Daily News-October 08 - 2001- Monday

  • Myanmar gem auction loses sparkle after terror attacks
  • Burma bridge to be finished by next year
  • Thai Third Army commander to visit Tachilek
  • Taipei considering to allow workers from Burma
  • Myanmar forgers nabbed in Malaysia

  • Myanmar gem auction loses sparkle after terror attacks

    YANGON, Myanmar (AP) _ Myanmar's annual midyear gem auction opened Sunday, but the event which normally brings in million of dollars in revenue is likely to see fewer buyers this year.

    More than 700 gem merchants from 28 countries were invited to participate in this year's auction, the main part of the weeklong emporium, Deputy Minister of Mines Myint Thein said. But actual attendance is likely to be weak because of the sagging international economy and concerns about travel in the wake of last month's terrorist attacks in New York, he said.

    Only about 300 merchants from nine markets Germany, Hong Kong, Japan. Malaysia, China, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are expected to show up this year.

    Yet, more than dlrs 31 million worth of gems, jade and jewelry are still projected to be sold to foreign and local gem merchants. More than dlrs 25 million worth will be sold by auction, an estimated dlrs 4.5 million worth by tender and approximately dlrs 1.1 million worth at fixed prices.

    Last October, nearly 400 gem merchants from 14 countries attended the midyear gems emporium, which fetched dlrs 16.5 million. Since 1964, Myanmar, also known as Burma, has held annual gem emporiums. Originally, there was only one main sale a year, usually in March, but that was eventually supplemented with the"midyear" emporium.
    Burma bridge to be finished by next year

    The Bangkokpost
    Saritdet Marukatat

    Thai Government to pay for construction

    A new bridge linking Mae Sai with Tachilek in Burma will be ready for use by next year, the foreign minister said. Surakiart Sathirathai said the government would pick up the tab for the structure and renovations of a road on the Thai side.

    Mr Surakiart and Transport Minister Wan Muhamad Nor Matha attended a meeting yesterday with Burmese junta first secretary Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt and Foreign Minister Win Aung.

    Mr Wan Nor said the bridge would cost 25-30 million baht and take eight months to complete. It would be the responsibility of the Highways Department, he said. The two ministers visited the construction site along the Mae Sai river, about 4km east of the present bridge. The new bridge will be wider than its 20-year-old predecessor, to cope with increasing trade.

    Thailand hopes the bridge will boost business along the border and absorb the expected rise in traffic when international trade grows with the completion of a road linking Tachilek with southern China.

    ``It will improve not only the Thai economy but also that of our neighbouring country,'' Mr Surakiart said.He said Lt-Gen Khin Nyunt promised to speed up decisions by the Burmese government on the lifting of a ban on 15 Thai commodities and the easing of restrictions on joint fishery investment.

    Thai investors complained Rangoon's restrictive measures would make it difficult for them to re-enter the fishery industry with the Burmese.
    Thai Third Army commander to visit Tachilek

    The Bangkokpost

    Third Army commander Lt-Gen Udomchai Ongkhasingh has accepted an invitation to visit Tachilek. Later this month he will meet Maj-Gen Thein Sein, Burma's Triangle Region chief, and Brig Gen Myint Swe, Southwestern Region commander.

    Lt-Gen Udomchai said Defence Minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh instructed him to concentrate on promoting personal relations with Burmese leaders.

    The Third Army commander said his drug suppression policies would be much more aggressive than those of his predecessor, Gen Wattanachai Chaimuanwong. He said he would allow Burmese soldiers to deal with drug production plants inside Burma while Thai soldiers concentrate on blocking smugglers.

    Meanwhile, army chief Gen Surayud Chulanont said the Third Army's Task Force 399 has begun its drug suppression operations along the border.
    Taipei considering to allow workers from Burma, Cambodia

    BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 7, 2001
    Text of report in English by Victor Lai; carried by Taiwanese Central News Agency web site

    Taipei, 6 October: The Cabinet-level Council of Labour Affairs (CLA) is considering to allow workers from Burma and Cambodia to work in Taiwan now that the island is going to become a member of the World Trade Organization.

    The recently-held Economic Development Advisory Conference has also proposed to expand the sources of foreign labour. An official with the CLA said Saturday 6 September] that the CLA hasconducted negotiations with five countries - Burma, Cambodia, Bangladesh,Sri Lanka and Mongolia - over this matter.

    He noted that Burma's advantage is that many overseas Chinese live in that country, while interactions between Taiwan and Cambodia are frequent.

    The official said that Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have high intent of exporting labour to Taiwan and their people can speak English. As for Mongolia, he said that its government has maintained good relationship with Taiwan since President Chen Shui-bian visited there when he was Taipei mayor.

    The results of the preliminary evaluation are that there are direct flights from Taipei to Rangoon and to Phnom Penh, while the air links between Taiwan and the three other countries are not so convenient.

    The official said that this matter will be further discussed between the CLA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as other related government institutions.Currently more than 300,000 foreign workers are employed in Taiwan. They are mainly from Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.
    Myanmar forgers nabbed in Malaysia

    The Star

    KUALA LUMPUR: Eight Myanmar nationals, who were believed to be running a syndicate specialising in printing forged travel documents, were arrested by Immigration authorities during a special operation on Wednesday night.

    They were detained during a raid at an apartment in Pandan Indah here. Immigration department director (enforcement division) Zainuddin Ab Hadi said forged travel documents including work permits were seized from them.