Mrauk U: Fire in the ancient city of Mrauk U in Arakan State engulfed 20 homes in just one hour, said an elder from the town.

“The fire broke out in a house in Shwe Daung Village in Alay Zee Ward in Mrauk U at 3:30 pm on 2 April and the fire engulfed 20 houses instantly,” he said.

An estimated 25 million kyat worth of property was lost in the fire, and nearly 100 people have been left homeless. The fire victims are taking shelter at a primary school and monastery located in the town.

According to a local source, the administrative authority in the town has been collecting rice and clothes from wealthy residents to provide to the fire victims.
Narinjara News

Interview of Thakin Tin Mya-Road to 2010 elections

by May Kyaw
Monday, 06 April 2009 09:48

Interview of Thakin Tin Mya

Mizzima interviewed the former leader of the Thakin Soe-led Communist Party, which had waged war against the Burmese military regime. The interview was done after the junta supremo Snr. Gen. Than Shwe warned people not to undermine the constitution at the Anti-Fascist Resistance Day celebrations. Thakin Tin Mya told Mizzima that the junta did not issue a passport to him.

1. Snr. Gen. Than Shwe has said not to undermine the constitution. Does it mean there will be no dialogue and negotiation with political parties and ethnic organizations which are opposing it? What is your view?

I cannot say. He said what he had in mind. I think it means he wishes to see the ensuing election succeed.

2. Can this constitution and election bring about unity among all ethnic people when there are some organizations which are not accepting this approved constitution?

It will be possible if all parties come together and join hands to implement the constitution and election unitedly. I wish to see unity among us.

3. It is said that the junta will safeguard all political parties with mature organizational policies. Does it mean there will be restrictions on canvassing by the political parties?

I cannot say anything on this right now. It can be said only after the election law is enacted and announced.

4. The 2010 election is drawing close, but the election law, regulation for candidates and rules for canvassing have not been announced yet. Will contesting political parties get enough time before the election? Continue reading “Interview of Thakin Tin Mya-Road to 2010 elections”

Than Shwe’s grandson prepares to join water festival

by Mizzima News
Monday, 06 April 2009 12:34

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Burmese military junta supremo Snr. Gen. Than Shwe’s grandson will participate in the water festival with common people and plans to host a pandal in Rangoon’s Innlya Street, sources said.

Pho La Pyea, Than Shwe’s grandson, and friends were said to have built a pandal opposite Rangoon’s University of Economics on Innlay Street, where most of the pandals for the festival are to be located.

Pre-dominantly Buddhist Burma, traditionally celebrates the water festival as a symbol of cleansing the past year’s sins with water as they usher in the New Year. Buddhists in Burma also believe that during the Water Festival – Thingyan – ‘Lord Thigyamin’ himself descends on earth.

Most Buddhists in Burma, during the Thingyan, enjoy themselves by spraying water on each other and go from place to place within the city accompanied by friends.

The 20-year-old Pho La Pyea, a student at the Hlaing Tharyar Technology University, reportedly enjoys the water festival and is excited about hosting a pandal, where people can come and spray water.

During last year’s water festival, sources said, Phyo La Pyea was using ecstasy pills – Yaba – which were said to be distributed from the pandal hosted by a junta’s business crony, Maung Weik.

Than Shwe, according to the source, was enraged on learning that his grandson was using pills and drugs to entertain himself. He ordered an investigation on Maung Weik, who was subsequently arrested.

Maung Weik has been charged and sentenced. He was transferred to Pathein prison from the notorious Insein jail.