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When I read the directive order of SPDC No.1/99 dated 5/14/99, it is
clear to me that SPDC has no intention of amending the law nor stop
inquisition of forced labor in Burma. Let me discuss a few factors which
I beleive SPDC is trying to twist and made to beleive that it is trying
to do its best to amend those acts which the ILO has recommended. Let me
the directive main paragraph 5 and sub paragraph 5(b).
5,  As such, this order is hereby issued directing the Chairmen of the
Ward and Village Tract Peace and Development Councils and the responsible
persons of the department of General Administration and the Myanmar
Police Force not to 
exercise powers under these provisions relating to requisition for
personal service prescribed in the above-mentioned 
Town Act, 1907 and the Village Act, 1907, until and unless any further
dirextive is issued , except for the following circumstances.:
5(b)  Requisi tion for personal service in work or service which is of
important  direct interest for the community  and general public and is
of present or imminent necessity, and for which has been impossible to
obtain voluntary labour  by offer of usual rates of wages and which will
not lay too heavy a burden upon the present population.
In the main paragraph 5, the directive issued is not directing the area
or local Burma Army Commander at all. Whether the Army Commanders have
been empowered under the Town Act and Village Act or not, they are the
ones who issue 
orders to ward and village tract  Peace and Development Council for
requisition of forced labour. They (Army Commanders) are the main
culprits who procure forced labour by orders to the Village Tract and
Development Councils and threaten to physically harm the people if the
villagers fail to comply with their orders. 
In sub paragraph 5(b) SPDC is still trying to hold on to the right of
procuring forced labour with the pretext of showing how important is the
nature of circumstances which compel them to do so.
Well, in my point of view, I do not see the small trace of facts that
substantiate the change of attitude of SPDC with regards to forced
labour. It is only twist and turn SPDC is trying to do to the people in
general and the ILO in particular.

With Best Regards.

                                   SAW AUNG KHIN

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