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Press Release from Burma Study Acti

Subject: Press Release from Burma Study Action Weekend in Kyoto


Burmese Relief Center--Japan
266-27 Ozuku-cho, Kashihara-shi, Nara-ken 634, Japan
Tel: (07442) 2-8236 -- Fax: (07442) 4-6254


Kyoto, Sunday, November 17, 1996

Activists Urge Immediate Action, Sanctions to Protect Daw Suu Kyi=20

More than 35 Burmese democracy activists gathered at Takaradera Temple in
Kyoto to appraise the current situation in Burma at the seventh annual Burma
Study/Action Weekend, sponsored by Burmese Relief Center=97Japan.  Following
last weekend's attack on Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,
instigated by the Slorc junta, and escalating threats of violence in the
State controlled media, the group united in a call for international
sanctions on the Slorc to be put in place immediately. =20

Members of Burmese Relief Center -- Japan and the Tokyo-based National
League for Democracy -- Liberated Area (Japan Branch) welcomed the formation
of Burma Citizens' Forum in Tokyo, and pledged their support for this new
organization. Given the urgency of the present situation, members from
Kansai and those from Tokyo resolved to increase their cooperation and to
coordinate their activities in the following areas of concern:

"Boycott Visit Myanmar Year 1996"

SLORC has designated November 18, 1996 as the beginning of "Visit Myanmar
Year 1996."  This campaign, already recognized by the international
community as a farce, is designed to encourage 250,000 tourists to visit the
country.  There is overwhelming evidence that forced labor is being used for
many of the projects undertaken to prepare sites for these foreign tourists.
These projects include construction of railways, highways, and airports.
Since Japanese constitute the largest number of tourists to Burma, this
boycott campaign is extremely important.

Increased pressure on Japanese government to cease ODA

Given SLORC's increased repression of activities by the National League for
Democracy and the violence last weekend against Aung San Suu Kyi herself
which undeniably was perpetrated by SLORC officials, the Japanese government
should unequivocally condemn the military regime by imposing sanctions and
by withholding all Official Development Assistance (ODA) until positive
steps toward democratization have been taken.

Boycott of companies conducting business with SLORC

In the United States, several major companies, including Apple Computer,
Amoco, Levi Strauss, Eddy Bauer, Liz Claibourne, and, most recently, Wente
Vineyards, have withdrawn from Burma because of consumer boycotts.
Activists have also helped in the successful passage of selective purchasing
laws in several cities and in the State of Massachusetts.  Following this
lead, members will redouble their efforts to call for boycotts of Japanese
companies active in Burma, including Mitsubishi, Mitsui, Daiwa Securities,
and Nippon Oil.

Protest against Chuo Kanko Tour Bus Company

It was announced at the meeting that a new relationship has been formed
between SLORC and Chuo Kanko Tour Bus Company of Osaka.  In a bid to attract
more visitors from the Kansai region SLORC has designated the company as an
agent authorized to issue tourist visas to Burma.  As soon as details of
this deal have been further investigated, Chuo Kanko will be the target of
regional protests.=20

Demonstrations for Human Rights Day

Coordinated demonstrations to mark Human Rights Day, December 10, 1996,
focusing on Burma will be held in Tokyo, Kobe, and other cities around=

Need for fund-raising

With the Burmese refugee situation again critical, discussions centered on
more effective ways to raise money for relief activities.  Participants also
expressed deep concern was the inexcusable lack of protection accorded
Burmese refugees in Thailand, Bangladesh, and India and the recurring danger
of involuntary repatriation.=20