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Burma bans unworkable, says Fischer (r)

Subject: Burma bans unworkable, says Fischer.

		Burma bans unworkable, says Fischer

	The Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Tim Fischer, has ruled out 
Australian support for Western economic sanctions against Burma, despite 
worsening political repression in the country.

	Mr Fischer said the Australian Government would encourage an 
improved human rights situation in Burma but it believed sanctions were 

	"Sanctions will never work with regard to Burma," Mr Fischer said 
during a stopover in Singapore on his way to India. He said Burma's long 
coastline and land borders would make it easy to circumvent sanctions.

	"They are not practical with regard to the Burma situation."

	The Burmese democracy leader, Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, has repeatly 
backed calls for sanctions againsts the military regime, which refused to 
accept the landslide 1990 election victory of her National League for 
Democracy and kept her under house arrest for six years.

	The US and the European Union - which recently imposed tough visa 
curbs on Burma - have warned that they are prepared to impose trade and 
investment bans if the situation deteriorates further.

	Mr Fischer's stand came as police and plainclothes military 
intelligence agents blocked hundreds of supporters from gathering outside 
Ms Suu Kyi's Rangoon house for the sixth consecutive weekend.

	But in defiance of a ban on the gatherings which she has held 
every weekend since her release from detention in July last year, Ms Suu 
Kyi was driven from her house, through police lines, to meet some of the 
crowd. Encouraged by wild chanting, the Nobel Peace Prize winner spoke 
briefly to more than 200 supporters who gathered outside a nearby hotel.

	Ms Suu Kyi urged the crowd to maintain discipline in the face of 
the military crackdown and praised the Burmese people for continuing to 
stand behind her. "I never ignore the people's support. I know the people 
are behind me and I thank you for your blessing."

[By MARK BAKER, South-East Asia correspondent, Bangkok, Sunday, 
 3 November 1996]