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Wired News on July 17, 1995

Japan Broker Plans Burma Arm as Prelude to Bourse

      TOKYO, July 17 (Reuter) - A major Japanese stock broking firm said on
Monday it plans to set up a brokerage in Burma to prepare for the reopening
of a Rangoon stock exchange after decades of anti-capitalistic rule. 

    The announcement by Daiwa Securities Co Ltd, Japan's second biggest
brokerage, and its Daiwa Institute of Research, came in spite of an appeal by
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi for foreign investors to wait for
real changes in the human rights situation before dealing with the military

    Aung San Suu Kyi was released by the government last week after six years
under house arrest. 

    Daiwa officials said that while details had to be worked out, the Burmese
Finance and Revenue Ministry and the Daiwa group aimed to establish a joint
house by the end of the year. 

    ``The new house is to be established with the aim of taking a leading
role in over-the-counter trading (of Burmese companies) before Burma sets up
a stock exchange,'' a Daiwa Institute of Research official said. 

    Last November Burma signed a memorandum of understanding with the
Institute on setting up a stock exchange, privatising state-owned enterprises
and developing a capital market in Burma. 

    ``The plan to set up the joint securities house is in line with the
agreement to cooperate with Burma to set up the capital market there,'' the
official said. 

    Initial capitalisation of the venture would likely be about $3.6 million,
he said. 

    Burma's stock exchange was closed in the 1960s after a military takeover
began a long period of quasi-socialist rule. The current military government,
which took power in 1988, has tentatively implemented free-market reforms,
but these have been hampered by foreign criticism of its human rights record.

    On Friday, Nobel peace prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi urged foreign
countries and investors to look for real changes in Burma's human rights
before putting money into the country and questioned why Japan felt the need
to hurry back. 

REUTERReut 06:49 07-17-95

New Mexico Lawmaker in New Foreign Policy Success

      By Eddie Evans

    WASHINGTON (Reuter) - Bill Richardson, a globe-trotting
congressman from New Mexico, sprang two Americans from an Iraqi
prison Sunday and jumped back into the foreign policy limelight.

    It was the third time in eight months Richardson sauntered
onto the world stage while professional diplomats watched from
the wings.

    Richardson, a New Mexico Democrat and personal friend of
President Clinton, is expected to escort the two men home
Monday, just two days after he arrived in Iraq to plead for
their release.

    He telephoned his office Sunday to say that Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein acted on humanitarian grounds. ``There were no
deals made in the meeting. There was no quid-pro-quo or
concessions,'' he said.

    William Barloon and David Daliberti, who work for U.S.
defense companies, had been held in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison
since March 13, after being arrested on Iraq's border with

    For Richardson, the release of Barloon and Daliberti from an
Iraqi prison follows his efforts in December for the release of
U.S. helicopter pilot Bobby Hall, who was shot down over North
Korea. Richardson was also the first foreigner to visit Burmese
dissident leader Aung San Su Kyi, and tried unsuccessfully to
visit her just two weeks before her release earlier this month.

    ``We owe a good deal to Congressman Bill Richardson,''
Secretary of State Warren Christopher told Cable News Network
and Daliberti were released.

    The White House said that, while Clinton did not negotiate
with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, he did support Richardson's
mission. Christopher said that Richardson did not carry any
letter from Clinton.

    Two months ago, Iraq's Foreign Minister Mohammed Said
Al-Sahaf said that such a letter from Clinton to Hussein might
win a favor.

     In brief comments to reporters in Baghdad, Barloon thanked
Richardson for ``coming and getting us.'' Daliberti called it
``a wonderful day.''

    ``These two are fine young men who tonight will be going
home to their families,'' said a beaming Richardson as he hugged
them just hours after they left the prison in Baghdad.
     Sources close to Richardson said he left for Baghdad
Thursday night after an unidentified intermediary contacted him
to urge him to intervene with Iraq.

      Richardson happened to be in Asia when Hall and Chief
Warrant Officer David Hilemon were shot down after straying into
North Korean airspace.

    ``I think the only reason I was treated as well as I was is
because Congressman Richardson was there creating such a big
stir,'' Hall said after his release, saying he believed that
otherwise he would have been tortured.

    Earlier this month, Richardson claimed no credit for the
release of Suu Kyi, saying that during his visit to Burma two
weeks earlier, every expectation was that she would be detained

    Last year, Richardson also flew to Haiti to meet with then
military leader Lt. Gen. Raoul Cedras. Richardson apparently
upset the White House on that occasion by telling reporters that
Cedras was ``not totally intransigent.''

    Richardson, 48, is the son of an American father and a
Mexican mother.

    He was born in California and grew up in Mexico City before
returning to the United States to attend high school and Tufts
University in Massachusetts.
    He worked for the State Department, then for the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee before moving to New Mexico in 1978.
He was elected to Congress in 1982.

    In Congress, he sits on the House Energy and Commerce
Committee, the Select Intelligence Committee and the Natural
Resources Committee.

    Richardson has made it known he would like to run for
statewide office, either for governor or senator.

Reut15:28 07-16-95