Regime Goal: The Strongest Army in Southeast Asia

The Burmese military regime is well on its way to modernizing its military services, including a self-manufacturing infrastructure for the army, navy and air force.

Many of the changes have occurred under the direction of Snr-Gen Than Shwe, who became chairman of the ruling council in 1992.

The Defense Industry (DI) ministry, Burma’s main military industry agency, operates 22 manufacturing or procurement facilities, many located on the west bank of the Irrawaddy River west of the Pegu mountain range.Lt-Gen Tin Aye, a trusted Than Shwe ally, is chief of the Defense Industry ministry.

Htay Aung, a Thailand-based military researcher, said that since the military took control of the country in 1988, Burma has steadily expanded its military services and modernized armament production and procurement.

“In Southeast Asia, Burma has the second largest military after Vietnam,” Htay Aung told The Irrawaddy.

“The primary reason for military expansion is that the generals fear that Burma could face an invasion, since it is located between two giant neighbors [India and China].” Continue reading “Regime Goal: The Strongest Army in Southeast Asia”

Mara People’s Army was organized on 15 June 2009 by a retired military officer under the junta’s guidance-Mara social and religious groups reject Mara People’s Army

News – Khonumthung News
WEDNESDAY, 19 AUGUST 2009 10:51

Mara social organizations and religious leaders have rejected the Mara People’s Army (MPA). They declared it an illegal group on 18 July in Mara district, Mizoram state, northeast India.

A leader of a Mara social organization said that the MPA had been into many illegal activities like kidnapping a daughter of a Paumoe villager, in Paletwa township, Chin state in 2008 and snatching money and locally-made guns from local Mara people as well as disturbing local peace and security. So social, youth and religious organizations cannot accept them as the representative of their tribe.

“The MPA is a burden and a liability for the people. There is no benefit in having an armed group. Each of our organization’s leaders have put their signature on paper about not accepting MPA to defend ourselves as well as to protect our Maraland,” a member of the Mara Peace Commission told Khonumthung News.

In fact, the Mara People’s Army has submitted some resolutions to the Burmese military junta in keeping with their agreement with Mr. Aung Myo Hlai, the second-in-command of the Sabawlte based military camp LIB 140 on July 12 in Chapui village, Saiha district in Mizoram state.

The original agreement and the resolution on July 14 highlighted that the MPA group supports and trusts the military government. Therefore it will support the forthcoming 2010 general elections in Burma. It has demanded security guards for Maraland and its people as well as a separate township where all Mara people can live together in unity under the military regime as the group has being fighting for the military government.

The resolution of the Mara People’s Army will be submitted to higher authorities. They will have another meeting in September this year, said a source close to MPA. Continue reading “Mara People’s Army was organized on 15 June 2009 by a retired military officer under the junta’s guidance-Mara social and religious groups reject Mara People’s Army”

Face off between Burmese Army and KIA troops, clash averted

News – Kachin News Group
THURSDAY, 20 AUGUST 2009 14:56

There was a face off between troops of the Burmese Army and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) soldiers in Burma’s northern Kachin State about two weeks ago but a clash was averted. The stand off came even as the KIO and the junta are locked in discussions over their demands, said sources close to KIA.

The clash was about to occur when the Burmese soldiers encircled the KIA’s battalion 6 based in Seng Ra in Hpakant jade land. Later the Burmese soldiers were surrounded by the KIA soldiers, said residents of Hpakant.

A gun battle between the two sides was narrowly averted because the permission to open fire by KIA’s battalion 6 commander Major Yawngba Shawng was not granted by Maj-Gen Gunhtang Gam Shawng, chief of staff of the KIA based in the Laiza headquarters on the Sino-Burma border in Kachin State, said sources close to KIA’s battalion 6.

In the stand off, the Burmese troops were led by Col. Than Aung, commander of the Hpakant-based Military Strategic Command. Reinforcements were sent from the Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina, said Hpakant sources.

According to Hpakant residents, the face off between the KIA and Burmese troops follows a dispute between the KIA’s battalion 6 commander Maj Yawngba Shawng and the Burmese Army’s Hpakant strategic command commander Col. Than Aung over the July 4 and 5 severe floods and landslides in Hpakant.

A day after the floods and landslides the KIA’s battalion 6 commander and his officers went to the office of Tit Tone Lone jade company in Hpakant, which was mainly responsible for the flooding and mudslides in Kalajaung quarter in Hpakant by its jade mining activities. They threatened the company’s officials with showing pistols because they refused to clear the roads in the affected areas, said residents. Continue reading “Face off between Burmese Army and KIA troops, clash averted”

1 Burmese soldier drowns, 4 remain missing

Thu 20 Aug 2009, IMNA
On August 19th, 5 soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 32, are believed to have drowned, as one body has washed up in the river. However, some believe the remaining soldiers may have deserted.

During a regular rotation, the troops from LIB No. 32 left their base at Three Pagoda Pass to return to the battalion headquarters in Kyainnseikyi Township. During their return trip, the Burmese soldiers forded the Zemi River. While crossing as a single file column, the last 5 soldiers of nearly 30 that had crossed were swept down river, according to sources close to the event.

Soldiers from the unit immediately searched for the 5 missing soldiers but no bodies were found. Later, according to a source involved in the search, a body of one of the missing soldiers was recovered further down river, drowned.

“After they sank in the river the leader and his soldiers were trying to find out what had happened, but today found one of the soldiers was found dead,” a local source said to IMNA. “The search has continued for the 4 remaining lost soldiers.”

According to the source, the four soldiers disappeared with full military kit, and rumors have spread about whether they had all really drowned or whether they have defected from the battalion.

“About 5 days ago 2 of their [LIB No. 32] soldiers defected from the base in Three Pagodas Pass,” a resident who refused to give his name, told IMNA. “That’s why they are worried about the losing soldiers.”
1 Burmese soldier drowns, 4 remain missing

breaking-and-news-brief:Junta alert about possible monk-led protests

by Mizzima News
Thursday, 20 August 2009 17:53
Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Firm in its belief that Buddhist monks are gearing up for another round of protests, the Burmese military junta has put main Buddhist monasteries and temples under close surveillance, sources in the military establishment in Naypyitaw said.

Based on intelligence inputs the military government believes that there could be another round of protests akin to that of the September 2007 demonstrations, which came to be known as the ‘Saffron Revolution’. It is therefore keeping monks under special surveillance.

Monks from Kyopinkauk township are included in the list of special surveillance, the source said.


In Rangoon security personnel are once again visible, taking up positions in main junctions, and key areas, including the popular Shwe Dagon Pagoda and Kabar Aye Pagoda Street, which were used as places to assemble by protesting monks during the September demonstrations.

ရာဇာလီ-ဂမ္ဘာရီ cartoon by Dr.Lun Swe


ရာဇာလီ-ဂမ္ဘာရီ-ဘန္ကီမြန္း-ဂ်င္မ္၀က္ဘ္၊ ‘ရက္စက္တယ္’ နဲ႔ ဒီမိုကေရစီပြဲႀကိဳက္ခင္မ်ား
(ေခတ္ၿပိဳင္အင္တာနက္စာမ်က္ႏွာမွ …)

LunSwe 20.august