by Myint Maung
Tuesday, 15 September 2009 20:08
New Delhi (Mizzima) – National League for Democracy, Burma’s main opposition party, is consolidating its youth and women party members across the country and has formed ‘Youth Working Groups’ in 69 townships in the past six months.
The Central Youth Working Group has formed regional youth working groups in 69 townships in Rangoon, Mandalay, Irrawaddy, Pegu, Tenasserim divisions and Kachin, Arakan and Mon states.
“We have formed these working groups and are infusing new blood in our party to get it ready and consolidate systematically. The new groups will be a bridge between the masses and the youth and masses and leaders. We are training them to emerge as a potent force,” the In-charge (2) of the NLD’s Central Youth Working Group told Mizzima.
The Central Youth Advisory Committee member Ohn Kyaing said, “Yes, we have been doing this work for about four to five months. We are coordinating with the Township and Divisional Organizing Committees in implementing it”.
Each of these township-wise youth working groups is comprised of 5 to 14 members and they are being given trainings in democracy, human rights and ethnic rights.
“We are reconsolidating these scattered youth forces. We educate them about democracy and human rights, which have been lost in Burma. We train them and make them aware of the current situation in the country, which is deprived of democracy, human rights, fundamental rights of the people and ethnic rights,” the youth in-charge said. Continue reading “NLD ‘Youth Working Groups’ set up in 69 townships”
U Tin Tun Aung, the joint secretary (1) of the association, said the 150-page, English-language directory will include a CD-Rom. About 3000 copies will be printed.
He said the directory will include details about Myanmar’s major tourist destinations, a list of festivals, transportation schedules and information on how to contact UMTA members, including tour operators, travel agents, restaurants and souvenir shops.
“We will distribute copies of the directory free of charge to international embassies in Yangon, Myanmar embassies worldwide and international travel fairs,” he said.
Junta backed paper news
New Mon splinter group draws first blood
Tue 15 Sep 2009, IMNA
Assailants from a newly formed Mon splinter group shot and wounded 2 members of a larger Mon splinter group. This is the first such assault by members of the new Mon splitter group.
2 members of the Mon Peace and Defense Front (MPDF), Nai Pang and Nai Sein, were shot at about 9:00 am on Saturday September 12th, in front of the headquarters of Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 62 based in Thanbyuzayart town, Mon State. The attack was carried out by 2 members of the newly formed splinter group, the Mon Defense Front (MDF), according to NMSP members who spoke with the two injured MPDF soldiers at the Moulmein hospital.
An NMSP party member explained, “Before he [MPDF member] was shot, he saw the men who shot him, and he knew them from the MDF group.”
The MPDF is lead by the former NMSP General Nai Aung Naing, who formed the group after he left the NMSP with his soldiers in 2008. In the same year he agreed to a ceasefire with the Burmese military government, the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). In April 2009 he joined a monastery, though his group has remained active helping him campaign for a position in the 2010 election.
According to a member of the NMSP Moulmein district committee, “The MDF group was formed by 3 soldiers that deserted from NMSP, and are now active between Kyainnseikyi Township, Karen State and Kyaikmaraw Township, Mon State.” Continue reading “Assailants from a newly formed Mon splinter group shot and wounded 2 members of a larger Mon splinter group. This is the first such assault by members of the new Mon splitter group.”
Open Letter Calls for Peaceful Pali Recitation
Tue 15 Sep 2009, Asah, IMNA
The All Burma Monk Alliance (ABMA) is organizing the members of monastery schools throughout Burma to unite on October 3rd, a full-moon day. At 7:30 am, Burma’s monks will joint in a Pali recitation of “The Manual of the Buddhist Priest”.
This peaceful protest is being organized in response to the increased governmental surveillance of Burma’s monastic community since 2007’s “Saffron Revolution”, when the nation’s monks led massive protests against the government’s removal of oil subsidies.
In an open Pali letter being distributed throughout Burma’s monastery schools, ABMA points arbitrary arrests, beatings, and incarcerations of monks as the protest’s motivation; the letter also argues that Burma’s military government, while predominately Buddhist, shows very little respect to the nation’s monastic community.
“This letter has spread through every monastery school in Burma. This Pali letter is also being spread online and through personal email. This letter requests one thing: if anyone accepts a letter, they must help spread it. So we are copying it through print, through hand writing, and through machine,” stated a monk.
As the September 26 anniversary of the “Saffron Revolution” draws near, the SPDC has increased its surveillance of monastic activities.
“Burmese government authorities have been tightening security during the oil alms and rice donation to the monks. They are Buddhist but they do not care. It is very difficult to go to anywhere for monk because if more than three monks go somewhere, the government follows what monk do. Now, monks are checked more than normal people,” a monk youth added.
According to a monk studying in Moulmein Monastery School, the upcoming 2010 elections look dire for both Burma’s monastic and civilian populations. The Burmese constitution, despite the referendum of 2008, automatically gives Burma’s State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) 25% of the nation’s parliamentary seats.
On the 9th of September, the Sangha League- Myanmar group, sent out their own open letter to the Burmese military government, calling for democracy.
Korea Herald, South Korea
Burma has become a major stumbling block for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and to a lesser extent, Asia, said Khin Ohmar, the secretary for the Foreign Affairs Committee for the political coalition group Forum for Democracy in Burma.
“There is no way ASEAN will be able to move forward to achieve economic development and prosperity for the ASEAN community as a whole by 2015.”
Ohmar wears several hats: In addition to her role with the Forum for Democracy, she is the chairperson for the Network for Democracy and Development, and the vice chair for the Burmese Women’s Union.
During her recent two-day stay in Seoul she explained the current situation in Burma.
“ASEAN has traditional policies of non-interference and constructive engagement. However, Burma will never be able to resolve its issues and will become more problematic for the whole region,” she said.
The spillover effects are worse than the problems and challenges Burma faces today.
“Right now, the democratization process of the region is fragile but if there is democratic change in Burma, then there is definitely another democratic ally within ASEAN,” Ohmar said.
Kicking Burma out of ASEAN is not an option, she pointed out. Instead, she would like to see ASEAN demonstrate their new leadership by going beyond their traditional dealings in the region vis-a-vis Burma. Continue reading “Khin Ohn Mar – a headache for ASEAN”