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Bangkok Post News (21/11/98)

<center><bigger><bigger>Junta slams UN accusations

</bigger></bigger></center><italic>'Archaic' colonial law used to arrest

Rangoon, AFP


Burma yesterday reacted angrily to United Nations allegations that
serious human rights violations including rape and torture were rife in
the country.

The claims, in resolution by the UN General Assembly's human rights
commission were "highly selective and extremely partial," said a foreign
ministry spokesman.

"The allegations of continuing violations of human rights are not new=85and
are completely untrue and stem mainly from the insurgents or those
associated with them."

"There is nothing to substantiate these allegations. Therefore we totally
reject them."

Burma's permanent representative at the United Nations had disassociated
his delegation from the resolution, the spokesman said, adding that
Rangoon would continue to cooperate with the UN even though its claims
were "completely a variance with reality".

The resolution, issued in New York in Thursday, deplored "continuing
violations of human rights in Myanmar, including extra judicial and
arbitrary executions, rape, torture, inhuman treatment, mass arrests,
forced labour and forced relocation".

It also urged the military government "to urgently expand and intensify
its contacts with the National League for Democracy with a view to
engaging in a substantive political dialogue with prize winning NLD
leader Aung San Suu Kyi".

The Junta has been conducting a sweep against the NLD in recent months,
arresting hundreds of activists and taking them to government "guest

Many party members have subsequently resigned - proof the opposition says
of coercion by military intelligence.

The resolution also urged that steps be taken to "permit unrestricted
communication with an physical access to Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as
other political leaders, and to protect their physical well-being?.

Foreign journalists permitted to visit Rangoon in recent weeks have been
prevented from meeting the NLD leader.

The resolution was based on work by the UN's special rapporteur,
Rajsoomer Lallah, who has not been allowed to enter Burma.

The 185-nation UN General Assembly is to vote an annual resolution in
December condemning the junta for human rights abuses.

The All Burma Students' Democratic Front (ABSDF) said yesterday NLD
township organiser San Maung was jailed for 15 days for not signing a
"guest list" a his friend's house in Zutchee village on November 8.

The NLD member was charged under the Village Act, a 90 year-old colonial
law which demands households keep a list of inhabitants and inform
authorities before 9 p.m of any guest staying overnight.

"The 'guest list' is an example of the extreme repression under which the
people of Burma live," ABSDF spokesman Aung Naing Oo said.

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