Daily News-September 10 - 2001- Monday

  • DVB interviews armed group leaders about Thai mediation
  • Appeal to Japan
  • Ethnic cleansing campaign in Myanmar alleged
  • Myanmar Exports More Beans, Pulses in First Four Months
  • House used to produce speed pills in Tak
  • SEA Games : Myanmar grabbed two golds

  • DVB interviews armed group leaders about Thai mediation

    BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Sep 9, 2001
    Text of report by Burmese opposition radio on 7 September

    DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] has learned that the SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] has officially sought assistance from the Thai military to mediate with the three national race armed groups based at the Burma-Thai border. The Bangkok Post reported that Maj-Gen Thein Sein,commander of Triangle Region Military Command and leader of the Burmese delegation, made the proposal to Lt-Gen Watanachai, the leader of the Thai delegation, at the 19th Burma-Thai Regional Border Committee Meeting held in Pattaya, Thailand.

    The three national race armed groups are the Shan State Army, SSA; Karen National Union, KNU, and Karenni National Progressive Party, KNPP. Commander Maj-Gen Thein Sein proposed that he wanted the three armed groups to make cease-fire agreements with the military government like those of the 17 armed groups that have already signed the agreements. Lt-Gen Watanachai accepted the proposal and said he would try his best and contact them through their own communication channel. He has proposed to Maj-Gen Thein Sein that the talks that would eventually lead to peace should be unconditional and an informal meeting should be held first to exchange views.

    DVB has contacted the SSA, the KNU, and the KNPP in order to obtain their views regarding the discussions between the Thai military officials and the SPDC.

    [KNU Chairman Phado Saw Ba Thin] We have acknowledged from the beginning that since the problem of the national races, peace, and democracy is a political problem it should be best solved by political means. We have attended one peace talk after another based on the same basic principle but without any success. We always keep that principle and whenever there is an opportunity we are ready to solve political problems by political means. We were never opposed to the dialogue process and we support the current talks too. We will strive and also help for the dialogue to become tripartite from bipartite. So these are our views about the prevailing situation.

    [Htet Aung Kyaw] The difference now is that the Thai military will try and mediate between the SPDC and the KNU. What is your opinion about that?

    [Phado Saw Ba Thin] If the Thai mediate too we are ready. We have always kept the door for negotiations open. We are willing to solve political problems by political means. If they are willing to support and help us then it is fine. The KNU's fundamental policy remains unchanged.

    [Htet Aung Kyaw] According to the news, Maj-Gen Thein Sein's proposal is that they have already signed peace agreements with 17 armed groups and the KNU will also be treated in that manner. Can you explain why your group is different from the other 17 and how do you plan to achieve your goal?

    [Phado Saw Ba Thin] We have negotiated for peace for four times already. We began our talks with the SPDC in 1996. We attempted to find a political solution to a political problem by means of a dialogue. We were told to renounce and give up armed struggle, in other words it is like making us to surrender. That is why we cannot accept that offer. We proposed to solve political problem by political mean and to cooperate in finding an answer.They could not accept that so the meetings failed. If they want to hold talks now too we will participate with that same principle. But if it is not by political mean and if it is like forcing us and bullying us to surrender then we will not partake in it. Whatever, if they want to solve political problem by political mean then we accept and welcome them. [end recording]

    That was an interview with KNU Chairman Phado Saw Ba Thin. Now let us listen to the views of the SSA.

    [Sai Lo Kaung] As for the SSA, no matter how the government solves the problem as long as the people can live in peace and harmony then we are willing to accept. If the dialogue can find answers or solve the problem then it is the best because there is no need to bear weapons. We carry weapons not because we wanted to but because the problem could not be solved. We are fighting because of injustice and bias inside the country. If there is a way to solve the problem by peaceful means then it is better.

    [Htet Aung Kyaw] Thailand has agreed to mediate talks between the SSA and the SPDC military government. What is your opinion about the Thai initiative?

    [Sai Lo Kaung] Whoever does the mediation that is all right. The main thing is to solve the problem.

    [Htet Aung Kyaw] Maj-Gen Thein Sein remarked that the government has already signed peace deals with 17 armed groups and that he wanted the remaining three armed groups to do the same. What is the difference between the 17 armed groups and the SSA? Can you tell us about your basic principle?

    [Sai Lo Kaung] If we try to comply with their fundamental principle will we achieve 100 per cent peace? That is one thing we must consider. If they try to do things with uncertainty then things will not change and will remain the same. And if they continue to practice the same old style we will not be in a position to accept that. All we want is to respect the rights of the people and the rights of the national races.

    [Htet Aung Kyaw] Within the SSA too the northern SSA has signed a cease-fire agreement with the government. What will be the main difference between the SSA and the other groups?

    [Sai Lo Kaung] The main difference is they put the rights of the national races in the forefront. We as an armed group feel there must be a cease-fire and then hold talks. Then again the way the talks are held may differ. [End of recording]

    That was DVB interview with (?Sai Lo Kaung), SSA political leading committee member and secretary of the Shan State Restoration Council. Although DVB contacted the KNPP, Saw Ru Se, the KNPP foreign relations officer, told DVB that the leadership is away. But he confirmed that the view of the KNPP is similar in principle to that of the KNU and the SSA.
    Appeal to Japan

    source : The Bangkokpost

    Japan will be asked to play a greater role in solving problems related to Burma, Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai said. During his visit to Bangkok this week, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi would be asked to help repatriate refugees and create new jobs for them once they return home.

    ``It will be a creative role in political affairs,'' he said.Rangoon had no problem with the participation by Japan and other international organisations, he said.

    Asked if Thailand would make a special request, the foreign minister said the visit was aimed at boosting co-operation between the two nations in every aspect.

    Government spokesman Yongyuth Tiyapairat said the discussion agenda would focus on the development of human resources and information technology, as well as trade and economic co-operation.
    Ethnic cleansing campaign in Myanmar alleged

    by Abdur Rahman Khan
    The Independent Bangladesh

    Arakan Muslim leader seeks world help for asylum

    The President of the Arakan Muslim Development Foundation, M A Rahim, an asylum-seeker in Bangladesh since February this year, is passing his days in distress waiting for humanitarian assistance from the international community.

    Assisted by Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust, a legal and human rights organisation, MA Rahim has appealed to the international community for asylum and action against "the tyranny of the Myanmar military government."

    Rahim, called U Mg Aung in Burmese, holds an L.L.B degree from Yangon University and a B.Ed degree from the Institute of Education in Yangon. He worked as an educationist in his home town Myauk-U.He was arrested by Military Intelligence (MI-10) on November 23 last year and held in confinement in Myauk-U for over a month. Rahim alleged that while in custody he was routinely tortured by the army and police men.

    Continued torture resulted in the loss of all his teeth and severe injuries to his eyes, he alleged adding "I am now a half-dead man".Rahim was released following an order from an appeal judge's court where he was not proved guilty, he said.

    No sooner had he been released from Sittwe prison than he and other Muslim leaders were accused of setting fire to a mosque in Myaungbwe in early February this year.Actually, the MI-10, police and Maghs destroyed the mosque but they implicated the Muslim leaders, Rahim alleged.

    "As the commanding-in-chief Western sector ordered the officers of a brigade to kill me and other Muslim leaders, I fled to Bangladesh leaving behind all my property of about 20 million kyats and the beloved members of my family", Rahim told this correspondent."I do not know what has happened to my wife, seven sons and one daughter at my home", said Rahim in an emotion-choked voice.

    Talking to The Independent U Mg Aung alleged that there is no rule of law in Myanmar where the Arakanese Muslims were leading a deplorable life due to torture, humiliation and killing.

    The general people of Myanmar are provided with a pink card showing their identity as a citizen while the Muslims are given temporary non-citizenship immigration card in white subjecting them to discrimination, he complained.

    Alleging that there is a sustained ethnic cleansing operation against the Muslims, U Mg Aung said 18 Muslim scholars along with their families were drowned while trying to escape to Yangon from the state capital Sittwe by a launch this year.
    Myanmar Exports More Beans, Pulses in First Four Months

    YANGON, September 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Myanmar exported 339,900 tons of various beans and pulses in the first four months of this year, 76.84 percent more than the same period of 2000, according to the latest figures published by the country's Central Statistical Organization.

    Meanwhile, foreign exchange earned through the export of these agricultural products during the four-month period amounted to 102. 16 million U.S. dollars, 83.74 percent more than the corresponding period of 2000.

    Beans and pulses are one of Myanmar's four pillar crops, earning huge foreign exchange income. The other three crops are paddy, sugar cane and cotton.

    The country is now implementing beans and pulses cultivation projects,designing some special zones of these crops to expand cultivation and boosting production of and trade in beans and pulses with an accelerated momentum in the wake of growing foreign market demand.

    Myanmar enjoys the status of being the largest beans and pulses exporter among member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.According to official statistics, in 2000, the country exported 655,399 tons of beans and pulses, earning 196.9 million dollars.
    House used to produce speed pills in Tak

    source : The Bangkokpost

    Tak - A Burmese woman was yesterday arrested and charged with possession of materials for production of methamphetamine. Win Yi, 45, from Meikhtila in Mandalay, was apprehended when a combined police and military patrol searched a house on Inthornkhiri road in Mae Sot district town.

    They found drug-producing equipment, 2,000 speed pills, and 3.6kg of an amphetamine-based substance which could produce 42,500 speed pills.

    Col Intawach Lijinda, deputy commander of the 4th Infantry Regiment Task Force, said they also found bank accounts at the Mae Sot branches of Thai Farmers Bank and Bangkok Bank, and a document for transferring money from the Asia Wealth Bank in Rangoon to a branch in Mandalay.

    Mrs Win Yi said she only visited Mae Sot to buy goods and that the house was rented by her younger brother and two other men who were not there at the time.
    SEA Games : Myanmar grabbed two golds

    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 - Malaysia surged ahead in the medal standings of the 21st Southeast Asian Games on Sunday, thanks to golden performances by their martial artists, with Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam barging into the elite gold-medal club.

    Myanmar also grabbed two gold medals, a silver and two bronze, while the Philippines entered into the medal standings for the first time with three silver and five bronze, courtesy of its shooters and martial artists.

    In the women's wushu nanquan event, Myanmar's Ma Swe Swe Thant took the gold, while Lily So of the Philippines pipped Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Phuong Lan to the silver.

    Malaysian Lim Lee Lee took the gold in the women's karate individual kata competition and Indonesian Endah Jubaedah taking home the silver. Thailand's Yanisa Torrattanawathana and Yin Hua Thawng of Myanmar shared the bronze.

    In the men's individual karate event, Malaysian Ku Jin Keat stamped his dominance to win the gold, while Indonesia's Aswan Ali got the silver. Min Aye of Myanmar and Abd Malik Mohd Zaini of Brunei divided the bronze.

    Swimming was expected to share the spotlight later in the day, when seven gold medals are set for the picking.Singapore's golden girl Joscelin Yeo who has hauled 25 Southeast Asian Games gold medals since making her debut at age 11 in 1991, came in second in the heats of the 100 meters freestyle topped by Myanmar's Moe Thu Aung.

    Myanmar's Moe broke dominance for a finals' berth in the women's 100 meters freestyle event, along with Vietnam's Truong Ngoc Tuan for the men's 200 meters backstroke and Bui Thi Thuy Ninh in the women's 200 meters backstroke

    .The 22-year old US-based swimmer Joscelin Yeo brushed aside a strong challenge from arch rival Moe Thu Aung of Myanmar to successfully defend her title in the 100m freestyle and later overcame a late spurt by Malaysia's Siow Yi Ting in the 200m individual medley.

    Joscelin, who bagged six golds in the Brunei SEA Games two years ago, trailed Thu Aung on the first lap but turned the pace in the last 30m, powering clear to win the 100m freestyle in 57.13s. Thu Aung touched the finish line in 57.61s for the silver while Thailand's middle distance racer Pilin Tachakittiranan was third in 58.80s.


    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 (Bernama) -- Following are the medal winners on the second day of the 21 SEA Games here today. Myanmar win 2 golds, 4 silvers and 6 bronzes.

    Gold Medallists:

    Ma Swe Swe Thant (MYA) Wushu Women Nanquan
    Pyi Wai Hhyo (MYA) Wushu Men Jianshu

    Silver Medallists:

    U Zan Zaw Moe (MYA) Wushu Men Nanquan
    Si Thu Win (MYA) Taekwondo Men Featherweight
    Myint Aung (MYA) Shooting Men Individual Free Pistol
    Moe Thu Aung (MYA) Swimming Women 100m Freestyle

    Bronze Medallists:

    Yin Hua Thawng (MYA) Karate Women Individual KATA
    Min Aye (MYA) Karate Men Individual KATA
    Myint Aung, Winn Hlaing, Thein Kywe (MYA) Shooting Men Team Free Pistol
    Khin Soe Thaik (MYA) Shooting Women Individual Air Pistol
    Ma Wai Yi Maung (MYA) Wushu Women Jianshu
    Thein Win (MYN) -- Equestrian Endurance Individual