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The BurmaNet News, November 14, 199

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------          
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"          
The BurmaNet News: November 14, 1997             
Issue #868

SLORC: INFORMATION SHEET A-0206(I),A-0207,A-0208(I/L),A-0209(I)

November 13, 1997
Brussels, Agencies

Meeting would have improved cooperation

The European Union (EU) yesterday called off a meeting with members of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Bangkok next week because
of disagreement over Burma's participation.

A spokesman for the EU Commission said the bloc "regretted" the decision but
insisted that Asean's demands that Burma should be given full observer
status in the talks, due to be held on November 17-19, were "not acceptable".

The EU suspended all high-level contacts with Burma in protest at the
military regime's suppression of democracy and human rights.

But EU officials say that in discussions earlier this month, the 15 EU
governments had come around to the idea that Burma would attend the Bangkok
meeting but only informally and in a "passive capacity".

"We think our proposals were constructive," an EU official commented. "They
were meant to ensure that our relations with Asean did not suffer because of
disagreement over Burma. But unfortunately, they were not accepted by Asean."

In a letter-sent to the European Commission this week, Asean stressed that
it wanted the Burmese  representative to have full observer status.

According to EU officials, this implied that the Burmese officials would sit
with other Asean participants at the negotiating table and take an active
part in the talks.

"For us, this was just not acceptable," the EU spokesman said, adding that
"Asean is asking us to do the impossible. Legally, we are bound to say no."

EU officials say they regret the disagreement and hope that a meeting can be
convened soon in "a proper manner".

"We have a number of very important issues that we need to discuss with
each other," one official said.

"It's unfortunate that a minor problem has been allowed to torpedo a major
policy initiative to bring Europe and Asean closer."

The meeting in Bangkok was expected to pave the way for stronger trade and
customs cooperation and signal both sides' heightened political interest in
each other.
Earlier this year, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said his country
would exclude Burma from next year's Asia-Europe Meeting of heads of state
in London because of its human rights record and alleged involvement in the
drugs trade.

[related excerpts]
November 13, 1997

BRUSSELS, Nov 13 (Reuters) - "The ASEAN stance is non-discriminating, so
when EU comes in one bloc ASEAN won't drop one of its member from the
meeting," Suraphong Jayanama, spokesman for the Thai ministry of foreign
affairs, told Reuters.
    "Thailand, which acted as ASEAN's messenger, has already onpassed the
messages to the EU," Surapong said.
  In Manila, the Philippines backed Burma's right to sit at the meeting in
Bangkok and said it was up to the EU to decide if they would attend or not.
    "That's up to them...Our (ASEAN's) decision is to go through with the
meeting," Philippine foreign under-secretary and incoming ASEAN
Secretary-General, Rodolfo Severino, told Reuters.
    "We feel that nobody should discriminate between ASEAN countries when it
comes to dealing with ASEAN as a whole," he said.
    Severino said ASEAN had not received any word from the EU that it would
not attend the Bangkok meeting.
    "You and I know they have problems with Myanmar (Burma) so this is why
it is necessary (for ASEAN) to take this position," Severino said.
    "The position that the EU seems to be taking...seems to be very highly
political in nature so we just have to take a stand on it," he said.

November 14, 1997
Bhanravee Tansubhapol

Rangoon's status sore point for both sides

The Association of Southeast Asean Nations will meet, probably in Vancouver,
to resolve its row with the European Union following its decision to cancel
talks in Bangkok next week due to disagreement over Burma, a Foreign
Ministry official said yesterday.

Wiboon Kusakul, director of the Information Department, said the Joint
Asean-EU Cooperation Committee meeting could be held in late February if the
dispute was settled.

Senior Asean officials may meet in Vancouver during the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation meeting from November 19 to 25, he added.


November 13, 1997

    RANGOON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi
was prevented from leaving her Rangoon home on Thursday by barbed wire
barricades, forcing her to miss a party gathering in a nearby township,
party members and witnesses said.
    Her National League for Democracy Party (NLD) protested strongly to
Burma's military government for barring her way.
    Witnesses and party members said senior NLD members were also not
allowed to pass through the barbed wire -- put up by traffic police -- to
enter Suu Kyi's home.
    "Aung San Suu Kyi was supposed to have gone to Hlaing township NLD
office at 8.30 to carry out matters concerning organisation of the youth,"
the NLD's executive central committee said in a statement. Hlaing is about
11 km (seven miles) north of Rangoon.
    "The NLD, ever since its formation has never damaged the peace and
tranquillity of the community by its activities... as accused by the
authorities,. Therefore, the NLD strongly protests against the actions by
the authorities," the statement added.
    The ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) declined to
comment on the incident but said through a spokesman it would issue a
statement later.
    Suu Kyi, who was freed from six years of house arrest in July 1995, held
a political gathering outside Rangoon on October 23 without SLORC interference.
    But the junta has foiled a number of subsequent attempts to hold
meetings outside Rangoon.
    SLORC said last week the authorities would only allow NLD party
gatherings if they were inside the compound of Suu Kyi's residence.
    NLD won a landslide victory in 1990 election but SLORC ignored the
result and refused to hand over power. 
    The SLORC and NLD have been at loggerheads since then. The authorities
have curbed the party's political activities and detained and later freed
thousands of its members and supporters.


SLORC: INFORMATION SHEET No.A-0209(I), No.A-0206(I), No.A-0207(I/L),

INFORMATION SHEET No.A-0209(I)                      Date. 14-11-97

(1)             Commander-in-Chief of Armed Forces of Indonesia Arrives on
Goodwill Visit

                At the invitation of Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence
Commander-in-Chief (Army) General Maung Aye, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed
Forces of the Republic of Indonesia General Feisal Tanjung and wife and
delegation arrived Yangon by special flight at 11:30 am on 13 November to
pay a goodwill visit to Myanmar. In the evening, Deputy Commander-in-Chief
of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army) General Maung Aye and wife
hosted dinner in honour of Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the
Republic of Indonesia General Feisal Tanjung and wife and delegation members
at Zeya Thiri Beikman on Konemyinttha, Yangon.
INFORMATION SHEET No.A-0206(I)                      Date. 13-11-97

(1)             Communications Sector Advances to Packet Switching
                Packet switching of the Mayangon Computer Communication
Exchange of the Ministry of Communications, Post and Telegraphs was
inaugurated at the above exchange on 12 November attended by Secretary-2 of
the State Law and Order Restoration Council Lt-Gen Tin Oo. First, Minister U
Soe Tha delivered an address. Noting that the computer communications system
was the first to be introduced in Myanmar and adding, the system is being
used in a considerable number of nations in the world. With the inauguration
of the new system, he said, Myanmar too can now use computer communication
system through contacts at home and abroad.

                Data could be sent and received through computer network,
Electronic Mail or E Mail will also be put to use. The minister noted that
governments, embassies, international organizations, foreign investors, oil
exploration firms, gems mining companies, airlines, hoteliers, banking
services and private enterprises will have access to the data communication
service or
computer communication service, adding they would be able to do business
speedily and efficiently.

(2)             LPDR Politburo Member and Delegation Arrive
                Member of the Political Bureau Central Committee President
of Lao National Construction Front Mr Oudon Khathiya and delegation of the
Lao People's Democratic Republic arrived Yangon by air at 6:45 pm on 12
November at the invitation of Minister for Religious Affairs Lt-Gen Myo Nyunt.


(B)             Vice-Chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council
Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services Commander-in-Chief (Army)
General Maung Aye received goodwill delegation led by Commander of Lanzhou
Military Command of the Chinese People's Liberation Army General Liu
Jingsong and members at Zeya Thiri Beikman on Konmyinttha, Yangon.

INFORMATION SHEET No.A-0207(I/L)                   Date. 13-11-97

                Mrs Aris' Destabilization of Tranquility of the Nation

                Daw Su Kyi and members of the NLD went to the NLD office of
Hlaing Township on 13 November to conduct Youth Movement. She gave the task
of organizing this Youth Movement Programme to NLD Hlaing Township Chairman
U Myint Than. NLD Yangon Division prepared the letter regarding the Youth
Movement and send it to the Hlaing Township Law and Order Restoration
Council. But U Myint Than (Chairman of NLD Hlaing Township) replied to Daw
Su Kyi stating that it is not appropriate to organize the Youth Movement now
and it should be conducted only after the National Day which falls on the 24

                However, NLD Central Executive Member U Soe Myint pressured
U Myint Than and forced him to materialize  the movement.. U Myint Than
explained the fact that it is impossible and this action would confront the
authorities concerned. U Myint Than also added that this movement would also
destabilize the ward society and confuse the problem, so that he cannot
perform such acts that possess no political dignity, it is learnt.

                However, the intimation letter for the Youth Movement in the
NLD office of Hlaing Township has been sent to the Township Law and Order
Restoration Council. At 2 pm the responsible personnel of NLD Hlaing
Township have been legally called and briefed by the Township Law and Order
Restoration Council official informing them it is not allowed to conduct the
organization movement.

                Then, Deputy Chairman of NLD, Hlaing Township U Hla Myint
has reported the order of rejection of Township Law and Order Restoration
Council to NLD Head Quarters at 3 pm. U Myint Than himself, the owner of the
house has also refused to allow this movement. On account of this force of
pressure and weightage U Myint Than has resigned from the post of Chairman
of NLD, Hlaing Township and also the party-membership and the  resignation
letter has been sent to NLD Head Quarters on the very early morning of 13
November, it is learnt.

                U Aung Shwe and U Tin Oo arrived at her residence at 8:15 am
on 13 November and after 5-minute-talk with her left the residence. Then,
Daw Su Kyi left her house by car. On her departure the security officer
enquired her
out-going place but Daw Su Kyi  replied  rudely that it is not necessary and
he can stay behind if he does and left her house. So the security personnel
 concerned have not opened the gate and the University Avenue Road remained
closed as before. Simultaneously, about 40/50 members of NLD party have
assembled with cars at the facade of the NLD office, Yangon Division and Daw
Su Kyi has left her residence without telling anything about her whereabouts
of out-going to the on-close-security personnel.

                Close and careful observation of the movement activities
clearly revealed the underlying ulterior motive and plan to proceed with a
huge crowd in a convoy of cars to disrupt the peace and tranquility in the
city. Such a
situation cannot be tolerated or condoned, thus to prevent further
aggravation of the problem, the University Avenue has been sealed off and Daw
Su Kyi requested not to proceed to the NLD office, where a large number of
cars and people have gathered. In spite of the courteous request she has
refused to comply and as a gesture of protest she refused to get out of the
car, it is learnt.

INFORMATION SHEET No.A-0208(I/L)                           Date. 13-11-97

Follow up Information of Information Sheet A. 0207(I/L) 13 Nov.

	At 0830 hrs, Daw Suu Kyi left her residence to proceed to Hlaing Township.
But University Avenue had initially been closed to the traffic. So Daw Suu
Kyi's car also was not permitted to proceed. 
                Daw Suu Kyi however declined to inform security personnel on
duty as to her destination, and from 0830 onwards had her car parked on the
road and remained seated in it. The place where her car was parked was only
a short
distance away from her residence and she could easily have returned to her
compound to wait there and explained matters to security personnel to resolve
the situation. But refusing to take this positive line of action, she
insisted on remaining in her car. It is evident that she herself therefore
was deliberately creating hardship for herself.
                It is also obvious, that this was just a ruse on her part to
make it appear as if the Government were deliberately obstructing her
movements in order to create misunderstanding internationally, and thus
discredit the
                Therefore, it is clear that Daw Suu Kyi's actions are part
of a devious
political ploy, prompted by ill intentions with the purpose of bringing about
a confrontation with the government.


November 14, 1997 [slightly abridged]
Aphaluck Bhatiasevi

Inmates forced to lie in their own faeces 

Drinking water was often green

"I will never return to work as a fisherman again, never in Burmese waters.
That was the worst experience of my life."
For one fisherman just released from Insein Prison his time inside will be
something he will quickly want to forget.
"Although I've never been imprisoned in Thailand, I've heard that they at
least get proper food, live in clean rooms and can go to the toilet any
time," said Phem Phimphu, 28, from Roi Et.
He said at Insein almost 100 people were crammed into a poorly-ventilated
narrow room with few windows.
"The room was very stuffy and at night we had to sleep sideways, in four
rows, head-to-head and feet-to feet," said Mr Phem. Dirt and dust were
"Many of us suffered from diarrhoea and we couldn't go to the toilet hut had
to use tins, even when we were vomiting," said Mr Phem, who was imprisoned
for eight months. "I can't imagine how I survived in that smelly and dusty
room where we sometimes had to even sleep on the mess."

Berm Mana-ngam, 33, from Khon Kaen, said the only food they got was soup,
soybean curry and rice, with the same dishes being repeated every day.

"I only ate my food when I was really hungry because often I would find
worms and all sorts of things in the soup. The water we got to drink was
often green," he said.

Mr Berm was imprisoned for almost 20 months for trying to illegally catch
fish in Burmese waters bordering Ranong.

Though he knew it was illegal he did it to earn extra cash.

"We could hardly catch any fish in our waters. On the other hand, in Burma,
we got all sorts of good quality seafood," he said.

He managed to evade Burmese authorities on several occasions and never
thought he would end up being jailed.

"Initially, when I was told that I had been sentenced to five years, I felt
like killing myself..The conditions there were really bad ... it's like
living in another world," he said.

Mr Berm said he often cried and felt helpless because he was not allowed to
contact his wife and two children, aged eight and six.

He could not understand why Burma treated prisoners whose offences were not
so  bad so severely.

There was also a lack of medical care and many fell ill. 

"Whenever they came to vaccinate us, four or five people would sit at their
desks with injections and we had to line up in rows. They injected us with
the same needles one after another," said Mr Berm.

Many were told not to talk about their prison ordeal for fear that it will
affect the release chances of some 100 remaining Thais.

"I don't know if we're supposed to talk about such things, but we want our
government to pay more attention to Thais caught abroad. We should at least
be treated like human beings," said Mr Phem.

Whereas  Thailand treated illegal Burmese immigrants fairly, he said the
reverse was not true. 

[related excerpts]
November 13, 1997

Public Health Deputy Permanent Secretary Vinai Viriyakijja said six
fishermen had severe tuberculosis, two suspected HIV carriers were admitted
to Bamrasnaradura Hospital, and results for malaria, HIV and other sexually
transmitted diseases would be available soon.

Twenty-eight former inmates had respiratory infections, 17 skin diseases,
14 bone and joint problems, and two high blood pressure. Only 28 were in
good health.

Dr Vinai said most were in weak condition, probably due to malnutrition.

The authorities declined to say publicly if the illnesses were the result of
harsh prison conditions for fear that other jailed Thais will not be
released. However, sources concerned at the prospect of continued neglect
confirmed that this was the case.


November 13 1997

Manila, Nov. 12: US President Bill Clinton is to meet with a group of
South-East Asian leaders in Canada later this month to discuss the financial
turmoil besetting their economies, Philippine foreign secretary Domingo
Siazon said Wednesday. The meeting with the Association of South-East Asian
Nations leaders should be held over breakfast on the sidelines of the
November 24-25 summit of the Asian-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum in
Vancouver, Mr Siazon told reporters here. "President Clinton has indicated
that he would like to have a breakfast with the Asean leaders," he said.

The Filipino official said ASEAN expects the US leader to discuss "how to
deal with this particular currency turbulence, and of course to reassure
South-East Asia that in the eyes of the United States of America, South-East
Asia is important as a major economic partner." The meeting has been
tentatively set for November 24, he added. Asean groups, Brunei, Indonesia,
the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as Burma and Laos.


November 7, 1997 [abridged]

Arrangements are being made to expand the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS)
as a consolidated national reserve force to be able to undertake national
development tasks and bring peace and tranquillity to the country.
Red Cross brigades are to be expanded right down to the village level
in the organizational pattern of the Fire Brigade and Myanmar Police Force.
It would be necessary to reorganize the MRCS to become a consolidated
force with emphasis on systematic organization of different levels of MRCS
and Red Cross brigades to be ready for emergencies, said Secretary-l Lt-Gen
Khin Nyunt during his meeting with MRCS Central Council members the other
The State Law and Order Restoration Council is making arrangements to
assign heavier responsibilities to all the Red Cross members including MRCS
personnel to ensure that Red Cross services better contribute towards the
policies and national objectives.
All are aware the Government is striving for the emergence of a
peaceful, modern and developed nation on self-reliance. At the same time
some Western nations desirous of dictating and manipulating the country are
attempting to hinder development and endeavours for the fulfilment of
national objectives.
This being the case, the Government is striving to strengthen internal
forces to enable them to effectively participate in nation-building
endeavours. The administrative machinery of the State is being activated
starting from the basic level while the way is paved for the government
departments and non-governmental organizations to work together in
implementation of national development projects.
It is high time the different levels of MRCS and Red Cross brigades
are organized to become a consolidated force capable of discharging
nation-building tasks dutifully.
All internal forces and reserve forces including MRCS are to be
organized to deter and crush internal and external destructive elements and
ensure peace and tranquillity.


November 13, 1997
Kavi Chongkittavorn

Asean's relationship with its oldest dialogue partner, the European Union,
is hanging by a thread, due mainly to Burma's controversial participation in
the Joint Asean-EU Cooperation Committee meeting next week.

At the senior officials meeting in Manila last week, Asean took a strong
position that the EU should apply the same format used when Vietnam
participated as an observer before it signed a protocol to accede to the
1980 Asean-EU Cooperation Agreement.

Singapore and Malaysia have been adamant that the EU must treat Asean
members on a non-discriminatory basis and that any deviation from this
principle is unacceptable.

In short, Burma must be allowed to sit in on the meeting as an observer.

They have also suggested that Asean hit back at the EU, and if push comes to
shove Asean can withdraw the courtesy the group has been according to the EU
Commission's delegation at the annual Asean Regional Forum (ARF) as well as
the Post Ministerial Conference.

Although Thailand as host and the Philippines as Asean chairman might not
feel that strong, they, nonetheless, have supported the Asean position in

At the first ARF meeting in Bangkok, Thailand agreed to provide an extra
seat to the EU Commission as "a courtesy". This has since become standard
practice - that the EU Commission representative has a seat at the ARF in
addition to the EU foreign minister.

Asean argued that when Brunei and Vietnam joined Asean they attended the
Asean-EU meeting as observers. Some Bangkok-based EU diplomats pointed out
that unlike Burma, the two countries did not have a record of repeated human
rights violations and suppression of democracy.

Furthermore, there were no outstanding issues between the EU and those two
countries, nor was there a ban on their officials travelling to EU member
nations, as is the case with Burma.

Permanent Foreign Secretary Saroj Chavanaviraj said Burma and Laos will be
attending the meeting as observers and their presence will be mentioned in
the press release. Like Vietnam. Laos is expected to sign a protocol soon to
accede to the 1980 Asean-EU Economic Cooperation Agreement.

It is also interesting to note that Laos has not yet acceded to the protocol
for the Asean-EU agreement even though it is eligible to do. Instead, it has
chosen to be identified along with Burma, but has not explicitly made its
position known.

This may stem from the camaraderie that exists between these two countries.

Apparently, Asean's strong position was a calculated move in the hope that
the EU might back down or postpone the meeting, scheduled for Nov 17 to 19.

In response, an EU Commission spokesman in Brussels said yesterday that the
EU will resist any attempt to introduce Burma to next week's forum. The
question is which side will blink first.

One has to keep in mind that this is not the first time Asean and the EU
have confronted each other over specific political issues. They have clashed
over the issue of East Timor, which has already attracted a toll on their
otherwise excellent relations.

They two sides did not sign a new economic cooperation agreement in July
because of the objections of one EU member, Portugal.

Back in May 1991, the Burmese issue was first raised by the EU at their
ninth ministerial meeting with Asean in Luxembourg. This caught the group
off guard as they did not have any common position on Burma. Now with Burma
as a member, Asean is taking a tough stand against the EU. Asean views the
Asean-EU meeting as a bloc-to-bloc meeting.

To improve Asean-EU relations, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel, who
served as EU president in the second half of 1994, agreed to meet Asean
half-way by not discussing controversial issues including Burma and human

That set the precedent for Asean and the EU's burgeoning friendship, which
later led to the Asia-Europe Meeting, (Asem).

Yet Asean's threat to withdraw the EU commission's seat could further  split
EU members,- who have failed to reach a consensus over the European
grouping's refusal to allow Burma at the meeting.

However, this incident could leave  a bad page in the annals of Asean-EU
relations as some EU members; notably  Scandinavian members, are  not very
happy with any EU leniency in dealing with Burma. Their position has
toughened followed the death of Leo Nichols, their honorary consul, in June
last year.

However, other EU members feel that Burma should be allowed to attend the
meeting without any conditions attached.

Even though next week's meeting is at director-general level, the unresolved
issue of Burmese participation and the Asean threat will have  far  reaching
repercussions for future Asean-EU cooperation and Asem.

Strange as it may seem, though, the  threat might receive a sympathetic,
hearing from some EU members, in particular France and Britain.  These, two
countries have  repeatedly  expressed a strong desire to attend the  ARF
separately as members of the United Nations Security Council. Asean has
rejected their overtures  on the grounds that the EU already has too many
representatives in the various Asean forums.

Finally, Asean is hoping that the Burmese junta will  demonstrate some
goodwill towards opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in the near future by
initiating a dialogue for national reconciliation, which has been asked for
by the grouping and the international community.

Thailand believes a positive sign from Rangoon now would help Asean -and
provide further justification for next week's meeting to follow the
procedure used when dealing with Vietnam. 

November 13, 1997

The new administration has a good opportunity to  redefine the nature of our
relationship with Burma, by which it is meant the population of the country
and the State Law and Order Restoration Council. The opportunity that
presents itself, like so many, results from the odd behaviour of the
previous government. It is, however, there to be taken.

To the consternation of many, Prachuab Chaiyasarn, the former foreign
minister, took it upon himself to invite representatives of the State Law
and Order Restoration Council to talks next week between the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union. What prompted Mr Prachuab to
include as observers representatives of a dictatorship widely viewed as
repugnant we may never know. What is certain is that Mr Prachuab has pulled
off a stunt that should ensure him a mention in any list of diplomatic blunders.

Mr Prachuab's mistake was to invite Slorc to join the cooperation talks
without regard for the fact that the Europeans decided nine years ago they
preferred to keep Slorc at arm's length because of its tendencies towards
violence and oppression. As foreign minister, Mr Prachuab should have been
aware of any change in the position of the 15-member European grouping.
There was none, but Mr Prachuab decided there should be one, and so the
invitation was extended regardless.

The Europeans have made clear they are not impressed with the prospect of
being compelled to be nice to representatives of a thuggish regime,
particularly since they had no say in the matter. What was to have been a
convivial get-together of old friends is shaping up as a gathering
punctuated by squirming

Mr Prachuab's contribution appears to be in accordance with the unstated
policy towards Burma of  Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, the former prime minister.
On taking office 11 long months  ago, it may be recalled, that Gen Chavalit
said, in so many words, that it was time Slorc behaved in a manner that
conformed with international standards of decency, that its actions belonged to
the past. As someone with personal relations with SLORC higher-ups, Gen
Chavalit promised to deliver the message. It was to be the first of many
such promises.

Nothing of the sort happened, of course, and Gen Chavalit and his top
associates -took on the manner of love struck teenagers whenever Slorc
wandered along. Slorc, it seemed, could do no wrong.

During Thailand's one-sided courtship, Slorc sent the following across the
border: refugees, narcotics, occupation troops and state-backed bandits. The
Chavalit administration was one which bent over backwards to appease Slorc
and work against the interests of Aung San Suu Kyi and others who were
mandated by the oppressed people of Burma to be their leaders.

Mr Prachuab's extraordinary invitation, issued, incidentally, in Rangoon,
where he had been a guest of Slorc, provides the basis from which we should
reassess relations with Slorc. This year, the junta became a member of
Asean, which had insisted that inclusion the culmination of its policy of
so-called constructive
engagement would right all wrongs and alert the dictators to the errors of
their ways.

Last Sunday, Ms Suu Kyi was allowed to leave her Rangoon home for the first
time in almost a week so she could attend a memorial service to Maung Ko, a
member of her National  League for Democracy, who died in Insein prison
seven years ago.  While she was confined to her home, where she had been
under house arrest from 1989 to 1995, riot police barricaded an NLD office to
prevent a youth wing meeting. Times change but Slorc does not.


November 14, 1997
Chakrit Ridmontri

Warning of threat to fauna, flora renewed

The Petroleum Authority of Thailand has begun laying its gas pipeline on the
section that passes through the Kanchanaburi forest.

Work started after a local committee monitoring the project agreed with the
PTT's environmental mitigation plan.

However, a local conservation group warned that the move would have dire
consequences for the forest and wildlife. It said the plan had yet to
clearly identify the environmental impact of the project and lacked proper
measures to control constructors.

Bulldozers have cleared forest on some of the first 50 kilometres of the gas
pipeline route from I-tong village in Kanchanaburi's Thong Pha Phum district
to Pa Huey forest in Sai Yok district.

At l-tong, PTT will connect to the Burmese section which will supply gas
from the Yadana and Yetagun fields in the Andaman Sea.

The National Environment Board approved the project's environmental impact
assessment study early this year on condition that construction work on this
50-km route be completed within a single dry season to reduce the impact on
the forest and wildlife. Moreover, a local committee had to be set up to monitor
construction work.
The committee chaired by Kanchanaburi Governor Khwanchai Wasawong
endorsed the PTT's environmental mitigation plan last week, one month after
the cabinet  approved the PTT's  request to start laying the pipeline
through Sai Yok national park.

Songkiert Tansamrit, PTT director of public relations, said only six
kilometres of pipeline would cross lush forest.

He said about 600 rai of forest and almost 5,000 big trees would be
affected. However, not all the trees would be axed; some would be transplanted.

The PTT will clear only a 12-metre corridor, instead of-20 metres, along the
forest route to ensure as little damage as possible.

Construction workers- would be strictly controlled to ensure they do not
harm the environment. Artificial salt licks will also be created to lure
wild elephants away from the pipe route .

A team of wildlife experts, mostly from the Forestry Department and
Kasetsart University, will monitor the impact on wild animals and deal with
any stray animals found at the construction site, he said.

"With these measures, I can ensure  that the gas pipeline laying activity
through the forests will not harm wildlife or its habitat," Mr Songkiert said.

He was convinced that the committee's working groups on the social and
environmental impact would play a leading role in keeping an eye on the
PTT's contractor. 


November 13, 1997

Our recent report on the activities of Lufthansa Service Gesellschaft
Holding AG (LSG) in Rangoon has led to some confusion. People who wrote to
Lufthansa in order to protest against the opening of an LSG catering centre
at Rangoon International Airport received the answer that Lufthansa had no
plans for a centre of the kind. The reason for these contradictory pieces of
information is simple: Lufthansa Airlines and LSG are two different
companies that are only very losely connected. So while Lufthansa Airlines
have no intention of opening a catering centre in Rangoon, LSG definitely
have. Works on the new centre are due to begin within the next couple of
weeks. It is absolutely vital that you keep on protesting against this
project! Please send your letters to: Lufthansa Service Gesellschaft Holding
AG, Ms. Ina Breitsprecher, Dornhof 40, D-63263 Neu-Isenburg, Germany or fax
them to ++49-6102-722506.

Dagmar Puh
Burma Buero, Germany


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