Permanent border checkpoints at Ton Noon Mae Hong Son plans

Deputy Minister of Commerce announced that the border pass at Ban Ton Noon in Tambon Mae Ngao, Khun Yuam District, will be upgraded to a permanent border check point, linking the Khun Yuam district of Thailand and Mae Chae district of Myanmar. The Deputy Minister, the Mae Hong Son Governor Kamthorn Thawornsathit, General Boonyarit Kalayanamit of the Department of Trade Negotiations and the Mae Hong Son Chamber of Commerce President Supoj Klinpraneet met with Aung Soe Thein, the Director of the Department of Border Trade for Myanmar in Yangon between January 24 and 28.
Free trade agreement talks were also held in Mae Hong Son in an effort to increase cross border trade, tourism and investment projects and to enable ASEAN agreements with Mae Hong Son.
The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Alongkorn Polbutre also attended the first meeting in Mae Hong Son with the Director General of the Myanmar Trade Department, the Director of the Myanmar Chamber of Commerce and the Director of the Chamber of Commerce. Members of the business community also participated in the meetings to seek cooperation on increasing cross border trade and tourism.
After the meeting the group travelled to the Ton Noon border pass on the Thai-Myanmar border. Once open, the border checkpoint would link Mae Hong Son’s Khun Yuam district with Myanmar towns like Toungoo, Pray and the coastal town of Thandwe, deputy minister Alongkorn said.
“From Khun Yuam district own to Ban Ton Noon border pass is about 30 kilometers, and then from the Thai-Myanmar border checkpoint to Toungoo town in Myanmar is about another 200 kilometers”, he added.
The meeting and border inspection is regarded as the first step of the plan to improve relations between Myanmar and Mae Hong Son province and is in line with Thai government policy, following last year’s official visit of the deputy minister Alongkorn to Myanmar. The government aims to open more border crossings with a hope to increase trade and tourism between Mae Hong Son and Myanmar.

DKBA combined base supplies gathered at villager expense

February 4, 2010
HURFOM, Bee Lin: The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) Brigade No. 999 and No. 333 have demanded building materials such as wood planks and nails, for building a new permanent base in Bee Lin Township, Mon State. Forces from Brigade No. 999 and No. 333 will share the base once it is complete.
Villagers from Kye Gaw village, Mae lay Khee village, Mae Nar Waw village, Noh Khae village, Khaw Htee Hta village, Phi Gee Khee village, Bae Lae Noh village and Bakyae village, were ordered by DKBA Colonel Saw Chit Thu to take responsibility for providing the 2 brigades with the wood and other materials to build the new base.
According to a resident of Be Lin Township, where Brigade No. 999 is currently based, the new base will be located in Kye Gaw Chaung Wa village in Bee Lin Township.
For the construction materials the Major specifically demanded villagers provide Ironwood for building in the new camp. Area residents have reported that the wood costs around 500,000 to 700,000 kyat pre ton. Continue reading “DKBA combined base supplies gathered at villager expense”

NLD hopes for U Tin Oo’s release

Thursday, 04 February 2010 20:22 Salai Han Thar San

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The National League for Democracy (NLD), Burma’s major opposition party, is hoping its Vice-Chairman U Tin Oo will be released soon.

Former Gen. Tin Oo was arrested after the Depayin massacre. His six-year house arrest term will be over on February 13.

“We are hopeful of his release since Home Minister Maj. Gen. Maung Oo hinted that he would be freed in February, while speaking during his visit to middle Burma. His house arrest term will expire on February 13,” party spokesman and Central Executive Committee (CEC) member Khin Maung Swe told Mizzima.

During his visit to Kyaukpadaung, Maj. Gen. Maung Oo said on January 21 that the NLD Vice-Chairman U Tin Oo would be released in the coming month and General Secretary Daw Aung San Suu Kyi would be released in November. Continue reading “NLD hopes for U Tin Oo’s release”

Karenni party admits to bombings

Feb 4, 2010 (DVB)–An armed ethnic Karenni party has admitted to the recent bombing of two electricity towers in eastern Burma, but claimed that it did not intend to disrupt civilians.

The Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) said that the bombing of the towers in Karenni state’s Demoso township was aimed at “stopping projects that make profit for the [Burmese junta]”, according to KNPP Secretary 1, Khu Oo Reh.
Burmese state-run media had reported widescale electricity shortages following the attacks.
Khu Oo Reh said that despite there being a functioning hydroelectric plant in Karenni state, the people had been suffering from electricity shortages “for their whole life”.
“Our people who live under electricity towers do not even know what the use of electricity is like,” he said.
The Burmese government is regularly accused of channeling significant amounts of the country’s budget into energy projects, often built using forced labour. Much of the produce is then siphoned off to neighbouring countries, such as China and Thailand. Continue reading “Karenni party admits to bombings”

The Burmese-born US citizen Nyi Nyi Aung,detainee ‘refusing food from family’

Feb 4, 2010 (DVB)–The Burmese-born US citizen detained in a Rangoon jail has declined food sent by his family, according to prison officials who spoke to a relative.

Nyi Nyi Aung, also known as Kyaw Zaw Lwin, has been held in Insein prison since arriving in Burma in September last year. In December he staged a hunger strike in protest at prison conditions, and was subsequently moved to the prison’s ‘dog cells’.
His aunt, Khin Khin Swe, the family has been sending him food through prison officials in recent weeks following a ban on him receiving visits, which has been in place since 6 January.
“[The official] told me to come and pick up the parcel we left for Nyi Nyi Aung that morning. He said [Nyi Nyi Aung] refused to accept it,” said Khin Khin Swe.
“I was already worried as [the family] hasn’t been allowed to see him. This raised suspicions in my head that he was sick or on a hunger strike like he did previously.
She added however that she thought it was neither of these, and instead a protest against the ban on visitors. Continue reading “The Burmese-born US citizen Nyi Nyi Aung,detainee ‘refusing food from family’”