Daily News- October 29 - 2002- Tuesday

  • Police investigating mail bomb sent to Myanmar Embassy in Tokyo
  • ICFTU Issues Blacklist of Foreign Firms Backing Burmese Regime
  • UN envoy in Chiang Mai
  • Myanmar makes achievements in tourism sector

  • Police investigating mail bomb sent to Myanmar Embassy in Tokyo

    TOKYO (AP)- An envelope containing explosives was delivered Monday to the Myanmar Embassy in Tokyo, police said. No injuries were reported.

    A bomb squad found a detonator, wires and a battery parts often used to ignite explosives inside a greeting card-sized envelope sent anonymously from Thailand, a spokesman for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police said.

    Japanese police have launched a criminal investigation into the case, he said on condition of anonymity. Japanese public television broadcaster NHK said the small bomb was designed to explode when the card was opened and that police were investigating it as a possible terror attempt. Police did not comment on the report.

    To The Top

    ICFTU Issues Blacklist of Foreign Firms Backing Burmese Regime

    Source : Tehran Times

    PARIS -- The International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) on Sunday published a blacklist of 325 multinationals who it said were "contributing and supporting the brutal and repressive dictatorship" in Burma.

    Some 92 new companies were added to the ICFTU's list, which detailed companies' "principal investments and others forms of economic relations" Burma.

    New entrants included French company Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, conglomerate British American tobacco, South Korean carmaker Hyundai and Austrian airlines.

    "There is proof of links between foreign companies and the military junta ... and the use of forced labor," the ICFTU said.

    The ICFTU published a 350-paged report last week which said forced labor was increasing under Burma's military junta, encouraged by investments from multinational corporations.

    The report cited new testimony on the use of forced labor, continuing into this year, to build roads and other infrastructure projects linked with the Yadana gas pipeline project.

    French oil giant TotalFinaElf and U.S. oil group Unocal were major partners in a consortium that constructed the gas pipeline between 1994 and 1998.

    Earlier this month, a French state prosecutor launched an investigation into allegations by two Burmese citizens that TotalFinaElf used forced labor on the project.

    But TotalFinaElf has rejected "all accusations concerning forced labor in Myanmar" and dismissed the ICFTU report as "wild speculation or even pure lies", AFP reported.

    To The Top

    UN envoy in Chiang Mai

    source : The Irrawaddy

    October 29, 2002—After concluding a 12-day trip to Burma, UN human rights rapporteur Paulo Sergio Pinheiro met with representatives from three Shan groups in separate meetings this afternoon, a Shan source said.

    The three Shan groups--the Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN), the Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF) and the Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN)--met with Pinheiro to discus human rights violations, in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

    In particular, the groups spoke about allegations raised in "License to Rape", a report which details the sexual abuse of 625 women by military personnel.

    In Bangkok earlier today, Pinheiro was reported to have met with Razali Ismail, UN special envoy to Burma.

    On Pinheiro's schedule tomorrow is several meetings with Thai-based opposition groups and NGOs, including the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma).

    To The Top

    Myanmar makes achievements in tourism sector

    YANGON, Oct 29, 2002 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Myanmar has made some achievements in the tourism sector in terms of the number of hotels added in 14 years since 1988 when the present government assumed office.

    According to a report of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism available here Tuesday, there are altogether 42 state- owned hotels now with 1,402 rooms, up from 19 of such hotels with 790 rooms in 1988.

    Since Myanmar opened to foreign investment in 1988, the number of hotel projects under such investment had reached 40 as of August this year with an amount of 1,235.106 million US dollars.

    Meanwhile, there are also 498 local private-run hotels, motels and inns with 11,292 rooms in the country, according to other official statistics.

    As one of its measures to develop the sector, Myanmar set up the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism in 1992, allowing private entrepreneurs to engage in the industry for wider participation.

    Meanwhile, starting from 2001, Myanmar has lowered the requirements for travelers to exchange 300 dollars with local currencies on arrival, bringing the amount down to 200 dollars.Other measures include granting tourists from neighboring China to use the Chinese currency yuan during their stay in Myanmar starting July 18.

    The statistics show that tourists arrival in Myanmar rose 23.46 percent to 170,858 in the first half of 2002 from 138,385 in the same period of last year.

    The authorities, however, pointed out that the country's tourism industry has not attained the level of success as expected, attributing it to the hindrances and obstacles made by internal and external "destructive elements".Myanmar has set a short-term target of drawing 500,000 foreign tourists annually.

    To The Top