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BurmaNet News: June 7, 2001
______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
An on-line newspaper covering Burma
June 7, 2001 Issue # 1820
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________
INSIDE BURMA _______
*BBC: [NLD seeks prisoner release as good-will gesture]
*Shan Herald Agency for News: Shan party members told to quit
*BMA: Dam collapsed, caused by heavy rain and flood
*Xinhua: Myanmar's Bilateral Trade With ASEAN Members Up
*Bangkok Post: Two rangers wounded in clash with Wa troops
*Bangkok Post: Military gets lion's share of drug fund
*Bangkok Post: No official protest over history textbook
*The Nation: Burma text 'could hurt relations'
*ABSDF: Time for Transparency
*The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): Your history doesn't bear comparison
with ours (Part II)
*NCGUB: Invitation to Women of Burma Day/56th Birthday of Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi - Tuesday June 19
__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________
BBC: [NLD seeks prisoner release as good-will gesture]
Thursday 7th July (12:45)
[Larry Jagan] (CUE: The talks between Burma's military rulers and the
opposition leader are in the process of resuming. The US Assistant
Secretary of State Ralph Boyce told journalists in Bangkok that the
should yield concrete results soon. There's been growing speculation
the UN envoy for Burma, the Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail completed
mission to Burma earlier this week that the talk which he helped broker
year were about to restart. UN sources say the opposition leader has
the military authorities until the end of this month to release some two
hundred political prisoners as a good-will gesture. Larry Jagan has
The UN remains optimistic that the dialogue process between Aung San Suu
and the Burmese Generals is about to enter a new phase. According to
in New York, Aung San Suu Kyi has told the Burmese Generals that they
start to realase political prisoners and remove the restrictions on her
the rest of the National League for Democracy. The UN believes this
a concrete gesture on their part but needs to happen before the end of
if the dialogue process is to move forward. The talks between the
and Aung San Suu Kyi have been held in secret with no details of the
discussions being made public by either side. But diplomatic souces in
Rangoon say the talks have not yet gone beyond what they described as
confidence-building stage. It is also clear now that the talks between
two sides have been stalled for several months. The UN hopes that it can
help the dialogue process through the intervention of the special envoy
Burma, Razali Ismail. He has just completed a visit to Rangoon where he
acted as a facilitator and is expected to return again in July. The hope
is that the two sides will resume a meaningful dialogue. Diplomats in
Rangoon say it's now upto the military to respond to Aung San Suu Kyi's
request to release the political prisoners. There are some two hundred
them. Senior opposition sources told the BBC that the military have been
urged to release them in stages, starting with those who are elderly
sixty ) or ill, followed by those who have already completed their
sentences. The military have also been asked to remove the restrictions
the movement of all senior NLD leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi and
U, and to allow the NLD offices to reopen throughout the country. The
between Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese Generals are currently at a
precarious stage and only a good-will gesture from the military can help
keep them on track.
Shan Herald Agency for News: Shan party members told to quit
7 June 2001
Choose business benefit or else
Another branch of the Shan party that won the most seats in the Shan
State in 1990 elections is being pressured to dissolve itself,
confirmed sources from Shan State.
In response to a report by Network Media Group on Saturday (2 June),
sources said executive members of the Shan Nationalities League for
Democracy (Mongkerng Branch) were given a choice between economic gains
on resignation and persecution on refusal.
"They were threatened with charges of collaboration with the armed
resistance," said a source from the Chinese border.
According to several sources, the SNLD branches in the southern Shan
State are being targeted by the military authorities at present. "The
northern branches will come later," said another.
NMG reported that the 7 member EC committee in Mongkerng, 108 miles
northeast of Taunggyi, were summoned by the township peace and
delvelopment council on 28 May to its office where U Myo Thant, the
TPDC chairman, delivered its "ultimatum".
To which the branch EC replied that its decision would be made known
within 20 days (17 June).
A meeting held by the military authorities in Taunggyi on 26-27 May had
taken the decision to "persuade" the SNLD members to resign "on their
own accord," reported NMG.
The SNLD is led by Khun Htoon Oo, who is regarded as the spokes person
for the non-Burman parties. Foreign dignitaries often called on him
during their visits to Burma.
The first branch ordered by the authorities to dissolve was from
Langkher, 114 miles southeast of Taunggyi, on 21 January.
BMA: Dam collapsed, caused by heavy rain and flood
Tin Maung Htoo
Burma Media Association (BMA)
June 7, 2001
One of the irrigation dams located at the middle of Burma was reportedly
collapsed due to the heavy rainfall and cataclysm, sources in Burma
The dam called Monetie, which is between two townships, Maline and
Meiktila, showed an early sign of bursting out, directing the populace
place of Meiktila, but the authority changed different direction, said
With the new direction, a village near the dam was taken away from its
original location and serious damage and death were occurred in the
Shawpin village and estimated between 50 to 300 lives.
But the government news agency did not confirm yet the occurrence and
the number of death. It is also reported that the surrounding places,
especially Wintwin Township are affected in terms of heavy rain and
This is the second tragedy occurred within a week in Burma. The first
accidence was the Mandalay-Myitkyina passenger train that derailed at
Sindaw Bridge on June 2. It is reported that over a hundred lives dead
although the government did not confirmed the exact number and said to
be still looking for the missing bodies in the Sindaw river.
Xinhua: Myanmar's Bilateral Trade With ASEAN Members Up
YANGON, June 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Myanmar's bilateral trade with five other
member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
-- Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines --
totaled 313.6 million U.S. dollars in the first two months of this year,
up 22.9 percent from the same period of 2000.
According to the latest figures published by the country's Central
Statistical Organization, these trade accounted for 40.7 percent of
Myanmar's total foreign trade during the two-month period with its
import from these ASEAN members amounting to 181. 47 million dollars,
while its export to them valued at 132.13 million dollars. The trade
deficit stood at 49.34 million dollars.
Of these five ASEAN members, Myanmar's trade with Thailand accounted
for the highest volume with 125.48 million dollars or 16. 3 percent of
the country's 769.15 million dollars' total foreign trade.
It was followed by that with Singapore which took up 123.26 million
dollars or 16 percent. Myanmar's trade with Malaysia and Indonesia
stood at 39.25 million dollars and 24 million dollars, respectively.
In 2000, Myanmar's total foreign trade, including the border trade,
totaled 4.086 billion dollars, of which its bilateral trade with the
five other ASEAN members amounted to 1.651 billion dollars, accounting
for 40.4 percent of the country's total foreign trade during the year.
Bangkok Post: Two rangers wounded in clash with Wa troops
June 07, 20001
Two rangers were wounded yesterday when a patrol team clashed with
United Wa State Army guerrillas near Doi Lang in Mae Ai district.
Col Chainarong Kaewkla, commander of the 212th Cavalry Battalion, said
the Red Wa were probably trying to smuggle drugs across the Kok river.
After the clash, a combined unit of army-trained rangers and 2nd Cavalry
Regiment soldiers was sent to reinforce Ban Pakui, about 2km from Doi
Meanwhile, Col Wanthip Wongwai, commander of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment
task force, said Burmese soldiers at Kuteng Nayong overlooking Mae Sai
district were continuing with construction of a pagoda in the disputed
area despite a Thai protest.
Under a standing Thai-Burmese agreement, neither side is allowed to
build a permanent structure in a disputed area.
On the Burmese side of the border, two battalions were reportedly sent
from Tachilek on Tuesday to beef up a Burmese border force opposite Doi
Bangkok Post: Military gets lion's share of drug fund
June 07, 20001
The Defence Ministry has been given the lion's share-328 million baht-of
the restored 1,012-million-baht fund to fight drugs.
The Budget Bureau had earlier slashed 1,012 million baht from the
government's proposed anti-drugs budget for fiscal 2002.
A meeting was held yesterday to divide the restored fund among agencies
involved in the fight against drugs.
The other recipients are: the Justice Ministry, 34 million baht;
Education Ministry, 105 million; Physical Education Department, 72
million; Public Health Ministry, 111 million; University Affairs
Ministry, 51 million; Royal Thai Police Office 105 million; and Interior
Ministry, 250 million.
PM's Office Minister Thammarak Issarangkura na Ayutthaya said anti-drug
squads would concentrate on promoting public participation in the war on
drugs, and rehabilitation of drug addicts.
Bangkok Post: No official protest over history textbook
June 07, 20001
Achara Ashayagachat and Bhanravee Tansubhapol
No official protest will be made over a Burmese school textbook which
distorts history, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said yesterday.
However, Burma experts warned the textbook could instill a hatred of
Thai people in young BurmeseThammasat University history professor
Charnvit Kasetsiri said countries in Southeast Asia shared a common but
indecent practice in writing ultra-nationalistic history and teaching
their youngsters to hate their neighbours.
But Burma's introduction of a supplementary 12-page textbook for
fourth-grade pupils was an extreme case, he said.
The history textbook supplement, released Monday for the 2001-2002
academic year in Burmese state-run schools, says: "Thai people are given
to fun and appreciation of beauty. They are disinclined to self-reliance
and hard work."Mr Charnvit said it would have a long-lasting impact as
Burmese youth would be taught to hate Thai people.
Historian Sunait Chutintranon, of Chulalongkorn University, warned that
a tit-for-tat war of words could have a deep impact on future relations.
"Now we have to look at ourselves. Our textbooks, literature, drama and
films have also portrayed our neighbours in a negative way," he said.
The Nation: Burma text 'could hurt relations'
Thu June 07, 2001
The release of a Burmese textbook that condemns Thais as servile and
lazy would worsen already fragile bilateral relations, Foreign Minister
Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said yesterday.
Surakiart ruled out lodging a diplomatic protest against the textbook,
but said he would raise the issue with Burmese leaders when he
accompanies Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on an upcoming trip to
The depictions of Thais in the textbook, which will be used to teach
fourth-graders from this academic year, looks set to further fuel
tensions with Burma, which have been worsening over the past five
months. It is the latest in a string of tit-for-tat moves that began
with a border incursion and have recently evolved into invoking past
"The references to Thai people are very explicit," Surakiart said. "We
do not agree with this interpretation. They [Burmese authorities] should
be careful because this is not conducive to building strong ties.
"I don't know whether or not publication of the textbook was an order
[from Burmese authorities], but it is not constructive."
Surakiart urged more exchanges between academics and historians from
both countries to help bridge historical differences, adding that Thai
historians should also accurately present facts to the public.
"Disseminating the facts to a civil society would have a more profound
effect," he said.
Historically, relations with Burma have often deteriorated into hatred
and warfare. Thaksin said yesterday that the portrayal of Thais in the
textbook was a result of lingering mutual mistrust.
He also blamed elements of the media for being too heavy-handed in their
comments on Burma, saying the Burmese leaders were very sensitive about
what appeared in the Thai press.
However, Thaksin was optimistic that foundations could be laid for
future relations during his upcoming trip.
Surakiart said the date of the visit was only a matter of scheduling.
ABSDF: Time for Transparency
June 5, 2001
All Burma Students Democratic Front
On June 4, UN envoy Razali Ismail returned from Burma after meeting with
top SPDC generals and opposition leaders including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.
Although the ABSDF realises that it will take time to build trust
between both sides, we think that the progress over the last 8 months of
dialogue has been virtually non-existent.
"The current talks are not open. People are frustrated waiting for
information while human rights abuses and forced labour are still
occurring inside the country. That is why the ABSDF strongly urges
international governments and organisations to keep pressure on the
SPDC" says ABSDF Chairperson Than Khe.
Recent religious and racial riots and the Thai-Burma border crisis were
caused by the military regime. The incidents work to distract people's
attention from current political and economic problems. The people of
Burma should have access to information about the real progress of the
In Jaunary 2001, UN envoy Mr Razali Ismail visited Burma. On his return,
the news of dialogue between NLD Secretary Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the
top military leaders of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC)
was released. According to Mr Razali, the talks began in October 2000.
"We ask the NLD and SPDC to open up the talks so the people of Burma and
the world can see if there is progress" says Foreign Affairs Secretary
The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): Your history doesn't bear comparison
with ours (Part II)
Wednesday, 6 June, 2001
(Continued from 4-6-2001)
[BurmaNet adds: Dates don?t make sense but are as posted by Okkar]
There is one more thing to say. In reality the 61 centimetres high
Emerald Buddha, which is the famous Buddha Image in Bangkok nowadays,
is one of the Buddha images the Myanmars had lost during the time of
King Anawrahta. The Image fell into the Siamese (Thai) hands as
plunder. Siamese (Thais) might be hopping mad, for I have said like
this. But I could not help whether it they are hopping mad or in a
state of topsy-turvy, as I am not going to compile my presentation
based on the legends, stories or fables without any evidence. I will
now refer to the page 47 to 51 of the book " Popular History of
Thailand " compiled by ML Manich Jumsai (C.B.E.M.A) who is a member of
both the Royal Academy and the Government Historical Research
If the history of the Emerald Buddha which is now in Siam is to be
recounted, the history of our first Emperor, Anawrahta the Great,
cannot be left out. On page 48 of the " Popular History of Thailand " ,
it is stated " King Anuruth (Anawrahta) of Pagan, now Bagan, (Burma,
now Myanmar) was a fervent supporter of Buddhism. As the then King of
Sri Lanka, Ceylon as it was called, Vijaya Bahu asked King Anawrahta
for help as his country was invaded by the Colas from southern India,
King Anawrahta sent Myanmar soldiers to Sri Lanka to crush the
As Sri Lanka then was about to face total eclipse of Buddhism, the
Myanmar King sent eminent monks from the royal city of Bagan to Sri
Lanka to help restore and propagate Buddhism in the island country.
At the same time, the Buddhist missionaries from Myanmar asked for the
treatises on the Buddha Dhamma and the Emerald Buddha to be brought to
Bagan for public obeisance. The Sri Lankan King wanting to pay back the
gratitude the owed to King Anawrahta, agreed to present the treatises
and the Image to Myanmar with full generosity. The brief history of the
Emerald Buddha Image was that it was carved by a Buddhist monk, Lord
Abbot Nagasena, of the ancient city of Patalibut, now Patna in India,
in BC 43. The Emerald Buddha Image was kept at Patalibut for over 300
years before it was conveyed to Sri Lanka by the Buddhist devotees to
keep it safe as a war broke out between the city and the infidels. The
ship of Myanmar missionaries carrying the Image met with a storm on the
way back to Myanmar and drifted ashore on the coast in Cambodia. When
the Cambodians found the wrecked ship they salvaged the Image and kept
it for public obeisance till the reign of King Senart. As there
occurred internal instability during the King's reign, the Buddhist
monks took the Image away to Inthapat. But when the Siamese invaded
Angkor, the Image fell into the hands of the Siamese. The Image was
then conveyed to Muong Kampenpet town via Ayudhya, Kamampaik and Labo.
Afterwards, it was placed at Chiang Rai for public obeisance.
In AD 1434, the Image was carried to Lampang where it was kept in a
newly built pagoda. The Emerald Pagoda in Lampang is a pagoda where the
Emerald Buddha Image was once placed for public obeisance. During the
reign of King Tilokarat, the Image was conveyed from Lampang to
Chiangmai. When King of Chiangmai Phra Muong Ketklao passed away,
Prince Setthatirat became the King of Chiangmai. Here, there was
something to explain the situation. When King Phra Muong Ketklao died,
he had no son to succeed him. Thus, Prince Setthatirat, who was born of
the King's daughter Princess Yodkamtip and the King of Laungprabang
(Laos) Potisarat, became the successor to the late King. But
Setthatirat could not rule Chiangmai long.
In AD 1550, his father the King of Laungprabang died during a royal cere
mony to capture the elephant. When Setthatirat went to Laungprabang to
succeed his father, he also took the Emerald Buddha Image together with
him to Laos. In this way the Image arrived at Vientiane in Laos.
The Emerald Buddha was kept in Laos for nearly 228 years from 1550 to
1778. In 1778, Siamese General Phra Chakri of Dhonburi conquered Laos
and took the Image back to Siam. When Bangkok was designated the
capital city of Siam, the Image was conveyed from Dhonburi to the new
capital city. It has been placed in the capital for public obeisance
What I would like to say here is that however much the Siamese
discredit Myanmar concerning the racial, religious and cultural sectors
and boast, the influences of the power, ability and qualifications of
Myanmar can be found obviously on every page of their history. Thus, I
would like to tell them plainly that if they do not want to be in a
shameful position once again, they should not try to compare their
history with ours.
Author : Kappiya Kankaung
NCGUB: Invitation to Women of Burma Day/56th Birthday of Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi - Tuesday June 19
You are cordially invited to the commemoration of the Women of Burma Day
in honor of the 56th Birthday of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the
National League for Democracy (NLD) and the 1991 Nobel Peace Laureate.
The event is sponsored by
- The Congressional Human Rights Caucus
- The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), and
- The Burmese Community in the Washington Metropolitan Area
Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Venue: Room 2200, Rayburn House Office Building Independence
Avenue & S. Capitol St., SW Washington, DC
For further information, please contact:
NCGUB The Burma Fund Ms. Sunda Khin
202.393.7342 202.393.7497 703.352.1078
------ ---- ----
Women of Burma Day
on the 56th Birthday of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
(Nobel Peace Laureate 1991)
Every year, since 1997, the National Coalition Government of the Union
of Burma (NCGUB) and the Joint Action Committee of the Burmese community
in the Washington Metropolitan Area, with the kind sponsorship of the
Congressional Human Rights Caucus, have been celebrating Women of Burma
Day, which falls on the birthday of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi--June 19.
Due to some significant developments in Burma, this year's event will be
celebrated with hope and determination. There have been reports of
secret talks underway in Rangoon between the military junta and Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Laureate and leader who symbolizes the
non-violent struggle of the democracy movement. Although the sincerity
of the generals in holding the talks is still debatable, there is
cautious optimism that the process could lead to a substantive political
dialogue if the international community is determined to maintain its
pressure and action against the ruling generals.
We will therefore be commemorating the Women of Burma Day on June 19
with a commitment to uphold rights and freedom for the women of Burma
and good wishes for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that she succeeds in her
endeavors to bring democracy to Burma.
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