Burma Air Chief in Bangladesh for Six-Day Visit

Dhaka: Burma’s air chief, Lieutenant General Myat Hein, is now in Bangladesh to discuss with his counterparts bilateral military issues between the two countries, according to an official report.


“The Commander in Chief of the Myanmar Air Force, Lt. General Myat Hein, arrived in Dhaka on a six-day visit to Bangladesh on Saturday. He is leading a six-member delegation,” said the report.

On his arrival at the Dhaka airport he was received by Assistant Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice-Marshall Muhammad Enamul Bari.

Burma’s air chief called on some of Bangladesh’s top military brass, including the Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, and the Principal Staff Officer of the Armed Forces Division, the report said.

He will also call on the president and prime minister of Bangladesh today.

“The Burmese air chief has plans to visit some military institutes and bases in Dhaka and other towns during his goodwill visit to Bangladesh,” the report added.

This is the first time a high-ranking military official has visited Bangladesh since 2008, when the two countries had sent their navy ships to disputed waters after Burma began gas exploration in the area. That dispute was overcome after the two countries agreed to solve the problem with peaceful negotiations.

Burma:Verdict on Maritime Boundary by Year-End

Dhaka: The maritime boundary dispute between Burma and Bangladesh is likely to end this year as the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) will deliver its verdict on the case by the end of this year.


Bangladesh authorities announced the news to Dhaka-based paper The Independent.

Additional Foreign Secretary Khurshed Alam said, “Bangladesh and Burma will complete filing their pleadings to ITLOS by July and oral hearings will be held in September or October.”

The Bangladesh government accepted the jurisdiction of ITLOS in December 2009 to settle the maritime boundary dispute with Burma.

“We expect the verdict by the end of this year,” Secretary Khurshed Alam said.

Meanwhile, Burmese authorities have been collecting the background history of the Bangladesh-owned island of St. Martin, called “Coconut Island” by the Burmese, that is located at the mouth of the Naff River.

A rural teacher from Alaythan Kyaw Village in southern Maungdaw Township said, “A group of Burmese officials came to our village most recently to ask the elder men in our village about the background history of Coconut Island. The officials are now gathering information about the island but I do not know the reason behind this.”

Many educated men in the area believe the collection of historical information about St. Martin Island is connected to the maritime boundary dispute with Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is also preparing to resolve the maritime dispute with Burma by hiring lawyers led by the US-based firm Foley Hoag.

According to official sources, an ITLOS bench comprising 23 judges will deliver the verdict after hearing both sides.

The dispute arose because Bangladesh wanted to delimit the Bay of Bengal on an “equity” basis, while Burma wanted to delimit the waters on an “equi-distant” basis.

“The tribunal will decide the direction of delimitation lines on Talpatti point and St. Martin point,” Bangladesh Additional Foreign Secretary Khurshed Alam said.

Talpatti is the furthest southwest point and St. Martin is the furthest southeast. The coastline distance between Talpatti and St. Martin is 700 kilometers, and Bangladesh has claimed over 900 kilometers to the outer limit of the continental shelf in the Bay of Bengal.

The delimitation issue with Burma will be settled by ITLOS while the claim regarding the outer limit will be decided at the United Nations.

Tension rising between Burmese Army and KIA over Shan troops

Tuesday, 26 April 2011 20:57 KNG
New military tension has emerged between the Burmese Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) regarding the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) in Shan State.

KIA officials said war could erupt any time in northern Shan State since Burmese troops approached the territories of the KIA’s 4th Brigade to search for ethnic Shan soldiers in early April.

At the moment, Burmese troops have stopped at the boundaries near the three KIA battalions No. 2, No.8, No. 9 and the brigade headquarters at Loikang. However, they have not entered the KIA territories so far, according to the 4th Brigade sources.

thein-sein-zawng-hraPeace or War? Burmese president Thein Sein (left) and KIO chairman Zawng Hra

Lahpai Zau Raw, Chairman of the KIA’s Brigade 4 said, “Our troops are on standby for war. We have no option if they intrude our forbidden territories.” Continue reading “Tension rising between Burmese Army and KIA over Shan troops”

Seven Civilians Kidnapped by Mon Armed Group

April 25th, 2011

By Independent Mon News Agency – Seven civilians, who work as loggers in Three Pagodas Pass (TPP) at the Thai-Burmese border, were released yesterday after being kidnapped by a Mon armed group led by Khin Maung.

Three Pagodas Pass ( Photo IMNA )Three Pagodas Pass ( Photo IMNA )

The Mon armed group, named, ‘Rehmonnya Hong Sar’, kidnapped seven civilians on April 22nd and asked for 150,000 Baht for their release.

However, a timber owner in TPP made a deal with the armed group, lowering the ransom to 80,000 Baht.

“They were released after I paid 80,000 baht,” said Khaing Win, a timber owner in TPP.

The seven loggers were kidnapped while cutting down trees in a New Mon State Party controlled area near TPP.

Meanwhile, the armed group remains active along the border area and the group has also demanded taxes rubber plantation owners in TPP, demanding 150,000 Baht from owners of large plantations and 50,000 Baht from owners of small plantations.

Burmese Army landmine Blast Leaves One Injured

An innocent woman has lost one of her legs in the blast of the landmine planted by Burmese Army in Murng Pan Township, southern Shan State.

On 26 March, Nang Let from Pa Kha village, Murng Pan Township stepped on the landmine planted by Burmese Army while taking a rest under the banyan tree on the way to go home from the farm. Due to the explosion, she lost one of her legs.

The landmine was planted by IB 294 under the command of Military Operations Commands (MOC) 17.

A landmine

The village headman and Nang Let’ relatives complained the incident to the commander of IB 294 so that Burmese Army provided K 200,000 as the compensation for the victim. After that Nang Let was taken to Loi Leim hospital for medical treatment.

Because of the landmine planted by Burmese Army, many civilians in Burma have injured and become the disabled in every year.

Updated News on Human Rights Violations in Shan State

On 4 April, a joint column of Burmese soldiers from LIB 517 led by Maj. Win Kyaw and Aung Kham Htee militia unit men led by Lt. Gyi Gyi and Lt. Lay Hto beat local villagers from Kong Yao village, Murng Pon sub-township, Loi Leim District, Shan State and looted the properties of villagers too.

The victims beaten by joint column were Sai San, 35, son of Loon Sandar Pan and Pa Munt and Sai Pan, 35, son of Loon Toe and Pa Sar.

On 6 April, the same joint column arrested and detained Loon Kyaw, 48, son of Loon Konmala and Pa Mo of the same village. They demanded a ransom of K 500,000 for his release.

Burmese soldiers

On the same day this joint column destroyed Loon Htoon Sein’ shop and looted lot of  goods kept in the shop as well as they took 10 viss of chicken worth K 50,000 from the villagers of Kong Yao village.

The badges of Aung Kham Htee militia unit

On 5 April, 50 men from Aung Kham Htee militia unit led by Capt. Maung Thant beat the villagers of Kai Long village, Kong Yao village-tract, Murng Pon sub-township because they accused villagers of failing to provide them the information of Shan resistance group.

The victims were:

1.Sai Naw, 28, was beaten at his cheek  with rifle butt and he lost 2 teeth.

2. Sai Ni was beaten at his forehead with rifle butt and was kicked 5 times.

3. Loon Sai, 40, was shocked because a militia man put gun on his shoulders and fired.

4. Sai Hti, 24, was beaten at his head with rifle butt causing a deep cut on it.

Salween Dams: The Risks of Dam Building in Burma’s War Zones

“Salween Dams: The Risks of Dam Building in Burma’s War Zones”

Thursday 28 April 2011, 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

A panel of experts from environmental organizations working closely on Thailand – Burma border including the Salween Watch and their networks, human rights and Thai media experts will discuss the recent situation of dams building projects in Burma which has cross-border impact on Thailand.
The panel will also discuss about the fighting and continued rights abuse concerns with these development projects, particularly after the general election in Burma.

Event will include a documentary screening “Shwe Gin Dams” in Pago Township, presentations, photo exhibitions and roundtable discussions.

Event will be in Thai and English (with translation).

Place: 4th Floor Conference Room, Faculty of Social Sciences Operational Building,
Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai

For participation and information, contact rcsd.burma@gmail.com
Tel. 081-716-8779

เขื่อนสาละวิน: ความเสี่่ยงจากการสร้างเขื่อนในเขตสงครามพม่า

โครงการ Burma Concern ศูนย์ภูมิภาคด้านสังคมศาสตร์และการพัฒนาอย่างยั่งยืน (RCSD)
คณะสังคมศาสตร์มหาวิทยาลัยเชียงใหม่ ได้มีความร่วมมือกับ Salween Watch และองค์กรร่วม จะจัดสัมมนาเรื่อง

เขื่อนสาละวิน: ความเสี่่ยงจากการสร้างเขื่อนในเขตสงครามพม่า
ในวันพฤหัสที่ 28 เมษายน 2554 เวลา 13.30-16.30

ประเด็นเรื่องความเสี่ยงจากแผ่นดินไหว ภาวะโลกร้อน รวมทั้งเรื่องการละเมิดสิทธิมนุษยชน การสู้รบที่เกี่ยวเนื่องกับโครงการของรัฐบาลพม่า
และร่วมชมวิดีโอล่าสุดเรื่องผลกระทบจากการสร้างเขื่อน Shew Gin ในเขตปะโก ประเทศพม่า

การสัมมนาจะจัดในลักษณะการอภิปราย โดยจะเชิญชาวบ้านที่ได้รับผลกระทบ ผู้เชี่ยวชาญและตัวแทนองค์กรที่ทำงานเกี่ยวข้องกับเรื่องนี้เข้าร่วมแสดงความคิดเห็น
การสัมมนาจะเปิดโอกาสให้ผู้สนใจเข้าร่วมรับฟัง โดยดำเนินรายการเป็นภาษาไทยและมีล่ามแปลเป็นภาษาอังกฤษตลอดรายการ

ณ ห้องประชุมอาคารปฏิบัติการ ชั้น 4 คณะสังคมศาสตร์  มหาวิทยาลัยเชียงใหม่

ข้อมูลเพิ่มเติม โปรดติดต่อ 081 – 716 8779
e-mail: rcsd.burma@gmail.com

Junta army has women porters lead the way in war zone

Women in Shan State North’s Tangyan township who have been forced to porter for the Burma Army troops in their campaign against the Shan State Progress Party/State State Army (SSPP/SSA), are being threatened by Burma army soldiers that their lives will not be secure if the Shan army ambushes them, according to sources from the areas.“They said they would rape us, kill us and would do whatever they want if the Shan army attacked them from now on,” said a woman who has finished her service turn last week. “So we had to be very careful.”

During these days, most of the clashes were reported to have been started by the SSPP/SSA’s ambushes of the Burma Army patrols and columns on the move, resulting in the increase of Burma Army casualties, said a source.

SSA spokesperson Major Khurh Mao told SHAN earlier that they would never stick to a static defensive. It was instead to be on a mobile defensive as the strengths between the two sides were unbalanced.

On 12 April, the SSA’s Brigade No. 36 set up an ambush for the Burma Army soldiers in areas around Wantong village, east of Tangyan, killing 5 and 9 wounded. On the same day, a half an hour long clash in Tawng Hio village had reportedly killed 3 Burma army soldiers and 4 civilians and 6 wounded.

Clashes were still reported yesterday, in areas south of  Tangyan township and along the Salween. Villagers nearby were forced to porter and guide the Burma Army patrols everyday as they were not familiar with the terrain.

On 11 April, 19 villagers, 17 of them women, from Nakha and Wanpong villages of Tangyan township were called to take the service up to date, according to villagers.

No further details of them were known.

Now, villagers in the war zones are not only being forced to porter, but also facing killing by unknown cutthroats. About 15 civilians including school teachers had been killed during the Water festival 13-15 April.