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______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
__________August 12, 2000  Issue # 1594__________

AP: Senior Myanmar oppn leader jailed for 21 years 
ARNO News: Riot between Rakhin, Burman settlers 
ARNO News: Tree Tax Collection
ARNO News: Military exercise in Bay of Bengal

AP: Myanmar dissidents, shackled by Thailand, want to resettle outside
Bangkok Post: Inbrief - Immunity law [Ratchaburi massacre]
Puchatkan (Thailand): Plan to move Burmese refugees to border scrapped
Bangkok Post: Army Spies Steer Clear of Politics
Kyodo: Six Burmese soldiers freed in attempt to improve ties with 
HNEHTU newspaper (India):  Jail condition in Mizoram State

Reuters: Myanmar kyat plumbs new lows despite govt warnings
MIC:Profit Sharing Agreement on Zinc Production Signed

AP: Myanmar dissidents, shackled by Thailand, want to resettle outside
Bangkok Post: Inbrief - Immunity law [Ratchaburi massacre]
The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

AP: Senior Myanmar oppn leader jailed for 21 years 

Friday, 11 August 2000 

YANGON, Myanmar: The secretary of a 10-member proxy parliament set up 
the Myanmar pro-democracy party of Aung San Suu Kyi has been sentenced
to 21 years in jail, said a party statement received on Thursday.

"Aye Tha Aung, Secretary of the Committee Representing the People's
Parliament and a delegate representing ethnic-based political parties
was arrested by the military dictators on 24 April. It was learnt that
he was given (a) 21 year prison sentence," the statement said.

He was sentenced on June 21 and had been denied the right to a defence
lawyer, said the statement issued by the committee, led by Suu Kyi's
National League for Democracy. It did not say what Aye Tha Aung had 
charged with.

The committee denounced the jail term and noted that Aye Tha Aung's
family had only been allowed to see him once, on July 27. The Myanmar
government could not be reached immediately for comment.

The NLD, which won a landslide victory in 1990 general elections but 
barred by the ruling military from taking power, set up the CRPP in
September of 1998 when the government ignored its demands to convene a

Since the formation of the CRPP, which directly challenges the 
legitimacy, authorities have stepped up pressure on the party. Several
elected representatives of the NLD have been detained and many have
resigned from the party.

Since it was set up in 1988, hundreds of NLD members have been
imprisoned, usually after summary sentencing. The Myanmar regime has
faced international censure and sanctions for its poor human rights
record. (AP)


ARNO News Monthly: Riot between Rakhine and Burman Buddhist settlers 

News and  Analysis   of   the  Arakan  Rohingya   National  
Organisation,  Arakan  (Burma)

July 2000 Issue

In the 2nd week of July 2000, there was a communal riot between 
Rakhine and Burman Buddhist settlers in Khyingyi model village, a 
place about 10 miles south of Maungdaw town, killing one Rakhine 
settlers. The Burman settlers numbering about 100 were brought in 
from Burma proper while the Rakhine settlers were invited from Arakan 
interior. When the situation became tense the police tried to control 
it but in vain. Later the Lun-Htin (para-militia troops) were 
deployed who could control the situation, for a few hours only, by 
shooting in the air. Then the army intervened but it was also turned 
out unsuccessful due to uncompromising attitude of Burman settlers, 
who are doing excess to their fellow Rakhine settlers under the 
patronage of the military.  Under the circumstance, the commander of 
the Western Command Maj. Gen. Aung Htwe visited the trouble spot on 
July 19, and advised the settlers to calm down and to co-exist 
peacefully in the village. However, there is a feeling of unrest 
among the settlers and locals.
During the altercation the Rakhines accused the Burmans of intruders 
into Arakan whereas the Burmans accused the Rakhines of Bangladeshi 


ARNO News Monthly: Tree Tax Collection

July 2000

News and  Analysis   of   the  Arakan  Rohingya   National  
Organisation,  Arakan  (Burma)

The SPDC armed forces have introduced various notorious and arbitrary 
tax collections particularly in Arakan, which are unknown to the 
human society. In the first week of July, 2000, the authorities 
ordered all the Rohingya Muslim villagers in Maungdaw township to pay 
yearly a new tree tax of Kyat 2500/- per betel-nut tree and Kyat 
5000/- per coconut tree. In addition, the Rohingya villagers are 
required to pay taxes for the construction and repair works of their 
dwelling houses. Tin-roofed houses are heavily taxed. The Muslim 
villagers are warned to be severely punished for the non-compliance 
of the order.

It may be mentioned that there are at least a few such trees grown in 
almost every house compound of the Rohingyas. The non-Muslim 
communities are exempted from these taxes. 


ARNO News Monthly: Military exercise in Bay of Bengal

News and  Analysis   of   the  Arakan  Rohingya   National  
Organisation,  Arakan  (Burma

On 15 May 2000, Burma armed forces conducted a military exercise in 
Arakan coast in the Bay of Bengal. It was participated by 500 
combined forces of army, air force and navy. The Deyawaddi Naval Base 
made all necessary arrangement for the manoeuvring supervised by two 
Chinese military experts. It was a rare exercise in recent years

________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL__________________

AP: Myanmar dissidents, shackled by Thailand, want to resettle outside

Associated Press Writer
MANEELOY, Thailand, Aug 10, 2000 (AP) -- Myanmar dissidents in exile, 
whose fierce campaign for democracy in their homeland has been 
subdued by a Thai crackdown, said Thursday they are now eager to be 
resettled in other countries.

"We have no hope here anymore, a bright future is waiting for us in 
third countries," said Aung Htun, a student leader, at the Maneeloy 
refugee camp where 1,539 dissidents have been living as virtual 
prisoners for the last 10 months.

Thai authorities clamped strict security on the camp, barring inmates 
from going outside, after five radical Myanmar students briefly 
seized their country's embassy in Bangkok in October.

Thailand was embarrassed again when another group of Myanmar students 
seized a hospital in Ratchaburi, 90 kilometers (60 miles) west of 
Bangkok, in January. At least some of those students involved in the 
two incidents were believed to have once sheltered in the Maneeloy 

Thai authorities allowed reporters into the camp Thursday for the 
first time since October, and permitted interviews with inmates.

While thousands of Myanmar refugees live in camps across Thailand, 
the Maneeloy camp is the only one holding dissidents - students, 
politicians and former officials who were involved in the 1988 
uprising against the military government of Myanmar, also known as 

Aung Htun said the inmates are more than happy to resettle in other 
countries in view of the Thai crackdown.

But they will carry on their campaign after being resettled to 
give "the world information about what is happening in Myanmar," said 
Aung Htun, who applied to go to Denmark in March. He is the deputy 
chief of the Burmese Students Association, the most powerful group in 
the camp.

Since 1992, when the camp was set up, 2,567 inmates have been 
resettled in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and 
Scandinavian countries, said Preecha Chanreung, the deputy governor 
of Ratchaburi province where the camp is located.

The Thai government, unwilling to antagonize Myanmar, a neighbor and 
partner in a regional economic grouping, is pressuring third 
countries to accept all the dissidents in the camp.
Preecha said he expected the camp to be closed by the end of next 


Bangkok Post: Inbrief - Immunity law [Ratchaburi massacre]

Aug 11, 2000.

The armed forces will push for a law that will give their anti-
terrorism personnel legal immunity.

The move was reportedly prompted by the Ratchaburi hospital takeover 
in January by God's Army rebels. The crisis ended with a commando 
raid which freed all hostages and left all 10 Karen terrorists dead.
However, those involved in the operation have been accused of over-
reaction and brutality by human rights activists who also called for 
criminal action against them.


Puchatkan (Thailand): Plan to move Burmese refugees to border scrapped
Burma closes border post

Bangkok, in Thai 10 Aug 00 p 17

Burma closes the border at Mae Sot

Excerpts from report by Thai newspaper 'Puchatkan' on 10th August

Northern Region News Centre: The authority in charge of the Thai-
border area has issued aninstruction prohibiting demonstrations 
against the
relocation of political refugees from Bangkok to the refugee centre at
Ban Um Piam. The UNHCR [UN High Commissioner for Refugees] has halted 
relocation plan, claiming fear of exploitation by third parties. 
Rumour has 
spread in the border areas of Tak Province about the National 
Security Council's 
[NSC] plan to relocate Hmong from Tham Krabok to the province. The 
government has closed the border between Myawaddi and Mae Sot to
discourage Burmese students who fled to Thailand from creating 
of peace in Burmese territory.

Regarding developments in the opposition by the local people in Tak 
to the
policy, to be implemented by the NSC and funded by the UNHCR, to
relocate 85 Burmese political refugees from Bangkok and other 
provinces to the shelter centre at Ban Um Piam, Phopphra District, Tak
Province, on 4th August the Phopphra District administration issued a
statement for  dissemination by village and subdistrict chiefs.

The statement said: Referring to the NSC policy to relocate 85
Burmese persons of concern to the shelter centre at Ban Um Piam
on 3rd August, which received resistance from the people in Phopphra
District and nearby districts, the Phopphra District administration 
been informed that the UNHCR has discontinued the relocation of the
85 Burmese to the shelter centre. For this reason, it is improper
for any individuals or groups to persuade you or your family members
to carry out a demonstration against the Burmese persons of concern,
and their action may have hidden selfish motives. Moreover, third 
could exploit the demonstration by the masses for other purposes other
than to oppose the Burmese students, to the detriment of the country
and the demonstration participants themselves.

In any event, despite the confirmation by the local administration and
the UNHCR that the relocation of the 85 Burmese political refugees
has been abolished, the opposition by the local people to the
  relocation has not completely subsided. This is because the NSC 
has the policy of sending some400 political refugees, who earlier fled
the Um Piam centre to find employment in Bangkok and the
surrounding provinces, back to the centre. On 12th August, NSC
Secretary-General Khachatphai Burutphat is scheduled to brief the 
communities in Tak about the plan...

Moreover, rumour has spread in Mae Sot that in addition to the 
planned relocation of Burmese political refugees to the shelter 
centre along
  the border, the NSC has a policy of relocating Hmong in Tham Krabok,
Saraburi Province, to Tak Province. However, so far there is no 
of such policy.

According to a most recent report, on 9th August the Burmese 
ordered closure of the border at the Thailand-Burma Friendship Bridge
which links Mae Sot and Myawaddi and at other temporary crossing 
on the Moei River. Foot as well as vehicle traffic were banned out of 
fear by
the Burmese side of possible activities by Burmese students along the
border. August the eighth is the 12th anniversary of the demand for
democracy in Burma. Burmese intelligence units had information that
anti-Burmese group which called itself the 8888 (which is derived from
8th August of 1988) might carry out disruption of peace.

 From 8th August, Burmese students who had taken shelter in the
Tak-Mae Hong Son border areas organized gatherings and events
to pay respect to the fallen heroes. The federation of Burmese 
in Tak issued a statement to express determination to continue the
struggle against the Burmese government.


Bangkok Post: Army Spies Steer Clear of Politics

T H U R S D A Y,  A U G U S T 1 0, 2 0 0 0

Ordered to focus on border protection

Wassana Nanuam

The army's intelligence units have 1 been told to stop gathering 
on domestic developments and start concentrating on national security 
the border.

Highly-placed sources said Gen surayud Chulanont, the army chief, 
the three intelligence units to stop sying on politicians and labour 
leaders, and gathering information on politics.

The order was in line with  Gen Surayud's policy to keep the army 
from  politics and leave domestic intelligence to agencies such as 
National  Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, the 
Branch Police and the Security Centre of the Supreme Command.

Sources  said this was the first time army intelligence units had 
given a direct orde  to focus on border security.        "Gen Surayud 
has a 
strong wish to see the units perform more professionally and not 
political interests, ' a  senior army officer said.

In the past, senior intelligence officers were used by the brass to 
support from politicians. Other officers were deployed to spy on 
politicians or labour leaders considered security risks.

Intelligence officers from the army special forces would be recruited 
boost the efficiency of existing intelligence units operating along 
border, especially the Burmese border, where drug smuggling is rife.

The army has three intelligence units monitoring security on the 
Lao and Cambodian borders. Lt-Gen Thanes Maison heads the army's unit 
311along the Burmese border, Lt-Gen Thaweesak Noonpakdi heads unit 
along the Cambodian border while Lt-Gen Somsak Saengchanlert heads 
unit 309 
along the border with Laos.

Officers frorn the Army Military Intelligence previously kept a close 
on political activities to keep top army leaders abreast of domestic 

Kyodo: Six Burmese soldiers freed in attempt to improve ties with 
August 12, 2000
 THAILAND yesterday released six Burmese soldiers that been held in 
the border
 province of Mae Hong Son since February, apparently in a bid to 
improve military
 relations between Thailand and Burma.
 Major Chatri Thaenthong, head of the Thai-Burma coordination office 
in Tak Province,
 delivered the soldiers to his Burmese counterpart at about 11 am.
 The soldiers were sent back via the border checkpoint a t Mae Sot in 
Tak to avokd any
 confrontation with angry Burmese troops near Mae Hong Son, according 
to a military
 The six soldiers, from an army battalion based near Mae Hong Son, 
were captured by the Thai military on February 3.
 They claimed to have crossed accidentally into Thailand while 
searching for food.
 They were detained for the next six months without any legal charges.
 Relations between the Thai and Burmese armies in the northern border 
areas have been
 sour since last year, when the Thai army closed border passes to 
block narcotics
 The bitter relations deteriorated further when Thai military 
commanders accused Burma of supporting drug production along the 


HNEHTU newspaper (India): Jail condition in Mizoram State

dated 3 August 2000

There are 1,326 prisoners in all Mizoram jails. Central Jail is very 
congested now with the Burmese being arrested in the state. Only 400 
to 500 prisoners are used to put in the Central Jail but from 3rd 
August the jail has become congested and total 846 prisoners were 
there in the central jail.

In Champhai jail, there are now 56, jail of Saiha in southern Mizoram 
68 and Kollasib jail is with 79 prisoners. There are total 200 
prisoners in Lunglei jail. The reason why jails in Mizoram became 
crowded is the arrest of Burmese from different parts by the police 
in the state. 
A news report from MIZO ARSI (star) newspaper, Aizawl,
Dated 7th August, 2000

Overdosed person died in lock-up

On 7th August 2000, a Chin, namely Lalrinchhana, who says himself 
from being Tuikual C of Aizawl, died in lock-up due to overdose. His 
body was taken away by his maternal Uncle T.C Vungana who lives in 
Chhiga Veng of Aizawl.

_______________ ECONOMY AND BUSINESS _______________

Reuters: Myanmar kyat plumbs new lows despite govt warnings

YANGON, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Myanmar"s beleaguered kyat currency hit a 
record low against the dollar on the black market on Friday despite 
warnings by the military government that it would clamp down on 
speculators. Dealers said the kyat was trading at 395 per dollar on 
the black market, down from 385 at the start of the week. Before this 
month"s slide, the previous record low was 384 to the dollar in 
August 1998. The official rate is six kyat to the dollar. The kyat 
was quoted at 375 per dollar-denominated Foreign Exchange Certificate 
(FEC), the currency issued to tourists. A commentary in the Myanmar-
language Kyemon newspaper last week warned against "unscrupulous 
speculation" and said the authorities would take action to bring 
prices under control. Newspapers in Myanmar are regarded as official 
mouthpieces of the regime. Dealers said the currency had been 
undermined by panic buying of commodities by people trying to protect 
themselves against surging inflation, as well as the weakness of 
Thailand"s baht. The Myanmar government increased the salaries of 
civil servants by five to eight times in April to bring them more 
into line with spiralling prices, but the move helped fuel inflation, 
estimated at around 30 percent a year. 

Prices of common consumer goods have not risen too steeply, residents 
say, due to measures taken by the authorities, including the opening 
of five tax-free markets in Yangon. But prices of gold, cars and 
other imported items have risen sharply. Analysts say there was 
strong demand for these items as a way of guarding against inflation 
and the weakening kyat. Demand increased after the bank interest rate 
on savings was cut in April to 10 percent from 12 percent. Prices of 
low-market reconditioned vans and cars have more than doubled in the 
last three months. Myanmar authorities imposed strict regulations on 
cars in late 1997, virtually stopping the flow of passenger cars into 
the country. Gold dealers said the price of 24-carat gold bars had 
shot up to 60,000 kyat per tickle (0.525 troy ounce) from 51,500 kyat 
in March. Prices have risen despite a warning to gold dealers not to 
exceed a price of 54,000 kyat per tickle. Myanmar"s economy remains 
tightly controlled, despite the introduction of some market reforms 
in 1988 after 26 years of central planning. The economy is commodity-
based and relies heavily on the export of rice, pulses and prawns.


Myanmar Information Committee: Profit Sharing Agreement on Zinc 
Production Signed

N0. B-1478 (I) 13th August, 2000

  The No 1 Mining Enterprise of Ministry of Mines and Myanmar 
Mayflower Mining Enterprise Ltd signed an agreement on zinc 
production in Maw Khee (Wale) region, Myawady Township, Kayin State, 
at the ministry on 11 August. 

Managing Director of No.1 Mining Enterprise and Managing Director of 
Myanmar Mayflower Mining Enterprise Ltd expressed thanks, signed and 
exchanged the 



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