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Wired News on September 2 & 3, 1995

Attn: Burma Newsreader
Re: Wired News on September 2 & 3, 1995

Thai Diplomatic Optimistic About Burmese Relations

      RANGOON, Sept 3 (Reuter) - The Thai ambassador to Rangoon said on
Sunday that the bilateral between two countries had improves since a senior
Thai delegate visited Burma. 

    ``Normalisation of the relations is underway now,'' the Thai ambassador
to Burma, Poksak Nilobon, said in a telephone interview. 

    Poksak, who declined to elaborate the details of discussions between the
Thai delegates and their Burmese counterparts, spoke with Reuters one day
after Thai Defense Minister General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh returned from his
two days visited to Rangoon. 

    Chavalit, the most senior Thai official to visit Burma since the Burmese
ordered the border closed in April right after the Mong Tai Army (MTA)
guerrillas loyal the opium warlord Khun Sa raided a Burmese border town. 

    Burma has accused Thailand for supporting the opium warlord but Chavalit
told reporters over the weekend that he would offer full cooperation in
Burma's ongoing campaign against Khun Sa. 

Reut04:51 09-03-95

Burma's Karen Rebels Agree to Push for Peace

      MAE SOT, Thailand, Sept 2 (Reuter) - Burma's embattled Karen guerrillas
finished a 10-day congress vowing to work towards talks with Burma's military
government but leaders warned on Saturday peace would be elusive if political
concerns were not addresed. 

    Almost 200 members of the Karen National Union (KNU), one of the world's
oldest guerilla groups, gathered for the meeting in their besieged zone of
control in remote southeastern Burma. 

    The KNU suffered serious military setbacks earlier this year, losing its
headquarters to a Burmese government offensive after several hundred troops
in the rebel army mutinied and joined the government side. 

    Last month, KNU leaders held preliminary talks with representatives of
the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) and agreed that a
guerrilla delegation would hold truce talks with the government soon. 

    The guerrillas, who have been fighting for autonomy since 1949, agreed to
``endeavour for a dialogue between the KNU and SLORC for the establishment of
genuine and lasting peace in the country,'' the KNU said in a statement. 

    The SLORC has agreed to ceasefires with more than a dozen guerrilla
forces since 1989 but has refused to discuss any of their political demands. 

    The KNU has insisted that any talks should cover their political demands,
including autonomy for ethnic minorities under a federal system. 

    Newly elected joint general secretary of the KNU, Mahn Sha Lar Pan,
speaking on the Thai-Burmese border south of the Thai town of Mae Sot,
stressed the KNU's desire to talk peace but said there must be discussion of
long-standing political grievances. 

    ``Without discussion of our political demands it will be difficult to
achieve real peace,'' the guerrilla official told Reuters. 

Reut02:11 09-02-95

---------------------------------------end. (fb.09020395.wire)