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NEWS - Denial over import of Burmes
- Subject: NEWS - Denial over import of Burmes
- From: Rangoonp@xxxxxxx
- Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 22:47:00
Subject: NEWS - Denial over import of Burmese logs
The Nation - June 2, 1999
Denial over import of Burmese logs
AGRICULTURE Minister Pongpol Adireksarn yesterday denied that his
approved the import of Burmese timber, saying the ministry is awaiting
information from the Burmese government.
''I would not allow the import if we fail to receive an official answer
the Burmese government about its current policy on timber exports to
Thailand,'' he insisted.
Pongpol said he had been informed by the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok that
Rangoon has not yet provided a brief on its timber exporting policy.
An informed source in the ministry revealed that interior, custom and
officials, had recently allowed four logging companies to import 120,000
cubic metres of teak wood worth more than Bt1 billion from Burma. The
also caused a temporary reopening of four border crossing points.
According to the source, the approved amount is only ten percent of the
total 1.2 million cubic metres requested from Thailand which is worth
The logs are now already stored on Thai soil, three kilometres from the
border in Mae Hong Son province. These logs are said to have been
by Myanmar Enterprise, the Burmese logging state enterprise, the source
According to the source, the four importers include Phol Phana, the
Veteran, B&F Goodrich and the SA Pharmaceutical company.
The companies which received log concession before, claimed that the 1.2
million cubic metre logs currently on requested originated in the
forest. They claimed that the logs are already cut and scattered in the
forest will become useless unless they were logged out.
The Thai-language press reported that the Royal Forestry Department's
director general Plodprasop Suraswadi who first opposed the importation
logs from Burma, agreed with the proposal after discussing with Chat
leader Banharn Silapa-archa, who is also the adviser of the Agriculture
However, the RFD chief said that he will take a trip to Burma before the
approval is finalised.
A source revealed that RFD officials will be allowed to join the team
inspects the imported logs with the custom officials, but they will work
Meanwhile, the New Aspiration Party's deputy leader Chalerm Yoobamrung
the Prime Minister to sent an official letter to the Burmese government
before approving the importation of logs from that country. He warned
the logs might be illegal logs cut from Salween forest.
He was referred to an incident last year when tonnes of logs stamped as
''Burmese origin,'' were in fact, cut from the Salween wildlife
and Salween national park.