Daily News-September 14 - 2001- Friday


  • Some Land Mine Use Persists
  • Thai-Burma Relations Is this for real? asked Thai commentator
  • Thai-Burma Relations: Brothers but still enemies, says traveler
  • Canada:A Burmese refugee charged for killing his wife
  • SEA Games :Burma's Moe Thu Aung dethrones favourite Joscelin


  • Some Land Mine Use Persists

    GENEVA (AP) - Some countries that signed a global treaty to ban land mines are still using the deadly explosives responsible for maiming and killing thousands each year, an international watchdog group said Wednesday.

    Reports indicate that Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan may still be using mines, according to the 2001 edition of ``Landmine Monitor.'' The 1,175-page study also said there were serious but unconfirmed allegations about Rwanda and Burundi. All five governments deny use, the group says.

    The study, produced by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Campaign to Ban Landmines, will be presented next week in Nicaragua at a meeting of countries that have ratified the 1997 treaty.

    Landmine Monitor said several governments that have not signed the treaty are thought to be using anti-personnel mines: Congo, Israel, Nepal and Kyrgyzstan. In addition, there has been continued use of mines by nongovernment forces in Afghanistan, India, the Philippines, Senegal, Uganda, Somalia, Georgia and Yugoslavia.

    Landmine Monitor said, however, that there had been major steps forward in the fight to eradicate land mines, noting that trade of anti-personnel mines has been almost completely halted, with no significant shipment since 1998. ``The 1997 Mine Ban Treaty and the ban movement more generally are having a major impact globally,'' the report says.

    Since the treaty came into force, more than 27 million anti-personnel mines have been destroyed by over 50 nations, including about 5 million mines in the past year, the group said. It estimated that up to 245 million remain stockpiled by 100 nations.

    China leads the list with 110 million mines, followed by Russia with 60 million to 70 million, the United States with 11.2 million, and Ukraine with 6.4 million, it said. Land-mine injuries have been recorded this year in 73 countries. The greatest number of victims were in Afghanistan, India, Angola, Cambodia, Iraq and Myanmar, or Burma.

    The land-mine treaty has been signed by 141 governments - nearly three-quarters of the world's nations - and ratified by 119. Among those who have not signed are the United States, Russia and China. Washington maintains that land mines are needed on the Korean peninsula to deter North Korea from invading South Korea. Russia and China say they need land mines for defense.
    Thai-Burma Relations Is this for real? asked Thai commentator

    Shan Herald Agency for News
    13 September 2001
    No: 09 - 07:

    Surachart Bumroongsuk, a well-known Thai columnist for the "Matichon" weekly, has urged Bangkok to really set down to the business of addressing the existing problems instead of exchanging visits in the latest issue, #1099, 10 September.

    According to Surachart, there are five main issues: the boundary between the two countries, drugs, trade and investments, people-to-people relations and confidence-security building.

    The boundary, that is 2,401 km long but only 50 km regarded fixed by both, is a "world breaking" issue, he said, "because no state is ready to lose any disputed territory to the other contending states." Exchange of territory or designation of the territory in dispute as a joint development zone might be options to consider. After all, he said, both need a "win-win solution" not a "winner-take-all" settlement.

    As for the drug problem, it is unfair for either country, one 'a supplier' and the other 'a demander', to resort to "finger pointing", he said. "The criminal activities are getting more and more 'nation-less' and 'borderless', so a multi-lateral agreement may be the best option for us," he suggested.

    On the issue of trade and investments, he reminded his readers that Thailand's European and America markets were shrinking owing to the economic depression these countries were undergoing, the fact that necessitated a lookout for markets for Thai exports in the neighboring countries. "This calls for a new economic order for investors on the Thai side", he said, plus joint measures to guarantee the interests of both countries, such as the establishment of a joint chamber of commerce between Thailand and Burma.

    On the issue of people-to-people relations, Surachart was strongly against setting up joint associations made up of top government servants who are not active members.

    "A Thai-Burma academic association could be set up for the purpose of exchanging academic knowledge as well as acting and speaking for one's country in such matters." He pointed out however that such affiliations still need support from the state sector.

    For the last not least issue, he said, confidence security building measures (CSBM) might be a new thing for Thailand but it came into existence soon after the end of the Cold War in Europe where states that had security problems were able to create mechanisms that allowed them to live in peaceful co-existence. He mentioned joint border patrols as proposed by the Thailand to Burma and the purchase of military hardware as topics that called for joint consultation and control.

    In conclusion, he asked rhetorically, "Are we going to let these problems grow at random and only deal with them when they get out of hand again?"
    Thai-Burma Relations: Brothers but still enemies, says traveler

    Shan Herald Agency for News
    13 September 2001
    No: 09 - 06:

    A visitor from Shan State told S.H.A.N. this morning generals Chavalit and Khin Nyunt might have become sworn brother as a result of the latter's recent visit but the buildup in eastern Shan State has not let up.

    "Most of the units brought up in February are still around," said the source, "for example, LID (Light Infantry Division) 88 coming up from Magwe, LIB (Light Infantry Battalion) 450 and LIB 481 (from Mergui) are still in Kengtung." He added that the said battalions appeared to be staying permanent. "They have been busy dragooning free labor, roofings, timber and bamboo from the local people," he said.

    Apart from that he also saw 8 howitzers and 40 tanks arriving in eastern Shan State during the height of the border conflict and was sure they had not gone back across the Salween.

    He also mentioned the recruitment program that began in May. "They do not trust Shans and lowland Lahu," he said. "Highland Lahu are much more preferred. Therefore instead of taking recruits from Shan villages they demanded money so they could find them elsewhere." However, the resulting scandals caused by the money-making activity have temporarily halted the operation, he explained.

    The Triangle Regional Command of Maj-Gen Thein Sein has been ordered to raise up to 5,000 new recruits, reported LNDO, a Lahu information group.
    Canada:A Burmese refugee charged for killing his wife

    by Jake Rupert
    The Ottawa Citizen
    Tuesday, September 11, 2001

    Accused 'calm and collected'

    A 31-year-old refugee from Myanmar, formerly Burma, who came to Canada for a better life, made his first court appearance yesterday on a charge of killing his wife and was deemed fit to stand trial.

    Charged with second-degree murder, Kolumbus Moo wore blue prison overalls during his brief hearing in where his case was adjourned until next week. As he was being led away, Mr. Moo, a Nortel laser engineer, waved to a group of friends who attended court.

    "This is a very terrible thing that happened," said Neyaa Zaw, who six years ago attended Ottawa Adult High School with Mr. Moo's wife, Deena Naw, 31."We never saw any fighting. We never saw any quarrelling," said another couple's friends Lattko Ko. "They were planning to have kids."

    Ms. Naw, who worked for a local technology company, died in hospital Sunday afternoon.She died from massive head injuries suffered the day before in the apartment the couple shared with her parents at 58 Bayshore Dr.

    Police said an argument led to a beating, during which Ms. Naw was struck several times in the head with a blunt kitchen implement around supper time. As she fell bleeding and unconscious on the livingroom floor, a call to police came from a man who reported the attack.Mr. Moo was arrested in the hallway outside the apartment.

    "She was a very nice person," Mr. Zaw said. "Very quiet and very cute, too. We will talk to her parents and try to help."

    Yesterday's court appearance was a fitness hearing designed to see if Mr. Moo is suffering from any mental disorders that would prevent him from understanding the legal process.The test for this is very low. All the accused must understand is that they are charged and what courts are used for. They must also be sane enough to properly instruct their defence lawyer.

    After meeting briefly with Mr. Moo, Royal Ottawa Hospital forensic psychiatrist Shirley Braithwaite determined none of these things are factors."He's calm and collected," said his defence lawyer Robert Carew. "There is no issue with his fitness. We will wait for disclosure and set up a date for a bail hearing."Mr. Carew couldn't say when he will try to have his client released. Two to three weeks is his best estimate. Until then, Mr. Moo will be held at the Ottawa Detention Centre on Innes Road.

    In court yesterday was Mr. Moo's refugee sponsor, Tony Felice, chairman of the Brownley's Road Baptist Church refugee campaign. Mr. Felice sponsored Mr. Moo's move to Canada from a refugee camp in Thailand in 1995 -- the same refugee camp in which Mr. Moo met his wife.They married shortly after arriving in Canada five years ago.
    SEA Games:Burma's Moe Thu Aung dethrones favourite Joscelin

    source : The Nation
    Prasert Srisueb

    [SWIMMING] Moe Thu Aung, a 20 year old psychology student from Rangoon, made the biggest splash in the Malaysian National Aquatic Centre in Bukit Jalit yesterday as strong Thai swimmers failed to deliver a single gold on the final day of swimming competition.

    Moe, the only Burmese swimmer in this SEA Games, beat Singaporeís super mermaid Joscelin Yeo in the womenís 50m final to win her countryís first swimming gold in 32 years.

    I couldnít believe I could do it. Joscelin is so great. I didnít expect to beat her. Itís really great I won the gold the first for my country and for me. I am very happy, said the shy Moe, who is a student in Dagon University.I was not confident at all through the race. I just tried my best. Itís hard to believe after seeing the scoreboard with the number one being tagged to my name. It really surprised me, she said.

    Moe finished the sprint distance in 26.34 seconds. This was her first gold medal since she started representing her country in the 1995 SEA Games in Chiang Mai. It was her countryís first swimming gold since the 1969 Games in Burma, when the hosts won three golds.

    Yet, for the women swimmers in Burma it was the first gold since 1961. Myunt Khin was the last Burmese woman swimmer to have won the gold medal in the biennial sports festival of the region that was formerly called SEAP (Southeast Asia Peninsular) Games. Khin won the womenís 100m freestyle gold in 1961 in Rangoon.

    Moe, the daughter of a businessman in Rangoon, took up swimming when she was 10. She represented her country for the first time in Chiang Mai, but failed to win any medal. In 1997 in Jakarta, she was the only swimmer who represented the country (in Chiang Mai there were three Burmese swimmers). She went back home proudly with a silver medal around her neck from the womenís 50m freestyle.Two years later, she was again the lone Burmese swimmer and took home two silvers from 50m freestyle and 100m butterfly.

    In the ongoing SEA Games she claimed two silvers in the womenís 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly, conceding the gold in both events to Joscelin. So Moe didnít expect to beat the Super Jo.

    A huge throng of reporters swarmed Moe after the victory ceremony. It was great that finally my national anthem was played. Itís really a great moment, she said. Joscelin, holder of the SEA Games record of 26.23 seconds, was much slower than the last two years. She finished in 26.41 seconds,which was good for the silver. Another Singapore swimmer, Jacqueline Lim Kim Tor, took the bronze in 26.79 seconds.

    At the end of the swimming competition, Thailand topped the swim¨ming medal table with 12 golds, 8 silvers and 9 bronze medals. Hosts Malaysia were second with 9410, Singapore third with 896, Indonesia fourth with 223 and Burma fifth with 120. All Burmaís medals were won by Moe. Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei and Laos didnít win a gold.

    Football

    Hosts Malaysia edge Burma 1-0 and In the final which will be held either tomorrow or Sunday Thailand will play their old rivals Malaysia who defeated Burma yesterday 1-0.

    SEA Games :Myanmar Stage Upset In Rifle Prone Events

    By Jamaludin Muhamad

    KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 13 (Bernama) -- Underdog Myanmar upset Thailand and Malaysia to take the gold in the women's team and individual rifle prone events at the SEA Games shooting competition Thursday.

    Win Cho San, Myat Thuzar Win and Khin Pa Pa Tun registered a total of 1,741 points to win the team event. Thailand garnered 1,737 points through Supunnee Kham-Ai, Pojjanee Pongsinwijit and Kornika Anochai for the silver and Malaysians Roslina Bakar, Nordalilah Abu Bakar and Sarihati Awang scored 1,734 points in all for the bronze.

    Win, a 37-year-old high school teacher, scored 588 points with a smallbore 5.56mm calibre rifle to win the gold in the individual event.Thailand's Supunnee took the silver with 585 points and Myat won the bronze with 582 points.

    The medals are determined by the athlete's ranking in the competition as there is no final because it is a non-Olympic event. Win said after Myanmar's victory: "Actually, we are not surprised with the results because we worked very hard to win the gold."

    SEA-Medallists

    Following are the medal winners on the sixth day of the 21 SEA Games here.

    GOLD:

    1. Naw Ah Le La She/Khin Mar Oo/Tin Tin Nwe/Myint Myint Win -- Rowing Lightweight Coxless Four
    2. Win Cho San, Myat Thuzar Win, Khin Pa Pa Tun -- Women Team Rifle Prone
    3. Win Cho San -- Women Ind. Rifle Prone
    4. Moe Thu Aung -- Women 50m Freestyle
    5. Aung Thura -- Men 10,000m

    SILVER:

    1. Pa Pa -- Women 5,000m

    BRONZE:

    1. Tha Tun/Naing Naing Htoo -- Rowing Men Coxless Pair
    2. Chaw Su/Yin Yin Htwe -- Rowing Women Lightweight Double Scull
    3. Myat Thuzar Win -- Women Ind. Rifle Prone
    4. Thien Win -- Men 10,000m

    In the overall medal standings after day six of the 10-day games,remain in 7th place out of 10 with 12 gold, 12 silver and 34 bronze.