Burma's Military Budget to Increase Significantly
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Burma's Military Budget to Increase Significantly

By THE IRRAWADDY Friday, June 4, 2010


At the four-monthly meeting of Burma's top generals held in Naypyidaw during the last week of May, the junta significantly increased its military budget from last year, according to sources close to the Burmese military.  

A military source told The Irrawaddy on Thursday that although the amount budgeted to the military is unavailable, it is known to be much larger than last year's military budget. 

“The money allocated to the military was budgeted under the heading 'Defense Budget', but there was no specific line items for separate expenses,” he said.

The military source added, however, that it is generally believed that large military equipment purchases will be made within the next six months.

In 2009, Burma signed a contract with Russia for the purchase of 20 MiG-29 jet fighters at a cost of nearly US $570 million.

Analysts believe that many of Burma's future military purchases may come from North Korea.

According to a report by UN experts obtained by The Associated Press last month, North Korea is exporting nuclear and ballistic missile technology and using multiple intermediaries, shell companies and overseas criminal networks to circumvent UN sanctions. 

The UN's seven-member panel monitoring the implementation of sanctions against North Korea said its research indicates that Pyongyang is involved in banned nuclear and ballistic activities in Iran, Syria and Burma.

In November 2008, Gen Thura Shwe Mann, the regime’s No 3 ranking general, made a secret visit to North Korea and signed a memorandum of understanding, officially formalizing military cooperation between Burma and North Korea with his North Korean counterpart, Gen Kim Kyok-sik.

During his trip to Pyongyang, Shwe Mann also visited sites of secret tunnel complexes built into the sides of mountains to store and shield jet aircraft, missiles, tanks and nuclear and chemical weapons.

In addition, according to Burmese Maj Sai Thein Win, a former deputy commander of a top-secret military factory who defected and brought with him top secret documents and photographs about Burma's nuclear projects, secret underground bunkers and tunnels have been built at many locations in Burma. 

Sai Thein Win, who was trained in Burma as a defense engineer and later in Russia as a missile expert, said that about 10,000 Burmese officials have been sent to Russia  thus far to study military technology, including nuclear technology.

Sai Thein Win also said in a report that Burma is trying to build medium-range missiles such as SCUDs under a memorandum of understanding with North Korea. “Burma wants to have rockets and nuclear warheads. Burma wants to be a nuclear power,” Sai Thein Win said.

One reason the regime is able to increase its military budget and import expensive military equipment and technology may be its expected increase in energy revenues.

A study by the Washington-based United States Institute of Peace said that Burma's export earnings from the country's growing energy sector will double in the next five years, due mainly to oil and gas transit pipelines now being built from Burma to China. The Institute said the calculation is based on energy exports—mostly gas—accounting for at least 45 percent of the $6.6 billion earnings declared by Burmese interests in 2008.

Burma's military regime is infamous for spending a large percentage of its national budget on the military, rather than on education, health and other public services. According to Burma military experts, 40 to 60 percent of the national budget is allocated to the military.

In contrast, 0.4 percent of the national budget is spent on healthcare, while 0.5 percent  is spent for education, according to a report released in 2007 by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a think-tank based in London.

In other news regarding the four-monthly meeting, according to military sources there  was no major military reshuffle in Naypyidaw.

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Aung Moung Wrote:
The significant increasing the military budget is highly essential by SPDC because they have to settle and prepare for atomic weapon or nuclear plans.

Please ALL must check all SPDC airlines and all sea transport for arms and ammunition because they are planning to fight nationalities groups and all democracy groups.

The present gas from offshore are also intention for their projects and nuclear plants.

Please invite the UN or IAEA to investigate the nuclear plans and must invite the technicians from overseas Burmese citizens from USA or other countries.

A.M.O Wrote:
Yes, where does the money go from gas sales? 2 billion USD/year (since 2000) for 10years=20biliion USD, to Thailand(Ratchaburi)from Yadana & Yetagun offshore gas fields.

Where does this money 'GO'- Twenty billion USD.

These revenues, including timber & mineral sales, & related budget allotments for public use(health, education) were never made known & transparent to the public (taxpayers).

What are you doing, Than Shwe? Nuclear bombs,rockets? For what? To kill whom? Are you crazy?
Nobody is going to harm you around the region? You think you can strike New Delhi, Beijing? For what? Are they threatening you?

The whole nation is almost starving for basic food (RICE,WATER) and you want to reach for the MOON.

Are you in your RIGHT mind, Than Shwe?

I think you are a complete NUT(fool);

How can you do these things when people across the nation have no power, no lights, which are basic necessities just to SURVIVE.

It is high time that you should GO.

PLEASE "GO", Than Shwe.

OUT, you go.

Dave Wrote:
Good grief.

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