The imprisoned poet, who famously ridiculed the junta Supremo Senior Gen. Than Shwe, calling him ‘power crazy’ has been awarded the Hellman/Hammet prize by Human Rights Watch.

HRW award for poet, who ridiculed Than Shwe
by Myint Maung
Wednesday, 14 October 2009 22:12

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The imprisoned poet, who famously ridiculed the junta Supremo Senior Gen. Than Shwe, calling him ‘power crazy’ has been awarded the Hellman/Hammet prize by Human Rights Watch.

Saw Wei was selected for the prize by the New York-based group, among 37 writers from 19 countries for 2009.

The award is “in recognition of his commitment to free expression and courage in the face of political persecution,” HRW said in its website.

“We are proud of Ko Saw Wei,” a family member from Rangoon told Mizzima over telephone. Saw Wei’s wife was not available as she was on her way to prison to meet her husband.

The Burma Media Association (BMA) has welcomed the award going to the Burmese poet.

“We are glad and welcome the news. We are proud of the poet. Ko Saw Wei exercised his right to freedom of expression bravely and was sent to prison,” BMA Secretary San Moe Wei, based in Thailand said.

The popular poem ‘February 14’ was published in a domestic weekly journal, ‘Ah Chit’ (Love). The word ‘power crazy Senior Gen. Than Shwe’ appeared when the first word of each stanza in the poem was pieced together.

The Burmese regime, which is known for its intolerance to criticism, arrested him and charged him under Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, which covers acts disrespecting the State. He was sentenced to two years in prison. He is being held in Yemethin prison in Mandalay.

The Hellman/Hammett prize was named after the American playwright Lillian Hellman. The prize is being awarded since 1989.

Aung Tun, the author of ‘History of Burmese Students Movement’ was awarded the prize in 1999.

Unauthorised meetings with Burma’s ruling junta, the State Peace and development Council, in Rangoon and Naypidaw last year ensured Nay Soe Mya’s ouster from his father’s beloved Karen National Union and Karen National Liberation Army.

Tay Lay’s chopper mania
by Don Talenywun
Wednesday, 14 October 2009 19:59

Mae Sot (Mizzima) – Unauthorised meetings with Burma’s ruling junta, the State Peace and development Council, in Rangoon and Naypidaw last year ensured Nay Soe Mya’s ouster from his father’s beloved Karen National Union and Karen National Liberation Army.

The KNU now regards him as a traitor and people who once thought of themselves as comrades-in-arms want nothing to do with him.

Better known as Tay Lay, the late General Bo Mya’s youngest son crossed into Thailand this month, driving a car with Thai registration plates, carrying a Thai passport and doing the rounds of his old stomping ground of Mae Sot, a town where whispers were exchanged in his wake.

He’s still got the same disarming grin and remains loose with the facts.

He’s stacked on weight around the gut, but sticks to his tight, black T-shirts that make clear he shares the broad shoulders of his famous father, the late General Bo Mya.

Tay Lay Mya likes to wear dark glasses, slip-on dress shoes, a nice cut of trouser and considers himself quite the ladies’ man. Once a prominent figure in Karen circles, Tay Lay has now aligned himself with his uncle, former KNLA Brigadier-General Htein Maung.

Htein Maung was once KNLA’s Seventh Brigade Commander, but absconded in 2006 amid allegations of multi-million Baht theft. Tay Lay has now joined Htein Maung’s ranks.

He brags about having taken 42 soldiers from KNLA Seventh Brigade’s 202 Battalion with him when he jumped ship to work with Naypidaw.

He’s a little more reserved when he admits he only got four from Sixth Brigade’s 201 Battalion, the hardcore crew that held onto the stronghold of Wah Lay Kee for months either side of the New Year in the face of constant attacks.

Friends without bond

“The Peace Council has a problem with the SPDC,” he says matter-of-factly, as he pulls up a plastic seat and orders a glass of milk at a Mae Sot cafe. Continue reading “Unauthorised meetings with Burma’s ruling junta, the State Peace and development Council, in Rangoon and Naypidaw last year ensured Nay Soe Mya’s ouster from his father’s beloved Karen National Union and Karen National Liberation Army.”

Breaking and News Brief: EU diplomats meet NLD leaders

New Delhi (Mizzima) – A delegation of European Union diplomats on Wednesday met leaders of Burma’s opposition party – the National League for Democracy – wanting to know its stand on the ruling junta’s planned 2010 elections.

Khin Maung Swe, a central executive committee member of the NLD said, the delegation, comprising 20 diplomats, visited the NLD office in West Shwegondine Street and asked how the NLD views Aung San Suu Kyi’s cooperation to help ease sanctions, and whether the NLD is seeking power-sharing with the junta in making a demand to revise the 2008 constitution.

“Our reply is that we are not seeking for power-sharing, but are demanding a revision of the 2008 constitution, so the political process can be broad based and inclusive,” Khin Maung Swe told Mizzima

“We are not demanding power, we are asking the government to ensure that the constitution guarantees the people their rights,” Khin Maung Swe told Mizzima.

The diplomats, from Bangkok’s Swedish Embassy, Rangoon’s British, Italy, German and French embassies, according to Khin Maung Swe, were mainly visiting the office to seek information that may help shape the European Union’s common position on Burma. Continue reading “Breaking and News Brief: EU diplomats meet NLD leaders”

Hong Kong customs intercept shipment of opium originating from Chiang Mai

Labeled as wood carvings destined for California
The 29 kilogrammes of prepared opium concealed inside wooden carvings.

Report & photos courtesy of Hong Kong Customs
& Excise Department
Hong Kong Customs has uncovered two express cargo drug trafficking cases in which 45 kilogrammes of prepared opium, with a retail value of about $11.7 million, were seized. It is the first time in which prepared opium was found being smuggled from Thailand to the United States using express cargo. In the early morning of September 27, Customs officers from the Airport Command inspected a shipment of five cartons declared as “wooden carving”, arriving from Chiang Mai, destined for California.
n19-Wooden-carvings-2 Wooden carvings conceal prepared opium.
After finding the shipment suspicious from X-ray scanning, Customs officers broke open the “wooden cat” artifacts and found about 29 kilogrammes of prepared opium. Later on the same morning, Customs officers inspected another shipment of three cartons of “Tom-tom Drum” also arriving from Chiang Mai, destined for California, at the same express cargo centre. With the help of X-ray scanning, 16 kilogrammes of prepared opium were found inside the outer layers of the drums.
Hong Kong Customs has strengthened enforcement action at all control points in support of the Government’s strategy to combat drugs. Customs officers are on high alert at all times to foil attempts by drug traffickers to take advantage of the heavy flow of passengers and cargo at the control points. Customs will continue to make use of advanced technology, intelligence analysis, risk assessment and international co-operation to crack down on drug trafficking activities.
Since July 2009, Customs has detected six drug trafficking cases at the air cargo and express cargo terminals at the airport. The drugs seized, with a total value of $36.3 million, were destined for overseas or the Mainland. They included 196 kilograms of ketamine, 8.2 kilograms of herbal cannabis, 620 grammes of heroin and 45 kilograms of prepared opium.
Under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, drug trafficking is a serious offence, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a fine of $5 million.

The Lives of Two Nobel Laureates

Nehginpao Kipgen (Life)

13 October 2009 As the season of the world’s prestigious prize announcements are underway, the circumstances of two renowned Nobel Peace Prize recipients are riveting: the stories of Barack Obama of the United States of America and Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma.
Many Americans awoke surprised on October 9 when the five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the 2009 peace prize to the 44th president of the United States of America. In fact, the president himself said he was “surprised and deeply humbled” and does not deserve to be in the company of many other transformative figures who have been honoured. By receiving the prize in less than a year in the White House, Obama has become the fourth sitting US president to be honoured by the Nobel Committee. The other three recipients were: Jimmy Carter in 2002, Woodrow Wilson in 1919, and Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.

Though there are pockets of criticisms and reservations on the selection, the Nobel Committee was convinced that it was too good to ignore Obama’s emphasis on disarmament and diplomacy. The committee was reportedly buoyed by Obama’s vision of a nuclear-free world, laid out in a speech in Prague and in April and at the United Nations in September.

In his historic address to the Muslim world from Cairo in June, Obama tried to reinvigorate the relationship between the United States and the Muslims. He offered a new beginning of relationship based upon mutual interest and mutual respect, and common principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

While the prize may add to his international image, Obama’s popularity at home is declining in recent months. The October 1-5 Associated Press poll showed that 56 per cent of Americans approved his job performance. September 17-20 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that only half of all Americans backed his handling of foreign policy. According to Gallup poll, Obama had 83 per cent approval rating in January. Continue reading “The Lives of Two Nobel Laureates”

Eleven political activists, including one Buddhist monk, were sentenced to between five and 10 years on Tuesday at Rangoon Northern District Court in Insein Prison.

The court also passed down a sentence in absentia on two monks, Ashin Pyinnya Jota and Ashin Sandardika, from the All Burma Monks’ Alliance, who have fled abroad.

Sources close to prison authorities in Insein told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday that Ashin Sandimar (aka Tun Naung), Kyaw Zin Min (aka Zaw Moe), Wunna Nwe and Zin Min Shein were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for violating the Explosives Law (Section 3) and the Unlawful Association Law (Section 6).

Meanwhile, Saw Maung, Aung Moe Lwin, Moe Htet Nay, Tun Lin Aung, Zaw Latt, Naing Win and Tun Lin Oo were sentenced to five years for violating Section 6.

In 2008, Ashin Sandimar, Wunna Nwe and Saw Maung were sentenced to eight years imprisonment for violating the Immigration Act (13/1) and the Illegal Organization Act (17/1), while Zin Min Shein and Tun Lwin Aung are already serving 13-year sentences for other offences related to political activities.

Therefore, Ashin Sandimar, Wunna Nwe and Tun Lwin Aung have now been convicted and sentenced to 18 years each, while Saw Maung has received 13 years, and Zin Min Shein a total of 23 years.

Bo Kyi, the joint-secretary of the Thailand-based rights group Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), said, “We can say with certainty there was no free and fair verdict. They [the activists] were tortured during interrogation and were forced to admit violating these acts.”

Sources have said that some of the activists—perhaps even some of those already behind bars—tried to organize demonstrations on the second anniversary of the Saffron Revolution in September, but the authorities caught them and accused them of belonging to illegal organizations, of being terrorists, and of planning to create unrest.

Meanwhile, Burmese-American activist Nyi Nyi Aung (aka Kyaw Zaw Lwin), who was arrested in early September at Rangoon Airport, appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday.

“He has been accused of violating the Cheating Offence – Section 420, and forgery,” said his lawyer, Nyan Win.

Shortly after the arrest of Nyi Nyi Aung, 16 ethnic Arakan youths were arrested—seven in Rangoon and the others in Sittwe, the capital of Arakan State. They were accused of maintaining links with the Thailand-based All Arakan Students’ and Youths’ Congress.

According to Assistance Association for Political Prisoner (Burma), 2,119 political prisoners are being held in prisons across the country.
Irrawaddy org

KNU မွစာေရးေပးပုိ႔။ by Kaowao News

ေကာင္းဝါ(ေအာက္တုိဘာ-၁၃)။ ။ မိဘျပည္သူတုိ႔၏ဘဝ ၿငိမ္းခ်မ္းသာယာမႈကုိ ေဖာ္ေဆာင္ရာတြင္ ဆရာေတာ္မွ ဆႏၵျပဳျခင္းထက္ ဦးေဆာင္မႈအခဏ္းမွ ပါဝင္ေဆာင္႐ြက္သင့္ေၾကာင္း ကရင္အမ်ဳိးသားအစည္းအ႐ုံး ဒူးပလာယာ ခ႐ုိင္ဥကၠဌ ေစာေ႐ႊေမာင္းက ၿမဳိင္ႀကီးငူဆရာေတာ္ဘဒၵႏၲသုဇနထံ ယခုလ ၃ ရက္ေန႔စြဲျဖင့္ေရးသားေပးပုိ႔ခဲ့သည့္ မိတၲဴစာတစ္ေစာင္ လက္ခံရ႐ွိခဲ့သည္။

KNU,DKBA ႏွစ္ဖက္တပ္ဖြဲ႔တုိ႔သည္ ျဖစ္ေပၚခဲ့ေသာအတိတ္မွ ဆုိးက်ဳိးမ်ားကုိ သင္ခန္းစာယူၾက၍ သင္ပုန္းေခ်ၾက ကာ လာမည့္ကရင္ႏွစ္သစ္ကူးမတုိင္မီ ႏွစ္ဖက္ေျပလည္သည္အထိ ညိွႏႈိင္းေျဖ႐ွင္းသြားၾကရန္ စက္တင္ဘာလ၂၉ ရက္ေန႔က ၿမဳိင္ႀကီးငူဆရာေတာ္ဘဒၵႏၲသုဇန ထုတ္ျပန္ခဲ့ေသာ ပန္ၾကားခ်က္ထြက္ေပၚလာၿပီးေနာက္ KNU မွတရားဝင္ထုတ္ျပန္ခ်က္ဟု သိရသည္။

အတိတ္မွဆုိးက်ဳိးကုိ သခၤန္းစာယူအျပန္အလွန္သင္ပုန္းေခ်၊ သီးခံခြင့္လႊတ္ၾကကာ မတူညီတာေတြကုိ တူညီမႈရ လာသည္အထိ ေတြ႔ဆုံၫွိႏႈုိင္းကာ ျပႆနာ၏ အေျဖ႐ွာေဖြသည့္နည္းလမ္းကုိ အစဥ္လက္ခံေနေၾကာင္း ေစာေ႐ႊ ေမာင္း၏ ေပးစာတြင္ေရးသားေဖၚျပထားပါသည္။
KNU မွျမိဳင္ၾကီးငူဆရာေတာ္ထံ ေရးသားေပးပို႔ေသာစာ Continue reading “KNU မွစာေရးေပးပုိ႔။ by Kaowao News”

USDA and NUP in Falam at loggerheads

News – Khonumthung News
WEDNESDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2009 10:57

The United Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) and the National United Party (NUP) are at loggerheads over the forthcoming 2010 general election campaign since August in Falam town, Chin state western Burma.

“USDA has stopped their members who wanted to resign and join our National United Party. They are campaiging among people not to be a member of NUP,” a member of Falam township NUP said.

In fact, they are forcing youths of 16 years to join their party. All members have the right to resign from the party, he added.

He said “There is no way to resign for the members of the United Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) as they prohibited it except for government employees who are transferred to other locations.”

Regarding this, Mr. Dothawng, who had won the 1990 general election in zone 1 of Kalemyo from the National League of Democracy said “The USDA wants to control state power and they will do the same thing in the forthcoming general election as they did in the referendum.”

The USDA was established in 1993 by the military government and it is being used as a useful tool by the regi