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BurmaNet News: June 22, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
         June 22, 2001   Issue # 1830
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

*Irrawaddy: Daw Kyi Kyi Passes Away
*VOA News: Burma Releases Five Opposition Members
*Radio Australia: Five Burmese opposition members released 
*BBC News: Burma releases more political prisoners
*Bangkok Post: Burma joins health campaign-Agrees to battle deadly 

MONEY _______
*Bangkok Post: PM offers soft-term trade deal-Export ban could be lifted 
and tariffs cut

*The Nation: Burma 'Peace Talks'-- PM Pledges End to Clashes 

*Irrawaddy: "Thais are very angry with the Burmese, mainly because of 
drugs."--An interview with Senator Kraisak Choonhavan, head of 
Thailand?s Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs

*Bangkok Post: Burma's Win Aung on visit
*The Nation: Let time be judge of PMs overtures with Burma 
*The Nation: US group calls on govt to help Shan

*The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): Those who daren't show their face - 19 

*Far Eastern Economic Review: Inreview: Books--Oh My, Oh Myanmar
*Far Eastern Economic Review: Inreview: Books--  Burmese Ways
__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

Irrawaddy: Daw Kyi Kyi Passes Away

June 19, 2001

By Min Zin

June 19, 2001Daw Kyi Kyi, 82, one of the most highly respected woman 
opposition figures in Burma, passed away on June 15 at Rangoon General 
Hospital, confirmed relatives inside Burma.

"Her health had deteriorated since she was released from prison in July 
1999 after serving ten years. Actually, she was frequently hospitalized 
during her prison term," said a relative. "Daw Kyi Kyi finally died of a 
heart attack," continued the relative. 

Daw Kyi Kyi, who was born on May 18, 1920, had served more time in jail 
than any female political prisoner in Burma. Actively involved in the 
Burmese independence struggle against British colonial rule, she later 
joined the Communist Party of Burma (CPB) in 1945. She married communist 
leader Thakin Zin in 1947.

Daw Kyi Kyi was also a leading figure of the Burmese womens movement, 
becoming an executive member of the Burmese Womens Congress in 1946. 
Just after Independence in 1948, Daw Kyi Kyi went underground and joined 
the CPBs armed struggle. She gave birth to four children in the jungle 
during her years underground. In 1959 she was arrested and spent two 
years in prison with her children. She later ran a successful Indian 
spice business, which enabled her to support the families of fellow 
political prisoners and underground activists. 

In 1967, she was arrested again and charged under section 5 J of the 
Emergency Security Act. She was released after five years. Several years 
later, she learned that her husband, CPB chairman Thakin Zin, had been 
killed by the Burmese military in 1975. Her annual commemorative 
ceremonies for her husband became occasions for the various 
anti-government forces to gather, prompting the socialist regime of 
former dictator Ne Win to put pressure her stop the services. She was 
detained in January 1987 for refusing to halt the ceremonies honoring 
her late husband, and remained in jail until the 1988 pro-democracy 

In 1989, the 70-year-old Daw Kyi Kyi was again taken into custody for 
allegedly engaging in clandestine activities for the CPB to topple the 
military government. She was arrested together with her daughter and her 
son-in-law. All three were sentenced to 20-year prison terms, and their 
spice business became a target of harassment by military intelligence 
agents. In 1993, the junta declared that all political prisoners serving 
20-year sentences would have their prison terms reduced by ten years, 
but it was unclear if this would also apply to Daw Kyi Kyi. Despite 
domestic and international pressure on the junta to release her on 
humanitarian grounds, citing her advanced age and ill health, Daw Kyi 
Kyi remained behind bars until July 11, 1999.

According to relatives, Ludu Daw Amar, a well-known Burmese writer and 
social critic, sent a message of condolence expressing sorrow at the 
loss of "a very strong and courageous woman of our times." 


VOA News: Burma Releases Five Opposition Members

Bangkok-21 Jun 2001 12:48 UTC

By Ron Corben

Burma's military government has released five more opposition members 
from detention. The move appears to be a sign of progress in the fragile 
dialogue between the government and the opposition National League for 

This is the second release of opposition politicians in as many weeks. 
Five members of the National League for Democracy were allowed Thursday 
to leave government guest houses where they had been detained. Eight NLD 
members were freed last week.

The government has also permitted the NLD to reopen about half of its 40 
offices in and around the capital, Rangoon.

The moves are being seen as a sign of new progress in private talks 
between the Burmese government and NLD leader Aung Sang Suu Kyi. 

The talks began secretly in October and are believed to have been 
initiated by U.N. special envoy, Razali Ismail. Mr. Razali visited Burma 
again earlier this month amid reports that the talks had stalled, 
possibly due to divisions within the ruling military leadership.

Despite these new hopeful signs, top NLD leaders, including Aung San Suu 
Kyi, remain under virtual house arrest. 

Burma's political stand-off began more than a decade ago, when the 
military refused to recognize the landslide victory of the NLD in 
general elections.

Radio Australia: Five Burmese opposition members released 

June 22, 2001

Burma's military regime says it has released five more prominent members 
of the opposition National League for Democracy, led by Aung San Suu 

The release of the five, who were all elected as MPs in the disallowed 
1990 elections, brings to 17 the number of political prisoners freed 
this month. 

A spokesman for the military junta indicated the releases were a sign 
that progress is being made in the fledgling national reconciliation 
talks between Aung San Suu Kyi and the ruling State Peace and 
Development Council.

It's the third group of NLD members to be released since United Nations 
envoy Razali Ismail visited Rangoon earlier this month.

He's credited with acting as the catalyst for talks between the junta 
and Suu Kyi that began last October, but which appeared to have run into 
problems in recent months. 

(02:52:38 AEST) 


BBC News: Burma releases more political prisoners

Thursday, 21 June, 2001, 10:59 GMT 11:59 UK 

By regional analyst Larry Jagan 

 More political prisoners releases

 Cue: Burma's military authorities have released another five 
pro-democracy  MPs from prison. The military authorities said the five 
are all members of  Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democrcay. 
More than a dozen  political prisoners were freed last week. These 
releases are seen as a  sign that talks between Burma's military rulers 
and the opposition leader  Aung San Suu Kyi, which started last October, 
are beginning to make  progress. The NLD convincingly won the 1990 
elections but have never been  allowed to govern. Larry Jagan reports)
 The talks between Aung San Suu Kyi and the military authorities have 
been  held in strict secrecy, with neither side making any public 
comment on the  details of the dialogue. So analysts are always looking 
for signs that the  talks are making progress. The military authorities' 
release of political  prisoners is seen as one of those signs. Sources 
in the military  government have also hinted that more releases are 
likely in the next few  weeks. A senior opposition source told the BBC 
that more than half the NLD  offices in Rangoon have also been allowed 
to reopen. These measures were  high on the list of demands the UN 
special envoy, Razali Ismail gave the  Generals earlier this month to 
prove that the talks were making progress.  

The issue of political prisoners has been at the heart of the dialogue  
process between Aung San Suu Kyi and Burma's generals for sometime now.  
The opposition leader has continually asked the military authorities to  
release political prisoners as a gesture of good faith. According to  
opposition sources, Aung San Suu Kyi has urged the Generals to allow the 
 NLD to function normally and wants the restrictions on her and other  
senior opposition leaders removed. She also wants other members of the 
NLD  to be involved in the dialogue process. Diplomatic sources in 
Rangoon  believe the release of prisoners are part of a 
confidence-building  process. They'll be more inclined to believe the 
dialogue process is  making real progress when the restrictions on Aung 
San Suu Kyi are lifted.  Sources in Rangoon believe this may happen next 
month around the time the  UN envoy is due to return to Rangoon.


Bangkok Post: Burma joins health campaign-Agrees to battle deadly 

Bangkok Post: June: 22,2001

By Aphaluck Bhatiasevi

Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan has announced a first-ever 
joint initiative between Thai and Burmese health authorities to fight 
border health problems which are soaring because of an influx of illegal 

The unique united campaign against diseases such as HIV / Aids, malaria 
and tuberculosis will be headed by Ms Sudarat and her Burmese 
counterpart. It will be instigated next month in the Mae Sot district of 
Tak, the Mae Sai district of Chiang Rai, the ThreePagoda Pass in 
Kanchanaburi and Ranong.

"Instead of individually campaigning as earlier, the joint campaign is 
expected to be more effective in increasing awareness against diseases 
among people moving between the two countries," she said.

Ms Sudarat also said mental hospitals in provinces bordering Burma and 
Cambodia will be turned into drug rehabilitation centers where addicts 
can reduce dependency levels.

The hospitals are expected to take care of at least 80,000 out-patients 
and 10,000 in-patients by the year-end.

On Tuesday, over four tonnes of seized drugs will be torched on the Bang 
Pa-In Industrial Estate, Ayutthaya to mark World Anti-Narcotics Day.

The incineration is being carried out for the second time this year.

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra will preside over the ceremonial 
destruction of confiscated drugs, which include 14 million 
methamphetamine tablets and 6.19kgs of heroin.



Bangkok Post: PM offers soft-term trade deal-Export ban could be lifted 
and tariffs cut

Bangkok Post: June: 22, 2001

By Post Reporters 

Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has offered to extend trade privileges 
to Burma along the lines of tariff breaks offered to Cambodia and Laos.

He made the offer on Wednesday, during talks in Rangoon with Gen Than 
Shwe, Burmese prime minister and chairman of the ruling State Peace and 
Development Council.

He asked the general to submit a list of goods for preferential 
treatment to the Thai Commerce Ministry, which would pursue the matter. 
Gen Surayud Chulanont, the army chief, said Thailand may lift the export 
ban on items categorised as strategic materials to Burma once border 
checkpoints reopen. He said it might no longer be necessary to ban 
exports of fuel, rice, medicines, vehicles and automobile spare parts.

Even with the ban in force those items could still make it to Burma 
through other channels.

Foreign Minster Surakiart Sathirathai quoted the prime minister as 
saying the two countries "have to trade as much as possible and 
co-operate as much as they can in terms of imports and the tariff 

Thailand gives Laos tariff breaks on 40 products, and Cambodia on 23 
products, in line with concessions allowed under the Asean Free Trade 
Area and the World Trade Organisation.

Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, first secretary of the SPDC, agreed to open a "hot 
line" with Mr Thaksin.

Mr Thaksin also proposed an account trade programme, to be paid in kyat 
or US dollars, whereby Burma would offer agricultural products in 
exchange for semi-industrial goods from Thailand. Burma, for its part, 
promised to waive a ban, imposed in March, on Thai energy drinks, and 
monosodium glutamate.

But Burma gave no commitment to reopen its waters to Thai fishermen 
after closing them in protest when exiles stormed the Burmese embassy in 
Bangkok in October 1999. Gen Than Shwe said he would look into it. 
Meanwhile, meetings of the Joint Border Commission and Joint Township 
Border Committee are pending.

Resumption of economic co-operation would be raised at the joint 
commission meeting, along with displaced people and "irregular 
immigrants", a source said.

The timing of the meeting, the first in two years, and that of the 
boundary committee, will be discussed by Mr Surakiart and his Burmese 
counterpart, Win Aung.

Thailand should have faith in Burma's pledge to co-operate on drugs and 
border problems, Mr Surakiart said.

"We have to trust [them] since they have gradually agreed to more 
concrete bilateral co-operation," he said, citing Burma's agreement to 
sign a memorandum of understanding on drugs, and to allow special envoys 
to visit suspicious areas.

"We have to understand that border and drug problems cannot be solved 
overnight since it takes time to adjust attitudes and policies. But we 
have to be confident in joint co-operation," the foreign minister said.

The Township Border Committee meets tomorrow to discuss opening the 
Tachilek checkpoint.

Col Wanthip Wongwai, committee chairman, said his Burmese counterpart 
had proposed the meeting.

It would be held at the Golden Triangle Hotel in Tachilek, about 200m 
from the border of Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district.

Traders in Mae Sai district are tidying up their shops ahead of a 
possible reopening.

Sermchai Kittirattanapaibul, president of Chiang Rai's chamber of 
commerce, said he was optimistic the meeting would succeed. Thailand and 
Burma closed the checkpoint in mid-February after border skirmishes.


The Nation: Burma 'Peace Talks'-- PM Pledges End to Clashes 

June 21, 2001.

Not a single gunshot would be exchanged between Thai and Burmese forces 
along the border during his tenure as leader, Prime Minister Thaksin 
Shinawatra pledged yesterday.  

Wrapping up a landmark two-day visit to Burma to repair the damage from 
a lengthy war of words, Thaksin said he wanted to ensure their 
relationship would return to the warmth of its heyday. 

Thaksin said that in two days of frank discussions with the Rangoon 
leadership, he had spoken "with the heart of a Buddhist". Talks with the 
Burmese leaders, especially State Peace and Development Council chairman 
Senior General Than Shwe had been successful in dispelling the mutual 
suspicion and misunderstanding over the past months. 
Burma had agreed to cooperate on every issue of mutual concern. The 
details would be worked out during a two-day visit to Thailand by the 
Burmese foreign minister Win Aung, beginning tomorrow, said Foreign 
Minister Surakairt Sathirathai. 

The two leaders signed a joint communiqué reaffirming "traditional ties 
of friendship and goodwill" between the two countries which share 2,401 
km of common land border. Thaksin said the document was historic in that 
it implied the damaged ties had been overcome and both sides would focus 
on cooperation rather than conflicts. "Everything is about attitude," he 

"From now on you will see the Thai-Burmese relationship back to its best 
and it will continue to develop in the future," he said, adding he was 
greatly impressed by the warm welcome the Burmese authorities had 
accorded to him which was "beyond expectation". 
During the official visit, Rangoon had put up what officials described 
as "the greatest reception ever" for the Thai leader against the 
backdrop of the fiery tensions of recent months. 

Thaksin said his main inspiration to go against domestic odds in 
becoming the first Thai leader to visit Rangoon in four years came from 
a speech by HM the King last month, stressing the importance of harmony 
between the two neighbouring countries. 
According to the communiqué, Than Shwe conveyed "his warmest greetings 
and profound regards to HM King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, noting 
the central role of the monarchy in promoting the welfare of the Thai 
people and in fostering goodwill and the bonds of friendships" between 
the two nations. 

The Burmese leader also extended an invitation to Their Majesties the 
King and Queen and other members of the royal family to visit Burma. The 
move could be construed as an appropriate remedy in light of a series of 
articles published in the Burmese state-mouthpiece critical of past Thai 
monarchs, and the recent shelling of the Royal Project at Doi Angkhang. 

"Disputes bred an imagination of endless disputes and it came to a point 
of getting out of control, therefore I decided to make a quick visit," 
Thaksin said, adding that "face" should not come at the expense of 
mutual well-being. 

Deputy chief of PM's adviser, Gen Chetta Thanajaro, said the move to 
mend fences started about a month ago with Thaksin's conviction that 
only a summit meeting would work with a centralised state like Burma. 

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of 
Understanding on drug controls between Surakiart and Burmese Home 
Affairs Minister Col Tin Hlaing. Both Thailand and Burma inked a similar 
bilateral MoU with China last year. 
The measures stipulated in the agreement include prevention, 
suppression, rehabilitation, alternative crop schemes and information 
exchanges. However, Rangoon refused to exchange permanent drug liaison 
officers, preferring to rely more on existing mechanisms.  

But the Burmese leader agreed to a quadrilateral drug summit in Kunming 
by the end of the year between Thailand, China, Burma and Laos. 

Burma also agreed that Thailand could send an envoy to inspect areas 
where ethnic minorities were suspected of producing narcotics, including 
Mong Yawn. 

Than Shwe told the Thai leader the Wa was determined to reduce its 
narcotics activities as soon as possible and he did not want to see 
drugs harming future generations of Thais, said Thaksin. "Burma 
reaffirmed that it has nothing to do with the Wa". 
Both leaders agreed the border checkpoint at Tachilek-Mae Sai will be 
opened within a week without any conditions attached. Thaksin also 
invited Than Shwe to visit Thailand.



Irrawaddy: "Thais are very angry with the Burmese, mainly because of 
drugs."--An interview with Senator Kraisak Choonhavan, head of 
Thailand?s Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Issue of May 2001 

Interview by John S. Moncrief

Question: What is your evaluation of the new government?s handling of 
relations with Burma?

Answer: It?s too early to tell, but there is a genuine attempt by the 
Foreign Minister to use a carrot and stick tactic. The carrot being that 
Burma [has] so much to gain if they are decent to us. Decent means that 
they signed with us about four agreements?bilateral or multilateral 
agreements?that I can think of to suppress drug production, but let?s 
see some curbing from their side. And what they stand to gain is that we 
will start payment on the gas. There is a lot of income to be made from 
selling Yadana pipeline gas.

Q: Initially, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai outlined a foreign 
policy focused on economic engagement, but the government seems to have 
backed off on this to some extent. Has the idea of engaging Burma 
economically been abandoned?

A: At the beginning, [the government] seemed more interested in the 
question of business. For instance, we posed questions to the Deputy 
Prime Minister, who?s also in charge of defense, Gen Chavalit 
Yongchaiyudt. He proceeded to talk about mega projects. He gave detailed 
examples of deep-sea ports in the southern part of Burma, and lignite 
mining and electricity, before he started to answer security questions. 
But now, with the exposure of the linkages between the drugs of the 
minority people, particularly the Yunnanese Chinese and the Wa, and the 
Burmese military, [Prime Minister] Thaksin [Shinawatra] has decided that 
this information should be made public ... Now that suggests that 
Thaksin agrees with the army?s approach to the issue of relations 
between Thailand and Burma; but then, he?s erratic and he could shift 
again like he?s shifted on many other things. 

Q: PM Thaksin has declared a war on drugs. How can a war on drugs 
succeed unless it addresses the linkages between the drug lords and the 

A: I think by exposing the information "by accident". But it?s not 
something that you can come out and say, because if you spoke about [the 
SPDC-drug connection] publicly, the Burmese would never talk to you. The 
government had no choice [but to expose the connection] in a way, even 
though this has created problems for them. But [Thaksin] has no choice 
but to keep on talking, negotiating with Burma. 

Q: Unlike many Thai military officials, Third Army Commander Lt-Gen 
Wattanachai Chaimuanwong has been quite aggressive with the Burmese. 
What kind of support does he have to take such a hard line?

A: He has the support of most Thais who are affected by drugs. Thais are 
very angry with the Burmese, mainly because of drugs. Admittedly, 
though, at times he uses very strong words that raise eyebrows in 
Bangkok, particularly when the new government has boasted consistently 
that it has very good personal ties with the Burmese leaders. He is 
trying to be the antithesis of this as much as possible.

Q: In the previous administration under Chuan Leekpai, the government 
had a more coordinated approach to Burma, as the Democrats controlled 
both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Defense. But 
now, these ministries are divided between different parties. Does the 
current government have the capacity to implement a unified policy, or 
will it be divided among competing institutions?

A: The difference between Gen Chavalit?s [former] government and 
Banharn?s [former] government and Chuan?s second government is the fact 
that governments prior to Chuan?s relied mostly on the military to deal 
with the Burmese. Chuan?s government relied more on the foreign ministry 
than the military ? [Now] we?re back to a similar situation as we were 
in before. But the use of FM Surakiart to probe Burma is the first 
scouting attempt. We might see the increasing use of Gen Chavalit if 
Surakiart doesn?t succeed, but I don?t think this would be to the 
satisfaction of the Thai people [unless there were a] drastic reduction 
in amphetamine production. I don?t think that will happen tomorrow or 
the day after or any time in the short term. Now the PM will visit Burma 
and drugs will be the main issue. But the Burmese can wait. They know 
that Thaksin is in a precarious situation. They know he?s being 
investigated by the constitutional court. 

Q: What do you think of Asean?s policy towards Burma?

A: Asean can no longer function like this [and remain] an entity that we 
can call an international organization with some clout, when two members 
are confronting each other at the border practically on a yearly basis. 
So Asean has to take a position on this. I think that if Burma does not 
cease its excessive violence internally and stop causing trouble for 
neighboring countries with its export of drugs, it should be expelled 
from Asean.

Q: Do you think Asean has the political will to do this?

A: Obviously not, but this is my opinion. How can we function with a 
country like this as a member? When Burma was admitted to Asean, 
Malaysia and Singapore came out to defend Burma on the non-interference 
principle, as if it were some sort of religion. In my opinion this is 
quite hypocritical ? When there is haze coming from the slash and burn 
cultivation in Sumatra and it hits Malaysia, they are quite critical of 
Indonesia. And is there any talk about interfering in the internal 
policy of Indonesia, when Indonesia has huge problems with ethnic and 
communal conflicts that lead to bloodshed and refugees flooding into 
Malaysia? Malaysia has mentioned this to Indonesia, but on the question 
of Burma, Malaysia takes a different position. This should be changed so 
that the problems between Thailand and Burma can be discussed in Asean 
with Asean approval. [Asean leaders need to] open their ears and eyes to 
the function of the organization as a whole. 

Q: What is the role of the Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs in 
policy formation towards Burma?

A: I don?t think that we can in fact have much influence in terms of 
government policy towards Burma except when we are critical of them. The 
public can listen and we try to represent the people?s feelings and 
interests as much as possible on an issue by issue basis ? But we are 
quite new at the job. I?m quite new at my job and still trying to define 
my own role.

Q: What impact has the presence of US military advisors in the newly 
created drug suppression Task Force 399 had on Thai-Burma bilateral 

A: I think Thailand needs the support, for one thing. We need to turn a 
military force that is basically trained for conventional warfare and 
counter-insurgency into a drug suppression force ? But obviously the 
repercussions will be that the Burmese might use it as a diplomatic 
excuse to blast Thailand further. But they haven?t so far.

Q: Insurgent armies that once provided buffer zones between Thailand and 
Burma have been severely weakened over the past ten years. What effect 
has this had on Thai national security and bilateral relations with 

A: That?s why we have gotten into a lot of clashes with the Burmese. I 
can?t remember when we were confronting Burmese on the border without 
factions of Karen, Kachin and even the Karenni. These groups have 
disintegrated, either escaping to Thailand as cheap labor or working as 
dirt farmers on the other side of the border. The Burmese are able to 
set up posts right in front of and opposite Thai positions. When clashes 
still occur sporadically along the border with these minorities, it?s 
inevitable that Thailand will come into confrontation with the Burmese. 
But Thais would never again ? allow Burmese troops onto Thai soil. This 
has been strictly followed because of consistent reports on the linkages 
between Kokang drug-producing groups and the Burmese junta. The military 
in Burma will have second thoughts [before entering Thai territory 

Quote: I think that if Burma does not cease its excessive violence 
internally and stop causing trouble for neighboring countries with its 
export of drugs, it should be expelled from Asean.

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

The Nation: Let time be judge of PMs overtures with Burma 

June 22, 2001

Burma observers were cautiously optimistic yesterday about Prime 
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra s visit to the country, saying it looked 
good on paper but adding it would take time before any substantive 
results could appear.

Thaksins selfstyled diplomacy was put to the test when he made his first 
visit to Burma on Tuesday in an effort to salvage bilateral ties. 
Relations between the two countries sunk to their lowest ebb in years 
during his first four months in office, mainly due to accusations over 
responsibility for drug flows along their common border.

Speaking after his return on Wednesday, Thaksin vowed after a summit 
meeting with the Burmese junta that all lingering misunderstandings had 
effectively been dispelled and the two nations would be able to look 
forward to a brighter future.

Former foreign minister Surin Pitsuwan agreed Thaksins mission should be 
given time to yield results.

However, Surin, who heads the Democrat Partys foreign affairs committee, 
warned that the Thaksin administrations apparent decision to make 
resolving the drug issue a bilateral issue risked losing Thailands 
leverage with its neighbour.

Our friends who shared our position on the drug problem at the regional 
and international levels will back off, and we will lose the alliance 
[that has been formed] on the drug issue, he said. Surin was referring 
to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations enhanced antidrug efforts, 
which have received the backing of the international community and were 
recently joined by China.

A noted Burma observer said he was not convinced Thaksins visit would 
fundamentally improve the problems plaguing ThaiBurma ties, solutions to 
which are typically complicated by political instability in Burma and 
vested business interests in Thailand.

The observer said Rangoons priority was not the drug issue but enforcing 
security along the border and consolidating its strength in talks with 
opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on national reconciliation. The 
regime does not have the resources to tackle the drug trafficking 
problem, said the observer, who insisted on anonymity.

Describing the talks as old wine in a new bottle, the observer said 
Thaksin had achieved nothing more than his predecessors in putting 
efficient border security mechanisms in place and getting Burma to agree 
to cooperate seriously on antidrug efforts. 

While the trip appeared to arrest the alarming tensions sparked in part 
by Thaksins highprofile antidrug campaign, whether it would deliver 
lasting result remained to be seen, he said.The fact that the Mae 
SaiTachilek border checkpoint remained closed despite the pro?claimed 
success of Thaksins visit was a case in the point. According to common 
practice, it should be reopened after the neighbouring leaders visit to 
reflect the normal-isation of ties, he said.Defending the claims made 
for the visit, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said he believed 
Rangoon was sincere in addressing the drug and border problems. He said 
mechanisms are being incrementally developed to solve all the problems, 
adding they would not be resolved overnight.

Surakiart will today meet with Burmese Foreign Minister Win Aung, who 
was expected to follow up on the cooperation framework agreed upon by 
the Thai and Burmese leaders. 

The minister will call on Thaksin before holding a meeting with his Thai 
counterpart. Among the issues likely to be discussed are ways to follow 
up Thaksins visit and enhance bilateral relations, as well as border 
checkpoints and narcotics.

Win Aung is expected to be granted an audience with His Majesty the King 
at the Klai Kangwon Palace in Hua Hin, during which he is expected to 
extend an invitation to Their Majesties the King and Queen and other 
members of the Royal Family to visit Burma. He will stay at the seaside 
resort overnight and leave for Rangoon the next morning.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Norachit Sinhaseni said the agenda would be 
allencompassing, with emphasis given to developing peopletopeople 
relations in the fields of culture and the study of history. Outstanding 
issues including the Mae SaiTachilek border crossing, border 
demarcation, and quadrilateral cooperation on fighting narcotics between 
Thailand, Burma, China and Laos would also be discussed in detail, 
Norachit said.

The Nation 

Bangkok Post: Burma's Win Aung on visit

Bangkok Post: June: 22, 2001

By Achara Ashayagachat 

Burmese Foreign Minister Win Aung visits Thailand today, a follow-up to 
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's trip to Rangoon.

As part of his 25-hour visit, U Win Aung will call on the prime minister 
before holding talks with Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai. He 
then goes on to Klaikangwon Palace in Hua Hin for an audience with His 
Majesty the King.

The ministers are due to discuss cultural and technical co-operation, 
road links and preparations for the drugs summit in Kunming also to be 
joined by China and Laos.

"We will discuss how to expedite the Kunming talks, which will be 
preceded by senior officials' and ministerial meetings," Mr Surakiart 

The ministers also would discuss the timing of the next Joint Border 
Commission, which last met in Rangoon two years ago, and the Joint 
Boundary Committee, he said.


The Nation: US group calls on govt to help Shan

June 21, 2001.

Thailand should provide temporary assistance to some 100,000 ethnic Shan 
who have fled from Burma, a senior policy analyst from the United States 
Committee for Refugees said yesterday. 

The Shan had fled to Thailand and lived like refugees, but were not 
accepted as such, USCR policy analyst Hiram Ruiz said. 

Yesterday was the world's first-ever Refugee Day. Including the Shan, 
there are some 217,000 refugees living in Thailand today. 

Burmese Shan began pouring over the border in 1996, fleeing a forced 
relocation programme in central Shan state, Ruiz said. 

Because the reasons they fled their homeland and the hardships they 
faced were no different to those of other refugees, the Shan needed some 
assistance and access to basic human services, Ruiz said. 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which faces a 
funding shortfall of about US$100 million (Bt4.5 billion) this year, 
appealed to countries to revive their commitment to help refugees, and 
to respect them and their contributions. 
High Commissioner for Refugees Rudd Lubbers urged affluent countries to 
do more. 

The USCR survey reported a total of 39 million displaced people 
worldwide, 14.5m of them refugees and 24.4m displaced in their own 


The New light of Myanmar (SPDC): Those who daren't show their face - 19 

Friday, 22 June, 2001 

The DVB radio station is going too far, without heeding any of the 
warnings  given to it. Again, the shameless DVB or a cipher radio 
station announced a  fabricated rumour as a news report at 6 pm and also 
at 9 pm on 1 February  this year.   The radio station is so blatant that 
its status has fallen to  that of a barking dog in the street. Just 
study its news report which was  announced on 1 February. At 6 pm on 
that day, the radio station announced a  news report under the title "A 
participant at the Myanmar Women"s Conference  arrested and 
interrogated", saying that it was learnt that Headmistress Daw  Mya Kyu 
of Pyu Township was barred from attending the Conference and  terminated 
from the Women's Affairs Committee membership for discussing the  
military's violence against women at the Conference which was held in 
Yangon  on 25 and 26 January.  

Again at 9 pm on the same day, DVB aired another slanderous rumour as a  
follow-up to the first fabricated story. It aired the news report under 
the  heading " Follow-up news on Daw Mya Kyu who tried to discuss the 
issue of  violence against women at Myanmar Women's Conference", saying 
that the  women's group of the NLD Liberated Area issued an announcement 
concerning the  arrest of Headmistress Daw Mya Kyu for presenting the 
military's unjust  oppressions against women. The announcement says " 
The expatriate NLD women's  group honours Daw Mya Kyu for her courageous 
efforts to reveal all the  oppressions against women amidst the 
military's persecutions. The group also  condemns the military's 
continued evil practices and demands the earliest  release of Daw Mya 
Kyu" , added the radio station.  

I was extremely disappointed for this news report. In reality, it is a  
conspiracy of the liar DVB and women, who are taking refuge at the 
border, to  float fabrications in order to discredit the nation and the 
government. It's  the same old story for all the people of Myanmar. Not 
even a little problem  or confusion did occur during the discussions of 
the State/Division delegates  at the Second Myanmar Women's Conference 
which was sponsored by the Myanmar  National Committee for Women's 
Affairs at the International Business Centre  on Pyay Road in Yangon 
from 25 to 26 January this year. At the Conference,  the members of 
State/Division Women's Affairs Committees presented papers  region-wise. 

  The participants also discussed and gave suggestions on the 
presentations,  successfully laying down the resolutions for the future 
tasks of bringing  about a more peaceful, pleasant and developed future 
for the women, paving  the way for Myanmar women to participate in the 
activities in connection with  the international women's development 
programmes and ensuring women to  continue to enjoy all their 
traditional inborn rights they have been granted  throughout history. 
The truth is that the liar DVB and the so-called  democracy women, who 
are taking refuge at the border, would not want to see  the Myanmar 
women taking part in and helping develop the nation-building  tasks as a 
national force from the respective sectors to the best of their  ability 
and also the successful holding of the Second Myanmar Women's  
Conference. Under the circumstances, they attempted to create and float  
fabrications in the masses. 

  It is quite clear. Not any person with the name of " Daw Mya Kyu " 
with the  designation " the Headmistress of Pyu Township " is included 
in the list of  delegates of Bago Division to the Second Myanmar Women's 
Conference which was  held on 25 and 26 January 2001. The delegates to 
the Conference representing  Bago Division are Daw Kyi Kyi Ohn, U Chit 
Maung, U Kyi Aung and Daw Khin Maw  Maw. Daw Mya Kyu, so- called a 
delegate to the Conference from Pyu Township,  Bago Division, is just a 
" nonentity" created by the DVB and the democracy  women, who are taking 
refuge at the border, through black magic. She is only  an imaginary 
figure or their own invention. Let alone in Pyu Township, there  is not 
any school head with the name " Daw Mya Kyu " in the entire Bago  

  It is so ridiculous. The DVB created a non-existent delegate under the 
name  " Daw Mya Kyu" by applying witchcraft, and brazenly made 
slanderous  accusations against the Tatmadaw; and the democracy women 
group of the NLD  Liberated Area joined in the evil bandwagon by 
honouring Daw Mya Kyu,  demanding her earliest release and denouncing 
the Tatmadaw and the Tatmadaw  government. We, all the people of 
Myanmar, pity them for their totally  blatant acts. 

Author : Pauk Sa 


Far Eastern Economic Review: Inreview: Books--Oh My, Oh Myanmar

By Bertil Lintner

Issue cover-dated June 28, 2001

WHY IS BURMA in such a political and economic mess? And what, if 
anything, can be done about it? Three books--Living Silence: Burma under 
Military Rule by Christina Fink, Burma: Political Economy under Military 
Rule, edited by Robert Taylor, and The Making of Modern Burma by Thant 
Myint-U--address those issues, but from fundamentally different 

Fink, who helped exiled Burmese dissidents edit an on-line newspaper 
called The BurmaNet News from 1995 to 1997, points out that while most 
other nations in the region have prospered economically and some have 
liberalized their traditionally authoritarian systems, Burma for the 
past four decades has been ruled by repressive military regimes that 
have done little to develop the country. Only the drug trade seems to be 
booming in this sad nation. A whole generation of young students, 
artists, singers and activists have become refugees for no other reason 
than wanting Burma to become open and democratic. Many others have ended 
up spending the best years of their lives in prison. 

Fink argues that for a political transition to occur, there would have 
to be a convergence of three factors: unified domestic political 
pressure, international pressure, and a powerful group in the military 
that throws in its lot with the democratic movement. The last factor is 
no doubt the most decisive but, as Fink asks, where is Burma's Fidel 
Ramos? No such officer has been spotted in the 430,000-strong, 
omnipotent Burmese army. 

More questions, most of them unanswered, are posed in the rather 
eclectic collection of essays by eight writers edited by Robert Taylor, 
formerly of the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. One 
writer argues that the "next step" (after what is not clear) "is to 
achieve real dialogue between representatives from all groups and 
sides"--without suggesting how such a remarkable step would be taken. 
Visits to Burma by United Nations special envoy Razali Ismail have 
produced no tangible results, and a dialogue even between the main 
protagonists in the country--the ruling military and the opposition 
National League for Democracy--seems as remote as ever. The same essay 
glosses over the dramatic increase in Burma's drug production, saying 
that Burma's military leaders deny such an accusation--as if they would 
have been likely to admit it. Only two of the essays, which deal with 
Burma's foreign relations, provide insights into the thinking of Burma's 
military leaders and how they perceive their place in the region and the 

Thant Myint-U's volume, however, stands out as a sophisticated account 
of Burma's political culture. The writer, who is a grandson of the late 
Burmese UN Secretary-General U Thant, analyses economic development 
before and under British rule, and reaches the conclusion that Burma has 
failed to develop into a modern state because of two important colonial 
legacies. The first is institutional weakness. Feeble attempts by the 
last Burmese kings to modernize their country were thwarted by British 
occupation and superimposed colonial institutions. Independent Burma was 
faced with an institutional vacuum which, in the end, only the army was 
able to fill. 
The other colonial legacy is the lack of any real sense of nationhood. 
The British amalgamated a number of areas inhabited by various hill 
peoples with the Burman-dominated heartland, and the outcome was a 
hodgepodge of a country with a severe identity crisis. The question 
whether it should be called "Burma" or "Myanmar" reflects that 
confusion. Does one of the names include more ethnic groups than the 
other? The answer is no. Burma with its present boundaries is a colonial 
creation that did not exist before the arrival of the British. Thant's 
frequent use of Burmese-language sources is another asset that makes his 
study the most important contribution in recent years to the 
understanding of why, yes, Burma is in such a mess.


Far Eastern Economic Review: Inreview: Books--  Burmese Ways

By Bertil Lintner

Issue cover-dated June 28, 2001

If there ever was a prize for the politically most incorrect book of the 
year, this one would win it. Not a word about torture of political 
prisoners, forced mass relocations of ethnic minorities, officially 
condoned drug trafficking, or military abuse of power. But if you want 
an answer to the question "what does an international businessman do 
when he has accidentally killed a pedestrian?" it's all here: Pay off 
the family so they don't press charges, or pay a Burmese citizen "to 
take the blame by declaring that he was the driver in the fatal 
accident. He will then go to jail on behalf of the businessman." 
The author also gives advice on everything from how to procure "ladies 
of the night" and bribe customs officials to setting up an overseas 
"shell company" to hide your foreign-exchange earnings. Or, if you want 
to buy property, that can be done through a "sleeping partner," or an 
"unofficial wife." A bit risky perhaps, but not impossible. 
Many readers, especially Western ones, would gasp at Sim's suggestions, 
and perhaps even more so when they discover that he served as commercial 
first secretary at Singapore's embassy in Burma from 1995 to 1997. 

But he should be commended for telling the truth. Isn't this the way it 
really works in Burma's murky business world?


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