No agreement yet between junta and UWSA on BGF

by Kyaw Kha
Monday, 16 November 2009 21:50

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Unrelenting attempts by the Burmese ruling junta to transform the ‘United Wa State Army’ (UWSA) into the regime controlled ‘Border Guard Force’ (BGF), notwithstanding, no agreement has been reached yet, observers said.

Though the ruling junta’s delegation comprising Chief of Military Affairs Security (MAS) Lt. Gen. Ye Myint, Commander of North Eastern Military Command Maj. Gen. Aung Than Htut, Commander of Bureau of Special Operation – 2 (BSO-2) Lt Gen Min Aung Hlaing on November 14, met a UWSA delegation led by Vice-Chairman Xiao Min Liang, Vice Chief-of-Staff Aike Lon at Tang Yan of Northern Shan State, no agreement was reached.

“The meeting did not bear any fruit as the junta did not compromise on its stand. Neither was the Wa accommodative,” Aung Kyaw Zaw, an observer close to the UWSA, told Mizzima.

Junta officials met UWSA thrice since August to bring the estimated 30,000-strong Wa Army under Burmese Army’s control. Continue reading “No agreement yet between junta and UWSA on BGF”

HRDF: Chiangmai’s Shan Migrants Reject the Process Outright

Mahachai’s Migrants from Burma Accept Nationality Verification But Plead for More Information From Governments … Chiangmai’s Shan Migrants Reject the Process Outright

Mon, 16/11/2009 – 09:47
Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF)
Since December 2008, the Royal Thai Government (RTG) has increasingly stressed its policy that migrant workers from Burma currently in Thailand must enter a nationality verification process (NV). NV is apparently required to change migrant’s status from persons who illegally entered Thailand to persons who are legally resident here, as well as to allow migrants to legally work and receive legal protection equal to Thai persons. Despite RTG having set a 28th February 2010 deadline for migrant workers to complete this process, most of these workers from Burma, as well as their employers and most of civil society, continue to be greatly confused by and/or unaware of the nature of the NV process and its complex 13 steps.

On 15 November, 2009, the Migrant Worker Rights Network (MWRN), an organisation made up of migrant workers from the Samut Sakorn area, with support from HRDF’s Migrant Justice Programme, organised a seminar entitled “Benefits and Challenges of Nationality Verification for Migrant Workers from Burma” at Wat Pomvichian Chotikaram, Ampur Muang, Samut Sakorn Province. More than 350 migrant workers participated in this seminar. Speakers at the seminar were: Mr. Wanchai Saakhonmanirat, Samut Sakorn Employment Office; Ms. Wandii Siibuaiam, Advisor to Samut Sakorn Fisheries Association; Ms. Sirigon Lirtchayothit, Raks Thai Foundation; Ms. Masan Sanmoo, a migrant worker who completed the NV process with a broker; and Mr. Arthi Akhai, a migrant worker who completed the NV process without a broker. The meeting was presided over by Mr. Surapong Kongchantuk from the Lawyers Council of Thailand. Continue reading “HRDF: Chiangmai’s Shan Migrants Reject the Process Outright”

Thai employers fear forced repatriation of Burmese workers

by Usa Pichai
Monday, 16 November 2009 19:17

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Thai employers are anxious that Burmese workers employed by them could be forcibly repatriated if they bring them over for nationality verification, according to the Thai Labour Minister.

Phaitoon Kaewthong, Minister of Labour said on Monday after his visit to the Nationality Verification Center for Burmese migrant workers in Mae Sai district, Chiang Rai Province on Saturday that only 80 Thai employers are bringing in their workers each day to make passports and visas to work in Thailand. The center can provide services to 200 workers a day.

“Employers and employees fear that if they go through the process, they would not be allowed return to work in Thailand. They are scared that their family members in Burma would be taxed heavily. But the Burmese ambassador to Thailand who accompanied him on the trip insisted that worker’s families in Burma would not be taxed, ” Phaitoon said, according to a report on the Thailand National News Bureau’s website.

The minister added that nationality verification for Burmese workers, which was scheduled to be completed on 28 February 2010 cannot be done on time. However, the authorities will wait to see the total number of verified workers and would find a solution, or extend the last date of verification. Continue reading “Thai employers fear forced repatriation of Burmese workers”

NLD supports Suu Kyi’s proposal to meet Than Shwe

by Salai Pi Pi
Monday, 16 November 2009 21:09

New Delhi (Mizzima) – National League for Democracy leaders on Monday said they agreed with party leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s proposal of direct talks with junta supremo Snr. Gen Than Shwe for further discussions on lifting Western sanctions.

Nyan Win, NLD spokesperson, told Mizzima that detained party General Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi had sent a second letter to Than Shwe proposing a meeting with him as a follow up of their efforts to ease sanctions.

“I prepared the letter based on what she told me and sent it to Naypyidaw [Burma’s new capital] on November 11,” said Nyan Win.

Khin Maung Swe, a member of NLD’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) told Mizzima that 11 CEC members on Monday held a meeting at the party headquarters and discussed Aung San Suu Kyi’s proposal.

“We agreed with the proposal for it will benefit the nation, and we will release a statement on Tuesday,” Khin Maung Swe said.

In Aung San Suu Kyi’s a letter, the Nobel Peace Laureate thanked Snr Gen. Than Shwe for conceding her request to meet US senior officials and for making necessary arrangements for fact-finding on the impact of sanctions, Khin Maung Swe said.

In September, the detained Burmese pro-democracy leader sent a proposal to Than Shwe offering to cooperate with the regime to help ease western sanctions, and requested a meeting with diplomats from the US, European Union and Australia as part of her fact-finding on sanctions. Continue reading “NLD supports Suu Kyi’s proposal to meet Than Shwe”

Thu Wei,Chairman of the Democratic Party, writes to Than Shwe to promulgate election law

by Phanida
Monday, 16 November 2009 21:04

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Thu Wei, the Chairman of the Democratic Party, one of the political parties keen on contesting the forthcoming election, on November 13 sent a letter to junta supremo Snr Gen. Than Shwe, asking for promulgation of the election law soon.

In the letter, which he claimed was personal, he said that he thought it was too late for the election law yet to be enacted and promulgated.

“Since my party has not yet become a legal party, I sent the letter on a personal capacity, making a request on behalf of all other political parties. Compared to previous elections, it’s too late,” Thu Wei said.

Political parties need enough time to prepare to contest the 2010 election. He wrote the letter ‘in order to conduct legal canvassing and organizational work,’ it said.

While the main opposition party the National League for Democracy and its allies, the ethnic nationalities parties, have called for a revision of the controversial 2008 constitution, the Democratic Party has accepted the regime wanting to conduct elections on the basis of the new constitution.

In the 1990 election, the political party registration law was enacted and promulgated 20 months before the election date while the election law was enacted and promulgated 12 months before. But this time, despite many rumours being circulated, the election law has not yet been announced. Continue reading “Thu Wei,Chairman of the Democratic Party, writes to Than Shwe to promulgate election law”

ေကာင္းဝါ(နိုဝင္ဘာ- ၁၆)။ ။ K.P.F


ခၚကရင္ျငိမ္းခ်မ္းေရးတပ္ဖြဲ႔ (ေဟာင္သေရာအထူးေဒသ)ဌာနခ်ဳပ္မွ ကရင္ျပည္နယ္ ၾကာအင္းဆိပ္ၾကီးျမိဳ႔နယ္ ဘုရားသုံးဆူျမိဳ႔အေျခစိုက္ အမွတ္(၃) တပ္ရင္းမႉး ဗိုလ္မႉးေစာေလးဝါးအား တာဝန္ႏွင့္ညႊန္ၾကားခ်က္မ်ား အေပၚ လိုက္နာရန္ပ်က္ကြက္မူ၊ အၾကိမ္ၾကိမ္သတိေပးေသာ္လည္း လိုက္နာျခင္းမ႐ွိသည့္အတြက္ K.P.F တပ္ဖြဲ႔မွ ထုတ္ပယ္လိုက္ေၾကာင္း နိုဝင္ဘာလ(၁၁)ရက္ေန႔တြင္ ဥကၠဌေစာသမူဟဲကိုယ္တိုင္ လက္မွတ္ ေရးထိုး၍ အမိန္႔ျပန္တမ္း ထုတ္ျပန္ခဲ့သည္။ Continue reading “ေကာင္းဝါ(နိုဝင္ဘာ- ၁၆)။ ။ K.P.F”

Burmese Military holds fire-brigade training in Thanphyuzayart Town

Mon 16 Nov 2009, Jaloon Htaw
Infantry Battalion No. 62 has recruited residents from the various quarters of Thanphyuzayart town, as well as inhabitants from several nearby villages, into local militia-run fire brigades. Trainings for the new fire brigade units began on the 1st of November 2009, and will last for the duration of a month.

“The military unit [IB. no 62] has announced that the recruited people have to attend the fire brigade training. Some people are not attending [the training] because they are not free, so they hired people to take their places. They have to attend [the training] in this town. They give the training, but I never saw them fighting fire” said one of woman from Thanphyuzayart Town to IMNA.

IB No. 62, which oversees the military-run firefighting unit for Thanphyuzayart town, ordered the new recruitments to commence at the end of October of this year. Each Town quarter is required to send new 20 recruits to the fire brigade training. Trainings for the new units are being conducted at the local militia-run fire department in Thanphyuzayart Town.

After the military’s firefighting department announced upcoming fire-brigade training, town quarter headmen chose the men [ranging from 18 to 40 years of age] would be attending the month-long session.

There are more than 10 “town quarters” in Thanphyuzayart Town, and the local firefighting military department is located in the northern part of Thanphyuzayart Town, near the main freeway to Moulmein. Continue reading “Burmese Military holds fire-brigade training in Thanphyuzayart Town”

Pest infestation ravages Mon state crops

Mon 16 Nov 2009, IMNA, Rai Maraoh
Rice paddy fields in Mon state have been severely damaged by pests, according to farmers in the area. Farmers are concerned that the unusually widespread infestation of pests will drastically cut into their profits.

“The main places suffering are Mudon Township and Thanphyuzayart Township. Other townships have been hit but not as much as Mudon Township,” explained a farmer from Nai Hlon village in Mudon Township. “In our township some of paddy fields are almost completely destroyed, while others have just a few harvestable plants left in the field.”

“All farms have had insect problems, but some not as much while others are mostly destroyed,” explained the Mudon farmer. “Some farms who cultivate only a few acres, they have no more paddy plants to reap – they have to return to the village because of the insects destroyed their paddy field.”

Moth eggs are the main cause of crop destruction in the area. Rather then eating the plans, the moths have cause damage by laying egg sacks at the base of panicle (flowering portion of rice plant) where it meets the leaf sheath (stem). Laid before the plant comes to maturity, the rice paddy plant is eventually destroyed.

Farmers began finding moth eggs in their crops in August when the rice panicle first appeared. Yet despite spraying their crops with insecticide, farmers have reported their efforts to kill the moths and their eggs were unsuccessful. Continue reading “Pest infestation ravages Mon state crops”

Border officials temporarily halt the import of wood products

Mae Hong Son’s Deputy Governor, Tanin Supasaen, chaired a meeting to discuss the problems importers of wood products trading across the Myanmar border have recently faced with forestry officials at Mae Hong Son. Representatives of the Thai Customs Department, Mae Hong Son Provincial Police, Forestry Office, the provincial Commercial Affairs Office, the Mae Hong Son Administrative Organization and the Immigration Bureau all met to discuss the relevant laws.
It has been reported that both Forestry Department officials and those of the Mae Hong Son’s administrative organization have arrested people and confiscated goods of those who imported wood products from Burma through the Huai Pueng Border Checkpoint in Mae Hong Son. However, the importers said that they had already paid taxes to the customs officials at the Mae Hong Son checkpoint.
Worakan Mahawong, Head of the Regional Customs Bureau 3 at Mae Hong Son, explained that the arrests were due to Thai Customs and that his organization is in charge of taxes. He insisted that Customs officials had followed the rules and regulations strictly.
The Deputy Governor, citing the Commercial Act B.E. 2548, said that importers without the necessary permits from the exporting country were only allowed to import goods at the border in Tak and Kanchanburi. He added that Burma allows exports of wooden goods only through 3 checkpoints; Tha Khilek checkpoint opposite Chain; Mae Sot in Tak province and the Koh Song checkpoint in Ranong. The checkpoints in Mae Hong Son are for the trade of consumer goods in reasonable amounts only.
Pol. Col. Chatchawal Wachirapaneekul, the Deputy Commander of Mae Hong Son Provincial Police, interpreted the Act to show that goods could not be brought into Thailand through the Mae Hong Son checkpoint commercially and that the traders need to get the proper documentation in order to enter the country with their goods legally.
The officials concluded that temporarily halting all imports of wooden products through 5 border checkpoints was necessary, including checkpoints at Huai Pueng, Nam, Piang Din, Tonnoon and Sao Hin. The Governor of Mae Hong Son, Kamtorn Tawornsawit, is expected to make the final decision regarding the halt of the trade of wooden products.