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[theburmanetnews] BurmaNet News: Au
Subject: [theburmanetnews] BurmaNet News: August 25-26, 2000
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______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
An on-line newspaper covering Burma
_________August 25-26, 2000 Issue # 1604__________
INSIDE BURMA _______
*BLSO: Daw Suu stopped by SPDC at Dala
*SPDC: Daw Su Kyi and Companions Continue to Rest in Dala Township
*AFP : Military halts Aung San Suu Kyi on road outside Yangon
*Reuters: Britain deplores restrictions on Myanmar's Suu Kyi
*DPA: NLD Presses for Labour Unions at Garment Factories
*CRPP: Arrest of Aye Thaung condemned
*NLD: Regime using intimidation to force sham renunciations
*DVB: State Launches "Misinformation" Campaign
*DVB: Burmese Naval Vessels Collide During Military Exercises
*KNU: Burma Army raped and killed three cattle traders
*SHAN/Lahu Network News: Wa no better than Burmese, say Lahu Villagers
*Reuters: World anger mounts over Myanmar's Suu Kyi standoff
*U.S. State Dept.: US Deplores Treatment of Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi
*Reuters: Britain deplores restrictions on Myanmar's Suu Kyi
*Inter Press Service: Ambassador Sees No Change in Junta's Posture
*NCGUB: Restricting Daw Suu's Movement a 'Cowardly Act'
*Toronto Star: We need to keep pressure on Burma
The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:
[On Sunday, August 27, BurmaNet will post an update on the current
standoff between Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Burmese police.]
__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________
BLSO: Daw Suu stopped by SPDC at Dala
[BurmaNet adds: This was the first report that emerged about the
Information Release # 5/20 of the Burma Labour Solidarity
Date: August 25, 2000
At 1 p.m. on August 24, 2000, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi , the secretary of
left Rangoon with two cars to travel to Dala township, opposite of
Rangoon, in order to meet with NLD members. She was traveling with
people, including herself and U Tin Oo, the vice-chairperson of the
The local SPDC authorities stopped both cars on the way to Dala and
allow them to continue their trip. The authorities asked her to
Rangoon but she refused. At present, she has been held in her car by
Military Authorities for one day and one night.
This incident is similar to a situation that occurred in August of
which captured international attention. At that time Daw Aung San
attempted to visit NLD members in Bassein. Her car was stopped by
authorities near Anyar Su village in Nyaung Done township. She was
to move for 12 days due to the fact that SPDC had surrounded her car
barbed wire. After two or three days she refused to accept food from
and staged a hunger strike. The confrontation ended when female
officers forced Daw Aung San Suu Kyi from her car and she was driven
to Rangoon by the authorities. She received minor injuries as a
this incident and was in poor health due to lack of drinking water
food during her ordeal.
We, BLSO, are concerned about the welfare of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and
demand that the authorities release her immediately and allow her to
resume her peaceful activities. If something should happen to the
or safety of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi the SPDC must be held responsible.
SPDC: Daw Su Kyi and Companions Continue to Rest in Dala Township
Myanmar Information Committee
Information Sheet -N0. B-1494(I/L) 25th August, 2000
Daw Su Kyi, U Soe Myint, U Tin Oo and her personal chauffeur
with the 12 travel companions continue to rest in Sarpachaun ward of
town today, while the local authorities make every effort to ensure
comfort and safety.
NLD sources in Yangon said Daw Su Kyi had taken extra food
but government officials together with Dala township NLD members
some fresh fruits while her travel companions bought some bottles of
water and soft drinks from the nearby food stores.
Until safety conditions improve, Daw Su Kyi is visiting Dala,
but charming town which is (10) minutes by boat from Yangon.
In case of emergency the Government has provided Daw Su Kyi
ambulance from Yangon with one physician and six medical attendances
remaining nearby around the clock to ensure her maximum comfort and
AFP : Military halts Aung San Suu Kyi on road outside Yangon
YANGON, Aug 25 (AFP) - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was
Friday in a new stand-off with the junta on a road outside Yangon
defying a travel ban which restricts her to the capital, sources said.
Members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) said the Nobel
has been facing off the military authorities since Thursday afternoon
her car was stopped at Dallah township.
She had been on her way to a meeting of the party's youth wing in
nearby town of Kawhmu, they said.
The NLD has not been in contact with her since then and has no more
information on the situation in Dallah, about 32 kilometres (20
Yangon, they said.
NLD chairman U Aung Shwe said Aung San Suu Kyi was merely
carry out "legitimate party organisation work."
"As a private citizen she is entitled to travel along that road
not be stopped from doing so," he told AFP.
A senior spokesman for the military regime confirmed that Aung San
and a group accompanying her had been halted at Dallah and told to
there or return to Yangon.
The opposition leader had been travelling without proper security
arrangements and was stopped for her own safety, he said in a
"Due to threats by armed insurgent separatist forces, travel by
persons to some parts of the country is at present inadvisable," he
"As a prominent citizen of Myanmar ... the government will take all
necessary action in protecting her from these threats while also
her human rights, as much as possible including the right to freedom
Although she is no longer under house arrest as she was between
1995, Aung San Suu Kyi is confined to Yangon and her movements are
Attempts to test these restrictions in 1998 resulted in a dramatic
stand-off with her military escort which ended when she returned to
amid fears for her health.
She had been camped out in a minibus on a bridge northwest of the
after being blocked from attempting to travel to meet provincial
It was her fourth failed bid to travel outside Yangon in just over a
The episode was seen as emphasising her political impotency and the
stalemate into which Myanmar has sunk.
The NLD won a crushing victory in 1990 elections but the results
never been recognised by the military which has carried out a
intimidation against the opposition since the student uprisings of
In the decade since the elections, Aung San Suu Kyi has become more
isolated than ever. The junta has systematically dismantled her power
and jailed scores of followers.
The opposition leader has been separated from her two sons as they
maturity, and was forced to choose between her political struggle and
obligations as her husband lay dying of cancer in Britain last year.
The military has been in control of Myanmar, formerly known as
various guises since 1962. It has branded Aung San Suu Kyi a traitor
agent of foreign countries, especially former colonial ruler Britain.
The junta is widely accused by the international community of
rights abuses, including slave labour, rape and torture. It rejects
allegations and contends that it intends to make democratic changes
peace and stability has been achieved.
BBC: Profile: Aung San Suu Kyi
Friday, 25 August, 2000, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
By BBC News Online's Joe Havely
As a symbol of heroic and peaceful resistance in the face of
oppression, Aung San Suu Kyi has come to be regarded in Burma and
around the world as the Nelson Mandela of south-east Asia.
Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in absentia in 1991, she had by then
been held under house arrest by Burma's military authorities for two
It would be another four years before she was finally allowed to
leave her home, although she remains restricted to the capital,
Rangoon, and her movements are closely monitored.
Now aged 55, Aung San Suu Kyi is the daughter of the assassinated
Burmese nationalist leader, General Aung San.
His resistance to British colonial rule culminated in Burma's
independence in 1948 and her relationship to him gives her a unique
position in Burmese society as the daughter of a national hero.
After receiving her initial education in Burma and India, Aung San
Suu Kyi travelled to the UK where she studied at Oxford University.
It was there that she met and married her husband, Michael Aris, an
Oxford University academic.
At the time Dr Aris knew his wife's destiny might ultimately lie with
her returning to Burma.
"Before we were married I promised my wife that I would never stand
between her and her country," he recalled.
It was not until 1988 however that Aung San Suu Kyi first came to
prominence in Burma when she returned to the country leaving her
husband and their two sons in Britain.
There she quickly became the leader of a burgeoning pro-democracy
movement following the brutal repression of a pro-democratic uprising
earlier that summer.
It was a mission she labelled "Burma's second struggle for
The movement quickly grew into a political party that went on to win
an overwhelming 82% of the vote in national elections in 1990 -
despite the fact that by that time she had already been under house
arrest for more than a year.
The military regime, however, refused to relinquish power and stepped
up repression of her party, the National League for Democracy.
Martin Smith, a writer on Burmese affairs, says there are several
reasons why Aung San Suu Kyi proved such a natural leader.
"Her father was the founder of the democratic movement. So Suu Kyi in
a way had inherited that kind of tradition.
"But the second thing is of course down to Aung San Suu Kyi herself,
her role in the democracy movement and her speeches about the need
for change in Burmese society."
Inspired by the non-violent campaigns of the American civil rights
leader Martin Luther King, and India's Mahatma Gandhi, Aung San Suu
Kyi organised rallies after her return to Burma, and travelled the
country, calling for peaceful democratic reforms and free elections.
She has tirelessly campaigned for change through dialogue and
Her tolerance, patience and confidence - born from the knowledge that
she has immense popular support - have contrasted sharply with the
paranoia and bullying tactics of generals who hold power.
Much of her time is spent in military imposed isolation inside her
run-down villa on Rangoon's University Avenue - guards outside keep
all but a select few visitors well away.
To her millions of supporters across Burma she is known simply
as "The Lady".
Despite Aun San Suu Kyi's official release from house arrest, there
are still de facto restrictions on her freedom to move and speak, and
oppression of pro-democracy activism continues.
In July 1998 she spent five days in a stand-off with military
officials outside Rangoon before being forcibly returned to the
A month later she tried again and spent 13 days stationary on a road
west of the capital before medical concerns finally forced her to
return to the city.
But her commitment to her cause was perhaps most starkly and
tragically illustrated a year later when her husband, still living in
the UK, became terminally ill with prostate cancer.
Believing that she would be blocked from returning to Burma, she
declined the generals' offer of a visa to visit him in England for a
Denied the chance for a final farewell visit Michael Aris died in
March 1999 - the couple had not seen each other for three years.
DPA: NLD Presses for Labour Unions at Garment Factories
Deutsche Presse-Agentur August 14, 2000
YANGON -- The chief opposition party in Myanmar (Burma) on Monday
the ruling military junta to allow the establishment of labour unions
at foreign-owned factories, citing widespread abuses of worker
The National League for Democracy (NLD) issued a three-page
asking the military regime to invoke the International Labour
Organization (ILO) Convention 87 on freedom of association, which
Myanmar has ratified,to allow the establishment of labour unions in
NLD cited poor working conditions at three foreign owned factories in
the Hlaing Thaya Industrial Zone near Yangon, formerly Rangoon.
It claimed that workers were dismissed if they refused to work
at the Korean-owned "Myanmar Yes" garment factory, and implied at one
woman worker, identified as Ma Moe Htuy, had recently died on the job
from unknown causes after suffering a fever.
The Taiwanese-owned "Tai-win" garment and Jong Lih factories were
other examples where labourers were forced to work overtime, skip
public holidays and limit toilet time to 6 minutes.
"Social security, workers welfare and fringe benefits are unknown of
in these factories," said the NLD declaration.
Myanmar has one of the lowest minimum wage rates in Asia, at about
15 dollars per month.
The junta, which has ruled Myanmar since 1988, is already in the ILO's
bad books for widespread abuses of forced labour on public works and
as porters for the military, and was earlier this year barred from
attending ILO meetings as a form of punishment.
CRPP: Arrest of Aye Thaung condemned
Representatives of the People elected to the Parliament in the 1990
multiparty democratic elections
(Committee Representing People's Parliament)
Notification 15 ( 08/ 00)
1. The multi-party democratic elections of May 1990 resulted in
victory for 392 National League for Democracy candidates. From the
ethnic national groups there were 23 Shan National League for
Democracy candidates, 11 Arakan League for Democracy candidates, 5
Mon National Democratic Front candidates, 2 Zomi National Congress
candidates who became Pyithu Hluttaw representatives elect. The
voters made their choice freely. This was a percentage of 89.28
because the 433 candidates were elected from a total of 485
2. Chapter 2 of the Pyithu Hluttaw Election Law (decreed on 31 May
1989, by the State Law and Order Restoration Council which has been
transformed to the State Peace and Development Council is
entitled "Formation of the Pyithu Hluttaw" and Section 3 makes it
compulsory for a Pyithu Hluttaw to be convened.
3.Ten years have passed and despite the fact that the power holders
have announced the names of the representatives of the Pyithu
Hluttaw, the military anashins have brazenly breached the provisions
of the law they themselves decreed and have refused to convene a
4.(a) On 6 June 1998, the above mentioned national political parties
addressed a letter to the Chairman of the SPDC setting out that
" .... Having the good of the country as our only consideration, we
respectfully place these facts before you....."
" ...... Not implementing the outcome of the elections is a blemish
in the history of the nation. The only way that this blemish can be
removed is by convening a Pyithu Hluttaw as soon as possible....."
"... The Union of Myanma is facing a crisis. Solutions have not been
found to problems relating to politics, business, social affairs and
ethnic affairs.... "
".....There is no reason why all our problems cannot be solved
through cooperation and genuine good will for all the people of this
Union and without harboring any resentment or grudges. This is our
firm belief and we sincerely urge you to...... "
4(b) In addition, the National League for Democracy by its letter
dated 23 June 1998 to the Chairman of the SPDC urged them to keep
their promises and convene a Pyithu Hluttaw in accordance with the
Pyithu Hluttaw Elections Law by the 21 August 1998.
5. The military anashins gave no reply to the letters mentioned
above. This failure to convene a Pyithu Hluttaw was tantamount to
ignoring the will of the people. Furthermore, the military anashins
smashed and shattered the promises they gave to the people. In the
matter of convening a Pyithu Hluttaw and in the matter of all
political parties (nationalities and others) and the independents,
there was the responsibility to respect the wishes of the voters and
masses and the responsibility to maintain and observe the provisions
of the Pyithu Elections Law. Consequently, on 16 September 1998 the
Committee Representing the People's Parliament was formed.
6. In the said committee the Shan National League for Democracy, the
Arakan League for Democracy, the Mon National Democracy Front and the
Zomi National Congress were represented by U Aye Tha Aung (Secretary
of the Arakan League for Democracy). He and U Than Tun (Central
Executive Committee member of the NLD) acted as Secretaries.
7. The said U Aye Tha Aung who was representing four ethnic
nationality parties was illegally arrested on the 24 March 2000 by
the military anashins and sentenced to suffer 21years imprisonment.
Our information is that the sentence was passed on 7 June 2000.
8. From the date of his illegal arrest and forced detention till
sometime after he was sentenced his family was not granted permission
to visit him. The first visit was on the 27 July 2000. His trial
was not open to the public. He was not allowed a defense lawyer. It
was conducted as hastily as possible. The heavy sentence was
unwarranted and unjust.
9. The stability and strength of the Union of Burma depends on
collective support, collaboration and help of all the nationalities.
Everyone is aware of this. This means that we must work together
unitedly, equally and strongly. This unjust sentence to years of
imprisonment is a heavy penalty to a man of U Aye Tha Aung's
caliber, a man who was dedicated to working for the unification and
harmony between the different ethnic nationalities. This will only
be detrimental towards achieving a national and united spirit between
the nationalities and we strongly denounce them for this.
Committee Representing People's Parliament
9 August 2000
(Distributed by National League for Democracy)
NLD: Regime using intimidation to force sham renunciations
National League for Democracy
No: (97/B), West Shwegonedine Road
Bahan Township, Rangoon
Statement No. 122 (8 / 00)
1. Information received is that on 1July 2000, every house in North
(Pegu township, Pegu division) was visited by USDA organizer U Htay
Win (owner of
Shwe-aing San Travellers' Lodge) and members of the ward military
intimidation and coercion and unlawful display of authority and power
they forced the
householders to sign papers for the purpose of denouncing the NLD and
2. Similarly on the 2 July at the shopping area in the centre of the
town USDA organizer U
Soe Myint (hard of hearing Soe Myint) and his group consisting of
other USDA members
and members of the military authorities) went around illegally
forcing people to sign
papers indicating their loss of confidence in the NLD. When a lady
at one store
expressed her confidence in the NLD and refused to sign she was
withdrawal of the shop license and great pressure was applied to get
3. Similarly on the 2 July, at Myothit (d) ward, for no given reason
the authorities went
around preparing the list of all over 18s and applied the same
pressure and threats to get
their signatures. The next day (3 July) the same process was
conducted by ward military
dictator authority chairman U Myint Lwin Soe and his group at Myothit
Again the next day (4 July) in Myothit Ward 1/6 every house was
entered by the military
dictator authority representatives and USDA members for the same
purpose using the
4. We have been informed that on 5 June 2000 at Chauk township
(Magwe division) an
illegal shouting demonstration was staged against NLD Pyithu Hluttaw
Myint Thein. Also for the closing down of the NLD which was referred
to as a party with
5. An organizing committee comprising township USDA members, township
dictator authorities, and township election commission
representatives was formed for the
specific purpose of accomplishing this unlawful and deliberate
breaches of the law and to
intimidate the people to force them in this sham performance.
6. The door knocking exercise to get every 18 year old and above to
append their signatures
was thus accomplished. Those who refused were taken to the offices
administrators and seriously threatened. Civil servants were given
notice of dismissal.
Pressure was applied through threats and intimidation.
7. This widespread abuse of authority for the accomplishment of
illegal activities, these
wrongful acts, these deceitful and misleading methods constitute
breaches of the law. We
strongly disapprove and condemn the participants.
Central Executive Committee
National League for Democracy
DVB: Burmese Naval Vessels Collide During Military Exercises
Text of report by Burmese opposition radio on 22nd August
The Democratic Voice of Burma [DVB] has learned that two naval vessels
collided during the joint military exercises of the State Peace and
Development Council [SPDC] army, air force, and navy in Tenasserim
Division. Four men were injured and two are missing. The collision
while the two naval vessels were participating in military exercises
Mali Island in Palau Township, Mergui District, on 14th August. Six
personnel fell overboard and the subsequent rescue attempt saved only
who were injured. The remaining two are missing.
The two naval vessels involved in the incident are from Tenasserim
headquarters. Despite the bad weather, the SPDC authorities ordered
exercises to continue. Military exercises have been taking places in
Mergui, Palau, Tenasserim, and Kyunzu Townships in Tenasserim Division
since 24th July. They will last for 45 days.
Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 22 Aug
BBC Worldwide Monitoring
DVB: State Launches "Misinformation" Campaign
Text of report on 18th August by Oslo-based anti-government radio run
the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma
The Democratic Voice of Burma has learnt that the State Peace and
Development Council [SPDC] Foreign Ministry and the Office of
Studies [OSS] are working together to cause international
the Burmese-language services of foreign radio stations to carry false
news. A seminar on the subject was held at the Protocol Office of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 20th July. It was attended by officers
the Foreign Ministry, the OSS and the Directorate of Defence Services
According to a reliable source, two strategies were laid down to send
misinformation to international broadcasters and the Burmese-language
services of foreign radio stations and to block all routes for
from inside the country to abroad. A special news group is to issue
fabricated news and rumours and SPDC embassies abroad are to be in
of dissemination to international media. Arrangements are being made
systematically so that these reports will be broadcast by the Burmese
services of foreign broadcasters and Operational Command Nos 8 and 7
the Operations Bureau and No 19 and 25 military intelligence units
been assigned this duty. They are to train members of armed groups
surrendered and send them back to the border area, while some will be
issued with legal passports.
The Ministry of Home Affairs is to be in charge of blocking the
news from inside the country and a special information police squad
Bureau of Special Investigation are in charge of it. Measures include
exposing information routes inside the country, intercepting suspected
telephone numbers and opening mail to and from abroad.
The Democratic Voice of Burma received some fabricated news last week
did not broadcast it when it was found to be false. The majority of
news reports were on the arrest and torture of members of the National
League for Democracy.
Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 18 Aug
BBC Worldwide Monitoring
KNU: Burma Army raped and killed three cattle traders
KNU Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department
25 August 2000
Ten traders killed in 3 days
TENASSERIM DIVISION, BURMA. Burma Army's Infantry Battalion 285 raped
and killed three cattle traders in Thuka border pass, opposite
Kanchanaburi province on August 3, 2000.
On August 3, three villagers from Burma, Ha Min Kyi village in Tavoy
District were travelling to Thai-Burma border to sell some cattle.
When they arrived to Mo Kyi Pyan Mountain, they were stopped and
arrested by a group of 15 soldiers of Burma's army. The soldiers
identified as Burma army's No.2 Column of Infantry Battalion 285 that
take security at Thu Ka border pass.
The soldiers arrested three villagers, U Pu Lu, 45 yr. (male), Ma
Chaw Su, 18 yr. (female), and U Aung Than, 40 yr. (male), with their
six cattle and took along with them to Thuka border pass. After that,
it was learnt that all of them were shot dead by that troop. Ma Chaw
Su was repeatedly raped before she was killed. All their cattle were
taken by that troop.
>From August 1, 2000 to 3, in three days period Burma army's Infantry
Battalion 285 has killed 10 traders and confiscated more than 30
cattle in Thuka border pass, reported by our field reporter.
Burma army's troop that stationed at Thuka border pass continuously
taxed the traders from Burma, looting of their properties, cattle,
robbing, killing and raped of the traveller. It is a route that the
Burmese people used to trade cattle and travel to work in Thailand.
SHAN/Lahu Network News: Wa no better than Burmese, say Lahu Villagers
22 August 2000
Shan Herald Agency for News
Reported by: Lahu Network News
According to sources coming from Mongton, across from Chiangmai, the
people are being treated no better by the Wa authorities than the
Hopang-Hoyawd, an integrated village 30 miles northeast of Mongton,
market set up by the United Wa state Army. Shopkeepers there, most of
are Shans and Chinese, are said to be paying B.3,000 per month to
Wa and Burmese authorities.
The local populace, most of whom are Lahu, are required to sweep the
marketplace every 15 days. Households that fail to present their
sweepers are being fined B.500 or K.5,000, in accordance with the
Also, the Wa authorities appear to be practising a policy of
towards the populace, made up of Shan and Lahu natives and the new
from Panghsang, the Wa capital, in the north. "We have to pay a
(B.1,000) fine, if one of our buffaloes strays into the Wa fields"
local lahu villagers. "But if our fields are raided by buffaloes
the Wa, there is no official to take up on our complaints. One of the
was threatened with a gun and driven away, when he went to present
Reuters: World anger mounts over Myanmar's Suu Kyi standoff
By Aung Hla Tun
YANGON, Aug 26 (Reuters) - Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu
Kyi entered the third day of a roadside standoff with police on
Saturday as the military government blocking her freedom of movement
faced mounting international criticism.
Suu Kyi and other members of her National League for Democracy (NLD)
spent a second night in two cars by the side of a road south of
Yangon. Police stopped them there on Thursday after they left the
capital to visit supporters.
It was the first time the 55-year-old Nobel laureate had tried to
leave the capital since another standoff two years ago, which ended
after 13 days when an increasingly poorly and dehydrated Suu Kyi gave
up her protest and returned home.
Myanmar says it stopped Suu Kyi for her own protection because her
journey did not have ``proper security arrangements.''
The National League for Democracy (NLD), which won elections in 1990
by a landslide but has never been allowed to govern, said in a
statement on Friday that the group was running short of food and
It called on local villagers to provide Suu Kyi and her party with
Witnesses said the group's cars were parked a short distance off the
road where they were stopped. Nearby were an ambulance and a
truckload of police.
As Suu Kyi stayed in her car, refusing to turn back, international
criticism of the government's action grew.
``The United States deplores the government of Burma's refusal to
allow Aung San Suu Kyi and other National League of Democracy leaders
to travel freely in their own country,'' the State Department said in
``Freedom of movement is a fundamental, internationally recognised
right. Its denial can only increase the existing tensions in Burma.''
It said the United States was concerned about the health and safety
of Suu Kyi's group and would hold the Myanmar authorities directly
accountable for their welfare.
In London, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said he deplored the
treatment of Suu Kyi.
``We urge the authorities to lift these unnecessary and unlawful
restrictions immediately, and call on the regime to open an immediate
dialogue with... Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD,'' Cook said in a
The European Union also called on Myanmar to lift travel
restrictions on Suu Kyi.
U.S. State Dept.: US Deplores Treatment of Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi
(State Department statement, August 25, 2000) (240)
Following is the text:
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release
August 25, 2000
STATEMENT BY PHILIP T. REEKER, DEPUTY SPOKESMAN
U.S. DEPLORES TREATMENT OF AUNG SAN SUU KYI
The United States deplores the government of Burma's refusal to allow
Aung San Suu Kyi and other National League for Democracy leaders to
travel freely in their own country. Freedom of movement is a
fundamental, internationally-recognized human right. Its denial can
only increase the existing tensions in Burma.
Since yesterday, Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of the National
League for Democracy have reportedly been involved in a standoff with
Burmese authorities at a roadblock about 30 miles south of Rangoon in
Dala township. The authorities have not permitted the group to
continue on to Kunyangon township where they planned to confer with
local National League for Democracy members. The U.S. condemns this
abridgement of Aung San Suu Kyi's right to freedom of movement and
right to visit whomever she chooses. We are concerned about the
and safety of the National League for Democracy group and hold the
Burmese authorities directly accountable for their welfare.
Reuters: Britain deplores restrictions on Myanmar's Suu Kyi
LONDON, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Britain urged Myanmar on Friday to lift
travel restrictions on opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and open a
dialogue with the Nobel laureate.
Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said he deplored steps by police to
stop Suu Kyi from leaving Yangon on Thursday -- the first time she
had tried to travel outside the capital since a 13-day roadside
standoff two years ago.
``We urge the authorities to lift these unnecessary and unlawful
restrictions immediately, and call on the regime to open an immediate
dialogue with... Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD (National League for
Democracy),'' Cook said in a statement.
Opposition sources said Suu Kyi left her Yangon residence on
Thursday morning to travel to Dala township south of the city. She
was still in her car after being stopped by police and refusing to
return to Yangon as requested.
In a statement, the Myanmar government said a car carrying Suu Kyi
and other NLD members had been stopped by police in Sarpachaun
outside Yangon because it did not have ``proper security
It said Suu Kyi, who was kept under house arrest for six years until
1995, was stopped for her own protection.
``To restrict leaders of a democratic political party from moving
around the country is a denial of fundamental human and political
rights,'' Cook said.
The NLD won elections in May 1990 but has never been allowed to
govern. Its members have been jailed, placed under house arrest or
restricted by the ruling generals, who say the country is not ready
for Western-style democracy.
In a rare interview this week, Suu Kyi renewed her call for
international pressure to help achieve democracy in Myanmar and said
the recent opening of universities, closed in 1996 after anti-
government protests, was a sham.
Inter Press Service: Ambassador Sees No Change in Junta's Posture
CANBERRA, (Aug. 24) IPS - A leaked cable from the new Australian
ambassador to Burma paints a bleak assessment of the prospects for
improvement of human rights in the country, saying "there are clearly
no grounds for optimism" the military will ease its crackdown on the
"The (junta) shows no signs of being interested in relinquishing
power," said the July 21 cable, which was sent by Ambassador Trevor
Wilson to both Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign
Affairs Minister Alexander Downer.
The cable was published by the Melbourne newspaper, The Age,
"There are clearly no grounds for optimism in the SPDC's unchanging
approach to opponents of the regime. Nor do observers in Rangoon
detect any signs that the regime is willing to bend in the direction
of political dialogue or any hints that meaningful movement towards
transition to a freely elected government is contemplated," said the
"Rather, all the indicators point to the regime being determined to
remain in power at all cost, allowing only marginal reforms in the
economy and society. Neither the appointment of a new special
representative by the U.N. Secretary-General, nor other attempts at
more direct engagement with the regime have yet resulted in many
substantive improvements," the cable warned.
The cable, written just four days after the first in a series of
Australian government-sponsored human rights workshops for 75
officials in the military regime, increases pressure on the
Australian government to withdraw its funding of the controversial
$100,000 training program.
The director of the Sydney-based Burma Office, Dr. Myint Cho, says
the cable confirms what the democracy movement has been saying all
along. "The human rights situation is not improving," he said.
"We don't believe the human rights training program will be
successful in assisting with change. The Australian government should
work with the international community to create constant pressure to
force the regime to enter into dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi," Cho
"Unless they enter into political dialogue we can't see that the
country can change," he said.
The shadow minister for foreign affairs, Laurie Brereton, has renewed
his call for the Howard government to cancel its human rights
training program with Burma's military regime.
"The political assessment by Australia's ambassador to Burma
demolishes the credibility of the Howard government's engagement with
the Burmese military," he said.
"This program comes in the absence of any real human rights
commitments from Rangoon or benchmarks against which performance will
be measured. We are the only country in the world cozying up to these
people, and they will take great comfort from that," Brereton said.
A spokeswoman for Alexander Downer said the ambassador was supportive
of human rights training program and that the Australian government
had no illusions that change would only be slow and incremental.
Another multi-day workshop for 25 officers of the Burmese regime is
scheduled for next month.
While the United States and the European Union remain committed to
isolating Burma's military regime with sanctions, Australia has
broken ranks and sought to engage the regime in the hope it can be
encouraged to ease its tight grip on the Burmese democracy movement.
The deputy secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,
John Dauth, justified the government's engagement policy in a recent
speech to a parliamentary committee.
"We are seeking to capitalize on a judgment that it is better to
engage with the regime in Burma than to isolate them and, by engaging
them in this way, to seek to have some effect at the margin, to chip
away, so that over time human rights values are better respected."
While Dauth argues that "the policy of isolating Burma has had no
effect whatsoever" he was candid about the impact of the training
program. "We know very well that the likely impact of this exercise
is at the margin," Dauth told the committee.
The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch, in its recently released annual
survey of human rights, confirms the bleak assessment of Australia's
ambassador to Burma.
"The ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) offered no
signs during the year that fundamental change was on the horizon," it
"No progress was made on ending forced labor. Counter-insurgency
operations by the Burmese military in several ethnic minority areas,
accompanied by extrajudicial executions, forced relocation, and other
abuses, led to the displacement of thousands inside Burma and the
flight of yet more refugees across the border into Thailand," Human
Rights Watch reported.
"Burma's ethnic minority areas were the sites of continuing violence
and gross violations of human rights and humanitarian law. After
relocation, soldiers frequently burned homes, uprooted crops, and
looted belongings that villagers left behind."
"At the relocation sites, villagers had to contribute up to 15 days a
month of forced labor on infrastructure projects, portering, night
watch, and the physical maintenance of army camps," the rights
NCGUB: Restricting Daw Suu's Movement a 'Cowardly Act'
NATIONAL COALITION GOVERNMENT OF THE UNION OF BURMA
August 25, 2000
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of a legally registered political party,
the National League for Democracy, is once again prevented from
meeting her own party members. The military junta that is running
the country has stopped her from traveling to a township near
Rangoon. The press is also prevented from visiting the site where
the car is being stopped.
A senior spokesperson of the military junta said the car she was
traveling was surrounded, "Due to threats by armed insurgent
separatist forces," and that "travel by prominent persons to some
parts of the country is at present inadvisable." This, coming from
the very people who have taken every opportunity to claim they have
for the first time since World War II established peace and stability
in the country, is a ridiculous excuse. The road leading to Kawhmu
and Kungyangon, after all, is just a few miles from the capital city,
The spokesperson's claim that "... the government will take all
necessary action in protecting her from these threats" goes without
saying that it is a blatant lie. Any protection Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
needs is from the irrational behavior of the generals and their goons.
Prime Minister Dr. Sein Win said, "It's just another cowardly act by
those who are afraid of letting the people meet their leader. The
frenzied blockade demonstrates the continuing popularity and support
of the people for the party they voted for in the 1990 elections."
The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma condemns the
dastardly act and calls on the generals to honor all fundamental
rights of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all political leaders, including
the right to move about freely to conduct their legitimate party
work. The international community is urged to use all available
means to dissuade the generals from resorting to brute force and to
resolve problems through peaceful means.
Toronto Star: We need to keep pressure on Burma
[BurmaNet adds?This article was posted to the Internet with a useful
background note by Tin Maung Htoo. The background note and article
are reprinted in full]
Dear colleagues and Burma supporters,
The following message published in Today's Toronto Star newspaper is a
response of Dr. Alice Khin Saw Win to What Ko Myint Swe advocated
article, We Build New Bridge to Burma, in the same newspaper in last
I hope that all you are aware of the debate whether we should have a
policy to approach the Burmese military, abandoning the current
Let me introduce briefly about these two persons in order to become
Dr. Khin Saw Win is now residing in Admonton, Canada, and she used to
for NLD and personal physician for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi before she
country. She is now Director of Burma Watch International based in
and teaching medical stuff in University of Alberta.
Ko Myint Swe is 74 [SIC--BurmaNet adds?the age cited here appears to
be a typo] student activist and now living in Toronto, Canada. He
used to be a prisoner for five years in Burma for his political
belief and used to work for NCGUB and NLD (LA) and New Era Journal
lived in Thailand. He is now studying post-graduate at the York
I concern that his advocacy of having new approach is sensitive for
us involved in this movement. But I do not want to say that he is
with the military. The fact is that we could not say exactly that
advocacy is right and wrong for the time being. But if we want to
strategy, then it would be a risky one and should have consensus. If
goes alone without consulting with his or her own way, it is definite
he or she will be labeled as traitor.
Therefore, everyone should be aware of this important point before
something for any purpose in this movement.
Tin Mg Htoo
The following is Dr. Alice's response.
We need to keep pressure on Burma regime
Re It's time we build new bridge to Burma, Opinion, Aug.13.
Until 12 years ago, Burma was not well-known to the international
After the bloody massacre in 1988, Burma lost the talents of many
including students and professionals, who have fled the country.
Nowadays, Burmese activists are dispersed all over the world, and thus
through their efforts Burma is under stern scrutiny by the world
The brutal actions of the military junta have been condemned by the
international community through repeated consensus resolutions by the
General Assembly and the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.
Canada has also shown concern over the deteriorating human rights
There are reliable reports that investments in Burma end up helping
relative and friends of the military bullies.
Donors, humanitarian aid agencies and NGOs who want to work in Burma,
to sign a "memorandum of understanding" with the junta. Though the
of it has not been made public, it is known that all their movements
monitored and curbed.
If there should being offshore campus of Canadian universities
in the near future, as suggested by Myint Shwe, the author of the
nobody can deny that it would be subverted for the sole use of the
Humanitarian assistance and strict ethical standards for international
involvement must remain a priority and we should avoid any actions
give legitimacy to the junta.
By having no embassy in Burma, the Canadian government has
fact hat the "butcher regime" is not the legitimate government. This
of action by the international community will only hurt the regime
it hurts the Burmese people.
DR. ALICE KHIN SAW WIN
Faculty of Nursing and Medicine
University of Alberta
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