Vietnamese firms eye investment in Burma

Le Hung Vong
Viet Nam News
Publication Date: 23-02-2010

Gia Lai Joint Stock Co (HAGL) will be among several Vietnamese companies to invest in Burma, chairman of the company’s management board Doan Nguyen Duc has told local media.

In an interview with the Dau Tu (Investment) newspaper after a trip to Burma earlier in February, Duc said: “We’ve mulled over this investment destination more than four years ago. At present all of our investment projects in Cambodia and Laos have gone smoothly.

“A big company like HAGL could never attain a growth rate of 70 per cent a year if it only invests in the local market.”

Duc said no more investment was needed for some sectors in the local market, such as the property sector in HCM City.

HAGL business activities are focussed on four main sectors: real estate, minerals, industrial crops and hydropower plants.

Duc claimed that the use of his personal aircraft had provided easier access to overseas markets. In 2008, Duc bought a Beechcraft King Air 350 plane for US$7 million to operate which he reportedly spends 300 million dong ($18,300) a month.

The cost of operating his own aircraft was only as high as what he would spend on air tickets if he flew with other airlines, Duc said. continue

Monks threatened with continued arrests

Two months after arrest of the Mon monk Ashin Uk Kong Sah by Burmese government police, relatives and friends have yet to find out where he is detained, what crime he is accused of, or to even see or speak to him.

However what has become clear is the Burmese government secret police (SP) are now specifically targeting monks that are deemed to have associated with him. According to a monk that is friends with Ashin Uk Kong Sah, he learned a township meeting that the authorities will specifically target and arrest other monks that have associated with him prior to his arrest. Specifically, about 35 monks, who had regularly studied Buddhist literature with Ashin Uk Kong Sah, were implicated as targets for investigation and arrest.

At a meeting in Mudon Township attended by the headmen, the Township Peace and Development Council chairman announced that 3 days after Ashin Uk Kong Sah was arrested, Burmese SP forces planned a policy of arrests of monks who link are linked with Ashin Uk Kong Sah. The source that attend the meeting also noted that the SP will also continue to target villages where Ashin Uk Kong Sah went prior to his arrest.

Another source close to the Township chairman explained that the SP had photos of monks who are supposedly linked with Ashin Uk Kong Sah. Continue reading “Monks threatened with continued arrests”

Government opens check point at Arbit-Three Pagodas Pass

Mon 22 Feb 2010, Tukha, Mi Yin Mon
According to automobile owners and travelers from the region, both the police force and the people’s milita from Arbit Village in southern Mudon Township, as well as a branch of the Thanphyuzayart Town police force, have each respectively set up new checkpoints on the motorway between Three Pagodas Pass and Abit this January.

Vehicle owners informed IMNA that 18 checkpoints belonging to a mélange of groups already existed along the route; the newly established tolls raise the number to 21. The division of checkpoints along the Three Pagodas Pass to Abit motor road is now divides as follows: the Abit police force, 1 checkpoint; the Thanphyuzayart Town police section, 1 checkpoint; the Abit peoples’ militia,1 checkpoint; Nai Aung Naing’s armed group, 1 check point; Artillery Battalion no. 318, 1 checkpoint; The police force from Three Pagodas Pass, 1 checkpoint; the Democratic Karen Buddha Army (DKBA), 4 checkpoints; the Karen Peace Force (KPF), 4 checkpoints; the Karen National Union (KNU)’ 1 checkpoint; Burmese soldiers from Chaung zone village near Three Pagodas Pass’ 1 checkpoint; the Abit village chairman, 1 checkpoint; and the New Mon State Party (NMSP), 4 checkpoints. Continue reading “Government opens check point at Arbit-Three Pagodas Pass”

Broker arrested Burmese migrant woman due to stopping paying a monthly fee of 200 Baht

Tuesday, 23 February 2010 09:48
Daw Khin Soe, a 49 year old house maid from near Wihtinaing market, Kyown Phaw Town, Souther Thailand was arrested by police on a motorbike following a call from Phi More, 30, a broker who had previously organized a working ID for Daw Khin Soe.
Soe Win Hlaing, son of Daw Khin Soe said; “My mother organized her work ID through Phi Moe and she had paid the 5,000Baht fee in full. Phi Moe had further charged a 200Baht monthly fee from 7 migrant workers whom she had made work IDs for but who were unable to speak Thai. My mother gave almost 6 months of fees but then she was arrested after stopping paying the monthly charge. She was arrested because of disobedience; I heard she was sentenced to 10 days, now my mother was in jail but I only just found out yesterday when I made an enquiry.”
Daw Khin Soe, a widow from Zayakone village, Man Aung Township, Arakan State who has two younger sons came to Kyown Phaw, Thailand only 2 years ago.
After seeking for almost 2 days, Soe Win Hlaing had met his mother at Lian Chan prison, Kyown Phaw. According to the authorities of prison, she would be released on the 8th of February but both sons were worried as they did not know where she would be sent to.
Thousands of Burmese migrant workers staying in Kyown Phaw and Pharnan Peik Sea pot who have had legal work IDs made are worried that a broker who has organized work IDs for migrant workers has made friends with the police and caused the arrest of a worker.
According to workers from Kyown Phaw, this Thai lady – who managed to get Daw Khin Soe arrested – has been asking any Burmese migrant workers that she sees on the roads, harbour, train and bus station whether they have legal documents and calling the police and trying to extort money from the victims.
Some of the legal aid organizations have been preparing to help seek protection through the law and providing legal assistance.

Thai authorities clear landmines after soldiers injured

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Last week after three Thai soldiers were injured by landmines near the Thai Burma border, Tak Province authorities launched an extensive search of the area and are presently removing lethal mines along the banks of the Moei River which divides Burma from Thailand. The soldiers were injured while on anti smuggling patrol in an area known for smuggling near Thasailuad village in Maesot district.

Following the explosion Master Sergeant Wutthikorn Khamchum had his right foot amputated, while Sergeant Thawit Leumin and Sergeant Thanapat Amthim suffered minor injuries.

Samart Loifa, Tak Province Governor said on Monday that he urged villagers in the area to watch for explosive devices and inform authorities if they see anything suspicious. Continue reading “Thai authorities clear landmines after soldiers injured”