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Rangoon won't move cemetery.




			Rangoon Won't Move Cemetery 
			***************************

                        Monday, February 3, 1997 1:02 pm EST 

                          BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- After a worldwide 
outcry, Rangoon has decided not to
                          relocate the city's only Jewish cemetery, the 
Israeli ambassador to Burma said Monday. 

                          The city government had wanted to build homes 
and a shopping center in northwestern
                          Rangoon, where adjoining Jewish, Persian, 
Christian and Chinese cemeteries are located. 

                          ``They have changed their plans, and we are 
very pleased about that,'' Ambassador Gad
                          Nathan told The Associated Press. 

                          Nearly 700 Jewish tombs are in the palm 
tree-lined cemetery, the oldest dating from 1876,
                          and the most recent 1985. Many are crumbling as 
Moses Samuels, the trustee of the only
                          synagogue in Burma, struggles with limited 
funds to maintain the molding tombs against the
                          tropical climate. 

                          Only eight Jewish families remain in Burma. At 
its peak, the community had 3,000 people,
                          mostly of Persian, Indian and British origin. 

                          Most of Burma's Jews fled before the Japanese 
invasion of World War II, and as Gen. Ne
                          Win nationalized private business during 26 
years of socialist isolationism from 1962-88. 

                          A report in a Thai newspaper that the cemetery 
was being demolished was incorrect,
                          Nathan said Monday, attributed the government's 
change of plan to an outpouring of
                          concern from Jews in Israel and other 
countries. 

                          With no rabbis or Jewish clergy in Burma, some 
Jews feared that religious laws would not
                          be observed in moving the remains. 

[Associated Press, 3 Feb 1997].

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