Stop to killing of Rohingyas, activists demand

News – Kaladan Press
TUESDAY, 31 MARCH 2009 13:41

Chittagong, Bangladesh: Activists of the Neeti Gobeshona Kendra on Monday (March 30) demanded ceasing the oppression and killing of Rohingya people by the Burmese Government, as well as a permanent solution to the boat-people crisis, according to our correspondent.

The activists formed a human chain in front of the Chittagong Press Club, ahead of the Asian Summit and declared that the Rohingya crisis was not only a problem between Burma and Bangladesh, but it now had international ramifications. Frequent killings and oppression of the Rohingya people by the Burmese government, over the last few decades, had compelled them to flee to neighboring countries.

Recently, the Rohingya were trying to move to the countries of South and Southeast Asia, as the military government of Burma, had increased its degree of repression on them, the activists said.

The Burmese government has been trying to define the crisis as having arisen from human trafficking, but in reality its aim was to exterminate the minority Rohingya group in Burma, they added.

Mahbubul Haq, Director of the organization, Najimuddin Shyamol, General Secretary of the Chittagong Reporters Union and Rohingya leader Ayub (alias) Tin Maungng were present during the demonstration.

Over 100 people participated in the demonstration holding banners. It began at 12 noon and ended at about 12:30 pm.

Prime Minister Thein Sein on Tuesday urged businessmen to display unity with the country’s military government ahead of elections planned for next year.

Unity ahead of elections’
The country’s ruling junta has announced the polls under its so-called ‘roadmap to democracy’ but critics have denounced the vote as a sham designed to entrench the generals’ rule.

Mr Thein Sein told an annual meeting of the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the capital Naypyidaw that businessmen should help the government.

‘As the government is implementing the tasks step by step within the timeframe towards a new democratic nation which people expect, the main step of the country’s future elections will be held,’ Mr Thein Sein said.

‘I believe that we can implement this road map to form the Union of Republic of Myanmar by uniting together with national businessmen,’ he said.

Myanmar has been ruled by the military since 1962 and is under tough sanctions by the US and European countries because of its human rights records and continued detention of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The military regime plans to hold the elections under a new constitution that was approved in May last year, days after Cyclone Nargis devastated southern regions of the country and left 138,000 people dead or missing.

‘We need future plans to… overcome all political disturbances to the nation as well as challenges especially in this global economic crisis,’ Mr Thein Sein said.

The chairman of the business group, Win Myint, said they would follow the premier’s call. ‘We businessmen will act unitedly as per the prime minister’s instructions,’ he told AFP.

‘We have made no preparations recently for coming 2010 elections but our organization will help (the government) in a private capacity. We welcome the coming elections,’ he said. — AFP

Burma Democratic Concern had distributed this statement inside Burma

Burma Democratic Concern (BDC): People Power
If Burmese junta is willing to negotiate with the opposition leader, they must come to discussion table and must release all political prisoners. This is the first step forward and they must prove it by doing so. Junta is using prisoners’ release as the bargain chip. They always did in the past and will do in the future. Junta wanted to ease-off pressure by releasing a few political prisoners. We do not accept any delaying tactics or small scale concession or using tricks. Student and ethnic leaders also called for the genuine dialogue and to recognise 1990 election result. Aung San Suu Kyi said she is willing to co-operate with the regime to make the process a success. Aung San Suu Kyi has been calling for genuine time-bound dialogue but regime fails to cooperate and declared that they are planning to hold another election in 2010 in which they are set to win. On February 2, 2009 Aung San Suu Kyi demanded 4 main principles to military junta-
• To recognise 1990 election result
• To convene people’s parliament based on 1990 election result
• To review 2008 constitution
• To release all political prisoners
We call for all Burmese citizens to join with Aung San Suu Kyi and demand junta above 4 main principles. “If this country is to achieve genuine democracy, the result of the elections of 1990 must be recognized. It must be recognized by the military regime, as it has been recognized by the people, and by the world at large. It is through this recognition that we will be able to make genuine progress in Burma. The results of the 1990 General Elections must be implemented is a resolution already taken by the United Nations. We already know that the General Assembly of the United Nations has accepted the notion that the will of the people has been expressed in the 1990 General Elections. This is something we cannot abandon. It will be to the detriment of our country if after an election has been held the results are not honoured and we do not resist attempts to trivialise it”, Aung San Suu Kyi insists.
We want government of the people, by the people and for the people. Let’s work together to gain our freedom through mass movements, civil disobedient and mass uprisings.

Russian firm after Uranium not gold in Kachin State

Uranium is being explored on the pretext of searching for gold and associated minerals by a Russian company, which arrived in Burma’s northern Kachin State, last year, said local sources.

Russian mineral experts working for the company Victorious Glory International Private Ltd. based in Hpakant (Phakant) jade mining areas are exploring mainly Uranium, according to ethnic Kachin residents of Hpakant jade mining city.

Uru River in Hpakant jade mining areas in Kachin State, northern Burma.

Local eyewitnesses told KNG recently, they have seen strange-faced Russian people in Hpakant jade mining city since last year.

The Russian company is stationed in areas around Tarmakhan and Hongpa mountains where Uranium was explored during Burma’s first elected Prime Minister U Nu’s tenure from1948 to 1962, said a Kachin geologist in Hpakant.

On February 15, last year, Burmese ruling junta’s Director-General U Win Ti of the Geological Survey and Mineral Exploration Department and Chairman Krivoshey Pavel of Victorious Glory International Private Ltd signed an agreement in the new jungle capital Naypyitaw for the exploration of such minerals along Uru River or Uru Hka between Hpakant in Kachin State and Homalin in Sagaing Division, according to the state-run “New Light of Myanmar”.

The Russian geologists arrived in Hpakant one year before the agreement and a Russian geologist died of Malaria in Hpakant public hospital in early 2007, said sources in the hospital.

Jade miners in Hpakant said Chinese jade companies have been permitted to mine jade along Uru River for a long time. Here precious water-jade is produced.

The fact that the Russian company agreed to explore for gold and associated minerals in Uru River with the junta is a load of nonsense because all the companies in Hpakant jade mining areas are only mining jade, according to local jade miners.

At the moment, no one except workers of the Russian company is allowed to visit the Russian base in the mountains and disturb Russian mineral explorers by Burmese army soldiers who stand guard, residents of Hpakant said.
KNG News

Karen Human Right Report-31.march-SPDC and DKBA road construction, forced labour and looting in Papun District

Late last year, during SPDC reconstruction work on two main roads leading from Papun town to SPDC camps in the Kyauk Nya and Dagwin areas of Bu Tho Township, KNU/KNLA forces took the opportunity to launch secret guerrilla attacks against the SPDC site. Believing that local Karen villagers had cooperated with KNLA forces, the SPDC began to force villagers and convict porters to work on the roads and also killed and looted villagers’ animals and property when it patrolled villages in the area. DKBA forces have also recently demanded forced labour and forced recruitment from Papun villagers during this time. The incidents detailed in this report occurred between December 2008 and February 2009

In Papun District – especially Bu Tho and Dwe Loe Townships – the majority of villagers are living under the exploitative rule of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), the military junta that rules Burma. As an annual project beginning in the dry season, the SPDC repairs roads that have been washed out during the preceding rainy season. After the rainy season in late 2008, the SPDC began to upgrade two main roads connecting Papun town to the Salween River. When the soldiers began road construction, they used bulldozers for their work. However, the Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army (KNU/KNLA) soldiers’ constant guerrilla attacks and planting of landmines near the roads led to the destruction of many of these bulldozers. In reaction to the attacks, the SPDC decided to forcibly use local villagers and convict porters to rebuild damaged sections of the road and also required them to clear landmines that remained on the roadside. During this time, SPDC soldiers were also actively patrolling the area and entered villages and killed and looted animals belonging to local villagers.[1] These roads are being built in order to establish a more direct supply line to SPDC troops operating near the Salween River. Given the recent attacks by the KNLA, construction has slowed and SPDC forces near the river are unable to receive food and supplies. However, according to KHRG researchers, these troops were able to communicate with Thai authorities and were given food and supplies by the Thais. In addition, the Thais reportedly told KNU/KNLA forces to stop their attacks on the SPDC’s construction projects.
2009-f5-1mid Continue reading “Karen Human Right Report-31.march-SPDC and DKBA road construction, forced labour and looting in Papun District”

Kasit vs Thaksin-He was also willing to fly to meet Thaksin to take away his Thai passport, as Thaksin had claimed he would be willing to give it up if Ta hai official came to get it.

Kasit counters Thaksin’s claims
Published: 31/03/2009 at 05:13 PM
Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya on Tuesday denied Thaksin Shinawatra’s claim he had asked for money and for the job of adviser to the finance minister when the fugitive deposed premier was in power.

At the time, Somkid Jatusripitak was finance minister, and Mr Somkid had approached him with the offer of a job as his adviser, Mr Kasit told a press conference.

He also said that he had never asked thaksin for money , The former prime minister had been the one handing out money, which he used to assist officials at Thai embassies abroad and expatriate Thais.

Mr Kasit said he had informed Thaksin how he spent the money.

If Thaksin would like to take back the money he used in helping Thais in Germany, he was willing to repay it. It was only a few hundred thousand baht, he added.

The foreign minister, who has close ties with the People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD), then challenged Thaksin to a debate through the international media, possibly on the BBC. He said Thakskin excels only at speaking alone through a microphone.

He was also willing to fly to meet Thaksin to take away his Thai passport, as Thaksin had claimed he would be willing to give it up if Ta hai official came to get it.

The headmen were told to sell the 3000 Kyat tickets to villagers with the implication that the TDPC would return for the money after a short time whether the headmen sold them or not.

Mudon Township TDPC force sale of football match tickets
Tue 31 Mar 2009, IMNA
Headmen from villages in Mudon Township have been under pressure from the Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) to sell tickets for an April 8th football match organized by the authorities to be held in Mudon Town.

The headmen were told to sell the 3000 Kyat tickets to villagers with the implication that the TDPC would return for the money after a short time whether the headmen sold them or not.

A resident of one of the villages, Hnee-padaw, said that their headman was selling the tickets just to provide cash for the TDPC. He also explained how the tickets are allocated according to the number of households in each village. Continue reading “The headmen were told to sell the 3000 Kyat tickets to villagers with the implication that the TDPC would return for the money after a short time whether the headmen sold them or not.”

It is well understood by political analysts and the international community that Burma (Myanmar) has two major political problems which require solving(Editorial)

2010 Elections cannot solve the root causes of Burma’s problems
Tue 31 Mar 2009,
It is well understood by political analysts and the international community that Burma (Myanmar) has two major political problems which require solving. The first of these is the urgent need to bring about national reconciliation between the country’s different ethnic peoples and particularly between the minority ethnic groups and the majority Burmans. The second problem is the failure to achieve democratization which has been clearly demanded by the population since the 1988 pro-democracy uprising.

What are the root causes of these problems and when did they originate? They can be traced back to 1962 when General Ne Win seized power from the democratically elected government. Democracy was effectively silenced and many political leaders were imprisoned. At the same time Ne Win strengthened the Burmese army, or tatmadaw, and launched intensive military offensives against the ethnic armed opposition groups along Burma’s borders with China and Thailand and in the western part of the country.

While the armed conflict intensified the country became progressively poorer. Despite this, General Ne Win drafted a sham constitution in 1974, and army commanders swapped their uniforms for civilian clothes and continued to rule the country. Burma’s economic situation deteriorated as the regime’s mistaken economic policies and mismanagement took effect and the country was designated as a ‘Least Developed Country’ by United Nations in 1987. Continue reading “It is well understood by political analysts and the international community that Burma (Myanmar) has two major political problems which require solving(Editorial)”