U Tin Oo and realpolitik-Commentary

Wednesday, 24 February 2010 21:17 Yan Nyein Aung (Youth)

The National League for Democracy (NLD) party Vice-Chairman U Tin Oo has been freed from house arrest and has resumed his duties. But the news of U Tin Oo’s release didn’t make waves and had a ripple effect as that of student leader Min Ko Naing and Baba (Uncle) U Win Tin’s did. Similarly this news did not get much media coverage. When Min Ko Naing was released, the National Convention was still in progress and basic principles for a new constitution had not yet been laid down. So there was still hope for changing of the political mainstream. Therefore the people had high hopes on the student leaders or 88 Generation students for bringing change in Burma.

But when U Win Tin was released, the 2008 constitution had already forcibly been approved and the junta had announced the 2010 general elections. But the international community and international media were still making noises on this controversial constitution and people were still hoping they had time to stop the junta from going ahead with its plans. Since his release, Baba U Win Tin defiantly and outspokenly talked about everything that he thought should be talked about without hesitation and reluctance. Maybe the junta ignored his words as long as there were no demonstrations and uprising that worries them.

Baba U Tin Oo, like Baba U Win Tin, is a person of integrity and is outspoken. He is committed and determined. He expresses his views very simply and frankly. He led the 8888 uprising along with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. He is the person who led NLD from 1995 to 2003, for about eight years and won the trust and respect of the party members, youths and people. But we cannot hope that he can change the course of the current political process. Nevertheless regaining of leadership by Baba U Tin Oo at this time will embolden the party. He is a trusted and revered leader of the party.

He was released on the evening of February 13. Continue reading “U Tin Oo and realpolitik-Commentary”

Observers: Regional commanders’ trip must be for military operation

A one weeklong visit of the top three regional commanders of the Shan State around Eastern Command last week was for inspection of areas for impending military operation, said observers from the Thai-Burma border.

From 15- 18 February, Chairman of Shan State (East) Peace and Development Council Commander of Triangle Region Command Maj-Gen Kyaw Phyo, Chairman of Shan State Peace and Development Council Commander of Eastern Command Maj-Gen Yar Pyae and Commander of Shan and Kayah states, Lt-Gen Min Aung Hlaing together made a trip to areas in Shan State South and Shan State East including militia areas in a helicopter, said several sources.

On 18 February, the commanders were reported to have arrived to the Khun Sa led former Mong Tai Army (MTA) base, Ho Mong, and called on Ho Mong Area Commander Major Tin Maung Htwe, Yawd Khurh, Chairman of Ho Mong sub-township and Sai Nu from Shan State South (SSS) Company (whose chairman is Maha Ja, the leader of Homong militia) reportedly to discuss about community development, said a local resident.

The SSS group was ordered by Maj-Gen Yar Pyae in 2008 to surrender before the 2010 elections.

The meeting lasted about 20 minutes. But no further information has been known.

According to New Light of Myanmar, the tours were to follow up on the community development projects such as health, education and transportation. Continue reading “Observers: Regional commanders’ trip must be for military operation”

Ailing Wa leader turns down latest junta invitation

WEDNESDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 2010 16:45 S.H.A.N.
Junta chief negotiator Lt-Gen Ye Myint’s latest and 4th invitation of the year to meet in Shan State North capital Lashio was again declined by the United Wa State Army (UWSA) leader Bao Youxiang, citing his ill health, said a source close to the leadership this morning.

The invitation on Monday, 22 February, was carried by an unidentified Chinese official. The new date for the appointment is Friday, 26 February. “The Chinese official will accompany to guarantee his safe trip, stay and return,” he said.

Lt-Gen Ye Myint and Bao Youxiang

Bao, 61, who has led the UWSA since his predecessor Zhao Yilai suffered a stroke in 1995, is suffering from trichinosis which has affected his brain.

“No one knows why Gen Myint is refusing to visit Panghsang,” said the source. “He should know we wouldn’t do anything to him even if we wanted to, with the Chinese watching us like a hawk.”

Naypyitaw may be trying to convince Bao that he will not be arrested and kept as a bargaining chip in their dealing with Washington that had indicted him along with 7 other Wa leaders in 2005, conceded the source. “But why would they want an ailing man to go and meet a healthy man? Clearly, it should be the other way round.” Continue reading “Ailing Wa leader turns down latest junta invitation”

Kachins begin four-day celebrations on ceasefire agreement

Ethnic Kachins today began their four-day celebrations on the ceasefire with the ruling Burmese junta in Kachin State, Northern Burma, said local participants.The 16th anniversary celebrations of the ceasefire agreement by the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) is being held with pomp and fanfare in the group’s territory Kasung Pa, the military base of battalion 11 of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), its armed-wing, about seven miles west of the railway station city of Namti. Several thousand Kachins and non-Kachins in the state and hundreds of KIO/KIA personnel are participating.

The famous Kachin traditional Manau dance festival marked the anniversary inauguration called “Ninggawn Htingram Manau” this morning. It will be wrapped up on Friday, said KIO officers.

(Hundreds of KIA soldiers from different regions of Kachin State join to Kasung Pa celebrations on Ceasefire Agreement. Photo: Kachin News Group.) Continue reading “Kachins begin four-day celebrations on ceasefire agreement”