Daily News-October 23 - 2001- Tuesday

  • NLD expands project to reopen branch offices
  • Brother could get Suu Kyi's home
  • Suu Kyi could lose family home
  • Burma envoy called to Bangladesh Foreign Ministry
  • Lack of Students' Halls badly hinders education in Sittwe University

  • NLD expands project to reopen branch offices

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

    The National League for Democracy [NLD] Organizing Committee has been reorganized in Patheingyi Township, Mandalay Division on 18 October.

    The ceremony held at the NLD branch office in Myoma Ward, Patheingyi Township was organized by NLD Mandalay Division Organizing Committee members U Bo Kyi, U Saw Htay, Daw Tin Lay Myint, and Dr Hla Myo Nyunt. The newly reorganized committee has 17 members with U Than Shwe as chairman and U Zaw Hein as secretary. Similarly, Pyawbwe Township Organizing Committee was also reorganized last week.

    The NLD has been able to reopen Mandalay, Meiktila, Myingyan,Pyinoolwin, and Thaungtha Township branch offices, including the Mandalay Division office last month. The UN special rapporteur, Mr Pinheiro, and party visited NLD Mandalay Division office last week. DVB has learned that the NLD leadership is planning to reopen all NLD branches nationwide after reopening NLD branch offices in Rangoon and Mandalay Division.
    Brother could get Suu Kyi's home

    YANGON, Reuters, Oct. 22 - A Myanmar court ruled on Monday that the brother of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi had the theoretical right to inherit a house the Nobel Peace laureate has lived in for more than a decade.

    Judge U So Thein threw out an application by Suu Kyi to dismiss a claim by her brother for a share of the property, which is worth between $1 million and $2 million according to estate agents. The judge adjourned the hearing until November 2.

    Aung San Oo, an estranged elder brother living in the United States and holding a U.S. passport, has fought a protracted legal battle for the house, in which Suu Kyi has been held under de facto house arrest for the last year.Suu Kyi has directed her struggle for democracy from the property since she returned to Myanmar in the late 1980s.

    The residence and compound were left by Daw Khin Kyi, widow of Myanmar independence hero General Aung San and mother of Aung San Oo and Suu Kyi.

    Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) won Myanmar's last democratic elections in 1990 by a landslide but has never been allowed to govern.

    Instead the military, which has run Myanmar for most of the last 40 years, has locked up and harassed the NLD's leaders and closed many of its offices.Suu Kyi has spent several lengthy periods under house arrest at the Yangon property, which occupies a large plot at the side of Inya Lake at the heart of the Myanmar capital's elite residential area.

    Suu Kyi's father, Aung San, was assassinated in 1947 when the country was on the threshold of independence from Britain.

    Some diplomats have said the timing of the court case has been convenient for the military government.The case has put extra pressure on Suu Kyi at a time when she is taking part in secretive talks with the ruling generals over the future shape of the country. But the government insists the issue is purely family affair and says it will not intervene.(With additional reporting by Chris Johnson in Bangkok)
    Suu Kyi could lose family home

    From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

    A court in Burma has ruled that the estranged brother of the opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has the theoretical right to inherit the family home in Rangoon.

    The court threw out an application by the opposition leader to dismiss a claim for a share of the property by her brother, Aung San Oo. He lives in the United States and had a previous petition to secure a half share in the family property dismissed by a Burmese court in January. The lakeside property is said to be worth $2m.

    Aung San Suu Kyi has lived there since she returned to Burma 13 years ago. Much of the time she's been under house arrest.

    Correspondents say the case - which has been adjourned until 2 November - has put extra pressure on Ms Suu Kyi at a time when she is taking part in secret talks with the ruling military government .
    Burma envoy called to Bangladesh Foreign Ministry

    The Independent, 22 , Oct 2001.

    Burma Ambassador U Ohn Thwin was called to the Foreign Ministry yesterday to clarify a rejoinder made by his country implicating Bangladesh while rejecting a claim of Osama Bin Laden about operation of Jihad forces in Burma , reports UNB.

    Bin Laden was quoted to have said in a press interview that strong Jihad forces were present in all parts of the world from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan and from Burma to Kashmir."

    The comments were reportedly made in an exclusive interview by Bin Laden to Pakistani newspaper Ummat and reproduced by the BBC monitoring service on September 29.

    Burma reportedly expressed surprise that it was even mentioned as one of the countries where "Islamic fundamentalists" exist in operation.

    Analysts and diplomats in Burma reportedly came to the conclusion that Bin Laden was referring to a band of armed terrorists known as the Arakan Rohingya Islamic Front (ARIF) which had been allegedly operating out of the eastern border territory of erstwhile East Pakistan that is now Bangladesh since 1948.The objective of this organisation is to carve out an independent Rohingya State on the western borders of Burma adjacent to Bangladesh.

    Bangladesh Ministry of Foreign Affairs made it categorically clear that "the government of Bangladesh has rejected outright terrorism of any kind or manifestation.""It does not support or harbour anyway whatsoever any form of terrorism and indeed is committed to rooting out terrorism of any kind.''

    This position has been repeatedly made clear to Bangladesh's both neighbours -- India and Burma.Foreign Minister Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury reiterated it to a group of EU Ambassadors that had called on him on October 18.
    Lack of Students' Halls badly hinders education in Sittwe University

    Narinjara News

    Cox's Bazaar, 21 October: Since the transfer of the Sittwe University to a new remote site at Thay-chaung, in the beginning of this year, about four miles from downtown area, the education in the only university of Rakhine State has become uncertain due to lack of students' hostels, teachers' quarters, and communication facilities, according to our correspondent inside Sittwe, capital of Rakhine State.

    The Sittwe University, (actually a degree college, since no post-graduate degrees are given by the University), was commissioned by the Burmese junta six years ago without providing any necessary infrastructure, facilities and amenities for a fully-fledged college.

    Without the hostels the varsity students are compelled to stay as paying guests in the households of Sittwe. A student has to pay ten thousand kyat for his lodging and spend five thousand more for other expenses including bus fare in a month. The lone bus that shuttles the students charge as much as fifty kyat a day for each student.

    In a country where a high school teacher is paid six thousand kyat a month, the educational expenses of a varsity student that add to fifteen thousand kyat is beyond the reach of even a middle-class family.

    A high-ranking government official who wishes to remain anonymous commented that, the university at Sittwe is another piece of propaganda in the record book of the SPDC junta rather than a university for the frontier Rakhine State. Another lawyer (who also wishes to remain anonymous) is also of the opinion that, the fear of varsity students organizing into an anti-military regime force has obligated the junta not to construct students' hostels.

    Meanwhile, the number of students taking admission into the Sittwe University has dropped off to a record 50 percent of the college enrolment prior to 1988, the source added.