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BurmaNet News: August 6, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
           August 6, 2001   Issue # 1858
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

*DVB : Policemen, employees complain of compulsory salary deductions

MONEY _______
*Kyodo: Kansai Electric Power signs consulting contract with Myanmar
*AFL-CIO: AFL-CIO Calls for Shareholder Vote on Amerada Hess's 
Acquisition of  Triton
*Xinhua: Myanmar's Trade with Industrialized Countries Up Sharply in 
First Quarter
*Xinhua: Myanmar-ASEAN Members Trade Down Slightly in First Quarter

*Press Trust of India: India to build military bases in Andaman & 
Nicobar-- Report 

*Shan Herald Agency for News: A new Wa refinery established near Laotian 

*Washington Post: Senator Harkin Condemns Burmese Regime, Forced Labor
*AFP: Thai anti-drug officials returned, arrest a misunderstanding: 

*Senator Tom Harkin: Stop Trading and Aiding the Burmese Military Junta
*Radio Myanmar (SPDC): Wa group abducts 7 Thais in retaliation against 
'slanderous scheme

*The Asian Experts: ?Living Silence? book tour in Australia

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

DVB : Policemen, employees complain of compulsory salary deductions


Text of report by DVB on 29 July

DVB has learned that some policemen have 
complained to the police director-general [PDG] about the various  
deductions from their salaries by their superiors. Township police 
offices  have been deducting regularly from the salaries of ordinary 
policemen  citing various social and welfare causes. The PDG's Office 
has already  deducted the salaries for the police force fund and mutual 
saving funds so  ordinary policemen have objected to the salary 
deductions at other levels.  Policemen from Taungdwingyi Township police 
station in Pegu Division and  Salin Township police station in Magwe 
Division have sent complaints to the  PDG earlier this month. So far no 
definite reply has been received from the  PDG's Office. 

Similarly, the salaries of employees from various government departments 
 have also been deducted citing various causes. The deductions were not 
only  to collect funds to build pagodas and monasteries, and to donate 
alms for  monks but it was also to cover entertainment expenses of 
visits by  ministers and deputy ministers. An employee from the Ministry 
of Finance  and Revenue told DVB that even money to buy presents for the 
ministers'  wives were deducted from the employees wages. 

DVB has also learned that soldiers who have invested in 
military-controlled  economic enterprises have not received their 
dividends. The military-owned  Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd 
(UMEHL) has not paid six soldiers  from Shan State-based LIB (Light 
Infantry Battalion) 312 and LIB 33 their  dividends worth hundreds of 
thousands of kyats. They were not given any  cash but the money was 
credited to their accounts. A soldier investing  100,000 kyat should 
receive 2,500 kyat monthly dividend while a soldier  investing 200,000 
kyat should receive 5,000 kyat monthly dividend. They had  to sign a 
receipt stating that they have received their annual dividends  ranging 
from 30,000 to over 100,000 while the money would be credited to  their 
bank accounts. It is not known why they did not give cash.  

Military-owned UMEHL is engaged in the export and import business and  
controls many economic enterprises. They have made joint ventures with  
foreign companies and have become a major investor in the garment 
industry.  The UMEHL was established in 1990 with the state owning about 
half the  shares. 

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 29 Jul 01 


Kyodo: Kansai Electric Power signs consulting contract with Myanmar

OSAKA, Aug. 4, Kyodo - Kansai Electric Power Co. said Friday it has 
signed a contract with Myanmar's state-run utility firm for technical 
consulting to develop hydroelectric power plants, becoming the first 
Japanese concern to take part in large-scale power projects in the 
military-ruled country. 

Under the contract, Kansai Electric will assist the Myanmar concern in 
feasibility studies, designs and construction of such plants at 12 
locations over the next five years as part of Myanmar's larger project 
to alleviate power shortages, the company said. 

The contract is estimated to be worth around 300 million yen, Kansai 
Electric officials said. 

The company has already established a representative office late last 
month in Yangon, with five workers dispatched there. 



AFL-CIO: AFL-CIO Calls for Shareholder Vote on Amerada Hess's 
Acquisition of  Triton

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The AFL-CIO today called on the Board 
of Directors of Amerada Hess Corporation (NYSE:AHC) to seek shareholder 
approval for the company's planned $3.2 billion acquisition of Triton 
Energy Limited (NYSE:OIL). In a letter to the CEO and Chairman of 
Amerada Hess, John B. Hess, the AFL-CIO said approval is warranted given 
the transaction's large size and material impact on the company's 
balance sheet, business strategy and overall risk profile. In a separate 
letter, the AFL-CIO informed Amerada Hess shareholders of its request to 
the board.

"Working people who invest in Amerada Hess deserve a say in such a 
fundamental change in business strategy," said AFL-CIO 
Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka. "Institutional investors who are the 
pension fund fiduciaries of America's working families have long been 
concerned with Amerada Hess's exposure to risks arising from its 25 
percent stake in Premier Oil, which operates a natural gas joint venture 
in Burma. The Triton acquisition would dramatically extend the company's 
already considerable exposure to countries with poor records on human 
and labor rights."

The AFL-CIO Office of Investment provides research and assistance in 
support of shareholder advocacy and corporate governance initiatives by 
collectively bargained benefit funds. These funds own about 1.2 percent 
of Amerada Hess common stock.

Amerada Hess plans to acquire Triton for $2.7 billion in cash plus the 
assumption of $500 million in debt. In a report to investors, the 
AFL-CIO called the $3.2 billion acquisition, which represents over 45 
percent of the company's market capitalization, a costly gamble on oil 
prices that appears overpriced relative to other recent oil industry 
transactions. The report also said the acquisition would more than 
double the company's debt-from $2 billion to $5 billion-and 
significantly increase its sensitivity to oil price volatility.

Amerada Hess owns 25 percent of Premier Oil, which is the operating 
partner of the Burmese Yetagun natural gas joint venture, one the 
largest foreign investments in Burma. The Burmese dictatorship is 
considered one the world's most oppressive regimes. Yetagun and its 
owners, including Premier, are associated with massive human rights 

"The search for new energy resources shouldn't lead Amerada Hess to put 
shareholder value at risk by exposing it to repressive regimes such as 
the Burmese military dictatorship," said Richard Trumka.

A copy of the report is available by calling the AFL-CIO Office of 
Investment at 202-637-3900 or at http://www.burmarisk.org .


Xinhua: Myanmar's Trade with Industrialized Countries Up Sharply in 
First Quarter

YANGON, August 4 (Xinhua) -- Bilateral trade between Myanmar and five 
industrialized countries -- the United Kingdom (U.K.), Japan, the United 
States (U.S.), Germany and France -- totaled 310. 56 million U.S. 
dollars in the first quarter of this year, up 117. 89 percent from the 
year-ago period, according to the latest government-issued Economic 
Indicators. Of the total, Myanmar's import from the five countries 
amounted to 92.73 million dollars, while its export to them was valued 
at 122.39 million dollars, enjoying a trade surplus of 29.66 million 
dollars in the balance of trade. The bilateral trade between Myanmar and 
the five industrialized countries during the three-month period 
accounted for 27.78 percent of Myanmar's total foreign trade which was 
registered at 1, 117.79 million dollars. 

Of them, Myanmar's bilateral trade with the U.K. represented the highest 
volume with 111.39 million dollars or 9.96 percent of Myanmar's total 
foreign trade, followed by Japan with 95.44 million dollars or 8.53 
percent, the U.S. with 93.71 million dollars or 8.38 percent and Germany 
with 6.11 million dollars or 0. 54 percent. During the period, Myanmar 
imported from France 3.91 million dollars worth of goods but the export 
to France was nil. The U.K. stood as Myanmar's third largest trading 
partner after Singapore and Thailand, followed by China, Japan, the U.S. 
and Republic of Korea. According to official statistics, in 2000, 
Myanmar's total foreign trade, including the border trade, totaled 4.086 
billion dollars, of which its bilateral trade with the five 
industrialized countries amounted to 614.2 million dollars, accounting 
for 15.03 percent of Myanmar's total foreign trade during the year.


Xinhua: Myanmar-ASEAN Members Trade Down Slightly in First Quarter

YANGON, August 2 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's bilateral trade with five member 
countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) -- 
Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines -- totaled 
445.83 million U.S. dollars in the first quarter of this year, down 1.87 
percent from the same period of 2000. According to the latest figures 
published by Central Statistical Organization, the trade accounted for 
39.8 percent of Myanmar's total foreign trade during the three-month 
period with its import from these ASEAN members amounting to 292.14 
million dollars, its export, 153.69 million dollars. 

The trade deficit stood at 138.45 million dollars. Of Myanmar's 
bilateral trade with these ASEAN member states during the period, that 
with Singapore accounted for the highest volume with 203.98 million 
dollars or 18.2 percent of the country' s 1,117.79 million dollars' 
total foreign trade. It was followed by that with Thailand which took up 
147.82 million dollars or 13.2 percent. That with Malaysia represented 
56. 85 million dollars and that with Indonesia 34.28 million dollars. 
However, Myanmar imported nil from the Philippines during the period, 
but exported to that country with goods worth of only 2.9 million 
dollars. According to official statistics, in 2000, Myanmar's total 
foreign trade, including the border trade, totaled 4.086 billion 
dollars, of which its bilateral trade with the five other ASEAN members 
amounted to 1.651 billion dollars, accounting for 40.4 percent of the 
total. Enditem


Press Trust of India: India to build military bases in Andaman & 
Nicobar-- Report 

T V Parasuram, PTI 
 Washington, Aug 1 
 INDIA WILL spend $ 2 billion during the next five years to establish   
new military bases in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Defense News   
has reported. Approved by New Delhi on July 5, it says, the bases will   
be used to monitor and counter military and terrorist activities   
against India, according to senior military officials. The command   
post in the islands, they said, will be India's first full-fledged   
military base in the region as well as its first to be run jointly by   
the three branches of its military -- the Army, Navy and Air Force.   
The bases will be in the Andaman and Nicobar chain, 572 mostly   
uninhabited islands which stretch for hundreds of miles in the eastern   
Bay of Bengal. The command post is slated to be operational by August   
15 although building and equipping the bases will take years. The   
setting of the tricommand in the islands was long overdue, especially   
in the wake of deployment of missiles, weaponry and troops in Myanmar,   
said Sament Harish, former Air Force officer. The bases, the report   
said, will be commanded by a three- star military officer.  


Shan Herald Agency for News: A new Wa refinery established near Laotian 

August 4, 2001

A border-watcher reported on 31 July that the Wa had recently 
established a  new refinery in Tachilek township opposite Laos.

The village of Wianglarn, about 60 km north of Tachilek and between  
Monglane and Paliao, is the place where Wa troops under Wei Hsiaokang,  
wanted by both Thailand and the United States, had founded the drug  
refinery on 26 June, he said.

120 fighters from the United Wa State Army's "Southern Command" are  
responsible for the "internal security": 50 from Loilang commanded by 
Tama,  30 from Hopang-Hoyawd commanded by Tasao, 20 from Mongyawn under 
Laosang's  command and 20 from Pangsang under Laohsu's command.

"External security" is provided by Maj. Thein Aung from LIB 329 
(Monghyak)  with another 120 troops.

The capital is K. 30 million (roughly B. 3 million).

It was at this time that about 150-200 fighters facing the Shan State  
Army's Loi Kawwan Camp, opposite Chaingrai's Mae Fa Luang District, were 
 abruptly ordered to move to Laos, he said. (Re: 07 - 08, Wa moving 
troops  to protest labs in Laos, 13 July.)

He also confirmed the clash between the Wa and LIB 359 (Tachilek) near  
Monghpong on 25 July that left 4 dead and 10 wounded on the Burmese side 
 and an undisclosed number of casualties on the Wa side. "A Wa officer  
complained loudly in Mongyawn that it was a foolish mistake by the 
Burmese  who should have known that Monghpong was in their turf and 
nothing went  without them knowing," reported the source.

The Wa has an agricultural project in the area. Some reports place  
Monghpong as the location where the 7 Thai officials were taken into  
custody on 27 July, just 2 days after the incident.

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

Washington Post: Senator Harkin Condemns Burmese Regime, Forced Labor

5 August 2001.

(Urges frequent ILO Inspections for Burma)  

Senator Tom Harkin (Democrat of Iowa), who has introduced legislation to 
cut off imports from Burma, said that country's military junta is 
"beyond the pale," in a July 31 speech to the Senate. 

Harkin described the Rangoon regime as "morally bankrupt" and 
"despicable," and urged President Bush to support S. 926. 

Burma's military junta, Harkin said, uses forced child labor, has 
enlisted 50,000 children as soldiers, and traffics drugs on such a scale 
as to be "the No. 1 source of heroin on our streets in America." 

He urged that International Labor Organization (ILO) fact-finding teams 
be sent to Burma "every six months for the foreseeable future, not a 
onetime visit." 

Every ILO fact-finding team sent to Burma, he added, "should include at 
least one of the members of the ILO Commission of Inquiry, which 
compiled the body of evidence of widespread use of forced labor in 

Harkin noted that it was the Commission's report that eventually led to 
the 175 member nations of the ILO to adopt stronger sanctions against 
this "outlaw regime." 


AFP: Thai anti-drug officials returned, arrest a misunderstanding: 

BANGKOK, Aug 3 (AFP) - Thai Defence Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said 
Friday that seven Thai anti-narcotics officials who were taken captive 
by ethnic Wa fighters a week ago had been mistaken for spies. 

 The officials, who were seized by the Wa after crossing into the 
drug-infested Myanmar border region, were transported to Yangon before 
being flown back to Thailand late Thursday. 
 "We have verified that it was caused by a misunderstanding as the Wa 
saw the car (driven by the Thai officials) that had tinted windows and 
was equipped with radio antennae," Chavalit said. 

 A senior Myanmar official Friday hailed the release as a sign of the 
good working relationship that had been re-established with Thailand 
after months of turmoil centred on the border drugs trade. 

 "The speedy and successful settlement of the incident highlights the 
full understanding based on mutual friendship and goodwill which now 
prevails between the two countries," said Major General Khaw Win. 

 "Had there been a lack of understanding on the part of our leaders, 
this issue would have dragged on," he said. 

 One of the officials, Colonel Duangkamol Sukonthasap of Thailand's 
Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), denied the group was on a 
reconnaissance mission, and said they had crossed into Myanmar legally 
to visit a temple. 

 Duangkamol added that the officials had not been interrogated after 
being detained by Wa troops but had instead been taken to inspect a 
fruit plantation. 

 "We intended to pay our respects to a monk, and we entered Myanmar 
legally," she said. 

 "But they misunderstood, and when they learned we were Thai officials 
they invited us to inspect a logan (fruit) plantation to prove they were 
not producing drugs." 

 The Wa, who have signed a ceasefire agreement with Myanmar's military 
regime, are reputed to control much of the heroin and amphetamines trade 
in the rugged border region abutting Thailand. 

 The Myanmar spokesman agreed there was no indication the Thai officials 
had any ulterior motives. 

 "We conclude that they had taken the opportunity, while at the border, 
to come over for a casual visit," he said, adding that they attracted 
attention when they took snapshots of a Wa-owned factory. 

 "The Wa obviously acted on impulse when they found out the visitors 
were anti-drug officials," Kyaw Win said. 

 "They wanted to show these people they were no longer involved with 
drugs and to explain that they did not take kindly to being deliberately 
framed by some Thai local authorities." 

 Khaw Win also said the Wa were angered by the death of Wan Li, a 
25-year-old office manager who they said was killed during a visit to 
Thailand where he went on the invitation of a local township chief. 

 His corpse was posed with drugs and a gun and photographed as evidence 
of Wa involvement in drug trafficking, Kyaw Win said. 

 "They said they wanted to convey their grievances with regard to the 
ill treatment they suffered at the hands of local Thai authorities and 
to show their displeasure at the foul play suffered by Wan Li." 



Senator Tom Harkin: Stop Trading and Aiding the Burmese Military Junta

[Text of Senator Harkin's July 31 speech to the Senate:]

Mr. HARKIN. Mr. President, once in awhile, the world is confronted with 
a national government so extreme in its violation of basic human rights 
and worker rights and so morally bankrupt that it requires exceptional, 
coordinated action on the part of all civilized nations. A case in point 
is the Burmese military junta that has been in power since 1988 and 
which continues to terrorize this nation of 48 million people to this 

This is a despicable military dictatorship that is quite simply beyond 
the pale. 
It uses forced labor as a normal way of conducting business and 
international trade. 
It uses forced child labor to build roads and dams, to transport goods 
for the military, and to tend the fields. 

It exploits 50,000 child soldiers--the most of any nation on Earth. 

It is a drug trafficker of the first order--the No. 1 source of heroin 
on our streets in America. 

It routinely confiscates and operates apparel and other factories, 
directly and indirectly, to earn foreign exchange to keep its brutal 
grip on power. 

It brazenly ignores the democratic yearnings of its own people who 
overwhelmingly elected the National League for Democracy to power in the 
national elections in 1990. 
It has kept Aung San Suu Kyi, the democratically elected national leader 
of Burma and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, under house arrest and cutoff 
from outside communication for most of the past decade, while 
imprisoning, torturing, and killing tens of thousands of Burmese 
prodemocracy supporters. 

For all of these reasons, I introduced legislation, S. 926, in late May 
to establish a complete U.S. trade ban with Burma. I am greatly 
CORZINE, and MIKULSKI have already joined as cosponsors of this bill to 
make more effective the limited sanctions enacted by a bipartisan 
majority in 1997. 
Now we need President Bush to throw his support behind this measure as 
well. I am hopeful that he will follow his words with action because he 
wrote to many of us nearly two months ago pledging that ``we strongly 
support Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's heroic efforts to bring democracy to the 
Burmese people.'' 

Now is not the time to hesitate. We already have fresh evidence that 
even the threat of enactment of this legislation is making life much 
more difficult for the Burmese generals in several ways. 

First, the Wall Street Journal on July 9th carried an in-depth story 
under the headline, ``Myanmar Faces Dual Blow from U.S. Proposed Ban.'' 
In this account, a ranking officer of the Myanmar Garment Manufacturing 
Association reports that orders for Burmese apparel have already begun 
to decline in the country's largest quasi-private sector industry. 

Not surprisingly, Burmese government officials and textile industry 
executives are denouncing our legislation, claiming that it will hurt 
tens of thousands of Burmese textile and apparel workers and their 

But, in fact, S. 926 enjoys the solid support of the Free Trade Union 
Movement of Burma, FTUB, and it was developed in close consultation with 
Burmese workers at the village and farm level inside that besieged 
nation. Small wonder given that the per capita GDP in Burma has now 
fallen to less than $300 a year and the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon last 
summer cabled home that wages in the textile and apparel factories 
typically start at 8 cents an hour for a 48-hour work week. 

Second, the Burmese military junta for the first time has recently 
announced that it will allow a team of investigators from the 
International Labor Organization (ILO) to visit Burma for three weeks in 
September to follow up the mountain of evidence compiled about the 
widespread use of forced labor. I hope this is not a cynical ploy on the 
part of the Burmese generals whereby ILO officials are carefully steered 
to sanitized work sites, after which the ILO mission issues a report 
stating that they saw little first-hand evidence of forced labor or that 
it is in decline due to the government's efforts to stop it. 

To forestall this possibility, the following important precautions need 
to be taken now to prevent the Burmese generals from "whitewashing" 
their longstanding use of forced labor: 
There should be regular ILO fact-finding teams sent to Burma every six 
months for the foreseeable future, not a onetime visit. 

Every ILO fact-finding team sent into Burma should include at least one 
of the members of the ILO Commission of Inquiry, which compiled the body 
of evidence of widespread use of forced labor in Burma. It was that 
Commission's report which led to the ILO invoking Article 33 procedures 
for the first time in history in 1999 and twice, since then, calling for 
the 175 member nations of the ILO to adopt stronger sanctions against 
this outlaw regime. 

Before any ILO inspection team is dispatched, the Burmese generals must 
rescind their decree, which prohibits any gathering of more than 5 
Burmese civilians at one time. This will enable Burmese forced laborers 
or witnesses on their behalf to feel more secure in coming forward. 
The ILO must also insist in advance that other UN agencies help monitor 
the whereabouts and safety of any Burmese forced laborers or witnesses 
thereto, once the ILO fact-finding teams leave the country. 

Finally, the embassies of Japan and other ASEAN countries who lobbied 
hard for the dispatch of such ILO fact-finding teams must take on 
special, added responsibilities and function as conscientious monitors 
against forced labor and other egregious worker rights violations inside 
Burma whenever ILO fact-finding teams are not on the ground. 

Third, now that more and more American consumers are learning for the 
first time that U.S. trade with Burma is actually growing, they are 
bringing their own pressure to bear on this sordid business. Last May 
23rd, for example, Wal-Mart executives issued a statement that 
``Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. does not source products from Burma and we do 
not accept merchandise from our suppliers sourced in Burma and 
Wal-Mart-Canada will also not accept any merchandise sourced from Burma 
moving forward.'' I hope this claim can be verified soon and that other 
companies that have been doing business in Burma will follow suit. 

Fourth, I am also hopeful that the U.S. Customs Service will move 
promptly to enforce its recent rulings and make certain that no products 
enter the U.S. labeled only "Made in Myanmar". Until such time that my 
trade ban legislation is enacted, it is very important that all American 
consumers be able to clearly identify whether a garment or other 
imported product is made in Burma. 

In conclusion, Mr. President, it is unconscionable that apparel and 
textile imports from Burma, for example, have increased by 372 percent 
since supposedly "tough" sanctions were enacted in the U.S. in 1997. 
They increased by 118 percent last year alone, providing more than $454 
million in hard currency that flows mostly into coffers of the Burmese 
military dictatorship. By what reasoning, do we currently have quotas on 
textile and apparel imports from virtually every other country in the 
world, but not Burma? 

We need to promptly cut off the hard currency that is helping sustain 
the Burmese gulag. 

We need to demonstrate anew our solidarity with the pro-democracy in 
Burma and its leaders. 

We need to curb the flow of illegal drugs pouring into our country from 
Burma. We need to answer the call of the ILO to disassociate our country 
from the Burmese military junta which routinely uses forced labor and 
the worst forms of child labor, while defying the community of civilized 
nations to do anything about it. 

We can accomplish all of these worthy policy objectives, the sooner we 
enact S. 926. 


Radio Myanmar (SPDC): Wa group abducts 7 Thais in retaliation against 
'slanderous scheme

August 4, 2001

[Translated from Burmese by FBIS]  A press conference on the formal 
handing over of seven Thai citizens, who entered Tachilek from Mae Sai 
on 27 July and abducted by the Wa national race group, was held at the 
Defense Services Guest House on Inya Road at 0900 today. Lt Col Tin Oo, 
General Staff Officer Grade-1 of the Office of Strategic Studies [OSS], 
acted as secretary of the press conference. First, Maj Gen Kyaw Win, 
Deputy Director of Defense Ministry's Directorate of Defense Services 
Intelligence [DDSI] and Deputy OSS Chief, explained matters relating to 
the formal handing over of the seven Thai employees who were abducted by 
the Wa national race group. 

They entered Tachilek from Mae Sai without prior arrangements with 
Myanmar [Burmese] authorities, and only with an ordinary immigration 
entry form stating seven members. He said that he had already handed 
over the seven Thai employees to General Vichit Yatit and party of 
Thailand at about 1900 yesterday; and they have returned to Bangkok by 
Thai military aircraft. Explaining the incident in detail, Maj Gen Kyaw 
Win said the seven Thai staff entered Tachilek from Mae Sai at about 
1000 on 27 July abroad a Toyota Land Cruiser without mentioning their 
names in the immigration family entry form. Only when the Thai 
authorities informed the Myanmar side about the seven missing persons 
together with the list of their name, did the Myanmar side know that 
they were Colonel Dueng Kamol alias Ms Kalaya Sithiwong, Major Domsuk 
Khamsonggai of TBC, Captain Sanit Banthao, Sergeant Satit Sithiprasert 
of TBC, Mr Senee Waiwattana of ONCB, Mr Surasak Nanthawong of ONCB, and 
driver Mr Thanu Rangbee of ONCB. He added immediately the matter was 
investigated by members of the regional Military Intelligence Unit who 
learnt that they were taken by the Wa group. 

He said a team led by a senior DDSI officer from Yangon [Rangoon] was 
immediately dispatched to the Wa region. When the team inquired about 
the abduction with the Wa group they acknowledged that they had taken 
them and handed over the seven Thai staff to the team. Next, Maj Gen 
Kyaw Win said when the team asked the Wa group members the reason for 
abducting the Thai staff, they said that Wan Li, a member of the Wa 
group, was summoned by the Commissioner of Mong Pha on 23 July; that 
when he went to the town he was murdered in the compound of the 
commissioner's office; that afterwards, 10,000 stimulant tablets and an 
M-22 automatic rifle was placed beside his body; that a documentary 
photo of his body with the stimulant tablets and the weapon was taken; 
and that the Wa group dissatisfied with the slanderous scheme abducted 
the seven Thai citizens. 

He added, the team after notifying the Wa leaders to restrain from 
engaging in such acts in future with the view of maintaining friendly 
relations between the two countries brought the seven Thais back to 
Yangon on 2 August. He then explained through General Vichit, the 
Myanmar authorities have asked the Thai side to abstain from launching 
slanderous accusations against the Wa people concerning narcotic drugs. 
The press conference ended at 0930 after officials replied to queries 
raised by the journalists. After the press conference, the journalists 
and guests viewed the maps, and documentary photographs.


The Asian Experts: ?Living Silence? book tour in Australia

Dear Customers and Friends,

As you know from recent newsletter Christine Fink's book 'Living 
Burma under military rule' has just been published.  It has received  
excellent reviews.

For example,  The Times Book Review London said

"....[an] admirably document and utterly absorbing attempt to answer 
these  questions [of what life is like under military rule] ...

 ..... The first part of this book tells the sad tale well; tells, too, 
the  ways that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the people around her have since 
1990  tried to keep hope alive under the military boot.  It details the 
cruel  techniques of control".

Christine Fink will be visiting Australia from 8th to the 13th  August.  
There are a number of activities arranged.


10th August 4-5 p.m. she will talk at the regular Mekong Discussion 
Group  in the Conference Room, Division of Geography, Madsen Building, 
University  of Sydney.  Open to everyone.

There will be a book launch at Glee Books, 49 Glebe Point Road, Gleve on 
 Saturday 11th August at 4:30 p.m. (There is another book launch that 
day  with Pamela Gutman"s wonderful and exotic book on Arakan also 
available  from us).


A book launch at Reading Bookshop, 309 Lygon Street, Carlton on 14th 
August  at 6:30 p.m.

Efforts are under way for a talk at a Melbourne University. 


The wonderful Emily Rudland has organised a Burma Discussion Group on  
Thursday 16th August at 6 p.m. (no entry after 6:30 p.m.) at the School 
of  Humanities Conference Room, 1st floor, A.D. Hope Building, 
Australian  National University.  If you need further information, 
please contact Emily  on (02)6125 8220 or email Emily.Rudland@xxxxxxxxxx

These arrangements have been made by the distributor of the book Astam  
Books who can be contacted at Info@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or ring the 
publicity  and media contact, Chris Player on (02) 9566 4400.

For those who have ordered this book from us, we have been promised  
delivery next week.  Our copies were "hijacked" as a result of the  
unexpected visit of Christine Fink.  If you have not order and would 
like  to do so, please send an email.

For a full listing of our books on Burma, please click:




Len Lambourne,
The Asian Experts,
Books about Asia with
a focus on Southeast Asia,
PO Box 497,

Tel: 61-7-3278 7507
Fax: 61-7-3278 7587
Web: http://www.asiabooks.gil.com.au
Email:  asiabook@xxxxxxxxxx 


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Burma News Summaries available by email or the web

There are three Burma news digest services available via either email or 
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Burma News Update
Frequency: Biweekly
Availability: By fax or the web.
Viewable online at 
Cost: Free
Published by: Open Society Institute, Burma Project

The Burma Courier 
Frequency: Weekly 
Availability: E-mail, fax or post.  To subscribe or unsubscribe by email 
Viewable on line at: http://www.egroups.com/group/BurmaCourier
Cost: Free
Note: News sources are cited at the beginning of an article. 
Interpretive comments and background
details are often added.

Burma Today
Frequency: Weekly
Availability: E-mail
Viewable online at http://www.worldviewrights.org/pdburma/today.html
To subscribe, write to pdburma@xxxxxxxxx
Cost: Free
Published by: PD Burma (The International Network of Political Leaders 
Promoting Democracy in Burma)


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