Around 100 people led by monks marked International Peace Day today by marching through the Thai town of Mae Sot, close to the border with Burma.

Monks lead International Peace Day march
Sept 21, 2009 (DVB)–Around 100 people led by monks marked International Peace Day today by marching through the Thai town of Mae Sot, close to the border with Burma.

The event coincides with the two-year anniversary of the September 2007 monk-led uprising in Burma, which due to the presence of thousands of robed monks on the streets of Rangoon and elsewhere has come to be known as the Saffron Revolution.
Today’s march began with a symbolic sounding of the bell at a memorial shrine close to Mae Sot, and Buddhist monks and dignitaries from a variety of religions read prayers throughout the day.
The event, intending to symbolize cross-cultural solidarity, ended at the Thai-Myanmar Friendship Bridge, but protesters were met by a significant security presence.
Panithida Phongphaew of the Thai Action Committee for Democracy in Burma said that the need to support this movement is vital for a “real [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] community”.
“It is time that leaders of the world should stop saying they support peace and actually act to ensure that peace happens,” she said. Continue reading “Around 100 people led by monks marked International Peace Day today by marching through the Thai town of Mae Sot, close to the border with Burma.”

Two political prisoners were released along with 57 other prisoners

Buthidaung: Two political prisoners were released along with 57 other prisoners from Buthidaung prison in northern Arakan State on the night of 18 September, said a government official close to the prison authority.

“The prison authority released 59 prisoners – 54 are male and 5 are female – at 11 pm on the day. Two political prisoners were included among thsoe released,” the source said.

The released political prisoners were identified as Ko Nyi Nyin Min from the NLD and Ko Thura Win from a student group, but both are from Burma proper.

In Buthidaung prison there are 21 political prisoners including prominent 88 student leader Ko Htay Kwe, NLD Taungup Township Vice President U Khin Hla, Saffron Revolution monk leader U Ei Thiriya, and female NLD youth leader Ma Ni Ni Mya Myin, but none of them were released.

Buthiduang prison is known as the location where the military authority places prisoners who have been sentenced for political activities.

A released prisoner from Maungdaw told Narinjara yesterday over the phone that the prison authority gave each released prisoner 1,000 kyat for traveling expenses.

The prisoners who were included on the list to be released were gathered in the prison hall at 5 pm to sign documents related to the process of releasing prisoners.

Some prisoners were also released from prison in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan, and Kyauk Pru, the second largest city in Arakan, but accordint to reports there were no political prisoners included in those releases.

The Burmese military junta announced that it would grant amnesty to 7,114 prisoners, but only about 100 political prisoners were granted amnesty. Over 2,000 political prisoners remain in several prisons throughout Burma.

Khaing Kaung San, who was chairman of the Arakanese Patriotic Literature Club based in Bangkok, was released from Thayet prison on Friday

Arakanese Activist Released After 9 Years in Prison

Dhaka: Khaing Kaung San, who was chairman of the Arakanese Patriotic Literature Club based in Bangkok, was released from Thayet prison on Friday in a government amnesty after serving 9 years in prison, said his fried.

Khaing Kaung San was arrested in Bangkok by Thai police on 4 December, 2000, while he was praying for the Thai King on his birthday along with nearly 100 other Burmese political activists and migrants.

Thai police handed him over to Burmese authorities from Myawaddy through the Mae Sot border point along with five other Arakanese activists, seven days after his arrest.

Burmese military authorities sentenced him to ten years in prison for his activities in Thailand against the Burmese military junta. His two colleagues – Hla Thein Tun and That Naing – were sentenced by the military government to three years in prison.

After being sentenced, the three were moved to Rangoon from Myawaddy and Khaing Kaung San was shifted to Thayet prison to serve his prison term.

According to his friend, Khaing Kaung San and his colleagues were tortured severely by Burmese intelligence agents during their interrogations in Myawaddy. Because of that, his health is poor and he suffered from internal injuries throughout his jaim term.

Khaing Kaung San is now about 40 years old and his native town is Ponna Kyunt, 20 miles north of Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State.

He was also a member of the Arakan League for Democracy (in exile), which won 11 parliamentary seats from Arakan State in the 1990 elections in Burma. The military government that sponsored the elections refused to recognize the results.

The source said that Khaing Kaung San was already about to be released this year because his prison term was nearly complete. The government amnesty for him was not necessary because he had nearly finished his sentence.

US embassy official meets detained citizen in Burma

2009-09-09-nyi words
New Delhi (Mizzima) – The US embassy in Rangoon has received consular access to detained citizen, Kyaw Zaw Lwin, on Sunday, weeks after he was arrested.

“The U.S. embassy received consular access to detained American citizen Kyaw Zaw Lwin on Sunday, September 20, 2009,” Drake Weisert, Assistant Public Affairs Officer, at the US embassy in Rangoon told Mizzima.

Weisert on Monday confirmed that Burmese authorities arrested and detained Kyaw Zaw Lwin, when he arrived in Rangoon’s Mingaladon airport on September 3.

“At Mr. Lwin’s request, we have notified his family about his arrest,” said Weisert, but did not mention where the Burmese-born-American is being detained.

Kyaw Zaw Lwin, who has a valid Burmese visa and US passport, flew into Rangoon on a TG flight from Bangkok.

He was a student activist during Burma’s 1988 popular uprising and fled to Thailand to escape the military crackdown on protesters. Later he was resettled in the US and has been living in Washington DC, where he was naturalized as a US citizen.

His sister and mother are serving a jail term for their role in the ‘Saffron Revolution’, where monks led thousands of protesters on the streets of Rangoon in September 2007.

Kyaw Zaw Lwin’s sister, Thet Thet Aung (35), was sentenced to 65 years in prison, while his mother is serving a five-year prison term.

Burma’s New Sham Democratic Party

With Than Shwe’s bogus 2010 election just around the corner credibility has become a major issue. And with good reason since the junta did not like the outcome of the election of 1990 even though they sponsored it. You remember, that’s the election Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy won a landslide victory over Than Shwe’s regime. Sadly the voice of the people was not recognized by Gen. Than Shwe and the world was asleep at the wheel.
The proposed election of 2010 was designed to give Burma a white wash or sugar frosting and give Than Shwe’s criminal regime a semblance of legitimacy. The other benefit to the election was to give criminally negligent corporations who’ve ignored international sanctions some breathing room from public opinion. Credibility has not been in Than Shwe’s favor and the world knows the election is a sham. But in spite of this fact Than Shwe devised a newer scheme in an effort to give his bogus election the look and feel of a real election. It’s called the Democratic Party and they will place a candidate in the running for the 2010 election. Talk about a rigged election. Why even waste the money on ballots in the first place since Than Shwe has guaranteed his generals will win no matter who runs, except the true opposition. After all, true opposition is either in prison, dead or in hiding so they are effectively out of the running, so far.
Mya Than Than Nu, the daughter of U Nu; Nay Yee Ba Swe, the daughter of late Prime Minister Ba Swe; and Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein, the daughter of late Deputy Prime Minister Kyaw Nyein are the spearheads of this new attempt to give the bogus election of 2010 a face lift. Did Than Shwe really think he was going to slip this one by the world audience or is he as stupid as many of his generals says he is? I will leave that open to debate. Anyway, these three gals are going to run a staged opposition under the banner of the new *Democratic Party. Continue reading “Burma’s New Sham Democratic Party”

Shan activist among freed prisoners

One of the

detained ethnic Shan activists, Sao Oo Kya, elder brother of Khun Htun Oo, the leader of Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), was among the 7,114 prisoners freed by the junta on Friday, according to sources.

He was reported to have returned home at 10:00 (Burmese standard time) on Saturday as soon as he was freed from Obo prison in Mandalay, said a source.

“He looks still well and strong although suffering from gout and piles,” he said.

Sao Oo Kya was arrested on 3 August 2005 for unauthorized meetings with foreigners and defamation of the State. He was sentenced to 13 years imprisonment.

However, the rest of his colleagues who were charged with treason and defamation of the state were still in prison. The said leaders were:
• Maj-Gen Hso Ten 106 years Khamti prison
• Khun Tun Oo (Hkun Htun Oo) 93 years Putao prison
• Sai Nyunt Lwin 85 year Kalay, Sagaing division
• Sai Hla Aung 79 years Kyaukphyu prison
• U Myint Than 79 years Sandoway prison
• U Tun Nyo 79 years Buthidaung prison
• U Nyi Nyi Moe 79 years Pakokku prison
• Sai Myo Win Tun 79 years Myingyan prison

One of their colleagues “Math” Myint Than died on 2 May 2006 in Sandoway prison.

Sao Oo Kya was one of the members of the Shan State Technical Consultative Council formed by the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ in late 2004. The council collapsed after the arrests in February 2005.

Burma’s ruling military council has asked Thailand to inform the non-ceasefire Shan State Army (SSA) South of its desire to open peace talks with the group,

Junta holds out olive branch to SSA South
MONDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2009 15:14 S.H.A.N.
Options for druglord

In an apparent attempt to discourage alliance between the ceasefire groups who are at loggerheads with Naypyitaw over the proposed Border Guard Force (BGF) program, Burma’s ruling military council has asked Thailand to inform the non-ceasefire Shan State Army (SSA) South of its desire to open peace talks with the group, according to a reliable source close to the leadership.

This is the third time the movement have been offered by Naypyitaw to enter into negotiations for peace:
• The first meeting scheduled for 23 May 2007 did not take place as the two disagreed on the choice of venue.
• The second time was in last March when Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, on his return from Burma, said he had been approached by the Burmese authorities to ask the rebels for talks. “Nothing ever came out of it,” said the source, “as Bangkok was too embroiled in its own internal problems to bother with ours.”

The latest offer came right at a time Naypyitaw was engaged in massive military preparations around the United Wa State Army (UWSA) along the Sino-Burma border.

The SSA South has repeatedly called for a coalition against Burma’s military junta. The source however declined to say whether or not it has received a response from Panghsang, the Wa supreme headquarters. Continue reading “Burma’s ruling military council has asked Thailand to inform the non-ceasefire Shan State Army (SSA) South of its desire to open peace talks with the group,”