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news (18k)

/* Written  6:32 am  Apr 28, 1994 by mbeer@xxxxxxxxxxx in igc:soc.cult.burma */
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interesting articles about the economy, and a cabinet shake-up.

Michael Beer

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                     Copyright 1994 Agence France Presse  
                              Agence France Presse

                       April  27, 1994 16:55 Eastern Time

SECTION: International news

LENGTH: 307 words

HEADLINE: Burmese junta announces minor cabinet shuffle


    Burma's  military government named a civilian, Aung Khin Tint as the new
state auditor general, and replaced two ministers in a minor cabinet shuffle
announced Wednesday by state-run Radio Rangoon.

    Burma's  ruling junta appointed Colonel Pe Thein as minister to the office
of the prime minister, the radio said in a broadcast monitored here.

   The junta also ordered another civilian, Than Aung, to head the education
ministry which was recently run by Colonel Pe Thein, the radio said.

   It did not say if the current minister to the prime minister's office,
Brigadier General Lun Maung, had been given a new post.

   The report said the current auditor general, Khin Zaw, was permitted to
resign for health reasons.

   In addition, two civilian and one military officer were made deputy minsters,
the radio reported.

   The orders were signed Wednesday by Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, secretary
general of the the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC), the junta's
formal name, the radio said.

   It said the moves were designed to more effectively develop  Burma. 

   Khin Nyunt is widely believed to be the most powerful general in the Burmese

   The SLORC had shuffled its cabinet several times since taking power in a
bloody coup in September 1988.




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             Copyright 1994 The British Broadcasting Corporation  
                        BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

                           April  27, 1994, Wednesday

SECTION: Part 3 Asia - Pacific; Weekly Economic Report; CHINA; FE/W0330/WG ; 

LENGTH: 103 words

Jilin corporation exports trucks, sets up joint ventures

SOURCE: New China news agency, Beijing, in English 1245 gmt 14 Apr 94

   Editorial report

   Changchun, 14th April: The No 1 Automobile Corp Group in Changchun, Jilin
Province, expands its export volume: it recently exported 220 trucks to
Thailand. So far this year the group exported 735 trucks and another 900 trucks
will be exported this month to Indonesia,  Burma  and Laos. The CA-142
Liberation truck is the main vehicle made by the corporation which makes 12
kinds of trucks with different engines. The corporation has also set up
production bases in other countries, with the first, a joint venture, to
assemble trucks set up in Tanzania in 1992 which has now begun production.


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                  Copyright 1994 Times Business Publications  
                                 Business Times

                                 April  27, 1994

SECTION: Companies; Pg. 22

LENGTH: 680 words

HEADLINE: Kelanamas to buy Sabah plywood maker for M$ 100m


    KELANAMAS Industries Bhd yesterday said it had signed a memorandum of
understanding (MOU) to buy all of Sabah-based plywood manufacturer Kin Yip Wood
Industries Bhd for M$ 100 million (S$ 57 million) via a rights issue of new

   The company will issue 18.868 million new Kelanamas shares priced at M$ 5.30
each to the vendors. Kelanamas shares have been suspended since April 20. They
were last traded at M$ 6.85.

   Under the agreement, 70 per cent of the new shares will subsequently be
offered for sale to shareholders of Kelanamas on the basis of one for every nine
existing shares held.

   Kelanamas, formerly called The Sungai Besi Mines Malaysia Bhd, will pay a
refundable deposit of M$ 10 million upon signing the sales and purchase
agreement and the money will be refunded once the new shares are issued.

   That Kelanamas will enter the timber sector was widely expected after
Samsuddin Abu Hassan, executive vice-chairman of Aokam Perdana Bhd, joined the
board last year.

   Analysts said Mr Samsuddin has thus far not reported having any stake in
Kelanamas, although he did sell a 29 per cent stake in Perusahaan Timah Sadur
Malaysia Bhd (Perstima) to Kelanamas last year for M$ 163 million cash.

   Under the deal, the vendors will have to guarantee that Kin Yip will make a
consolidated profit without tax of M$ 12 million for the year ending Sep 30,
1995, and M$ 17 million and M$ 18 million in the next two financial years.

   Fifty per cent of each year's profit guarantee must be supported by a bank

   Kin Yip operates two plywood production lines with a total annual capacity of
36,000 cubic metres and a dried veneer production line with an annual capacity
of 12,000 cu metres.

   The company will start two additional plywood lines by end-1994 at a cost of
M$ 20 million that will raise its production to 72,000 cu m a year.

   It also produces between 12,000 and 18,000 cu m of wood moulding products a
                                                                       PAGE    5
                         Business Times, April 27, 1994                         

   Kelanamas said that Kin Yip, which made an unaudited pre-tax profit of M$
2.249 million in calendar 1993 on a turnover of M$ 35.524 million, had obtained
pioneer status in principle.

   The vendors and Kelanamas will also sign a three-year technical service
contract to maintain the plant and to install the new production lines.

   The company also announced a joint venture to produce and market cordials,
jams and concentrates of fruit and vegetables in  Myanmar. 

   It will be undertaken by its 70 per cent owned Hongkong unit New Dominion
Investment Ltd which will take a 50 per cent stake in Hline Tet Canning Factory
Ltd. Its partner is state-owned  Myanmar  Farms Enterprise and the project will
cost US$ 3.45 million (S$ 5.3 million).

   Kelanamas' current businesses include sugar manufacturing and road


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                      Copyright 1994 Kyodo News Service  
                            Japan Economic Newswire

                           APRIL  27, 1994, WEDNESDAY

LENGTH: 113 words

HEADLINE:  Myanmar  army chief appointed deputy SLORC chairman

DATELINE: YANGON, April 27 Kyodo

   The commander-in-chief of the army and deputy commander-in-chief of defense
services, Gen. Maung Aye, was appointed deputy chairman of the State Law and
Order Restoration Council (SLORC), according to government radio and television
on Wednesday.

   The post of deputy SLORC chairman has been vacant since the former incumbent,
Gen. Than Shwe, became the ruling junta's chairman in April 1992.

   In other changes, Education Minister Col. Pe Thein was transferred to the
Prime Minister's Office and was replaced by a civil servant, U Pan Aung.

   Three new deputy ministers were also appointed at the ministries of
education, livestock and fisheries, and construction.

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                    The Xinhua General Overseas News Service

The materials in the Xinhua file were compiled by The Xinhua News Agency. These
materials may not be republished without the express written consent of The
Xinhua News Agency.

                           APRIL  27, 1994, WEDNESDAY

LENGTH: 189 words

HEADLINE: pct growth rate registered in 1993-94 in  myanmar 

DATELINE: yangon, april 27; ITEM NO: 0427122

   a growth rate of 6 percent was registered in the national economy of
 myanmar  in fiscal 1993-94 ending march 31, 1994.  chairman of the foreign
affairs committee and secretary-1 of the state law and order restoration council
(slorc) lieutenant-general khin nyunt disclosed this while addressing the
officials of the ministry of foreign affairs on tuesday.  he said in 1993-94,
98.01 percent of the target was realized in the production sector, 103.6 percent
of the target in the services sector and 98.2 percent of the target in the trade
sector and therefore the projected targets were met.  on agriculture, he said,
paddy-cultivation yielded 17.46 million tons in 1993-94 and so 2.6 million tons
more than previous year.  he also said that export values in 1993-94 were 678.5
million u.s. dollars against the target of 716.67 million u.s. dollars recording
94.7 percent and this is 80.17 million u.s. dollars or 13.4 percent more than
that of the previous year.  the total investment in 1993-94 was 2,554 million
kyats (425.67 million u.s. dollars) including 2,281 million kyats (380.17
million u.s. dollars) in foreign exchange.


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                    The Xinhua General Overseas News Service

The materials in the Xinhua file were compiled by The Xinhua News Agency. These
materials may not be republished without the express written consent of The
Xinhua News Agency.

                           APRIL  27, 1994, WEDNESDAY

LENGTH: 165 words

HEADLINE: to promote private gems trading

DATELINE: yangon, april 27; ITEM NO: 0427091

   in order to expand gems export and get more foreign exchanges, the  myanmar 
government has taken some measures to encourage private gems trading.  according
to an announcement of the ministry of mine carried on today's newspaper,
 myanmar  private gems entrepreneurs will be able to sell gems, jade and
jewellery legally not only in the country but also abroad.  the announcement
said that gems trading centres will be opened in yangon, the capital of
 myanmar,  mandalay, taunggyi and border towns.  private gems entrepreneurs in
the gems trading centres can only sell jewellery, jade figurines, cut stones and
rough stones which valued below 30,000 u.s. dollars.  the selling of gems which
valued above 30,000 u.s. dollars will be negotiated with the  myanmar  gems
trading enterprise (head office).  gems trading in  myanmar -thai border towns
will be done in u.s. dollars and bahts, and in muse, a  myanmar  -china border
town, will be done in u.s. dollars and yuans, the announcement said.


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                    The Xinhua General Overseas News Service

The materials in the Xinhua file were compiled by The Xinhua News Agency. These
materials may not be republished without the express written consent of The
Xinhua News Agency.

                           APRIL  27, 1994, WEDNESDAY

LENGTH: 229 words

HEADLINE: keeps on pursuing independent foreign policy

DATELINE: yangon, april 27; ITEM NO: 0427109

    myanmar  will continue to pursue an independent and active foreign policy
and will strictly observe the five principles of peaceful coexistence.  this was
stressed by chairman of the  myanmar  foreign affairs committee and secretary-1
of the state law and order restoration council (slorc) lieutenant general khin
nyunt while meeting officials of the ministry of foreign affairs here on
tuesday.  he said that the country so far has diplomatic relations with 70
countries and has also stepped up cooperation with the united nations.  as
 myanmar  is actively engaged in international affairs, it is also taking part

again in non-aligned movement with the conviction that by re-entering the
movement it will be able to better serve the long-term interest of the movement,
he added.   myanmar  always opposed the false accusations made against its human
rights records which accusers measured with their own yardsticks not taking into
account the historical, cultural and religious characteristics of the country,
the lieutenant general said.  in his speech, he also said that during the 1988
disturbances, some foreign countries instigated trouble makers to disrupt peace
and tranquillity in  myanmar.   he said, goodwill delegations were exchanged
with neighboring countries such as china, laos, singapore, bangladesh, thailand,
the philippines, india, vietnam and indonesia.


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                Copyright 1994 The Straits Times Press Limited  
                               The Straits Times

                                 April  27, 1994

SECTION: Life; Descendants Of The Dragons; Community (Chinese); Pg. 12

LENGTH: 640 words

HEADLINE:  Myanmar  Chinese stick to Mandarin


     MYANMAR  and China have a long and deep relationship. In the 11th century,
the Pagan Empire of  Burma  had accepted the overlordship of the Chinese
government. In the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties,  Burma  was
a vassal state of China.

   Many of the Chinese who have settled in  Myanmar  originate from Fujian,
Guangdong and Yunnan provinces in China.

   I had daily contact with the Chinese in  Myanmar  during a trip there. What
shocked me was their determination in preserving their mother tongue. These
locally born and bred Chinese could speak fluent Mandarin despite the fact that
their ancestors had settled in  Myanmar  decades ago.

   My surprise puzzled them, and they asked: "Mandarin is the mother tongue of
the Chinese. Speaking it at home is as natural as eating rice every day. What's
so strange about it?"

   As Chinese is not a school subject in  Myanmar,  the people learn the
language through private tuition or volunteer tuition classes set up by the

   With the opening up of  Myanmar,  the effects of China's economic reform have
been sweeping into the country. The people who live at the border barter trade.
For example, quality salt fish from  Myanmar  is exchanged for Chinese textiles.
Being able to speak Mandarin comes in useful.

   Wages are extremely low in  Myanmar.  Blue-collar labourers earn a monthly
income of less than 1,000 kyat (S$ 16). Professionals such as doctors, lawyers
and senior administrative staff earn about 2,000 kyat a month.

   The situation is changing. With foreign investors setting up many joint
ventures in the country, those who are bilingual (proficient in Burmese and
either Chinese or English) get priority in employment. A Chinese restaurant
owner in Yangon said smugly that his daughter, who is proficient in Chinese,
works in a Hongkong-funded company and earns 35,000 kyat a month.

   Small wonder that the learning of Chinese is fast catching on in the country.
In a car which we rented to tour the south, the driver was busy practising his
                                                                       PAGE   11
                       The Straits Times, April 27, 1994                        

   He kept saying "zao'an" (good morning), "wan'an" (good night), "xiexie"
(thank you), "nin hao ma?" (how are you?), "chi bao le ma?" (have you eaten?)
and "zaijian" (good-bye).

   When asked why he was learning the language, he replied that large numbers of
tourists from China have been flocking to  Myanmar.  For convenience on the job,
he has been practising common words and phrases.

   A tourist guide even hired a tutor, so as to master the language in three

   Language and the economy are closely linked. Who says not? -- Translated by

GRAPHIC: The writer (right) with  Myanmar  Chinese, who are determined to
preserve the mother tongue.


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               Proprietary to the United Press International 1994

                      April  27, 1994, Wednesday, BC cycle

SECTION: Financial

LENGTH: 305 words

HEADLINE: Junta leader defends forced labor


    Burma's  military junta leader defended his regime's use of forced labor
Wednesday and lashed out at foreign governments and their ''stooges'' for trying
to tarnish the country's image.

    Foreign criticism of  Burma's  labor policies and human rights record fails
to take into account Burmese attitudes toward unpaid work, Lieutenant General
Khin Nyunt, first secretary of the ruling State Law and Order Restoration
Council, told members of  Burma's  Foreign Service.

    Nyunt said ''voluntary labor'' is treated by the Burmese people as a noble
act of charity. ''In the West, however, labor without wage is looked upon as an
act involving loss of a human right.''

     Burma's  junta has been criticized by the United States and other
governments for using press-gang laborers to build a railroad in the southern
part of the country and ''porters'' to carry munitions and other supplies for
Burmese troops fighting ethnic minorities.

    In both cases, the laborers are forced to work without pay and suffer from a
high rate of disease and death from exhaustion, reported Amnesty International
and other human rights groups.

    ''We have steadfastly opposed accusations of human rights abuse made on the
basis of set values and rigid norms without regard to the country's specific
history culture and religion and its customs and usages,'' Nyunt said.

    He urged Burmese diplomats to ''repair the damage done by some foreign
states and their stooges to  Burma's  international image.''

    The general's speech, reported verbatim in the government-run New Light of
 Myanmar  newspaper on Wednesday, also touched on foreign policy, narcotics
suppression and the expansion of the Burmese economy.

    Khin Nyunt said the economy achieved a 6 percent Gross Domestic Product
growth rate in the fiscal year ending March 31.


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