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Seattle Burma Update

City Council Update:

The panel on the proposed Burma ordinance was held Tuesday, Dec. 2.  The
panel was originally scheduled on Nov. 4, but at the request of the
Seattle Burma Roundtable, it was moved to Dec. 2.  Despite having six
weeks notice, the trade lobby opposition was unable or unwilling to appear
on Dec. 2.  In any case, had they wished to appear on Dec. 2, they would
have been welcome to participate in the discussion.  

Council President Drago has set Dec. 12 as the date for another panel, at
which the trade lobby will appear.  However, thus far she has said that
ordinance supporters are not welcome to participate on Dec. 12. This is
clearly discriminatory and unfair.  All citizens should be treated
equally.  If all points of view were invited to the Dec. 2 panel, all
points of view should be invited to the Dec. 12 panel.

The Dec. 2 panel went pretty well, with Larry Dohrs, Melvin Khin and Ma Ma
Sein presenting.  But the original reason for the meeting was unfulfilled,
since there was no opportunity to challenge factual errors in
fear-mongering letters from trade lobbyists to Ms. Drago.  Again, this was
the reason we asked for a public discussion back in October.  These
misleading letters have resulted in Drago's statement to the press, "I did
not know what I was getting into."

Press coverage was good.  KPLU, KUOW and KIRO radio all attended, as did
Seattle Times and Seattle P-I.  The Times and P-I ran articles (I'll
forward the Times one via separate mail). KPLU did 2 pieces on this.  Did
anyone hear KUOW or KIRO coverage?  Also, on Saturday, there will
be a 30 minute discussion of the issue on KCMU radio (90.3 fm) from 7:30-8

We have a group meeting set for Monday, Dec. 8, from 7-8:45 at the
University District Branch of Seattle Public Library, 5009 Roosevelt NE.
We'll have much to discuss.  Call 206-784-5742 or 206-789-2505 for info.

Please continue to contact council members, especially Peter Steibrueck
(who attended the panel).  Please urge that ordinance supporters be given
the same opportunity to present, as trade lobby opponents were given to
present on Dec. 2.  Fair is fair.  Council number is 206-684-8888.

Also, neither the Times or P-I noted how many endorsements this ordinance
has garnered.  These include:

The Burma Democracy Movement of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi

Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire

Nobel Peace Laureate Betty Williams

AFL-CIO Executive Committee

King County Labor Council

43rd District Democrats

UW Political Science Professor and SE Asia specialist Dr. Dan Lev

Physicians for Human Rights National Office

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 81

AFM Local Local 76-493

Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers Union

National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 79

Coalition of Black Trade Unionists

OPEIU Local 8

Progressive Investment Management Company

Gardner Boat Repair, Inc.

Sen. Jesse Helms (!!!)

Also more than two hundred local citizens who have signed on.

Please contact the Times at opinion@xxxxxxxxxxxx

Contact the P-I at editpage@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

All for now.  Look forward to seeing you Monday night, or Friday the 12th.

Larry Dohrs

PS.  Don't forget International Human Rights Day, Dec. 10th.  Journalist
Paula Bock will receive a human rights award for her amazing Seattle Times
report on the plight of Burmese refugees along the Thai-Burma border.  The
awards are organized by the United Nations Association.  The ceremony is
Dec. 10, 7:30 pm at the University Unitarian Church, 6556 35th Ave. NE in
Seattle.  Reception follows.  Please join us.