The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, September 12, 1988, Page 2, Image 2

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    News Digest
Burmese government to hold elections in 3 months
RANGOON, Burma — Parliament on Sun
day yielded to weeks of massive nationwide
protests and approved holding the first multi
party elections since 1960.
The legislature appointed a group of elders
to supervise the polling and set a target date for
about three months from Saturday, when Presi
dent Maung Maung announced the ruling
Burma Socialist Program Party would relin
quish its 26-year monopoly on power.
Despite government concessions, opposi
tion leaders continued to press for an interim
government to cope with Burma’s growing
chaos, and demonstrations continued in the
Maung Maung issued a stern warning to
demonstrators, who have taken to the streets by
the millions since spring in their fight for
“People are now fed up with this lawlessness
and arc expecting the government to take effec
tive action,” Maung Maung said. “I therefore
warn those responsible for the lawlessness to
cease such activities.”
In some areas of Burma, he said, students
and Buddhist monks were setting up rival local
governments, creating “a grave and dangerous
situation for those responsible.”
He called on demonstrators to get back to
work and on civil servants to reactivate the
stalled machinery of government. In addition,
he attacked the recent formation of a rival
government by former Prime Minister U Nu.
Maung Maung called Sunday’s decision “a
milestone in Burmese history.”
“It will be evident in 20 years’ time whether
the decision was corrector not,” he told the 489
member Parliament.
While authorizing elections in about three
months, Parliament also held out the possibility
that they could be postponed or held as early as
Parliamentempowered the Council of State,
the highest government organ, to change the
Constitution to permit a multiparty system,
enlarge the elections commission if necessary
and formulate election rules.
Named to the Elections Supervision Com
mission were three retired civil servants, a
retired army brigadier general and a former
member of Parliament. The men, all over 70,
are generally regarded as neutral, although not
especially prominent. At least four arc not
members of the ruling party.
The Parliament session was held under tight
security, and delegates slept in the building
Saturday night. The area was cordoned off with
barbed-wire fences and road blocks manned by
The multiparty elections would be the first
in Burma since Feb. 6, 1960, when U Nu’s
Clean Anu-racist reopie s rrceaom League
won a massive victory over an army-backed
party. U Nu was overthrown by the military on
March 2,1962. The coup, led by Gen. Ne Win,
ushered in rigid one-party rule.
Maung Maung urged Burma’s 22 million
voters to “use their potent weapon — the vote
— to choose the right representatives.’’
The Western-trained lawyer and author, the
country’s first civilian leader in 26 years, said
he would not run in the elections and the
powerful military “will not lobby for any party
in the general elections.”
A Western diplomat in Rangoon said the
Burmese people were highly skeptical of the
recent government moves.
“They don't trust the government to keep
this promise” of elections, said the diplomat,
speaking on condition of anonymity. “They
perceive it as another trick.”
i Snow gives break to firefighters
TIONAL PARK, Wyo. — Snow
dusted parts of Yellowstone Na
tional Park on Sunday, giving fire
fighters a break in their battle
against forest fires, and employees
evacuated from park headquarters
began returning.
Federal officials said they
would double the number of sol
diers sent to battle the fires that
have charred nearly half the 2.2
million-acre park.
After months of drought and
heal, temperatures were expected
to reach only the mid-5()s Sunday
with humidity as high as 90 per
cent. Some sections of the park
were dampened by light showers
Winds were expected to stay in
a more manageable range of 15 to
30 mph, well below the gusts above
50 mph that had driven the flames
the previous two days.
Fires have charred more than
900,(XX) acres of Yellowstone
since June in what firefighters call
the worst fire season in the West in
30 years.
Smoke has drifted as far cast as
Pennsylvania and New York, the
National Weather Service said
“A couple days ago most of the
smoke was over the Midwest and it
has now gradually drifted east
ward,” said Brian Smith of the
Severe Storms Center in Kansas
City, Mo. ‘‘It’s just going to have a
thin hazy appearance and might
create some colorful sunsets, but
it’s not expected to present any
health problems because it’s so far
In Colorado, residents of moun
tain neighborhoods in Boulder
Canyon were evacuated Saturday
when 60 mph gusts pushed a fire
across fire lines on three sides,
doubling the blaze to nearly 1,500
acres. The fire moved about 7 mph.
Crews near Wenatchee, Wash.,
completed firebreaks around about
90 percent of a 47,000-acrc fire,
although containment was at least
three days away.
A 229,400-acrc fire in Yellow
stone remained about a mile from
park headquarters at Mammoth
Hoi Springs, said spokeswoman
Marly Tobias. Thai fire has threat
ened West Yellowstone, Mont.,
and destroyed several buildings at
Old Faithful geyser.
Park officials Saturday ordered
all families and noncsscntial em
ployees to leave Mammoth, near
the park’s north entrance. But they
were allowed back after conditions
improved. Tobias did not know
how many people decided to re
A mile from headquarters, fire
fighters sprayed protective foam
Sunday on buildings at the Young
Adult Conservation Corps camp,
where fire destroyed a tent.
“Basically with this cold front
that’s moved in it’s going to pul us
kind of in a holding pattern. We’ll
sec how it goes from there,’’ Tobias
said. “Let’s just drop this wind and
we’ll be in business.”
However, Brian Morris, a For
est Service spokesman in West
Yellowstone, said: “It’s not going
to be with us loo long. We expect
warmer weather and a drying trend
this week.”
More Americans are buying books, visiting museums
WASHINGTON — A growing
number of Americans arc buying
books, visiting museums and joining
cultural groups, but enrollment in
college humanities courses has fallen
drastically in the past 20 years, a
government report said Sunday.
The report by Lynne V. Cheney,
chairwoman of the National Endow
ment for the Humanities, describes a
“remarkable blossoming” of public
interest in history, literature and the
other humanities, and says television
actually is boosting purchases of
Americans who spent twice as
much on sports events as on cultural
endeavors 20 years ago are now
spending more on culture — $3.4
billion compared with $3.1 billion for
sports in 1986, the report said.
The endowment, an independent
federal agency, said the bad news is
found at colleges and universities,
where preparation for a money-mak
ing vocation has overtaken interest in
gelling a well-rounded liberal arts
While the number of bachelor’s
degrees awards increased 88 percent
in the past two decades, degrees in the
humanities dropped 33 percent, it
said. Foreign language majors were
down 29 percent, English majors 33
percent, philosophy majors 35 per
cent and history majors 43 percent, it
Mrs. Cheney said too many col
leges are neglecting the achieve
mcnts of Western culture while re
quiring ethnic courses, treating litera
ture masterpieces as political docu
ments, stressing publishing rather
than teaching, anddealing in topics so
specialized that they have little mean
ing outside the academic world.
The 73-page report ordered by
Congress on the state of American
culture said the country’s museums,
libraries, educational TV stations,
state humanities councils and private
historical societies provide so much
education that they have become “a
kind of parallel school,” reaching
millions of people outside college
“The remarkable blossoming of
the humanities in the public sphere is
one of the least noted, though most
important, cultural developments of
the last few decades,” wrote Mrs.
The $140 million endowment she
has headed since May 1986 provides
grants to scholars, colleges, muse
ums, libraries and other i istitutions to
promote the humanities
Citing a variety of sources, the
report gives several examples of in
creased public interest in the humani
ties, including a doubling of the
number of historical organizations in
20 years to nearly 10,000, brisk sales
of cultural books and a 660 percent
increase in visitors to the National
Gallery of Art in Washington since
In assessing the academic ap
proach to the humanities, the report
says: “Viewing humanities texts as
though they were primarily political
documents is the most noticeable
trend in academic study of the hu
manities today. Truth and beauty and
excellence arc regarded as irrelevant;
questions of intellectual aesthetic
quality, dismissed.”
The report says Western tradition
is rich and creative, but many colleges
arc abandoning courses that teach it.
It says a course in great Western
literature is under attack at Columbia
University in New York. The report
said Mount Holyoke College in Mas
sachusetts and the University of
Wisconsin at Madison require ethnic
or Third World courses but have no
Western civilization requirements.
Disease threatens thousands
Editor. Curl Wagner Photo Chiet Eric Gregory
472*1766 Asst Photo Chiet David Fahleson
Managing Editor Diana Johnson Night News Editor Amy Edwarda
Assoc News Editors Jane Hlrt Asst Night News
Lee Rood Editor/Librarian Anne Mohr!
Editorial Art Directors John Bruce
Page Editor Mike Rellley Andy Manharl
Wire Editor Bob Nelson General Managor Dan Shattll
Copy Desk Editor Chuck Green Production Manager Katherine Pollcky
Sports Editor Steve Sipple Advertising Manager Robert Bates
Arts A Entertain- Sales Manager David Thiemann
ment Editor Mlckl Haller Circulation Manager Eric Shanks
Diversions Editor Joelh Zucco Publications Board
Graphics Editor Darryl Mattox Chairman Tom Macy
The Daily Nebraskan (USPS 144 080) is published by the UNL Publications Board,
Nebraska Union 34,1400 R St., Lincoln, NE, Monday through Friday in the fall and spring
semesters and weekly in the summer sessions, except during vacations
Readers are encouraged to submit stoiy ideas and comments to the Daily Nebraskan
by phoning 472 1763 between 9 am and 5pm Monday through Friday The public also
has access to the Publications Board For information, contact Tom Macy, 4759868
Subscription price is $45 for one year
Postmaster Send address changes to the Daily Nebraskan, Nebraska Union 34,1400
R St .Lincoln, NE 68588 0448 Second class postage paid at Lincoln, NE
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Flood
waters began to recede Sunday,
and the government said it has
received $236 million in aid to
fight the destruction and disease
caused by the worst floods in
Thousands of lives were threat
ened by diarrhea caused by drink
ing water contaminated with sew
age and garbage washed up by
raging flood waters, health offi
cials said.
• More than 200,000 people have
contracted the disease and at least
123 have died from it, said the
officials, who spoke on condition
of anonymity.
As river levels began to fall after
two weeks of flooding, many resi
dents returned to their homes, said
officials at the Flood Control Cen
ter They said they expect the water
level to drop quickly starting
The floods covered three-quar
ters of the nation and 53 of the
country’s 64 districts, with a popu
lation of 30 million, said Informa
tion Minister Mahbubur Rahman.
He said 866 people have died of
drowning, snakebites and disease.
The government figure is consid
ered low, and newspapers estimate
at least 1,532 people have died.
“The world has responded
promptly and generously to our
appeal for help to the flood vie
tims,” Rahman told reporters.
He said the United States
pledged $150 million in aid on
Saturday, in addition to $2.6 mil
lion committed earlier. More funds
and relief supplies have arrived
from Japan, the Soviet Union, the
European Economic Community,
India, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,
among others, he said.
The Soviet Union has offered
100 tents, 1,000 blankets and 100
tons of medicine, he said.
Rahman estimated the damage
from flooding would exceed $1.4
billion and that 6,000 to 10,000
tons of grains stored in warehouses
were damaged or destroyed by