KIO headquarter Laiza, midnight fire broke out on Oct 24, 2010.-VDO

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Incenses sticks are suspected in causing a fire at a market early yesterday morning in the Kachin stronghold of Laiza near the Sino-Burmese border. The blaze left about three billion kyat (about US$3 million) in damage, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO) said

One hundred and six shops at Market No. 1 that sell clothes, cosmetics, drugs, kitchen appliances and gold, nine houses and the Ward Two Peace and Development Council Office, were gutted in the blaze, KIO said.

“According to our estimation, property worth three billion kyat was lost in the fire,” KIO Fire and Rescue Committee secretary Colonel Naw Oun told Mizzima. Continue reading “KIO headquarter Laiza, midnight fire broke out on Oct 24, 2010.-VDO”

4 day long clash of Pa-O National Army (PNA) and Mark Kieng militia unit

A 4 day long clash of Pa-O National Army (PNA) and Mark Kieng militia unit had taken place in Southern Shan State’s Namzang Township recently, local sources said.

The clash started on 18 October to 21 October resulting in 4 men on the PNA side dead and one man from Mark Kieng side wounded. It came in the wake of an argument between Pa-O National Organization (PNO) party campaigners and villagers of Mark Kieng, Mongzit village tract on 17 October, a local businessman said.

“The PNO came to conduct campaign in the village. But local villagers refused to allow them to campaign and asked them to leave saying no one would support them. The campaigners then got angry with the villagers and left immediately.”

The campaigners reportedly came back on the next day with 150 strong PNA force led by Major Kyaw Tin Oo. But they were stopped by 20 strong Mark Kieng militia led by Captain Mo Khurh at Hsai Nguen village controlled by the group.

“Mark Kieng group warned them [PNA] not to cross their controlled area, otherwise they would fire. But PNA continued coming in and the clash started then,” he said.

The shooting stopped after the intervention of commander of Eastern Region Command based in Taunggyi.

“The commander said if the two did not stop fighting, he would send his Burma Army soldiers to attack both of them.”

According to local villagers, most of Mark Kieng militia men were former members of Mong Tai Army and more familiar to the terrain than the PNA.  “Most PNA men were new recruits and had no experience in fighting yet.”

Maj-Gen Yawdserk, confirming the reports, commented: It was only a fight between two drug cartels backed by the junta.

‘The Generals’ Election’ by BERTIL LINTNER

Western countries are naive to think Burma’s junta is taking steps toward a competitive democracy.

Burma’s elections will be held on November 7, and the optimistic scenario goes something like this: Nearly 40 political parties will compete for more than 1,000 seats in the national legislature as well as regional assemblies. The junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party will win, and a quarter of the seats in the national assembly’s lower and upper houses will be reserved for the military. But there will be some space for opposition voices, and besides, there is a younger generation of more reform-minded army officers lurking in the wings.

This scenario, posited by diplomats from the United States to the European Union, is dangerously uninformed. Rather than being “the first step toward democracy” the upcoming election is the final step in the military’s consolidation of its absolute grip on power, and a way for the regime to acquire the legitimacy it desires.

Even before the election has been held, the military has scored some remarkable victories. Pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has been effectively marginalized and even seen by some foreign observers as an “obstacle” to the democratic process because she has announced that she will boycott the election. The regime also dissolved her party, the National League for Democracy, which won a landslide victory in the 1990 election. People inside Burma jokingly refer to Nov. 7 not as a “general election” but as “the generals’ election.” The Burmese have been through this before and are not as easily fooled as Western diplomats and other outsiders. Continue reading “‘The Generals’ Election’ by BERTIL LINTNER”

14 Dead In Oil Pipeline Blaze In Burma: Official

least 14 people were killed and about 100 more injured after a fire broke out at an oil pipeline in central Burma, a government official said on Monday.

Authorities were battling to put out the blaze, which appeared to have been ignited accidentally by local villagers who were collecting oil leaking from the pipeline near Pakokku town in the Magway region.

“At least 14 people were killed,” said the official, who did not want to be named. “There could be more casualties.” The blaze began after about 200 villagers started collecting oil from the leaking pipeline yesterday and lit a flame to see in the dark, according to the official.

A local resident in Pakokku said “many people” were believed to have been taken to two local hospitals. The official said the authorities had shut down the 32-km long government-owned pipeline after the fire started.


NMSP Statement of Boycotting SPDC 2010 Elections October 18 2010

The New Mon State Party (NMSP) officially announced in an October 21st press conference that while they refuse to acknowledge or participate in the Burmese national elections on November 7th , they will not actively prevent Mon people from voting on election day.

“If people have to go to the poll station unavoidably [pressured by Burmese authorities], or if they want to vote, our party will not prevent them, they think voting is just their right,” the NMSP’s Foreign Affairs Department officer Nai Hongsa Bonkhing said during the press conference.

The NMSP released their official statement on the matter on October 18th, three days before the press conference.

During the conference, the party also stated its position that the values of Democracy and ethnic minority rights are only marginally covered in the 2008 Constitution. The party posited that the government that takes power after the upcoming elections will not be a true federal union, and that the 2008 constitution is just a means of sustaining the power of Burma’s current military regime.

“We released our stance [on the election] because the upcoming election will cancel the results of the 1990 elections, and these elections will make their [the current government’s] military system official”, Nai Hongsa stated.

The NMSP’s October 18th statement insists that the Election Commission Laws as well as November 7th elections themselves are not free and fair, because the government’s proxy party, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), has been unfairly favored.

The statement also pointed to the Burmese government’s refusals to heed requests from the International community that the elections be conducted in a fair and democratic manner.

The NMSP has touched briefly on the upcoming elections in statements issued during this year’s Mon National Day, Mon Revolution Day, and Mon National Liberation Day celebrations, but has not until now has the party formally addressed the upcoming event.

The NMSP and the Burmese government reached a cease-fire agreement in 1995; the agreement remained stable until the NMSP issued its final refusal to surrender its armed wing to the Burmese government on September 1st of this year, after receiving pressure to do so during an August 23rd meeting. While the ceasefire has not officially been broken, tensions have risen, and the NMSP has since called its members at offices in Mon State back into NMSP-controlled areas.

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