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BurmaNet News: December 18, 2000

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
________December 18, 2000   Issue # 1687_________

NOTED IN PASSING: ?$43,117,000"

Value of ?Chemicals and related products? imported by Burma from China 
in first eight months of this year.  By most accounts, China is a major 
source of the precursor chemicals used to produce methamphetamines and 
heroin in Burma.  See Xinhua: Composition of China's Exports to Myanmar

*Xinhua: Tourists Visiting Myanmar Decrease in Eight Months
*Karenni News Agency for Human Rights: Burmese junta troops shells 
Karenni Villages
*KNU Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department: More than 300 
prisoners were forced to construct Bongti-Tavoy car road 

*The Hindu: India to monitor Musharraf's visit to Myanmar
*Bangkok Post: TASANG DAM PROJECT: Japan urged to stop aiding 
construction; Shan State worried about its future
*The Hindustan Times (New Delhi):  Pak set to woo Myanmar with weapons, 
soft loans
*Bangkok Post: Burma rejects plan for joint patrols; Junta prefers 
present system of committees 
*Bangkok Post: Inbrief: Wa rivalry
*Bangkok Post: Inbrief: Threat of attack

*AP: Myanmar, Indian chambers begin first big joint project in 12 years
*Xinhua: Composition of China's Imports from Myanmar
*Xinhua: Composition of China's Exports to Myanmar

The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

Xinhua: Tourists Visiting Myanmar Decrease in Eight Months

YANGON, December 18 (Xinhua) -- The number of tourists visiting Myanmar 
came to 151,970 in the first eight months of this year, falling by 17 
percent over a year earlier, according to the latest government-issued 
economic indicators. Of the tourists, 77,907 entered the country by land 
through border points while 73,825 came in by air. 

Those arriving by sea were merely a few hundred. The higher number of 
tourists pouring in by land was attributed to the absorption of 
cross-border tourists from neighboring countries especially Thailand and 
China. According to an earlier official report, Myanmar and Thai tourism 
authorities agreed last September to promote cooperation in the 
development of the tourism industry, based on an accord on tourism 
cooperation initiated in July 1998. 

Aimed at drawing more tourists from Thailand, Myanmar held its third 
travel show in Bangkok last October. Meanwhile, Myanmar also signed a 
new accord on bilateral cooperation in the tourism sphere with China 
last July, followed by the reaching of a memorandum of understanding 
between the two countries this month on the implementation plan for 
outbound travel to Myanmar by Chinese citizens. 

It is expected that tourist arrivals across the border will pick up and 
boost in the near future following the country's signing of these 
accords respectively with Thailand and China, both of which are main 
suppliers of tourists to Myanmar by land. Myanmar has so far added more 
than a dozen entry points along its border in five states and divisions 
for foreign tourists, allowing them to visit places far up to the 
capital of Yangon.


Karenni News Agency for Human Rights: Burmese junta troops shells 
Karenni villages

Mae Hong Son, Thailand. 				                    December 18, 2000. 

Attacking a civilian place is a crime against humanity 

Twenty two houses of Daw Tamakyi village, Dee Mawso township in Karenni, 
were shelled and burnt down to the ground on December 4, 2000 by the 
Burmese junta troops of Infantry Battalion No. 72 led by Major Tin Cho. 
None was wounded on the attack, but many families became helpless and 
homeless. All the villagers of Daw Tamakyi tract were forced by the 
commander Tin Cho to provide housing materials such as bamboo sheets for 
the floor and food for the home lost family. Every household was ordered 
to provide ten sheets of bamboo and two milk tins of rice and to rebuild 
the destroyed houses as well. The Burmese troops always attack the 
Karenni people and whenever they have a fight with the Karenni Army and 
punish the people and burn down houses, especially when they have 
This was not the first time the Burmese junta troops attack Karenni 
villager but many times already. For instance, in December 12, 2000, a 
village name Daw Kaw was also attacked by the Burmese troops. 3 
villagers were killed and 18 houses were destroyed on the attack. After 
the attack most of the villagers fled to Thailand.

" First there was a fight near the village between the Burmese troops 
and Karenni Army. It's about 20 minute. " Said a Karenni human rights 
worker, who was doing his work near the event: A few minutes after the 
fight, the Burmese troops that beside near the villager started shelling 
the village. And villagers were screaming and running randomly.  

According to one of the UN's articles and ICRC's Law, attacking 
civilians and civilian targets is a crime against humanity. The 
International Labour Organization (ILO) has prevailed that the Burmese 
junta is practicing the use of forced labour. Several reports by Amnesty 
International say that the people of Burma and Karenni are being forced 
by the Burmese Junta to offer them free labour to various projects of 
the regime such as road construction, military infrastructure etc.

" Attacking a civilian village is a crime against humanity, " said 
Rimond Htoo, Secretary of Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP). " 
Many of such aggressive attacks against civilian have sent influx of 
Karenni civilians to become refugees in Thailand."

The member of KNAHR urges the International community to stop the 
Burmese junta for its inhuman activities in Burma as well as in Karenni 
The Karenni News Agency for Human Rights is composed of Karenni human 
rights activists and was founded in 1998. The purpose of formation is to 
document human rights violations in Karenni and shares it with the 
international community.


KNU Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department: More than 300 
prisoners were forced to construct Bongti-Tavoy car road 

Karen National Union

18 December, 2000

Burma army sent more than 300 prisoner to work on Bongti-Tavoy car road 
in the east of Tavoy, Tenasserim division, southern Burma, since 
November and so far.  
In November, 2000 Burma Army's Field Engineering Battalion No. 918 has 
survey a part of Bongti-Tavoy highway alignment at the area in the east 
of Tavoy between Myitta and Aingwaing. During the survey they measured 
the road and had planed to lay the stone.  
To accomplish that plan the Engineering Battalion reported to the 
commander of Operation Commanding HQ No. 2 that they need the workers 
for the road construction.  
On November 24, commander of OC HQ NO.2 has demanded 140 prisoners from 
Theyetchaung township to send to Field Engineering Battalion No. 918 
>From the month of November, more than 300 prisoners were forced to work 
on the construction site. They were forced to break stone every day. 
They have to work from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The prisoners were fed very 
poor and have only one clothing on their body and old thin blanket to 
protect themselves form cold weather at night. They were let to sleep on 
the ground in-group without roofing. 

It was learnt that some needed machine for the construction, were 
supplied by a Thai mining company POMPIPET which had got a contract 
joinly with the SPDC for mining concession at Hinda in the east of 
Started from the beginning of dry season (September) local villagers 
were also forced to work on this road until November. Even though the 
villagers do not have to go and work on this road some villagers from 
Myitta village tract, Kaw Paw (Myaykanbaw) village tract, and Pungdaw 
village tract, who have chainsaws were forced to cut the wood for bridge 
construction for this road.  
Bongti-Tavoy road project will connect Tavoy in Burma and Kanchanaburi 
in Thailand. The project recently deals by Burma's Kyaw Lynn Naing 
Company and Thailand's Kanchanaburi Tavoy Development Company. Their 
plan is to develop transportation, eco-tourism, and agriculture 
development between Burma and Thailand. Because of the lack of security, 
the project is on delay. Now Burma Army's troop is using this road as 
their military transportation route. 
Every year after rainy season local villagers and prisoners were forced 
to repair the damaged parts of this road, because the incompact road is 
always eroded under the rain every year. 




___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

The Hindu: India to monitor Musharraf's visit to Myanmar

December 18, 2000 

NEW DELHI, DEC. 17. Keen to build special ties with Myanmar, India will 
closely monitor the visit to Yangon by the Pakistani Chief Executive, 
General Pervez Musharraf, early next month. 

Gen. Musharraf is expected to pay a three-day visit to Myanmar from 
January 4. He is visiting Myanmar following India's red carpet welcome 
for General Maung Aye, the number two man in Yangon's political 
hierarchy last month. 

India attaches considerable strategic importance to Myanmar. Myanmar is 
seen here as the centerpiece of India's "look east" policy. Since both 
countries share a common border, Myanmar offers a land corridor to India 
to South-East Asia. Besides, the shadow of Chinese influence in Myanmar 
has also jolted India into building closer links with Myanmar. The 
Indian side wants Myanmar to limit Chinese physical access to the east 
of the Chindwin river, a tributary of the Irrawady which splits the 
country into nearly two equal halves. Any movement west of Chindwin can 
expose India's sensitive north-east region to Chinese surveillance. 

India's concerns about Gen. Musharraf's trip have been activated by his 
anticipated agenda. Highly placed sources in the Government point out 
that Gen. Musharraf's mission to Myanmar includes exploring the 
possibility of expanding its arms supply to it. Not surprisingly, Gen. 
Musharraf's delegation includes Mr. Javed Hasan, an Army officer, 
in-charge of weapons and equipment. The Pakistani delegation is likely 
to offer small arms and mortars to Myanmar's mainly infantry-dominated 

India is well aware of Pakistan's pronounced emphasis on arms supply to 
wrest diplomatic advantages recently. Analysts here point out that Gen. 
Musharraf made skillful use of "arms diplomacy" by providing weapons to 
Sri Lanka in order to acquire a larger political profile in the island 

Pakistan's military ties with Myanmar are not new. It has recently 
supplied arms and ammunition worth $2.5 million. These weapons had been 
transferred in two consignments during March and April 1999. Since both 
countries possess Chinese-origin weaponry, a Pakistani offer of certain 
spares and maintenance support to Yangon is not ruled out. Pakistan has 
also trained personnel from the Myanmarese Army and the Air Force in 
some of its establishments and has since mid-1995, revived intelligence 
links with it. 

On the political side, India apprehends that Pakistan is seeking a 
"toe-hold" in Myanmar, with a long-term objective of encouraging 
insurgency in the North-East. India is aware of reports about Pakistani 
attempts to acquire a physical presence at Haka in Myanmar's Chin State 
where it proposes to establish an air field. 

Sources, however, are not unduly perturbed by Gen. Musharraf's visit. 
There is confidence here that India which has larger agenda in Myanmar 
and the region is well positioned to off-set any negative fall-out of 
this visit. In fact, political and economic bonds between New Delhi and 
Yangon are expected to deepen even further during the visit to Myanmar 
next month by the External Affairs Minister, Mr. Jaswant Singh. 


Bangkok Post: TASANG DAM PROJECT: Japan urged to stop aiding 
construction; Shan State worried about its future 

December 18, 2000 

The Overseas-Shan Organisation has sent a letter to Japan's Finance 
Ministry requesting it to reconsider financing construction of the 
Tasang Dam Project on the Salween river. 

The letter, dated Nov 11 and signed by UK-based Sao Noan Oo of Lawkzawk, 
appealed to Miichi Miyazawa of the ministry "to refrain from supporting 
and giving aid to the Burmese military regime, particularly in financing 
the Tasang Dam Project." Since the project came into being, she said, 
"the area around the site has been increasingly militarised, resulting 
in increased forced labour and forced relocation. 

"The dam will not only have a devastating social and environmental 
impact, large areas of farmland will also be inundated and countless 
numbers of people will be displaced with little hope of compensation. 

"Even if not submerged, forests in the area will inevitably be depleted, 
when logging companies move in to use the infrastructure built to serve 
the dam." Sao Noan Oo, a scion of one of the former princely states of 
Shan State, previously known as the Shan States before the formation of 
a union with Burma "proper" in 1947, maintained that the people of Shan 
State "are resolutely opposed to the building of the dam on the Salween. 
The fear is that the Shan State will be lost forever if the river stops 
flowing. The Salween, or Nham Khong river, is as important a symbolic 
ally to the Shan as Mount Fuji is to the Japanese people." She said the 
people of the Shan State "have had all the human rights taken away from 
them: the right not to be massacred, the right not to be raped and the 
right to refuse to work like draught animals." The International Labour 
Organisation on Nov 16 passed a resolution urging members to re-evaluate 
their relations with the military regime in Rangoon. 

The Salween flows down from the foothills of the Himalayas, rushes down 
from north to south along the whole length of the Shan State before 
flowing through the Karenni, Karen and Mon states into the Indian Ocean 
at Moulmein. 

The GMS Power, a subsidiary of the MDX company from Thailand, has been 
conducting studies since 1997. 

Human rights watchers have reported that at least 300,000 people from 
the area have been forced to relocate. 

A Shan academic in North America blasted the Japanese for making a 
seemingly needless mystery out of the project. 

"The Japanese are up to their eyebrows in it, but very cagey about it - 
like they are committing a crime..." he said. 


The Hindustan Times (New Delhi):  Pak set to woo Myanmar with weapons, 
soft loans

December 18, 2000

Shishir Gupta

New Delhi, December 17

              Wary of warmth in ties between India and
Myanmar, Pakistan's Chief Executive General Pervez
Musharraf is all set to woo Yangon with weapons and
soft loans.

Highly-placed Government sources indicate that General
will arrive in Myanmar on January 4 on a two-day
official visit. Javed Hassan. who is in-charge of
weapons and equipment in the Pakistan government, will
accompany the General. New Delhi will be watching the
visit keenly as External Affairs Minister Jaswant
Singh is also scheduled to visit Myanmar in late

Yangon watchers believe that Pakistan wants to run a
reality check on its relations with Myanmar following
latter's growing multi-faceted bi-lateral engagement
with India. General Maung Aye, vice-chairman of
Myanmar's State Peace and Development Council, visited
New Delhi in November and requested for assistance in
the infrastructure development. Gen. Aye also sought
assistance in development of deep-sea ports and
offered to sell natural gas.

It is understood that during his visit, Gen. Musharraf
will offer small arms such as assault rifles and
mortars to Myanmar. He is also expected to offer soft
developmental loans and assistance in human resource

  Since 1989, Pakistan has tried to work for closer
ties with Myanmar. After an initial low-key phase, by
1995, Pakistan had established intelligence links with
Yangon and had trained Myanmar's Air Force and Army
personnel. Under the on-going defence cooperation
between the two, Pakistan had supplied 2.5 million
dollars worth arms and ammunition, in two
consignments, in March-April last year.

Given the fact that both the countries have a lot of
Chinese equipment, the ties on this front are expected
to get a boost with the General's visit, defence
analysts believe. the Indian perception of a political
interaction between Yangon and Islamabad is that
Pakistani interest is oriented towards keeping
insurgency alive in the North-East.

  However, India is not unduly bothered about
Musharraf's visit as it has already offered
co-operation to Myanmar on all fronts, including
defence. Analysts feel that Jaswant Singh's trip will
go long way in "correcting Yangon's tilt"  towards
During his visit, Singh is expected to inaugurate
160-kilometre long road stretch from Tamu ( on Manipur
border). to Kalewa ( close to Mandalay). This road is
a part of the ambitious Asian Highway project.

New Delhi in the recent past has adopted a pragmatic
approach towards Myanmar's military junta. At the
heart of this policy is its desire to develop the
northeastern states and curb insurgency along its
eastern borders. New Delhi has already indicated to
Yangon that as long as its security concerns are
addressed it has no problems in Myanmar warming up to


Bangkok Post: Burma rejects plan for joint patrols; Junta prefers 
present system of committees 

December 18, 2000 

Burma has rejected Thailand's proposal for joint border patrols on 
grounds that joint border committees already exist. 

Supreme Commander Sampao Chusri said he raised the idea during meetings 
with military leaders in Burma on Dec 12-13. 

Burma rejected the proposition on the basis they would prefer to 
concentrate on co-operation through the existing regional and township 
border committees, Gen Sampao said. 

Burma, however, agreed to exchange information on drugs with Thailand. 

Rangoon said it has five- and 10-year drug suppression plans of its own. 
The clampdown will concentrate on destroying opium plantations to curb 
production of heroin, and encouraging hilltribe people to grow 
substitute crops with assistance from other countries. 

Burma does not emphasise suppression against methamphetamine production, 
Gen Sampao said. 

During his visit, Gen Sampao met Gen Than Shwe, chairman of the ruling 
State Peace and Development Council; Gen Maung Aye, the army chief and 
SPDC deputy chairman; and Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, secretary one of the SPDC. 

He said Gen Than Shwe admitted it was difficult to get rid of 
methamphetamine factories along the border, especially in areas under 
the influence of ethnic minorities. 

Burma instead asked for sympathy, saying that ephedrine was an important 
precursor for the production of methamphetamine. It was not available in 
Burma but delivered through other countries including Thailand. 

Burma also said it was ready to take back war refugees on condition they 
were Burmese nationals. 

Wassana Nanuam 


Bangkok Post: Inbrief: Wa rivalry

December 16, 2000 

Mae Hong Son - Tension is rising in Ho Mong town, former stronghold of 
the Mong Tai Army, following the arrival of hundreds of Red Wa troops 
sent there by Rangoon, a Thai border official said. 

The town's ruler, Col Maha Ja, and leaders of the Wa National Army 
(Black Wa) were upset over the deployment of some 800 United Wa State 
Army (Red Wa) troops in Ho Mong, located in Shan state opposite Mae Hong 

The deployment was seen by Ho Mong leaders as breach of a contract in 
which Rangoon agreed to give the Black Wa a free hand in running the 
town. It was believed the Burmese military was deploying Red Wa fighters 
along the Thai-Burmese border in order to tighten control on minority 
groups, the official said. 


Bangkok Post: Inbrief: Threat of attack

December 15, 2000 

The Rangoon-backed United Wa State Army has threatened to attack the 
Shan ethnic community in Thailand in retaliation against Shan State 
Army's persistent attacks on its drug production plants. 

Shan army commander Lt-Col Korn Juen said he received the warning in a 
letter from Wa leader Wei Hseuh-kang after a 40-strong Shan unit raided 
a methamphetamine storage area on Nov 20. 

In the attack, which the Burmese believed was being carried out by Thai 
troops, 11 Burmese and Muser soldiers were arrested and 200,000 speed 
pills and weapons were seized. 

_______________ ECONOMY AND BUSINESS _______________

AP: Myanmar, Indian chambers begin first big joint project in 12 years 

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) _ In a sign of warming bilateral relations, 
Myanmar's chamber of commerce on Monday staged its first major joint 
project since 1988 with its Indian counterpart. 

 The workshop on India-Myanmar cooperation in development of small and 
medium enterprises opened a month after the visit to India of the second 
highest-ranking member of Myanmar's military government, Gen. Maung Aye. 

 On his seven-day goodwill visit in November, Maung Aye discussed with 
Indian officials ways to enhance trade and economic cooperation. India 
agreed to extend a dlrs 15 million loan to Myanmar, its eastern 

 India's relations with Myanmar, also known as Burma, deteriorated 
following the bloody suppression of a pro-democracy uprising in 1988 by 
Myanmar's military. 

 In recent years, the two countries have sought to ease tensions through 
bilateral visits. 

 This week's workshop in the Myanmar capital was organized by the Union 
of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the 
Confederation of Indian Industries. 

 It is meant to revive the bilateral economic relationship and to bridge 
the information gap between Myanmar and India, said Indian ambassador 
Shyam Saran in a speech at the opening. 
 He said the workshop was the ``direct result'' of Maung Aye's visit 
with a high-level delegation. 

 The Indian envoy said a purpose of the workshop was ``to find out what 
kind of opportunities and investment possibilities exist and the 
economic changes taking place in Myanmar.''
 In his opening address, Myanmar Deputy Commerce Minister Brig. Gen. 
Kyaw Hsan invited more investment by Indian companies in Myanmar. 

 ``Myanmar's investment economic climate has become very healthy,'' he 

 Few outside observers share his rosy view of the economy. 

 The military regime that took power in 1988 instituted limited economic 
liberalization, particularly encouraging foreign investment, but kept 
many trade and currency restrictions.
 Its failure to hand over power to a democratically elected government 
has caused many Western nations to treat it as a pariah state and 
discourage trade and investment. 

 India ranks 21st among foreign countries investing in Myanmar, with one 
investment project in the industrial sector worth 4.5 million dollars. 
It is Myanmar's seventh largest trade partner. 
2000-12-18 Mon 04:28 


Xinhua: Composition of China's Imports from Myanmar

Dec. 18, 2000


Following is a table showing the composition of China's import from 
Myanmar in October and January-October of 2000, classified according to 
the Commodity Catalog of Customs Statistics of the Peoples Republic of 
China on the basis of HS (Source: General Administration of Customs) 

(unit: 1,000 U.S. dollars) 

Category   (First number is Oct. 2000, second number is Jan.-Oct. 00 

Total value  25,921        106,196 

Live animals and animal products     
	779 5,600 

Plant products  
	2,619 10,767 
Animal and vegetable oil and fats 
      -     -
Food, beverages, wine, vinegar, tobacco and products 
	27    432

	2,764 9,492 

Chemicals and related  products 
	55     55

Plastics, rubber and their  products
	7    163 

Leather, fur and their products; bags and cases
	-    16 

Wood and wood products 
	19,169 70,530 

Fiber pulp; paper and paper products
	-     -

Textiles and their raw materials
	-    19 

Shoes, caps, umbrellas; down products; artificial flowers; hair products
	 19    173 

Stone products; ceramics; glass and products 
	11     12 

Jewelry, ornaments, coins
    257 7,235 

Cheap metals and products
     16     33 

Machinery, equipment, audio and video products, and parts
	192 1,660 

Vehicles, aviation products, and ships
	-     -

Optical and medical apparatus; timepieces; music organs 
      -     -

Weapon, ammunition and parts
     -     - 

Miscellaneous goods
      5     1
Arts, crafts and antiques 
     -     -

Special and unclassified products 
     -     -


Xinhua: Composition of China's Export to Myanmar

December 18, 2000, Monday 1:46 AM Eastern Time 

Following is a table showing the composition of China's export to 
Myanmar in October and January-October of 2000, classified according to 
the Commodity Catalog of Customs Statistics of the Peoples Republic of 
China on the basis of HS (Source: General Administration of Customs) 

(unit: 1,000 U.S. dollars) 

Category  	Oct.	Jan.-Oct. 99 

Total value	85,127      377,960 

Live animals and animal products
	1,897		3,953 

Plant products 
	7,491       10,116 

Animal and vegetable oil     	
and fats
	4  115 

Food, beverages, wine, 
vinegar, tobacco and products
	2,937	7,564 

	3,936       23,767 

Chemicals and related products
	5,296       43,117 

Plastics, rubber and   
	713	8,723 their products 

Leather, fur and their    
products; bags and cases 
	48  157

Wood and wood products    
	51   74 

Fiber pulp; paper and paper products 
	770	4,876

Textiles and their raw materials
	20,030      101,988

Shoes, caps, umbrellas; 
down products; artificial flowers; hair products
1,355	3,278 

Stone products; ceramics;   
glass and products 
	667	6,129

Jewelry, ornaments, coins     
	0    1 

Cheap metals and products 
	9,406       40,598 

Machinery, equipment
audio and video products, and parts 
	25,978       92,495 

Vehicles, aviation 
	1,118       23,700 

products, and ships Optical and medical   
apparatus; timepieces; music organs
	485	1,955 

Weapon, ammunition and parts
	-    -

Miscellaneous goods 
	2,945	5,347 

Arts, crafts and antiques     
	1    9 

Special and unclassified products 
	-    -


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