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BurmaNet News November 17, 1997

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------          
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"          
The BurmaNet News: November 17, 1997             
Issue #869


November 15, 1997

The Annoucencement of State Peace and Development Council's Notifications
                 The State Law and Order Restoration Council
                                      ( Notification No. 1/97 )
                  The First Waning Day of Tazaungmon, 1359, M.E.
                                       15th November, 1997.

With a view to ensure the emergence of an orderly and democratic system and
to establish a peaceful and modern state, the State Law and Order Restoration
Council has henceforth been dissolved.


Than Shwe
Senior General Chairman
The State Law and Order Restoration Council


The Union of Myanmar
State Peace and Development Council
( Ordinance No. 1/97 )
The First Waning Day of Tazaungmon, 1359, M.E.
15th November, 1997.

Formation of New Ministerial Portfolios

The State Peace and Development Council has formed additional ministerial
portfolios as follows to ensure greater effectiveness and success in the
functions of Government.

1.      Ministry of Military Affairs
2.      Ministry of Electric Power

Khin Nyunt
Lieutenant General Secretary (1)
The State Peace and Development Council


November 15, 1997

                    The State Peace and Development Council Notification
                                     ( Notification No. 1/97 )
                      The First Waning Day of Tazaungmon, 1359, M.E.
                                         15th November, 1997.

                In the interest of the State and the nation peoples, the
State Peace and Development Council has been formed as follows:-

1.      Senior General Than Shwe
2.      General Maung Aye
3.      Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt
Secretary (1)
4.      Lieutenant General Tin Oo
Secretary (2)
5.      Lieutenant General Win Myint
Secretary (3)
6.      Rear Admiral Nyunt Thein
        Commander-in-Chief (Navy)
7.      Brigadier General Kyaw Than
        Commander-in-Chief (Air)
8.      Major General Aung Htwe
        Commander, Western Command
9.      Major General Ye Myint
        Commander, Central Command
10.     Major General Khin Maung Than                                   Member
        Commander, Yangon Command
11.     Major General Kyaw Win
        Commander, Nothern Command
12.     Major General Thein Sein
        Commander, Triangle Area Command
13.     Major General Thura, Thiha Thura Sitt Maung                Member
        Commander, Coastal Area Command
14.     Brigadier General Thura Shwe Mann                                Member
        Commander, Southwest Command
15.     Brigadier General Myint Aung
        Commander, Southeast Command
16.     Brigadier General Maung Bo
        Commander, Eastern Command
17.     Brigadier General Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo          Member
        Commander, Northeast Command
18.     Brigadier General Soe Win
        Commander, Northwest Command
19.     Brigadier General Tin Aye
        Commander, Southern Command

Than Shwe
Senior General Chairman
The State Peace and Development Council


November 15, 1997

                    The State Peace and Development Council Notification
                                            ( Notification No. 2/97 )
                            The First Waning Day of Tazaungmon, 1359, M.E.
                                               15th November, 1997.
        The State Peace and Development Council, to fulfill its goal of bringing
forth a new developed and modern nation in the interest of the State and all
the national peoples, has hereby formed the following Cabinet of Ministers.

1.      Prime Minister                       	Senior General Than Shwe

2.      Deputy Prime Minister             	Rear-Admiral Maung Maung Khin

3.      Deputy Prime Minister             	Lieutenant General Tin Tun

4.      Ministry of Defence, Minister      	Senior General Than Shwe

5.      Ministry of Military Affairs, Minister  Lieutenant General Tin Hla

6.      Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, Minister Major General Nyunt Tin

7.      Ministry of Industry No. (1), Minister 	U Aung Thaung

8.      Ministry of Industry No.(2), Minister 	Major General Hla Myint Swe

9.      Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister	U Ohn Gyaw

10.     Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development,
        Minister                                                Brigadier
General Abel

11.     Ministry of Transport, Minister  	Lieutenant General Tin Ngwe

12.     Ministry of Labour, Minister        	Vice-Admiral Tin Aye

13.     Ministry of Co-operatives, Minister  	U Than Aung

14.     Ministry of Rail Transportation, Minister         U Win Sein

15.     Ministry of Energy, Minister   	U Khin Maung Thein

16.     Ministry of Education, Minister        	U Pan Aung

17.     Ministry of Health, Minister     	Major General Ket Sein

18.     Ministry of Trade & Commerce, Minister   Major General Kyaw Than

19.     Ministry of Hotels & Tourism, Minister      Major General Saw Lwin

20.     Ministry of Communications, Posts & Telegraphs,
        Minister                                                   U Soe Tha

21.     Ministry of Finance & Revenue, Minister   Brigadier-General Win Tin

22.     Ministry of Religious Affairs, Minister       Major General Sein Htwa

23.     Ministry of Construction, Minister    	Major General Saw Tun

24.     Ministry of Science & Technology, Minister     U Thaung

25.     Ministry of Culture, Minister    	U Aung San

26.     Ministry of Immigration & Population, Minister     U Saw Tun

27.     Ministry of Information, Minister   	Major General Kyi Aung

28.     Ministry of Progress of Border Areas & National Races and Development 
Affairs, Minister                                          	Colonel Thein Nyunt

29.     Ministry of Electric Power, Minister 	Major General Tin Htut

30.     Ministry of Sports, Minister  	Brigadier-General Sein Win

31.     Ministry of Forestry, Minister  	U Aung Phone

32.     Ministry of Home Affairs, Minister  	Colonel Tin Hlaing

33.     Ministry of Mines, Minister     	Brigadier-General Ohn Myint

34.     Ministry of Social Welfare,
 Relief & Resettlement, Minister             	Brigadier-General Pyi Sone

35.     Ministry of Livestock Breeding & Fisheries,
        Minister                                Brigadier-General Maung
Maung Thein

36.     Office of The Chairman of The State Peace and Development Council,
        Minister                                         Lieutenant General
Min Thein

37.     Office of The Chairman of The State Peace and Development Council,
        Minister                                         Brigadier-General
Maung Maung

38.     Office of The Prime Minister, Minister     Brigadier-General Lun Maung

39.     Office of The Prime Minister, Minister     U Than Shwe

40.     Office of The Prime Minister, Minister     Major General Tin Ngwe

-Than Shwe

r General Chairman
                                                       The State Peace and
Development Council


November 15, 1997

             The State Peace and Development Council Notification
                                     ( Notification No. 3/97 )
                The First Waning Day of Tazaungmon, 1359, M.E.
                                     15th November, 1997.
          The Formation of The State Peace and Development Council

The State Peace and Developmemt Council hereby announces the formation of
the Advisory Group consisting of the following members:-

1.      Lieutenant General Phone Myint
2.      Lieutenant General Aung Ye Kyaw
3.      Lieutenant General Sein Aung
4.      Lieutenant General Chit Swe
5.      Lieutenant General Mya Thinn
6.      Lieutenant General Myint Aung
7.      Lieutenant General Kyaw Ba
8.      Lieutenant General Tun Kyi
9.      Lieutenant General Myo Nyunt
10.     Lieutenant General Maung Thint
11.     Lieutenant General Aye Thoung
12.     Lieutenant General Kyaw Min
13.     Lieutenant General Maung Hla
14.     Major General Soe Myint

                                                    Signed- Than Shwe
                                                        Senior General
                                  The State Peace and Development Council


November 16, 1997

On November 15, the SLORC was disolved and the State Peace and 
Development Council (SPDC) came into being.  The same top four SLORC 
leaders are at the head of the SPDC: Than Shwe, Tin Oo, Maung Aye, and 
Khin Nyunt.  Many analysts have suggested that this is merely "old wine in 
new bottles".  In many ways, yes, but it may signal a shift in tactics although 
probably not overall strategy.

One reason for forming a new government may have been so that the 
military leaders could distance themselves from the 1990 election issue. 
Before the 1990 election, the SLORC assured the people that it would 
transfer power to the winning party.  After the SLORC-backed National 
Unity Party lost, the SLORC refused to hand over power to the NLD and 
insisted that a new constitution needed to be drafted first. Hounded by 
criticism for not having transferred power to the legitimate government, 
the military leaders may think that by changing the government, they can 
claim that they bear no responsibility for acting on the 1990 election

The new regime's name, the State Peace and Development Council, is 
certainly more innocuous than "SLORC" was. The SLORC must have been 
tired of the negative press it had received for having such a fittingly odious 
name.  The leaders clearly thought long and hard about what to call the regime. 
For instance, they have used "aye chan thaya ye" rather than "nyein chan ye" 
to mean "peace".  "Nyein chan ye" implies an unstable situation to which peace 
is restored, and using this would remind the public of the fact that there
is no 
real peace in Burma today.  Instead, they have used ""ayechan thaya ye" 
which suggests peace and tranquility already exist and will be enhanced.by 
the regime.

The decision to reorganize the government appears to have been made as a 
result of internal and external factors.  Like the civilian population, the
members themselves seemed to have felt that the situation could not continue 
as it had.  Some change needed to be made to turn around the economy and the 
junta's image.  At the same time, pressure from ASEAN governments may have 
influenced the SLORC, though what ASEAN seemed to be looking for was a 
government that appeared less brutal and could handle the economy more 
effectively.  While the name of the regime sounds less evil, the SLORC did not 
put a civilian facade on the government as Burma watchers had predicted they 
might.  Even such ministries as health, tourism,. amd trade are still being
run by 
military men.

Interestingly, the tension that existed in the SLORC between the Maung Aye/Tin 
Oo infantry faction and the Khin Nyunt military intelligence faction, has not 
been resolved in the new government.  Most of the members of the SPDC, 
which consists of all the regional commanders, are more sympathetic to Tin 
Oo and Maung Aye.  However, the Cabinet members are closer to Khin Nyunt.  
The advisory committee contains some of the more notably corrupt members 
of the SLORC, such as Tun Kyi and Kyaw Ba.  Although they have been 
pushed aside into largely ceremonial roles, they could still play a role if
can form a power bloc with either of the other two factions.

Nevertheless, Khin Nyunt appears to have the upper hand.  For instance, Lt 
General Win Myint, who is the new Secretary 3, and therefore the fifth most 
powerful person in the SPDC, is close to Khin Nyunt.  He was responsible for 
putting down the Karen uprising in the Irrawaddy Delta area in 1991 (extremely 
brutal, many civilians imprisoned and killed), and for dealing with the
in the early 1990s.  As the former commander of the 11th Battalion, he has
a key role, because the best troops from around the country are recruited
into this 

Also close to Khin Nyunt is Tin Hla, the minister of the newly formed Ministry 
of Military Affairs.  In 1988, he was the Commander of the 22nd Battalion,
was most responsible for crushing the pro-democracy movement in Rangoon.  The 
22nd Battalion is also considered to have been the most useful to the SLORC,
is highly favored by them.

The Ministry of Military Affairs is a newly created Ministry.  This ministry
is not 
necessary but was probably established to appease Tin Hla, who is more
senior than 
Win Myint, and theoretically should have become Secretary 3 instead of him.  
Because there is already a rivalry between the 11th and 22nd Battalions,
there may 
well be jealousy between the two men.  

Other SPDC Cabinet members who are affiliated with Khin Nyunt include Major 
General Kyaw Than, who is the new Minister of Trade and Commerce, Major 
General Sein Htwa, the new Minister of Religious Affairs, and  Major General 
Saw Lwin, the Minster of Hotels and Tourism.

Because of his loyalty to Khin Nyunt, Brigadier General Win Tin has 
retained his his position as Minister of Finance and Revenue despite his 
inability to improve the economic situation in Burma.  Likewise, Ohn Gyaw 
is still the foreign minister, even though he has not been able to convince the 
international community that the military junta has been working for the good 
of the country.

The fact that Khin Nyunt has regained his power is important because he 
approaches the country's problems differently from Maung Aye and Tin Oo.  
While members of the SLORC and now the SPDC are united in their desire to 
maintain military control over the country, their tactics have differed.  The 
Maung Aye/Tin Oo faction, whose power base comes from infantry commanders, 
has relied on the use of force to deal with the armed ethnic groups and the 
democratic opposition.  Khin Nyunt, whose career has been in military
has favored using political tactics to divide and weaken the opposition.  

With regard to the ethnic groups, the Maung Aye/Tin Oo faction has sought to 
crush the armed opposition through brutal military campaigns.  Meanwhile, 
Khin Nyunt has tried to convince the armed groups to sign ceasefires, and has 
used the promise of economic deals to entice  resistance leaders.  Once the 
ceasefires are signed, Khin Nyunt's men have tried to divide the leaders from 
their people by limiting the money that is distributed to the political 
organizations and their supporters, but giving generous gifts and business
deals to individual leaders.  As a result, the resistance leaders, who
their people that the ceasefire would bring benefits to everyone,  have become 
distanced from their people, who see the leaders growing richer while they are 
as poor or poorer than ever.  

A similar difference can be discerned in how the two factions have dealt with 
the NLD and other pro-democracy activists inside Burma.  The Tin Oo/Maung 
Aye faction has preferred physical aggression and intimidation.  For instance, 
this faction is widely believed to have been behind the attack on Daw Aung San 
Suu Kyi's car last year.  

Meanwhile, Khin Nyunt's faction has tried to weaken the NLD by dividing and 
exhausting them.  For instance, when the SLORC came to Aung Shwe late one 
evening and told him he could meet with the SLORC the next day, Khin Nyunt 
was trying to drive a wedge in the NLD.  If Aung Shwe didn't go meet with the 
SLORC it might look like the NLD was being uncooperative, but if he did go, he 
would be acting against party policy, which stated that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi 
must be present.  Having no time to consult with other CEC members first, Aung 
Shwe risked polarizing other NLD members who might disagree with his decision, 
whichever way he decided.

Likewise, allowing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to travel to meetings sometimes and 
then to block her at other times may be an attempt to wear her out and to make 
people bored with the NLD.  The military junta and the NLD appear to be 
playing  a cat and mouse game while the people's problems are not being
Because the restrictions on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are not absolute and she can 
move around somewhat, her situation does not attract much international media 
attention. Nevertheless, it is extremely difficult for her or her party to
carry out 
their work under these conditions.

It is still too early to predict how extensive policy changes will be with the 
creation of the SPDC, but it is likely that the SPDC will try to marginalize 
their opposition (armed and unarmed) by using a combination of flattery, 
bribes, intimidation, and vacillating restrictions.  

Despite the size of its army and its control over the flow of information, the 
SPDC will find that the road ahead is not an easy one.  With up to two thirds 
of the rice crop destroyed by floods, food shortages are likely in 1998.  
Meanwhile, many of the over 1 million Burmese migrant laborers working 
abroad will be coming home or at least remitting much less money, because 
of the economic downturn in Southeast Asia.  Unless the SPDC can resolve 
the country's economic woes and initiate a genuine political dialogue with all 
the opposition groups, it will be viewed with as much disgust as its
the SLORC.


November 16, 1997, by Robert Horn

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- During Gen. Ne Win's decades-long rule of
Burma, he had a simple method for periodically reorganizing his
government: the purge.

Whenever other generals became too powerful or popular, Ne Win jailed
them or banished them to the borderlands. He retained power, but he also
created enemies who either plotted against him or joined the democratic

The top four generals who rule Burma today are more clever than that.

On Saturday, they dissolved the sinister-sounding SLORC, the State Law
and Order Restoration Council, which has ruled since September 1988, and
replaced it with the State Peace and Development Council.

Burmese democracy activists-in-exile said generals Than Shwe, Maung Aye,
Khin Nyunt and Tin Oo had done nothing more than give the government a
more palatable name while furthering military rule.

They did, however, manage to achieve more than that.

In one sweep, they brought younger blood into the ruling body, broke up
empires built by some of their rivals and essentially retired the old
guard apparently without alienating them. The latter move could have
created a rift in the government large enough to bring it down.

The military leaders answer to no one and almost never explain their
decisions to outsiders, but the changes appear to have been carried out
in a way in which no one loses face or leaves embittered.

Ne Win, who ruled from 1962 to 1988, rarely carried out a major change so

Life probably will be harder for the country's democratic movement, led
by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. By keeping most military officers
relatively happy, it is less likely that the disgruntled among them will
break ranks and push for democratic reforms.

In moving former SLORC members into ceremonial posts on a 14-member
advisory board, the leadership broke up a logjam in the upper echelons of
the military that had denied younger officers upward mobility.

The new makeup of the regime also consolidates power held by the top
four, who are all in their 60s. Their new supporting cast is from the
next generation. Most are in their early 50s, with a few in their 40s.

With little known about the younger council members, it is unclear
whether there might be any reformers among them, but it isn't likely.

The generation gap gives the top four an added dimension of authority;
age and seniority are important in Burmese culture. The new council
members also are beholden for their new positions.

The former SLORC members were contemporaries of the top four. Having held
their positions for many years, several had built up virtual fiefdoms in
the ministries they controlled.

Stories of payoffs to SLORC members for business deals were common, and
there were corruption investigations involving the SLORC forestry
minister and commerce minister's underlings.

Some corruption in Burma's military is unavoidable, as a general's salary
is only about 3,500 kyats a month, or about $140 [sic, using the
black-market exchange rate of 250 kyats per dollar, which the kyat has been
at for several months now - although recent reports suggest it has risen at
least as high as 280 kyats per dollar - this is only US$14 per month] on the
widely-used black market exchange rate. But analysts said some SLORC members
apparently had amassed enough wealth to displease the top four generals.

In Ne Win's day, that would have been a one-way ticket to jail or some
jungle outpost fighting guerrillas. Such humiliations and hardships turned
some officers against him.

The four generals have appeared more adept at ruling than Ne Win by
maintaining military unity while at the same time overhauling their
government. They also were able to sign cease-fire agreements to end ethnic

But despite attempts to attract foreign investment, Burma's economy is
deteriorating. Inflation is about 40 percent and the kyat is plummeting.
The international community also is increasingly turning against the regime
because of its repressive rule and alleged complicity in the drug trade.

The top four generals have learned a few lessons, but it remains to be
seen whether they are clever enough to deliver the ``peaceful and
prosperous nation'' that they have promised the people of Burma.
[related excerpts]

November 17, 1997
William Barnes in Bangkok

Ambitious scheming, gross corruption, a crashing economy and international
disapproval - these may all have played a role in the Burmese military
regime's surprise name change and reshuffle.

"I suspect there are quite severe tensions within the military, but
they've never appeared to disagree over their core belief - that they
must never give up power," one Rangoon-based diplomat said yesterday.

Observers are already saying it is no coincidence that the father of the
Burmese military emerged from retirement to visit an old friend,
Indonesian President Suharto, two months ago.

November 16, 1997

RANGOON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - One Western diplomat, who asked not to be named,
said most SPDC members were new faces whose backgrounds were unknown. 

``The trouble for all of us is many of the people coming in are new names.
Nobody knows where they come from. It is very difficult to know what camps
they belong to or how are they going to react when talking about improving
dialogue with the NLD (the National League for Democracy),'' the diplomat

``This is clearly a major revamping of the government, a huge cabinet
reshuffle,'' a foreign diplomat said. 

``It probably relates to economic problems including worsening inflation and
balance of payments,'' a diplomat said. 

Another diplomat said rampant corruption prompted the SLORC to improve its
image. ``Growing economic problems have forced SLORC to look at themselves
hard and say if there are any corrupt people, let's get them out...it may
start with something like the corruption crackdown which may lead to
something bigger and more positive.'' 

Analysts said it was no secret in Rangoon that foreign companies winning
major government contracts had been asked to make hefty donations to public
welfare organisations like the Karuna Foundation which opened remote rural
health clinics run by the ministry of trade and commerce. 

Rangoon residents said Burma's inflation this year ran at about 40 percent
although the government put the figure at only about 25 percent. 


[excerpts from statements by opposition groups in exile]


Now that a chance has taken place, the SPDC has a good opportunity to
rectify the sociopolitical and economic conditions in the country. The
generals must prove that the chance is not in name only and show genuine
interest in resolving the nation's ills. They would only be heading for
trouble if by "disciplined democracy". The generals had a chance of
becoming national heroes in 1988 when the people were looking to the
military to take the lead toward delivering them the promised democracy.
The opportunity is here again.

A step in the right direction would be to initiate a dialogue without
preconditions with the National League for Democracy led by Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi. The talks should be directed toward national reconciliation and
an eventual return to democracy.

November 16, 1997
ABSDF spokesperson Aung Naing Oo says the top four generals in Burma have
retained similar positions in the new organisation and that the change is
one in name only. 
Since the military coup in 1962, Burma has only had a constitution from 1974
to 1988. Meanwhile over this 35 years, the military has changed the name of
the country three times, changed the flag once, and has adopted four
different names for its ruling body - the latest being the SPDC.   

"It is therefore not surprising that the military has once again made only
cosmetic changes. At the same time, it is disturbing the military continues
to look after itself, rather than tackle the severe economic problems facing
the country and work towards solving the ongoing political crisis.   

November 17, 1997  eyar@xxxxxxxxxxxx

We also believe that genuine peace and devalopment can not exist without
meaningful dialouge with democratic forces. If they (SPDC-former SLORC)
really want to solve the country's problem in the peaceful and democratic
way, they must accept the meaningful dialouge which is proposed by Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi and democratic forces rather than doing mere cosmetic changes.

Central Excecutive Committee
All Burma Students' Democratic Organisation, Australia


(November 15, 1997)

All Burma Students' League 

 ...we consider the name of  new of the  new outfit,  the Peace  and
Development Council, as meaning that they wish to restore peace in the country.

Therefore, we  the ABSL  strongly  urge the  new military establishment  of
the  SPDC;  To  stop  military operation against   resistance   forces  and
declare  unconditional cease-fire in the country,  To recognise the verdict
of the
1990  general elections,  and to dialogue with Aung Sun Suu Kyi led
democracy forces,  And to release all the political prisoners  in the
country including student  leader Min Ko Naing  and  Lower Ne  Min
immediately  and unconditionally.


(November 16, 1997)

Bangkok, Sunday: "It is unacceptable that Burma continues to be run by a
military junta, regardless of it chooses to call itself.  REAL change, not
name change is what will help Burma out of its crises," said Altsean-Burma
Coordinator Ms Debbie Stothard.

"Changing the name of the country and then later, the name of the junta, won't
make the crises go away. The peoples of Burma and the world are not so
easily deluded.  If they are serious about 'peace' and 'development', they
need to dialogue with Ms Suu Kyi and the NLD and immediately stop the
rampant human rights abuses," emphasised Ms Stothard.


November 16, 1997

(BurmaNet Editor's Note: The inhumane treatment of the Karen refugees 
described below is a result of Thai Army policy and was not ordered by the 
new civilian government led by Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai.  What is
still not clear was whether the local units were acting alone or were ordered 
to push the Karen refugees back to the border by Thai Army Chief Chettha,
who was in Rangoon meeting with General Maung Aye last week.  Letters to the
Thai government requesting that they investigate this matter would be

	A Thai officer came to No Poh refugee camp on 11/11/97 and ordered 
the camp leader to explain to the newly arrived refugees at Thay Pu Law Sue
and Htee Saw Shee that they must move to the new site at Baw Ner Hta in
three days. Baw Ner Hta is the site chosen by the Thai authorities. It is
only ten minutes walk from a Burmese military post and is considered unsafe
by the refugees. The Thai officer said that if the refugees do not move in
this time, the Thai military would force them. 
	On the 13th, a Thai officer came again to No Poh and ordered the refugees
at Thay Pu Law Sue and Htee Saw Shee to move to the new site by 14/11/97. If
they don't go, he said the Thai military would make them and that if someone
is injured then the Thai military would not be responsible.
	The refugees at No Poh camp are not allowed to leave the camp. The 
new arrivals only have enough food for five days. Once that food is gone it
is unsure if food authorities will allow food to be delivered to them from
No Poh.
	The situation has now gone from bad to worse. At 0504 hours on 
15/11/97, Thai soldiers entered Thay Pu Law Sue and began shooting in an
attempt to force the refugees to move. One child was killed and three people
were injured, including one seriously. The injured have not been allowed to
go to the clinic at No Poh camp.There is no clinic in Thay Pu Law Sue and
the medics do not have the necessary supplies for this situation. The Thai
military promise to use force on the refugees has now come  true.

Karen National Union


November 16, 1997

An updated report concerning the Thay Pu Law Sue Situation

The Thai commander Captain Tho Wee and Lieutenant Narohchar, led their
company to the Thay Pu Law Sue refugee area on November 15.  The Thai
soldiers arrived there in the early morning hours where over one thousand
Karen refugees were sleeping. The refugees had initially refused to move to
Baw Ner Hta when they were ordered on November 11. The Thai soldiers ordered
the refugees to move by November 14.  The refugees continued to stay in Thay
Pu Law Sue out of fear since the new relocation site is only a ten minute
walk from a Slorc army post. 
The Thai soldiers proceeded to rudely awaken the Karen refugees, the
refugees state that they were awoken by kicks, punches and beatings by the
Thai soldiers.  The soldiers then divided the large number of refugees into
three groups, the reason for this is unclear.  Some Thai soldiers burnt down
the temporary structures protecting the refugees. 
After the refugees were divided, the Thai soldiers opened fire, shooting
their weapons for five minutes.  Their aim was not to kill, but to threaten
the refugees into moving to Baw Ner Hta.  At the sound of gun fire, panic
spread through the crowd quickly.  These refugees had recently fled fighting
in Burma, they had sought safety in Thailand, and now the Thai soldiers were
firing their weapons.  Fear caused the crowd to run in every direction.  One
three day old 
infant was killed after it was knocked out the mother's arms.  In the raw
panic of the crowd, the child was mortally injured by the crowd's stampede.  
The previous report mentioned three injured refugees, however, that number
is growing. One previously mentioned injury, a forty-five year old man who
was shot in the abdomen, died today, November 16.  There is doubt whether he
received any treatment at all.    
During the forced move to Baw Ner Hta, some refugees were able to run away
to the jungle.  Upon arrival to Baw Ner Hta, the Thai soldiers allowed some
Karen refugees and some AMI Karen medics to return to No Po.  The purpose of
this action is unclear.

Karen National Union


November 15, 1997
Supamart Kasem

TAK --A Karen rebel leader has appealed to Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai
to persuade the Burmese military regime to hold talks with Burma's
pro-democracy and minority rebel groups.

General Bo Mya, president of the Karen National Union, made the appeal on
Thursday in an open letter to Mr Chuan congratulating him on his appointment
as prime minister.

The Karen leader, who is also chairman of the National Council of the Union
of Burma, an umbrella organisation for dissident groups, also asked Mr Chuan
to help push for negotiations between the military junta and Burma's
pro-democracy and minority groups so as to bring peace to Burma.

There had been no progress after several rounds of talks between the regime
and the KNU.

A source in the Democratic Alliance of Burma, an alliance of dissident
groups, said yesterday he agreed with a pact signed recently by dissident

The agreement supports talks between the junta and Burmese prodemocracy
groups led by Aung San Suu Kyi and minority rebel groups. 


November 14, 1997 [slightly abridged]

   RANGOON (AP-Dow Jones)--An 11-hour standoff between riot police and
Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi didn't deter the vice chairman
of her political party from vowing Friday the democrats would continue
their attempts to meet supporters.
   'Despite all these restrictions we are determined to proceed with the
organizational work of the party,' said Tin Oo of the National League for
   The military government blocked Suu Kyi from leaving her home Thursday
for the second time in two weeks.
   The police surrounded a car carrying Suu Kyi and three members of her
party as it left her lakeside compound about 8:30a.m. heading for their
Hlaing township party office in Rangoon.
   Traffic police, riot police and women police officers encircled
Suu Kyi's sedan and threw up barbed wire barricades and spiked saw
horses Thursday morning.
Hearing of the standoff,about a hundred NLD members gathered at the
party's main office on nearby Shwegondine Road to await news of the
  Suu Kyi remained in her car with the windows rolled up, snacking on
bread, biscuits and milk as the women police officers pulled out chairs
around midday after standing for hours in the hot sun.
   At about 7 p.m. the government cut off the electricity to the nearby
NLD office and the hundred or so supporters dispersed.
   Police then removed the barriers and Suu Kyi drove to Tin Oo's home,
without the car full of military intelligence officers that usually
accompanies her.


November 14, 1997

BURMA -- The spokesman read a statement concerning reports that the military
regime running Burma, the State Law and Order Restoration
Council (SLORC) erected barbed wire barricades that blockaded Nobel
Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's automobile outside her compound for more
than ten hours to keep her from attending a meeting of the National
League for Democracy (NLD) opposition party.

The statement called this action "the latest in a long line of repressive
measures taken by SLORC in an attempt to marginalize the NLD, a legal
political party which won overwhelming support in the 1990 elections." It
urged the Burmese military authorities to allow NLD activities to be held
peacefully, without intervention.

"The United States," said the statement, "renews its call for a meaningful
political dialogue between the Burmese authorities and the democratic
opposition leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi and representatives of the
ethnic groups as the only path to a solution to Burma's political crisis."


13 November 1997

SINGAPORE -- U.S. oil and gas company Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARC)
expects to reach an agreement by the end of 1997 to sell a 29%-39% stake
in the two exploration blocks offshore Burma, also known as Myanmar, an
Arco official close to the project told Dow Jones Friday.

'We have been looking for an additional partner for the project all
along,' and the sale would not be in response to political pressure from
the U.S. government, the official said.

Los Angeles-based Arco plans to retain at least a 55% stake in the blocks
and remain operator, he said.

However, the official said Arco is prevented from taking stakes in new
projects in Burma by trade sanctions the U.S. imposed in May this year on
the country.

Arco acts as operator and currently holds a 94% stake in offshore blocks
M7 and M9 in Burmese waters of the Andaman Sea. China's state-owned
Chinese National Offshore Oil Co. holds the remaining 6% stake.

Arco has spent about $55 million on the Burma project so far, drilling
two exploration wells on block M9.

One of the wells tested natural gas at a rate of 25 million cubic feet a
day, but it's too soon to say whether the discovery is commercially
viable, the Arco official said.

The company plans to conduct two-dimensional and three-dimensional
seismic evaluation of the discovery before drilling another well in block
M9 during the fourth quarter of 1998, the official added.

Blocks M7 and M9 lie east of the Yadana natural gas field in blocks M5
and M6. The Yadana field, operated by Total SA (F.TTL) of France, has
estimated recoverable gas reserves of 5 trillion cubic feet.

Total and its project partners plan to begin production of Yadana field
in July 1998, transporting the gas via pipeline to the Burmese coast and
on to Thailand under a long-term sales contract. The Arco official said it's
too early to say whether its discovery could be tied in to the Yadana gas