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Shan At Right of self Determination

Subject: Shan At Right of self Determination Conference with Chin

7 May 1999 

Zai Dui, a member of Shan Youth and formerly of the Shan Nationalities
League for Democracy, was a participant at the International Conference on
the Indigenous Peoples' Right to Self Determination and nation-States in
Asia, which was held in Baguio City, Philippines, 18-22 April. 

"The present political situation is a powder keg, highly unstable and at a
flash point, because of the ground swell of dissention and absolute
distaste of the silent majority for the military dictatorship", he told the

On the economic situation, he said "All businesses, from medium to large
concerns, are in the hands of the Burmese military bosses and/ or their
partners, the Chinese drug dealers". 

On the drug problem, he said "This will be continued into the future so
long as there is no settlement of the political questions in Burma". 

The Conference was jointly organized by the Asia Indigenous Peoples' Pact
(AIPP), Cordillera People's Alliance (CPA) and the International Work Group
for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA), which is based in Switzerland. It was
attended by representatives from 30 indigenous peoples of 10 Asian states,
namely, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Burma, India, Nepal, Taiwan,
Bangladesh and Philippines. 

Apart from Shan, a Chin representative, Victor Beik Lian, attended and also
delivered a speech. 

The Conference "express(s) deep concern at the silent complicity of fellow
Asian states at the grave violations of the rights of indigenous peoples
using the Asean policy of non-interference in each others affairs as an
excuse". It "urge(s) governments and indigenous peoples to work towards a
genuine dialogue" and also "the United Nations to establish a permanent
forum for indigenous peoples within the United Nations as soon as possible,
in which indigenous peoples and governments meet as members on equal

/// END \\\

Shan Herald Agency for News.