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

BurmaNet News: October 7, 2000 (Eng

Subject: BurmaNet News: October 7, 2000 (English)

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
_________October 7, 2000   Issue # 1634__________

*AFP: Myanmar opposition a threat to development: state media 
*MICB:  SPDC junta forces Muslim students to  learn Buddhism and jails 
Muslims in Burma
*AP: Strong earthquake hits Myanmar-China Border 

*AFP: EU deplores Myanmar decision to cancel visit
*FEER: After two decades treating refugees from Burma 
*Bangkok Post: ASEAN / Chiang Mai Meeting, Tackle Burma on human rights, 
German MP says
*Inter Press Service:  Rights--Activists Target Cheney for Involvement 
in Burma
*Bangkok Post: DRUGS - Rangoon urged to fight menace

*AFP: Burma, China sign petroleum deal 
*Xinhua: Thai Exports to Myanmar Look Promising 
*The Hindu (New Delhi): India?s security and China

*Burma Campaign UP: Job vacancies at The Burma Campaign UK

The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

AFP: Myanmar opposition a threat to development: state media 

YANGON, Oct 7 (AFP) - The opposition National League for Democracy 
(NLD), in league with external forces, is threatening Myanmar's 
political and economic development, state media said Saturday. 

 "The ones who are disturbing peace and stability, and economic and 
food, clothing and shelter conditions ... in collusion with the foreign 
nations are none other than (Aung San) Suu Kyi and her followers of the 
NLD," the state-controlled New Light of Myanmar said. 

 This latest verbal attack against the NLD comes against the backdrop of 
international criticism over the junta's recent crackdown on the NLD. 

 NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other senior party members remain under 
de facto house arrest imposed after they were prevented from travelling 
to Mandalay on September 22, while deputy chairman Tin Oo languishes in 
detention at a military base north of Yangon. 

 "In the 1990 election, the NLD won around 50 percent of the votes; but 
at present over 90 percent of the voters in the nation are demanding to 
dissolve (the) NLD," the paper said  Aung San Suu Kyi's NLD won a 
landslide victory in the 1990 elections which were subsequently annulled 
by the junta. 

 "If the votes won by the NLD in the 1990 election can be acknowledged 
as the people's wish, Suu Kyi and her followers should accept the 
demands of the people to dissolve (the) NLD, which were made throughout 
1999-2000," it added. 

 The military junta is accused by many western states, international 
bodies and human rights organizations of human rights violations against 
those who show signs of dissent against the regime. 

 The United Nations confirmed Friday that its special envoy to Myanmar, 
veteran Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail, will hold four days of talks 
in Yangon starting Monday with the junta. 

 Razali will discuss issues relating to the December 17 UN General 
Assembly resolution deploring the "continuing violations of human rights 
in Myanmar," and would report back to UN Secretary General Kofi Anan, UN 
spokesman Fred Eckhard said Friday. 

 The junta have not stated publicly whether Razali will be able to meet 
with Aung San Suu Kyi, but Eckhard said that the envoy would hold 
"discussions with the government as well as other political actors." 


MICB:  SPDC junta forces Muslim students to  learn Buddhism and jails 
Muslims in Burma


Oct 4, 2000

Since the opening of Burmese junta  primary schools in June, 2000,  
junta's teachers have forced Burmese Muslim students to learn Buddhism 
in the Mon state of Burma. The Muslim students who refused to learn 
Buddhism were dismissed from the schools. 

On September,1, 2000, four Muslim elders of Daing Win Gwan Block 
village, Moulmein township  where a primary  school was situated, put up 
an application requesting the high authorities to spare the Muslim 
students from learning Buddhism in the school , were arrested and have 
been put under custody till today.  The four village elders, were U 
Ismail, U Yacoob, U  Than Tun and Daw Mariam . 


AP: Strong earthquake hits Myanmar-China Border 

HONG KONG (AP) _ A strong earthquake jolted the Myanmar-China border, 
the Hong Kong Observatory said Saturday. 

 The 5.3 magnitude quake was centered about 320 kilometers (198.85 
miles) northeast of Mandalay, second biggest city of Myanmar, also known 
as Burma. 

 It struck at 6:39 p.m. (1209 GMT) Friday, the observatory said. 

 An official of the seismological department in the Myanmar capital of 
Yangon said residents in Mogaung felt the tremor but no injuries were 
reported. The official spoke on condition of anonymity. 

 Mogaung is located in Kachin State, which borders China. 

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________
AFP: EU deplores Myanmar decision to cancel visit 

BRUSSELS, Oct 6 (AFP) - The European Union said Friday it deplored a 
decision by Myanmar to cancel a visit by the EU foreign policy troika 
that was scheduled for the end of this month. 

 "It deplores that fact that the Burmese authorities have not seen fit 
to respond to its availabilty for dialogue," said a statement issued by 
the French EU presidency. 

 "It recalls its serious concern about the deadlock in the political 
situation and the human rights situation in the country," it said. 

 The EU foreign policy troika is made up of representatives of the 
current and future EU presidencies, currently France and Sweden, plus 
the European Commission and the office of EU foreign policy chief Javier 

 Earlier Friday in Bangkok, EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said 
Myanmar's renewed crackdown on pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was 
jeopardizing EU-Southeast Asian talks set for December. 


FEER: After two decades treating refugees from Burma 

By Joshua Schenker

Far Eastern Economic
Issue cover-dated October 12, 2000.

FOR SOMEONE WORKING on the front lines of a refugee crisis, Dr. Jane 
Geary is remarkably sanguine. "In many ways, the medical situation here 
is as well monitored and capably treated as in a hospital anywhere," she 
says. "It's almost like a normal job."  

Almost. In Umpiam, a camp on Thailand's western border housing displaced 
people from Burma, the in-patient clinic run by Medecins Sans Frontieres 
looks like a clinic you'd find anywhere. Patients are hooked up to 
drips. During breaks, staff knit and stare at posters on the wall. Young 
nurses, usually drawn from the camp's refugees, check a girl with a 
broken arm whose friend has brought her junk food to gorge on. They 
comfort a young mother whose pregnancy has become complicated. 

Watching MSF, which won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for its medical 
work in the world's hot spots, it's hard not to be impressed. The group 
has been working in camps along the Thai-Burmese border since the early 
1980s, and there are currently about 120,000 refugees in these camps. 

When MSF began working here, malaria and tuberculosis were persistent 
scourges. Infant mortality was off the charts. Today, most refugees are 
as healthy as any Thai citizen. A change in malaria treatment--using 
drug "cocktails" rather than a single anti-malarial drug--is one factor 
in the group's success. Preventive activities, such as education about 
sanitation and nutrition, have also helped to minimize potential 
problems. And staff have worked to break down barriers with refugees and 
build up trust--a picture in one clinic shows an MSF doctor at a camp 
function looking goofy in traditional Karen dress. 

Still, with resources stretched thin, the appearance of normality is 
deceptive. One morning, a frantic, overworked doctor arrives at Umpiam's 
outpatient clinic, where patients have been lining up for hours. The 
doctor glides through like Mother Teresa, spending just enough time with 
each refugee to do basic checks before being swept towards the next 
patient. Although Thailand has asked the United Nations High 
Commissioner for Refugees to help convince 110,000 refugees to return to 
Burma, the number of people flowing into Thailand is rising, as 
persistent fighting between the rebel Karen National Union and Rangoon's 
army levels villages inside the Burmese border. 

These new refugees carry an ever-increasing variety of strains of 
disease. Falciparum, the deadly strain of malaria, has not been 
eradicated along the border. One anaemic young mother wracked by malaria 
lies on an MSF-affiliated clinic's floor. Illnesses linked to the 
woman's malaria claimed the lives of her first two children shortly 
after birth. Now, she's lost so much weight that her body may soon start 
consuming its own tissues. 

There are concerns that a recent massive malaria, typhoid and anthrax 
epidemic in northeastern Burma could spread to border areas just across 
from the MSF camps. And psychological problems, predictably prevalent in 
a population unable to return home, complicate treatment. "Some people 
may not want to get better," says Dr. Herve Isambert, MSF Thailand 

Adding to MSF's problems is the resentment--and occasionally 
violence--directed by local Thais against medical staff who treat 
refugees. Thais in towns along the border have held rallies opposing 
expansion of the camps. In the past, the Burmese military has attacked 
camps, destroying refugees' houses and medical facilities. Geary, 
though, is once again sanguine. "Security is not a major concern of mine 
here, not compared to some places in Africa or Central Asia where MSF 
works," she says. An MSF assistant adds: "It is just an aspect of the 

After nearly two decades on the Thai-Burma border, and with no sign of 
the refugee crisis abating, MSF looks set to be doing that job for some 
time to come.   


Bangkok Post: ASEAN / Chiang Mai Meeting, Tackle Burma on human rights, 
German MP says

 Oct 6, 2000.

Trade and political reforms raised
Achara Ashayagachat 

Thailand should continue to play a leading role in tackling the issue of 
Burma's poor human rights record and in enhancing Asean-EU relations, 
the chief whip of Germany's ruling party said yesterday. Peter Struck, 
chairman of the Parliamentary Faction of the Social Democratic Party, 
said Thailand had played an instrumental role in bringing about the 
first meeting in three years of ministers of the Association of 
Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union. 

Thailand should continue playing an active role in international affairs 
as well as relations with neighbouring countries, added the politician 
who is said to be close to German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. 

Asean and EU ministers are due to meet in Laos in December, the first 
meeting of its kind since Asean admitted Burma in 1997. 

"I understand the difficulty of the Burma issue but I think Thailand 
knows better than us how to deal with its neighbour. Burma has isolated 
itself and not opened up human rights, which concerns us," Mr Struck 

Hermann Erath, the German ambassador to Thailand, said Germany was happy 
to work with Thailand and that there finally could be a breakthrough on 
the Asean-EU talks. Civil service discussions held here last year were 
not enough, he said. 

Mr Struck, who came to Thailand from Seoul and left for Jakarta 
yesterday, said he also expected Bangkok to play a key role in the 
Asia-Europe Meeting to be held in Seoul later this month. 

"Thailand with its economic growth is very important to Germany and 
Europe. My visit is to emphasise that despite the enlargement of the EU 
membership, we do not neglect the Asean region and our interest is not 
only on economic aspects but also on political reform and human rights 
protection as well," he said. 

Mr Struck met Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan, Transport and 
Communications Minister Suthep Thaugsuban, and Thai Rak Thai Party 
leader Thaksin Shinawatra. 
In talks with Mr Suthep, he said German airline Lufthansa was interested 
in Thai Airways International's privatisation plan. 

"Thailand and Germany have good relations and we hope good co-operation 
will continue no matter who becomes the government." 


Inter Press Service:  Rights--Activists Target Cheney for Involvement in 

WASHINGTON, (Oct. 4) IPS - Lawyers for victims of human rights abuses 
committed by the military regime in Burma claim that the Republican 
Party's vice presidential nominee was involved in a company that 
assisted in energy projects in Burma associated with violent human 
rights abuses. Until he was selected as vice presidential candidate for 
the Republican ticket, Dick Cheney headed the energy giant Halliburton, 
which activists say owned a subsidiary that helped build two pipelines 
that involved the forcible relocation of villages, forced labor, rape 
and murder. 
"Halliburton partners and subsidiaries, both before and during Dick 
Cheney's tenure as CEO, have been contractors for pipeline projects that 
have led to crimes against humanity in Burma," says Katie Redford, a 
human rights lawyer with EarthRights. 
The military government in Burma, also known as Myanmar, has long been 
considered one of the world's most abusive regimes. The United States 
and the European Union have imposed economic sanctions against the 
country due to the military's human rights abuses. 
The regime is holding Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, whose 
political party swept national elections 10 years ago with more than 80 
percent of the vote, under house arrest. 

With western countries blocking substantial economic assistance from the 
World Bank and other multilateral financial institutions, the regime has 
been forced to rely on foreign investment in order to earn hard 

Two such investment projects are the Yadana and Yetagun pipelines. The 
$1.2 billion Yadana pipeline will pump natural gas from offshore fields 
in the Andaman Sea through Burma to Thailand. Construction began in 1992 
and was completed last year. 

Lawyers with EarthRights have gathered testimony from more than 100 
villagers and several alleged army deserters who claimed to be victims 
or witnesses of abuses related to the army's security operations in the 

Activists are demanding that the consortium operating the pipeline, 
including French oil giant Total, U.S.-based Union Oil of California 
(Unocal), and a Thai state owned company, withdraw from the project and 
Burma altogether. 

Redford and other lawyers for victims of human rights abuses committed 
by the military regime in Burma are appealing a Los Angeles judge's 
recent ruling that they cannot sue California-based Unocal which 
allegedly knew about and benefited directly from the regime's conduct. 

In the case, John Doe et al v. Unocal et al, the lawyers argued that the 
company should be held liable for abuses committed by the army which, 
according to their legal theory, acted as paid agents of Unocal and 
other members of the consortium. 

On Aug. 31, U.S. District Judge Ronald Lew found that evidence had been 
presented that Unocal knew or should have known about human rights 
abuses committed in connection with the project and that these acts 
benefited the project. 

But the judge concluded even if that were all proven in court, the 
plaintiffs would have to show that Unocal was much more deeply involved. 

If the case proceeds, it could have major implications for recent 
efforts by the United Nations and other international groups to promote 
codes of conduct for companies operating in developing countries. 

While activists appeal the ruling, Washington-based EarthRights is now 
taking aim at Halliburton whose subsidiary European Marine Contractors, 
in a joint venture with the Italian company Saipem, helped lay the 
offshore portion of the Yadana pipeline in 1996 and 1997, according to a 
new report by the advocacy group. 

Cheney was CEO of Halliburton during this time. Halliburton Energy 
Services also provided pre-commissioning services to the Yadana pipeline 
with the help of the British company, Alfred McAlpine, according to the 
42-page report released here today. 

Human rights activists also connect Halliburton with a second pipeline, 
the Yetagun, which was constructed parallel to the Yadana pipeline. 
EarthRights claims that Bredero-Shaw, a subsidiary for Dresser 
Industries manufactured the coating for the Yetagun pipeline in 1998. 
Dresser was purchased by Halliburton that same year. 

EarthRights has documentation that the Yetagun pipeline is associated 
with the same pattern of human rights abuse as reported against the 
Yadana pipeline. "To be involved in the Yetagun project is to knowingly 
accept brutal violations of human rights as part of doing business," 
says Redford. 

In response to criticism, last month Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall 
said "we don't do business in Burma." 

Cheney announced early last month that he would forfeit some options in 
Halliburton if the Republican ticket is elected. He has already sold a 
large part of his holding in the energy company. 

EarthRights also outlines some of Halliburton's other activities in 
Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Libya and Nigeria. 

One of the company's contracts with Indonesia was cancelled by the 
government during a purging of corruptly awarded contracts. An 
Indonesian corporate watchdog organization called Halliburton's 
engineering division, Kellogg Brown and Root among 59 companies that 
used "collusive, corruptive and nepotistic practices" with former 
president Suharto's family, according to EarthRights. 

In Nigeria, Halliburton was accused of complicity in the shooting of a 
protestor by Nigeria's Mobile Police Unit. 

EarthRights also documents Halliburton's strong involvement in USA- 
Engage and the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), two powerful 
industry groups that lobby against U.S. sanctions. 

Last June, the Supreme Court sided with the NFTC which fought against 
the Massachusetts Burma law that prohibited state money from employing 
or contracting with companies that work in Burma. 

Pro-democracy Burmese groups and U.S. human rights activists compared 
the selective purchasing law with those laws that helped bring down 
apartheid in South Africa in the 1980s. 

The NFTC argued that states should not be able to steer money away from 
Burma dictatorship because the federal government has already enacted 
sanction against Burma that pre-empt state laws. 

Dick Cheney signed an amicus brief against the Massachusetts law, 
according to the EarthRights report. Like Unocal corporate officers, he 
argued that sanctions do not work and that what is needed is so-called 
"constructive engagement' with governments accused of abuses. 

But Redford says the term constructive engagement is a smokescreen and 
what is really behind Halliburton's and the NFTC's agenda is commercial 
"The real reason is they don't want to lose the business for 
themselves," she says 


Bangkok Post: DEFENCE - Navy to address Andaman security

 Oct 6, 2000.

Wassana Nanuam 

The navy is to set up a panel to study fishery problems and security in 
the Andaman Sea over fears of territorial disputes with neighbouring 
countries, especially Burma. 
Vice Admiral Thewin Mungthunya said the navy's strategic studies 
revealed that some neighbouring countries pose a threat to Thailand. 
Thai authorities needed to study the power of Burma and India in the 
Andaman Sea and to ensure security in that region so it could be used as 
a way out in the event the Gulf of Thailand was blocked by any rival, he 
Vice Adm Thewin said the navy needed to reinforce its troops at Phangnga 
naval base, its only unit on the coast of the Andaman Sea. Thailand 
should develop its deep-sea fisheries using large vessels to ensure its 
fishing industry will survive even though Burma has banned Thai trawlers 
from its waters, according to Vice Adm Thewin. 


Bangkok Post: DRUGS - Rangoon urged to fight menace

Oct 6, 2000.

Wut Nontharit 

Rangoon's help is needed to combat the drugs menace, says a group of 
senators back from a fact-finding mission to the border. 

Chairman of the senate foreign affairs panel, Kraisak Choonhavan, said 
drug problems in the north were getting worse. Senators visited Chiang 
Mai and Chiang Rai. 
Senators, he said, would talk to their colleagues about whether to seek 
talks with Rangoon. A senate anti-drugs committee could hold talks with 
Burmese leaders, Mr Kraisak said. 

The Office of the Narcotics Control Board says 80% of drugs smuggled 
into Thailand across transit points in the North are methamphetamines. 

Northern provinces hardest hit are Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai, Mae Hong Son 
and Tak. 
One million speed pills are made by drug factories in Burmese border 
areas every day, it says. 

The drugs menace had spread into all but 2% of 14,000 villages in the 
North. More than 80% of prisoners in Chiang Rai were drug offenders. 

Mr Kraisak said some Thai firms may be involved in Red Wa development 
projects in Mong Yawn. The panel would look at the claims, and whether 
they helped to launder drug money. 

_______________ ECONOMY AND BUSINESS _______________

AFP: Burma, China sign petroleum deal 

BANGKOK, Oct 6 (AFP) - A leading Chinese firm has signed a multi-million 
dollar contract with the Myanmar military junta to build two petroleum 
plants, state media reported late Friday. 

 The agreement, between Myanmar state-owned Petrochemical Enterprise and 
China National Machinery Import and Export Cooperation (CMC), was signed 
in Yangon on Friday, TV Myanmar said in a dispatch monitored here. 

 The signing ceremony was presided over by Chinese diplomats and senior 
Myanmar military leaders, it said. 

 Under the contract, the CMC's Dong Fang International Trading Co. Ltd., 
would construct two factories producing liquidfied petroleum gas (LPG) 
in Myanmar at a cost of 13 million US dollars, the report said. 

 China is one of the largest foreign investors in Myanmar and a main 
arms supplier for the junta. 


Xinhua: Thai Exports to Myanmar Look Promising 
BANGKOK (Oct. 5) XINHUA - Thailand's exports to Myanmar from January to 
July rose by 21.2 percent to 292.7 million U.S. dollars over the same 
period of last year, according to a press release of the Commerce 
Ministry available here Thursday. The value of bilateral trade between 
the two countries totaled 407 million dollars, of which Thailand's 
imports accounted for 114. 3 million dollars, resulting in a trade 
surplus of 178.41 million dollars for Thailand. 

Increased exports included steel, plastic pellets, sugar, textiles and 
garments, pharmaceutical products, aluminum products, dairy products, 
ceramics and footwear. 

Among main imports were timber, processed woods, coal, ores, fresh and 
frozen shrimps, gems and jewelry, furniture, coffee and tea. 

It is believed that the total volume of exports to Myanmar this year 
would reach 310 million dollars. The volume is expected to be bigger 
than targeted if local exports improve their products to meet 
international standards and try continuously to penetrate the market in 
the country. 


The Hindu (New Delhi): India?s security and China

The real threat from China, if it can be so designated, has a larger 
political and economic content; the contest is for power and influence 
in Asia and the international system.

The Hindu (New Delhi)
October 5, 2000

By P. R. Chari

IS THE Chinese threat real or imaginary? Opinion is fairly divided in 
India on this question. Sino-phobes believe Pakistan is the persistent 
threat, but China is the long-term security threat that India cannot 
ignore. Why? China is plainly expansionist and has used force to assert 
its irredentism, as it did in Tibet and parts of India. China is a 
blatant proliferant and the chief supplier of nuclear and missile 
technology to countries of proliferation concern such as Pakistan, North 
Korea and Iran. Examples of its casuistry are legion; China says one 
thing and does the opposite.

Further, the Chinese threat to India primarily arises from its close 
political and military nexus with Pakistan and is plainly directed 
against India. This policy is explicable by Chinese strategic 
calculations; this requires the boxing of India into the geographical 
confines of South Asia to stultify its stature as an emerging global 
power. Since the United States, too, is interested in bolstering the 
entity of Pakistan, despite its drift into social chaos and financial 
bankruptcy, an axis of powers û Pakistan, China and the U.S. û with 
palpable anti-India compulsions is visible. In brief, Mr. George 
Fernandes is not wrong in identifying China as the major future threat 
to India, despite much confusion being created thereafter about this 

Sino-philes, on the other hand, argue that Indian obduracy largely 
occasioned the border conflict in 1962 that resulted in humiliating 
defeat. The primordial suspicious that have persisted thereafter inform 
IndiaÆs placing the worst possible construct on ChinaÆs legitimate 
pursuit of its national self-interests. Its achievement of global status 
and challenge to U.S. supremacy was possible due to two decades of hard 
work and sacrifice; India would do well to trim its flaccid political 
and economic system and emulate China if it wishes to compete 
successfully with it.

Indubitably, China has developed a close relationship with Pakistan 
since 1965; this was largely designed to restrain Soviet expansion into 
the Indian Ocean via Afghanistan. Sino-Pakistan cooperation has 
manifested itself by the transfer of conventional weapon systems; they 
are basically vintage Soviet-copied systems like the whole series of MiG 
aircraft but are hardly a match for IndiaÆs latest generation weapons 
systems acquired from both Soviet (Russian) and increasingly now from 
Western sources. The jury is still out on the extent of military nuclear 
assistance China has provided Pakistan, but this has been greatly 
exaggerated by the CIA, which seems to be the main source of Indian 
intelligence on Sino-Pakistan military and nuclear linkages. In short, 
the Chinese threat has been considerably inflated by vested interests in 
India to promote their own agendas.

How is the Chinese threat perceived officially? The latest (1999-2000) 
Annual Report of the Ministry of External Affairs blandly notes ôwe 
(India) seek friendly, cooperative, good-neighbourly and mutually 
beneficial relations with Chinaö ôwe seek a long-term stable 
relationship in which both sides are responsive to each otherÆs 
concernsö, and ôwe remain committed to the process of dialogue to build 
a constructive cooperative relationshipàö There is no hint of concern 
visa-vis China. The latest Annual Report of the Ministry of Defence is 
less euphemistic. Whilst noting that ôthe border areas have remained 
largely peacefulö, and that both countries ôwish to seek a reasonable 
and mutually acceptable resolution of the boundary question through 
peaceful dialogueö, it highlights ChinaÆs improvement of its long-range 
missile force, the likely entry of Chinese nuclear submarines into the 
Indian Ocean, and its growing trans-border military capabilities due to 
improved mobility, firepower and inter-service coordination. 
Earlier, Ministry of Defence reports pinpointed ChinaÆs assistance to 
PakistanÆs nuclear weapons programme and the transfer of missiles and 
missile technology to Pakistan. But attention was also drawn to the 
India-China agreements to 1993 and 1996 that envisage maintenance of 
peace and tranquility in border areas and the negotiation of military 
confidence-building measures along the Line of Actual Control. Here, 
again, Sino-phobes and Sino-philes are divided on the reasons for slow 
progress of the negotiations of the Joint Working Group. Sino-phobes 
believe China has no interest in addressing this disputed seriously to 
normalise its relations with India, because its strategic calculus 
requires balancing off India against Pakistan. Sino-philes argue that, 
on the contrary, India remains unclear about its own stand on the 
border; there can be no take without give. So what does India have to 
give to finalise the India-China border alignment? Is there a national 
consensus on what territory can be exchanged?

So the whole issue has become circular without even the glimmer of a 
solution on the horizon. Nevertheless, the question remains germane at 
the beginning of the new millennium and a decade after the Cold War 
ended: what is the Chinese threat to India?

Is there a nuclear threat to India? Official references to Chinese 
nuclear submarines entering the Indian Ocean or nuclear missile in Tibet 
embody concerns that they could become instruments to coerce India. 
Could nuclear weapons be used against India? The late General Sundarji 
speculated that if the Chinese faced an Indian counter-offensive 
proceeding beyond certain limits into Chinese territory during the 
course of a major Sino-Indian conventional border war, then ôthere could 
be a high probability of a nuclear threat to India. That too only if the 
Chinese decide to go back on their no-first-use pledgeö. Scenario 
builders can conjure up any scary situations, however bizarre. But how 
probable is this nuclear threat?

The possibility of another conventional Sino-Indian war must be rated 
negligibly low. What about sub-conventional conflict? Would China foment 
dissension and support the several insurgencies in the Northeast? There 
is ample evidence that it pursued this policy by providing moral and 
material support to the Naga and Mizo insurgents during the 1950s. This 
policy, conceived within ChinaÆs then guiding philosophy of supporting 
æwars of national liberationÆ worldwide, has long been abandoned. 
By this process of elimination the only threat from China arises now 
from its policy of transferring nuclear and missile technology to 
Pakistan. It is another matter that ChinaÆs strategic objectives from 
this policy are incomprehensible. How does it serve ChinaÆs interests to 
provide India with the perfect rationale for weaponising and deploying 
its nuclear capabilities? This has affected Chinese security adversely; 
it is plainly evident that the strategic direction of IndiaÆs missile 
programme is against China, and that IndiaÆs current nuclear posture of 
ôcreeping proliferationö would eventually include China. India could 
also profitably re-evaluate its policy of dealing with Taiwan in the 
present gingerly fashion and deepen its relations with Vietnam as part 
of an extra-regional strategy, apart from engaging China to mitigate the 
negative aspects of their bilateral interaction. That would be wiser 
than moaning about ChinaÆs military and nuclear assistance to Pakistan. 
The real treat from China, if it can be so designated, has a larger 
political and economic content; the contest is for power and influence 
in Asia and the international system. India cannot compete with China 
unless it puts its own house in order. It needs to accelerate its 
reforms process by tackling hard issues such as reducing subsidies, 
disciplining the civic and civil services, restructuring the public 
sector, curtailing budgetary deficits and so on. It also needs to 
display the will to govern; abject surrender to hijackers and kidnappers 
and trade unions are not the attributes of a nation aspiring for global 
status. The real threat from China arises therefore from its ability to 
make sacrifices to meet such challenges to its economy and social order 
without succumbing to the siren-lure of populism.
(The writer is Director, Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, New 

_____________________ OTHER  ______________________

Burma Campaign UP: Job vacancies at The Burma Campaign UK

The Burma Campaign UK (TBC) is the leading campaign organisation on 
Burma in this country. It works as part of the international 
pro-democracy movement for Burma. TBC's activities include: high profile 
public campaigning, lobbying UK and European
government, working with broadcast and print media,
and policy and analysis development. TBC is currently looking to fill 
two new positions:

Part time Development Officer (3 days per week)

The Development Officer will be responsible for increasing the resources 
available to TBC in order to strengthen the
organisation's campaigning capacity. These resources will be both 
financial and gifts in kind.

The Development Officer will identify and approach new sources of 
funding as well as service current donors. They will also be responsible 
for organising fundraising events, supporter
recruitment and the monitoring of TBC income.

Initial contract one year
Salary 18,000 pro rata
Closing date 3 November, 2000

Part time Administration and Campaigns Officer (3 days per week) 
The ACO will be responsible for managing TBC's working systems in order 
to maximise its efficiency and to support and promote TBC's current 
campaigns. Administrative responsibilities include: bookkeeping, 
financial administration, processing membership and supervising 
volunteers. Campaigns responsibilities
include: promoting TBC campaigns to existing networks, dealing with 
information requests, writing and producing campaign
materials, managing TBC's presence at events.

Initial contract one year
Salary 16,000 pro rata
Closing date 3 November, 2000

For a job description, person specification and details for applications 
please contact 0207 281 7377 or
e-mail bagp@xxxxxxxxxx stating which vacancy you are
interested in.

The Burma Campaign UK


The BurmaNet News is an Internet newspaper providing comprehensive 
coverage of news and opinion on Burma  (Myanmar) from around the world.  
If you see something on Burma, you can bring it to our attention by 
emailing it to strider@xxxxxxx

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


T O P I C A  The Email You Want. http://www.topica.com/t/16
Newsletters, Tips and Discussions on Your Favorite Topics