Pre-Elections Political Violence Begins

24 December 2009: Junta-orchestrated pre-elections political violence seems to have begun as the exiled Burma Lawyers’ Council (BLC) yesterday accused junta-backed social organization Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA) of being responsible for organized mob violence directed at political dissidents.

According to the BLC media release, on 19 December 2009, a mob consisting of about 200 men led by Kyi Myin Diang Township USDA secretary U Myint Lwin violently attacked a group of political activists led by U Ye Htun at Atatchaung village.

Contending that the latest case warrants criminal prosecution under existing Burmese laws, the BLC says that it is a premeditated and politically motivated acts of violence perpetrated against dissidents.

The exiled lawyers group says that junta leader Than Shwe is ultimately responsible for deliberately turning a blind eye to the mob violence and for failure to prosecute those responsible for such acts.

The Burma Lawyers’ Council, outlawed by the military junta as an illegal organization, is currently rallying international supports to indict Burmese junta leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity for prosecution at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Chinland Guardian

US renews hand to Burma

The United States on Wednesday renewed its offer of better ties with Burma if it makes progress on democracy as the military-ruled nation prepares to mark independence from Britain next week.In a statement ahead of the 62nd anniversary on Monday, the US State Department offered its “warmest wishes” to the people of Burma and its “unwavering support” for the nation’s independence.

“The United States stands ready to take steps to improve bilateral relations based on reciprocal and meaningful efforts by the Burmese government to fulfill the Burmese peoples’ democratic aspirations,” it said, using Burma’s former name of Burma.

“We support the peaceful efforts of people everywhere to exercise freely their universal human rights, and we look forward to the day when Burma’s citizens will be able to do so. We hope that day will come soon,” it said.

Burma has detained democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi for most of the past two decades and has long been a US pariah. The junta routinely uses Independence Day to denounce “neo-colonialists” interfering in its affairs.

But the United States has opened high-level dialogue with the junta, part of President Barack Obama’s policy of reaching out to US adversaries.

The junta plans to hold elections next year which the opposition fears will be a sham. Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy swept the last elections in 1990 but was never allowed to take power.

BURMA: China’s Oil, Gas Pipelines Recipe for Abuse, Warn Activists

By Marwaan Macan-Markar

BANGKOK, Dec 31 (IPS) – China’s growing dependence on military-ruled Burma to meet its energy demands is poised to take concrete form when, according to activists, work commences in the coming months on the construction of oil and gas pipelines.

The 980-kilometre journey of the pipelines across Burma will begin in the country’s Arakan state, on its western coast, and snake across flat and mountainous terrain to the eastern Shan state, which borders China. The pipelines will then continue to Kunming and Nanning, two major cities in southern China.

In early November, officials from both countries held a formal opening ceremony in the Arakan state to signal that the massive construction project for gas would get underway soon. In mid-December, Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping used a visit to the South-east Asian country to push ahead with the plans for the oil pipeline.

Yet as the junta in Burma, also known as Myanmar, prepares the initial groundwork to build the twin pipelines that will cut across the country, a drumbeat of concern about rights violations that will follow is gathering momentum.

The alarm sounded by human rights activists and environmentalists comes in the wake of a growing military presence and harsh policies imposed on some villages along the pipelines’ route.

While there are still no confirmed reports of forced labour along the route, such a form of abuse is inevitable once construction of the pipelines begins, they add.

“Fishing communities in the Arakan state close to the off-shore gas project have been told they cannot fish near the pipeline’s route,” says Naing Htoo, Burma project coordinator for EarthRights International (ERI), a Washington D.C.-based rights lobby. “Land confiscation has begun in Arakan state along the pipeline route.” Continue reading “BURMA: China’s Oil, Gas Pipelines Recipe for Abuse, Warn Activists”

Burmese Military Leaders Silent On Kachin Proposals

Written by KNG
Thursday, 31 December 2009

There was no response from the Burmese military junta on the latest proposal by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) at the last meeting of the year between the two sides in Myitkyina, local sources close to both sides told Kachin News Group.

Senior KIO and junta officials met at the regime’s Northern Regional Command headquarters (Ma-Pa- Kha) in Kachin State’s capital Myitkyina on December 29. No new proposals were submitted by either side, said KIO sources.

Burmese officers questioned the Kachin delegates about the KIO’s consistent rejection of the junta-proposed Border Guard Force over the last eight months but did not care to respond to the recent KIO proposals, KIO delegates said. Continue reading “Burmese Military Leaders Silent On Kachin Proposals”

5th Conference on Mon National Affairs by Kaowao

ေကာင္းဝါ(ဒီဇင္ဘာ-၃၁)။ ။ ပၪၥမအႀကိမ္ေျမာက္ မြန္အမ်ဳိးသားေရးရာႏွီးေႏွာဖလွယ္ပြဲ (5th Conference on Mon National Affairs)မွ မြန္အမ်ဳိးသားညီလာခံတစ္ရပ္ႀကဳိးပမ္းသင့္ေၾကာင္း မြန္ဗမာႏွစ္ဘာသာျဖင့္ ယေန႔တြင္ ေၾကညာခ်က္ထုတ္ျပန္သည္။ (PDF ဖုိင္ျဖင့္မူရင္းအတုိင္း ေဖၚျပထားသည္)

ယင္း မြန္အမ်ဳိးသားေရးရာႏွီးေႏွာဖလွယ္ပြဲအခန္းအနားကို လြန္ခဲ့သည့္ ဒီဇင္ဘာ(၂၇)ရက္ေန႕မွ (၂၉)ရက္ေန႔အထိ (၃)ရက္တုိင္တုိင္ လြတ္ေျမာက္ေဒသတစ္ေနရာ၌ က်င္းပခဲ့ရာတြင္ ေကာင္းဝါသတင္းဌာနမွလည္း တက္ေရာက္ခြင့္ ရခဲ့သည္။ continue