Village headmen under pressure for road security

Thanbyu Zayat — Village headmen have been told that if fighting breaks out or robbery occurs on their watch along the Thanbyu Zayat-Ye motor road, they will be arrested and thrown in jail for 7 years.

Colonel Khin Maung Cho from the Burma Army Sakakha/Regional Command No. 19 based in Ye Township called a meeting at the Headquarters of Battalion No. 106 in Mawkanin on December 11 to issue the order that village headmen will be held responsible for road security and will be locked up for 7 years if they fail to do so.

A local witness reported that Colonel Khin Maung Cho also instructed the village headmen from Dein Phen, Kanin Kamaw, Aru Taung, Hnit Saok, Bel Lamu and Bay Lamine of Ye and Thanbyu Zayat townships that they have to file a report at least 3 times a week.

“The Burmese authorities have built guard huts to house their security personnel, police and soldiers, on the main road but villagers who live along the motor road are ordered to keep a look out for all types of vehicular traffic or suspicious activity during the day,” a Karen villager reported.
The vehicles are stopped by the soldiers at the guard huts where they ask for cigarettes or a small amount of money.

Local buses travelling along the 50 mile Thanbyu Zayat – Ye motor road have been attacked, robbed, and looted by local gangs.

“Myanmar to conduct first Russian language training for tourism”

YANGON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) — Myanmar will conduct Russian language training as part of its bid to help boost tourism industry, the local weekly Voice journal reported Sunday.

The three-month training starting later this month will be given by Russian lecturers, the report said.

The Russian language training for tourism is the first of its kind conducted in Myanmar after others’.

Meanwhile, tour operators in Myanmar have stressed the need to reinforce skilled tourist guides with mastering of different languages to meet the demand of tourists visiting the country. continue

Human Rights Abuse in Myanmar?

People attend a signing ceremony for a gas sales and purchase agreement with the Shwe Project by the China National United Oil Corporation (CNUOC), Myanmar, and a consortium led by South Korea’s Daewoo International in Yangon, Myanmar, Dec. 24. / Xinhua-Yonhap

By David Watermeyer

It is tragic, yet sadly unsurprising, that the Korean government has rejected a serious complaint filed against Daewoo International and Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) regarding their “complicity in human rights abuses” in Myanmar (Burma) in the course of building a pipeline through the country.

“Burma” is used here to show solidarity with those who denounce as nothing less than evil the actions of military junta who were responsible for naming the county Myanmar.

According to a news release put out by the Shwe Gas Movement (SGM), SGM global coordinator Wong Aung, a member of the Arakan ethnic group, through whose community the proposed pipeline will traverse, strongly criticized the Korean government’s decision on Tuesday.

An extraction from the report says, “The Korean government has decided to ignore the reality of major resource extraction projects in Myanmar and the specific devastating effects of the Shwe project on the people in the pipeline regions.
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Opposition: No hope for future of Myanmar

anuary 4, 2009 2:27 AM

YANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Myanmar’s pro-democracy party marked the 61st anniversary of the country’s independence from Great Britain on Sunday, saying it foresaw no hope for the military-ruled country.

At a ceremony inside the dilapidated headquarters of the opposition National League for Democracy, its chairman Aung Shwe also called for the release of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi and other party leaders.

Suu Kyi – who has been under house arrest for more than 13 of the past 19 years – put up a banner at the gate of her home quoting a speech her father, independence hero Gen. Aung San, had once given: ”Act decisively in the interest of the nation and the people.”

In a speech to about 250 party members and diplomats, Aung Shwe said that national unity is in disarray and that there is ”no harmony between the government and the governed.”

”Hope for the present and future of the country is totally lacking,” Aung Shwe said. continue