Daily News-October 29 - 2001- Monday

  • DVB : Burma declares 45-day state of emergency period for fear of mass unrest
  • Nearly one hundred people killed in religious riot in Southern Burma
  • New Jade mine found in Upper Burma
  • Myanmar national dies of AIDS in Khulna jail
  • Tourists turn a blind eye to rights abuses

  • DVB : Burma declares 45-day state of emergency period for fear of mass unrest

    BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 28, 2001
    Text of report by Burmese opposition radio on 26 October

    The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a directive since the second week of this month declaring a state of emergency period in Burma and to tighten security measures.

    The emergency period has been declared for 45 days from 15 October to 30 November. It has been learned that the SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] military government declared this 45-day state of emergency period because they were particularly worried that the current religious riots might turn into a mass public unrest.

    Furthermore, respective township authorities have been convening emergency security meetings in accord with the directive on riot control and security issues. In addition, the security groups formed should include township level officials and they should check the movements of the people in the township, closely monitor suspected persons and monks, to report any unusual activity immediately to the security authorities, and to keep the township riot control company and reserved forces such as the Kyant Phut [derogatory term for Union Solidarity and Development Association] members and the Fire Services Department personnel in readiness.

    Moreover, security checks should be carried out at the toll gates of the entrance and exit of any city and the SPDC military intelligence members are carrying out surprised checks at night at the guest houses, motels,inns, and hotels.
    Nearly one hundred people killed in religious riot in Southern Burma

    Network Media Group
    Mae Sot, October 28, 2001 - Nearly one hundred people were killed in a riot between Muslims and members of Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) at Pha-auk village in Southern Burma on October 21, Thit Lwin Oo from Muslim Information Center said to NMG.

    About 150 members from USDA came to destroy the mosque in Pha-auk village, about four miles from Moulmein, where one hundred Muslims were worshiping on the evening of October 27. A clash broke out between the Muslims in the mosque and the USDA members around 7 pm and about 60 Muslims and 35 USDA members were killed during the clash, said Thit Lwin Oo.

    Similar religious riots occurred in Pyi and Pegu in early this month and about 40 shops, including Tawthargyi store, on the main road in Pyi were destroyed during these riots, Thit Lwin Oo continued.

    About 34 prisoners arrested during these riots in Taunggu during May and Pyi and Pegu in early October are going to be sent to Khamti prison, very remote town in Upper Burma near Indo-Burma border. The prisoners include 24 from Mandalay prison and 10 from Pegu prison, a source reported to NMG.

    "Although there are reports about the arrests, we have not yet known how many Muslims and Buddhists were among these arrested people," said U Kyaw Hla, chairman of Muslim Liberation Organization (MLO). Although there were religious riots in Taunggu, Pyi, Pegu and Hinthada, Burmese regime has not yet announced on the casualties in these riots.
    New Jade mine found in Upper Burma

    Network Media Group

    UMEH Ltd. got permission to produce jade

    Chiang Mai, October 28 - New jade mine was recently found at the Khamti region in Upper Burma and Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings (UMEH) Ltd. got the permission to produce jade form the mine, a source from Indo-Burma border reported.

    State Peace and Development Council Secrectary (3) Lt. Gen. Win Mint and party including the commander of North-West Command and other 4 ministers visited to Makyankha Mine near Makyankha village in Khamti township on yesterday, October 27, the source said.

    The permits for this new mine was issued to the Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd., most shares of which is own by Burmese Army. UMEH Ltd. has already taken 63 mine areas and is starting to produce jade on November 1, 2001.

    The mine was found in last December while some villagers from Namsi Bum came and dig a pit to make fire to produce charcoal in this area. After they found some jade, many villagers came to the area to dig the jade. But, very soon after the villagers came to the area, the mine area was ordered to close by Khamti based Tectical Command Head Quaters number 2 under North-West Command.
    Myanmar national dies of AIDS in Khulna jail

    The Independent Bangladesh

    KHULNA, Oct 27: A Myanmar national died of AIDS in Khulna jail today, reports UNB. The Jail Super said Moth (30) died of AIDS at 8 am was suffering also from tuberculosis.

    A fisherman, Moth was taken into custody along with fellow fishermen along with a trawler for intrusion and fishing in Bangladesh waters. When undergoing trial Moth was transferred to Khulna Jail from Bagerhat in September last year. The date of his arrest could not ascertained immediately. His body was sent to hospital for autopsy.

    Officials said the body would be cremated here. They dismissed the prospect of sending the body to his home in Myanmar. Moth is the 12th man died of AIDS in Bangladesh. Six others are under treatment while 157 people were detected carrying germs of the deadly disease, informed sources said.
    Tourists turn a blind eye to rights abuses

    Nick Paton Walsh
    Sunday October 28, 2001
    The Observer

    Shame of Brits abroad: British put holiday bargains before ethical worries

    Campaigners accuse these countries, frequented by British holidaymakers, of a poor human rights or ethical tourism record: Turkey - 1m UK visitors , Malaysia - 63,000 ,Indonesia - 58,000 , Gambia - 50,000 , Burma - 20,000.

    Britons are among the most unethical travellers in the world, ignoring global environmental damage and riding roughshod over local populations and their needs.

    A new survey shows only one in 10 British holidaymakers are 'ethically aware' about their holiday destination. Instead of worrying about the environment and human-rights abuses, British tourists are flocking to countries such as Burma, which tolerates no opposition to its brutal regime, and heavily polluted Malaysia.

    The boom in all-inclusive holidays - offering food, drink, flights and accommo dation for one price - has also been blamed for depriving locals in poorer countries the chance to share in the profits generated from tourism. All-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, Africa and Sri Lanka attract up to a million Britons every year - up from 400,000 in 1996 - but many visitors never get beyond the fortified gates built to keep locals out. Such holidays encourage little additional spending.

    The report by analysts Mintel found that most holidaymakers were more concerned with overpriced drinks while 40 per cent of travellers said they just wanted to 'relax' and 'not be bothered' by ethical issues.

    Campaigners and major tour operators will meet Foreign Office Minister Peter Hain on Thursday to discuss ways of making the annual 15.2 billion tourism industry more ethical in its approach. Critics also want tour operators to put greater focus on the effects of package holidays.

    Next year is the United Nations' International Year of Ecotourism, which will include a World Ecotourism Summit in May. They claim some destinations pillage local cultures, foster child prostitution and fail to give locals a share in profits.

    'For every hotel built, there are often hundreds of homes torn down,' said Patricia Barnett, of Tourism Concern. Jackie Robson, analyst at Mintel, said: 'The Germans and Scandanavians have a better record on this than Britons. In the last 10 years the industry has become a lot more aware.Developing countries are suffering the most with the growth of long-haul destinations.'
    br>Others said the report's findings showed consumer attitudes were some way behind the industry's own efforts to change; 90 per cent of package-holiday firms had already joined government-led initiatives to improve their ethical nature, said the Association of British Travel Agents (Abta).

    'This is not demand-led,' said Keith Richards of Abta. 'It's about the industry sustaining for the future the very thing they sell.There has been a high level of commitment to this from many operators.'

    Jennifer Cox, of the travel-guide publisher Lonely Planet, said: 'I would think most nationalities would not be too worried about ethics full stop. People go to Burma, for instance, for lots of reasons. Some are cultural, others down to how cheap the area is. Burma is not cheap because it has a dodgy human-rights record. It's cheap as it is a Third World country. Thailand is also cheap, and we should not forget that it doesn't have a stainless reputation politically.

    'People generally do not make an effort to learn about a country's record, and if they come across the information, they will generally not be deterred. Independent travellers have more contact with locals and so the issues, but package travellers are paying someone else to make all the decisions for them. When they find out there may be an issue about human rights, they are not impacted.

    'Someone going to Turkey or Israel who has paid 150 for 10 days are not going to have human rights that far up their list of concerns.'

    The report also concluded that while nearly a third of holidaymakers surveyed understood tourism could ruin local cultures, only 7 per cent had sought a holiday from a firm with an ethical code.