sorry Harn Lay was to quick,day later Pagoda collapsed…
sorry Harn Lay was to quick,day later Pagoda collapsed…
Wed 03 Jun 2009, Kon Hadae, IMNA
The local authorities in Mudon township are now forcing teashop and restaurant owners to carry out surveillance on their clients who are talking about politics. Failure of shop owners to report instance of political discussion will result in punishment.
Over one week ago, local Burmese State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) authorities from Mon state, Mudon town, called teashop and restaurant owners from the Mudon town and Kamawatt village Mudon township, to a meeting held in a secret location, to initiate their new program of surveillance over people who are talking about politics, according to a resident from Kamawatt village. If shop owners see or hear that people are talking about politics, the shop owners must memorize these people’s names, and then tell these names to the authorities, according to a resident shop owner. This is the first instance of forced government surveillance in the area, and no one is clear why this new program has been put into practice now.
Even though shop owners know the people who are talking about politics, if they refuse or forget to tell the authority, the shopkeepers will be punished. While there is no guarantee of being caught, if a shop owner fails to report political talk, the threat of punishment is there. So far there are no reports of shop owners directly disobeying the order to carry out surveillance against shop clients.
“If we see any one who is talking about politics, we have to tell them [authorities], If we are not going to tell them we will have to be punished, they said in the meeting”, said a shop owner whose name and village have been withheld for security purposes. Continue reading “Junta fears Teashop campaign-forcing teashop and restaurant owners to carry out surveillance on their clients who are talking about politics”
Activists skeptical of release of child soldiers
by Salai Pi Pi
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 22:24
New Delhi (Mizzima) – State-run newspapers on Wednesday reported that eight minors who had joined the military of their own volition were returned to their parents, a rare case in military-ruled Burma, which is often criticized for forcibly recruiting children into the armed forces.
The junta’s mouthpiece New Light of Myanmar on Wednesday stated, “The Work Committee for Prevention Against Recruitment of Minors today handed over eight minors who joined the Tatmadaw [military] of their own accord to their parents.”
The incidence, however, was received with skepticism by rights activists, believing the move a “showpiece” and accusing the junta of secretly continuing to recruit children into the military.
Aye Myint, a lawyer from Pegu town advocating and fighting against the recruitment of child soldiers said the paper’s claims were contradictory to the prevailing situation, as he has received several parental complaints of children being recruited into the military.
He said just months ago family members of a child, who had reportedly gone missing in December, approached him explaining they had received a letter from their son saying he is now in a military camp in central Burma. Continue reading “The junta’s mouthpiece New Light of Myanmar on Wednesday stated, “The Work Committee for Prevention Against Recruitment of Minors today handed over eight minors who joined the Tatmadaw [military] of their own accord to their parents.””
– A ‘free Aung San Suu Kyi campaign’ has started with the distribution of the democracy icon’s portraits in Yenanchaung, Magwe Division and Myingyan in Mandalay Division, local people and the National League for Democracy party members said.
Youth activists and Yenanchaung NLD Township Organizing Committee members jointly conducted the ‘free Daw Aung San Suu Kyi campaign’ by distributing 500 prints of her portraits in their area starting yesterday. The people from religious backgrounds and all other walks of life took the portraits with great enthusiasm, they said.
“The Township Organizing Committee members distributed the prints at teashops in their area. People from cheroot factories and many local people, especially in the market area came and asked for the prints. We gave them only to the people who enthusiastically asked for it. There were villagers coming to the market by cars and motorboats. Some people came from the west side (of Irrawaddy River). Some monks and novices took the portraits to their villages. The campaign was successful,” Yenanchaugn Township NLD Vice-Chairman Daw Khin Saw Htay told Mizzima.
In developed countries, they are forging ahead successfully on the five pillars of the executive, the judiciary, the legislature, the media and education. But in Burma civil war is still raging and the country is still backward and underdeveloped and wallowing in abject poverty. The regime should join hands with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on whom ethnic people repose trust to stop this civil war, she added.
While the campaign was on there was no harassment by the local authorities in Yenanchaung but the police closely monitored the situation in Myingyan. Continue reading “A ‘free Aung San Suu Kyi campaign’ has started with the distribution of the democracy icon’s portraits in Yenanchaung, Magwe Division and Myingyan in Mandalay Division”
FDB denies having contact with Yettaw
by May Kyaw
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 21:13
(Interview with Dr. Naing Aung)
Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Dr. Naing Aung, General Secretary of the Thailand based ‘Forum for Democracy in Burma’ has rejected the information that FDB is having contacts with John William Yettaw, an American man who swam across Innya Lake and intruded into Aung San Suu Kyi’s house.
He responded to the news and allegations posted on, as he called it, a rumour mongering pro-junta ‘Thakinwe’ website (www.tharkinwe.com) depicting a photograph of a meeting between Yettaw and FDB.
Dr. Naing Aung said that the man in the photograph was not Yettaw but an Australian journalist Phil Thornton, which was posted on the FDB website. This is an attempt by the junta to mislead the people and a distortion of facts, he said.
In order to have a clear understanding on the rumoured connections, Mizzima’s reporter May Kyaw talked to Dr. Naing Aung.
Q: The Thakinwe website claims that Mr. Yettaw came to the FDB office. Is it true?
A: The ‘Thakinwe’ website is a pro-junta website which usually posts news of the junta and supports the regime. I cannot say whether it is true or not. I’d only like to say that by seeing such news it is becoming clearer that the junta is concocting and distorting facts to mislead and confuse the people.
Q: ‘Thakinwe’ posted the news with a photograph as evidence. They said that the man in the photograph was Mr. John Yettaw.
A: He is not Yettaw. He is an Australian journalist Phil Thornton who frequently gives training to us. And also this photograph was not taken at the FDB office, but at the office of the ‘Association for Assistance to Political Prisoners-Burma (AAPPB) while he was imparting ‘media strategy’ training to us.
Now they are trying to exaggerate and are framing a case against the accused having contacts with pro-democracy organizations on the border and that he is a CIA agent. All this, when they are standing trial.
Moreover they accused him of coming to Burma and doing this job at the behest of the border based organizations and having contacts with these organizations to mislead the people. I think everything has been revealed in what his defence lawyer Khin Maung Oo said in the media.
Recently, the SPDC (junta) accused us of planting bombs. And then again they accused us of having contacts with Yettaw. I’d like to say this is the junta’s attempt to mislead and confuse the people and the international community.
Q: Dr. Naing Aung, do you mean the man in the photograph is not Mr. Yettaw, and that he is another man? Or do you mean this photograph is doctored?
A: No, he is not Mr. Yettaw. But the photograph is a real one posted on our FDB website, http://www.democraticforumburma.org. This photo was included in our electronic media, Forum Journal Vol. 1, Issue No. 1, published on April 2009. This has also been included in our press release. He is not Mr. Yettaw.
Q: How did ‘Thakinwe’ get this photograph?
A: We publish our electronic media on our website as a monthly online magazine. We posted this news with this photograph in this publication and so it is likely that the photograph was taken from our website and then fabricated and concocted the story.
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 21:35
New Delhi (Mizzima) – Farmers in the cyclone affected areas in Burma are in acute need of cash and credit assistance to buy inputs for the ensuing monsoon planting season, the United Nations World Food Programme said.
Chris Kaye, country director of the WFP in Rangoon, told Mizzima on Wednesday, “The current priority of the assistance community generally is to help ensure small farmers have the required cash and credit to purchase inputs for the current planting season.”
While WFP is able to continue work without many problems in distributing food assistance, “food and water remains critical for cyclone survivors, in many areas of Burma’s Irrawaddy delta” he said.
But he said the current priority is to help farmers, whose farms were inundated and destroyed by the cyclone, plant crops in the current planting season.
The Irrawaddy delta, also known as Burma’s rice bowl, was laid waste by the deadly Cyclone Nargis, leaving at least 130,000 dead or missing and devastating the lives of more than 2.4 million people.
Sean Turnell, Professor of Economics in Macquarie University in Australia said in an earlier interview to Mizzima that the rural economy in Burma is on the verge of collapse due to lack of funds and micro-credit system. Continue reading “Fund crunch threatens rice production in Burma: WFP”
Villagers forced to relocate to Arakan State
by Nyein Chan
Wednesday, 03 June 2009 20:34
Dhaka (Mizzima) – About 300 people from proper Burma have been resettled to Arakan State under the government’s border region developmental projects.
The group of people, who belongs to Rangoon, Mandalay, Pyinmana, Prome and Bassein, have reportedly migrated to “model villages” built in Maungdaw and Buthitaung Townships by the authorities under its Development and Resettlement Project of Border Regions. The group of people are the third batch to be resettled to the region.
“They came here with their whole families including men, women and children,” an official of the border security force, also known as Na-sa-ka, in Kyikanpyin told Mizzima.
Earlier in January and March, about 300 people (150 households) and 500 people (150 households) have arrived these villages.
These Na-ta-la villages are located in Buthidaung and Maungtaw Townships since 2001 and contains about a 100 houses in each villages. Under this plan, a total of 100 such villages will be built in this border region. About 2,500 households are believed to have arrived in these model villages.
The authorities gave these new settlers a 80’x60’ plot of land each, a house, farmland, cow and food for six months, a local resident of Aungmingala village said. But a rumour has spread that the authorities collected money from these new settlers for this project.
Buthitaung and Maungdaw Townships is predominantly occupied by Rohingya, a Muslim minority, whom the government of Burma does not recognised them as citizens.
A CNN documentary that sparked worldwide condemnation of Thailand’s alleged practice of pushing Myanmar’s Rohingya boat people out to sea has won an Amnesty International Media Award.
The winning half-hour documentary, presented by CNN’s Bangkok-based correspondent Dan Rivers, highlighted the on-going persecution of the ethnic Rohingya people in their bid to escape terrible persecution and privation in Myanmar, formerly Burma, and in neighboring countries.
Tey got an award and the Rohingya?
HURFOM: After treating insurgents, a village medical field worker and his two assistants, from Yebyu township, were forced to pay a fee of 900,000 Kyat to the local battalion commander. But because of corruption, the two assistants were tortured and beaten anyway.
Late in April the local field medical worker, Nai Neing Min, was brought by his two assistants, Nai Kyi and Nai Nyeing (who are 31 years old and 30 years old, respectively), to a rebel camp to treat insurgents. Nai Neing Min, and his two assistants were then forced to pay a total of 900,000 kyat by Light Infantry Batallion (LIB) No.273’s battalion commander, Thein Zaw, who is based in MaMuu village, Yebyu Township. The payment was arranged through the MaMuu village headman Nai Khon Ba.
However the headman did not deliver the full 900,000 kyat to the LIB No.273 battalion commander. Instead he delivered 600,00 kyat, and kept 300,000 kyat for himself.
“Because of the village headman, we are facing problems,” a source close to Nai Neing Min reported him saying “We already gave 900,000 kyat for the battalion commander, but he [the headman] didn’t gave all money to the battalion.”
The village headman was corrupt and because he took a portion of the fee, the battalion’s commander Thein Zaw got angry with Nai Neing Min, and the two assistants. Therefore, the medical field worker was intimidated and the two assistants were arrested and tortured by the LIB No. 273 for information about insurgent group Nai Chan Dein’s activities.
Sources close to the medical field worker, Nai Neing Min, reported him as saying, “The Battalion’s commander decided to demand 900,000 kyat because he found out about the treatment of the insurgent group. We gave the 900,000 kyat to the village headman to give to LIB No.273’s battalion commander however, the village headman [Nai Khon Ba] only paied 600,000 kyat to the battalion’s commander, and kept the rest of the 300,000 kyat for himself. The battalion commander [Thein Zaw] got angry and demanded that troops arrest Nai Kyi and Nai Nyeing [assistants] on Thursday, April 30th, and tied them up, beat them and rolled bamboo sticks on their shins” Continue reading “Yebyu township, Fines and torture for medical workers after they treated insurgents”
An eight-month-old infant taken from his mother
June 3, 2009
WCRP: An eight-month-old Burmese baby was kidnapped by a Thai couple in Mahachai, Samut Sakhon Province, said a Woman and Child Rights field report.
On 16 April 2009 at about 7 a.m., the Thai couple came to see the mother, Ma Phyu, 23, a Burmese migrant worker. They told her that they had no children and could take care of the child during the daytime. “They told me not to worry about the child and they promised to bring back my baby at 7 in the evening,” said Ma Phyu.
Ma Phyu’s husband had been arrested by the Thai police for working illegally and so she needed to make money to support her family. But as she had to take care of her child, it was difficult to work. As a result, she was willing to accept the Thai couple’s proposal.
The Thai couple gave their contact information and took the child. But as the sun set and there was no sign of her child, Ma Phyu began to worry. She went to the front of the Thai Union Factory, where the couple said they parked their bike taxi, with proximity to a busy bus stop. The taxi was not there.
Ma Phyu told her neighbors about the missing child and contacted a variety of labor rights NGOs. WCRP has followed up on this story and, as of 2 June 2009, nobody has been able to locate her son.
Before the child was taken away, the child’s mother recalls going to the market 108; a Thai woman there said that her child was very cute and asked if she could carry him for a while.