Character assassination of Aung San Suu Kyi

by Salai Pi Pi
Tuesday, 09 June 2009 20:52

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Bent on humiliating and insulting detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a number of anonymous groups, believed to be pro-junta, have distributed her morphed vulgar pictures in homes in central Burma.

Local residents in Mandalay, Burma’s second largest city, said they have received distorted pictures – depicting Daw Aung San Suu Kyi in compromising positions with men – dropped in their compounds in the morning.

The business card-sized pictures, which are apparently designed with Photoshop software, shows detained Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi with two men, supposedly John William Yettaw and her late husband Michael Aris.

“The pictures had the words “Darling I miss you” in Burmese language. In one of the pictures Daw Suu is seen curling up in the arms of Yettaw,” the angry resident told Mizzima.

The resident said the pictures were dropped in their compound before they woke up in the morning, leaving no trace of who had done it. But he was quick to blame members of pro-junta groups such as the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) or the Swan Arrshin. Continue reading “Character assassination of Aung San Suu Kyi”

“People continue to flee to the border. There are now about 3,500 people here,” said Black Town, a member of the CIDKP.

Fresh clashes force many Karen to flee -UNHCR says today could be 6400 IDP
by Solomon
Tuesday, 09 June 2009 21:33

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Over 3,500 Karen in eastern Burma have fled to neighbouring Thailand in the aftermath of fresh conflicts along the border between Karen armed rebels and the Burmese Army and its ally.

A member of the Thai-Burma border based Committee for Internally Displaced Karen People (CIDKP), which keeps tabs on and provides assistance to displaced people in Karen State told Mizzima that the refugee influx has risen sharply in the past few days as a result of fresh fighting along the border.

“People continue to flee to the border. There are now about 3,500 people here,” said Black Town, a member of the CIDKP.

He said the refugees are now being protected by the Thai Army and social groups. A coalition of International non-government organizations, the Thailand-Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), is providing food, medical care and other supplies.

“Villagers are forced to serve the military and are used as porters if they fail to give money to the army,” said Black Town.

David Takarpaw, Vice-Chairman of the Karen National Union, Burma’s longest operating armed group, said the Burmese Army and its ally, Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), a KNU splinter group have launched a fresh offensive against the KNU as of June 3.

The attacks were launched against the Karen National Liberation Army’s 7th Brigade on June 3, but fighting had stopped from Monday night. The KNLA is the armed wing of the KNU.

“Now the fighting has stopped. But we carefully monitoring the situation,” Takarpaw said.

Takarpaw said, like in earlier operations, the Burmese Army uses the DKBA forces to fight in the fore front while they stay behind and use mortars.

The fresh attacks could be aimed at diverting international attention from the ongoing trial against Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The KNU has been fighting against successive central governments of Burma since 1948 and are among the few armed groups that have not signed a ceasefire pact with the military junta.

“They planned to completely destroy our 7th Brigade but it is impossible. More soldiers from the DKBA will die. And they need to realize that,” said Takarpaw.


Mon ceasefire group increases armed patrols in response to taxation by insurgents inside party territory

Tue 09 Jun 2009, Asah and Blai Mon
A recently formed Mon insurgent group is attempting to levy taxes in territory controlled by Burma’s largest Mon political party. The party has stepped up armed security in the area, which also saw two retired village officials kidnapped by the insurgents last week.

According to sources in territory controlled by the New Mon State Party (NMSP), yesterday the insurgents ordered residents of Brigade No. 3 village to pay 100,000 baht (2,900 USD). The large sum has been requested in Thai baht because NMSP territory is situated along the Thai-Burma border, though territory officially controlled by the party since a 1995 ceasefire is nominally within Burma.

“They asked for 100,000 baht, but we requested to reduce the payment to 50,000,” a local resident told IMNA. “But, if we don’t pay them how much they asked for, they will do anything to get the money. We don’t want to pay them, but they ordered us.”

According to local sources, the armed group, which calls itself “Rehmonnya,” has given the village four days to raise the funds. The group initially gave the village until only today to make the payment, though it contacted village leaders a second time yesterday to push the deadline back to June 12. Continue reading “Mon ceasefire group increases armed patrols in response to taxation by insurgents inside party territory”

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)-Thailand: Recent arrivals from Myanmar

09 Jun 2009

This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva. Further information can be found on the UNHCR websites, and, which should also be checked for regular media updates on non-briefing days.

Today and yesterday we have sent our staff to villages and a cave in northern Thailand to find out more details about a group of Karen people who have fled across the Moei River from Myanmar since last Wednesday.

Estimates of the number vary greatly from about 2,000 people to some 6,400, and one of the first things we would like to do is ascertain the number of people who are in the five sites near Mae Sot.

They are staying in temples and in homes in four villages and in one case, in a cave accessible only by river and by a 40-minute climb up a steep mountain which is very slippery right now because it is raining heavily.

From our preliminary discussions with the few new Karen arrivals we have been able to talk with, it seems some were fleeing actual fighting between the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, which is allied with government forces, and the rebel Karen National Union (KNU). Others say they were fleeing forced recruitment or forced labour by government forces.

A number of the people who have fled to Thailand were already displaced within their own country. They were residents of the Ler Per Her camp for internally displaced persons run by the KNU within Karen-held territory inside Myanmar. All of the people in that camp fled to Thailand across the Moei River when it was shelled, they say.

Many of the people brought their belongings with them, and the Thailand-Burma Border Consortium, a group of non-governmental organizations providing aid to refugees, has supplied them with basic food, mosquito nets, pots and pans and blankets. UNHCR has also given them plastic sheeting.

Most of the new arrivals say they want to stay as close to their villages as possible in order to go home quickly once the situation calms down because they left cattle behind and because it is time to begin planting rice.

UNHCR is working closely with Thai authorities to best respond to the needs of the new arrivals.

Mongla conducts survey on transforming armed wing

The National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS), commonly known as the Mongla group by the name of its main base, had conducted a 5 day long public survey whether it should transform itself into border guard forces last week, according to sources from the Sino-Burma border.

The survey was conducted from 2-6 June in areas operated by the 369th Brigade, 911th Brigade as well as at its main base regarding the junta’s proposal that all ceasefire groups transform themselves into 326 strong units, commanded by their own officers but supervised by 30 junta officers, said an insider source.

At each public meeting, people were asked three questions:
• Should the NDAA accept the junta’s proposal to transform itself into a border guard force?
• Do the people want war?
• Will the people support the NDAA if there is fighting?

The questions were given not only to the public but also to its military units. The situation of the country since the Panglong Agreement of 1947 up to the present time was also recounted by survey team officers, according to the source.

According to survey team, most respondents had answered “No” to Question# 1 and 2. As for the third question, the 369th Brigade area where the majority are ethnic Shan voted to support the NDAA if there is fighting. The second strongest voice came from the people in the 911th Brigade area and the third from people from its main base. Continue reading “Mongla conducts survey on transforming armed wing”

Junta No 3 Reportedly in China

The Burmese junta is busy making diplomatic approaches to neighboring countries after the crisis in international relations over the charges against pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Burmese military junta’s third highest ranking general, Thura Shwe Mann, the joint chief of staff, is reportedly visiting China, while Singaporean former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong is in Burma for an official visit.

According to intelligence sources, Shwe Mann visited neighboring China accompanied by Lt-Gen Tin Aye, who is chief of ordnance production.

Neither Beijing and Naypyidaw have made an official announcement about Shwe Mann’s trip to China. Shwe Mann, however, has made three unannounced visits to China, the junta’s closest ally, in the last two years. His last visit was in April 2009.

“He [Shwe Mann] can make unannounced trips to China anytime, as he has done in the past,” said Win Min, a Burmese researcher in civil-military relations, who is based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. “According to Burmese military sources, he reportedly went to China for more than 10 days in April. Then he flew to North Korea.” Continue reading “Junta No 3 Reportedly in China”

Request your participation for a Global Day of Action for Karen and Arakanese in Indian Zoya Phan

Request your participation for a Global Day of Action for Karen and Arakanese in Indian jail.

Dear people from Burma and support groups,

We are organizing a global day of action on 22nd June 2009 to call for the immediate release of the Karen and Arakanese prisoners in India jail. This action is organized by the Karen Community Association- UK (KCA-UK) together with Arakanese Community in UK and supported by the Burma Campaign UK.

In London, there will be a demonstration in front of the Indian High Commission from 12-1pm and a letter to the Indian Prime Minister will be delivered that day.
We would like to request your help to take an action on that day by your organization to organise a demonstration in front of Indian Embassy in your own country
34 members of Karen and Arakanese freedom fighters are currently held in Kolkata ‘s presidency jail in India. These freedom fighters have been arrested since 1998 then betrayed by an Indian military intelligence. An Indian military intelligence officer who had offered them co-operation and lured them to India then accused them of terrorism. The Indian officer took a huge amount of money from the freedom fighters and killed six of their leaders in cold blood and arrested the rest of them. Continue reading “Request your participation for a Global Day of Action for Karen and Arakanese in Indian Zoya Phan”

KNU Calls for Tripartite Talks

The Karen National Union (KNU) has called on international bodies to pressure the Burmese military government for tripartite talks on political and ethnic military conflicts in Burma.

The move comes as ongoing attacks have been launched by the joint forces of the Burmese army and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), a ceasefire group, against the KNU. We, the KNU, earnestly urge the United Nations, the international communities, the regional and neighboring countries to concertedly pressure the SPDC for immediate acceptance of [a] tripartite dialogue process, for resolving the political and military conflicts in the country,” said a KNU statement released on Monday.

Since early June, following attacks against Brigade 7 of the KNU military wing, the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), about 4,000 Karen villagers have sought safety in Thailand, while experiencing insufficient food, shelter, clothing and medical care. Some relief workers estimated the number of Karen refugees has now reached 6,000 people.

On Monday, a Thai army commander, Lt-Gen Thanongsak Aphirakyothin, said that a total of 1,741 Karen have entered Thailand from eastern Burma since fighting started in early June, according to Reuters. The unit of Thanongsak operates along Thailand’s western border.

“They fled because of danger and fear of capture and forced labor by the Myanmar army, the commander told reporters in Mae Sot. “Most of the refugees are women and children.”

Karen sources claim that about 20 soldiers from the joint force have been killed during recent clashes. The number of KNU soldiers dead or injured was not given.

The statement said the attacks against Karen villagers were an attempt to eliminate the Karen people.

The Burmese regime’s recent order to the DKBA, an armed group that separated from the KNU, to transform its troops into a border guard force under the ministry of defense turns the DKBA into the regime’s “slaves,” the statement said.

Instead of serving the Burmese regime, the DKBA should listen to the voice of the Karen people and protect them, said the KNU.

“Accordingly, we earnestly urge all concerned to study the entire condition and actively work for [the] prevention of [the] elimination of the Karen, as a people, and uniting the entire Karen people under the flag of Karen revolution,” said the statement.

The KNU urged the DKBA to assume the position of ethnic ceasefire groups in northern Burma, such as the United Wa State Army and Kokang group, also known as Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, which are bonding with the local population to take an independent role in opposition to the regime.

“We would like to tell the DKBA that it is time for it to consider its aims and the actual conditions objectively, to listen to the voice of the Karen people and to stand for the Karen people’s interest,” said the statement.

By working with the Burmese military government, the DKBA is helping to legalize the military dictatorship through its general election in 2010 and its attempt to eliminate all ceasefire groups, said the KNU.

Aung Naing Oo, a Burmese analyst in Thailand, said the current offensive is also a part of a process to convince all armed ethnic groups to transfer their troops into a border guard force that would serve under the Burmese military.