Thai firm wants road through rebel territory

by admin — last modified 2008-12-27 10:16
Saraburi Coal Mining, a Thai firm that has recently been granted a concession by Naypyitaw to extract coal from Mongkok, 70km north of Chiangrai border, is applying for permission to build a road through the area operated by the anti-Naypyitaw Shan State Army (SSA) South, according to a highly-placed security source.

Thai-Burma Relations
27 December 2008

“Our initial response is that the road is not necessary as there is already one through Tachilek,” said the officer who requested anonymity. “There are also other issues involved including drug trafficking and deforestation.”

The SSA South’s Lt-Col Gawnzeun, Commander of the Kengtung Front based at Loi Gawwan, some 10 miles east of the proposed border pass, expressed surprise at the news but said, “I don’t suppose they (the Thai company) will go ahead with the road construction without informing us in advance.”

The proposed road, on completion, would be able to transport 5,000 tons of coal per day, according to the security source.

The Burma Army, since 1996, has made several unsuccessful attempts to dislodge the SSA from its mountain base, the last time in 2005.

UN-Plan offers aid to free Burma’s prisoners

According to senior UN officials, special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has proposed that nations offer Burma financial incentives to free the prisoners and to open the country to democratic change. In the months ahead, the UN leadership will press the Barack Obama’s administration to relax US policy on Burma to open the door to a return of international financial institutions, including the World Bank.

The bank left in 1987 because Burma, also known as Myanmar, did not implement economic and political reforms.

“It cannot be business as usual. We need new thinking on how to engage with Myanmar in a way that will bring tangible results,” Mr Gambari said, adding that the UN could not rely simply on “the power of persuasion with too little in the (diplomatic) toolbox”. read all

U.N. Mulls Reengaging Burma With More Aid

UNITED NATIONS — International sanctions and Laura Bush’s personal intervention did not make Burma’s generals ease their political oppression. Neither did quiet diplomacy, nor the devastation of a cyclone.
So the United Nations is attempting a new approach: It is trying to entice the generals with fresh promises of development money.

According to senior U.N. officials, special envoy Ibrahim Gambari has proposed that nations offer Burma financial incentives to free more than 2,000 political prisoners, including Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, and to open the country to democratic change. read all

“MOM forces Burmese to leave Singapore due to pro-democracy views”

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) notified Burmese Overseas Patriots (OBP) after their immigration passes expired to leave the island without giving them reasons. The OBP members revealed their concerns of Burma’s overall political crisis and reconciliation, obviously the distress expressed by Burmese in Singapore is basis of anxiety to the PAP who are protecting their Asean “wicked family member” being the Than Shwe regime.

Since July 2008 Burmese Overseas Patriots had been departing Singapore in batches. Many studied in Singapore and chose to build their lives in the island which they consider their second home. They made a choice to live in harmony within a multi-racial society evidently Singapore was a misstop as the Burmese emotional side does not match the PAP’s extravagant vision.

During the Burmese referendum at St Martin’s Drive in April 2008, thousands of Burmese arrived to their embassy where officials repeatedly refused to accept Burmese voters due to a “shortage of ballots paper”. Only Burmese with invitations to vote were admitted. The ones refused admittance “were not invited to cast their vote”, in majority they were not granted an invitation although they had their right to vote as abiding tax payers to the Than Shwe government. There are about 80,000 adult Burmese and about 3,000 junta’s supporters were the only ones permitted to vote.

On referendum day Mr Moe was one of the few Burmese interviewed by; Channel News Asia, Today Newspaper and The Straits Times newspaper on that particular day Mr Moe highlighted the process of the May’08 referendum was neither free nor fair, he was the proof of that, he was not allowed to vote.

The referendum was skillfully and conveniently organized by the Myanmar Embassy and Burmese innocently anxious for a change to their home government attended the event which turned into a deal to deport Burmese activists giving the PAP’s government the opportunity to ingeniously take action and have played the Burmese junta’s game callously and successfully.

Singaporean Compassion
Several months ago Burmese from Singapore moved to several countries in fear of facing discriminatory laws and inhumane punishment if they return to Burma. They want to live a life in freedom, where they can be themselves, where their thinking is not a threat to the government but an asset to development. They are seeking for a better life now.

Mr Moe Kyaw Thu has earned his living in Singapore for over a decade, he has been working with Sembawang Engineers and Constructors Pte Ltd as a supervisor at the MRT Circle Line Stage 5 which is one of the National projects in Singapore. He will leave the island next January 2009 due to his honest anxieties about his country home, his Singapore working permit was rejected after few appeals.

Mr Moe appealed to MOM on his own way, he stated in his appeal that he has no police record of any kind and he has fully respected the laws of Singapore whist he has been working in Singapore. Mr Moe sent his appeal to MOM’s Mdm Chow Choon Yen Assistant Director from Work Pass Division. It was roughly rejected without providing any reason and ecoing the same statement on each rejection, “We have reviewed your appeal but regret that it is not successful. Our decision to reject your appeal still stands.” Chow replied.

The same scenario is presented for Mr Win Kyaw a 38yso technical supervisor facing the same charge from MOM. Despite their employers wanting to retain them as they are multi-skilled employees for the companies’ benefits, the work-permits repeatedly were denied.

Singapore PAP discriminatory generalize a particular community with the following statement from the Singapore Ministry of Home Affair (MHA) “The right of foreign national to work or stay in Singapore is not a matter of entitlement by political demand. Foreigners who work or live here are expected to at least respect the law and local sensitivities in Singapore.” Today – Friday August 8, 2008.

In spite of the MHA’s statement, Burmese nationals are being told to leave Singapore without any specific reasons treating the whole group’s behavior as unique for each individual. They are not only told to leave they get escorted to the nearest border to make sure the person leaves the island.

Burmese Justice
For the only reason of supporting the Orchard Road “Listen to Burma’s Desire” walk, for attending the referendum without invitation and Burmese citizens daring to speak their unhappiness to the press the Than Shwe’s law must be complied as per their crystal ball.

The unlawful Than Shwe’s Constitution Referendum Law announced February 27 establishes a three-year imprison for disrupting the referendum and Article 5 (j) of the State Emergency Protection Act and Article 124 (a) of the State Offence Act, which are often used by the authorities to charge long years imprison on political dissidents.

That is 3 years under the “dictated Law” but as the fragile junta’s strength follows the crystal ball the law is and has been altered to 65 years jail term.

Singaporean Human Rights Duplicity
Siding with the military regime inhumane and undemocratic rulings, the PAP’s government is absolutely in contrast with the Asean Charter’s principles which states under “Asean Human Rights Body”; In conformity with the purposes and principles of the ASEAN Charter relating to the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedom, ASEAN shall establish an ASEAN human rights body.

PAP should adopt the approved inspiration of the Asean Charter realistically on Burmese issues such as adherence to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, respect for and protection of human rights and fundamental freedom.

Than Shwe, Voodoo and the Number 11

irrawaddy/ Whenever I speak to diplomats or foreign friends who want to learn more about Burma, I encourage them to draw parallels between the political decisions in the country and astrology, or moreover, yadaya, the Burmese form of voodoo.

It is an open secret that Burma’s military leaders believe deeply in various superstitions—astrology, occultism, numerology, black magic, yadaya.

Throughout our recent history, auspicious dates, times, units of currency and countless other properties have been reset according to the advice of the junta leaders’ astrologers.
During the era of Gen Ne Win, the number 9 became the satanic mark of the regime. Even the national currency was altered to denominations of nine, with 45-kyat and 90-kyat notes suddenly, and without warning, circulated in place of the existing currency. read all

Stand up and be counted on Burma

‘We shall have no [personal] business deals with the [Burmese] junta; we shall observe human rights and environmental concerns’

Published: 28/12/2008 at 12:00 AM
The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution calling on the Burmese military leadership to free all political prisoners, including detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. The UN’s chief deliberative, policy-making and representative organ then went on to criticise the human rights record of the regime, singling out incidents of torture and sexual abuse and the crackdown on peaceful protesters in September 2007. The resolution also decries the failure of the regime to include other political parties, in particular the National League for Democracy of Suu Kyi, and representatives of ethnic political groups in the planned general election.
The measure was approved by a margin of 80 votes to 25, with 45 abstentions, one of which was registered by Thailand. The abstention, which comes in the first days of the Abhisit government which many had hoped would play a leading role in the areas of human rights and democracy in the region, was a perfect example of the fence-straddling on Burma by successive governments such as those led by the Thai Rak Thai and People Power parties, and including the interim government installed by the September 2006 coup leaders. read all