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Pacific Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - May 20, 1997, Tokyo, Japan PACIFIC STARS AND STRIPES TUESDAY, MAV 20,1997 SThe Associated PressHew South Wales Police Department workers look over weapons citizens have handedin for refunds. The rapid-fire rifles are then destroyed at this secret facility,BYVTJAYjOSfflThe Associated PressSYDNEY, Australia — Swinging ahammer, Al Egan hacks at a semiauto-matic rifle. Soon, the gun is dismem-bered — thei barrel, the wooden butt andmetal parts strewn across a.bench.All around him, in a room filled withthe clang of bludgeoning hammers,Egan's friends pulverize an endless line'of rifles and shotguns disgorged by aconveyor belt"A lot of engineering has gone intosome of these beautiful pieces, but- de-stroying them does good for everyone,"Egan says. He and his 14 colleagues de-molish about 1,000 guns each day.For the past year, responding ta theworst massacre by a lone gunman in his-tory, Australia has pushed ahead with anambitious plan to buy mititary-style,rapid-fire rifles from civilians and de-stroy them,„ The work is done at a police facility ina quiet Sydney neighborhood. The loca-tion is not advertised because, policedon't want criminals raiding the arsenalto steal weapons.Officials say the guns 'are broken upwith hammers because it woulH be toocomplicated to develop machines thatcould handle the variety of sizes and ma-terials. The metal parts are melted formaking such products as paper clips andtoys, and the wood and plastic also arerecycled. 0 "
utside pressureon Burma, backs bid to join ASEANThe Associated PressRANGOON, Burma — Thailand hascome out against Western countriesseeking to change milita,ry-run Burmathrough outside pressure and reaffirmedits support for the country's^ entry intothe region's economic bloc.A joint communique said each nationhas "the right to pursue its own path ofnational development and that outsideinterference would be counterpro-ductive."The communique was issued Saturdayat the conclusion of a two-day visit byThiw Prime Minister Chavalit Ypng-ehaiyudti, *who has long had close tieswith the ndmg Burmese junta.The communique said Chavalit ^af-firmed Thai support for the admission ofBurma, along with Cambodia and Laos,into the Association of Southeast AsianNations' (ASEAN) so, that ''SoutheastAsia could become a truly united com-jmunity of nations." VThe United States, m particular isseeking to keep Burma out of ASEANand last month slapped economic sanc-tions on the courifiy.Washington cited the military's in-£reased repression of the democracymovement led by Aung San Suu Kyi, tfye.1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner.^ But Thailan^ and other SoutheastAsian countries say they favor a "con-structive engagement" policy towardBurma rather than seeking changethrough economic sanctions or otherforms of pressure;
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