The Burmese junta brass has threatened to replace the Northern Regional Commander Brig-Gen Soe Win if he fails to pressurize Kachin ceasefire groups and Kachin youth, said local sources close to the Burmese Army.

The Burmese junta brass has threatened to replace the Northern Regional Commander Brig-Gen Soe Win if he fails to pressurize Kachin ceasefire groups and Kachin youth, said local sources close to the Burmese Army.

Brig-Gen Soe Win has been threatened with replacement before his term ends. He was appointed as Northern Regional Commander in late June last year in place of his predecessor Maj-Gen Ohn Myint who was promoted as commander of the junta’s Bureau of Special Operations (BSO) No. 1, said sources in Northern Regional Command Headquarters (Ma Pa Kha) based in Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina.

The junta’s former principal of Defense Services (Army) Officers’ Training School in Bahtoo, Brig-Gen Soe Win was appointed as Northern or Kachin State commander in late June, 2008.
The sources added, that Brig-Gen Soe Win is the junta’s No. 2 strongman Senior-General Maung Aye’s man whereas Maj-Gen Ohn Myint is the junta’ supremo Senior-General Than Shwe’s protege.

According to Northern Regional Command Headquarters sources, Commander Soe Win was threatened last month by his senior officer Maj-Gen Ohn Myint when he made his regular inspection trip of development projects around Kachin State including the controlled areas of the Kachin ceasefire group, the New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K).

Soon after his appointment in Kachin State, Maj-Gen Ohn Myint ordered his successor Brig-Gen Soe Win to keep under pressure the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the main Kachin ceasefire group in the state as well as keep Kachin youth in check, said local sources.

Under Maj-Gen Ohn Myint’s pressure on Brig-Gen Soe Win, more and more Kachin youth were systematically sent to jails compared to other non-Kachin races in the state if they committed small civil or criminal offenses, insiders at the Northern Regional Command Headquarters said. continue

Discussions dedicated to Burma .oneworld 09

Burma, an isolated and often neglected state in Southeast Asia, usually hits the headlines in connection with the merciless military junta which has been in power for more than forty years. In autumn 2007 TV camera shots showed the brutal repression of anti-governmental protests led by Buddhist monks. When the junta declined foreign humanitarian aid for hundreds of thousands of cyclone Nargis victims, it gave rise to international indignation. What is the situation in Burma like today? What has been the fate of the monks who led the Saffron Revolution? How successful are the reporters of the exile television Democratic Voice of Burma in taking shots of human rights violation in the repressive country? And why is Burma a priority Czech foreign policy country in the field of human rights? These and other questions will be addressed in the scope of three festival discussions subsequent to Burma VJ screenings.

12 March, 19.15, Archa

The discussion will be attended by the deputy director of Democratic Voice of Burma Khin Maung Win, the director of Burma VJ Anders Østergaard, and the International Burmese Monks Organization member Ashin Sopaka.

14 March, 18:00, The French Institute

The discussion will be attended by the deputy director of Democratic Voice of Burma Khin Maung Win and the International Burmese Monks Organization member Ashin Sopaka.

17 March, 19.15 Archa

The discussion will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the CR, People in Need, and other organizations addressing Burma.

Ashin Sopaka attends ONE WORLD 2009 Human Rights Film Festival >>

article 10.03. naytthit

အမ်ိဳးသမီးႏွင့္ ႏိုင္ငံေရးပါ၀င္ပတ္သက္မွဳ

အစဥ္အလာ ဓေလ့ထံုးစံေတြက အမ်ိဳးသမီးေတြကို အားနည္းသူမ်ားလို႕ သတ္မွတ္ထားခဲ့ၾကပါတယ္။ ဒါေၾကာင့္လဲ အမ်ိဳးသမီးေတြဟာ မိသားစုတြင္းမွာေရာ၊ ျပင္ပမွာပါ အမ်ိဳးသားမ်ားအေပၚမွာ မွီခိုေနရသူမ်ားအျဖစ္ ခြဲျခားဆက္ဆံခံခဲ့ၾကရပါတယ္။ continue

Two migrants released from Thai ship after 25 months of work without pay, abuse

Tue 10 Mar 2009, Ruby Mon,IMNA
Two migrant workers have been released after working for 25 months without pay on a fishing boat operated by a Thai company. The two men were rescued by migrant labor rights organizations in Songkhla, Thailand, as they waited for repairs to be made to their ship.

On March 4th the two workers were sent to a karaoke shop in Songkhla with 4 other Thai crewmembers. Though they had not been paid in 25 months, the Burmese workers made no attempt to escape because they did not speak Thai and had no idea where to go. Both workers are from upper Burma, and had made their way to find work in Thailand via a broker after they struggled to find agricultural jobs at home.

One of the Thai crewmembers, however, notified a migrant labor rights non-governmental organization (NGO) in the area, which notified the Thai navy. The NGO source requested that details of the organization be withheld for security reasons.

According to a source in the NGO, later that day representatives of two migrant labor rights NGOs and Thai Navy arrived and detained the fishermen.

One of the workers, who spoke with IMNA via phone, described 25 months of mistreatment, and no pay. “During the time we were working on the fishing boat for 25 months, if the workers did not catch fish they could not eat,” said the worker, age 19. “If you did not do a good job for your work, you would be beaten with a plastic shovel until blood would come out from your skin. And they never paid us anything.”

Though neither worker posses a work permit or immigration papers of any kind, they were both released by the Thai navy. According to a source at the NGO involved in securing their release, they have since found paid construction work.

The Thai fishermen were also left without pay, and though 3 have returned to sea on other boats the NGO source said that they are suing the fishing company for their back pay.

IMNA could not confirm, however, whether there were any repercussions for the owner of the ship or its captain. The ship, known as the Pohn Pai San #44, is owned by the chairman of a major area fisheries business organization.

Christians hear of suffering in Burma

Wai Hnin Pwint Thon’s father Mya Aye is currently serving a 65 year prison sentence for peacefully protesting against Burma’s brutal military regime. He is suffering from a severe heart condition and is likely to die in prison.
Fearing her own arrest, Wai Hnin told Premier Christian Radio’s Cindy Kent that she came to the UK in 2005 and now volunteers at the Burma Campaign UK, assisting their work in releasing Burma’s many political prisoners.

Her eight-year-old sister still lives with her mother in Rangoon, but Wai Hnin’s refugee status means she is unable to visit them.

Wai Hnin’s moving story formed part of the annual day hosted by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) together with Karen Aid and Partners Relief and Development.

Baroness Caroline Cox and CSW’s East Asia’s Team Leader Benedict Rogers, author of A Land Without Evil: Stopping the Genocide of Burma’s Karen People, joined a panel of notable speakers to present the plight of Burma’s ethnic minorities at the Emmanuel Centre in Westminster. continue


Dear GJC Friends,

We ask you to stand with us to demand an end to the systematic use of rape as a weapon of war in Burma and the exclusion of Burmese women from governance and peace negotiations.

As thousands of women from around the world gather at the United Nations for the 53rd Annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), we are urging Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to take immediate action to:

End impunity for ongoing rape and other heinous crimes being carried out by the regime and; Denounce Burma’s 2010 elections as illegal because the proposed constitution will forever exclude women from government AND give the junta and others responsible amnesty for crimes against humanity.

The United Nations must honor its legal commitments to end impunity for Burma’s criminal junta by enforcing the rights of the women of Burma to justice and power. We need YOUR voice in this global call for justice. Please sign the letter online at:
and then forward it on to five other people who you think will join us!

The letter will be delivered with your signatures to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the end of CSW on Friday, March 13th. There are only four more days to join in this urgent call for action!

Thank you for your support,
-The GJC Team