Burma to Lease Over 100,000 Acres of Arakanese Land to Vietnam

Taungup: The Burmese military government is now preparing to least 129,000 acres of land in Arakan State to Vietnam for rubber cultivation, according to a report of local journal Hot News published on 13 August, 2010.

The report stated that the Burmese military authority has already agreed to lease the land to a Vietnamese company, but did not mention the name of the company.

If true, most of the land located between Taungup Township and Ma Ei Sub-Township in Southern Arakan will be leased to the Vietnamese corporation in the near future. A survey of land in the two townships, including mountain ranges near Ma Ei Sub Township, was recently completed by the survey department.

According to a local source, officials from Arakan State’s survey department in Sittwe traveled to the area along with several officials from the local survey department last week to inspect and survey the lands located in the eastern and western parts of Ma Ei Township.

In Arakan State, rubber plantation projects began several years ago in 1995, and there are now 2,231 privately-owned acres of rubber plantation as well as 978 acres owned by Industry Ministry 1.

The Burmese military government also agreed to lease 50,000 acres of farm land to Bangladesh in 2007, but the project has not yet been implemented for reasons that are unknown.
Narinjara news

KSPP’s future depends on KIO’s decision

The Election Commission’s approval of the Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP) to contest the polls is now hinging on the stand to be taken by the Kachin Independence Organization’s (KIOs) decision following its meeting with public representatives, which is to be released soon, said party officials.

The KIO has tentatively informed the junta before the three-day Laiza meeting three things— it will support the November 7 election, accept transformation of KIA in principal and finally, it will not secede from the Union of Burma. The final decision, however, will be mentioned in the statement to be released.

KIO officials had a crucial meeting with Kachin public representatives from Kachin State and Shan State at the Laiza capital in eastern Kachin State, near the Sino-Burma border from August 14 to 16, to adopt a new policy to take Kachin politics forward with the Burmese junta or a new government to come to power after the November elections.

The Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP) registered with the EC in Burma’s capital Naypyitaw in early April for contesting the election from Kachin State. It has not been approved so far on suspicion of having tenuous links with the KIO, which rejected transforming its armed wing the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) to the regime proposed Border Guard Force.

Dr. Manam Tu Ja, leader of KSPP in Kachin’s capital Myitkyina told the Thailand-based Kachin News Group today, “Our party’s approval is totally dependent on the KIO’s Laiza decision. If the KIO goes on to fight the junta, the party will be not be approved by the EC.” Continue reading “KSPP’s future depends on KIO’s decision”

Junta Paper: Unexploded hand grenades were found in front of government department buildings..

Unexploded hand grenades were found in front of government department buildings in Myanmar’s southeastern Kayin state over the weekend, the state-run daily reported Tuesday.

One hand grenade was exposed in front of the Land Records Department in Phayathonezu township in the state last Saturday, which was believed to have been thrown into the office after its pin was removed with a fuse left on the road, said the New Light of Myanmar.

Further search led to the finding of another unexploded grenade with exploded cap and 11 9mm bullets in front of the telecommunications office, about 100 meters from the land records department, the report added.

The authorities charged insurgents with throwing away grenades and planting mines to cause public deaths and panic.

The authorities have invited supply of information about any suspicious similar attempts.


Burma Army Tracks Across Shan State English-Shan Human Right Groups

Shan rights groups today launched a campaign against the new Mong Nai-Kengtung railway, denouncing it an expansion of the Burmese regime’s war apparatus in Shan State.

In recent months the regime has accelerated construction of the planned 361-km railway, the first rail link across the Salween River to eastern Shan State. The Shan Women’s Action Network (SWAN) and Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF) have documented how thousands of acres of farmlands have been confiscated along the route. Farmers complaining have been told the railroad is an “army project” and threatened with prison.

The railway cuts strategically between the northern and southern territories of the United Wa State Army (UWSA), the biggest ceasefire group, which has resisted pressure by the regime to become a Border Guard Force. The new line will enable rapid deployment of heavy artillery into this remote mountainous region in the event of an offensive against the UWSA or other ethnic resistance forces.

“This is not a passenger railway, it’s for the army’s tanks and howitzers,” said Ying Harn Fah of SWAN.

The railway will also pass through the Mong Kok coalfields, opposite Thailand’s Chiang Rai province, where the regime and Thai investors are planning to excavate millions of tons of lignite and build a power plant to sell electricity to Thailand.

“The regime is telling the world that their 2010 elections will bring change to Burma, but on the ground they are digging in for war,” said SHRF researcher Puen Kham. “Burma’s neighbours should think twice about investing in these war zones.”

SWAN and SHRF are demanding an immediate halt to construction of the railway.

Contact persons:

Ying Harn Fah             089- 262 7848
Puen Kham                 085-6375521
Charm Tong               081-603 6655