KNU:Pre-Election Military Operations by SPDC

27 Jul 2010

The SPDC military junta has started pre-election military operations, targeting the innocent Karen civilians in the Karen State and other KNU areas.

1. On July 23 at 10:00 am, the SPDC troops heavily shelled with mortars Tha-dah-Der village in Papun (Mudraw) District for more than 4 hours and at about 2:30 pm, the SPDC troops entered the village and burnt down 57 houses, one Christian church, one middle school building and other farm huts. The villagers had to flee for their lives and go into hiding, leaving most of their possessions. There are 540 persons in hiding, including 178 students and villagers from a nearby village. They are now hiding in the jungle without proper shelter, facing much problem as it is now the middle of the rainy season with daily heavy down pours. Particularly, the women and children are in high risk health situation in the jungle, with swarms of disease bearing bugs and mosquito and the scarcity of clean water.

2. The villagers in Wawlay areas to the south of Myawaddy town ,Doopla Ya district start to flee since a few days ago. Yesterday, on July 25, more than 100 families had gathered near the border, and some families have already crossed into Thailand for refuge, as the combined SPDC and DKBA troops are approaching the area in preparation for offensive. It appears that with its heavy weapon support, the SPDC again is forcing the DKBA units loyal to it to attack, occupy and control the area.

3. On July 10, 2010, troops of Column-2 from LIB-704 commanded by officer Mo Aye and under the Military Operation Command-4, active in the Papun area, stopped for the night in Kay Kaw village of Papun District. One of the soldiers from the column, named Than Htun Aye, raped a married woman Naw Mu Hseet, aged 27 at about 1:30 am, while she was going out to the toilet. He seized her, covered her mouth with clothes and raped her.

4. The SPDC troops continue widespread human rights violations against the civilians in Karen State and other Karen areas. In this month, the human rights violations by the SPDC troops are on the increase in Papun (Mu-draw), Kawkareik (Doo-pla-ya), Toungoo (Taw-oo), Thaton (Doo-tha-htoo) and Nyaunglaybin (Kler-lwee-htu) Districts.

It appears that there will be more attacks on Karen civilians and human rights violations in the Thai-Burma border areas. All concerned should respond to this emergency so that the fleeing civilians may take refuge in safe areas and get necessary support for survival of the new refugees. We would like to call on the international community including U.S, UK, EU and UN agencies to call on the SPDC military regime to stop immediately the military attacks and gross human rights violations against the Karen people, who have been reduced to the status of one of the poorest peoples in Burma, because of decades of severe oppression by successive military dictatorships, in the never ending civil war.

Supreme Headquarter
Karen National Union

For more information contact: 087 207 9296

Deputy Commerce Minister re-visits Burma on Tuesday

27 July 2010 (NNT) – Thai delegates led by Deputy Commerce Minister, Alongkorn Ponlaboot visited Burma for the second time to talk over a disputed construction of a river dyke in Moei River.

Mr Alongkorn on Tuesday led Thai delegates to the town of Myawaddy in Burma through Mae Sot District of Tak Province to meet with his counterpart, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Burma, U Maung Myint and the Burmese delegates.

Both parties have discussed the issue of river dyke on the Thai side of the Moei River, which Burma reasoned as a main cause of the recent border closure. Burmese government was reported to be unhappy with the construction as the embankments can cause erosion on the Burmese side.

Mr Alongkorn, however, had asked his counterpart to open the area as both Thai and Burmese citizens had been facing hardships as there had been no trade movements since the shutdown of a major Thai-Burmese checkpoint.

The Deputy Commerce Minister has travelled to Burma for a second time as the first negotiation took place on Monday could not seek conclusion. Lunches have been provided for all Thai and Burmese delegates in Myawaddy by the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

Thailand likely to repatriate refugees after Burmese general elections

Thailand plans no immediate prospect of returning Burmese refugees home but likely after the general elections in Myanmar.

National Security Council’s Secretary-General, Tawin Pleansri on Tuesday dismissed rumors of an immediate return of refugees back to Myanmar by the Thai government. According to him, there are around 140,000 refugees residing at the nine remote camps located within the Thai territory.

Mr Tawin said that the matter was still under the government’s consideration but the exact date and time has not yet been set. Thailand, however, will only return these refugees home if the situation in Myanmar reaches normalcy, and that would probably be after the general elections take place, Mr Tawin concluded.