United Nations

A/50/568


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

16 October 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


Fiftieth session
Agenda item 112 (c)


HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS:  HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATIONS AND REPORTS
OF SPECIAL RAPPORTEURS AND REPRESENTATIVES

Situation of human rights in Myanmar

Note by the Secretary-General


  The  Secretary-General has the  honour to  transmit to the  members of the
General  Assembly the interim  report prepared  by Mr.  Yozo Yokota, Special
Rapporteur of  the Commission  on Human  Rights on  the  situation of  human
rights in Myanmar, in accordance with  Commission on Human Rights resolution
1995/72  of 8 March 1995,  and Economic and Social Council decision 1995/283
of 25 July 1995.
























95-31222 (E)   301095/...
*9531222*
ANNEX

          Interim report prepared by Mr. Yozo Yokota, Special Rapporteur
          of the Commission on Human Rights on the situation of human
          rights in Myanmar, in accordance with Commission on Human
          Rights resolution 1995/72 of 8 March 1995 and Economic and
Social Commission decision 1995/283 of 25 July 1995


CONTENTS

  Paragraphs  Page

I.  INTRODUCTION ..........................................1 - 53

II.  PROPOSED VISITS TO MYANMAR BY THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ..6 - 113

III.  MEMORANDUM OF ALLEGATIONS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF MYANMAR  127

IV.  RESPONSE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MYANMAR TO THE MEMORANDUM
  OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR..............................13 - 1422



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A/50/568
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I.  INTRODUCTION


1.   On 8  March 1995, at its  fifty-first session, the Commission  on Human
Rights adopted  without a  vote resolution  1995/72  entitled "Situation  of
human  rights  in  Myanmar".    In  paragraph  23  of  the  resolution,  the
Commission  decided to  extend  for one  year  the mandate  of  the  Special
Rapporteur to establish or continue direct  contacts with the Government and
people of  Myanmar, including political  leaders deprived  of their liberty,
their  families and their  lawyers and  requested the  Special Rapporteur to
report  to  the  General  Assembly  at  its  fiftieth  session  and  to  the
Commission  on  Human Rights  at  its  fifty-second  session.   The  present
report,  which constitutes a  preliminary report  by the Special Rapporteur,
is being presented in accordance with that request.  A final report will  be
submitted to the Commission on Human Rights at its fifty-second session.

2.   In  the  same  resolution, the  Commission,  inter alia:    noted  with
particular concern  that the electoral process  initiated in  Myanmar by the
general  elections  of 27  May  1990 had  not  yet reached  its  conclusion;
deplored  the  fact  that  political  leaders  remained  deprived  of  their
liberty,  in  particular  elected  representatives  and  Nobel  Peace  Prize
laureate  Daw  Aung  San  Suu  Kyi;  expressed  its  grave  concern  at  the
violations  of   human  rights,   which  remained   extremely  serious,   in
particular,  the practice  of  torture, summary  and  arbitrary  executions,
forced labour, including forced portering for  the military, abuse of women,
politically motivated arrests and detention, forced displacement,  important
restrictions  on  the  freedoms  of  expression  and  association,  and  the
imposition of oppressive measures directed at ethnic  and religious minority
groups; and expressed its concern about  the continuous problems created  in
neighbouring countries  by the  continuous flows  of refugees from  Myanmar.
The Commission also expressed its grave  concern over the offensive  against
the Karen National Union, Burmese  student activists and other groups of the
political opposition.

3.  In addition to the  above, the Commission took note of the fact that the
Government of Myanmar:  had acceded to the  Geneva Conventions of 12  August

1949;  had  withdrawn several  reservations it  had  entered concerning  the
Convention on  the Rights of the  Child; had  observed cease-fire agreements
with  ethnic groups; had freed a certain number  of political prisoners; and
had received the Special Rapporteur for a visit to Myanmar.

4.   On  25 July  1995,  the Economic  and Social  Council, in  its decision
1995/283, approved Commission resolution 1995/72.

5.  The present preliminary report is submitted to  the Secretary-General of
the United  Nations for dissemination  to all States  Members of the  United
Nations.


II.  PROPOSED VISITS TO MYANMAR BY THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR

6.  On  19 July 1995, following the lifting of restrictions against Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi,  the Special Rapporteur  addressed the following letter  to the
Government of  Myanmar requesting a  visit to the  country in  order to meet
with her:

  "I  have the  honour to  refer to  Commission on  Human Rights  resolution
1995/72 of  8 March 1995, by which  my mandate as  Special Rapporteur on the
situation of human rights in Myanmar was extended for a fourth year.

  "By  paragraph 23 of  resolution 1995/72,  the Commission  called upon the
Special  Rapporteur  'to establish  or  continue  direct  contacts with  the
Government and  people of Myanmar, including  political leaders deprived  of
their liberty'.   Paragraph 25 urged 'the Government of Myanmar to cooperate
fully and unreservedly with the Commission  and the Special Rapporteur  and,
to that end,  to ensure  that the  Special Rapporteur  effectively has  free
access to any person  in Myanmar whom he may deem appropriate to meet in the
performance of his mandate, including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi'.
  
  "Accordingly, I  would be most grateful  to continue  benefitting from the
cooperation of  your  Excellency's Government  so  that  I may  provide  the
General  Assembly and  the Commission  with  an accurate  and  comprehensive
assessment  of  the  situation  of economic,  social,  cultural,  civil  and
political rights in Myanmar.  In this regard, and given the recent  decision
of  your Government to lift the restrictions placed on Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi,
I  would wish to visit your country to meet with her.  On the same occasion,
I would welcome the opportunity to  have discussions with your  Government's
representatives.  This exceptional mission will  enhance the accuracy of  my
report to the General  Assembly, in which all the recent developments  could
be  reflected.    Specifically, and  keeping  in mind  the  schedule of  the
General Assembly, I would hope that your Government  would agree to my visit
from 21 to 25 August.

  "I wish  to note in this connection  that it would  remain my intention to
visit Myanmar for a lengthier period  in October 1995 as I have done in each
of the past few years.   I will address  this matter in greater detail in  a
future letter.

  "Hoping  that this would  be acceptable  to your  Excellency's Government,
let  me also  restate my  commitment to  accord full  consideration of  your
Government's  views and  that,  as  such, I  am at  your entire  disposal to
continue our dialogue about the situation of human rights in Myanmar."

7.   On 11 August  1995, the  Special Rapporteur received a  letter from the
Permanent Representative of Myanmar to the  United Nations Office at Geneva,
in which he communicated his Government's reservation to such a visit:

  "I have  the honour to refer to  your letter of 19 July 1995, addressed to
His  Excellency the Minister  for Foreign Affairs  of the  Union of Myanmar,
expressing  your desire  to  visit  Myanmar from  21  to 25  August 1995  in
accordance  with  the  provisions  contained in  resolution  1995/72  of the
Commission on Human Rights.

  "In this  connection, I  would  like to  inform you  that the  authorities
concerned in Yangon have  responded that it would be appropriate for you  to
journey to  Myanmar  at  a later  date  as had  been  the case  on  previous
occasions.

  "I trust that you  understand and plan to  undertake your trip  to Myanmar
at a later date this year as originally proposed by you."

8.   On  14  August 1995,  the Special  Rapporteur  addressed  the following
letter to  the Government  of Myanmar,  in which  he reiterated his  wish to
undertake a short visit to the Union of Myanmar in the course of August:

  "I  have the honour to refer to a letter addressed to me on 11 August 1995
by  your Permanent Representative in Geneva, Ambassador U  Aye, by which you
communicated  your  Government's  reservation of  my proposal  to  visit the
Union of Myanmar  between 21 and  25 August 1995.  As  Special Rapporteur on
the  situation of  human  rights in  Myanmar, I  would  like to  bring  your
Government's  attention on  the  necessity  for  me to  visit  the Union  of
Myanmar during these specific dates.

  "In the performance of my mandate, I have always endeavoured to  establish
direct contact with the  Government and people of Myanmar.  In this respect,
I  have never underestimated  the importance  of my having  direct access to
sources of  information, including  your Government's comments, in  order to
allow me  fully and  reliably to  discharge my  mandate in reporting  to the
States  Members of  the United  Nations  concerning  the situation  of human
rights in Myanmar.

  "In the  past years, my requests  to meet with Daw  Aung San  Suu Kyi were
consistently denied, despite  decisions of  the Commission  on Human  Rights
urging the  Myanmar Government  to cooperate  fully.   This year,  following
your Government's  decision to lift  the restriction to  which Daw Aung  San
Suu Kyi has been subject since 1989, I believe that it is  very important to
meet  with her  as  soon  as possible  to  discuss topics  pertaining to  my
mandate.  Such  a meeting is  also expected  by the international  community
and  a  summary  of the  discussions  would  therefore  be  published  in my
forthcoming report to the General Assembly.

  "In keeping with my commitment to  endeavour to accord full  consideration
to your Government's views on  the substantive issues raised  in my mandate,
including both general  and specific allegations of human rights  violations
by the Government of Myanmar, this visit could  also be a unique opportunity
for me  to  receive your  Government's  responses  and explanations  to  the
allegations of  human rights  violations received  by me in  the last  year.
These comments  will be  brought directly  to the  attention of the  General
Assembly during its forthcoming session.  

  "Keeping in mind the deadline for the submission  of my interim report  to
the General  Assembly (September  1995), a  visit to  Myanmar at the  end of
August may  be the only opportunity  to provide  the international community
with an accurate and comprehensive assessment  of the situation of economic,
social,  cultural, civil  and political  rights  in  Myanmar.   Indeed, this
exceptional  mission will strengthen  the accuracy  and the  actuality of my
report to the General Assembly.
    "In  view  of  the above,  I would  appreciate  the cooperation  of your
Government  in reconsidering the  dates proposed  by your  Government for my
visit to  Myanmar and  to allow  me to travel  for five  days as  originally
requested, i.e., 21 to 25 August 1995.

  "In anticipation  of receiving your  Government's response to this request
at  its  earliest  convenience,  and  hoping   that  it  may  be  positively
considered, I remain, yours sincerely."

9.  On 4  September 1995, observing that  no reply was forthcoming regarding
the Special  Rapporteur's proposal to visit  Myanmar in  August, the Special
Rapporteur addressed another letter to  the Government of Myanmar suggesting

other dates for his visit:

  "I have  the honour  to refer  to Commission  on  Human Rights  resolution
1995/72  of 8 March 1995  by which my  mandate as  Special Rapporteur on the
situation of  human rights in Myanmar  was extended for a  fourth year.   As
you may  be aware,  at  its most  recent  session  the Economic  and  Social
Council approved Commission resolution  1995/72 by its  decision 1995/283 of
25 July 1995.

  "In the performance of my mandate, I have always endeavoured to  establish
direct contact with the Government and people of Myanmar.  In this  respect,
I  have never underestimated  the importance  of my having  direct access to
sources of information, including  your Government's comments,  in order  to
allow me  fully and  reliably to discharge  my mandate in  reporting to  the
States  Members of  the United  Nations  concerning  the situation  of human
rights in Myanmar.

  "This year, following  your Government's decision to lift the  restriction
to which Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been subject since 1989,  I have requested
in a  letter addressed to  your Government on  19 July  1995 to  undertake a
short visit in August to meet with her.   In a letter addressed to  me on 11
August 1995  by your Permanent Representative  in Geneva,  Ambassador U Aye,
you communicated  your Government's reservation of  my original proposal  to
visit Myanmar  between 21  and 25  August  1995.   Instead, your  Government
expressed  its view that it would be more appropriate  for me to postpone my
visit to a later date.

  "Accordingly, I  would be most grateful  to continue  benefitting from the
cooperation of  your  Excellency's Government  so  that  I may  provide  the
Commission  and  the General  Assembly  with  an accurate  and comprehensive
assessment  of  the  situation of  economic,  social,  cultural,  civil, and
political rights in Myanmar in accordance  with the provisions contained  in
Commission on  Human  Rights resolution  1995/72.   In this  regard, and  in
keeping with  my commitment  to endeavour  to accord  full consideration  to
your Government's  views on  the substantive  issues raised  in my  mandate,
including both general  and specific allegations of human rights  violations
by the  Government of  Myanmar, I  would wish  to visit again  your country.
Specifically,  and keeping  in mind  the deadline for  the submission  of my
report to  the  Commission  on Human  Rights as  well  as your  Government's
suggestion,  I would hope  that your  Government would agree to  my visit at
about the  same time as it had  been the case during my previous visits; may
I suggest from 8 to 17 October 1995.

  "Hoping  that this would  be acceptable  to your  Excellency's Government,
let me  also restate  my  commitment to  accord full  consideration of  your
Government's  views and  that,  as  such, I  am at  your entire  disposal to
continue our dialogue about the situation of human rights in Myanmar."

10.  On 28 September 1995, in a letter from the Permanent Representative  of
Myanmar to the  United Nations Office at  Geneva, the Special Rapporteur was
informed that the proposed dates  for his visit had  been tentatively agreed
to.

11.  Since the Special Rapporteur intends to  visit Myanmar and Thailand  in
October, it is not  feasible to reach conclusions  for the present report on
the many allegations on  violations of human rights  that have been reported
to  him.  It  is  hoped  that   information  gathered  during  the   Special
Rapporteur's  visit, as well  as continued  dialogue with  the Government of
Myanmar,  will  facilitate  conclusions  to  be  included  in  the   Special
Rapporteur's comprehensive report to the Commission  on Human Rights at  its
fifty-second session.


III.  MEMORANDUM OF ALLEGATIONS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF MYANMAR

12.  By a  letter dated 5 September 1995 to the Minister for Foreign Affairs

of  Myanmar, the Special  Rapporteur transmitted the following memorandum of
allegations received  by him  of human  rights violations  reported to  have
occurred in Myanmar:


"A.  Summary or arbitrary execution

"1.   As  noted in  his report  to the  Commission  on  Human Rights  at its
fortyninth  session (E/CN.4/1993/37),  the Special  Rapporteur welcomed  the
fact that all death  sentences had been commuted to life imprisonment.  This
year the  Special  Rapporteur received  no  information  of an  explicit  or
systematic government policy encouraging summary killings.

"2.   However,  there  continued to  be  credible  reports  of instances  of
brutality  sometimes  resulting  in  the  killing of  civilians  by  Myanmar
military forces under a variety of circumstances.

"3.   In the  minority-dominated areas  where insurgencies  have been taking
place,  many of  the allegedly  killed were  civilians  who were  accused of
either  being insurgents  or collaborating  with insurgents.   The following
are examples of allegations received:

  "(a) A 25-year-old Mon labourer who  escaped from portering reported that,
on 8 April  1995, soldiers belonging  to Light  Infantry Battalion No.  403,
while coming  from the  Three Pagodas  Pass, entered  the  Kayin village  of
Kamon and shot and  killed four Kayin villagers on suspicion of being  Kayin
soldiers;

   "(b) On  3 May  1995, a  villager from  Bee T'Kaa  village was  allegedly
arrested and  subsequently executed by  soldiers belonging  to Battalion No.
230, under the command  of Kyaw Myint  Taun, upon accusation of helping  the
Kayin National Liberation Army.

"4.   Other reports  from non-governmental  sources have  described cases of
civilians who were  allegedly executed when  they resisted  becoming porters
for the army  or were  beaten to death  while being  used as  porters.   Two
examples are as follows:

  "(a)   On 3  November 1994,  a 25-year-old  man was  reportedly shot  when
fleeing  from troops belonging to  Infantry Battalion Nos.  62 and 31, under
the command of Captain Aye Min, coming to arrest villagers for portering  in
Kawgo village, Mon state;

  "(b)   In  March-April  1995, two  porters, aged  about  30 and  50  years
respectively, were  beaten to death by  soldiers belonging  to Battalion No.
104 for requesting water  after supplies had  been cut during a battle  near
Ka Neh Lay.

"5.   The army is also  reported to have executed  civilians for failure  to
provide services demanded.   These may include  labour, food, money or arms.
For example, at 8  p.m. on 11 September  1994, Local Infantry  Battalion No.
33, Infantry Battalion No. 27, Company  1 (Battalion Commander Chit  Thaung,
Second-in-Command  Zaw  Myint and  Company  1  Commander  Captain Win  Tint)
reportedly  entered Kyaun  See  village in  Mon  state and  opened  fire  on
villagers running away for  fear of being conscripted as porters.  Three men
(aged 18,  21 and  23 years respectively)  were reportedly arrested.   At  4
a.m., on 12 September 1994, the  21-year-old man was reportedly stabbed with
a knife in the throat.  It was reported that the 23-year-old man's nose  was
cut off, and that he was  stabbed in the  eyes and both ears.  The  18-year-
old  man's teeth and left arm were broken and the left  side of his face was
cut with a knife.  It was reported that the three men died in custody.

"6.    The   Special  Rapporteur  would  appreciate  receiving   information
describing  any investigations into  the above allegations undertaken by the
Government.  Please detail any steps taken internally by the military or  by
the civilian  authorities, legal  or otherwise,  to prevent  or curtail  the

occurrence  of extra-judicial  executions in  contravention of article  3 of
the Universal Declaration of  Human Rights and article 3 common to the  Four
Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949.  Please  indicate whether any military
personnel have  been tried and sentenced,  dismissed from  duty or otherwise
sanctioned  for their part  in any verified violations;  whether the Code of
Criminal  Procedure  provides for  sanctions  for  theses  violations,  what
remedies it may  provide for the relatives  of the victims  and if  any such
petitions have been brought and to what effect.


 "B.  Arbitrary arrest and detention

"7.  The Government of Myanmar  continued to release political  prisoners in
1995, although  the  exact numbers  could not  be  verified.   According  to
information  provided  by  the  Government  of Myanmar,  31  detainees  were
released from  various jails  on 15  March 1995  as a gesture  honouring the
Golden  Jubilee Armed  Forces Day.    The  Special Rapporteur  welcomed this
decision and  on  24  March  1995  addressed  the following  letter  to  the
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Myanmar:

  'In my  capacity as Special  Rapporteur, I welcome  the decision taken  by
the Myanmar  authorities to  release, on  15 March 1995,  31 detainees  from
various centres of detention in Myanmar.  I am particularly pleased to  note
that among these detainees were two  prominent political party leaders  from
the National League  for Democracy (NLD), U Kyi  Maung and U  Tin Oo, whom I
met  in Insein Prison during my  two previous visits to your country in 1993
and 1994.

  'As Special Rapporteur, I believe that the release of these persons is  an
encouraging step towards national reconciliation and the democratization  of
Myanmar.   In  this  connection, I  trust  that  their  release  is  without
condition.  I also hope  that this recent  decision will be followed in  the
near future by the unconditional release of all  other persons who remain in
detention on account of their opinions.'

"8.   However, the Special Rapporteur has continued  to receive reports from
reliable  sources indicating  that  Myanmar citizens  (especially  political
party leaders)  continue to  be subject  to restrictions  on their  liberty,
especially freedoms of expression and association.

"9.   According to  several reliable  sources, on  2 June  1995 the  Myanmar
authorities again  arrested  U Kyi  Maung,  a  retired Colonel  and  leading
spokesman  for NLD, who had  been freed on  15 March  1995 after having been
imprisoned  for  about  five  years.    It  is  further  reported  that  the
Government of Myanmar released  U Kyi Maung on  condition that he  would not
become involved  in any  political activity  or not  contact journalists  or
foreign diplomats.   It  was reported that  U Kyi Maung  had been placed  in
detention  shortly  after he  held  talks  with  the  British Ambassador  to
Myanmar.   According to information  received, U Kyi Maung was arrested with
the following persons:   U Tun Shwe  (a former diplomat), U Thu  Wai (former
Chairman  of  the  opposition  Democracy  Party, which  no  longer  exists),
Professor  Than  Hla (former  Rector  of  Yangon  University),  U Aye  Maung
(friend  of Professor  Than  Hla), U  Chit Tun  (former  journalist  for the
Financial  Times (London)  and  United  Press International  (UPI))  and  Ma
Theingi (former private secretary  to Daw Aung  San Suu Kyi).  According  to
information received by the Special Rapporteur,  Ma Theingi was released  on
3 June, U Chit Tun was released shortly thereafter, and  U Kyi Maung and the
others were released on 8 June 1995.  

"10. In  mid-June 1995, U Tun Shwe (a veteran politician), U Thu Wai (former
Chairman  of the  Democracy Party)  and U  Htwe Myint (Vice-Chairman  of the
Democracy Party) were rearrested and  taken to Insein Prison  where they are
said to  have  been sentenced,  during  a  summary  trial, to  seven  years'
imprisonment.  All three  had served prison terms of various duration in the
past for their  non-violent political activity.   The charges on which  they
were convicted are  not known, but  it was  reported that the three  men met

regularly with resident foreigners.

"11. In  addition  to the  above  allegations,  the Special  Rapporteur  has
received a list of 15 members of parliament  (MPs) still detained as of July
1995.  They are:

  U Ohn Kyaing, MP-elect for Mandalay South-east-2

  U Tin Htut, MP-elect for Einme-1

  U Win Hlaing, MP-elect for Tatkon-2

  U Saw Naing Naing, MP-elect for Pazundaung, Yangon

  U Tin Aung Aung, MP-elect for Manalay North-west-1

  Dr. Zaw Myint Aung, MP-elect for Amarapura-1

  Dr. Myint Aung, MP-elect for Latha

  Dr. Zaw Myint, MP-elect for Henzada-2

  U Mya Win, MP-elect for Ingapu-1

  U Hla Than, MP-elect for Coco Islands

  U Tin Soe, MP-elect for Kyauktada

  U Saw Win, MP-elect for Htilin

  U Hla Tun, MP-elect for Kyimyindine, Yangon

  U Khin Maung Swe (released on 1 May 1992, rearrested in August 1994)

  U Sein Hla Oo (released on 1 May 1992; rearrested in August 1994)

"12.  With  regard to  political  leaders  deprived  of  their liberty,  the
Special Rapporteur would appreciate the Government  providing a copy of  the
list of persons  in detention and  of those  released during  the course  of
1995,  indicating  which  among these  persons  were/are  active  members of
political parties and those who stood for the general elections of 1990.  

"13. Allegedly because of the high  level of intimidation discouraging  open
political activity, detention for public anti-government activities  appears
year after  year to be  less and less  frequent.   Nevertheless, the Special
Rapporteur  continues to  receive allegations.    For  example, it  has been
alleged that on 20 February 1995, during a march celebrating the funeral  of
former Prime Minister U Nu, around 50 young  activists were arrested.  Among
the  group, the Special  Rapporteur has received the  names of the following
persons:  Moe Kalayar  Oo, Aye Aye Moe, Yi Yi  Tun and Cho Nwe Oo (all  four
being female  students); Maung Maung  Oo (a  male student who  was allegedly
badly beaten  when he  was arrested  by the  military intelligence  agents);
Maung Maung Win (also known as  Mye-Latt); Moe Maung Maung; and Moe Myat Thu
(who is reportedly  a student aged 26 who was a close associate  of Daw Aung
San Suu  Kyi).   Moe Myat Thu  was reportedly arrested  on 20 July  1989 and
spent three years in  Insein Prison before being released on 27 April  1992.
It is alleged that he was badly beaten when he  was arrested by the military
intelligence  agents.   According to  several sources,  the  above-mentioned
persons may have chanted  slogans during the funeral, but did not engage  in
any violent activity. 

"14. Reports  from  various sources  continue  to  describe how  an  unknown
number  of  civilians  have  been  arrested  as  suspected  insurgents   (or
sympathizers  thereto)  and how  they  remain  detained in  the  countryside
prisons, especially  in the regions of  the country  with predominantly non-
Burman population.   On 20 March  1995, the following persons were allegedly

arrested at Tachilek:  Nang Han Ny from Murng Koo  village; Ai Mon from Nuam
Kham; I  Yi, along  with two  other  unidentified men  and two  unidentified
women.   In addition, information  has been received  concerning Ai  Yi Long
and Ai Long, who were reportedly arrested on  3 April 1995.  It  is reported
that  these persons  are  held  at No.  24  Intelligence Camp  near  Ba  Suk
Village,  where Battalion  No. 331  of the  State Law and  Order Restoration
Council's  army is based.   It  is further reported that  all those arrested
were injured upon arrest.  It is alleged that Ai Mon had one ear cut off  in
front of local people, that Ai Yi had  his nose cut and that Nang Han Ny was
beaten on the body.   Ai Yi Lung  and Ai Ling were  said to be  held at  the
local police  station under suspicion of involvement with the Mong Tai Army.
All those arrested are said to be civilians.

"15.  The  Special Rapporteur  would  appreciate  the  Government  providing
information regarding  the detained persons described above, their places of
detention, the formal charges  lodged against them,  the judicial guarantees
accorded  them before, during  and after  trial, the  sentences received and
whether  these persons  are allowed  regular  visits  by their  families and
legal counsel.  In addition, the  Special Rapporteur would appreciate  being
informed  of  all steps  taken  by the  Myanmar  authorities  to  ensure the
detained persons' rights to physical integrity.

"16.  The   Special  Rapporteur   welcomed  with   great  satisfaction   the
announcement, made on 10  July 1995, that restrictions  on Daw Aung  San Suu
Kyi had  been lifted by  the Government  of Myanmar  and that  she had  been
released.   Following this announcement,  the Special Rapporteur  addressed,
on 11 July 1995,  the following letter to  the Minister for  Foreign Affairs
of the Union of Myanmar:

  'I have the honour to address you in  my capacity as Special Rapporteur on
the situation of Human  Rights in Myanmar, appointed  by the Chairman of the
Commission on Human Rights, pursuant to its resolution 1995/72.
    'As  Special  Rapporteur,  I welcome  the announcement  made  by Myanmar
authorities, on  10 July  1995, to  release Daw  Aung San Suu  Kyi. In  this
connection, I  trust that her release  is without condition  and will enable
her fully  to enjoy  her liberty  and personal  freedom  in accordance  with
international human rights standards.

  'As Special Rapporteur,  I believe  that this decision  will be very  much
welcomed and appreciated by the international  community and could well form
a basis for  constructive dialogue  and wider  progress on  the question  of
human  rights in Myanmar.  I  also believe that  the release of Daw Aung San
Suu  Kyi  is  a  very  positive   and  encouraging  step  towards   national
reconciliation and democratization in Myanmar.

  'On this occasion, I would also like to express the  hope that this recent
decision will be followed  in the near future  by the unconditional  release
of all other persons who remain in detention on account of their opinions.'

"17. Since  his appointment  in 1992,  the Special  Rapporteur has  followed
very  closely the  case of  Daw Aung  San Suu  Kyi.   In this  context,  the
Special  Rapporteur has challenged  the legal  basis for  the persistence of
the limitations  on her rights to freedom of movement,  expression and other
equally fundamental rights.   At the same  time, the Special Rapporteur  has
requested the  Government of Myanmar to provide him with specific replies to
his  inquiries.    However,  he  remains  unconvinced  by  the  Government's
arguments in the responses provided.  Therefore, in  each of his reports and
statements to the General  Assembly and the Commission  on Human Rights,  he
has  recommended her  release immediately  and  unconditionally.   Prior  to
being  informed   about  the  announcement   of  her  release,  the  Special
Rapporteur addressed, on  10 July 1995, the following letter to the Minister
for Foreign Affairs of Myanmar:

  'I have the honour to address you in my  capacity as Special Rapporteur on
the situation of human  rights in Myanmar, appointed by the Chairman of  the
Commission on Human Rights, pursuant to its resolution 1995/72.

  'In keeping with my commitment to  endeavour to accord full  consideration
to your Government's views on the  substantive issues raised in  my mandate,
including both general and specific  allegations of human  rights violations
by  the   Government  of  Myanmar,   I  would   appreciate  receiving   your
Government's  response with regard to  the ongoing detention of Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi.
  
  'In a letter dated 5 October 1994, I requested your Government to  provide
specific  reasons,  including reference  to  precise  legal  authority,  for
keeping Daw Aung San  Suu Kyi under house arrest  after 20 July 1994, and to
indicate exactly when the Government intends to release her.

  'In a  note verbale  dated 4  November 1994,  your Government  provided me
with  a  detailed  response concerning  the  specific  legal  authority  for
keeping  Daw Aung  San  Suu Kyi  under  house  arrest  after 20  July  1994.
According  to the  Myanmar legislation,  in the 1975  "Law to  safeguard the
State against the  dangers of those  desiring to cause subversive  acts", as
amended in August 1991, it is stipulated under section 10 (b) that a  person
may be  restrained for up  to one  year. The same law  further stipulates in
sections 13 and 14  the possibility to continue restraint for "a period  not
exceeding one year at a time up to a total of five years".

  'In the  case of  Daw Aung  San Suu  Kyi, your  Government has  previously
reported  that she  was restrained  in  her  liberty and  effectively placed
under  house arrest  on  20 July  1989 for  an  initial  period of  one year
according  to section  10 (b)  of  the above-mentioned  law.   According  to
section 14  of the  said law, the  restraints on Daw  Aung San Suu  Kyi were
continued  year by year for the  maximum of five years as  stipulated in the
law.

  'In the  light of  the above,  I understand that  there will  be no  legal
basis under Myanmar legislation  for restraining Daw Aung San Suu Kyi  after
20 July  1995, assuming  her restraint was  "necessary" under section  13 of
the  above-mentioned Law.    If  she is  not released  after this  date, her
detention would  evidently contravene applicable  Myanmar law,  irrespective
of any application  of the minimum international standards securing  liberty
of person,  in particular  those embodied  in the  Universal Declaration  of
Human Rights, the International Covenant on  Civil and Political Rights  and
the  Body of Principles for the  Protection of All Persons under Any Form of
Detention or Imprisonment.  

  'With  due regard to my  responsibilities, I appeal to  your Government to
ensure her  release immediately  and unconditionally.   In  my opinion,  the
release of  Daw Aung San Suu  Kyi would also be  a positive and  encouraging
step towards national reconciliation and democratization in Myanmar.'

"18. The Special Rapporteur hopes that the decision to release Daw Aung  San
Suu Kyi will  enable her to  enjoy her  liberty and  personal freedom  fully
without  any condition  or restriction.    In  this connection,  the Special
Rapporteur  would like  to  be  informed if  Daw Aung  San Suu  Kyi  will be
participating in  the National  Convention which,  according to  information
received, will reconvene on 24 October 1995.

"19. The Special Rapporteur  is concerned after the announcement made on  16
June  1995  by  the  International Committee  of  the  Red Cross  (ICRC)  to
withdraw  from Myanmar  because ICRC's  standard requirements  for visits to
places of  detention (i.e., that it  meet prisoners in  private, have access
to all  prisons and  be assured  of repeated  visits) were  rejected by  the
Myanmar authorities.  The non-acceptance of ICRC's customary procedures  for
visits to  places of detention followed by this well-recognized organization
in all other countries  where it conducts such activities is a negative step
towards amelioration of  conditions of detention  in Myanmar,  especially in
so far  as several reports  allege ill treatment  to be  common in Myanmar's
places of detention.  Several sources  indicate that political prisoners are
generally  not given access  to proper  medical treatment  and are sometimes
held in  solitary confinement.  In  this light, the Special Rapporteur would

appreciate receiving  an indication  from the  Government of  Myanmar as  to
whether it is  prepared to resume  its dialogue with  ICRC and  to reach  an
agreement with regard to the standards applied by  ICRC for visits to places
of detention.


"C.  Torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

"20.  The Special  Rapporteur has  received numerous  allegations, often  in
considerable detail and  from different sources, describing civilians  being
subjected to  torture or cruel, inhuman  or degrading treatment by forces of
the Myanmar  military.  The allegations  include kickings  and beatings with
rifle butts  or canes on the head  and other parts of the body, causing head
injuries, loss  of teeth  and/or broken  bones.   Other disturbing  reported
methods include submerging victims  into water for long periods of time  and
pouring hot water  over their  bodies or into their  noses.  In some  cases,
victims alleged  that they had suffered  burns and the  cutting of parts  of
their bodies (e.g., ears and tongue).

"21. According to reports received, torture  and ill-treatment would seem to
be a  means for the Myanmar authorities to punish citizens who do not comply
with  their  orders.   It  also  seems  to  be a  common  method  to extract
confessions from  civilians suspected of  real or perceived  anti-Government
activities.   The most vulnerable populations are detainees, village headmen
(who  are  responsible  to  the  authorities   on  behalf  of  their  entire
villages), porters  in the course  of their duties  and civilians living  in
areas of  insurgency.  Women are said  to be subjected to sexual abuses.  It
has  also been reported that some  victims of torture have to  pay bribes to
avoid such treatment.

"22. The following are some examples of the allegations received:

  "(a)  On  27  December 1994,  Captain  Htun Way  from  Battalion No.  376,
Company 1, allegedly arrested  a village headman  in Plat Wa township,  Chin
state.    According  to  the  source,  the  headman  was  asked  to  provide
information about persons having  passed through his village.   He was  tied
up when he could  not give the information demanded.  He was then repeatedly
submerged  into water and subsequently punched, beaten with a rifle butt and
kicked.  His nose and one rib were broken;

  "(b)  A  former  porter  (aged  56)  who  served  under  Battalion  No. 60
described  how, on  8/9  February 1995,  an officer  from  Battalion  No. 48
allegedly poured hot water over  a group of five porters  at Baw Ser  Ko for
attempting to  escape.  According  to the same source,  another officer beat
their legs 'like  he was  minced meat'.   It was  reported that the  porters
were  also beaten  around their waists  and faces,  and some  of them,  as a
consequence, lost their teeth;

   "(c) On 11 February  1995, two soldiers from Heavy Artillery No. 264, one
of whom was an  officer, allegedly put  a jacket around a porter's  neck and
started pulling him along when  he could not carry any more.  He was  beaten
and  kicked  and had  his  walking  stick broken  over  his  back.   He  was
abandoned on the road;

  "(d)  It was  also  reported  that in  the  third week  of December  1994,
soldiers  of Infantry Battalion  No. 62  were ordered by  their commander to
torture a 50-year-old man in Hlainkhani  village, Mon state, on suspicion of
having let rebels stay on  his land.  He was repeatedly immersed in a  water
pool and beaten with rifle butts and combat boots;

  "(e) On 1  January 1995,  soldiers from Local  Infantry Battalion No.  410
allegedly abducted a  group of women of varying  ages from Kaw Zar  village,
Mon state, and took them to Paukpinkwin village in order to rape them;

  "(f) On  21 February 1995,  soldiers of Infantry  Battalion No. 62,  under
the command  of Major Ohn Myint, reportedly entered Pee Setan village, Kayin

state.   A 52-year-old man was  arrested and had  his wrists tied behind his
back.  Soldiers kicked  his head (causing head injuries) and chest and  beat
him with a  stick.  They then  walked on him and  rolled bamboo up  and down
his shins.  His head was  forced back, a thin piece of cloth was put on  his
face, whereafter  water was  poured into his  nose.  His  wife was  arrested
when the  soldiers took him back to  his house.  Her wrists were tied behind
her  back and soldiers walked on  her legs.   Her face was then covered with
plastic and  water was poured  into her nose.  The  wife was later released,
but the husband  was taken to  another village,  where he  was released  the
following day against a ransom;

  "(g) On  23 March 1995,  at 2 a.m.,  troops from  Local Infantry Battalion
No. 62  allegedly came to Kwankhabawe  village, Mon state,  and arrested one
woman and two men, accusing them  of supporting the Mon troops.  Their heads
were covered  with plastic  bags,  and water  was  poured  over them.    The
torture went on  for about an hour, after  which the three victims were tied
up and  brought  to Htonemine  village,  where  another two  villagers  were
arrested and accused of having been in regular  contact with the Mon troops.
These two  villagers were  subjected to  the same  form of torture  as those
from  Kwankhabawe, after which all  of them were taken  to Klortsot village,
where  they were  detained  and reportedly  tortured  for four  days.    The
victims were released against ransoms of 25,000 Kyats each;

  "(h) On 22  August 1994, soldiers  from Local  Infantry Battalion No.  408
reportedly  arrested a 56-year-old  man in  Ah Lae Sa Khan  village, Ye Phyu
township,  and  accused him  of  having  contacts  with  rebels and  passing
information to them.  His ears  were cut off, his nails  were driven through
his  hands and legs and his  tongue was cut out.  The victim died when nails
were driven through the crown of his head;

  "(i) On 10 January  1995, at Manerplaw, Sergeant Toe Toe of Local Infantry
Battalion No. 205 allegedly beat  and cut with his bayonnet the flesh of the
hands of a 24-year-old porter trying to protect his friend  who was too weak
to porter.  The  friend, an 18-year-old  man, was then executed by  Sergeant
Toe Toe, who stabbed him with  a bayonnet after having tied his mouth with a
cloth.

"23.  The  Special Rapporteur  would  appreciate  the  Government  providing
responses  to the  above allegations  and  indicating  what steps  have been
undertaken  to comply  with  the  prohibition  against  these  practices  as
encompassed  by article  5 of  the  Universal  Declaration of  Human Rights,
article 3  common to  the  four Geneva  Conventions  of  1949, the  Body  of
Principles for the Protection  of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or
Imprisonment (General Assembly  resolution 43/173 of  9 December  1988), and
the  Declaration on the  Protection of  All Persons from  Being Subjected to
Torture  and  Other Cruel,  Inhuman  or  Degrading Treatment  or  Punishment
(General Assembly resolution 3452  (XXX) of 9 December  1975).  The  Special
Rapporteur  would  also   appreciate  being  informed  of  any   independent
investigations  that  may  have  been  carried   out  in  regard  to   these
allegations, whether any military or security  personnel have been tried and
sentenced, dismissed  from duty or otherwise  disciplined for  their part in
any established violation.


"D.  Forced labour

"24. The Myanmar Government reportedly made  extensive use of various  forms
of  forced, unpaid labour  for a  variety of  development projects  aimed at
building the infrastructure of the country.   Various sources have  reported
an  especially  extensive  use  of  forced  labour  in  relation  to several
completed or  ongoing railway  construction projects.   Railway  lines under
present  construction  are,  reportedly:    the  Pakokku-Gangaw-Kalemyo-Tamu
Line, the  Pakokku-Myaing-Gangaw-Kalay line and the  Ye-Tavoy line.   People
are allegedly not only  forced to contribute their labour to these and other
projects, but also to  contribute materials.  No compensation is said to  be
paid by the  Government.  For  example, in  Zin Kalee area, it  was reported

that  people were asked  to bring  24 tins  of rice, 100-150  kyats in cash,
pick-axes, mattocks  and hoes.   Some people  had to obtain  these tools  by
selling  their clothing and other properties.  It  was further reported that
civilian trucks were conscripted  and never paid for, and all workers had to
spend their own money  for food and transportation.  The labourers also  had
to  combine their  resources  to pay  for  the  rental  of bulldozers.    In
addition, those who were  assigned to night-shift duty  had to rely on their
own resources for electricity.

"25.  The Myanmar Government  has proclaimed  1996 as  'Visit Myanmar Year'.
Although this could be  viewed as a general  sign of  the opening up of  the
country, human rights concerns  have been expressed.   Many of the  measures
that the  Government has taken to  prepare the country  for foreign tourists
reportedly  constitute  violations  of human  rights.    Forced  labour  has
allegedly been used  to restore some of  the tourist sights (e.g.,  Mandalay
Palace)  and  to  upgrade  the  infrastructure  (e.g.,  railways, roads  and
airports).   For example, it is  alleged that people  working for 'The  Mong
Kwan  Electric Power  Plant' (which  is being  constructed approximately  10
miles south of  Kengtung in Eastern Shan  state) are expected  to contribute
as many  as 60  days labour  for the  project throughout  the year.   It  is
further reported that they are also expected to provide their own food.

"26. In connection with  the recent conflicts  between the Myanmar Army  and
insurgent groups in Karen state, several  sources have reported an  increase
of forced portering for  the military.   The Army has reportedly rounded  up
porters of all ethnic  and religious backgrounds from villages and towns  as
far south as Mon state.   The porters are said to  have been taken  from the
streets, trains, movie theatres  and even from their  homes.  The reports on
portering allege physical  abuse, appalling living conditions and  arbitrary
killings of porters who are unable to perform  their tasks.  For example,  a
former  farmer from Grit  Kote village,  Pauk Kong  Township, Pegu division,
who  allegedly escaped from  portering, described  how he  had been arrested
together  with  10  other people  from the  same  village by  Local Infantry
Battalion No.  66 on  his way  back from  a video  show.   According to  his
testimony, there  were  about 200  porters  when  they started  moving  from
Thaton, including 15 women.  When they reached  Papun, they were ordered  to
carry food supplies (60 kilograms of  rice rations), munitions and artillery
shells.  

"27.  The Special  Rapporteur would  appreciate receiving  the  Government's
response to the above allegations indicating  what measures have been  taken
to  comply with  the  obligations under  International  Labour  Organization
(ILO)  Convention No. 29  prohibiting the  practice of  forced portering and
other forced labour and  what rights of redress are available to victims  of
such practices.


"E.  Insurgent activities at the Thai/Myanmar border areas

"28. The  Manerplaw area  has long been  a stronghold from  where the  Karen
National Union  (KNU) has conducted  insurgent activities.  Other opposition
groups have  reportedly also  operated inside  Myanmar from  Manerplaw.   In
December 1994, the Myanmar Government reported  that a breakaway faction  of
KNU had formed the Democratic Kayin Buddhist Organization (DKBO).

"29. Following the fall  of Manerplaw and Kawmoora (both strongholds of KNU)
in  January and  February 1995,  several  sources reported  widespread human
rights  abuses,  e.g.,  reprisals  against  civilians  following   insurgent
ambushes, looting and forced relocations.  As a result of  the unrest in the
areas, over 10,000 persons belonging to  the Karen minority reportedly  fled
over the  Thai/Myanmar border.  Preoccupied  by this  situation, the Special
Rapporteur addressed,  on  30 January  1995,  the  following letter  to  the
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Myanmar:

  'I would like to  draw your attention to the situation which is  currently
prevailing along the  Thai/Myanmar border.   According  to several  reliable

sources,  the  Myanmar   Government  has  launched  a  largescale   military
offensive  in the  Kayeni area  along  large  stretches of  the Thai/Myanmar
border.    The  sources claim  that  the  offensive  is  directed  at ethnic
nationalities  and student  camps along  the  border,  and that  over 30,000
well-armed  soldiers from the Myanmar Army are taking part in the offensive.
The  civilian population  in the  area is  said  to  be fleeing  and seeking
refuge  across the  border.    The Myanmar  Army  is said  to be  positioned
immediately  across  the  river  from  the  refugee  village  Htoo  Wah  Lu.
Refugees  also fear  that they  will not  be  allowed  to enter  Thailand to
escape the hostilities.

  'These  reports  appear  to  contradict   the  statements  made   by  your
government  representatives in Myanmar  during my  previous visits.   I have
understood that your Government is committed  to the policy of strengthening
national  unity  and  solidarity  and  therefore  is  pursuing  a  policy of
national  reconciliation  which  seeks  to  return  to  the  legal  fold all
minority groups with  which the Government is presently  in conflict.  As  a
first  step towards  national reconciliation,  I have  also understood  that
your  Government   is  seeking  to   obtain  peaceful  settlements   through
negotiated cease-fires.

  'Given  the  above,  you  will  understand  my  preoccupation  with  these
reported  incidents which  would seem  to  constitute serious  human  rights
violations against civilians and, in particular, an ethnic minority.'

"30.  At the time  of the armed conflict in  the Manerplaw area, between the
Myanmar  Army and Karen armed  groups, the Special Rapporteur issued a press
release  (HR/954  of 7  February  1994)  expressing  his  concern that  'the
prevailing  situation might  give  rise to  serious human  rights violations
affecting both  the local  population and  captured members  of Karen  armed
groups'.   The  Special  Rapporteur  was  also  'concerned  that  vulnerable
civilians, in particular  women and children and  the sick and wounded,  may
have  special  humanitarian needs'.    He  called  upon  the Government  'to
resolve peacefully its difficulties with ethnic  minorities and to take  all
appropriate  measures to ensure  respect for  human rights  and humanitarian
obligations in this region'.

"31.  Since 19 April 1995, DKBO, apparently accompanied by the Myanmar Army,
has reportedly  launched several attacks on  Karen refugee  camps located in
Thailand in  order to  force the  refugees to  return to Myanmar.   Numerous
refugees are said to have been killed, the material damage inflicted on  the
camps and also  on nearby Thai  villages is said to have  been extensive and
some refugees  are  reported to  have  been  forcibly abducted  to  Myanmar.
Several sources indicate that representatives of  the Government of  Myanmar
regularly meet  with  DKBO leaders  and  that  the Government  has  provided
financial  and military  assistance to  DKBO.    The connection  between the
Myanmar Government  and DKBO  is not  clear, but  the Government  reportedly
admits  to  having  assisted  the   Democratic  Kayin  Buddhist   Army  with
logistical support.   In this regard,  the Special  Rapporteur addressed the
following letter  on 29  May 1995  to the  Minister for  Foreign Affairs  of
Myanmar:

  'In my  capacity  as  Special Rapporteur,  I  would  like  to  express  my
particular  concern  about the  current  situation  along  the  Thai/Myanmar
border.   Since  the  fall of  KNU bases  at Manerplaw  in January  1995 and
following the split in  KNU in December 1994,  several reliable sources have
reported  that  DKBO has  committed  widespread  human rights  abuses, e.g.,
reprisals  against  civilians  following  insurgent  ambushes,  looting  and
forced  relocations.   As a  result, over  10,000 persons  belonging to  the
Karen  minority have reportedly fled over the Thai border. Some refugees are
reported to have been forcibly abducted back to Myanmar.

  'In a letter dated 13 February 1995  from the Permanent Representative  of
Myanmar  to the United Nations  Office at Geneva addressed  to the Assistant
Secretary-General for  Human Rights, your  Government acknowledges that  the
Tatmadaw provided necessary logistical support to DKBO.

    'With due regard to  my responsibilities, I appeal to your Government to
use  all the  necessary means  to ensure  that DKBO  ceases its  attacks  on
refugees  in Thailand and  its reprisals  against civilians  in Myanmar, and
that individuals abducted  from refugee camps in  Thailand are released.   I
also  call upon your Government to protect and guarantee security and safety
for the  civilians who  are returning  either voluntarily  or forcibly  from
Thailand to  their country  and also  to investigate,  prosecute and  punish
agents responsible for such violations.

    'I  look  forward  to  receiving your  Government's  comments  on  these
matters at its earliest convenience.'

"32. On 13 June  1995, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Myanmar addressed
the following letter to the Special Rapporteur:

    'On behalf of the  Minister for Foreign  Affairs of Myanmar, I have  the
honour  to refer to your  letter of 29  May 1995,  addressed to the Minister
for Foreign  Affairs of Myanmar, expressing  your concern  about the current
situation along the Thai/Myanmar border.

    'In this connection,  I should like  to respond  to your  letter and  to
apprise you of the  true situation and  recent events that have occurred  in
some of the so-called  KNU refugee camps in Thailand, and in certain  border
areas of Kayin state of the Union of Myanmar.

    'As you are fully  aware, the discontent of those within KNU who  wanted
to live  in  peace and  see  the  development of  their  region led  to  the
formation of DKBO towards the end  of 1994.  When KNU  forces still loyal to
Bo Mya launched a massive  offensive against DKBO, during  which hundreds of
people  including civilians  were killed,  the local  inhabitants  requested
assistance from the Myanmar Armed Forces.

    'In connection  with DKBO's  sincere and  genuine desire  for peace  and
stability of  the region,  which falls  in line  with the objectives  of the
Government, the  Myanmar Armed  Forces provided  necessary logistic  support
while DKBO launched its assault  on KNU camps and units of the Armed  Forces
secured the rear with  the aim of protecting nearby villages from attacks by
KNU remnants.

     'Since  the fall of  KNU camps  along the border to  DKBO forces, peace
and security have been restored in these areas and Kayin nationals who  were
living in the "refugee" camps of KNU in  Thailand are returning to  Myanmar,
in spite of  attempts by  KNU to hinder  their return.   The  people in  the
camps are family members, relatives and sympathizers of KNU, DKBO and a  few
other armed groups.  As  of today, more than 10,000 persons have returned to
Myanmar and more are expected to return. 

    'The people  who have returned  to Myanmar are  given a  warm welcome by
officials and  the local populace, and  are settled  systematically in their
villages.   All necessary  assistance, such  as shelter,  food, clothing and
medical care, are being provided to them.   The main village, Kamamoung,  is
being  upgraded to  a township  village  level  and Myaing-Gyi-ngu  is being
rebuilt as  a model village.   Amenities  such as  housing, police  station,
hospital and health clinics and primary schools are being developed.   Steps
are also being  taken to alleviate poverty, such as help to the villagers in
land  cultivation and agriculture.   Most  importantly, the  security of the
returnees has been protected and consolidated by the authorities.

    'Armed clashes have  broken out at times between  the forces of KNU  and
DKBO  entering the  camps, and  preventing  DKBO  from taking  relatives and
families back to Myanmar peacefully.

    'As the Government has not yet held any  official peace talks with DKBO,
and  as DKBO  still  has  yet to  return  to  the  legal fold,  the  Myanmar
authorities have  no control over  DKBO, and are  not responsible for  their
activities.   The incidents that have occurred recently at the KNU "refugee"

camps and in certain  areas of Kayin state  arise from conflicts between the
Kayin armed groups.   The Government of Myanmar  does not play  any part  in
these matters.

    'The  Government of Myanmar  cannot and  should not  be held responsible
for the alleged  human rights violations  that occur beyond the  control and
jurisdiction of the Myanmar  authorities and that  are allegedly perpetrated
by individuals belonging to an armed group over which it has no control.

    'As  such,  the Government  of  Myanmar  is  unable  to comprehend  your
concern about the current situation along the Thai/Myanmar border.'

"33.  The Special Rapporteur would appreciate receiving  from the Government
indications about the situation currently prevailing along the  Myanmar/Thai
border, whether the Government of Myanmar has signed a peace agreement  with
DKBO and what is the  status of peace talks between the State Law and  Order
Restoration  Council  (SLORC)  and  KNU.   In  pursuance  of  its policy  to
continue to extend its peace offer to those groups who join the legal  fold,
the Special Rapporteur would appreciate knowing if  the New Mon State  Party
will be participating in  the National Convention now that it has agreed  to
a cease-fire with SLORC.

  "F.  The situation of women

"34. The  Special Rapporteur  addressed the  question of  violations of  the
rights of women in  his reports of 17 February 1993 (E/CN.4/1993/37,  paras.
77, 78,  95 and  96), 16  February 1994  (E/CN.4/1994/57, para.  49) and  28
October 1994 (A/49/594, para. 9 (14)).

"35.  Traditionally, women in  Myanmar appear  to have  enjoyed equal rights
with  men.   This  tradition enables  women to  participate  equally  in the
development of the economy.  Employment opportunities for women are said  to
be good, and it is  reported that 40 per cent of  the total labour  force in
Myanmar consists of women.

"36. With  regard to  human rights  violations, it  appears  that women  are
generally treated less harshly  than men.  Some of the allegations  received
indicate, however, that  women are  not spared from torture,  ill-treatment,
arbitrary detention, summary execution, portering or other forced labour.

"37.  The Special  Rapporteur  has  continued to  receive  information  from
various sources  describing sexual  or sex-related  violations committed  by
representatives  of  the  authorities  against  women.    These include  the
undressing of women in public, touching  breasts or sucking nipples,  raping
and gang-raping women individually or in groups.   The rape of women serving
in  forced labour  camps or as  porters is said to  be common.   Some of the
allegations  received indicate that soldiers view rape as  a right, and that
sometimes it  is encouraged  by officers.   It  has also  been alleged  that
women  are sometimes  singled out  for portering or  other forced  labour in
order  to be  raped.   No consideration  is reportedly  being shown  to  the
victim's marital  status or condition  of pregnancy.   Soldiers are  said to
prefer young,  unmarried girls.  Some  examples of  allegations received are
as follows:

  "(a)  In  the evening  of 25 September 1994,  members of a joint  military
column of Local  Infantry Battalion Nos. 206 and  208, under the command  of
Nyi Nyi Aung, were said  to have intimidated a woman  in Mi Ka  Tit village,
Kayin state, and  ordered her  to strip  off her sarong  and to uncover  the
lower part of her body;

  "(b)   On 1  January 1995,  troops from  Local Infantry Battalion  No. 410
allegedly entered Ta Yoke Taung  village, Ye township, and raped five women,
one of whom was pregnant at the time;

  "(c)   In October  1994, the  SLORC local  council of  Pong Kyun  quarter,
Tavoy, allegedly  ordered a woman who  was six months pregnant to contribute

labour at the Zim Bar  construction site in lieu of  her sick husband.   She
was apparently assigned  to dig an earthen pit.   Other pregnant women  were
allegedly  also contributing  labour  to  the  construction site,  and  some
suffered miscarriages as a result.  The women  at the site were aged between
15 and 65 years.

"38. The Special Rapporteur would appreciate  receiving a description of any
investigations  into these  allegations undertaken  by the  Government,  and
information  as  to whether  any  military  personnel  have  been tried  and
sentenced,  dismissed from duty  or otherwise  sanctioned for  their part in
any verified violations.   The  Special Rapporteur would further  appreciate
knowing whether the Government of Myanmar intends to  become a party to  the
Convention  on the  Elimination  of  All  Forms  of  Discrimination  against
Women."


                 IV.  RESPONSE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MYANMAR TO THE
                      MEMORANDUM OF THE SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR

13.   By a  note verbale  dated 4  October 1995,  the  Permanent Mission  of
Myanmar to the United Nations Office at Geneva transmitted the responses  of
the Government  of Myanmar  to the  summary of allegations  received by  the
Special Rapporteur.

14.  The following is the full text of  the Government of Myanmar's response
to the summary of allegations received by the Special Rapporteur:


"Observations and rebuttals on the summary of allegations

"A.  Allegations of summary or arbitrary execution

            "C.  Allegations of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading
                 treatment

"1.  No  instances of summary  or arbitrary  execution can  be permitted  in
Myanmar and no provision is made in the law for such.

"2.   Torture  and  other cruel,  inhuman or  degrading  treatment are  also
illegal in Myanmar.

"3.  Under section  330 of the Penal  Code, whoever voluntarily  causes hurt
for the purpose of extorting confession  shall be punished with imprisonment
for a  term which may  extend to seven  years and shall  be liable to  fine.
Under  section 24  of the  Evidence Act,  a  confession  made by  an accused
person is irrelevant in a criminal  proceeding, if the making  of confession
appears  to the  court to  have been  caused by  any inducement,  threat  or
reward.

"4.  Under section  43 of the  Police Act, whoever tortures any  detainee is
liable  to both  imprisonment and  fine.   Under the  Myanmar Police Manual,
police officers of  all ranks  are rigorously  required not  to do  anything
that might  tarnish the  image of the  police force, even  by the  slightest
show of harshness  or violence in the treatment of persons in  custody.  The
maltreatment of  defenceless  persons will  lead  to  the dismissal  of  the
guilty police officer.

"5.   Members  of the  Armed Forces  have to  observe strictly  not only the
Defence Services Act and the Defence Services Rules, but also the Civil  and
Criminal Procedures.   A  member of the Armed  Forces who breaks the  law is
punished both by the  military and civil  courts.  According to the  Defence
Services Act, murder and  rape are crimes for which the maximum sentence  of
the death penalty can be meted out.

"6.   It  is  therefore  clear that  torture  and other  cruel,  inhuman  or
degrading treatment are prohibited by the relevant laws in Myanmar.

"7.   In Myanmar, legal action  is always taken  and punishment meted out to
those who are  proved guilty of committing any crime.  This  also applies to
members of the  Security Forces.   As in any country there  exist some cases
of members of the Armed Forces who break  the law and legal action  has been
taken against  them.   In this regard,  specific cases in  which action  was
taken against those  members of the  Armed Forces  who violated  the law  in
various instances  have  been provided  to  the  Special Rapporteur  by  the
Government  of Myanmar to  help dispel  misconception and  false allegations
that no  action is taken against members  of the Armed  Forces who break the
law.

"8.  With regard to the examples of allegations  contained in sections A and
C  of the summary of allegations, no reports from the civil or military have
been  received and  no information  about  the  alleged incidences  has been
received  from   the  local  populace.     They  are  unfounded  allegations
originating  from sources  outside the  country bearing  ulterior  political
motives.


"B.  Allegations of arbitrary arrest and detention

"9.   In Myanmar,  a person cannot be arrested and  detained if it is not in
accordance with  the law.   It  is provided  in section  61 of  the Code  of
Criminal Procedure that no police officer  shall detain in custody  a person
for a period  exceeding 24 hours.  Where  it is necessary  to detain such an
accused  for more than 24 hours, a  special order of a magistrate  has to be
obtained under section 167 of the Code of  Criminal Procedure.  The arrested
person has  the  right  of  defence and  the  right  to have  legal  defence
counsel.  Moreover, the  arrested or detained person has the right to  apply
freely for bail  to the magistrate  concerned and  the court  may grant  him
bail according to the merits of the case.

"10.  Provision  is  made under  section  40  of  the  Prisons  Act for  the
admission, at proper times and under  proper restrictions, into every prison
of persons with whom civil or  unconvicted criminal prisoners may  desire to
communicate, care  being taken that,  so far as  may be  consistent with the
interests  of justice, prisoners  under trial  may see  their duly qualified
legal advisers.

"11. Provisions such  as section 330  of the  Penal Code, section 24  of the
Evidence Act  and section  43 of the  Police Act  are enacted  to protect  a
person under detention from torture and inhuman treatment.

[Reference:  paragraph 10]

 "12. U  Tun Shwe, U  Thu Wai and  U Htwe  Myint were charged  under section
5(j) of the Emergency Provisions Act  for collecting and distributing  anti-
government  seditious  pamphlets,   and  were  sentenced  to  seven   years'
imprisonment on  3 July 1995  after due process  of law.   Action was  taken
against  these individuals  not  because  of their  contacts  with  resident
foreigners as alleged, but because they transgressed existing laws.

[Reference:  paragraph 11]

"13.  Legal action has  been taken against certain representatives-elect for
their infringement of the  existing laws of  the country.  Information  with
regard  to  the  cases  of  15  individuals  mentioned  in  the  summary  of
allegations is provided as follows:

"(a) U Ohn Kyaing (Mandalay South-east-2)

  "Sentenced to seven years' imprisonment  on 17 October 1990  for sending a
letter defying the authority of the Government;

    "Sentenced to  10 years' imprisonment on  15 May  1991 for co-authorship
of a seditious paper entitled 'Three Ways to Attain Power';

  "(b)  U Tin Htut (Einme-1)

    "Sentenced  to  seven  years'  imprisonment  on  15  May  1991  for  co-
authorship of a seditious paper entitled 'Three Ways to Attain Power';

  "(c)U  Win  Hlaing (Tatkon-2),  U  Naing  Naing  (Pazundaung),  U Mya  Win
(Ingapu-1) and U Hla Tun (Kyimyindine)

    "Sentenced  to  10  years'  imprisonment  on  30  April  1991  for their
involvement  in organizing  a meeting  for  setting  up an  illegal parallel
Government;

    "(d)U   Tin  Aung  Aung  (Mandalay  North-west-1),  U   Zaw  Myint  Aung
(Amarapura-1), U Zaw Myint (Henzada-2) and U Hla Than (Cocos Islands)

    "Sentenced  to  25  years'  imprisonment  on  30  April  1991  for their
involvement  in organizing  a meeting  for  setting  up an  illegal parallel
Government;

    "(e)Dr. Myint Aung (Latha)

    "No person by the name of Dr. Myint Aung has been detained;

    "(f)U Tin Soe (Kyauktada)

    "Sentenced to  two years'  imprisonment and was  fined 300  kyats on  25
August 1993 for criminal trespass into U Khin  Maung Htay's premises at  No.
107, Myanma Gon  Ye Street,  Mingala Taung Nyunt  Township in October  1992.
In the course of a  squabble between them over the  sale of an  apartment, U
Tin Soe  used abusive  language and  took photographs  without the  latter's
express  consent.  U  Khin Maung  Htay reported the incident  to the Mingala
Taung Nyunt  Police Station,  whereby U Tin  Soe was charged  by the  police
under sections 447, 294 and 506 with criminal  trespass. The court found him
guilty of the charge;

    "Released  from  detention  on  9  March  1995  upon  completion  of his
sentence;

    "(g)U San Win (Htilin)

    "Sentenced   to  11   years'  imprisonment   on  23   August  1991   for
misappropriation of  teakwood  which was  to  be  supplied to  the  Thanlyin
bridge project;

    "(h)U Khin Maung Swe and U Sein Hla Oo

    "Sentenced to  seven years'  imprisonment on  6 October  1994 for  their
collaboration with Dr. Khin  Zaw Win in writing and distributing false  news
that would jeopardize the security of the State.

  [Reference:  paragraph 13]

"14. With regard to the allegation that 50 young activists were arrested  at
the funeral  of former  Prime Minister  U Nu,  only 9  persons, namely  Aung
Zeya, Tin Than  Oo, Nyunt Myaing, Moe Maung  Maung, Maung Maung Oo, Moe Myat
Thu,  Moe Kalayar Oo, Cho Nwe  Oo and Aye  Aye Moe, were taken into custody.
Action is being taken against them under section  5(j) of the 1950 Emergency
Provisions  Act for having created disturbances at the  funeral with the aim
of disrupting it and  for having instigated the people to unrest.  Yi Yi Tun
and Maung Maung Win were not detained as alleged.

"15. There should  exist no anxiety or fear  of torture or ill treatment  in
detention  as such practices  are strictly  prohibited in  the Prison Manual
and the  Police Act, and the  authorities concerned  scrupulously follow the
regulations laid down.

  [Reference:  paragraph 19]

"16. The  health of  the prisoners  serving sentences  is taken  care of  by
prison  medical  officers.   When  emergency  and  serious  illnesses arise,
arrangements are  made for the patients  to receive  the necessary treatment
at general  or specialized  hospitals.   As such,  allegations that  certain
prisoners are  generally not  given access  to proper  medical treatment  is
totally untrue.

"17.  With regard  to  visits  by ICRC  to places  of detention  in Myanmar,
negotiations have  taken place  with a  view to signing,  at an  appropriate
time, a  memorandum of understanding between  the Government  of Myanmar and
ICRC.   The Myanmar  side has  already intimated  to ICRC  its readiness  to
continue ongoing  dialogue  in this  regard.    ICRC maintains  its  regular
contacts  and cooperation  with the  Government  and  the Myanmar  Red Cross
Society through its regional office at New Delhi.

"18. As  a party to the  Geneva Conventions and as  a nation respecting  and
adhering  to  the principles  and  objectives  of  the  Red Cross  Movement,
Myanmar will continue to cooperate with ICRC in the future.


"D.  Allegations of forced labour

"19. Since Myanmar regained independence in  1948, various armed groups have
been engaged  in  armed conflict  against  successive  Governments.   Basing
themselves in remote  and relatively inaccessible areas, these armed  groups
have  terrorized  and endangered  the  lives  of  ordinary  citizens of  the
nation.  In  order to protect  the lives and property of  the civilians, and
in order to maintain  peace and security, the  Armed Forces of  Myanmar have
had  to launch  military operations  against the  armed groups.    Since the
terrain inhabited by the armed groups  is mountainous and thickly  forested,
many places  are not accessible to  motorized vehicles and the Armed Forcers
have  had to recruit  civilian labourers.   The use of  labourers in Myanmar
has been practised since  the time of colonial rule, during which time  laws
in connection with this were promulgated by the  colonial rulers.  Following
independence, successive Governments have continued this practice  according
to the law.

"20.  Recruitment and  employment of  civilian labourers  are  in accordance
with the Village Act of 1908 and the  Towns Act of 1907, and is based on the
following three criteria:

    "(a)  They must be unemployed;

  "(b)  They must be physically fit;

  "(c)  They must  be paid a  reasonable amount  of wages, fixed and  agreed
upon beforehand.

"21. The labourers must  be paid from the  time they leave  their respective
homes until  they return,  on completion  of their  duty.  Apart  from daily
wages, they are entitled to receive rail and steamer  travelling warrants or
cash to  cover the  actual cost  of transport  between their  homes and  the
operation area.   The  respective military  unit has  the responsibility  of
providing  accommodation,  messing  and  medical  cover  for  the  recruited
labourers.   Daily wages must be  commensurate with those  prevailing in the
area.  They are never  required to accompany the troops  to the actual scene
of battle, nor are  they exposed to  danger.  In the unlikely event  of loss
of life or limb, they or their families  are compensated in accordance  with
the Workmen's Compensation Act of 1923.

 "22. In  order  to overcome  the  problem  of  having to  recruit  civilian
labourers by  the Armed  Forces, amongst  other reasons,  the Government  of
Myanmar  has been inviting armed groups to return to the legal fold, as part
of the  national reconciliation effort  undertaken by the Government.   As a

result, 15 of the 16  armed groups have done so,  and the problem  of having
to use  recruited civilian  labourers no  longer exists  in the  areas where
these armed groups once operated.

"23. The areas once inhabited by the armed groups that have returned to  the
legal fold  now enjoy  peace  and  can look  forward to  being part  of  the
development activities that are taking  place in other parts of the country.
The  Ministry  for  Progress  of  Border   Areas  and  National  Races   and
Development  Affairs has been able  to lay down and  to implement programmes
for the development of  border areas and  national races.  To alleviate  the
socio-economic   conditions   of  the   people   in   the   whole   country,
infrastructures  for economic  and social  development in  various  sectors,
such as  transportation, agriculture, forestry,  livestock breeding, energy,
water  supply,  education  and health  are  being  developed  and  upgraded.
Nowhere is this more  needed than in the  border areas where  development in
all fields has lagged behind owing to the presence of the armed groups.

"24. It has always been  a tradition in Myanmar culture to donate labour  in
the building of pagodas, monasteries, roads and  bridges and in the  digging
and clearing  of wells, ponds, dams and canals.  A  belief exists that doing
so leads  to mental and physical well-being.  Those who can afford to donate
money  do so while those who cannot, donate their labour.   This is all part
of community work that  raises the standard  of living, both materially  and
spiritually.  As  such, the local  populace, members  of the local  military
units, government servants, as  well as members of the armed groups who have
returned    to   the   legal   fold,    participate   enthusiastically   and
conscientiously.     United  Nations  agencies,   foreign  and  local   non-
governmental organizations are also involved in  these projects.  The  local
populace is already enjoying the benefits of their own endeavours.

"25. For their  contribution towards community development, remuneration  is
given to  the workers either on  a piece-rate basis,  or at prevailing  wage
rates.   In some cases, the authorities  disburse a lump sum of  money to be
used for the benefit of the whole community.

"26. As  examples,  the following  references can  be  made  to the  various
railroad  projects  of  how  much  money   the  Government  has  spent   for
contributed labour.   The following amounts of money  have been paid out  by
the Government to the local villagers for their contribution of labour:

  "(a)  Tada U-Myaingthar sector:  1.4 million kyats;

  "(b)    Aungban-Pinlaung  sector:    K10  million  for  the  villagers and
K2,843,000 for the compensation of land taken up by the rail line;

  "(c)  Pinlaung-Loikaw sector:  K10  million for the villagers and K912,000
for the compensation of land and houses taken up by the rail line;

   "(d)    Chaung  U-MagyeeBoke  sector  and  Pakokku-Minywa  sector:  K8.29
million;

  "(e)  Pakokku-Gangaw-Kalay sector:  K30 million;

  "(f)  Shwenyaung-Namsan sector:  K10.38 million;

  "(g)  Ye-Dawai sector:  K12.46 million.

"27. A medical doctor was  assigned to each  of the sections by the  Myanmar
Railways  during  the construction  of  rail  lines  and  the Chief  Medical
Officer toured the area  regularly in order to  provide health care  for the
local populace.   In cases of injuries  arising from the construction works,
compensation is paid by the Myanmar Railways to the persons concerned.

"28. The  development projects undertaken by  the Government  are solely for
the benefit of the people of the region.   It is the people who  live in the
area and who have contributed labour who directly  enjoy the fruits of their

endeavours.

"29. It would of  course be ideal  if the Government did not have  to depend
upon the labour contribution  of the local populace in order to complete the
projects in their respective areas.  Lacking sufficient financial  resources
to  complete  independently  projects  that  would  bring  development   and
progress  to areas that  would otherwise  remain undeveloped, the Government
has had to rely on the  means available in order to improve the lives of the
people.   The  Government does  pay for  contributed  labour  as far  as its
financial  resources permit, and  in accordance with prevailing local rates.
If the Government did not try to raise  the standard of living of the people
with the  means at  its disposal,  the people  would remain  victims of  the
circumstances in  which they  would otherwise  be bound  forever, unable  to
raise their standard of living.

"30.  There  are  other  projects  taking  place  in  Myanmar  besides those
pertaining to the  improvement of infrastructure.   Construction  of hotels,
business  and  commercial  centres,  and  development  of  holiday   resorts
constitute some of  the projects  taken on  as joint  ventures, with  either
local or  foreign companies.   Work  is undertaken  by private  construction
companies who  hire and  employ workers of  their choice.   These  companies
operate within  the bounds of a market  economy and have  to pay the workers
competitively.    As  for  the  renovation  of  monuments  of  importance to
Myanmar's  cultural heritage, the  work is  so specialized  that only highly
skilled workers can be  used.  These  workers command premium rates.   Thus,
allegations that forced labour is used in projects that promote tourism  and
international trade have no basis of truth.

"31. The  ILO Committee  of Experts has  taken note of  the conclusions  and
recommendations  made by the  Tripartite Committee  set up  by the Governing
Body  to examine the representation made by  the International Confederation
of Free  Trade Unions  (ICFTU), alleging  non-observance by  Myanmar of  the
Forced Labour  Convention No. 29.   The Committee of Experts has accordingly
expressed  the  hope,  with  regard  to  public works  projects  as  well as
regarding porterage  services, that  the powers  vested  in the  authorities
under the Village Act and the Towns Act will be repealed.

"32. The  two laws in question,  administered by  the General Administration
Department  of the Ministry of Home Affairs, are among the list of laws that
were first  reviewed on 29  January 1995,  and again on  16 May  1995, by  a
Board comprising the  Deputy Minister for Labour  as the Chairman,  and with
representatives from  the Prime  Minister's Office, the Ministry  of Foreign
Affairs,  the  Attorney-General's  Office  and  the  General  Administration
Department as its members.

"33. The Board  found that the two  laws were no  longer in  conformity with
the prevailing  conditions in the  country, besides not  being in  line with
the provisions of Convention No. 29.   This finding is in agreement with the
conclusion  drawn by the  Tripartite Committee set up  by the Governing Body
of ILO.

"34.  Consequently,  the  Government  of  Myanmar,  in  compliance with  the
request from  the Governing Body, 'to  ensure that  the relevant legislative
texts, in particular,  the Village Act  and the  Towns Act,  are brought  in
line with  the Convention  and to  ensure that  formal repeal  of powers  to
impose  compulsory  labour  be  followed  up  in  practice  and  that  those
resorting  to  coercion in  the  recruitment  of  labour  be punished',  has
started the process of amending those two laws.

"35.  This development was presented  to the Committee on the Application of
Standards  at  the   eighty-second  session  of  the  International   Labour
Conference by a member of the Myanmar delegation.


"E.  Insurgent activities at the Thai/Myanmar border areas

"36.  The true situation  and recent  events that have occurred  in some KNU
refugee camps  in Thailand  and in certain  border areas of  Kayin state  in
Myanmar  has been conveyed  to the  Special Rapporteur  by the  Minister for
Foreign Affairs of Myanmar in letter No. 252/3-27/29  of 13 June 1995 of the
Permanent Mission of Myanmar,  an extract of which appeared in section E  of
the summary of allegations.

"37. The  Government has not yet  held any official  peace talks with  DKBO,
and as DKBO has  yet to return  to the  legal fold, the Myanmar  authorities
have no control over DKBO  and are not responsible for its activities.   The
presence of  government security forces along  some sections  of the eastern
border  are  for  the  prevention  of  spill-over  effects,  and  to provide
security for local inhabitants who have requested  such security assurances,
as various  factions of the Kayin  armed groups continue  to be in  conflict
with each other.

"38. The Government of Myanmar, in  the spirit of national  reconsolidation,
continues to extend  its peace offer to the  remaining few to return to  the
legal  fold and  to  work  together with  the people  and the  Government in
building a peaceful and modern State.
  "F.  The situation of women

"39. According to Myanmar  customs and traditional culture, as well as under
State  constitutions adopted  during consecutive  eras, Myanmar  women  have
always had equal rights  with men.   Existing laws of the country  guarantee
that all citizens,  irrespective of race,  religion, status,  culture, place
of birth or gender, are equal before the law.

"40. Moreover, specific  provisions are made in some of the laws in order to
protect women  and  children, and  the  following  four laws  in  particular
ensure the protection of the rights of women in Myanmar:

  "(a)   The Myanmar  Buddhist Women's  Special Marriage  and Succession Act
(1954);

  "(b)  The Suppression of Prostitution Act (1949);

  "(c)  The Myanmar Maternal and Child Welfare Association Law;

  "(d)  The Nursing and Maternity Law.

"41.  Provisions  are also  included  in the  Penal  Code  to  protect women
against rape,  illicit  intercourse,  torture, causing  miscarriage  without
one's consent, seduction and enticement.

"42. There  are also certain laws  which have specific  provisions for women
labourers.   There are  provisions relating  to the  protection of  modesty,
prevention of hazards to life and accidents and  the rights of women  during
confinement.  Protection is given to all women prisoners.

"43. Women in Myanmar  are not only protected  by such laws  and provisions,
they  are  also protected  by Myanmar  traditions  and  customs, as  well as
customary law, religious beliefs and practices.   Women's rights  constitute
human rights and Myanmar women fully enjoy fundamental rights.

"44.  Myanmar  people  are  well  known  for  their  culture,  tolerance and
compassion.     In  Myanmar  society,  men   and  women   have  a  symbiotic
relationship, mutually depending upon one another.   They believe that  they
have equal and shared responsibilities towards the family and society.   The
men have a deep respect for women.

"45. The members of the Myanmar Armed Forces are but the sons and  daughters
of Myanmar  nationals.  They  emerged from this  society in  which they were
born  and  brought  up.    How  can anyone  from  this  society  commit such
outrageous  crimes  that  were  mentioned  in  the summary  of  allegations?
Neither  will such  acts be  knowingly  condoned  by persons  in responsible

positions.

"46. It is clear that these allegations are  unfounded, emanating from anti-
government sources  and terrorist groups, with  the aim  of discrediting the
Government as well  as the Armed Forces of  Myanmar.  In the unlikely  event
that there is any truth  in these allegations, it can  only be repeated that
unless and until the alleged victims bring their cases to  the notice of the
authorities  concerned, nothing can  be done to  redress what  they claim to
have suffered."


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