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BurmaNet News: June 7, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
         June 7, 2001   Issue # 1820
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

*BBC: [NLD seeks prisoner release as good-will gesture]
*Shan Herald Agency for News: Shan party members told to quit
*BMA: Dam collapsed, caused by heavy rain and flood 

MONEY _______
*Xinhua: Myanmar's Bilateral Trade With ASEAN Members Up

*Bangkok Post: Two rangers wounded in clash with Wa troops 

*Bangkok Post: Military gets lion's share of drug fund

*Bangkok Post: No official protest over history textbook
*The Nation: Burma text 'could hurt relations' 

*ABSDF: Time for Transparency
*The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): Your history doesn't bear comparison 
with ours (Part II) 

*NCGUB: Invitation to Women of Burma Day/56th Birthday of Daw Aung San 
Suu Kyi - Tuesday June 19

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

BBC: [NLD seeks prisoner release as good-will gesture]
Thursday 7th July (12:45)

[Larry Jagan]  (CUE: The talks between Burma's military rulers and the
opposition leader are in the process of resuming. The US Assistant 
Secretary of State Ralph Boyce told journalists in Bangkok that the 
should yield concrete results soon. There's been growing speculation 
the UN envoy for Burma, the Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail completed 
mission to Burma earlier this week that the talk which he helped broker 
year were about to restart. UN sources say the opposition leader has 
the military authorities until the end of this month to release some two
hundred political prisoners as a good-will gesture. Larry Jagan has 

The UN remains optimistic that the dialogue process between Aung San Suu 
and the Burmese Generals is about to enter a new phase. According to 
in New York, Aung San Suu Kyi has told the Burmese Generals that they 
start to realase political prisoners and remove the restrictions on her 
the rest of the National League for Democracy. The UN believes this 
would be
a concrete gesture on their part but needs to happen before the end of 
if the dialogue process is to move forward. The talks between the 
and Aung San Suu Kyi have been held in secret with no details of the
discussions being made public by either side. But diplomatic souces in
Rangoon say the talks have not yet gone beyond what they described as 
confidence-building stage. It is also clear now that the talks between 
two sides have been stalled for several months. The UN hopes that it can
help the dialogue process through the intervention of the special envoy 
Burma, Razali Ismail. He has just completed a visit to Rangoon where he
acted as a facilitator and is expected to return again in July. The hope 
is that the two sides will resume a meaningful dialogue. Diplomats in
Rangoon say it's now upto the military to respond to Aung San Suu Kyi's
request to release the political prisoners. There are some two hundred 
them. Senior opposition sources told the BBC that the military have been
urged to release them in stages, starting with those who are elderly 
sixty ) or ill, followed by those who have already completed their
sentences. The military have also been asked to remove the restrictions 
the movement of all senior NLD leaders, including Aung San Suu Kyi and 
U, and to allow the NLD offices to reopen throughout the country. The 
between Aung San Suu Kyi and the Burmese Generals are currently at a 
precarious stage and only a good-will gesture from the military can help
keep them on track. 


Shan Herald Agency for News: Shan party members told to quit

7 June 2001

Choose business benefit or else

Another branch of the Shan party that won the most seats in the Shan 
State  in 1990 elections is being pressured to dissolve itself, 
confirmed sources  from Shan State.

In response to a report by Network Media Group on Saturday (2 June),  
sources said executive members of the Shan Nationalities League for  
Democracy (Mongkerng Branch) were given a choice between economic gains 
on  resignation and persecution on refusal.

"They were threatened with charges of collaboration with the armed  
resistance," said a source from the Chinese border.

According to several sources, the SNLD branches in the southern Shan 
State  are being targeted by the military authorities at present. "The 
northern  branches will come later," said another.

NMG reported that the 7 member EC committee in Mongkerng, 108 miles  
northeast of Taunggyi, were summoned by the township peace and 
delvelopment  council on 28 May to its office where U Myo Thant, the 
TPDC chairman,  delivered its "ultimatum".

To which the branch EC replied that its decision would be made known  
within 20 days (17 June).

A meeting held by the military authorities in Taunggyi on 26-27 May had  
taken the decision to "persuade" the SNLD members to resign "on their 
own  accord," reported NMG.

The SNLD is led by Khun Htoon Oo, who is regarded as the spokes person 
for  the non-Burman parties. Foreign dignitaries often called on him 
during  their visits to Burma.

The first branch ordered by the authorities to dissolve was from 
Langkher,  114 miles southeast of Taunggyi, on 21 January.


BMA: Dam collapsed, caused by heavy rain and flood 

Tin Maung Htoo
Burma Media Association (BMA)
June 7, 2001

One of the irrigation dams located at the middle of Burma was reportedly 
collapsed due to the heavy rainfall and cataclysm, sources in Burma 
The dam called Monetie, which is between two townships, Maline and 
Meiktila, showed an early sign of bursting out, directing the populace 
place of Meiktila, but the authority changed different direction, said 
With the new direction, a village near the dam was taken away from its 
original location and serious damage and death were occurred in the 
Shawpin village and estimated between 50 to 300 lives.

But the government news agency did not confirm yet the occurrence and 
the number of death.  It is also reported that the surrounding places, 
especially Wintwin Township are affected in terms of heavy rain and 
flash flood.

This is the second tragedy occurred within a week in Burma. The first 
accidence was the Mandalay-Myitkyina passenger train that derailed at 
Sindaw Bridge on June 2. It is reported that over a hundred lives dead 
although the government did not confirmed the exact number and said to 
be still looking for the missing bodies in the Sindaw river.


Xinhua: Myanmar's Bilateral Trade With ASEAN Members Up

2001.06.06 14:05:38  

YANGON, June 6 (Xinhuanet) -- Myanmar's bilateral trade with five  other 
member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 
-- Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and  the Philippines -- 
totaled 313.6 million U.S. dollars in the first two months of this year, 
up 22.9 percent from the same period of  2000. 
According to the latest figures published by the country's  Central 
Statistical Organization, these trade accounted for 40.7  percent of 
Myanmar's total foreign trade during the two-month  period with its 
import from these ASEAN members amounting to 181. 47 million dollars, 
while its export to them valued at 132.13  million dollars. The trade 
deficit stood at 49.34 million dollars. 

Of these five ASEAN members, Myanmar's trade with Thailand  accounted 
for the highest volume with 125.48 million dollars or 16. 3 percent of 
the country's 769.15 million dollars' total foreign  trade. 

It was followed by that with Singapore which took up 123.26  million 
dollars or 16 percent. Myanmar's trade with Malaysia and  Indonesia 
stood at 39.25 million dollars and 24 million dollars, respectively. 

In 2000, Myanmar's total foreign trade, including the border  trade, 
totaled 4.086 billion dollars, of which its bilateral trade with the 
five other ASEAN members amounted to 1.651 billion  dollars, accounting 
for 40.4 percent of the country's total  foreign trade during the year. 


Bangkok Post: Two rangers wounded in clash with Wa troops 

June 07, 20001

Chiang Mai

Two rangers were wounded yesterday when a patrol team clashed with 
United Wa State Army guerrillas near Doi Lang in Mae Ai district.

Col Chainarong Kaewkla, commander of the 212th Cavalry Battalion, said 
the Red Wa were probably trying to smuggle drugs across the Kok river.

After the clash, a combined unit of army-trained rangers and 2nd Cavalry 
Regiment soldiers was sent to reinforce Ban Pakui, about 2km from Doi 

Meanwhile, Col Wanthip Wongwai, commander of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment 
task force, said Burmese soldiers at Kuteng Nayong overlooking Mae Sai 
district were continuing with construction of a pagoda in the disputed 
area despite a Thai protest.

Under a standing Thai-Burmese agreement, neither side is allowed to 
build a permanent structure in a disputed area.

On the Burmese side of the border, two battalions were reportedly sent 
from Tachilek on Tuesday to beef up a Burmese border force opposite Doi 


Bangkok Post: Military gets lion's share of drug fund

June 07, 20001

The Defence Ministry has been given the lion's share-328 million baht-of 
the restored 1,012-million-baht fund to fight drugs.

The Budget Bureau had earlier slashed 1,012 million baht from the 
government's proposed anti-drugs budget for fiscal 2002.

A meeting was held yesterday to divide the restored fund among agencies 
involved in the fight against drugs.

The other recipients are: the Justice Ministry, 34 million baht; 
Education Ministry, 105 million; Physical Education Department, 72 
million; Public Health Ministry, 111 million; University Affairs 
Ministry, 51 million; Royal Thai Police Office 105 million; and Interior 
Ministry, 250 million.

PM's Office Minister Thammarak Issarangkura na Ayutthaya said anti-drug 
squads would concentrate on promoting public participation in the war on 
drugs, and rehabilitation of drug addicts.

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

Bangkok Post: No official protest over history textbook

June 07, 20001

Achara Ashayagachat and Bhanravee Tansubhapol 

No official protest will be made over a Burmese school textbook which 
distorts history, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said yesterday.

However, Burma experts warned the textbook could instill a hatred of 
Thai people in young BurmeseThammasat University history professor 
Charnvit Kasetsiri said countries in Southeast Asia shared a common but 
indecent practice in writing ultra-nationalistic history and teaching 
their youngsters to hate their neighbours.

But Burma's introduction of a supplementary 12-page textbook for 
fourth-grade pupils was an extreme case, he said.

The history textbook supplement, released Monday for the 2001-2002 
academic year in Burmese state-run schools, says: "Thai people are given 
to fun and appreciation of beauty. They are disinclined to self-reliance 
and hard work."Mr Charnvit said it would have a long-lasting impact as 
Burmese youth would be taught to hate Thai people.

Historian Sunait Chutintranon, of Chulalongkorn University, warned that 
a tit-for-tat war of words could have a deep impact on future relations.

"Now we have to look at ourselves. Our textbooks, literature, drama and 
films have also portrayed our neighbours in a negative way," he said.


The Nation: Burma text 'could hurt relations' 

 Thu  June 07, 2001

The release of a Burmese textbook that condemns Thais as servile and 
lazy would worsen already fragile bilateral relations, Foreign Minister 
Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said yesterday.

Surakiart ruled out lodging a diplomatic protest against the textbook, 
but said he would raise the issue with Burmese leaders when he 
accompanies Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on an upcoming trip to 

The depictions of Thais in the textbook, which will be used to teach 
fourth-graders from this academic year, looks set to further fuel 
tensions with Burma, which have been worsening over the past five 
months. It is the latest in a string of tit-for-tat moves that began 
with a border incursion and have recently evolved into invoking past 

"The references to Thai people are very explicit," Surakiart said. "We 
do not agree with this interpretation. They [Burmese authorities] should 
be careful because this is not conducive to building strong ties.

"I don't know whether or not publication of the textbook was an order 
[from Burmese authorities], but it is not constructive."

Surakiart urged more exchanges between academics and historians from 
both countries to help bridge historical differences, adding that Thai 
historians should also accurately present facts to the public.

"Disseminating the facts to a civil society would have a more profound 
effect," he said.

Historically, relations with Burma have often deteriorated into hatred 
and warfare. Thaksin said yesterday that the portrayal of Thais in the 
textbook was a result of lingering mutual mistrust.

He also blamed elements of the media for being too heavy-handed in their 
comments on Burma, saying the Burmese leaders were very sensitive about 
what appeared in the Thai press.

However, Thaksin was optimistic that foundations could be laid for 
future relations during his upcoming trip.

Surakiart said the date of the visit was only a matter of scheduling. 


ABSDF: Time for Transparency

June 5, 2001

All Burma Students Democratic Front

On June 4, UN envoy Razali Ismail returned from Burma after meeting with 
top SPDC generals and opposition leaders including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. 
Although the ABSDF realises that it will take time to build trust 
between both sides, we think that the progress over the last 8 months of 
dialogue has been virtually non-existent.  
"The current talks are not open. People are frustrated waiting for 
information while human rights abuses and forced labour are still 
occurring inside the country. That is why the ABSDF strongly urges 
international governments and organisations to keep pressure on the 
SPDC" says ABSDF Chairperson Than Khe. 
Recent religious and racial riots and the Thai-Burma border crisis were 
caused by the military regime. The incidents work to distract people's 
attention from current political and economic problems. The people of 
Burma should have access to information about the real progress of the 
In Jaunary 2001, UN envoy Mr Razali Ismail visited Burma. On his return, 
the news of dialogue between NLD Secretary Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the 
top military leaders of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) 
was released. According to Mr Razali, the talks began in October 2000.  
"We ask the NLD and SPDC to open up the talks so the people of Burma and 
the world can see if there is progress" says Foreign Affairs Secretary 
Sonny Mahinder. 


The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): Your history doesn't bear comparison 
with ours (Part II) 

Wednesday, 6  June, 2001 

(Continued from 4-6-2001) 

[BurmaNet adds: Dates don?t make sense but are as posted by Okkar]

 There is one more thing to say. In reality the 61 centimetres high 
Emerald  Buddha, which is the famous Buddha Image in Bangkok nowadays, 
is one of the  Buddha images the Myanmars had lost during the time of 
King Anawrahta. The  Image fell into the Siamese (Thai) hands as 
plunder. Siamese (Thais) might be  hopping mad, for I have said like 
this. But I could not help whether it they  are hopping mad or in a 
state of topsy-turvy, as I am not going to compile my  presentation 
based on the legends, stories or fables without any evidence.  I will 
now refer to the page 47 to 51 of the book " Popular History of  
Thailand " compiled by ML Manich Jumsai (C.B.E.M.A) who is a member of 
both  the Royal Academy and the Government Historical Research 
If the history of the Emerald Buddha which is now in Siam is to be 
recounted,  the history of our first Emperor, Anawrahta the Great, 
cannot be left out. On  page 48 of the " Popular History of Thailand " , 
it is stated " King Anuruth  (Anawrahta) of Pagan, now Bagan, (Burma, 
now Myanmar) was a fervent supporter  of Buddhism. As the then King of 
Sri Lanka, Ceylon as it was called, Vijaya  Bahu asked King Anawrahta 
for help as his country was invaded by the Colas  from southern India, 
King Anawrahta sent Myanmar soldiers to Sri Lanka to  crush the 

 As Sri Lanka then was about to face total eclipse of Buddhism, the 
Myanmar  King sent eminent monks from the royal city of Bagan to Sri 
Lanka to help  restore and propagate Buddhism in the island country. 

 At the same time, the Buddhist missionaries from Myanmar asked for the  
treatises on the Buddha Dhamma and the Emerald Buddha to be brought to 
Bagan  for public obeisance. The Sri Lankan King wanting to pay back the 
gratitude  the owed to King Anawrahta, agreed to present the treatises 
and the Image to  Myanmar with full generosity. The brief history of the 
Emerald Buddha Image  was that it was carved by a Buddhist monk, Lord 
Abbot Nagasena, of the  ancient city of Patalibut, now Patna in India, 
in BC 43. The Emerald Buddha  Image was kept at Patalibut for over 300 
years before it was conveyed to Sri  Lanka by the Buddhist devotees to 
keep it safe as a war broke out between the  city and the infidels. The 
ship of Myanmar missionaries carrying the Image  met with a storm on the 
way back to Myanmar and drifted ashore on the coast  in Cambodia. When 
the Cambodians found the wrecked ship they salvaged the  Image and kept 
it for public obeisance till the reign of King Senart. As  there 
occurred internal instability during the King's reign, the Buddhist  
monks took the Image away to Inthapat. But when the Siamese invaded 
Angkor,  the Image fell into the hands of the Siamese. The Image was 
then conveyed to  Muong Kampenpet town via Ayudhya, Kamampaik and Labo. 
Afterwards, it was  placed at Chiang Rai for public obeisance. 

 In AD 1434, the Image was carried to Lampang where it was kept in a 
newly  built pagoda. The Emerald Pagoda in Lampang is a pagoda where the 
Emerald  Buddha Image was once placed for public obeisance. During the 
reign of King  Tilokarat, the Image was conveyed from Lampang to 
Chiangmai. When King of  Chiangmai Phra Muong Ketklao passed away, 
Prince Setthatirat became the King  of Chiangmai. Here, there was 
something to explain the situation. When King  Phra Muong Ketklao died, 
he had no son to succeed him. Thus, Prince  Setthatirat, who was born of 
the King's daughter Princess Yodkamtip and the  King of Laungprabang 
(Laos) Potisarat, became the successor to the late King.  But 
Setthatirat could not rule Chiangmai long. 

In AD 1550, his father the King of Laungprabang died during a royal cere 
mony  to capture the elephant. When Setthatirat went to Laungprabang to 
succeed his  father, he also took the Emerald Buddha Image together with 
him to Laos. In  this way the Image arrived at Vientiane in Laos. 

 The Emerald Buddha was kept in Laos for nearly 228 years from 1550 to 
1778.  In 1778, Siamese General Phra Chakri of Dhonburi conquered Laos 
and took the  Image back to Siam. When Bangkok was designated the 
capital city of Siam, the  Image was conveyed from Dhonburi to the new 
capital city. It has been placed  in the capital for public obeisance 
till now. 

 What I would like to say here is that however much the Siamese 
discredit  Myanmar concerning the racial, religious and cultural sectors 
and boast, the  influences of the power, ability and qualifications of 
Myanmar can be found  obviously on every page of their history. Thus, I 
would like to tell them  plainly that if they do not want to be in a 
shameful position once again,  they should not try to compare their 
history with ours. 

Author : Kappiya Kankaung 


NCGUB: Invitation to Women of Burma Day/56th Birthday of Daw Aung San 
Suu Kyi - Tuesday June 19


You are cordially invited to the commemoration of the Women of Burma Day 
in honor of the 56th Birthday of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of the 
National League for Democracy (NLD) and the 1991 Nobel Peace Laureate. 
The event is sponsored by

-	The Congressional Human Rights Caucus

-	The National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), and 
-	The Burmese Community in the Washington Metropolitan Area 

		Date:		Tuesday, June 19, 2001

		Time:		10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon

		Venue:	Room 2200, Rayburn House Office Building 				Independence 
Avenue & S. Capitol St., SW 				Washington, DC

For further information, please contact:

NCGUB			The Burma Fund	 Ms. Sunda Khin
202.393.7342	 202.393.7497	 703.352.1078
------ ---- ----

Women of Burma Day

on the 56th Birthday of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi
(Nobel Peace Laureate 1991)

Every year, since 1997, the National Coalition Government of the Union 
of Burma (NCGUB) and the Joint Action Committee of the Burmese community 
in the Washington Metropolitan Area, with the kind sponsorship of the 
Congressional Human Rights Caucus, have been celebrating Women of Burma 
Day, which falls on the birthday of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi--June 19.

Due to some significant developments in Burma, this year's event will be 
celebrated with hope and determination. There have been reports of 
secret talks underway in Rangoon between the military junta and Daw Aung 
San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Laureate and leader who symbolizes the 
non-violent struggle of the democracy movement. Although the sincerity 
of the generals in holding the talks is still debatable, there is 
cautious optimism that the process could lead to a substantive political 
dialogue if the international community is determined to maintain its 
pressure and action against the ruling generals.

We will therefore be commemorating the Women of Burma Day on June 19 
with a commitment to uphold rights and freedom for the women of Burma 
and good wishes for Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that she succeeds in her 
endeavors to bring democracy to Burma.


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