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The BurmaNet News: May 4, 1998
- Subject: The BurmaNet News: May 4, 1998
- From: strider@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 04 May 1998 17:30:00
------------------------ BurmaNet ------------------------
"Appropriate Information Technologies, Practical Strategies"
The BurmaNet News: May 4, 1998
BKK POST: LARGE ARMS CACHE SEIZED
BKK POST: WORKERS DEMAND JOB SECURITY
THE NATION: THAILAND, BURMA TACKLE DRUG PROBLEM
FEER: VELVET GLOVE
NYT: HEROIN PUTS BURMA IN CRISIS OVER AIDS
THE NATION: TOP ENEMIES OF THE PRESS IDENTIFIED
AP: JAPAN URGERS MYANMAR-SUU KYI TALKS
BUSINESS WIRE: UNOCAL'S OUTLOOK REVISED TO NEGATIVE
BKK POST: TOP TRADE GROUP SUES US STATE
ANNOUNCEMENT: MEDICAL SUPPLIES NEEDED
BANGKOK POST: LARGE ARMS CACHE SEIZED
4 May, 1998
By Supamart Kasem in Tak
A cache of war weapons, including rocket launchers, believed to belong to
Karen National Union rebels, was seized in a border village of Tha Song
Yang district on Saturday.
The Naresuan Task Force's border patrol police confiscated the large
quantity of arms and ammunition hidden in Ban Mae Wei, Tambon Tha Song Yang.
The weapons, including rocket launchers, a mortar, three AK-47 assault
rifles, an M-16 assault rifle and more than 23,000 rounds of machinegun
ammunitions, were found wrapped in plastic sheets and buried.
Maj-Gen Chalor Thongsala, commander of the Naresuan Task Force, believed
the seized weapons belonged to forces loyal to former KNU's central
committee chairman and Forestry Minister Padoh Aung San. The rebels had
reportedly capitulated to Burma's State Peace and Development Council early
last month and part of their weapons, which were seized by Thai
authorities, were prepared to be sent to Rangoon.
Padoh Aung San's forces sought refuge in Ban Mae Wei after their stronghold
in Htee Ter Khi town, opposite Tha Song Yang district, was heavily shelled
by Burmese troops and pro-Rangoon Democratic Karen Buddhist Army forces in
January 1995, according to sources.
Thai authorities yesterday lifted a ban on the import and export of goods
in four border districts after the situation along the Thai-Burmese border
returned to normal.
Maj-Gen Chalor said he has arranged his troops and officials to facilitate
the transport of goods and people in Tha Song Yang, Mae Ramat, Phop Phra
and Umphang districts after the ban was lifted.
"Now, the border situation returns to normal. Traders can resume their
trading and tourists are also allowed to travel freely in these border
districts," said Maj-Gen Chalor.
BANGKOK POST: WORKERS DEMAND JOB SECURITY
2 May, 1998
Thousands Celebrate At Sanam Luang
Workers demanded greater job security, including a new unemployment
insurance law, a minimum wage review every six months, and a waiver on
income tax on compensation, as they celebrated May Day yesterday.
Thousands of union members were at Sanam Luang, where their-leaders
demanded better employment protection.
Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai told them he would not neglect them, but
called for cooperation to prevent further bankruptcies.
As he spoke the government began rounding up illegal immigrants for
deportation. Many employers have suspended employment of illegal immigrants
and arranged for transportation to send them home across the border. Some
Burmese immigrants were seen crossing the Moei River in Mae Sot into Burma
to avoid possible punishment by Thai Immigration.
A Burmese national became the first casualty of the campaign when a bus
taking him and other illegal immigrants overturned in Tak.
Thirty others, mostly illegally employed at factories in Krathum Baen,
Samut Sakhon, were injured.
Those who made it across the Moei River appeared reluctant to move deeper
inside Burma, fearing for their safety.
Immigration officials in Tak said 1,000 Burmese were deported yesterday,
bringing the total month long repatriation head count to 30,000.
Deputy Prime Minister Bhichai Rattakul said that although the cabinet has
decided to ease the campaign by allowing illegal immigrants to work in 13
border provinces, it has yet to decide on the type of occupations to be
open to them.
Illegal immigrants will also be allowed to take up jobs on trawlers in 22
coastal provinces while awaiting repatriation, he said.
Operators of more than 1,000 trawlers in Chumphon have decided to keep
their fishing vessels away from the shore for fear of being arrested for
hiring foreign workers.
Many business people are still unclear about what exactly is government
policy on the issue.
THE NATION: THAILAND, BURMA TACKLE DRUG PROBLEM
4 May, 1998
By Piyanart Srivalo
Thailand and Burma have agreed to increase the exchange of relevant
information and evidence as part of their cooperation in tackling the
increasing trend of cross-border drug trafficking, a senior government
official said yesterday.
Payon Pansri, secretary-general of the Narcotics Control Board, said that
Burma was very concerned about the spread of drugs as it feared it would
likely face the same serious drug problems as those experienced in Thailand.
Payon said the agreement on greater co-operation in the exchange of
information had been agreed upon during a Thai-Burma ministerial meeting on
drug suppression last month in Chiang Rai province. The Thai side was led
by PM's Office Minister Jurin Laksanavisit.
"This is clear evidence that Burma is serious in tackling the drug problem
so that it can arrest more and more suspects on drug-related charges," he
"Burma has been serious in handling the drug situation because it is afraid
that it will not be able to deal with it effectively. The main reason is
that it already has its own political problems concerning ethnic
minorities. These could complicate the situation," he said.
The agreement will in the meantime help track down drug offenders who have
used Thai territory as a transit route for drug trafficking.
"We have legislation stemming from 1991 which stipulates that if an offence
is conducted outside Thailand the offender can be tried in a Thai court if
there is evidence that the offence has had negative effects on Thailand.
With this legislation and a greater exchange of information between the
countries, Thai authorities have high hopes that they can take legal action
against those using Thailand as a transit route.
The drug problem, according to Payon, cannot be tackled unilaterally but
requires cooperation among neighbouring countries. On May 14-15
representatives of Thailand, Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and China will
meet in Vietnam to discuss and exchange views on drug suppression.
FAR EAST ECONOMIC REVIEW: VELVET GLOVE
7 May, 1998
By Bertil Lintner in Bangkok
A new generation of officers has quietly come to power in Rangoon. They're
more sophisticated than their elders--and may be even more dangerous to
Dressed in green and khaki uniforms with epaulettes and campaign badges,
the generals line up on Rangoon's main parade ground. They appear to be the
same stern-faced officers who saluted the flag on Armed Forces Day a year
earlier, in March. But a closer look reveals some younger faces. In what a
Western diplomat describes as "a quiet coup d'etat," a new generation of
officers has taken control in Burma.
The silent coup occurred late last year, but it went so unnoticed that the
Burmese ambassador to Washington, Tin Winn, found it necessary to pen a
letter to the editor of the Washington Post in March to point out to the
United States that "the torch has been passed on to a new generation of
Led by intelligence chief Lt.-Gen. Khin Nyunt and members of an obscure
think-tank called the Office of Strategic Studies, or OSS, this new
generation has embarked on an ambitious programme to rid the government of
its most corrupt ministers, revitalize the country's economy, and improve
the ruling junta's international image with the help of professional
public-relations firms in Washington.
These young officers, some of whom have lived abroad, are clearly more
sophisticated and polished than their elders. But are they a group of Young
Turks who, having seized power, are about to implement radical change?
Hardly, say analysts. "They may be somewhat younger and brighter than the
old guard," says a Rangoon-based Western diplomat. "But their aim is the
same. They're dedicated to keeping the military in power, but with a more
The new breed hope the appearance of progress may be enough to roll back
sanctions and attract foreign investment to their resource-rich but
impoverished country. But they haven't fooled Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's
main opposition leader. She spoke out in a videotape that was smuggled out
of Rangoon and recently presented to the UN Commission on Human Rights in
Geneva. Asked if the recent changes in the military leadership had improved
the human-rights situation, she replied: "As far as I can see, there has
been no improvement at all. In fact, I could say that I am inclined to
think that things have even got worse."
Indeed, some of the new leaders' latest moves have further isolated Suu
Kyi, the last outspoken critic of army rule who has not been arrested or
fled into exile. In the past month, the junta has apprehended nearly 250
intellectuals--lawyers, Buddhist monks and old student leaders--according
to Burmese exiles in Thailand. Officials have accused them of conspiracy to
bomb public buildings and other "subversive acts," such as spreading
rumours against the government, the exiles say.
That harshness is not what Burmese had hoped for when, on November 15 last
year, the authorities in Rangoon announced that the State Law and Order
Restoration Council, or Slorc--a vicious-sounding acronym for the 21
generals who had ruled Burma since the political turmoil of 1988--had been
disbanded. No less than 14 of its old members were pensioned off and
several of them are now under what a Rangoon-based Asian diplomat describes
as "virtual house arrest."
On the same day, a new 19-member junta, the State Peace and Development
Council--the SPDC--took over. The old Slorc had been made up of officers
who for years had served as regional commanders and high-ranking leaders of
other armed-forces units. By contrast, most SPDC members were relatively
junior commanders who were elevated to their present positions in the
military hierarchy on the same day, November 15.
Since the announcement, foreign diplomats and Burmese alike have been
trying to get a grip on this inscrutable "new generation." Are they the
same as, or even more uncompromising than, the old guard?
So far, most diplomatic attention has focused, misguidedly, on the "top
five" of the SPDC, who also held important posts in the former Slorc: its
chairman, Gen. Than Shwe, vice-chairman and army commander Gen. Maung Aye,
and the three secretaries--intelligence chief Khin Nyunt, army chief of
staff Lt.-Gen. Tin Oo and Lt.-Gen. Win Myint, who since 1988 has been
responsible for central security in Rangoon. The remaining 14 members of
the SPDC are not there to exercise any direct power, but because the top
leadership needs to control the country's 12 regional commands, the air
force and the navy, an Asian diplomat suggests.
But Burma's new power centre does not even consist of the top five members
of the SPDC, says a veteran Western diplomat in Rangoon. The SPDC's
strongman is, in fact, Khin Nyunt, the "adopted son" of old strongman Gen.
Ne Win. Born in 1939, Khin Nyunt was one of the youngest members of the
original Slorc. "He is dedicated, energetic, intelligent--and capable of
extreme ruthlessness and brutality," says Desmond Ball, a Burma watcher
from the Australian National University.
Apart from being head of the powerful Directorate of Defence Services
Intelligence, a post he has held for 15 years, Khin Nyunt also heads the
new OSS. And it's the OSS which is the most interesting power centre in
Burma today. Scholar Andrew Selth, from Australian National University,
says: "A small body answerable to Khin Nyunt, the OSS was initially
believed to be a semi-academic institution similar to the strategic-studies
institutes and think-tanks found elsewhere in the region and further
afield." It has proved to be much more.
Founded in 1994, the OSS organizes symposiums in Rangoon and sends
representatives to its counterparts in other Asian capitals. It also has
links with intelligence groups in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and
Pakistan. "That's a clever move. It has strengthened Khin Nyunt's regional
standing, especially before and after Burma joined Asean in July last
year," says a Bangkok-based Burma analyst.
Gradually, this shadowy group moved to strengthen its power within the
country. Rangoon-based sources say Khin Nyunt spent months collecting data
about corruption within the government and its agencies before making his
move last November. He visited Singapore in October, and a diplomat who is
well-placed says that he returned with some damning evidence.
He targeted ministers who had raked in big commissions and kick-backs from
foreign investors. The corruption was so massive that it was hurting the
economy, the diplomat says. Although more than $6 billion worth of foreign
investment had been committed to Burma, "only a fraction of that amount had
The ministers who are now under "virtual house arrest" held portfolios that
gave them sway over foreign-investment decisions, lending credence to the
diplomat's explanation. But while ministers whose greed impeded foreign
investment may have been purged, that doesn't mean corruption has been
rooted out: Even Khin Nyunt, who is considered relatively clean, lives
beyond his official monthly salary of less than $20. (The average Burmese
takes home $10-15 a month.)
What's increasingly clear is that the OSS is now in charge. "Its stated
objectives mirror the functions of the government," says a Rangoon-based
analyst. "It advises the Foreign Ministry and tells the Ministry of
Information what to say. The OSS directs ethnic affairs and Burma's drug
policy, apart from keeping a watchful eye on dissidents within and outside
the country. It has even organized seminars in Rangoon to map out economic
policies. In effect, it is the government."
According to a Ministry of Defence protocol list made available to the
REVIEW, the OSS consists of 12 members; five are identified as "heads of
departments." Apart from Khin Nyunt, other leading members include Col.
Kyaw Thein, a 49-year-old intelligence officer who is one of the few
university graduates in the military hierarchy. In the late 1980s, he
helped to forge peace deals with former communist and ethnic insurgent
groups. Now in charge of "anti-narcotics activities," he is also frequently
referred to as acting director of the OSS.
Another office bearer, Brig.-Gen. Kyaw Win, is a former student activist.
He joined the army after the first university unrest in 1962--which
coincided with the army's seizure of power in Burma. The air-force
representative, Col. Thein Swe, speaks flawless English peppered with
American colloquialisms. In the early 1990s, when he was defence attache at
the Burmese embassy in Bangkok, he made strenuous efforts to befriend the
Another member, Lt.-Col. Hla Min, grew up partly in America, where his
father served as a diplomat at the Burmese embassy in Washington. According
to a source close to him, he "loves baseball and misses America." Today, he
directs the Burmese government's efforts to have its side of the story
presented on the Internet; dissident exiles dominate most Burma Web sites.
Hla Min is also the main point of contact between the Burmese military and
the American public-relations firms which have recently become active on
the junta's behalf in Washington.
But behind the smooth facade exists an iron-fisted mentality, as recent
sentences demonstrate. In March, the SPDC sentenced a leader of the 1988
student uprising, Aung Tun, 30, to 15 years in prison for writing a history
of the student movement. Then in early April, San San, a woman in her 60s
and a leading member of Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy, received
25 years' imprisonment for "distributing false information domestically and
internationally." Burmese exiles say the charge flowed from an interview
San San did last year with the Burmese service of the British Broadcasting
In Geneva on April 14, the UN Commission on Human Rights adopted a European
Union motion on Burma which expressed concern at abuses including
"extrajudicial executions, torture, and repression of ethnic and religious
minorities." Shortly afterwards, Amnesty International released a report on
atrocities committed against villagers in Burma's Shan State.
A decade after millions of people across the country took to the streets to
demand an end to army rule and a restoration of the democracy the country
enjoyed before 1962, the Burmese military appears to be more solidly
entrenched in power that at any time in the past. Sadly, the younger, more
sophisticated generals and colonels in the OSS may be better poised to
ensure this state of affairs prevails than their old, crude and clumsy
colleagues in the abolished Slorc.
NEW YORK TIMES: HEROIN PUTS BURMA IN CRISIS OVER AIDS
3 May, 1998
By Christopher S. Wren
Rangoon, Burma -- At sidewalk tea stalls where Burmese men socialize over
cups of fragrant black tea, proprietors in some towns have added a
lucrative sideline -- heroin -- and use the same syringe to inject as many
as 40 customers.
The surreptitious practice, described by several Western diplomats and
doctors, illustrates how Burma, the world's foremost exporter of opium, has
developed its own domestic heroin habit, with potentially disastrous
So many young Burmese are injecting heroin that some medical experts say
Burma, also known as Myanmar, has the world's highest rate of HIV infection
and AIDS contracted from dirty needles. By 1994, the Global Program on AIDS
of the World Health Organization reported, 74 percent of drug addicts in
Rangoon (also known as Yangon), 84 percent in Mandalay and 91 percent in
Myitkyina, in the north, had HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
This compares with about one-third of New York City's 150,000 to 200,000
intravenous drug users who are HIV-positive, according to Donald Des
Jarlais, research director for the Chemical Dependency Institute at Beth
Israel Medical Center in New York.
The Burmese government has reported registering only 60,000 addicts, with
as few as 17,000 infected with AIDS. Foreign medical researchers put the
total number of addicts closer to 500,000, and estimate that several
hundred thousand heroin injectors have become HIV-positive.
Another study, financed by the United Nations Drug Control Program, a terse
abstract of which was released by the Burmese Health Ministry, found drug
abuse prevalent in 1.7 percent to 25 percent of the population studied in
three dozen Burmese townships. With 88 percent to 99 percent of drug
abusers identified as male, the study implied that up to half of the men in
some townships could be addicted.
Both studies are cited in a new book, "War in the Blood: Sex, Politics and
AIDS in Southeast Asia," by Dr. Chris Beyrer, an American epidemiologist
who has worked in the region and interviewed health workers, addicts and
people with AIDS.
"It's going to be one of those situations where people will say, 'How could
the world not have known, because hundreds of thousands of people have died
there?"' he said in a telephone interview from his office at Johns Hopkins
School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore.
Burma offers a harrowing example of drug-producing or transit countries
that find their own people growing addicted to heroin or cocaine intended
for foreign markets.
The military government's own AIDS statistics have been suspect since 1996,
when it wooed foreign tourists with a "Visit Myanmar" campaign that
portrayed the country as a vacation paradise.
Beyrer said he knew of Burmese researchers who were punished for being too
candid about the country's AIDS problem. Beyrer also said the military
junta's credibility was so suspect that even if they told the truth, many
Burmese might not believe them.
Although for years older hill people smoked opium to relax or as a
treatment for illnesses like malaria, it is younger, lowland Burmese who
are injecting opium's refined derivative, heroin.
Dr. Ba Thaung, director of the Drug Dependence Research and Treatment Unit
in Rangoon, said that heroin was widely available, inexpensive and
devastatingly pure. "Before, we had very few social problems, but now we
have a lot of problems connected to drug use," he said.
Dr. Gyaw Htet Doe, a psychiatrist in the research unit of the Rangoon drug
treatment center, estimated that 62 percent to 65 percent of younger heroin
patients are HIV-positive. "As a doctor at the Ministry of Health, I have
to be concerned because there is no cure for this," he said. "It will kill
or harm a lot of young people in our country."
Other medical specialists made available by the government confirm the
problem. "The majority of intravenous drug users are HIV-positive," said
Dr. Martin Joseph, a consulting psychiatrist at the general hospital in
Lashio, a town in northeastern Burma. "We estimate about 80 percent."
The epicenter of Burma's AIDS pandemic is Hpakan, a jade-mining town
northwest of Myitkyina, where heroin injection is said to be rampant and
clean needles a rarity. When seasonal rains halt the digging in Hpakan's
open-pit jade mines, thousands of migrant miners return home, carrying the
HIV virus back to their wives.
The relatively late arrival of AIDS in Burma has contributed to widespread
ignorance about the disease. By 1988, only a single case of AIDS, brought
back by a dying sailor, had been diagnosed. By 1989, doctors were
discovering hundreds more Burmese infected.
Yet as late as 1995, a survey of 714 Burmese prison inmates found that only
11 percent knew that HIV could be contracted by injecting drugs. Dr. Than
Zaw, medical superintendent of the Lashio general hospital, said that
patients there "may have heard of AIDS but they don't know how it's
contracted." "All they know is when they have AIDS, there is no cure," he
The government has opened 30 drug-treatment centers since 1975. But many
heroin users stay away, because detoxification means undergoing agonizing
withdrawal with little more than modest doses of tincture of opium and
meditation lessons from Buddhist monks.
"Sometimes when they learn they are HIV-positive, they leave treatment,"
Than Zaw said. "They don't want their families or other people to know,
because they are looked down on."
THE NATION: TOP ENEMIES OF THE PRESS IDENTIFIED
3 May, 1998
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has included leaders of Nigeria,
Burma, Belarus, Cuba and Indonesia in its list of 10 "Enemies of the Press"
The CPJ selected these countries for their relentless campaign to suppress
journalists to mark World Press Freedom today.
Nigerian leader Gen Sani Abacha was named enemy number one. Others named
were Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and China's President Jiang Zemin. Leaders of
Jordan, Tunisia and Turkmenistan were included in CPJ's annual ranking for
the first time.
"All of these 10 individuals are intent upon suppressing any independent
media voice, through whatever means necessary," said William Orme Jr,
executive director of the New York-based press freedom group. "They are
collectively responsible for unabated press freedom abuse that has
penalised hundreds of journalists through physical attack, imprisonment,
censorship, harassment, and even murder."
The top two enemies of the Asian Press in 1998 were:
Burma's Senior General Than Shwe.
Than Shwe presides over the cosmetically renamed State Peace and
Development Council. However, a junta is still a junta, and this stifling
regime has changed little since the military seized power in 1988. Free
expression in Burma is seen as a nightmare because fax machines,
photocopiers, etc are illegal. There is no independent press and foreign
broadcasts are frequently jammed. In this climate of oppression, the
Burmese are kept in the dark even about the nature of their own government.
Indonesia's President Suharto.
With Indonesia's economy in free fall, Suharto continues to run roughshod
over the media to prevent open, independent coverage of business and
political news. Journalists have been driven into hiding after being
arrested, harassed and threatened by the military. Despite this
persecution, Indonesian journalists still attempt to provide a broad
coverage of growing opposition to Suharto. However, publications that once
dared to report on the Suharto clan's financial dealings have been closed
by state order. Meanwhile, cronyism endures, exacerbating the economic
crisis and reporters fear that digging deeply into the country's financial
troubles would cost them their jobs or even their lives.
ASSOCIATED PRESS: JAPAN URGERS MYANMAR-SUU KYI TALKS
1 May, 1998
Japan Urges Myanmar-Suu Kyi Talks
Bangkok, Thailand -- Japan has demanded that Myanmar's military rulers
open a dialogue with pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and insists that
Tokyo's aid freeze against the junta will remain in place.
Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, has been highly critical of
Japan's decision to extend a loan to the government to upgrade safety at
Yangon's international airport, saying the money will simply encourage more
human rights violations.
Ken Shimanouchi, deputy press secretary in Japan's Foreign Ministry, said
Thursday in Bangkok that the airport aid did not signal a change in the
loan freeze put in place by Tokyo in 1988 after the bloody suppression of
Cracks in the runway and the poor state of the control tower meant Yangon's
airport did not meet international safety standards, Shimanouchi said. He
said safety concerns persuaded Japan to release part of the airport
improvement loan that was frozen 10 years ago.
But the Myanmar government was informed when the $19.5 million loan was
freed in March that Japan remains unhappy with the military regime's
continuing human-rights abuses, Shimanouchi said.
"We said that the Myanmar government should open a meaningful dialogue with
Aung San Suu Kyi," the spokesman said. "We clearly said her name."
The military has refused Suu Kyi's constant appeals for a dialogue to end
the country's political deadlock, though it tried to skirt her last year
and initiated contacts with other members of her National League for
The military has ruled Myanmar, also known as Burma, since 1962. Suu Kyi,
daughter of independence hero Aung San, vaulted to prominence during the
1988 protests and has spent most of the time since under house arrest or
Her supporters overwhelmingly won elections in 1990, but the military never
allowed the parliament to convene.
This week, human rights groups deplored death sentences handed out to six
opponents of Myanmar's military government.
BUSINESS WIRE: UNOCAL'S OUTLOOK REVISED TO NEGATIVE BY S&P
30 April, 1998
New York (Business Wire)--Standard & Poor's CreditWire -- Standard &
Poor's today affirmed its ratings of Unocal Corp. and subsidiaries (see
table below). The outlook is revised to negative from stable.
Ratings reflect its position as the largest independent exploration and
production company, offset by a somewhat weak financial profile and high
degree of political risk. At year-end 1997, Unocal's total reserves
equaled 1.8 billion boe, significantly larger than most major independents.
However, about two-thirds of those reserves are located in countries of
high political risk, in particular Thailand and Indonesia, which are
currently experiencing economic turmoil. These reserves are also weighted
toward gas which is directed at local markets. Moreover, about 70% of the
firm's future capital expenditures in exploration and production are
dedicated to projects in the Far East, increasing the company's exposure to
political risk. These concerns over rising political risk are partially
mitigated by commodities priced in U.S. dollars or reset to dollar
equivalents regularly and the use of non-recourse financing.
Despite weak current oil prices, the company's good cost position and high
levels of gas production should facilitate fair cash flow generation.
These cash flows are to be used in part to stem the production decline in
the company's Sprit 76 U.S. operations and to fuel the growth of its
international operations. Still, barring a rebound in oil prices, expected
cash flow shortfalls would result in an increase in debt leverage from
levels already high for the current rating.
Weak oil prices and the Asian economic crisis have begun to impact the
company's cash flows in the first quarter of 1998. Should these situations
worsen, ratings could be lowered, Standard & Poor's said.
*T RATINGS AFFIRMED Unocal Corp.(a)Corporate credit ratings BBB+/A-2 Union
Oil Co. of California
Corporate credit ratings / BBB+/A-2
Senior debt / BBB+ Commercial paper A-2
Senior/subordinated shelf registration (Prelim) BBB+/BBB Unocal Capital Trust
Corporate credit rating / BBB+ Preferred stock (Gtd.by Unocal Corp.)
(a)Unocal Corp. guarantees some of the senior debt and commercial paper
issues of Union Oil Co. of California.
CONTACT: Dmitri P Nayduch, New York (1) 212-208-8396
BANGKOK POST: TOP TRADE GROUP SUES US STATE
2 May, 1998
Legality of Ban on Ties With Junta Questioned
Washington -- In a case that could decide the future of United States
sanctions laws, a major US trade group sued Massachusetts on Thursday over
a law barring state contracts with firms doing business in military-ruled
The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) filed suit in federal court in
Boston on Thursday against Massachusetts, arguing the state's 1996 "Burma
Law" illegally interfered with the power of the federal government to
regulate foreign relations and trade.
"We regard this lawsuit to be an important test case that will determine
the very significant, perplexing, and continuing issue concerning the
constitutionality of state and local sanctions," NFTC president Frank
Mr Kittredge is also vice chairman of USA Engage, an ad hoc business group
composed of 667 business and agriculture organisations which aims to fight
a recent proliferation of state and local sanctions laws.
No reaction was immediately available from the Massachusetts attorney
general's office, which has said in the past that it would go to court to
defend the 1996 law.
The NFTC said it was filing the lawsuit on behalf of its 580 members
because the Massachusetts law affects more than 30 of its members, meaning
their links with Burma hinder them in bidding for state contracts.
The NFTC vests much of its argument in the US constitution, which empowers
the federal government to regulate foreign relations and foreign trade.
There is, however, no decisive legal precedent on trade sanctions by state
or local governments, said Georgetown University law professor Robert
Stumberg, since none of the South Africa sanctions laws of the 1980s ever
reached the Supreme Court.
ANNOUNCEMENT: MEDICAL SUPPLIES NEEDED
2 May, 1998
The student and refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border are facing shortage
of the following medical supplies and equipment. If you would be kind to
help to get those supplies, we would highly appreciate it. There will be a
team of students from six U.S universities leaving for the border this
summer to learn about the situation of refugees on the Thai-Burma border.
They will bring your donated supplies to the camps.
If you are a doctor and would like to spend your summer in a meaningful way
to train medics on the border, we warmly invite you to join us. We will be
happy to arrange your way to the camps.
To donate supplies and/or to join the trip, please contact me or jero at
Thanks in advance for your kind help.
Tun Myint (812) 857-8519
- Disposable Supplies
Disposable Needle 22G - 500 pcs
Disposable Needle 24G - 500 pcs
Disposable Syringe 1ml - 500 pcs
Disposable Syringe 20cc - 200 pcs
Disposable Syringe 3ml - 500 pcs
Disposable Syringe 5ml - 500 pcs
Sterile Gloves No.6 - 100 pairs
Sterile Gloves No.7 - 100 pairs
Urine Bag - 20 bags
Urine Catheter 10 - 10 pcs
Urine Catheter 12 - 10 pcs
Urine Catheter 14 - 10 pcs
Urine Catheter 16 - 10 pcs
- Non-Disposable Equipments
Artery Curved Forceps - 5 pairs
Autoclave tape - 5 rolls
Breast Pump - 50 pcs
Catheter and Instrument Tray M005 - 5 trays
Catheter and Instrument Tray M028 - 5 trays
Cord Scissor - 5 pairs
Cutting Scissor - 5 pairs
Dressing jar M027 - 5 jars
Dressing jar M028 - 5 jars
Dressing jar M036 - 5 jars
Emesis/Pus Basin M034 - 5 pcs
Eplsiotomy Scissor - 5 pairs
Forceps Jar M031- 5 jars
Forceps Jar M032 - 5 jars
Forceps: Kocher with teeth 14cm - 5 pairs
Forceps: Pean 14cm - 5 pairs
Iodine cup M002 - 10 cups
Mayo Scissors 14.5cm - 5 pairs
Sphygmomanometer (adult) - 25 pcs
Stethoscope (adult) - 25 pcs
Sponge Forcep - 5 pairs
Thermometer (adult) - 50 pcs
Tissue Forceps with teeth 14cm - 5 pairs
Tray M005 - 5 trays
- Consumable Supplies
Absolute Methanol 2.5L/bottle - 2 bottles
Acid Alcohol 3% 450ml - 5 bottles
Blood Lancets 200pcs/box - 2 boxes
Burning Alcohol 450ml (Methanol) - 2 bottles
Carbol Fushin 450ml - 2 bottles
Clay for hematocrit tube - 2 pcs
Cover Slips - 20 pcs
Examination gloves, medium - 100 pairs
Examination gloves, small - 100 pairs
Filter Paper 24cm ,100sheets/box - 2 boxes
Filter Paper 12.5cm ,100sheets/box- 2 boxes
Gauze 36" x 100 yds - 2 rolls
Giemsa Stain (BIOTECH) 450ml with Buffer - 2 bottles
Glucoflim 25 strip/bottle - 2 bottles
Gram Iodine 450cc - 2 bottles
Hematocrit Tube - 4 pcs
Immersion Oil - 1 bottle
KOH or NaOH 30% solution - 1 bottle
Labstix (5 band) 100strips/bot - 2 bottles
Lens Paper - 2 booklets
Lysol 450ml - 2 bottles
Methylene Blue - 1 bottle
Microscope Slides 72/box (Red box) - 20 boxes
Sponge for washing slides - 2 pcs
TB Slide 72/box (Green Box) - 20 boxes
Vaccutainer Tube with needle 21G - 50 pcs
Xylene 450ml/bot - 2 bottles
AnNa 28 (50 packs/box) - 4 boxes
Condoms, Size 49mm (100pcs/box) - 10 boxes
Depo Provera 3ml/vial - 200 vials
K.Y jelly (tube) - 10 tubes
Nystatine (10 packs/box) - 5 boxes
Prevenon 28 ( 50 packs/box) - 2 boxes
Pregnancy Test ( 50 test/box ) - 1 box
Uritix (100 strips/bot) Bayer - 1 bottle