Ten farmers, who complained to ILO, released

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Ten farmers, who were arrested and sent to Thayet prison after they complained to the International Labour Organization (ILO), regarding their cultivable land being seized, were released today.

The Magwe court had sentenced them to four months in prison each but they were released as they were in judicial custody for the same period. But another accused Ma Aye Win has to serve five more months.

“Though the farmers pleaded not guilty the trial court sentenced them to four months each,” Han Win Aung, younger brother of one farmer Than Soe, said.

The ‘Yone Seik’ sugar mill owned by Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. seized about 2,000 acres of their farmlands and forced them to grow sugarcane in 2008. The farmers complained to the ILO office, for which they were arrested.

A part of the land was returned to the farmers and they were permitted to cultivate last March. But sugar mill officials implicated them in cases filed under section 447 of the Penal Code (trespassing), section 427 of Penal Code (mischief) when they began cultivation. Continue reading “Ten farmers, who complained to ILO, released”

Garment workers demonstrate for better wages

Wednesday, 17 February 2010 19:37 Mizzima News

pic freecountry blog

New Delhi (Mizzima) – A strike by workers continues in a garment factory in Insein Township with over 200 workers demanding an increase in wages since yesterday.

Workers in Lion City at the Insein Yowma rice mill began demonstrating on Tuesday at 5 p.m. with regime officials closely monitoring the situation, fearing a spread in anti-government protests in the military-ruled country, which is under the vice like grip of the junta.

“Ten riot police trucks are on standby. Police and fire-brigade are also in position,” an eyewitness told Mizzima.

The junta has banned worker’s unions. But recently there has been a spurt in demonstrations against low wages and for labour rights. The last reported work stoppage was in Hlaingtharyar industrial zone on February 9, where at least 2000 workers from three different factories ceased work.

The junta does not tolerate people gathering as a rule, unless it is organized by the regime. However, workers protesting have not been arrested so far.

Mizzima is following the situation.

Burmese battalion based under area control by ethnic groups

12 FEBRUARY 2010 16:22 Mon News

Burmese battalion MOMC No.19 have been entered into KNU area around Three Pagoda Pass (TPP)-Thanphyuzayart road last 2009 December and battalion MOMC No. 8 entered at Wan-ka-ning village last January.

“We don’t know the authorities plan, we never see like the soldiers enter to our area, I think they have some plan but we don’t know their plan” said a resident.

Most of Burmese authorities enterd that area control by KNU, now KNU brigade No.4, they have combined with the brigade No.6 a resident added.

After the New Mon State Party (NMSP) has refused Border Guard Force (BGF), the Burmese battalion LIB 282 base Tenasserim division entered to the NMSP area (Suwana buu mi village) on January 10.

“If the authorities, they didn’t form their 2010 election yet, maybe they don’t fight with ceasefire groups [like NMSP], after they finished their election if they want they will fight” said resident who close the ceasefire around (TPP) area.

“Burmese battalion have moved under control ceasefire area like guerrilla” said people who close the KNU.

Burmese authorities gave reason for that cause, (1) for security at that area (2) they focus for KNU, but they also focus NMSP.

Burmese authorities collect ration for their battalion, the authorities focus to KNU but that area is under control NMSP area.

Karen youths afraid of joining DKBA BGF

Kaowao News
TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2010 15:46

The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army says that the understanding with the SPDC is to maintain a close working relationship that “bears fruit”; however, things are not rosy as the SPDC and the DKBA would want them to be.

“It is fruitful for us to accept the agreement of the Border Guard Force; otherwise, it is not practical for us,” said Lt Maung Win, a spokesperson for Colonel Saw Lel Pwa of DKBA No. 5 Brigade. “The relationship between the two sides is smooth as in previous years and we are implementing the plans according to the government policies on the BGF,” he added.

However, beneath the surface things are not as smooth and while the senior members of the DKBA say that the party is able to recruit the numbers required for the Border Guard Force, a source close to DKBA says that the party has had to forcefully recruit reluctant villagers.

Every Karen village must send their quota to join the DKBA or local people will be forcefully recruited into the border force from Karen State and Mon state where Karen people reside. Abbot Sumana from the Karen Buddhist Monk Organization in Kyar-inn-seikyi Township sent a request letter to the head of the DKBA asking them not to recruit young Karen people.

“They are recruiting people in all the townships, including Pha-ann, Thaton, Kaw-Kareik, and Phar-Pun using the quota system,” said a businessman close to the DKBA, who asked not to be identified. “Young people are not willing to join the DKBA for fear of fighting with the KNU, who are from the same ethnic group,” the man explained.

The DKBA is made up of the Karen Buddhists, who joined the SPDC after splitting from KNU in 1995, claiming religious discrimination by the top leaders of the extreme Christian led army. The DKBA along with the other militarily weak ethnic armed ceasefire groups, the Karenni, Kachin, and Kokang, have agreed to the SPDC’s border guard plans, while the larger groups, the UWSA, NMSP, KIO and SSA, have rejected the proposal.

Two more bomb blasts in Laogai

WEDNESDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2010 13:33 S.H.A.N.
Two more bombs exploded last night at 01:20 and 02:20 respectively in Laogai, the capital of Shan State’s Kokang, barely 40 hours after twin bombs killed 1 and wounded 11 yesterday, according to SHAN sources on the Sino-Burma border.

The bomb blasts took place at the town’s Mei Hua Hotel near the World Food Program (WFP) office. There were no damages or injuries reported.

The Burma Army has accused Peng Jiasheng’s Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) that had gone underground following the Burma Army’s occupation last August for the blasts.

Down south, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) authorities have banned firecrackers throughout the ongoing Chinese New Year celebrations. “The people here unlike previous years, are observing the New Year quietly,” said a source in Panghsang. “But across the border in Meng A (Mong Nga) and Longhai, the fireworks are going off non-stop.”

Security measures in the ceasefire group’s controlled areas have been tightened up since last April, when the Burma Army demanded that they become part of the Tatmadaw (Junta-run national armed forces).
shanland org