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NEWS - Myanmar Says Allegations of
- Subject: NEWS - Myanmar Says Allegations of
- From: Rangoonp@xxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 21:39:00
Subject: NEWS - Myanmar Says Allegations of Forced Labor Are a
To: burmanet2-@xxxxxxxx, "Burma Net-l @igc.apc.org" <burmanet-l@xxxxxxxxxxx>,
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NOTE: They claim all the labor was voluntary. Yes it was, someone Must
volunteer or someone will be beaten, forced to pay money to take/hire
another porter/worker, etc.,etc.
Myanmar Says Allegations of Forced Labor Are a Misunderstanding
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- Allegations of forced labor in
Myanmar are largely the
result of misunderstandings, the head of military
intelligence said today.
Gen. Khin Nyunt, one of the four most powerful generals
in the military government,
made his comments in the opening address of the 13th
ASEAN Labor Ministers
Meeting in Yangon.
"In our efforts to improve our infrastructure, the
building of roads, bridges, rail
networks, dams and reservoirs had been undertaken, and
realizing the benefits to
the community, people have voluntarily contributed
labor," Khin Nyunt said.
"In Myanmar thinking, contribution of labor not only
brings immediate material
benefit in the present life, but also merit for future
life cycles," he said.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a predominantly Buddhist
nation, and many
Buddhists believe in reincarnation.
International labor unions and human rights groups have
criticized ASEAN for
holding its meeting in Myanmar. The United Nations,
Amnesty International and
Human Rights Watch accuse the military government of
using forced labor for
"ASEAN government ministers are meeting to discuss labor
issues in a country
where thousands of people are routinely seized and forced
to work against their will
and trade unionists are jailed," Amnesty International,
the London-based human
rights group, said in a news release.
"The time has come for ASEAN to live up to the promise it
made when admitting
Myanmar in 1997 to lead efforts for change in that
country," it said.
Khin Nyunt said that because most ethnic insurgencies had
ended, so had the
practice of forced labor, and that soldiers were now
doing most of the construction
ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations,
consists of Brunei,
Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the
Singapore and Vietnam.