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BurmaNet News: October 25, 2000

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
_________October 25, 2000   Issue # 1648__________

*AFP : Myanmar opposition sits tight at party HQ despite eviction order
*Bangkok Post: Thai-built golf drive sparks official alarm
*ABC-Online: Karen spokesman warns against returning refugees to Burma  
*SSA News: Senseless Shooting Killed Shan Boy

*AP: Junta urges UN to protect against foreign interference
*ABC - Online:  UNHCR says Burma and Indonesia will provide flood of 

*Asia-Inc Magazine: Boycott Burma-- Why boardrooms are being forced to 
rethink business with Rangoon
*Mizzima: Villagers to be resettled for new trade route in Indo-Burma 
*MIC (SPDC): [Khin Nyunt addresses Forest Products Joint Venture]

The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

AFP : Myanmar opposition sits tight at party HQ despite eviction order

   YANGON, Oct 25 (AFP) - Myanmar's opposition party, led by Nobel 
laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, vowed Wednesday to fight a legal battle to 
remain in its headquarters, as the deadline on an eviction order 
expired.    The National League for Democracy (NLD) was asked to vacate 
the building in central Yangon a month ago by the building's owner, who 
insisted the decision
was not made under pressure from the military authorities.    But party 
officials have been unable to pass the eviction letter on to chairman 
Aung Shwe or Aung San Suu Kyi because they and other senior members of 
the opposition remain under de facto house arrest.

   The restrictions on the NLD senior members were imposed on September 
22 after Aung San Suu Kyi attempted to travel by train to the northern 
town of Mandalay to test the junta's ban on travelling outside the 
capital.    "We are going to sit tight, because we have had no orders 
from our leaders to do anything about it, as we have no access to them," 
a senior party official told AFP Wednesday.

   "We are still waiting to see what develops. We don't expect anything 
to happen yet, although this is the day we were told to leave."    The 
NLD would not leave its headquarters without fighting the move through 
the courts, he said.

   "But if they bring a lawsuit and evict us forcibly, there is nothing 
we can do about it."

   The opposition is unlikely to be able to sign a lease on another 
building in the capital, and may be forced to move its operations to the 
privately-owned home of one of the senior party members.

   Daw Nu, who owns the building where the NLD has been headquartered 
since its inception in 1989, said in her letter that the decision to 
evict the party was made for personal and financial reasons.

   However, she added its presence had caused major inconvenience to the 
public who had to negotiate roadblocks and other disturbances as a 
result of party activities.

   Last May Daw Nu and her younger sister Daw Chaw were detained for 
several days for failing to stop the NLD from using loudspeakers during 
a party meeting.


Bangkok Post: Thai-built golf drive sparks official alarm

Oct 24, 2000.

Site near checkpoint may include casino
Preecha Srisathan 

A golf course just across the border in Burma, supposedly built by Thai 
investors with the co-operation of Burmese soldiers, is causing concern 
among Thai officials. 

The nine-hole course is on 15 rai in a demilitarised zone across the 
Three-Pagoda Pass, Sangkhlaburi district. 

Guest houses have been built on the land, part of which is said to have 
been prepared for construction of a casino. 

A source in the Zone 4 Thai-Burmese Military Co-ordination Unit, part of 
the 9th Infantry Division, said the golf course was developed about a 
year ago. 

The unit had sent several protest letters to the Burmese government and 
local military units but received no response, the source said. 

The course has been used three or four times already by Burmese military 
officers and businessmen, the source said. 

Lt-Col Maung Maung, head of the 343rd Battalion at Phayathongsu camp, in 
Burma's Pa-an town, opposite the Three-Pagoda Pass, said the golf course 
was built by Thai businessmen but he did not know if the premises would 
include a casino. 

He declined to name the Thai investors.

Any Thais wishing to use the facilities could contact him directly, he 

Vicharn Chariyavejwatana, the Sangkhlaburi district chief, said he had 
protested to Burmese authorities but received no reply so far. 

The problem was beyond his authority and should be handled at a 
provincial or national level, he said. 

Voravut Pongvithayapanu, former president of the Kanchanaburi Chamber of 
Commerce, said if a casino opened in that area the problems of drugs, 
prostitution, illegal labour and other crimes would follow. 

But he added it might also help boost Kanchanaburi's tourism with 
increasing investment in hotels and resorts. 

Kachadpai Burusapatana, the National Security Council chief, said 
authorities had no power to stop Thai businessmen from investing in 
casinos in neighbouring countries. 

"What we can do is to take measures which make it more difficult for 
Thais to cross the border to gamble. 

"A temporary border point can be opened on the condition it must not 
lead to the opening of a casino. 

"If a casino is opened as a result, the temporary crossing will be 
closed," the NSC chief said. 
He said the Interior Ministry was taking stricter measures to discourage 
Thais from visiting casinos across the border. 

Only local people were allowed to use temporary border crossings and a 
passport was required to go through permanent border checkpoints, he 


ABC-Online: Karen spokesman warns against returning refugees to Burma  

 Wednesday 25 (03:33:08 AEST) October 2000 

    Burma's ethnic Karen has warned against returning about eight 
thousand refugees, now sheltering in northern Thailand. 

    The refugees are part of an estimated 100-thousand Burmese living in 
camps inside Thailand, having fled a crackdown by the Burmese military 

    The Thai government says the camp is only a temporary shelter and it 
intends to repatriate the refugees to Burma as soon as possible. 

    But, a spokesman for the Karenni Information Division, Dhosay has 
warned they risk joining an estimated 700-thousand displaced people 
inside Burma:  

    The majority of the famillies in the hideout areas are facing 
starvation. They are completely dependent on the food they can find in 
the jungle. People are suffering from many kinds of diseases, such as 
malaria and skin infection and tuberculosis. In the rainy season they 
have to travel in the rain, becausd they are all the time on the move, 
especially when the Burmese troops approach they, they have to move from 
the hideout areas.  


SSA News: Senseless Shooting Killed Shan Boy

22 October 2000

Shan States Army News

On 21st September, 2000, at noon, one of the SPDC soldiers from the 
418th  Light Infantry Battalion at Hai Kuay village, Mong Nai township, 
southern Shan State the event was witnessed by the monks of the temple.  

A Shan boy, with the of name Sai Yawn, 18 years old, was shot down by 
the soldier while he was trying to get away from the patrolling column 
of the 418th LIB. During that time, when he saw the soldiers coming up 
into the temple to interrogate the novices and monks about the Shan 
resistance groups, he was in the temple talking to the novices. While he 
was trying to sneak away from the SPDC soldiers, one of them saw him and 
without trying to stop him shot him down on the spot. After shooting 
him, the Burmese troops made an accusation of  being a member of a Shan 
resistance group and left without any further deliberation. The poor boy 
was buried by the villagers of Hai Kuay village later. 

Sai Yawn was said to be arrested, tortured and forced to do portering 
works by Burmese troops once. This made him flee the Burmese soldiers 
out of frightfulness. His untimely act had cost him his life. 

Reported by Shan Project International assistance workers from the SRC 
(Shan Relief Committee) inside Shan State. 

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________
Asia-Inc Magazine: Boycott Burma-- Why boardrooms are being forced to 
rethink business with Rangoon

July 2000

A rowdy crowd masked and dressed in black chants "Unocal
out of Burma" outside the U.S. oil company's annual
meeting in Orange County, California. Inside the building,
the board faces a revolt from shareholders who accuse it of
profiting from Rangoon's use of slave labor. 
At issue is Unocal's $1.2 billion investment in a
400-kilometer pipeline designed to carry natural gas from
Burma's offshore Yadana gas field to energy-starved
Thailand. Western critics charge that the project is soaked
in blood and is being built with forced labor.

"We're here to let Unocal and its shareholders know that
their blood profit has affected the lives of a lot of people,"
said one of the protesters, Burmese immigrant, Pye Nyein,
38. Unocal continues to profit off murder, rape and slavery,
and we're not going to stand for it. 

In London, it's a similar story. Activists invaded the annual
meeting of Britain's Premier Oil, peppering management
with questions about the moral implications of its $600
million drilling operation in Burma. 

 Watching the angry scenes, an elderly investor with shares
in 170 companies said he had never before witnessed such
ill-will toward a board of directors. 

International business is feeling the heat over trading with
the military regime in Burma, now under mounting criticism
for its abysmal human rights record, including the
suppression of its pro-democracy movement headed by
Asia's best known dissident, Aung San Suu Kyi.

Foreign companies trading with the Rangoon regime are
being squeezed on all sides - by church groring
the regime "in from the cold". This is the official line of
reasoning also pursued by the Association of South East
Asian Nations (ASEAN).

But there are signs that ASEAN, which admitted Burma in
1997, may review its stance. "ASEAN believed that bringing
Burma into the fold would help loosen it up politically,"
says Kavi Chongkittavorn, a leading Thai political
commentator. "Clearly, that hasn't worked. Burma has
gained all the benefits of ASEAN membership without giving
up anything."

Traditionally, ASEAN members seldom criticize each other
openly, choosing instead to solve problems and conflicts by
private discussion. Controversially, Thai Foreign Minister
Surin Pitsuwan proposes that ASEAN adopt a policy of
flexible engagement - freedom to criticize fellow
member-countries - towards Rangoon. But so far only the
Philippines has endorsed the idea. 

That could change, according to Kavi, managing editor of
The Nation newspaper: "The old order in Indonesia was
always a powerful force in ASEAN, swinging the balance in
favor of the more suspicious and distrustful members. With
Indonesia developing into a more open, pluralist society it
would naturally gravitate toward Thailand and the
Philippines, making the three a formidable force within

Kavi believes that Burma is becoming susceptible to
outside influences, going to considerable lengths to
impress its neighbors when hosting ASEAN events.

Still, the main focus right now is on the growing
international pressure to isolate the Rangoon regime
economically. Says U.S. banker Simon Billenness: "The
bottom line is that companies will continue to have to run
the gauntlet of protests if they stay in Burma.

Byline: Paul Godfrey and David


AP: Junta urges UN to protect against foreign interference

Oct 25, 2000

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP)  Myanmar's junta has urged the United Nations to 
protect member nations from foreign interference, taking a broadside at 
Western governments who back Myanmar's pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu 

 Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, the No. 3 general in the junta, said Tuesday that 
if the United Nations has to fulfill the interest of all, then its 
principles of sovereignty and noninterference should be ``respected and 
scrupulously observed.''
 Khin Nyunt was speaking at a function in the Myanmar capital of Yangon 
to mark the 55th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, 
according to a Myanmar government statement received Wednesday in 
Bangkok, Thailand. 

 It quoted Khin Nyunt as saying that sovereignty is the ``firm 
foundation upon which the edifice of the United Nations has been 

 ``As sovereign states, members would not like to have others 
interfering in their internal affairs nor do we as members interfere in 
the internal affairs of other states,'' he was quoted as saying. 

 Myanmar's junta has faced under growing international criticism, 
especially from the United States and Europe, for imposing severe 
restrictions on Nobel peace laureate Suu Kyi's National League for 

 The NLD won the national election in 1990 but was never allowed by the 
military to take office. The junta says the time is not right for an 
elected government to run the country.
 To prevent Suu Kyi from spreading her message, the government has 
regularly blocked her from traveling outside the capital. 
 After her attempt last month to defy the restrictions, Suu Kyi and all 
top leaders of her party have been kept under virtual house arrest. In 
the countryside, the NLD has been weakened by arrests and resignations 
of its members. 

 Western diplomats have been prevented from meeting Suu Kyi, and the 
government cites their attempts to see her to accuse Western governments 
of fomenting trouble in the country. 

 ``We are hopeful that the United Nations ... would cater to all its 
members whether big or small,'' Khin Nyunt was quoted as saying.


ABC - Online:  UNHCR says Burma and Indonesia will provide flood of 

Tuesday 24, (02:05:21 AEST) October 2000 

The retiring head of the United Nations Commission for Refugees says 
Burma and Indonesia will pose the next great challenges for her 

Sadako Ogata, who retires at the end of the year, says she's concerned 
that the violence in Aceh and West Papua in Indonesia could lead to 
major refugee problems. 

Mrs Ogata has just returned from Rangoon, where she asked the military 
government to allow a UNHCR presence in the east of the country on the 
Thai border. 

She says there must be change in Burma before 100-thousand Burmese 
sheltering in Thailand can return home

_______________ ECONOMY AND BUSINESS _______________

Mizzima: Villagers to be resettled for new trade route in Indo-Burma 

Zokhuttha (Indo-Burma border), Mizoram State of India
October 25, 2000, Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com)

The authorities in Mizoram State of India have issued an order asking 
the local villagers to move from their village for constructing 
buildings for up-coming border trade route in Indo-Burma border. 
Champhai District authorities issued an order on October 20 for the 
villagers in Zokhuttha Village (bordering with Rid village of Burma) to 
move to nearby Phulmawi village, which is less than one kilometer far 
from Burmese border.

The authorities are constructing two buildings in Zokhuttha Village: one 
is for immigration and another is for customs for the border trade 
route, which is expected to open soon in the area.

Indo-Burma border trade, which was officially operationalized in 1995, 
is currently carrying out through Tamu-Moreh route (Tamu in Sagaing 
Division of Burma and Moreh in Manipur State of India). The two 
countries are making efforts to open additional trade routes and one of 
them is Rid-Zokhuttha (Rid in Chin State of Burma and Zokhuttha in 
Mizoram State of India), which crosses the Tio border stream.
Champhai D.C. Mr. K. Riachho told the media persons recently that total 
215 houses, which are now scattering in and around Zokhuttha village 
will be rehabilitated in Phulmawi village by the end of November. The 
Mizoram government said that it would provide all necessary expenses and 
compensation to the villagers for the resettlement.

The Mizoram government, through Border Road Organization (BRO), is 
planning to start construction of the trade-related buildings in 
Zokhuttha village in the first week of December, said Mr. K. Riachho. 

The government of India has already decided to offer finance, skills and 
human power in constructing a bridge crossing the Tio stream (which 
borders the two countries) to facilitate the border trade. Although, 
Burmese authorities have not signaled for the construction yet, the 
hardware materials such as iron posts and bricks are already stationed 
at the border village in India side.


MIC (SPDC): [Khin Nyunt addresses Forest Products Joint Venture]



                               Information Sheet  
                   N0. B-1582 (I)             25th October, 2000 

Seventh AGM of Forest Products Joint Venture Corporation Ltd Held 

The Seventh Annual General Meeting of theUnion of Myanmar Forest 
Products  Joint Venture Corporation (FPJVC) Limited was held at the 
Forest Department,  Yangon on 24 October, with an address by Secretary-1 
of the State Peace and  Development Council Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt.

 ...The forestry sector holds immense volume in the national  economy, 
and it will also be playing a vital role in the future and the  
Government is giving encouragement and support to the Forest Products 
Joint  Venture Corporation with the aim of enabling it to continue to 
stand firm and  prosper as national economic force and provide support 
for enhancement of the  forestry sector. The Secretary-1 also pointed 
out the fact that it is  specially essential for the joint venture to 
observe the forestry policies  and cooperate with the Governmental 
organizations in their duties concerned  with the forestry sector...

In the joint venture's report stated that it sold over 5,400 tons of 
sawn  timber and 3,000 tons of various timber to the local wood-based 
industries.  It sold over 19,300 tons of sawn timber for public use at 
its 76 shops. It  exported 57,000 tons of hardwood logs and over 7,600 
tons of tops and lops of  teak, and fetched nearly 10 million dollars. 
The joint venture is prospering  with hard currency income and import 
services, and it could supply machinery,  spare parts and other 
necessary materials for the forestry sector. The FPJVC  has set up 
Forest Joint-Venture Trade Centre Ltd, Myanmar China Hardwoods  Products 
Co Ltd, in cooperative with China National Construction Equipment  
Corporation, and Myodaw Furniture Co Ltd, with the cooperation of Yangon 
City  Development Committee and Myanma Timber Enterprise. It is also 
making  arrangements to implement Yangon Zoological Gardens All-Round 
Development  Project with the participation of Forest Department.

The corporation saw a 96.08 per cent rise in sales value, 71 per cent 
rise in  sale of goods and 14.86 percent in net profits when compared to 
those of the  previous year. It is paying more and more tax to the State 
year after year.  It has paid over K.1.076 billion as tax to the State 
in seven years. It is  also distributing 30 per cent of its annual 
profits to shareholders. FPJVC  has sold K 100 million worth of new 
shares this year. 



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