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 5 of 27)

Refugee camps in Thailand were also attacked, displacing thousands of Karen and other ethnic minority groups along the border.The KNU remains the lone ethnic group who have not yet signed a ceasefire agreement with Rangoon.

KNU joint First General Secretary Mahn Sha said the offensives are “not just operations against the KNU, but against Karen people and all people inside Burma.”

US Sanctions

US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announced a ban on new investment by American businesses in Burma.

The decision was approved by President Bill Clinton based on the view that “repression by the military authorities of the democratic opposition in Burma has deepened since enactment of the Cohen-Feinstein provisions this past Sept. 30; and that a state of large-scale repression exists,” Mrs. Albright said.

The Cohen-Feinstein law, sponsored by Californian Senator Dianne Feinstein, and the now Secretary of Defence William Cohen of Maine, authorised the administration to outlaw new investments if the junta arrests, harms, or exiles Aung San Suu Kyi or her followers on a large-scale.

The ban is not retroactive so it will not affect existing investment projects in Burma, including Unocal’s US$1.2 billion pipeline which is Burma’s largest investment project. However, under the new sanctions Unocal will not be allowed to commit to new investment opportunities in Burma.

Search for weapons in Shan State

Ten Burmese soldiers and 13 Shan United Revolution Army (SURA) soldiers were killed in a one-day clash over rumours of hidden treasures and weapons near Khun Sa’s former stronghold of Ho Mong. Located about 25 km from the Thai border, Ho Mong used to house over 20,000 Mong Tai Army (MTA) guerillas and Khun Sa’s massive drug operations before he capitulated to Slorc in January 1996. 
But a SURA source claims that Khun Sa hid weapons, jewelry and gold in Ho Mong before surrendering.
“Khun Sa does not totally trust the Burmese so he hid valuables and weapons before his surrender, and reliable sources say most of his money is still in banks in Thailand.”

Hollywood appeals for comic's release

A group of American comedians signed letters sent to top military government officials urging the release of Burmese comic Par Par Lay, Human Rights Watch Asia said.

The letters, signed by actors including Carl Reiner, Ted Danson, Paul Reiser, Mike Farrell and Mary Steenburgen, argued Par Par Lay had been jailed for exercising his internationally guaranteed right to freedom of expression. In letters sent to Prime Minister Gen. Than Shwe and top junta official Lt-Gen.



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