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______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
_________ August 10, 2000, Issue # 1593__________

The Irrawaddy: University Student Shuffle
SHRF: Killing of Civilian Porters in Murng-kerng
Shan State Army News: Raid on a drug refinery

AP: Cambodian deputy premier in Myanmar for drug talks
CFC: 27 Chin Refugees Deported and Hundreds of Chin  Refugees Arrested
Bangkok Post:   Isn't it enough to give shelter?
Kommersant [Russia]:  Ivanov Finds a Promising Partner

Bangkok Post: Hackers Take Burma's Web Site Offline

Oil and Gas Journal: Petronas, PTT consider building Myanmar NGL plant
Nation: Skyline enters Cambodia [pulls out of Burma]
Nation: Bush team flunks the Asean test
IOC: Letter from JA Samaranch on Burma at Olympics

PD Burma: Calendar of events with regard to Burma

The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

The Irrawaddy: University Student Shuffle

August 2000

Three and a half years after being effectively banished from their 
campuses, university students in Rangoon can be forgiven for feeling 
a bit disoriented as they attempt to resume their studies. But with 
Burma's ruling military regime clearly intent on steering students 
away from traditional hotbeds of political dissent, this has been 
more than just a problem of re-adjusting to academic life.

Few students of Rangoon University, Burma's oldest and most 
prestigious institute of higher learning, have returned to its main 
campus or three centrally located regional colleges (RCs) since the 
ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) began instructing 
them to resume classes on June 27. Instead, they have been sent to 
study at the remote and relatively new campuses of Dagon and Thanlyan 
Universities, both of which are separated from central Rangoon by 
major rivers and are difficult to access due to a shortage of buses 
and ferries. Students of Rangoon University's Institute of Economics, 
meanwhile, are now required to attend classes in Ywar Thargyi, a 
village situated far from the capital. 

As with other instances of forced relocation in Burma, the purpose of 
the recent moves is seen as political, as the SPDC seeks to isolate 
students from the general population and each other. 

"This new measure, taken by the regime, of separation and isolation 
of students, displacing (them) from their (former) universities to 
newly built remote schools, proves the students are denied the chance 
to communicate and to unite for political reasons. Instead, they are 
put under absolute control," said one final-year philosophy student 
who is a member of the Underground Student Union in Burma.

The gradual re-opening of universities was completed on July 24, with 
students from Rangoon University's Hlaing Campus (RC 2) attending 
classes at Dagon University, and others from the Botahtaung and 
Kyimyintaing Campuses (RC 1 and RC 3) being sent to Thanlyan 
University. To complicate matters further, Dagon University has 
recently been incorporated into Rangoon University, resulting in 
student confusion and numerous administrative delays.

Rangoon University's main campus, historically a focal point of anti-
government protests, remains closed to all but a handful of graduate 
students. The Hlaing and Botahtaung campuses, meanwhile, have 
reportedly been leased to businessmen close to the country's ruling 


SHRF: Killing of Civilian Porters in Murng-kerng

>From July 2000 Monthly Report

        In early May 2000, a column of about 80 SPDC troops of 
Company No.5 from LIB514 led by Capt. Hla Myint conscripted 24 
civilian porters for 51 days during which they killed at least 4 
porters and wounded or killed many others while on patrol in the 
rural areas of Murng-Kerng township.         Most of the civilian 
porters were originally from Kung Yom village in Ham Ngaai tract, 
Murng-Kerng township, who had been forcibly relocated to a relocation 
site in the outskirts of Murng-Kerng town by the SLORC/SPDC troops a 
few years ago.         

After having to carry heavy loads for 37 days with inadequate rest 
and food, 4 of the porters became so weak that they had to stop at 
every 20-30 yards, but the troops thought they were just feigning and 
angrily beat them until they all died.

        A few days after that, 3-4 other porters who had became too 
weak to go on were also beaten and left lying along the way, without 
any care whether they were dead or not. Since they have not returned 
until the time of this report, they are presumably dead. Many other 
porters were also beaten along the way.         On 23.6.00, the rest 
of the porters were released after serving the military for 51 days 
without pay or any other kind of compensation. At the time of this 
report, out of 24 civilian ports that had been conscripted, only 13 
have returned home.         


Shan State Army News: Raid on a drug refinery

SSA News Vol.2, No. 5, July 2000
August 9, 2000

On 7th July 2000, a 30-men-strong SSA detachment from Khun Sarng Ton 
Hoong column, led by Maj. Kham Leng, raided a newly built heroin and 
Yaa Baa (amphetamine) refinery at Wan Tark Let, a village situated 
near the Thai-Shan border, opposite of Mae Hong Son province.  This 
refinery was under the control of the local commander of the SPDC 
troops and their drug producing partners. In this raid, SSA troops 
1. Precursor of Yaa Baa 30 litres
2. Wu Sui (Chinese name, raw material for Yaa Baa) 1 container (6 
gallons) 3. liquid opium 2 containers ( appx. 12 gals.)
4. Saw Sua (Chinese name, raw material for Yaa Baa) 2 containers (12 
5. Ether 2 bottles (1 gallon)
6. Yaa Baa 377 tablets. 

Besides these chemicals, 3 of the operators were also captured red 
handed.  After the raid the instruments and the building were burned 
to ground. 

Drugs Captured 

On 30 July 2000, at 08:00 hrs., 30 SSA troops from Khun Sarng Ton 
Hoong Column led by Major Kham Leng clashed with a drug dealer group 
which was escorted by SPDC troops at a place called Nong Leng, near 
Ho Mong (former Khun Sa's MTA stronghold). 3 SPDC soldiers were 
killed in the clash. SSA captured 130,000 tablets of amphetamine and 
1 G3 assault rifle

___________________________ REGIONAL ___________________________

AP: Cambodian deputy premier in Myanmar for drug talks 

August 10, 2000

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) _ Cambodia's deputy prime minister held talks 
with Myanmar's military intelligence chief at the start of a four-day 
visit to share information on the fight against illegal drugs, a 
state newspaper reported Thursday. 

 Sar Kheng, who is also Cambodia's interior minister, arrived in 
military-run Myanmar on Tuesday at the head of a delegation of 
Cambodian anti-narcotics officials. 

 Cambodia is a conduit for the traffic in illegal drugs _ opium, 
heroin and methamphetamines _ produced in Southeast Asia's Golden 
Triangle. The region is centered on Myanmar, also known as Burma. 

 Sar Kheng met Wednesday with Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, the Myanmar 
regime's powerful military intelligence chief, who is also Secretary 
One of the ruling State Peace and Development Council. 

 The Cambodians then attended a briefing on Myanmar's anti-narcotic 
efforts, the official New Light of Myanmar reported. 
 Narcotics experts fear Cambodia is emerging as a source of 
methamphetamines _ a stimulant that has surpassed heroin as the 
region's worst drug menace. 

 Most of the drugs in the region are produced by ethnic armies in 
eastern Myanmar which have signed ceasefires with Yangon but operate 
in areas only loosely under government control. 


CFC: 27 Chin Refugees Deported and Hundreds of Chin  Refugees Arrested

Washington, DC
August 8, 2000

The Chin Freedom Coalition (CFC) received the following information 
today,  August 8, 2000, from Aizawl. Today, at 3:30 PM Indian Time, 
the Indian  authorities deported 27 Chin refugees to Burma at the 
border of Tio. The  deportees included four children. The Mizo Arsi, 
the daily local newspaper  in Aizawl, reported today that three buses 
returned to Aizawl from the  border area after deporting 87 people to 
Burma on August 3, 2000.   Whereabouts of the 87 refugees deported on 
August 3, 2000 are still unknown.  The newspaper also reported heavy 
arrests of Chin refugees in Champhai town,  the border town on the 
India Burma border in Falam township of Chin State. 

The Mizoram State government of India has issued an order that all 
Chin  refugees and other Burmese refugees must leave India on or 
before August 31,  2000.  Since then, the Mizoram police have been 
arresting refugees and  jailing them in respective towns such as 
Lawngtlai, Saiha, Champhai, and  Lunglei.

As of last night, the Mizoram police in Saiha, which is the capital 
town of  the Chhimtuipui district, had arrested 79 people. All these 
refugees will be  handed over to the Burmese Army stationed in 
Vuangtu village of Thantlang  township in Chin State. Saiha town is 
about 40 miles from the India Burma  border and Vuangtu village is 
only 15 miles from the border area. 


Bangkok Post:   Isn't it enough to give shelter?

August 10, 2000

  No one can question Thailand's just treatment of the
  hundreds of thousands who have sought refuge here, so
  should there be any haste for it to join the UN refugee
  agency? Will the refugees be better off?

  Bhanravee Tansubhapol

  Twenty-five years after allowing the United Nations refugee agency 
to set up offices   here, Thailand remains reluctant to accede to the 
UN convention on refugees. And it   finds good reason in the 
lingering problem of the displaced Burmese.   The United Nations High 
Commissioner for Refugees began assisting Thailand in mid-   1975, 
only a few months after the fall to communist rule of Cambodia and 
Vietnam   which triggered a massive refugee exodus. The fall of Laos 
in December the same year   was another reason why the Thai 
government allowed the UNHCR to set up a permanent   office here in 
July 1977. The fall of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh in 1979 and a   
further 14 years of civil war in that country made the UNHCR's 
presence compelling.   But it has taken almost 25 years to resettle 
or repatriate most of these Indochinese-   671,000 Cambodians, 
360,000 Laos and 160,000 Vietnamese. The entrenched 100-odd   
hilltribe Laos still at Ban Napho in Nakhon Phanom province attest to 
the difficulty of   solving this problem.

  The lingering presence on Thailand's western border of more than 
100,000 Burmese who   fled the crackdown which followed Burma's pro-
democracy uprising in 1988 and   sporadic armed conflicts ever since 
have stoked Thailand's reluctance to accede to the   1951 Convention 
Relating to the Status of Refugees.

  Of the many reservations cited by the legal experts at the Foreign 
Ministry, the strongest   relates to the convention's broad 
definition of refugees as people who flee their country   due to a 
well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, 
nationality,   political opinion or membership of a particular social 
group.   "The definition is very broad and we want to be clear about 
the scope allowed for the   term 'persecution' as we don't want to 
have to take victims of every kind," one ministry   expert said.

  The government also wants a clarification of its obligations to the 
refugees in terms of   the economic, political and social rights it 
would have to grant them. Their rights to work   and education, to 
own property, and to set up labour unions or other peaceful 
assemblies   also have to be spelled out, he said.

 ... Other reservations find backing in the current Burmese problem. 
The problems Bangkok   has had with Burmese dissidents have kept 
alive the Thai wish to keep open the option of   repatriation, rather 
than be bound to the convention's principle of non-refoulement (or 
a   veto against forced repatriation).

  Still faced with a huge caseload after 15 years, Thailand also 
wants a commitment from   the UNHCR to solve the refugee problem-
through repatriation or third country   resettlement-within a set 

 ... Vitit Muntarbhorn, a lecturer in law at Chulalongkorn 
University, said accession would   ensure the more transparent 
screening of refugees from non-refugees.   Mr Manaspas said Thailand 
had always contended that refugees were an international   problem 
requiring international assistance...

  "So long as the conditions in Burma remain unchanged, the Burmese 
problem will   continue unabated."Central to the problem is Rangoon's 
refusal to take back the refugees.   In response to criticism that 
the UNHCR has not done enough to secure a foothold in   Burma in 
order to advance this, Mr Assadi said the question was raised in 
March during a   visit to Rangoon by Jessen Petersen, the UNHCR 
assistant commissioner. But Rangoon   maintained that the timing was 
not yet right.

  Mr Vitit said the Thai government needed to inform the public who 
are refugees and who   are dissidents, as the storming of the Burmese 
embassy in Bangkok last October and the   occupation of the hospital 
in Ratchaburi in January has increased public dislike for   refugees.

  Mr Manaspas said the government had to deal with other problems 
beyond the mandate   of the UNHCR, such as economic migrants and 
illegal workers. It was not lacking in   compassion, he said, but 
tolerance does have its limit.


Kommersant [Russia]:  Ivanov Finds a Promising Partner

 -- It's the Military Regime in What Used to Be Burma. 

By Boris Volkhonsky. Kommersant, July 5, 2000, p. 8. Condensed text:
[Excerpt from Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press, August 2000]

    A high-level delegation from Myanmar (the former Burma), led by 
Foreign Minister Win Aung, is concluding a visit to Moscow today. . . 

When the foreign ministers completed their talks on Monday [July 3], 
[Russian Foreign Minister] Igor Ivanov described Myanmar as 
a "promising partner for Russia in the Asia-Pacific region" and said 
he hoped they could work together in many areas.

But one can only guess what areas these will be, because the rest of 
the visit, including a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Ilya 
Klebanov, took place behind closed doors. Nevertheless, Kommersant 
has learned that the guests were interested primarily in acquiring 

The fact that the delegation included officials from the Defense 
Ministry, the meeting with the Russian deputy prime minister in 
charge of the defense industry, and the overall atmosphere of secrecy 
surrounding the talks leave no doubt as to the two countries' 
intention to initiate military-technical cooperation.


Bangkok Post: Hackers Take Burma's Web Site Offline

  Wednesday, August 9, 2000.


'Unsavoury' types blamed for damage

Bangkok, AFP

The Burmese government confirmed last week that its Internet homepage 
has been shut down by hackers, and said the site has been 
under "constant threat" since it was launched.

The webmaster of ~http:/ /www.myanmar.com>, which promotes tourism 
and investment to the military-run country, said files were altered 
before the entire site was closed down last week.

"The Burma web site has been hacked," a senior government spokesman 
said. "rl here has been a constant threat by unsavoury elements to 
hack the web site since the day the Burma web site came into 

The webmaster said in an email that hackers had changed the password 
to the site and then shut it down completely after making the 

By last Thursday it was still unaccessible.

Activists campaigning against the junta in Rangoon, who oppose 
investment and tourism in the country, were accused of launching the 

"Burma activists have committed computer crime on the Internet," the 
webmaster said.

Burma has been run by the military since 1962.

In 1988, a crackdown on prodemocracy groups caused Burmese citizens 
to flee into Thailand.

In the past two years, verbal sparring between the Burmese exile 
community and the junta has moved into cyberspace.

Activists campaigning against the regime share information about 
Burma over the Internet and say they try to overload Burmese leaders' 
private accounts by assailing them with a flood of email.

Intenet access in Rangoon is still restricted to certain approved 
locations including luxury hotels, travellers' guesthouses and 
businesses approved by the ruling junta.

_______________ ECONOMY AND BUSINESS _______________

Oil and Gas Journal: Petronas, PTT consider building Myanmar NGL 

Online Edition, July 17, 2000

BANGKOKThe Thai and Malaysian state oil firms have teamed up to study 
the viability of building a $150 million NGL separation plant in 
Myanmar. The proposed facility would extract propane and butane from 
natural gas piped from Yetagun-Myanmar's second largest gas field, 
located in the Gulf of Martaban-to make LPG.
Petroleum Authority of Thailand (PTT) and Malaysian state oil firm 
Petronas are reviewing the feasibility of a plant capable of 
processing 250-300 MMcfd of natural gas with an LPG output of 200,000-
300,000 tonnes/year. The complex would be located in southern 
Myanmar, on the Daimensek coast in Mon state, where the 210-km 
offshore pipeline from Yetagun field comes ashore, said Prasert 
Bunsumpun, president of PTT Gas, a unit of PTT.
According to Prasert, part of the LPG from the proposed plant-the 
first of its kind in Myanmar?would be sold domestically, where LPG is 
a much sought-after form of household fuel for cooking. Some of the 
LPG output would be exported to neighboring countries, but not to 
Thailand, which is self-sufficient in LPG.
Prasert said further details of the project would be available in 
September upon completion of the feasibility study.
PTT and Petronas hope to include Burmese state firms-including Myanma 
Oil & Gas Enterprise-as partners in the project, although formal 
discussions have yet to take place.
PTT and Petronas are looking at Yetagun gas for separation, rather 
than gas from Yadana, the country's largest gas field, because the 
qualities of Yetagun gas are more suitable. The proposed gas 
separation plant would create added value for the Yetagun gas stream, 
which has officially begun to flow to Thailand through an onshore 
cross-country pipeline.
The full take-or-pay contract requires PTT to take 200 MMcfd of gas 
from the pipeline, but PTT, the sole gas buyer, has not been able to 
take all the contractual rate because of a delay in the construction 
of Ratchaburi power plant and a domestic west-east gas pipeline.
Petronas is a partner in the $650 million Yetagun gas field 
development, which is led by Britain's Premier Oil PLC. Partners 
include Japan's Nippon Oil Co. and PTT Exploration & Production PLC 
of Thailand. Proved reserves at Yetagun have risen from an estimate 
of 1.1 tcf to 2.92 tcf. The 165% increase, determined by DeGolyer & 
MacNaughton, came as a result of additional drilling last year.
The proposed NGL fractionator would be the second natural gas 
infrastructure project revealed for Myanmar. The Burmese military 
junta recently approved a project by a three-company consortium led 
by Unocal Corp. involving a $200 million gas pipeline from Yadana to 
an onshore location near Rangoon to fuel power plants (OGJ Online, 
July 11, 2000).


Nation: Skyline enters Cambodia [pulls out of Burma]

August 1, 2000, Tuesday

Kwanchai Rungfapaisarn / The Nation

    SKYLINE Unity, a local multi-channel direct-selling company and 
owner of Giffarine products, is testing multi-level marketing in 

Besides Cambodia, the company is interested in developing a multi-
level marketing network in potential markets such as Burma and the 
Middle East. 

Nalinee said the company was suspending its investment in Burma until 
the political situation improved, while it was working for Food and 
Drug Administration (FDA) approval to export its products to the 
Middle East. 


Nation: Bush team flunks the Asean test

August 1, 2000


Those are the only really clear stances coming out of the conference, 
though. Asked about possible US policy towards Burma, Stephen J 
Hadley, foreign policy adviser for the George W Bush campaign,  had 
little to say. It seems that he should know that politicians in the 
Republican camp are lobbying very hard to trade with the Burmese 
regime. All the big corporate names want to do business with Burma 
because of its abundant natural resources and cheap labor. If Bush is 
elected president on November 7, it is likely that Washington will 
adopt a more lenient policy towards Burma, as opposed to the Clinton 
administration - with the State Department under the assertive 
Madeline Albright - which has maintained a hard-line, non-wavering 
approach towards the military regime, much to the chagrin of the 
Republican lobbyists.


IOC: Letter from JA Samaranch on Burma at Olympics

[BurmaNet adds: This letter, from the controversial chairman of the 
International Olympics Committee is in response to a campaign by 
activists to prevent the regime from fielding a delegation to the 


The Hon. Vicki Bourne
Senator for New South Wales
Parliament of Australia, The Senate
Commonwealth Parliament Offices
70 Philip Street
Sydney, NSW

Lausanne, 6 July 2000
Ref. nr 10921/2000/hmy

Dear Senator,

Thank you for your letter dated 29 June 2000, to which I reply as 

In accordance with the Olympic Charter, it is the IOC's policy to 
recognize all National Olympic Committees from independent States 
recognized by the international community. It is expected that all 
National Olympic Committees be represented at the Olympic Games.

In the case to which you are referring, the country expressly 
recognized by the international community, in particular by the 
United Nations, is Myanmar. The IOC has recognized the Myanmar 
Olympic Committee.

It is not up to the International Olympic Committee to envisage 
political sanctions against any country. If the international 
community, in particular the United Nations, were to decide such 
sanctions towards a given country, the IOC might reconsider its 
position towards the National Olympic Committee of that country, 
whilst keeping in mind that one of the IOC's main tasks is to defend 
and protect the interests of the athletes who are unfortunately too 
often the first victims of political sanctions.

Yours sincerely,
Sd. Juan Antonio Samaranch.

_____________________ OTHER  ______________________

PD Burma: Calendar of events with regard to Burma

As of August 8, 2000

  August 8th          : 12th Anniversary of the 8-8-88 uprising. 
Commemoration in Washington. For more
information please contact: Ko Yin Aye  301-770-1499

  September           : UN General Assembly, New York

  September           : NCGUB Meetings

  September 18th           : Anniversary of SLORC Coup, 1988

  September 24th           : National League for Democracy formed 1988

  September/October   : Second EU "troika" mission to Burma 

  October             : EU Foreign Ministers to review Burma Policy 

  October             : Global Day of Action on Open Schools

  October 16-21st          : 104th Inter-Parliamentary Conference, 

  October 18-19th          : 4th Annual Meeting for PD Burma, Jakarta

  October 19- 20th         : The Asem Summit, Seoul

  October 26-28th               : The 50th Congress of Liberal 
International, Ottawa

  November            : ILO Review of Burma's practises

  November 2-17th          : 279th Session of the Governing Body and 
its committees, Geneva

  December 11-12th    : EU and ASEAN Ministerial-level meeting, Laos 

  January 2001        : Sweden takes over EU Presidency

  February            : Meeting of Solidarity Groups, Brussels 

  March/April         : Teachers/ Students Union Conferences

  March/April         : EU Common Position Review

  March/April         : UN Human Rights Commission, Geneva

  May/June            : Meeting of Solidarity Groups

  July                : Belgium takes over EU Presidency



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