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Burma Headline News #4, 01/07/97
- Subject: Burma Headline News #4, 01/07/97
- From: waterly@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 07 Jan 1997 08:50:00
___Burma Headline News_#4_01/07/96
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts January 7, 1997, Tuesday
HEADLINE: Opposition leader Suu Kyi sends deputy to deliver Sunday address
SOURCE: Source: Radio Australia external service, Melbourne, in English 1500
gmt 5 Jan 97
Text of report by Radio Australia
Burma's opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has overcome restrictions on
her movement by military authorities by sending a deputy to deliver her
traditional Sunday address to supporters. Tin Oo, the vice-chairman of the
National League for Democracy, spoke to about 150 people gathered at a Rangoon
Supporters of Ms Suu Kyi have gathered at the intersection every weekend
since early October, when the military government barricaded her home to prevent
her speeches to supporters, which began after her release from six years of
house arrest in July 1995.
Ms Suu Kyi last spoke to her supporters at the intersection on 23rd November.
BBC Summary of World Broadcasts January 7, 1997, Tuesday
SECTION: Part 3 Asia-Pacific; CHINA; FOREIGN RELATIONS; VISITS; FE/D2810/G
HEADLINE: Burmese minister to visit China
SOURCE: Source: Xinhua news agency, Beijing, in English 0343 gmt 6 Jan 97
Text of report by Xinhua news agency
Yangon [Rangoon], 6th January: Myanmar [Burmese] Minister for Transport
Lt-Gen Thein Win left here today for Beijing via Hong Kong on a 10-day visit to
At the invitation of Minister of Communications of China Huang Zhendong,
Thein Win is scheduled to tour some Chinese cities including Zhuhai, Qingdao and
Shanghai where he will visit some shipyards and ports.
The Chinese minister visited Myanmar in November 1994.
Kyodo News Service, Japan Economic Newswire, JANUARY 6, 1997, MONDAY
HEADLINE: Singapore company opens container wharf in Myanmar
DATELINE: YANGON, Jan. 6 Kyodo
The first phase of a new port being built by Containerization and Packaging
(C and P) Holdings Ltd. of Singapore was opened Sunday at Thilawa, 16 kilometers
south of Yangon along the Yangon River, newspapers reported Monday.
The opening of the container terminal was attended by Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt,
secretary of the military government, the State Law and Order Restoration
Council, and Transport Minister Lt. Gen. Thein Win.
The Singapore company and the Yangon port authority signed agreements in 1995
to build a 1-km multipurpose and container port at Thilawa, which is 40 km
from the open sea.
The first phase is a 330-meter-long terminal. The remaining terminals are
expected to be in operation in another two years.
Under the agreement, the builders, C and P ( Myanmar) Pte Ltd., will build
and operate the new port for 25 years before handing over the whole facility to
the Yangon port authority free of charge. The new port will be known as
Myanmar International Terminals Thilawa.
'The new container terminal will greatly ease the handling of cargo at the
present Yangon wharves, which are under pressure of a fast-increasing volume of
trade. Yangon port handled 4.6 million tons of cargo in 1993-1994 and 5.7
million tons the following year,' Thein Win said at the opening ceremony,
according to the newspapers.
Agence France Presses, January 05, 1997 05:05 GMT
HEADLINE: Singapore polls revive debate over Western democracy and "Asian way"
BYLINE: Roberto Coloma
DATELINE: SINGAPORE, Jan 5
The crushing election victory of Singapore's ruling party has revived a
debate over whether Western political models suit a booming region where liberal
democracy has found a mixed, sometimes hostile reception.
The long-entrenched People's Action Party (PAP) swept 81 of 83 seats and
reaped 65 percent of the votes cast in parliamentary elections, delivering a
crippling blow to opposition groups advocating a less regulated society.
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, 55, said the outcome showed the affluent
city-state's three million people "have rejected Western-style liberal democracy
and freedoms, putting individual rights over that of society."
"We have heard that ad nauseam. That's his view," said J. B. Jeyaretnam, the
chief of the opposition Workers' Party, which won only one seat but alarmed the
government with a robust challenge that drew tens of thousands of people to
"What we are preaching is the dignity of the human being, the individual,
that the individual has rights and he has to live in freedom from fear," added
the 71-year-old politician, who charged that Singapore "has suffered a setback
on the road to establishing a democracy".
Singapore's experiment in what has come to be known as "rugged democracy" or
"soft authoritarianism" has been closely watched by other countries in Asia,
where wide political diversity persists despite intensifying economic
While countries like Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea and the Philippines have
opted for more freewheeling democratic set-ups, Singapore has developed a unique
version of the British parliamentary system, marked by a close-knit ruling party
and sophisticated political, media and social controls.
Other countries in the region, notably China, Burma and Vietnam, are also
encouraged by neighbors who do not reject authoritarianism and strive instead to
incorporate them into the economic mainstream without concern for their
Singapore is now Asia's second richest society after Japan, and Goh has
argued that this feat could not have been possible if Singapore had "a
multi-party system and a revolving-door government".
Goh's reading of the results "will sound good in Indonesia and Malaysia", two
other Southeast Asian nations which have refused to copy Western models, said
Bruce Gale, an analyst with the Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk
"I think that there's some truth in what he said, in that Singaporeans
appeared to have been voting for stability, material comforts as in (housing)
upgrading, and in rejecting the stand-up-for-your-rights line given by
Jeyaretnam," Gale said.
Goh's tactic of bluntly linking housing and other benefits to support for the
PAP was denounced by the opposition and criticized by the US State Department,
which said voters everywhere should be free to vote without fear of
repercussions from the government.
In Thailand, the Nation newspaper said in an editorial over the weekend that
the PAP "has nothing to be proud of about the outcome" of last Thursday's
"There is no doubt that the PAP-led government is one of the most efficient
administrations in the region. On the question of openness, however, it is
another matter. If the electorate could vote without fear of repercussions,
maybe the real voices would emerge," it said.
In Hong Kong, developments in Singapore are followed keenly in the run-up to
the territory's return to Chinese rule in July, and analysts say it could
provide pointers to the future of the territory under China.
Gale noted that both Singapore and Hong Kong are "two predominantly Chinese
city-states where we have seen over a number of years that the Chinese as a
whole are prepared to accept authoritarian governments in return for stability
Hong Kong's Chief Executive-in-waiting Tung Chee-hwa is known to be an
admirer of Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew, who is close to top
communist party officials in Beijing.
Under a "one country, two systems" principle laid down by China, Hong Kong is
guaranteed financial, economic and legal autonomy from the mainland for the next
Reuters World Service, January 5, 1997, Sunday, BC cycle
HEADLINE: Bombed Buddhist relic stays in Rangoon
DATELINE: RANGOON, Jan 5
A Buddhist relic which was on the site of a December 25 bombing that killed
five people and injured 17 has not been moved as planned to Mandalay, a source
in Burma's Ministry of Religious Affairs said on Sunday.
The Sacred Tooth Relic, believed to be a tooth of the Lord Buddha, is on loan
to Burma from China for 90 days and was due to be moved to Burma's second
city Mandalay on Sunday.
But the original itinerary of the Tooth Relic might be changed in the wake of
the recent bomb attack in the Kaba Aye Maha Pasana Cave which houses the
relic, the source said.
"It is still early to know for sure how (the itinerary) will be changed. What
we can be sure about is that it will be changed," he told Reuters.
Originally the relic was to be transported by road to Mandalay with stops in
six towns for one night each. After four weeks, a similar trip was to be made
with stops in six different cities.
Thousands of pilgrims were paying homage at the cave on the outskirts of
Rangoon on Christmas Day when two bombs exploded. The blasts did not harm the
Burma's military government has blamed exiled students and the rebel Karen
National Union ethnic group for the bombings. Both groups have denied
Public access to the relic was temporarily suspended but has been resumed.
Official media said on Sunday the relic is still in the cave where homage can be
paid during the daylight hours.
Xinhua News Agency, JANUARY 5, 1997, SUNDAY
HEADLINE: asean tourism forum opens in malaysia
DATELINE: kuala lumpur, january 5; ITEM NO: 0105104
the asean ( association of south-east asian nations) tourism forum (atf)
opened here today to promote cooperation among member countries in tourism
development and market the asean as a single tourism destination. the atf, an
annual convention for the travel and tour industry of the region, has the theme
"expanding the asean horizon toward the 21st century" this year. the asean now
groups brunei, indonesia, malaysia, the philippines, singapore, thailand and
vietnam, with cambodia, laos and myanmar as its observers. the atf began
here today with a two-day meeting of the asean national tourist organizations
(ntos) to discuss issues and the scope of cooperation between the ntos. during
the atf, asean tourism ministers will hold a meeting tomorrow to discuss common
policies related to tourism, malaysian culture, arts and tourism minister
sabbaruddin chik told a news conference today. he said one of the highlights of
the atf would be the asean tourism conference to be held on january 7 with the
theme "new destinations, new business --the asean advantage" to map out
strategies to market the members' services and products, tackle the competition
and share experiences. besides, he said, the asean tourism association
(aseanta), the federation of asean travel associations (fata) and the asean
hotel and restaurant associations (ahra) would also meet to define their key
roles and potential contributions to the asean in the 21st century. the atf
program this year also comprises travex (asean travel exchange) from january 8
to 10, a travel market for buyers and sellers in the travel and tour business as
well as social and tour programs for delegates and the press corp. sabbaruddin
said about 1,500 travel industry professionals from both the public and private
sectors of the seven asean members and some 45 other countries and regions are
expected to participate in the atf. the atf, the premier tourism convention in
the region, had its inception in malaysia in 1981 and it was conceived as a
platform for the government and industry of member countries to meet and discuss
common issues, resolve problems and formulate strategies for the advancement of
Happy new year to all friends and activists. As you have already known that
the year of 1997 is the most critical year of democracy movements both
inside Burma and outside Burma. SLORC's days of power are also in numbers.
More and more foreign investments are pulling out from Burma. Very few
tourists came last year. The SLORC's 1996/1997 FY budget is too low due to
the IMF, ADB, and World Bank sanctions.
To gear up democratization in Burma, we have to work harder than ever.
Morning sun Lights with our future days are still ahead.
Thank you very much.
Wathely AKA Nyi Nyi Lwin (Editor)