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BurmaNet News: November 29, 2000
- Subject: BurmaNet News: November 29, 2000
- From: strider@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 29 Nov 2000 09:15:00
______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
An on-line newspaper covering Burma
________November 29, 2000 Issue # 1671_________
INSIDE BURMA _______
*DVB: Junta's Khin Nyunt allows poppy farming
*TV Myanmar: PLA Nanjing Commander Arrives in Rangoon
*Rohingya Solidarity Organisation Arakan (Burma): [2 Burmese soldiers
killed in RSO ambush]
*Bangkok Post: Burmese shoot into crowded market
*Jane's Intelligence Review: India and China vie for friends in Asia
*International Herald Tribune: ASEAN Warns EU to Ease Burma Boycott
*AP Worldstream: Foreign businessmen in Myanmar protest ILO sanctions
*Bangkok Post: Postbag--It's not true about Burmese generals
*AP Worldstream: Foreign businessmen in Myanmar protest ILO sanctions
*Vancouver Burma Roundtable: Peace for Burma Concert
The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:
__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________
DVB: Junta's Khin Nyunt allows poppy farming
Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1245 gmt 27 Nov 00
Text of report by Burmese opposition radio on 27th November
DVB Democratic Voice of Burma correspondent Maung Tu reported that
Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, secretary-1 of the SPDC State Peace and Development
Council , has permitted poppy cultivation in Pekon Township, Kayah State
for three years.
Maung Tu It has been learned that poppy is being double cropped in Pekon
township. Poppy cultivated in August have already been sapped by the end
of October, and poppy planted earlier this month will be harvested in
January. A Pekon resident who recently arrived at the Thai-Burma border
Unidentified Pekon resident Since the secretary-1 has permitted the
cultivation of poppy, I have learned that the local people have started
to double crop poppy as a cash crop. Previously those who are growing
the usual crops are now converting to growing poppy. They are even
cultivating fields next to the Buddhist monastery and Christian church.
Poppy plantations have taken over the former maize and paddy fields.
Maung Tu Although SPDC Secretary-1 Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt has allowed the
cultivation of poppy for the next three years before it is completely
banned, when I ask that will the region will drug free after three years
Unidentified Pekon resident I do not think so. I do not think drugs will
be eradicated because they have just started to grow the crop. Some
youths have already started to smoke opium. They will soon discover that
it is a lucrative trade and then many will become addicted to drugs.
Since the recent approval by Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt to allow poppy
cultivation for three years, the people from the entire Kayan region are
grateful to him.
Maung Tu At present opium and stimulant tablets are becoming abundant in
the Kayan region and the youths have all become drug addicts.
TV Myanmar: PLA Nanjing Commander Arrives in Rangoon
SEP20001124000059 Rangoon TV Myanmar in Burmese 1330 GMT 23 Nov 00
[FBIS Translated Text]
A Chinese goodwill delegation led by Political Commissar of Nanjing
Command General Fang Zuqi of the People's Liberation Army of the
People's Republic of China arrived here by air at 0930 today. The
goodwill delegation was welcomed at Yangon [International] International
Airport by Lt. Gen. Tin Oo, Secretary-2 of the State Peace and
Development Council [SPDC Chief of the Bureau of Special Operations, and
Army Chief of Staff; Maj. Gen. Khin Maung Than, member of the SPDC and
chairman of Yangon Division Peace and Development Council; Chief of
Staff of Navy Captain Soe Thein, Chief of Staff of Air Maj. Gen. Myint
Swe, Chief of Armed Forces Training Maj. Gen. Win Myint, Director of
Military Training Brig. Gen. Aung Kyi and senior military officers, PRC
Ambassador Ling Dong, Military Attache Senior, PRC military attache
Senior Colonel Xu Shulai and officials.
The Chinese goodwill delegation led by Gen. Fang Zuqi visited
Defence Services Museum on Shwedagon Pagoda Road at 1115. They were
welcomed by Director of Defense Services Museum and Historical Research
Institute Col. Ye Htut and officials who gave the visitorss a tour of
the museum. Gen. Fang Zuqi signed in the visitors' book at the
museum. The Chinese goodwill delegation then visited the Shwedagon
Pagoda in the evening.
Lt. Gen. Tin Oo, SPDC secretary-2, Chief of the Bureau of Special
Operations, and Army Chief of Staff, received the visiting Chinese
goodwill delegation led by Political Commissar of Nanjing Military
Command Gen. Fang Zuqi of People's Liberation Army of China at the guest
house of the Ministry of Defense this afternoon.
Present together with Secretary-2 were member Maj. Gen. Khin Maung
SPDC member, chairman of Yangon Division Peace and Development Council,
and Yangon Commander; Chief of Staff of Navy Captain Soe Thein, Chief
of Staff of Air Maj. Gen. Myint Swe, Chief of Armed Forces Training Maj.
Gen. Win Myint, Vice
Adjutant General Brig. Gen. Maung Nyo, Vice-Quartermaster General Brig.
Gen. Kyaw Win, Director of Military Training Brig. Gen. Aung Kyi and
senior military officers of the Ministry of Defense.
Present together with Chinese delegation were Chinese Ambassador to
Liang Dong, Military Attache Senior Colonel Xu Shulai and officials.
Secretary-2 Lt. Gen.Tin Oo hosted a dinner in honor of the visiting
Chinese goodwill delegation led by Political Commissar of Nanjing
Military Command Gen. Fang Zuqi of the People's Liberation Army at
Karaweik Royal Palace this evening.
The dinner was attended by Maj. Gen. Khin Maung Than, an SPDC
member, chairman of Yangon Division Peace and Development Council, and
Yangon Commander; Chief of Staff of Navy Captain Soe Thein, Chief of
Staff of Air Maj. Gen.Myint Swe, Chief of Armed Forces Training Maj.
Gen. Win Myint, Defense Services Inspector; General Maj. Gen. Lun Maung;
Maj. Gen. Kyaw Win, deputy chief of the Office of Strategic Studies and
deputy director of Defense Services Intelligence; senior military
officers of the Ministry of Defense, PRC Ambassador Liang Dong, and
Military Attache Senior Colonel Xu Shulai.
Rohingya Solidarity Organisation Arakan (Burma): [2 Burmese soldiers
killed in RSO ambush]
Dated: 16 November 2000
On 15.11.200, a patrol party of Burmese soldiers numbering about 14 from
Tong Bazar cantonment was ambushed by Rohingya Solidarity Organisation
(RSO) Mujahedeen near village Pansi, some 30 Km north Buthidaung
township in Arakan state of Burma. 2 Burmese soldiers died and 5 others
injured in the attack. The RSO Mujahedeen fled to the safe area quickly
after attack. About an hour later a large force of Burmese Army arrived
in the area in search of the RSO Mujahedeens.
Recently the Burmese regime deployed more military forces in northern
Arakan along the border with Bangladesh. Although the intention of the
new deployment is yet to be determined it is presumed that the
authorities would like to create another large scale Rohingya Refugee
exodus from Arakan. In the meantime the newly deployed forces are
creating havoc in the area by engaging hundreds of persons as porters,
beating and detaining people and violations many Rohingya girls in
remote border villages.
Bangkok Post: Burmese shoot into crowded market
Nov. 29, 2000
Burmese troops yesterday fired shots from across the border into a Thai
market, forcing hundreds of tourists, vendors and locals to flee for
No casualties were reported during the brief shooting, which followed
yesterday's raid by a team of 50 Thai border patrol police and
immigration officials on a gambling den located on a disputed islet in
the Moei river.
Six gamblers-a Thai and five Burmese-were arrested. More than 10 other
Burmese gamblers fled across the river to the Burmese border town of
Police identified the six arrested as Somjit Khampor, Maung Suu, Arh
Poe, Ta Huat, Thi Oo and Than Aung.
The shooting prompted the Fourth Infantry Regiment task force to send
troops to safeguard the border.
Mae Sot district chief Samart Loy-fa defended the raid on the disputed
islet, saying both Thai and Burmese authorities were allowed access to
the area to suppress illegal activities.
Besides gambling, the islet has served as a rendezvous for contraband
traders and drug dealers, Mr Samart said.
The Local Thai Border Committee has sought an explanation for the
shooting from Burmese authorities
Jane's Intelligence Review: India and China vie for friends in Asia
December 1, 2000
INDIA HAS reinforced its 'Look East' campaign, opened in the early
1990s, with a new agreement with five Southeast Asian states. Officially
termed the 'Vientiane Declaration of Mekong Ganga Co- operation', the
pact was signed in the Lao capital, Vientiane, on 11 November between
India and the five mainland states of the Association of Southeast Asian
nations (ASEAN) - Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.
Signed for Delhi by Foreign Minister Jaswant Singh, the agreement is
primarily aimed at upgrading links in the fields of communication -
notably road transport networks and air links - as well as tourism,
cultural and religious contacts and information technology.
India has recently completed construction of a road along the India-
Myanmar border between the towns of Tamu in India and Kalemyo in
northwestern Myanmar's Sagaing Division. However, east-west road links
are still virtually non-existent, hindering the prospect of any
significant expansion of trade between India and mainland Southeast Asia
in the near future.
The new agreement is also seen by analysts as part of India's interest
in raising its profile in Southeast Asia while at the same time
countering the increasing influence of China.
The growth of Chinese geo-strategic sway in Myanmar during the past
decade has alarmed Delhi, prompting a more pragmatic approach towards
the Yangon military junta and a playing down of earlier support for the
democracy movement in Myanmar.
Early this year, India's then Chief of Army Staff Gen Ved Prakash Malik
led a major military delegation to Myanmar for talks on border
co-operation. India has also forged new defence ties with traditional
Cold War friend Vietnam this year.
International Herald Tribune: ASEAN Warns EU to Ease Burma Boycott
Nov. 29, 2000
SINGAPORE Southeast Asian countries have told the European Union they
will abandon high-level talks with the EU if it continues to press for
Burma's exclusion on human rights grounds.
Diplomats said during the weekend that the warning by the Association of
South East Asian Nations would further sour the atmosphere between the
two sides before a meeting next month in Vientiane, Laos.
The EU has boycotted ministerial meetings with ASEAN since Burma was
admitted to the Southeast Asian group in 1997.
With senior Burmese officials banned from entering EU countries, ASEAN
sought to revive the ministerial meetings by offering to hold the next
one in Southeast Asia, instead of in Europe as scheduled.
But with Burma's military government under continuing international
criticism for violating political and labor rights, four out of the 15
EU countries have reportedly decided not to attend the meeting in
Most of the other countries will send only a deputy minister or an
ambassadorial-level representative, rather than a minister.
Among those staying away are Foreign Secretary Robin Cook of Britain and
his French counterpart, Hubert Vedrine, diplomats said.
ASEAN leaders discussed the issue at their annual summit meeting, which
Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong of Singapore, who lead the talks, said
afterward that the group would deal only with the EU if it agreed to
include Burma, also known as Myanmar.
"We would go so far as to say that if the EU wants to exclude Myanmar
and the dialogue is going to be called off, then let it be called off,"
Mr. Goh said.
"We can't allow an external organization to dictate who should be in
ASEAN when we have such a dialogue." Burma's military regime is shunned
by many Western countries for its treatment of the opposition, which won
elections in 1990 by a landslide but has never been allowed to govern.
_______________ ECONOMY AND BUSINESS _______________
AP Worldstream: Foreign businessmen in Myanmar protest ILO sanctions
November 29, 2000; Wednesday 9:12 AM Eastern Time
Foreign businessmen in Myanmar sent an open letter Wednesday to the
International Labor Organization expressing disappointment with the
organization's recent call for sanctions against Myanmar because it
employs forced labor.
The businessmen speaking as the International Business Community or IBC
said they believed that ''any sanction resulting from the ruling is
bound to bring destitution to millions of workers in lost employment,
which will hurt the very people that the ILO seeks to protect.''
Earlier this month, the governing body of the ILO in Geneva voted
overwhelmingly to urge all 174 member nations to impose sanctions. The
ILO leaves it up to individual governments, organizations and labor
unions to determine what they will do.
An ILO delegation which visited Myanmar last month reported that the
country had made progress in improving its laws on the issue, but it was
unclear what is actually being done to stop the use of forced labor.
The military government in the past denied the existence of forced
labor, claiming that civilians contributed their labor voluntarily to
promote the development of the nation.
Claiming collectively to provide direct employment to more than half-a
million Myanmar workers, the IBC represents a wide range of investors in
such sectors as oil exploration, hotels, real estate and garment
Its letter said that if sanctions were imposed, it was probable that
many factories ''would not be able to export their products anymore, the
hotels would not have enough visitors to remain viable and vast numbers
of commercial enterprises would simply have to cease operation.''
''It would be much more constructive and meaningful for the ILO to
constructively engage by recognizing the positive steps taken by the
Myanmar government'' and reviewing compliance with the ILO's standards
over the coming months, said the IBC's letter.
It also urged Myanmar's government to maintain a positive dialogue with
the ILO to resolve their differences. After the ILO vote, Myanmar
announced that it would no longer cooperate with the group on the issue
of forced labor, although it would continue to take measures to
eliminate the practice.
Myanmar has long been assailed by the United Nations and Western
countries for suppression of democracy and its human rights record. The
military has ruled the country since 1962.
The current regime organized a general election in 1990 but refused to
yield power to the victorious party of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu
Kyi. Suu Kyi oppose foreign investment in Myanmar, claiming it helps
prop up military rule.
Bangkok Post: Postbag--It's not true about Burmese generals
November 29, 2000
136 Na Ranong Road, Klong Toey, Bangkok 10110, Thailand - fax:2403666 -
With reference to the crony capitalism article provided by the NY Times
News Service and published in Outlook on Nov 23, I must make some
What a load of rubbish _ particularly the Burmese generals/golf slant.
There have only been two new golf courses opened in Burma over the past
five years and both have been developed by the private sector.
I have just been the general manager of one of them and opened the club.
Situated in Rangoon, it has been developed by a well-known Burmese
family which is a major property developer and business house with huge
interests throughout the world (including Thailand). There is no
involvement by the generals. The Burmese government (Housing Department)
holds a 30% share via a leasehold situation and has no executive powers.
Generals have to pay to play and they choose not to do this as it is the
most expensive golf course in Burma. They may be invited to play as a
members' guests (membership is restricted to property owners) but the
members choose not to do so.
The average general is not as the article makes out. I personally
changed the golf shoe spikes of two generals at a recent opening
invitational tournament (the club does not allow metal spikes). The
shoes were so decrepit that not even a Nakhon Sawan caddie would deem to
wear them. The generals' clothes were of a similar ilk. They were
apologetic for not having the right equipment and were like a pair of
It is true that there are military courses dotted around the country,
usually nine-holers built years ago by the British army. They are in
terrible condition and hardly survive.
The rest of the article was rubbish as well.
Alastair McManus, Chiang Mai
India Today: Burmese Days
December 6, 2000
Cosying up to the junta in Yangon is a realpolitik necessity
The visit of the vice-president of myanmar to India has raised the
hackles of many who feel that a democratic government should not be
supping with representatives of a military junta. Although foreign
policy is centred on the principle of self-interest, the critics of the
new Myanmar policy feel that ethical norms should not be abandoned
altogether. More so when India has been in the forefront of pressing for
democracy in multilateral fora such as the Commonwealth. It is a
troubling issue that needs to be addressed. Not least because the
democracy issue is certain to crop up repeatedly in the troubled
To begin with, it is well worth noting that there is hardly any country
that has allowed its avowed commitment to an ethical foreign policy to
override its larger strategic goals. For many years, India maintained a
certain frostiness towards the military rulers of Myanmar in the belief
that it was only a matter of time before democracy prevailed. That
didn't happen and Delhi's relative non-engagement left the field wide
open for China to have its way in Myanmar. For India, the consequences
were damaging because insurgent groups in the North-east took advantage
of India's doctrinaire approach to strengthen their bases in Myanmar. It
is only in the past five years that contacts with the junta have been
established and it has resulted in the Myanmar authorities being very
supportive of India's security needs. Having secured the destruction of
many camps set up by Naga insurgents and ULFA, the Myanmar Government is
right in expecting India to allow pragmatism to prevail. By
reciprocating generously, India has fulfilled its primary foreign policy
commitment-to itself. It may sound unduly harsh but, perhaps, there
isn't enough justice to go round.
Vancouver Burma Roundtable: Peace for Burma Concert
Nov. 28, 2000
...for a land ravaged by dictatorship, fear, conflict and poverty ...a
prayer for peace on human rights day
featuring local and ethnic bands, speakers, video presentation, student
voices from the 1988 uprising, education tables, crafts
tony and buddy
DAVE TWEET QUARTET
SATURDAY DECEMBER 9, 2000
7:30 pm THE ANZA CLUB, 3 West 8th Avenue
(near Main and Broadway) tickets: $10
all proceeds in support of Burmese refugee camps
info: 602-1626; oxymonad@xxxxxxxxx
Supported by the Vancouver Burma Roundtable and the Simon Fraser
University Public Interest Group, in alliance with the "No Blood for
Oil" forum, SFU Harbour Centre, info: 274-1191
Burma is a Southeast Asian country that is ruled by one of the world's
most repressive regimes, which has brutally forced more than a million
people from their homes and subjected untold thousands to torture,
slavery and death. The military seized power in 1988 by opening fire on
peaceful demonstrations staged by hundreds of thousands of ordinary
people who rose up to demand democracy and the end to military rule. Two
years later they ignored the results of elections in which the National
League for Democracy won 82% of the seats, renaming the country Myanmar.
In Burma, basic rights to assembly speech and association are denied.
Those who speak out against the regime are subject to multi-year jail
terms. According to Amnesty, there are over 1,200 political prisoners in
Burma, including leaders of the democracy party, elected officials,
workers and civilians. Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the
democracy party, has been repeatedly placed under house arrest. It is
even unlawful to possess an unregistered fax.
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