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The BurmaNet News, August 20, 1997

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------     
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"     
The BurmaNet News: August 20, 1997        
Issue #801

Noted in Passing:

"This is a political game. I would never agree to go home. The Burmese
officials have said they will guarantee my safety but how can I believe them?"

--San Naing, Burmese prisoner in Thailand 


August 14, 1997 [translated from Burmese]

Rtd. Maj. Maung Maung Myint of the National League for Democracy
[NLD], an elected member of the People's Assembly in Meiktila Township
Constituency-1, Mandalay Division during the Multiparty Democratic General
Elections, citing old age, poor health, and his desire not to engage in
party politics any more, has submitted his resignation of his own volition
to withdraw as an elected representative.
The Multiparty Democratic General Election Commission has accepted the
resignation effective today in accordance with Section 11, Subsection E of
the People's Assembly Election Law.


August 19, 1997 [abridged]

RANGOON, Aug. 19 (Reuter) - A Japanese Foreign Ministry official met top
Burmese military leaders and urged the government to continue talking with
the democracy party led by Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, a
Japanese embassy source said on Tuesday. 

The source said Masahiko Koumura, Japan's State Secretary for Foreign
Affairs, met Burma's top military intelligence official, Lieutenant General
Khin Nyunt, on Monday. 

``Mr Koumura expressed Japan's appreciation of Secretary One's (Khin Nyunt)
meeting with National League for Democracy (NLD) chairman U Aung Shwe in
July and urged him to continue such meetings,'' the source said. 

He also said Koumura suggested the NLD should be included in the
constitution drafting process. 

Aung Shwe and Khin Nyunt had an unprecedented meeting last month where the
two sides discussed various issues, a government official said. 

He said further talks might be held. 

Koumura, who arrived in Rangoon on August 17, is due to leave Burma on


August 19, 1997 [abridged]

Bangkok: Myanmar's military government has sentenced three members of
Aung San Suu Kyi's family to 10 years in prison, bringing the total
number of her relatives in jail to four, a government press release said
on Monday.

Cho Aung Than and Nge Ma Ma Than are cousins to Suu Kyi, and Myint Swe is
married to Nge Ma Ma Than.

Also sentenced to life in prison for treason plus 10 years on the same
charges as the other was Myo Aung Thant, a member of the Federation of
Trade Unions of Burma, an underground labour group. Khin Nyunt said he
was plotting bomb attacks in Yangon.

Cho Aung Than served as Suu Kyi's personal secretary, taking after the
arrest of Aye Win, another cousin of Suu Kyi, in May 1996.

Aye Win, who is the son of one of Myanmar's independence martyrs, Ba
Win, never been charged with a crime. Nonetheless, he has been held in
Insein prison ever since.

Observers in Yangon said the arrest of the four relatives were an
attempt by the military government to increase pressure on Suu Kyi by
targeting members of her family.

Aye Win never spoke about politics with visiting journalists, but merely
handled Suu Kyi's appointments. He said he had been reluctant to take
the job, but did so as a family obligation.

Neither Myint Swe nor Nge Ma Ma Than were frequent visitors to Suu Kyi's
compound, and observers in Yangon found their arrests surprising.

Because of the government's wide network of spies and informers, Suu Kyi
trust few outsiders to work closely with her on a daily basis. Family
members frequently come into the compound to bring her meals and care
for her.

Another of Suu Kyi's cousins, Sein Win, lives in exile and heads the
National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), the
country's government in exile.

The NCGUB is composed of members of parliament who won office in the
1990 election the military refused to honour. The military government
considers Sein Win a terrorist. (AP)


August 19, 1997

Dhaka, Aug. 18: The United Nations refugee agency on Monday said it was
faced with a fund crisis in Bangladesh as donors were wary over the end to
the nearly six-year-old Burmese Muslim refugee problem.

"The donors are not in a position to continue funding indefinitely and
it appears a solution to the problem was uncertain," a spokeswomen for
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said. "We are not going
anywhere, but instead of the annual budget we used to have here, from now on
it will be on a month-to-month basis," she said.

The UNHCR has spent millions of dollars since 1991 to house refugees,
called Rohingyas, and provide basic necessities along with the Dhaka government.

Repatriation of some 7,000 of the 21,000 Burmese Muslim refugees became
uncertain after the expiry of the August 15 deadline set by Rangoon,
officials here said the repatriation, which started July 20, was
stalled by violent protests by the Burmese refugees after 400 of them
were sent home. The refugees claim they face persecution by Burma's
military regime.

The government suspended the repatriation after the violence and has
started what it calls a "motivation programme" to encourage them to
return voluntarily.

During the aborted July repatriation, some 25 people, mostly refugees, were
wounded in police action and in-fighting between those who wanted to stay
and those to be repatriated.

In Geneva, The UNHCR earlier said there "are signs of intimidation within
the camp," while Dhaka newspaper reported that armed Rohingyas were
"very active" in stopping the repatriation. (AFP)


August 19, 1997
Nussara Sawatsawang

Prisoner tells of cell visits by Slorc men

A Burmese prisoner accused of involvement in an attempt to assassinate the
ruling junta's intelligence chief appealed to the government yesterday not
to send him back to Rangoon.

San Naing made his appeal from Bangkok Special Prison amid concerns the
government is under pressure to hand him over to repay Rangoon for returning
drug fugitive Li Yun-chung.

Sources said Burmese authorities had used military channels soon after Li's
handover in May to request the return of San Naing, or Ye Thi Ha.

San Naing said: "This is a political game. I would never agree to go home.
The Burmese officials have said they will guarantee my safety but how can I
believe them?

"I want to request the Thai government to protect me," said the 28-year old
Burmese, who will soon complete a four-year term here for possessing firearms.

San Naing, has been accused by the State Law and Order Restoration Council
of involvement in a 1993 attempt to kill, by suicide bomb, Lt-Gen Khin
Nyunt, First Secretary of Slorc and its intelligence chief.

Just weeks after Li Yun-chung was returned to Thailand during Prime Minister
Chavalit Yongchaiyudh's visit to Rangoon in May, Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt named San
Naing as the mastermind of the attempt on his life.

Earlier reports have suggested San Naing might be repatriated this month in
exchange for the release of some 100 Thais, most of them fishermen, held in

A National Security Council source said Thailand was not obliged to
repatriate San Naing because there is no extradition treaty with Burma.

'Thailand is not supposed to send anyone to a country where their safety
could be at risk,' he said of San Naing, who is seeking the protection of
the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

San Naing said Burmese officials had visited him four times in June and July
and had tried to persuade him to go home. During the last visit, the
officials - an army colonel and an intelligence officer - showed San Naing
videotapes and pictures of his parents crying.

They also took photographs of him without giving reasons, said San Naing,
who did not name the colonel and the intelligence officer, who were brought
to him by NSC officials.

San Naing was first arrested in Thailand in 1989 with Ye Yint, another young
Burmese, for hijacking a Fokker-28 from Burma to U-Tapao. After their
release in 1991, Ye Yint settled in the United States.

In 1993, San Naing was arrested on charges of possessing weapons and jailed.
His term is due to expire in December.

But the NSC source said that San Naing could be detained longer under an
illegal entry charge, or resettled in a third country as a refugee, or sent
back to Burma on a voluntary basis.

Under international law, Rangoon should not punish San Naing on a criminal
charge for which he has been penalised in another country, a Foreign
Ministry official said.

Forum-Asia, a non-governmental organisation trying to promote human rights
in Southeast Asia, was concerned about his safety.

It would appeal against his repatriation in an open letter it plans to
submit to the prime minister, said Chalida Tojaroensuk, the NGO's programme


August 18, 1997


                    Burmese Democratic Forces in India
                          Phone : 0091 11 3017172
                          Fax   : 0091 11 3793397
                            M E M O R A N D U M

Hon'ble Prime Minister
Government of Royal Thailand

Through / Ambassador
          Royal Thailand Embassy
          New Delhi

                                   Date : 18th August, 1997
His Excellency Prime Minister,

We, Burmese democratic forces in India, express our anguish and
disappointment  on the  reported plan  of Thai Government to hand over Mr.
San Naing (a) Ye Thi Ha to the military government in Burma.  Mr.  San Naing
was a student leader  who actively participated in  the 1988 nation- wide
uprising in Burma.  He left for the Thai-Burma border after
the  1988 September Coup  to continue the  struggle for the restoration  of
democracy in  Burma.  He was  involved in a non-violent  hijacking  episode
of a  Burmese  airplane to Bangkok  in 1989 to draw the international
attention to the struggle  of Burmese people.   He was arrested  by the Thai
police and served his jail term in Thailand.  However,  he was arrested
again for his alleged crime in a plan to assassinate Burmese generals in
1995.  Since that time, he has been in Bangkok Jail.

We came to know from our informed sources that the Thai Government  is
planning to hand over  Mr. San Naing to the Burmese military junta in an
exchange for 50 Thai fishermen who are being jailed in Burma.  In  June
1997, a Burmese military colonel, namely Soe Thein, along with some military
officials  from Thai National Security Council came and met
Mr  San Naing in the jail and put him under pressure to come back to Burma
and surrender to the authorities of Burma. Mr. San Naing refused to
surrender to the pressure.  He will be immediately jailed if he goes back to
Burma. And his life is in danger.

Therefore, we strongly condemn the Thai Government if the news of
deportation is true. We, Burmese democratic forces in India, request the
Thai Government :

1)  Not to hand over Mr.  San Naing to the Burmese military government
2) To issue a statement on the whereabouts of Mr. San Naing
3) To provide political asylum to Mr. San Naing and all the Burmese
political activists in Thailand


Burmese Pro-democracy activists in India

|  A  B  S  L                         |
|  All Burma Students League          |
|  3, Krishna Menon Marg              |
|  New Delhi - 110011                 |
|  Ph    : 91-11-3017172/3016035      |
|  Fx    : 91-11-3793397              |
|  Email : shar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx   |


August 18, 1997

Huay Kaloke (Wang Kha) refugee camp located a few kilometers north of 
Mae Sot used to be the most accessible of the refugee camps.  In the recent
months it has become the strictest of the camps.  New rules and regulations
have been put into place by the Thai authorities which are stricter than any
before. The lack of leadership from the established Karen leaders has made
many of the people lose faith in them.  It is commonly felt that the
leadership is not standing up enough to the Thai authorities.  Objections
raised by the camp residents to their leaders about Thai regulations are
commonly met with the response that as the Karen are guests in Thailand 
then they should stay quietly and accept whatever the Thais do.  Although 
they do not wish to return to Burma until they feel safe, they are beginning 
to question whether Thailand is any safer.  This report details some of the
problems which the refugees in Huay Kaloke have to face.


Rent from the camp residents
The Thai owner of the land on which Huay Kaloke refugee camp sits has
required for some time that the residents pay him rent for the land.  This
has had to be covered by the refugees themselves, without any assistance
from NGO's or Karen organizations. Huay Kaloke is the only Karen 
refugee camp which has to pay this tax.  Until last year, the rent was 100 
Baht for the year, then it was raised to 25 Baht a month.  Following the 
DKBA-Burmese raid on the camp, and while the people were still living 
under plastic sheeting in the surrounding rice fields, the landowner raised 
the rent to 30 Baht a month.  Once the houses had been rebuilt, he raised 
the rent to 50 Baht per month.  Originally there was an option, that if a 
household could not pay the 50 Baht, then they could work in  the 
landowner's rice fields one day out of the month (providing their own food, 
tools, and transport). So many people chose this option, he then
announced that this was not an option anymore and that everyone would 
have to pay the 50 Baht.  For many people, this tax is too high.  For the 
elderly, and families where the major breadwinner is absent or already dead,
it is almost impossible to pay.  In many instances, neighbours with a bit
more money have been helping those less fortunate.

Rent from the market residents.
The landowner requires that the residents of the market pay 200 Baht each
month for rent.  The general belief is that those that sell things in the
market are rich.  Until recently, aid agencies did not provide them with any
aid, because that it was felt that they earned enough from selling goods to
cover food and other costs for themselves.  The reality is that while this
may have been true in the past, it no longer is.  Many of these people had
quite a bit of money when they were traders on the Burma side, but after
being burned out by the Burmese army at Old Wang Kha, then New Wang 
Kha, to Kaw Moo Rah, then on the Thai side at Wang Kaew, an accidental 
fire in Huay Kaloke a year ago, and then most recently in the 
DKBA/Burmese attack of 28 January, the shopkeepers are deep in debt.  
The goods which are sold in their shops are all on consignment from the 
Thailand Chinese wholesalers in Mae Sot.  Every time their shops are 
burned they must pay the wholesalers back for the lost merchandise; the 
way to do this is to sell more.  The shopkeepers now owe for at least two 
lost stocks plus their present stock. The shopkeepers are now no better off 
than the villagers, with some being worse off.  At 200 Baht, the size of the 
rent here is too much for most of the shopkeepers to bear, however if they 
don't have their shops, then they cannot repay their debts.

40 Baht security fees per month from each householder.
Camp residents are required to provide one person from each household in 
a section two times each months to provide security in the camp.  This is
supplemental to the Thai soldiers.  If a household cannot provide anybody
(and women are not accepted for this duty) then they must pay 20 Baht 
each time.  This money is collected by the section leaders and then given to 
the men who do stand security.  If a man falls asleep on this duty, he must 
pay a 50 Baht penalty to the Thai soldiers.

Rice fees.
When collecting the donated rice from the rice store, each house has to pay
4 Baht.  Previously this money was given to the KRC, but now it is not 
known who receives the money.  While not a lot of money in itself, when 
combined with the other fees, it becomes an extra burden.

Water fees
Previous to the DKBA/Burmese attack in January, the landowner collected 
a 200-300 Baht fee from people who had wells in the market.  These wells 
were not MSF wells and most were located in people's private homes.  
Neighbours often came to take water from these wells also for free rather 
than carry it from a distant stream.  Following the burning of the market, 
the landowner took the opportunity while people were not living at their 
houses and had refuse thrown into the wells in order to keep people from 
using them.  This was in the hope that the people would then be forced to 
buy water from him as the only other alternative is the stream.

In the 1996 dry season, the landowner had attempted this same thing with 
the village by filling in all of the wells which the residents had dug along 
the edges of the rice fields.  While many of these wells had been dug by the
refugees themselves, a few were MSF wells.  This attempt failed as there
were still other wells within the camp and also the stream, however, it did
make carrying water more difficult for many people.

Travel Pass fees.
Until recently, there had been a 10 Baht pass which was purchased from 
the Thai soldiers at the checkpoint in front of the camp.  The soldiers no
longer issue this pass, and now the refugees are required to pay a 10 Baht
fee at the checkpoint on the road going out of the Thai village of Huay
Kaloke on the way to Mae Sot.  This money is shared between the Aq Saw
soldiers manning the checkpoint and the songtaew driver.  This is in
addition to the 15 Baht fare to Mae Sot.  This puts a round trip to Mae Sot
at 40 Baht, making this trip very expensive for many people.

Rice Distribution
For most villagers, the rice distribution has continued as usual.  It is
given two times every month.  For new arrivals, on the other hand, the
situation is different.  They are not allowed to collect rice for the first
two months that they are in the camp.  This is perhaps an attempt by the
Thais to discourage the new arrivals from staying and any new refugees 
from coming.  In order to compensate for this, some rice is taken out of the
rations that are given to the people who are on the rice lists and given to
the new arrivals.  The result is that everyone's rations are cut.  The
residents of the market do not receive rice.  The Thai soldiers are also
given a rice ration from the rice which is donated to the camp.  They take
at least one big bag of rice at every rice delivery.

Access to the Camp.
Access to the camp has become very difficult.  Huay Kaloke came used to 
be visited quite often by foreigners and the residents were able to come and 
go as they liked.  The camp was even mentioned as a destination in a guide 
book to Thailand.  This has all changed now.  Foreigners are required to be 
on a registration list to enter the camp.

Refugees who do not have Huay Kaloke refugee registration cards are 
turned away.  In some respects this is good as it keeps down the number of 
people who don't believe in the camp and provides more security, however 
many people lost their cards when the camp was burned and as no new 
registration has been held, it is sometimes difficult for residents to gain 

The Thai security are nervous of foreigners who may be journalists as they
received some bad press in one of the English language newspapers 

Access to the camp is no longer in the hands of the district officials and
now lies with the military.  Foreigners who wish to enter the camp are 
asked by the soldiers at the checkpoint to go to the Border Patrol Police 
base in Mae Sot to ask permission.

The 19th of July is an important Buddhist holiday when many men ordain 
as monks for the rainy season.  This year Karen were not allowed to exit 
the camp to worship in the monasteries around Huay Kaloke, nor were 
people allowed in to worship at the monastery in the camp.

As of the 15th of July, the Thai traders who usually come into the camp in
the morning to sell vegetables, meats, and other products are no longer
allowed to enter.  The shopkeepers in the market are also not allowed to
leave the camp to replenish their stock.  The result is that it is going to
become increasingly difficult for people to buy essential items such as
charcoal, candles, cooking oil, etc. and to supplement their diets with
vegetables and meats which are not given by aid agencies.  The refugees 
are only given rice, salt, and fish paste, and the occasional one-off donation
of beans or oil.  Some of the refugees have small vegetables plots, but they
haven't born fruit yet and probably will not do so for some time yet.

Motorized vehicles are no longer allowed into the camp, except for those of
the Thai military and civil service, and the MSF team.  The vehicles of the
KRC are also not allowed to enter the camp.

A barbed wire fence is being built around the camp which will cut access
down to one entry and exit point when it is completed.  

Thai Soldiers:
The Thai security at Huay Kaloke camp consists of three 
checkpoints/military posts.  One of them is on the road at the village gate 
of the Thai village of Huay Kaloke.  It is manned by Aw Saw.  The second 
post is in the rice fields near the new Huay Bone section of the camp.  This 
one is manned by Border Patrol Police.  The third and main checkpoint is 
at the front of the camp where the line cars stop and the road goes into the 
camp.  This is a joint Border Patrol Police and Aw Saw checkpoint.  The 
Aw Saw used to have a fourth checkpoint at a side entrance near the camps 
monastery, but this was recently closed by barbed wire and the soldiers 
moved to the front checkpoint.  The BPP and the Aw Saw have separate 
accommodations. Their defensive works consisted of two unmanned 
wooden observation points and a one food deep by half a foot wide trench 
which surrounds their position on three sides.  Their positions are not 
sandbagged, and their weapons and equipment are not in easily accessible 
places.  Their posture is not one of readiness for an attack.  The soldiers do 
patrol through the camp and it is then that they feel the need to carry their 

Although it is necessary to have security, the refugees do not trust the
soldiers.  When the camp was burned, the Thai army had left the 
checkpoint unmanned and the Aw Saw on the road would not come out of 
their houses.  The Thai soldiers arrived after the fire department.  Most of 
the refugees feel that if the DKBA/Burmese come again that the Thais 
soldiers will run away.

There have some abuses of their authority, especially by the Aw Saw
troopers.  Residents have been asked at gunpoint to pay for entrance into
the camp.  One man was beaten and the tire on his cart slashed after he
refused to give water to the soldiers when they had already stopped him 
and taken his water on two previous trips that day.

A recent letter in one of the English newspapers related that the soldiers
had raped some of the women in the camp.  While this is untrue, on at 
least one occasion, a group of drunken soldiers requested that a Karen 
woman be provided for them by the Karen camp security.  When they were 
told no, they fired a rifle at the security man's feet.  They did later 
apologize for this incident.

Other Thai Regulations:
+  There are no longer any videos allowed into the camp, and all of the
video movie houses must close.

+  Telephones are no longer allowed into the camp.

+   A new pass arrangement will eventually replace the present one.

+  A new camp resident registration will take place and new cards will be
issue.  This has not yet happened.

+  All shops within the village portion of the camp will be required to
close.  The shops in the market are allowed to stay open as long as their
stocks last.  The shopkeepers are not allowed to leave the camp, so once
their stocks run out then they will have to close.

+  Thai soldiers will continue to patrol the camp day and night and will
enforce all of the rules.

+  If the soldiers see anyone or anything which they think is suspicious in
or around a house, then they will have the right to search throughout all of
the contents of the house.

+  The curfew will remain with all people inside from 8 PM until 6 am.
Lights must be out by 9 PM.  Entrance and exit from the camp is only from 
6 am until 6 PM.

+  Any distribution of aid items will be done by the Thai authorities.
NGO's Christian organizations and the KRC will not be able to distribute
things as they used to.

+  A fully itemized list of all donated items must be given to the Thai
authorities before any distribution of aid.


August 19, 1997 [abridged]

(1)             Chief of Staff (Army) of Armed Forces of Bangladesh Arrives
                At the invitation of Chief of Bureau of Special Operations and
Chief of Staff (Army) Lt. Gen. Tin Oo, Chief of Staff (Army) of the Armed
Forces of People's Republic of Bangladesh Maj. Gen. Mohammad Anwar Hossain
and party arrived Yangon by air for a goodwill visit.


(A)             Secretary (1)  of the State Law and Order Restoration
Council Lt.Gen. Khin Nyunt received State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of
Japan Mr. Masahiko Koumura and party at Dagon Yeiktha of the Ministry of

(B)             Secretary of Myanmar Investment Commission Brig. Gen. Maung
Maung received Director of South-East Asia Division, Ministry of Finance in
Paris Mr. Federic Mey  at Myanmar Investment Commission Office.


August 14, 1997 [translated from Burmese, abridged]
by Yarzar Kyaw 

The teacher called my wife last night in a panic inquiring about the Kyat
500 note rumors.  She was very worried as she only had about Kyat 10,000 in
Kyat 500 notes in her possession.  She would be in dire straits if she
could not use those notes.  
They were very much relieved when the official announcement said the
next day in the newspapers, radio, and television that Kyat 500 notes would
not be withdrawn from circulation.  However, by the time their fears
subsided the speculators had earned their money and some people were
In his address at the opening session of the special refresher course
No. 28 for the teachers on 24 July, Secretary-1 Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt
explained that minions of the imperialists are resorting to various means
to cause hardship and suffering among the people.  He said "It has been
found that unscrupulous persons have devised a strategy of spreading rumors
to cause monetary instability, public panic, and fluctuation of commodity
That is true.
In recent days, unscrupulous persons and professional rumor mongers
have been brazenly spreading different rumors each day. Because of these
rumors the value of FECs [foreign exchange certificates] shot up to a new
high and the price of the dollar and imported goods as well as locally
produced goods also shot up.
Rumors were spread to undermine the faith in FECs and Kyat 200 and 500
notes.  Rumors, which are like verbal bombs, caused the price of gold,
land, houses, and cars to shoot up.  Even tricycle fares and vegetables
went up.
The general public was in distress and panic and had to pay exorbitant
prices.  Meanwhile, the prices which had shot up did not come down.
Who is the culprit?
We must look at the real culprit.
It has become necessary for the general public to become aware of the
old and new strategies of the unscrupulous persons.
No matter how many rumors are circulated, if the people do not believe
in them nothing will happen.  If the people do not accept the rumors, no
one can hike prices.  If there are no buyers then prices are bound to fall.
Producers of rumors and professional rumor mongers are the ones who do
not believe in rumors.  
Opposition politicians and selfish seekers of fortune do not desire
stability in the country.  Politicians like instability in the country,
while self-seekers find it favorable to exploit public panic.  These two
classes are working in coordination in an unprecedented manner.  The
general public must be aware of this fact.
National traitors, under the guise of democracy, are producing
subversive rumors to create instability in the country.  The greedy
self-seekers exploit these rumors to raise the prices of commodities. 
Myanmar under the socialist economy system took hidden blows from
black marketeers.  But nothing happened.  Now, under the market economy, it
is taking both hidden and open blows.  But nothing can happen as it now has
solid economic fundamentals and good friends.
Although the country cannot be affected we must be aware of who the
culprits are so that we will not be deceived again.
So let me give this sincere reminder.
There are many internal traitorous destructionists.
There are those trying to destabilize the situation in the country
while the opportunists wait in readiness like wild cats and tigers.
There are professional rumor mongers.


August 18, 1997

EXTERNAL  AI Index: ASA 16/25/97

                                                             18 August 1997

Further information on UA 187/97 (ASA 16/19/97, 24 June 1997) and
follow-ups (ASA 16/21/97, 11 July; ASA 16/23/97, 22 July) - Fear for safety/
Fear of ill-treatment

MYANMAR        U Shwe Myint Aung, alias Myint Swe
               Daw Khin Ma Than, alias Nge Ma Ma Than (f)
               Cho Aung Than
               U Myo Aung Thant
               U Khin Kyaw
               Khin Maung Win alias Ko Sunny

U Shwe Myint Aung, also known as Myint Swe, was not released as reported in
the previous update to this Urgent Action (ASA 16/23/97, 22 July).  He, his
wife Daw Khin Ma Than, also known as Nge Ma Ma Than, and her brother Cho
Aung Than were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on 15 August at a court
inside Insein Prison, Myanmar largest detention facility. Cho Aung Than and
Daw Khin Ma Than are first cousins of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

All three received a three-year sentence under the Unlawful Associations
Act and a seven-year sentence under the Emergency Provisions Act. The
broadly-worded provisions of these two laws are often used by the military
authorities to hand down long terms of imprisonment for peaceful political
activity. U Myo Aung Thant also received the same sentence in addition to a
sentence of life imprisonment for high treason. He was accused by the
authorities of attempting to bring explosives into Myanmar from Thailand.
There is no further information about the status or whereabouts of Khin
Maung Win alias Ko Sunny and U Khin Kyaw.

Amnesty International has no further details about their trial, but fears
that the four may have been tortured or ill-treated during their pre-trial
interrogation. Trials of political prisoners in Myanmar fall far short of
international fair trial standards.  Prisoners are seldom allowed legal
counsel and trials are normally conducted in closed session. Amnesty
International is also concerned about the state of their health and the
conditions of their imprisonment.


On 23 July 1997 Myanmar was formally admitted into the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia,
amid widespread protests from Asian human rights groups. The long terms of
imprisonment recently handed down to Myint Swe, Nge Ma Ma Than, Cho Aung
Than and U Myo Thant belie ASEAN hopes that Myanmar would improve its human
rights record after it was admitted to the regional grouping.  The other
ASEAN countries are: Thailand, Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Singapore, Laos,
Vietnam and the Philippines.

FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please write one final letter to the Myanmar
authorities expressing your concern about the health of Myint Swe, Nge Ma Ma
Than, Cho Aung Than, and U Myo Thant. Also express concern that they may not
have received fair trials.  This action will then close and the case will be
transferred to other AI Networks.


Senior General Than Shwe, Chairman
State Law and Order Restoration Council
c/p Director of Defence Services Intelligence (DDSI)
Ministry of Defence, Signal Pagoda Road
Dagon Post Office
Union of Myanmar
Salutation: Dear General

Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, Secretary 1
State Law and Order Restoration Council
c/o Director of Defense Services Intelligence (DDSI)
Ministry of Defence, Signal Pagoda Road
Dagon Post Office
Union of Myanmar
Salutation: Dear Lieutenant General

COPIES TO: diplomatic representatives of MYANMAR accredited to your

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 1 October 1997.


August 19, 1997


Leslie Kean of the Burma Project USA is seeking a photograph of Lo 
Hsing Han and/or his son Steven Law for use in an article for The 
Nation (US weekly magazine). The magazine will pay for their use and 
credit as requested. If anyone has such photos or knows where to locate 
them, please contact me at burmausa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx We've been searching the
wire services, agencies and newspapers the world over with no luck. We need
your help for this important part of an upcoming feature 
article. The photo may even end up on the cover. Thank you very much.  


August 17, 1997

Dear friends,

        Letters to a dictator, a collection of correspondence from NLD
Chairman Aung Shwe to the SLORC's Senior General Than Shwe, published by the
All Burma Students' Democratic Front, is now available in Australia.

Title: Letters to a dictator 
Price: AU$ 15
Contact:San Lin (ABSDF)Tel Fax:02-9718 6615
        Mahn Htun (ABSDF)02-9897 7708

Visit ABSDF (Australia) homepage at


August 19, 1997

The first agitating successful Democratic Burmese Program on the Internet.
Dear friends, 

Radio Free Burma is an independent of any political, social or welfare 
organization  in Australia or Overseas. The program is solely for the
benefit of  its  listeners in Australia and Overseas.
The 17th  August 97 program of the  Radio Free Burma  originally on 2NBC  in
Australia, is now available for real-time playback via Real Audio from Burma
Song at <http://users.imagiware.com/wtongue> This is a Burmese-language
program featuring Burma news, U Thaung's article, views and music of  Burma
presented  by Burmese now living in Australia. It will be  appreciated  any
suggestion  about program, Please sends  E-mail  to (ausgeo@xxxxxxx ).  Many
thanks to Mr. Wrightson Tongue ,Burma Net and all listeners.
Radio Free Burma 	<http://users.imagiware.com/wtongue>