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 25 of 27)

Khin Nyunt.

Bangkok and the Thai army have a policy not to support any minority groups, Chettha said after meeting Khin Nyunt in Rangoon.

Khun Sa under tight security in military compound

Khun Sa moved to a military compound after claims by the Burmese government that US officials were trying to nab him, Thai narcotics sources close to Khun Sa said.

Khun Sa’s associates and Thai narcotics officials said he was moved from his lakeside compound after Washington began an investigation into $600 million of laundered money that was believed to be circulating in Burmese business areas.

Khun Sa tells Shans to lay down arms

According to a Thai border official from Mae Hong Son, Khun Sa said in a radio broadcast monitored in Thai-Burmese border areas on November 10, that he wanted Shan ethnic groups to disarm and cooperate with Rangoon to create peace in Burma.

The broadcast was made after over 2,000 Shan State Army (SSA), Shan State National Army (SSNA) and Shan United Revolutionary Army (SURA) forces attacked strongholds of Burmese troops in central Shan State during November 8-9 and managed to take two towns from Rangoon troops.

December

Advisory group dissolved

The 14-member Advisory Group made up of members of the former ruling military body was dissolved only a few weeks after the formation of the SPDC. The reason for the dissolution was not given.

But the 14 members of the group, 13 of whom are over the age of 60 and many of whom held senior military ranks, no longer hold any military positions.

Diplomats and analysts said the Advisory Group had been made up of former ministers and Slorc members who were seen as corrupt, and whom the government wanted to get out of the public eye.

Rangoon to assist return of illegal aliens

The SPDC pledged to help Thailand repatriate close to one million illegal Burmese workers and agreed to set up a joint subcommittee to begin a of classification to facilitate their reentry.

The issues of illegal Burmese workers and the influx of replies were brought up in talks between Burmese Foreign Minister Ohn Gyaw, who was reappointed as FM under the newly created SPDC, and Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai.

Rangoon commutes sentences for civilians

Burma announced it would commute sentences for civilian prisoners serving terms of 10 years or more and convicted before Nov. 15.

Order 1/97, signed by SPDC chairman Senior Gen. Than Shwe, said that prisoners sentenced to death would have their sentences commuted to life or 20 years in prison. Prisoners sentenced for life will have their terms reduced to 10 years in prison under the order.

It also reduces the term of those serving 20 years or more to 15 years, while those serving between 10 years and 20 years will be imprisoned for only 10 years.

Three ousted from charter-drafting panel

The SPDC said it had removed three senior officials of the key National Convention Convening Commission (NCCC) in charge of drafting a new constitution for the country.

A statement said that NCCC chairman Lt-Gen. Myo Nyunt and vice-chairmen Lt-Gen. Maung Thint and Brig-Gen. Myo Thant had been replaced and transferred to the Advisory Group.

Minister of Hotels and Tourism Maj-Gen. Saw Lwin was appointed the new NCCC chairman, while the minister of religious affairs, Maj-Gen. Sein Htwa, and minister of social welfare, Brig-Gen.



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