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Media Release(Joint statement for d

Subject: Media Release(Joint statement for detained students)

-Media Release-
November 18, 1998

"Appeal to the Royal Thai Government regarding the plight of twenty-four
detained students in the Special Detention Center"

The following statement is the joint statement by the Burmese student
groups around the world. We are planning to present this letter to the
Royal Thai embassies in our respective countries. We also appeal the
democratic community to voice your concern regarding the fate of those
students in the detention center. We thank you for your support.

Mr Chuan Leekpai
Prime minister
Royal Thai
government                                                         Date.
November 18, 1998

Dear your excellency,
We are Burmese students fighting to restore justice and freedom in our
mother land. We are writing this letter to appeal to your government?s
kind consideration regarding the fate of twenty four Burmese students
detained at the Special Detention Center(SDC) in Bangkok. They are
incarcerated not for threatening the property and lives of Thai
citizens, but for their courageous act to tell the world that there is
no justice and freedom in Burma. Among them, Ko Shwe Hla the
vice-chairman of the Burmese Student Association (Safe Area) has been in
the detention center for more than one year. He was arrested in front of
the Indonesian embassy while he was trying to express BSA?s opinion
against ASEAN?s constructive engagement policy. We are also very
concerned about their health and well being, especially Ko Shwe Hla?s.

We appeal to your government to give thorough consideration to the
plight of students in the SDC. We strongly urge Thailand, a leading
democratic country in the south east Asia, to take this opportunity to
show its commitment to the Burmese struggle for freedom and human
rights. They have been punished more than enough even though no crimes
have been committed. Putting the Burmese students in the detention
center for long prison term, for two years in Ko Shwe Hla?s case, does
not help Thailand?s image in the eyes of the international community.

We also understand that some of the detained students have not been
recognized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee as
"Person of Concern" for various reasons. However, we plea your
government to kindly grant the same treatment to them since they
deserved to be treated equally as others. Thailand has shown its
sympathy towards Burmese students? struggle in the past and we petition
your government to continue. Please give them freedom every human being
deserves. . We are more than happy to assist you in anyway we can in
this matter including their well being after release. We thank you for
your consideration in this matter.

All Burma Basic Education Student Union (Thailand)
All Burma Student Democratic Organization (Australia)
All Burma Student League (India)
Burmese Student Democratic Organization (Canada)
Democratic Burmese Students Organization (USA)
Student Organization for Liberation of Burma (Japan)
Oversea National Student Organization of Burma (Thailand)
Working Group for Democracy in Burma (VIC-Australia)