Gale lashes Monywa

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A fierce gale lashed villages in Monywa yesterday damaging homes, monasteries, and schools, residents said.

The storm started brewing at 3 pm on May 6 and headed northeast of Monywa, on the west bank of Chindwin River in Sagaing Division. It lasted about 30 minutes. It was laced with rain and hail.

Though the quantum of damage and its money value was not exactly assessed, about 50 houses were damaged in a village. The gale also hit seven other villages.

“I guess I’m just lucky to be alive. Zinc roofs were blown off. I did not dare go outside. It was frightening and people stayed in safe places. I have never experienced such a storm,” a 40 year old villager told Mizzima.

The storm damaged schools and monasteries. It will be difficult to repair the schools in time for the next academic session before June.

“Strong gusts of wind blew from every direction. Initially it blew from the south. Then, from the west and then the North,” another resident told Mizzima over telephone.

“Roofs of some houses were turned upside down and some were blown off in the fierce winds. It was difficult to salvage them after the storm. Some roofs were extensively damaged. Some houses collapsed and some were found leaning on one side. Now people have to repair the houses on their own,” he added.

Feathers Fly Over(AB) Use of Fighting Peacock Image(Power)

Feathers are flying in Burma over the use of the fighting peacock emblem by two newly registered political parties in their election campaigns.

The emblem—famously associated with the now disbanded National League for Democracy (NLD)—has served as a national symbol since the days of the Burmese monarchy and was a rallying image brandished by student activists in colonial times.

A banner depicting the fighting peacock symbol is displayed by demonstrators outside the Burmese embassy in Paris in September, 2007. (Photo: Hughes Léglise-Bataille)

“It’s not appropriate to use the student movement’s flag as the symbol of a political party,” said prominent journalist Ludu Sein Win, one of a group of  about 40 people in the Burmese media world who signed a letter of complaint to the  Election Commission.

“The fighting peacock symbol is not the property of a certain organization and it is associated with all Burmese nationals,” said Ludu Sein Win.

The Election Commission has ruled that it will accept objections against the use of flags or symbols by registered political parties.

The fighting peacock symbol is being used by two newly registered parties, the Union of Myanmar Federation of National Politics (UMFNP) and the 88 Generation Student Union of Myanmar (GSUM), led by two brothers who are former political prisoners. The two are the subjects of unsubstantiated suspicions that they are collaborating with the regime.

Objectors point out that the fighting peacock symbol adopted by the two new parties is similar to the one used by the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU), which played a key role in Burma’s independence movement against British colonial rule.

Since the 1962 military coup, the ABFSU has been viewed by successive regimes as an illegal organization. Its building on the Rangoon University campus was destroyed in a bomb attack in the year of the coup.

The ABFSU objected to the use of the peacock symbol when it was first adopted by the the now-defunct NLD and used in its party flag, but later dropped its objection.

“The ABFSU flag is being used only in the movement led by students, handed down from one generation to another,” said Myo Myint Nyein, of the Rangoon-based weekly journal The Ray of Light. “I don’t agree with using it as the image of a party.”

GSUM chairman Ye Tun said his party and the UMFNP were only trying to trying to preserve the image of the fighting peacock.

The group of objectors agreed in their letter to the Election Commission that the symbol was “crucial for the history of the nation” but said “it should not be the property of any political party.”

Among the signatories of the letter of complaint was Maung Wun Tha, a veteran writer and editor who was a member of the ABFSU before 1962.

Harn Lay, The Irrawaddy’s cartoonist and illustrator honored

Harn Lay, The Irrawaddy’s cartoonist and illustrator, has received a grant from Human Rights Watch in recognition of his satirical cartoons targeting the Burmese military regime.

Marcia Allina, the coordinator of the Hellman/Hammett grant program for the New York-based NGO, told The Irrawaddythat Harn Lay was chosen without debate by the selection committee, which is made up of respected writers and editors.


“I assume it was because his message is so clear, and he qualified as a persecuted person because he had to flee for his personal safety. He is a perfect example of someone who was targeted for expressing ideas that the government wanted to suppress,” she said.

Harn Lay, 44, an ethnic Shan artist, graduated from the Rangoon School of Fine Arts Academy. He fled to Thailand following Burma’s pro-democracy uprising in 1988.

Ceasefire Shan army in quandary

Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ Maj-Gen Hso Ten

The ceasefire Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ that had recently transformed into a home guard force run by Burma Army is in a difficult position after failing to persuade its strongest brigade that is refusing to accept the new status offered by the Burma Army.

Latest reports say there are many fighters who are refusing to put on militia uniforms provided by the Burma Army in late April even though their names were in the submitted lists to Naypyitaw by their top leaders.

The SSA ‘North’’s leader Maj-Gen Loi Mao with other 12 top leaders submitted lists of their men who agreed to become members of a home guard force to be formed under the Burma Army’s supervision on 22 April, to Maj-Gen Aung Than Htut, Commander of the Northeastern Region Command at Lashio headquarters.

The SSA-N has 3 brigades (1, 3, 7), one border force and one HQ Security Force commanded by Maj-Gen Loimao. The Brigade No. 3 and 7 submitted lists of their men and weapons to form the junta run home guard force. The First however has remained silent to the program up to this day.

“It is difficult for the group to say that it has totally transformed because its strongest unit the 1st brigade doesn’t accept the program,” the source said.

On the other hand, it is also being pressured by Maj-Gen Aung Than Htut, to keep persuading the First brigade and to also bring all their fighters whose names are already in the lists because he has yet to see them in person.

The commander was said to have ordered Loi Mao to bring all their fighters according to their submitted lists, to keep wooing the remaining group. “You can ask them to at least put on the militia uniforms for taking photographs,” he was quoted as saying. “They can return to their SSA uniforms afterwards.”

“Above all, please ask them not to start any hostilities until the elections are over.” Continue reading “Ceasefire Shan army in quandary”

ရက္ေပါင္း (၆၀) အတြင္း NLD ပါတီ ရပ္တည္ခ်က္ကို စစ္အစိုးရ အာဏာပိုင္မ်ား ဖိအားေပး

အမ်ဳိးသားဒီမိုကေရစီအဖြဲ႔ခ်ဳပ္၊ ဗဟိုဌာနခ်ဳပ္က ပါတီဆိုင္းဘုတ္နဲ႔ အလံကို ကိုယ္တိုင္ျဖဳတ္ခ်မည္မဟုတ္ဘူးေၾကာင္း ဧၿပီလ (၂၆) ရက္ေန႔က က်င္းပတဲ့ အစည္းအေဝးကေန ထုတ္ျပန္ေျပာဆိုထားသည့္အတုိင္း NLD ဗဟို႐ံုးရွိ ပါတီဆိုင္းဘုတ္ႏွင့္ အလံကို ဒီကေန႔ ရက္ေပါင္း (၆၀) ျပည့္သည့္ ေန႔အထိ ျဖဳတ္ခ်ျခင္းမရွိဘဲ ဒုဥကၠဌ ဦးတင္ဦးအပါအဝင္ အဖြဲ႔ခ်ဳပ္အဖြဲ႔ဝင္ အင္အားေတာ္ေတာ္မ်ားမ်ားသည္ ဒီကေန႔ ေမလ (၆) ရက္ေန႔တြင္ ႐ံုးတက္ခဲ့သည္္။

ႏိုင္ငံေရးပါတီမ်ား မွတ္ပံုတင္ျခင္းဥပေဒ ပုဒ္မ (၂၅) တြင္ ၁၉၉၀ ျပည့္ ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲတြင္ ပါ၀င္ခဲ့သည့္ လက္ရွိတရားဝင္ပါတီမ်ားအေနႏွင့္ ရက္ေပါင္း (၆၀) အတြင္း ပါတီအျဖစ္ ထပ္မံမွတ္ပံုမတင္ပါက အလိုအေလွ်ာက္ ပါတီအျဖစ္က ပ်က္ျပယ္ၿပီးျဖစ္ေၾကာင္း ေရြးေကာက္ပြဲဆိုင္ရာ ဥပေဒကို စစ္အစိုးရက မတ္လအတြင္း ထုတ္ျပန္ခဲ့သည္။ အဆိုပါ ထုတ္ျပန္ခ်က္သည္ ယေန႔ ေမလ (၆)ရက္ေန႔တြင္ ရက္ေပါင္း (၆၀)ျပည့္ၿပီျဖစ္သည္။
NLD ၿမဳိ႕နယ္႐ုံးမ်ားထိုရက္ေပါင္း

Continue reading “ရက္ေပါင္း (၆၀) အတြင္း NLD ပါတီ ရပ္တည္ခ်က္ကို စစ္အစိုးရ အာဏာပိုင္မ်ား ဖိအားေပး”