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The BurmaNet News, April 11, 1997

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------  
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"  
The BurmaNet News: April 11, 1997  
Issue #691

Noted in Passing:

The falcon swooped down with force, but the small shrike slipped
under the huge block.  The falcon, unable to control its speed, hit the
hardened block of earth and died... Just as the falcon, which underestimated
the small shrike, met its doom, we do not want you to have regrets later.
--Ko Yin Nyunt on US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright?s ?interference?.


April 10, 1997
Yindee Lertcharoenchok

A Burmese Buddhist monk who arrived from Rangoon yesterday rejected the
Burmese junta's charge that anti-government Burmese groups in Japan were
behind the bomb that killed the eldest daughter of a leading Burmese general
on Sunday night.

Loi Zang Saifamab, who witnessed the recent Buddhist-Muslim religious riots
in Rangoon, said the junta's charge was "a mere joke " because all mail in
and out of Burma is closely scrutinised by Burmese authorities to screen out
any political documents.

According to statement issued by the governing State Law and Order
Restoration Council (Slorc), Cho Lie Oo, the 34 year-old daughter of Slorc
Second Secretary and Army chief of staff Lt Gen Tin Oo, was killed at her
father's residence by a parcel bomb, disguised as a Japanese language book,
sent by Burmese opposition groups in Japan.

Responding to Rangoon press reports, four Burma pro-democracy groups based
in Japan denied any involvement.

" The blast has nothing to do with us", the Japan branch of the National
League for Democracy and three other pro-democracy groups said in a joint

In Rangoon, diplomatic sources said that Slorc officially asked the Japanese
government yesterday to help investigate the source of the bomb.

The National Police Agency in Tokyo said the Japanese police have started an
investigation into the case.

Slorc did not reveal whether other people were killed or hurt. It also did
not respond to accusations by exiled Burmese political dissidents that the
blast was the result of an internal split within the Slorc.

Loi Zang said Rangoon residents gave him different version of the bombing to
that in official reports.

They said that the bomb was actually planted in front of the residence gate
and exploded as Cho Lei Oo drove out of the driveway.

An unidentified guard at the gate was also killed, he added.

Loi Zang's information matched reports from Rangoon stating that Tin Oo's
residence in a Rangoon suburb was not damaged by the blast.

The monk said the information he received indicated the explosion was not
set off by remote control and that it was, in fact, intended to kill Tin Oo
and not his daughter.

Loi Zang explained it is very difficult to send mail in or out of Burma
because government officials check all letters and parcels. "You can't send
any political statement to Burma because you will immediately put the
recipient in danger of arrest. I absolutely don't believe that the bomb was
from Japan. It's just a joke" he said.

Loi Zang said as the bomb was planted in front of Tin Oo's residence, any of
the anti-government groups inside Burma could has been responsible.

He said he also does not wholly believe the Burmese opposition charge that
the explosion was the work of a different faction within Slorc.


April 10, 1997
Rangoon, AFP

As Burmese authorities search for the culprit behind Sunday's deadly
parcel-bomb blast in Rangoon, independent analysts suspect that Muslim
extremists or disgruntled business interests may be to blame.

Lieutenant General Tin Oo, one of the top generals in the ruling junta, lost
his 34 year-old daughter Cho Lei Oo in the blast. She had opened the package
delivered to the family home, after receiving a telephone call about it, a
source close to the family said.

Suspects included ethnic guerrillas fighting Rangoon for autonomy and
dissidents trying to sabotage Burma's entry into the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), already implicated by the junta in a pagoda
bombing on December 25 which killed five people.

But parcel bombs had never been part of Burmese political culture, which
would rule out ethnic rebels, remaining communist cells and dissidents
operating outside the country, analysts said. Nor were parcel bombs believed
to be within the technical capability of such groups.

Analysts also dismissed suggestions that the bombing reflected a split in
the junta itself, officially known as the State Law and Order Restoration
Council (Slorc).

The military had the technical capacity and there were differences of
opinion in the Slorc, but Tin Oo was "an economic mover not a political
mover in this country," a long-time Rangoon resident said.

A senior military official in Rangoon flatly rejected speculation that the
attack could be linked to a split in the Slorc, saying that similar theories
had been surfacing for five years.

Such speculation was the "wishful thinking of all those opposed to the
Myanmar government", he said.

A Rangoon-based diplomat suggested yesterday the bombing pointed to a "new
outside player".

He said a Muslim extremist group was a likely possibility, given recent
violence against Muslims and their property by Buddhist monks in Burma.

Buddhist-Muslim tensions erupted in mid-March after men in traditional
monks' robes mounted attacks in Mandalay and then in other towns, including
Rangoon, ransacking mosques and other Muslim property.

Other Burma-watchers said the bomb might be linked to Tin Oo's high-profile
role in the business world, where he is considered an essential contact man
for foreigners wishing to do business with Burma.

The military official also rejected the possibility of the attack being
linked to a business dispute, calling the theory a" wild goose chase".

In Tokyo, a source familiar with Tin Oo's family said the late Cho Lei Oo
lived in Singapore where her husband was a businessman. Tin Oo is considered
a key contact for Singaporean investment in Burma, the source said.
Elsewhere, there was speculation of a Japanese underworld link to the attack.

The Japanese foreign ministry said yesterday that it was asking for details
on any evidence pointing to a Japanese link after Burma's military
intelligence told the embassy in Rangoon that the parcel bore Japanese
stamps and writing.


April 10, 1997

The military junta that rules Myanmar, the State Law and Order Restoration
Council, has a long list of enemies. The best known is Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi,
the prodemocracy advocate and 1991 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who continues
to frustrate government attempts to present a benign face to the world
beyond its borders. Ms. Suu Kyi may be the most persistent and unyielding
but she is not alone: Communist rebels, ethnic separatists, university
students and even Buddhist monks have all challenged the regime  at times.

Recently, there are signs that SLORC faces challenges from within as well. A
series of incidents hint at divisions among the military. Given the stakes,
the emergence of such differences is not surprising. They can be
extraordinarily dangerous in a country as tightly suppressed as Myanmar,
however. They also offer opportunities for friends of that country who hope
to see the government move toward greater accommodation with democratic forces. 

Last weekend, a parcel bomb exploded in the house of Lt. -Gen. Tin Oo, the
fourth-highest ranking member of SLORC. The explosion killed the general?s
eldest daughter, but reportedly did not injure its intended target. (There
are questions about that, however, since the general was missing from a
television program broadcast Monday evening.) This was the second such
incident. Last December, two bombs went off at a pagoda only hours after a
visit by Gen. Tin Oo. Those blasts killed five people and wounded 17 others. 

The government blamed Karen separatists since they had threatened to launch
terrorist attacks after government troops overran refugee camps on the Thai
border. The Karen National Union has denied any involvement in the bombings,
and no other group has taken responsibility. The KNU has pointed a finger at
the military, claiming that only it would have the resources to get a bomb
into the house of a high-ranking official. 

That sounds like an artful dodge except for the strange events that have
been going on in Mandalay, Myanmar's second largest city, where there has
been a series of attacks on Muslim mosques by Buddhist monks over the past
few weeks. No one knows what set off the violence, although there is
speculation that they were triggered by reports that a Muslim businessman
had raped a Buddhist woman. The unrest has spread to other cities.  

The government?s inability to contain the violence and reports that some of
the monks looked like soldiers in disguise have fueled suspicions that SLORC
is divided. According to one school of thought, the chief divide is between
those who want to open the country to greater foreign influence ? which
would include some political liberalization ? and those who want to stick to
the status quo. Gen. Tin Oo, a hardliner who has threatened to ?annihilate?
SLORC opponents belongs to the latter group. 

Or the attacks on Muslims might be intended to derail Myanmar?s bid for
membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and forestall the
openness that would follow. Since several ASEAN countries have Muslim
majorities, violence would deter them from making the offer. Yet another
theory is the violence is the product of resentment over a huge influx of
Chinese emigrants; since relations with China are so sensitive, the anger
had to be channeled in other directions. And finally, there are also reports
that someone looted a Mandalay pagoda when it was renovated. 

All the speculation is just that: inspired guesswork. No one knows what is
going on in Myanmar and why. All that is certain is that there are plenty of
reasons for the violence. In addition to these religious and social
tensions, there are student demands for greater freedoms, which produced
demonstrations in December, Buddhists who have protested the detention of
monks, and the Karen political leadership that has vowed to have revenge for
the offensive that has driven 85,000 refugees across the border into
Thailand. And ever present is Ms. Suu Kyi, the National League for Democracy
and the specter of the election stolen by SLORC seven years ago. 

Given these grievances, the real surprise is that Myanmar has not had more
incidents like those of the last few months. A united leadership has been
essential to keeping the country from boiling over. If divisions within
SLORC are emerging, there is a chance for foreign supporters of
liberalization to join like-minded elements within the junta and push subtly
for reform. But the military has a reputation for prickly nationalism: the
utmost sensitivity and discretion is required. Unfortunately, even that
might not be enough to keep Myanmar from turning once again on its own.


April 6, 1997

We Need Real Peace

The Palaung people, or Da Ta-ang as they call themselves, live mostly in 
the mountains of northwestern Shan State. Numbering over one million, 
the Palaung -- a Mon-Khmer sub-group -- have a long history and unique 
languge and literature. The predominantly Buddhist Palaung are famous in 
Burma for growing high quality tea.
The Palaung took up arms against the Burmse military regime in 1963 to
demand greater autonomy, but the main resistance army, the Palaung State
Liberation Army (PSLA) signed a ceasefire with the SLORC in April 
1991. Some PSLA members broke away to form the Palaung State 
Liberation Front (PSLF) in 1992. The following is an interview with Mai 
Aik Phone, member of the PSLF: 

Q. Why did the Palaung agree to a ceasefire with the SLORC in 1991?
A. They had no choice. After the collapse of the Communist Party in 1989,
all the armies around the Palaung made ceasefires -- the Kachin 4th 
Brigade, the Shan State Army, the Kokang, the United Wa State Army. 
The Palaung was the only group Ieft, so there was great pressure from the 
SLORC. They started terrorizing the Palaung civilian popuIation. They 
burned down villages, and in early 1991 they captured 3 Palaung monks 
from the village of Tached and put them in sacks and burned them alive. 
The Palaung people begged their leaders to agree to a ceasefire, so they 
finally gave in. 

Q. Have there been any benefits for the Palaung people since the ceasefire? 

A. The Palaung living in the areas controlled by the PSLA (around 
Namsan and Mantong) have been left alone by the SLORC. But that is only 
one part of the Palaung population. The Palaung living in other areas of 
Shan State are suffering from human rights abuses like everyone else. They 
are being used as porters, forced labour, and many were forcibly relocated 
last year.   The PSLA has not been given any political rights by the 
SLORC. They can only carry out some business in their area. They have 
been attending the SLORC's so-called National Convention, but they know 
it is a farce. It is humiliating for them to be referred to by the SLORC as a 
"peace" group, and to have to put up the SLORC flag in their offices. This 
is to trick people into thinking that real peace has come to the Palaung 
area. In fact, we know it is a false peace, that is why we broke away to form 
the PSLF.  

Q. What is the aim of your front? 

A. We want true peace, democracy and human rights for the Palaung 
people. We also want self-determination. To achieve this we must 
cooperate with the other ethnic groups and Burmese pro-democracy groups 
to oppose the SLORC. 

We also want to spread information about what is really happening to the
Palaung people to the outside world. We have recently set up a human 
rights committee.  

Q. What problems are you facing? 

A. Many problems. We used to be based at the Karen Headquarters of
Manerplaw, but this was captured by the SLORC in 1995. From the Thai 
border, it is also difficult to travel to the Palaung area.  There are several 
thousand Palaung refugees in Thailand, mostly from central and southern 
Shan State. They have fled to Thailand over the last 18 years to escape 
fighting and forced recruitment into local armies. Unfortunately, there has 
been little publicity about this. Some people do not even know that any 
Palaung refugees exist. 

Q. Do you think there is any danger that Palaung culture will disappear? 

A. The longer that SLORC remains in power, the longer this danger exists 
for all ethnic groups. The are trying to assimilate everyone into the 
Burman culture. Until recently the teaching of ethnic languages was 
banned in schools. Now they have started allowing some languages to be 
taught in schools, but we know this is just a cosmetic move to make it look 
as if they are promoting ethnic culture.  In fact, proper rights must be given 
to the ethnic peoples so that they can safeguard their own culture. Until 
this happens, instability and fighting will continue, which is a major threat 
to indigenous culture. For example, the Palaung refugees in Thailand are 
now forgetting their old customs. And how will all the Palaung villagers
recently relocated from the hills to large relocation sites by the SLORC be
able to maintain their culture? We need real peace and the right to
establish our own state to ensure that our culture survives. 

Burmese Relief Centre April 1997 Newsletter



April 6, 1997

Once in my village.....

A Karen refugee from a camp on the Thai-Burma border tells his story. 

I've been a refugee since I was eight years old. It was 17 years ago that I
left my village in Thaton district, Karen State, but I can still remember
what happened. Two days before leaving, two Burmese soldiers came into 
my house and entered the room where my parents and I were sleeping. 
They called my father outside and talked aggressively to him in Burmese 
(which I did not understand). One of the soldiers hit my father in the chest 
with his fist, and my brother, sister and I started to cry. Then the soldiers 
left. At the time my father was a schoolteacher in the village school. 

The next morning I did not see my father. I asked my mother where he had
gone, but got no answer. The next day my youngest aunt came to my 
school class and told me to go back home right away. The school year was 
not yet over. 

When I arrived home a bullock cart was waiting in front of my house, and 
we left straight away. I remember that my mother took nothing with her, 
only a small Karen bag. We had to pretend we were going out to a festival 
to get past the Burmese army checkpoint at the village entrance (Burmese 
troops had built their base in the village six months earlier and fenced in 
the village to control the movement of the villagers.) We arrived at another 
village where I saw my father welcoming us. Later I learn' that my father 
had arranged for the bullock cart pick us up. Then we continued to the 
border stay in the area controlled by the Karen resistance which we call 

Kawthoolei was my first place of refuge. My family settled down and we 
grew rice and peanuts. But only three and half years later, Burmese troops 
closed in, and the Karen resistance lost most their liberated area. My 
family and I had to cross into Thailand. We could no longer stay inside 
Burma because the area where we had been living was recognised by 
Burmese troops as a rebel area, where they suspected everyone of 
supporting the resistance, and killed or tortured anyone they saw. 

Since then, we have been staying as refugees o Thai soil for over 13 years.
We were able to stay I~ peace until 1995, when Karen refugee camps in 
side Thailand came under attack by the SLORC and the SLORC-backed 
Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA). My camp was in Kamawlayko
(70 kms north of Mae Sot, in Tak Province) and it was also burned down 
two years ago. We were relocated to a bigger camp, Mae La, 50 kilometers 
north of Mae Sot, but we were never free from the threat of attack. At the 
end of January this year, the camps of Huaykaloke and Huabone, and part 
of our camp were burned down by SLORC and DKBA. Now every night 
we sleep in fear among the dust and the ashes.  We have buried everything 
that is important for us, such as family photos and birth records 

At the beginning of February this  year, I heard that our fellow Karens 
from Mergui-Tavoy in the south had also been forced to flee their homes 
and become refugees in Thailand. This was very sad news for me. 

My mother often says, "I want to go back to my village. I have no desire to
be a Thai citizen. I have my own country. I would go back but I'm afraid of
persecution by the SLORC and forced labour." 

When she was five years old, one of my younger sisters who was born in a
camp on Thai soil, said, "I remember how we used to go fishing in Htee Pa 
Do Hta" (my village in Karen State). In fact she had never been to the 
village. She had simply heard my parents talk about it so often that it had 
carved itself into her heart and become her own memory. Now she is 
studying in middle school in the camp and has an ambition to go back to 
our village when it is safe and to be a school teacher there like my father 

I have a favourite poem, which some of my friends in the camp composed 
about our native village. 

Once in my village... 
We rode in bullock carts and went to festivals. 
Food and rice were plentiful. 
It was a time of harmony in our village. 
When people planted or harvested rice, they sang songs 
At night, under the moonlight...
Some young men visited young women. 
We children played catch and ran 
While older people were weaving 

We went out fishing in the communal village ponds. 
In the afternoon, we rode our families' buffaloes back home 
Singing our village folk song

Now our village has become a battle field 
Children and women are dying. 
Oh friends... keep in your mind always wherever you are 

One day we will rebuild the village 
And organise a village festival. 
Burmese Relief Centre April 1997 Newsletter
 - - - - - - -


by Buddhist Relief Mission 
April 6, 1997

On March 17, 1997, news reached the international press that Buddhist 
monks were  rioting in Mandalay, Burma's cultural capital and second 
largest city. Official SLORC sources reported the violence erupted when a 
Buddhist girl was molested by a Muslim in Mandalay.  A later report 
referred to "riots between Buddhist monks and Muslims."  Some news 
services wrote that the government had imposed martial law, while others 
said that there was only a "curfew."  This flurry of news seems to have 
come after several mosques were destroyed--by mobs of Buddhist monks, 
according to some reports.  By March 21, protests had spread to other 
cities.  Although it was later reported that demonstrators were demanding 
the release of a monk who had been arrested, no further details were 
available.  Every report intimated that the cause of the riots was the 
attempted rape.

To anyone familiar with Buddhist monks, these reports did not ring true.
Certainly Burmese monks have joined demonstrations and have actively
participated in protests against the SLORC since 1988, against Ne Win's
military dictatorship before that, and against repression since the time of
British rule.  The alleged violence and the destruction of mosques, 
however, was not very credible.  The lack of details regarding these events 
and SLORC's restriction of movement by monks, as well as the course of
succeeding events must have left the astute observer wondering. 

For those alert to SLORC's tactics, all this news sent signals that
something of major significance was taking place and that the military 
junta might be making a preemptive move to quell a perceived threat to its
iron-fisted rule.

Certainly there are communal tensions in Burma, particularly between the
Burman majority and Chinese and Muslim minorities.  In the summer of 
1988 the official media made much of threats of Buddhist violence against
Muslims, which in actual event never materialized.   With Buddhists 
making up 90 percent of the population, Muslims and Christians are small
minorities, and, by and large, their leaders have to be placating and
cautious.  Occasionally both Muslims and Chinese have been useful targets 
of hate, always convenient distractions for other problems the general
population might face.

Inside reports indicate that a number of monks in Mandalay were planning 
to stage a demonstration for Burma's Human Rights Day, March 13,  to 
focus attention on the deaths of 16 monks in SLORC prisons.  However, 
their demonstration was postponed when SLORC, which has spies in many 
monasteries, obtained advance information and swiftly moved to arrest 
some of the monk leaders.  Because of these arrests, the situation, 
particularly in Mandalay, was extremely tense in mid-March. 

At this time, despite SLORC's attempts to keep the news quiet, news of 
other troubling events spread swiftly across the country via telephone lines, 
and, with coded messages, around the world.   Independent reports confirm 
acts of astonishing villainy at Maha Myat Mu Nye Pagoda, the most sacred 
pagoda in the old Buddhist city of Mandalay.  

In the morning of March 16, Yedaw (Myethnarthit) Sayadaw, U 
Pinnyawantha, the respected senior monk who daily wipes clean the face of 
the revered Buddha image, Mahamuni, discovered a hole gouged in the 
stomach of the image.  He immediately called other patron monks to 
investigate, and they soon realized that the priceless ruby, "Padamya 
Myetshin," was missing. This jewel is not an ordinary stone, but is 
regarded by pious Buddhists as a wish-fulfilling gem of fabulous power. In 
subsequent discussions, it was learned that SLORC officials had also stolen 
large amounts of gold from Pakhan Pagoda, Anyathihataw Pagoda, and a 
temple in Pakkoku. 

At 4:30 that afternoon, anti-Muslim riots broke out on the corner of 35th
and 84th Streets in Mandalay.  SLORC's explanation was that these riots 
were monks' retaliation for the attempted rape, but  informed sources 
blamed members of SLORC's own agents for trashing mosques and 
Muslim shops to draw attention away from the thefts. 

The next morning, March 17, the Venerable U Pinnyawatha Sayadaw was 
arrested by SLORC. 

Monks in Mandalay began demonstrating, with two demands-- that U 
Pinnyawatha Sayadaw be freed, and that there be an immediate inquiry 
into the theft of the Padamya ruby and the gold. 

Moving swiftly to prevent sympathetic monks from joining the Mandalay
demonstrations, the 39th Light Infantry Battalion surrounded
monastery-studded Sagaing Hill and closed the Ava Bridge across the 

In the meantime, the anti-Muslim rioting spread to a number of other 
Burmese cities, with more reports of SLORC agents dressed as monks 
provoking the disturbances.  Some of these agents were said to be from the 
USDA, which is sarcastically nicknamed "Kyant Phout," meaning a foul 
lizard of very bad omen.  The All-Burma Muslim Union, a part of the 
Burmese pro-democracy movement, immediately accused SLORC of being 
behind the latest Buddhist-Muslim strife and of systematically causing 
trouble for Muslims. Mohammad Yunus of the Rohingya Solidarity 
Organisation (RSO) of Arakan State soon issued a statement charging that 
SLORC disguised its own agents as monks to carry out the attacks.  RSO 
declared that dozens of Muslims had been killed or wounded and 18 
mosques demolished.  The RSO further charged that the junta always made 
Muslims the "scapegoat whenever they faced strong dissension from the 

A major Buddhist celebration was scheduled at Rangoon's Kaba Aye for  
March 23, offering lunch to one thousand monks.  That morning, however, 
it was abruptly announced that only 100 selected monks would be allowed 
to attend the much reduced event.   

In another abrupt move, the annual monks' examinations, traditionally 
held at this time of year, have been canceled.   SLORC is undoubtedly 
afraid to allow monks to gather freely.

In conjunction with this latest anti-SLORC uprising, more than 100 
activist monks are known to have been arrested and disrobed and at least 
three monks killed outright by SLORC security forces.  Monasteries are 
under tight security in many cities, especially Mandalay and Rangoon, and 
dawn-to-dusk curfews have been imposed.

To informed observers, it seems certain that SLORC is manipulating these
latest events not only to hide its own crimes, but also to eliminate
resistance to its authority from a very influential sector of society, the
Buddhist Sangha.  One of SLORC's favorite slogans, ever present on
billboards, in magazines and newspapers, and on TV and radio, is "Crush 
all destructive elements!"   Only in the lunatic world of SLORC could 
those destructive elements mean activist monks, university students, NLD
supporters, and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. 

266-27 Ozuku-cho
Nara-ken 634 
Tel: (07442) 2-8236 
Fax: (07442) 4-6254



[translated from Burmese] 
April 2, 1997
Ko Yin Nyunt

 [summary of Kyaw Gaung?s January 29, 1997 article "BBC and VOA, Which Air
Skyful of Lies, Oppose Interference in Country's Internal Affairs; Madeleine
K. Albright's Farcical Words are Poisoning Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's Thinking"
abridged.  It appeared in the MYANMAR ALIN and KYEMON.]

As a Myanmar citizen and supporter of Kyaw Gaung's article, I would
like at this stage to point out to dear sister Madeleine Albright:  "Listen
to both sides in every matter and decide judiciously.  If you decide to
hear only one side, you will be wrong.  I say that the dear sister's
allegations against the Myanmar Government were based on one-sided
information.  If you did that to gain political points during the
elections, well, the elections are over now, and you have become the
secretary of state.  Do not interfere in other country's internal affairs
with a one-sided view."
I would like to say: "We Myanmar nationals have gone through many
eras.  We have been through anarchic times, living in fear and wondering
when we would be beheaded.  The SLORC has redeemed the country's
deteriorating situation, and this is the time to construct a peaceful and
developed nation.  At this time, we people do not like and support Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi and her cohorts, who are trying to halt the country's
development and destroy the people's livelihood.  There is a Myanmar
saying: "Do not encourage a ruffian, and do not shelter a thief."  I would
like to remind you, dear sister, do not encourage the ruffians--the clique
that has been destroying our country and whom the people do not accept; I
do not want you to have regrets like former American Defense Secretary
Finally, I would like to tell the dear sister and the traitorous
axe-handles the falcon and the shrike story from Buddhist scriptures.  Once
upon a time, while a shrike was out searching for food it was snatched by a
falcon.  The small shrike then said: "Oh, falcon, you were able to capture
me because I was not on my own turf.  If I had been on my turf, you could
not have captured me." So, the falcon mockingly took the shrike to its turf
and dropped it saying: "Oh, shrike, try to hide and save yourself."
The shrike stood on a huge block of hardened earth and said: "Come and
get me."  The falcon swooped down with force, but the small shrike slipped
under the huge block.  The falcon, unable to control its speed, hit the
hardened block of earth and died.  That is my story.  We Myanmar nationals
love our country and our place. We do not depend on any foreign nation.  The
axe-handles should know that the strength of a nation lies within.  Just as
the falcon, which underestimated the small shrike, met its doom, we do not
want you to have regrets later.


April 10, 1997
Supamart Kasem
Mae Sot, Tak

Burma has proposed marking the Moei River border with Thailand with marker

The suggestion was made during yesterday's meeting of Thai and Burmese
authorities to thrash out border disputes along the river.

A source said the posts would help clarify where the border is during the
rainy season. They would be put up beneath the Thai- Burmese Friendship
Bridge, linking Mae Sot district with Myawaddy in Burma.

Southern force commander Maj-Gen Khet Sein and Treaties and Legal
Affairs Department director-general U Aye Lwin led the Burmese
delegation for talks. They also inspected construction work on the bridge.

Tak Governor Pongpayom Wasaphut and 10 other senior officers from
relevant agencies represented the Thai side.

The government said. " There will be mo problems over border demarcation
since the 1868 Thai-Anglo Treaty stipulates clearly that both countries can
jointly benefit from the Moei River and islets in the river. Therefore, we
have no objection with Burma's proposal to put up posts along the river"


April 4, 1997



As The Observer's March 23, 1997 article entitled "Burma's Junta Goes 
Green: Save the rhino, kill the people" points out, the NY-based 
Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Smithsonian Institution (SI) 
have become the first environmental NGOs, unconscionably, to work with 
Burma's military dictatorship (SLORC) since the massacre of thousands 
of unarmed civilians there in 1988.

WCS and SI are directly collaborating with Burma's junta on two 
projects.  One is the Myinmoletkat Nature Reserve in the territory of 
the indigenous Karen, the last of about a dozen ethnic groups to 
actively resist SLORC, which continues to launch a genocidal assault 
against them.  The other is the Lanbi Island Marine National Park, the 
first step of a plan to open up 200 miles of coral islands (the Mergui 
archipelago) to mass tourism. 

Since February, "The Burmese army has murdered 2,000 people and driven 
30,000 from their homes to prepare for the nature reserves...Tens of 
thousands have been forced to work, unpaid and unfed...," The Observer 
notes of the most recent atrocities of what is virtually the worst human 
rights violator in the world (the US. State Dept., Amnesty Intl., 
AFL-CIO, environmental, and religious organizations have repeatedly 
criticized SLORC). 

The New York Times has referred to Burma as "the South Africa of the 
90s."  A dozen cities have enacted selective purchasing legislation 
against Burma (New York City is pending), federal sanctions have been 
signed into law, and international business and tourism boycotts have 
been initiated.  Just last week, the European Union revoked Burma's GSP 
trade privileges.  

Where else are millions, children through elderly, relocated to 
impromptu forced labor camps, often beaten/tortured to death, with 
women conscripts also subject to mass rape nightly?  There are few 
conscientious firms -- much less NGOs -- that would do business with 
the genocidal dictatorship of Burma.

WCS science director Josh Ginsberg claims that WCS does not sanction 
human rights abuses, "But we have no control over the government," and 
that walking away from Burma "wouldn't do any good for anybody."  
However, WCS could choose to withdraw from its partnership with SLORC and
deny it future tourist revenues -- 2/3 of which would be allocated to the
military - before WCS taints its name with more blood of the military's
innocent victims.

Dr. William Conway, President & General Director
Wildlife Conservation Society, 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10460
718-220-5102 (phone); 718-563-2289 (fax)

Please also send a copy of your letter to
Burma UN Service Office
777 UN Plaza
6th Floor
New York, NY 10017
fax: 212/238-0049
phone: 212/338-0048
email: <burma1un@xxxxxxx>


April 10, 1997

"NO TO DICTATORS" - A day of action for human rights

WHEN:  Saturday, April 26th: 11am - 5.30pm

WHERE:  Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
        77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge

WHAT:   Opening Keynote Speaker: Noam Chomsky

        Presentations on Burma, East Timor, Niogeria and Tibet

        Traditional Food Available at Lunch

        Activists Workshops on:

        - grassroots lobbying of Congress
        - organizing consumer boycotts
        - enacting selective purchasing laws            
        - building coalitions in the community
        - shareholder resolutions

        Music, Dance and Cultural Presentation

HOW:    Suggested Donation: $5

Event sponsors include Citizens for Participation in Political Action
(CPPAX), East Timor Action Network, New England Burma Roundtable, Nigerian
Advocacy Group for Democracy and Human Rights, Tibetan Association,
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

For more information, contact Sastry Penumarthy at spenumar@xxxxxxxxxxx or
simon Billenness at simon_billenness@xxxxxxxxxxxx

** Special thanks to Tin Tin Lay for agreeing to prepare the Burmese food
for this event. The Burmese food table will take donations for the
Democratic Burmese Students Organization. **

April 10, 1997

                     " Burma Evening ?97 "

(A Fund-raising Concert for Refugee Women & Children of Burma)

According to the Amnesty International Annual Report, human rights
violations in Burma reached the highest peak in 1996.  Since early this
year, the Burmese military junta has launched a series of attacks on ethnic
Karen refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border, forcing more than 80,000
defenceless refugees, including women and children into Thailand . 

To help these refugees who are in urgent need, the Burmese Community in the
Greater Washington, DC area cordially invites you to the following
fund-raising concert.  Your kind contribution will be a great help.

WHEN:  April 20, 1997  (Sunday)
	     2:00 - 3:00 PM (Food Bazaar)		     
	     3:00 - 5:30 PM (Burmese Cultural Concert)	
WHERE:  Calvary Baptist Church
                755 Eight Street, NW
                Washington, DC 20001
(Direction by Metro:  Red or Yellow Line to Gallery Place-Chinatown.
Parking available next to the Church. ) 
For ticket information contact: 
· Washington, DC	(202)393-7342
- Virginia                 (703)834-5670
- Maryland              (301)656-9559; (301)424-6009
· New York		      (718)381-4830; (718)434-6693	
( Also available at the gate - $10/ticket)