Daily News- February 17- 2002- Sunday

  • UN human rights envoy satisfied with cooperation with Burma
  • Myanmar Seizes Large Amount of Stimulant Drugs

  • UN human rights envoy satisfied with cooperation with Burma


    RANGOON, (AP )Burma - A United Nations human rights investigator expressed satisfaction Saturday with the cooperation he received from authorities during a two-day trip to northern Burma where he visited prisoners and local leaders.

    "The trip was very good. I had access to all the places I wanted and I met several people. I am satisfied with the cooperation of the authorities," investigator Paulo Sergio Pinheiro told The Associated Press by telephone on his return to Rangoon from northern Kachin state.

    Pinheiro arrived in Burma a week ago for a 10-day visit to assess civil and political rights. The dominant military regime has been widely criticized for its human rights record and suppression of democracy.

    Pinheiro traveled to the state capital Myitkyina, which lies 990 kilometers (615 miles) north of Rangoon, and interviewed "security prisoners" at the prison there. He also visited a police lockup in the town without giving notice of his arrival.

    The U.N. official said he met community and religious figures and leaders of two former ethnic insurgencies which have reached cease-fires with the regime.

    Pinheiro said he would meet Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Monday. She has been under house arrest since September 2000 for defying official restrictions by trying to travel outside Rangoon for a political meeting.

    On Sunday, Pinheiro plans to inspect Rangoon's main Insein prison and the criminal ward of Rangoon General Hospital. Pinheiro is also due to visit a labor camp near the capital before he departs Burma Tuesday.

    Pinheiro is on his third visit to the military state since his appointment in February as U.N. human rights rapporteur on Burma. This week he has already met with top officials including Burma's third-ranking leader and military intelligence chief Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt and Foreign Minister Win Aung.

    The military called national elections in 1990, but refused to honor the results that gave Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party an overwhelming victory. The United Nations says that the junta still holds an estimated 1,500-1,600 prisoners, although more than 200 NLD detainees have been released over the past year as a goodwill gesture.

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    Myanmar Seizes Large Amount of Stimulant Drugs

    YANGON, February 16 (Xinhuanet) -- The Myanmar authorities seized 460,000 tablets of stimulant drugs in Lashio township, the country's northern Shan state, early last month, the Myanmar Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control said here on Saturday.

    The seizure was made by a combined team comprising local intelligence unit and the police force when a search was made on a man named Yanchin Kun on Thazin road in the township on January 7 with 50,000 stimulant tablets found possessed.

    The team, in a raid on two houses in the same township on the same day, also confiscated 410,000 more stimulant tablets.Altogether three people were arrested in connection with the case, it said, adding that they were punished under the country's Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law.

    According to official statistics, in 2001, Myanmar seized 32 million tablets of stimulant drugs, registering the highest amount confiscated since 1996 when the country began a crack-down on such narcotic drugs.

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