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BurmaNet News: June 28, 2001

______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
      An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
           June 28, 2001 Issue # 1834
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________

NOTED IN PASSING:  ?Aung San Suu Kyi was with us when we were suffering 
in hell. Now that  we have overcome that hell, we must not forget her.?

East Timor?s independence leader Xanana Gusmao.  See Suara Timor Lorosae 
(East Timor): Xanana declares solidarity with Aung San Suu Kyi 

*Asiaweek (On line edition): A Settlement Looms in Myanmar 

MONEY _______
*Burma Media Association: Regime Tightens FECs with New Order
*Burma Courier: Sigma Cable Boosts Revenues of Asia-Pacific Wire

*Mizzima: Burmese soldiers looted Arakan village in Indian border 

*Electronic Telegraph: Ex-headhunters guard Burmese 'speed' factories

*Suara Timor  Lorosae (East Timor): Xanana declares solidarity with Aung 
San Suu Kyi 
*Bangkok Post: Border panel to work on mending ties
*AP: 300 Myanmar People At Thai Refugee Camp Face Legal Action
*Bangkok Post: Warning credibility could be stretched-'Some issues just 
can't be ignored'
*The Hindu (India): 24 Myanmar nationals held 

*Khao Sod (Bangkok): It's not all media's fault
*The Nation : PM hands junta a few ace cards 
*Burma Media Association: "Traitor journalists" charge leveled by 
pro-military columnist
*New Light of Myanmar (SPDC): Press Conference on Myanmar Delegation's 
Attendance to ILO Conference and Thai Prime Minister's Official Visit to 
*Myanmar Information Committee (SPDC): [Denying regime ignores AIDS]

*PD Burma: Burma Calendar of Events
*Center for Burma Studies/NIU: Joint Faculty Position Announcement

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

Asiaweek (On line edition): A Settlement Looms in Myanmar 

 Wednesday, June 27, 2001
Web posted at 05:35 p.m. Hong Kong time, 05:35 a.m. GMT 

A Settlement Looms in Myanmar 
The two sides will be shaking hands by the end of the year 


Visiting Myanmar recently, it became evident that a political 
breakthrough is imminent. I had suspected this some time ago, but was 
prevented from checking it out because the military regime refused to 
give me a journalist's visa. Apparently, some of my stories had incurred 
displeasure, notably one about the mistreatment of National League for 
Democracy MP-elects in Pathein and another about the regime's business 
cronies. For more than six months, I could not get in. Then, toward the 
end of April, the authorities relented. I booked a flight immediately. 

As usual, once in Yangon, I sought to speak to people both in the regime 
and in the National League for Democracy (NLD), as well as businessmen, 
diplomats, NGO representatives, lawyers, doctors, journalists, religious 
leaders and members of the ethnic minorities. All of them, without 
exception, were thrilled that the regime was engaged in discussions with 
the NLD leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, aimed at ending the political 
stalemate. I learned that Maj.-Gen. Kyaw Win, the deputy director of the 
Office of Strategic Studies at the Ministry of Defense, was meeting 
regularly with Suu Kyi. I sought to find out more about him. 

It was not easy. Kyaw Win is a private person and does not give 
interviews to the press. One thing is certain: He is not a typical 
military man. Kyaw Win is a respected painter (his works are often 
exhibited at one of the galleries in Yangon's trendy Golden Valley 
suburb), an avid photographer (earlier this year, he was scouting round 
for a good digital camera) and a keen sportsman (once a month, he brings 
together all the military attachés at the foreign embassies to play 
tennis, badminton, golf or some other sport). 
Kyaw Win's interest in arts and culture is one of several things he has 
in common with Suu Kyi. Intriguingly, they are both the same age, 56, 
and both lost their father at a very young age. Hers, the modern 
nation's founder, Gen. Aung San, was assassinated when she was two years 
old. Kyaw Win's died soon after he was born, and he was raised with the 
help of monks in Mandalay. Both then attended school in Yangon at the 
same time -- she at the Methodist School, he at St. Paul's. It is said 
that the two get along well. In 1995, when Suu Kyi was released from 
house arrest, Kyaw Win told her: "I believe I'll be the one to negotiate 
with you sometime in the future." He has said that he finds her 
"congenial and nice," and that their "discussions on transition are 
going very well." 
Certainly, he appears well suited to the negotiator's art, having 
studied psychology at the University of Yangon. He was there during the 
student protests of July 1962, when troops shot dead a large number of 
students. After graduating, he attended officer training school in 
Yangon. He then saw anti-insurgency action in the field and likes to 
joke that an abdominal scar resulting from a botched appendix operation 
is a war wound. He was later assigned to the intelligence corps and 
became an acolyte of Than Shwe, now the nation's paramount ruler. 

Kyaw Win's dialogue skills were honed during the early 1990s, when he 
was a key figure in the talks that led to landmark ceasefire agreements 
with all but one of the nation's warring ethnic minorities. Now deputy 
head of the intelligence services -- only Khin Nyunt ranks higher in 
this department -- he has been entrusted by Than Shwe to deal with the 
Suu Kyi negotiations. If they reach an accord, it will be a tremendous 
achievement for both him and Suu Kyi. 

It is now nine months since they began talking. Admittedly, that is a 
very short time to resolve the political morass that this nation of 
almost 50 million has sunk into after half a century of misrule. But 
they are making progress -- if they were not, the talks would have been 
cut off long ago (both Suu Kyi and Kyaw Win are principled, no-nonsense 
types, who would not waste time talking unless something substantive 
were being achieved). The external signs are favorable. Since the 
dialogue began, large numbers of NLD members have been released from 
detention (including a new batch last week). In addition to its busy HQ 
on Yangon's Shwegontaing Road, the NLD has reactivated other branch 
offices. An apparent rapprochement with the International Labor 
Organization over the use of forced labor seems to be on the horizon, 
with the regime likely to allow the ILO to station a delegation in 
Myanmar to carry out first-hand checks on alleged abuses in sensitive 
border areas. Some Western governments have also been reassessing the 
effectiveness of their economic blockade, with the new U.S. Secretary of 
State Colin Powell saying that in broad terms he has doubts about the 
efficacy of sanctions policies anywhere in the world. Even now, 
multinationals are studying Myanmar for opportunities and already 
Canada's Ivanhoe Mining has announced a $400-million investment plan. 

Ralph "Skip" Boyce, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state and 
incoming ambassador to Indonesia, visited Suu Kyi in February with the 
head of the American mission in Yangon, Priscilla Clapp. Later, Clapp 
said there were "rays of hope" for an end to the political stalemate. 
Soon after, the United Nations Human Rights rapporteur, Paulo Sergio 
Pinheiro, paid a call on Suu Kyi. Afterwards, he said: "There are 
several signs that indicated evolution leading to an eventual political 
opening." Translated from diplospeak, that means: Prepare for a 
breakthrough. If that were not enough, Boyce said a few weeks ago, when 
passing through Bangkok: "[The dialogue] has been going on for eight 
months. We expect to see a concrete result in a short while." Such 
statements from top U.S. officials would have been tantamount to 
sedition a year ago. 
Meantime, ASEAN has been forging ahead and the fruits of the Thai Prime 
Minister's visit last week show that a new mood is in the air. Trade 
tariffs between Myanmar and Thailand will be cut to foster trade, a key 
northern border crossing has already been reopened, and steps to combat 
the drug trade were agreed upon. If this pace continues, it is almost 
certain that before the end of the year, the world's press will carry 
pictures of Than Shwe and Suu Kyi shaking hands. As the saying goes, you 
cannot cross a chasm in two small jumps. Suu Kyi and Kyaw Win have had 
the courage to take a massive leap. They deserve to reach the other 
side. And they will. Soon. 


Burma Media Association: Regime Tightens FECs with New Order

By Tin Maung Htoo (Canada)

June 26, 2001

With the downfall of Burmese currency Kyat, the ruling military 
government has been helpless over the past months. However, now a 
radical effort has been set forth, issuing an order restricting the 
holding and trading of Foreign Exchange Certificates (FEC), according to 
inside sources familiar to the markets.

The order was issued on June 21 after rounding up hundreds of people 
involved in the markets and terminating of their trading licenses. The 
guidance was also reportedly sent to foreign banks in Burma, instructing 
all transfer accounts including Burmese working abroad to be passed 
through Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank (MFTB). 

Most observers regard this latest direction as the devastation for all 
people involved in the market, as well as an embarrassment for foreign 
businesses. But for some it's an inevitable choice to bring down the 
troubled currency into under control while no backup is sustainable to 
dollarize the Kyat in accordance with the prevailing market rate. 

However, some observers pointed the immediate effect of the raising 
price in terms of limiting the market consumption. "We ordered 100 air 
conditions from a foreign company but only allowed to buy ten," a 
Rangoon-based businessman who requested to be an anonymous said.

According to other sources, only five FEC trading licenses have been 
issued to Burma's four major private banks after abrogating hundreds in 
recent. Sources closed to banking sector said Kabawza Bank obtained two 
licenses, Mayflower, Roma, and Thonggu (from upper Burma) got one for 

It is also reported that Kabawza Bank has just opened a new office in 
Rangoon and now buying up FECs - one-dollar equivalent FEC with 500 
Kyat. But there is no report of FECs on sale. Some observers predicted 
the regime could eliminate the use of FECs in Burma. It was initially 
introduced for foreign tourists as a mean of exchange with the U.S 
dollar when they arrived at Burma's Airports, but it's not for such a 
widespread use in the market. 
However the FECs became popular among Burmese - although a painful 
burden for tourists. Thereafter, the value of Kyat became useless with 
daily decline. And now the regime is so ardent to get rid of the FECs as 
a factor of plaguing the Kyat while other aspects of fetching more 
tourists into Burma and earning U.S $300 from each foreigner has been a 


Burma Courier: Sigma Cable Boosts Revenues of Asia-pacific Wire

Based on a Business Wire story:  June 21, 2001


NEW YORK  -- The Asia Pacific Wire & Cable Corporation Limited reports 
that operating revenues for the first quarter of 2001 increased 34% to 
US$ 43.3 million compared with $32.4 million in the same period of 2000. 

The company says the increase reflects improved sales in Thailand and 
Singapore resulting from price adjustments, and increases in sales 
contributions from operations in Australia, China and Myanmar. 

The company's wholly owned Myanmar subsidiary operates under the name of 
Myanmar Sigma Cable Co.  Its factory, located in an industrial zone in 
the Rangoon suburb of Hlaingthaya, was opened in February, 1999.  It has 
capacity to produce over 4,500 metric tons of copper cable annually. 


Mizzima: Burmese soldiers looted Arakan village in Indian border 

Aizawl, June 26, 2001 

Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com) 

        Burmese soldiers crossed the international border and looted an 
Arakan refugee village situated in Mizoram State of India last month, 
reports reaching Aizawl today said.  
On May 18, six soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion No. 20 based at 
Myeit Wa village in Burma's border entered into Indian territory and 
looted valuables from villagers living at Hmawngbuchhuah village in 
Chhimtuipui District in Mizoram State. About two hundred Arakan refugees 
are living in the village, which is located across the border in India 
After entering into the village, the Burmese soldiers beat the refugee 
villagers and took away valuables and food including a VCP, Indian rupee 
1700, and some fish-cans, chickens and a cassette.  

Hmawngbuchhuah is an Arakan village established after 1990 when the 
Arakan refugees left their villages in Chin State and Arakan State of 
Burma due to forced porter and tax-collection by the Burmese army units. 
The transport and communication from the village to the nearest town of 
Lawngtlai in southern part of Mizoram is difficult due to the porous 
terrain. The villagers complained that Burmese soldiers often intruded 
into the Indian territory and looted whatever they could see in the 
villages. There are four Arakan refugee villages in the area along the 


Electronic Telegraph: Ex-headhunters guard Burmese 'speed' factories

Wednesday 27 June 2001

By Alex Spillius in Doi Kew Hung 

SCAN even the most detailed map and you will be lucky to find the town 
of Mong Yawn. There is certainly no hint of a bustling community with 
its own army and barracks, a school, a hospital, a casino and a 
hydro-electric power plant. Yet the town, in the heart of the notorious 
Golden Triangle, is one of the region's biggest success stories. The 
reasons are clearly visible to the Thai soldiers peering through 
high-powered binoculars across the border into what is nominally Burma. 
Clearly visible in the valley ringed by craggy mountains are a pair of 
large, shed-like buildings where, the Thais claim, up to 300,000 pills 
are manufactured every day. 

Consisting chiefly of caffeine and the common cold cure ephedrine, the 
pills are sent across the border into Thailand's Chiang Mai province, 
carried by ant armies of smugglers along hundreds of forest trails. 
Burmese officials claim that the buildings are rice warehouses. If so, 
it must be a particularly expensive strain of rice. Until recently 
little more than a simple bamboo settlement, like the surrounding 
villages that it now dwarfs, Mong Yawn now has a population of some 
60,000 and is expected to grow to 80,000 within two years. 

The Thais and international experts estimate that one billion pills will 
leave Mong Yawn and about 30 other factories in Burma this year. Two 
thirds of them will be consumed in Thailand, which is fast becoming a 
nation on "speed". Mong Yawn is controlled by an obscure guerrilla 
force, the United Wa State Army, a segment of the small but ferocious Wa 
tribe that gave up headhunting only a generation ago. 
They were never mastered by the British colonial authorities or by the 
military regimes of independent Burma. Now the Thais are finding them 
equally hard to defeat in a war against the drug methamphetamine. A 
Bangkok-based expert describes the UWSA's operation as a "country within 
a country" and the Wa as the new kings of the Golden Triangle, the 
mountainous region where Burma, Thailand and Laos converge. 

For Thailand, the effects are horrendous. The press is filled with 
stories of unemployed men wild on yaa baa (crazy medicine), as 
methamphetamine is known, committing serious acts of violence. Schools 
have introduced urine testing to combat rampant abuse, while a tenth of 
novice monks have sought help for addiction. An infuriated Thai army has 
reinforced its border patrols, seizing 18 million pills this year and 
provoking serious clashes with the UWSA and regular Burmese forces, who 
have pledged to defend the guerrillas against Thai "incursions". 
Last week, Thaksin Shinawatra, the Thai Prime Minister, ended a two-day 
visit to Burma which he described as "very successful" with an agreement 
jointly to fight drug production and to resolve border tension. But 
there is a lot of patching up to do. The two sides have engaged in 
months of mutual recrimination, with senior officers of both armed 
forces accusing each other of profiting from drugs. 

The Thais have accused Rangoon of turning a blind eye to the UWSA's 
activities as a reward for ending their guerrilla war 12 years ago. For 
all the commitments of both the Thais and Burmese to wiping out 
narcotics, Wei Hseuh-kang, the mastermind of the UWSA, travels freely 
between the two countries, is a citizen of both and is able to exploit 
corrupt officialdom on either side. 

He also has a large house in Chiang Mai, the northern Thai capital. 
Whenever he leaves Mong Yawn, he can rest assured that an army of 
20,000, equipped with automatic weapons, artillery and heat-seeking 
surface-to-air missiles remains to protect his interests. 
"We would like to arrest him," said a Thai army intelligence officer, 
"but somehow it is difficult."

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL___________________

Suara Timor  Lorosae (East Timor): Xanana declares solidarity with Aung 
San Suu Kyi 

Thursday 21 June 2001

(front page third lead) 

[Suara Timor Lorosae is a newspaper printed in Dili, East Timor.  This 
article is translated from Bahasa Indonesia]

East Timor?s independence leader Xanana Gusmao yesterday declared the  
country?s solidarity with Burma?s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi who  
is currently under house arrest.
Xanana made this announcement at his birthday party in Dili. ?Not many 
people know that Aung San Suu Kyi has worked hard for  democracy and has 
forged solidarity links with the East Timorese people.  Because of that, 
it is my responsibility to reciprocate that solidarity  and thank and 
encourage her on her continuing struggle,? Xanana told his  guests.

Xanana also inaugurated the ?Friends of Burma? group in Dili, to  
campaign for democracy in the military-ruled Southeast Asian nation.  
Friends of Burma is led by Xanana?s wife, Kirsty Gusmao, and its office  
premises are in the Xanana Reading Room  a popular spot in the 
capital. ?Aung San Suu Kyi was with us when we were suffering in hell. 
Now that  we have overcome that hell, we must not forget her,? said 

Bangkok Post: Border panel to work on mending ties

 June 27, 2001.

Wassana Nanuam

The Regional Border Committee will meet in Pattaya in August in a bid to 
restore Thai-Burmese relations. 

Maj-Gen Prasart Luewattananon, head of the Joint Operation Command-103 
Centre, said Burma's Regional Triangle Commander Maj-Gen Thein Sein and 
Third Army chief Lt-Gen Watanachai Chaimuanwong would be present. A 
recent Township Border Committee meeting agreed the generals would meet 
unofficially over a game of golf in Chiang Rai beforehand, and that the 
TBC would meet twice a month, he said. 
Relations would return to the state they were in before Thai-Burmese 
border skirmishes in February. 

All temporary border checkpoints and crossings in Chiang Mai and Chiang 
Rai had been reopened, except San Ton Du checkpoint in Chiang Mai 
opposite the Red Wa's Mong Yawn town, and San Ma Khet checkpoint in 
Chiang Rai. 

The Mae Sai-Tachilek checkpoint reopened last week but a change of 
Burmese officials there has caused problems for goods moving from 
Thailand into Burma. 
Meanwhile, a military source said Burma was going ahead with plans to 
build a power plant in Tachilek, despite concerns of residents.
Burma said modern technology would ease pollution concerns and that 
there were no plans to sell power from the new plant to Mong Yawn. 

Television commercials for a brand of tonic drink depicting ancient 
Thai-Burmese battles at Bang Rajan village were withdrawn after Burma 
protested, the source said.


AP: 300 Myanmar People At Thai Refugee Camp Face Legal Action

Wednesday June 27, 12:34 PM 

BANGKOK (AP)--A camp for Myanmar refugees will be closed down this year, 
and about half of its inmates will be prosecuted for entering Thailand 
illegally, a Thai official said Wednesday. 

About 300 of the 600 inmates at Maneeloy holding center in Ratchaburi 
province "will face legal action in accordance with the Immigration 
Act," Khachadpai Burusapatana, the secretary general of the National 
Security Council, told reporters. 
The center was established in 1995 to house Myanmar dissident students 
who were given refugee status by the United Nations High Commissioner 
for Refugees. Several hundreds have already been resettled in third 
countries, Khachadpai said. 
However, over the years many more Myanmar people have sneaked into the 
camp illegally and haven't been recognized as refugees by the UNHCR, he 
"The center will definitely close by the end of this year, and the 
immigration division will deal with those who entered illegally before 
the camp closes," Khachadpai said. 
If convicted, they face fines, jail or deportation. 

A UNHCR official in Bangkok said the people who are in the camp 
illegally may apply for refugee status with the High Commissioner. Some 
may have already applied and been rejected, the official said, speaking 
on condition of anonymity. 
The UNHCR grants refugee status to those who are persecuted in their 
country on the basis of nationality, race, political opinion, religion 
and membership of a social group.



Bangkok Post: Warning credibility could be stretched-'Some issues just 
can't be ignored'

June: 28, 2001

By Achara Ashayagachat 

The government will be hard put to keep its credibility with the Burmese 
opposition parties now that it has kissed and made up with the ruling 
junta, academics said yesterday.

Surachart Bamrungsuk, a Chulalongkorn University political scientist, 
said the government could not avoid dealing with the issues of 
democratisation and national reconciliation in Burma. The previous 
government had advocated democratisation as its main policy towards 

Sunait Chutintaranond, an expert on Burmese history, said Prime Minister 
Thaksin Shinawatra now had to prove his ability to deal with other 
political forces in Burma, such as the National League for Democracy and 
ethnic minorities.

"Mr Thaksin is now riding the tiger and all eyes are watching how he 
will move from this point to advocate concerns like human rights and 
humanitarianism in the neighbouring country," Mr Sunait said.

The premier's 25-hour visit to Rangoon last week, he stressed, could not 
be expected to solve Burma's structural problems affecting Thailand 
including a long-time quest for national unity.

There were also the problems of refugees, economic migrants, and drugs, 
which had been systematically developed like a legal business since 
pre-independence days, Mr Sunait said.

The fishing ban on Thai trawler operators did not only involve a fishing 
concession, "but the issue of long-term natural resources management".

The reopening of the Tachilek-Mae Sai border was no sweet deal but an 
exchange for the lifting of tariff barriers, he said.

Towards better ties, Thailand and Burma must understand each other's 
limitations: Burma's inability to control the Wa, and Thailand's to 
control the media.

Mr Surachart stressed the need for Thailand to manage relations with 
neighbours like Burma properly as small states could not afford to go to 
war with each other.

To this end, he proposed:- Reactivation of operation-level dispute 
mechanisms like the Township Border Committee and the Regional Border 
Committee would help.

- Encouragement of cross-border contact between chambers of commerce and 
local communities as alternative channels in the event of a military 

- Employing more than maps to negotiate border demarcation since that 
could put the country at a disadvantage.

"We may have to exchange certain pieces of land with each other to 
really settle the remaining non-demarcated 2,351-kilometre borderline, 
or, we may have to build up an additional database from annexed 
protocols or treaties other than maps," he said.


The Hindu (India): 24 Myanmar nationals held 

(27 June 2001)

Jopur, June 26

Twenty-four Myanmar nationals were arrested while trying to sneak into 
Pakistan, crossing the international Border along Ganganagar district in 
Rajasthan, the BSF source said today. The illegal migrants were 
apprehended 3 km from the border in Anupgarh sector by a BSF patrol 
party on Saturday, they said. (PTI)


Khao Sod (Bangkok): It's not all media's fault

[Translated from Thai and reprinted in The Bangkok Post, June 28, 2001]

When things go wrong, blame the media. So it came as no surprise when 
Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra asked the media to exercise caution in 
presenting news about the conflict between Thailand and Burma.

The prime minister's concerns cannot be ignored. Media coverage has 
drawn attention to the conflict, and some reports have been laced with 
sensationalism. But the media were only doing their job. They would not 
have spent days and weeks looking into the problem if it was not real.

The media did not make up the stories. Problems along the Burmese border 
are real and well documented. They are rooted in a lack of understanding 
between the two countries.

Media reports about the development of Mong Yawn, the Wa-controlled 
township inside Burma, have been based on military documents. These were 
made public at a drug conference chaired by Mr Thaksin in Chiang Rai two 
months ago. Reporters were allowed to see and record a slide show of 
Mong Yawn.

Private media organisations have their own news sources, both in 
civilian and military organisations. The state-run media also have their 

It is fine for the government to seek the "co-operation" of private news 
organisations, but there also must be cohesion between government units 
dealing with Thai-Burmese issues.

There is bound to be problems when the defence minister and the 
commander of the Third Army are saying different things.

Mr Thaksin must promote cohesion among the foreign and defence ministers 
and the supreme commander of the armed forces, the army 
commander-in-chief and the Third Army commander who oversees the 
Thai-Burmese border.

Without cohesion among these policy-makers, it will be difficult to 
develop peace and friendship with our neighbour.


The Nation : PM hands junta a few ace cards 

June 28, 2001

Will the prenuptial arrangement between Thailand and Burma brought about 
by the visit of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to Rangoon last week 
last? Or is it just a marriage of convenience, a foil for both parties 
to be seen to be doing something? It should only take about three months 
before we know the answer to that. This time-frame is sufficient for 
both sides to show the level of their sincerity and willingness to 
engage and work together to solve their mutual problems.

Certainly, the reopening of a major border checkpoint at Mae 
Sai-Tachilek has taken some of the steam out of the simmering 
relationship. In Thailand's case at least, it has eased some of the 
domestic pressure from local traders who have been hurt badly by the 
checkpoint closure over the past several months. On the other side of 
the border, many Burmese who relied on the checkpoint to sell goods in 
Thailand or purchase necessities unavailable at home are no doubt 
feeling happier (regrettably, they have no free press to complain to or 
to help them to put pressure on the Rangoon regime). 

For the ruling authorities in both countries, the move is a smart one. 
For the Thaksin administration, it makes it look as though the prime 
minister is achieving some solid progress after much criticism. For the 
junta, it serves the dual purpose of settling restive natives of the 
district while making it look like they are prepared to be more 
accommodating to the outside world.

But bilateral problems are more than just the opening of border 
checkpoints or granting fishing rights. There are myriad other issues to 
be resolved, such as drugs, migrant workers, minorities and other 
cross-border problems which need structural changes for lasting 
solutions. For the time being, both sides are still dilly-dallying about 
cooperation in drug suppression and issues related to minority groups. 
The resumption of border-related mechanisms such as the Joint Border 
Committee is laudable as it provides a venue in which to address serious 
problems. Time will tell if both sides are for real, however.

For the time being, Burma will exploit whatever gains it can get from 
dealing with the Thaksin government. The most important outcome is a 
further weakening of the international coalition opposed to the junta 
(Thailand's critical position in the International Labour Organisation 
is no more, for example). It will also provide incentives for other 
countries to increase contacts and the level of assistance for Burma. 
Whatever leverage Thailand has attained in recent years in regards to 
the junta has disappeared, perhaps forever.

It will be no surprise if Burma responds in kind in the next few months 
in a manner that is sufficient to create a momentum to extract further 
concessions from Thailand. In return, Burma will offer Thailand 
lucrative deals on oil and gas and other big projects that will please 
the Thaskin government. Meanwhile, it is the responsibility of the Thai 
government to see to it that drug smuggling and other illegal operations 
are wiped out.

Thailand has pinned rather high hopes on the drug summit planned for 
Kunming, China. Will it be the magic wand it seeks to resolve the drug 
problem, though? China has agreed to Thailand's request to host the 
summit, but eradication does require the cooperation of Burma and Laos.

The Thaksin government has taken a high-risk strategy in dealing with 
Burma. It has been willing to ignore the sticky points and glide over 
their common desires. Certainly, if there are to be any repercussions, 
they will surface soon enough. Like it or not, Thaksin has handed the 
Burmese junta a golden opportunity. The question that remains is: what's 
in it for Thailand? 



Burma Media Association: "Traitor journalists" charge leveled by 
pro-military columnist

By Tin Maung Htoo (Canada)

June 27, 2001

In the second series of a contentious commentary "Media" on the 
government's mouthpiece today's newspaper New Light of Myanmar, the 
columnist named himself as Tekkoatho Myo Thu tries to portray 
pro-democracy journalists as the "traitor journalists" under the 
colonialists' influence and trying to destroy the nation. 

The columnist especially resentful with award-winning journalists also 
criticizes world media and press organizations for the lack of 
recognition for patriotic media persons. "No western media organization 
has ever supported the patriotic media persons trying to resist the 
colonialist attacks, instead they are honoring and presenting prizes to 
only the national traitor journalists under the colonialists' influence 
who are making attempts to destroy the nation concerned." But the 
columnist does not single out the name of the journalists that he tends 
to tarnish their images.

In recent months, two prominent journalists, U Win Tin and Daw San San 
Nweh who have been in prison for years were awarded several 
international press freedom prizes by world media and media-watched 
associations in recognition of their commitment for freedom of press and 
Democracy in Burma. It is believed that the columnist especially intends 
to attack these two imprisoned journalists.

However, the columnist got stuck with backfire with his unbalance and 
bizarre two commentaries. In the first commentary published on June 26, 
he stated that "...one has no right to defame other persons. No one has 
the right to level groundless accusations at others," but he apparently 
did in the second commentary, bluntly and badly accusing hundreds of 
journalists who morally or physically support the cause of Democracy and 
press freedom in Burma.

Moreover, the columnist criticizes the practice and ethic of western 
media in the first commentary, saying, "some media (especially the 
western media) do not report authentic news. They distort news and 
publish false news, insulting news and accusations. They do not take 
responsibility for their news report."

Ironically, a western trainer and professor from a well known news 
agency revealed in recent that a spokesman (omitted the name) of Burmese 
military government asked him to train and upgrade for Burmese media 
style to become more attractive and sophisticated like a now popular 
Chinese news agency Xinhua. A high-ranking Burmese diplomat also 
admitted the style and news are boring and said required to renovate it.

"The aggressive, precipitant and endless government-supporting-written 
style are only to diminish the quality and stand of media, and it's the 
sign and evidence of how Burmese media under the military rule is moving 
backward from modern media age into darkness age," said a veteran 
Burmese journalist who lives in exile. 


New Light of Myanmar: Press Conference on Myanmar Delegation's 
Attendance to ILO Conference and Thai Prime Minister's Official Visit to 


June 28, 2001

A press conference on matters relating to Myanmar delegation that 
attended the 89th annual conference of International Labour Organization 
held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 5 to 21 June and Prime Minister of 
Thailand Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra's official goodwill visit to Myanmar 
from 19 to 20 June was held at the Defence Services Guest House on Inya 
Road on 27 June. The leader of Myanmar delegation that attended the 89th 
annual conference of International Labour Organization Minister at the 
Prime Minister's Office U Tin Winn said at the conference a meeting on 
Application of Standard of Myanmar was held on 13 June. Before the 
meeting Myanmar delegation met the director-general of ILO and the 
chairman of Governing Body separately. They said they understood the 
development of the agreement to send Objective Assessment Team for 
cooperation in labour affairs with ILO. They said they would support the 
issue regarding Myanmar and submit it to the conference and provide help 
for success. In meeting with the Chairman of the conference Minister of 
Labour the Philippines, he said he would discuss the matter based on the 
joint communique of ASEAN Labour Ministers released after the meeting of 
ASEAN Labour Ministers held in May. On 13 June, the delegates discussed 
the Application of Standard of Myanmar. The US delegate said the 
agreement between the government of Myanmar was a step towards the right 
direction. The ILO should provide assistance to eliminate the practice 
of forced labour but not punish Myanmar. Similarly, on behalf of Asia 
and the Pacific countries, the delegate of Australia, standing on 
Myanmar side, welcomed the agreement to send a high-level team to 
observe developments in Myanmar in his discussions on the announcement 
by Asia and Pacific countries. Myanmar's standards on labour affairs are 
to be decided based on the findings of the team at the Governing Body 
meeting to be held in November. Meanwhile, all are to wait and see the 
situation. On behalf of ASEAN countries, the delegate from Malaysia 
discussed the joint communique. He welcomed ILO's constructive approach 
on Myanmar. Findings of the high-level team will be discussed in 
November and action taken on Myanmar should be lifted. The leader of the 
British Trade Unions also welcomed the US delegate's remarks that it was 
a step in the right direction. The arrival of the high-level team will 
be in the rainy season. He expressed his concern over the findings to 
complete within three weeks. Minister U Tin Winn said the discussions 
regarding Myanmar at the ILO conference were constructive and they led 
to the positive trend. The ILO will decide the correct measures on 
Myanmar's labour affairs in November depending on the findings of the 
high-level team that will arrive in Myanmar in September.


Myanmar Information Committee (SPDC): [Denying regime ignores AIDS]

News Release published by the Embassy of Myanmar in London in its 
Myanmar News Bulletin No. 3/2001 

June 28, 2001

At the time of the UN/AIDS Conference in New York the negative western 
media pieces in recent days (The Guardian, June 26 and Daily Express, 
June 14) concerning '' hiding'' of HIV/AIDS situation by the Government 
of Myanmar and the ''UN Declaration" of a particular area in Kachin 
State of Myanmar as a "disaster zone" relied entirely on reports by a 
"WHO Expert" that never came to the country through it's WHO 
representative and a couple of reporters who smuggled themselves into 
the jadeite-mining area to authenticate their fabrication of the 
declaration that the UN never made. While in any epidemiologic 
situation, the statistical data may be conflicting, the veracity of the 
HIV/AIDS situation is that the health authorities in Myanmar, treating 
this world-wide scourge as a top priority problem, are doing their level 
best in cooperation with the WHO and the NGOs, to combat it. They 
certainly are in no way "hiding" or even trivialising it. 

The fact, however, remains that a humanitarian situation must be dealt 
with as such by providing necessary assistance and not as a political 
tool to derogate a country and it's 50 million people. 


PD Burma: Burma Calendar of Events

June 28, 2001

 July  : Belgium takes over EU Presidency 

 July  : 8th RFA Ministerial Meeting, Hanoi 

 July  : 34th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and Post-Ministerial 

 July  : ASEAN Summit 

 Aug. 31st- Sep.7th : World Conference against Racism and Racial 
Discrimination, Xenophobia and related intolerance, South Africa
 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, Colombo 


Center for Burma Studies/NIU: Joint Faculty Position Announcement


FACULTY-Assistant/Associate PROFESSOR, Historian of Asian Art-School of 


History of Southern Asia. Southeast Asian specialist with Burma sub-
specialty preferred. CENTER FOR BURMA STUDIES (half time) 

DIRECTOR. Salary competitive based on qualifications and 				experience.


QUALIFICATIONS:	Ph.D. in Asian Art History required. Southeast Asian 
specialist with sub-specialty in the art of Burma (Myanmar) preferred. 
Evidence of teaching experience and publication/professional record 

RESPONSIBILITIES:	Teach introductory, advanced and graduate courses in 
the history of Asian Art and/or other courses in consultation with Art 
History Division Chair. Advise students in Art History major and serve 
on M.A. Thesis committees. Administer the Center for Burma Studies, 
curate the Burma Art Collection, and serve as Managing Editor of the 
Journal of Burma Studies. Continued personal, scholarly and professional 
development and collaboration in a comprehensive school of art and 
university are expected.

STARTING DATE:	January 1, 2002

APPLICATION DEADLINE:	September 28, 2001

APPLICATION:	Send letter of application, curriculum vitae, three letters 
of reference and examples of publications to:

School of Art
Jack Arends Hall
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
email: jmmlady@xxxxxxx


Northern Illinois University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action 
Employer committed to diversity and recognizes dual career issues.


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