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Press Release, News for you
- Subject: Press Release, News for you
- From: RANGOONP@xxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 01 Dec 1997 20:55:00
1) Suu Kui Agrees To ASEAN Role In Arranging Dialogue
2) Burma Is Not Allowed In EU-ASEAN Meeting in Manila
3) Poland Late in Joining Arm Embargo Against Burma
4) U.N Urges Thailand Not To Deport 20 Dissidents
November 25, 1997; Tuesday 06:57 Eastern Time
HEADLINE: Burma's Suu Kyi agrees to ASEAN role in arranging dialogue
DATELINE: MANILA, Philippines
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is agreeable to the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations arranging a dialogue between her and
Burma's military government, a Filipino senator said Tuesday.
Suu Kyi disclosed her position Oct. 17 in a meeting with Philippine
Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon at the Rangoon residence of Manila's
ambassador to Burma, said Sen. Alberto Romulo, who was at the meeting.
Siazon and Romulo were the highest-ranking government officials from any
of Burma's Southeast Asian neighbors to meet the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize
''Our objective was to encourage continued dialogue between the Burmese
government and her group,'' Romulo told The Associated Press. ''She had no
Romulo said Suu Kyi was agreeable to ASEAN arranging such a meeting but
insisted that her group be given a free hand in choosing its representatives
for talks with the government.
He said ASEAN had no specific plan for arranging such a dialogue, but
ASEAN officials could meet with Suu Kyi to work on details.
Siazon and Romulo went to Rangoon with President Fidel Ramos, who visited
the country for three days last month. Ramos was the first ASEAN head of
state to visit Burma since it was admitted as an ASEAN member in July
despite Western objections over its human rights record.
Romulo said Ramos was aware of the meeting, which took place after the
Philippine leader had left for Laos.
Ramos' aides had sought permission from Burma's military government for
him to see Suu Kyi during his visit, but they dropped the matter when the
Burmese did not respond.
Philippine Ambassador to Burma Sonia Brady and the vice chairman of the
National League for Democracy, which Suu Kyi heads, also were at the two-hour
lunch meeting, Romulo said.
Access to Suu Kyi is strictly controlled by Burma's military
government, which kept her under house arrest from 1989 to 1995 for her
campaign to bring democracy to the country.
ASEAN officials have urged Burmese military leaders in the past to open a
dialogue with Suu Kyi.
The generals have refused, but did allow Suu Kyi to hold a congress of
her political party for the first time in seven years in September.
Suu Kyi has frequently criticized ASEAN's policy of constructive
engagement, which advocates using increased business and diplomatic ties to
persuade the Burmese military to reform.
Suu Kyi said the policy was flawed because ASEAN was engaging only one
side the military. Suu Kyi's party won a 1990 election by a landslide, but
the military refused to honor the results.
ASEAN consists of Brunei, Burma, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the
hilippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Asia Intelligence Wire
November 25, 1997
Burma Is Not Allowed In the EU-ASEAN Forum in Manila
A forum promoting stronger cultural and business ties between Asia and
Europe will be held here next month, but a visiting German member of
warns that Myanmar will remain a divisive issue between the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union (EU). In a press
statement, the Center for Research and Communication (CRC) said over 100
academics from Asia and Europe will be participating in the Manila Forum on
Culture, Values and Technology to be held on Dec. 10-12. The Manila Forum is
being organized in preparation for the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be held
London next year. It will transmit to ASEM leaders concrete proposals on
facilitating technology exchange, linkages between businesses and expanded
commerce between Asia and Europe. But issues such as the human rights record
the Myanmar government continue to divide Asian and European regional
like ASEAN and the EU. During a lecture last week, visiting German MP Gerhard
Stoltenberg said the Myanmar issue is even more worrisome than Indonesia's
repression of East Timor. Last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
said the ASEAN-EU Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) has been indefinitely
postponed, reportedly because of EU attempts to discriminate against
Polish News Bulletin
25 November 1997
HEADLINE: Poland Late in Joining EU Embargo Against Myanmar
Poland has not joined the embargo imposed by the Euro-
pean Union three weeks ago that forbids the export of arms to
and trade with Myanmar. EU member states also decided not to
issue visas to members of the Myanmar government and their
relatives. The list of countries which endorsed the embargo was
published in Brussels yesterday (November 24), and it included all
the countries associated with the EU except for Poland.
The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has assured that the
country fully shares the position of the EU concerning violation of
human rights by the military government of Myanmar, but it could
not join the embargo due to procedural reasons. The embargo will
be endorsed as soon as it is approved by the Government Defence
Affairs Committee and by the Council of Ministers.
(Based on 25 November 1997 issue of Gazeta Wyborcza No. 274,
Agence France Presse
November 26, 1997 11:56 GMT
HEADLINE: UN asks Thailand to delay deportation of 20 Burmese
DATELINE: BANGKOK, Nov 26
The UN refugee agency has asked Thailand to delay the deportation of 20
Burmese amid concerns that some could face danger in Burma, a UN official
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is worried that
the 20 Burmese immigrants arrested in Thailand's western province of
Kanchanaburi this week may include individuals who have been classified by
the agency of "persons of concern."
Burmese students here say the arrested people, including at least three
minors, belong to pro-democracy opposition groups and could face imprisonment
if they are forcibly returned to the military state.
Colonel Somdej Suemak of the Thai army's 9th division told AFP the cases
of the 20 were being processed and they were likely to be sent back to
Burma, but the decision had yet to be finalised.
He could not confirm whether they were from political groups, saying this
was not the army's concern.
"We regard them as illegal immigrants," Somdej said. "If it is known they
are from pro-democracy groups, other government agencies and the UN can
discuss about what would be the suitable course of action."
The UNHCR in Bangkok has sent a letter to the Interior Ministry asking to
see the Burmese before the Thai authorities decide whether to deport them,
the UN official said.
Burmese student exiles here say the arrested people were politically
active along the Thai- Burma border and frequently crossed in and out of the
country. They were arrested in the Sangkhlaburi district of Kanchanaburi
where they had rented accommodation.
The students allege that the Thai army arrested the dissidents at the
request of Burma's ruling junta, which Somdej denied.
The students say the 20 are members of the National League for Democracy
(Liberated Area), the People's Defence Force, the Democratic Party for New
Society and the Mergui-Davoy United Front and include two ethnic Karen
On Wednesday two Burmese student groups in Bangkok called for the release
of the 20 and appealed to Thailand to support Burmese opposition groups
inside and outside the country.
Thousands of Burmese fled after a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy
demonstrators in 1988 and established opposition groups in Thailand.
More than 110,000 Burmese refugees, mostly from ethnic minorities, also
shelter in camps along the Thai border.
Last week the United Nations criticised Thailand for relocating 1,100
displaced ethnic Karens to a location straddling the Burmese border. Thailand