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BurmaNet News: October 22, 2001
______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
An on-line newspaper covering Burma
October 22, 2001 Issue # 1903
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________
NOTED IN PASSING: "...in all parts of the world from Indonesia to
Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan and from Burma to
Osama bin Ladin on where his supporters operate. See The Independent
Bangladesh: Myanmar envoy called to Foreign Ministry
INSIDE BURMA _______
*Reuters: Brother could get Suu Kyi's home - Myanmar court
*Arakan News Agency News Release: Military junta forcing Muslims to
*Burma Media Association: "Moustache Brothers" restricted for
*Xinhua: Thai Troops to deployed in 150 Villages Along Thai-Myanmar
*Mizzima: ULFA consolidates base in Burma: Surrendered militants
*DVB: Burmese navy seizes two boats, arrests 30 Indians "poaching" on 14
*DVB: Rift between intelligence, military over arrest of Thai expert
reported Rift between intelligence, military over arrest of Thai expert
*The Independent Bangladesh: Myanmar envoy called to Foreign Ministry
*Bangkok Post: Refugees in limbo
*Far Eastern Economic Review: Burma Refugees Swell Thai Camps
__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________
Reuters: Brother could get Suu Kyi's home - Myanmar court
YANGON, Reuters, Oct. 22 - A Myanmar court ruled on Monday that the
brother of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi had the theoretical right
to inherit a house the Nobel Peace laureate has lived in for more than a
decade. Judge U So Thein threw out an application by Suu Kyi to dismiss
a claim by her brother for a share of the property, which is worth
between $1 million and $2 million according to estate agents. The judge
adjourned the hearing until November 2.
Aung San Oo, an estranged elder brother living in the United States and
holding a U.S. passport, has fought a protracted legal battle for the
house, in which Suu Kyi has been held under de facto house arrest for
the last year.
Suu Kyi has directed her struggle for democracy from the property since
she returned to Myanmar in the late 1980s.
The residence and compound were left by Daw Khin Kyi, widow of Myanmar
independence hero General Aung San and mother of Aung San Oo and Suu
Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won Myanmar's last
democratic elections in 1990 by a landslide but has never been allowed
Instead the military, which has run Myanmar for most of the last 40
years, has locked up and harassed the NLD's leaders and closed many of
Suu Kyi has spent several lengthy periods under house arrest at the
Yangon property, which occupies a large plot at the side of Inya Lake at
the heart of the Myanmar capital's elite residential area.
Suu Kyi's father, Aung San, was assassinated in 1947 when the country
was on the threshold of independence from Britain.
Some diplomats have said the timing of the court case has been
convenient for the military government.
The case has put extra pressure on Suu Kyi at a time when she is taking
part in secretive talks with the ruling generals over the future shape
of the country.
But the government insists the issue is purely family affair and says it
will not intervene.
Arakan News Agency News Release: Military junta forcing Muslims to flee
20. 10. 2001
By Our Special Correspondent
Gundhum (Burma-Bangladesh border), Oct. 20: New stringent measures
against Muslim inhabitants in Burmese occupied Arakan State compelled
many of them to flee across the border into Bangladesh recently.
One Abdul Hakim 42, son of Roshan Ali from Fakira Bazar, about 45 miles
north of Maungdaw township in Arakan State, told this correspondent that
his family of 6 members along with other two families fled their homes
across the border on October 15 and are, at present, residing with their
relatives in the village of Gundhum just on the Bangladesh side of the
common border. Abdul Hakim claimed that many other Muslim families also
fled recently from different villages in northern part of Maungdaw as a
result of various stringent measures, lack of security and economic
Abdul Hakim narrated that Na Sa Ka (border security force) have imposed
new toll charges hitherto unknown upon the Muslims living in Na Sa Ka
area 1 to 6. An amount of Kyat 3000 for a person who dies, Kyat 2500 for
a newborn baby, Kyat 5000 for a buffalo which dies, Kyat 3000 for a
newborn buffalo, Kyat 2000 for a cow which dies, Kyat 1500 for a newborn
calf, Kyat 500 for a goat which dies, Kyat 1000 for a newborn goat and
Kyat 100 for a newborn chick has to be paid respectively as toll charges
to the Na Sa Ka. Serious restrictions have also been imposed on movement
and on going to river for fishing and forest for cutting firewood or
bamboo. If, by chance, a person is found in another man?s house at night
without prior reporting he is liable to six months imprisonment and a
fine of Kyat 10,000. Na Sa Ka forces often enter into houses late at
night violating women or stealing valuables.
Abdul Hakim expressed that Na Sa Ka would not disturb those who leave
Arakan for good across the border.
Arakan News Agency
Burma Media Association: "Moustache Brothers" restricted for performance
The Moustache Brothers need international support for their fight
against this repression by the SPDC, said Dr. Nancy
By Tin Maung Htoo
Oct 20 -- Toronto. The famous comedians, better known as "The Mustache
Brothers" in Burma and some parts of the world, were totally banned from
practicing their performance with the ultimatum of the "entire family
arrest", an Australian academic who recently visited their residence in
Dr. Nancy Hudson-Rodd from School of International, Cultural and
Community Studies at Edith Cowan University in Australia learned the
case while she was in Burma and prompted her to inform about the new
restriction as soon as she left from Burma. "I am not sure if you know
that the Moustache Brothers' troupe is not now permitted to perform,"
the letter sent to some Burmese journalists in exile jolted, adding,
"they are not even allowed to put on make-up or costumes."
Since early 1996 the group performance was squashed into a home-based
troupe after performing on January 4 at the 48th anniversary of Burma's
Independence Day ceremony held by National League for Democracy (NLD).
During a 2-hour performance, it is reported that Par Par Lay made a
political satire about growing corruption of government workers, "In the
past, thieves were called thieves. Now they are known as co-operative
The two Mustache Brothers Par Par Lay now in 54 and Lu Zaw in 50 was
arrested on January 7, 1996 and sentenced 7 years imprisonment in March
under the Section 5(e) of the 1950 Emergency Provisions Act with
spreading "false news, knowing beforehand that it is untrue."
During their trial, the opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi tried to
reach to Mandalay in order to show support for two brothers but
deliberately blocked by the authority at Rangoon Railway Station. Zarni
from Bangkok-based Assistance Committee for Political Prisoners in Burma
(AAPP) said that they were tortured in prisons and forced to work in
One advantage for them is to leave behind a younger brother, Lu Maw, to
keep the 30 yearlong performance alive in the second capital city of
Burma. The two brothers were released from prison in July 13, 2001.
However, Zarni of AAPP said they have served more than they should have
served as all convicted prisoners in Burma, regardless of political or
criminal one, are only supposed to serve two-third of their actual
sentences in term of parole and other given forgiveness.
According to Dr. Nancy, they did not perform yet when local authorities
laid down a new restriction upon their performance, a harder one with
devastating effect for deprivation of the whole family lives.
The police told U Par Par Lay of the performance ban on July 26 and
warned of the consequence. "If a performance was held, all members of
the family would be arrested," she writes in the letter adding, "Colonel
Tin Tun sent out a mandate to all SPDC offices in every township that
it was illegal to hire the Moustache Brothers troupe."
She points that many journalists wrote of the release from prison of the
two men, but noting there has been no word on the extra severe
restrictions since July. "After 20 years of performing, these people
have lost their rights to work, to speak, and to perform. They have been
denied a livelihood, a voice, a theatrical space," she laments in the
letter and urgently calls on international support for their cause.
Xinhua: Thai Troops to deployed in 150 Villages Along Thai-Myanmar
BANGKOK, October 22, (Xinhua) -- Thai Army is poised to begin deploying
troops to 150 villages along the border with Myanmar in a stepped-up
campaign against cross-border drug traffic, the Bangkok Post reported
Monday. Lt.Gen Udomchai Angkasingha, the Third Army chief, was quoted as
saying that the operation is expected to help improve the livelihood of
the villagers and turn them to the government's side. He explained that
soldiers quartering in the villages would help local residents to
develop their communities in the areas of transportation, education and
health, while combat units would continue patrolling the border to
prevent smugglers from crossing into Thailand with drugs. Drug traffic
along the border was likely to continue despite intelligence reported
that some drug factories had been relocated elsewhere, he added.
Mizzima: ULFA consolidates base in Burma: Surrendered militants
By Our Correspondent
Guwahati, Oct. 22: Thirteen militants belonging to the United Liberation
Front of Assom (ULFA) led by self-styled Captain Sahadev Rabha alias
Laldenga surrendered at an Army Base Camp near the Indo-Bhutan Border
today. They deposited a huge caché of arms and ammunition, brought from
Talking to Mizzima correspondent immediately after their surrender, the
militants alleged that they had returned to the political mainstream,
expressing disappointment with a leadership that is alienated from the
common people. ?ULFA has started loosing its base due to wrong policies
of the leardership; moreover it is being directed by the Inter Services
Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan?, the surrendered militants smugly
Sahadev who masterminded several bomb blasts and extortion cases vowed
to start a normal life. He further said that ULFA is now gradually
consolidating its base in Burma (Myanmar) in association with the
National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplan (NSCN-K) faction and the
Kachin Independent Army (KIA). ?We had close links with the militant
groups of Bangladesh who often provide arms and ammunition?, he added.
Sahadev having been trained in Burma, he was providing services to the
ULFA for a period of 10 years in different capacities.
The ULFA was constituted in 1979 in Sibasagar, Assam State, towards the
aim of a sovereign country attained by armed revolution. Since then it
has been operating from different hideouts, causing major trouble to
security forces engaged in combating terrorism. In view of the spurt in
activities of the militant group, the Government of India engaged in
army operations to contain the militants, as a result of which about
1,000 members have surrendered so far. In order to scale down the
activities of the ULFA, the Indian government has already initiated
talks with the Royal Government of Bhutan in bid to a peaceful solution
a the perennial problem.
DVB: Burmese navy seizes two boats, arrests 30 Indians "poaching" on 14
Text of report by Democratic Voice of Burma on 20 October
The Burmese navy has seized two boats and arrested 30 Indian nationals
caught poaching in western Burmese territorial waters on 14 October. One
of those arrested was beaten by Burmese navy personnel and he had to be
admitted at Ponnagyun Township hospital in Arakan State. Legal action
was taken against the remaining persons and they were all sentenced to
one month jail under the Immigration Law. The two boats are currently in
the custody of the navy.
Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 20 Oct 01
DVB: Rift between intelligence, military over arrest of Thai expert
reported Rift between intelligence, military over arrest of Thai expert
Text of report by Democratic Voice of Burma on 19 October
DVB has learned that the SPDC Military Intelligence is planning to take
action against local military officials that arrested workers working
at a mine in Tenasserim Division with approval from Brig-Gen Kyaw
Thein, the deputy director of Directorate of Defence Services
The Thailand-based Heinda Pacific Mining Company has been engaging in
lead mining activities in Tavoy District since October with approval
from DDSI Deputy Director Brig-Gen Kyaw Thein. On 16 October, a Thai
mining expert and five Karen workers were arrested by personnel of LIB
[Light Infantry Battalion] No 379 under No 9 Military Operations
Management Command [MOMC] for allegedly having contacts with the Karen
rebels. The DDSI in Rangoon immediately contacted the Coastal Region
Military Command and ordered the release of those arrested.
Furthermore, the coastal command was also ordered to take immediate
action against the officers from MOMC-9 who ordered the arrest without
approval from higher authorities and the officers from LIB-379 who
carried out the arrests.
DVB heard from very reliable sources that the officers were warned not
to bother the businessmen who are engaging in business activities with
approval from the top generals in future.
Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 19 Oct 01
The Independent Bangladesh: Myanmar envoy called to Foreign Ministry
October 22, 2001
Myanmar Ambassador U Ohn Thwin was called to the Foreign Ministry
yesterday to clarify a rejoinder made by his country implicating
Bangladesh while rejecting a claim of Osama Bin Laden about operation of
Jihad forces in Burma (Myanmar), reports UNB.
Bin Laden was quoted to have said in a press interview that strong Jihad
forces were present "in all parts of the world from Indonesia to
Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan and from Burma
(Myanmar) to Kashmir."
The comments were reportedly made in an exclusive interview by Bin Laden
to Pakistani newspaper Ummat and reproduced by the BBC monitoring
service on September 29.
Myanmar reportedly expressed surprise that it was even mentioned as one
of the countries where "Islamic fundamentalists" exist in operation.
Analysts and diplomats in Myanmar reportedly came to the conclusion that
Bin Laden was referring to a band of armed terrorists known as the
Arakan Rohingya Islamic Front (ARIF) which had been allegedly operating
out of the eastern border territory of erstwhile East Pakistan that is
now Bangladesh since 1948.
The objective of this organisation is to carve out an independent
Rohingya State on the western borders of Myanmar adjacent to Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs made it categorically clear that
"the government of Bangladesh has rejected outright terrorism of any
kind or manifestation."
"It does not support or harbour anyway whatsoever any form of terrorism
and indeed is committed to rooting out terrorism of any kind.''
This position has been repeatedly made clear to Bangladesh's both
neighbours -- India and Myanmar.
Foreign Minister Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury reiterated it to a group of
EU Ambassadors that had called on him on October 18.
Bangkok Post: Refugees in limbo
October 22, 2001.
About 300,000 Shan who claimed to have been evicted from Burma and fled
to Thailand between 1996-1998 will not be given refugee status.
National Security Council chief Kachadpai Buruspat said the call for
refugee status and for Thailand to set up a refugee camp for them was
The authorities investigated their plight and found the majority had
fled for economic reasons, he said.
``All agencies concerned provided similar information that they came to
Thailand to look for jobs and to avoid hardships at home,'' he said.
Shan leaders called on the government to give them refugee status and to
build a refugee holding centre for them.
Mr Kachadpai said it was impossible for the government to build a
refugee shelter because Thailand was not ready to be responsible for
Far Eastern Economic Review: Burma Refugees Swell Thai Camps
FEER, Issue cover-dated October 25, 2001
Camps just inside Thailand are now holding more than 137,500
ethnic-minority refugees from Burma. Numbers are swelling by about 1,200
a month as refugees flee stepped-up Burmese army operations in their
areas, say aid workers. This compares to about 500 per month two years
ago. According to the aid workers, Burmese troops are burning
villages, forcing people to become porters, and carrying out some
executions. The army is trying to take total control of the border areas
and stamp out ethnic-minority rebels.
Most of the armed opposition is by the Shan State Army and Karen
National Union. More than 100,000 of the refugees are Karen, with fewer
ethnic Karenni and Mon. One of the reasons the camps hold so few Shan
refugees is because those that do cross the border are more easily
absorbed into Thai society.
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