[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

BurmaNet News: November 16, 2000

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
________November 16, 2000   Issue # 1663__________

*SCMP: Aung San Suu Kyi faces new eviction threat 
*Agence France Presse: Almost one million forced labourers in Myanmar: 

*Nation: Thais oppose Asean bid to fend off ILO move
*SCMP: India's First Lady refused to meet the Maung Aye's wife
*Nation: Illegals do it tough in Samut Sakhon
*Mizzima: Maung Aye's Itinerary in India
*Mizzima: Delhi Police detained Burmese activists 

OTHER _______
*PD Burma: Calendar of events

The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

AFP: Aung San Suu Kyi faces new eviction threat 

YANGON, Nov 16 

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose party faces losing its 
Yangon headquarters, is now threatened with eviction from her own home 
after her brother filed a lawsuit for half-ownership, sources said 

The Nobel laureate has been subpoenaed to appear in Yangon District 
Court next Tuesday, but it is not known whether the military authorities 
who have held her under house arrest for nearly two months will allow 
her to go. 

It would be her first public appearance since September 22 when the 
junta slapped the restrictions on her after she attempted to board a 
train to Mandalay in defiance of a travel ban. 

Aung San Suu Kyi's US-based brother Aung San Oo's legal representative 
in Yangon posted the subpoena on the gate of her house Tuesday. 

It was the latest blow to hit the National League for Democracy (NLD) 
leader who has been subjected to more than a decade of harassment by the 
military, which refuses to recognise her resounding 1988 election 

Aung San Oo has never played a political role in Myanmar but makes 
regular low-key personal and business trips here. He is much less 
critical of the regime than his sister and the two are known not to be 

It is believed that their mother Khin Kyi expressed the wish that after 
her death, the house would be equally shared between her two surviving 
children. A younger brother died in a drowning accident as a child. 

Khin Kyi also stipulated that if the house was sold the proceeds should 
be donated to charity. 

Myanmar law states that such inheritance disputes must be settled within 
12 years, and it is now only a month before the 12th anniversary of Khin 
Kyi's death. 

It appears that Aung San Oo's legal move is aimed at staking his claim 
over the two-storey lakeside property before the deadline expires. 

However, the timing is unfortunate for Aung San Suu Kyi, coming only 
weeks after the owner of the NLD's Yangon headquarters gave notice to 
her high-profile tenants. 

The order was temporarily withdrawn in late October because party 
officials were unable to pass the eviction letter on to Aung San Suu Kyi 
or chairman Aung Shwe, who with other senior members remain under house 


Agence France Presse: Almost one million forced labourers in Myanmar: 

November 16, 2000

Nearly one million people are currently subjected to forced labour in 
Myanmar, the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) 
said on Wednesday, a day before the International Labour Organisation 
(ILO) was due to decide on whether to impose sanctions on the country. 

The ICFTU, made up of 216 trade unions in 145 countries, said it had 
based its estimate on 580 cases of forced labour in Myanmar and more 
than 2,000 cases of repression. 

The Brussels-based organisation said it had also examined more than 400 
labour requisition orders issued by members of the army and several 
dozen witness statements since June. 

The governing body of the ILO was due to decide on Thursday on possible 
sanctions against Myanmar over the use of forced labour. The sanctions 
were agreed in principle in June but put on hold until November to allow 
Myanmar to take action. 

The ICFTU highlights a case of a forced labourer who managed to flee on 
November 10 and described the killing by a corporal of one of his co 
workers who had fallen to the ground, exhausted and ill with malaria 
after three months of forced work in a combat area along the frontier 
with Thailand. 

The organisation also claims that figures show 80 percent of the 1.5 
million Burmese refugees in Thailand have been forced to work before 

People in Myanmar are forced to work on building sites, on roads, 
railways and military installations, it said. 

It cites information, collected in November, saying that villagers in 
the region of Win Ye in the south-east of Myanmar, are forced to work 
for the 343 light infantry battalion. Agence France Presse 

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

Nation: Thais oppose Asean bid to fend off ILO move

November 16, 2000, Thursday 


THE governments of Malaysia and Singapore are urging all Asean members 
to unite and come up with a common position to fend off condemnation by 
the International Labor Organization of the Burmese junta's practice of 
forced labor, a senior Thai government official said yesterday. 

The move came as the ILO's governing body was meeting in Geneva to 
consider whether to impose sanctions on Burma over its use of forced 
labor. The 56 delegates on the panel - 28 from member governments, 14 
from labor organizations, and 14 from employer groups - will decide 
today whether the Burmese junta has done enough to eliminate forced 
labor in the country. The meeting will conclude today. 

However, the Thai official who spoke on condition of anonymity, said 
efforts by Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to push for an Asean position 
would be fruitless as Thailand has already said it will object to the 
idea of a common voice on the matter. Asean operates on the basis of 
consensus and has a policy of non-interference. 

According to the source, Bangkok has instructed its ambassador to Geneva 
that unless the following four points are included in the Asean 
statement, Thailand will not support the joint statement: 

Burma must allow the ILO to establish a presence in the country; 

The ILO's technical cooperation mission be given permission to conduct 
regular visits to Burma without having to notify Rangoon ahead of time; 

A credible mechanism be created that can receive complaints from 
individuals or groups over violation of laws concerning forced labor; 

Sanctions against Burma should not be lifted until the international 
community is satisfied with administrative and legal measures issued by 
the ruling junta and that all legal measures undertaken by regime 
produces real results. 

According to the source, Asean envoys posted to Geneva on Tuesday met 
the ILO secretary general, and urged him to go soft on Rangoon and to 
convince the ILO's governing body to extend the deadline to consider 
sanctions against the military regime. 

The effort proved futile, the source said, quoting the ILO chief as 
saying the matter was out of his hands. 

At their meeting last June when the ILO adopted a resolution with an 
overwhelming majority calling on Rangoon to "take concrete action" to 
implement the commission of inquiry's recommendations, Thailand 
abstained from the vote, while all other Asean members voted against it. 
The deadline for Rangoon to implement these measures is the end of this 

Moreover, the official said, a number of Asean members had at the June 
meeting violated the long-standing rule of consensus by issuing a 
statement supporting Burma even after Thailand opposed it. 

But this time round, the governing body may recommend that the ILO 
director-general invoke Article 33 of the ILO Charter to give him a free 
hand to take necessary action in order to secure compliance if the body 
is not satisfied with the measures taken by the Rangoon regime. 

Article 33 empowers the ILO to recommend that the United Nations 
Economic and Social Council and other international organizations 
review, and if necessary, downgrade or cut their ties with Burma. If the 
article is invoked, it will be for the first time in the ILO's 80-year 

According to the Thai official, Thailand could not support Burma in this 
matter as it would prolong the problem of one million illegal Burmese 
workers who have fled to the country because they "cannot tolerate the 
slave labor in Burma". 

"We have no objection to other Asean members showing sympathy. But they 
should know that they don't face the same kind of problems that we 
face," the official said. 

According to the source, Thailand believes Burma has not been sincere 
about its efforts to solve the problem. The ILO team was not allowed 
into the country until October, the source said, when in fact they had 
asked to come to make their assessment last June. 

Moreover, said the source, Burma only issued a last-minute Supplementary 
Order on October 19, one day before the ILO team entered the country, to 
show that the public were informed that forced labor in Burma was in 
fact illegal. "If they were sincere, they would have done something six 
months ago," the official said. 


SCMP: India's First Lady refused to meet the Maung Aye's wife

South China Morning Post

S. N. M. ABDI in New Delhi 

SCMP, Thursday, November 16, 2000

The state visit to India by General Maung Aye, the second most powerful 
man in Burma's ruling junta, who arrived in New Delhi yesterday, has 
divided the Indian establishment.  Leading the protests in New Delhi 
against the visit is the First Lady, Usha Narayanan, the wife of 
President Kocheril Raman Narayanan. She has refused to receive General 
Maung Aye and his delegation when they call on her husband at the 
Presidential Palace on Monday, the Indian Express newspaper reported.  

Mrs Narayanan, who is of Burmese origin, had also refused to meet the 
General's wife, Mya Mya San, and their daughter, Nander Aye, according 
to the report.  

The five-day visit by General Maung Aye is the first by a Burmese 
official to India since the military seized power in 1987. New Delhi 
claims the dynamic shift in its policy towards its controversial 
neighbour has been dictated by its strategic interest in clamping down 
on rebels in its northeastern region bordering Burma, and to counter 
Beijing's influence in Rangoon.  
New Delhi has rolled out the red carpet for the visiting general and is 
sparing no effort to make his trip a success.  

The Telegraph newspaper reported that to prevent any embarrassment, 
Naing Aung, a Burmese pro-democracy leader who arrived at New Delhi's 
international airport on November 12, was detained at the airport, 
denied permission to contact anyone and sent back to Bangkok. 


Nation: Illegals do it tough in Samut Sakhon

November 16, 2000, Thursday 


ILLEGAL Burmese workers must endure tough working conditions and 
frequent police harassment just to make a living in Samut Sakhon, the 
Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma (TACDB) said yesterday. 

TACDB official Adisorn Kerdmongkol, speaking at the release of a survey 
his committee carried out on living and working conditions of the 
estimated 60,000 illegal Burmese workers in Samut Sakhon, said 
mistreatment of the workers was widespread. 

Adisorn said some employers used violence to control their workers. 

"Those not doing what they are told or caught slacking are beaten," he 
said, adding that in some small factories they were forced to live and 
work in filthy conditions, leading to the spread of disease. 

He said ill workers did not seek medical treatment at hospitals, though, 
for fear that they might be deported, increasing the risk of diseases 

One Burmese worker said he was not entitled to take a day off even if he 
was sick. If he did his employer would deduct Bt500 from his salary, he 

Some unscrupulous employers even arranged to have their workers arrested 
on the day before pay-day so won't have to pay them, Adisorn said. 

Sexual assaults against female workers were a serious problem, he said, 
but most victims refused to speak out for fear of the consequences. 

Employers, police and others took advantage of the women, he said, 
threatening them if they dared to complain. 

"I've heard that some female illegal workers were caught by police and 
never heard of again, while others came back but did not say anything 
about what happened," Adisorn said. 

Corruption among the authorities was a major obstacle to tackling the 
problem, he said, as police officers were also involved in smuggling 
people into the country. 

"We asked some workers how they entered the country and they said they 
arrived in police cars," he said. 

One Burmese worker said his employer would deduct Bt50 a week from his 
wages to pay to police as a bribe. 

"But that money only helps us when we are in the factory. If we get 
caught outside, we have to solve the problem on our own," he said. 

Most illegal workers said police demanded money from them. One illegal 
worker said police arrested a group he was with in July. One of the 
group was then allowed to go free so that he could get money to release 
the rest. 

"The officers demanded Bt3,000 per head, including those of us carrying 
legal licenses. They the police said they were fakes," the worker said. 

In another incident, the same worker said police officers beat up a 
friend who had a license, and demanded Bt2,000. When he had to go to the 
hospital to get his injuries treated he was too afraid to tell anyone 
how he was hurt. 

Employers also have to pay the police, normally Bt3,000 per laborer, to 
get arrested Burmese freed. 

Police Immigration Bureau Office deputy commander Pol Maj. Gen. Charnwut 
Watcharapruk said he would take drastic action against any subordinates 
found extorting money from foreign workers. 

"The offending officers will face both disciplinary and criminal 
punishment," the police officer said. 

Charnwut, however, said some gangsters may pose as bureau officers to 
extort money from illegal workers. 

He said a recent investigation into a similar complaint found that the 
extortionists were criminals pretending to be police officers. 

Meanwhile, Employment Department director-general Wanchai Padungsupalai 
said his department has awarded 106,684 work licenses, which are valid 
for another year, but stressed that employers must register their 

"Foreign workers can register until November 30, but up until now only 
some 20,000 have," he said. 

Wanchai said the PM's Office was considering a proposal to set up a 
special agency to take responsibility of labor problems and illegal 


Mizzima: Maung Aye's Itinerary in India

November 15, 2000
Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com)

Vice-President of the BurmaÆs ruling State Peace and Development Council 
(SPDC) General Maung Aye is currently on a state visit to India from 
November 14 to 21 at the invitation of Indian Vice President Mr. Krishan 

General Maung Aye who is number two in the military junta and also chief 
of armed forces is being accompanied by senior Burmese leaders including 
Deputy Prime Minister Lt. Gen. Tin Hla, Foreign Minister U Win Aung, and 
ministers for Industry, Finance & Revenue, Science & Technology and 
Electric Power.

General Maung Aye himself heads three trade related committees in Burma, 
the National Trade Committee, National Industrial Development Committee 
and National Agriculture and Economic Development Committee. 

The Burmese delegation began its trip to India by landing at Patna 
Airport on November 14 and proceeded to Bodh Gaya in Bihar State for 
pilgrimage. The delegation is scheduled to arrive Delhi on November 16 
evening and a red carpet ceremonial welcome will be given by the Indian 
government in the morning of November 17 (Friday).

The Burmese delegation will interact with Indian Business leaders from 
various sectors during a luncheon meeting in New Delhi on November 17 
afternoon, which will be organized by Confederation of Indian Industry 

Indian Vice President Krishan Kant is hosting a dinner for Burmese 
delegation on November 17. Moreover, out of the original scheduled plan, 
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee will host a dinner for General Maung 
Aye and his entourage on November 20 (Monday). Vajpayee was scheduled to 
have a mere half-hour call on the visiting Burmese General on Monday. 
Home Minister L.K Advani  and former Army Chief V.P Malik will also call 
on the Burmese General.

However, Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes who is a well-known 
supporter of Burmese democracy movement was not meeting the Burmese 
delegation. A daily newspaper in India on November 15 said that the wife 
of Indian President Ms. Usha Narayanan (Burmese name: Daw Tint Tint) has 
refused to receive General Maung Aye and his party, when they call on 
the Indian President on the evening of November 20.

ôNor she will meet the GeneralÆs wife, Daw Mya Mya San, or their 
daughter Daw Nander Aye, who are part of the official delegation,ö wrote 
The Indian Express newspaper.

During the eight-day visit, General Maung Aye is scheduled to visit 
other cities of India including Bangalore, Udaipur and AgraÆs Taj Mahal. 

Besides having discussions on intensifying bilateral economic 
relationship and cooperation to crack down on illegal drug trafficking 
and insurgency along the 1600 km-long Indo-Burma border (on November 17 
and 20), the two sides will sign a line of credit of US $ 15 million 
towards Burma during Maung AyeÆs visit.

General Maung Aye is the first highest-level Burmese official to visit 
to India in the last twelve years. His visit to Shillong in January was 
merely one-day visit at the invitation of Indian Army Chief. 

Defending IndiaÆs decision to invite the Burmese General, a senior 
foreign ministry officer said that India is committed to democratic 
principles, but any changes in Myanmar have to come from within. 

Burmese pro-democracy activists in India are planning to stage a 
demonstration in New Delhi on November 16 (tomorrow) against the visit 
of Burmese delegation.


Mizzima: Delhi Police detained Burmese activists 

November 16, 2000

Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com)

Delhi Police detained the Burmese activists who were staging a 
demonstration against the visit of Burmese military general to India. 
The police arrested about 60 slogan-shouting Burmese pro-democracy 
activists who held the protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi today. As 
the protestors marched towards Parliament building from Jantar Mantar 
around 12 noon, Delhi police stopped them and took them inside the 
Parliament Police Station.

When heard about the incident, a Member of Parliament Mr. N. Dasari from 
the Communist Party of India (CPI) came to the police station to show 
his partyÆs solidarity and support with the democracy activists. The MP 
asked the police to release the Burmese immediately as they were doing a 
peaceful demonstration.

One of the demonstrators told Mizzima over telephone from the police 
station that the police took their names, addresses and their 
fingerprints. The police finally released the demonstrators around 2 

The Burmese activists were demonstrating against the visit of General 
Maung Aye who is second most powerful man in the military junta. Maung 
Aye is paying an official visit to India at the invitation of Indian 
Vice President Mr. Krishan Kant.

Maung Aye, who is Vice-Chairman of the ruling State Peace and 
Development Council (SPDC) is accompanied by senior cabinet ministers of 
the regime, including its deputy prime minister Lt. Gen. Tin Hla and 
foreign minister U Win Aung.

The Burmese democracy activists based in India are outraged that India 
which awarded their leader Aung San Suu Kyi with its highest civilian 
honour, the Jawaharlal Nehru Prize for Peace and Understanding in 1995 
is now embracing with the generals from Burma. ôIt (military junta) 
continues to suppress the democratic aspirations of the people. More 
than a thousand political activists were imprisoned last year aloneö, 
said their press statement issued today.

The activists also protested over IndiaÆs assistance to constructing the 
Tamu-Kalaymyo motor road in Sagaing Division in Burma. ôIf new roads are 
to be constructed with IndiaÆs assistance, the poor people of Burma will 
be again subjected to forced labour. It is well founded by the 
International Labour Organization (ILO) that forced labour is widespread 
in Burma under this regimeö, the statement continued. The road, which 
has been constructed by Border Road Organizations of India is scheduled 
to complete in few weeks.

In an open letter to Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today, 
the Burmese pro-democracy groups in India urged him to raise the issue 
of ôsystematic violations of civil, political, economic, social and 
cultural rights by the SPDCö in his meetings with the visiting Burmese 
delegates. They also requested the Indian Prime Minister to urge the 
Burmese generals to take steps towards restoration of democracy in 

_____________________ OTHER  ______________________

PD Burma: Calendar of events

Nov 16, 2000

╖       November 2-17th         : 279th Session of the Governing 
Body and its committees, Geneva

╖       November 14-17th        : the 24th meeting of Heads of 
National Drug Law
Enforcement Agencies (HONLEA), Burma 

╖       November 17th   : Global Day of Action on Open Schools 
╖       November 10-11th    : Meeting of the Council of the 
Socialist International, Maputo
╖       December 11-12th        : EU and ASEAN Ministerial-level 
meeting, Laos 
╖       December                : Japan-Burma panel on reform of 
Burma's economic                                              structure, 
╖       January 2001            : Sweden takes over EU Presidency 
╖       February                : Meeting of Solidarity Groups, 
╖       March/April             : Teachers/ Students Union 
╖       March/April             : EU Common Position Review 
╖       March/April             : UN Human Rights Commission, 
╖       May/June                : Meeting of Solidarity Groups 
╖       July                    : Belgium takes over EU Presidency 



The BurmaNet News is an Internet newspaper providing comprehensive 
coverage of news and opinion on Burma  (Myanmar) from around the world.  
If you see something on Burma, you can bring it to our attention by 
emailing it to strider@xxxxxxx

For a subscription to Burma's only free daily newspaper, write to: 

You can also contact BurmaNet by phone or fax:

Voice mail or fax (US) +1(202) 318-1261
You will be prompted to press 1 for a voice message or 2 to send a fax.  
If you do neither, a fax tone will begin automatically.

Fax (Japan) +81 (3) 4512-8143


T O P I C A  http://www.topica.com/t/17
Newsletters, Tips and Discussions on Your Favorite Topics