covering burma and southeast asia
Thursday, November 15, 2018


By The Irrawaddy Thursday, January 1, 1998

(Page 10 of 27)

US officials estimate US investment in Burma at about US$240 million, led by Unocal.

Consumers’ organisation urges paraquat ban

A report by the Southeast Asia Information Network (SAIN) that 10,000 litres of paraquat were sold in Burma was confirmed by the Danish company involved, but denied by the Slorc.

Saree Angsamwong of the Consumers Foundation said that her organisation has called for a ban on the sale of paraquat — a potent herbicide often used to kill weeds along roadsides, around homes and on rubber, palm and sugar plantations — because of its public health and environmental impact.

Considered one of the “dirty dozen” pesticides, paraquat has already been banned by nine countries, including Denmark, but the Danish firm East Asiatic Co Ltd still sells the agrochemical in Southeast Asia under the trade name Gramoxone.

Slorc fails to reopen schools

Schools across Burma remained closed two weeks after the scheduled beginning of the new academic year, but the government assured they would be reopened “very soon.”

After the usual three-month vacation from March through May, the hottest months of the year in Burma, the regime told nearly eight million students nationwide not to return to classes.

The reason for the delay remains a mystery for parents and teachers alike, although by most accounts, many students enjoyed the additional time off.

Many Burmese suggested that the government would keep all schools closed to prevent any possible student demonstrations before Burma is formally admitted to the Asean.

Japan insurer sets foot in Burma

Yasuda Fire and Marine Insurance Co, Japan’s second-biggest insurance company, signed a memorandum of understanding to form a joint venture with state-owned Myanma Insurance Co.

The agreement was signed by the managing directors of each company in the presence of Finance Minister Brig-Gen. Win Tin, who said the venture was the first in the industry and would “enhance healthy growth of the insurance market.”

The agreement will give Myanma Insurance Co, for 30 years the country’s sole insurer, added capacity as market-oriented reforms expand the Burmese economy.

Karenni party vows to continue fight with Slorc

The Karenni National Progressive Party vowed to continue its fight with the Slorc until the latter withdraws its four battalions from Kayah State.

KNPP commander Maj-Gen. Aung Mya said from his jungle base that he would hold talks with the Slorc only after their withdrawal.

The commander recalled the incident when he and other KNPP senior figures were nearly poisoned to death by government officials during their past talks in March 1995.

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