Post-Ceasefire Education Role Thrown into Question

March 31st, 2011

By LYI HTAW – Members of the Mon National Education Department (MNED), under the control of the New Mon State Party (NMSP), will hold a meeting in Nyi Sar, near NMSP headquarters, on April 2nd and 3rd, to discuss the future fate of the existing Mon national schools in Mon State.

Students from Mon National School in southern part of Ye Township, Mon State. (Photo: IMNA )Students from Mon National School in southern part of Ye Township, Mon State. (Photo: IMNA )

The end to the ceasefire between the NMSP and the Burmese regime has caused the MNED to deliberate on whether or not they should offer their schools to the control of Mon civilians, and then change the name of the schools to Mon Civilian School. “We have considering offering our schools to Mon civilians. We will discuss this at the meeting,” said a committee member of MNED.

According to MNED statistics from 2010, there are 272 Mon national schools, of which 154 are managed by MNED, and the other 118 have a mixed curriculum of Burmese and Mon-language lessons.

MNED members have experienced difficulty travelling through regime controlled areas after the ceasefire agreement collapsed in April 2010, making it difficult for MNED to manage the schools under their control.

Some Mon community leaders have considered letting Mon Buddhist monks lead and manage the schools in order to maintain the teaching of Mon language. Other community leaders are contemplating on whether the schools should join the state-run schools in Mon State, and therefore become under the control of the Burmese regime.

“We do not agree with letting the government schools take over,” said Nai Aie Con from MNED.

In 2002, Mon classes became an integral part of the school curriculum in Mon State, which was seen as a benefit of the ceasefire agreement for Mon children.

Since the NMSP signed a ceasefire agreement with the Burmese junta in 1995, an informal understanding between the former Burmese Prime Minister Khin Nyunt and the NMSP, allowed the Mon language to be taught at Mon national schools and even taught at some state-run schools in Mon State.

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Electricity Authorities Accuse Karen Armed Group of Bombing Beelin Electric Tower

March 31st, 2011

By Kyae Goe – The Electricity Township Engineer Office in Moulmein has accused the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the Karen National Union (KNU), of bombing the main electricity tower in Beelin, Mon State, which has subsequently cut off the electricity since March 25th.

KNLA troops finish one month military training in a Karen-liberated zone (Photo: Karen Information Center)KNLA troops finish one month military training in a Karen-liberated zone (Photo: Karen Information Center)

The electricity authorities have blamed the KNLA and announced their accusations with loudspeakers throughout some quarter of Moulmein. The electricity cuts came amidst university exams, after which students conducted protests to get the electricity back.

Students started taking their exams on March 7th and have continued to take the exams. Electricity returned to the area today.

The KNLA, however, has denied accusations of a bomb blast at the central Moulmein electricty department tower in Beelin Township.

Speaking to the Independent Mon News Agency on Wednesday, Saw Phaw Doh, commander of KNLA’s Brigade 7, Battalion No. 101, in Myawaddy, Kaw-kareik Township, said, “It is not an area where we would bomb. And also, our people are not there.”

“When I heard the sound, I thought that a car wheel exploded, but I knew later that it was the electricity tower that exploded,” said a Beelin Town resident.

The bomb exploded around 2 am. “This is the first time that a bomb went off in Beelin Township,” said the Beelin Town resident.

Local observers said that KNLA Brigade No. 1 is active in the Beelin Township area.

After the bomb exploded at the electricity tower, which transfers power to Thaton, Poung, and Moulmein, the electricity was off until yesterday evening.

Due to the electricity cuts, Nai Ngwe Thein, the chairman of the All Mon Regions Democracy Party (AMDP), said yesterday that, “I did not have the chance to watch Thein Sein be sworn in as the new president of Burma on t.v.”

Also due to electricity cuts, around 50 students gathered together on March 8th to protest the electricty cuts at the Ngante electricity station in Moulmein.

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Rights Commission Urged Malaysian Authorities not to Arrest UNHCR Card Holders

31 March 2011 – KUALA LUMPUR: Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has urged authorities to release Burmese refugees which do not carry the UNHCR cards but of non-governmental organizations which are prepared to stand as guarantors.

Suhakam Commissioner Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah said, refugees should be freed under guarantors while their refugees’ status under the United Nations is being checked.

Sha’ani who represents the national human rights institution also asked Police and Immigration Officers not to arrest the UNHCR card holders.

“Although Malaysia had not ratified the UN Convention on Refugees, it however recognized the UN card,” he said.

He is commenting on the arrest of 23 Burmese nationals including Chin refugees last Wednesday, all of them including 16 UNHCR card holders were picked up and taken to the Bukit Jalil lock-up in Kuala Lumpur.

Muhammad Sha’ani claimed some investigation officers did not seem to know the procedure regarding the release of refugees carrying the UNHCR card.

“I contacted the police but there was no response until I sent a text message to the Kuala Lumpur Police Chief on Friday.”

“Then, one of the investigation officers called and said that he had released all refugees who carried UNHCR cards after their status had been confirmed,” he continued.

Kuala Lumpur Police Chief,  Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah, when contacted by local media, said police detained the refugees because they were holding photocopies of UNHCR cards.

“We have to check with the UNHCR if the cards were authentic,” he said.

The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) was established by Parliament under the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia Act 1999, Act 597, which was gazetted on 9 September 1999. The inaugural meeting of SUHAKAM was held on 24 April 2000.

Few details on where the money goes from state auctions

Thursday, 31 March 2011 19:38 John Hanness
Rangoon (Mizzima) – A total of 157 state-owned properties in Rangoon were put up for auction in March.  Although details of the sale are sketchy, it follows the pattern of an ongoing privatization programme of government-owned property being carried out in the wake of the military junta moving the capital of Burma from Rangoon to Naypyidaw in 2005.

Last year, Burma’s military government notified businessmen of its plan to privatize and auction off various enterprises including several gasoline distributors, in what it said was an effort to introduce competition into the economy. Critics complained that the sell-off  favored businessmen closely associated with the regime. Photo : MizzimaLast year, Burma’s military government notified businessmen of its plan to privatize and auction off various enterprises including several gasoline distributors, in what it said was an effort to introduce competition into the economy. Critics complained that the sell-off favored businessmen closely associated with the regime. Photo : Mizzima

A good questions–with no clear answer–is where do the funds go from the large auctions of state-owned property?   Continue reading “Few details on where the money goes from state auctions”

New York, 30 March 2011 – Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Myanmar

The Secretary-General has taken note of the official announcement in Naypyitaw of the transfer of power from the State Peace and Development Council to the new Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar.

The Myanmar authorities now have an opportunity and, indeed, an obligation to their people, to demonstrate that this change is one of substance and that it is the start of a genuine move away from almost fifty years of direct military rule. The Secretary-General believes the authorities must engage in an inclusive dialogue with all relevant parties on broad reforms necessary for the development of a credible system of government that can effectively address the political and socio-economic challenges facing Myanmar. Responding to the longstanding aspirations of the Myanmar people for national reconciliation, democratization and respect for human rights remains essential to laying the foundations for durable peace and development in the country.

The United Nations is committed to continue to work with all relevant actors toward building a stable and fully democratic future in which all the people of Myanmar can contribute.

Women Gang-Raped by Burmese Soldiers in Nam Lao Area

Thursday, 31 March 2011 12:02
Three women from Nam Lao village, Murng Kao tract, Tang Yan township were gang-raped by the Burmese soldiers of Murng Kao based IB 33 after they captured Nam Lao area from the hands of SSA/SSPP recently.


On 21 March at night, 7 soldiers from IB 33 raped Nang Mya, age 30 for the whole night at a house in Nam Lao village.


On the same day, some Burmese soldiers from IB 33 raped Ar Mwe, age 30, a Chinese at Loon Lao Yang’s house.  They also threatened Ar Mwe’ sisters with gunpoint who witnessed their raping, not to complain it to others or she would be shot dead.


On 23 March, at 4:20 pm, some Burmese soldiers from IB 33, raped Nang Ap, age 19 of Nam Lao village. She was raped on the way in the village when she was returning from outside.


No one dared to help her as villagers are afraid of being shot by Burmese soldiers.



Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 March 2011 12:07 )


SSA Raids Pa-O Militia Unit’s Drug Refinery (Photos)

On 28 February from 11 am to 6 pm, the SSA troops launched a raid on 3 drug refineries run by Pa-O militia unit led by Aung Hkam Htee, former Pa-O National Army (PNA) that has transformed into militia unit under the control of Burmese Army  at 2 bases of Loi Yae and Wan Hean base in Murng Zit tract, 40 km west of Nam Zarn Township. SSA seized 100 viss of opium, 250 liters of chemical liquid and assorted weapons. The raid causes 6 dead from the militia unit side.Here are some pictures of the incident:

Weapons, opium, ammunition, cash seized by SSA 

SSA fighters seen after the raid 

Weapons, opium, ammunition, cash seized by SSA 

badge of Pa-O militia unit 

Last Updated ( Thursday, 31 March 2011 10:55 )
Statement on SSA launched a raid on the drug refinery of militia unit of Wan Zit tract, Nam Zarn Township
Written by Administrator
Friday, 04 March 2011 15:52

On 28 February 2011, Shan State Army raided and seized a drug refinery of militia unit of Wan Zit tract, Nam Zarn Township. This has been done in accord with the anti-narcotic policy of Restoration Council of the Shan State.


Hkun Tun Oo,Imprisoned Shan leader honored nationalities hero medal

Hkun Tun Oo, imprisoned leader of defunct Shan Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD), the second largest winning party in the whole of Burma and the winning party in Shan State in the 1990 elections, was honored an award of Nationalities Hero yesterday by United Nationalities Alliance (UNA) for his sacrificial efforts in struggling for democracy and equality.

Hkun Tun Oo

The award giving ceremony was held at his house at 9th Mile, Rangoon, from 9:00 to 11:00 and attended by over 30 political leaders including U Win Tin and U Nyan Win from National League for Democracy (NLD), veteran politician Thakhin Chan Htun, U Htaung Ko Htan, U Aye Tha Aung, leading member of Arakan League for Democracy (ALD), Nai Ngwe Thein, Mon National League for Democracy (MNLD), Saw Harry – Kayin (Karen), Pu Cin Xin Thang, Chairman of Zomi National Congress (his son and nephew are in jail) and other ethnic nationalities parties.

“The reason we honor him is because he meets all five of our criteria. He was the chairman of the second winning party in 1990 elections, sacrificed himself for equality and democracy, make tireless efforts to solve the problem by political and peaceful means and is a political prisoner,” said Htaung Ko Htan from UNA. 

The award was handed to his better half Daw Wai Wai Lwin. The certification says, “The award is to certify him as the political prisoner languishing the longest term for democracy and equality in the history of Union of Myanmar and also as a memorandum for his sacrificial efforts and dignified spirits.” Continue reading “Hkun Tun Oo,Imprisoned Shan leader honored nationalities hero medal”