Fiancee of Burma prisoner ‘betrayed’ by US

The fiancee of an American rights activist imprisoned by Burma said she felt betrayed by the US government and urged a more robust response to the military regime.
n a piece to appear in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Wa Wa Kyaw said she and her fiancee Nyi Nyi Aung had been grateful to become US citizens as their adopted country “cherished democracy, freedom and human rights.”

“But over the past five months our government has betrayed us,” wrote Wa Wa Kyaw, a nurse in the eastern state of Maryland.

Supporters say Nyi Nyi Aung, a democracy campaigner who also goes by Kyaw Zaw Lwin, returned to Burma in September to visit his ailing mother, herself a jailed activist.

He was arrested and on February 10 handed a three-year sentence on fraud and forgery charges.

State Department spokesman Philip Crowley has urged the junta in Burma, earlier known as Burma, to release him, calling the conviction “unjustified” and “politically motivated.”

But Wa Wa Kyaw faulted Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for not doing more on his case before the verdict. President Barack Obama’s administration has launched a dialogue with Burma aiming to end its isolation. Continue reading “Fiancee of Burma prisoner ‘betrayed’ by US”

Burmese security authorities have approached the Thai military to help uncover clues to officers

Burmese security authorities have approached the Thai military to help uncover clues to officers who disappeared following a skirmish with drug traffickers near the Thai border.

The deputy commander of the 3rd Army’s Phamuang Task Force, Somsak Nilbanjerdkul, said Burmese authorities had asked if any bodies or wounded officials were found in the Mekong or along the Thai border.

Col Somsak said officials had not seen anything as the part of the river in question was shallow and this impeded the flow of objects – including bodies – downstream. He said the clash took place 20km north of the Thai border.

A drug gang attacked a Pong district police station, two kilometres north of Chiang Saen district in Chiang Rai, on Saturday.

Dozens of gang members brandishing AK-47 assault rifles stormed the police station. The police station chief was killed along with four junior officers, official sources said.

The gang is believed to be made up of about 80 armed Lahu, an ethnic minority group, headed by a former Burmese defence volunteer named Norkham.

The armed men fled after the raid by boat along the Mekong. A combined force of Burmese police and soldiers chased them before a gunfight broke out about 30km upstream from the station.

The government force’s three boats were sunk during the fight and 14 officials drowned.

Col Somsak said 10 bodies were pulled from the river yesterday. The search for others continues.

He said Burmese authorities had sought the cooperation of their Thai counterparts in the search.

Burmese authorities have launched an intensive crackdown on drugs since last month. They have arrested or gunned down members of the gang and seized their drugs.

Five members of the gang have been killed and 400,000 amphetamine pills seized in Laos.