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EXILES SAY BURMA USES FORCED LABOUR
- Subject: EXILES SAY BURMA USES FORCED LABOUR
- From: moe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 16:56:00
Exiles Say Burma Uses Forced
Monday, October 20, 1997; 6:05 p.m. EDT
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Burma's military
using forced labor to build tourist facilities at a
national park, a
student group in exile said Monday.
Burma's government, meanwhile, accused U.S.
interfering in the country's internal affairs and
warned it may
consider downgrading diplomatic ties to the United
other Western nations, Burma's state-run press
A villager who escaped from Burma said he was among 150
villagers rounded up each week by the Burmese
work without food or pay at a marine national park
Island, off Burma's southern coast.
About 400 Burmese prisoners also are used as forced
the project, the villager told the All Burma Students
Democratic Front in Thailand.
A 1996 report by the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon
forced labor accounts for about 3 percent of
Burma's military government admits it uses forced
build infrastructure, but says its citizens are
happy to contribute,
in keeping with Burmese traditions.
The marine park is one of two environmental
Burmese government is developing in the Mergui
a chain of about 800 islands in the Andaman Sea.
The other is
the Myinmolekat Nature Reserve.
The student group estimated that 80,000 villagers
islands have been forcibly relocated to make way
parks. There are reports that villagers who
The student group also said soldiers killed 40
arrested 200 on Lampi Island at the beginning of
Until the past two years, Burma's southern
islands were out of the military's reach and mostly
ethnic groups. But the army launched several
offensives in the
past two years to gain control.
Burma's state-run press, meanwhile, lashed out at
from five Western countries for attending a congress of
democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's political party in
In an opinion piece, the New Light of Myanmar accused
Western diplomats of interfering in the internal
affairs of Burma,
suggesting their actions were so shameful they
The only country named was the United States,
military government has expressed displeasure in
the past with
diplomats from the United States, Great Britain,
France and Germany.
Burma's newspapers are under the tight control of
government and opinion pieces are frequently written by
military intelligence officers under pen names.
The article, signed by ``Pauk Sa,'' warned that
can be downgraded ... due to the malpractices of