April 14, 1991
The interview with "two experts" about economic sanctions against the Southeast Asian nation formerly known as Burma was appreciated. "Myanmar: What Should U.S. Do?" (March 11). But, while we agree that Prof. David Steinberg is an expert and scholar on Burmese affairs, Soe Win, the first secretary of the embassy of the Union of Myanmar should not be called an "expert" as he is merely a mouthpiece of the military dictatorship that is illegally ruling Burma with the power of their guns.
February 28, 1997 |
Burmese soldiers crossed into Thailand in an attempt to raid a makeshift refugee camp housing thousands of ethnic Karens, but Thai troops halted the operation. About 2,300 refugees had taken shelter at an abandoned tin mine at Pu Nam Rawn, about 70 miles west of Bangkok, the Thai capital. The Burmese troops were repelled by a group of Thai self-defense volunteers.
December 31, 1988 |
Thirty-six students who fled Burma's military crackdown flew home Friday, and authorities allowed a one-month extension until Jan. 31 for thousands of others to return from the Thai border region. A Burmese air force plane brought back the second group of students since the government announced that all students who fled after the Sept. 18 military coup and had sought haven could return without retribution.
June 25, 1987 |
All 45 people aboard a Burma Airways plane missing since Sunday died when the aircraft crashed into an 8,200-foot mountain in eastern Burma, the government reported Wednesday. All of the dead were believed to be Burmese. The wreckage of the Fokker Friendship 27 plane was sighted on the ridges of Menei Mountain about 40 miles from Heho, which is 280 miles northeast of Rangoon, the government news agency said.
March 23, 1988 |
A fire that started in a kitchen raged across a northern Burmese city, killing 113 people and leaving 20,000 homeless, the government radio reported Tuesday. The radio said the fire Sunday afternoon swept through 2,096 buildings, including two primary schools, within two hours in Lashio, a city of 200,000 about 450 miles northeast of Rangoon. The report said most of the victims were trapped by the rapidly spreading fire, which began in the kitchen of a Chinese resident.
March 21, 1992 |
Hundreds of houses were destroyed and more than 5,000 people were left homeless by the second major fire in two days to race through the Yangon suburb of North Okkalapa. Another fire Thursday in the same township destroyed 2,000 houses, leaving 20,000 people homeless.
June 21, 1991
Mao Thawka, 64, a Burmese poet and speech writer serving a 20-year prison sentence for a poem critical of the military. Mao Thawka, whose real name was U Bathaw and who was a former navy captain, was arrested in 1989 after writing the poem. He also wrote speeches for Aung San Suu Kyi, Burma's leading dissident, who has been under house arrest since July, 1988. Suu Kyi is head of the opposition National League for Democracy, which swept the May, 1989, elections in Burma.
October 4, 1988 |
Frightened workers returned to their jobs Monday as thousands of Burmese troops patrolled Rangoon threatening reprisals against anyone defying an ultimatum to end a seven-week general strike, witnesses said. Western diplomats estimated that as much as 80% of the capital's labor force complied with the ultimatum, despite pleas from opposition groups not to yield to government pressure.
September 19, 1988 |
Here is a chronology of events leading to military commander Saw Maung's ouster of civilian President Maung Maung: September, 1987--Government makes 80% of currency worthless, sparking first big street protests in 13 years. March, 1988--Rioters storm through Rangoon setting fire to buildings and vehicles in weeklong disturbances after death of student in brawl.
December 26, 2010 |
U Tin cut his teeth as a musician playing Burmese folk songs for silent movies, which in this time warp of a country remained popular well into the 1950s. The 80-year-old recalls the challenge of playing guitar, watching the conductor and looking at the screen simultaneously, four shows a day. Periodically they'd mess up the sound effects, leaving the audience to wonder why a bang occurred well after the gunfight ended. "Some of the band leaders were quite drunk, particularly by the late show," he said.