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

May 29, 2000

Issue # 1540


"The price of a holiday in Burma could literally be someone else's 

Yvette Mahon, Burma Campaign UK  (See BURMA CAMPAIGN  UK/TOURISM 

*Inside Burma

















__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________


YANGON, May 26 (AFP) - 

A delegation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on a 
discreet first-ever visit to Yangon has met with Aung San Suu Kyi and 
high-ranking government officials, government and opposition sources 
said Friday. 

Neither the ILO nor the Myanmar government have commented on the 
mission, but sources told AFP the ILO's three-man delegation met with 
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the Myanmar junta's labour 
minister and other ministerial level officials. 

The ILO mission was expected to discuss with the junta and the 
opposition implementation of ILO recommendations against forced 
labour, alleged to be widely practiced in Myanmar. 
Diplomatic and business sources previously told AFP they expected 
representatives of the junta to take ILO officials to visit several 
jails and factories. 

Though it has not made any official comment, Myanmar's ruling junta 
Wednesday had lashed out at the ILO as an undignified organization 
controlled by big powers. 

The state-controlled newspaper New Light of Myanmar dismissed the ILO 
mission, saying the organisation "had lost its dignity" because it 
has abandoned its "main function of setting down norms for workers' 

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. 

Diplomatic sources had 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. 

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. 

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. 



National League for Democracy
No: (97/B), West Shwegonedine Road
Bahan Township, Rangoon

Statement 74 (5/00) (translation)

Burma, a signatory to the International Declaration of Human Rights 
is violating the provisions of Articles 6,7,9,12, 18,19, 20 in 
arresting and keeping under detention honorable NLD members of 
parliament since 6 September 1998. Right up to date they have not 
been accused of violating any provisions of law. Therefore it must be 
concluded that it is deliberately out of hatred and spite. 

The MPs from Rangoon Division used to be taken back to their homes 
and families fortnightly. 

Without any reason whatsoever, this practice has stopped since the 
month of March this year. This long separation from their families is 
liable to have negative effects on the physical and mental health of 
the individuals. We stress that this is a reminder to the military 
dictators that they will be responsible for any consequences to life 
and limb of the people they are now holding in their custody.  

Central Executive Committee
National League for Democracy

23 May 2000



SPDC troops taxes the opium growers in Northern Shan State 
May 23, 2000

The villagers who grow opium in Namkham township in Northern Shan 
State have  to pay 5,000 kyats per house to local SPDC troops. The 
army backed  anti-insurgence group also has to pay opium tax for the 
SPDC battalion. 

The villagers in Pansae, Minbu, Mansup and Manton villages in Namkham 
were  forced to pay 5,000 kyats per house for growing opium as tax to 
Kukhai based  LIB 242. The Pansae Anti-insurgence group (Tha-pha-sa-
Ka) also has to pay  seven million kyats to get permission to grow 

During last year, the villagers in the region were told by SPDC 
commanders  that they would allow growing opium for next three years. 
The opium was  produced from the field during March and April of 
2000. The next opium  cultivation will be started from October. 
According to the sources from Shan  State one viss of newly produced 
opium costs 150,000 kyats where the old  opium costs about 200,000 
kyats in Shan State.

Note: One viss is approximately 1.5 Kg.



   BANGKOK, May 29 (AFP) - The supreme leader of Myanmar's secretive 
military junta Senior General Than Shwe has been forced to postpone a 
rare foreign visit, his government confirmed Monday, after suffering 
a "sudden illness."    Bangladesh's top diplomat, C.M. Shafi Sami, 
said Sunday in Dhaka the change of plan was due to Than 
Shwe's "sudden illness," adding he had been "advised by his 
physicians to take a complete rest."

   A Yangon government spokesman Monday confirmed Than Shwe's visit 
had been postponed "due to the medical recommendation given by his 
physician."    Than Shwe, who is military commander in chief, prime 
minister and defence minister, would have been the first top leader 
from Myanmar to visit since Bangladesh won independence from Pakistan 
in 1971.

   Myanmar was among the first countries to recognise the new 
state.    Myanmar and Bangladesh had planned to discuss issues 
include the demarcation of a sea boundary, opening road and shipping 
links, expanding bilateral trade and combating armed groups operating 
on their common border.    Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abdus Samad 
Azad had said: "This visit is very important from different sides."

   The military has been in control of Myanmar, formerly known as 
Burma, in various guises since 1962.

   It is accused of a host of human rights violations including 
forced labor, torture and restrictions on the press and on freedom of 
movement.    Myanmar junta chief Senior General Than Shwe's visit to 
Bangladesh had been designed to highlight Yangon's growing ties with 
Dhaka, part of a policy of "constructive engagement" by Bangladesh.

   Ties between the neigboring states have improved as Myanmar has in 
recent years repatriated the majority of the 250,000 Rohyngya Muslims 
in Myanmar back to Bangladesh.

   More than 20,000 of the Muslims still live in Myanmar refugee 
camps, however, and the Rohyngya situation continues to be monitored 
by both countries and international non-governmental 
organizations.    Dhaka leaders have argued they see no contradiction 
between Bangladesh's ties with Yangon and their support for the pro-
democracy campaign in Myanmar, saying it is necessary to retain good 
relations with neighbors.    But Myanmar's dissident groups Monday 
said in a statement they were "disheartened" that Bangladesh, a 
country "who loves democracy," had invited Than Shwe, "who does not 
represent the Myanmar people."

   "We hope that you recall how Bangladeshi people suffered miseries 
under the tyrannical rule of Pakistani military dictators," they 
said.    "Have sympathy for the Myanmar people who are suffering."    
Myanmar is the only country apart from India to border Bangladesh.    
Both states are members of new regional grouping BIMSTEC -- Economic 
Cooperation among Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and 



 May 26, 2000.

AFTER 38 years of military rule, will Burma ever see the dawn of 
democracy without another round of bloodshed? Despite continuing 
optimism from key pro-democracy Burmese dissidents, the answers from 
most political observers, diplomats and even ethnic Burmese 
guerrillas are sadly negative.  

Since the current junta's bloody coup in 1988, which suppressed 
massive pro-democracy protests and, ironically, took power from a 
military predecessor, every domestic and international effort to make 
a peaceful transition to democracy has hit an iron wall.  

The ruling generals - who initially banded together under the State 
Law and Order Restoration Council, later renamed the State Peace and 
Development Council (SPDC) - have been defiant. The regime has 
rejected sensible arguments that Burma cannot expect to attain 
international recognition without democratic reforms and respect for 
human rights. Instead, the junta has embarked on a series of 
political and economic campaigns which are aimed only at prolonging 
its own existence.  

The junta organised, exactly 10 years ago today, a multi-party 
general election. The stunning victory of the popular National League 
for Democracy (NLD) over the military's preferred party came as a 
shock and the regime promptly restricted the newly elected MPs to the 
mere task of writing the country's new Constitution. The drafting, 
which began in early 1993, has become a foot-dragging process with no 
end in sight.  

The NLD's repeated calls for dialogue to end the country's political 
turmoil have fallen on deaf ears. The SPDC adamantly rejects the 
legitimacy given to the party by the 45 million Burmese people. 
Instead, the military regime has arrested, tortured, and imprisoned 
thousands of NLD MPs, leaders, members and supporters across Burma 
and, in many cases, forced them to resign from the party in exchange 
for their freedom. 
While refusing to talk with the NLD, the regime, again ironically, 
held talks with over a dozen armed ethnic groups, several of which 
have thrived on the narcotics trade. 
The general public has not been free from the regime's harassment and 
its policy mismanagement. Potential dissidents are quickly harassed 
or arrested. Young men and women are rounded up for forced labour on 
the battlefield. The young are denied proper education because higher 
learning institutionsremain closed as hotbeds for student uprisings. 
Monks and religious centres have been placed under close watch as 
they too can revolt. Economic programmes haven't truly benefited the 
grassroots, and foreign capital and income usually go to support the 
regime's plan to strengthen its military might.  

In border areas, ethnic populations have been uprooted. With their 
homes and farmlands destroyed, villagers have no choice but to take 
flight either into the jungle or across the border to Burma's 
neighbouring states. Those less fortunate are relocated to tightly 
watched areas under the control of the Burmese Army.  

Despite all the misery it has created, the SPDC remains unshaken, 
banking on the false hope that its intransigence and resistance to 
international sanctions will outlast political pressure from domestic 
democratic forces and the global community, and that over time the 
world will give up on Burma.  

In recent public statements, top NLD leaders including Nobel Peace 
Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi remain optimistic for a peaceful 
transition to democracy and urge the international community to 
pressure the SPDC to open a political dialogue. But several political 
observers, including an Asian diplomat who once served in Rangoon, 
said they see no sign of hope that Burma will attain democracy 
without another popular revolt.  

"Ahimsa [non-violence] works only in civilised nations," said the 
diplomat. "Burma isn't such a case. Everything is so static and 
peaceful means have proven fruitless all these years. What is likely 
to force change is a revolution."  

In his view, every aspect of Burma - political, economic and social - 
has been a "regression" in the past decade. There has been no freedom 
in whatever form and people, including intellectuals, have been 
placed under tight watch and control. Social and economic conditions 
have also gone downhill to near crisis. At the same time, the 
international community - pro-sanction or pro-engagement - is not 
united in a common voice and strategy to force the regime to give 

Several senior Thai officials and Western Burma watchers shared the 
same assessment of Burma's latest situation. According to them, the 
country is on the verge of crisis and another major popular revolt 
might be in the making.  

One noted that a trigger factor could be the food crisis. The SPDC's 
current agricultural policy, in which farmers are taxed on the basis 
of their acreage and not their harvests, constitutes bad government 
policy and incompetent management.
"Things have to change in Burma, but the only thing that could effect 
significant change in Burma is food production - a severe rice 
shortage, especially in the cities," said the observer.  

Several international economists and political activists are warning 
of a potential food crisis in Burma as a result of bad government 
policies, mismanagement and the SPDC's severe political repression. 
The popular uprising of 1988 was partly the result of the country's 
worsening economy, and the people's loss of patience with the 
regime's poor policies and mishandling of the country's resources.  

Radical Burmese and ethnic groups such as God's Army and the militant 
Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors, which seized a Thai hospital in 
January until all the captors were killed by Thai forces, have in 
recent years become disillusioned with peaceful struggle. They vow to 
use whatever force is available to end the regime and its brutality.  

With popular discontent surging, the possibility of a confrontation 
is also growing as the regime has not yet shown any sign of 

"The regime is hanging on the back of a tiger," noted one 
observer. "They are worried that if they loosen up, they will lose 
their grip and have no way to go." At the same time, "people power 
works only when the government is not prepared to be ruthless, but 
this Burmese regime is different," he added. "It is prepared to use 
total force." 



Dhaka, May 29, 2000
Mizzima News Group

One soldier died and three injured in a mob attack in Sittwe, capital 
of Arakan State of Burma last week. On 22nd this month, about 30 
people from Ohntapin Quarter in Sittwe town surrounded and attacked 
four Burmese soldiers who physically molested a girl of the same 
colony. Around 10:00 p.m. on that day, the four soldiers from Burma 
Army (Infantry Battalion No. 20) molested the girl, a resident of 
House No. 2.

Alarmed and outraged, people from the same colony surrounded the 
house and attacked the soldiers. As a result, one soldier died and 
the other three got injured but escaped.

At 12:00 o'clock the same night, about 40 soldiers arrived the colony 
and arrested one person from each house in the colony. More than 100 
residents were tortured and interrogated by the soldiers to reveal 
the names of attackers.

__________________ INTERNATIONAL __________________


The full list of regime members and those associated with the regime 
who are subject to the European Union's visa ban are appended to this 

The Regulation banning them is published in the EU Official Journal 
on 24 May. The visa ban clearly applies to the family members of 
those banned ( see Article 1 (b) (i) of the Common Position).  While 
family members are not identified by name, EU Visa Officers are 
authorised to refuse them and are under instructions to check every 
case where it seems likely that the application may be from the 
family of a banned person. 

The assets freeze also applies to the family members of banned 
persons.  Enforcement of this provision is likely to be fairly 
effective because financial institutions have little inclination to 
flout EU law on behalf of the regime.



 May 27, 2000, Saturday

By Paul Miles and Rosemary Behan

A charity that promotes sustainable tourism is calling for the public 
to  boycott the publisher Lonely Planet because it has issued a new 
guide to Burma.

Tourism Concern says that visits by foreigners to Burma lead directly 
to  human rights abuses. Local people are forced to labour on tourism 
projects and resettled to make way  for them, and revenue from hotels 
goes directly to the pockets of the country's military dictators, it  

As well as dumping hundreds of Lonely Planet guides on the company's  
doorstep, the charity has
produced a postcard depicting a beach scene with the word Burma 
across it,  reading: "The cost of a holiday to Burma could be 
someone's life." It says it will send "thousands"  of the cards to 
Lonely Planet "until the Burma guide is withdrawn".

Lara Marsh, a spokeswoman for the London-based charity, 
said: "Lonely  Planet hopes that its new Burma guide will double 
previous sales figures. This means more people will  visit Burma - 
providing further fuel for abuses of Burma's people." Tourism Concern 
is organising  the campaign in conjunction with a pro-democracy 
pressure group called The Burma Campaign UK. 
Lonely Planet, which has been publishing guides to Burma since 1979, 
and  sells 12,000 copies a year worldwide, acknowledges that human 
rights abuses are committed under the  military dictatorship, which 
seized power in 1988. "We are extremely clear about human rights 
atrocities  and we say that if you do go and stay in big hotels [in 
Burma] then people are supporting an  oppressive regime," Jennifer 
Cox, a spokeswoman, said. "We know people will go to Burma whether we 
produce a  guidebook or not." 

Ms Cox said she hoped the campaign would highlight the government  
atrocities in Burma. "We're giving people as much information as we 
can and that's the responsible thing to  do. There are human rights 
abuses in many countries across the world, but we don't stop them by  
stopping people going there." She added that Lonely Planet last week 
donated pounds 4,600 to the Burma Relief  Centre, which supports 
refugees on the Burmese border.

Tour operators maintain that some of the money brought by tourists to 
Burma  does reach local people and that a boycott would be counter-
productive. A spokesman for Andrew  Brock Travel, which has been 
taking tourists to Burma for 18 years, said: "If we care about 
forced  labour we should also care about forced unemployment."

Sue Ockwell, spokeswoman for the Association of Independent Tour 
Operators,  said Tourism Concern had adopted "a totalitarian 



May 28, 2000

The Burmese Government said the West was interfering.

By Clare Doole in Geneva 

Burma's widespread use of forced labour has come under unprecedented 
criticism from the United Nations.   More than 80,000 people in Burma 
are press-ganged into work by the military authorities, according to 
estimates by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), which is 
part of the UN.  

The organisation has lost patience with Burma. For several years it 
has called on Rangoon to stop violating workers' rights, but without 
success.   The ILO's governing body on Tuesday called for all 
necessary action against Burma.  

US and European Union representatives said Rangoon had wilfully 
ignored and shown its utter contempt for human rights standards.   
Most of the Burmese, they said, were exploited by the military 
authorities, who conscripted hundreds of thousands of them to work 
with little or no pay as porters or building labourers.   Burma's 
spokesman said the allegations were unfounded and deplored Western 
interference in its internal affairs.  

International pressure 

It is now up to the ILO annual conference in June to decide what 
measures to take.  
These could include recommendations to governments, unions, 
employers' associations and international organisations to review 
their relations with Burma.   If agreed, this would increase Burma's 
international isolation.   The ILO feels it has already done as much 
as it can to persuade Rangoon to comply with its rules. It has barred 
Burma from all its activities and stopped financial aid.   This 
latest move amounts to a final attempt to put international pressure 
on the country to come into line with global labour standards.  



 FRANCE: May 26, 2000

 PARIS - The head of TotalFinaElf faced a two-hour barrage of 
criticism on Thursday for the Belgo-French oil giant's handling of an 
oil spill off France's Atlantic coast and its investments in Myanmar, 
formerly Burma.

 Total Chief Executive Thierry Desmarest was accused by participants 
at the company's annual shareholders' meeting, including two Belgian 
members of parliament, of indirectly supporting the military junta in 
Myanmar through its oil investments in the country.

 And shareholders from organisations trying to tackle the 
environmental and economic damage caused by the oil spill from the 
shipwrecked tanker Erika accused Total of not assuming sufficient 
responsibility for the impact on the Atlantic coast, which is highly 
dependent on tourism and fishing.

 Asked how he responded to a call by Myanmar opposition leader Aung 
San Suu Kyi for Total to leave Myanmar, condemned by the West for 
human rights abuses, Desmarest said the oil company did not want to 
interfere in the country's internal politics and had no intention of 
 out of a region where it had made significant investments. 

 Turning to Erika, Desmarest said Total was not legally responsible 
for repairing the damages caused by the oil spill, which six months 
after the shipwreck, continues to sully hundreds of kilometres of 
once pristine beaches. 

 He said Total, which made a net profit of $3 billion last year,
 had raised its contribution to the clean-up effort to 850 million 
French francs ($116.5 million) from 750 million, after the companies 
contracted to pump out the 12,000-15,000 tonnes of heavy fuel still 
in the Erika's hull upped their costs.

 He said Total still did not have enough information to judge if 
there was a serious risk of more pollution from numerous pockets of 
oil which local activists said were floating two kilometres from the 

 The Total CEO was supported by an increasingly large and vociferous 
group of minority shareholders, who tried to drown out questions 
about Myanmar and Erika. "We don't give a damn, we're shareholders," 
shouted one repeatedly. 

 Whether Total has a legal responsibility to compensate victims of 
the oil spill has yet to be determined.   The company repeated 
earlier this week it would send a court official to analyse samples 
of the fuel in the ship's hull.

 Total says Erika was carrying "No. 2 fuel", a by-product from 
refining which can be used to fire power stations. Environmentalists 
allege the stricken Maltese-registered vessel was carrying industrial 
waste, which is illegal. 
Story by Gillian Handyside



Friday 26 May 

  On Friday 26 May The Burma Campaign UK (TBC) and Tourism Concern 
(TC) will launch a new arm of their existing campaign opposing 
tourism to Burma. The campaign groups are calling for a boycott of 
all Lonely Planet publications (LP) until the company withdraws its 
Burma guide from the market (new edition Jan 2000). TBC and TC 
representatives, and members of the Burmese community will mark the 
launch by dumping hundreds of unwanted LP guides on the company's 

  There are remarkably few areas in the world where human rights are 
fully respected. There are also few occasions when the nature of the 
suppression of human rights is such that the exclusion of tourists 
from the country is justified. However Burma provides a rare but 
clear example:  

   The development of tourism in Burma is directly linked to well 
documented mass human rights abuses. There are approximately eight 
million men, women and children as young as eight years old in forced 
labour each year in Burma. The United Nation's International Labour 
Organisation (ILO) reports that "the military treat the civilian 
population as an unlimited pool of forced labourers and servants at 
their disposal. The practice of forced labour is to encourage private 
investment in infrastructure development, public sector works and 
tourism projects"  
Income generated through tourism helps to sustain one of the most 
brutal military regimes in the world. On the other hand tourism 
benefits only a tiny percentage of Burma's 48 million people; eighty 
percent live in rural areas and their primary means of income is 

 Burma's elected leaders - the only authority with a mandate to speak 
for the people - have pleaded for all tourists and the tourism 
industry to avoid Burma whilst it remains a dictatorship.  

  Why boycott Lonely Planet? 

  For the reasons outlined above LP's promotion of tourism to Burma 
is entirely inappropriate at this time. This view is compounded by 
the ill-informed account of the ethical debate concerning tourism to 
Burma contained within the new edition of the guide, and the decision 
to play down the severity of continuing human rights abuses in the 
country: For example:  
  LP makes the claim that forced labour in Burma "appears to be on 
the wane" (page 27). A 1998 United States Department of Labor report 
states that: "the absence of the rule of law in Burma also means 
international labor standards are not protectedèThe Burmese people 
are subjected to forced labor and child labor appears to be 
increasing. We collected and reviewed a great deal of information 
from a wide and diverse range of sources but I believe the 
government's refusal of access speaks volumes in itself." The United 
Nation's International Labour Organisation (ILO) who have accused 
Burma of a "crime against humanity" for their widespread and 
systematic use of forced labour, also have no evidence in their 
September 1999 report of any such wane in the practice of this abuse. 
Lonely Planet has a clear responsibility to provide the most current 
sources to back-up their claims.  

   LP refers to Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's pro-democracy leader 
inaccurately as the former, rather than the current General Secretary 
of the party that won the 1990 democratic elections, the National 
League for Democracy (NLD) (page 2).  
 LP's claim that there are divisions between the NLD and the Burmese 
Government in exile (the National Coalition Government of the Union 
of Burma) over tourism (page 2) is founded on inadequate research. 
The NLD and the NCGUB are categorically opposed to any form of 
tourism, including independent travel, to Burma at the current time. 
There is no difference of opinion on this matter.  
The boycott 

  All publishers who produce Burma guides have received written 
requests from TBC and TC to withdraw their guides from the market. 
The campaign groups hope LP, as the market leader, will provide an 
example to the others by taking action to withdraw their guide. 
Through a boycott of all LP publications - with the aim of negating 
expected income from sales of the company's Burma guide in the UK - 
TBC and TC aim to encourage the company to take this action.  

  Aung San Suu Kyi speaking in January 1999 said: "Guide book writers 
should listen to their consciences and be honest about their 
motivations. Profit is clearly their agenda. It's not good enough to 
suggest that by visiting Burma tourists will understand more. If 
tourists really wanted to find out what's happening in Burma - it's 
better if they stay at home and read some of the many human rights 
reports there are."  

  Rough Guides publications recently issued a statement explaining 
its own decision not to produce a guide to Burma in the current 
climate. This states, in part: "As long as the military regime 
remains in power and Aung San Suu Kyi - leader of the democratically 
elected National League for Democracy - requests that tourists do not 
visit, Rough Guides will not publish a guide to the country."
  Yvette Mahon, a Director of The Burma Campaign said: "Because of 
the scale of human rights abuses linked to tourism and the financial 
benefit to the regime, the high cost of tourism for the vast majority 
of ordinary Burmese, dramatically outweighs any benefits. The price 
of a holiday in Burma could literally be someone else's life. Lonely 
Planet has clearly stated that "it is essential to respect the wishes 
of the genuine representatives of the people of Myanmar". If they 
stand by that statement then they must withdraw their Burma guide 
  Patricia Barnett, Director of Tourism Concern said: "Whether we 
like it or not there are often ethical decisions to be made when we 
think about going travelling. They may not be comfortable but by 
turning a blind eye we can enable human rights abuses to be 
perpetuated. Whether we intend to go to Burma or not, we can all play 
a part in supporting those who campaign for justice in that country, 
by rejecting Lonely Planet's promotion of tourism to Burma through 
boycotting their books."  

  For further information contact: 

  Yvette Mahon or John Jackson, The Burma Campaign UK: 020 7281 7377
(w) or 07957 301 346(m)    Patricia Barnett, Tourism Concern: 020 
7753 3330(w) or 020 7272 1749 (h)  


_____________________ OTHER  ______________________


>From Our Correspondent: What to Do About Myanmar -- Nuke 'Em  
It's the Only Language them Burmese Understand

Asiaweek - May 26, 2000 

See, this guy, Bill, he invites me over to his place. I mean, like, I 
don't really like the guy, especially since he became mayor -- tall, 
red-nosed shyster who thinks he's the neighborhood's savior, though 
you'd never trust him with your daughter let alone your wife. But, 
you know, he's in the Westside Club too and, well, we gotta stick 
together and support each other even when some of us act pretty high-
handed and, well, you know, plain dumb -- which is way too often, 
especially since we got infiltrated with all these out-of-towners 
with their weird notions about gun control, vegetarianism and do-unto-
others-as-you-would-be-done-unto malarky. Anyways, Bill was throwing 
a real red-meat barbeque on the back lawn so I figured I'd mosy over, 
have a coupla beers, a few pork chops, some franks, and maybe we'd 
finish off our chinwag about the efficacy of Hegel's 'Inconsistency 
Principle' in modern politics. That always gets the holier-than-thou 
bozos going and separates the men with cojones from the hot-air 

Anyways, since I know the way these Westside clubbers eat -- like 
obesity is beautiful and moderation is for wimps -- I made sure I got 
over there real early. Bill pulls me a cold Budweiser, tosses me some 
pretzels, and then goes off to bake up a mess of potatoes. I ambled 
out back to check on the brazier and just, you know, relax till the 
gang rolls in. Now, okay, so Bill's place is in this pretty 
spooky 'hood which he promised to clean up in his election campaign --
 I mean, there's no freeway access, the street lights are all out, 
you never see no cops walking around, and the people dress like 
they've never heard of of Nikko or Tommy Hilfiger or Rayban; but even 
so, and making allowances, I was just gobsmacked by what I saw and 
heard out there.  

First off, over Bill's left-side fence, I hear this, like, repetitive 
muttering, moaning sound. I went and peeked over the fence and almost 
dropped my Bud. There was this young girl, very skinny, foreign-
looking, you know, oriental sorta face, walking aimlessly round and 
round the backyard, muttering to herself. But, get this, she was, 
like, shackled -- I mean, like there was a rope that came out from 
under the back door and was tied to one of her ankles. She only had 
that small backyard to move around in. Heck, it was just plain 
pitiful. She was muttering away to herself like she was in some kinda 
dream and she didn't even seem to notice or hear me when I called out 
to her. I was figuring what to do to help her when I suddenly jumped 
on hearing this awful shriek from way back over the back fence.  

Jeez, it cut right through me. I ran across the lawn to have a decko 
and this time I was so goddam shocked I spilt my beer down my pants. 
I mean, it was, like, unbelievable, there was this young boy who was 
tied to a stake, but like he had no room to move. He was a black kid, 
from Africa or Asia maybe, and the kid was half-naked and he had 
these bruises on him. More like welts really. My God, it would break 
your heart. Heck, I was right on the verge of leaping over that 
goddam fence and setting him free there and then when suddenly I hear 
these thwack-thwack-like noises coming from behind my right shoulder, 
from over the fence on the other side of Bill's back lawn -- which, I 
have to say, he keeps very nicely mown with a perfectly manicured 
border. He's like that, real home-and-garden proud is Bill, I'll say 
that for him. Anyways, I dash over and there's these three kids in 
this, like, cage. Yeh, I mean, like they were animals in a zoo or 
something. And this fella, their father I assume, he was just going 
back into the house -- carrying a whip! No, like I mean it. I'm not 
lying. He'd been whipping these young kids who were kept in this 
cage. I mean, they were crying and there was these bruises all over 
them. I was just beside myself with rage. I mean, it was like I'd 
stepped into some kinda nightmare or maybe one of those Stephen King 
horror movies -- 'cept this was real.  

Just then I hear Bill come out and he says to me in this real casual 
way: "Sonny boy, how's it going? 'Nuther Bud? Hey, you look kinda 
spooked, what's up?" Spooked? That ain't the word, I says. It's just 
unbelievable, incredible -- horrible. And I tell him what's going on 
over his fences on all sides. He listens kinda nonchalantly until I 
get to tell him about the girl with the rope tied to her ankle. She 
was really the one who looked less serious, but when he hears this, 
Bill just goes completely bonkers. I mean, like a gun has gone off in 
his pants or something. "Is that goddam Burmese bastard tying her up 
again?" He rises up and that big schnozzola starts twitching like it 
done during the campaign when the other guy accused him of being soft 
on the mafia and them other neighborhood Godfathers. "That's it, when 
Rob and the resta the guys get here we'll go round there to Chez 
Myanmar -- that's what he calls his place -- and kick ass. We'll 
really wop the guy this time. I mean, we've already kicked him and 
the resta those Burmese round here outta the club. He can't go to the 
supermarket, he even can't use his car after what we done. But he 
just never learns. Jeez, I hate that guy. What he's doing, that's the 
most brutal thing I've ever seen. It's a threat to the security of 
the country -- no, to the whole goddam universe."  

Well, a bit over the top, but still I was happy to hear this. And I 
hoped Bill was going to insist that we mete out the same punishment 
(or even worse) to those other brutes who were actually mistreating --
 torturing, in fact -- their kids even more. I told him this and I 
urged him to call the police right now and not wait for the other 
guys to get here. Then he could tell the cops about his other 
neighbors who was also abusing their kids and we could get them all 
locked up and maybe treated to the same kind of music -- I'd 
certainly volunteer to do that. But then I was taken aback, to put it 
mildly by Bill's reaction. "Ah, never mind them," he says. "Over the 
back fence there, there's a very nice Chinese couple -- they do a 
great dim- sum on Sundays. And anyway, we don't want to beat up on 
them, it only makes 'em worse. Besides, I do a lot of business with 
them, you know, they are the council's single biggest customer, so, 
you know. Gotta be careful of our own turf, eh? Now lemme fix you a 
beer before I get the baseball bats to deal with that Burmese runt."  
Hey, like this really upset me, being so kind and chummy to the 
Chinese over the back who was beating up on their folk, and anyways, 
what about the guys over the other fence what had their kids in a 
cage and was beating up on them with a whip? What about that, eh, 
Bill? Again, Bill shocked me when I pressed him about this. "Nah," he 
says. "Just ignore them. They're a funny lot that couple over there. 
He's Vietnamese, she's from Laos. That caging and whippin' and like, 
that's just how they behave, it's like natural for them. Fact, is I 
kinda like them now. We had problems before and I tried arguing with 
them, but it don't work. Best thing is to be real nice to them. In 
fact, we should invite them over to join in the barbecue, they're not 
so well off so we can let them have some of the leftover franks and 
potatoes, share with them. Then maybe we can sorta slip in a few 
words telling them that maybe they shouldn't be beating up on their 
kinfolk so badly. Just very carefully so we don't upset their 

Hang on, I says, you're going to beat up on the Burmese guy -- and 
quite right too, what he's doing is totally despicable; but you're 
gonna do nothing about the Chinese, Lao and Vietnamese thugs, even 
though, if anything, they're doing worse things? I don't get it. I 
mean, you even want to invite them over and be real chummy with them? 
What is this? That's when Bill -- and his lady friend Maddy, who 
finally surfaced then and waddled out, they really set me right about 
all this and for that I have to be real grateful. They explained to 
me how these Chinese guys, like, they have a lot of problems with 
maintaining harmony in their household. I mean, for starters they're 
a Godless bunch, so that doesn't help the situation. And, so, well, 
natch, they need to be, like, ruthless, if not totally brutal, in 
chastising their kinfolk and their kids to stop them getting outta 

If they didn't, Bill explained, their entire household might break 
up, there'd be social disorder in the 'hood and we'd all suffer -- 
the business first off, and let's not downplay that, that's what 
keeps us in Buds and ribeyes. And as they explained, if you try to, 
like, act tough with these guys and suggest that maybe allowing a bit 
of freedom might actually foster better tranquillity and family 
relations they just go wild. I mean, you just can't reason with them. 
They, like, accuse you of interfering and tell you to just butt out, 
and all round it just makes them get tougher on their kids so it's 
plain self-defeating. Much better to engage these folk, do business 
with them, invite them over, and go round to their place and party 
with them. They like that. You just have to turn a blind eye to the 
black sheep of the family who are caged up in the corner and have had 
most of their teeth kicked out. In fact, Maddy fetched me some fliers 
she'd got from the municipality showing that this was the right way 
to go. These leaflets that have been very carefully thought out by 
experts that Maddy knows, they all say that in dealing with any 
brutes who beat up on their family that the best treatment is 
engagement. Even the prez, no less, says of these kinds of 
people: "We think it makes more sense to engage with them rather than 
ignore them." Right on. Apparently he even said this about them North 
Korean serial killers who was terrorizing the bay area and firing 
rockets for God's sake. So that's what we have to do with the 
Chinese. It's the right way to go.  

Likewise those weird Indochinese folk over the other fence, they have 
these smart-alecky kids who seem to think they don't have to obey 
their parents. I mean, can you imagine? The parents've got some 
friends from the same street who try to help them teach their young 
kids about filial piety but that approach hasn't worked. Their kids 
still act rambunctious and want to be free to speak their own minds. 
So they've got no choice but to smack them down, put 'em outside in 
the cold in a cage and just give them a bit of bread and a good 
thwack with a billy stick now and again or maybe drag 'em around by 
the hair once in a while. Bill explained that this was fine and 
dandy 'cos if, like, they grew up to be students who wanted to speak 
out and, you know, like even criticize their parents, what the heck 
would happen then? They might even get the idea of taking over 
running the house themselves and kicking their folks out. They might 
want to start putting posters up saying life is better that way. They 
might stop doing business with us, for God's sake. It was just 
unimaginable what they might get up to. As well, said Bill, all those 
neighbors were pretty buddy buddy -- and very touchy about criticism, 
especially from guys like us. So they might gang up together and then 
what, eh? So all told it was best just to humor them, build up 
business with them, keep inviting them over for a supper now and 
again, feel happy to go over there to chew the fat and check out 
their lovely souvenirs from home. I mean, there's a limit to what 
anyone can do. And he's right.  

But that doesn't mean Bill isn't really really peeved about that damn 
Burmese brute over the other side. I mean, that's something 
different. That's an exception. And at some point you gotta make a 
stand to show, you know, you're a real ethical kinda guy who believes 
in standing up for what's right. That's why we're going to show this 
town just where our social responsibility lays and get some real 
tough action taken against that guy, that disgrace to humanity. I 
mean, does he think we're going to be chummy chummy with him like we 
are with the other guys who are behaving just as badly? I mean, just 
cos he's Burmese he thinks we are gonna treat him like we do the 
Chinese and them other intolerant thugs? No way, Josh We has to be 
consistent. It's only ethical. Like, two wrongs don't make a right 
and we only have time to focus on one at a time. That's why we have 
to be totally chummy with these Chinese, Vietnamese, North Koreans 
and them others, the Bruneians, Laotians and so on. It's only right. 
But those Burmese, yeh, Bill's right, string 'em up, it's the only 
language they understand. Better yet, if they really are a threat to 
our national security as the prez says, then I says: let's nuke 'em. 
Yeh, that'll really show 'em. Let's nuke 'em into the ice-age. "Hey, 
Bill, gimme another Bud, willya. I'm feelin' better already."  



Published by EU 24 May, 2000 

1. State Peace and Development Council (SPDC):

Commander-in-Chief Gen. Than Shwe	Chairman, also Prime Minister 
and Minister of 					
Lt.gen. Maung Aye				Vice-chairman
Lt.gen. Khin Nyunt				Secretary 1
Lt.gen. Tin Oo				Secretary 2
Lt.gen. Win Myint				Secretary 3
Rear Admiral Nyunt Thein			Commander-in-Chief of 
the Navy 
Brig.gen. Kyaw Than				Commander-in-Chief of 
the Air Force 
Maj.gen. Aung Htwe				Commander of Western 
Military Command 
Maj.gen. Ye Myint				Commander of Central 
Military Command 
Maj.gen. Khin Maung Than			Commander of Yangon 
Military Command 
Maj.gen. Kyaw Win				Commander of Northern 
Military Command 
Maj.gen. Thein Sein				Commander of Triangle 
Area Military Command 
Gen.maj. Thura Thiha Sit Maung		Commander of Coastal Area 
Military Command
 Brig.gen. Thura Shwe Mann			Commander of 
Southwest Military Command 
Brig.gen. Myint Aung			Commander of Southeast 
Military Command 
Brig.gen. Maung Bo				Commander of Eastern 
Military Command 
Brig.gen. Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo	Commander of Northeast 
Military Command
Brig.gen. Soe Win				Commander of 
Northwest Military Command Brig.gen. Tin Aye			
	Commander of Southern Military Command 

2. Former members of SLORC (Advisory Group):

Lt.gen. Phone Myint
Lt.gen Aung Ye Kyaw
Lt.gen. Sein Aung
Lt.gen. Chit Swe
Lt.gen. Mya Thin
Lt.gen. Kyaw Ba
Lt.gen. Tun Kyi
Lt.gen. Myo Nyunt
Lt.gen. Maung Thint
Lt.gen. Aye Thoung
Lt.gen Kyaw Min
Lt.gen. Maung Hla
Maj.gen. Soe Myint
Lt.gen. Myint Aung

3. Deputy Regional Commanders:

Brig.gen. Aung Thein (West)
Col. Nay Win (Centre)
Col. Hsan Hsint (Rangoon)
Col. Myint Swe (Triangle)
Brig.gen. Tin Latt (Coast)
Col. Tint Swe (Southwest)
Brig.gen. Aung Thein (Southeast)
Brig.gen. Myint Thein (East)
Brig.gen. San Thein (Northeast)
Brig.gen. Soe Myint (Northwest)
Brig.gen. Thura Maung Nyi (South)

4. Other Commanders States and Divisions:

Col. Thein Kyaing				Magwe Division
Col. Aung Thwin				Chin State
Col. Saw Khin Soe				Karen State
Col. Kyaw Win				Kayah State

5. Former high-ranking members of the military:

Col. Thein Lwin 				Former Regional 
Col. Aye Myint Kyu				Former Deputy 
Regional Commander 
Brig.gen Pyay Sone				Former Regional 

6. Ministers:

Rear Adm. Maung Maung Khin		Deputy Prime Minister
Lt.gen. Tin Tun				Deputy Prime Minister
Lt.gen. Tin Hla				Deputy Prime Minister and 
Minister of Military Affairs
Gen.maj. Nyunt Tin				Minister of 
Agriculture and Irrigation 
U Aung Thaung				Minister of Industry 1
Gen.maj. Hla Myint Swe			Minister of Transport 
U Win Aung					Minister of Foreign 
U Soe Tha					Minister of National 
Planning and Economic 					
Vice.adm. Tin Aye				Minister of Labour
U Aung San					Minister of 
U Pan Aung 					Minister of Rail 
Brig.gen. Lun Thi				Minister of Energy
U Than Aung					Minister of Education
Gen.maj. Ket Sein				Minister of Health
Brig.gen. Pyi Zon (Sone)			Minister of Trade
Gen.maj. Saw Lwin				Minister of Hotels 
and Tourism 
Brig.gen. Win Tin				Minister of 
Communications, Post and Telecommunications
U Khin Maung Thein				Minister of Finance 
and Revenue 
U Aung Khin					Minister of Religious 
Gen.maj. Saw Tun				Minister of 
U Thaung					Minister of Science 
and Technology 
U Win Sein					Minister of Culture
U Saw Tun					Minister of 
Immigration and Population 
Gen.maj. Kyi Aung				Minister of 
Col. Thein Nyunt				Minister of Progress 
of Border Areas and National Races and Development Affairs
Gen.maj. Tin Htut				Minister of Electric 
Brig.gen. Thura Aye Myint 			Minister of Sport
 U Aung Phone				Minister of Forestry
Col. Tin Hlaing				Minister of Home Affairs 
Brig.gen. Ohn Myint				Minister of Mines
Gen.maj. Sein Htwa				Minister of Social 
Welfare, Relief and Resettlement
Brig.gen. Maung Maung Thein		Minister of Livestock 
Breeding and Fisheries 
Lt.gen. Min Thein				Minister in Office of 
Chairman of SPDC 
Brig.gen. Lun Maung				Minister in Office of 
Prime Minister 
Gen.maj. Tin Ngwe				Minister in Office of 
Prime Minister 
Brig.gen. David Abel				Minister in Office of 
Chairman of SPDC 
Gen.maj. Saw Lwin				Minister of Industry 

7. Officials at Ministry of Hotels and Tourism:

Brig.gen. Aye Myint Kyu			Deputy Minister of Hotels and 
U Aung (Ohn) Myint				Ministry of Hotels 
and Tourism 
Lt.col. Khin Maung Latt			Dir.gen., Ministry of Hotels 
and Tourism 
U Naing Bwa					Deputy Dir.gen. 
Ministry of Hotels and Tourism 

8. Other high-ranking officials of Ministry of Defense:

Com. Kyi Min					Navy Chief
Brig.gen. Myint Swe				Air Force Chief
Maj.gen. Thein Soe				
Brig.gen. Thein Soe				
Brig.gen. Lun Maung
Brig.gen. Khin Aung Myint
Brig.gen. Win Hlaing
Col. Than Htay
Brig.gen. Khi Win
Brig.gen. Aung Myint
Brig.gen. Chit Than
Brig.gen. Khin Maung Win
Col. Saw Hla
Brig.gen. Aung Kyi
Brig.gen. Maung Nyo
Brig.gen. Kyaw Win
Col. Khin Maug Sann

9. Members of Directorate of Defense Services Intelligence (DDSI): 
Brig.gen. Kyaw Win 				Deputy Director
Lt.col. Sann Pwint				
Lt.col. Maung Than
Lt.col. Tin Hla
Lt.col. Nyan Lin
Lt.col. Myint Aung Kyaw
Lt.col. Ko Ko Maung
Maj. Myo Lwin
Com. Ngwe Tun
Maj. Myo Khine
Capt. Soe Than
Lt.Aung Kyaw
Capt. Moe Kyaw

10. Office of Strategic Studies (OSS):

Col. Thein Swe
Col. Kyaw Thein
Col. San Maung
Col. Than Tun
Col. Than Aye
Lt.col. Tin Oo
Lt.col. Hla Min
Lt.col. Si Thu
Lt.col. Than Aung
Lt.col. Min Lwin

11. Former members of Government:

Lt.gen. Thein Win		Former Minister of Transport 
Brig.gen. Myo Thant		Former Minister of Office of Prime 
U Kyin Maung Yin		Former Minister of Office Deputy 
Minister U Ohn Gyaw	Former Minister of Foreign Affairs 
Maj.gen. Kyaw Than		Former Minister of Trade 
Brig.gen. Sein Win		Former Minister of Sport 
U Than Shwe			Former Minister of Office of Prime 
Brig.gen. Maung Maung	Former Minister of Office of Chairman SPDC 


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