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BurmaNet News: June 15, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
         June 15, 2001   Issue # 1826
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

*AFP: Myanmar regime frees more opposition figures 
*AP: Opposition journalist freed from detention in Myanmar 
*Rohingya Solidarity Organisation:  Seventy mosques and madarasas 
ordered to be destroyed in north Arakan 
*Independent Mon News Agency: Forced porters used by LIB 548

*Bangkok Post: Evacuation drills staged as Burma-Shan clashes feared

*Bangkok Post: DKBA troops defect to KNU over drugs

*Bangkok Post: Gen Chavalit denies rift with Surakiart
*TheNation: No rift between ministries 
*Reuters: Bangladesh detains Myanmar communist rebels
*BMA: U.S Puts more Pressure on Burma

*Bangkok Post: Burma trip is ill-advised
*Asiaweek:  Business, Burmese Style [letters]
*The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): A visit to Mongla: A town developing 
in leaps and bounds 

*PD Burma: Calendar of events

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________


AFP: Myanmar regime frees more opposition figures 

YANGON, June 15 

Myanmar's military junta have released another opposition leader of the 
National League for Democracy (NLD), as well as seven more political 
prisoners, a NLD source said Friday. 

 Doctor Saw Mra Aung and the seven others were freed late Thursday 
evening, the source said. 
 Saw Mra Aung had been appointed speaker of parliament following the 
1990 elections which the NLD won massively but which the junta failed to 

 He was originally from the now defunct Union Nationalities League for 
Democracy (UNLD) which was an affiliation of some 20 minority ethnic 

 The seven others released Thursday have not been named. 

 On Wednesday, one of Myanmar's best known political prisoners, the 
journalist and opposition leader Soe Thein, was freed a few days after a 
UN mission mediated. 

 The development followed a recent visit to Yangon of the UN secretary 
general's special envoy and Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail. 

AP: Opposition journalist freed from detention in Myanmar 

YANGON, Myanmar -  2001-06-14 Thu 09:46 

Soe Thein, a well-known writer and elected member of parliament from the 
opposition National League for Democracy, has been released from prison 
after serving five years in detention, family members said. 

 Soe Thein, also known as Maung Wunntha, was released from Insein Prison 
outside Yangon on Wednesday night, said a relative, speaking on 
condition of anonymity. A well-known writer and publisher of a journal, 
Soe Thein is in his mid-fifties. His relative said he appeared to be in 
good health. 

 Last October, the Paris-based group Reporters San Frontieres _ 
Reporters Without Borders _ said Soe Thein was critically ill. 

 The group, which supports press freedom around the world, said he was 
admitted during the third week of September to the intensive care 
service of Yangon's general hospital after suffering a heart attack in 
his cell. It said he had suffered a previous heart attack in prison in 
July 1997, and also suffered from a stomach disease. 

 According to Reporters San Frontieres, Soe Thein was jailed under a 
national security statute which provides for indefinite periods of 
detention without trial. 

 It said he was editor of the official newspaper Botahtaung before being 
dismissed in 1988 because of his support for the pro-democracy movement 
which was trying to end military rule. He also published a journal, 
Ah-Twe-Ah-Myin _ The Thought_ until 1990. 

 Soe Thein was elected to parliament in the general election of 1990, 
which was won in a landslide by the National League for Democracy. The 
military, however, never allowed Parliament to convene, and remains in 

 Soe Thein was also technically disqualified from his seat after being 
convicted in October 1990 under another security law. He was released 
from that conviction under an amnesty in April 1992.

2001-06-14 Thu 09:46 

Rohingya Solidarity Organisation:  Seventy mosques and madarasas ordered 
to be destroyed in north Arakan 

Date: 12 June 2001

Several places of worship have been desecrating and destroying by 
military junta since it took power. The newly formed military regional 
command (Da Sa Ka) issued an order last month by its commander Brig. 
Phon Swe to destroy 70 more mosques and madarasas under Hashurata area 
in 14 villages north of Maungdaw township, about 120 km north of Akyab, 
capital of Arakan State. Earlier the military junta officials have 
already demolished 15 mosques in April 2001 under Maungdaw township. It 
is part of the on-going programme of the military junta to clear Islamic 
signs from the soil of Arakan. 

(Sheikh Deen Mohammed)
Rohingya Solidarity Organisation
Arakan, Burma


Independent Mon News Agency: Forced porters used by LIB 548


June 14, 2001

Battalion LIB No, 548 forced local people as porter in  Kya-in-seik-kyi 
Township, Karen State.

On  May 29,2001, Light Infantry Battalion No.548, based in 
Pha-yar-nguke-toe  village, forced 30 local people from Krain Htaw and 
Phayarghone (Dei Kyaik)  villages to work as porters. The villagers were 
forced to carry supplies  and ammunition for the Battalion?s columns 
around the Zahmi river,  according to a local Mon villager. This SPDC 
troops using porters was lead by  Captain Thein Oo, added the villager.

SPDC battalions No.548 and 447 have been based in Pha-Yarnguketoe 
village  recently. When they were constructing the battalion buildings, 
they used  forced people from this village to labor, causing some 
villagers to move away. These battalions are based in the area for 
carrying out offensives against  KNU troops.



Bangkok Post: Evacuation drills staged as Burma-Shan clashes feared

June 15, 2001

By Subin Khuenkaew, Chiang Mai

Evacuation drills have been carried out at four border villages in Wiang 
Haeng district ahead of anticipated fighting between Burmese troops and 
Shan rebels in Burma.

Maj-Gen Nakhon Sriphetphan, commander of the Pha Muang task force, said 
the drills near the Lak Taeng border crossing were low key, to prevent 
Burmese misunderstanding about the situation.

"We are certain the villagers will be able to protect themselves before 
help arrives if there is any spillover from clashes in Burma, or if 
shells land in any villages. "Evacuation drills have been well-planned 
and carefully practised to prevent any misunderstanding," he said. The 
drill was prepared on the assumption Burmese soldiers would attack the 
Shan State Army stronghold on Doi Tai Laeng, opposite Pang Ma Pha 
district of Mae Hong Son.

Military intelligence suggested Burmese troops and Shan rebels would 
clash in a border area opposite Wiang Haeng district.

Homkhongsai Lungmaung, headmaster of Wat Fa Wiang In Pre-School 
Childcare Centre, said teachers had not told any of the 128 students the 
reason why they had to participate in evacuation drills for fear the 
youngsters would panic. Officials agreed at a meeting in Mae Sai 
district yesterday that 20 border crossings in Chiang Rai should be 
closed for security reasons.


Bangkok Post: DKBA troops defect to KNU over drugs

June 15, 2001

Tak-Nine soldiers of the pro-Rangoon Democratic Karen Buddhist Army 
defected to the Karen National Union in Burma, opposite Tha Song Yang 
district yesterday.

The defectors handed over five M16 and AK47 rifles, two M79 grenade 
launchers, one RPG rocket launcher, and a quantity of ammunition to the 
anti-Rangoon KNU, a KNU source said.

They said they could not stand by and watch the large number of DKBA 
soldiers becoming addicted to methamphetamines and being forced to 
deliver the pills to the Thai border.

They said Phra Uthusna, the DKBA leader, had moved from Mya Yi Ngu 
temple near the border to a small village near Pa-an, the Karen state 
capital. The DKBA broke away from the KNU in 1994 after Rangoon promised 
autonomy to Buddhist Karen.

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

Bangkok Post: Gen Chavalit denies rift with Surakiart

June 15, 2001

Tachilek checkpoint to reopen on June 19 to mark PM's trip

Defence Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh says he is "amused" by reports 
that his planned Burma visit upset Foreign Minister Surakiart 

Gen Chavalit has cancelled an official trip to Rangoon next week, citing 
a tight schedule.

Sources said he came under ministry pressure, with Prime Minister 
Thaksin Shinawatra's official visit starting about the same time.

The ministry believed the general's visit would send Burma the wrong 
signals-that the defence minister, not the foreign minister, has the 
final say on foreign policy.

Gen Chavalit said there was no substance to reports of a rift with Mr 
Surakiart. "We are working closely over attempts to resolve 
misunderstandings and strengthen ties with Burma," he said.

Mr Surakiart yesterday phoned Gen Chavalit about the report.

"The foreign minister is a bit worried about the report and just wanted 
to say that it had no substance," Gen Chavalit said. "There is no such 
rift. I told him not to worry since we both have a good understanding of 
the issue." Gen Vichit Yathip, chief of the defence minister's staff 
officers, went to Burma last week to make final plans for Mr Thaksin's 

Gen Chavalit said it was not necessary for him to accompany the premier 
or make an advance trip since "everything has been settled and the 
premier's visit should achieve its goal".

Gen Chavalit said he would leave for China on June 20 and would be in 
too much of a hurry anyway.

Meanwhile, Burmese leader Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt has agreed to reopen the 
Tachilek border checkpoint on Tuesday to mark the start of Mr 
Thaksin'svisit to Burma, a government source said.

The crossing has been closed since February, following skirmishes along 
the border in Chiang Rai.

The first secretary of Burma's State Peace and Development Council had 
promised the prime minister's adviser for security affairs, Gen Chettha 
Thanajaro, that the Tachilek crossing, opposite Mae Sai district, would 
reopen on June 19, a source close to the general said.

Gen Chettha met Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt in Rangoon last week while he was 
doing ground work for Mr Thaksin's visit on June 19-20


TheNation: No rift between ministries 

June 15, 2001

A Defence Ministry spokesman yesterday dismissed reports that the 
Foreign Ministry had tried to discredit Defence Minister Gen Chavalit 
Yongchaiyudh by banning his planned trip to Burma ahead of the Prime 

Dismissing the reports as groundless, Col Chongsak Panitchakul said 
Chavalit was fully aware that the Defence Ministrys role was to help the 
Foreign Ministry facilitate contact with the Burmese military leaders. 
We helped the Foreign Ministry smooth several matters leading to the 
finalisation of the trip, Chongsak said.

The spokesman said Chavalit made the decision from the very beginning he 
will not go to Burma in order to stay as acting prime minister when the 
prime minister was away. He is fully aware not to use personal rapport 
to resolve problems with Burma. It is the duty of the Foreign Ministry, 
he said.

He said the report might have been based on a misinterpretation of 
Thaksins casual statement made during a cabinet meeting : Brother (Phi) 
should not go to act on my behalf.

Chongsak said Foreign Minsiter Surakiart Sathirathai had spoken by phone 
with Chavalit about the report and clarified that the Foreign Ministry 
had not prevented Chavalit from visiting Burma.

A proponent of personal ties with Burmese leaders, Chavalit made it 
known earlier that he supported Thaksin in his haste to visit Burma to 
discuss controversy rushing to Burma to settle border spatessparked 
primarily by Thailands claims that Burma turned a blind eye on drug 
production by its Wa allies.

Chavalit reportedly sent several military missions to Burma to lobby 
Rangoon to receive Thaksin. disregard of right protocol in which Burmese 
Foreign Minister Win Aung who is due to visit Thailand later this month 
to finalise the PMs trip.

A radio report yesterday quoted Thaksin as saying he wanted to get the 
closed Tachilek checkpoint open as soon as possible. He also said he 
wanted to visit Mong Yawn, the alleged drug production centre across 
from Mae Hong Son, after bilateral relations improve.

Thaksin sent Surakiart and PM Offices Minister Thammarak Issarangura in 
separate missions in May to patch up ties, only to find relations 
deteriorated into more border tensionMeanwhile, deputy Education 
Minister Jamlong Kruntkuntode said the ministry would take a cautious 
look at reviewing the content of a Burmese textbook which describes 
Thais as servile and lazy, hai people and the monarchy to avoid a 
similar row that has damaged relations between China and Japan. Jamlong 
admitted it was impossible for the Foreign Ministry to ask Burma to 
rewrite the book. History is a matter for an individual country to 
write. We can pass judgement on whether it is correct or not,he said.

The ministry will review the content of the text before making a 
decision on what action it will take. Any action to be taken without 
thorough consideration will further backfire on relations,he said.

He referred to Japans latest history textbook for secondary school 
students which drew protest from Beijing. The book heaped praise on its 
Japanese ancestors in wars with China but did not explain why it entered 
the wars.

The Nation 


Reuters: Bangladesh detains Myanmar communist rebels

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh, June 14 

Bangladeshi police said on Thursday they had detained two Myanmar 
communist rebels in the southeastern Bandarban hill region. 

 Police said six Arakan Army members had been detained since April in 
Bandarban and Teknaf, both areas close to west Myanmar's Muslim-majority 
Arakan state. 

 Communist, Buddhist and Muslim rebels from Myanmar often cross into 
Bangladesh to escape arrest at home, or to regroup after being pursued 
by Myanmar soldiers. 

 Bangladesh denies providing support to rebels from neighbouring 

 Bangladesh has been hosting some 21,000 Arakani Muslims, known as 
Rohingyas, since 1992. They fled to Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar district, 
bordering Arakan, to escape alleged military persecution. Bangladeshi 
officials believe the Rohingyas are mostly economic refugees. 


BMA: U.S Puts more Pressure on Burma

S-926: the U.S Puts more Pressure on Burma

The US Lawmakers Introduce a New Legislation in the Capital in 
Washington, DC to Ban Exports from Burma

By Nyi Nyi Lwin (USA)
Burma Media Association 

On June 13, 2001 (Washington, D.C) After Mr. Razali?s latest trip to the 
Burma in June, the louder voices of criticism from the Washington, 
Europe, and the democratic forces of Burma abroad heard clearly. 

In fact, the international community did not satisfy the latest report 
of the United Nations (UN) regarding Mr. Razali?s role in the Burma?s 
political process and on-going dialogue between the State Peace and 
Development Council (SPDC) and the National League for Democracy (NLD) 
led by 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. 

The name of SPDC was changed from the State Law and Order Restoration 
Council (SLOCR) in 1997, very infamous regime in the world. 
The NLD won 82% of the parliamentary seats in the 1990 national 
election. But the regime refused to honor the election results. 

When the most world leader were doubting to reach a fine-line between 
the Burma?s regime and the NLD over the political deadlock for a decade, 
the breakthrough of the UN?s report of the ?talks,? in which Mr. Razali 
publicized the world that the regime and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi were 
conducting a political dialogue to bridge the differences, gave a big 
hope for the international community. 

Shortly after the announcement came out from the UN, Japanese resumed 
the ODA assistance to the regime even though the European Union (EU) and 
the United States opposed it. 

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gravitates the firm 
hands-off policy and relaxes over the Burma?s political situation after 
Malaysian Prime Minister visited the country, and he later told the 
press that Burma would have a new election within several years ahead.   
But the most recent reports from the Washington based Human Rights Watch 
and the London based Amnesty International over the Burmese regime?s 
human rights violation and persistence of the use of force labors was 
off the limelight.  In other words, as long as the regime exists in 
Burma, the violation of human rights and the use of the force labors are 
The pleasant change and sounds that can be seen in Burma is only to 
replace the regime with the elected representatives and a civilian 
But how? 

By the pressure or by the hands-off?

Make no mistake, the US quickly moves to put more pressure on the Burma. 
?We are convinced that the sanction (referred to the 1996 President 
Clinton imposed a new investment sanction on Burma) have been partially 
responsible for promoting the regime to engage in dialogue Aung San Suu 
Kyi and her supporters. While it is too soon to determine if these talks 
will produce a plan for national reconciliation, we believe any change 
in sanctions pressure could remove the incentive to the regime to 
negotiate,? the letter dated on March 1, 2001 to the newly elected 
President Bush, signed by 25 Democrat and 10 Republican Senators, 

In 1996, the former US president Mr. Clinton imposed an economic 
sanction on Burma but left out exports from Burma to the US.

The undersigned Senators in the letter are included Patrick J. Leahy, 
Mich McConnell, Tom Harkin, Jesse Helm, Diannee Feinsteen, and Sam 
Brownbak. They are very mush aware of the Burma?s current situations. 

To follow up the pressure on the Burma?s regime, a bill, S. 926, has 
been introduced in the Senate since May 29, 2001 to impose further 
sanction against the SPDC. The bill is sponsored by Senate Foreign 
Relation Chairman Jesse Helms, Charles Schumber, Ernest Hollings, and 
Dianne Feistine.   
This bill is to halt any product imports to Burma from the United States 
and exports to the US from the Burma. As a result, the SPDC will loss 
more than US$ 200 million in an annually exports to the US.  

The bill indicates, ?(b) EFFECTIVE DATE.?the previous shall apply to any 
article entered or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or  the 
15th day after the date of the enact of this Act.? In other words, no 
stores or supermarkets in the United States can display or sell the 
products from Burma. 

This law only targets the regime?s profits from the exports to the US, 
meanly from the textile productions. 

Free Burma Coalition, Democratic Burmese Student Organization (DBSO-USA) 
and other Burmese activists in the Washington have been working very 
hard to lobby the Senate to pass this bill in this summer.   

Constant phone calls to the senators and daily letters to 
representatives can been seen in the senators? mailboxes.  Also, the 
assistants and staffs from the Senate offices are keeping busy to 
response the calls and letters to the Burmese community as well as to 
the members of the Free Burma Coalition.

The process of dialogue has been ducked since October 2000 even though 
the regime claims it is moving. But, after these lobby days in the 
Washington, after the Senate passes the bill, after President Bush signs 
ii into the law, the regime of Burma will realize it gets to move on.  


Bangkok Post: Burma trip is ill-advised

June 15, 2001

Prime Minister Thaksin should reconsider his plan to visit Burma next 
week Many say he should wait until Burma has apologised officially for 
recent articles defaming the Thai monarchy.

The Thai-Burmese relationship is no longer characterised by 
long-standing border disputes and minority groups operating along the 
border. Recent disputes have centred on the influx of methamphetamines 
into Thailand. Accusations have been traded over who is responsible for 
producing these drugs.

Relations between our countries deteriorated further when articles 
considered defamatory to the Thai monarchy were published in the 
official New Light of Myanmar A new Burmese textbook also describes the 
Thai people as lazy.

The Foreign Ministry has sent protests to Rangoon in response to these 
articles. The Burmese ambassador was called before Thai ministry 
officials. But reactions from the Burmese government have so far been 

Mr Thaksin may disagree with those who advise him against going to 
Burma, but at least he should think about the feelings of those Thais 
offended by the defamatory articles. An official apology should be made 
by Rangoon before Mr Thaksin pays his visit.

It is best to use diplomacy to foster friendship and mutual 
understanding between neighbours. But it is also necessary to protect 
the Thai pride and dignity.

Editorial from Thai Post.

Asiaweek:  Business, Burmese Style [letters]

June 15, 2001 

It's easy to criticize Ross Dunkley and his weekly journals (DATELINE, 
May 25). But there is no such thing as perfect. Some people have either 
forgotten, have not realized or simply don't understand (or can't 
accept) the real situation in Myanmar. As little as three years ago, the 
only paper in English was the New Light of Myanmar. Nationals and expats 
could not get access to other newspapers, magazines, books. Now there 
are many journals published locally. Foreign newspapers and magazines 
are available widely throughout the country. The Myanmar Times' world 
news section brings information to readers that previously was not 
available. In fact, the Times is reporting on many issues and happenings 
both locally and internationally which previously went unreported to the 
populace. Knowledge of what is happening inside and outside the country 
is vital for the development of Myanmar. Do Dunkley's critics wish to 
see this stopped? 

Are we better off with or without the Times? I remember what it was like 
without it. I understand the significance of the Times being present and 
the role it plays in the development of the country. It's all part of 
Myanmar's evolution. 
Duncan MacLean 
General Manager 
Equatorial Hotel 

The Myanmar Times does not kowtow to the government. Being under 
censorship and kowtowing are different things. The Times is a thin end 
of the wedge to make the government more aware about the need to be 
Ma Thanegi Myanmar 

The Myanmar Times' principal owner is a college classmate and business 
associate of junta chief Khin Nyunt. Could this operation survive in a 
free and democratic Myanmar? 
Myint Thein 
Senior Adviser to the Burmese Resistance 
Dallas, Texas, U.S. 

The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): A visit to Mongla: A town developing in 
leaps and bounds 

Thursday, 14 June, 2001 

It was nearly noon, when we arrived at Mongla in Shan State (East) 
Special  Region 4. It has been long since I last visited the town. 
Mongla was the  final town in our TV documentary team's itinerary. 

We were on a trip to shoot a documentary on the development of Kengtung, 
 Tachilek, Monghsat, Mongyun (Wa region) and Mongla regions. It was 
somehow a  tiring journey. 

 In reality, the Mongla region is not unfamiliar with me. I visited the  
region for various reasons after 30 June 1989. During the time, together 
with  Commander of No 88 Light Infantry Division Brig-Gen Thein Han, I 
had  travelled to Kengtung, Mongla, Mongywang Township, Nanphan in 911 
region on  the other bank of Nanlway Creek, Mongyang region and Hotaung 
and Silu region  in the eastern sector of Thanlwin River by helicopter. 

In 1990-91 when the border development undertakings were starting to 
gain  momentum in the regions where peace had been restored, I toured 
the regions  through jungle and mountain routes together with Tactical 
Operations  Commander Col Kyaw Win (now Commander of Northern Command 
Maj-Gen Kyaw Win).  Thus, I have known about the regions to a certain 
Since 1996-97, I had not been to Mongla region. It has been four or five 
 years since I have been away from the region. During 1997-98, I 
travelled  alone in Mongphyat and Mongywang regions in Tachilek District 
and along  Pahlyo, Kyaikluk and Monghsat regions at Myanmar-Laos-Thai 
I spent my time in a beneficial way while touring Lashio, Kutkai, Muse,  
Tamoenye, Lonhtan and Shauklaw regions in northern Shan State.  As I 
often have the opportunity to accompany Commander of Northern Command  
Maj-Gen Kyaw Win, I have been visiting all the hill, plain and border 
regions  in Kachin State since January 2000, passing my valuable time 
writing news  reports and articles on regional development. I have 
presented a large number  of articles on regional development 
undertakings in the State-run dailies,  and compiling my articles into 
books and publishing them one after another.  The book "  The Kachin 
Special Region 1; Panwa" is my 11th publication. It  will come out soon. 

The present journey through the eastern Thanlwin region was a marathon 
tour.  we left Yangon for Bagan-NyaungU Airport on 16 May 2001. From 
there we flew  to Mandalay International Airport, and then to Kengtung. 

When the plane arrived near Kengtung, the weather turned bad. Our plane 
was  shaken by a flurry. Thus, the plane had to turn back to Heho.  
Because of the bad weather, I was worried about my journey and lamented 
for  my failure to say regular morning prayers. 

After landing at Heho Airport for a brief period, the plane left there 
at 2  pm. We arrived at Kengtung Airport at about 3 pm safe and sound. 
We flew to  Tachilek from Kengtung on board Air Mandalay flight. From 
Tachilek, we  travelled to Mongyun at Myanmar-Thai border via Monghsat. 
Then, we went to  Mongla via Tachilek and Kengtung. It took us 8 days to 
complete the journey.  During the tour, we travelled by air as well as 
by car. Thus, it was indeed a  tiresome journey. I was deep in my 
thoughts when Ko Tin Maung Latt, a  correspondent from Myanmar News 
Agency (Internal) said to me, " We are going  to stay at Hlaingtunt 
Hotel. How nice!"  He then took me to the hotel.  
As soon as we entered the hotel, we were warmly welcomed by the host  
including Leader of the Special Region 4 U Sai Lin, Secretary U Nwe Oo, 
U  Myint Kyi and U San Pe. 
U Kham Maung greeted me and said, " You've been away from eastern Shan 
State  for long. " What he said was true to a certain degree. In the 
present trip to  the eastern Shan State, we had witnessed the regional 
development  undertakings more than we had anticipated. The TV crew from 
TV Myanmar and  Myawaddy TV and Ko Tin Maung Latt had already documented 
all the regional  development tasks including agriculture, livestock 
breeding and new or  upgraded roads and bridges. As we had already 
gathered enough documents, I  was happy as I would be able to write 
articles on regional development.  The Hlaingtunt Hotel was grand and 
neat and tidy. All the bath rooms and  toilets were of western style. 
Cold water or warm water, phone services to  all destinations and all TV 
channels including world-wide TV programmes were  available. It was 
really nice as Ko Tin Maung Latt said. The four-star hotel  was built in 
October 1994 and completed on 30 April 2001. It is located on a  40-acre 

The floor area is 20,000 square metres. It houses 87 standard rooms and 
two  suites, restaurants, game centres, ball rooms, bathhouses, a tennis 
court and  a swimming pool. The hotel built at a cost of yuan 90 million 
was launched on  15 May 2001. According to U Kyi Myint, the Oriental 
Hotel was under  construction at that time. It would become a seven 
storey facility.  Construction had completed up to the third floor. It 
will have 57 standard  rooms and 13 suites. 

Mongla now has two world-class hotels, Mongla Hotel and Hlaingtunt 
Hotel, and  if the Oriental Hotel is added to the list, it will have 
three such  facilities. The charge for a standard room per day was yuan 
380 at Hlaingtunt  Hotel. From 1,000 to 2,000 tourists from 
Xishuangbanna prefecture in the  neighbouring People's Republic of China 
are visiting Mongla daily. They are  coming to the town in large buses 
or in vans. According to U Nwe Oo and U Kyi  Myint over 2.7 million 
visitors visited Mongla from 1996 to 2001. I witnessed  that the 
committee chaired by U Sai Lin was developing the town to make it  
become more pleasant and beautiful year after year to win the hearts of 
the  visitors. 

 I noticed that town roads were being maintained and upgraded every 
year. A  new reinforced concrete bridge was added to the existing two 
bridges on Namma  Creek, which is flowing through the town, at a cost of 
yuan 1.29 million. I  was proud of and satisfied to see the extended 
town beautifying projects and  recreation centres to attract more 
visitors. Most of the town roads were  paved with nylon tar. All in all, 
the Mongla Special Region 4 is developing  in leaps and bounds since 
peace was restored in the region 12 years ago.  

Author : Taungdwin Bo Thein 



PD Burma: Calendar of events

June 15, 2001

  June 19th     : Aung San Suu Kyi birthday party and Burmese 
Women's Day 
  July      : Belgium takes over EU Presidency 
  July      : 8th RFA Ministerial Meeting, Hanoi 
  July      : 34th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and 
Post-Ministerial Conference 
  July      : ASEAN Summit 
  Aug. 31st- Sep.7th   : World Conference against Racism and 
Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related   intolerance, South 
  December 1st    : Worlds Aids Day 
  December 10th    : 10th Year Anniversary of the Nobel Peace 
Prize for Aung San Suu Kyi. 
 February 2002    : The fourth Bangladesh, India, Burma, Sri 
Lanka and Thailand-Economic Cooperation (BIMST-          EC) meeting, 


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