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bangkok post and The Nation (25/5/9
- Subject: bangkok post and The Nation (25/5/9
- From: mandalay@xxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 24 May 1998 17:57:00
1:) Burma warning
2:) Party told not to celebrate 1990 victory
3:) Asean asked to push Burma on drug action
4:) US should work with Burmese junta to eradicate drugs
Rangoon- these weeks marks the eighth anniversary of the landslide election
of Aung San Suu Kyi as the leader of Burma. The military junta has warned
there must be no celebration. An official statement says the Rangoon regime
has "requested" the National League for Democracy cancel its planned
three-day ceremony. The junta has already sentenced six people to death
recently, providing a good reason to take its requests seriously.
Party told not to celebrate 1990 victory
Burma's military rulers have warned the pro-democracy party of Aung San Suu
Kyi not to celebrate the anniversary of its landslide victory in the 1990
general elections, Burmese government sources said yesterday.
In a message received in Bangkok, the sources said the government had
learned the National League for Democracy planned a ceremony May 27-29 to
mark the election victory.
The league captured 396 out of 485 parliamentary seats eight years ago,
but the shocked military power brokers reacted by arresting many of the
victorious candidates and refusing to allow the new parliament to convene.
At the time of election, Novel Peace Prizewinner Mrs. Suu Kyi was under a
house arrest that lasted a total of six years.
The sources said the league had been asked, "to refrain from creating
conditions that will unnecessarily cause a setback in the ongoing
League representatives throughout the country had also reportedly been
urged to "maintain stability and peace" by not marked the occasion.
Asean asked to push Burma on drug action
A senior US government official yesterday called on the Association of
Southeast Asian nations (Asean) to urge Burma to curb drugs production
while encouraging the junta there to have dialogue with opposition groups.
US deputy assistant secretary for East Asia and the Pacific Aurelia
Brazeal said at the US Asean dialogue of senior officials that Burma is the
largest single producer of opium in the world and its government has been
"unwilling or unable to implement effective counter-narcotics policies".
"We look to Asean to assist counter-narcotics efforts of member states,
such as Burma who faces a particularly difficult problem in combating drug
production and trafficking," Brazeal said.
Burma was admitted into Asean last July despite strong opposition from the
US and European countries which criticized Rangoon's human rights record.
"We remain concerned that Burma represents a potentially destabilizing
factor for the Asean itself, including neighbouring Asean member states in
particular," she said.
Brazeal said the US believes it crucial for the Burmese government to
begin direct dialogue with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu kyi and other
democratic and ethnic leaders.
US should work with Burmese junta to eradicate drugs
Obviously it is that time of the year again. On May 23 the Washington Times
reported a piece on Burma which examined and questioned the ruling junta's
motives. Titled "Can (or will) Burma get rid of opium?" I would like to
retile it "The three faces of the US and Europe". Now that the harvest
season is over and some 2,365 tons from Burma will make its way t the
streets of the world where misery will prevail, the analysts will once
again cry democracy.
Burma's ruling generals want to convince the world they are sincere in
crop eradication. Western diplomats claim it is a public-relations ploy to
lift the sanctions that are currently imposed on the country. One
intelligent-and I question how intelligent-Western analyst who was asked if
the West would be willing t lift sanctions should the State Peace and
Development Council is sincere, said: "Not a chance. Although we welcome
everything they do in narcotics enforcement, they will never be off the
hook for democratization or human rights as a result of anti-drug efforts."
Now let us examine this carefully. The US trades with China, who are
monsters in the human-rights department and who have some of this crop
going through their country, and yet this distinguished diplomat, probably
a US one at that, scoffs at any attempts to clean the American streets from
this drug of death.
I ask what human rights do the youth of American and Europe have? Is it
far better to have our youth destroy themselves with heroin or try
sincerely to assist in the eradication of the poppy fields? Would it not be
advantageous to teach these hill-tribe people how to grow other crops so
they may support their families? We sit here in the West and do nothing to
educate them to the dangers of what they are growing.
The US has just announced their multibillion-dollar war on drugs (it is an
election year in states.) Will this war be lost before it starts? How can
you declare war and not attack the enemy (the poppy fields)? Who is
No, democracy comes in all shapes, colors and sizes: one size does not fit
all. The democracy the US speaks of is of the color yellow. Too yellow to
face the real issue, which is at the expense of democracy in Burma, we
choose to have our youth die in the cities.
Yes, democratic reforms in Burma should take place, the SPDC should make
every effort to come to the table and talk. But these ethnic wars are
internal conflicts that have been going on for 47 years and will not be
healed overnight. If the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi cared as much
for our youth as the does for her political aspirations and democratic
reforms, she alone can convince the Western countries through their
diplomats that, yes, go and work with the junta to eradicate drugs. Do not
let more of the young die!
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