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Tight security for motor club's visit 

</bold></center>Supamart Kasem

Burmese authorities are providing security for a trans-national trip of
the Royal Perak Motor Club from Malaysia as its caravan of 13 cars
entered Burmese territory from Thailand's Tak province yesterday

Thai tourism authorities expect the trip to help promote the Thai-Burmese
Friendship Bridge.

According to Pol Lt-Col Phayoong Veeranoi, deputy chief of the
immigration police in Tak, Burmese authorities have informed Thai
counterparts that security is being provided for the caravan led by Royal
Perak Motor Club director Douglas Choong.

The anti-Rangoon Karen National Union had earlier warned about the safety
of the caravan which is to spend 12 days on Burmese soil. Thai sources
said Rangoon has mobilised troops to secure every kilometre of the


<bold>Incursions from Burma prompt security review Strategy to protect
northern provinces


Anew strategy will be drawn up to deal with security problems in the
border areas of Chiang Rai, Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son provinces.

The decision followed a spate of intrusions from Burma, said Kachadpai
Burussapattana, secretary-general of the National Security Council.

These included the massacre of nine villagers in Fang district, Chiang
Mai, the attack on Nam Piang Din police station in Mae Hong Son and the
smuggling of goods, including drugs, he said.

The council would begin discussions with the military, police, interior
and foreign ministries to ensure all operated under the same guidelines,
he said.

Improved inter-agency cooperation and stronger relations with Burma would
help make the strategy more effective, he said.

He also said there would be no temporary border points opened for the
delivery of cut logs from Burma to Mae Hong Son.

The council had a clear policy against allowing the import of logs since
the Salween logging scandal was exposed and the logs were found to be
from the Salween forest and not Burma.

Therefore, any request to import Burmese logs would be approved only if
they were transported across the border through a permanent border


The attempt to mobilise countries situated in similar geographical
settings has been practised a long time. A recent meeting in Rangoon of
the Working Group on the Greater Mekong Sub-region Tourism Sector is
proof of the effort to identify clear-cut directions for the collective
tourism industry of the countries along the Mekong River: Cambodia, Laos,
Burma, Thailand and Vietnam, and Yunnan province in China.

The cooperation of organisations with similar industry resources is a
significant tool in tackling the economic downturn. Grants from Western
donors for projects in developing countries have fallen slightly along
with the sluggish economy around the globe.

There has been talk of returning to basic ways of life that are self
reliant, modest and humble. I think this is the right time to implement
such an ideology in every society, particularly in developing countries
like our own.

To achieve the objective of crafting this area into a real tourist
destination, the member countries perhaps should get behind worthwhile
programmes like contributing funding to strategies to work as a team.

If we look at the success of giant business corporations like Toyota,
which has spread its wings steadily across the globe, we will surely find
a good recipe for success for adoption at both the international and
intra-regional levels.

In order to achieve the goal of working together for better results, we
must leave egoism behind and identify ways to achieve goals together. We
have to stand firmly as a group when negotiating with more powerful

Snake Eyes