Three Pagoda Pass bombing blows up in attackers’ faces

Three Pagoda Pass (TPP) residents report that the bombing of a Burmese military checkpoint last night in the Thailand-Burma border Township left its two perpetrators seriously injured. The pair has been taken into custody.

The explosion took place in front of a Burmese military check-point outside of TPP town, at 9:10 pm on the night of May 9th.  According to a New Mon State Party (NMSP) official, the two bombers, named Maung Phyu and Aung Aung, drove a motorbike into the “walk only” section of the checkpoint and attempted to throw explosives into the station as they passed by. The explosives missed their mark, and detonated too close to the vehicle, injuring both men. The two were immediately arrested by the battalion.

“The bombers were taken to the hospital for a few hours, and then transferred to Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 284’s base in TPP for investigation last night,” the NMSP official reported.

Maung Phyu lost his left hand and hurt his left thigh, while Aung Aung hurt his left flank, U Tin*, a TTP resident whose home is located nearby the explosion site, informed IMNA.

Sources in the area, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed that both Maung Phyu and Aung Aung are former members of the Karen Peace Front. Reportedly, Aung Aung was a former policeman from Hpa- an Township, Karen State, before he joined at KPF. Residents living around the bomb site reported to IMNA that the KPF has already refused responsibility for the bombing, claiming that both perpetrators had resigned from the group long before the events of last night.

The KPF is a Karen armed group that formerly functioned as the Karen National Liberation Army’s Brigade No. 6; in 1997 the leaders of the brigade surrendered to the Burmese military government. The group has subsequently remained loosely allied with the Burmese military and operates a number of road and river checkpoints in the Three Pagodas Pass area, and serves as a semi-administrative presence in the town.

*Editor’s Note: Name changed for security reasons.

Local and foreign journalists, denied access to meeting -pics Mizzima

Local and foreign journalists, denied access to a meeting today between US assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs Kurt Campbell and NLD leader Aung San Suu Kyi, wait outside the state guest house in Rangoon. The junta rejected access even for journalists from state newspapers and television, a move critics say is a bid to suppress Ms. Suu Kyi’s public profile. Photo: Mizzima

Kurt Campbell (right), the United States assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, meets Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi (centre) at a government guest house in Rangoon on Monday, May 10, 2010. The US envoy had earlier in the day expressed his concern over the junta’s unfair laws governing political parties and elections in a meeting with Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy executive members. Photo: Mizzima

Poet Saw Wai to be freed on May 26

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Well known Burmese poet Saw Wai, sentenced to two years in prison for his acrostic poem, which concealed a message saying “Senior General Than Shwe is crazy with power”, will be released on May 26, his wife Nan San San Aye said.

After San San Aye was permitted to meet her husband in the Yamethin Prison [Mandalay Division] she found her husband’s name in the list of prisoners to be released this month.

“He will be freed on May 26. His name is in the list of prisoners to be released soon. He told me that he will go back home alone when freed,” Nan San San Aye said.

“He looked active and told me that he wanted to have his cataract operated. His vision is cloudy,” she added.

In his acrostic poem, titled “February 14”, if the first letters of each line of the poem are put together, they read “Power Crazy Senior General Than Shwe” in Burmese. His poem was published in Achit [Love] Journal in January 21, 2008. He was sentenced two years in prison for this.

Saw Wai was also an organizer of ‘Phyoo Friends Reading Team’, which gave awards for literature annually. He also arranged poem recitals critical of the junta in Rangoon and Mandalay to raise fund for orphans suffering from AIDS.

He was awarded the Hellman/Mammett Award by the US based NGO ‘Human Rights Watch’ for 2009 because of his bold write ups against the military dictatorship.

There are more than 2100 political prisoners in Burma including, 41 political prisoners till December 31, 2009. They include poets, authors, journalists and bloggers, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), a Thailand based organization.