Shan party to contest in 40 townships in Shan State

The newly formed Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) plans to contest in 40 out of 55 townships in Shan State in the forthcoming general elections, according to party chairman, Sai Ai Pao.

Apart from Shan State, the party is going to contest in other states and divisions: Kachin and Karenni states and Rangoon, Mandalay, Pegu and Sagaing divisions where most Shan residents are living as well. In Burma, Shan has the second biggest population after Burman population.

So far, there has been no information about whether the party registration is accepted or not by the Union Election Commission. But the UEC had mentioned that the result will be confirmed on 21 April, said Sai Ai Pao.

The party had applied for the registration on 8 April. The party’s Vice Chairman is Sai Saung Si, former elected representative of Kyaukme constituency No#2 in 1990. There are 15 CEC members.

According to the party, its aim is to pave the way for the people in Shan State to have more choices and to represent them in working for their rights and to protect them. Continue reading “Shan party to contest in 40 townships in Shan State”

Thai labor ministry confirms ‘no new round of workers registration’

Thailand’s Ministry of Labor on 19th April confirmed that there would definitely be no new round of alien workers registration, according to a rights group Chiangmai-based Migrant Justice Program.

The announcement was made in reference to the demands from some private sector and rights groups calling for the government to open a new round of worker registration for people who were working without any documents and for them to be able to apply for the national verification process as agreed by Thai and Burmese authorities. If not they will not be able to comply with the existing national verification process, said Sai Noom from Migrant Justice Program.

Mr Jirisak Sukhonchaat, the Director General of the Employment Department said “Anyhow, there will be no opening of a new migrant registration. But the existing nationality verification process will go on as usual.”

At present, the process is underway for those workers who have already expressed their wish to go through the process. So far, the number of workers completing the process has now risen to 70, 000 persons. And contracts have already been made to bring 20, 000 alien workers who passed the process by the military authorities into Thailand from Burma, according to statistics of the Employment Department.

However, there were over 300,000 people who had missed to apply for the process by the deadline, 28 February. They will be investigated by the authorities and sent back to their home country, according to Mr Jirisak Sukhonchaat.

“If they still want to enter Thailand, they should ask for permission from their authorities to be allowed to work legally,” he said. Continue reading “Thai labor ministry confirms ‘no new round of workers registration’”

NUP member IDs issued in Maungdaw

Identity cards for members of the National United Party (NUP) have been issued in Maungdaw Township on the western Burma border by township NUP leaders for the party’ s election campaign, said a former NUP member.

“The membership ID cards are being issued to party members in Maungdaw Township after the party registered with the Election Commission on 29 March. The NUP is now into election activities in Maungdaw Township,” he said.

The Maungdaw Township NUP is led by U Kyaw Aye, the former president of the Maungdaw Township Burma Socialist Programme Party, but most of the other party leaders in the township are Muslims.

“The NUP is now stepping up its campaign among the Muslim community in the township because they are a majority in the area and Muslim votes will be the key in deciding the elections. Muslim leaders, who were former village chairmen during the time of the BSPP, are supporting the party,” the source added.

The township NUP committee members are now visiting many villages to woo local Muslim residents to support the party in the election.

A Muslim businessman from Maungdaw said, “Some Muslims have joined the NUP but not every man because our people seem to dislike the party. However, I cannot tell you, which party is the most favoured among the Muslim community in Maungdaw at present.”

Even though the NUP is stepping up its election campaign, the party has not yet declared who it will nominate for the Maungdaw constituency.

Meanwhile, two prominent Muslim businessmen – Aung Zaw Win and Aung Naing – who are close associates of junta generals are now mobilizing the Muslim community to support the USDA party in the township.

According to a source, even though the USDA party has not yet registered with the Election Commission, the party central committee in Maungdaw Township has already been formed under the supervision of the two businessmen.

Many believe that the NUP and the USDA parties will be the main contenders in the election, despite being pro-military junta parties with close ties with the current regime, said sources.

90.6 per cent were against transforming KIA to the BGF

An online poll conducted by the Thailand-based website, the Kachin News Group’s English version: clearly reveals that people in the State are against the ethnic Kachin Army in northern Burma converting to the contentious Border Guard Force.

The poll titled “Should Kachin Independence Army (KIA) transform as a border security force?” raised three questions. Votes were cast by 1156 website visitors between May 4, 2009 and April 20, 2010.


Of the total voters, 90.6 per cent were against transforming KIA to the BGF — 787 voters- 68.1 percent voted “No (rejecting BGF)”; 260 voters-  22.5 per cent voted “Never (strongly rejecting BGF)”, and only 109 voters-  9.4 percent  said “Yes (accepting BGF)” according to the poll graph.

The poll was set on May 4, last year when the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the political-wing of the KIA was officially informed by the country’s ruling junta to transform the KIA to the Burmese Army controlled BGF.

The KNG’s web trafficking result revealed Thailand was first as the country, which read the site the most, United States was second, China third and Burma was ninth among 10 countries, which read the KNG English version site the most.

Before the 2007 Saffron Revolution in military-ruled Burma the KNG website was totally blocked by the junta in the last leg of the same year and Burma was the fourth country to read the KNG website the most. Continue reading “90.6 per cent were against transforming KIA to the BGF”