We at Unocal are excited about the opportunity we have to help Myanmar build
its economy and open its society.  I will keep you posted on our activities
and look forward to learning more about your project.

                                                                 Very truly
(Signed) Mike Thacher	


October 14, 1997

  The  Statement of DPNS on the 9th Anniversary of the founding of its party

                                                                October 14,
                                        ( 13th Waxing of Thi-tin-gyut, 1359 BE )

October 14, 1997 marks the 9th anniversary of the founding of the Democratic
Party for a New Society (DPNS).  The party was formed through the mass
involvement of the younger generation determined to take on the historical
responsibility of our times.

The repression of the DPNS by the State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC) was so severe that, in order to be able to serve the interests of
the people, the party had to move to the ethnic revolutionary area on
November 7, 1991.  Despite unceasing political harassment by the military
regime over the last nine years, the DPNS continues to stand firm in the
struggle to restore democracy in Burma.

Since 1988, SLORC has led Burma into a state of political, economic and
social turmoil testified by the outflow of refugees to neighbouring
countries, the imprisonment and arbitrary murder of people with different
political beliefs, the poor health of the nation's people and the closures
of educational institutions.

The use of violence by the SLORC to supposedly resolve these problems is
unacceptable.  In order to avert a national catastrophe, the SLORC must
engage in genuine political dialogue.  Tripartite dialogue consisting of the
democratic forces led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the ethnic nationalities and
the SLORC, has been called for by all including the United Nations, whose
members are truly concerned with Burma's future development peace and

The DPNS would like to see the first steps towards creating the appropriate
environment for the democratic process to flourish, be implemented
immediately; these being:
	(a) a meeting between the SLORC and the NLD led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,
for genuine political dialogue,
	(b) all repression of political forces be stopped, and all political
prisoners be released, and 
	(c) the 1990 May election be authenticated and the election result be

Central Committee
Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS)

Research & Documentation Centre
Democratic Party for a New Society (DPNS)


October 13, 1997

AFP, KUALA LUMPUR - Asean newcomer Burma is likely to join a proposed 
regional free-trade area before its 10-year grace period expires in 2008, 
according to Asean secretary-general Ajit Singh.

Speaking ahead of the annual meeting of the group's economic ministers this
week, Ajit praised Burma's offer to cut tariffs as one of the newest members
of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).

Burma, which joined Asean in July along with Laos, "has submitted not just a
complete package but a good one. It has gone beyond what we had asked for",
he was quoted as saying by Bernama news agency.

"I think they can join earlier," he said.

Under a 1993 accord, the six most developed members - Brunei, Indonesia,
Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand - agreed to work toward an
Asean Free Trade Area (Afta) by implementing common effective preferential
tariffs of five per cent or less on 98 per cent of their products by 2003.

Vietnam, which joined the group in 1995, has been given until 2006 while
Burma and Laos have another two years.

During the annual meeting of economic ministers this week, Burma and Laos
are scheduled to submit complete product lists and sign protocols of
accession to the remaining Asean agreements not covered during the annual
meeting of Asean foreign ministers in July.

At the July meeting, also held in Malaysia, Burma and Laos submitted lists
of products for common effective preferential tariffs.

The list presented by Burmese Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw, who pledged his
country's "active participation in all areas of Asean cooperation",
accounted for about 43 per cent of its total tariff lines, officials said at
the time.

About 20 per cent of these were metal products while some 14 per cent were
machinery and electrical appliances, the officials said. Optical products,
precision instruments and musical instruments accounted for about nine
percent. Chemical and farm products accounted for another nine per cent each.

Burma and Laos have until 2015 to add sensitive items to their product
lists. Vietnam has until 2013. The six other Asean members have an earlier
deadline of 2010.

Given its poor human rights record, Asean's decision to welcome Burma as a
new member at the July meeting triggered a major dispute with the United
States and the European Union.


October 13, 1997
Achara Ashayagachat

Ministers to push on in liberalising trade

Asean economic ministers will further liberalise the highly safeguarded
services sector and discuss measures to restore fiscal momentum when they
meet on Wednesday.

The finance ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Thailand, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam,
Burma and Laos - will review their progress in economic cooperation in light
of the current fiscal crisis.

They will be joined at their gathering in Kuala Lumpur by their counterparts
from Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and the South Africa
Development Community.

Australia and New Zealand are expected to press for greater cooperation
between Asean and their joint Closer Economic Relations scheme by merging
with the Asia Free Trade Area (Afta).

But the concept is hampered by regional financial turmoil and further Asean
expansion, according to sources close to the issue.

Japan's minister of trade and industry, Mitsuo Horiuchi, is expected to
announce plans to boost imports of Southeast Asian products despite their
drop in value in recent months following a one-quarter depreciation of most
currencies in the region.

Japan is proffering trade insurance and debt guarantees for both domestic
and foreign companies.

It will also help Japanese importers make payments in advance and offer
technical and human resources development to support industries, such as
auto parts makers.

Host Malaysia wants meeting participants to develop a US$100 billion
facility to help troubled economies in the region.

The funding is expected to be agreed to in principle ahead of December's
meeting of heads of state from Asean, China, Japan and South Korea. Its
importance has been underscored, most agree, by Jakarta's request for
international aid to overcome shattered investor confidence.

Asean's economic ministers, obliged to reaffirm that the financial turmoil
is unlikely to derail their 10 year timetable for creating a free trade area,
will sign an agreement on "notification" procedures to deter groups from
lobbying their governments for trade preferences or modifying their stated

Indonesia this year unilaterally increased import duties on more than half a
dozen petrochemical products, promising it would lower the rates when most
Asean tariffs are reduced, as previously agreed, in 2003.

The ministers will also sign a declaration on liberalising the services
sector, in accordance with another prior commitment.

The liberalisation, covering seven sectors _ telecommunications, tourism,
transport, construction, maritime, business and professional and financial
services - will give companies market access throughout the region and
encourage joint ventures in previously-protected sectors. 

Burma and Laos are to formally accede to existing Asean agreements,
including the Asean Free Trade Area/Common Effective Preferential Tariffs

Asean's two newest members have submitted their lists of planned,
five-percent-or-less tariff reductions for implementation by 2008, two years
after Vietnam and five years after the other six members.

Asean secretary general Ajit Sinh praised Burma for its sound proposals,
which are likely to be realised well within the 10-year grace period allowed
new members.

Burma and Laos have until 2015 to add "sensitive" items to their product
lists, while Vietnam's deadline is 2013 and the rest of Asean 2010.


October 14, 1997

[BurmaNet Editor's Note: this statement was slightly edited for clarity]

Declaration of the Naga National League for Democracy
The Naga people of Burma have independently resided at the Naga Hill Tract,
North of Sagaing division since ancient times, setting up villages in
accordance with their particular clans.
The Naga nationalities never fell under the rule of any ancient king of
Burma. Although the colonialist English themselves used some portion of the
Naga area of Burma for roads and  communication, they did not rule the Naga
area of Burma absolutely. Naga representatives attended the Panglong
Conference in 1947, only as observers.
Burmese government forcibly ruled the Naga Hill Tract of Burma only after
its independence in 1948. For example, the Burmese Army raided the Sawlaw
village of Naga area using three inches mortars in 1951. So the Naga people
started an armed revolution, as they dislike the use of force to impose rule. 
Although the majority Burmans organized the other nationalities by claiming
all would equally enjoy the fruits of Independence and live together
peacefully, the Naga people did not receive almost any rights at all.
Development is still absent from Naga Hill Tract. The majority Burmans have
monopolized rights.
Moreover the situation of ethnic nationalities worsened after Ne Win's
military coup in 1962. The dictator Ne Win oppressed all nationalities and
limited the political, economic, social, and religious affairs of ethnic
nationalities by creating acts and law, as he liked.
In 1988 there was a most barbarous military crackdown on the historic mass
uprising for democracy and against dictatorship. Burmese people faced
murder, unlawful arrest, torture, causing many to flee to safe areas.

As other ethnic nationalities under Slorc's regime, Naga people have not
recovered from pauperism yet because they face human rights violations,
forced labour, religious oppression and lawless seizing of their foods and
commodities by the army. Although the Slorc is shouting a pleasant voice as
border area development program, no development program is implemented yet
in Naga Hill Tract, a border area. Naga people are neglected by Slorc in
every area including economic, education and health affairs as the most
backward ethnic minority of Burma.  
We the Naga people strongly condemn the Slorc, for neglecting the real wish
of Burmese people by not transferring state power to National League for
Democracy, which won a landslide victory in the 1990 general election.
Moreover we strongly believe that the National convention called by the
Slorc is a sham as the wish of people are absolutely neglected in this
convention. Then we believe that the emergence of tripartite dialogue among
ethnic leaders, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi led democratic forces and Slorc, is
inevitable and most important work to restore peace, justness, liberty and
prosperity in Burma.
Different ethnic groups are joining hands with democratic forces, as they
believe that they will be able to enjoy the deserving and fruitful rights
only when the real democratic society is set up in Burma.
We the Naga people of Burma formed the Naga National League for Democracy
(NNLD) on 8.8.97 to participate actively and systematically in the democracy
revolution of Burma by mean of non-violent political struggle.
Executive committee
Naga National League for Democracy (NNLD) 
Dated- 8.8.97
Aims and objectives
1. To eradicate the military dictatorship and to set up democratic state of
2. To set up Naga state according to historic boundary.
3. To set up real Federal Union of Burma, which can fully grant the liberty,
justness and self-determination.
Future work programs
1. To raise the education and health standards of Naga people.
2. To educate the Naga people to achieve political alertness.
3. To construct mutual understanding, mutual respect and fraternal
relationship with all ethnic nationalities, all revolutionary groups and all
4. To strive to participate in the alliance works of revolutionary movement.
Executive Committee
1. Mr. Nuree (Sosa)     -President
2. Mr. L. Longsa                -General Secretary
3. Mr. Lase             -Treasurer
4. Mr. Yong Tsii Mie    -Organizer
5. Mr. Sevitho          -Organizer

October 13, 1997

Ericsson Australia hit with world-wide protest over Burma

Melbourne Australia: Thousands of human rights activists from fourteen 
countries are joining forces today in a global campaign against the 
Swedish telecommunications giant Ericsson. The boycott will focus on 
Ericsson cellular phones. Since 1993, Ericsson Australia has been a major 
supplier of cellular equipment to Burma - a country under the control of 
the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). The Australian 
campaign is made up of a growing coalition of community groups 
including the All Burma Student Democratic Organisation, Australia 
Burma Council, the Australian Karen Welfare Association, Burma 
Support Group, Burmese Women's Union, the Uniting Church and the 
National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma.

The Australian Free Burma co-ordinator, Ms Mary O'Kane said: 
"We are running this campaign in support of the call from Nobel laureate 
Aung San Suu Kyi for the withdrawal of all foreign multinationals which 
provide support to the SLORC. We demand that Ericsson Australia 
withdraw its products completely from Burma and other Ericsson 
branches do the same."

"While cellular phones are widely available to the military and business 
partners of the generals, ordinary citizens who are caught with unlicensed 
cell phones, faxes or modems face a prison sentence of up to fifteen years. 
In 1996, the Honoury Scandinavian Consul, Leo Nichols, who was a close 
friend of Aung San Suu Kyi, was sentenced to three years imprisonment 
for having an unlicensed fax machine. He died in detention." Ms O'Kane 

"The SLORC's domination of the Burmese economy is entrenched. 
Foreign companies operating in Burma help strengthen the junta's control. 
This regime spends 50% of the government's annual budget on the army. 
The supply of communications equipment helps increase the SLORC's 
control over ordinary Burmese people." Ms O'Kane said.

"Australia companies be on notice - human rights activists, consumers, 
shareholders and ordinary Australians are watching you to see that you 
operate ethically. Dealing with Burmese military junta is wrong and we 
will target you until you get out." Ms O'Kane said.

The campaign is a world first as it is being launched simultaneously in 
Australia, the United States, Britain, Scandinavia and other countries and 
is being co-ordinated  by the internet - an increasingly powerful tool for 
human rights activists.

In April this year, Australian activists from the Free Burma Network 
successfully targeted Fosters Beer for its operations in Burma. Fosters 
withdrew in April. The campaign for corporate responsibility is part of a 
broader campaign to lobby the Australian Government to introduce 
sanctions against the regime.

A protest delegation will visit Ericsson's corporate headquarters at 
360 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne at 12PM Monday 13 October 1997. 
Media welcome. For further Information: Free Burma Coalition - 
Mary O'Kane 014 86 1919


October 12, 1997


Mya Wai, the activist who has been detained by immigration authorities in
Japan because of lack of legal status in Japan, was transferred to the
detention center at Ushiku on 1 October. Transfer to the Ushiku center is
generally taken as the last step before finally deporting the 'overstayer'. 

Since he was detained on 13 August Mya Wai had been at the detention center
at Jujo which is in Tokyo. On 1 October the immigration authorities
transferred him to the center at Ushiku (about 1.5 hours by car from
downtown Tokyo). None of Mya Wai's lawyers were  informed. 

On 9 October the lawyers filed two lawsuits on Mya Wai's case against the
Minister of Justice, one demanding the cancellation of the denial of his
application for refugee status, and the other demanding the cancellation of
the issue of the order to repatriate). Soon after the suits were filed, the
Ministry of Justice informed the lawyers that Mya Wai will not be
repatriated for two weeks, as it would take two weeks for the Ministry of
Justice to submit a statement in response to the suits.

Mya Wai has a record of arrests and torture by the SLORC when he was in
Burma because of his participation in pro-democracy activities. He is also
known to the SLORC as an activist in Japan and his photos have appeared in
government newspapers in which the SLORC accuses him as having been involved
in the parcel bomb incident in April.  It is extremely dangerous for him to
be repatriated, although the immigration authorities do not seem to realize
this in spite of efforts by lawyers and concerned citizens. 

As stated above, transfer to Ushiku is generally done shortly before
repatriation. Although the Ministry of Justice has promised not to
repatriate him for two weeks, Mya Wai remains in a very unstable condition.
We are of the opinion that he should be released, especially as the recent
lawsuits are likely to take at least six months to reach any conclusion.

Please write to the Japanese immigration authorities! Please ask them not to
repatriate Mya Wai and to reconsider his application for provisional release.

Please mail to:
Tokyo Immigration Bureau, Ministry of Justice
Keibi-ka (Security Division)
3-2-21 Nishigaoka, Kita-ku
Tokyo 115 JAPAN

FAX should be sent to 81-3-3263-3882 (The People's Forum on Burma). PFB 
will forward the faxes to the immigration office. 

The People's Forum on Burma/Lawyers group assisting Burmese applicants for
refugee status