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BurmaNet News: October 10 (r)



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************************** BurmaNet **************************
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"
**************************************************************

BurmaNet News: Wednesday, October 10, 1994
Issue #30

*************************************************************
Contents:

NATION: JUNTA SAYS SHAN STATE STRIFE FREE
BURMANET: SHAN TROOPS TAKE UP POSITIONS ALONG SINO-BURMESE BORDER
BKK POST: BURMA DRUG LORD EXECUTED
BKK POST: BURMESE FM TALKS TO UN
BKK POST: MEKONG ACCORD A STEP CLOSER

*************************************************************
BKK POST: JUNTA SAYS SHAN STATE STRIFE FREE
October 10 

BURMA'S Shan State has been declared free of ethnic insurgency
with the latest ceasefire agreement reached between the ruling
military junta and a Pa-O  splinter group, an official news re-
lease said yesterday.

According to the official announcement, members of the Shan
State Nationalities Liberation  Organization ((SSNLO)), known as
the Red Pa-O and by Tha Kalei, active in southern Shan State,
agreed to a ceasefire in exchange for area development.

The ceasefire agreement was signed yesterday at Sisaing town-
ship, 64 kilometres east of Taungyi, the southern Shan capital,
the official announcement said.

Under the agreement, the 1,770-strong SSNLO will now join the
government in developing their area of jurisdiction it said.

The other Pa-O splinter group, known as the Pa-O National
Organization  (PNO)  led by Aung Kham Hti, had earlier in 1991
joined others in agreeing to a ceasefire with the government.

Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, the first secretary of the
ruling (SLORC), was quoted as saying at the signing ceremony
yesterday that the whole of Shan State in north and northeastern
Burma was now free of ethnic based insurgency.

*************************************************************
BURMANET: SHAN TROOPS TAKE UP POSITIONS ALONG SINO-BURMESE BORDER
October 10, 1994

BurmaNet has credible reports that about 1,000 troops from Khun Sa's Mong Tai
Army (M.T.A.) have taken up positions along the Sino-Burmese border near Shwe
Li.  The bulk of Khun Sa's troops are along the Thai-Burmese border where
they are locked in a fight with SLORC troops.  Burma-watchers speculate that
the purpose of Shan troops so far north in Shan State is to open a trade
route through China's Yunnan province now that fighting along the Thai border
has blocked many trade and trafficking routes.

SLORC's declaration of a strife-free zone notwithstanding, heavy fighting is
expected in the Shan State once the present rainy season ends in a few weeks.


*************************************************************
BKK POST: BURMA DRUG LORD EXECUTED
9 October

A MAN called a major drug lord of the "Golden Triangle"
between China, Burma and Laos has been executed, official
media reported yesterday.

Yang Maoxian, 48, was executed on Friday shortly after being
convicted of smuggling hundreds of kilos of heroin in to
China, the People 's Daily said.

The report did not say how Yang was executed. Executions in
China are usually by a single gunshot to the head.
Yang was arrested May 8 after crossing the border in to the
southwestern province of Yunnan, which borders Burma.
The provincial supreme court found Yang guilty of smuggling
212 kilos of heroin, 42.6 kilos of which he carried, the report
said.

Nine other drug traffickers were punished, the report said  
without elaboration.


***************************************************************
BKK POST: BURMESE FM TALKS TO UN
October 10

BURMESE Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw has held two rounds of
discussions with a representative of United Nations'
Secretary-general Boutros Boutros_Ghali, according to
Foreign Minister Prasong Soonsiri.

Sqn Ldr Prasong met with the Burmese minister yesterday
during which Mr Ohn Gyaw briefed him about the meetings
without giving details.

Mr Ohn Gyaw is in New York to attend the UN General
Assembly, which he is scheduled to address on Tuesday. While
here the Burmese minister also met European Union chairman
and German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel.

Meanwhile, a well-placed source said SLORC Secretary Hhin
Nyunt, believed to be the junta's key man, will hold another
meeting with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon.
The schedule of the talks has not been set but it will discuss
in detail the attempts by the government to bring about
national reconciliation, the source said.

It will be a follow-up to the dialogue between Gen Than Shwe,
chairman of SLORC Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, and Aung San Suu Kyi
last month in Rangoon.The first meeting centered on attempts
by the Rangoon government to resolve social and political
problems in the country, the source added.

Asked to comment on the furture talks between the junta and
the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Sqn Ldr Prasong said it was a
good thing and he would like to see more talks as it would
narrow the gap and eliminate mistrust between the two
sides.


***************************************************************
BKK POST: MEKONG ACCORD A STEP CLOSER
"Four nations disagree on some articles concerning navigation pact"

THE four countries of the upper Mekong River, popularly
knows as the "Golden Quadrangle, " are a step closer to
concluding a navigation agreement on the Lancang _Mekong
River after a second day of talks yesterday.

Delegates from Burma, China, Laos and Thailand, mostly from
the transport sector, accepted most of the 24-article
agreement which China was assigned to draft at the second
quadripartite meeting in Kunming in January 1994.

However, a source at the meeting said of the 24 articles in the
agreement, the four countries could not agree on Article 5,  18
and 23.

Article 5 calls for all four participating countries to grant
"most favoured nation " status to each other with regard to
formalities in vessel entry and departure, customs clearance
and other formalities, utilization of docks and warehouses and
other port facilities, material supplies, and the levying of
taxes and port charges.

The source also said the Burmese delegation, headed by U Pe
Than, director-general of Waterways Department, Ministry of
transport, asked that the article be skipped for now because it
had to be referred to the government in Rangoon as to what it
defines as "most favoured nation."The meeting agreed to this
request, the source said.

An international maritime expert at the meeting, however, said
the term "most favoured nation " was an "American creation "
and a case of "bad English."
He said the spirit of the article is to facilitate as much as
possible, the movement of  people and goods on the Lancang-
Mekong River.

Article 18 about the tax  exemption for shipping operations was
deleted altogether from the draft, the meeting source said.

Chiang  Rai governor Khamorn Booncherd said after the
meeting that it is  not possible that all taxes, levies and duties
whatsoever are exempted.  "It's all money, border crossing ,
docking, storage of cargo, etc.,"the governor said.

Another meeting source said that it had been clear from the
beginning that the two countries which would be most active
in the use of the river are China and Thailand, in light of the
increasing economic activities between them.
He said Burma and Laos, which would benefit from the
expansion of international tourism, were eyeing the collection
of taxes, levies and duties along their section of the Mekong
River, and could not accept tax exemptions.

However , governor Khamorn as well as other delegates
preferred to say they were transport experts and not tax 
experts and decided to refer the matter to concerned
authorities.

Mr Xay Phakasoum, permanent secretary for Communication,
Transport, Post and Construction told reporters the matter
will be referred to responsible authorities of each country to
work out the details.

Governor Khamorn said what is not covered in the agreement
will still be covered by existing laws and regulations of each
country.

On article 23 which sets the duration of the enforcement of
the agreement, the source said all the countries, except for
Laos, preferred an initial five-year duration, instead of the
proposed three years in the draft agreement.

"Laos wants to try it out for three years first before
deciding," the source said.

The source also revealed that the Thai delegation, headed by
Mr Sukhum Rasmidatta, director -general of the Economic
Department, Foreign Ministry, had proposed to add to the
agreement an article prohibiting the transport of hazardous
products between the four countries. The meeting accepted, the source said.

Governor Khamron said the four -party secretariat will work
out what products are to be place on the prohibition list.

Today, delegates from the four countries will visit a cement
plant at Vang Vieng, some one hundred kilometres from
Vientiane, while officials work on the draft.

Mr Xay Phakasoum said his delegation does not object to the
expansion of the navigation agreement from Simao Port to
Laung Prabang.

It has been proposed that the Simao-Chiang Khong stretch be
covered under the agreement at this stage.

Source said Laos was reluctant to open its river to its
traditional capital of Luang Prabang while the Chinese
delegation eagerly pushed for it.

Mr Ding Weimin, division chief of the department of Yunnan
province, confirmed his delegation added the Chiang Khong -
Luang Prabang stretch during the drafting process.

Mr Xay Phakasoum said that at this level, Laos could accept
the Chinese proposal, however it had to refer to its
government for endorsement.

He said Laos could stand to benefit from increased
international tourism to Luang Prabang. 


***************************************************************

ABBREVIATIONS USED BY BURMANET:

 AP: ASSOCIATED PRESS
 AFP: AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
 AWSJ: ASIAN WALL STREET JOURNAL
 BBC: BRITISH BROADCASTING CORPORATION
 BI: BURMA ISSUES
 BIG: BURMA INFORMATION GROUP
 BKK POST: THE BANGKOK POST
 CPPSM: COMMITTEE FOR THE PUBLICITY OF THE PEOPLE'S STRUGGLE IN MONLAND
 FEER: FAR EAST ECONOMIC REVIEW
 NATION: THE NATION (DAILY NEWSPAPER, BANGKOK)

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