Human trafficking blacklist: Special Home Ministry team studying US report-Home Ministry: Malaysia has 90 days to answer findings in report

Malay Mail
Monday, June 22nd, 2009
Home Ministry: Malaysia has 90 days to answer findings in report
The Home Ministry has set up a team to study the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) annual report issued by the US Department of State, and will submit a speedy response to it findings.
Its secretary-general Datuk Mahmood Adam in confirming that a team was looking into the matter said Malaysia had 90 days to respond to the report that had put the country on Tier 3 of the human trafficking blacklist.
This is the third time Malaysia has been blacklisted. The first was in 2001. But its ranking improved to Tier 2 in subsequent years until 2007.
The 2009 report claimed Malaysia failed not only to “fully comply” with minimum standards to eliminate trafficking but “is not making significant efforts to do so.”
Last year the report elevated Malaysia to a “watch list” from the 2007 blacklist after finding that it was “making significant efforts” to comply with such standards.
The new report said that while the government took early steps to fight sex trafficking, it had yet to fully tackle labour trafficking in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s re-appearance on the blacklist has sparked debate on the matter
Yesterday, it was reported that the Ministry was waiting for an official letter from the US to learn exactly why Malaysia had been downgraded and what the country should be doing about it.
Balik Pulau Member of Parliament Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff, who is also secretary for the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC), slammed the various quarters for their rejection of the TIP report. Continue reading “Human trafficking blacklist: Special Home Ministry team studying US report-Home Ministry: Malaysia has 90 days to answer findings in report”

Two 14-year-old boys in Rangoon who were abducted into the army but then disqualified on fitness grounds have been forcibly sent to other military camps around Burma, according to the mother of one of the boys.

Two children abducted into Burmese army
June 24, 2009 (DVB)–Two 14-year-old boys in Rangoon who were abducted into the army but then disqualified on fitness grounds have been forcibly sent to other military camps around Burma, according to the mother of one of the boys.

The two, Zin Min Aung and Zaw Zaw, disappeared in late May after collecting wood near to Panpinsan village in Rangoon division’s Twante township.
Their families discovered in June that they had been abducted by army Sergeant Win Myint and sent to the Danyingone soldier recruitment centre in Rangoon’s Insein township.
“We went to the Danyingone recruitment centre last Friday and found out that our sons were brought there by Sergeant Win Myint on 7 June but they refused to recruit them as they were underage and not fit enough,” said Zin Min Aung’s mother, Kyu Kyu Mar.
Those who present new recruits to the Burmese army are often rewarded with a sum of money.
They then went to find Win Myint at his house but only his wife was there. Continue reading “Two 14-year-old boys in Rangoon who were abducted into the army but then disqualified on fitness grounds have been forcibly sent to other military camps around Burma, according to the mother of one of the boys.”

Burma acts the bully on Thailand

Larry Jagan

June 24, 2009 (DVB)–Relations between Thailand and Burma are set to deteriorate dramatically following Bangkok’s warning that the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi could all but destroy Burma’s already fragile credibility.

Thailand’s current position on Burma is stronger than usual, bolstered by concerns that Burma’s behaviour, by implication, would also impact on the credibility of the regional Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc. The junta of course dismisses these concerns, citing the ASEAN mantra of non-interference in its defense. But this time Burma’s political games are certain to be met with more pressure from its Asian allies and neighbours, especially Thailand.
The vexed issue of Burma is high on the agenda of Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s current visit to Beijing. He will certainly discuss the issue with his counterpart, Wen Jiabao, and the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, according to Thai government officials. The junta’s antics are all the more pressing now with detailed information emerging on the regime’s connection to Pyongyang; and now the North Korean ship en route to Rangoon has increased the temperature. Continue reading “Burma acts the bully on Thailand”

Thai government urged not to repatriate Karen refugees

by Usa Pichai
Wednesday, 24 June 2009 18:17

Chiang Mai (mizzima) – The government of Thailand has been urged by Asian lawmakers and activists not to repatriate Karen refugees, who recently fled to Thailand in the wake of fighting along the border.

Kraisak Chunhavan, chairman of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus (AIPMC) expressed concern over the situation on the Thai-Burma border where the fighting between the Burmese Army and an ethnic armed group is on, resulting in several thousand Karen villagers fleeing for shelter on the Thai side.

Kraisak insisted that the Thai government should provide humanitarian aid to these villagers and AIPMC will propose to the Thai government, as the current chairman of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), to work with member countries to promote democracy and sustainable peace in Burma.

“We are worried because the situation is still vulnerable. Many more refugees are coming to Thailand and we believe that the Thai government will not send these people back while the fighting continues because it is the principle of the Asean Charter to protect the rights of the people,” Kraisak said.

On Monday, the Karen Women’s Organization (KWO) released a statement expressing concern over the current situation of repatriation of families who recently arrived in Thailand in Tha Song Yang of Tak Province. Continue reading “Thai government urged not to repatriate Karen refugees”

After villagers repaired the gas pipeline with unpaid manual labor, there are still leaks in the Ah Khon village, Mudon Township, Mon State.

June 24, 2009
HURFOM: After villagers repaired the gas pipeline with unpaid manual labor, there are still leaks in the Ah Khon village, Mudon Township, Mon State.
Because of the sustained leaks, the villagers worry that the Burmese army will force them to again repair the Yadana/Yetagun gas pipeline
According to Ah Khon villager Mi Nyunt, “the gas pipeline is leaking again near our village. We don’t know when they will force us to repair it again. Now, 7 troops including one commander stand guard around the gas pipeline. We are worried that they will make us work in the pipeline again.”
The authorities have blocked the nearby road, thus making it difficult for villagers to travel to and from their farms.
Nai Myint, 56, an Ah Khon villager said, “the authority took 300 yards and blocked the way around the gas pipeline. They don’t allow us to cross the road to get our farm. If we want to get our farm, we need to avoid the troops and go others way to get our farm.”
Adds Myint, “I also worry that if the authority forces our villager to repair again. Last time, we had to spend 5 days repairing the gas rupture.”
From June 10th-15th, about 100 villagers were forced to work on the Yadana/Yetagun gas pipeline without payment near Ah Khon village.
Editor’s note: All villager and farmer names have been changed for security purposes.

Men posing as Thai police kidnap and rob newlywed

June 24, 2009
WCRP: Five Bangkok men posed as Thai police before kidnapping and robbing a 20-year-old girl. She had only been married 20 days.
One night in May, at around 3 a.m., the group of five men came to the apartment where a Burmese migrant worker family was living. They broke down the door and searched for money in the room.
According to one neighbor, “they came into her room to find the money. They took her money, 7,000 baht, and one mobile phone. And then they kidnapped the girl for two days. After that, they left her near her apartment alone and she went back on foot. Nobody could fight them, because they had guns and knives. If we fought they would have killed us.”
The girl, who wishes to remain anonymous, is from Kawgo village, Karen State, and works with her husband at a construction site in Bangkok.
“When we talked to the boss, he said he would not contact the Thai police because he also afraid of the group of Thai men,” said one man who work with the victims.
“Now many people face problems like this in Thailand. Because Thai people oppress the Burma migrant worker in Thailand,” he added.
A similar case occurred with a twelve-year-old Burmese migrant child in Minburi Sub-district, Bangkok. Sources told WCRP that she was gang-raped by five other Thai men posing as police.
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