Myanmar announces peace deal with Karen rebels

Yangong: Myanmar announced that it had made peace with a splinter group of Karen rebels, state media said on Saturday.

The Myanma Ahlin daily says that Saw Nay Soe Mya, the son of a late Karen leader, his 71 followers and 88 of their family members turned themselves in to authorities on Monday. They will be allowed to keep their weapons.

Nay Soe Mya could not be reached, and it was impossible to independently verify the report. Even if true, the latest peace deal is unlikely to end fighting between Karen rebels and the government since his group represents such a small number of fighters.

The Karen National Union has been fighting for half a century for greater autonomy from Myanmar’s central government. It is the largest ethnic rebel group and the only major one which has yet to sign a ceasefire with the junta.

The United Nations and human rights groups say that over the years the military has burned villages, killed civilians and committed other atrocities against the Karen and other ethnic minorities.


Nay Soe Mya you gonna rot in hell saw-nay-mya285

FBR: Abundant Life in Burma: A Report from the Good Life Club

Karen State, Burma
3 April, 2009

“The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy, but I have come that they might have life and have it abundantly.”
— John 10:10

Northern Karen State, Burma: here civil war has torn normal life apart for over 60 years. The sound of mortars is normal and the threat of attack is constant for the people in this part of eastern Burma. But now, on this day, in this village, the war seems far away. The sun beats down out of a cloudless blue sky; it’s two o’clock, the heat of the day, and there is no shade on the brown-stubbled field that grows rice in the rainy season. Five hundred children are gathered, not in fear and not to run away again: today they are laughing, singing, dancing and the heat hasn’t slowed them down at all. Nor has it slowed down the team in the middle of the circle. About ten Free Burma Rangers including people from most of the major ethnic groups of Burma, are leading the program that began that morning at nine o’clock. They stride around the circle – or dance, or jump – trying to engage each child. There is joy and fun on their faces and this is soon reflected in not only the children’s faces but in the shouts and laughter coming from the on-looking parents.

This is the tenth program this team has put on in about a month of travel between villages and IDP hide-sites and across two districts of northern Karen State. Not all the programs are so big. On December 16, the Good Life Club (GLC) team walked into Thaw Nge Der, where 17 families have been living since they had to run away from the Burma Army last April. The small group of children that gathered was quiet, timid – they looked on with big eyes as the rangers dropped their gear, set up camp and prepared to begin. The program begins with introductions: the team members from the other ethnic groups teach the children a phrase or two in their language; by turns and with a lot of laughing they show everyone a cultural dance. Then the singing starts. The children can only stay serious so long with ten rangers jumping and laughing around them. The program includes a Bible story and drama, a snack at lunch, a health lesson and games, each part interspersed with singing. A clinic is also set up; here in Thaw Nge Der the medics treated 70 patients. At the end, the team hands out donated clothes, mosquito nets for each family and gifts for the school. Today it is not easy to end the program; these children, who took so long to get comfortable, don’t want to stop singing. We sing song after song with them and then sing the same songs over and over. The next day we move on to another IDP site, another program, another group of children. continue

FREE BURMA RANGER REPORT: Villager Blinded by Landmine in Toungoo District, Karen State




Karen State, Burma

In This Report

Villager Blinded by Landmine in Toungoo District, Karen State
Burma Army captures four villagers in Nyaunglebin District.
Burma Army and DKBA continue programs of forced labor and extortion in Nyaunglebin and Thaton Districts.
Interview of escaped prisoner porter: “[The] two commanders would hit me with bamboo on my back, thigh and calf.”

Villager blinded by landmine intended to protect against attack
On March 21, Saw Da Maung Htoo, 22, was searching for vegetables in an area of Toungoo District, northern Karen state where Burma Army troops were patrolling, and where, unknown to him, the local resistance had laid landmines to keep Burma Army troops from reaching a nearby group of Internally Displaced People (IDPs). The landmine exploded in his face, severely injuring his right hand and blinding him. Continue reading “FREE BURMA RANGER REPORT: Villager Blinded by Landmine in Toungoo District, Karen State”

An unconfirmed April 1st report in Matichon says that foreigners in Thailand must seek prior permission from the Ministry of Culture if they intend to post material on a website while they are in Thailand. This new regulation also covers contributions to an internet forum or blog.

Permission to speak
Harrison George
04 April 2009
Alien Thoughts

Form for Foreign Person who intent to Post Blog or Internet forum in Thailand

As for the prevention and protection of Thai culture and National image, all foreigner with O B or M visa intent to post blog or Internet forum must fill this Form KoWo 127/2552 before.

(Note: Foreigner intent to host blog, website, chat rooms or other internet are used to instead Form KoWo 127 Ko/2552)

Pleased to inform that must register for culture reason only. Freedom to expression is policy of Royal Thai Government and politics expression is at liberty. But Institution for Thai people is part of culture and above politic as many foreigner misunderstand.

Answer every questions.

First Name Name

Nationality Passport Number

Date of birth Age

Knowledge in Thai Culture

answer Yes (Y) or No (N)

1 Can you eat spicy food?

2 Can you speak Thai nidnoi?

3 You think Thai People are polite?

4 Can you ramwong?

5 Can you say full name of Bangkok? continue

Seventeen US lawmakers have expressed deep concern over reports that the Obama administration is considering lifting economic sanctions against Burma and urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to appoint a special coordinator for Burma.

“We are greatly concerned about reports that during a recent visit by a senior US diplomat to Burma, this official suggested the US government was considering lifting sanctions against the military regime,” the congressmen said in a letter addressed to Clinton on Friday.

While welcoming the decision to review the Burma policy, the letter noted that the US Congress has set various conditions for lifting of the sanctions involving the release of all political prisoners including Aung San Suu Kyi; a genuine tripartite dialogue between the military regime, Suu Kyi and ethnic nationalities; and a cessation of attacks against civilians. Continue reading “Seventeen US lawmakers have expressed deep concern over reports that the Obama administration is considering lifting economic sanctions against Burma and urged Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to appoint a special coordinator for Burma.”

Thailand shuts tourist spots after fatal clashes

Thai authorities have closed indefinitely tourist spots near the Preah Vihear temple as Thai and Cambodian soldiers clashed twice in the vicinity on Friday, leaving two Thai and two Cambodian soldiers dead, and several injured.Closed are Pha Mor E-Daeng cliff, the Khao Phra Viharn National Park and its gate to the Preah Vihear temple in Si Sa Ket province.

According to Maj Gen Thawatchai Samutsakhon, deputy chief of the Second Army, the clashes followed a landmine explosion that blew off a Thai soldier’s leg in Phu Ma Khua area a few kilometres west of Preah Vihear temple.

It lies in an area which both Cambodia and Thailand claims to be its own.

After the explosion, 30 Thai soldiers visited the area Friday morning to clear landmines.

Twenty-three Cambodian soldiers showed up and told the Thais to retreat, claiming it was Cambodian soil.

The Thais resisted, and both sides started to fight about 7am.

The clash lasted five minutes, and killed two Cambodian soldiers and injured nine.

A second round of shooting erupted about 2pm, in an area about two kilometres away.

Maj Gen Thawatchai says he assumes Cambodian troops came in search of revenge.

The second round of the gun battle lasted about half an hour, killed two Thai soldiers, injured seven, and also set ablaze a Cambodian market near the entrance to Preah Vihear temple. Continue reading “Thailand shuts tourist spots after fatal clashes”

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said this morning that he has received reports of yesterday’s clash between Thai and Cambodian border patrol soldiers, reiterating that the incident stemmed from miscommunication and misunderstanding over border markers.

The premier disclosed this morning that he has been briefed on the exchange of gunfire that took place early yesterday between the Thai and Cambodian forces. He has called on all relevant bodies to expediently remedy the causes for the clash and re-establish an understanding on border divisions. The PM elaborated that both forces have been charged with protecting their borders and thus accidental clashes such as yesterday’s incident are no entirely unlikely. Nonetheless, communication at all levels have been intensified to ease the situation, he said.

The PM affirmed that a framework has been put into place for negotiating the border conflict and has thus far proven efficient. Mr. Abhisit remarked that if he must personally contact his Cambodian counterpart to clear up the current matter, he will.