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BurmaNet News: May 3, 2001
______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
An on-line newspaper covering Burma
May 3, 2001 Issue # 1797
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________
NOTED IN PASSING:
(1) "Drug traffickers have taken over more and more of the legitimate
economy, and are getting more brazen about it, over the last couple of
Drug analyst on Burma?s economy. See Financial Times: Burma tribe takes
*BurmaNet: Editor?s Note?New Sections
*BBC: Inside Burma-- Opposition fights on
*Far Eastern Economic Review: Something for Nothing
*Reuters: Fears grow that Myanmar talks may be deadlocked
*BBC: Burmese talks feared stalled
*Financial Times: Burma tribe takes over bank
*The Nation: Investment in Burma: Business Feels Pinch
*The New Straits Times Press: Myanmar sets up dedicated zones to woo
*Bangkok Post: Divisions in the Ranks
*Bangkok Post: Burmese Shelling Cannot Be Ignored
*Karenni National Progressive Party: Battle News March to April 2001
*The Nation: Border Tensions--conflict over Burma Policy
*AP: Philippines VP Says He Was Refused Audience With Suu Kyi
*AP: Pakistan Leader Sees Closer Ties With Myanmar Regime
*Bangkok Post: Eyeing off Each Other
*Burma Media Association (Canada Branch): Historical Gathering of Exiled
*The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): Plots and conspiracies
*PD Burma: Calendar of events
BurmaNet: Editor?s Note?New Sections
We have reorganized the section headings of BurmaNet in an effort to
better reflect the content of the news carried. The Economy/Business
section is now simply Money?same thing, fewer words. The two new
sections are Guns and Drugs.
Drugs have become such a large feature of the regime?s economy and the
cause of much of the international interest in Burma that they warrant
their own section.
The Guns section will cover the active insurgencies and the border
conflicts, especially between Thailand and Burma. While the regime
claims to have restored peace and to have cease-fires with all but one
insurgent group, combat between regime troops and Karenni, Karen, Chin,
Arakanese and Shan and other groups is a daily occurrence. The new
section reflects the reality of Burma?s battlefields.
__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________
BBC: Inside Burma-- Opposition fights on
Wednesday, 2 May, 2001, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
By Jonathan Head in Rangoon
Volunteers tap out a newsletter in the back of an old office in Rangoon.
The office is the last refuge of the National League for Democracy(NLD),
the party that won Burma's last election.
The party won a landslide victory in the 1990 election but the military
authorities refused to hand over power.
Crowds still throng the dilapidated NLD headquarters, drawn in by leader
Aung San Suu Kyi, who continues her campaign against military rule from
But party leaders admit that years of repression, are taking their toll.
"We cannot keep up our membership, some are getting old, some are
getting disease or something like that and some were forced by security
people to leave the party," said U Lwein, the party's Executive
Secretary, "so we're reduced to the very bare minimum."
So the news of a secret dialogue between the generals and Aung San Suu
Kyi has been grasped by a people hungry for change.
But after eight months and no visible progress, there are fears here
that the talks may be grinding to a halt. That prompted the military
regime to break its silence this week at a gathering in Burma of
ministers from the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations
The regime insisted the talks were going well.
"The question of... this process being stalled is not correct, it's not
stalled. And we hope that this process, which is very much complex and
delicate, should be... discussed right now," Burmese Foreign Minister
Win Aung told the meeting.
Burma now lags decades behind its neighbours. Its hard-pressed people
desperately need an end to the deadlock between Aung San Suu Kyi and the
military. For them the pace of political change is painfully slow.
Burma's rulers though, are in no hurry to see an end to their control
over the country. The road to a better future for its people could still
be a very long one.
Far Eastern Economic Review: Something for Nothing
Talks between Burma's junta and Aung San Suu Kyi are faltering just as
Japan leads Asia in breaking with a Western-led ban on bilateral aid
By Shawn W. Crispin and Bertil Lintner/BANGKOK
Issue cover-dated May 10, 2001
SEVEN MONTHS since the start of secret talks between Burma's ruling
State Peace and Development Council and pro-democracy leader Aung San
Suu Kyi, the dialogue appears to be on the verge of breaking down. The
junta has deferred numerous requests by United Nations special envoy
Razali Ismail--the main catalyst behind the talks--to revisit Burma. Suu
Kyi, under virtual house arrest, is said by a source close to Razali to
be increasingly frustrated with the secrecy and isolation of the talks,
which forbid her from consulting her National League for Democracy party
leaders and its allies.
The source says the shroud of secrecy is complicating the talks. Rangoon
rumours are swirling that Suu Kyi may strike a deal without ethnic
minority group participation. A bid by Razali to hold a secret meeting
in Thailand with ethnic leaders was leaked, and had to be cancelled.
Increasingly, the SPDC appears to be using the confusion over the talks
to try to drive a wedge between Suu Kyi and her own movement.
The opacity is definitely working in the junta's favour. The "cautious
optimism" with which the international community generally greeted the
talks is starting to break down. But it is doing so strictly along
East-West lines, with Western sceptics, including the European Union,
calling for "more concrete steps" toward national reconciliation while
Asian proponents assert that the talks are "real" and "moving forward."
Until April, many in the region--most significantly Japan--had tacitly
supported Western-led isolation of the junta as a concerted protest
against the regime's abysmal democratic credentials and human-rights
record. But in early April, Japan broke ranks with a Western-led 12-year
ban on non-humanitarian bilateral assistance to Burma by quietly
agreeing to provide a Ñ3.5 billion ($28 million) aid package to
rehabilitate a hydroelectric dam as a direct reward for the talks. A
final decision on the aid is expected by the end of the year.
Japan's helping hand contrasts with an almost simultaneous decision by
the European Union to slap another six months on its sanctions regime
against the junta--a departure from an offer by the EU in March to open
its markets to Burma on a least-developed-country duty-free basis.
Shortly after that overture, a German parliamentary delegation cancelled
its scheduled visit to Burma when the SDPC denied access to Suu Kyi.
Meanwhile, the International Labour Organization is ready to tighten the
sanctions it imposed against the junta late last year because of
continued forced labour. So far, there are no signs the new United
States administration plans to lift its sanctions restricting new U.S.
investments in Burma.
Yet Japan's move has opened the door for other Asian states--regardless
of whether the talks eventually bear fruit-- to start distancing
themselves from the West's isolation of the military junta. Burmese
Foreign Minister Win Aung told fellow foreign ministers from the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Rangoon on April 30 that the
talks were not stalled, but were confidential. In return, the Asean
ministers encouraged the dialogue. In addition, Thailand's new
government had already made clear that it intended to make economics,
rather than democratic progress, the guiding principle of its "forward
engagement" policy towards the junta.
"When the national reconciliation is moving, as it has been moving now,
Western countries and Asean should be working together to encourage the
process, to encourage economic development instead of cornering Myanmar
and continuing sanctions," says Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart
Sathirathai. "Sometimes the Asian way of doing things is different from
the Western way."
The Asian way means more aid and investment rather than Western lectures
about greater political openness. The junta definitely needs the cash.
The kyat, which had been relatively steady since 1998, has started to
spiral downward, hitting a record low of 680 to $1 on the blackmarket on
April 24 compared to 375 six months ago. Foreign-exchange certificates
have fallen out of parity with the dollar and now trade at a 10%
discount on the streets. In addition, both sides of the junta's
factional divide feel the need to diversify sources of financial aid
from China's big-brother patronage.
Regional help is on the way. Malaysia has quietly promised to help
develop the Yetagun gas field. Thailand, too, is keen to win natural gas
and other natural-resource concessions, including timber and fishing
rights. "Many in the region now believe Western pressure on the SPDC has
not been successful," says Chayachoke Chulasiriwongs, professor of
international relations at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. "The
West has been using the stick for so long. Asia is deciding it's time to
use the carrot."
For the generals, Asia is enough. The junta is as resolute as ever not
to yield to Western-led pressure for political change. In an internal
memo in December reacting to the ILO's decision to impose sanctions, the
SPDC characterized trade with Western countries as "insignificant" and
said the sanctions were of "no serious danger" to their terms of trade.
For exports that would be hit by the ILO restrictions, such as pulses
and textiles, the SPDC outlined plans to employ covert trans-shipment
through regional allies Malaysia and Singapore.
But critics say that rewarding the junta without any serious progress at
the talks undermines prospects for genuine national reconciliation. For
Suu Kyi, Japan's pre-emptive aid package erodes her already weak
negotiating position, which has historically relied on international
pressure. For the junta, with the promise of new aid, the incentive to
accommodate is diminishing. Indeed, earlier hopes that the secret talks
would push Burma's repressive politics toward a democratic power-sharing
arrangement are fast fading.
The Western diplomatic community is calling for Razali to return to
Rangoon and get the talks back on track. But that track is becoming more
and more slippery. In January, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohamad--who was instrumental in bringing Burma into Asean in
1997--offered the junta advice on how to soften its authoritarian line
to win back international confidence. That counsel resonated deeper with
the junta's first secretary, Lt.-Gen. Khin Nyunt, than with his
rival--army commander Gen. Maung Aye. Now it appears that the SPDC's
politically powerful regional army commanders are weighing in against
the talks. Many in the army fear a move towards political openness would
challenge their iron grip on power and eventually put their human-rights
record on trial.
"Many in the SPDC are scared to start a transition towards democracy
they may lose control of," says Sunai Phasuk, head of research at Forum
Asia, a Bangkok-based democracy group. "They have been indoctrinated to
believe Suu Kyi is evil and a traitor. That sentiment can't be changed
SUU KYI'S BACK TO THE WALL
Instead, the sun is setting on the talks. So far Suu Kyi has remained
silent as the talks stall and her negotiating leverage slides. In part
that's because she desperately wants the release from prison of her
political supporters, hundreds of whom were sentenced after she upped
the tempo of her campaign of resistance in 1998. The repression
continues--the majority of the prisoners released since the talks
started are NLD youth wing members, not key members of the party
leadership, many of whom remain jailed after serving their terms.
Finally, though, Suu Kyi is unlikely to yield to the junta's demand that
the NLD forego the results of the 1990 elections--which they won by a
landslide--without firm assurances of a new, UN-monitored general
election. But with more regional economic support for the junta in the
pipeline, the incentive for the SPDC to accommodate is waning. "It has
been the SPDC's plan for some time to promulgate a constitution and hold
elections," says Forum Asia's Sunai. "But they are just as likely to do
it without Suu Kyi as they are with her."
Murray Hiebert in Washington contributed to this article
Reuters: Fears grow that Myanmar talks may be deadlocked
By Andrew Marshall
YANGON, May 3 (Reuters) - Fears are growing in Myanmar that landmark
talks between the ruling generals and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi
are deadlocked, and that the process could founder unless clear signs of
progress emerge soon.
News earlier this year that the military government had been holding
secret meetings with Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi raised hopes that
the political stalemate that has gripped Myanmar for more than a decade
could finally be broken.
But the foreign governments and opposition activists who hailed the
start of talks are growing increasingly restless. No details of the
talks have emerged, and foreign diplomats warn that international
goodwill won't last forever.
Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), which has pledged to
refrain from criticising the government while the talks go on, says it
still has faith in the dialogue.
But senior NLD leaders say they have no hard information on what has
been happening at the closed-door talks.
"We don't know what is happening at the talks, but I believe there is no
deadlock," a senior member of the NLD's central executive committee told
Reuters in Yangon.
"But you can't go on keeping secrets for a long time. It must come out
in the end," he said.
"This process must be made known to the people."
The NLD won Myanmar's last election in 1990 but has never been allowed
to govern. Suu Kyi has been kept confined to her house since September
with access to her strictly controlled.
Foreign diplomats in Yangon say their information suggests the talks
have hit an impasse.
The message is coming not just from Western countries traditionally
hostile to the military government, but also Asian nations which have
tended to be more flexible in their approach.
"We have heard that the talks have been stagnant for a few weeks," a
senior Asian diplomat told Reuters. "We must be patient however. We
can't wait forever, but we can wait a while to see if the government has
the intention to push dialogue forward."
In its first public comments on the talks, the government denied this
week that they had stalled.
"This is not a public relations stunt," Foreign Minister Win Aung told
reporters. "This is for the sake of the people of Myanmar -- 52 million
people. We don't play games. If we played games, we might have played a
long time ago."
But he said no timeframe could be set for the talks.
"There is no set time for the dialogue or peace process in Northern
Ireland or Sri Lanka or in the Middle East," Win Aung said. "This is not
a process where you can start a countdown. It is a process that is
Opposition leaders and diplomats warn that unless details of the talks
emerge, or the government makes further gestures of good faith, the
delicate dialogue could unravel.
Foreign goodwill could also wane. Japan last month said it was giving
Myanmar a $29 million aid package as a token of support for the talks.
Myanmar desperately needs more foreign financial support, but diplomats
say it must earn this.
Most of the dozens of ethnic groups in Myanmar say they are prepared to
wait for a basic agreement between Suu Kyi and the military before they
join reconciliation talks.
But some ethnic groups and exiled opposition activists are fearful that
a secret deal could be struck to sideline them, and signs of progress
are needed to placate them.
"If they have a concrete reason to think the government is blocking
dialogue, people will not stand for that. All over the world they would
not stand for it," the senior NLD member said.
"I understand that the government knows this too."
WAITING FOR A SIGN
Diplomats say that, despite their concerns, it is still far too early to
give up hope.
The NLD, too, says the process is bound to take time.
But confidence-building is essential.
The government has already made some gestures, stopping attacks on the
NLD in the official press and releasing more than 80 political detainees
earlier this year.
The NLD and diplomats say another visit by U.N. special envoy Razali
Ismail would be a key step in bolstering the process. They say Razali
played a central role in brokering the talks.
"Mr Razali, the peacemaker, must be here at this moment. He is the one
who will explain," the NLD member said.
But Win Aung said no visit by Razali was scheduled.
"He will come at an appropriate time," he said.
Diplomats say that while the government faces no serious internal
political threat, the country's precarious economic situation is the
main factor pushing the military towards dialogue with the opposition.
"Clearly the economy was a major factor leading to these talks," the
Asian diplomat said. "If the (economic) situation goes on this way they
have no hope."
BBC: Burmese talks feared stalled
- Thursday, 3 May, 2001, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
By South-East Asia analyst Larry Jagan
There is growing concern in Burma that talks between the military
authorities and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi have stalled.
The dialogue, which started nearly seven months ago, has been taking
place in complete secrecy.
Neither side had said anything publicly until earlier this week when
Burma's Foreign Minister, Win Aung, told journalists in Rangoon that the
process was not just a publicity stunt and was progressing according to
Both sides have also refrained from criticising each other. But,
according to senior opposition sources, there have been no direct talks
between the two sides for more than two months.
Although the Burmese foreign minister said dialogue was progressing
well, diplomats in Rangoon fear the process is in fact in danger of
They believe the UN special envoy, senior Malaysian diplomat Razali
Ismail, needs to return to Rangoon immediately to help revive them.
Mr Razali told the BBC that he was keen to return to Rangoon and was
working on a date with the military authorities.
But while Mr Razali remains hopeful, the Burmese Government so far has
has not agreed to a new visit.
And privately they have told diplomats that it's not likely to happen in
Opposition sources believe this is probably because the generals are not
anxious to have their public relations advantage dented.
Mr Razali is one of the few people who has access to the opposition
leader and is able to assess the state of the talks.
Senior leaders in the National League for Democracy believe Aung San Suu
Kyi is increasing frustrated by the lack of progress being made,
including the failure of the military authorities to keep several
promises such as releasing more political prisoners.
They also believe that Aung San Suu Kyi now wants all restrictions on
her movement lifted. She accepted them initially when the talks were at
a confidence-building stage.
Now that they have stalled, say NLD leaders, only the military
authorities benefit from her continued detention.
The international community is also increasingly anxious to see some
concrete results from the talks.
So far the Burmese generals have been complimented for starting the
dialogue process, and although the international community wants to
encourage it they may soon run out of patience.
The International Labour Organisation will review Burma's use of forced
labour at its annual general meeting in Geneva next month.
And the generals will certainly have to provide concrete evidence of
change if they are to avoid another stronger censure being passed at
___________________ MONEY ___________________
Financial Times: Burma tribe takes over bank
May 1, 2001
By William Barnes in Bangkok
The ethnic Wa hill tribe in Burma - once dubbed "the world's biggest
gang of armed drug traffickers" - have taken over a bank and a domestic
airline, underlining the importance of drug money in a troubled economy.
The United Wa State Army has taken control of the ailing Myanmar
Mayflower Bank in Rangoon and its 21 nationwide branches. The group's
other interests include a third of the country's only GSM phone project,
lucrative gem mining concessions and, reputedly, nightclubs in the
capital. The Wa chief, Pao Yu Chang, has also recently taken direct
personal control of the unprofitable Yangon Airways. "Drug traffickers
have taken over more and more of the legitimate economy, and are getting
more brazen about it, over the last couple of years," said a drug
The Wa were the footsoldiers for the Communist party of Burma until
they overthrew their ethnic Chinese Communist masters in 1989. Fearing
that the thousands of tough fighters - headhunters a couple of
generations ago - would link up with rebel groups on the Thai border,
the military government quickly agreed a dozen ceasefire deals, with the
Wa and others, that allowed them a free hand to do business - which in
the Shan state often means drugs.
The regime also permitted "retired" former drug warlords, such as Lo
Hsing-han and Khun Sa, to, at the very least, plough their drug profits
into a variety of businesses. The Burmese military claims that alone it
does not have the strength to suppress big traffickers such as the Wa,
who will "voluntarily" stop within a few years anyway.
The US State Department's latest narcotics review says that "drug
profits formed the seed capital for many otherwise legitimate
enterprises" especially in transport, banking, hotels, real estate and
The US senators who sent President George W. Bush a strong letter
warning not to ease sanctions said "strong evidence" linked the regime
to trafficking. Some observers are less sure about whether significant
drug money ends up in generals' pockets, although even spokesmen for the
regime admit that soldiers in the field often "tax" traffickers.
The government claims that militarily its hands are tied yet it has
been able since the mid-1990s to clear more than 300,000 villagers off a
great swathe of land in the middle of the state to try to suppress a
small rebellion by "unapproved" ethnic Shan.
Worryingly for Thailand, it has permitted, perhaps encouraged, the Wa
and their Chinese business associates to move many thousands of hill
tribe families down from their headquarters base area to the Thai
border. This is ostensibly to make it easier to grow non-opium crops but
Thai intelligence agents claim it supports a build-up of Wa drug
factories close to the Thai border.
The Nation: Investment in Burma: Business Feels Pinch
Rangoon - May 03, 2001.
FIGHTING Along the Thai-Burmese border has taken its toll on Thai
investments in Burma with Rangoon imposing restrictions on various
business transactions and more and more consumers shunning Thai goods.
During a Monday evening meeting with Foreign Minister Surakiart
Sathirathai, about 30 Rangoon-based Thai businessmen called on the
government to bring to an end the border tensions as soon as possible.
"We have been directly affected. We have been told that certain items
would be no longer allowed," one Thai businessman said.
Tensions along the border have spurred the Rangoon government to unleash
the state-run press to stir up anti-Thai sentiment among the people, the
Thai businessmen claimed. They also acknowledged that Thailand was not
completely blameless either, accusing the media and entertainment
companies, including television soap operas, of stirring up nationalism
for the wrong reasons.
"We have been taught that to be a good Thai one must hate the Burmese,"
said the businessman, adding that educators and others must change the
perception of Burma as Thailand's historic enemy.
Surakiart told the businessmen the government would do its utmost to
prevent flare-ups from becoming a national issue out of fear public
sentiment on both sides would deteriorate further.
One businessman criticised the Thai Third Army for closing the Mae
Sai-Tachilek crossing and imposing other restrictions along the northern
border, in an apparent effort to starve out the drug-producing United Wa
State Army (UWSA).
"They said that the closing of the border will starve out the [Wa]
ethnic group, but it's the average people who are suffering. Not all
measures taken up by the Third Army are working," the businessman said.
Average Burmese people dependent on Thai consumer goods deemed the
border closure as unfair to them, the businessmen warned.
Thai-Burma relations have sunk to one of the lowest points in recent
times following cross-border shelling over two months ago when fighting
between Burmese government troops and Shan rebels spilled across the
Thai side of the border.
Moreover, Rangoon has accused Thai troops of backing the rebel Shan
State Army (SSA) in a recent attack on their outpost at Ban Pachee,
adjacent to Chiang Mai's Fang district.
Nearly 200,000 methamphetamine tablets were found at a Wa camp according
to SSA leader Col Yawd Serk, who handed the confiscated drugs over to
the Thai army.
Rangoon then hit back, claiming the drugs belonged to Thai soldiers.
The New Straits Times Press: Myanmar sets up dedicated zones to woo
By KAMARUL YUNUS
03 May 2001
TRAVELLERS in Myanmar need not worry too much about having to carry
small change with them, coins that is, as there aren't that many in
One probable reason is that most people, men and women, still prefer to
wear the longji, the equivalent of the sarong in Malaysia.
There are no pockets to keep the coins, while notes are simply tightly
rolled up in the longji at the waist.
A wallet, if one is carried, is curiously tucked in the back.
Longji is by far the attire of choice, appropriate both as casual and
formal wear; common in the office as well as out in the streets.
It is worn with pride, a traditional costume that is practical and
comfortable, and also elegant when matched with an equally traditional
low, stiff-collared tunic, long or short-sleeved, that is usually in
Given the huge ready demand, business in the production or distribution
of the longji is brisk.
According to a Myanmar government official, there are longji factories,
being a promoted industry, in every corner of the country.
Even then, the country still imports a sizeable amount of the product
from neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile, as part of the Government's efforts to draw more investors to
the country, several dedicated industrial zones have been developed in
recent years, and there are now at least one in each of the 14 state
Investment Commission director Si Si Win said since the implementation
of the Foreign Investment Law in 1988, a cumulative foreign capital
inflow of US$7.4 billion (US$1 = RM3.80) has been approved.
"About 50 per cent of the capital comes from Association of South-East
Asian Nations members but Myanmar has also been able to attract
investment from developed countries despite the US sanctions imposed two
years ago," she told Malaysian journalists on an eight-day visit to
Myanmar last month.
The visit was arranged following a meeting between Prime Minister Datuk
Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Myanmar's ruling State Law and Order
Restoration Council chairman Than Shwe in January.
Si Si Win said Singapore is currently the biggest foreign investor in
Myanmar, followed by Britain, Thailand, Malaysia, the US and France.
Factors taken into account in the approval of projects include prospects
for exports, size of investment, opportunity for the development of
support industries, regional development and employment opportunities.
"We are not only encouraging labour-intensive industries but also high
technology ones," she said.
Myanmar also invites foreign investors to put their money in the
plantation and mining sectors as well as in infrastructure and
As for the existence of separate investment policies pursued by the
state and federal governments, Si Si Win said foreigners are welcome to
set up companies under state policies by registering themselves in
accordance with the Myanmar Companies Act.
But they will not be able to enjoy federal government incentives
administered by the Myanmar Investment Commission such as three-year tax
holidays, and duty-free imports of machines and equipment, and also raw
As for trade, Myanmar exported 10.8 billion kyats (pronounced charts,
RM1 = 150 kyats) worth of goods in its financial year ended March 2001,
7.5 billion kyats of which was accounted for by the private sector and
the rest the state sector.
Imports amounted to 14.6 billion kyats, with the private sector
accounting for 11.8 billion kyats and the state 2.8 billion kyats.
Bangkok Post: Divisions in the Ranks
Thursday, May 3, 2001
Recent orders from on high for troops along our northern border to
exercise restraint in their dealings with the assorted forces assembled
just over the way have not exactly been greeted with loud shouts of
Defence Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh has ordered the front-line troops
in the Third Army region to keep their heads and avoid any unnecessary
clashes with the Burmese forces.
Particularly unsettled by the order are the cavalrymen of the Pha Muang
Task Force, the people in charge of border security in Chiang Mai and
Chiang Rai provinces.
One unit commander said his men had been shocked by the order as it was
widely interpreted as meaning that the defence minister wanted them to
hold their fire should a conflict arise so as not to upset the generals
who make up the Burmese military junta.
One junior cavalry officer put the mood succinctly. It appeared to him
that "the defence minister was more concerned with bilateral ties with
Burma than our security and safety".
Strong stuff indeed, and he went on, demanding: "How can we defend our
territory if we are told to hold our fire?"This sort of talk among the
Third Army's cavalry unit sums up the relationship between the
front-line soldier and Gen Chavalit, who for a time was the
commander-in-chief of the army before he retired early to enter
Even when the name of Gen Chavalit was being bruited as a potential
defence minister in this new government, there was talk about how he did
not see eye to eye with Lt-Gen Wattanachai Chaimuenwong, the commander
of the Third Army whose tough line on Burma has so upset the Rangoon
generals accustomed to getting their way. Lt-Gen Wattanachai's
uncompromising position has been blamed by some as contributing to the
sticky situation along the border in recent months.
Many cavalry troops also have vivid memories of the battle of Ban Rom
Klao in Phitsanulok's Chat Trakan district in the late 1980s. Hundreds
of Thai cavalry soldiers were reportedly killed due to a "mishap" during
the clash over the border village with Lao troops. Gen Chavalit was the
army commander at the time and was in charge on the battlefield.
A close aide to Gen Chavalit says it is government policy and the
defence minister's topmost priority to patch up any differences with
Burma so they do not hurt any further efforts at co-operation between
our two countries.
"The instruction was aimed purely at curbing any unnecessary military
tension along the border area," said the aide. "Troops from the Third
Army should know that the government is trying its best to strengthen
border ties with our neighbour and they should respond positively to
this policy."Despite all these fine intentions, renewed clashes across
the border from Ban Nor Lae in Chiang Mai's Fang district where Shan
rebels seized several Burmese army outposts late last month have
military watchers worried that things will only get more tense along the
And things definitely are not being helped by the heavy shelling by the
Pha Muang Task Force of targets across the border in retaliation against
Burmese shelling aimed at Shan State Army positions straying on to Thai
Bangkok Post: Burmese Shelling Cannot Be Ignored
Thursday, May 3, 2001
Maj-Gen Sirapong Boonpat, Army Secretary
According to the article "Warning fire triggers fresh tirade from junta"
(Bangkok Post, May 1), the Thai army's shelling of Burmese positions
across the border on Sunday was an "unnecessary aggravation" designed to
give artillery support to the Shan rebels.
The Royal Thai Army would like to clarify that the fighting between
Burmese troops and the rebels along the Thai-Burmese border has directly
affected Thailand. Property and the lives of villagers living along the
border are in danger and they are being evacuated to safety due to the
shells fired from Burma landing on Thai soil. The Third Army has fired
artillery and mortar warning shots towards the area where shells spilled
over the border. The Royal Thai Army has to protect our sovereignty and
bring peace and security to Thai people.
Karenni National Progressive Party: Battle News March to April 2001
Date: April 30, 2001
>From March up to the present time there have been 20 clashes between the
SPDC troops and the Karenni Army troops (KA). The SPDC has suffered 33
casualties and 52 wounded during that period of time. Four SPDC men have
been captured. The KA have had two wounded. Details of the fighting were
More fighting are expected in the future as the SPDC does not stop its
dry-season military operation yet.
On 11 March 2001, at 0800 hrs, the Karenni Army troops (KA) from No. (1)
Battalion attacked SPDC troops from Light Infantry (IB) No. (250) led by
Tun Oo at Hway Pu junction in BP (11) area. The SPDC had one dead and
two wounded. The KA had no casualties.
On 11 March 2001, at 0740 hrs, the KA troops from No. (2) Battalion
attacked a SPDC company from LIB No (530) at Daw Take with assorted
weapons. The SPDC had three wounded. The KA was intact.
On 15 March 2001, at 1330 hrs, there was a clash between SPDC troops
from LIB No. (424) and the KA at Law Bue Leh junction. The number of
SPDC casualties was unknown.
On 18 March 2001, at 1000 hrs, the KA troops from No. (1) Battalion made
an ambush on a column of SPDC soldiers from LIB No. (337) in BP (12)
area. One SPDC soldier was killed. On the same day, at 0920 hrs, the KA
captured a SPDC private soldier named Min Min.
On 19 March 2001, at 1400 hrs, the KA troops from No. (1) Battalion made
an ambush on SPDC troops from IB No. (250) led by Major Tun Tun Oo in
Hway Pu junction in BP (11) area. One SPDC soldier was wounded. A
civilian who was forcibly taken as a porter by the unit of SPDC was also
wounded in the attack.
On 22 March, at 0900 hrs, there was an unexpected face to face fight
that broke out between the KA and a column of SPDC troops from LIB No.
(426) at Hway Khano, BP (11) area. The SPDC suffered one dead and two
wounded. The KA had one wounded slightly.
On 23 March 2001, at 1030 hrs, the KA made an ambush on a column of SPDC
from IB No. (250) at Hwar Kha Mong, BP (11) area. The SPDC suffered one
dead and one wounded.
On 26 March 2001, at 1640 hrs, an unexpected face to face clash broke
out between two companies of SPDC from IB No (102) led by vice battalion
commander Major Aung Min and the KA troops from No. (2) Battalion at Hte
Poe Kloe, Dee Mawso Township, Karenni. The clash lasted one hour. The
SPDC had one sergeant dead and four wounded.
On 28 March 2001, at 0830 hrs, the KA troops from No. (2) Battalion made
an ambush on a column of SPDC troops from LIB No (248) at Daw Taku
village, an abandoned village. The attack lasted one-and-a-half-hours.
Four SPDC soldiers were killed and twelve others were wounded. The KA
had one wounded.
On 29 March 2001, at 0555 hrs, the KA troops from No. (1) Battalion
attacked a base of SPDC troops from LIB No (250) at Pasaung. The SPDC
lost one sergeant and one private dead and two privates were wounded.
On 30 March, at 1000 hrs, the KA troops of No. (1) Battalion made an
ambush on a column of SPDC troops from LIB No. (426) led by Battalion
commander Myint Htoo at Hway Pu Long. The SPDC suffered one dead and one
On 3 April 2001, at 0830 hrs, the KA troops of Battalion No. (2)
destroyed by burning a SPDC truck at Shadaw. On the same day at 1030
hrs, the KA troops of No. (1) Battalion captured three SPDC soldiers
from LIB No. (430). The captured are Tun Aung Kyaw, Lynn Naing and Ke
On 5 April 2001, at 0940 hrs, the KA made a light attack on SPDC troops
from LIB No. (426) led by the Battalion Commander at Hway Mo. The SPDC
had one sergeant seriously wounded.
On 10 April 2001, at 1600 hrs, the KA made an ambush on a column of SPDC
troops from LIB No. (337) at BP (9) area. One SPDC soldier was killed.
On 16, April 2001, at 0700 hrs, an unexpected face to face clash broke
out between a column of SPDC troops from LIB No. (421) and the KA troops
of No. (2) Battalion at Shadaw. The SPDC suffered one wounded.
On 17 April 2001, at 1400 hrs, the KA troops from No. (1) Battalion
destroyed a truck belonging to the SPDC at Mawchi.
On 19 April 2001, at 0840 hrs, the KA discovered two dead prisoners who
were used as porters by SPDC troops from LIB No. (424) led by Battalion
Commander Htay Myint Aung during its military operation. The dead
prisoners were U Chit Laing and Maung Boe. They were believed to have
died from malaria.
On 19 April 2001, at 1200 hrs, the KA discovered a dead body of a porter
named Thant Zaw. The porter was believed to have died from tiredness.
On 20 April 2001, at 0750 hrs, the KA troops from No. (1) Battalion made
a surprised attack on an outpost of SPDC troops from IB No. (261) near
Mawchi. The SPDC suffered three deaths. The KA seized one MA-1. During
the fighting, the SPDC troops from Mawchi based fired six shells of 81
MM on Lo Khar Lo village and wounded two villagers. The names of the
wounded are not yet available.
On 21 April 2001, at 1300 hrs, the KA troops from No. (1) Battalion
attacked a convoy of SPDC troops from IB No. (102) led by Lt. Colonel
Win Htway, battalion commander, at Hway Au Lay. The SPDC suffered nine
deaths and fourteen wounded. The commander was among the wounded.
On 23 April 2001, at 1100 hrs, the KA troops from No. (2) Battalion made
an ambush on SPDC troops from LIB No. (531) between Pruso and Htar Le.
Four SPDC soldiers were killed and three others were seriously wounded.
The KA seized one 60 MM and six of its shells, one G-3 and six of its
magazines and 30 of its rounds, one BA-94, one China-made communication
machine and other military supplies.
On 24 April 2001, at 0830 hrs, the KA troops from No. (1) Battalion made
an ambush on a column of PSDC troops from IB No. (102) at Hway Kha Mong,
BP (11) area. One SPDC soldier was killed and two others wounded. On the
same day, the KA once again attacked the same column of SPDC troops
while it was carrying back its wounded. The SPDC had two wounded.
On 25 April 2001, at 1635 hrs, the KA made an ambush on a column of SPDC
troops from IB No. (102) led by Battalion Commander Aung Min at BP (12)
area. The SPDC had two dead and two wounded.
The Nation: Border Tensions--conflict over Burma Policy
May 03, 2001.
CONFLICT within Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's administration over
its approach toward Burma and cross-border drug problems surfaced
yesterday, with Defence Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh asking Thaksin to
tell an outspoken general to ease his aggressive tactics, a government
Chavalit sought an urgent meeting with Thaksin, which was also attended
by PM's Office Minister Thamarak Isarangura, the source said.
Speaking to reporters, Thaksin, who has launched a high-profile
anti-drugs campaign, said border tensions needed to be resolved quickly,
but any solution should not affect the government's ability to fight
The meeting was called after Third Army Commander Wattanachai
Chaimuenwong fired his latest salvo at Burma over Monday's raid on a
border village in Tak province by Rangoon-backed armed ethnic
Chavalit was quoted as saying the rising tensions between Thailand and
Burma, stemming from the government's drive to halt the flow of drugs
from Burma, should be solved amicably, and not through aggressive means.
According to the source, Chavalit said the use of military aggression
would further complicate the government's efforts to patch up ties with
Burma. He pointed to the scant progress made by Foreign Minister
Surakiart Sathirathai on his fence-mending trip to Rangoon this week.
Former army chief Chavalit, who is known to have considerable rapport
with Burmese leaders, asked Thaksin to put a stop to Wattanachai's
heavy-handed antics in implementing the government's anti-drugs campaign
and in dealing with border incidents.
His earlier instructions to Wattanachai to scale back his aggressive
tactics appeared to do little to stop the outspoken commander.
In a move directed at Wattanachai, Chavalit has instructed a panel to
investigate how anti-drug Task Force 399 came into being without his
knowledge. The task force is part of joint Thai-US efforts, in which US
personnel will help train Thai soldiers in anti-drug operations.
Emboldened by Thaksin's February declaration of war on drugs produced in
Burma, Wattanachai earlier reported that some 700 million stimulant
pills produced in areas under the control of Rangoon-backed Wa rebels
flood into Thailand each year.
In his latest salvo, Wattanachai said he saw no point in Bangkok calling
for a truce with Rangoon since the junta was not acting in good faith.
"Don't you see? When high-level talks were in progress in Rangoon, they
sent troops to destroy the atmosphere of the talks," the general told
Wattanachai vowed to track down members of the Democratic Karen Buddhist
Army (DKBA) who conducted the raid on Molithai village in Tak's Phop
Phra district. He said the attack was aimed at diverting the Army's
attention from the planned movement of 20 million speed pills through
Burma's Myawaddy district.
The commander also confirmed that the attack, which killed three Thai
civilians and injured seven, was aimed at a Thai military outpost near
the village in retaliation for the Army's seizure of more than 10
million methamphetamine tablets in Tak earlier this month.
Describing the DKBA, which resides opposite Tak province, as a "group of
bandits", Wattanachai said the group collaborated with the
drug-producing ethnic Wa army in the burgeoning drug trade and had been
granted a special autonomous zone within Burma by the junta.
The group survived by trading in contraband logs, minerals and illicit
drugs with the help of Thai traders, he said.
The DKBA are using Tak as a new entry point, allowing them to transport
illicit drugs to Northeast Thailand without having to enter Laos or ship
them by sea to the coastal province of Ranong.
Thai soldiers and DKBA fighters again exchanged gunfire on Tuesday
night. No casualties were reported.
Meanwhile, Burmese troops in eastern Shan State recaptured a base from
ethnic minority Shan guerrillas and were poised to take another two
rebel strongholds near the Thai border, Thai Army officials said.
Hundreds of Burmese troops launched an overnight assault on the Shan
State Army (SSA) hill base, pounding it with mortar bombs before
securing it at daybreak, said Col Chainarong Klaewkla in Chiang Mai
province, bordering Shan State.
The fighting was part of a two-week Burmese government offensive against
the separatist SSA, which operates along the border Thai-Burmese border
in the Golden Triangle area straddling Thailand, Burma and Laos.
Meanwhile, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Kraisak
Choonhavan expressed concern over the rift between Chavalit and
Wattanachai, urging them to reconcile their differences.
Kraisak agreed that the Army was justified in using force to repel
intruders, but warned that the strategy of raiding drug labs inside
Burma was a bad one.
Rangoon yesterday accused Thailand of waging a systematic campaign to
defame Burma by helping drug-trafficking rebels overrun small Burmese
border outposts and then falsely claiming drugs were found there, a
senior Burmese government official said yesterday.
During a press conference, Deputy Chief of Intelligence Maj General Kyaw
Win said the drugs Thailand claims to have seized at the vacated
outposts were planted after Burmese soldiers retreated.
Lt Colonel San Pwint of Burma's Office of Strategic Studies, meanwhile,
listed a series of incidents in which small Burmese outposts near the
Thai border had been overrun by rebels under cover of shelling by the
San Pwint said the attacks had escalated since last September's visits
to Thailand by then-US defence secretary William Cohen and Admiral
Dennis Blair, commander-in-chief of US Pacific forces, as part of
efforts to boost cooperation between the two countries' military forces
to counter drug trafficking
Bangkok Post: Drug Fight Comes First, Says Pm
Thursday, May 3, 2001
Surakiart snubbed after troops clash
Fighting drugs will take priority over forging ties with Burma, the
prime minister said yesterday as Burma embarrassed visiting Foreign
Minister Surakiart Sathirathai.
Rangoon accused Thai troops of planting drugs and accepting US military
support even as Mr Surakiart held talks with his Burmese counterpart Win
Security officials claimed Thailand began backing rebel attacks after
receiving pledges of military support from the United States.
The exchange comes after pro-Rangoon Karen rebels attacked a Thai
military outpost in Tak's Phop Phra district on Tuesday, leaving three
Thai civilians dead.
That clash, and a massive drug haul seized by the Third Army last week,
appear to have triggered Burma's outburst which deals a blow to the
Thaksin government's hopes of closer relations.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said yesterday no amount of
handshaking with Rangoon would compromise his stand on drugs.
Drug suppression efforts would get first priority even at the expense of
harming already sour relations, he said. In Rangoon, Lt-Col San Pwint, a
member of the Office of Strategic Services, said Thailand was unable to
solve its domestic drug problem, and was therefore "deliberately
launching a dirty campaign to defame Burma by overrunning military
He said troops were also planting drugs at abandoned Burmese government
outposts, seizing them, and claiming they came from Burma, to imply the
drug trade had official backing.
The Third Army, meanwhile, said the Phop Phra assault by the
Rangoon-backed Democratic Karen Buddhist Army was unprecedented.
Lt-Gen Wattanachai Chaimuenwong, the commander, said the attack was
probably linked to the Third Army's seizure of millions of
methamphetamines in Phop Phra last week.
Around 15 million methamphetamine tablets were taken in a Third Army
suppression drive late last month.
Lt-Gen Wattanachai said it was the first time DKBA guerrillas had
launched an assault on a Thai military outpost.
"They might want to avenge our seizure of millions of methamphetamines,"
he said. Rangoon, he said, had given DKBA guerrillas permission to
operate freely at the border area opposite Phop Phra, which is rich in
logging, mining and drugs.
He said around 30 DKBA guerrillas had intentionally attacked the
outpost, clearly in violation of Thai sovereignty.
Intelligence reports suggested that another batch of methamphetamines,
some 20 million pills, was being prepared for passage to Thailand.
Relations between Thailand and Burma soured badly after their troops
clashed in February when Burmese forces crossed into Thailand during an
attack on ethnic minority rebels.
The government blames Burma for a massive influx of methamphetamines
that it considers a threat to national security.
It says Burma's military government turns a blind eye while ethnic
minority groups produce the drugs and smuggle them across the border.
Burma sees it differently. "Since visits by US officials to Thailand,
the Thai army has mounted attacks along the border," said San Pwint.
"Putting ethnic rebels in the front, the Thai army has consistently
assisted rebels along the border since February, attacking small
military outposts." In a briefing last week, a US military spokesman
said US Special Forces troops were training Thai troops, not serving
with them. Foreign Ministry spokesman Norachit Sinhaseni said
accusations that Thai forces planted drugs were "groundless" and did not
merit a response.
AP: Philippines VP Says He Was Refused Audience With Suu Kyi
Thursday May 3, 6:54 PM
MANILA (AP)--Vice President Teofisto Guingona said Thursday he sought an
audience with democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a visit to
Myanmar early this week but was turned down.
Guingona said many Philippine pro-democracy groups appealed to him to
seek a meeting with Suu Kyi and he relayed their request to Myanmar
Foreign Minister Win Aung, who didn't oblige.
Win Aung replied the Myanmar government has started a dialogue with Suu
Kyi's group in an bid to foster reconciliation, Guingona said.
"We don't want confrontation with the lady so she herself has expressed
that it is better at this time not to have outsiders visit," Guingona
quoted Win Aung as saying.
He said he was satisfied with the explanation.
Guingona, who also serves as foreign secretary, attended on Monday an
informal retreat at a golf course of 10 foreign ministers of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Myanmar's military junta has faced intense Western criticism and private
complaints by other Asean members over its handling of the democracy
It refused to honor the results of the 1990 general elections that were
won by Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party. Instead, it has
severely restricted the political activities of the NLD, and kept Suu
Kyi under virtual house arrest since Sept. 22.
Hopes have been raised of a change in attitude of the junta after it
started the talks with Suu Kyi's group in October.
AP: Pakistan Leader Sees Closer Ties With Myanmar Regime
Thursday May 3, 4:56 PM
YANGON, Myanmar (AP)--Gen. Pervez Musharraf ended the first visit in 16
years by a Pakistan leader to Myanmar Thursday, confident of expanding
ties between the two military governments.
Musharraf said there was a special solidarity between himself and the
Myanmar regime leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe as they were both military
men, bonded by the culture of "uniform."
"It is Pakistan's desire to get closer to Myanmar. The future looks
bright," Musharraf told a press conference at Yangon airport, at the end
of his three-day stay, before departing for Vietnam.
"We are desirous of proceeding on a faster track with this mutual
relationship in trade, commerce and economy," he said.
Myanmar and Pakistan closely cooperate in defense but bilateral trade
currently amounts to less than $20 million a year. Both countries face
diplomatic isolation as they are governed by unelected military regimes.
Myanmar faces sanctions from the West because of its poor human rights
record and failure to turn over power to a democratically elected
Musharraf's visit is the first by a Pakistani head of government since
that of military ruler Zia-ul Haq in 1985. Only leaders of Southeast
Asian countries and the prime minister of China, which is Myanmar's
closest ally, have visited in the past 13 years.
Musharraf invited Than Shwe to make a reciprocal visit to Pakistan.
During this week's visit, the two leaders witnessed the signing of a
memorandum of understanding for cooperation in science and technology.
Close relations with Pakistan are often seen as the result of uneasy
relations between Myanmar and India, Pakistan's archenemy. Pakistan is
believed to supply small arms to Myanmar.
But a visit by Myanmar's army chief Gen. Maung Aye last year signaled a
thaw in relations with India
Bangkok Post: Eyeing off Each Other
Thursday, May 3, 2001
Conflicts with Burma have reached the boiling point several times in the
recent past, making military confrontation a very real possibility. Such
a situation makes the morale of the troops crucial.
Lt-Gen Wattanachai Chaimuenwong, the commander of the northern Third
Army, believes one way to keep morale high is to build a statue of King
Naresuan, the Ayutthaya era monarch, and a giant chedi, to be called
Bhuddhanaresuan, near the contested territory of Kuteng Nayong, which
Thailand claims is in Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district.
Work on the statue of the Thai king who won back Thailand's independence
from Burma in the late 16th century is due to begin next month. The
statue would face Burma's Tachilek district where a statue of
Burengnong, a Burmese king and general, has long stood. Although these
two warrior kings were from different eras, both are deeply respected by
the citizens of their countries.
"We will build our statue of King Naresuan to face Burengnong to stir
the morale of our troops," said one senior officer.
The statue and accompanying chedi will cost about 40 million baht, with
part of the funding coming from the army budget and the rest from
donations from the people of Mae Sai district.
Lt-Gen Wattanachai has stones used to build King Naresuan's chedi in
Burma which has long been destroyed, and these have been used to make
Buddha amulets for distribution among the men under his command.
Burma Media Association (Canada Branch): Historical Gathering of Exiled
By Tin Maung Htoo
The first-ever international assembly of exiled Burmese students is to
take place in coming June in the United States, a recent press release
reported, stating calling the conference is to provide unification and
cooperation among separated colleagues and scattering forces around the
But this attempt seems to have some political purposes and brainstorming
process while a crucial political development and dialogue in Burma is
taking place between pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the
Students, often referred to as '8888 generation', are important forces
in Burma's democracy movement as it brought into a drive to the
restoration of democracy in Burma. In the early stages of 1988, it could
topple and paralyze the 26 years old totalitarian regime, however,
failed to materialize for what they ultimately aspire after the
subsequent installation of a brutal military rule in Burma.
"We were separated all over the world ... But we still remember why we
left our motherland and what our aim was. It is time we need to sit
together and thoroughly discuss our country's political situations",
avowed in the press.
While keeping the struggle ahead, hundreds of students completed their
higher education abroad that they could not have a chance to fulfil in
Burma due to the outbreak of popular uprising and subsequent closure of
universities and colleges. According to related sources, thousands of
students are now living in United States, Australia, Canada and other
countries after taking temporary asylum in Thailand and India.
Although they were able to consolidate the forces under the similar name
and aim of Democratic Burmese Students Organization (DBSO) in U.S., All
Burma Students' Democratic Organization (ABSDO) in Australia and Burmese
Students' Democratic Organization (BSDO) in Canada, they were
far-reaching to bring together to the international stage.
In recent weeks, it is reported that two preparatory committees have
been formed to organize the conference and expected to combine into one
major group. The press indicated, "we believe we may reach a resolution
and suggestions which may be helpful to consider for the future of
The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): Plots and conspiracies
Thursday, 3 May, 2001
As a friend invited me to a Press meet which was held at the Tatmadaw
Guest House on Inya Road, I attended it on 25 April.
At the Press meet, General Staff Officer (Grade-1) of the Directorate of
Defence Services Intelligence Lt-Col San Pwint explained to us about the
engagement at Pachee outpost.
When I left the Press meet, I was overwhelmed with much discontentment,
dissatisfaction and displeasure. SURA opium smuggling insurgents and
Thai troops used force in attacking the Pachee military outpost of the
Myanmar Tatmadaw which was guarded by only about 20 soldiers for
territorial security and national defence. Our outpost and the Thai
military base was only 50 yards from each other. There were relations
and contacts between the two military camps in the past. Thus, it is
obvious that a few men under the name of SURA, and Thai troops in the
rear had attacked the outpost.
SURA opium smuggling insurgents and Thai troops arrived at the Thai
military base on three trucks. At about 1.15 am on 22 April, heavy
weapons and small arms were fired on Myanmar outpost from the Thai
military base. Later, about 200 attackers approached Pachee outpost from
the Thai base. During the attack, searchlights from the Thai military
base were projected on Myanmar outpost. The Thai military base also gave
supporting heavy weapons and small arms fire. Six Myanmar soldiers fell
in the battle and the remaining Myanmar troops had to withdraw from the
outpost due to inequality in manpower and firepower.
I was wondering " Why they did so?" Thailand and Myanmar were friends
and good neighbours. Besides, both are ASEAN member nations. They had
extended love and goodwill between them. They also helped each other in
times of emergency.
But now, it has become different. Thailand intruded into our territory
and interfered in our internal affairs. During the similar attacks on
Tachilek Township, O-7 hillock camp, Lwemasok camp and Lwetaw camp in
February, SURA insurgents were placed in the forefront and Thai troops
were giving supporting fire form the rear.
The Tatmadaw in view of maintaining the amity between the two armed
forces, only filed repeated complaints on the Thai troops' intrusion
through the proper channel.
Myanmar has never intruded into any country. Myanmar has always
maintained her amicable relations with her neighbours. The nation has
always adhered to and practised the independent and active foreign
policy. It always adheres to the five principles of the Peaceful
Coexistence with a view to maintaining amicable relations with other
nations especially her neighbours.
The nation always lives in accord with the five principles of the
Peaceful Co-existence, which are, mutual respect for territorial
integrity and sovereignty; non-aggression; non-interference in one
another's affairs; equality and mutual benefit; and peaceful
The intrusion and involvement of the Thai army in Pachee incident is
self-evident. There are many such incidents in the past also. In the E-7
hillock incident near Tachilek, innocent civilians died and were wounded
in the random heavy weapons and small arms fire launched from Thai side.
The Thai intrusion on Myanmar territory occurred not only at present.
Thirty-four Thai military camps were stationed at Lwelan region at the
border ╤ nine Thai military camps on the borderline and 25 inside
Myanmar territory. Thais were ignoring the repeated complaints made by
Myanmar at border committee meetings concerning the matter.
The worst is the frabications and plots of Thai media. The 23 April 2001
issue of The Bangkok Post daily reported that when about 200 men of Ywet
Sit group overran a Myanmar Tatmadaw outpost, they seized seven bodies
of Myanmar soldiers and 170,000 stimulant pills.
Similarly, The Nation daily also reported that seven Myanmar soldiers
were found dead and 150,000 stimulant pills were seized. The Thai ITV
also quoted Ywet Sit as saying that when his troops captured a Myanmar
military outpost, they seized seven bodies of Myanmar soldiers and
nearly 200,000 stimulant pills.
The Thai TV and media are floating fabrications in favour of Ywet Sit
group, which is launching armed opposition against the Myanmar Tatmadaw,
as there are connections between the Thai army and Ywet Sit group. It is
an undeniable fact that the Thai army gave powerful supporting fire when
Ywet Sit group attacked the Tatmadaw camps as there are mutual
agreements between the two to raise lackeys. "Who is raising whom as a
lackey? and who is supporting whom?"will be known best by the country
The country is doing so in order to gain self-benefits and thus, it also
doesn't know where its good-neighbourly codes of conduct are. Recently,
the ITV of Thailand showed the ammunition which it said were seized by
Ywet Sit's men during their attack on the Tatmadaw outpost.
Not long ago, it broadcast a news report saying that as if narcotic
drugs were being produced at Mongyun region in Myanmar territory. It is
so clear that the Thai army has an ulterior motive in launching attacks
on Myanmar territory and floating fabrications that narcotic drugs were
seized in Myanmar military outposts and that the drugs were being
produced in Myanmar territory. The real intruder is the Thai army.
It is an undeniable fact that the chemicals used in refining narcotic
drugs are being manufactured and trafficked in Thai territory. It can be
seen clearly that the acts of Thailand are against the good-neighbourly
practices and they are being conducted in accord with its schemes. It is
the national task of the entire Myanmars to join hands with the Tatmadaw
in warding off the danger.
Author : Pho Khwa
PD Burma: Calendar of events
May 2, 2001
╖ April 28-29th : Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai
will visit Burma to discuss bilateral issues including the drugs crisis
╖ April 30th : Informal meeting of ASEAN ministers, Rangoon
╖ May 14th : Election in the Philippines
╖ May 13-20th : UN LDC III, UN conference on the LDC-countries,
╖ May 22th : Shareholder meeting for Total, Paris
╖ May 27th : 11th Anniversary of the 1990 elected
╖ May : ARF Senior Official Meeting, Hanoi
╖ June : Meeting in the Governing Body of the ILO
╖ June : Meeting of the Socialist International Council,
╖ June 8-10th : Burma Desk during the Italian Forum for
Responsible Tourism, Venice û Italy
More info., contact r.brusadin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
╖ ╖ June 19th : Aung San Suu Kyi birthday party and
Burmese Women's Day
╖ ╖ July : Belgium takes over EU Presidency
╖ July : 8th RFA Ministerial Meeting, Hanoi
╖ July : 34th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and Post-Ministerial
╖ July : ASEAN Summit
╖ Aug. 31st- Sep.7th : World Conference against Racism and
Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related
intolerance, South Africa
╖ December 1st : Worlds Aids Day
╖ December 10th : 10th Year Anniversary of the Nobel Peace
Prize for Aung San Suu Kyi
╖ February 2002 : The fourth Bangladesh, India, Burma, Sri Lanka
and Thailand-Economic Cooperation (BIMST-
EC) meeting, Colombo
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