Question to UNHCR Dhaka-What happens to this burmese monk?

this post is from January 2009- A Burmese monk, U Thuriya, who was involved in the Saffron Revolution protests in 2007, has been suffering mentally after the UNHCR Dhaka office rejected his application for refugee status, said an abbot who accepted him to stay at his monastery.
Burmese Monk Suffering After UNHCR Rejection

Dhaka: A Burmese monk, U Thuriya, who was involved in the Saffron Revolution protests in 2007, has been suffering mentally after the UNHCR Dhaka office rejected his application for refugee status, said an abbot who accepted him to stay at his monastery.
“I am really worried about his health because sometimes he refuses to take his food and medicine. He has been staying along in the monastery without talking after returning from Dhaka,” the abbot said.

U Thuriya, who is 25 years old, was wanted to arrest by the Burmese military authority for his involvement in the many protests during 2007’s Saffron Revolution in Sittwe. At the time, the monk was a student from Pathein monastery located in Kon Dan Ward in Sittwe.

“I am all Burmese people here know about U Thuriya and why he came from Burma. He escaped from Burma to Bangladesh out of fear of arrest by the Burmese military authority. But we are unable to understand the decision of the UNHCR on his case,” the abbot said.

U Thuriya fled from Sittwe to Bangladesh through his native border town of Buthidaung in northern Arakan soon after the Burmese military authority began an armed crackdown on the monk movement in Burma in 2007.

U Thuriya once told Narinjara that he had crossed many dangerous places in the border area on his way to Bangladesh, but he luckily escaped Burma with the help of local tribes people in the border area.

After he arrived, he came to Dhaka to apply for refugee status with the UNHCR, but the UNHCR rejected his claim for asylum after only one interview. U Thuriya’s register Number was 393-08C-00044, and he was given notice of rejection on 22 October, 2008. continue


The Dhaka office of the UNHCR has canceled the World Refugee Day event for urban refugees, mostly Burmese.

UNHCR cancels World Refugee Day programme in Bangladesh

Dhaka: The Dhaka office of the UNHCR has canceled the World Refugee Day event for urban refugees, mostly Burmese. The reason for the cancellation was that there would not be any activities (performances) from the urban refugee community, according to a telephone message from the UNHCR to the refugees.

A Burmese refugee said “We received a telephonic message from Dhaka UNHCR on Monday saying that the UNHCR has canceled the World Refugee Day programme for urban refugees.”

The UNHCR Dhaka office was to hold the World Refugee Day for urban refugees at the Raowa conference room, VIP Road, Mohakhali Dhaka, from 9 am to 1.30 pm, on June 21.

The UNHCR invited all urban refugees to attend the ceremony. The UNHCR also promised to provide 1000 Taka as traveling expenses to a refugee if he/she comes to Dhaka from the rural areas of Bangladesh. But for refugees in Dhaka, the UNHCR was to provide 70 Taka each.

“We were preparing to attend the refugee day ceremony in Dhaka but we just postponed our travel plans to Dhaka after the UNHCR cancellation the programme. I think there is something serious behind the cancellation of the World Refugee Day programme by the UNHCR but I do not know the details,” the refugee said.

However, the UNHCR will distribute sanitary gifts to women refugees who are over 12 years old. T-shirts will also be distributed to urban refugees on the day.

Even though the UNHCR Dhaka office canceled the world refugee day programme for urban refugees it will hold the biggest world refugee day programme for Burmese Muslim refugees (Rohingya) at two refugee camps located at Cox’s Bazaar district in Bangladesh.

The relation between UNHCR Dhaka office and urban refugees is not very smooth at present due to what Burmese refugees call the discrimination practiced by UNHCR Dhaka office against Burmese urban refugees.

“I heard that the UNHCR Dhaka office canceled the World Refugee Day programme after receiving secret information that urban refugees plan to boycott the programme by not attending. So the UNHCR authorities canceled the programme because it was pointless to hold it without refugees,” said U Tun Kyaw, a Burmese refugee.

The palpable tension between UNHCR and urban refugees has increased after the UNHCR stopped the subsistence allowance to newly recognized refugees for six months. The UNHCR has also not come up with resettlement programmes for urban refugees despite many camp refugees having the chance to resettle in third countries.
Narinjara news

Showdown in the Wa capital

More details on the meeting between leaders of the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and Burma’s junta negotiators on the question of transforming the former into a border security force have emerged, according to a reliable source close to the Wa leadership on the Sino-Burma border.

The UWSA hotly rejected the junta’s proposal to transform itself into 326 strong units when its leaders and Military Affairs Security (MAS) chief Lt-Gen Ye Myint met on 7 June, at its main base in Panghsang from 14:00-17:00.

An unidentified Wa commanders during the meeting rhetorically asked, “How is it so easy for you to break the solemn promises given to us by your former leader General Khin Nyunt?”

He compared the Wa situation to the ongoing trial of democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi.

“You even dare to arrest and imprison the daughter of your national hero and leader General Aung San despite international pressure,” the officer was quoted as saying. “Our future could be even worse than hers as we are not from the same race. No one knows what future is there for us if we give in to your demands.”

The Wa leaders also reconfirmed that it could not withdraw its troops along the Thai-Burma border as it had made huge sacrifices not only in terms of lives but also finances.
The junta told the Wa last month to become a border security force and to withdraw from three strategic positions, opposite Chiangmai province. Continue reading “Showdown in the Wa capital”

Many Chin parents cannot afford to send their children to school so they admit them to the Children’s Orphanages in Chin state, western Burma.

The Director of Nazareth Children’s Orphanage Home said that there were more children in the home this year in Falam town.

“We give priority to orphans. Second come poor children from remote areas. We have admitted new children from 20 households this year. We have paid all their school fees and food expenses. They are attending government schools from here. We are sponsoring them to attend school,” he said.

The home is providing education, food and lodging for the children. It is a good shelter for poor students and children from remote areas. Most villagers therefore approach the home to educate their children.

There are two children’s orphanages – the Nazareth and Agape in Falam town. These support children with financial help from volunteer donors. They cannot accept too many children. Normally the average a year is 50 in Nazareth and 30 in the Agape home.

Nazareth home is now preparing to construct a new building for 100 children as the number of children is increasing every year.

“We spend Kyat 2 lakhs for 50 children per month in our home. School education is more expensive than their food as we have been providing all requirements from elementary school up to the collage level. Now we have five college going students in our home,” he added.

The Nazareth Children’s Home was established in 1995 and now it has about 55 children and 10 staff members in Falam town.

Bangladesh destroys unofficial Burmese refugee camp

News – Kaladan Press
TUESDAY, 16 JUNE 2009 15:35

Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh: Temporary huts of unofficial Burmese refugees were destroyed by Bangladeshi authorities yesterday. About 500 huts were destroyed near the Kutupalong official refugee camp under Ukhiya union, said Lala Meah of the refugee camp.

Yesterday the police, Ansar, foresters and some local people raided the unofficial refugee camp and destroyed the huts. About 18 refugees were injured during the operation. Of them, one refugee woman Rashida Begum (30) was seriously injured and taken to MSF clinic for treatment.

The other 16 injured refugees are also being treated in the MSF (Holland) clinic in Ukhiya union, he added. Some of the injured refugees are—Sayed Karim ( 3 months), Minara Begum (25 years), Raziya Begum (30 years), Nur Zahan (40 years), Fatema Khatun (30), Noor Kalam ( 4 years), Siniwara Begum (35), Rona Akter ( 2 years), Noor Naher ( 3 years) and Hameda Begum(25).

The refugees have fled to the southwest side of the earlier camp and are building new huts there with leaves, bushes and plastics. Some of the refugee children may fall sick due to excessive heat, said another refugee Sultan Ahmed.

There are about 29,399 people from 5,158 families living in the unofficial camp. Daily one or two families from Arakan State come to this camp, according to our correspondent. Continue reading “Bangladesh destroys unofficial Burmese refugee camp”

SPDC’s Constitution and a New Explosion of Political Conflict

Mon 15 Jun 2009,
Not surprisingly the Burmese military regime’s State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) announced that over 92% of voters said ‘yes’ to the creation of the militarized constitution in May 2008, even while the whole southwestern portion of Burma had been hit by Cyclone Nargis. Before the constitution was confirmed, the regime disallowed any public debates on the constitution so the referendum was not actually free and fair.

Now the regime’s SPDC plans to move forward with their militarized constitution by ignoring the main causes of the country’s political problems. The SPDC constitution will politically favor the military administration, allowing it to maintain a hold on its power by taking parliamentary seats and cabinet positions legally. This constitution does not intend to deal with democratic reform and demands from the ethnic groups for their right to self-determination.

How can the political transition by the military be smooth while thousands of political prisoners and the democratic leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, are in jail? How can Burma have a peaceful political transition process while there is armed conflict and civil war continues in most ethnic areas? Continue reading “SPDC’s Constitution and a New Explosion of Political Conflict”

Myanmar-Thai fiber optic network link put into operation

Myanmar-Thai fiber optic network link put into operation
YANGON, Jun 16, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) — Construction of the final phase of Myanmar-Thai inland fiber optic link, Myawaddy-Maesot, has been completed, putting the overall fiber optic network link between the two countries into operational, the local weekly Voice quoted the Myanmar Posts and Telecommunication (MPT) as reporting Tuesday.
According to the MPT, the Myanmar-Thai cross-border fiber optic link, which is of 10 gigabyte and set up in cooperation with the Telecommunication Organization of Thai (TOT), will bring the country’s total gigabyte to 20 after that with China.

The total completion of the Myanmar-Thai fiber link will enable direct telephone call between the two countries without going through China’s similar link and Singapore’s satellite link, experts said.The Myanmar-Thai fiber optic link extends as Yangon-Hmawby-Bago- Kyaikhto-Tahton-Pha an-Kawkareik-Thingan Nyinaung-Myawaddy on the Myanmar side and Maesot-Bangkok stands on the Thai side.

The project was implemented as part of the information superhighway network (ISN) project of the six-country Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)-Economic Cooperation.

The MPT also estimated that a 7-million-US-dollar cross-border fiber optic network link project between Myanmar and India, implemented since December 2006 under Indian loan, will be completed and operational soon.

The 640-kilometer-long Myanmar-India optical fiber link, which connects Indian’s northeastern border town of Moreh and Myanmar’s second largest city of Mandalay, passes through 6 cities of Tamu, Kampatwa, Kyi Gone, Shwebo, Monywa and Sagaing. Continue reading “Myanmar-Thai fiber optic network link put into operation”

Will civil war continue in Burma

Online Commentary

Members of ethnic armed ceasefire groups and their supporters are facing demands by the SPDC to come under its control or management. Most of the members and their supporters do not want their top leaders to give into the SPDC. The United Wa State Army (UWSA) has already refused to follow the demand.

Karen Peace Force (KPF) and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) members and their supporters have also been reluctant to remove the word Karen from their names. The SPDC has told the Karen leaders to transform the organizations from the KPF and the DKBA to the Border Guard Force. This name will no longer represent their national identity.

Although the Karen cease-fire groups leaders agreed to transfer control of their troops to the SPDC, the junior and low level members of the group do not endorse this decision.

Junior leaders of the DKBA have accused their top leaders of elitism and are disappointed about being barred from fighting on the frontlines. As more members turn into businessmen, fewer want to fight. “They are all too rich in the urban life to go back to the frontline, so now they must follow the demands of the SPDC,” one of the DKBA juniors told Kaowao, requesting anonymity. Continue reading “Will civil war continue in Burma”

Kachin Recruiting Drive Launched as Tension Mounts

The military wing of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) is recruiting former soldiers as tension builds over the Burmese regime’s instruction to ceasefire groups to reassign their troops as border guards.

A Kachin military source said the recruitment drive by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) was to heighten the force’s preparedness. “We are alert and ready to open fire if our leaders order it,” he said.
The five infantry brigades of the KIA stationed in Kachin State and Northern Shan State have more than 4,000 troops. The KIA also has a mobile brigade and has built a military academy and officer training school near the border town of Laiza, where the KIO has its headquarters.
Local residents in the Sino-Burmese border region say young recruits have been sent to KIA’s military training schools.

“It seems that the KIA prepares for war,” said a Laiza resident. Continue reading “Kachin Recruiting Drive Launched as Tension Mounts”