Daily News- December 23 - 2001- Sunday

  • "Rangoon Commander" Brig-Gen Myint Swe attends food sufficiency meeting
  • DVB says junta confirms new army postings
  • Canadian firm to mine gold deposit
  • $420,000 in illegal wood seized by Thai force

  • "Rangoon Commander" Brig-Gen Myint Swe attends food sufficiency meeting

    BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Dec 23, 2001

    A coordination meeting on ensuring food sufficiency for Yangon [Rangoon] was held at the meeting hall of the Army Commander in Chief's Office at 1600 [local time] today. Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, secretary-1 of the State Peace and Development Council [SPDC], attended the meeting and delivered an address.

    Also present at the meeting were SPDC members Maj-Gen Khin Maung Than [former Rangoon commander] and Maj-Gen Tin Aye [former southern commander] of the Ministry of Defence, cabinet ministers, Brig-Gen Myint Swe, chairman of Yangon Division Peace and Development Council and Yangon command commander [former southeast commander and first monitored reference as Rangoon commander and chairman of Rangoon Division Peace and Development Council]; U Ko Lay, chairman of Yangon City Development Committee and Yangon mayor; and responsible officials from the SPDC Office...

    To The Top

    DVB says junta confirms new army postings

    BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Dec 22, 2001
    Text of report by Burmese opposition radio on 21 December

    Although the SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] has confirmed the appointment of 10 new military commanders, no details have been issued yet. According to news received by DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma], five commanders have already been officially appointed but the other five is still under consideration. The five officially appointed new commanders are: Brig-Gen Maung Oo of Military Operations Management Command [MOMC] No 8 as western command commander; Brig-Gen Chit Than of MOMC No 13 as triangle region command commander; Brig-Gen Ye Myint of Light Infantry Division No 101 as central command commander; Brig-Gen Myint Swe [currently southeast command commander] as Rangoon command commander; and Brig-Gen Myint Hlaing of MOMC No 16 as northeast command commander.

    Military observers estimate the strength of the current SPDC army which consists of 12 regional military commands and 10 divisions to be about 350,000 active personnel. To give the correct number of battalions, there are 329 Light Infantry Battalions and 197 Infantry Battalions and each battalion consists of between 500 and 700 men. Furthermore, experts pointed out that with other support and logistics battalions including 12 Military Intelligence battalions, 27 communications battalions, 55 artillery battalions, 55 engineering battalions, transport and other logistics support battalions, plus the Navy and the Air Force combined, the total strength could well exceed 400,000 men.

    Over 40 per cent of the country's GDP has been used by the SPDC to support and maintain the more than 400,000 troops while large quantities of military hardware have been acquired by the SPDC with foreign loans. At the same time, the posts of major generals and brigadier generals have swelled and desertions have increased to over 30,000 annually. The SPDC is restructuring the armed forces to accommodate the expansion of the posts of generals and to control the number of desertions.

    To The Top

    Canadian firm to mine gold deposit

    A Canadian mining firm plans to develop the site of a gold deposit found in central Myanmar, a report said. Ivanhoe Mines of Canada would form a joint venture with Myanmar's military government before proceeding with the project, a company source was quoted as saying in the Myanmar Times weekly on Sunday.The size of the gold deposit had not yet been determined, the source reportedly added.

    An Ivanhoe press release earlier this month said the company was developing the Modi Taung gold project site located some 150 kilometers (93 miles) southeast of Mandalay.

    Ivanhoe has been taking samples from the site, which is situated in a mining exploration area covering 1,400 square kilometers, since discovering the gold deposit in late 2000, according to the Myanmar Times.The statement also said that preliminary metallurgical analysis showed 97 percent of the gold could be recovered using conventional techniques.

    Through a subsidiary, Ivanhoe Myanmar Holdings, Ltd., the Canadian firm holds a 50 percent stake in No. 1 Mining Enterprise (ME1), a copper mining entity wholly owned by the Myanmar junta, the company's website said.Ivanhoe also discovered a high-grade gold deposit in South Korea in 2000.

    To The Top

    $420,000 in illegal wood seized by Thai force

    The Straits Times

    BANGKOK - More than 10 million baht (S$420,000) worth of illegal wood was seized and nine men arrested during raids by a task force of 100 forest rangers and police in three districts on the Thai-Myanmar border.

    In the raids led by forestry chief Plodprasop Suraswadi, 665 pieces of processed wood, 294 teak logs as well as the carcasses of five protected animals and 18 shotguns were recovered in the Tha Song Yang and Mae Ramat forest reserves. The officers discovered that the processed wood had been used to make houses to hide its origin, The Bangkok Post reported yesterday.

    These forests were in the north-western province which saw the most intense forestry-related illegal activities, the newspaper said. At Ban Mae Lamao, in Mae Sot district, officials found 209 teak logs and five empty houses made of illegally processed teak, and more than 100 pieces of furniture at three illegal factories.

    The destruction of forests in the province was an organised activity involving lowlanders, hill-tribe villagers and Myanmar immigrants, said Mr Plodprasop. Explaining the operation, he said that timber would be felled in forest reserves and hauled out by elephants to factories, where it was processed. The wood was then used to make houses or furniture.

    The furniture would be sent across the border to Myanmar and brought back in as imports. But inquiries revealed that the Yangon government had not agreed to any wood exports, said Mr Plodprasop. All the wood purportedly imported from the country was actually felled in Thai forests, he said.

    To The Top