UK PM statement on Aung San Suu Kyi

“I am appalled and saddened that Aung San Suu Kyi’s appeal against the sentence imposed by the regime has been denied. That failed appeal is sadly no surprise. From start to end, the sole purpose of this show trial has been to prevent Daw Suu Kyi from taking part in elections.

In my open letter to Aung San Suu Kyi in December, I said that this should be a historic year for Burma. Free, fair and genuinely inclusive elections would allow the country to move forward, to map a new path. But while she is kept out of political life and while over 2100 other prisoners of conscience remain incarcerated, the regime’s elections will not gain recognition nor international legitimacy.”

Burmese artillery and other units, seen advancing towards the Thai/Burma border

FRIDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 2010 17:03

Burmese army forces are advancing towards the border of eastern Burma, though the specific target of the advance remains unclear, say sources from the area.

Nearly 200 Burmese soldiers from an unidentified battalion were seen marching at Chaung Hnit Khwa village, towards Kyainnseikyi Township, Karen state, at 5 pm on February 23rd and again on February 24th. According to the source, who was traveling between Mudon town and Three Pagoda Pass town, the Burmese soldiers had been in the process of transporting artillery units by ferry across the river at Chaung Hnit Khwa village.

When asked about the advancing Burmese unit, a member from the Karen National Union (KNU) military intelligence program told IMNA that while they didn’t know which battalion it is, they said it would be under operating under the Burmese Southeast Command (SEC) located in Moulmein town.

According to the opinion of a Burma army observer and expert in military analysis, from the recent citing of the Burmese unit, he believes it is likely that there are more then just 200 Burmese soldiers on the move, from other units, and that they could be headed towards two or more destinations.

In a similar report, IMNA learned from a source within the Karen Peace Council (KPC), that Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) soldiers had recently combined with a unit from Burmese army Infantry Battalion (IB) No.77 on a march towards KNU Bridge No. 6. The KPC member added, “These Burmese soldiers will be there until after finish of the coming election. They will not leave if the election doesn’t finish.” Continue reading “Burmese artillery and other units, seen advancing towards the Thai/Burma border”

Villagers cowed in fear after arbitrary killing by Burmese army

THURSDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 2010 16:04

After the shooting of a villager in Yebyu Township, area residents will not leave their village at night for fear of reprisals from the Burmese army battalion responsible for the shooting death.

The death of Alaesakhan resident Nai Tun Lein, who was killed by soldiers from the Burmese army Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 282 after objecting to the tax he was forced to pay, has drive Alaesakhan villagers to strictly followed a nighttime curfew set by LIB No. 282 .

According to several residents, if a villager is away for one or two nights, soldiers from LIB No. 282 which is based in Ka-lein-aung sub-township and station soldiers in Alaesakhan, will come to the persons home to find them.

While soldiers only check for a villager if they notice they are missing, none of the villages residents have yet taken that risk.

“If one man from the village went to another place or went on a trip for a long time, LIB No. 282 would come and check,” a resident of Alaesakhan village said. “So everyone including the village headman, is afraid to go outside of village.”

The LIB No 282 has also been checking residents who go outside of the village during the day on suspicion that they have some connection with the armed groups who active in the area.

The area around Alaesakhan is designated a ‘black area’ by Burmese army forces due to its yet unsecured. Several Mon splinter groups including the MNDA, Rehmonya, Nai Chen Deng, Nai Bin have been active in the area. Continue reading “Villagers cowed in fear after arbitrary killing by Burmese army”

The Mongla side was headed by Vice Presidents Hsan Per and Hsang Lu and Chief of Staff Kham Mawng.

Mongla gets a cool reception

The talks between the delegation from the National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS), based in Mongla, opposite China’s Daluo, and the Triangle Region Command based in Kengtung, 160 km north of Maesai, yesterday ended without any fresh results, according to a source close to the rebel leadership.

The Mongla side was headed by Vice Presidents Hsan Per and Hsang Lu and Chief of Staff Kham Mawng. On the Burma Army’s side was Col Than Tut Thein, Chief of G-1.

The meeting was called by Maj Gen Kyaw Phyoe, Commander of the Triangle Region Command, while he was on an inspection tour in Mongyu, Mongyawng township, opposite the NDAA’s 911th Brigade base a day earlier. He however was not present at the meeting. Upon inquiry, Than Tut Thein reportedly replied, “If you gentlemen wanted him here, you should have brought your chairman along.”

Sai Leun, Peng Jiafu and Col Than Tut Thein at Mongla, 30 June 2009. Photo: SHAN

The NDAA is led by Sai Leun aka USai Lin aka Lin Mingxian, 63, a former commander in the Communist Party of Burma (CPB). Continue reading “The Mongla side was headed by Vice Presidents Hsan Per and Hsang Lu and Chief of Staff Kham Mawng.”


Friday, 26 February 2010 19:02 Larry Jagan

BANGKOK (Mizzima) – The United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana believes there that the country’s political prisoners will not be freed any time soon. “There seems to be no movement on political prisoners since my last trip [a year ago],” the UN envoy told Mizzima in an interview in Bangkok a few days ago. “In fact the government continues to deny that there are any prisoners of conscience.”

At the same time more critics of the government and activists have been imprisoned on spurious charges. And political prioners already in jail mounted protests to coincide with the UN envoys visit.

Scores of prisoners in at least two jails have gone on hunger strike, according to an organistion that monitors the situation of Burma’s political prisoners, and more than seventy in the Buthidaung jail, which Mr Quintana visited during his trip to the west of the country. Tthe regime’s total disregard for the envoy was underlined when five more political activists – a monk and five female activists – were given stiff jail sentences in the middle of his visit.

“There were few positives from the trip,” Mr Quinata told Mizzima, apart from being allowed to visit Northern Rakhine State and meet 15 political prisoners in three different prisons.

“They were not prepared to discuss the forthcoming elections in any detail, though it was clear from my visit that unofficial campaigning has started even though the electoral law has not been published,” he told Mizzima. Continue reading “LITTLE HOPE FOR BURMA’S POLITICAL PRISONERS”

Q&A: ‘Our Movement is Unique for Women from Burma’

Marwaan Macan-Markar interviews HSENG NOUNG, women’s right activist from Burma

CHIANG MAI, Thailand, Feb 26, 2010 (IPS) – Women who fled conflict and oppression in military-ruled Burma have become a potent political force during their lives in exile, says a leading women’s rights activist from the South-east Asian country’s Shan ethnic minority.

Nothing confirms this more than the fact that the Women’s League of Burma (WLB), a network of 13 women’s groups in exile based in this northern Thai city, marked its 10th anniversary in December 2009. “Women’s participation is a must for any kind of peace and reconciliation in Burma,” declares Hseng Noung, one of the founder members of the league.

“We have worked to create a political space and a democratic space for the voices and views of women from many ethnic groups to be heard in order to shape a better future for our country,” adds the 48-year-old activist, who left her country in 1983 after some years with a separatist rebel group in Shan State, in north-eastern Burma.

Hseng Noung, who was WLB general secretary, is also a representative of the Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN), which is known for its publication of a numbing exposure of rape being used as a weapon of war by the Burmese military. The shocking disclosures in the 2002 publication ‘License to Rape’ triggered condemnation by the international community, including the U.S. government and the United Nations.
IPS interviewed Hseng Noung on the eve of her departure to New York to participate in a special tribunal examining the Burmese regime’s use of rape and violence against women in its military assaults on the country’s ethnic minorities. Continue reading “Q&A: ‘Our Movement is Unique for Women from Burma’”