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BurmaNet News: June 22, 2001
- Subject: BurmaNet News: June 22, 2001
- From: strider@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 22 Jun 2001 04:43:00
______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
An on-line newspaper covering Burma
June 22, 2001 Issue # 1830
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________
INSIDE BURMA _______
*Irrawaddy: Daw Kyi Kyi Passes Away
*VOA News: Burma Releases Five Opposition Members
*Radio Australia: Five Burmese opposition members released
*BBC News: Burma releases more political prisoners
*Bangkok Post: Burma joins health campaign-Agrees to battle deadly
*Bangkok Post: PM offers soft-term trade deal-Export ban could be lifted
and tariffs cut
*The Nation: Burma 'Peace Talks'-- PM Pledges End to Clashes
*Irrawaddy: "Thais are very angry with the Burmese, mainly because of
drugs."--An interview with Senator Kraisak Choonhavan, head of
Thailand?s Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs
*Bangkok Post: Burma's Win Aung on visit
*The Nation: Let time be judge of PMs overtures with Burma
*The Nation: US group calls on govt to help Shan
*The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): Those who daren't show their face - 19
*Far Eastern Economic Review: Inreview: Books--Oh My, Oh Myanmar
*Far Eastern Economic Review: Inreview: Books-- Burmese Ways
__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________
Irrawaddy: Daw Kyi Kyi Passes Away
June 19, 2001
By Min Zin
June 19, 2001Daw Kyi Kyi, 82, one of the most highly respected woman
opposition figures in Burma, passed away on June 15 at Rangoon General
Hospital, confirmed relatives inside Burma.
"Her health had deteriorated since she was released from prison in July
1999 after serving ten years. Actually, she was frequently hospitalized
during her prison term," said a relative. "Daw Kyi Kyi finally died of a
heart attack," continued the relative.
Daw Kyi Kyi, who was born on May 18, 1920, had served more time in jail
than any female political prisoner in Burma. Actively involved in the
Burmese independence struggle against British colonial rule, she later
joined the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) in 1945. She married communist
leader Thakin Zin in 1947.
Daw Kyi Kyi was also a leading figure of the Burmese womens movement,
becoming an executive member of the Burmese Womens Congress in 1946.
Just after Independence in 1948, Daw Kyi Kyi went underground and joined
the CPBs armed struggle. She gave birth to four children in the jungle
during her years underground. In 1959 she was arrested and spent two
years in prison with her children. She later ran a successful Indian
spice business, which enabled her to support the families of fellow
political prisoners and underground activists.
In 1967, she was arrested again and charged under section 5 J of the
Emergency Security Act. She was released after five years. Several years
later, she learned that her husband, CPB chairman Thakin Zin, had been
killed by the Burmese military in 1975. Her annual commemorative
ceremonies for her husband became occasions for the various
anti-government forces to gather, prompting the socialist regime of
former dictator Ne Win to put pressure her stop the services. She was
detained in January 1987 for refusing to halt the ceremonies honoring
her late husband, and remained in jail until the 1988 pro-democracy
In 1989, the 70-year-old Daw Kyi Kyi was again taken into custody for
allegedly engaging in clandestine activities for the CPB to topple the
military government. She was arrested together with her daughter and her
son-in-law. All three were sentenced to 20-year prison terms, and their
spice business became a target of harassment by military intelligence
agents. In 1993, the junta declared that all political prisoners serving
20-year sentences would have their prison terms reduced by ten years,
but it was unclear if this would also apply to Daw Kyi Kyi. Despite
domestic and international pressure on the junta to release her on
humanitarian grounds, citing her advanced age and ill health, Daw Kyi
Kyi remained behind bars until July 11, 1999.
According to relatives, Ludu Daw Amar, a well-known Burmese writer and
social critic, sent a message of condolence expressing sorrow at the
loss of "a very strong and courageous woman of our times."
VOA News: Burma Releases Five Opposition Members
Bangkok-21 Jun 2001 12:48 UTC
By Ron Corben
Burma's military government has released five more opposition members
from detention. The move appears to be a sign of progress in the fragile
dialogue between the government and the opposition National League for
This is the second release of opposition politicians in as many weeks.
Five members of the National League for Democracy were allowed Thursday
to leave government guest houses where they had been detained. Eight NLD
members were freed last week.
The government has also permitted the NLD to reopen about half of its 40
offices in and around the capital, Rangoon.
The moves are being seen as a sign of new progress in private talks
between the Burmese government and NLD leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi.
The talks began secretly in October and are believed to have been
initiated by U.N. special envoy, Razali Ismail. Mr. Razali visited Burma
again earlier this month amid reports that the talks had stalled,
possibly due to divisions within the ruling military leadership.
Despite these new hopeful signs, top NLD leaders, including Aung San Suu
Kyi, remain under virtual house arrest.
Burma's political stand-off began more than a decade ago, when the
military refused to recognize the landslide victory of the NLD in
Radio Australia: Five Burmese opposition members released
June 22, 2001
Burma's military regime says it has released five more prominent members
of the opposition National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu
The release of the five, who were all elected as MPs in the disallowed
1990 elections, brings to 17 the number of political prisoners freed
A spokesman for the military junta indicated the releases were a sign
that progress is being made in the fledgling national reconciliation
talks between Aung San Suu Kyi and the ruling State Peace and
It's the third group of NLD members to be released since United Nations
envoy Razali Ismail visited Rangoon earlier this month.
He's credited with acting as the catalyst for talks between the junta
and Suu Kyi that began last October, but which appeared to have run into
problems in recent months.
BBC News: Burma releases more political prisoners
Thursday, 21 June, 2001, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK
By regional analyst Larry Jagan
More political prisoners releases
Cue: Burma's military authorities have released another five
pro-democracy MPs from prison. The military authorities said the five
are all members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democrcay.
More than a dozen political prisoners were freed last week. These
releases are seen as a sign that talks between Burma's military rulers
and the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, which started last October,
are beginning to make progress. The NLD convincingly won the 1990
elections but have never been allowed to govern. Larry Jagan reports)
The talks between Aung San Suu Kyi and the military authorities have
been held in strict secrecy, with neither side making any public
comment on the details of the dialogue. So analysts are always looking
for signs that the talks are making progress. The military authorities'
release of political prisoners is seen as one of those signs. Sources
in the military government have also hinted that more releases are
likely in the next few weeks. A senior opposition source told the BBC
that more than half the NLD offices in Rangoon have also been allowed
to reopen. These measures were high on the list of demands the UN
special envoy, Razali Ismail gave the Generals earlier this month to
prove that the talks were making progress.
The issue of political prisoners has been at the heart of the dialogue
process between Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma's generals for sometime now.
The opposition leader has continually asked the military authorities to
release political prisoners as a gesture of good faith. According to
opposition sources, Aung San Suu Kyi has urged the Generals to allow the
NLD to function normally and wants the restrictions on her and other
senior opposition leaders removed. She also wants other members of the
NLD to be involved in the dialogue process. Diplomatic sources in
Rangoon believe the release of prisoners are part of a
confidence-building process. They'll be more inclined to believe the
dialogue process is making real progress when the restrictions on Aung
San Suu Kyi are lifted. Sources in Rangoon believe this may happen next
month around the time the UN envoy is due to return to Rangoon.
Bangkok Post: Burma joins health campaign-Agrees to battle deadly
Bangkok Post: June: 22,2001
By Aphaluck Bhatiasevi
Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan has announced a first-ever
joint initiative between Thai and Burmese health authorities to fight
border health problems which are soaring because of an influx of illegal
The unique united campaign against diseases such as HIV / Aids, malaria
and tuberculosis will be headed by Ms Sudarat and her Burmese
counterpart. It will be instigated next month in the Mae Sot district of
Tak, the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai, the ThreePagoda Pass in
Kanchanaburi and Ranong.
"Instead of individually campaigning as earlier, the joint campaign is
expected to be more effective in increasing awareness against diseases
among people moving between the two countries," she said.
Ms Sudarat also said mental hospitals in provinces bordering Burma and
Cambodia will be turned into drug rehabilitation centers where addicts
can reduce dependency levels.
The hospitals are expected to take care of at least 80,000 out-patients
and 10,000 in-patients by the year-end.
On Tuesday, over four tonnes of seized drugs will be torched on the Bang
Pa-In Industrial Estate, Ayutthaya to mark World Anti-Narcotics Day.
The incineration is being carried out for the second time this year.
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will preside over the ceremonial
destruction of confiscated drugs, which include 14 million
methamphetamine tablets and 6.19kgs of heroin.
Bangkok Post: PM offers soft-term trade deal-Export ban could be lifted
and tariffs cut
Bangkok Post: June: 22, 2001
By Post Reporters
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has offered to extend trade privileges
to Burma along the lines of tariff breaks offered to Cambodia and Laos.
He made the offer on Wednesday, during talks in Rangoon with Gen Than
Shwe, Burmese prime minister and chairman of the ruling State Peace and
He asked the general to submit a list of goods for preferential
treatment to the Thai Commerce Ministry, which would pursue the matter.
Gen Surayud Chulanont, the army chief, said Thailand may lift the export
ban on items categorised as strategic materials to Burma once border
checkpoints reopen. He said it might no longer be necessary to ban
exports of fuel, rice, medicines, vehicles and automobile spare parts.
Even with the ban in force those items could still make it to Burma
through other channels.
Foreign Minster Surakiart Sathirathai quoted the prime minister as
saying the two countries "have to trade as much as possible and
co-operate as much as they can in terms of imports and the tariff
Thailand gives Laos tariff breaks on 40 products, and Cambodia on 23
products, in line with concessions allowed under the Asean Free Trade
Area and the World Trade Organisation.
Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, first secretary of the SPDC, agreed to open a "hot
line" with Mr Thaksin.
Mr Thaksin also proposed an account trade programme, to be paid in kyat
or US dollars, whereby Burma would offer agricultural products in
exchange for semi-industrial goods from Thailand. Burma, for its part,
promised to waive a ban, imposed in March, on Thai energy drinks, and
But Burma gave no commitment to reopen its waters to Thai fishermen
after closing them in protest when exiles stormed the Burmese embassy in
Bangkok in October 1999. Gen Than Shwe said he would look into it.
Meanwhile, meetings of the Joint Border Commission and Joint Township
Border Committee are pending.
Resumption of economic co-operation would be raised at the joint
commission meeting, along with displaced people and "irregular
immigrants", a source said.
The timing of the meeting, the first in two years, and that of the
boundary committee, will be discussed by Mr Surakiart and his Burmese
counterpart, Win Aung.
Thailand should have faith in Burma's pledge to co-operate on drugs and
border problems, Mr Surakiart said.
"We have to trust [them] since they have gradually agreed to more
concrete bilateral co-operation," he said, citing Burma's agreement to
sign a memorandum of understanding on drugs, and to allow special envoys
to visit suspicious areas.
"We have to understand that border and drug problems cannot be solved
overnight since it takes time to adjust attitudes and policies. But we
have to be confident in joint co-operation," the foreign minister said.
The Township Border Committee meets tomorrow to discuss opening the
Col Wanthip Wongwai, committee chairman, said his Burmese counterpart
had proposed the meeting.
It would be held at the Golden Triangle Hotel in Tachilek, about 200m
from the border of Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district.
Traders in Mae Sai district are tidying up their shops ahead of a
Sermchai Kittirattanapaibul, president of Chiang Rai's chamber of
commerce, said he was optimistic the meeting would succeed. Thailand and
Burma closed the checkpoint in mid-February after border skirmishes.
The Nation: Burma 'Peace Talks'-- PM Pledges End to Clashes
June 21, 2001.
Not a single gunshot would be exchanged between Thai and Burmese forces
along the border during his tenure as leader, Prime Minister Thaksin
Shinawatra pledged yesterday.
Wrapping up a landmark two-day visit to Burma to repair the damage from
a lengthy war of words, Thaksin said he wanted to ensure their
relationship would return to the warmth of its heyday.
Thaksin said that in two days of frank discussions with the Rangoon
leadership, he had spoken "with the heart of a Buddhist". Talks with the
Burmese leaders, especially State Peace and Development Council chairman
Senior General Than Shwe had been successful in dispelling the mutual
suspicion and misunderstanding over the past months.
Burma had agreed to cooperate on every issue of mutual concern. The
details would be worked out during a two-day visit to Thailand by the
Burmese foreign minister Win Aung, beginning tomorrow, said Foreign
Minister Surakairt Sathirathai.
The two leaders signed a joint communiqué reaffirming "traditional ties
of friendship and goodwill" between the two countries which share 2,401
km of common land border. Thaksin said the document was historic in that
it implied the damaged ties had been overcome and both sides would focus
on cooperation rather than conflicts. "Everything is about attitude," he
"From now on you will see the Thai-Burmese relationship back to its best
and it will continue to develop in the future," he said, adding he was
greatly impressed by the warm welcome the Burmese authorities had
accorded to him which was "beyond expectation".
During the official visit, Rangoon had put up what officials described
as "the greatest reception ever" for the Thai leader against the
backdrop of the fiery tensions of recent months.
Thaksin said his main inspiration to go against domestic odds in
becoming the first Thai leader to visit Rangoon in four years came from
a speech by HM the King last month, stressing the importance of harmony
between the two neighbouring countries.
According to the communiqué, Than Shwe conveyed "his warmest greetings
and profound regards to HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, noting
the central role of the monarchy in promoting the welfare of the Thai
people and in fostering goodwill and the bonds of friendships" between
the two nations.
The Burmese leader also extended an invitation to Their Majesties the
King and Queen and other members of the royal family to visit Burma. The
move could be construed as an appropriate remedy in light of a series of
articles published in the Burmese state-mouthpiece critical of past Thai
monarchs, and the recent shelling of the Royal Project at Doi Angkhang.
"Disputes bred an imagination of endless disputes and it came to a point
of getting out of control, therefore I decided to make a quick visit,"
Thaksin said, adding that "face" should not come at the expense of
Deputy chief of PM's adviser, Gen Chetta Thanajaro, said the move to
mend fences started about a month ago with Thaksin's conviction that
only a summit meeting would work with a centralised state like Burma.
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of
Understanding on drug controls between Surakiart and Burmese Home
Affairs Minister Col Tin Hlaing. Both Thailand and Burma inked a similar
bilateral MoU with China last year.
The measures stipulated in the agreement include prevention,
suppression, rehabilitation, alternative crop schemes and information
exchanges. However, Rangoon refused to exchange permanent drug liaison
officers, preferring to rely more on existing mechanisms.
But the Burmese leader agreed to a quadrilateral drug summit in Kunming
by the end of the year between Thailand, China, Burma and Laos.
Burma also agreed that Thailand could send an envoy to inspect areas
where ethnic minorities were suspected of producing narcotics, including
Than Shwe told the Thai leader the Wa was determined to reduce its
narcotics activities as soon as possible and he did not want to see
drugs harming future generations of Thais, said Thaksin. "Burma
reaffirmed that it has nothing to do with the Wa".
Both leaders agreed the border checkpoint at Tachilek-Mae Sai will be
opened within a week without any conditions attached. Thaksin also
invited Than Shwe to visit Thailand.
Irrawaddy: "Thais are very angry with the Burmese, mainly because of
drugs."--An interview with Senator Kraisak Choonhavan, head of
Thailand?s Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Issue of May 2001
Interview by John S. Moncrief
Question: What is your evaluation of the new government?s handling of
relations with Burma?
Answer: It?s too early to tell, but there is a genuine attempt by the
Foreign Minister to use a carrot and stick tactic. The carrot being that
Burma [has] so much to gain if they are decent to us. Decent means that
they signed with us about four agreements?bilateral or multilateral
agreements?that I can think of to suppress drug production, but let?s
see some curbing from their side. And what they stand to gain is that we
will start payment on the gas. There is a lot of income to be made from
selling Yadana pipeline gas.
Q: Initially, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai outlined a foreign
policy focused on economic engagement, but the government seems to have
backed off on this to some extent. Has the idea of engaging Burma
economically been abandoned?
A: At the beginning, [the government] seemed more interested in the
question of business. For instance, we posed questions to the Deputy
Prime Minister, who?s also in charge of defense, Gen Chavalit
Yongchaiyudt. He proceeded to talk about mega projects. He gave detailed
examples of deep-sea ports in the southern part of Burma, and lignite
mining and electricity, before he started to answer security questions.
But now, with the exposure of the linkages between the drugs of the
minority people, particularly the Yunnanese Chinese and the Wa, and the
Burmese military, [Prime Minister] Thaksin [Shinawatra] has decided that
this information should be made public ... Now that suggests that
Thaksin agrees with the army?s approach to the issue of relations
between Thailand and Burma; but then, he?s erratic and he could shift
again like he?s shifted on many other things.
Q: PM Thaksin has declared a war on drugs. How can a war on drugs
succeed unless it addresses the linkages between the drug lords and the
A: I think by exposing the information "by accident". But it?s not
something that you can come out and say, because if you spoke about [the
SPDC-drug connection] publicly, the Burmese would never talk to you. The
government had no choice [but to expose the connection] in a way, even
though this has created problems for them. But [Thaksin] has no choice
but to keep on talking, negotiating with Burma.
Q: Unlike many Thai military officials, Third Army Commander Lt-Gen
Wattanachai Chaimuanwong has been quite aggressive with the Burmese.
What kind of support does he have to take such a hard line?
A: He has the support of most Thais who are affected by drugs. Thais are
very angry with the Burmese, mainly because of drugs. Admittedly,
though, at times he uses very strong words that raise eyebrows in
Bangkok, particularly when the new government has boasted consistently
that it has very good personal ties with the Burmese leaders. He is
trying to be the antithesis of this as much as possible.
Q: In the previous administration under Chuan Leekpai, the government
had a more coordinated approach to Burma, as the Democrats controlled
both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense. But
now, these ministries are divided between different parties. Does the
current government have the capacity to implement a unified policy, or
will it be divided among competing institutions?
A: The difference between Gen Chavalit?s [former] government and
Banharn?s [former] government and Chuan?s second government is the fact
that governments prior to Chuan?s relied mostly on the military to deal
with the Burmese. Chuan?s government relied more on the foreign ministry
than the military ? [Now] we?re back to a similar situation as we were
in before. But the use of FM Surakiart to probe Burma is the first
scouting attempt. We might see the increasing use of Gen Chavalit if
Surakiart doesn?t succeed, but I don?t think this would be to the
satisfaction of the Thai people [unless there were a] drastic reduction
in amphetamine production. I don?t think that will happen tomorrow or
the day after or any time in the short term. Now the PM will visit Burma
and drugs will be the main issue. But the Burmese can wait. They know
that Thaksin is in a precarious situation. They know he?s being
investigated by the constitutional court.
Q: What do you think of Asean?s policy towards Burma?
A: Asean can no longer function like this [and remain] an entity that we
can call an international organization with some clout, when two members
are confronting each other at the border practically on a yearly basis.
So Asean has to take a position on this. I think that if Burma does not
cease its excessive violence internally and stop causing trouble for
neighboring countries with its export of drugs, it should be expelled
Q: Do you think Asean has the political will to do this?
A: Obviously not, but this is my opinion. How can we function with a
country like this as a member? When Burma was admitted to Asean,
Malaysia and Singapore came out to defend Burma on the non-interference
principle, as if it were some sort of religion. In my opinion this is
quite hypocritical ? When there is haze coming from the slash and burn
cultivation in Sumatra and it hits Malaysia, they are quite critical of
Indonesia. And is there any talk about interfering in the internal
policy of Indonesia, when Indonesia has huge problems with ethnic and
communal conflicts that lead to bloodshed and refugees flooding into
Malaysia? Malaysia has mentioned this to Indonesia, but on the question
of Burma, Malaysia takes a different position. This should be changed so
that the problems between Thailand and Burma can be discussed in Asean
with Asean approval. [Asean leaders need to] open their ears and eyes to
the function of the organization as a whole.
Q: What is the role of the Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs in
policy formation towards Burma?
A: I don?t think that we can in fact have much influence in terms of
government policy towards Burma except when we are critical of them. The
public can listen and we try to represent the people?s feelings and
interests as much as possible on an issue by issue basis ? But we are
quite new at the job. I?m quite new at my job and still trying to define
my own role.
Q: What impact has the presence of US military advisors in the newly
created drug suppression Task Force 399 had on Thai-Burma bilateral
A: I think Thailand needs the support, for one thing. We need to turn a
military force that is basically trained for conventional warfare and
counter-insurgency into a drug suppression force ? But obviously the
repercussions will be that the Burmese might use it as a diplomatic
excuse to blast Thailand further. But they haven?t so far.
Q: Insurgent armies that once provided buffer zones between Thailand and
Burma have been severely weakened over the past ten years. What effect
has this had on Thai national security and bilateral relations with
A: That?s why we have gotten into a lot of clashes with the Burmese. I
can?t remember when we were confronting Burmese on the border without
factions of Karen, Kachin and even the Karenni. These groups have
disintegrated, either escaping to Thailand as cheap labor or working as
dirt farmers on the other side of the border. The Burmese are able to
set up posts right in front of and opposite Thai positions. When clashes
still occur sporadically along the border with these minorities, it?s
inevitable that Thailand will come into confrontation with the Burmese.
But Thais would never again ? allow Burmese troops onto Thai soil. This
has been strictly followed because of consistent reports on the linkages
between Kokang drug-producing groups and the Burmese junta. The military
in Burma will have second thoughts [before entering Thai territory
Quote: I think that if Burma does not cease its excessive violence
internally and stop causing trouble for neighboring countries with its
export of drugs, it should be expelled from Asean.
The Nation: Let time be judge of PMs overtures with Burma
June 22, 2001
Burma observers were cautiously optimistic yesterday about Prime
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra s visit to the country, saying it looked
good on paper but adding it would take time before any substantive
results could appear.
Thaksins selfstyled diplomacy was put to the test when he made his first
visit to Burma on Tuesday in an effort to salvage bilateral ties.
Relations between the two countries sunk to their lowest ebb in years
during his first four months in office, mainly due to accusations over
responsibility for drug flows along their common border.
Speaking after his return on Wednesday, Thaksin vowed after a summit
meeting with the Burmese junta that all lingering misunderstandings had
effectively been dispelled and the two nations would be able to look
forward to a brighter future.
Former foreign minister Surin Pitsuwan agreed Thaksins mission should be
given time to yield results.
However, Surin, who heads the Democrat Partys foreign affairs committee,
warned that the Thaksin administrations apparent decision to make
resolving the drug issue a bilateral issue risked losing Thailands
leverage with its neighbour.
Our friends who shared our position on the drug problem at the regional
and international levels will back off, and we will lose the alliance
[that has been formed] on the drug issue, he said. Surin was referring
to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations enhanced antidrug efforts,
which have received the backing of the international community and were
recently joined by China.
A noted Burma observer said he was not convinced Thaksins visit would
fundamentally improve the problems plaguing ThaiBurma ties, solutions to
which are typically complicated by political instability in Burma and
vested business interests in Thailand.
The observer said Rangoons priority was not the drug issue but enforcing
security along the border and consolidating its strength in talks with
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on national reconciliation. The
regime does not have the resources to tackle the drug trafficking
problem, said the observer, who insisted on anonymity.
Describing the talks as old wine in a new bottle, the observer said
Thaksin had achieved nothing more than his predecessors in putting
efficient border security mechanisms in place and getting Burma to agree
to cooperate seriously on antidrug efforts.
While the trip appeared to arrest the alarming tensions sparked in part
by Thaksins highprofile antidrug campaign, whether it would deliver
lasting result remained to be seen, he said.The fact that the Mae
SaiTachilek border checkpoint remained closed despite the pro?claimed
success of Thaksins visit was a case in the point. According to common
practice, it should be reopened after the neighbouring leaders visit to
reflect the normal-isation of ties, he said.Defending the claims made
for the visit, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said he believed
Rangoon was sincere in addressing the drug and border problems. He said
mechanisms are being incrementally developed to solve all the problems,
adding they would not be resolved overnight.
Surakiart will today meet with Burmese Foreign Minister Win Aung, who
was expected to follow up on the cooperation framework agreed upon by
the Thai and Burmese leaders.
The minister will call on Thaksin before holding a meeting with his Thai
counterpart. Among the issues likely to be discussed are ways to follow
up Thaksins visit and enhance bilateral relations, as well as border
checkpoints and narcotics.
Win Aung is expected to be granted an audience with His Majesty the King
at the Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin, during which he is expected to
extend an invitation to Their Majesties the King and Queen and other
members of the Royal Family to visit Burma. He will stay at the seaside
resort overnight and leave for Rangoon the next morning.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Norachit Sinhaseni said the agenda would be
allencompassing, with emphasis given to developing peopletopeople
relations in the fields of culture and the study of history. Outstanding
issues including the Mae SaiTachilek border crossing, border
demarcation, and quadrilateral cooperation on fighting narcotics between
Thailand, Burma, China and Laos would also be discussed in detail,
Bangkok Post: Burma's Win Aung on visit
Bangkok Post: June: 22, 2001
By Achara Ashayagachat
Burmese Foreign Minister Win Aung visits Thailand today, a follow-up to
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's trip to Rangoon.
As part of his 25-hour visit, U Win Aung will call on the prime minister
before holding talks with Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai. He
then goes on to Klaikangwon Palace in Hua Hin for an audience with His
Majesty the King.
The ministers are due to discuss cultural and technical co-operation,
road links and preparations for the drugs summit in Kunming also to be
joined by China and Laos.
"We will discuss how to expedite the Kunming talks, which will be
preceded by senior officials' and ministerial meetings," Mr Surakiart
The ministers also would discuss the timing of the next Joint Border
Commission, which last met in Rangoon two years ago, and the Joint
Boundary Committee, he said.
The Nation: US group calls on govt to help Shan
June 21, 2001.
Thailand should provide temporary assistance to some 100,000 ethnic Shan
who have fled from Burma, a senior policy analyst from the United States
Committee for Refugees said yesterday.
The Shan had fled to Thailand and lived like refugees, but were not
accepted as such, USCR policy analyst Hiram Ruiz said.
Yesterday was the world's first-ever Refugee Day. Including the Shan,
there are some 217,000 refugees living in Thailand today.
Burmese Shan began pouring over the border in 1996, fleeing a forced
relocation programme in central Shan state, Ruiz said.
Because the reasons they fled their homeland and the hardships they
faced were no different to those of other refugees, the Shan needed some
assistance and access to basic human services, Ruiz said.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which faces a
funding shortfall of about US$100 million (Bt4.5 billion) this year,
appealed to countries to revive their commitment to help refugees, and
to respect them and their contributions.
High Commissioner for Refugees Rudd Lubbers urged affluent countries to
The USCR survey reported a total of 39 million displaced people
worldwide, 14.5m of them refugees and 24.4m displaced in their own
The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): Those who daren't show their face - 19
Friday, 22 June, 2001
The DVB radio station is going too far, without heeding any of the
warnings given to it. Again, the shameless DVB or a cipher radio
station announced a fabricated rumour as a news report at 6 pm and also
at 9 pm on 1 February this year. The radio station is so blatant that
its status has fallen to that of a barking dog in the street. Just
study its news report which was announced on 1 February. At 6 pm on
that day, the radio station announced a news report under the title "A
participant at the Myanmar Women"s Conference arrested and
interrogated", saying that it was learnt that Headmistress Daw Mya Kyu
of Pyu Township was barred from attending the Conference and terminated
from the Women's Affairs Committee membership for discussing the
military's violence against women at the Conference which was held in
Yangon on 25 and 26 January.
Again at 9 pm on the same day, DVB aired another slanderous rumour as a
follow-up to the first fabricated story. It aired the news report under
the heading " Follow-up news on Daw Mya Kyu who tried to discuss the
issue of violence against women at Myanmar Women's Conference", saying
that the women's group of the NLD Liberated Area issued an announcement
concerning the arrest of Headmistress Daw Mya Kyu for presenting the
military's unjust oppressions against women. The announcement says "
The expatriate NLD women's group honours Daw Mya Kyu for her courageous
efforts to reveal all the oppressions against women amidst the
military's persecutions. The group also condemns the military's
continued evil practices and demands the earliest release of Daw Mya
Kyu" , added the radio station.
I was extremely disappointed for this news report. In reality, it is a
conspiracy of the liar DVB and women, who are taking refuge at the
border, to float fabrications in order to discredit the nation and the
government. It's the same old story for all the people of Myanmar. Not
even a little problem or confusion did occur during the discussions of
the State/Division delegates at the Second Myanmar Women's Conference
which was sponsored by the Myanmar National Committee for Women's
Affairs at the International Business Centre on Pyay Road in Yangon
from 25 to 26 January this year. At the Conference, the members of
State/Division Women's Affairs Committees presented papers region-wise.
The participants also discussed and gave suggestions on the
presentations, successfully laying down the resolutions for the future
tasks of bringing about a more peaceful, pleasant and developed future
for the women, paving the way for Myanmar women to participate in the
activities in connection with the international women's development
programmes and ensuring women to continue to enjoy all their
traditional inborn rights they have been granted throughout history.
The truth is that the liar DVB and the so-called democracy women, who
are taking refuge at the border, would not want to see the Myanmar
women taking part in and helping develop the nation-building tasks as a
national force from the respective sectors to the best of their ability
and also the successful holding of the Second Myanmar Women's
Conference. Under the circumstances, they attempted to create and float
fabrications in the masses.
It is quite clear. Not any person with the name of " Daw Mya Kyu "
with the designation " the Headmistress of Pyu Township " is included
in the list of delegates of Bago Division to the Second Myanmar Women's
Conference which was held on 25 and 26 January 2001. The delegates to
the Conference representing Bago Division are Daw Kyi Kyi Ohn, U Chit
Maung, U Kyi Aung and Daw Khin Maw Maw. Daw Mya Kyu, so- called a
delegate to the Conference from Pyu Township, Bago Division, is just a
" nonentity" created by the DVB and the democracy women, who are taking
refuge at the border, through black magic. She is only an imaginary
figure or their own invention. Let alone in Pyu Township, there is not
any school head with the name " Daw Mya Kyu " in the entire Bago
It is so ridiculous. The DVB created a non-existent delegate under the
name " Daw Mya Kyu" by applying witchcraft, and brazenly made
slanderous accusations against the Tatmadaw; and the democracy women
group of the NLD Liberated Area joined in the evil bandwagon by
honouring Daw Mya Kyu, demanding her earliest release and denouncing
the Tatmadaw and the Tatmadaw government. We, all the people of
Myanmar, pity them for their totally blatant acts.
Author : Pauk Sa
Far Eastern Economic Review: Inreview: Books--Oh My, Oh Myanmar
By Bertil Lintner
Issue cover-dated June 28, 2001
WHY IS BURMA in such a political and economic mess? And what, if
anything, can be done about it? Three books--Living Silence: Burma under
Military Rule by Christina Fink, Burma: Political Economy under Military
Rule, edited by Robert Taylor, and The Making of Modern Burma by Thant
Myint-U--address those issues, but from fundamentally different
Fink, who helped exiled Burmese dissidents edit an on-line newspaper
called The BurmaNet News from 1995 to 1997, points out that while most
other nations in the region have prospered economically and some have
liberalized their traditionally authoritarian systems, Burma for the
past four decades has been ruled by repressive military regimes that
have done little to develop the country. Only the drug trade seems to be
booming in this sad nation. A whole generation of young students,
artists, singers and activists have become refugees for no other reason
than wanting Burma to become open and democratic. Many others have ended
up spending the best years of their lives in prison.
Fink argues that for a political transition to occur, there would have
to be a convergence of three factors: unified domestic political
pressure, international pressure, and a powerful group in the military
that throws in its lot with the democratic movement. The last factor is
no doubt the most decisive but, as Fink asks, where is Burma's Fidel
Ramos? No such officer has been spotted in the 430,000-strong,
omnipotent Burmese army.
More questions, most of them unanswered, are posed in the rather
eclectic collection of essays by eight writers edited by Robert Taylor,
formerly of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. One
writer argues that the "next step" (after what is not clear) "is to
achieve real dialogue between representatives from all groups and
sides"--without suggesting how such a remarkable step would be taken.
Visits to Burma by United Nations special envoy Razali Ismail have
produced no tangible results, and a dialogue even between the main
protagonists in the country--the ruling military and the opposition
National League for Democracy--seems as remote as ever. The same essay
glosses over the dramatic increase in Burma's drug production, saying
that Burma's military leaders deny such an accusation--as if they would
have been likely to admit it. Only two of the essays, which deal with
Burma's foreign relations, provide insights into the thinking of Burma's
military leaders and how they perceive their place in the region and the
Thant Myint-U's volume, however, stands out as a sophisticated account
of Burma's political culture. The writer, who is a grandson of the late
Burmese UN Secretary-General U Thant, analyses economic development
before and under British rule, and reaches the conclusion that Burma has
failed to develop into a modern state because of two important colonial
legacies. The first is institutional weakness. Feeble attempts by the
last Burmese kings to modernize their country were thwarted by British
occupation and superimposed colonial institutions. Independent Burma was
faced with an institutional vacuum which, in the end, only the army was
able to fill.
The other colonial legacy is the lack of any real sense of nationhood.
The British amalgamated a number of areas inhabited by various hill
peoples with the Burman-dominated heartland, and the outcome was a
hodgepodge of a country with a severe identity crisis. The question
whether it should be called "Burma" or "Myanmar" reflects that
confusion. Does one of the names include more ethnic groups than the
other? The answer is no. Burma with its present boundaries is a colonial
creation that did not exist before the arrival of the British. Thant's
frequent use of Burmese-language sources is another asset that makes his
study the most important contribution in recent years to the
understanding of why, yes, Burma is in such a mess.
Far Eastern Economic Review: Inreview: Books-- Burmese Ways
By Bertil Lintner
Issue cover-dated June 28, 2001
If there ever was a prize for the politically most incorrect book of the
year, this one would win it. Not a word about torture of political
prisoners, forced mass relocations of ethnic minorities, officially
condoned drug trafficking, or military abuse of power. But if you want
an answer to the question "what does an international businessman do
when he has accidentally killed a pedestrian?" it's all here: Pay off
the family so they don't press charges, or pay a Burmese citizen "to
take the blame by declaring that he was the driver in the fatal
accident. He will then go to jail on behalf of the businessman."
The author also gives advice on everything from how to procure "ladies
of the night" and bribe customs officials to setting up an overseas
"shell company" to hide your foreign-exchange earnings. Or, if you want
to buy property, that can be done through a "sleeping partner," or an
"unofficial wife." A bit risky perhaps, but not impossible.
Many readers, especially Western ones, would gasp at Sim's suggestions,
and perhaps even more so when they discover that he served as commercial
first secretary at Singapore's embassy in Burma from 1995 to 1997.
But he should be commended for telling the truth. Isn't this the way it
really works in Burma's murky business world?
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