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BurmaNet News: October 2, 2001
______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
An on-line newspaper covering Burma
October 2, 2001 Issue # 1890
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________
INSIDE BURMA _______
*Shan Human Rights Foundation: 7 Villagers Killed for Complaining about
Forced Labour in Murng-nai
*Shan Human Rights Foundation: Forced Labour in Road-building in
*Christian Solidarity Worldwide: Military Regime in Burma Enacts New Law
to Stop Church Services
*BurmaNet: Forced conversion order drives Muslim refugees from Karen
*Narinjara News: Tight Security in Sittwe, Rakhine State
*Financial Express (India): OVL likely to pick 30% in Daewoo's Myanmar
*Burma Courier: High Gold Price Attracts Artisanal Miners Northwards
*Burma Courier: Money line
*Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA): Dialogue on UVa investments under
*Burma Courier: Junta Bosses Consult over South Asian Military Buildup
*TV Myanmar: Maung Aye receives head of India's Eastern Command
*Paite Youth Association: Burma MP Arrested In India
*New York Times: Chinese Dam May Threaten Food Source Of Neighbors
*Bangkok Post: TB, Aids may ravage villages on border
*The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): Let me say what needs to be said
*Democratic Voice of Burma: Change of morning frequency
__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________
Shan Human Rights Foundation: 7 Villagers Killed for Complaining about
Forced Labour in Murng-nai
SHRF Monthly Report -- September 2001
On 14.7.01, 7 villagers who had lodged a complaint with SPDC
military authorities about increasing use of forced labour by SPDC
troops were killed by SPDC troops from Kun-Hing-based IB246 and their
bodies dumped into Nam Taeng river in Kaeng Tawng area, Murng-Nai
On 11.7.01, the said 7 villagers went to the visiting Commander
of the SPDC Military Eastern Command, Maj. Gen. Maung Bo, from Taunggyi
and filed a complaint with him about the continued use of civilian
forced labour by SPDC troops in the area.
The villagers said to Maung Bo, ?We have been told by Gen. Khin Nyunt on
29.5.01 that starting from then the Burmese army would not use forced
labour of the people; would not take chicken, pigs and other things from
the people for free; and would not torture and kill the people any more.
However, after Gen. Khin Nyunt left, the use of forced labour by the
local military authorities has increased, requiring us to work for the
military almost all the time. We have to provide free labour for the
military in building military facilities, cultivating crops, sawing
wood, repairing and building roads etc., leaving virtually no time for
us to cultivate our subsistence crops. Many people have to start their
rice cultivation late into the season, which will surely result in poor
. Maung Bo, however, consoled the villagers that he would return
and report it to his superiors and let them hear good news in 7 days and
changed the subject to talk about other things.
A few days after Maung Bo left and while the villagers were
waiting for the expected ?good news? from him, they were arrested for
interrogation by a patrol of 20-25 SPDC troops from Co. No.3 of
Kun-Hing-based IB246, that was temporarily stationed in Kaeng Tawng
under the command of Capt. Mya Aung.
About 10 days after Maung Bo had left Murng-Nai township for
Taunggyi, villagers from Ho Kun village, Kun Long tract, who had gone
fishing found the dead bodies of the said 7 villagers stranded at ?Taad
Pha Pha? waterfall, about 2 miles east of Ho Kun village.
The 7 victims were:
1. Zaai Ti-Ya (m), aged 30, of Nam Tum Tai village, Nawng Hee tract,
Murng-Nai township 2. Lung Haeng Wi (m), aged 40, of Nawng Tao village,
Kun Long tract, Murng-Nai township 3. Zaai Aw Lam (m), aged 28, of Pa
Saa village, Nawng Hee tract, Murng-Nai township 4. Zaai In-Ta (m), aged
24, of Nawng Ook village, Ton Hoong tract, Murng-Nai township 5. Zaai Ta
Lam (m), aged 21, of Nawng Ook village, Ton Hoong tract, Murng-Nai
township 6. Zaai Khan-Ti (m), aged 36, of Kun Hoong village, Nam-Zarng
town, Nam-Zarng township 7. Zaai Saw-Ya (m), aged 31, of Kun Keng
village, Nam-Zarng town, Nam-Zarng township
Shan Human Rights Foundation: Forced Labour in Road-building in
Since early July 2001, hundreds of local people have been forced
to work without pay in a road-building project by the SPDC military
authorities in Murng-Pan township. On 4.7.01, Commander Win Zaw
Oo of SPDC?s LIB332 issued an order to all the village tract leaders in
Murng-Pan township to provide 30 workers from each village tract in a
new road-building project.
The new motor-road would start from the centre of Mai Niu village
in Nam Terng tract, Murng-Pan township, and go through Wan Kung, Long
Kaeng and Naa Ing village, pass by Ho Lin village on the north and up to
Mai Nyawng Khong Khaang village and then to LIB520 base at Nam Hoo
village, and continue down to the main road at Wan Tham village between
Murng-Pan and Ta Sang bridge on the Nam Khong (Salween river). The new
road would be approximately 9 miles long.
About 100-120 people at a time have to work in building the
said road for a period of 5 days during which they receive nothing and
have to provide their own food. About 80-90 ethnic-Burman workers,
probably paid, are also seen working at the road-building site, with
12-15 SPDC troops under a Sergeant from LIB520 overseeing all the
One of the Sergeants, U Aung Hpyu, overseeing the workers was
said to have told the local people who were being forced to provide free
labour that they could work slowly if they liked and take rest every
hour or whenever they got tired, but they should not sneak away.
One of the ethnic-Burman workers was also said to have told some
of the unpaid local forced labourers in a friendly conversation during a
break that he thought the local people were being forced to come and
work not because the SPDC troops wanted to finish the road quickly, but
just to keep them from being able to work properly for themselves, and
thus preventing them from becoming rich or economically strong.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide: Military Regime in Burma Enacts New Law
to Stop Church Services
September 28 2001
The military dictatorship in Burma has banned Christians from meeting
in buildings less than a century old.
An order, known as the Higher Policy of the State Peace and
Development Council, was issued in early July and is having a
significant and wide-ranging impact on Christian communities across
More than 80 church buildings have already been closed in the capital
Rangoon since June and a further 20 have been shut in Shwe Pyi Tar, a
township north of the capital.
All church buildings have been forced to close in the southern
township of Hlaing Tai Yar, with Christians there allowed to meet in
private homes, but ordered not to sing.
The authorities were using recent violent clashes between Buddhists
and Muslims to close churches, but the new law puts even more pressure
The regime has warned church leaders, including those from Rangoon,
Mandalay Division, Shan State, Rakhin State and Sagaing Division, that
if they defied the order, all places of worship would be closed down.
Many churches meet in residential apartments or schools as it is
virtually impossible to obtain official permission to construct or
repair church buildings, many of which are very run-down. The Higher
Policy also forces churches more than a hundred years old to silence
their church bells on Sundays and forbids the placing of crosses on
Two Christian children's homes, Agape Orphanage House and Agape
Orphanage Ministry, both near Rangoon, have also been closed down. At
least 17 Christian ministers have gone into hiding and five missionaries
are known to have been ordered to leave the country. One minister was
arrested and is still missing. The military regime already closely
monitors all religious activities and gatherings of any kind with five
or more people are officially illegal.
The recent crackdowns not only violate international standards on the
right to freedom of religion, they also infringe on the freedom of
expression, conscience and assembly.
BurmaNet: Forced conversion order drives Muslim refugees from Karen
October 2, 2001
According to information from border sources, regime troops operating in
the Karen State have been ordering Muslims there leave unless they
convert to Buddhism or Hindhuism. This round of forced conversions is
resulting in an unusually large outflow of Muslim refugees to Thailand.
Mae La, the largest Burmese refugee camp in Thailand is bearing the
brunt of the exodus with nearly one new arrival in three being a Muslim.
Narinjara News: Tight Security in Sittwe, Rakhine State
Cox's Bazaar, 2 October 2001: Since the recent race riots in Sandway,
Rakhine State, the security in Sittwe, the capital of the Western State
of Myanmar, has been tightened in a move to tackle an apparently tense
situation prevailing after the kamikaze attack in the World Trade Center
and the Pentagon. According to a top Arakanese businessman in Sittwe,
for every ten houses in the capital, one soldier has been engaged for
surveillance besides the Ra Ya Ka (local area administration) using
Last month, a Rakhine resident of Sittwe was arrested for carrying the
picture of the destroyed Bamiyan Buddha image in his pocket. He has
been threatened to be sentenced to 4 or 5 years' RI. At Aung Mangala
Quarter (also called Ambala by the Muslims), the situation is quieter
now. But the prices of essentials have skyrocketed in the town rendering
it very hard for the poorer section of the people to survive. For
example, the price of a fifty-kilo bag of rice is about 8,000 kyat,
1,000 kyat more than it was by the beginning of the imposition of curfew
a month ago. The price of life-saving drugs have shot up to a new
record high so that a poor person can hardly afford to go to hospitals
for treatment. Even the government-run state hospital has run short of
medicine, while the essential medicines supplied by the UNICEF for free
distribution are reported to be sold openly in the black market, the
source said. The local residents now face a very hard time. According
to the source, many residents are willing to sell their houses in the
town to move elsewhere, but they cannot find anyone willing to buy them
in such an abnormal situation caused by the long curfew. #
Narinjara News is an independent news organization focusing especially
on the western part of Burma.
Financial Express (India): OVL likely to pick 30% in Daewoo's Myanmar
New Delhi, Sept 30: ONGC Videsh Ltd (OVL) - the international arm of Oil
and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) - is in the advanced stages of
negotiations with Daewoo International Corporation of Korea for picking
up 30 per cent stake in an offshore exploration block in Myanmar.
The offshore block (A-1) in Bengal basin is estimated to have eight
trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas reserves and is currently fully-owned
by Daewoo International. The exact location of the block is in the
Arakan offshore in northwestern offshore Myanmar, near the border with
Company sources revealed that Daewoo has agreed to farm out 30 per cent
stake in this block to OVL, provided the latter is prepared to bear 200
per cent of the participating interest through the first extension
period ie the drilling stage.
OVL, sources said, has agreed in-principle to this condition laid by
Daewoo and is finalising other details with the owners, including the
possibility of acquiring 'operatorship rights'.
The Sangu field, which is a producing gas field of about one tcf, is
also located in offshore Bangladesh to the north of Block-A in the same
basin. An approval to invest in Block A1 in offshore Myanmar has been
given by OVL's board last month, sources said.
Top official sources said that even Gas Authority of India (Gail) has
evinced keen interest in picking up 10 per cent stake in this block and
has also recently made an offer to Daewoo Corp. Company sources said
that OVL had earlier approached Gail to make a joint offer to Daewoo but
Gail had gone ahead and submitted its independent offer of 10 per cent
in July this year.
Petroleum ministry officials said that as OVL has been made by the
government as a nodal agency to invest in oil and gas blocks abroad,
Gail may be asked to join hands with OVL and the two can together submit
a joint bid. "Even IndianOil is doing the same thing and is submitting
joint bids with OVL for all overseas oil and gas blocks," the officials
Investment in this block of Daewoo was also recommended by a team of
senior petroleum officials, who recently visited Myanmar in April this
year. OVL is also looking at investing in other two blocks (M1 and M2 in
Moattama offshore) and has initiated talks with Pertamina of Indonesia
for jointly investing in these blocks.
OVL officials said that OVL and Pertamina have agreed to co-operate in
the exploration projects in third-world countries as per an MoU signed
in November last year.
During discussions with Pertamina, Myanmar was identified as a potential
country for joint participation. "OVL now plans to pursue jointly with
Gail and Pertamina the detailed technical and commercial evaluation of
exploration blocks M-1 and M-2 in Myanmaar," the officials said.
Burma Courier: High Gold Price Attracts Artisanal Miners Northwards
Based on news from Myanmar Times and Mining Annual Review: Updated to
RANGOON - The Honpan Construction Company, which recently won a contract
from Burma's military junta to construct a six-lane highway between
Mandalay and Meiktila, is also seeking approval for a gold mining
project at Thebeikkyin township about 80 miles north of Mandalay,
according to an article in this week's edition of the Myanmar Times.
Honpan Construction is one of a large group of companies owned and
capitalized by United Wa State Army with notorious connections to the
drug trafficking world. The company has been negotiating for three
months with the Mining Ministry's No.1 Mining Enterprise to seek
approval for the project. U Zaw Bo Khant, Honpan's Rangoon manager,
told a Times reporter he expected an agreement would be reached soon.
He said the negotiations had touched on the company's proposal to use
highly toxic cyanide in the gold extraction process. U Zaw Bo Khant
acknowledged that cyanide can cause environmental pollution and pose a
danger to health. "But if you use cyanide properly, it poses no safety
threat," he said. "To extract gold by other mean is more expensive and
if we are not allowed to use cyanide the project will not be profitable
Another company with interests in alluvial gold mining in the Wethe area
of Thabeikkyin township is the Spokane-based East Asia Gold Mining or
EAGC Mining, as it is now known. It reported earlier that it had a
million ounce gold deposit that it was drilling and bulk sampling at
Shante-ge Taung in Thabeikkyin, but in January signed a contract with
the Mines Ministry to carry on a profit sharing operation in alluival
mining in the same area where a swarm of artisanal miners is already at
Although there is a government imposed ban on the use of cyanide in
alluvial mining in Burma, its use in the amalgamation process of
extracting gold is quite common in the Kachin state and Sagaing and
Mandalay divisions. In fact, it was responsible for the trebling of
gold production in these areas last year, according to M. Than Htay, a
senior adviser to the Survey and Exploration department of the Ministry
Than Htay wrote in the British publication Mining Annual Review in
August that the government has essentially done away with many of the
restrictions on mining for artisanal mining communities by turning over
responsibility for granting mining rights for the small scale mining of
precious metals and stones to the military commanders in these
jurisdictions. The result has been a kind of minor 'gold rush' in
remote areas in the north of the country.
One of the largest of these 'rushes' has developed at Linnfarr on the
Chindwin river in Khamti township where high-grade gold deposits are
being mined by hundreds of diesel-powered boats equipped with gravel
pumps that scour the river bed. The gravels obtained are pumped through
plastic pipes to the shore where the gold and sometimes platinum group
metals are recovered by hand-sluicing. Buyers for both gold and the
platinum metals are not lacking at either site.
Gold is currently in high demand for hoarding purposes by the rich as a
hedge against inflation. There has been a proliferation of jewellry
shops in several major cities in the country. Its use in gold leafing
for gilding pagodas and Buddha images has also increased in recent
Burma Courier: Money line
US$, Sep 24: 680 kyat; US$, Sep 17: 650 kyat; Since Jan 01: -36.76%
FEC, Sep 28: 665 kyat; FEC, Sep 21: 643 kyat; Since July 21 -20.30%
Daily Progress (Charlottesville, VA): Dialogue on UVa investments under
By ERIC SWENSEN
Daily Progress staff writer
After a meeting this week, the presidents of the University of
Virginia's Student Council and its Investment Management Company said
discussions will continue about UVa's holdings in an energy company with
ties to the Burmese military.
Abby Fifer and Alice Handy also said they will continue to talk about
what role social responsibility should play in the university¹s
'We were pleased to discuss with [Handy] ways that students and the
university community can come together in the future to discuss how the
university handles its money,' Fifer said.
Tuesday's meeting between Fifer and Handy arose from the council's
concerns about UVa's $1.6 million worth of stock in Unocal Corp., which
is part of a consortium that hired the Burmese military to provide
security for a natural gas pipeline in the Southeast Asian country.
Refugees and human rights groups from Burma have said that Burmese
soldiers seized property and committed numerous killings, rapes and
beatings while providing security for the project. Those human rights
groups also said that thousands of villagers were forced to work as
slave laborers on the pipeline.
In September 2000, a federal judge said evidence suggested Unocal knew
about and benefited from forced labor on the pipeline project. But the
judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by 15 Burmese villagers seeking to
hold the company liable because it did not directly participate in the
abuses. In March and September, the Student Council passed resolutions
urging UVa to sell its 50,000 shares of Unocal stock.
Handy said she and Fifer did not have a detailed discussion about the
situation in Burma during the meeting, though Fifer did present her with
a pamphlet on the matter prepared by the council.
'What she did was explain her position and explain it very well,' Handy
said. 'It's an issue she feels very passionately and personally about.'
No decision has been made on whether to sell the Unocal stock, Handy
added. But UVa's Board of Visitors, which decided during a closed
meeting in June not to take any action on the council¹s first request to
sell Unocal, may revisit the issue at its October meeting.
UVa Rector John P. Ackerly III said a decision would be made early this
week after talking with Fifer, UVa President John T. Casteen III, acting
Dean of Students Patricia Lampkin and board members Thomas J. Bliley Jr.
and William H. Goodwin Jr.
Bliley met with student leaders about Unocal in April, while Goodwin is
the chairman of the board's finance committee.
But beyond the issues surrounding UVa's Unocal investment, Fifer said,
there needs to be a broader conversation about how the university --
whose holdings total $1.7 billion -- 'can go about investing the money
in the most ethical and responsible manner.'
Handy agreed and said she planned to discuss with Ackerly and university
administrators how social responsibility should factor into how the
university invests its money.
'We do have a responsibility to think about these issues and the role
they should play in making investment decisions,' Handy said.
But she said that any final decision should be made chiefly by the Board
of Visitors and university administrators.
'It¹s a policy issue,' Handy said. 'We [at the investment company] make
investment decisions. We don¹t make policy.'
Ackerly said the board might be willing to discuss some sort of social
responsibility policy for investments, but added that it probably lacks
the expertise to craft such a plan.
During his six years on the board, he said, decisions on investment
policies have been made by outside money managers employed by the
investment management company. That practice, he said, has worked well.
'I think the board and the administration is pretty satisfied with the
way they're doing business,' Ackerly said.
Any enthusiasm Ackerly might have had for tying social responsibility to
the university¹s investments has disappeared in the wake of the suicide
hijackings on Sept. 11.
'When the U.S. is at war with terrorists, and we¹ve lost 7,000 of our
citizens to the terrorist attacks, and our investments have plummeted as
a result, I have a little trouble giving high priority to thinking
about establishing a social policy for investments,' Ackerly said.
Burma Courier: Junta Bosses Consult over South Asian Military Buildup
Courier News Service: Updated to September 28, 2001
RANGOON - Leading members of Burma's ruling junta continued
consultations with other south Asian leaders this week, as the U.S. and
Britain upped the stakes for what appeared to be an inevitable attack
against Afghanistan in retaliation for the terrorist strikes against New
York and Washington earlier this month.
In Rangoon, Generals Maung Aye and Win Myint, along with the top
commanders of the navy and airforce and other Tatmadaw brass, met with
the visiting head of India's Eastern Command, Lt-Gen Kalkat, at the
Ministry of Defence on Thursday. The meeting followed by a day a
similar one with Gen Arthit Kamlang-Ek, chairman of the Armed Forces
Committee of the Upper House of Thailand's parliament.
Reports from Malaysia said that the military situation in south Asia had
been at the top of the agenda in meetings that junta chairman Gen Than
Swe and intelligence chief Gen Khin Nyunt held with Malaysian PM Dr
Mahathir in Kuala Lumpur where the Burmese strongmen were on tour this
There were conflicting reports about how the crisis would affect heroin
supplies from Afghanistan. Some said the Taleban was said ready to
release warehoused heroin to finance its military operations, while
others declared that heroin supplies from Afghanistan had been cut off
and that attention was now focused on the Golden Triangle region in
southeast Asia as the main supplier of heroin to world markets.
The war scare was leading tourists from affluent industrialized
countries to cancel plans to visit Burma, the Myanmar Times reported.
Staff in major hotels reported sizeable cancellations from the U.S.,
Japan and France, but said that traffic from Asian countries generally
had not been affected so far. One group of Japanese tourists who did
show up last week was treated to a special dinner at the Yangon
International Hotel with Director-general Khin Muang Latt of the junta's
Hotels and Tourism ministry and Japanese Ambassador Shigeru Tsumori
showing up to gladhand the intrepid travelers. The well-dined guests
were entertained by traditional dances performed by a local troupe, the
New Light of Myanmar reported.
TV Myanmar: Maung Aye receives head of India's Eastern Command
Source: TV Myanmar, Rangoon, in Burmese 1330 gmt 26 Sep 01
Translation by BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Sep 27, 2001
Gen Maung Aye, vice-chairman of the State Peace and Development Council
[SPDC], deputy commander in chief of the Defence Services, and commander
in chief of Army, received Lt-Gen Kalkat, Commander of Eastern Command
of Armed Forces of India, and party, currently on a study tour of
Myanmar [Burma], at the guest house of the Ministry of Defence at 1300
[local time] today.
Present at the meeting with Gen Maung Aye were: Lt-Gen Win Myint, SPDC
secretary-3 and adjutant-general; Commander in Chief of Navy
Vice-Admiral Kyi Min, Commander in Chief of Air Maj-Gen Myint Swe,
Lt-Gen Tin Hla, deputy prime minister, minister for military affairs,
and quartermaster-general; and Maj-Gen Khin Maung Than chairman of
Yangon [Rangoon] Division Peace and Development Council and Yangon
Present at the meeting with Lt-Gen Kalkat were Indian Ambassador Vivek
Katju and Military Attache Col Shakti Gurung.
Paite Youth Association: Burma MP Arrested In India
September 28, 2001
Mr. Thang Lian Pau of the Zomi National Congress party was arrested by
the Manipur police on September 22, 2001 in Churachandpur, Manipur State
Mr. Thang Lian Pau contested and won parliamentary seat from Tonzang
constituency of northern Chin state, Burma in 1990 general election. The
military junta in Burma refused to transfer power to peoples elected
representative till to day. Mr. Thang Lian Pau fled Burma and take
refuge in Manipur after his party was abolished by the rulling military
junta called State Peace and Development Council.
Mr. Thang Lian Pau led the local tribal militant group called Zomi
Revolutionary Organization in Manipur.
On 22nd Septemer, his house in Churachandpur was ransacked by Minipur
Police and found two AK 47 automatic rifles.
The Manipur Police arrested drug smugler from Burma. When the police
interogated, the drug smugler told the police that he has connection
with Mr. Thang Lian Pau. The police instantly sought Mr. Thang Lian Pau
residence and found the rifles.
New York Times: Chinese Dam May Threaten Food Source Of Neighbors
Section 1A; Page 13; Column 1; Foreign Desk
September 30, 2001, Sunday
China Eyes River For Development
By MARTIN FACKLER, Associated Press Writer
DACHAOSHAN, China (AP) - As dams go, the one rising across this remote
gorge in China's southwestern Yunnan province isn't large. When it's
finished in December, the 30-story-high wall of concrete will hold a
narrow, 55-mile-long reservoir that will take just five days to fill.
But critics worry about the Dachaoshan dam's location - on the Mekong
River, a source of food and livelihood for 60 million people downstream
in Southeast Asia.
Dachaoshan is part of a multibillion-dollar effort by Beijing to develop
its upstream half of the 3,025-mile-long waterway. China says the
construction is necessary to lift backward southwestern provinces such
as Yunnan, home to 43 million people, out of poverty.
But critics warn that China is ignoring potentially disastrous effects
on farms and fisheries in the other five countries that share the
Mekong - Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Burma.
``China acts like it doesn't need to care about countries downstream. It
has to recognize that the Mekong isn't just theirs,'' said Witoon
Permpongsachareon, director of Terra, a Bangkok-based environmental
The $600 million Dachaoshan is the second of at least eight
hydroelectric dams that Beijing wants to build on the region's most
important waterway over the next two decades.
The first, at Manwan, was finished in 1993. Work is to begin next year
on the Xiaowan dam, a $4 billion structure the height of a 100-story
building that will be the world's tallest dam.
Plans also call for dynamiting a shipping channel through the Mekong's
extensive rapids, fulfilling Beijing's dream of turning the river into a
link to Southeast Asia's export markets and raw materials.
China has already cleared its own rocks and built two river ports at the
cities of Jinghong and Simao in Yunnan. In June, limited freight and
passenger service opened to northern Laos and Burma.
In November, Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji is to announce $5 million in aid
to Laos and Burma to blast another 180 miles of rapids in those
countries, Chinese officials said.
They call the offer proof they're serious about promoting joint
``All countries will prosper equally from the increased trade,'' said
Mei Ruichang, a spokesman for Yunnan's Navigation Affairs Bureau, which
is overseeing the river-clearing work.
But critics say China is ignoring fears in Laos that destroying the
rapids might damage tourism, a big money-earner for the impoverished
country. They also complain that Beijing refuses to join regional
efforts such as the four-nation Mekong River Commission to coordinate
Likewise, skepticism has also met Chinese claims that dam building will
benefit countries downstream.
China says the dams will ease the annual cycle of flooding and water
shortages that accompany rainy and dry seasons.
But experts say that would spell disaster for critical fisheries, such
as Cambodia's Great Lake - the main source of protein for the country's
12 million people. The lake depends on those yearly floods to replenish
nutrients. Farmers in Laos also wait for the dry season to plant on the
exposed river bottom's fertile mud.
Critics fear the dams will block migration routes of rare species such
as the giant freshwater catfish, which can weigh up to 650 pounds.
The dams could also slow the river's flow, raising water temperatures
and possibly wiping out native fish species.
Chinese officials call these concerns exaggerated, though they admit
that some environmental damage is inevitable. Still, they say, the dams
are necessary to power Yunnan's industrialization and improve living
In Shandi, a village about a mile uphill from Dachaoshan, the first
electricity came two years ago.
Lu Mingxie uses a single naked bulb to light her dirt-floor home as she
shucks corn and peels dark green pumpkins. The 50-year-old farmer
welcomes the progress.
But she, too, has her complaints about the Chinese government's
high-handed way of bringing it about.
Lu says dam officials seized a three-quarter acre plot of good rice
paddy near the dam that her family had farmed for six generations. They
promised compensation, but she has yet to see any.
``Not everything about this dam is good for us common people,'' she
Bangkok Post: TB, Aids may ravage villages on border
October 01, 2001.
Tuberculosis and Aids have emerged as major threats to villagers living
along the Thai-Burmese border.
Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan said it was increasingly
likely these two deadly diseases would quickly spread along the border.
The minister on Saturday went to Tachilek in Burma, opposite Mae Sai
district, to co-chair a health exhibition with her Burmese counterpart
Maj-Gen Ket Sein.
Government spokesman Yongyuth Tiyapairat said ties between Burma and
Thailand would improve if the two countries joined forces to tackle the
Sources said many Burmese and Shan women increasingly crossed the border
to work in Mae Sai brothels.
Young girls were reportedly paid 3,000-5,000 baht to relinquish their
virginity. But brothel operators invariably received half the girls'
The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): Let me say what needs to be said
Saturday, 29 September, 2001
For certain reasons, an old Myanmar saying has come into my mind. It
says that a person with evil mind sees even a very small degree of a
wrongdoing of others, while failing to see his own big misdeed. I have
been listening to foreign radio stations such as VOA, BBC and RFA from
early August till now. After taking much time listening to the aforesaid
foreign radio stations, I remember the old saying and was wondering
What I am thinking about is the nation-destructive propaganda of the
western mercenary radio stations broadcasting with evil intention.
Psychologists say that man has 13 different kinds of inborn characters.
One of the characters is the desire to know and enquire about other's
affairs, strange events and secrt affairs. As such a desire is also
included in the six lusts of man, its degree of intensity can be easily
detected, and such a desire with high intensity is also one of the basic
factors, almost since the start of human civilization, which had paved
the way for the birth of the newspaper, that has been presenting daily
about othersÕ affairs and unusual events in written languages.
In this matter, the creators of the dailies are none other than
reporters who gather information, the journalists who write and edit the
news reports and the columnists. They can also be said to be the persons
born together with the advent of the newspapers. Here, please let me say
that I am also included in the journalists as I entered the journalism
profession as a district correspondent of the Myanma Alin daily since
1969 when I was only 19. And from that time, I have been a columnist. My
correspondent number then was 089.
As I have been in this profession for over 30 years, I would like to say
that I am a veteran journalist who has passed through many different
periods and experienced different situations. During the 30-year period,
I have also noted that 'news' means the new events which the people
might know. Some define 'news' as a kind of nourishment for the brain or
mind. The elder news editors who were my great mentors taught me that
only the true information should be gathered to enable the public to
think and do in a correct way based on the genuine information they had
In addition, my honourable masters taught me at every opportune time
that news must be correct, swift and just, and must also be beneficial
to the people. Especially, my belief is that the dailies, news
broadcasting stations and news telecasting stations have emerged for the
well-being of the mankind or the people of the world nations. Moreover,
the periodicals and broadcasting stations should not write or announce
instigative news reports with the intention of causing religious hatred.
They should also avoid making unjust criticisms concerning the
hereditary, religion and race of a nation.
The mediapersons should stay away from writing or broadcasting news
reports or news articles that may cause the breaking up of a nation or
harm the security of a nation, which amounts to violating its
territorial integrity and sovereignty. We have been taught since we were
young the need to always abide by the journalism ethics. And till now I
have been strictly adhering to the ethics. However, some of today's
western periodicals including dailies, and also the journals, newspapers
and radio stations of some neighbouring nations fail to observe the
noble journalists' codes of conduct I have mentioned in the above
Instead, they are giving priority to issuing or broadcasting news
reports which may cause national destruction poisoning the Myanmar
people. Such conspiracies are being made to the liking of the
colonialists. These media are ignoring all the best efforts of the
Myanmar government to bring all-round progress and well-being to the
nation as they totally lack desire to write or broadcast about the
authentic news. Furthermore, they, true to the nature of the pessimists,
are seeking techniques and strategies to find every fault with Myanmar
and to discredit her.
They are paying special attention to reporting the news that may cause
destruction to the nation. It is much disheartening to read and hear the
news reports which are being presented by them in a heavy-handed way.
Anyone who always sees and assesses things under the influence of
hatred, envy and malevolence will blemish his own reputation and image.
What I want to present here is that the good and the bad always come
together in all the political, economic and social affairs of every
country. I believe that it is much difficult to be totally free from
fault. Hence, the news writers, the news broadcasters and the columnists
should be able to clearly and precisely differentiate the good from the
bad, and the constructive from the destructive.
(To be continued)
Author : Ye Baw Sai Thein (Kengtung)
Democratic Voice of Burma : Change of morning frequency
The DVB morning programme currently transmitting on the shortwave
25-metre band on 11570 Khz frequency will be changed to 11720 Khz from
this Saturday [29 September].But the shortwave 31-metre band on 9495 Khz
will remain unchanged and will be transmitted as usual.
Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 27 Sep 01
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