THAILAND - DALAI LAMA URGES RELEASE OF BURMA'S SUU KYI (FEB. 18) PAC RIM INTELLIGENCE REPO

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THAILAND - DALAI LAMA URGES RELEASE OF BURMA'S SUU KYI (FEB. 18) PAC RIM INTELLIGENCE REPORT - The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, yesterday expressed hope that the efforts of the Nobel Peace laureates will help to frec Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi who has been under house arrest in Rangoon since 1989. The Dalai Lama arrived here from New Delhi yesterday afternoon for a 24-hour visit, also urged the world community to take every effort to secure the release of Suu Kyi. "I am quite sure, in this way, we can make some contribution. Obviously it can raise some deeper awareness in the public mind," he told media representatives at Wat Bowon Nivet where he was to spend the night. "Eventually, I think we may achieve our goalthe release of Aung San Suu Kyi. It may take time," he said during the 30-minute interview. Asked whether the campaign in Thailand by the Nobel laureates to help Suu Kyi would constitute interference in Burma's internal affairs, he said with a smile: "Humanity knows no national boundary. " The Dalai Lama, whose visit here is opposed by some military leaders and opposition politicians, said countries help each other in times of suffering, such as floods, earthquakes, and famine as in Somalia. "Nobody says it is interference," he said. "So, similar is basic human rights. It is one kind of suffering which humanity must take care (of)." The 60-year-old Dalai Lama, who has for the past 40 years been a symbol of peaceful struggle by Tibetans against Chinese rule, was met by the Supreme Patriarch upon his arrival at the temple amidst extremely tight security. An army of policemen blocked off dozens of well-wishers who tried to offer him flowers. Describing the Supreme Patriarch as "my spiritual brother", the Dalai Lama said he was happy to be back in Thailand which he visited twice in 1969 and 1972 before diplomatic relations between Thailand and China were normalised. He was refused an entry visa in 1987 and 1990 by the Thai government which was afraid of offending Beijing. Just hours before his scheduled arrival, there was confusion as to where he would stay following reports that the milhary had objected to War Bowon Nivet giving him accommodation. The Thai organizers of his visit wanted War Charaprathan Rangsarit in Nonthaburi as an alternative. But two hours before his arrival it was decided that he would stay at War Bowon Nivet. "The Dalai Lama asked to stay at War Bowon Nivet Wihan." Dr Pradit Charoenthaithawi, rector of Mahidon University, told reporters. Besides the Dalai Lama. six other Nobel Peace laureates have also arrived in Bangkok to begin a campaign for human fights in neighbouring Burma. "In the long-run, showing concern by all humanity would benefit Burma," the Dalai Lama said of the on-going campaigns by the international community on behalf of the Burmese people. "The world is getting smaller. And everything depends on everything else. Others' interests are actually our own interest also. If others are happy, we will be happy. If others suffer, we ultimately will suffer." The spiritual leader. who lives in exile in India, said in 1991, during a meeting in Norway with other Nobel Peace laureates, he signed a joint appeal for Suu Kyi's release. Last year, he also made a separate appeal when the Burmese government began to release some political prisoners. The Dalai Lama said he had great admiration for Suu K.vi whom he described as a "real freedom fighter who received blood cells from her father", Aung San, the father of Burmese independence. Dr Pradit, who has been heavily cnticized by the military and the opposition for his role in arranging the laureates' visit, asked the media representatives to avoid asking the Dalai Lama about China or Tibet. Ammy Commander in Chief Gen Wimon Wongwanit claims the laureates' visit will affect Thailand's relations with China and Burma. But Pradit reiterated yesterday that the Dalai Lama's visit was based purely on his desire to promote Buddhism. "We have no intention to bring war into our own home as alleged by some people." he said, referring to Gen Wimon's earlier statement. He said the Dalai Lama is a very disciplined religious leader and he would not get involved in any political matters during his short stay in Thailand. I came here for peace. The main objective is for the release of Aung San Suu Kyi," said the Dalai Lama, clad in his traditional red and orange robes, to reporters who mobbed him at the airport. He only smiled when some reporters asked him to comment on opposition among certain quarters in Thailand to his visit. (passage omited)

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