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Euro Sanctions Near

Dear Free Burma Activists and Friends. The IHT (Thursday, 18 12 96)
pubolished a compiled staff despatch (AFP, AP) on the EU progress to
suspend Burma Trade Privileges. The text follows here. In addition,
EuroBurmanet would like to remind you, and if you have not yet tried it
out, encourages you  in your search for information and knowlege (I mean
its what you get out of the information, or don't,  how you organise it
and put the pieces together, the architecture, or how you take it down,
tear it apart, and reconstruct your own ideas, yourself, seeing what is
not there, what is not said, " between the lines " ).  

It appears to us over here that there more is not being said then really
meets the eye, which is typical if you have ever studied history, or
done extensive research in archives. There is a whole other history
behind the scenes - and it takes a  lot of digging and years (from work
or declassification) before the truth gets out. However, with the
Internet, we can push the truth to the surface, but it takes constant
work, constant pressure, tireless, unyielding forebearance and
dedication to the truth. 

At least, as far as Burma goes in Europe, the Old Continent has had a
rude awakening. It has been a good year for Burma in Europe. 
Unfortunately, France is in the backwaters here, politically and
socially regarding Burma and Burma awareness. We have passed well
through the first phase - awareness. Daw San Suu Kyi is now a familiar
word in France much to the chagrin of TOTAL and their paid off
politicians and hacks. (The truth has not yet come out on secret
political contributions in French occult financing of politicians by the
oil companies, though that story is now breaking - though threatens to
recede as quickly as it appears while Loik Le Floch-Prigent, former CEO
of ELF, France's giant energy ELF, sits in isolation behind bars and
State guards  denied bail for nearly a year -he managed to pass to the
press a secret confessional document.

The International Herald Tribune picked up the story last week, and
published December 14-15, a story by Joseph Fitchett, veteran Herald
writer living in Paris, quoting Le Floch-Prigent as saying " that the
French oil giant functioned for decades as a secret arm of the French
state, making and breaking African regimes, carrying out huge bribery
operations and providing cover for French covert operations in
petroleum-producing nations. " Oil, spooks and spies, cash and bribes, -
the typical mercenary methods of  secret power  in a country of waning
world influence, or at best, methods by which it maintained its
undemocratic tyranny over the economies of weak, sychophant localized
governments, propped up by the masters at Matignon and Quai d'Orsay.  In
France, nothing is done when the stakes are that high without the
consent of  the chief Ministers, or secret police power, within
government. And if it exists, what is this secret power, and who are its
keepers. That is indeed another question  that has left in recent years
a dead Prime Minister to Mitterand, reported a suicide - with two
bullets in the head, another close Mitterand advisor, shot dead in the
Presidential Palace, a key financial investor, suddenly dead in his
hospital bed, a Minister of Defense and former communist agent,  dead. 
The secrets of State Power in France remain a riddle to its people, who
tend to look the other way, silenced by the burden of the past, and
driven by only spurious and slight reform in the present. Very little
ever seems to change in France....

The IHT article continued..."...Elf  had been consistently controlled
and used by Gaullist politicians as a tool for French espionage and
influence -- for example, in lining up African countries' votes behind
France's positions in the United Nations. " 

Elf, not unlike TOTAL, was set up in 1962 when Algerian iondependence
threatened French energy supplies, was initially run by a former French
intelligence chief...the company has been described as a rench viceroy,
and African leaders in Paris routinely call on its chairman before
visiting cabinet ministers... "

Recall that when TOTAL's Burmese generals visited the Paris TOTAL
headquarters a year ago October, they received full state police escorts
and security, treated like a foreign country delegation on a state visit
with guarded motorcycle escorts around the capital. 

According to the IHT report,  Loik Le Floch-Prigent (whose life is
probably guaranteed by the secrets he keeps in hiding), chairman and CEO
of ELF from 1989 to 1993, ' ELF used its huge income from oil to " take
care of everyone ', Mr. Le Floch-Prigent wrote, apparently meaning that
it funneled money both to influential Africans and to French
politicians. Such arranagements in French-speaking African countries has
existed since the company's creation, he wrote, adding, 'They still
operate, to the satisfaction of both Gaullists and Africans ".

Just look at Mobutu in Zaire. The French government is firmly behind
Mobutu. But that is another story. 

The IHT story continues to report that ELF "was most closely involved
with two Gaullist leaders, Jacques Chirac, now president of France, and
Charles Pasqua, a former interior minister and a rival of Mr. Chirac's.
" (Last month Pasqua visited the "ailing"  Mobutu at his Swiss retreat.
He is said to be ravaged by cancer, but that too may be political
disinformation awaiting events to sort out in the Zaire conflict. )

dawn star


EU Prepares to Suspend Burma Trade Privileges 
IHT report December 18, 1996 (cocmpiled by staff dispatches, AP, AFP) 

The European Commission called Wednesday for Burma to be stripped of
trade privileges accorded by the European Union after finding evidence
of the widespread use of forced labor there.

The EU's eutive arm unanimously approved a recommendation that Burma's
membership of the Generalized System of Preferences, which accords
developing countries preferential tarifs (sic.) on their exports to the
European Union, be suspended indefinitely.

The decision has to be ratified by EU foreign ministgers. But this is
seen as a formality in light of the Burmese regime's continued refusal
to improve its record on human and democratic rights.

The commission said it had been unable to fully study conditions in
Burma because the military government would not cooperate. But it added
tht it had enough evidence of forced labor to recommend an indefinite
lifting of trade concessions for Burma.

" The commission proposes this measure remain in effect until the
practice of forced labor is abolished, it said in a statement. EU
nations have ended military cooperation, shrunk diplomatic missions and
refused to negotiate any new trade agreements with the country. But to
date, they have resisted an all-out trade embargo.

In October, the ministers banned Burma's military rulers from visiting
EU countries and warned that a package of largely symbolic sanctions
could be strengthened if there were any deterioration in the human
rights situation.

Ina statement, the ministers specifically referred to the practice of
forced labor. Any EU state that wanted to oppose the suspension from the
Generalized System of Preferences would thus have to do so on poliltical
grounds rather than arguing that the allegations had not been proven.

The commission's move became inevitable last month when Burma refused
entry to an independent committee of experts sent to investigate
allegations that people were forced to work on government and military

The visit was intended to check elements of testimony on forced labor
accumulated during public hearings in Brussels this summer. The hearings
were held after European trade union organizations filed 42 specific

The International Congress of Free Trade Unions in Brussels currently
said there were 800,000 Burmese currently involved in various forms of
forced labor, accounting for 10 percent of the country's output.

Metta, thank you, peace, happiness and long life. Virtually yours, Dawn

1996 Reebok International Human Rights Award Laureate

Dawn Star  (Paris)  <cd@xxxxxxx>
Euro-Burmanet  (Paris, France)

Burmanet / TOTAL Coordinator (France)
Free Burma Coalition

815 Fifteenth Street NW
 Suite 910
Washington, DC 20005

Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB)
P.O Box 6720
ST.Olavs Plass
0130 Oslo, Norway
Tel: 47-22-200021, Tel/fax:47-22-362525

Norway NCGUB you must make e-mail address to
level one (1)maung@xxxxxxxxxxx (the PM office e-mail)
level two (2)NCGUB Europe, U Nwe Aung  e-mail

US President  Bill Clinton < president@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Ambassador Madeleine K  Albright ( United Nations US Ambassador) Fax 
(212) 415 4443

All members of the House can be reached via the Congressional
Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.

While some members have E-mail, electronic communication is not as
effective as a telephone call or fax.

President William Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20500
(202) 456-1414

Mr.Warren Christopher
Secretary of State
Department of State
Main State Building
2201 C. Street NW
Washington DC 20520-7512
(202) 647-4000

Mr. Anthony Lake
National Security Advisor 
National Security Council
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington DC 20500
(202) 456-9481


Your pass into the following sites, and much more.


Help support our effort. Write now, to :

Mrs. Emma BONINO

The European Commission
Directorate General 1B
External Relations
(Directorate 1B, D, Division 3)
Rue de la Lois/Westraat 200
B-1049 Brussels

EC Humanitarian Office 

Join the Free Burma Coalition. Tel. 608-256-6572

International Rivers Network (Pam Wellner)
Unocal -TOTAL Oil campaign & Burma


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Send letters and cut-up UNOCAL / TEXACO / ARCO / TOTAL charge cards to:

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All members of the US House of Representatives can be reached
at  the Congressional Switchboard: (202) 224-3121

And remember, while some members have E-mail, electronic communication
is not as effective
as a telephone call or fax. Sent a letter, mark Free Burma Now, on the
Its effective.

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