Daily News-August 05 - 2001- Sunday
Khin Nyunt meets Wa, Kokang leaders
Leaders of Myanmar and Thailand Working with Mutual Understanding
A new Wa refinery established near Laotian border
Khin Nyunt meets Wa, Kokang leaders
Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt and party left Lashio in motor vehicles at 0600 on 1 August for Chinshwehaw in Laukkai District. Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt was accompanied by Maj Gen Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo, a member of SPDC, chairman of Shan State North Peace and Development Council, and commander of Northeast Military Command; ministers, deputy ministers, officials from the SPDC Office, and departmental officials. Lt Gen Khin Nyunt and party arrived at Chinshwehaw town on Myanmar [Burma]-China border at 1030.
Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt met with departmental personnel at the Chinshwehaw Guest House and inquired after their departmental work and problems. Ministers and deputy ministers in the party reported on assistance being given and the commander gave a supplementary report.
Addressing the meeting, the secretary-1 noted that peace has prevailed in the region for the past 11 years and that, previously, the region lagged behind in education, health, and other social developments and roads. He said the roads have now improved. He recalled that regional development for border areas and national races was first launched in this Kokang Region in 1989. Regional development tasks were implemented in Wa and other regions after Kokang Region. He said the government has been extending assistance for development of Laukkai region, but development has not reached the expected level.
Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt and party then proceeded to a Wa town of Namtip in Special Border Region-2 on Myanmar-China border where they were welcomed at 1100 by local leaders - U Chao Wun Kwan, U Chao Aik Nat, U Chao Kyone Tan - and responsible officials.
The secretary-1 and party then had a cordial meeting with Wa national leaders from Namtip in the township office. At the meeting, the Wa leaders expressed their appreciation for the secretary-1 and his party who had come all the way to their region. They said they confronted many problems in developing the town, but the town has now developed due to their hard work in overcoming the problems. They said they are working on Phalin Mine and Kyinchan Mine in Namtip region and that more paddy was grown this year in both the fields and the hills, compared to last year.
He said under the opium crops substitution scheme, 200 households who used to grow opium in the hills have been relocated to the plains in Namtip region. They said paddy, rubber, corn, lychee, and longan are being grown in the region and there are plans to set up a canning factory and rubber processing plant. They requested for help to pave the roads in town with asphalt.
Speaking at the meeting, Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt said he and his party had come to the region despite the bad weather in order to give encouragement to the Wa nationals' efforts for opium crops substitution in Namtip and to give assistance on behalf of the government. He said the Wa nationals are working diligently in agriculture and livestock breeding and that their crops plantations have stretched as far as the eye can see. He said the government is satisfied with the Wa nationals efforts to achieve higher standard of living. He recalled that when they visited Namtip region 10 years ago, there were only 25 huts. Now Namtip is very much a bustling town full of brick houses. He said he would like to say that progress in Namtip constitutes development in the Union, indeed. He said after witnessing the efforts and success of the Wa national leaders, he believed their goal of drug-free Wa region by the year 2005 would be achieved.
He said a team of deputy ministers from ministries would be sent to Wa areas, including Namtip, Mong Mao, Khwinmar and Panghsang regions, to give assistance in agriculture, livestock breeding, education, and health...
Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, WCDBANR chairman and SPDC secretary-1, met with U Pheung Kya-shin, leader of Kokang leaders of Shan State North Special Region-1, and party at 1930 on 31 July at Shweli Guest House of the Northeast Military Command in Lashio.
The secretary-1 and U Pheung Kya-Shin warmly greeted each other and U Pheung Kya-Shin reported on development endeavours in Kokang region, agriculture, livestock breeding, drug eradication, and required assistance. Secretary-1 Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt attended to the requirements He spoke on the need for systematic efforts to be undertaken by Kokang leaders for improving the living standard of people in the Kokang region and concerted efforts for development of agriculture and livestock breeding, and cooperation with authorities in drug eradication efforts and assistance to be given.
Leaders of Myanmar and Thailand Working with Mutual Understanding, Friendship in View of Bilateral Cordial Relations
A Press conference on the formal handing over of seven Thai citizens, who entered Tachilek from Maesai on 27 July and were taken by the Wa national race group, was held at the Defence Services Guest House on Inya Road, Yangon on 3 August morning.
Deputy Chief of the Office of Strategic Studies explained matters concerning the formal handing over of the seven officials (Thai citizens) who were taken away by the Wa national race group after entering Tachilek from Maesai without making formal coordination with the Myanmar side in advance, and only with an ordinary immigration entry form stating "seven employees".He said that he had already handed over the seven Thai employees to General Vichit Yatit and party of Thailand at about 7 pm on 2 August; and they returned to Bangkok by Thai military aircraft.
Explaining the incident, he said the seven Thai officials entered Tachilek from Maesai on 27 July in a Toyota Land Cruiser without mentioning their names in the immigration entry form. Only when the Thai officials informed the Myanmar side about the seven missing persons together with the list of their names, did the Myanmar side know that they were, Col Dueng Kamol (a) Ms Kalaya Sithiwong, Director of Armed Forces Security Centre, Major Dom Sax Khamsgrgaai of TBC, Captain Sanit Banthao of Third Army Task Force, Sergeant Satit Sithiprasert of TBC, Mr Senee Waiwattana of ONCB.
As soon as the information was received, the matter was investigated by the members of the regional intelligence unit, it was learnt that they were taken by the Wa national race group. As soon as the information was got, a team led by a senior officer of the Directorate of Defence Services Intelligence was dispatched from Yangon to Wa region. The Government officials held discussions with the Wa representatives and the Wa group admitted that they had taken them, and then handed over the seven Thais officials to the Government officials.
The Wa officials said that Wan Li, a member of the Wa group, was summoned by the commissioner of Mongphan in Thailand on 23 July; that when he went to Mongphan town he was murdered in the compound of the commissioner`s office after having lunch there with the commissioner; then afterwards, 10,000 stimulant tablets and an M-22 automatic rifle was placed beside his body; then a documentary photo of his body lying together with the tablets and the weapon was taken; the Wa people felt very resentful for such an act; and that for this reason and also to show the Thai group the projects the Wa people are implementing in order to substitute and eliminate poppy growing in their region, they had taken the seven Thai citizens.
The Government officials told the Wa leaders to restrain from doing such acts in view of maintaining the friendly relations between the two countries, took the seven Thais to Yangon. Through General Vichit ( the Thai delegation leader), the Myanmar officials had also requested the Thai side to refrain from launching acts defaming the Wa people in the future. The queries raised by the journalist were replied.
A new Wa refinery established near Laotian border
Shan Herald Agency for News -4 August 2001 -No: 08 - 04:
A border-watcher reported on 31 July that the Wa had recently established a new refinery in Tachilek township opposite Laos.
The village of Wianglarn, about 60 km north of Tachilek and between Monglane and Paliao, is the place where Wa troops under Wei Hsiaokang, wanted by both Thailand and the United States, had founded the drug refinery on 26 June, he said.
120 fighters from the United Wa State Army's "Southern Command" are responsible for the "internal security": 50 from Loilang commanded by Tama, 30 from Hopang-Hoyawd commanded by Tasao, 20 from Mongyawn under Laosang's command and 20 from Pangsang under Laohsu's command."External security" is provided by Maj. Thein Aung from LIB 329 (Monghyak) with another 120 troops. The capital is K. 30 million (roughly B. 3 million).
It was at this time that about 150-200 fighters facing the Shan State Army's Loi Kawwan Camp, opposite Chaingrai's Mae Fa Luang District, were abruptly ordered to move to Laos, he said. (Re: 07 - 08, Wa moving troops to protest labs in Laos, 13 July.) He also confirmed the clash between the Wa and LIB 359 (Tachilek) near Monghpong on 25 July that left 4 dead and 10 wounded on the Burmese side and an undisclosed number of casualties on the Wa side.
"A Wa officer complained loudly in Mongyawn that it was a foolish mistake by the Burmese who should have known that Monghpong was in their turf and nothing went without them knowing," reported the source. The Wa has an agricultural project in the area. Some reports place Monghpong as the location where the 7 Thai officials were taken into custody on 27 July, just 2 days after the incident.