War:Burmese mortar shell falls in KIA area

Friday, 29 April 2011 18:46 KNG
A Burmese Army mortar shell landed Wednesday, April 27, in the controlled area of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Hukawng Valley, in northern Kachin State, KIA sources said.

The shell fell in the territory of the KIA’s Battalion No. 14, based in Nambyu Village, nearKawng Ra village, on the Stilwell Road (or Ledo Road), near Danai (Tanai).  No casualties have been reported, KIA officials said.

kachin_army_kachin_stateKIA soldiers are preparing for a possible offensive of Burmese troops in Kachin State, Northern Burma. Photo: Kachin News Group

KIA troops in the battalion were put on alert. However, the Burmese military apologized, saying the incident was a mishap during an exercise by the Burmese Army, sources from Battalion 14 said.

The Burmese Army’s Artillery Company No. 078 is based in Danai, in the valley.

No military response was made by the KIA, an official said.

The KIA’s 2nd Brigade is based in the Hukawng Valley. It has four battalions- including Battalion No. 14.

The military-controlled central government labeled the KIA “Insurgents” in October, last year. However, it has avoided offensives against the KIA since then.

The KIA, which has bases in Kachin State and Northern Shan State, said it will not start a war with the central government because it wants to solve the five-decade long political problems between them through peaceful negotiation.

However, if the government begins an offensive against the KIA, civil war will break out on the borders of Burma with India and China, KIA officials said.

Thailand:39 Enslaved Burmese Migrant Workers Escape

39 enslaved Burmese Migrant Workers in Victory Monument (Ahnusawarli), near downtown Bangkok were saved on April 19, 2011 by the Royal Government of Thailand’s Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTD) with cooperation from the Burmese Association of Thailand (BAT).In order to free the workers the special officers had to climb ladders and cut locks to reach an apartment in which the workers were held against their will.These workers had been forcibly employed by the Thai employer and held captive in a small apartment in a locked factory at the corner of Yachardar Road and Tusawar Road in Bangkok. The employer is Chinese and Shan ethnicity, and her husband is a Chinese citizen.

The freed Burmese migrant workers were forced to work a minimum of 20 hours each day in a locked apartment with no days off of work. Dues to the conditions imposed upon them, over time the workers’ health had begun to deteriorate.

One of victims, Mrs. Thwe, a resident of Kawkarid Township, Burma said that “I attempted to run away from this factory before but I could not escape because my body was too weak. I fell down on the ground while running and was captured and arrested. I tired to run away from my job again but my boss used the Thai Police to catch me. I had to pay a 5000 Thai Baht (170 US$) fine. I had been in this job since August of 2010 and was never paid my wages. Now, I breathe free air. I am so delighted to go back to my country that I even forget to eat. I really appreciate the members of the Burmese Association of Thailand for this assistance”.

The same Mrs. Thwe first contacted the BAT regarding this case on March 28, 2011. Initially BAT was unable to locate the factory because it had been given an incorrect address. On April 4, 2011 two employees, Mr Nyi Nyi Tin and Phyo Wai Oo, were able to make contact with BAT. They were able to communicate while dumping rubbish.

On April 11 and 12, 2011  with assistance from one of those workers, Phyo Wai Oo,  the AHTD officers and members from the BAT were able to  locate the factory and obtain essential information concerning the building layout. With the necessary information in hand, the AHTD officers waited to implement their operational plan until after the Songkran Holiday. Armed with an appropriate warrant the police officers started their operation at 12 am April 19 2011. Continue reading “Thailand:39 Enslaved Burmese Migrant Workers Escape”

Thailand:Burmese factory workers and security guards in violent clash

Bangkok (Mizzima) – A fight between security guards and Burmese factory workers led to injuries, damage to four vehicles and three motorcycles and a security guard and policeman being held hostage in Bueng Samphan District on Wednesday.

Striking workers at a factory in Khon Kaen, Thailand, early this year. Many workers were Burmese migrants. As migrants learn more about workers' rights, more strikes and negotiations are occurring between workers and factory owners. Photo: MizzimaStriking workers at a factory in Khon Kaen, Thailand, early this year. Many workers were Burmese migrants. As migrants learn more about workers’ rights, more strikes and negotiations are occurring between workers and factory owners. Photo: Mizzima

Police were called to the factory in Petchabun Province in northern Thailand. The incident was covered on television, and negotiators finally restored calm on Thursday.

The factory, owned by Golden Line Business Company, employes more than 6,000 workers, mostly female. About 5,000 workers are Burmese and 1,000 are Thai. Continue reading “Thailand:Burmese factory workers and security guards in violent clash”

Thailand ready to fight in World Court: Foreign Ministry

BANGKOK, April 29 – Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday said the country is prepared to fight its case to resolve the ongoing border dispute in the World Court after its neighbour Cambodia appealed to the court to clarify its 1962 ruling about the ancient Preah Vihear temple.

Thai foreign ministry spokesman Thani Thongpakdi made his remarks following the latest move of the Cambodian government in bringing the Thai-Cambodian border conflict to the World Court after the clashes continued for eight days.

The move came after the Cambodian government issued a statement saying it had requested “interpretation of the Court’s judgment… concerning the temple of Preah Vihear” was prompted by “Thailand’s repeated armed aggression to exert its claims to Cambodian territory.”

A Cambodian government spokesman was quoted by Agence France Presse news agency saying “We especially want clarification about the vicinity around the temple. Thailand is using unilateral maps to claim our territory.” Continue reading “Thailand ready to fight in World Court: Foreign Ministry”

Wa, Mongla given another ultimatum to pull out from outlying bases


The United Wa State Army and its ally National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) aka Mongla, were informed by the Burma Army yesterday, 28 April, to withdraw from their bases outside designated territories by tomorrow, 30 April, according to informed sources from the Sino-Burma border.

The messages were informed by phone calls by separate regional commands: The order to Panghsang came from G1 Tun Tun Nyi, Lashio, Northeastern Region Command, while Mongla was informed by G1, Kengtung, Triangle Region Command.

“If we don’t withdraw those bases by the given deadline, they said they would attack us at anytime they wanted,” said a source close to the Mongla leadership.

The Burma Army reportedly charged them of violating their 1989 agreement that they would not make recruitments or expand their territories.

At the time of reporting, the Wa are still holding an emergency meeting to discuss the ultimatum.

A Wa officer said, “We are against war. We want to live in peace. But if the Burmese Army wants to fight, we are also prepared for the worst.”

The NDAA meanwhile has already withdrawn from two of its strategic bases in Wan Kho and Pong Hiet in Shan State East’s Mongyawng township along the west bank  of the Mekong. Wan Kho base was taken by the Burma Army on 27 April. And NDAA troops in Pong Hiet were reported to have pulled out yesterday.

“The Burma Army soldiers came with a hundred men and encircled the group in the morning. No shot was fired. The group left the area in the evening,” said a Burma Army backed militia source. “Burma Army soldiers from Mongphyak based Infantry Battalion (LIB) 573 has taken over.”

Yet the group is expected to be forced to move out from its bases in Mongfan, north of Wan Kho and Pong Hiet bases. Pong Hiet base is north of the Hsop Yawng and south of the Hsop Lwe (Mouth of the Lwe) where UWSA’s troops are also active.

Some observers commented if the Burma Army could take all the bases south of Hsop Lwe, it would be easy to force the Wa and NDAA to withdraw from Hsop Lwe too.

“Then the Wa and NDAA’s Mekong outlet would be closed off and they would be left to the mercy of the Burma Army,” said a border watcher.