Four more checkpoints created between Karen and Mon State

News – Independent Mon News Agency
FRIDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2009 15:46

According to IMNA’s field reporters, the Karen Peace Force (KPF) and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) have collectively created four more checkpoints on the motor highway that stretches between Mudon Township in Mon State, and Winyaw Seikgyi in Karen State.

A four-wheeled passenger-transport vehicle driver interviewed by IMNA reports that the KPF and the DKBA have each created two more checkpoints on the stretch of road between the villages of Taunggale and Kale Tagundaing in Karen State. Both villages lie in territory troubled by recent infighting between Karen rebel groups.

The driver, who told IMNA that he has been transporting passengers along the highway from Winyaw Seikgyi to Mudon Township for six years, said “That highway had 13 check points in last year. Currently it has 17 check points. Even when we carry passengers the whole way, we do not make a profit, because of the increasing the checkpoints from armed groups. Only the armed groups with their checkpoints profit.”

The driver explained to IMNA that the 17 checkpoints are run by the Burmese Military or different Mon and Karen ethnic armed groups. Each of the groups tax drivers depending on the amount of passengers or goods that they carry.

“The check points are increasing year by year. The new checkpoints from the KPF and the DKBA are very close, no so far from each other. They just launched, and already they are collecting taxes [from drivers],” the driver IMNA interview stated.

IMNA’s source explained that drivers have to pay 500 kyat at each of the Burmese soldiers’ check points, 2,500 kyat at each of the New Mon State Party (NMSP) checkpoints, 1,000 kyat at each of the to KPF checkpoints, and 3,500 to 4,000 kyat at each of the DKBA checkpoints. Reportedly, the DKBA is notorious for taxing far more on passengers and goods than the other groups mentioned. Continue reading “Four more checkpoints created between Karen and Mon State”

New Constitution Guarantees Junta Immunity: Report

When Burma’s new Constitution comes into effect after next year’s election, it will enshrine the culture of impunity that has allowed the ruling junta to commit countless human rights abuses over the past two decades, according to a new report released by the New York-based International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ).

The 40-page report, titled “Impunity Prolonged: Burma and its 2008 Constitution,” says the charter—approved last year in a referendum widely dismissed as a sham—contains a number of provisions that protect the regime from future prosecution.“Burma presents one of the most difficult challenges in the world in relation to making progress toward combating impunity,” says the report, which urges the international community to withhold support for the election until the regime amends the Constitution to end impunity for human rights violations.
The junta’s human rights abuses have continued unabated since it seized power in 1988, particularly in rural areas populated by ethnic minorities. According to the Thailand Burma Border Consortium, a nongovernmental humanitarian relief group, there are currently some 451,000 internally displaced persons in eastern Burma alone. Continue reading “New Constitution Guarantees Junta Immunity: Report”