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BurmaNet News: November 24, 2000


______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
________November 24, 2000   Issue # 1665__________

 *The Los Angeles Times: Ethnic Karen Losing in Myanmar Struggle
*Shan Herald Agency for News: Junta army occupies disputed ceasefire 

*Time: SE Asia embraces Internet Age,even Myanmar 
*AFP: Myanmar ducks ASEAN's IT spotlight
*AFP: Environmental alliance demands halt to mega dam projects
*The Star (Bangladesh): Myanmar included in RM9b rail project
*The Nation (Bangkok): Asean leaders close ranks to support Burma
*The Nation: Pyongyang, Rangoon to restore diplomatic ties


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The Los Angeles Times: Ethnic Karen Losing in Myanmar Struggle

 Nov 24, 2000.
 By DAVID LAMB, Times Staff Writer
MAE SOT, Thailand--Their battle for self-rule is one of the world's 
longest wars, a struggle that spans 52 years and generations of death. 
But today the ethnic Karen of Myanmar are facing a harsh awakening: 
Their long, lonely journey may be leading them nowhere. Here along the 
Thai border with Myanmar,often referred to by its previous name, Burma, 
more than 100,000 Karen arecloistered in 11 camps of bamboo huts spread 
out along the frontier. There are thousands more refugees living outside 
the camps. International attention to their plight--minimal in the best 
of times--is waning. Their military capability is dwindling. Their 
refugee population is growing, at the rate of 500 a month,and even 
Thailand, their traditional protector, increasingly considers them a 
burden, which some Thai politicians want eased with their repatriation 
within three years. The Karen, along with a similar number of East 
Timorese in the Indonesian province of West Timor, represent the last 
large concentrations of externally displaced people in Southeast Asia, 
where the refugee population
has sunk to its lowest level in more than 20 years with the resettlement 
of the masses who fled Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in the aftermath of 
the Vietnam War.
"We look to the East, and we see nothing," said Saw Tay Tay, director of 
the Karen Refugee Committee, who works out of a garage adorned with 
pictures of Myanmar's dissident leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. "But we look 
to the West, and we see moral support, maybe even a solution, because of 
its opposition to the Burma government. We know where our bread is 
buttered. "But times have changed.  We're no longer under any illusion 
that we can defeat the Burmese army and  achieve independence. And we 
realize that countries should not be divided. We 
feel people can coexist if they are treated fairly. If we can be assured 
our  dignity, that would be enough. We could live at peace with the 
Burma government." If the Karen have scaled back their aspirations, it 
is largely because they have had no choice. Myanmar's army overran the 
Karen National Union, or KNU, stronghold at Manerplaw in 1995 and 
continues to nibble away at its border enclaves, pushing the Karen--many 
of whom fought for Britain during
World War II even as Burma supported Japan--near or into Thailand. The 
KNU's fighting strength has dwindled to 2,000 to 3,000 men, and the war 
has ebbed into spasms of platoon-level engagements. 

Meanwhile, Myanmar's government, a  repressive band of soldiers known as 
the State Peace and Development Council, has signed peace treaties with 
the country's 15 other ethnic groups. In return
for laying down their arms, some of the groups, such as the Wa, have 
been given a large degree of autonomy and the OK to produce drugs, which 
flood into Thailand and make their way to distant corners of the world. 
The Karen,many of whom were converted to Christianity by U.S. 
missionaries two centuries ago, have never played by the same rules. 
They have shunned the drug trade and held
nothing more than preliminary peace talks with the Myanmar government. 
But their influence inside Myanmar has diminished with their falling 
numbers, as tens of thousands fled to Thailand, some to escape fighting, 
others to seek economic opportunity. "There's no jobs in Burma, not 
enough food, very little  medicine," said Aung Kyaw, 26, as a medic at 
Dr. Cynthia's Clinic in Mae Sot, 
Thailand, examined his sick daughter. After two years in Mae Sot, Aung 
Kyaw, a high school dropout, earns the equivalent of $50 a month as a 
gardener, more than a university professor with a doctorate would make 
in Myanmar. Aung Kyaw is one of an estimated 100,000 illegal Myanmar 
immigrants, many of them Karen, in Thailand, in addition to those in the 
overflowing refugee camps.

Over the course of many years, dating back to the Vietnam War, Thailand 
has been Southeast Asia's most hospitable country for refugees. But its 
patience is  running thin with Myanmar refugees after two embarrassing 
incidents that could result in the welcome mat being withdrawn. In 
October 1999, five Myanmar rebel gunmen took over the Myanmar Embassy in 
Bangkok, the Thai capital. After
releasing their hostages unharmed, the rebels were allowed to go free, 
much to the annoyance of the generals in Myanmar. Then in January, 10 
Karen rebels stormed a Thai provincial hospital and held the staff and 
patients hostage.

The rebels were killed by Thai commanders. On both occasions, the goal 
of the attackers was unclear. Thailand responded to the crisis by 
sending about 200 Karen back across the Friendship Bridge that spans the 
Moei River on the border and increasing security at the camps. Thai 
Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, who toured several camps, said, "The 
refugee situation is a problem, which must be
urgently solved." Myanmar, though, is reluctant to accept returnees who 
are political dissidents and an economic burden. "It's a very difficult 
situation, a day-to-day struggle, because young people are leaving Burma 
toget jobs to support their families and the Thais don't really want 
them here and the government in Yangon does not want to take them back," 
said Dr. Cynthia Maung, a refugee who set up her clinic in Mae Sot in 
1988. The Karens' struggle  today, said one Western refugee specialist, 
isn't so much about independence or autonomy as it is about geopolitics 
and economics. Along the border, they represent a convenient buffer for 
forces inside Myanmar battling for control of the teak forest industry 
and the drug trade. To countries such as the United  States and Britain 
that want to isolate Myanmar because of human rights abuses

and involvement in drugs, the Karen are a welcome destabilizing force 
against the generals in Yangon, Myanmar's capital. So Saw Tay Tay, in 
his garage in Mae Sot, sharing tea with a guest, paused and had to think 
hard when asked what 52 years of armed struggle had achieved for the 
Karen. "Well," he said after a while, "perhaps not much. The situation 
isn't getting any better." 


Shan Herald Agency for News: Junta army occupies disputed ceasefire 
24 November 
No: 11 - 19News 
Forces from Northeastern Regional Command (HQ in 
Lashio) yesterday launched on operation against Mongkoe, a town on the 
Chinese border, where two factions of the Mongkoe Defense Army of Mong 
Sala  were fighting against each other.It was learned this morning that  
the "Tamadaw" had "re-occupied" the Mongkoe area. Details of the 
operation and the fate of Mong Sala are still not known.

Time: SE Asia embraces Internet Age,even Myanmar salutes

Friday November 24, 8:03 am Eastern 
By Simon Cameron-Moore
SINGAPORE, Nov 24 (Reuters) - 
Myanmar's military government signed an accord with other Southeast 
Asian  nations on Friday to promote use of the Internet, even though it 
is currently  banned for ordinary citizens.
The 10 leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 
signed  an e-ASEAN Framework Agreement to promote electronic commerce 
and help hook up people, technology and businesses in the region.
Senior General Than Shwe signed for Myanmar. His government has been 
fiercely criticised over its human rights record and suppression of the 
pro-democracy movement led by the imprisoned Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu 
Some European Union governments are expected to send junior delegations 
to an EU-ASEAN ministerial meeting in Laos next month to protest against 
Myanmar's record, which was also raised during Friday's summit.
Brigadier General David Abel, representing Myanmar on a panel of ASEAN 
economic ministers, told a news conference his country was drawing up 
new laws covering the Internet.
Currently only the government and 10 state firms are allowed Internet 
``Once you are on the web its hard to keep things away. There are bad 
things there are good things,'' Abel said, in response to a question how 
his  government would handle connecting schools to the Internet while 
controlling the potential proliferation of dissent down the Net.
``Today we have a certain amount of websites functioning. There are bad 
things, there are good things. We just accept it as it is,'' Abel said.
``But, if things get out of control...things coming in the Net that are 
detrimental to security or things like that, then we'll have to deal 
accordingly with the law. The law is being written up right now,'' he 
Roberto Romulo, chairman of the e-Asean task force, was optimistic that 
the government's cautious embrace of the Internet was a sign that 
Myanmar was beginning to think about opening up after decades of keeping 
the shutters down on the outside world.
``There's a political challenge, but at the same time they are excited 
and  committed. They have created an e-national committee made in the 
mirror image of the e-ASEAN task force and Singapore's IDA (Infocomm 
Development Authority),''he said.
``Censorship or no censorship, the beauty of Internet is that 
individuals are empowered and once they are enabled they will be on 
their modems and you can't stop them. So if they are encouraging 
Internet access maybe they are opening up to the world,'' Romulo added.
Currently, anyone caught in possession of an unlicensed computer modem 
in Myanmar could face a seven to 15-year jail term. Access to fax and 
electronic mail is also limited.
Myanmar joined ASEAN in 1997 to end decades of self-imposed isolation, 
but its membership has given the organisation diplomatic headaches.
Under the E-ASEAN pact the six more advanced members -- Brunei, 
Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand -- will 
liberaliseintra-ASEAN trade in information, communication and technology 
(ICT) by January 2003.
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, where very few people have access 
to a personal computer, have pledged to eliminate duties and non-tariff 
barriers onICT products by January 2008.
All ASEAN members will work toward creating favourable legal and policy 
environment for ICT, and laws governing electronic commerce will be 
based on international norms. 


AFP: Myanmar ducks ASEAN's IT spotlight

Friday, November 24 3:38 PM

SINGAPORE, Nov 24 (AFP) - 
Myanmar officials at the ASEAN summit Friday refused to directly answer 
questions on Internet access, in an embarrassing moment for regional 
leaders launching an information-technology programme.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) said it was 
attempting to bridge the digital divide with the signing of an "e-ASEAN 
framework agreement."
Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong singled out Myanmar as an ASEAN 
member which would get special assistance to foster a knowledge-based 
But Myanmar's Economic Minister David Abel was evasive when questioned 
by reporters on what would be the requirements to have Internet access 
in his country which requires people to have a permit for fax machine 
"We have the Net set up in Myanmar but we don't have the law yet. We are 
writing up the law, so the Net is available and it is set up as 
required,"Abel said.
The use of the telephone and fax machines "has to be worked out 
according to the law," he added.
Malaysian Trade Minister Rafidah Aziz said Kuala Lumpur allowed pro and 
anti-government websites and also had "various legislation in place that 
will take care of any undue aberrations or distortions that come about 
through the negative or wrong use of the internet."
Further pressed on what requirments would be imposed for Internet access 
in Myanmar, Abel said: "Today, we have a certain amount of our websites 
functioning. Bad things are there, good things are there, we just accept 
"But I think, like Rafidah says, if things get out of control or things 
coming through the Net detrimental to national security, then we will 
have to deal accordingly with the law and the law is being written up 
right now."
The e-ASEAN initiative launched on Friday is designed to help ASEAN 
members compete in a global economy and will "transform ASEAN into one 
seamless, borderless market of 500 million consumers instead of 10 
fragmented markets,"a forum statement said.
One of the aims of the agreement is to set up a "free trade area for 
goods, services and investments for the information-communications 


AFP: Environmental alliance demands halt to mega dam projects

Friday, November 24 8:12 PM SGT 

BANGKOK, Nov 24 (AFP) - Asian environmental groups Friday called for an 
immediate halt to the construction
of mega dams in the region while a new report by the World Commission on 
Dams (WCD) is reviewed.
The report, released in London last week, said the dams had failed to 
deliver promised benefits and had caused serious harm to rural 
communities, as well as environmental devastation on a massive scale.
Rivers Watch East and Southeast Asia, a network of organisations working 
to restore the region's waterways, said construction must stop until 
efforts were made to compensate dam-affected communities.
"We demand a moratorium on large dam construction in east and southeast 
Asia until the recommendations of the WCD have been implemented by all 
dam-building agencies," it said in a statement.
Anti-dam organisations from around the world met in the Thai capital 
Friday to discuss the implications of the report by the independent 
The two-year study, prepared by engineers, ecologists, government 
officials and indigenous people, had the backing and participation of 
the World Bank. However, it stopped short of calling for a moratorium on 
dam construction.
"Indigenous peoples have unique needs and if these are ignored it may 
result in a tragedy one may term cultural ethnocide," said Shamila Annie 
Mohammed Ariffin of Friends of the Earth Malaysia.
Families affected by the Bakun Hydroelectric project in Sarawak were 
subsisting on one meal a day of rice and salt after losing the river 
which had been the source of their livelihood, she said.
"More often than not, dams bring these people more economic exclusion 
 ... nowhere more so than in the Mekong Delta Basin," considered by many 
to contain

the world's most abundant untapped resources, said Ngun Win of Oxfam 
Ngun said the WCD report "confirmed that people whose lives most need 
improvement barely benefit from the construction of dams."
The WCD studied 10 dams worldwide, including the controversial Pak Moon 
project in Ubon Ratchathani which has been bitterly opposed by villagers 
the region.
Dam construction projects elsewhere in Asia have caused major 
In India, a high-profile campaign against the 3.9 billion dollar Narmada 
dam in the western state of Gujarat has been led by social activist 
MedhaPatkar and celebrated novelist Arundhati Roy.
U Sai Win Pay from the organisation Salween Watch said that in Myanmar's 
Shan state, the planned Tasang dam has already resulted in the 
displacement of over 3,000 villagers in the military-run country.
"We Shan can do nothing. People of Shan state ... who depend on the 
river (Salween) for our livelihood deserve a say in how it can benefit 
society," he said.
"We have a saying -- As long as Salween river flows, our Shan land will 


The Star: Myanmar included in RM9b rail project

Nov 24, 2000.

SINGAPORE: Asean leaders are expected to endorse the Malaysia-proposed 
Trans-Asian rail link at their two-day 4th informal summit starting 
today. The plan will also see a slight yet significant change in the 
rail route to include Myanmar. 
International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz said 
once the proposal was endorsed, Thailand, which chairs the steering 
committee for the project, would find ways to finance the multi-billion 
ringgit project. 
"We will leave it to Thailand to draw up the proposal,'' she said. 
Rafidah said the decision to include Myanmar in the plan was to ensure 
the country could also reap the economic benefits that would come with 

The estimated RM9.5bil rail link connecting seven Asean countries with 
China is projected to be completed by 2006.

The Nation - Nov 25, 
2000.Police comb woods for last Burmese 
DOZENS of police officers aided by search dogs were combing 700 rai of 
bush in Kanchanaburi yesterday in pursuit of a Burmese jail-breaker who 
narrowly escaped a deadly commando assault on his eight collaborators on 
Thursday morning. 
Ra, the fugitive, was saved by the call of nature as he left the getaway 
station wagon shortly before the commandos unleashed a hail of gunfire 
on the vehicle. 
During the shooting eight Burmese escapees and a Thai convict were 

One hostage, Samut Sakhon prison commander Somwong Siriwej, was 
critically injured, but the two other captives were rescued and a second 
Thai convict arrested with only slight wounds. 
Col Puwadol Wuttikanok, head of a Kanchanaburi border-police patrol 
unit, recalled seeing Ra leave the station-wagon before the commandos 
stormed it. 

"We saw him getting out of the vehicle, but by then it was time for the 
commandos to go in," he said, "and we forgot about the guy." 
After the operation was over, Puwadol saw Ra lying low under a tree. The 
Burmese convict was carrying a gun. 
"Onlookers were all over the place. I was worried about them if we tried 
to take him dead. I fired shots into the air to threaten him, but he ran 
into the bush, throwing away his shirt," Puwadol said. 
About 40 officers set off on a hunt. Houses in the area were searched 
and their owners warned against any stranger coming to ask for food or 
The search team yesterday afternoon found the fugitive's sandals and hat 

several kilometres from the road. 
Somwong remained in the intensive-care unit at the Police Hospital 
yesterday. He was shot four times during the rescue operation. One 
bullet hit him in the head, causing bleeding and swelling in the brain. 
An investigation into the dramatic jailbreak still yielded few clues as 
to how the nine Burmese and two Thai prisoners had acquired weapons 
whichincluded pistols, knives and home-made bombs, officials said. 
"There remain many possibilities," said Siwa Saengmanee, 
director-general of the Corrections Department. "The weapons could have 
come in food trucks or other trucks. They could have been smuggled in by 
visitors or thrown in over the walls, or some corrupt officials could 
have provided them, or the weapons could have come in pieces to be 
reassembled inside the prison." 
The department has ordered all prisons nationwide to implement stricter 
measures regarding foreign convicts, he said. 
"The strict measures are always there, but the problem is 
he said. 
"After this incident we need to step up our security measures, but with 
prisoners overcrowding the jails, the wardens outnumbered and equipment 
so unsophisticated, there's always a chance of this kind of incident 
happening again."


The Nation: Pyongyang, Rangoon to restore diplomatic ties

Nov 25, 2000.

NORTH Korea is expected to normalise relations with Burma next year, 
ending a 17-year diplomatic freeze that was triggered by a failed 
assassination attempt on South Korea's former president in Rangoon by 
North Korean agents, a source said yesterday. 
The negotiations to restore ties are in their final stage, the source 
"Now, for us (North Korea) the time is ripe and we are ready to restore 
diplomatic ties with Burma some time next year," the source quoted a 
North Korean senior official as saying. 
In recent years, Pyongyang and Rangoon have been using Bangkok, 
Vientiane and Hanoi as venues for negotiations on the re-establishment 
of ties, the source said. 
A Burmese delegation quietly visited Pyongyang a few days ago to prepare 
for the normalisation of relations, he added. 
Burma is the only Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member 
that has no official relationship with Pyongyang. The Philippines 
established ties with North Korea in July. 
Rangoon severed links with Pyongyang on November 4, 1983 after a 
dramatic but unsuccessful attempt by North Korean agents to assassinate 
then SouthKorean president Chun Doo-hwan by detonating a bomb at the 
Aung San Mausoleum. The attack killed 21 people, including four South 
Korean cabinet ministers, and 
injured 46. 
But after Burma became an Asean member in 1997, Pyongyang launched a 
series of diplomatic overtures urging the group and China to persuade 
Rangoon to reconcile. Rangoon has insisted that Pyongyang acknowledge 
its terrorist actand issue an official apology. 
However, Rangoon's attitude began to soften in the wake of the historic 
North-South Korean Summit in June and after Pyongyang became a member of 
the Asean Regional Forum on security the following month. Contacts and 
negotiations  between both sides subsequently began to increase. 
A Western diplomat based in Rangoon said the two countries had for years 
been trading with each other despite the diplomatic stalemate. In 1995, 
North Korea dispatched a delegation to Burma to negotiate a rice 
purchase toalleviate its severe food shortage after Thailand cut off 
rice supplies due toPyongyang's failure to repay a long-overdue 
$94-million (Bt4.09 billion) rice debt. 
"Pyongyang hoped the economic relations through this 'rice diplomacy' 
would help improve its long-lost relations with Burma," he added.


The Nation: Asean leaders close ranks to support Burma

Nov 25, 2000.

SINGAPORE - The 10 Asean leaders yesterday closed ranks in support of 
Burma's membership, agreeing on a policy that tells outside countries 
meetings with the group to "take all 10 of us or none at all". 
The new policy meant that if one Asean member was not invited to a 
meeting, then no meeting would occur, said Foreign Ministry spokesman 
Don Pramudwinai. 

The new approach was decided at the first gathering of the 10 Asean 
heads of state for an informal summit being held here, Don said, 
declining to namethe leader who suggested it. 
"The leaders endorsed a new approach that says, 'We come in as a group 
and should be accepted as a group'," he told reporters after the 
The move toward such a policy, Don said, was motivated by the Asean 
leaders' desire to demonstrate unity in their joint efforts and increase 
the group's bargaining power in its negotiations with non-Asean 
Asean comprises Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, 
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. 
In the past, Western communities have usually banned Burma from any 
assistance or participation in meetings, due to the dictatorship of 
country's military junta, its acceptance of forced labour and its dismal 
human-rights record. Asean, meanwhile, has strongly supported Burma. 
One sign of the shifting attitude can be seen in the recent developments 
surrounding the Asean-Europe Ministerial meeting, which had been 
postponed for

more than two years with Burma at the centre of controversy. 
The meeting, which is finally to be held in Vientiane, is now caught in 
dilemma caused by the EU's displeasure with Burma. 
The Asean leaders who gathered yesterday also agreed to push for some 
Asean members that have not yet been admitted to international groupings 
such as the

Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 
(Apec), to join those groups as soon as possible. 
Cambodia, Laos and Burma, for example, have not yet joined Apec. 
The leaders also agreed that each Asean member would have to strengthen 
itself before the group could present a strong, collective front. 
This, they agreed, is no small challenge, given the continuing impact of 
the economic crisis through much of the region. 
Identifying the challenges facing Asean, the summit said the grouping 
should take measures to bridge the gap between new Asean members (Burma, 
Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam) and old ones, narrowing the differences in 
areas such as human-resource development. 
>From now on, the Asean grouping must take a wider view of regional 
problems, so that such gaps could be filled sooner, Don said. 
To strengthen the grouping, transportation linkages should be made 
combining roads, railways and sea routes, so that all Asean countries 
and their people have the means to communicate with one another. The 
transportation linkages would also open access to trade, markets, 
business and investment for

new Asean members. 
Cultural ties should also be strengthened, the leaders agreed. To this 
end, they decided to join forces in conducting such events as Asean 
Cultural Week,an idea proposed by Vietnamese leader Pham Van Khai, who 
also offered to host it for the first year. 
Besides these, Asean is considering joint events such as a road show and 
trade fair to showcase the members' trade and cultures to other 

The spokesman added that Burma expressed a need for more investment, and 
that if other countries weren't willing to help, then Asean members 
should step forward. 
The leaders began the summit with a "retreat meeting" at which no 
translators or foreign ministers were present. 



The Hindu Newspaper (New-Delhi) 
Date: Friday, November 24, 2000 

By ROLLING OUT the red carpet to the Myanmar military 
junta's senior leader, Gen. Maung Aye, the Vajpayee 
Government has signalled an uncalled for warmth in 
relations with Myanmar but the rationale for such an 
enthusiastic gesture is not really clear. It is a 
reversal of a long-standing policy of supporting the 
forces of democracy in a land that has suffered most 
of its independent years under one military junta 
another. There might be some merit in keeping any 
regime in Yangon engaged rather than ostracising it, 
particularly since sanctions have tended to penalise 
the innocent civilians without really hurting the 
repressive regimes against which they are directed. 
Yangon's cooperation in tackling insurgency in the 
North-East and stepping up security along the vital 
sea lanes and its role as a gateway to the Southeast 
Asian region have been cited for the initiative to 
step up cooperation with the regime. New Delhi had by 
the mid-1990s recognised these and begun to engage the 
junta, also mindful of the reality that other powers 
have been more than willing to fill the vacuum in a 
strategically vital nighbourhood. 

The pursuit of the national interest should not 
however come at the cost of the basic principles for 
which the country. For, whatever the merits of the 
change of the policy direction, the cozying up to the 
military regime in Yangon is bound to have the effect 
of undermining the valiant struggle the Nobel 
laureate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, has been waging under 
extraordinarily trying circumstances in Myanmar. 
New-Delhi had been one of the staunchest supporters of 
the decades-long democracy movement in Yanmar led by 
Ms. Suu Kyi. After a brief respite, she is again under 
house arrest. But the junta has failed to break her 
spirit or silence the voice of protest despite 
feverish attempts. In its efforts to gain global 
legitimacy, the regime won a major victory when the 
ASEAN granted it membership after a long internal 
debate. The current eagerly sought endorsement from 
New-Delhi would unfortunately reinforce that 
legitimacy but comes at an inauspicious time, close on 
the heels of a major defeat suffered at the 
International Labour Oganisation which has decided to 
impose sanctions. 

The decision to embrace Gen. Maung also exposes New 
Delhi's doublespeak. Hardly six months ago, the 
country's representatives had argued vehemently at the 
forum of the Non-Aligned Movement for expulsion of 
military regimes that had seized power by ousting 
democratic governments. The target then was Pakistan. 
What was-and continues to be - applicable to the 
neighbour to the west is apparently not thought 
applicable to the newfound friend in the strategic 
east. Here is a junta that has defied international 
opinion by continuing its repressive measures. Instead 
of legitimising the regime, New-Delhi must redouble 
the effort to help Myanmar return to democratic rule 
society that observes the rule of law and not by 
courting a repressive regime. Any 
engagement of Yangon must have but one goal: lessen 
the military's hold on the country towards democracy. 


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