December 9th, 2010
Rai Maroah, Jaloon Htaw : The New Light of Myanmar, a regime controlled newspaper, incorrectly reported that the New Mon State Party (NMSP)’s armed group participated in a weapons handover, alongside the Mon Peace [Defense] Group, to the Burmese regime, explained a source from the NMSP.
“Our party members would not hand over their weapons, nor do they have a plan to do so. We know Nai Shaung [from the Mon Peace Defense Group] handed over weapons to the Burmese government. The Burmese regime tried to gain politically by announcing news that NMSP took place in the weapons handover as well,” said Nai Hongsa, NMSP secretary.
Nai Hongsa said that this report was a political move by the government so that regular citizens would misunderstand the NMSP.
The New Light of Myanmar stated that some members of NMSP, no longer believing in an armed struggle, joined the Mon Peace Defense Group led by Nai Shaung, and participated in a weapons handover to the government, a basic surrender.
The newspaper stated that 101 NMSP members handed over 22 weapons to the Burmese regime and joined Nai Shaung on December 1st. Continue reading “NMSP refutes Burmese regime statement about NMSP arms exchange in conjunction with MPG”
A November 16 Global Security Newswire article on alleged nuclear-weapon work in Myanmar has been updated to reflect changes made to the source material by ProPublica and PBS regarding glove box and bomb reactor technology. In a November 24 letter to ProPublica and PBS, former International Atomic Energy Agency official Robert Kelley disputed the characterization of these technologies and a number of other contentions made by the original piece.
Another Response to Our Burma Nuclear Story—and Another Answer from Us
Dec. 1: This post has been corrected.
Our story on a possible Burmese nuclear program has resulted in another exchange of letters, one from the scientist Robert Kelley, the principal author of the report discussed in the story, another in response from ProPublica. (An earlier exchange of letters, with the National Endowment for Democracy, was published here.) Here are the latest letters:
Nilar Thein, who is serving a 65-year prison sentence for her opposition activities, was refused a visit by family members this week because she was on a hunger strike.
Relatives told The Irrawaddy that when they arrived at Thayet Prison in Magwe Division on Monday they were barred from seeing Nilar Thein because she was on a hunger strike.
|Thandar Yu, Nilar Thein’s sister-in-law, said they had not been told by prison authorities why she was refusing food. Prison sources said Nilar Thein had begun the hunger strike on Dec. 2 after a search of her quarters by prison authorities. As a punishment, she was put in solitary confinement and family visits were banned for one month.|
It wasn’t clear whether she was still on hunger strike on Thursday.
Thandar Yu was accompanied to the prison by Nilar Thein’s three year-old daughter, Nay Kyi Min Yu, who was only nine months-old when her mother was imprisoned because of her participation in August 2007 demonstrations against price rises. Nilar Thein’s parents are now looking after the little girl, who last saw her mother when members of the family visited Thayet Prison in November.
Thandar Yu told The Irrawaddy on Thursday: “I asked the prison authorities if we could meet her [Nilar Thein] for just five minutes because of her daughter but they refused.” Nilar Thein was already suffering ill health before embarking on her hunger strike, she said.
Nilar Thein, 37, spent eight years in prison from 1996 to 2003 because of her political activity.
Her husband, Kyaw Min Yu, a prominent activist and leading member of the 88 Generation Students group, who is also known as Jimmy, spent 16 years in prison after the 1988 uprising and is now also serving a 65-year sentence, in Taunggyi Prison, Shan State, for his participation in the 2007 demonstrations.
Nilar Thein joined the democracy movement as a high school student in 1988 as a member of the All Burma Federation of Student Unions.
The Czech-based People in Need organization awarded her its Homo Homini prize because of her promotion of democracy, human rights and nonviolent solutions to political conflicts.
According to the Thailand-based Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, there are 2,203 political prisoners in Burma.
|Nilar Thein @ Ni Ni Mar (F)||U Thein||33/a, 6||65 yrs + Under Trial||88 Generation, Former PP||Thayet||Hlaing, Rangoon||10-Sep-08|
Independent Candidate Refuses to Concede Defeat
An independent candidate who unsuccessfully contested the Nov. 7 election has refused to sign a statement conceding defeat when asked by Election Commission officials to do so. Dr. Saw Naing said he had been declared the winner in his constituency but later the Election Commission told him the announcement was a procedural error. “I can in no way sign the defeat statement,” he said, adding that he had written a letter of complaint to junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe alleging election fraud.Published Thursday, 09 Dec, 2010