Vote-No Campaign Posters Distributed In Rangoon

15 August 2010: Postcards and posters of ‘Vote-No’ campaigns have been distributed in public places in Rangoon following the recent ‘unanticipated’ announcement of the 2010 election date by Burma’s military regime.

The posters with Daw Aung Suu Kyi’s photo and slogans reading ‘You have the rights to vote or not to vote according to the laws by the Election Commission’ can be seen in areas such as public toilets, transports, parking spaces and lamp posts.

One of the campaign organisers said: “It is conducted with posters bearing Daw Aung Suu Kyi’s pictures, with the purpose of encouraging the public not to take part in the upcoming ‘sham’ 2010 Election. It is in accordance with one of the Acts issued by the 2010 Election Commission that reads ‘It is our right to vote or not to vote for 2010 election’.”

The ‘Vote-No’ campaigns, organised by Generation Wave and other alliance friends, have been mostly active in some areas of Rangoon including Dagon Myo Thit, Insein, Hlaingtharyar, Mingalardone, Bayintnaung, Yuzana Plaza and Dagon Centre since last Thursday.
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The Chin National Front (CNF)to increase strength of armed force

14 August 2010: The Chin National Front (CNF), which has been fighting the military junta in Burma, held its second central committee meeting from August 6 to 13 and resolved to increase the strength of its armed force.

An expansion of the armed force would be mainly done during the 2010-2011 budget year in cooperation with other ethnic armed groups in Burma.

“As the Burmese junta is heading towards retaining and legitimizing its power, we have decided to increase our forces and work in tandem with other ethnic armed groups to fight the regime,” Paul Sitha, general secretary of CNF told Khonumthung News.

A statement following the meeting said that the Chin National Front will try to work with educated and prominent persons from different areas and all ethnic groups. It will have an emergency party conference.

The CNF is heading towards the most important juncture of its movement in political, social, cultural, religious and business fields. So it has invited all Chin people to support the party in all areas.

The Chin National Front has come to an agreement with the cease-fire groups in Burma in May 2010 to cooperate on military matters.

The Chin National Front is active in their four divisions – Northern division, Central division, Southern division and Western division.

Election date announcement pressures opposition parties

Kong Janoi, IMNA :  Several opposition political parties in Burma are chafing under yesterday’s announcement of the  date of the country’s upcoming election, now set for November 7th of this year.

Three parties interviewed yesterday told IMNA that they are financially unprepared to submit their candidate lists to Burma’s Election Commission, which according to yesterday’s announcement must now be sent in between August 16th and August 30.

All candidate lists have to be submitted to the Commission along with a fee of 500,000 kyat [500 USD] per candidate, which parties now have less than a month to raise.

U Thein Htay, the leader of Union Democratic Party (UDP), told IMNA that  he feels that yesterday’s  announcement, which has effectively limited the submission of candidate lists and money to  within the next 15 days, has made the election process less democratic.

“We see that this [announcement] is cutting the democratic force in the parliament, because there is no logical procedure for submitting parties’ registration lists. They are not following their election regulations. They [the Election Commission] just announced suddenly that they have given limited time for preparations. Parties lacking financial support, like our party, are struggling to submit party candidate lists and money.”

U Thein Htay also elaborated on the difficulties that opposition groups have getting funds.

“To be able get funds from the individual donors, as you know in Burma many businessmen have connections to the military regime. Although they want to support democracy, they are afraid that their businesses will be destroyed [if they give opposition parties money].” Continue reading “Election date announcement pressures opposition parties”

Bomb blast in Three Pagodas Pass

IMNA : According to a resident, at 3 am this morning a bomb exploded in front of a Democratic Karen Buddhist Army(DKBA) checkpoint outside Three Pagodas Pass (TPP) town, Karen State.

A TTP resident reported that the DKBA checkpoint in question is located near the community of Toung Wine, on the way to Maikatar forest, beyond the town limits of TPP town.

“A bomb exploded early this morning, but nobody was injured,” said a political observer who lives in the area. He also reported to IMNA that TPP law enforcement authorities are still searching for the culprit.

The TPP resident interviewed reported to IMNA that a second, undetonated device was also found by law enforcement authorities this morning in the Burmese government’s Land Department office, located inside TPP town.  He explained that an Immigration Department office and a Special Police office are also located in the second bomb site’s vicinity. Local authorities have reportedly prohibited residents from entering the area.

“After 6:30 am, the authorities did not allow [anyone] to go inside that office. I think maybe it’s a bomb like the kind that someone throws from outside [a grenade]” he added.

Any connection between the two incidents has yet to be confirmed. Residents report that security  around TTP town tightened dramatically this week after an undetonated bomb was discovered near the town’s electrical transformer tower on August 12th. The incident was covered in IMNA’s Burmese and Mon sections earlier this week.

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Thai-Burmese bridge open, at the right time and price

Mae Sot (Mizzima) – The Thai-Burmese Friendship Bridge, spanning the Moei River between Mae Sot and Myawaddy, is open – at the right price and under the cover of darkness, merchants said.

Thai traders in Mae Sot on the Thai side told Mizzima that trucks laden with goods can pass over the bridge if the right people are paid the right money. Shipments must be arranged via Democratic Karen Buddhist Army Colonel Chit Thu, commander of Battalion 999, and Thai authorities must be paid, the traders said, on condition of anonymity.

The bridge was closed by Burma early last month, allegedly because of moves by Thailand to construct a wall along its side of the river, beefing up security along the international border.

The Tak Chamber of Commerce has since demanded the Thai government intervene and negotiate with the Burmese, claiming 20 days of closure had cost Thailand revenue of 20 billion baht. Continue reading “Thai-Burmese bridge open, at the right time and price”