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BurmaNet News: June 14, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
         June 14, 2001  Issue # 1825
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

*Mizzima: General's son died in car accident, driving drunk
*VOA: Reports Say Burma's Forced Labor Centers On Ethnic Minorities
*Tokyo Journal: Do Not Pass Go / Go Directly to Jail 

*PD Burma Japan: Foreign Minister Tanaka is cautious on Baluchaung 

*Calgary Herald: Warfare killed 4,000 child soldiers last year: Myanmar 
has most youth recruits 

*The New York Times: Taliban's Eradication of Poppies Is Convulsing 
Opium Market

*BurmaNet: Regime seeks to eject chief accuser at ILO
*Reuters: Thailand hopes for new era after PM visit to Myanmar
*New Straits Times: Court rejects Myanmar guilty plea of causing 
shipmate's death
*Bangkok Post: Chavalit scraps plan to go to Rangoon
*Bangkok Post: Chavalit has his way
*BMA: Hacker Attacks Survey of Burma Tourism

*Naew Na (Bangkok) [Editorial says Thaksin trip to Burma ?totally 
*Siam Rath/Krungthep Thurakit (Bangkok): [Editorials on Burmese 
textbooks slighting Thailand]
*?An Earnest and Urgent Request by Bohmu Aung and Colleagues?
*The New light of Myanmar (SPDC):  The truth that cannot be concealed 

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

Mizzima: General's son died in car accident, driving drunk

Rangoon, June 13, 2001 
Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com) 

One of the Burmese top military generals' son died in a car accident 
last week in the capital while driving in excessively drunk. Sai Wanna 
Zaw, son of Lt-General Win Myint, Secretary 3 of the ruling State Peace 
and Development Council (SPDC) died last Saturday early morning in 

The sources close to the family said Sai Wanna Zaw won a "two-digit" 
illegal lottery a day before the accident. At night, he gave a party to 
his friends at "Dream" restaurant situated between Bogyoke Aung San 
Street and War Tannlan Street in Rangoon.  
"Around 4 o'clock in the morning, the party was ended and he left the 
restaurant in an excessively drunk condition. He drove off himself", 
said a waiter of the restaurant, who wants to remain anonymous.  

Minutes after he left, his car first hit a shop on the street and then 
it hit another car which was coming from opposite direction. The 
incident happened around 4.30 a.m.    


VOA: Reports Say Burma's Forced Labor Centers On Ethnic Minorities

Bangkok - 13 Jun 2001 01:36 UTC

By Gary Thomas

Burma is coming under new criticism for the use of forced labor. Two 
leading human rights groups have issued almost simultaneous reports 
contending that the practice continues, even though it has been 
officially outlawed. 

In almost identical reports, both Amnesty International and Human Rights 
Watch accuse Burma of still utilizing forced labor. 

Burma officially outlawed the practice in October. But both Amnesty 
International and Human Rights Watch say the ban is apparently being 

The reports say the country's ethnic minorities have been singled out 
for use as porters on construction projects. Based on interviews with 
migrants entering Thailand, the two groups allege that laborers are 
forced to haul heavy loads over long distances. Amnesty International 
charges that hundreds of people have died from exhaustion and beatings. 

In an interview in April with VOA, Burmese Deputy Foreign Minister Khin 
Maung Win said the government is committed to ending the practice. "We 
are now taking the necessary legislative, executive, and administrative 
measures to see the end of forced labor in our country," he said. "In 
fact, right now, due to the directives we have issued, the instructions 
that we have issued, due to the legislative measures we have issued, 
forced labor is illegal and is an offense under our law." 

But both human rights groups say more international pressure is needed 
to get the government to enforce its own ban. Amnesty International 
researcher Donna Guest says the central government has to do a better 
job of getting word of the ban down to lower levels. 

"The generals have adopted a law and they have made it illegal, both for 
the army and for civilian administrators, to use forced labor," she 
said. "And what we hope is that this trickles down to the local level, 
to the local commanders, because I think that is really the problem. 
What has happened is that troops are not getting paid properly, 
according to reports, so what they do is that they use forced labor to 
work on infrastructure projects, and even to farm. They even use 
civilians to work on farms because they do not have any food." 

Last November, the Geneva-based International Labor Organization called 
for member countries and labor organizations to review their ties with 
Burma because of the issue. 

Khin Maung Win said Burma "greatly regrets" the ILO move, and accused 
unnamed internal forces within the organization of trying to smear Burma 
over the issue. "Unfortunately, some powerful forces in the ILO are 
trying to paint a very black picture regarding the forced labor issue," 
he said, "But you know, last year we have tried to cooperate as much as 
possible with the ILO, and even had two of their technical cooperation 
missions to our country." 

Last month, Burma's military government gave the ILO permission to 
conduct an independent probe. On Monday, the ILO announced it plans to 
send a team to Burma in September to investigate the country's progress 
in ending forced labor


Tokyo Journal: Do Not Pass Go / Go Directly to Jail 

June 2001

By Richard Humphries

 We away from Mother s garden
Sighing repeatedly from the prison s iron bars
At our rotten future
Can only utter empty threats 

(From  Scent of Steel Flowers from Prison,  a collection of anonymous 
verse by imprisoned Burmese women) 

Most societies undergo a generational pattern of defining experience. 
This might be a war, worldwide as in the 1940s, or more localized, as 
later in Vietnam. It could be an economic cycle-the disheartening depths 
of depression years or, conversely, the irrational exuberance of a boom 
s gilded age. Burma s present and previous generation have an 
acquaintance with both war and depression but is there a clearer symbol? 
For the country as a whole metaphorically, and for thousands more in a 
very literal sense, the clank of the iron-barred prison door may well be 
the collective memory. 

It doesn t take much to earn cell space in Burma. Direct political 
activity certainly makes the ruling junta see red. A series of laws, 
some dating from British times, serve as justification. One, the 1950  
Emergency Provisions Act  has several clauses. Section 5(j) is used by 
the junta to imprison up to seven years, or fine, or both, anyone who 
''causes or intends to spread false news, knowing beforehand that it is 

More recently the regime has targeted the microchip. Under the 1996  
Computer Science Development Law,  anyone who imports, keeps, or 
utilizes a computer without government permission is in trouble. After 
conviction, they will be  punished with imprisonment for a term which 
may extend from a minimum of 7 years to a maximum of 15 years and may 
also be liable to a fine.  

In Burma, even irony and satire are enemies to be routed. Pa Pa Lay and 
Zu Law were well-known comedians and members of an a-nyeint troupe from 
Mandalay. (A-nyeint is a traditional style of Burmese entertainment that 
combines orchestral music with dances, jokes, and humorous skits.) Their 
performance, lampooning the junta, at Aung San Suu Kyi s compound in 
early 1996, was one the regime claimed was  liable to destabilize the 
country and affect the security of the state.  The two comedians were 
arrested, tried without legal representation, and in August 1996 
sentenced to seven years imprisonment each. 

For some, jail is the end of the road. James Leander (Leo) Nichols, a 
65-year-old Anglo-Burmese businessman, honorary consul for Norway, and 
godfather to Aung San Suu Kyi, died while under confinement on June 22, 
1996. His infraction was the  illegal possession of fax machines.  
Evidently, the real reason was that those faxes were used to transmit 
Aung San Suu Kyi s  Letters From Burma  series to a Japanese newspaper 
that was publishing them.  

In a recent report, Amnesty International estimated that there are 
currently 1,850 people being held as political prisoners in Burma s 
jails. This does not include those who have died from beatings or 
through the lack of medical attention. Nor does it include those held 
and subsequently released, often after years of incarceration. 

One Thailand-based organization is working hard to help the victims of 
imprisonment. The Assistance Association for Political Prisons (AAPP) 
was founded on December 1, 1999 by a group of Burmese exiles. They know 
their subject only too well. All spent time in Burma s jails. 

Aung Din is one member. A student activist who organized pro-democracy 
demonstrations against his country s military rulers, Aung Din was 
arrested on April 23, 1989 by Military Intelligence. After 13 months of 
confinement, he was sentenced to 4 years with hard labor. He spent most 
of those years in solitary confinement and fled abroad after release. 

Two other members, who prefer anonymity, came from much different 
backgrounds. Both were in the Burmese Army during the 1989 troubles.  X  
was an officer and  Y  was a private and paratrooper in an airborne 
unit. Their crime was that they possessed a sense of individual 
responsibility in the face of hierarchical authority and did not follow 
orders. The orders concerned the Army s response to pro-democracy 
demonstrators and were  shoot to kill.  Today  Y,  an artist as well as 
activist, teaches drawing to the children of migrant Burmese laborers in 
Thailand free of charge. 

Bo Kyi, spokesman for the AAPP, served two terms totaling seven years. 
This March in Europe, he received a student peace prize from Norway and 
accepted a Czech award on behalf of Min Ko Naing, the imprisoned student 
leader. Bo Kyi had many talks with European officials and spoke with 
them in fluent English. He learned that language in jail, without tapes 
or books, by whispering with a cellmate when the guards were away.  
Bo Kyi first became involved in politics in 1988 because,  Most people 
knew there were strikes at the Rangoon Institute of Technology,  he 
said.  The government killed a student named Phone Maw and we protested. 
Our movement was brutally crushed. I was involved in it because I hated 

He spent time in three prisons, in Mandalay, in Thayawaddy, and in the 
country s most notorious detention center, Insein, just outside Rangoon. 
Insane just about sums up the conditions in these jails.  

Torture is common and Bo Kyi was twice beaten severely for protesting 
prison conditions. One of Bo Kyi s friends, doing hard labor at Myingyan 
Prison, was beaten daily, fed poorly, and eventually died. Political 
prisoners lack sufficient water for bathing and drinking. Authorities 
routinely deny adequate medical treatment even when a prisoner s 
condition reaches a life-threatening stage.  When I was sick, it was 
difficult for me to go to the hospital,  Bo Kyi said.  I had to use the 
medicine my family provided instead.   

Food is bland, usually rice, fish paste, and talapaw, a concoction 
resembling, but hardy deserving, the name of soup. This food is not 
enough and prisoners typically have to depend upon food (and medical) 
parcels from their families. 

Family aid is not always possible. Some are desperately poor, living at 
the margin of survival. The regime exacerbates matters by often jailing 
its enemies in prisons far removed from the prisoner s home. And there 
is worse in store for families. According to the AAPP,  Military 
Intelligence (MIS) and local authorities regularly intimidate and 
persecute the family members of political prisoners. The MIS frequently 
confiscate their belongings and harass the economic, social, and 
educational lives of the family members of political prisoners. In most 
cases they lose their jobs.  

Anyone who has read Solzhenitsyn knows how the Gulag authorities used  
blatnye,  imprisoned common criminals, to manipulate and terrorize 
political inmates. In Burma it is much the same.  We had a lot of 
problems with criminals,  Bo Kyi remembered,  and they were treated much 
better than us.   

Still there are some small victories.  Once in 1996, when I was in 
Insein, there were two criminals mixed in with two political,  Bo Kyi 
recalled.  One of the political prisoners was very good looking. The 
criminals tried to rape him but we were able to stop that.  
The country has some 36 major prisons of which 20 hold political 
prisoners. This is not the only form of detention, however. In the past, 
when Aung San Suu Kyi s party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) 
announced a conference or other political gathering, NLD members were 
frequently picked up and taken to government-run guesthouses, supposedly 
for consultations. Aung San Suu Kyi herself has been subjected to 
periods of house arrest, the longest being for five years until 1995. 
Now the ruling junta is engaged in secret talks with Aung San Suu Kyi. 
The stated goal is to produce a political settlement to Burma s woes. 
These talks may in time produce results though their initial nature, 
that of a controlling junta bargaining with a single individual confined 
to her home, has caused more than one observer to liken them to  
speaking to a bird in a gilded cage.  

The AAPP is working towards several objectives. It is documenting and 
reporting on the oppression suffered by political prisoners and 
encouraging the international community to pressure the regime to 
prevent further persecution. It is also struggling to ensure that basic 
human rights are respected in the prisons and that authorities provide 
the basic necessities of food and medicine. Just as importantly, it is 
striving to protect prisoners and their families after any are released 
and trying to help ex-prisoners with needed physical and mental 

For now the jails remain a malignant cancer on Burmese society. And for 
voices (like the poet above) that speak out in agony there are special 
dangers. After release, another poet revealed part of his imprisonment 
trauma to the AAPP.  One of the intelligence officers screamed at me  
You are a poet? You wrote this satire against our government? Which 
material did you use? You used these fingers to criticize us.  After 
that my fingers were stretched upon the concrete and they proceeded to 
trample my fingers with their jungle boots.  


PD Burma Japan: Foreign Minister Tanaka is cautious on Baluchaung repair


June 14, 2001

 In a reply to Diet member  Mizuho Fukushima (Social Democratic Party) 
at the session of the House of Councilors legal affairs committee on 
June 11,  Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka showed a cautious posture with 
respect to grant aid for the controversial Baluchaung hydroelectric 
power station.

 Fukushima, referring to American government criticism of Japan?s 
support to Burma in the timing of aid, and the decision of the ILO  
requesting sanctions on Burma by members countries, asked Tanaka to show 
the relation between the four principles of Japan?s Overseas Development 
Aid (ODA) charter and the grant aid to the military government.

  Tanaka responded that the Japanese government is trying to help basic 
life of Burmese people directly, but she recognizing what Fukushima 
pointed out. The minister added that she wants to gather information to 
examine from different channels and not only from Ministry of Foreign 


Calgary Herald: Warfare killed 4,000 child soldiers last year: Myanmar 
has most youth recruits 

June 13, 2001 Wednesday  

Bloomberg News 

More than 500,000 children under 18 serve as soldiers in 87 nations, and 
about 4,000 were killed in combat last year, according to a report by a 
coalition of international human rights groups. 

Among the nations with the worst records of sending child soldiers into 
battle are the African countries of Uganda, Sudan, Sierra Leone and 
Angola, according to a study by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child 
Soldiers. Others cited for poor records are Indonesia, Colombia, 
Afghanistan, Myanmar and the Philippines. 

The London-based coalition's 450-page report, prepared with the support 
of the United Nations, is the first major study on children in uniform 
and details recruitment and forcible conscription in 180 nations. The 
coalition, whose members include Amnesty International and Human Rights 
Watch, also faulted the U.S. for sending soldiers under the age of 18 to 
the Persian Gulf War and Somalia. 

"The problem is not confined to developing countries in the midst of 
conflict," said Jo Becker, chairman of the coalition, who said the U.K. 
recruits 16-year-olds. 

The study gave no estimate of whether the number of child soldiers, most 
of whom are between 15 and 17, has increased or decreased in recent 
years, or what per cent was forcibly conscripted. It said the number of 
child soldiers is decreasing in Latin America, the Middle East and the 
Balkans because of changes in military recruitment policies. 

The single largest number of child soldiers is in Myanmar, where the 
report says 50,000 are involved in internal political clashes and border 
disputes with Thailand. Uganda and Burundi, countries also involved in 
civil wars and fighting with their Central African neighbours, have up 
to 15,000 child soldiers, according to the report. 

"Sometimes I fell asleep when I was on guard duty, I was beaten by my 
corporal," former child soldier Chitralekha Massey wrote. "He beat me 
like a dog, like I was an animal, not a human being. There were two or 
three suicides during that time, of boys who has been hospitalized and 
finally shot themselves." 

In Iraq, according to the report, thousands of children aged 10-15 
participate in the Saddam Lion Cubs youth movement. They receive 
training in small-arms use and hand-to-hand combat. 

The report found girls 11 to 15 in Sri Lanka have been recruited by the 
rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam since the mid 1980s. Many were 
trained as suicide bombers. 


The New York Times: Taliban's Eradication of Poppies Is Convulsing Opium 

 UNITED NATIONS - June 13, 2001, Wednesday

 Late Edition - Final 

The unexpected success of the Taliban in Afghanistan in eradicating 
three-quarters of the world's crop of opium poppies in one season is 
leading experts to ask where production is likely to spring up next. 

The director of the United Nations Drug Control Program, Pino Arlacchi, 
said there was no chance that opium from other sources would compensate 
this year for the loss of Afghan crops, and the prices of opium and 
heroin will rise substantially, with opium already worth five to seven 
times its usual price. His program helped convince the Taliban that 
opium is a disgrace to Islam. 

The chairman of the Central Asia Institute at Johns Hopkins, Frederick 
Starr, said the West, especially Europe, had been inexplicably slow in 
recognizing developments in Afghanistan. "The reduction is probably the 
most dramatic event in the history of illegal drug markets, not only in 
scale, but also in the fact that it was done domestically, without 
international assistance," he said. He added that Europe, where most 
Afghan heroin was consumed, had been "stunningly dysfunctional" in 
helping Afghan farmers who have sacrificed livelihoods and in moving to 
prevent new fields from springing up in other poor countries. 

United Nations narcotics officials are looking at three regions that may 
be tempted -- Myanmar, Pakistan and Central Asia. 

In an interview from the drug agency headquarters in Vienna, Mr. 
Arlacchi said he was skeptical about including Myanmar, formerly Burma, 
because Thailand and China have put tremendous pressure on the military 
junta there to control narcotics production. He said the ethnic groups 
in northern Myanmar who once were the largest poppy producers have 
instead turned to making chemical compounds. American experts agree that 
the greater problem now is synthetic drugs like ecstasy, which are 
becoming increasingly popular among young Asians. 

In Pakistan, Mr. Arlacchi said, the government, working with the United 
Nations, has completed one of its most successful eradication programs 
over the last two decades. "Production is down to almost zero in the 
last few years," he said. 

Central Asia, he said, has the most potential for poppy production. The 
United Nations has been working there with limited funds to cut down 
trafficking in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. In the 
last four months, more than two tons of heroin have been seized on the 
Tajikistan-Afghanistan border. 

"But even if in the long term this reduction of supply is a major 
success, it will be sustainable only with a parallel reduction in the 
demand in the industrial countries," Mr. Arlacchi said. Narcotics 
experts say they do not see matching efforts in rich countries to cut 

"The prices of heroin and cocaine have been declining over 10 years," 
Mr. Arlacchi said. "That trend will now be interrupted. Prices will 
increase without demand reduction, and there will be more powerful 
incentives to cultivators and traders." 

Mr. Starr, of Johns Hopkins, said special attention should be paid to 
Kyrgyzstan, parts of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, as well as Xinjiang, in 
western China. "Kyrgyzstan was the largest legal producer of opium 
poppies in the world during Soviet times," he said. Opium was used to 
make morphine for medicinal use. "Presumably the people who made it work 
then are still on the ground -- and unemployed." 

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

BurmaNet: Regime seeks to eject chief accuser at ILO

June 14, 2001

In a formal challenge dated June 12, 2001, the regime?s representative 
to the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva is seeking to 
have the Federation of Trade Unions Burma (FTUB) derecognized by the 
Currently, the Burmese labor organization is represented at the ILO by 
its Secretary General Maung Maung, who have been included as a member of 
the the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) 
delegation there.

BurmaNet has obtained copies of the challenge, contained in a letter 
from Soe Nyunt to the ILO and a rebuttal by the ICFTU.  The ICFTU, in 
cooperation with the FTUB, layed the forced labor charges against Burma 
which have resulted in the ILO?s current sanctions on the regime.  

In the challenge, Soe Nyunt questioned the standing of the FTUB to file 
allegations against the regime on the grounds that it does not have 
?proper registration? as a labor organization and calls for it to 
produce ?relevant certificates of registration.?   The FTUB is banned in 

The regime also alludes to its previous allegations against, Maung 
Maung, saying cryptically ?We have certain information about the true 
identity of Mr. Maung Maung [alias] Pyi Thet Nyunt Wai? and inviting the 
ILO to write to its Permanent Representative in Geneva for details.  The 
regime has previously accused Maung Maung, in collaboration with the 
ICFTU, the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial 
Organizations (AFL-CIO) and the National Endowment for Democracy of 
plotting terrorist activities in Burma.

In a scathing rebuttal, the ICFTU called the insinuations about Maung 
Maung ?unsubstantiated, baseless and insulting? and reminded the ILO of 
previous bizarre allegations by the regime such as a supposed plot by 
ICFTU General Secretary Bill Jordan and the President of the AFL-CIO, 
John Sweeney of having plotted in a Rangoon hotel to bomb embassies in 
Rangoon.  ?It is? the ICFTU noted, ?a matter of public record that 
[neither] has ever set foot in Burma [and] allegations made by the 
government...concerning U Maung Maung's personal background are of the 
same nature.?

The regime?s attempt to eject its chief accuser at the ILO will do 
little to calm fears about the safety of witnesses who speak with the 
ILO?s high level team that will go to Burma in September to assess the 
credibility of the regime?s claim that it stopped using forced labor.  
The challenge is unlikely to succeed however because the ILO has no 
mechanism to eject accredited representatives from groups like the 
ICFTU.  A senior ILO official told BurmaNet that ejecting the FTUB ?is a 
legal impossibility.?


Reuters: Thailand hopes for new era after PM visit to Myanmar

 BANGKOK, June 13 

By Nopporn Wong-Anan 

Thailand's prime minister visits Myanmar next week hoping to clear the 
air and improve often stormy relations between neighbours that have been 
enemies for centuries.  

 Thai Defence Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said on Wednesday he 
believed the trip would put relations on a much better footing. 

 ``I believe the bilateral relationship will start with a new page in 
history after the visit,'' Chavalit, a former army chief, told 

 Relations between Thailand and Myanmar have deteriorated since Prime 
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was elected in January on a promise to 
``wage war against drugs.'' 

 Thailand says most of the drugs pouring into the country from the 
notorious Golden Triangle region, where Thailand meets Laos and Myanmar, 
are made by ethnic minority groups inside Myanmar. 

 Thaksin addressed the nation in a weekly radio show last weekend and 
said talks with Myanmar's military government would focus on curbing the 
drugs trade. 

 Thaksin's two-day visit to Myanmar from Tuesday will follow trips to 
Laos on June 12 and Cambodia on June 18. 

 Chavalit said on Wednesday he was ``one hundred percent'' confident 
Thaksin's trip would yield success. 
 He said ``the clouds will disappear'' after his Myanmar trip. 

 Chavalit, who says he has good personal relations with various Myanmar 
military leaders, says the most important issue for both countries was 
to build trust before both nations could iron out other issues. 


 ``The border problem is a minor issue, but we should understand each 
other more at first `` he said. 

 Thailand sent reinforcements to its northern border with Myanmar after 
recent fighting between Thai troops and a pro-Myanmar government ethnic 
militia group, the United Wa State Army, which is accused by Bangkok of 
being a major producer and supplier of methamphetamine stimulants and 

 Myanmar disputes this and in turn accuses rebels along the 2,400 km 
(1,490 mile) Thai-Myanmar border of being the region's main drugs 

 The latest row, which further soured already tense relations, occurred 
last week when a Myanmar school textbook described Thais as lazy and 

 Since coming to power in January's landslide election victory, Thaksin 
has promised to stem the flow of an estimated 700 million 
methamphetamine tablets entering Thailand each year through its porous 
northern border.
 Chavalit on Tuesday denied local press reports that he would join 
Thaksin for the Myanmar trip, saying he would instead travel to China. 

 Thai newspapers on Tuesday reported that Thai Foreign Ministry 
officials objected to Chavalit's inclusion in the Myanmar trip, saying 
they did not want Thai foreign policy to be seen as military-dominated. 

 ``There is no reason for me to go. Even if I went, I would not add any 
more contribution,'' he said. 


New Straits Times: Court rejects Myanmar guilty plea of causing 
shipmate's death

Malaysia - 13 June 2001 

By Letitia Samuel

The Sessions Court today rejected the guilty plea of a Myanmar ship 
officer accused of causing the death of his shipmate early this year.

Sessions judge Yew Jen Kie rejected the guilty plea of Hlato (No full 
name in the charge sheet) when the officer denied kicking shipmate Saw 
Bernard Law after the latter had fallen to the ground after a scuffle.

Hlato, who is unrepresented, denied kicking Law when the facts of the 
case was read to him by the court intepreter.

The judge then fixed July 9 for hearing.

Hlato had earlier pleaded guilty to the culpable homicide not amounting 
to murder of Saw at Jalan Ban Hock here at 4am on Jan 26.

The facts of the case, presented by prosecuting officer ASP Ng Ah Lek, 
stated that the accused had a fight with Law over taxi fare.


Bangkok Post: Chavalit scraps plan to go to Rangoon

June: 14, 2001

By Post Reporters

Defence Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh has abruptly cancelled his trip 
to Burma next Monday, a day before the premier's official visit, amid 
unease at the Foreign Ministry that it is improper, sources said.

The sources said last night Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai and 
senior officials were unhappy with the minister's advance trip, which 
they deemed unnecessary.

The sources said Gen Chavalit's trip might send signals that it was the 
defence minister who was in charge of foreign policy.

Gen Chavalit had planned to meet Burmese Prime Minister Gen Than Shwe, 
chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, and other members 
of the junta including army commander Gen Maung Aye and intelligence 
chief Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt.

"Gen Chavalit is trying to help but he is not the foreign minister," 
said one source who closely monitors Thai-Burmese ties.

However, Gen Chavalit played down reports of a rift, saying he decided 
to cancel the trip because he was due in China on June 20-24 and could 
not fit everything in.

He said he was confident Thaksin Shinawatra's visit would be a success 
and would open a new era of bilateral relations, much strained during 
Chuan Leekpai's term of office.

"This trip will help improve understanding between Thailand and Burma," 
he said. Gen Chavalit said mistrust and suspicion should not be left 
intact, noting that both sides had to turn to each other to discuss 
measures that would help clear up misunderstandings.

Armed forces chief-of-staff Gen Sommai Wichaworn and Gen Vichit Yathip, 
chief of the defence minister's staff officers, flew to Rangoon last 
week to make preparations for Mr Thaksin's visit.

Defence Ministry spokesman Col Chongsak Panichakul dismissed reports of 
a rift between the Defence and Foreign ministries.

"The report is untrue since there is no such rift," he said.

Col Chongsak said Gen Chavalit did not want to go to Burma from the 
beginning but was asked by the prime minister to help mediate and 
resolve misunderstandings.


Bangkok Post: Chavalit has his way

June 14, 2001

The power behind the prime minister has again had his way and so the 
premier is to drop everything so he can pay his best respects to the 
political masters across our western border. Also disposing of the usual 
rules of procedure and protocol is one of the premier's party-men, who 
is determined to go after perceived enemies. More cautious is the more 
seasoned Newin as he awaits his inevitable chance.

Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh has been more than fulsome in his praise for 
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra since he decided not to wait for a 
visit from Burmese Foreign Minister Win Aung before he rushes off to 

The defence minister had been pushing extraordinarily hard for the prime 
minister to waste no time in getting across to Rangoon to meet the 
general's good friends in the military dictatorship.

He apparently was worried his friends could not be put off until after a 
visit here by their foreign minister. Win Aung is expected here before 
the end of this month as a courtesy call after Foreign Minister 
Surakiart Sathirathai presented his credentials to Rangoon last month.

Gen Chavalit said the prime minister had shown his true worth in going 
to Burma on June 19-20 despite protocol suggesting that he wait until 
after Win Aung has paid his call.

"I really admire the premier for taking such a bold move by disregarding 
protocol," he said. "The premier is fully aware that the most important 
thing for mankind is amity, and he will certainly do anything to achieve 
this goal. This has much impressed me."Gen Chavalit said he was sorry 
that the prime minister had to work under such time constraints and he 
would do what he could to ease the pressure.

The defence minister had planned to go to Burma himself on Monday, a day 
before the premier, but he put off the trip due to the obvious 
displeasure this had caused the Foreign Ministry.

He had planned to go early to smooth the way for the prime minister with 
his old buddy Gen Than Shwe, the prime minister and chairman of the 
ruling State Peace and Development Council.

One of Gen Chavalit's men at Defence said the boss was well aware of the 
problems at the core of the recent uneasiness damaging relations between 
Bangkok and Rangoon.

"Among these are Rangoon's suspicions that we support the Shan rebel 
fighters," said the defence man, a trusted lieutenant. "The defence 
minister has suggested confidence-building measures which will 
eventually help dispel mistrust and restore mutual understanding."He 
said the measures envisioned by the defence minister included opening up 
the areas along the border where there have been troubles to joint 
inspections and possibly patrols. Rangoon has not responded publicly to 
this suggestion.

Gen Chavalit blames the strength of the Shan State Army on financial 
support from influential international organisations. He said the rebel 
army had grown from a rag-tag force of 200 ill-equipped fighters a few 
years ago to around 6,000 armed troops.

The lieutenant said Gen Chavalit was convinced there were attempts to 
cause a rift between Bangkok and Rangoon by a third party which did not 
want to see friendly ties.

He said Gen Chavalit was was hoping that Bangkok and Rangoon could 
improve their ties and this and a stronger Asean could help bring peace 
and stability to the region.


BMA: Hacker Attacks Survey of Burma Tourism

By Tin Maung Htoo
Burma Media Association
June 12, 2001

Online survey initiated early this month by an Australia travel agency, 
Intrepid, regarding 'yes' or 'no' question on tourism in Burma was 
attacked by a hacker, an official of the survey informed BMA today. 
"The poll figures are totally skewed by a 'hacker' putting a 'robot' 
onto our poll that voted 'no' every 5 seconds for some time.  We've 
taken the poll down for the time being as this menace jammed our 
web-site.  We hope to have a realistic poll back up soon," said Jane 
Crouch, Responsible Travel Coordinator of Intrepid Travel Ltd.

BMA closely monitored the poll proceeding at its outset and found a few 
days later that the poll was abruptly shut down without any immediate 
announcement on the web site.  BMA noticed that it was the time during 
which more people were rolling on into the poll site, partly because of 
the poll exposure of BMA and other activists on media and Internet. 

When BMA checked out the result the last time on June 9, the 'no' answer 
was overwhelmingly prevailing over 'yes'  - with almost a thousand vote 
in margin - 1126 versus 199.  However, within another a few hours, the 
survey was gone; instead of that, other Burma related page was put in 
place, and that make a big surprised for all people coming over to the 
polling page.  

Although the Intrepid's claim of being hacker-attacked in favor of  'no' 
vote, they still need to provide some evidence as the case is so 
sensitive for hundreds of thousands of Burma democracy advocates who are 
opposing foreign businesses entering into Burma without considering 
human rights and political once.  

As a matter of the fact, anyone who wanted to vote in the survey had to 
enter the name and email address before being able to vote, and if 
hacker-attack was taken place, they could follow and check those 
entering email addresses as to whether they are fraudulent or not.       

What BMA learned from the poll is that hundreds of people, along with 
their names and emails, not only voted in the survey against the 
reinstatement of tourism business in Burma, but also expressed reasons 
for opposing it, which could be still seen on the travel agency's web 
site [www.intrepidtravel.com].

One of the Burma activists who went to vote for this survey said, " we 
would need to find out the company's actual intention for doing this 
survey as the fact that they seem to be ambiguous and zealous to go back 
and do business in Burma."

Intrepid travel agency that decided to suspend its trips to Burma in 
1999 after a review of the political situation in Burma started its 
business in Burma in 1995 and stated the business was successful and 
profitable for the company.

The company's Responsible Travel Coordinator Crouch said that they 
didn't know if they made the right decision two years ago.  When they 
decided to withdraw, they made a commitment to review their decision 
within two years and said now is the time to get feedback whether to 
resume the abandoned-but-profitable business in Burma.

However, the seeking feedback they have now obtained is widespread and 
obvious that they should not go back to Burma until and after a positive 
change in Burma is overcome.  Presumably, the only thing that left for 
the company is to keep their previous ethical decision, along with 
announcing the poll outcome.  


Naew Na (Bangkok) [Editorial says Thaksin trip to Burma ?totally 

June 7, 2001

[Summary translation of Thai language editirial by Thailand press 

Naew Na editorial states that the PM's visit to Burma late this June to 
restore and strengthen relationship will be totally useless since Burma 
is never sincere or trying to solve the border and diplomatic conflicts 
with Thailand. After each Thailand's visit, Burma always releases a sour 
and harsh statement rather than a friendly one. Naeo Na believes that 
Thailand-Burma conflict is apparently caused by Thailand's accusation to 
Burma as the big narcotic producer and Burma's accusation to Thailand as 
the big supporter of armed-struggled ethnic groups along border. Naeo Na 
opines that Thailand is unable to settle conflicts with Burma alone. It 
needs world community and ASEAN to help pressuring Burma to solve the 


Siam Rath/Krungthep Thurakit (Bangkok): [Editorials on Burmese textbooks 
slighting Thailand]

June 7, 2001

[Summary translation of Thai language editirial by Thailand press 

Siam Rath editorial and Krungthep Thurakit CHAI SIHO protest Burma over 
its textbook which severely criticizes and tarnishes Thailand. However, 
one good thing is that Thai people will know our weak points, and 
realize how others see us. No matter whether the criticism is true, Thai 
should be proud that we have far development, politically and socially, 
than Burma. Thai government is urged to take deliberate action on this 
before this small drop of honey becomes the big issue. 


?An Earnest and Urgent Request by Bohmu Aung and Colleagues?

[BurmaNet adds: Bohmu Aung was, along with Aung San and Ne Win one of 
the original ?Thirty Comrades? who led Burma to independence.]

An Earnest and Urgent Request by Bohmu Aung and Colleagues ( (Political 
Veterans)   To the State Peace and Development Council and  the National 
League for Democracy  to Make a United National Effort  to Overcome the 
Crisis Facing the Country.
 1.  The masses are suffering great hardship from the increasing and 
expanding  difficult political, economic, and social conditions existing 
in Burma today.  Legitimate border trade has been shattered because of 
border disputes with our  neighbor country. That the value of the kyat 
is tumbling, that prices of food,  medicines and essential basic 
necessities are unnecessarily skyrocketing are  facts that cannot be 
 2.  All this is the result of political perplexities arising out of the 
 dishonored general elections. As early as 1995 we have been advising 
and  requesting face to face talks to bring about reconciliation and 
settlement by  negotiation between the State Peace Development Council 
(Military government),  and National League for Democracy and 
representatives of the nationalities.  
 3.  From the experience of other countries and our own, we know that 
difficulties  can never be overcome by seeking to satisfy only one 
individual, one group or one  party. Problems are not solved by band-aid 
measures that do not go to the root of  the problem. We need to find 
answers to solve  problems that effect all the  people and this can only 
be achieved in a spirit of national unity. We make this  statement in 
all sincerity.
 4. What we had been hoping for months and years ago materialised in 
October 2000  when the SPDC and the NLD started talking to each other. 
This gave us and the  masses reason for much rejoicing. We made a public 
statement about this also. We  believed that there would be a good 
outcome for the country. In his speech on the  27th March, 2001 
commemorating the 56th anniversary of Resistance Day (Military  Day) 
Senior General Than Shwe (Chairman of the SPDC) made these truthful  
 "without political stability, the country's economy cannot prosper".    
 He also said 
 "if you look at countries that have adopted the democratic system for 
many years  you will find that they are flourishing and prosperous with 
modern industries  where individuals enjoy big incomes and high 
standards.  No matter what  differences the political parties have they 
cooperate and work together on  matters that effect the social and 
economic welfare of the people."    

 Senior General Than Shwe went further and said   " In solving the 
problems between ourselves by confrontation we cannot succeed.  So we 
are trying to reach an accord.  We all live in one country, drink the 
same  water and in building this country of ours we need to be united 
with a spirit of  love and charity."  
 This is the right spirit that should be adopted. The National League 
for  Democracy was formed basically for the purpose of obtaining 
democracy and for  equality and unity of all the different 
nationalities.  Therefore both sides are  on the same track.
 5.  However, after so much time, no official statement about the 
progress of the  talks has been made which has given rise to much 
speculation and apprehension in  the hearts of all the people including 
the nationalities.   

 6.  Over and above the great secrecy in the on-going talks, the fears, 
the  speculation, the rumors the whole country is now faced with 
unprecedented sudden  sharp rises in commodities and a plunge in the 
value of the Kyats.  These are  facts that are undeniable. The poverty 
stricken masses are suffering immensely.  

 7.  We fear tremendously that catastrophe awaits the nation if proper 
steps are  not honestly and correctly taken to solve these many 

 8. Making accusations against one another during the period of these 
talks should  be 
avoided.  The talks should be as between equals.  There should be 
freedom and  with no restrictions. To be specific, we think that the 
people should be informed  about the outcome of the talks so that their 
minds can be settled. Movement  restrictions placed on the leader with 
whom the talks are conducted should be  removed. Political prisoners 
held in captivity should be released  unconditionally.  Legally 
constituted NLD and other political organisations  should be allowed to 
perform their political activities with freedom. Only if  such actions 
are implemented, will the talks reach a successful conclusion  swiftly. 
Then solutions to other problems will follow.
 9.  The sooner the correct answers are found, the sooner will the 
people be  relieved from having to eat the bitter fruit of misery.
 Only when political stability is achieved, the solution to other 
problems can be  obtained.  This is our deep and honest conviction.
 We declare that this urgent and earnest request is presented by us in a 
spirit  predominantly for the benefit of the country and is completely 
free from the four  vices of greed, hatred, fear and anger.
 Dated 20th May 2001
 Signed by
 Bohmu Aung on behalf of the political veterans.
 Thakin Chit Maung
 Thakin Thein Pe
 Bo San Tha Gyaw
 U Aung Myint
 Bo Nyo
 Bo Min Lwin
 U Ba Tun
 Bo Aung Naing
 Bo Tha Tun


The New light of Myanmar (SPDC):  The truth that cannot be concealed 

Saturday, 9  June, 2001 

Po Khwa: Uncle Phyo! Uncle Phyo! 
Uncle Phyo: What's all about? Tell me please. 

Khwa: It's an offense, totally it is! Phyo: Again, you've cut into the 
matter  from the middle. Come on, tell me about it. 

Khwa: It is that a friend brought the 29 May issue of Daily News of Siam 
 (Thailand) when he returned home from the country. He came to me and 
told me  all about a news report in it. 
Phyo: About what? 

Khwa: Tairat Soon Thoongpra Phan (The Department of Foreign Strategic 
Studies  and Analysis) presented a slanderous article under the title 
"The Burmese  government's game of narcotics" in the daily. It is stated 
in the article  that the mass torching of narcotic drugs in Myanmar is 
learnt from the  journalists" news reports; that torching is a very old 
method; and that  nobody can tell when and where these drugs were 
seized. The article also adds  that it is doubtful whether the drug were 
damaged or expired.  Phyo: They are telling big lies intentionally. Not 
long ago, a ceremony was  held in Myanmar to destroy the seized narcotic 
drugs. At the ceremony, the  narcotic drugs were destroyed in the 
presence of the delegates to the  Meetings of Signatory Countries to 
1993 Memorandum of Understanding on Drug  Control in East Asia and the 
Pacific Sub-region, diplomats and journalists  from various news 
agencies. The guests were able to examine the narcotic  drugs at will. 
Officials also explained to the guests about the seized  narcotic drugs. 
Then the guests including the diplomats made close  examination of the 
drugs before they were destroyed in accord with the  agenda. You have 
also seen the ceremony on TV. 

Khwa: Yes. The guests keenly and closely touched and tested the drugs. 
How  many times did the drugs were destroyed? 

Phyo: You are so forgetful. You have already written an article based on 
my  clarifications. But I will repeat it, please note in mind seriously. 
It was  the 15th destruction of narcotic drugs. At the ceremony, 
130.1428 kilos of  opium, 116.469 kilos of heroin, 439.931 kilos of 
marijuana, and 27,248,615  stimulant pills weighing 2,724 kilos were 
destroyed. The total value of the  destroyed drugs is US $ 920 million. 

Khwa: It is so inconceivable for me. Despite the presence of the guests  
including diplomats, officials and journalists at the ceremony, the 
article  was written in a slanderous way.
Phyo: The statement in the Siamese (Thai) daily that "where these drugs 
were  seized is unknown" is a lie. The newspapers in Myanmar are 
presenting daily  the news reports on the seizure of the culprits and 
the drugs and related  materials and equipment by the anti-narcotics 
bodies under the arrangement of  Central Committee for Drug Abuse 
Control. They are making brazen lies.  Khwa: Were the international 
guests invited to the previous ceremonies?  Phyo: The seized drugs had 
been destroyed for 14 times from 1990 to 2000.  Officials and guests 
from foreign nations and organizations and diplomats and  local and 
foreign journalists were invited to every drug destruction  ceremony. 
Not a single unreal drug destruction ceremony has ever been  reported. 
All are held in the presence of the guests including diplomats.  Khwa: 
Do the foreign news agencies report our drug destructions held with the  
aim of eliminating the drugs? 
Phyo: That's food for thought. Despite the presence of local and foreign 
 correspondents at the ceremonies, the international media has imposed a 
 blackout on the news. They hardly issue the news reports on our drug  

Khwa: They are intentionally imposing a news blackout on our 
accomplishments  in the drug elimination efforts. 

Phyo: The international media have never highlighted the news. They 
rarely  report the news. However much the news is valuable, they (the 
international  media) may withhold it. But they will highlight a 
fabrication.  Khwa: And they are going to point an accusing finger at 
us.  Phyo: They are one-sidedly pointing at and discrediting us only. 
Here, I will  tell you about a news report carried in the 22 May issue 
of the Bangkok Post.  Khwa: Oh, great! I would like to hear it. 

Phyo: The news report states that a 42-year-old Thai police warrant 
officer  was arrested together with 1.1 million stimulant pills and 40 
kilos of  ephedrine used in producing methamphetamine at Chiang Rai in 
Thailand on 19  May. 

Khwa: Good news! The ones who wish to point at others are hit. It is so  
obvious that a police personnel on duty was involved in drug 
trafficking. We  have no such cases here. 
Phyo: There are more. On 26 May, about 2,000 kilos of ephedrine powder  
packages were found in three Hilux light trucks loaded with vegetables 
near  Maesot Hospital when a check was made on vehicles as there was a 
tour of a  senior Siamese police official. 

Khwa: Who were the traffickers? 
Phyo: The culprits were one from Maela village and another two from 
Haiphat  ward, Maesot. The news about the seizure was withheld as the 
culprits were  Siamese. 

Khwa: Though the Siamese are pointing at us with insincerity and 
launching  slanderous accusations against us, they are trying to conceal 
their  involvement in the drug business. 
Phyo: We are totally clean. Not long ago, Siam made an accusation, 
stating  that Mongyun region was engaging in mass production of drugs. 
So, the  delegates to the Meetings of Signatory Countries to 1993 
Memorandum of  Understanding on Drug Control in East Asia and the 
Pacific Sub-region,  diplomats, journalists and military attaches were 
invited to the region to  see for themselves about the true conditions. 

Khwa: Good! As the guests had witnessed the true situation, all the 
Siamese  lies were exposed. The columnist should not knowingly write 
that he had  doubts about the drugs destroyed by Myanmars and he did not 
believe it.  Phyo: Despite the article's aims to disparage Myanmar, it 
is in reality  insulting the delegates, diplomats and journalists of the 
various news  agencies. Although it did not directly say that these MoU 
delegates,  diplomats and journalists were naive to believe Myanmar's 
twists, it is like  saying so. We don't need to heed any accusations. 
History will prove who is  true to his words. The world will gradually 
come to accept that Myanmars are  the kind of people who always keep 
their words. 

Author : Po Khwa 


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