Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pro Burmese junta tycoons targeted

After the testimony of Burma's refugees I wrote on this blog after my report in South East Asia "Esclave, pour fuir la Birmanie." I received many emails and talks of people interested in hearing other testimonies of witnesses enslaved in Burma or in the Burma neighboring nations, I shall write again about the enslaved Burmese citizens forced laboring in timber and construction firms based on what I heard and saw during my journey.

But prior to this, I read that Burmese tycoons seem to be scared after the US sanctions threats: One in particular has wet hands:

Picture of the sanctioned Burmese tycoon

Burma Air Bagan, Tay Za, left, speaks with Yangon Commander Maj. Gen. Hla Htay Win ,right, and Transport Minister Maj. Gen. Thein Swe, center, as they stand next to the airline's Airbus A310-200, during a launching ceremony of the first Air Bagan international flight Tuesday, May 15, 2007, at Yangon International Airport. Air Bagan airline formally launched its international service with a flight to Bangkok in neighboring Thailand. The airline was planning to extend its flights to future destinations including China, Singapore, India and Cambodia. (Agencies)

Close friends? Not for long, depending on international pressure on Burma. I also think the Singapore reaction to US financial sanction (the freeze of Burmese pro junta tycoons banks acconts) is quite amazing. Banks in Asia now are scared by the sanctions the US government wish to impose on Burmese junta. More on this with this article of Bertil Lintner that you can access clicking the title of this article.

I quote:
"... Tay Za is the 42-year-old manager of the Myanmar-based Htoo Trading Company, which among other subsidiaries controls the Singapore-registered Htoo Wood Products, Pavo Trading, and Air Bagan. Through the new sanctions, all of those companies are now blacklisted by the US government. The businessman is known to be very close to junta leader General Than Shwe and when he first launched into business he made a point of employing the children of powerful generals - which presumably paved the way for him to land lucrative government contracts. Among those currently or formerly on his payroll are Aung Thet Mann, the son of General Shwe Mann, the junta's third ranking official after Than Shwe and army chief General Maung Aye. According to a 2005 report in The Irrawaddy, Tay Za is also close to Than Shwe's son, Kyaing San Shwe, whom Tay Za presented with a US-made Hummer, for undisclosed reasons..."

Among the words, I noticed with irony the use of Pavo Trading (Pavo is a constellation, but if you add the letter "T", it gives "Pavot", which is the flower that produces the opium: Papaver somniferum. How cynical some say.) This Lintner article in Asia Times is quite different from this lenient information published by the Yomiuri in Japan based on a telex from Afp / Jiji press agencies. " Myanmar tycoon denounces US sanctions ".

"...Flamboyant Myanmar tycoon Tay Za Monday denounced US sanctions against his airline and other firms which he said would only hurt the people of the impoverished Southeast Asian nation. US President George W. Bush last month ordered sanctions against seven companies with ties to Myanmar's ruling junta. Tay Za's Air Bagan was among seven firms blacklisted to pile more pressure on the regime after its bloody suppression of pro-democracy protests in September which left 13 dead and thousands locked up. "I hereby condemn the sanctions which were recklessly imposed and only hurt the people of Myanmar," Tay Za told officials, staff and businessmen in a speech for celebrations to mark Air Bagan's third anniversary..."

It looks like the report of Bertil Lintner indeed clarifies the litigious impressions (Click the title)

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