CHRONOLOGY 1998
covering burma and southeast asia
Wednesday, December 13, 2017

CHRONOLOGY 1998


By The Irrawaddy Thursday, January 1, 1998


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January

Khun Sa thrives after rebuilding empire

Notorious opium warlord Khun Sa has built a fast-growing business empire in Burma a year after he surrendered to the government in January 1996, sources said.

Khun Sa was leader of the now defunct 20,000-strong Mong Tai Army (MTA) that previously sought autonomy for Burma’s eastern Shan State. International drug agencies accused him of using the army as personal guerrilla force to protect his heroin business.

Sources close to Khun Sa said that he has since been leading what they called a life of luxury in Rangoon, where he oversees his diverse business in hotels, beach resorts and highway construction.

Slorc arrests 56 in bid to halt unrest

Lt-Gen. Khin Nyunt accused Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party and Communists of fomenting anti-government unrest.

The general said 56 people were placed in custody in connection with political protests, including 13 members of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy, 34 remnant members of the defunct Communist Party of Burma, and nine people accused of throwing rocks.

Shut down affects 50,000 students prior to exam period

Burma kept some universities closed to prevent a recurrence of student unrest as it continued investigations into December’s demonstrations and bombings, senior officials said.

Officials told a monthly news conference the ruling State Law and Order Restoration Council was still trying to determine who was responsible for two bombings on Dec. 25 at a Buddhist shrine which killed five and wounded 17.

They said the bombings could be linked with demonstrations in early December when thousands of students took to the streets in the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Rangoon since 1988.

HK investment bank pulls out of Burma

Peregrine Capital Myanmar Ltd (PCM), a subsidiary of Peregrine Investment Holding Ltd, closed down its office in Rangoon because a privatisation programme had “not materialized” and its operations had been dogged by controversy.

The company was also dogged with problems relating to its former executive chairman, Mariam Segal.

Segal was ousted in July after the Hong Kong-based investment bank accused her of trying to set up a competing venture in Burma. She was sued for breach of contract and Peregrine was awarded US$ 4.1 million in New York.

Prison term for NLD member

Saw U Rei, a member of the NLD was sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly having links to ethnic rebel groups and publishing illegal documents. He was given three years in prison on Nov. 29 for contact with the Karenni rebel group, and another seven years on Dec.



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