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BurmaNet News: November 28, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
          November 28, 2001   Issue # 1927
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

NOTED IN PASSING: "If the news that members of ARNO [Arakan Rohingya 
National Organization] had been trained at bin Laden?s camps in 
Afghanistan were really true, you would have seen major operations by 
Rohingya militants along the border."

Thet Lwin Oo, a spokesperson for the Muslim Information Committee of 
Burma. See The Irrawaddy: The Rohingya: A Muslim Menace? 

*The Irrawaddy: The Rohingya: A Muslim Menace? 
*Network Media Group: Explosion and fire kills 9 people and destroys 
tens of millions of Kyats worth properties in Pharkant, Kachin State 

MONEY _______
*AFP: Bangladesh, Myanmar discuss prospect of air, road links with China 

*DVB: Burmese opposition says junta joins terrorist nations by accepting 
scientists Burmese opposition says junta joins terrorist nations by 
accepting scientists 
*AP: Myanmar asks Thailand to return seven soldiers 
*BurmaNet: Situation Report of the Northern Karen Districts 
*DVB: Porter shortage affects junta troops search for Mon splinter group

*Reuters: Four percent of Thais addicted to drugs - govt
*AP: Thai soldiers kill alleged drug trafficker near Myanmar border 

*Korea Times: Facility Offers Aid to Migrant Workers 
*AFP: UN envoy upbeat on eventual progress in Myanmar peace talks 

*The Nation [U.S.]: Strange Boardfellows

*Burma Peace Campaign: The Nobel Peace Laureate Campaign

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

The Irrawaddy: The Rohingya: A Muslim Menace? 

November 2001

by Maung Maung Oo

Much of the concern about possible Islamic radicalism in Burma has 
centered on Rohingya organizations based along the country?s western 
border with Bangladesh. When Osama bin Laden spoke of having agents 
"from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan 
and from Burma to Kashmir" in a recent interview, the governments of 
both countries immediately directed their attentions to their troubled 
common border, even as they denied that they were harboring terrorist 
cells belonging to bin Laden?s Al-Qaeda network.

Rohingya groups have been fighting against Rangoon for years, but this 
in itself offers little evidence that they are part of a pan-Islamic 
movement; after all, Burma has been riddled with ethnic and ideological 
insurgencies of various descriptions since it attained independence in 
1948. Two of these groups?the Arakan Rohingya Islamic Front (ARIF) and 
the Rohingya Solidarity Organization (RSO)?joined forces in 1988, and 
later set up the Arakan Rohingya National Organization (ARNO). The group 
is currently believed to have about 200 militant members.

According to Thet Lwin Oo, a spokesperson for the Muslim Information 
Committee of Burma (MICB), it is unlikely that ARNO or any of its 
associated groups are involved with bin Laden. "If the news that members 
of ARNO had been trained at bin Laden?s camps in Afghanistan were really 
true, you would have seen major operations by Rohingya militants along 
the border. But in reality, their activities are very limited. This 
proves that they don?t have any connection with bin Laden," maintained 
Thet Lwin Oo. 

While ARNO faces growing pressure from Burmese and Bangladeshi 
authorities, other, non-militant Rohingya groups continue to receive 
discriminatory treatment from within Burma?s pro-democracy movement. 
Rohingya organizations seeking to join other exiled dissidents in the 
struggle to restore democracy are routinely barred from umbrella groups, 
usually at the insistence of ethnic Arakanese, who say that the Rohingya 
have never been recognized as a Burmese ethnic group.


Network Media Group: Explosion and fire kills 9 people and destroys tens 
of millions of Kyats worth properties in Pharkant, Kachin State  

Chiang Mai, November 25, 2001 

An explosion due to fire in Pharkant jade mine killed 9 people, injured 
24 others and destroyed tens of millions of Kyats worth properties on 
November 19.  

A fire induced explosion at New Jade Company, in Quarter 3 of Seikmu 
village in Pharkant jade mine area, killed the company owner U Ar Sait 
and other 8 people and injured another 24 people. The explosion also 
destroyed three other houses and a fire brigade truck. The lost value in 
the explosion reached more than 40 million Kyats, said a source close to 
authorities. Two carrier trucks and a van were also included in the lost 

The explosion, from the gasoline barrels and large amount of gunpowder 
sticks, occurred while a fire brigade and people were trying to kill the 
fire. A source said that the gunpowder sticks in the company were bought 
from Military Tactical Headquarters number 2 to use in excavating jades. 
About 7 million Kyats worth gunpowder sticks were exploded, a source 
close to the company said.  

New Jade Company is one of the biggest company working on Jade business 
in Pharkant, said the source.  

The injured persons were hospitalized in Pharkant hospital and one 
serious patient was sent to Mandalay General Hospital for further 
treatment. The company paid the compensations of (500,000) Kyats each 
for those who lost their lives in the incident, through Pharkant 
Township Peace and Development Council.   

The fire was started at 3 PM and subsided around 4 PM on November 19. 


AFP: Bangladesh, Myanmar discuss prospect of air, road links with China 

DHAKA, Nov 27 (AFP) - Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed here Tuesday to 
explore the possibility of extending their air and highway links with 
 The prospects of opening the Beijing-Kuming-Yangon-Chittagong air and 
road links under the proposed Asian highway were discussed during a 
meeting between Myanmar ambassador Ohn Thwin and new Bangladesh Foreign 
Minister Morshed Khan, the official BSS news agency reported. 

 This will "further contribute to economic, commercial and 
infrastructure development between Bangladesh and Myanmar," the official 
agency said without further details. 

 Bangladesh's southeastern port city of Chittagong is close to 
northwestern Myanmar and is already linked by air with Yangon. 
 Bangladesh has long-standing relations with China and also with its 
southeastern neighbour Myanmar. 



DVB: Burmese opposition says junta joins terrorist nations by accepting 
scientists Burmese opposition says junta joins terrorist nations by 
accepting scientists 

Text of report by Democratic Voice of Burma on 24 November 

Indian newspapers have reported that two Pakistani scientists - Dr 
Suleiman Asad and Dr Mohammad Ali Mukhtar - both alleged to have links 
with terrorist Usamah Bin-Ladin, have been granted political asylum by 
the SPDC military government. India-based DVB  correspondent Thet Naing 
filed this report.  

[Thet Naing] The news cited that the two scientists were accepted by the 
SPDC military junta following a request from the Pakistani Government. 
The SPDC has kept the two Pakistani scientists under house arrest 
somewhere in Burma's Sagaing Division. When DVB inquired about the 
opinion of Dr Tint Swe, minister of the exiled National Coalition 
Government of the Union of Burma, regarding the scientists he replied:  

[Dr Tint Swe] According to the news, it is proof that Burma's SPDC 
military government has grandly entered the global world of terrorism 
which is currently the hottest news of today. It is quite strange for 
them to enter Sagaing Division by plane. But there is one precedent, 
when SPDC Secretary-2 Lt Gen Tin Oo was assassinated, two survivors who 
were eyewitnesses were brought blindfolded to Kale Jail in Sagaing 
Division. If you draw a conclusion, you can say that the SPDC has 
widened the gap with the world and international media with such news.  
[Thet Naing] When he was asked whether the SPDC's granting of sanctuary 
to Pakistani nuclear scientists who are intimate with the world's 
terrorist leader amount to support of terrorism, he answered as follows: 

[Dr Tint Swe] I think it is not wrong to say that the acceptance of two 
nuclear scientists show that Burma has not only slightly but 
wholeheartedly joined the world's terrorist group. That is why, just as 
the Burmese military government has governed the country with terror, it 
is also a country that supports world terrorism.  

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 24 Nov 01 


AP: Myanmar asks Thailand to return seven soldiers 

MAE SOT, Thailand (AP) _ Myanmar on Wednesday demanded the return of 
seven of its soldiers who it claims fled to Thailand by crossing the 
land border this month, Thai officials said. 

 Thai Col. Saksin Klansanoh said he had no knowledge of the seven 
soldiers, but would check if they were being held by the Thai army or 

 Saksin was speaking after a bilateral township border committee meeting 
held in the Thai border town of Mae Sot, 370 kilometers (230 miles) 
northwest of Bangkok. 

 It was the first such gathering in two years at this often tense 
frontier area. 

 Lt. Col. Tin Aye, Myanmar's chief of delegation, urged Thailand not to 
grant sanctuary to leaders and fighters of the rebel Karen National 
Union, or KNU, which it claimed had been firing on Myanmar positions 
from Thai soil. 

 The KNU, which has been fighting Myanmar's military regime for decades, 
says that the seven missing soldiers are among 10 currently sheltering 
at a KNU base on the Myanmar soil who deserted because of hunger and 
bullying by their commander. 

 The KNU lost its last swathes of territory in Myanmar in 1997, but 
maintains guerrilla resistance along the border. 

 Saksin denied that the KNU operated in Thailand. 



BurmaNet: Situation Report of the Northern Karen Districts 

[This report was written and submitted to BurmaNet by an aid worker who 
was part of a just completed  relief mission to the internally displaced 
people in these areas described.  The identity of the author and 
organization is being withheld so as not to jeopardize their ability to 
operate in the future.] 


The Burma Army continues its attacks against the Karen people of Papun, 
Taungoo and Nyaunglebin districts (northern Karen state, Burma), 
destroying rice supplies, torturing and executing villagers, looting 
villages, relocating people by force, conducting forced labor, and 
terrorizing the population by the systematic laying of land mines 
throughout each district.  

This has resulted in an increase in the numbers of internally displaced 
in these areas as well as a potential increase in refugees who may 
arrive in Thailand due to this displacement.  


37,007 Karen remain displaced in Papun district while over 50 villages 
remained forceably relocated. Many IDPs from Nyaunglebin, Taungoo and 
Thaton districts are still in Papun district since they fled their 
districts during Burma Army attacks last year. This has put a strain on 
the people of this district as they struggle to help feed these new 
arrivals from their own stocks. Over 1,000 IDPs from Nyaunglebin (of the 
2,000+) who fled between Nov 2000 and Feb 2001, remain in Papun 
district, while an additional 1,000 IDPs who had hoped to remain in this 
area had to go to refugee camps in Thailand due to the shortage of food. 

The SPDC continues its work on the Kauk Kyi to Saw Hta road using forced 
labor from nearby villages. The road is out-posted every 200 meters and 
mines have been planted all along both sides of the road. The road 
itself is an unimproved dirt road currently only usable in the dry 
season (Dec-June). It connects Saw Hta on the Salween river to the east 
with the town of Kauk Kyi 100kms to the west.  

The Burma Army is currently re-supplying their units in Papun district 
with rice for an expected dry season offensive. With over 20 Burma Army 
battalions in the area the people live in fear yet they persevere.  

The Karen Army continues to provide protection for the villagers and 
IDPs as well as they can and schools and churches in Papun district 
function well. Relief teams provide limited assistance and the 
district's clinics meet some of the peoples' basic needs. "Please find a 
way for us", was the plea of one IDP.  


The people of Nyaunglebin were some of the hardest hit by the Burma 
Army's 2000-2001 offensive. 
Over 2,000 IDPs fled into Papun district between November 2000 and 
February 2001. 13,000 IDPs remain in central and eastern Nyaunglebin 
district and 370,000 are displaced in relocation sites in the western 
lowlands of the district. Of the 13,000 IDPs in the central and eastern 
areas, 5,450 are from Mone, 3550 from Ler Doh and 4,000 from Hsaw Hti 

They fled because of the forced labor and "special" taxation as well as 
direct attacks of the Burma Army.  

Since November 2000, 83 villages were forced to move to 12 relocation 
Forced labor is practiced by the Burma Army on the road project between 
Shwygin in the southwest and Bye Gyi Ma They in central Nyaunglebin 
district. The road is not yet complete. Around the larger towns and 
villages of the district, the SSS or "short pants", (terror squads that 
work to intimidate villagers and execute suspected KNU supporters), 
continue to operate, terrorizing the populace. These units are 
controlled directly from Rangoon and operate independently from the 
local commands.  

15 Battalions of the Burma Army conduct operations in the district with 
orders to "destroy all rice supplies and disrupt the population in the 
mountains". They were also ordered to attack villages and IDP hide 
sites, but were given the order, " do not burn down the houses because 
human rights organizations are will take photographs and accuse us".  

In September 2001, as 10 IDP families were attempting to flee the Mae 
Yae area, Burma Army troops captured them and sent them to the 
relocation site at Win Maung on the Bilin river. Win Maung is a major 
main forced relocation site along the southern border area of 
Nyaunglebin and Papun districts. The following villages were forced to 
move to another relocation site at Ma Way (north of Win Maung, also on 
the Bilin river) ; Wah Tho Ko,Ler Wah Ko,Klo Kee, Pwa Ya Kee, To Ko Kaw 
Kee, Day Law Po,Mae Tha Ko Hta and Wah Tho Lo.  

While a relief team was in the area in October 2001, Burma Army units 
attacked a village, and close by, shot a 16 year old villager who was 
gathering firewood.This same relief team also came across the skeletons 
of two porters (one of whom was beaten to death), who were used by the 
LIB 367 and LIB 368 commanded by Ltc. Ko Ko Aung, and then left to die, 
during their November 2000 offensive in this area. In this district, 
since November 2000, 50 villagers have been killed by the Burma Army, 
over 100 injured during attacks and 20 women raped.  

In spite of this, the people of Nyaunglebin district have not given up 
and continue to rebuild their lives and farms. Where this is not 
possible they have moved deeper into the mountains to start new 
villages. Here they have also re-opened their schools and as of 
November, 2001, there are 27 primary schools and 3 middle schools in 
operation. There are also mobile clinics and a public health program in 
place. The churches too continue to function as places of worship and 
hope as well as providing social organizations that provide assistance 
to the people.  


The IDP population of Taungoo district is now over 9,600 and with a 
increase of Burma Army activity in the district (mainly related to 
forced labor for road construction), this number will probably increase. 

There are three major road projects ongoing in the eastern part of 
Toungoo district. Each of these road projects entail the use of forced 
labor. Near Mawchi in the Karenni state.
The SPDC is building a road from the city of Taungoo (site of a 
Divisional HQ), to the city of Mawchi in Karenni State. The road is not 
yet complete but when it is it will connect the two areas with a year 
around road. There are still 27 miles of un-navigable tract. (Near 
Mawchi in the Karenni State, the SPDC force villagers to do road work, 
however they do pay each village headman 8,000 kyat and 2 sacks of rice 
for each mile of road cleared-70 feet wide by 1 mile long. This amount 
must be divided among the entire village and the entire village must 
work. No villager willing works as this amounts to almost nothing per 
person. The work is not only difficult it also takes the villagers away 
from their fields and farms, jeopardizing their harvest). 
The second road is from Toungoo to Siday in the south central part of 
Toungoo district. This road also serves Bu Sa Kee where a Strategic 
Command HQ is located. The third road is a branch road off the 
Taungoo-Mawchi road, that when complete will link Taungoo with Thandaung 
in the northeast. Thandaung is important as it quarters a Training HQ 
for officer, NCO, Land mine operations, guerrilla and SSS training 
programs. These roads in the north and central areas combined with the 
highway system to the west and the Kauk Kyi- Saw Hta road to the south, 
will when complete, enable the Burma army to exert greater pressure on 
the resistance forces as well IDPs hiding in the mountains.  

There are now 15 battalions operating in this district. They conduct 
road building security missions, patrols and sweeps to find IDPs. The 
smallest force they usually travel with is 30 men and most often they 
operate with no less than a column of 100 men. Each column has at least 
1 60mm mortor, 2-5 RPG-7s, M91 rifle grenadiers, 1-3 crew served light 
7.62 machine guns and 5.56 automatic rifles of Burma manufacture (copies 
of G-3s and AK 47s). NCOs often carry M1 carbines. They also carry 
locally produced MM1 and MM2 anti-personnel mines (copies of Chinese 
mines) as well as mines supplied by China. There is a contingent of SSS 
("short pants"-terror units). The SSS operate in mobile teams of 10 men 
(each of these 10 man units belong to a larger mobile force of 65-85 
men), terrorizing villagers with summary executions, brutal 
interrogations, and the planting of land mines on village paths 
suspected to be used by the resistant forces. Each team is equipped with 
automatic weapons as well as 2 land mines each to place as needed.  

"They have a list of suspects and enter the village at midnight, tie up 
the victim, torture and interrogate him, then take to the riverside and 
kill him, throwing his body in the river....this is very terrifying for 
the people...they also lay in wait and capture people on the way to the 
market and kill them if they have a flashlight or plastic sheet as these 
items are thought to be headed to Karen resistance soldier.....on July 
24 near Yee Thu Gyi village they killed two men on the trail, Mr. Apollo 
age 30 and another man I did not know, they were only farmers not Karen 
soldiers.", statement by a Karen man , Mae Ii, age 60, from Taungoo 

Each battalion of infantry must supply 10-20 men for the SSS program 
which is under the direct control of General Maung Ne who is in turn 
under the command of General Khin Nyunt in Rangoon.  

There are 9 relocation sites around Taungoo and 6 new relocation sites. 
In one of the newest ones (Yee-Tha-Gong/ Klaw Mee Dur), the IDPs were 
forced to fence in the site, live under a curfew and are forced to 
provide labor for local road projects. This site is under the direct 
control of LIB 73. LIB 73 was also the battalion that on August 27th 
looted Yee Da Gong village and stole all the money from the church. The 
6 new sites are; Aung Myin Ywa , Tha Bya Nyu, Ye Tha Go, Daw Ga Li 
Gyi,Na Ka Mau, and Ya Za Ka.  

In the Thandaung area only one original village remains, the rest have 
been abandoned or their inhabitants forced to enter relocation sites. In 
the Tantabin area there are only 2 original villages remaining.  

As in the other Karen districts the people still resist the Burma Army 
and try not to be forced to leave thier homes. If they are forced to 
leave most try to hide in the mountains and to start new farms. IDP 
schools, clinics and churches continue to serve the people. There are 3 
mobile clinics, 50 primary schools, 3 middle schools and numerous 

However, due to the strength of the Burma Army in the surrounding area 
as well as the heavily mined and almost un-crossable Kauk Kyi- Saw Hta 
road to south, it is very dangerous for anyone who does want to escape 
the area. 


DVB: Porter shortage affects junta troops search for Mon splinter group

DVB has learned that 32 prisoners have died and another 127 have 
absconded from the 500 prisoner labourers recruited to work at the 
construction site of the new headquarters for Military Operations 
Management Command [MOMC] No 19 in Mon State's Ye Township.  

The 500 prisoners were recruited from Moulmein prison in October. They 
were  not only used as labourers at the construction site but also as 
porters for  the front-line military columns. It is believed that the 
many deaths and  desertions of prisoner labourers and porters could 
seriously affect the  MOMC-19's search for the NMSP [New Mon State 
Party] splinter group led by  Nai Pan Nyunt. 

Thus, the MOMC-19 has requested the Mon State Prisons Department for an  
emergency supply of another 500 prisoner porters to be recruited  
immediately in order to continue with the military operation.  

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 25 Nov 01 


Reuters: Four percent of Thais addicted to drugs - govt

BANGKOK, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Thailand said on Wednesday more than four 
percent of its 62-million population, were drug addicts, mostly hooked 
on methamphetamines. 
 The Ministry of Public Health said a nationwide survey in September 
showed 91 percent of the 2.65 million addicts used cheaply made 
methamphetamine, known as ``Ya ba,'' or ``crazy medicine.'' 

 More common street names for the drug are speed, meth, crank, or 

 ``The overall picture shows narcotic drugs have spread to every single 
village of the 70,000 nationwide,'' Public Health Minister Sudarat 
Keyuraphun said in the statement. 

 She said drug addicts were in all age ranges from as young as five 
years to 68 years old, but the most prone ages was between 15 and 24 

 Methamphetamine pills are increasingly supplanting heroin as the main 
drug produced in the infamous ``Golden Triangle'' region -- where the 
borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand converge. 

 Thai authorities say most of the pills are produced by the United Wa 
State Army, a militia allied to the Yangon government in neighbouring 

 Thailand is expected to be flooded with over 900 million 
methamphetamine pills next year, 200 million more than this year, due to 
higher demand and new plants in Laos. 

 Sudarat said the survey showed the two least popular drugs now used 
were heroin and opium. 



AP: Thai soldiers kill alleged drug trafficker near Myanmar border 

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Thai soldiers killed a man Wednesday in an 
armed clash with alleged drug traffickers from neighboring Myanmar, an 
army officer said. 
 The fight, with uniformed members of a group belonging to Myanmar's Wa 
ethnic minority, took place one kilometer (a half mile) inside Thai 
territory in Chiang Mai province, 590 kilometers (360 miles) north of 
Bangkok, said Capt. Krisda Thawornwat. 
 Twelve Thai soldiers ambushed the intruders after a tip-off that drug 
traffickers would be crossing the border, he said. As the Wa guerrillas 
came in sight, the soldiers opened fire, triggering a 10-minute 
gunfight. The intruders fled, leaving behind one dead man and an AK-47 
assault rifle, Krisda said. 

 Krisda said the intruders' route was a popular one for Wa drug 
traffickers, and the ambushed men were believed to be surveying it ahead 
of actual smuggling. 

 ``In dry season this route is especially convenient so they'd rather 
take a risk to cut costs even if the patrolling has increased 
drastically,'' he said. Dry season begin around November. 

 The area is notorious for the smuggling of drugs, especially the 
illegal stimulant methamphetamine. 

 Nearby, on the Myanmar side of the border is the town of Mong Yawn, 
which Thai officials say is a major center for production of 

 Mong Yawn is under the administration of the United Wa State Army, a 
former ethnic rebel group, which reached a peace agreement in 1989 with 
the government of Myanmar, also known as Burma. 

 The Thai military and government believe Myanmar's military government 
turns a blind eye to the drug trafficking in return for continued peace. 

 Soon after taking office in February, Thai Prime Minister Thaksin 
Shinawatra declared drug traffickers to be the nation's biggest public 


___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

Korea Times: Facility Offers Aid to Migrant Workers 

November 22, 2001

 Tun Tun, who came to South Korea from Myanmar in 1993, didn't want to 
talk about his missing finger. He had lost it in an accident at a 
cardboard box- manufacturing factory in Yongin, Kyonggi Province several 
years ago.

"Now that we all work like brothers, I don't want to bring it up," he 
said, refusing to give details about how his finger was cut off. Tun 
Tun, 42, said the company provided him money to get medical treatment. 

For a migrant worker here, he is lucky. 


"I am happy because my son and daughter completed their college 
educations with the money I sent to them from here," he told The Korea 

Formerly a company worker back home, where his salary was about 10, 000 
won ($8) per month, he now earns 80 to 90 times more. 

He has been working here to support his wife and three children in 
Myanmar, whom he has not met since he left. 

"If I go home now, there would be no job, and I would not be able to 
support my family." 

His first few months in Korea were not easy. But when he had problems, 
Tun Tun, like many other migrant workers here, came to the Migrant 
Workers' House in Songnam, Kyonggi Province, to consult with Lee 
Sang-rin, education director of the house. 

Since 1994, Lee, as a volunteer worker, has been assisting migrant 
workers in finding jobs, getting back pay, receiving medical treatment 
and so on. 

The facility now is also home for about 80 workers from Bangladesh, Sri 
Lanka, Morocco and China. 

There are similar houses for migrant workers in Kuri, southwestern 
Seoul, and in Ansan, Kyonggi Province. 

"Although we have no means to promote our services, we receive about 70 
phone calls and 10 to 50 visits by foreign workers who seek help or 
consultation each day," Lee said. He is assisting some 300 migrant 
workers to find new or better jobs. 

Tun Tun is one of about 480,000 migrant workers in South Korea, who are 
mostly from developing countries such as China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, 
Pakistan, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. Around 200,000 of them 
are overstaying their visas, according to a government tally. 

For such workers coming from different cultures, there are "almost 
always" some problems, most of which start with communication barriers. 

"Because they cannot communicate effectively with the locals, among 
other things, they usually have a hard time finding jobs," Lee said. " 
Even after they find places to work, they are often unpaid for months, 
while unprotected from industrial accidents," he said. 

Lee said he is trying to investigate and help settle problems the 
immigrant workers have. 

Poor communication sometimes develops into frustration and even 
violence, because "migrant workers don't understand what their employers 
want them to do, for example, meeting a product deadline or doing some 
extra work," Lee said. 

Tun Tun said when he arrived here, he knew nobody and didn't speak the 
language, "so the first few months were really difficult." 

But he now speaks Korean fluently enough to give the interview in Korean 
_ and understands even better how Koreans speak badly to him in their 
own language. 

"When I didn't understand the language, I was okay with being yelled at, 
because I didn't know what it was about," he said. "But now that I know 
what they are talking about, it sometimes hurts my feelings," he said. 

Shahmaz, 29, who came from Pakistan in 1999, agreed. "Some Korean men 
behave very badly towards foreign workers," said Shahmaz, who is doing 
woodwork. He came here after studying commerce at a college back home. 

"Even though I have a proper working visa and often work overtime, I get 
paid half the amount my Korean colleagues receive," he said, admitting 
the amount is still about five times larger than the wage that a college 
graduate would receive in his country. 

Despite all these difficulties, some of them, like Chung Bong-yol from 
China, can't simply go back home, as they came here after spending about 
5 million to 15 million won for brokerage commissions, a huge sum of 
money that they had to borrow from others. 

Chung, an ethnic Korean, came here in 1997 and got a ligament sprain in 
his right knee while working for a textile factory. From 1998, he spent 
two years trying to get medical treatments, after which he was left 
jobless and his visa expired. 

Although he now wants to return home, Chung said that he isn't able to 
do that. "Before I earn enough money to get out of debt and make some 
more to support my parents at home, I wouldn't go back." 

Chung seemed determined in saying that he would dissuade anyone from 
home who wants to come work here. 

"People here kind of look down upon us from China, although we share the 
same ethnicity," he said. "They often call us names, saying, 'You' re 
from China and you're an illegal resident here.' There is no point in 
incurring a huge debt to leave home, just to be treated that way." 

Because of those few Koreans behaving badly towards foreign workers, the 
image of Koreans worsens, Chung said, adding, "I hope people here won't 
discriminate against foreign workers any more." 

Lee of the Songnam Migrant Workers' House said he hoped the government 
would pay more attention to the problems faced by the foreign workers. 

"Just as the migrant workers come here to make money, Korea needs them 
to work in sectors that Koreans shun," he said. 

"That's why we need to treat them with warm heart," Lee added. 


AFP: UN envoy upbeat on eventual progress in Myanmar peace talks 

YANGON, Nov 28 (AFP) - UN envoy Razali Ismail got down to work Wednesday 
with a clear mandate to accelerate the pace of reconciliation between 
Myanmar's democratic opposition and ruling junta, sources here said. 

 Razali, who arrived in the military-ruled country Tuesday met with the 
executive council of the opposition National League for Democracy (NLD) 
early Wednesday. 

 He was scheduled to hold talks with Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, the 
head of the junta's powerful military intelligence, later in the day, 
sources in Yangon said. 

 Speaking for the first time of a time-table for progress in the bogged 
down peace process, the Malaysian diplomat said Tuesday he hoped to see 
"a clear guide-map by 2002." 

 He was addressing a grouping of ethnic party leaders shortly after 
arriving in the military-run country on his sixth trip to facilitate 
talks between the NLD and the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) 
which began in October 2000. 

 He adopted a similar upbeat tone after his meeting with the NLD's 
executive committee, including chairman Aung Shwe and vice chairman Tin 
Oo, both of whom were released from house arrest earlier this year. 
 Razali described the discussions as "good" but did not elaborate. 

 Apart from the release from prison this year of nearly 200 members of 
the NLD, the last few months have brought little progress, local 
analysts have said. 

 But Razali said he was "optimistic about the eventual outcome of the 
talks," adding that in his role as a "facilitator" he had to be positive 
in his approach. 

 As well as his political mandate, sources in Yangon said international 
aid for Myanmar could be on Razali's agenda, although how far he would 
go in linking progress on reconciliation with aid for the country was 

 Myanmar has faced stifling economic sanctions since its suppression of 
the democracy movement in 1988, its staunch refusal to recognise the 
NLD's landslide victory in the 1990 elections and systematic use of 
forced labour. 

 The sanctions have led to virtual isolation of the country and the 
drying up of international aid. NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi has 
consistently said that she would welcome aid for the country as long as 
it did not end up in the wrong hands, according to local sources. 

 Razali is expected to meet Thursday with Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been 
under loose house arrest for the last 14 months, before he leaves on 
December 4. 



The Nation [U.S.]: Strange Boardfellows

Week of November 12, 2001


by Eric Scigliano

What goes down comes around. Amidst all the attention to United 
Airlines' post-September 11 woes, no one noticed the ringing irony of 
its tapping John W. Creighton Jr. as the new CEO to pull it out of a 
downward spiral. John Creighton is best known as the Weyerhaeuser 
president who turned the timber giant around in the early 1990s, but 
he's held another position closer to the events that sent one United jet 
crashing into the World Trade Center and another into the Pennsylvania 
countryside two months ago. Creighton has sat on the board of the 
California-based oil multinational Unocal since 1995--the period in 
which Unocal became the main American corporate suitor seeking to do 
business with the Taliban.

When it comes to building in war zones and dealing with unsavory 
regimes, Unocal has long been renowned as what Burma democracy activist 
Larry Dohrs calls "the bottom feeder of the oil business." It completed 
a billion-dollar gas pipeline in Burma even after Texaco and Arco bowed 
to environmental and human rights protests. And in 1995, during the 
scramble for Central Asia's newly opened oil and gas bonanza, it 
conceived an audacious plan: a pipeline from Turkmenistan through 
Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. It enlisted Saudi, 
Pakistani, Japanese, Korean and Indonesian partners. And it embarked on 
a fossil-fuel version of the Great Game against the Argentine firm 
Bridas, which also sought the pipeline franchise.

In December 1997 Unocal hosted Taliban delegates in Texas and even took 
them to the beach. It also gave nearly $1 million to a job-training 
program in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, out of up to $20 million 
it spent on the pipeline effort. It hired former US ambassador to 
Pakistan Robert Oakley to press its case; hired special ambassador John 
J. Maresca to, in Unocal spokesman Barry Lane's words, "look at 
corporate responsibility globally"; and hired Henry Kissinger to cap the 
Turkmenistan side of the deal. "We didn't focus on the Taliban," Lane 
insists. "We also sponsored a training program in Northern Afghanistan," 
and hosted some of the warlords now in the Northern Alliance. But with 
the Taliban gaining, and controlling the pipeline's southern route, the 
focus was inevitable. "If the Taliban leads to stability and 
international recognition," Unocal executive vice president Chris 
Taggart declared after the Taliban took Kabul in 1996, "then it's 

That merely mirrored the US government's complacent, fumbling Afghan 
dealings; Lane claims, and Ahmed Rashid confirms, in his book Taliban: 
Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, that Unocal even 
disadvantaged itself against Bridas by admonishing the Taliban on human 
rights. But the company hung in even after women's groups protested, 
after Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called Taliban practices 
"despicable" in 1997 and after Taliban guest Osama bin Laden declared a 
fatwa against the United States in 1998. After the summer 1998 embassy 
bombings and US missile reprisals, Unocal had to pull out of 
Afghanistan. In December 1998 it formally withdrew from the project.

Jack Creighton became Unocal board chairman in 2001 but stepped down on 
August 31. Unocal spokespeople will say only that this resignation was 
prompted by his United Airlines appointment. His new office at United 
will say only that "Any inquiries regarding Unocal or its business 
practices--past, present or future--should properly be directed to the 
Unocal Corporation." Creighton remains on Unocal's board.


Burma Peace Campaign: The Nobel Peace Laureate Campaign

The Nobel Peace Laureate Campaign for Aung San Suu Kyi and the People of 
Burma www.burmapeacecampaign.org

This new web site www.burmapeacecampaign.org are linking citizens from 
throughout the world who are answering the call of Archbishop Desmond 
Tutu and other Nobel Peace Laureates to support and salute the 
extraordinary champion of human rights and democracy in Burma, Aung San 
Suu Kyi, on the 10th anniversary of her being awarded the Nobel Peace 
Prize, 8 December. This comes at a critical time for Burma and Aung San 
Suu Kyi - a time when international attention and support could make a 
critical difference. 

The Nobel Institute in Oslo will host a major celebration of this 
anniversary in front of the Norwegian parliament building in Oslo on 8 
December. Every living Nobel Peace Laureate has been invited to attend 
as part of the centennial celebration of the Nobel Peace Prize. 
Thirty-four Nobel Peace Laureates have accepted. Supporters from 
throughout the world will be joining the celebration live through the 
Internet. It will be a demonstration of international support for Aung 
San Suu Kyi and a free and democratic Burma.  Please visit our web at 
www.burmapeacecampaign.org and learn how you can become a part of the 
campaign. You can begin by helping us to spread the word! Kindly e-mail 
your friends, link the site to your own and, if possible, include the 
logo of the campaign on your home page! 

Please visit our web site NOW to sign the Citizens Declaration of 
Support for Aung San Suu Ky and register for the Nobel Institute's Oslo 
ceremony for Aung San Suu Kyi on 8 December at 14:30 PM Oslo time - live 
via the Internet.  

For comments and suggestions, please send us an e-mail at 


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