Daily News- April 27- 2002- Saturday

  • UN envoy hopeful of Myanmar breakthrough soon
  • Myanmar Rejects U.N. Resolution on Human Rights
  • UNHRC-Shan delegate: We have our work cut out for us
  • NLD prepares to reopen branch offices
  • New artillery commands to be equipped with Chinese equipment
  • U.N. expecting announcement by Myanmar government
  • Thai troops clash with forces from Myanmar

  • UN envoy hopeful of Myanmar breakthrough soon

    KUALA LUMPUR(Reuters) April 26 A top U.N. envoy returned from Myanmar on Friday saying he believed four days of talks with the country's military leadership would yield some breakthrough in a flagging national reconciliation process.

    ''I think maybe the national reconciliation process is back on track, despite the earlier problems,'' U.N. envoy Razali Ismail told reporters on arrival at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Diplomats have said if the Malaysian diplomat's mission to Myanmar, his seventh since he took on the challenge, ended without any sign that the secretive peace dialogue was moving forward, the credibility of the talks would be severely dented.

    ''The parties are committed to the national reconciliation process,'' said Razali, whose 18 months of brokering talks have little to show so far. ''A few important developments may well happen quite quickly,'' he said. But he gave no indication of what those developments might be -- or whether the ruling junta would re-start talks with Suu Kyi.

    Her National League for Democracy (NLD) took more than 80 percent of the seats in landmark 1990 elections. But the military, which has ruled Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, since 1962 has refused to relinquish power. On Thursday evening, Razali had dinner with Suu Kyi at the lakeside Yangon home where she has been held under house arrest for most of the past decade. It was his second meeting with the 56-year-old Nobel peace prize laureate during his latest visit.


    Razali met the head of the ruling junta, Senior General Than Shwe, before leaving Myanmar on Friday and also held talks with generals Maung Aye and Khin Nyunt during his visit.

    He said he detected no signs of division among the leaders, contrary to speculation among diplomats of rivalry between the relatively moderate intelligence chief Khin Nyunt and the hardline Army chief Maung Aye.

    ''They have more or less sorted things out,'' Razali told reporters. ''The unity of the leadership is quite clear.'' ''They have assured me this will not be an obstacle to national reconciliation,'' he said in reference to the fallout from a recently reported coup attempt.

    To The Top

    Myanmar Rejects U.N. Resolution on Human Rights

    YANGON, April 26 (Xinhuanet) -- The Myanmar government rejected on Friday evening a resolution of the United Nations on human rights adopted in Geneva, complaining some countries of ignoring its pragmatic developments without identifying them.

    The Geneva-based U.N. Commission on Human Rights adopted the resolution on Thursday, moved by the European Union, condemning the Myanmar military government for gross human rights violations and expressing fresh concern at the plight of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi who has been under house arrest for 18 months since September 2000.

    "We unfathomably regret that in spite of all the cooperation and positive developments concretely taking place on all sectors in Myanmar, certain countries and certain sectors took pains to deliberately ignore all these pragmatic developments with the sole intent to put pressure on Myanmar," said an official Information Sheet.

    It added: "In spite of all these unfair and bias policy and treatment outstandingly imposed on Myanmar by those nations with their own vested interest, the government of Myanmar, with her uniqueness and with her people finds herself in continuing to worktogether with the accompaniment of the fellow nations and the U.N.with a view to fulfilling its obligation and commitment."

    On human rights issues, the Myanmar government always insists that whatever human rights mean to various nations with different economic, social, historical, cultural and traditional values, human rights for a third world country like Myanmar mean rights to enjoying the basic human requirements such as security, food and shelter.

    To The Top

    UNHRC-Shan delegate: We have our work cut out for us

    source :Shan Herald Agency for News

    The Shan representative who returned last week from the 58th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights held in Geneva told a meeting held today that Shans still needed to do more despite some modest success achieved there this year.

    "The Shan Human Rights Foundation could be considered the star of the show," said Charmtong, 20, who represented the Shan Women's Action Network along with 10 other activists at Geneva, 5-17 April. "It was much quoted by those working on Burma's human rights situation. Still there are many areas waiting to receive attention by the SHRF, such as (levels of) freedom of religious faith, child soldiers and human mine-sweepers."

    Monthly reports filed by the SHRF was quoted 20 times by the US State Department's country reports on human rights practices-2001. She said the full report of the Burma delegation is being prepared by Dr. Thaung Htun of the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma.

    The delegation's activities included interventions at the UN commission and meetings with special rapporteurs. "Bo Kyi from AAPP (Associates to Assist Political Prisoners) kept everybody captivated with his bizarre experience in the Burmese jail," she said.

    To The Top

    NLD prepares to reopen branch offices

    BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Apr 26, 2002
    Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 2329 gmt 25 Apr 02

    NLD [National League for Democracy] spokesman U Lwin has said to Democratic Voice of Burma that preparations were being made to open an NLD branch office and the Bassein Township organizing committee branch office in Irrawaddy Division next week. This is NLD's second opening of branch offices, after the reopening of the ones in Rangoon and Mandalay.

    Efforts were made for reopening the branch offices in Magwe Division, Sagaing Division and Mon State simultaneously. After the reopening of the present branch offices in the four States and Divisions, the third round to reopen branch offices in the remaining 8 States and Divisions will follow.

    In Rangoon Division, 35 branch offices were reopened at townships and preparations to reopen the branch offices in Dala and Seikkyi Khanaungto townships will soon be on the way.

    As Aung San Suu Kyi and party have been prohibited to take the trip to the Dala branch office, but news is emerging that the branch office will be soon opened by Aung San Suu Kyi herself after her release.

    The 300 NLD branch offices countrywide were forced to shut down by the SPDC in September 1998 and the reason was that NLD and the national parties joined hands to established the Committee Representing the People's Parliament [CRPP].The NLD at present is striving to reopen all these branch offices.

    To The Top

    New artillery commands to be equipped with Chinese equipment

    BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Apr 26, 2002
    Source: Democratic Voice of Burma, Oslo, in Burmese 1430 gmt 25 Apr 02

    DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] has already reported that the SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] has been establishing new Artillery Commands in all 12 military command regions. According to latest reports, the new Artillery Commands will be equipped with almost 40 Chinese-made heavy artillery pieces. A military source based at the Thai-Burma border told DVB that the artillery pieces include 155 mm heavy artillery, 122 mm artillery, 84 mm anti-tank launchers, 82 mm launchers, 76 mm launchers, HN-5 anti-aircraft guns, and 0.5 machine guns [as received].

    The military is forcibly recruiting porters from among the local people to transport the weapons and also seeking volunteer labour from the neighbourhood to work for the military installation. The order was issued by Col Khin Maung Yin, commander of No 505 Artillery Command, situated near Alechaung Village in eastern Mergui Township and the villages involved are Shwedu, Kywegu, Kyaukphya, Lut Lut, Thamok, Alechaung, and Taungpyo Villages. These seven villages have been ordered to supply 50 volunteers each and they should be replaced every week. Col Khin Maung Yin has also ordered the respective village headmen to repair Alechaung-Shwedu cart road for military trucks.

    To The Top

    U.N. expecting announcement by Myanmar government

    By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer

    UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations is expecting an announcement shortly from the government of Myanmar following the latest mediation mission by a U.N. envoy to reconcile the military junta and the opposition led by Aung San Suu Kyi.

    At the end of his seventh visit to Myanmar on Friday, U.N. envoy Razali Ismail said developments could unfold "quite quickly" and he was "optimistic" about his discussion with Gen. Than Shwe, the leader of Myanmar's military government.

    Razali, a retired Malaysian diplomat, gave no details of what kind of breakthrough he expected, but later told reporters in Kuala Lumpur that the generals had overcome the fallout of a recent reported coup attempt by ex-dictator Ne Win's family that could have interfered in reconciliation.

    U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said Friday that Razali "was pleased to have been assured by the government that the national reconciliation process was on track, in spite of the coup attempt uncovered in Yangon in early March.""He was also encouraged to see that all parties remain committed to the process. He is hopeful that certain significant progress could take place shortly," Eckhard said.

    Asked what the "significant progress" was, Eckhard said, "It's our understanding that the government is going to make an announcement shortly, so I'd rather not comment."

    Razali has spent the past two years trying to broker a deal between the military, which has ruled the country since 1962, and the opposition, which won elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take office. He has won freedom for 258 political prisoners - but perhaps 1,000 more are in jail.

    Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has been kept under various degrees of house arrest for much of the past dozen years. Her current confinement began in September 2000 when she defied official restrictions by trying to travel outside Yangon for a party meeting.The international community has grown impatient over the situation in Myanmar and demanded the release of Suu Kyi as a demonstration of the government's seriousness about reconciliation.

    To The Top

    Thai troops clash with forces from Myanmar

    source : China daily

    Thai troops were attacked with mortars after they captured two fighters from Myanmar found in Thai territory, a senior army officer said Saturday.

    Fighting broke out Friday after the unidentified men were picked up about 300 meters (330 yards) inside Chiang Rai province in northern Thailand, said Col. Surasak Boonsiri. Surasak refused to say whether Myanmar government soldiers or ethnic minority rebels were involved in the border conflict.

    After firing mortars at Thai troops, about 70 Myamar personnel crossed the border and tried but failed to take their captured comrades back, the colonel said. Foillowing a 20-minute clash, the attackers retreated, but launched another assault two hours later. Sporadic cross-border firing was continuing, the officer said, with two helicopters armed with machine guns supporting the Thai troops.

    Such clashes and incursions are common along the remote, poorly demarcated border as Myanmar troops engage ethnic minority rebels and Thai frontier forces try to halt a massive influx of drugs from Myanmar, also known as Burma.

    The Thai government has accused Myanmar's military rulers of failing to curb rampant drug trade along the border. Myanmar has denied the charges. Wa rebels, who are deeply involved in narcotics trafficking, are based across the border from Chiang Rai province.

    To The Top