Armed forces becoming more corrupt and inefficient: Regional Commander

by Zarni
Thursday, 29 January 2009 22:52

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – In the minutes of a leaked secret meeting, a leading military commander admitted that the Burmese armed forces are becoming more indisciplined and corrupt besides being inefficient.

The officers are mishandling their subordinates, getting drunk, giving into hooliganism, issuing underrated rations to soldiers, becoming corrupt and giving work which is unbearably fatiguing to their subordinates, Commander of the Northern Military Command Maj. Gen. Soe Win said during a recent meeting attended by senior army officials.

In the document, a copy of which is in Mizzima’s possession, Soe Win said the number of deserters and casualties in action are increasing, which makes recruitment more difficult in the armed forces.

Soe Win also said that the recruitment of new soldiers to make up for the depleting numbers in the army is the responsibility of all commanders. They are to replenish the decreasing numbers in the forces.

Moreover, he revealed the aim of junta is to establish an army which can compete with and challenge foreign armed forces.

“The fine tradition of our armed forces is becoming degraded gradually and so is the quality. We need to build our army to an international standard as a modern army which can fight against international armed forces,” Soe Win said.

A Sino-Burma border based Burmese military analyst Aung Kyaw Zaw said that the junta in all likelihood wants to increase the strength of its army to 500,000 personnel from the current 400,000 so there is rampant recruitment of new soldiers.

Since 2006, the regime had planned to recruit a soldier from every village from over 60,000 villages in the country, he said.

“They thought they could recruit at least 60,000 soldiers a year if they could get one from each village. They are recruiting under this plan. Then there are many irregularities in recruiting soldiers by lower ranking officials without taking into consideration the quality of the newly recruited soldier,” the military analyst Aung Kyaw Zaw, who has watched the Burmese Army for many years said.

Junta speaks of possible split in NLD

by Salai Pi Pi
Thursday, 29 January 2009 22:37

New Delhi (Mizzima) – In a major development the minutes of a leaked secret meeting of Burma’s Army Commanders said the leadership of the main opposition party – the National League for Democracy – is likely to split and that a faction is likely to emerge to contest the ensuing 2010 general elections.

The Commander of the Northern Military Command Maj-Gen Soe Win, during a recent meeting, told his fellow army commanders and officers that a faction is likely to emerge from a rift in the NLD to form another political party under a different name to contest the election.

According to the document, a copy of which is in Mizzima’s possession, Soe Win made the comment while speaking positively of the junta’s plan to go ahead with its roadmap to democracy.

But Nyan Win, spokesperson of the NLD dismissed the possibility of the NLD splitting saying, the junta is voicing its hidden wish.

“They [the junta] wishes that NLD would split,” said Nyan Win, refuting any possibility of a break.

Nyan Win further said, the NLD has not even taken up 2010 election as an agenda in their meetings and does not consider it necessary as yet.

“We do not see the necessity of discussing the election,” he added.

However, earlier on January 2, party members from Magwe Division branch in a letter urged the NLD central committee in Rangoon to call a meeting.

Khin Saw Htay, vice-chairman of the Magwe NLD branch said they sent a letter urging the central party executives to call a nation-wide meeting to discuss the stance of the NLD for the forthcoming elections.

“The letter urged the central party to call a meeting of party members from the whole country and to discuss how to face the period in 2010,” Khin Saw Htay told Mizzima.

She said party members want to have a clear understanding of the NLD’s stand on the election.

With party leader Tin Oo and Aung San Suu Kyi imprisoned, Khin Saw Htay said, the NLD has a record of suddenly changing its political stand in the past.

“In the past, the party said it will not take part in the 1990 election but it did. Again they said they won’t attend the national convention but it did,” she said.

However, Khin Saw Htay said the request for a nation-wide meeting does not mean a break up, rather the members want to stick to a single policy.

NLD, led by detained Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, posted a landslide victory in Burma’s last general election in 1990. But the ruling junta refused to hand over power and detained several of its leaders

HIV/AIDS patients driven out from Rangoon

by Ko Wild
Thursday, 29 January 2009 21:16

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – HIV/AIDS patients being treated in Rangoon have alleged that the Health Department has restricted their stay in the former capital Rangoon.

The patients, who have completed their treatment in Rangoon Division North Okkalapa Township Wabargi Hospital, are being pressurised by the department to go back to their hometowns.

“Some have been given discharge certificates from the hospital but they could not go back to their hometowns as they are still being administered injections as outpatients. Some are waiting for ARV drugs. It is available only in Rangoon. But they don’t accept this, driving us out from Rangoon even though we stay in rented rooms at our own expense. They are doing this on instructions from higher authorities,” a patient, who wished not to be named for fear of reprisal by the authorities, told Mizzima.

Patients from rural areas do not want to go back to their hometowns as there are difficulties in procuring ARV and TB drugs, the patients said.

These HIV/AIDS patients were first forcibly transferred to this hospital and then they are being driven back home.

The patients are believed to be targeted by the junta as they are receiving the support and assistance from the ‘National League for Democracy’ (NLD) party with its headquarters in Rangoon.

The Health Department officials accompanied by police of the Special Branch came to North Okkalapa Ahthawka Rama Shwehintha Yele monastery on January 19 where the HIV patients were staying while being treated. And then they were forced to go to the Waybargi hospital opposite the monastery. These patients had stayed in this monastery for about two years.

A total of 24 patients were forcibly transferred to Waybargi hospital of which 11 were men, seven women and 11 children.

The volunteer for HIV/AIDS education, counseling, arranging accommodation and assisting them to get treatment is NLD party member and prominent HIV/AIDS activist Phyu Phyu Thin. She was arrested by the authorities in May 2007 but the patients staged protest demonstrations for her release.

Medicines Sans Frontier (MSF) released a report recently which said that 25,000 HIV/AIDS patients died in 2007 alone due to the negligence of the Burmese junta and the international community. About 75,000 patients badly need ARV drugs, the report added.

Junta commander: 2010 elections could be postponed (Disruptive activities by dissidents both inside and outside the country)

Shan Herald
Junta commander: 2010 elections could be postponed
by admin — last modified 2009-01-29 14:59
A junta commander in southern Shan State said the planned 2010 elections could be postponed due to several reasons, while meeting with people from several civil services early in the month, according to reliable sources.

By Hseng Khio Fah
29 January 2009

On 2 January, Kunhing Area Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Tin Maung Shwe held a civil service meeting with people from immigration, police department, educational department, health department and traffic police.

“Elections could be delayed due to four reasons,” an official who wishes to remain anonymous quoted the commander as saying.

Disruptive activities by dissidents both inside and outside the country
Tension with Bangladesh over gas exploration
Incomplete census
Problems in the drug eradication program
“The generals want the new American administration to remove Burma out of its decertification list,” commented one source.

Burma has since 1988 been in the US blacklist.

Police seize heroin from Rangoon port khitpyaing news

ေအရွားေဝါလ္ဆိပ္ကမ္းတြင္ ဘိန္းျဖဴ (၃၈) ကီလုိ ဖမ္းမိ
NEJ/ ၂၉ ဇန္န၀ါရီ ၂၀၀၉

ဘိန္းဘုရင္ေဟာင္း ေလာ္စစ္ဟန္၏သား ဦးထြန္းျမင့္ႏိုင္ပိုင္ ေအးရွားေဝါလ္ ဆိပ္ကမ္းမွ ထြက္ခြာၿပီးျဖစ္သည့္ ႏိုင္ငံျခား ကုန္ေသတၱာတင္ သေဘၤာတစ္စီးေပၚ၌ ဘိန္းျဖဴ (၃၈) ကီလို ဖမ္းဆီးရမိေၾကာင္း ရန္ကုန္တိုင္း မူးယစ္အထူးတပ္ဖဲြ႕မွ အမည္မေဖာ္လိုသူ အရာရွိတဦးက ေျပာသည္။

၎က “ၿပီးခဲ့တဲ့ တနဂၤေႏြေန႔က ဖမ္းတာ၊ သေဘၤာက ကမ္းကေန ထြက္ၿပီ။ ျပန္ကပ္ခိုင္းၿပီး ဖမ္းလိုက္တာ။ နဂိုကေတာ့ ဒီလိုပဲ ဆိပ္ကမ္းရဲ၊ က်ေနာ္တို႔ မူးယစ္အထူးအဖဲြ႕က လူႀကီးေတြနဲ႔ အေပးအယူလုပ္ၿပီး ထြက္ေနၾကလို႔ ေျပာၾကတယ္။ က်ေနာ္တို႔ကေတာ့ အထက္က ဖမ္းဆို ဝင္ဖမ္းတာပဲ၊ အေသးစိတ္ေတာ့ မသိဘူး” ဟု ေျပာသည္။

ဖမ္းဆီးခံရသည့္ သေဘၤာမွာ KOTA TEGET ဟု အမည္ရသည့္ သေဘၤာျဖစ္ၿပီး ACL သေဘၤာလိုင္းမွျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း၊ ပါဝင္ပတ္သက္သည္ဟု ယူဆရသည့္ သေဘၤာသားအခ်ိဳ႕ႏွင့္ သေဘၤာတာဝန္ရွိသူမ်ားကို ဆိပ္ကမ္းရဲစခန္းတြင္ ယေန႔အထိ ဖမ္းဆီးထိန္းသိမ္းထားဆဲျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း သိရသည္။

Police seize heroin from Rangoon port

by Mizzima News
Thursday, 29 January 2009 21:04

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The police seized a packet of heroin from a container loaded on a ship at the Asia World Port Terminal in Rangoon on Saturday, according to an eyewitness.

A port duty staff said, two police personnel stopped a ship and seized a container, which had heroin and took it along with them.

“I don’t know how much heroin was seized but I saw the police officers taking it away. Nobody was allowed to go near it,” a staff member told Mizzima. “I think the ship was heading for Singapore,” he added.

The Ahlone police station told Mizzima that drug packets were hidden inside teak logs. The anti-drug squad was not available for comment.

However, according to a report by a Bangkok-based Burmese website Khitpyaing, the seized heroin weighs 38 kilograms and the ship ‘KOTA TEGET’ belongs to ACL shipping line.

The Asia World Port Terminal is owned by late notorious drug king pin Lo Hsing Han’s son, Tun Myint Naing alias Steven Law