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BurmaNet News: September 26, 1995

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The BurmaNet News: September 26, 1995

Noted in Passing:
The Burmese minority groups see that amphetamines are easier to
make, easier to sell and they get the money more quickly. - Thai Pol 
Lt-Col Veerasak Meenavanich on the switch from amphetamine to
heroin production by Khun Sa, the Haw Chinese, and the Red Wa.

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September 24, 1995


                                    Date: September 24, 1995

The ABSDF warmly welcomes the United States Senate's approval of
tough sanctions against Burma to ban all U.S trade with,
investment in, and travel to Burma.

We, the ABSDF respectfully congratulate Senator Mitch McConnell,
a Republican from Kentucky and chairman of a key funding panel,
who sponsored the sanctions amendment to the 1996 foreign aid
bill, which was approved by the Senate by an overwhelming 91 to
nine on September 21.

At present in Burma, there has been no new development following
the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace laureate and the
democracy leader of Burma. Approximately, 3,000 political
prisoners are still detained and the Slorc military regime still
intends to reconvene its sham National Convention. 

In addition, there has been no response by the Slorc to an offer
by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to make dialogue for national
reconciliation and internal peace.

It is a crucial time for democratization in Burma and we firmly
believe that the international community must take further action
against the military regime which rules the country against the
will of the people.

We highly appreciate the support of the United States for
democratization and human rights in Burma. 

On behalf of the people of Burma, we the ABSDF appeal to the
President of the United States to pass the bill and  implement
effective economic sanctions against Burma until the goal of
democracy in Burma has been achieved.

Central Leading Committee
8888 camps


September, 15, 1995

[Note: Translated by the ABSDF Information Department]

 (editor's note: the mistakes in word choice have been left, as this the way
the translated document was printed.  One example: "labors" should be read 
as "laborers")

                                                     September, 15, 1995

Ticket to ride
Tavoy-Yay Phu new railroad was opened by the Slorc in Tenasserim
Division on May, 1995 and the train ticket costs 10 Kyat for
each. The cost of a ticket from Tavoy to Yay Phu by private bus
was also 10 Kyat before the railroad was build in this area.
Local people are now very disappointed because they expected that
it would be cheaper than the private bus when the government
owned railroad finished.

Non-water resistance
During this raining season, Tavoy-Yay Phu railroad was damaged
three times in many parts of it by the water. The yearly maximum
rate of rainfall in that area is over 200 inches. And local people
were summoned as forced laborers by the Slorc for repairing the
railroad without any labor charges.

Railroad soil bank rebuilt
Each 800 local people from Thayat Chaung township, Long Lon
township, Tavoy township and Yay Phu township in Tavoy District
were collected by the Slorc to construct the rest of long
railroad soil bank between Kyauk Kanyar and Zinba village in Yay
Phu township since June, 1995.

The prisoner labors from 30 mile camp have worked for necessary
stones and rocks for the bridges which located along the railroad
and the cars owned by the local people were used to carry those
stones and rocks by the Slorc's army.

The estimate number of local forced labors for the railroad
between Kyauk Kanyar and Zimba village. 

1. 21 mile camp       1,000 local forced labors
2. 30 mile camp       200 prisoners and 700 local forced labors
3. Nwe lein camp      700 local forced labors
4. Zinba camp         300 prisoners and 800 local forced labors

Every local forced labor has to carry their own food while they
were in railroad construction site.

Rotating system for porters
Local people from all the villages in four townships of Tavoy
District have been instructed by the local Slorc's army to serve
as porters for monthly, two people from each village. If it is
failed to serve as porter, they have to pay 2,000 Kyat fine per

Study of gas pipeline
The Slorc and TOTAL oil company have allowed a so-called French
woman from Green peace to study the possible damage of
environmental situation in that area for construction of gas
pipeline to evade form the international pressure, started in
April this year. In her report, the environment of that area will
not be damaged by the construction of gas pipeline. She was
allowed for three months to study the environmental situation by
the Slorc. During her study, she has stayed in Lanzon Gyi ward in
Tavoy by the arrangement of the Slorc.

Army of looters
On August 2, 1995, household things and money from villagers in
Zarde Win village in Palaw township were looted by the Slorc's
army column led by Major. Hla Kyi from No.(101st) regiment and
Major. Soe Win from No.(17th) regiment. The following lists of
the persons were looted by the Slorc's army:

1. Saw Thar Shell    cost of household things    5,000 Kyat 
                     money(in Cash)              6,000 Kyat
2. Saw Kya Lay       cost of household things    2,000 Kyat
                     money                       8,500 Kyat
3. Saw Me De         cost of household things    3,000 Kyat
                     money                       1,000 Kyat
4. Saw Pe Kay        cost of household things   15,000 Kyat
                     money                       1,500 Kyat
5. Saw Te De         cost of household things    4,500 Kyat 
                     money                       1,000 Kyat
6. Saw Mu Say        cost of household things    4,000 Kyat
                     money                         500 Kyat
7. Saw Say Lwal      cost of household things    2,000 Kyat
                     money                       1,000 Kyat
8. Daw Taw Hla Myain cost of household things   40,000 Kyat
                     money                      10,000 Kyat
                              Total            105,000 Kyat

When the Slorc's army column entered the village, all the
villagers have escaped to porterage and the Slorc's troops went
up on the houses and looted money and household things such as
radio, cassette tape recorder, traditional silver bowl, new
clothes, sewing machine etc.

Interview with an escapee from forced labor
Brief biography of escapee

Name-            Ko Tin Sein
Sex-             male
Age-             35
Father's name-   U Maung Tin
Occupation-      Farmer
Address-         Hnan Kyal village, Yay Phu township, Tenasserim  
Martial status- Married with Ma Hla Yin
Children-        Two boys and a girl
Nationality-     Burmese
Religion-        Buddhist
Date of interview- September 10, 1995.

Q: Ko Tin Sein, when did you leave Hnah Kyal village?
A: I left Hnan Kyal on September 9, 1995.

Q: Why did you leave your village?
A: When I came back from railroad construction site on September
8, 1995 after my turn of forced labor working and I have seen
that my family hardly facing their daily survival. I can do
nothing for my family because I didn't get any payment for my
work in railroad construction. First, the camp authorities have
promised that they would pay labor charges to us, but, finally
they didn't and besides, they ordered us to work in terms of our
absence during the raining days. Then, after we completed all
those works, they have allowed us went back home. So, if I
continue to stay in my village, surely I will be faced next term
forced laboring again and I left for border and to work in
Thailand to save money for my family.

Q: You've worked in 30 mile camp, right? And, have you seen the
Slorc's soldiers beating forced labors?
A: Yes, I've seen. Mostly, camp authorities always punish the
forced labors who couldn't finish their quota of works.

Q: Which Battalion taking security in 30 mile camp?
A: It is Light Infantry Battalion (406).

Q: Do you think that camp authorities are civil servants?
A: No. officers from LIB (406) are camp authorities. They arrange
work hours and daily quota of work for forced labors.

Q: How the camp authorities manage daily quota of work for forced
A: Every forced labor has to dig a hole wide 10 square ft x 1 ft
in the ground.

Q: Did they pay labor charges to forced labors?
A: No. never.

Q: We have heard that Myanmar railway corporation under Minister
of railway has paid labor charges to local forced labors regularly ?
A: I have heard about it like that. But, we never received that.
The prisoners are being used for the work of breaking rocks and
stones by the management of camp authorities.

Q: Are there prisoners in 30 mile camp?
A: Yes. 

Q: Do you think how many prisoners there?
A: I think, about 200 prisoners.

Q: Their legs are chained?
A: Sure.

Q: When you were in 30 mile camp, any local forced labor died for
A: Yes. One forced labor was killed by the security guard from
LIB (406).

Q: So, Where does he live?
A: He lives in same village of mine.

Q: What's his name? Do you know his age and parents' name?
A: His name is Ko Pe San, 30 and his father is U Thee Pe.

Q: Has he a wife and children?
A: Yes. he has. His wife name is Ma Htar and he has 3 children.

Q: How did he died? Can you explain me?
A: Yes. the camp authorities ordered Ko Pe San and another guy
from same village to cut trees for sleepers which will be laid
under the iron rails on September 6, 1995. Then they went to the
hill east part of camp and later Sergeant Tin Win and his unit
from LIB (406) have followed them. Not very soon, we have heard
some gun shots. Then, Sergeant Tin Win came back and ordered us
to carry the corpse of KO Tin Win and we knew he was shot and

Q: So, What's Sergeant Tin Win's reason?
A: He ordered forced labors to assemble and said that who did let
him went east part of camp where is the limited area of army.
Therefore, he said ,"we don't have any kind of responsibility for
his death, because he brakes the rule".

Q: Did you report to his wife?
A: Yes. we did on the same day, September 6, 1995. After received
the bad news, Ma Htar and some (Slorc) village law and order
restoration council members came to 30 mile camp. Then, Sergeant
Tin Win told them to take the dead body back to the village and
not to try to charge them at the court. Because, he has broken
the rule. Ma Htar replied she would not and it was enough for her
to have her husband body. Then, Ma Htar and Slorc members carried
the dead body to the village. 

Q: Ko Toe who accompanied with Ko Pe San, didn't he explain the
camp authorities?
A: Yes. he did. But camp authorities denied that they did not
order them to cut trees in east part of camp.

Q: Ko Tin Sein, what do you think about the Slorc military
A: Since the period of so-called BSPP (Burmese Socialist Program
Party) and the present Slorc military regime, our people can not
imagine what is wrong and right. Because, sometimes authorities
said that it was true, but next time they said, it was not true
and they forgot what they mentioned before. I can say two period
under the BSPP and Slorc didn't lead us to the right things.

Q: Of course--- and thank you very much for your explanation,
very patiently.
A: I also thank you very much because we have a chance to open
our heart that what we have been suffering since long time.

Army's animal farm
All villages in four townships of Tavoy District have been
ordered to supply various domestic animals to the Slorc's
Regiments and LIBs for their livestock projects. 200 ducks, 200
chickens, 3 pigs and one buffalo or one cow from each village
will be given without fail to the Regiments of No.(25), No.(104)
and LIBs (273), (267), (268), (269), (401), (402), (403), (404),
(405), (406), (407), (408), (409) and (410).

Some local cattle traders who have been accused for smuggling
cattle to Thailand and arrested and paid fine by the Slorc's
army. Their own cattle were also seized and taken in ratio for
Regs and LIBs.            

Big money for Slorc
At present, some French officers from TOTAL oil company office
staying in Ohnbin Guin village in Yay Phu township have hired
helicopters from Slorc authorities for their safe trips in Yay
Phu township for constructing gas pipeline. Rental charges for
each helicopter costs 400,000 Kyat per day. Recently, gas
pipeline construction has been re-started  and very close persons
of Slorc's army have got the contracts. Although TOTAL company
has paid salary to local workers in dollar, the Slorc's officers
exchange the salary money in Kyat, and then pay to workers. The
Slorc's so-called official exchange rate for 1$ is 6 Kyat, but
black market rate is 120 Kyat.

A local girl raped
On April 20, 1995, the Slorc's military column led by Major Thet
Oo from No.(101st) Regiment entered Wan Nar village in Tenasserim
township and arrested Daw Ohn Kyi 40 and her daughter Ma In Kyi
14. The two women were took near mini video hall in the village.
The reason of arrest them was for the support to ABSDF students
and informing ABSDF. Daw Ohn Kyi was stood under the sun light
for hole day. But, Ma In Kyi was dragged into the mini video hall
and raped many times by the Slorc's soldiers.

Slorc chairman fled to border
The Slorc's appointed chairman of Slorc (village law and order
restoration council) from Yin Gyi village in Long Lon township
fled to Thai border in August, 1995. He admits that he couldn't
continue to collect money from villagers monthly for township
Slorc's chairman and No.(104) Regiment.

Order for cattle
Along the railroad in Hnain Htway village area in Yay Phu
township, it was declared that cattle go up on the railway bank
will be shot and the owners of cattle will also be paid fine. If
the cattle owner want his dead cattle back, he will pay LIB (407) 
current price of that cattle. And, everyday the soldiers from LIB
(407) shoot the cattle which go up on the railway bank and the
owners have to pay them 500 Kyat for the charges of ammunition
that the soldiers used.

Border custom gate
The army officers from Slorc's outpost in Nat Eaindaung area in
Tenasserim Division on Thai-Burma border allow local people
entering Thailand through their outpost, but each person has to
pay them 300 baht and sometimes those who want to enter Thailand  
were arrested for porterage.
Information Department
Mergui Tavoy District
Karen National Union 


September 25, 1995                                Kuala Lumpur, AP

BURMESE democratic activist Aung San Suu Kyi says her release
from house arrest is no indication of change in Burma and that it
should not result in a torrent of foreign investment and aid for
the current junta.

"I am just one person who has been released, why should that make
a difference?" Suu Kyi said in an interview published in The
Sunday Star.

She added that there are still thousands of political prisoners
in Burma, which chose her opposition party, the National League
for Democracy, to lead the country in 1990 elections.

The military government refused to recognise the election and
imprisoned Suu Kyi and thousands of other NLD members soon after.
The 1991 Nobel peace winner was released from house arrest
earlier this year.

Britain is reported to be the biggest investor in Burma up to
March 1 this year with a total of $647.76, followed by France
with $465 million. The United States ranked fifth with $203.19

"I believe aid should be gradual and conditional on the process
and pace of democratisation," she told the Sunday Star two weeks
ago at her house in Rangoon.

The 51-year-old popular activist believes the military government
is trying to pattern itself on the Indonesian political system,
where the military is dominant.

She declined to say if this was acceptable to her NLD and added,
"It is not for NLD to say. The question is whether it is
acceptable to the people of Burma."

On the new constitution being drawn up, which might bar Burmese
married to foreigner from holding political posts she said, "Some
say it is aimed at me that would be a great pity because no
national constitution should be written with one person in mind,"
she added.

Suu Kyi married a British academic 23 years ago, but held on to
her Burmese nationality. She has refused to go overseas or to see
him in Britain for fear the junta may not allow her back into the


September 25, 1995                                     by Errol de Silva

A LARGE number of Thai entrepreneurs in the gems and jade trade
are expected to attend next month's Gems, Jade and Pearl Emporium
in Rangoon, organised by the Myanma Gems Enterprise, a
state-owned organisation under the Ministry of Mines.

The emporium will be held in the Myanmar Gems Emporium Hall on
Rangoon's Kaba Aye Pagoda Road from October 14-22.

The Thai Gem and Jewellery Traders' Association is coordinating
Thai participation in the twice-a-year event at which large
quantities of jade high-quality rubies and other gemstones and
pearls are offered.

In previous years, Thai buyers had little luck in efforts to gain
access to these goods after being outbid by buyers from Hong Kong
and Taiwan.

However, Thais are much more confident of better results,
according to TGJTA manager Thanan Maleesriprasert. He said the
association's members were interested in' obtaining supplies
through the emporium, especially rough gemstones.

According to an information note issued by organisers, the sale
of gems, jade and pearl will be by competitive bidding with
prices in US currency.

Payment can be made in several foreign currency units such as UK
pounds, German marks, Swiss francs and Japanese yen. Travellers'
cheques, bank drafts and telegraphic transfers are also accepted.

The emporium also offers manufactured jewellery and jade
carvings, but on a fixed-price basis. Prospective buyers can view
and inspect the lots on offer for auction on October, 14 and 15.

Competitive bidding for jade will be held from October 16-19,
while the date for pearls will be October 20 and for gems October
21 and 22.

The emporium has always been the main official marketing forum
for highly prized rubies of pigeon-blood colour originating in
the Mogok and Mong Hsu areas.

But substantial amounts of these goods have been smuggled to the
Thai border by groups of Kachin, Wa and Shan minorities, who
often form alliances to move goods through areas controlled by
each of these ethnic groups.  

Most gemstones have ended up in the Mae Sai market, but in more
recent years, supplies to this centre have dried up due to
ongoing clashes between SLORC troops and the rebel Shan army.

Earlier, drug warlord Khun Sa ordered a halt to the flow of
rubies and other gems after he set up a gem-cutting and jewellery
fabrication factory in an area he controlled in Shan State.

The Thai association was trying to convince SLORC to direct the
sale of rough gem material to the local industry, but these
initiatives bore no fruit even though the Burmese promised to
cooperate with the Thais.


September 25, 1995

ANTI-NARCOTICS authorities accuse drugs warlord Khun Sa of
switching from heroin production to amphetamines for sale on the
Thai black market.

Because heroin trade in the Golden Triangle has been suppressed,
Khun Sa has hired Thais to teach his people to produce
amphetamines, Narcotics Suppression Office commissioner Pol
Lt-Gen Somchai Malintangkul said yesterday.  The pills are easier 
to make and to sell than heroin. 

"We have arrested one of these Thais. He told us Khun Sa would
pay him 200,000 baht each time he goes up to teach them," Pol
Lt-Gen Somchai said, declining to give further details other than
to say the man is being prosecuted in Thailand.

Pol Lt-Gen Somchai said the authorities were worried because
pills were easier to smuggle onto the Thai market.

"We make amphetamine arrests in the Central and Northern regions
every day. Most of the arrests are in the North and the pills
were smuggled  into Thailand.

Narcotics police nationwide recently completed training In drug
suppression techniques and this had resulted in more arrests.
They were working with counterparts in Malaysia, Burma, Laos and
China to crack down on the import of chemicals used in drugs

Cooperation with Cambodia and Vietnam would begin when those two
countries were ready, he said.

Pol Lt-Col Veerasak Meenavanich, who heads an amphetamine and
inhalants suppression unit, said that apart from Khun Sa's army,
minority groups in Burma such as the Haw Chinese and the Red Wa
had turned to producing amphetamines for sale in Thailand.

"The Burmese minority groups see that amphetamines are easier to
make, easier to sell and they get the money more quickly.

"They sell them to distributors at border areas and police are
able to arrest only these -agents, not the producers over
the border," said Pol Lt-Col Veerasak, deputy superintendent of
the Crime Suppression Division's Second Sub-division.

Taiwanese and Hong Kong traffickers and chemists produce a
concentrated form of the drug on the outskirts of Bangkok.

They hand this concentrate to Thai producers who use it to make
amphetamines. They also sell their know-how to I Burmese minority
groups, according to police. 

The involvement of Burmese 5 minority groups and foreign chemists
has resulted in amphetamines taking two new forms - smokable and
injectable in addition to the traditional pill.

The pills cost about five baht each to make. They are sold to
distributors for 20-30 baht each and then resold for 80-100 baht.
The price recently hit 200 baht per pill, depending on the brand.

Pol Lt-Col Veerasak said the popularity of amphetamines had
spread from labourers and truck drivers to the public.

Typed by  the Research Department of the ABSDF {MTZ}  25.9.95

September 1995

Dear Friend,
The Indigenous Women's Development Center would like to tell you about
our 1996 Calendar and Postcard set.  Both  products are in full colour and 
have been designed by IWDC to a professional quality.  They will make 
attractive presents to give to friends, family, and colleagues for Christmas.  
We hope that in this way a wider market can be reached.

By marketing overseas we hope that the message of these indigenous women
will be remembered.  The message of Aung San Suu Kyi is "I have been 
released.  That's all.  Nothing has changed."

We hope you like the items we have produced.
Each calendar contains:
28 pages of information and pictures
12 unique photographs of women and children from Burma
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9 different colour cards from the borders of Burma
Plenty of writing space

Order Details: (you can pay in US, UK, or Australian currency)
price/item	Air  - 2 weeks	     Sea - 2 months		Local
postage)	US   UK   AUS	     US   UK   AUS	          	Thai baht

Calendar	8       5        10	      6      4         8                        100

Postcards	3       2          4               2.50  1.75   3.50                     30
per set

Minimum Overseas Order per Item: 10

To Order:
Enclose: Name, Address, Tel/Fax, and check or money order 

For more information, contact:  	IWDC
				PO Box 169
				Chiang Mai University
				Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tel/Fax: 66-53-278-945