Daily News-October 06 - 2001- Saturday

  • Visiting international labor leaders meet with Than Shwe
  • Forced relocation in Mon State, Moulmein
  • Cambodian foreign minister to visit Myanmar
  • Myanmar Seizes Large Amount of Stimulant Drugs
  • Tourist Arrival in Myanmar Declines in First Half of 2001

  • Visiting international labor leaders meet with Than Shwe

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) _ A high-level delegation from the International Labor Organization met with the chairman of Myanmar's ruling military Friday as it prepared to wrap up a three-week tour, state television reported Friday evening.

    Also at the afternoon meeting with Senior General Than Shwe, the chairman of the ruling State Peace and Development Council, were Deputy Chairman Gen. Maung Aye, third-in-command Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt and Foreign Minister Win Aung, said the report, which gave no other details.

    It was the first time the ILO mission had been reported by the state-controlled media since the four-member team arrived on Sept. 17. The ILO team, led by former governor-general of Australia Sir Ninian Stephen, has been investigating the Myanmar military regime's efforts to end forced labor.

    Myanmar, also known as Burma, has long been assailed by the United Nations and Western nations for its poor human rights record. They have accused the ruling military of forcing citizens to do unpaid manual labor on public works projects and serve as army porters.

    Last November, the ILO urged its 175 member governments to impose sanctions and review their dealings with Myanmar to ensure they are not abetting forced labor.

    Since its arrival, the ILO team has met with senior government officials and opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is under virtual house arrest. It also met with representatives of ethnic political parties and foreign ambassadors and traveled to rural areas around the country for field research.

    ILO investigators will brief diplomats in Yangon on Saturday before officially concluding their visit that evening.
    Forced relocation in Mon State, Moulmein

    By our correspondent

    Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)

    Mae Sot, Thailand, Oct. 5: On 1 October, over one hundred houses were destroyed and their inhabitants relocated by SPDC authorities in Moulmein, Mon State, in the course of a road construction project that includes the building of a guest house and a bridge.

    According to a notice issued by Moulmein Township Peace and Development Councilís on 1 October, nearly 130 houses in Kyet Tan ward, on the bank of Salween river, were destroyed and the inhabitants were moved immediately, causing a loss of 650 million Kyats (about 1 million U.S.dollars) worth of property.

    About 700 people (inhabitants of 128 houses) were moved to Kywe Chan Khone, six miles to the west of Moulmein. At their relocation destination, the displaced people were not provided with houses or clean water. Moreover, the relocation site consists of a swampy plot of land.

    SPDC authorities did not compensate for the loss of incurred by relocation and did not cover the cost of transportation to the relocation site.

    While plans had been aired previously to start construction in Kye Tan ward, on 2 October Moulmein authorities also gave notice that Hlaing ward and Shwe Pyi Aye ward (encompassing a total of 300 houses) were to be evacuated so that construction on these sites could commence in November and December, the residents of Moulmein reported today.
    Cambodian foreign minister to visit Myanmar

    PHNOM PENH, Oct 5 (AFP) - Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong will begin a two-day working visit to Myanmar next week, the foreign ministry announced Friday.

    Hor Namhong, who is also a special envoy to Prime Minister Hun Sen, will arrive in Yangon on October 8 and leave on October 9, the foreign ministry source said.

    During the visit Hor Namhong will meet Myanmar Prime Minister General Than Shwe, who is also the country's chairman of the State of Peace and Development Council, a government official said.
    Myanmar Seizes Large Amount of Stimulant Drugs

    YANGON, October 5 (Xinhuanet) -- The Myanmar authorities seized 566,830 tablets of stimulant drugs in Tachilek, the country's eastern Shan state, near the end of last month, according to the Myanmar Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control Friday.

    The seizure was made by a combined team comprising local intelligence unit and the police force when they raided and combed a village in the township on September 28.Along with the stimulant drugs, some arms and ammunition were also confiscated, the sources said.

    Eleven people were arrested in connection with the case, it said, adding that they were punished under the country's Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law.

    According to an earlier official report, the authorities seized in the country 3.75 million stimulant drug tablets in August along with 288.56 kilograms (kg) of opium and 21.33 kg of heroin, punishing 436 people who got involved in 281 drug-related cases in that month. In addition, during August, the authorities also raided a narcotic-drug refinery in Tachilek, seizing 26 persons , 25 various kinds of weapons, 717 rounds of ammunitions and other chemicals used in refining drugs.

    More statistics show that during the first half of this year, the authorities exposed a total of 1,536 drug-related cases, seizing 474.91 kg opium, 27.89 kg heroin, 8,371 kg of marijuana, 6. 14 million stimulant drug tablets, 1,889 kg of ephedrine and 269. 28 liters of phensedyl, and punishing 2,187 drug offenders.
    Tourist Arrival in Myanmar Declines in First Half of 2001

    YANGON, Oct 5, 2001 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Tourist arrival in Myanmar dropped by 48.48 percent in the first half of this year compared with the same period of 2000, reaching only 61,743, the country's Economic Indicators said in its latest issue.

    The phenomena was mainly due to the sharp decrease in the number of tourists arriving by land during the six-month period, showing 92.16 percent of the fall compared with the corresponding period of 2000.

    Myanmar depends largely on cross-border tourism in getting foreign tourists, especially from Thailand and China, the two close neighbors respectively linking its southeastern and northeastern parts.

    Early this year in February, there broke out border clashes between Myanmar and Thailand, bringing about a sharp reduction in the number of tourists coming across border from Thailand since then until June when the two countries' relations were about to resume normal.

    According to official statistics, in 2000, the number of tourist arrival was registered at only 234,900, falling by 9.3 percent from 1999. Of them, 49 percent entered the country by land through border points.

    In recent years, Myanmar participated in tourism fairs held yearly in Thailand, Singapore, China's Hong Kong, Berlin, London and the Republic of Korea, aimed at drawing more tourists to Myanmar for the development of its tourism industry.Meanwhile, Myanmar is also cooperating with tourism authorities of member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in activities in the region including cooperation programs for tourist destinations in the ASEAN region and market promotion activities of nations in great Mekong region as well as Ganges-Mekong cooperation program. To develop its tourism, Myanmar has signed bilateral agreements with China, Cambodia, Laos, Singapore and Thailand.