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BurmaNet News: May 4, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
         May 4, 2001   Issue # 1798
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________


(1) "We have to be patient here. It's very easy to use violence.? 

Thai Defense Minister calling on the army not to use force against drug 
traffickers from Burma.

(2) "How should we respond when we are fired at?"We are not going to sit 
like lame ducks if we are fired at?" 

Thai Third Army Commander Lt-Gen Wattanachai Chaimuenwong?s response.

See The Nation: Government seeks ways to tone down antidrugs strategy

*AP: Jailed Burmese journalist wins press freedom award
*The Japan Times: Myanmar solutions require three-way talks
*Mizzima: Politicians given long imprisonment for "inciting riots" in 
Arakan State

MONEY _______
*BBC: Burmese economy under siege
*Burma Media Association: Unocal Grilled in Seattle
*Bangkok Post: Rangoon approval for road construction
*BurmaNet: One Hand Clapping?No Approval for Road Construction from 

*DPA: Blast in Mandalay market leaves several injured 
*AP: Blast kills driver of pickup truck near Myanmar border 
*BBC : Burmese recapture camp from Shan rebels
*Freedom News (Shan State Army): Sa Kawng Battle

*The Nation: Government seeks ways to tone down antidrugs strategy
*Bangkok Post: Strive for balance, says PM, as Chavalit reins in Third 
Army An eye-for-an-eye no go, says minister

*DVB: Hal Kuloy of Norwegian Burma Council passed away
*AP: Thaksin hopes to visit Yangon by June to mend relations 
*AFP: Tensions spill over outside Myanmar embassy in Australia 
*Mizzima: Activists urge for more pressure on Burmese Junta

*National League for Democracy: Statement on Democratic Change in Burma
*The New Light of Myanmar (SPDC): Beware of Poisonous Relations

*Chin Forum Working Group (I): Initial Draft of Constitution of Chinland

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

AP: Jailed Burmese journalist wins press freedom award 

WINDHOEK, Namibia (AP) _ A 71-year-old Burmese journalist imprisoned by 
his country's military regime for 12 years was awarded an international 
press freedom prize Thursday by the United Nations during World Press 
Freedom Day celebrations in Windhoek, Namibia. 

 U Win Tin, editor of the independent Hanthawati daily newspaper, was 
arrested by authorities in Myanmar in 1989 and sentenced to 14 years in 
jail on accusations he was a member of the Communist Party. 

 His sentence has since been extended a further five years _ until 2008 
_ though the authorities have offered to release him immediately if he 
renounces all political activities, according to U.N. officials. 
 U Win Tin was awarded in absentia Thursday the dlrs 25,000 Guillermo 
Cano World Freedom Prize, named after a Colombian journalist 
assassinated in 1986 by the drug cartels in that country. The prize is 
also sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and 
Cultural Organization, which was organizing a conference here 
celebrating press freedom day. 

 In a brief statement smuggled out of Myanmar and read to the 
conference, U Win Tin, who helped found the National League of Democracy 
with Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, said he accepted the award 
on behalf of all people fighting for democracy in his country. He said, 
he hoped to use the money one day to support a foundation for writers 
supporting democracy. 
 The current military rulers of Myanmar, also known as Burma, took power 
after crushing a pro-democracy uprising in 1988. The junta held 
elections in 1990 but refused to honor the results when the National 
League for Democracy won with a big majority. 

 Prescott Low, former president of the World Association of Newspapers, 
accepted the award on U Win Tin's behalf and praised his courage in 
defying authorities' offers to free him if he renounced political 

 ``Even crippled with pain, with no prospects of ever leaving the cell 
where he is kept, U Win Tin has regularly refused these offers,'' he 

 U Win Tin was a co-recipient of the Golden Pen of Freedom prize by the 
World Association of Newspapers in November for his ``outstanding 
contribution to the cause of press freedom.''
 U Win Tin's struggle should serve as a reminder that 12 other 
journalists remain imprisoned in Myanmar and more than 80 remain jailed 
across the world, Low said. 
 ``There is little that discourages these courageous journalists in 
their struggle for freedom of expression,'' he said. 

 UNESCO Director-general Koichiro Matsuura also appealed to the Syrian 
government to free Nizar Nayyouf, the recipient of the prize last year, 
who has been jailed since 1992 and is reportedly on a hunger strike. 


The Japan Times: Myanmar solutions require three-way talks

Apr. 30, 2001

Special to The Japan Times

Myanmar's junta, the State Peace and Development Council, is engaged in  
secret reconciliation talks with democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi. For 
 now, exiled dissidents and ethnic opponents of the junta watch 
cautiously  from the sidelines. Any solution to Myanmar's problems, 
though, will have  to consider their concerns.

Mahn Nyein looks you in the eye when he talks. A serious man, he's well  
known for a remarkable exploit in 1970. Then an imprisoned political  
dissident on Myanmar's inhospitable Coco's Island group, he and fellow  
inmates built a raft and sailed hundreds of kilometers to the mainland 
in  an escape attempt. They were recaptured, but only he survived. Today 
he's a senior official in the Karen National Union, an ethnic  
organization that has fought successive Myanmar governments for autonomy 
 since 1949. When asked about the ongoing reconciliation talks he was  

"We have a wait-and-see attitude," he said. "The SPDC should show more  
sincerity and release all political prisoners. The NLD (National League 
for  Democracy) should have freedom to organize and engage in political  

As for the international community, Mahn Nyein said, "Pressure helped 
bring  about the talks. The SPDC had no way to carry on and needed an 
outlet to  release it, so they lack sincerity. Now is not the time to 
release that  pressure."

These themes were also expressed elsewhere. The National Coalition of 
the  Union of Burma is an umbrella opposition group formed in 1992 that 
includes  ethnic-minority alliances as well as exiled Myanmar student 
and  parliamentary groups. Aung Moe Zaw, NCUB secretary general, 
cautioned  against early expectations. "Now the talks have started, but 
there is a  long way to go," he said. "We need to solve two main 
problems -- the lack  of democracy and the needs of the ethnic 

The NCUB leader said that while the talks were at a sensitive stage, 
more  flexibility by the junta was not unreasonable. "There should be 
freedom of  political movement for Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD. Also 
elected ethnic  MPs, like those from the Shan NLD, should be free to 
meet and discuss  issues among themselves."

The international community, he said, "for the time being . . . should  
encourage both sides. (But) current pressures like the U.S. sanctions, 
the  Swiss freezing of junta members' bank accounts and the ILO action 
should be  maintained."

Two of the Shan political opponents of the regime differ widely in their 
 views of the talks. For Aung Mart of the Restoration Council of Shan 
State, the matter was  simple. "We have no position on the talks," he 
said. "They are a separate  issue, as our goal is independence."

The Shan Democratic Union believes that eventually Myanmar's political  
debacle will have to be settled in tripartite fashion, meaning at least 
one  more seat at the reconciliation table for other ethnic groups. If 
that  happens, they want to be ready to participate, not simply to 
listen. To that end, they have embarked upon a constitution-writing 
program led by  Sao Seng Suk, a veteran nationalist and group spokesman. 
A first draft is  being prepared this year, and grassroots Shan 
participation is encouraged. According to one SDU member, the purpose 
is, "to prepare the Shan people  for when a real one is written. It 
canused either for an independent Shan  State or as talking points for 
making a new . . . one."


Mizzima: Politicians given long imprisonment for "inciting riots" in 
Arakan State

April 30, 2001 

A township court in western Burma has sentenced heavy jail-terms for 
seven political activists allegedly involved in ?inciting the riots? 
which broke out in February this year. The seven Arakanese politicians 
were sentenced from seven to twelve year-imprisonment by the Sittwe 
township court in Arakan State recently.  

The sentences against the politicians were delivered by the court 
between last week of March and first week of April and the accused 
persons have filed petition at the District court appealing for 
dismissal of the township court order.  

The accused persons include U Tha Tun Aung, U San Shwe Oo, U Lone Chaw 
who are residents of Sittwe, capital of Arakan State. They actively 
participated in the 1988 pro-democracy uprising in Burma. They were 
arrested by the military when it took over power in September 1988 and 
had been imprisoned for eight to nine years for participating in the 

Although they had been staying away from any political activities after 
their release, the Burmese military intelligence No. 10 in Sittwe 
arrested them of ?inciting? the racial clashes. At least two Buddhist 
monks were killed and more than 60 houses of Muslims were burnt down in 
the racial clashes which broke out on 4th February in Sittwe of Arakan 
State, bordering with Bangladesh.  
An exiled Arakanese group, the National United Party of Arakan, has 
stated that these racial riots were the work of military junta itself 
and accused the junta of trying to ?idetrack the deteriorating law and 
order situation, economy and the worsening political crisis in Burma by 
stirring up the communal violence in Arakan State.?

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

AP: Thaksin hopes to visit Yangon by June to mend relations 

BANKGOK, Thailand (AP) Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra said Friday he 
plans to make a fence-mending visit to neighboring Myanmar by early 

 Bilateral relations are at the lowest point in years, following a rare 
armed confrontation at the border between the two countries in February 
and continuing military tension. 

 ``I plan to visit Myanmar either in late May or early June and hope 
that the problems will be resolved when high level (officials) of both 
sides hold talks,'' Thaksin told reporters. 

 There was no immediate comment from the Myanmar government about any 
prospective visit. 

 Thaksin made the remarks after meeting Friday with Foreign Minister 
Surakiart Sathirathai, who visited Yangon this week for talks with the 
Myanmar military regime. 

 During his visit, Myanmar publicly accused Thailand of giving military 
support to anti-Yangon rebels at the border and planting illegal drugs 
at Myanmar military outposts to discredit the government. 
 The main source of the bilateral discord is the trafficking of 
methamphetamines from Myanmar, which Thailand says the government is 
doing little to stop.

 The illegal stimulant is the main cause of crime in Thailand. 


AFP: Tensions spill over outside Myanmar embassy in Australia 

CANBERRA, May 4 (AFP) - Australian police clashed with demonstrators 
after a Myanmar flag was set on fire in a demonstration outside the 
Myanmar embassy here Friday. 

 A squad of about 10 police in full riot gear held back about 40 
demonstrators, who had been sitting in the road to protest about the use 
of forced and child labour in the Southeast Asian nation. 

 About 40 police -- including dog handlers -- had blocked the roads 
surrounding the embassy. 

 Local trade union leader Jeremy Pyner accused the police of 
overreacting by pushing the protesters aside to extinguish the flag 
during what had been a peaceful protest. 

 "They were out there at the intersection, the police just went ape and 
waded in with fire extinguishers," he said. 

 "There was barging and barging, it was just an absolutely unbelievable 
response by the police." 

 Police also confiscated what they said may have been a molotov cocktail 
from a car carrying protesters. The protesters said the bottle contained 


BBC: Burmese economy under siege

Friday, 4 May, 2001

By regional analyst Larry Jagan 

Burma's economy is currently facing enormous problems. 

The value of the kyat has been nearly halved in the last month, and 
prices of many consumer goods are spiraling out of control.  

Analysts believe the Burmese Government is trying to get itself out of 
trouble by printing more money which they say will only aggravate the 
country's economic problems.  

Earlier this week the government reduced petrol rations from three 
gallons a week to two, forcing motorists and transport companies to seek 
more of their petrol needs from the black market.  

Bus and taxi fares have already risen. Diplomats believe there will also 
be a major rise in the official petrol price soon.  

Prices of many consumer goods have also sky-rocketed within the last few 
weeks as the value of the kyat has plummeted on the unofficial markets.  

Shoppers stunned 

The kyat has fallen by nearly 100% to more than 750 kyat to the US 
dollar in the last six weeks.  

The value of the FEC (foreign exchange certificates) has also fallen.   
This has caused the price of imported goods like condensed milk, 
monosodium glutamate, medicines and toiletries to rise significantly.  

Customers at many of Rangoon's small shops and supermarkets have been 
stunned by the doubling of prices of many of their regular purchases 
within the last week.  
One money dealer said the drastic fall in the value of the kyat was 
caused by the military authorities desperately buying up dollars.  

Diplomats in Rangoon believe the Burmese Government has less than two 
months of foreign reserves and the recent fighting along the Thai-Burma 
border has increased their need for more foreign exchange.  

Inflation fuelled 

Regional economic analysts in Singapore believe that the government has 
also been recently printing substantially more money, in excess of what 
would be economically prudent, which in turn is fuelling inflation.  

The Burmese Government increased the salaries of civil servants by more 
than 500% a little over a year ago so that they could cope with spirally 
prices, but this has only served to further fuel the country's 

Economists estimate that this is currently around 20% and likely to rise 
significantly now.   Observers point out that the Burmese authorities 
have always taken an idiosyncratic approach to the economy.  

However whether this will continue to work in the long term is 
At present they are managing by relying on massive logging operations 
and plundering the country's natural reserves.  

But with increasing interruptions to the country's domestic and 
industrial power supplies, the economy is increasingly a problem the 
government does not seem able to cope with.


Burma Media Association: Unocal Grilled in Seattle

A Grill of Unocal in Seattle

By Tin Maung Htoo
Burma Media Association (BMA)

An American oil company, Unocal, which is allegedly getting involved in 
human rights abuses and environmental degradation in Burma, is now 
facing growing public pressure to pull out of its investment in Burma 
although it could remove a lawsuit last year.

Today, experts will gather at the University of Washington Seattle 
campus and scrutiny Unocal's responsibility and accountability of its 
business in Burma at a forum called "the New World of Corporate 
Accountability: the Case of Unocal in Burma."

When asked the reason to hold such forum, Larry Dohrs, the co-director 
of Global Source Education, replied "This event is meant to use 
educational standards to examine the case of Unocal in Burma, as a case 
study in how corporations are increasingly held accountable for their 
actions." Larry also said, "we plan to examine some of the claims and 

Larry is one of eight panelists along with a Karen-Burmese-ethnic 
activist and award-winning environmentalist, Ka Hsaw Wa and Christina 
Fink, author of recent published book, "Living Silence: Burma under 
Military rule." 

As Larry said, counterclaims will be heard since they invited a 
representative of Unocal to the event.  Michel Thacher, General Manager 
of Public Relations and Communications of Unocal could be a defender of 
its corporation at the forum.

But it is hard for him to defend well in public since TOTAL, its 
partner's company in Burma natural gas project, and even some judges 
already made some confessions when they delivered the lawsuit last year.

For instance, in a Total's letter to Unocal, Herve Chagnoux wrote, "... 
I could not guarantee that the (Burmese) army is not using labor, I 
certainly imply that they might..."

Likewise, in Judge Lew's decision, he claimed that Unocal knew of the 
crimes committed by its business partner, the Burmese military.  
However, he technically dismissed the lawsuit saying, "Unocal did not 
control the military while it was using forced labor and committing 
human rights violations associated with the Yadana Project.  Thus the 
judges ruled that Unocal could not be held legally responsible.

However, the appealing process is still going on and other ways of suing 
Unocal is prevailing, said Earth Rights International, a non-profit 
organization leading the suit representing 14 Burmese plaintiffs. 

A group called Students for Environmental Actions at Stanford (SEAS) is 
also mounting pressuring on Unocal and strong protests will be expected 
to carry out during the Unocal shareholders meeting on May 21, 2001, 
said Louise 


Bangkok Post: Rangoon approval for road construction

May 04, 2001.

Kanchanaburi-  Burma has approved construction of a 130km road linking 
Kanchanaburi and Tavoy, according to the deputy chairman of the 
Kanchanaburi industrial council.  Pattana Sinkanchanamalai said the 
council had first proposed the road in 1994. Burma had finally approved 
it in March. 

Representatives of the council will travel to Burma when Prime Minister 
Thaksin Shinawatra visits the country to sign the construction contract. 
 Construction, to be completed in four years, is expected to begin in 
October, he said.  Mr Pattana said the road would cost about US$28.2 

This would be raised from the business sector in the province and from 
bank loans. 
"We want to open the door of Kanchanaburi to the world. With the road, 
we will be able to connect with India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and 
boost trade," he said.


BurmaNet: One Hand Clapping?No Approval for Road Construction from 

May 4, 2001

Today?s Bangkok Post notes that the regime in Burma has given its 
approval for the construction of a road from Thailand to a proposed deep 
sea port in Tavoy.  Rangoon?s approval is hardly surprising since, as 
with the Freedom Bridge at Mae Sot and various other infrastructure 
projects, Thailand is expected to pick up the bill.

What the Post and backers of the road and port project?including notably 
Defense Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh--omit mention of is the absence 
of corresponding approval on the Thai side.  Given the current 
hostilities between the two countries? armies, approval on the Thai side 
would have to come from a higher ranking group than a regional business 

When asked by reporters what he thought of the project, Thailand?s Prime 
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra?s response was in essence to profess that he 
was unaware of the proposed road.  Given that the project is dear to his 
own Defense Minister, his ignorance seems more strategic than actual. In 
the opaque language of Thai politics, Thaksin?s reply appeared to be a 
polite way of refusing to support the project without being forced to 
reject it outright.  Until Bangkok joins in, Rangoon?s approval remains 
the sound of one hand clapping.


DPA: Blast in Mandalay market leaves several injured 

Blast in Mandalay market leaves several injured

Yangon, May 4. (DPA): A bomb blast today in the main market of Mandalay, 
Central Myanmar (Burma), smashed shop windows and injured several 
people, eyewitnesses said. 

There were no immediate reports of deaths. Authorities allegedly 
discovered two more bombs in the Zegyo -- the marketplace -- and removed 
them before they exploded, Mandalay residents told Deutsche 
Presse-Agentur (DPA) in a telephone interview. 

Mandalay Division Commander Major General Ye Myint closed down the 
market to investigate the explosion and clear debris from the area. 

There had been no such bomb blasts reported in recent memory in 
Mandalay, 650 km north of Yangon. The city is Central Myanmar's main 
trading hub, with roads leading from the city to the country's borders 
with neighbours India, China and Thailand.  


AP: Blast kills driver of pickup truck near Myanmar border 

May 3 2001

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP)  A pickup truck booby trapped with a hand grenade 
exploded near the Thai-Myanmar border, killing the driver and injuring 
three passengers, officials said Thursday. 

 Police and the chief of Umphang district of Tak province said the 
bombing late Wednesday was apparently motivated by personal conflict and 
not related to tensions at the border of Thailand and Myanmar, where an 
attack Tuesday by Myanmar ethnic guerrillas killed three Thai villagers. 

 The truck, which provided a regular transport service, was loaded with 
passengers heading from Umphang district to the border village of 
Perngkerng, about 350 kilometers (213 miles) northwest of Bangkok. 

 The explosion occurred while the truck was on a dirt road about 20 
kilometers (12 miles) from Perngkerng. 

 Chief investigator Lt. Col. Prasit Khamtan said the grenade was planted 
under the chassis and was triggered to go off when the vehicle went over 
a big bump. 

 Nathee Borsuwan, Umphang district chief told The Associated Press that 
the dead man has been identified only as Hong and said he believed the 
incident resulted from personal conflict. 

 ``The incident has nothing to do with the ongoing border dispute with 
Myanmar,'' Nathee said.


BBC : Burmese recapture camp from Shan rebels

Friday, 4 May, 2001, 08:46 GMT 09:46 UK 

The Burmese government says its forces have recaptured a border camp 
from separatist rebels.  
A spokesman for the Shan State Army confirmed that its troops had 
withdrawn from the camp at Pachee on the Thai-Burmese border after 
coming under heavy mortar attack for two days.  

Burma has accused Thai forces of fighting with the Shan separatists, an 
accusation strongly denied by the authorities in Bangkok.  

Thai and Burmese forces were involved in sporadic fighting on the border 
in February and relations between the two countries are strained, with 
each accusing the other of supporting militia groups fighting on the 


Freedom News (Shan State Army): Sa Kawng Battle

4 May 2001

Battle News

On 1st May 2001, at 23.00 hr., 5 SSA troops from 401st Battalion, 727th 
Brigade led by Lance Coporal Sing Ta laid an ambush on a Burmese convoy 
carrying their troops at a place called Sa Kawng, on the way between 
Pung Pa Khem to Parkhee battle field, Mong Ton township. The skirmish 
lasted for 10 minutes, where the enemy suffered 10 dead and 6 wounded. 
SSA intact. 

Nar Kong Mu Battle

On 2nd May 2001, at 02.00 hr., 3 SSA men from 453rd Battalion, 727th 
Brigade led by Private Kaw Ling made a sniping on an enemy depot at Nar 
Kong Mu, Mong Ton township for 20 minutes. The Burmese Army lost 2 dead 
and 1 wounded while the SSA men are safe. 


The Nation: Government seeks ways to tone down antidrugs strategy

May 04, 2001.

Concerned that renewed tensions with Burma could escalate further, Prime 
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday sought to review his antidrugs 
strategy to minimise its effects on the border disputes.  

Thaksin?s latest bid to amend the strategy comes after a bloody raid on 
Tuesday on a border village in Tak by the pro-Rangoon Democratic Karen 
Buddhist Army (DKBA). Three Thai civilians were killed.  

The Thai army believed the attack was in retribution for its recent 
seizures of more than 13 million methamphetamine tablets, which were 
said to have come from areas controlled by the DKBA.  

Thaksin said he would continue to pursue an aggressive campaign to stop 
the flow of illegal narcotics from Burma. But he stressed that such 
efforts should be carried out more in tandem with diplomatic efforts to 
resolve the tensions.  

?The government is trying to get the military and the Foreign Ministry 
to work toward the same direction,? he said.   His comments shed light 
on the conflict over the implementation of the antidrugs campaign 
between Defence Minister Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh and Third Army 
Commander Gen Wattanachai Chaimuenwong.  
On one hand, Chavalit convinced Thaksin that the aggressive tactics 
employed by Wattanachai would disrupt border security. On the other, 
Thaksin believed the measures were somewhat necessary until Rangoon 
clearly signalled that it would cooperate on drug suppression.  

The signal from Burma so far has been far from clear. The DKBA raid on 
Tuesday came as Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai was on an 
official visit to Rangoon to resolve the bitter border disputes.  

On the following day, the Burmese junta accused the Thai Army of trying 
to defame it by planting the stimulant pills in raids on Burmese posts 
along the border.  

It was clear that Surakiart?s visit had failed to even reduce tensions, 
even though BurmaÆs military government agreed in principle to sign a 
memorandum of understanding to jointly suppress drugs along the border.  
 Surakiart said his talks with Burmese leaders provided a strong 
foundation for resolving future border flareups and that the two sides 
agreed that the conflicts should not escalate into a governmen tlevel 

Thailand lodged a protest over the DKBA raid with the Burmese side of 
the Township Border Committee û the lowestlevel mechanism to solve 
border conflicts.  
But the situation remained tense yesterday as the DKBA bolstered its 
forces in the areas opposite Phop Phra district in an apparent move to 
make another strike on the Thai border.  

Burmese government troops also recaptured their outpost at Pachee, 
opposite Chiang MaiÆs Fang district, which fell to the Shan State Army 
last week. The move completes the Burmese armyÆs dryseason offensive 
against the rebels.  

The junta has accused the Thai military of supporting the Shan rebels.  
PMÆs Office Minister Thamarak Isarangura, who is to leave for Burma next 
week to discuss antidrugs cooperation, said it is crucial to distinguish 
between drug problems and ethnic insurgencies.  

ôThe tension along the ThaiBurmese border could be cate¼gorised into two 
sets of problems: ethnic minorities fighting against Burmese government 
and narcotics,ö he said.   The attack by the DKBA is an example of the 
issues being unnecessarily intertwined, he said.  

ôIt is proof that millions of tablets of drugs confiscated by the Thai 
army belonged to this group, thus infuriating them,ö Thamarak said.  

China, whose border is adjacent to Burmese territory controlled by 
drugproducing ethnic Wa armies, must be brought into the talks to 
resolve the conflict and the drug problems, he said.  

Thamarak defended the hardhitting Wattanachai, saying the general would 
be right to retaliate should an external force encroach upon Thai 
territory. WattanachaiÆs vow to track down the perpetrators that caused 
the deaths of Thai nationals is not prohibited. But the action should 
not complicate talks at the government level.  

?We have been suspecting for some time that the Burmese are secretly 
supporting [the DKBA] in the same way as Burma is suspicious of us,? he 
said. ?When a problem arises, we need to talk tough but in times of 
negotiation, both sides need to set out their own problems and if there 
is a genuine cooperation, problems will gradually dissipate.?
?Force must be met with force when dealing with narcotics suppression,? 
Thamarak said.  

The recent decision by Chavalit to rein in Wattanachai was out of 
concern that the situation would escalate into a war, Thamarak said.  

But it is good for each government to keep a check on the other and the 
ongoing verbal clashes in the field are ?normal?, he said.  

Chavalit yesterday again urged restraint, saying ?resorting to force is 
an easy way out?.  
?However, it does not mean we should be restrained to the point of 
dereliction of duty. The Third Army commander is a good person -- a real 
soldier. We need to understand him.?


Bangkok Post: Strive for balance, says PM, as Chavalit reins in Third 
Army An eye-for-an-eye no go, says minister

May 04, 2001.

Wassana Nanuam

Balance is needed in military and diplomatic responses to Burma and the 
cross-border drugs conflict, says Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.  
Drug trafficking had created a security problem for Thailand but talks 
with Burma could still help. 

"I will try to strike a balance between attempts to stem the security 
threat and the need to maintain good relations," he said yesterday.  
Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said Burma had agreed to a 
memorandum of understanding to co-operate in the fight against drugs. 

The agreement would be signed when Mr Thaksin paid a visit_ although no 
date has been set.  Mr Thaksin must know that Burma is sending mixed 
signals about its willingness to co-operate.  Even as Mr Surakiart was 
meeting Burmese ministers in Rangoon on Wednesday, Burmese security 
officials were accusing Thailand of backing rebel attacks after 
receiving pledges of US military support. 

Mr Thaksin said the drugs fight would come first over friendship. 

The exchange comes amid intensifying conflict between Thai and Burmese 
forces along the northern border.  The government seems divided on how 
toughly to respond, but continuing massive drugs seizures by the Thai 
army are keeping Rangoon on the offensive. Rangoon has accused Thai 
troops of deliberately shelling Burmese military positions to protect 
minority Shan guerrillas which had taken over a Burmese border outpost 
opposite Chiang Mai's Fang district. 

The Thai army says the shelling was in retaliation for Burmese 
cross-border attacks. 
While the army says Burmese forces are backing the drug-producing Wa 
minority, Rangoon says Thai soldiers are protecting Shan guerrillas who 
also deal in drugs. 
The Third Army says an incident on Tuesday in which the pro-Rangoon 
Democratic Karen Buddhist Army fired across the border at a Thai 
military outpost in Tak's Phob Phra district was a deliberate plan to 
divert attention from a methamphetamine shipment. 

Three Thai civilians were killed in the assault believed to have been 
triggered by last week's seizure of millions of methamphetamines by the 
Third Army. 
The exchange of gunfire and accusations upset Gen Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, 
who was concerned the problem would jeopardise Thai-Burmese relations. 

The defence minister yesterday warned the Third Army not to adopt an 
eye-for-an-eye stance. 

"We have to be patient here. It's very easy to use violence. But, it 
doesn't mean we wouldn't do what we should do," said Gen Chavalit. 

He was criticising Third Army commander Lt-Gen Wattanachai Chaimuenwong, 
who called for a tough response. Gen Chavalit said any use of violence 
would backfire. 
Lt-Gen Wattanachai insisted yesterday his force was merely responding to 
Burmese aggression when it fired into Burma. 

"How should we respond when we are fired at?"We are not going to sit 
like lame ducks if we are fired at," Lt-Gen Wattanachai said. 

Meanwhile, Lt-Gen Wattanachai is seeking approval to build a 
morale-boosting monument to King Naresuan and a pagoda near Wat Doi Wow 
in Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district. 

A construction plan had gone to the army chief for approval, a source 
The monument would boost the morale of Thai troops and mark the 
The King Naresuan monument would face Burma's Tachilek, where the 
Bayinnaung monument sits. 
"This is about belief," the source said.

"Burma has used the Bayinnaung monument to boost its troops' morale. 
King Naresuan is a great warrior and his monument will give our Thai 
troops a big boost." Locals were willing to donate money or help raise 
funds. The monument would cost about 40 million baht. 

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

DVB: Hal Kuloy of Norwegian Burma Council passed away

May 4, 2001

We are very sorry to inform you that Mr. Halvard K. Kuloy, chairman of 
the  Norwegian Burma Council, passed away last night, May 3 2001 at 
11:05 pm  local time in Oslo, Norway.

Mr. Kuloy will be remembered and revered as a staunch supporter of the  
struggle for democracy in Burma. Ever since he and his family lived in  
Burma while Mr. Kuloy worked for the UN, he acquired a love for the  
country, its peoples, its cuisine and its many rich artistic traditions. 
A  reflection of his deep knowledge of Burmese culture is the recent 
donation  of his collection of Burmese lacquerware to the Museum of 
Applied Art in  Oslo, enabling the museum to produce the first 
exhibition of Burmese art in  Norway last September.

In addition to his personal friendship with Daw Khin Kyi, Daw Aung San 
Suu  Kyi and Dr. Michael Aris, Mr. Kuloy played a key role in supporting 
the  Burmese political opposition both spiritually and materially, and 
in  providing aid to refugees. He was instrumental in the arrangements 
for the  Nobel Peace Prize award for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in 1991, as 
well as in the  subsequent establishment of the DVB radio station in 
We wish to express our heartfelt sympathy for his wife and two 
May he rest in peace.

If you wish to offer your condolences, you may do so via fax  +47 22 36 
25  25 or via email to euburma@xxxxxxxxxx The details of the funeral are 
not  yet confirmed.

With metta (compassion),



Mizzima: Activists urge for more pressure on Burmese Junta

New Delhi, May 4, 2001 

Burma?s pro-democracy activists and their supporters today launched a 
Global Action against the Burmese military regime for its widespread 
human rights violation including the use of forced labor in the country. 
Protest rallies and demonstrations were held in Australia and India 
while talks and video shows on BurmaÆs human rights records were 
organized in Canada.  
In Australia, a demonstration was held in front of Burmese embassy in 
Canberra and about 60 Burma pro-democracy activists in India held a 
similar protest rally in New Delhi this morning. A panel discussion on 
Burma and forced labor and public rally was held at Edmonton in Canada, 
said a statement issued under Global Action Against the Burmese Junta 

The Global Action focusing on the rampart human rights violations in 
Burma was endorsed by more than 25 national organizations based in 
Australia, Canada and India including National Union of Students and the 
Australian Fair Trade and Investment Network in Australia, Burma Watch 
International in Canada, All Burma Students League in India, Free Burma 
Action Committee and Burma Labor Solidarity Organization.  

The activists have urged the governmental and non-governmental 
organizations around the world to continue to pressure the Burmese 
regime for democratization in the country. They also demanded the 
Burmese junta to make the on-going ôtalksö with democratic leader Aung 
San Suu Kyi transparent to the public.  


National League for Democracy: Statement on Democratic Change in Burma

[Unofficial translation]

The National League For Democracy 
97 B West Shwegondaing Road, 
Bahan Township, Yangon.
Statement No 1(5/01) 
World Workers Day.

1. The first day of May has been commemorated worldwide as May 
Day/Workers  Day ever since 1890 in accordance with the decision of the 
1889 Worldwide  Workers Conference held in Paris (France). This day was 
chosen because  American workers in their struggle for their rights shed 
blood on that day.  It has been declared a public holiday. Eight-hour 
working day and overtime  payments have been the outcomes of that 

2. From then on, the workers movement grew till the end of the First 
World  War (1914-1918) when unemployment and homelessness created big 
problems for  the worker.

3. As a result, the then League of Nations realizing that peace is  
fundamentally associated with social and economic justice, created the  
International Labor Organization (ILO) in which the allies joined 

4. The ILO is not just an organisation to prescribe wages, working 
hours,  rules and regulations to be observed at work places 
internationally. It is  also at this organisation that workers, 
employers and governments can meet  to discuss and resolve conflicts and 

5. The ILO continued to exist during the Second World War (1941-46). 
After  the establishment of the United Nations, the ILO was recognized 
as one of  its specialized agencies.

6. Burma obtained her independence from the British in January 1948 and  
obtained sovereign state status as the Union of Burma. It became a 
member  of the United Nations and worked in conjunction with the ILO. It 
approved  and signed the 19 ILO Conventions.

7. Acceptance of the ILO Conventions was followed up with enactment of  
for workers rights by the government, which were distinctly and clearly  

8. But after the second of March 1962, when the army assumed state power 
 and annulled the constitution, it established the Burmese Socialist 
Program Party (BSPP) government. Then in 1964 the Law establishing  
Workers Basic Rights and Duties was promulgated which overshadowed the  
rights guaranteed to workers under existing laws. Workers affairs came  
under the direct control of the central authority.

9. Commencing from that day, ILO Convention 87, that gives the worker 
the  right to freely form unions and associations, has been violated. In 
1981  the ILO asked the government to observe the provisions of ILO 
Convention  87, but it refused. 

10. The spontaneous uprising and demand for restoration of democracy by  
students, workers, monks and civilians countrywide that occurred in 1988 
brutally crushed by the government.

11.The army again seized power, annulled the constitution promulgated by 
Burma Socialist Progressive Party and formed the State Law and Order  
Restoration Council composed of the big Tatmadaw bosses.

12. The plight of the workers, farmers and cultivators is absolutely  
(a) Forced labor is required from the whole country (including the  
townspeople). Men, (women and youths are not exempted) are forced to act 
as  porters.

(b) Factory workers and dock laborers suffer exploitation by the 
employers  amd have no choice but to accept the wages paid to them. They 
enjoy no  rights, no benefits or security. 

13. Because of the depressing conditions of the workers in Burma, the 
ILO  authorised and inspection and report and at its 87th annual meeting 
in 1999  resolved to punish the government if changes were not put into 
effect. But  the government denied the existence of forced labor in 
Burma and repudiated  the ILO resolution.

14. In June 2000, at the 88th annual general meeting of the ILO it was  
decided that if the military government did not change its practices of  
forced labor the governing body of the ILO would take effective action  
under  the provisions of its law 33. An inspection team to investigate 
the  situation had reported that no real change had taken place, that 
the Towns  and Village Acts (Law 107 and 108) had not been revoked and 
forced labor  practices still continued. At the meeting of the governing 
body of the ILO  in November a vote was taken on the matter.

15. The Director General of the ILO called on all international  
organizations to review their association and activities with the 
military  government so as not to encourage the practice of forced 
labor. Also to  implement the recommendations set out in the ILO Inquiry 
Commission Report.  Resolutions taken with regard to the violations 

(a) To place these matter on the agenda for consideration at the ECOSOC  
meeting in July 2001. 

(b) That the UN General Assembly should carefully examine whether the  
activities of the UN agencies in Burma are in any way directly or  
associated with forced labor practices.

16. In the 81 years of the lifetime of the ILO that is composed of 178  
counties there has never been such rebuke and punishment of a member  

17. Democracy is the only system by which full human rights and workers  
rights can be obtained. Strong and firm political, social and economic  
advancement will follow when there is democracy. Therefore the military  
government (SPDC) which has assumed state power has the greatest  
responsibility to bring about changes that will make Burma into a new  
democratic country. We ask and urge them to heed to this request. 

Central Executive Committee 

National League for Democracy
1st May 2001 


The New Light of Myanmar (SPDC): Beware of Poisonous Relations

Wednesday, 2 May, 2001

Two-hundred Thai troops, placing some of Ywet Sit's men in the 
forefront, attacked Pachee outpost of the Myanmar Tatmadaw in Myanmar 
territory on 22 April 2001 early morning. A Thai military camp which was 
located 50 yards from the outpost inside the Thai territory also took 
part in the collusion. It gave supporting fire and projected 
searchlights on the outpost. In February also the Thai army made an 
intrusion on Myanmar territory by placing Ywet Sit's men in the 

SURA members of Ywet Sit and KNU remnants are being used as suicide 
squads for Thai intruders. These insurgent groups are taking refuge in 
Thailand as they are not in a position to live in Myanmar territory. 
Thus, they are trying to please their benefactors who are minions of the 
west group. The west group in raising and using the nationalist Chinese 
troops used opium trafficking as a fund-raising activity to reduce cost. 
The west bloc has already made arrangements for KNU, KPP, SURA, DAB and 
MTA insurgent groups to rely on extortion money, robbery, taxes on 
contraband and stimulant tablet and heroin production.

The greater portion of money from the western aids for expatriates and 
insurgents goes to the pockets of Thai tricksters. Thus, the Thai 
tricksters are raising the insurgents to earn money. I have the positive 
attitude towards the entire people of Thailand and the good persons. I 
felt so unhappy to see that the Thai people are being tainted because of 
the Thai tricksters who are longing for gifts for self-benefits. These 
Thai tricksters have ruled Thailand throughout history.

There are such tricksters in the Thai army, business sphere, political 
arena and in journalist world. They have been raising expatriates in 
launching provocative acts and military intrusions on the neighbours in 
collusion with the troops of the west bloc. There are many historical 

Thailand has made intrusion on Myanmar since the time of Ayudhya. In the 
modern history, the country actively took part in SEATO and launched 
military intrusions on the surrounding countries.

During the Lao and Cambodian civil wars, the Thai troops in cooperation 
with the American troops attacked those nations. America took part in 
Vietnam war. Tens of thousands of Thai military troops took part in the 
war from the South Vietnamese side. They attacked Cambodia in 
cooperation with America. During the Lao civil war in 1970s, there were 
attacks among the Pathet Lao (leftist) troops, neutral troops and the 
rightist troops. The American CIA helped the rightist troops. The Thai 
army was also involved in the incident. In an effort to make the 
situation confused, some Thai troops wearing the uniforms of Pathet Lao 
army, attacked and tortured Lao civilians. I have seen the photo showing 
Thai troops wearing Pathet Lao army uniforms in the international 

Thais stealthily sold arms to Khmer Rouge accused by the west as a 
notorious group for killing people in millions. They bought rubies and 
teak from the Khmer Rouge at low prices. As long as there are insurgents 
along the border with Myanmar, they will continue to get rich by 
smuggling out jade, ruby, teak, rubber, minerals, cattle and ancient 
artifacts. The police are getting bribes from the border opium 
trafficking business. Myanmar Tatmadaw captured 30 bribe-collecting Thai 
police collecting extortion money together with their helicopter when it 
seized Kongmeikhein heroin refining camp in the easternmost sector of 
Kayah State at the border in June 1977.

The whole Thailand is being rusted like a lump of iron by the Thai 
tricksters. The Thai tricksters are gaining profits from drug business 
and black-marketing. But Myanmar is launching narcotic drugs eradication 
with might and main. If the opium supplies from Myanmar will be cut off, 
the drug-addicts from Thailand and the western world will get into 
trouble and the Thai tricksters will lose profits from the drug 
business. Thus, the Thais do not want to see Myanmar troops stationed 
near the border and wish local people of the border to face poverty. 
Only then will they be able to refine drugs at the unguarded areas and 
employ local people in poppy growing business. With this evil scheme, 
the Thais are disturbing all the goodwill efforts of Myanmar with 
aggressive attitude. Very often, the Thai army places drugs at the 
border and seizes them as if they come from Myanmar.

At present, the spy agencies of the west are launching clandestine 
operations to cause political and economic instabi-lity in Southeast 
Asia region. They are disturbing regional unity, stability and 
development and trying to weaken the governments which do not yield to 
their influence. At a time when the west wants to destroy ASEAN and set 
up an organization like SEATO under their domination, should the Thai 
tricksters do such perpetrations?

Myanmar has never launched aggressive or evil attacks against any 
neighbouring country and breached the principles of international 
relations for self-benefits. In this situation, those who are aggressive 
towards Myanmar are the evil ones. We will point finger at the Thai 
tricksters only as the ones breaching the good-neighbourly practices. We 
will never point a finger at Thailand and its people.

Tachilek is separated from Maesai in Thailand by a small creek. There 
were amicable bilateral relations and trade. Ywet Sit and Watanachai and 
group destroyed the situation. The persons who are suffering are Thai 
merchants. Those who are suffering from the closure of the 
Tachilek-Maesai Friendship Bridge are not Myanmars, but Thais. Recently, 
Thai merchants staged a strike against Thai government in Maesai as a 
show of protest. Myanmar has many other good neighbours and friendly 
trading partners. Myanmars are getting raw materials and finished goods 
as required. Those ones that are suffering are Thai factories 
maufacturing goods for the Myanmar market and the Thai merchants.

As there is power difficulty in Tachilek, a Myanmar national 
entrepreneur is building a power station. A power generator was bought 
to supply power before the completion of the station and to put it as a 
reserve station in the future. The generator was transported to Myanmar 
through Thailand as the route would be more convenient. The machine 
arrived at Maesai in April 2001. The Thai authorities there tried to 
find fault with the machine. They said that they could not let the 
machine pass through the border as it was a coal-burn power generation 
machine which could cause environmental pollution and that it was owned 
by drug-trafficker Wa national group. All these accusations are wrong. 
The machine will never cause any environmental pollution and the Wa 
group has never engaged in drug business. It is concentrating efforts on 
drug elimination. The wicked act is against the good-neighbourly 
practices. The real fact is that Thailand never wants Tachilek, which is 
buying electricity!
 from Thailand, to be able to rely on its own for power. The monosodium 
glutamate and soft drinks which came from Thailand contain excessive 
degree of harmful chemicals. In other words, it can be said that they 
are poisoned. Myanmar should always beware of the acts to poison 

Author : Thadindauk Tet She


Chin Forum Working Group (I): Initial Draft of Constitution of Chinland

Dear Respected Recipients,

This is a great honor for me to release the second initial draft of the 
Constitution of Chinland on behalf of the Chin Forum Working Group (I). 
For your convenience and in order to understand the aims and purpose of 
preparing the Initial Draft of the Constitution of Chinland by Working 
Group (I) of the Chin Forum, I would like to reprint the Statement of 
the Chin Forum.

The Statement of the Chin Forum

1.	The Chin Seminar, organized by the Chin National Front (CNF), and 
attended by 17 Chin compatriots including elected Chin MP's respected 
intellectuals and freedom fighters from inside and outside Chinland of 
today's Union of Burma, was successfully held in Ottawa, Canada, on 
April 29 to May 2, 1998. 
2.	Chinland, a formerly free state, was co-founder of the Union of Burma 
under the Panglong Agreement. 
3.	The military regime discarded the 1947 democratic constitution, which 
safeguarded the Panglong Agreement. Therefore we, the Chin people, 
consider ourselves as a free nation until and unless a constitution, 
which guarantees our rights, is proclaimed.  4.	The problem of the Union 
of Burma started because of unequal treatment of the nationalities by 
the successive Burmese governments since independence. This unequal 
treatment has been increased by the military dictatorship especially in 
the areas where non-Burmans reside. 
5.	The military regime has convened a sham national convention with 
handpicked delegates to prolong and legitimize the military 
dictatorship. This national convention deepens the national hatred and 
suspicions instead of solving the political crisis. 
6.	Since the military took over power, there are rampant human rights 
violations, religious and racial persecutions causing an exodus of Chin 
refugees to India as well as other countries. 
7.	The cease-fire arrangement between the military regime and some other 
armed nationality opposition groups cannot solve the present political 
crisis because of the absence of political dialogue.  8.	In order to 
solve the political crisis of the Union of Burma and the refugee 
situation, we demand tripartite dialogue, which has been called for by 
the United Nations as well as Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. This involves 
dialogue between the Burman Democratic Forces, the Burmese Military and 
the Non-Burman Democratic Forces. 
9.	Under genuine democracy and the right of self-determination in its 
fullest extent, we are willing to work together to consolidate unity 
among all nationalities in Burma to form a Federal Union.  Date: 3 May 
Place: Ottawa, Canada

We, the Chins are deeply in need of a mechanism, which commonly known as 
ôConstitutionö to set out the relationship between individuals (CHINS) 
and the Government (GOVERNMENT OF CHINLAND), and which clearly defines 
the powers of the State and its agencies that who can do what and where 
are the limits of powers and so forth. In order to set out a guideline 
of relationship between individuals and the Government, as well as to 
define the powers of the Government and its agencies, the Working Group 
(I) of the Chin Forum has drafted ôGENERALö
guidelines of the Constitution of Chinland, which solely based upon the 
advices and comments from Chins in worldwide.

Working Group (I) of the Chin Forum profoundly understand that a 
Constitution can only be value if the people feel an ownership of their 
Constitution and the institutions are open and fair. In order to have 
ownership-minded, and open and fair institutions for CHINS, the Working 
Group (I) is calling advices from all CHINS in worldwide, regardless of 
differences of our political, social, and religion backgrounds. 

Therefore, on behalf of the Working Group (I) of the Chin Forum, I 
honestly invite all Chins, and others nationals who have knowledge in 
ôCHIN AFFAIRSö and interest on ôCHIN ISSUESö to give us
feedback for forthcoming initial draft of the Constitution of Chinland.

In order to craft a common ôMANIFESTO OF THE CHINSö, please let us 
receive your feedbacks on this initial draft of Constitution of 
Chinland. The initial draft of the Constitution of Chinland is 
accessible at our website:



Printed Copies can be ordered by sending email to:

Salai V.B. Lian <vblian@xxxxxxxxxxx> 

All feedbacks can be sent to the following persons:

Pu Lian Uk (Convenor)
Dr. Vum Son (Co-convenor-I)
Salai N.C.Lian (Co-convenor-II)
V.B.Lian (Secy-CFMB)


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