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BurmaNet News: March 10, 2001
- Subject: BurmaNet News: March 10, 2001
- From: strider@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Sun, 11 Mar 2001 11:12:00
______________ THE BURMANET NEWS ______________
An on-line newspaper covering Burma
March 10, 2001 Issue # 1751
______________ www.burmanet.org _______________
INSIDE BURMA _______
*The Age (Australia): Suu Kyi, army close to a deal
*The Age: Burma opts for change
*Bangkok Post: Changes at top in Rangoon; Maung Aye may be under arrest
*AFP: Burma Dismisses 'Quiet Coup' Remarks of Thai Army Commander as
*Bangkok Post: Call for tripartite peace talks; Crackdowns would have to
*AP: Myanmar rejects forced labor accusations as misinformation
*AFP: Myanmar dissidents clamour for Suu Kyi talks to be unveiled
*The Nation: Amphetamine crisis 'worse than heroin era'
*New Light of Myanmar: Stamina essential in times of emergency (2/2)
*Leadership Calls for National Reconciliation
*PD Burma: Calendar of events with regard to Burma
*Announcement Than Gyat 2001
__________________ INSIDE BURMA ____________________
The Age (Australia): Suu Kyi, army close to a deal
By MARK BAKER
Saturday 10 March 2001
Aung San Suu Kyi
Feature: Burma opts for change
Burma's military regime is holding intensive secret talks with democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi about the framework for a transitional
administration to return the country to civilian rule and begin
dismantling almost 40 years of military dictatorship.
In an extraordinary political shift, the regime has signalled that it is
ready to consider a deal on power-sharing with Ms Suu Kyi's National
League for Democracy to end crippling international sanctions and rescue
Burma's collapsing economy.
Sources close to both sides of the talks said that key members of the
ruling State Peace and Development Council had indicated a willingness
to establish an interim government with NLD participation and prepare
for a return to democratic rule, provided the military was guaranteed
immunity from prosecution for past abuses.
A senior European diplomat said Ms Suu Kyi was also believed to have
indicated she was prepared to accept a military condition that she "give
up any personal ambition" and not take a direct role in any future
The talks were initiated last October by the Secretary of the SPDC,
Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt - effectively Burma's prime minister - who
is understood to have met Ms Suu Kyi at least twice since then.
But the key discussions have been conducted by General Khin Nyunt's
deputy chief in the powerful Department of Defence Security and
Intelligence, Major-General Kyaw Win. He has visited the Nobel laureate
at least 12 times in her residential compound in Rangoon.
General Kyaw Win has confirmed to close associates that the talks, while
in their early stages, are exploring the basis for forming a
"He said the discussions on transition - that was the word he used -
were going very well," one associate said.
"He also said he found her a very genial, a very nice person to deal
with. And this is from the man whose very department has spent years
Ms Suu Kyi has also had regular meetings with Colonel Than Tun, another
powerful figure in military intelligence regarded as a protege of the
Burmese head of state, Senior General Than Shwe.
General Than Shwe is believed to have endorsed the dialogue with Ms Suu
Kyi in December, partly in response to growing alarm within the regime
about Burma's worsening economy, now gripped by rocketing inflation and
declining foreign investment.
A highly placed source close to both Ms Suu Kyi and General Khin Nyunt
said that while the dialogue had concentrated on "building confidence
and mutual respect" between the two sides, issues of substance were also
being discussed. "They are beginning to build the framework and the
mechanisms for a new administration," he said.
He said Ms Suu Kyi had indicated she was prepared to make substantial
compromises in return for genuine concessions from the military -
including dropping her long-standing insistence that the NLD's landslide
victory in the 1990 election be honored. The regime refused to accept
the result and later placed her under house arrest for five years.
"She is ready to compromise, but she is also waiting to see real signs
that they are sincere and ready to give ground. The process remains
fragile. It needs concessions on both sides and it will take time. You
can't reverse overnight after so many years of mistrust, disrespect and
accusation," the source said.
It is understood the European Union and the United States, who have
imposed substantial trade and political sanctions on Burma, have
indicated that are prepared to wait until July for a preliminary
agreement before taking any further steps.
In a further sign of progress, the United Nations special envoy to
Burma, Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail - who has played a significant
role in promoting the dialogue - has agreed to postpone a fresh visit to
Rangoon scheduled for this month at the request of both sides.
Diplomats and Burma analysts believe the talks hold the best hope in
years of ending Burma's long and bitter political stalemate, but there
is widespread concern about opposition to any compromise from military
The Age: Burma opts for change
By MARK BAKER
Saturday 10 March 2001
The old house by the lake is closed to the world once more. The gates
are locked and bolted where "The Lady", as she is known to all, once
drew huge weekly crowds united in jubilation, defiance and hope.
Police and military intelligence patrol the area. Anyone who approaches
is questioned and turned away. It is illegal to even drive past.
Aung San Suu Kyi is a recluse yet again in the house where she came home
from exile to nurse her dying mother, where she kindled the democracy
movement that went on the win a landslide election victory, and where
for most of the past decade she has been detained by the military regime
that refused to bow to an overwhelming popular mandate for change.
In the six months since she was forcibly returned to her house after
attempting to travel to the provinces to visit her supporters, Suu Kyi
has not been seen outside her compound and only a handful of visitors
have been permitted in. Long-time Burmese friends, diplomats and
prominent members of Rangoon's expatriate community have been told to
But this time the Nobel laureate is a prisoner of choice, not conscience
and it is she who is guarding the walls of her privacy. And with good
Behind the high, tree-lined fences of 52 University Avenue, an intensive
dialogue is under way which, if a viable compromise is found between
once implacable and bitter adversaries, could see an end to the
decade-long political stalemate in Burma and rescue it from the certain
In a process that would have been unthinkable even six months ago, and
which both parties have agreed to cloak with strict secrecy, Suu Kyi has
been talking with senior military officers about the framework for a
gradual return to civilian democratic rule and the unwinding of 40 years
of military dictatorship. More remarkable still, the process was
initiated at the highest levels of the regime.
Since last October Suu Kyi has regularly met high-ranking military
intelligence officers in a process begun by the country's effective
prime minister, Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt, and understood to have
the imprimatur of the head of state, Senior General Than Shwe. But many
highly placed Burmese believe the talks are sanctioned by an even higher
On the opposite side of Inya Lake, within sight of Aung San Suu Kyi's
home, the old puppet master General Ne Win is said to be watching
developments with more than a passing interest from behind the fences of
his 20-hectare estate.
The reclusive, 90-year-old general who led the 1962 coup that plunged
Burma into four decades of isolation, repression and economic stagnation
- and who opened the door to political change after thousands were
slaughtered by the army during a popular uprising in 1988 - is, despite
persistent rumors of his demise, alive and in touch with those he chose
to take over the running of the country.
"Without Ne Win's approval, these guys wouldn't have dared to do
anything like this," says a prominent Burmese source with close
connections to the leadership. "He's still alive, he's got his faculties
and he is still powerful. They are all Ne Win's men. They are all there
because he put them there and they can all fall if he so chooses."
Another source who has played a pivotal role in contacts between the
generals and Suu Kyi says the apparent dramatic political about-face
from the military's relentless campaign to silence Suu Kyi and eradicate
the NLD is being driven by a growing sense or desperation within the
regime, and the crippling effects of their mismanagement, corruption and
international sanctions on the Burmese economy.
"Khin Nyunt made the decision to start talks with Suu Kyi last October
and the main reason was his recognition of the failure of their efforts
since 1990 to develop the economy alone," he said. "They thought they
could catch up with other developing countries, but finally he
understood it was useless: they would never be able to do it by
The source said Khin Nyunt recognised that trade sanctions imposed by
the United States and the European Union - which have virtually halted
new Western investment - and the suspension of development aid,
especially by key donors such as Japan, would not be lifted unless the
regime reached a political accommodation with Suu Kyi.
He said there was also mounting concern within the regime at the extent
to which China was using the umbrella of Western sanctions to rapidly
expand its commercial, military and political influence in Burma, and
their inability to control the growing drug trade in the north of the
country, a trade increasingly dominated by powerful Chinese criminal
Late last year the extent of Burma's isolation was driven home to
General Than Shwe when he attended a summit meeting in Singapore of
leaders of the Association of South-East Asian Nations and saw how
rapidly Burma's neighbors were recovering from the crisis of the late
1990s and developing their economies.
Since December the Burmese kyat has slumped from an exchange rate of 320
to the US dollar to around 500. Tourism has shrunk alarmingly in
response to an international campaign for travellers to boycott the
country and Rangoon's skyline is littered with the grey concrete
skeletons of abandoned hotel projects.
Another key development in the regime's shift is believed to have been
the appointment last year of the Malaysian diplomat Razali Ismail as the
United Nations special envoy to Burma. "With Razali they had someone
they felt they could trust," one analyst said. In January Malaysian
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad made a private visit to Rangoon during
which he is believed to have encouraged the leadership to seek a deal
with Ms Suu Kyi.
Sources close to both sides believe Burma now has its best chance in
years of achieving a peaceful political transition and of steering a
course back to growth.
But they are well aware that there have been many false starts before,
many signs of hope that have been dashed as suddenly as they have been
raised. And no one discounts the real danger of the regime's hardliners
sabotaging any possible agreement.
A key question is how the powerful head of the armed forces, General
Maung Aye, will respond. He is a long-time advocate of a tough approach
to the democracy movement. And there is certain to be strong resistance
from the SPDC's regional commanders who operate as virtual warlords and
have made fortunes from their business concessions and their access to
"The leadership has to consider how far the hardliners would go. The
internal conflict continues within the SPDC and there are a lot of
vested interest at stake," said a source close to both sides.
"She will compromise. She won't ask to go back to the 1990 situation.
But she also knows that international assistance will not start until
she says yes."
Against that caution is being noted a clear change in the political
climate in Rangoon and in the regime's relationship with the woman they
spent years attempting to demonise and silence.
In perhaps the most poignant of innumerable acts of cruelty, the regime
refused in early 1999 to allow Suu Kyi's dying husband, Oxford academic
Dr Michael Aris, to visit Rangoon. Yet in December her son Kim was
welcomed when he brought the first grandchild from Britain to meet her.
Later Kim and his wife were hosted on a tour of the ancient cities of
Mandalay and Pagan by the military.
The official media, which for a decade waged an unstinting campaign of
abuse and vilification against Aung San Suu Kyi and her party - accusing
her of being everything from a traitor to a virtual prostitute - has
fallen into respectful silence. In a further sign of goodwill, 92
members of her party, including six from the executive committee, who
were arrested in September when she attempted to travel with them to the
provinces, have been released.
But not all is sweetness and light. Thousands of prominent NLD members
and supporters remain in prison.
Yet the regime is believed to have permitted Suu Kyi regular access to
advisers of her choice and she has made it clear to US and European
envoys that she is encouraged by the atmosphere of her talks with the
generals and optimistic about prospects for change, while insisting on
confidentiality about the substance of their discussions.
It is increasingly clear, too, that the historic dialogue is being
driven by frustration on both sides at the long stalemate and its
consequences for a country that was once one of the richest in
South-East Asia and is now the pauper of the region.
Bangkok Post: Changes at top in Rangoon; Maung Aye may be under arrest
March 9, 2001
Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, chief of Burmese military intelligence, may have
replaced Gen Maung Aye as Burma's military strongman. Third Army
commander Lt-Gen Wattanachai Chaimuenwong said he believed Gen Maung Aye
was the victim of a power struggle in the Burmese military, and may be
under house arrest somewhere in Burma.
Rumours of changes in the military line-up have taken hold since the
death last month of Lt-Gen Tin Oo, former army chief-of-staff who was
regarded as the fourth most powerful member of the Rangoon junta.
Lt-Gen Tin Oo, who died in a helicopter crash, was widely regarded as
the most trusted aide and likely successor of Gen Maung Aye.
Lt-Gen Wattanachai said if the report was genuine it would be good for
border relations since Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt was more practical than Gen
Lt-Gen Wattanachai's information could not be verified.
An informed source inside Burma said Gen Maung Aye and Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt
were spotted yesterday performing religious rites in Rangoon. He claimed
that the event was later broadcast on Burmese television.
"It sounds unlikely that Maung Aye is now under house arrest," said the
Lt-Gen Wattanachai said the Mae Sai-Tachilek border would re-open on
Monday. Trading would still be banned until border ties improved.
Subin Khuenkaew and Wassana Nanuam
AFP: Burma Dismisses 'Quiet Coup' Remarks of Thai Army Commander as
YANGON, March 9 (AFP) -- Myanmar [Burma] Friday dismissed persistent
rumours that the core of its ruling junta is mired in a power struggle
between two leadership rivals jockeying to succeed regime leader Senior
General Than Shwe. Thailand's Third Army commander Lieutenant-General
Wattanachai Chaimeunwong, whose forces patrol the Myanmar border, said
Thursday that a "quiet coup" may have already taken place. He said
intelligence chief Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt had succeeded in
toppling military strongman General Maung Aye and put his rival under
house arrest. A senior spokesman for the Myanmar junta lashed out at the
comments, deriding them as "irresponsible speculation and fabrication
created by the Thai officials and its media."
"The rumours are created just to mislead the Thai people into believing
that the political situation in Myanmar is volatile and is about to blow
up. This is part of the scheme to portray Myanmar in a negative light,"
he said. The spokesman said the speculation was designed to encourage
dissident groups in their campaign to bring down the military regime.
Rumours of a coup in Myanmar first began circulating in Thailand in
early February, and have re-emerged periodically since. They were given
fresh impetus after junta number-four Lieutenant-General Tin Oo died in
a helicopter crash on February 19 in what the authorities said was an
accident caused by bad weather and mechanical failure. Dissident groups
have claimed that Tin Oo, a trusted aide and likely successor to Maung
Aye, was deliberately killed, and claimed that the families of those
aboard the helicopter have called for an inquiry into the crash. But the
accounts of the "coup" have varied wildly, with some saying that Maung
Aye has emerged victorious while others claim Khin Nyunt is the new heir
apparent to Than Shwe.
Both men however have been seen publicly in recent days going about
their usual business in Yangon, and reliable observers say there are
absolutely no signs of turmoil in the military-run country. Thai-Myanmar
relations have come under increasing strain in recent months, despite
the recent election of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra whose
administration is seen as being on relatively friendly terms with the
junta. The two nations' armies clashed last month at the important Mae
Sai-Tachilek border crossing, prompting heavy troop build-ups and a
tense stand-off between the neighbours. Wattanachai said Thursday that
the situation on the border was now "back to normal" after successful
negotiations between the two sides and that there was no chance of
AP: Myanmar rejects forced labor accusations as misinformation
March 9, 2001
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Myanmar on Friday dismissed as anti-government
misinformation the allegations by a U.S. human rights group that the
ruling military was still using civilians for forced labor.
In a statement faxed to The Associated Press in Bangkok, a government
spokesman claimed that Human Rights Watch was being manipulated by Shan
rebels and other anti-government groups operating from inside Thailand.
The statement said the ``misinformation (is) tailored to coincide''
with next week's International Labor Organization meeting in Geneva to
review the progress made by Myanmar toward eradicating forced labor.
In November, the ILO's governing body took the unprecedented action of
recommending that its 175 member states, employers, workers and
international organizations review their dealings with Myanmar to make
sure they are not abetting forced labor.
Myanmar's military junta issued a decree last year making forced labor
illegal. In a statement Wednesday, the New York-based Human Rights Watch
alleged that the decree was issued only to avoid international
criticism, and cited refugees who said the practice still persisted.
The Myanmar spokesman said he was ``doubtful'' that an ethnic Shan
farmer cited by Human Rights Watch had been forced by the army to dig
trenches. If the allegation was true, the farmer could have easily
reported his case to local authorities in Myanmar instead, he said.
``Appropriate legal action would have been taken against those who
breached the existing rules,'' the spokesman's statement said.
Myanmar has long been assailed by the United Nations and Western
countries for suppression of democracy and its human rights record _
including use of unpaid civilian labor on infrastructure projects.
Myanmar has said civilians contribute their labor voluntarily to
promote development of the nation.
The Human Rights Watch statement called on the junta to take immediate
steps to enforce the decree and grant access to independent observers to
It said it conducted interviews in Thailand's northern Chiang Mai
province in late February with many Myanmar people ``who had been
recently subjected to forced labor.''
Bangkok Post: Call for tripartite peace talks; Crackdowns would have to
March 9, 2001
Pro-democracy and ethnic groups in Burma have called for peace talks
involving the Rangoon government, the opposition National League for
Democracy, and ethnic minority rebels.
The call was made yesterday at a two-day meeting attended by some 50
representatives of 20 Burmese pro-democracy and ethnic groups.
The meeting, held in a border area opposite Tak, was organised by the
National Council of the Union of Burma and the National Coalition
Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB), chaired by Gen Bo Mya, the
Karen National Union military leader. In a statement, the meeting called
for tri-partite talks to involve the Rangoon junta, the opposition NLD
led by Aung San Suu Kyi, and pro-democracy and ethnic groups.
They also urged all concerned to stop Rangoon's crackdowns on ethnic
minorities and human rights violations in Burma.
Dr Thaung Htun, the NCGUB representative for United Nations affairs,
said it was agreed the best way to bring peace to Burma would be through
However, Rangoon would have to free political prisoners and stop
cracking down on minority groups first.
He said UN representatives would visit Burma soon after their meetings
with officials of European and Asean countries, as well as the US,
China, India and Japan, all of which had voiced support for peace talks
in Burma. Meanwhile, Rimon Htoo, the general secretary of the Karenni
National Progressive party which has long fought for independence from
Rangoon, said his movement had decided to join forces with Burmese
pro-democracy groups to push for democracy negotiations in Burma.
Also, the Karen National Union general secretary, Mahn Shar Lapan, said
the KNU was trying to negotiate with Rangoon for a ceasefire and
tripartite peace talks. However, there had been little progress so far,
- Two armed Burmese soldiers were arrested by Thai security forces
They claimed to have defected from their unit and crossed into Thai
territory at Ban Wang Takhian, tambon Tha Sai Laud, Mae Sot district.
AFP: Myanmar dissidents clamour for Suu Kyi talks to be unveiled
BANGKOK, March 9 (AFP) - Myanmar dissident groups and ethnic minority
leaders have called on the junta to publicly unveil the contents of its
landmark talks with democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
In a joint statement, they also urged both sides on Myanmar's political
divide to take further steps towards launching an historic official
dialogue -- the first since 1994.
"In the interest of national reconciliation, the State Peace and
Development Council (SPDC) and Aung San Suu Kyi (should) make the
substance of the talks known to the people as soon as possible," it
The statement was issued after a two-day conference held at a secret
jungle camp along the Thai-Myanmar border that ended Thursday.
The talks were attended by more than 50 senior representatives from 25
groups including pro-democracy students, ethnic minorities and exiled
It was the first statement by the dissident union since news broke of
the talks between opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and military
intelligence chief Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt, which started in
The delegates said they expected more substantial discussions to
develop in the near future, and threw their support behind the Nobel
"We have full confidence in Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's integrity and her
commitment to the establishment of a truly democratic political system
in Burma," they said, using the nation's former name.
The statement also encouraged both sides to broaden and deepen the
current talks to include a time frame and general framework which would
detail the future role of all participants as Myanmar underwent
In an olive branch to the military regime, the conference welcomed the
junta's order to the official press to halt its vicious daily attacks on
Aung San Suu Kyi.
But delegates also called for the lifting of restrictions on the
democracy leader, who has been confined to her home and out of contact
with the media and diplomats since September 22.
The talks would have greater meaning and impact if they were held when
both sides had their liberty, said National Council of the Union of
Burma secretary Maung Maung Aye.
The dissidents also expressed their thanks to the United Nations, the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the European Union and the
United States for their efforts to break the political deadlock in
"In the interest of keeping the dialogue process alive, we urge the
international community to maintain their current positions until
substantive political agreements are reached," it added.
The Nation: Amphetamine crisis 'worse than heroin era'
March 9, 2001
METH-amphetamines or speed pills have permeated every level of society,
making the situation worse than when Thailand had to battle the
prevalence of heroin, a source at the Office of Narcotics Control Board
(ONCB) said yesterday. The source said the issue would be discussed at
the anti-drug meeting to be held in Chiang Rai from tomorrow. Prime
Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is scheduled to chair the meeting. Thaksin
plans to come up with a master plan for curbing the production and
trafficking of illicit drugs, especially meth-amphetamines, during the
meeting, which will be attended by top officials. The source said it was
worrying that the average age of meth-amphetamine traffickers was also
becoming younger. Some 133,707 drug-related cases were reported and
144,274 suspects arrested last year, the source said. Of these, some
118,162 cases involved speed pills.
"Of the total number of suspects, 128,342 people were arrested on
meth-amphetamine trafficking charges and 77.4 million speed pills were
seized last year," the source said, adding that the number of meth-
amphetamine pills confiscated last year marked a 54 per cent increase
from the 1999 record. The ONCB source said the largest meth-amphetamine
production base was in Burma, where groups like the Wa, Ko Kang, which
had been under the control of former drug lord Khun Sa, as well as a
group comprised of former members of the Communist Party of Burma were
able to exert their influence. "There are at least 50 meth-amphetamine
factories along the Thai-Burma borders," it said. The source said it was
believed that some producers were planning to set up production units in
areas near Kanchanaburi and Ranong, where authorities have not yet made
preparations to stem the flow of drugs.
Meanwhile, the source said the efforts to curb smuggling have prompted
local traffickers to go into production. "Central Thailand is considered
the main market and the main storage area is Bangkok," the source
revealed. The source said the trafficking of ecstasy pills, which is
currently limited to a small number of people due to its high price, was
also an issue of concern. The effect of ecstasy pills is more powerful
than that of speed pills and traffickers might try to attract more users
by producing ecstasy locally and thereby lowering the price, the source
said. "It's easy for meth-amphetamine producers to start making ecstasy
pills," the source added.
New Light of Myanmar: Stamina essential in times of emergency (2/2)
The New light of Myanmar
Saturday, 3 March, 2001
In the first part of this article, I have presented the matter
concerning Thailand's strategic commitments in targeting Myanmar in
accord with its national security policy. Now I will present what the
country has done under its tactical programmes.
Thailand lost its front-line defensive positions and henchmen as the
main strongholds of the KNU, which is one of the armed groups that had
dominated the areas along Myanmar-Thai borderline, fell due to the
offensive of the Myanmar Tatmadaw, some of its members seceded and split
from KNU and some made peace with the government; and Khun Sa and his
thousands of KMT troops unconditionally surrendered and many other armed
groups made peace with the government.
In this situation, as a tactical commitment, Thailand made arrangements
in a harmonious way to put its northern region under the command of
special administration department, to transform villages of hilltribes
into defence villages, to enlist members of the hill tribes for military
service and to deploy special forces along the border in a bid to
substitute its lost domains along the borderline and to gain control of
the border areas. The Thai National Security Council has already agreed
to put the provinces along Myanmar-Thai border such as Tak, Mae Hong
Son, Chiangrai and Chiangmai under the Internal Security (Operation
Control to open the special administration department in the northern
region. Due to the agreement, civilian administration totally vanished
in these provinces and the joint military-police administration and
control has become the main administration system. In reality it is the
restoration of the administration system practised during the
insurrection of C! !
ommunist Party of Thailand.
Work started to set up 50 defence villages in hill regions in 30
provinces located along the border with Myanmar under the leadership of
Civil Affairs Department of the Thai Army. It is said that this project
is being implemented at the request to conduct regional development
undertakings to prevent hill tribes from moving to the plains of a
person who has influence on the government. The project is being
launched on the pretext of this request.
However, development is not the sole aim of the project; in reality it
is launched under the three programmes population, defence and
development. And development is only in the third place. A systematic
census has been enumerated on the population of all the people of the
hilltribes; they have been trained and armed for defence purpose,
bunkers built at the villages designating them " defence villages"; and
only a small amount of chemical fertilizer and seeds have been
distributed to them for development. That is the method of implementing
The Bangkok Post daily issue of 12 April 2000 criticized the project
under the headline "Hilltribes set to get villages", saying, it was
difficult to estimate the Thai military's aim to use the hilltribes
under the pretext of development only in times of emergency after the
successive Thai governments failed to acknowledge them as citizens (they
have ignored them as savages).
The more interesting fact is to what extent the number of families and
minions of the remnant insurgents and the one-time refugees of Myanmar
might be included as hilltribes in the project. One cannot say that this
is unlikely. When the border patrol police widely known as BPP which is
the main support group of the Thai armed forces was formed with many of
the desperate expatriate insurgents, followers of U Nu, became its
members. (BPP members are more insolent than ordinary police). The
senior officer with whom I met once, of the No 34 BPP unit was so fluent
in Myanmar language. He even sang a song of a famous Myanmar vocalist
Twantay Thein Dan. It was because he was a native of Wakema in Ayeyawady
The matter of enlisting hilltribes into military service is also
interesting. As the past successive governments of Thailand never
acknowledged the hilltribes as citizens, tribesmen of over 500 hill
villages of 26 provinces were totally barred from joining the army under
the bylaw No 45 of the Thai armed forces and the 1954 recruitment act.
As the worthy persons who are willing to join the armed forces have
become fewer in Thailand, members of the hilltribes are lured with
various kinds of enticement and enlisted in the army. Included in the
enticements is the pledge that national registration cards will be
issued to the ones as soon as they join the army. The Ministry of
Defence of the Thai Army has presented a report that if these hill
tribesmen can be recruited into the army, Thailand will get braver and
tougher soldiers who know the territory very well. Studying the report,
one can assess the status of the personnel of the Thai Army who are
When we study the deployment of special forces we can see formation of
Surasi and Pha Muang special forces each under the command of a
major-general in No 1 and No 2 Military Command areas in Thailand. They
are said to be engaged in border security and drug eradication tasks.
Recently, I have read a news report, stating that a sergeant-major of
the Thai special forces was caught together with stimulant tablets worth
millions of bahts. This will be the answer to their commitments. But
Thailand's commitments are difficult to understand whether they are done
because of their traditional fear and suspicion on Myanmar or they are
preparations to launch one-sided hostilities under the instigation of
In fact, it is very important to a country or Tatmadaw to adopt and
follow the principle of war. If, not knowing the principle of war very
well and having no battle and operation experiences, and having only
training experiences, an army is engaged in clashes or battles, it will
find itself in disorder, fire random shots, and not stand a chance of
even winning a clash or battle.
It is not that preparations are made to launch an attack at the
battlefield by blowing a whistle and firing flares like undergoing
training. It is not sure where and when the enemy will appear and how
they will launch an attack. As a result of flaunting their power in
accord with lessons (the formula of joint military exercises), the jet
fighters of Thai Air Force happened to drop bombs on the forces of Thai
Army at Thasaungran region in 1989. Don't run away with the idea of
winning a battle without knowing the principle of war very well. The
principle of war includes the study of political doctrine and foreign
policy of the country, economic and public affairs management system,
the possession of natural resources, the topographical conditions
(natural barriers), climate, the national pride and disposition of the
people of the country, culture and military strength and the knowing of
where and when to do in accord with the conditions of nature.
The reason why I am telling these things is that it is intolerable to
hear some persons telling how preparations have been made on the side of
Thailand and what Thailand possesses as if they are worrying and feeling
dejected. As far as I am concerned, I do not worry about anything. I
even have peace of mind.
Of course, the Tatmadaw of our nation does not use toddy palm trunk
canons, swords and arrows. I had a personal experience of to what extent
our Tatmadaw is good at launching attacks. As a runaway, I had to take
to my heels and run. I saw with my own eyes the stronghold of KNU
crushed to the ground, about which the military attach' of Bangkok-based
office of a super power made a remark that it was Dienbienphu
Stronghold of Myanmar.
The battlefield experience and fighting experience were acquired from
the post-independence period up to 1990s, and the people, like the
militia units, joining hands with the Tatmadaw and holding cross-bows,
pointed bamboo sticks and swords, took part in the operations of rooting
out insurgents. Given these facts, there is no doubt Myanmar people have
the stamina in times of urgency.
Any enemies who attempt to intrude our nation will surely have to take
to their heels " shouldering their own corpses", let alone occupying a
one square inch of our land.
To form the militia units, (when all the armed terrorist insurgents fed
by Thailand along the border were annihilated) national races from hilly
regions, whom were deprived of social standing previously, have been
equipped with arms and given training in a frantical way.
In our country, the principle of the militia is common knowledge due to
historical events. It is widely accepted that the militia is based on
the entire people, and it means fighting a battle for a belief by
managing man, material, time and spirit in consideration of political,
economic, social, military and public affairs. The militia units called
Thahan Faran in Thailand are made up of mercenaries, who do not have any
kind of political outlook. They are holding arms issued by Thai Army,
getting daily allowances and earning money on the basis of piece-work,
thereby making a living. Apart from knowing that they have to shoot at
Myanmar Tatmadawmen, they have no belief or conviction. Not only are
those from the militia units of our country included in the national
defence forces but they also join their units of their own volition and
believe in and accept the following duties:
1. to safeguard the independence and sovereignty of the Union against
internal and external danger,
2. to safeguard the interests of national people against internal and
external danger, and
3. to safeguard the right of national people against internal and
Anywhere and any time, they are ready in times of emergency. In
conclusion, I would like to say that... Our country takes measures to
safeguard itself, its people and its independence and sovereignty
without relying on others. Our nation does not encroach on the territory
of any nation. Nor does it incite fighting. Nor does it entertain any
feelings of hostility. But, if our country, our people and our
independence and sovereignty are in the face of encroachment and insult,
we have the stamina in times of emergency.
Author : Nga Khin Nyo
Leadership Calls for National Reconciliation
The leadership of non-Burman ethnic and democracy forces opposing
military-rule in Burma, meeting on 06-07 March 2001 in Burma -
1. Welcome the talks between the State Peace and Development Council and
Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and the cessation of personal attacks against her
in the official media,
2. Welcome the involvement of the United Nations, the Association of
South East Asian Nations, the United States of America and the European
Union in facilitating the talks,
3. Have full confidence in Daw Aung San Suu KyiÆs integrity and her
commitment to the establishment of a truly democratic political system
4. In the interest of national reconciliation, urge the SPDC and Daw
Aung San Suu Kyi to make the substance of their talks known to the
people of Burma as soon as possible,
5. Urge SPDC to take additional steps to build confidence in the current
talks by relaxing further the restrictions placed on the people of
6. Encourage SPDC and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to broaden and deepen the
current talks to include a time frame and general framework within which
the role in a future Burma of all participants in the process can be
7. Note that United Nations General Assembly resolutions affirm that the
best means of promoting national reconciliation and the full and early
restoration of democracy in Burma is a Tripartite Dialogue - the SPDC,
democracy forces led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, and true representatives
of the non-Burman ethnic peoples,
8. Urge all political actors in Burma to put the interest of the people
and the country above all other interests,
9. Call on all political actors in Burma to explore ways and means to
enable humanitarian aid to be delivered directly without political
interference to those in most urgent need, especially in the non-Burman
10. To build further confidence in the current talks and enable the
suffering of the people to be alleviated, urge SPDC to cease all
hostilities, all anti-religious activities, and human rights abuses
including forced relocations and forced labour, in non-Burman ethnic
11. Welcome the efforts of the International Labour Organization to end
forced labour in Burma,
12. Welcome the continued efforts of the UN Commission on Human Rights
to end human rights abuses in Burma,
13. Welcome the continued support and activities of non-government
organizations and activists to highlight injustices in Burma and to help
establish a government responsive to the needs of its people,
14. Appreciate the consistent efforts of those engaged in the struggle
for democracy, human rights, and equality in Burma, and encourage them
15. Call on the international community, especially our neighbours, to
support the dialogue process by encouraging all parties involved to
resolve BurmaÆs problems by political means.
16. In the interest of keeping the dialogue process alive, urge the
international community to maintain their current positions until
substantive political agreements are reached,
17. Strongly urge the international community not to take precipitous
unilateral action such as providing aid without proper consultation,
which could endanger the dialogue process,
18. Call on the United Nations and the international community to
continue to closely monitor the situation and to facilitate the talks,
19. Affirm that the National Coalition Government, the National Council
of the Union of Burma and allied forces will work together to facilitate
the dialogue process in Burma.
q NATIONAL COALITION GOVERNMENT OF THE UNION OF BURMA
q NATIONAL COUNCIL OF THE UNION OF BURMA
1. Members of Parliament Union
2. National League for Democracy (Liberated Area)
3. DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE OF BURMA
╖ All Burma Students Democratic Front
╖ All Burma Muslim Union
╖ All Burma Young Monks Union
╖ Democratic Party for New Society
╖ Muslim Liberation Organization
╖ Overseas Burmese Liberation Front
╖ People's Defence Force
╖ People's Liberation Front
╖ People's Patriotic Front
╖ People's Patriotic Party
4. NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC FRONT
╖ Arakan Liberation Party
╖ Democratic Party of Arakan
╖ Chin National Front
╖ Karen National Union
º Arakan League for Democracy
º Karenni National Progressive Party
º Network for Democracy and Development
º Shan Democratic Union
º Zomi National Congress
NCGUB: Dr Thaung Htun 66 (01) 859-5193 Email: thhtun@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
NCUB: U Maung Maung Aye 66 (01) 885-9443 mgmgaye@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
KNPP: Rimon Htoo 66 (01) 869-1567 rphtoo@xxxxxxxxxx KNU:
Phado Mahn Sha 66 (01) 886-7467 zoya2001@xxxxxxxxxx Europe:
Harn Yawnghwe 32 (475) 75-36-32 harn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
PD Burma: Calendar of events with regard to Burma
Published by PD Burma.
March 8, 2001
╖ March 8th: Award ceremony for the Internatinal Student Peace
Prize to Min Ko Naing and the
ABFSU, Norway. Organised by ISFIT. More info. www.isfit.org
╖ March 8th: Next session of the Governing Body of the ILO. Forced
labour in Burma to be discussed
╖ March 27:Armed Forces Day
╖ April : Events organised by Association Suisse-Birmanie:
Petition to abolish forced
labour.More info, contact info@xxxxxxxxxx
╖ April: EU Common Position Review
╖ April 1-7th : Inter-Parliamentary Conference, Cuba
╖ March 19th/April 27th: UN Commission on Human Rights, Geneva
╖ May 13-20th: UN LDC III, UN conference on the LDC-countries,
╖ May 22nd: Shareholder meeting for Total, Paris
╖ May 27th : 11th Anniversary of the 1990 elected
╖ May : ARF Senior Official Meeting, Hanoi
╖ June : Meeting in the Governing Body of the ILO
╖ June: Meeting of the Socialist International Council, Lisbon
╖ June 8-10th : Burma Desk during the Italian Forum for
Responsible Tourism, Venice û Italy
More info., contact r.brusadin@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
╖ June 19th : Aung San Suu Kyi birthday party and Burmese Women's
╖ July: Belgium takes over EU Presidency
╖ July : 8th RFA Ministerial Meeting, Hanoi
╖ July : 34th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and Post-Ministerial
╖ July : ASEAN Summit
╖ Aug. 31st- Sep.7th : World Conference against Racism and Racial
Discrimination, Xenophobia and related
intolerance, South Africa
╖ December 1st: Worlds Aids Day
╖ December 10th: 10th Year Anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize
for Aung San Suu Kyi.
╖February 2002: The fourth Bangladesh, India, Burma, Sri Lanka and
Thailand-Economic Cooperation (BIMST-
EC) meeting, Colombo
Announcement Than Gyat 2001
Dear Thin-Gyan Lovers
Greetings from Burmese Democratic Forces in India!
We are proud to announce that the 2001 Water Festival Chant "Ba-mar-pyi
ko Ta-Daing Khat Lite" is ready to distribute. It is available in C-90
audio cassette. If you are interested to get a copy, please contact your
nearest contact persons mentioned below.
Than Gyat 2001 is organized by following sessions;
Be a Happy Burmese New Year 1363!
Kyaw Gyi (Kyauk Mae)
Than Gyat 2001
LIST OF CONTACT PERSONS
INDIA & ASIA
Ko Kyaw Gyi, Email: kabaw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, (or) thangyat@xxxxxxxxx
Ko Khin Maung Win, Email: maung@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Ko Kyaw Kyaw, Email: peace@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Hanny Htun, Email: hanny_htun@xxxxxxxxxxx
Dr Thein Win, Email: burmamtk@xxxxxxxxxxx
Ko Soe Lwin
52, Mill St.
U Tin Khet
Tokyo 176-0005, Japan
Thida(DVB), Email: euburma@xxxxxxxxx
Ko Thein Htiek Oo, Email: oo@xxxxxxx
Dr Brian, Email: burma1un@xxxxxxxxxxx
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