Kyaw Zaw Lwin a.k.a Nyi Nyi Aung Detained Burmese-American thrown into dog-cell !!!!!!

Monday, 21 December 2009 21:48 Myint Maung

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Detained Burmese American, Kyaw Zaw Lwin a.k.a Nyi Nyi Aung, has been shifted to a separate room, called military dog-cell, inside the notorious Insein prison, his aunt said.

Khin Khin Swe, who was allowed to meet Nyi Nyi Aung on Monday for a brief 20 minutes, told Mizzima that her nephew had been transferred to a dog-cell since December 7.

“I met him for about 20 minutes. He is thinner though in good health. He told me he wants to meet his lawyers and an official from the US embassy,” Khin Khin Swe said.

“We could not talk to him freely during his last court appearance on Friday. He said he had called off his hunger strike protest on December 15,” she added.

Nyi Nyi Aung, began a hunger-strike on December 4, in protest against the treatment of prisoners and demanding prisoner’s rights. But on the third day of the strike, prison authorities transferred him to the dog-cell, about an 8 feet square cellar where dogs are usually kept.

“He is not allowed to see or talk to anyone. And also not allowed to read newspapers. He said he was hooded when he was transferred to the dog-cell,” she added.

Nyi Nyi Aung’s aunt said, during their brief meeting with her nephew, prison security officials were busy listening and taking notes of their conversation.

Meanwhile, on Friday, 53 US Congressmen including US Congress Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Howard Berman, Mr. Frank Wolf and Human Rights Commission Joint-Chairman Mr. Tom Lantos sent a letter to Burmese Military Supremo Snr Gen Than Shwe asking him to immediately release Nyi Nyi Aung.

The United States Lawmakers, in their letter dated December 18 and addressed to Than Shwe, said Nyi Nyi Aung’s arrest is in violation of the Vienna Convention and is against domestic and international laws.

Besides, the pro-democracy activist have been deprived of his right to adequate healthcare, food, rest and an independent judiciary and is subject to torture, the letter accused.

The letter also said, Nyi Nyi Aung’s charges and trial has caused alarm among US lawmakers and raises serious doubts about the Burmese government’s willingness to improve relations with the US.

“We urge you in the strongest possible terms to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Aung and allow him to return to the United States,” the U.S. Congressmen told Than Shwe in the letter.

Nyi Nyi Aung, a naturalised US citizen, was arrested by Burmese authorities upon his arrival from Bangkok at the Rangoon Mingalardon airport on September 3.

The junta’s mouthpiece New Light of Myanmar newspaper accused the Burmese-American of having entered Burma eight times in the past and instigating public unrest by supporting underground activists in Rangoon.

But the charge-sheet filed against him, however, did not include any of the accusations made against him in the newspaper. He has been charged with forgery, holding a fake national identity card, cheating, and violation of foreign exchange regulations.

But the defendant’s international lawyer, Beth Swanke told Mizzima over telephone that the charges are ‘sham’ and the reason behind his arrest was his activism in promoting democracy and human rights in Burma.

Nyi Nyi Aung was an active student involved in the 1988 democracy uprising. He was forced to flee to the Thai-Burmese border along with several other students as the military junta began brutally cracking down on protestors.

He later migrated to United States and naturalised as a citizen.


China gets Burma’s assurances on pipeline, border

BEIJING (Reuters) – Burma has given China political assurance over an important crude oil pipeline and promised to maintain stability along the border after unrest in August pushed thousands of refugees into the Chinese side.

The pledges were made during a weekend visit by Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping to the military-run former Burma, treated as a pariah by the West for alleged human rights abuses and the detention of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.

China is junta’s’s main foreign backer and an important military supplier. China’s overriding concern is a stable Burma to give its landlocked southwest access to the Indian Ocean, as well as oil, gas and timber to feed its booming economy.

A crucial part of that relationship has been the long-mooted construction of oil and gas pipelines to China, a project aimed at cutting out the long detour oil cargoes take through the congested and strategically vulnerable Malacca Strait.

China’s top oil and gas firm CNPC has now received exclusive rights to build and operate the China-Burma crude oil pipeline, CNPC said in a report on its website (, in a deal signing witnessed by Xi.

The Burmese government will guarantee pipeline safety and the ownership and franchise right of the pipeline, the report said.

CNPC, parent of PetroChina, started building a crude oil port in Burma on October 31, part of the 771-kilometre pipeline scheme.

Xi, seen as frontrunner to succeed President Hu Jintao, assured Burma of China’s continuing support. Continue reading “China gets Burma’s assurances on pipeline, border”

Congratulation to Sai Hsen Phan,Shan youth receives leadership award


A young Shan human rights activist, Sai Hsen Phan aka Shang Pun, was presented yesterday with the Sao Thusandi Leadership Award by the humanitarian organization Burma Lifeline, recognizing his efforts in the struggle to bring peace and democracy for his homeland, Shan State of Burma.

The award giving ceremony was held yesterday, 20 December, in Chiangmai, Thailand. Sai Hsen Phan is the second recipient.

This award was established in 2008, to honor young people from Shan State who are committed to taking a leadership role in establishing a democratic, peaceful, and thriving Shan State. The recipients must have a desire to live in Shan State when that becomes possible. This award, worth $3,000, will be given annually by Burma Lifeline, according to its statement.
The reasons for choosing Sai Hsen Phan, according to an organizer of the event include his numerous trips in and out of Shan State in areas controlled by the Burma Army for over a decade, as a backpacked medical worker.

The most well known of his efforts was “Deserted Fields”, a report on how hundreds of acres of rice fields in Mongnai township, central Shan State were confiscated by the Burma military in 2001. Furthermore, he was also one of the members who made a documentary called “Dispossessed” which highlighted the three-year [1996-1998] long forced relocations of 1,500 villages in central Shan State, comprising at least 300,000 people, of whom no less than 660 were killed by the Burma Army. Continue reading “Congratulation to Sai Hsen Phan,Shan youth receives leadership award”

Ceasefire meeting fails to fill junta BGF quota

MONDAY, 21 DECEMBER 2009 13:05 S.H.A.N.

The 11-day meeting to sound out members of the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ at its Hsengkeow HQ, Hsipaw township, Shan State North, adjourned on Friday, 18 December, without being able to fulfill the required 900-1,000 strength quota to form 3 homeguard battalions as demanded by Naypyitaw, according to sources from the Sino-Burma border.

It is yet to be decided when the meeting will be reconvened. According to Naypyitaw, the deadline for ceasefire armies to convert themselves into Burma Army-run paramilitary forces, extended from October, would be the end of December.

The meeting was called after complaint from Naypyitaw that the group with an estimated 4,500-5,000 strength, was able to name only some 200 fighters willing to become junta-supported militiamen.

The meeting was divided into two opposing camps, according to one officer who asked not to be identified:
• “Those who believe, ‘ If we continue to hold the stick, the dog will bite; the only way to escape the risk is to drop the stick’
• Those who believe, ‘If we continue to hold the stick, the dog will just go on barking; but if we drop it, the dog will bite’”

Another officer, obviously from the second camp, reportedly warned the leadership: “We can never accept either the BGF (Border Guard Force) or militia program. We don’t want you (the leaders) to yield to pressure from anyone to accept it either. And if you are going to accept it, you are no longer fit to lead us.”

Which compares with what a political party senior member recently told another ceasefire group: “We don’t have guns, but we’re not afraid. You have guns, so what are you afraid of?”

Only a minority, all sources agree, was in favor of accepting the BGF program.

Naypyitaw appears to be “planning to settle with the SSA ‘North’ and Mongla first before settling with us,” according to a Wa source.

The United Wa State Army (UWSA), purportedly the strongest among the six ceasefire groups that remain resistant to the BGF program, is bordered by Kokang (occupied by the Burma Army in August) in the north, China in the east, Mongla in the southeast, Burma Army forces in the south and the SSA ‘North’ in the west.

The SSA North has three brigades (1,3,7), one border force and one HQ Security Force. The First Brigade is the strongest with approximately 2,500 fully armed strength. It is led by Maj-Gen Loimao. Its paramount leader Maj Gen Hso Ten is serving a 106 year jail sentence in Khamti.

Members of Suu Kyi’s defense team said that plain-clothed security guards patrolled outside the court during proceedings.

Judges at the Supreme Court in Rangoon announced on Monday that they will hear Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s appeal against the 18-month extension of her house arrest which was passed down in August, said Nyan Win, one of her lawyers.

Kyi Wynn, center, and Nyan Win, right, lawyers for the detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, talks to journalists outside the Supreme Court in Rangoon on Dec.21. (Photo: AP)

The proceedings at the Supreme Court, the highest court of appeal in military-ruled Burma, began at 10 a.m. this morning, Nyan Win told The Irrawaddy on Monday.
“We had one and a half hours to argue our case,” said Nyan Win. “The court reconvened at 3:30 p.m. and the judge announced an appeal could be launched and that a date would be set for the hearing.”

Kyi Wynn acted as the main defense lawyer for Suu Kyi at court on Monday morning. Members of her defense team said that plain-clothed security guards patrolled outside the court during proceedings.

There will also be a separate appeal for Suu Kyi’s companions, Khin Khin Win and Win Ma Ma, according to their lawyer, Hla Myo Myint. Continue reading “Members of Suu Kyi’s defense team said that plain-clothed security guards patrolled outside the court during proceedings.”