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

July 18, 2000

Issue # 1578

The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:

*Inside Burma
















__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________


July 18, 2000

In a letter to the First Secretary of the State Peace and Development 
Council (SPDC, the ruling military junta), Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, 
Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) asked for an explanation for the 
imprisonment of nine contributors to the opposition newspaper MoJo 
(Lightning), which is published in Thailand and banned in Burma. The 
organisation called for the immediate release of the nine if their 
arrest was connected with their work for the newspaper. "At least 
twelve journalists are currently being held in Burmese jails", Robert 
Ménard, the general secretary of the organisation, recalled.

According to the information collected by RSF, nine contributors to 
the opposition monthly MoJo are currently imprisoned in Burma. Three 
of them were arrested in May 2000. They are believed to be accused by 
the authorities of collecting dissident news and secretly 
distributing copies of MoJo, which is linked to the National League 
for Democracy (NLD, led by Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu 
Kyi). The nine, who face jail sentences of up to ten years, are: Mg 
Hla Soe, arrested in August 1999 in MyaWaDee (Karen state), Ko Win 
Naing, arrested in September 1999 in Pegu (east of Rangoon), Mg Kyaw 
Wae Soe, arrested in September 1999 in Tha-Ka-Ta (near Rangoon), 
Joseph, arrested in September 1999 in Pha-an (Karen state), Aung 
Pwint (pen name: Awaylu), arrested in December 1999 in Basein 
(western Burma), Nyen Thit (pen name: Hmine Set Aung), arrested in 
December 1999 in Mandalay (central Burma), Tint Wae, arrested in May 
2000 in KaMarYut (near Rangoon), Ko Myo and Ma Htay Htay, both 
arrested in May 2000 in Belinn (Mon state).

At a press conference in Rangoon on 17 May Colonel Than Htun, an 
officer of the junta's Military Intelligence Service (MIS), accused 
MoJo of trying to destabilise the country.


July 17, 2000

The SSA Supreme Command has released a statement regarding the 
Bangkok Post's editorial, " Weapons case is a top priority" on 12 
July 2000.

According to the statement, the SSA categorically denied the Bangkok 
Post accusations of involvement in arms smuggling, drug trafficking 
and connection with Khun Sa as its recent leader.

The statement pointed out that " These accusations stand without 
evidence, they are historically incorrect, and are therefore 
unjustified. In fact, they contradict the whole policy of the Shan 

It maintained that "The SSA has never at any point had any contact or 
business with the main suspect, Mr. Payungsak Yodbangtoey. Neither do 
we have any knowledge of this man and his business. The SSA strongly 
denounces the accusations that we are involved with this man".

It also refuted the term "rebels" used by the Bangkok Post. "To call 
the Shan soldiers "rebels" is a very degrading description of brave 
Shan men protecting and restoring what is rightfully theirs", said 
the statement.

Regarding the connection with Khun Sa, the statement said: "When Khun 
Sa was leading the Mong Tai Army, he was also the head of most of the 
drug traffickers in Asia. However, he surrendered to the Burmese 
military junta in 1996, and is now working for them under their 
protection. Now Ne Win, Khun Sa and Lo Hsing Han are the barons of 
the drug trade.There has been no contact between Khun Sa and the 
present SSA at any time, as he is on our enemy's side".

Since 1998, the Shan State Army has been controlling an area inside 
Shan State along the Thai border. Its objectives are promoting unity 
among the ethnic groups, restoration and protection of freedom and 
independence, restoration of democracy, promoting welfare of the 
people, eradication of narcotic drugs, and achievement of peace.

The statement said that it acknowledged the problems of narcotics to 
be global and favoured the United Nations' and United States' plans 
of drugs eradication. It also hope that the Thai government and 
international community would render help in this undertaking.

The statement, in addition, pointed out that "Since the setting up of 
our objectives, we have been successful in eradicating drugs and 
refineries to the maximum of our capacity. In many cases, the drugs 
have been handed over to Thai Authorities and officers within the 
Government. We believe that our drug eradicating policy has 
contributed help and advantage to mutual cooperation between our 



18 July 2000

No: 7-8

Shans in Fang District of Chiangmai are bearing the worst brunt of 
harassment by the Thai police there, Reported Maihoong yesterday.

He said in the past those who carried pink cards (for displaced 
persons) and green survey cards (for highlanders) were left alone 
unless they ventured out of the district area, but since June, even 
those that carried blue cards, who could normally travel inside 
Chiangmai province, were not spared. Many without a citizenship card 
were being stooped and their hard-earned money being pocketed by the 

An abbot told local Thai village headmen of Shan descent, "Can't you 
do anything to help them at all? Now our people cannot go out into 
the streets even to buy food."

Village headmen told S.H.A.N police harsh measures also hurt the Thai 

"Shopkeepers can't sell anything. Fruit orchard owners can't hire 
anybody to tend their gardens. Tax drivers couldn't get passengers 
for fear of persecution. The damage is general."

A source said it started after village headmen refused to collect a 
monthly protection fee of B.150 per family to the police.

Fang and the neighboring districts of Mae-ai and Chaiprakarn are 
known in the north for their fruit plantations. They rely heavily on 
cheap labor from the Shans who have been felling into Thailand since 
the 1996 forced relocations campaigns launched by Rangoon.

"These people have to work to earn their living, because they don't 
have refugee camps like the "Karens," said an embittered Thai 
villager. "The government doesn't allow them to set up camps, because 
it is afraid of the Burmese."

The Thai government has already issued a directive empowering 
district chiefs to grant citizenships to various card holders. But it 
has yet to take any effect on the Shans.

___________________________ REGIONAL______________________ 


July 18, 2000

BEIJING (AP) _ Awash in heroin from Southeast Asia and threatened by 
newer drugs, China appealed Tuesday for stronger global cooperation 
in fighting narcotics trafficking. 

 The appeal, made in speeches and papers at a conference of the 
Interpol international police organization, marked China's latest 
call for help in fighting drug abuse and underscored its frustration 
in fending off the peril.
 ``As anti-drug law enforcers, we soberly know that cultivation, 
production and consumption of drugs is ceaselessly spreading and 
developing around the world,'' Public Security Minister Jia Chunwang 
said opening the Interpol anti-heroin conference. 
 Jia said China's biggest threat came from heroin made in the Golden 
Triangle, the notorious drug-producing region in Burma, Laos and 
other parts of Southeast Asia on China's southwest rim. But he said 
China was increasingly concerned about opium and heroin from 

 New types of drugs, especially the methamphetamine known as ``ice,'' 
were also making inroads, Jia's deputies warned in papers to be given 
during the four-day conference and released Tuesday. 

 Jia and Yang Fengrui, a top anti-narcotics officer, called for 
better cooperation among law enforcement agencies worldwide, better 
training for officers and more programs to give drug cultivators 
other crops to grow. 

 China has become the preferred shipment route for heroin and ice 
that, as of last year, was being produced in 74 factories in Burma 
and Laos, said Chen Cunyi, of the Public Security Ministry. 
 Chinese police confiscated 5.3 tons (5.8 U.S. tons) of heroin last 
year and cracked 187 cases involving smuggling of ice, mostly from 
the Golden Triangle, Chen said. 

 On China's northwestern frontier with Central Asia, traffickers were 
bringing in opium, heroin and marijuana and taking out chemicals used 
to make drugs, said Wang Qianrong. On April 7, officers near Kashgar 
discovered two Afghani and Pakistani businessmen and two Chinese 
partners trying to smuggle 210 canisters of acetic acid concealed 
inside carpets. The chemical is used in the making of heroin. 

 On both borders, traffickers often have common ethnic, linguistic 
and religious ties that differ from China's dominant Han Chinese, 
making policing more difficult, they said. 
 China's willingness to seek international cooperation marks a 
turnaround. After largely eliminating opium addiction in the first 
decades of communist rule, China saw drug use surge as economic 
reforms loosened border and social controls in the 1980s. But China 
largely spurned outside assistance until a few years ago.



July 17, 2000
The Chinese and Myanmar governments signed Sunday three agreements on 
bilateral cooperation in the economic, scientific-technological and 
tourism spheres. 
The documents were signed by Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Wang 
Guangya and Deputy Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Minister 
Chen Xinhua, and by Myanmar Deputy National Planning and Economic 
Development Minister Zaw Tun and other Myanmar high- ranking 
Chinese Vice-President Hu Jintao, who arrived here earlier Sunday for 
a three-day official visit, and Vice-Chairman of the State Peace and 
Development Council of Myanmar Maung Aye took part in the signing 
Soon after his arrival, Hu held one-hour talks with Maung Aye. The 
two leaders expressed their willingness to further consolidate and 
develop friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation 
between the two countries. 



July 17, 2000

Vice-President Hu Jintao who is paying an official visit to Myanmar 
Sunday held talks with Vice-Chairman of the Myanmar State Peace and 
Development Council (SPDC) General Maung Aye. 
The two sides exchanged views on bilateral relations and regional and 
international issues which both sides are concerned, obtaining an 
extensive consensus. 
Vice-President Hu said China and Myanmar are friendly neighbors and 
the two peoples have had exchanges of visits since ancient times and 
lived on good terms, calling each other "paukphaw" ( fraternal). 
For half a century, despite major changes in international and each 
other's domestic situation, the Sino-Myanmar neighborly and friendly 
relations have been maintained and developed steadily, he noted, 
adding that the friendship between the two peoples has been 
consolidated day after day. 
He pointed out that this was due primarily to the fact that 
governments and leaders of the two countries have highly valued the 
developing Sino-Myanmar ties. 
Secondly, he went on to say, Sino-Myanmar friendship has won firm 
support from peoples of the two countries, stressing that this 
friendship not only conforms to the desire of the two peoples but 
also to the basic interests of the two countries and nations. 
Thirdly, he continued to say, China and Myanmar have always mutually 
extended sympathy and support in striving for independence and 
liberation, safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and 
territorial integrity as well as in the process of each other's 
national construction. 
In conclusion, he added, "Sino-Myanmar ties have firm foundation. We 
have full confidence over the sustainable and steady development of 
the two countries' relations in the new century." 
During the talks, Vice-Chairman Maung Aye expressed welcome to Vice-
President Hu Jintao and his entourage for their visit to Myanmar, 
recalling that Myanmar-China ties were established through joint 
efforts by leaders of the elder generations in accordance with the 
Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and because of this there are 
broad prospects for further development. 
He noted that at present leaders of the new generation of the two 
countries are responsible to further push ahead the bilateral 
friendly cooperation, pointing out that there have been good 
developments of bilateral cooperation in the fields of politics, 
economy, science and technology and culture. 
"This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of 
diplomatic relations between Myanmar and China and Vice-President Hu 
Jintao's visit to Myanmar on such occasion will further deepen the 
paukphaw friendship between the two countries and will also bring 
about firmer foundation of cooperation," he said. 
He expressed Myanmar's belief that China is Myanmar's closest and 
friendliest neighbor. 
During the talks, both sides hoped to fully display each other' s 
advantages and make major advances in economic cooperation in various 
forms to bring about wealth to the two peoples. 
Both sides also unanimously expressed wishes to strengthen the 
cooperation in international and regional affairs for pushing forward 
peace and development in Asia as well as in the world. After the 
talks, the two sides signed three agreements on bilateral cooperation 
in the economic, scientific-technological and tourism spheres. 
In the evening, Vice-Chairman Maung Aye and his wife gave a grand 
reception at the Pyithuluttaw (parliament) Hall in honor of Vice-
President Hu Jintao and his wife.




July 17, 2000.
Two Thai men were arrested yesterday and charged with attempting to 
smuggle 36 Burmese workers to Bangkok.
The arrests were made when police stopped and searched a six-wheel 
truck carrying vegetables at the Ban Nong Bua checkpoint on the Mae 
Sot-Tak highway in Mae Sot district.
Authorities found 20 Burmese men and 16 women hiding under the 
Somporn Srisawat, 30, the truck driver, and Somwang Chaitaweep, 31, 
both of Kamphaeng Phet province, were charged with trying to smuggle 
illegal immigrants into the country. The Burmese were charged with 
illegal entry.
The two men were transporting vegetables from Phop Phra district to 
markets in Bangkok.
They said they were hired for 20,000 baht to take the Burmese to an 
employer in Bangkok.
To ensure public safety in Mae Sot, district officer Samart Loyfa has 
announced a night curfew, from 8pm to 6am on aliens.
He also said owners of rented houses would be required to keep 
arecord of lessees and report these to authorities.
The announcement was made after illegal immigrants, most of them 
Burmese, were found to have been involved in the smuggling of cars 
and motorcycles to Burma.

__________________ INTERNATIONAL __________________


July 17, 2000

MANILA,Fresh from taking over the European Unionpresidency, France 
has pledged to strengthen links between Europe and Asia even as it 
maintains a firm stand on issues like human rights.

France will use the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and ASEAN forums to 
bring the continents closer during its six-month term as head of the 
EU, the country's foreign minister, Hubert Vedrine, said in an 
interview here with AFP.

France took over the rotating presidency from Portugal on July 1.

"The main difference is going to be the intensity of the 
relationship," Vedrine said when asked how France's approach will 
differ from other EU nations which have held the presidency in 
stepping up ties with Asia.

Speaking during a stopover in Manila after attending a Group of 
Eightmeeting in Tokyo, Vedrine said a series of high-level Asia-EU 
political and economic meetings during France's leadership would ease 
the task of forging greater cooperation.

The French presidency will be marked by three landmark summits -- the 
EU-Japan summit in Tokyo on Wednesday, the ASEM summit in Seoul on 
October 19-20 and the EU-China summit in Beijing on October 23.

France will also be in the driving seat of the European body when its 
foreign ministers meet their Association of Southeast Asian 
Nationscounterparts in Bangkok as part of the Southeast Asian 
grouping's dialogue with top trading partners later this month.

Around the same time, European nations will also be key participants 
in Asia's premier security talks, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), 
which will be significant with the admission of North Korea.

At these meetings, Vedrine said France would push for greater Asia-
Europe trade and investment, security and political cooperation, 
which he stressed should not be sidetracked by discussions on human 
rights and other issues regarded as sensitive in Asia.

"We can reconcile all this if you involve yourself in a whole 
process, where no one thinks that they have a perfect democracy or 
even a perfect market economy," Vedrine said.

The EU has been a strong critic of China and Myanmar for alleged 
human rights abuses, but Vedrine said France believed the issue could 
be resolved through dialogues, not confrontation.

He said that, for example: "We haven't changed our opinion on the 
Burmese (Myanmar) regime but we have found a compromise so that the 
dialogue with ASEAN as a whole would not suffer from it."

There are also plans to resume at the end of this year ministerial 
meetings between the EU and ASEAN which have been suspended since 
1997, when the Southeast Asian group accepted Myanmar as a member 
against the EU's strong objections.

Apart from Myanmar, ASEAN comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, 
Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

French diplomats said a second EU "troika" mission would be sent to 
Myanmar in September or October for a dialogue with the military 
junta. A similar mission last year spent several days in the country 
but was tight-lipped about its aims.

Beijing and the EU are also currently engaged in a dialogue on 
China's human rights record, which Amnesty International has called 
worse than ever.

Vedrine said that as president of the EU, France would strive to give 
more meaning to the political dialogue among the 15 European and 10 
Asian nations atttending the upcoming ASEM summit.

France also wants to seek common ground on multilateral trade issues 
at the summit and support an initiative to put financial regulations 
and financial crime on its agenda, officials said.

Asia will be represented at the third ASEM summit by Brunei, China, 
Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore, 
Thailand and Vietnam.

Apart from France, the European participants are Austria, Belgium, 
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, 
Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Britain.



July 18, 2000
The Rangoon junta's move to form a commission on human rights is a 
joke given that the military refuses to enforce current laws and is 
the perpetrator of gross violations, writes Khin Maung Win in a 
special report for The Nation. 

The Australian government has decided to cooperate with the Burmese 
junta in providing human rights training courses for government 
officials. The decision was in response to the ruling State Peace and 
Development Council's indication that it intends to establish a 
national human rights commission. Canberra's underlying philosophy is 
that engagement with the Burmese regime will help improve the human 
rights situation in Burma. 

At the moment, the creation of a national human rights commission in 
Burma is an ethical issue. It is also an irony that the initiative 
would come from no other than the regime which has no legitimacy 
whatsoever to rule in the first place. Worse is that the SPDC is the 
culprit and perpetrator of human rights abuses which have been 
recorded annually by the United Nations. 

One could argue that an improvement to human rights takes priority 
over the issue of political legitimacy. No one will reject the noble 
idea if it is the real beginning to help improve the human rights 
situation in Burma. But, there are other urgencies which need 
immediate attention than the tactical move to create a national human 
rights watchdog. 

Rule of law 

Firstly, lack of rule of law encourages the many violations of human 
rights currently happening in Burma. Obvious examples of authorities' 
abuse of power outside the due process of law include ignorance of 
electoral law that the junta itself promulgated; jailing political 
dissidents and human rights advocates under the so-called Emergency 
Provision Act 5 (j); and imposing restrictions upon the movement of 
elected representatives and the NLD members. Abuses of power by the 
army and the authorities extend to the innocent civilian population. 
Forced labour, forced relocation, rape, torture and murder take place 
on a large scale on a daily basis. All these violations exist because 
there is no due process of law.
Massive removal of Supreme Court judges, who were known as 
professional judges in 1998, clearly demonstrates the readiness of 
the junta to interfere and use judicial appointment as a manoeuvre to 
influence the judges at all levels. No case involving military human 
rights violation can be independently tried. There is no doubt that 
Burma's judiciary is totally influenced by the junta. 

If the principles of rule of law and due process of law prevail in 
Burma, a high number of cases of human rights violations would not 
have happened. There is no guarantee yet that the to-be-set up human 
rights commission would help to improve the principles of rule of law 
and due process of law ahead. 

What Burma needs to ease present human rights violations is not to 
introduce any new human rights mechanism, but to reinforce the due 
process of law because Burma's legal system is adapted from the 
British common law system, which fairly guarantees the rights of 

Military attitude 

The second issue to address is that the junta, which is entirely 
composed of military generals, must change its attitude towards 
people. The SPDC and all its subordinates are busy with attempts to 
divide the society and create disunity among the diverse peoples of 
Burma. Giving some people special privileges in return for them not 
criticising the government or any junta officials is a commonly used 
tactic by the junta. While all universities are closed to ordinary 
students, military universities and colleges are kept open for the 
military's children. Accordingly, Burmese society has been divided 
into pro-military and ordinary people.
Discrimination that comes from aspects of religion, race, ethnicity 
and political belief reflects the attitude of the military junta 
towards the people. The practice of discrimination intensifies as the 
SPDC is attempting to conceptualise Burman, a major ethnic group to 
which most generals belong, as nationalism based on Buddhism which 
most generals practice. 

While most forced relocation of non-Burman ethnic villages is based 
on ethnicity, creating hostilities among Buddhist and non-Buddhist 
societies is due to discrimination on the grounds of religion. 
Rights, such as the right to obtain a passport, of those whose 
relatives are involved in the democracy movement are denied. Even 
worse, the SPDC views as enemies anyone considered to have the 
potential to challenge the SPDC's power. 

As long as this military attitude towards people is unchanged, human 
rights cannot be realised in the long run. To realise human rights in 
the long run, what Burma needs is to make the military change its 
attitude towards its own people. 

Basic fundamental freedoms 

The third matter to consider is the urgent need for basic fundamental 
freedoms. Discussion on, and dissemination of, human rights 
information must be a freedom. The Universal Declaration of Human 
Rights has never been translated into Burmese and disseminated among 
Burmese people officially. Those who disseminate unauthorised 
information and publications, including human rights information, may 
be punished under the 1962 Printers and Publishers Act. Discussions 
of a bill of rights, which is part of the national constitution in 
most countries, is a crime under Law No 5/96 that bans all citizens 
from discussions about constitutional matters. Any citizen who 
searches for information, including human rights information, on the 
Internet can be punished under the SPDC's Computer Law.
Lack of basic fundamental freedom not only weakens Burmese people's 
ability to protect their rights, but also encourages on-going human 
rights violations. What Burma needs to sustain human rights is to 
reinstall basic fundamental freedoms. 

Improving human rights in Burma does not depend on the creation of a 
national human rights commission. Unless the plan for setting up a 
national human rights commission is undertaken in conjunction with 
moves to improve at least the above three areas, improving human 
rights of Burmese people will be merely a dream. So, a future human 
rights commission can form part of a solution but, on its own, it is 
not the solution.
KHIN MAUNG Win is a graduate student of human rights studies and an 
executive committee member of the exiled Burma Lawyers' Council. This 
article reflects his personal opinions. 



July 17, 2000
"At the top of a river lies the home of me/At the other end, that of 
thee/Infinite feeling we harbor for each other/As from the same river 
we fetch drinking water/The river water flows incessantly/Drinking 
together in delight/So long as it does not cease/We are neighbors 
since yore/ Maintaining friendship/Keeping it lush and green like a 
mountain range/Not growing old, never like the water that flows 
This is a poem composed by late Chinese Marshal Chen Yi on December 
14, 1957 in praise of Sino-Myanmar friendship when he visited Myanmar 
and is still widely recited by the peoples of the two countries. 
It is a true portrayal of the Sino-Myanmar phaukphaw (fraternal) 
At the invitation of Vice-Chairman of the Myanmar State Peace and 
Development Council (SPDC) General Maung Aye, Vice-President of China 
Hu Jintao pays a three-day official visit to Myanmar from July 16 to 
This visit will provide new opportunities for enhancing mutual 
understanding, extending common views and strengthening friendly 
cooperation between the two countries. 
It will also compose a new chapter for the development of friendly 
Sino-Myanmar ties in the 21st century. 
China and Myanmar, linked by mountains and rivers, share a common 
border of over 2,000 kilometers and enjoy a long-standing, time-
tested friendship. 

The earliest exchange between China and Myanmar dates back to the 4th 
century BC. Since ancient times, Myanmar people have called Chinese 
people "paukphaw" which means "full brothers." 
The two countries established diplomatic relations on June 8, 1950. 
For half a century since then, their cooperation in politics, 
economy, culture, education and other fields has been developing 
steadily, based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence 
jointly advocated by both sides despite the great changes that have 
taken place in the international arena. 
Both the two Asian neighbors belong to the developing world. They 
share an extensive common view on many major issues such as 
safeguarding of national sovereignty and opposition to hegemonism and 
power politics, and have been closely cooperative partners in 
international affairs. 
The mutual trust and support in politics have become an important 
cornerstone of the two countries' friendly ties. 
For the past half-century, China has always respected Myanmar's 
independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Myanmar, on its 
part, has stuck to the "One China" policy, supporting China's 
reunification cause and recognizing the government of the People's 
Republic of China as China's sole legitimate government and that 
Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. 
Since the two countries forged ties, there have been frequent 
exchange of high-level visits between the two countries. The late 
Premier Zhou Enlai of China made nine visits to Myanmar, while former 
Myanmar leader U Ne Win went to China for 12 occasions. 
In recent years, Chairman of the Chinese People's Political 
Consultative Conference National Committee Li Ruihuan, State 
Councilor Luo Gan, Vice-Premier Wu Bangguo and State Councilor Ismail 
Amat successively visited Myanmar, while Chairman of the Myanmar 
State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and Prime Minister Senior-
General Than Shwe, SPDC Vice-Chairman General Maung Aye, SPDC First 
Secretary Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt, Deputy Prime Minister 
Lieutenant-General Tin Hla and Foreign Minister U Win Aung toured 
China. The exchange of high level visits has given impetus to the 
development of the two countries' friendly ties. 
Meanwhile, great achievements have also been made in the economic and 
trade ties between China and Myanmar during the 50 years, with the 
two countries successively endorsing three agreements on economic and 
technical cooperation. 
China has aided Myanmar with dozens of construction projects 
involving sugar, paper, textile, plywood, thermal power, rice 
processing industries and including a national theater, a national 
stadium and a highway and railway combined bridge. 
Still more projects are under implementation. 
In addition to economic assistance, the two countries have also 
launched various forms of economic cooperation, based on the 
principles of equity, mutual benefit and mutual supplement of 
Chinese companies have initiated a number of contracted projects in 
Myanmar, with some in the form of wholly Chinese investment or joint 
venture. More than 10 Chinese enterprises have already been set up in 
China has been one of the main sources of consumers goods, machinery 
and electrical goods for Myanmar. In 1999, their bilateral trade 
amounted to over 500 million US dollars. 
The cultural exchange between China and Myanmar has also contributed 
a great deal to the development of the two countries' relations. 
Since 1990, the cultural exchange programs between the two countries 
numbered over 20 annually. These exchange programs involve arts, 
literature, painting, movies, education, news, sports, religion and 
other aspects. 
Further consolidation and development of friendly relations between 
China and Myanmar not only conforms to the basic interests of the two 
countries and the two peoples, but is also beneficial to peace, 
stability and development in the region. 
Vice-President Hu Jintao's Myanmar visit is bound to make the Sino-
Myanmar phaukphaw friendship blossom even more luxuriantly. 

_____________________ OTHER  ______________________


18 July 2000

No: 7-7

A meeting in Chiangmai of respected monks and laymen yesterday took 
the decision to apply for registration of a cultural foundation to be 
formed soon after.

The meeting, held at Mae-ai Luang Temple, and chaired by Sunanda 
Jonglaeng, a Thai of Shan descent well known in the Shan cultural 
communities, resolved that 5 persons selected at the previous meeting 
on 16 April would set out to apply for registration of the Khru Maw 
Tai Foundation, a non-political organization dedicated to cultural, 
literature and humanitarian activities.

It was participated by representatives of Shan literature and culture 
groups from Maesai, Mai-ai, Fang, Chaiprakarn, Chiangdao, Chiangmai, 
Maehongson, Wianghaeng and Bangkok. Khanit Wanakamol, a Shan lecturer 
form Chiangmai's Teachers' college and Renu wichasilp from Chiangmai 
University, both of whom are esteemed academics in Thailand, also 

The meeting, in addition, resolved two linguistic hazards.

One was the selection of the words "Khru Maw" to represent the Shan 
sages to whom the foundation would be dedicated. However, to the 
Thais, the words simply mean "teachers (and) doctors" and could 
therefore be mistaken as a foundation for teachers and doctors. 
Nevertheless, the meeting, with the assistance from the participating 
scholars, decided to adopt "Khru Maw" as the words derived 
from 'Guru", a Pali word meaning a pundit of great standing.

Sao Karngsurh, (1787-1881), one of the nine scholars Traditionally 
honored by the Shans, is regarded as the greatest. He wrote more than 
a hundred treatises during his lifetime.

Another hurdle was the word "Tai". While most Shans call themselves 
Tai, a word that embraces the whole ethnic and linguistic grouping 
that include Thais, "Tai" written in Thai without a y-postfix(yaw-
yak), can also mean 

"So when we say (Khru Maw Tai), many people may think our foundation 
has to do with kidney specialists," Khanit said bringing out 
uproarious laughs from the participants.

To this, Ms. Renu pointed out that in the Thai scholastic 
circles, 'Tai' without a y-postfix had been adopted, and her 
suggestion was approved by 
the meeting.

N.B A sum of Baht 200,000 bank deposit, not to be touched thereof, is 
a prerequisite for the application. And another sum of Baht 100,000 
has been designated for the Foundation's activities that shall 
include the annual 
Khru Maw Tai Festival to be held in February 2001. The founding 
committee has already collected B. 200,000 and readers, especially 
Shans, are requested to fill up the balance by sending their 
remittances to the 
following bank account:

Kawngthun Chao Khrumaw Tai
Bangkok Bank, Mae-ai Branch,
Chiangmai 50280
A/C: 510 0188423



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On Editorial Policy

BurmaNet's editorial policy is weighted most heavily towards carrying 
news articles and secondarily to opinion/editorial pieces from 
publications capable of influencing public opinion or policy.  
BurmaNet generally will decline to carry individual opinion pieces 
but encourages news articles.

Except for articles authored by BurmaNet, the most important criteria 
inclusion in BurmaNet is the editor's judgement that an item is 
significant?not necessarily that it is true.  BurmaNet's goal is to 
bring a broad range of coverage to subscribers so that you can make 
such judgements for yourselves.


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