Daily News-April 29- 2001- Sunday

  • Musharraf's Burma visit aimed at closer ties
  • Mawdsley slips back to visit Burma
  • Surakiart urged to take up coal protest with Burma
  • Thailand to urge Burma to appoint anti-drugs envoy
  • Contract signed for extension of Fire Brick Factory
  • Seminar on trade promotion between Myanmar-Korea held

  • Musharraf's Burma visit aimed at closer ties

    By B. Muralidhar Reddy

    ISLAMABAD, APRIL 28. The Pakistan military ruler and Chief Executive, General Pervez Musharraf, is leaving on a five-day visit to Myanmar and Vietnam from May 1. In the course of his visit, he is expected to exchange views on several issues of regional and global concern with leaders of both the countries.

    Pakistan is attaching a great deal of importance to the visit, particularly in view of the recent efforts by India to forge closer ties with Myanmar. Gen. Musharraf would be accompanied by Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman, Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Tariq Ikram, Chairman of the Export Promotion Bureau and Mr. Inam ul Haque, Foreign Secretary.

    ``The visit is intended to reaffirm Pakistan's close and cordial ties with Myanmar and Vietnam. It also reflects Pakistan's desire to further strengthen bilateral relations and cooperation with the countries of the region. Businessmen delegations from Pakistan will visit Myanmar and Vietnam concurrently to explore possibilities of enhanced trade and investment,'' an official statement said here.

    The Chief Executive's visit to Myanmar will be the first by a Pakistani Head of Government since that of the President of Pakistan in 1985. While in Myanmar, Gen. Musharraf would hold meetings with the Senior General, Mr. Than Shwe, Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt, Secretary-1 of the SPDC. He will also lay a wreath at the Mausoleum of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar and visit defence services academies at Mandalay.

    The Chief Executive's programme at Vietnam includes a call on the President, Mr. Tran Duc Luong, and talks with the Prime Minister, Mr. Phan Van Khai. The Chief Executive will also be laying a wreath at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

    ``Pakistan has traditionally enjoyed close and friendly relations with Myanmar and Vietnam and has a similarity of views with the two countries on many issues of regional and global concern. The forthcoming visit of the Chief Executive will provide an opportunity to exchange views on matters of mutual interest at the highest level and identify areas of mutually beneficial cooperation in the economic, commercial and other fields,'' the official statement said.
    Mawdsley slips back to visit Burma

    By Alex Spillius in Bangkok

    JAMES MAWDSLEY, the rights campaigner who spent 14 months in solitary confinement in a Burmese prison, disclosed yesterday that he recently returned to the country on a secret charity mission.

    The 28-year-old former Bristol University student was guided by Karen dissidents on foot across the border from Thailand. They continued through jungle to an impoverished village whose school is to receive 1,500 donated by a Thai businessman inspired by the Briton's solo campaign against Burma's military regime.

    When Mr Mawdsley was released from a 17-year sentence in October, it was understood that if he went back he would be detained for a substantial period. It was his second jail term for distributing pro-democracy leaflets.

    In Bangkok last night, Mr Mawdsley said that earlier comments that he would never return to Burma had been misinterpreted. "I only said I wouldn't go back to prison." Of his recent trip he said: "There is no risk if you are careful. Previously I wanted to get attention and get arrested but that wasn't the intention this time. This trip was for me."

    He added: "I have said categorically I will not go back to prison and I mean it. I don't want to let down my family and put them through such pain again." Mr Mawdsley's ambitions should ensure that he does not try to get arrested again.

    Having revealed that he will campaign for the Tories at the general election he said last night he wanted to stand as an MP next time around. Mr Mawdsley also arranged for a 20,000 donation from a British benefactor to be handed over to a school in Ban Sa La refugee camp in Thailand.

    "I have found much more help and sympathy from Thais for the Burmese cause, which is very encouraging."
    Surakiart urged to take up coal protest with Burma

    Bangkok Post - April 28, 2001
    Bhanravee Tansubhapol

    Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai should persuade Burma to move a planned coal-fired electricity plant, Chiang Mai residents say.

    An 11-strong delegation which included members of the Rak Mae Sai group made the call in a letter to the minister, who leaves for talks in Rangoon tomorrow.

    The letter, which carried 5,000 signatures, said locals were concerned about the adverse environmental impact. They also want a say on any other plans that might affect their district.

    Gen Maung Aye, the Burmese army commander, laid a foundation stone for the plant in Tachilek last year. It was supposed to start running in March. The 60-rai plant will go on a site 5km from the Thai border. Offices and staff living quarters have been finished.

    Pang Polchai, a teacher at Bann Huay Krai school in Mae Sai, said local people did not want the air polluted with sulphur which was dangerous to life and the future of tourism in Chiang Rai. They thought the Burmese government would understand.

    A convoy of trucks carrying electricity generators from China was stopped at the Mae Sai checkpoint last weekend. Mr Pang said his group knew about the plant nine months ago and told the government but officials told Mae Sai people not to protest so as to preserve Thai-Burmese relations.
    Thailand to urge Burma to appoint anti-drugs envoy

    BANGKOK, April 28 (AFP) - Thailand will urge Myanmar to appoint a special anti-drugs liaison envoy at a UN-sponsored meeting on regional efforts to stamp out the drug trade next month, a report said Saturday.

    Prime Minister's Office Minister Thamarak Isarangura said Thai delegates at the meeting would push for Myanmar to establish the position that would rank among international ambassadors.

    "A representative from the (Myanmar) side will be necessary and important in attempts to combat the widespread trade in drugs," Thamarak told the Nation daily.

    Thailand and other countries in the region such as China have already appointed anti-drug envoys to enhance international cooperation on drug-related issues. Thailand and China also signed a cooperation agreement last year in the fight against drugs, and Thailand will ask Myanmar to enter into a similar agreement.

    Thamarak will represent Thailand at the anti-drugs meeting in Yangon scheduled for May 8-11, which will bring together ministers from Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.The six nations signed an agreement in 1995 to work together to fight narcotics trafficking by reducing demand, boosting law enforcement and encouraging crop substitution.Their home affairs ministers meet every two years to discuss the progress of cross-border drug control projects and to approve new strategies devised by the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP).

    The region's narcotics crisis is a hot diplomatic topic, and the focus of a flurry of visits between Thailand, Myanmar and China which produced an agreement for closer tripartite collaboration on the issue.Massive drugs production within Myanmar's borders, which is feeding a serious addiction crisis in Thailand, caused a serious rift between the two neighbours earlier this year.A bloody skirmish between their national armies was sparked by rival ethnic armies operating along the border who are accused of involvement in the heroin and methamphetamines trade.

    The UNDCP said China was sending its vice minister of public security, Bai Jing Fu, to next month's meeting, which will be hosted by Lieutenant General Khin Nyunt, a senior member of Myanmar's ruling junta.Other confirmed delegates are Thailand's Thamarak and Cambodia's Secretary General of the National Authority for Combating Drugs Em Sam An.
    Contract signed for extension of Fire Brick Factory

    source : NLM

    YANGON, 27 April-Myanma Ceramics Industries of the Ministry of Industry-1 and Daimaru Kogyo Ltd of Japan signed a contract for extension of Danyingon Upgraded Fire Brick Factory at the Sedona Hotel yesterday evening.

    Present on the occasion were Minister for Industry-1 U Aung Thaung, Deputy Ministers Brig-Gen Thein Tun and Brig-Gen Kyaw Win, directors-general and managing directors of the departments and industries under the ministry, Senior Executive Director Mr Koji Nagano of Daimaru Kogyo Ltd and party and guests.

    Assistant Director of MCI U Thein Lwin explained matters about extension of the factory. After signing the contract, Managing Director of MCI U Than Shwe and Mr Koji Nagano exchanged documents. Mr Koji Nagano spoke words of thanks, and then the ceremony carne to a close.

    Myanma Ceramics Industries had the factory built by Daimaru Kogyo Ltd in 1987. The factory produced 900 tons of brick a year. On completion of the factory, it can produce 1,800 tons of upgraded fire bricks per year.
    Seminar on trade promotion between Myanmar-Korea held

    source : NLM

    YANGON, 27 April-A seminar on the trade promotion-between Myanmar and Koreas, organized by Kyongnam Korea Trade Centre of Changwon City of Korea and sponsored by the commercial group of the Republic of Korean Embassy, was held at the Traders Hotel this mornings.

    Korean enterpreneurs of 17 companies led by Vice-Mayor Mr Jung Yong-Seok of Changwon City and Myanmar entrepreneurs of &3 companies -discussed trade promotion between the two countries.

    Also present on the occasion were Ambassador of ROK Mr Chung Jung-gum, Attache (Commercial) Mr Kim Jae-chan and officials. Altogether 30 Korean entrepreneurs from 17 companies took part in the discussions.