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BurmaNet News November 27, 1997

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------           
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"           
The BurmaNet News: November 27, 1997              
Issue #878


from lurie@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Date: November 26, 1997

The State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) (now the
State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)) transferred 120
political prisoners on Friday November 14, 1997, from Insein Attached Jail 
(Special Jail) in Rangoon to Thayawaddy, Thayet and Mandalay Prisons. 
Among the political prisoners were U Tin Tun and U Myo Myint
Nyein, who were both sent to Thayawaddy Prison in central Burma.
The Special Jail at Insein previously housed about 120 political
prisoners and about 70 former government officials including
ex-army officers sentenced for various offenses. The former
government officials were not included in the transfer.
Those political prisoners transferred included U Tin Tun, U Han
Sein, U Lwin Oo, U Kyaw San (NLD), Ma Thida and two of Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi's former bodyguards - Bo Lay (aka) Aung Naing Oo and
Thet Oo. These prisoners were all detained under the Publishing
and Printing Act in July 1993 for possessing a copy of the Khit
Pyaing (New Era) Journal. 

(B'net note: Khit Pyaing journal is produced by Burmese in exile and
contains new about Burma and exile activities)
U Tin Tun and U Han Sein bought a copy of Khit Pyaing, a banned
political publication, for the price of 3,000 Kyat, according to
a close relative of U Tin Tun. The two were sentenced to 20 years
imprisonment under two different charges of violating the
Emergency Provision Act and the Printing and Publishing Act.    
Three other prisoners detained in the same case - Nay Tin Myint,
U Kyee Myint (an elected NLD representative from Latha
constituency) and U Khin Maung (NLD)-have  been in Myin Gyan
Prison since 1995. Nay Tin Myint was first arrested in 1989 and
released in 1991.
Moe Aye, a former political prisoner who was recently released
from this Special Jail, believes that the SPDC (SLORC) is likely
to use the empty cells for Thai prisoners. Thai prisoners were formerly 
housed along with Burmese prisoners in the same building but they were 
moved following a brief clash in 1996 with Burmese prisoners.
Meanwhile, the elected NLD representative from Wakema
constituency, U Tin Aung, who has been imprisoned for almost a
year, received emergency medical treatment in September due to a
neck tumor, according to an informed source from Myaung Mya in
Irrewaddy Division. U Tin Aung, 53, is a lawyer and was detained
on December 13, 1996 under the Emergency Provision Act. He was
sentenced to two years imprisonment and has been held in Myaung
Mya Prison.
All Burma Students' Democratic Front 
For more information please call 01-923 1687 or 01-654 4984.


November 26, 1997
By Sutin Wannabovorn 

[BurmaNet wonders whether this allegation is accurate.]

CHIANG MAI, Thailand (Reuters) - Former Golden Triangle opium warlord 
Khun Sa was reported Wednesday to have moved to a military compound after 
the Burmese  government said U.S. officials were trying to nab him. 

Khun Sa, who surrendered to Burmese troops in January 1996, is wanted by the 
United States where he has been indicted on various counts of drug

Thai narcotics officers and sources close to Khun Sa said Burma's military 
government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), decided to shift 
him from his lakeside villa to protect him from U.S. officials. 

Khun Sa's associates and Thai narcotics officials said he was moved after 
Washington began an investigation into $600 million of laundered money that 
was believed to be circulating in Burmese business areas. 

U.S. officials in Bangkok would not comment and U.S. embassy officials could 
not be reached in Burma's capital, Rangoon. 

One of Khun Sa's aides, speaking to Reuters in this northern Thai city, said: 
"The Burmese claimed that the Americans were trying to snatch him so they 
urged (Khun Sa) to leave the lakeside villa and go to the (military) compound 
near (Rangoon's) airport." 

He quoted Khun Sa's third wife, who returned from a visit to Rangoon, as 
saying the former opium warlord was healthy but had confined himself to the 
military intelligence compound. 
A source in a Thai narcotics agency based in Chiang Mai confirmed the report. 

The former Burmese government, the State Law and Order Restoration Council 
(SLORC), refused to extradite Khun Sa after his surrender, saying it would 
deal with Khun Sa under Burmese law. The SPDC, whose formation earlier 
this month abolished the SLORC, has given no signs of a change in policy. 

Khun Sa is the former commander of the now-defunct Mong Tai Army (MTA). He 
used to command more than 20,000 guerrillas and portrayed himself as a freedom 
fighter but international drug agencies accused him of using the MTA to 
protect his heroin business in the Golden Triangle. 

Khun Sa's associate said the Burmese government would allow only family 
members to visit him. 

"He has four living wives, one in Chiang Mai, two in Mai Sai and one lives in 
Burma's (town of) Tachilek. These wives rotate in visiting him," he said. 
Khun Sa has four daughters and five sons, four of whom oversee Khun Sa's 
various businesses in Burma. 

A Thai narcotics official said two of Khun Sa's sons were now cooperating with 
the United Wa State Army (UWSA) in the heroin business. 

The UWSA is a former rebel group that struck a cease-fire with the Burmese 
military in the early 1990s. A former rival to Khun Sa, it has controlled 
opium growing and heroin production in the Golden Triangle since he 
"The UWSA now dominate the drug business in Shan State and has overrun 
all of Khun Sa's bases and his sons are now joining them," the Thai narcotics 
source  said. 

Narcotics sources estimate that the UWSA operates between 16 to 20 heroin 
factories in Shan State near Thai border. 
"These factories produce not less than 350 kg (770 pounds) (of heroin) per 
month," the source said. 


November 24, 1997  (abridged)

BANGKOK, Nov 24 (AFP) -
 Military instructors from across the region gathered for the
second International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) seminar on
humanitarian law for armed forces in East Asia. Only Burma has
declined to attend.

"It proves that between the armed forces of the region and the
ICRC there are shared interests," he said, citing the goal as a
"common awareness" of the humanitarian law among the military in
the region.

  Nations participating are Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia,
Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, North Korea, Papua New Guinea,
South Korea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Of the sixteen nations invited only Burma "formally declined to
participate," an ICRC official said.

 An ICRC official expressed regret for the non-attendance of Burma -- 
which has come under widespread international criticism for alleged 
human rights abuses by its armed forces against Burmese citizens.

  "I do not see any major obstacle (to Burma participating). They
are an ASEAN member and they have their ASEAN colleagues here," the
official said.

General Chokechai Hongstong, deputy chief of joint staff of the
Royal Thai Army, said in opening comments that such training was
"vital" in the current strategic environment and in crisis situations.

 He took the opportunity to publicly defend the Thai armed forces
adherence to humanitarian principles, following criticism last week
by the United Nations of its handling of some displaced Burmese at
the Thai border.

  "We are blamed or accused by foreign agencies from time to time
due to a lack of real situational awareness, that we do not pay attention 
to humanitarian issues in repatriating displaced persons," Chokechai said.

  "These kind of accusations discourage our honourable intentions.
However, we will continue with our humanitarian obligations," he added.


November 26,  1997
by William Barnes in Bangkok 

An ugly border scuffle in which a baby's neck was broken has become a
crucial test case for the new Thai Government's attitude towards Burmese

A foreign diplomat who happened to be at the makeshift Thay Pu Law Sue
camp when a Thai militia force struck 10 days ago reported shoving, shots
fired in the air and vile threats.

His account has reinforced the view of human rights workers that during
the wet season Thailand has a de facto policy of kicking back new
arrivals seeking a safe haven.

Officials in Bangkok have said refugees were "encouraged" to return to
their own country if there was no fighting in the area.

But human rights workers vehemently disagree that the absence of a
pitched battle means it is safe to return to the military regime.

"There is not much organised resistance [by ethnic rebels] anymore but
that is not the point. In many places the Burmese Army is sweeping
through the countryside destroying villages and worse," said an observer.

Many people familiar with the plight of the mostly ethnic minorities who
try to cross into Thailand argue that few are likely to do so voluntarily.
"These people leave cattle, crops, their homes. They don't leave Burma
unless they have to," said a veteran border-watcher.

What happened on the Burma border 10 days ago could easily be repeated -
without any useful witnesses - as several thousand new refugees are in
similar camps.

The arrival of the dry season will inevitably see more military activity
inside Burma and more people fleeing across the border.

Thailand is also trying to deal with its worst economic crisis for
decades, one that could lead to two million Thais losing their jobs.

But most vulnerable are the million Burmese estimated to be living off
Thailand's underground economy that values their ultra-cheap labour but
can discard them as soon as the work runs out.

Without the protection of employers or the money to pay police bribes,
many will be in danger of repatriation and the not-so-soft embrace of the
Burmese military.

"One piece of good news is that this Government is likely to be the most
sympathetic we can ever hope for in Thailand. They may at least try to
control the Thai Army," an observer said.

Seventeen Burmese opposition activists have been arrested by Thai police
in raids on their offices in western Thailand, a Burmese dissident
student group said yesterday.

Activists from five pro-democracy groups were arrested in the
Sangkhalaburi district of Kanchanaburi province on Monday, the All Burma
Students' Democratic Front said.

Thai military claimed 19 illegal Burmese immigrants were picked up, but
could not confirm whether they were from political groups.


November 26, 1997  (slightly abridged)

[Note: the 18 people who were arrested were from ABSDF, DPNS, 
Karen Historical Research Society, MDUF, and PDF]

                                PROGRESS REPORT
At 11.30 am, on the 24th of November 1997, 18 people were arrested in their
organisation's offices at Sangkhlaburi.  Among those detained were two 
boys - 9 and 10 years old - who were attending English class at the PDF office.

After their arrest, the detainees were taken to the Sangkhlaburi District Office
(Nai Amphur).  At 2pm, they were transferred to the Border Police Camp. At
approximately 3.30pm, Lt Kyaw Zaw from MI 5 at Three Pagodas Pass, 
went to the Nai Arnphur and collected a list of names of those arrested. At 
about 5 pm, the adult detainees and the two boys were transferred to the
Sangkhlaturi Police Station and all were held in one large room with other
illegal immigrants. 

At the time of the arrests, from the PDF and DPNS offices, Thai Army
personnel confiscated statement files, photographs, books and, from the PDF
office, a machine which prints photographs onto T-shirts. These items were
last seen at the Nai Amphur office. The telephone and fax line to the Alert
Literature Club were cut.

Later on the 24-11-1997, on arrival at the Police Station, all detainees had
their biographies  written, then were photographed individually, in their
groups and as a whole group and videoed.

In the evening of the 24-11-1997, Kyaw Htet (Chairman of PDF), alone, 
was taken from the cell to a meeting roorn in the Nai Amphur building. 
He was asked a number of questions: name, organisation and if the 
organisation was pro-armed struggle or negotiation. Other questions were:
What will you do if you are deported to Burma /Myanmar? Would you like to
return to Burma / Myanmar or go to the Safe Camp? 	

One person told all the detainees: This is not a police arrest. It is an
Army arrest. 

On the 25th of November, 1997, the Thai Army contacted the SPDC (contact
point unknown. Presumed to be Three Pagodas Pass) to advise of the arrests.
Thrughout 26-11-1997, three other people - Shwe Thwe, Lu Maw and Aung Htoo,
were taken for questioning. During the evening of 25-11-1997, about 9:20 pm,
a policenman came to the cell and told all detainees to stand. He asked,
"Are you Burrna students? Are you the anti-government group? and divided all
detainees into anti-government and illegals. The latter were taken to
another room. 

At one stage on 25-11-1997, a Thai Army Major was questioning
PDF detainees. A police officer gave the Major a letter and said that many
NGOs had contacted UNHCR. The Major told the police officer " Don't worry".

On the 26th of November 1997, other detainees are being taken, one by one,
into the Nai Amphur meeting room and asked the same questions as Kyaw Htet
was. This is the last definite news.

Apparently an informer has been asking people on the Mon side of
Sangkhlaburi about Htoo Chit's whereabouts. He is the remaining mernber of
the PDF exective not arrested.


November 12, 1997

TO ALL MEDIA (House of Representatives - November 12, 1997)
H. Res. 301

The conference agreement includes a total of $5,000,000 from
`Development Assistance' and `Economic Support Fund' to support
democracy and humanitarian programs in Burma. Such funds may be made
available notwithstanding any other provision of law and are subject to
notification. The Senate amendment specified the uses for the funds and
the funding source was limited to `Development Assistance'. The House
bill contained no provision on this matter.
The conferees have provided assistance to support activities designed to
restore democracy in Burma and to provide humanitarian programs for
Burmese exiles and refugees. The assistance has been provided to
underscore U.S. support for Aung San Suu Kyi and her supporters.
The conferees note strong concern about the severe restrictions imposed
on Aung San Suu Kyi. Although not under formal arrest, she is unable to
move about freely and visitors must be approved by the State Law and
Order Restoration Council. As a result, family, friends, associates,
journalists and advocates for restoring her to office have been denied
access. In addition, she has drawn public attention to the continuation
of a campaign of violence, intimidation and terror being waged against
her party members with the goal of destroying the democratic opposition.

The conferees expect that not less than $3,000,000 of the funds made
available for Burma be provided to support democracy activities and
$2,000,000 be provided to support humanitarian initiatives along Burma's
borders. The conferees oppose any expenditure of funds in Burma.
[Page: H10619]

Sec. 568. Not later than one hundred twenty days after enactment of this
Act, the Secretary of Labor in consultation with the Secretary of State
shall provide to the Committees on Appropriations a report addressing
labor practices in Burma.

Of the funds appropriated under the headings `Development Assistance'
and `Economic Support Fund', not less than $5,000,000 shall be made
available to support activities in Burma, along the Burma-Thailand
border, and for activities of Burmese student groups and other
organizations located outside Burma: Provided, That funds made available
for Burma related activities under this heading may be made available
notwithstanding any other provision of law: Provided further, That
provision of such funds shall be made available subject to the regular
notification procedures of the Committees on Appropriations.

For more info. on Burma at U.S. Congress,  see ---
Burma and U.S.Congress (http://www.clark.net/pub/burmaus/)
Washington Burma Report (http://ww.clark.net/pub/wbr)


November 21, 1997
from okkar66127@xxxxxxx

Nine years have passed since the State Law and Order Restoration Council
was urgently formed in the midst of almost absolute chaos and anarchism on
September, 18, 1988. It was a time when people were being incited, by
unscrupulous and opportunistic political elements, to create a state of
confusion and despair during which they attempted to seize state power. To
the great concern and anxiety of experienced observers there were ominous
signs that the civil unrest, which was thought to be designed solely against
the government, had escalated to cause intercommunity clashes namely, people
against people, which could lead to possible disintegration of the Union. One
cannot forget that the city of Yangon (then Rangoon) was on the verge of food
shortages, medicines were already in short supply, not to speak of widespread
looting, roadside beheadings by unruly mobs and destruction of innumerable
factories, stores, schools and even bridges, ships-in-port etc.

Most people felt that their individual security was in jeopardy and they
could breathe a sigh of relief only when the State Law and Order Restoration
Council took over State responsibility from a President, who promised and
acted in accordance with the constitution, in his attempt to change the
country from a one-party socialist political system to that of a multi-party
democracy. But then it was the mobs who ruled the day and who carried on with
the rampage while the present day "politicians" helplessly looked on.

Even the international media especially "Time" magazine predicted that such
a level of anarchism would make a "military grab" inevitable. " Law and order
restoration" was the first priority for the new government to achieve, and
restore it did within a matter of days. Soon after, it also began the process
of rehabilitation and reconciliation with the multi-coloured insurgencies
creating a momentum unprecedented in the country's modern history.

Nine years and some gargantuan efforts later, the country now enjoys peace
and development throughout the entire Union except for a few uninhabited
jungle areas along the south-eastern border to which a stubborn,
pro-colonialist, separatist insurgency had withdrawn and stubbornly resisted
the peace process by relying on some extraneous support. If not for the
so-called "friends" of some insurgents abroad, the whole nation could now be
witnessing a total cessation of all armed insurgencies for the first time
since her Independence almost 50 years ago.

In addition to the level of "Peace" that has been achieved, it is worth
while looking at some of the remarkable "Development" that have taken place
already over the past five years;

-78 large irrigation dam projects have turned much of the dry zone into
tens of thousands of arable land.

-New bridges now span across the mighty Aye-Yar-Waddy  (Irrawaddy) river in
the Kachin State and Bago (Pegu) Division, across the Chindwin river near the
Chin State, across the Than-    Lwin    (Salween) river in Kayin State as
well as
across many tributaries of the Aye-Yar-Waddy in its delta region.

-Thousands of miles of new roads and railway lines have been constructed
all over the formerly underdeveloped, insurgent-ridden States and Divisions.

-New International Airports (Mandalay & Yangon) and deep sea ports are
under advanced stages of construction with many new airlines operating
between Yangon, Mandalay and foreign Capital cities.

Prominent among them are international airlines from Brunei, Cambodia,
Japan, India, China, Laos, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, Singapore and
Vietnam and many of them have increased their number of flights in and out of
Myanmar. (These developments are particularly remarkable, because they all
took place while many former aid-providing developed countries suspended
their assistance for political reasons).

The level of Peace and Development that exist currently has allowed
opening up of the country and its beautiful land to all local and foreign
tourists, developers and investors.

The dialogue between the government and almost all the ethnic insurgents
and subsequently obtaining their trust and cooperation was a crucial factor
in this achievement only after which steps toward further political
transition will be meaningful and sustainable.

In its further efforts aimed towards a disciplined and a modern democratic
nation, the country must now also adapt the government structure which is
appropriate to the situations that prevail today, which is in deed a far cry
from what they were nine years ago.

Thus on November 15, 1997 (according to Proclamation No.1/97) the
dissolution of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) and the
constitution of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) is a step
which must be welcomed as another milestone in the political transition of
the Union of Myanmar, towards its clearly declared social, economic and
political objectives.


November 25, 1997

YANGON (Nov. 25) XINHUA - A senior Myanmar finance official has 
called for giving better services to the customers, stressing the importance 
of banks' role in the country's economic progress and public confidence in 

While meeting with officials of state-owned banks here Monday, Minister
for Finance and Revenue Brigadier General Win Tin called for improving
dealing with the public and avoiding delay in depositing and drawing. 

The minister also urged bank staffs to keep money safe and avoid malpractice
and bad dealing with customers, citing some complaints by the public about
cases at some state-owned banks, official newspaper the New Light of Myanmar
reported today. 

Win Tin warned that severe action will be taken against those who are 
responsible for bad practices.

According to official statistics, there are six state-run banks in Myanmar,
and 25 private banks have been added since the country reformed its financial
management system in line with the market-oriented economy introduced in
the late 1980s.

A total of 48 representative offices of foreign banks have been setup in the
country, and some of them plan to establish joint ventures with local banks
in light of Myanmar's entry into the second phase of its financial reform.


November 25, 1997
Imphal, Nov.  25:   India and Burma have increased the volume of 
trade since opening of trade at Moreh along the Manipur-Burma 
In view of the increase in trade, the Manipur government recently 
sent a proposal to the Centre for increasing exchangeable items from the 
existing 22 to 43.
In a report sent to Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral, the state 
government urged for inclusion of small cardamom, paraffin wax, 
coconut oil, groundnut seeds and oil, washing powder, toilet soap,
cosmetics, peanuts, Burmese oringin blankets, dress materials, raw
cottons and mats, bomboo caps, bamboo-based household items,
cotton yarn, cycle and cycle parts, medicine, motor cycle, mopeds,
motor vehicles, auto parts and accessories, milk powder and con-
densed milk, cement, sanitary goods, crockery, toilet items and timber
as exchangeable items of bilateral trade.
The existing exchangeable items are mustard, rape seed, pulses,
Beans, fresh vegetable, fruits, garlic, onions, chilies, spices, bamboo, 
Minor forest products (excluding teak), betel nuts and leaves, food 
items for local consumption, tobacco, tomato, reed broom, sesame, 
resin, corriander seeds, soyabean,  roasted sunflower seeds, Katha 
and ginger.
The report further said traders have demanded that a third 
country's goods be allowed to be imported through Burma to offset
 the deficit in imports from Burma. The traders have also sought 
permission for traders from Burma to travel upto Guwahati in Assam.
Indian traders should be allowed to move up to Mandaley in 
Burma, they said. Burmese traders are now allowed to go up to Imphal 
in Manipur and Indian traders to Kalemyo in Burma.

FOR OCTOBER  (note: this is US Dept of Agriculture)
November 24, 1997

SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)--The following is the full text of the Burma rice 
trade report for October, produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture 
attache in Bangkok and released on Friday.
  -General Summary

During the month of October 1997, the Government of Burma (GOB), which
monopolizes legal rice exports, resumed shipments and exported 11,349 metric
tons of Ehmata 25%. No new sales contracts were signed.

 Official sources said that GOB will allow partial participation of the
private sector in the rice export market, which may also indicate some
impending changes in the GOB paddy procurement policy.

Figures in this report for rice export shipments exclude shipments of 100%
broken rice, which are included in the official GOB rice export statistics.
Figures noted here are also on a tare weight basis, whereas the published GOB
rice export statistics are on a gross weight basis.

-Rice Export Shipments
  During the month of October, the GOB exported 11,349 metric tons of Ehmata
25%. This represents the second largest shipment in 1997, after 3,500 metric
tons of parboiled rice exported in August'97.

11,349 metric tons of Ehmata 25%, '96 crop were bought from the 
Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation by Sineximco (valued at US$202 per 
metric ton) as part of a barter deal involving urea.

Total recorded (legal) rice exports from January 1 through October 31, 
1997, amounted to 15,328 metric tons.

  Total recorded (legal) rice exports for fiscal year 1997/98, i.e., from 
April 1 through October 31, 1997, amounted to 15,008 metric tons.

Shipments (in metric tons)
Current Month       Prior Month         12 Months Ago
(October 97)       (September 97)       (October 96)
  11,349                 Nil                 		1,462
Cum. Cy        Cum. Prior Cy  Cum. FY 96/97  Cum. Prior FY
(1/97-10/97)   (1/96-10/96)   (4/97-10/97)   (4/96-10/96)
 15,328           261,692        15,008         106,380

  -Export Contract Commitments - Few Commitments

Myanmar Export-Import Services (MEIS), the Ministry of Commerce parastatal
that handles most rice exports for the GOB, solicited bids for prospective
exports of 5,000 metric tons of Ehmata 100% for shipment in September. 
However, the Chaw Farming Trading Company, which won the contract with a 
bid of US $ 300.00 per metric ton failed to sign the contract in time and
the bid 
was cancelled. MEIS will probably solicit bids again for the prospective
export of
5,000 metric tons of Ehmata 100% in November.

According to its October 1997 export statement, MEIS now has only 1,000
metric tons in outstanding rice export commitments.
Sales (in metric tons)
Current Month       Prior Month         12 Months Ago
(October 97)        (September 97)      (October 96)
 Nil                 10,000                 500
Cum. Cy        Cum. Prior Cy  Cum. FY 96/97  Cum. Prior FY
(1/97-10/97)   (1/96-10/96)   (4/97-10/97)   (4/96-10/96)
  23,000(A)        93,000         10,000          93,000
(A)  of which, 3,000 parboiled 10%
(MOAI) Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation

-Market Tempo - Slight Light Price Increases In October
  In October 1997, the National Average Domestic Wholesale Rice Price for
Ehmata, a short grain variety, was 82 Kyat per PYI, a 3% increase from 80 
Kyat per PYI in September 1997, and a 12% increase from 73 Kyat per PYI 
in October 1996. The National Average Domestic Wholesale Price of long 
grain superior quality rice was 126 Kyat per PYI, nearly the same as 125 
Kyat per PYI in September, and a 36 percent increase from 92 Kyat per 
PYI in October  1996. (One PYI equals 4.6 pounds.) When examined 
relative to aggregate price inflation of at least 26%, these increases are 

The national average wholesale price for paddy was about 450 Kyat per 
46 lb. Basket, a slight decrease of one% from 455 Kyat per basket in September, 
and an increase of 17 percent from 385 Kyat per basket in October 1996. 
(One basket equals 0.021 mt.)

Though traders speculate that paddy/rice prices will start rising in October 
due to late harvest because of floods, there was only an increase of
3% in the Ehmata rice prices consumed by the majority of the Burmese
population, and paddy prices fell slightly by one percent compared to 
September prices of Kyat 455 per basket. It was also noteworthy that the 
Ehmata rice prices were the lowest in Magwe township, Magwe Division 
(Upper Burma),  and the highest in Pathein Township of the Irrawaddy 
Division, which was affected by floods. It seems that the GOB was able to 
control domestic rice prices from rising by curtailing exports, or that rice 
traders in Upper Burma were holding plentiful stocks.

 According to a bimonthly internal report of the Ministry of Agriculture and
Irrigation (MOAI), seeding of monsoon season paddy has been completed all 
over Burma, and just over one % has been harvested. MOAI plans to seed 4 
million acres of dry season paddy for the 1998 crop (a 100% increase over area 
seeded in 1996), and as of October, 2.4 percent had been seeded.

Ehmata Retail Price (per PYI (4.6 lbs)
Current Month       Prior Month         12 Months Ago
(October 97)        (September 97)      (October 96)
Kyat 82.00          Kyat 80.00          Kyat 73.00
New Paddy Crop Wholesale price
(Per 46-lb. Basket: 0.021 mt)
Current Month       Prior Month         12 Months Ago
(October 97)        (September 97)      (October 96)
Kyat 450            Kyat 455            Kyat 385

-Export Situation and Prospect - A Likely Change in Export Policy
Rice export prospects at the moment remain suppressed as a matter of GOB
policy reportedly determined at the highest level of the SLORC (State Law and
Order Restoration Council).

Official sources said that the GOB will allow partial participation of the
private sector in the rice export market has expanded its outdoor advertising 
operations by establishing two new offices at Yangon in Myanmar and 
Shanghai in China.

The group currently has existing offices in Cambodia and Bangkok.


by  Wa, Palaung and Lahu Human Rights Committee:
November 24, 1997

Eleven villagers from Woh Lone village in Kun Heng township [Shan State] 
were shot and killed by SLORC soldiers in June,1997.  In April, 1997 SLORC 
soldiers, LIB 519, came to Woh Lone village and ordered the villagers to shift 
to Kun Heng town within 3 days. The soldiers also threatened the villagers that 
those who failed to act according to the order would be shot and killed.
Fearing this, the villagers fled their village and went into hiding in the
forest. After four months in hiding, some of them came to the Thai border in
September, 1997 at Fang township.

While hiding in the forest, SLORC soldiers saw some of them who were on their
way to the village to try to get back food, and they were arrested in June,
The SPDC soldiers shot and killed all these arrested people near Hsai Kong
village cemetary.
The people who were shot and killed are:
1. Ma Nyo Aung		2. Aik Pyin Nyar
3. U Wee Lain Ta	4. Nan Kyar
5. Nan Kyot		6. U Pah Tah
7. Daw Nan Htan		8. U Tar Li
9. U Pin Nyar		10. Aik Nyar and 
11. Sai Wan Ti Tar

After, a villager from Nah Kong Mu village was also arrested. He was also
shot and killed.  His name was Sai Aik Kaw. These criminal acts were 
committed by SLORC soldiers of LIB 519, base unit. News source:  Daw Pa 
Lu (58) a Shan, Buddhist from Woh Lone village, Kun Heng township.

A similar incident happened at Kyaing Kham village, in Kun Heng township. 
Two villagers were shot and killed. They were arrested by SLORC soldiers 
while hiding in the forest. This twovillagers were U Aik Shen and Daw E 
Shen. The same fate happened to (2) Wang Yang villagers while hiding in 
the forest.  They were U Shu Tin Yar and U Nanda.
News source: U Sai Mee Naw (88) a Shan , Buddhist from Kyaing Kham 
village, Kun Heng Township.

by Wa, Palaung and Lahu Human Rights Committee:

Forced Labor:
          On May, 1997, SLORC troops IB.45 and LIB. 333 ordered
Ban Kong village group in Mung Hsat township [Shan State] to build 
roads and bridges going to all military camps stationed at the border.
"Every body is forced to give labor without fail." said the order. All the
work was to be finished in August, 1997.
Fearing the punishment, the villagers had to obey the order and did what the
soldiers asked them to do. In doing the labor, no money or even food
was given to them. They had to bring food and the working tools with them.  


November 25, 1997

Taungoo District Area.
	 On 15.11.97 at about 2 P.M, a column from LIR 708 entered Klay Khee
village and burned down 30 houses and the village Church.
	 On 17.11.97 after stepping on a landmine near Show Sho village, the
column from LIR 708 entered Show Sho village and burned some of the
	 This column was ambushed twice on the 18th. On the next day while
moving between Tha Aye Khee and Klay Khee villages, LIR 708 killed two
children, one woman, and a man that they met on the way.
	 After a battle near Hee Daw Khaw village, the same soldiers from 
LIR 708 entered the village and burned down some of the houses.
	 These attacks against innocent civilians appear to be in 
retaliation for military attacks by KNLA soldiers. It is an attempt 
to discourage the villagers from supporting the KNU to force the KNLA 
from making attacks out of fear that civilians will be harmed. 
Attacks against civilians rather than military targets by the SPDC 
soldiers are a clear human right violation.

 K'ler Lwee Htoo District Area:
On 18.11.97, soldier from LIR 350 entered Ler Klaw village, burned
down three houses and captured one carbine. On the next day, the
soldiers shot one villager in Hse Hsone Gone village.

Thaton District:
	 On 25.10.97, a villager from Kaw Poh Koh village was stopped along
the road by two Burmese soldiers from LIR (534). The soldiers took
50,000 Kyat from him, before allowing him to go.
	 On 13.11.97, LIB 36 deputy commander Kyaw Shwe and his column 
entered Tah Oo Khee village. The nest day, these troops arrested three
villagers and tortured them. They are: (1) Saw San Htay, age 35 (2)
Saw Boo Doh, age 39  (3) Saw Kee Poh, age 35
	 On the 17th, this same column detained Saw Po Khee's wife, children
and mother-in-law. The soldiers threatened to kill them if they
could't find Saw Po Khee. When the column left that night, Ta Kee Ku,
age 56, Saw Po Khee's mother-in-law was so afraid that she hung
	 At 0330 hours, on 18.11.97, LIB (38) entered Khaw Poh Pleh village
and shot at the villagers. Saw Kwee Leh Baw was injured. One Ler Klaw
villager who was visiting, Saw Dee was killed.

Surrender in K'ler Lwee Hto District Area:
	 On 10.11.97, three KNLA soldiers from No.(7) Battalion surrendered 
to SPDC soldiers at Shwe Kyin. They surrendered with two M-16 rifles.
	 On 17.11.97, Lieutenant Wah Htoo with one .38 pistol surrendered to
SPDC troops at Ghaw Mit, in Shwe Kyin township. 


November 24, 1997

Borderline Video has just produced a 25-minute documentary showing many of
the dramatic events suffered by Karen communities during the Burmese Army's
1997 dry season offensives, both in Karen State and along the Thai-Burma

This debut video by Borderline Video features events that drew responses of
international outrage, such as the forced repatriation of newly arrived
refugees back into the active war zone, and the Burmese Army-backed attacks
on refugee camps in Thailand.

It reports on the Burmese Military's depopulation policy in Karen State's
northern hills and the persecution of its shattered communities, and
portrays the refugee communities' attempts to maintain stability throughout
these traumatic times.

Filmed by the Karen themselves, the film bears witness to events throughout
the length of Karen State, and provides a powerful retrospective on what
has been the most desperate year in the Karen's long drawn-out struggle for
ethnic recognition within Burma.

The video is PAL formatted and in English.
Karen and Burmese language versions will be available in the near future.

To order a copy of the video, please send your payment to The Karen
Community Information Service by:
1) Bank Credit Transfer.
                     Please transfer the applicable cost below to:
                        Account Name:   Karen Community Information Service
                        Account Number: 212-2-27803-7
                        Bank Name:      The Thai Farmers Bank
                        Branch:         Mae Sot, Tak Province 63110, Thailand
                     and inform us in writing of your order and postal address;

 2) Crossed Cheque.
                     Please make a crossed cheque payable to:
                     "Karen Community Information Service"
                     for the applicable cost below PLUS US$10.00 TO COVER
	      CHEQUE CLEARANCE FEES, and send it together with your 
	       order to: The Karen Community Information Service
                        P.O.Box 44, Mae Sot, Tak 63110, Thailand

Costs per video: - within Thailand ... US$ 8.00 / 320 baht (including postage)
                 - outside Thailand .. US$17.00 / 680 baht (including postage)

All payments received will be confirmed in writing.
Delivery will be made within two weeks of payment clearance.

For further details about the video or our other work, please contact us at:

The Karen Community Information Service
P.O.Box 44, Mae Sot, Tak 63110, Thailand
e-mail: win6@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
						or at:
Borderline Video
P.O.Box 21, Srinakharinwirot Post Office, Bangkok 10117, Thailand
e-mail: cfisher@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The video is copyrighted by Borderline Video, and its purchase constitutes
acceptance of the condition that the video cannot be resold or used for
commercial purposes without the prior expressed permission of Borderline