Junta News Diary

October- 2002

Oct 01 2002

- Reported that Burma's Military Intelligence Service (MIS) is continuing a crackdown on political dissidents inside Burma, which began in late September and culminated in the arrests of over 30 activists throughout the country
- The situation remained tense on the Thai-Burma border a day after several rockets fired by a pro-Rangoon DKBA group strayed into Thailand.
- Japan announced it had inked two grants to Burma worth 746 million yen (6.1 million dollars) for an anti-desertification programme and scholarships for students.
- Announced that lottery would only be releasing numbers once a month instead of seven times.

Oct 02 2002

- Gave no indication of when major political strides might be made during the meeting with visiting Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.
- mobilised troops into mountainous ethnic areas as it launches dry-season operations against minority KNU insurgents.
- Defense lawyers filed appeals at Rangoon's Supreme Court against death sentences given to four relatives of former dictator Ne Win.

Oct 03 2002

- Child sex scandal case surfaced at Pretoria's Burmese Embassy involving Ambassador's 15-year-old domestic helper.

Oct 08 2002

- Agreed to reopen its border with Thailand on Oct. 15.

Oct 10 2002

- Freed 31 political prisoners, including seven members of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), a week before a visit by a United Nations human rights envoy.

Oct 11 2002

- Agreed to the extradition of four Karen arrested in connection with a deadly ambush on a Thai school bus.

Oct 14 2002

- Dismissed as politically motivated U.S. allegations that it restricts religious freedom. Oct 15 2002

- Reopened border checkpoints which were closed five months ago when fighting involving ethnic militias sparked a bitter diplomatic row with Thailand.

Oct 16 2002

- A border checkpoint between Thailand and Burma was rocked by a bomb blast near a pier in the town of Myawaddy controlled by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA).
- Announced that Brazilian academic Paulo Sergio Pinheiro to make his fourth visit to the country in a bid to dispel allegations its troops used rape as a weapon of war against ethnic minority girls and women.
- Reported that two Chinese-made Burma's military jets crashed during routine training flights, killing its two pilots. It went down near Meiktila and Twante outside Rangoon in two seperate incidents.
- Released the report of making efforts to improve rural water supply and 1,923 tube-wells have been sunk in its three divisions of arid zone under a 10-year rural water supply project which began in 2000-01.
- General Khin Nyunt called for efforts to bring about food sufficiency, saying that it is the most basic requirement for the emergence of a peaceful and prosperous world during a ceremony marking the World Food Day.

Oct 17 2002

- A United Nations expert arrived on his latest mission to assess the human rights situation in the country.
- Security was beefed up on both sides of the Thai-Burmese border after six bombs were found planted in and around the town of Myawaddy.
- China has donated agricultural crop seeds to the authorities of Kokang,Shan State Special Region-1 of Burma,to help substitute for the region's poppy cultivation under the Sino-Burma drug control program.
- Rejected a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report which estimated that more than a fifth of the soldiers serving in its national army could be children under the age of 18.

Oct 18 2002

- Reported that foreign investment plunged by 96.59 percent in the first half of 2002, compared with the same period of last year, registering only 1.516 million US dollars.
- United Nations human rights envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro met leaders in military junta and UN agencies operating in the country.
Oct 19 2002

- Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, special human-rights rapporteur for Burma, held talks with the junta's powerful intelligence chief and secretary one, Khin Nyunt, Foreign Minister Win Aung and the leaders of eight ethnic political parties.

Oct 20 2002

- To launch a visa-on-arrival program to individual travelers who arrive at Yangon's international airport on flights operated by Austria-based Lauda Air, aimed at boosting flagging tourism to the country.

Oct 21 2002

- United Nations human rights envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro has declined an invitation by Junta to visit Shan state to investigate alleged human rights violations there.

Oct 22 2002

- Injected in border area development projects a total of 356.57 million US dollars by the two sectors of government and national race groups, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Progress of Border Areas and National Races and Development Affairs.
- Produced 2.657 million barrels of crude oil in the first half of 2002, recording an increase of 15.27 percent over the same period of last year, said the latest data published by the Ministry of Energy.
- Rice export grew sharply by 191.53 percent to 627,100 tons in the first half of 2002 from the same period of last year, said the latest figures released by the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development.
- A statement by the junta's U.S. public relations firm, the DCI Group, said The International Labor Organization has launched its latest mission to monitor work conditions in country, whose is frequently accused of using forced labor.

Oct 23 2002

- Only one foreign company from Hong Kong invested in country in the first half of this year, an amount of only US$ 1.5 million, according to an official report.

Oct 24 2002

- Pyone Maung Maung, joint-secretary of Burma's e-National Task Force, told that 20,000 Burmese people now surf the Internet and the number could rise to 200,000 in the next two years as connectivity improved.
- General Khin Nyunt called for strengthening of the United Nations so the world body is able to tackle the problems being faced by mankind in the 21st century.

Oct 25 2002

- UN human rights envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro met with a regional military commander and opposition party members in southern Mon state his fact-finding mission here continued.

Oct 26 2002

- The 11th Mid-Year Myanmar Gems Emporium is with a total of 25.41 million US dollars' worth of locally-produced quality gems, jade, pearl and jewelry to be put on sale through competitive bidding, tender and at fixed prices.
- UN human rights envoy Paulo Sergio Pinheiro met with Home Minister Colonel Tin Hliang and police chief Brigadier General Htin Yee.

Oct 28 2002

- A U.N. human rights envoy wrapped up a 12-day visit to investigate complaints of abuses in country, urged the junta to allow the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) to monitor troublespots where it is accused of rights abuses and to release all political prisoners unconditionally and immediately.
- An envelope containing explosives was delivered the Burmese Embassy in Tokyo.

Oct 29 2002

- Made some achievements in the tourism sector in terms of the number of hotels added in 14 years. According to a report of the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism available , there are altogether 42 state- owned hotels now with 1,402 rooms, up from 19 of such hotels with 790 rooms in 1988.
- Destroyed opium poppy seeds and chemicals that would have produced heroin worth more than one billion dollars on the streets.

Oct 30 2002

- Was criticized by a United Nations human rights envoy for not making sufficient efforts to verify allegations that its soldiers used rape as a weapon of war against ethnic Shan women.
- Singapore's military bomb squad have defused a letter containing a detonator sent to the Burmese embassy.

Oct 31 2002

- Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Nyan Lin told reporters that Burma's embassies in Japan, Malaysia and Singapore have received letter bombs over the past few days, prompting an upgrade in security at home and abroad.
- Called the expansion of The Committee Representing People's Parliament, or CRPP just a normal party activity.
- Lodged an official protest with Thailand over a spate of killings of Burmese nationals on the troubled common border and insisted the culprits be caught and punished.