Aung San Suu Kyi to meet legal team again

by Myint Maung
Wednesday, 15 July 2009 22:14

New Delhi (Mizzima) – To tie up the loose ends and sew up the final argument on the trial of Nobel Peace Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, her defence counsels will be meeting her on Friday July 17, in Rangoon’s notorious Insein prison, where she is being detained.

Nyan Win, a member of Aung San Suu Kyi’s legal team and spokesperson for her political party National League for Democracy on Wednesday told Mizzima that they are negotiating with the authorities to allow more meetings with their party leader.

“So far we have confirmed the meeting on Friday. But we are still negotiating with the authorities,” he said.

Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has been charged and put on trial since mid-May, for violating her detention laws and ‘harboring’ an American man, who secretly sneaked into her lakeside villa in early May.

The special court in Insein prison has fixed July 24 for the hearing of the final arguments from both lawyers. The court is expected to come up with a verdict after hearing the final argument.

Nyan Win said, the defence team has prepared a 20-page final argument and will seek the approval of the accused, Aung San Suu Kyi. Continue reading “Aung San Suu Kyi to meet legal team again”

Dear Dr.Lun Swe, Severe Tornado hit Ayeyarwady Delta

Severe Tornado hit Kyein Chaung Gyi Village (Kyein Chaung Gyi Village Tract, Amar Sub-Urban, Pyar Pone Township), yesterday (14th July 2009) afternoon around 3:30 PM to 3:40 PM, it only lasted for a little over 10 minutes, but the damage is considerable, however that village is what local are called FOR SHOW village of Myanmar Govt., as many may have recalled and noticed that this was the same village they always show in MRTV, they have built 2 rows of model houses on the river bank and claimed as donated to poor families, but now turned out to be most of the house are (fortunately) vacant, and all those houses are destroyed by Tornado yesterday.

Damages are

– 34 Shelters destroyed (Govt. for show houses)
– 13 families living in 21 houses (65 people who are village admin committie (ya ya ka), USDAs and relatives families.)
– 21 houses are vacant (fortunately)
– Half of the meeting hall (for Govt. officials to make press shows and briefing) destroyed
– 6 people injured, and no casualty reported
– One monastery called “Than Ma Ni Ta Yar” (hundred steel irons) has been lightly damaged as well
– One individual shelter (occupied by Primary School Teacher) was totally destroyed.

Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) is already responding to the emergency, however since the village is totally controlled by Govt., other INGOs who doesn’t have permissions to work in that area may not be able to help in this situation. Many agencies in Bogale and Pyapone area are frustrated with the Govt. ignorances and arrogant policies.

The same restriction has also set for last week Phar khant/ Lone Khin (flood and Land Slide) accident, eventhough many agencies want to respond Govt. not allow them to go there, and many people are suffering.

Senior General Than Shwe allegedly forced to retire

For thirteen years, Sr. Gen Than Shwe and his family stayed on top of the Burmese military government, featuring prominently in nightly news and steadfastly refusing to hand power to election winner National League for Democracy.
Now the man who joined the army at 20 has been forced to retire by Deputy Sr. Gen Maung Aye because of nepotism and corruption, according to sources close to the government.

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The news has not been confirmed but a resident at the China-Burma border insists it is genuine, saying regional commanders and those close to high profile members of SPDC have been told.

Other sources at the Burmese border also says the armies have been barred from using wireless communication which could be intercepted, a sign that the army might be trying to suppress the news.

U Hein Naing tells BBC Burmese he heard it from a reliable source who has links to the high offices at SPDC. Continue reading “Senior General Than Shwe allegedly forced to retire”

ONGC mulls stake in Burmese pipeline

ONGC Videsh may pick up a stake in an onshore pipeline China National Petroleum Corporation will construct to transport gas from Daewoo International’s Blocks A-1 and A-3 to China.

CNPC has offered a 49.9% stake in the 870-kilometre, 40-inch pipeline project to the Daewoo International-led consortium developing the gas fields in the two blocks, the Press Trust of India reported citing sources.

Since Daewoo was inclined to participate in the pipeline project, the board of ONGC Videsh has also approved taking stake in the project, according to the same sources.

South Korea’s Daewoo International will retain a 51% stake in Blocks A-1 and A-3 if Burma’s state-run Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) exercise the right to 15% interest in the two blocks. ONGC Videsh will hold 20%, while Gail and Kogas will each retain 8.5%.

The proposed interest split will see Daewoo picking up 25.04% of the pipeline project and ONGC Videsh a 8.35% stake. CNPC will remain as the major shareholder. The remaining interest will be split among Myanma Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) (7.37%), Gail (4.17%) and Kogas (4.17%).

Gas will be sold to China for $7.72 per million British thermal unit at the landfall point in Burma.

Many workers in the agro-industrial, garment, fishery and mining industries could lose their jobs once the Asean Economic Community (AEC) comes into existence by 2015, as investment is likely to shift to countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Vietnam.

Some jobs at risk, post-AEC

These neighbouring countries are rich in natural resources and have lower labour costs, which would encourage Thai and foreign businesses to invest there rather than stay in the Kingdom.

These are the findings of a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

“Although Thai exports will grow significantly after integration, some industries will be at risk of being affected because investors are likely to move to other countries,” said Aat Pisanwanich, director of the university’s Centre for International Trade Studies.

Businesses most likely to be moved will be those that are labour-intensive and where the cost of raw materials is low. Aat said the first-tier businesses of those risky industries would be the first to be affected because they can be easily moved abroad due to the need for low-technology development.

To ensure Thai labour remains competitive, Aat said the government must accelerate the education of people to recognise the pros and cons of economic integration.

Chainant Ukosakul, vice chairman of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s committee on trade rules and international trade, said the government must also prepare for the raising of non-tariff barriers among Asean member states.

Some countries will take steps to protect their industries from liberalisation, in particular agricultural and agro-industrial businesses.

For instance, Indonesia could ban imports of halal food from Thailand, claiming halal food production here was not in accordance with Islamic regulations.

The study found that exports from Thailand to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei would grow significantly after import tariffs for almost 100 per cent of trade in goods among these countries are cut to zero. Products that will enjoy higher export growth are electronic goods, electrical appliances, automobiles and parts, chemical ducts, petroleum and processed foods.

Around 70 members from two government-allied militia groups in Burma, along with two soldiers from the Burmese army, have reportedly defected to the opposition Karen National Union.

Burmese army troops defect to Karen group
July 15, 2009 (DVB)–Around 70 members from two government-allied militia groups in Burma, along with two soldiers from the Burmese army, have reportedly defected to the opposition Karen National Union.

The move comes during an ongoing offensive by the Burmese army, supported by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), against the Karen National Union (KNU) that began on 2 June.
According to KNU joint secretary Saw Hla Ngwe, the soldiers who joined the KNU’s Brigade 6 were from both the DKBA and the Karen Peace Force (KPF), who split from the KNU in 1997 and allied themselves to the government.
“On 7 July, Saw Er Wah from [the DKBA] came with 12 people, 16 guns and two walkie-talkies,” said Saw Hla Ngwe, adding that around 55 more people had subsequently joined over the ensuing days, and brought with them weaponry and ammunition.
A source close to the KPF confirmed the defection, and said that two troops from the Burmese army had also joined.
“I came to learn about it when people from the DKBA office rang, asking if anyone had found their men who went missing,” he said, adding that KNU Brigade 6 had confirmed the soldiers were with them. Continue reading “Around 70 members from two government-allied militia groups in Burma, along with two soldiers from the Burmese army, have reportedly defected to the opposition Karen National Union.”