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Wired News on September 15 & 16, 19

Subject: Wired News on September 15 & 16, 1995

Attn: Burma Newsreaders
Re: Wired News on September 15 & 16, 1995

Foreign Media Blamed for Hurting Burma's Tourism

      RANGOON, Sept 16 (Reuter) - A Burmese government minister has blamed
incorrect information ``concocted'' by some foreign media for impairing the
tourism industry, which authorities are hoping will develop into the
country's most thriving business. 

    Lieutenant-General Kyaw Ba, minister for hotels and tourism and a member
of the ruling miltiary body, said in a speech on Friday that Burma would have
more visitors if the foreign media told the truth about the politcal
situation in the country. 

    ``Because of the misinformation that exaggerates the insurgency, many
foreigners still hold to the impression that Myanmar (Burma) is politically
unstable and unsafe to travel,'' he said. 

    On the contrary, people who visit feel that peace and stability prevail
and they accept the fact that Burma is safer than any other part of the
world, he said. 

    The military government has in recent years reached ceasefires with more
than a dozen ethnic minority insurgent forces though some anti-government
guerrillas still operate in remote areas. 

    ``We are fully confident that once we can eradicate the negative images
created by some foreign media our tourism industry will boom and reach new
heights,'' Kyaw Ba said. 

    ``The main purpose of the government designating 1996 ``Visit Myanmar
Year'' is to let the world know our political stability and to let foreign
visitiors enjoy our unique culture and beauty,'' he said. 

    Authorities originally hoped for 500,000 tourists in 1996 but some
government officials now say the number is unlikely to come up to expectation
because of insufficient infrastructure. 

    Tourist arrivals increased from 26,000 in 1992-93 to 61,000 in 1993-94
and nearly 100,000 so far this year, according to official statistics. 

    Burma's hotel and tourism industry has attracted foreign investment worth
$788 million, the second largest amount after the oil and gas sector. 

Reut03:59 09-16-95

Burma-India Trade Relations Seen Improving

      RANGOON, Sept 15 (Reuter) - Business relations between  Burma and its
western neighbour India are likely to expand  soon, the leader of an Indian
trade delegation said. 

    "There is now tremendous scope for larger Indo-Myanmar  (Burma) business
and trade, particularly with the eastern and  northeastern region of India
under the cross-border trade  agreement," said Bhaskar Sen, leader of a
business delegation  from Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
on  Thursday. 

    The seven-member Indian trade delegation arrived in  Rangoon on Tuesday
to look for business opportunities in Burma  which opened its market to
outside investments in 1988. 

    Border trade between the two countries was formally opened  in April. 

    During their visit Indian delegation members met with  government
officials including most of the economic ministers. 

    Burma said it would welcome Indian private sector  investment in areas
including energy, cement, financial  services, agro-industries,
infrastructure development and  textiles. 

    "The Trade Minister told us his government wanted to  further strengthen
the cordial relations with India,  particularly in trading and industrial
cooperation," Sen said. 

    He said Burma was considering setting up a consulate in  Calcutta.

Reut 05:27 09-15-95

Thai Police Seize Ammunition Said to be for Karen Rebel

      MAE SOT, Thailand, Sept 15 (Reuter) - Thai police have arrested a man
and confiscated a large amount of ammunition he said was intended for Karen
rebels in Burma, police said on Friday. 

    Police on the Burma border at Umphang district in Tak province stopped a
truck at a checkpoint late on Thursday and uncovered 6,938 M-16 rifle rounds,
324 M-79 shells and 30 81mm mortar bombs. 

    The driver told police he intended to deliver the ammunition to members
of the Karen National Union (KNU) based opposite Umphang on the Burmese side
of the frontier. 

    A senior KNU official denied the accusations made by the suspect, who was
being detained in police custody. 

    ``We have enough arms and ammunition to defend ourselves, we have no need
to buy any more weapons and have nothing to do with the Thai police's arms
seizure,'' a senior Karen official told Reuters. 

    Thai police earlier this month confiscated large amount of weapons in Tak
province which they said belonged to the KNU. 

    The KNU was formed in 1949 to fight for autonomy for the minority Karen.
It and the Shan State Restoration Council, the political wing of the opium
warlord Khun Sa, are the two major ethnic minority rebel groups still
fighting Rangoon. 

    Sixteen other rebel factions have reached peace agreements with Burma's
military government since 1989. 

Reut01:56 09-15-95