Daily News- September 09- 2002- Monday

  • EU mission meets with Myanmar ethnic leaders
  • FRIENDLY TEXTBOOK: It's the same old history
  • Myanmar offers mining rights to foreign companies
  • Scale of Daewoo's Burma Gas Block To Be Known Late '03
  • Hosts UAE prevail over fierce Burma in the Asia Under -17 football

  • EU mission meets with Myanmar ethnic leaders

    By AYE AYE WIN, Associated Press Writer

    YANGON, Myanmar - Myanmar ethnic minority leaders met Sunday with a European Union ( news - web sites) delegation to call for the release of political prisoners and the convening of a national parliament, a local politician said.

    The E.U. team arrived earlier Sunday for its first visit to the military-ruled country since the release of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest in May.

    The mission met with representatives from eight ethnic groups in two separate meetings Sunday evening, according to Dr. Saw Mra Aung, chairman of the Arakan League for Democracy, an unregistered political party.

    He said members of the Shan, Rakine and Mon ethnic groups told the four-member E.U. team that they were striving for political reconciliation, the release of political prisoners and the revival of banned political parties.

    They also demanded the convening of a national parliament based on the results of a disputed vote in 1990. That year Myanmar's military junta called elections but annulled them after they were swept by Suu Kyi's opposition party, the National League for Democracy.

    The E.U. team was also expected to meet with Suu Kyi and members of her party during the three-day visit, aimed at promoting political reconciliation in Myanmar, also known as Burma.It also plans to meet with the junta's No. 3 leader, Lt. Gen. Khin Nyunt.

    The mission is led by Carsten Nilaus Pederson, regional director at the Danish Foreign Ministry. The other members are two E.U. officials and the first secretary of the Greek Embassy in Bangkok. Greece will take over the E.U. presidency in January.Myanmar's junta came to power in 1988 after crushing a pro-democracy movement.

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    FRIENDLY TEXTBOOK: It's the same old history

    Ramon Ruaysaen

    A new Thai history textbook that seeks to portray neighbouring countries in a friendly light has been labelled "propaganda material" and needs to be re-edited because it still might cause offence to some countries in the region.

    Several teachers who have read the draft of the book, "Analytical History", said a section dealing with the Ayutthaya Kingdom during the reign of King Naresuan - the Thai king who liberated Ayutthaya from the Burmese - portrays Burma in a negative way.They say this will create more tension between Rangoon and Bangkok rather than - as the authors intend - repairing ill feeling between the neighbours.

    "There is nothing in it that's different from history textbooks we already have. It's just as conventional," said Sawaeng Mala-saem, a history teacher from Chiang Mai.The book has been sent to about 240 history teachers in primary and secondary schools around the country for comments.

    Commissioned by the Rangoon-based Seameo Regional Centre for History and Tradition (Seameo-Chat), the book is part of a 10-book project in which members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations write histories of their countries in an effort to foster better understanding between them.Seameo is the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation, comprising educational organisations from the 10 Asean members. Education Minister Suwit Khunkitti is its current president.

    Under the Seameo project, Burmese historians are also writing a version of their hsitory, said Ravivan Pakprot, a member of the project's working group.

    Ravivan said that several points in "Analytical History" would be revised as they mentioned events in history without reference to primary sources."We need a factual history textbook, not propaganda material," she said.

    Thai students would get the chance to read the Burmese version of relations between the two countries at a later stage.

    When completed the Thai book will be translated into English and exchanged with history books written by the other the Asean members. The 10 books in the series will be recommended as additional reading for secondary school students.

    Somsong Pithakpiset a teacher at Rattanarat Bamrung School said the Thai book is more of a narrative history than an analytical one as it claimed."But I will still recommend to my students that they read it," she said.

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    Myanmar offers mining rights to foreign companies

    YANGON, Sept. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Myanmar has offered some mining rights to foreign companies conducting mineral exploration in the country, aiming at attracting more foreign investment for the development of its extensive mineral resources.

    The offer includes extension of the prospecting period from five to seven years and rights to claim the cost of exploration and feasibility study from any future joint venture with the government, Monday's Myanmar Times quoted sources at the Ministry of Mines as saying.

    The offer came after the ministry announced an invitation to foreign companies in late last month to bid for the fourth round of mineral exploration in 42 blocks in the country's Kachin, Shan,Sagaing and Mandalay states and divisions where gold, copper, lead,zinc, silver, platinum, tin and tungsten are prospective. Each of the 42 blocks covers an area of 700 square kilometers.

    The ministry anticipates that the mineral prospecting would result in the production of geological maps eventually covering the entire nation which are at present 70 percent compared with 100 percent in most countries. The ministry also expects other benefits of introducing new technology, creating more job opportunities and earning more foreign exchange through the exploration without the need for investment by the government.

    Myanmar has sponsored three rounds of competitive bidding for mineral prospecting and exploration in the country in November 1994, December 1995 and July 1997 respectively. During these three events, a total of 35 blocks were granted to foreign companies.

    According to official statistics, about a dozen of foreign companies from Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States have been involved in the mineral exploration in Myanmar and foreign contracted investment in the sector has reached 522.5 million US dollars since the country opened to such investment in late 1988.

    Meanwhile, Myanmar fetches about 100 million dollars a year in royalties from mining operations mainly from the sale of copper, followed by that of lead, zinc, tin and tungsten.

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    Scale of Daewoo's Burma Gas Block To Be Known Late '03

    SINGAPORE (Dow Jones)--The size of the gas prospect in Daewoo International's exploration block in Burma will only be known late next year, after a test well is drilled, a company official said Monday.

    According to a report in the Myanmar Times last week, the block, near Sittway in Rakhine state, has an estimated reserve of 13.4 trillion to 47.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

    The report said the block had the potential to be larger than Burma's two other producing gas fields at Yadana and Yetagun.

    "While the amount we expect to discover may be larger than Yadana and Yetagun, the block is still very much in the exploration stage," said an official with the South Korean company.

    "We are still trying to find the gas. We've already done the seismic survey, and the prospect is quite big," he said.

    "Until we drill a test well, we won't know how much gas will be there," he added.

    Daewoo holds a majority stake in the exploration block, also known as Block A1. ONGC Videsh, a unit of India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp. (P.ONG), has a 20% stake, Gas Authority of India holds a 10% stake, while Korea Gas, or KOGAS, has 10%.

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    Hosts UAE prevail over fierce Burma in the Asia Under -17 football

    Source : UAE News

    Abu Dhabi---The hosts UAE suffered a great deal before emerging 4-2 winners in their opener against Burma in the Asia Under -17 football championship match held yesterday at Al Nahyn Stadium to collect their first three points.

    The UAE took the lead in the seventh minute when Abdullah Al Noobi went on a raid on the right flank before crossing from the line back to his colleague in attack Omar Abdul Rahman who scored his team's first goal.

    The goal had a strange effect on Burma. They fought back fiercely and dominated the action completely forcing the UAE to retreat to defend their slim lead.

    The UAE's defence was caught off guard many times and players made many mistakes especially the libero Tilal Abdullah.

    Tilal wanted to go past Burma's striker Tun Min Oo, 11 minutes into the match, but the visiting striker snatched the ball and found himself clear with the UAE's custodian Yousuf Abdullah only to shoot hastely outside the wide open goal.

    The pressure Myanmar put on the home team's goal created many corner kicks and from such one, Myo Min sent a curling ball to Tun Min who headed home the equaliser, 28 minutes into the encounter.

    The UAE continued to commit mistakes in passing, marking, taking places and despite their coach's shouts for them to advance to attack, the players stayed at their own half defending. This gave Burma large spaces to build their attacking moves.

    Bo Bo Aung scored the second goal for Myanmar following a fast counter attack on the left flank led by their captain Tun Tun Win six minutes before the breather.

    Georges Korac, the French coach of the UAE, brought in Ahmed Jumaa who used to start the team's friendly matches beside Al Noobi in attack at the resumption.

    Jumaa was soon in the thick of action playing along with Omar as Al Noobi retreated to do a midfield role instead of Abdullah Mubarak who went out.

    The first attacking move of the hosts resulted in a corner and Al Noobi sent the ball to Abdul Karim Awana, the advancing defender, who shot home the equaliser.

    Al Noobi created havoc in the visiting team's defence from his midfield role and sent many scoring balls that were squandered by his colleagues. Meanwhile, Myanmar continued exchanging attacks with the UAE.

    The physical preparations of the UAE players was clearly not suitable for the tournament as the players suffered many cases of pulled muscles and three of them had to be substituted. This indicated the fact that the team need better physical preparations before their next match in the group.

    The mutual understanding between Ahmed and Al Noobi was clear in the UAE's third goal as they exchanged a number of one-two passes that sent Al Noobi clear to score a brilliant goal, 33 minutes after the interval.

    Burma advanced looking for equalise rand that was their biggest mistake.

    The UAE scored their fourth goal from a fast rebound when Awana sent substitute Salim Abdullah on the left flank to seal the result for his country.

    Despite the victory, the UAE technical staff have a lot to do before they play their next match on Monday.

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