Daily News-September 23 - 2001- Sunday

  • NLD reopens office on anniversary of detention
  • Burma opposition leader blocked
  • Mine executive resigns
  • Ivanhoe Mines closes $5 million financing
  • Myanmar leader to visit Malaysia
  • Myanmar's Machinery Import Up in First Half
  • Myanmar nationals nabbed in Malaysia

  • NLD reopens office on anniversary of detention


    YANGON, Myanmar, Sept. 21 - Myanmar's democratic opposition reopened a party branch office on Saturday, the first anniversary of the house arrest of its leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. The country's military rulers confined Suu Kyi to her Yangon villa on Sept. 22, 2000, after she defied government travel restrictions.

    They have also attempted to hobble her National League for Democracy, arresting its members and closing many of the party's 40 offices in and around the capital. Party spokesman Lwin said the 19th office was allowed to be reopened in the northern Yangon suburb Mingaladon. Twenty party branch offices still remained closed in the Yangon area, he said.

    Asked if the NLD will issue any demand for Suu Kyi's release to mark the anniversary, Lwin said: ''No special statement will be released. We have always demanded her release.''

    ''Despite the restriction, (she) is well informed of party activities and reorganization work. She is fully occupied reading, receiving guests and meditating,'' he said in a telephone interview.

    Over the past year Suu Kyi has been allowed to meet a number of foreign officials, including U.N. special envoy Razali Ismail and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ralph Boyce. Soon after her house arrest and after Razali's visit to Myanmar, the military and Suu Kyi began talks in October to break a long-standing deadlock.

    The regime has since released 168 political prisoners, including some senior NLD leaders. But there are no signs that the military will ease its grip on power.

    Suu Kyi, who led a 1988 pro-democracy uprising, was placed under formal house arrest from 1989 to 1995. Short-term restrictions on her movements were imposed in following years, and last September she was again confined to her residence after attempting to travel by train to the northern city of Mandalay for party activities. Since the 1988 uprising was suppressed, Suu Kyi has spent seven out of 13 years under restriction.
    Burma opposition leader blocked

    By the BBC's Larry Jagan in Bangkok

    Burma's pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is marking the first anniversary of her confinement under house arrest in Rangoon. Her movements were restricted after she attempted to travel outside the capital. Senior members of her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), were also detained. The NLD won elections held in 1990, but the military never allowed it to govern.


    Aung San Suu Kyi is no stranger to confinement. She was originally put under house arrest in 1989 and spent six years there.

    But this time it has been different. The country's military rulers have begun to talk to her. She is not actually meeting the senior generals, an NLD spokesman told the BBC, but there is regular contact between the two sides. The talks are being held in secret and no one knows what is actually being discussed. Diplomats in Rangoon say the talks are still at a confidence-building stage.

    Since the dialogue process began, more than 200 political prisoners, including two senior NLD leaders, have been freed. Human rights groups say there are more than 1,500 political prisoners in Burma's jails. The NLD spokesman told the BBC that all political prisoners had to be released if the talks were to move beyond this initial trust-building stage.


    Many critics believe the Burmese generals are not serious about political change, and have only entered the dialogue process in an effort to deflect international criticism and in the hope that it might also lessen their international isolation.

    In the past year Aung San Suu Kyi has been allowed to meet senior members of her party, senior diplomats and UN officials.

    A Burmese Government spokesman says Aung San Suu Kyi is under voluntary confinement, but that is not how the NLD spokesman sees it. He told the BBC that Aung San Suu Kyi wanted all restrictions on her movement lifted immediately, including being able to travel outside Rangoon. Only then, say diplomats, will the dialogue process actually be making real progress.
    Mine executive resigns

    Myanmar Times-September 17-23, 2001 -Volume 5, No.81

    THE general manager of a company developing the country’s largest mining project has unexpectedly resigned. Mr Paul Share resigned from his position with the Myanmar Ivanhoe Copper Company Limited (MICCL) last month.

    The company - a 50/50 joint venture between Ivanhoe Myanmar Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Canada-based Ivanhoe Mines, and the government’s No. 1 Mining Enterprise - is developing a huge copper mine at Monywa, about 400 miles north of Yangon.

    MICCL has declined to comment on the resignation. However, a general manager at Marubeni in Yangon, U Peter, said Mr Share’s departure was not related to a delay in starting the company’s second phase project to develop copper deposits at Letpadaung, near Monywa. Work on the second phase was planned to begin next year. Mr Paul Share resigned of his own free will and there has been no problem with the company," U Peter told Myanmar Times.

    Marubeni, together with another Japanese company, invested US$ 90 million to finance the first phase of the project, which employed 600 local people and has been producing about 25,000 tonnes of high grade copper a year since late 1998.

    U Peter said there had been a problem arranging a 60 megawatt power supply essential to develop the Letpadaung deposit. He said MICCL was seeking an alternative power source. Officials from the No (1) Mining Enterprise declined to comment on the project.
    Ivanhoe Mines closes $5 million financing

    SINGAPORE, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ - Ivanhoe Mines' Chairman Robert Friedland announced today that the company has closed its US$5 million (CDN$7.86 million) offering of five million common shares, at US$1 per share, to increase capital available to advance the company's corporate programs. Haywood Securities Inc. was the lead agent for the financing.

    Ivanhoe has now raised US$10.25 million (CDN$15.86 million) in two recent tranches. A Special Warrants financing, consisting of 5.25 million Special Warrants at a price of US$1.00 (CDN$1.53), closed in mid-August. The Special Warrants were converted into 5.25 million Ivanhoe Mines common shares on September 17th.

    Proceeds from the Special Warrant financing will be used, in part, to fund Ivanhoe's ongoing exploration programs at its Turquoise Hill (Oyu Tolgoi) gold-copper-molybdenum discovery in Mongolia and at its high-grade gold discoveries in Myanmar and South Korea. The balance of the funds raised will be used for working capital and corporate purposes.

    Ivanhoe Mines is an international mining company producing LME Grade A copper from its Monywa joint venture in Myanmar and iron ore products from ABM Mining's Savage River mine in Australia. Gold production from the Bakyrchik Gold Mine in Kazakhstan is expected to begin in the fourth quarter.
    Myanmar leader to visit Malaysia

    South China Morning Post

    September 22, 2001 MALAYSIA - ASSOCIATED PRESS in Kuala Lumpur -Myanmar's military ruler will make a rare trip abroad next week, to Malaysia one his regime's strongest allies, the national news agency Bernama reported on Saturday. Senior General Than Shwe, the chairman of Myanmar's ruling State Peace and Development Council, will hold talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday. Bernama said the leaders are expected to sign several bilateral agreements, but did not elaborate.

    The Myanmar leader, whose last visit to Malaysia was in 1996, will tour Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Twin Towers the world's tallest buildings on Wednesday before departing for Langkawi island, a holiday resort in northern Malaysia on the same day, Bernama reported. He leaves for Myanmar on Thursday.

    Malaysia is emerging as a broker between Myanmar's generals and the opposition, and in helping end decades of isolation in the impoverished country.
    Myanmar's Machinery Import Up in First Half

    YANGON, September 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Myanmar's import of machinery equipment was valued at 421.16 million U.S. dollars in the first half of this year, up 11.52 percent from the year-ago period, according to the latest data published by the country's Central Statistical Organization Saturday.

    During the six-month period, the import value of such machinery equipment accounted for 27.33 percent of the country's total import value which was registered at 1,541 million dollars. Of this, the import value of electric machinery apparatus amounted to 119.65 million dollars, rising by 24.89 percent, while that of non-electric and transport equipment reached 301.51 million dollars, up 6.97 percent.

    According to official statistics, in 2000, Myanmar imported 628. 05 million dollars' worth of machinery equipment.

    Myanmar, an agricultural country, has to depend on import for the majority of its different machinery equipment in need. The country is trying to produce agricultural implements as import-substitute goods, getting aid from China in the implementation of two agricultural machinery factory projects which will produce walking tractors and reapers.
    Myanmar nationals nabbed in Malaysia

    By S.Shankar
    The New Straits Times Press

    PENANG - Police have detained four Myanmar nationals for allegedly collecting donations from the public to build a mosque in Klang Valley. Acting on information, a Seberang Perai Utara (SPU) district police team picked up the four in a house in Tasek Gelugor during a raid between 3pm and 5pm.

    The raiding party also seized several authorisation letters, purportedly issued by the Selangor and Federal Territory Islamic Religious Departments, and several blank letter-heads of the departments. Initial police investigations revealed that three of the suspects had entered the country illegally a few months ago. The other suspect, however, has a valid passport with him.

    The suspects had been going round Seberang Prai Utara informing the residents that they were authorised by the Selangor and Federal Territory Islamic Religious Departments to collect donations to build a new mosque in Klang Valley.

    The four are believed to have used false authorisation letters from the departments to substantiate their claims. Confirming the case, SPU Criminal Investigation Department chief Deputy Superintendent Tajuddin Md Isa said police were investigating whether the four had been collecting donations in other districts in the State as well as other States. The suspects have been remanded for a week.