The embattled armed wing of the largest Karen political group intends to recruit soldiers amongst Three Pagoda Pass township’s Karen population as the Burmese military government forces prepare to assault the Karen regional base.

Karen armed wing intends to recruit before Burmese army assault
Tue 21 Jul 2009, IMNA
The embattled armed wing of the largest Karen political group intends to recruit soldiers amongst Three Pagoda Pass township’s Karen population as the Burmese military government forces prepare to assault the Karen regional base.

The Karen National Union’s (KNU), Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), is intending to recruit soldiers after it has become evident that the Burmese Army will continue its offensive against the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) at brigade No. 6 located in the are of Three Pagoda Pass township.

The KNLA has been conducting brief military trainings for young men over the age of 18 throughout Karen territory for the past few years. The trainings have been conducted so that if necessary the men would be available to fight in the army.

The KNLA has already informed Karen villages that it will be recruiting villagers to serve in its army group. KNLA has not yet begun recruiting, but its efforts will focus on the Zami river area. Yet some villagers, including young men who were previously trained, are fleeing to Thailand, according to a Sa Ya Pa (Burmese military intelligence) who talked with Karen residents from TPP Township. There are Ten villages have along the Zami River and most consist of mostly Karen residents.

“I heard that the KNLA is trying to recruit villagers for their army,” said a Karen resident from TPP. “If there are 3 men in one household, the KNLA will take 2 men, and if you have 2 men in a house they will take 1.”

On July 8th the Burmese army State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) combined forces with the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) in a joint offensive against the KNLA brigade No. 6 forces in the temporary Tae Tone Lone camp, 12 kilometers outside Three Pagodas Pass. The KNU is preparing their forces to push back against the DKBA. Continue reading “The embattled armed wing of the largest Karen political group intends to recruit soldiers amongst Three Pagoda Pass township’s Karen population as the Burmese military government forces prepare to assault the Karen regional base.”

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who reached Bangkok on Tuesday to attend a regional security conference, will meet humanitarian workers in Thailand, including Burmese humanitarian worker Dr. Cynthia Maung on Wednesday.

Hillary Clinton to meet Burmese humanitarian worker
by Mizzima News
Tuesday, 21 July 2009 21:43

New Delhi (mizzima) – The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who reached Bangkok on Tuesday to attend a regional security conference, will meet humanitarian workers in Thailand, including Burmese humanitarian worker Dr. Cynthia Maung on Wednesday.

Clinton, who flew into Thailand following a five-day visit to India, will meet humanitarian workers on Wednesday in Bangkok before leaving for Thailand’s resort Island of Phuket to attend the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum (ARF).

During their meeting, Dr. Cynthia Maung is likely to raise the issue of democracy and human rights in her homeland besides expounding on the situation of humanitarian work along the Thai-Burmese border.

Dr. Cynthia Maung, an ethnic Karen doctor heads the Mea Tao clinic in Thailand’s Measot town, opposite Burma’s Myawaddy town. She is a renowned humanitarian worker contributing her expertise in medicine for Burmese people including migrant workers, refugees and orphans.

She left her homeland, Burma, in 1989 a year after the brutal military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. Since then she has run the Mea Tao clinic, which has expanded from a small clinic to a full-fledged hospital with over 100 paramedics.

Dr. Cynthia Maung received Southeast Asia’s Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership and was listed as one of 2003 Time Magazine’s Asian Heroes. She has received six international awards for her work. In 1999, she was the first recipient of the Jonathan Mann Award, sponsored by US and Swiss health organizations.

Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State, who was received by Thailand’s Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva on Tuesday, is expected to raise the issue of Burma and North Korea at the ARF meeting.

Myanmar more positive towards ASEAN’s help

BANGKOK, 21 July 2009 (NNT) – Myanmar is more positive for help extended by ASEAN nations while the Myanmar leader will be reported on the result of this ASEAN meeting, according to ASEAN Department Director-General Vitavas Srivihok.

Mr Vitavas informed that Myanmar Foreign Minister U Nyan Win was optimistic towards the bid of ASEAN to aid Myanmar, saying that Myanmar was confident in ASEAN for all of its help since the nation viewed the help from ASEAN was better than that of other organizations outside the ASEAN region.

The Director-General added that the Myanmar Foreign Minister had affirmed to report all the results of the meetings further to the Supreme Leader of Myanmar accordingly. Therefore, he said ASEAN must follow the stance of the Myanmar leader towards this issue.

Mr Vitavas clarified that the transnational terrorism was not discussed in this meeting. He said meeting focused more on human trafficking to find any measures for problem alleviation in the future.

Sankhalaburi – Mon youths made to accept membership by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army from Mon villages in Kawkareik and Pa-an township in Karen State, are being sent to the frontline to fight the KNU, said a Mon youth from Kawt Mate village.

New DKBA members sent to frontline
News – Kaowao News
TUESDAY, 21 JULY 2009 12:26

Sankhalaburi – Mon youths made to accept membership by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army from Mon villages in Kawkareik and Pa-an township in Karen State, are being sent to the frontline to fight the KNU, said a Mon youth from Kawt Mate village.

Family members of youth, who have gone into hiding, are being threatened to bring them back. At the meeting point in Myawaddy, a person who can bribe 30,000-50,000 baht does not have to go to the frontline. Such a person can leave for other places. Most of them are heading for Thailand.

Mon youths have got DKBA membership cards after paying 20,000 Kyat, from the Karen Language and Literature Association based in Pa-an. The membership cards help to avoid disturbance from the authorities. Mon businessmen, who are into human trafficking, motorcycle trafficking and other business ventures become DKBA members. While they take the name of the DKBA they are not soldiers.

According to news agencies, over 100 DKBA soldiers were killed in the joint offensive of the DKBA and the Burmese Army against the KNU brigade 7 in early June.

Injured DKBA soldiers are being treated in Maesot, Myawaddy, Shwe Koukko and Pa-an hospitals.

“A Kawt Me villager and another from Minn Village have been injured. Many people, who are not soldiers, were injured in the battle,” said a relative of an injured DKBA Mon soldier.

According to Myawaddy locals, people who are being made to take DKBA membership are suffering from depression because they have to go to the frontline.

Indonesia leads Asean Burma fears

Indonesia’s foreign minister has said Burma’s elections cannot be free and fair unless detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi is free.
Hasan Wirayuda was speaking as regional foreign ministers gathered in Thailand for an Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) Regional Forum.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also due to attend the forum.
She is currently in Bangkok, where she is due to meet Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva.
Asean has a policy of non-interference in members’ affairs, but Burma has provoked widespread censure.
Indonesia has led Asean concerns about Burma, telling correspondents that the group has become frustrated at the lack of progress on democratic reforms.
Mr Wirayuda said the recent trial of Ms Suu Kyi had dashed hopes of a meaningful election scheduled for next year.
A new human rights body created by Asean, lambasted by regional activists as lacking any enforcement power, was almost scuttled over the weekend when an increasingly assertive Indonesia sought to strengthen its provisions. Continue reading “Indonesia leads Asean Burma fears”

Mon youth and monks release statement to commemorate fall of 2 Mon political heros

Fri 17 Jul 2009, IMNA, Asah
A group composed of Mon youth and young monks has released a statement calling for political reconciliation, and explains the significance of the work carried out by the 2 Mon political activists.

July 17th marks the 6th anniversary of the arrest of two Mon political prisoners, Nai Yehka and Nai Cheem Gakao, who were arrested by the Burmese military regime. The arrest has become a symbolic holiday for the Mon, in which Mon people are encouraged to continue to demand the release of political prisoners, and for national reconciliation.

Today the Mon Young Monks Union (MYMU) with the assistance of Mon youth released a statement to the Mon people and political groups, such as the New Mon State Party (NMSP) and the Mon National Democratic Front (MNDF).

The statement began demanding that the Burmese military regime immediately releases the two Mon political activists Nai Yekha, Nai Cheem Gakao, along with all other political prisoners including Daw Ang San Suu Kyi, Khun Tun Oo, Min Ko Naing, Min Zay Yar and Ko Ko Kyi.

According to one person close to the MYMU, the group’s aim is to educate as many Mon people about the political situation as they can, and try to get them interested and involved in politics.

“Every single Mon person has to know more about Nai Yehka and Nai Cheem Gakao, so we are releasing this statement,” he said. “Besides this, we also handed out a letter in Mon State.”

The statement focuses on the importance of National reconciliation, and what it really means to carry out a tri-partied dialog. The statement emphasized the importance of such talks, and stated that as the 2010 elections will unfold under Burmese military government control, and because of this, must be stopped.

The NMSP signed a cease-fire with the SPDC in 1995. After the signing, Nai Yehka began organizing and teaching because he believed that any political changes made must come from the people of Burma. For this reason he taught politics and political defiance to people, including monks, students, youths, farmers and women. His activism increased, and he met Nai Cheem Gakao, with whom he participated in the 8-8-88 uprising, according to the statement. Continue reading “Mon youth and monks release statement to commemorate fall of 2 Mon political heros”

Patrols recalled following clash

yawd-serk02
Patrols recalled following clash

All Burma Army units patrolling the countryside in Southern Shan State have been withdrawn leaving the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’ free to roam all areas outside heavily barricaded towns and villages, following a 7-hour fight between the two sides last week.
Reasons for the surprise move by the Burma Army could only be speculated at present, according to SSA South commanders:
• Security in towns in anticipation of Martyrs Day (19 July) commemorating the event in 1949 when Aung San and 8 others, including the popular Shan prince Sao Sam Tun, were assassinated
• Security in towns in preparation for the 2010 elections
• Preparation for a new offensive

“We are definitely on the lookout,” said Col Yawdserk, the SSA leader. “I have instructed all units to be twice on alert.”

The fight on 15 July in Kehsi township had resulted in 11 killed, 1 captured and 5 assorted weapons seized on the Burma Army side. Only 14 reportedly got away, some wounded. “Since 21 May (Shan Resistance Day), we have killed more than 30 and seized more than 20 weapons,” an officer in the field told SHAN matter-of-factly.

The Burma Army in Shan State is said to be preparing for a military showdown with either the SSA South or the ceasefire armies including the United Wa State Army (UWSA) with which it has been on an increasingly sour relationship since last year.
shanland.ord

Suu Kyi’s cousin handed Gandhi prize

hd_gandhi
gandhi
The Mahatma Gandhi prize has been awarded to a representative of Burma’s jailed pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The Durban-based committee behind the International Award for Peace and Reconciliation handed over the prize to Ms Suu Kyi’s cousin and the head of Burma’s self-proclaimed government-in-exile, Sein Win.

The prize is awarded by the Gandhi Development Trust in honour of the political and spiritual leader of India during that country’s movement for independence from the British Empire.

Ms Suu Kyi, the Nobel Laureate, has been detained for more than 13 of the past 19 years and has been in jail since May.