Daily News-August 03 - 2001- Friday

  • Seven anti-drug officials is on their way back
  • Missing Thais In Rangoon
  • Myanmar Cooperates With Japan In Hepatitis Prevention
  • Tourist Arrivals in Myanmar Decline in 1st Quarter
  • Myanmar's Domestic Tax Revenue Up In First Quarter
  • Burma-ASEAN Members Trade Down Slightly in First Quarter
  • Secretary-1 Receives Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of USA
  • UN special envoy to travel to Myanmar
  • Suu Kyi lawyer objects to change in property suit
  • Thai anti-drug officials returned, arrest a misunderstanding

  • Seven anti-drug officials is on their way back

    source : DVB

    DVB got an interviewed with Thai Army spoksperson, Col Sonkham Sonpatranat right now and according to him all seven anti-drug officials arrested by ethnic Wa fighters on the Myanmar border are on the way back to Bangkok.

    They will reach Domaung airport at 7:00 PM Thai standard time (12:00 UTC).
    Missing Thais In Rangoon

    source : The Irrawaddy News Magazine
    By Maung Maung Oo

    August 2, 2001--The seven Thai officials who disappeared last Friday in the Burmese border town of Tachilek are currently in Rangoon, en route to Bangkok after Burmese officials negotiated their release from Wa rebel troops.

    The Thai officials, who entered Tachilek last Friday for what has been called an excursion trip, were abducted by the United Wa State Army (UWSA), an ethnic army that has an alliance with Rangoon's military regime. The Thai group includes four military officers and three civil servants from the Office of Narcotics Suppression Board (ONSB).

    It has been reported that after spending four days in detention the group was handed over to Burmese officials before heading on to Rangoon. When Thai authorities informed Rangoon about the missing party of Thai officials, Rangoon dispatched a high-ranking military officer to intervene in the matter.

    The group took a Toyota Land Cruiser that was heavily equipped with sophisticated radio communication into a restricted area controlled by Wa rebels, according to a well-informed Thai source. Burma claims that the group entered a restricted area in Mong Hsat, a Wa stronghold. The Wa has been accused of producing speed pills and heroin in and around this area.

    Previously, Thai officials had been tight-lipped about the disappearance of the seven officials and only today did Thailand's Defense Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, who has close ties with the Rangoon generals, break the silence and report that they had indeed been abducted by Wa rebels.

    During the disappearance, there was widespread speculation among Thai officials as to why the Wa rebels carried out the abduction. The Was recently asked Thailand to stop portraying them as drug dealers in the media and to discontinue their rumored support of Shan rebels. Thailand's top leaders, including both the prime minister and defense minister, have recently gone to Rangoon on separate trips to work on improving bilateral ties that have become strained in recent months.
    Myanmar Cooperates With Japan In Hepatitis Prevention

    YANGON, Aug 2 (Oana-Xinhua) -- Myanmar is cooperating with Japan in prevention of the transmission of Hepatitis-C -- an emerging communicable disease causing serious health problem to the country.

    Hepatitis-C is a major cause of acute hepatitis and chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.

    Myanmar is setting up blood donor screening for the hepatitis-C and developing test kits, provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Official newspaper The New Light of Myanmar today quoted Myanmar Deputy Minister of Health Mya Oo as disclosing.--Oana-Xinhua
    Tourist Arrivals in Myanmar Decline in 1st Quarter

    YANGON, August 1 (Xinhua) -- A total of 42,998 foreign tourists visited Myanmar in the first quarter of this year, dropping by 37. 8 percent compared with the corresponding period of 2000, the country's Economic Indicators said in its latest issue.

    The declination of tourists arrival was obvious in the number of those travelling across border, reaching only 4,732 during the three-month period and constituting a fall of 85.1 percent in the cross-border arrivals from the same period of 2000 when it was 31, 762.

    The sharp reduction of cross-border tourists arrivals was seen as being due to the outbreak of border clashes between Myanmar and Thailand in February which lasted until June. Thailand is one of Myanmar's two neighboring countries supplying most of the tourists to the country.

    While the number of foreign tourists arriving Myanmar by land was experiencing a sharp drop during the first quarter of this year, those coming in by air increased by 2.63 percent, reaching 38,266 as compared with the same period of 2000.

    According to official statistics, in 2000, the number of tourists arrivals was registered at only 234,900, falling by 9.3 percent from1999. Of them, 49 percent entered the country by land through border points.

    In recent years, Myanmar participated in tourism fairs held yearly in Thailand, Singapore, China's Hong Kong, Berlin, London and South Korea, aimed at drawing more tourists to Myanmar for the development of its tourism industry. Meanwhile, Myanmar is also cooperating with tourism authorities of member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in activities in the region including cooperation programs for tourist destinations in the ASEAN region and market promotion activities of nations in great Mekong region as well as Ganges-Mekong cooperation program. To develop its tourism, Myanmar has signed bilateral agreements with China, Cambodia, Laos,Singapore and Thailand.
    Myanmar's Domestic Tax Revenue Up In First Quarter

    YANGON, Aug 2 (Oana-Xinhua) -- Myanmar's State Internal Revenue Department (SIRD) received a total of 30.744 billion Kyats (US$76.86 million) in domestic revenue in the first quarter of this year, up 31 percent from the same period of 2000, according to the latest official Economic Indicators.

    Of the revenue obtained during the three-month period, 50.8 percent were from commodities and services taxes and commercial tax, 31.7 percent from income tax, 10.5 percent from profit tax, 5. 62 percent from state lottery, and 1.38 percent from stamp duties.

    In Myanmar, individual citizen having an income amounting to 10, 001 Kyats (about US$22.2) and above are assessed to tax under the Income Tax Law which also covers cooperatives, companies and joint venture enterprises.--Oana-Xinhua
    Burma-ASEAN Members Trade Down Slightly in First Quarter

    RANGOON, August 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Burma's bilateral trade with five member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) --Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines -- totaled 445.83 million U.S. dollars in the first quarter of this year, down 1.87 percent from the same period of 2000.

    According to the latest figures published by Central Statistical Organization, the trade accounted for 39.8 percent of Burma's total foreign trade during the three-month period with its import from these ASEAN members amounting to 292.14 million dollars, its export, 153.69 million dollars. The trade deficit stood at 138.45 million dollars.

    Of Burma's bilateral trade with these ASEAN member states during the period, that with Singapore accounted for the highest volume with 203.98 million dollars or 18.2 percent of the country' s 1,117.79 million dollars' total foreign trade. It was followed by that with Thailand which took up 147.82 million dollars or 13.2 percent. That with Malaysia represented 56. 85 million dollars and that with Indonesia 34.28 million dollars.

    However, Burma imported nil from the Philippines during the period, but exported to that country with goods worth of only 2.9 million dollars.

    According to official statistics, in 2000, Burma's total foreign trade, including the border trade, totaled 4.086 billion dollars, of which its bilateral trade with the five other ASEAN members amounted to 1.651 billion dollars, accounting for 40.4 percent of the total.
    Secretary-1 Receives Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of USA

    Information Sheet N0. B-1909 ( I ) 3rd August, 2001

    Secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt received Deputy Assistant Secretary of State of the United States of America Mr. Ralph Boyce, at the Ministry of Defence on 2 August.
    UN special envoy to travel to Myanmar

    UNITED NATIONS, Aug 2 (AFP) - The UN's special envoy to Myanmar, Razali Ismail of Malaysia, will travel to Yangon in late August for a new round of reconciliation talks, Annan spokesman Fred Eckhard said Thursday.

    Eckhard gave no details of the visit, the fifth by Razali in an attempt to broker talks between the military junta in power and the political opposition, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. "I can confirm that he will be arriving in the capital Rangoon on August 27," Eckhard said.

    Razali last visited Yangon on June 1-4, in a bid to bring new impetus to the national reconciliation process. Following the visit the Myanmar junta released 17 imprisoned members of Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition National League for Democracy (NLD).

    Aung San Suu Kyi has been under de facto house arrest at her lakeside residence since September, before the tentative contacts with the military regime began under conditions of strict secrecy.
    Suu Kyi lawyer objects to change in property suit

    The Asian Age (New Delhi) August 2, 2001

    Rangoon. Aug. 1: A lawyer for Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi objected on Wednesday to an amendment made to a lawsuit brought by her estranged brother for partial ownership of the property where she has lived for the past 13 years.

    Mr Kyi Win told the Rangoon division court that the suit filed by Ms Suu Kyi's elder brother Aung San Oo for an "entitled share" of the property has "discrepancies and technical errors."

    These included missing signatures and case number and a discrepancy in the value of the share the plaintiff is claiming: given as 4000 million kyats ($6.6 million) instead of 400 million kyats ($6.60,000) mentioned earlier, Mr Kyi Win said.

    Last month, the judge decided to allow the amendment in Mr Aung San Oo's case, which had originally sought "half" of the two-acre Rangoon property and lakeside villa. The change did not appear to alter significantly the nature of the legal case.

    Judge Soe Thein adjourned the case until August 13 when Mr Aung San Oo's lawyer will respond to the objection. (AP)
    Thai anti-drug officials returned, arrest a misunderstanding

    BANGKOK, Aug 3 (AFP) - Thai Defence Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh said Friday that seven Thai anti-narcotics officials who were arrested in Myanmar and later released had been mistaken for spies.

    The officials had been taken captive by an ethnic Wa militia on the Myanmar border and were transported to Yangon before being flown back to Thailand late Thursday after one week in detention.

    "We have verified that it was caused by a misunderstanding as the Wa saw the car (driven by the Thai officials) that had tinted windows and was equipped with radio antennae," Chavalit said.

    One of the officials, Colonel Duangkamol Sukonthasap of Thailand's Office of Narcotics Control Board (ONCB), told a press conference the group was not on a reconnaissance mission and had crossed into Myanmar legally to visit a temple.

    She added that they had not been interrogated after being detained by Wa troops but had instead been taken to inspect a fruit plantation. "We intended to pay our respects to a monk, and we legally entered Myanmar," Duangkamol said."But they misunderstood, and when they learned we were Thai officials they invited us to inspect a logan (fruit) plantation to prove they were not producing drugs."

    The Wa, who have signed a ceasefire agreement with Myanmar's military regime, are reputed to control much of the heroin and amphetamines trade in the rugged border region abutting Thailand. The Thai officials, made up of four ONCB staff and three army personnel, had been out of contact since last Friday when they crossed into the drug-infested border area controlled by the Wa.A Thai delegation of military and government officials flew to Yangon Tuesday and received the group on their release by Myanmar authorities Thursday.