The Black Ribbon for March 13 ABFSU


The ribbon is a symbol of sorrow. It was used at the first anniversary of the 7th of July affair. On July the 7th, 1962, the historic Student Union building was demolished with dynamite by the Ne Win military regime. As a result, many students died and it became popularly known as the 7th of July affair. Similarly, in 1988, during the “Four Eights Affair”, many students who were campaigning for democracy, human rights, freedom, peace and justice were killed by the authorities. We have also used the ribbon as a symbol of sorrow for those who were killed by the authorities in the 1988 pro-democracy uprising.

EU needs more effective Burma policy by Zinn Linn

The European Union’s policy on Burma has not worked to bring about a breakthrough in national reconciliation or political reform, and its sanctions have made no headway either because they lack the support of neighboring countries, especially China.
In October 1996, the European Union framed its bilateral relations with Burma in a “Common Position,” which has been reassessed, and in some cases modified, every six months since then. It has been strengthened and extended several times in view of the military regime’s failure to make significant progress in areas that are of concern to the EU.

Among the measures included in the Common Position are an arms embargo, an export ban on any equipment that might be used for internal repression, a visa ban and a freeze on funds held abroad by regime figures and their families, a prohibition for EU companies to invest in state-owned enterprises as well as the suspension of high-level governmental visits to Burma.

The Common Position was further strengthened in 2007, following the authorities’ violent crackdown on demonstrators, to include a prohibition on EU companies investing in Burma’s logging, mining and gemstone industries as well as a ban on the export of these products to the Union. continue


စစ္အစုိးရႎႀင့္ ေတၾႚဆုံေဆၾးေႎၾးေရး KNU မူဝၝဒ မေဴပာင္း၊ သီးဴခားေတၾႚဆုံမႁ လက္မခံ

ကရင္အမဵိႂးသားအစည္းအ႟ုံး (KNU) အေနနဲႛ စစ္အစုိးရနဲႛ ေတၾႚဆုံေဆၾးေႎၾးေရး၊ မူဝၝဒ အေဴပာင္းအလဲ မရႀိေပမဲ့၊ အဖဲၾႚဝင္ေတၾထဲက သီးဴခား ေတၾႚဆုံတာမဵိႂးကုိေတာ့ လက္မခံဘူးလုိႛ သတင္းရရႀိပၝတယ္။ continue
For us surrender is out of question.
(လက္နက္ခ်အညံ့ခံျခင္း အလွ်င္းမေျပာရ)
We shall retain our arm.
(ကရင့္လက္နက္ ကရင္ေတြကိုင္ထားရမယ္)
The recognition of Karen State must be complete)
(ကရင္ျပည္ အသိအမွတ္ျပဳျခင္းနွင့္ ျပီးျပည့္စံုရမည္)
We shall decide our own political destiny.
(ကရင့္က်မၼာ ကရင္ဖန္တီးပိုင္ခြင့္ရွိရမည္)။

UNHCR to upgrade its mission in Myanmar

A UNHCR vessel in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State. Concluding a mission to Myanmar on Thursday, High Commissioner António Guterres said his agency would be upgrading its mission in the country. © UNHCR/K.McKinsey

In Nay Pyi Taw, Guterres met with the Ministers of Home Affairs and Immigration, Foreign Affairs, and Border Areas and National Races and Development Affairs.
Both sides agreed on the importance of a continued presence of UNHCR in northern Rakhine State and the South East. The extension of UNHCR’s programme for the population of northern Rakhine State was agreed, bringing to a positive conclusion discussions that had been taking place with the government in this regard. A number of specific sectors were identified by the Minister of Home Affairs and the High Commissioner in which it was felt that increasing the scale of activities conducted directly by UNHCR or in conjunction with the UN country team and other partners would complement UNHCR’s protection role in relation to voluntary return and reintegration. Sectors considered particularly important were health, education, water and sanitation, agriculture and infrastructure. The High Commissioner was informed that the government had designated the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs to coordinate a development programme for northern Rakhine State. Frank and open discussions also covered all areas of concern to UNHCR, from prevention of displacement to voluntary return, registration and legal status, and improvements to economic and social conditions.
On the basis of his observations and the discussions held, the High Commissioner came to the conclusion that UNHCR’s current level of activities in northern Rakhine State does not correspond to the actual needs and a decision was taken to upgrade the programme with immediate effect. It was also agreed that UNHCR and the government would examine the scope for a strengthening of UNHCR activities in the South East of the country and the agency was invited to submit a concrete proposal to the Minister of Border Areas and National Races Development Affairs in this regard. continue

Pictures reopening NLD office from nldlajb blog

အင္န္အယ္ဒီပါတီ ကြမ္းျခံကုန္းတြင္ ဆိုင္းဘုတ္ျပန္တင္ nld_flag

နအဖ စစ္အစိုးရက ဆက္သြယ္ေရးလမ္းေၾကာင္းမ်ား ျဖတ္ေတာက္ထားသည္၊ အခက္အခဲမ်ားျဖစ္ေအာင္ ဖန္တီးထားသည္၊ လူထုႏွင့္ အဆက္အသြယ္ျပတ္ေအာင္ ၾကံဖြံ႔မ်ား၊ စြမ္းအားရွင္မ်ားျဖင့္ အၾကမ္းဖက္နည္းလမ္းမ်ား သုံးစြဲျပီး ျခိန္းေျခာက္ ကန္႔သတ္ျခင္းခံထားရသည္ဟု အတိုက္အခံမီဒီယာမ်ားတြင္ သတင္းေဖာ္ျပျခင္းခံထားရေသာ အင္န္အယ္ဒီပါတီက နာဂစ္မုန္တိုင္းသင့္ ကြမ္းျခံကုန္းျမိဳ႔နယ္တြင္ သဘာ၀ေဘးဒဏ္ေၾကာင့္ ပ်က္စီးသြားေသာ ပါတီဆိုင္းဘုတ္တို႔ မတ္လ ၈ ရက္ေန႔က ျပန္လည္လႊင့္တင္ခဲ့သည္ကို ေတြ႔ရစဥ္။

Regional commander orders locals to pay for nursery school building

In accordance with an order from the regional commander, local authorities in Mongyang Township, Kengtung district, eastern Shan State, have collected money from the local people for the construction of a nursery school building there, say local community sources.
By Hseng Khio Fah
12 March 2009

On 3 March, Maj-Gen Kyaw Phyo, Commander of Kengtung based Triangle Region Command, ordered U Ye Lin Aung, Chairman of Mongyang Township Peace and Development Council and officials from the local Union Solidarity Development Association (USDA) to collect money and call for free labor support from the local people.

The USDA is a government-backed civilian organization founded with the support of Senior General Than Shwe in 1993.

Two days after, villagers were told to pay money by the end of March to buy construction materials. Villagers who own truck and car are told to buy cement for extra support depending on the type of the trucks and its models, said a local resident.

In addition, those who have pickup cars have to assist 10 bags of cement each and those with Chinese manufactured farm tractors (Tolaji) with 5 bags of cement each while other small trucks will be responsible for carrying stones, sand and wood. The price of cement is Yuan 35 (US$ 5.12) per bag. In Mongyang, there are 16 pickup cars and over 50 Tolaji trucks.

Afterwards, each household still need to pay additional Y 15 (US$ 2.19). There are over 670 households in Mongyang. The total would come to at least Y 10,000 (US$1463.12).

Local people complained that Junta leaders paid little on nothing to place their names on public record, but in fact only local people have to pay the most.

Maj-Gen Kyaw Phyo had reportedly donated about Kyat 1 million (US$1015.22) for the project.

The school will be built at Market quarter of the town. But the authorities have yet to disclose when they will start the project. Building materials have already arrived.

Some say the project is scheduled to begin when Maj-Gen Kyaw Phyo is back from the meeting. Currently, Kyaw Phyo is attending the junta’s tri-annual meeting.

Hurfom:Army Battalion commits human rights violations

March 11, 2009
HURFOM: An army battalion has been committing human rights violations in all the villages in Khawzar Sub-township, forcing them to labor on a local road and stand sentry duty against rebel groups as well as demanding that villagers pay for rifles for the Peoples Militia Force (PMF). Villagers have also been forced to pay illegal taxes to military appointed headmen before and after they travel abroad to work.
No. 61 Light Battalion, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Yae Lon Oo, has been forcing each household from all nineteen villages in Khawzar Sub-township, to work on separate sections of the road. The villagers have been forced to repair the road every year but previously they have been grouped together as villages rather than households. Not only has the new method of organization made the work harder but the villagers have also been forced to transport their own materials.
According to one villager from Yin Yae village, “in our village every household had to work on a 24 feet long, six foot wide section of road. We all had to carry the equipment and materials by ourselves.”
Villagers have also been made to stand sentry duty for their villages from 6pm to 6am every night to prevent attacks by rebel groups. Every household has had to provide sentries, including a widow who lives by herself.
Additionally, Lieutenant colonel Yae Lon Oo has been demanding money for the PMF’s rifles since 2008 but so far only one village out of the nineteen, Chang Gu village, has complied with his demands.
A local resident said, “he’s been trying to get money from the villages in Khawzar Sub-township since last December. He demanded it from all nineteen villages but he failed and only got money from Chang Gu. Most of households there had to pay 30,000 Kyat but the poorest families had to pay 3000 Kyat.”
In all nineteen villages, however, locals have been forced to pay an illegal tax of 10,000 Kyat to the village headmen whenever they depart to work in foreign countries, such as Thailand, and are forced to pay again when they return. If they refuse to pay the headmen, appointed by the military, threaten villagers with being sent to soldiers who will force them to pay more.
According to a Yin Yae villager, “when my brother came back from working in Thailand he had to give the headman 10,000 Kyat, the same amount he had to pay when he left. The headman also made him buy two bags of cement and three sheets of zinc.”
The villager added that this was not only happening in his village but in all the villages in Khawzar Sub-township.
Since the New Mon State Party (NMSP) agreed a ceasefire with the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) in 1995 the southern part of Ye Township, in which Khawzar is situated, has been completely under the SPDC’s control although rebel groups have been active in the area during that time. The SPDC have named the area as a “black area” and the kinds of human rights violations inflicted on the Khawzar villagers have been occurring since they took control.

The Special Intelligent Agent authority arrested four National League for Democracy (NLD) members at Lawkanandar Pagoda, on March 10, around 8:30 pm, a local devotee from Akyab said.

On the evening of March 10, four youths from NLD, with flower bouquets in their hands had gone to the Lawkanandar Pagoda to pray. They stayed in the Pagoda for about 15 minutes and prayed for the release of Daw Aung San Su Kyi and other political prisoners, a close friend of theirs said.

“They were praying peacefully in front of the Pagoda, but unexpectedly plainclothes Special Intelligent Agent members came and arrested them,” a devotee said.

“There was a little tension between the plainclothes authority and the youths together with some devotees, but, the authorities successfully arrested the youths from the Pagoda,” the devotee added.

The plain clothes agents were from No. 1 special branch of Akyab, who were invited by the youths to visit the Pagoda for prayers for the release of political prisoners and Daw Su Kyi. The youths did not know the plain clothes agents, and asked them to join the prayers, the friend said.

The arrested youths have been identified as Hla Shwe (19) and Kyaw Ba aka Aung Myint, both of whom hailed from the stadium area, Aung Htun Laung (30), who hailed from Mingan ,Kyaw Zaw (28), who hailed from Sanpya quarter of Akyab.

A monk, from Tawra Monastery, was also arrested along with the NLD youths, said a devotee.

All of them are still in the custody of the agency and no one is certain of what will happen to them.