Daily News-August 25 - 2001- Saturday

  • Burma's military intelligence closely monitors political activity
  • Action by U2 fans urged
  • University Professor Usha Haley Concludes Sanctions do not Work
  • Security to be beefed up for Khin Nyunt
  • Thailand seals border in attempt to stop influx of illegal workers
  • Border Trade Development Tasks Carried Out
  • Burma sets onerous fishing policy for Thai companies
  • 92.1% of School Age Children Enter Schools in 2001-2002
  • United Nations special envoy to travel to Burma next week

  • Burma's military intelligence closely monitors political activity

    Text of report by DVB on 22 August

    DVB has learned that local Military Intelligence [MI] personnel have been closely watching every move made by National League for Democracy [NLD] members nationwide and they have to report daily to the Directorate of Defence Services Intelligence [DDSI]. They have to report in detail the date, time, place, topic of discussion, and attendance of any NLD meeting including names.

    Reliable sources say when any NLD member travels the local MI has to report to the DDSI office about the mode of transport, time of departure, the destination, and even lunch stops.

    The same sources say the MI have to supply detailed report such as Mandalay Division NLD Member Daw Win Thein, Chanmyathazi Township NLD Organizing Committee Member U Lin Myint, and two NLD youth members took the No 16-Down Mandalay-Rangoon train at 1730 [all times local] on 16 August to go to Rangoon NLD headquarters and participate at the NLD sponsored debate on the topic life begins at 40.

    Furthermore, the list of elected representatives and NLD members from the townships and wards has to be reported on a regular basis. At the same time, the reports include what the NLD members have been doing, their livelihood, and whether they are active in party activities.

    DVB has also discovered that in the Shan State, the activities of the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy party members are reported in addition to that of the NLD.
    Action by U2 fans urged

    Irish Times
    By Eithne Donnellan

    Fans of U2 going to the concert in Slane this weekend are being urged to write to the Department of Foreign Affairs seeking a ban on all trade, tourism and investment links between Europe and Burma.

    The Burma Action Ireland organisation issued the appeal following the banning of U2's latest album in Burma. All That You Can't Leave Behind was banned by the Burmese military junta in November because the song Walk On is dedicated to the pro-democracy leader Ms Aung San Suu Kyi, who received the freedom of Dublin.
    University Professor Usha Haley Concludes Sanctions do not Work

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- "Sanctions simply do not work," says Dr. Usha C. V. Haley, professor of Management at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

    "Ample evidence exists that sanctions are more popular as strategic weapons than they were twenty years ago, but almost no evidence that they succeed. In South Africa, sanctions may have increased the likelihood that American corporations stayed and devised facades that deflected sanctions, yet, activists have portrayed South Africa as a success story."

    Haley has just completed a large research project, spanning seven years, the first to examine at the company level whether sanctions from stockholders, consumers and governments altered American corporations' strategies in apartheid-practicing South Africa and the effects that they are likely to have in other circumstances such as against Nike, Burma or China.

    The book elaborating on these findings, "Multinational Corporations in Political Environments: Ethics, Values and Strategies" (ISBN 9810244274), will be published in October 2001 by World Scientific Press.
    Security to be beefed up for Khin Nyunt

    Wassana Nanuam

    Security will be stepped up for Burmese strongman Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt during his two-day visit to Bangkok next month, said a defence source.Authorities are deciding whether the Secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council should stay in a hotel or military barracks, said the source. Details of his movements would not be revealed.

    Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, Burma's intelligence chief, visits on Sept 4-5 at the invitation of Defence Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh.He is expected to meet Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra too.Drugs, border demarcation, fisheries, and economic co-operation would be covered.

    The results would be turned into operation plans when Thai-Burmese Regional Border committees meet in Pattaya on Sept 5-7.Meanwhile, the army is to tighten security along the Thai-Burmese border from Aug 28 until the end of September.

    This is to allow the Labour Ministry to survey the number of illegal workers, most of them Burmese nationals scattered in Tak, Chiang Rai and Samut Sakhon.
    Thailand seals border in attempt to stop influx of illegal workers

    BANGKOK, Aug 24 (AFP) - Thai authorities said Friday they had sealed the country's borders in an effort to stem the chronic inflow of illegal workers from neighboring countries.

    "Now we have sealed all borders in order to prevent the continued influx of illegal workers," Labour and Social Welfare Minister Dej Boon-long said after a meeting of government agencies chaired by Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. He added that border patrol officers had taken up posts in Thailand's frontier areas bordering Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, and that official checkpoints would remain open.

    The move comes as the Thai government struggles to map out a plan for a system to register thousands of illegal workers and grant them one-year work permits ahead of an August 31 deadline set by the previous administration.

    The government of former prime minister Chuan Leekpai, who lost to Thaksin in January elections, vowed to deport unregistered workers before September of this year.

    Dej said Thaksin had asked the National Security Council to improve a measure proposed by the labour ministry to register and issue work permits to some 500,000 illegal workers in Thailand. Thailand currently allows some 160,000 workers from neighboring countries to work for one year at labour-intensive jobs typically avoided by Thais in 18 industries, including fisheries, rice mills, mining and livestock farming. The work permits are issued in 37 of Thailand's 76 provinces.

    "The problems are rules and regulations for the registration process and enforcement," Dej said, adding that a plan would be adopted and implemented before the August 31 deadline expired. He said earlier that employers would have to go through official channels and properly register their foreign workers, who are mostly from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, for temporary work permits.

    Under the proposed scheme, the government would allow foreign illegals to register for jobs as domestic servants in addition jobs in the industries where foreign illegals can currently register to work. Employers who fail to register their illegal immigrant workers with local government offices will face severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines and paying the cost for deporting their workers.

    Thai Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said he would clarify the matter with his counterparts in Myanmar, Laotian and Cambodia. He added that he would ask Myanmar, whose nationals constitute the largest segment of the illegal worker population in Thailand, to accept some of them back.

    "During (Myanmar number-three Lieutenant-General) Khin Nyunt's visit here from September 3 to 6 I will raise this issue and ask for his cooperation as a neighbouring country," he said.
    Border Trade Development Tasks Carried Out

    Information Sheet N0. B-1931 ( I ) 24th August, 2001

    The Myanmar delegation led by Minister for Commerce went to Thailand at the invitation of the Minister of Trade Dr. Adisai Bodharamik on 20 August.

    The Myanmar delegation also attended the ceremony to present Outstanding Prize for Export held at the State House in Thailand and also met Prime Minister Dr. Thaksin Shinnawatra. The delegates viewed the exports booth of private entrepreneurs organized by the Department of Export Promotion.

    Minister also visited the Rice Land International Co Ltd, Bran Oil Factory and Rice Mill Production Factory of the Rice Engineering Supply Co Ltd in Ayudhaya on 21 August. Two ministers from Myanmar and Thailand signed agreement.
    Burma sets onerous fishing policy for Thai companies

    Text of report by DVB on 22 August

    The Ministry of Livestock Breeding and Fisheries has adopted a new fishing policy for Thai fishing boats and has informed the representatives of the Thai companies in Rangoon and the Thai Fisheries Department on 17 August.

    DVB has learned that the new policy has nine points and the chance of Thai fishing boats obtaining a fishing licence is rather slim. DVB correspondent Myint Maung Maung filed this report. [Myint Maung Maung] The new fishing policy has nine points and they are:

    1. Thai fishing boats will be permitted to fish in Burmese territorial waters
    . 2. The catch transferred to other boats is allowed to cross the Burma-Thai border but not the Thai fishing vessels with the catch
    . 3. Action will be taken against the ship and crew if the regulations are not adhered to
    . 4. Thai entrepreneurs from the fishing industry must sign a written pledge that they will not engage in anti-SPDC activities and action will be taken against the ship and crew if the regulations are not followed
    . 5. Each Thai company must deposit a security bond of US dollars 100,000. Previously the security bond was only US dollars 50,000
    . 6. The fishing licence is US dollars15,000 per boat regardless of size but a five-month advanced deposit is warranted
    . 7. As security for the fishing boats will be provided by the Ministry of Livestock Breeding and Fisheries, charges for security will be collected in US dollars at certain times
    . 8. Development funds solicited for the state will be collected in US dollars
    . 9. An undertaking must also be signed to adhere to the SPDC laws and the laws, rules, and regulations of the Ministry of Livestock Breeding and Fisheries.

    Thai fishing entrepreneurs seem to be disappointed with the new regulations and remarked that no Thai fishing entrepreneur will be able to work under these regulations. Furthermore, Thai private fisheries association will urge the Burmese government to review its new fishing regulations through the Thai Fisheries Department when SPDC Secretary-1 Lt Gen Khin Nyunt visit Thailand in September.
    92.1% of School Age Children Enter Schools in 2001-2002

    Information Sheet N0. B-1931 ( I ) 24th August, 2001

    A ceremony to launch Talented Students Training Programme for high school level of 2001-2002 academic year was held at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Yangon on 23 August. The Minister for Education made a speech and emphasized the fact that tasks for education promotion, according to education promotion programmes, have been implemented since 1998-99 academic year by holding seminars in basic and higher education sectors.

    Tasks for enabling students of school going age to go to school, one of the fundamental and important tasks of education, have been implemented since three years ago in collaboration with parents, non-governmental organizations and departments.

    As a result, the rate of schooling of the children of school going age has increased up to 92.1 percent in 2001-2002 academic year. Talented Students Training Programme launched today is one of the endeavours made for promotion of education sector. Objectives of the programme are to nurture outstanding scholars in subjects concerned, to make use of technology developed in line with the age, to widen and deepen of scope of students, innovation by collective study of the subjects, to nurture good education habits of being able to see new areas of study, to nurture students to be willing to do research starting from their childhood and to preserve and uphold national standards and values. It is also a programme in advance to enable the students to keep abreast of present education era.

    According to the programme, professors and associate professors concerned will give supplementary lectures on one of English, Mathematics, Science and Information and Communication subjects. Altogether 540 ninth standard students and 540 tenth standard students will be taught at 38 basic education high schools in Myitkyina, Monywa, Magway, Pakokku, Mandalay, Meiktila, Taunggyi, Dawei, Toungoo, Pyay, Mawlamyine, Sittway, Yangon and Pathein based in the areas where universities are located. Scholarship will be given to those who take the respective major subjects at arts and science universities after matriculation till they earn PhD. degrees.

    The aims and objectives of the programme launched now is very high. The outstanding students from States and Divisions need to understand that getting the chance to join this programme is the chance of a lifetime in education history. Minister also urged the students to make efforts to become outstanding and innovative scholars who cherish the people and the nation and highly qualified human resources.

    Altogether, 90 ninth standard students and 90 tenth standard students will attend the courses at Training School of the Institute of Education, No.1 Basic Education High School in Dagon Township and No.2 Basic Education High School in Kamayut Township in Yangon Division.
    United Nations special envoy to travel to Burma next week

    Source : Australian Broadcasting Service

    The United Nation's special envoy to Burma, Razali Ismail, is due to arrive in Burma on Monday to help push forward talks between the military junta and the political opposition.

    A UN spokesman, Fred Eckhard, says the envoy is expected to meet senior general Than Shwe and members of the National League for Democracy, including Aung San Suu Kyi.

    The four-day visit will be Mr Razali's fifth since he was appointed as U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan's special envoy to Burma in April, last year.

    After Mr Razali's previous visit to Rangoon, in June, the junta released 17 imprisoned members of the N-L-D.

    Ms Suu Kyi has been under effective house arrest since September.