Daily News- July 15- 2002- Monday

  • Burma Cracks Down on Computer Nets
  • Myanmar to allow Chinese tourists to spend Chinese money
  • Myanmar to export high-quality pork
  • Thailand bans foreign press from Burma border

  • Burma Cracks Down on Computer Nets

    RANGOON, Burma (AP) - Burma's military junta has made it illegal for companies to operate unlicensed private computer networks linked to their overseas offices.

    A Ministry of Post, Telegraphs and Communications order effective Wednesday said companies must have its permission to set up such networks, which can be used to provide Internet access.Offenders face seven to 15 years in jail, according to the order published Friday in the state-run Burma Ahlin daily.

    An intelligence official confirmed the report, but declined to give details or the reason for the order.The crackdown appears to be part of a campaign by the military rulers to limit and censor Internet access in Burma.Individuals can subscribe to e-mail services, but must give their passwords to authorities.

    Unauthorized ownership of fax machines is punishable by 15 years in jail. The Burma media are entirely controlled by the junta.It is not known how many organizations in Burma have networks that would be affected by the order.

    Once licensed, the networks will be subject to checks by the ministry to allow for encrypted data to be decoded if necessary, says the order.The order also bans acts carried out by means of computer technology that may negatively affect the stability and peace of the state or the national culture. This is also punishable by a jail term of between seven and 15 years.

    To The Top

    Myanmar to allow Chinese tourists to spend Chinese money


    Tourists from China will be allowed to use Chinese currency yuan during their stay in the country starting July 18, the local Myanmar Times reported in its latest issue.

    To attract more visitors from China, Myanmar's northern neighbor, Chinese tourists will be permitted to bring in 6,000 yuan (725.5 US dollars) without declaring to the Myanmar customs, the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism was quoted as saying. Myanmar earned 2 million yuan (241,837 dollars) from Chinese tourists in 2001, the report said.

    In December 2000, Myanmar and China endorsed a memorandum of understanding on the implementation plan for outbound travel to Myanmar by Chinese citizens at their own expenses.According to official statistics, tourist arrivals in Myanmar went to 119,000 in 2001, a drop of 49.32 percent over 2000. Of them, Chinese tourists took up 2,981 or 2.5 percent only.

    Myanmar to export high-quality pork

    YANGON, July 15 (Xinhuanet) -- Myanmar is planning to export pork from hybrid pigs bred from imported varieties, according to a report of the country's Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries available here Monday. The hybrids, bred from three varieties imported from Japan and Australia in 1999, are yielding high quality low-fat pork, it said.

    According to the report, Myanmar produced enough pork to meet its people's annual per capita consumption which is 8.6 kilogram (kg). With the expansion of its breeding program, the country expects the annual consumption rate to increase to about 33.6 kg.

    Official statistics show that Myanmar produced 81,675 tons of pork, 57,172 tons of beef and 9,801 tons of mutton annually in thepast few years.

    To The Top

    Thailand bans foreign press from Burma border

    BANGKOK, July 15 (Reuters) - Thailand said on Monday it had banned foreign journalists and political activists from areas bordering Burma following what it said were hostile reports about the area that had soured relations with its neighbour.

    National Security Council (NSC) Secretary-General Khachadpai Burusapatana said the ban would prevent foreign media from getting access to refugees and to armed ethnic guerrillas fighting Burmese troops along the 1,800-km (1,125-mile) border.

    "Those NGO (non-government organisation) workers and foreign correspondents who have been wandering around along the border have been banned," Khachadpai told reporters.

    "We will tell our soldiers and police in these areas to impose a total prohibition on them," he said.

    "Often many of these foreign correspondents have reported that we have mistreated refugees without cross-checking the facts."

    Khachadpai did not say how Thai authorities would identify foreign journalists or what police or the army would do if they caught them in the prohibited areas.

    Relations between Thailand and Burma have deteriorated in recent months following bloody skirmishes between rival ethnic militias along the border that diplomats say amounts to a low-level proxy war.

    Burma government troops have been fighting a Thai-backed militia struggling for independence for the Shan community, one of the country's biggest ethnic minorities.

    Thai troops meanwhile have been engaged in sporadic clashes with another rebel militia, from the ethnic Wa minority, which is allied to Rangoon.

    Both governments accuse their ethnic opponents of drug trafficking and say their troops are acting in self-defence.

    Thailand, home to some 100,000 mainly ethnic minority Burma refugees, has been trying to mend strained relations with Rangoon in recent months but appears to have made little progress.

    Newspapers and both countries regularly attack the other side, accusing their neighbours of deceit and making insults.

    Khachadpai did not say which areas would be out of bounds to foreign reporters, except to say the rules applied "along the border".

    But he said several Thai provinces along the borders with Laos, Burma, and Cambodia were technically still under martial law and considered "dangerous zones".

    So Thai provincial authorities already had the power to ban anyone they choose from entering these areas.

    "This order will be in line with the government's policy in not interfering with our neighbours' domestic affairs," he said.

    To The Top