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Massachusetts Burma Roundtable - De

Subject: Massachusetts Burma Roundtable - December 1996

Massachusetts Burma Roundtable

December, 1996


1. 	Next Meeting 
2. 	News. 
4	Update on New York 
	Selective Purchasing Legislation

1. 	Next Meeting 

Next Roundtable meeting: Tuesday, December 4, 6:30 p.m.  
at Franklin Research and Development, 711 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02111,
(617) 423-6655. Our special guest will probably be Marcia Poole of the BBC
World Service, Burmese Section.  We hope to see you there! 

2. 	News. 

In order to make meetings more accessible to those who are unable to attend
at the downtown location, our last meeting was held at the offices of the
UUSC in Cambridge.  This is appropriate considering that the city of
Cambridge will be the next target for possible passage of selective
purchasing legislation here in Massachusetts.  Unlike other Burma activist
groups throughout the country who begin at the local level, here in
Massachusetts we think big, starting at the top with state legislation.  Now
we will begin concentrating on cities. 	

There were several new faces at the meeting as well as representatives from
local university groups.  Miriam Leibowitz of Brandeis expressed interest in
having a networking meeting with other campus organizations so that students
can meet each other and exchange ideas and information.    

We also viewed the National Democratic Institute video of Aung San Suu Kyi.
It had been presented at the National Democratic Convention this past summer
in honor of her when she received the Harriman Award.   

Our next meeting will most likely feature Marcia Poole of the BBC World
Service, Burmese Section.  Please join us on December 4th, 1996 at 6:30 p.m.
and learn about Ms. Poole's experiences and views about the situation in

Also, the Reebok Human rights awards will be held on December 11th here in
Boston. If you are interested in attending, please call Tina Santana at
(617) 341-7411.  The tickets are free, however they are available on a first
come, first serve basis, so call today. 	 

We will be setting up meetings with Senators Kerry and Kennedy,
Representative Joe Kennedy and hopefully a few recently elected
congressional representatives.  If you are interested in being a part of a
delegation to visit with the representatives, please contact Julia Carpenter
at (617) 426-3040.  

Finally, as the Roundtable expands to a more regional focus, we will have a
greater need for volunteers - particularly with the newsletter.  We are
interested in activist news from throughout New England.  If you would like
to contribute anything to future roundtable newsletters, please contact
Charlotte O'Sullivan at (617) 789-4352 or imchaos@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    


On DECEMBER 11, 1996, the Reebok Human Rights Awards will be held in Boston.
Thida Ma, one of Amnesty International's Prisoner of Conscience will be one
of 4 individuals presented with Reebok's annual award.  Thida Ma is a doctor
and short-story writer, aged 28, who was arrested with ten other activists
in 1993 for activities in support of the National League for Democracy.
After a closed trial the following October, she was sentenced to 20 years in
prison for "contact with illegal organizations, endangering public peace,
and distributing banned literature to foreign-based opposition groups."
Currently, She is in poor health, and has been kept in solitary confinement
for the past year.  

There will be a candle light vigal and cultural presentation on December
10th to correspond with this important event.  It will be held at Boston
Common near the Park Street T-Station from 5:00-6:00 p.m. For more
information, please contact Shalini Nataraj at (617) 868-6600, ext. 225. 

On Sunday, DECEMBER 22, 1996, a presentation on Burma will be given to the
Ethical Society of Boston at 10:30 a.m.  They will be meeting in Cambridge
at the Longy School of Music at 1 Follen Street, near Garden Street and
across from the Sheraton Commander Hotel.  For more details, contact Ed
Roseland at (617) 479-2581.

4	Update on New York  Selective Purchasing Legislation

The log jam on the New York City Burma selective purchasing bill seems to be
breaking with the release of a report on the impact of the legislation by
the Mayor's office. One contract affected by the selective purchasing bill
in New York City, if passed, would be a $1.4 million PepsiCo contract with
the Department of Corrections.  The fact that the report was released means
that the bill can now continue through the legislative process.  There will
probably be further hearings in January.  
For more information on the New York City bill, contact:

National Coalition Government of the Union Burma (NCGUB)*
Burma UN Service Office
777 UN Plaza, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10017
(212) 338-0048
(212) 338-0049 fax

* Note: the NCGUB is the democratic Burmese government-in-exile that is made
up representatives elected in the 1990 Burmese elections


Now that the general election is over, it is about time for the Clinton
Administration to follow through on their "support" of Democracy in Burma by
implementing stronger sanctions.  We have to continue to remind President
Clinton and our representatives.  We also have to let them know that the
current situation in Burma can be termed (according to recently passed
sanctions language) as "large-scale repression" of the Democracy movement.
Also, the continuing intimidation tactics of SLORC, which recently included
mob attacks, are endangering the lives of Aung San Suu Kyi and other members
of the NLD.  Kyi Maung, Vice President of the National League of Democracy,
said "this is the worst incident in 8 years."  Also, although the State
Department has been quick to condemn SLORC's activities, no strong actions
have been taken.  

Please send copies of your letters to your Senators. 
President William Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20500
(202) 456-1414

Senator Edward Kennedy
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-4543
(202) 228-3433 fax

Senator John Kerry
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-2742
(202) 224-8525 fax

This newsletter was edited by: 
Charlotte O'Sullivan at (617) 789-4352 or imchaos@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The mailing and email distribution is managed by: 
Simon Billenness
Franklin Research & Development
711 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA 02111
(617) 423-6655 x225
(617) 482-6179 fax