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U Kyaw Win's Speech to Boulder City
Subject: U Kyaw Win's Speech to Boulder City Council
> U Kyaw Win's appeal to the Boulder City Council, 17 December 1996.
> Mayor Durgin and members of the City Council:
> I am U Kyaw Win of Flagstaff Road
> My appreciation goes to Assistant City Manager Benita Duran, Intern
> Johannes Mudau, and City Attorney Joe De Raismes for the professional
> work they have rendered in bringing this Selective Purchasing Ordinance
> directed against Burma before the City Council.
> "We know we must do more to fight illegal drugs at the source. Burma has
> long been the world's number one producer of opium and heroin and now is
> also making methamphetamines. The role of drugs in Burma's economic and
> political life and the regime's refusal to honor its own pledge to move
> to multiparty democracy are really two sides of the same coin, for both
> represent the absence of the rule of law. 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."
> Those were words uttered by President Clinton on 26 November 1996 at
> Thailand's Chulalongkorn University.
> I call not upon the City Council to engage in foreign affairs. You were
> elected to make laws to promote the City's welfare and protect its
> citizens from danger.
> Boulder is now experiencing an invasion of heroin as it was recently
> reported in the media. It is our duty, as conscientious citizens, to
> wage war on drugs, however small our efforts may be, to protect the
> citizens of this fair city in the shadow of the Majestic Rockies.
> Therefore we must refrain from doing business with companies that prop up
> a far-away narco regime which exports heroin to our shores.
> The people of Burma, through their elected leader, Nobel Laureate Aung
> San Suu Kyi, who has been denied her lawful role by the military,
> themselves ask the international community to help end their agony. They
> ask that the international community deny the generals the means with
> which to prolong the repression of their own people.
> "If you do not want to help, fine, but please do not obstruct," is a
> Burmese saying.
> "Let me write the newspapers of the land and I do not care who makes its
> laws," proclaimed Thomas Jefferson.
> Burma's generals have embraced Jefferson's dictum, albeit perverting it
> to their own purposes. There is one radio and one TV station, two
> dailies, and a few magazines in Burma -- all owned and controlled by
> This in a nation of 43 million people. Compare that with the City of
> Boulder alone.
> The purpose of freedom is for those who enjoy it to help free the
> By passing this Selective Purchasing Ordinance you would be helping the
> people of Burma fulfill a pledge made long years ago by their forebears
> to tryst with destiny and rendezvous with their birthright to pursue a
> life of happiness under a government of their own choosing.
> I ask that you not frustrate their aspirations.
> Please pass this ordinance. Thank you.
> (NOTE: The ordinance (No. 5855) passed by a vote of 5-2. Thanks to all
> who helped--the media, letter writers, concerned citizens who spoke and
> wrote in support. To Tad and Inge Sargent who spearheded the campaign
> ten months ago, much appreciation. Congratulations to Boulder Friends
> for a Democratic Burma, CoChaired by Inge Sargent and U Kyaw Win).