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Wired News on November 29, 1995

Attn: Burma Newsreaders
Re: Wired News on November 29, 1995

Thai Police Arrest Burmese Dissisent in Crackdown

      BANGKOK, Nov 29 (Reuter) - Thai police sources said a veteran Burmese
dissident journalist was arrested early on Wednesday as part of a crackdown
to prevent protests in Bangkok against a constitutional meeting currently
being held in Burma. 

    U Ye Gyaung, 75, senior writer of the dissident underground weekly, the
New Era Journal, was picked up from his house in a predawn raid, police
sources and dissidents told Reuters. 

    Ye Gyaung's 65-year-old wife was also being detained with him at an
undisclosed location, they added. 

    On Tuesday, Thai police arrested nine Burmese dissidents who had planned
to stage a protest in front of the Burmese embassy against what they called a
sham national convention in Rangoon. 

    The Burmese national convention, which began on Tuesday, is being run by
the military government. It has picked most of the 

 630 delegates who are drafting guidelines for Burma's new constitution. 

    The opposition National Leaque for Democracy (NLD) party led by Nobel
Peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, which attended the first day of the
meeting, has pulled out of the convention. 

    Burmese dissidents said Thai police were arresting Burmese opposition
figures in Bangkok to prevent them from protesting against the convention. 

    The crackdown was also being launched ahead of a visit by Burmese
military officials to Thailand next month to participate in an Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting and summit. 

    ``For the moment we are living in the state of fear because of the
reports that the Thai authorities are beginning their crackdown on the
opposition movement in Thailand,'' said a senior Burmese dissident, who
declined to be identified. 

    Thousands of Burmese dissident students and politicians escaped military
suppression after bloody protests against military rule in 1988 and sought
refuge in the jungles or in Thailand. 

    Many of them continue their underground activities against Rangoon from
border hideouts or from Bangkok. 

00:59 11-29-95

Japan Grants Burma 5.0 bln yen debt relief

      RANGOON, Burma (Reuter) - Japan will provide $50 million as debt relief
grant-in-aid to Burma in return for Burma's repayment of a loan of the same
amount earlier this month, official media reported Wednesday. 

    A memorandum of understanding for the assistance was signed by the
Burmese Minister of Finance Brig. Gen. Win Tin and the Japanese Ambassador
Takashi Tajimi Tuesday, the state-run media said. 

    The money will be used to buy machinery, raw materials and spare parts,
the media reported. 

    A Japanese embassy official told Reuters the aid is Japan's 13th such
grant of assistance to Burma since Japan implemented a policy of cancelling
debts to least developed countries by changing their repayment into aid. 

    He said Japan provided Burma with $40 million in fiscal 1992, $62 million
in fiscal 1993 and $12 million in fiscal 1994 as debt relief grant-in-aid.

Burma opposition pulls out of constitutional talks

      By Deborah Charles 

    RANGOON, Nov 29 (Reuter) - Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi
said on Wednesday her National League for Democracy (NLD) party had pulled
out of government-run constitutional talks because they do not represent the
will of the people. 

    ``Our intention is always to find the way that is the most beneficial to
the people of the country,'' Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi told a news
conference at her home that served as her prison during six years of house

    ``We find at this point that we cannot in all honour support a national
convention which is not heading for what the people want, which is not in any
way desirous of bringing about national reconciliation, multi-party democracy
or a constitution that will be acceptable to all the people of our country.''

    The national convention, comprising delegates mostly hand-picked by the
military government, is meeting to draft guidelines for a new constitution.
It has met sporadically since January 1993 and convenes at the whim of the
ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). 

    The NLD has participated in previous sessions, but has repeatedly called
for changes to the process. 

    NLD secretary general Suu Kyi, who in July was released from house
arrest, said last week the convention was undemocratic and threatened to
boycott. She also repeated an unanswered call for dialogue between
opposition, ethnic groups and the SLORC to restore democracy in Burma. 

    Delegates from the NLD attended the opening session on Tuesday, but
withdrew from the talks when they found their demands for change to the
convention process had not been met. The NLD and other ``elected
representatives'' make up about 15 percent of all delegates to the

    National convention convening committee chairman Lieutenant General Myo
Nyunt said on Wednesday the NLD's withdrawal will not affect the convention,
which will continue. 

    He lashed out at Suu Kyi saying it was only since she was released from
house arrest that NLD's dissent had become public. 

    ``We can see that the attitudes opposing the National Convention appeared
soon after the restriction order to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was lifted,'' he
said. ``By studying what she said about the National Convention since her
relase it can clearly and obviously be seen that it was intentionally
prepared to spoil (it).'' 

    Suu Kyi said the government reaction could be a threat to her party
members. She said ``special forces officers'' were waiting outside the houses
of at least three senior NLD members, including two, Tin Oo and Kyi Maung,
who had been released from nearly six years of jail in March. 

    ``But the NLD was not founded because we wanted a nice and cozy niche for
ourselves. We knew that there were dangers involved and we were prepared to
take them.'' 

    When asked if she thought she might be rearrested for her outspoken
statements, she said ``anything is possible.'' 

    Suu Kyi said she hoped the NLD's withdrawal from the talks will show
Burma and the world the SLORC's constitutional process is not democratic. 

    ``They can certainly no longer go on pretending that the national
convention is a substitute for dialogue and it is quite clear from what has
happened now that there is no freedom of discussion in the national

    Suu Kyi also called for international recognition of the fact that the
convention process was not democratic hoping it might pressure the SLORC into
a dialogue. 

    When asked what she would suggest to foreign investors who have been
flocking to Burma lately, Suu Kyi said ``I think they jolly well should

02:30 11-29-95

KRK: Aung San Suu Kyi pulls out of Myanmar constitution

Deutsche Presse-Agentur  

    Singapore--Nov 29--Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's  party
today pulled out of an assembly set up by Myanmar's military  junta to work
out a constitution, the British Broadcasting Corp.  reported from Yangon

The opposition National League for Democracy said they withdrew  from the
conference because most of the 700 delegates had been picked  by the

She had previously criticized the conference, saying it was  undemocratic.
The military government warned the Nobel Peace Prize  laureate Tuesday not to
disturb or postpone the discussions. 

The meeting, which began Tuesday, was the assembly's first since  she was
freed from 6 years' house arrest in July. 

Tuesday's opening session at the presidential compound in west  Yangon lasted
40 minutes and heard a prepared speech by Lt.-Gen.  Nyunt, chairman of the
convening commission. 

He recounted the progress made by the convention since its first  session in
January 1993, and claimed the convention enjoyed popular  support. The
meetings are expected to last several weeks.  End 

-------------------------------end. (fb.112995.wire)