Palpable tension between LID 66 and MAS unit

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – There is palpable tension between the Inma village based Burmese Army battalion under LID 66 and a battalion of the Military Affairs Security (MAS) in Pyi district of western Pegu division for unspecified reasons.

Local residents said, tension has been building up for about a week, between the MAS, the group that replaced the former Military Intelligence (MI), sent from Rangoon and the Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 80 and LIB 5 based in Inma village of Thegon Township based.

“We have learnt that an intelligence unit, MAS, was sent recently from Rangoon to the LIB 5. There was some tension between this unit and the LIB 80. There have been disputes between them for about a week now. We also heard that it is an instance of disobedience and insubordination,” a local resident from Paungde town told Mizzima on Wednesday. Continue reading “Palpable tension between LID 66 and MAS unit”

target-point-of-supersonic-polits-life by .photayokeking

တပ္မေတာ္(ေလ)မွ F – 7 တိုက္ေလယာဥ္တစ္စီး

ပစ္မွတ္ျဖစ္ေနတဲ့ Supersonic ေလသူရဲတို႔ရဲ႕ဘဝ


ျပည္တြင္းရွိ တပ္မေတာ္ (ေလ) မွ အရာရွိတစ္ဦးျဖစ္ေသာ ဗိုလ္မ်ိဳးသူရက ေနာက္ဆံုး ျဖစ္ေပၚေနတဲ့ တပ္မေတာ္ (ေလ) တပ္ရဲ႕ အက္ကြဲသံ အေျခအေန အတြင္းေရး သတင္းမ်ားအား စည္းလံုးျခင္းရဲ႕အင္အားဝက္ဘ္ဆိုဒ္ ပို႔လာရာ ကြ်န္ေတာ္ ကိုဖိုးတရုတ္မွ စာဖတ္ပရိသတ္မ်ားအား ဒီကေန႔ တင္ျပေပးလိုက္ပါတယ္။ အခုလို ေပးပို႔လာတဲ့ ဗိုလ္မ်ိဳးသူရအား ကၽြန္ေတာ္ ကိုဖိုးတ႐ုတ္မွ အထူးပင္ ေက်းဇူးတင္ရွိပါေၾကာင္း မွတ္တမ္းတင္ ဂုဏ္ျပဳ ေဖာ္ျပအပ္ပါတယ္ ခင္ဗ်ား။ continue

Foreign Policy: The New Blood Diamond-RUBIES

Location: Burma

Product: Burmese rubies are famous for their distinctive dark “pigeon’s blood” color. Both the United States and the European Union ban Burmese gems, but outside groups estimate the junta still reaped almost $300 million from rubies in the 2006 fiscal year.

Casualties: The brutal Burmese junta, which earns much of its hard currency from the sale of gems, holds direct stakes in many of the mines and conducts official auctions to augment the profits made from illegal smuggling. At the mines themselves, child labor and diseases such as HIV/AIDS are common.

Rain forest destruction, sexual violence, child labor, and spread of HIV/AIDS have just been a few of the consequences in the growing trade for precious resources.


Location: Democratic Republic of the Congo

Product: Coltan, short for columbite-tantalite, a metallic ore that contains elements used in cell phones, is mined in the DRC’s war-ravaged Kivu region. The U.N. estimates the DRC made $750 million worth of profits from coltan between 2000 and 2004. continue

Search for white elephants in northern Arakan forests

By Tin Soe

Maungdaw, Arakan State: A group of animal experts from Naypaydaw came to Maungdaw in search of white elephants in the forests of the Burmese border security force (Nasaka) area number 1 and 2 as of New Year, said an officer from Maungdaw.

Han Htun, a forest officer, who has expertise in elephants led the group and forced the villagers to join in with help from Nasaka in the search for white elephants, said a village chairman from Nasaka area 1.

The group along with villagers while searching for white elephants drove the pachyderms into neighbouring Bangladesh, said the village chairman.

Wild elephants from Burma entered Bangladesh near the Nasaka area 1and 2 troubling the local people by destroying crops and vegetable farms at night, said Kamal, a local from Naikhonchari.

“The wild elephants came down to the farm during sunset. We tried to drive them away but they didn’t go back to the forest,” he said.

“We complained to the local authorities about the pachyderms,” he added.

If the group drives away the wild elephants while searching for white ones, there will be no more pachyderms in northern Arakan, said a forest officer from Maungdaw. “The neighbouring country will also complain,” he added.

Lack of transparency thwarted attempts to safeguard Hmong

Since the end of the Indochina conflict in 1975, Thailand has been a generous host to hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict and political persecution in the region. Many of these people endured terrible hardships and literally fled for their lives. These people, and the international community, will be forever grateful that Thailand was there in their time of need.

Shattered hopes: Young Hmong refugees play chess at Huay Nam Khao settlement in this June 11, 2007 picture. On Dec 28, 2009 the refugees, who wanted to be resettled in the US, were deported back to Laos.

Thailand was not left to shoulder this burden alone, however, as international agencies stepped in to construct housing, provide medical services and distribute food. Moreover, almost half a million men, women and children who entered Thailand seeking temporary refuge status have been ultimately resettled in the United States and other countries. Most recently, in 2004-2005, the US resettled 14,000 Laotian Hmong who had been sheltered in a temple at Wat Tham Krabok.

Since that programme, we agreed with the Royal Thai Government to begin large-scale resettlement for the ethnic minority Burmese refugees resident in the nine established camps along the border. Over 50,000 people have left Thailand for new lives in the US since 2005.

It is against this background of historical generosity and cooperation that the US was disappointed at the Thai decision to deport 4,689 Laotian Hmong asylum seekers back to Laos on Dec 28, 2009, despite clear indications that some in the group required protection. The asylum seekers were divided into two groups: 4,531 detained in an army-run camp in Huay Nam Khao, Phetchabun province, and 158 people in an Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) in Nong Khai province who were recognised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as Persons of Concern. Continue reading “Lack of transparency thwarted attempts to safeguard Hmong”

Three activists sentenced to three years each

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 19:47 Myint Maung

New Delhi (Mizzima) – A township court in Burma’s former capital city of Rangoon on Wednesday sentenced three opposition party members to three years imprisonment each.

The defendants, members of the humanitarian committee of Burma’s main opposition party, National League for Democracy (NLD), were charged with unlawful association and handed three year sentences with hard labor by the Insein Township court, according to their lawyer, Kyaw Hoe, who was present at the court session on Wednesday.

Shwe Joe, a resident of Hlaing Township, Sein Hlaing, a resident of San Chaung Township, and Ma Cho of Ahlone Township were accused of communicating with the NLD in exile and accepting cash from an individual named Sein Hlaing in the amount of 15 million kyat (USD 15,000).

Kyaw Hoe said the trial took no civilian testimony and that no evidence was provided in support of the guilty charge, a verdict based solely on the police testimony. Continue reading “Three activists sentenced to three years each”

Kyaukpru Seaport Renovated for Chinese Ships

Kyaukpru : Arakan State’s Kyaukpru Seaport, particularly Jetty No. 1, is being renovated by the junta authority in order to accommodate Chinese cargo ships using the port to transport Chinese goods and materials for the gas pipeline, said one engineer.

“The renovation of the jetty started this month and the jetty’s length will be extended to 600 feet. The previous jetty was unable to harbor foreign ships. The renovation is intended to allow Chinese ships to harbor to it unfettered,” he said.

Kyaukpru, located on Rambree Island in Arakan State, has become a key location on the Arakan Coast for dispatching gas and oil to China via pipelines.

The Chinese oil company Chinese National Petroleum Corporation, or CNPC, has been constructing a pipeline in the area since September 2009.

The pipeline is planned to extend from Madeira Island in Kyaukpru and run through Arakan State, Magway Division, Mandalay Division, and Shan State, and will enter China at Ruili in Yunnan Province.

“The Chinese company has now started the gas pipeline construction in our area and many cargo ships come to Kyaukpru to transport goods related to the pipelines. So the jetty is in need of modernization to harbor the cargo ships,” the engineer added.

China will transport gas from Arakan State as well as oil from Africa and the Middle East through the pipelines using the Kyaukpru Harbor.

The pipeline will allow China to shorten the time for oil delivery from the Middle East by cutting out the need for oil tankers to travel through the Malacca Straits.

China is Burma’s fourth-largest foreign investor, with a total investment of 1.3 billion dollars. Bilateral trade between the two neighbors reached 2.6 billion dollars in 2008.


Feature – Independent Mon News Agency
WEDNESDAY, 13 JANUARY 2010 11:10
“I want to lead a peaceful life. I don’t want to meet Burmese troops anymore. We are scared enough.” Mon refugee

Early on the morning of January 14, 2009, most residents of Ban Don Yang Camp, at Three Pagoda’s Pass border crossing, took shelter from the cold winter air inside their huts.

I woke up at 5:00 am to wait for the truck that would take me from the camp to Sangkhlaburi Town, in Thailand’s Kanchanaburi Province, where I would catch a bus to Bangkok and begin my journey towards resettlement in the United States of America.

My friend Zi Thu and I sat in my home and listened to the noise of the truck arriving.

I was very excited, even though I’d already been abroad, because this time I was leaving behind the challenges and frustrations of the refugee camp I had lived in more than three years- a place that was only a holding pen for Burmese refugees in the process of being resettled in parts of the European Union, the United States, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia.
I was among the first group of refugees that had registered in Ban Don Yang Refugee Camp as refugees under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2004. I’d been living in the camp, waiting to be resettled, since September of 2006.

Ban Don Yang Camp is the same camp that currently shelters Luther Htoo, who led the Karen rebel group “God’s Army”, along with his twin brother Johnny Htoo, until their surrender in 2001. Continue reading “REFUGEES WITH NO PLACE TO FLEE-feature”

Thai Army restricts journalists from covering Hmong deportation by Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)

13 January 2010

The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) expresses grave concern over the Thai military’s attempts to restrict the news coverage of its deportation of 4,000 Hmong refugees from their camp in Thailand’s northern province of Petchabun in December 2009.

The Thai Army blocked both Thai and foreign news crews from entering a major Hmong refugee camp in Baan Huay Nam Kao village, preventing them from reporting on the Thai Army’s relocation operation. The Army, in the meantime, held a press conference in a military camp in Pitsanulok province, some 100 kilometers away from the Ban Nam Khao refugee camp.

The journalists were forced to camp at the entrance to the shelter site, waiting for a chance to get snapshots and video footage of the Hmong men, women and children being transported in military trucks and buses heading for Laos.

“The army’s restriction of the on-site news coverage of the deportation not only violates media freedom and public access to information guaranteed under the current Constitution but also further deprives the right of this vulnerable ethnic group to be heard given the media’s already scant reportage about their situation,” SEAPA said. Continue reading “Thai Army restricts journalists from covering Hmong deportation by Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)”