Burma [BUR5174]

According to a Burmese professor at the Northern Illinois University's Center for Burma studies, party membership is "strongly encouraged" for those holding government positions. [ Telephone conversation of 15 May 1990.] Government employment in Burma includes many sectors such as teaching, military, etc., due to the overwhelming dominance of the economy by the State. [ Ibid.] If someone is specifically asked to join and explicitly refuses, sanctions are likely to be imposed. [ Ibid.] A Burma specialist at the State University of New York indicated that government employees were generally expected to join the party. [ Telephone conversation of 15 May 1990.] He added that he knew some people who had left the country to avoid joining the party. [ Ibid.] This information could not be corroborated by the published sources currently available to the IRBDC in Ottawa.