[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

BurmanNet News: December 20, 1996

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

The BurmaNet News:  December 20, 1996
Issue # 595


December 19, 1996

F&N's silence on Myanmar operations raises questions

First, the country disappeared from the six comprehensive charts provided by
the food and beverage and property group. In the page on "core businesses and
geographical spread", for example, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand were all
shown, some more than a few times, to indicate investments there by various
F&N companies.

But Myanmar was not included, though it was shown in at least three charts
in a previous briefing given by F&N. When a question on "what is happening
in Myanmar" was raised during the briefing, the immediate answer was
"nothing is happening".

Strained silence: Later, group chief executive Tan Yam Pin felt compelled to
break the strained silence by giving some details on F&N's involvement in
the country.

What he said deviated very little from the information already doled out by
F&N in August. Work on the US$30 million (S$42 million) Myanmar Brewery is
going on at the Pyinmabin Industrial Area, 16 km from Yangon City centre. 

Next year, it should begin to churn out thousands of bottles of Tiger beer
for the domestic market.

The Tiger brand is owned by Asia Pacific Breweries (APB), a listed brewer
owned jointly by F&N and Dutch brewer Heineken. APB, which has greater
success brewing beer in Vietnam, went into Myanmar in April 1994 by signing
a joint venture agreement with a state agency.

But mounting Western criticism against the ruling junta forced Heineken to
withdraw from the country in August this year. Due to its connection to
Heineken, APB had to sell its 60 per cent stake in Myanmar Brewery to F&N at

This is at best an awkward arrangement. All the brewing in the F&N group is
undertaken by APB, which gets its start -- and update on brewing technology
-- from Heineken. F&N itself has no brewing expertise, and certainly not the
exacting standard necessary for brewing a premium brand like Tiger.

No doubt both F&N and APB are hoping that the transfer of the Myanmar
Brewery stake is temporary and that F&N could soon revert the same stake
back to APB. Failing that, F&N would have little choice but to borrow
expertise from APB to run the show. It would also have to "borrow" the Tiger
brand -- which legally belongs to APB -- to bottle and distribute the beer.

According to Mr Tan, F&N would not pay "one cent" to APB for the use of its
brand, but would plow all profits back to establishing the presence of Tiger
in the Myanmar market. If that happens, the complicated arrangement might
make it necessary for the two related listed companies to seek shareholders'
approval under current stock exchange rules.

Moral issues aside, it makes sense for F&N and APB to go through all the
trouble to keep the brewery project going. Before August, Heineken and Tiger
were the best-selling foreign beers in Myanmar, with arch-rival Carlsberg
running a distant third. After that, both Heineken and Carlsberg were
banned, giving Tiger the opportunity to consolidate its dominance there.
This is why
the F&N group not only continues to pump money into Myanmar Brewery, but
also includes Myanmar teams in the recent highly-publicised Tiger Cup
football matches.

Risky decision: The decision to remain in Myanmar, however, carries a risk.
The Myanmar situation seems to be moving swiftly to a boil. If the junta is
overthrown, the forces now seemingly led by Aung Sun Suu Kyi might not take
too kindly to foreign investors who supported the military rulers. F&N might
then find its Myanmar Brewery project frozen, and priority is instead given to
Carlsberg to build one in the country. Perhaps this is the consideration
that led the F&N officials to exclude Myanmar from their briefing on Monday.


December 9, 1996 (Straits Times)

	THE Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) and the Singapore Malay 
National Organisation (PKMS) yesterday sent an open letter to Prime Minister
Goh Chok Tong on the alleged Myanmar drug affair. 

                        The one-page letter called on the Government to 
telecast in full Singapore Sling: GIC, a television documentary aired in
Australia last month, for Singaporeans to watch for themselves.
It was signed by PKMS deputy president Mohammed Aziz Ibrahim and SDP
assistant secretary-general Kwan Yue Keng. 

                        The two opposition parties also wanted the
Government to answer five questions raised at an SDP-PKMS press conference
last Thursday: 

                        Is it true that Myanmar drug lord Lo Hsin Han is
allowed to move freely in and out of Singapore? 

                        Is it true that Mr Steven Law, Mr Lo's son, is
denied entry into the US because of suspected drug-dealing? If so, has the
Singapore Government 
bothered to investigate Mr Law's background? 

                        Is it true that the Government of Singapore
Investment Corporation (GIC) funds are invested in the Myanmar Fund (an
investment fund for projects in the country) linked with Asia World Co Ltd? 

                        Will the Government state categorically that it has
nothing to do with Ince & Co, which holds shares in the Myanmar Fund? 

                        Will the Government state clearly that the SLORC
(State Law and Order Restoration Council in Myanmar), with which it is doing
business, is 
not, directly or otherwise, helping in, or turning a blind eye to,

                        Mr Mohd Aziz and Mr Kwan, accompanied by SDP
treasurer Francis Yong and PKMS youth movement head Ishak Haroun, delivered the 
letter to police officers at the Istana gate off Cavenagh Road at 12.30 pm.
SDP secretary-general Chee Soon Juan was not present so four men had wanted
to see the PM, but were told by policemen on duty that the latter would
receive the document. They appeared surprised on hearing that Mr Goh was
away in Cambodia. 

                        Mr Mohd Aziz, the spokesman, was asked by reporters
whether the SDP and PKMS would call for a Commission of Inquiry, but he was
pulled away by his colleagues and declined comment. The four then drove off
in their car. 

                        The Government investigated and denied all the 
"preposterous" allegations that GIC had links with Mr Lo through its Myanmar
investments. The Government statement, issued last Saturday, answered some
questions posed again by the SDP and PKMS yesterday: 

                        GIC's investment in the Myanmar Fund was "completely
open and above board". The fund's stakes in two hotels and a company are
straightforward investments in bona fide commercial projects. 

                        The fund, launched in 1994, is managed by Kerry
Investment Management (Jersey) Ltd, owned by a Hongkong firm belonging to
the Robert 
Kuok Group. GIC holds a 21.5 per cent stake worth $10 million. 

                        GIC keeps its securities with custodian banks
worldwide, such as Morgan Guaranty Trust Company in New York, and Ince & Co
was set up by 
this firm to hold its Myanmar shares. 

                        In another letter yesterday, sent to The Straits
Times and Lianhe Zaobao, Dr Chee also called for an uncensored telecast of
the documentary. 

                        "I am confident to let Singaporeans be my judge. Is
the PAP prepared to do the same?" he wrote. 

                        He denied he was a traitor, which he said the
People's Action Party was "doing its utmost" to make him out to be. 


December 19, 1996

YOU reported a letter from a Myanmar official who claims that the
international media is making false claims about drug lords in Myanmar. 

The writer has conveniently left out the fact that the evidence from these
statements have come from governments, drug enforcement agencies and 
academics -- not just the media

The US State Department said in its International Narcotics Control Strategy
Report of March 1995 that "Burma remains the undisputed leader in 
world illicit opium output, providing over 50 per cent of known global
illicit production...". Raw opium is subsequently refined into heroin. It is
estimated that Myanmar's heroin production rose from 53 tons in 1987 to
about 200 tons in the 1990s. 

Both Lo Hsing Han's and Lin Mingxian's involvement in this drug trade is not
exactly peripheral as the writer would have us believe. The French-based
Observatoire Geopolitique des Drogues says: "Our sources have tracked Lin's
heroin trail since 1989." Bags of heroin are transported to ports where
Hongkong- and Bangkok-based gangs ship them to international markets.
Thailand's Office of Narcotics Control Board indicated that Lo Hsing Han is
still actively smuggling heroin. Not only are these drug activities allowed
to operate in Myanmar, they are also actively supported by the Slorc,
Myanmar's military regime. In fact, the US State Department has said: "It is
unlikely that the heroin trade can be curtailed without fundamental
political change in Burma." But what has all this to do with Singapore?
Earlier this year, the Government said hard-core addicts are more likely to
commit crimes. A repeat drug offender is one of the two men suspected of
murdering a Japanese tourist at the Oriental Hotel recently. In order to
deter these addicts and their crimes, the Government has increased the
penalty for repeat drug offenders. They now face up to 13 years of detention
and six strokes of the cane. Drug pedlars are routinely hung in Singapore
for carrying heroin. 

And where are all these drugs coming from? Drug lords like Lo Hsing Han are
the big-time pushers aided by the Slorc generals. Now there are allegations
that our GIC funds are invested with Lo's investment company and that Lo
freely in and out of Singapore. Up to now, the PAP Government has refused to
answer specifically whether these allegations are true or false. 

The GIC funds come from the money of Singaporeans. It is not only the right
but the paramount duty of Singaporeans loyal to this nation to ask why and
how our money is invested in Myanmar and elsewhere. This is not a matter of 
foreign relations. It is lives and deaths that we are talking about --
Singaporeans' lives and deaths. Can the writer now see why the SDP is so
concerned about the drug trade in Myanmar? 
Singapore Democratic Party 


December 19, 1996

Retired Union Member Submits Resolution for 1997 Shareholders Meeting

LAKEWOOD, Colo., Dec. 19  -- Robert E. Wages, president of the 90,000-member
Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union (OCAW), today called on
Unocal Corporation to "clean up its dirty international business" and to
investigate the allegation that Unocal's major partner in a joint venture in
Burma is serving as a conduit for laundering money obtained from the illegal
production and sale of heroin.

This week a retired OCAW member and former local union officer filed a
shareholders' resolution to be voted on by shareholders at Unocal's 1997
annual meeting, calling for the outside company board members to investigate
the drug laundering allegation; determine if company officials had any
knowledge of it; and recommend a course of action based on the findings.

The allegation was made public in the December 16, 1996 issue of The Nation,
which reported on findings from a four-year investigation by the
Geopolitical Drugwatch in Paris that the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise
(MOGE), a partner with Unocal in the construction of a natural gas line
across the southern peninsula of Burma, was the major channel for laundering
the revenues of heroin produced and exported by the Burmese Army.

According to the State Department, Burma is currently the largest producer
of illegal heroin in the world, and 60 percent of the heroin seized by law
enforcement officials in the U.S. comes from Burma.

"If the drug laundering allegation is true, it is very unlikely that this
could have occurred without the knowledge of Unocal officials," said Wages.
"Uncovering the truth may mean that Unocal bears direct responsibility for
the rise in heroin use in the U.S.," he added.

He termed the drug laundering allegation "deeply disturbing, which, if
substantiated and coming on the heels of widespread condemnation of Unocal's
links to the use of child and slave labor in Burma, will expose the crucial
connection between the company's dirty deeds in Burma and the destruction of
our communities in the U.S."

"It appears that Unocal, by abandoning its U.S. operations to take advantage
of low wage and slave labor in Asia, is leaving us with a bitter legacy," 
said Wages.

"It's ironic," he added, "that in the search for higher profits, Unocal
management has placed its shareholders, many of whom are OCAW members, at
great risk since it is clear that the democratic forces in Burma will
prevail, and Unocal will eventually be held accountable for crimes against
the Burmese people."

Wages said his union is becoming more active in the movement to hold Unocal
accountable for its actions in Burma.  "We have a lot at stake in this --
our jobs, our communities, and the right of people everywhere to live with
fairness, dignity and respect," he said.

OCAW currently represents oil workers at Unocal refineries in California and
at the Uno-Ven refinery in Lemont, I11. (near Chicago), owned jointly by
Unocal and PDVSA, the government-owned oil company of Venezuela.  In
November, Unocal announced its intent to sell its West Coast refining,
marketing and transportation assets to Tosco Corporation.


December 19, 1996 (abridged)

RANGOON, Burma (AP) -- Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was allowed to
meet with Buddhist monks at her home on Thursday, the anniversary of her
father's assassination.

Burma's military government has confined the Nobel Peace Prize winner to her
home for two weeks.

The monks, to whom Suu Kyi offers meals on the 19th of every month, were
among the first people authorities have allowed her to see. Others have
included members of her political party, the National League for Democracy.

Suu Kyi last tried to leave her home on Dec. 10 to have lunch with a U.S.
diplomat. Riot police barred her way. She has complained of ``wrongful
restraint'' and says she will not try leaving again until she no longer
needs permission to go.

The military regime has restricted Suu Kyi's movements in a bid to keep her
from fueling student demonstrations that erupted in Rangoon this month.


December 19, 1996

     The European Commission's proposal to revoke Burma's tariff
privileges, in protest against its alleged use of forced labour,
may fill Eurocrats with a warm glow of virtue.  The plan
would doubtless have some economic impact on inhabitants of one
of the world's poorest countries.  But as an instrument for
reforming Rangoon's military dictatorship, it looks like an empty
gesture, which could set a dangerous precedent for EU policy.

     Attempts by Brussels to present the proposal as a badge of
moral superiority ring hollow, while the EU systematically
penalises developing countries by restricting their exports of
textiles and farm products and by using anti-dumping measures.
Selective sanctions against undemocratic trade partners lack
credibility when imposed by a grouping which habitually
discriminates against democratic ones.  They could also presage
the use of human rights as a pretext for protectionism - a
course explicitly rejected by World Trade Organisation ministers
last week.

     At a practical level, there is little evidence from elsewhere
that external trade measures are effective in spurring political
change.  Too often, they simply harm the economically most
vulnerable sections of the population, while stiffening the resolve
of oppressive regimes to cling to power.  As the EU has
repeatedly pointed out, decades of US trade sanctions against Cuba
have failed to unseat Fidel Castro, the president.

     The impact of withdrawing EU trade preferences for Burma
would be unlikely to be any greater, when Eurpoe accounts for
less than 5 per cent of the country's exports.  The vast majority
goes to Asia, which is unlikely to support EU discrimination against
Burma's exports.  On the contrary, Burma may face lower regional
trade barriers if it joins the Association of South East Asian
Nations next year, as planned.

     Indeed, the proposed EU measures risk encouring Asian
solidarity with Rangoon, particularly if the US also carries out
its threat to impose trade sanctions on Burma.  Some Asean members,
notably Indonesia and Malaysia, support Burma's admission as a
gesture of Asian defiance towards the west.


December 19, 1996
	YANGON DENIAL: The Myanmar government has denied a United States charge
that nearly 200 students were arrested late last week for their part in
street protests earlier this month. 

     A government spokesman said by telephone on Tuesday that the US 
claim was aimed at putting more pressure on the government and was based on
rumours. The spokesman was responding to US State Department spokesman
Nicholas Burns' claim on Monday. -- Reuter. 


Decmber 20, 1996

Statement on the  60th Anniversary of Bo Aung Kyaw Day and World-wide
Demonstration Day

20th December 1996

        The students and youth of Burma have been taken part in the
leading role in successive national liberation movements of the country.
Today marks the 60th Anniversary of Bo Aung Kyaw Day. On 20th December 1936,
Bo Aung Kyaw, the first student leader who gave up his life while fighting
for freedom and justice, was killed by the British riot police.  Sixty years
after this martyrdom, the people of Burma from all walks of life are
still suffering various hardships under the ruling military dictatorial
regime in Burma. The people are deprived of fundamental human rights such as
freedom of thought, freedom of expression and freedom of procession. The
military dictatorial system which exists in Burma is the main reason for the
country's forty-year old civil war and the lack of development in the
country. The people
continues to suffer political, economic and social hardships as long as
the military dictatorial system exists in the country. A democratic society
where democracy and human rights of the people are guaranteed has to be
established for Burma to become a peaceful and prosperous nation in which
all the nationalities can live together with equality and dignity.

        The recent students' demonstrations in Burma reflect once again
that the people of Burma does not want the military regime in the country.
The people continues to fight, by any means, against all the repressive
machinery of the military government. Even though the military government
uses various inhuman oppressive methods to break down the people's movement
for democracy, the students and youth of Burma who never bow down to injustice
and oppression continue to carry on the struggle.  On this historic day,
we, the students and youth of Burma reaffirmed our determination to continue
the national movement against the military dictatorship and for the
restoration of democracy in the country. Our political directions are :

1)         We are pledged to work with the whole people of Burma from all
strata of life for the restoration of democracy and human rights in the
country. The nation-wide people's uprising against the ruling military junta
has to be broke out once again in Burma.

2)         We demand the ruling military regime to accept the offer of
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi for the "dialogue" to solve the country's problems
peacefully and politically.

3)         The National League for Democracy (NLD) which got the
landslide victory in the 1990 elections has to be handed over state power by
the ruling military government, namely State Law and Order Restoration
Council (SLORC).

4)       The democratic government, the National League for Democracy
(NLD) Government, must be established in Burma and the "national
reconciliation" has to be achieved with the participation of all the
nationalities of the country.

        The SLORC regime has not done anything for the democratization in
the country since it came into power in 1988. Moreover, its brutal
repression to the people of Burma becomes more evident and crystal. Many
student leaders and NLD leaders were arrested again after the recent
demonstrations in Rangoon and Mandalay of Burma.  We strongly believe that
the SLORC regime has to be imposed the international embargo similar with
the one imposed to the Apartheid regime of South Africa by the international
community. We
earnestly call upon the international community to impose a global economic
sanction immediately against the ruling military regime in Burma.


December 18, 1996

BANGKOK - The Burmese military junta created the Ministry of Sport on
Wednesday and named a senior military official to head it, state-run
radio reported in a dispatch monitored here.

The announcement was made by Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, secretary
general of the State Law and Order Restoration Council, Radio Rangoon said.

The ministry was set up to oversee national sporting activities, according
to the report. Colonel Sein Win was appointed to run it, the radio added.


December 19, 1996
by Shelley Anderson (International Fellowship of Reconciliation)

Burma's 43 million inhabitants have been suffering under a military
dictatorship since 1962. This overwhelmingly Buddhist country, once
known as the rice bowl of Asia, has through the military regime's
mishandling become one of the ten least developed nations in the
world (1). The suffering created by increasing hunger and
malnutrition is matched by the military dictatorship's (known as 
the State Law and Order Restoration Council or SLORC) serious human
rights abuses, which include forced relocations, arbitrary arrests
and torture, and forced labor.
Burma's seven million Muslims are often the specific targets of
these human rights abuses. An anonymous letter recently circulated
in Burma's capital city of Rangoon reads: "Burmese Citizens,
beware! The Muslims living in Burma are attempting to expand their
religion while destroying Buddhism in Burma....Defend our religion
from Muslims! Do not sell land to Muslims; do not buy anything from
Muslim shops; do not employ Muslim house maids, or use trishaws,
horse carts or cars serviced by Muslims; don't marry
Muslims....Safeguard Buddhism in Burma." 
Many analysts believe this letter, and similar anti-Muslim
propaganda, is a deliberate attempt by SLORC to provoke religious 
violence in order to draw attention away from a worsening domestic
situation. "The Muslims of Burma have repeatedly been made
scapegoats by the dictatorship," said a Muslim Liberation
Organization representative at a recent meeting of Burmese
dissidents in Thailand (2). "Whenever the junta has faced a
political crisis, they have, in an attempt to divert the attention
of the people, deliberately stirred up anti-Muslim riots at the
expense of the lives of the innocent Muslims of Burma." 
No where is SLORC's policy of inciting religious tensions so
evident as in Arakan state, along Burma's northern border with
Bangladesh. The Arakan people are one of Burma's 135 different
ethnic groups. Buddhists, who make up the majority of the
population, are called the Rakhines, while the Muslims who have
lived in Arakan state for many generations are called the Rohingya.
It is the Rohingyas who bear the brunt of SLORC's anti-Muslim
A restrictive citizenship law passed in 1982 (which some analysts
believe was deliberately targeted at the Rohingyas) means that most
Rohingyas are labelled as "foreigners" on their mandatory identity
cards. This allows SLORC to claim that the Rohingyas, despite
centuries' old roots in Arakan, are refugees or economic
entrepreneurs from nearby Bangladesh. In 1978 over 200,000
Rohingyas fled Arakan state to Bangladesh when a SLORC census
operation to check identity cards resulted in mass cases of
military brutality and murder.
The world's attention was also focused on the Rohingyas in early
1992, when over 225,000 Rohingyas fled a SLORC military offensive
into Bangladesh. Mosques were burnt, villages destroyed, women were
raped or forced to marry Buddhist SLORC soldiers, and an unknown
number of Rohingyas were killed by SLORC troops. Despite concern
over whether or not the repatriation was voluntary (3), the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has returned 200,000
Rohingyas back to Burma. But the stream of Rohingya refugees into
Bangladesh has not stopped: by the end of May 1996 an estimated
10,000 Rohingyas had again sought asylum in Bangladesh. 
They cited forced labor, lack of freedom of movement and the forced
disappearances of family members as their reasons for fleeing. Some
refugees report they are forced to work up to 20 days each month
without pay for the Burmese military. Forced labor can range from
building government roads or rail lines, to carrying supplies for
soldiers as SLORC troops sweep through areas. Workers must provide
their own food and tools; villagers must pay steep fines if they
cannot provided the necessary quota of conscripted laborers. Human
rights activists report that young Muslim women in Arakan state
have been summoned by SLORC Border Supervising Committees and
forced to attend SLORC- run vocational training programs in nursing
and tailoring, at their own expense. After training, the young
women are sent to different SLORC outposts and forced to sew
uniforms for the troops. Some have been forced to marry the
soldiers under the patronage of the Supervising Committee.
Rohingyas are also not allowed to travel to neighboring villages
with official permission. Rohingya students are denied permission
to travel to cities to sit for their examinations, thus depriving
them of further education. 
Unfortunately, the Bangladeshi government has refused the UNHCR
access to the 1996 refugees: Bangladeshi security forces are
arresting refugees and forcing them to return to Burma, in
violation of the refugees' right to apply for asylum. 
Harassment and even murder of Muslim Burmese are not confined to
the border areas. In the Burmese capital of Rangoon, SLORC has
taken over the Muslim burial grounds of Tamwe, Kandawgale and
Hanthawaddy for city development programs. The Tamwe cemetery,
which was over a century old, included a mosque and a madrasa
(religious school) within the compound. SLORC had previously
confiscated orphanages, residential building for aged Muslims, and
a mosque in the city of Mandalay. When community leaders charged
with managing these trust properties protested, they were jailed. 
It is not the first time that SLORC has stirred up religious
intolerance in order to remain in power. In 1994 a Buddhist faction
broke away from the Christian-led Karen military. The Karen, one
of Burma's largest ethnic minorities, have been involved in a war
with Rangoon for over 40 years. With the support of SLORC, the
break away group declared itself the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army
(DKBA). The DKBA has since been attacking Karen villagers still
loyal to the Karen movement for self-determination. (See Amnesty
International's report "Myanmar: "No place to hide." Killings,
abductions and other abuses against ethnic Karen villagers and
refugees (ASA 16/13/95)). While all of Burma's ethnic minorities
are at risk under the SLORC dictatorship, the Rohingyas are
especially vulnerable. Their human rights are under attack daily,
and the international community has so far failed to offer any solution.
Shelley Anderson is editor of "Reconciliation International", the
bimonthly publication of the International Fellowship of
Reconciliation. She is an Executive Committee member of the
International Network of Engaged Buddhists.
A "Rohingya Reader" Part I and Part II (approximately 100 pages
each), with articles on the Rohingya issue in English and Dutch,
is available from Burma Centrum Nederland, Paulus Potterstraat 20,
1071 DA Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Tel. +31 (0)20 671 69 52; fax
+31 (0)20 671 35 13.
(1) Burma was admitted to Least Developed Country status at the
United Nations in December 1987.
(2) February 20-21, 1996, Hwe Kham, Thailand. The meeting was
organized by the International Network of Engaged Buddhists.
(3) See "The Rohingya Muslims: Ending a Cycle of Exodus?"
(September 1996) by Human Rights Watch/Asia, and reports by the
French and Dutch sections of the international relief agency
Medicines sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders). 


December 13, 1996 (The New Light of Myanmar)

The Union Solidarity and Development Association [USDA] has been founded and
registered as a social organization with the Ministry of Home Affairs with
effect from 15 September 1993. Over five million members have joined the
organization including millions of students since its founding three years
ago have shown reliable sense of royalty and dedication to the nation. 
Patron of the Union Solidarity and Development Association Chairman of the
State Law and Order Restoration Council Commander in Chief of Defence
Services Senior General Than Shwe explained the five noble aims when he gave
guidance to USDA Executives who had completed No. 7 Management Course for
USDA Executives in the Pyidaungsu Hall of the Central Public Relations Unit,
Hmawbi, the other day. The Senior General said that nondisintegration of the
Union means consolidation and perpetuation of the Union. Nondisintegration
of solidarity means all are to protect and build the Union through unity of
all national races and make concerted efforts based on mutual amity, trust
and respect. Perpetuation of sovereignty, he said, means that all are to
safeguard the independence for its perpetuity and make sure that not even an
inch of land, water or air was lost or trespassed upon.  The fourth aim of
the Association -- promotion and vitalization of national pride -- and
vitalization of
patriotism constitute national duties which must be discharged earnestly and
permanently, otherwise, numbers of axe-handles relying on foreign elements
would increase and Myanmar would unknowingly be pushed into servitude,
kneeling down as wanted by neo-colonialists.  The fifth aim calls for
emergence of a prosperous, peaceful and modern Union, he said, adding that
the aim is
the same in essence, as the fourth of the four political objectives to be
implemented without fail. The Association implements the social objectives
of the State. In the basic principles and code of conduct of the
Association, it is prescribed to safeguard our own culture. USDA members
uphold the code of conduct and discharge their duties. All are aware that
the Association's
activities during the last three years were directed towards enabling it to
enhance its quality and standard as a national force.  Members must strive
relentlessly to reach the goal of the Association. 


December 13, 1996

The delegation from the U.S. House of Representatives led by J. Dennis
Hastert currently visiting Myanmar [Burma] at the invitation of General Maung
Aye, vice chairman of the State Law and Order Restoration Council
[SLORC]--accompanied by U Thaung, minister of science and technology, and
Mr. Kent Wiedemann, charge d'affaires ad interim of the U.S. Embassy--left
[Rangoon] in a special military plane for Keng Tung yesterday morning.
[passage omitted]  The U.S. delegation was briefed in a special room at
the Keng Tung Airport by Brigadier General Thein Sein, chairman of the
Eastern Shan State Law and Order Restoration Council, on regional
development and the opium and narcotic drug eradication drive. The U.S.
delegation then left in military helicopters for Silu village in Mong Yang
Township, where they were briefed on the narcotic drug eradication and
opium substitution drive. [passage omitted] The visitors inspected seed
nurseries and mushroom culture and sericulture centers in Silu village.
Next, the U. S. congressional delegation went in military helicopters from
Silu to Mong La, where they were welcomed by U Sai Lin, leader of Special
Region No. 4, and
local people. The visitors were briefed at the Mong La Hotel by U Sai Lin on
the regional development and opium eradication drive. 

The U. S. delegation toured Mong La and visited a building under
construction for an opium eradication exhibition and the China- Myanmar
border gate. In the
evening the delegation observed the destruction of illegally cultivated
opium fields by military personnel and local people on their return flight
to Keng Tung. 
The delegation briefly visited a market in Keng Tung today, and visited Keng
Tung Police Station, where they inspected opium and psychothropic substances
seized during 1996 in eastern Shan State.  The U.S. delegation left Yangon
[Rangoon] at 1300 today by a Silk Air plane for Singapore. [passage omitted] 



BurmaNet regularly receives enquiries on a number of different 
topics related to Burma. If you have questions on any of the 
following subjects, please direct email to the following volunteer 
coordinators, who will either answer your question or try to put you 
in contact with someone who can:

Campus activism: 	zni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Boycott campaigns: [Pepsi] ai268@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx     
Buddhism:                    Buddhist Relief Mission:  brelief@xxxxxxx
Chin history/culture:        [volunteer temporarily away]
Fonts:                  		tom@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
High School Activism: 	[volunteer needed]
History of Burma:            zni@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
International Affairs: 	 Julien Moe: moe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Kachin history/culture:      74750.1267@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Karen history/culture: 	Karen Historical Society: 102113.2571@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Mon history/culture:         [volunteer needed]
Naga history/culture: 	Wungram Shishak:  z954001@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Burma-India border            Aung San Myint: aungsan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Pali literature:            	 "Palmleaf":  c/o burmanet@xxxxxxxxxxx
Pipeline Campaign       	freeburma@xxxxxxx
Resettlement info:	refugee_help@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Rohingya culture		volunteer needed
Shan history/culture: 	Sao Hpa Han: burma@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shareholder activism:       simon_billenness@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
Total - France		Dawn Star: cd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  
Tourism campaigns:      	bagp@xxxxxxxxxx     "Attn. S.Sutcliffe"   
volunteering: 		refugee_help@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
World Wide Web:              FreeBurma@xxxxxxxxx

Geographical Contacts:
Massachusetts		simon_billenness@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 

[Feel free to suggest more areas of coverage]



This single page serves only as an easy to remember URL and departure
point to resources promoting the establishment of democracy in Burma.
Please write to FreeBurma@xxxxxxxxx to add a site or for further
information." - Glen, system administrator


to get involved in the Free Burma Coalition, send a message to:

or visit their homepage, accessible through: http:// FreeBurma.org

There is also an e-mail list-server especially for Free Burma activists


The BurmaNet News is an electronic newspaper covering Burma.
Articles from newspapers, magazines, newsletters, the wire
services and the Internet as well as original material are published.   
It is produced with the support of the Burma Information Group 
(B.I.G) and the Research Department of the ABSDF.  We are also 
grateful to many other friends around the world who send us articles
to post.

The BurmaNet News is e-mailed directly to subscribers and is
also distributed via the soc.culture.burma and seasia-l mailing lists. 

For a free subscription to the BurmaNet News: 
send a message to: majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxx   

a. For the BurmaNet News only: 
    in the message, type:    subscribe burmanews-l

b. For the BurmaNet News and 4-5 other messages a day:
    in the message, type:     subscribe burmanet-l  

(NOTE: all lower case letters, last letter is a lower case "L", not the
numeral one).

Letters to the editor, comments or contributions of articles should be 
sent to the editor at: strider@xxxxxxxxxxx