Thai-Burmese border trade down on economic crisis

The Thai-Burmese border trade in Tak province has affected more from global economic problems than political turbulence in Burma, said Chaiyuth Senitantikul, chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries in Tak.
He said political movements in Burma are concentrated in Rangoon and produce less impact on the border trade.

Thailand’s exports – mostly consumer products – in May dropped 10 per cent from the previous month to Bt1.8 billion, while imports were down 10-20 per cent to about Bt200 million.
Nation business

Trucks and Lumber Seized at Three Pagodas Pass, Money Extorted

Mon 01 Jun 2009, IMNA
On May 22nd, Thai authorities stopped 31 Burmese timber trucks in Three Pagodas Pass, according to residents, reportedly seizing the timber and trucks. An eyewitness reported to IMNA that about 200 tons of logs were seized in total.

In order to get back each of their rented trucks, Burmese traders were told they had to pay 90,000 Baht to the Thai authorities, according to a source who spoke with one of the traders.

The timber trader stated that the government-owned “Htay Company complained to Nay Pyi Daw [the Burmese capital] and asked for these timber trucks to be stopped. The Htay Company wants to control [all of the] logging in that area. So they do not like other log traders trading with Thai companies.”

Another trader added that, “Thai companies do not want to buy Htay Company timber because it is more expensive than the small traders. Right now they [Htay] already have 30,00 tons of timber yet to be sold in the Three Pagodas region.”

Since 2005 Thai and Burmese authorities have together effectively banned anyone besides the Hyat Company from bringing timber across the border, said a resident of Three Pagodas Pass.

According to an IMNA source in the Three Pagodas Pass Special Branch Police, Htay Company is owned by Major General Hla Htay Win, the former Rangoon Commander who was recently named Chief of Military Training

Yettaw -He is a member of this Church in his native town. But coincidently this church,The Church of The Latter Day Saints is doing their missionary programmed by cooperation with USDA


Address of The Church of The Latter Day Saints ( Yattaw’s Church) in Yangon:
No: 146 (A),Pyi Road, 8 1/2 miles, Mayangon Township.Yangon,Myanmar.
(In front of Aung Myay Bon San,Shan monastery, near A1 Film Compound)

Daw Aung San Suu-Chronicle of a Cooked-up Crime

As rumors swirled around the arrest and trial of Aung San Suu Kyi and her uninvited American visitor, The Irrawaddy pieced together the known facts of this bizarre caseAung San Suu Kyi’s lakeside home on Rangoon’s University Avenue is one of the city’s most secure locations, with at least a dozen security men posted outside its high fence at all times.

In late 2008, an American citizen, Vietnam War veteran John William Yettaw, stayed for several weeks in the Thai-Burmese border town of Mae Sot and talked openly there about a visit he claimed to have made in November to Suu Kyi’s home. He reportedly told Mae Sot residents he had swum to her waterfront compound across Rangoon’s Inya Lake. According to National League for Democracy sources, Suu Kyi asked her personal physician to report the incident to the authorities, but they did nothing.

Yettaw returned to Thailand from his home in the US earlier this year after telling his family he was working on a book. on May 2, he entered Burma again. Immigration officials at Rangoon International Airport, trained to spot suspicious visitors, issued him with a tourist visa. Yettaw booked into Rangoon’s Beauty Land Hotel.

On May 7, the state-run newspaper The New Light of Myanmar broke the news of Yettaw’s arrest, reporting that he had spent two days and nights at Suu Kyi’s home after swimming there across Inya Lake. The report said that Yettaw set off during the night of Sunday, May 3, and stayed at Suu Kyi’s home until late on May 5. At 5.30 a.m. On May 6, security officials spotted him swimming in the lake near the International Business Center on Pyay Road,

more than a mile from Suu Kyi’s home, and arrested him. Yettaw is 53 years old, suffers from asthma and diabetes and lives modestly in the US on an ex-serviceman’s disability pension. He allegedly strapped a pair of home-made flippers to his feet to help him swim to Suu Kyi’s home and back. continue

Veteran writer Maung Su Shin dies

by Mizzima News
Tuesday, 02 June 2009 15:33

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Veteran writer Maung Su Shin (alias) Myo Thant died on Tuesday afternoon in Rangoon after suffering from pneumonia.

Maung Su Shin (77) had been suffering from pneumonia and was hospitalised in the Shwegondine Special Clinic (SSC) for the past three days, friends and colleagues said.

“Saya U Myo Thant (Maung Su Shin) was a veteran writer and his death is a great loss for the Burmese literary circle,” Dr. Tin Tun, editor of the Thutahswaysone Magazine and a friend of Maung Su Shan said.

Thai FM pushes for road through Myanmar

Foreign Minister of Thailand Kasit Priomya yesterday said Bangladesh-Myanmar road is “more viable” route of the proposed Asian Highways for connecting Thailand with western countries.

He said his country was ready to work with Bangladesh on repatriation of Rohingya refugees, a common problem for two countries, back to Myanmar.

Priomya, who came to Dhaka yesterday on a two-day official visit, said political change in the military-ruled Myanmar was “very much needed” for regional stability.

While talking to reporters at a joint-press briefing at the foreign ministry, he said Bangladesh and Thailand could easily be connected by road via Myanmar, subject to the approval of the three governments.

He said an option was there to stretch a road from India through a part Bangladesh and then back into India ending in southern China via Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. “But the option for a road from Chittagong to Myanmar and Thailand looks quite viable in terms of the international thought,” he added.

The minister said changes in Myanmar would resolve the issues of internally displaced Myanmarese along the Bangladesh-Myanmar and Myanmar-Thailand borders.

“So changes in Myanmar are very much needed. It is not only a necessity for the security of Myanmar but also for all the neighbouring countries including Bangladesh and Thailand,” Priomya said.

Speaking at the briefing, Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said Thailand agreed to give on-arrival visas to Bangladeshi diplomats and government officials.

She hoped the on-arrival visas would be available for all Bangladeshis in future. Continue reading “Thai FM pushes for road through Myanmar”

In response to the Wa’s non-compliance, the new order, imposed from yesterday, June 1, states that whenever Wa soldiers from any brigade (southern area) travel anywhere, they must first explain why to the area commanders, giving great detail. The source also added that security around the Wa border had been also tightened.

Tension grows between southern Wa, junta

Earlier this year, the junta told the Wa to either become a border security force or return to the Sino-Burma border where they originally came from.

Birg Gen Kyaw Phyoe

Now, in response to the Wa’s non-compliance, the new order, imposed from yesterday, June 1, states that whenever Wa soldiers from any brigade (southern area) travel anywhere, they must first explain why to the area commanders, giving great detail. The source also added that security around the Wa border had been also tightened.

“If they [Wa] go in cars, even the make and model of their cars need to be reported,” the source, from the Thai-Burma border, said.
On 18 May, southern Wa officers were reminded again about the border guard force by Birg Gen Kyaw Phyoe, Commander of the Kengtung-based Triangle Region Command, while he was visiting Monghsat and Mongton townships, opposite Chiangmai.

The deadline for compliance ended on May 31. So far the Wa have refused to comply with demands.

In addition, the junta military is also pressing ahead in its efforts to take the 171st military region’s three sensitive positions in the southern area. These are 6,654ft-high mountain Loi Ksarm Hsoong, strategic mountain pass Kiu Hulom, and Hwe Yao, opposite Chiangmai’s Wiang Haeng district.

On 29 May, following a day-long meeting at Hwe Aw, southern Wa officers from 171st brigade, 248th (Hoyawd) and 518th (Mongyawn), decided it would not agree to the junta’s demands to become a border security force, but would comply with the new order and report their travels, the source said. The southern Wa officers are also preparing military supplies and food, in case fighting breaks out.

“We [the Wa] won’t start fighting,” the source quoted a Wa officer saying.

All soldiers who returned to their villages have been called back to their commands. Their families and children have been sent away from the military region, said a local villager in Nakawngmu, Mongton township, adding: “They [Wa family] prepared the food. They dried sticky rice and pounded it with meat.”

Similarly, the Burmese Army’s Brigade #55 was reported to have arrived in the area. It has also been conducting security patrols in every village in Mongton township with local military units’ cooperation.

“On 9 May, Nakawngmu Area Commander warned the villagers to stay close to their homes as the security tightened between them and the Wa. Because of the warning, villagers were worried the situation would be getting worse,” a source said.

On the other hand, since the middle of May, when the Wa officers made an announcement not to travel unnecessarily but use the phone instead, the Wa from the Sino-Burma border and the Thai-Burma border have travelled less to each other.

The Southern Wa area, known as the 171st Military Region, stretches from Mongton township to Tachilek township opposite Maehongson, Chiangmai and Chiangrai, Thailand.