Daily News- November 06 - 2002- Wednesday

  • Junta requests border meeting in Moulmein be postponed
  • Bosnian Serbs admit plans to sell arms to Myanmar
  • DVB Interview with Mr Paulo Sergio Pinheiro

  • Junta requests border meeting in Moulmein be postponed

    Wassana Nanuam
    the Bangkokpost

    Rangoon wants the Thai-Burmese Regional Border Committee meeting scheduled for this month delayed until next month or early January.An army source said the Burmese government had asked for the meeting in Moulmein to be rescheduled because it was not fully prepared.

    Burma's recently appointed South East Area commander, Maj-Gen Thura Myint Aung, and Thailand's Third Army commander, Lt-Gen Udomchai Ongkhasing, will attend the meeting.The source also said Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra wanted the army to do its best to nurture Thai-Burmese ties.

    Burma had shown its sincerity in cooperating on drug suppression by destroying a large amount of drugs in La Shio, Shan state, on Oct 25.Thirty-four buckets of opium poppies, 45 buckets of opium seed, 42.87kg heroin, 3kg raw opium, 23.6kg opium, 10.7kg of speed pills, 125kg of methamphetamine ingredients and 3,530 litres of chemicals were destroyed.

    Commenting on reports that ``letter bombs'' had been sent from within Thailand to the Burmese embassies in Japan, Malaysia and Singapore, the source said the letters had been threatening, but had not contained gun powder.Also, according to Thai security agencies, the letters were sent by Burmese students in Thailand.

    The Third Army also confirmed that two Burmese men shot dead by Thai border patrol police in Chiang Rai last week were drug traffickers trying to smuggle 10,000 speed pills into Thailand.

    A source said Thai security agencies regarded Burma's hoarding of three million litres of petrol and a lot of goods as pointing to a major crackdown by Rangoon on Burmese minority groups.

    Bosnian Serbs admit plans to sell arms to Myanmar

    Kathimerini, Greece

    BANJA LUKA (Reuters) - Bosnia’s Republika Srpska faced fresh embarrassment over weapons trading after it admitted yesterday it was negotiating a deal with Myanmar when a scandal over illegal exports to Iraq broke out last month.

    “There were attempts... to sell weapons, but after learning that Burma (Myanmar) was under unilateral sanctions, (although) not under UN sanctions, the agreement was put out of force,” Prime Minister Mladen Ivanic told a news conference.

    Many Western countries, including the US and the EU, have imposed political and economic sanctions on Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, over its human rights record.

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    DVB Interview with Mr Paulo Sergio Pinheiro

    Source : Democratic Voice Of Burma (Nov 05)

    DVB : The Financial Time newspaper on 31st Oct reported that you had asked international community to increase humanitarian assistance. Can you comment on that?

    Mr Pinheiro : I have read many stories during my stay in Burma that I had appeal for an increase of humanitarian aid to the country. It is not what I said. What I said is that I think that it is very important to consider the possibility of engaging with the society in the country. But I didn't ask for anything about the change of humanitarian aid to the country.

    DVB : When should international community increase aid to Burma, then?

    Mr Pinheiro : Mr Razali (UN Special envoy to Burma) and I propose several scenarios when this question can be organized. But for me, this is conditionality, I don't think the international aid and international investment to the country has to be changed before the condition of political participation of other forces in this endeavor.

    DVB : "Myanmar Time" - published in Rangoon on 28th October also reported that you had asked for increased cooperation with the military regime in Burma. How did this misunderstanding arise?

    Mr Pinheiro : I think that there is a perhaps the selection of something that I have written or people have not read everything that I said. And as things are moving very slow, some people think that I am happy this situation. Not at all! I will not continue with my mandate if things are not improved in the near future. I will not prepare to stay years and years with this pace. I will be two-years with my mandate and I don't want to continue with just waiting things to happen. I will say this tomorrow during my speech at UN General Assembly in New York.

    DVB : What are the main points in your speech tomorrow?

    Mr Pinheiro : In my view, there can be no credible democratic transition without five fundamental conditions. These are inclusion of all component of society in the political dialogue, immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, the lifting the restrictions which continue to hamper the ability of political parties, individual and groups, explicit discussion of political democratization that cannot take place without free election and accountability through judicial mechanism of abuse committed by state agents.

    DVB : After returning from Burma, did you get any impression of when the dialogue could start?

    Mr Pinheiro : Let me put it this way. After the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, I was suspecting that the move forward will be not so slow but in fact it is very slow. At that time, I was suspecting something different.

    DVB : Is the dialogue stop?

    Mr Pinheiro : What I can say is that dialogue is not stop. It is not correct to say that there is a still mate. The contact continues and both side - the SPDC and the NLD confirmed me that the contacts have happened. Many many contacts had happened in the past and continue to happen. But political negotiation has not started. That is what ambassador Razali and I would think that that is essential.

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