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BurmaNet News: November 22, 2001
- Subject: BurmaNet News: November 22, 2001
- From: strider@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2001 08:59:00
______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
An on-line newspaper covering Burma
November 22, 2001 Issue # 1924
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________
INSIDE BURMA _______
*AFP: Myanmar political prisoners get additional sentences
*AFP: Re-opening of NLD offices in Myanmar carries only symbolic value
*Reuters: Myanmar frees four more opposition party members
*Reuters: Myanmar rejects ILO call for permanent presence
*AFP: ILO report on forced labour "difficult to accept": Myanmar
*AP: Myanmar to take back girls caught up in Thai sex trade
*Canadian Labour Congress: Shame! Six Canadian companies linked to Burma
*Xinhua: China Smashes Cross-Border Terrorist Organization
*Reuters: China jails rebel leaders on Myanmar border
*AP: Thai police shoot knife-wielding man to death
*AFP: Thailand funds crop substitution in Myanmar drug areas
*Xinhua: Anti-Drug Teams Sent to 400 Villages Along Thai-Myanmar Border
*AP: God's army twins reluctant to move to the United States
*AP: 25 Thai, Myanmar sailors rescued off Vietnam's central coast
__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________
AFP: Myanmar political prisoners get additional sentences
BANGKOK, Nov 20 (AFP) - Myanmar's ruling military junta has extended the
sentences of 10 political prisoners, the Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB)
radio reported on late Monday.
The 10, including Kyaw Mya, Than Naing, and Bo Bo Han, are currently
held in a prison in Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar, the
Oslo-based station's Burmese (Myanmar) language service said in a
broadcast monitored here.
Their terms were extended by an additional seven years for violation of
prison rules, the radio said quoting official sources in Yangon. No
further details were given.
Opposition radio also reported that the military junta has released
four other political prisoners of the country's main opposition party,
the National League for Democracy (NLD).
Maung Kyaw, Tin Aung, San Lwin Lay and Hpoe Aye were freed on Monday
from Mandalay's prison, according to its official sources in Yangon, it
"They are all in good health and are reunited with their families," it
The latest release brought to 200 the number of NLD members freed this
The ruling military regime has also held the NLD's leader, the Nobel
peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, under house arrest since September last
year after she attempted to go to Mandalay in defiance of a travel ban.
The pro-democracy party has demanded the release of an estimated 1,500
political prisoners still being held in Myanmar's jails.
AFP: Re-opening of NLD offices in Myanmar carries only symbolic value
YANGON, Nov 21 (AFP) - The re-opening of National League for Democracy
(NLD) township offices in Myanmar, authorised by the ruling military
junta in recent months, appears to be mostly a symbolic gesture that has
left Aung San Suu Kyi's party still unable to function.
Twenty-five of the original 40 NLD branch offices shuttered by the
ruling regime between 1995 and 2000 have been permitted to re-open in
Yangon in addition to the party's Mandalay headquarters and two other
The approval process for the re-opening of the offices has been handled
on a case-by-case basis, much like the release of Myanmar's political
Reinstating the offices and freeing political prisoners have been
central to the ongoing "confidence building" phase of secret talks
between Aung San Suu Kyi and the State Peace and Development Council
(SPDC), which began in October 2000 and are aimed at ushering in
But "the re-opening of the offices is essentially symbolic," a top NLD
official told AFP under the condition of anonymity.
Two factors have prevented the township offices from resuming their
normal activities: an array of stifling restrictions placed on them by
the SPDC and the NLD's self-imposed discipline to keep a low profile and
avoid jeopardizing the sensitive talks.
United Nations human rights envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro released a
report earlier this month that catalogued "the unnecessary,
discriminatory and stringent restrictions" placed on the NLD offices.
They include outlawing the use of photocopy or fax machines, the
disconnection of telephone lines and the requirement of official
permission from the junta to hold public gatherings.
"The top NLD officials are subject to systematic surveillance by police
and military intelligence personnel, with their movements, contacts and
communications closely monitored," Pinheiro said.
In downtown Yangon, visitors to the NLD's dilapidated headquarters find
themselves under the watch of plain-clothes government agents taking
photographs or making notes.
Foreign diplomats are of particular interest to intelligence officers
who closely monitor the office, which miraculously stayed open during
the closures of other NLD outlets over the past six years.
Diplomats in Yangon have also mentioned reports of intimidation
directed at landlords to prevent them from renting property to open new
Even in the party's current state, opinions vary widely on the NLD's
capacity to carry on.
While Myanmar's deputy minister of foreign affairs Khin Maung Win told
AFP that "they have a normal party life," an Asian diplomat said the
party has "a limited scope of operation."
A top NLD official says the party runs on a
shoestring, but muddles along quietly.
"We are just like an institution living on charity," he said. "We are
having weekly discussions and regularly dispense food and medicine to
needy children and send parcels to those in prison and other
Local observers say the NLD in its current form is more like a social
club than a major political party.
"We have been conducting our activities with a very low profile," the
NLD source added. "We have been very careful not to send the wrong
signals to the authorities by refraining from public meetings (or)
taking false steps that might jeopardize the talks."
Paradoxically, the party is legally registered in Myanmar, the largest
alongside nine smaller parties, while its offices are crippled, 810 of
its members languish in prison and their leader lives under de facto
Aung San Suu Kyi, the NLD leader who was awarded a Nobel peace prize 10
years ago next month, has been confined to her lakeside residence for
the past 14 months despite calls for her release.
"We obviously need the leader of the party to be a free person in order
to be able to run the party effectively," noted the NLD official.
"That's why at our anniversary (last September) we again called for her
"How can you talk about reconciliation and a party being legalised when
more than 800 members are behind bars?" asked an analyst. "Of course
it's much better now than when the junta wanted to liquidate the party,
but there's still a long way to go before the party can operate
Indeed, NLD has survived against overwhelming odds.
The democratic party, which claimed some three million members before
the elections of 1990, watched as their landslide victory was undone at
the hands of the junta.
Then in the mid-90s, the regime staged mass meetings to portray NLD
members as traitors and Aung San Suu Kyi as a pawn of the west. Anti-NLD
propaganda and endless harassment of members brought about mass
defections and eroded the party ranks.
But today "there are no longer mass arrests of NLD members," according
to a western diplomat. "The official press has stopped printing
disinformation and insults about Aung San Suu Kyi" since the landmark
talks began last year.
In August, restrictions were lifted on two of the party's top members
-- NLD president Aung Shwe and vice-president Tin Oo -- in a move
welcomed by the party which still enjoys wide support throughout the
The ageing opposition leaders together with NLD secretary U Lwin visit
Aung San Suu Kyi three times a week to discuss party matters.
After nearly a decade of adversity, the gradual re-opening of party
offices has given the NLD a breath of fresh air.
"It is a real boost for the party," one observer said. "The
headquarters are buzzing, everybody is back, people come and go."
But even with the recent concessions made by the junta to the NLD, the
party remains, in the words of a top NLD official, "quite helpless."
Reuters: Myanmar frees four more opposition party members
YANGON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Myanmar's military government freed four more
political prisoners on Monday, bringing to 190 the number of opposition
activists freed over the last year, the government said in a statement.
The ruling generals have been releasing members of the National League
for Democracy (NLD) since they began secretive landmark peace talks with
NLD leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, in October 2000.
The NLD says the pace of releases is too slow and is worried by lack of
progress in the talks, which are still said to be only at a ``confidence
The government rejects this and says it will continue to release
prisoners when appropriate in an effort to build confidence in the talks
with the NLD.
The NLD won Myanmar's last election in 1990 by a landslide but was
never allowed to govern. Instead, its members have been detained,
harassed or placed under house arrest. Suu Kyi has been held in de facto
house arrest for more than a year.
Amnesty International says there are more than 1,500 political
prisoners in Myanmar's jails. The government disputes this, saying most
of the prisoners cited are in jail for criminal offences rather than
Reuters: Myanmar rejects ILO call for permanent presence
November 20, 2001
YANGON, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Myanmar said it will not allow the
International Labour Organisation (ILO) to set up a permanent office in
the military-ruled country, but will cooperate with the body which
accuses Yangon of failing to stop forced labour.
The announcement late on Monday followed a high-level ILO mission to
the country and the publication of a report which said an official
decree to abolish forced labour last year had failed to stamp it out.
``It was found that some of the ILO governing body's conclusions
include some points that are difficult for Myanmar to accept as well as
some constructive and positive ones,'' a Myanmar foreign ministry
``Myanmar is not in a position to allow the opening of a permanent
resident's office of the ILO at the moment...Myanmar will continue to
cooperate with the ILO where possible,'' it said.
Deputy Foreign Minister Khin Maung Win said in a briefing to heads of
foreign missions in Yangon that the government had found all the forced
labour complaints by the ILO to be groundless.
``Following the transmission by the high level team of some complaints
regarding forced labour, the authorities concerned launched thorough
investigations,'' he said.
``These investigations showed the allegations were baseless and false.''
The ILO in Geneva last week urged Myanmar to accept a permanent
presence for the United Nations agency and it also called on Myanmar to
set up a special ombudsman's office to investigate allegations of
A high-level ILO mission, which visited Myanmar around two months ago,
reported that while there had been some progress in eliminating forced
labour, the practice was still widespread in areas under direct military
AFP: ILO report on forced labour "difficult to accept": Myanmar
YANGON, Nov 20 (AFP) - A recent International Labour Organisation (ILO)
report saying forced labour continued in Myanmar despite an official ban
contained information that was "difficult to accept," the government
Myanmar's ministry of foreign affairs said the report published two
weeks ago prompted the junta to "express reservations," and repeated its
rejection of ILO hopes to open a permanent office in the military-ruled
"Although the ILO governing body's decision included some positive
aspects, it was also found that there were certain elements which
Myanmar finds difficult to accept," the ministry said in a statement.
"Myanmar was not in a position at this juncture to allow the ILO to
establish a permanent office here as it was a delicate matter involving
Myanmar's sovereignty," it said, quoting Myanmar's ILO ambassador Mya
However, the junta said it would "continue to extend its full
cooperation in every possible way, basing its decision on matters of
national interest and sovereignty."
The report released in Geneva said "forced labour is practised in its
various forms" for portering, the building of military camps and
agricultural work in areas under military control and in possible
Diplomats in Yangon have unanimously praised the report, saying it was
They added that Myanmar gave unprecedented cooperation to the
four-member team led by former Australian governor general Sir Ninian
Stephen, which set out to make a grassroots assessment of forced labour
throughout the country.
While the ILO released few details about the trip, local sources said
the team also met twice with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has
been under virtual house arrest at her lakeside home for the past 14
Myanmar has been under the spotlight of the ILO since 1998, when after
several emotional testimonies from former workers, the ILO concluded
that forced labour there was generalised and systematic.
The ILO mission followed the international body's unprecedented censure
of Myanmar last year, when it threatened to impose more sanctions on the
country if it failed to curb forced labour.
AP: Myanmar to take back girls caught up in Thai sex trade
MAE SOT, Thailand (AP) _ Myanmar girls rescued from prostitution in
Thailand will be rehabilitated and then sent home through official
channels under a new aid project, a Thai official said Monday.
It's the first time that authorities in military-run Myanmar have
agreed to cooperate in repatriating women who have been caught in
Thailand's burgeoning flesh trade.
Last month, 35 girls were returned to Myanmar via the Mae Sai-Tachilek
checkpoint in northern Thailand, said Saisuree Chutikul, who is member
of Thailand's National Youth Commission.
The transfer was organized through the project by the international aid
group, World Vision, to prevent trafficking in women and children. The
British-funded, dlrs 100,000 project will last three years. It began in
July but had its opening ceremony Monday.
In the past, girls sent back to the border and left to fend for
themselves would often return to Thailand. Now they can be received by
the Myanmar Department of Social Welfare.
Saisuree said most of the Myanmar girls, sometimes as young as 13 or 14
years, take up prostitution so they can send back money to their
impoverished families in Myanmar.
She cited such girls as saying 500 baht (dlrs 11.35) _ which a
prostitute might earn a day _ was adequate to feed a family in Myanmar
for two weeks or more. She said many of the girls were illiterate.
``The root of the problem is in Myanmar. To prevent it, we must help
families to make a living. So we have to encourage NGOs and the U.N. to
help create family incomes in Myanmar,'' she said in the Thai border
town of Mae Sot, 370 kilometers (230 miles) northwest of Bangkok.
The new project will help girls rescued from Thai brothels and bars by
sending them to a shelter in Bangkok where they can get schooling and
vocational training for a few months before they are ready to go back to
Myanmar, which is also known as Burma.
Chartchai Maneekarn of World Vision said that to facilitate this, the
group would set up offices at the three major checkpoints on the more
than 2,000 kilometer (1,250 mile) Thai-Myanmar land border: Mae Sot, Mae
Sai and Ranong.
Saisuree estimated that there were 200,000 prostitutes in Thailand,
about 20 percent aged under 18 years. Growing numbers of sex workers are
migrants from poorer countries in the region like Myanmar, Laos,
Cambodia, Vietnam and southern China, she said.
Canadian Labour Congress: Shame! Six Canadian companies linked to Burma
OTTAWA, Nov. 20 /CNW/ - The names of six companies based in Canada,
including Air Canada and Ivanhoe Mines, made the list of 250 companies
links to the oppressive state of affairs in Burma, released by the
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).
"Cases of forced labour have and continue to be documented in Burma,
much so that it is the only country on the planet the International
Organization (ILO) is boycotting," said Canadian Labour Congress
Georgetti, pointing out that the ILO is a tripartite organization of
governments and employers, all of which support the boycott.
The ICFTU has compiled a database of companies with business links
Burma, based on publicly available information. The following Canadian
- Air Canada
- CHC Helicopter Corporation - based in Richmond, BC and St.John's
- East Asia Gold Corp. - based in Toronto
- Leeward Capital Corp. (Amber-Gems.com) - based in Calgary
- Mindoro Resources Ltd. - based in Edmonton
- Ivanhoe Mines - based in Vancouver
A military dictatorship has ruled Burma for years. There are not
forced labour and other serious human and trade union rights abuses on a
scale, there is not freedom of association and no democracy. The
trade union movement believes that it is impossible to conduct any trade
engage in other economic activity with Burma without providing direct or
indirect support, mostly financial, to the military junta.
"Any business involvement in Burma is an accommodation with tyranny.
supports a corrupt and repressive military regime that has never been
any legitimacy by the people of Burma," said Georgetti.
For more information about these companies, and their links to
visit this web page:
The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour
represents 2.5 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together the
of Canada's national and international unions along with the provincial
territorial federations of labour and 132 district labour councils. Web
Xinhua: China Smashes Cross-Border Terrorist Organization
KUNMING, November 22 (Xinhua) -- China has rounded up a cross- border
terrorist organization in Yunnan Province, leading to the sentencing of
six members of the gang to various jail terms. Huang Yuequan, 37, who
masterminded the Myanmar Democratic Allied Army, was sentenced to 14
years in jail by the intermediate people's court of Dehong Prefecture.
Five other members were sentenced to between one and seven years in
jail. According to the court investigation, Huang and Ruan Guoquan, 47,
began to plot the establishment of the organization in December 2000,
and sought the assistance of a Myanmar terrorist organization in the
On January 1, 2001, the organization was formed in a Myanmar gambling
house, with Huang as the commander and Ruan as the chief of staff. They
soon began to recruit members from China and Myanmar. Zhai Ruiqiang, Luo
Dong, Han Liangbu and Yang Rongying from China became members. The
Myanmar Democratic Allied Army had weapons, uniforms, credentials,
symbols and rules. With some 22 members given secret military training,
the organization engaged in kidnapping, robbery and other crimes,
netting them 50,000 yuan RMB. In April this year, they demanded
protection money from a Myanmar gambling house and plotted a military
raid on the police station in Mujie, a border town on the Chinese side.
Another member, identified as "old Meng", is still on the run, local
Reuters: China jails rebel leaders on Myanmar border
BEIJING, Nov 22 (Reuters) - China has jailed six leaders of what it
called a multinational terrorist organisation fighting Myanmar's ruling
military junta from southwestern China, a local court official said on
The six, all Chinese citizens, were members of a group called the
``Myanmar Democratic Union Army'' which carried out kidnappings and
armed robberies in China's southwestern province of Yunnan and plotted
to attack police and civilians in Myanmar, he said.
The group was formed last year in the Chinese city of Ruili on the
Myanmar border by Huang Yuequan, a former member of a Myanmar military
faction, to raise support for another Myanmar military faction, the
court official told Reuters.
``The leader of the group said he hated the Myanmar government for
killing many Chinese and he was taking revenge,'' the court official
said, without elaborating.
It was not immediately clear which military faction Huang was involved
with and the Myanmar embassy declined to comment.
There are many ethnic Chinese living just over the border from China in
Myanmar's Kokang region, a major poppy-producing area partly controlled
by the rebel Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army.
Huang, originally from the southwestern city of Chengdu, recruited 22
people and gave them military training, the official Xinhua news agency
Operating from its headquarters in a casino on the Myanmar side of the
border, the group carried out two kidnappings and countless armed
robberies, it said.
The court official said police had caught about 15 of the group's
members and they were awaiting trial.
Huang was sentenced to 14 years in prison while the other five leaders
were given sentences ranging from one to seven years, he said.
Cross-border cooperation between China and Myanmar has increased since
an accord signed in January to try and stem the tide of illegal drugs
from the region.
AP: Thai police shoot knife-wielding man to death
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ A drug-crazed man in northern Thailand who was
chasing villagers around with a knife was shot dead by police Wednesday.
The man, who was not identified by the police, was shot three times as
he lunged at an officer trying to calm him down, said police Lt. Col.
He said that villagers in the mountainous Chanchawa village,
half-an-hour's drive from the northern city of Chiang Rai, said the man
was from neighboring Myanmar and high on the illegal stimulant
They said he ran through the village of 300 households trying to strike
out at everyone he met. No villagers were reported injured, said Suthep.
The shooting came in the wake of public criticism of police handling of
another case in Bangkok earlier this month in which a man high on
methamphetamine took a 20-year-old female college student hostage and
stabbed her to death before police could rescue her.
The man was afterward lynched by angry onlookers.
The incident prompted calls from the public for police to use
sharpshooters to end hostage-takings, which have become increasingly
frequent with the spread of methamphetamine.
Thai authorities consider the trafficking and consumption of
methamphetamine a threat to national security because of its deleterious
social effects. They alleged that the drug is produced inside Myanmar
_also known as Burma _ and smuggled into Thailand in huge quantities.
AFP: Thailand funds crop substitution in Myanmar drug areas
BANGKOK, Nov 19 (AFP) - Thailand has set aside almost half a million
dollars to fund crop substitution programs in drug-infested areas along
the border with Myanmar, a Thai minister said Monday.
Prime minister's office minister General Thamarak Issarangkun Na
Ayutthaya said a tripartite meeting between Thailand, Myanmar and ethnic
Wa leaders, who control a semi-autonomous region in Myanmar, would
discuss the plan.
Thailand hopes to encourage members of the Wa ethnic group who live
along the mountainous border to change from growing opium to other
economically viable crops, he said.
"Thailand has given initial funding of 20 million baht (450,000
dollars) for a crop substition program in the Wa-controlled area,"
Thamarak told reporters, adding that the project would begin in the
border town of Mong Tum.
He added that Thailand will also send experts to assist the Wa in the
border area to support local farmers who have switched to traditional
crops as a means of pressuring others still involved in the narcotics
The crop substitution plan would also be aimed at drug traffickers
operating in the region.
"The program could curb major drug dealers and make drug trafficking
more difficult," Thamarak added.
Myanmar is one of the world's main producers of illicit drugs, which
come from the opium-rich Golden Triangle region where the borders of
Myanmar, Thailand and Laos meet.
Cheap methamphetamine pills, known in Thailand as ya baa, or crazy
medicine, have replaced opiates as the drug of choice in recent years.
An estimated 800 million tablets were trafficked in Thailand last year,
up from 100 million in 1998, mostly from jungle laboratories on the
Myanmar side of the border, according to the United Nations.
Xinhua: Anti-Drug Teams Sent to 400 Villages Along Thai-Myanmar Border
BANGKOK, November 19 (Xinhua) -- The Internal Security Operations
Command (ISOC) of Thailand had sent 65 anti-drug teams to fight spread
of drugs in about 400 villages along the Thai- Myanmar border, the
Bangkok Post reported here Monday. ISOC spokesman Burapa Tawichi was
quoted as saying that the teams had not only conduct psychological
operations in methamhetamine-infested villages but also had opened 240
camps to train community leaders to fight the spread of drugs. According
to the officer, the amount of spread pills which seized along the border
dropped to 2.03 million pills in October, compared to 3.54 million in
September. In total, 73.27 million speed pills had been seized this
year, the Bangkok Post said.
AP: God's army twins reluctant to move to the United States
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ The mystical teen twins who led a three-year
jungle rebellion against Myanmar's military regime prefer to stay as
refugees in Thailand than migrate to the United States, people who met
them recently say.
U.S. Embassy officials visited Johnny and Luther Htoo at least twice
since May after the Thai government asked the United States to consider
accepting the twins and their family for resettlement. Thai officials
are keen to complete the process by the year's end.
An embassy spokeswoman said no decision has yet been made about the
Johnny and the chain-smoking Luther, believed to be aged 15,
surrendered to Thai authorities in January after the ragtag God's Army
they led for more than three years broke up under assault from the army
of neighboring Myanmar, also known as Burma.
The twins _ once fabled by comrades as invulnerable to bullets and land
mines _ have since been confined to a secure Thai border police base
with their mother, father, two sisters and about 20 mostly young
Toby Bryce, a New York-based writer who visited the twins twice in
August to research a novel based on God's Army, said they ``were adamant
in their desire to be with their people,'' which would probably mean
staying in a refugee camp.
Initially the twins were excited at the prospect of ``going to the land
of Hollywood and Rambo'' but that feeling had waned, Bryce said in a
telephone interview Wednesday from the United States.
``Ultimately they want to return to Burma, but they realize it's not
safe for them now,'' he said.
He said a peaceful environment at the police base had mellowed the
twins, who only speak Karen language. If resettled in the United States,
they could join one of a couple of Karen communities in New York state
and California, he said.
``When I met Luther I expected a brat, but he was the sweetest kid you
could imagine, no craziness and 1,000-yard stare,'' Bryce said.
According to international practice, refugee resettlement must be
Two other people who saw the twins in recent weeks confirmed their
reluctance to leave Thailand but eagerness to get on with their lives.
Both sources requested anonymity to safeguard the work they do with
Karen refugees in Thailand.
Thai authorities rejected requests to interview the twins this week.
The twins, who are Christian, acquired mystical status after Myanmar
troops entered their village during a 1997 sweep of areas inhabited by
the country's Karen minority. Johnny and Luther reputedly rallied some
locals and directed a successful
The God's Army was mostly comprised of child guerrillas but emerged as
a significant splinter group of a larger ethnic Karen rebellion that has
endured for five decades.
The death knell for God's Army came in early 2000 when it fell out of
favor with Thailand. Its border camp was shelled by the Thai army,
prompting a handful of its fighters and allied student radicals to take
hostages at a Thai hospital. Thai commandos shot dead all 10 hostage
takers to release the captives.
Soon after, God's Army scattered into the forest at the Thai-Myanmar
border as it came under attack from Myanmar forces. After nearly a year
on the run, the twins gave themselves up.
Aid workers said Thailand remains reluctant to put the boys in one of
its border camps where more than 100,000 mostly Karen refugees from
Myanmar are sheltered, fearing the twins could become a rallying point
for discontent with poor camp conditions.
They could also pose a security risk, as Myanmar-backed armed groups
have previously launched cross-border raids on refugee camps in
Thailand. The Myanmar regime says the camps are used to shelter
AP: 25 Thai, Myanmar sailors rescued off Vietnam's central coast
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) _ Vietnamese border guards and fishermen rescued 25
Thai and Myanmarese sailors after their ship sank off Vietnam's central
coast, an official said Monday.
The Thai cargo ship, which was carrying 6,100 tons of plaster from
Bangkok to Vietnam's northern Thanh Hoa province, sank off the coast of
Quang Ngai province Sunday morning after hitting a reef, the border
guard official said.
The 23 Thai and two Myanmarese sailors stayed on two lifeboats for an
hour before being rescued by Vietnamese border guards and fishermen, he
The official said the rescued sailors were being cared for and
Vietnamese authorities would contact the Thai Embassy to arrange their
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