Written by U Ne Oo on 1993-10-08


6 October 1993




RE: The United Nations protection for the Burma's displaced people in Thailand.

Concerned with the lack of progress towards the transfer of power to the elected National League for Democracy (NLD) and continuing human rights abuses on un-armed civilian population in Burma, the Burma Action (South Australia) call upon the internatithe international community to (1) address the humanitarian needs of the internally displaced people in Burma and, (2) to join in calling for the United Nations and The Government of Thailand to give protection for Burmese refugees in Thailand.

Despite the international community's demands to respect the result of the election in 27-May-1990, Burma's first multi-party election in 26 years, the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), the military junta, who staged a military coup in 1988, shows no sign of transferring power power to the elected civilian government.

SLORC's repression on the un-armed civilian population continues in spite of condemnations by United Nations Commission on Human Rights and the international community. Unlawful detention of hundreds of political prisoners, including 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, continues this year despite a release of 2000.

The Military Government of Burma(SLORC) clearly continues to show its intention to keep the strangle-hold on state power. SLORC's strategies which weaken theaken the strength of the opposition, enables it to stay in power. SLORC used modest concessions as a buffer for the international criticism and, at the same time, trys to find ways to establish its legitimacy.

As the political conflict in Burma has dragged into its 5th year, the the situation for Burmese refugees in Bangladesh and Thailand has deteriorated. Within the country, the number of internally displaced people has increased due to SLORCs counter insurgency campaign. The muslim refugees in Bangladesh are living in an egrean egregious conditions while Burmese dissidents and ethnic Karen/Mon refugees in Thailand live in constant fear of arrest, detention and deportation. A new influx of refugees have crossed the Thai border because of the humanitarian situation for the internally displaced people worsens.

While the political settlement of the conflicts in Burma still seems remote, we call upon the international community to address the humanitarian needs and protection of Human Rights for the displaced people of Burma. We also urge the Governmenovernment of Thailand and the United Nations to provide protection for the Burmese refugees in Thailand.

I. Introduction

Following the brutal crackdown on the nationwide pro-democracy demonstrations in 1988, Burma's military assumed state power and continues ruling in the name of State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC). SLORC promised to hold a multi-party election in order to form a democratic government. It also promised to carry out economic liberalizations to revitalize the economy. Thnomy. The promised election was held in 27-May-1990 and the opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), won a majority of seats. The military then refused to transfer the state power to NLD and rephrased that elected parliamentarians are to draw a new Constitution [1].

SLORC's move on the Constitutional restructure was found to be an attempt to legalize the military's role on the state power [2]. The guideline for a new Constitution was set by SLORC to secure a leading role for the armed forces in future politics.litics. Furthermore, the constitution framed under the control of SLORC is illegitimate and will not guarantee to meet the democratic aspirations of the people of Burma [3].

The SLORC also fails to liberalize the economy [4]. In addition to the obvious political instability within the country, the Burma military is simply incompetent to enact a genuine economic reform. SLORCs invitations for free trade and investments only attract those who try to exploit Burma's natural resources for a quick and easy profit. Most of the multin multinational oil companies which joined in search for Burma's possible oil reserve in 1989 have abandoned the military, further weakening the SLORC's financial position.

The people of Burma bear all the sufferings that are caused by the economic mis-managements of the previous military regime(BSPP) and SLORC. There are signs of moral decline in a traditionally conservative Burmese family due to destitution and poverty . The unemployment situation, combined with high inflation, make impossible for many families to feed their d their children. There is increase in trafficking of children, especially young girls, into Thailand as sex-slaves [5,6]. The humanitarian situation within the country, especially of women and children, is said to have been in a state of silent emergency [7]

Despite SLORC having made a few changes in its conduct with the international community, the actual transfer of power to NLD still seems remote.

We therefore call upon the international community to give attention to the displaced Burmese people in Thailand. We also urgalso urge the international community to join in calling for SLORC to rectify its human rights violations against internally displaced people.

II. Armed Conflict in Burma: the Karen State.

There have been armed conflicts between the Rangoon central government and the ethnic minorities since Burma's independence in 1948. The underlying reasons of ethnic armed revolts has been the most complex issue in Burmese politics. A common objective among various ethnic insurgent groups is to establish Burma a Burma as a state of federation in order to allow greater freedom for the ethnics nationalities. When General Ne Win took over power in 1962, there were nationwide armed insurgency from the political groups as well as ethnic minorities including the Communist Party of Burma (CPB), the Karen and Kachin ethnic groups. The nationwide armed insurgency which threatened the security of Burma was, according to Burma military, an emergency situation that justified the military to seize state power.

By mid-1970, the armed insurgency withcy within the country had been eliminated by the government forces [8]. The ethnic rebels and CPB only operate in the mountainous and unaccessible border areas. The renewed offensive on Karen guerrillas in the eastern part of Burma was launched in 1984 and the first influx of Karen refugees crossed the Thai border at that time. Following the government crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrations in August/September 1988, Burmese refugees, mainly student activists, arrived at the Thai-Burma border. Throughout 1988-1992, SLORC intensiintensified its counter insurgency campaign on Karen guerrillas, forcing students and ethnics population further into Thailand.

The struggle for ethnic freedom reached a new phase when a group of 8 parliamentarians, who were elected in May-1990 election, fled to Thai-Burma border and formed a parallel government in December-1990 [9,10]. These parliamentarians, who claimed to have support of other 250 parliamentarians under SLORC, joined the ethnic freedom fighters, formed the government in exile and work towards the establishmtablishment of the federal union of Burma [11]. This government in exile, known as the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, certainly meet the aspirations of all ethnic minority groups. The parallel government in exile enjoy the sympathetic support from various countries and expatriate Burmese abroad.

To establish Burma as a federation of states has been a sensitive political issue even since the time that Gen. Ne Win took over power in 1962. There is a perception among older Burmese leaders that the establishmenlishment of a federal union may leads to a secession. The Burmese military always claimed itself as the saviour of Burma from disintegration and ethnic rebels as separatists. Following the 1989 collapse of CPB [12], there has been no ethnic insurgency left to challenge the military and no external forces threatening Burma. To date, the issue of the non-disintegration of the union, in fact, is the only issue that is left to justify the military's role in Burmese politics.

The Burma Army under Gen. Ne Win therefore discourages turages the federalism in Burma and suppresses any movement towards establishment of a federal union. In dealing with the ethnic insurgency issue, the Burma Army prefers to solve it by military means rather than making political concessions. The emergence of NCGUB/DAB as a political alliance, therefore, becomes a concern to SLORC.

As noted by observers [13] SLORC changed its tactics in dealing with its opponents after the leadership changes in April 1992. For the emergence of the NCGUB/DAB political alliance, SLORC used dividingdividing and conquering tactics. The rebel groups within DAB are coerced to sign separate peace agreements with SLORC leaving the NCGUB/DAB alliance weakened [14]. It is widely believed that SLORC is responsible for the death and disappearances of some members of parliament of NCGUB.

In dealing with the Karen insurgents, SLORC uses a special counter insurgency strategy known as `` four-cuts strategy ''[15] which has been successful in eliminating communist rebels in Burma since the early 1970s. This four-cuts strategy isategy is responsible for the increase in the number of internally displaced people and consequently the increase of refugees in Thailand.

III. SLORC's four-cuts strategy and forced relocations [16]

After the 1992 changes in leadership, SLORC also changed its tactics in dealing with the Karen insurgency. To avoid the international criticism, SLORC refrained from making a direct offensive on the Karen rebels. In an attempt to isolate rebels from the Karen ethnic population, villages within the rebel orebel operated area are ordered to relocate. The area is then declared as the free-fire zones in which anyone seen is considered rebel and shot on sight. Crops and villages within the area are destroyed[17]. Relocation sights are guarded concentration camps which villagers are not allow to leave except to do slave labour, as witnesses have reported [18]. Such incidences were reported on the 49th section of Human Rights Commission as follows[19]:

74. The Special Rapporteur was informed that if military suspected viected villagers were insurgents or were providing aid to insurgents, the entire village was given order to relocate by township level Law and Order Restoration Council(LORC). In a number of cases reported to the Special Rapporteur, civilians were executed when either refuse to relocate upon order or when they attempted to avoid relocation.

The villagers have to leave food, land and all possessions in relocations. The Burmese army gave no compensation to the the villagers. All villages are reported to have a shorta shortage of food [20]. As a result, those villagers cross the Thai border looking for food, at a reported rate of 1000 per day[21], to escape starvation and forced conscription by the army [22].

IV. The Royal Thai Government's response to the refugee problem.

It appears that the Royal Thai Government acknowledged the conflict between Karen guerrillas and the Burmese army as Burma's internal problem. When first influx of Karen refugees arrived in 1984, the Royal Thai Government call on the on the non-government organizations to care for the welfare of Karen refugees[23]. The Royal Thai Government appears to have a policy of non-interference towards Burma's internal politics prior to 1988.

The Royal Thai Governments policy on Burma became more complex after the SLORC seized state power in September 1988. Outraged by the military's brutal treatment of pro-democracy demonstrators, Burma's major donor countries: Japan, Germany and other Western countries- withdrew their financial support. SLORC at that time was repors reported to have foreign reserve of less than US $ 20 million. In December 1988, the Thai army chief, Gen. Chavalit Yongchaiyudh (now Minister of the Interior), visited Burma and signed trade agreements with SLORC on fishing and logging in Burma[24]. The Thai logging companies, mainly owned by the Thai Generals, trades at an estimated $100 million each year [25]. The investments of oil companies are also substantial. By mid 1990, Burma's foreign reserve rose to \$550 million, facilitating SLORC to buy $ 1.2 billion worth of armsof arms from China [26].

The Royal Thai Government has always been in favour of the policy of a constructive engagement for Burma. By which it means the economic liberalization and support of foreign capital would induce social and political changes. This policy of constructive engagement fell through when the government responsible lacked the will to implement change. Such is the case of Burma, SLORC spends most of its foreign exchange solely to buy arms and are used in oppressing the unarmed civilian population.

The Royalhe Royal Thai Government's treatment of Burmese refugees and displaced people is also controversial [27]. The Royal Thai Government is unwilling to acknowledge the events developing in Burma. It also trys to prevent the conflict between the Burmese military and the ethnic minority being addressed at the international level. The displaced people along the Thai-Burma border are considered a result of violence in Burma and their existence on Thai territory has been informally tolerated. The international observers, UNHCR and ICRC, areRC, are not allowed permanent presence on these refugee camps, leaving the refugees to negotiate their own safety with local authorities. The shortcomings of such a policy are evident due to the persistent abuse on refugees having been reported. The abuse and mis-treatment to Burma's ethnic refugees by Local Thai Authorities for commercial interests was reported in Asia Watch as:

In April 1991, Sangklaburi officials cut all delivery of food and medicines to the more than 10,000 Mon refugees residing in five camps camps in their district. The cut was at a crucial time when stockpiling was a imperative, prior to the May-August rains which prohibits access to the camps. The threat of starvation that this posed forced Mon leaders to agree to a fine of 800,000 Baht, in logs from the Mon State, to the Phathumthani logging company. The fine was compensation for the destruction of a logging truck and death of its driver in February 1991 which the Mon claimed had illegally entered their territory. Once the agreement between Phathumthani and the Mo the Mon was reached, the District authorities allowed food and medicine to be transported to the refugee camps.

The collusion of the Thais and Burmese army to capture the rebel outposts has also been reported.

... The reported use of Thai soil by Burmese troops in their recent attack on Nai Et Thaung, once captured the uncontested replacement of a Thai border flag with a Burmese and a new road under construction for the past 10 months from Thai side leading directly to Nai Et Thaung, leaves no illusions at the collaboration and vested interests of Thai and Burmese officials.

Burmese dissidents within Thailand are also subject to arrest, detention and deportation. For example, after General Chavalit visited Burma for trade talks in December 1988, Burmese students were deported as was reported in Asia Watch[28]:

Following these events, 8-10,000 Burmese dissidents fled to the Thai-Burmese border seeking shelter and support from the ethnic minorities and the international community. onal community. In a meeting on November 22, 1988, the cabinet of Royal Thai Government decided to offer asylum to Burmese student dissidents. On December 22, however, the government reversed its policy and announced the establishment of the Tak Repatriation Center. From this Center, located in Tak province on the Thai Burmese border where the large number of dissidents had fled, the Thal military with the cooperation of the provincial office of Thai Red Cross (but with the concern raised by the national office) began flying these asylum ssylum seekers back to Rangoon and into hand of SLORC. During the months between December 1988 and February 1989, some 328 Burmese dissidents were repatriated. There were no international observers involved and claims of forced repatriation were frequent....

Since Thailand is not a party to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees or to its 1967 Protocol, the UNHCR in Bangkok is unable to give protection to the Burmese students dissidents. There were incidences where Burmese students who registered wtered with UNHCR (persons of concern to UNHCR) are treated inhumanely by Thai police:

That vulnerability was illustrated when, in the latter half of 1991, two Burmese ``persons of concern to UNHCR'' were shot and killed by Thai police upon arrest. Min Thein was fatally shot in the back on July 31, while attempting to run away from Thai immigration officers. Ye Soe Aung was brutally beaten, stabbed and then shot twice by Thai police on November 4, 1991. His body was recovered on November 10 approximately 10 km from km from the place of arrest. Both incidences had numerous witnesses and yet to date no officer have been indicted. UNHCR has reportedly pressed for such an incident.}

As of June 1992, the Royal Thai Government has set up a refugee camp in Ratchaburi province known as 'Safe Area'. Under this arrangement, the Burmese dissidents who registered with the Ministry of Interior(MOI) will be permitted to go to the `Safe Area'. In early 1993, Asia Watch reported that Burmese students in Bangkok are persuaded by UNHCR to goR to go to the `Safe Area' [29].

V. Illegal entrants and Prostitutes

There are people whose homes are deep inside Burma and have enter neighbouring Thai provinces and worked illegally [30]. These new arrivals are not absorbed by minority groups at the Thai-Burma border camps and Thai authorities designate them as 'Burmese illegal immigrants'. Their numbers significantly increase after the 1990 election crackdown. The reason for their flight has been: opposition party support, unreasonable taxationaxation and price fixing, bribery, and forced conscriptions. In fact, as the authors of Asia Watch noted and can be seen in (III), there is no clear distinction that can be drawn between these groups, but all are suffering from persistent and gross violations of Human Rights in Burma.

The deteriorating economy is also mounting pressure on the Burmese people as their social and moral life declines. Under SLORC, the economy in Burma is deteriorated to a point where many will do anything to survive. There have been reports of an s of an increase in prostitution inside Burma [31]. The trafficking of Burmese woman, especially young girls, into Thailand as sex-slaves has also increased [32,33].

The Royal Thai Government responds to this influx of illegal entrants and prostitutes by rounding them up, detaining and deporting them immediately [34]. There are frequent reports of inhumane detention and mistreatment of Burmese prostitutes. There is no screening procedure to check whether those deportees have well founded fears of persecution.

VI. Recent developments

Thailand presently accommodates an estimated 80,000 Burmese dissidents and ethnic refugees [35], in addition to 500,000 illegal immigrants [36]. Despite the presence of such a high number of Burmese refugees, the people of Thailand - Thai students in particular -appear to have sympathy and tolerance towards Burmese refugees.

The Royal Thai Government, on the other hand, continues with its dubious policy on Burmese refugees and Burma. The Royal Thai Government's unwillingnessingness to address Burma's ethnic refugee problem could be seen as a gesture that reflects the Thais neutral policy towards Burma's internal politics. However, it must be stressed that such neutral policy is responsible for Burma's displaced people's vulnerability and abuse by the Royal Thai Government's own members. Therefore, Thailand must change its Burmese Refugee Policy and give the UNHCR and ICRC access to the refugee camps along Thai-Burma border.

With regards to Burmese dissidents in Thailand, the UNHCR in Bangkok haveok have no mandate to protect refugees, even if they are registered with UNHCR, since the Royal Thai Government has not prepared any special legislation. The Royal Thai Government's arrangement of a Safe Area is an attempt to give justification of its generosity and sympathy towards Burmese students [37]. At the same time, however, the Royal Thai Government continues its practice of rounding up ``Burmese illegal immigrants'' and deported them immediately [38]. There have been no independent observers present at those deportations.ations. In fact, all Burmese Refugees in Thailand are technically illegal and there are no screening processes for the deportations. Burmese dissidents are therefore concerned of arbitrary detention and deportations. As a consequence, some Burmese students choose not to report to the MOI, and do not register with UNHCR. There were recent reports of conflicts between the Burmese students and the Thai Authorities[39]. Therefore, the Royal Thai Government would need to enact a legislation similar to the Comprehensive Plan of Action fction for Indochinese Refugees to prevent further tragedy.

In July 1993, SLORC announced that the logging deals with Thailand would not be renewed [40]. This was interpreted by expatriate Burmese and NGOs as SLORC applying pressure on the Royal Thai Government for better cooperation in eliminating ethnic rebels along Thai-Burma border[41]. There have also been fear that refugee villages in the vicinity of the proposed natural gas pipeline between Thailand and Burma being attacked in an attempt to clear the area[42].

VII. Conclusion.

Clearly, the constructive engagement policy doesn't work for a better Burma as the Burmese Military Government have no will to enact genuine social and economic reform. In past 5-years, SLORC used most of its resources to built up military power. Unless there is a change in this attitude, the Royal Thai Governments constructive engagements with Burma simply amounts to collusions with an evil power. The Royal Thai Government's policy of constructive engagement as well as policy policy on Burmese refugees need to be rectified.

Presently, there is not enough political will among the members of the international community to impose an effective trade embargo on Burma. However, the international community and Thailand must not overlook the implications of doing trade with Burma. The international community must ensure that the Burmese unarmed civilian population is protected from Human Rights abuses. The measure must be taken to ensure the economic development and establishment of a democratic governmenovernment with a just constitution being fulfilled. The United Nations and international community must therefore actively seek for the implementation of an international arms embargo.

As trading between Thailand and Burma continues, the Royal Thai Government must ensure the safety of Burmese dissidents and ethnic refugees and that they are protected. The Royal Thai Government must consider granting political asylum to the Burmese refugees and also give full access to the UNHCR to protect ethnic refugee camps.

The attention tention must be drawn on the plight of the internally displaced people in Burma, which is the root cause of the influx of refugees into Thailand. The plight of internally displaced people can be seen as consequences of SLORC's four-cuts strategy. Sadly, SLORC will continue its counter insurgency campaign unless rebels surrender to the government- which is a most unlikely scenario. Therefore, the international community must actively seek to implement an effective cease-fire between SLORC and ethnic rebel forces.

As the military litary governments effort to eliminate rebels sets to continue, the international community need to give attention to the protection of basic Human Rights to the unarmed civilian population. In the case of forced relocations, we must address the arbitrary deprivation of property from the villagers. SLORC's insensitivity for the basic humanitarian needs of villagers must also be condemned. We must ensure that SLORC compensates the villagers for their property and deliver the basic humanitarian needs of the villagers.

Proposed Action: Write to Ms Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, The Prime Minister of Thailand, for protection for displaced Burmese people in Thailand. Also write to Professor Yozo Yokota, The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar, for the compensation and welfare of the internally displaced people.

Ms Sadako Ogata





Prime Minister Chuan Leekpaiuan Leekpai

Office of the Prime Minister

Government House

Nakorn Pathom Road, Dusit,

Bangkok 103000


Professor Y. Yokota

The Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Myanmar

Palais des Nations

1211 Geneva 10


Attached with this letter are collected news items concerning situation of Burmese refugees in Thailand. Please contact the secretary regarding your action and also further information. This report is written by Dr. U Ne Oo, a member of Burma Action(SA).a Action(SA).


[1] SLORC Declaration 1/90, Far Eastern Economic Review, 9 July 1992.

[2] Janelle M. Diller, Constitutional Reform in a Repressive State: The Case of Burma, ASIAN SURVEY, Vol. XXXIII, No. 4, pp. 393-407.

[3] The author concluded in his paper as, "in sum, the control of the constitution making process defeats any attempt to create a genuine constitution reflecting the will of the people. SLORC rules in violation of former constitutional provisions, has proclaimed itself above the rule of law, af law, and imposed its form of constitution-making process on the people without their free consent. Only when SLORC cedes its governing power to the elected People's Assembly can truly genuine constitution-making process begin.'' ibid, pp. 407.

[4] Far Eastern Economic Review, 8 August 1991, pp 56-60.

[5] Bangkok Post, 16 July 1993.[B - 1.3]

[6] Burma Information Group reports, January 1993, 14 July 1993.[B - 1.1, 1.2]

[7] Russell Rollason et. al, International Council of Voluntary Agency, Mission to Burma Report, 28eport, 28 May 1993.

[8] Bertil Lintner, Outrage:Burma's struggle for democracy, White Lotus UK,(1990).

[9] Asiaweek, 4 January 1991.

[10] Amnesty International, Myanmar, ``No Law at all'', Human rights violations under military rule., AI Index ASA: 16/11/92.

[11] The Government in exile, National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), signed an agreement to establish a Federal Union of Burma with the umbrella organization of ethnic rebel and underground Burmese groups, Democratic Alliance of iance of Burma(DAB).

[12] Bertil Lintner, The Rise and Fall of Communist Party of Burma, Ithaca New York, (1990).

[13] Russell Rollason, et al, ICVA Mission to Burma Report, 28 May 1993.

[14] Far Eastern Economic Review, 1 April 1993.[ A - 1.5 ]

[15] The four-cut strategy: the military attempts to cut links of intelligence, food, money and recruit between armed opposition groups and local civilians. (AI Index ASA: 16/11/92)

[16] These events are not only occured in the Karen State. As Burma have various ethnious ethnic insurgency groups fighting with Rangoon central government, an estimated 12 million people suffers a result of counter insurgency throughout Burma.

[17] The military make the area totally un-inhabitable for the rebels.}.

[18] U Saw Ba Thin and Jack Dunford, ACFOA seminor on Burma, Sydney, Australia, 28 May 1993.

[19] Professor Yozo Yokota, The Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights. Document E/CN.4/1993/37, 17 February 1993.

[20] Bangkok Post, 27 June 1993.[ A - 1.4 ]}. As a result, those village villagers cross the Thai border looking for food, at a reported rate of 1000 per day.

[21] Far Eastern Economic Review, 29 July 1993, pp-9.

[22] These are not an unprecedented events only occured in the Karen State. Amnesty International in 1992, for example, reported similar events in Kayah State. ``... Some villagers went to Pruso town but thousands of others were confined in poor conditions in the camps at Dorawkhu, Hoya and Delaco villages. More than 40 people - particularly children and elderly- had reportedly died fly died from malnutrition in these camps by the end of July (1992). Others, who were forced to do construction work for the army, were reportedly beaten and shot by soldiers. During March and April 1992 over 1200 Karenni refugees from Kayah State fled into Thailand mostly from Pruso township.''(AI Index ASA: 16/11/92)}.

[23] The Burmese Border Consortium under the auspices of the Committee for Co-ordination of Services to Displaced Persons in Thailand. ICVA Mission to Burma report, 28 May 1993.}.

[24] Far Eastern Economic Revomic Review, 23 February 1989 ( see Appendix: A - 1.1).

[25] South East Asian Information Network report, 28 April 1993; Far Eastern Economic Review, Asia 1992 Year Book.

[26] Far Eastern Economic Review, 8 August 1991, pp 56-60.

[27] Asia Watch, Abuses Against Burmese Refugees in Thailand, Vol. No 4 Issue No 7., 20 March 1992.

[28] See also Appendix: A - 1.1, Far Eastern Economic Review, 23 February 1989.

[29] Asia Watch, 28 January 1993. [ C - 1.1 ].

[30] Asia Watch, {\em Vol. No 4 Issue No 7.},ue No 7.}, 20 March 1992; Bangkok Post, 27 June 1993. [ A - 1.4 ].

[31] Far Eastern Economic Review, 20 February 1992, pp 31. [ B - 1.4 ]

[32] Bangkok Post, 16 July 1993. [ B - 1.3 ]}

[33] Burma Information Group reports, January 1993, 14 July 1993. [ B - 1.1, 1.2 ]}.

[34] Bangkok Post, 7 July 1993.

[35] See the map of refugee camps in Appendix: A - 1.2

[36] Generally, people who fled from the fear of government persecution and armed conflict are referred as refugees. Illegal immigrants are those who try to escatry to escape from poverty in Burma and may not have fear of political persecution. As the author of Asia Watch noted and as explained in III, the distinction between these two groups are only arbitrary.}.

[37] Burma Action(SA) was recently informed by UN refugee officers that the Safe Area meets accepted international standards for the welfare and protection of refugees.

[38] Bangkok Post, 7 July 1993.

[39] Burma Information Group report, 31 May 1993. [ C - 1.2 ].

[40] Far Eastern Economic Review, 22 July 1993. [ C - 1.3 C - 1.3 ].

[41] B.U.R.M.A. Burma Rights Movement for Action, July 1993.

[42] Project Maje's Edith Mirante publication, August 1993. [ C - 1.5 ].

Burma Action Group Report to UNGA(93)