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Bangkok post (28/5/98)news
1:)Burma seals off Koh Song area
2:)Burmese abduct official and demand release of trafficker
3:)Karen refugees to be moved next month
4:)Suu Kyi demands recognition
Burma seals off Koh Song area
Rangoon- Burma is reported to have sealed off its territorial waters in the
koh Song (Kaw thaung) area, the better to pursue its raids on pirates and
Thai trawlermen say prolonged closure could cause them to lose up to 25
Some Thai fishing boats are left stranded there.
Capt Chatchawal Sinaamonparinya, who heads the Thai-Burmese fisheries
coordinating centre, said Thai trawlers are being allowed to fish there but
are banned from entering or leaving Koh Song.
Two companies permitted t fish in Burmese waters are concerned their
businesswill be affected if the closure continues for a further month.
Capt Chatchawal said the centre has lodged a petition with the Burmese
authorities on Kho Song.
An executive of Sirivijaya international Co, Seri Pintu, said some 20
fishing boats are operating in Burmese waters and one fish transport vessel
is asking permission to leave for Rangoon.
Burmese abduct official and demand release of trafficker
Shots fired as police arrest speed dealer
Burmese soldiers took three Thai dooicials hostage opposite Tak province
yesterday and successfully demanded the release of a Burmese man detained
earlier for drug trafficking in Thailand.
The cross-border conflict started Tuesday evening when five Thai policemen
arrested Kyaw Thi Kla, a 15 year-old member of the Democratic Karen
Buddhist Army (DKBA), for selling amphetamine pills on the Thai side of the
Moei River in Tha Song Yang district.
Upon his arrest, DKBA troops opened fire from across the border against
Thai police. Th attack was countered by the Thai side and the intense
exchange of fire lasting over half an hour was backed by about 200 Thai
soldiers, border patrol police and volunteers.
The shooting injured a Thai policeman, police Constable Somkiart Kongpho,
and two DKBA soldiers, and killed four other DKBA members.
Tawan Angoonpana, headman of Mae Tarn village, asked Burmese troops
through radio contacts to cease-fire and promised that he and other Thai
officials would cross the river for peace talks.
Mr. Tawan, and two officials, Prasert Akaruan and Virat Boonma, from the
local administration organisation went to the Mawpoke camp across the moie
river yesterday morning.
Capt Thein Aye representing the Burmese camp demanded the release of the
suspected drug trafficker and threatened to resume the shooting if the
demand was not met.
Thai officials first rejected the demand, stating that the suspect had to
be prosecuted on drug trafficking charges. Suddenly, they were held hostage
by Burmese troops who insisted that the demand be met.
Kyaw Thi Hla was release in exchange for the three officials yesterday
Karen refugees to be moved next month
Renegade threat prompts transfer
The planned relocation of 8,935 Karen refugees from Mae Sot to Tha Song
Yang district has been scheduled for early next month.
Mae Sot district chief Thawatchai Fak-angkul said officials would start
moving the refugees from Huay Kalok camp in Mae Sot to Mae La camp in Tha
Song Yang district, which currently houses 25,673 refugees, early next
month with financial support from non-organisations.
The NGOs are in the process of purchasing construction material to build
more living quarters and a school at Mae La camp, he said.
Their transfer was planned after the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army
(DKBA) guerrillas attacked and torched Huay Kalok camp in march, killing
three refugees and injuring more than 40 others.
Initially they were to be moved at least 10 kilometers from the border but
it was decided later to transfer them to Mae La camp as no appropriate sate
could be found.
A Karen refugee living at Huay Kalok camp said yesterday that most
refugees there were reluctant to move to Mae La camp, as they feared over
Yesterday, four United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees (UNHCR)
officials led by the director of the Division of International Protection
denies MacNamara met district authorities inMae Sot to discussing
inspection tours of Mae La and Huay Kalok camps.
Earlier, Karen National Union (KNU) leader Gen Bo Mya voiced support for
the UNHCR plan to assist refugees in Tak and Mae Sariang districts of Mae
Hong Son but rejected plans to relocate them.
Suu Kyi demands recognition
No incidents reported at first legal meeting
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged the government yesterday
to convene parliament, reiterating her demand that the ruling military
recognise her party's sweeping victory in 1990 elections
"It is necessary to implement the results of the elections after holding
them," she told over 400 members of the National League for Democracy (NLD)
at her residence in Rangoon.
"Failure to implement the result of the 1990 elections will be an insult
to and cheating of the people." Mrs Suu Kyi told the gathering, called to
mark the eighth anniversary of the NLD's landslide victory.
"As a first step, the parliament must be convened," said Mrs Suu Kyi, who
spent six years under house arrest until her release in mid-1995.
It was the first time since the polls that a meeting to mark the victory
has been officially allowed by the military, which first seized power in a
bloody coup in 1988.
"We are determined not to accept the holding of another election without
materialising the results of the 1990 elections," Mrs Suu Kyi said in a
20-minute address to supporters gathered in a makeshift thatched shelter in
Although the meeting had been officially sanctioned, party leader U Tin Oo
said that he had heard about 180 NLD members had been confined at their
homes or detained elsewhere in various parts of the country to prevent them
from coming to the gathering.
A similar gathering planned by the NLD last May was thwarted by the
government, which detained hundreds of party members and activists to
prevent them from attending.
Although military checkpoints were set up along the roads to Mrs Suu Kyi's
home, there were no incidents.
A carnival atmosphere pervaded Mrs Suu Kyi's home, which was adorned with
colourful NLD flags and buzzed with loud conversations between
participants, including 87 members of parliament elected in the 1990 poll.
Mrs Suu Kyi was in a bubbly mood as the mingled with her supporters.
"See you again at parliament," she told the meeting at the end of her speech.
A notable absentee was vocal military critic and NLD vice-chairman U Kyi
Maung, who is rumored to have left the party.