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BP: Banharn insists Burma border pa
- Subject: BP: Banharn insists Burma border pa
- From: suriya@xxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Tue, 22 Jun 1999 19:35:00
Subject: BP: Banharn insists Burma border passes must stay closed
June 22, 1999
Banharn insists Burma border passes must stay closed
Border passes must remain closed to timber imports as long as logging
threat to our forests, Banharn Silpa-archa said yesterday.
The Chart Thai leader said he had reaffirmed his stance to Pongpol Adireksarn,
the agriculture minister, who was considering a petition lodged by four
Boonsawat Duangjai-ek, managing director of B&F Goodrich, quoted Burmese
authorities as saying they would not do business with Thai firms again.
The governor of Mae Hong Son has voiced support for the logging companies,
which have threatened to sue the government for 200 million baht for losses
caused by the closure.
Governor Samrueng Punyoprakorn said the firms had every right to seek
compensation for damage to their business. Authorities should be fair and
flexible, particularly after the Burmese had verified the origin of the
"We shouldn't think too much about damage that has not been done," said Mr
Samrueng. "We shouldn't let those thoughts ruin the business."
If the process is dragged out, a small company would be hurt most, he said
However, the governor distanced himself from the planned lawsuit, saying he
nothing to do with the delay.
A source said Burmese authorities had been paid to fabricate records and make
timber volume appear larger. An influential logger, he said, had also paid
forestry officials 20 million baht to stop digging up past allegations.
The businessman was said to be confident the passes would re-open soon.
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Last Modified: Tue, Jun 22, 1999
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