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Bangkok Post News (5/11/98)

News hadlines:

1):Casino in Burma to aid cash flow
2):Villagers forced to work in field

1):Casino in Burma to aid cash flow

Construction of a resort/casino in Burma has resumed, raising hopes for a
better cash flow among borer resident, border officials said yesterday.
The "Golden Triangle Paradise Resort" project is expected to start
operation in nid-1999.
The project, consisting of a hotel, a casino and a golf course, is located
on the Mekong raive's bank north of Ban Sob Ruak in Chiang Saen district.
 Most border residents welcomed the project, saying it would revive good
cash flow in their province.

2):Villagers forced to work in field

NLD accuses junta of telling lies to world
Burmese villagers are being rounded up and forced to work on a land
clearing project near the capital to boost crop production, opposition
party National League for Democracy (NLD) said yesterday.
The NLD accused the junta of blatantly lying to the international community
when it said last week there was no forced labour in the military state
after it was condemned by the European Union and the United Nations.
"The authorities have declared to the world that there are no instances of
forced labour in this country but it is very clear that this is untrue," an
NLD statement said.
"Local authorities are forcing villagers (at Htantabin township) to send
one person from each family to work on the land reclamation project where
they are made to toil under the scorching sun without any rest."
The NLD, led by Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, said that in the
latest instance of forced labour, soldiers were being used to round up
villagers. Some 500 had already been sent to work on the project.
Authorities also had used loud speakers to warn villagers of unspectified
"consequences" if they refused to work.
The junta, which has not recognised the NLD's sweeping victory in 1990
elections, has repeatedly dismissed accusations of widespread human rights
abuses including summary executions, torture and forced labour.
Last week, a report to the Untied Nations by special repporteur Rajsoomer
Lallah expressed deep concern about continuing human violations in Burma,
while the EU renewed sanction against the junta citing rights violations.
The NLD said it had complained officially to the junta leadership that
villagers were being forced to clear land for cultivation.
The junta is known to be on a major drive to increase its rive export
capacity by developing large areas for production.
Foreign investment has dropped dramatically in Burma in recent years, while
inflation has soared and the local currency, the kyat, has depreciated
sharply against ht US dollar.