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Subject: [theburmanetnews] BurmaNet News: August 17, 2000

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______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
        An on-line newspaper covering Burma 
_________August 17, 2000   Issue # 1598__________

NOTED IN PASSING:  "I am prepared to resign and had expected this... 
I am the poorest among the generals."

Remarks attributed to Brig. Gen. Zaw Tun by DVB, reporting on his 
resignation today for criticizing the regime's economic policies.  
See DVB: Deputy minister said to have been dismissed for criticizing 

DVB: Deputy minister said to have been dismissed for criticizing 

The Asian Age (New Delhi): Burmese refugees suffering: Samata
Chin Freedom Coalition: India Will Deport 82 Chin Refugees to Burma 
on August 18
Mizzima: Manipur to look into border disputes with Burma
NCUB: Meeting between NCUB (WR) and Chief Minister of Mizoram State, 
The Nation: Border discussions with Burma still mired
Bangkok Post: Burmese refugees--Escapees won't get 'person of 
concern' status

Asiagateway: Petronas, PTT consider building Burma NGL plant
Myanmar List: Scrutiny of statements published and issued by the 
Ayeyawady Press

OTHER _______
PD Burma: Calendar of events
SHAN: (History) Shan State Progress Party, (1971-95)--Learning it the 
hard way

The BurmaNet News is viewable online at:

Myanmar List: Scrutiny of statements published and issued by the 
Ayeyawady Press

__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________

DVB: Deputy minister said to have been dismissed for criticizing 

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts
August 17, 2000

Deputy minister said to have been dismissed for criticizing policy

Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 14 Aug 00

Text of report by Burmese opposition radio on 14th August

DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] has learned that Brig-Gen Zaw Tun,
deputy minister of national planning and economic development, was
dismissed from his post on 9th August. An officer from the
military intelligence delivered a retirement letter to Brig-Gen Zaw 
and told him: General, please take your retirement.

At the 7th July discussion meeting with businessmen, Brig-Gen Zaw Tun
criticized the existing economic policies and admitted the 
Details of his discussions were leaked to the outside and DVB also 
a report on the discussions. Subsequently, Brig- Gen Zaw Tun was 
from his post.

Brig-Gen Zaw Tun cheerfully told the military intelligence officer 
delivered the retirement letter: I am prepared to resign and had 
expected this. I 
spoke the truth and spoke constructively. According to his close 
associates, he gathered
his personal effects and bade farewell to the departmental personnel 
with a
parting shot: I am the poorest among the generals.

In his 7th July discussion with the businessmen, he openly spoke 
about the
exaggerated growth indicators of the country and the collusion 
between some
entrepreneurs and Defence Ministry personnel to monopolize the market.
It was learned that Brig-Gen Zaw Tun was summoned and interrogated by
the military intelligence after the discussion meeting.

According to information received by DVB, Brig-Gen Zaw Tun has the 
of being frank in his meetings with Sr Gen Than Shwe and Gen Maung 
In his 7th July speech he recounted his description of the television 
news to
Sr Gen Than Shwe. He said Sr Gen Than Shwe told him that although the
television daily shows the work being done by the country's leaders 
general public really do not know about it. He jovially recalled how 
he told the 
senior general: Frankly, the people switch off their television when 
the news comes
and switch back only when the Chinese movies come. Senior general, you
must be the only one watching the news.

Dr Sein Win, prime minister of the National Coalition Government of 
the Union
of Burma [government-in-exile] commented to the DVB on the frank
assessment of the country's economic situation by Brig-Gen Zaw Tun:

[Sein Win] We welcome his realistic assessment of the problem as
a member of the military and as a public servant. Everyone should 
such comments. He expressed his frustrations as others had expressed
their frustrations. However, it will be very sad if the rulers - the 
- turn a blind and do not change and continue with their ways.

In my view the country needs such persons who dare to speak the
truth with courage without considering their own interests. [End of 

Brig-Gen Zaw Tun, who openly criticized the economic policies of the 
government and admitted the shortcomings during his 7th July 
meeting with the businessmen, was dismissed on 9th August. Foreign
journalists contacted Lt-Col Hla Min, SPDC [State Peace and 
Council] spokesman, to comment on the matters, but they did not get 

___________________ REGIONAL/INTERNATIONAL____________________

The Asian Age (New Delhi): Burmese refugees suffering: Samata

August 17, 2000

New Delhi, Aug. 16: Burmese refugees in New Delhi are said to be 
a severe economic hardship due to a delay in the monthly allowance 
paid to them by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

According to a representative of the Mizzima News Group, Soe Myint, an
organisation which has been airing the issues related to the Burmese
refugees in the country, the latter have not received their monthly
allowance of Rs 1,550 per person. The payment is normally made to the
refugees by the first week of every month. Sources said that after
failing to pay house rent on time, several refugees have been evicted
while others are being harassed by their landlords, who cut their
electricity and water supply.

The information provided by the Mizzima Group puts the number of 
refugees staying in New Delhi at 800, of which 600 are recognised and
protected. It is stated that there are about 100 refugees whose
applications for refugee status have either been rejected or are 
with the UNHCR. The group claimed that last month the allowance paid 
the refugees was cut by Rs 100.

Meanwhile, the Samata Party has urged the UNHCR to look into the 
and do the needful at the earliest. The officials at the UNHCR were 
available when attempts were made to contact them on the issue.


Chin Freedom Coalition: India Will Deport 82 Chin Refugees to Burma 
on August 18 

Washington, DC, August 16, 2000. 

Today, the Chin Freedom Coalition (CFC) received a report from the 
local daily newspaper in Aizawl, India, the "Vanglaini," about the 
ongoing arrest and deportation of Chin and other refugees from India 
to Burma. The newspaper reported today that arrest and deportation of 
Chin refugees took place in the capital of the Mizoram State and that 
87 Chin refugees will be deported to the Tio River at the border 
between India and Burma on Friday, August 18, 2000. 

According to Vanglaini, the largest source of news in the Mizoram 
State and published in the Mizo language, these refugees have served 
the required 7 days in the Aizawl jail. 

The CFC has learned that the arrests and deportations are continuing. 
Approximately 1,000 refugees are currently jailed and 114 refugees 
have already been deported to Burma. 


Mizzima: Manipur to look into border disputes with Burma

Imphal, August 16, 2000
Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com)

The Government of Manipur recently formed a seven-member Cabinet
sub-committee headed by its Deputy Chief Minister Dr. L. Chandramani
Singh to look into the lost of the state territory, which it claims
being occupied by neighbouring Burma.

According to Mr. O. Joy Singh, president of Manipur People's Party
(MPP), the state has lost 29 square kilometers of land after the 1981
census. The state territory was 22, 356 square kilometers but it 
to 22,327 after 1981 census.

"Now, the question is whether this particular area of 29 sq. kms is 
in the hand of foreign territory or it is in the hand of neighbouring
states (of India), such as Assam and Nagaland. If it is in the hand of
neighbouring states, it will be within the territory of India but if 
is in the hand of Burma, for example, it will be the lost of territory
of India to a foreign country", said Mr. O. Joy Singh in an interview
with Mizzima.

Mr. O. Joy Singh, who raised the matter long back in 1984-85, has
recently raised the issue during the State Assembly discussions held
last month.

Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Chandramani Singh then informed the house 
the "lost land" is in fact in the hand of Burma and it is being 
by the neighbouring country.

The government, in the first week of August constituted the Cabinet
committee to look into the issue of "lost land" and apprise the 
government about the matter. The Centre has been so far silent on the
issue despite repeated reminders of the state government in the past.

Dr. Chandramani Singh further told that the new Cabinet committee 
submit a report on the matter soon and a meeting of all political
parties would be called to seek the opinions.


NCUB: Meeting between the delegation of NCUB (WR) and His Honourable 
Chief Minister of Mizoram State, India

    NCUB (WR), Regional Office 
    Aizawl, August 16

    A delegation of NCUB (WR) Committee members led by Member of 
Parliament for Pale Township, U Than Sein and Joint Secretary of NCUB 
(WR), Ko Than Khe met with Pu Zoramthanga, His Honourable Chief 
Minister of Mizoram State, India at Chief Minister's Chamber in 
Aizawl at 11:00 A.M. on August 16, 2000.

    In this meeting, the NCUB delegation explained about the current 
political situation of Burma and appealed to the Chief Minister to 
not deport Burmese people who are sheltering in Mizoram State because 
of economic crisis and human rights violations in Burma. 

    The Chief Minister accepted the appeal of the NCUB (WR) 
delegation to cordially acknowledge the political asylum and shelter 
of the Burmese politicians and students who have been residing in 
Mizoram State since 1988. 

    However, the Chief Minister did not answer for recent 
deportations of Burmese people. Recently, the first batch of 87 
Burmese citizens were deported on August 4, and the second batch of 
27 on August 8, 2000 again. 

    And then, he also highlighted about the criminals, particularly 
drugs trafficking and drugs abuse problems in Mizoram because of lack 
of identification for illegal migrants from Burma.

    The NCUB delegation proposed the Chief Minister to consider for 
legal work permits for Burmese citizens in Mizoram State. 

    According to the statement of the Chief Minister, there will be a 
plan to initiate legal registration system for Burmese migrant 
workers in Mizoram State. He also mentioned that some registration 
offices for Burmese migrants would be set up a long the border passes 
between Mizoram State and Chin State of Burma very soon. 

    During the discussion with the NCUB delegation, the Chief 
Minister stated that many crimes happening in Mizoram State are 
committed by some Burmese citizens, but admitted that there are 
thousands of common Burmese citizens who are sincerely sheltering and 
working in Mizoram State for their survivals due to economic hardship 
and several backgrounds of human rights situation in Burma.

    The Chief Minister showed his worry for His people and State of 
Mizoram for the affect of rapid drugs influx into Mizoram State from 

    The NCUB delegation expressed understanding with the Chief 
Minister for the dilemma of Mizoram State to solve the exodus of 
Burmese citizens that cannot be prevented until and unless democracy 
and stable government is being installed in Burma. And then, the NCUB 
delegation pointed out that the ruling military junta in the name of 
the State Peace and Development Council is the main culprit for the 
present sufferings of Burmese citizens and its neighbours.

    At present, forty thousand of Burmese migrants estimated by Chin 
Relief and Development Committee and Chin Human Rights Organization 
are residing illegally in Mizoram State. Among them most are Chin 
ethnic people from Chin State of Burma bordering with Mizoram State. 
The main cause of exodus into Mizoram is gross human rights 
violations by the ruling junta in Chin State. Moreover, the economic 
crisis in Burma is also a blow for Burmese citizens to seek the jobs, 
generally manual labours such as construction sites, handloom 
factories and house-maids in Mizoram State. 


The Nation: Border discussions with Burma still mired

Aug 16, 2000.

THE unsettled border demarcation with Burma remains a major concern 
to Thailand's security forces because of lingering mutual 
misunderstandings, Deputy Foreign Minister Sukhumbhand Paribatra said 

Both sides are still at loggerheads about the content of a memorandum 
of understanding on the demarcation, Sukhumbhand said. He was 
speaking after meeting security agencies on the latest developments 
in border discussions. 

Yesterday's meeting, normally held every four to five months, was 
also attended by Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai, deputy Prime Minister 
Banyat Bantadtharn, Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan and Deputy 
Supreme Commander Sampao Chusri. 

A contentious point, Sukhumbhand said, is whether to include in the 
MoU a "general description of boundary alignments", as Burma demands. 
If so, a definite line has to be drawn along all the 2,401km border. 

Thailand does not agree with this, believing that demarcation must be 
sorted out before any discussion on a general description begins, he 

"We think a legal framework should be in place beforehand." Moreover, 
he said, a particular description already exists in the1868 Anglo-
Siamese Treaty, to which both parties refer. 

"We do not want to see it included [in the MOU] because it would 
become a kind of treaty and have many legal implications. It would be 
unusual if an MoU had to go through Parliament," he said. 

The issue is being worked on by agencies of both countries to try and 
overcome the technical differences. So far Bangkok and Rangoon have 
agreed on just 59km of the frontier along the Roek River. Despite 
hiccups with Burma, border demarcation discussions with the three 
other neighbouring countries: Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia, have made 
steady progress. 

"Over 65 per cent of the border demarcation lines have been worked 
out with Laos and should be completed by the deadline set for next 
year," Sukhumbhand said. 

On the Cambodian side, Bangkok and Phnom Penh are negotiating on the 
terms of reference to support the already signed MOU. 

In addition, there is still about a kilometre of frontier with 
Malaysia at the source of Kolok River about which further negotiation 
is required, he said. Recently, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur reached a 
mutually beneficial agreement to do away with the "No Man's Land" at 
the Padang Besar checkpoint in Songkhla. 

These discussions are expected to be completed by the end of this 
year or early next year at the latest.


Bangkok Post: Burmese refugees--Escapees won't get 'person of 
concern' status

Aug 16, 2000.

They'll be returned to holding centres
Yuwadee Tunyasiri

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has agreed in 
principle not to grant "person of concern" status to Burmese refugees 
who escaped from holding centres at the border, a top security 
official said.

National Security Council chief Kachadpai Burusapatana said the UNHCR 
had accepted Bangkok's proposal to send this group of refugees back 
to their holding centres.

Further talks on the issue would be held soon, he added.

More than 400 Burmese refugees had escaped from their holding centres 
in Tak and applied for "person of concern" status with the UNHCR.

Thailand's protest against resettlment of this group was based on 
internal security reasons, he said.

The NSC feared an agreement to grant the status to the runaway 
refugees would encourage others to follow suit.

Mr Kachadpai said the status of these refugees was different from 
that of the Burmese student exiles at Ratchaburi's Maneeloy holding 

About 800 of the student exiles have been resettled in third 
countries. A thousand more are expected to be resettled at the end of 
this year.

Mr Kachadpai said his agency had also asked the UNHCR to keep a close 
watch on movements of refugees of other nationalities, particularly 
Sri Lankans, who had been granted "person of concern" status.

"Thai authorities have no information on the whereabouts of these 
people and we don't know if UNHCR can take care of them properly. NSC 
has asked the agency to be specific with the re-settlement time 
frame. With these people wandering around, it is bad for security," 
he said.

The UNHCR meanwhile has decided to suspend relocation of some 80 
former Burmese students to Phon Phra district following protests from 
local people who fear their presence could heighten border tension. 
The refugees are on Rangoon's wanted list for alleged security law 

_______________ ECONOMY AND BUSINESS ________________

Asiagateway: Petronas, PTT consider building Burma NGL plant

August 16, 2000.


The Thai and Malaysian state oil firms have teamed up to study the 
viability of building a $150 million NGL separation plant in Burma. 
The proposed facility would extract propane and butane from natural 
gas piped from YetagunùBurma's second largest gas field, located in 
the Gulf of Martabanùto 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 Burma, 
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 
plantùthe first of its kind in Burmaùwould 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 firmsùincluding 
Burma Oil & Gas Enterpriseùas 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 
      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 Burma. 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.


Myanmar List: Scrutiny of statements published and issued by the 
Ayeyawady Press

August 16, 2000
"The Truth" (Volume-7)

[BurmaNet adds: Myanmar List, the regime's listserv has recently been 
publishing, under the name of "The Truth," a series of rebuttals to 
statements or publications about Burma.  The lengthy rebuttals are 
often aimed at NLD statements or, in the case of the statement 
excerpted here, publications like The Irrawaddy (called Ayeyawaddy by 
the regime).  The Irrawaddy (www.irrawaddy.org) is a news magazine 
published in Thailand that covers Southeast Asia, including Burma.  
This excerpt runs about half the length of the original.]

U Saw Win (a) Kyaw Zaw Lin

    The Ayeyawady magazine stated that one U Saw Win (a) Kyaw Zaw 
Lin, age
61, died on 7 August 1998 in Thayawady Prison about 200 kilometres 
away from
Yangon City; and that he was sentenced in 1991 under section 5(j) of 
Emergency Provisions Act.

    U Saw Win, then 55, misappropriated 86 tons of timber to be 
supplied to
the Thanlyin Bridge construction project and he was sentenced to 11 
imprisonment on 23-4-91 under Section 6(1) of Public Properties 
Law.  While he was serving his prison term in Thayawady Prison, he 
was given
medical treatment for asthma at the prison hospital 174 times during 
period from 6-7-95 to 23-4-98.  From 12 to 19 May 1998, he was 
admitted to
the prison hospital and arrangements were made for him to undergo 
treatment by district doctor. In charge however, he as he made no 
progress he
was hospitalized at Thayawady District Hospital on 5-8-98.  He died 
of lung
disease on 7-8-98. The fact should be made clear that U Saw Win was 
to prison not under Section 5(j) of the Emergency Provisions Act and 
was not
a political prisoner. He was sentenced under Section 6(1) of Public
Properties Protection Act as he had misappropriated timber for the 
construction project. And though he was given medical treatment 
throughout by
specialists, he died of his illness not of any  or causes such as
maltreatment. He was sentenced to imprisonment and for a crime he had
committed his death was due to illness. He was jailed for 
and not for a political offense.

U Aung Min

    The Ayeyawady magazine stated that U Aung Min died of cancer as 
well as
tortures on 21-10-98.

    U Aung Min was 52 years old and NLD organizing committee member of
Mandalay North-East Township. As he was involved in the NLD's plan to 
for Hluttaw, he was brought from his house on 6-9-98 and detained 
at a guesthouse in Patheingyi in order to prevent underable 
problems.  On
4-10-98 he fell sick and was treated with medicine by a medical 
officer of the battalion.  He recovered from the illness and he even 
doing physical exercises.   But on 10-10-98 he fell sick again and 
was given
vitamin injections on 20-10-98 and 21-10-98.  On 21-10-98, the 
officer of No. 1 Field Medical  Battalion examined his health and on 
recommendation he was admitted to the hospital of No. 1 Field Medical
Battalion, for further treatment, but he died.  He was a former 
personnel of The Forest Department and he had contracted malaria 
since then.
He fell sick often due to malaria attacks, so he was weak and though 
took good care of him, he did not survice. A post mortem was held and 
surgeon in charge of Mandalay People's Hospital noted that cancer 
cells had
invaded his tonsils and other internal organs.

Mr. James Leander Nichols

    The Ayewady magazine stated that Mr. James Leander Nichols was 
in 1996; that he was denied medical treatment in prison as a result 
of which
he died in June 1996.

    Mr. James Leander Nichols was 65 years old.  He was sentenced to 
3 years'
imprisonment  with a fine of 30,000 kyats by the Mayangon Township 
Court on
17-5-96 under Section 6(1) of the 1933 Burma Wireless Act for using 
fax and
other communication apparatus illegally at home.  While serving his 
term  in Insein Prison, he fell down suddenly and fainted in the ward 
11:30 am on 22-6-96.  His blood pressure was 200/ 100 and the prison 
recommended that he be admitted to the General Hospital.  He passed 
away at 1
pm at the Yangon General Hospital.  He was an elderly man so the 
prison, the
doctor had given him regular check-up and given treatment for chroic 
disease, hypertension and diabetes.  On 20-6-96, his housemaid Daw 
Nyunt Yi
came to see him and he received her in good health.  On 21-6-96 and 
he ate meals with fried port and fried fish paste given to him by Daw 
Yi.  After having lunch on 22-6-96, he alternated between sitting on 
the bed
and walking to and fro in the room.  Then he suddenly fell down and 
The prison doctor provided necessary emergency treatment and sent him 
Yangon General Hospital, but he died of heart failure. It is commonly 
that heart failure causes sudden death.  Nichols had not been 
sentenced for a
political offense.

U Kyaw Din

    The Ayeyawady magazine mentioned that U Kyaw Din  was arrested in 
and died at Wakema Hospital the same year.

    U Kyaw Din was 58 years old and chairman of Wakema Township NLD.  
He was
sentenced for 2 years' imprisonment with hard labour under Section 505
(b) of
the Penal Code at 2 pm on 24-7-97 for slandering the authorities with 
to create disturbance of the peace.  While serving the sentence, he 
came down
with dysentery at 1 am on 20-10-97.  He was admitted to Myaungmya 
People's Hospital and he died at 5:30 p.m. even though doctors took 
good care
of him. Post-mortem results showed that his death was due to acute 
oedema caused by acute renal failure.  Post-mortem inspection also 
that both of his kidneys had shrunk and both of his lungs were filled 

U Khin Maung (a) Bo Set Yaung

    The Ayeyawady magazine mentioned that U Khin Maung (a) Bo Set 
Yaung died
in February 1990 in a small prison cell of Yaykyi Aing prison camp at
Mingaladon while being tortured in solitary confinement and that 
though his
health was in poor state, no medical treatment was given to him.
    U Khin Maung (a) Bo Set Yaung was 68 years old.  For 
participating in
underground movements of BCP insurgents, he was jailed for 5 years' 
at Insein
Prison on 2-11-89.  At 8 am on 7-3-90 he died of  ischemic heart 
disease in
Insein Prison.  He died suddenly and he himself had never mentioned 
at any
that he was ill and seemed not to know that he had a heart 
condition.  He did
not die at Yaykyi Aing in Mingaladon as accused.  He did not die of 
He was sentenced to imprisonment and died of heart disease in Insein 

U Maung Ko

    The Ayeyawady magazine mentioned that U Maung Ko was arrested on 
and he died in Mingaladon prison camp while being tortured.
    U Maung Ko was 52 years old.  He was detained in connection with 
a meeting of the NLD in Mandalay to form a parallel government.  
While being
detained he committed suicide by hanging himself on 9-11-90.  After
confessing to all of their conspiracies to the authorities, he 
panicked and became mentally deranged and hanged himself by using a 

U Kin Sein

    The Ayeyawady magazine fabricated a report that U Kin Sein who 
had been
arrested in 1991 and died in the Yangon General Hospital of HIV/AIDS
contracted due to inhuman medical treatment by prison authorities.
    U Kin Sein was 53 years old and was sentenced to 8 years' 
under Section 17(1) of the Unlawful Associations Act on 30-5-91 for 
part in the underground movement of the BCP.  At 11:45 pm on  6-12-
94, he was
admitted to Yangon General Hospital from Insein prison as he was 
from dizziness, vomiting and a nervous disorder.  According to the 
report, U Kin Sein was severely suffering from tuberculosis and 
debility and his health was declining.  On account of his petition, 
he was
granted amnesty on 5-1-95.  His family admitted him to Yangon General
Hospital and he died on 16-1-95.  HIV/AIDS as is well-known is 
He was given necessary medical treatment to alleviate his condition 
and his
family members were notified to give them the chance to make 
arrangements to
their satisfaction for him to undergo further medical treatment.  In 
fact, he
died of HIV/AIDS which is almost always accompanied by TB.

U Ba Thaw (a) Maung Thawka

    The Ayeyawady magazine mentioned that U Baw Thaw (a) Maung Thawka 
arrested in 1989; that he became paralysed as a result fo the beating 
he was
give for going on a hunger strike in Insein Prison in September 1990; 
that he
was given nominal treatment by the prison doctor instead of proper 
care and
treatment  by physicians and that he died of heart disease at Yangon 

    U Thawka was 63 years old and was sentenced to 20 years' 
(life sentence) on 5-10-89 under Section 5(a)(b) of the Emergency 
Act for inciting the people to defy all orders that which was in 
with the NLD scheme to cause disintegration of the Armed Forces.  He 
from ischemic heart disease and was admitted to prison hospital on 7-
The prison doctor gave him proper medical treatment and care but his
condition did not improve. So, on 8-6-91 he was admitted to Yangon 
Hospital for medical treatment by specialists and physicians.  
However, he
died of heart failure at 5:10 a.m. on 11-6-91.  He died of heart 
disease, not
of any other cause.  The accusations are absolutely unfounded. In 
fact he had
been given special privileges in  prison.

_____________________ OTHER  _______________________

PD Burma: Calendar of events

No. 30 VOL. IV

 September  : UN General Assembly, New York

 September  : NCGUB Meetings

 September 6-8  : The United Nations will host the UN
     Summit, New

 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,

 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

 November 10-11th :Meeting of the Council of the Socialist
International, Maputo
 December 11-12th : EU and ASEAN Ministerial-level meeting, Laos 

 January 2001 : Sweden takes over EU Presidency

 February  : Meeting of Solidarity Groups,

 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


SHAN: (History) Shan State Progress Party, (1971-95)--Learning it the 
hard way

16 August 2000

No: 8-6

On 16 August, the 29th birthday of a Shan party that is no longer in 
existence will be celebrated by a few Shans who still cherish its 

It was formed by leaders of the Shan State Army "to counter the 
Party of Burma politically," according to Bertil Lintner. On New 
year's Day 
of 1968,  the "People's Army" launched an operation from across the 
The campaign won the communists a stable base in Kokang and Wa areas 
between the Salween and Mao's China. With its offer of "Arms in 
for political principles," it won several allies among the anti-
movements that were hard pressed for arms.

All in all, there were only two Shan movements that stood in the way 
of the 
CPB's advance into Burma proper: the Shan State Army led by the 
of  Yawnghwe and Shan United Revolutionary Army led by Kornzurng. 
While the 
latter chose to ally himself with the universally hated Kuomintang 
3rd Army 
of Li Wen-huan in order to secure a base along the border of the 
anti-communist Thailand, the former was following a precarious go-it-

It was not a popular choice even among the ranks. The reason was 
enough: although there were thousands of Shan youth ready to join the 
struggle, there were few weapons to equip them, let alone food, 
and funds. Revenues from annual taxation of farmers, even poppy 
brought them no more than a hundred assorted weapons each year. "At 
rate, how can we hope to regain our freedom," fumed several officers.

Meanwhile, the bulk of opium and heroin, together with the bulk of 
were going to the government-sponsored home guards, who were better 
and better armed.

"It wasn't very different from what we are seeing in Burma today. The 
difference is that nowadays they are doing it on a larger scale and 
more impunity," said a retired fighter. "The resistance is being 
blamed by 
Rangoon for the drug problem, but, considering its laissez- faire 
towards today's home guards and ceasefire groups, nobody who wants to 
in drugs need fight Rangoon at all."

The SSA leaders obviously thought that the danger of class struggle 
a society brought by the communists would far outweigh the benefits 
material assistance could bring. "What Shans need most has always 
unity," said Kornzurng. "The communists, whose primary activity is to 
discord among the people, are inherently enemies of the Shan cause."

Their solution, therefore, was to establish a mass party that was 
ideologically well equipped i.e. nationalistic and democratic, to 
the Marxist-Leninist dogma.

Sengsuk, Commander-in-Chief of the SSA, was elected President, and 
Tzang Yawnghwe Secretary General.

Less than 4 years later, Sengsuk and Yawnghwe's National Democratic 
was denounced by Zarmmong, the effective leader of the military 
faction, at 
the Panghoong Congress. The faction instead called for complying with 
conditions set by the communists for the sake of free arms.

That the army faction was getting the upper hand was obvious not only 
because of Zarmmong's popularity. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia  were on 
verge of collapse. The next one to follow suit, at least in the 
of many, was clearly Burma. The implication was unquestionable: If 
Shans were slow to jump on the bandwagon, they might be swallowed up 
in the 
oncoming wave of the communist victory. If, instead, they did not 
lose time 
in joining up at least as allies, there was still some hope for the 

Besides, the strategy of obtaining moral and material assistance from 
west through the offers made by Sengsuk, Boontai (Vice president) 
and  Yawnghwe to cooperate in the War on Drugs came to nothing but 
In the eyes of the militant majority, the Free World led by the 
was not only a paper tiger but downright satanic in its refusal to 
come to 
the rescue of the needy Shan people who looked towards it as their 

At the meeting with the CPB leaders on 20 April 1975 in Simao, 
Yunnan, the 
Shan delegation agreed to scrap their initial call for "National 
and Self Determination" to be replaced by "People's Democracy and 
autonomy". 4 months later, on the 4th anniversary of the founding of 
SSPP, the SSA was presented with 567 assorted weapons plus 76,726 
They were also promised more in the future. To the Shans, most of 
whom had 
never seen such a huge display of arms before, it was indeed a 
of their dreams.

Their dreams were shattered when Mao died in 1976 and his successors 
led by 
Deng Xiaoping abandoned a confrontational line with China's 
Massive aid to the CPB was gradually curtailed. To worsen the 
the communist leadership in Panghsang ill-advisedly demanded Total 
Submission to the party's leadership from the SSPP. Not unexpectedly, 
demand merely fell on deaf ears. However, many decided to preserve 
alliance with the CPB, although some of them chose to join the 
anti-communist camp of Kornzurng in 1984.

It came as no surprise when the army faction again voted to follow 
ex-CPB units of Kokang and Wa by signing a cearefire agreement with 
in 1989 in the absence of its party secretary general, SaiLek.

The shrunken party, under SaiLek's leadership, continued to function 
1995 when he died under mysterious circumstances in Khun Sa's 
of Homong.

Speaking of the SSPP, its former president, Sao Sengsuk, told 
S.H.A.N. "The 
Party's greatest weakness was the lack of educational work. Every 
time we 
sat down at meetings together, we seemed to be speaking in the same 
direction. There didn't seem any difficulty in working out a 
among us. Naturally I thought they all knew what I knew and paid 
attention to the task of adequate indoctrination for our members and 

"Our greatest mistake was our failure to teach our party constitution 
to drill the members to get used to the democratic procedures stated 
the  constitution.

"We therefore deserve the blame for the undemocratic and often 
ill-considered decisions taken by the party beginning in 1975".

Maybe somewhere, some functioning parties- the Shan Nationalities 
for Democracy, Shan Democratic Union etc- and some other parties in 
making will take heed of the hindsight  of this 65 year old veteran 
of the 
Shan struggle.

At least not to repeat the same mistake.



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