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The BurmaNet News, October 16, 1997

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------          
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"          
The BurmaNet News: October 16, 1997             
Issue #846


October 15, 1997

RANGOON, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Burmese leader and Senior General Than Shwe told
Philippine President Fidel Ramos on Wednesday there would be a peaceful
transfer of power to an elected government in Burma after a new constitution
was drafted. 

Than Shwe, chairman of Rangoon's ruling State Law and Order Restoration
Council (SLORC), said there was no fixed timetable for completing the draft
but SLORC had no intention of prolonging the constitution writing process

Philippine foreign under-secretary Rodolfo Severino, who attended the talks,
gave details of the meeting in a news briefing for Filipino reporters
accompanying Ramos, which was broadcast on state radio in Manila. 

``He (Than Shwe) said they are now at the stage where they are discussing the
very delicate question of power sharing and what he means here is power
sharing between the centre and the minority areas,'' Severino said. 

``There is no specific timetable for completion of the constitution but he
stressed that the government has no desire to prolong the writing of the
constitution indefinitely,'' Severino added. 

``The aim of constitution writing is unity of the races, democracy and
national reconciliation so that once the constitution is completed then power
will be transferred peacefully to an elected government,'' Severino quoted
Than Shwe as telling Ramos. 

Severino said Than Shwe told Ramos SLORC officials met NLD chairman Aung
Shwe in July but that Suu Kyi -- who was excluded from the talks --
?prohibited? the NLD from attending another meeting. 


October 15, 1997

[The following is the text taken from the original transcript of the
National League for Democracy]

Statement by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi at the closing ceremony of the
9th NLD Party Congress
29 September 1997
(Slightly abridged translation)

It has been seven years since the NLD has managed to call a Congress with
all its members from the States and Divisions.  This is the first time in
seven years that we could give our members an impromptu chance to voice
their grievances.  These are suppressed feelings since the election that
have burst out. We have noted that these outbursts contain strong words of
emotion and grief. These are neither the cries of our members nor our
policies. Everyone knows that they are only our feelings. While
understanding this, we would like to reiterate the policies and opinions of
our League.

We believe that democracy will bring prosperity, development and unity to
our country and this is why we are striving for democracy. So unless we are
free from grudge we will not be able to serve our country.  This doesn?t
mean that the other side does not bear a strong grudge against us. It is
important for us not to bear grudge against the other side. We understand
especially how the members of out ethnic nationalities feel and we
sympathize. However, we promise not to let ourselves carried away by any grudge.

I would like to state clearly that we shall never treat other parties
unjustly or with any grudge. We shall never work under the shadow of the
past. It makes me sad, however, that a representative from the Kayin State
mentioned the name of a Tatmadaw official. I would have to object clearly to
this. We are a party that promotes the individual. We never make any
personal criticisms. We only criticize policies. This is our agenda, our
political agenda. It should be noted that our campaigns have promoted the
individual, free from grudge.

When I was under house arrest for six years, while discussing with the
people in charge of my security, I was accused of always taking the side of
the people. I said that it was true. I must stand by the people because they
are the weaker. So they asked me, ?What if the weaker side was wrong?? So I
replied if the weaker side was wrong, they would rectify their wrongs with
Metta (loving kindness). You must rectify the wrongs of others with Metta,
never by bearing a grudge.

Our Central Executive Committee is holding a large responsibility of our
League. We bear the responsibility for the actions of our party members. We
do not avoid these responsibilities. So if our party members have said
something wrong, we bear that responsibility. We may even apologize. We need
to say why we apologize. An apology is not wrong. It means that you are
brave. It means that you are brave enough to admit you are wrong. So if
there is anything wrong that our party members, under the influence of
others, have said in this Congress. We shall apologize if necessary. We
shall see that it does not occur. We are not afraid to tell our countrymen
or the world. Our democratic organization has democratic privileges but we
must also understand and maintain our democratic responsibilities. Our work
is not only for the NLD, it is for the whole country. In saying, our
country, I refer to all the peoples of this country. I also believe that our
work is also for those who are
against us. But I don?t want to talk about this very much. I try to avoid
it. But sometimes I am compelled to say what I am reluctant to. Our League
may be a democratic one but we are not an organization that is unjust or
repressive to others. If there are any grudges that stem from the past
between our party members and the people, we will resolve them. At this
time, as I have said, our party is thriving on Metta. We have no power, we
have no weapons. We also don?t have much money. There is also the matter of
that eighty thousand dollars...(laughter). What are our foundations? It is
Metta. Rest assured that if we should lose this Metta, the whole democratic
party would disintegrate. Metta is not only to be applied to those that are
connected with you. It should also be applied on those who are against you.
Metta means sympathy for others. Not doing unto others what one does not
want done to oneself. It means not obstructing the responsibilities of those
whom one has Metta. It not only means not wanting harm to befall one?s own
family, but also not wanting harm to befall the families of others. So our
League does wish to harm anyone. Let me be frank. We don?t even want to harm
SLORC. But SLORC also doesn?t want to harm us. Our Congress has come this
far because we have managed to reach a degree of understanding with the
authorities. I would like to say from here that I thank the authorities for
making things possible since this morning. We do not find it a burden to
give thanks where thanks are due. Not is it a burden to give credit where
credit is due. So it is not true that we do not give thanks or credit where
it is due. There will be thanks where thanks is due, credit where credit is
due...so be good. One is never overcautious. This is a Buddhist philosophy.

We are not working solely for the benefit of our party. We are not working
to gain power. It is true, we are working for the development of democracy.
Because we believe that it is only a democratic government that could
benefit the country. Let me make it clear that it is not because we want to
be the government. And also because we believe that it is only the people
that have the right to elect a government. That is why we asked that the
government be made up of people that were elected by the people. Not because
we want power. Power only gives stress. Power comes with responsibility and
I believe that anyone who understands that cannot be power-crazy. I know how
much responsibility goes with a democracy. That is why we are not
power-crazy people . We are only an organization that wants to do its utmost
for the people and the country. We are an organization that is free from
grudge and puts Metta  to the fore.

If there is any grudge within our League, among the people, it is our
responsibility to resolve it. This fact is known from our Central Executive
Committee to our youth. If we truly have goodwill upon the country, we must
try to be free from grudge. In saying this, it doesn?t mean that I do not
understand the feelings of my fellow countrymen. I know and I sympathize.
But as I said earlier, our grudges should not deter from the truth and
progress. That is why we should ensure that this Congress is the biggest and
most important meeting held in seven years. We have successfully conducted
this Congress. We would like our country to benefit from the results of this
Congress. By being able to clearly explain the policies of our League at
this Congress, it has
contributed to the development of the country. We have always called for
dialogue. Because we believe that if there were tensions, an open dialogue
with mutual respect would inevitably bring about success. If we did not
believe so we wouldn?t bother to take on such responsibilities. We truly
believe that there will be success. But there must be mutual openness and
honesty. There must be a pledge to work together for the country. Our
members should continue to work likewise. We must work together in openness
and honesty. There is no reason why we can?t because we must be able to
change our mentalities. I believe the best people are among our youth. I
believe that here are people who are capable of learning and people who are
not. I have always given examples of this. Devadat(1) was a close cousin of
Lord Buddha. Although Lord Buddha had tried very hard to preach to him, it
was only when he died that he gained enlightenment. Ingulimala(2) was a mass
murderer who at his first meeting with Lord Buddha, gained enlightenment. So
we cannot brand one person bad and the other good. What is important is a
person who is capable of learning and a person who is not.  Those who are
capable of learning can become good at any time. Those who are not, well
we?ll only lose our breath, we can?t do anything about it. This is also true
for our League. This is not an institution to others. I am referring to our
own members. Those who are capable of learning and those who are not should
make their own self-judgement. Well, I declare that I shall change whatever
attitudes that I should change, here and now. 

We cannot make political decisions based on our emotions. We must make our
political decisions with a cool head and with full goodwill, looking at the
good of the whole country. I am grateful to the authorities for helping to
bring about this Congress. I request them to continue to provide assistance
in future, to enable us to carry out our activities in full. If they do so,
we will give them full marks, no less.

I also thank our members for their resolve in helping to bring about this
Congress. I am grateful and I am proud.  I pray that you will be able to do

In conclusion, I would like to say that I strongly believe that one day, the
present authorities and the members of this league will work hand in hand
for the good of this country.


1. Devadat was a holy man who was intensely jealous of Lord Buddha
2. Ingulimala was a barbarian who cut off the forefingers of all his
victims. His aim was to collect a thousand of forefingers.


October 15, 1997

[The following is the text taken from the original transcript of Bohmu Aung]

State Law and Order Restoration Council


National League for Democracy

23 September 1997

1. We, in our appeal dated 24 November 1995 to hold a dialogue for national
reconciliation between the SLORC and the NLD as well as in our letters dated
8 October 1996 and 5 August 1997, have urged the SLORC and the NLD to hold a

2. We warmly welcomed an arrangement of the SLORC to meet the NLD
Chairman and other two central executive members on 16 September 1997.

3. However we regret to find that this arrangement did not materialise in
practice. We have studied statements of both the SLORC and the NLD
concerning the cancellation of the meeting.

4. In an arrangement to hold such a discussion, we firmly believe that
representatives to be included in the meeting should be chosen only by the
parties concerned.

5. We would like to remind you that according to internal and international
practices, no preconditions are necessary to set out for such meetings and

6. We would also like to urge again the SLORC and the NLD to strive for the
existence of a dialogue between them in order that all nationals will be
able to solve current political, social, and economic problems unanimously.

Sd/-Bohmu Aung
(on behalf of Veteran Politicians)


October 15, 1997

[The following is the text taken from the original transcript of the
National League for Democracy]

Congress of the National League for Democracy 
on the occasion of the ninth anniversary of 
the founding of the party
27 September 1997
(Held at 54-56 University Avenue, Rangoon)

The Congress opened at 9 o'clock in the morning with Deputy Chairman U Tin U
taking the chair. After saluting the nation, Bogyoke and other fallen
leaders and observing a period of silence in memory of those who sacrificed
their lives during the movement for democracy, U Tin U made the opening speech.

Speech of U Tin U, Deputy Chairman of the NLD and Chairman of the Congress

U Tin U thanked the members of the NLD who had braved threats, barricades,
searches, other forms of intimidation and the inclement weather to attend
the Congress.

He outlined the agenda of the Congress which included political and economic
reports and the reports of the Youth and Women's wings of the NLD. He
invited commentaries and suggestions on the basis of these reports. The
agenda also included a paper on the reorganization of the Central Committee
of the party.

He spoke of the need for unity and caution, especially in the face of
attempts to cause schisms within the ranks of the party.

He referred to those who had sacrificed their lives or freedom in the cause
of democracy and human rights and exhorted the members of the NLD always to
keep in mind the welfare of political prisoners and their families.

Speech of U Aung Shwe, Chairman of the NLD

U Aung Shwe said that although the NLD is suffering from persecution and
repression, it is still standing firm. As a tree which has had its branches
lopped again sprouts new shoots and leaves, so the NLD will renew its strength.

He urged members of the NLD to strive to reach their goal by keeping faith
with the people and by maintaining their unity.

He made the point that every practising democracy accepts the presence of
opposition forces. Within the framework of democratic legislative bodies,
discussion and debate can lead to positive results.

He asserted firmly that there is no recourse other than dialogue. The
problems of the nation are as problems within a family and thus should be
resolved in a fitting spirit.

Speech of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, General Secretary of the NLD

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi greeted the members of the NLD with a commendation of
the courage, stamina and loyalty they had displayed in attending the
Congress despite all difficulties.

She commented that the experience of the NLD during the last nine years had
strengthened their powers of endurance. As coal turns into diamond when
enough pressure is applied, so the members of the NLD had developed an
adamantine spirit throughout their years of trial and tribulation.

While speaking of the democratic practice of allowing free debate and
discussion she also referred to the democratic duty of respecting the will
of the majority. She alerted the members of the party to the danger of
advocating the views of those working to create schisms within the NLD under
the guise of honest brokers.

She announced that the first Peace and Democracy Prize of the National
League for Democracy had been awarded to President Vaclav Havel of the Czech
for his role in effecting a peaceful transition to democracy in his country.

In speaking of the nature of genuine dialogue, she mentioned that the right
of the parties concerned to choose their own representatives freely was a
principle accepted by veteran statesmen.  She guaranteed the success of
dialogue based on the principles of openness, mutual respect and cooperation
in the interests of the people.


October 15, 1997

[The following is the text taken from the original transcript of the
National League for Democracy]

National League for Democracy
Statement 10/97
27 September 1997
(Summary of Salient Points)

1. In August 1988 there was a general uprising as had never taken place
previously in the history of our country. The demand of the people was for
democracy and many lives were sacrificed for the cause.

On 27 September 1988 the National League for Democracy was founded, a party
in which a wide range of ethnic nationalities and social sectors and classes
are represented.

2. The NLD believes that:
- The articles of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights must be
observed and democratic practices instituted.
- The human rights of succeeding generations must be protected.
- Economic, social and political reforms that accord with the will of the
people must be undertaken.

3. The promise to hold multi-party democratic elections was based on the
four duties proclaimed in SLORC Statement 1/88 of 18 September 1988.

4. The NLD contested the general elections of May 1990 and won in 392 of
485 constituencies, that is to say 82% of the total number of constituencies.

5. Article 3 of the parliamentary elections law states that parliament
should be made up of representatives elected in the various constituencies
under this law.

6. The SLORC has ignored article 3 of the law they themselves promulgated,
set aside the election results and sought to repress the NLD by various means.

7. SLORC statement no. 1/90 was proclaimed as a deliberately pre-emptive
measure fourteen hours before the NLD congress held at the Gandhi Hall.
According to 1/90, the state constitution must be drawn up before calling
parliament into session and the drawing up of the constitution would be the
responsibility of the elected members of parliament.  The way in which this
statement has been used gives reason to believe that it was intended to
delay the convening of parliament and the transfer of power.  Soon after
1/90 was promulgated, members of the Central Executive Committee and the
Central Committee and ordinary members of the NLD were imprisoned under
various pretexts.

8. Political, economic and social difficulties have risen with tidal strength.

9. The authorities have ignored successive calls of the NLD for a dialogue
to resolve the problems of the country.  There is nobody in Burma today
exempt from the scourge of political, economic and social difficulties.

10. Although the SLORC met with Chairman U Aung Shwe and two other members
of the CEC, the meeting was not considered by either side to constitute
dialogue.  It was seen as a meeting which the SLORC used to convey its views
to the NLD.  At that meeting U Aung Shwe made it clear that he and Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi must jointly undertake all party matters of importance.  When U
Aung Shwe was invited for a second meeting with the SLORC on 16 September,
he refused to go as he was required to act jointly with the General
Secretary in accordance with the mandate given by elected NLD members of
parliament and organizational committees of the party at various levels.

11. The views of the NLD are as follows:
-The Chairman and the General Secretary must work jointly in all matters
related to dialogue.
- Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is one of the founders of the party; she has received
a mandate from NLD elected members of parliament and organizational
committees of the party at various levels to work jointly with the chairman.
- The United Nations, other organizations at home and abroad and individuals
of political standing accept the leadership status of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
- The people have faith in her.
- The Chairman himself, in meeting Secretary (1) of SLORC on 17-7-97,
repeatedly gave his assurance that dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi would
meet with success.


October 15, 1997

A L L   B U R M A   S T U D E N T S?   D E M O C R A T I C   F R O N T

With the visit of Philippine President Fidel Ramos to Burma today, the All
Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF) is calling on ASEAN to fulfill its
pledge to bring positive political change to Burma.

ABSDF spokesperson Aung Naing Oo says ASEAN is planning to ask the United
Nations to take the lead in attempting to resolve the political situation in

"While it's encouraging to see ASEAN becoming more directly involved in the
region, it is surprising to see ASEAN pay more attention to the internal
problems in Cambodia, which is not a member of the group, than the ongoing
problems in its new member, Burma."

Since Burma's admission into the group in July, ASEAN has placed itself in
an excellent position to push for political change in the country through a
dialogue between the SLORC and the democratic opposition.

"ASEAN should now be using its influence to convince the SLORC of the need
for political reform and the immediate start of a meaningful dialogue with
the democratic opposition lead by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi."

President Fidel Ramos is the first ASEAN head of state to visit Burma since
the country was admitted to ASEAN. Since Burma's admission, there has been
no progress towards a dialogue or resolving other political, social and
economic problems. Widespread human rights violations and forced relocations
continue to occur throughout the country and serious concerns remain
regarding the health and status of political prisoners.

Although the SLORC allowed the recent NLD party congress to go ahead, there
were restrictions placed on the meeting and a number of NLD delegates were
barred from the gathering. In addition, SLORC's attempt at talks with senior
NLD members without the participation of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi shows SLORC's
complete insincerity towards a formal dialogue with the democratic

For further information call 01 923 1687.


October 16, 1997


As reported in the last update, internally displaced persons from the
villages of Hsa Mu Taw and Seiku (close to Mytta [7]), left on October 2,
1997 on a perilous journey, to the borderline and arrived at the point on
Burma-side known as Nya Pla Kee* - a mountain peak.  This was the group?s
second journey since they had previously set off for the border on September
18, 1997, but were later encircled by SLORC troops and forced to retreat.
The group of 100 arrived at the border on October 9, 1997, crossed the
borderline and entered Thailand.  The local authorities were informed of
their arrival.

The group was in poor shape, having endured a long and difficult journey,
crossing flooded streams and camping in deep jungle with SLORC troops to the
north and to the south.  There was torrential rain at the time of their
arrival.  Some local assistance in the form of plastic sheeting and rice was
sent to this remote spot on the border.  The authorities were informed, in
the hope that the refugees would be allowed to move to safety at Htam Hin

On October 13, 1997, after a visit by Colonel Manat of the 9th Division,
they were ordered to return to the Burma-side of the border.  Currently,
they are on the Burma-side, are cut off from NGO assistance as well as
exposed to SLORC attack (the nearest SLORC camp is only 5km away).  There
are but few Karen forces in the area and it is expected that after the end
of the rains even these few Karen soldiers will be forced out by the
overwhelming numbers of SLORC troops.  

Out of the group of 100 internally displaced people, only 46 are over the
age of 15, while 54 under 15 years.  They are in need of food, shelter, and
medical help.  It is impossible for them to be helped in their present location.

* Nya Pla Kee is located due east of the northern extremity of the
Tenasserim River.  The point on the border is a peak of some 1,000 meters,
but remote from any habitation on the Thai-side.  It is more than 4 hours
journey north of Bongti.


Tham Hin
The population of this camp is now 7,646 due to the arrival of the refugees
trucked up from Huay Satu, as reported in the last update.  The camp is now
more crowded than ever with very little flat ground left, the new arrivals
were put on the football pitch, taking away the last small piece of
recreational ground in the camp.


October 14, 1997

On September 20, 1997, Major Zaw Lin Tun, commander of infantry battalion
No. 535 of SLORC ordered the villagers of 10 Karen villages and 11 Mon
villages in Kya-In Seikyi Township to relocate into 3 big villages namely
Taung Bauk, Paukalo and East Wesali.  The SLORC have accused these villagers
of being supporters of the KNU.

Relocated Karen Villages

Thi Po Hat		Kyaik Yaung		Akya
Thi Pale			Thi Palaw		Yele
Thaya Gon		Chi Naung Chi		Taung Gale
Shwe Maung Sakhan

Relocated Mon Villages

Bogadaw		Tadapyat		Kyauk-kya
Lake-Pyau		West Wesali		Bedagi
Khamaung-ngid		Kun-dee Chan		Ta-she
Kyauk-pong		Pha-ha-po		

New Mon State Party (NMSP) officials discussed with SLORC ceasing the
relocations of all of the villagers and allowing them to stay on their
ancestral land and homes.  At first SLORC agreed to stop, but later issued
further orders for relocations.  The SLORC?s later orders set aside 7 Mon
villages, while the other 3 Mon villages and 10 Karen villages were forced
to relocate to 3 big villages.  In addition SLORC forces confiscated paddy
fields and plantation belonging to the people of the 3 villages, without
providing any compensation for the resettlement of 30,000 men and women,
including the aged and children.  After the transfer of No. 535 battalion
from the area, No. 536 battalion came to continue the same work.  These
battalions are under the command of brigade No. 44.

Some Karen and Mon villagers left all their belongings and fled to the
Thai-Burmese border, seeking a safe haven.

Reported by Mon Information Services.


October 15, 1997

Imphal, Oct 14: The Deputy Commissioner, Chandel, S. Budhachdra Singh 
has clarified that only three persons were wounded on the Myanmarese
side in Saturday's accident at Tamu in which the Nanphalong market complex 
was burnt down. 
The DC said, this was disclosed to him by Myanmarese authorities during
his meetings with them yesterday and on Sunday. 
Budhachandra also revealed that the divisional chairman of the law and
order council for Sagaing division would arrive tomorrow in Moreh for a flag
level meeting with an India counterpart. The meeting is scheduled for October
The DC, along with the SP, Chandel, had met the chairman of the Tamu
township law and order restoration council and the Tamu district law and
order restoration council on Sunday and Monday.
According to Budhachandra, the Myanmarese authorities blamed the incident 
on Kuki militants from the India side. They pointed out to him that barbwire
fencing on the international border was found cut, he told IFP.
He was also informed that 365 shops at the Namphalong market were completely
destroyed in the blaze, along with property worth several crore  rupees.
Quoting the Myanmarese authorities, he said the suspected militants opened 
fire on the Tamu immigration office, next to the market complex, just
before setting the latter on fire. Two security personnel and a watchman were
injured in the firing.
The militants used AK-47, G-2 M-16 and US -made carbines in the attack.
The Union home ministry and external affairs ministry have already been
faxed a detailed report on the incident by the chief secretary H Jelshyam. 
A reply is expected by tomorrow according to the Chief Secretary. The
situation in Moreh, meanwhile, remained under control even as heightened
security arrangements remained in place.
The Myanmarese have already started reconstruction of the Namphalong Market.
However, the border is to remain sealed for at least one month. Business at
the Moreh market is expected to suffer as a result.
It may be recalled that the Tamil traders in Moreh had objected strenuously
to the opening of the Namphalong complex and even appealed to the custom 
authorities to have gate no. 2 closed. 
Another attempt to set the market complex has been foiled some time ago.


October 15, 1997

Burma, Indonesia like errant teenagers

Hong Kong, AFP --The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) treats
disputes among members as family tiffs, Singapore Premier Goh Chok Tong said
here yesterday, after Indonesia and Burma were likened to wayward teenagers.

"We, believe it is easier to deal with members of your own family, should
they begin to go a little wrong, than with somebody outside," he told the
East Asia Economic Summit.

"You see, on the outside, they would not worry about you," he added, after a
delegate asked how the regional grouping should respond if "one teenager is
seen to be dealing drugs and another teenager is burning down trees in the

"They just go on polluting your place and go on trafficking in our
territory," Mr Goh said.

Indonesia has apologised for forest fires on its territory while Burma has
long been identified as the world's biggest opium producer.

Premier Goh, without specifically referring to the two countries, said
concerns and disputes were addressed and resolved privately within Asean,
much as families deal with their own conflicts.

"You do not hear about it, not in the open," he said.


October 15  1997
by William Barnes 

Burma's military intelligence chief, Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt, is wrong
to describe as "groundless" reports that Burmese women work in the Thai sex
industry, informed observers say.

Increasing numbers of Burmese women are seeking work in Thailand as it
becomes harder to avoid hunger and political repression at home, they said.

But as the recession begins to bite in Thailand there are fears that
problems for Burmese sex workers will increase.

"Groundless accusations of some Western bloc countries that Myanmar
[Burmese] girls are engaged in the flesh trade are floated at present,"
General Khin Nyunt said.

"This is an extremely shameful accusation which the accusers have made with
the intention of demeaning the dignity of Myanmar women," he said.

Foreign aid workers estimate about a million Burmese are sheltering and
working in Thailand, most of them in an underground economy where
unscrupulous employers habitually exploit their illegal status by forcing
them to work in conditions approaching slave labour.

Perhaps the worst off are the thousands of women in the sex trade who are
often virtually imprisoned in Thai brothels and forced to service several
customers a day.

Burmese women have also followed their Thai neighbours in finding work in
third countries such as Japan and Malaysia.

"Even if Burma's economy was not in a shambles the very aggressive military
campaigns against ethnic minority guerillas have made it impossible for many
families to eke out even a subsistence living in the countryside," said a
Bangkok-based diplomat.

"As the Burmese women come across the border they are taken to building
sites, private houses, factories and brothels, where the work is often
dangerous and very badly paid," said Jackie Pollock of the Migrant
Assistance Project in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.

"It is unfortunate that the Burmese Government takes no responsibility for
the welfare of its people," she said.

As Thailand's economic recession erodes customers' incomes, brothels may
slash the meagre wages they hand out.

"They won't close. Why should they when they can simply exploit the women
even more?" said a women's rights activist in Bangkok.

This has already happened in the building trade, where many Burmese workers
have not been paid after work had dried up.

General Khin Nyunt's denials may have been a response to accusations by the
opposition National League for Democracy that the junta was contributing to
the spread of AIDS in Burma by failing to stop women engaging in
prostitution abroad.


October 15, 1997
Reply-To: "Moe K. T." <moe@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

In the September issue of Advertising & Shopping Guide from Yangon there is
a short notice about coming Public e-mail service in Myanmar.
Two local & one foreign companies got permission to do Internet Business
in Myanmar from the Ministry of Communications. There would be 'Computer
Communication Booths' to use public e-mail before the end of the year.
The charges would be 12 kyats/min for overseas and 6 kyats/min for
domestic. E-mail access from home would cost 10,000 kyats/year.
Foreigners would have to pay in Dollars.

Some services in Yangon charge as much as US$80/month for e-mail access
from home since Singapore Telecom & Myanmar Communication Ministry
launched e-mail & data transfer services in April.

Moe Kyaw Thu
Ocean Research Institute,
University of Tokyo


October 15, 1997

     The Challenge of Change in a Divided Society
     An up-to-date collection of essays by leading academics and Burma
specialists covering some of the key economic, ethnic, political and social
problems which currently confront Burma. The book is divided into four
parts: Politics and Constitution Making, Foreign Policy, Views from the
Periphery, and the Challenges of Development. Peter Carey's introduction
provides a useful historical background, and assesses the political
prospects for Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy following her
1995 release.
     Peter Carey, Laithwaite Fellow and Tutor in Modern 
     History, Trinity College, Oxford
     July 1997
     HB   £45.00    0-333-59572-6 
     216 X 138 mm    280 pp
If you would like any further information or a review copy please contact
Charlotte Shepheard (c.shepheard@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx).


October 14, 1997


The new edition of the Burma Action Directory (BAD) is almost ready. It
will be put out as a number of special issues of BurmanetNews and
subsequently will be placed on a few websites.

This is the last call for new entries and updates, and also an opportunity
for those groups and individuals in the Burma Support Community who think
they or people they know may be featured in BAD to say how or if they want
to be listed.. Some people based in countries with close relations with
SLORC, or planning to travel to the region, may not want their names
mentioned in such a public place as a website, or may want minimal contact
details listed, or indeed, no listing at all. It's a question of weighing
the benefits of open communications against the possible problems of having
everyone, including creditors and governments, knowing who's where.   

Currently most entries list a contact person, mailing address, phone, fax,
email address and sometimes a small description of the group. If any groups
want to be listed without a contact person, phone number, address etc., or
have other updates, please inform Burma Peace Foundation as soon as possible. 

Burma Peace Foundation
85, Rue de Montbrillant,
1202, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel/Fax (+41-22) 733 2040
Email darnott@xxxxxxxxxxx
Internet ProLink PC User