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______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
_________August 31, 2000   Issue # 1609__________



*AFP: Aung San Suu Kyi marks first week in stand-off drama 
*IHT: Burma Draws an Internet Weapon in Its Fight Against Dissident
*AP: Myanmar public shows lukewarm interest in Suu Kyi standoff 
*AP: Australian publisher of Myanmar newspaper defends coverage
*Far Eastern Economic Review: BURMA - Going Nowhere

*Bangkok Post: Deputy FM calls for end to stand-off, Suu Kyi crisis 
could affect Vientiane meet
*AFP: Poland concerned about fate of Myanmar opposition leader Aung 
San Suu Kyi 
*Globe and Mail: Standoff in Myanmar draws Ottawa's ire

*Dow Jones: Myanmar To Privatize 11 More Enterprises - Report	

*Guardian: Burmese days--The regime is using Orwellian methods 
*Human Rights Watch: Burma: ASEAN Should Help End Standoff
*Singapore Democratic Party: Letter to SPDC regarding  Aung San Suu 

The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

AFP: Aung San Suu Kyi marks first week in stand-off drama 

YANGON, Aug 31 (AFP) - Aung San Suu Kyi may not win her roadside 
battle of wills with Myanmar's regime but she has already succeeded 
in exposing it to renewed international scrutiny, observers said 
Thursday as the ordeal went into its second week. 
 Aung San Suu Kyi and a dozen supporters have stood their ground 
since August 24 when they were blocked from driving to a party 
meeting in defiance of a ban on travel outside the capital. 

 Her National League for Democracy has vowed their 55-year-old leader 
will fight a "war of endurance" over the right to move freely around 
her own country and conduct legitimate party business. 

 Myanmar's generals have been equally stubborn, insisting that the 
Nobel peace laureate was stopped for her own safety and must return 
home or continue her "rest" outside "charming" Dallah township. 

 Despite its clumsy attempts to make light of the stand-off, the 
government has been subjected to a barrage of criticism from the 
international community, led by the United States and UN chief Kofi 

 And Southeast Asian neighbour Thailand has warned that if it does 
not find a peaceful solution quickly, the junta will bring the whole 
region into disrepute. 

 Even if Aung San Suu Kyi is forced to return home due to illness, as 
in her last stand-off two years ago, she has severely embarrassed the 
government just as it makes its faltering first steps towards the 
international community. 

 "I'm not sure she will be able to achieve her ultimate goal of 
forcing the military government to allow her to travel freely and 
negotiate on political issues," said Chaiwat Khamchoo of Bangkok's 
Chulalongkorn University. 

 "But she has been very successful in terms of winning international 
attention," said the dean of political science. 

 "The military government will now be careful not to overly 
antagonise the international community when they decide how to handle 
the situation." 
 Diplomatic sources say the latest drama has swung the spotlight back 
onto Myanmar after a long period out of the headlines.
 "It has served to focus international attention once again on the 
violations of basic human rights in Burma. What the outcome will be 
though is anyone's guess," said one Western diplomat in Bangkok. 

 The junta's argument that it was protecting the opposition party 
from the threat of "armed insurgent groups" by preventing it from 
travelling on has been met with derision. 
 "We find it quite extraordinary to see the line taken by the Burmese 
government propaganda machine on this, describing it as a camping 
trip to a charming village outside Rangoon," the diplomat said. 

 "They've trapped this party in a mosquito-infested swamp and I don't 
think there's any doubt in the outside world that that is what has 
 The protest is made more powerful by its timing ahead of the UN 
millennium summit, and a crucial December meeting between the 
European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations 

 Ties between the two blocs have been frosty since Myanmar was 
admitted as a member in 1997 despite strong EU objections, and the 
meeting had been aimed at giving a much-needed boost to the 
 The junta, which has been in control of Myanmar in various guises 
since 1962, is widely accused by the international community of gross 
human rights abuses, including slave labour, rape and torture. 

 It rejects these allegations and contends that it intends to make 
democratic changes once peace and stability has been achieved. 

IHT: Burma Draws an Internet Weapon in Its Fight Against Dissident

Paris, Thursday, August 31, 2000

By Thomas Crampton International Herald Tribune

HONG KONG - Leading her roadside confrontation with Burma's military 
rulers into its seventh day Wednesday, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's tactics 
appear identical to those she used in a similar protest two years 
ago: Drive to the edge of Rangoon until blocked by the government and 
then sit in the road for as long as possible.

For the rulers of Burma, however, things are different this time. 
They have discovered the Internet.

Turning to the Web with the fervor of a recent convert, the Burmese 
government has spent the past week sending out almost daily e-mails 
to just about any journalist who has recently written about the 

Using language that portrays Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's political 
standoff as a jolly jaunt into the countryside, the government's e-
mail messages have included attached digital images of semi-nude 
leaders of the National League for Democracy bathing in streams or 
carrying supplies.

Captions to the digital images include: ''An afternoon dip in the 
Sarpachaun stream''; ''Trying to put more food and other amenities 
into an already overloaded trunk'' and ''Coming back from shopping at 
nearby food stores in time for high tea.'' For higher-resolution 
photographs of publication quality, the government spokesman's office 
recommends that editors visit the junta's official Web site: 

There, the government's graphic-intensive site plays tinny music, 
claims more than 11,000 visitors since March and early this year 
garnered a ''Best of Asia'' award from www.sintercom.org, a Singapore-
based Internet community.

Opponents of the Burmese government denigrate such efforts as e-
propaganda that stand in stark contrast to the continued tight 
control of communication within Burma. Mobile telephones are 
considered military equipment, ordinary citizens are not permitted 
access to e-mail or the Internet, and those found in possession of an 
unauthorized fax machine have faced lengthy prison terms.

More broadly, however, the rapid upgrading of Burma's official 
information dissemination demonstrates how governments embroiled in 
civil conflicts are now forced to confront their physical enemies in 

The Internet-enabled confrontation with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the 
country's leading opposition figure, contrasts sharply with two years 
ago, when the only official information about the standoff came from 
terse comments on government information sheets that were faxed out 
to journalists specifically covering the story.

The only pictures available then were fleeting images taken from 
passing cars by local journalists who risked stiff prison sentences 
or foreign photographers who entered the country in stealth and 
smuggled out their film. International news agencies are permitted to 
hire government-approved local staff, but foreign journalists are 
only allowed into Burma for brief visits at the government's 

In the period since Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's last roadside 
confrontation, the government has been making a slow conversion from 
faxing out information sheets to sending them via e-mail and posting 
them on the official Web site.

These efforts have not been without setbacks. The official Web sites 
have been targets of hackers, and at least one e-mail list was 
hijacked by National League for Democracy supporters.

The Internet, and especially the Burmanet daily e-mail update, has 
long been a highly effective tool used against the Rangoon government 
by activists wishing to spread news and coordinate consumer boycotts 
of Western companies investing in the country.

The government of Sri Lanka has a undergone similar experience in its 
fight against overseas supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil 
Eelam, a group waging war for an ethnic Tamil homeland in Northern 
Sri Lanka.

Supporters of the Tamil Tigers and Tamil causes run a number of Web 
sites, including www.tamilcanada.com, www.eelam.com and 

Braced for heavy combat when he took over a battle command in May 
1998, the first hostile volley to hit Brigadier Sanath Karunaratne of 
the Sri Lankan Army came from the Internet.

Less than two weeks after he assumed command of 2,500 men on the 
Jaffna Peninsula in northern Sri Lanka, a Web site sympathetic to the 
Tamil Tigers reported that Brigadier Karunaratne had used violence on 

Brigadier Karunaratne had never before used the Internet and military 
communications were still rudimentary, so he heard about the report 
from a friend only shortly before the military launched an official 
investigation into the allegations.

''I was not trained how to respond to an attack from the Internet,'' 
the brigadier said. In the past year, however, the Sri Lankan 
government and military have begun to embrace the Internet.

Frontline generals in Jaffna use digital cameras and log on for e-
mail daily, the army's Psychological Operations Unit monitors all 
Tamil Web sites and the Foreign Ministry runs a Web site 
disseminating the government's viewpoint.

Recently promoted to military spokesman, Brigadier Karunaratne said 
he intended to launch an official army Web site: ''On the government 
side we must learn to use the Internet weapon as effectively as the 
Tamil Tigers.'' 

AP: Myanmar public shows lukewarm interest in Suu Kyi standoff 

August 31, 2000

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) _ As the roadside standoff between opposition 
leader Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar's military government entered its 
second week Thursday, her fate seemed to be sparking less interest 
among her fellow citizens than it has abroad. 

 The military junta has drawn strong criticism and statements of 
concern from around the world for stopping Suu Kyi from traveling to 
the countryside to carry out political organizing. However, 
interviews conducted in Myanmar by The Associated Press indicated 
that sentiment inside the country does not seem as passionate. 

 Suu Kyi, 55, two other senior members of her National League for 
Democracy party,and 12 members of its youth wing were stopped by 
police on Aug. 24, in the Yangon suburb of Dala. Blocked from 
continuing to their countryside destination 50 kilometers (30 miles) 
away, they have since been stranded there, camping out in their two 
vehicles and refusing to return to the capital. 

 Suu Kyi _ the daughter of the country's late independence leader, 
Gen. Aung San _ has led Myanmar's opposition movement since 1988, 
when the military smashed mass pro-democracy demonstrations and 
asserted its authoritarian rule. She won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize 
for her non-violent political activities, but was held under house 
arrest from 1989 to 1995. 

 The military held a general election in 1990, but refused to allow 
parliament to convene after the NLD won a landslide victory. Since 
then, her party members have suffered arrest and harassment from the 

 Interviews conducted at random in Myanmar supported the government's 
claim on Wednesday that while the confrontation ``is making headlines 
in the international media, the people of Yangon and Dala, both young 
and old, seem indifferent to this incident and are carrying on with 
their daily life, business and education as usual.'' 

 True public sentiment is difficult to gauge in Myanmar because of 
widespread fear of government retaliation for speaking out publicly 
on political matters. Even those people willing to comment about the 
standoff insisted on speaking on condition of anonymity. 

 But universities _ which the government fears are potential hotbeds 
of unrest _ were quiet, and the situation in Dala was not the main 
topic of discussion among students. 

 A history student told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the 
talk among students was of an illegal lottery that is wildly popular 
among all segments of society. 

 Meanwhile, local markets were as busy as usual. The black-market 
exchange rate for the kyat strengthened to around 374 kyats per 
dollar on Tuesday from 394 on Aug. 10, with dealers saying the boost 
came from a recovery in neighboring Thailand's currency. 

 A Dala resident who comes to Yangon every day to sell beans said 
that most people living in Dala are poor and more concerned with 
their livelihood than the standoff. 

 A trishaw driver in Dala interviewed Thursday said _ with apparent 
irony _ that the town's residents are happy and wish Suu Kyi to 
remain in Dala because since her arrival they have had electricity 
every day. A nationwide shortage of electricity means suburban areas 
normally don't have it each day. But it has now been turned on in 
Dala, apparently for security reasons. 

 The current standoff was triggered when Suu Kyi made her first 
attempt to travel outside the capital since two years ago, when the 
government blocked four such tries. On the last occasion, in August 
1998, she stayed put in her vehicle for 13 days before returning home 
for health reasons. 
 It seemed unlikely that the current standoff will be resolved soon. 

 A government statement Wednesday called on the National League for 
Democracy to cooperate in ``a responsible and meaningful way to 
(fulfill) national goals instead of flashing symbolic gestures 
designed merely to attract attention.'' 

 But a statement by the NLD vowed that Suu Kyi ``will definitely not 
return to Yangon until she reaches her destination and accomplishes 
party organizational duties.'' 

 Neighboring Thailand warned Wednesday that the standoff could hurt 
relations between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a 
regional free-trade group, and the European Union, which imposes 
sanctions on Myanmar for its human rights record. Myanmar, also known 
as Burma, is a member of the 10-nation ASEAN. 

 On Tuesday, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said Secretary-General Kofi 
Annan ``is increasingly concerned about the well-being'' of Suu Kyi 
and the other NLD leaders with her. 
 Eckhard noted that they ``have been denied freedom of movement.'' 

 At an annual meeting of Nordic foreign ministers on Tuesday, 
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden said they ``condemn the 
Burmese government's infringement'' of Suu Kyi's democratic rights. 

 The United States, Britain and the European Union also weighed in 
earlier with strong statements of concern. 


AP: Australian publisher of Myanmar newspaper defends coverage 

August 31, 2000

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ An Australian expatriate who is the only 
foreign publisher in Myanmar defended himself Thursday against 
allegations that his newspaper is soft on that country's military 

 Ross Dunkley, publisher of the weekly English-language Myanmar 
Times, said the government is gradually learning the advantages of 
freedom of the press. 

 Speaking at a seminar, Dunkley conceded that in Myanmar's current 
political situation which pits a stubborn pro-democracy opposition 
against an intransigent authoritarian junta _ ``we cannot publish 
opposition or dissident opinion.'' 

 However, he denied that his newspaper was merely a sophisticated 
propaganda tool of the military government. 

 ``I am not a crusader for the Myanmar (government), but I am a 
crusader for my newspaper,'' he said. 

 Dunkley said he believed the government is slowly learning about the 
advantages of press freedom and would be more open in the future in 
communicating with the press. 

 With the exception of several dozen small, uncontroversial crime and 
entertainment magazines, Myanmar's press is government-controlled. 
The daily newspapers are similar to the old Soviet-style model, 
publishing the official doings of the country's top brass along with 
full texts of their speeches. 

 Their only lively features are opinion columns and cartoons which as 
often as not are scurrilous attacks on the pro-democracy movement. 

 Dunkley admitted that there were many restrictions of press freedom 
in Myanmar, especially censorship, but said his non-native status and 
good relationship with the military has given him more opportunity 
than the local press. 

 He said 98 percent of his newspaper's material went untouched by the 
government's censorship unit. 

 ``My philosophy ... is to show there is another face to Myanmar,'' 
said Dunkley, citing non-political issues such as the government's 
attempt to suppress drugs, the opening of many small businesses and 
attempts to improve the education system. 

 He criticized the British Broadcasting Corporation's Myanmar-
language radio service for being biased in favor of opposition leader 
Aung San Suu Kyi, claiming it treated her as ``Suu Kyi the Great.'' 

 The BBC sponsored the seminar, held in Bangkok, on the topic of 
``the role of the media in promoting civil society.'' 

 Dunkley said the Myanmar Times, which began publishing in March, has 
a circulation of 10,000. He admitted that its two dollar price is too 
expensive for most local residents. 

Far Eastern Economic Review: BURMA - Going Nowhere
Issue cover-dated September 7, 2000
BURMA - Going Nowhere
By Shawn W. Crispin/BANGKOK
A roadside standoff points to tensions in the junta and the 
weaknesses of the opposition

AFTER NEARLY two years off centre stage, Burmese opposition leader 
Aung San Suu Kyi is grabbing the world's attention again. On August 
24, Suu Kyi, in a two-vehicle convoy en route to a meeting with an 
upcountry youth wing of her party, was stopped and barricaded by the 
military government's police near the Rangoon suburb of Dala.

The standoff with Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, which 
entered a seventh day as the REVIEW went to press, marks the first 
time she has seriously upped the tempo of her opposition campaign 
since insisting in 1998 that the parliament democratically elected in 
1990 be convened.

At that time a similar confrontation ended violently after 13 days, 
with the junta forcing the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner back to 
Rangoon. Hundreds of party members were incarcerated and scores 
pushed to abandon their party allegiances. Mindful of that precedent, 
the United States, the European Union and Britain have weighed in, 
heaping criticism on the junta for restricting Suu Kyi's movements.

Her protest came in reaction to a recent diplomatic warming towards 
the junta, known as the State Peace and Development Council. 
Considering leverage China has gained over Burma in recent years and 
the spreading realization that U.S.-led economic sanctions aren't 
loosening the junta's grip on power, many countries in the region--
including heavyweights Japan, India and Australia--have recalculated 
the diplomatic arithmetic and adopted more accommodating relations 
with the regime.

Japan in particular seems keen to re-open financial aid, on the 
understanding that the SPDC shows movement towards greater openness. 
It was Japanese carrots in the form of hints of aid that goaded the 
SPDC into re-opening select universities in August. Similar 
inducements seem to have convinced Rangoon that Australian-sponsored 
human rights workshops for 50 Burmese officials in July made good 
sense. Yet no substantive gestures have come toward opening dialogue 
with Suu Kyi and the NLD.


Suu Kyi has recently been more strident in criticizing international 
moves that win the junta domestic credibility. "Suu Kyi is trying to 
remind the world that this is the same regime that opened fire on 
democratic demonstrators in 1988 and annulled the results of 
democratic elections in 1990," says Chayachoke Chulasiriwongs, a 
professor of international relations at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn 
University. "She's trying to show the world that the struggle is 
still on."

Typically, Suu Kyi timed her push well. As in 1998, tensions are 
rising inside the SPDC. In August, the deputy minister for national 
planning and economic development, Brig.-Gen. Zaw Tun, was forced to 
step down for giving an uncharacteristically candid description of 
the country's economic rot at a seminar. And with rumours circulating 
that SPDC Chairman Gen. Than Shwe is poised to step down for health 
reasons, rival factions backing either the more outward-looking 
intelligence chief Lt.-Gen. Khin Nyunt or the more hardline former 
army commander Gen. Maung Aye are aggressively jockeying for position.

Yet, Suu Kyi's actions are unlikely to push intra-junta tensions to 
the breaking point. In the past five years, the junta has effectively 
consolidated its grip on power. Except for pockets of resistance 
among the ethnic Karen, all ceasefires brokered in the early and mid-
1990s still hold--albeit tenuously. "The SPDC believes it is winning 
both externally as well as internally," says a Burmese 
academic. "They now see themselves as a corporate identity that, even 
as generals come and go, will keep policies relatively the same."

The NLD meanwhile is in dire straits. On June 7, Aye Tha Aung, the 
representative of the NLD's four ethnic-minority branches, was 
sentenced to 21 years in jail. Some analysts believe the systematic 
and brutal emasculation of the NLD has split the party over how best 
to proceed with resistance.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Suu Kyi's bet is that by 
bringing the junta's hardline tactics back into the spotlight, the 
NLD may regain hope at home and spur fresh international criticism. 
Unfortunately for her, rumbles from the West seldom, if ever, effect 
real change in Burma. And rumbles at home, history shows, only beget 
more repression

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________


Bangkok Post: Deputy FM calls for end to stand-off, Suu Kyi crisis 
could affect Vientiane meet

August 31, 2000

Achara Ashayagachat

Thailand has the right to voice concern over the stand-off in Burma 
involving Aung San Suu Kyi and the military government, Deputy 
Foreign Minister Sukhumbhand Paribatra said yesterday.
The stand-off, now in its seventh day, had a bearing on Thai efforts 
to re-establish talks between the Association of Southeast Asian 
Nations and the European Union.

M.R. Sukhumbhand echoed the concern by Foreign Minister Surin 
Pitsuwan that talks between Asean and EU foreign ministers could be 
jeopardised by events in Burma.

The deputy minister said he was not interfering in Burmese affairs.

"Thailand, particularly this government, has strived since December, 
1997, to move forward the disconnected Asean-EU ministerial meeting, 
now scheduled in December in Vientiane," he said.
The government had a stake in the outcome and therefore had the right 
to urge restraint on the parties, he said.

Talks between the two groupings have been postponed for years because 
of the EU's refusal to bring Burma into the framework.

Suu Kyi, leader of the National League for Democracy, and 12 members 
of her party have spent a week in a roadside stand-off on the 
outskirts of Rangoon after being stopped as she tried to travel to a 
party meeting.

About 400 exiled Burmese rallied in the Maneeloy holding centre in 
Ratchaburi to demand the Rangoon junta allow Suu Kyi free passage.

A dozen cut their arms with razor blades and wrote a banner in 
blood, "Free Suu Kyi".
A protest leader said 30 residents went on hunger strike.

AFP: Poland concerned about fate of Myanmar opposition leader Aung 
San Suu Kyi 

WARSAW, Aug 31 (AFP) - The Polish foreign ministry Thursday expressed 
concern over the fate of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, 
who has been stranded alongside a road for a week as authorities 
prevent her from leaving the capital Yangon. 
 "We consider the action of the Myanmar authorities to be a flagrant 
violation of basic human rights and we would like to see a solution 
to the situation to be found quickly," the ministry said in an 
official statement. 
 "We are in full solidarity with the ideas" of Aung San Suu Kyi said 
the Polish foreign ministry, 20 years after the founding of the 
Polish trade union Solidarity, the "symbol of the struggle for 
democracy, civil and political rights." 
 The nobel laureate and a dozen supporters of her National League for 
Democracy have stood their ground since August 24 when they were 
blocked from driving to a party meeting in defiance of a ban on 
travel outside the capital. 		



Globe and Mail: Standoff in Myanmar draws Ottawa's ire

Wednesday, August 30, 2000 

Ottawa -- Canada condemned the military government of Myanmar 
Burma) yesterday for its treatment of opposition democracy leader 
Aung San
Suu Kyi, who has been sitting with a group of supporters in two 
vehicles for
the past five days.

Aun San Suu Kyi and 14 members of her National League for Democracy 
stopped by police in the town of Dala on Thursday as they headed 
south of
the capital, Rangoon.

It was the first time Aun San Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace laureate, had 
tried to
leave Rangoon since another roadside confrontation in 1998 that ended 
13 days.

In May, 1990, the NLD won a landslide election victory but the 
leaders refused to respect the result.



_______________ ECONOMY AND BUSINESS _______________

Dow Jones: Myanmar To Privatize 11 More Enterprises - Report
Thursday, August 31

BANGKOK (Dow Jones)--Myanmar's military government will be selling 11 
more state enterprises of four ministries through competitive 
bidding, China's Xinhua news agency reported from Yangon, citing 
Thursday's state New Light of Myanmar newspaper. 
The enterprises to be auctioned include one plot of land and two 
warehouses of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, six cinemas of the 
Ministry of Information, one timber shop of the Ministry of Forestry 
and one ice factory of the Ministry of Livestock and Fishery, located 
in nine townships around the country, the report said. 

Myanmar has been implementing privatization of state-owned economic 
enterprises since January 1995, through auctioning or leasing, or 
establishment of joint ventures with local and foreign investors, the 
report said. 

The first enterprises to be privatized were factories, livestock 
breeding farms and cinemas. 

In 1999, a total of 118 enterprises comprising 15 factories, seven 
rice mills, 85 cinemas and 11 hotels were privatized. 

According to official statistics, there are 1,760 state enterprises 
in Myanmar, most of them industrial enterprises, the report said. 

Analysts said local partners of virtually all of the joint ventures 
with foreign investors are companies controlled by military or 
retired military personnel.


Guardian: Burmese days--The regime is using Orwellian methods 


Thursday August 31, 2000 
International protests have rightly broken out over the latest 
outrage by the Burmese military junta against the country's democracy 
leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Police blocked her car and let down its 
tyres on the outskirts of Rangoon as she and several colleagues tried 
to visit supporters of her party's youth wing. 

For seven days they have been forced to camp in a mosquito-infested 
field in broiling heat. 

This sad confrontation is not new. Ms Suu Kyi attempted four similar 
excursions in 1998 and each time was made to turn back after 
suffering from dehydration. The latest clash may end the same way. 
Even if it does not achieve its main purpose in allowing her to 
encourage her party workers to continue their long campaign for 
Burma's return to democratic rule, she will have reminded the world 
how ruthless the regime remains.

Its statements on the stand-off have an Orwellian ring. They tell the 
readers of their international website that Ms Suu Kyi is relaxing in 
a scenic riverside town because security conditions do not permit her 
to travel further, since so many Burmese hate her calls for tourists 
and businesspeople to boycott her country. The fact that none of 
Burma's state-owned press dares to publish this nonsense or indeed 
any news about her thwarted excursion shows the regime does not 
believe its own story. It knows it would arouse only more sympathy 
for her if the truth were told. 

The United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan has expressed concern 
over the regime's denial of her freedom of movement and called on it 
to resolve the issue peacefully. Britain, the United States, and 
various members of the Association of South East Asian Nations have 
also added their condemnation. 

Ms Suu Kyi's mistreatment is by no means the worst aspect of the 
junta's rule. Hundreds of Burmese political activists are in prison. 
Thousands have been tortured. Burma was lucky to be accepted into 
Asean in 1997, but if the military junta thought this would give it 
international respectability it was wrong. The European Union refuses 
to deal with Burma at international meetings. The United States has a 
ban on investment there. Whether the latest confrontation will change 
the regime's policies towards democratisation is doubtful. But it 
will at least make it harder for the regime to find fissures in the 
wall of international opposition.

Human Rights Watch: Burma: ASEAN Should Help End Standoff 
(New York, August 30, 2000 ) In letters to Association of South East 
Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers yesterday, Human Rights Watch 
called on ASEAN governments to use their influence to persuade 
Burma's State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) to end the current 
standoff with Aung San Suu Kyi. 

Noting that the actions of the SPDC violated the rights to freedom of 
movement, expression, and assembly of Aung San Suu Kyi and fellow 
members of the National League for Democracy, Human Rights Watch said 
that ASEAN intervention would demonstrate the organization's 
commitment to upholding basic freedoms. 
The international monitoring organization urged the foreign ministers 
to add their voices to that of Thai Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan 
in arguing for an end to the confrontation. In statements to the 
Bangkok press on Monday, Foreign Minister Surin noted his concern 
that the confrontation in Burma "may affect the image of ASEAN as a 
whole" and could sour the December ASEAN-European Union foreign 
ministers meeting.

Singapore Democratic Party: Letter to SPDC regarding  Aung San Suu Kyi

30 August 2000

State Peace and Development Council
Via the Burmese Embassy
15 St Martin's Drive

Dear Sirs,

The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) wishes to register its deepest 
consternation on the latest harassment of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. 

Your attempts to prevent the true leader of Burma in carrying out her 
work are an affront to the decency of civilised human beings all over 
the world. You do not seem to understand that your thuggish 
occupation of the country is completely unacceptable and that it will 
result in failure. The sooner you come to terms with reality and open 
a dialogue with the elected leaders of Burma, the less painful the 
end will be for the SPDC when it collapses, as it inevitably must. 
For those who fail to read history are not only doomed to repeat it, 
but must suffer the consequences when justice prevails. Ferdinand 
Marcos of the Philippines, Chun Doo Hwan of South Korea, Pol Pot of 
the Khmer Rouge, Suharto of Indonesia are just a few autocrats who 
have learned this lesson the hard way.  

The SDP joins in the democratic voice in denouncing the continued 
oppression of the leaders of the National League for Democracy as 
well as the people of Burma, and calls on you to immediately make 
genuine efforts to restore democracy to Burma and bring freedom to 
the people.


Chee Soon Juan


_____________________ OTHER  ______________________



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