Migrant workers have been imprisoned by their employer for holding fake work permits.

Today, Burmese migrant workers from a bag factory in the Falansaung area, Bangkok, were sentenced to long term imprisonment for holding fake work permit cards.

13 women, aged between 15 to 18, and 2 men were each given a 4 and a half year sentence by the Sanhtorburi court near the Wat Sin monastery on Alkashine road in Bangkok.main1Daw Aye Khaing, the mother of one of the convicted migrants said “Yesterday, my daughter was sentenced with 4 and half years imprisonment. I don’t know how we can find the help to get her out of this situation. Nothing has happened to the employer who was the one who supplied the falsified work permits in the first place. We all paid the employer 6000 baht each for him to give us a real work permit but he lied to us and gave us all fake ones. He did not even try to find any solution for the migrant workers to be released by the police. Now my daughter has been jailed and the employer is free”.
read all http://www.ghre.org/en/

Dear Friends,Thanks for all of your love and help. We are sending you these photos from an area of displaced Karen people in Eastern Burma. In spite of the attacks and oppression the people here continue to rebuild their homes and lives, and now celebrate the Christmas season.

FBR REPORT: Good News Among the Displaced in Burma During the Christmas Season
Karen State, Burma
These photos show some of the multi-ethnic relief teams from different parts of Burma who have come together to be with displaced families in the conflict areas. Along with the Good Life Club program and medical treatment, we’ve also had a wedding, as one relief team member married a local lady who had been helping to support the Advanced Training. They are very happy, and so are we as we share these moments of love and celebration with them and the Karen people.

God bless you,

Free Burma Rangers
Karen State
karenni medic teches anatomy nutrition and hygene

“My brother was too young and ran the wrong way and they killed him.” Karen State, Burma

My brother was 14 years old when the Burma Army attacked our village in 1997. We all ran away but he was not near us and was too young to know how to react. He didn’t have experience, and he ran the wrong way, right into the Burma Army. They shot him dead. When I think about him, I am sad. But after these years, the pain is less. Still I want to defeat the Burma Army, but I cannot. And so when they come, I have to run away. But if I could, I would defeat them. They kill the Karen people just because they like to. My husband and I and our children ran to this hiding place this year after the Burma Army attacked in this area and built a new camp near our old village. We were afraid we would be killed so we’ve come to this place. When the Burma Army comes we have a food problem as we can not go to our fields or look for food easily. ”
Images From Karen State:
Now empty Kwe La and Ler wah valley
Burma Army camp near IDP,s
Burma Army camp 2 soldiers in huts
Grandmother goes to get water
more on http://www.freeburmarangers.org/

National Democratic Institute NDI Honors Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Women’s League of Burma: Focus on Struggle for Democracy in Burma

CONTACT: Kathy Gest, 202-728-5535, or
Amy Dudley, 202-728-5541

WASHINGTON, DC – The National Democratic Institute (NDI) honored two champions of democracy – Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Women’s League of Burma – at an awards luncheon Dec. 15 hosted by NDI Chairman Madeleine K. Albright. Archbishop Tutu received the 18th W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award. The 4th annual Madeleine K. Albright grant went to the Women’s League of Burma.

In her opening remarks, Secretary Albright addressed the skeptics of democracy, noting the “unforgivable historic error to sell democracy short…democracy can make both order and prosperity more likely,” she said. “At its best, it leads to the kind of stability that lasts, a stability built on laws and mutual commitments, not unilateral decrees and the stifling of dissent.”

Introducing Archbishop Tutu, Dr. Albright described his efforts as those of “a man who has been an advocate of democracy not simply as a political form, but as an expression of belief in the importance and value of every human being.” If I had no other arguments to make for democracy, she said, “I could still make an ironclad case simply by pointing to this man – and saying, ‘We have Desmond Tutu on our side.’” read all http://www.ndi.org/node/15143

USDA members receive training in Naypyidaw

…Each trainee was given a 100,000 kyat monthly stipend and new recruits were paid 50,000 kyat, he said.

The member also said that 500 pairs of Buddhist monks’ robes and 500 bamboo sticks have been put aside in Taungoo district USDA office.
District chief organiser Maung Maung Ta reportedly instructed members to assemble 1000 more pairs of robes and sticks in order to suppress any monk-led uprisings similar to the September 2007 demonstrations. Burma analyst Aung Thu Nyein said the training could be part of the regime’s preparations for the 2010 elections.

The USDA head office in Rangoon refused to comment on the allegations. http://english.dvb.no/

A group of young people in Rangoon is planning a two-week campaign encouraging people to wear or display jasmine flowers to show support for political prisoners and opposition to the military regime.

According to one of the campaign leaders, who did not wish to be identified, jasmine was chosen as the symbol for the campaign because the Burmese word for jasmine can also mean the removal of the reigning powers. http://english.dvb.no/news.php?id=2033

Leading Mon monk passes away; funeral in Pegu Dec 27-28

The funeral for the Mon monk Bhaddanta Kosalla, Dean of the Faulty of Pariyatti at the International Theravãda Buddhist Missionary University (ITBMU) will be held from December 27-28 at Suahkhakarroi Monastery in Pegu town, Pegu Division.

Bhaddanta Kosalla passed away on November 27th of unknown diseases while sitting in a car waiting for a train to Rangoon in Moulmein Township, Mon State. He was 68 years old.

Bhaddanta Kosalla was in Kyaikmaraw township attending a meeting with Burma’s largest union of Mon monks, known as Rhemonnya Ni Kar Ya.” According to the driver of car, his supporters immediately brought his dead body to his temple for the viewing and the giving of respects.

“Currently his followers, Mon monk organizations, his students that are now studying abroad, his current ITBMU students and the Ministry of Religious Affairs are preparing for his funeral,” a follower of Bhaddanta Kosalla told IMNA via phone.
His student and followers feel that they have lost a “star” of the Mon people, said ITBMU students who do not want to be identified for security reasons, who lamented the loss of someone they say excelled at teaching and literature.

“Due to expertise in literature and religion, the government brought him to ITBMU. He was excellent at teaching and we could easily understand his lessons. Even if we have a new teacher in his position, we will face difficulties because no one is as knowledgeable about literature,” the ITBMU student monk added.
continue http://www.monnews-imna.com/newsupdate.php?ID=1271

Black market businesspeople forced to buy tickets for Nargis benefit concert

Fri 19 Dec 2008, IMNA
Police in at least six townships in Mon State are forcing black market businesspeople to buy tickets for concerts held to raise money to aid Cyclone Nargis victims, say local sources.

People involved in illegal, but common, business activities are being forced to buy the tickets, which cost 5,000 kyat each. Targeted businesspeople included sellers of lottery tickets, owners of Thai cordless phones and unlicensed machine operators “I have to buy three tickets although I have no wish to attend the concert. But I am afraid the police will arrest if I do not purchase a ticket because of my business,” said that a cordless phone owner from Naing Hlone village, Mudon Township.continue http://www.monnews-imna.com/newsupdate.php?ID=1270