Coco Islands to Open for Tourism

By WAI MOE Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sitting 300 kilometers off the Burmese mainland in the Indian Ocean, the Coco Islands were once known as “Burma’s Devils Island,” infamous as a detention center for political prisoners.

After the penal colony was closed in 1971, the tiny islands—which form the northern link in the Andaman Islands chain—were handed over to the Burmese navy. In the 1990s, China reportedly established a signals intelligence base on Great Coco Island, though it was never confirmed.

And now, Burma’s tourism authorities intend to open the islands up to foreign and domestic tour groups with the first ferry of tourists due to sail on Friday.

“Four hundred tourists will sleep on the boat for two nights and will spend two days on the island,” said an official from the Rangoon Division Peace and Development Council. Continue reading “Coco Islands to Open for Tourism”

A source close to Kan Myint’s family said that he was sentenced on 13 November to eight more years in prison on separate under the Unlawful Association Act (17-1)

Jail term extended for 2007 activist
Nov 19, 2009 (DVB)–An activist whose group played a key role in sparking the September 2007 monk-led uprising in Burma has had his 10-year prison sentence extended by eight years, sources close to his family said.

Kan Myint, who spent four years in prison in the early 1990’s, was an active member of the commodity protester group, Myanmar Development Committee, whose protests against the sudden hike in fuel prices in September 2007 triggered the uprising.
He was arrested on 8 December 2008 and later handed a 10-year sentence on charges of causing a public riot, and breaching the Immigration Act and Video Act. The leader of the group, Htin Kyaw, is currently serving 12 years and six months in prison.
A source close to Kan Myint’s family said that he was sentenced on 13 November to eight more years in prison on separate under the Unlawful Association Act (17-1) for having link with an unlawful association, and Act (17-2) for involvement with an unlawful association.
The Unlawful Association Act is regularly used by the Burmese military government to imprison opposition activists, journalists and politicians. Continue reading “A source close to Kan Myint’s family said that he was sentenced on 13 November to eight more years in prison on separate under the Unlawful Association Act (17-1)”

37 villagers detained by IB 31 in Khawza Sub-Township

November 19, 2009
HURFOM, YE: Around 37 villagers from Yinyae village, located in Khawza Sub-Township in Southern Ye Township, have been detained by Infantry Battalion (IB) No 31; the battalion is based Khawza Sub-Town. The villagers in question have been held in the IB 31 camp since November 10th of this year.
The Independent Mon News Agency (IMNA) reported on October 28th of this year about the October 25th detainment of the Yinyae villagers by the Nai Bin armed group. According to IMNA’s report, over 30 villagers from Yinyae were seized on the night of the 25th, and forced to collectively contribute three millions kyat for ransom. The following day, on the 26th of October, IB 31 entered the village and rebuked the newly-released hostages for paying off their captors.
According to a village resident, on the morning of November 10th around 25 soldiers from IB No. 31, lead by Captain Wai Linn Myo, again arrived in Yinyae village. The troops arrested 37 villagers, including the village headman and the individuals who’d been held hostage by the Nai Bin group, and marched their detainees to a football field near the village entrance. This source reports that the IB 31 soldiers beat, shouted at, and harassed the detained villagers under the hot sun until 1 pm, when the soldiers moved the arrested villagers to the IB No.31 camp.
According to Nai Nyan, a Yinyae resident, the detained villagers have yet to be released from the camp.
“We villagers who live in the southern part of Ye Township have to listen to both sets of orders, if we deny one [group] we surely will have problems. We don’t know what we should do. Neither group can protect our lives, we only take care of ourselves,” Nai Nyan added.
Villagers in the region are often caught in the crossfire between the Burmese Army and various rebel groups, and attempts to pacify both forces frequently backfire. HURFOM’s November 9th article covered the deaths of four village leaders in Yebyu Township, who were killed in a “power struggle” between the Nai Chan Dein rebel group and the LIB 107.
Yinyae villagers told HURFOM’s reporter that residents are willing to pay IB 31 the same sum of money given to the Nai Bin group, in exchange for an end to the battalion’s harassment.

Democracy leaders defend 34 Burmese in Indian court

2 Karen prisoners among 34 prisoners includeding 22 Arakan people but now only 11 Karen people left.
Now other 22 Arakan prisoners already have support money to release.Each prisoner need 1000$ for flight to other country. If not so,we worry about that
India government might be send them to Burma and SPDC will put them into prison,KUN’s secretary said.So for all Karen prisoners need 363,000Bath,the last date is 4 Dec 2009.

Mongla celebrates Shan New Year in defiance

THURSDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2009 16:45 S.H.A.N.

Mongla-based National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), led by Sai Leun, one of the 6 ceasefire groups that have been at loggerheads with Naypyitaw over the Burma Army run Border Guard Force (BGF) proposal, took a last minute decision to celebrate the Sha New Year which fell on 17 November, according to sources coming to the Thai-Burma border.

The celebrations held on 16-17 November in Mongla were presided over by Sai Leun’s chief Shan consultant Khun Myint and his deputy Hsan Per and participated by thousands of people, both Shans and non-Shans alike, from the surrounding areas.

“At first, they thought with all the problems with the Burma Army they didn’t have anytime for festival,” explained a businessman close to the leadership. “But then they realized if they just the New Year go, they would only be playing themselves into the Burma Army’s hands.”

Panghsang, the Wa capital, had also marked the Shan New Year “but not as swell as Mongla,” said a resident there.

The six ceasefire groups that are still refusing to transform themselves into Border Guard Forces without gaining the right to autonomy over their own local affairs are Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’, United Wa State Army (UWSA), Mongla, Kayan New Land Party (KNLP) and New Mon State Pary (NMSP).

NLD-LA to uphold Shwegondaing Declaration

by Kyaw Thein Kha

Thursday, 19 November 2009 13:37

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – At its recently held conference on the Thai-Burma border, the National League for Democracy (Liberated Area) (NLD-LA) adopted a resolution to uphold the Shwegondaing Declaration of its parent organization the NLD.

The newly elected general secretary said that the conference held from November 15 to 17 adopted resolutions on its future plan for the 2010 election and to uphold the Shwegondaing Declaration.

“We will do our best for national reconciliation and dialogue. We discussed how to face the 2010 election in keeping with the stance of the Shwegondaing Declaration,” NLD-LA party General Secretary U Myint Soe told Mizzima.

The Shwegondaing Declaration has called for reviewing and amending the 2008 constitution, releasing all political prisoners including party Chairman U Tin Oo and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, recognizing the 1990 election results and to engage in dialogue with the opposition.

The conference also discussed how to ‘oppose and fight’ against the election if it is carried out without amending the 2008 constitution. The conference did not extensively discuss the economic sanctions imposed on Burma by western countries, it is learnt.

The conference held once every three years, elected its officer bearers for the next term — U Bo Thaung as Chairman, Dr. Aye Kyaw as Vice-Chairman and new blood in other Executive Committee posts.

U Bo Thaung is MP-elect from Yinmarbin constituency No. 1. He left Burma in 1992. He served as the NLD-LA Central Vice-Chairman, Secretariat member of National Council of Union of Burma (NCUB), Member of the Parliament Union (MPU) and Affair Committee member in the coalition government in exile, NCGUB.

The New Vice-Chairman Dr. Aye Kyaw served as Chairman of NLD-LA (Australia branch), and he was elected for the first time as Vice-Chairman in NLD-LA (Central).

This was their 6th Conference attended by 43 delegates from central and all other branches other than from the Japan and Malaysia branches, pre-occupied as they were with their regional activities.

After the junta refused to transfer power to the election winning party NLD in 1990 election, some party members and elected MPs fled to evade arrest by the junta. They established the NLD-LA (Central) in the Manerplaw headquarters on the Thai-Burma border in 1991. Dr. Sein Win was the first Chairman of NLD-LA.

Currently Dr. Sein Win is the PM of the coalition government in exile.