Mr. Phaithoon Kaeothong, Minister of Labour, gave an interview

Mr. Phaithoon Kaeothong, Minister of Labour, gave an interview after publishing a statement regarding minister of labour’s performance and direction that the government has set up a policy to solve the problems by coordinating with destination country to take part in solving the problems. The policy aims to legalize employment system.
There are 2 approaches; first period emphasizes on a completion of alien workers registration and repatriation of the registered workers. The second period is changing a status of alien workers who registered in the first period to be legal migrant workers as well as negotiating with Myanmar, Lao, Cambodian to complete nationality verification.
The cabinet resolution on 19 January 2010 approved a number of 382,541 migrant alien workers who were allowed to work in Thailand according to the resolution on 18 December 2009 and number of 933,391 migrant alien workers who already registered by 28 February 2010 must completely fill in the form within 28 February 2010 and must go through nationality verification within 28 February 2010. All of alien workers who completed nationality verification can continually work for another 2 years and can renew for 2 years totally 4 years.
Minister of Labour stated that nationality verification aims to encourage destination country to feature in resolving the problems and legalize employment system. At present, 1,315,932 alien workers, divided into 1,079,991 Myanmar workers, 111,039 Lao workers, 124,902 Cambodian workers, who were allowed to work according to cabinet resolution on 18 December 2009 and 26 May 2009 submitted personal information registration form at Department of Provincial Administration (Tor.ror 38/1) 1,059,578 people, and applied work permit at Department of Employment for 9333,391 people and 126,187 people remained unapplied. The Department of Employment will gather all information and addresses to send to Security and Suppression Affairs so as to further proceed with the case. The alien workers who failed to complete nationality verification would not be allowed renewing work permit and shall be repatriated. In addition, the employers and workplaces will be guilty according to Alien Working Act B.E.2551 prescribing that the employers and workplaces in Article 27 who illegally employed alien workers shall be fined not more than 10,000-100,000 baht per 1 alien worker employment. Also, alien workers working without work permit shall be imprisoned not more than 5 years or fined up to 2,000-100,000 baht or both.
Regarding Myanmar nationality verification, there were 26,902 alien workers came to receive nationality verification at all 3 Nationality Verification Coordination Centers classifying into Tha kee lek located opposite of Maesai, Chiangrai Province for 7,899 worker, at Meawdee located Maesod, Tak Province for 10,461 workers and Koh Song located in Muang, Ranong Province for 8,542 workers. continue

New Forced Labor Tactics in Arakan to avoid pressure from the ILO

Buthidaung: The Burmese military junta has been using a new tactic for forced labor in Arakan State in order to avoid pressure from the ILO and international community, said a teacher from Buthidaung.

The teacher said, “Now the authority has changed the way it uses forced labor cleverly to avoid international pressure. Many villagers in our area were summoned by authorities to work at government projects with payment. But in reality, the authority never pays money to them for their wages.”

Recently, authorities began using this system in the construction of two model villages in Buthidaung Township, 80 miles north of Sittwe. The new villages are Shwe Natala and Shwe Hin Tha.

“Nasaka border security forces summoned villagers and carpenters to work on construction of the two model villages near Nyung Chaung Village with wages. The Nasaka officials promised to pay 1,500 kyat a day per worker. But villagers have yet to receive any payment since the completion of the village construction,” the teacher added.

Many villagers from Nyung Chaung and Do Den Villages in Buthidaung Township were subjected to this new tactic to coerce them into working on construction of the two model villages. Continue reading “New Forced Labor Tactics in Arakan to avoid pressure from the ILO”

SPDC pressures KPF to form Border Guard Force

Kao Wao News
An emergency meeting was held by the Karen Peace Force in the capital of Mon state this week to discuss the appointment of a new party leader and the transformation of its soldiers into a Border Guard Force, a source close to the KPF said to Kaowao requesting anonymity.

The KPF Chairman Saw Thamu Hel, Vice-Chairman Colonel Daw Daw, Secretary Man Aung Tin Myint and Lt Col. Saw Awbar were at the emergency meeting on February 17 in Moulmein (Motmaleum in Mon) following the return of the party’s ailing chairman from Bangkok who is suffering from cancer.

An SPDC Military Affairs Security Unit officer also attended the meeting. Under pressure by the SPDC, the KPF will also form their Border Guard Force.

“At this moment, Saw Thamu Hel is on the brink of death and lies seriously ill in bed after returning from Bangkok for medical treatment, we are now counting his last days,” the source said. Though his death is a sad thing, the members of the Karen ceasefire group back their vice-chairman, Daw Daw to be chosen as the party’s new leader.

The top leaders of the KPF will meet on February 21 with the Southeast Military Commander General Thet Naing Win in Mon state to discuss the Border Guard Force transformation, which will be comprised of over 1,000 men. One border guard battalion includes 326 troops and 18 officers.

An interview in May 2009 with a key figure from the KPF said that many are not happy with the arrangement but have no option to agree the SPDC’s demands, for example the ‘K’ (for Karen) has been removed from the KPF.

(ေဖေဖၚ၀ါရီ ၂၂-ရက္ ၂၀၁၀) by Jacba Blog

ထိုင္းနိုင္ငံအေနာက္ဖက္ ကန္ခ်နဘူရီခရိုင္ႏွင့္ လယဖန္း ေဆာင္ယမ္း အေ၀းေျပးလမ္းမၾကီးတြင္ ေဖေဖာ္၀ါရီလ ၂၀-ရက္ေန႔ ညဥ့္ ၁၀-နာရီအခိ်န္ခန္႔က ဆိုင္ကယ္စီး လာေသာ ျမန္မာမိသားစု ၄-ဦးကို ကားတိုက္မိသျဖင့္ ပြဲခ်င္းျပီး ေသဆံုးသြားခဲ့သည္။ ေသဆံုးသူမ်ားမွာ အသက္ ၄၀-အရြယ္ ႏိုင္သန္းေဖ၊

Druglord suspected for Saturday Mekong massacre

“Godfather” Naw Kham who has been under “hot pursuit” by the Burma Army since February 2009, is reportedly fingered as the mastermind of the recent attack on the Burmese police boats while they were returning from visiting a nearby village on the Mekong near the Golden Triangle, according to local sources from the border.

The said attack which took place on Saturday 20 February, at Pu Zien island between Hsarm Pu and Pahsa villages, Mongphong tract, Tachilek township, killed 13 of the Burmese police men and left 2 injured. The two are currently under treatment at Tachilek’s Public Hospital, said a source in Tachilek. Among the 13 men were police officer Khin Maung Yin and his deputy Sein Hlaing.

The police were apparently lured into an ambush. As the police boats came downstream, there was an identified boat with a man carrying weapons appeared in front and headed towards the said island. The police followed him to the island where a number of ambushers were lying in wait.

“As soon as, the police arrived on the island, they were mowed down by the attackers who fired from all sides,” he said.
This attack is said to be the bloodiest since the 1967 Opium War between Khun Sa and the ex-KMT.

However, different versions have named different culprits.

The Burma Army believed it was the handiwork of Yawd Serk led Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’, according to a senior Thai army officer. A different version pointed Lao soldiers as the culprits. Continue reading “Druglord suspected for Saturday Mekong massacre”

Eight police killed in Burma ambush

Feb 22, 2010 (DVB)–Fourteen people, including eight policemen, have been shot dead by unknown gunmen in the Golden Triangle region between Burma and Laos.

The attack on Saturday came from the Laotian side of the Mekong river, according to a local villager, and may have been the work of drug gangs operating in the region, although this has not been confirmed.
Two other policemen were seriously injured in the incident, in which they came under fire during a patrol of the river between Pa-Sa and Panfu villages in Burma’s eastern Shan state.
Two civilians, two boatmen and two militiamen who were accompanying them were also killed, the villager said.
A health officer from nearby Tachileik town confirmed the figure and added that the remains of six police had been displayed at a local pagoda. A police official said that the wounded men are to be sent to Rangoon for treatment. Continue reading “Eight police killed in Burma ambush”

Damn those dams

The mighty Mekong river is just a memory

Ever since the completion of a few dams across the Mekong river in China, the once mighty river, which flows through all the riparian countries except China, has diminished to a trickle every dry season. The situation this year is worse than the previous years and the worst is yet to come with more dams being built.

If they were alive today, our forefathers would be in shock. The mighty Mekong – the traditional lifeline of Chinese, Burmese, Thais, Lao, Cambodians and Vietnamese – has dried up so badly this year that it no longer qualifies to be called a river.

Boat travel from Chiang Rai’s Chiang Khong district to the old Lao capital of Luang Prabang, a popular tourist route has been halted because the water too shallow for boats with the capacity to accommodate more than four people. Cargo boats from China have been stranded in Chiang Saen district of Chiang Rai.

Chirasak Inthayos, coordinator of the Network for the Conservation of Mekong River Natural Resources and Cultures, said that the river’s condition is the worst for more than a decade. He could only imagine how much worse it will be by April, when the dry season normally peaks. Continue reading “Damn those dams”