The ceasefire armies: Once bitten, once shy?

MONDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2009 21:35 S.H.A.N.

A few weeks after Kokang fell under the boots, shoes and sandals of the invading Burma Army, Bao Ai Roong, Commander of the United Wa State Army’s 318th Brigade that is responsible for security along the border with Kokang, was summoned to brief his superiors in Panghsang, the UWSA’s central headquarters.

The main question was how he managed to allow the Kokang forces, under the command of Peng Jaisheng, to be defeated in just 3 days of fighting. After all, his main base Namteuk (Nandeng in Chinese) is divided from Kokang’s Chinshwehaw (Qingshuihe), where the main battle was taking place, only by the Namting which could be crossed by a bridge over it.
Bao Ai Roong, who is the nephew of Wa supremo Bao Youxiang, gave several reasons including two main ones:
• There wasn’t a joint combat command set up to coordinate and direct the operation
• There wasn’t even a communication line set up between Qingshuihe and Namteuk (“When our troops arrived there in the afternoon of 29 August, they (Kokang) had already abandoned their mountain bases and retreated into China,” he said.

Which summed up the flaws on the ceasefire groups’ side that had been resisting the Burma Army’s April demand to transform themselves into Border Guard Forces (BGFs), nominally run by the ceasefire officers but practically by the Burma Army officers. “Unless our minimum political demands are met, we will never surrender,” said a Wa officer, which in a nutshell were autonomy, human rights and democracy. Continue reading “The ceasefire armies: Once bitten, once shy?”

Split KIO/KIA Faction Officially Transforms To Militia Group

Written by KNG
Monday, 19 October 2009 20:35
Lasang Awng Wa Peace Group, which had split from the Kachin Independence Organization and its armed-wing the Kachin Independence Army in Burma’s northern Kachin State has officially transformed to the Burmese Army-controlled local militia group on October 16, said local sources.

The transition ceremony was held in the group’s Lawa Yang base, 20 miles northeast of Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina at 11 a.m. local time. It was conducted by Maj-Gen Soe Win, commander of the Myitkyina-based Northern Regional command of the junta, said the group’s sources.

With the goodwill and directives of the junta supremo Senior General Than Shwe, the group’s name was changed to “Lawa Yang Militia”. It has been formed with a total of 164 members— 60 armed and uniformed personnel, 94 reserved forces and a patron with 10 members of the Burmese Army, said insiders. Continue reading “Split KIO/KIA Faction Officially Transforms To Militia Group”

Community searches for girl abducted by Burmese soldier

Mon 19 Oct 2009, IMNA
The residents of Tagundaing village in Mudon Township, Mon state, are distributing a public letter in an attempt to locate a 12-year-old Mon girl abducted from the village last Monday.

According to a community leader, the girl’s abductor has been identified as a defector from the Burmese army who had been hiding out in Tagundaing for a short time.

According to the village community leader that IMNA interviewed, the girl, named Ma Ei Phyu, was abducted on October 12 from the railway located next to Tagundaing, which runs between Moulemian Township and Ye Township. The victim’s father was reportedly fishing in a paddy field near the village railway station; the railway separates the edge of the village from the outlying rice paddy fields.

The village community leader from Tagundaing village told IMNA, “We distributed that letter everywhere, including to the Burmese authorities. In the letter we wrote that the Burmese soldier’s name is Yan Aung Myint, aged 23 years old, from the army’s supplies regiment, and his army number is 342817. He is running from the army. He and one of his friend were involved in abducting her.” Continue reading “Community searches for girl abducted by Burmese soldier”

Suu Kyi expects further meetings with junta

Oct 19, 2009 (DVB)–Burma opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has said she expects more meetings to take place between her and the government liaison minister to discuss the lifting of sanctions, her lawyer said.

Suu Kyi met with her lawyers on Friday at the end of a fortnight in which she held two separate meetings with junta liaison minister Aung Kyi and Western diplomats.
It was the second time in a month that Suu Kyi has met with Aung Kyi. The initial meeting between the two on 3 October was the first time that Aung Kyi, who was assigned as interlocutor between her and the government, met with the detained opposition leader since January 2008.
Friday’s meeting was primarily to discuss her pending court appeal, although lawyer Nyan Win said that Suu Kyi expected to meet with Aung Kyi again, as well as a possible meeting with senior members of the National League for Democracy (NLD) party. Continue reading “Suu Kyi expects further meetings with junta”

Twelve farmers in central Burma have been sentenced to up to five years imprisonment with hard labour on trespassing charges after returning to work on land confiscated by the government.

Oct 19, 2009 (DVB)–Twelve farmers in central Burma have been sentenced to up to five years imprisonment with hard labour on trespassing charges after returning to work on land confiscated by the government.

The case is being closely monitored by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Rangoon, according to the group’s country liaison officer, Steve Marshall.
The farmers, from Aunglan in Magwe division, won a dispute over the 2000 acres of confiscated land following a meeting between the ILO and government officials in March this year. The land had been taken after the farmers refused to bow to government pressure to grow sugarcane for army-run Aunglan township’s sugar factory.
Then in July they were sued by the sugar factory and sentenced last week on charges of trespassing and damage to property.
The sentences ranged from nine months to four years and nine months, all with hard labour, according the sister of one of the farmers.
Aye Aye Win, the wife of one of the farmers sentenced last week, received the harshest sentence after being “accused of cursing the sugar factory personals after they sued her”, the sister said. Continue reading “Twelve farmers in central Burma have been sentenced to up to five years imprisonment with hard labour on trespassing charges after returning to work on land confiscated by the government.”