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   BANGKOK, Oct 26 AP - After lauding the triumph of democracy in 
much of Asia, United States President Bill Clinton singled out 
military-ruled Burma today for tough criticism on human rights 
abuses and narcotics trafficking.
	   In a speech at Bangkok's prestigious Chulalongkorn University, 
Clinton said the refusal of Burma's rulers to move toward democracy 
and the regime's involvement in narcotics "are really two sides of 
the same coin for both represent the absence of the rule of law".
	   Burma is the world's number one producer of opium and heroin.
	   The president praised "the brave reformers in Burma led by Aung 
San Suu Kyi", the pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize 
laureate who has come under increasing pressure and harassment from 
the military.
	   "Every nation has an interest in promoting true political 
dialogue in Burma - a dialogue that will lead to a real fight 
against crime, corruption and narcotics and a government more 
acceptable to its people," Clinton said.
	   In his wide-ranging address, he challenged the notion, advocated 
by some Asian leaders, that economic growth was best achieved by 
governments that exercised tight control over their citizens.
	   "We need look no further than the economic vitality of Thailand, 
the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea to see that economic growth 
and democratic development can go hand in hand," he said.
	   He later praised Cambodia and Mongolia, but left out China, 
Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia from the list of nations he said 
were making progress in improving freedom and justice.
	   The omissions would be carefully noted in the region since the 
four countries were influential because of economic or military 
muscle and at the centre of debate on democracy in Asia.
	   Some profess belief that economic development takes priority 
over democracy; others that democracy is not necessarily an Asian 
	   Clinton's speech implicitly rejected their arguments.
	   The leaders of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia were pushing 
for Burma's entry into the Association of South-East Asian Nations 
which would give the ruling junta greater diplomatic and economic 
	   More democratic ASEAN members such as the Philippines and 
Thailand were opposed to Burma's early entry.
	   The opening salvo against Burma was yesterday fired by First 
Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton who called for serious political 
dialogue between Suu Kyi and the military.
	   She spoke at Chiang Mai University in northern Thailand.
	   Clinton's two-day state visit to Thailand, the first by a US 
leader since Richard Nixon in 1969, comes after the Asia-Pacific 
Economic Cooperation forum in the Philippines.
	   Thailand's new Prime Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh later said 
he would travel to Burma and try to persuade the generals to heed 
international demands for more democracy and respect for human 
	   "Let them understand what's going on in the region in 
globalisation," Chavalit said.
	   A former commander of Thailand's influential army, he called the 
rulers "old friends".
	   Washington responded to the worsening political climate in Burma 
earlier this year by banning visits by members of the military 
government and their families.
	   The measures were largely token.
	   Economic sanctions were threatened if the regime harmed Suu Kyi, 
but have not been put into effect despite a recent attack on her 
car by a mob on November 9 that the State Department had evidence 
was organized by the regime.
	   The US cut off economic aid to the country following the brutal 
crushing of a pro-democracy uprising in 1988.
	   But American companies continue to do business in Burma.
	   AP jd