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

CHRONOLOGY 1998


By The Irrawaddy Thursday, January 1, 1998


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(Page 19 of 27)

Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

Yangon Airways was set up in October 1996 and was 51 per cent owned by state-run Myanmar Airways and 49 per cent held by the Thai company.

Reclusive Ne Win goes to Jakarta

Former dictator Ne Win, not seen in public since 1989, visited Indonesia at the invitation of President Suharto.

The 86 year-old former leader was accompanied by an 11-member entourage that included his eldest daughter, Sanda Win, his son-in-law, grandson and several military intelligence officers.

Many Burmese believe Ne Win still exercises control over the present government. Although there is little hard evidence to support those assertions, Slorc leaders do brief him at least twice a month and have great respect for him, foreign diplomats said.

Some analysts have written that there is little hope of breaking the political stalemate in Burma until Ne Win dies.

Burma’s military leaders have been studying the Indonesia system of government, called pancasila, which provides for a dual defense and political role for the armed forces, with an eye to adopting a similar system in Burma.

Ne Win and President Suharto, a former general who seized power in a 1965 coup, have known each other for more than 30 years.

OCTOBER

Burma could join AFTA before 2008 deadline

Asean announced that Burma is likely to join a proposed regional free-trade area before its 10-year grace period expires in 2008, according to Asean secretary-general Ajit Singh.

Ajit praised Burma’s offer to cut tariffs as one of the newest members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Under a 1993 accord, Asean’s six most developed members — Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand — agreed to work toward an Asean Free Trade Area by implementing common effective preferential tariffs of five per cent or less on 98 per cent of their products by 2003.

Vietnam, which joined the group in 1995, has been given until 2006 while Burma and Laos have another two years.

Philippine foreign minister meets Suu Kyi

Philippines Foreign Minister Domingo Siazon, who traveled to Burma with Philippine President Fidel Ramos and a delegation of government and business officials, met Suu Kyi for lunch at her lakeside home.

Mr. Ramos requested permission from the government to see Suu Kyi during his visit, but when the Burmese did not respond, he dropped the matter.

The meeting with Suu Kyi was denied by the junta, but diplomats in Rangoon confirmed that the meeting had taken place and viewed it as a positive development.



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