Daily News- December 02 - 2001- Sunday

  • Myanmar proclaims "new era" in ties with Thailand
  • Myanmar, Thailand Hold First Cultural, Economic Cooperation Joint Meeting
  • Trafficking of arms from Burma alarms Northeast India
  • Asian nations adopt new 10-year strategy for Mekong river area cooperation

  • Myanmar proclaims "new era" in ties with Thailand

    By Aung Hla Tun

    YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar's military government has said relations with neighbouring Thailand have entered "a new era" of goodwill after recent meetings between leaders of the two countries,state-run newspapers reported on Saturday.

    Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra visited Myanmar in June to patch up faltering relations between the two countries following border skirmishes between Thai and Myanmar troops and a war of words over the drugs trade.

    "The frequent exchange of visits at all levels as well as the personal amity and rapport between the leaders of the two nations provide a great momentum for our relations," powerful intelligence chief General Khin Nyunt was quoted as saying.

    Myanmar government data shows Thailand is the third biggest foreign investor in Myanmar, after Singapore and Britain.

    "These visits had served to consolidate our relations and usher in a new era in bilateral ties," the general said in a speech to Thai and Myanmar businessmen and officials in Yangon on Friday.

    Earlier in the year, Bangkok accused the United Wa State Army, an ethnic minority group allied to the Yangon government, of flooding Thailand with hundreds of millions of metamphetamine pills. Myanmar responded by accusing the Thai army of supporting an insurgent ethnic group in Myanmar -- the Shan State Army -- and profiting from the drugs trade.

    Although Myanmar is one of the poorest countries in the world, many western governments have placed limited sanctions and suspended development cooperation, citing the country's poor political and human rights record.

    To The Top

    Myanmar, Thailand Hold First Cultural, Economic Cooperation Joint Meeting

    YANGON, Dec 1, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Myanmar-Thai and Thailand-Myanmar Cultural and Economic Cooperation Associations held the First Joint Meeting here Friday evening. The representatives of both sides discussed and coordinated matters related to culture, social, science and technology, trade and economy.

    Patron of Myanmar-Thai Cultural and Economic Cooperation Association and Secretary-1 of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council Lieutenant-General Khin Nyunt said at the meeting that Myanmar and Thailand are not only neighbors sharing a common border of more than 2,000 kilometers but also brother countries that have similar religion, culture and traditions.

    Enhancing friendship and cooperation between Myanmar and Thailand is in the interest of both nations and peoples, he added. Although bilateral trade and investment relations are growing, a lot of potential remains intact, he stressed, saying that Myanmar with its abundant natural resources and Thailand with its technology and capital are economically complementary to one another.The associations were respectively established in September this year.

    Official statistics show that Myanmar-Thai bilateral trade, including the border trade, amounted to 648.89 million U.S. dollars in the first eight months of this year,accounting for 17.69 percent of Myanmar's total foreign trade. Thailand stands as the country's second largest trading partner only after Singapore.

    Since opening to foreign investment in late 1988 in Myanmar, Thailand has invested a total of 1,289.75 million dollars as of the end of June 2001, ranking the third after Singapore and Britain.

    To The Top

    Trafficking of arms from Burma alarms Northeast India

    The Sangai Express (Mizoram)

    Aizawl, Nov 30: Official of the customs Prevention division here seized four AK 47 assault rifles, one AK 56, two 9 mm pisols and 22 rounds of ammunition and arrested one myanmarese national in this connection, Assistant Commissioner of Customs Lalsawma said today.

    The arms consignment, seized yesterday, was suspected to be meant for North East insurgent groups and was smuggled from Myanmar via Mizoram Myanmar town of Champhai, he said. Lalsawma said one Chungnunga (38) was arrested in this connection.

    A separate PTI report from Shillong quoting department sources said that Customs officials have seized 26 rocket launchers from a night super bus coming from Aizawl today.

    The officials raided the bus following the tip- off and recovered the rocket launchers which were wrapped in Myanmarese language newspaper on Wednesday night, the source said.the driver was released after question, the source said.

    Police suspected that the rocket launchers were being routed from Bangladesh via Mizoram and were meant for the outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council in Meghalaya.

    To The Top

    Asian nations adopt new 10-year strategy for Mekong river area cooperation

    AFP- Six countries bordering the Mekong river have adopted a 10-year strategy to boost cooperation within the region, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said in a statement issued here.

    Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and China's Yunnan province adopted the strategy at a ministerial conference held in Myanmar under the assistance of the ADB, the bank said in a statement issued from its headquarters in the Philippine capital.

    As part of the strategy, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam signed a cross-border agreement to facilitate the movement of people and goods. China and Myanmar are expected to join the agreement in the near future, the ADB said.

    The strategy includes a detailed action plan for the next three years that involves 10 flagship projects that will require 900 million dollars in investment financing and 30 million dollars in technical assistance, the ADB said.

    Among the identified projects are economic corridors spanning the entire region, a telecommunications backbone, a regional power interconnection and trading arrangement, enhanced private sector participation and competitiveness, human resources development, flood control and water management and a strategic environmental framework, the ADB added.

    The multilateral institution said it would form a "GMS Donors Coordination Meeting" and encourage more private sector participation to raise these funds.The strategy also includes further cooperation by setting up a policy environment and infrastructure linkages that will expand cross-border investment, tourism and trade.

    To ensure that the development process is equitable, GMS countries were advised to fully respect environmental and social concerns in implementing the strategy, the ADB added.The GMS program started in 1992 with the assistance of the ADB which helped build up trust and confidence among the members through conferences and joint initiatives.

    To The Top