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Subject: [theburmanetnews] BurmaNet News: May 24, 2000

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

May 24, 2000

Issue # 1536



The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions' estimate of the 
average number of Burmese performing  forced to labor on any given 


*Inside Burma












__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________


YANGON, May 24 (AFP) - Myanmar's fate lies in the shifting political 
fortunes of a secretive core of generals, who have been at the 
epicentre of power for a decade and imposed uncompromising and often 
brutal military rule. 

Ten years after Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition won an overwhelming 
election victory, little is known of the dynamics of power in Myanmar 
or of the rationale behind the junta's decisions. 
But sources close to the military leadership have given AFP a rare 
glimpse behind the wall of secrecy surrounding the top leaders.  
While the junta, known as the State Peace and Development Council 
(SPDC), groups 19 high-ranking military officers and says it rules by 
consensus, power is dispensed by a dominant ruling troika, sources 

Junta leader Senior General Than Shwe, 68, is military commander in 
chief, prime minister and defence minister and the junta's final 
arbiter.  The most visible of the troika is Lieutenant General Khin 
Nyunt, head of military intelligence. He is often the public face of 
the junta and behind its more outward looking policies, one of which 
was Myanmar's entry into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations 
in 1997. 

The third member of the troika is the least visible, but regarded by 
many observers as the heir apparent to Than Shwe and the man who may 
hold the fate of Myanmar's 47 million people in his hands. 

General Maung Aye, 63, is deputy military commander and army chief 
but unlike Khin Nyunt avoids publicity and keeps his own counsel.  He 
is described by a member of the inner circle as a taciturn career 
soldier with years of combat experience against Chinese-backed 
communists in northern Myanmar. 

"He feels very strongly about keeping the image of the military clean 
and doesn't care to delve too much in politics," said a source.  That 
reticence has encouraged a slither of hope among some observers who 
question whether Maung Aye will maintain the army's role at the 
forefront of politics if he wins supreme power. 

Maung Aye's position is enhanced by his record in battle which earned 
him the loyalty of the army and spurred his rise to the top of the 
junta from his former job as head of eastern command. 

Unlike other members of the SPDC, he is comfortable in English, a 
skill polished in lessons at the war office in Yangon, where the 
troika spends most nights after an assassination bid against junta 
collegue General Tin Oo several years ago.  Maung Aye's position at 
the top of the junta has been more open to scrutiny recently with 
indications that he is taking a growing role in running the economy, 
a move which has attracted unfavourable comment from 
diplomats.  "Even though Than Shwe has the final say, Maung Aye is 
behind most of the decisions on the economy -- he seems to change 
rules at will and to benefit his contacts, to the frustration of many 
local businessmen," said one diplomat.  Unlike Maung Aye, Khin Nyunt 
does not possess a formidable military pedigree and has seen less 
combat. He is however credited with securing a string of ceasefire 
agreements with Myanmar's myriad ethnic insurgencies. 

But the head of military intelligence may owe his present power to 
the perception that he is the political protege of reclusive former 
dictator General Ne Win, 88, who ruled Myanmar in neo-socialist 
isolation between 1962 and 1988.  "The present leadership still defer 
to (Ne Win) when faced with important policy matters ... he's their 
father figure and few among them would consider going against his 
wishes," the source said. 

But although he has an established network of support, Khin Nyunt may 
find it difficult to rise to the ultimate power, the source 
said.  "His military intelligence background and penchant to play 
politics discount him from getting the top military position ... but 
he will remain the man to be reckoned with even by the likes of Maung 

The intentions of Than Shwe, who is rumoured to be keen to retire, 
are, like much of political life in Myanmar, unfathomable. 

Many observers see him as a fulcrum between Maung Aye and Khin Nyunt, 
perched on a balance of power between their competing aspirations.  
Than Shwe is expected to remain in power a little longer, at least as 
long as his health permits. 
With the military in control of almost every aspect of life in 
Myanmar, and with little sign of its grip weakening, those hoping for 
change may have a long wait ahead.  


   YANGON, May 24 (AFP) - As a delegation of the International 
Labour  Organisation began a first-ever mission to Yangon Wednesday, 
Myanmar's ruling  junta lashed out at the ILO as an undignified 
organization controlled by big  powers.

   The three-man delegation will hold talks for three days with the 
Myanmar  regime on implementation of ILO recommendations against 
forced labour, alleged to be widely practised in the country.

   The ILO refused to comment on the specifics of its mission to 
Myanmar, but  businesspeople in Yangon said they expected ILO 
officials to tour their  factories to inspect for signs of forced or 
child labor.

   And diplomatic sources told AFP they expected representatives of 
the junta  to take ILO officials to visit several jails.

   But the state-controlled newspaper New Light of Myanmar dismissed 
the ILO  mission, saying the ILO "had lost its dignity" because it 
has abandoned its  "main function of setting down norms for workers' 
rights."    Instead, the New Light said, the ILO simply promotes the 
agendas of "new  colonialists" such as Britain and the United States, 
who try to apply  political pressure on Myanmar.

   "We pity the ILO," it said.

   Diplomatic sources said the Myanmar government's simultaneous 
slamming of  the ILO while allowing the organization into Yangon 
seemed  "counterproductive," but added that the junta becomes 
extremely defensive on  labor issues.

   An ILO commission of enquiry in a report in August 1999 found 
compulsory  labour in Myanmar was practised in a "systematic manner 
with a total disregard for the human dignity, safety and health" of 
the people.    A study done by the International Confederation of 
Free Trade Unions   had  previously put the number of people in 
Myanmar subjected to different forms of forced labour at more than 

   The ILO governing body ordered Myanmar's case to be raised at the  
organisation's assembly in June 2000, and in March invoked for the 
first time  an ILO article allowing it to recommend measures to 
oblige the offending party  to comply.

   It recommended that the Myanmar government ensure that its 
legislation is  brought into line with the terms of the 1930 forced 
labour convention which  Myanmar has ratified.

   It also urged the eradication of forced labour in the country and 
called  for rigorous prosecution and punishment of those found guilty 
of exacting  forced labour.

   Myanmar had already been marginalised in the ILO in an 
unprecedented  resolution last June.
   ILO delegates in June 1999 voted in an unprecedented move to de-
facto expel Myanmar because of its alleged widespread use of forced 
labour.    "This is as isolated as a country can get in an 
organization which does not have a mechanism for expulsion," ILO 
spokesman John Doohan said at the time.

   The New Light of Myanmar Tuesday said that it had never been 
expelled but  rather had voluntarily suspended its participation in 
the ILO until "the ILO  treats its members with equality and justice."

   On May 12, a meeting in Manila of Southeast Asian labour ministers 
said  Myanmar had agreed to accept an ILO mission.

   The Myanmar goverment had previously described ILO reports as 
partisan and  biased.

   Yangon's junta stands accused of a catalogue of human rights 
abuses  including rape, torture and holding political prisoners. The 
United States and the European Union enforce a range of punitive 
sanctions including trade and  visa bans.



Shan Herald Agency for News
24 May 2000

Pressure is being applied to monks traveling to and from the Thai 
border,  sources to S.H.A.N. yesterday.

Since mid-May, monks coming to and going from Tachilek, opposite 
Maesai,  Chiangrai Province, have been subject to questionings by 
local junta  officials, they said. "Not only their monk registration 
cards are being  thoroughly scrutinized, but questions as to where 
they were coming from,  how many of them traveling together, on what 
purpose, for how many days,  whom to meet, where they are going and 
putting up, including full  addresses, were asked," said a townsman 
from Tachilek.

Another agreed. He said even abbots from Kengtung who are members of  
township and district religious councils were not spared when they 
were  coming to participate in the opening ceremony of a temple in 
Hawngluek on  20 May.

"It is in stark contrast to what the junta has been telling the rest 
of the  world that nothing's wrong with the religious order in 
Burma," said the  source.

The monks in Mandalay had threatened to march to Rangoon if their 
demand  that the military regime open talks with the opposition were 
not heeded by  25 May. The military rulers have, however, denied on 
Monday that there had  been any unrest.

Reporter: Saeng Khao Haeng

__________________ INTERNATIONAL ___________________


BANGKOK, May 24 (AFP) - Thailand Wednesday vowed to repatriate all of 
the more than 100,000 Myanmar refugees living in camps along the Thai-
Myanmar border within three years, the government said. 

"We have given them more than 15 years of humanitarian assistance and 
the current situation in Myanmar is favourable for repatriation," 
Khachadpai Burusapatana, secretary general of the National Security 
Council, told reporters.  With the help of the United Nations High 
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other international 
organisations, the Thai government would repatriate the refugees "in 
the next three years," Khachadpai said. 

Thailand is home to around 102,000 displaced people from Myanmar, who 
fled either persecution by the military government or fighting 
between junta troops and insurgent groups. 

Though the Myanmar junta has completed peace agreements with several 
ethnic insurgent forces, fighting still rages between the Karen 
National Union (KNU) and the Myanmar army, and some observers have 
wondered whether it is safe for refugees to return. 

According to the Thai government, at least 4,000 refugees have 
already chosen to return to military-ruled Myanmar. 

Thailand has repeatedly stated that it wants to repatriate the 
refugees and has asked for help from the United Nations in beginning 
the process.  Most of the refugees live in camps in the western and 
northern provinces of Mae Hong Son, Tak, Ratchburi, Kanchanaburi and 
Prachuab Khirikhan.  Since 1998, Thailand and the UNHCR have jointly 
administered the camps. 

Some 500 exiled Myanmar students who fled to Thailand following the 
1988 uprising in Myanmar have been resettled in third countries.  The 
military has been in control of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, in 
various guises since 1962. 




The Myanmar Embassy levies the Myanmar citizens before their return 

               Many Myanmar people are falling in a predicament when 
they cannot pay 10,000 yen every month as they are requested by the 
Myanmar Embassy upon their application for passports and other 
documents necessary for their return trip to Myanmar after their 
visas expired.  The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the 
Myanmar Embassy for clarification on this matter and warned them that 
the levy would be violating the international law if it is forced on 
the citizens.  The Myanmar Embassy answered that the tax has been 
paid voluntarily.  However, the burden of double taxation has not 
been eased.  In many cases, the applicantsÆ return trips to Myanmar 
were delayed and their illness became worse while they prepared the 
money to pay the levy. 

              The Myanmar government demands obligatory payment of 
income tax from the Myanmar citizens outside Myanmar.  Most countries 
tax on those who have resided in their territories for more than one 
year regardless of the residents' nationalities.  Since there is no 
taxation agreement between Myanmar and Japan to prevent double 
taxation, the Myanmar citizens cannot be exempted from any tax even 
if they asked for exemption from the Japanese Tax Bureau on the 
ground that they are already paying tax to their home country. 

              According to the Myanmar Embassy, the stipulated rate 
of income tax inside Myanmar is ten percent.  In Japan, the Myanmar 
Embassy collects 10,000 yen per month regardless of the amount of 
salary, and charges additional 10,000 yen per year as penalty on 
those who failed to meet the monthly payment.  Many Myanmar people 
visit the Embassy to extend their passports and have temporary 
passports issued so that they can arrange their trips back home after 
overstaying in Japan with expired passports.  The Embassy informs 
them of the amount of tax upon their visits, instructs them to pay it 
into its bank account in Tokyo and transfers it to Myanmar. 
              The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the 
Myanmar Embassy stuff for clarification on this matter in March two 
years ago.  Whether two countries may have concluded a formal treaty 
on taxes or not, if a government collects tax in another country 
without the country's agreement, that would be considered as 
violation of sovereignty and the general international law which is 
established as a common law. 

               The Embassy responded to the enquiry stating that æwe 
are neither collecting tax with force nor imposing it as a condition 
for the issues of passports.  However, approximately ten problematic 
cases were found in the last three years through the investigations 
of the statements and documents conducted only by the Asahi 

               For instance, a twenty-nine year old Myanmar man in 
Itabashi Ward of Tokyo, who entered Japan with a tourist visa in 
January 1994, discovered at the beginning of last year that he had 
contracted HIV.  When he visited the Embassy at the end of the year 
to apply for a temporary passport, he was asked by an Embassy stuff 
to pay approximately 800,000 yen as tax for the past six years.  His 
health deteriorated as he stayed in his friend's house not knowing 
how he could pay the tax and he was eventually hospitalised in Tokyo 
in late April. 

               Another twenty-eight year old man without a permanent 
address was suffering from hallucinations and buzzing in the ears 
when he came around to the Embassy last January.  He paid 10,000 yen 
of initially required 757,000 yen and return to Myanmar with a 
temporary passport issued in August that year.  His acquaintance 
explained that the Embassy originally refused to accept his 
application because æthe tax must be paid first but that his friends 
who were concerned with his worsening condition continued negotiation 
for over six months and finally won his return trip by paying only 
the partial amount. 

               Myanmar is still under the economic sanction against 
its anti-democratic military regime and inflation as well as the lack 
of foreign currencies are obstructing its economic development.  In 
this condition, 10,000 yen is equivalent to several month salary of 
an average government official in Myanmar. 

Comments from the Myanmar Embassy

              The Embassy merely calculates the amount of tax and 
informs people of it.  We do not go out to collect it.  We understand 
that we are not violating Japanese sovereignty.  Since Myanmar 
consists of many races and languages, a person's tax payment is an 
important factor to decide whether the person is a Myanmar citizen or 
not upon the application for a passport.  However, we treat those who 
are sick in hospitals or detained by the Immigration Control Bureau 
in a humanitarian way by giving them certain discounts.  It is not 
due to the tax that people overstay even longer in Japan.  There must 
be other reasons for that. 



LOS ANGELES, May 22 (Reuters) - A human rights group called Monday 
for three western oil companies to end all investment in Myanmar, 
formerly known as Burma, saying that the military government is 
allowing forced labour to be used in building natural gas pipelines 
EarthRights International, a human rights and environmental group, 
issued a 170-page update of a 1996 report on construction of the 
Yadana and Yetagun pipelines in the former Burma by Unocal Corp. 
(NYSE:UCL - news), Britain's Premier Oil Plc (quote from Yahoo! UK & 
Ireland: PMO.L), and France's TotalFina .  

The updated report urges Unocal, Total, Premier and any other western 
companies involved with the pipelines to ``immediately withdraw'' 
from the projects until a democratic government is in place there.  

``In the nearly four years since the publication of the (1996) 
report, the violence and forced labour in the pipeline region have 
continued unabated,'' EarthRights said in the report.   The group 
said the Burma military has also been responsible for ``suppression 
of dissent, environmental destruction, forced relocation, torture, 
rape and summary executions'' in the pipeline regions.  

``The abuses are not incidental or unrelated to the pipelines,'' the 
report concludes. ``They are a direct result of Western companies' 

Meanwhile, about 100 demonstrators protested outside a Unocal 
shareholders meeting in a Los Angeles suburb to protest the oil 
giant's refusal to cut ties with the pipeline projects and were 
turned away by company security and police.  
A spokesman for Unocal said the company had no intention of pulling 
out of the former Burma and said pipeline construction there had 
actually improved the quality of life for locals.  

``We're very, very proud what we've accomplished there,'' said Unocal 
spokesman Barry Lane. 

``I wish there were 10, 20, 100 similar projects like this. We'd have 
a much broader positive impact on the country.''  

Lane added: ``Its a question of whether you bring about social change 
through engagement or isolation. We argue for engagement.''  

Environmental activist Pam Welner said that more than 100 protesters 
conducted a ``very lively demonstration'' at the meeting in the Los 
Angeles suburb of Brea that featured giant puppets of Roger Beach, 
Unocal's chief executive officer, and a Burmese general.  

She said two demonstrators climbed trees outside the property to hang 
a large banner reading: ``Burma Slaves Shame of Unocal,'' but were 
stopped by Unocal security and police officers.  
Lane called the protest ``pretty routine'' and said there was no link 
between the pipelines and any human rights abuses going on in 

``We're not even sure if there's any (human rights abuses) going on 
in the pipeline region,'' he said. ``The evidence we see is that 
there's been an improvement in the way people live there. In fact the 
population has been increasing.''  

Lane said EarthRights was ``long on rhetoric and short on facts'' and 
said a U.S. State Department report found no evidence of forced 
labour on the pipelines.  



Tuesday, May 23 8:31 AM SGT 

BREA, California (AP)--Protesters hoisting puppet effigies and making 
passionate pleas failed to persuade stockholders at Unocal Corp. to 
tie executive pay to the company's human rights record.  About 75 
protesters gathered Monday outside the company's headquarters, 
banging on empty oil drums and holding signs urging "Unocal out of 
Burma," - a reference to the company's participation in the Yadana 
pipeline, a $1.2 billion conduit that carries gas from wells off the 
coast of Burma, also known as Myanmar, to customers in Thailand.  

Inside at the company's annual shareholder's meeting, activists 
accused the company of ignoring reports that the Burmese government 
forcibly relocated residents and used slave labor in conjunction with 
the pipeline's construction. The charges were strongly denied by 
Unocal Chief Executive Officer Roger Beach.  

"There were no human rights violations on our project and that's a 
fact," Beach said.  
A resolution that sought to tie executive compensation to an annual, 
independent review of the company's compliance with its social 
responsibility guidelines failed, garnering only 16.4% of shareholder 
votes. A 51% vote needed for approval.  

The resolution was supported by 11 religious groups - including 
Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers - which together hold 360,000 Unocal 

"Unocal is not supporting its principals. It has lost its soul," said 
the Rev. Joseph LaMar, a Maryknoll priest who introduced the 

A representative of the group EarthRights International released a 
report at the meeting which allegedly showed Unocal knew forced labor 
was likely to be used before they began the pipeline project and 
discovered no later than 1996 that human rights abuses were 
Beach detailed steps the company has taken to build schools and 
health centers and to make sure workers who were hired by the 
military to work on the pipeline were paid. Activists sought to place 
the pipeline allegation in a broader context linking it to charges 
from human rights organizations that the military government uses 
forced labor throughout the country.  

"We did not use slave labor on our project," Beach said. "What goes 
on outside our project I can't attest to."  

Unocal owns 28% of the project, which was completed in 1998. Paris-
based Total Fina Elf operates the pipeline and is the largest partner 
with a 31% share. 



TOKYO, May 23 (AFP) - Japanese Foreign Minister Yohei Kono urged 
Myanmar Tuesday to maintain dialogue with the International Labour 
Organisation to avoid sanctions over allegations of forced labour, 
Kyodo news agency said. 

Kono met Myanmar's Deputy Foreign Minister Khin Maung Win, who is 
visiting Japan to seek the country's support at a 17-day ILO general 
meeting starting May 30 in Geneva, Kyodo reported. 

Kono told Khin Maung Win that Japan wanted the ILO and Myanmar to 
cooperate and continue "constructive" dialogue before proposed 
sanctions are discussed, it said, quoting a Japanese official. 

An ILO mission began a three-day visit Tuesday to Yangon, Myanmar's 
capital, for inspections and talks with government officials over the 
allegations.  At the planned meeting in Geneva, the 174-member ILO is 
expected to vote on a resolution to impose sanctions over alleged 
forced labour, which Myanmar's military regime has repeatedly 
denied.  Kono said Tokyo was ready to back Myanmar if it continues 
talks with the ILO.  
"Asia's position is slightly different from that of the United States 
and Europe," Kono was quoted as saying.  During the meeting with 
Kono, the Myanmar minister vowed "full cooperation" with the ILO 
mission, the news agency reported.  si/ben  

Myanmar warns overseas workers of political dangers 

YANGON, May 23 (AFP) - Military-controlled Myanmar has started 
courses for workers going overseas, to educate them on foreign 
cultures and how to resist being influenced by alternative political 

Labour Minister General Tin Ngwe initiated the course for workers 
heading for Singapore, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates because 
Myanmar wanted to raise the number of workers travelling overseas, 
the state-run Mirror daily said Tuesday.  "Before leaving the country 
to work abroad it is necessary that you have a full understanding of 
the political situation there so that you may be constantly alert to 
ward off instigations by neo-colonialists and destructionists," the 
minister said.  Tin Ngwe said Myanmar hoped to use the skills gained 
by returning workers to speed up the pace of development. 

The labour ministry has sent some 4,000 workers overseas since 1990 
and plans to increase that number dramatically, the minister said.  

Myanmar attacks U.N. labor agency as tool of imperialists  YANGON, 
Myanmar (AP) _ Myanmar attacked the U.N. labor agency ahead of a 
visit by its officials Tuesday as an unwitting tool of Western powers 
and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.   Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 
Nobel Peace Prize, was denounced in the same commentary in state 
newspapers for her marriage to a ``white-faced foreigner,'' the late 
Michael Aris.   The attack follows actions in March by the 
International Labor Organization to bring Myanmar's military regime 
to book for failing to address criticism of its use of forced labor.  

The New Light of Myanmar, which represents government views, said 
that ILO credibility had been hurt by singling out Myanmar.  It said 
that the organization was being used ``by neo-colonialist Western 
powers and internal traitors ... for their own purpose--to install a 
puppet government in Myanmar.'' 

The denunciation comes four days before the 10th anniversary of 
elections overwhelmingly won by Suu Kyi's party, the National League 
for Democracy.  The military, which has ruled Myanmar, also known as 
Burma, since 1962, never allowed the parliament to meet and has 
refused to hold a dialogue with Suu Kyi.  Though she is the daughter 
of Aung San, hero of Myanmar's

independence from Britain, the regime views Suu Kyi as a traitor for 
having married a Briton and urging international sanctions aimed at 
forcing democratic change.  Aris, an expert on Tibet, died in England 
last year of cancer. The government refused him a visa to see his 
wife a last time before dying, saying the trip could be used for 

The New Light of Myanmar said that the ILO's findings that Myanmar 
used widespread forced labor resulted from ``malicious allegations of 
the anti-government forces and insurgents.''  ``To put political 
pressure and to discredit the Myanmar government and people, the 
general-secretary of the NLD, who is the wife of a white-faced 
foreigner, and Britain sent fabricated reports accusing the 
government of using forced labor.''  The 174-nation ILO's governing 
body was authorized at its annual conference to take any such action 
it deemed necessary to secure Myanmar's compliance with its rules.  
Possible options include recommendations to member countries, unions 
and organizations that they review relations with Myanmar to ensure 
they are not abetting forced labor. 

The move deepened Myanmar's isolation in the organization after being 
condemned in 1998 for using forced labor and from being barred in 
1999 from receiving ILO assistance.  



support  and commitment to Burma's democracy movement, led by Aung 
San Suu Kyi,  recipient of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize.

               Recalling that the National League for Democracy won 
over  80% of the parliamentary seats in the national election in 
Burma on May  27, 1990, evidencing an overwhelming mandate for a 
democratic form of  governance;

               Recalling that the military junta, now known as the 
State  Peace and Development Council, denied the mandate of the 
people by  annulling the election results;

               Noting that the United Nations General Assembly, the 
United  Nations Commission for Human Rights, the International Labor 
Organization,  human rights monitoring organizations, environmental 
organizations,  refugee organizations, landmine organizations and 
public health  organizations have all called for an immediate end to 
the continuing  abuses committed by the military government;

               Noting that the National League for Democracy and 
other  parties who won the 1990 election formed the Committee 
Representing the  Peoples' Parliament in 1998 as an interim measure 
to represent the will of  the people;

               Recognizing that the National League for Democracy 
has  repeatedly called for dialogue to break the political stalemate 
which  further denies the Burmese people an opportunity for 

 We declare our support for a meaningful dialogue among the National 
League for Democracy, ethnic representatives and the State Peace and 
Development  Council, in the interest of peace and reconciliation for 
all the people of  Burma.  Moreover, we urge the international 
community to encourage this  process and help bring a restoration of 
democracy to Burma, as called for  ten years ago by the Burmese 

 Betty Williams (1976)
 Mairead Maguire (1976)
 Adolfo Perez Esquivel (1980)
 Lech Walesa (1983)
 Archbishop Desmond Tutu (1984)
 Elie Wiesel (1986)
 Oscar Arias Sanchez (1987)
 His Holiness the Dalai Lama (1989)
 Rigoberta Menchu Tum (1992)
 Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo (1996)
 Jose Ramos-Horta (1996)
 Jody Williams (1997)


Acronyms and abbreviations regularly used by BurmaNet.

AVA: Ava Newsgroup.  A small, independent newsgroup covering Kachin 
State and northern Burma.

KHRG: Karen Human Rights Group.  A non-governmental organization 
that  conducts interviews and collects information primarily in 
Burma's  Karen State but also covering other border areas.

KNU: Karen National Union.  Ethnic Karen organization that has been 
fighting Burma's central government since 1948.

NLM: New Light of Myanmar, Burma's state newspaper.  The New Light of 
Myanmar is also published in Burmese as Myanmar Alin.

SCMP: South China Morning Post.  A Hong Kong newspaper.

SHAN: Shan Herald Agency for News.  An independent news service  
covering Burma's Shan State.

SHRF: Shan Human Rights Foundation

SPDC: State Peace and Development Council.  The current name the  
military junta has given itself.  Previously, it called itself the  
State Law and Order Restoration Council.


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coverage of news and opinion on Burma  (Myanmar).  

For a subscription to Burma's only free daily newspaper, 
write to: strider@xxxxxxx

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