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Compiled by

Thang Za Dal

Last Update: July 15, 2015 (the previous latest Update was dated November 6, 2014)

Note: This Chronology was first prepared in 2004 under the title of Burmas 56-Year Old Civil War (1948-2004): A
Brief Chronology. It was then revised and changed to the current title on October 13, 2011. In this latest modified and
updated version several economic and financial data and statistics of as late as February 2014 are used, and several relevant
old data from the first version are still retained as well. However, major political, military and social events that had had taken
place before the end of 2008 alone are used now. There are of course a few exceptions: A few relavent major events
that have taken place as late as the date of the last Update - that is November 6, 2014 - are also used as
And as this Chronology is intended also for the ordinary people on the street as well, blue and red colours and bold
characters are profusely used to highlight some key information so as to more easily attract their attention and interest.
. For this Chronology I am using several data without having secured the permission of the authors and publishers. I
would like therefore to apologize and at the same time express my deep gratitude to them for this. Since this paper is not
created for commercial purpose, I do hope that they may have understanding with my using their material without their prior
permission. Furthermore, I would like to mention here that I have taken the liberty in either shortening or altering some
texts for reasons of space; however, the facts remain unchanged. And I am thankful to Salai Kipp Kho Lian (Hamburg), too,
for allowing me to use his materials, and for many invaluable advices as well.

Acronyms, Abbreviations and Glossary of Burmese Terms


All Burma Students Democratic Front


Anti-Fascist Peoples Freedom League


Burma Independence Army


Burma National Army


Burma Socialist Programme Party


Chin National Front


Chin National Vanguard Party


Communist Party of Burma


Democratic Alliance of Burma


Economic and Social Council (a UN agency)




Kachin Independence Army/Organisation




Karen National Defence Organisation


Karen National Liberation Army


Karenni National Progressive Party


Light Infantry Division


Least Developed Country


Military Intelligence Service (aka) Defence Services Intelligence


Mon National Defence Organisation


New Mon State Party


Nationalities Democratic United Front


National League for Democracy


National Unity Party


Parliamentary Democratic Party


Pa-O National Organisation


Rangoon University Students Union


State Law and Order Restoration Council


Shan State Army


Shan State Independence Army


Why and How I Compile this Chronology

Even after the great massacres of 1988 in which between 3,000 and 10,000 peaceful demonstrators
throughout the country are believed to have been mowed down by government troops; Daw Aung San
Suu Kyi had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1991; the 2007 Safron Revolution in which
hundreds of peacefully demonstrating Buddhist monks were ruthlessly murdered by government troops;
and the Cyclone Nargis which killed 140,000 and made 2 million people homeless, Burma still remains a
mystery to the outside world, except of course for a handful of scholars and politicians. My simple aims
therefore for compiling this Chronology are to give those in the outside world some insight information
on Burmas internal affairs - especially about the roots of its decades-long ruthless civil war - and the
latest social and economic situation, etc.



the selected events listed

in this brief chronology

are, in my personal opinion, the ones that have shaped or still are shaping the destiny of Burma in one
way or another between 146 AD and present time. One will find more information on the civil war in my
own 628-page paper that I still keep on updating under the title of THE


BANGLADESH, BURMA AND INDIA - AN INTRODUCTION (XVII). This paper may be put on a website within
two years from now. What is now circulated free of charge in the Internet is Update XVI and contains 593
Burma or Myanmar as it is now officially called is a multi-racial country. The ethnic Burmans who form
the majority and several other ethnic nationalities who are defined in official documents as indigenous

indigenous national races or indigenous national minorities. In Burmese: Taingyintha

Lumyomya or Taingyintha Lunyesumya. This compiler is a regular listener to the Burmese Progamme of
BBC, RFA (Radio Free Asia) and VOA. for decades. And I think it is very interesting to note that a few major
changes of policy or practice have had apparently taken place lately with these and some other Burmese
news media groups as well with regard to the use of the said official terms mentioned above. Following
President U Thein Seins meeting with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in the later part of 2010, nearly all of these
Burmese news media groups started using the following terms interchangably: Indigenous minorities or
Ethnic minorities or simply Ethnic groups - in Burmese Taingyintha Lunyesuhmya or Lunyesuh
Taingyinthamya or simply Lunyesuh Okesuh. These condescending terminologies give the impression
that the said nationalities were numbering just a few thousands each and that they were living in the far
remote corners of the country. Actually, their combined territories make up of more than half of the
countrys total area and along the extremely strategic international boundaries.
Official name: Union of Myanmar (formerly Union of Burma)
Head of State/Defense Minister/Commander-in-Chief: Senior General Than Swe (* 2.2.1933)
Prime Minister: General Thein Sein (* 20.4.1945)
Government: A military junta
...The military government has been accused of gross human rights abuses, including the forcible relocation of
civilians and widespread use of forced labour, which includes children. Military-run enterprises control key
industries, and corruption and severe mismanagement are the hallmarks of a black-market-riven economy. The
armed forces - and former rebels-opted by the government - have been accused of large-scale trafficking in
heroin, of which Burma is a major exporter. Prostitution and Aids are major problems... (Country Profile:
Burma/BBC News/16.03.2003.)

AREA: 261,220 sq. mi (676,560 sq. km)

The former Union of Burma (since 1989: Union of Myanmar) is comprised of seven ethnic states - Chin,
Kachin, Kayah (Karenni), Kayin (Karen), Mon, Rakhine and Shan (these and ethnic Burmans are officially
defined by the Burmans

as indigenous peoples, and seven Divisions of

what was known during the

British colonial time as proper Burma or ministerial Burma, namely, Ayeyarwady, Bago, Magway,
Mandalay, Sagaing, Taninthaya and Yangon. More than 50 % of the land is inhabited by the said nonBurman











boundaries and are rich in natural resources.

Population: 42,000 000 (CIA - Factbook: 2002) & Country File: Burma/03.2003)
Ethnicity: Burman 68 % or 28,560,000; Karen 7 % or 2,940,000; Shan 9% or 3,780,000; Rakhine: 4
% or 1,680,000; Chin 2 % or circa 840,000; Kachin 2 %; Karennis (Kayahs) 0, 5 %; Nagas 0,1 % etc.
And among the two alien nationals the Chinese make up 3 % or 1,200,000, and the Indians about 2 % or
840,000. (CIA Factbook/ 2002.)
Religions: Buddhist

89 %, Christian 4% (Baptist Church: 813,000; Roman Catholic Church: 380,000;

Assembly of God: 51,000; Anglican Church: 45,000; Church of Christ: 42,000; Methodist Church:
35,000; Seventh Day Adventist Church: 32,000; United Pentecostal Church: 27,000, etc.), Muslim 4%,
Animist 1%, others 2%. (Note: Statistics on Churches membership were from 1995.)
Currency: Kyat or K.
Exchange rates of hard currencies(as of December 2008) - Official exchange rate: 1 US $ = 6.2774 Kyat;
Black market rate: 1 USD= K. 1,000; 1 Euro = K. 1,200
Economy: Gross Domestic Product - USD 7.3 billion (Spiegel Almanach 2002);
Most of the debts were incurred decades ago, before the banks pulled out, with some $8.4
billion in debts built up during the socialist military regime headed by the late strongman
Gen. Ne Win between 1962 and 1988. Myanmar owes $ 489 million to the ADB; $ 802
million to the World Bank; $ 6.4 billion to Japan, $ 2.1 billion to China and ! 1,084
million to Germany, according to the Myanmar government. (Source: February 9, 2012,
9:11 AM SGT Wall Street Journal (blog) - Too Bad, Burma: Big Bank Loans Unlik ely

Anytime Soon. By Patrick Barta)

Burmas debt to Germany [! 1,084 million] has been halved in a deal presided over by German
President Joachim Gauck and his Burmese counterpart Thein Sein in Naypyidaw on Monday. It
was agreed that the remaining debt will stand at 542 million euro (US$740 million) and will
be repaid at a rate of 3 percent interest over the next 15 years. (DVB News, 11 February 2014)
Germany signed an agreement to waive half of the 1,084 million euros in debt it is owed
by Myanmar at a ceremony in Nay Pyi Taw on February 10. The agreement was signed in
the presence of President U Thein Sein and his visiting German counterpart, Mr Joachim
Gauck. It provides for Myanmar to repay the remaining 542 million euros (K. 731,393,142,
295) over 15 years at an interest rate of three percent, said Myanmar state radio. The waiving
of alf the debt is in line with an agreement reached by the Paris Club of nations, of
which Germany is a member, and Myanmar on February 28, 2013.
(Eleven Media. Tuesday, 11 February 2014 18:57)


21 April 2012 Last updated at 12:11 GMT
Japan to write off $3.7bn Burma debt Japan has agreed to write off more than
$3.7bn (2.29bn) of debt owed by Burma and to resume development aid.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE RESERVES: $ 7 billion. (Source : Reuters/Thu, Feb 02, 2012 at 18:22 )
COST OF LIVING INDICATORS (as of December 2008): A 50-kg bag of rice of poorest quality: circa K.
15,000; best quality: K. 34,000; 1.75 kg of pork: K. 3,500,- Kyats; 1.75 kg of chicken: K. 5,000; 1.75 kg
of beef: K. 3,500; 1.75 kg of cooking oil: K. 3,500; 1.75 kg of salt K. 200; a chicken egg: K. 80; a cup
of tea: K. 200; Average earning per day (10 hours) of an unskilled labourer: K. 1,000; 1.73 kg of yellow
Indian bean (Dahl: K. 1,500, etc.(Source: Average prices based on various websites from Burma on
commodity prices)
Pay scale for army servicemen (April 1, 2006):
1. private: 16,000 kyat basic pay ($ 14). after two years, 21,000 kyats
2. lance-corporal: 22,000 kyat; after several years, 27,000 kyat.
3. corporal: 28,000 kyat; after several years, 33,000 kyat
4. sergeant: 34,000 kyat; after several years, 39,000 kyat
5. company sergeant: 40,000 kyat; after several years, 45,000 kyat
6. warrant officer II: 46,000 kyat; after several years, 51,000 kyat
7. warrant officer I: 52,000 kyat; after several years, 57,000 kyat
8. second lieutenant:100,000 kyat
9. lieutenant: 120,000 kyat.
10. captain: 130,000 kyat; after two years, 140,000 kyat
11. major: 150,000 kyat; after several years, 160,000 kyat
12. lieutenant colonel: 170,000 kyat; after several years, 180,000 kyat
13. colonel: 190,000 kyat; after several years, 200,000 kyat
14. brigadier general: 300,000 kyat
15. major-general: 400,000 kyat
16. lieutenant-general: 600,000 kyats
17. general: 800,000 kyat ($ 800)
18. vice-senior general : 1,000,000 kyat
19. senior-general: 1,200,000 kyat
* The army provides 3,000 ($2.70) kyat for each dependent child to help with school fees, but it's
insufficient to pay expanses.
(Source: Burma: Living Poor on Soldiers' Pay; By KYI WAI Wednesday, December 30, 2009)

- The minimum wage for a policeman is 35,000 kyat ($35) a month. A commanding officer at a police
station receives 180,000 kyat ($180) maximum.
(Source: Burma: Policeman's Life Isn't Easy, Say Officers; By KYI WAI Monday, July 12, 2010)
Singapore (1500); UK (1400); Thailand (1200); Malaysia (650); USA (590); France (470); Netherland (240);
Indonesia (240); Japan (227); The Philippines (146); Hong Kong (150); Korea (160); Austria (82); Austria
(72); Canada (60 m); China (65); Panama (30); Germany (15); Denmark (14), etc. (Source:


Investment of Permitted Enterprises up to 31-12-2002; Country No. of Enterprises approved Investment Value

(million US$)

75 % of the worlds teak forest reserves, over 15 million hectares of tropical forests,oil, natural gas,
iron, tungsten, coal, nickel, gold, jade, ruby, sapphire, pearls, etc.
- Major offshore natural gas projects are under development. A consortium of South Korean and Indian
firms, in partnership with the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise, has made a large gas find off the coast of
Arakan State in western Burma. Known as the Shwe gas project, it is expected to produce massive
revenues once it is in production. Estimates of the gas yield of the Shwe deposits range between US$37
to US$ 52 billion, and could lead to a total gain in revenues to the junta or future Burmese governments
of US$ 12 to US$ 17 billion over 20 years.
At present the SPDC receives the bulk of its gas money from the onshore Yadana and Yetagun gas
fields. The Yadana consortium is led by Total of France and includes UNOCAL (now Chevron) of the
United States and Thailands state-controlled PTT Exploration and Production Co Ltd (PTTEP). The
Yetagun consortium, led by Malaysias state-owned Petronas, includes Japans Nippon Oil as well as
PTTEP. PTTEP, a subsidiary of the largely state-owned PTT Public Co Ltd (PTT) of Thailand, buys the gas
for export to Thailand. (Source: Burma: Foreign Investment Finances Regime. October 2, 2007. )
- YANGON, Dec 31 [2010]: Foreign investment in Myanmars oil and gas has hit 13.5 billion U.S. dollars since the
country opened to such investment in late 1988, the local Biweekly Eleven News reported today, reports Xinhua.
Leading in foreign investment line-up sectorally, the oil and gas sector is followed by electric power with 11.341
billion U.S. dollars, mining 2.395 billion U.S. dollars, manufacturing 1.663 billion U.S. dollars, hotels and tourism
1.064 billion U.S. dollars and agriculture 96.351 million U.S. dollars. In 2009-10, Myanmar produced nearly 7 million
barrels of crude oil and 400 billion cubic-feet (11.32 billion cubic-meters) of gas, according to official statistics. The
countrys gas export in 2009-10 amounted to 8.29 billion cubic meters, standing as the second largest gas exporter
in Asia- Pacific region. Although annual foreign investment in the oil and gas sector stood only 278.6 million U.S.
dollars in 2009-10, it was raised sharply to 9.81 billion dollars merely in the first five months (April-August) of 201011, a latest statistics showed. (Source: Foreign Investment in Myanmars Oil, Gas Hits $54.5 billion.
( )

- YANGON, March 18 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's foreign investment rose sharply by 93.06 percent in 2008, reaching
974.996 million U.S. dollars compared with 2007, according to the latest figures released by the Central Statistical
Organization. The organization attributed the sharp increase of the foreign investment to that added in the mining
sector which registered 860.996 million dollars. Of it, over 855.996 million dollars were injected by China, while the
remaining 5 million dollars by Singapore. According to local report, total foreign contracted investment in Myanmar
has hit 15 billion U.S. dollars in 422 projects up to end of 2008 since Myanmar opened up to such investment in late
1988. Of the 29 countries and regions investing in Myanmar, Thailand stood first with over 7 billion U.S. dollars,
followed by Britain and Singapore with over 1 billion U.S. dollars each, the Union of Myanmar Federation of
Chambers of Commerce and Industry was quoted as saying. Electric power sector dominated with 6 billion U.S.
dollars, followed by oil and gas (over 3 billion U.S. dollars).
(Source: Statistics: Myanmar foreign investment rises sharply in 2008. 2009-03-18 21:08:33
( )

g$o {tcaS,{Aoc8g $,,as?EloeeepaSc



* 6sn;e




GRorrpsrNTo BUNra
Circled routes of mipration are that ofthe Chins

- roure(1)

Northern Chins

- route(2)

Cenual Chins

- route(3 & 4)

(Routesare circled and numbered by mvself for explanatory purpose)

Sourceof Map - (/zrirn ofBurma:Cw&msandCultareofIndigmous
Publishedby the Burma Socialisthogramme Party,February 1968
- Created in this form by thangzadal/06.20l 4

Area: 261,220 sq.mi (676,560 km2)

Burma/Myanmar is made up of 7 non-Burman national States (Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Kayah, Mon, Rakhine and Shan), and
7 Divisions within the Burma Proper (Ayeyarwady, Bago, Magwe, Mandalay, Sagaing, Yangon and Taninthary)
Official Landmass of Non-Burman indigenous national races : Chin State (36,019 sq. km or 5.32 %); Kachin State (89,012
sq. km or 13.16 %); Kayin State (30,383 sq. km or 4.5 %); Kayah State (11,670 sq. km or 1.72 %); Mon State (12,155 sq. km or
1.8 %); Rakhaing/Rakhine State (36,780 sq. km or 5.44 %); Shan State (155,800 sq. km or 23.02 %). These territories
altogether make up about 55.14 % of the entire area of Burma. (Prepared in this form - except the map - by Thang Za Dal. 12/2013)



' /\






A B E C O Ri s a n a s s o c i a t i o no f E u r o p e a n b a n k s s e e k i n g t o i m p r o v e t h e s e r v i c e st h a t e a c h i n d i v i d u a lm e m b e r i s '
a b l e t o o f f e r t o i t s c u s t o m e r sb y d e v e l o p i n gb a n k i n ga n d f i n a n c i a lo b j e c t i v e so n t h e b a s i s o f m u t u a l c o - o p e r a t i o n .

Head ol State: PresidentU San Yu

of commodit

for e

i nfrastructu
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Planning & Finance:
ThuraU Tun Tin
Population:36.2 million(mid 1981estimate)
Gross Domestic Product (GDPI: US$5955million (year ending
March 1983)
Inflation Rate:7.9ok(12 monthsto July 1983)
ExchangeRate: US$1 : Kyat7.773(15.2.841
Gold Holdings:0.251millionfine troy ounces(October1983)
lmport Cover: 0.8 months(June1983estimate)
Payments:Thereshouldbe no difficultywith paymentsfor exports
to Burma,providedthat the purchasehas been authorisedby the
earninqsareadverselvaffectinqthe balanceoJ
Shortfallsin e,xport
m e n t sa n d e c o n o m i c
is slowing.Inflation,however,is
v +


i n c r e a s i n g tl yi m i t e d .
fq6twiiF6ia;,Ainilthe economic liberaIisationof recentyears,the
faralleleconomyis stillestimatedto be the equivalentof a third of
the officialeconomy so that, despitethe substantiallV
budgetpositionarisingfrom the reform of publicsectorfinances,
revenuepotentialis still not fullv realised.Considerable
thereforeplacedon publicsectorborrowingand althoughtherehai
been some Successin increasingthe level of private domestie
savingsin the past five years,heavvforeign borrowinghas beel
necessarvto helo furul=th_e
developrlqnt proqramme..
The 1982/83- 1985/86DevelopmentPlan
Overthe periodof the fourthplaneconomicgrowthis plannedto
per annum,slightlylower than in the previousplan.
of 11.6%,5.5%
and 15.8%
in the production of gLoods,servicesand in exports respectively.
Fulfilmentof the targetsis criticallydependenrrpon-{heperfomsectorwhilethe privatesectorwill continue
anceof the agricultural
long-termpolicyto reduce
to playa prominentrole,notwithstanding
the role of the latterto only just over a quarterof GDPby 1993/94
recordedin the
comparedwith 57% at present.Followingthe 7.1o/o
first year of the plan,the overallgrowthtargetfor the secondyear
hasbeenset at 5%, reflectingpublicinvestmentcutbacks.

Political Situation
In 1981,U NeWinsteppeddownfrom the Presidency,
a postwhich
he had heldsincethe presentconstitution
was promulgatedin 19-14. Agriculture
ppo rtinq two.However,the formerpresident,in his roleas Chairmanof the Burma
Agttigullutgis the d om i nant economic seglgl,_-s*u
for ground half gf GDPald
SocialistProgrammeParV (BSPP).the only recognisedpolitical thxd-q-ollb_e..poqulatign
and g.c.countjnq
party, continuesto play a prominent part in government.The
.exports. Followingthe abolitionof the absenteeand oversea's
term of office is due to expire in 1985.]@1
landlordsystem the sector is dominatedby smallholdings,
administration'smain domestic oroblem continues to be thq l# nearly60% of the landheldin plotsof lessthanten acres.lmportant
is producedon around65% of the cultivatedarea,is the maincrop
Internationalrelationsare governedby strict applicationof the
principlesof non-alignmentalthoughthis does not precludethe
and the principlesource of foreign exchange.Productionis still
foreign aid. The
hamperedby the limiteduseof high-yielding
acceplanceof bilateral,as well as multi-lateral,
shareof totalriceproductionhasrisento aroundtwo-thirdsundera
bomb attackon SouthKoreanministersby NorthKoreanagentson
programmeintroducedin 1975/76.
Burmesesoil,hasled to Burma'sbreakingoff of diplomaticrelations
with North Korea.
Notwithstandingprogress with the programme, which was
the sectoris stilloperatingbelow
extendedto othercropsin 1979-80,
for somecrops,notablyrice,low
government agriculturalprocurementprices remain the major
Reformof governmentfinances,
of the economyand
constraint.Moreover,only 10% of the land is irrigateddespitea
programmeof dam construction,
the third four-year development plan (1978/79-1981/821
real GDP
andthereis littlemultiplecropping
p'erannum,risingto 7J% in the fiscalyear
growth averaged6.7o/o
lt has beenestimatedthat land
or use of fertilisersand oesticides.
equalin areato that undercultivationis availablefor development,
ended 31 March 1983.Reflectingthe strategyof developingthe
traditionalexport strengths- agriculture.forestryand mining utilisation
of whichwouldexpandproduction,providinga livelihood
these sectorsrecordedsubstantialincreasesin output during the
for the increasingpopulationand boostingexports.
third plan, although that of mine;als fell below expectations,
principallybecauseof shortfallsin oil production.However,in the
financialyear ended 31 March 1983 all three sectorsregistered
with outputof mineralsrisingby 26.2%.
Althoughas a result of the policyof economicself-sufficiency
externaltradeis equivalentto a relativelysmallproportionof Gross 1
DomesticProduct(GDP),Burma has not completelyescapedthe ,
effects,ofthe recent world recession.$ major prCblgll!"s*lheg

l e v e l l e do f t a s w o r l d d e m a n d a n d o r i c e sf e l l f r o m t h e i r 1 9 8 0
esl prooucts sector rs
tte r
El]Ia-nsion of the

The-s t an

The manufacturing sector, which accounts for around 10% of
G D P ,i s c o n c e n t r a t e db n f o o d p r o c e s s i n ga n d c l o t h i n gm a n u f a c t u r e .
A p r i n c i p l e f e a t u r e o f e c o n o m i c p l a n n i n g h a s b e e n t o e s t ab l i s h a f o o d
processing industry to complement the agricultural sector, so that
f o o d a n d b e v e r a g e p r o c e s s i n g n o w a c c o u n t sf o r s o m e t w o - t h i r d s o f
total value added in manufacturing. Indeed, manufacturing investment tends to be concentrated in areas, including fertiliser plants,
w h i c h p r o m o t e a g r i c u l t u r a lg r o w t h . . . . .
A i d e d b y e c o n o m i c r e f o r m s , p a r t i c u l a r l yt h e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f b o n u s
schemes and greater managementautonomy,the manufacturing
s e c t o r g r e w b y a r o u n d 9 % i n 1 9 8 0 / 8 1 a n d 1 9 8 1/ 8 2 , a l t h o u g h r e s u l t s
f e l l b e l o w e x p e c t a t i o n so v e r t h e f u l l p e r i o d o f t h e f o u r y e a r p l a n ,a n d
in 1982/83output growth is reported that many enterprises have been forced to operate below full capacity owing to
shortages of fuel.
Minerals and Energy
T h e r e a r e e x p l o i t a b l ed e p o s i t s o f t i n , t u n g s t e n , l e a d , z i n c , j a d e ,
c o p p e r , n i c k e l a n d s i l v e r , o f w h i c h l e a d - z i n co r e i s t h e m o s t
significant. The metals sector has regained some of its former
importance following the completion of the Bawdwin lead/zinc/s i l v e r m i n i n g c o m p l e x i n t h e n o r t h e r n S h a n s t a t e ,a c o p p e r m i n i n g
project at Monywa in Upper Burma and a tin smelting plant at
S y r i a m , n e a r R a n g o o n .C o m p l e t i o n o f a t i n d r e d g i n g p r o j e c t a n d
r e h a b i l i t a t i o no f t h e K a n b a u k m i n e r e s u l t e d i n a 4 5 Y ' i n c r e a s e i n t i n
a n d t u n g s t e n p r o d u c t i o ni n 1 9 8 1 / 8 2 .
t of crude oil has fallen bv 12on

rnarked slowdr:wn from the 15% increaseof the previous year.

W i t h i n t h i s b u d g e t t h e m a i n c h a n g e i s i n t h e i n v e s t m e n ta c c o u n t ,
which is budgeted to rise by only 7.37. compared with over
t h e p r e v i o u s y e ar . T h e e f f e c t o f t h e s l o w d o w n i s t o l i m i t t h e r e d u c t i o n
i n t h e o v e r a l l s u r p l u s o n t h e a d m i n i s t r a t i v eb u d g e t t o l e s s t h a n 3 0 0
m i l l i o n k y a t s ( U S $ 3 8 m i l l i o n )c o m p a r e d w i t h a l m o s t s i x t i m e s t h a t
amount in the previous year. Investment in state economic
e n t e r p r i s e s ,w h i c h i s o v e r t h r e e t i m e s t h e l e v e l o f t h a t i n t h e a d m i n i strative budget, is also to slow sharply, falling by 3.8% compared
with a rise of 24.2% the previous year. While the increase in state
enterprise borrowing from the banking system is projected at only
l . 7 o k , b a n kb o r r o w i n g b y t h e s e o r g a n i s a t i o n sw i l l n e v e r t h e l e s sh a v e
risenby over 50% since 1980/81.
External Sector
Balance of Trade
(US$ million)






nce is distorted by smuqqlinq, but it Li
d teak which
O e t w e e n I n e m a C C O U n t e Of O l b l " / o O TO i l l C l a l e X p O r I S I n l y U Z , n a v e I n

b e t w e e n 19 8 1 a n d t h e f i r s t q u a r t e r o f 1 _ 9 8 JT.h. e f a l I i n e x p o r t e a r n i n g s
ports this year. However,
officially recorded imports continue to be dominated by capital
goods and raw materials so that the scope for cutbacks without
adversely affecting development remains limited.llqleover, de,s:
Dite a substantial inflow of foreion aid and qrants. borrowino from

as the most promrsrng

estimated at 543 million barrels of oil. Total natural gas output rose
-[y*Se/" to 665 million
1 9 8 1/ 8 2 . F u r t h e r n a t u r a l g a s f i n d s h a v e b e e n r e p o r t e d f o l l o w i n g
In t e r e s t s .

in exploration activity for hydrocarbons is a

c o n s e q u e n c eo f t h e d r i v e t o e x p a n d m i n e r a l sp r o d u c t i o n .D u r i n gt h e
c u r r e n t f o u r y e a r p l a n a n a n n u a l a v e r a g e i n c r e a s eo I 1 2 . 8 o kf o r t h e
mining sector is envisaged, while for 1983/84 investment in the
sector is set at US$68 million. Burma also possessesconsiderable
hydro-electric potential, of which only about 10% has so far been
exploited. However, over half of total electricityoutput is generated
by hydro power and further expansion of the generating capacity is

m e d i u m a n d l o n g i e i m d e b t m o r e t h a n d o u b l e d b e t w e e n 1 9 7 8a n d
1981 to stand at US$1,755 million. Amonq the main source-i6TEid,

rom the UnitedStateswas resumedin 1

q ap .

r x p l o i t a t i oonf t h e a g r i c u l t u r aaln d m i n e r a b
l a s es h o u l d
enable steady economic growth to be maintained,given the
c o n t i n u e d a v a i l a b i l i t yo f f i n a n c e . H o w e v e r , i n v i e w q f t h e c q 1 g l f A i n l s

Public Finance
In the administrative budget for 1983/84, total expenditure is
targeted to increaseto 7.24 billion kyats (US$907 million),a rise of
around 5% comoared with orovisional fioures for 1982/83 and a

Prepared15 February1984

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for Burma

n f t h e A B E C O Rb a n R sT. h e a b o v er e p o r th a s b e e n p r e p a r e df o r t h e m b y
fhis is a jointpublicatioo
Barclays Bank Group EconomicsDepartment, 54 Lombard Street, London.
T h e i n f o r m a t i o ni s b a s e do n s o u r c e sw h i c hw e c o n s i d e r e l i a b l eh, o w e v e rn e i t h e rA B E C O Rn o r i t s M e m b e rB a n k sa s s u m ea n y r e s p o n s i b i l i tf yo r i t s a c c u r a c y .
T h e c o n t e n t so f t h i s r e p o r ts h o u l dn o t b e r e p r o d u c e di n p a r t o r i n f u l l w i t h o u tp r i o ra p p r o v afl r o m A B E C O R .

146-1785 AD

Rakhine Rajas (Arakan kings) rule present-day Rakhine (Arakan) State.*

Ca. 500 AD -

Earliest inscriptions describe a Pyu (now extinct) civilization.*


Nancho (Shan?) kings rule the upper Irrawaddy.*


Mon kings rule lower Burma.*


Burman kings rule [Burma Proper] from Pagan. Anawrahta becomes king (1044) and
instroduces Therawada Buddhism.*


Mongols under Kublai Khan conquer Pagan.


Shan kings rule [Burma Proper] from Ava, Pegu and Toungoo.*


Burman kings rule [Burma Proper] from Toungoo.*


Establishment of a trading centre along the coastal lines of Burma by the Portuguese.
The Roman Catholic faith arrives with the Portuguese.


The British East Indian Companys and the Dutchs efforts to establish trading footholds
are fruitless.


Philip de Brito y Nicote, a former Portuguese seaman, is executed. He ruled Syriam, the
trading port, for 13 years and has converted about 100,000 Burmese to Catholicism often under coersion. He destroyed during his rule several sacred Buddhist religious
relics and Pagodas.


A new attempt by the Italian Roman Catholic missionaries to set foot in Burma. For
the Roman Catholic Church 1722 marks as its founding year in Burma.


Burman kings rule [Burma Proper] from Shwebo.*


Mr. & Mrs. Judson from the United States arrive and begin their Baptist missionary works.


The First Anglo-Burman War.


The British conquer the coastal regions. Clergy of the Anglican Church arrive in
Rangoon in order to take care of the British troops. Soon they begin their missionary
works among the Burmese people.


A peace treaty is signed. Burma must pay one million pounds to the British as war
reparations, it must accept a trading pact and it must give up territories in the


The beginning of Baptist missionary works among the Karens.


Mr. Judson, the American Baptist missionary, has translated the Bible into Burmese.


The Arakan Frontier Campaign: The first recorded armed encounters between the
southern Chins and the British.


The Second Anglo-Burman War.


King Mindon displays his religious tolerance by permitting the Anglican Church to
begin its missionary works in Mandalay and he even gives money for the construction
of a church building there.


The Lushai Expedition under the command of Generals Brownlow (later Field-Marshal)
and Bourchier. Major (later Major-General) Sir Macintyre was awarded the Victoria
Cross (VC), the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the
enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces, for his action
on 4 January 1872 during this expedition.


Burma becomes an independent diocese of the Church of England.


The Third Anglo-Burman War. The British take the Burmese monarch in custody and
send him and his family to India where they later died in exile. Burma thus becomes
a part of the British India after three Anglo-Burman Wars.


The British troops and police forces reach a strength of 40,000 men.


The First Chin Hills Expedition: The first armed encounters of the northern Chins and
the British forces under the command of Major-General (later-Field Marshal)
Sir George White.

1889 - May 4:

The Battle of Tartan (Siege of Fort Siallum of the Chins). Lt. Col.-Surgeon Le Quesne
was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), for his action on this day.


The Chin-Lushai Expedition under the command of Generals Faunce, Bourchier, Sir Tregear
and Sir Johnstone.


The Lushai Expedition


The Chin Hills Expedition under the command of Generals Sir Palmer and Sir Stewart.


The Lutheren Church and the Salvation Army arrive and begin their missionary works.


Two rebellions of the Haka and Thadou-Kuki Chins.


The famous Saya San rebellion against the British. Thousands of Burmese die.


The founding of the Anglican Holy Cross Theology College. It still exists until today.


Burma becomes a seperate colony of the British, not just a province of the British


The Japanese Imperial Army enters Burma together with Burmese volunteers.
400,000 Indians who have been living in Burma for decades flee to India.

Note: Above historical dates with asterisk are from G.E. Harveys History of Burma,
1925 (from Burma Alert-No. 03/03; 17 April 2003.). The BA is published by the
Associates to Develop Democratic Burma Inc, Canada, in cooperation with the EuroBurma Office, Brussels. (

Burma officially becomes independent. General Aung San becomes its

Defense Minister.


The Allied Forces prepare for major offensives against the Japanese in Burma and
Southeast Asia. The Burmese government makes contacts with the Allied Forces.


The Burmese government declares war against the Japanese and its troops are
supporting the Allies. The Japanese are driven out of Burma in the same year.
(Note: The Japanese were heartily welcomed as great liberators by the Burmese at first ,
but then their brutalities soon became so abhorrent that at the ending parts of
WW II a great number of Japanese soldiers lost their lives at the hands of the Burmese
population. For more information on this particular topic, see my paper: The Zo People

of Bangladesh, Burma and India: An Introduction.


The Anti-Fascist Peoples Freedom League (AFPFL) becomes a decisive political force for
the Burmese national movement and eventually for Burmese struggle for independence.

12 February

The signing of the Panglong Agreement by the leaders of Burmans, Shans, Kachins
and Chins, which gives birth to the Union of Burma. If the Shans, Chins and Kachins
had not signed this treaty, only Burma Proper or Ministerial Burma would have
gained independence and there would never be a Union of Burma. (The Kayas or
Karennis did not sign this treaty because the four Karenni states (later made into Kaya
State) were de jure independent sovereign states recognized both by the Burmese
Kings and the British in 1875.)
See Appendix 01 for the 7-page excerpt of the REPORT OF THE FRONTIER AREAS
COMMITTEE OF ENQUIRY, 1947, which gives birth to the Union.

19 July

General Aung San and 6 of his cabinet ministers are assassinated.

04 January

Burma gains independence.

U Nu (25.05.1907 - 14.02.1995) becomes the first prime minister of independent
Burma. His political party is the Anti-Fascist Peoples Freedom League (AFPFL).

Immediately following its independence on January
civil war which is still raging until today.

4, 1948, the country

was torn apart by a bruthless

All nationalities took up arms one after another -

and there

were at least ten armed organizations of ethnic Burmans - against the central government in Rangoon. At
the peak of armed conflicts in the mid - 1960s there were about 40 armed organizations. While the
armed Burmese organizations were ideology-oriented, all the ethnic non-Burman armed organizations
were - and many are still fighting for national issues - that is, either for independence or for more
national autonomous rights, or for the formation of a genuine federal union, etc. During the entire civil
war period the most critical moment for Burmas fate was in early January 1949 when the Karens
succeeded in occupying Insein, one of Rangoons

most strategic sattelite towns, which is

just some 9

miles away from the capital. The government then had already been called the Rangoon Government in
the literally sense! After a 112-day siege the Karens were forced to withdraw

from there. All foreign

military experts who had had observed and analysed the battle in Insein agreed that if Insein had fallen
to the Karens then, the capital would have also automatically fallen. (The comments in this section are of
my own based on information from my private files. (For more information on this subject see my paper:

The Chin/Zo People of Bangladesh, Burma and India: An Introduction [(XVI)

17 December

Burma recognizes the Peoples Republic of China.


Over 2,000 Kuomingtang (KMT) forces from Yunan cross the border to set up bases in
Kengtung, eastern Shan State, following the Communist victory in China.


The Nationalities Democratic United Front (NDUF) is formed up in the hills near Papun
by Karen, Karenni, Pa-O, Chin and Mon rebels. Another Chinese army unit enters the
Wa Hills and clashes with the Burmese Army.

28-29 June

Zhou Enlai visits Rangoon.

30 July

Defense Minister Ba Swe says that Burma is going to the UN to have Nationalist China
declared an aggressor and unseated from the world body.


Lt. General Ne Win leads a high power military delegation to China. They visit munitions
factories and army training establishments.


U Nu (in his capacity as AFPFL President) visits China and meets with Zhou Enlai. China
agrees to withdraw all its forces from the disputed border areas in Kachin State.

1-16 Dec.

U Nu visits China. More talks are held about the border question and the question of
nationality of Chinese residents in Burma.

12 June

U Nu leaves the prime minister post.

U Ba Swe (AFPFL) becomes the 2nd prime minister of Burma.


The founding of the Burma Council of Churches.

1 March

U Ba Swe resigns as prime minister.

U Nu becomes prime minister for the second time.

27 October 1958 to 4 April 1960

General Ne Win takes over the prime ministership at the request of U Nu. His
government is known as the Care-taker Government. It is a military government.

General elections are held.

4 April

U Nu becomes prime minister for the third time.

4 September

U Nu visits China and attends Chinas National Day celebrations with a delegation of
more than 400 persons.


A boundary treaty between China and Burma is signed in Beijing.

2-9 January

Zhou Enlai visits Burma. The border agreement is ratified. An economic and technical
cooperation agreement is signed on 9 January, according to which the Chinese pledge
to give Burma an interest-free loan of 30 million British pound.

26 January

A combined force of three divisions (20,000) of regulars from the Chinese Peoples
Liberation Army (PLA) and 5,000 Burmese troops attack KMT bases north of Kengtung,
Shan State. The campaign is codenamed the Mekong River Operation.


A joint US-Taiwan communique says that the 6,000 KMT soldiers remaining in Burmas
Shan State are not in any way connected or concerned with the US Government or the
Republic of China.

10-15 Oct.

U Nu visits China.
The National Religious Minorities Alliance is set up at the beginning of the year to
oppose U Nus state religion legislation. It is comprised of Christian, Muslim, Animist
and even Buddhist representatives.


The non-Burman nationalities hold a conference in Taungyi in Southern Shan State for
the transformation of the unitary Union of Burma into a loosely federated union. The
leading personalities are Sao Shwe Taike, and Sao Hkun Hkio. The movement is known
as the Federal Movement.


After several delays a Federal Seminar begins in Rangoon at which the non-Burman
nationalities leaders are allowed to put their case.

02 March

General Ne Win, Chief-of-Staff of the Burma Army, seizes political power through
military coup detat from Prime Minister U Nu, with the pretext to save the Union
from falling apart, and the 1947 State Constitution which gave birth to the Union is
abolished. The new government, which calls itself the Revolutionary Council,
is solely comprised of senior military officers. U Nu, his cabinet ministers and the
leaders of the Federal Seminar, are put into jail. (Most of them spent the next five
years in detention.) Sao Shwe Taike, one of the most prominent leaders of the Federal
Movement and the first president of the republic, dies in detention some years later.

02 March 62 - 02 March 1974

He holds both postings as Chairman of the Revolutionary Council and Prime Minister
of the Revolutionary Government.
03 March

The Constitution is suspended and Parliament is dissolved.


The Revolutionary Council vests General Ne Win with full executive, legislative, and

judiacial powers. These continue until 1974.

02 April

The Burmese Way to Socialism, which will become the regimes ideological guideline
up to 1988, is published.

07 May

The Buddha Sasana Council, formed in 1951, is ordered to be dissolved.

10 June

Student unrest occurs at Rangoon University as the military attempts to impose

stricter hostel regulations.

04 July

A cadre political party called the Burma Socialist Programme Party, (BSPP) is founded
and its constitution published.

07 -

Government troops open fire on Rangoon University students who are protesting
against strict government regulations. Officially 15 are killed and 27 wounded, but
neutral sources estimate the casualties to be over 300.


The University of Rangoon Students Union building is blown up by the military. This
building was historic because it stood as a symbol for Burmese students tradition
for their heroic roles against the British colonialism. Universities and colleges are

13 July

Ne Win leaves for Austria, Switzerland and the United Kingdom for medical checkup. (For more information on this topic visit the Wikipedia under Ne Win.)


U Ba Nyein, a long-time socialist, becomes an advisor to the Finance Ministry.

The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) provides 42 million Kyats in aid and a
private credit of 120 million Kyats (circa US$ 20 million).

01 August

Imperial Chemical Industries is nationalized.

Communist Party of Burma (CPB) exiles in China are allowed to issue their first public
statement, condemning the new military regime.


The Printers and Publishers Registration Act is promulgated, giving the Government
authority to control the media.


The USSR provides 30.4 million Kyats.

Universities and colleges are reopened.

01 January

Burma Oil Company (BOC) is nationalized.


The System of Correlation of Man and His Environment is published, which provides

philosophical under-pinning to The Burmese Way to Socialism.

08 Feb.

Brigadier Aung Gyi (heir apparent to Ne Win) is dismissed from the Revolutionary Council as Minister of Trade and Industries. Col. Kyi Maung replaces him.


Brigadier San Yu becomes Vice Chief of Staff (Army).

Ne Win announces state takeover of production, distribution, import and export of



All banks (public, private, foreign, domestic) are nationalized.

The timber trade is nationalized.

The Enterprises Nationalization Law is promulgated, providing for all major industries to
be nationalized by 01 June 1963


News Agency of Burma (NAB) is established by the Government to take over all private
wire news services.

Japan agrees to provide US$ 140 million in goods and services and US$ 30 million in
commercial loans.

01 April

In an effort to quell multiple insurrections, a general amnesty is issued to all



Liu Shaoqi visits Burma.


The Nation newspapere is nationalized.

3 September

The third group of CPB members, led by Thakin Ba Thein Tin, returns from China to
Rangoon to participate in peace talks.


Brigadier San Yu and Colonel Hla Han are appointed to the Central Organizing Committee
of the BSPP.


The Vanguard and The Guardian newspapers are nationalized.

01 Oct.

Commercial joint ventures are nationalized.

Domestic and foregn timber trade are nationalized.


The Revolutionary Council announces that the BSPP will be subsidized by the state.


The Enterprises Nationalization Law of 1963 is promulgated, allowing the Government to

take over any firm, retroactive to 16 August 1963.


Thakin Ba Thein Tin returns to Beijing from Rangoon. CPB members Khin Maung Gyi, San
Thu and Thein Aung return from Moscow to Beijing where they rejoin Thakin Bathein Tin
and others. Thakin Ba Thein Tin, Khin Maung Gyi, Thakin Than Myaing, Than Shwe and
Tin Yee set up a leading group of five in Beijing to prepare for a China-sponsored
push into Burma. San Thu begins to survey the Sino-Burmese border areas for possible
infiltration routes into northeastern Burma. Naw Seng and his Kachin troups, who have
been staying in Guizhou, go to Sichuan for talks with Thakin Ba Thein Tin and other CPB

15 Nov.

Negotiations with Mon, Chin and Karenni insurgents end in failure.

Over 700 Leftists and Communists are arrested.

University students demonstrate. Universities and colleges are closed.

03 Dec.

Brigadier San Yu is appointed Minister for Finance and Revenue.


Talks with Shans terminated.

12 January

The Working Peoples Daily, an English language newspaper, is founded.

14 February

Yugoslavia offers a credit of US$ 8 million.

Zhou Enlai arrives in Rangoon.

12 March

The Karen National Defense Organization (KNDO) signs an agreement with the
Revolutionary Council.

13 -

The Karen ceasefire.


The Law to Protect National Unity is promulgated. All political parties except the

BSPP are banned, and all their property and assets confiscated.

China agrees to provide an aid of $ 84 million.

18 April

English language instruction is eliminated in primary schools. (This is re-established

in 1979.)

03 May

The Revolutionary Council rescinds the order to register all Buddhist organizations after




All 50- and 100-kyat notes are demonetised under Law No. 7, 1.2 billion kyat worth
of these notes were in circulation. Thus great parts of the hard-earned savings of the
majority of the population are made worthless overnight.


The Government requests the U.S. to stop planning on the Rangoon-Mandalay highway

13 June

By this date 970 million kyats have been turned in under the May 17 demonetization

02 July

The Soviet Deputy Prime Minister Mikoyan visits Burma.


Zhou Enlai visits Burma.

01 Sept.

The Gyemon (Mirror) newspaper is nationalized.

02- 05 -

The Indian Foreign Minister visits Burma to discuss the repatriation of Indians from
Burma. About 29, 000 departed in 1964 alone.


The Botathaung newspaper is nationalized.


The Guardian newspaper is nationalized.

02 Nov.

Universities and colleges are reopened after having been closed for ten months

18 January

Burma Corporation is nationalized.


Burma Unilever is nationalized.

01 April

One thousand

traditional oil wells are nationalized. 129 large private schools are also

nationalized (102 high schools and 27 middle schools).


Zhou Enlai visits Burma for two days.


A new currency is introduced.

92 monks are arrested for protesting against a constitution for a Government

sponsored All Buddha Sasana Sangha organization and the issuance of identity cards for

25 June

Brigadier Aung Gyi is arrested and imprisoned.

05 July

The Namkhan Hospital [a town in Northern Shan State], the Seventh Day Adventist
Hospital, the Ramkrishna Hospital and Christian hospitals are nationalized.


The Catholic Hospital in South Okklapa [a sattelite town of Rangoon] is nationalized.


Ne Win visits China until August 1. A joint communique is issued, reaffirming the 1961
treaty and five principles of peaceful coexistence.

05 August

Between 26 April 1963 and 19 July 1965, 96,800 of the 108,564 Indian nationals
registered had left Burma. 11,768 of the 26,232 Pakistanis had also departed. Burmas
trade and commercial activities were mainly in the hands of ethnic Indians, Pakistanis
and Chinese for several decades. (1963-67: 300,000 Indians/Pakistanis and 100,000
Chinese left Burma.)


All private newspapers are banned.

04 April

684 private schools are nationalized.

17-19 -

Liu Shaoqi and Marshall Chen Yi visit Burma.

07-11 May

Ne Win visits Pakistan. A boundary agreement with Pakistan [Bangladesh still was a
part of Pakistan] is signed on 09 May.

08-10 Sept.

Ne Win goes to the United States on a state visit.


Ne Win visits Japan.

13 May

Communists and Karens seize Gyokbingauk, a town 100 miles north of Rangoon, for

19 June

The Ministry of Education bans the wearing of all unauthorised badges by students.
The order is aimed at the wearing of Mao badges primarily by students of ethnic
Chinese origin in Rangoon.


Two thousand Burmese gather outside two Chinese schools in Rangoon.


1328 Chinese in Rangoon are detained.


The Chinese embassy in Rangoon is attacked by demontrators. Official Burmese

sources say that over 50 Chinese were killed. The Chinese, however, claimed that
several hundreds were killed.


Civil unrest is caused by rice shortages. The military fires into a crowd of some
5,000 in Sittwe, Rakhine State, who are demonstrating against rice shortage.
Hundreds are dead and wounded. Poland provides Burma US$ 10 million.



All Burmese students studying in China are recalled.

The Kachin rebels send their first delegation to China, led by Brang Seng. They visit
Beijing and Shanghai.


About 15,000 Chins in the Kabaw Valley north of Tamu town on the Indo-Burma

border are forced by Burma Army troops to leave their homes and fields immediately.
Their household belongings, cattles and rice fields are confisticated by the soldiers.
The majority of those Chins have been living there for decades - some of them even
for generations. (Source: compilers personal collections)
6 October

All Chinese technicians are ordered to leave Burma.

Prime Minister Sato of Japan visits Burma.

1 January

Several hundred heavily armed CPB troops, led by Kachin wartime hero Naw Seng,
cross the border from China and capture Mong Ko in northeastern Shan State. All-out
Chinese support for the CPB insurgents begins.

CPB troop led by Pheung Kya-Shin and Pheung Kya Fu corss the border from China into
Kokang area in northeastern Shan State.

19-22 Sept.

A Commanding Officers Conference is held. Ne Win discusses the peoples militia and
the launching of a peoples war.


Thakhin Than Tun, leader of the Communist Party of Burma (CPB), is assassinated.


US $ 30 million loan from Japan.

29 Nov.

Ne Win meets with 33 civilian leaders on national unity problems, and requests their

04 Dec.

An Internal Unity Advisory Body (IUAB) of 33 civilians is formed under Notification

No. 72 to get opinions on the future political and administrative organization
of the nation.


Notification No. 74 requests public views on unity.


168 industries are nationalized in Rangoon and Mandalay, including 6 textile factories,
28 foodstuff factories, and 9 engineering firms.

31 January

The Hanthawaddy and Myanmar Alin newspapers are nationalized.

03 February

U Nu represents a proposal on a new state structure to Ne Win privately.


Yen 10,800 million loan from Japan.


24 shipping companies are nationalized.

14 March

13 presses are nationalized.

11 April

U Nu, the former Prime Minister of Burma, leaves for India.

01 June

The Internal Unity Advisory Body (IUAB) submits its report, recommending a national
government, peace talks with the rebels, and the establishment of a national united
front for decentralization of economy. Tweenty-two

members want a multi-party

system, while eleven members recommend a socialist system. U Nu submits a separate


Bawsaing Mines are nationalized.


Ne Win rejects the proposals of the IUAB.


U Thi Han, the only civilian in the Cabinet, resigns. Brigadier San Yu takes over National
Planning and also becomes the Secretary General of the BSPP.

29 August

U Nu forms the Parliamentary Democracy Party (PDP) in Thailand to overthrow the

Ne Win government by force; it began to raise funds for arms.

29 October

U Nu is granted political asylum in Thailand, and tacitly allowed to form a


25 November

Burma receives a standby credit of US$ 12 million from the International Monetary


Students riot in Rangoon and Mandalay. Colleges and schools are closed. It is the
first student uprisings since the remnants of the banned Students Union was completely
crushed some years back.

09 May

The FRG provides DM 32 million for a spinning and weaving mill.


The Nationalities United Front is formed up by the Karen National Union, the New Mon

State Party and the Parliamentary Democracy Party.

28 -

Insurgents attack the railway station in Lashio, Nothern Shan State.


The FRG provides a DM 9.8 million loan.

13 November

Thakin Soe, leader of the Red Flag Communists, is captured.

07 July

The first meeting of the BSPP Central Committee is held. Ne Win is elected President
of the BSPP.


Brigadier San Yu becomes the deputy to Ne Win as the General Secretary of the BSPP.


Plans are announced for the drafting of a new constitution; San Yu becomes chairman of
the 97-member drafting commission.


Japanese aid: Yen 3,600 million.

06-12 -

Ne Win pays a state visit to China.

20 Sept.

San Yu is appointed Deputy Prime Minister.

25 -

A 97-member State Constitution Drafting Commission (34 from the military and 63
civilians) is formed with San Yu as Chairman. On the following day, views of the
populace are requested.

11-16 Oct.

The first meeting of the State Constitution Drafting Commission is held.

27 December

The State Constitution Drafting Commission holds its second meeting.

23-25 Feb.

The third meeting of the State Constitution Drafting Commission is held to discuss the
first draft.


The Commission adopts the first draft.

06 March

The fourth meeting of Drafting Commission is held.


Japanese loan: Yen 4,620 million.

09 April

Aid from the USSR: US$ 3.3 million.


U Nu resigns from the Nationalities United Front.


Ne Win and 20 other military officers resign from the services. They become U (Mr).


Task force groups, numbering 13,969 , explain the draft to over 7 million people.

29 June

Students pass leaflets commemorating the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the
Rangoon University Students Union building.

22 August

Loans from Japan, Yen 3,565 million.

17 Nov.

The Government reveals that a plot to assassinate the Cabinet has been uncovered.
Aung Gyi, Ba Swe and Kyaw Nyein are arrested.

27 December

The sixth meeting of the Drafting Commission is held, at which nine committees are
formed to to prepare for the second draft.

24 January

The Drafting Commission approves the second draft.

22 February

Yen 3,080 million as loan from Japan.

17 April

Fifteen teams tour the country to obtain views on the second draft of the constitution.

10 May

U.S. and other oil companies visit Burma to bid for off-shore oil exploration.

06-08 June

The seventh meeting of the Drafting Commission is held.

04-26 July

The eight meeting of the Drafting Commision approves the third draft of the constitution
and laws relating to elections.


The second Japanese merchandise loan of Yen 4,620 million is received.

U Nu leaves Thailand at Thais request.

02 Nov.

The third draft of the constitution is published.

15-18 Dec.

Shan State Army (SSA) leaders Hso Hten and Hso Noom appeal for help from the CPB
during a meeting at Panghsang. The first links between the SSA and the CPB are
established. The Shan and Karen rebel delegations to Panghsang are invited to visit
China. They travel to Simao and Kunming.

03 January

The new Constitution of the country is promulgated.


Ex. Brigadier Aung Gyi and 1,211 other political prisoners are released (out of 2,246).

10 Feb.

Elections are held for Pyithu Hluttaw (Parliament).


The new constitution is put into effect.

(Compilers Note. Papers submitted for this purpose were classified in numbers - 1 to 6. For instance, suggestions for
federalism were put in Classification # 6; there were altogther 111 papers in this category. Several of them were submissions
by the Chins.(One of the best well-prepared papers was called Proposals of the Chin Youths - in Burmese:
(Kc\;lcy\ma;AkMep;tc\pKk\). Starting from 1972 until the constitution had been promulaged thousands of people
were rounded up throughout the country - more than 60 Chins among them who had submitted suggestions for the
constitution - and thrown into jail under an operation known widely as Operation White Elephant. For more information
on this subject see

02 March

The Revolutionary Council dissolves itself and transfers its powers to the
Pyithu Hluttaw.


The Pyithu Hluttaw elects Ne Win as President of the Socialist Republic of Burma. He
holds this portfolio until March 9, 1981.


Sein Win becomes Prime Minister. He holds this porfolio until 29 March 1977.

Brigadier Tin Oo is appointed Chief of Staff. (He would later be promoted to General
and then imprisoned for his wifes alleged corruption and he would later become
the party Chairman of the NLD on 24 September 1988)


The Karens and the PDP seize Myawaddy [a border town on the Burma/Thai border] for a
short period.


Council of State President Ne Win signed an amnesty for insurgents which had been
authorized the previous day by the Pyithu Hluttaw.

09 April
13 May

The National Intelligence Bureau Law is published.

The FRG provides a loan of DM 42 million for industrial projects.
A strike at Chauk oil fields for higher wages spread to the whole of the oil industry
as well as to Rangoon factories.

06 June

The FRG provides DM 6 million in loans for natural gas liquefaction.

Several demonstrations and strikes by workers because of food shortages. Some
University students join them. Police fires on textile and dockyard workers. Official
statistics: 22 killed and 80 wounded. Unofficial, but according to reliable sources,
hundreds killed and wounded. Universities and colleges are closed.

15-31 Oct.

The PDP initiates several grenade bombings in Rangoon and other cities.

25 November

U Thant, former Secretary-General of the UN, dies in New York.

The FRG gives DM 75 million in loans, and a DM 26.5 million grant for mining.

05 December

The government wants to bury U Thants remains at an ordinary cemetery. Students

and monks are so infuriated that they seize his coffin and take it to the Rangoon
University Campus. Among the slogans chanted are Down with the one-party
dictatorship! and Down with the fascist government!. This is the first significant
Buddhist monk activity in a decade. (Several eye witnesses accounts: About 3 000

monks, students and ordinary people are detained in the Campus. The remains of
U Thant are taken away by force by armed troops and buried at the foot of the
world-famous Shwedagon Pagoda beside the Monument of Thakin Kodaw Hmaing the most revered writer and an independence hero of Burma. A monument for
U Thant is erected overnight.)
11 -

Martial law is declared by the State Council because mob rule has become widespread.

12 -

Riots occur during which 9 people are killed, 74 wounded and 1,800 arrested. Some
cinema halls, trains, BSPP offices, etc., are burned down. Universities, colleges and
schools are closed.


The FRG provides a loan of DM 24 million.

27 September

Kachin Rebels attack Bhamo airport in Kachin State.

15 March

Chairman Thakin Zin and General Secretary Thakin Chit of the Communist Party of

Burma (CPB) are killed by government troops in Bago (Pegu) Yoma.

13 May

Universities and colleges, closed since 1974, are reopened.

06 June

Students demonstrate for five days on the anniversary of the 1974 workers riots.
Some workers from a number of state-owned factories join them. Government
troops arrest hundreds of the students who have made the Shwe Dagon Pagoda their
strongholds. Schools and colleges are closed.


Japan provides a loan of Yen 6,500 million. A grant of US$ 35 million from the UN.

The United Nations announces US$ 35 million in grants for Burma for 1974-78.

08 July

The UK provides a grant of US$ 4.1 million.

11-15 Nov.

Ne Win visits China for four days, and reaches an agreement that there will be no
aggressive acts between the two nations.

24 December

A number of foreigners, among them many senior diplomats, are making a party on
the Christmas Eve at Inya-Lake Hotel near General Ne Wins residence. The music is
apparently so loud for him that he suddenly personally appears at the party with his
body guards and they kick the musical instruments around. He himself then hits a
high-ranking Norwegian UN diplomat with his fists. In the next few days his trade
minister, U San Win, is sacked from his post in connection with the incident.
(AP News, Jan. 8, 76; Neue Zrcher Zeitung, 11 Jan. 76; Die Welt, 9th Jan.76; Der

Spiegel/15.02.1982, etc.)
05 January

Universities and colleges , which were closed since June 1975, are reopened.

21 March

General Tin Oo [who would become chairman of the NLD on 24 September 1988]
resigns as Defense Minister and Military Chief of Staff as a result of his wifes alleged


Three thousand Karen rebels seize Thaton town in Mon State, for a few hours.


Students demonstrate to commemorate the Thakin Kodaw Hmaing Centenary.

Unitversities and colleges are closed for the third time in 15 months.


A Student leader Salai Tin Maung 0o, an ethnic Chin, is arrested. Other student
leaders, Myint Soe, Than Lin, Tin Aye Kyu and Win Myint are also arrested soon.


The United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control (UNFDAC) provides US$ 6 million for
drug abuse control.


The National Democratic Front, whose member organizations are made up entirely of
non-Burmese ethnic nationalities, is formed at Manerplaw in Karen State. Its main aim is
for the creation of a genuine federal union.

24 June

Salai Tin Maung 0o is hanged precisely at 4 A.M.

India provides 16.3 million Kyats.

04 July

Kachin rebels attack Myitkyina airport at the capital of Kachin State.


Young army officers who denounced the socialist economic system attempt a coup.

31 August

A grant of US$ 3. 33 million from the U.K.

10 Sept.

The trial of coup plotters begin. General Tin Oo is implicated.

A widespread of purge of the BSPP members begins.


The FRG provides a loan of DM 40 million.

11 January

The coup plotters are sentenced. Capt. Ohn Kyaw Myint, the leader of the plotters, is
sentenced to death. Some students demonstrate against the sentences.

21 March

The FRG provides a loan of DM 90 million and a grant of DM 12 million for an urea


U Maung Maung Kha becomes Prime Minister. He hold this porfolio until 26 July


The FRG gives DM 14.6 million for an industrial training centre.

09 May

The IMF announces a standby agreement for US$ 40 million.

21 June

Japan commits Yen 19,540 million under the old four projects loan and Yen 9 000
million for the fourth merchandise loan.

01 Oct.

Universities and colleges and other institutions, which were closed since March 1976,
are reopened.

14-17 Nov.

An Extraordinary Congress of the BSPP is held. A purge of the Central Committee

takes place and new elections are called, in which San Yu is placed first, Kyaw Soe
second, and Ne Win third. New voting takes place, and Ne Win wins and is appointed
Chairman, with San Yu as General Secretary. 113 members are dropped.


Deng Xiaoping visits Burma.

01 Feb.

Four coup plotters are sentenced to death for high treason. Two are sentenced to death
for terrorist activities.

02 Mar.

The newly elected Hluttaw elects Ne Win as President of the State

Council, that is, Head of State.

01 April

5 000 prisoners start work on the road between Rangoon and Mandalay.

09 July

Burma and Bangladesh reach an agreement on the repatriation of Arakanese refugees.


As of this date, the BSPP has over 229,000 members and over 600,000 candidate

31 August

The repatriation of Arankanese begins.

20 Oct.

Japan commits Yen 13,500 million for the fifth merchandise loan.

27 Dec.

Japan commits Yen 2,750 million for a special shipping loan.

About 200,000 - 300,000 Muslims from Rakhine State are expelled to Bangladesh.

The London-based human rights organisation the Amnesty International makes

for the first time public about the Burmese governments decades-long human
rights violations against Burmas national minorities. See below:
Should we be concerned about human rights in Burma? Some may feel that its rediculous to be talking
about human rights when the military regime of General Ne Win has all but taken every human right
away from the people of Burma. The fact that Ne Win is a tyrant who seized power illegally has not
deterred any government from recognizing his regime as the government of Burma. What difference does
it make whether or not human rights are respected in Burma? Others are disillusioned. They have tried in

the past to expose the injustices in Burma but no one cared or listened. The national minorities have
long spoken out for their basic human rights but where has it got them? Nowhere.
So why should we now be raising the issue? First, although there are other larger issues at stake, we
have to start somewhere. Second, the situation has changed. In the past, Ne Win followed a policy of
isolation and self-sufficiency. He could afford to ignore international opinion and pressure. Now the
regime is getting desperate. They need foreign aid and investments to salvage their collapsing socialist
economy. To get it, they have to present an image of respectability and responsibility. They are therefore
now vulnereable to international opinion. Third, we are not alone. People worldwide are getting more and
more concerned about the misuse of power as witnessed by the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to
Amnesty International in 1977. Therefore, as Burmese who love their homeland, it is our responsibilitiy
to now expose the deprivation of our fellow countrymen in order that their suffering may be alleviated.
How can you as a single individual respond? First of all, do you have specific knowledge of any
violation of human rights in Burma? Do you personally know of people who, for example, have been
arrested for no specific reason and destained without trial? Do you know of pople who have been
arrested because of their husbands or familys attitude towards the regime? Do you know of incidents
where the power of the government has been abused and mis-used? If you do, please contact us giving
full details such as names, places incidencts took place, the nature of the incidents, witnesses if
possible, times, date and where you can be contacted. We will treat your information with utmost
confidentiality. If you so desire, you can contact Amnesty International yourself.
Amnesty International (Asian Division)
International Secretariat
10 Southampton St.
London WC2E 7HF

Note: This appeal appeared in The Burma Alert, published in Canada. Its editor was Mr. Harn

12 July

Rangoon announces a new US$ 63 million aid agreement with China for unspecified


A Japanese loan of Yen 3,300 million for medical supplies, technical education, and
metallurgical research.


The U.S. resumes the bilateral assistance programme.


Burma withdraws from the Non-Aligned Movement following the Havana meeting.

15 October

Ne Win orders the re-establishment of English in the school curriculum. (The main
reason is that his daughter, Sandar Win, failed her entrance examination in English
proficiency in England for her further study in medicine.)

28 Nov.

Japan provides a Yen 26.96 billion loan.

Huang Hua, FM of the Peoples Republic of China , visits Burma.


Japan provides a loan of Yen 291 million.


Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong visits Burma.

The Burma Communist Party holds Muse (a town in Northen Shan State) for two days and
Yawng for four days.


A loan of Yen 2 billion from Japan.

10 July

The government announces that the Chinese aid programme signed in Beijing on July

12, 1979 will consist of eight projects: the building of the Rangoon-Syriam bridge,
40,000 prindle yarn-making machines, three rice mills with 150 ton per day capacity,
the supply of water to Moulmain city, and three million renminbi-yuan for machinery
and tools.

U Nu and his wife Daw Mya Yee accept an offer of amnesty granted by General
Ne Win and return to Burma.

A major national effort is begun to explain the constitution draft citizenship law to
the people. The law will not allow naturalized citizens to hold positions in the military
and state-owned industries.

Thai Prime Minister Prem visits Burma.

24 August

Japanese Foreign Minister Ito visits Burma and a Yen 2.4 billion grant is provided.

20 Sept.

The FRG extends a loan of DM 120 million, including funds for participation in the
World Bank project for the Naunggyat Dam (Mandalay Division).


Border trade is officially opened between the two countries.

11 April

President Ne Win leaves on a visit to Japan.

The RomanCatholic Church in Burma distributes in Burma thousands of copies of a letter which is
allegedly written (or directly dictated) by Jesus Christ himself. See blow:
Consecrating the Drops of Blood which Our Lord Jesus lost on His way to Calvary.
Copy of a letter of the Oration found in the Holy Sepulche of Our Lord Jesus Christ in Jerusalem preserved in a silver box by
His Holiness and by the Emperors and Empresses of the Christian Faith.
St. Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, with St. Matilda and St. Bridget wishing to know something of the Passion of Jesus
Christ offered fervent and special prayer, upon which there appeared to them Our Lord Jesus Christ who spoke to them in
the following manner:
I descended from Heaven to the Earth in order to convert you. In olden times people were religious and their harvests
were abundant; at present on the contrary, they are scanty. If you want to reap an abundant harvest you must not work on
Sunday for on Sunday you must go to church and pray to God to forgive your sins. He gave you six days in which to work
and one for rest and devotion and to tender your help to the poor and assist the Church.
Those people, who brawl against my religion and cast slurs on this Sacred Letter, shall be foresaken by me. On the
contrary, those people who shall carry a copy of this letter with them shall be free from death by drowning and from sudden
death. They shall be free from all contagious diseases and lightning, they shall not die without confession and shall be free
from their enemies and from the hand of wrongful authority, and from all their slanderers and false witnesses.
Women in peril at childbirth will, by keeping this Oration about them, immediately overcome the difficulty. In the houses
where this Oration is kept, no evil thing will ever happen and, forty days before the dealth of a person who has this Oration
about him or her.
To all those faithful who shall recite for 3 years, each day 2 Our Fathers, 2 Glorys, and 2 Hail Marys, in honour of the
drops of blood I lost, I will concede tha following 5 graces:
(1) The plenary indulgence and remittance of your aims.
(2) You will be free from the pains of Purgatory.
(3) If you should die before completing the said 3 years, for you, it will be the same as if you had completed them.
(4) It will be upon your death the same as if you had shed all your blood for the Holy Faith.
(5) I will descend from Heaven to take your soul and that of your relatives until the fourth generation.
Be it known that the number of armed soldiers were 150, there who trailed me while I was bound were 23. The
excutioners of justice were 83; the blows received on my head were 150; those on my stomach were 108; kicks on my
shoulders 80; I was led bound with cords by the hair 24 times; spits in the face were 180; I was beaten on the body 6666

times; beaten on the head 110 times. I was roughly pushed and at 12 oclock was lifted up by the hair, pricked with thorns
and pulled by the beard were 23 times; received 20 wounds on the head; thorns of marine junks 72, prick of thorns on
the head 110, mortal thorns in the forehead 3. I was afterwards flogged and dressed as a mocked king; wounds in the
body 1000. The soldiers who led me to the Calvary were 608; those who watched me were 3; and those who mocked me
were 1008; the drops of blood which I lost were 28 430.
Benedettadas- S
In Rome, 5 April, 1890
1st Printing

1982. 3000

2nd Printing 1982. 2000

3rd Printing

1983. 4000

----------------------------------CATHOLIC PRESS, KALEMYO, Burma. (Its a word-for-word reproduction from the original text done by Thang Za Dal.
Hamburg/23.05.2002./Source: Salai Kipp Ko Lians files)

15 February

Burmas Foreign Currency Reserves as of October 1983: US$ 75.1 million. (The ABECO
COUNTRY REPORT issued on this date./The ABECO Group comprises of : Algemene Bank
Nederland, Banca Nationale del Lavoro, Banque Bruxelles Lambert, Banque Nationale de
Paris, Barclays Bank, Bayerische Hypotheken-und Wechsel-Bank AG (HYPO-BANK),
Dresdner Bank AG, sterreichische Lnderbank AG, Banque Internationale a Luxemburg,
Banque de la Societe Financiere Europeenne).
Compilers remark: It is an internal report for the listed banks and classified as

03 Nov.

100 - Kyat banknotes are demonetised and replaced with 35 and 75-Kyat banknotes.
No compensations are made.


Dr. Richard von Weizsacker, the Federal President of the FRG, pays Burma a state visit.

The following is an interesting report which appeared in a German magazine about this visit:

Confrontation Prevented With Diplomacy: What were we to do? The Burmese management of
the Kinda Dam had isolated some 20 German specialists who are working there and their families
from the Federal President with an apparent intention to give the impression that this national prestige
project has been constructed by the Burmans alone, although it has in fact been constructed with the
financial and technical assistance of the Federal Republic of Germany. As von Weizscker learned
about it, he refused to inspect the project unless he could see his countrypeople. Prime Minister
U Maung Maung Kha promptly arranged that the Germans be taken out of their forced quarantine
immediately ... Within 15 minutes the Germans appear with their families at the site.
(Source: ESPIRIT /01.04.1986)
(The original German text: Mit Diplomatie Eklat verhindert: Da war guter Rat teuer: Die burmesische Leitung des KindaStaudamms(unten) hatte die dort Ttigen, ca. 20 deutsche Fachleute und ihre Familien vor dem Bundesprsidentenisoliert,
wohl um zu zeigen, da man es bei diesem nationalen Prestigeprojekt, zu dem die Bundesrepublik Finanz- und Firmenhilfe
leistete, heute allein schaft. Als von Weizscker dies erfuhr, weigert er sich, das Werk zu besichtigen, falls seine Landsleute
nicht erschienen. Sofort ordnete Burmas Premier U Maung Maung Kha an, die Deutschen schleunigst aus der
Zwangsquarantne zu holen. Mit dem betreten dreinschauenden Regierungschef, seinem Auenminister U Ye Gaung und
Industrieminister U Maung Cho in Wartestellung. Nach 15 Minuten waren die Deutschen mit Kind und Kegel zur Stelle.)

10 August

Ne Win admits in a nine-and-half minute radio and TV speech the mistakes of his
government in the last 25 years.

05 September

The countrys three highest denominations of banknotes - Kyats 25, 35 and 75 - are
demonetised without compensation. No reason is given. On 17th September two new
denominations are issued: Kyats 45 and 90 banknotes (4+ 5 = 9; and 9+ 0= 9.
Number 9 is Ne Wins lucky number, according to his chief astrologer.) Thus,
the great majority of the countrys citizens is completely robbed of their meager
savings. 500-1000 students go on a rampage in Rangoon.


The government closes down all universities and colleges. Students in Rangoon who
from upcountry are bused back to their homes.

07 Oct.

A number of tax laws are amended, requiring the farmers to pay in kind rather than in
cash, which leads to discontent in rural areas.


San Yu, President of Burma (the decades-long Chief of Staff of Burma Armed Forces
and Ne Wins righthandman) pays a state visit to the FRG.


ECOSOC recommends least-developed country status (LDC) for Burma.

02-03 Nov.

Students at the regional college in Sittwe, Rakhine (Arakan) State, demonstrate and shout
anti-government slogans.


Students from the local Ye Zin Agricultural College and veterinary students in
Pyinmana, Mandalay Division, demonstrate against the government and burn portraits
of Ne Win.

11 Dec.

The UN General Assembly approves LCD status for Burma. Its external debt is US$ 4
billion and its foreign exchange holdings are as low as US$ 28 million, according to
the IMF figures.


Sporadic disturbances are reported from the Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT) and
threatening letters are sent by underground student groups to the police in Mandalay.


Ex. Brigadier-General Aung Gyi writes several open letters to his former mentor,
General Ne Win, criticizing the governments economic policies and human rights
abuses. The results of these letters are so devastating for the government.

12 March

Some RIT (Rangoon Institute of Technology) students clash with local people at a
teashop in Rangoon. One RIT student injured and the culprit is arrested.


The culprit is released, so about 200 RIT students march down to the Peoples
Council to pretest. Lon Htein riot policemen clash with students and the crowds..
One student, Maung Phone Maw, is shot dead and an estimated 7 students die later
from gunshot wounds.


RIT Students distribute leaflets on other campuses in Rangoon, condemning the

brutality of the Lon Htein - and the demonetisation on 5 September last year.


Government troops enter the RIT campus and arrest scores of RIT students.


Students from Rangoon University(RU) main campus march towards the RIT campus.
They are blocked by regular army units and Lon Htein police near Inya Lake. About
200 students are killed.


Thousands of people rally outside Kyandaw crematorium for Maung Phone Maws
funeral - just to find out that his body has already been cremated secretly elsewhere.
The RU Students Union is formed at a meeting on the main campus. About 1000
students are arrested and sent to Insein Jail in north of the capital.


Thousands of students and crowd march down to the city centre - and are joined or

cheered by thousands of others. Army units - the 22nd, 66th and 77th LIDs (Light
Infantry Divisions) are called in from the provinces. Thousands of protesters are
arrested and a number of people are killed both by Army units and Lon Htein police
as well. The day becomes known as The Bloody Friday and Sein Lwin - the
commander of the Lon Htein - as The Butcher of Rangoon. Universities and schools
are closed. (Sein Lwin was born in 1924. He attended primary school. Joined the
Burma Defence Army (BDA) in 1943. He was with Ne Wins 4th Burma Rifles in 1946.
Commander of the 3rd Burma Rifles in 1950. Killed Karen national leader Saw Ba
U Gyi in 1950. He led the security unit that massacred students in Rangoon
on 7 July 1962.)
11 April

Ne Win and his entourage leave for West Germany and Switzerland.

09 May

The government-appointed Inquiry Commission states that three students were

killed during the March riots, 625 arrested and 141 are still in custody. Aung Gyi
writes another 40-page open letter to Ne Win.


Amnesty International publishes a 71-page report saying that the Burma Army is
responsible for summary executions, torture and rape in the frontier areas, and for
forcing villagers to act as porters and walk ahead of troops as human mine-detectors
during military campaigns against ethnic insurgents.


20 June

Ne Win and his entourage return to Rangoon from their trip to Europe.
5-6000 students and citizens stage a peaceful protest. Posters attacking Ne Win
appear, mentioning his Swiss bank accounts.


Thousands of students from the Institute of Medicine (1) march towards central
Rangoon. A clash between the crowds and Lon Htein resulted in 80 civilians and 20
Lon Htein police deaths. The authorities declare a 60-day ban on public gatherings 21 June to 19 August - and a 6:00 pm - 6:00 am curfew is imposed in Rangoon.
The Institute of Medicine (1) and the Institute of Dental Medicine in Rangoon also
suspend all classes.


Students, defying the ban on public gatherings, set up a strike centre at the historic
Shwe Dagon Pagoda. The unrest spreads to Pegu, 50 km north of Rangoon, where at
least 70 people are killed. Unrest is also reported from Moulmein and Prome. The
Institute of Medicine in Mandalay suspends all classes.

01 July

Several curfew violators (8:00pm-04:00am) are shot by Lon Htein.


Min Gaung, minister for Home and Religious Affairs, admits the deaths of 41

demonstrators who were suffocated in a prison van outside Insein Jail in March.

Ne Win resigns from his post as BSPP chairman.


Sein Lwin is elected as new BSPP chairman.


08 August

Tun Tin is elected Prime Minister. He hold this porfolio until 18 September 1988.
Sein Lwin is elected as president of Burma.
Tens of thousands of demonstrators in all major cities and towns throughout the
country demand democracy, human rights, the resignation of the BSPP government
and an end to the socialist economic system. At 11:45 pm heavily armed troops
spray automatic rifle-fire into crowds of unarmed demonstrators in Rangoon.


Mass demonstrations spread to more than 40 places all over the country. Army units
from the 22nd LID fire on demonstrators in Rangoon. Several hundreds are killed. All
schools are closed down.


Scores of people are killed by troops in the capital as armoured cars equipped with
Bren machine-guns fire of demonstrators. Troops fire on staff at Rangoon
General Hospital.


Western diplomats estimate at least 1,000 demonstrators are killed in Rangoon alone.
Troops and policemen open fire on demonstrators in the northern town of Sagaing,
killing at least 100 people. The US Senate unanimously approves a resolution
comdemning the BSPP regime as well as the killings in Burma.


Sein Lwin resigns after 18 days in power. People dance in the streets of Rangoon.
Rangoon General Hospital is full of wounded demonstrators.


The Rangoon Bar Council issues a statement saying that the shooting and killing by
bayonets of young children, students and the people by the security forces in
Rangoon, Sagaing and other towns...since 09.08.88 is totally against the Burmese
Constitution and the international law.


The Burma Medical Association protests against the massacre in Rangoon. The
government announces that tourist hotels are going to be built in Rangoon, Mandalay
and Pagan in cooperation with companies from Australia, Japan and Singapore.


About 3,000 people gather outside Rangoon General Hospital. Armoured cars and
troops close in on demonstrators. Renewed demonstrations are also reported from
Mandalay. Doctors and nurses at Rangoon General Hospital reiterate their protests
against the killings.


Dr. Maung Maung is appointed new president [of the republic]and BSPP chairman.


Flag-waving demonstrators demand the resignation of Dr. Maung Maung and the


formation of an interim government to prepare for general elections.

Tens of thousands of people take to the street in Rangoon. A general strike is
proclaimed to force the government to resign. Daily demonstrations are also
reported from several towns throughout the country.

An estimated 600,000 people join the demonstrations. A crisis meeting is reportedly

held at Ne Wins Ady Road residence and a new strategy for quelling the unrest is
drawn up.


At night, armed soldiers remove Kyats 600 million from the Myanmar Foreign Trade
Bank in Rangoon. All troops stationed in Rangoon are given six months pay in advance.
The banks newly formed trade union protests against the act. Demonstrations
and mass meetings are held daily all over the country.


The general strike cripples Rangoon. Aung San Suu Kyi addresses a crowd of several
hundred thousand people outside Shwe Dagon Pagoda.


A prison riot breaks out in Insein Jail. Almost simultaneously, there are similar
prison riots in nine widely dispersed towns throughout the country. Nearly 9,000
inmates escape or are released.


All Burma Federation of Students Unions (ABFSU) is formed as an umbrella group for
student organizations.


West Germany stops its DM 65 million/year aid programme to show its disapproval
of the killings in Rangoon.

02 September

Burmese lawyers call for the abrogation of the 1974 Constitution and say the 1962
coup violated the 1947 Constitution. The mass demonstrations continue. About 50
cities and towns plus several villages throughout the country are in the hands of
protesters. Buddhist monks set up courts and run day-to-day affairs in major towns.


The Pyithu Hluttaw`s emergency session decides to hold general elections.

Policemen join the demonstrations in Ranoon. Daily mammoth demonstrations with
hundreds of thousands of people - including hunger strikers - press demands for

democracy and the formation of an interim government to oversee the elections; they
reject the government`s proposal.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Tin Oo and Aung Gyi issue a joint statement supporting the
formation of an interim government.


The government announces that all 180,000 men of the armed forces are no longer
members of the BSPP.


General Saw Maung takes over from the BSPP and rules through the State Law and
Order Restoration Council (SLORC).


Street battles between army units and protesters continue. Hundreds of people are
gunned down by the security forces. The SLORC dissolves the Pyithu Hluttaw, Council
of State and other former organs of power.


General Saw Maung becomes Prime Minister. He remains in this posting until 23 April


The World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, receives an urgent appeal for
material help from various Christian churches through religious channels. Here are
a few lines from this appeal: ... an estimated 10 000 civilians have been killed since the
demonstrations began two months ago... thousands of the wounded are in hospitals, but doctors
and nurses cannot do anything because there is no Rangoon and other big cities soldiers
are plundering houses under the pretext of searching for weapons, and the protesting women and
children are either sexually molested or killed with bayonet...the soldiers have occupied monastries
and taken the monks in custody so that no one can take refuge in these monastries...

24 -

Aung Gyi, Tin Oo and Aung San Suu Kyi form up the National League for Demoncracy
(NLD). Massacres and summary executions of pro-democracy activists continue
throughout the country.


The BSPP becomes the National Unity Party (NUP). The European Community calls
on the Burmese Government to stop killings and restore democracy.


01 October

NLD is officially registered as a political party.

UNICEF and ICRC begin flying in medical supplies to Burma. About 10,000 students
and other pro-democracy activists have fled to the areas bordering Thailand, China,
India and Bangladesh.

06 -

Munitions for the Burma Army arrive by ship from Singapore. The military begins
press-ganging civilians in Rangoon to serve as porters with the army fighting ethnic

Maung Maung Gyi, Burmas representative to the UN, promises free and fair elections.
Arrests and summary executions of pro-democracy demonstrators continue.


08 Nov.

Purges begin within Burmas foreign service. Diplomats are recalled from abroad.
Three diplomats at the Burmese Embassy in Canberra apply for political asylum in
Australia. Purges, arrests and summary executions continue.


14 -

An attempt by monks to stage a demonstration in Rangoon is thwarted.

Thai army commander Gen. Chaovalit Yongchaiyut visits Burma and returns with
generous logging and fishing deals in return for assisting in the repatriation of
Burmese dissident students now staying in the Thai-Burma border areas.


The 10 ethnic resistance armies of the National Democratic Front plus 12 underground
student groups and Burmese opposition parties form the Democratic Alliance of
Burma (DAB).

24 -

Malaysia becomes the first country to have its envoy present credentials to Saw
Maungs government.

05 January

The US State Department spokesman Phyllis Oakley accuses the Burmese military
of arresting and killing students who have returned from the Thai border areas.


Amnesty International alleges that the Thai military is forcing Burmese students
to return to Rangoon from Tak.

07 Feb.

A US State Department report on human rights in Asia accuses the Burmese

government of resorting to indiscriminate killings, arbitrary arrest and torture
of political prisoners.



Japan recognises Gen. Saw Maungs government and says it will partially resume
economic assistance.
The CPBs politburo holds a crisis meeting at Panghsang. It is revealed that Chinese
have approached the CPB and offered the leaders retirement in China. The CPB
leadership reacts angrily to the suggestion, saying: We have no desire to become

21 March

The Myanmar National Democratic Alliance (Kokang)- MNDAA - Northern Shan State,
signs cease-fire agreement with the government. The leader of this organization is
Mr. Phone Kyar Shin.

23 -

Students in Rangoon commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Maung Phone
Maw. Opposition politicians declare 13 March Human Rights Day in Burma.


Armed Forces Day. Ne Win attends a dinner party in Rangoon making his first public
appearance in July 1988. Sporadic gunfire is heard in Rangoon as groups of students
demonstrate against the military. Several thousand people demonstrate in Mandalay
and shout anti-government slogans.

09 May

The United Wa State Army (Myanmar National Solidarity Party) - UWSA - Shan State, signs
cease-fire agreement with the government. The leaders of this organization are: Pao
Yuchang & Kyauk Nyi Lai.

18 June

The SLORC changes the official name of the country to Myanmar.

30 -

The National Democratic Alliance Army (Shan/Akha Armed National Groups) - NDAA Eastern Shan State, signs cease-fire agreement with the government. The leaders are Sai
Lin & Lin Ming Xian.

20 July

Aung San Suu Kyi and Tin 0o, NLD Chairman, are put under house arrest.


About 5,000 Buddhist monks are demonstrating in Mandalay against the government.

30 August

Arms shipments from Israel and Belgium arrive at Rangoon seaport via Singapore.

02 September

Shan State Army(Shan State Progress Party) - SSA - signs cease-fire agreement with the
government. The leader is Colonel Loi Mao.

18-29 Oct.

a 24-man senior Burmese military delegation, led by Lt. Gen. Than Shwe, visits China.

15 December

New Democratic Army(Kachin), North-East Kachin State, led by Mr. Sakhone Ting Ying,
sigened cease-fire agreement with the government. (NDA-K)

23 Feb.

A Joint-Venture, the Myanmar Fritz Werner Industries Co. Ltd. is formed.

(Declaration No. 8/90/Rangoon)

27 May

The countrys first multi-party general elections are held in three decades. The
National League for Democracy (NLD), led by Aung San Suu Kyi, wins 392 out of
485 seats - or 80 percent. The governments party, the National Unity Party, wins
only 10 seats. The Government therefore annulls the election results.

10 August

The first major shipment of arms and ammunation from China arrives in Rangoon.


State Councillor and Secretary-General of the State Council, Luo Gan, visits Burma.

13 -

The Kachin Defence Army (KIO 4th Brigade) - KDA - Northern Shan State, led by
Mr. Mahtu Naw, signs cease-fire agreement with the government.

11 April

Pa-O National Organisation (PNO), led by Mr. Aung Kham Hti, Southern Shan State,

signs cease-fire agreement with the government.

21 -

The Palaung State Liberation Army (PSLA), Northern Shan State, signs cease-fire
agreement with the government. The movement is led by Mr. Aih Mone.

Early May

Chinese fighter jets arrive in Burma as part of a US$ 1 billion arms deal which also
includes patrol boats, tanks, armored personnel carriers, light weapons and antiaircraft artillery. (Burma Issues/ May 2002. See above)

21-25 August

Gen. Saw Maung visits China and meets PM Li Peng and President Yang Shangkun,
who promise more political and military aid to Burma.


Deputy Chief of Staff He qizong visits Burma.

May - Dec.

Universities reopened which were closed in June 1988.

14 Oct.

Aung San Suu Kyi is honoured with the Nobel Prize for Peace. University students
strike to support Aung San Suu Kyis award for the Nobel Peace Prize.


General Than Shwe takes over from General Saw Maung.


SLORC begins military offensive to annihilate all insurgent movements under an

operation called Operation Land of Peace.

27 Feb.

Kayan National Guard (breakaway group from KNLP) - KNG - Kayah (Karenni) State,
led by Gabriel Byan & Htay Ko, signs cease-fire agreement with the government.

About 200,000 Muslims, who have been living in the Rankhine State for
generations, are forced to flee the country. They flee to Bangladesh.

24 April

The junta announces that within six months it will organize a "National Convention"
to draft a new constitution.


General Than Swe takes over the prime minister porfolio which he holds until 23
August 2003.

SLORC announces clemency programme, begins release of prisoners. U Nu is released.

Aung San Suu Kyi receives first visit from family members since her arrest.

28 May

A Steering Committee is formed to plan the Convention. The committee includes 14

junta officials and 28 people from seven different political parties. It is chaired by
Rangoon Military Commander Lt-Gen Myo Nyunt.

June - Nov.

Universities are reopened which were closed in January 1992. The academic year was
only 5 months.

23 June

The Steering Committee meets for the first time. Diplomats describe the meeting as
"window dressing."

10 July

The National Convention's 702 delegates are named. Only 99 of the elected Members
of Parliament are invited to attend. Seventy percent of the delegates are township
level officials handpicked by the military.

Aung San Suu Kyi receives second visit from family members.

ASEAN members express their preference for a policy of constructive engagement

with the SLORC.


SLORC lifts martial law, remains in power.

05 Nov.

The junta announces that the National Convention will begin on Jan 9, 1993.

09 January

The National Convention opens, but is suspended after two days. Delegates are
alarmed to find the first six principles have already been laid down.


State Councillor and Foreign Minister Qian Qichen visit Burma.

01 -

The Convention meets again.

Eight Nobel Peace Prize winners, including a representative of Amnesty International,

demand the unconditional release of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Mar. - July

Universities are opened which were closed in December 1992. The academic year was
only 5 months.


One of the elected delegates, Khun Marko Ban, flees to Thailand and accuses the
military of imposing its will on Convention participants.

07 -

Meetings are suspended after ethnic minority delegates argue against measures to
centralize the political structure. According to reports in the state-run press,
delegates have agreed to the first 15 chapters of the draft constitution.

07 June

The National Convention opens again. Myo Nyunt says the new constitution must
guarantee a leading role for the military in national politics.

01. Sept.

Burma opens a consulate in Kunming, China

Sept.- Jan 94

Universities are reopened which were closed at end of July. The academic year was
only 5 months.

16 Sept.

The Convention is suspended again, as ethnic minority representatives continue to

push for a federal system. According to official reports, delegates have agreed to
another 104 principles for the draft constitution.

01 October

The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), Kachin State, led by General Lamung Tu
Jai, signs cease-fire agreement with the government.

15 -

Twelve political activists are arrested for speaking out about the National Convention.
In 1994, the military charges another man, Dr Aung Khin Sint, an NLD MP, for
distributing leaflets critical of the Convention. He later received a 20-year prison term.

18 Jan to 9 April
Delegates draw up specific chapters on the structure of the state and the head of
state. Despite opposition from many of the elected representatives, the convention
approves a presidential rather than a parliamentary system. According to the
approved draft, the president of Burma must have been a continuous resident for
more than 20 years, have political, administrative, military and economic experience
and not have a spouse or children who are citizens of another country. Such
requirements eliminate opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as a candidate.
22 January

Sentry posts removed around Aung San Suu Kyis house. Roadblocks remain in place.


Another elected representative, Daniel Aung, flees. He says delegates are frustrated and
that the military is silencing independent action.

09 May

The Karenni State Nationalities Peoples Front (KNPLF), led by Sandar & Htun Kyaw,
Kaya (Karenni) State, signs a cease-fire agreement with the government.


UNOCAL Corporation signs contract with SLORC to build a natural pipeline across

26 -

The Kayan New Land Party (KNLP), led by Mr. Shwe Aye, Kaya (Karenni) State, signs
cease-fire agreement with the government.


General Li Jiulong, commander of Chinas Chengdu military region, visits Burma.

Chengdu is the command headquarters and major supply base for Chinese troops in

Burma buys two modified Jianghu-class Chinese frigates.

China opens a consulate in Mandalay.

Aug .- Dec.

Universities are reopened. The academic year was only 5 months.


Khin Nyunt visits China.

02 -

Sessions reconvene. Delegates discuss self-administered areas, the legislature, the

executive branch and the judiciary. The Convention approves measures insisting that at
least a third of the seats in any new parliament go to the military.

Burmese air force chief, Lt. Gen Thein Win, goes to Kunming, China, to oversee the
delivery of another squadron of military aircraft from China.


Aung San Suu Kyi meets with members of the SLORC, who will only discuss the
conditions of her leaving Burma; She refuses to discuss leaving Burma. The SLORC
refuses to discuss elections. She remains under house arrest.


Burma signs an agreement with a leading Chinese shipping firm in Rangoon to

purchase new ships for Myanmar Five Star Shipping Line.

09 October

The Shan State Nationalities Peoples Liberation Organization (SSNPLO), led by Mr. Ta
Kalei, Southern Shan State, signs cease-fire agreement with the government.


The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), led by Mr. Tha Htoo Kyaw, Karen State,
signs cease-fire agreement with the government.


Chinese Premier Li Peng visits Burma at the invitation of General Than Shwe.

Amnesty International releases a detailed information on the extremely harsh conditions of several prisons and labour camps throughout the country.
(AI Index:ASA 16/22/95)
26 January

Main Karen guerilla base at Manerplaw is taken by government troops.


Major Karen guerilla base at Kawmoora is taken by government troops.

May - Sept.

Universities reopened. The academic year lasted only 4 months.

29 June

The New Mon State Party (NMSP), led by Mr. Nai Shwe Kyin, Mon State, signs cease-fire
agreement with the government.

10 July

Aung San Suu Kyi is released from house arrest.

28 Nov.

The National League for Democracy (NLD) requests a review of the Convention's
working procedures. Specifically, NLD delegates want to repeal orders which censor
debate and allow for criminal punishment of those who speak against the military
during the Convention. Authorities deny the request and the 86 delegates from the
NLD boycott the meetings for two days.

29 -

The junta expels all of the NLD delegates. The number of MPs elected in 1990,
now make up less than three percent of all delegates.

23 Dec.

The Convention acknowledges and then rejects a Shan Nationalities League for
Democracy proposal for the new constitution to be based on the principle of
sovereignty resting with the people.

The Shan State National Army, aka SSA-Central (SSNA), led by Col. Gun Yawd, Northern
Shan State, signs cease-fire agreement with the government.

Nov. - May 96
Universities reopened. The academic year was only 5 months.

More than 100,000 villagers in Shan State and at least 30,000 people in Kayah State
are forcibly relocated. (Relations Internationales Et Strategiques: Once the Rice-Bowl of

Asia - Part Two; by David Arnott; 1997.)

02 January

The Mong Tai Army (MTA), led by Mr. Khun Sa, the world known drug dealer No. 1,
Southern Shan State, signs cease-fire agreement with the government.


Senior Gen Than Shwe makes his first visit to China since taking over as Chairman
of the ruling SLOCRC in 1992.

25 March

The NLD sends the military another request asking for a parliamentary assembly to be

31 -

The Burmese military adjourns the National Convention.

Sept - Dec.

Universities reopened. The academic year is only 4 months. Student demonstrations

in the Rangoon Universities and the Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT).


Li Ruihuan, Chairman of Chinas Communist Party, visits Burma

23 July

Burma is admitted to Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). SLORC is

renamed State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).


Wu Bangguo, Vice-Premier of China, visits Burma.

Burma and China sign a US$ 250 million loan deal under which Beijing agrees to provide funds for
a 280 megawatts hydroelectric power plant near Pyinmana.
The Burmese government allows the publication of two local Chinese language newspapers -

Mian Dien Huo Bao. (The Burmese Morning Post) and Shijie Ribao (Universal Daily) - that target
readers both in Burma and other countries in the region.

Junta blasts George Fernandes, Indian Defense Minister, for accusing Rangoon
of allowing China to set up miliatary installations within its territory.


Burma-China bilateral trade, including border trade, reaches US$ 78.21 million in the
first two months of the year, a sharp increase of 123.7% over the $ 34.95 million figure
registered in the same period the prviours year, according to Burmas Central Statistical

Lt. Gen Khin Nyunt visits China.

24 September

The Myanmar Catholic Bishops Conference and the Myanmar Council of Churches
make a combined appeal to the ruling junta with this heading: An Appeal to the State

Peace and Development Council. In the appeal different forms of religious persecutions
committed by the authorities throughout the country against the Christians are
mentioned and the highest authorities in Rangoon are beseeched to change their
policies and pratices. The Myanmar Catholic Bishops Conference, an organization
comprised of 13 Bishops with 12 Catholic regions. The Myanmar Council of Churches
is comprised of 13 of national Protestant Christian denominations. ( A copy of the said
appeal can be obtained from the compiler of this paper, or the World Council of
Churches in Geneva and the Vatican Government also might have copies of it!) See
(From Myanmar Catholic Bishops And The Myanmar Council Of Churches)
September 24, 1999,
Yangon, Myanmar
May the Peace and Grace of Jesus Christ and God be with you!
A. The Myanmar Catholic Bishops Conference and the Myanmar Council of Churches were formed with the objectives of
all Christians in Myanmar to work for Christ's Mission.
B. The Myanmar Catholic Bishops Conference, an organization comprised of 13 Bishops, has been working hard leading
12 Catholic regions.
C. The Myanmar Council of Churches, a leading national Christian ministry, is comprised of 13 members of national
Christian denominations that are affiliated with 9 other prominent Christian organizations such as the Young Women
Christian and the Young Men Christian Association. The leaders, as well as the members of these organizations, under
the above two major organizations are all citizens of Myanmar.
D. Although both of the two major organizations are cooperating with other organizations around the world, they are

freely operating in their own cause.

E. The Myanmar Catholic Bishops Conference and the Myanmar Council of Churches are working for human
developments for the benefit of the mission and the country. They establish hospitals, clinics, and schools that are basic
necessities for a peaceful society; and selfless doctors and teachers are sacrificing in the good cause. Until today, they
have established such things as a hospital for leprosy, school for the deaf, school for the blind, school for elderly care,
school for orphans and are providing their best possible care for the aban- doned and refugees.
F. They are also working with their best possible efforts for better environments, efficient transportation, welfare and
developments of the lives of young people, women, and children.
G. To be able to undertake the above mentioned mission responsibilities, the Myanmar Catholic Bishops Conference
has formed the "Peace and Justice Commission" and the Myanmar Council of Churches has formed the "Reconciliation
and Peace Commission." The basic Biblical principle of the Commission is as follows:
H. Being faithful believers of the peaceful God, who governs with everlasting love, we believe that as we are responsible to
build and prosper the virtues that will end conflicts and promote justice and peace, which has always been desired by
the people, we will carry but this task so long as we are alive. (Biblical References:Hosea 2:4; Matthew 5:9; Ephesians
I. We would like to present the hardships and obstacles we have faced while undertaking these tasks in recent years to
the national heads. Prohibition of Christian evangelical works in some states and townships, expulsion of mission
workers, prohibition of worship services, arrests and persecutions, forced renunciation of Christian faith, and destroying
of Christian crosses have been encountered. In some states, repairing of Christian buildings was not allowed.
Permission for building was not allowed or permission was delayed. For Christians, crosses are very important because
they are the symbols of sacrifice and service for human beings.Therefore, a place for worship and a place for erecting
Christian crosses are of prime importance.
In publication of Christian literature, some words and vocabularies were not allowed or were restricted by the
censorship board. This restriction can consequently lessen the warm relationship among religious organizations.
Due to the above obstacles, Christians have no peace of mind.
Therefore, with the aims of building a new developed and modern country by joining hands in unity with all ethnic
nationalities and Burmese, we would like to request and present to the national leaders to solve the above mentioned
obstacles. Also, in the future, we will present the needs and difficulties to you as necessary.
The Myanmar Catholic Bishops Conference and the Myanmar Council of Churches would also like to state that on
the basis of love and justice, we would always try to build a long lasting reconciliation and peace. May the grace and
peace of the ever-lasting God bestow upon our national leaders and our motherland! Amen!
(See also the attached photo)


Aung San Suu Kyi rejects governments conditions to visit her British husband,
Michael Aris, who dies of cancer in UK. (Timeline:Burma/BBC News)


Foreign Minister Win Aung visits China.

02-05 May

Engineers from Chinas armed forces meet with Burmese military officers at a
naval base in Tenasserim Division according to a Radio Free Asia report. The meetings
focus on the contruction of two bases in the area with assistance from the Chinese
Navy and Air Forces.

05 June

Gen Maung Aye meets with Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji
on separate occasions in Hong Kong and China, and holds talks with Vice-President
Hu Jintao. They ssign a joint statement on the framework of future bilateral
relations and cooperation.


A new special trade zone intended to open an outlet to Southeast Asia is

established on the border between Burma and Yunnan, China. Meanwhile, the Bank
of China approves a US$ 120 million loan to the Myanmar Electric Power Enterprise

to build a massive hydroelectric generator.

21 -

Aung San Suu Kyi is once again put under house arrest.

24 November

Fang Zuqi, Political Commissar of Nanjing Military Command of the Peoples

Liberation Army, meets with Gen Maung Aye.


Amnesty International reports that torture is increasing in Burma despite official

military statements that it is illegal. (Timeline:Burma/BBC News)

25 April

General Fu Quangyou, Chief of General Staff Headquarters for Chinas Peoples

Liberation Army, meets with PM Than Shwe and Army Chief Maung Aye.


Official press hails capture of a white elephant, traditionally seen as a porten of peace
and prosperity.

12-16 Dec.

Chinese President Jiang Zemin visits Burma and signs economic and
border agreements.


Three sons and husband of Sandar Win, Ne Wins favourite daughter, are arrested on
charges of state treason. Ne Win and Sandar Win are put under house arrest. Several
high-ranking military officers are either arrested or forced to resign on charges of
coup attempt.

06 May

Aung San Suu Kyi is released after 20 months of house arrest.

05 December

Ne Win dies under house arrest. He is cremated in the afternoon in a private ceremony,
which is attended by only about 20 relatives and friends. Not a single government
representative is present.

06 -

Ne Wins remains are scattered in the Yangon River in accordance with Buddhist rites.

30 May

Aung San Suu Kyi and her entourage are ambushed by mobs organised by the
government at Depeyin near Mandalay in Northern Burma. At least 100 people are
killed and several are still missing. Aung San Suu Kyi herself is being detained for
for her own security until she is put under house arrest on 27 September. (On 30
May at Dipeyin the premeditated massacre of the 250 NLD members traveling in a
motorcade was undertaken and attacked by a group of 5,000 soldiers, police, USDA
members and convicts from Mandalay Prison, who reportedly made an ambush and
assault, as the place of attack was lit with powerful search-lights to make the
attackers to easily target their victims. In the ensuing melee, which lasted for an hour,
the attackers harshly beat up the NLD members, using bamboo-sticks and spears.
Other than that, soldiers opened fire at the innocent unarmed political activists, killing
and wounding a large number of NLD members. The attack was not just making
harassment, but committing a well- planned and designed brutal massacre, said
escapees from the incident.
The USDA (Union Solidarity and Development Association) is a quasi-government
terror organization - one half of it is said to be political, but the whole is a paramilitary outfit. In fact USDA is the another face of the military junta. It was formed
on 15 September 1993. According to the available information, up to 31 July 1999,
there are 16 state and divisional associations, 63 district-level associations, 320
township-level associations and 14,865 village-tract associations, with the total
membership of 11,806,009. Under the supervision of the Central Panel of Patrons,
the USDA has been organized with Secretary-General, the Secretariat and a Central
Executive Committee. The Central Panel of Patrons is comprised of four generals,
ten Lt. Generals, six Major Generals, eighteen Brigadier-Generals, three Colonels and

four civilians. (Sources: Asian Tribune/ Date: 2003-12-10/ USDA is another face of the military
junta - Exposed /By Zin Linn/

25 August

Lt. General Khin Nyunt, the third most powerful man in the Burmese government, and
Ist Secretary of the ruling SPDC, is appointed as Prime Minister. He holds this
portfolio until 18 October 2004.

30 -

Lt. General Khin Nyunt announces a 7-step road map to build a modern prosperous
democratic state. The convention is due to open on 17 May, 2004. The previous
convention (1993-1996) collapsed when the NLD walked out in protest at the lack of
freedom to discuss in the Convention. (Foreign & Commonwealth Office/14/05/04)

22 September

The military organizes mass rallies to support the National Convention and road map.

30 -

Burma's new Prime Minister Gen Khin Nyunt announces a seven-point road map to
democracy. The first step is the resumption of the National Convention, but no timeframe or details on delegates is provided.


Representatives from two ceasefire groups in Kachin State take part in a demonstration
to support the road map. The Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and New
Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K) both agree to take part in the Convention.

22 October

Three more ceasefire groups say they will send delegates to the resumed National
Convention, but stipulate several conditions. The United Wa State Army, the Shan State
Army (North) and the National Democratic Alliance Army, all from Shan State, demand
freedom to meet with other ethnic leaders, free choice of delegates, free debate and an
assurance that the convention will "lay down democratic principles."

10 November

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan criticizes Burma's road map. Several groups, including
the United Nationalities Alliance, the Karen National Union and the Committee for
Representing the People's Parliament, also express their reservations about the
military's plan to restart the National Convention.

18 January

A major natural gas field has been discovered in an area of offshore of Arakan
Coastline, according to the New Light of Myanmar. The new find block A-1 of Burmas
Arakan State contains a world class commercial scale gas deposit estimated to hold
42 trillion to 5 billion feet of gas, with a top side potential of 14 trillion cubic
feet (tcf). The Daewoo International Corporation has a 60 percent stake in the business,
while Korea Gas Corporation, another ROK enterprise is holding 10 percent of the
share. ONGC Videsh Ltd. of the Republic of India, 20 percent; and Gail (India) Ltd.,
10 percent. The gas field is estimated to have a capacity of producing 500 million
cubic feet per day. The plan to export natural gas from Arakan to India has been
kept a secret from the people of the state [Arakan/Rakhine]. We [Free Burma Coalition]
opposee the SPDC selling the natural gas from Arakan to foreign companies. The gas
sale will not benefit the people of Arakan, or the people of Burma. (FBC Posting,
January 19, 2004./Kaladan News, January 18, 2004 (

11 March

Riots in Myitkyina, capital of Kachin State, blow up coinciding with Phone Maws
Day (13 March), which 16 years earlier had ignited the country-wide protest. The day
has been celebrated as Burmas Human Rights Day worldwide. (DVB: Democratic

Voice of Burma)
30 -

Junta announces the recovening of the National Convention, scheduled for May 17.

07 April

Junta starts sending letters of invitation to delegates, including members of the

opposition and ethnic parties, to the convention. All NLD central excutive committee
members have also been asked except Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and Tin Oo.

12 -

The NLD calls for the repeal of the juntas No. 5/96 that criminalizes any speeches or
documents that belittle and make people misunderstand the functions being carried

out by the National Convention. The law enables authorities to punish individual
violaters with prison terms from five to 20 years and allows for the closure and assetseizure of any aponsoring organization.
13 -

NLD Chairman U Aung Shwe and party secretary U Lwin are released from house arrest
after nearly one year in detention.

16 -

The NLD releases a statement, saying it will not be appropriate for the party to attend
the national convention if it is to be run according to the same procedures and rules
as when the convention first opened in 1993.

17 -

Junta allows the re-opening of the NLD headquarters in Rangoon after all offices across
the country were shut down for nearly one year.


Junta announces that it will hold the convention according to the six old objectives
and proceedings. The objectives are: 1. Non-disintegration of the Union; 2. Nondisintegration of national unity; 3. Perpetuation of national sovereignty;
4. Promotion of a genuine multiparty democracy; 5. Promotion of universal principles
of justice, liberty and equality; 6. Participation by the Defense Services in a national
political leadership role in the future state. (The Irrawaddy: The Lady Waits/April

22, 2004)
12 September

Maj. General Myint Hlaing, Commandder of Lashio-based Northeast Regional

Command, orders the raiding of a border checkpoint controlled by the Military
Intelligence Service and the subsequent seizure of goods and cash reportedly worth
3 billion kyat (US $ 3 million), which would lead to the dismissal of General Khin
Nyunt a month later.

14 -

Sheila Sisulu, a UN official, is blaming the Burmese military government's restrictive

agriculture policies for driving villages in two border regions of the country into
further poverty. The government restricts the free movement of agriculture products
in these regions and prevents the trade of farm products between ethnic groups, Sheila
Sisulu, deputy executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP), said at a press
conference here Tuesday. ''The policies of the government are impoverishing these
people,'' Sisulu added. ''The market is not open to the farmers.'' Sisulu made her
comments following a four-day visit to Burma, also known as Myanmar, where she
inspected the projects of the U.N. food relief agency. That included a visit to the
Northern Shan State, where the WFP is providing relief to farmers who were former
poppy growers. Since October 2003, the WFP has been supplying rice to 180,000
people in the Northern Shan State. The bulk of its effort, though, is directed towards
the Northern Rakhine State, in the west of the South-east Asian nation, which is home
to the minority Rohingya community. The WFP is currently assisting an estimated
420,000 people who were displaced due to an internal conflict in 1991. The WFP's
criticism of Rangoon's agriculture and trade policies amplify the charge made by the
nternational Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels-based think-tank, in a report released last
week. In 'Myanmar: Aid to the Border Areas,' ICG revealed that most border areas
are ''highly or moderatel vulnerable in food security terms, with Shan, Northern Kachin
and Chin states being the worst off.'' The Rakhine and Chin states ''have the highest
levels of income poverty in the country,'' it added...
(BANGKOK, Sept. 14 (IPS)

14 -

Peanut fileds in Magwe Divisions Taungdwingyi township bulldozed just before

harvest by Defense Industry # 18 in late February. 45 farmers lost both their lands
and fruits of their labour.

Sugarcane fields in the same township suffered the same fate in November. Since the
founding of DI # 18, people have lost more than 10,000 acres to the Army. (DVB)

15 -

Nine-member Ethnic Nationalities Council, the policy making body of the Ethnic
Nationalities Solidarity and Cooperation Committee, formed during the three-day
meeting, 12-14 March. The ENC is chaired by Saw Ba Thin and the ENSCC, the 5member working body, by Dr. Chao Tzang Yawnghwe. (Statement)

Copies of Matriculation examination question papers, together with answers, are being
sold by officers wives in Monywa based Northwest Regional Command. (DVB)

16 -

Thousands of homes and buildings in Tamu area[located on the Indo-Burma border]

are being ordered to move away for a 200-feet wide Asian Highway that will connect
India through Burma and Thailand. (NMG)

17 -

Mr. Pinheiro, UN Human Rights rapporteur, who had planned to visit Rangoon early this
week and update his report before his address to the UNHRC next week was denied visa
on the grounds that the timing is not convenient, according to a UN official in
Bangkok. (Irrawaddy)

The March 2004 edition of Readers Digest, featuring Aung San Suu Kyi. The book is
sold in Burma uncensored. The article describes her as the soul of the nation and
sole repository for the Burmese peoples hope. (AFP)

18 -

Burma will be hosting the Asean Tourism Forum in 2006. The compulsory change of
$ 200 into Foreign Exchange Certificates (FECs) is no longer required. Rangoon has
154 hotels with 6,119 rooms with half categorized as tourist or 4-star class.(Bangkok


U Win Aung, the current minister of foreign affairs, is removed and replaced by Maj.
General Nyan Win. Win Aungs deputy, Khin Maung Win, is also removed and replaced
by Col. Hla Myint. It is the 15th time the Myanmar government has reshuffled its
cabinet since Novemvber 15, 1997, when the country renamed the SLORC as SPDC.
(XINHUA online /AFP/AP)

19 October

Lt. General Khin Nyunt is removed from his post as Prime Minister and put under
house arrest. He is replaced by Lt. General Soe Win.

20 November

Min Ko Naing, 42, whose real name is Paw U, is released after 16 years of
detention. He was the second most prominent political prisoner after Daw Aung
San Suu Kyi.

01 December

Daw Aung San Suu Kyis house arrest is extended by the Junta for another 12
months. 9,000 prisonere were leased over the last two weeks. (AFP, The Manila
Times). Most of the released are said to be either criminals or detained by the
Military Intelligence on false charges such as illegal economic activities.

21 -

Calls have been made for the international community to investigate claims of
genocide and crimes against humanity, and to increase pressure on Burma's ruling
Junta. Reported by Assist News Service, a joint delegation from Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) has just returned
from a visit to ethnic groups on the Thai-Burmese border. The group is very concerned about the evidence of a campaign of genocide perpetrated by the ruling State
Peace and Development Council (SPDC) in the region. "There are an estimated one
million people internally displaced in Burma," added the CSW spokesperson. "The
Thailand-based Burma Border Consortium estimates at least 526,000 people have been
displaced in Karen, Karenni and Shan areas, with 157,000 of these displaced in the
past two years. Since 2002, at least 240 villages have been completely destroyed,
relocated or abandoned, and a total of 2,500 villages in eastern Burma have been
destroyed since 1996." The Shan people face a particularly severe crisis, with 300,000
internally displaced and at least 200,000 living illegally in Thailand. Unlike the
Karen and Karenni, the Shan have been denied refugee camps in Thailand. Instead,

those who flee persecution find sanctuary either illegally in Thailand, or in IDP camps
in Shan state, Burma... We urge the British Government, the European Union and the
United Nations to recognise the severity of the situation and take appropriate action.
" "We also appeal to the Association of South-East Asian Nations [ASEAN] to suspend
Burmas membership of the organization until significant progress is made towards
a transition to a federal democracy and an improvement in human rights. We call for
free and open access to all areas of Burma for international humanitarian aid groups
and human rights monitors. ("Christian Today: CSW Reports on Burmese Genocide
Visit Posted: Tuesday, December 21,2004,12:37 (GMT). The delegation consisted
of members from CSW UK, Australia and New Zealand...EuniceK.Y. Oreunice URL:
posted by:

Some of the 12,000 strong Military Intelligence Service (MIS) agents and the majority
of agents who were not arrested during recent crackdowns on the organisation were
pensioned off, and some of them were transferred to combat battalions in the
frontline areas. On 15 December, Lieutenant-General Kyaw Win, Brigadier-General
Kyaw Thein, Brigadier-General Hla Aung and some high ranking MIS officers were
allowed to retired with pensions. According to an ex-MIS petty officer, those who
were transferred to combat battalions were forced to sign a confessional pledge that
states that they worked for the MIS headed by the ousted prime minister General
Khin Nyunt, that they were involved in briberies and corrupt activities, that they
failed to obey the order of other army officers and that they wont commit similar
crimes as they want to serve the army. Some officers were arrested and detained
after signing the pledge. Among the luckiest people are said to be Lieutenant General
Kyaw Win and Lieutenant General Kyaw Thein who is indirectly related to the
chairman of the junta, State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), Senior General
Than Shwe as they ultimately escape the arrests and each receives US$ 70,000 as
bonus for their retirement. (/DVB: 22 December 2004)



The head of Myanmar's ruling junta said the country was moving toward democracy
but gave no indication of when the military would relinquish its 43-year grip on power.
(AP, 3/27/05)



Rumors of a coup in Myanmar's ruling military junta weakened the Southeast Asian
nation's currency and boosted the price of gold in local trading. (AP, 8/24/05)



Chevron announced plans to purchase Unocal Corp. for $18.4 billion. Chevrons
eventual acquisition of Unocal included a stake in the Yadana Project in Myanmar, in
which Unocal invested in the 1990s along with Frances Total, Myanmar Oil and Gas
Enterprise and the Petroleum Authority of Thailand. Total with a 31% stake operated
the project. The Yadana Project brought in an estimated $969 million to the government
undercutting international sanctions to isolate the regime. Unocal agreed to settle a
lawsuit, for an undisclosed sum, concerning human rights abuses on the
Yadana Project in Myanmar.
(SFC, 4/5/05, p.A1)(SFC, 10/4/07, p.A10) (SFC, 4/29/08, p.D3)



In Myanmar 3 explosions rocked the capital, Yangon, killing at least 19 people and
wounding 162 others. (AP, 5/8/05)(Reuters, 5/15/05)



India said police forces have destroyed one of the largest Mynamarese rebel bases in
India, deep in the mountainous jungles of the remote northeast. Some 200 guerrillas
and supporters living in the Chin National Army camp fled before the attack.
(AP, 6/25/05)



Myanmar's military government released about 240 prisoners, including political

detainees and opposition politicians. (AP, 7/6/05)


Former Myanmar PM Khin Nyunt received a 44-year suspended sentence after being
convicted on eight charges including bribery and corruption. (AP, 7/22/05)


Myanmar agreed to forgo its chairmanship of Southeast Asia's bloc next year to avoid a
damaging Western boycott of the group's meetings. (AP, 7/26/05)



An environmental watchdog alleged that Chinese logging companies in Myanmar have

illegally exported huge amounts of timber in collusion with the military government and
ethnic guerrillas, destroying ecologically unique forest areas. (AP, 10/18/05)



Myanmars military junta began moving key ministries to Pyinmana, a secret location in
the mountains and dense forest. The ruling junta had shifted headquarters to a series
of underground bunkers in Pyinmana, in central Myanmar.
(Econ, 7/23/05, p.24)(WSJ, 11/7/05, p.A18)




Myanmars government confirmed for the first time that it has extended pro-democracy
leader Aung San Suu Kyi's detention for six months. (AP, 12/03/05)
Myanmar's military junta reopened a key national constitutional convention.
(AP, 12/05/05)


In Myanmar at least four government battalions began shelling and attacking villages
and internal refugee hide-outs in southern Karenni State and areas of neighboring
Karen State, forcing some 3,000 people to flee their homes. (AP, 2/21/06)


Myanmars ruling junta arrested the leader of the Shan State National Army (SSNA) along
with other members of the Shan minority. (Econ, 7/23/05, p.24)

AIDS in Myanmar was estimated at 1.2% of the population. It was reported that 100,000
new cases of TB were being detected annualy. (Econ, 7/23/05, p.25)



The UN envoy to Myanmar, Razali Ismail of Malaysia, said he had quit his post after
being refused entry for the past 2 years to the military-ruled country where he pushed
for reforms. (AFP, 1/8/06)

Jan 31.

Myanmar's military government adjourned a constitution-drafting convention after

almost two months of deliberations, delegates said, amid growing frustration with the
slow pace of democratic reforms. Karen insurgents, marking nearly six decades of
fighting, said there was little chance Myanmar's military rulers would come to the negotiating table and end their bloody campaign against the ethnic minorities. (AP, 1/31/06)

Feb 10.

In Myanmar government officials said Win Aung, a former foreign minister ousted in a
Cabinet reshuffle by the country's ruling military junta, has been put on trial for
corruption charges. (AP, 2/10/06)

Feb 12.

Myanmar's leader Senior General Than Shwe lashed out at the US and the EU over their
sanctions against his regime, amid rising global pressure for it to reform. (AP, 2/12/06)

Mar 26.

A rights group said Myanmar's military rulers have launched an offensive against
separatist guerrillas, attacking villages and forcing thousands to flee in an attempt to
quash a five-decade insurgency by Karen ethnic rebels. (AP, 3/26/06)

Apr 27.

Reports from Myanmar and Thailand said Myanmar troops were waging their biggest
military offensive in almost a decade and have uprooted more than 11,000 ethnic
minority civilians in a campaign punctuated by torture, killings and the burning of
villages. (AP, 4/27/06)

May 13.

Myanmar's ruling military acknowledged that its army is targeting the Karen
ethnic minority, saying the offensive is necessary to suppress bombings and other antigovernment attacks. (AP, 5/14/06)

May 18.

A Karen group said Myanmar troops, who have driven an estimated 15,000 Karen

villagers from their homes, are throwing more battalions into a widening offensive
against the ethnic minority. (AP, 5/18/06)
May 27.

A Myanmar government official said Nobel Peace Prize-winning pro-democracy

leader Aung San Suu Kyi will remain under house arrest for another year. (AP, 5/27/06)

Jun 11.

Amnesty International released a report saying China's sales of military vehicles and
weapons to Sudan, Nepal and Myanmar have aggravated conflicts and abetted violence
and repressive rule in those countries. (AP, 6/11/06)

Jul 17.

One of two young twin brothers who led a small band of ethnic rebels calling themselves "God's Army" surrendered to Myanmar's military government. Johnny Htoo (18)
and 8 fellow members of the group surrendered with weapons in two separate groups
on July 17 and 19 at the coastal region military command in southeastern Myanmar.
(AP, 7/25/06)


In Myanmar the daughter of junta supremo Than Shwe (73) was married. In November
a leaked video of the lavish wedding sparked outrage among ordinary people in the
military-ruled and deeply impoverished nation. (Reuters, 11/2/06)

Sep 15.

Over strong opposition from China, the UN Security Council put Myanmar on its agenda
in what US officials called a "major step forward" in American efforts to increase
pressure on the country's military dictatorship. (AP, 9/15/06)

Oct 16.

In central Myanmar Thet Win Aung (34), who had been serving a 59-year sentence since
1998 after protesting for educational reform, died in jail. (AP, 10/18/06)

Oct 23.

The military regime in Myanmar ordered the International Red Cross to close five key
field offices in the country. (AP, 11/27/06)

Nov 6.

Transparency International, a watchdog group, reported that nearly three-quarters of

163 countries ranked in a new survey suffer from a perception of serious corruption,
while in nearly half it is seen as rampant. Finland, Iceland and New Zealand ranked as
the least corrupt, while Haiti, Guinea and Myanmar ranked as most corrupt.
(AP, 11/6/06) (Econ, 11/11/06, p.69)

Nov 11.

In Myanmar senior UN official Ibrahim Gambari met detained opposition leader

Aung San Suu Kyi and the ruling junta's top leader. (Reuters, 11/11/06)

Nov 30.

Human Rights Watch said Myanmar army attacks against a rebellious minority have
forced thousands of civilians to flee their homes, with many trekking as far as the
Thai border for food and shelter. (AP, 11/30/06)

Dec 14.

Myanmar's military junta has told Red Cross officials that the humanitarian group can
reopen field offices that the government had ordered shut in October. (AP, 12/15/06)

Dec 24.

Bo Mya (79), a longtime leader of the Karen National Union, died in Thailand. The KNU
was Myanmar's largest guerrilla group. (AP, 12/24/06)


Thant Myint-U authored The River of Lost Footsteps: Histories of Burma, a memoir and
history of Myanmar. (WSJ, 12/7/06, p.D8)


Myanmars population numbered about 51 million. (Econ, 9/2/06, p.39)

Jan 3.

Myanmar's military government freed nearly 3,000 convicts, but key political prisoners
were not among those released. (AP, 1/3/07)

Jan 10.

A new report alleged that Myanmar's military junta is allowing gold mines to pollute the
world's largest wild tiger reserve and has promoted development that is destroying
ethnic Kachin communities. (AP, 1/10/07)

Jan 12.

China and Russia blocked the Security Council from demanding an end to political
repression and human rights violations in military-ruled Myanmar, rejecting a
resolution proposed by the United States. South Africa sided with China and Russia.

(AP, 1/13/07)(Econ, 1/27/07, p.47)

Jan 1.

Myanmars state media accused pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi of evading
taxes by spending her money from the 1991 Nobel Peace prize and other awards
overseas. (AP, 1/18/07)

Feb 12.

A report issued by a human rights group accused Myanmar's military of killing, raping
and torturing ethnic Karen women as part of its battle against the minority group over
the past 25 years. (AP, 2/12/07)

Feb 23.

In Myanmar at least five protesters who took part in a rare demonstration that urged the
ruling military junta to improve health care, education and economic conditions were
taken into custody. (AP, 2/23/07)

Apr 12.

An international conservation group said tens of thousands of villagers could be

displaced and a fragile ecosystem destroyed by a hydropower project being built on
northeastern Myanmar's Salween River. (AP, 4/12/07)

Apr 26.

Myanmar and North Korea signed an agreement to resume diplomatic ties during a
visit to Myanmar by the North Korean vice foreign minister. (AP, 4/26/07)

May 14.

Nearly 60 former heads of state, including three ex-American presidents,

demanded that Myanmar's military regime release Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu
Kyi from house arrest. (AP, 5/14/07)

May 22.

Cambodian PM Hun Sen met with junta head Senior General Than Shwe in
military-ruled Myanmar, as the two nations moved to improve tourism links. (AP,

May 25.

Myanmar's military government extended the house arrest of pro-democracy

leader Aung San Suu Kyi by another year. (AP, 5/25/07)

Jul 30.

In the Philippines southeast Asian foreign ministers agreed to set up a regional human
rights commission, overcoming fierce resistance from military-ruled Myanmar.
Myanmar agreed not to veto discussion over the human rights commission at a
November summit. (AP, 7/30/07)(Econ, 8/4/07, p.36)

Aug 22.

In Myanmar hundreds of pro-democracy activists marched to protest the government's

fuel price hikes. The military junta arrested 13 top dissidents and deployed gangs of
spade-wielding supporters on the streets of Yangon. (Reuters, 8/22/07)

Aug 23.

In Myanmar defiant pro-democracy activists took to the streets for the third time this
week, forming a human chain to try to prevent officers from dragging them into
waiting trucks and buses. (AP, 8/23/07)

Aug 24.

Myanmar's military junta moved swiftly to crush the latest in a series of protests
against fuel price hikes, arresting more than 10 activists in front of Yangon City Hall
before they could launch any action. (AP, 8/24/07)

Aug 25.

Myanmar's state media reported that military junta has detained at least 63
activists who protested massive fuel-price hikes over the last week, as the government
pursued its clampdown on the increasingly daring demonstrations. (AP, 8/25/07)

Aug 27.

About 50 pro-democracy activists were arrested outside Yangon, as the Myanmar

junta clamped down on dissent following a series of protests last week against a sharp
hike in fuel prices. (AFP, 8/27/07)

Aug 28.

Pro-democracy supporters expanded their protests against Myanmar's military,

marching through the streets of the port town of Sittwe while attempting to rally in the
main city Yangon. (AP, 8/28/07)

Aug 29.

In Myanmar pro-government gangs on trucks staked out key streets in Yangon as

the country's military rulers sought to crush a rare wave of dissent by pro-democracy
activists protesting fuel price increases. (AP, 8/29/07)

Sep 19.

More than 2,000 monks protested across Myanmar for a 2nd straight day against the

country's junta. (AP, 9/19/07)

Sep 20.

Almost 1,000 Buddhist monks, protected by onlookers, marched through Myanmar's

biggest city for a third straight day and pledged to keep alive the most sustained protests
against the military government in at least a decade. (AP, 9/20/07)

Sep 21.

In Myanmar about 1,500 Buddhist monks marched through downtown Yangon to protest
against Myanmar's military government, beginning their fourth day of demonstrations at
a pagoda that has long served as a national symbol for dissent. (AP, 9/21/07)

Sep 22.

In the central Myanmar city of Mandalay, a crowd of 10,000 people, including at least
4,000 Buddhist monks, marched in one of the largest demonstrations since the 1988
democracy uprising. About 1,000 monks, led by one holding his begging bowl upturned
as a sign of protest, marched in Yangon for a 5th straight day. The anti-government
demonstrations touched the doorstep of democracy heroine Aung San Suu Kyi.
(AP, 9/22/07)

Sep 22.

To date 144 countries had ratified the UN Convention Against Torture. Holdouts included
Sudan, North Korea, Myanmar, Zimbabwe and India. (Econ, 9/22/07, p.72)

Sep 23.

In Myanmar some 20,000 people, led by Buddhist monks, protested against the junta.
Riot police and barbed wire barricades blocked hundreds of monks and anti-government
demonstrators from approaching the home of the detained democracy leader Aung San
Suu Kyi, in a new show of force against a rising protest movement. (AP, 9/23/07)

Sep 23.

Indian Oil Minister Murli Deora witnessed the signing of three accords between staterun Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) and the state-run Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise
at Nay Pyi Taw, the administrative capital of Myanmar. (AFP, 9/24/07)

Sep 24.

In Myanmar as many as 100,000 protesters led by a phalanx of barefoot monks marched

through Yangon. The movement has grown in a week from faltering demonstrations to
one rivaling the failed 1988 pro-democracy uprising. (AP, 9/24/07)

Sep 25.

Soldiers, including an army division that took part in the brutal suppression of a 1988
uprising, converged on Yangon, Myanmar's largest city, after thousands of monks and
sympathizers defied government orders to stay out of politics and protested once again.
The Buddhist monks marched out for an eighth day of peaceful protest despite orders to
the Buddhist clergy to halt all political activity and return to their monasteries. Military
leaders imposed a nighttime curfew and banned gatherings of more than 5 people.
(AP, 9/25/07)(WSJ, 9/26/07, p.A1)

Sep 26.

In Myanmar at least four people including three Buddhist monks were killed as security
forces used weapons and tear gas to crush protests that have erupted nationwide against
the military junta. (AFP, 9/26/07)

Sep 26.

Transparency International's 2007 index ranked Myanmar and Somalia as the most
corrupt nations. Both received the lowest score of 1.4 out of 10. Denmark, Finland and
New Zealand were ranked the least corrupt, each scoring 9.4. (AP, 9/26/07)

Sep 27.

In Myanmar troops cleared protesters from the streets of central Yangon, giving them 10
minutes to leave or be shot as the Myanmar junta intensified a two-day crackdown on the
largest uprising in 20 years. At least nine people were killed, including a Japanese
national. In December a UN investigator documented 31 people killed by the end of the
crackdown in October. (Reuters, 9/27/07) (AP, 12/7/07)

Sep 28.

Myanmar soldiers clubbed and dragged away activists while firing tear gas and warning
shots to break up demonstrations before they could grow, and the government cut
Internet access, raising fears that a deadly crackdown was set to intensify. The US
administration slapped visa bans on more than 30 members of the Myanmar junta and
their families. (AP, 9/28/07) (AFP, 9/29/07)

Sep 29.

UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari flew into Myanmar carrying worldwide hopes he can persuade

its ruling generals to use negotiations instead of guns to end mass protests. The streets
of Myanmar's two biggest cities were eerily quiet after a brutal crackdown on
demonstrators seeking to end 45 years of military rule. Soldiers quickly snuffed out one
small demonstration in Yangon, dragging several men to waiting trucks. (AP, 9/29/07)
Sep 30.

Myanmar's government unexpectedly allowed the country's leading opposition figure,

Aung San Suu Kyi, to leave house arrest briefly and meet with a UN envoy trying to
persuade the junta to ease its crackdown against a pro-democracy uprising. Thousands
of troops locked down Myanmar's largest cities, and scores of people were arrested
overnight. In Mandalay, Myanmar's second largest city, security forces arrested dozens
of university students who staged a street protest. (AP, 9/30/07)(AP, 10/1/07)

Oct 1.

Myanmar's junta leader stalled a UN envoy for yet another day, delaying his chance to
present international demands for an end to the crackdown on the largest protests in two
decades. A Norway-based dissident news organization, the Democratic Voice of Burma,
said pro-democracy activists estimate 138 people were killed in the recent protests.
Shari Villarosa, the top US diplomat in Myanmar, said her staff had visited up to 15
monasteries around Yangon and every single one was empty. She put the number of
arrested demonstrators, monks and civilians, in the thousands.
(AP, 10/1/07) (AP, 10/1/07)

Oct 2.

Myanmar's reclusive junta leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe, finally granted an audience to
a UN envoy hoping to broker an end to Myanmar's crackdown on pro-democracy
protesters. (AP, 10/2/07)

Oct 3.

Soldiers said they were hunting pro-democracy protesters in Myanmar's largest city and
the top US diplomat in the country said military police had pulled people out of their
homes during the night. The European Union agreed in principle to punish the junta
with sanctions. (AP, 10/3/07) (AFP, 10/3/07)

Oct 5.

In Myanmar acting Ambassador Shari Villarosa met with Deputy Foreign Minister Maung
Myint in the remote jungle capital of Naypitaw (Naypyidaw). During her visit, she was
expected to repeat the US view that the regime must meet with democratic opposition
groups and "stop the iron crackdown" on peaceful demonstrators. The US said it would
propose a UN Security Council resolution imposing sanctions on Myanmar if the
government there does not "respond constructively" to international concern about
repression of pro-democracy protests. (AP, 10/5/07)(Econ, 4/12/08, p.27)

Oct 6.

Myanmar's junta tried to cool growing UN pressure over its deadly crackdown on
peaceful protests, offering talks with democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and relaxing
its blockage of the Internet. A day of global protests against Myanmar's junta began in
cities across Asia, after the military regime admitted detaining hundreds of Buddhist
monks when troops turned their guns on pro-democracy demonstrators last week.
(AFP, 10/6/07) (AP, 10/6/07)

Oct 7.

Myanmar's military leaders stepped up pressure on monks who spearheaded prodemocracy rallies, saying that weapons had been seized from Buddhist monasteries and
threatening to punish all violators of the law. (AP, 10/7/07)

Oct 10.

A Myanmar exile group, made up of former political prisoners, said authorities had
recently informed the family of Win Shwe (42), that he had died during interrogation in
the central Myanmar region of Sagaing. He and five colleagues were arrested on Sept. 26.
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners said that at least seven people have
been arrested in the past two days in Yangon, including Hla Myo Naung (39), a leader of
the '88 Generation Students. (AP, 10/10/07)

0ct 12.

Myanmar PM Gen. Soe Win (59), reviled for his role in a bloody attack on opposition
leader Aung San Suu Kyi and her followers in 2003, died after a long illness. Myanmar's

military junta rejected a UN statement calling for negotiations with the opposition,
insisting that it would follow its own plan to bring democracy to the country.
(AP, 10/12/07)
Oct 13.

Amnesty International said 4 prominent political activists were arrested in Myanmar as

the ruling junta kept up its crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. (AP, 10/13/07)

Oct 14.

Myanmar's ruling junta restored Internet access but kept foreign news sites blocked,
partially easing its crackdown as a UN envoy headed to Asia to convey the world's
demands for democratic reforms in the country. (AP, 10/14/07)

Oct 17.

Myanmar's military junta acknowledged that it detained nearly 3,000 people during a
crackdown on recent pro-democracy protests, with hundreds still remaining in
custody. (AP, 10/17/07)

Oct 19.

Pres. Bush imposed new financial sanctions against Myanmar, freezing YS assets of 11
additional members of the military government. (SFC, 10/20/07, p.A3)

Oct 20.

Myanmar announced that it was lifting a curfew and ending a ban on assembly imposed
after a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, the latest sign that the government
believes it has extinguished the largest demonstrations in decades. (AP, 10/20/07)

Oct 24.

A day of global protests against Myanmar's junta began in Bangkok as democracy leader
and Nobel peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi marked a cumulative 12 years in detention.
(AP, 10/24/07)

Oct 25.

Suu Kyi, detained since May 2003, met with a newly appointed Myanmar government
official as part of a UN-brokered attempt to nudge her and the military junta toward
reconciliation. At least 70 people detained by the military government following protests
in Myanmar, including 50 members of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party,
were released. (AP, 10/26/07)

Oct 26.

In Myanmar one-time drug warlord Khun Sa (b.1933), variously described as among the
world's most wanted men and as a great Shan liberation fighter, died.
(AP, 10/30/07) (Econ, 11/10/07, p.106)

Oct 30.

Myanmar's military government freed seven members of Aung San Suu Kyi's prodemocracy party, who had been held for more than a month. Human Rights Watch
charged that Myanmars military government is recruiting children as young as 10 into
its armed forces. (AP, 10/30/07) (WSJ, 10/31/07, p.A1)

Oct 31.

More than 100 Buddhist monks marched in northern Myanmar for nearly an hour, the
first public demonstration since the government's deadly crackdown last month on
pro-democracy protesters. (AP, 10/31/07)

Nov 14.

Myanmar's military junta arrested three more activists, surging ahead with a crackdown
even as it hosted a UN human rights investigator and insisted that all arrests had
stopped. (AP, 11/14/07)

Dec 4.

State media said Myanmar's military junta has completed the release of 8,585 prisoners,
but it was unclear if any of those released were among those detained during the
crackdown. (AP, 12/4/07)


Myanmars population was around 53 million. Myanmar is rich in natural resources,

but 90 percent of its people lived on less than $1 a day. 30% lived below the poverty
line. (AP, 9/29/07) (Econ, 4/12/08, p.29) (Econ, 5/10/08, p.12)

Jan 2.

Myanmar's military junta dramatically raised the annual fee for TV satellite dishes, an
apparent move to block the foreign news channels that beamed in global criticism of its
recent crackdown on pro-democracy protests. (AP, 1/2/08)

Jan 4.

Myanmar's Independence Day was marked by opposition calls for the freeing of
democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners as the military rulers

urged national discipline. (AP, 1/4/08)

Feb 5.

The US Treasury Dept. said it is imposing financial sanctions against family members
of the military-run government of Myanmar and individuals it identified as key
members of the financial empire of Tay Za. (SFC, 2/6/08, p.A7)

Feb 12.

In Myanmar supporters of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi protested to demand
democracy in Myanmar, days after the military regime said it would hold elections in
2010 under a new constitution likely to entrench the junta's powerful position.
(AP, 2/12/08)

Feb 19.

Myanmar's ruling junta said the country's new draft constitution, which will replace one
scrapped in 1988, has been completed. (AP, 2/19/08)

Mar 5.

In Myanmar pro-democracy party of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's said
they had failed in a bid to sue the military government for not recognizing their 1990
election victory. (AP, 3/5/08)

Mar 21.

In Myanmar a man set himself on fire at Shwedagon pagoda, Yangon's most famous
landmark in a political protest against the military junta. He died of his injuries in April.
( (WSJ, 4/23/08, p.A1)

Mar 27.

Myanmar's junta chief insisted that he is not power-hungry and intends to hand control
of the government to the winners of elections in 2010. (AP, 3/27/08)

Apr 2.

Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party urged voters to reject
a military-backed draft constitution, saying it was undemocratic and drafted under the
junta's direct control. (AP, 4/2/08)

Apr 10.

In Thailand 54 illegal migrant workers from Myanmar suffocated in the back of an

unventilated truck, while the rest of the passengers being smuggled to Thailand pounded
on the container and screamed in vain for the driver's help. 37 of the dead were women
and 17 were men. A Thai court the next day convicted some 64 survivors of illegal entry
and rule to send them back to Myanmar. (AP, 4/10/08) (Reuters, 4/11/08)

Apr 12.

Myanmar reportedly had about 500,000 soldiers, twice the 1958 number.
(Econ, 4/12/08, p.29)

May 1.

Pres. Bush imposed new sanctions against property owned or controlled by the
military junta in Myanmar. (WSJ, 5/2/08, p.A8)

May 3.

A tropical cyclone slammed into Myanmar's main city of Yangon, ripping off roofs, felling
trees and raising fears of major casualties. Within days the death toll soared above
22,000 and more than 41,000 others were missing as foreign countries mobilized to
rush in aid after the country's deadliest storm on record. (AP, 5/4/08) (AP, 5/6/08)

May 6.

Myanmar's junta decided to postpone voting on a new constitution in areas hardest-hit

by a devastating cyclone as the death toll soared above 22,500. (AP, 5/6/08)

May 7.

The international relief effort for hundreds of thousands of Myanmar cyclone victims
picked up speed as India dispatched two planeloads of aid and Myanmar authorized the
UN to send its own air shipment. (AP, 5/7/08)

May 8.

Relief supplies from the United Nations began arriving in Myanmar, but US military
planes loaded with aid were still denied access by the country's isolationist regime five
days after a devastating cyclone. Some feared that lack of safe food and drinking water
could push the death toll above 100,000. (AP, 5/8/08)

May 9.

Myanmar's junta seized UN aid shipments headed for hungry and homeless survivors of
last week's devastating cyclone prompting the world body to suspend further help.
According to state media, 23,335 people died and 37,019 are missing from Cyclone
Nargis. (AP, 5/9/08)

May 10.

Myanmar's military regime distributed international aid but plastered the boxes
with the names of top generals in an apparent effort to turn the relief effort for last week's

devastating cyclone into a propaganda exercise. Voting on a new constitution began in

all but the hardest hit parts of the country. The UN said at least one million survivors
remain without aid more than a week after the deadly cyclone.
(AP, 5/10/08) (AFP, 5/10/08)
May 11.

In Myanmar a Red Cross boat carrying rice and drinking water for cyclone victims
sank, while the death toll jumped to more than 28,000 and aid groups warned of a
humanitarian catastrophe. (AP, 5/11/08)

May 12.

Myanmar state television put the death toll for Cyclone Nargis at 31,938 with
29,770 people missing. The US White House said it was extending an extra 13 million
dollars in aid as the first US flight of emergency supplies landed in the country.
(AP, 5/12/08) (SFC, 5/13/08, p.A3)

May 14.

Experts said the 1.5 million people left destitute by Myanmar's cyclone are in
increasing danger of disease and starvation, but the ruling junta said no to a Thai
request to admit more aid workers. The Red Cross said the death toll could reach nearly
128,000. Another powerful storm headed toward Myanmar's cyclone-devastated delta
and the UN warned that inadequate relief efforts could lead to a second wave of deaths
among the estimated 2 million survivors. (AP, 5/14/08) (WSJ, 5/15/08, p.A1)

May 15.

Myanmar's junta warned that legal action would be taken against people who
trade or hoard international aid as the cyclone's death toll soared above 43,000.
Myanmar announced that a constitution won massive support in a referendum, a claim
slammed by a leading rights group as an insult to the country's people. (AP, 5/15/08)

May 16.

The EU aid chief said that Myanmar's junta still would not budge on accepting foreign
relief workers, two weeks after the cyclone tragedy that has left more than 71,000
dead or missing. (AP, 5/16/08)

May 17.

Frustrated world leaders tightened the pressure on Myanmar, raising the

allegation of crimes against humanity over the regime's slow-moving response to the
cyclone disaster. Diplomats witnessed "huge" devastation in the Irrawaddy delta and the
toll of dead and missing from the cyclone rose above 133,000 people. (AFP,
5/17/08) (Reuters, 5/17/08)

May 18.

A senior UN envoy went to Myanmar to urge its military junta to accept more
international aid for cyclone survivors. A British minister suggested the isolationist
regime may be relenting. (AP, 5/18/08)

May 19.

Myanmar declared three days of mourning for cyclone victims after agreeing to an
international aid effort led by its Southeast Asian neighbors to help two million
survivors in dire need. (AFP, 5/19/08)

May 20.

The UN's top humanitarian official made fresh pleas to Myanmar's military
government to allow in more foreign aid for cyclone survivors, as the country began
three days of mourning for the 134,000 dead and missing. (AP, 5/20/08)

May 21.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon began a mission for Myanmar's cyclone victims, saying
"our focus now is on saving lives," as the military government gave approval UN
helicopters to distribute aid. (Reuters, 5/21/08) (WSJ, 5/22/08, p.A1)

May 23.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Myanmar's junta agreed to allow all aid
workers into the country after weeks of refusing access to foreign relief experts seeking
to help cyclone survivors. (AP, 5/23/08)

May 25.

A 52-nation international conference pledged tens of millions of dollars for some

2.4 million Myanmar survivors in need of aid. Official estimates put the death toll at
about 78,000, with another 56,000 missing. Myanmar has estimated the economic
damage at about $11 billion. (AP, 5/25/08)

May 27.

Myanmar's military junta extended opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's detention by

one year, ignoring worldwide appeals to free the Nobel laureate who has been detained
for more than 12 of the past 18 years. (AP, 5/27/08)
May 30.

Myanmar's ruling junta lashed out at foreign aid donors, saying cyclone victims
did not need supplies of "chocolate bars" and could instead survive by eating frogs and
fish. (AFP, 5/30/08)

Jun 5.

Amnesty International said Myanmar's military regime has forced cyclone survivors to do
menial labor in exchange for food and stepped up a campaign to evict displaced citizens
from aid shelters. (AP, 6/5/08)

Jun 9.

UN helicopters fanned out across Myanmar's Irrawaddy delta, ferrying critical supplies to
villages struggling to survive since a devastating cyclone struck more than five weeks
ago. (AP, 6/9/08)

Jun 12.

ASEAN said Southeast Asian and UN experts will have full access to cyclonedevastated parts of Myanmar, where more than a million people have still not received
any foreign help. (AFP, 6/12/08)

Jun 24.

Myanmar's ruling junta announced that 84,500 people perished in Cyclone Nargis in
May, up from an earlier confirmed toll of 77,700. (AP, 6/24/08)

Jul 6.

Myanmar's state-run newspaper said the overwhelming election victory by Aung San
Suu Kyi's party in 1990 has been nullified by the approval of a military-backed
constitution and her National League for Democracy party should prepare for a new
vote in 2010. (AP, 7/6/08)

Jul 8.

State-media said Myanmar's military regime has approved visas for more than 1,500
international aid workers to help victims of Cyclone Nargis, with half of them involved in
relief operations in storm-hit regions. (AP, 7/8/08)

Jul 21.

A UN-led report said Myanmar needs at least $1 billion over the next three years to
put the survivors of Cyclone Nargis back on their feet, in the first comprehensive
assessment of damage caused by the disaster that killed more than 84,000 people.
(AP, 7/21/08)

Jul 25.

A UN official said as much as 25 percent of cyclone relief aid in Myanmar is being lost
because of the military government's foreign exchange system. (AP, 7/25/08)

Jul 29.

Pres. Bush signed a bill freezing the assets of political and military leaders in Myanmar
and banning the importation of rubies and jade from Myanmar to the US. The
legislation also gave incentives to Chevron to divest its natural gas program there. The
US Treasury announced financial sanctions on 10 companies suspected of being
owned by Myanmars government. (SFC, 7/30/08, p.A4)

Sep 5.

The political party of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi urged Myanmar's
military government to ensure her well-being as she continued to refuse food
deliveries to protest her detention. (AP, 9/5/08)

Sep 16.

A Buddhist monk slashed his throat in a suicide attempt at Myanmar's most sacred
temple, the scene of several pro-democracy protests that erupted a year ago. A trustee of
the Shwedagon temple said the monk became desperate after running out of money to
pay for medical care. (AP, 9/18/08)

Sept. 23.

Myanmar's longest-serving political prisoner, journalist Win Tin, was freed after 19 years
behind bars and vowed to continue his struggle to achieve democracy in the militaryruled country. Altogether Myanmar freed 9,002 prisoners. Win Htein (64), a former aide
to Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, was re-arrested less than 24 hours
after being freed by the military government in the mass amnesty.
(AP, 9/23/08) (SFC, 9/24/08, p.A4) (AP, 9/26/08)


He was born in 1911 of a Sino-Burmese family, educated at the Judson College, Rangoon, and one of

The Thirty Comrades who led the armed struggle for Burmas independence. He commanded the 4th
Burma Rifles after the war. Minister of Defence and Home Affairs (1949-50); Commander-in-Chief (194972); Prime Minister (1958-60); Chairman of the Revolutionary Council (1962-74); President of Burma
(1974-81); Chairman of the BSPP (1962- 88). He was believed to be the actual ruler of Burma until his
house arrest. According to Wikipedia, his formal rule lasted about 27 years and 10 months. He married
seven times, twice to the same woman. And most Burmese believe his personal fortunes rival that of the
late Ferdinand Marcos

of the Philippines. He owned property in London, West Germany and in Tokyos

most expensive district, Ginza. (Outrage by Bertil Lintner). General Ne Win was well-known among the
Burmese for three things - his obsession with astrology and numerology and his notorious ill temper.
I shall quote here just two paragraphs about him from

an article in the GEO magazine, March 1979, by

Sterling Seagrave under the title, Burma on the Brink:

... He also turned into a tyrant of the same species as Papa Doc Duvelier of Haiti and Idi Amin of
Uganda, with whom he has often been compared. Like them he became known for petty cruelties.
In 1963, Ne Win was prevailed to attend the Rose Ball, sponsored each year by the leading
Burmese womens association. At the ball , the Bogyokes (General) limousine pulled up behind a
U.S. Embassy vehicle. The American charge d affairs, Andrew Kerr, was standing outside the car,
leaning over to give instructions to his chauffeur. Ne Win told his own driver to honk so the
American car would move, but Kerr apparently did not hear. Before a crowd of several hundred,
Americans among them, Ne Win climbed out, strode up and kicked the representative of the
United States in the rear. Kerr was immediately flown home...The monks went into open revolt.
The senior Abbot of the Buddhist Church in Burma, UKethaya (The Reverend Lion), whose
title was Agga Maha Pandita (Doctor of Divinity), told an immense crowd at a Mandalay pagoda:
I dont want to wear this robe anymore because my vows as a priest are preventing me from
saying certain things. I want to become a layman again so I can tell this creature Ne Win what
I really think of him. Aung San was assassinated by U Saw. There will shortly appear somebody
who will assassinate Ne Win. That minced no words.Creature is a worse insult in Burmese
than son of a bitch is in English....
Another book: A Journalist, A General and an Army in Burma

by U Thaung,

could also be


for those who would like to know more about what really had happened in Burma under Ne

Wins rule. U Thaung was one of the most prominent journalists in Burma for decades.
Ne Win Manipulated Educational Affairs
By YAN PAING / THE IRRAWADDY On Tuesday, August 27, 2013 @ 12:56 pm
Than Oo is a prominent scholar and education researcher who served as an adviser to the Education Ministry in
1988. (Photo: Yan Paing / The Irrawaddy)
When Burmas former regime was crafting its education policy and determining how to mold the young minds of
the nation, Than Oo was there to offer advice. A former high school principle and teachers training college
principle, Than Oo was an adviser to the Education Ministry in 1988, the same year student-led protests swept the
nation. During his career, the US university-educated scholar also served as chairman of the countrys Education
Research Bureau, director-general of the Basic Education Department, and chairman of Wisdom Light, a group

formed by U Thant, the late former secretary general of the United Nations. Today, as chairman of the Myanmar
Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is cooperating with Burmas quasi-civilian government to review the national
education sector and identify areas for reform. In an exclusive interview with The Irrawaddy, he criticizes former
dictator Ne Wins education policies and offers thoughts on the current reform process.

Question: Rangoon University is reinstating undergraduate courses, but only 15 students are allowed to enroll for
each subject. Dont you think that number is too small?
Answer: University authorities seem concerned about the possibility of future student movements, because almost
every student movement in the past originated from Rangoon University. I think thats why they accepted only 15
students for each course. They may accept more students in the future, depending on the situation.

Q: Is the countrys basic education system in need of an upgrade?

A: Its wrong to use the term basic education. I submitted a bill on general education during the days of the
Union Revolutionary Council [a supreme governing body under Ne Win], but Ne Win changed the term to basic
education, without understanding the meaning of the term clearly. Internationally, education from Grade 1 to
Grade 12 is general education. The purpose of general education, in a word, is to produce good citizens.
University education is when students specialize in a desired subject. An educated person is someone who
understands cause and effect, good and bad, right and wrong. We need educated people, not just literate people.

Q: Whats your opinion of teaching methods that are promoted domestically and abroad?
A: Both the United States and Japan are many steps ahead of Burma in the education sector. We cannot copy
everything these countries do, but we should pay attention. We need more teaching materials. Schools in the
United States and Japan have complete teaching materialswe just have chalk and blackboards. We cant even
arrange for a chair and desk for each student. Some areas in our country dont have schoolswe need to build
schools. At this point, we cant even think about installing projectors in the classroom. First lets check
kindergarten textbooks, which are tattered and torn. And even if someone wants to donate books, we dont have
cupboards to keep them.

Q: Autonomy will reportedly be granted soon for universities. What are your thoughts?
A: President Thein Sein said universities must be autonomous in the near future. Thats really reasonable. There
must be academic freedom among students and teachers. Nobody should repress them. That [autonomy] is the
main feature of a university. Universities abroad are run this way.

Q: You worked during several eras of Burmese historyfrom the post-independence era of the Anti-Fascist
Peoples Freedom League, to the Burmese Way to Socialism and the so-called State Law and Order Restoration
Council of the military regime. Which era was best for academic freedom?
A: The post-independence time, from 1948 to 1962, was best. As you know, during the era of the Burmese
Way to Socialism from 1962 to 1988, and during the military regimes time from 1988 to 2010, academic freedom
and the academic atmosphere of the countrys education system was degraded.

Q: Do you think the present government can raise education standards to former post-independence levels?
A: They have to try really hard. In the past there were issues like a three-month academic year, a six-month
academic year, and students being allowed to pass exams even though they werent qualified because there was a
fear of student-led uprisings.

Q: Can you talk more about your experience as an educator under the military regime?
A: A lot of universities were opened to prevent the gathering of many students [at a single university]. Universities
were moved to the outskirts of towns to prevent students from demonstrating. Dormitories were abolished, also
to prevent student gatherings. Students had to spend hours on buses to get to class, and they did not have
enough time to study or read books in the libraries.

Q: What was the education standard under former dictator Ne Win?

A: He [Ne Win] made mistakes and manipulated educational affairs, pretending that he understood everything. He

was the one who separated the studies of arts and sciences. Before, it was only at university level that arts and
sciences were separated. Starting from the days of Ne Win, when arts and science subjects were separated,
fewer students studied arts subjects in high school. It was his mistake.

Q: Ne Win didnt seek advice from scholars to shape education policy?

A: No. Ne Win opposed three main things. First, he was anti-politics, but he took part in politics. Second, he was
anti-intellectual. Third, he was anti-democracy. Its my impression that nothing could be implemented during his
time, and the country became poor while the people tried to carry out his orders. Ne Win was even pessimistic
about Min Thu Wuns [U Wun] work to create a Burmese dictionary. He often compared U Wun to a loaf of broad
that had not been baked properly. This upset U Wun, who confided in me. I told him not to get discouraged
by the words of Ne Win, who knew nothing, and to only suffer if an intellect like Saya Zawgyi [Thein Han, a
distinguished writer and scholar] criticized him. When Dr Hla Han became education minister, he told Ne Win
that he was not skilled in educational affairs and urged Ne Win to appoint someone else. Dr Hla Han sought help
from Dr Nyi Nyi [former deputy minister of education] and me, appointing us to important positions. But Ne Win
was very influential over us, and we couldnt implement anything as we wished.

Q: Now that you have retired from the Education Ministry, some organizations are seeking your assistance to
develop Burmas education system. Do you have plans to cooperate with them?
A: I will, of course, cooperate if its in the interest of our country. Last year, I went to Budapest, Hungary, to
attend a meeting there and discuss education with [George] Soros, an American tycoon who runs OSI [the Open
Society Institute, now the Open Society Foundations]. I have been cooperating with OSI to review the education
sector in Burma. Whenever the NLD [the National League for Democracy] holds educational meetings, I also attend
if they invite me. I help them because it is for the good of our country.
Article printed from The Irrawaddy Magazine:
URL to article:
Copyright 2012 The Irrawaddy Magazine. All rights reserved.
- Compilers Note. I am using the above article without securing the The Irrawaddy Groups prior permission.

The earliest records of Chinese migration into present-day Burma were in the Song and Ming dynasties.
[14] In the 18th century, Ming Dynasty princes settled in Kokang (the northern part of present-day Burma).
Another wave of immigration occurred in the 19th century under the British colonial administration.
Britain encouraged immigration of Indians and Chinese to British Burma, and such incentives for work
opportunities and enterprise and for accumulating wealth attracted many Chinese. They primarily came to
Burma via British Malaya.[14]
During the 1950s, Burma was one of the first countries to recognize the People's Republic of China as a
nation. However, its own Chinese population was treated as aliens. The Burmese Chinese were issued
foreign registration cards (FRC) in a tiered citizenship system adopted by the post-independence government.
Today, the majority of retail, wholesale and import trade businesses are run by the Burmese Chinese
today.[14] For example, Sein Gayha a major retailer that began in Yangon's Chinatown in 1985, is owned
by a Hakka Chinese family. Moreover, four of the five largest commercial banks in Myanmar, Myanmar
Universal Bank, Yoma Bank, Myanmar Mayflower Bank, and the Asia Wealth Bank, were all founded by
Upper Burma has seen a demographic shift resulting from the recent immigration of many Mainland
Chinese to Mandalay Region, Shan,[46] and Kachin States.[47] Ethnic Chinese now constitute an
estimated 30 to 40% of Mandalay's population.[48] Huge swaths of land in city centre left vacant by the

fires were later purchased, mostly by the ethnic Chinese, many of whom were recent immigrants from
Yunnan.[49] The Chinese influx accelerated after the current military government came to power in 1988.
With the Burmese government turning a blind eye, many Chinese immigrants from Yunnan (and also from
Sichuan) poured into Upper Burma in the 1990s, settling in Mandalay.[19] In the 1990s alone, about
250,000 to 300,000 Yunnanese were estimated to have migrated to Mandalay.[48] Their arrival has been
vital in the doubling of Mandalay's population from about 500,000 in 1980 to one million in 2008. Chinese
festivals are now firmly embedded in the city's cultural calendar.[49] The influx of Mainland Chinese into
the city and the subsequent displacement of native Burmese to the outskirts of the city has created
racial tensions.[50]

Burmese Indians (Burmese) are a group of people of Indian ethnicity who live in Myanmar (Burma). While
Indians have lived in Burma for many centuries, most of the ancestors of the current Burmese Indian
community emigrated to Burma from the start of British rule in the mid 19th century to the separation of
British Burma from British India in 1937. During British times, ethnic Indians formed the backbone of the
government and economy serving as soldiers, civil servants, merchants and moneylenders. A series of
anti-Indian riots beginning in 1930 and mass emigration during the Japanese occupation of Burma followed
by the forced expulsion of 1962 left ethnic Indians with a much reduced role in Burma.
Historically, Burmese Indians have made their livelihoods as merchants, traders and shopkeepers as well
as manual labourers such as coolies, dockers, municipal workers, rickshaw men, pony cart drivers, malis
and durwans. They were also heavily represented in certain professions such as civil servants, university
lecturers, pharmacists, opticians, lawyers and doctors. They dominated several types of businesses such
as auto parts and electrical goods, ironmongery and hardware, printing and bookbinding, books and
stationery, paper and printing ink, tailoring and dry-cleaning, English tuition, and money lending.
The great majority of these alien ethnic groups are enormously prospering by engaging in all kinds of
business. In constrast to this, in Thailand alone 447,093 Burmese are working for meager pay and under
extremely inhumane conditions. Nearly all of them were

living and working

there illegally

until the

25th October 2001. (The Bangkok Post: 26.10.2001 & 28.10.2001; The Nation/Thailand/27.10.2001).
According to a number of reliable Burmese sources it is estimated that between 3 and 4 million people
from Burma are at present living and working in several neighbouring countries under very hardship.
Furthermore, there are at present


200,000 refugees of indigenous

peoples- among them

are more than 50,000 Chins - in neighbouring countries. Most of them are confined in several refugee
camps under extremely harsh conditions. And there are around two to three hundred thousands of
Internally Displaced People (IDP) through forced relocations. Nearly all of them

are the so-called

indigenous peoples, but there are also several thousands of ethnic Burmans who also meet the same fate
these days. The following are some statistics on this subject:

... Work so far suggests that at least 2,500 Karen, Karenni, Shan and Mon villages have been
forced to relocate, have been destroyed or abandoned since 1996. Around 400,000 people are
today living, mostly in miserable conditions, in SPDC [Burmas present military junta] relocation
sites and another 300,000 are on the move or in hiding in conditions just like the Karen you
will see in this broadcast.
(EMAIL No. 2/ From Burma Border Consortium. The broadcast in question here is

a 40-minute

documentary programme called BBC Correspondent which was scheduled to be

aired on BBC 2 on the

28th. July 2002(Sunday) and on BBC World Service the next day. Original Message: Harn Yawnghwe. July
28, 2002./(Compilers

remark: Mr. Harn Yawnghwe is the Director of the Euro-Burma Office in Brussels,

Belgium). Internally Displaced People and Forced Relocation+ The Situation of Refugees + The Situation
of Migrant Workers from Burma. Source: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2000; Date of publication:
October 2001. Chapters 14+15+16/. NCGUB Human Rights Documentation Unit: Human Rights Year

Book Burma (Burma) 2000:

... A recent report by two human rights groups based in Thailand, and covered by the
Washington Post in an article below, documents in sickening detail the rape and sexual
abuse of 625 women in Burmas Shan state, including girls as young as five years old.
25% of the rape victims were brutally slaughtered after the rapes; the bodies of victims
were often strung up in villages to intimidate other villagers...The report was based on
interviews with refugees on the Thai-Burmese border. It found that the rapes were
committed between 1996 and 2001 by soldiers from 52 different battalions, most by
officers in front of their troops. The rapes were often extremely brutal, with one-quarter
resulting in death. In some instances, the bodies were then displayed to local
communities. Many of the girls -- as young as 5 -- and women were gang-raped, or
raped repeatedly for periods of up to four months, the report said. "We are appalled by
reports that the Burmese military is using rape as a weapon of war against civilian
populations in the Shan states," a State Department official said yesterday.
(Sources: The Washington Post, July 4, 2002; Page A 19, by Glenn Kessler, Washington
Post Staff Writer; Jeremy Woodrum, Free Burma Coalition, July 09, 2002.

... Forum Asia has recently learned that the Thai Government has decided to relocate the
Mae Hong Son Karenni refugees of Camp No.3 to Camp No.2 (adjacent to the ThaiBurma border). The relocation process is set to begin on August 15th, in the height of
the rainy season, and to be completed by September. Camp No.2, located some 20
minutes walking distance from a Burmese soldiers'hang out, has historically been the
target of attacks by the Burmese military junta, resulting in the death of and serious
injuries to innocent Karenni refugees... During the relocation process, many youth and
elderly refugees died due to difficult conditions created by the rainy season, and from
diseases such as malaria... Camp No.2 is also heavily populated...It is noteworthy that an
increasingly hostile attitude on the part of the Thai authorities, vis-a-vis Karenni
refugees, has been noticeable since earlier this year, when the rape of two Camp No.2
Karenni women by Thai soldiers was publicly exposed...The Karenni State is located in
Eastern Burma. Since the Burmese military regime occupied it in 1948, Karenni people
have been fighting to regain their lost independence. As a result of the brutal policies of
the Burmese junta, over 20,000 Karenni people have fled to neighbouring Thailand
where they live as refugees in the North-Western Mae Hong Son province. They currently
live in three refugee camps, Camp No.2 and No.3 mentioned in this appeal and Camp
No.5... Relocations have been frequent. Karenni Camp No.2 has moved six times since
1989, on some occasions due to security threats but ... In fact, it is the Burmese army's
repression in their villages that drives Karennis to Thailand. Recent reports show that
this repression, including slave labour, looting, extortion, destruction of homes and
crops, torture, rape, and killings, is worsening. Tension at the Thai-Burmese border is
also alarmingly increasing...
Camp No.3. Walking distance from Thai-Burmese Border: app. 2 hours...Total

population: 4347 Children (1-11 y.o.): 365 (m:188, f:177) Adults (46-60 y.o.): 156
(m:48, f:108)Over 60 y.o.: 87 (m:48, f:39)/ Burma Border Consortium, International
Rescue Committee and Jesuit Refugee Service. FOR FURTHER INQUIRIES: Please contact (in
Bangkok): Kang Iong Nian or Fran? Tanguay-Renaud, Asian Forum for Human Rights and
Development (Forum-Asia), Tel.: +662 276-9846-7, Fax: +662 693-4939,

... Lydia Haines, the CSWs country officer for Burma, explains: Were looking for
healing and restoration of peace in Burma and praying for the political process and an
end to the atrocities there. Two million people have been expelled from their homes
and villages by the junta since the conflict began more than 50 years ago. Burmese
troops are accused of killing 10,000 civilians a year. In the past ten years alone, the
military junta has conscripted more than three million people, including women and
children, into slave labour. Thousands have fled either their homes or the brutal
conditions of relocation sites... The majority of the displaced population are from ethnic
minority areas such as the states of Karen, Karenni and Shan; more than 100,000
people, mainly ethnic Karens, live in camps along the Thai-Burmese border. In the Karen
refugee camps are Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and people of all traditional religions.
About 40 per cent are Christians, of whom most are Baptists... Lord Alton of Liverpool,
who has just returned from a fact-finding trip to the Burmese border, says he was
shocked by the latest violations of human rights. The independent crossbench peer was
collecting evidence on behalf of the Jubilee Campaign, a parliamentary pressure group.
He was accompanied by the American congressman, Joseph Pitts...In a refugee camp
near Mae Sot, Lord Alton took evidence from the Committee for Internally Displaced
Karen People. He has now produced a 100-page report which lists three mass killings
by the SPDC. It is a carefully chronicled account of looting, burning, torture, rape and
murder, says Lord Alton...The SPDC routinely plant landmines indiscriminately and in
areas where landmines have been laid by their opponents the SPDC use people as human
landmine sweepers. I saw some of the victims people whose limbs have been severed
from their bodies, whose skin has been peppered with shrapnel, and others who have
been left blind. I also talked to families of people whose loved ones had been seized and
used as porters and construction workers, and who have never returned. The SPDC kill
many of the porters in frontline areas, especially when they are unable to work any
longer because of exhaustion or sickness... Although the British Government still
refuses to categorise these crimes as genocide, there is no doubt in my mind that no
other word adequately describes the realities in Burmas Karen state..
(TIMES ONLINE - March 08, 2003/ Christian Aid and Prayers for Burma's Tortured and
Displaced/ By Tara Holmes/Christian Solidarity Worldwide, 020-8942 8810; Jubilee
Campaign, 01483 894787; The Metta Trust for Childrens Education,
Compilers Remarks

The reader may probably wonder why the activities of several

Christian Churches from

the West are listed in this paper. The simple reason is that Burmas overall destiny has so closely been
intertwined with the political, commercial, financial, military, religious, social and diplomatic activities of
powerul and wealthy Christian nations of the West starting from the arrival of the first Christian
missionaries and colonialists up to this day. Missionaries of several rival Christian Churches from the
West have had suceeded in converting about 4 million people in Burma to Christianity until today by
promising them an eternal life after death at a place called Heaven or a place which is supposed to be

the Abode of the biblical God. 90 percent of them happen to be non-Burman native peoples who are the
main victims of Burmese military dictators.

When the guns finally fell

silent (from 13.03.

up to 31.12.1988),


3000 and

10,000 people from all walks of life are believed to have been killed by government troops. The G3 and
G4 assault rifles and ammunition that the

Burmese armed troops used in these massacres and the

decades-long civil war have been manufactured in a factory in the country itself for decades - starting
in the late 1950s. It was

owned by

the Fritz Werner Industrie-Ausrstungen GmbH,

and 88 % of its

shares in turn are said to be indirectly owned by the West German Government. (The Nation/Thailand/

Burma: The German Connection

by S Aung Lwin, 0ctober, 1992, Published by Burma

Rights Movement for Action, P.O.Box 1076, Silom Post Office, Bangkok, Thailand.) Since 1988 Burma has
received arms shipments from China,

Ex-Soviet Union, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland,

Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland and Yugoslavia (Sources: compilers files). And heres another


from the Far Eastern Economic Review (11.09.1989):

Arms from Abroad: Four ships from Burmas state-owned Five Star Shipping Line - the
Sagaing, Magwe, Pegu and Mandalay - recently called at ports in West Germany, the
Netherlands, Yugoslavia and Italy. Several of the ships are reported to have carried arms
and ammunition back to Burma. One ship unloaded silver bars in Belgium to pay for the
equipment. Although arms shipments to Burma have been previously reported from
Singapore and Pakistan, these are the first confirmed consignments from Europe since
last years military takeover in Rangoon.


Date: Thu, 24 Mar 2011 10:25:17 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: [NLDmembrsnSupportersofCRPPnNLDnDASSK] Burma Related News - Mar 24, 2011.
X-Yahoo-Newman-Property: groups-email-ff-m
Content-Type: multipart/alternative;

DVB News - Norway ups Burma oil investments

Published: 24 March 2011

Figures released last week by the Norwegian government show that investments in oil and gas
compa-nies operating in Burma stand at close to $US 5 billion, despite heavy opposition from
rights groups. The new sum marks an increase of around $US 300 million on last years figures.
The state-owned investment body, the Norwegian Pension Fund, holds shares in 15 energy
companies in Burma, a position that the campaign group Norwegian Burma Committee this week
criticised as double morale.
The Fund, which was founded on the countrys North Sea oil wealth, was the focus of a damming
report in December last year by EarthRights International (ERI), who accused it of contributing to
grave unethical actions in Burma through its investments.
The revelation coincides with reports of several extra-judicial executions last month close to
pipelines operated by two overseas companies, the US-based Chevron and French oil giant,
Total. Both are targets of investment by the Fund, which has shares of more than $US 2 billion in

Total and $US 0.9 billon in Chevron. It has also doubled its stake in the controversial SwissAmerican drilling firm Transocean, which is being investigated by the US for its work with a
consortium of Burmese companies that includes a firm owned by junta crony Steven Law, who is
a target of US sanctions.
ERI, which has been monitoring the impact of the Yadana and Yetagun gas pipelines in Burmas
southern Tenasserim division, released a statement yesterday in which it claimed an ethnic Karen
man had been killed by Burmese troops close to the pipelines. Both Total and Chevron, who
operate the Yadana pipeline in partnership with Thailands state-owned PTTE and the Myanmar
Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), are known to use Burmese army units as security for their
operations Eight of the 15 companies, including Transocean, have seen increased investment
from the Fund, while six have seen a reduction and one remains the same. Its shares in Koreas
Hyundai Heavy Industries have soared from $US 11.5 million to $US 173 million, while its
holdings in PetroChina now top $US 100 million, information obtained by ERI shows. What these
companies have in common is their involvement in the controversial Shwe dual pipeline project,
which will transport Burmese gas and Middle Eastern and African oil across the breadth of the
country to southern China. The campaigning group Shwe Gas Movement (SGM) claims the project
has dramatically increased military presence along the pipeline route and caused the forcible
relocation of hundreds of civilians.
Matthew Smith, senior consultant at ERI, said the increase in investments by the Pension Fund is
indiscriminate of the ethical considerations that [the Fund doesnt] determine whether or not to
increase their holdings based on ethnical decisions.
Significant chunks of the Shwe pipeline and the Yadana-Yetagun pipelines, which transport gas
to Thailand, run through military zones, where incidents such as the killing of the Karen man in
February are common. Smith said however that such risks are an issue these companies have
consistently tried to deny in communications with their investors and other interested parties.
The Pension Fund in March 2007 disinvested from the Chinese company Dongfeng following
evidence that it had been supplying trucks to the Burmese military.
Norway was one of the first countries to accept Burmese refugees following the 1988 uprising,
and in 1991 awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Note: Italic is mine. Compiler

There were persistent misconceptions among the ethnic Burmans especially about Chin

soldiers. These misunderstandings originated in the fact that overwhelmingly Chin soldiers are said to
have been deployed

in the shootings of

university students on July 7, 1962.

And, once again, there

were rumours in 1988 that mainly Chin and Kachin troops were called in from the battle fronts by Ne
Win himself and that they were involved in the massacres. It was the successive Burmese governments
deliberate disinformation tactic so as to instil misunderstandings between the Burmans and other native
ethnic races. In fact, although tens of thousands of Chins have been serving in Burmas armed forces and thousands have had given their lives for the defense of the country for decades - they have never
been given any

ranks higher

than colonel, or


commanding officer. Only

a single Chin had

ever attained the rank of major general, and another one reached the rank of brigadier. Despite the great
sacrifices of the Chins mentioned above, a great number
afford candles or



in Chin State today cannot even

kerosene lamps or the cheapest rubber sandals, etc. Even their attempts



improvement have always been in one way or another sabotaged by the Burmese authorities. Just have
a look at the following as an example:


... It was only after a desperate search of two weeks that the family finally learned that Dr. Tun
Than was being held in Rangoon's notorious Insein prison...Sources told a reporter of the
Irrawaddy On-line News last week that the former rector of Yezin Agricultural University had been
arrested near the city hall in Rangoon while distributing leaflets calling for free elections in the
country... His family has been able to send him medicine through the International Committee of
the Red Cross. Dr Salai Tun Than, a retired agronomist, has devoted himself to rural development
in Ngaphe township of Magwe division since his retirement a dozen years ago. In 1993, he
established the Myanmar Integrated Rural Development Association (MIRDA) with the assistance
of the Myanmar Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches. The group assisted
since his retirement a dozen years ago. In 1993, he established the Myanmar Integrated Rural
Development Association (MIRDA) with the assistance of the Myanmar Council of Churches and
the World Council of Churches. The group assisted villagers with the cultivation of oranges,
coffee and tea in the area in which it operated its project in Ngaphe. But the military government
did not permit MIRDA to function officially as an NGO. The group faced continual disturbances
from the regime and donors were prohibited from visiting MIRDA sites. The regime at one point
destroyed over half of MIRDA's orchards. Dr Salai himself was also prohibited from conducting
agriculture-trainingworkshops, according to a source familiar with the MIRDA. A Christian and a
member of the Chin ethnic group, Dr. Salai Tun Than earned a Ph.D. in Agronomy from the
University of Wisconsin and had served as rector at the Yezin University of Agriculture in
Pyinmana until 1990. The Hong Kong-based Asian Human Rights Commission made an urgent
appeal this week for increased international response to the doctor's arrest.
(Burma Courier No. 306; Chin Human Rights Organisations report & Irrawady Online News/
January 30, 2002).
Dr. Salai Tun Than was released from prison after the International Red Cross had intervened and was allowed to fly to the
United States. He attempted to go back to Burma via Thailand in 2004. However, he was not allowed by the Burmese
government to enter Burma. Since then he has been living in the United States in exile. Compiler


According to reliable various sources Burmas armed forces today have about 400,000

men under arms. Two articles in one of the most influential German weekly magazines, Der Spiegel
(Issues No.s 38/2001 and No. 33/2003), for instance, reported that there were about 70,000 child
soldiers in Burma (out of 300,000 child soldiers worldwide) at the time of their publications and that
some of them were just 11 years old. According to the current news reports in all radio and television
programme in Burmese, such as the VOA. BBC, RFA (Radio Free Asia), DVB (Demoratic Voice of Burma),
etc., the situation is getting even worse nowadays.


One of the most interesting and important things - almost a miracle, one could even
- about Burma

is that, despite

the successive Burmese governments chauvinistic policies toward

native non-Burman races, all ethnic communities including the ethnic Burmans, are peacefully living
together side by side until today. There is no flaming hatred among them that is very common in other
parts of the world. Its also the same with

all religions although the same successive Burmese

governments always try to persecute confessors of



faiths. Although there were

some religious conflicts, these happened always only at local or regional levels.


For this paper Im using mainly four books: Welt Mission heute, Lnderheft # 22 by







Struggle for

Democracy, 1989; BURMA: Insurgency and the Politics of Ethnicity

by Martin Smith, 1991; a 35-page

booklet by Mr. Mahn Aung Lwin: Der Traum eines Volkes: Burma 50 Jahre nach der Unabhngigkeit

(1948-1998). Herausgeber: Burma Bro e.V., Kln, Oktober 1998; an academic paper of Prof. David I










Development. And, as the reader may have already noticed, several news papers and news agencies
reports as well are used. My source for the chronology on The National Convention between 24 April
1992 and 10 November 2003 is: The National Convention by

The Irrawaddy Publishing Group

( For events that have had taken place between 2005 and 2008
I am using TIMELINE MYANMAR ( information on the openings
and closures of universities between 1988 and 1996 Im

using: Education Report [All Burma Federation

of Student-Union, Foreign Affairs Committee], The Irrawaddy - Updated in January 2003. (Irrawaddy
News Magazine Online Edition). For information on

the Burmese-Chinese relations I am using

Chronology of Chinese-Burmese Relations by The Irrawaddy On-line Edition, Updated in January 2003.
Mr. Martin Smith is a leading authority on Burmese politics. He has spent more than a decade
researching the subject, including repeated visits to the country. He has reported on Burma for the

Guardian, the BBC, the Anti-Slavery Society and Article 19, among other organisations, and has made
several TV documentaries on the subject.

The popular uprising of 1988 swept away 26 years of military rule under General Ne Win in
name only. As this book relates, the military remained in control and the future of Burma looks
even more problematic. With unpararelled command of largely inaccessible Burmese sources and
interviews with many of the leading participants, Martin Smith charts the rise of modern political
parties and unravels the complexities of the endless guerrilla wars waged by the Communist
Party of Burma, the Karen National Union and a host of other ethnic nationalist movements. It is
essential reading for those interested in the conditions giving rise to guerrilla warfare, the
particular character of communist and national liberation movements in Third World societies,
and the impact of ethnicity on political conflict.
(Comment from the backcover of his book used as reference here.)
Mr. Bertil Lintner is a Swedish journalist based in Thailand and the author of several works on Asia. He
is one of many blacklisted journalists who have not been allowed to enter Burma since 1985. Lintner has
written numerous articles and books on Burma, and is considered to be one of the most knowledgeable
foreign journalists on Burmese affairs. He is a regular contributor to several publications including the
Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet, Yale Global Online, the Danish daily Politiken, Wall Street Journal and

Asia Times Online. (Source: Wikipedia under Bertil Lintner)

The outburst of public anger and frustration against the leaders of Burma caught them, and the
rest of the world, by surprise. Since the 1962 army coup, a military regime has led the country
along an isolationist, economically disastrous Burmese Road to Socialism.
The wall against outsiders was rarely penetrated, and the few journalists who entered were often
ill-informed...This book - the result of many visits to Burma, interviews with those most closely
involved, his own first-hand experiences, eye-witness accounts smuggled out of the country,
interviews with survivors, talks with exiles in camps along the Thai-Burma border and a
sustained study of the Burma media - is the fullest account yet of the revolt... Bertil Lintners
book will be indispensible for those wanting to understand the forces that will inevitably lead to

the fall of Ne Win and his co-dictators and shape the future of Burma.
(Comment from the back cover of his book used as reference here.)
Prof. David I. Steinberg is a specialist on Burma, North Korea and South Korea, Southeast Asia and US
policy in Asia. He is Distinguished Professor at Georgetown University, and the author of thirteen books
and monographs - among them, Turmoil in Burma: Contested Legitimacies in Myanmar (2006); and

Burma: The State of Myanmar (2001), etc.

Thang Za Dal (Mr)

Grindelallee 141
20146 Hamburg
Last Update: July 15, 2015 (the previous Update was on November 6, 2014)
(Note: These appendices are not numbered on the Apppendices themselves)









































Special Note. I have used this 6-page excerpt as a medium in some papers to briefly explain the background history of
the birth of the former Union of Burma, which has had long ceased to exist de jure since March 2, 1962, when
General Ne Win took state power by force and annulled the 1947 Constitution. Thang Za Dal. July 2014
(This 6-page excerpted version is prepared by myself from the 22-page original version. Bold, except headings and subheadings, are mine and a sentence below is also marked in red colour by myself. Thang Za Dal/October 2013.)
1. Origin of Committee
The Committee originated from the conclusions reached in the conversations between His Majesty's Government and
the Executive Council of the Governor of Burma in London in January, 1947.
Paragraph 8(d) of these Conclusions states:"A Committee of Enquiry shall be set up forthwith as to the best method of associating the Frontier peoples with
the working out of the new constitution for Burma. Such Committee will consist of equal numbers of persons from
the Frontier Areas, nominated by the Governor after consultation with the leaders of those areas, with a neutral
Chairman from outside Burma selected by agreement. Such Committee shall be asked to report to the Government
of Burma and His Majesty's Government before the summoning of the Constituent Assembly."
2. Terms of Reference
The terms of reference of the Committee were those quoted above. They have, of course, to be considered in the light
of the statement of the agreed objective of His Majesty's Government and the Government of Burma with which
paragraph 8 of the Conclusions opens:- "To achieve the early unification of the Frontier Areas and Ministerial Burma
with the free consent of the inhabitants of those areas." (p. 1)
3. Scope of Committee
For the purposes of this Enquiry, Frontier peoples have been taken as those inhabiting the areas listed in both parts
of the Second Schedule to the Government of Burma Act, 1935. These areas fall into two divisions, Part I
administered by the Governor in his discretion and Part II administered by the Governor in his individual judgment.
It was also decided that, although the three States of Karenni were not part of the Scheduled Areas and did not
therefore necessarily come within the purview of the Committee, they should be invited to send representatives to
express their views, on account of their close economic and racial ties with both Scheduled Areas and Burma proper.
All three Karenni States duly accepted this invitation.
4. Administrative Units in Scheduled Areas
The Scheduled Areas as defined in the 1935 Act cover 113,000 square miles or about 47% of the
total area of Burma. The population, however, is only 2,400,000 or 16% of the total. The main
administrative units are the following:1) Federated Shan States. The Shan States, though British territory, are a quasi autonomous area
ruled by hereditary Shan Chiefs known as Sawbwas, under the general supervision of the
Governor of Burma. In 1922 the states were formed into a species of federation for purposes of common subjects
and foradministrative purposes were divided into southern and northern groups. Within the Federation are the notified
areas of Taunggyi, Kalaw and Lashio and the civil stations of Loilem and Loimwe, which were originally carved off
from the states and placed under the direct administration of the Government of Burma through the Federation

officials... (p. 2)
5. Geographical and Historical Background of Frontier Areas
Reference to the map of Burma shows that the great river valleys of Burma proper are surrounded from the NorthWest to the South-East by and unbroken chain of mountain and hill country covering all land approaches from India
and China and all except the extreme South-Eastern approach from Siam. These hill areas contain more than 100
distinct tribes. The great majority, however, are too small to be of political importance and the four largest, Shans,
Kachins, Chins, and Karens, dominate more than 95 percent of the Frontier Areas between them.
Although there is a diversity of languages, dress and customs ethnological research discovers an intimate relationship
not only between the races of the Frontier Areas but also between them and the Burmans and the Karens. Most of
the races belong to the ethnological group known as Tibeto-Burmans, subdivided into Eastern Tibeto-Burmans and
Western Tibeto-Burmans. To the former class belong the Chins, the Kachins and the Nagas of Upper Burma and to
the latter the Burmese of the Irrawaddy Valley, the Marus and Lasis of the N'Maikha, the Lisaws of the Salween and
the Lahus and Akhas of the Mekong. There are signs of a common ancestry in the languages of the Burmese, the
Chins and the Kachins. The Shans, Palaungs and the Was, however, belong to a separate though allied ethnological
group known as the Tais.(pp. 5-6)
The relationship between the Burmese and the Kachins was less close. As a race the Kachins
originate from the eastern portion of the Tibetan plateau and , as compared to the Burmese, the
Chins and the Shan, they are latecomers into Burma, though they have now reached as far south as the Shan
State of Kengtung and the concentration of hills in the Myitkyina, Bhamo and Katha districts. The Kachins did not
take easily to the idea of submitting to the British on the annexation of Upper Burma in 1886 and several British
expeditions had to be sent to the Kachin Hills, the Kachins resisting with considerable success. It was not until 1895
that the Kachins opposition could be broken and British administration introduced in the Kachin Hills by the Kachin
Hill Tribes Regulation of that year. As the Kachins are not self-sufficient in their hills they have always been obliged to
maintain contact with the plains population through Shan-Burmese villages in the foothills. Some Kachins know
Burmese. (p. 7)
Sections of the Chins who have migrated into Burma from the Tibetan plateau almost in a
straight line down south are to be found from the Somra Hill Tracts down to Cape Negrais. The
Chins, then mostly in north-western Burma, are known to have had social intercourse with the Burmese at the time
of the Kingdom of Pagan (1044-1287). There were Chin levies in the armies of King Bayinnaung of Toungoo (155181) and of King Alaungpaya of Ava (1752-60).
It is not within tribal memory that any full-scale organised war was ever waged between the Burmese kings and the
Chins, but minor hostilities used to occur at times in the foothill valleys, resulting in raids and skirmishes on the
border. British troops were in action against the Northern Chins after the annexation of Upper Burma for a
continued period of seven months or thereabouts among the foothills now passed by the Kalemyo-Fort White-Tiddim
road, at a place called Leisan (now known as the Basha hill). The Chins resisted the advance of British troops
fearlessly till they were subdued. It was not until 1892 that the northern people now inhabiting the Tiddim subdivision
were totally disarmed. The central Chins did not offer any full-scale resistance. Further down in the south, the
various tribes of the Haka subdivision resisted sternly the advance of the forces from the Gangaw Valley. (pp. 7-8)
The Karens of the Frontier Areas, apart from Karenni, are mostly found in the Salween District,
in certain portions of the Southern Shan States and in the hill areas of the Toungoo District. The
Karens in the Shan States naturally have close relations with the Shans, while the Karens of the Salween District live
intermingled with the Shans and other races, which form the minority population of this district. They were the earliest

settlers in Burma and, after migrating southwards through the hill areas, some penetrated into the plains of the
Irrawaddy Delta and the Tenasserim Division and lived peacefully with other races. Peace loving, shy and aloof by
nature, many preferred to remain in the seclusion of the hills. The Salween District was ruled by a Chief Sgaw Saw
Ku at the time of the British annnexation of Tenasserim, who surrendered the district to the British authorities. (p. 8)
In 1875 the independence of Western Karenni was guaranteed as follows, by an agreement
between the British and the Burmese Governments:- "It is hereby agreed between the British
and Burmese Governments that the State of Western Karenni shall remain separate and
independent, and that no sovereignty or governing authority of any description shall be claimed
or exercised over that State."
After the annexation of Upper Burma in 1886 the British, in view of the Agreement of 1875, left Western Karenni
alone for some time. An attempt made in 1887 by the British to secure the peaceful submission of the Myosa of
Kantarawaddi in Eastern Karenni was unsuccessful and in 1888 the Myosa even raided the Shan State of Mawkmai
which had accepted British suzerainty. A British force despatched to Karenni in December of the same year subjugated the State. The Myosa was deposed and his son Sawlawi, the Kyem-mong was elected by the people Chief of
Kantarawadi and subsequently confirmed by the British authorities as Myosa under a sanad or patent of appointment in the same terms as Chiefs of Shan States. The status of the Myosa was later raised to that of Sawbwa.
In 1892 the Chiefs of Western Karenni, of whom there were four at the time, nominally independent, were formally
recognised as feudatories by the Government of India and were preented with sanads appointing them Myosas on
terms similar to the Myosa of Kantarawadi. These four states were later reduced to the present two by
amalgamations. The three Karenni States have never been annexed to the British Crown and have the status of
feudatory states. The Chiefs, under the sanads recognising their appointment, are required, among other condi-tions,
to pay an annual tribute and accept and act upon any advice given to them by the British political officer concerned.
(pp. 8-9)
6. British Administration of Frontier Areas up to 1942
The strategic importance of the Frontier Areas as a buffer between an inland invader and the valleys of Burma
proper prompted the British to extend their administration over these areas piecemeal, as necessity or opportunity
arose, in the years following 1886. Local advances continued in the far north as late as 1940, when the head-hunting
Naga tribes were first brought under some sort of administration. From the late 19th century until the 1935
Government of Burma Act came into force in 1937 the form of administration in the Frontier Areas, other than the
Shan States, did not materially change. They were ruled as part of Burma in the traditional manner by local chieftains
under the general supervision and control of the Governor of Burma.(p. 9)
8. The Panglong Agreement
The terms of the Panglong Agreement, which regulated relations between Burma and the major portion of the
Frontier Areas when the Committee of Exquiry began its work, were as follows:THE PANGLONG AGREEMENT, 1947.
A conference having been held at Panglong, attended by cortain Members of the Executive Council of the
Governor of Burma, all Saohpas and representatives of the Shan States, the Kachin Hills and the Chin Hills:
The Members of the Conference, believing that freedom will be more speedily achieved by the Shans, the Kachins
and Chins by their immediate co-operation with the Interim Burmese Government:
The Members of the Conference have accordingly, and without dissentients, agreed as follows:1. A representative of the Hill Peoples, selected by the Governor on the recommendation of representatives of the Supreme Council of the United Hill Peoples (SCOUHP), shall be appointed a
Counsellor to the Governor to deal with the Frontier Areas.
2. The said Counsellor shall also be appointed a Member of the Governor's Executive Council, without

portfolio, and the subject of Frontier Areas brought within the purview of the Executive Council by
Constitutional Convention as in the case of Defence and External Affairs. The Counsellor for Frontier
Areas shall be given executive authority by similar means.
3. The said Counsellor shall be assisted by two Deputy Counsellors representing races of which he is not
a member. While the twoDeputy Counsellors should deal in the first instance with the affairs of their
respective areas and the Counsellor with all the remaining parts of the Frontier Areas, they should by
Constitutional Convention act on the principle of joint responsibility.
4. While the Counsellor, in his capacity of Member of the Executive Council, will be the only representative
of the Frontier Areas on the Council, the Deputy Counsellors shall be entitled to attend meeting of the
Council when subjects pertaining to the Frontier Areas are discussed. Though the Governor's Executive
Council will be augmented as agreed above, it will not operate in respect of the Frontier Areas in any
manner which would deprive any portion of these Areas of the autonomy which it now enjoys in internal
administration. Full autonomy in internal administration for the Frontier Areas is accepted in principle.
5. Though the question of demarcating and establishing a separate Kachin State within a Unified Burma is
one which must be relegated for decision by the Constituent Assembly, it is agreed that such a State is
desirable. As a first step towards this end, the Counsellor for Frontier Areas and the Deputy Counsellor
shall be consulted in the administration of such areas in the Myitkyina and the Bhamo Districts as are
Part II Scheduled Areas under the Government of Burma Act of 1935.
6. Citizens of the Frontier Areas shall enjoy rights and privileges which are regarded as fundamental in
democratic countries.
7. The arrangements accepted in this Agreement are without prejudice to the financial autonomy now
vested in the Federated Shan States.
8. The arrangements accepted in this Agreement are without prejudice to the financial assistance which
the Kachin Hills and the Chin Hills are entitled to receive from the revenues of Burma, and the
Executive Council will examine with the Frontier Areas Counsellor and Deputy Counsellors the feasibility
of adopting for the Kachin Hills and the Chin Hill financial arrangements similar to those between Burma
and the Federated Shan States.
9. The importance of the Agreement lies not only in the fact that it settles the form of association during
the interim period, but also in its enunciation of certain principles, notably that the frontier peoples
should be entitled to fundamental democratic rights, that they should have the right to full autonomy in
the internal sphere, and that they should be entitled to receive a measure of assistance from the
revenues of Ministerial Burma, which are relevant to decision of the ultimate form of association. The
formation of the Supreme Council of the United Hill Peoples was also a noteworthy step forward in the
establishment of representative institutions among the frontier peoples.
9. Limitations of Panglong Agreement
When the Committee began its investigation, the Panglong Agreement had not been accepted by all the frontier
peoples. The Shans, Kachins and Chins had ratified it, and their actions may be assumed to cover the small racial
units within their areas. The Karens, however, of the Salween District and the Karenni States, who were not
represented by delegates at Panglong, were not parties to the Agreement. Others who were not present and whose
adherence could not be taken for granted were the Chins of the Arakan Hill Tracts, the Nagas and the Was. Such
was the situation when the Frontier Areas Committee of Enquiry began its work. (pp. 11-12)
(1) With the exception of the unfederated Shan States of Taungdut and Singkaling Hkamti, all the witnesses before us
expressed without hesitation the desire that representatives of their States or local areas should take part in the work

of the Constituent Assembly, the members of which, in respect of such portions of ministerial Burma as enjoy rights
of representation in the Legislature under the 1935 Act, have already been elected. We recommend accordingly that
their wishes be met and that the following areas be given representation in the Constituent Assembly:The Federated Shan States, including Kokang and Mongpai.
The Kachin Hills.
The Chin Hills with the Arakan Hill Tracts.
The Karenni States.
The Somra Tract.
The Salween District.
The Homalin Subdivision.
We have grouped Kokang with the Federated Shan States though its de jure position is not quite clear. We have,
however, ascertained from the Federated Shan States that one of the seats to be allocated to them for the Constituent
Assembly will be given to a representative of Kokang. We have grouped the Arakan Hill Tracts with the Chin Hills,
as the witnesses from the former area have shown a clear desire to be associated with the Chins of the Chin Hills, and
we have ascertained that one of the seats to be allocated to the Chin Hills will be given to the Arakan HillTracts.
Witnesses from the States of Thaungdut and Singkaling Hkamti not only expressed a desire to be incorporated in
ministerial Burma but stated that they are prepared to accept whatever future constitution is drawn up by the
Burmese. We found it impracticable to procure witnesses from the Naga Hills and the Wa States, but we have no
hesitation in recommending that representatives need not be sought from these areas for the Constituent Assembly on
account of the primitive nature of their civilisation and the impossibility of their finding persons who will be able to
assist in the drawing up of Burma's future constitution.(p. 16)
1. The Future of the Frontier Areas
The view of the witnesses from the Federated Shan States and from the Kachin Hills are strongly in favour of a
federated Burma in which the Federated Shan States will form a state or unit and the Kachin Hills another. They
desire the fullest possible autonomy for the states within the federation but agree that certain subjects of general scope
should be entrusted to the federation. On the evidence tendered before us, representatives from the Chin Hills do not
desire to federate the Chin Hills with Burma proper but prefer an amalgamation of their area with ministerial Burma,
stipulating only that there should be no interference with their tribal customs and traditions and that their chieftains
should be allowed to administer their tracts as at present.
The Chin Hills would otherwise become one or more ordinary districts of Burma proper. On the day after they
had tendered this evidence, the witnesses submitted a letter saying that they had not understood the point
correctly and that they intended to say that the Chin Hills should form a separate state within a federated Burma.
The only conclusion we can safely draw is that the people of the Chin Hills are not yet in a position to come to a
firm conclusion on this matter and that it will have to be left to their representatives in the Constituent Assembly to
define their views precisely. The witnesses from the Arakan Hill Tracts, the majority population of which is Chin,
expressed no independent views but desire to follow the lead of the Chin Hills people. The witnesses from the
Somra Tract, Thaungdut, Singkaling Hkamti and the Homalin Subdivision expressed categorically the view that their
areas should be incorporated in ministerial Burma and should be given the same constituency and other rights as
other areas in Burma proper.
The representatives from the Karenni States, while stating clearly that they wished to be represented in the
Constituent Assembly, did not definitely commit themselves to any views in regard to the entry of the Karenni States
into a federated Burma. A group of witnesses from the Salween District, appearing before us early in our meetings,
expressed views in favour of forming a state within a Burma federation.

Another group, appearing before us later, supported by a letter from the leaders of the first group, stated that,
after further consideration at a mass meeting of the residents of the district, they now desire the incorporation of the
district as a part of ministerial Burma.(p. 18)
4. Common Subjects
The weight of opinion among the witnesses examined by us is that, if there should be a Burma federation, the federal
organ should deal with the following subjects:1. External affairs.
2. Defence.
3. Post and telegraphs.
4. Communications.
5. Currency and coinage.
6. Customs.
7. Titles and honours.
There is danger that the anxiety of the constituent states for the fullest possible internal autonomy
might lead to the constitution of a weak federal or central government which will be the government in Burma which
deals with the outside world. It is not for us to make recommendations regarding federal subjects, but we see obvious
omissions in the above list, which makes no mention of foreign trade or of inter-state commerce or of federal finance.
5. Right of Secession
The majority of the witnesses who favoured a federation of Burma asked for the right of secession by the states at
any time. Few federal constitutions contain provision for the secession of states. It seems to us that, if any such right
is to be contained in the federal constitution for Burma, it will have to be carefully limited and regulated. (p. 20)
9. Acknowledgment.
Our task, enhanced in difficulty by the time factor, was facilitated by the energy and ability displayed by Mr.W.B.J.
Ledwidge of the Burma Office, our Secretary; U Tun Pe, B.Fr.S., our Joint Secretary; and Major Shan Lone,
O.B.E., M.C., B.Fr.S., our Assistant Secretary; and by the devoted and efficient services of our staff of reporters,
interpreters, typists, clerks and peons, all of whom worked overtime and throughout the Burmese New year holidays.
To each and every one of our Officers and Staff we wish to convey our grateful thanks and appreciation.
1. D. R. REES-WILLIAMS, Chairman
24th April, 1947.


Created in this form by Thang Za Dal. Hamburg. Germany. Oct. 2013

The signing of the Panglong Agreement by the peoples representatives of Burmans, Shans, Kachins and Chins on
the 12th February 1947 at Panglong in Southern Shan State gave birth to the Union of Burma. If the Shans, Chins
and Kachins had not signed this treaty, only Burma Proper or Ministerial Burma would have gained independence
and there would never be a Union of Burma. The Kayahs or Karennis, who later joined the Union, did not sign this
treaty. The four Karenni states, which were later made into Kayah State, were de jure independent sovereign states
recognized in a treaty signed in 1875 by both the Burmese kings and the British. p. 82



Dated Panglong, the 12th February 1947
A conference having been held at Panglong, attended by certain Members of the
Executive Council of the Governor of Burma, all Saohpas and representative of the
Shan States, the Kachin Hills and the Chin Hills:
The Members of the conference, believing that freedom will be more speedily
achieved by the Shans, the Kachins and the Chins by their immediate co-operation
with the Interim Burmese Government:
1. A Representative of the Hill Peoples, selected by the Governor on the
recommendation of representatives of the Supreme Council of the United
Hill Peoples (SCOUHP), shall be appointed a Counsellor for Frontier
Areas shall be given executive authority by similar means.
2. The said Counsellor shall also be appointed a Member of the Governor's
Executive Council, without portfolio, and the subject of Frontier Areas
brought within the purview of the Executive Council by Constitutional
Convention as in the case of Defence and External Affairs. The
Counsellor for Frontier Areas shall be given executive authority by
similar means.
3. The said Counsellor shall be assisted by two Deputy Counsellors
representing races of which he is not a member. While the two Deputy
Counsellors should deal in the first instance with the affairs of their
respective areas and the Counsellor with all the remaining parts of the
Frontier Areas, they should by Constitutional Convention act on the
principle of joint responsibility.
4. While the Counsellor, in his capacity of Member of the Executive
Council, will be the only representative of the Frontier Areas on the
Council, the Deputy Counsellors shall be entitled to attend meetings of
the Council when subjects pertaining to the Frontier Areas are
5. Though the Governor's Executive Council will be augmented as agreed
above, it will not operate in respect of the Frontier Areas in any
manner which would deprive any portion of those Areas of the autonomy
which it now enjoys in internal administration. Full autonomy in
internal administration for the Frontier Areas is accepted in principle.
6. Though the question of demarcating and establishing a separated Kachin
State within a Unified Burma is one which must be relegated for decision
by the Constituent Assembly, it is agreed that such a State is
desirable. As a first step towards this end, the Counsellor for Frontier
Areas and the Deputy Counsellors shall be consulted in the
administration of such areas in the Myitkyina and the Bhamo Districts as
are Part II Scheduled Areas under the Government of Burma Act of 1935.
7. Citizens of the Frontier Areas shall enjoy rights and privileges which
are regarded as fundamental in democratic countries.
8. The arrangements accepted in this Agreement are without prejudice to the
financial autonomy now vested in the Federated Shan States.

9. The arrangements accepted in this Agreement are without prejudice to the

financial assistance which the Kachin Hills and the Union Hills are
entitled to receive from the revenues of Burma, and the Exeutive Council
will examine with the Frontier Areas Counsellor and Deputy Counsellors
the feasibility of adopting for the Kachin Hills and the Chin Hills
financial arrangement similar to those between Burma and the Federated
Shan States.
Shan Committee.

Kachin Committee.

Saohpalong of Tawngpeng State.

Burmese Government.

(Sinwa Naw, Myitkyina)
(Aung San)



Saohpalong of Yawnghwe State.

Saohpalong of North Hsenwi State.

(Zau Rip, Myitkyina)

(Dinra Tang, Myitkyina)



Saohpalong of Laihka State.

(Zau La, Bhamo)

Saohpalong of Mong Pawn State.

(Zau Lawn, Bhamo)

Saohpalong of Hsamonghkam State.

(Labang Grong, Bhamo)

Representative of Hsahtung Saohpalong.
(Hkun Pung)

Chin Committee

(U Tin E)

(U Htun Myint)

(U Hlur Hmung, Falam)

(U Kya Bu)

(Hkun Saw)

(U Thawng Za Khup, Tiddim)

(Sao Yape Hpa)
pp. 88-89

(Hkun Htee)

(U Kio Mang, Haka)

The Doubly Disastrous Legacy of Ne Win

By AUNG ZAW / THE IRRAWADDY On Friday, February 28, 2014 @ 2:06 pm
Ne Win, Burmas former dictator was a family man who loved playing with his grandchildren. He was
also a good employer, who thanked his chef after every meal. And before he passed away, he
became a practitioner of Vipassana meditation, devoted to finding inner peace.
But what of the public life of this former general once warned protesters that when the army shoots, it
shoots to hit? Wasnt he far less compassionate when it came to calls for him to step down from power?
That may be true, but on the other hand, there was no mass exodus of Burmese citizens during his 26
years in power. Of course, there were some foreigners (i.e., Indians and Chinese who had spent
generations in the country) who were expelled when he nationalized the economy, but that was done
for all the right reasons.
Likewise, when he cancelled large banknotes, he was just trying to undermine insurgents, not hurt
ordinary people. He may have brought the countrys economy to its knees, but that was certainly not
his intention.
If all of this sounds more than a little far-fetched, thats because these are the views of Ne Wins
grandsons, as expressed in a new book based on a series of interviews with a local journalist. It should
come as no surprise that Ne Wins grandsons (who were recently released from prison, where they
were serving a sentence for high treason related to an alleged plot to overthrow the military regime
that succeeded their grandfather in power) would want to come to his defense. But unfortunately
for them, their efforts to set the record straight are not likely to get much sympathy in a nation
still bearing the scars of his brutal misrule.
Lets be perfectly blunt: Ne Wins decision to set the country on the path of military rule was an
unmitigated disaster. He reduced the once prosperous nation to one of the worlds poorest, exacerbated ethnic and political divisions by waging all-out war on minorities and dissidents, and deprived
generations of Burmese of hope by gutting the countrys education system.
But even if this new book gets the bigger picture completely wrong, it still provides some interesting
behind-the-scenes insights, particularly about Ne Wins relationship with the man who would one day
become his worst enemy: Snr-Gen Than Shwe.
According to Aye Ne Win, one of the grandsons, Ne Win handpicked Than Shwe to become vice
chief of staff (army) in 1985 after inviting him and another potential military leader (Myint Lwin,
who subsequently became minister for construction) to his residence for dinner.

Even after 1988, when Ne Win was forced to step down following massive pro-democracy protests,
he continued to wield influence over the newly formed State Law and Order Restoration Council. For
instance, in the early 1990s, he advised the regime to pick either Gen Maung Aye (who retired as
deputy senior-general in 2011) or Lt-Gen Tun Kyi (a former trade minister who was sacked in 1997)
to fill a powerful position that had become vacant.
As the years passed, however, it became less clear how things stood between Ne Win and his
successors, particularly Than Shwe. On weekends, he used to invite Maung Aye, Khin Nyunt (the
regimes feared intelligence chief) and other senior leaders to his home (called the Royal House
in Burmese), but Than Shwe was always absent from these gatherings. We felt that as he was the
head of the ruling council he would be extremely busy. And we didnt want it to seem as if we were
trying to influence [the regime], explained Aye Ne Win, rather unconvincingly.
A more likely reason that Ne Win and Than Shwe never seemed to form a personal bond is the fact that
the two men came from very different backgrounds. Ne Win came from a middle-class family, studied at
Rangoon University until he was expelled for failing his exams, and later became one of the legendary
Thirty Comrades who established Burmas resistance army with Japanese help during WWII. When he
was in power, he was a notorious womanizer who enjoyed gambling and mingling with leaders like Lee
Kwan Yew, Suharto and Zhou Enlai in the region and beyond. He loved going to the West and often
spent his holidays in Austria, Germany or London, all at government expense.
Than Shwe, on the other hand, came from peasant stock. He was born in Kyaukse, a town in Mandalay
Division, and is believed to have received at most a 10th-grade education before becoming a postal
clerk and then joining the army. He went on to study psychological warfare and believed in Ne Wins
Burmese Way to Socialism, but never placed much value on education: Unlike Ne Win, who sent his
children abroad to study, Than Shwe didnt take much interest in educating his own children, much less
the millions of others deprived of learning under his rule.
A loyal soldier, Than Shwe rose steadily through the ranks, eventually becoming a regional commander
in Shan State in the 1980s. At the time, he was still regarded as quite clean; it was only much later,
once he was firmly entrenched in power, that he earned a reputation for fostering a culture of
corruption that surpassed anything witnessed during the Ne Win years.
Whatever the reasons for their aloofness from each other, it came as a complete shock to most Burma
observers when, in 2002, Than Shwe moved to neutralize the once all-powerful Ne Win clan once and
for all. In March of that year, three of Ne Wins grandsonsAye Ne Win, Kyaw Ne Win and Zwe Ne
Winand his son-in-law, Aye Zaw Win, were arrested at a Rangoon restaurant for allegedly plotting
with a senior army officer to overthrow the ruling regime. As many as 100 civilians and army officers
were implicated in the alleged coup plot and were thrown into prison (including family astrologer Aung

Pwint Khaung, who in an interview included in the book claimed that in 1998, he successfully extended
the life of the ailing Ne Win by four years).
Ne Wins son-in-law and grandsons and other chief conspirators were charged with high treason and
given life sentences. Ne Win and his favorite daughter, Dr. Sandar Win, were placed under house arrest.
According to former Maj-Gen Kyaw Win, the deputy head of military intelligence and Than Shwe loyalist
who called a press briefing after the accused coup plotters were taken into custody, the grandsons
wanted to seize power on March 27, Burmas Armed Forces Day, but were foiled after Than Shwe was
tipped off. But the real plan, Kyaw Win said years later, was to make Khin Nyunt the head of statea
twist in the plot that has never been reported.
Was all of this really just Than Shwes way of taking revenge against Ne Win for never inviting him to his
personal residence? Or was it about establishing a new royal dynastysomething that the once humble
Than Shwe clearly aspired to during his later years in power?
In any case, it appears that Burmas new king did not have the full backing of his subordinates: It has
recently been revealed that Maung Aye, Khin Nyunt and Col Tin Hlaing (then home affairs minister) all
refused to sign Than Shwes order to detain Ne Win.
But in the end, the old dictator was placed under house arrest, and it was there that he died on Dec. 5,
2002. In accordance with his wishes, he was cremated within 30 hours of passing away, following a
ceremony attended by 20 or 30 close relatives (not including those in prison), and his ashes were
scattered in the Rangoon River.
That is not the end of this whole sordid tale: In 2004, Khin Nyunt met a similar fate, and he and his family
spent most of the next decade under house arrest. Than Shwe, meanwhile, has led a quiet life in his
palatial residence in Naypyidaw since his retirement in 2011.
In the book, Aye Ne Win and the other two grandsons try to defend their grandfathers legacy by saying
that at least it was better than Than Shwes rule. But in the end, even they have to admit that it was Ne
Win who put Than Shwe in power, and by so doing planted the seeds of his ownand the countrysruin.
Article printed from The Irrawaddy Magazine:
URL to article:
Copyright 2012 The Irrawaddy Magazine. All rights reserved.

World Bank Blundering through Burma

A Burmese
farmer ploughs his field to prepare for rice cultivation in Waw, Irrawaddy delta. (PHOTO: AP)
4 May 2014
How is the World Bank achieving its goal to alleviate poverty in Burma? The April 2014 World
Bank Spring Meetings in Washington revealed the answer: nobody knows.
At the Spring Meetings, World Bank representatives touted the success of projects like the
Community Driven Development (CDD) and Telecom Sector Reform projects. But Bank
representatives clearly have no knowledge of how these projects are being implemented on the
ground. If they knew, they might not be so keen to mention them.
Take the CDD, which is intended to empower local villagers to design their own infrastructure
projects. Hyped as a model program, the CDD has been a remarkable failure. The Bank and
government delayed the project for months, failed to hire and train competent project facilitators,
crammed the months-long project consultation and selection process into mere hours due to cost
and convenience, and didnt provide communities with any basic informationunless you count a
single poster stuck onto a community bulletin board.
As a result, many facilitators hastily submitted improvised project proposals that villagers had never
even approved. Now, villagers are being pressured to implement these projects in a matter of
several weeks over the labor-intensive harvest season. This has led to a lack of community
participation and a major breach of trust in the World Bank.

World Bank representatives, who have not monitored CDD implementation, expressed surprise
when civil society representatives presented these flaws at the Spring Meetings. But these flaws are
not surprising; to people following the Banks activities in Burma, incompetence is the status quo.
Burma is universally recognized as one of the most corrupt and unstable political and economic
contexts in the world, yet the World Bank irresponsibly forgoes comprehensive risk assessments,

due diligence, and safeguards. At the Spring Meetings, Bank representatives tactlessly stated that
they are not considering Burma through a conflict or fragility lens. To compound matters, the
World Banks lazy approach to civil society consultations in Burma violates the Banks own
guidelines. The Bank habitually announces civil society consultations mere days in advance,
doesnt take notes at the consultations or integrate civil society recommendations into project plans,
and even lies about the frequency and outcomes of these consultations.
Now the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Banks private lending arm,
are taking their bumbling, oblivious development support to Burmas agriculture sector. It is of
utmost importance that this support does not exacerbate widespread land, social, and environmental
problems by intensifying inequality between smallholder farms and government-connected
But the starry-eyed IFC eagerly looks to invest in agribusiness in Burma. It has already contracted
with Yoma Strategic Holdings Ltd a Burmese company that US officials have recommended for
sanctions to be involved in high-risk plantation agriculture. Globally, IFC agriculture investments
are notorious for contributing to impoverishment, land confiscation, forced displacement, and other
human rights abuses.
In Burma, military regime-imposed agricultural restrictions almost guarantee that agribusiness and
plantation-style investments will exacerbate poverty and lead to human rights violations. These
restrictions deny farmers production rights and access to credit, forcing them into the hands of
moneylenders at soaring interest rates. Restrictions on internal trade and the countrys export
licensing regime limit farmers sale options and artificially keep prices down. On top of this,
Burmas horrendous new land laws were seemingly drafted with the express purpose of enabling
large-scale land expropriations.
In this environment, empowering smallholder farmers over agribusiness is not only ethical, its also
good economics. Agriculture employs more than 70 percent of Burmas population and is the
largest contributor to GDP by sector. Building up the production of smallholder farmers is the key
to lifting the rural population out of poverty and stimulating economic growth. Economistslike
former Chief Economist of the World Bank Justin Lin and renowned Burmese economist Hla Myint
widely confirm this development approach.
But the World Bank is revealing how little it knowsor is willing to admitabout Burmas
agricultural sector. During the Spring Meetings, Bank representatives highlighted how its global
agriculture strategy focuses on microfinance and women entrepreneurs. These are important factors,
but they are merely supplemental to the alleviation of poverty among farmers.
Perhaps the main barrier to poverty alleviation in Burma is the government-constructed credit crisis.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation staunchly resists establishing a formal financial system
and access to credit in rural areas, and therefore effectively inhibits access to affordable fertilizer
and seeds, hard infrastructure and market information. Despised by reformers, Minister of
Agriculture Myint Hlaing keeps smallholder farmers impoverished while he and cronies control the
means of production. Burma civil society groups question how the Bank, which has already begun
working with the Ministry, plans to exact reforms from the Ministrys crooked leadership.
The World Bank has a role to play in agriculture only if it builds up smallholder farmers and uses
its financial leverage to attain meaningful reforms, including allowing commercial banks to lend to
farmers and radically reforming the Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank. The Bank must also
undertake serious sector analyses that address Burmas horrific land and conflict problems. Even
allegedly low-risk investments like the Banks upcoming irrigation project have the potential to
increase land value and thereby lead to land confiscation.
The Banks financial commitment to Burma has so far outpaced its commitment to caution and
poverty alleviation. Bank headquarters has no clue what happens on the ground; Bank staff on the
ground have displayed negligible interest in Burmas political, legal and economic situation. This is
a recipe for disaster for any investments in Burmas agricultural sector, which could exacerbate
socioeconomic inequality in ways not easily reparable.

Rachel Wagley is a recent graduate of Harvard University, and a former Fulbright grantee to
Thailand. She is policy director of US Campaign for Burma, an advocacy group based in
Washington, DC.
The views expressed in this article are the authors and do not reflect DVB editorial policy.

Burma Gas Exports Worth $3.3Bln Last Year After Slight Drop
By AUNG HLA TUN / REUTERS On Monday, June 23, 2014 @ 12:17 pm
RANGOON Burmas earnings from natural gas exports fell in the last fiscal year as more of the resource was
consumed domestically but shipments of greater volumes to China as a new pipeline comes up to speed are expected to
boost earnings this year.
Burma earned $3.299 billion from the export of gas during the 2013-14 (April/March) fiscal year, down from
$3.666 billion in 2012-13 and compared to $3.502 billion in 2011-2012 and $580 million in 2003-2004,
according to data released on Wednesday by the state-run Central Statistical Organization (CSO).
Gas exports are a crucial revenue source for the Southeast Asian nation, accounting for nearly 30 percent of its total
exports of $11.204 billion in the last fiscal year. Win Maw, a senior energy ministry official, said the drop in exports in
the last fiscal year was due to the allocation of more gas for domestic consumption after redrawing the agreement with
Thailands PTT, previously the sole buyer of gas from offshore blocks in the Mottama Sea in southern Burma.
He said a small amount of the gas was exported during 2013-2014 to energy-hungry neighbor China but more will be
exported this year as a new cross-country pipeline is filled to capacity. We started selling gas from Rakhine Offshore
Blocks to China through the 793 km-long cross-country pipeline around the end of last year, but the amount was rather
small since it was not technically feasible to send much through a new pipeline, Win Maw told Reuters.
Technically, we need to fill up a new pipeline with gas gradually and it takes about a year to fill to capacity. Around
the end this year, well be able to transport to China through the pipeline to full capacity, he said.
Domestic power consumption in Burma has been rising steeply as the country has undertaken economic reforms since a
quasi-military government took office in 2011 after nearly five decades of military rule.
According to CSO data, total generation of electric power during the last fiscal year was 13.048 billion kwh, up from
10.964 billion kwh in the 2012-13 fiscal year and 8.625 billion kwh in 2011-2012.
Generation by gas was 2.794 billion kwh during the last fiscal, up from 2.377 billion kwh in 2012-13 and 1.763
billion kwh in 2011-2012. As the official data shows, domestic demand for electricity is growing speedily, but we
have prepared to increase generation to meet the demand without affecting gas exports, a senior official from the
Ministry of Electric Power told Reuters.
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Tax Revenues Expected to Rise to $4Bln: Official

By KYAW HSU MON / THE IRRAWADDY On Monday, October 27, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

RANGOON Burmas Internal Revenue Department said it expected to collect approximately 4,000
billion kyats, or about US $4 billion, in taxes this year, a senior official said on Monday, adding that tax
revenues have continued to rise year on year since 2011.
The expected tax revenues fall short, however, of the most recent International Monetary Fund (IMF)
projections for tax collection by the Burmese government.
The income tax represents the largest amount among these taxes, and the total amount of taxes is
increasing annually, said Tin Htwe, assistant director of the Internal Revenue Department.
He said his department had collected about $1.9 billion in the first seven months of this year, adding
that about $1 billion was collected from income and property tax, about $900 million from commercial
tax, $37 million in so-called stamp duty tax for those buying property, and about $16 million from
In 2013-2014, the revenue department said it collected 3,852 billion kyats, a little under $4 billion
against last years EXCHANGE RATE , while a year earlier it collected 2,710 billion kyats, or about
$3.1 billion.
Since President Thein Seins reformist CABINET took office in 2011, the government has been trying
to raise tax revenues in order to expand public spending.
Tax collection has improved after township level tax committees were formed and tax officials received
training and international TECHNICAL SUPPORT from international financial institutions, such as the
Over the past year, the government introduced a new property tax with some success. It reformed and
lowered its property sales tax in order to encourage more buyers and sellers to register transactions.
Previously, many buyers and sellers agreed not to register the change of property ownership in order to
avoid taxes.
The revenue department is also trying to levy income taxes on the rapidly rising rent rates in Rangoon.
Tax evasion remains common, however, in particular for property sales tax and commercial taxes levied
on businesses. A Rangoon Division Internal Revenue official estimated earlier this year that more than
80 percent of property transactions on Rangoons booming real estate market go unregistered and
untaxed, especially when it involves expensive properties in upmarket neighborhoods.
The IMF said in a recent statement [1] on a consultation with the Burmese government that it expected
Naypyidaw to collect about $4.7 billion in tax revenues in 2014-2015, well above the figure cited by
Internal Revenue Department officials.
It commended the government on its economic and fiscal policies, which have led to low debt levels, a
small fiscal deficit, a growth in foreign INVESTMENT and strong growth of gross domestic product at
around 8.25 percent this year.
It noted, however, that Additional efforts to mobilize revenues are also necessary to allow increases in
social spending and public INVESTMENT . Priority should be given to cutting back exemptions,
strengthening tax administration, and preparing for the introduction of a [value-added tax].
Additional reporting by Paul Vrieze.

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27.10.14 15:26

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Rangoon Govt Puts Cap on Rising Property Prices [6]

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[1] in a recent statement:

[2] Tax Rise Plans Prompt Worries Over Wasteful SPENDING , Transparency:
[3] Revenue Dept to Improve Tax Collection from Soaring RENT Rates:
[4] Over 10,000 Companies Called Out for Evading Tax Collectors:
[5] Rangoon Tax Department Completes Annual Property Valuation:
[6] Rangoon Govt Puts Cap on Rising Property Prices:

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27.10.14 15:26


Myanmar Peace Centre is a bridge, not a troublemaker, its president says

Published on Friday, 18 July 2014 16:37
Responding to recent reports comparing the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) to the former
Military Intelligence, Presidents Office Minister Aung Min said the comparison was completely inaccurate
because the MPC did not take action against people.
Replying to questions from reporters, Aung Min also called for an end to misunderstandings about the
MPC, which he is president of. The questions came after the minister made a peace proposal to
Parliaments Upper House on July 17.
The MPC does not represent former military intelligence, Aung Min said. The former military
intelligence was an organisation that took action against those found guilty after it exposed them. The
MPC is not authorised to take action against any person.
It was founded in 2012 with international funding, primarily from the European Union and Norway. It
mediates peace negotiations. Presidents Office Ministers Aung Min and Soe Thein are its main players.
Ethnic groups, politicians and political observers see it as an organisation connected with the Presidents
In addition to peace-related issues, the MPC encourages exiles to return to the country for discussions and
has become deeply involved in political, economic and social-welfare issues. Some former military
intelligence officers and political observers have compared it with the military intelligence unit that was
toppled in 2004.
Aung Min was adamant that these comparisons were false.
All reporters present know what the MPC said at the beginning of its establishment. At that time, we said
we stand as an independent organisation. Anyone can say anything here and no action is taken against
them, he said, urging reporters to reconsider our genuine goodwill.
We need to know the desires of the people in order to lay down the right policies of the state, he
The MPC also meets with political parties, civic organisations and foreign diplomats, he said, adding
that it is open to meeting with anyone.
He said the MPC simply listened to others, took notes and then presented these to the government. We
serve as a bridge. We are sorry if you misunderstand us. We are working for the interest of the people,
he said. I have repeatedly told you that I am not afraid of being dismissed or dying. I am working for the
people, he added.
If the government, the people and the media have different ideas, we cannot work properly. It is
required that we all have the same idea. We dont instigate anyone. We want all the media to join us.
Dont misunderstand me and the MPC. Please accept the MPC as a bridge, he said.
Although Aung Min explained in detail that the MPC was not the same as the former military intelligence,
he did not specify how its funds from international donors were spent. He spoke only of donations of
provisions to refugees.
International organisations have pledged about US$130 million to the centre, but it has not disclosed the
exact amount of funding it has received. Neither has it provided financial accounts of how it spends its
money to the public or the Parliament.
Moreover, it has yet to clarify its role if any in the charges filed against media professionals who held
a silent protest at the centre when President Thein Sein and artists met there last week.

Political and ethnic leaders have criticised his comments, questioning whether they were designed

to pressure armed

groups into agreeing to the governments ceasefire demands.

They also responded that the ceasefire could be signed quickly and cheaply if the government was willing to give more
ground at the negotiating table, and questioned the expenses of the Myanmar Peace Center, which has been facilitating
An expensive peace
Speaking to parliament on October 13 in response to questions from MP Thura U Aung Ko, U Aung Min said
Myanmars peace process had been more expensive than in other countries that had undergone similar peacebuilding
He said K358.6 million had been spent from the government budget in 2012-13 mostly to set up the Myanmar Peace
Center (MPC) while other expenses had been covered with support from the European Union, United Nations Peace
Building Fund , Japanese government, Nippon Foundation and Myanmar Peace Support Initiative.
Most of this funding

has been funnelled into the MPC, which is headed by U Aung Min.

Since 2012, MPC has accepted US$1.2 million from Japan, $404,600 from UNPBF, $6.3 million from Nippon
Foundation and $511,935 from MPSI.
The main donor, however, has been the EU, which pledged 5 million euros ($6.40 million) from November 2012 to the
end of September 2014. However, U Aung Min said MPC had accepted just 1.6 million euros ($2.05 million) of that
figure to March this year.
All funding was in the form of aid or grants rather than loans so did not require approval from parliament. However,
U Aung Min said donors have managed spending closely, adding that he felt inferior because the government did not
have the right to manage the funds itself.
But if we took these expenses from the state budget, funding for building roads and bridges would decrease. That's
why we are accepting [foreign assistance] although it makes us feel inferior," he said.
He added that not all of the funding pledged had been handed over. "They [donors] have a policy that they will provide
full support when we get a nationwide ceasefire accord.
He added that the peace process would struggle on despite these financial challenges.
I don't want you getting depressed but I want let you all know the situation.
Pressure points: a dangerous game
The linking of the nationwide ceasefire and international assistance by U Aung Min has been controversial, with some
politicians saying that the government is trying to pressure armed ethnic groups to sign the draft ceasefire. Others
speculated that the comments indicated the government could use funding as an excuse to stop the peace process.
"It doesn't make sense," said Daw Dwe Bu, secretary of Pyithu Hluttaw Internal Peace-making Committee.
She said foreign aid should be held over for rehabilitation projects after getting a nationwide ceasefire. We can't do any
rehabilitation projects without a concrete ceasefire.
U Aung Mins comments come at a sensitive time for the peace process.
The Union Peace-making Work Committee (UPWC), led by U Aung Min, and the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination
Team, which is negotiating on behalf of 16 armed ethnic groups, have been working toward a nationwide ceasefire

since November 2013. However, at the most recent talks in September, tensions emerged over security issues and
shortly after negotiations concluded clashes broke out between the Tatmadaw and ethnic armies.
NCCT leader Naing Han Thar insisted last week that ethnic groups would only sign the ceasefire if the government
accepts their demand for a federal union system.
International aid and the nationwide ceasefire are different. If they want to get genuine peace, they dont need much
money. They must be fair, he said.
The controversy comes just weeks after President U Thein Sein linked the 2015 general election to the peace process in
a national radio address, and appeared to suggest that if the ceasefire is not signed the elections could be delayed.
Political analyst U Yan Myo Thein said it was dangerous for the government put pressure on ethnic groups to sign the
ceasefire, particularly if the motivation is international funding.
"It could harm the process ... It is impossible to get genuine peace by using pressure like this," he said. [Conflict] is our
internal problem. Why did [the government] say they will get more money when we sign a nationwide ceasefire?
The government has a duty to get a nationwide ceasefire, regardless of whether it receives international assistance.
Money well spent?
U Yan Myo Thein questioned whether the $11 million spent by MPC over the past two years. "Most money has been
used for the development of MPC and only a little on the peace process, he said, adding that the centre should be more
transparent about how the money is used, particularly how much goes toward salaries, transportation costs and travel
But U Aung Min said in his address to parliament that the more than 100 staff employed at MPC were appointed by a
consulting firm, International Management Group, that was assigned by the EU. IMG and other foreign organisations
audit all MPC expenses each week, he added.
U Aung Min said he and other government officials who take part in peace talks, as well as the centres four special
advisers, have agreed not to accept any salary or any assistance from foreign organisations".
One source close to the UPWC, who asked not to be named, said he was not concerned about funding stopping if talks
toward a nationwide ceasefire are not soon concluded.
"There are many other countries that are interested in the peace process and want to give assistance. We have many
options if the EU or others decide to stop our funding," he said.
"For example, we can get funds from China if we request it China would be very happy to help us. And even if no
one will help us, the government has enough money to cover these expenses because [the peace centres activities] are
very important for the state's peace and tranquillity."

BURMA PEACE PROCESS: Failing to secure negotiated sur...

BURMA PEACE PROCESS: Failing to secure negotiated surrender government

falls back on Plan B
TUESDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2014 15:20


Within a week, four recent interviews, three with Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT) top
negotiators and one with union parliamentarian, U Hla Swe, who has attended the Myanmar Peace Center
(MPC) meeting in Rangoon, would likely be a barometer, indicating which way the political wind is blowing and
whether the ongoing peace process will be stalled altogether.
The first interview is with the Kachin Independence Organization/Army (KIO/KIA) leader, General Gun Maw, who
is also a top NCCT peace negotiator. He said that during the peace talks, from September 22 to 26, although it
was agreed to tackle the issue of troops deployment on both sides, the government said that it would take on the
issue at a later DATE . And now the military has demanded that the KIA Battalion 6 stationed near Hpakant's
jade mines to move out, on the grounds that its troopers were demanding taxes from the mining companies.
However, the KIA was told to hold its ground by the headquarters. This stance was again confirmed by RFA
report on 20 October.
When asked, by the DVB on 18 October, what General Gun Maw would like to
comment on the government demand of KIA troops to move out, during this
ongoing period of peace talks with the NCCT, he said: "The situation makes us
think about it. The KIO central committee assess the issue this morning (October
17). During the NCCT and UPWC meeting, the military refused to discuss about
troops deployment. Actually, after rejecting to talk about the agreement on troops
WITHDRAWAL and code of conduct, it is giving ultimatum that the KIA
Battalion 6 moves out, which make us think if the government has changed its
He further said: "In our view, in order to move forward in peace process, problems
need to be resolved. Now the example of solving problem with the DKBA is not
correct. Again, the example of solving problem with the Shan State Progress
Party/ Shan State Army (SSPP/SSA) is not right. The example of solving problem
with our KIA is also not adequate. We see that solving the problems through military means is not quite
SHAN reported on 19 October that while a group of government delegates led by U Thein Zaw and
representatives of SSPP/SSA were meeting at the North-eastern Regional Command based in Lashio (Northern
Shan State) on 18th October 2014, the Burma Army was sending in troop reinforcements to SSPP/SSA areas.
On 2 October said that Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Burma Army ordered to attack SSPP/SSA base of Ta
Pha Sawng and other outposts in Kehsi Township. It is said the offensive, with some 1,000 Burma Army troops,
was due to the SSA refusal to WITHDRAW from the said base, which the Burma Army has been demanding to
The second interview is with Nai Han Thar or Nai Hong Sar, New Mon State Party (NMSP) Chief and NCCT top
negotiator. In a video interview with the DVB, on 18 October, he pointed out the backsliding situation of the peace
process, due to the government offensives, on the heels of the failed or unsuccessful September peace
negotiation, with heavy armed clashes in Kachin, Shan, Karen and Mon States. The government troops have
been on aggressive moves against the KIA, Ta-ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), SSPP/SSA and Democratic
Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA).
He particularly stressed that the military, which is part of the Union Peacemaking Work committee (UPWC),
rejected the terms of "federal union, federal army formation and rights of self-determination". During the previous
round of peace talks in August, the said terms were already agreed to be discussed, during the phase of political
dialogue. But the military made an about-turn with the agreement, demanding to add "according to the current
existing law" in front of the "rights of self-determination". Nai Hong Sar said that this would mean the acceptance
of the military-drawn 2008 Constitution, which is out of question. Apart from rejecting the word "federal", the
military also like TO CHANGE the word "federal army formation" to "union army issue", buttressing it with the
argument that the Burma Army or Tatmadaw is already a union army, employing many ethnic groups residing
within the country. On top of that, the military also asked that the words "revolution" should be taken out of the
context, which earlier has been agreed to be used in the ceasefire agreement text, except on the front cover. The

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BURMA PEACE PROCESS: Failing to secure negotiated sur...

NCCT argues that, in order to uphold its dignity, it has to differentiate with the other armed groups that are either
Border Guard Force (BGF), government militias or drug trafficking gangs.
The third interview is conducted by Mizzima, on 18 October, with Hkun Okker, Pa-O National Liberation
Organization (PNLO) PATRON and NCCT top negotiator. He said: " We cannot make any concession more in
our discussion with the government. It depends on how much the government could make concession and
The fourth interview is the union parliamentarian U Hla Swe with DVB, on 18 October. He has attended a meeting
dubbed "Internal Peace Process and the Role of Parliament", held at Max HOTEL , in Rangoon by the MPC.
According to the explanation of the MPC officials, he said. "They discussed that it has not reached the political
discussion phase and are of the opinion that the peace process will go beyond 2015 and proceed well into 2016.
At the end, political process will be debated and discussed within the parliament. Finally, political dialogue will be
decided by the parliament. One cannot disregard the parliament and it will take the leading role in the peace
ACCORDINGLY , RFA report on 20 October said that the MPC officials and the parliamentarians attending the
meeting have agreed to table the MPC's six steps peace process procedure, at the parliament, for approval.
This piece of news has to be read together with the SHAN report of 14 October. SHAN writes: The situation is
such the President was said to have given a deadline: Finalization of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA)
draft by 30 October or hell have to consider Plan B.
And by mentioning Plan B, the President is indicating to implement the Open Book STRATEGY or way of
doing things, where parties could sign NCA individually at their convenience and not necessarily doing it together.
Of course, this is a far cry from nationwide ceasefire and a total loss of face, besides losing the promised
international development aids, which would follow only after the signing of the NCA.
Another political facet is that the President and his top negotiator, U Aung Min, have spelled out their real
demand that the Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAO) must give in to the military-drawn 2008 Constitution, which is
exactly a non-starter. All the non-Burman ethnic nationalities have been demanding the amendment or rewriting
the constitution to be in line with their aspirations of equality, democracy and rights of self-determination,
anchored in a real federal union. This constitutional crisis has been plaguing the country for decades and
coercively pushing to make the EAO accept it is like declaring an all out war on them.
Summing up the whole situation, the military offensives and tension created by the Burma Army is DESIGNED
to derail the peace process, so that the supremacy position of the military could be maintained. It is now clear
that military is acting on the directive of the National Defence and Security Council (NDSC), which is headed by
the President and military top brass. In other words, the image of President being a reformist and the military
seen as hard-liner has been totally shattered. In other words, the government, parliament and the military are all
under one blanket.
Hopefully, this senseless heightening of the armed conflict and poverty of wisdom and lack of accommodation
won't last too long, so that normalcy could return to this deeply divided society.
The contributor is ex-General Secretary of the dormant Shan Democratic Union (SDU) Editor

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humanrights News

Accusations continue to pile up against the Burma Army, as Harvard releases a report with substantial PROOF of war
crimes against ethnic communities by the army (PHOTO:DVB)

By DVB " 6 November 2014

The Burmese army has targeted, attacked and killed civilians with impunity in ongoing fighting in
Kachin State and northern Shan State, Fortify Rights said in a briefing PUBLISHED on Thursday.
The rights group urged the Burmese government to act to end such attacks and hold perpetrators

The Burmese government wants the world to believe its human rights record is beyond reproach,
but thats just not the reality, said Matthew Smith, executive director of Fortify Rights. The
romantic narrative of SWEEPING political change is inconsistent with the situation of ongoing war
crimes and widespread impunity.
On Wednesday, The New York Times published the names of three top-tier Burmese military
OFFICERS against whom sufficient evidence has been gathered in a report by Harvard
researchers for war crimes against ethnic communities in Burma.

The Harvard report, which is due to be released on Friday, 7 November, has named Maj-Gen Ko
Ko, who is currently Burma s home AFFAIRS minister, Lt-Gen Khin Zaw Oo, now commander of
the Army Bureau of Special Operations, and Brig-Gen Maung Maung Aye, whose current position
is unknown.
The findings of the report were presented to the Burmese Deputy Defence Minister Maj-Gen Kyaw
Nyunt by one of the authors, Mathew Bugher.
Bugher communicated the response of the Burmese defence minister to the The New York Times
and said that, He [Maj.Gen Kyaw Nyunt] essentially said, you got it wrong and your sources are
all one-sided.
In a continuing investigation into the conduct of the war between the Burmese army and the Kachin
Independence Army (KIA), Fortify Rights documented incidents in 2011, 2012, and 2013 in which
Burmese government troops attacked civilians and non-military targets in contested territories.
Between September 2013 and August 2014, Fortify Rights conducted nearly 100 interviews in the
conflict zones of northern Burma.
Most of the attacks documented by Fortify Rights reportedly occurred in civilian- populated areas
with no presence of KIA or other non-state armed groups. These attacks led to widespread
displacement of civilians and appear to be designed to undermine the KIAs civilian-support
structures and to gain effective control of strategic locations, including TRADE routes and areas
rich in natural resources, the report said.
The Burmese army shelled and razed civilian homes, attacked makeshift camps of displaced
persons, and entered villages while opening fire on civilians with small arms, Fortify Rights said. In
some CASES , soldiers committed extrajudicial killings.

They shot at the villagers, said Khon Li Aung (not her real name), an ethnic Kachin woman,
referring to Burmese soldiers who entered and attacked her village, Mung Ding Pa, on 22 October
2013. Some [civilians] were running to the church and some were coming from the fields to get to
the church.
Humanitarian law requires parties to armed conflict to distinguish between military and non-military
targets, including civilians, and to refrain from attacking civilians. Moreover, attacking civilians is a
war crime under international criminal law.

The governments denial of wartime abuses and the international communitys soft-stepping has
gone on for too long, pointed out Smith.
Kachin State is home to multi-billion dollar jade deposits, minerals, timber, lucrative trade routes to
China, and significant hydropower potential, all forming the backdrop to the conflict. These factors
are compounded by ethnic and political disputes dating back decades. The conflict in Kachin State
resumed in June 2011 in the area of a Chinese-investor-led hydropower dam near Sang Gang
village, Kachin State, ending a 17-year-long ceasefire agreement.
Since 2011, the government and 14 non-state ethnic armies have signed preliminary ceasefire
agreements. The KIA is not among those calling a truce with the government.

If the government genuinely wants peace in ethnic states, it must end and rectify attacks on
civilians and other abuses, said Matthew Smith. The survivors of these attacks have been denied
their right to access justice and compensation for their lossesthat needs to change.

Related Stories
& NGOs say ethnic areas have no virgin lands
& Awareness campaign held for jailed Kachin refugees
& DVB Debate: Ethnic perspectives

The Irrawaddy Magazine UN Chief Calls for Myanmar to Inve...

UN Chief Calls for Burma to Investigate Military Rape Claims

By NYEIN NYEIN / THE IRRAWADDY On Thursday, April 24, 2014 @ 5:06 pm

The chief of the United Nations has officially called on the Burmese government to conduct
full investigations into allegations of rape and sexual assault made against its soldiers,
according to a document made public this week.
A report to the UN Security Council from Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon titled Conflictrelated Sexual Violence, addressed the issue of sexual violence in 20 countries around
the world, including Burma.
I call on the Government of Myanmar to fully investigate and respond to current and
historical human rights violations and abuses, including crimes of sexual violence, Ban
Ki-moon said in the report, which is dated March 13 but has only just been made public.
He urged the government to work to develop a comprehensive protection and service
response for survivors of sexual violence, with the UNs support.
Burmese womens organizations and campaigners, who have long called for allegations of
sexual violence by the military to be independently investigated, welcomed the secretarygenerals intervention.
The Thailand-based Womens League of Burma (WLB) in January said in a report it had
documented more than 100 cases of soldiers raping women and girlsthe majority in
war-torn Kachin and Shan statessince 2010. In a statement Thursday, the group said
that it welcomes this clear recognition of State failure to deal with past and present
military sexual violence in Burma.
WLB pointed out, however, that previous government-led investigations into military rape
have not only failed to deliver justice, but have led to further humiliation and intimidation
of rape survivors and their communities.
We are still concerned about how the government would conduct [investigations] if they
agreed to implement the UN secretary-generals recommendation, said Tin Tin Nyo,
secretary of WLB, an umbrella organization representing 13 different ethnic women
Ban Ki-moons report will be discussed at a Security Council debate on Friday on sexual
violence. The United Kingdom-based Burma Campaign group issued a statement urging
the British government to take a strong stance on the issue.
Burma Campaign UK welcomes the fact that the UN Secretary General is focusing more
on sexual violence in Burma, and has called for investigations, said Zoya Phan, the
groups campaigns manager.
However, the United Nations has made dozens of calls on the Burmese government to
hold credible investigations into human rights violations, and all have been ignored. It is
time the United Nations established its own investigation.
Campaigners say the secretary generals comments follow years of documenting the
abuses of Burma Army soldiers, and the impunity that usually follows allegations. Soldiers
accused of rape are regularly punished internally by the military rather than in the civilian
courts, if they are held to account at all.

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The Irrawaddy Magazine UN Chief Calls for Myanmar to Inve...

WLBs report in January noted of rape allegations against the military that, Their
widespread and systematic nature indicates a structural pattern: rape is still used as an
instrument of war and oppression. It said allegations of rape by soldiers, which may
constitute war crimes, should be independently investigated.
Shortly after their report in January, presidential spokesman Ye Htut in an interview with
Reuters denied the groups allegation that the military uses rape as a weapon, and asked
for the group to share more detailed information about the allegations.
Jessica Nhkum, the joint-secretary of the Kachin Women Association Thailand, who
documents rape cases by the Burma Army, told The Irrawaddy that the problem was not
going away. In the first quarter of 2014, new allegations have continued to emerge, she
Although we could not reach all areas in our war-torn Kachin State, even in the reachable
areassuch as near Myitkyina, Laiza, Mai Ja Yang and in northern Shan Statewe have
documented several cases of rape by Burmese soldiers in 2014, she said.
And with renewed fighting in Kachin State and northern Shan State breaking out during
Burmese New Year last week, activists stressed that more rape cases may soon be
Soldiers have been accused of raping girls as young as 7 in Kachin State, as in one case
from November 2013. And a 13-year-old girl in Mon State was allegedly raped by a soldier
in January 2014, just as the WLBs report documenting rape allegations was published.
The government in the past has repeatedly denied claims of rape by its troops.
In 2002, the Shan Women Action Network, a member of WLB, published a report including
such allegations, titled License to Rape. Following publication, women were allegedly
forced to sign denials refuting the facts in the report, according to WLBs Tin Tin Nyo.
We dont want the kind of reaction this time as we have examples of before, said Tin Tin
As for the presidents spokespersons suggestion to release information to them for
further investigation, it is impossible. We have to consider the safety of those women,
who are already being victimized.

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2 von 2

08.05.14 15:21

The Irrawaddy Magazine Did Nargis Shake Fear into Burma...

Did Nargis Shake Fear into Burmas Leaders?

By AUNG ZAW / THE IRRAWADDY On Tuesday, May 6, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

On May 2, 2008, Cyclone Nargis made landfall in The Irrawaddy Delta. It is now
six years since at least 138,000 people were killed by the cyclone and the
governments response, which denying aid to storm-hit areas. This article, first
published by The Irrawaddy on May 12, 2008, discusses the impact the event
had on Burmas military rulers, coming just before the country voted to approve
the 2008 military-drafted Constitution.
Whenever Burma faces a political or humanitarian crisis, Burmese and foreign observers
monitor the reclusive military leaders from a distance, trying to gauge their reactions,
guessing what shapes their decisions and where possible conflicts within the leadership
lie. The question Burma watchers are quietly asking this time isdid the cyclone shake
fear into Snr-Gen Than Shwe and his hard-core military cronies? Are they trembling or are
they hanging firm?
It is easy to imagine the pampered generals running from the storm, boarding themselves
into their collective bunker and curling up in terror as the cyclone whipped through the
southwest of the country. In the wake of the storm, the ordinary people of Burma braved
the elements and started putting their lives back together. Meanwhile, the cowering junta
was oblivious to the calls to help the survivors and allow aid into the affected areas.
Despite the juntas long history of perfidy and brutality, many observers were taken aback
by the regimes refusal to allow international aid and foreign aid workers to tend to the
cyclone victims in and around the Irrawaddy Delta.
Then, over the last week, cracks of dissent within the leadership were detected. Than
Shwe and his deputy, Vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye, reportedly have been at loggerheads
since troops opened fire on Buddhist monks and activists on the streets last September.
Now rumors have surfaced that Prime Minister Gen Thein Sein has drawn the ire of the
top general for showing a soft side after witnessing the tragedy firsthand while overseeing
the delivery of aid to cyclone victims from a helicopter. Apparently distressed by what he
saw, Thein Sein urged his boss to permit international aid into the area as quickly as
Reportedly, Thein Sein filed a situation report and was immediately stonewalled. At an
emergency meeting in Naypyidaw, Than Shwe is said to have told council members that
the countrys armed forces could handle the humanitarian crisis and that he would rather
concentrate on the referendum.
Thein Sein backed off and returned quietly to Rangoon to oversee the relief effort, which
was already falling apartill-prepared, ill-equipped and mismanaged. To his and everyone
elses frustration the doors to large-scale international aid remained closed.
The prime minister reportedly began suffering from stress and told his subordinates that
he was looking forward to retiring soon.
This time round, sources in Rangoon say Than Shwe and Maung Aye are hanging tight
together. They both were seen on TV at polling stations casting their votes on Saturday.
With Than Shwe determined to focus on the national referendum, calls from UN

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The Irrawaddy Magazine Did Nargis Shake Fear into Burma...

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to postpone the referendum, and pleas from the
international community to allow aid into the delta fell on deaf ears.
Then, a rumor started circulating among dissidents in exile that Gen Thura Shwe Mann,
who is being groomed to take over the armed forces, supports the line of Thein Sein.
Sources say Shwe Mann wanted aid flown in immediately. However, he was apparently
unwilling to confront the commander in chief, Than Shwe.
Shwe Mann may be acting out of personal concerns. Two of his sons run Ayer Shwe Wah
Company, selling fertilizer to farmers in the Irrawaddy Delta. They also own a rice mill.
One of the Burmese businesses on the United States sanctions list, the Ayer Shwe Wah
Company has approximately 30,000 acres of rice fields in the Irrawaddy Delta and is a
leading exporter of rice.
Reports from Naypyidaw suggest that Than Shwe doesnt want to hear about the death
toll and missing persons in the delta. Some senior officials in the capital have let it leak
that Than Shwes subordinates are afraid to brief him on the horrific figures.
Its a sad irony that it took a disaster of such proportions to unmask the true depth of the
inhumanity and darkness that lives inside of Than Shwe. Perhaps the military leaders
closest to him will look into his heart of darkness and see the truth for themselves.

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06.05.14 13:11

The Irrawaddy Magazine No Dignity in Myanmar: Alive or Dead

No Dignity: Alive or Dead

By KYAW ZWA MOE / THE IRRAWADDY On Thursday, May 8, 2014 @ 11:47 am

Six years ago, Cyclone Nargis hit the Irrawaddy Delta, killing at least 138,000 people and
displacing many more. This commentaryfirst published by The Irrawaddy on June 17,
2008discusses how the former military regime initially blocked aid to the cyclone
Being alive or dead is not much different in Burma, as strange as that sounds.
Six weeks after Cyclone Nargis, alive or dead, no one has dignity under the military
governments rule. When people are alive, all their basic rights are stolen. When they die,
their bodies are just ignored.
Bloated bodies still lie scattered about, floating in streams or caught in trees in the
worst-hit Irrawaddy delta, say aid workers.
The junta officially estimated that 134,000 people are dead or missing following the
cyclone. The actual death toll is believed to be much higher.
Relatively few bodies were buried by villagers. Most of the dead have been ignored. The
government still has not set up a systematic process to collect and cremate the bodies
properly. Victims bodies decomposed without religious rites.
The United Nations estimated up to 2.4 million people in the delta and Rangoon area were
severely affected and tens of thousands still need food, shelter or other aid. Yet
international and local aid workers, as well as supplies, are still being shunned by the
callous generals.
In the latest outrage, three Burmese volunteer aid workers were arrested in Rangoon last
week by the special branch police. Police told the families that Yin YinWie, Tin Tin Cho and
Myat Thu were detained because of their efforts to gather donations from friends abroad
to aid people who were displaced by the cyclone. The detainees had voluntarily supplied
rice, medicine and clothes to displaced people since the May 2-3 cyclone struck.
Two weeks ago, the well-known Burmese comedian Zarganar, a strong critic of the
regime, was arrested. Zarganar and his team distributed food, blankets, mosquito nets
and other aid which they collected from donors. One of his colleagues, Zaw Thet Htawe,
was arrested on Friday. After the arrests, another colleague told The Irrawaddy that the
Zarganar team has temporarily suspended its aid activities.
Zargarnar told The Irrawaddy a few days before his arrest: I see three types of
[displaced] people suffering trauma. One type is very violent and sensitive. They are
angry, and I cant say anything to them. They are aggressive all the time.
The second type is people crying and moaning all the time. They think about what
happened again and again, and they repeat what happened over and over. The third type
is silentno talking, very little movement.
All the people caught up in the disasterthe displaced people, the local and international
aid workers and the volunteershave been victimized by the Burmese military
government, whichbizarrely believes the countrys reputation is at stake and people
are out to gather damaging information to spread to the world.

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The Irrawaddy Magazine No Dignity in Myanmar: Alive or Dead

Last week, a small group of foreign doctors that had been allowed to work in the delta
began to leave after the junta closed down most of the centers for displaced people. The
Thai government was told not to dispatch a third medical team.
In fact, tens of thousands of survivors are still in desperate need of both physical and
mental health treatment.
But the military, which has governed for the past five decades, doesnt care about people
alive or dead. It just keeps repeating to the world that everything is fine, everything is
under control.
The Burmese people live without dignity and now they die without it, too.

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08.05.14 12:56

The Irrawaddy Magazine Nargiss Number Game

Nargiss Number Game

By AUNG ZAW / THE IRRAWADDY On Saturday, May 10, 2014 @ 10:40 am

Cyclone Nargis killed at least 138,000 people, but nobody knows for sure exactly
how many perished in the storm that struck Burma six years ago. At first the
regime announced that only 350 people had died, but later that number rose,
with international observers estimating that 200,000 people had been killed. In
this commentary from The Irrawaddy archivesoriginally published on May 22,
2008the magazines founder and editor-in-chief Aung Zaw reflects on the
tragic numbers game following the cyclone.
Finally, Burmas cyclone victims in the Irrawaddy delta region have been able to mourn
their dead. The regime announced three days of official mourning but could offer no
assurance that adequate aid is on the way.
Cyclone survivors are mourning without food and proper shelter from the rain, often
encountering intimidation from armed police and local officials, who ordered them to stop
begging for food and to show discipline when VIPs call on them.
Although it appears that Burmese officials have stopped counting the dead, nearly three
weeks after Cyclone Nargis struck, the body count and numbers game arent over yet.
At first the regime, perhaps unaware of the true scale of the disaster, announced 350
people had died. That toll rose in steps, to 10,000, then more than 20,000 and on to
78,000, with 56,000 people listed as missing.
When the number of dead reached 130,000 the regime mouthpiece, The New Light of
Myanmar, nervously buried the fact on an inside page, reserving the front page for stories
and pictures of the generals inspecting refugee camps and handing out aid packages to
Even that official toll is far short of the reliable estimates of international observers and
diplomats, who believe more than 200,000 could have died. They say the cyclone struck
more than 2 million people in one way or another.
But who knows the true figures behind this disaster? Who is counting the dead? There
have been no major relief operations in the Irrawaddy delta region, let alone official
attempts to rescue survivors and recover the dead.
Were reminded of the 1988 uprising, when about 3,000 activists and students were
believed to have been gunned down on the streets, while the regime insisted only a few
hundred looters were killed. Twenty years on, the real death toll is still unknown.
Although the true scale of this months cyclone disaster is still to be revealed, the regime
has issued a bizarre announcement that the first phase of the emergency relief mission is
Prime Minister Gen. Thein Sein declared: We have already finished our first phase of
emergency relief. We are going on to the second phase, the rebuilding stage. The New
Light of Myanmar trumpeted in a headline: Rehabilitation task goes on with greater
The UN reports that its agencies and partners have been able to reach only about 25

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11.05.14 12:44

The Irrawaddy Magazine Nargiss Number Game

percent of the people affected by the cyclone. But how we do know it is 25 percent? And
how could the UN provide sustainable assistance to them? Denied visas and access, UN
officials have been trying to deliver aid by remote control from Bangkok or Rangoon. And
the UN continues to make one concession after another to junta leader Snr-Gen Than
Until now, The New Light of Myanmar, eschewing any informative reports on the plight of
the cyclone victims and the impact of the disaster on the region, has been content to
carry daily lists of aid and its origin. It paints a rosy picture of how VIPs are helping the
victims and claims the situation is returning to normal.
Normal? Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations must have wished
it only were so, after Burmas Foreign Minister Nyan Win told them at a ministerial
meeting in Singapore that his country needed US $11.7 billion for rehabilitation and
Thailands Surin Pitsuwan, Aseans secretary-general, spoke for many when he cautioned,
after a visit to Rangoon: How do we know its $11 billion? How can we be certain?
Surin said: Accessibility is important to guarantee confidence and verify the damage and
needs, otherwise confidence during pledging will be affected.
Ahead of a donor conference in Rangoon on Sunday, Human Rights Watch warned donors
that before they committed themselves to reconstruction projects they should obtain a
commitment from the regime to make a significant contribution of its own. So far the
regime has committed US $4.4 million (5 billion kyats)hardly significant from a
government that holds an estimated $4 billion in foreign reserves and is thought to collect
$150 million monthly in revenues from gas exports.
Burma specialist Sean Turnell, of Macquarie University in Australia, posed the question:
where is all that money sitting? And he came up with the answer: What we do know is
that its sitting somewhere where Burmese people cant get access to it.
Turnell added: Either its sitting offshore or its sitting in the accounts of the Myanmar
[Burma] Foreign Trade Bank or the Central Bank. But it looks like its only accessible by
Than Shwe and perhaps one or two others; its not being used for the benefit of the
Burmese people, which of course is critical at the moment. This sort of money can do an
enormous amount with regard to the cyclone disaster, but it seems to be deliberately
Meanwhile, aid is trickling into Burma, at least at Rangoons international airportand at
least here the facts are being meticulously recorded.
A regime report on Thursday listed the latest arrivals at Rangoon airport: AN-12 flight
carrying 17.12 tons of office equipment, generators, tarpaulin and racks donated by WFP,
four C -130 flights carrying about 20 tons of plywood, water bottles, blankets, plastic,
nylon ropes, hammers and nails donated by the United State of America, Y 7-100 flight
carrying 3 tons of medicines for Laos medical team from Lao PDR, A- 300 flight carrying
over 22 tons of foods, cables, medicines and medical equipments donated by KOICA of
the Republic of Korea, IL-76 carrying 35.75 tons of water purifiers and related equipment,
medicines, tents, foods and plastic donated by Doctors Without Borders of Belgium and
IL-76 flight carrying 59.64 tons of construction material and tarpaulin donated by IFRC.
Laura Bush, a strong advocate of Burmas democracy movement, stepped in with some
numbers, too. The First Lady told Voice of America: The United States has been very
active in trying to help. I think so far about 40 C-130s have landed in Rangoon with
supplies for the people of Burma.
The impressive numbers of US relief flights to Rangoon also present accounting problems
for Lt-Col Douglas Powell, spokesman for the US relief mission at Thailands Utapao air
base. I think we have 36 flights so far, he said. Oh wait a minute, let me check my
notebook. Errwe now have 41 flights so far.

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11.05.14 12:44

The Irrawaddy Magazine Nargiss Number Game

The US has also offered dozens of CH-47 helicopters and amphibious vehicles to deliver
aid and supplies, but the regime is uninterested.
A particularly heartrending statistic is the number of children who died or lost their
parents in the cyclone. But even here the numbers are vague.
UNICEF estimates that 40 percent of those who died in the cyclone and its aftermath were
children. Ramesh Shrestha, UNICEFs representative in Burma, said the number of
children left without guardians is more than 600 and could rise.
Shrestha admitted to The Associated Press: We have no idea as to how many there are,
but from the bits and pieces that we have, there are more than 600 or 700
unaccompanied minors so far.
A volunteer relief worker in the Irrawaddy delta estimated that more than 1,000 children
under the age of 13 in Laputta Township alone lost their parents in the cyclone. The
British-based charity Save the Children estimates that 30,000 children under the age of
five living in the Irrawaddy delta region were already malnourished before the cyclone and
warns that thousands of them now face death from starvation.
The numbers game continues on Saturday, when the regime resumes its constitutional
referendum in the cyclone-hit areas. We can expect ludicrously inflated numbers again,
probably matching the statistics dreamed up by the junta after the first session of voting
on May 10.
Aung Toe, head of the Referendum Holding Committee, said that in the May 10 voting the
draft constitution was approved by 92.4 percent of the 22 million eligible voters, and he
put the voter turnout at more than 99 percent.
The constitution will guarantee 25 percent of parliamentary seats to the military and
promises the construction of a modern, developed and flourishing disciplinary
Aung Toe said a further 5 million citizens are eligible to vote on May 24 in Rangoon and
the Irrawaddy delta, the region worst hit by the cyclone.
One cyclone survivor Kyi Hla, a 65-year-old grandmother, lost 12 members of her family,
including her grandchildren. She is now reunited with three of her sons and five
daughters-in-law, while the rest of her family perished in the cyclone and its tidal wave.
She related her remarkable survival story in Laputta to an undercover reporter from The
Irrawaddy magazineand, unlike the improbable statistics the regime plucks out of thin
air, the numbers contained in her story ring with the deafening resonance of truth.

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3 von 3

11.05.14 12:44

Nargis: A Cash Cow for the Regime?

By THE IRRAWADDY On Wednesday, May 7, 2014 @ 11:13 am
On Friday, 2 May 2008, Cyclone Nargis made landfall in The Irrawaddy Delta, sending a storm surge
40 kilometers into the densely populated agricultural area. On the sixth anniversary of Burmas worstever natural disaster, which killed at least 138,000 people, The Irrawaddy is republishing a comment
from May 28, 2008, that investigates whether the then ruling junta found ways to profit from
international humanitarian aid sent to help victims.
Many villages in cyclone affected areas in the Irrawaddy delta are still waiting for food, shelters and
supplies, according to Burmese aid workers who visited villages in the Kyungyangone, Nyaungdone
and Dedaye areas. People who were begging there are now being forcibly removed form the
roadside, said a Burmese aid worker who returned from Dedaye.
Its really a depressing situation there. The aid worker said access to the hardest-hit areas is still a major
issue. Most small villages close to the sea havent received any assistance yet. People are just dying,
she said. Almost four weeks after Nargis slammed into Burma, the conditions for refugees have
improved only in small, incremental steps. The majority of survivors have yet to see aid of any kind.
After the international donors and high-ranking officials who attended the donor conference in Rangoon
on Sunday left, a senior diplomat based in Rangoon shared his pessimism. Even if they get aid in cash,
they (military leaders) will build roads and bridgesit wont reach down to people, he said. The aid
worker who returned from Dedaye said aid is reaching there but starvation in nearby towns is visible.
We have seen many traumatized people, she said. Some people received some onions and potatoes
and two nails for each family (to rebuild houses), she said.
She said many villages where fishermen and their families live close to the sea have no shelter or food,
let alone aid workers. The UN estimated that 1 million out of 2.5 million in the affected area has received
any aid assistance so far.
The UN has been tentatively testing the commitment of Burmese officials following the agreement with
the juntas top leader, Snr-Gen Than Shwe, to allow all aid workers to go in and save lives. This was
regarded as a breakthrough by international observers and UN officials, who remained cautious
however. Kathleen Cravero of the United Nations Development Programme said that six visas were
issued to UN staff on Tuesday.
However, there are still many obstacles on the ground. The regime recently issued an order saying that
anyone who wishes to visit the Irrawaddy delta must obtain official permission from the army
Some Burmese aid workers and activists maintain the junta has not made any concessions, but the UN
has made concessions to the regime. Now people are putting the blame on the UN and the regime, one
NGO worker told The Irrawaddy on condition of anonymity. Nargis is now a cash cow for the regime
and UN agencies (to raise money), she said.

Burmese officials said US $11 billion is needed to rebuild communities in the affected area. The figure
was met with strong skepticism. At the donor pledging conference in Rangoon on Saturday, donor
countries pledged around $50 million, far short of the $200 million requested by the UN. Some Western
donors said there is a will to provide more money, but the regime must allow access as well as
transparency and accountability.
One NGO worker said she believed the junta is appearing to cooperate in order to get more countries to
pledge funds. There are many people ready to come and donate if allowed, she said. Buy is the aid
reaching the people? We have meeting after meeting at the Traders Hotel (in Rangoon) but nothing
She said all aid workers should be welcomed no matter if Western or Asian. We shouldnt think that
Westerners can do more and have more understanding. We now have some emergency cowboys who
went to the delta region, but they have no clue how to help people and just keep praising their projects
and asking for more money, she said, referring to some Western UN staff members.
A Burmese man in his early 40s who has worked for an international NGO in Rangoon for the past
week said they should be given more access to the delta, and they should work more closely with local
groups. International NGOs that have operated in Burma for many years have established networks,
better understanding and good relationships with local civil society groups, he said, but he claimed,
The UN doesnt engage with locals. There is also a fear among some Burmese that UN officials in
Burma may work with the regimes business cronies, who have been placed under economic sanctions
by the US and some EU countries.
The regime is said to have recently offered contracts to Tay Za, the CEO of Htoo Trading Company,
Tun Myint Naing, a.k.a Steven Law, the director of Asia World, Zaw Zaw, the CEO of Max Myanmar
and others to reconstruct schools, hospitals and government buildings in the affected area.
Debbie Storhard of Alternative-Asean said the UN should not work with the regimes cronies and
apologists. We know that the regime has no transparency, she said. We know that the world wants
to help. However, lowering the bar of accountability and ethics will be confirming to the regime that ill
treating people is good for business. Upon returning from the delta, one aid worker said, This has
become a man-made disaster. Nargis is a cash cow, and Than Shwe has won again. He and his cronies
are going to be richer. I think the UN fell into the regimes trap.
After watching Ban Ki-moons visit to Naypyidaw, some Burma observers in Rangoon said the UN
chief had been manipulated by the regime, in a manner similar to that of UN Special Envoy Ibrahim
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Copyright 2012 The Irrawaddy Magazine. All rights reserved.