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BurmaNet News: July 25, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
           July 25, 2001   Issue # 1851
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

*AFP: Myanmar still the world's biggest labor camp: ICFTU 
*Newsweek (International Edition): Land of the Lost
*DVB : Burmese army takes action against corrupt commander
*SHAN: Talks in Rangoon a sham, says ceasefire group officer 

*AP: Thai general denies ''killer teams'' to wipe out drug runners 
*BurmaNet: ?Special killings? business as usual
*DVB : Report of forced labour in Burma as new army command set up

*AFP: EU takes hard line on Myanmar despite prisoners' release 
*BMA: Group of Journalists Nominated for Canadian Award 
*Burma Courier: Ottawa Embassy Employees Kept Busy in Hot Summer Sun

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

AFP: Myanmar still the world's biggest labor camp: ICFTU 

BANGKOK, July 25 (AFP) - Myanmar is still the world's "biggest labour 
camp" despite the junta's claims that the practice has been outlawed, 
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) 
secretary-general Bill Jordan said Wednesday.   Jordan also dismissed 
ten-month-old talks between the military regime and Aung San Suu Kyi as 
a sham, saying they had not produced any substantial results.   "Burma 
is the biggest labour camp in the world," he said at an international 
teachers' conference in the Thai capital, referring to the country by 
its former name.   Despite the junta's claims that it is working to wipe 
out forced labour, the practice "has not diminished in any way at all," 
he said.   "Any serious investigation would show that the pronounced 
initiatives are comestic measures for international consumption and have 
not touched the people of Burma."   

The talks between pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the generals 
in Yangon have made the international community cautiously optimistic 
that some sort of political change may be in the offing in Myanmar.   
But Jordan, whose organisation has helped spearhead a campaign against 
Myanmar in the International Labor Organisation (ILO), said the 
much-vaunted contacts had achieved little.   

"The military have even used talks to suggest progress but beneath the 
talks nothing of substance is happening."   The ICFTU, made up of 216 
trade unions in 145 countries, said last year that nearly one million 
people were being subjected to forced labour in Myanmar.   Last 
November, the ILO recommended that its members review their relations 
with Yangon, an unprecedented step paving the way for possible 
sanctions.   Myanmar has been under fire from the ILO since 1998, when 
an inquiry commission said it had significant direct testimony of the 
systematic and general use of forced labour, particularly involving 
ethnic minorities.


Newsweek (International Edition): Land of the Lost

Even Burma?s generals are beginning to realize that they can no longer 
keep their country isolated from the world By Brook Larmer

July 2001 ? Burma?s military rulers love to bash the evil influence of 
the Western world. But there is one legacy of colonialism they can?t 
seem to live without: golf. Over the past decade, as the generals have 
gained notoriety for running one of the world?s most repressive (and 
economically disastrous) regimes, few people have given them credit for 
dramatically improving their golf games. But sneak into almost any golf 
club in Burma?the old British-era courses or the new ones feverishly 
being built by businessmen with military ties?and it?s plain to see: the 
names of Army officers are engraved on the championship plaques 

  THEIR PROWESS is unsurprising, given how thoroughly the game has 
pervaded the ranks. Every morning at the City Golf Club in Rangoon, 
dozens of military officers in creased khakis and saddle shoes traipse 
off the first tee, followed by platoons of young female caddies. (The 
girls, who wear bright red lipstick and easy smiles, perform different 
jobs for their 35-cent fee: one hauls the clubs, another holds the 
parasol, one lines up the putts ?and all applaud politely after each 
successful shot.) Not every officer hones his game in such luxury. Along 
a mountain road in rural Shan state, two rifle-toting soldiers recently 
kept watch over a group of slave laborers chained together at the 
ankles. Twenty yards away, under a grove of trees, several military 
officers gathered solemnly around their superior?and watched him 
practice his putting in the bumpy red dirt.  

         The military?s obsession with golf reveals the deep chasm 
between rich (them) and poor (nearly everybody else) in Burma. Even more 
dangerous: it exposes the hypocrisy of a junta that has self-righteously 
isolated the country from ?the decadence? of the West while enjoying its 
luxuries themselves. During nearly four decades of Burma?s hibernation, 
the generals have tried to legitimize their brutally inept rule by 
claiming the mantle of the ancient Burmese kings. But they have 
succeeded only in turning Burma (which the regime renamed Myanmar in 
1990) into the most needlessly miserable country in the world. Now, as 
globalization makes isolation seem ever more anachronistic, Burma?s 
long-suffering population is craving contact with the outside world. So, 
in their own way, are the golfers in the saddle shoes. 

        Underdevelopment has an undeniable charm. At first glance, the 
Burmese countryside is an achingly beautiful reminder of what Southeast 
Asia must have been like before the onslaught of the modern world. No 
urban sprawl, no belching factories, no McDonald?s or 7-Elevens. Burmese 
men still wear traditional, skirtlike longyis. Burmese girls still apply 
dashes of sandalwood paste to their faces as an alluring sunblock. And 
at dawn young monks in saffron robes still walk barefoot along dirt 
roads, alms bowls in hand. The grace and simplicity of life in Burma?and 
the visitor?s sense of being the first to encounter it?owe much to the 
country?s long isolation. 

        But behind the beauty lies profound misery. Withdrawing from the 
world has not simply locked Burma into a time warp; it has sent the 
country hurtling backward. Fifty years ago newly independent Burma had 
Asia?s most vibrant economy. Today it is a basket case that ranks among 
the poorest economies in the world. The main thing keeping Burma afloat 
is an illegal narcotics trade that is reportedly twice the size of the 
official economy. Forced labor is widespread, and the paying jobs aren?t 
much better. Near the village of Penwe Gone in central Burma, a group of 
teenage girls trudge up and down a steep river embankment carrying 
buckets of sand on their heads to a road-construction site. One of the 
girls, wearing a green headdress and red lipstick, says she walks three 
hours to and from the river each day to go to her job. She works eight 
hours a day for the equivalent of five cents an hour. She is 13 years 

       Burma?s health and education systems were once the envy of Asia, 
but they have been gutted even as the military has doubled in size, to 
more than 400,000 men. The universities, hotbeds of protest in 1988 and 
1996, have been closed for much of the past decade. (They reopened last 
year on campuses far from the city centers, and students have to sign a 
written promise that they will not engage in any antigovernment 
activity.) But education doesn?t count for much these days; few jobs pay 
a living wage. Why else would a college graduate with a degree in 
physics be cleaning toilets at a five-star hotel, or a clerk at an 
appliance company be selling her body at night in Rangoon?s Chinatown?   

       More than half a million people (out of a population of 42 
million) are infected with HIV, including 90 percent of all intravenous 
drug users and nearly half of all sex workers, according to foreign aid 
groups. More Burmese are dying each year from malaria and tuberculosis 
epidemics, but AIDS is already killing an estimated 48,000 a year. The 
regime, which had outlawed the use of condoms until 1993, has made 
matters worse by publicly denying the existence of the epidemic. ?The 
government says Burma is the most moral place on earth,? explains one 
foreign aid worker, ?so how could it admit to having an AIDS crisis?? 

        Burma?s rulers could do what they have always done: blame their 
crises on sinister intrusions from outside. In 1988, when a student 
uprising pushed out longtime ruler Ne Win, the military called the 
protesters ?stooges of external elements? and restored order by gunning 
down more than a thousand demonstrators. Two years later they annulled 
an election won by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi because 
Western-style democracy was ?inappropriate? for Burma. To this day they 
justify imprisoning her supporters and keeping her under house arrest by 
arguing that the democrats are being manipulated by foreign interests. 

        To justify their own rule, the generals have hearkened back to 
Burma?s past. Today the tightly controlled media portray the current 
leader, Than Shwe, and his two deputies, Army chief Maung Aye and 
intelligence chief Khin Nyunt, as the natural heirs to the Kingdom of 
Pagan, the monarchy that reigned between the 11th and 13th centuries in 
what is considered Burma?s most glorious era. The military men ride 
around Rangoon in a parade of Land Rovers rather than elephants, but 
they govern using the same old rituals of royalty. They take endless 
tours inspecting the hundreds of dams and bridges being built, in part, 
as monuments to their regime. They hold court with groups of engineers 
and economists, dispensing wisdom about the glories of the precolonial 
past. And all the while they require their subjects to show them respect 
with a shikho, the deep Buddhist bow made with hands clasped together in 
front of the face. 

        Like the kings of old, Burma?s generals have made exaggerated 
shows of Buddhist devotion. They have donated money to build or repair 
hundreds of shrines, and they even added a ton of gold to the sublime 
Shwe Dagon Pagoda in Rangoon. Of course, most Burmese?80 percent of whom 
are Buddhist?see through these political ploys. (The generals don?t help 
matters by walk-ing into monasteries wearing military uniforms and 
sidearms.) ?The regime is seeking solace in illusions of grandeur,? says 
one former government official in Rangoon (who, like every other 
Burmese, refuses to be quoted by name). ?They?re intent on reviving the 
glories of the past instead of coming to grips with the changes in the 

        But the world is not ignored so easily. Their own economic 
situation is not a problem for the generals; most of the military brass 
are members of the elite, with mobile phones, computers, golf clubs and 
a cut of highly profitable business deals, both on the books and off. 
But for the rest of the population, more than half of which is under 25 
years old, the feudal economy has proven a disaster. ?It?s a tale of two 
nations,? says one diplomat. ?The elite live in the First World of 
Rolexes, Land Rovers and gold rings. The rest live in the Third World.? 
In Rangoon homeless migrants sleep in bundles on the streets. In 
Mandalay people tie plastic bags filled with leftovers to the lampposts 
so the poor have something to eat. ?The generals know the economic 
situation is irreversible,? says one shopkeeper in Mandalay. ?They can 
continue to make millions, but it?s not sustainable as a nation. The 
economy will bury them.? 

        Like North Korea?the only other Asian country to reject 
globalization?Burma has taken tentative steps to break out of its 
isolation. In the mid-1990s the country opened up to foreign investment 
and gained acceptance in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. But 
most of the foreign investors who had plans for factories, 
infrastructure projects and five-star hotels pulled out a year or two 
later. (The amount of foreign investment approved in 1998-99 was $30 
million, just 5 percent of the total the year before.) Why? A 
combination of the Asian financial crisis, the 1997 U.S. sanctions 
against new Ameri- can investment and Burma?s predatory capitalism. (The 
local partners of joint ventures had a bad habit of usurping any 
business that was profitable.) The International Labor Organization 
tightened the noose in November 2000 with a new set of sanctions. ?We 
have lived in a shell for 30 years,? said Foreign Minister Win Aung 
recently. ?Now we are trying to get out of isolation. I hope the 
international community will not force us into a corner.? 

        It?s unclear how far the regime really wants to emerge, though. 
?Isolation is good for them,? says one Burmese businessman in Rangoon. 
?If they open the doors, it threatens all they have.? As in Pyongyang, 
the generals in Rangoon want to attract investment from the West without 
letting in dangerous Western influences. At most the regime is loosening 
up some restrictions on Western entertainment as an escape valve for 
citizens. In a Rangoon cafe crowds of Burmese can gather to watch men in 
tights beat each other silly in World Wrestling Federation matches. At 
least 30 new sports journals have opened, mostly to follow English 
Premier League football and financed mostly by avid gamblers. 
        What most people really want, however, is to connect with the 
world. At night, residents of Rangoon and Mandalay tune in to the BBC, 
Radio Free Asia or a Burmese- exile program from Oslo?all broadcast in 
Burmese. ?It?s the only information from the outside world we can get,? 
says one Rangoon teacher, noting that e-mail service?which started last 
year?is still limited to 2,000 subscribers, who are tightly controlled. 
Like many others, a tour guide listens to the BBC with earphones so his 
neighbors won?t report him. He should know: he says a friend of his, an 
Army captain, manages a network of 6,000 informants. 

        Listening to the BBC is not the only form of escape. With 
schools closed for so long, tens of thousands of young students are 
enrolled in private classes for English instruction or computer 
training. In the town of Nyaunglebin, about four hours north of Rangoon, 
150 men and boys sit in the shade of a video theater watching ?The 
Rocketeer? in English. Outside, the Burmese owner speaks in fluent 
English, which he learned entirely by watching American movies. He?s 
never met an American before, so he wants to try out a phrase he learned 
in a movie the day before. ?Get outta my face!? he says in a perfect 
Brooklyn accent.  

         That, of course, is what Burma?s rulers continue to say to the 
rest of the world?and what most Burmese wish they could say to their 
government. But as in other repressive societies, the most insidious 
consequence of Burma?s long hibernation is the chilling effect it has 
had on individuals. No one dares criticize the regime in a group or on 
the phone; people feel safe expressing their feelings only with a 
trusted family member or friend. ?Our greatest isolation is the 
isolation we feel from one another,? says a woman in Mandalay, shaking 
her head wearily. There is one place that businessmen and diplomats go 
to make sure there are no bugs or informants listening: the golf course. 
But even there they have to watch out for those guys in the saddle 


DVB : Burmese army takes action against corrupt commander


A military tribunal has taken action against Lt-Col Aye Ye Tun, 
commanding  officer of LIB [Light Infantry Battalion] 322 in Laukkai, 
Shan State, on 2  July for dealing in drugs. A column led by Lt Moe Min 
Myint, Lt Myo Thant,  and Lt Tun Tun Win from LIB 322 captured two drug 
traffickers with 10  packets of opium in Mongkoe region in northern Shan 
State. They ordered  them to sell the drugs, took the money and later 
released them. Lt-Col Aye  Ye Tun, the commanding officer, received 2m 
kyat while other officers  received 1m each, sergeants received 200,000 
kyat each, and the soldiers  50,000 kyat each. But Sergeant Tun Aung, 
who was not satisfied with the  money that he received, sent a written 
complaint to Laukkai Regional  Commander Brig-Gen Zaw Win and the case 
came to light. This report filed by  DVB correspondent Myo Win Thant. 

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 23 Jul 01 


SHAN: Talks in Rangoon a sham, says ceasefire group officer 

July 25, 2001

A top official from a Shan ceasefire group, interviewed by S.H.A.N. by  
telephone, dismissed reports of talks between Aung San Suu Kyi and the  
generals as a ruse to woo foreign assistance.

"Nobody really knows what the talks are all about," he said. 
"Considering  everything else the junta is doing to the people, it is 
hard to believe it  is going to give up power."

Asked by S.H.A.N. whether reports about Rangoon's invitation to 
surrender  its arms and set up a political party in preparation for 
general elections,  the officer, who requested anonymity, replied in the 
negative. "We've heard  them from the Burmese officers often enough," he 
acknowledged. "But there  hasn't been any formal proposition from 
anybody so far."

He also confirmed the killings of 17 Shan militiamen by junta troops 7 
July  in Panglong, southern Shan State. "The Burmese were afraid they 
might join  Yawdserk's Shan State Army South," he said.

The Shan State Army "North" and Shan State National Army a.k.a. Shan 
State  Army "Central", both of which enjoy ceasefire agreements with 
Rangoon, are  united under the banner of Shan State Peace Council. Both 
have also formed  an alliance with the Shan Nationalities League for 
Democracy, the party  that won the most seats in Shan State in 1990.

Shan Herald Agency for News.


AP: Thai general denies ''killer teams'' to wipe out drug runners  

July 25, 2001

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ A police general denied Wednesday that special 
death squads were planning to kill 1,000 drug traffickers this year, and 
had already sent ''350 to hell.''   Lt. Gen. Pichai Sunthornsajjabul 
said he merely supported the idea of ``killer teams'' to wipe out drug 
dealers as proposed by a group in the army which he did not name.   The 
English-language The Nation quoted Pichai as saying police-backed death 
squads in northeastern Thailand were targeting drug runners for 
execution and had already killed 350 in an operation dubbed ``Shortcut 
to Hell.''   

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Wednesday that ``a lot of ideas 
have come up'' to cope with the deluge of narcotics but denied that 
extra-judicial executions would be used. ``We have to consider human 
rights and rights under the constitution,'' he said.   Pichai, who heads 
the northeast region No. 4, told the Associated Press the 1,000 figure 
was the number of suspected drug traffickers in his area of command.   
``Hundreds of these people were arrested but managed to use the dirty 
money they gained from the narcotics business to buy their way out from 
jail,'' he said. ``So the only way to stop the drugs plague is to get 
rid of them.   ``I support the idea of setting up killer teams to 
terminate these people, provided that there is a law to support such 
actions of such teams,'' Pichai said in a telephone interview.   

``Hunting in my sense is to search and arrest and send them to court. 
The police use guns only when suspects open fire on them,'' he said. The 
general said more than 300 such suspects had been killed in drug related 
cases in the past four years in his region.   He said his area of 
responsibility covers 11 provinces with a total population of more than 
11 million people.   Trafficking and abuse of narcotics and 
metamphetamines is regarded a one of Thailand's major problems and 
Thaksin recently declared an all-out war on drugs. Most of the drugs are 
smuggled in from neighboring Myanmar, also known as Burma.


BurmaNet: ?Special killings? business as usual

July 25, 2001

Leaving aside the issue of whether the ?Shortcut to hell? campaign 
described by the Bangkok Post is true, evidence of summary executions by 
Thai police is commonplace and regularly printed in the Thai language 
press.  Targets of summary executions are usually criminals with drug 
dealers being high on the list.  There is some--albeit 
limited--evidenced that persons believed by Thai authorities to be 
Burmese spies are also summarily executed.  At present, Lahu and Karen 
drug runners operating in Thailand seem to be particular targets.

Articles in the Thai language press regularly refer to ?wissamol 
khatakom? which translates roughly as ?special killing.?  For example,  
a table of statistics for wanted criminals in a police area will 
tabulate the numbers arrested, still at large, killed by other 
criminals, killed in shootouts with the police and notably, will also 
list a category of cases resolved by ?special killings.?  The English 
language press will almost invariably lump special killings together 
with those killed in shootouts with the police there is a distinction.

The nine members of God?s Army and the Vigorous Burmese Student Warriors 
killed at Rachburi after seizing the hospital there are examples of 
special killings.  While frowned on by international human rights 
groups, the killings seem to be done under authorization from higher 
authorities and as long as the shooters do not attempt to mislead their 
superiors to the circumstances, they are not subjected to punishment. 


DVB : Report of forced labour in Burma as new army command set up


DVB has learned that the SPDC has expanded and formed a new tactical 
operations  headquarters - the No 20 Tactical Operations Headquarters in 
Kawthaung  District since March. Furthermore, the local people have been 
forcibly  recruited to give volunteer labour to build the battalion 
bases and funds  have also been solicited. DVB correspondent Myint Maung 
Maung filed the  report about the situation of the battalions under this 
newly formed  tactical operations headquarters and the plight of the 
local people.  

[Myint Maung Maung] The newly formed No 20 Tactical Operations 
Headquarters  consists of 10 battalions - three battalions each from the 
three Tactical  Commands and one base battalion. Although the strength 
of each battalion  should be 878 men, the manpower of the battalions is 
between 200 and 300  men at present. The Tactical Operations Commander 
holds the rank of a  colonel while the No 1 Tactical Commander is Lt-Col 
Tin Maung Nyunt, the No  2 Tactical Commander is Lt-Col Aung Shein, and 
the No 3 Tactical Commander  is Lt-Col Win Naing. All the battalion 
commanders are majors. Furthermore,  all the battalions under the No 20 
Tactical Operations Headquarters are  situated along Kawthaung-Bokpyin 
Road near Maliwin, Khamaukgyi, Panthida,  Htaingthadaing, and Karakothi 
Villages. Due to the construction of the  battalions, Kawthaung-Bokpyin 
road has been temporary closed. As the new  battalions have been under 
construction, lots of bamboo and wood are needed  for its completion. 
Authorities have requested wood and bamboo from oil  palm plantation 
companies along Kawthaung-Bokpyin road while the local  people - one 
from each household - have been forced to contribute their  volunteer 
labour to cut bamboo and to work in the construction project. 

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 22 Jul 01 

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

AFP: EU takes hard line on Myanmar despite prisoners' release 

HANOI, July 25 (AFP) - Myanmar's military regime must go much further 
towards restoring democracy than steps taken so far including the 
release of dozens of political prisoners, the European Union said 
Wednesday.   Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel, the current holders 
of the EU presidency, said the junta should respect the 1990 election 
victory by opposition leader Aung Sun Suu Kyi if it was serious about 
democracy.   "We have to show that there is more to democracy than just 
releasing several political prisoners," Michel said on the sidelines of 
a regional security meeting in Hanoi, as the EU prepares to review 
sanctions against Myanmar in the autumn.   "There must be respect to the 
result of the election, for example," said the foreign minister.   

"Now we must stress that the democratic process must go further. We must 
go deeper into political dialogue. There must be respect to minorities 
and there must be steps that must be taken to change the system to a 
true democracy.   "Democracy is a wholesome process, and we just cannot 
simply divide it."   Myanmar Foreign Minister Win Aung told AFP Tuesday 
that the military regime's release of the political prisoners this month 
showed that watershed talks with Aung San Suu Kyi remained on track.   

Win Aung refused to give a timeframe for multi-party elections or define 
the type of government that might emerge from a breakthrough in the 
talks with the Nobel laureate opposition leader.   He said the release 
of the prisoners including prominent journalist San San Nwe was "not a 
public relations stunt or to please anybody," denying the move was 
designed to prod the EU into lifting sanctions imposed on Myanmar for 
human rights abuses.   The EU renewed its sanctions, including a visa 
ban on junta officials, for six more months in April.   Win Aung 
described the sanctions as "discriminatory actions against us and which 
should not be there for normal relations with countries."   He added 
that remaining political prisoners would be freed on a "case by case" 


BMA: Group of Journalists Nominated for Canadian Award 

By Tin Maung Htoo (Canada)
Burma Media Association
July 23, 2001

A group of 24 Burmese journalists who had been detained for practicing 
their right of freedom of expression has been nominated for Canada's 
International Press Freedom Award with the sponsor of a group of exiled 
Burmese journalists and the endorsement of a number of rights advocate 
and political organizations. 

The General-Secretary of Burma Media Association (BMA) Ko Khin Maung Soe 
said the nomination has been prepared for several months with the 
initial advice of a radio journalist Ko Kyaw Moe and later reinforced 
with the idea of a former imprisoned journalist U Htay Aung (Zin Lin) 
for group nomination.  This is the first time of its kind and attempt in 
nominating all detained journalists for Canadians-version international 
press award.    

He also added that a number of organizations supporting for this 
submission are growing, resonating to the nomination letter signed by 
the president of BMA. Norway-based scholar Ko Maung Maung Myint writes 
this fact in the letter sent to the Canadian Journalists for Free 
Expression (CJFE): 

"We were assured that a number of Burmese and International 
organizations such as Free Burma Coalition (FBC), Assistance Association 
for Political Prisoners (AAPP, Burma), National Coalition Government of 
the Union of Burma (NCGUB), Committee for Restoration of Democracy in 
Burma (CRDB), All Burma Students? League (ABSL) and League for Democracy 
in Burma (LDB) will support our nomination." 
In addition, it is also learned that this nomination will get support 
from Canada-based Burmese Students' Democratic organization (BSDO) and 
Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB). 

CJFE gave the 1998 International Press Award to a Burmese female 
journalist Daw San San Nwe while she was in prison, and U Win Pe, a 
journalist, movie director, and musician, received the award on her 
behalf in the awarding ceremony in Toronto. 
When she was released from prison last week with the other 10 political 
prisoners, CJFE and other international media organizations such as 
World Association of Newspaper (WAN), Reporters without Border, and 
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), hailed by issuing statements. 

CJFE also pressed the ruling military government to release another 
prominent journalist U Win Tin, sending a letter on April, but he is 
still remained in prison although some famous and contemporary 
journalists Maung Wun Tha, Daw San San Nwe and Dr. Aung Khin Sint were 
released in recent.   

CJFE's award is especially intended for journalists whose efforts and 
commitments are still in lack of international attention and not yet 
recognized with international press awards.   

Thus the president of BMA said in the letter that this nomination is 
more accordant with their targeted criterion, saying, "their case was 
not yet known to the international community. Except from one (referring 
to U Win Tin), none of them has ever won any kind of press freedom award 
that would draw world attention towards the plight of the Burmese 
journalists and journalism in Burma." 

Most of those nominees were a group of intellectual prisoners tried to 
exchange information inside the prison and with the outside world.  They 
successfully sent out a report about prison conditions to UN human 
rights commission, and as a result of this and other practices of 
freedom of expression in prison they were sentenced additional 5 to 12 
years jail terms in 1996. Among convicted, prominent magazine editor, 
Myo Myint Nyeint, and newspaper editor Win Tin are included, along with 
Nyunt Zaw who is already deceased in prison. 


Burma Courier: Ottawa Embassy Employees Kept Busy in Hot Summer Sun

OTTAWA, Jul 13 (CNS) - Myanmar Embassy employees had their work cut out 
for them in the hot summer days, as Ottawa posties delivered five boxes 
of mail addressed to Myanmar's Head of State, Senior General Than Shwe.  
The boxes, forwarded by the Canadian Friends of Burma in Ottawa, 
contained more than 11,000 postcards from Canadians asking Than Shwe to 
intervene in order to secure the long overdue release from prison of 
student leader Min Ko Naing. Attempts by concerned citizens to 
personally deliver more than 6,000 of the cards in March this year were 
sloughed off by an embassy receptionist. Since then, 5,000 additional 
cards have been received.  This time, members of the Postal Workers' 
Union guaranteed that the delivery would be completed - and it was. 


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