The Burmese Army has confiscated many farm lands owned by Arakanese farmers in Kyauk Pru Township in Arakan to set up an army headquarters,

said a villager on condition of anonymity.

About 200 acres of farms lands in four villages near the under construction army headquarters have already been confiscated by the army and over 50 farmers in the area are now landless,” he said.

The army has been constructing many buildings for a military Operation Bureau No 3 which is being set up in Awa Daung Village in Kyauk Pru Township. kpru280

China resumes importing timber from northern Burma

Written by KNG
Wednesday, 17 December 2008 19:55
After a long gap in timber trade on the Sino-Burma border, China has resumed importing timber from Kachin state in northern Burma as of early December, said local sources. Environmentalists said the impact on the ecology would be terrible due the rampant logging.

At the moment hectic logging activities are on day and night in Bhamo District after over 300 Chinese trucks and about 1,000 Chinese loggers arrived in early November, said local residents. 1217-timber-manje

15.12 KNU Brigade 2 victory news

KNU Brigade 2 victory news
In the afternoon of December 1, 2008, a Karen soldier from Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Second Brigade Battalion 5 approached a road security platoon from SPDC IB 48 at Kyauktaing junction, which is eight miles away from Toungoo, on Toungoo-Thandaung Myothit (13th mile) highway. He befriended them and feasted them on drinks. When they were drunk, he struck them with a sword, killing or wounding them and driving them away. (Exact number of casualties not known yet.) He then made off with one M-79 grenade launcher and ten shells, two MA-3 automatic rifles with two magazines and 40 rounds, and safely arrived back at the base camp after some time.
On December 9th, KNLA Brigade 2 troops launched a multiple M-18 Claymore mine attack on SPDC IB 149 at Sinngyangone between Sharzeebo and Pone-mu-khee in Htandabin Township, Toungoo District, killing four enemy soldiers and wounding seven. (Note: no landmines employed.)
On December 11th, KNLA Brigade 2 troops attacked an SPDC army food supply truck between Bawgali-gyee and Bo-sar-khee in Toungoon District, destroying it.

Fifteen Burmese migrants have been jailed for more than four years for working in Bangkok with fake permits, but the Thai boss who issued the permits escaped punishment, the workers’ relatives told DVB.

The 13 female and two male workers, who worked in a wallet factory in Bangkok, were sentenced on Tuesday.

According to a relative of one of the workers, they paid 6000 baht for the permits, which were issued a month before their arrests, and they only found out they were fake when Thai police and immigration officials raided the factory on 28 October.continue

Dec 18, 2008 (DVB)–Burmese authorities are planning to file further charges against Arakan state National League for Democracy member Min Aung, who is currently imprisoned in Sagaing division’s Kalaymyo jail

a family member said.

Min Aung, the Arakan state NLD treasurer and a member of Taunggok township NLD organising committee, was arrested on 13 October last year and sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.

His sentence was reduced to two and a half years on appeal.

As his release date draws nearer, the authorities in Taunggok have been preparing to press further charges against him to keep him detained, a family member said.

She added that local police were collecting witnesses to testify in the case.

Min Aung was accused of leaking video footage to foreign media showing a soldier dragging away two protesters who had been demonstrating against high commodity prices.

He was also accused of involvement in last September’s Saffron Revolution and was arrested on his way home from Rangoon and charged with five offences.

He was transferred from Sandoway jail to Insein prison on 10 February this year, and then to Mandalay jail on 17 February.

In March he was sent to Kalaymyo jail, where he continues to be held.

Opposition leaders in Burma’s democracy movement and ethnic organizations have expressed support for the canceling of a trip to Burma by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“He has to have some indication that it would be a fruitful meeting, a fruitful visit,” Michele Montas, spokesperson for the Secretary-General, told reporters at the UN headquarters in New York. “He [Ban] is not going to go there just for the sake of going. He has to have some indications that his visit will mean something.” Ban cancelled an earlier scheduled trip to Burma in December after the regime continued its crackdown on political opposition.

This rationale was strongly supported by opposition leaders who spoke with IMNA on Thursday. “I think his view is right,” said U Nyan Win, spokesman for the National League for Democracy, Burma’s largest mainstream democracy organization. “If there is not genuine change in Burma, Mr. Ban Ki-moon should not visit. And he should not come just for a visit or without action.” Agreement came from Pado Saw David Tharkapaw, Vice Chairman of the Karen National Union, the political wing of one of Burma’s largest active insurgent armies. “I do not see the junta softening its stance even with a visit Mr. Ban visit. I think he would just waste money and time because the military leaders are ruling the country like feudal kings,” the Vice Chairman told IMNA via phone. continue

Three villagers arrested after KNU ambush kills at least one junta soldier

Thu 18 Dec 2008, Leyh Mon, IMNA
Three villagers were arrested after an ambush by the Karen National Union (KNU) killed at least one government soldier and wounded two others, say local sources. According to the KNU, four government soldiers were killed in the clash outside Thi Pout Ka Low village, Kyainnseikyi Township.

After the attack, the Thi Pout Ka Low village headman and two other male residents suspected of supporting the KNU were detained for three days by regime soldiers. The detained villagers were not beaten during interrogations, nor were their families made to pay the ransom fees families are often subjected to.

“They was arrested [the headman] and two other villagers. They suspected that they were connected with the KNU,” said Mi Malay Chan. “The first day their families tried to meet with them but the soldiers would not allow it. But after three day they were freed.”

Eight soldiers from KNU Battalion No. 16 ambushed over one hundred Burmese soldiers near the entrance to Thi Pout Ka Low village at 5 pm on December 10th, Captain Htat Nay from KNU Brigade No. 6 told IMNA via phone. “Four Burmese soldiers were killed in this attack, but nobody from the KNU was injured,” said the KNU captain. “If the Burmese solders continue to launch their offensives, the KNU will continue to attack them.”

A local eyewitness who visited the scene after fighting subsided said she saw one dead soldier and two that were injured. “I saw one dead body and two injured. The fighting happened near our village entrance,” said Mi Chan Lan.

The Burmese army is currently launching an offensive in the Kyainnseikyi Township area, said another source in the KNU. KNU forces have also come under increased attack by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, which split from the KNU in 1994. The KNU is one of Burma’s largest armed insurgent groups, and has maintained armed to rule by Burma’s military government for decades.