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BurmaNet News: January 1, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
         January 1, 2001   Issue # 1701
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

NOTED IN PASSING:  [I]nternational organizations are all talk and no 
action. Only the SPDC troops are frequently staging cross-border raids 
into Thailand."

Sai Tun, spokesman for the Shan States Army on the prospect of cross 
border attacks by the international community against drug producers in 
Burma.  See DVB: Burma: Shan State Army spokesman on anti-drug 
activities at Thai border  

*AP: Suu Kyi spends 100 days confined to her house
*DVB: Anti-money laundering bill facts remain unclear
*DVB: Burmese leaders pay flying visit to Kawthaung to discuss fishing 
*DVB: Burma: Shan State Army spokesman on anti-drug activities at Thai 
*DVB: Army deserters caused by officer abuse
*Shan Herald Agency for News: More on Nasaka
*Myanmar Information Committee: e-Education System Launched in Myanmar 

*The Nation: Maintaining Thailand's Diplomatic Gains
*The Independent (Bangladesh): Jamaat slates killing of 25 Muslims in 
*Xinhua: Chinese police seize over 200 kg of heroin at Yunnan-Burma 

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

AP: Suu Kyi spends 100 days confined to her house 

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi 
spent her 101st consecutive day under virtual house arrest as the New 
Year began Monday, waiting for the military government to make good on a 
promise to release her. 

 Suu Kyi was confined to her Yangon home on Sept. 22 after she defied 
government restrictions on her movement and tried to travel by train to 
the northern city of Mandalay to visit members of her embattled National 
League for Democracy. 

 In all, nine NLD leaders were put under confinement, but six were 
released Dec. 1. Party heavyweights NLD Chairman Aung Shwe and 
Vice-Chairman Tin Oo remain detained and about 80 NLD supporters 
arrested at the same time are believed held at Yangon's Insein Prison, 
according to diplomats. 

 A Myanmar government spokesman contacted in Yangon would give no clues 
Monday about when Suu Kyi would be freed, saying he ``would not like to 
speculate on this issue at this stage.'' 

 On Dec. 12, Myanmar Foreign Minister Win Aung told a meeting of 
European and Southeast Asian ministers in Laos that Suu Kyi would be 
released at ``an appropriate time'' but did not give a date. 

 That vague promise was seen as a concession to European critics of the 
junta's human rights record, who had swallowed their pride and agreed to 
end a three-year boycott of the inter-regional dialogue and sit at a 
table with top Myanmar officials. 

 Myanmar's military, which kept Suu Kyi under formal house arrest from 
1989 to 1995, refused to hand over power to the NLD after it 
overwhelmingly won a general election in 1990. Since the polls, it has 
harassed and arrested hundreds of NLD members, although it remains a 
legally registered political party. 

 One window of opportunity for the junta to ease restrictions on Suu Kyi 
could be a visit starting Friday by U.N. special envoy to Myanmar Razali 
Ismail, who is charged with the difficult task of brokering a political 
dialogue between the Myanmar government and the NLD. 

 Yangon-based diplomats suggest Suu Kyi could be released after Razali's 
five-day visit because it would give an impression the move would be due 
to the U.N. envoy's mediation, rather than pressure from Europe. 

 Razali, a former Malaysian diplomat, was able to meet with Suu Kyi 
twice at her house during a visit in October. He is the only diplomat to 
have had contact with Suu Kyi since her confinement began. 

 An Asian diplomat in Yangon said Razali had sought in October to secure 
Suu Kyi's release but a sticking point was the NLD leader's insistence 
that she will keep trying to travel outside the capital, which she views 
as her right. 

 In recent years, Suu Kyi has repeatedly tried to visit the provinces of 
Myanmar and been blocked every time. 

 The government accuses her of deliberately provoking confrontations 
with the authorities but the tactic has won her worldwide sympathy and 
helped keep the international spotlight on her democracy struggle, even 
as the NLD suffers official persecution and forced resignations of party 


DVB: Anti-money laundering bill facts remain unclear 

Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1245 gmt 28 Dec 00 

It has been learned that Burma is drafting an anti-money laundering law 
to control illegally-earned money and property. DVB Democratic Voice of 
Burma correspondent Htet Aung Kyaw filed this report. 

Begin Htet Aung Kyaw recording The decision was made during a Central 
Committee for Drug Abuse Control meeting chaired by Deputy Home Minister 
Brig-Gen Thura Myint Maung. According to them, Burma will be able to 
take action within the country against transnational crimes and people 
connected with drugs. But it is still unclear about the time frame for 
the completion of this bill and whether this law can be applied to take 
action against the wealth and property of the drug tsars including drug 
barons Khun Sa and Lo Hsing Han, who have surrendered to the SPDC State 
Peace and Development Council . 

According to reports received today 28 December , one SPDC police 
colonel is planning to get the law passed as soon as possible and 
cooperate with other ASEAN nations. Most Burmese observers have pointed 
out that the SPDC's anti-money laundering law is meant to show the 
international community but in reality it would be quite impossible to 
control the drug tsars. Burma's big companies - Asia Wealth Bank is 
owned by Lo Hsing Han, Mayflower Bank is owned by Kokang Chinese U Kyaw 
Win, and Kanbawza Bank is owned by UWSA United Wa State Army supported 
Saya Kyaung alias U Aung Ko Win. The SPDC neither have the nerve to 
check their financial transactions nor the ability to control the 
business entrepreneurs who are former drug tsars. Only a day after the 
meeting, which was Christmas day, Chinese Kokang drug traffickers from 
Mayflower Bank were seen going about freely and enjoying themselves at 
one Bangkok Christmas function. End of recording 


DVB: Burmese leaders pay flying visit to Kawthaung to discuss fishing 

Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1245 gmt 28 Dec 00 

It has been learned that Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt secretary-1 of the State 
Peace and Development Council, SPDC and party came on a lightning trip 
to Kawthaung in Tenasserim Division on 25 December. DVB Democratic Voice 
of Burma correspondent Myint Maung Maung filed this report. 

Begin Myint Maung Maung recording Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt was accompanied by 
Navy Commander in Chief Rear Adm Kyi Min, Foreign Minister U Win Aung, 
and ministers. Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt arrived unexpectedly at 0930 all times 
local and departed suddenly at 1700. Local people believed his trip 
might be connected with the SPDC naval gunboats' shooting of two Thai 
fishing vessels in Thai territorial waters on 19 December. But at the 
meeting with military officials and departmental personnel at the 
Kawthaung Battalion Meeting Hall, he discussed Kawthaung's development 
activities. The main topic of discussion was fisheries and he said fish 
caught in Myanmar Burmese waters must be sold in Myanmar Burma and 
permission will not be given to sell the fish in the other country. But 
Thai fisheries entrepreneurs are still hoping to get back their fishing 
concessions which were revoked since 2 October 1999. End of recording 


DVB: Burma: Shan State Army spokesman on anti-drug activities at Thai 

Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1245 gmt 27 Dec 00 

The southern Shan State Army, SSA, which has been engaging in 
anti-narcotic drugs activities, is in need of international assistance 
said its leader Col Yawdserk. Because of its anti-drug stance the SSA is 
abhorred by the UWSA United Wa State Army Wa armed group and the SPDC 
State Peace and Development Council troops. Col Yawdserk also said if 
international assistance is not received in time the SSA has no choice 
but probably join hands with the SPDC. DVB Democratic Voice of Burma 
correspondent Htet Aung Kyaw interviewed SSA spokesman U Sai Tun 
regarding these matters. 

Begin recording U Sai Tun We started engaging in anti-drugs activities 
in 1998. We always show the regional and international community what we 
are doing and how much we have destroyed and we also ask for 
international assistance. Assistance means to join hands with us in the 
fight against the drugs. But we did not see any significant regional and 
international support and pressure. Finally, our anti-drugs actions have 
affected the border drug trafficking trade. So the SPDC and the Wa 
troops, the basis of these activities, turned towards our group. Even 
Khin Nyunt SPDC secretary-1 came and inspected our area and urged the 
total annihilation of the SSA. 

Htet Aung Kyaw That was the confirmation given by SSA Spokesman U Sai 
Tun. I continued to ask him about the situation of the recently arrived 
UWSA troops and the possibility of future battles. 

U Sai Tun As far as I know, according to the latest situation at the end 
November five UWSA battalions arrived at (Mong Taw-Mong Har) to settle 
there. Well, five battalions mean their overall strength is over 1,000. 
On 16 December Eastern Military Command Commander Maj-Gen Maung Bo came 
to Ho Mong, the former headquarters of Khun Sa's MTA Mong Tai Army , and 
held talks with one of the Wa leaders Wei Shaung Yi, brother of Wei 
Shaung Pan. We have learned that at the talks Commander Maung Bo 
pressured the UWSA to annihilate the SSA camps. 

Htet Aung Kyaw At the moment all groups connected with drug activities 
along the border including the UWSA and the SPDC troops despised the 
SSA. U Sai Tun went on to say all their efforts are in vain when the 
SSA's activities done in good faith for the good of entire mankind are 
not recognized and appreciated by international organizations. 

U Sai Tun At this juncture we would be quite satisfied if we receive a 
little appreciation. We do not want any assistance in the form of 
weapons and other equipment. But instead of being appreciated we are 
being loathed which is not what we want. We are doing it for the good of 
everybody. To engage in anti-drug activities is an act despised by the 
people of the border region overwhelmed by various drug groups. When we 
first settled at the border and engaged in drugs it was the same thing. 

Htet Aung Kyaw As a final question, when I ask about the possibility of 
an international anti-drug force staging a cross-border raid inside 
Burma, U Sai Tun said he did not expect anything like that because 
international organizations are all talk and no action. Only the SPDC 
troops are frequently staging cross-border raids into Thailand. End of 


DVB: Army deserters caused by officer abuse 

Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1245 gmt 27 Dec 00 

Three SPDC State Peace and Development Council enlisted men from a 
Taunggyi-based battalion deserted with weapons due to maltreatment by 
officers. Pvt Banya Aung and enlisted Pvts Yin Htwe and Myo Naing from 
the forward column of Taunggyi-based IB Infantry Battalion 294 deserted 
with three G-3 automatic rifles, one BA-93 grenade launcher, and 
ammunition on 20 December. Col Tin Win, the Mong Pan based tactical 
commander, himself is leading the efforts and combing the vicinity to 
recapture the deserters. Similarly, a private from IB 16 based in 
northern Shan State's Mong Koe region deserted during December and a 
search is being conducted. 

The battalion officer must immediately inform the higher authority as 
soon as desertion occurs. If the report is late, normally action is 
taken against the officer in charge. Just as this was going on, an order 
was issued to the forward recruitment company to enlist at least one 
soldier a month. It has been learned that as many as 16 new recruits a 
month have been enlisted in the armoured battalion. DVB Democratic Voice 
of Burma correspondent Kyaw Zin Aung filed this report. 


Shan Herald Agency for News: More on Nasaka

Jan. 1, 2000

The Nasaka (Border Control Unit) arrived in Tachilek on 8 December. On 
19  December, a meeting was called to explain its mission to the local  

"There is a need to prevent restricted commodities from going out and  
coming in as Thailand is enjoying an upperhand over us, economically  
speaking," a Nasaka officer (the source did not say who) explained. 
"There  are too many motor vehicles coming in without proper licences 
and proper  duties paid. We are here to plug the holes and to see that 
the state earns  its proper revenues".

He outlined the unit's five tasks which were: Prevention of prohibited  
commodities from leaving the country, Prevention of prohibited 
commodities  from entering the country, Enhancement of revenue from 
taxes, Raising the  value of Kyat against other currencies and 
Suppression of corruption among  state officials.

He added that the unit would be under the direct control of Secretary  
1(General Khin Nyunt), who would be represented locally by Lt.-Col. Thet 
 Htut (Kamaba) under whom the Work Inspection Battalion (Nasaya) 
commanded  by Maj. Zaw Lin would operate.

On the following day, five immigration and customs checkpoints under the 
 Tachilek district administration, namely: Friendship Bridge, Mark-yang, 
 Pakook, Loitawkham and Wan Poongkaen were turned over to the Nasaka, 
said  the source.

Lt.-Col. Thet Htut is known to be one of Gen. Khin Nyunt's trusted  
lieutenants. (He attended the meeting between Military Intelligence 
Service  and the Shan State Peace Council in September, as reported 
earlier by  S.H.A.N.)


Myanmar Information Committee: e-Education System Launched in Myanmar 


Information  Sheet 
N0. B-1664 (I)                  1st January, 2001 

The Ministry of Education of the Government of the Union of Myanmar, in  
cooperation with the Ministry of Information, has put Electronic Data  
Broadcasting System into motion on 31 December, 2000. 

The Ministry of Education is implementing the Special Four-Year Plan for 
the  Promotion of Education, which will run from 2000-2001 to 2003-2004 
fiscal  year. The objectives of the special four-year plan are to 
promote the  efficiency of basic education schools with the aim of 
nurturing and turning  out stalwart sons and daughters of the nation who 
acquire well-rounded  education, to generate teaching and learning 
opportunities with the use of  modern information technologies, to 
further promote the quality of teachers,  to seek ways and means to 
enable every citizen to acquire basic education,  and to bring about 
education of international standard by facing challenges  of Knowledge 
Age and creating Learning Society. 

The present time is the third four-month period covered by the 
first-year  period of the plan. In both the basic education sector and 
the higher  education sector, annual working programmes have been laid 
down and  implemented to reform curricula in order to ensure that the 
level of national  education is on a par with that of international 
education, to extend the  programme of teaching coordinated subjects, to 
use the continuous assessment  system in accord with the international 
system, to launch Lifelong Learning  and Continuing Education 
programmes, to cooperate with international  universities, to carry out 
advanced research programmes, to put information  technology into 
practical use, to establish MOEnet, to introduce Electronic  Data 
Broadcasting System via satellite, to advance libraries and to establish 
 Open Education System. Multimedia teaching centres are being opened at 
basic  education schools. At universities, degree colleges and colleges, 
IT Learning  Centres, Electronic Resource Centres, Computer Training 
Centres, Multimedia  Resource Centres and Language Labs are being 
opened, and modern methods and  equipment provided. Multimedia 
classrooms have been opened at universities,  degree colleges and 
colleges. The networked computer system has been set up  and modern 
information technology used. 

The Ministry of Education has opened Electronic Learning Centres all 
over the  nation, and in cooperation with the Ministry of Information, 
is building a  new learning society with the use of Electronic Data 
Broadcasting System.  Altogether 203 learning centres have been opened 
in all states and divisions  covering from the northernmost township 
Putao to the southern-most township  Kawthoung and from the easternmost 
township Tachilek to the western-most  township Sittway--- 10in Kachin 
State, 1 in Kayah State, 4 in Kayin State, 4  in Chin State, 17 in 
Sagaing Division, 8 in Taninthayi Division, 12 in Bago  Division (East), 
12 in Bago Division (West), 15 in Magway Division, 27 in  Mandalay 
Division, 10 in Mon State, 6 in Rakhine State, 44 in Yangon  Division, 7 
in Shan State (South), 2 in Shan State (East), 5 in Shan State  (North) 
and 19 in Ayeyawady Division. Lectures, academic subjects and  
technological subjects can be easily learnt through servers kept at 
these  learning centres through television and satellite. It is also 
learnt that  arrangements are being made to open learning centres in 
every township next  year. With the building and use of Electronic Data 
Broadcasting System

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

The Nation: Maintaining Thailand's Diplomatic Gains 

Monday, January 1, 2001

The most frequently asked question today is whether Thai foreign policy 
will change direction with the incoming government. In the past, the 
traditional answer would definitely be a yes. That has been the pattern 
of the country's diplomatic history. 

Foreign policy was easy to change then as it did not involve so many 
vested interests or huge concessions. The post of foreign minister was 
considered a leftover, away from the parties' bickering negotiations. 
The least influential person in a given party would normally take up the 
position. No political party would trade it for the interior or 
communications or industry portfolios. Therefore, whoever arrived by 
this path could sometimes abuse and butcher the country's foreign 

That helped to explain why there was no continuity and sustainability in 
Thai foreign policy. 

Those days are gone. It is a different ballgame now. Diplomacy is a 
topic major parties cannot ignore. Foreign policy is mentioned by major 
parties at political rallies. They all want to master it and let their 
views be heard. Party leaders do not look impressive if they cannot 
discuss Burma, international trade or globalisation. 

To gauge the country's future diplomacy, party platforms and comments 
made by party leaders need to be scrutinised, particularly those of the 
parties which are likely to become coalition partners. Out of 37 
parties, only the Democrat, Thai Rak Thai, Chat Thai, New Aspiration and 
Chat Pattana have come out with wide-ranging views on regional and 
international issues.  
In general, all the parties share similar views on the need for Thailand 
to improve its relations with its neighbours, promote cooperation with 
international organisations and regional economic groupings, maintain 
free trade and be a good and responsible citizen in the world community. 
That much is clear. 

Upon cross-examination, divergent views and approaches to regional and 
international issues are highly visible. For instance, the Democrat 
Party mentions human rights and democracy as elements of its foreign 
policy outlook, while other parties such as Thai Rak Thai and Chat 
Pattana do not. The Democrats are more assertive than the rest on this 
issue, while Thai Rak Thai highlights its constructive diplomacy, which 
respects non-interference in internal affairs. 

Chat Pattana and News Aspiration are more creative when it comes to 
untested policies. The former proposes the establishment of an Asian 
Community linking South Asia and East Asia. The latter wants to see 
Asian countries helping each other through elaborate economic schemes. 
Both parties strongly advocate pan-Asia cooperation. 

Recently, Seritham Party leader Prachuab Chayasarn, a former foreign 
minister, announced that all border demarcation problems with Burma, 
Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia should be completely settled within four 
With two former senior foreign ministry officials joining the party, 
Chat Thai has been showing off a lot about its knowledge of diplomacy. 
Often, however, the views expressed are of a personal nature rather than 
a serious party platform. 

It is all boils down to the two rivals, Democrat and Thai Rak Thai, 
which share more commonality than differences, especially on what 
appears in writing. While the two see eye-to-eye on the need to improve 
ties with neighbours through economic cooperation, they differ much on 
how to achieve it. 

Both parties identify relations with Burma and Laos as needing the most 
attention. Previously, Vietnam and Cambodia were in the same category, 
but their ties with Thailand have improved markedly under the Chuan 
government. The recent conclusion of a Thai-Vietnam visa-free agreement 
and exchange of intelligence demonstrates the growing mutual trust 
between the two countries.  
Obviously, policy towards Burma and Laos would be one of the areas most 
affected by the election outcome. Whatever changes are made though, it 
will not be so much in substance as in style. This will depend on the 
future composition of the next government. If it is a Thai Rak Thai-led 
government, its leaders are likely to visit Burma or Laos to promote 
good neighbour policies. They will be more expedient with ties with both 
countries. High-level personal contacts will be used as a means to 
settle problems with neighbours as in the past, particularly through 
military connections. 

Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai is the only Asean leader who has not 
visited Burma officially during his three-year tenure, although he has 
met with its leaders several times. He insists that Burma needs to be 
more open and democratic. During the past three years, there has been 
increased coordination among the government agencies which have dealings 
with neighbouring countries. They are rallying behind the government and 
in the case of Burma and Laos, the Foreign Ministry has taken the lead. 
Repeated attempts by vested interests and conservative elements to 
shatter this uniform approach have so far failed, including the Rangoon 
junta's divide and rule tactics. 

Another new influential factor supporting the current Thai foreign 
policy is the role being played by the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. 
It is no longer considered a rubber stamp. Its fiercely independent 
chairman, Kraisak Choonhavan, and his liberal views have already made 
their marks on the conduct of Thai diplomacy. 

Finally, since 1997 non-governmental organisations and civil groups have 
been quite active in foreign-policy making process, especially towards 
Burma, Indonesia, East Timor and, to a lesser extent, Asean.  
The involvement of the Senate's Foreign affairs Committee, 
non-governmental organisations and civil society will intensify if the 
incoming government seeks to make radical changes to the foundations of 
Thai policy, which respects human rights and democratic principles. 

Thailand has enjoyed a healthy and good international reputation, 
because of its pro-active and outward looking policy. 

A new government that diverges from this path will certainly encounter a 
public outcry. 


The Independent (Bangladesh): Jamaat slates killing of 25 Muslims in 

Jan. 1, 2000

by Staff Reporter

Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Moulana Matiur Rahman Nizami has condemned the 
killing of 25 Muslims by Myanmar forces at Arakan on the Eid day.

In a statement issued here yesterday, the Jamaat chief said that killing 
of 25 Muslims by the Myanmar army and preventing the Muslims from 
offering prayers on Eid by the government in Arakan state was a clear 
violation of the Charter of Human Rights adopted by the United Nations.

He said that as a member of the UN, Myanmar was bound to ensure the 
religious rights of the minority Muslims living there.

He called upon all international organisations, including the UN, OIC 
and all peace loving countries and specially the Muslim states, to put 
pressure on the Myanmar government to stop violence against the hapless 
Muslims of the country and ensure their religious and political rights.


Xinhua: Chinese police seize over 200 kg of heroin at Yunnan-Burma 

Beijing, in English 0720 gmt 27 Dec 00 

Xinhua (New China news agency) 

Kunming, 27 December: Police in southwest China's Yunnan Province, which 
borders Myanmar Burma , recently seized 244 kg of heroin hidden in a 
truck that was apparently transporting tea from Ruili County, in the 
Dehong Tai and Jingpo Autonomous Prefecture, to the provincial capital 
of Kunming. 

The driver's expression aroused suspicion of border police at Mukang 
checkpoint in the prefecture, which led to the seizure of the drug. The 
drug was found mixed in a tea box at the bottom of the truck. Three 
suspects were arrested on the spot. Border police at Mukang have 
confiscated 604 kg of heroin this year.


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