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BurmaNet News: August 7, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
           August 7, 2001   Issue # 1859
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

NOTED IN PASSING:  "Please tell them all labor given are voluntary out 
of your love for the army." 

Lt. Col Myint Maung, Commander LIB 515 coaching villagers in Shan State 
on how to answer questions from International Labour Organization 
investigators.  Shan Herald Agency for News:  Shans told to tell 
foreigners there's no forced labor 

*Shan Herald Agency for News: Shans told to tell foreigners there's no 
forced labor
*Bangkok Post: Ex-MP flees Rangoon to join NLD members-Activist fresh 
out of jail vows to fight on
*The Nation: Experts call for urgent removal 
*Political Defiance Committee: Electricity in Burma
*Shan Herald Agency for News: Shans fleeing from annual rice purchase

MONEY _______
*Xinhua: Myanmar Exports Less Teak, Hardwood in First Quarter 
*DVB : SPDC opens four new border trade posts

*Burma Courier: News Buffs Treated to Different Versions of Abduction
*Bangkok Post: Abduction of 7 linked to assassination-Wa's killing 
blamed on Fang district chief
*Shan Herald Agency for News: New roads to the border ordered built
*The Asian Age : 'Northeast rebels are funded by few European NGOs' 

*Xinhua: Myanmar Designates Some Narcotic Drugs As Illegal Sale

*Kyodo: Myanmar junta unlikely to go without guarantee: Mahahir
*The Economist:  A long way from Rangoon
*Bangkok Post: Policemen arrested for smuggling aliens

*Bangkok Post: Is Burma becoming a divided nation?

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

Shan Herald Agency for News:  Shans told to tell foreigners there's no 
forced labor 

6 August 2001

Shan villagers in several townships have been instructed by military 
authorities to inform foreign investigators expected to tour Shan State 
soon that forced labor had ended. 

On 28 July, Lt. Col Myint Maung, Commander LIB 515 (Laikha) told people 
in Mongkerng, 108 miles northeast of Taunggyi, that "foreign" 
fact-finding team was expected during the month of August and he "hoped" 
the people would give "proper" answers. "Please tell them all labor 
given are voluntary out of your love for the army," he reportedly told 
the gathering. Sources coming from the area reported that Col. Myint 
Maung had already briefed the people of Laikha, 29 miles south, a day 
Similar reports were received from Monghsat and Mongton, opposite 
Chiangmai and Chiangrai provinces. 

Sources from Mongkerng said since June, forced labor had in fact 
significantly lessened but, on the other hand, monetary requisitions had 

"For instance, each village tract is expected to pay for rent of 10 
mules to be used in the army's monthly patrol details," said one. 
"Rental for each mule is K. 5,000 per month. So we have to share about 
K. 300-500 per household." 

According to Rangoon, Burma had ceased the practice of forced labor 
since 27 October 2000. 

Bangkok Post: Ex-MP flees Rangoon to join NLD members-Activist fresh out 
of jail vows to fight on

August 7, 2001 

Supamart Kasem

A recently released Burmese member of parliament has fled Rangoon to 
join a pro-democracy group at a base opposite Tak province.

Khin Kyaw Han on Sunday went south to Myawaddy where he joined fellow 
members of the National League for Democracy.

At a press conference yesterday, he insisted he would not leave the 
country and vowed to fight with pro-democracy movements in Burma.

The meeting was organised by Maung Maung Aye, minister for information 
of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, and Pado 
Mahn Sha Lapan, general secretary of the Karen National Union.

The ex-MP said democracy activists in Burma were under tremendous 
pressure from the ruling regime, the State Peace and Development 

While welcoming a dialogue between Aung San Suu Kyi and the ruling 
junta, he criticised the Burmese military for its lack of sincerity.

The junta should tell the public how the talks were progressing and 
release all political prisoners, he said.

The activist claimed 38 MPs elected in May 1990 have died, while another 
30 were being held prisoner.

Most of them were under house arrest, including Aung San Suu Kyi, NLD 
chairman Aung Swe and vice-chairman Tin Oo.

Khin Kyaw Han was the first to be arrested. 

He was charged with destroying state property in September 1990, 
convicted and condemned to three years of hard labour at Tae Yae prison, 
in Magwe.

Khin Kyaw Han was released in February 1995, but was arrested again in 
July 1998. He was released again this year on June 28.

The Nation: Experts call for urgent removal 

Tue, August 07, 2001 

All nine heads of the United Nations relief agencies in Burma have made 
a collective plea to their respective organisations and the 
international community to urgently lift sanctions against the junta on 
humanitarian grounds.

With more than 500,000 people HIV-positive and a high maternal mortality 
ratio ranging between 230-580 per 100,000 live births, Burma is on the 
brink of a humanitarian crisis, they said in a letter sent to all chiefs 
of UN agencies operating in the country.

The groups include the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 
Unicef and the World Health Organisation.

The letter said half of the maternal deaths in Burma were due to unsafe 
abortions, while about 25 per cent of new-born babies were underweight. 
One in three of all Burmese children would be malnourished by the time 
they reached the age of five.

"This is compounded by the fact that about 3.6 million children and 1.1 
million pregnant women live in areas considered to be at high or 
moderate risk for malaria transmission," according to the letter.

The nine UN representatives said humanitarian assistance to Burma was a 
moral and ethnical necessity and to deny the country the aid would cause 
unnecessary suffering.

They called for a dramatic overhaul of budget allocation to Burma, as 
well as a cohesive approach between the activities of the UN 
organisations operating in Burma and the political initiatives launched 
from within the UN system.

Moreover, said the representatives, delayed assistance may also have an 
escalating effect on the illicit drug business, resulting in negative 
impact on the region as a whole in a wide range of other areas - 
including human-trafficking, illegal migration and population 

"The current peripheral or piecemeal assistance provided to Myanmar 
[Burma] is not 
adequate to reverse or even slow down certain negative trends," the 
letter said. Burma receives about US$1 (Bt45) per capita annually, 
compared with $35 for Cambodia and $68 for Laos. 

The representatives pointed out HIV/Aids, illicit drugs and food 
security as the top three areas that needed utmost attention.

Although the representatives agreed that a common humanitarian approach 
towards Burma must be viewed in the context of the country's political 
environment, they said: "the nature and magnitude o the humanitarian 
situation does not permit delaying until the political situation 

The statement from the nine UN agency heads came amid ongoing secret 
talks between the ruling junta and the opposition leader, Aung San Suu 
Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner whose National League for 
Democracy won a landslide general election in 1990 but was denied the 
fruit of victory by the army.

Don Pathan


Political Defiance Committee: Electricity in Burma

August 2001

Current Electricity Output & Deficiency

At present the daily need for electricity all over Burma is 1,200 
megawatt but the output from hydropower, natural gas-power and other 
power plants produce is mere 440 megawatt, which again indicates that 
Burma produces less than half of what is need nationwide.

Electricity in Rangoon

Rangoon with a population of 6 million and industrial zones in the 
vicinity need over 160 megawatt daily but the MES is able to provide 50 
megawatt only. In order to provide adequate electricity to the nation's 
capital, fossil fuel engines located in Ahlone Township and used for 
emergency electricity outlets during the Second World War were put to 
use to produce more electricity. However, the output fell short of what 
is necessary amount of electricity to Rangoon.

A daughter of former drug kingpin Law Sing Han bought fuel necessary to 
operate the engines from Brunei and entered joint venture with MES to 
produce more electricity. Unfortunately, fuel supply from Brunei stopped 
when she could not pay for it in time. As a result, the operation of 
fossil fuels engines had to be stopped. At the moment, the people have 
to use generators, as the electricity supply is not even sufficient for 
important locations such as hospitals.

Current electricity supply for Rangoon is about 8 hours a day and 
therefore it is difficult for satellite towns and other outlying areas 
to get electricity. In order to fill the need for electricity in these 
areas, private yet small entrepreneurs are selling electricity produced 
from small generators. Electricity from these generators is provided 
from 6 to 10 in the evening at the rate of 25 Kyat for 40-watt lamps and 
35 Kyat for 60-watt lamps.

Despite the scarcity of electricity, hotels and industries owned and 
operated by foreign investors are provided sufficient electricity. 
Charges for electricity use are 25 Kyat for one unit for individuals and 
 .80 $ FEC for foreign investors.

Following the 1988 uprising, the use of electricity has increased 8 
times in Townships located in the inner Rangoon such as Pazundaung, 
Tamwe, Kyimyindine, San Chaung, Bahan, Thingangyun, Mingala Taung Nyunt, 
Botahtaung, Ahlone, Mayangone, etc.

Burma's MES has a different rate for both current and retired civil 
servants. It charges 2.50 Kyat per unit for the use of one to 50 units, 
10 kyat per unit for the use of 50 to 100 units. However, if the 
electricity use surpasses 100 units, the MES charge 25 Kyat, the same as 
ordinary consumers. 

As the availability of electricity from the government is not possible 
in the provincial areas, township and district Peace and Development 
Councils have formed respective electricity committees and provided 
electricity from fuel engines. Although charges for electricity use is 
different from one area to another, the rate for civil servants and 
pensioners, more or less, is 40 Kyat per unit. But ordinary citizens and 
indigenous private companies have to pay 75 Kyat per unit.

The current price for a gallon of gas (petrol) is 750 Kyat and a gallon 
of diesel is about 840 Kyat. These prices however fluctuate depending on 
the fluctuation of foreign currency. 

Power plants in Burma

Biluchaing Hydropower Plant located at Lawpita in Kayah State
Plant 1, Plant 2, Plant 3

The Lawpita Hydropower project was initiated in 1951 by the then 
Electricity Supply Board (ESB). The construction of the plants began in 
January 1954. The machinery for the plants was bought from Japan with 
the money it owed Burma as part of war compensation. Japanese advisors 
and engineers from Nippon Koi and Kajima companies built the plants. The 
production started in 1959.

The Plant 1 was built at Makutaw Falls and in full capacity, it can 
produce 24,000 kilowatt. Presently however, it produces less than its 
actual capacity. The Plant 2 was built at Lawpita Waterfalls and is the 
most important in the Biluchaung Project. The plant has three 40,000 
horsepower engines and each produces 28,000 kilowatt. The combined 
output of the three engines is 84,000 kilowatt.

The third plant can produce 48,000 kilowatt of electricity. In full 
capacity, the three plants can produce 168,000 kilowatt. But the 
turbines are 50 years old and some of them cannot be used any longer. In 
addition, the availability of sufficient water supply has become 
difficult due to receding water in Inle Lake and Moebye Reservoir.

The MES has proposed for the construction of similar types of plants and 
upgrading of the existing plants at Biluchaung to generate more 
electricity. But as it would cost about $ 250 million altogether, the 
project has not been approved due to the lack of funds. It is learnt 
however that the $ 29 million assistance from Japan will be used to fix 
broken machines.

At present, the Biluchaung plants produce about 100,000 kilowatt (100 
megawatt) daily. The plants have about 280 wokers. Lawpita is about 250 
miles from Rangoon and 1,155 power posts have to be used to supply 
electricity to Rangoon. The electricity from Lawpita first goes to a 
branch plant in Taungoo and then to Hlawka plant near Rangoon, from 
which electricity is supplied to Rangoon through two lines known as 
Mayangone line and Ywama line. Previously, the Hlawka plant used to 
provide electricity to Bago (Pegu) and Pyi (Prome) but the supply has 
become irregular. The northern branches for Lawpita are located in 
Kalaw, Meikhtila, Mandalay, Taunggyi, and Yatsouk.

Kintar hydropower plant (Myittha township, Mandalay Division)

The construction began in 1981 with the help from West Germany. It was 
aimed at supplying electricity to Mandalay and other upper Burma areas. 
It has two 28 megawatt turbines but the output has reduced to 35 
megawatt due to difficulty in getting enough water.

Shwetaung turbine gas power plant (Shwetaung township, Pegu (Bago) 

The natural gas from Pyituang Tan gas-fields is used to produce 
electricity. The plant plans to provide electricity to Pyi (Prome) and 
the areas surrounding it. It produces only 10 megawatt daily.

Myan Aung turbine gas power plant (Myan Aung township, Irrawaddy 

Relied on the natural gas from Myanaung gas-fields, the plant produces 
and provides 10 megawatt of electricity to Myanaung and industrial zones 
in the area.

Kyunchaung turbine gas power plant (Magwe Division)

The Kyunchaung plant uses the natural gas from Chauk and Yenanchaung 
gas-fields. The output is 10 megawatt.

Zawgyi Hydropower plant (Yatsouk township, Shan State)

The production started on March 16, 2000. The output is 15 megawatt and 
supplied to the town and outlying areas.

Zaungtu Hydropowr plant (Teikkyi township, Pegu Division)

The project was completed on March 22, 2000. It can produce about 40 

The Burmese junta has built fossil fuel-operated generators in Rangoon, 
Mandalay and other towns in order to sufficiently provide electricity to 
the country. The attempts have hit a snag if there is a continual 
scarcity of fuel and the generators have not been used at full capacity.

According to 1999-2000 statistics, the amount of fuel that is used to 
produce electricity is:

- Fossil fuel   58.21%
- Hydropower    37.57%
- Natural gas   4.22%

Future Electricity Production Projects

Yaeywa Hydropower Plant (Kyaukse township, Mandalay Division) 

When completed, the plant will generate about 700 megawatt. It is being 
built with the assistance from India.

Paunglaung Hydropower Plant (Pyinmana township, Mandalay Division) 

It is being constructed by the Yunnan Machinery & Equipment 
Import-Export Corporation. It will produce 280 megawatt upon completion.

Htamanthi Hydropower Plant (Chin State)
The government of India has assisted for the project. When completed, 
the plant will generate about 50 megawatt.

Daungba Chaung Hydropower plant project in Tetan township (Chin State)
Gnasitba Chaung Hydropower plant project in Falan township (Chin State)

These projects are intended for the use of electricity in their 
respective areas.
Bawgahta Hydropower Plant (Nyaungleban township, Pegu Division)

The location was chosen for hydropower plant in 1950 but the project was 
not able to begin as there was no security in the area. The project will 
now be initiated, as there is no security concern anymore.

Saitin Hydropower Plant (Rakhine State) 

The project has already begun. Upon completion, the plant will produce 
about 60 megawatt.

Myainggale Natural Gas-power Plant (Karen State) 

The natural gas from Yetana gasfields will be piped through Kanbauk area 
to Myainggale in order to produce electricity.

Nuclear Power Plant

Although there is a plan to build a nuclear power plant with the help of 
the Russians in the areas of Yaw and Saw, Sagaing Division, Upper Burma, 
it is not known how much electricity the plant will generate.

Problems in connection with the scarcity of electricity in Rangoon and 
other areas

The ordinary people with low income find it hard to pay 25 Kyat per unit 
for the use of electricity. Other fuels such as firewood, charcoal, 
etc., are more expensive than the use of electric cookers. Therefore 
they choose to use the latter.

The normal use of electricity (such as cooking and lighting the house) 
by a family is about 100 units per month. Those who are not civil 
servants or retired government officials and workers have to spend over 
2,000 Kyat. The income of these families is less than 10,000 Kyat and 
therefore they have to spend one third or one fourth of their income for 

The situation forces the people to steal electricity and as a result, 
the MES has brought charges against some people. Although the rate for 
government employees is 125 Kyat for the use of 50 units, the price will 
become 625 if they use 100 units of electricity. If they wish to use 
more than 100 units, they are required to pay 25 Kyat per unit. However, 
the lowest income for a government employee is about 3,000 Kyat.

There are regular blackouts and brownouts in Rangoon. Electric light is 
often not seen at night in Rangoon. Those who can afford can use small 
generators but the low-income families have to confront with the lack of 
electricity, especially with students during the examination seasons.

In the areas where there is no opportunity to receive electricity, the 
situation is worse because they have to use more expensive fuels. The 
situation further deteriorates due to corrupt officials from Peace and 
Development Councils and the ordinary people have to spend even more 

For the industrialists, then irregular supply of electricity has cost 
dearly. They have to reply on fuels to operate their machinery, which 
costs more than the use of electricity. Some have to stop their 
businesses and some have to jack up the prices in order to make profits. 
This in turn has created the price hikes.


Shan Herald Agency for News: Shans fleeing from annual rice purchase

August 6, 2001

Shans who recently arrived in Thailand told S.H.A.N. continuing to stay 
in their homeland would amount to being foolish when they had to toil at 
the land only to see its produce taken by Burmese authorities.  

Tiya, 36, from a village in Mongkerng township, 108 miles northeast of 
Taunggyi, said a meeting was held at the LIB 514 battalion post on 1 
June, when Lt.-Col. Myint Maung, Commander, LIB 515 from Laikha 
addressed the village and tract headmen. He informed the meeting that in 
accordance with orders from his superiors tax would be levied on the 
following domestic livestock:  
K. 300 for each buffalo, per year 
K. 200 for each cow, per year 
K. 100 for each goat, per year 
K. 50 for each pig, per month 

He also informed them that starting from the year 2002, rice growers 
must sell 24 baskets of unhulled Khao-zao rice per acre to the 
government at K. 300 per basket rate.  

As a result, hundreds had decided to leave their homeland and came to 
Thailand because, as Tiya said, "the market price of unhulled Khao-zao 
is K. 3,500-3,000 per lang and those of us who are poor will never be 
able to afford it."  

N.B. 1 lang equals 4 baskets


Xinhua: Myanmar Exports Less Teak, Hardwood in First Quarter 

Xinhuanet 2001.08.06 10:11:57 

YANGON, August 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Myanmar exported 86,456.5 cubic- meters 
of teak in the first quarter of this year, 1.92 percent  less than the 
same period of 2000, according to the latest figures released by the 
country's Central Statistical Organization. 
Meanwhile, during the period, the country exported 54,619 cubic- meters 
of hardwood, a 64.7-percent reduction from the  corresponding period of 
Export earning from teak and hardwood totaled 51 million U.S.  dollars 
during the three-month period.  

In 2000, Myanmar exported a total of 302,810 cubic-meters of  teak and 
494,259.5 cubic-meters of hardwood with their total  earning amounting 
to 201 million dollars. 
Timber has become Myanmar's second largest export goods after  
agriculture products and foreign exchange earned through the  export of 
timber accounted for about 20 percent of Myanmar's total export earning. 

Myanmar's forest covers 50 percent of its total land area, a 7- percent 
reduction from 1962 reportedly due to indiscriminate  felling of trees. 
Of the forest area, 18.6 percent are reserved and protected  public 
forest, the percentage of which is being targeted to  increase to 30.   

Besides, Myanmar has established 30,375 hectares of forest  plantations 
including 8,100 hectares of teak plantations. 


DVB : SPDC opens four new border trade posts

DVB has learned that the SPDC military government has amended the border 
trading  regulations and opened four new special border trade zones. In 
accord with  the new import and export procedures, some formerly 
restricted items can  now be exported. DVB correspondent Myint Maung 
Maung filed this report.  

[Myint Maung Maung] The SPDC has designated and opened four  new border 
trade posts - Sittwe, Hlaingtha, Lweje and Mergui on 25 July  in 
addition to the current six special border trade zones. The new import  
and export regulations have allowed the export of eight items restricted 
 since the introduction of border trade in 1989. Furthermore, 10 out of 
15  Thai foodstuff items restricted since May have been allowed to 
import but  MSG [monosodium glutamate] packets, juice, dried foodstuff, 
canned products  and condensed milk tins are still prohibited. Exporters 
and importers must  apply and obtain approval at the regional Trade 
Departments and Customs  Offices three days in advance providing the 
particulars, quantity and  weight details of the Burmese items to be 
exported and the particulars,  quantity, weight and recommended retail 
price details of the foreign items  to be imported. Moreover, border 
regulations supervisory units have been  sent to the four newly 
established border trade posts and they have been  ordered to commence 
their duties from 28 July.

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 31 Jul 01 


Burma Courier: News Buffs Treated to Different Versions of Abduction

Based on news from BKK Post, AFP, New Light of Myanmar:  Updated to Aug 
4, 2001 
BANGKOK -- Seven security and drug officials of the Thai government who 
were abducted inside Burma were flown back to Bangkok Thursday after 
being held for seven days by the United Wa State Army. 

A senior officer of the Thai Defence Ministry, General Wichit, who flew 
to Rangoon on Tuesday to press for military government intervention in 
the case, praised Burmese leaders for their "co-operation" in gaining 
the release of the drug officers from their Wa captors at a press 
conference at the airport.  He said that on the same day, Col Tham Kway, 
a military commander in Tachilek, had flown to Ban Hong, a small village 
near Mong Hsat, where the Wa soldiers were holding the seven Thais.  
After negotiating with the Wa soldiers, he secured the release of the 
captive on Wednesday night and they were flown to Rangoon where they 
were questioned briefly by military authorities. 

The Was were said to have acted on the misunderstanding that the Thai 
officials were on a spy mission because they were spotted taking 
pictures of places in Tachilek. Their 4x4 Toyota Cruiser vehicle was 
well-equipped with communications gear and this had further convinced 
the Wa soldiers they were on a secret mission. 

One of the officials, Colonel Duangkamol Sukonthasap of Thailand's 
Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), told reporters that the group 
was not on a reconnaissance mission and had crossed into Burma to visit 
a temple. 

She added that they had not been interrogated after being detained by Wa 
troops but had instead been taken to inspect a fruit plantation. "When 
they learned we were Thai officials they invited us to inspect a logan 
(fruit) plantation to prove they were not producing drugs." 

A Thai army source said the village of Ban Hong was a new site being 
used by the UWSA for the production of methamphetamines. 

A version of the incident published in Saturday's edition of the New 
Light of Myanmar described the seven as "Thai employees" who had crossed 
the border at Tachilek "without mentioning their names in the list of 
the immigration VIP family list".  It made no mention of the UWSA but 
described the captors as members of a "Wa group" and the area where the 
seven were held as the "Wa region". 

According to the version of events presented at a media conference on 
Friday by the "Director of the Directorate of Defence Services 
Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence Maj-Gen Kyaw", the "Wa group" 
was "feeling much disappointed" because one of their members, identified 
simply as Wan Li, had been summoned to the office of the "commissioner 
of Mongpha" and murdered there, following which a documentary photograph 
had been taken of his body with 10,000 stimulant pills and an M-22 
automatic rifle placed beside it. Gen Kyaw Win said that "through 
General Wichit, Myanmar officials had asked the Thai side to stay away 
from launching slanderous accusations against the Wa people concerning 
the narcotic drugs". 


Bangkok Post: Abduction of 7 linked to assassination-Wa's killing blamed 
on Fang district chief

August 7, 2001 

By Sermsuk Kasitipradit and Cheewin Satthra

The recent assassination of a Wa man, with Thai nationality and close 
ties with key members of the United Wa State Army, was thought to be a 
crucial factor behind the July 27 abduction of seven Thai officials in 
Burma's Thachilek town, security sources said yesterday.

Thawatchai sae Tieo, locally known as Wangli, was believed by local 
officials to be a key drug trafficker. The man was reportedly lured by a 
local Thai official to travel from the Wa's Mong Yawn town to Chiang 
Mai's Fang district, where he was shot to death in front of the district 
office on June 20.

"The incident angered the UWSA leaders who saw it as a premeditated 
murder by local Thai officials who had reportedly lured him from Mong 
Yawn," said one security source.

The source said the UWSA was convinced Fang district chief Kritsada 
Boonrat was directly involved in the plot to have Wangli killed.

Mr Kritsada yesterday denied he had anything to do with the death of 

"I did not lure him here. Nor was I directly involved in his killing," 
the Fang district chief said.

Police found methamphetamines and a shot gun next to the bullet-riddled 
body of Wangli.

He was shot seven times at point-blank range by two unidentified gunmen 
armed with 9mm pistols, police said.

"The circumstances of the killing were quite unusual," said the source, 
a senior military officer who has closely monitored developments at the 
Thai-Burmese border.

Seven Thai officials, led by Col Duangkamol Sukhonthasap, director of 
Division 12 of the Supreme Command's Armed Forces Security Centre, were 
captured by Wa guerrillas on July 27 after crossing the border into 
Thachilek, opposite Mae Sai border town in Chiang Rai.

Ten UWSA soldiers took them at gunpoint from a local temple where they 
paid a visit to a revered Burmese monk.

They were blindfolded and taken to Mong Hsat, another Wa town, where 
they were detained for several days before their release on Thursday 
last week after a direct intervention by the Burmese military junta.

Maj-Gen Kyaw Win, Rangoon's intelligence deputy chief, told Thai 
military officers led by Gen Vichit Yathip, chief of the defence 
minister's staff officers, that it was possible the abduction of the 
Thai officials might be related to the killing of Wangli.

Gen Vichit then had a meeting with Burma's intelligence chief, Lt-Gen 
Khin Nyunt, who sent a senior Burmese military officer to mediate with 
the UWSA for the release of the seven Thais.

During their detention, the Wa made it known that they were not happy 
with Thailand's allegations that the Wa were deeply involved in the drug 

The UWSA said the allegations were unfair since a lot of Wa people were 
engaged in lawful undertakings including longan cultivation.

The seven Thai hostages were taken on a tour of the UWSA's longan 
plantations, which the Wa claimed to be their main source of income.


Shan Herald Agency for News: New roads to the border ordered built

August 6, 2001

The Burmese military has recently issued orders to have two new roads  
constructed opposite the province of Chiangrai within 6 months, reported 
a  border watcher this morning.

One of them, from the Wa forward headquarters of Nayao under Tamerng in  
Mongkarn Tract, Monghsat Township, to the village of Ah-kawng, is 
opposite  Pang Noon in Mae Fa Luang District and would be 10-12 miles 
long after  completion.

Another one, 29-30 miles long, is to be built from Nampoong, a village 
west  of Tachilek under the control of Lahu militia leader Yishay to 
Pakurh,  opposite Mae Maw village in Mae Fa Luang District.

"Not only SSA (Shan State Army) controlled strongholds of Loi Kawwan and 
 Loi Kawhawm but all villages along the Thai border shall be placed in  
danger," he said.

According to him, Maj.-Gen. Thein Sein, Commander, Triangle Region 
Command,  had on 20 July, issued the order from his headquarters in 
Kengtung. "Only  by securing communications along the border we shall be 
able to react in  time to any foreign incursions," he was reported to 
have said. 

The Burmese have been especially cagey since Task Force 399, an 
anti-drug  special unit trained by the Americans, was established in 
Chiangmai early  this year, he said.


The Asian Age : 'Northeast rebels are funded by few European NGOs' 

By Sanjib Deb 

The Asian Age(29,July,2001) 

Agartala, July 28:Union Minister of state for home I.D. Swami has 
admitted that the militant outfits in Northeast are getting both money 
and arms from foreign sources. While they are getting arms from 
neighbouring Bangladesh, Burma and Thailand , their main source of money 
is several European countries. He said the Center is aware about the 
danger these  may pose to   the integrity of the country and taking 
appropriate steps to cut the supply line.  

        There was a report about the arrival of a large consignment of 
arms at Cox Bazar port in Bangladesh in the first week of April of which 
the major part was smuggled to India through the deeply wooded forests 
and reached to various militant outfits of the Northeast. Replying to a 
specific question over the issue asked by the MP from Tripura, Mr. 
Khagen Das, at Rajya Sabha, the minister denied the report but said the 
three countries, Bangladesh, Burma and Thailand , through which the 
illegal flow of arms are taking place in Northeast have already been 

        Regarding the other steps taken to stop the supply he said the 
intelligence machinery has been geared up information is being regularly 
exchanged with them.Strength of the Border Security Force and the Assam 
Rifles has been increased along the india -Bangladesh and the 
India-Burma borders. The Center is regularly monitoring the 
developments, he said.  

        He also said that the Center is aware of terrorist organisations 
in Northeast who indulge in extortion and are getting assistance through 
various channels.He said some of them also have links with few non 
government organisations in European countries, who provide funds 
through their own cover and also through friendly organizations.    


Xinhua: Myanmar Designates Some Narcotic Drugs As Illegal Sale

YANGON, August 7 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar has designated some six kinds of 
narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as illegal sale if they are 
possessed or transported or transferred with the weight specified or 
more than it, official newspaper The New Light of Myanmar quoted a 
recent order issued by the Ministry of Health as reporting. The 
specifications cover 3 grams (gm) of Amphetamine, 2 liters of Codeine 
liquid, 5 gm of Codeine tablets, 0.25 gm of Diphenoxylate, 10 gm of 
Pethidine injection and 10 gm of Pethidine tablets. Myanmar enacted a 
new Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law in January 1993, 
declaring 126 drugs as narcotic, 34 substances as psychotropic, 3 plants 
as narcotic and 8 chemicals as precursors. Since then 14 death 
sentences, 84 sentences for unlimited number of years, 35 life sentences 
and 7 above-20-year sentences have been passed on drug offenders, 
according to Myanmar's Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control. 
Meanwhile, during the first five months of this year, the Myanmar drug 
control authorities exposed a total of 1,251 drug- related cases, 
seizing 419 kilograms (kg) of opium and 25.25 kg of heroin, and 
punishing 1,781 drug offenders.

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

Kyodo: Myanmar junta unlikely to go without guarantee: Mahahir

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug. 6, Kyodo - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad 
on Monday told former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori that he 
believes the Myanmar military is unlikely to hand power to a civilian 
government unless there is guarantee there would not be reprisals in the 

Japan's former Chief Cabinet Secretary Hidenao Nakagawa, who attended 
the meeting, said Mahathir emphasized that there must be reconciliation 
between Myanmar's military junta and the opposition camp for a peaceful 
transfer of power. 

Noting that the Myanmar military has already released many political 
prisoners, Mahathir told Mori that he has urged Myanmar opposition 
leader Aung San Suu Kyi to respond to the gesture. 

Mahathir, who has personal ties to the Myanmar junta as well as Suu 
Kyi's National League for Democracy, paid a visit to Myanmar in January 
and met with top Myanmar junta officials. 

Mahathir told Mori that Suu Kyi is unlikely to get everything she wants 
from the military junta and that it is important both sides get 
something out of a rapprochement. 

Members of the ruling junta would have to be included in a future 
civilian government, Mahathir said. 

In the meantime, Japan should make efforts to urge Europe and the United 
States to relax sanctions against Myanmar, the Malaysian prime minister 


The Economist:  A long way from Rangoon

August 4, 2001 U.S. Edition 

Fort Wayne, Indiana

IN AN understated, mid-western way, Fort Wayne is a city that likes to 
boast. The first jukebox was invented here, the locals are happy to tell 
you, as was the first washing-machine. The first professional-league 
baseball game was played here in 1871. More recently, this town of 
200,000 has been named All-America City (twice), and, with over 300 
houses of worship, the City of Churches. 

Fort Wayne has earned another distinction that is less well known. Since 
1988, the city has taken in more refugees from Myanmar (once known as 
Burma) than anywhere else in the United States. Now more than 1,000 
strong, the Burmese community is the city's biggest group of immigrants. 

The Burmese settled in Fort Wayne for many of the same reasons that 
other refugees have gone there: willing sponsors (all those churches), 
plentiful factory jobs, and a low cost of living. The arrivals have 
included student leaders from the country's ill-fated 1988 democracy 
movement, as well as two opposition politicians elected to the national 
legislature in 1990, before the country's military rulers scrubbed the 

The politically-minded spend their days working in blue-collar jobs or 
studying at university. But many of their nights and weekends are 
devoted to heated discussion of how things are in Myanmar. Since most 
have not been there for a dozen years, and have little direct 
communication with the people back home, rumours are rampant and 
frustration runs deep. 

Like other exiles, from some of the early English arrivals to the Miami 
Cubans, the ?88 generation? insist that they never wanted to come to 
America. After their uprising had been crushed, thousands of young 
people fled into the jungle along the Thai border, and took up arms 
alongside local ethnic rebels. They thought they would march 
triumphantly back into Rangoon, now called Yangon. Instead, they spent 
years coping with hunger, malaria and land-mines?and squabbling among 
themselves. Those who eventually decided to seek refuge abroad saw it as 
a temporary measure. Even now, few have applied for American 

After the years of hardship and tension in Myanmar, this does not make 
for a easy life. In Fort Wayne five different political groups promote 
various solutions to their country's tribulations. The recent reports of 
secret talks between the Burmese junta and the opposition leader, Aung 
San Suu Kyi, both excited the Fort Wayne exiles (they might yet go back) 
and worried them (why weren't they consulted about the talks?). 

In a bid to make their voices heard, they organised a conference on 
Myanmar's ?democratic transition? at Indiana University. More than 80 
Burmese tried hard to set aside the schisms that date back to their days 
in the jungle. After a somewhat heated debate, they called both for the 
formation of a transitional government in Myanmar and for the 
continuation, until a lasting settlement is achieved, of economic 
sanctions against the country. The homesick have yet to find their cure. 



Bangkok Post: Policemen arrested for smuggling aliens

 August 06, 2001.

Two policemen have been arrested on a charge of smuggling aliens into 
the country in a police truck. 

Mae Sot district chief Samart Loyfa said Pol L/Cpl Kittiphum Kongchaona 
and Pol Sen Sgt-Maj Phud Phaowana of Tak police station were apprehended 
at a checkpoint with nine Burmese nationals in their six-wheel truck. 

Mr Samart said he was tipped off by an informant that a businessman in 
nearby Kamphaeng Phet had paid 5,000 baht for each Burmese worker. 
Both policemen denied the charge.


Bangkok Post: Is Burma becoming a divided nation?

August 6, 2001 

The abduction of seven Thai officials in Burma ended well. By all 
indications, Rangoon acted correctly to free and release them. Burmese 
officials were both slow and secretive, but that is probably because the 
dictators are always suspicious and uncommunicative. In the event, the 
generals defused an anxious and potentially delicate situation. The six 
male and one female Thai drug officers are safe and home. Thai-Burma 
relations had survived their first minor crisis since Prime Minister 
Thaksin Shinawatra visited Rangoon nearly seven weeks ago.

The incident unmasked the difficulties Rangoon faces with its Wa allies 
in the northeast. The Wa, and particularly the United Wa State Army, are 
extracting a huge price from Rangoon for the 1989 agreement to stop the 
anti-Burmese rebellion. Last week's abduction of seven Thai officials 
indicates that the Wa intend to press for the independence they failed 
to win on the battlefield.

Remarkably, Thai and Burmese officials agree entirely on the details of 
the abduction. The Thai drug officials had attended a seminar and 
brainstorming session in Chiang Rai. The head of the Thai-Burmese 
co-ordinating committee from the Third Army volunteered to take his six 
colleagues into Burma for sight-seeing. The group crossed the busy 
Tachilek-Mae Sai bridge. Despite the suspicions of cynics in Bangkok, 
all those involved agree that the trip was entirely legal, entirely 
above-board and entirely overt.

Their seizure by armed Wa forces is yet another indication that Burma 
has no control over this group. With 20,000 men and women under arms, 
the 1.1 million ethnic Wa have long posed a real threat to the security 
and integrity of Burma. And to pound salt into the Rangoon wounds on 
this occasion, the UWSA refused to release the abducted Thais until the 
generals dispatched a senior official to "request" the Wa free them to 
the Burmese.

Thai drug officials and army officers have properly minimised the 
kidnapping. Kitti Limchaikit, secretary-general of the Office of 
Narcotics Control Board, will conduct an internal inquiry to ensure his 
staff acted correctly. The army has debriefed its officers who were 
involved, with the same aim.

When Rangoon finally broke its silence on the incident, spokesmen were 
clearly unhappy. Maj-Gen Kyaw Win, the deputy intelligence chief, 
described the abduction as an unfortunate incident. But he said the 
detention of the Thais was "inappropriate". His highly unusual criticism 
of Rangoon's drug-dealing allies ended with a specific public warning 
that such an event should not be repeated.

It was a remarkable media briefing, which showed that Rangoon is well 
aware of the potential for trouble with the Wa. The group has grown 
wealthy on drugs, and has more than doubled its area in the past decade. 
In return for fighting and defeating Khun Sa's army, the Wa demanded and 
received land next to the Thai border. The group has continually 
stockpiled weapons, including small arms, anti-aircraft missiles and, 
recently, artillery pieces.

The Wa thus pose a double threat to the region. In addition to their 
growing trade in methamphetamines and heroin, the Wa openly display 
their ability to act as their own law. Most governments would have 
tracked down and arrested anyone who abducted visitors.

Burma has created a difficult situation for itself. It needs the 
cease-fire with the Wa, and has grown dependent upon revenue from the 
drug trafficking. But the group clearly threatens the national unity 
that has been the policy of every Burmese government, including the 
democrats who won the 1990 election. The abduction of the Thai visitors 
ended peacefully but the Wa continue to grow bolder towards Rangoon.


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