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BurmaNet News: November 20, 1996
- Subject: BurmaNet News: November 20, 1996
- From: strider@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 20 Nov 1996 23:02:00
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"
The BurmaNet News: November 20, 1996
Noted in Passing:
Every condition for the imposition of an investment ban has been met. .
. - US Senators' letter to the White House
(see: REUTERS: SENATORS CALL FOR BAN ON INVESTMENT IN BURMA)
REUTERS: SENATORS CALL FOR BAN ON INVESTMENT IN BURMA
DASSK: LETTER FROM BURMA #49
NLM: ATTACK ON SUU KYI CONVOY
ASIAWEEK: ASEAN VALUES FOR MYANMAR
MON RESTORATION COUNCIL: REPORT ON MON SPLIT
BURMANET: CONFIRMATION OF MON SPLIT
THE NATION: SLORC LAUNCHES TOURISM PROMOTION
INDEPENDENT REPORT: VICTORY FOR FREE BURMA CAMPAIGNERS
XINHUA : JIANGSU COMPANIES TO JOIN BURMA TRADE FAIR
INDEPENDENT REPORT: TOTAL OF 8 CITY ORDINANCES
NLM: ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACKWARD
REUTERS: SENATORS CALL FOR BAN ON INVESTMENT IN BURMA
November 19, 1996
WASHINGTON (Reuter) - Five U.S. senators Monday urged the Clinton
administration to ban new U.S. investment in Burma because of the
Rangoon government's actions against pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu
In a letter to White House Drug Control Policy Director Barry McCaffrey,
the senators said a U.S. law should be enforced that calls for a ban on
new investment if further restrictions were placed on Suu Kyi by the
ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council.
"Every condition for the imposition of an investment ban has been met,"
the senators wrote. "Not only has Aung San Suu Kyi been regularly
prevented from meeting and communicating with her colleagues and
supporters, but there has been a campaign of arrest and intimidation
culminating in a violent attack on the car in which she was riding."
The letter was signed by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman
Jesse Helms, a North Carolina Republican, fellow Republicans Alfonse
D'Amato of New York and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Democrats Daniel
Moynihan of New York and Patrick Leahy of Vermont.
"It would be an enormous step forward if, before your departure for
Southeast Asia, the administration were to announce the administration's
decision to impose a ban on new U.S. investment in Burma. Without such
an announcement, we fear your efforts to convince the SLORC and other
governments that the United States is serious about isolating Burma will
fail," it said.
McCaffrey is leaving shortly for a trip to Thailand and Laos to discuss
cooperation on anti-narcotics efforts.
DASSK: LETTER FROM BURMA #49
November 18, 1996 (Mainichi Daily News)
SUU KYI'S ATTACKERS GO FREE UNDER BURMA REGIME:
Letter from Burma (No. 49) by Aung San Suu Kyi
For some time I have been thinking that I should perhaps, for a change,
write a letter about Burmese autumn festivals and flowers, turning my mind
from political to cultural and aesthetic interests. But it would not feel
right to be quoting verses about scented lotuses under pale strands of
moonlight when the political scene is so very unpoetic. So I have to set
aside thoughts of the beauty of the dying year and once again focus
attention on the current situation in the country.
When I wrote some time ago that life was not dull for dissidents in Burma I
did not realize just what an understatement I was making. Something always
seems to be cropping up to keep the adrenaline flowing strongly in the NLD
(National League for Democracy) system. When we completed our series of
meetings at the end of last month, we thought we were in for a period of
humdrum administrative work aimed at implementing the resolutions of the
meetings. A bit of routine dullness, we thought .... Such a thought was, of
course, tempting fate.
Saturday, Nov. 9. The date should have told us something. There are those
who take numerology very seriously and the importance that the authorities
in Burma put on the number 9 has become something of a joke, albeit a bad
one. The previous weekend, our supporters who had, very peacefully, come as
close to my blocked off road as possible to try to hear me speak had been
subjected to harassment by thugs organized by the Union Solidarity and
Development Association (USDA) and by members of the security forces. U Kyi
Maung, U Tin U and I therefore decided that on Saturday the ninth we would
leave my barricaded road to meet those who had gathered some distance away
to demonstrate their support for our cause.
It had been arranged that I would meet U Tin U and U Kyi Maung at the
latter's house. I was in a closed car with dark windows to keep out strong
sunlight and prying eyes. A blue car nearby, which held my military
intelligence (MI) security personnel, led the way and we were followed by a
blue open-back van carrying some NLD members and young men from our house
and by a black police car. We stayed for about a quarter-of-an-hour at U
Kyi Maung's house, then set off for the place where we knew our supporters
would be gathered. This time, the blue open-back van was at the head of our
motorcade, my car came next, then U Tin U's car which carried both him and U
Kyi Maung, then followed the blue MI car and the police car.
U Kyi Maung's house is in a lane off the main road. When we had entered
the lane 15 minutes previously, there had been just a few uniformed members
of the security forces and a few people in civilian clothes lounging around
the place. But as our cars swung out on the road, a crowd of people
converged on us from both sides. The blue van slipped through unscathed but
the mob started attacking our car with stones, iron bars and other lethal
instruments under the instructions of a man who had looked in through the
front windshield to check who was inside. In an instant the back windshield
had shattered but fortunately the sunscreen film held the pieces together
and prevented splinters from scattering over us. There were also two big
gashes, probably the result of a flailing iron bar. We continued driving
and the whole episode was behind us within a matter of seconds. Later we
discovered that U Tin U's car had lost all the glass in both rear windows
and the rear windshield. The MI escort car also had all its glass shattered
and the back windshield of the police car was in a state comparable to the
one in my car.
The most striking feature of the whole episode was that it had taken place
within an area which had been cordoned off by members of the security
forces, who stood by doing nothing to prevent the attacks. Neither did they
make any attempt to arrest the perpetrators of the violence. On the
contrary, after our cars had driven away, the mob settled down across the
road and remained there for several hours under the - one imagines -
benevolent eyes of the security personnel.
Where had this mob appeared from? They were members of the USDA, who had
been brought in from the suburbs and satellite townships of Rangoon early in
the morning. They were positioned in large groups within the area around my
house, which was closed off from the general public to prevent our weekend
rallies from taking place.
The attitude of the authorities with regard to the incident is telling.
Although there has been an announcement to the effect that an inquiry would
be made into the matter, we are not aware that there have been any moves to
take action against the thugs who must be well known to the members of the
security forces who had watched them commit their acts of vandalism with
perfect equanimity. This is in glaring contrast to the zeal with which
supporters of the NLD are arrested and condemned to substantial prison
sentences for trivial matters. What price law and order in a country where
injustice and anarchy are condoned by those who hold official responsibility
for protecting the citizens from acts of violence?
THE NEW LIGHT OF MYANMAR: ATTACK ON SUU KYI CONVOY
November 15, 1996 by Abaya (abridged)
"It'd Be Perplexing If One Does Not Know Why"
Upon an assessment of the stone-throwing incident, there will be seen one
thing suspicious. In the incident, there was one car which remained
completely intact. In the five-car motorcade, about ten persons in Kachin
longyis and stub collar shirts were on board the front car, a Nissan Sunny
pickup with number plate da-auk-chaik/3006. Everyone right down to a
roadside vendor knows to which party those persons in that particular
uniform belong. What is strange is that no stone was thrown at those persons
nor was the car damaged. Even the police car with a prominent Police Force
insignia was not spared. Obviously, the car with security men in civilian
clothes was hit hard. The woman and the big men were unhurt and unharmed.
Damages caused to their cars were on inexpensive parts. This is something to
be pondered on. There was a clue in that the timing of the incident
It is also found that it had been perpetrated as a surprise move at a time
when almost all the foreign correspondents were in the country to cover the
monthly news briefing held at the outset of a month, and the ASEAN
secretary-general and an American Senator were on a visit here. It is
clearly a deception on the part of the woman and her co-conspirators to have
more Western pressure
on the Na Wa Ta that they cursorily, dishonestly and rather brazenly accused
the incident was the work of the government. In other words, it was just a
deliberate attempt with low-down plot hatched to damage the political
prestige of the steady and mature government which handles political
problems so pliantly and gently, though it happens to be called a military
It is also surmised to be an initial step designed with intent to disrupt
the Visit Myanmar Year festival scheduled in this month. This surmise is by
no means presumptuous, for there were various circumstances that warrant it.
As it was
not opportune to make gather people in front of the house and capitalize on
it, it was ranged to incite unrelated disturbances in specially chosen
ASIAWEEK: ASEAN VALUES FOR MYANMAR
The entry condition: genuine tripartite dialogue
November 22, 1996
In the second half of this century, many former colonies, particularly in
Asia, attained self-reliance and prosperity. Unfortunately, some countries
failed due to an unfavorable political climate, be leadership or chauvinism.
Myanmar id one of them. The country was in the limelight in the 1960s when U
Thant was Secretary-General of the United Nations. Malaysians felt proud
that such a prominent figure had come from a neighboring country. They were
also envious of Burmese athletes who won many gold medals in the Southeast
My first contact with from Myanmar was in 1979 when I joined relief
operations in Bangladesh for Muslim refugees from Arakan State, better known
as Rohingyas. My curiosity about Myanmar's politics grew more intense in
1988 after the popular uprising which was brutally suppressed by the
military government. This was followed by another Diaspora of Rohingya
refugees in 1991. A that time I realized how widespread the suffering was in
the country, the internal and external refugees, the deprivations and the
struggle for human dignity. Ever since the 1962 coup, Myanmar has been left
behind economically. Lately, the xenophobic attitude of the military rules
seems to be making matters worse.
The appeal of democracy and human rights has put many autocratic regimes
under pressure. Interpretations of democracy and human rights vary - it has
been observed that some of the worst ills of Western societies are the
result of their type of democracy - but there is no substitute to a
democratic form of government where the welfare and rights of the governed
are the paramount concern. Last July, during the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting
in Jakarta, Myanmar's approaching membership was welcomed amidst opposition
from Europe and the United States. ASEAN was already critical of the West's
double standards, especially in dealing with the Balkan and Middle East
conflicts. Hitting back hysterically, however, won't benefit either party.
To maintain the credibility of its values, ASEAN should champion those
ideals which are universal in nature.
The rush to explore Myanmar's economic potential is not new - the West and
Japan were there much earlier than ASEAN. The quest is evident even in the
euphoric phase of Burmese Socialism, during which several big national
projects failed. Again, after 1990, more than a dozen petroleum companies
undertook exploration. Most fled due to red tape and inadequate
infrastructure. When it comes to economic exploration, there is not much
difference between the US, Europe, other industrialized countries and ASEAN.
The important thing in Myanmar is the individual's political will and
people's pressure for change. The withdrawal of Pepsi-Cola and the visa ban
on SLORC's military rulers by the US and European Union are significant
developments. But there are some holdouts, such as the massive Yadana
natural gas pipeline project involving Slorc, UNOCAL (US), Total (France)
and the Petroleum Authority of Thailand.
In the eyes of ASEAN, the West seems to shed crocodile tears by harping on
the suffering of Burmese citizens. Whether or not it is serious about
relieving this suffering, the West is certainly waiting for a change in
Myanmar in order to seek economic gain. Western countries can do business
with the junta, but a number of factors have discouraged them: an
inhospitable constitution, undeveloped legal and monetary systems, the lack
of skilled labor, xenophobia and chauvinism, inadequate management systems,
red tape, a high level of corruption , and pressure to operate on the word
of honor of megalomaniac military commanders. These all contribute to the
negative climate for investment in Myanmar.
Obvious differences have arisen among the ASEAN leaders in recent months
over Myanmar. President Fidel Ramos of the Philippines voiced the first
objection, insisting on democratic reforms before Myanmar's membership can
be considered. The same tune came from Thailand's foreign minister. In
Malaysia there was a strong public protest against the Slorc chief's visit.
ASEAN's first decade was mostly devoted to regional security. Its ambit was
later extend to economic cooperation and the principle of non-interference
in each other's internal affairs. Now, toward the end of Asian's' third
decade, the grouping is becoming more mature as a regional political and
economic forum representing nearly half-a-billion people. It is time for
ASEAN to include basic human rights and democratic reforms in its purview.
ASEAN has the opportunity to give its neighbour invaluable assistance. At
the next ASEAN (informal) summit in Jakarta at the end of November, member
countries can propose to Slorc a condition for full membership that is
fundamental and pragmatic for the people of Myanmar. The condition: a
genuine tripartite dialogue between Slorc, the democratic forces led by Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi and the ethnic nationalities. The dialogue can be mediated
by ASEAN itself or by one ASEAN member with the cooperation of the others.
This will eventually lead to a peaceful and prosperous Myanmar, and a better
record for ASEAN.
MONLAND RESTORATION COUNCIL: MON ARMY SPLIT
November 19, 1996
There are good news and bad news I received from Thailand today. The
good news is the New Mon State Party at Mergui Division broke the cease-fire
agreement with the SLORC when the SLORC asked them to hand over
their stronghold to the SLORC. This group also broke out from
the NMSP. Their declaration is as follows.
The bad news is the fighting between Mon Army of Mergui Division and
SLORC's army had occurred so many times. So, the Mon refugees at the
Mergui Division will be increased. The SLORC had launched offensive
against the Mon Army at Mergui Division. We, the Monland Restoration
Council, are worried about the safety of Mon People at the Mergui
Division. We ask the International Communities to monitor closely the
situation of Mon People at Mergui Division.
Monland Restoration Council
An announcement, why we have reopened the new of the Mon army, at
Division of Mergui District.
A) At October 29, 1996, in 13:15 pm a group of delegation sat a meeting
to transfer the family unit of the Mon army, including the members of
the New Mon State Party (NMSP) Nai Aung Nai, Nai Win Aung, Nai Kow Rot,
Nai Leyeh Siam, Nai Kyaw Myint and the governor of Mergui district, Nai
Si Ha and members of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)
Nai Sit Maung, Nai Thein Tun, held a meeting at the army town
hall of Mergui. They agreed and decided as the following points.
1) All the families unit of the Mon army and villagers should be
prepared to transfer between the month of November and December 1996,
from their proper place. The transfer would be started in January 1997,
at three steps:
2) The first step, from the main body of troops Mergui to Man Daing,
Boat Pyin Township, by two boats that supporting by SLORC to the Ye
3) On the of transfer, the security must take by themselves
4) After the transfer family unit of the Mon army in the land of Mergui
is all ready complete. Then the land of Mergui must be offered to the
5) Every time of steps of transfer have been finished, should be
submitted a report to the army of the SLORC.
6) On account of these aforesaid points, the leader of the Mon army
Division of Mergui District, Colonel Ong Suik Heang and Major Ba Sam,
called an assembly of all the army leaders and soldiers at 11.6. 96 and
then made a decision as follows:
1. We branch out from NMSP and found a new Mon army of Mergui Division
2. This Mon army should conquer the land of Mergui Division.
3. If the member of NMSP would like to control this area of land, we
would welcome that member who had submitted a letter of resignation from
4. The day we would be reunited with NMSP must be the day when NMSP
withdraw the agreement of cease-fire with SLORC.
5. For the present, Colonel Ong Suik Heang and Major Soing Ba Sam, would
lead and control the motherland of Mergui Division with their group
Council of Mon Army of Front Line (Mergui)
BURMANET: MORE INFO ON THE MON SITUATION
November 20, 1996
The report above has been confirmed. The troops in Mergui Division do not
want to turn their base over to the SLORC, as the New Mon State Party agreed
to do in theire ceasefire agreement with the SLORC. So they have decided to
fight, although they only have approximately 100 soldiers. While members of
the NMSP sympathize with their desire to maintain control over the Mergui
area where there is a large Mon population, the NMSP does not want to risk
the wrath of the SLORC. So far, the Mergui faction has not agreed to meet
with the NMSP although the NMSP has tried to start talks with them.
The NMSP has not done very well since the ceasefire agreement was signed.
Although they were promised numerous economic ventures, few have brought in
much money. In some cases, this is because SLORC officials have not allowed
them to pursue major business ventures with foreign companies.
In particular, the Mon have been disappointed about their shipping business
between Singapore, Penang, and Rangoon. The SLORC customs officials and
military intelligence stop all ships and are very slow to check their goods
and let them continue on. This means that the ships cannot make many
journeys per month and are thus losing profits. According to one source,
the customs and MI personnel would speed up the process if they received
bribes, but the Mon businessmen have been reluctant to pay them off.
The Mons in the border area refused to accept a SLORC school built with
Japanese Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) funds. Instead, they built
their own high school and are using their own curriculum and teachers.
Although the SLORC is not happy with the Mon education program, they have
allowed it to continue, probably with the expectation that it will die on
its own, because the NMSP is not generating enough revenue to maintain the
schools over time.
THE NATION: SLORC LAUNCHES TOURISM PROMOTION
November 19, 1996
RANGOON - Burma's military government, ignoring foreign criticism and calls
for boycotts, launched its official tourism year yesterday with ceremonies
featuring dancing, music and traditional costumes.
The inauguration of "Visit Myanmar Year" - the government's stronger effort
ever to open the once-isolated country to foreigners - looks more like an
Olympic opening ceremony than the launch of a tourism year. Myanmar is the
name used by the military junta for Burma.
Parachutists, dancing elephants and floats were part of the three-hour
ceremony in a Rangoon stadium. The military showed its presence by barking
out orders to rows of colorfully dressed performers.
Lt. Gen Khin Nyunt, head of military intelligence and Secretary One of the
ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc), officially opened
"Today is a red-letter day for tourism in Myanmar. We are celebrating not
only the launching of 'Visit Myanmar Year' .... but also our commitment to
open our doors to the world," he told thousands of Burmese, diplomats and
foreign businessmen who packed into the stadium.
INDEPENDENT REPORT: VICTORY FOR FREE BURMA CAMPAIGNERS
18th November 1996
Campaigners for the boycott of tourism to Burma claimed their biggest
victory with STA Travel joining the campaign to support change in Burma.
Today was the launch of the Burmese dictatorship's "Visit Myanmar 1996
Campaign". Burmese students, the community and their supporters staged a
protest outside the Ultimo office of STA Travel in Sydney. STA distributes
a brochure which contains a reference to Burma as a destination. It also
cooperates with the travel agencies which promote tourism to Burma. After an
hour of leaflet distribution, speeches, chants and negotiations, the
Managing Director of STA Travel faxed to us informing us of their change in
policy. See attached document.
Jamie Parker from the Free Burma International Student Solidarity
Network(FBISSN) said, "Travel to Burma resources and legitimizes the brutal
dictatorship. The fact that STA travel is withdrawing support for visits to
Burma is a great victory for the campaign against tourism and the democracy
San Lin from the ABSDF said, "From this victory we will intensify this
boycott campaign across Australia in support of Daw Aung Sun Suu Kyi's recent
call for tourism boycott and economic sanctions."
The campaign to boycott Burma is gaining momentum internationally. The
campaign is set to escalate with an Australia-wide focus on companies which
still endorse visiting Burma. The organisations supporting the campaign in
Australia are the National Union of Students, All Burma Students' Democratic
Front, National League for Democracy (L.A.), Committee for Restoration of
Democracy in Burma, Burmese Family Sydney, Karen Youth Organisation, Free
Burma International Student Solidarity Network.
For further information please contact Jamie Parker on 0414264425 or
San Lin(02)9737 8020.
STA TRAVEL LETTER TO THE PROTESTORS:
Thank You for drawing our attention to a brochure containing reference to
STA Travel does not support the current regime in Burma.
STA Travel would like to join in the campaign in support of change in Burma.
To this end, we have advised our branches to cease selling Burma as a
destination and will amend/revise promotional material accordingly.
We would also like to meet with the relevant organisations to discuss the
possibilities of a joint campaign to raise public awareness.
STA Travel Pty Ltd.
TOURISM CONCERN/BAG/ASI: DON'T VISIT BURMA YEAR
November 18, 1996
JOINT PRESS STATEMENT BY TOURISM CONCERN, BURMA ACTION GROUP, ANTI-SLAVERY
Tourism Concern. Tel. 0181-944 0464.
Burma Action Group. Tel. 0171-359 7679.
Anti-Slavery International. Tel. 0171-924 9555
DON'T VISIT BURMA YEAR '96
Pressure groups Tourism Concern, Burma Action Group and Anti-Slavery
International, are appealing to British tourists and British tour operators
not to support the Burmese junta's 'Visit Myanmar Year '96', which starts on
Monday November 18th.
A 'Don't Visit Burma Yet' evening on Tuesday 19th November organised by
Burma Action Group will be attended by Glenys Kinnock MEP, who will be
screening an interview made with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on a visit to Burma
last week. The journalist John Pilger will also attend and give a premier
screening of his interview with Aung San Suu Kyi: 'Portrait of Courage', and
Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire will read out a statement from Daw Suu sent
especially for the occasion.
Burma's military regime, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)
renamed the country Myanmar after massacring thousands of civilians when it
took control of the country in 1988. Over the last six years, the junta
have been preparing the country for tourism by using forced labour on
construction projects for roads, railways, airports and cleaning tourist
attractions, and by forcibly relocating hundreds of thousands of people from
The three pressure groups point out that Nobel Peace Prize Winner Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy, (which won 82 per
cent of the seats in elections in 1990), has asked tourists and tour
operators not to support 'Visit Myanmar Year'. By visiting Burma, not only
are tourists and operators condoning the human rights abuses, they are also
supporting this brutal regime financially. At least 41 per cent of the
SLORC's budget is spent on arms with which it wages war on its own people.
Glenys Kinnock MEP, who has just returned from Burma after meeting with Daw
Suu Kyi, says "Burma has become the South Africa of the late 1990s and the
actions of the SLORC demand the same clear condemnation and the same
treatment which so many of us demanded against apartheid. When I spoke to
Aung San Suu Kyi last week she said to me that tourists must be told to stay
away. That is a request we must surely respect."
John Pilger, whose film, Inside Burma: Land of Fear was screened earlier
this year says, "Aung San Suu Kyi has called on the world not to go as
tourists to Burma or to invest in the country while the Burmese people are
oppressed by this vicious dictatorship. Having been to Burma and seen
conditions of slave labour at first hand, I echo every word of that."
Over 30 British tour operators are operating in Burma despite extensive
evidence of the tourism-related human rights abuses and a world-wide
campaign questioning the ethics of travelling to or conducting business in
Burma. A recent Tourism Concern survey of British tour operators shows that
all respondents were aware of the abuses, but only three small operators -
Himalayan Kingdoms, Nomadic Thoughts, and Symbiosis Expeditions - have
responded to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's appeal to stay away. Simply Tropix has
recently suspended its tours partially because of Suu Kyi's request but
mainly because of security concerns.
The most commonly cited reasons operators gave in the survey was that tour
operators do not get involved in politics and that human rights abuses
happen everywhere, so Burma should not be singled out. But the pressure
groups insist that the situation in Burma is exceptional - in Burma the
human rights abuses are directly connected to tourism development.
A petition of over 1600 signatures signed by Burma Action Group,
Anti-Slavery International and Tourism Concern supporters, will be delivered
to Venice-Simplon Orient Express in London on Monday 18th stating concerns
about the 'Road to Mandalay' Orient Express cruises. The Orient Express
President, James Sherwood, when interviewed by John Pilger claimed that
tourism-related human rights abuses in Burma have either not occurred or are
over-exaggerated. Managing Director of Orient-Express, Nick Varian, made
similar claims on Radio 4s Breakaway. However, such abuses have been
well-documented by the United Nations, Human Rights Watch Asia, the
International Labour Organisation, Amnesty International, and are currently
being investigated by the European Commission. Other large tour operators
offering holidays to Burma are British Airways Holidays, Kuoni, Abercrombie
and Kent, Thomas Cook, Voyages Jules Verne and Premier Holidays in addition
to many other smaller operators.
Tourism Concern, Burma Action Group and Anti-Slavery International have 4000
members between them and are part of a Europe-wide network of similar
organisations also involved in 'Don't Visit Burma Year '96' campaigns.
Details of tourism-related human rights abuses:
*Professor Yozo Yokota, the United Nation's Commissions' Special
Rapporteur on Human Rights stated in October 1995: "Many of the measures
that the government has taken to prepare the country for foreign tourists
reportedly constitute violation of human rights. Forced labour has
allegedly been used to restore some of the tourist sites (e.g. Mandalay
Palace) and to upgrade the infrastructure (e.g. railways, roads, and
* Burma is also yet to indicate what measures have been taken to comply
with the International Labour Organisation's (of which Burma is a member)
convention No. 29 which prohibits the practice of forced portering and other
* The country-wide 'beautification programme' involves men, women and
children providing free labour to white-wash houses, build new walls and
clean parks and lakes. Those who refuse are fined or forcibly evicted.
* Since 1988, hotel and tourism-related investment, became the second
biggest source of foreign funds in Burma, amounting to US$674 million.
XINHUA : JIANGSU COMPANIES TO JOIN BURMA TRADE FAIR
November 14, 1996
Yangon [Rangoon], November 14 (XINHUA) -- Thirty foreign trade companies
from China's Jiangsu Province will participate in the 10-day Visit Myanmar
[Burma] Year Special Trade Fair '96 to be held here Saturday, said Fu
Mingwu, leader of the visiting Chinese Jiangsu economic and trade exhibition
delegation, at a press conference here today.
Fu Mingwu, who is vice chairman of the Jiangsu Trade Promotion Society and
Jiangsu International Business Organization of China, said it will be the
first time for Chinese Jiangsu companies to take part in Myanmar tourism
year's fair. And machinery, electronics, chemical, light industrial and
textile goods will be on display at the fair.
The Jiangsu delegation is to develop bilateral commercial cooperation with
its Myanmar counterparts in the field of economy, trade and investment
through the exhibition, he added.
Jiangsu is one of the most economically and industrially advanced provinces
in China. The Chinese Jiangsu economic and trade exhibition delegation,
which comprises 61 representatives from 30 Jiangsu foreign trade companies
and relevant enterprises, arrived here Wednesday.
INDEPENDENT REPORT: 8 CITY ORDINANCES PASSED
November 20, 1996
Correction of the BurmaNet News report on November 10th - there are now 8
cities with selective purchasing ordinances. They are as follows:
Takoma Park, MD San Francisco, CA
Ann Arbor MI Oakland, CA
Madison WI Santa Monica CA,
Carborro NC Berkeley, CA
plus the State of Massachusetts
NLM: ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACKWARD
November 12, 1996 By Byatti (abridged)
(BurmaNet Editor's Note: Below is the SLORC's justification for stopping the
weekend talks and an explanation of why her car was stoned on the 9th.)
Suu Kyi may not be pleased for being given the title of "West Maidawgyi",
without involving any dollars as in the case of Nobel Prize. Authorities
concerned lifted restrictions on her in July 1995, holder of "West
Maidawgyi" title. After that she lay low, seemingly on vegetarian diet,
telling beads, going on meditation or whatever "like a cat that does not
swipe with its claws" but
she was scheming to set fire to the nation.
Followers and parasites of Suu Kyi thought out various ways to perpetrate
political moves. A few days later, some people arrived in front of her
compound and started some sort of stunts as instigated by those followers
and parasites. They acted as if they were there to greet her. From her
compound, she showed herself now and then tentatively, and responded with
frantic looks, and then
smiles, nods and gestures. So it began with such exchanges.
Taking advantage of this, the followers and parasites developed it into
roadside talks. At the beginning of the road-side talks, Suu Kyi made
womanish innuendos with sarcastic remarks. The authorities had been magnanimous;
they left her alone.
The "West Maidawgyi" title holder Suu Kyi and the left-hand and right-hand
jokers got swollen-headed. They talked without control or discipline, made
groundless accusations and used words that lacked dignity and showed extreme
As the pavement conferences went on on Saturdays and Sundays with no
consideration for others in a blatant manner, people of all walks of life
found it difficult to use the University Avenue, dust and dirt accumulated
in the area to the detriment of the residents. There appeared letters to the
editor in newspapers asking for prohibition of the talks. The authorities
then notified those concerned
not to hold talks on the road as from June 1996.
However, Suu Kyi and her left-hand and right-hand men kept the talks going
on unperturbed. Later, they were found to have systematically committing
apparently dishonest acts to perpetrate disturbances to coincide with the
Saturday and Sunday road-side talks.
So, the authorities imposed controls and restrictions as necessary on the
University Avenue as a measure to calm public anxiety and avert undesirable
incidents from taking place. There were people who heeded such controls and
restrictions and there were also those who were dogged. Still, things were
settled smoothly without any confrontation.
The West Maidawgyi and her left-hand and right-hand gang leaders were not
happy about this. What they wished was riots and panic. Such conditions were
best opportunities for the power maniacs like them to make gains. In other
words, this was a situation in which political gains could be made with the
So, ambitious West Maidawgyi Suu Kyi took steps to hold talks by organizing
the rootless and the fanatic on the Kaba Aye Pagoda Road not far from the
Kokkine Road junction which is adjacent to the University Avenue and in the
vicinity of Sedona Hotel. Last Saturday, 9 November 1996, she had cheaply
organizable persons, fanatics and awalas gather near the Kokkine Road
junction and Goodliffe traffic lights and she went to Goodliffe Road
junction via U Kyi Maung's house.
There were five cars. U Tin Oo was in one car, youths in the compound in
another, and Suu Kyi, police and security in the respective cars. On
getting in front of the Bahan Basic Education High School No 2 on Kaba Aye
Pagoda Road at about 3.45 pm, about 200 persons opposed to Suu Kyi threw
stones at the motorcade. The glass in the rear of Suu Kyi's car got cracked.
The glass in the rear of the car which U Tin Oo was riding broke. The
windshields in the front and at the back of the police car also broke. An
officer on security duty
accompanying them had to produce his pistol to keep the crowd away so that
the motorcade could move out of the midst of people opposed to Suu Kyi.
Security units moved in and the crowd dispersed at about 5.45 pm.
Last Sunday evening (3 November 1996) also, a quarrel broke out in the
gathering crowd near the Goodliffe traffic lights resulting in a stabbing.
In the incident, the one who stabbed was NLD party member Soe Tint of Dalla
Township and the victim was Myint Swe of Tamwe Township. NLD party
members thus created problems by bringing in people from other townships
into Tamwe and Bahan Townships.
A study of the above incidents clearly indicates that situation was not like
in the past and it had changed. Suu Kyi will get into trouble if she thinks
that every group she sees is her supporters. Upon reaching the stage of
being hit by stones openly she will have to exercise a restraint. It is
difficult to allege specifically who are opposed to Suu Kyi, for Suu Kyi has
caused trouble to various strata
of society. There were dissatisfied people even in her party. Specifically,
some people living from hand to mouth often experience hard times due to Suu
Kyi's acts. There have been many instances in which normal daily life of such
people were disrupted.
Suu Kyi is one that could be tops in committing disruptive acts. She
doggedly believed in fabrications, lies and exaggerations of people with
slanted views and opposing attitudes, and with reliance on foreign strength
she tried to prevent the flow of foreign investments into the country.
No-one can say with certainty that there is no schemer among those closely
surrounding Suu Kyi and those she deems trustworthy, who in reality plot to
sacrifice her as a dual stroke to clear up complications. It is evident
that Suu Kyi is being surrounded by internal and external enemies. Suu Kyi
should see the closest enemy. After stone-throwing on 9-11-96 Saturday, last
week, furtive movements were subsequently observed on the following day,
10-11-96 Sunday. Some people wearing supposedly NLD's uniforms showed
themselves on the Shwedagon pagoda platform in the evening and also in some
This assumes the character of a challenge on something.
Whatever challenge it is, the authorities will continue to act if necessary
for the people's desire to live peacefully. What is called NLD is not a
government -- it has no right to defy the law. As it is just an organization
of people of same mind and opinion, the acts such as provocation, challenge
and defiance are tantamount to putting nooses around their own necks.
On Sunday evening, some crowds of people assembled again near around
Goodliffe junction. There were also bystanders. Darkness fell as it was over
5 pm. As the crowds were about to disperse, as there was nothing unusual likely
to happen, the dollar-earning embassy personnel and foreigner correspondents
keep the crowds from dispersing, spreading word as though Suu Kyi would be
coming there presently. They were waiting with video cameras ready to get
scoops and make profit if something happened in the crowds. It is needless
to wonder to what extent that movement was plotted and what purpose was
aspired for. If a problem occurred, it would be blown up and broadcast
broadcasting stations deviod of integrity.
Due to the attachment upon a former colleague and consideration for her
being a naive woman politician, I would like to say a word of reminder with
goodwill to the West Medawgyi title recipient Suu Kyi: "Be prepared to find
a place to take two steps back whenever trying to make a step forward as
manipulated by others."