CHRONOLOGY 1998
covering burma and southeast asia
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

CHRONOLOGY 1998


By The Irrawaddy Thursday, January 1, 1998


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(Page 16 of 27)

The report documents human rights abuses, including forced conscription as porters to carry supplies for the army, forced relocations, and extortion.

Rice prices soar as kyat plummets

Burma is experiencing a second consecutive year of heavy damage to its rice crop due to this year’s flooding in the Irrawaddy basin, according to source in Rangoon.

Prices of rice for local consumption are rising, and exports will be far below the government’s ambitious targets.

The floods have destroyed dikes along the Irrawaddy and some parts of the rail system in the most serious damage since the Slorc took over the country in 1988, foreign sources said.

A 50-kilogramme bag of good quality rice is now being sold for 3,120 kyat, compared with between 2,000 and 2,200.

State-run press raises issue of racial purity

A long commentary in the state-run press raised the issue of racial purity, saying Suu Kyi “has no desire to safeguard the race.”

After marrying a Briton, “she gave birth to children who have blood of colonialists without any shame instead of the blood of the national leaders.”

The commentary compared her to “garbage” and said the pro-democracy movement she has led since 1988 had been “overshadowed” by the influence of Washington.

In 1988, “Daw Suu Kyi was a piece of refuse drifting with the tides of anarchistic insurgency which was brought into shape like a democracy revolution.”

Unusually, the article repeatedly referred to her as Daw Suu Kyi — the form of address for Burmese women who do not take their husbands’ names. Previously, the media had called her Mrs. Michael Aris.

Suu Kyi illegally receives $80,000 gift says Slorc

The state-controlled press hinted that Aung San Suu Kyi was heading for her downfall as a politician.

“It is certain to foretell that she will perish after her raft has dashed against the consolidated rock of national politics,” said the secondinstallment of a lengthy diatribe against Suu Kyi that appeared in all government-controlled dailies.

The article, entitled “From Washington to University Avenue,” also accused Suu Kyi of accepting a cash donation of US$80,000 from American citizen John Vincent Osolnick Jr., who visited Rangoon on January 24 to 26.



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