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BurmaNet News: December 16, 1996

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"

The BurmaNet News:  December 16, 1996
Issue # 592

Noted in Passing:

		It is a stability maintained by fear, in which the human 			resources of a
society are held back and beaten down.
		- Madeleine Aibright, US Secretary of State (see: TT: US 			DEMANDS JUNTA


December 13, 1996

13rd December, there was a sit-in demonstration in the campus of
No. (1) Institute of Medicines this afternoon. More than 100
medical students participated there.

We have heard that there was some shooting by the Slorc's riot
police and more than 20 demonstrators were injured this afternoon
in Rangoon, but we have to confirm whether the report is true.

Yesterday, 12th December, an police officer was beaten by the
students in Bota Htaung township in Rangoon. Two Chemistry major
students from Rangoon university were detained after the incident. 

The report from Rangoon that now more than 200 lawyers  have been banned for
their license during 8 years since 1989 and the following are the part of
list of those lawyers:

1. U Maung Maung Lwin (Kyauk Tada township in Rangoon)
2. U Aung Myint
3. U Thein Win
4. Daw Tin Tin Hlaing (f)
5. U Myint Wai
6. U Thein Myint ( Nat Maut township in Magwe Division)
7. U Myint Zaw (A writer, Pen name-U Dego Yu from Nat Maut        
   township in Magwe Division)
8. U Thant Zin Oo
9. U Than Lwin
10. Daw Aye Mar Tin Nyo (f)
11. Daw Aye Aye Sein (f)
12. Daw Aye Aye Htun (f)
13. Daw Khin Shu Kyi (f)
14. Daw Khaing Khaing Win (f)
15. Daw Tin Tin Hla (f)
16. Daw Tin Tin Myint (f)
17. U Tin Maung Swe
18. U Myint Lwin
19. U Mya Thaung
20. U Thein Lwin
21. Daw Aye Aye Thein (f) 

December 14, 1996 (abridged)

RANGOON, Dec 15 (Reuter) - A delayed but firm Burmese military response 
to recent student unrest, including a display of army tanks in central
Rangoon, has succeeded in preventing fresh disturbances, diplomats said on

``The government was caught unprepared by the first protests (last week) 
and it was not quick enough to mobilise various security units in Rangoon to
stop students from coming out into the streets,'' a diplomat  told Reuters. 

Diplomats said the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC)
was initially surprised by the magnitude of the street protest on December 2. 

Almost 2,000 Yangon Institute of Technology (YIT) and Yangon University 
students participated in the peaceful 20-hour protest to demand more
political freedom, the biggest student demonstration in the nation since 1988. 

The authorities used ``soft'' measures, such as water cannons and batons 
rather than guns to break up the protests. 

But when the protests showed the potential of growing into major civil 
and political unrest, the SLORC decided to harden its response. 

Since then, the SLORC has left no doubt that it is prepared to take 
tough measures to stifle student and opposition challenges. 

The military government has tightened security in Rangoon, closed 
universities and prevented students from taking to the streets again. 

Diplomats also noted that the SLORC showed no signs of accommodating some of
the student demands, and its hardline attitude would keep student discontent
simmering latently. 

Ignoring pressure from the United Nations, the United States and the
European Union to allow greater freedom in the country, the military threw a
security net around the city. 

Besides a show of force with tanks at Rangoon city hall, the SLORC also
stationed several armoured cars at strategic spots in the calm but tense
capital as a grim reminder of its iron-hand. 

It also promptly closed all institutes of higher learning in the capital
indefinitely and sent home thousands of students to provinces, a move
diplomats said had succeeded in curbing the regrouping of protestors. 

``I think one could hardly say things are normal with tanks in the  middle
of the city. I think their response is way out of proportion to  the
threat,'' one diplomat said. 

He said the government had failed to react to the gradual tapering off 
of student activities in the past few days. 

``The tanks show that the security people are fixed in their mindset, 
which does not respond to the changing situation,'' he added. 

In an apparent attempt to distance opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi 
from the unrest and to keep her from any untoward harm, the SLORC also 
reimposed restrictions on her movements last week. 

Foreign diplomats and journalists were prevented from meeting her as 
access to her home was blocked. 

Diplomats said the SLORC feared that the charismatic Suu Kyi's public 
appearances could fan student discontent. The Nobel laureate has 
bristled at the SLORC curbs. 

However, the military put Suu Kyi's NLD party on the defensive by arresting
some of its members but not Suu Kyi after last week's protests for allegedly
instigating the student protestors, and said it had evidence to back up the
charges. NLD leaders have denied the allegation.

December 15, 1996 (abridged)

The official media in editorials urged students who launched
major anti-government street protests last week, to be vigilant against
elements attempting to use them in a bid to grab political power in the country.

Most roads near troubled Rangoon University and the Rangoon Institute of
Technology, which were closed after thousands of students from the two
universities staged the demonstrations, were reopened yesterday.

Only sections of University Avenue, where opposition leader Aung
San Suu Kyi lives in a lakeside residence, and roads near the Institute of
Medicine in central Rangoon remained closed.

Medical trainees at the institute were the last group of students to stage
peaceful rallies earlier this week They had shouted anti-government slogans
inside their campus a few days ago but did not take to the streets.

Diplomats said the presence of tanks and armoured cars was intended as a
warning against further anti-government activity, which has slowed since the
crackdown by the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc).

The Slorc threw a tight security net around the city and closed
universities to break student attempts to mobilise colleagues and hit the

The recent student protests were the biggest seen in Rangoon since the
prodemocracy uprisings of 1988 that the military crushed, leaving thousands
dead or in Jail. 
The Slorc has been criticised by the United States and the
European Union for its tough stance on student protests. On
Thursday, the United Nations rebuked the government for human
rights violations and urged it to release political prisoners.

The Slorc has also asked Suu Kyi, who says she has no links with the student
protesters, to remain at her residence until the situation returns to
normal. She has complied but expressed displeasure at the situation.

The Slorc also crossed swords with the United States on Thursday,
charging its top diplomat in Rangoon with interfering in Burma's
internal affairs by trying to see Suu Kyi despite her virtual confinement.

A government spokesman said on Friday that the move was a
provocative act aimed at preparing the ground for US sanctions on Burma.

An editorial in a state-run newspaper yesterday said: All students must keep
vigil and prevent negatively-oriented, destructive and subservient traitors
from intruding into the education realm and using them in bids to gain
political power".

The editorial in the New Light of Myanmar added: "Young students must be ...
vigilant with far-sightedness in guarding against destructive elements.


December 12, 996

Aung San Suu Kyi made no attempt to leave her compound and meet
supporters yesterday as she had done in recent weekends because riot police
ringing her compound.

About 300 of her supporters waited in vain at the Saya San junction, named
after a Buddhist monk who led a failed uprising against British rule during
the 1930s.

Officials of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner's political party said the
military government had demanded she ask its permission if she wanted to
leave, but Suu Kyi is refusing to  go along. 

Suu Kyi has said she is being  illegally confined to her home.  Earlier this
week, party officials said that 281 of its members had been arrested by the

The leader of Burma's democracy movement has been kept inside her compound
since last weekend, when university students took to the streets n the
boldest display of civil dissent since the democracy uprising of 1988.
The students were demanding an end to police brutality, the right to form a
students union, and greater civil liberties. Some called for democracy.

Authorities were on their guard yesterday. Four armoured personnel carriers
loaded with soldiers were guarding the home of Gen Than Shwe, the leader of
the ruling junta. 
Five tanks also remained stationed by the Sule Pagoda in downtown Rangoon, a
focal point of protests in 1988, and troops had sealed off the Medical
University, where students had been staging sit ins earlier in the week.

On Thursday, 92 of the university's students presented a petition to the
school's rector demanding information about three of their colleagues who
were led away by police. One Australian tourist was manhandled by police as
he attempted to take video of the sit in.

On Wednesday, troops entered the Mandalay Institute of Technology
to break up a demonstration that involved between 2-3,000 students.

Members of a young Buddhist monks' union also stoned cars of regional
military commanders who had come to Mandalay to seek the blessings of a
respected Buddhist elder monk on Monday. The military officials were forced
to turn back.

Several trains from Mandalay to Rangoon were delayed this week because
troops were searching for students heading down to join protests in the capital.

Trucks carrying troops were conspicuous next to the medical
college where several protests have taken place in the past week.

Some 200 of Suu Kyi's supporters  gathered at their usual Saturday meeting
place about a kilometre from the Nobel laureate's house in the vain hope
that the opposition leader would make an appearance to address them.  The
crowd, chanting "good health  to Aung San Suu Kyi," and " democracy will
prevail," dispersed after an hour  when it became clear she would 'not appear.

Suu Kyi has made regular appearances  at the meeting point to address her
supporters since the military authorities prevented her from holding rallies
outside her home in the past few months.

Slorc Chairman Than Shwe was quoted in the English-language New Light of
Myanmar yesterday warning students against political interference from


December 14, 1996 (abridged)
Rangoon, Reuters

Burma's military government yesterday stopped a US embassy
official from meeting opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi  and
labeled his attempt to visit her during the current unrest provocative.

A government spokesman accused embassy charge d'affaires,  Kent
Wiedemann of interfering in Burma's internal affairs and creating
unnecessary problems by  trying to see the 1991 Nobel peace  laureate.

"This is provocative. They should not interfere in our internal
affairs he told Reuters. "No other  embassies do this. If they
want to invite her to lunch, they should do it later when the
situation is normal. Why create unnecessary problems."

Access to Suu Kyi's lakeside residence on University Avenue has
been blocked by the ruling State Law and Order Restoration
Council (Slorc) during recent student unrest in Rangoon.

The spokesman said the government had asked Suu Kyi to stay inside her
compound for her own safety while it maintained tight security in the
capital after several thousand students launched street protests last week.

Wiedemann's car was stopped and truned back at two different
police roadblocks near Suu Kyi's house, he added.
A US embassy spokeswoman, asked to react to the Burmese government
spokesman's statement, said: "We won't dignify that comment with our
response, other than to firmly reject any such assertions." An aide at Suu
Kyi's house confirmed that she had an appointment with Wiedemann but he
declined to say what the meeting was about.
He noted, however, that it was not the first time that foreign
diplomats seeking to see her had been turned back.
Earlier this week, the Burmese spokesman said that the US embassy had tried
to encourage the opposition leader to leave her compound, knowing that if
she were stopped, it could be used as an excuse by the United States to
impose sanctions.

The US Senate in July passed legislation allowing US President Bill Clinton
to impose economic sanctions if repressions in Burma worsened or if Suu Kyi
was rearrested.

The government stationed five army tanks and nearly 20 troop-carrying trucks
in front of  Rangoon city hall yesterday in an apparent show of force to
thwart any fresh attempt by students to hold anti-government rallies.

After a week of protests, a  main road was opened in  northern Rangoon
yesterday but school remained closed and military security  was beefed up as
rumors spread of new demonstrations.

Pyay Road, a main thorough far used by commuters, was opened  along with
intersections where students demonstrated just days before But troops and
riot police kept universities locked down and off limits.
Heavily-armed troops also manned checkpoints leading  Dagon Township, a
satellite  town just outside Rangoon. The satellite towns, populated mostly
by poor people forced to relocate there by the government, are considered
potential hotbeds of dissent. 


December 14, 1996

UNITED NATIONS - The 185-nation UN General Assembly on Thursday
denounced human rights violations in Burma after the US ambassador branded
the military junta's efforts at political dialogue as a sham".

The assembly's resolution, adopted by consensus without a vote and drafted
by Sweden, accused Burma of using forced labour to build its economy,
torturing prisoners, abusing women and conducting summary executions. It
called on the Burmese junta, known as the State Law and Order Restoration
Council (Slorc), to release political prisoners and enter into a
"substantive political dialogue" with Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi.
In her first public speech since her nomination for secretary of state, US
Ambassador Madeleine Albright accused the Burmese junta of subjecting
democratic forces to a kind of rolling repression
in which small steps forward alternate with crackdowns and episodes of
intimidation and violence.

Albright, denounced Slorc for failing to enter into a "meaningful
dialogue" with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

She said the Constitutional Convention it established to create the
illusion of a national political dialogue is a sham - fully controlled and
orchestrated by the government, she said.

Slorc, she said, had continued to deny to their citizens the fundamental
political freedoms of expression and assembly. And they have engaged in
torture, forced labour, forced relocations and summary executions.

Albright recalled the current repression of non-political student
demonstrations and the government's refusal to allow Suu Kyi leave her home,
the most severe restrictions since her 1995 release from house arrest.

She Burmese authorities would like the world to believe that its harsh
policies are necessary in light of Burma's turbulent history. But the world
does not accept that excuse, she said. "It is a stability maintained by
fear, in which the human resources of a society are held back and beaten down.

The General Assembly resolution "deplores the continued
violations of human rights in Myanmar [Burma].

The text was based on an October UN report by UN special
rapporteur Rajsoomer Lallah, the former chief justice of
Mauritius, which  described the rights abuses in chilling detail.

He said the practice of forced labour for development projects,
usually run by the army, was widespread and included women,
children and old people forced to help build roads, railways,
bridges and gas pipelines. Some of the labour was carried out by
prisoners, many of whom are systematically tortured.

The text also urged the government to engage "at the earliest
possible date in a substantive political dialogue with Suu Kyi,
the leader of the National League for Democracy which won a
landslide victory in the 1990 general election.


December 15, 1996 (Thailand Times)

DUBLIN : The European Union yesterday issued a stark warning to
the Burmese government that it would hold it responsible for the
personal safety of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The EU, in a statement issued at its summit here, also expressed
"deep concern" over reports of recent police brutality against
student demonstrators in Burma, citing rights of free assembly
and expression and calling for restraint.

But it focused on fears over tightening restrictions by the State
Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) on the movements of the
Nobel peace laureate and leader of the National League for
Democracy (NLD), who, according to associates had not left her
Rangoon home for a week.

Access to Aung San Suu Kyi's residence on suburban Rangoon's
University Avenue, which was blocked a week ago after the
outbreak of student unrest, remained sealed off yesterday.

The EU statement expressed "deep concern at persistent reports
that further infringements on the personal safety' of Aung San
Suu Kyi "may be imminent." 

"The European Union will hold the Slorc fully responsible for the
physical well-being of Daw Aung san Suu Kyi,' it said. The
statement urged the Slorc to "remove the roadblocks from the
vicinity of her residence and to allow Daw Aung San Suu Kyi full
freedom of movement."

It reiterated its call for the Slorc "to enter into meaningful
dialogue with the prodemocracy groups immediately to restore
peace and to bring about national reconciliation" in Burma.


December 15, 1996 (abridged)

HUMAN rights issues, particularly the situation in Burma, are
likely to crop up in the first meeting of senior officials from
25 Asian and European countries to be held in Dublin, Ireland next week.

The meeting, scheduled for Dec 20, is aimed at hammering out
details of the newly-established Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem),
which convened its first summit in Thailand in March. It will
also prepare for the first Asem ministerial meeting, to be held
in Singapore in February.

However, plans for a smooth meeting have already been marred by
events with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations -
namely, signs that the grouping will admit Burma as a member next
year, regardless of the international condemnation for its ruling
junta's political activities, and the grouping's support of
Indonesia's stand on East Timor issues.

The European Union issued a  statement on Friday from Dublin,
where it just held a summit, expressing concern over report of
police brutality in dispersing a students demonstration in
Rangoon and the restrictions placed on the movements of
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Both Thai and European officials said discussion of these issues
is likely to surface in the political dialogue - the form of
Asian and European consultations - in addition to economic
cooperation and  non-trade issues like the environment and human
resource development. "

"Since the agenda of the political dialogue is not fixed, it is
highly likely that a participating country could raise any issue
automatically," a  European official involved  with the
meeting's preparations commented.

In the March summit, leaders of the seven Asean countries, China,
South Korea and Japan and their counterparts of the 15 EU members
lay the groundwork for future cooperation between the two
continents. They also agreed to discuss human rights issues and
cultural values as a way to bridge their differences without
imposing "foreign" values on  each other.


December 14, 1996 (Thailand Times)
Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS: Stepping up US pressure on Burma's military
government, US Ambassador Madeleine AIbright called yesterday on
the regime to respect human rights and permit UN inspectors to
monitor civil liberties there.

The more time elapses before these steps are taken, the more the
pressure will build, the more divided Burma will become, and the
more difficult it will be for Burma to achieve a peaceful transition to
democratic rule," Albright told the UN General Assembly.

Albright has been named by President Clinton to succeed Warren
Christopher as US secretary of state. Her remarks, made after the
General Assembly approved a non-binding resolution criticizing Burma for
human rights abuses, signaled new pressure on the Burmese military regime. 

The resolution was introduced by Sweden.

Albright's remarks were made as a senior Burmese general threatened to
"annihilate" anyone who disrupts the military government's work. The remarks
by Gen Tin Oo were published Thursday in staterun newspapers following six
days of student protests in the cities of Rangoon and Mandalay.

Thousands of student demonstrators, demanding freedom, human rights, an end
to police brutality and the right to form a student union, have staged the
most serious show of civil dissent since a nationwide democracy uprising in

During her speech, Albright said the Burmese government had failed to meet
even the most minimum international standards for protecting civil liberties.


December 14, 1996
Aphaluck Bhatisaevi
Chiang Mai

Burma faces  rising tide of Aids cases and a high child mortality rate and
is doing little to tackle the problems, says a doctor working in border
refugee camps.

The country has been identified as one of the hardest hit by
HIV/Aids in Asia with an estimated 400,000 infected with HIV.

Drug use is largely to blame, but information about the spread of
the disease is limited due to the clampdown on information by the ruling junta.

Dr Myint Cho of the National Health and Education Committee
(NHEC), which works in  Burmese student camps near Thailand, said
the State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc) was also
unable to effectively run a national public health system.

He said according to official reports, less than 10 percent of
the national budget was spent on social concerns. In 1995, only
two percent went on health, 5.3 percent on education and 0.2
percent on social welfare.

"Only 39 percent of the population has access to safe drinking
water and just over 42 percent of the population has access to
sanitation facilities," he said, 
"The maternal mortality  rate in 1993 is estimated at 14 percent
of live births in hospitals. Ninety-four of every 1,000 children
born alive in 1990 died before reaching the age of one and 15
percent of children born alive do not survive to reach their fifth year." 

The doctor said  although  international organisations, NGOs and 
researchers from Western universities were attempting to control
the spread of Aids in Burma, the regime tightly controlled the
dissemination of information.

Dr Myint Cho said  even though HIV screening in Burma began in
1985 and the first infected drug users were identified in 1988,
the government never announced the real infection figures.

An unpublished UN report estimated that in early 1994, 60-70
percent of all intravenous drug users in Burma had HIV. Dr Myint
Cho said figures showed infection rates among users in Rangoon
were 74 percent, Mandalay 84 percent and Myitkyina, the capital
of Kachin State, 91 percent:

The rapid spread of HIV was partly due to the sudden explosion in
heroin use, particularly among ethnic young people in 1988, the
year the ruling junta crushed the pro-democracy uprising.

"Heroin is easily available at low cost but needles and syringes
are not freely sold and are expensive," he said. "This has led to
the sharing of needles among injecting drug users and this is the
main cause of the spread of HIV."

Despite drug use being the main reason for the spread of HIV, use
of contaminated blood products, and heterosexual, homosexual and
bisexual sexual relations were also to blame, particularly among
prisoners and the military.

A lack of sex education, the scarcity of condoms and a shortage
of medical supplies has encouraged its spread, especially in rural regions.

Dr Myint Cho said the trafficking of Burmese women into neighbouring
countries, especially Thailand, also increased the spread of the disease.

"Women and girls from the Shan State and the southern areas of 
Kawthaung are forced into the sex industry in Thailand. They are illegal and
vulnerable to arrest and they then come back with  HIV/Aids," he  said.

He said migrant workers within Burma, who migrate from Kachin and
Shan states to work in mining camps, also passed on HIV to their
wives after being infected by sex workers at their work sites.

He said little was known of Slorc's treatment of those with HIV
but he had heard of two soldiers with Aids who were injected with
an unknown substance and who died the next day.

In 1992, many Burmese women in Thailand were reportedly tested for ,HIV
after being arrested by Thai authorities. They were subsequently deported to
Burma where they were said to have been executed by the military, he said.

"Confidentiality concerning test results is extremely problematic
in a dictatorship. Clinics and laboratory staff may not be in a
position to protect patients' rights from the government,'` he warned.

"There is widespread fear of Slorc and its policies towards infected persons."

He said the NHEC wants to address the health and education
problems, not only in liberated areas, but also inside Burma.

He said two policy forums recently convened to discuss potential
approaches to the Burmese Aids crisis agreed that  HIV/Aids was
not only a health and humanitarian emergency, but a political priority.

Those attending agreed that current programmes were inadequate
and that Border Area Development Plans, jointly implemented by
Slorc and the ceasefire groups, were not being introduced.

Dr Myint Cho said the NHEC was seeking funds from international
donors to bring in HIV prevention programmes in cross-border
areas, for refugees as well as for those within the country wherever possible.


December 15, 1996 (New York Times)
By Seth Mydans

A vacation trip does not commonly require a moral choice, but in the case of
Myanmar, the former Burma, there is no way to avoid one.

One of Asia's loveliest and least-traveled nations, Myanmar is in the grip of
a military junta that has drawn condemnation from around the world for its
suppression of democracy and its abuses of human rights.

This month, the junta's problems have increased as campus demonstrations
raised the possibility of student unrest spilling onto the streets of Yangon.
On Dec. 9, the United States Department of State issued an announcement
recommending that ``U.S. citizens exercise all due caution in traveling to
Burma and should for the time being curtail travel to Burma (Myanmar) absent
a compelling reason.''

In a bid to build tourism and win international legitimacy, the military
government has undertaken an effort to attract visitors by inaugurating Visit
Myanmar Year in November.

Its opponents are urging tourists to stay away, part of a broader call for an
economic boycott. The first major effort by the country in decades to open its
doors to the outside world has become a test of the world's attitudes toward it.

Almost the entire leadership of the junta, known as the State Law and Order
Restoration Council, turned out on Nov. 18 for the start of Visit Myanmar Year.

``Today is a red-letter day for tourism in Myanmar,'' said Lt. Gen. Khin
Nyunt, who is in charge of both tourism development and military intelligence.
``We are celebrating not only the launching of Visit Myanmar Year but also our
commitment to open our doors to the world.''

The moment had been many months in preparation, involving a considerable
portion of the country's limited resources.

Scores of new hotels have been opened in the capital city of Yangon and other
tourist areas. Two new domestic airlines have started service and a new
airport arrival hall has been opened in Yangon. Tourist sites have been
refurbished and visa procedures eased.

But politically, little has changed, and this year has seen an escalating
crackdown on the pro-democracy forces that rally around the country's most
popular and charismatic figure, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. It is this behavior that
has raised calls for a boycott.

The junta came to power in 1988 following the killings of hundreds of
pro-democracy demonstrators, then clung to power after losing an election in
1990 to Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi's party, the National League for Democracy.
She herself was held under house arrest for six years until July 1995 and was
temporarily put under house arrest again last week after the student
demonstrations in the capital.

Since May of this year, the government has arrested nearly 1,000 of her
supporters  though most have since been set free  and is now preventing her
from making the weekly addresses that had been the country's one forum for
free speech.

Just nine days before the start of Visit Myanmar Year, bands of officially
sanctioned thugs attacked Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi's car in the first act of
violence against her. One of her aides was slightly injured.

A year ago, Yozo Yokota, then the human rights investigator in Myanmar for
the United Nations, reported that forced labor was being used to refurbish
sites like the temple complex at Bagan.

Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi herself has asked tourists to stay away.

``We are not saying, `Don't come to Burma forever,''' she said in a recent
interview. ``What we are saying now at the moment is, `Boycott Visit Myanmar
Year.' And that's not a big thing to ask, you know.''

Not everyone agrees. Even some of her supporters abroad argue that visitors
will bring much-needed dollars, as well as ideas of freedom and democracy, to
the country's people.

``I don't bother about politics,'' said a Greek tourist on a recent flight
into the country. ``I have visited many countries with unpleasant governments.
And I think every dollar I spend here will help someone to make a living.''

Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi rebuts that argument by saying that the main
beneficiaries will be the generals, foreign hotel owners and the relatively
well-off workers in the tourism industry. And any sacrifice of tourist dollars
that the people must make, she says, is a small price to pay to oppose the

But her call for a boycott has given the government its best propaganda
argument against her. In a lust for personal power, it says in newspaper
commentaries, Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi is taking food from the mouths of her
fellow citizens.

Even without a boycott, the success of Visit Myanmar Year is far from assured.
The country has already scaled back its 12-month target from 500,000 visitors
to 250,000.

And it is not even clear that it can accommodate that many. Last year fewer
than 100,000 tourists visited Myanmar, according to government figures. There
are fewer than 5,000 seats a week on international flights into the country
and, despite the flurry of building, fewer than 3,500 hotel rooms in the


December 12, 1996

Du Pla Ya District               
On November 22,1996, fifty Slorc's soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion
No. 546, commanded by Battalion Commander Tin Aye and eighty DKBA
(Democratic Kayin Buddhist Army) soldiers, commanded by Battalion Commander
Pa Day entered Htee Gu Thaw village and burnt down the
village church, the village meeting house, the pastor's house and a barn.

Papun District                     
About 200 villagers from Kaw Pu area who were forcibly relocated by the
Slorc troops fled to a refugee camp on the border.


December 20, 1996

I would like to request you to organize a demonstration in your country/
place on the same day. I believe that this global action will boost the
students movement inside Burma. Please co-ordinate with other Burmese
democratic forces in your
country for the demonstration. I will be here to co-ordinate this global action.


Soe Myint
On Behalf of
Working Committee of SYCB

Dear Friends,

The on-going students' demonstrations inside Burma could be a spark for a
nation-wide people's uprising once again in Burma. The Students and Youth
Congress of Burma (SYCB), which is an umbrella student and youth
organizations of Burma, calls upon the Burmese democratic forces around
the world to organize public rallies and demonstrations in their respected
countries and places on 20th December 1996 simultaneously. 20th December is
the auspicious day in the history of the national students movement in
Burma. On 20th December 1936, Bo Aung Kyaw, while fighting against the
British oppression, was killed by the riot police. Bo Aung Kyaw is the first
leader who gave his life for peace, justice, and freedom in Burma.

The objectives of this global campaign are :

1.   To extend full solidarity to the Burmese students inside Burma, who are
now    staging demonstrations in the cities of Rangoon and Mandalay,

2.   To break out a nation-wide people's uprising against the military
regime once again like the 8.8.88 movement.   To strengthen the democratic
inside Burma, and

4.   To co-ordinate between democratic forces inside and outside Burma more

The world-wide demonstrations and rallies would be organized on 20th
December 1996. The Students and Youth Congress of Burma (SYCB) is planning
to organize the demonstrations in front of SLORC embassies in the 
following countries :

1)   India
2)   Thailand
3)   Australia
4)   U.S.A
5)   Japan
6)   Germany
7)   Norway
8)   Canada
9)   Philippines
10)  England

The SYCB calls upon all the democratic forces of Burma, Burma support groups
and individuals all over the world to join this Global Campaign. The
SYCB requests the broadcasting cooperations (particularly BBC, VOA and DVB)
to transmit the news of this call for global action.

For detailed information:

India     :    SYCB
               (1)  All Burma Students League
                    Phone : 0091-11-3017172
                    Fax   : 0091-11-3793397
                    Email :
               (2)  All Burma Students Democratic
                    Phone/ Fax : 0091-11-5540521
                    Email :

Members of the SYCB

1)   ABSDF (All Burma Students Democratic Front)
2)   ABSL (All Burma Students League)
3)   AASYC (All Arakan Students and Youth Congress)
4)   CSU (Chin Students Union)
5)   DPNS (Democratic Party for New Society)
6)   AKSYU (All Kachin Students and Youth Union)
7)   KYO (Karen Youth Organization)
8)   NLD(L.A)-Youth (National League for Democracy - Liberated Area) Youth
9)   OMNSO (Overseas Mon National Students Organization)