Daily News-October 03 - 2001- Wednesday

  • U.N. sees some progress in Myanmar but wants more
  • National League for Democracy on Suu Kyi, prisoner releases, branch reopenings
  • DVB to change morning frequency
  • Sarpay Beikman Child Library And Electronic Library Opened
  • Burma beat I'nesia
  • Singapore confirms Ne Win visit but counters death rumours
  • Friendship group plans trip to Burma next Tuesday

  • U.N. sees some progress in Myanmar but wants more

    By Aung Hla Tun

    YANGON (Reuters) - The United Nations on Tuesday welcomed efforts by Myanmar's ruling military to improve human rights in the country, but repeated calls for the release of all political prisoners.

    A report written by Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, the special rapporteur of the commission for human rights, also said more needed to be done for national reconciliation. "There have been some 'positive signals'...indicating the Government's efforts to make progress," a U.N. press release said quoting Pinheiro.

    "Those efforts include the dissemination of human rights standards for public officials, progress by the governmental Committee on Human Rights and releases of political detainees," it added.

    But the statement went on to say Pinheiro had repeated calls for the release of political detainees and for more to be done for ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups.

    "With a sizeable number of political prisoners still in detention...the special rapporteur stresses again that only the full release of such individuals will pave the way to national reconciliation."

    Pinheiro's report covered the situation in Myanmar from January up to mid-August this year having paid his first official visit to the country in April. He was appointed U.N. Special Rapporteur in February.

    Rocky relations between the military and Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) appear to have improved slightly over the last year as the two sides continue landmark political talks, although many obstacles remain. Suu Kyi's NLD won Myanmar's last election in 1990 by a landslide but it has never been allowed to govern while her party members have been detained and harassed by the military. The military government says it has released around 170 members of the NLD, but Amnesty International says there are 1,500 political detainees in Myanmar.

    Suu Kyi, winner of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize, has been under de facto house arrest for more than a year. Last week her party demanded their leader's immediate and unconditional release. The party also reaffirmed the mandate of Suu Kyi and NLD Chairman Aung Shwe to carry on their duties in working for the emergence of democracy in Myanmar.
    National League for Democracy on Suu Kyi, prisoner releases, branch reopenings

    BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 2, 2001
    Text of report by Burmese opposition radio on 29 September

    DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] has already reported about the news and interviews of the ceremony marking the 13th anniversary of the founding of National League for Democracy [NLD] held on Thursday, 27 September.

    At the ceremony, NLD Chairman U Aung Shwe, NLD Vice-Chairman U Tin Oo, NLD spokesperson U Lwin, and Rangoon Division NLD Organizing Committee Chairman U Soe Myint presented reports.

    Furthermore, three resolutions were also adopted - for all NLD members to be more united; urge the release of all political prisoners including Daw Aung San Suu Kyi; and delegating the rights to Chairman U Aung Shwe and General Secretary Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to hold necessary talks on behalf of the NLD.

    One unusual thing is that NLD spokesperson U Lwin explained his meetings with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, his attempts to secure the release of all political prisoners including NLD members, and the plans to reopen the NLD branch offices.

    DVB will now give a summary of NLD spokesperson U Lwin's speech.

    At the ceremony commemorating the 13th anniversary of the founding of NLD held on 27 September, U Lwin, secretary of the NLD Central Executive Committee [CEC] and spokesperson, presented a report regarding the responsibility given to him by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who remains under house arrest. Six NLD CEC members including U Lwin were put under house arrest for over two months late last year and later released. U Lwin, with permission granted by the authorities, went to see Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and explained the situation of the NLD. It was seen that Daw Suu and all the six CEC members share the same view regarding NLD's stance. As Daw Suu reminded him to work discreetly, he was able to report back to the other five CEC members after meeting with Daw Suu for the second time. As Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has delegated her authority to U Lwin to carry on with the tasks she has been working on, U Lwin has been performing Daw Aung San Suu Kyi's tasks to this day. As the matter is sensitive and delicate he was unable to inform anyone. There were some criticisms and negative remarks for this action. Since most NLD members were arrested, there were only four members who could actually help around at NLD headquarters. To lend support to those who come to the office, there were some elderly ladies sitting on old newspapers in front of the office.

    The first step by NLD was to seek the release of those who were jailed without any official charges. Then came the difficult task of securing the release of jailed elected people's representatives. Because of U Lwin's efforts, a total of 133 elected representatives - 130 from the NLD and three from other parties were released.

    In his attempt to reopen the NLD township offices and to reinstall the NLD signboards, he managed to reach agreements to reopen NLD offices and reinstall NLD signboards in 18 townships of Rangoon Division. That is why, NLD offices have been reopened in 21 townships and arrangements are underway to reopen in 10 more townships. He was reminded to follow the direction of the NLD chairman and not to reopen township NLD offices without the approval of the CEC. Preparations are now underway to reopen NLD offices in the states and divisions. These achievements came about as a direct result of the confidence built between NLD and the government with NLD's patience, tolerance, and endurance.
    DVB to change morning frequency

    BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 1, 2001
    Text of report by Burmese opposition radio on 27 September

    Dear listeners. The DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] morning programme currently transmitting on the shortwave 25-metre band on 11570 Khz frequency will be changed to 11720 Khz from this Saturday [29 September]. I repeat, the programme will be transmitted on the 25-metre band, 11720 Khz from Saturday. But the shortwave 31-metre band on 9495 Khz will remain unchanged and will be transmitted as usual.
    Sarpay Beikman Child Library And Electronic Library Opened

    Information Sheet N0. B-1974 ( I ) 2nd October, 2001

    The Sarpay Beikman (Literature House) Child Library and Electronic Library of the Printing and Publishing Enterprise of the Ministry of Information was held at the Sarpay Beikman Building in Yangon on 1 October, attended by the Deputy Minister for Information.

    In the Electronic Library, there are 2000 CD-ROMs on 15 subjects to be studied and rare books in Reference Room can be found with the help of computer according to the subjects. Skillful library staffs are appointed and any one may visit the library from 9 am to 4 pm on weekdays and noon to 4 pm on weekends free of charge.
    Burma beat I'nesia

    The Nation
    Suphramphun Jirakwanchay

    Burma started their campaign with an impressive 4-2 victory over Indonesia in the opening group B match of the first East and Southeast Asian Youth Under-14 Championship at the Supachalasai National Stadium yesterday.

    Both sides displayed sparkling soccer even though the pitch was slippery due to a heavy downpour. It was Burma who took the lead through Tint Zaw Htike, who found the net in the 13th minute. He added another in the 24th minute.

    After the breather, Burma continued to play aggressive soccer. Htin Kyaw Aung fired a 25-yard shot, which was punched away by Indonesian keeper Age Alfanuary before Thant zin pounced on it to score. A few minutes later, Tint Zaw Aung capped a fine day by completing his hat-trick. Indonesia, however, did not give up and halved the margin through a brace from Yusuf Rodhia. In another match, Japan beat China 2-0. Tsurumaki Kento scored both goals, in the 29th and 46th minutes.

    Meanwhile, Chon Buri yesterday advanced to the quarterfinals with a perfect record in group two of the 16th Thailand Cup Finals at the Thai-Japan Youth Welfare Centre Stadium. They collected three points by beating Roi Et 3-2.Phetchabun also qualified for the quarterfinals as group two runners-up when they beat 10-man Bangkok 3-2. Nakhon Si Thammarat, who had already reached the quarterfinals from group four, came from behind to beat Ubon Ratchathani 2-1.
    Singapore confirms Ne Win visit but counters death rumours

    SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore confirmed on Wednesday former Myanmar military leader Ne Win was in the city state on a private visit but said it knew of nothing to substantiate rumours in Yangon that the 91-year-old had died.

    Ne Win, who ruled the reclusive country for more than 25 years, has suffered strokes in the past and at times travelled secretly to Singapore for medical treatment since relinquishing formal power in 1988.

    "We understand that General Ne Win is currently in Singapore for a private visit. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not aware of his programme here," a ministry spokesman told Reuters. "Concerning the rumours that he has passed away, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is aware of such rumours. We do not think it is true."

    Talk of Ne Win's death circulated in Myanmar's capital on Wednesday, the latest rumours in recent times that he had died. A source close to Ne Win's family told Reuters from Yangon on Monday that he "left for Singapore for medical treatment on September 29".

    Myanmar's embassy in Singapore declined to confirm whether Ne Win was in the city state. Singapore General Hospital said his family had requested that his whereabouts be kept secret.

    Ne Win, then army commander, seized power in a coup in 1962 and ruled the country until 1988, when he relinquished the leadership of the Burma Socialist Programme Party. Under his system of a "Burmese Way to Socialism", the country went from one of Asia's richest nations to one of the poorest. Although he no longer had a formal political role, Ne Win is believed to command influence among the current military rulers. His last public appearance was in March, when he held a party at a Yangon hotel and provided brunch for 99 monks. Ne Win believes the number nine has mystical significance and in 1987 replaced Myanmar's banknotes with denominations which are multiples of nine, such as 45-kyat and 90-kyat notes.
    Friendship group plans trip to Burma next Tuesday

    Bkk Post
    Sa-nguan Khumrungroj

    A Thai-Burmese friendship group will visit Burma next Tuesday to promote business and cultural ties.

    Gen Sanan Kajornklam, secretary-general of the Thai-Burmese Cultural and Economic Co-operation Association, said the three-day trip was to promote cultural exchange and enhance trade, fishery and tourism ties in talks with their Burmese counterparts, led by Kyaw Than, Burma's former air force commander-in-chief.

    The group expects to meet Burmese ministers in charge of trade,industry, culture, and hotel and tourism, as well as Brig-Gen David Abel, minister attached to the Office of the Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council.

    The two countries would hold a trade fair at the Burmese border town of Tachilek, opposite Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district, next January, Gen Sanan said.

    The visit by the 19-strong group will be the first organised by the association, which was set up to promote bilateral ties between Thailand and Burma.The association's president is Pat Akkanibutr, a retired general.

    Most of its 120 members are close to the New Aspiration party of Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, the defence minister. Gen Sanan is secretary to the defence minister's advisory group. Gen Sanan yesterday quoted Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt, first secretary of the ruling State Peace and Development Council, as telling the Burmese media that such friendship associations provided a channel for the private sectors of the two countries to boost understanding and cultural ties.