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The BurmaNet News, April 18, 1997

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------  
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"  
The BurmaNet News: April 18, 1997  
Issue #698

Noted in passing:

"Burmese leaders are on notice that, unless the clouds of repression are
lifted, they will face investment sanctions under US law."
--US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright (see AFP:BURMA COULD FACE


April 18, 1997


The troops of the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) have begun
an offensive against an ABSDF camp situated on the Burma side of the border
opposite Thailand?s Thap Sakae in Prachuab Kirikhan Province.

The offensive against the 8888 Camp began on April 11 and fighting was
continuing this morning.

Three columns of SLORC troops comprising 1,000 soldiers, from Light Infantry
Battalions 358, 224, 262 and 432, along with more than 700 porters arrived
in the area last month.  Skirmishes began breaking out between the SLORC
troops and various organizations including the ABSDF.  The offensive is
being commanded by SLORC?s Tactical Commander Colonel Zaw Tun.

According to reports from the 8888 Camp, 9 SLORC soldiers have been killed
and 6 injured.  No casualties have been reported among the opposition troops.

With the intensification of the offensive, another influx of refugees is
expected from the camps in the area under the administrations of student,
Karen, Mon and Muslim organizations.  More than 200 refugees have already
arrived at the border near Thap Sakae.

The area is close to a proposed road to be constructed by the SLORC?s Port
Authority and Thailand?s Sahaviriya Group.  The road, as well as a railroad,
is planned to be built between Ban Saphan in Thailand and Burma?s Boke Pyin

The area, which falls within Tenasserim and Boke Pyin townships in
Tenasserim Division, has been the target of SLORC?s merciless forced
relocations and summary executions throughout 1996.  Since May last year
more than 20,000 people from 79 villages in the area were forcibly relocated.

The relocations are an attempt by SLORC to pave the way for the development
of the area and the construction of deep sea ports and the ?Boke Pyin
Industrial Estate? which is supported by Thailand?s Minister for Industry,
Korn Dabbransi.  A gas pipeline belonging to the US oil giant Texaco will
also pass through this area.

Central Committee

For further information please contact Aung Naing Oo 300 0631 or 
01654 4984


April 15, 1997

           ANNAPOLIS, Maryland, April 15 (AFP) - US Secretary of State
Madeleine Albright on Tuesday put the Burmese leadership "on notice,"
saying the regime could face US investment sanctions.
           Taking note of Rangoon's tightening limits on political
expression and its jailing of demonstrators, Albright said, "Burmese leaders
are on notice that, unless the clouds of repression are lifted, they will
face investment sanctions under US law."
           A US law adopted late last year bans US investment in Burma if
Burma's military rulers, known as the State Law and Order Restoration
Council (SLORC), arrests, harms or exiles Burmese opposition leader Aung San
Suu Kyi or suppresses her followers on a large scale. The SLORC has ruled
Burma since 1988.
           "Our policy is to oppose repression and support a dialogue
between the government and the democratic opposition," Albright said in a
speech at the US Naval Academy here.
           "US officials, myself included, have stressed to Burma's military
the opportunity presented by a democratic opening," she added,
characterizing recent actions by the regime as having a "corrosive effect on
the Burmese government's standing at home and abroad."
           On Monday, Aung San Suu Kyi said hundreds of supporters and
members of her National League for Democracy (NLD) were in prison, where
they receive inadequate medical treatment and are denied basic rights.
           After years of near dormancy, the NLD began stepping up
activities following Aung San Suu Kyi's release from six years of house
arrest in 1995, but has found itself under increasing pressure from the
ruling junta.


April 18, 1997

LOS ANGELES ? In a little-noticed but  landmark  ruling  with enormous
implications for U.S. companies operating abroad, a federal judge ruled that
Unocal Corp. can be held liable for human rights abuses allegedly committed
by the government of Myanmar.
	 The ruling is the first in which a federal court has ruled that under
international and U.S. laws, U.S. companies could be liable for human rights
abuses committed by their partners in another country, according to legal
and human rights experts.
	Human rights activists said a win in this unusual civil case would put
corporations on notice that they are answerable not only for their own
overseas behavior but for that of foreign companies they align themselves with.
	Though it faces a vigorous appeal, the ruling by U.S. District Judge
Richard Paez of Los Angeles is considered a crucial victory for the
opponents of the regime that has ruled the nation formerly known as Burma
since 1988.
	Unocal is a partner with the state-owned Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise in
a controversial $1.2 billion pipeline project in that country. Unocal pays
the government to provide labor and security on the project.


April 16, 1997

In Washington (Wednesday), a congressional committee heard testimony about
the refugee situation along the Thai-Burma border.

The House Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights heard
from four people about the difficult conditions facing Karen and other
ethnic refugees who have fled to Thailand in recent months.

A main focus was the question of thai government policy on refugees, and
reports in recent weeks of forced repatriation.

The chairman of the subcommittee --  Republican Congressman Christopher
Smith of New Jjersey --  opened the hearing by questioning Thailand¹s
commitment to providing refuge for people fleeing Burma:

[ªWhat motivated the Thai government to change the former policy in which
refugees were allowed to live in the border areas, and were perhaps even
regarded as a desirable buffer zone between Thailand and the SLORC?  Is this
just a matter of wanting closer economic and political relations with the de
facto government of Burma, and regarding the refugees as an irritant in this
relationship?  Or is it possible that Thailand has been motivated in part by
the change in attitude of the US government and the international community
toward forced repatriation generally?ª]

Congressman Christopher Smith.  

Another of those speaking to the committee was Father Richard Ryscavage,
director of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.  He expressed some of the concerns
of non-government aid workers about the situation of refugees as the rainy
season begins, and about access to refugees in Thailand:

[ªOne field worker told me, Father you wouldn't believe the conditions that
they are living under.  They get soaked, even now by the rain, there is no
protection at all.  Medical supplies are in very short supply.  The
condition of the water supply is very questionable, and many of them are
getting sick.  There are also questions about NGO access to the people
themselves.  We¹re not in contact with a lot of the people who are suffering
right now which is itself a problem i think.ª]   

Mc:  Father Richard Ryscavage of Jesuit Refugee Service/USA.  

Representatives of the Thai embassy declined comment on the statements
presented at Wednesday¹s hearing.  

In a recent statement to the UN Human Rights Committee Thailand reiterated
its policy of providing safe refuge and humanitarian assistance to refugees,
but said ethnic Karen who have fled recent fighting would be allowed only
ªtemporary stay.ª


April 17, 1997

The Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights chaired by
Congressman Christopher Smith held a hearing on the situation of the
"Burmese Refugees in Thailand" at the Rayburn House Office Building on April
16, 1997.

Testifying before the subcommittee, which is under the House Committee on
International Relations, were Mr. Gary Lane, senior correspondent of the
Christian Broadcasting Network; Mr. Stephen Dun (Saw Thay Ler), a Karen
refugee studying in the United States; Soe Pyne, director of the Prime
Minister's Office, the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma;
and Rev. Richard Ryscavage, S.J. National Director, Jesuit Refugee Service.

The witnesses explained the precarious situation of the Karen and other
refugees at the Thai-Burma border; the food, shelter and health problems and
the threat of repatriation faced by the refugees; the assistance that NGOs
and the UNHCR can provide; Thai policy toward refugees from Burma; and the
role the United States and the international community can play to alleviate
and resolve the refugee problem.

The testimony provided by Soe Pyne on behalf of the National Coalition
Government of the Union of Burma follows:

///Begin text/// 
Mr. Chairman, Members of the Subcommittee on International Operations and
Human Rights:

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to testify on the situation of
Burmese Refugees in Thailand.  I am Soe Pyne, director of the Prime
Minister's Office, the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma
(NCGUB).  The NCGUB is a cabinet made up of elected representatives from the
National League for Democracy and other democratic parties that won the
elections in 1990.  The NCGUB has a 
keen interest in the affairs of the Karen and other ethnic nationalities
because it is a firm believer in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's call for a
tripartite dialogue between the leaders of the democracy movement, the
ethnic nationalities and the military to achieve peace and national
reconciliation in Burma.

A major offensive was launched by the Burmese military junta against the
Karen people in early February.  Even though the exact figure of refugees
fleeing the fighting is difficult to know, different sources visiting the
sites along the border, including Thai and international journalists, have
put the number of refugees at tens of thousands.

The situation should be of utmost concern to all of us not just because a
large number of people have lost their relatives, their homes and property
and become refugees but also because of the brutality of the goal behind the 

The Karen National Union, which has been fighting for equality and self-
determination, has had four rounds of cease-fire talks with the ruling
military junta, also known as the State Law and Order Restoration Council
(SLORC). The talks have failed because the SLORC only wants the KNU to
surrender on its terms.  The KNU refused to give in to the demands, but it
was expecting another round of talks to take place. SLORC, however,
unilaterally broke off the talks and launched a brutal assault without warning.

It was obvious from the very start that the objective of the latest
offensive is not just the KNU.   It was the Karen people, whom SLORC accuses
of being the support base for the KNU. This is reflected in the January 28
attacks on the three Karen refugee camps at Huai Kalok Wangkha, Huai Bok
(Don Pakiang) and Mae La. Altogether the camps housed 36,000 
refugees inside the Thai territory.  Left undefended by the Thai security
forces, thousands of Karen refugees were left homeless and destitute as
SLORC and its puppet forces torched the camps.

Also, during the latest offensive, there have been reports of extra-judicial
killings, rape, looting and plunder at many Karen villages inside Burma and
along the way to the Thai-Burma border. Many villages were also burned and
destroyed by the SLORC troops.  The offensive is intended to 
be a warning to the other ethnic nationalities, who have entered into
cease-fire arrangements with the SLORC but are expressing their
dissatisfaction with the outcome of these arrangements.

In other words, the growth in the number of Karen refugees at the Thai-Burma
border is not accidental. It is the result of a brutal but well thought out
plan of destruction by the SLORC.

Another problem that the Karen refugees are facing is the Thai authorities.
The Thai authorities are refusing to acknowledge the refugee status of the
Karens or to let the UNHCR to help them.

Depending on the Army commander in charge of the region concerned, there
were reports about Karen refugees, particularly males of fighting age, being
forced back into war zones inside Burma. The refugees were also prevented
from building any shelter out of wood or bamboo which are 
considered by the Thai authorities to be permanent structures. There have
been instances of NGOs and other official teams being denied access to the
sites where the refugees are staying.  

The Thai government has denied that refugees were turned back.  Earlier in
March, however, many sources, including press reports, on different
occasions confirmed that the Karen refugees were indeed pushed back into Burma.

Thailand is well known for its humanitarian policy.  It has always sheltered
refugees, from Indochina to Burma. The National Coalition Government of the
Union of Burma urges the United States to request Thailand to continue that
humane policy toward the Karen refugees and allow NGOs and the UNHCR to
assist these refugees.

The refugee issue in Burma is the result of political problems. Without the
will to resolve the existing political issues, there can never be a
long-term solution to the refugee problem.  The KNU and the Burmese
democracy movement have on many occasions offered to hold talks with the SLORC 
for national reconciliation. The solution to achieve peace and harmony is
already there.

The United States and the international community must step up their efforts
aimed at pressuring the SLORC to enter into dialogue with the democracy
movement and the ethnic nationalities. That process will resolve the refugee
problem and ensure peace and harmony in Burma and the region.

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing and for showing an interest
in Burma's affairs. /// end text ///


April 15, 1997

In California, a Committee of the State Assembly has held a second hearing
on a proposed ªselective purchasingª bill.  If approved into law by the
California State Assembly, the bill (named ª888ª) would prohibit the state
from purchasing goods or services from any company doing business with Burma.

A first hearing was held last week, and the International Trade and
Development Committee heard more testimony on monday.

One of those attending was Dan Orzech [pron: or-zeck] of the Bay Area Burma
Roundtable -- one of the groups supporting the selective purchasing campaign
in the United States:

[ªLast week there was a huge amount of testimony both from the business
lobbyists and from all sorts of groups, ranging from students to people
concerned about the drug (narcotics) issue, in support of the bill.  The
Committee, I think, was sort of overwhelmed by the issues last week and
didn¹t act last week and again didn¹t act this week.  So they are holding
the bill you could say for extended study.ª]

Dan Orzech says he believes the activities of business interests working
against the sanctions movement influenced the committee¹s decision not to
push the bill ahead.  But he does  not  believe the sanctions movement has
suffered a blow because of the inaction of the committee:

[ªi think there is basically no stopping the sanctions movement at this
point, because it is popping up like a wildfire.  It is popping up all over
the place.  So if it is on hold here for a number of months it really
doesn¹t matter because it is happening in so many other states and so many
other cities.ª]   

Burma¹s military government has said it remains un-concerned about
ªselective purchasingª laws being approved in the United States.

The ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) says investment
from other countries will make up for any loss suffered as a result of
sanctions preventing US companies from coming to Burma.

Dan Orzech of the activist group -- the Bay Area Burma Roundtable --
disagrees with the view of businesses that investment in Burma will help
people in the long-run by creating jobs and improving the standard of living. 


April 17, 1997
Christopher Parkes, LA & Robert Corzine, London

TOTAL, the French oil and gas (sic.) group, yesterday, yesterday formally
backed the plan by Ultramar Diamond of the US to acquire its 55% stake in
its North American downstream assets for $811m.

TOTAL said it would own 8 per cent of the entity that will emerge from the
deal, which marks another step towards Ultramar Diamond's goal of joining
the leaders of the new-look US oil refining and petrol retailing

The deal, announced late on Tuesday, will also help TOTAL to avoid a
possible confrontation with the US government over the French group's
involvement in oil and gas developments in countries such as Iran, which
are subject to unilateral US sanctions. 

TOTAL has consistently denied that the US would have any legal grounds
to act against it. But there has been recent speculation that TOTAL was
keen to lower its US profile, with senior executives publicly noting
that the US operations were small and not particularly profitable.

For Ultramar Diamond, the adition of TOTAL's  three refineries will
boost the company's group's capacity from 400,000 barrels/day to 650,000
b/d, and add 710 wholly-owned and branded retail outlets to bring the
group's total to almost 6,400.

The link was expected to increase cash flow 50 cents a share next year,
with earnings per share about 15 cents higher, said Mr. Roger
Heminghaus, Ultramar Diamond's chief executive.

Rationalisation, probably including redundancies in centralised
functions such as information technology and marketing, was expected to
yield annual savings of $50m.

The company, which joined the US oil industry restructing fray last year
with the merger of Ultramar and Diamond Shamrock, said recently it
wanted to be among the US top three for shareholder return, and incerase
earnings about 15% a year.

While the TOTAL negotations were near completion, Mr. Heminghaus said he was
especially interested in expanding in the northeast, soutwest and Mexico,
where it had a handful of convenience stores but no branded
petrol stations.

With its latest acquisition, Ultarmar is expected to be about half the
size, -- in terms of capacity and retail outlets - of Tosco, the
industry leader.

As international oil majors have focused on oil exploration and
production, pulling out of or merging their refining and marketing
operations in joint ventures, US refiner-retailers have been busy
building critical mass the better to compete in the over-crowded market.

The most prized acquisition targets are companies with round the clock
convenience store chains. TOTAL's retail properties include 560 of these
stores, and have successfully developed profits  sources such as fast


April 16, 1997
                            Information Sheet
No. A-0034                                              Date. 16 - 4 - 96

        Water Festival celebrated at Mrs. Aris' residence on the morning of 
14th April . The total of 500 persons including some diplomats attended 
the ceremony .The British Ambassador Mr. Robert A. E. Gordon and 
family also paid a visit  later in the afternoon, it is learnt.


April 14, 1997

The seven-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has
deferred for another month its decision on whether to accept Cambodia, 
Laos and Myanmar as members.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Domingo Siazon, Jr. said the ASEAN failed to
decide on the issue during the its foreign ministers' meeting early last
week before the start of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) meeting in 
New Delhi, India.
He said the entry of the three countries is "a very important issue"
and cannot be discussed as a side issue during the NAM meeting.
Siazon said ASEAN leaders are set to meet on May 31 in Kuala Lumpur
to decide on whether ASEAN will push through with its decision to accept
the three applicants "all at the same time and as soon as possible."
An option is to postpone their membership in ASEAN to next year. The
organization may also opt to defer the membership of Cambodia in case it
may fails to meet the requirements of the ASEAN Free Trade Area 
(AFTA). AFTA requires the reduction of import tariffs by all member-
countries. Myanmar and Laos have met this requirement as early as last 
year. ASEAN groups Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, 
Vietnam and the Philippines.


April 12, 1997

RANGOON, April 12 (AFP) -- Moslem community leaders in Rangoon are
cancelling the ritual slaughter of livestock at an upcoming religious 
festival, following recent religious unrest in the city, informed sources
said Saturday.
Community leaders have also decided to reschedule the festival, known
as Bakhri Eid, so it would not coincide with Buddhist celebrations for
Burmese new year's day on April 17. It will now be held on April 19.
The Moslem festivities are a potential source of resentment among the
Buddhist community, which traditionally marks new year's day with a
symbolic release of fish and birds, the sources said.
The decision comes despite assurances from city authorities that
traditional Moslem celebrations and communal feasts could go ahead,
although with some restrictions, following anti-Moslem unrest last month
around the country, when mosques and Moslem property were attacked by
The City News, an evening newssheet issued by the office of the city
mayor, announced Friday that Moslems would be forbidden from 
slaughtering livestock at their homes in Rangoon municipality and 
displaying it in the streets.
It designated a village outside the city where they could purchase
livestock for the festival. Culling could only be done at a government
slaughterhouse which would be open for the occasion, the City News said.
It was believed that Moslem leaders are stopping traditional
celebrations as a form of protest about the attacks in March on mosques 
and Moslem property, which began in Mandalay and then spread to other 
cities and towns.


April 17, 1997

The Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) openly welcomes a series of
recent statements by leaders of the Burmese armed forces and the State Law
and Order Restoration Council, which were reported in both the domestic and
international media, that it is willing to involve all ethnic groups and
parties in the historic task of nation building.

Such a public gesture of reconciliation can only lead to peace and, if
respected and acted upon, bodes well for the entire country.

Since independence in 1948, Burma has been beset by a cycle of political
violence and armed ethnic conflict, in which countless lives have been lost
and many communities destroyed. The KIO, therefore, believes that the
establishment of a halt to nation wide military offensives in an absolute
fundamental from which dialogue, national unity and lasting peace can begin
to proceed.

In other areas of conflict in the world, experience has demonstrated how
difficult it can be to achieve peace after years of suffering and bloodshed.
But, in the KIO's view, the agreement of just and equitable ceasefires is
the essential first step without which the equally urgent tasks of political
reform and development can never be realised.

At this critical moment, the KIO thus trusts that all parties will reflect
on the tragic lessons of Burma's recent history, confirm a new commitment to
the establishment of trust and national understanding, and find ways to
support peace and dialogue as the immediate bridges to heal the divisions of
the past.

Kachin Independence Organisation


April 17, 1997

Many diplomats and journalists are speculating that the recent bomb
explosion at the residence of Army Chief of Staff Lt Gen Tin Oo was due to
an internal power struggle within Slorc between Gen Maung Aye and Lt Gen
Khin Nyunt factions.

Initially Slorc did not accuse any opposition group of the attack,
suggesting an internal dispute. Then later Slorc accused Burmese exile
groups in Japan. But the exile groups pointed out that there is no mail
delivery in Burma on Sunday and that the parcel was hand delivered by a
motorcycle messenger.

Our intelligence sources indicate that the bomb was sent by some junior
officer in the Burmese Army. It is a well known fact that Military
Intelligence has videotapes of officers bringing expensive gifts to Gen Tin
Oo's residence  to avoid dangerous combat duty.

Officers who did not want to fight Khun Sa's Army two years ago avoided
combat duty by giving expensive gifts  to Gen Tin Oo. Sixteen hundred
officers and soldiers, according to the official Burma Army reports, were
killed or injured in battles with Khun Sa. 

Now Khun Sa resides in Rangoon and is engaging in lucrative deals with Slorc
generals. The young officers know that they have been used as pawns by Slorc

And now the same thing is happening again. Officers who gave gifts to Gen
Tin Oo are avoiding dangerous  combat duty fighting the Karen resistance
army, while many young captains and majors who did not give gifts are being
killed in combat.

Myint Thein
Senior Adviser To The Burmese Resistance 
Dallas, Texas


April 15, 1997

Singapore Telecom Ltd. has set up Burma's first international 
link for e-mail and computer communications with Myanmar PTT.


April 17, 1997


	Students from 16 institutes yesterday joined local conservation groups in
this province bordering Burma to campaign against the controversial gas
pipeline project.
	"We are helping them gather the opinion of local residents to determine if
they want the gas pipeline," said Sawitri Phusukho, one of the students who
is secretary general of a local conservation club.
	She said the students decided to join the campaign because the National
Environment Board approved the project owned by the Petroleum Authority of
Thailand (PTT), without thoroughly assessing its impact on the lives of the
local people and the damage it would do to the local flora and fauna.
	Besides, the PTT has yet to clearly explain to the people the possible
risks the project may entail, she said.
	Yesterday questionnaires and leaf-lets detailing the adverse effects of the
project were handed out to local people who turned out in hordes as
activists, using a megaphone, took turns to condemn the project.
	"The opinion of the local people will determine our course of action and if
they decide against the project we will join their fight against PTT," said
Thararak Rujirapha, another student.


April 17, 1997

BANGKOK : The government its official support to a land bridge linking the
Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea yesterday when Industry Minister Korn
Dabbaransi ordered the PTT to conduct a feasibility study of the project.
	Speaking at a news conference, Korn said the government should throw its
full weight behind the project because of the vast advantages Thailand would
reap from increased trade and the efficient transport of much needed natural
gas purchased form Burma.
	Korn said the PTT (Petroleum Authority of Thailand ) has also been ordered
to study the feasibility of building a deep sea port in Bang Saphan to
compliment the land bridge project.
	The corridor which links Prachuab Khiri Khan's Bang Saphan district and
Burma's Bokpyin town is part of the government's Western Seaboard
Development Plan.
	The 85 kilometer land bridge, or transportation corridor, will eventually
include a four lane highway, a gas pipeline and a railroad.
	Korn urged Thailand to take the lead in the development project because of
the comparative advantage in resources it has over Burma.
	Sources at Government House have said the Chavalit administration will
allocate about 20 billion baht for the construction of the transportation
corridor. The Western Seaboard Plan has a total estimated budget of 100
billion baht.
	The Sahaviriya Group Plc, a major player in the development plan, reached
an agreement in principle with the Burmese junta last month to begin
preparatory work on the land bridge.
	Sahaviriya already has substantial interests in a deep sea port, a steel
factory and an electricity generating plant, all in Bang Saphan.
	Korn said the land bridge will allow goods shipped between Europe and Asia
to bypass Singaporean ports by using the transportation corridor.
	The corridor will also allow the transport of natural gas from Burma's
Yetagun and Yadana gas fields in the Andaman Sea directly to electricity
plants in Bang Saphan.
	Korn said he has asked the Texaco Exploration Company, which is responsible
for the delivery of gas form Yetagun, to study the possibility of
transporting it directly to Bang Saphan via the land bridge.
	According to Korn, Texaco previously said shipments from the Yadana field
to Kanchanaburi province could begin as early as July of next year.

April 14 & 16, 1997 (received)

	 Foster's Brewing Group will not include Burma (Myanmar) in its Asian
investment strategy, and has no intention of selling beer into Burma in the
near future.
 	 Contrary to recent reports, Foster's has no investments in Burma, and no
plans for investment. The company's Asian focus will continue to be directed
towards China, where Foster's has three breweries, and to a number of other
potential markets in the region.
 	 A small volume of Foster's beer was sold into the Burma market via a
Singapore distributor in recent years, but no beer has been exported to
Burma since last year. The distributor has been directed to cease shipments
and any promotional activity.
 	 As with most long-life consumer products, Foster's beer will continue to
circulate in the Burma market for some time.  Foster's has no control over
or ownership of beer which has already been sold to distributors.  Burma has
never been a significant market for Foster's, and old stock may take some
months to clear.
 	 In addition, it is likely that Foster's will continue to find its way
into Burma via the thriving "black market" in consumer goods.  All major
international beer brands are available in Burma via the black market.
Foster's Brewing Group does not condone this trade, and cannot control the
 use of its products in this market.
 	 All advertising in Burma was cancelled some time ago, and steps have been
taken to remove any remaining billboard signage.
 	 The company's decision to cease sales of beer into Burma was a business
decision, based on the full range of factors which normally inform any
commercial decision in the Asia region.
 Further information:
 Gayle Austen
 9633 2233
 0412 257 065
 Graeme Willersdorf
 9633 2073
 Ethical Investment Group
 PO Box 108
 La Trobe University Post Office
 VIC 3083
 April 14, 1997
 Gayle Austen
 Foster's Brewing Group Ltd.
 Dear Gayle
 Having received your media release of 11 April, the Ethical Investment
Group is satisfied that Foster's has ceased all operations in Burma.  We
note with concern that there is still advertising of Foster's in Burma, and
we trust that you will take steps to have this removed as soon as possible,
as stated in your media release.
 As of 12 April 1997. the Ethical Investment Group has called off the
boycott of Foster's beer, and will be communicating this to groups with
which we have contact.
 Cc: National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, Australia-Burma
Council, Burma Support Group Melbourne), Burma Support Group (Sydney), Free
Burma Coalition, National Union of Students, Burmese Women's Union, All
Burma Students' Democratic Organisation

No More Fosters Beer for the Generals

16th April 1997

	Foster's International has announced that they will not be selling any more
beer in Burma.  While they state in their letter to Australian students,
beer will still circulate in Burma due to the frantic black market trade of
the product, they will not be selling it directly.
	During his Australian tour in August 1996, the Prime Minister, NCGUB, Dr
Sein Win, launched an Australian wide Boycott of Carlton United Breweries as
they were selling Fosters Beer in Burma.  The Boycott was being coordinated
by the Australia Burma Council and the Burmese Woman's Union.  The Ethical
Investment Group, comprised mainly of students, then went to work on the
company and achieved this remarkable result.
	The Australia Burma Council wishes to congratulate the Ethical Investment
Group and looks forward to having an equal success with Peregrine Adventures.
	While this is not the first Australian company to withdraw from Burma, as
BHP, Student Travel and many others have withdrawn or stated they will not
go in, this is a first for the growing grass roots Burma campaign in Australia.

Contacts:   Ethical Investment Group
		Gayle Austen (613) 9633 2233
		Graeme Willersdorf (613) 9633 2073
	    Burma Office, Sydney
		Minn Aung Myint 041 2230737


April 15, 1997

Burma Behind the Mask, Published in AMSTERDAM The Netherlands 
April 1997 

'My country is full of beauty but there is also great ugliness in the form
of greed and cruelty that engender corruption and fear...This book reveals
what lies behind the beautiful facade that makes the country so enticing to
visitors...' From the foreword by Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Burma Centre Netherlands is pleased to announce the publication of 
Burma Behind the Mask. This book, edited by Jan Donkers and Minka 
Nijhuis, and with a preface by Aung San Suu yi, was originally published 
in Dutch in August 1996. The book begins with personal accounts from the
Dutch journalists Jan Donkers and Minka Nijhuis of their travels in Burma
between 1991 and  1994. The second chapter gives an overview of Burmese
history, esplaining the roots of the present political crisis. Subsequent
chapters describe the ways in which the military controls every aspect of
life in Burma, their plans for developing tourism and how tourism will
impact the general  population. This is followed by a quick survey of the
situation in each admiistrtaive division. The final chapter focuses on a few
practical aspects of visiting Burma. The book is illustrated with
photographs by Dutch photographer  Jan Banning, and a collection of cartoons
by various Burmese artists.

Edited by Jan Donkers & Minka Nijhuis
Photography by Jan Banning
Published by the Burma Centrum Nederland

The book can now be ordered through the Burma Centre Netherlands

pricelist including postage
Europe 1 copy: 25 US$, 2 copies: 47 US$
Australia, New-Zealand and Canada 1 copy: 26 US $, 2 copies: 50 US$
All other countries 1 copy: 30 US$, 2 copies: 57 US$
- * - Organisations that wish to to use the book for campaign-purposes, are
kindly invited to contact us for more copies.

We prefer to receive amounts in cash, by sending banknotes in an 
envelope. Otherwise, the financial transactions will be costly for both
sender and receiver. You can also send a Eurocheque in Dutch Guilders (do
not forget pass/card number). Alternatively, send a postal money order or a
bank cheque, but then you need to add 10 US$ to the amount!
If you send us the money by bank-transfer, also add another 10 US$. For
transfers through a bank, use this swift code: VSB-UNL-2-U, our
bankaccountnumber is