Daily News-October 15 - 2001- Monday

  • Rangoon junta remains silent on Prome religious clashes
  • Authorities warn Muslim clerics not to create any disturbances
  • 2001 Mid-Year Myanma Gems Emporium
  • Myanmar to Host Seventh Mekong Tourism Forum
  • International aids and assistance should wait for Burma
  • Pongpol wants Mae Sot-Rangoon air link

  • Rangoon junta remains silent on Prome religious clashes

    Text of report by Democratic Voice of Burma on 12 October

    DVB has already reported that a curfew has been imposed in Prome on the western part of Pegu Division since 9 October because of Buddhist-Muslim riots. According to latest reports received today, although the situation is calm the curfew remains in place and the SPDC has still imposed restrictions on all mosques in Prome.

    When DVB contacted some monasteries in Thayet and Toungoo, which are in close proximity to Prome, one monk gave the following remarks.

    [Unidentified monk] We were going on our regular alms collecting round. We did not know exactly what happened but heard that the riots broke out and some were hurt. The police, monks, people, and some Muslims were injured. There were no casualties, only some injuries.

    Another monk said the situation has almost returned to normal.

    [Unidentified monk 2] We also heard that. Nothing more.

    [Htet Aung Kyaw] I believe the phone lines were cut in Prome.

    [Unidentified monk 2] Yes. We could not call from here. All the lines were cut.

    [Htet Aung Kyaw] Reverend, could you please explain to us what happened?

    [Unidentified monk2] We did not get clear news report either. We heard that there were some problems. These things are never quite certain and not easy to confirm.

    [Htet Aung Kyaw] Did the riots break out?

    [Unidentified monk2] Yes, it did happen. We know that it happened for two nights and were later controlled.

    [Htet Aung Kyaw] Were there any casualties?

    [Unidentified monk2] Well, we heard that some shops and houses were destroyed. We did not hear of any casualty.

    That was DVB interview with two monks from Thayet and Toungoo regarding the religious riots in Prome. DVB correspondent Myint Maung Maung also filed the following report.

    [Myint Maung Maung] Fighting broke out between some Burmese and Muslims at the central mosque on Aungchantha Road in Lanmadaw Ward, Prome from 1500 to 1700 on 9 October. The Lone Htein riot police arrived and managed to disperse the crowd. Eight Burmese and two Muslims were injured in the clashes.

    It all started when Ma Khin Ni, a 19-year-old Burmese girl, from Lanmadaw Street eloped with Abdullah Ahmed, age 28 years, from the same street who later forced her to become a Muslim. When Ma Khin Ni's parents discovered that she had become a Muslim and planning to get married they approached the mullahs at central mosque and requested them not to marry Ma Khin Ni. The mullahs did not accept the proposal and fighting broke out after a heated argument. The following morning, Ma Khin Ni's parents and her relatives entered Abdullah Ahmed's house and forcibly took Ma Khin Ni away. Fighting again broke out and this time the relatives also destroyed Abdullah Ahmed's house. The Muslims in the neighbourhood gathered together and tried to attack those that were destroying the house and the situation went beyond control.

    The Lone Htein riot police and the Fire Service Department personnel then arrived at the scene and used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the crowd. At the same time Muslim-Burmese riots broke out in the Prome central market and the Lone Htein riot police had to disperse the crowd. In the riots one Burmese was killed and over 40 Burmese and 65 Muslims were injured. The injured were all taken and treated at the hospital.

    At 1700 on 10 October the Prome District authorities issued a curfew under Section-144 in Prome. According to Section-144 no one must be seen on the road between 1800 and 0600 and anyone seen during that time is liable to be shot. The curfew also states that any form of gathering at restaurants in town and protesting and walking with weapons such as sticks, knives, and spears are prohibited and violators are liable to be shot. The curfew has not been revoked and 30-member strong platoons are patrolling the town. Furthermore, heavily armed policemen are stationed at schools, markets, bus terminals, and railway stations.

    Although the news of the riots has been circulating inside and outside the country, the SPDC authorities have not reported anything about the riots so far. Furthermore, the SPDC officials have warned Rangoon-based news agencies that such news must not be reported.
    Authorities warn Muslim clerics not to create any disturbances

    Text of report by Democratic Voice of Burmaon 12 October

    At a time when Muslim-Buddhist riots broke out in Prome, it has been learned that movements of Muslims have increased in other areas as well.

    An eight member Muslim missionary group led by U Hla Sein departed Rangoon on 8 October and arrived at Kanbauk Village in Yebyu Township, Tenasserim Division. In the homily he said since this is a very important time for the Muslim brethren everyone should be united. The sermon was delivered at Santi Khamed mosque in Maggin Ward of Kanbauk Village. He reminded the congregation that an attack against the Muslim brethren should be considered as an attack against Islam. He also noted that the currentTaleban problem has become a very important issue.

    When the township Peace and Development Council [PDC] heard the news and went to prevent them, U Hla Sein and his group has already departed for Rangoon. Next, the Township PDC authorities called the clerics and the Muslim brethren and warned them not to create any disturbances. They were also told to report of any overnight visitors to the responsible authorities.
    2001 Mid-Year Myanma Gems Emporium

    MIC-Information Sheet No.B-1988 (I) 14th October, 2001

    The Mid-Year Myanma Gems Emporium is being held at the Myanma Gems Mart on Kaba Aye Pagoda Road in 13 October.

    Gem merchants bought 42 gem lots at US $ 1,525,452 through competitive bidding from 9 am to 5 pm on 13 October. The sales of gem lots also continued in the evening.

    So far, lots of jade and gems realised US $ 5,631,771 through tender and competitive bidding systems. Jewellery, jade carvings and figurines, gems and jade sold at fixed prices fetched 9,404 US dollars to date. Lots of pearl will be sold through competitive bidding and tender systems at 9 am on 14 October.

    Altogether 615 gem merchants--302 foreign and 313 local merchants--are attending the emporium.
    Myanmar to Host Seventh Mekong Tourism Forum

    RANGOON, Oct 15 Asia Pulse - The Pacific Asia Travel Association will hold the Seventh Mekong Tourism Forum in Yangon, Myanmar form April 4-6, 2002, just prior to the PATA Travel Mart in Singapore, April 9-12, 2002.

    National tourism offices, media and industry representatives from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and China will meet to discuss key issues of branding, marketing and mutual cooperation within the Greater Mekong sub-region. Panellists will also discuss investment, human resources and how to eradicate child sex in tourism.

    Breakout sessions will focus on online marketing, positioning and selling destinations to long-haul buyers, the role of airlines in tourism, and the importance of airports in destination development. For the first time, the forum will offer an opportunity to Mekong sub-region sellers to showcase their products and services in the New Products Launching Session which will coincide with the Buyers and Sellers Business Session, where trade can be conducted.

    Complimentary post-forum tours will be offered to all delegates by Myanmar Tours and Travel and the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, the Pacific Asia Travel Association said in a press statement. "We are excited to have Yangon as the forum venue for the first time. The country's range of cultural attractions are truly breathtaking," said Ms Malinee Kitapanich, PATA director for Southeast Asia.
    International aids and assistance should wait for Burma

    Network Media Group -October 15, 2001

    Burmese Youth Party Convene 13th Anniversary

    International aids and assistance should wait for Burma till the clear picture of the dialogue process has seen, said Aung Moe Zaw, Chairman of the Democratic Party for New Society on the interview for the party's 13th anniversary on October 14 with Network Media Group.Democratic Party for New Society, a youth party formed after 1988 uprising convened its 13th anniversary yesterday and issued a statement.

    DPNS urged all parties concerning on dialogue process to try to work harder to get positive results on the dialogue. "Although Mr. Razali from United Nations made several visits to Burma, UN even couldn't make any official report on the dialogue," said Aung Moe Zaw.

    In the statement of DPNS issued on the 13th anniversary of the formation of the party, DPNS urged the Burmese military regime to release all the political prisoners immediately and unconditionally and work harder for having a genuine national dialogue with all concerned parties and individuals.

    "Basically, people should let know the context of the dialogue or one party could take advantage on the situation," also said Aung Moe Zaw.

    The trust building talks between senior officials of the Burmese military regime and Burmese opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi engaged since October, 2000 but there is no official announcement on the development has been released from both sides and other concern personals.
    Pongpol wants Mae Sot-Rangoon air link

    The Bangkokpost
    Supamart Kasem

    Deputy Prime Minister Pongpol Adireksarn wants a direct air link between Mae Sot and Rangoon, saying it would help boost trade.He made the suggestion during a visit to Myawaddy.Mr Pongpol said he would raise the issue with the Transport Ministry and suggest they forward a proposal to cabinet for consideration.

    If there was no objection, officials would be sent for talks with Burmese authorities. Mr Pongpol yesterday led a delegation to meet Lt-Col Kyaw Soe, chairman of the Myawaddy Township Peace and Development Council, and Burmese senior officials in Myawaddy, opposite Tak's Mae Sot district, for talks on transportation and trade co-operation.

    Mr Pongpol has also proposed joint investment in making rubber-wood furniture. Thailand exported 200 billion baht of rubber-wood furniture last year. Lt-Col Kyaw Soe said he would forward the air-link proposal to Rangoon for consideration.He also expressed interest in the joint investment, saying there were many rubber plantations in Burma's Karen state.