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Subject: [theburmanetnews] BurmaNet News: June 6, 2000

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

June 6, 2000

Issue # 1547

The BurmaNet News is viewable online at: 

*Inside Burma



















__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________


NLD Statement 75
 National League for Democracy
 No: (97/B), West Shwegonedine Road
 Bahan Township, Rangoon
 Statement 75(5/00) (translation)
 Contents of letter dated 29 May 2000 sent by Chairman of NLD to 
Chairman of SPDC  are published for information to all.
 " (Start)  Subject - Arresting unjustly and illegally"
 On the 27 May, 2000, the National League for Democracy, a legally 
constituted  political party legitimately commemorated the tenth 
anniversary of the general  elections that had been sponsored by the 
military authorities themselves.    

 This event was held at its office and only members of the 
organisation  participated. The authorities illegally blocked access 
to nearby roads on that  day thus denying the public the right to 
motor traffic and walking. Entry was  allowed only to holders of NLD 
cards and national registration cards which was  strictly checked by 
the authorities.
 During the legitimate proceedings on the occasion, Daw Khin Nu and 
Daw Chaw, the  owners of the office building, who had nothing to do 
with the goings on were  summoned and threatened by the authorities 
and rudely spoken to. Their exact  words were "We do not want to hear 
this sound box.  Go and close it". The two  ladies conveyed this 
message to the leaders of the NLD as was their duty.  

 The truth of the matter is that the owners of the office building 
were in no way  associated with the proceedings and there was no way 
that such proceedings could  adversely effect the peace and 
tranquility of the neighborhood. In fact, the  blockage of the roads 
by the authorities was a cause for inconvenience and a  nuisance to 
society effecting the peace and stability of the vicinity adversely.  
The NLD, a legally constituted political party was exercising its 
legal right to  commemorate a legal event.
 But, making the above event as an excuse, Daw Khin Nu and Daw Chaw 
were illegally  arrested and taken away on that night at 17:30 
hours.  Both these ladies are  elderly and dependent on medication 
for their deteriorating physical conditions.  The authorities refused 
to allow members of their family to take them the  necessary daily 
medication. We have heard that they have now been sent to the  Insein 
jail. We are positive that their health and lives will suffer because 
of  the denial to them of their daily medication.
 This kind of excessive abuse of authority against individuals that 
are in no way  connected with the event contradicts the "rule of law" 
slogan which the  authorities keep on proclaiming. Should the health 
and lives of  the two ladies  be endangered it will be the sole 
responsibility of those authorities who ordered  such arrests.
 If the authorities have any objection to the commemoration of a 
legal event (the  10th anniversary of the general elections) by a 
legally constituted political  party exercising its legal rights, 
they should have discussed the matter with the  NLD.  Arresting and 
imprisoning Daw Khin Nu and Daw Chaw, two innocent elderly  ladies on 
this account is totally unacceptable and we strongly demand that 
they  be immediately set free.  (End) "
 Central Executive Committee
 National League for Democracy
 May 29, 2000




        In January 2000, on a military operation in Murng Khur tract 
area, Si-Paw township, a column of about 100 SPDC troops from Nam-Lan-
based LIB506 led by Maj. Kaung Kyaw had forcibly taken several 
civilians to serve as porters for several days.         The following 
is an account of one of the porters who had to serve the military for 
13 days, from 10.1.00 to 22.1.00.  
     On 10.1.00, at about 8:00 hrs in the morning, Ai Zaam, aged 26, 
a Palaung villager of Naa Mawn village, Murng Khur tract, Si-Paw 
township, was seized at his village by a passing column of SPDC 
troops from LIB506 to serve as a porter.         He was forced to 
carry rice and some backpacks of the soldiers. There were about 30 
civilian porters with him at the time. It was said that the troops 
came from Paang Hung village early in that morning, drew their 
rations at Ho Kho village military camp and came to Naa Mawn village 
where they took Ai Zaam.        

For several days, the troops searched along the route which went 
through several villages, somewhat in a circle, in Murng-Khur tract.

On 22.1.00, at Paang Hung village, 12 porters were released, 
including Ai Zaam, after serving for several days and were suffering 
from badly injured feet and shoulders. But the same number of new 
porters were taken to replace them, and even 1 ox-cart was taken in 
addition.  During the 13-days period in which Ai Zaam had to serve as 
a porter, the troops took 7 more civilian porters at different points 
and 4 of the soldiers from Company No.3 deserted. While travelling, 
several porters were beaten, particularly those from Murng Tung were 
most hit. All the porters were tied up to their loads, and were 
untied only at eating and sleeping times.         

 In the villages, the troops took the chickens they wanted without 
paying. They bought 2 pigs for the troops on the way, enough to 
distribute 1 viss of pork to each soldier.      The rice they fed the 
porters was rotten and had horrible smell, and was given with only 
salt. Only when they happened to be eating in a village, could the 
porters ask for some dried or pickled bean or vegetables from the 

As a result of 13-days portering, Ai Zaam suffered from extreme 
weakness and badly injured feet and shoulders.  



June 6, 2000

News from Inside Karenni

Mawchi mine was the biggest wolfram and tin mine until the Second 
World War. It is situated in District 2 of Karenni. The mine was 
nationalized during the BSPP rule. People continue to work in the 
mine in hazardous conditions. The equipment used today is the same as 
that of 50 years ago when the British managed the mine. People are 
often forced to stop work due to ill health. 
The miners are paid by the amount of mineral they mine. The price was 
40 kyats per 1 1/2 kilos. The current official price is 200 kyats but 
people are still paid only 40 kyats. The people have been encouraged 
to work by being promised the official rate. They can barely manage 
to live on the price they receive, one kilo of poor quality rice 
costs 90 kyats.  
Battle News

The SPDC are still operating in Karenni although the rainy season has 
begun, KNPP troops have reported. In the past the major operations of 
the troops has been restricted to the dry season. Fighting is 
continuing in most parts of Karenni. The result of this is that 
people are still being used as porters to carry army supplies and 
ammunitions and have to pay porter fees. In the areas where the army 
operates villages are burned, villagers are tortured and properties 
are looted.  

____________________ REGIONAL ____________________


June 6, 2000.

NEW DELHI: India's decision to improve ties with the military regime 
in Yangon has yielded rich dividends for its counter-insurgency 
operations in the northeastern states bordering Myanmar, official 
sources said. 

The Myanmar Army has been cracking down on camps operated by outlawed 
northeastern insurgent groups in the Naga-inhabited areas of the 
neighbouring country, forcing hundreds of tribal guerrillas on the 
run, a senior Home Ministry official said. 

"The crackdown began after new measures to curb cross-border 
terrorism and to improve border security were put in place after a 
meeting between the chiefs of the Armies of the two countries in 
January this year," the official said. 

Four of the seven states in the insurgency-affected northeast -- 
Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh -- share a boundary 
with Myanmar. 

Among the insurgent groups which had established camps in Myanmar are 
the Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland 
(NSCN-K) and the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), which is 
also under pressure from authorities in Bhutan to wind up its camps 
in the mountain kingdom. 

The NSCN-K has already declared a unilateral cease-fire and its 
leadership is now holding talks with the Indian Army to frame ground 
rules for a formal cessation of hostilities, the official said. 
Under New Delhi's policy of "constructive engagement" of Myanmar's 
junta, several measures have already been initiated to improve trade 
and economic ties with Yangon. 

India's Border Roads Organisation (BRO) is constructing a Rs 1 
billion four-lane highway connecting the trading town of Moreh in 
Manipur with Tamu and Kaleymo in Myanmar, the Home Ministry official 

The Cabinet recently cleared the import of 50,000 tonnes of rice from 
Myanmar for the northeastern states while a team of officials from 
the Union Power Ministry recently visited Myanmar to conduct a techno-
economic survey for a proposed joint venture power project to be 
constructed in Myanmarese territory adjacent to Manipur's Ukhrul 
district, the official said. 
"In fact, when the highway project is completed in September or 
October, a senior Indian leader will inaugurate it as a signal of the 
upturn in Indo-Myanmar ties," the official said. 

Much of the groundwork for this recent improvement in Indo-Myanmar 
ties was laid during Indian Army chief V.P. Malik's two-day visit to 
Myanmar in January this year. 
Malik, who was accompanied by senior officers from the three 
services, held wide-ranging discussions with his counterpart, Gen. 
Maung Aye, on increasing cooperation between the armed forces of the 
two countries. 

Maung Aye, who is vice-chairman of Myanmar's ruling State Peace and 
Development Council and also heads several important trade and 
industry bodies, made a return visit to Shillong the same month. 

A high-level Indian team comprising Commerce and Industry Minister 
Murasoli Maran, Power Minister R. Kumaramangalam and senior officials 
from the defence, home, commerce and external affairs ministries was 
rushed to Shillong for "an informal, wide-ranging exchange of views 
on matters of mutual interest." 

An influential section of officials in the Home Ministry and the 
intelligence agencies believe India should continue engaging 
Myanmar's military junta for "immediate strategic requirements." 
"While we should remain sympathetic to the pro-democracy movement, we 
cannot ignore the fact that the Myanmar Army is in control at the 
moment," the Home Ministry official said. 
This recent improvement in the ties between the two countries, 
however, has its share of critics among pro-democracy activists in 

"Many countries see only their so-called national interest. I 
strongly argue that India needs to review her policy towards Myanmar, 
which is a close neighbour," Tint Swe, a leader of the National 
League for Democracy (NLD) which swept the 1990 elections in Myanmar, 
said in a recent interview. (India Abroad News Service)  



Monday, June 5

Japan triggered fury Monday by allowing a top Myanmar general to 
attend this week's memorial service for former prime minister Keizo 
Obuchi while banning a top Taiwan representative. 
Japan granted a visa to Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, powerful chief 
of Myanmar's military intelligence, to join the mourners, said a 
foreign ministry official. 

The decision provoked an angry reaction from campaigners fighting for 
democratic forces to replace the Myanmar military junta, of which the 
general is first secretary. 

Taiwan meanwhile complained Tokyo had refused a visa to President 
Chen Shui-bian's personal representative, secretary general Chang 
Chun-hsiung, out of consideration to China. 

Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Yutaka Kawashima said it had not been 
decided who would be accepted from Taiwan and therefore a decision on 
visas would be premature. 

But Taiwan's Foreign Minister Tien Hung-mao said Taipei deeply 
regretted Tokyo's decision to refuse entry to Chang.  Foreign leaders 
including US President Bill Clinton are to attend Thursday's service 
for Obuchi, who died May 14 at the age of 62 after six weeks in a 
stroke-induced coma. 

Myanmar has been a pariah to most Western nations, including the 
United States and European Union, since its regime bloodily 
suppressed pro-democracy protests in 1988. 

"Unlike the EU and America, we have no reason to refuse a visa for 
him because the government has no restrictions on granting visas to 
senior Myanmar government officials," a foreign ministry official 
told AFP. 

Pro-democracy activists disagreed.

The Myanmar general "is a military intelligence chief and he is 
already notorious for barbarity, he is responsible for cracking down 
on democracy," said pro-democracy campaigner Ronny Nyein. 

The decision to allow him to attend "means Japan recognises the 
illegitimate government," said Nyein, member of a joint action 
committee for Myanmar democracy groups in Japan. 

"That is why we want to object," he said.

His joint committee groups the local branch of the National League 
for Democracy, the Burma Youth Volunteer Association, the Burmese 
Association in Japan, the Burmese Women's Union and the Students' 
Organisation for Liberation of Burma. 

Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy 
won a sweeping election victory in 1990 but the military, surprised 
at the scale of the party's support, has refused to hand over power. 

Japan suspended all but a small amount of humanitarian aid to Myanmar 
in the late 1980s but agreed in February last year to help finance 
reconstruction of Yangon airport.  The government had been expected 
to use Obuchi's funeral for sympathy votes ahead of elections on June 
25, but analysts have mostly discounted it as a factor following a 
series of verbal gaffes by Mori. 
At least 80 countries plan to send representatives to the funeral, 
the foreign ministry said, and police were stepping up security 
before their arrival. 

Takeshi Noda, Superintendent-General of the Metropolitan 
Police, "ordered all possible measures be taken because VIPs such as 
President Clinton are to attend," said a police spokesman. 
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad was among the latest to 
confirm their attendance, said a foreign ministry official. 

Others already expected included Australian Prime Minister John 
Howard, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesian President 
Abdurrahman Wahid, Philippine President Joseph Estrada, South Korean 
President Kim Dae-Jung and Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai. 



June 5, 2000.

Nattaya Chetchotiros

Thai Rak Thai claims its foreign affairs, drug suppression and 
economic development platforms have been well received by Burma, Laos 
and Singapore.  Surakiat Sathirathai, deputy party leader, said a 
party team had presented the policies to leaders of the three 
neighbouring countries during visits from May 10-30.  Rangoon was 
particularly responsive, Mr Surakiat said.

Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, head of the ruling junta in Burma, had promised 
full co-operation in drug suppression. 

In Laos they spoke with Prime Minister Sisavath Keobounphanh, and in 
Singapore with Trade and Industry Minister George Yeo.    



Tuesday, 6 June, 2000, 13:07 GMT 14:07 UK 

China has proposed building a highway to India via Burma to boost 
trade and tourism.  It has also suggested starting direct flights 
between the two countries. 
The idea was discussed during a six-day trip to China by Indian 
President KR Narayanan.  
Manohar Joshi, India's Minister of Heavy Industries and Public 
Enterprises, said: "The Chinese want the signing of an agreement for 
constructing a highway running through China, Myanmar [Burma] and 

"Tourism and trade cannot develop without such a link, the Chinese 

China had expressed interest in Indian machinery, automobile 
components, software, gems and jewellery, marine products, chemicals 
and herbs, Mr Joshi said.  
India, in turn, could import coal, pre-fabricated housing, 
technology, electronic components, silk processing technology, 
ceramics and underground mining equipment.  

Trade between India and China currently totals $2bn a year.  


But former Indian foreign secretary MK Rasgotra said India would have 
to look very carefully at any road proposal because of the security 
He pointed out that China and India had still not agreed on a line of 
control along their border and Beijing had helped Pakistan "a self-
confessed enemy of India" increase its nuclear capability.  
"This highway will have to go through some of our very sensitive 
areas, and I don't see how much trade it's going to promote," Mr 
Rasgotra told the BBC.  


The two countries are now considering setting up an expert committee 
to look at routes for the proposed highway.  They will also look at 
the possibility of introducing direct flights.   A memorandum of 
understanding for commercial air services between China and India was 
signed in 1997.   But it never began because of uncertainty over 
commercial viability.  

Mr Joshi, who was part of the Indian delegation to visit China, said 
the south-west city of Kunming had also shown interest in 
establishing a sister city relationship with either Bombay or 



BEIJING, June 6 (AFP) - 

China and Myanmar on Tuesday agreed to further strengthen their 50 
years of close ties by stepping up cooperation on a wide-range of 
areas, including tourism and environmental protection, state media 

The agreement was reached during an official goodwill visit to China 
by the vice-chairman of Myanmar's military junta General Maung Aye. 

Although the visit was aimed at boosting military ties, neither side 
revealed any details about plans for military cooperation. 

The two states signed a framework for bilateral relations in the 21st 
century, pledging to increase economic and diplomatic ties, according 
to the official Xinhua news agency. 
The two countries agreed to step up cooperation in trade, investment, 
agriculture, fishery, forestry and tourism as well as stepping up 
efforts to crack down on cross-border drug trafficking and smuggling. 

China also agreed to allow its citizens to visit Myanmar as a tourist 
destination. Both agreed to permit companies to hire contract labor 
from each other, Xinhua reported. 
In addition, Myanmar reaffirmed its support for the "One China" 
policy, which recognizes the Communist-ruled China as the sole 
government of China with Taiwan an inalienable part of the country. 

"We appreciate Myanmar's continued support for the 'One China' 
principle and China's great cause of reunification," Chinese Vice 
President Hu Jintao said after meeting with Maung. 
Maung said his government would not develop official links with 
Taiwan in any form and echoed Hu's satisfaction with bilateral 

"Faced with the new century, Myanmar government is willing to push 
for the continuing progress of bilateral relations," Maung said. 

Both governments will encourage enterprises and agencies to conduct 
joint projects in agro-technique, farm produce processing, prevention 
of animal diseases as well as aquatic cultivation, Xinhua said. 

Cultural, education, health, sports and religious exchanges also will 
be increased through exchanges and visits, Xinhua said. 

The visit was planned to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the 
establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Myanmar. 

China, the first country to recognise Myanmar's military regime after 
it seized power in a bloody coup in September 1988, is the junta's 
main arms supplier. 
Since coming to power, senior Myanmar generals have made frequent 
visits to China and several high-ranking Chinese officials have 
travelled to Yangon. 



Monday, June 05, 2000, updated at 11:09(GMT+8) 

Vice-Chairman of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council 
(SPDC) General Maung Aye left Monday for a week-long goodwill visit 
to China at the invitation of Chinese Vice-President Hu Jintao.  

Maung Aye's main entourage includes Myanmar SPDC Third Secretary 
Lieutenant-General Win Myint, Deputy Prime Minister Lieutenant-
General Tin Hla, Foreign Minister U Win Aung and eight other 
ministers of Agriculture and Irrigation, Industry-1, Industry-2, 
Livestock and Fisheries, Science and Technology, Electric Power, 
Information, Telecommunication, Posts and Telegraphs.  

Seeing off Maung Aye at the Yangon International Airport were Myanmar 
SPDC Chairman and Prime Minister Senior-General Than Shwe, SPDC First 
Secretary Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt, Second Secretary Lieutenant-
General Tin Oo, Deputy Prime Ministers Vice-Admiral Maung Maung Khin 
and Lieutenant-General Tin Tun and other government officials. 
Chinese ambassador Liang Dong was also present.  

China and Myanmar are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and 
rivers and the two peoples enjoy traditional "paukphaw" (fraternal) 

China and Myanmar jointly advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful 
Coexistence, based on which the two countries' friendly and 
cooperative ties have continuously consolidated and developed.  

In recent years, there have been frequent exchanges of visits by 
leaders of the two countries. Chairman of the Chinese People's 
Political Consultative Conference National Committee Li Ruihuan, Vice-
Premier Wu Bangguo, State Councilors Luo Gan and Ismail Amat have 
visited Myanmar, while Myanmar SPDC Chairman and Prime Minister Than 
Shwe, SPDC First Secretary Khin Nyunt and Foreign Minister U Win Aung 
have also travelled to China for visits.  

These visits have pushed ahead the development of the two countries' 
bilateral ties. 

__________________ INTERNATIONAL __________________


[The original report was published in late 1999 and distributed in 
translation in June 2000.]

The controversial installation of Total in Burma: the construction of 
the Yadana gas pipeline and forced labor...

The mission judges that the link between the military presence, the  
acts of violence against the populations and the forced labor is  
established as a fact. Total had to be aware of that fact. What 
happened before the  actual building of the pipeline when the Burmese 
army secured and cleared the area? Who built the military camps that 
have multiplied there? Who provided food to these troops?

The mission agrees with Mr. Martial Cozette, Director of the "Centre 
français de l'information sur les entreprises" (French information 
center about companies): " As far as Total is concerned, the Center 
noticed that several pieces of information are ambiguous and that the 
company has not taken enough precautions in a country whose 
government is notoriously using very brutal methods towards the 
minorities and the population. These two elements, clearness and 
caution, were only taken into account by Total at the end of 1996. 
However, if the risks had been analyzed in the gas pipeline area, no 
information was given on the subject from 1992 to 1996. Such 
information was only issued when work began and after the pipeline 
area had been pacified. There was nothing left to see then. 
Eventually, a few journalists were able to go and visit the site at 
the end of 1996, but Total should have organized it before. The 
information given by Total is often contradictory: at the beginning 
of 1994, the group said that the pipeline did not go through any 
delicate environmental area and that the shortest path had been 
chosen so as to reduce its impact. The current pipeline path is in 
contradiction with this information. 

During 1996 meetings, Total kept on saying there could be no Human 
Rights violations or forced labor because work had not begun. But 
this is not a proof because before the building of the pipeline, 
preliminary operations had been attacked by Karen guerrillas in March 
1995, with victims among the technical personnel. " This analysis is 
similar to that of the American chargé d'affaires in Rangoon, with 
whom the mission had a talk. He explained that "having a helicopter 
at his disposal and thanks to his military attaché, he was able to 
visit the gas pipeline site without having to ask MOGE, with the 
purpose of investigating the forced labor accusations made against 
Total and Unocal." According to him, " forced labor could not have 
existed during construction of the pipeline, because this required 
considerable means and skilled personnel." Nevertheless, he showed 
deep concern about security in the area and did not exclude the 
possibility of guerrilla warfare operations.

It seems artificial to separate the construction of the pipeline, 
which required the hiring of qualified labor and considerable 
technical means from the measures taken by the Burmese regime to 
ensure its safety. These security measures were what generated forced 
labor and population displacements in the area. 

The bill of indictment of the trial against Unocal in the US 
specified that "during negotiation, the litigants made arrangements 
for the SLORC to clear the path and to ensure the security of the 
pipeline project (...) Unocal and Total gave money to the SLORC to 
cover the expenses involved with the pipeline project (...) the 
defendant companies knew that the SLORC, its armed forces and its 
security services were violating the Human Rights with forced labor 
and forced displacements within the framework of the pipeline 
project". The mission considers that Total and Unocal did not 
deliberately use forced labor for the construction of the pipeline 
but indirectly benefited from it due to the militarization of the 
area. For this reason, the delegation is not in favor of Total's 
establishment in Burma.

_______________ ECONOMY AND BUSINESS _______________


Tuesday, 6 June, 2000,

Opium production is rife in idyllic northern Burma

By the BBC's Kieran Cooke 

In the global drugs production league, Burma has long been one of the 
world's top producers of opium, the base ingredient for heroin.  

US drug enforcement agencies estimate opium production in Burma last 
year to have been about 1,200 tons. Only Afghanistan produced more of 
the drug.  

It's estimated that less than 1% of Burma's annual opium production 
is intercepted by the authorities - the rest is smuggled out through 
China or Thailand onto the world market.  
Earlier this year a group of Western journalists was ferried by the 
Burmese military to the hills in the north of the country, close to 
the border with China.  

Here they watched soldiers and local tribespeople destroy fields of 
opium-producing poppies. In all more than 200 acres of poppy crop - 
worth, when processed, hundreds of thousands of dollars - was cut 
down and burned.  

Officials want to eradicate the heroin trade by 2005
Burma's military regime and local chiefs had a clear message for the 
outside world: Burma was determined to eradicate opium production.   
The government in Rangoon, trying hard to improve its international 
image, said that by 2005 no more opium would be produced within the 
country's borders.  

Officials implicated 

The international drug enforcement agencies are not celebrating yet.  

Though UN drug experts say Burma does seem intent on cutting back on 
its opium production, over the years there have been persistent 
reports that senior officials of the military regime are involved in 
the drugs trade, and that funds from the drugs business still find 
their way into government coffers. 

Government forces cannot destroy every Opium crop
The other critical factor is that the government in Rangoon is both 
militarily and financially unable to tackle the power of the 
country's drug barons.   Opium production takes place mainly in the 
hilly country near Burma's border with China.   It is a beautiful, 
remote region of mist-shrouded peaks and jungle valleys. For years 
Rangoon has been fighting a series of seccessionist battles in these 

Chronically overstretched and underarmed, the Burmese military has 
sought to either play one insurgent group off against another or do 
peacemaking deals with various rebel factions. 

Among a series of such deals agreed in the late 1980's, Rangoon 
granted autonomy to the Wa - an insurgent rebel group living in the 
opium growing area near the Chinese border.  

'A state within a state' 

Since that time the Wa, led by remnants of Burma's old communist 
party and known for its ferocity in combat, has built a formidable 
state within a state, complete with its own army, on the profits of 
the drugs trade.   Rangoon, extremely reluctant to provoke any 
conflict with the Wa, is virtually powerless to tackle the region's 
drug trade.  

The Wa, led by a number of powerful and ruthless families with 
worldwide contacts, have been able to build up a highly-organised and 
sophisticated drugs business.   They have even spent millions of 
dollars employing engineers and technicians from Thailand and 
elsewhere to build modern townships on their territory.  

Like any global corporation, the Wa use their enormous financial 
clout to invest in ever more advanced technical equipment and change 
their marketing strategies.  

Drug producers diversify 

In recent years, as worldwide pressure to erradicate opium production 
has grown, the Wa have invested heavily in the production of 
methamphetamines or speed.   Laboratories in Wa territory now turn 
out hundreds of thousands of these tablets each day. Drug officials 
say much of the raw material is purchased in China.  

A single methamphetamine tablet costs about 8 US cents to produce in 
Burma - by the time it reaches Bangkok it sells for more than US$3.   
Thai officials say the country is now facing an epidemic of the drug -
 in Thai called Yaba or the mad drug - and have called on Rangoon to 
take urgent action.  

So far there is little sign that the Wa are curbing their activities. 
Western drug officials say the whole local economy in the Wa 
controlled region now revolves round the drug trade.  
They point out that poor farmers need help to turn to other crops 
besides the opium poppy, yet western governments are reluctant to 
give Burma any aid.  

The west is also deeply opposed to giving Rangoon military help. 
Without it, it seems likely the Wa and others will continue to make 
millions from their lethal trade. 



June 6, 2000
Experimenting with mining, cultivation 

  Nusara Thaitawat

  The United Wa State Army, the biggest drug trafficking organisation 
in Southeast   Asia, has since early this year initiated gold and 
silver mining in its southern   military command with the help of 
Chinese experts.

  A source with ties on both sides of the Thai-Burmese border, said 
heavy machinery   had been used to drill through mountains near Mong 
Yawn, opposite Ban San Ton   Du in Mae Ai district, Chiang Mai. But 
he could not confirm any findings so far.   He said mining and vast 
agricultural projects in Mong Yawn and surrounding areas   were being 
presented as part of the Wa's effort to find an alternative to drug   

  The Wa army's political arm, the United Wa State Party, had already 
announced it   would stop involvement in drugs by 2005. The party has 
its headquarters at   Pangsanh, in Burma's Shan state.

  The source estimated some 120,000 Wa soldiers, their dependents and 
other   civilians had been relocated from various areas to newly-
developed settlements   opposite Mae Ai district.

  Some 90,000 people were reported to be in Mong Yawn and surrounding 
areas   under the leadership of Wei Xai-tang. The rest were 
reportedly in Ban Hong,   opposite Ban San Maked, Mae Fah Luang 
district of Chiang Rai, under Wei Hsueh-   kang, who is wanted by 
Thailand and the United States on drug trafficking charges.   The 
source said most new settlers under Wei Xai-tang were ethnic Wa, 
while those   under Wei Hsueh-kang were largely ethnic Chinese from 
mainland China as well as   from the Shan state and other regions of 

  He said Wa leaders in both Mong Yawn and Ban Hong had started 
huge   agricultural projects "a few years ago", including rice 
cultivation and fruit   orchards which were getting labour from new 

  Early experiments with rice cultivation were unsuccessful because 
of a large   population of rats in Mong Yawn, the source said.

  "Most of the rice fields and orchards are owned by the leaders in 
both settlements.   Some orchards have up to 30,000 trees," he 
said. "Part of the harvest goes to feed   the army."New settlers were 
guaranteed one year's supply of rice and every adult   received a 
monthly allowance of 50 baht, the source said.   "Drug trafficking 
will certainly go on until at least 2005," he said, adding it was   
difficult to absorb all the new settlers and to build a self-
sufficient community from   largely uneducated soldiers.

  Thai authorities are keeping a close watch on developments in Wa-
controlled areas.   



Withdraw Comes Days Before Proposed Human Rights Resolution in 

Minneapolis, MN (June 1, 2000)-Carlson Holdings, Inc., a leading 
corporation in the hospitality industry with strong community ties to 
the Twin Cities, ended its business ventures inside Burma earlier 
this month. Although Carlson's dealings in Burma has been diminishing 
over the years, an independent investment agency reported that 
Carlson officially withdrew as of the beginning of May. The cessation 
of operations rode the heels of a human rights resolution in the 
Minneapolis City Council passed May 19 that would have prevented 
Carlson from conducting business with the City due to its presence in 
Burma. The Mayor vetoed the resolution a few days later. However, the 
message was not lost on Carlson management, who undoubtedly saw the 
writing on the wall. 

A multi-ethnic country between India and Thailand, Burma is 
controlled by a violent military dictatorship that relies on foreign 
investment to maintain its oppressive rule, operate a massive slave 
labor system, and launder drug trade profits.

The Investor Responsibility Research Commission (IRRC) produces a 
report on Burma used by many governments, institutions, and 
individual investors. IRRC's May 2000 edition reported Carlson's 
confirmation of ending business ventures in Burma. Carlson and its 
subsidiaries had had several operations: managing boat and land 
tourism packages, sailing the luxury liner Song of Flower into 
Rangoon harbor, and promoting the tourist trade in Burma in 
collaboration with the military rulers. 

Carlson companies is joined by Minnesota-based King Koil in cutting 
ties with the military regime this month, along with several other 
multinational corporations in the US and abroad. 3M remains the last 
hometown company that does business with Burma's dictators. 

For years, the Free Burma Coalition has protested Carlson's tourist 
trade. Patti Hurd, co-director of the Free Burma Coalition explains 
that "tourism dollars and business ventures are wholly controlled by 
the military rulers who reap virtually all the financial benefits; 
Carlson could not enter Burma without contributing to the soldiers' 
aggression on the people." The US has sanctions in place, but Carlson 
avoided them due to a loophole in the federal trade act. As recently 
as last year, Carlson vehemently denied any human rights violations 
in Burma, claimed bringing tourists into the country would help 
monitor the military's actions, and chastised activists for 
promoting "isolationism."

Although management offered no explanation, the turn-about indicates 
a change in Carlson's business philosophy towards respecting human 
rights and accounting for business decisions.

Free Burma activists are relieved. "It was sad when the Mayor killed 
our human rights resolution," said Aung Koe, a Burmese dissident 
living in Minnesota. "But now, Carlson realized their role in the 
holocaust in my country and wanted to back away from being part of it-
even without the city government's support!"



June 6, 2000

 We want to express our deepest sympathy for the death of former 
Japanese Prime Minister Obuchi Keizo on May 14. His leadership and 
direction for the nation went unquestioned. We had that much respect 
for his judgment. He was the first Japanese prime minister who met 
with a top Burmese military leader since 1988. Prime Minister Obuchi 
met Senior General Than Shwe during ASEAN summit meeting at Manila, 
Philippines last November. He gave a clear message to the military 
junta that without significant political reforms, Burma could only 
receive little help from Japan. We, the Burmese people, much 
appreciate his willingness to restore democracy in our motherland and 
felt a great loss when he passed away. 

But, we are very frustrated and humiliated when we learn that Lt. 
Gen. Khin Nyunt, Secretary (1) of SPDC, will attend the late Obuchi's 
funeral. We would like to question why Japan grant a visa for such a 
person who is black listed by the United States of America and EU 
countries. There are tons of reasons, not to permit Khin Nyunt to 
land on Japanese soil. 

1.      Khin Nyunt does not represent Burma and the Burmese people at 
all. His military junta is not a legitimate government elected by the 
peoples vote, but which continuously refuse to transfer the power to 
the elected representatives of 1990 general election. 

2.      Khin Nyunt is the commanding person of the bloody coup in 
1988 in which thousands of Burmese people who peacefully demonstrate 
for democracy were brutally killed. 

3.      Khin Nyunt is the chief of notorious military intelligence, 
which is responsible for jailing, torturing, threatening, confining, 
restricting the democracy activists inside Burma. 

4.      Khin Nyunt and the junta provide a safe heaven for drug 
warlords, such as Khun Sa and Lau Sit Han in the country and allow 
using their drug money freely. The drug warlords can even continue 
their drug trafficking and can control their drug businesses from the 
safe capital. 

5.      Khin Nyunt and his fellow generals never ever make any 
democratic reform yet. Instead they impose tighter grip on Burmese 
people and rule the country at gunpoint. 

6.      Khin Nyunt is the most responsible person for forced labor 
and other human rights violations in Burma. Military continues to 
practice killing, raping, torturing, forced relocating, systematic 
ethnic cleansing despite international protests. 

7.      Khin Nyunt and the junta stubbornly refuse to start dialogue 
with NLD, which won the landslide victory in 1990 general election. 
They never try to resolve the dilemma by political means but by 

8.      Khin Nyunt and his colleagues defy the international 
community by taking hostage of 45 million Burmese people. Nobody 
could see any change toward democracy as late Prime Minister Obuchi 
described. But they demand aids and loans from Japan and other 
countries like as ransom money. 

9.      Khin Nyunt is the one who mercilessly refused to grant a visa 
for the dying Michael Aris, whose last wish is to see his beloved 
wife Aung San Suu Kyi. Khin Nyunt never consider of humanity at all. 
But he wants humanitarian aids. And Japanese government grants him a 

10.  Finally, Khin Nyunt only represents the worldÆs most repressive 
military regime, not the Burmese people. 

We are shocked and surprise why Japanese government allow such a 
cruel and wicked person to attend a state funeral as an honored 
guest. Burmese people and the democracy activists abroad strongly 
protest Khin Nyunt's visit to Japan. 

And we strongly urged the Japanese government not to yield further 
privileges to him and his colleagues. 
We release this statement on behalf of the Burmese people whose 
voices are suppressed by Khin Nyunt and the military regime and on 
behalf of democracy activists inside Burma as well as in Japan and 
other countries. 


National League for Democracy (Liberated Area)-Japan Branch 
Burmese Association In Japan

Burma Youth Volunteer Association (Japan)

Burmese Women's Union (Japan)

Students' Organization for Liberation of Burma

_____________________ OTHER  ______________________


Yesterday's issue carried an editorial entitled THE GLOBE AND MAIL 
(UK): ONCE UPON A TIME IN BURMA.  The Globe and Mail is published in 
Canada.  To the several readers who pointed this out, many thanks 
from your geographically challenged editor.

If you see an article about Burma especially from sources other than 
the wire services, please forward them to BurmaNet and if possible, 
include the country of origin.  


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: 

You can also contact BurmaNet by phone or fax:

Voice mail or fax (US) +1(202) 318-1261
You will be prompted to press 1 for a voice message or 2 to send a 
fax.  If you do neither, a fax tone will begin automatically.

Fax (Japan) +81 (3) 4512-8143


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