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Subject: UPDATED INFORMATION ON world bank/un/burma 

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Dear BurmaNetters, Maykha Readers,Burma Watchers,
                                Some developments have been going on in
Burma.The Burmese people inside and outside Burma have been patient enough,
watching the political scene in Burma. The international community now has a
sort of solution for SPDC & NLD. The World Bank/UN has an offer to give $1
billion to Burma as aid if SPDC talks wtih NLD Leader Daw Aung San Suu
Kyi.Whether SPDC will accept the offer is up to them.The whole world knows
how SPDC is bankrupt. Here's some research data I did on the World Bank and
Burma. I hope the information is useful for you all.


Julien Moe
Questions and Answers about the World Bank, Fall 1998 

Q. What is the Bank's relationship with Myanmar?
A. During 1998 Myanmar went into arrears in its repayments to IDA, and the
portfolio was placed in non-accural status on September 2. Accumulated
arrears as of end-August were about $14 million equivalent.

Myanmar (formerly Burma) has been a member of the World Bank since 1952 and
has received a total of $711 million equivalent in lending from IDA for 30
projects and $33 million equivalent from IBRD for 3 projects. The last Bank
loan was committed in 1987 and closed in 1995. In 1995 the Bank prepared a
country economic report that outlined priorities for economic reforms that
would lead to sustainable growth and poverty reduction, especially in the
rural rice growing areas. While the report was well received at the
technical level, there was no serious response from the policy makers. There
have been no new commitments to Myanmar since 1987, and no projects are
currently being prepared. 

Source:World Bank
International Herald Tribune
26th November 1998

UN Links Burma Aid To Political Dialogue
$1 Billion Is Possible If Generals Will Talk With the Opposition

The United Nations and World Bank have entered into secret
negotiations with Burmese government and opposition leaders to offer the
ruling military regime $1 billion in financial and humanitarian aid in
exchange for opening a dialogue with the opposition, according to sources
involved in the negotiations.

Initiated only weeks ago, the plan has been introduced at a time
of bitterly polarized and deeply entrenched political stalemate in Burma.

But government officials, opposition leaders and Rangoon-based
diplomats said the attempt at dollar diplomacy offered ''the best glimmer
of hope yet'' for breaking the deadlock between the opposition led by Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi and the ruling generals.

The plan calls for step-by-step compromises from both the government
and the opposition, with progress rewarded by increasing amounts of financial
assistance and humanitarian aid.

''A lot of sticks have been used - and they remain in place -
but now we are also offering the government some carrots,'' said a
diplomat who is involved in the negotiations. ''With the reaction we have
received so far from all sides it is not impossible to outline a win-win

Both the government and opposition have agreed to pursue the idea
in further meetings with a United Nations envoy that are scheduled to take
place in Burma within the next eight weeks, sources in the government and
the opposition said.

This is the first United Nations attempt to include international
financial institutions directly in political negotiations, and it comes
amid rising criticism that past peace efforts have been undermined by a
lack of such coordination among the organizations.

Presented late last month in Burma by a United Nations special
envoy, Alvaro de Soto, the plan was formulated at a secretive meeting held
weeks earlier in southern England between the World Bank, the United Nations
and five Rangoon-based ambassadors who attended in an unofficial capacity.

Sources involved in the negotiations said they discussed the first
step for a release of funds, which was initially set at requiring the
to release political prisoners, allow Daw Aung San Suu Kyi freedom of movement
and permit her National League for Democracy to function as a political
party. In exchange, the National League for Democracy would agree to rescind
its calls to convene Parliament, and international funding would be opened
to Burma for the first time in more than a decade.

Funneled through the World Bank, the bulk of the funds would come
from Japan, with additional assistance expected from Australia and Singapore,
sources involved in the negotiations said.

If the plan proceeds, the United States, which has imposed a wide
range of sanctions against the country's military regime, will then withdraw
its long-standing automatic veto of any funding or assistance for Burma
from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, according to diplomats
involved in the negotiations.

One suggestion floated was for a meeting between the UN secretary-general,
Kofi Annan, and Burma's military leaders at the summit meeting of the
of South East Asian Nations next month in Hanoi.

''If the process gets under way, the World Bank will just be the
thin end of the wedge,'' a Rangoon-based diplomat said.

''The private sector will gain confidence and the donor countries,
which are looking for just about any sign of change, will jump in to help
the development of the country.''

But not even a blank check from the World Bank would break the
deadlock in Burma, many observers in Rangoon warned. The country has no
culture of political compromise and the military's sole priority is to
retain its total grip on power, the observers said.

No matter how the plan is structured, however, the ruling generals
would be forced to accept Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's strong influence over
the use of funds and her ability to stop them at any time.

The opposition leader, who won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for
her democratic struggle against the government, helped inspire the wide
range of sanctions now imposed on Burma and she alone has the credibility
to call for their loosening or removal.

Meanwhile, the government remains wary of foreign involvement
in domestic matters and confident of the country's ability to ignore external

''Did the United Nations ensure stability in Cambodia after injecting
billions of dollars? No,'' said Brigadier General Maung Maung, minister
to the office of the ruling council's chairman. ''We welcome any unconditional
assistance you would like to give us, but like Cambodia, we need to solve
our problems by ourselves.''

One diplomat dismissed the UN initiative as an attempt by Western
governments to ''whitewash the dictatorship into something palatable for
domestic consumption.''

''You simply can't cross-breed democracy and military dictatorship,''
the diplomat said. ''The generals may take some of the money, but they
will never cede power. You must accept this reality and on that basis decide
whether to give aid or not.''

Most countries have opted against giving aid. Development specialists
estimate that Burma could easily attract more than $500 million per year
from donor countries, but international condemnation of human rights abuses
by the military government has reduced annual multilateral foreign development
assistance to less than $20 million in recent years.

All of this assistance passes through a UN program designed to
avoid supporting the military government by sending aid directly to a select
set of small, grass-roots projects in different parts of the country.;

The UN program would very likely serve as a model for funneling initial
World Bank assistance into Burma, sources involved in the negotiations

End of Information on World Bank/UN/Burma