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The BurmaNet News, November 11, 199

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------          
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"          
The BurmaNet News: November 11, 1997             
Issue #865


November 10, 1997

INFORMATION SHEET No.A-0203(I/L)                    Date. 10-11-97

                No Unlawful Harassment on Mrs. Aris' Activities

Daw Su Kyi has freely moved in visiting her friends and accepting her visitors.

                Regarding her activities in Yangon, Daw Su Kyi met at her
residence Ambassador Head of Delegation and members of EU Mr Michale
Caillout, a French and Mr Dominic Warit Whiting, a British at 1600 hrs to
1645 hrs on 5
November. She went to the British Ambassador's residence together with U
Aung Shwe, U Tin Oo and U Lwin at 1230 hrs to 1445 hrs on 6 November. On her
return she went to NLD Head Quarter and met youths at 1455 hrs to 1620 hrs.
A discussion was being held by U Kyi Maung and U Tin Oo at her residence
with 45 youths at 1515 hrs to 1730 hrs. She met Charge d' Affaires a.i. of
American Embassy at her residence at 1045 hrs to 1150 hrs on 7 November and
went to the French Ambassador's residence at 1500 hrs to 1640 hrs. She went
to U Maung Ko's (deceased) house meeting his family in Yankin Township at
0925 hrs to 1050 hrs on 9 November.


INFORMATION SHEET No.A-0202(I)                   Date. 10-11-97


                Commander of South-East Command Maj-Gen Ket Sein arrived in
Myawady on 4 November. The Commander together with Commander of No 33 LID
Brig-Gen Thura Aye Myint and officials went to Myanmar-Thai border
Friendship Bridge and met senior military officers led by Commander of No 3
Military region of Royal Thai Army Lt-Gen Thanom Wancharamut on the bridge.
They discussed development of border trade, tranquillity and development in
border area at Bayintnaung Yeiktha. The two commanders had lunch at
Thaungyin Hall in Myawady.


Altogether 118 members of KNU (Kayin National Union) armed group led by
leader of Thandaung Township special unit major Saw Phe Re Mo (a) Saw Ar Di
and deputy company commander of No 3 company of No 2 brigade Saw Gwe Hmu
swapped arms for peace together with 124 family members, bringing in 33
assorted arms, 5,240 rounds of ammunition and 38 assorted mines at Leiktho
Military camp in Thandaung Township on 8 November.


November 11, 1997

	Information was received recently that last week KNDO battalion 
Commander Ah dee of Toungoo District surrendered to the SLORC, negotiations
were carried out in Thandaung town between representatives from the SLORC
and Saw Ah Dee. Two sections, about 20 men, surrendered with Saw Ah Dee.
	In addition, company commander Capt. Chris Bo of KNLA No.2 Brigade also
surrendered. It is not yet certain how many of his man 
surrendered along with him.
	The SLORC has reported that, 200 men surrendered along with 
commander Ah Dee, however the combined strength of Saw Ah Dee and Saw 
Chris Bo is at most 50 men.
	This inflated claim is clearly intended to demoralize the Karen 
movement. The SLORC will undoubtedly use these to commanders as 
militia in much the same way as former KNLA 16 Battalion commander 
Thu Mu Hei who surrendered in February in the Dooplaya district. Thu 
Mu Hei has been supplied by the Burmese to form a militia and has 
been committing much the same abuses as the Burmese soldiers with the 
result that many more people have been fleeing to safety in Thailand. 


Sunday, November 9, 1997

 KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is unable to determine at this point when it will
hold a joint military exercise with Myanmar, Defence Minister Datuk Seri
Syed Hamid Albar said yesterday. 

 Such exercises were normal among Asean countries but it had not been
decided when to hold the joint war games with Myanmar because it had just
joined the grouping, he told reporters after launching the "Islamic
Excellence Week" organised by Universiti Malaya. 

 "Let everyone feel comfortable first, it has joined Asean and time and
opportunity should be given . . ." he said when asked whether any timeframe
had been set for conducting joint military manoeuvres. -- Bernama


October 31, 1997
 From Yumnam Rupachandra and N Deven  Singh

Imphal,   October 30:  In  what could explode  into a major scandal, some 
Army officers presently posted at Moreh tried to  launder a huge amount of 
money that was looted from the State  Bank of India, Phek branch, in Nagaland 
almost 10 years  ago on December 12, 1986, allegedly by the banned National 
Socialist Council of Nagaland, NSCN.

According to records maintained by the police, on October 9 last, at about 2 
pm,  Major  Shantosh Kumar Jaswal of the 5/11  Gurkha Rifles post at Moreh,  
in full uniform, along with Major Sein Lin of 87th Battalion Myanmar Army, 
Captain Khin Lay Maung and two other residents of Tamu town came in a 
Myanmarese  vehicle--  Toyota  bearing  number  6A-8053 (written  in 
Burmese script) from Myanmas and entered Moreh through  Gate  No.  1  
along with the vehicle without any permission.

Earlier Major Shantosh Kumar had crossed the Indian border into Myanmar 
through number 2 Gate.

Moreover  the bank was not authorised to issue drafts amounting to more than  
Rs. 50,000 at a time. 

At 3:20 pm the foreign nationals in question returned to Myanmar the police 

The  next day 9:30 am,  Major  Shantosh Kumar and his party along with 
Major Bastsa (of intelligence branch, Moreh) and Lt  Col V.S.  Grewal came to  
the bank and rescued that the money be allowed to be sent to "Nadir Ali and 
Company by Lt Col V.S Grewal is special cause.

As  the bank  regulation allowed  the transfer  of only Rs. 50,000  at a
time,  the 
cash handed over to the bank, this time was only Rs. 50,000 in Rs.10,000 
bundles of Rs.  100 notes, the police record said.

On  cross checking by the bank staff,  it was discovered that two of the
of  currency notes, amounting to Rs. 20,000 bore denomination Nos 905801 to 

These numbers were among the numbers on the notes looted by suspected  
NSCN,  from the Phek branch of the State Bank of India, on December 12, 


November 7, 1997

The BP-1 checkpoint, between Nawng Ook (Thailand) and Poongpakhem (Shan
State) has been closed off again only a few days after it was officially
opened on 23 October in accordance with the agreement made by Burma's
Southeast Regional Commander and Thailand's Third Regional Commander in August.
The dispute was due to the mysterious disappearances of the boundary stone
which was placed by the British and Thai surveyors more than a hundred years
ago. The Burmese side held the Thai Authorities for the disappearance and
demanded its return. The Thais denied the accusation and sought to placate
their counterparts by offering to replace the disappeared stone with a
substitute. The offer was categorically denied, according to Thai sources in


October 31, 1997
Timothy Chorba

Is the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights truly universal? Timothy
Chorba, outgoing U.S. ambassador to Singapore, believes so. He contributed
the following column to a recent edition of The Straits Times. A condensed

Some commentators suggest the Declaration is no longer relevant. They imply
it reflects the bias of Western drafters, is rooted in values alien to Asia
and has been imposed on the non-western world by Western "superpowers." A
careful reading of the Declaration leads to a more balanced and constructive

Myth: The Declaration was drafted by Western countries. 

Fact: The eight members of the U.N. special committee that drafted the
document represented [the Republic of ] China, Lebanon, Chile, the United
Kingdom, France, Australia, the Soviet Union and the United States. Many
others contributed suggestions. The chairperson was Eleanor Roosevelt, an
American humanitarian and wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The vice
chairman was a Chinese diplomat and the rapporteur a Lebanese philosopher.
The General Assembly adopted the Declaration 48-0, with eight countries
abstaining. Among the countries that voted ?yes? were Burma, China, Cuba,
India, Iran, Iraq, the Philippines and Thailand.

Myth: The Declaration was an attempt by colonial powers to impose their will
on weaker, smaller nations. 

Fact: So-called "third world" countries such as
Panama, Chile and Cuba were among the strongest advocates of the concept
that the U.N. should agree on a set of universal human right. The
Declaration was one of the first international agreements to recognize the
essential equality of all of the world?s people and the dignity of
individuals regardless of their country of origin or its international strength.

Myth: The Declaration focuses only on individual rights and ignores
community interests.  

 Fact: Article 16 states that "the family is the natural and fundamental
group unit of society and by society and is entitled to protection by
society and the state." Article 29 states that "every one has duties to the
community?subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely
for the purpose of securing the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting
the just requirements of morality, public democratic society." 

Myth: The Declaration does not add economic and social rights.

Fact:	Article 23 states that "everyone has the right to work, to free choice
of employment, to just and favorable conditions of work and to protection
against unemployment." Article 25 states: "Everyone has the right to a
standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of
his family."

The original drafters of the Declaration produced a rich document reflecting
many different viewpoints as powerful and relevant today as when it was
first drafted a half century ago.


November 7, 1997

S E A T T L E   B U R M A   R O U N D T A B L E
2319 N. 45th St., #115, Seattle, WA  98103  USA
Tel (206) 784-5742, Fax (206) 784-8150



Seattle, November 7, 1997 -- During the past three weeks, five U.S. cities
have joined a growing multilateral campaign of anti-apartheid style
economic pressure on the ruling military junta of Burma. 

Palo Alto (CA), Quincy (MA), Newton (MA), West Hollywood (CA) and
Brookline (MA)  have all passed measures restricting city purchases from
companies doing business in Burma.  They bring the total of cities
participating to 17 (including New York City, San Francisco and Oakland),
plus Alameda County (CA) and the State of Massachusetts. 

President Clinton invoked a ban on new US investment is April, citing U.S. 
national security concerns, and Burmese military complicity in the heroin
trade.  Canada and the European Union also have sanctions targeting the
Burmese military junta, and Japan continues to withhold Overseas
Development Aid, in an effort to encourage the military to take up
dialogue with the overwhelmingly popular Burmese democracy movement 
headed by Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.  Foreign investment in 
Burma is drying up as a result, raising hopes that the junta will come to the 
table soon. 

"We are increasingly confident that Seattle will not want to isolate
itself from this multilateral campaign," says Larry Dohrs of the Seattle
Burma Roundtable.  "We as a city pride ourselves on caring about the
oppressed.  When we can act at virtually no cost to ourselves, but with
great effectiveness, we are ethically obligated to do so."

The proposed Seattle Burma Ordinance would restrict city purchases from
companies propping up the Burmese junta.  A study of current city
contracts suggests few if any contracts will be affected.  A panel
discussion on the proposed Seattle Burma Ordinance is scheduled for
December 2nd at 9:30 am in the Council Chambers. The ordinance has been
endorsed by a broad coalition of business, labor, religious, political and
community groups. 

"Nothing that Seattle could do to help the Burmese people would be more
effective than to support the federal government, the international
campaign and the Burmese elected government, by passing this ordinance,"
says Khin Pale Nu, a Seattle-based Burmese dissident. 

According to Everett Billingslea, General Counsel to Governor Gary Locke,
the city of Seattle is "free to set its own procurement policies," 
unencumbered by any World Trade Organization strictures. 

Contact:  Larry Dohrs and Khin Pale Nu, Seattle Burma Roundtable,


November 8, 1997

The Burmese regime stopped democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from
meeting supporters. It attacked a small crowd of supporters, detained several 
dozen people and arrested an unknown number. This occurred just a week after 
Rangoon won cautious praise for allowing Mrs Suu Kyi to hold an identical 

It is the official view of the government of Burma that with her continual 
attempt to exercise freedom of speech, Aung San Suu Kyi has halted progress 
to democracy. According to Secretary One, Khin Nyunt, Burma is being held to 
ransom by Ms Suu Kyi. If only the leader of the National League for 
Democracy would stop trying to speak to her supporters, Burma would quickly 
become democratic.

All this would be mildly amusing if it were fiction, a petite woman
preventing a 
military regime from imposing a democratic system on a country. But the 
relentless insistence by SLORC leaders and their spokesmen that it is the truth 
of today's Burma is more serious. The claim that Ms Suu Kyi can prevent the
military regime from doing anything is difficult, or impossible, to believe.
protest that she is preventing Slorc from imposing a democratic regime is 

The fact is that Slorc continues to prevent any outbreak of democracy in 
Burma. It is also true that the reason for this is not exactly clear. It was
Slorc group which organised Burma's first free, fair and national elections in 
1990. Those elections could have been the first important and impressive step 
on the Burmese road to democracy. Instead, Slorc completely ignored them
except to arrest, torture and imprison many of the winning candidates. In more 
than seven years since, the leadership has refused to say why it subverted
The only credible reason seems to be that Slorc leaders feared to fall from the 
lucrative control of the dictatorship. To its credit, the Slorc junta has
tried on 
several occasions to come to grips with the reality of its membership in Asean. 
Since June, it has taken faltering steps to deal with the loyal opposition, 
including the democrats led by Ms Suu Kyi. It has attempted to articulate the 
cost of its years of doing business with drug warlords  Khun Sa, Lo Hsing Han 
and others. Earlier this week, Secretary One Khin Nyunt told Bangkok
Post there would be major changes in internal policy.

It would have sounded better if Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt had mentioned a deadline. 
In the five months since Burma has joined Asean as a full member, there has 
been no visible progress towards becoming a responsible member of the group, 
and of the world community. Each hesitant step forward has resulted in a quick 
step backwards.

Two weeks ago, the regime allowed and even facilitated a political trip to a 
Rangoon suburb by Ms Suu Kyi and her  senior advisers. By all accounts, 
including the media mouthpieces of Slorc, the day in the suburbs went well, 
with no security problems or indeed any problems at all.

The next time she left her home, riot police arrested eight supporters. On 
Wednesday, she tried again; authorities arrested around 50 NLD members and 
renewed their absurd campaign that Ms Suu Kyi was blocking the path to 
democracy. This sort of response only makes it clear that Slorc makes up its 
own rules as it goes along?out of confusion or to induce fear, it doesn't

The other members of Asean face a tough job in dealing with Rangoon. But it 
is vital they increase the reminders and diplomatic pressure that Slorc's 
atrocious actions now reflect badly on Asean and on each of its members. 
Rangoon continues to deal with drug traffickers. It continues to treat Mrs Suu 
Kyi's legal opposition movement badly. These and other wretched activities 
reflect badly on Slorc. But they now also bring disrepute to Asean. It is time 
they stopped.


November 6, 1997
Aung Hla

Since President Clinton signed a law earlier this year banning new US
investment in Burma, activist groups opposing Burma?s military government 
have stepped up their campaign for companies to divest from Burma.  As Aung 
Hla of VOA's Burmese service reports, Ericsson of Sweden -- known for its 
cellular telephones -- is one of the companies targeted by groups working
To promote democracy in Burma:

Text:  boycotts against Ericsson have been going on in a number of 
Scandinavian countries, and groups critical of Burma?s military government
are attempting to spread public protests to Asia, Australia, the united
states and 

Activists say Ericsson supplies the Burmese military government with 
telecommunications equipment that helps to suppress the Burmese people.  In 
Burma, ordinary citizens using cellular telephones, fax machines or modems 
without permission can be jailed up to 15 years.

In the united states, one of the coordinators of the boycott against
Ericsson is 
Dan Orzech of "the bay area Burma roundtable" in San Francisco:

/// Orzech act ///  Well, the democratic elected leader of Burma, Aung San
Suu Kyi, has asked western companies not to come to Burma until democracy
does.  And many, many companies -- including Ericsson?s competitor Motorola
-- have respected that request. But Ericsson persists. Any company that is
involved in Burma, doing business in Burma, is either directly or indirectly
supporting human rights abuses like forced labor - slave labor, torture,
which the government there uses to keep its citizens in line.  And is
indirectly supporting the heroin trade because Burma supplies most of the
heroin found in the united states. The government is involved up to its
ears. /// end act ///

David Wolfberg is a Burma activist who is trying to educate university students 
about the situation in Burma.

/// Wolfberg act /// Our message to Ericsson is that they are not going to
get into the student market because the Free Burma Coalition is on 100
campuses and we're going to let everyone know that Ericsson is not the
cellular phone         
company to go with. /// end act ///

Ericsson does business in more than 130 countries, and employs more than 
100-thousand people, with world-wide sales of more than 15-billion dollars.  
The company says it complies with national and international laws -- including 
the law signed by president Clinton this year banning new u-s investment in 

Ericsson vice president for public affairs, John Giere, and Kathy Egan -- vice 
president for corporate communication -- say Ericsson is fulfilling its
contractual obligations in Burma.

They categorically deny Ericsson has any relationship with the Burmese 
military.  However, both Mr. Giere and Ms. Egan candidly acknowledge that 
because of Burma?s political and human rights situation, the country cannot be 
considered a good place to invest:

 /// Egan act /// In fact, there is not even a good case for doing business
in Burma because of the problems that have been going on: the human rights
issue, the economic issues, the instability of the government. That makes
Burma not a country that makes sense to do business in. /// end act ///

Activist groups in Australia are now supporting a campaign to persuade the 
public to boycott Ericsson products.  Mary O?Kane represents "the Burma
Support Group" in Melbourne:

/// O?Kane act /// Burma activists in Australia are working with the
Ericsson campaign in conjunction with the Free Burma Coalition as part of a
globally-organized campaign against Ericsson.  We will stop when we have a

satisfactory answer from Ericsson that they won't continue to do business 
in Burma under present political conditions. // end act //

Like other companies, Ericsson has watched as US cities and one state
approved "selective purchasing" legislation.  Such laws impose restrictions
on cities signing contracts with companies doing business in Burma.

Burma activist groups say Ericsson and other companies have lost millions of 
dollars as a result of these laws being approved in such places as New York
City, and San Francisco, California. Critics of these laws point out that
losses in places like Burma are small compared to overall corporate profits.

The state of Massachusetts passed sanctions legislation last year.
Recently, two 
Massachusetts towns (Newton and Quincy) joined a list of 15 US cities with 
Burma selective purchasing legislation.  Similar legislation is pending in at 
least one other large American city -- Seattle, Washington.


November 9, 1997
Subin Khuenkaew

Drugs flood: Each month, eight million amphetamine tablets are smuggled in 
from Burma. Tightened security at the Mae Sai-Tachilek checkpoint has only 
made traffickers change their routes and strategies.

The Burmese town of Tachilek has become a haven for Thai drug addicts and a 
major source of amphetamines that are flooding Thai markets.

"Whenever I have a craving for heroin, I just walk across the border to
and go to one of several houses that sell the drug," said a tricycle driver
in Mae 
Sai, Chiang Rai.

"The authorities cannot touch me as long as I don't bring heroin back into 

But heroin is not the only problem for Thai anti-narcotics officials. Every 
month, millions of amphetamine tablets are smuggled into Thailand from 

Like heroin, amphetamines are easily available in the Burmese border town. 
Young Thai addicts cross the many illegal border passes into Tachilek daily to 
buy and consume the drug.

The official Mae Sai-Tachilek checkpoint is not the only channel used by 
people from both sides, who have had close links for a long time. The Chiang 
Rai border has many hills, valleys, streams, and tracks. The geography makes it 
possible for drug traders to set up clandestine factories and smuggle 
amphetamines through the illegal crossing points along the border.

The problem worries Pornthep Lamprapai, chief of Chiang Rai's Narcotics 
Control Office.

"So far, we have found 60 major routes that are used to bring in eight million 
amphetamine tablets every month. We think the drug is intended for Thais, and 
the number of users is rising, particularly among teenagers," he said.

Smuggling operations: A police officer said cars that do not have northern 
licence plates are often used to smuggle amphetamines from Tachilek. Once a 
car has been modified, it will be driven to Mae Sai. At least two people will 
share the driving, said the officer. 
Once in Mae Sai, the car is left for a third driver either in a hotel car
park, a 
petrol station or a hospital parking lot. It will then be driven to a
meeting point 
to "load" the drugs.

Since the Third Army and the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) 
set up a task force to tackle amphetamine trafficking in the North two months 
ago, traffickers have changed routes and strategies. Smuggling activity 
increased on the stretch from Burma to the  Mekong River and in Chiang Saen 
and Chiang Khong districts of Chiang Rai; from Burma to Laos and across the 
Mekong to Nong Khai; and from Tachilek southward to Mae Ai, Fang and 
Chiang Dao in Chiang Mai.

Foot couriers are also used to tarry shipments to Mae Chan district in Chiang 
Rai, said a Thai official. "We believe more than one million ya baa 
(amphetamine) tablets have been transported into Thailand on foot and are 
being kept in a secret place. They know they are being watched."

Orders are normally placed in Mae Sai, with brokers usually getting one baht a 
tablet and smugglers 2-3 baht. A tablet in Mae Sai costs 18 baht. Chemicals 
used to produce the drug, such as ephedrine that comes from China, cost more 
than 100,000 baht a kilo.

Official involvement: Mae Sai police chief Pol Col Panurat Meephian admitted 
that some policemen had been hired by drug traders to drive cars into Burma 
for a fee of 5,000 - 10,000 baht. "Recently, I transferred two sergeants out of 
Mae Sai," he said. 
Two months after the task force was set up, five village headmen, two soldiers, 
an anti-narcotics policeman and a law graduate were arrested for their alleged 
involvement in the amphetamine trade. One in four of the arrest cases involved 
hilltribe people, said Pol Col Panurat.

Authorities say they still have to depend on old-fashioned methods against drug 

"We depend a lot on decoys, both in Thailand and Burma. But success depends 
to a great extent on the experience and expertise of ONCB officials who can  
recognise suspects and cars that are involved in trafficking," said Pol Col 

At the moment, a special unit comprising ONCB and military personnel has 
been set up  at the Mae Sai-Tachilek permanent checkpoint to search vehicles. 
Details of passing  cars, such  as licence plates and the number of passengers 
are recorded. Cars that have disappeared for several days after crossing the
checkpoint (into Burma) are treated as suspicious.

"Many people who want to get rich quick have joined the narcotics gangs. They 
have no criminal records and do it just once, so it's difficult to track them 
down." the police officer said.

The manufacturers: Anti-narcotics authorities claim that the United Wa State 
Army, a former Burmese rebel group, runs many amphetamine factories along 
the border. The Wa signed a ceasefire agreement with Burma's State Law-and 
Order Restoration Council (Slorc) to lay down their weapons three years ago 
and became a volunteer force in charge of maintaining peace along the border.
Their headquarters are in Tachilek. 
According to Mr Pornthep, Burmese anti-narcotics officials in Tachilek 
claimed that amphetamines from factories owned by former Wa soldiers were 
sent into Thailand. "They admit it is difficult to suppress these producers.
we once made a joint suppression drive that netted over 100,000 amphetamine 
tablets in Tachilek," he said.

Local police claim there are nine to 10 amphetamine factories within a 10-km 
radius of Tachilek. Five major trafficking routes are used, mainly by boat
the Mae Sai River, and through the temporary crossing points at Pang Ha, Fai 
Hin, Sai Lom Joy and Tha Dindaeng.

There have been many successful joint suppression campaigns by Thai and 
Burmese authorities, but Rangoon did not want to publicise them. It apparently 
does not want to admit that Tachilek is a major source of amphetamines. 
Besides, the Red Wa still wield considerable influence over the authorities in
Tachilek, an anti-narcotics source claimed.

The ONCB has set up special suppression forces, which comprise its own 
personnel, troops from the Third Army and border patrol police, which form 
two units, one responsible for Mae Sai, the other Chiang Dao. The headquarters 
is in Ban Therdthai in Mae Chan district, which was a stronghold of former 
drug warlord Khun Sa.

Military narcotics suppression units monitor around 60 crossing points daily 
but can only stop smuggling to a certain extent. "When we monitor the small 
crossing points, traffickers switch to bigger points such as the one at Mae Sai-
Tachilek. They also increase the amount of drugs from 10,000 to 500,000 
tablets per trip," said an official.

"They take the risk because the returns are high if they can get away with
it. A 
big shipment means operators are influential and wealthy," he said. "We need 
better intelligence."

Need for cooperation: Banpot Piamdee, director of the Northern Narcotics 
Control Centre, said Burmese cooperation is essential. At present, traffickers 
can escape into Burma and Thai authorities can do nothing. There have also 
been meetings with Laos every three months that have resulted in some 
Mr Banpot said the new constitution might make the suppression effort more 
complicated. "Under the old law, suspects could be detained three days before 
being sent for  interrogation. The time is crucial, particularly to find the
or the masterminds. But the new constitution allows only 48 hours. Even three 
days is sometimes not enough since some incidents take place in remote areas 
or in the jungle."

ONCB officials now have a special card which gives them the authority to 
search houses or cars at any time.

Under the new constitution; government officials need a search warrant from 
the court of justice. Mr Banpot said he is not certain whether ONCB officials 
are subject to this new regulation. The power and role of ONCB officials should 
be clearly defined in organic laws to be drafted by Parliament, he said. 

Another difficulty is the lack of manpower to guard evidence. The Public 
Health Ministry recently ordered all provincial health offices to take care of 
seized narcotic drugs instead of sending them to Bangkok. The problem, 
Banpot said, is that each provincial health office is not ready to do so. There 
are places to store the drugs but not enough manpower to look after them.

"Sometimes, there is a massive amount of drugs and this is a big problem at 
many public health offices," he said. Chiang Rai  public health office now has 
to take  care of one million amphetamine tablets and 40 kilogrammes of heroin 
seized by local police.


November 9, 1997

Burma Speaking Tour - Sponsored by Global Exchange

When:  The tour will begin March 23 and continue until April 10, 1998. 
Once commitments are made by local groups, we will coordinate and confirm
the exact schedule.

Where:  We plan for the tour to concentrate in these areas of the country:
     1) West Coast: San Francisco, L.A., Wyoming, and Idaho. 
     2) Midwest: Illinois, Missouri, Michigan
     3) East: Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New
York, Philadelphia, Florida.
     4) Southwest: Texas, New Mexico

Program:  We envision a typical program as a talk followed by a question
and answer period. Some groups may wish to host a reception before or
after the program. The format is flexible and we will accommodate the
needs of each group.

Speaker:  The speaker is Ohmar Khin, a Burmese refugee living in the
United States.  (See enclosed biography.) 

Topics for the talk:  Ohmar is available to speak on the following topics,
either alone or in conjunction with each other: 

1) "Burma: South Africa of the '90s" - Ohmar will explain Burma's struggle
for democracy and human rights and she will discuss why Burma has been
called the "South Africa of the '90s" by comparing the situations in each

2) "Burmese Refugees: Nowhere to Hide in Burma; No Sanctuary in Thailand"
- This talk focuses on the more than four decades of civil war and the
plight of Burmese refugees along the border.  From her experience, Ohmar
will discuss how SLORC's ethnic cleansing and persecution have been

3) "Burma: A Cry for Freedom" - In this talk she will focus on the lives
of the Burmese people under military rule, the forced labor that Burmese
children are thrown into under government orders, and the cry for freedom
from the mouths of Burmese citizens.  

4) "Burmese Women and Children" - Ohmar will address the exploitation of
young women in Burma and surrounding areas (specifically Thailand) and the
torture and rape of children.  Child prostitution and using children for
pornography has become widespread in Thailand, and as many as 50,000
Burmese women and children are working in Thailand as prostitutes at any
one time.     

Ohmar's experience living in Burma and giving talks in the U.S. gives her
deep insight into the eye-opening realism in this region of the world and
promises to challenge audiences to think beyond their own country and to
take action toward a free Burma.  

We are asking event organizers to:

* Provide venue arrangements.
* Publicize events within your university/groups.  Global Exchange can
assist with this. 
* Provide hospitality to two out of town guests (our speaker and a tour
organizer) for one night, including food, lodging (home stay is ok, hotel
is not necessary), transport to and from the airport and between events.
* Publicize events to press/media.  Global Exchange can provide assistance
in this effort. 

Funding:  We need to receive between $500 and $1000 per event (depending
on associated costs) in order to cover the expense of the trip.  We
understand that some groups can provide more support than others.  Our
experience has shown that seeking co-sponsors (e.g., among departments or
student groups) helps to share the costs and responsibilities of an event.

For More Information, Contact Larissa Snorek at:  

tel: (415)255-7296 ext. 249; fax: (415)255-7498; e-mail:

Global Exchange is a non-profit education and action center working to
promote citizen diplomacy.  We seek to build more people-to-people ties
between North and South, and closer collaboration among U.S. groups doing
such work.

Ohmar Khin Profile

	Ohmar Khin, coordinator for the Burma Project of Refugees 
International in Washington, D.C., experienced student liberation movements
in Burma firsthand.  She is one of the many students that actively worked to
bring democracy to Burma in 1988 and that witnessed the progressive movement
be violently crushed by the Burmese government.  Today, her work in the U.S.
enables her to help many refugees such as students who in the late
eighties fled to the Thai-Burma border to seek refuge in the jungle and
who have now migrated to the West for refuge because they could no longer
subsist in the jungle.  

	Forced to flee the country herself after Burma's ruling military regime,
the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), crushed the
nationwide pro-democracy movement in 1988, Ohmar now lives as a
student-in-exile.  Majoring in chemistry at Rangoon University in 1988,
Ohmar served as an executive member of the All Burma Students' Federation
of Unions (ABSFU), as Vice Chair and co-founder of the All Burma Students'
Democratic Movement Organization, and gave speeches on the Rangoon
University campus promoting democracy for Burma.  When the pro-democracy
movements ended in the slaughter of unarmed protesters gunned down
alongside streets by military forces, Ohmar managed to survive by fleeing
to the border where she joined the All Burma Students Democratic Front
(ABSDF) - the border-based student organization.  One year later, she
became a volunteer at the Jesuit Refugees Service (JRS) in Bangkok,
Thailand, and formed the Burmese Students Committee for Social Affairs to
help other Burmese refugees.  In 1990, Ohmar resettled to the United
States as a political refugee. 

	In 1992, she received a fellowship from the JRS to research the 
situation of Burmese refugees on the Thai-Burma border and of Burmese 
women who were forced into prostitution in Thailand.  Later that year, she 
assisted the Harvard Program on Refugee Trauma in researching post-trauma 
events of Burmese students during their stay in Thailand as refugees and she
co-authored a report on this subject which was published in the American
Journal of Public Health in November, 1996.

	Ohmar spoke at the World University Service of Canada in 1993 on 
Burma's human rights situation and movement for democracy and again at the 
1994 Amnesty International Annual Press Conference in Washington, D.C.  
She then graduated from Simon's Rock College in Great Barrington,
Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry.  

	In other efforts to help her country, Ohmar testified before the Senate
Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations in favor of the Free
Burma Act of 1995 and before the New York City Council's Committee on
Governmental Operations in favor of banning the city's contracts with
corporations that are investing in Burma.  Also, on April 23rd 1996, she
testified before the Texas State Affairs Committee in favor of the
proposed state-wide Burma Selective Purchasing Law in Austin, Texas.

	Since then, other cities around the nation have followed by passing
selective purchasing laws which ban the purchase of products made by
companies affiliated with Burma.  In April 1997, she received the Capitol
Area Peace Maker Award from American University's Peace and Conflict
Resolution Program in Washington, D.C.  In May, the Women's Commission 
for Refugee Women and Children in New York presented her with the Refugee
Leaders of Promise award.  


November 9, 1997

The Midwest-based Caterpillar company has been a major supporter of the 
SLORC, actually hosting a SLORC delegation to the US at its headquarters 
in 1996. A high-profile proponent of constructive engagement, 
Caterpillar, which makes heavy equipment such as bulldozers, was named 
one of the 10 worst corporations by Multinational Monitor in '96. They 
have had a record 300 unfair labor practices charges here in the US and 
their safety violations killed at least one of their own employees. 
Although their Burma involvement has been known for a long time, obviously 
it's hard for us to launch a grass-roots boycott campaign against their 
earth-moving equipment. But now they have begun a new consumer-goods line 
that is perfectly boycott-able: "Cat Footwear". They are making/selling 
hiking & work boots (the Caterpillar logo in yellow on them) and they are 
trying to introduce them to the "youth market" by advertising them in 
trendy magazines. It's ironic that they use a tough, "working mans" image 
for their ads when the company is responsible for abuse of their own 
workers. Plus there's nothing trendy or fashionable about being a big 
corporate pal of the SLORC. The ads include an 800 number to call for a 
store carrying the Cat Footwear line: 1-800-789-8586. Please call it and 
tell them you will certainly not buy those boots as they come from a 
company that supports dictatorship in Burma. Also you can write and tell 
Caterpillar's CEO the same message: Mr. Donald Fites, Caterpillar Inc., 
100 NE Adams St., Peoria IL 61629-1425. 
"Boot Cat Out of Burma!"