[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

[theburmanetnews] BurmaNet News: Ap

Reply-To: theburmanetnews-owner@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [theburmanetnews] BurmaNet News: April 14, 2000 

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________
April 14, 2000

Issue # 1509

This edition of The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:


*Inside Burma











___________________ INSIDE BURMA ______________________ 


INFORMATION RELEASE KNU Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department
April 14, 2000
Burma army increased its arm personal salaries 
Tenasserim Division, BURMA: According to a military source, on March 
28, 2000, Burma army's Office of Ministry of Defense (Infantry) has 
ordered its arm forces: Infantry, Air forces, Navy and all Operation 
Commanding HQ to increase their arm personal salaries from the start 
of April 1, 2000.

According to the ordered, the salary of a private increased from 700 
kyat to 3000 kyat.

The new salaries for the armed personal are as follow.

1. Brigadier General 15000-20000 kyat per month
2. Colonel 15000-16000
3. Lt. Col. 14000-15000
4. Major 13000-14000
5. Captain 10400-11400
6. Lieutenant 9200-10200
7. 2nd Lt. 9000-10000
8 Sergeant major 1st class 7100-7600
9. Serg. maj. 2nd class 6500-7000
10. Sergeant 5300-6000
11. Corporal 4700-4800
12. 1st class private 3500-4000
13. Private 3000. 
>From private to Brigadier General could have and extra 1000 kyat for 
their hard work and take responsibility or involved in USDA, Union 
Solidarity and Development Association. 

Concerning Burma army or State Peace and Development Council SPDC 
increasing its arm personal salaries, an observer from Burma ethnic 
resistance group has analysis: "With the help of China's military 
material and technical assistance junta's wealth have increased and 
with cooperation of international companies and business, the economy 
status still could maintain their power they siege from the people. 
With the humanitarian assistance from UNDP and some other foreign 
countries, SPDC could neglect the expenditures for health, education, 
and communication so that they could use almost all the national 
income for their military might. That was why in 1st April of year 
2000 they could released an order to minimized their "in military" 
problems by increasing the salaries of the armed personals in their 
(Tamadaw) who were paid and maintained poorly. (An ordinary soldiers 
was paid 700 kyat a month when one US$ worth 300-400 kyat in actual 
market places.) Now with the sympathetic and cooperation form 
international the military junta could increase the salary of their 
power supporters 5-6 time more and expected to implement their 
planned strength 500,000 men in the near future." 

Burma army (Tamadaw) is an arm forces to support the power elongation 
of military junta of Burma. Since the military took over state power 
from the people elected government in 1962 the junta had increased 
its military power with decision to able maintain their power against 
the will of people in the country. 

As the military power increased, people in all over the country have 
to suffer more oppressive, destructions, tortures, and abuses 
cruelly. Especially in the remote ethnics' territories, the 
atrocities are in massive. It also became awareness and worry for the 
neighboring country's security.
Kyat: Burma currency
USDA: An SPDC backup mass organization


News and Analysis of the Arakan Rohingya National Organisation, 
Arakan (Burma)
Volume: 2, Issue-2 February, 2000

14 Ulema arrested for re-construction of Mosque

On 25th February 2000 the commanding officer of the NaSaKa 4 Area had 
arrested 14 Ulema (religious leaders) from Ziban Chaung (Ziban Khali) 
village under Bawlibazar township for alleged reconstruction by the 
villagers of their age-old village mosque. The arrested persons 
include Moulvi Khaled son of Moulvi Sayed and Moulvi Rashid. The 
military prohibits building or repairs of any mosques or Muslim 
institutes particularly in Arakan. But the military subject the poor 
Rohingya villagers to provide compulsory forced labour day, in day 
out for the erection and building of new and increased Buddhist 
pagodas and monasteries. 

One refugee killed in Bangladesh Camps

On March 7th 2000 Gul Mohammad, a 70 year old Rohingya refugee housed 
in shed No. 72, Room No. 6, Block C, of the Nayapara refugee camp 1 
of Bangladesh was killed by a Magistrate of the camp. According to 
the refugees of the camp Gul Mohammad who consented to be repatriated 
to Arakan from Bangladesh was beaten to death when he approached the 
camp authorities for the quota he deserves to get as a returnee. The 
incident was said to have occurred before the UNHCR staff. There have 
been reports of many untoward incidents in the Rohingya refugee camps 
in Bangladesh in the past too.

Arrest of Buddhist Monks with Arms

On the night of 4 March 2000, the NaSaKa personnel belonging to Area 
No.14 had arrested two Buddhist monks for alleged possession of 
sophisticated pistols and anti-SLORC propaganda leaflets. The two 
monks were taken to the Tactical Operation Command headquarters where 
they were disrobed and tortured. Later the SPDC authorities alleged 
them as the members of the armed opposition group. It is not known 
whether the case have been fabricated. Under SPDC rule religious 
personalities have been humiliated and insulted, particularly the 
Muslims Ulema have become the main target of the military.

Na Sa Ka Killed One Rohingya

On 12 February 2000, one Abdul Kalam (42) son of Abdul Hashim of 
Kranthama Palaytaung village (Maghbil) under Buthidaung township was 
arrested and tortured to death by the NaSaKa forces for resisting the 
order of the No. 522 battalion commander to demolish his house when 
the whole villagers have been ordered to vacate their village and 
lands for the settlement of the hostile new Buddhist settlers. The 
following day, the dead body was buried by NaSaKa themselves without 
giving information to the family of the deceased. Rather, NaSaKa 
forces had forcibly demolished his house on the same day.

Arakan nationals are denied National Identity Cards says A.H.R.W.

More than 30,000 Arakan nationals are deprived of citizen's rights as 
the government refused to issue National Identity Cards to them 
according to an exile group which is monitoring human rights 
violation in Arakan state of Burma. On 11.3.2000 the India-based 
Arakan Human Rights Watch (AHRW) said that about thirty thousands 
Arakan nationals living in and around Sittwe (Akyab), capital of 
Arakan have no national Identity Cards as government refused to issue 
new ID cards to them. After it came to power in 1988, the present 
military government in Burma issued new National Identity Cards for 
the citizens after abolishing existing identity cards. "In Burma, you 
cannot do anything without identity Card. You cannot travel to city 
to city, you cannot join college, and universities. You cannot do 
business. So, thousands of these Arakan nationals are denied of their 
basic citizen rights while staying in their own country. They cannot 
even visit to their relatives died in Mandalay and Rangoon. They are 
in fact like under house arrest in their own places." Said Khaing 
Aung Kyaw from AHRW. Though they have written many times to the Home 
Minister on the issue, there has been no reply so far from the 
government. They have their own political parties formed and even 
contested in the 1990 elections and have elected as Members of 

More Buddhist settlements

More lands are being confiscated from the Rohingya in recent days to 
establish more Buddhist settlements in northern Arakan. The District 
Peace and Development Council Chairman and Tactical Operation Command 
of Na Sa Ka has ordered to confiscate more lands for the construction 
of new Buddhist cluster villages. On 22.2.2000 the authorities seized 
more than 20,000 acres of arable land from the following Rohingyas 
villages in Buthidaung township: 

(1) Maung Gyi Taung village 400 acres 
(2) Mi Gaung Ze village 4000 acres 
(3) Dabain Chaung village 400 acres 
(4.) Nan Ra Gon village 400 acres. 
These villagers have now become homeless, shelterless and jobless.

___________________ INTERNATIONAL _____________________


April 14, 2000

Gunners and cavalry units to take part

Armored infantry and artillery units will take part in the military's 
first joint exercise kin Mae Sot district, Tak, near the sensitive 
Burmese border, later this month.

The exercise, from April 23-27, will involve the 2nd Cavalry Division 
from Bangkok, the Artillery Battalion from Lop Buri, and the 4th 
Infantry Division based in TAk, an army source said.

"If the situation along the border becomes tense, troops from Bangkok 
and Lop Buri have to act as back-up. So training is needed to ensure 
they are prepared," the source said.

The media would not be allowed to observe the exercise because the 
area was sensitive. Border disputes and incursions are common in the 

A source in the Supreme Command said yesterday next year's Thai-US 
joint military exercise would be held in the Third Army Region, which 
includes the northern border.

This year's exercise will be held in the southern provinces next 

The army will consider amending a conscription law and ministerial 
regulation to enable tribespeople, including Sagai nomads, to join up.

Maj-Gen Saksin Thipayakesorn, chief of the Army's Reserve Affairs 
Department, said the planned amendments would allow tribesmen from 
all ethnic minority groups living in the country to enlist.

The 45th ministerial regulation, which was jointly drafted by the 
Defence Ministry and the Interior Ministry and Article 13 in the 1954 
Conscription Act prohibit tribespeople living in 500 villages in 26 
border provinces of Thailand from entering military service.

He said the Secretariat Department has been assigned to study the 
planned amendments of the two laws and forward them to the defence 
minister for consideration.



April 14, 2000


Two Karen National Union rebels were arrested yesterday when fleeing 
across the border after their base was overrun by Burmese troops.

The Karen were disarmed by police and handed to the Fourth Infantry 
Regiment Task Force in Mae Sot.

At dawn, about 200 Burmese troops attacked a base which is under 
KNU's Sixth Division opposite Ban Tha Lor, tambon Mae Ramat.	

Karen fighters led by Lt-Gen Htay Maung fought back but were 
overpowered and forced to abandon the base, sources said. During the 
fighting, three mortar rounds fell on Thai soil but did not explode.

The fighting prompted border patrol police to step up security near 
the Moei River to prevent intrusions.
Col Chainarong Tahnaroon, the task force chief, later beefed up 
security by sending troops and heavy weapons to the areas opposite 
the battle zone.

According to border sources, KNU rebels were expected to attempt to 
regain the base.

- Authorities in Mae Hong Son have been told to keep a close watch on 
the movement of Burmese students in four refugee camps ahead of the 
annual meeting of the Asian Development Bank.

Security would be tightened at four refugee camps in Muang, Khun 
Yuam, Mae Sariang and Sob Moei districts to prevent protests during 
the meeting in Chiang Mai. The camps shelter about 34,000 Burmese and 
Karen refugees.

Bangkok Post (April 14, 2000)


April 10 - 23 ,2000                           
Volume 1, No.6 & 7

Cover Story

HALF A century after Myanmar artists vanished from the UK scene they 
are tentatively stepping back into the arena and promoting the unique 
characteristics of their talent to a larger, global audience. An 
exhibition, which has just opened in Wales, is raising eyebrows in the
highbrow art scene of Britain, but talent is clearly showing through.

The history of Myanmar art in the UK stretches back to the turn of 
the century. Before the second World War Myanmar famed artists U Ba 
Nyan (1897-1945) and U Ba Zaw (1891-1943) went to England to study 
western art and its techniques. U Ba Nyan was not only able to
continue his art studies, but also achieved eminence in England and 
across Europe. After the war U San Win (1904-1981), U Khin Maung 
(Yangon) (1919-1999), U Ba Kyi (1914 -) and U Saw Maung (1900- 1969) 
also journeyed to England to further their studies. U San Win, U Ba 
Kyi and U Khin Maung were able to display their works at art
exhibitions held in England ?  '¶ with great success and critical acclaim.

Certainly they were leading artists who had achieved fame in Myanmar 
art circles. But after these masters, none followed in their 
footsteps and work was not exhibited publicly in England and Europe 
for more
than four decades. Only in 1999, did a single Myanmar artist emerge 
to have his work displayed in England. That artist was Min Wae Aung, 
a creative spirit, well and truly alive and still in his prime. He 
was able to exhibit 25 of his paintings at a one-man exhibition 
?  '³Moving Through Landscapes?  '´.

The exhibition was held at the Motcomb Art Gallery in Knightsbridge, 
London late last year. Nineteen of his 25 paintings were purchased by 
collectors. Following on the heels of this success another is 
currently being held in Gwynedd, Wales. The exhibition by six Myanmar
artists is called ?  '³In Search of Tranquillity?  '´ and is on show at the 
Art Gallery of EDISON Mission Energy?  '²s Electric Mountain in Llanberis 
The six Myanmar artists displaying their works are Maung Maung 
Yay,Min Wae Aung, Win Pe Myint, Soe Moe, Kyaw Shein and Khin Thaung. 

The 103 paintings include watercolours, oils, and acrylic. The 
exhibition runs from 2nd April to 30th June. ?  '³To be able to hold an 
art exhibition in England, in a large city like London, is not 
something you can do alone. The expense is enormous. So we have to 
make a trial run in places like Liverpool or in a province like 
Wales,?  '´ said\ Min Wae Aung. ?  '³There are artists from the Southeast 
Asian region who are doing shows in England. The Vietnamese 
especially have made a good head start and have become established. 
So it is up to Myanmar artists like us to try and make a place and a 
name for ourselves on the international scene. We?  '²re planning 
a ?  '³Travel Exhibition?  '´ in England.?  '´

The paintings shown at the exhibition depict Myanmar manners, customs 
and scenes. The warm and vibrant colours that dominate the paintings 
are certain to attract the eyes of European art lovers, said local 
art critics.




 April 14, 2000 

Good neighbours make for good fences. That principle underlies Thai 
foreign policy, particularly with regard to Burma. It is why Thailand 
braved an international boycott of the Rangoon junta to 
champion "constructive engagement" and finally brought Burma into 
Asean. But with billions of methamphetamine pills pouring into 
Thailand from across the border in recent years, Burma's credentials 
as a good fence are looking especially suspect.

The situation has reached the point where normally restrained Thai 
security authorities-the military and the National Security Council-
have accused Rangoon of pursuing a "two-faced" policy in relation to 
Thailand. They also feel it may have been a mistake to admit Burma 
into Asean and have called for a change in Thai policy.

A decade ago methamphetamines were used almost exclusively by truck 
drivers to stay awake on long hauls. Today they have found their way 
into our schools and an alarming number of Thai children and youths 
have become hooked. Methamphetamine cases have jumped from 1.8% to 
67.3% of drug-related court cases in 10 years. This year, it is 
estimated that 600 million speed pills, produced in 55 border 
factories each capable of churning out a million pills monthly, will 
flood Thailand.

No matter how hard Thailand works to suppress the drug inside our 
borders, the effort is doomed to failure. As the military and the NSC 
point out, the root of the problem lies on the other side of the 
border. The bulk of the methamphetamines sold in Thailand are made by 
the United Wa State Army which dominates areas opposite our northern 
provinces. The UWSA is the largest producer of both heroin and 
methamphetamines but enjoys an especially cordial relationship with 
the Burmese junta. Late last year, the first-secretary of the State 
Peace and Development Council even visited Mong Yawn, the Wa 
stronghold in Shan State.
The Burmese junta says it can do nothing to help Thailand suppress 
drug trafficking since the area is not under its control. The Wa are 
former insurgents who made peace with the junta in 1989 in an 
agreement that allows them to retain their weapons and exercise 
control over large areas bordering Thailand and China. This, 
compounded by other border problems such as refugees, cross border 
shelling, troop incursions and the unilateral closure of the border 
by Burma, has convinced the Thai military the SPDC is out to 
destabilise Thailand. It also suspects the junta is reluctant to 
crack down on the Wa because it is paid drug money. And with 
international trade sanctions, supporting the illegal drug exports 
earns Rangoon much needed revenue.

In its defence, the junta points to its crop substitution and drug 
suppression co-operation with Thailand and other countries. It points 
to a significant drop in poppy acreage last year. The junta says it 
is committed to eradicating drugs from Burma within 15 years, with 
the biggest areas being taken out of production by 2005. However, its 
efforts do not bear out this promise. The drop in acreage last year 
was largely due to bad weather. More importantly, the decline in 
poppy cultivation is more than made up by methamphetamine production. 
And the Burmese government has yet to do anything about that.

Thailand cannot wait 15 years until Burma removes all sources of drug 
production. In the meantime, as a good neighbour, Burma must help 
Thailand in its efforts to stop the drug production, especially of 
methamphetamines-the number one drug threat to Thai society. Failing 
to do so will have dire consequences for both countries. The Thai 
military is even pondering unilateral military options to eliminate 
the drug threat. Hopefully it will not come to that but the fact that 
the option exists at all says a lot about how dangerous it could be 
if neighbours do not choose to act as good fences for one another.



April 13, 2000, Thursday, 

Richard Matthews, Staff 

Let's face it: Nobody is going to be much interested in news from the 
great state of Massachusetts unless Ted Kennedy is driving. It's even 
less likely that people will become engrossed in a story about an 
effort by Massachusetts to dictate how people somewhere else ought to 
live their lives, because that's hardly news. (Don't their license 
plates read " Massachusetts --- the Holier-than-Thou State"?) Still, 
news that fits that description perfectly caught my attention the 
other day, prompting some serious thinking --- not because of what it 
means for one state, but because the arguments swirling around it may 
have serious implications for America's attempts to remain an 
important force for change in the world. 

Here's the story, briefly: The U.S. Supreme Court last month heard a 
challenge to a Massachusetts law that restricts state contracting 
with companies that do business with Myanmar, the military 
dictatorship formerly called Burma. Companies object because it 
affects their freedom of action in the international arena. The U.S. 
government objects because, it contends, the state is interfering 
with American foreign policy by trying to exert its own influence on 
the actions of another country. "It has created considerable 
discomfort with trading partners and allies," Solicitor General Seth 
Waxman argued before the high court. 

"Instead of conversations with traders about what to do with Burma, 
our conversations now are what to do with Massachusetts." No one can 
reasonably defend the military regime that keeps the people of 
Myanmar enslaved. The question is not whether it should be opposed, 
but how -- - and whether a state can take a course in that regard 
that is separate, and different, from that chosen by Washington. 

Almost certainly that can cause difficulties for the federal 
government (although it's not clear that it confuses the generals in 
Myanmar as much as it irritates the American business community). 
Surely it would be better, from a practical view, if U.S. foreign 
policy were always seen as uniform and consistent. (Achieving that 
might mean having a long, hard talk with the Commerce, Defense and 
State departments, however.) 

The problem comes when the challenge to the Massachusetts law is 
couched in the terms argued before the justices last month: that it 
is an effort to interfere with the nation's foreign policy. What's 
troubling is how similar that is to the protests from other 
countries, such as China, about U.S. criticism of human rights abuses 
and other offensive behaviors. "

These are internal matters," other governments insist. "America has 
no right to interfere with what happens within our borders." The one 
answer that completely justifies the U.S. actions is this: We are not 
necessarily telling you what you ought to do or must do. But we have 
an absolute right to determine how we spend our money, whom we wish 
to do business with, and whom we select as our friends. Those things 
are our internal matters, and no other country can tell us that we 
cannot make those decisions for ourselves. 

That being the U.S. position, isn't it disingenuous for Washington to 
tell Massachusetts that it can't decide how to spend its money, or 
whom to do business with? Richard Matthews is a member of the 
JOurnal's editorial board. His column runs in the Journal on 
Thursday. rmatthews@xxxxxxx



April 14, 2000, Friday

Andrew Parker and Andrew Ward report on the accusations of government 
hypocrisy in policies towards China and Burma 


When Robin Cook proclaimed shortly after Labour's 1997 election 
victory that the new government would bring an "ethical dimension" to 
its foreign policy, the foreign secretary did not appreciate the 
millstone he had placed around his own neck. The latest embarrassment 
came on Tuesday, when Premier Oil said it did not intend to heed a 
call by the government to abandon its activities in Burma. 

The Foreign Office wants British companies to pull out of Burma to 
increase pressure on Rangoon's military government. The government's 
unprecedented request to Premier, which angered the Confederation of 
British Industry, also coincided with confirmation that Britain would 
not back a US motion of censure on China's human rights record at the 
United Nations for the third year running. 

This contrast in the government's approach to Burma and China risks 
increasing public cynicism about the "ethical" foreign policy. The 
public's impression of the policy is rooted in two main events. In 
July 1997 the government allowed the sale of British Hawk military 
aircraft to Indonesia, despite the Suharto regime's human rights 
abuses in East Timor. Last October police cracked down on protests 
during the state visit by Jiang Zemin, the Chinese president. The 
trip was followed by new concessions for British banks operating in 
China. Peter Hain, the Foreign Office minister responsible for human 
rights issues, responds to criticism by stating the government should 
not operate by the dictum "if you cannot do everything, you do 
nothing". He tacitly admitted this month there was a mistake in 
promising an ethical dimension to foreign policy. He told the New 
Statesman the policy was presented "as if we could have perfection". 
Lord Hurd, the former Conservative foreign secretary, suggests the 
ethical dimension was initially given so much prominence because it 
delighted Labour party activists. 

He believes Mr Cook will now regret his May 1997 statement. "He got 
carried away. What you can say is it's horses for courses. With China 
we do talk about human rights, and we hope it will have some effect. 
With Burma you can do something more direct. That is double 
standards. It's applying different things to different people. It's 
realpolitik." During Labour's first year in office human rights were 
accorded a high priority. The government's criteria for approving 
arms sales were tightened, and Britain played a leading role in 
persuading the European Union to adopt a code of conduct on arms 

But after an initial honeymoon period, human rights organisations 
began to criticise the government. They questioned 
Britain's "constructive engagement" with countries with poor human 
rights records. Amnesty International is disappointed Britain has not 
publicly rebuked countries where the UK has strong commercial 
interests, such as Saudi Arabia. The Commons foreign affairs 
committee concluded in December that the princi ples behind 
constructive engagement "do not appear to have solid ethical 
foundations". It pointed out the countries where Britain has taken 
tough action to safeguard human rights - Burma, Iraq and Serbia - "do 
not pose really hard choices for us as they are all countries with 
which the UK now has minimal trade and which are viewed as pariah 
states by the majority of the international community". Business, 
nevertheless, is angry at the government's request to Premier to pull 
out of Burma. 

The chief executive of a large oil company said his organisation had 
been encouraged by the government to "engage" in the economies of 
countries which might be considered to have poor human rights 
records. He added: "The ethical foreign policy would be acceptable if 
it was applied everywhere equally and if companies were compensated 
for pulling out of places like Burma. But there are clear 
inconsistencies." However, business can rest assured that the Foreign 
Office is unlikely to target any other countries. It will not, for 
example, be focusing on Russia, despite evidence that the conflict in 
Chechnya has been as devastating as Serbia's military action in 
Kosovo. The Foreign Office will instead be hoping that next week's 
visit by Vladimir Putin, Russia's president elect, does not become 
embroiled in the controversy that marred Mr Jiang's trip. 


The BurmaNet News is an Internet newspaper providing comprehensive 
coverage of news and opinion on Burma  (Myanmar).  

For a subscription to Burma's only free daily newspaper, 
write to: strider@xxxxxxx

You can also contact BurmaNet by phone or fax:

Voice mail +1 (435) 304-9274 

Fax + (202) 318-1261


1.6 Million Digital Images!  
Download one Today from Corbis.com

To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: