Caritas director Mike Smith said it’s a particularly pleasing response, given the perception that aid was not getting through, or being diverted by the Myanmar government.

Caritas pleased with donor response to Burma (Myanmar) appeal

Source: Caritas
Date: 16 Jan 2009

New Zealanders have so far given about $130,000 to the Burma/Myanmar cyclone appeal run by Catholic aid agency Caritas, and donations continue to flow in.

Caritas director Mike Smith said it’s a particularly pleasing response, given the perception that aid was not getting through, or being diverted by the Myanmar government.

“A lot of callers have wanted to check whether their money will get through to help,” he said. “Fortunately we’ve been able to reassure them that our funds are being channelled through the international Caritas network to a relief response set up with the Catholic Church network in Burma/Myanmar.” continue

Eight Myanmar NGOs receive new grants from the Three Diseases Fund

Eight Myanmar NGOs receive new grants from the Three Diseases Fund

Source: United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Date: 16 Jan 2009

Friday, 16 January 2009 – In a signing ceremony held in Yangon on 16 January in the presence of representatives of the Ministry of Health (MoH), eight Myanmar non-governmental organizations working with communities to fight Tuberculosis, Malaria and HIV and AIDS received from the Three Diseases Fund (3DF) new grants of US$70,000 each for one year.

Nevertheless, more resources are needed to control the three diseases in Myanmar. The 3DF contributes to 50 per cent of anti-retroviral treatment (ART) in the country for some 5500 patients and to 37 per cent of the national response to HIV with US$14 million over a budget of US$38 million.

Malaria control is even more challenging: with US$5.1 million covering 75 per cent of the national response, the 3DF helps reducing the burden of the disease for 5 per cent of the population living in endemic Malaria areas 39 million people).

For TB the 3DF provides 46 per cent of the resources. By funding the transportation of TB drugs nationwide, it helps giving broad access to treatment.

The Union of Myanmar has now put forward a new application to the Global Fund (Round 9).

3DF key achievements 2008 (update status: 30 June)

– people received voluntary counselling and testing 96,020

– drug users participating in prevention activities 28,852

– patients on anti-retroviral treatment 5,530 (of which 270 children)

– population at risk of malaria protected with bednets 836,644

– malaria cases treated 117,008

– new sputum smear positive TB cases detected 20,162
btw,what,s about the Junta and their Cronies money?

Thailand plans investigation into immigrant deaths

Earthtimes- Bangkok – Thailand’s government is investigating reports that a boatload of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar were set adrift in an overcrowded boat by border officials in December, allegedly resulting in many deaths, the foreign ministry said Friday. Thailand remains committed to “humanitarian principles,” even in the face of the “increasing urgency” and the “increasing size” of human trafficking in the region, the statement added.
Human rights groups have condemned Thai officials for allegedly forcing hundreds of immigrants into a boat with very little water or food last month, in an apparent backlash to large numbers of migrants seeking to land in Thailand.
Indian authorities reported finding 105 people on the boat near the Andaman Islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean last month. The boat occupants told the Indian authorities that more than 300 people had jumped into the sea to try to swim ashore after the boat had drifted for a fortnight. The vessel was no more than 25 metres long, with no protection from the sun, according to reports. continue,thailand-plans-investigation-into-immigrant-deaths.html

The New Year declaration of the National Council of Burma (NCUB) has convinced the international community that the saying of “Putting two Burmese together will produced three political parties.”

Why Another Insane Government?
Sat, 2009-01-17 02:50
By Prof. Kanbawza Win

The New Year declaration of the National Council of Burma (NCUB) has convinced the international community that the saying of “Putting two Burmese together will produced three political parties.” The majority of the international observers who has been scrutinizing the people of Burma in the peripherals and in Diaspora of how they would fare, once democracy is achieved, is now beyond doubt that the people of Burma get the government they deserve. The headquarters of this new government should be side by side with the Independence Shan Government, so that they can be back and call of each other to prove true to the Junta’s theory of Balkanization of Burma and that only the Burmese army can keep the country together. No doubt the Junta will be hilarious and will be clapping its hoofs.

There is no denying that the incumbent National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB) a pro democratic Burmese provisional government with its self destructive management is very busy doing nothing, staying in the niceties of the West and jetting around the world with the dole out of some donor, should make a graceful exist. But, the way that a new parallel provisional government is conceived is not only dubious but seems to be dictatorial and defeats the very purpose of Democracy which must be constructed on understanding and consensus. Perhaps, the secretary of NCUB admire the National Unity Party (NUP) that acquire 10 seats in the 1990 elections, who is also the brain child of another Maung Maung (except that he put the word Dr.) from inside Burma, following the demise of BSPP (Burmese Socialist Programme Party). That seems to be the logic of why he is waiting the approval of NUP (National Unity Parliament) to be convened in Dublin on the 19th instant. So if things come out as they plan we will soon see the struggle of the NUP (overseas) versus NUP (inside Burma) which will bewilder a casual observer. continue

Sanction List khitpyaingnews 16.01.2009

မိမိလူမ်ိဳးေကာင္းေအာင္ လုပ္ကုိင္ေနျခင္း ျဖစ္သည့္အတြက္ မက္္စ္ျမန္မာကုမၸဏီအား အေမရိကန္ ဘ႑ာေရး၀န္ႀကီးဌာနက စီးပြားေရးဒဏ္ခတ္သည့္ကိစၥအေပၚ ေ၀ဖန္မႈမလုပ္လုိေၾကာင္း မက္စ္ျမန္မာကုမၸဏီပုိင္ရွင္ ဦးေဇာ္ေဇာ္က ေခတ္ၿပိဳင္သို႔ ေျပာသည္။

Sanction List 2 month ago thanks to Ko Latt

U.S. Freezes Assets of 2 Burmese Businessmen Who Backed Military Junta

Next battle against Karen rebels soon

Next battle against Karen rebels soon 180px-karen_national_union_flag1
by Daniel Pedersen
Friday, 16 January 2009 17:04

Maesot (Mizzima) – The Karen National Liberation Army’s Special Battalion 103 is being reinforced with troops of the KNLA’s Sixth Brigade’s 201st Battalion south of Thailand’s border town of Mae Sot.

The Special Battalion 103 in the past week has lost its base camp and for the past seven days has been moving constantly, deflecting their enemies – Burmese Army soldiers – with terrestrial mines and directional Claymore mines.

The vicious battle for the region surrounding Thailand’s Phop Phra district has see-sawed back and forth across Thailand’s northern border with Burma since June 30 last year.

Last week government troops overran – then destroyed – 103’s base camp, a significant settlement equipped with solar power, fish holding tanks, a huge granary and a medical clinic that serviced 800 people living in two nearby villages.

The KNLA has lost and won back the base repeatedly since last year. Now there is nothing to win back.

The Karen National Union is the one of some significant groups yet to sign a ceasefire deal with the junta and the KNLA is its armed wing.

Colonel Nerdah Mya, a commander said his base camp was lost and his men were redeploying further north to defend 201st’s Wah Lay Kee base camp.

That camp has stood since 1998 and was briefly overrun in early July last year, but won back after three days of heavy fighting.

In the last week’s fighting SPDC troops suffered significant casualties from landmines and the corridors of Thailand’s Mae Sot General Hospital were for a few days crammed with injured Burmese soldiers perched on stainless steel trolleys.

The battle is on over a region opposite Thailand’s Umphang region, a tourist spot for its spectacular mountain scenery.

On Thursday, SPDC troops were positioning themselves around Wah Lay Kee camp for an all-out offensive and followed lobbing a few shells at the military encampment, but missed.

They have managed to occupy some high ground around the camp and are lugging 81mm mortars with them.

The KNLA has a Browning 0.5 inch machine gun, a formidable weapon usually mounted on top of armoured vehicles.

The KNLA desperately wants to hold the camp not only because it represents its last significant regional outpost, equipped with training halls and a medical clinic, but also because a military cemetery is maintained there.

The rebel claims that SPDC wants “full economic control”, to wrest control of the region for its significant deposits of gold, tin, zinc and wolfram (from which antimony is refined).

Taiwanese and Thai mining companies are waiting in the wings, ready to strike a deal with whichever side can guarantee security for their capital investment.

For the KNLA, whose footprint in the region has always been somewhat precarious, this latest outbreak of fighting represents the most sustained series of attacks around Phop Phra for years.

Aid workers report that even Thai farmers have given up trying to harvest the hundreds of hectares of corn standing in field on both sides of the border and are heading for Karen refugee camps. At least there they will probably get a meal.

The Thai Army has reinforced troops on the border in the region and is keeping a close eye on comings and goings.

This weekend will be a critical time for the KNLA’s future in the area.

Heavy fighting now looks inescapable barring a withdrawal, and that would mean the assured destruction of Wah Lay Kee.

On Monday before dawn a British photographer was escorted along jungle trails hidden underneath a blanket to safety in Thailand.

On Wednesday a foreign volunteer was asked to cut short a training programme and depart before hostilities broke out.

The trolleys look set to be wheeled into the corridors of Mae Sot General Hospital again this weekend.

At 4.40 pm on Friday afternoon three battalions of DKBA troops and a battalion of SPDC soldiers, between 300 and 400 men, had Wah Lay Kee camp surrounded.

There were 100 KNLA soldiers preparing to dig in to defend their base camp from a bloody onslaught. Great loss of life and limb is inevitable this Friday night.

May Force be with you

The Burmese army has killed two teenagers and the former headman of Amae village after residents defied military orders and returned to the village, from which they had been forced to leave in November. HURFORM

Three villagers killed after they defy a forced relocation order in Tenasserim Division
January 16, 2009
HURFOM: The Burmese army has killed two teenagers and the former headman of Amae village after residents defied military orders and returned to the village, from which they had been forced to leave in November.
On November 11th, 60 households were forced to leave Amae village, Tenasserim Division, by soldiers from Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 107. Residents were told to leave immediately, and had to leave behind the majority of their belongings and the building materials in their homes, as well as their farms and plantations.
After IB No. 107 left the area some of the former residents returned to the village to retrieve their belongings, work on their plantations and even sleep in their old homes. In the first week of January, a few days after a group of villagers and the headman had returned to Amae, about thirty soldiers from IB No. 107 lead by Captain Khin Moung Nyein returned to the village.
The soldiers arrested the headman and beat his head and body with their fists and the butts of their rifles, said an eyewitness. They then took him to their battalion headquarters in Tavoy. A week later, his family began holding traditional funeral services, indicating that he had been killed. A HURFOM source that spoke with the family also confirmed that the battalion had admitted its fault, or at least that it had paid the headman’s family 30,000 kyat ($24 USD) to compensate for his death.
According to a man working on his betel nut plantation near Amae, a few days before the headman’s arrest, soldiers killed two young men on their way to retrieve belongings from Amae. “The two young men were walking to Amea village, on the way I could hear them singing a Mon song. After a while, I heard the sound of guns firing four or five times, around noon.” The source, who lives in a village less than 2 kilometers from where the boys were staying, said that the next day he heard that a seventeen year old and a fifteen year old boy had been shot by sentries near Amae.
Former residents of Amae described their difficulties as they struggle to either brave the threat of soldiers and retrieve their belongings, or start new lives entirely from scratch. “I have nothing from my home. I had to leave everything,” said a former resident. “Now I face a very difficult situation. I have no job, and [buying all new] things is expensive. I also have no place to live. I and my family have no idea how to continue our lives in the future.”