Tokyo Calling: BURMA Global ACTION

Dear All,                                                                                                                                    
Please find the information below about the events.

1. Processions will be held to commemorate the (20)the anniversary of 1990 General Elections and to demand the release of Shan ethnic leader Khum Htun Oo, other ethnic leaders, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and all the political prisoners.

Date: : 23rd May, 2010 Sunday

Time : : Start at 13:30

Venue: : Ebisu, Meiji (Shiki no Niwa) Park

Leading Organizer: :AUN

2. Demonstrations and praying ceremony to be held to remember the 2003, May 30th Depeyin incident.

Date: : 30th May, 2010 Sunday

Time : : Start at 14:00

Venue: : In front of Burmese Embassy, Shinagawa Tokyo

Leading Organizer: :NLD-LA-JP

3. Burma: Global Day of Action against Junta’s Planned Sham 2010 Election, A referendum will be held.

Date: : 13th June, 2010 Sunday

Time : : From 13:00 to 17:00

Venue: : Ikebukuro Kenko Plaza seventh floor

Leading Organizer: :NLD-LA-JP

Series 2010 | Episode 5 | Inside Burma’s Secret State-Unreported World gets a rare glimpse into the Karen region of Burma.

Reporter Seyi Rhodes and director Simon Phillips spend two weeks trekking through forests to reveal the devastation the Burmese army is inflicting as it intensifies its war against the Karen people.

The team are smuggled across the Salaween river from Thailand in a small boat, covered by tarpaulin. On the other side, the few roads in Karen State are controlled by the Burmese military, so the only safe route is over mountains and through dense jungle.

The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) scouts acting as the team’s guides have been part of an army that has been fighting the Burmese for 60 years. The Karen are one of Burma’s hill tribes who see themselves as culturally distinct from the Burmese, with their own language, and unlike the Buddhist Burmese, they are predominantly Christian. The Burmese army has stepped up its offensive against the Karen people, who are confined to mountainous jungle and encircled.

One Karen guide, Saw-Sun, claims that the Burmese army forces Karen villagers to do their most dangerous jobs, such as walking through minefields to clear a path, and that in the latest round of fighting the army burnt Karen villages to the ground. Continue reading “Series 2010 | Episode 5 | Inside Burma’s Secret State-Unreported World gets a rare glimpse into the Karen region of Burma.”

Six junta soldiers defect to Arakan militia

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Six Burmese Army soldiers including a corporal have defected to the Arakan Liberation Army from a battalion based in Sittwe in Arakan State, the separatist militia’s spokesman said yesterday.

After killing their commander, Captain Htet Aung Htun, the men from Infantry Battalion 232 based in Sittwe, Arakan (Rakhine) State defected on Sunday, carrying with them arms and ammunition, Arakan Liberation Army (ALA) said.

They were Corporal Than Aye, 36, (tag number Ta/75184), Lance Corporal Moe Aung, 26, (Ta/116574); Lance corporal Zaw Zaw Han, 25, Ta/121785 , Lance Corporal Maung Maung Naing, 26, (Ta/121743); Private Zaw Min Oo, 25, (Ta/401336); and, Private San Win, 27, (Ta/423148) joined the ALA.

“This area is dominated by both of us [junta troops and the ALA] and movements of our forces are criss-crossing this area,” ALP Joint Secretary Khaing Thu Kha. “They know well where we are and vice versa. So they came and surrendered to us.”

The defectors were being kept at a secure location, he said.

“We welcome them and are glad to see them joining us,” he said. “Since they have not yet reached our headquarters, we have not arranged anything for them.”

“We will help them only after asking them about their intentions. We have given similar assistance to troop defectors before”, he added. Continue reading “Six junta soldiers defect to Arakan militia”

NLD senior leader Soe Myint dies in his sleep

NLD senior leader Soe Myint dies in his sleep

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Soe Myint, a veteran pro-democracy activist and politician, died in his sleep at home in Rangoon at about 1:30 p.m. today, a relative said.

The National League for Democracy central executive committee member and Rangoon Division secretary died of a suspected heart attack at his home in South Okkalapa Township. He was 87.

“He died at 1:30 p.m. while he was sleeping at the home. We think he died because of a heart attack.” Khine Wint Yi, a granddaughter of Soe Myint told Mizzima. “A neighbour who is a doctor confirmed his death. He also suffered from asthma, had a weak heart, used to feel dizzy and fell down often, but he died peacefully.”

Soe Myint is survived by five children and 11 grandchildren.

Chin Faces Water Shortage After Soldiers Use Up

19 May 2010: People in Mindat Town of Southern Chin State are left in desperate need of water after Burma’s soldiers have reportedly used up for looking after a huge garden by their military camps, sources disclosed.

There is no enough water left for the people after water stored for the town has been lavishly used first by Burma’s army Light Infantry Battalion 274 stationed in Mindat Town and then by government-sponsored Buddhist temple, according to a local theological student.

The soldiers and the SPDC-run monastery use water extravagantly just for gardening while the people do not have enough drinking water since the start of summer. The condition is getting worse,” continued the local student, whose name is not revealed.

Water from community-shared supply is made available to the people only twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday. “We just have to survive with whatever amount we have got for the week. As the weather is getting really hot, we want to take a shower every day but even once a week seems almost impossible since there is no enough water,” said one local.

Seated on 4860 feet (1480 m) above sea level, Mindat town has got about 4,000 households with more than 15,000 people. Mindat is one of the four towns of Mindat District, which consists of a total of 4 towns and 840 villages in Mindat, Matupi, Kanpetlet, and Paletwa Townships of Burma’s Chin State.

Malaysia-Raids Blamed For Increasing Number of Mentally Affected Refugees

19 May 2010: A series of brutal raids conducted by Malaysian RELA Corps, Immigration and Police has been ascribed to the cause of escalating the number of Chin refugees admitted to mental and psychiatric counselling.

Around 60-100 refugees are sent to a counselling session run by the UNHCR a month and a few of them whose conditions are found ‘critical’ are referred to psychiatric hospital, according to VOCR (Voice of Chin Refugees) in Malaysia.

A Chin refugee woman was said to get shocked and have collapsed with a suspected heart attack in the office of Chin Refugee Committee following the raids by Malaysian authorities in Jalan Imbi on 16 May 2010.

In last Sunday’s raids, dozens of Chin refugee church-goers were arrested on the streets after the worship service and inside the shops while having lunch. Some of them were said to have been released on demand of UNHCR refugee card while whereabouts of others are still in question.

“Almost every week, there is a big raid operation by RELA (People Volunteer Corp) combined with Immigration and Police around Kata Raya, Jalan Imbi and Jalan Pudu where most refugees and illegal migrants live. Refugees are also often arrested at shopping centres, bus stops and junctions. It is unpredictable and unavoidable,” one of the Chin refugees in Malaysia told Chinland Guardian.

An increasing number of deaths related to depression and accidents have also been reported among Chin refugees in Malaysia in recent months.

Van Biak Thang
Chinland Guardian

Kachins forced to oust Kachin villagers for dam project

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) –  In a cruel twist to its high handed ways, the  Burmese military junta is using forced labour from among  Kachin people for the demolition and relocation of villages for the Myitsone dam project site in north Kachin State, a Kachin environment group has alleged.

The local Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC) ordered commissioning of at least 1,060 persons from Myitkyina and Wai Maw townships this month to be sent to carry out the relocation of the villages about 27 miles north of Myitkyina.

The Kachin Development Network Group (KDNG) Chairman Awng Wah said the order was issued by the TPDC on May 1, which called for people from 48 Wards in Wai Maw Township and 58 Wards from Myitkyina Township at the rate of 10 people from each ward.

“Their works entails demolishing houses and churches,” he told Mizzima.

The order points out that the security of the forced labourers will vest with concerned departments, People’s Militias and Border Guard Forces (BGF) under the command of Northern Command headquarters. Continue reading “Kachins forced to oust Kachin villagers for dam project”