Are military personnel government employees

NEWS May 2nd, 2003



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WORD BATTLE BETWEEN AUNG SAN SUU KYI AND SPDC
KAREN REBELS ATTACK ON THE GAS PIPELINE
NEW HIV / AIDS PROGRAM
SARS
RICE CONTROL ABOLISHED
REFUGEE IN BRITISH EMBASSY IN RANGOON
KUONI TRAVEL LEAVES BURMA
NEW UNHCR RESOLUTION
REPORT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN



WORD BATTLE BETWEEN AUNG SAN SUU KYI AND SPDC
At a press conference, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi questioned the will of the ruling State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) for political dialogue. With this accusation of a lack of progress, Suu Kyi is changing the forgiving tone that has been in place since house arrest was lifted a year ago. She also criticized the disabilities on her last political trip to Chin State. As recently as December, Aung San Suu Kyi had expressed himself “cautiously optimistic” about the political changes in Burma, and the SPDC placed her with her one week ago. The junta now interpreted the statements as discrediting the Burmese leadership to the world public. General Than Tun, the liaison between the NLD and the SPDC, puts the NLD in charge of the fragile relationship between the two parties.
Suu Kyi also called for UN special envoy Razali Ismail to be allowed another one. Razali played a pivotal role in the admission secret talks between Suu Kyi and the SPDC in October 2000 and in the release of house arrest. The Special Envoy is increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress on political reforms and dialogue. He is said to have made four attempts to visit this year, but no official new invitation has been received so far. The Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights, Sergio Pinheiro, left in a hurry a few weeks ago after he discovered a wiretapping system during discussions with political prisoners.
Agence
Press 04/23/2003, 04/25/2003, Reuters 04/21/2003

KAREN REBELS ATTACK ON THE GAS PIPELINE
The Karen National Union (KNU) confessed to three people in the previous week's attacks on a gas pipeline. In a statement it was stated that the KNU's militant arm ran some sections of the SPDC-owned gas pipeline between February and April. This is the KNU's answer to the ongoing repression of the ethnic Karen. The income generated by the gas pipeline would be used to buy military equipment for use against ethnic minorities. Further attacks are not excluded. The KNU calls for multilateral talks between the SPDC government, the ethnic minorities and the opposition party National League for Democracy. The declaration was also sent to the French oil and energy company TotalFinaElf, which is involved in the extraction of gas.
A Total Finina eleven-led consortium is considering developing the Sein and Badamyar fields in the Martaban Gulf to increase gas supplies from the neighboring Yadana fields. Six new wells are to be drilled there over the next four to five years.
Associated Press April 21, 2003, Agence
Press April 20, 2003, April 23, 2003, Oil and Gas Journal, April 28, 2003

NEW HIV / AIDS PROGRAM
A new joint program has been launched to combat HIV / AIDS. UN agencies, government departments, international and national non-governmental organizations are involved in the program. As UNAIDS announced, 51 million US dollars are necessary for the implementation of the three-year program. US $ 21 million has already been pledged by the UK's Department of International Development (US $ 15.7 million), Norway (US $ 823.00) and Sweden (US $ 4.7 million). For 2003, $ 7.5 million has already been allocated.
HIV / AIDS is considered to be one of the three predominant communicable diseases in the United States. According to WHO estimates, there were 3,817 AIDS cases in 2000, and 510,000 people were infected with the virus. Burma's Ministry of Health reports 180,000 people infected with HIV, while UNAIDS puts the number of infections between 170,000 and 420,000.
Xinhua News Agency
, Associated Press 4/28/2003

SARS
According to official reports, no cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) have occurred to date. The government is making surveillance, preparedness and control efforts. For example, travelers who enter from countries affected by SARS are subjected to a detailed examination and, in the event of suspected cases, are initially placed in quarantine.
The effects of the disease on Burma's economy are already being felt. A good 60% of all bookings in the hotel and tourism industry have been canceled.
Xinhua News Agency
, TV Myanmar , TV Myanmar

RICE CONTROL ABOLISHED
After 40 years, its previous travel procurement policy has given up. As reported by the state-owned New Light of Myanmar newspaper, people can now trade at prevailing market prices. The government will no longer buy rice directly from farmers at fixed prices. Previously, farmers had to sell 240 kg of rice per 0.4 ha at the lowest price (one-sixth of the market price) to the government. These sales account for up to ten percent of total rice production. The supplies were redistributed to government employees, military personnel and their families, with the remainder being stored for emergencies or export. For military personnel and civil servants, these subsidies are no longer applicable. Analysts expect rice prices to stabilize in the future.
Today: Kyodo News 4/24/2003, AgencePress April 24, 2003

REFUGEE IN BRITISH EMBASSY IN RANGOON
Negotiations on the demonstrators who fled to the British embassy during a demonstration in Rangoon on April 4 continue. Deputy Foreign Secretary Khin Maung Win describes the refugee as a terrorist and warned the British embassy not to put themselves in danger by sheltering such a person. Meanwhile, the British diplomats have refused to provide any information as to whether the demonstrator is actually in the embassy.
Agence
Press April 25, 2003

KUONI TRAVEL LEAVES
Kuoni Travel, Europe's sixth largest travel agency, has announced that it will be retiring at the end of the year and will not be offering any new trips for the next season. Managing Director Sue Briggs: “As a result of recent events in Asia and low public demand, we will not be offering any additional vacations in 2004. However, we look forward to returning as soon as the UK public requests it back; we expect this as soon as democracy is restored in it ”.
Press release
Campaign 30.4.2003

NEW UNHCR RESOLUTION
The new resolution of the UN Human Rights Commission on the situation of human rights is available at http://www.unhchr.ch/Huridocda/Huridoca.nsf/ (Symbol) /E.CN.4.RES.2003.12.En?Opendocument.

REPORT ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN
A new study by Refugee Internationel (RI) documents rape by the Burmese armies against women of various ethnic groups. The study aims to show that rape by Burma’s army does not apply to a specific ethnic group. Free download of the study at http://www.refugeesinternational.org/files/newsletter/no_safe_place.pdf
Contact: [email protected]

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