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BurmaNet News: August 10, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
           August 10, 2001   Issue # 1862
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

*Far Eastern Economic Review: Burma Talks Focus On Prisoner Release

MONEY _______
*Various companies: Letters to the Free Burma Coalition from Wal-Mar, 
IKEA, Columbia Sportswear and other garment companies announcing an end 
to sourcing from Burma

*Democratic Voice of Burma: Air force chief of staff said replaces 
commander over Feb chopper crash
*Democratic Voice of Burma: Commander claims Rangoon's military 
developments arouse Thai interest 
*Bangkok Post: Border warning

*The Nation: Chiang Rai ya ba seizures 'doubling' 
*Bangkok Post: Hong Kong seeks assistance-Touched by scourge of Golden 

*The Nation: Burma?s spy chief Khin Nyunt to visit soon 
*Bangkok Post: Bold stance urged on talks--Personal ties yield but 
'meagre' results 

*Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand: Panel--Unraveling Burma's 

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

Far Eastern Economic Review: Burma Talks Focus On Prisoner Release

Issue cover-dated August 16, 2001

It can now be confirmed that the talks between Burma's military 
government and pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi have centred on one 
issue: Suu Kyi wants the release of all 2,000 political prisoners in the 
country, while the government is releasing some prisoners in the hope 
that foreign countries and international institutions will resume aid, 
which has been cut off since the military gunned down thousands of 
pro-democracy demonstrators in 1988. Contrary to regional press reports, 
there is nothing to indicate that the two sides have been discussing 
power-sharing agreements or even how the country should be governed, 
sources close to the talks in Rangoon report. The sources assert Suu 
Kyi's National League for Democracy wants no "rewards" to be given to 
the government until all political detainees have been set free and the 
NLD leadership is satisfied that the outcome of the talks are 
satisfactory and irreversible. At the current pace of prisoner 
release--"in dribs and drabs of two to three a week," the NLD complains, 
according to an opposition radio station--it could take up to 10 years 
before all those now held are out of jail. To speed up the talks, Suu 
Kyi wants United Nations special envoy Razali Ismail to visit Burma more 
often. The sources also say that, contrary to what the government has 
claimed, Suu Kyi did not assent to delaying Razali's visit earlier this 
year until June. In other words, there has been no real breakthrough, 
and the talks are not going as smoothly as the government has claimed in 
an effort to get aid flowing again. 


Various companies: Letters to the Free Burma Coalition from Wal-Mar, 
IKEA, Columbia Sportswear and other garment companies announcing an end 
to sourcing from Burma

[These letters from major garment retailers who previously sourced 
products from Burma and are in response to enquiries from the Free Burma 

In response to a letter from the Free Burma Coalition dated July 3, IKEA 
North America has written one of the strongest letters yet against 
sourcing products from Burma, stating that it is IKEA?s ??position to 
destroy any products from Burma at our warehouse locations.? The letter 
was in response to an FBC inquiry after the National Labor Committee 
discovered that IKEA had received a shipment of ceramics from Burma in 
October 2000. 
IKEA North America, LLC
Plymouth Meeting, PA

Jeremy Woodrum
Executive Director
Free Burma Coalition
1101 Pennsylvania Ave., SE #204
Washington, DC 20003

Dear Mr. Woodrum,

In response to your letter to Jan Kjellman dated July 3, 2001, I would 
like to respond in more detail to your concerns. We have again contacted 
our IKEA International office in Denmark to discuss the policy towards 
business in Burma. 

IKEA International?s position regarding business relations in Burma is 
the following:
The IKEA group decided in May 1999 not to conduct business in Burma. 
Together with a supplier from Thailand, IKEA had at that time just 
started a project in Burma. This project was immediately stopped in May 
1999. A small number of products had just been bought and were ordered 
to be stopped from being delivered to the stores. 

I can only see one reason for IKEA being on a Burma company list and 
that is that if some products from this only delivery have been sold 
through any of our stores, despite the fact that they should have been 
stopped and destroyed at the warehouse. IKEA has since May 1999 had no 
business in Burma. IKEA International has checked with those who are 
responsible in Thailand and in Singapore, and they totally support this 
decision. It is clear to everybody that IKEA does no business in Burma. 

After further looking into concerns from your most recent letter, any 
deliveries of goods to IKEA stores after May 1999 would have been the 
result of a purchasing agreement prior to May 1999, and violated our 
position to destroy any products from Burma at our warehouse locations. 
If you will provide details regarding your letter as to what products 
and when the delivery was made, this information will be forwarded to 
IKEA Internat?l for closer investigation. Please let me know if you have 
any additional concerns. IKEA stands by our policy of sourcing no 
products from Burma. 

Marty Marston
IKEA North America
Director of Corporate Communications


A now-declassified cable from the U.S. State Department reveals that 
among labels found being sewn onto clothes in Burmese textile factories 
was ?Columbia? ? despite pledges years ago that Columbia Sportswear 
would no longer source from Burma. A previous voicemail message claimed 
that this product was counterfeit, as does this letter, which FBC 
received on July 24. 
Columbia Sportswear Company

July 18, 2001

Mr. Jeremy Woodrum
Executive Director
Free Burma Coalition
1101 Pennsylvania Ave. S.E., #204
Washington, D.C. 20003

Dear Mr. Woodrum,

Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to respond to your 
concerns regarding the alleged production of Columbia Sportswear product 
in Burma. 

Columbia Sportswear ceased production of all products in Burma in 1994 
as a direct result of concerns regarding that country?s human rights 
violations. Columbia Sportswear has not conducted business in Burma 
since that time, so we are extremely disappointed and somewhat puzzled 
about these recent allegations. 

We are aware of the July 2000 State Department cable stating that 
?Columbia? was one of the names found on labels being sewn into garments 
at a Burmese factory. Our assumption is that these products are 
counterfeit, or were manufactured by a foreign company using the name 

Columbia Sportswear maintains 11 sourcing and quality control offices in 
the Far East, each staffed by Columbia employees and managed by 
personnel native to that region. Having our own employees in regions 
where we source our products enhances our ability to monitor factories 
to ensure their compliance with Columbia?s Standards of Manufacturing 
Practices. Our policies require every factory comply with a code of 
conduct relating to factory working conditions and the treatment of 
workers involved in the production of Columbia brand products. 
Since we do not conduct business in Burma, it?s difficult to monitor and 
prevent counterfeit products. If you have information regarding the 
factory that produced the items mentioned in the State Department cable, 
or information about the specific product, please provide those details 
to us so that we can conduct our own investigation. 
Thank you again for providing us with an opportunity to address your 
concerns and clarify the situation. 


Carl Davis
Vice President and General Counsel


Family Dollar is the most recent retail chain to inform FBC that they 
will no longer be sourcing from Burma. 

July 18, 2001

Free Burma Coalition
1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E. #204
Washington, D.C.  20003


	After evaluating the issue, Family Dollar recently has decided in the 
current situation not to place any more orders to purchase apparel or 
other merchandise made in Burma. Vendors who might otherwise import 
merchandise made in Burma have been informed of our decision. 
					Very truly yours,


					George R. Mahoney, Jr.
					Executive Vice President


TJX, Fila, and CostCo have all informed FBC that they will no longer 
source from Burma ? perhaps  disturbed by the human rights abuses there 
and the knowledge that business in Burma props up one of the world?s 
worst dictatorships. In store label-checks and shipping documents will 
reveal whether or not these companies are sincere. 


May 15, 2001

Jeremy Woodrum, Executive Director
Free Burma Coalition
1101 Pennsylvania Ave, SE #204
Washington, DC 20003

Dear Mr. Woodrum:

Thank you for bringing to my attention the concerns of the Free Burma 
We have instituted a policy to cease all future production of our 
private label product in Myanmar (formerly Burma). I trust this 
addresses your concerns. 
Very truly yours,


Ted English
President and CEO


FILA U.S.A., Inc.
Corporate Headquarters

May 14, 2001

Free Burma Coalition
Attn: Jeremy Woodrum, Executive Director
1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE ? Suite #204
Washington, DC 20003

Dear Mr. Woodrum:

	I write in response to your March 13, 2001 letter concerning 
information your organization provided to Fila USA, Inc. about 
conditions in Burma/Myanmar.  We appreciate your organization?s concerns 
about conditions in Burma/Myanmar.  In fact, last year, prior to 
receiving your letter, Fila U.S.A., Inc. ceased all production in 
Myanmar/Burma.  Moreover, Fila has adopted a policy requiring its 
affiliates to cease the placement of any future orders for production in 

	I hope this addresses the issues and concerns that you raised in your 


Jon Epstein



Costco Wholesale

May 17, 2001

Free Burma Coalition
1101 Pennsylvania Ave, SE #204
Washington, DC 20003

Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am pleased to report to you in response to your letter of May 10, 
2001, that our company has discontinued all purchasing of goods 
originating in Burma or ?Myanmar.? 

Joel Benoliel
Senior Vice President
Chief Legal Officer


This is a letter that the public relations representative for Wal-Mart 
Canada, Andrew Pelletier, told FBC that Wal-Mart would never send. 
Previously, Wal-Mart?s position on Burma had been not to source 
?Wal-Mart? brand products from Burma, but took no position on other 
suppliers to the store. Now, Wal-Mart states that they will not accept 
any products from Burma from any company supplying Wal-Mart. 

In-store label checks will determine if Wal-Mart has really cleaned up 
its act and stopped propping up the junta. 

Betsy Reithemeyer
Director, Corporate Affairs
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

May 23, 2001

Free Burma Coalition
1101 Pennsylvania Ave, SE #204
Washington, DC 20003

Dear Sir:
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. does not source products from Burma and we do not 
accept merchandise from our suppliers sourced in Burma. 

Wal-Mart Canada has received some merchandise sourced from Burma in the 
past; as you know, Canadian laws are very different from the U.S., but 
has discontinued that practice. Wal-Mart Canada will also not accept any 
merchandise sourced from Burma moving forward. 

We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your questions. 

Betsy Reithemeyer


Michael F. Colosi Corporate Vice President
& General Counsel

May 22, 2001

By Facsimile and U.S. Mail
Mr. Jeremy Woodrum
Free Burma Coalition
1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., Suite 204
Washington, D.C. 20003

Dear Mr. Woodrum:

I am writing to confirm receipt of your letter dated May 9, 2001. 

Thank you for bringing this matter to my attention. As we have discussed 
previously, Kenneth Cole Productions, Inc has never made goods in Burma, 
though one of our licensees did produce a couple of programs there. We 
have confirmed that no new orders have been placed since last summer, 
that actual production in Burma ceased last fall, and that no goods have 
been shipped from Burma since. Thus, before we first heard from the 
Coalition last December, we had already achieved in full the slated goal 
of your letter: to cut all economic ties between our licensee and the 
current regime in Burma. 

For the record, I understand there should be very little, if any 
Burma-made product in our retail stores today, and we have no present 
intention of changing our commitment to prohibit our partners from 
sourcing in Burma as long as the social and political turmoil continues. 
Accordingly, I believe that our standards are the same as yours and that 
we had already achieved the result called for in your letter in the 
ordinary course of our business. Please be aware that there may also be 
small quantities of goods made in Burma on the shelves of other 
customers of our licensee or in other outlets, but those products should 
be liquidated very soon, most likely within the next 30-60 days. 

I hope this addresses the issues you have raised. We commend your 
commitment to this cause. Best regards. 

		Michael F. Colosi
Corporate Vice President
& General Counsel



May 22, 2001

Lillian Viola

Dear Ms. Viola,

I just received your letter of May 16th regarding the Le Suit product 
that was made in Myanmar. In this particular case, I do agree with your 
point of view as to the government of Myanmar. 
We make over seven million suits a year in various countries throughout 
Asia. We consistently monitor our contractors to make certain that they 
comply with our standards in regards to the welfare of their workers. 
Unfortunately, it turned out that one of our suppliers in Thailand had 
sub-contracted a few thousand suits to another factory in Myanmar in 
order to avoid late delivery. 

One of our supervisors in Hong Kong approved of this move; needless to 
say, that person was not aware of the political situation in Myanmar. We 
will try to avoid producing in this country until the political 
situation improves. 

I can assure you that the amount of pieces that slipped into Myanmar is 
miniscule compared to our over all business. 

Again, let me reassure you that no company is as concerned about the 
welfare of their workers as we are. It is too bad that innocent people 
have to suffer because their government is corrupt. 
Very Truly Yours,

Arthur S. Levine
Chairman and C.E.O.


Democratic Voice of Burma: Air force chief of staff said replaces 
commander over Feb chopper crash

Text of report by DVB on 9 August

Maj-Gen Myint Swe, air force chief of staff, has replaced Lt-Gen Kyaw 
Than as the Burmese Defence Services' air force commander-in-chief since 
the past two months. The appointment was not publicly announced and it 
was not known until Maj-Gen Myint Swe inspected some air bases on 17 
July in his capacity as the air force commander-in-chief. Accompanied by 
other staff officers, he inspected Meiktila, Namhsan and Myitkina 
airbases. When Thai Defence Minister Gen Chavalit [Yongchaiyudh] was 
welcomed at Rangoon Airport on 23 July, Maj-Gen Myint Swe was mentioned 
as air force commander-in-chief. Although the date of appointment of 
Maj-Gen Myint Swe was not known, former Air Force Commander-in-Chief 
Lt-Gen Kyaw Than has disappeared from public view for over two months 
now. He was last seen in mid May after his return from Malaysia.  

Lt-Gen Kyaw Than assumed the position of air force commander-in-chief on 
15 November 1997 when the State Law and Order Restoration Council 
changed its name to SPDC. Though the underlying factor for his dismissal 
was not known, it is believed to be related to the helicopter crash that 
killed SPDC Secretary-2 Lt-Gen Tin Oo and party. The helicopter crash in 
February killed more than a dozen high-ranking military officers 
including Lt-Gen Tin Oo. DVB has learned that Air Force 
Commander-in-Chief Lt-Gen Kyaw Than was relieved of his post as the air 
force was deemed responsible for the crash.  

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 9 Aug 01 


Democratic Voice of Burma: Commander claims Rangoon's military 
developments arouse Thai interest 

August 9, 2001

DVB has learned that Brig-Gen Aye Kywe, the commander of the Coastal 
Region Military Command, has urged military units along the Burma-Thai 
border to always have military awareness relating to the security 
situation of the border. Brig-Gen Aye Kywe, who arrived Kawthaung on 29 
July, reportedly said that at a meeting on border security matters held 
there. He noted that the modernization of Burma's defence services has 
prompted Thailand to investigate and gather intelligence reports on 
Burma. DVB correspondent Myint Maung Maung filed the report relating to 
Brig-Gen Aye Kywe's remarks on military awareness.  

[Myint Maung Maung] Brig-Gen Aye Kywe met with regional battalion 
commanders and local militia leaders of villages along the border at the 
Hanthawaddy Meeting Hall on 29 July. At the meeting, Brig-Gen Aye Kywe 
said although the Tachilek-Mae Sai border conflict is over, border 
security matters could not be taken lightly. The country on the other 
side has taken more interest than before on the modernization and 
development of our defence services.  

They are gathering intelligence reports on battalion bases and tactical 
command centres, including border outposts and the movements of naval 
vessels and military aircraft. Many informers from the country on the 
other side have also seeped into the country, including Kawthaung and 
other border areas. He urged those responsible to expose them and to 
always have military awareness concerning the security of the border 

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 9 Aug 01 


Bangkok Post: Border warning

August 09, 2001.

Armed forces officers wanting to cross into Laos, Cambodia, Burma and 
Malaysia must get permission, says Supreme Commander Gen Sampao Chusri. 

This was to avoid a repeat of the July 27-Aug 2 abduction of four 
officers and three anti-drug officials by the Red Wa in Burma. 

Gen Sampao gave the order at a meeting yesterday of the armed forces 
commanders. The kidnap victims, who have now been released, were found 
to have travelled to Tachilek by themselves, not as part of an 
intelligence operation.


The Nation: Chiang Rai ya ba seizures 'doubling' 

August 9 2001.

Don Pathan

The amount of methamphetamines confiscated by authorities in Chiang Rai 
province over the past seven months is close to the total amount ceased 
by provincial officials last year, a senior police officer said 

According to Pol Col Thanakit Teurnkaew, a deputy commander at the 
provincial counter-narcotic unit, Chiang Rai authorities seized a total 
of 4,661,324 tablets of methamphetamines between January 1 and July 31 
this year, compared to a total of 5,583,477 for all of last year. 

"At the rate we are going, we will double the entire amount we had 
confiscated for the year 2000," Thanakit said.  

Chiang Rai has for decades been a major drug route for illicit opium and 
heroin - and in the recent years, methamphetamines - coming out of the 
infamous Golden Triangle, an area where Thailand, Laos and Burma share a 
common border. 

"It's not that we are easing our counter-narcotic efforts. We have 
explored every possible channel, including public relations, educating 
the masses and setting up more checkpoints," Thanakit said. 

"The problem is that producers still see the illicit business as 
something that is worth the risk," he said. 

Thanakit said traffickers had become more sophisticated, pointing to the 
regular clashes with Thai soldiers along the border near Tak province as 
well as a major drug bust earlier this year in the Andaman Sea. 

"It's like a balloon affect. When the authorities squeeze one area, the 
illicit activities pop up in another," he said. 

According to Office of the Narcotic Control Board estimates, about 90 
per cent of illicit drugs produced in the area ends up in the streets of 
various cities in the country. 

The Thai army has blamed a pro-Rangoon ethnic army, the United Wa State 
Army, for much of the methamphetmines flooding into the country, saying 
the group has over the years expanded its troops and illicit operations 
along the common border to areas near Tak province, as well as areas 
just north of the Golden Triangle bordering Laos. 

It said a number of the clandestine drug labs have "popped up" in areas 
along the Mekong River on the Lao side near Burma since the Thai army 
stepped up security along the Thai-Burma border following a cross-border 
clash earlier this year. 

The Burmese government has said it is being unfairly singled out and 
that Thailand and other neighbouring countries need to do more to curb 
the flow of precursor chemicals needed to make the drugs. 

Following the border clashes, top army brass from both sides engaged in 
lengthy war of words, accusing their counterparts of taking kickbacks 
from the drug traffickers. 


Bangkok Post: Hong Kong seeks assistance-Touched by scourge of Golden 

August 10, 2001

Anucha Charoenpo

Hong Kong's narcotics suppression police yesterday sought Thailand's 
help in fighting illegal drugs from the Golden Triangle.

Kenny Lau-chuen, chief superintendent of narcotics police, and his two 
delegates here on a two-day unofficial visit, met Pol Lt-Gen Priewphan 
Damaphong yesterday.

Mr Kenny discussed with his counterpart the problem of drug abuse, 
especially heroin and ecstasy in Hong Kong.

He said 80% of drugs abusers were addicted to heroin and the remaining 
20% to ecstasy pills.

Methamphetamines were not popular at the moment but he was afraid this 
problem could approach his country soon.

Mr Kenny said Hong Kong police believed most of the heroin originated in 
the Golden Triangle and could have been smuggled into Hong Kong via 
Thailand or through Yunnan in southern China.

Before visiting Thailand, Mr Kenny and his two officers went to Burma to 
seek anti-drugs assistance. They leave for Vietnam on a similar mission 

Pol Lt-Gen Priewphan said Thai and Hong Kong narcotics police had a 
common interest in controlling the drugs, and more information-sharing 
will be conducted between the two agencies.

Pol Lt-Gen Priewphan was speaking at a press conference on the seizure 
of 37kg of heroin and 96,200 methamphetamine pills, and the arrest of 10 
members of three drug trafficking gangs. Most of the arrests were in the 

He said some suspects had close ties with Wei-hseuh Kang, a fugitive 
drug baron who oversees drugs production by the United Wa State Army in 

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

The Nation: Burma?s spy chief Khin Nyunt to visit soon 
 Fri, August 10, 2001  
Burmas intelligence chief, Lt General Khin Nyunt, will make an official 
visit to Bangkok on September 1 as a guest of the Thai government, a 
Defence Ministry official said yesterday.

General Sanan Kajornklam said the visit would be the first since 1992 
for the Burmese general, who is secretarygeneral of the State Peace and 
Development Council and number three in the military junta. General Pat 
Akkanibutr, adviser to the Defence Minister, said the Burmese generals 
visit was expected to help resolve Thai Burma problems.

There are some bilateral problems that need to be tackled as soon as 
possible, for the sake of both countries, Pat said. For example, the 
fishery problems [occurring because] Burma revoked all the fishing 
licences held by Thai companies, he said.

Border demarcation, generally overseen by a joint border committee, 
would also be discussed, Pat said. There were sticking points that need 
to be discussed to resolve matters once and for all, he said.

During Khin Nyunts visit, both countries are expected to discuss 
bilateral bordertrade problems sparked by a Burmese ban on about 40 Thai 

Defence Minister General Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said one of the top 
issues to be discussed would be joint border patrols  to quell drug and 
people trafficking between the two countries.

Chavalit said if a proposal could be agreed upon, both sides might 
formalise the issue of joint patrols while the Burmese general was in 

Thai Burma relations have been at a low ebb of late, partly because of 
ongoing border skirmishes involving the Shan State Army, which is 
fighting the junta, and drug production by the Rangoon backed United Wa 
State Army.

Marisa Chimprabha

The Nation 


Bangkok Post: Bold stance urged on talks--Personal ties yield but 
'meagre' results 

August 09, 2001.

Post Reporters 

The government must be bolder with Burma now there are signs of a thaw 
in relations, a member of the National Human Rights Commission said 
The government should actively support talks towards national 
reconciliation in Burma, and demand an end to the detention of 
opposition politicians, said Jaran Dithaaphichai. 
The ruling State Peace and Development Council and pro-democracy leader 
Aung San Suu Kyi have held talks since last October. 

But the junta continues to detain an estimated 1,800 political 
prisoners, with Mrs Suu Kyi under virtual house arrest since last 

Mr Jaran said the Thai government should adopt a more pro-active 
approach now that the situation had eased, rather than fall back on 
personal relations between political and military leaders as it had done 
so far. 

This approach was not sustainable and had yielded meagre results, he 
said, citing border skirmishes that continued after Mr Thaksin's visit 
to Burma in June. 
Mr Jaran spoke at a panel discussion marking the 13th anniversary of the 
Aug 8, 1988 pro-democracy uprising in Burma. He was not the only speaker 
urging more of the government's stance towards Burma. 

Suriyasri Katasiri, joint secretary of the Campaign for Popular 
Democracy, said the government's Burma policy was devoid of principle. 
It had failed to raise lapses in human rights and democracy. 

Exiled Burmese pro-democracy groups and the Thai Action Committee for 
Democracy in Burma issued statements calling for information on the 
talks between Mrs Suu Kyi and the junta. 
"It is hard to accept that the talks are genuinely making progress," 
said a joint statement by the National League for Democracy, Democratic 
Party for a New Society, All Burma Students Democratic Front, All Burma 
Federation Students Union, and the Thai action group. 
The groups also called for the release of all opposition politicians, 
and freedom of communication and movement for Mrs Suu Kyi and other NLD 

In a separate statement, the National Coalition Government of the Union 
of Burma said the absence of information about the talks between Mrs Suu 
Kyi and the junta would only raise doubts. 

The NCGUB and the Mon National Democratic Front also called for a 
broadening of the talks to include ethnic minorities. 

"Independent and genuine dialogue is the best way to restore national 
reconciliation and democracy," the NCGUB said. 

The Mon front added: "We will not accept the military government's 
neo-colonialist policy of rule by one superior party."The NCGUB said it 
was "impossible" to say Burmese political life had improved even though 
in the past 10 months authorities had released 180 political prisoners, 
and 18 NLD offices had been opened. 

The junta continued to hold all those political prisoners, limit the 
freedom of political parties, abuse human rights and fight with ethnic 
minorities, it said. 

Meanwhile, Thailand will send the first batch of 5,000 illegal Burmese 
immigrants now hiding in three refugee camps in Tak back to Burma on 

Tha Song Yang district chief Vilat Pusilp said the undocumented aliens, 
mostly Karen and Mon, had escaped arrest to stay with friends and 
relatives in Mae La, Umpium and Nu Pho camps in Tha Song Yang, Phop Phra 
and Umphang districts. Around 1,600 people from Mae La camp would be 
sent back this weekend, each with 600 baht in travelling expenses, he 
Camp director Prasong La-on said the Burmese were difficult to control. 

They had sneaked out of the camp at night to work for Thai farm owners. 
Some had stolen crops or were hired to cut trees and hunt wild animals. 

He said the repatriation was arranged by the Foreign Ministry and the 
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. 

Maung Htay, 25, a Karen who will be deported, said he would petition the 
UNHCR to stay in Mae La camp because he had nothing left at home.


Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand: Panel--Unraveling Burma's 

7.30 pm, Wednesday, September 12
Dinner from 7pm Dinner Bt 280 members; Bt 400 non-members

Please book in advance for dinner. Call the FCCT on 652-0580-1.

Christina Fink, author of Living Silence: Burma Under Military Rule; Nic 
Dunlop, photographer whose pictures are featured in the book and Moe Zaw 
Aung, Burmese activist working with the Democratic Party for a New 
Society, M.A. in Education Technology
?Christina Fink will discuss the extent to which military rule in Burma 
is not just a crisis of governance but a family affair.  She will also 
consider the prospects for a successful political transition in Burma.

Nic Dunlop will talk about the complexities of rendering the impact of 
military rule on people's lives through photographs.

Moe Zaw Aung will share his perspective on Burma's troubles based on his 
life in Burma and his years studying in the United States.

In her exceptionally readable yet scholarly account of Burma today, 
Christina Fink gives a moving and insightful picture of what life under 
military rule is like. We begin to understand the accommodations which 
people feel compelled to make in order to carry on with daily life, 
including the innovative forms of resistance that some courageous 
Burmese have engaged in.  Her portrait of Burmese society takes in a 
wide diversity of people, including students who have played such a 
prominent part in the opposition, ordinary soldiers unhappy with what 
the armed forces are doing to their country, religious figures, the 
artistic community, and even political prisoners. The author also 
explores the strategies and techniques which the military regime has so 
skillfully deployed in order to maintain itself in power in defiance of 
the popular will.

Copies of Living Silence: Burma Under Military Rule (Zed Books and White 
Lotus, 2001) will 
be available for purchase.


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