Daily News-August 06 - 2001-Monday

  • Released democratic party MP absconds to Thailand
  • Burma Rights Group gets Cambodia Honorary Award
  • A low profile for our FM in hectic Hanoi
  • New hospital to help amputees
  • Sites go on sale at two new industrial zones
  • Oil Co Shuts Down Ops In Northeastern Indian State
  • Myanmar's Machinery Import Drops Slightly in First Quarter
  • Myanmar's Cotton Yarn Production Up in First Quarter

  • Released democratic party MP absconds to Thailand

    BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Aug 5, 2001

    Text of report by Burmese opposition radio on 4 August

    DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] has learned that U Khin Kyaw Han, an elected representative who was recently released from detention at the SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] government guest house, absconded and arrived at the Burma-Thai border today.

    U Kyaw Kyaw alias U Khin Kyaw Han, who is 48 years old and a National League for Democracy [NLD] elected representative [MP] for Yenangyaung Township Constituency-2 [Magwe Division], was released from Katha detention centre on 28 June together with nine other elective representatives.

    They were arrested by military intelligence unit-15 in July 1998 for participating in an attempt to convene the People's Assembly. He absconded because he could not take the various abuses committed by the SPDC anymore. U Khin Kyaw Han's absconding has surprised everyone at a time when SPDC and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi are engaged in a dialogue and many believe political developments have been taking place.

    U Khin Kyaw Han became the 25th elected representative to abscond the country. Prior to U Khin Kyaw Han, U Mya Win, elected representative for Ingapu Township Constituency-1 [Irrawaddy Division], absconded to the Indian border last year.

    DVB has learned that U Khin Kyaw Han plans to hold a press conference on Monday 6 August to explain why he absconded and the prevailing political situation in the country.

    Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 4 Aug 01
    Burma Rights Group gets Cambodia Honorary Award

    New Delhi, August 5, 2001
    Mizzima News Group (www.mizzima.com)

    An exiled human rights education group of Burma will be awarded with an honorary award from a coalition of Cambodia's non-governmental organizations end of this year, according to a press release today.

    The People's Democracy and Human Rights (PDHR) in Cambodia today announced that it has decided to confer its Honorary Award to the Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB), which was founded last year in Thailand.

    The award given for the first time by People's Democracy and Human Rights will be conferred to the Burmese human rights group on December 10 this year on the Universal Human Rights Day at Phnompenh in Cambodia. The People's Democracy and Human Rights is an umbrella of twenty-two non-governmental organizations in Cambodia.

    "I feel that the award is an honour not only for our work but also for the people of Burma who are struggling for the restoration of fundamental rights in the country. We are particularly pleased that people's organizations in a member of ASEAN like Cambodia have decided to give the award on human rights. By conferring this award, we understand that Cambodia which suffered from rampant human rights violations in the past is now extending its support to the human rights movement in our country", said Aung Myo Min, director of HREIB.

    "Education is a basic right denied to the people of Burma. There is no material about human rights in any of Burma's different languages under the military dictatorship", added Aung Myo Min who himself had received similar awards from universities and rights organizations in USA and Canada for his work on promotion of human rights in Burma.

    Since its inception, the Thailand-based HREIB has been administering and facilitating a number of human rights education training along the Burma border areas in neighbouring countries, apart from producing publications on human rights education and capacity building.
    A low profile for our FM in hectic Hanoi

    By Thet Khaing in Hanoi
    The Myanmar Times (July 30- August 5)

    THE national reconciliation talks between the SPDC and NLD and recent events in Indonesia ensured that Myanmar had a low profile at the Asean foreign ministers’ meeting in Hanoi last week, said Foreign Minister U Win Aung.

    The recent releases of political dissidents were an indication that the reconciliation talks were proceeding smoothly, the Foreign Minister told Myanmar Times in an interview in Hanoi.

    U Win Aung said he had outlined the political situation in Myanmar during an informal closed-door meeting with his Asean counterparts. "We touched on our situation, but Myanmar was not at the forefront," he said. U Win Aung said he was asked by some of his Asean counterparts on the likely future direction of the dialogue between the SPDC and NLD. But it had not been the right time to go into details. "We cannot say what issues are being discussed, we would like to keep the talks confidential," he said.

    "The biggest responsibility in our political life is the people, so the important thing is to continue the dialogue and find a solution," U Win Aung said.

    "Right now all the indications are that the talks are heading towards reconciliation, to have peace, stability, tranquility and cooperation among all the people," he said. "Our polices are leading towards the fulfillment of the aspirations of the our people to build a democratic state."

    He said the Myanmar leadership was more interested in finding a long-lasting solution than solving problems quickly. "If we set up a system and it fails because of unresolved fundamental problems, we will be back to square one," he said.

    Myanmar was raised at post-Asean ministerial meetings by the United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, and the European Union External Affairs Commissioner, Chris Patten.

    But U Win Aung said the meetings had produced a general consensus on Myanmar’s political process. On the sanctions imposed on Myanmar by the US and EU, U Win Aung said Myanmar could not expect any quick changes in their policies. "They’re watching our situation and I hope normalisation won’t be too far away." It was the third Asean foreign ministers’ meeting to be attended by U Win Aung and he said the situation in the country was now well understood by all member countries.
    New hospital to help amputees

    By Nwe Nwe Aye
    The Myanmar Times (July 30- August 5)

    CONSTRUCTION of a new Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Centre in Hpa-an in Kayin State is due to begin later this year with funding from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

    With the supervision of an architect from Switzerland, work on the building will start after the monsoon and is estimated to be finished early next year. Undertaken in consultation with the Myanmar Red Cross Society and local authorities, the centre is designated for people living in southern part of Myanmar.

    "We would like to help develop orthopaedic centres at a provincial level, in addition to the big cities like Yangon and Mandalay," said ICRC information delegate Mr Marco Emery.

    ICRC launched a joint program in 1990 in collaboration with the Ministry of Health to identify and select amputees from remote areas and border areas for fitting with artificial limbs at two hospitals in Yangon and Mandalay. "For the time being, people have to come to Yangon or Mandalay for rehabilitation. We think that the new centre will be more helpful for the people in southern part of Myanmar," said Mr Emery.

    ICRC’s prosthetist Mr Drouet Yann said ICRC would spend about US$300,000 for the building and that the new centre would aim at treating 40 amputees a month. ICRC started its orthopaedic program in Myanmar in early 1986 at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Yangon, run by the Ministry of Health, to strengthen prosthetic services by upgrading the skills of Myanmar technicians and physiotherapists.

    "We also have plans to send two persons for the new centre to internationally recognised Prosthetic and Orthotic schools in Cambodia," said Mr Yann. "For the time being, the activities will be focused only on the lower limb amputees," he said.
    Sites go on sale at two new industrial zones

    By Moe Zaw Myint
    The Myanmar Times (July 30- August 5)

    TWO new industrial zones have been developed in Dagon Township targeting exporters, importers and local manufacturers.One is Thilawah Industrial Park, which is a mile from Thilawa port and about 19 miles from downtown Yangon. The other is Dagon East Industrial City in Dagon Township, 11 miles from downtown Yangon.

    "We have developed Thilawah industrial park to suit exporters and importers as their transportation charges to the port will be lower than those operating businesses in other industrial zones," said U Myint Swe, deputy director of the planning section at the Human Settlement and Housing Development Department.

    He said the Dagon East Industrial City will offer transportation advantages to manufacturers and business people interested in trading in upper Myanmar. The industrial city is next to the Yangon-Mandalay railway and highway and near the junction of North Dagon and South Dagon townships.

    Sites in the two zones will be offered for sale from August 1 for K18 million for two acre plots. The Human Settlement and Housing Development Department will sell the plots on a first-come, first-served basis. Basic infrastructure in the two zones includes concrete roads, electricity, drainage systems and administration offices.

    The Thilawah industrial zone gets its water supply from Bantbwegone dam. Wells will supply water to the Dagon East industrial zone.
    Oil Co Shuts Down Ops In Northeastern Indian State

    GAUHATI, India (AP)-India's premier oil exploration company has shut down its operations in the northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh following extortion demands by a separatist tribal group, officials said Sunday.

    Officials at the state-owned Oil India Ltd. (P.OIL) have begun pulling out its technical and drilling personnel from remote areas after the company was asked to pay 6 million rupees ($1=INR47.10) by the outlawed National Socialist Council of Nagaland, the main separatist group in India's remote northeast.

    "Our company has been served an extortion demand by a tribal militant group due to which we have pulled out our technical staff from the drilling sites at Khumsai in eastern Arunachal Pradesh," B. B. Sharma, OIL chairman, told journalists Saturday at the oil major's eastern regional headquarters at Duliajan, 500 kilometers east of Gauhati.

    "This is the first time since OIL's inception in 1959 that we have received an extortion notice from a rebel group in northeastern India," Sharma said. The notice was served despite a cease-fire between the NSCN and the federal government that is in force. The NSCN, with its stronghold in Nagaland state, is also well entrenched in the other northeastern Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Manipur.

    Sharma said the rebel group had set Thursday as the deadline for the payment. He did nosst reveal what would happen if the company failed to pay the extortionists. "The company has decided against any forcible payment to rebel groups. We have begun pulling out technical staff from remote sites," Sharma said. The company would incur a loss of INR250 million annually unless operations are resumed, he said.

    India's annual crude oil production stands at 60 million tons, almost half the country's needs. In 1999, Assam produced 3.29 million tons of crude oil, while last year the production dropped to 3.28 million tons. The decline in crude oil production is partially attributed to political disturbances in the region which affected exploration and production work. The Oil India Limited had oil and gas reserves totaling 790 million tons in the country of which about 307 million tons were recoverable.

    The 1160 kilometer long crude pipeline from the OIL headquarters at Duliajan in eastern Assam to the Baruani refinery in neighboring Bihar state is one of Asia's longest and oldest fuel pipelines. At least 20 guerrilla groups demanding either independence or more autonomy have been fighting Indian security forces for nearly five decades in the remote northeastern Indian state bordering Myanmar.
    Myanmar's Machinery Import Drops Slightly in First Quarter

    YANGON, August 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Myanmar's import of machinery was valued at 211.21 million U.S. dollars in the first quarter of thisyear, down by 1.06 percent compared with the same period of 2000, according to the latest data released by the country's Central Statistical Organization.

    During the three-month period, the import value of such machinery equipment accounted for 33.3 percent of the country's total import value which was registered at 633.44 million dollars.

    Of this, the import value of electric machinery apparatus amounted to 51.46 million dollars, increasing by 12.1 percent from the same period of 2000, while that of non-electric ones reached 159.75 million dollars, falling by 4.68 percent from the corresponding period of 2000.

    According to official statistics, in 2000, Myanmar imported 628. 05 million dollars' worth of machinery equipment including electric and non-electric ones.

    Myanmar, an agricultural country lacking development in industry, has to depend on import for the majority of its different machinery equipment in need.
    Myanmar's Cotton Yarn Production Up in First Quarter

    YANGON, August 5 (Xinhuanet) -- Myanmar produced 1,562.65 tons of cotton yarn in the first quarter of this year, 31.89 percent more than the same period of 2000 when it registered 1,184.8 tons, according to the latest data released by the country's Central Statistical Organization.

    During the three-month period, Myanmar also yielded over six million meters of cotton fabrics , up 26 percent from the corresponding period of 2000 which saw a production of 4,828,662 meters.Cotton is one of the four major crops of Myanmar with the other three known as paddy, beans and pulses, and sugar cane.

    Official statistics show that in 2000, Myanmar produced 5,700 tons of cotton yarn and 22 million meters of cotton fabrics, up 19 percent and 23.37 percent respectively from 1999.Other statistics show that altogether 325,215 hectares of cotton were cultivated in Myanmar in the fiscal year 2000-01 which ended in March and the country targets to grow 348,300 hectares of the crop in 2001-02.

    Meanwhile, to maintain the enthusiasm of cotton growers and to solve their difficulties of shortage of capital used in cultivation, the government provides annually more than 1 billion Kyats (about 2 million U.S. dollars) of loans to the growers in the country in addition to granting advance payment to them for the purchase of cotton.