Daily News- March 01 2002- Friday

  • Burma releases more women prisoners
  • A Possible Thaw Among Burmese
  • DVB reports missile site constructed with Russian help
  • Rangoon junta reshuffles police hierarchy in states, divisions
  • Checks of prawns to continue
  • U17:Myanmar power to the final

  • Burma releases more women prisoners

    From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

    The military government in Burma says it has released 68 female prisoners on humanitarian grounds and granted them amnesty. A spokesman for the ruling junta said the releases had taken place in the past week.

    A government statement said the women had been detained for various criminal offences, and that those released included 11 pregnant women.

    The move coincides with reports of ceremonies in Rangoon to mark the consecration of a giant stone Buddha.

    It comes a week after a visit to Burma by the United Nations human rights envoy, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro. He urged the military government to release all its political prisoners, but also acknowledged that Rangoon had improved its treatment of detainees.

    To The Top

    A Possible Thaw Among Burmese

    Far Eastern Economic Review :Issue cover-dated March 07, 2002

    Burma's pro-democracy movement has for the first time indicated that it is willing to work with the military government to solve the country's political problems.

    "The NLD has decided that it would march forward along with the SPDC [the ruling State Peace and Development Council] towards a meaningful dialogue," says a statement issued in January by members of the National League for Democracy located in rebel-held areas near the border with Thailand.

    It says that talks could lead to a situation where "the NLD and the SPDC would jointly solve the problems faced by the state."

    The NLD won a landslide victory in a general election in 1990, but was prevented from forming a new government by the military. Dozens of the party's MPs were arrested while others fled to the Thai border. However, it is not clear whether the NLD leadership in Rangoon has endorsed the proposal.

    Whatever the case, the SPDC has not responded to the offer and attempts by United Nations mediators to initiate a dialogue between the generals and detained NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi have shown few signs of fundamental progress.

    To The Top

    DVB reports missile site constructed with Russian help

    Text of report by Burmese opposition radio on 25 February

    Five Russian experts believed to assist in building a Surface to Air Missile [SAM] Battery have arrived in Burma and construction of the site has already begun. The five Russian experts accompanied by the SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] Director of Armoured and Artillery arrived yesterday at the site near Alechaung Village in Northeastern Mergui District, Tenasserim Division. The area between Alechaung Village and Sanpe hill near the tributary of Tamok Creek in Northeastern Mergui District has been declared as a prohibited zone since yesterday.

    The Russian experts have chosen a site close to a waterfall near Tamok Creek to construct a building to install the computer-aided guidance system for the SAM battery. It is also known that hydroelectric power could be generated from the waterfall as well. DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] has learned that construction of roads to carry the equipment and machinery needed for the site has already begun today.

    To The Top

    Rangoon junta reshuffles police hierarchy in states, divisions

    BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Feb 28, 2002
    Text of report by Burmese opposition radio on 24 February

    After great changes were made to the SPDC [State Peace and Development Council] military at the end of last year, DVB [Democratic Voice of Burma] has learned that high-ranking positions in the Myanmar [Burma] Police Force [MPF] were also being reshuffled.

    During February Police Lt-Col Nyunt Wai from Criminal Investigation Department was transferred to Sagaing Division as divisional police chief while Sagaing Division police chief Police Col Kyaw Htay was transferred to Tenasserim Division. Similarly, Tenasserim Division police chief Police Col Ba Kyi was transferred to eastern Shan State as police chief while Shan State police chief Police Col Tin Maung Maung was transferred to Kachin State. In the same way, Kachin State police chief Police Col Aung Tun was transferred to (?Shan) State as police chief.

    Although the reason for the reshuffling was not clearly known, political observers believed that it could be the work of SPDC Secretary-1 Lt Gen Khin Nyunt-led Myanmar Police Force Management Committee. The committee is planning to re-engineer and expand the MPF.Meanwhile, sources close to the police department say more transfers are expected at the end of the MPF annual general meeting which will commence in a few days.

    To The Top

    Checks of prawns to continue

    Supamart Kasem
    The Bangkokpost

    Customs, fisheries and health officials will continue to discreetly examine Burmese prawn shipments while Thai importers are considering boycotting the products altogether if further traces of contamination pop up in them.

    A restaurant owner last week found pieces of lead in prawns he bought from Chatuchak market, prompting a nationwide health scare which led to a thorough examination of prawn imports in Tak, Surat Thani, Ranong, Kanchanaburi and Satun.In Mae Sot, two Burmese shipments were found to have been contaminated.

    From the 15,000 prawns imported by Prasertson Co, 26 were found to have lead weighing some 150 grammes in either their head or body. Only eight of the 5,300 prawns imported by V Imports Co were found to cantain lead.Up to 11 tonnes of prawns are imported from Burma via Mae Sot each month. Most of the products are destined for restaurants in Bangkok.

    Pichai Chaichanayothinwatchara, manager of V Import, said the company has told its representatives in Burma to carefully examine the prawns or face a boycott. The firm said it has gone as far as purchasing metal detectors for use by its representatives in Burma.

    ``We've warned them that if the problem persists the operators here would consider banning prawns from Burma,'' said Mr Pichai.

    The prawns were from Rangoon and small-time fishermen in Moulmein, Mon state and Kyondo, Karen state.

    Boontiam Chokwiwat, the Mae Sot customs chief, said although the amount of lead was low, less than 0.5% of all imported prawns, it did pose a health risk to consumers.``Authorities will keep on examining the products until we are sure they are really safe,'' he said.Random checks are usually made of prawn shipments but thorough examination is required in case of contamination of lead or other substances.

    Mr Boontiam said the exporters were unlikely to stuff lead in the products as it would affect business credibility.``Those who stuffed the lead in the prawns must be small-time fishermen only concerned about increasing their weight without realising the consequences,'' he said.

    To The Top

    U17:Myanmar power to the final

    PETALING JAYA (Feb 28, 2002) - Myanmar had too much firepower as they demolished Indonesia 6-0 in the AFF Under-17 semifinal at the MPPJ Stadium here today.There was no denying that Myanmar were too powerful for their opponents in all departments.

    Indonesia just could not find an answer to Myanmar's display. The Indonesians were defending almost throughout the match.Their attack consisting Tun Min Oo, Nyi Nyi Aung, Bo Bo Aung and Kyaw Kyaw Soe had only one intention and that was to harass the Indonesian defence constantly. And they just did that.

    For keeper Rio Ardan, who was shown a yellow card for obstructing an opponent outside the penalty area, had a harrowing time.Moreover, Indonesia had a toothless attack, with just Kurniawan upfront and even bringing in Putut Waringin Jati after the breather made no difference.

    Myanmar were two goals ahead before the interval. Nyi Nyi Aung nodded home a 6th minute lead with skipper Tun Tun Win putting them ahead in the 43rd minute.After Bo Bo Aung's 61st minute goal, Indonesia were demoralized and did all they could to keep Myanmar at bay.There was no stopping Myanmar as they collected three home goals through Myo Min Tun (71st), Win Min Htut (85th penalty) and Kyaw Kyaw Soe (87th).

    Myanmar coach, U Tin Han, said: "It was a one-sided match and my players were hardly stretched. Indonesia gave us no problems."

    James Campbell, the Indonesian coach, said: "Our objective in this tournament was to learn and I believe we have. There was no way we could beat Myanmar, physically their players were too strong for us."


    Indonesia today submitted an official protest over the age of the Myanmar players to the AFF Under-17 tournament committee.

    The protest letter was handed over to the committee immediately after the semifinal match against Myanmar. Indonesia lost 6-0 to Myanmar.

    "We have made a formal protest. It's no use having a tournament of this nature where we have to play against such opposition," said James Bryden, the Indonesian coach.

    To The Top