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Subject: VOICE OF THE PEACOCK_ AUG-SEPT,1995_ VOL:2, NO:4 (part I)

                          VOICE OF THE PEACOCK
AUG_SEP, 1995              NEWS & VIEWS             VOL-2, NO- 4


Second chamberlain?(EDITORIAL)

The tension between the Slorc military regime and Thai government 
has been increasing since the fall of Manarplaw. There are many
problems concerning  Moei River disputes, DKBO (Democratic Karen
Buddhist Organization) attacks on Thai soil, the opium warlord
Khun Sa, and the recent execution of some Burmese fishermen by
some Thai fishermen in Burma's waters. For every conflict, the
Burmese military regime has attacked the Thai government and Thai
explanations of the problems.  Also, the Burmese military regime
has often accused the Thai government of assisting the Burmese
opposition groups including ethnic armed resistance groups.

The Thai government seems to be seriously trying to solve these
problems. All the border trade at Tachilek- Mae Sai, Myawaddy- 
Mae Sod and Kaw Thaung- Ranong has been stopped for the past
several months.  Because of  the closing of the border trade,
both sides have been losing money. But the Slorc military regime
doesn't care because all the borders are under the control of the
Slorc. However, the Thai border traders have been losing their
profits in logging concessions, jewellery and other commodities. 
In addition, some Thai politicians who have been involved in
border trading for many years are unhappy about their lost
opportunities.  Since the closure of the border trade points,
some Thai politicians and businessmen who regularly earned their
profits from border trading have become united. They have been
willing to fawn on the SLORC in order to get SLORC to reopen the
borders. We can say that this is the main weak point of Thailand
when dealing with border affairs with Slorc.

The Slorc has another trump card. The Slorc military regime has
said that it must reunite its deteriorating army because of Thai-
Burma border conflicts.  The Slorc uses this excuse when it wants 
to show that Thailand is a serious source of outside danger for
Burma. The Slorc does not to dare to create such problems with
China or India. Also the SLORC is afraid to make a campaign
against Bangladesh, because they (Slorc) know how the Muslim
world would respond. Therefore, Thailand is the best target for

The Slorc is always afraid that their army will split up, so they
are always loudly shouting slogans such as "Any one who tries to
brake up Tatmadaw is our enemy", "We reject any scheme to brake
up the Tatmadaw", "No matters who tries to divide up, we will
always remain united". Big signboards with such slogans have been
erected throughout the country by the Slorc military regime. They
know that their enemies are actually not outside, but inside. 
Internal conflict is the main problem, but to solve the internal
conflict successfully, the Slorc has been creating the outside
conflict to unify people and divert attention from internal

Previously, the military regime has created some conflicts citing
the threat of outside danger for the country like the danger of
communism, the danger of colonialism and the danger of
insurrection by the ethnic groups. It means the existence of a
big and strong military is important for the country. But, for
the time being, it is impossible to make such statements, because
most of the ethnic resistance groups have made cease-fire
agreements (but not peace talks) with them. At the moment, in
their army, all of the high ranking army officers usually say
that now the ethnic resistance groups have become our friends.  

Therefore, at present, the Burmese army doesn't have any inside
or outside enemy, and they seem to be jobless themselves,
especially amongst the grassroots level soldiers. So, they want
to go back home and don't want to stay in the jungle anymore. But
some army officers and soldiers can get outside money if they are
in an area where some kind of business is booming.  In such a
situation, it is difficult for the SLORC generals to control
their army. 

On the other hand, because of the political and economic crisis
in Burma, the generals cannot order or manage their soldiers very
well. Every soldier complains that they want to go back home if
there is no enemy. Of course, the generals need to come up with
some reasons to control their soldiers, so they talk about
Thailand.  Since 1992, in order to promote nationalism, the
generals have started anti-Thai slogans among their army. They
have allowed certain writers to print anti-Thai articles, poems
and short stories in the military intelligence controlled journal
named "Myet Khin Thit"( in English "New green grass").

The SLORC has also erected statues of King Bayint Naung, who 
defeated Thailand many years ago, in the border towns of Tachilek 
opposite Mae Sai and Kot Thaung opposite Ranong. At the same
time, they have been reinforcing their army and buying Chinese
made aircraft and war-ships to be ready for any potential
conflict along the Thai Burma border.

At present, the relationship between Burma and Thailand can be
compared to the relationship between  Germany and England before
World War II broke out in Europe.  The Thai government  looks
like Chamberlain of England who went and tried to appease Hitler 
of Germany. But nothing can appease the wolf who has a
premeditated plan to eat such a little sheep, despite the fact
that the sheep has a constructive engagement policy and maintains
personal friendships with Burmese Generals.



The Closing Ceremony of the Basic Guerilla Course (1/95) was held
on July 31, 1995 in the Southern Sommand of the ABSDF and was 
attended by the members of the ABSDF.

The Ceremony was presided over by Vice Chairman Aung Thu Nyein
who delivered a speech to the Closing Ceremony addressing the
current political situation and duties that the ABSDF should
emphasized today.  This was in accordance with the political 
development inside Burma, particularly after the release of Nobel 
Peace Prize Laureate Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

"We, the ABSDF, will continue our struggle until the restoration
of democracy and human rights in Burma, despite the current
difficulties we are facing, " said Aung Thu Nyein.

The ceremony was also attended by Thu Reinm (Organizing), Min Min 
(Chief of Staff of the Military Office) and other commanders in 
charge of an assortment of political, social and military 
departments of the ABSDF Central Leading Committee.

21 trainees successfully accomplished the training. Students who
passed the training with outstanding marks were honorably 
rewarded. The training was reportedly a one-month intensive
course initiated on June 30, 1995.  The course is combined with a
political course.

Vice Chairman Aung Thu Nyein awarded Best Cadet Prize to
Myint Lwin of Battalion 201. Progressive trainee prizes were
granted to Chit Win of Battalion 909, Ye Win of Battalion 201,
Aung Naing Soe of Battalion 909 and Htun Naing of Battalion
201 by Central Leading Committee member Thu Rein( Organizational 
Committee) and Military Chief of Staff Maj. Min Min. The award
for perseverance was handed to Chan Du Wan by the commander of
the military training.

The ceremony was successfully concluded by the closing speech of
Vice Chairman Aung Thu Nyein.


Following the Slorc's breaking of ceasefire agreement with KNPP
and increasing of  sending troops to the KNPP area to wipe out
KNPP members from their native area, leaders of the Karenni
National Progressive Party(KNPP),  All Burma Students' Democratic
Front(ABSDF), Mergui/Tavoy United Front  and Social Democrats,
Burma(SDB) organized a meeting aiming to find out an appropriate
way to help the KNPP, at a secret location of Burma near
Thai-Burma border, on August 17, 1995.

The violation of the ceasefire by the SLORC has led to the
critical military situation in the Karenni National Progressive
Party (KNPP) area. To support the KNPP in it's just struggles and
to initiate a genuine country-wide national reconciliation, the
military alliance was formed.

The members agreed to cooperate and help each other. The meeting
agreed to strengthen the line of communication and exchange of
information amongst the groups.

A meeting will be done very soon for the extension and promotion
of cooperative work. The Alliance reiterated that they will
continue their struggle until the achievement of their goals
despite any difficulties.

The Alliance calls on the international community to impose
effective sanctions against the Slorc until a genuine democratic
government is formed with the mandate of the entire people of


Inside Burma: All Burma Students' Democratic Front(ABSDF)
organized a memorial ceremony of the seventh anniversary of the
8888 uprising at Pae Dai village of Tenassarim township in
Tenassarim Division. Over 1000 people attended the ceremony. The
Village headman delivered the opening speech of the ceremony
while Maj. Sali Yaw Aung(a former University Students from
Rangoon Arts and Science University in 1988), Commander of
Battalion (201) and Maj. Win Naing, Commander of the
Battalion(203) of Student Army of the ABSDF, on behalf of the
ABSDF Chairman Moe Thee Zun, delivered the speeches regarding the
struggle for democracy in Burma and the unavoidable duties of
students and youths of today for the future of Burma. There was
reportedly no clashes between Students troops and Slorc troops
after the ceremony. 
In Bangkok: All exiled Burmese students in Bangkok unitedly held
a demonstration in front of the Burmese embassy in Bangkok
marking the seventh anniversary of 8888 uprising. Over 80
students joined the peaceful demonstration and nobody was 
arrested after the scene. Burmese students later held a memorial
ceremony in conjunction with Photos and Cartoons exhibition at
the Fistrap Office of the UNHCR in Bangkok. Aung Saw Oo from
National League for Democracy_ Liberated Area(NLD_LA) was the
main speaker at the gathering while Kyaw Thet gave a speech on
behalf of the all exiled Burmese students in Thailand and Ye Nie
served as the announcer of the memorial ceremony. Then, Asian
Students Association (ASA) 
hosted a dinner party for Burmese students at 6:30PM. Burmese
students exchanged their views and experience with other students
from Hongkong, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand,
Sri Lanka, Nepal, Palestine and Fiji Islands . The dinner party
was concluded by singing Burmese democracy songs and ASA
songs.(ABSDF is only Burmese students organization which became a
full-member of the ASA in 1989)  
On the next day,  August 9, Burmese students in Bangkok organized
a seminar on political review of current situation in Burma, at
SASA International guest house of Chulalongkorn University in
Bangkok in honour of the 8888 day. The Seminar was presided by Ko
Myint Thein(NLD_LA) while Maung Maung Soe was the announcer.  The
Agendas on the Seminar are: National Reconciliation,
International relationship on Slorc Toward the new genuine
national convention Overseas Mon National Students
Organization(OMNSO) and Overseas Mon Young Monks Union(OMYMU)
also joined the seminar. 


Daw Aung San Suu Kyi gave the opening speech of the NGO forum on
the 29th August. Her speech highlighted international and Burmese
issues such as gender equality, peace, human rights, tolerance
and economic security. She cited a Burmese proverb about why men,
and not women, should be involved in politics: "The dawn rises
only when the rooster crows".

She then cleverly pointed out that the rooster crows when the
dawn comes, and not the other way around, and that it was not
only the progahve of men alone to bring light to the world. She
also discussed the struggle for human rights and democracy in
Burma and of how women are living in fear in the country.

Successful workshops were held during the NGO conference in which
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's speech was screened along with two videos
concerning human abuses of ethnic Burmese women, and the lives of
Burmese girls who have been trafficked as prostitutes to

Pro-democracy and human rights activists from the U.S, Japan,
Norway, Australia, Thailand, India and Sweden spoke on activities
they conduct in their countries. Thousands of copies of
literature concerning the situation of Burmese women were
distributed and important lobbying at both NGO and government
levels was conducted. After a number of attempts by these NGOs
were made to talk with the Slorc delegation, they were refused.

The Burma- Slorc delegation was led by Maj. Gen. Soe Myint
(Minister of Social welfare, Relief and Resettlement). It was
surprising to hear about women in Burma, from a man and high-
ranking military officer, especially after reading and hearing of
the abuses of women in the country, in the workshops at forum. A
banner was unfolded in protest during Soe Myint's speech, stating
"Free the people of Burma". The Maj.Gen. looked at the banner as
television cameras captured the event, and continued to read his

It was to be one of the only demonstrations in the UN plenary for
the whole conference. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi is free, but will
anything change for the women and people of Burma?

[Ma Hnin Hlaing Oo]



A FAMOUS Burmese student union called, on July 12, 1995, for the
military government to open three-side peace talks with democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma's numerous ethnic groups.

The All Burma Federation of Student Unions(ABFSU) urged the junta
to make several concessions to get the talks going, including
releasing student leader Min Ko Naing, suspending the
constitutional convention, executing restoring political and
press freedom and abrogating oppressive orders against democratic

"Today the general political situation of our nation is
undergoing a very delicate and grave circumstance, said ABFSU.

"We believe the democratic organisations led by Suu Kyi (and) all
nationality groups who had been resorting to armed struggle and
the SLORC have to set up a climate of mutual respect and begin a
dialogue "the ABFSU" said in a statement.

"All are responsible for (the) inauguration of such a tripartite
negotiation," it said, adding that "the Slorc has to realise that
it is most responsible party of all."

Among the eight things it said the Slorc should do were declaring
an agenda for the negotiations and letting international
organizations and news agencies monitor events in Burma.

"The entire population of all nationalities had been deprived of
their democratic and human rights; national unity and peace had
collapsed. Consequently national economy had crumbled bringing
our nation into the abyss of poverty," said ABFSU.

"If the Slorc decided to ignore their responsibility to implement
the above mentioned tasks and resort to suppression, arbitrary
arrests, intimidation and violence, and continue the long
standing civil war, and proceed with the national convention for
which public opinion had never been counted, the Slorc would be
responsible for all the consequences that resulted from its
insincerity" said in a statement.

The ABFSU is a historical student union in Burma since its
independence struggle. It was founded in 1936-37 academic year
and its first Chairman is Ko Yar Shit. Gen Aung San was the
second Chairman of ABFSU in 1937-38 academic year. Many
founders(Thirty comrade) of Burma Army and famous independence
leader of Burma took part actively as famous student leaders in
ABFSU in their student lives.  

ABFSU's building in Rangoon University was demolished on July 7,
1962 by the Ne Win's military regime, under the official name of
Revolutionary Council which was later transformed into Burma
Socialist Program Party(BSPP) and rule the country for 26 years. 

Min Ko Naing became Chairman of the ABFSU when it was reformed
during the 1988 democracy uprising in Burma. The military regime,
the Slorc sentenced him 20 years imprisonment on March 24, 1989.


Eleventh Congress of the KNU was being successfully held on
Aug 21, to August 31, 1995. One hundred and six KNU
representatives and 79 observers from the civil as well as the
military establishments in all provinces attended the Congress.
After deliberation upon the prevailing domestic and
international situations, the Congress  made necessary
modifications with regard to policies and programs of the Karen
revolution and Constitution of the KNU, so as to make them to be
in consonant with time. The Congress elected 35 candidates
consisting of senior, middle and younger leaders as Central
Standing Committee members and from among the 35, the Congress
again elected eleven members to serve on the Central Executive
Committee. The Congress also elected 20 young leaders as
candidate members to the Central Standing Committee. The Congress
elected Gen. Saw Bo Mya as President, Saw Shwe Saing as
vice-President, Saw Ba Thin as General Secretary and Mahn Sha Lar
Pan and Saw Tu Tu Lay as Joint-General Secretaries of the KNU.

It reaffirmed that KNU will firmly join hands together with the
entire people and fellow alliance forces, and resolutely struggle
on for victory by upholding high our objectives of the
establishment of genuine peace, democracy and a genuine federal



AMERICA'S UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright visited Burma on
September 8-9, becoming the highest ranking US official to visit
the country since the military violently seized power in 1988.
She met with Gen Khin Nyunt and visited UN-funded rural
development projects. 

The US envoy dubbed the National Convention, which was organized
by Slorc to draft a new constitution, a "phoney" operation and
rejected junta leader Lt Gel Khin Nyunt's characterization of it
as "a meaningful process for dialogue".

She said there was "not a great deal" of improvement in
human rights in Burma. While the US welcomed the release of Suu
Kyi from nearly six years of house arrest, and of other political
activists, Washington had "reasons to believe that other people
had replaced them in prison and detention".

She has urged the Burmese junta to take the "many other
steps necessary to restore democracy" and to respect human
rights, or face greater international isolation.

She quoted Khin Nyunt as telling her that the Burmese people were
smiling more. But she retorted that: "dictators often dilute
themselves into believing they have popular support. But people
often smile not because they are happy but because they are
afraid. The future of Burma must be built on hope, not fear."

She urged the SLORC to begin a meaningful dialogue aimed at
national reconciliation with Mrs Suu Kyi and other democratic
leaders. She told a press conference the US was "modestly
encouraged" to hear that Slorc was for the first time considering
opening talks with Suu Kyi. But she quoted Khin Nyunt as saying
such talks "will have to come after internal consultations"
within Slorc leadership. The US government, she said, "does not
believe that such a dialogue should be delayed any longer" and
repeated Suu own words, "the dialogue begins the better.

She said her visit had two primary objectives: to call for
democratisation and support the role of Mrs Suu Kyi as a
pro-democracy leader. Narcotics were also on the agenda. 

"America stands ready to develop friendly and constructive
relations with the Burmese government, but that can occur when
and only when fundamental progress towards democracy and respect
for basic human rights is achieved," she said.

She said the visit was successful in terms of making clear
the US position on its future relations with Burma.

She had also urged Slorc "to choose the path choose the democracy
rather than continued repression and dictatorial rule".

The ambassador, who had a breakfast meeting with Suu Kyi
on September 9, said she and Suu Kyi shared the view it was of
continued importance to keep the attention of the international
community focused on the situation in Burma. They also agreed
that this year's UN resolution on human rights in Burma "reflects
accurately the situation on the ground". Albright said she would
talk with the UN representatives of othercountries about ''the
possibility of making it [the resolution] more specific and
having a timeframe" attached to democratic progress in Burma.

"I plan to speak out a great deal when I get back on the
importance of the Burmese people having the ability to move the,
democratic process forward under the UN resolution," she said.



A Rangoon resident said that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has organized a
Committee to provide assistance to political prisoners in
different jails in Burma. She has recently contributed 1000 kyat
including a towel and necessary medicines for each political
prisoner. "The People express their support to her great
attempt," he added.
The Committee has also provided assistance for the poor family
members of the political prisoners. There are now about over 3000
political prisoners still detained in the different prisons in
Burma. "She said that she will continue to urge the Slorc for
their release calling the people to give her the support" said
another resident in Rangoon.

Later words are reveived that Aung San Suu Kyi's assistance to
the political prisoners in August, 1995, were confiscated by the
prison authorities at the prisons according to the order from the
superior. It was first allowed by the Col. Kyaw Win, Deputy
military Intelligent chief of the Slorc, who passed the oral
message of Gen. Than Swe for unconditional release of Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi on July 10 and has frequently visited her residence
since then, a Rangoon resident said.

She also provided the assistance to the poor family members of
the political prisoners, particularly, 5000 kyat each to the
family members of the political prisoners who died in the prisons
while serving their sentences.



Thai Deputy Premier and Defence Minister Gen Chavalit
Yongchaiyudh met Gen Than Shwe on September 1, 1995, duing his
two-day visit to Burma. Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw was also
included in the Burmese delegation discussing bilateral issues
with the Thai side. Gen Chavalit handed a letter on behalf of
Prime Minister Banharn Silpa-archa to his counterpart.

Thailand does not give special recognition to Burmese dissident
leader Aung San Suu Kyi, considering her merely a Burmese citizen
carrying out political activities in her country, Defence
Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said on September 1, 1995. "I
don't know why we have paid much interest to her," he said.

Thailand is ready to cooperate and coordinate efforts with
Burma in narcotics suppression through exchanging information
and stepping up joint crackdown operations.

But Gen Chavalit said Thailand may not be able to comply with
Burma's request that it stop providing medical care to wounded
troops of drug warlord Khun Sa fighting the military government.
It is necessary for Thailand to provide humanitarian assistance
to people seeking refuge in its territory, he said.

Gen Chavalit said Thailand has mercy in allowing Burmese students
to take refuge in the country.

However, those student should know that it would be inappropriate
to use Thailand as a base to stage protests and other political
activities against the Burmese government.

Those accompanying Gen Chavalit to Burma include his adviser
Pat Akkanibut, his secretary Boonchu Wangkanond and Assistant
Army Chief Gen Chettha Thanajaro.



The U.S senate has approved sanctions against the Slorc military
regime in Burma by an overwhelming 91 to nine on September 21,
1995, after the efforts of Senator Mitch McConnell, a Republican
from Kentucky since the beginning of this year.

Unanimously, the ABSDF (All Burma Students' Democratic Front) has
agreed on that measure against the military regime and stated
their warmly welcome on September 24, 1995. Approximately 3,000
political prisoners are still detained and the Slorc military
regime still intends to reconvene its sham National Convention to
take part and dominate in future Burma's politics by the
military, have been expressed in their statement.

However, "Today, acceded to the wishes of Senator John McCain, a
Republican from Arizona and withdrew my Free Burma Act of 1995 as
an amendment to the Foreign Assistance Appropriation Bill
currently under consideration by the U.S Congress" said Senator
Mitch McConnell on September 27, 1995, has been written in
Thailand's Bangkok Post by Ralph Bachoe on September 29.

Ralph Bachoe described that McConnell has decided to withdraw his
proposal by the intensive pressure from McCain, and, according to
a knowledgeable Republican source, the U.S oil companies, Unocal
and Texaco have over Congress with their powerful lobbying

Nevertheless, the ABSDF would like to express their special
thanks to Senator Mitch McConnell for his outstanding efforts how
he has sponsored for democratization in Burma ruled by the brutal
military regime.

The ABSDF is very pleased on what McConnell said, "I intend to
bring the matter before the Senate in the very near future. No
one should doubt my resolve to have the U.S Senate fully debate
the deplorable situation in Burma and bring about the trade and
investment sanctions I propose against the Slorc ( State Law and
Order Restoration Council).

Undoubtedly, the ABSDF believe that all American citizens like
Senator Mitch McConnell who love democracy and human rights and
topple military dictatorship on our earth, have been sympathetic
to the people of Burma who are starving "freedom", will continue
to participate hand in hand with the people of Burma in the



The sub-regional meeting of the executive council members of the
ASA ( Asia-Pacific Students' Association) was held in Bangkok
from August 7 to 12. It was attended by the representatives of 46
national students organizations spanning 26 countries in the
Asia-Pacific region. 

ABSDF Foreign Affairs Department joint-secretary, Ko Zaw Min
attended that meeting on behalf of the Burmese students, proposed
a campaign to release the famous Burmese student leader Min Ko
Naing, who was arrested in 1989 without any offense and sentenced
to 20 years imprisonment.

It also urgeS the SLORC to sit in a dialogue with democratic
forces in Burma led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.



The coming solar eclipse, on 24 October, 1995, would influence
both southern Shan state of Burma and the world, said by the
Burmese astrologers. Traditionally, Burmese people believe that
bad things will effect to the ruling government after occurring
On 24.4.92 the solar eclipse. Especially, it means that the
government would be changed from one to another.

Now, the Slorc is concerned about their controlled National
Convention which will be held again on October 24, 1995, in
Rangoon. The Slorc's so-called National convention was started on
January 9, 1993, but the Slorc has postponed the National
Convention for five times from 1993 to 1995. 

Time            duration              attended representatives

First         9.1.93- 11.1.93                    699
Second        1.2.93-  8.4.93                    695
Third         7.6.93- 16.9.63                    680
Fourth       18.1.94-  9.4.94                    643
Fifth         2.9.94-  7.4.95                    633
Sixth     scheduled to be restarted on 24.10.94    ?

On 24.8.92, one day after the retirement of Senior Gen Saw Maung,
who ever told that we will transfer power to the elected body of
1990 election and the Tatmadaw personnel will go back to the
military barracks, Slorc announced Notification No: 11/92 in
order to held a national convention within six months refusing to
transfer the state power. 

Concerning the National Convention to draft the constitution,
Aung San Suu Kyi who was recently released from six years of
house arrest, said that It is supposed to be a National
Convention, and a National Convention means that all forces in
the nation are involved, and what we would like to see it as a
true national one, and we should work together.

"The draft constitution is certainly not heading on the track to
democracy. So I think they should be open to negotiations" said
Aung San Suu Kyi.

Regarding the basic principles in the constitution, she said that
the basic principle of any genuine democratic government is that
the people should be able to decide whom they want to be at the
helm of the nation and when remove this people. "Every truly
democratic government must have the mandate of the people and
proper institutions to ensure that this mandate is given." she

At present, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the national opposition leader
and a Nobel Peace laureate has offered the Slorc a dialogue for
national reconciliation, but no response from the Slorc military
regime yet.    



At the end of July, 1995, a team of SLORC officials recruited
laborers for construction of unknown camps on the central Burma
range (Central Yoma). The labourers were all recruited from
Rangoon and other big cities but not from the local people near
by. The SLORC officials surprisingly gave 10,000 Kyats as an
advance payment for the work. But the workers were given no
information where, how long or the nature of the work. The
recruiting team didn't picked up anybody who refuse to take the
advance payment. Some sources think the work is connected with
either secret military activities or concentration or
interrogation camps for political prisoners.



After the release of national leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the
SLORC re-selected the "in charges" of streets, "in charges" of
every (10) households and enquired about their political outlook.
Most of the new "in charges" are pro-military USDA members.



It was reported from inside Burma that there are now over 3000
political prisoners in different jails of Burma. Most of the
political prisoners will complete their sentences by the end of
this year. It probably seems to be the Slorc that finding a way
to take advantages of the situation by announcing an amnesty or
something like that,  said a resident in Rangoon. Slorc may
announce an amnesty to exploit the situation, said one of the
political prisoners. 



The opening ceremony for the statue of the great Burmese King
Bayintnaung is scheduled to be held in September this year at
Tachilek opposite Mae Sai, Thailand.  Bayintnaung invaded
Thailand (then Siam) in the 16th century, and errecting this
statue is clearly designed to be an affront to the Thais.  The
SLORC has been carrying out an internal campaign to instigate an
anti-Thai spirit while anti-Chinese feelings are growing
particularly in Mandalay.

This is reflected even in jokes.  For instance, Zar Ga Nar, a
Burmese comedian, joked "I am studying Chinese". Another person
asked him, "Will you go and work in China?" Zar Ga Nar (Dr. Thu
Ra- Dentist) replied, "No. I will go and work in Mandalay."



After the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, videotapes covering
the current NLD meetings, her speeches at the gatherings in front
of her home, and the U Nu funeral ceremony where student
activists were arrested have become very popular in video halls
throughout Burma. In Burma, small video halls are located in
almost every ward of every township. 

Normally these video halls show mostly sex movies, comedies, and
foreign action stories. However, the videotapes of the Aung San
Suu Kyi-NLD meetings are attracting a lot of viewers at the

SLORC is very unhappy about this and in Bassein (Pa Thein), the 
capital of Irrawaddy division, NLD youth who brought these tapes
from Rangoon were arrested and detained for one night of
interrogation before they were all were released. In order to
intimidate the people, the SLORC officials in Bassein have
ordered all activists who actively took part in 8888 and have
since been released from the prisons, to send in reports about
what they have been doing from the time of their release up to
the present. 



A rumour which has been spread inside Burma is that the internal
split between the top brass of the Burma military has become
broader. Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt seems to have lost some power while
Gen. Maung Aye's clique becomes more powerful Senior Gen. Than
Shwe will retire by the end of this year and Gen. Maung Aye will
take his place as the Chairman of the Slorc, a Rangoon resident
said quoting the rumours.


In April, 1993, the Slorc started to open GEC shops in Burma for
government servants. The aims of the Slorc are:
1. To release government servants from current economic crisis in 
2. To have side-money for government servants.
3. To buy consumer goods cheaply for government servants.
4. To be flexible for the government servants according to the    
   changing economic system such as market system.
But people do not believe this because they have a lot of 
experience of co-operative practices during the time of one party
system, during the so-called socialist government's rule.
On May 6, 1995, the Slorc celebrated the third anniversary of
GEC. The Slorc Secretary-2 Gen. Tin Oo explained about GEC's
yearly accounts. But he did not explain at that celebration
whether the GEC had made a profit or not. Every GEC member has to
pay 750 Kyats per year and there are nearly 500,000 members of
the GEC throughout the country since 1993. He has instructed that
it should sell 24 kinds of goods for consumers from the GEC
shops. The only things GEC members could buy are: 
a. 8kg of rice per person,
b. 64 candals per person,
c. 2 pieces of soap per person,
d. 1 litre of kerosene per person.
The total expenditure of GEC has been also declining:
1993-94 expenditure 491.78 million Kyat
1994-95 expenditure 391.78 million Kyat
Once, there were some advertisements which repeatedly said: "buy
TVs and radios in GEC shops". But these were never actually
offered for sale.
It is unavoidable that there will be massive corruption by 
government servants whose monthly salary is 450 Kyat maximum,
when other manual labourers earn approximately 100 Kyat or 150
Kyat per day.

[Please continue to Part II]