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Dr U Ne Oo
48/2 Ayliffes Road
St Marys SA 5042
Adelaide, Australia

September 4, 1995.

The Hon. Winston Lord
Assistant Secretary of State
United States Department of State
United States of America.

Dear Assistant Secretary

RE: The United States policy on Burma

I should like to, firstly, thank the Department of States, the U.S.
Congress and the Government of United States for your continuing interest
in Burma situations.  Resulting evidences are that some progress have been
made in regards to the national reconciliations in Burma:  the Opposition
leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was released last July and the cease-fire
negotiations with ethnic minority rebels appears to be in progress.
Continuing attention and helps to the Burmese cause by the Government of
United States are needed to ensure further progress be made in regards to
democratizations in Burma. 

I am writing to the Assistant Secretary for forthcoming meeting on the
review of United States policy on Burma.  We were informed by our Burmese
democracy supporters in the U.S. that such meeting will be held in
September 7, 1995 and therefore making of my views known on such
discussion. I should like to request your government's committee to the
following matters be taken into considerations in such discussions: 

1. Cease-fire agreement with the ethnic rebels: It has been reported that
the leaders of the New Mon State Party are now in discussion with SLORC
for the military cease-fire.  The Karen National Union is also reportedly
preparing for cease-fire negotiation with SLORC. 

There has been reports of skirmishes between Karenni National Progressive
Party(KNPP) and SLORC troops. A quiet persuasions/mediations is needed for
the KNPP and SLORC to enter military cease-fire. The point must be made to
KNPP is that the genuine federal union for Burma is the only solution and
therefore to go along with other democratic forces in political

A quiet and low profile mediations in regards to ethnic issues seems to be
the best way for resolving ethnic issues in Burma.  /* --------- */
Although there have been ethnic political alliance such as Democratic
Alliance of Burma, in practice, separate group's cease-fire must
considered to be acceptable. 

There has also been report of the drug-warlord Khun Sa's intention to
retire from Shan United Army. In this case, the cease-fire should include
the SUA along with other minority rebel groups. It, however, is up-to the
other democratic forces, such as the former members of Democratic Alliance
of Burma, to decide whether to include in their informal contact groups. 

2.  Regarding with the issue of trading with Burma and Burma's military
regime, there should be no objection to the international businesses
community entering Burma.  However, the business community must always be
reminded of the illegal status of SLORC and the vulnerability of their
contracts with SLORC.  The large scale investments which can encourage the
stay of present military government should be kept to minimum. 

3.  Consolidating the cease-fire: When the time is appropriate - possibly
the time that the federal solution for Burma been secured - the ethnic
rebels should be encouraged to renounce the armed struggle. 

Current armed struggle by ethnic minorities can be seen as the expression
of discontent over the Burman control of natural resources and unequal
attention (in which the minorities perspectives) to their own people by
the central government. The federal solution will solve both problems in
the longer term.  For the immediate future, however, the reduction of
human rights abuses in minority areas and welfare/financial security for
those who have engaged in armed struggle will be important. 

The large size of Burmese army have also been a threat to the cease-fire
and long term stability. A large army with its leadership despised by its
own people can be a potential for future coups. It is time to plan to
reduce the size of army personnels.  It may be possible for army
personnels including younger officers to transform to normal work force.
Plans should be made for retraining/rehabilitation of army personnel along
side with general populace. 

4. Repatriation of refugees: Continuing close attention to the situation
of refugees in various countries are necessary.  The Memorandum of
Understanding must be promoted in coordination with UNHCR by respective
governments which housed Burmese refugees. Burmese refugees have, since
1988, scattered not only Burma's neighbouring countries but also
throughout the world:  including Australia, Japan, U.S. and Germany.
Therefore, promoting the Memorandum of Understanding by such countries
will have a good coordinated effect on the repatriation of refugees. 

Although the repatriation of refugee has been one of the most successful
issue regarding Burma, the UNHCR appears to have not been well resourced
for the Burma's repatriation projects:  it even been reported that only 9
UN personnels stationed in Arakan State for the 250,000 Rohingya
repatriation. In Burma's refugees case, the need for humanitarian
assistance( such as food etc) seems not so much in its urgency. However
the monitoring activity by UN personnels seems to be much more important
and urgent for the successful repatriation. I appeal the U.S.  Congress to
support the UNHCR in resourcing of such projects within Burma. 

5.  International Arms Embargo: Along with promoting cease-fire, the U.S.
Congress should continue to push the international arms embargo on Burma.
This is particularly necessary as the international business activity been
gaining momentum in Burma. Even though the large scale investments can be
control in principle, every effort must be made to ensure that any
cash-flow into Burma not being used in building-up of arms. 

6.  Development Issues: A plan of development for Burma is also
appropriate to discuss at this time.  The UNDP should look into large
scale infrastructure developments that may be necessary for future Burma.
As soon as the critical political issues, such as reconciliations with
ethnic minorities and the transfer of power, been resolved in Burma, the
UNDP must take steps to implement large scale developments projects. 

The human resource developments should also be given priority.  Burma's
current generation is reasonably well educated - however lacks useful
skills for work. The human resource development is not the works of UN
Agencies alone - the business community must participate in such action.
Much more coordinated plans are needed between those people who engaged in

7.  Human Rights developments: The international community should continue
to encourage the gradual relaxation of the government's oppressive laws.
The release of all political prisoners, the repeal of oppressive laws and
the building of independent judiciary should be given the priority. 

Finally,  on  behalf of the Burmese refugees, I should like to  express  my
sincere   thank   the   U.S. Department  of State and the Congress for your
financial commitments in assisting the refugees in Thailand in particular.

Yours respectfully and sincerely,
Sd. U Ne Oo.

\underline{copy to:}\\ 1. Ms Sadako Ogata, UNHCR, Case Postale 2500,
CH-1211 Geneva-2 Depot, SWITZERLAND\\

2. Mr Jan Eliasson, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs,
United Nations, New York NY 10017, U.S.A.\\

3. Senator The Hon. Gareth Evans, The Minister for Foreign Affairs and
Trade, Parliament House, Canberra 2601, AUSTRALIA\\

{ BurmaNet Reporting} 

                         KAREN REFUGEE COMMITTEE
{ June 20, 1995}

In light of the present situation and the views expressed by certain
quarters on possible repatriation of the Karen refugees, the Karen Refugee
Committee, is obliged to express its views on the situation with regards
to the Karen Refugee problem and define its stand on the question of

The Committee begs to refer briefly to the situation in 1984 when through
the permission of the Royal Thai Government and the kind auspices of the
Coordinating Committee for services to Displaced persons in Thailand
(CCSDPT), a simple but effective relief operation began with the support
of a small group of NGOs to provide for the need of some 10,000 Karen who
fled into Thailand because of heavy fighting that broke out then along the
Moei stretch of the Thai-Burma border. The Karen Refugee Committee has a
small role since then in this relief operation with a system that ensured
that basic needs were met but self reliance and self-respect maintained. 

The number of refugees grew steadily during the past ten years or
more and the total numbers of refugees in the various Karen
refugee camps in Thailand is 69,348 as of May 1995. The system of
providing assistance has been maintained and expanded
proportionate to the need.

\underline{\sc Review of the current situation}

Following the series of attacks on Karen refugees camps in Tak
and Mae Hong Son provinces during the summer of 1995 by armed
intruders directed and actively supported by the SLORC, the karen
situation has come under review, especially the question of how
to provide security for the refugees. The Thai authorities have
now taken a new measure to consolidate the refugee camps in
larger locations which can more easily be made secure.

The Karen Refugee Committee is of the same opinion that security
has become a very urgent issue and thus it is cooperating with
the Thai authorities in resettling the refugees in larger and
more controlled camps where security can be better and more
effectively provided.

The Committee is however greatly concerned about the question of
repatriation as SLORC has made it known that it believes that the
refugees should be returned to Burma and the question is being
asked in Thailand as to how long the refugees should stay on in
the camps before they return to Burma. The situation is now more
complicated because of the internal conflict of the Karens and
some refugees have returned to Burma. The Karen Refugee Committee
has made it very clear to everyone in the camps that they are
free to choose between going or staying. It has cautioned them
however to be more careful in making decisions.

\underline{\sc Cause of the refugees problems}

The Karen Refugee Committee wishes to state clearly its belief
that it is in the best interest of the refugees that they should
ultimately return to Burma. The Committee has never attempted to
prevent refugees from returning to Burma but it believes that the
return must be voluntary and it must be to a situation of safety.

This raises the question of how the safety of returning refugees
can be assured. The Committee has stated on various occasions
that fighting in Burma is not the only reason why refugees leave
their homes and flee into Thailand. In fact, lack of respect for
human rights and activities associated with it had caused tens of
thousands of civilians from even outside the war zones to flee
from the their country. They had suffered incidental as well as
systematic persecutions under the country's military rulers. This
is shown by the fact that refugees continue to stream into
Thailand even during periods of little or no actual fighting.

People free from their homes and villages in Burma for many
others apart from actual fighting. Some of the reasons most
commonly attributed to the cause of their flight into Thailand
for refuge are:

 -Persecution, brutality and intimidations;

 -Consistent demand for so-called voluntary labour and forced      

 -Extortion of money and property;

 -Lack of respect for the lives and property of the civilian       

 -Lack of respect for the fundamental rights and privileges of     
 individual or groups;         

 -Forced relocation.

 The Karen Refugee Committee believes that the Karen refugees have fled
from systematic persecution and they qualify as refugees with the rights
of refugees as recognised by the international community. Consequently,
safe voluntary of the refugees to Burma can be achieved only with the
ending of this systemic persecution. In it recent consideration in March,
1995, of the question of human rights abuses in Burma, the UN Commission
on Human Rights, once again expressed its grave concern at the violation
of human rights in 'Myanmar' which remains extremely serious, in
particular the practice of torture, summary and arbitrary executions,
forced labour, including forced portering for the military, abuse of
women, politically motivated arrests and detention, forced displacement of
the population, the existence of important restriction on the exercise of
fundamental freedoms including the freedom of expression and association,
and the imposition of oppressive measures directed, in particular, at
ethnic and religious minority groups. 

 \underline{\sc Conditions for safe, voluntary repatriation}

Given this view of the current situation in Burma, the Karen
Refugee Committee would therefore like to propose the conditions
which should be met in order that the safe, voluntary return of
Karen refugees to Burma can be achieved.

1. The refugees must have access to reliable information about
the situation inside those areas of Burma from which they came
and, or to which they would return.

 2. There must be effective protection and support for the
refugees after they have returned to Burma.

 3. There must be a real possibility of the refugees returning
safely to their place of choice with access to assistance through
which to reconstruct their sheltered communities.

4. There must be a continuing access to refuge in Thailand if
they are subject to attack or further persecution.

\underline{\sc Proposal of the Karen Refugee Committee}

The Karen Refugee Committee therefore proposes that in order to
allow for the safe voluntary return of Karen refugees to Burma,
the following steps should be taken.

1. An appropriate independent body must be designated or created
with the possibility of systematically monitor the situation
inside those areas of Burma from which the refugees came and to
which they would return and systematically provide to the
refugees the information obtained.
2. When it becomes clear that on the basis of such information
there are refugees clearly willing to return to Burma, there
should be a careful, stage by stage process of moving willing
refugees to temporary camps inside Burma, where they can be
provided with assistance and protection as a means of building
confidence. For this to be achieved, there should be a formal
guarantee from SLORC that the refugees will not be attacked or
harassed, there should be provision of humanitarian support from
across the border similar to that provided to the refugee camps
in Thailand, and there should be continuing monitoring of their
situation by the independent body. There should also be a clearly
expressed willingness by the Thai authorities to allow the
refugees access to refuge in Thailand should they be attacked or
3. When it becomes clear that SLORC is willing to cooperate and
the refugees have confident to return further inside Burma, there
should be a process of identifying specific areas from which
refugees have fled and to which they are willing to return and
which are considered safe by the independent monitoring body.
Provision should then be made to resettle the refugees in these
areas with continuing guarantees of food supplies until they can
become self-sufficient as well as the support necessary for
rebuilding their farms and villages. Provision should be made for
their access to basic health and educational services. Again,
there must be provision for monitoring the well-being of the
these refugee area by the independent monitoring body and to
provide assistance to such refugees communities from across the
border in Thailand until such time as it can be shown that such
assistance can be provided satisfactorily from inside Burma.

The Karen Refugee Committee sees monitoring inside Burma as the
key to establishing whether SLORC is sincere regarding its stated
desire for the refugees to return to Burma. For its part the
Karen Refugee Committee would welcome the presence of an
appropriate independent monitoring body in the camps in Thailand
with the responsibility of informing the refugees concerning the
situation inside Burma and establishing which refugees are
willing to return.

In Closing, the Karen Refugee Committee humbly expresses its
sincere gratitude to the Thai authorities and to the people of
Kingdom of Thailand for their kindness in granting refuge to the
Karens and other displaced people from Burma who are in trouble
and need. The Committee is fully aware of the fact that this
kindness and understanding is vital for the survival and welfare
of these people during their time of refuge in Thailand. This
noble gesture of goodwill is sincerely appreciated and will
always be remembered by the Karens of Burma. The Committee also
expresses its gratitude to the individuals and agencies for their
help and support in many ways through these long years to keep
the relief operation from coming to a halt. The commitment of all
those concerned in this mission of mercy is also appreciated.}

{\tt {\sl From: BurmaNet 16/8/95.}

UN envoy meets Suu Kyi and Burma foreign minister, Reuter

RANGOON- United Nations deputy secretary-general Alvaro de Soto
met Burma's foreign minister and recently-released opposition
leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday, official media and
eyewitnesses said.

De Soto, on a week-long visit to Burma, was expected to raise
questions of restoration of democracy in the southeast Asian
nation, following Suu Kyi's release from house arrest last month.

Burma's state-television, reporting De Soto's meeting with
foreign minister Ohn Gyaw, gave no details of the talks.

De Soto was seen entering the house of Nobel Peace prize winner
Suu kyi. He stayed for more than two hours but made no comments
to reporters as he left the compound.

Suu Kyi was unexpectedly released from nearly six years of house
arrest by the military government last month. She says she aims
to restore democracy in Burma.

De Soto, who on a previous visit was refused permission to see
Suu Kyi, was expected to meet powerful military intelligence
chief Khin Nyunt later this week, government officials said.

Although Suu Kyi has appealed for talks with military leaders, no
date has yet been set for formal talks to begin.

She said at a recent news conference she had contact with the
ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (Slorc), but would
give no further details.

Slorc officials have made no comment on Suu Kyi's release and
have given no indication when or if talks might begin.

Kyodo adds: Alvero de Soto, who arrived in Rangoon on Sunday to
deliver a message from Boutros-Ghali, met Immigration and
Population Minister Lt Gen Maung Hla and Foreign Minister Ohn
Gyaw on Monday.

The visit is one of several such attempts by foreign authorities
to put pressure on the leaders of the ruling State Law and Order
Restoration Council (Slorc) to agree to talks with Aung San Suu


24 August 1995, THE NATION

TOP ethnic Mon guerrilla leader Nai Shwe Kyin left yesterday for
Burma after nearly five decades fighting for autonomy from the
Rangoon government.

Nai Shwe Kyin and two other leading members of the New Mon State
Party (NMSP) flew from Bangkok to Rangoon on a Myanmar Airway
International flight. The group was to join another large
entourage of top NMSP leaders who left Bangkok for Rangoon on

After repeated invitations extended by the ruling Burmese State
Law and Other Restoration Council (Slorc), the octogenarian
leader eventually decided to make the trip after having consulted
members of the NMSP central committee.

Meanwhile, a Reuter report quoting guerrilla sources yesterday
said leaders of Burma's Karen National Union (KNU), one of the
world's oldest rebel groups, would hold preliminary ceasefire
talks with the ruling military government next week.

KNU leader General Bo Mya is to lead a five-man delegation to
Pa-an, the capital of southeastern Burma's Karen state, to meet
representatives of the ruling Slorc, a senior Karen source told

A senior NMSP official, who requested anonymity, told The Nation
in an interview yesterday that Nai Shwe Kyin's itinerary was
being finalized by the seven member NMSP advance team and the
Slorc, but that he and other top Mon leaders would certainly meet
with Slorc leader Lt Gen Khin Nyunt, who initiated ceasefire
talks with armed ethnic groups. A meeting with Slorc Chairman Gen
Than Shwe was highly possible.

The official said it is Nai Shwe Kyin's first visit to Rangoon
since 1963, when he led a Mon delegation to peace talk with the
government of Gen Ne Win, and also his first family reunion with
his wife and son who now live
in Waw, a small town north of Pegu.

Although Nai Shwe Kyin's actual programme was not known at
interview time, the official said the Mon leader would likely
travel to Moulmein, Burma's Mon State capital, where he would
meet and address the Mon population.

Nai Shwe Kyin, who joined the Mon guerrilla movement in 1948, is
widely respected by the Mon populace on both sides of the
border-those inside Burma and the big Thai Mon community in
Thailand. The NMSP and the Slorc began their peace dialogues in
December 1993 and the two reached a ceasefire agreement on June
29 this year.

The official said the visiting NMSP team and the Slorc would hold
their first post-ceasefire negotiations on various issues
including joint border development programmes in the Mon State,
bilateral trade and economic activities, health and education
projects and a resettlement plan for about
10,000 Mon refugees in newly designated villages.

The ethnic group and Rangoon would try to finalize their plan to
establish an NMSP liaison office in several towns in Moulmein,
Mergui, Thanbyuzayat, Three Pagodas Pass and Ye to facilitate
bilateral contacts and communications.

The Mon group would also urge the Slorc to open tripartite
dialogues with Burmese political parties led by pro-democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi and over a dozen armed ethnic groups,
most of whom have entered a truce deal with Rangoon, added the

Apart from Nai Shwe Kyin, other NMSP leaders in the advance team
include Nai Htin, the NMSP vice chairman who led the Mon
delegation to the ceasefire agreement in June, Nai Tin Aung,
secretary for the trade and economic committee; and Brig Gen
Naing Aung Naing, the vice secretary for
the central military committee. (TN)

/* Endreport */