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BurmaNet News: May 19, 2001
______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
An on-line newspaper covering Burma
May 19, 2001 Issue # 1807
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________
NOTED IN PASSING: ?This is truly an outrageous, outrageous regime.?
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on the SPDC. See Voice of America:
[On Colin Powell?s Burma testimony]
INSIDE BURMA _______
*Bangkok Post: Karen leader re-elected DAB chairman
*Burma Courier: UNICEF Triples Spending on HIV/AIDS Education in Burma
*Bangkok Post: Detainees in poor health in Burmese cells
*KNU: From Prison to The Death Way
*Newsweek: The Rising Cost of Labor
*About Jean Pichon--Excerpts from ?Burma and France. Short term
*PRN: AFL-CIO and ICEM Challenge Halliburton on Burma Ties at
*Mizzima: In Burma, Fuel crisis deepens and Kyat continues to sink
*Bangkok Post: Surayud puts army on alert
*Chin National Front: Battle news from CNF
*AP: Rebel Group Vows Continued Fight Against Myanmar Regime
*Bangkok Post: Wattanachai says Burma is concealing 'speed' labs
*AP: Thai Police Seize 1 Million Methamphetamine Pills
*Deutsche Presse-Agentur: Myanmar sets date for U.N. special envoy's
*Voice of America: [On Colin Powell?s Burma testimony]
*BBC: Powell gloomy on Burmese talks
*US Government: [Transcript excerpt--Colin Powell?s testimony on Burma]
*Bangkok Post: Chavalit not bothered as critics blast his methods
*The Star: Myanmar man source of outbreak
*The New York Times: Burma's Junta
*The Nation: Third Army confronts new Golden Triangle king
*TV Myanmar (SPDC): News conference explains Wa leaders briefings in
Mong Yawn Mongyun
*British Broadcasting Company: BBC Seeks Burmese Translator Presenters
__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________
Bangkok Post: Karen leader re-elected DAB chairman
May 19, 2001.
Anti-Rangoon Karen National Union leader Bo Mya has been re-elected
chairman of the Democratic Alliance of Burma which consists of nearly 20
A statement issued during the third DAB meeting held in a border area of
Burma opposite Tak on May 14-17 said Gen Bo Mya was elected chairman for
the third time.
Ye Htut of the Australia-based Overseas Burma Liberation Front was made
his deputy while Aung Moe Zaw of the Democratic Party for Society was
Another three democracy groups-the Arakan League for Democracy, Naga
National League for Democracy and Mergui-Tavoy United Front-will become
The meeting was host to 64 representatives and observers from 19
democracy groups in Burma.
Bangkok Post: Detainees in poor health in Burmese cells
May 19, 2001.
Government urged to seek their release
Eleven villagers from Kra Buri district in Ranong province are being
held in poor conditions in Burma, say relatives.
They want the government to intervene after the group was detained
almost a month ago.
The group, including two school boys, was reportedly fishing in the
bordering Kra Buri river on April 20 when Burmese soldiers emerged and
They are Mon Chumanee, 42, her son Noppadol, 13, Anant Rittipat, 31,
Manit Rittipat, 21, Ruab Thongkham, 35, Boonyuen Ketkaew, 42, Boonyuan
Ketkaew, 20, Kiart Suetrong, 15, Panom Worasing, 23, Visanu Worasing,
16, and Saravut Kiawwong, 13. They are detained at a police station in
Paka Kiawwong, Saravut's mother, said she had visited her son three
times, each of which cost her at least 3,000 baht in entrance fees.
The detainees had no change of clothes and got only one meal a day, she
She urged the authorities to seek the release of the group. Her son
suffered convulsions and should be in school, she said. Nob Worasing,
mother of Panom and Visanu, said her family was in trouble as it
depended on both sons.
Border co-ordinators in Ranong have asked for their release but
Kawthaung officials replied that the decision depended on Rangoon.
The Thais were charged with intrusion in Burmese waters and unauthorised
Suriya Sawasdi, a former provincial councillor and a co-ordinator, said
he would take relatives to Bangkok next week to seek help from the
interior and foreign ministers.
Burma Courier: UNICEF Triples Spending on HIV/AIDS Education in Burma
Based on news from the Myanmar Times and Reuters: Updated to May 14,
RANGOON - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has announced that
it will triple its annual spending on the prevention of HIV/AIDS among
Burma's youth, according to Dr Myo Zin Nyunt, a local UNICEF official.
Spending will rise to the level of US$ 1.5 million annually during the
period 2001-5, he said.
The announcement came as the latest report from the Ministry of Health
indicated that the number of HIV/AIDS cases has risen. However, Dr Myo
Zin Nyunt cautioned that such estimates can be the cause for
controversy among experts. "What we can be sure of is that the rate of
HIV infection among youths is high compared to that in the elderly and
children", he said. The UNICEF official said that to carry out
individual screening and blood tests to verify the number of infected
youths would be a huge challenge due to the expense.
Dr Myo Zin Nyunt said that support from the government in handling the
issue would also prove to be greatly beneficial. "As far as we are
concerned, HIV prevention programs should be openly addressed in order
to break the silence surrounding the virus and enable us to strengthen
In Beijing this week, UNICEF warned that young people in East Asia and
the Pacific are "woefully unprepared'' to deal with HIV/AIDS, which is
expected to spread dramatically in the region in the coming decade.
Presently, 6.4 million people are known to be infected with the virus
throughout the region, of which 50 percent are young people.
A UNICEF poll of youths aged 9-17 in 17 Asia-Pacific countries or
regions found alarming ignorance about HIV/AIDS and its causes, the
agency said in a statement issued at the beginning of a regional
ministerial conference. "The results of this survey should serve as a
wake-up call to the governments and societies in this region on how much
more needs to be done to educate young people, especially about HIV and
AIDS,'' Mehr Khan, UNICEF East Asia and Pacific regional director, said
in the statement.
The survey of 10,000 children and adolescents, UNICEF said, were a
representative sample of 300 million East Asian and Pacific people in
the 9-17 age group. The sampling revealed strong optimism about the
future coupled with ignorance about HIV/AIDS. Sixty percent of those
9-13 years old and 25 percent of the 14-17 age group said they knew
"absolutely nothing'' or ``only the name'' of HIV/AIDS, UNICEF said. Of
the 14-17 year olds, 68 percent identified unprotected sexual
intercourse as a major route of HIV/AIDS infection, but only 41 percent
said they knew what a condom was, it said. Myanmar was among the
countries surveyed, UNICEF reported.
KNU: From Prison to The Death Way
Mergui-Tavoy District Information Department
Karen National Union
18 May, 2001
According to a prisoner porter who deserted to Karen National
Liberation Army (KNLA), on May 2, 2001 al least 200 prisoners from Tavoy
jail were sent to Htu Ler village (Kyauk Htone) where No.9 Operational
Commanding Headquarter set up their front line base camp. On the way
those prisoners were tied up together in 5 men groups each and were
escorted by 40 soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 377, which was led
by Battalion Commander Soe Oo. When they arrived to Ta Mae Hta (Sinzwe
Chaung Wa) an old and weak prisoner, (50 yrs.) was unable to follow the
convoy and fell down to the ground. One of the junior officer from that
troop came to that fallen man and told him "You should rest because you
cannot walk further." That officer pulled off his pistol and shot him to
dead and he died on the spot.
When this convoy arrived on to the hilltop of Htee Ngya Li other two
prisoners were shot dead because they also could not walk anymore. When
arrived to Kahtaungi village another 8 prisoners could not walk anymore.
The villagers were ordered by that troop to send those unable prisoners
to Htu Ler. When the 8 prisoners were arriving to Htu Ler they all were
killed by the troop at the same night they arrived.
Newsweek: The Rising Cost of Labor
How foreign pressure may break the regime?s habit of forcing peasants to
work for little or no pay
By Brook Larmer
May 21 issue ?
The small Burmese peasant with the red-stained teeth and the fearful
eyes hardly seems capable of unnerving one of the world?s most
repressive military regimes. Maung is not a terrorist, a guerrilla or
even a dissident. He is something that, in this era of globalization,
can be even more troublesome: he is a plaintiff in a United States
court case. And his target is none other than the American energy giant
Unocal, one of Burma?s biggest foreign investors.
CHEWING ON A WAD of betel nut near his hideout in rural Thailand, Maung
(not his real name) recalls the abuses that accompanied the arrival of
the Yadana gas pipeline, a $1 billion project financed in part by
Unocal. The trouble began in the early 1990s, he says, when an Army
battalion assigned to protect the pipeline corridor set up base near
his village in southern Burma. Soldiers slept in his home, stole his
food and forced him to act as their mule, carrying backbreaking loads
through the jungle for nothing but a bowl of uncooked rice. One day in
1994, a white man in a sleek pickup truck came to ask for the village?s
cooperation on the pipeline project. The military began forcing Maung,
and all the other villagers, to work even harder, lugging supplies,
building a railroad and -- on one occasion -- learning the pipeline
route itself. In two years, he says, he got paid only twice, for a
total of about $3. "If there were no pipeline, my life wouldn?t have
turned out like this", says Maung, who fled Burma in 1996. "My village
would not have suffered",
And if the pipeline had not been backed by American money, the world
might not have cared. But as a plaintiff in the high-profile case
against Unocal, Maung is shining a light on the most disturbing and
dimly understood human-rights issue bedeviling Burma -- forced labor.
A decade ago, when the military was gunning down protesters, nullifying
an opposition election victory and jailing the saintly Aung San Suu
Kyi, both the regime and its opponents had more urgent problems to
worry about. But the generals, panicked by an economic plunge mostly
of their own doing, are slowly trying to reintroduce Burma into the
world. And they are finding people like Maung -- and the energetic
community of international activists behind him -- blocking the way.
The roots of forced labor in Burma are very deep, stretching back to the
13th-century Kingdom of Pagan. But the feudal practice has intensified
under the current military rulers, who see themselves as 21st-century
heirs to the kings. The problem is compounded by a rapidly expanding
military: the Army has doubled in size over the past decade to more
than 400,000 soldiers, whom the government last year admitted it could
no longer afford to feed. An estimated 800,000 people in Burma
(population: 52 million) are forced to work without pay, building roads,
bridges, pagodas, even golf courses. The worst abuses take place in the
fractious border regions, where ragtag Army units are forced to fend
for themselves, with little or no supervision.
Local battalions use villagers to carry supplies, clear roads, grow
crops, build railroads or construct their military bases.
"Forced labor has become a drug for these local commanders," says one
foreign-aid worker in Burma. "They can?t survive without it."
At the same time, the international outrage over such practices is only
deepening Burma?s debilitating isolation. In 1997, citing its
frustrations with forced-labor and other human-rights abuses,
Washington imposed sanctions that prohibit American companies from
making new investments in Burma. The European Union has expanded its
trade restrictions on the country. Last fall the United Nations?
International Labor Organization passed a resolution asking all member
countries to review their relationships with Burma to ensure that they
did nothing to perpetuate its system of forced labor.
Because of a combination of sanctions and arbitrary economic policies in
Burma, most American corporations that did business in the country --
Motorola, Texaco, PepsiCo, among others -- pulled out their investments
several years ago. Those companies that stayed -- like Unocal, and its
partner, Halliburton, an oil-services supply company run, until last
year, by current U.S. Vice President Richard Cheney -- argue that as
with China, engaging the regime will ultimately be more productive than
Cheney, who has defended his company?s operations as being "fully in
compliance with U.S. policy," has lobbied against Burma sanctions for
the free-trade group USA Engage; Unocal has invested $300 million in
the country since 1993. "We do not defend this regime, we do not
defend human-rights abuses," says Mike Thatcher, a spokesman for
California-based Unocal. "But this is a place that has shut itself off
from the world for decades. The best way to bring the country into the
world community is by engaging it, not by isolating it and making it an
economic basket case."
But Maung?s case shows just how difficult it is for any company to stay
clean when working with Rangoon. With the guidance of human-rights
lawyers, the poor Burmese peasant and 14 other plaintiffs filed a case
against Unocal in 1996. They do not accuse Unocal or French
joint-venture partner Total of using forced labor directly. (Maung even
recalls carrying supplies for a military battalion one day when a Total
employee, clearly unsettled by the practice, secretly slipped him 150
kyat, about one dollar at the time.)
But the plaintiffs argue that Unocal knew Burmese soldiers were abusing
their rights and still relied on them to provide security for the
pipeline area. Indeed, according to case documents, Unocal?s own
consultants told the company about such abuses both before and during
the construction of the Yadana pipeline. Says Earthrights International
lawyer Jed Greer: "If you hire the mafia to provide protection for you,
who?s responsible if they do something bad? You are."
So far the court has sided with Unocal, largely because the company
never signed a written contract with the Burmese military. Says
Thatcher: "We can?t be held accountable for the military any more than
Starbucks in Seattle is responsible for the actions of the police
protecting its store from protesters." In his summary judgment last
year, U.S. district court Judge Ronald S.W. Lew said that the company
"knew that forced labor was utilized" and "benefited from the
practice." But he declined to bring the case to trial because, he said,
Unocal didn?t "control" the security forces or "conspire" with them to
commit the abuses. The plaintiffs? lawyers have already filed an appeal
in both state and district courts, and the landmark case -- after five
years and millions of dollars -- looks to drag on for several more
Any other companies that seek to do business in Burma will likely face
similar obstacles. A group of refugees from the outhern Shan States
recently arrived in Thailand with fresh but typical tales of horror. One
middle-aged Shan woman says she was forced to move, with the rest of her
village, to a new site next to an Army base. When her cousin went back
to retrieve their cows last year, soldiers caught him, beat him to
death and took the cows. Before she escaped earlier this year, the
military forced her to work most days growing crops, clearing roads or
building fences at the base.
"The soldiers treat us like animals," she says. "But we have to work. We
have no choice"
The Burmese generals are themselves left with few viable choices.
Although the regime likes to fume about not giving in to external
pressure, leaders well know that the moribund economy cannot grow
without outside investment.
That, observers think, has provided the greatest impetus to the recent,
highly secret dialogue between the government and opposition leader Suu
Kyi. "These talks," says one former government official in Rangoon,
"are the generals? own sort of forced labor." And a chore the
international community would do well to encourage.
About Jean Pichon--Excerpts from ?Burma and France. Short term profits?
BurmaNet carried an AFP dispatch on May 15 by AFP?s Bangkok Bureau Chief
Philippe Agret, on Jean Pichon. The following excerpt, ?Burma and
France. Short term profits? by Francis Christophe presents a much less
flattering picture of Pichon. The excerpt is from ?Birmanie, Mode d?
emploi?, an alternative guide to Burma , published by Editions
Balland, Paris, April 2001 and was translated from french by Brigitte
Excerpts from ?Burma and France. Short term profits?
by Francis Christophe
A constant feature appears in the episodic relationship
between France and Burma for over a century: Those who
promoted a French presence in this country have always been a handful
of wheeler-dealers seeking short-term profits.[ ..] The fall of
Mandalay in November 1885 and subsequent integration of upper Burma in
British India owed much to France, and particularly to the rakish and
unscrupulous business practices of Bonvilain, a French engineer ? role
equivalent to our present head of cooperation mission ? at King
Thibaw?s service. [?]
On November 29 1885 Mandalay fell. King Thibaw and Queen Supayalat were
exiled. The French community was requested to leave the country,
leaving behind mines, teak, banking? Towards the end of the 20 th
century the part played by a network of unscrupulous French businessmen
well-connected with influential generals holding power in Rangoon is
reminiscent of Bonvilain ? s failed attempts. [..] While goods of prime
importance then had been teak and gems, now, under Mitterrand and
Chirac they are hydrocarbons and opium, with its derivative, heroin.
[?] This is not to say that the French connection is directly involved
in refining or exporting Burmese heroin, but rather that they are
practicing their skills at a new industry: Drug-money laundering.
In 1989 a French businessman took up residence in Rangoon. Thanks to a
favour to him by the old dictator, Ne Win, he is the only foreigner
with a Burmese passport:
Mr Pichon has been in the good books of the junta?s highest levels
since services rendered during his previous activities as military
attache to the French embassy in
Pichon is a member of the international network of unscrupulous
businessmen that Pierre Falcone set up then, including in particular
former members of secret services. Pichon was on the pay-roll of one of
Falcone?s companies, Setraco, which opened a branch in the Burmese
capital. At the same time Pichon set up a consultancy company together
with former heads of the Burmese military intelligence
These structures played a key-role between 1989 and 1992 in obtaining
for Total the Yadana contract, at 1.2 billion US$ the biggest
investment ever made in Burma.
To keep their warm connections with the Burmese generals the French
network had to help them by facilitating the financing of weapon
purchases. Backed by the official
payment of ?bonus fees? ? 15 million US $ by Total to the MOGE
(Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise) - the Falcone network set up a
drug-money laundering circuit. This permitted, among other purchases,
the acquisition of 24 helicopters from Poland.
In 1996, with a mind to broaden the base of the drug-money laundering
mechanism, the Falcone network, supported by the French diplomatic
structure, contributed to design and launch the ?1996 visit Myanmar
year?. [?] This Burmese year reached its peak at a world tourism summit
in Paris attended by a Burmese general minister, when a prize named
?Gulliver d? Or?, or ?golden Gulliver? was given to a tour operator
connected with the Falcone network, for its touring circuit around
At the highest level of the French republic the Falcone network managed
to get approval for its interests. President Chirac twice publicly
expressed support for the Burmese regime. Once at the Asia-Pacific
summit in Bangkok in 1996, and again in an interview to the Far Eastern
Economic Review in April 1997. In contradiction with
European decisions and opposing all democracies, Mr Chirac declared
that he favoured the immediate and unconditional admission of the
Burmese narco-regime into ASEAN.(...)
PRN: AFL-CIO and ICEM Challenge Halliburton on Burma Ties at
Houston Chronicle, Wed, 16 May 2001
(PRN) AFL-CIO and ICEM Challenge Halliburton on Burma Ties at
DALLAS, May 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Worker shareholders are stepping up their
global campaign to end corporate support for Burma's military
dictatorship at Halliburton's (NYSE: HAL) annual meeting today.
Representatives of the AFLCIO and the International Federation of
Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) are speaking
in favor of a shareholder resolution addressing the Halliburton's
involvement in human rights abuses in Burma. Halliburton, the energy
giant formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, is one of the few
U.S. based companies with investments in Burma -- a country whose
government is noted for massive human rights violations and involvement
in narcotics trafficking.
The shareholder resolution, sponsored by the LongView Collective
Investment Fund of the Amalgamated Bank of New York, urges the
Halliburton board of directors to report on the company's operations in
Burma. The resolution asks what steps Halliburton has taken to assure
"that neither Halliburton nor any of its subsidiaries is involved in or
appears to benefit from the use of forced labor or other human rights
abused in Burma."
"Working people who invest in Halliburton want to know if its operations
in Burma prop up a military regime which condones forced labor and other
human rights abuses," said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. "The LongView
resolution at Halliburton is a positive measure in the best interests of
its shareholders that will lead toward compliance with
internationally-recognized workers' rights."
In November 2000, the International Labor Organization (ILO) approved a
resolution urging members to "review their relations with Burma" and
"ensure that such relations do not perpetuate the system of forced or
compulsory labour in that country."
"The ILO has clearly ruled that forced labor is continuing and
systematic in Burma, and our energy unions in that region have made
their views very plain," said Fred Higgs, ICEM General Secretary. "We
call upon Halliburton to disinvest from Burma. We cannot condone any
economic activity which directly or indirectly supports the regime in
Burma until full democracy and human rights, including workers' rights,
are restored there."
A recent proclamation issued by the ICEM's energy union affiliates from
the Asia/Pacific region, meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, called on oil and
gas companies to "cease investment in Burma while the use of forced
labor continues." The unions represented were from Australia,
Bangladesh, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan,
Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. The ICEM is a
global trade union federation uniting 20 million workers in over 400
affiliated unions in 110 countries.
Halliburton's recent activities in Burma include its participation in
the Yadana pipeline, a project that used forced labor. The Yadana
pipeline is one of the largest foreign investments in Burma, projected
to provide the military-controlled regime with $150-$400 million
annually for decades. Unocal, another U.S. company doing business in
Burma, is being sued by victims of forced labor on the Yadana project.
Halliburton's involvement in the Yadana project occurred during Vice
President Cheney's tenure as CEO of the company.
In addition, Halliburton has been instrumental in efforts to oppose
sanctions on Burma through its strong involvement with USA-Engage and
the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), two powerful industry groups.
Vice President Cheney last fall defended his former company's operations
on "Larry King Live" stating that, "you have to operate in some very
difficult places and oftentimes in countries that are governed in a
manner that's not consistent with our principles here in the United
"The struggle for human and workplace rights in Burma has been critical
for our union for many years," notes Joe Drexler, Director of Special
Projects of the Paper, Allied-Industrial, Chemical and Energy Workers
International Union (PACE) who represents workers in the oil and gas
industry. "Our members don't want their retirement savings invested by
Halliburton in brutal dictatorships that use forced labor. It's just
The situation in Burma violates the ILO Declaration on Fundamental
Principal and Rights at Work, including the right to no forced labor.
Unions around the world have recently launched a campaign to make sure
workers know these rights, distributing an ILO-produced poster in
workplaces and communities worldwide.
Mizzima: In Burma, Fuel crisis deepens and Kyat continues to sink
Rangoon, May 16, 2001
Mizzima News Group ( www.mizzima.com )
With the petrol and diesel prices jumping up for about 50% in the last
few months and the country's foreign currency reserve crumbled with the
beleaguered Kyat currency, many businesses in Burma have been
depressing. In the capital Rangoon, the price of a gallon of petrol is
at present 900 Kyat and diesel is 950 Kyat in black market while the
same was around 600 Kyats last month.
The people continue to face the fuel shortage despite the fact that
government has been subsidizing petrol and diesel two gallons per day
per vehicle with Kyat 180 and Kyat 160 for a gallon of petrol and diesel
respectively. There are also reports that the government will ration
only a gallon a day by the end of this month.
Due to the continuing fuel crisis, major export businesses of the
country have been badly affected. As electricity in Burma is an all-time
failure, many businesses like garment business have to depend on diesel
for continued existence.
The prices of gold, cars and other imported items have also risen along
with the inflation. "I sold a Supersloon with 44 lakhs Kyats yesterday.
I would get only 35 lakhs if I sold it last month", a car dealer said.
The shortage of hard currency in the hands of government has stopped the
flow of importing new cars into the country.
Taxi drivers on the streets are also affected. "I have to raise the taxi
rate because the petrol's prize is increasingly higher. But the
passengers do not want to give the rate I ask", said a taxi driver in
Rangoon. "I have to buy the petrol from black market with high price.
But I don't get a full gallon", he complained.
Meanwhile, Burmese Kyat currency continues to tumble down to a new all
time low of Kyat 850 to US one dollar today. It was 390 to the dollar in
August last year. A cup of tea in Rangoon is 50 Kyats while it was 25
Kyats three months ago.
Bangkok Post: Surayud puts army on alert
May 19, 2001.
Order triggered by junta's pledge to Wa
Troops have been put on alert at the border with Burma following
Rangoon's warning that its soldiers would fight side-by-side with the
United Wa State Army against any intruders.
The alert order for the Third Army, which supervises the northern
border, came directly from the army commander-in-chief, Gen Surayud
Gen Surayud said the border situation was very volatile at the moment
and anything could happen.
"We cannot predict what is going to happen next," Gen Surayud said after
his inspection trips yesterday to several border areas in Chiang Mai,
Chiang Rai and Mae Hong Son.
The army chief said he was surprised by Burma's pledge to have its
soldiers fight alongside Wa guerrillas in future border clashes.
The pledge was made by Brig-Gen Kyaw Win, deputy military intelligence
chief, who said Burmese government troops would use its firepower to
defend Wa territory along the border with Thailand.
He also accused Thailand of raising border tensions with "deliberate
"Let's ponder what it (the Burmese warning) really means," Gen Surayud
said while talking with reporters at an army barracks in Chiang Dao
district, Chiang Mai, where he was briefed on the latest border
situaiton by the Third Army's Pha Muang task force.
As Burma's close neighbour, Thailand wanted to maintain a good
relationship with it, Gen Surayud said. However, the Thai army would
respond accordingly to any border incursions that were intentional and
provocative, he warned.
The border dispute at Doi Lang in Chiang Mai's Mae Ai district, and at
Koo Teng Na Yong in Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district, was "nothing new",
the army chief said.
The two border spots have long posed a problem, he said. The problem
should be referred to a higher border committee if it is to be settled
Earlier, the Burmese military junta had demanded a swift withdrawal of
Thai troops stationed at 26 outposts in the Doi Lang area, which the
Burmese said was located deep inside their territory.
However, the Burmese claim was totally dismissed by Lt-Gen Wattanachai
Chaimuenwong, the Third Army chief.
He also warned any Burmese attempts to settle the dispute by force could
lead to war.
Gen Surayud also suggested yesterday that a neutral and independent body
should be allowed to verify Burma's claim that its border area now under
Wa control is not a major drug-producing site.
He was responding to Rangoon's attempts to clear the image of its ally,
including a recent press visit to Mong Yawn, the United Wa State Army's
new town located close to the Thai border.
It would be more credible if an internationally recognised and
independent organisation was allowed to visit Mong Yawn to verify
Rangoon's claim that the town was free of illicit drugs, Gen Surayud
said. It was "too easy" to organise a press tour of the town and then
declare that it was not a major drug production site, he said.
Last week, representatives of six countries participating in a drugs
meeting in Rangoon were taken to visit Mong Yawn, which Thai authorities
said was being built with drug money.
Earlier Lt-Gen Wattanachai also branded the press tour as an attempt to
fool the world that the Wa army was not involved in drugs production and
trafficking along the border. Thailand believes the UWSA is the main
producer of methamphetamines flooding the country.
Chin National Front: Battle news from CNF
May 18, 2001
On April 11, 2001, the Chin National Army (CNA) troops from Tactical
Number (1) Area and Burmese troops from 269th Light Infantry Battalion,
stationed in Tiddim town clashed near Cauleng village. The Burmese Army
lost 1 soldier and 1 wounded critically. A soldier of CNA sacrificed his
life for Chinland.
On May 1, 2001, the Chin National Army (CNA) troops from Tactical Number
(2) Area and Patrolling Burmese troops from 266th Light Infantry
Battalion clashed near Rezua village of Matupi Township. Two G.3 assault
rifles were captured by Chin National Army. No casualty on CNA side.
On May 4, 2001, the Chin National Army (CNA) troops and Burmese Troops
from 266th Light Infantry Battalion clashed near Vuang Tu village of
Thang Tlang Township. A Sergeant of Burmese Army was killed during the
clashed. After the battle, Major Khin Maung Yi, Tactical Commander from
Haka, the capital of Chin
State visited to Vuang Tu village and arrested all village headmen from
Vuang Tu areas. The Tactical Commander interrogated village headmen and
tortured them. He also accused that "All Vuang Tu villagers are
supporters of the Chin National Army" and tortured them severely.
AP: Rebel Group Vows Continued Fight Against Myanmar Regime
Saturday May 19, 2:31 PM
MAE SOT, Thailand (AP)--A rebel organization, greatly weakened by
defections, has said it wants to force Myanmar's military rulers to
agree to talks by stepping up its attacks on the army, according to a
press release Saturday.
The Democratic Alliance of Burma, which ended a four-day conference
Thursday, attracted 55 leaders of 19 armed ethnic groups and political
parties opposed to Myanmar's government.
The alliance called for tripartite dialogue among the regime, the DAB
and the party of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
"The Alliance will escalate political and military activities to achieve
the process of tripartite dialogue," the statement said.
Once a potent force, the DAB was largely crippled after the military
rulers cut separate peace deals with several ethnic minority rebel
groups, including the Kachin and Mon.
The Karen National Union remains the only important group still fighting
the military leaders. KNU Gen. Bo Mya was re-elected to head the DAB at
The conference welcomed secret talks reportedly taking place between Suu
Kyi and the military but added that such dialogue should be based on
"mutual respect and equal status of the parties."
Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace prize winner, remains under virtual house arrest
in Yangon, Myanmar's capital. The regime is widely condemned for human
rights abuses, including the jailing of opposition figures.
The conference accused the military government of trafficking in
narcotics and condemned its ongoing border feud with Thailand.
The DAB's third conference was held in an undisclosed "liberated area"
near the Thai border.
Bangkok Post: Wattanachai says Burma is concealing 'speed' labs
May 17, 2001.
Wassana Nanuam and Anucha Charoenpo
Lt-Gen Wattanachai Chaimuenwong has claimed Mong Yawn is a major
drug-producing area and said there are at least 60 methamphetamine
plants in that part of Burma's Shan state.
The Third Army commander said he was not fooled by Rangoon's attempts to
change the town's image. Foreign journalists from China, Laos,
Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand found no evidence of drug production in
Mong Yawn during a recent press trip to the area.
He said the Burmese organised the trip to fool the world and claimed
some of the plants had modern laboratories and machines to produce
"The Burmese government would definitely not allow outsiders to see
them. The arranged trip would not clear Mong Yawn's image," Lt-Gen
"Burma should instead show sincerity by joining hands with Thailand to
destroy those plants."Burma's Triangle Region commander Maj-Gen Thein
Sein and army chief Gen Maung Aye, both of whom promised to destroy the
drug plants, remained silent on the matter, he said.
He confirmed Thai soldiers would remain in Doi Lang in Mae Ai district,
Chiang Mai, despite protests from Rangoon. Government-level talks to
settle the dispute would begin soon.
Meanwhile, drug busters vowed to keep an eye on Mong Yawn despite
Rangoon's efforts to hide the drug factories. Chatchai Suthiklom,
deputy secretary-general of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board,
said the recent press trip was very useful for Thai narcotics officials
and the international community. For five years, the township was
considered Southeast Asia's largest drug-producing area.
The drug factories were run by the United Wa State Army and are now
controlled by Rangoon. Burma denied this and organised the special trip
to show Thailand and the international community the town was free of
Mr Chatchai admitted seeing no drug-producing factories in the town but
said there could have been plants "outside the town" or in the jungle
near Thailand. He was taken to two electricity-generating plants,
commercial buildings and 200 shacks belonging to ethnic Wa people,
relocated from northern Shan state. Almost 50,000 ethnic Wa were moved
there as part of Burmese efforts to establish opium-free zones.
The military junta expects to relocate another 200,000.
AP: Thai Police Seize 1 Million Methamphetamine Pills
Saturday May 19, 4:44 PM
BANGKOK (AP)--Police in northern Thailand seized 1.1 million
methamphetamine pills hidden in a police car heading from the border
with Myanmar, a radio station said Saturday.
Police Sgt. Banleng Atchan, 40, was arrested after police at a road
block searched his car and found the speed pills as well as 4 kilograms
of chemicals, reported the INN radio news agency.
Police acted on a tip-off about a large cache of methamphetamines being
smuggled from Myanmar, also known as Burma, to Chiang Rai, 680
kilometers north of Bangkok.
The radio said Banleng confessed that he brought drugs and the chemicals
from Myanmar's Tachilek area and was going to meet buyers in Chiang Rai.
The Thai government believes the United Wa State Army is operating
several methamphetamine factories along Thailand's northern border and
flooding Thailand with the illegal substances.
The Wa organization, described by the U.S. as one of the world's largest
drug trafficking outfits, was once among a dozen ethnic minority rebel
armies fighting the central government. But it signed a peace pact with
the regime, which allowed the group to retain its weapons and some
autonomy over territory.
Last month, more than 13 million methamphetamine tablets were
confiscated in northern provinces along the Myanmar border.
The government accuses Myanmar's ruling military of turning a blind eye
to the production of methamphetamine on its soil, a charge Myanmar
Deutsche Presse-Agentur: Myanmar sets date for U.N. special envoy's next
May 19, 2001,
Myanmar sets date for U.N. special envoy's next visit
Myanmar (Burma) has set a date for United Nation's special envoy Ismail
Razali's next visit to the country, the ruling junta disclosed on
Saturday in a rebuttal of a recent editorial that appeared in the New
York Times newspaper.
Myanmar's permanent representative to the U.N., Kyaw Tint Swe, refuted a
New York Times' editorial dated May 15 that suggested Razali, U.N.
Special Envoy to Myanmar, had been denied access to the country.
"The fact of the matter is, our Mission has been working with the United
Nations Secretariat to prepare Mr. Razali's visit," said Kyaw Tint Swe,
in a letter sent to the editor of the New York Times.
"I wish to inform you that on the very day your editorial appeared, a
mutually convenient date had been worked out and communicated to the
Secretariat," said the letter, which was made available to the press in
Yangon on Saturday.
The date of Razali's next visit was not mentioned.
Razali, a Malaysian diplomat who was once his country's ambassador to
the U.N., has visited Myanmar three times since being appointed special
envoy by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan last year.
Razali has claimed partial credit for the quiet startup last October of
a political dialogue between Myanmar's ruling military regime and
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who heads the National League for
Democracy (NLD) party that won the 1990 polls, but was never granted
Kyaw Tint Swe took offence with the New York Times' failure to
acknowledge recent positive developments in Myanmar, regarded as a
pariah by Western democracies for its poor human rights record.
He pointed out that in recent months, Myanmar has been visited by a
European Union troika mission,
by the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and the Special
Rapporteur for the U.N. Human Rights
"To ignore these positive developments and to urge the political
pressure be exerted on Myanmar, whether under guise of alleged human
rights violations or forced labour, would not only be wrong but also be
counter productive," warned the Myanmar ambassador to the U.N.
Voice of America: [On Colin Powell?s Burma testimony]
May 15, 2001
[Article on Testimony of U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell on the
President's International Affairs Budget for FY 2002 before the Senate
Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations]
Burma has been the subject of discussion in Washington, as Secretary of
State Colin Powell testified on Capitol Hill. His comments came during
an appearance before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate to talk about
Secretary Powell was questioned by Senator Mitch McConnell. The
Republican lawmaker said that, in his view, not enough attention was
given in the past to "the struggle for democracy in Asia." He asked if
Secretary Powell sees any reason to hope for change in Burma.
Aung San Suu Kyi has been in discussions, and that in and of itself it
some improvement over the situation that existed a little while ago. Mr.
Razali is planning to get engaged, so there are a few rays of hope. But
they are few, and they are dim.
Secretary Powell said the United States needs to do a better job, as he
put it, mobilizing a comprehensive approach to this problem with out
friends in the region. He said he will be discussing Burma in coming
months with leaders in Asia as he travels through the region.
Mr. Powell was questioned further by Senator McConnell, who was a
co-sponsor of the 1997 banning new U.S. investment in Burma.
In this exchange with Secretary Powell, Mr. McConnell said the United
States should maintain and, if possible, increase its leadership on the
This is truly an outrageous, outrageous regime.
And I think American leadership ought to be continued. And if there's a
way to do it, step it up.
Well, yes. As you know, we're keeping in place the executive sanctions
that were imposed --
Right. And the Japanese are making an investment in a hydroelectric
plant that we are -- we have suggested to them is not a proper
investment to be making at this time with this regime.
Secretary Powell's comment was the first clear statement that the Bush
administration does not intend to change existing U.S. sanctions policy
where Burma is concerned.
Referring to Burma, Cambodia, East Timor and Indonesia, Secretary Powell
said the Bush administration intends to pursue a consistent human rights
I can assure you that the administration -- President Bush, me, and all
the members of the administration are committed to human rights
everywhere throughout the world as universal rights belonging to every
child of God, whether that child is in the United States or in Burma.
And you will see us aggressively pursue our human rights agenda at every
Secretary of State Colin Powell testified before a U.S. Senate committee
Tuesday. Tune in to VOA in coming days for any reaction to Secretary
BBC: Powell gloomy on Burmese talks
Wednesday, 16 May, 2001, 09:01 GMT 10:01 UK
The United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has said that a
dialogue between the Burmese military government and the opposition
leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, offered some rays of hope, but they were few
But Mr Powell told a Senate committee that the fact that they were
talking at all represented a limited improvement in the political
situation in Burma.
He also criticised a grant by Japan of nearly $30m to Burma to finance a
Mr Powell said the Americans had suggested to Japan that this was not a
proper investment to be making at this time, with this regime.
Last month, the Burmese military authorities said their talks with Aung
San Suu Kyi were progressing well.
Bangkok Post: Chavalit not bothered as critics blast his methods
May 16, 2001.
Defends on-going policy on Burma
Defence Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh is not worried about criticism he
is too soft in dealing with Burma-because he has been always
Col Jongsak Panichkul, the defence spokesman, said Gen Chavalit has told
his close staff he was well aware he was perceived as a villain siding
with Burma, while Third Army commander Lt-Gen Wattanachai Chaimuenwong
was viewed as a hero.
"But he will let them continue [criticising], without worrying about his
"He has been criticised all along for his work, when he was a soldier
and now when he is a politician," the colonel said.
Gen Chavalit said he was once strongly criticised for his policy to
welcome insurgents back from southern forests, for the purchase of
Chinese tanks for a million baht each to counter the Vietnamese threat,
and his command of the Ban Romklao battlefront, where hundreds of Thai
troops were killed or wounded.
"Don't worry, if we have good intentions people will see it one day,"
Gen Chavalit reportedly told his staff. "But we'd better let them curse
us on."Col Jongsak said that without the Chinese tanks, Vietnamese
people might be living all over the Northeast. And people had seen the
good result of the warm welcome for insurgents.
Gen Chavalit said the problems with Burma were not new, but some topics
should not be mentioned publicly to protect the national interest.
The defence minister has instructed Col Jongsak to meet the press once a
week to correct any misunderstandings about Gen Chavalit.
The Star: Myanmar man source of outbreak
May 17, 2001.
By Loong Meng Yee and Edward Rajendra
KLANG:A 36-year-old Myanmar national is suspected to be the source of
the cholera outbreak in Selangor early this month.
It is learnt that the Myanmar immigrant who worked as a food handler at
a nasi lemak stall at the 5th Mile, Jalan Meru, had assisted in
preparing food which was served to some 3,000 people in the area.
He has been quarantined at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang.
Ninety-seven others were warded at the hospital and the Kuala Langat and
Sungai Buloh hospitals after they tested positive for the vibrio
Apart from the Myanmar national, two Indonesians were also confirmed as
carriers and one factory worker has died as a result of the outbreak
confined mainly in Meru. There are also 146 suspected cases throughout
the state so far.
The authorities have closed down 136 food outlets while 732 food
handlers have been given antibiotics as a preventive measure.
State Local Government, Environment, Housing and Squatters Committee
chairman Datuk Mokhtar Dahalan said people who came down with cholera in
Petaling Jaya and Kuala Selangor had eaten the nasi lemak at the Meru
"We have the whole situation under control with the foodstalls in Meru
closed temporarily while the cholera patients have been quarantined. All
the 97 patients will only be allowed to go home once the doctors certify
that they are free of the disease," he said.
Mokhtar also ordered local councils to demolish illegal foodstalls and
inspect the hygiene level at all food outlets to ensure that the cholera
outbreak did not recur.
He added that Alam Flora had been ordered to conduct more frequent
garbage collection at all residential housing areas as an additional
measure to check the outbreak.
A state senior health medical officer said the involvement of the
foreign workers raised concern about the spread of transmittable
diseases from less developed countries.
"We do not know what kind of diseases they have before entering
Malaysia. In our country, some of the foreign workers inevitably end up
in the food industry and chances of food contamination are high.
"There are, at least, records to trace the legal foreign workers. The
illegal ones pose a bigger threat because we do not know their health
history or their migration pattern," he said.
The health officer clarified the cholera outbreak in Meru was defined as
a limited one, instead of a full-blown outbreak affecting the entire
He added that the clarification was important because the state Health
Department had received telephone calls, some from as far as Taiwan,
enquiring the severity of the outbreak.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Suleiman Mohamed urged the public not to
be alarmed over the outbreak as the number of confirmed cases had
dropped significantly over the last two days.
Dr Suleiman, who earlier visited cholera patients at the Tengku Ampuan
Rahimah Hospital, said the situation was under control and preventive
measures taken by the state Health Department were successful in
containing the outbreak.
The New York Times: Burma's Junta
Monday, May 14, 2001
A few months ago it looked as if the military junta in Burma might
ease its repressive rule slightly. The regime was talking with the
country's courageous pro-democracy leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and
there even seemed to be a possibility that she would be liberated from
the prolonged house arrest the government has enforced. But those hopes
have all but vanished. If the Bush administration means to speak out
against human rights abuses abroad and pressure governments to treat
their citizens humanely, Burma would be a fine place to start. .
The military leaders of Burma are among the world's cruelest violators
of human rights. The junta has tortured and executed political
opponents, exploited forced labor and condoned a burgeoning traffic in
heroin and amphetamines. In the clearest indication that the regime has
little intention of reforming, the special United Nations envoy who
acted as a catalyst for the talks between the government and Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi has been denied permission to visit the country since
January. Also, an anticipated release of political prisoners has failed
to materialize, as has a pledge by the junta that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's
party, the National League for Democracy, would be allowed to resume
This year the junta released 120 mostly youthful members of the party
who had been imprisoned the previous year, but it is still believed to
be holding as many as 1,700 political prisoners, including 35 people who
were elected to Parliament in 1990. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's party won
more than three-quarters of the seats in that election, but the junta
annulled the results. .
The United States and the European Union have cooperated to isolate
Burma, and in 1997 the Clinton administration banned new U.S.
investments there. But some Asian countries have been reluctant to join
in sanctions. China, in particular, has helped sustain the junta with
military aid. Regrettably, last month Japan broke ranks with a
Western-led 12-year ban on nonhumanitarian assistance to Burma by
approving a $29 million grant for a hydroelectric dam.
Last year the International Labor Organization, responding to concerns
about forced labor, voted to urge governments and international donors
to impose further sanctions on Burma. Washington should consider a ban
on imports from that nation, including textiles. Burma is rapidly
increasing apparel exports to the United States. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's
allies have argued that the hard currency earnings primarily benefit the
military, not the laborers who make the garments. Washington should
certainly be using its influence with Japan and other Asian countries to
deter any further nonhumanitarian assistance.
The Nation: Third Army confronts new Golden Triangle king
- May 16, 2001.
In rugged border terrain, Thai troops square off against the United Wa
Army which protects a huge drug empire in Burma.
Doi Kiw Hoong, Chiang Mai - Standing at the peak of this hill
overlooking the 32-square kilometres of disputed territory where about
1,200 Thai and Burmese troops are scattered on just about every ridge,
regiment commander Colonel Supoj Buranayanee tries hard not to offend
his counterparts just one hilltop away.
Not accustomed to nagging foreign press, the soft-spoken Supoj chose his
words carefully as he explains the background of the disputed territory,
Doi Lang, and how it is linked to a valley down the road, the site of
Mong Yawn, a major stronghold for one of the world's largest armed drug
trafficking group, the United Wa State Army (UWSA).
"We have an agreement between the local Thai and Burmese forces that we
would not use force in the Doi Lang area. And if one side wishes to
carry out any type of operation, the other side must be notified,"
Colonel Supoj said.
Curious foreign and local journalists, meanwhile, took turns with
binoculars to see the much talked-about Wa town that has become the
centre of a dispute between the Thai and Burmese governments.
For years, before Burmese opium warlord Khun Sa and his powerful Mong
Tai Army (MTA) surrendered to the Rangoon government in January 1996 in
return for amnesty, this region, like other rebel-controlled areas, had
functioned as a buffer zone between the Thai and Burmese armies.
Besides being a buffer between the two armies, drug experts said the Doi
Lang area also served as the gateway for some of the world's finest
opium and heroin heading for major cities throughout the world.
Today, the MTA is no more. And for the past six years, both Thai and
Burmese soldiers have sat and watched each other's moves, wondering what
the unwanted neighbours are up to. They wave and smile at each other
every now and then. But in recent months, since the cross-border
shelling between the two sides about 50 kilometres away in the Mae
Sai-Tachilek area, as well as the latest demand by Rangoon that the Thai
troops pull out of the area, nervousness has crept in.
Like the previous decade when Thai soldiers were sent here to secure the
border and curb the flow of opium and heroin coming out of MTA camps,
today's troops are mandated to do pretty much the same thing. Besides
having a Burmese army watching their back, the Thai troops have to
contend with the growing presence of the new king of the Golden
Triangle, the UWSA, dubbed the world's largest armed drug trafficking
"Any of these points along the rugged border is accessible by foot,"
said Supoj, pointing to the vast rugged terrain that appeared to stretch
Army officials say dealers from places like Bangkok and Hat Yai slip in
and out of nearby Fang and Mae Ai districts to meet local agents who in
turn hire local hilltribes to cross the border and transport the illicit
A mule is paid one baht for each of the methamphetamine pills they get
across to the Thai side of the border from the clandestine laboratories,
most of which are under the Wa's control. It's a very attractive deal
considering the fact that the average annual per capita income of the
local residents is about Bt30,000.
"In one trip they can make as much as they can |in one year from
farming," Supoj said. The growing demand for drugs among Thai addicts
has, indeed, taking its toll on the army who appeared to be
over-stretched from taking up two jobs - securing the border and
Just last week as the Third Army mobilised its troops to retake nearby
Hua Lone hill from the Wa and Burmese troops, army officers admitted a
"balloon affect" has been created - while one area is being squeezed,
drug trafficking pops up in other spots along the border.
So where is the Burmese government troops in all of this? "The local
Burmese officers are well aware of the illicit activities being carried
out by the Wa and some of them benefit directly from the drug trade,"
said Colonel Chanchai Sundarakes, Third Army deputy chief-of-staff.
"We bring this up with them but they always say they don't have control
over the Wa's activities," he added.
The UWSA came into being in 1989 following the fall of the Communist
Party of Burma, in which the Wa faction had served as foot soldiers.
Burmese security chief Lt-General Khin Nyunt rushed to sign a cease-fire
with the group in order to neutralise a 20,000-strong army. In return,
the Wa were given the green light to expand their heroin empire down to
an area adjacent to the northern Thai border.
Along the way, they clashed with archenemy Khun Sa and the MTA,
hastening his surrender in January 1996.
But today, instead of opium and heroin for the world's market,
methamphetamine pills have been added to the shopping list of the
traffickers. And the market is the streets of Bangkok, Chiang Mai and
other major cities in Southeast Asia.
The demand for methamphetamines, locally known as yaa baa, has risen in
recent years and the amount being produced does not seem to satisfy the
Chanchai says the amount of trafficked methamphetamines has jumped from
20 million tablets in 1998 to somewhere between 400 and 600 million this
Chanchai claimed that more than 30 clandestine heroin and
methamphetamine labs are situated along the northern Thai Burmese.
Lt-Colonel Peeranate Temkhem, head of the Third Army's Pha Muang Task
Force intelligence unit, said major shipments of methamphetamines and
heroin are expected to be coming through in the next few weeks. He
pointed to the increase in the price of grade 4 heroin, which jumped
from Bt230,000 to Bt280,000 for a unit of 700 grammes, which suggests a
shortage of supply, as well as to what appears to be a growing demand
Many Thai army officers along the border admit their fight has been an
The Wa's drug money has not only built roads and irrigation systems for
Shan State, but is being channelled to legitimate businesses directly
"They (Wa) are not just looking to get the drugs across the border. They
are looking to expand their empire to other areas that are beyond most
people's reach," Peeranate said.
TV Myanmar (SPDC): News conference explains Wa leaders briefings in Mong
May 18, 2001
[Original in Burmese, Translated by FBIS]
A news conference on the Mong Yawn region of the Wa peace group in Shan
State East was held at 0900 this morning at the Defense Services Guest
House on Inya Road in Yangon [Rangoon]. It was attended by U Tin Win,
minister at the Prime Minister's Office; Maj Gen Kyaw Win, deputy chief
of the Office of Strategic Studies [OSS] and deputy director of the
Directorate of Defense Services Intelligence [DDSI]; Deputy Information
Minister Brig Gen Aung Thein, Brig Gen Khin Aung Myint of the Ministry
of Defense, heads of departments and officers from the OSS, news and
information officers from the Ministry of Information, U Sein Win,
patron of the Myanmar Foreign Correspondents Club [MFCC]; U Sao Kai Hpa,
chairman of MFCC, and members; correspondents from the Myanmar Times,
and invited guests. Lt Col San Pwint, acting head of department of the
OSS, first explained that delegates to the Ministerial Meeting and
Senior Officials Meeting of the Signatory Countries to the Memorandum of
Understanding on Drug Control in East Asia and Pacific Region and the
High-Level Bilateral Meetings on Drug Control and local and foreign
journalists toured the Wa peace region in Mong Yawn, Shan State East, on
13 May. This conference had been called to brief the news agencies and
responsible officers of periodicals who were not present at the
briefings by the Wa leaders.
He explained the background history of the Wa peace group, its regional
development efforts, the goal for complete drug eradication in the Wa
region by the year 2005, the success of short- and long-term crops
cultivation as part of opium crops substitution scheme in Mong Yawn
region, irresponsible allegations from Thailand about Mong Yawn as the
site for the production of stimulant drugs, the concrete situation which
prove these allegations are baseless, and the invitation by the Wa
nationals to any one with official permission to visit their region
without hindrance. The news conference ended at 0950 after OSS Deputy
Chief and DDSI Deputy Director Maj Gen Kyaw Win and Acting Department
Head of OSS Lt Col San Pwint replied to the questions from the
journalists. Afterwards, the journalists viewed maps and photos on the
situation after the capture of Par Chi [also spelled as Pachee], the
cultivation of lychees in Wanhon, construction projects in Loi Hsan Saw
region, development projects in Mong Yawn, reclaimed land in Mong Yawn,
paddy warehouses which had been alleged by Thailand to be the sites for
narcotics production, a briefing hall in Mong Yawn which had been
described by Thailand as a five-star hotel, buildings in Mong Yawn
Market alleged by Thailand to be narcotics production sites, and
hydro-electric power stations claimed by Thailand to be factories for
British Broadcasting Company: BBC Seeks Burmese Translator Presenters
The BBC World Service is the best known and most respected
international broadcasting organisation in Burma and the world.
Broadcasting for one hour and fifteen minutes every day, programmes
cover news and current affairs as well as features.
We currently have opportunities for Translator Presenters. Salary
dependent upon skills and experience.
We need Translator/Presenters to cover periods of staff shortage.
The work will be of an ad-hoc nature and will not constitute regular
Working as a member of the team, you will be required to translate
news bulletins and other current affairs material from English into
Burmese and read at the microphone.
In addition to having an up-to-date knowledge of the political,
social and economic conditions in the target area, you will need
Burmese as your first (or equivalent) language; good English, the
ability to translate quickly and accurately,
good IT skills and a voice suitable for broadcasting.
Shortlisted applicants will be asked to complete a written and
voice assessment. If you are interested in the above,please contact us
for further details and a job description at: Recruitment Office, BBC
World Service, Bush House, Strand, London WC2B 4PH, U.K, Tel. 020 7557
2898 or you can e-mail karen.thompson@xxxxxxxxx quoting reference 47203.
Completed application forms to be returned by Wednesday 23rd May 2001.
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