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Rangoon to release 99 prisoners

November 7, 1997

Rangoon to release 99 prisoners 
Slorc will also open border for pipe work
Wasana Nanuam 

Rangoon has agreed to free 99 Thais from Insein prison on Tuesday, says 
Thailand's Army Commander-in-Chief Gen Chettha Thanajaro. 
A C-130 helicopter will fly them home. Gen Chettha said he would inform their 
relatives of the release date and the venue where they can pick them up.
He said the release of the inmates was top of the agenda during his visit to 
Burma yesterday and that he would try his best to negotiate the release of the 
remaining 86 inmates.
The first group, 96 of them men, to be released includes the elderly and 
HIV-infected people, Gen Chettha said, adding that he would ask the Public 
Health Ministry to give assistance.
He said another inmate identified as Klin Thongpachote could be released the 
same day if negotiations about the fine are settled prior to the release date.
The man has been serving a prison term for breach of a fishery contract.
The army chief also asked officials concerned to give necessary medicine and 
money totalling 26,750 baht to the inmates. The money and medicine were from 
their relatives.
Gen Chettha yesterday met Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, first secretary of the State Law 
and Order Restoration Council, for an hour. His last visit to Burma was in May 
when he accompanied Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh. Rangoon also agreed to open a 
border pass in Ban-I-Tong of Kanchanaburi to facilitate the Petroleum 
Authority of Thailand's gas pipeline.
Gen Chettha said Lt-Gen Nyunt had approved the PTT's proposal on the opening 
of a border pass in Ban-I- Tong so that the Yadana gas pipeline will be 
completed next July as scheduled.
The Burmese government will also consider slashing the price of an additional 
100 cubic metres of natural gas it will sell to Thailand per day, he said.
Earlier, Burma had agreed to sell 526 cubic metres of natural gas under the 
Yadana gas pipeline project to Thailand.
Slorc had also agreed to cooperate with Thailand in constructing a landbridge 
to link Bokpyin to Bang Saphan district of Prachuap Khiri Khan for the 
transport of goods and oil between the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, 
Gen Chettha said.