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The BurmaNet News: August 28, 1998
- Subject: The BurmaNet News: August 28, 1998
- From: strider@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 22:38:00
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"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"
The BurmaNet News: August 28, 1998
AFP: POLICE MOVE OUT OF HISTORIC PAGODA
ASIAN AGE: DOOR IS CLOSED ON DIALOGUE WITH SUU KYI
THE MYANMAR MONITOR: A TIME FOR CHANGE
AFP: GOVERNMENT REPORTS CRASH OF PASSENGER PLANE
BKK POST: BURMESE EXILES TELL OF TORTURE
BBC: BURMESE REBEL GROUPS FORGE INFORMAL ALLIANCE
BKK POST (EDITORIAL): MARCHING TO THE RANGOON DRUM
ANNOUNCEMENT: HOW TO REQUEST DECLASSIFIED INFO (USIA)
ANNOUNCEMENT: MARTIN ENNALS AWARD
ANNOUNCEMENT: CHURCH FUNDRAISER (SILICON VALLEY)
AFP: MYANMAR POLICE MOVE OUT OF HISTORIC PAGODA AFTER "CLEAN UP"
27 August, 1998
YANGON, Aug 27 (AFP) - Police moved out of Myanmar's historic Shwedagon
Pagoda Thursday having finished what they described was a "clean-up" of the
Buddhist landmark, sources said.
Truck-loads of riot police reinforcements were moved into strategic sites
around the capital Wednesday, including the University of Yangon, Shwedagon
Pagoda and the Yangon University of Technology, diplomats and residents
said. Residents of the capital said the police left the pagoda Thursday,
re-opening it to tourists and worshippers.
Wednesday marked the 10th anniversary of opposition leader Aung San Suu
Kyi's maiden political speech, made at Shwedagon Pagoda after her selection
as a National League for Democracy party candidate. Diplomats earlier noted
that police seemed to have been stationed at places of significance for the
opposition, including hotspots of student unrest in previous uprisings
against the junta.
On Monday police dispersed student demonstrators in the first street
protests in the capital for almost two years. Some protesters and
bystanders were detained but no injuries were reported.
The United States has stepped up efforts to highlight alleged human rights
abuses in Myanmar, with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright calling
regional leaders to express concern about opposition leader Aung San Suu
Kyi, a US government spokesman said in Washington. Albright telephoned the
foreign ministers of Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and Thailand over
the weekend to discuss the situation in Myanmar where Aung San Suu Kyi has
been barred from traveling outside the capital. A Thai foreign ministry
spokesman could not confirm Thursday whether any such call had taken place.
Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Yangon on Monday after a 13-day standoff
outside the capital with security forces who prevented her from meeting
supporters. US embassy officials in Yangon plan to visit to the Nobel peace
prize winner "as soon as her health permits," the spokesman said.
THE ASIAN AGE: DOOR IS CLOSED ON DIALOGUE WITH SUU KYI
27 August, 1998 by Sutin Wannabovorn
Bangkok, Aug. 26: Burmese's government has told foreign military attaches,
it will neither allow the opposition to form a parliament nor talk to
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Rangoon -based diplomat said on
In meeting with 15 military attaches on Tuesday, the ruling State Peace and
Development Council argued that Ms Suu Kyi, general secretary of the
National League for Democracy, and Mr Tin Oo, the party's vice chairman,
had been officially stripped of their posts in 1990, the diplomat said
"The bottom-line is that the door is closed for dialogue between Suu Kyi
and SPDC," said the diplomat. The attaches were briefed by SPDC spokesman
Colonel Hla Min, he said.
THE MYANMAR MONITOR: A TIME FOR CHANGE
25 August, 1998 from <OKKAR66129@xxxxxxx>
[Editor's Note: The following article appeared in Information Sheet
N0.A-0581(I) (27 August, 1998) by the Myanmar Information Committee,
Yangon. The information sheets distributed from the Okkar66129 account
generally carry re-prints of material published in the New Light of
Myanmar, the state-sanctioned English-language daily newspaper of Burma.]
Recent news and events surrounding Myanmar indicate change is both
internally as reflected in the meetings between the ruling and opposition
parties, and externally, as the international community reassesses its
options. The level of international media attention and debate on Myanmar
and its political situation, already significant, has risen even higher.
The following provides an overview of recent political and economic
activities promoting or resulting in change for Myanmar.
SPDC-NLD MEMBERS MEET
After almost a year without direct dialogue, key member of the ruling
government and the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) met on
August 19. Secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)
Lt- General Khin Nyunt and NLD Chairman U Aung Show gathered at a
government guest house in Yangon for a "frank and cordial "discussion. SPDC
Secretary-3 Lt- General Win Myint, Chief Justice U Aung Toe and Attorney
General U Tha Tun were also present.
Although details of the meeting were not reported, Secretry-1 Khin Nyunt
stated "We have had a fruitful meeting and we have also appreciated the
NLD's acceptance of our offer of a meeting." He expressed hope that the
meeting will be" the first in series of confidence-building takes between
the government and the NLD' NLD vice-Chairman Tin Oo, however, said the
informational meeting cannot be considered dialogue since Aung San Suu Kyi
was not a participant. "The NLD stated clearly and decided by a democratic
vote that no dialogue could take place without Aung San Suu Kyi being
present," he said. At the time of the meeting, Ms. Suu Kyi was in a literal
stand-off with the government approximately twenty miles outside of Yangon.
Citing security reasons, the SPDC has restricted the opposition leader from
travelling outside of the capital and on August 11 stopped her van from
proceeding on route to meet NLD members. After thirteen day in her van, Ms.
Suu Kyi ended the stand-off and returned to Yangon.
Another meeting between the SPDC and NLD was held on August 24 with
Minister for Home Affairs Colonel Tin Hlaing and two NLD central executive
committee official. Details of the meeting were again unavailable, however
the officials News Light of Myanmar newspaper reported that "The minister
told them to avoid acts which will undermine stability and peace and the
rule of law in the country."
Despite a lack of tangible results from the SPDC-NLD meetings,
international reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. The Japanese
foreign ministry announced that their nation "strongly hopes that meeting
will become the first step along the road to significant dialogue between
the Government of Myanmar and the NLD including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi".
Japan had been Myanmar's largest aid donor prior to 1998 when it joined
western nations in their official lending freeze. Thailand also welcome the
negotiations and expressed hope that Ms. Suu Kyi would be included in
future discussions." Thailand wants to see national reconciliation between
all political sides and races in Myanmar, including the minority groups.
This will lead to the end of conflict and political tension, and give peace
and stability to Myanmar and the Southeast Asian region," the Thai foreign
Philippine Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon remarked that an "internal
domestic process" is the only way to solve recent tensions within Myanmar,
and between Myanmar and the international community. "This time it's a
different phase of the game....we want to be involved in a serious attempt
to bring national reconciliation not in political posturing exercises,"
He also stated that "economic sanctions do not work" and constant dialogue
is essential for improved relations, as witnessed by the release of 18
foreign activists arrested in Yangon. The accused were charged by the
Myanmar government with distributing instigative leaflets with the
intention of disrupting the peace and tranquility of Myanmar and creating
civil unrest in contravention of Section 5(e) of the 1950 Emergency
Provisions Act. The court sentenced them to five years imprisonment and
hard labor, but immediately commuted the sentences and deported the
individuals. According to Secretary Siazon, "If Myanmar had not been a
member of ASEAN today, you would still have 18 people serving five years of
hard labor there, I guarantee you that."
The United States continues to condemn Myanmar's leadership, particularly
in light of Ms. Suu Kyi's travel restrictions and the foreign activist
arrests, six of whom were American. The US State Department issued a press
release on August 20 stating "we are deeply concerned by reports that Aung
San Suu Kyi's health is deteriorating... We call on the Burmese government
to take all possible steps to resolve this situation peacefully and
quickly." As for the release of the six students, the government said
"while we are pleased that these American citizens will be returning to the
United States, we think this ought to serve as a reminder that there is an
absence of protection of basic human rights in Burma."
In response to worldwide criticism, the Myanmar government released the
following statement on August 21st. "For a country like Myanmar which has
achieved national reconciliation with its different national races fighting
against the previous successive governments, the Myanmar Government, as
most developing countries in the East, has been prioritizing community
rights at this stage of her development rather than giving priority to
individual rights like the developed countries at present are going
through. One of Myanmar's top priorities in her basic human rights is to
provide her citizens with security. Myanmar believes that her citizens must
enjoy the essential basic rights such as security and safety of their lives
and properties, a decent job which will help put enough food on the table
for their families and also a decent place for them to live."
Myanmar Activists Return Home
Signaling change on another level, two leaders from the Burmese Association
in Japan (BAIJ) surrendered their refugee status in Japan to return to
Myanmar stating they have witnessed a "positive and constructive change" in
the current political situation. BAIJ Chairperson Dr. Mya Mya Win (53) and
BAIJ General Secretary Dr. Win Naing (39) were granted refugee status in
1992 --- two of the first Myanmar nationals in Japan to be granted asylum
by the Justice Ministry -- and have since then led the efforts in Japan to
promote development and progress in their homeland, often in confrontation
with the current government. Encouraged by the leadership's "adherence to a
more flexible policy'? the two activists will continue their efforts to
improve education, health, and welfare from within Myanmar.
Multilateral Communication Urged
A leading international organization in the fight for human rights, Human
Rights Watch (HRW), called for a change in policy regarding Myanmar
---focused on multilateral communication and coordination --- in order to
improve the human rights situation. The August 6th HRW announcement stated
that current international strategies, namely ASEAN's engagement policy and
the U.S. and Europe's isolation policy, have failed to produce substantive
improvement. Key to a new policy, according to HRW, is recognition and
communication with "the primary actors for future negotiation," namely the
army (Tatmadaw); the ethnic minority organizations; and the democratic
opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi.
In addition, HRW believes Western donors, Japan, the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and China must recognize and establish a
"common ground" in policy strategy toward Myanmar. HRW supports a "real
effort" at multilateralism. Finally, HRW urges the development of "a road
map by which specific steps toward verifiable human rights improvements on
all fronts would gradually lead to incremental restoration of normal
economic and diplomatic relations with the international community."
Myanmar has also been the focus of renewed activity and discussion in the
corporate sector. The Atlantic Richfield company (ARCO) announced on August
11 it will not renew its remaining exploration lease offshore Myanmar when
it expires in October. ARCO Executive Vice President Ken Thompson cited new
investment priorities, not pressure from international human rights
campaigns, as the basic for their decision. Other companies doing business
in Myanmar reinforced their commitment to remain engaged in the region. The
Dutch shipbuilding and engineering group IHC Caland said it "will not
budge" on its operations in Myanmar, and the U.S. oil group UNOCAL also
plans to stay. "Engagement is the answer, not isolation. I'm very proud
that we're in Myanmar. We've done a lot of good work there and they've
learned a lot from us," said UNOCAL Chairman and CEO Roger Beach at an
August 20 Asia Society meeting in Houston.
In other recent news, City of Los Angeles Council member Nate Holden pledge
support for the proposed "Free Burma" law aimed at prohibiting any
corporation doing business in Myanmar from receiving LA city contracts. On
the same day, the Japan Times reported that Japan will soon ask the World
Trade Organization to set up a panel to settle disputes with the U.S. over
the "Free Burma" law in Massachusetts. Japan and the European Union are
currently filing a complaint against the WTO stating the law violates a WTO
agreement on government procurement practices.
Universities Hold Exams
On August 18, Yangon schools offered final examinations for the first time
since their facilities were shut down in 1996. Over 96,000 university and
college students participated in taking the tests. No incidents of trouble
$250 Million for Hydroelectric Plant
The official China Daily reported on August 18 that Myanmar has signed a
contract to import $250 million worth equipment, construction machinery and
technology from China to help construct the nation's largest hydroelectric
plant. Its intended capacity of 280 megawatts is expected to increase
Myanmar's total generating capacity by 30 percent. China has reportedly
extended an export buyers' credit carrying a ten-year term plus five-year
grace period. The Myan Man Power Company of Myanmar and Yunan Machinery
Import and Export Corporation of China signed the contract during an Export
Commodities fair held in Kunming, China.
Myanmar and Thailand Celebrate 50 Years
Thailand's Deputy Foreign Minister Sukhumbhand Paribatra arrived in Myanmar
on August 23 for a three day official visit to celebrate the 50th
anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations on August 24. Minister
Paribatra is the first foreign government official to travel to Myanmar
since the arrest of the 18 activists. "The Thai government is giving moral
support to all factions --- both to the Myanmar government and the NLD and
we are continuously supporting efforts for dialogue without preconditions,"
he said. One of the issues to be discussed during the bilateral meeting are
a "Regional Surveillance System" to allow ASEAN member nations to monitor
each other's affairs, although Myanmar rejected Thailand's call for a
"flexible engagement" policy at the July ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. Foreign
Minister Paribatra also plans to place a foundation stone for a new
outpatient building at a Yangon hospital specializing in tuberculosis.
[ ... ]
The Myanmar Monitor is published by Jefferson Waterman International on
behalf of Myanmar Resources Development, Ltd. Information is available at
the Department of Justice, Washington DC, or by calling 202-216-2249.
AFP: MYANMAR GOVERNMENT REPORTS CRASH OF PASSENGER PLANE IN LAOS
27 August, 1998
BANGKOK, Aug 27 (AFP) - A Fokker F-27 plane has crashed into a mountain in
Laos, the country's military rulers said Thursday, amid confusion about the
fate of a missing Air Myanmar plane with 39 people on board.
"Government officials from Laos informed the Myanmar government that a F-27
aircraft crashed in north of Laos on the Payakha mountain. The fate of the
passengers are still to be confirmed," a statement from the junta received
It was not immediately clear if the statement referred to the missing Air
Myanmar Fokker F-27 which disappeared on Monday morning on a routine
On Tuesday, Air Myanmar officials in Yangon told AFP the missing plane had
made an emergency landing in Laos and everyone on board was safe.
An Air Myanmar spokesman and Thai military sources along the Myanmar border
said Thursday that as far as they knew, the aircraft had landed in Laos.
They said the passengers were safe but could not explain where they were or
when they would be returning to Myanmar.
But a spokesman at Myanmar's embassy in Bangkok said: "We have no
confirmation of anything yet. The plane is still missing and we are still
Government officials in either country could not be immediately contacted.
The plane went missing after being diverted from its course for Tachilek in
Myanmar's sparsely populated eastern Shan State due to bad weather. It
apparently flew off-course after being ordered to land instead in the
Myanmar town of Heho or the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai.
A ground and air search was launched involving Thai and Myanmar soldiers
after the plane failed to arrive.
THE BANGKOK POST: BURMESE EXILE TELL OF TORTURE AT HANDS OF MILITARY
27 August, 1998 by Robert Horn
[Editor's Note: Watch for excerpts from the new ABSDF publication, Tortured
Voices, in upcoming issues of The BurmaNet News.]
The soldiers came in the middle of the night, said Ye Teiza. At least a
dozen of them, surrounding his home in Burma's capital and pounding on the
"My heart was racing," he said. "I knew I was going to be arrested."
Ye Teiza was a member of a student union campaigning for democracy and an
end to decades of military rule in Burma.
Like 18 foreign activists caught handing out pro-democracy leaflets in
Rangoon last month, Ye Teiza said he was taken into the custody of military
Most of the Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, Filipino, American and Australian
activists said they were treated humanely. Sentenced to five years in jail,
they were immediately deported to their home countries.
In interviews with The Associated Press and in a soon-to-be-published book,
Ye Teiza and eight other former political prisoners in Burma tell far
different tales of their own treatment. They detailed their accounts of
physical and psychological torture suffered at the hands of the nation's
The book, "Tortured Voices: Personal Accounts of Burma's Interrogation
Centers", will be published by the All Burma Students Democratic Front, an
anti-government exile group. It covers their arrests in the early 1990s.
Reports from human rights groups say conditions haven't improved since then.
The military junta denies people are mistreated while under arrest.
"Myanmar (Burma) is a land of strong Buddhist belief, and such in-humane
acts are non-existent," said a government spokesman, who spoke on customary
condition of anonymity.
He called the book anti-government propaganda.
Nonetheless, the government gunned down 3,000 pro-democracy demonstrators
who were calling for an end to military rule in a nationwide protest in 1988.
Ye Teiza, who lives now in Bangkok, and his colleagues say they were
brutalised and subjected to torture until they named other democracy
activists and signed false confessions. Then, they say, they were given
sham trials and sentenced to long prison terms.
Prisoners said they were kept in dungeon-like cells. At the hands of
successive squads of interrogators, they were beaten daily, threatened with
death, rape, subjected to electric shocks, and deprived of sleep, food,
water and using a toilet for days at a time.
During questioning they were always blindfolded, the writers said. Some
were kept in stocks, while others had iron rods rolled over their shins.
They were forced to kneel on sharp stones until they bled, or stand on
their toes for hours with pins beneath their heels.
People arrested by the regime, the authors said, enter the centres with
bags pulled over their heads. Sightless, they were terrified by a
continuous wailing of people in excruciating pain.
Naing Kyaw, an arrested student, wrote that with every question he was hit,
no matter how he answered. The interrogators never let prisoners slip into
unconsciousness, something many of them longed for.
Ye Teiza said an officer told him: "We can kill you without any problem."
He eventually managed to flee Burma in 1997.
BBC: BURMESE REBEL GROUPS FORGE INFORMAL ALLIANCE
27 August, 1998
A group of ethnic Karen rebels in Burma says it has made a loose alliance
with another rebel group whose peace talks with the military government
The Chairman of the Karen National Union, General Bomya, said the alliance
with the Karenni National Progressive Party would promote military
cooperation in the struggle to protect the rights of Burma's minority peoples.
The general confirmed that channels of communication between the Karen
National Union and the Burmese military authorities were still open
although no meetings had yet taken place.
THE BANGKOK POST: MARCHING TO THE RANGOON DRUM
27 August, 1998
A REGIME NOT KNOWN FOR ITS RESPECT FOR INTERNATIONAL LAW, HUMAN RIGHTS AND
GLOBAL EFFORTS AGAINST DRUGS HAS CITED A GENEVA CONVENTION IN ITS EFFORTS
TO END THE EMBARRASSMENT OF A PROTEST AT THE GATES OF ITS EMBASSY IN BANGKOK.
The capacity of Thai authorities to snap to attention when the Burmese
dictatorship utters a word of complaint is something quite astonishing.
Expressions of concern from the self-styled State Peace and Development
Council in Rangoon about the protest outside the Burmese embassy on Sathorn
road have, as usual, spurred the authorities into action.
This time, the authorities have indicated a willingness to deport many of
the small number of Burmese protesters for a variety of reasons. The
immigration police, who are detaining many of the protesters at Suan Phlu,
have invoked the good old catchall of illegal entry. The head of the
immigration police has said they would be deported following completion of
investigations into the possibility that they had violated the laws of this
land in other ways.
It sounds all very serious, but what could he be talking about? Was he
referring to espionage, sabotage, terrorism or a conspiracy to violate
international law? Not quite. With an admirably straight face, the
immigration chief spoke of the possibility that the protesters had
obstructed our celebrated traffic. Or perhaps they had sought to instigate
unrest. Any mirth derived from the chief's comments should, however,
evaporate because there is a very real danger that the protesters will be
delivered into the hands of one of the most brutal and disturbed regimes on
By all accounts, the demonstration at the embassy was a small affair
involving perhaps dozens of protesters, among them Thais, and at no time
was the mission in danger of attack. The only incidents of violence were
provided by goons on motorcycles who hurled bottles and other objects at
protesters as they marked the 10th anniversary of that day in August when
the dictatorship slaughtered thousands of people who had turned out to
express their views. The motorcycle goons were able to make good their
escape in traffic that was strangely free of congestion.
The reaction of the authorities was in no small art the result of a
diplomatic bombardment in which the regime invoked the 1961 Geneva
Convention, articles 22 and 25, no less. The convention provides for the
ensuring of the normal functioning of foreign embassies and due respect for
the dignity of the countries that they represent. That such a diplomatic
nicety should be invoked by a regime that has serious problems in keeping
its forces, or their proxies, and drugs such as heroin and amphetamines,
within its borders is odd, to say the least. But there is nothing like
important-sounding pieces of paper to spur the authorities into action.
The Foreign Ministry tried to convince the protesters to leave the mission
by telling them the internal problems of Burma could not be solved in front
of the gates of the embassy. They were advised to appreciate the liberal
attitude of the government and that they would be harming their own cause
by their failure to cooperate. Were that the case, Rangoon would not have
applied such pressure on Thailand to end the protest. Was the government's
attitude as liberal as the ministry insists, the authorities would not have
run immigration cheeks on protesters nor threatened them with charges of
The internal problems of Burma cannot be solved at the gates of the
embassy, but the protest does at least serve as a reminder of the savagery
of the newest member of the regional club in 1988 and of the abominable way
in which it continues to treat its people. Judging by its diplomatic
offensive, the junta has demonstrated clearly that it does not want to be
reminded of its own excesses.
ANNOUNCEMENT: HOW TO REQUEST DECLASSIFIED INFO FROM USIA
24 August, 1998 from <moe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
You're now entitled to have access to declassified information on Burma.
The information will be very useful for your research, campaigns and
scholarly works. The information has recently been declassified and it will
surely enhance your projects with new facts and ideas. Please contact USIA
by any means mentioned below.
Thank you very much.
Request declassified information from: USIA
Point of contact:
Freedom of Information Unit
Office of the General Counsel
U.S. Information Agency
301 4th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20547
Include the following information about the records requested:
- accession number
- box number
- series description
- box title
- folder title
Box Title: Burma Files, USIS Program in Burma 1964-1965 through Kaznadreev
Series Description : COUNTRY FILES
Start Year : 1954
End Year : 1966
Key words: East Asia , Intelligence
How to Request: Accession Number : W306-68D4933C, Box Number : 062
ANNOUNCEMENT: MARTIN ENNALS AWARD
26 August, 1998 from <darnott@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Geneva, 26 August 1998
re: Martin Ennals Award 1999
The Martin Ennals Foundation would like to invite you to nominate a
deserving individual or organisation for the 1999 Martin Ennals Award (MEA).
The deadline for nominations is 15 October 1998.
Please find enclosed the MEA application form and a brochure, which will
give you more information on the Award.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries.
With best regards,
48, chemin de Grand-Montfleury
CH-1290 Versoix, Switzerland
PS Please send any correspondence to the e-mail address
huridocs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, and not to the mailing list.
THE MARTIN ENNALS AWARD FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS NOMINATION FORM
Name of Candidate:
Brief particulars of the candidate (max. 50 words):
(mention recent activities and their impact in protecting human rights)
Reasons why the candidate merits the Award (max. 50 words):
Referees and their address/telephone/fax/e-mail:
Nomination submitted by (name, address, telephone, fax, e-mail):
THE MARTIN ENNALS AWARD FOR HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
A human rights award in the name of Martin Ennals was created in 1993 by
the Martin Ennals Foundation, established by his friends, family and
colleagues. The Award is granted annually to an individual, or
exceptionally an organisation, in recognition of their commitment and
ongoing endeavour in the defence and promotion of human rights.
Nominees must currently be involved in work for the promotion and
protection of human rights. Special account is taken of those who have
demonstrated an active record of combating human rights violations by
courageous and innovative means. The Martin Ennals Award aims to encourage
individuals or organisations, particularly those who are working in
conditions hostile to fundamental human rights and who are in need of
The value of the annual Award is, at present, 20'000 Swiss Francs and is to
be used for further work in the field of human rights. Exceptionally, the
Board may decide to make an honorary Award.
Procedure & Guidelines
Anybody can nominate any individual or organisation by filling out the
appropriate form. Please note that neither individuals nor organisations
may nominate themselves. Nominations for the 1999 Award should reach the
Martin Ennals Foundation by 15 October 1998. Receipt of nominations will
not be acknowledged.
The selection of the winning candidate is made by the Board of the Martin
Ennals Foundation. A final decision is reached in February 1999.
Any documentation attached to the nomination form should be copies as none
will be returned. Should the candidate reach the final stage of the
selection process, the MEF reserves the right to request further
information and documentation concerning the candidate.
The location of the Award ceremony varies. The first four ceremonies have
been held in Geneva, Uppsala, London and Mexico.
Members of the Board of the Martin Ennals Foundation are :
- Adama Dieng, President (on behalf of the International Commission of
- Hans Thoolen (the Netherlands), Treasurer
- Leah Levin, Secretary (on behalf of International Alert)
- Simia Ahmadi (on behalf of the International Federation of Human Rights)
- Ricardo Dominice (on behalf of Defence for Children, International)
- Frances D'Souza (on behalf of Article 19)
- Marc Ennals (on behalf of the Ennals family)
- Asma Jahangir (Pakistan)
- Werner Lottje (on behalf of the Evangelical Churches of Germany)
- Gerry O'Connell (on behalf of Amnesty International, Ireland)
- Eric Sottas (on behalf of the World Organisation Against Torture)
- Luis Perez Aguirre (Uruguay)
They also make up the jury for the 1999 Award.
HURIDOCS has accepted responsibility for administration of the nomination
procedures and for organising the Award ceremony, through its Geneva-based
MARTIN ENNALS (1927-1991)
If anyone can be remembered for a life-time of active dedication to human
rights, it is surely Martin Ennals. Each day, his formidable contribution
is reflected in the effective world-wide organisation he helped to build
up, Amnesty International (1968-80), and in those NGOs established at his
initiative and active participation, such as the HURIDOCS Network (1982);
Article 19 (1985-86), International Alert (1985-90) and the European Human
Rights Foundation; and others which he supported from their conception,
including the Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims, the International
Service for Human Rights, Defence for Children International, and SOS Torture.
Alongside his international commitments, he was also closely involved with
a wide range of national organisations. Martin's quintessential role was
first to engage himself, and then to inspire others to do the same. When he
died at the age of 64 on 5 October 1991, he left behind a vigorous world of
human rights organisations which continue his work and maintain and
strengthen his vision.
Remember me, if anything, as a networker - Martin Ennals -
1994: Harry Wu (China) Former prisoner in the Chinese Laogai. After his
release, he and his wife returned, secretly, to China to further document
conditions in the Laogai. In 1995 he was arrested and only released after a
vigorous international campaign.
1995: Asma Jahangir (Pakistan) Lawyer. In spite of threats, she has taken
on unpopular causes such as bonded-labour and has fought against religious
extremism. She is a founding member of the Human Rights Commission of
Pakistan and the Women's Action Forum.
1996: Clement Nwankwo (Nigeria) human rights activist who co-founded the
Civil Liberties Organisation and founded the Constitutional Rights Project
(CRP), which belong to Africa's most outspoken and respected national human
rights groups. An untiring worker for a just and peaceful Nigeria.
1997: Msg. Samuel Ruiz Garcia (Mexico) Bishop of the Diocese of Chiapas and
advocate of the poor and indigenous people. He has been the mediator
between the Mexican government and the Zapatista National Liberation Army.
1998: Dr. Eyad Rajab El Sarraj (Palestine) founder and Medical Director of
he Gaza Community Mental Health Program. Dr. Sarraj has developed an
independent mental health service which provides urgently needed support
for the large number of people affected by the upheaval of the Intifada and
the organised violence of the Israeli occupation.
Martin's life and work were inspired by his commitment to human rights,
making him a pioneer of the human rights movement. Martin stood at the
cradle of any national and international organisations working for human
dignity, political freedom, social justice, and peace. He defended human
rights at times and in places when and where human rights were not popular,
and not high on anyone's agenda - Theo Van Boven
With the death of Martin Ennals, the human rights world has lost a towering
champion who displayed unparalleled commitment to the development of a
global concern for human rights. There will be many people who will
remember Martin, for it is in his relation to people that his true
greatness lies: his ability to talk to the victim and to the prince, and to
be persistent in the quest or a more humane world with better standards. I
know of no other who can measure up to him. - Kumar Rupesinghe
Making a contribution
Your contribution will go directly to the Award's capital fund, by which
support for the work of deserving human rights activists by means of an
annual award is ensured. You may specify that your contribution is meant
for the current year's award, if this is preferred.
Centre W. Rappard
154 rue de Lausanne
Account number D 7-105.221.0
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ANNOUNCEMENT: BURMESE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY CHURCH FUNDRAISER (SILICON VALLEY)
27 August, 1998 from <bfarouk@xxxxxxxxx>
The Burmese Christian Community Church of Silicon Valley will be having a
fund raising event as follows:
Date: Saturday, August 29, 1998
Place: Alum Rock United Methodist Church, 30 Kirk Avenue (off Alum Rock
Avenue), San Jose
Time: 3:00 - 9:00 PM
There will be lots of food stalls( Burmese and others), games, crafts,
music and door prizes.
1st. Door Prize - 2 way radio
2nd Prize - 900 MHZ cordless/speaker phone
3rd prize - 1 night stay at Holiday Inn
4th prize - color scanner
Other prizes - gift certificates for dinners (Chinese/Japanese/Pizza.)
movie tickets, Supermarket gift certificates and many more.
The tickets for the door prize is $2.00 and it can be purchased on the day
of the fair or in advance.
FYI - The proceeds will all go towards our building fund.
Please forward this message to your friends.
Thanking you in advance for your support.
Judy Tay <jtay@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>