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BurmaNet News: June 27, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
         June 27, 2001   Issue # 1833
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

*Reuters: Myanmar's generals seek power with legitimacy
*AP: Myanmar Doesn't Want To Be Isolated - A Top Govt Leader
*AFP: Aung San Suu Kyi eviction suit drags on in Myanmar court
*Irrawaddy: Laughing all the way to prison
*AP: Myanmar says differences with Thailand resolved
*AP: Myanmar AIDS response called grossly inadequate by health experts
*Irrawaddy: Joking with the Generals

MONEY _______
*AFP: China hands over passenger liner to Myanmar 
*Asia Pulse: Indonesia's GMF to Cooperate With Myanmar Airways

*Shan Herald Agency for News:  Shan army tightens security

*Shan Herald Agency for News: Villager: Junta waging war of drugs on 

*AFP: Thai police arrest notorious sea pirate 

*The Nation: Opinion - Wooing the junta is a tricky game 
*Xinhua: Myanmar Takes Measures to Tackle Power Shortage Problem 
*Xinhua: Pressure Tactics Have Not Much Impact on Myanmar-- Leader

*Xinhua: Guangdong Defeats Myanmar in Women's Soccer Friendly

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

Reuters: Myanmar's generals seek power with legitimacy

By Dominic Whiting 

 BANGKOK, June 26 (Reuters) - Myanmar's military rulers are offering 
concessions to the pro-democracy opposition in a bid to improve their 
global image but analysts say they have no real intention of relaxing 
their iron grip on power. 

 They say the government's aim is to create a regime which allows the 
military to maintain a central role but gives the ruling generals more 
legitimacy in the eyes of the outside world. 

 The international community welcomed secret talks between the 
government and pro-democracy opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, which 
began in October, and became concerned earlier this year over reports 
the dialogue had stalled. 

 But analysts said a recent visit to the country by U.N. special envoy 
Razali Ismail, who played a key role in brokering the talks, was a 
positive sign. 
 The recent release of 13 political prisoners and the reopening of 20 
opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) offices in Yangon also 
suggested a thaw, analysts said. 

 ``Razali clearly communicated that the international community was 
losing patience and that more evidence was needed to show that this is 
going to be a sustained process,'' a Western diplomat in Bangkok told 

 ``The talks had been going on for several months and they were greeted 
with great optimism, but then people started wondering if anything was 
happening and whether it was all just hot air.'' 

 Razali left Myanmar hopeful of civilian rule in four years. 

 But the NLD is frustrated that dozens of its members are still in 
government ``guest houses'' -- a euphemism for a loose form of 
detention. Aung San Suu Kyi is also under house arrest. 

 The human rights group Amnesty International says about 1,850 political 
prisoners remain behind bars. 
 Myanmar-watchers say any deal would involve reconvening a constitution 
drafting body, guaranteeing a military role in politics, giving the 
generals amnesty for any past rights abuses, and not allowing Aung San 
Suu Kyi to take political office. 

 But political analysts say without substantial concessions on 
power-sharing or other steps to solve the country's chronic political 
problems, the opposition is unlikely to strike a deal. 


 The NLD won Myanmar's last elections, in 1990, with a landslide victory 
the military did not expect or accept. 

 Analysts say the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) will 
not make the same mistake again, and will make sure the NLD is in no 
position to win another election. 

 ``The recent developments are positive, but I don't see much real 
progress on domestic politics,'' said Chaiyachoke Chulasiriwongs, a 
lecturer at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University. 

 ``The SPDC is weakening the NLD, threatening those who are not already 
in jail, while preparing its own political foundations.'' 

 A recent speech by SPDC Chairman Than Shwe calling on war veterans to 
be more politically active indicated the military could be preparing a 
vehicle to fight elections. 

 ``The SPDC's more pragmatic faction is trying to create a kind of 
puppet political movement,'' said Sunai Pasuk, a researcher at Forum 
Asia, a Bangkok-based human rights organisation. 

 ``It's clever to integrate war veterans, which would underline the 
presence of the military in politics, and involve the youth movement -- 
led by children of regime members,'' he said. 

 ``Political dialogue gives the regime a face-lift but the SPDC will 
manage every aspect of the dialogue to give an outcome in its favour. 
They won't want to repeat their 1990 mistake.'' 


 Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, highly respected by 
Myanmar's generals, has also hinted at some kind of accommodation to 
keep the military in power. 

 Earlier this year Mahathir said any future elections in Myanmar would 
not ``undermine authority'' and suggested the country could adopt other 
southeast Asian political models, rather than Western-style 
parliamentary democracy. 

 But the pace and direction of change will depend largely on the 
internal power struggles within the ruling regime. 

 Rivalry between military intelligence chief Khin Nyunt and the SPDC's 
second ranked general, Maung Aye, to replace Than Shwe at the top has 
been simmering for years, analysts say. 

 Khin Nyunt seems to have the upper hand since a helicopter crash killed 
one of Maung Aye's powerful allies in February, and observers say he has 
recently succeeded in placing supporters in key regional military posts. 

 Khin Nyunt is seen as more favourable to some kind of political change, 
and analysts say he backs the talks with Suu Kyi while Maung Aye wants a 
hardline approach to continue. 

 ``Khin Nyunt is more inclined to take the international community more 
seriously,'' the diplomatic source said. 

 Forum Asia's Sunai said Khin Nyunt would try to emulate Cambodian Prime 
Minister Hun Sen, who won national polls in 1998 that were endorsed by 
the international community despite some intimidation of the opposition 
and voters in the run-up to the vote by ruling party officials and 

 ``Khin Nyunt will have a two-pronged strategy -- keep the SPDC in power 
and achieve world legitimacy -- what I call...dictatorship with a new 
face,'' he said. 


AP: Myanmar Doesn't Want To Be Isolated - A Top Govt Leader

Tuesday June 26, 7:34 PM

YANGON (AP)--Myanmar recognizes the need to stay in the international 
mainstream but will do so according to its priorities, a top government 
leader said, adding that international economic sanctions on the country 
have failed.  

"Under the present circumstances when globalization is taking place at a 
fast speed, no nation can stay aloof or isolated," Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, 
the No. 3 leader in the military junta, said in a speech Monday. It was 
reported by state-run newspapers Tuesday.  
But, Khin Nyunt said, Myanmar is trying to be in the mainstream of 
international community "in accordance with our policies and 

Myanmar faces regular criticism, largely from the West, for suppressing 
the opposition National League for Democracy party of Nobel peace 
laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. The party won the 1990 general elections, but 
the generals never allowed it to take power. Both sides are now holding 
reconciliation talks.  

The junta is also accused by the West of abusing its citizens' human 
rights, including using forced labor. To force Myanmar to change its 
ways, the U.S. has banned new investments in the country, and virtually 
every donor country has imposed development aid embargo.  

Khin Nyunt, who is also the chief of military intelligence, said the 
sanctions have failed.  

"It is more than 10 years since the imposition of economic sanctions by 
some Western nations, but such pressure tactics had not much impact 
since the country's economic and social infrastructure continues to grow 
steadily," he said.  

The country's average annual growth rate was 8.4% during the period 
1996-97 to 2000-2001, he said at the opening ceremony of a course in 
diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry.  

He said Myanmar's differences with Thailand have been resolved through 
"friendship, understanding and cooperation," and credited Thai Prime 
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra for the breakthrough.  

"Due to sincere efforts undertaken during the goodwill visit of Prime 
Minister Thaksin, the problems were resolved," Khin Nyunt said.  

He blamed the tensions on opposition groups and biased media 
organizations, which he didn't name.  

Since Thaksin's visit to Myanmar last week, the two countries have 
stopped trading accusations. Myanmar also reopened over the weekend a 
border checkpoint that had remained closed for four months after border 
clashes between the Thai and Myanmar armies.  

The tensions between the two uneasy neighbors were over drug trafficking 
from Myanmar and support for anti-Yangon rebels. Thailand and the U.S. 
accuse the junta of not doing enough to crack down on drug lords in its 
border areas.


AFP: Aung San Suu Kyi eviction suit drags on in Myanmar court 

YANGON, June 25 (AFP) - A Yangon court Monday held a brief hearing in 
the property suit against democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose 
brother Aung San Oo is fighting for ownership of her home, before 
ordering an adjournment to July 9. 

 It was the sixth hearing in the case, where US-based businessman Aung 
San Oo is seeking to claim half-ownership of the lakeside villa that 
belonged to their late mother. 

 Aung San Suu Kyi has has been restricted to the house since September, 
shortly before she and Myanmar's ruling junta embarked on a tentative 
dialogue that could pave the way for a national reconciliation process. 

 There are fears that if the suit is successful it could prove a major 
irritant to the talks which have entered an extremely delicate stage. 

 Legal argument Monday centred on the same technical issue that derailed 
Aung San Oo's first attempt to lodge the case earlier this month. 

 Defence lawyers asked the court to reject amendments issued by the 
plaintiff's side, saying they would change the whole substance of the 

 "Whereas the plaintiff side has put up a case for administration of 
property, it in fact continues to demand partition and half-ownership of 
the property," they said. 

 Aung San Suu Kyi's lawyers originally argued that Aung San Oo had no 
right to apply for his sister to be evicted because, as a foreigner 
living in the United States, he has no right to own property in Myanmar. 

 If he wins the case, Aung San Oo is expected to turn his share of the 
house over to the government, a result which would put Aung San Suu Kyi 
in an extremely precarious position. 

 The legal action is believed to be driven by Aung San Oo's wife, 
motivated more by a family rift than by political concerns. 


Irrawaddy: Laughing all the way to prison

May 2001

by Aung Zaw

Zargana, Burma?s most famous comedian, dared to make jokes about the 
ruling generals. Former dictator Ne Win even invited him to his 
residence to hear jokes about corruption and economic mismanagement. The 
jokes made Ne Win and his cronies laugh.

Zargana openly admitted that he collected jokes from men on the street. 
When the authorities eventually ordered him not to perform any more, he 
and his troupe went on stage with plasters covering their mouths.

The country?s current bunch of leaders didn?t find his jokes funny, so 
they tossed him in jail for several years. Released in 1994 on the 
condition that he no longer practice as a comedian, Zargana immediately 
accepted an invitation to perform at a festival in Rangoon on his first 
day out of prison. On stage, he launched into his jokes without fear.

Other comedians have also defied certain arrest to bring laughter to 
their audience.

Par Par Lay and Lu Zaw, two comedians from Mandalay, were thrown in 
prison in 1996 shortly after they performed at an Independence Day party 
hosted by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Their humorous 
observations about corruption in the military government won almost 
non-stop applause, but the authorities were less than amused. The pair 
was arrested, sentenced to seven years in jail, and later shipped to a 
labor camp in Myitkyina, in remote Kachin State. 

But it seems the threat of punishment can?t deter Burma?s comedians. 
Myitta, a famous comedian, regularly appeared on state-controlled TV 
programs until he pushed his luck too far. During one program, he asked 
a teenager appearing in a singing contest what grade she was in. "I?m in 
grade 10," she replied. To which Myitta added: "So, you have completed 
your studies."

At the time, the junta had closed all the universities and colleges in 
the country for fear of anti-government demonstrations. As a result, 
students who were in 10th grade could not continue their education. 
Myitta lost his job for joking about this sensitive matter, and is still 
banned from making public performances.


AP: Myanmar AIDS response called grossly inadequate by health experts

June 26, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ Shunned by a repressive military junta and shut out by 
their own fearful communities, AIDS-stricken people in Myanmar are dying 
in numbers that researchers say may be more than 50 times higher than 
official figures. 
 In a country where information is so tightly controlled that an 
unlicensed fax machine can land you in jail, the extent of Myanmar's HIV 
crisis has until recently been withheld, both from the outside world and 
from many of the people it is killing. 
 ``The problem with this epidemic has been the tremendous difficulty in 
getting a handle on what is really going on,'' said Chris Beyrer, an 
American researcher who directs an AIDS program at the Johns Hopkins 
University School of Hygiene and Public Health. 

 Beyrer presented a study suggesting 687,000 adults in Myanmar were 
living with AIDS in 1999 _ or nearly 3.5 percent of the population, a 
rate worse than any other nation in Asia except Cambodia, where about 4 
percent are infected. 
 Beyrer _ one of three panelists who discussed the epidemic as part of 
the U.N. session on AIDS _ said the survey did not include an estimated 
1.4 million drug users who may have been infected through needle-sharing 
and would make Myanmar's case the worst in Asia. 

 Myanmar, also known as Burma, reported 802 AIDS deaths in 1999. But the 
United Nations estimated the death toll was 48,000 _ a number Beyrer 
said was probably closer to the actual figure. 

 Worse, the panelists said, many who contract HIV don't know what it is. 
And most go untreated in a health care system destroyed by military 
leaders who spend more of their budget on defense than any other country 
in the area. 

 ``The response has been grossly inadequate,'' Beyrer said. 

 Than Htung, a former doctor in Myanmar who went into exile when the 
junta took power in 1988 and now speaks for the exiled government at the 
United Nations, said the country's military leaders have been reluctant 
to acknowledge the AIDS crisis. 
 Ignoring the extent of the epidemic ``is a justification to hold onto 
power,'' he said. ``They are really reluctant to say that situation is 

 Panelists said the regime must tackle the disease by resurrecting the 
health care system, educating citizens and opening up the country to aid 

 ``These are the people who seized power. This has happened on their 
watch, and it is their responsibility to address it,'' Beyrer said of 
the junta. He said the ability of foreign aid groups to work inside 
Myanmar ``is still very limited.'' 

 Therese Caouette, a panelist who has worked with refugees and migrants 
fleeing violence and political repression in Myanmar, said ethnic 
minorities in the diverse nation are cut off from what little 
information and care there is to be found for infected people. 

 In many cases, people suffering symptoms of AIDS will be shunned by 
fearful neighbors who do not understand the disease. Sometimes 
communities will isolate victims by building huts on their fringes, she 


Irrawaddy: Joking with the Generals

May 2001 issue

Humor is one of the few things that make life in Burma bearable for most 
people, but even this salve for the soul can rub the ruling generals the 
wrong way. 

by Aung Zaw

When Lt-Gen Tin Oo and several other members of Burma?s ruling junta 
died in a helicopter crash in southern Burma earlier this year, the 
state-controlled press attributed the accident to bad weather and poor 
visibility. According to Burmese on the street, however, the real reason 
was something quite different:

Shortly after take off, Tin Oo, who was wearing a jacket, complained 
that he felt cold. "Why is it so cold?" the junta?s Secretary Two 
demanded to know.

"My dear general, I think it is because of the fan," answered the pilot 
facetiously, pointing overhead to the chopper?s spinning propeller.

Tin Oo immediately ordered the pilot to switch off the "fan", as he 
could feel a fever coming on.

"My dear general, that is impossible," the pilot protested, horrified 
that his little joke had backfired.

But the general was not accustomed to taking no for an answer. "That?s 
an order!" he bellowed.

The pilot, fearing a fate worse than death, followed the general?s 
order. He turned off the "fan", otherwise known as rotor blades. 

And so the general and the other passengers perished?victims of that 
fatal combination of arrogance and stupidity that has been a mainstay of 
military rule in Burma over the past four decades.

Welcome to world of Burmese humor. Jokes and humorous anecdotes have 
long served to hold a mirror up to the absurd side of Burma?s stark 
social and political realities. They also provide a clue to the 
indomitable spirit of the Burmese people, so unlike the drab 
humorlessness of their self-imposed leaders. Without their often dark 
sense of humor, Burmese would likely never have survived the harsh 
economic conditions and political repression that have gripped the 
country for longer than most care to recall. 

Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi made a remark to a foreigner during 
an interview in 1996 that she didn?t think she and her executive party 
members had ever had a single meeting where there hadn?t been at least 
some laughs. 

"Obviously, its? not a happy situation we?re in, but the seriousness of 
the situation is something we can all joke about," said Suu Kyi. "In 
fact, lots of Burmese people joke about it; there are jokes about forced 
labor, about prison. This is very much part of our Burmese culture."

True. Political prisoners often joke about prison life as they recall 
their experiences. Humor is applied as painkiller to relieve the tension 
and stress.

During the Ne Win era from 1962 to 1988, there were many jokes and 
amusing tales. One popular story went like this: 

Two former soldiers of Gen Ne Win come to see him to ask for his 
assistance. The first asks Ne Win for a Mazda automobile, so that he can 
make a living as a taxi driver. But the second asks only for a statue of 
Ne Win.

After six months, the first person, who is by now making a decent living 
as a taxi driver, comes back to see Ne Win to show his gratitude. The 
second man, however, does not show up.

On the next full-moon day, however, Ne Win chanced to meet the man 
during a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda, where he noticed that a large 
crowd had gathered. The curious dictator went over to investigate the 
scene, and was surprised to see his life-size likeness and the man who 
had requested it from him. The man was so busy collecting money from 
people milling around the statue that he didn?t notice his approaching 
benefactor. Indeed, he seemed to be making money hand over fist. 

At last the old despot discovered the man?s secret. Beside the statue 
was a sign that read: "Spitting?10 kyat; Kicking?20 kyat; Choking?50 

When the country plunged into an economic crisis in the 1980s, a popular 
joke spread to teashops in Rangoon and elsewhere. The joke went like 

Ne Win and his two top officials, the president and secretary general of 
his Burmese Socialist Program Party, were in a plane. There they began a 
conversation. Ne Win?s deputies said the people would be happy if they 
dropped banknotes from the plane. But then they got into a loud argument 
about how much money they should spend and what sort of banknotes should 
be dropped. 

Upon hearing the heated argument, the annoyed pilot, tired of turning 
circles in the sky, interrupted the conversation with this suggestion: 
"Why don?t you three jump out of the plane? Then the whole country will 
be very happy."

Under the current military regime, there are many more examples of such 
black humor in circulation. The generals? speeches, usually replete with 
threats against "destructive elements" and "foreign stooges", invite 
parody, and Burmese people delight in mocking their leaders? child-like 
obsession with political bogeymen.

Indeed, humor seems to be one of the things the regime fears most in the 
world. Political jokes are banned and comedians who dare to make jokes 
about the generals are put behind bars. (See box) 

For the past 13 years, however, the state-run press has been filled with 
cartoons and commentaries that would seem to suggest that even the 
country?s illustrious leaders know how to enjoy a good laugh now and 
then. But since most of the crude witticisms that have made their way 
into the official media have consisted of attacks on the country?s 
democratically elected leaders, most citizens decline to share a chuckle 
with the generals. 

Meanwhile, it appears that the generals have caught wind of rumors that 
a fan had something to do with the death of Tin Oo, and are taking the 
matter very seriously. It has even been reported that many are at 
death?s door with pneumonia: It seems that the generals are all 
unaccountably terrified of turning off their electrical fans, even when 
they?re feeling quite chilly. 

Sorry?just kidding.


AP: Myanmar says differences with Thailand resolved 

June 26, 2001

YANGON, Myanmar (AP)  Myanmar's differences with Thailand have been 
amicably resolved due to the ``sincere efforts'' of the Thai prime 
minister, a top member of Myanmar's ruling junta has said. 

 ``The matters between Myanmar and Thailand were resolved through 
friendship, understanding and cooperation,'' Gen. Khin Nyunt, the No. 3 
leader in the military junta, said in a speech on Monday. It was 
reported by state-run newspapers Tuesday. 

 Khin Nyunt said the recent tensions between Myanmar and Thailand were 
caused by opposition groups and biased media that tried to put a wedge 
between the two countries. 

 Since Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra visited Myanmar last week, 
the two countries have stopped trading accusations. Myanmar also 
reopened over the weekend a border checkpoint that had remained closed 
for four months after border clashes between the Thai and Myanmar 

 ``Due to sincere efforts undertaken during the goodwill visit of Prime 
Minister Thaksin, the problems were resolved,'' Khin Nyunt said at the 
opening ceremony of a course in diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry. 

 The tensions between the two uneasy neighbors were over drug 
trafficking from Myanmar and support for anti-Yangon rebels. Thailand 
and the United States accuse the junta of not doing enough to crack down 
on drug lords in its border areas. 

 The West also criticizes the junta for suppressing democracy and 
accuses it of violating human rights of its citizens. The United States 
has banned new investments in Myanmar and virtually every donor country 
has imposed an aid embargo. 

 Khin Nyunt, who is also the chief of military intelligence, 
acknowledged that Myanmar must stay with the international mainstream. 

 ``Under the present circumstances when the globalization is taking 
place at a fast speed, no nation can stay aloof or isolated,'' he said. 
 But Myanmar is trying to be in the mainstream of international 
community ``in accordance with our policies and priorities,'' he said, 
adding that sanctions imposed by the West have failed. 

 ``It is more than 10 years since the imposition of economic sanctions 
by some western nations, but such pressure tactics had not much impact 
since the country's economic and social infrastructure continues to grow 
steadily,'' he said. 

 The country's average annual growth rate reached 8.4 percent during the 
period 1996-97 to 2000-2001, he said.


AFP: China hands over passenger liner to Myanmar 

BANGKOK, June 25 (AFP) - A Chinese-built passenger ship was delivered to 
Myanmar on Monday, state-run television reported. 

 The new vessel, which can carry 440 passengers, was ordered for the 
state-owned Myanmar Five Star Shipping Line at a cost of 7.75 million US 
dollars, TV Myanmar said in a dispatch monitored here. 

 The ship was built in a Shanghai shipyard by the Yunan Machinery Import 
and Export Company (YMC). 

 The Myanmar junta's powerful first secretary Lieutenant General Khin 
Nyunt, leading cabinet ministers, YMC President Chang Chai and 
Yangon-based Chinese diplomats attended the delivery ceremony in Yangon, 
the report added. 
 Since 1992, Myanmar authorities have signed multi-million dollar 
contracts with the YMC to purchase ocean-going passenger and cargo ships 
as well as double and triple-deckers passenger ferries for inland river 

 China, one of the largest investors in Myanmar, was the first country 
to recognise the Yangon's military regime after it brutally came to 
power in 1988. 


Asia Pulse: Indonesia's GMF to Cooperate With Myanmar Airways

Tuesday June 26, 12:47 PM

JAKARTA, June 26 Asia Pulse - Garuda Maintenance Facility [GMF] of the 
state-owned airline company Garuda Indonesia has announced plans to form 
a long term cooperation in aircraft maintenance with Myanmar Airways 
Myanmar Airways is interested in the performance of GMF, Maung Maung 
OPh, chairman of Myanmar Airways, said after the completion of 
maintenance of a Boeing 737-300 aircraft of the Myanmar Airways by GMF 
in Cengkareng, Monday. 
Repair of the aircraft's cabin and painting of its body at the GMF took 
one month. 
Maung Maung said Myanmar Airways will send another Boeing 737-300 
aircraft for repair to GMF later this month. 

GMF is also handling repair of two Boeing 737-200 aircraft of Phuket 
Airlines, three Boeing 737-200 planes of Phoenix FZE (Dubai) and a 
Boeing 737-200 of NAT Aviation of the United States


Shan Herald Agency for News:  Shan army tightens security

June 26, 2001

The Shan State Army of Yawdserk issued an order to its units along the 
Thai  border to increase its vigilance, said one of his deputies on 22 

Col. Khurh-ngern, who is responsible for military affairs, told S.H.A.N. 
he  had just ordered all units to maintain strictest observance of its  
principles and regulations following Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's 
 visit on 19-20 June.

"One result, we learned, was Rangoon's agreement to allow Thai 
inspection  of our side of the border," he explained. "Accordingly, we 
have ordered our  commanders to see that our troops keep to our side and 
that anyone caught  dealing in drugs will face capital punishment 
whatever his past merits are." 

He added that the leadership suspected that the Burmese military might 
try  to implicate the Shans in connection with drugs.


Shan Herald Agency for News: Villager: Junta waging war of drugs on 

26 June 2001

A source across the border alleged that Rangoon has been destroying the  
Shans with drugs.

The source, who requested anonymity, reported that a Col. Saw Win from  
Kengtung, on 24 June, at a meeting with battalion commanders in Mongton 
had  placed special emphasis on the point.

"We must by all means get the Shans to become addicted to drugs," he was 
 quoted as saying.

The meeting was attended by Lt.-Col Myint Sway, Commander, IB 65, 
Lt.-Col.  Maung Maung Than who had recently replaced outgoing Lt.-Col. 
Chit Hla as  Commander, IB 225 and Lt.-Col Aung Htun, Commander, LIB 
He also urged the commanders for each of them to sell 150,000 pills of  
methamphetamines per month. "If you can sell more, the better," he said. 
He  also warned them that those who failed to achieve the 150,000 mark 
were  liable to face transfer.

"If you can sell thus, one-third from the proceeds shall be yours  
personally, another third for your men and the rest for our common 
fund,"  he said, according to the source.

Burma has pledged to eliminate drugs by the year 2014.

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

AFP: Thai police arrest notorious sea pirate 

BANGKOK, June 25 (AFP) - Thai police said Monday they had arrested 
notorious sea pirate Viroj Buasuwan, better known as "Roj 100 Corpses" 
for his brutal treatment of ships' crews. 

 Viroj, 50, was arrested Saturday in the southern province of Ranong 
over an attack on the Myanmar fishing trawler "Thorae" in January, the 
Crime Suppression Unit said. 

 He and his 20-strong gang forced the crew of the trawler to jump into 
the sea and then towed away the vessel and its catch, worth a total 3.0 
million baht (66,000 dollars). 

 The crew were fortunate enough to be saved, and later filed charges 
with police in Ranong. Viroj's men, including four Thais and 16 Myanmar 
nationals, have also been rounded up, police said. 

 Viroj confessed to the charges, but told reporters that he mistakenly 
believed the Thorae was a Myanmar naval vessel. 

 He told the Thai-language Matichon daily that he had spent time in jail 
in military-run Myanmar and that the he planned the assault in revenge 
for the harsh treatment he received there. 

 Piracy on the high seas remains a serious problem in Asia. The Gulf of 
Thailand and the Andaman Sea are two hotspots for the crime, together 
with Indonesian waters and the Malacca Strait. 

 The International Maritime Bureau said a record total of 469 attacks on 
ships at sea, at anchor or in port were recorded worldwide in 2000 -- 56 
percent more than in the previous year. 



The Nation: Opinion - Wooing the junta is a tricky game 

 June 26, 2001.

Vorapun Srivoranart

Thaksin's visit to Burma could prove fruitful to relations, though there 
are many |long-term obstacles 

In reality, there is no black and white foreign policy, nor is there a 
single mould for every problem. It all depends on where and when a 
particular event occurs. 
With 2,401 kilometres of common border, Thailand has been shouldering 
the burden of proximity of internal political disruption in Burma 
without the comfort of distance. Hence the question of whether to engage 
the Burmese military junta is irrelevant. A more pertinent issue is how, 
bearing in mind our national interest and political values. 
Of late, two main approaches towards Burma have been dominant among Thai 
policy-makers. The first is that of the liberal-democratic school of 
thought which favours values like human rights, democracy, institutions 
and formality. This group believes the root of the problem lies with the 
undemocratic junta using military solutions for ethno-political issues. 
The cure, it says, is to restore democracy and civilian control, which 
not unexpectedly is rejected by the junta as intrusive and unfriendly. 

The other school of thought addresses the Burmese question from a 
completely opposite perspective, stressing ends over means. This group 
proposes non-interference, informality, a non-confrontational stance and 
a preference for summit meetings, reflecting the highly elitist nature 
of decision-making in this part of the world. All these make up the 
controversial trait called the "Asian Way". 

With this in mind, a landmark visit to Rangoon last week by Prime 
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra effectively pushed the pendulum to the 
extreme "Asian Way". The merit of this argument has to be gauged deeper 
than the facade of cordiality the Burmese leaders rolled out for him. 
Rather it is the concrete implementation of transforming the "tyranny of 
geography" into an opportunity. 

Thaksin's trip may well serve the immediate national interest of peace 
and stability, but the long-term value has to be taken with a grain of 
salt. No one wants war: war means the failure of diplomacy as the first 
line of defence. But the Thai-Burmese relationship is too complex and 
contains many uncontrollable variables that cannot be dispelled 
completely at a meeting between leaders. There are several fundamental 
issues warranting immediate scrutiny. 

First, have we yielded too much? It is clear that at present Thailand 
recognises the Burmese brand of politics and is determined to deal with 
it accordingly. This was reflected by Thaksin's conviction that only 
summit meetings will rescue worsening bilateral ties because in a highly 
centralised state like Burma "the tail won't move if the head does not 
move first" and there is a decree-based legal system. But for how much 
longer can we continue to play this game? Friendship and fraternity are 
a two-way street requiring a great degree of give and take. Therefore we 
should also make the Burmese junta accept our brand of politics. If 
Rangoon is true to the spirit of brotherhood, it should do so. 

Second, Thaksin's economic diplomacy calls into question an orthodox 
assumption that economic development will eventually lead to political 
reform. It is doubtful whether economic transactions reduce the chances 
of conflict by raising the cost of aggression. It is even more uncertain 
how a middle class of independent entrepreneurs can emerge given the 
stranglehold of the military on all aspects of the economy. How to 
guarantee that the economic pie will not be gobbled up by vested 
interests of both sides needs a serious answer. 

Third, does Rangoon have the capability to tackle narcotics and border 
problems? The short answer is no. Most drug-production areas are ruled 
by armed ethnic minorities which have peace accords with the junta in 
exchange for quasi-autonomy. It is an open secret that the Burmese 
military has little control over these groups and a lot of them cohabit 
with the drug-traders. Rangoon could ill-afford to open a war on two 
fronts by getting tough with the heavily armed United Wa State Army 
(UWSA) given the fact that it still cannot exert control over the entire 
border, which is rife with insurgents. In this vein, national security 
and consolidation come before drug suppression. 
Fourth, it is doubtful whether the renewed friendship is based on 
personal rapport or a genuine willingness on the part of Rangoon to 
coexist with its eastern neighbour. If the past is any guide, friendship 
is left often to the whim of the Burmese generals. Pandering too much to 
the generals also risks alienating pro-democracy forces and future 
generations of Burmese, who we have to live with. 

Last but not least, there is folly in thinking about Thailand-Burma 
border problems in terms of a post-modern state system where the 
political border has become obsolete and the states are bound by a web 
of transactions to the point of sharing a common destiny. The two 
nations are nowhere near that point in view of the level of political 
development and the unstable environment. Burma is a state extremely 
conscious of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

Failure to address these problems will have far-reaching ramifications 
and set a wrong policy course. Therefore, the onus is on the Thai 
government to steer the country's foreign policy in the right direction, 
since it is a policy that affects national security and well-being. For 
the first time in history it has the chance to open a new chapter in 

But in view of the chronic internal political problems in Burma, more 
spillover can be expected. The only way is to utilise the friendship to 
activate mechanisms and construct a "safety net" as insurance for when 
the incumbents are no longer in power, so that the spirit of brotherhood 
is upheld. 


Xinhua: Myanmar Takes Measures to Tackle Power Shortage Problem  

YANGON, Jun 26, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The shortage of electric 
power is a
major difficult problem which the Myanmar government has long been 
facing. It
has not only restrained the country's economic development but also 
about extreme inconvenience with people's daily life.

After taking over the state power on September 18, 1988, the Myanmar 
government took various measures in tackling the electric power shortage 
and made certain achievements.

The main measures taken by the Myanmar government to solve this problem 
are as

Firstly, breaking the monopoly of the state on electric power industry,
permitting and encouraging cooperatives and private enterprises to 
engage in the
exploitation of electric power resources to appropriate scale.

For a long duration, Myanmar's electric power industry was entirely 
by the state, thus hindering the development of the industry to some 

The Myanmar government introduced in 1994 a policy permitting 
cooperatives and
private entrepreneurs to build small-sized hydropower stations in places 
conditions suit.

The policy grants the cooperatives to set up such small hydropower 
stations of a
capacity up to 750 kilowatts (kw) and the private entrepreneurs to 
such stations of a capacity up to 3,000 kw.

Although the policy limits the sizes and scales of hydropower stations 
built by
the two sectors, it has still made a major step forward compared with 
the past.

Secondly, strengthening cooperation with foreign countries in the 
of electric power.

In October 1998, the Yunnan Machinery Equipment Import and Export 
Corporation of
China and the state-run Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise (MEPE) signed 
contract on building in Myanmar's northern Mandalay division the 
hydropower plant which has an installed generating capacity of up to 280
megawatts (mw).

This major project, now under implementation, is expected to solve 25 
percent of
the country's domestic power consumption on completion.

In November 1998, China International Trust and Investment Corporation 
and the
MEPE endorsed another contract on the implementation of the Thanphanseik
hydropower station in Myanmar's northwestern Sagaing division and the 
Mone power
station in southwestern Magway division.

The installed generating capacity of the two small hydropower plants are
respectively 30 mw and 75 mw.

In addition, the Japanese government announced in early May this year 
that due
to failure of maintenance of the Lawpyita hydropower station, built for 
by Japan in the 1960s, and outdated equipment, the Japanese government 
plans to
extend 3.5 billion yens( 28.6 million U.S. dollars) of aid to Myanmar to 
be used
as maintenance cost for the station.

Thirdly, Raising highly the electricity charges. Since February 1999, 
has raised highly the electricity charges, introducing a system of 
the charges in sections, that is 2.5 Kyats per unit if monthly 
consumption is
within 50 units, while 10 kyats per unit if between 51 and 200 units and 
kyats per unit if over 200 units.

Meanwhile, electricity charges for industrial use rose the sharpest with 
Kyats per unit.

According to the figures published by Myanmar's Central Statistical
Organization, as of 2000, the installed generating capacity of the MEPE 
came to
1,172 mw, an increase of 509 mw or 43.4 percent from 1988. Of them, that 
natural gas power plants rose 255 mw, while that of steam power ones 143 
mw and
that of hydropower ones 111 mw.

Meanwhile, the MEPE's electric power generated in 2000 was 5.028 billion
kilowatt-hours (kwh), up 55 percent compared with 2.226 kwh 13 years 

Although Myanmar made some achievements in easing the tension of 
shortage, but as the country's economy develops, the demand also 

It can be said that Myanmar's present generated power is far from 
meeting the
domestic demand, thus restricting to a large extent Myanmar's economic

by Duan Tingchang


Xinhua: Pressure Tactics Have Not Much Impact on Myanmar-- Leader

YANGON, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Pressure tactics applied by some Western 
countries against Myanmar have not much impact as they had hoped since 
the nation's economic and social infrastructure continues to progress 
steadily, Tuesday's official newspaper The New Light of Myanmar quoted 
the country's leader Lieutenant- General Khin Nyunt as saying. Meeting 
with officials attending a diplomacy course conducted on Monday by the 
Myanmar Foreign Ministry, First Secretary of the Myanmar State Peace and 
Development Council Khin Nyunt pointed out that it has been more than 
ten years since the imposition of the economic sanction by these 
countries, however, he added that the actual situation on the ground has 
proved that these actions have not been as successful as they would like 
them to be. 

He denied the charges by some opposition groups that there are 
widespread human right abuse and forced labor in Myanmar. He accused the 
opposition groups, holding negative views on Myanmar, of sowing seeds of 
discord between Myanmar and friendly countries, particularly the 
neighboring ones. He spoke out Myanmar's desire to maintain friendly 
relations with all the countries in the world particularly the 
neighboring states to create zones of peace, harmony and prosperity in 
border areas with them. He reiterated Myanmar's stand that it will never 
allow any opposition group to use the country's territory as base to 
operate against its neighbors. "However, it is only natural that 
sometimes matter can arise between neighbors since they share a common 
border," he said, implying the country's recent border clashes with 
Thailand. He gave an account of Myanmar's approach to such issues in the 
spirit of friendship, goodwill, understanding and mutual respect. He 
disclosed that the situation in Myanmar-Thai border is now returning to 
normal, thanks to the understanding reached and the resolution of the 
issues involved during the recent visit of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin 
Shinawatra to Myanmar. Enditem


Xinhua: Guangdong Defeats Myanmar in Women's Soccer Friendly

June 26, 2001

China's Guangdong Women's Football team beat the Myanmar National 
Women's team 1-0 in a friendly soccer match at the Youth Training Center 
Monday evening in Yangon. 

Xu Qiaoqin scored the winning goal for Guangdong just four minutes into 
the game. 

In the second half, both teams had to play in heavy rain and could not 
added change the score board. 

"Guangdong Women's team is a high-standard team and turned out better 
than the Myanmar team in physical power, height, technique and 
experience." U Saw Oo, head coach of the Myanmar team told Xinhua after 
the game. 

"It is benefits for our team by getting many experiences from these 
friendly soccer matches," he added. 

The Guangdong team, with an average age of 22 while the Myanmar girls 
average only 20. Guangdong team also beat the hosts side 2-1 in their 
first friendly soccer match on the same venue here last Saturday. 

The third match will be on Wednesday in Bago, 80 kilometers in the north 
of the capital of Yangon. 


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