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The BurmaNet News, October 3, 1997

------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------          
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"          
The BurmaNet News: October 3, 1997             
Issue #835


October 2, 1997

SINGAPORE, Oct 2 (Reuter) - Senior Burmese leader Khin Nyunt will arrive in
Singapore on Friday for high level trade and investment talks, the Singapore
government said. 

The powerful Secretary One of the military-run State Law and Order
Restoration Council (SLORC), will lead a large delegation to this weekend's
second joint ministerial working committee meeting, a Singapore government
statement said. 

Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt will also meet Singapore Prime Minister Goh
Chok Tong and his deputy, Lee Hsien Loong. 

Singapore is Burma's largest trading partner. Last year trade more than
doubled to Singapore $1.31 billion (US$856.21 million), from S$615.9 million
in 1991, according to Singapore's Trade Development Board (TDB). 

Total trade between the two countries during the first eight months of this
year grew to S$854 million. 

Singapore is also the second largest investor in Burma, after the United
Kingdom. Current Singapore investments in Burma is US$1.3 billion involving
55 projects, the statement said. 

The Burmese delegation is to include top officials from the ministries of
hotels and tourism, national planning and economic development, transport,
foreign affairs, agriculture and irrigation, the statement said. 

Singapore's side in the meeting will be led by Trade and Industry minister
Lee Yock Suan and include the ministers for communications and national

The joint ministerial committee meets every 18 months and the first meeting
was held in Burma in January 1996. 

The second meeting on October 4 will explore new areas such as transport,
telecommunications and trade, as well as review the progress of current
cooperation in tourism, agro-business and workers training, the statement said. 

It said the two countries would sign a shipping agreement and their chambers
of commerce would sign a memorandum of understanding. It gave no details of
either pact. 

Singapore is a strong proponent of constructive engagement with Burma, which
was admitted to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in July
together with Laos. 

ASEAN also includes Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore
Thailand and Vietnam. 

The organisation says it hopes that by boosting meetings and dialogue with
Burma, it will help bring about reforms within the family fold rather than
resort to sanctions or direct intervention. 


October 1, 1997
By Etain McDonnell 

Bangkok --New Zealand this afternoon lodged an official protest with Burma, 
following the detention and deportation of a New Zealand woman from 
Rangoon last Sunday.

Jude Smith was detained by the military authorities around 3.00pm Sunday 
after trying to attend the closing ceremony of the National League for 
Democracy party congress at the compound of  Burma's democracy leader, 
Aung San Suu Kyi, to which she held an invitation.  She was questioned for 
several hours before being deported to Bangkok at 8pm that evening.

On arrival in Bangkok, Smith asked the New Zealand government to lodge an 
official complaint over the fact that while she was in detention, immigration 
officials  repeatedly denied her requests to advise the British Embassy,
which is 
responsible for New Zealand's consular affairs in Burma. 

Jude Smith said she was advised by the New Zealand Embassy in Bangkok that 
an official diplomatic note was delivered to the Embassy of Myanmar (Burma) 
this afternoon.  The note raised concern over the fact that consular access had 
been denied and requested a response from the Myanmar government.

She was told by the New Zealand Embassy that the note pointed out that the 
Burmese officials' actions contravened Article 36 of the Vienna Convention, 
which states diplomats must be notified if requested.  It also pointed out that 
New Zealand has an agreement with the British Embassy to handle consular 
affairs in Burma.

"I am very pleased that the New Zealand government is taking a stand over 
this," Jude Smith told reporters in Bangkok tonight. "Being detained in Burma  
is not a pleasant experience and it seems at least someone should know where 
you are and what is happening.  The SLORC (State Law and Order Restoration 
Council) is getting very deportation-happy these days and I hope it makes them 
think twice about denying someone consular assistance in the future."

For further information, contact the NZ Embassy, Bangkok 66-2-2542530


September 30, 1997 [abridged]

   Australia has welcomed the decision of Burma's ruling State Law and Order
Restoration Council to allow last weekend's National League of Democracy
congress to proceed.
	   Foreign Minister ALEXANDER DOWNER says the decision to allow the NLD to
hold a congress on this occasion is a positive development.


October 1, 1997

Burma's foreign minister said Rangoon wants to normalize relations with
Washington. Ohn Gyaw said Burma hopes to continue its ties with the U.S.,
adding it is looking after its citizens' welfare. The U. S. has banned all
new investments in Burma to pressure the military government.


October 2, 1997


JULY 31, 1997

Near the Ma-hlwe-taung mountain range in Ye township, Light Infantry
Battalion (LIB) No. 343 is in contract for repair and maintenance of the
Ye-Ta-voy road and railway. On 31-07-97,  heavy rain caused a landslide on
the nearby mountain  burying alive 20 prisoners-turned-forced laborers, 5
soldiers, 5 civilian passengers and 2 trucks. The passengers were from a bus
which, due to heavy rain, had to stop and sleep that night at that
Ma-hlwe-taung forced labor camp.
After the incident, LIB 343 reported to the superiors about its inability to
take responsibility for road and rail repair. On 19-08-97, officials from
TOTAL company came and studied the landslide and said it would take 2 months
to repair the road. On 19-09-97, the road repair work restarted.

September 10, 1997

At Man-aung ( a Karen village) of Ye township, a landslide buried 70 houses
killing 12 villagers,  9 adults and 3 children.

At Min-hla (AKA) Late-pope village of Ye township, has 100 houses. Up to
now, forced porter conscription has been going on forcing the villagers to
provide 7 porters a day. If they can not provide the full number, the
villagers have to pay at the rate of 500 Kyat per porter that they fail to
find. The nearby villages, such as A-kan village, Kyaug-ywa village and etc.
have also to face the same problem. Many people have fled from their
villages to avoid the portage.

An army column led by CSM Tin Hlaing, extorted money from workers of  log
and bamboo rafts, in Ye township at the following rates.

On one ton of log:
- for army camp at Chaung-ywa village			500 Kyat;
- for army camp at Kyauk-me-jaung village			500 Kyat;
- for army camp at Ye-da-dar-jee Gate			500 Kyat;
- for forest ranger of the Forestry department	              1500 Kyat;

On 100 stems of bamboo:
- for army camp at Chaung-ywa village		              200 Kyat;
- for army camp at Kyauk-me-jaung village			100 Kyat;
- for army camp at Ye-da-dar-jee Gate			100 Kyat;
- for forest ranger of the Forestry department                 	200 Kyat;

Chaung-ywa village in Ye township will be forcibly relocated after the
monsoon, according to the Slorc's plan. At that village, all villagers are
forced to carry  water daily for the army camp stationed there.

In Ye township,  U San Kyi's palm grove was confiscated by the township LORC
for the expansion of the Ye city area. But in reality, it was divided and
distributed among the officials of Infantry Battalion (IB)61 including the
second in command, Major Hla Win, who took  3 plots for himself.

In July 1997, at Late-pope village, soldiers from LIB 353 gang-raped 5 girls
including Naw Phaw Lweh, a 25 years old daughter of  U Net Kyar. They also
forcibly took commodities worth 50000 Kyat from a shop owned by Ko Myint
Oo(28), a man from that village.

In Ye township, LIB 343 forcibly confiscated a villager's rubber plantation
of 10 acres,  situated near the SLORC-owned ice factory. Then, a market
place was constructed and sold for the battalion fund. A room of 15 feet by
15 feet was sold at the rate of 150,000 Kyat. 

Major Hla Win from IB 61 issued orders conscripting forced porters from
villages of  Kan-ni, Yit-chaung, Ah-byaw, Chauk-taing, Kine-daw, Baw-doe and
etc.,  for the repair of Ye-Ta-voy rail and road. When the villagers did not
comply with the order, he summoned the village headmen and threatened to
totally wipe out the villagers,  if they further refused to follow his order.


July 30, 1997

A number of people were arrested at Kaw-thaung township in Tenasserim
division. Some of them were released on 970915. Four of the released persons
shown below were interviewed:

1) U Hla Hun (45);
2) Maung Kyi Khaing (18);
3) U Maung Kweh (37); 
4) U Tin Htun (24);
 ( All of them are Burman, Buddhist and peasants from Chauk-tine village,
Min-don township of Ma-gway Division, in central Burma.)

What they said about their experience is as follows:

They were from the same village and they came to Kaw-thaung to look for
jobs. In Kaw-thaung, they stayed at the Shway-min-win monastery. At 11:00 PM
on 30-07-97,  about 30 people from local LORC, the army, police and  fire
brigade came and arrested them. Then they were  taken to the
Pa-dauk-shway-wa Ward LORC office. They were put together with  20 other
people, also arrested. They were kept there all night without sleep. The
next morning, they were taken to the police station where there were about
150 other persons, detained for use as porters. 
In the evening, about 60 soldiers, led by Captain Win Thein from LIB 431,
came and took all the detained persons by trucks to Kaw-thaung harbor. Then
they were taken by ship to Chain-meh-taung. They arrived at Chain-meh-taung
the next morning and were made to carry ammunitions and food supplies. One
person had to carry 20 Viss ( 70 pounds) of load. They had to cross streams
and climb mountains. At least, they had to walk 10 miles a day, for 20 days
to reach Ywar-hay-lu camp. Along the trip, they were given small amount of
food, according to scale. It was not enough and they were always hungry, but
no more food was provided. Some soldiers sold rice at  50 Kyat per
condensed-milk tin. The porters had to buy this rice. If they could not walk
quickly enough, were scolded and beaten. If the porters got sick, no
medicine or treatment was given. Some soldiers sold the medicines to the
sick porters. On the way, 13 porters fled. They had to carry supplies two
times from Ywa-hay-lu camp to Koe-theh-lu camp. On other days, they had work
on the construction of the army camp and other work there. 

Altogether about 60 porters had died within 2 months of portage, mainly due
to lack of food, exhaustion, sickness, lack of proper treatment and medicine
for the sick. 

All  the rest were released on 15-09-97.



September 16, 1997

At the Le-sa-karn village in Ye-byu township of Tanessarim division,
lightning struck 3 soldiers from LIB 343, killing  one  and wounding 2. 


October 2, 1997

Office of the Supreme Headquarters
Karen National Union
PRESS RELEASE NO. 57/97			September 30, 1997

Regarding 1997 SLORC Offensive against the KNU

Atrocities and Human Rights Abuses by the SLORC

Paan District

On 2-9-97, Battalion Commander Tun Aung of the SLORC IB 230 arrested a No
Kay villager named Maung Kway, for no apparent reason.  After torturing him,
the commander shot him dead.  Then, the commander looted 2,400 kyat, 3 viss
of cooking oil, 5 bottles of liquor and a goat from relatives of the victim.

On 2-9-97, a combined force of the SLORC military and police arrested 
No Boe Kloe villagers, Maung Maung, Maung Win, and Par Lar Kee on 
charges of having connections with the rebels and sent them to Kaw Ka 
@LIST28F3.PML Reik detention camp.

On 3-9-97, a military column from the SLORC IB 230 arrested Saw Doe and 2
other villagers and tortured them.  Though Saw Doe managed to escape, the
other 2 remain in the hands of the SLORC troops.  Their fate is unknown.

On 5-9-97, a SLORC military column came to Kort Ta Raw village of Kaw Ka
Reik township and looted a TV set and 2,000 kyat from a villager, Saw Lar.

On 16-9-97, a unit of the DKBA came to Ler Dah village of Kaw Ka Reik
township and looted chickens and other property from a villager named Saw
Gar.  They also stole 3,000 kyat from a villager named Maung Nyunt Thein,
and kicked Saw Eh Loo Ger without any reason.

On 22-9-97, units from the SLORC LIB 547 and 549 fired mortar shells into
Tee Klay village of Kaw Ka Reik township, killing 3 village cows.  The SLORC
troops then came and ate the dead cattle and looted 3,000 kyat from the
villagers.  They burnt down a house and 6 cow sheds.  The mortar shells also
wounded 3 villagers.

Papun District

On 28-8-97, troops from the SLORC LIB 547 and 549 confiscated 85
baskets of rice from Meh Way and Meh Thu villagers.  In addition, they took
rice from other forcibly located villagers in the area which is situated in
the south west of Papun.  The troops also shot dead a Pway Day villager
named Saw Aung Thein and stole his 55 baskets of rice.

On 6-9-97, troops from SLORC LIB 705 came to Wa Lort Mu Doe village in Pupun
township and burnt down the houses that had escaped the previous burnings.

On 12-9-97, troops from the SLORC LIB 709 shot dead a villager from Maw Cho
Ta village in the Pupun township.  His name was Saw Jor Ga, he was 55 years
old.  He was killed for no apparent reason.

PRESS RELEASE NO. 58/97			October 2, 1997

Atrocities and Human Rights Violations by the SLORC troops

On 28-8-97, a military column from the SLORC Operational Command 3
came to Wah Klu village in Kyauk Kyi township and shot dead a villager for
no apparent reason.  His name was Saw No Ah.

On 29-8-97, in the Tavoy township, the SLORC troops burnt down the whole
village of Ber Taw Ta, including the village Christian church.

On 29-8-97, troops from the SLORC LIB 704 executed an unknown villager at a
front line military camp in Bu Hsa Kee area of Tarn Da Bin township.

On 31-8-97, the SLORC troops in Kaw Ka Reik township demanded 1,500 viss of
pork from Nor Der Kee villagers as a fine because a battle took place near
their village.  The troops also ransacked every house in the village.  In
the Kaw Ka Reik township, the SLORC demanded from the villages of Nor Kay,
Mya Pa Daing, Naung Da Hweh, Toh Gor Koe, No Par Doh, No Ta Bor, Yor Bu and
other villages, 44 persons from each village to serve as laborers.  For each
person below the quota, a fine of 200 kyat would be levied against the village.

On 2-9-97, village elders of Gor The Doe in Tarn Da Bin township named Saw
San Tin, Saw Way Wo and ordained Christian pastors named Saya Law Ret and
Saya Saw Kot were arrested and forced into wooden clogs by the SLORC troops.
Their crime was the failure to prevent villagers from fleeing the SLORC
troops.  Troops from the SLORC LIB 701 had subjected the villagers,
including children, women and the aged, to forced labor.  As a result, those
who could not longer bear the hardship of the forced labor, fled.

On 2-9-97, troops from the SLORC LIB 534 came to Ma Yan Gon village in
Thaton township and shot dead a villager named Saw Khin Zaw for no apparent

On 5-9-97, troops from the SLORC military column led by Gen. Aung Kyaw Hla
came to Taung Ta Lay village of Kaw Ka Reik township and arrested villager
Maung Thaung.  He was tortured to death.  In Chauk Ba Lu village, the SLORC
stole money from women villagers.  They stole 6,000 kyat from Naw Heh,
27,775 kyat from Naw Ma NGe and 1,500 kyat from Naw Mu Hsay.

On 14-9-97, seventeen villagers, including 12 children of Yar The Ta village
in Cha In Seik Jee township arrived at the Thai-Burma border in Umphang
township for refuge after fleeing from their village as they could no longer
bear mistreatment by the SLORC troops.  Many villagers in Cha In Seik Jee
and Kaw Ka Reik townships are no longer able to survive in their villages as
they have been ruthlessly subjected to mistreatment by the SLORC troops.

Abbreviations and Words:
 KNU = Karen National Union, the political wing of the Karen resistance.
SLORC = State Law and Order Restoration Council, the military dictatorship
of Burma.
KNLA = Karen National Liberation Army, the military wing of the Karen 
LIB = Light Infantry Battalion
Kyat = name of Burmese currency
viss = equals to 1.6 kg.
A basket of rice equals 33 kg.


October 2, 1997
Onnucha Hutasingh

Thousands have not been paid for months

Many foreign workers, most of them in the construction industry, have lost
their jobs, according to a report by the Department of Employment.

As of August about 17,045 migrant workers have been laid off, an official at
the foreign labour control centre said.
An official report shows that as of Sept 26, the employment of about 1,000
foreign workers has been terminated. This means about 16,000 of them have
evaded the authorities.

Under the law, employers are required to report termination of employment to
the immigration office and hand over the workers for deportation.

The Labour and Social Welfare Ministry has yet to take measures on jobless
foreign workers, but in the economic meltdown, the official said priority
will be given to Thai nationals.

Meanwhile, several foreign workers have found that their own future is now
hanging in the balance.

Most are waiting for payments that are one or two months overdue, according
to an official responsible for Burmese workers.

Burmese workers at construction sites of the Hopewell rail/road project have
not received wages since February.

Those at the construction site of the Asia Games venue have not been paid

"Instead of reporting to labour officials, many decide to go and look for
new jobs," the official said.

Thawe, an 18-year-old Burmese Worker, said he had been to seven places
before ending up at the construction site of the Games. He is now looking
for a new job.

"I haven't received payment for four weeks. They agreed to pay me 140 baht a
day but cut this to 500 baht for two weeks. They haven't paid us yet," he said.

He said workers fail to report to authorities for fear that they might be
arrested if they go outside limited areas. Some workers have left their
money to flee police.

Eng, a 30-year-old Burmese worker, is also waiting for his payment agreed at
the rate of 560 baht per two weeks.

Both workers are unaware that the rising unemployment rate in Thailand due
to the recession. They said there are a lot of jobs to do although the money is
not that good, and they plan to work and collect money for a while.

Officials at the Labour Protection and Social Welfare Department said there
were no complaints about alien workers being cheated by employers, and the
Social Security Office has no records of migrant labourers who are
registered with the fund.

Deputy Labour and Social Welfare Minister Ekkaporn Rakkwamsuk said
evaluation of the relaxation of alien workers will be conducted by the end
of the month.

He said the government had yet to decide whether to extend the relaxation

He said these unskilled labourers were still in demand in several sectors
such as fisheries and exports.

A June 25, 1996 cabinet resolution allows alien workers to work in 43
provinces and register with the authorities. They are eligible to work for
two years.

A total of 323,123 migrant workers reported to the immigration office last
November and a total of 293,652 received temporary work permits.

However, an unofficial report compiled by Mahidol University's Institute of
Population and Social Research puts the number of illegal workers at one
million; 75 per cent are Burmese nationals.


October 1, 1997


Date Of Commencement:    2 October 1997
Location:    Moreh, 112 Kilometres From Imphal, Manipur
Nature Of Campaign  :    Human Wall Blockade By Political And Trade Union
Activists, Human Rights Organisations, Womens Organisations, Students, Ngos
Working Against Drugs And Hiv/Aids And All Other Concerned Groups And

The  Samata Party  has taken  the initiative  in organising the Satyagraha
with  volunteers from all  over the country erecting  a human wall every
day.  It will not be conducted under the party's auspices,  as we wish to
mobilise as many
people  as possible  to identify  themselves in  support of those  in  the
north-east  who are  fighting the  menace of drugs  and AIDS.   (Please see
the background  note).  The Satyagraha  is being organized by George
Fernandes,  Member of  Parliament,  President of Samata Party and Hind Mazdoor
Kisan Panchayat.

This  is  not a  political fight.   This is  a humanitarian struggle.  The
people of the north-east, in particular, and in  other  parts  of the
country  must be  saved  from the scourge  of drugs and AIDS,  and  the
colossal waste of the nation's  material and human resources this implies.
Along with  that the security of  the nation must be safeguarded. So,  this
is a struggle to save the nation,  in every sense of the term.

It  is  also a  struggle against  corruption and  for human rights  for the
people  of Burma since  the strength of the Burmese  military lies in its
access to drug money which is then  used to suppress the  democratic urges
of the people.

We   invite   people  from   all   parts  of   the  country irrespective  of
their  political or  other affiliations to join  us  at Moreh  during  the
week  beginning  October 2.

This  will  be a  major  international event  in  which the volunteer
satyagrahis are prepared to face any consequences that  may  arise out  of
their efforts  to  prevent vested interests from carrying on their dangerous
activities.  The people  and press of Manipur  have welcomed unanimously the
proposed satyagraha.

We  request  all  our  friends  in  the  press  to  make it possible  for
your  correspondents and  photographers to be present  at Moreh for  the
satyagraha so  that the world is aware  of  the struggle  of  the people  of
the north-east
against  those who connive with smugglers of drugs which is destroying  the
health,   well-being  and  morale  of  the people.

Any  information about the logistics  of reaching Moreh may be  obtained by
contacting Mr.   Aneel Hegde or Mr.  Ramesh Kumar  at Delhi Tel: (011) 301
7172 or 301 6035 or Mr. M.G. Chaddha   at  (011)  335   2280  or  contact
on  Fax  No: (91)(11)379 3397.

Background Note for the Moreh Satyagraha :

TIME  is the world's best known and most influential weekly newsmagazine.
In its  issue of December  23,  1996,  TIME carried  a two-page  report on
heroin  smuggling from Burma through  India to the Middle East and Europe
and the United States. The estimated value of the smuggled heroin is about
one lakh crore rupees (Rs. 1,00,000,00,00,000).

The  TIME report only  substantiated what is  well known to those  who are
engaged in the  war against  drug trade and drug  addiction.  It also
substantiated another well-known fact:   the  involvement  of the  Burmese
army  and Indian security forces in the opium trade.

Two  points  need to  be emphasised.   First,  it  is eight months  since
this story appeared and drew the attention of the  world with  an
eye-catching  headline "Heroin's Deadly Detour  - Smugglers are now  sending
the drug through India
to the West - with help from crooked police".  Yet,  so far there  has been
no move by the India government to seal the borders  with Burma and  prevent
the use  of Moreh for drug smuggling.   All inquiries made  by us indicate
that it is
business  as usual,  with,  as  confirmed by TIME,  "Indian security  forces
mixed  up in  the drug  trade".  TIME also quotes  a  senior  police officer
telling  a  western drug control  expert who  visited the area  that the
"corruption level"  (read  as  "collusion in  drug  smuggling")  in his
force was "about 100%".

Second,   the processing of opium  into heroin is made near the  India
border using Indian-  made acetic anhydrides and other  chemicals.
Obviously, the head of the Narcotics Wing in the Ministry of Finance is
aware where the chemicals are manufactured.   He  also knows  who the
manufacturers are.
These  chemicals are smuggled across  the frontier at Moreh for  converting
opium into heroin.   Why has no action been taken  by the Narcotics Wing to
apprehend those involved in this smuggling?  Does any person in government
service have any  interest in  the manufacture of  acetic anhydrides and
other chemicals in India or in Nepal?

Drugs  have had a devastating  effect on India's youth,  in general,   and
the  youth of  Manipur,  Nagaland  and other states  alongside Burma's
frontier,  in particular.  Mumbai and  Delhi have  become major  operational
centres  for the drug   smugglers  who  have  established  large  underworld
networks  of criminals and other anti-socials to market the drug  in India
and to reach it to the overseas markets.  It is  drug money that the
underworld uses to bribe officials, police  and politicians.  Drug money
poses the gravest risk to national security.

Burma  has also been  exporting AIDS along  with drugs into India. Today,
Manipur has the largest incidence of AIDS per 1000  of population in India
and perhaps in the world.  One in every  five  young persons  in  Manipur is
a  drug addict.

      |       Shar Aung                               |
      |       All Burma Students League               |
      |       3, Krishna Menon Marg                   |
      |       New Delhi - 110011                      |
      |       India.                                  |
      |       Ph    : 95-11-3017172/3016035           |
      |       Fx    : 95-11-3793397                   |
      |       Email : shar@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx        |
      |               s_aung@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx         |
      |               makakha@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx     |


September 28, 1997 [abridged]


                Drug transcends border and hence drug related problems also
transcend border. However, unlike the end of 17th Century and early 18th
Century when the movement of drugs took place with forcible introduction to
an innocent country the present day movement accrue and arise out of "users"
fondness or addiction of the drug at the other end.

                The Union of Myanmar is one of the few countries in the
forefront of the war on illicit drugs.

                In 1974, an elaborate legal framework was put in place to
deal with the drug menace by the enactment of the Narcotic and Dangerous
Drug Law. This legal framework was further strengthened by amendments in
1983 and 1988. Furthermore from 1977 through 1988 the Myanmar Security
forces had carried out large-scale military operations (Operation Moe Hein)
in twelve phases. In parallel with these military operations, the
eradication of poppy
plantations was carried out starting from the year 1974 by aerial spraying
as well as by other means. As a result, the Myanmar authorities have been
able to destroy well over thousands of acres of poppy fields to-date.

                At the international level, Myanmar is a State party to the
1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and the 1988 UN Convention Against
Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. It has also been
actively engaged in the sub-regional cooperation with her neighbours. Thus
in 1995 Myanmar joined them in signing with UN Drug Control Programme
(UNDCP) the Agreement on Precursor Control in East Asia and the Agreement on
Reducing Illicit Drug Use in the Highlands of the East.

                In the last two years the government has made impressive
achievements. Hundreds of kilograms of raw opium, heroin, marijuana and
precursor chemicals have been destroyed in public on eleven occasions,
witnessed by representatives of International Organizations and Diplomatic
Corps including Indian Embassy.

                In the meanwhile the programme to eradicate poppy
cultivations was made and implemented so successfully that Mongla Region in
the Shan State was declared Opium Free Zone.

                Furthermore, notorious drug trafficker Li Yun Chang who
escaped from a closely guarded Thai detention centre was recently
apprehended in Myanmar and later handed back to Thailand making it possible
for the latter to
extradite the drug trafficker to the United States where he will stand
trial in New York for involvement in one of the world's largest heroin

                All these are planned and accomplished without any help from
either the US or UK. However, hundreds of Myanmar soldiers have sacrificed
their lives and further fighting against drug trafficking groups, some of
which have
been connived and supported by so-called "Aid Programmes" or "NGOs".

                Myanmar still keep their arms opened to all countries
including the US and UK for joining hands to meet the Challenge of Narcotic
Drugs. The
American and British public should take this opportunity and put pressure
to their respective Administration for carrying out the part of their duty
and urge for active cooperation with countries like Myanmar.

                It would be one of the greatest achievements of the decade
if any part of the narcotic drugs infested area of the West could be
declared Drug-Free
Zone similar to Mongla Region of Myanmar.


October 2  1997
by William Barnes in Bangkok 

Three months ago Burma was welcomed into the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations, but that did not stop it from building on a Moei River island to
spy on Thailand.
Burma is desperate for friends but remains suspicious of outsiders, especially 
its traditional enemy across the river.
Burmese soldiers are cloaked in a fierce tradition that their key task is to 
protect the Burmese heartland from rapacious foreigners.
So when nature decided a couple of years ago to change the course of the Moei 
River - an important border marker - it clipped a few score hectares off Burma 
in favour of Thailand.
The result has been a long and bitter squabble that Thai peace-seekers have 
failed to quell.
The "principled" Burmese simply do not trust the "unprincipled" Thais, as they 
tend to view things.
Burmese Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw may sit beaming at any number of regional
conferences that preach non-confrontation, but along the border it is the
hard men of the State Law and Order Restoration Council, the ruling military
junta, who still call the shots.
This means that the nearby, newly completed HK$25 million Friendship Bridge,
remains unused - to the frustration of Thai traders who are eager to do 
business across the border.
Earlier this year Thai army chief General Chettha Thanajaro hugged his 
opposite number, General Maung Aye, on the bridge, declaring "mutual 
understanding" had been achieved.
The Burmese regime has no access to development money from the likes of the 
World Bank or the Asian Development Bank because of its poor human rights 
record and refusal to deal with the opposition, the National League for 
Yet the junta has been ambivalent at best. The generals appear to like the 
idea of Thai money being used to open up Tavoy port and other transport links.
But enthusiastic Thai talk of opening an overland route into Rangoon has met 
with a cool response. A local politician who wanted to lead a "friendship" 
convoy was firmly rebuffed.
"We find it very frustrating. Nothing we do seems to please them," said one 
Thai security official.


October 2, 1997

PTT tries to allay Yadana worries

A joint committee has been set up to deal with disputes arising as a result
of the gas pipeline construction in Kanchanaburi province, the Petroleum
Authority of Thailand announced yesterday.

The project, to deliver natural gas from Burma's Yadana and Yetagun gas
fields to a power plant in Ratchaburi, has generated tremendous controversy
and has been strongly opposed by environmental groups. 

The PTT has insisted that the construction and other factors were taken into
account and dealt with on international standards but conceded there were
disputes between local villagers and contractors as a result. It added that
it never resorted to violent means to solve the disputes, although the
resolutions were sometimes late in coming.

It hoped that the establishment of the committee would help resolve future

PTT public relations director Songkiat Thansamrit said the committee's
formation was the result of a recent protest by villagers at Ban Phu Takian
in Sai Yok district who refused to allow construction to proceed, claiming
that it would damage their property.

He said the dispute has been satisfactorily resolved with the help of
provincial Governor Khwanchai Wasawong.

The new committee would be responsible for settling compensation for any
damage that might result from the pipeline's construction, he said.

Chaired by the Sai Yok district officer, the committee is composed of
representatives from local government agencies, kamnans and village chiefs
and the PTT.


[excerpts only]

September 17, 1997:

YANGON, Sept 16 - Hana Bank of the Republic of Korea opened its Yangon 
Representative  Office at International Business Centre this Morning.
YANGON, Sept 16 - Red Cross Society of the people's Republic of China  
donated US $  20,000 for flood relief measures of Myanmar today. 
September 21, 1997:

YANGON, 20 Sept - Altogether 43 armed group members led by commandant  
U Soe Wai of Myaik-Dawei Nyinyutyay  TatU, KNU organizer-incharge Phado  
Maung Wah (a) Kyaw Thein of Mawtaung Township, and  sgt Naung Mei of  
No 1 company of No 11 battalion and 284 family members exchanged arms for   
peace at Theindaw military camp in Taninthayi Township on 16 and 17  
September, bringing in 50  assorted arms, 1,804 rounds and nine mines. 
 On 3 and 5 September, 10 armed group members led by sgt Saw Shar Bi of No  
2 company of No  10 battalion of No 4 brigade, two members led by sgt Saw Bo 
Hsa Hsai of No 1 company of No  10 battalion, and 42 family members  
exchanged arms for peace bringing in seven assorted arms,  117 rounds and  
two grenades. 
YANGON, 20 Sept - Twenty-eight members of armed groups who exchanged  
arms for peace were pvt Shaung Shu Ar  Laung of Kalahsoe Armed Group with  
one short gun and three rounds in the Western Command  area; rations officer  
Myint Shwe of No 3 company of No 2 brigade of KNU in the Southern   
Command area; sgt Soe Win of No 17 battalion of No6 brigade of KNU, pvt Ah  
Myaing, cpl Ko  Paik of Kyaikdon, pvts Saw Lwin, Thein Kyi, Jinna, Baw  
Thaw, E Pa, Shwe Kan, Shan Lu, Han  Kyi, Maung Myint, Phado He and Tin  
Zaw Oo, pvt Han Nyein of, intelligence unit of No 6  brigade, pvt Sein Htwe  
Hlaing, Soe Myint, Thauk Kya and Ah Pho of No 16 battalion, pvt Thein  Dan  
of Dupalaya district, and pvt Ah Boke and Ah Tun of village defence unit in  
the South-East  Command area; sgt Saw Pe (a) Saw Ei Nu, l/cpl Saw Pei Khee  
(a) Saw Phyo Khin and their  wives of No 2 company of No 10 battalion with  
one M 16 automatic, two magazines and 30  rounds in Taninthayi Division.