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BurmaNet News: October 2, 2000

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
_________October 2, 2000   Issue # 1630__________

*The Sunday Times: Briton beaten over peace sign in cell 
*Rohingya National Army: RNA attacked Burmese soldiers

*AP: Swiss announce sanctions on Afghanistan and Myanmar 
*Mizzima: Burmese exiled government to be reformed 
*The Nation: Students' year of living quietly
*CHRO: Nowhere to Go: Hundreds of Chin Refugees Trapped in the Island of 

*AP: Hong Kong jade buyers expected to dominate Myanmar gem sale 

*Bangkok Post: Burma must listen to Asean appeal
*The Statesman Newspaper (New Delhi): Suu Kyi?s strategy deepens junta?s 

OTHER _______
*FCCT Bulletin: Landmine Monitor 2000: Burma and Thailand

The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

The Sunday Times: Briton beaten over peace sign in cell 

October 1 2000 FAR EAST 

Peter Conradi 

THE British human rights campaigner who was sentenced to 17 years in a 
Burmese prison for handing out pro-democracy leaflets has described how 
he was severely beaten by his guards last weekend for writing "peace" on 
the wall of his rat-infested cell.  

James Mawdsley, 27, from London, dipped his finger in water and used it 
to draw the word metta - peace - and a Christian cross. As the letters 
faded, the guards burst in and blows began to rain down.
By the time they left, Mawdsley was lying face down on the floor, 
covered in blood. His nose was badly broken and he had two black eyes.  

The assault in Keng Tung, 400 miles northeast of Rangoon, the capital, 
was the culmination of three days of mistreatment endured by Mawdsley, 
who was jailed in August 1999 for distributing "anti-government 
literature" and entering the country without a visa, charges he denies.  

He is a passionate supporter of Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of the 
opposition National League for Democracy, who won a landslide victory in 
1990 elections but has never been allowed to govern.  

Mawdsley told a British diplomat who visited last week that he had been 
beaten three times on successive days and handcuffed for 24 hours after 
protesting that he had spent more than a year in solitary confinement. 
His sleep was also interrupted repeatedly by loud- speakers placed 
outside his cell.  

Last Sunday, after the third assault, a prison officer came to 
apologise. "He said I could have whatever I wanted if I said it was an 
accident," Mawdsley told Karen Williams, the British vice-consul. "Of 
course, I refused."  

The guards had then started boiling his food, adding so much salt that 
it was virtually inedible. Mawdsley claimed he could also taste 

Williams said his resolve appeared unbroken despite his ordeal. "It was 
a shock to see how badly he was beaten up, but otherwise he was in 
excellent spirits," she said. "He's very strong. He's totally committed 
to the plight of the Burmese."  

Mawdsley was forced to talk to her from inside a glass box built for him 
in the corner of the jail's main interview room. He said his first 
beating came at 9.30am on September 21. Angry that he had been denied a 
radio and contact with fellow prisoners, he wrote "solitary confinement 
is inhumane" and "release all political prisoners" on the walls. Then he 
rattled the door of his cell.  

Less than a minute later, about 15 guards and other men burst in, he 
said. Five were armed with 3ft wooden clubs, one of which was bound with 
"Before a word was spoken, one of them laid into me," he said. "I stayed 
on my feet. I was only a bit sore afterwards, but I wondered briefly 
whether my left arm was broken."  

The next day, undeterred, he wrote more messages on the wall and again 
banged on his door. Again, he was beaten. The guards also confiscated 
his books and set up loudspeakers, which began blaring music at 4am.  

The third attack was the most damaging. "I was hit on the head, then 
smashed forward on the face," Mawdsley said. "There was a lot of blood 
but they kept beating me."  
Ten minutes later a medical orderly brought a bucket of water so he 
could clean himself up. He was denied his hour of daily exercise and 

The Foreign Office has complained to Burma over what Robin Cook, the 
foreign secretary, called an "outrageous violation of his human rights". 

This weekend the United Nations Commission on Human Rights added its 
voice. The UN's working group on arbitrary detention told the Burmese 
government that Mawdsley had been subjected to 10 violations of 
international law. Its intervention came after an appeal organised by 
the Jubilee Campaign, a British group working for his release.  

The British embassy is helping to organise a "final special appeal" 
against Mawdsley's conviction. Two earlier appeals have been rejected.  

His mother, Diana Mawdsley, a nurse from Durham who last saw him in 
November - travelled to Keng Tung last month for a visit. However, her 
son was unwilling to meet her unless the prison authorities allowed him 
to leave the glass box. They refused.  
After hearing of the beating, she said she was prepared to meet him 
"under whatever terms". But her visa runs out on Tuesday and it was not 
clear yesterday whether the regime would extend it.  

A recent intensification of the Burmese government's campaign against 
Suu Kyi has added to her fears. "I try to keep my tears to myself," she 
said. "It's better to keep a bit of starch on the upper lip. I'm not at 
all confident any longer about James's release."  


Rohingya National Army: RNA attacked Burmese soldiers

Oct 1, 2000

At about 1050 hours, in the morning of 30 September 2000 (Saturday), a 
section of Rohingya National Army (RNA), on patrol, attacked Burmese 
soldiers at a place about 3 miles east of an enemy outpost, called 
Bandoola camp, situated in NaSaKa area No.1, under Maungdaw township, 
Arakan. 5 enemy soldiers were killed on the spot while 5 others injured 
critically. There is no loss and casualty on the side of the RNA.

Rohingya National Army (RNA)

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

AP: Swiss announce sanctions on Afghanistan and Myanmar 

October 2, 2000

BERN, Switzerland (AP) _ The Swiss government said Monday it was 
imposing sanctions on the regimes of Afghanistan and Myanmar, in line 
with decisions by the United Nations and the European Union. 

 Bank accounts belonging to members of the two regimes will be frozen 
and there will be a ban on arms exports, the foreign ministry announced. 

 The measures against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan take their lead 
from the United Nations, which imposed sanctions following the Taliban's 
refusal to hand over Osama bin Laden, who is suspected of masterminding 
the bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. 

 The Swiss move will result in the freezing of bank accounts belonging 
to the regime and to a list of people associated with it, as well as a 
ban on Taliban aircraft entering Swiss airspace. Exports of arms to 
Afghanistan will also be banned. 

 At the same time, Switzerland announced it was following the European 
Union in extending and clarifying sanctions against the government of 
Myanmar, also known as Burma, which have been in place since 1996. 

 As well as freezing bank accounts, Switzerland will expel all military 
personnel attached to Myanmar's diplomatic missions. There will be a 
formal arms embargo, and all non-humanitarian aid will be suspended. 

 ``Switzerland has been critical of Myanmar for years, especially within 
the U.N. Human Rights Commission and the International Labor 
Organization, by supporting resolutions calling for an improvement in 
human rights and the end to forced labor,'' the foreign ministry said in 
a statement. 

 Neutral Switzerland is not a member of the United Nations or of the 
15-nation European Union, but it usually takes their lead in matters 
such as sanctions against other countries. 

Mizzima: Burmese exiled government to be reformed 

October 2, 2000

Dublin, Ireland, October 2, 2000
Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com)

Thorough self-analysis and major changes are likely to take place for 
the Burmese government in exile during its six-day long organizational 
meeting which starts today in Ireland. The National Coalition Government 
of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), which was formed ten years ago with a 
group of elected parliamentarians from Burma in a Thai-Burma border 
area, is having its ôevery-five year regular meetingö at Dublin, capital 
of Ireland from October 2 to 7.

The meeting, third time since its inception in December 1990, is jointly 
held with the meeting of Members of Parliament Union (MPU) and 
participated by all the ten Cabinet ministers including its Prime 
Minister Dr. Sein Win and 20 parliamentarians from MPU.

According to Dr. Tint Swe, current South Asia affairs minister in the 
exiled government, the MPU meeting will elect the new Prime Minister for 
the exiled government and then the new Prime Minister will select the 
ministers for his Cabinet.

To function as a Parliament in exile, the MPU will also elect a Speaker 
and a Deputy Speaker among themselves. Sources say that the exiled 
government is to be thoroughly reformed with major changes including the 
ministers shake-up and induction of youth, students and women in 
functioning of the exiled government.

In recent years, there has been growing criticism among the Burmese 
activists in exile on the functioning and activities of the NCGUB, which 
now has its headquarters in Washington, DC. The exiled government is 
said to enjoy little support either among the exiles or democracy 
activists inside Burma.

Editorial of August Issue of ôThe Irrwaddyö, a popular and respected 
independent magazine covering Burma and Asia, criticized the NCGUB for 
its inefficiency, lack of transparency and accountability within and 
outside the organization. ôIt is time for the NCGUB and its associates 
to embrace û or at least stop opposing û ideas proposed by people 
outside of their narrow cliqueö, said the Editorial.

The Nation: Students' year of living quietly
 Oct 1, 2000.


KNOWN for their vocal presence in the Kingdom, Burmese student activists 
have been unusually quiet over the past year.  

Previously, they could be seen regularly rallying in front of the 
Burmese embassy or the United Nations office to mark Aung San Suu Kyi's 
birthday or Burma's national day.  			

But many dissident students have been lying low since a group of Burmese 
from the Maneeloy holding centre took 38 people hostage at the embassy 
in Bangkok last October - an incident that triggered a Thai clampdown on 
the students' activities.  

Even the latest harassment of Aung San Suu Kyi, who was physically 
forced to return home recently after being prevented from travelling to 
a party meeting, has not managed to get Burmese students out onto the 
streets of Bangkok.  

Have they given up hope for democracy? Soe Aung, foreign affairs 
director of the All Burma Students Democratic Front, said the group's 
activities continue as usual and nothing has changed.  

However, student networks in Burma have recently been meeting near the 
Thai-Burma border to seek strategies for a new direction.  

"We will not use violent means to fight for democracy," she said, 
referring to the embassy incident and an armed hostage-taking at the 
Ratchaburi regional hospital by God's Army rebels in January.  

"We just want [Burma's military] to talk to the National League of 
Democracy's leader. We will never give up," Soe Aung said.  

Debbie Stothard, co-ordinator of the Alternative Asean Network on Burma, 
said the reason many of the Burmese students' goals cannot be 
accomplished is that activists are arrested before they even carry out 
their protests.  

The restrictions on their freedom by Thai authorities have been 
especially severe since last October.  

At Maneeloy, Burmese students cannot conduct political activities 
without running the risk of being sent to the Immigration Detention 

Thai authorities, on the other hand, say their job has become more 
difficult since last October, arguing they have had to work harder to 
maintain national security and peace.  
They say they would like to see the Burmese students either return home 
voluntarily or migrate to a third country.  

A high-ranking police officer said the authorities do not strictly 
follow all of the activities of the Burmese students but focus on the 
more violent student groups stationed along the border.  

In addition, he said, most Burmese students see a better future in a 
third country and do not want to be considered a political risk when 
they are screened.  

Preecha Raungchan, deputy governor of Ratchaburi province and supervisor 
of the Maneeloy centre, said refugees are allowed to conduct any 
activity except organise politically. Those who do, he said, will be 
detained at the Immigration Detention Centre.  

"We have never sent anyone to jail for no reason. If they broke the 
rules, they deserved it. Sometimes we can compromise, but they should 
understand that Thailand can not be used as a stage to fight for 
democracy in Burma," said Preecha.  
At the moment, fewer than 1,300 refugees live in the camp and all have 
applied for third country asylum. On October 24, about 50 Burmese will 
be sent to New Zealand.  

The camp might close down soon afterward, if the government and United 
Nations High Commission for Refugees continue their policy of sending 
student refugees to a third country. 



CHRO: Nowhere to Go: Hundreds of Chin Refugees Trapped in the Island of 

September 30, 2000


Chin Human Rights Organization CHRO had learned that about three 
hundreds  Chins are taking refuge in Guam, a small island in the Pacific 
Ocean which  is a United States territory. They all claimed that they 
fled from the  merciless persecution of the ruling Burmese military 
regime State Peace and  Development Council SPDC in their homeland.

The refugees include men, women and have various backgrounds such as 
Church  leaders, politicians, doctors, teachers, lawyers, traders, 
students and  farmers. They are seeking refugee status in United States 
and  waiting to be  determined their case by the United States 
Immigration and Naturalisation  Service US INS.

Some of the refugees are charged with illegal entry and detained by the  
authority of Guam on their arrival. Many more are surviving in the 
island  with the help of local Churches and Chin communities around the 

Last week, one of the refugees Mr. K ... ( name omitted ) who is under  
detention in Guam had called CHRO office in Ottawa to explain the 
situation  of Chin refugees in the island.

" I am lucky among the refugees because I am in detention and I do not 
need  to worry for food and shelter. But those who are surviving in the 
island  have problems for their survival, they are facing shortage of 
food, shelter  and even clothing" he said.

Mr. K....was Church Council Chairman of Thantlang Baptist Church which 
have  more than 3000 members and the biggest church in Thantlang 
township, Chin  State.  He was accused of supporting Chin National Front 
CNF and arrested  twice by the military regime. Chin National Front CNF 
is an armed resistant  party fighting against the ruling Burmese 
military regime to restore  democracy and self determination.

Mr. K ... said that " we have nowhere to go, we faced rampant human 
rights  violations in our own home. We canÆt even conduct worship 
service without  their ( the military authority ) permission. The people 
are living in  constant fear of the Military Intelligence Service MIS. 
Even if we fled to  neighbouring countries there is still no safety. We 
could be arrested at any  time and send back to Burma".

Last month Indian authority had arrested hundreds of Chin refugees in  
Mizoram State and deported to Burma.




_______________ ECONOMY AND BUSINESS _______________

AP: Hong Kong jade buyers expected to dominate Myanmar gem sale 

Oct 2, 2000

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) _ Merchants from Hong Kong are expected to make up 
the biggest group of buyers when more than dlrs 38 million worth of 
gems, jade and jewelry go on sale at Myanmar's mid-year gems emporium in 
Yangon this week, Deputy Minister of Mines Myint Thein said Monday. 

 Myanmar, also known as Burma, produces some of the finest quality jade, 
rubies, sapphires and pearls in the world. 

 Gems emporiums have been held annually since 1964, with mid-year sales 
instituted just a few years ago, when the government liberalized the 
economy and allowed private dealers to participate. 

 More than 400 gem dealers from 13 countries _ Australia, Austria, 
China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, 
Thailand, the United States and Vietnam _ are expected to attend the 
emporium, which will run from Oct. 3 to 10, Myint Thein said. 

 The largest contingent of merchants, more than 260, will come from Hong 
Kong, whose buyers usually dominate the jade auction, he told reporters 
at a preview of the sale. 

 The second and third largest groups of buyers are expected to come from 
China and Thailand. 
 Myint Thein said that more than dlrs 32 million worth of gems and jade 
will be sold by auction and some dlrs 4.3 million in gems, jade and 
pearl will be sold by tender. 

 Another dlrs 1.3 million worth of gems, jewelry and jade carvings will 
be sold at fixed prices, he said. 				

 The minister said that more than 95 percent of the merchandise to be 
sold belongs to private enterprises, which mine jade and gemstones under 
government license. 

 The government takes a 10 percent commission on sales at the emporium 
by private dealers. 

 One of the 1500 lots of jade to be sold at the emporium will be a 1.5 
ton jade boulder with dlrs 2 million floor price. 


Bangkok Post: Burma must listen to Asean appeal

(Editorial), October 1, 2000 

Why won't Burmese leaders listen? This is the mystery behind the 
unfolding tragedy and senseless conflict that is dragging the country 
into economic ruin, political violence and international disrepute. The 
dictatorship hears and responds angrily to every word of criticism, from 
this column to the US secretary of state. But it refuses to hear appeals 
from neighbours and would-be friends. The junta cannot hear the voices 
of loyal Burmese eager to work to lift their country. 

Last week, hundreds of Burmese police again rushed to surround and seize 
the petite woman who threatens to make Burma into a respectable nation 
again. This time, Aung San Suu Kyi was trying to take a train up 
country, specifically to Mandalay. That, thundered the military council, 
threatened the state. 

Earlier this month, Mrs Suu Kyi got in her car to try to drive a few 
kilometres south of Rangoon-roughly equivalent to a drive to Samut 
Prakan from Bangkok. Again, the battalions of police, secret police and 
troops rushed to block this "sinister" trip. Again, the dictatorship 
alleged that Mrs Suu Kyi was threatening stability in Burma and must be 
prevented. And in the past five days, hundreds of security agents have 
ensured the Nobel Prize winner could not publicly celebrate the 12th 
anniversary of her political party. 

The consuming paranoia with Mrs Suu Kyi is not the cause of Burma's 
problems, but a symptom. The dictators refuse to take any views into 
account but their own. It is 10 years since Burmese voters told the 
military that they preferred to have a civilian regime. Historic 
elections returned Mrs Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy by an 
overwhelming majority. That did not meet the military's views, so the 
election was ignored. 

Burma has the nastiest mouth of any regional government, an unpleasant 
fact alluded to last week by our own Deputy Foreign Minister. M.R. 
Sukhumbhand Paribatra was visiting Washington when the subject came up. 
Thailand and Asean, he noted, have only sweet words to use in dealing 
with the dictatorship. Thai policy has consistently been to deal with 
neighbours with words. One should never use a big stick with neighbours, 
he said. 

Those sweet words are fine, and true. The problem is that Burma has not 
been amenable in any manner to such tactics. Thai officials have tried 
countless times to negotiate serious problems with Rangoon, both 
bilateral and regional. So long as Burma gets what it wants, there is 
not problem. But when there is a difference of opinion, Burma only turns 

When Thai authorities freed the Burmese hostages and embassy without a 
casualty, Burma cancelled economic contracts and criticised Thailand. 
When Thai officials tried to suggest that Asean could help to mediate 
the dispute that Burmese dictators have with Mrs Suu Kyi, the cries of 
"meddling" were loud. Burma's response to numerous Thai requests for 
help against Burma-based drug dealers has been particularly nasty. The 
head of the military junta embraced the head of the amphetamines cartel 

It is time for Burma to listen to offers of help. How Burma develops is 
the affair of its citizens. But the point is that all citizens should 
have a voice. At the moment, patriotic and well-meaning Burmese are 
jailed, tortured or put under house arrest for making suggestions of 
change. That includes Mrs Suu Kyi and her pro-democracy supporters. It 
also includes thousands of other concerned Burmese. 

It is Asean's business how Burma develops its international affairs. The 
regional group has a mechanism to address egregious behaviour-such as 
threatening security by supporting drug trafficking. It is up to Vietnam 
to put that mechanism into action. But all Asean members should press 
Burma to listen to reason. 

The Statesman Newspaper (New Delhi): Suu Kyi?s strategy deepens junta?s 

Dated October 1, 2000)


There is no let-up in the attack unleashed by MyanmarÆs military junta 
ùironically named the State Peace and Development Council ù on Aung San 
Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy. After her nine-day 
stand-off with the military in a Yangon suburb about a month ago, 
followed by her being barred from travelling to Mandalay, SPDC generals 
have gone all out to stifle the 55-year-old Nobel laureate and her party 
into silence. They have locked her up at her home and taken her key 
party aides into protective custody and also ôtemporarilyö closed down 
her party headquarters so that observance of NLDÆs 12th anniversary can 
be stalled. These are signs of desperation; generals are nervous that 
the irrepressible pro-democracy leader is working hard to arouse the 48 
million Myanmarese people. In a renewed challenge, she and her party are 
busy drafting a national constitution and are firm in their resolve to 
continue with the two-year exercise of a proxy parliament. Her approach 
of moderation and dialogue in ending the stand-off has not been 
reciprocated by her tormentors who are threatening to ban the NLD 
altogether. No less a worry is the remark of the Thai foreign minister 
that Asean was having a ôserious image problemö because of continuing 
political unrest in Myanmar.

The concern of the generals is understandable for other reasons too. 
Despite their             ruthless attempts to ôcrushö Suu Kyi and her 
followers, they have not been able to   snuff out resistance. The 
attempt to destroy the NLD by forced resignations has only helped to 
further strengthen the resolve of both Suu Kyi and her supporters. Also 
Suu Kyi has timed her push when signs of disharmony are clearly visible 
within the junta. The recent dismissal of Brig-Gen Zaw Tun, the deputy 
minister for national development, for openly debunking the juntaÆs 
claim of higher economic growth and criticising the inconsistency in the 
trade policy have lent credence to Suu KyiÆs contention that Myanmar 
under the junta has deteriorated both economically and socially and that 
serious differences exist within the junta over key issues. One of the 
brightest and articulate officers Zaw Tun blamed those holding 
responsible posts in the junta for plummeting investment. The generals 
manning key ministries ôdid not have proper awarenessö. In fact, his 
criticism justified Suu KyiÆs point that government practices inimical 
to a healthy society and failure to adopt sound macroeconomic policies 
have pushed the country into an economic and social morass. What Zaw Tun 
hinted at was that lack of good governance was at the root of MyanmarÆs 
troubles; a point which has been repeatedly harped upon by Suu Kyi. This 
suggests that even a section of the junta concurs with her views. It is 
the fear of challenge from within that is presently haunting the 
warlords. Any change that leads to accountable governance is still 
anathema to the SPDC generals.

_____________________ OTHER  ______________________

FCCT Bulletin: Landmine Monitor 2000: Burma and Thailand

Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand
The BULLETIN	     September 29 2000 - Number 182

Wednesday October 11, 2000 (7pm) Dinner Bt280 members; Bt400 
non-members; Bt250 non-members entry only. Panel discussion 8pm.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines Thailand and Burma/Myanmar 
Landmine Monitor researchers will hold a press conference to discuss 
their respective reports. Panelist will include: two landmine survivors 
from Thailand and the Thai-Burma border; Nittaya Krisananont, 
researcher, Thailand Campaign to Ban Landmines; Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan, 
researcher, Landmine Monitor Burma/Myanmar; and a representative from 
the Thailand Mine Action Center.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), co-winner of the 
1997 Nobel Peace Prize, has established an unprecedented initiative to 
monitor implementation of and compliance with the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. 
The ICBL's 1,100-page Landmine Monitor Report 2000: Toward a Mine-Free 
World, released 7 September 2000, provides new details on mine use, 
production, trade, stockpiling, demining and mine victim assistance in 
every country of the world. The Landmine Monitor contains reports on 
over 100 countries, including Thailand and Burma/Myanmar.

In Burma, the Landmine Monitor reports that the Burmese Army is one of 
only 3 government military forces in Asia alleged to have used 
anti-personnel landmines during the past year, and the only one in 
ASEAN. In January of 2000 the Committee Representing the People's 
Parliament stated that they would "recommend to the People's Parliament, 
when it is convened, as a matter of immediate national concern, 
accession to the Convention [Mine Ban Treaty].

The Thailand Campaign to Ban Landmines (TCBL) has released the Thailand 
report and a precis of the report in Thai. Copies will be available. 
Copies of the Landmine Monitor report for Burma/Myanmar in both English 
and Burmese will also be available.



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