Thailand’s National Security Council (NSC) has banned a Burmese pro-democracy event in Chiang Mai

Thailand’s National Security Council (NSC) has banned a Burmese pro-democracy event in Chiang Mai following a complaint from Naypyidaw, according to sources in the northern Thai city.

The prohibition come after news leaked to Burmese officials that outlawed ethnic armed groups planned to hold a meeting at a hotel in Chiang Mai on May 3 to 7. According to a Thai official who asked to remain anonymous, the Burmese government then sent an objection to their Thai counterparts.

“The order came down from the NSC,” said the official. “The Burmese government got wind that the United Nationalities Federal Council [UNFC] had scheduled a conference in Chiang Mai. We don’t know who gave them the information. It seems that there is informer within that group.” Continue reading “Thailand’s National Security Council (NSC) has banned a Burmese pro-democracy event in Chiang Mai”

Burma Democratic Concern (BDC): Implementing Action Plans To Take Place Dialogue Leading Toward National Reconciliation

In Burma, junta claimed that they handed over the power to U Thein Sein led USDP government which emerged from the sham election held in 2010 which was held in accord with sham constitution, sham referendum and sham election laws. But the sufferings of the Burmese people remain unchanged. Burma’s economic crisis continues to deepen; unemployment is rising dramatically while prices of consumer goods are increasing out of control. Poverty has soared and corruption is growing. Ordinary people especially farmers, 70% of the 60 million populations, are hardest hit.  Continue reading “Burma Democratic Concern (BDC): Implementing Action Plans To Take Place Dialogue Leading Toward National Reconciliation”

Burma:Visa on arrival hopes dashed

Burma will not be bringing back the visa-on-arrival scheme anytime in the near future because of a lack of improvement in tourism infrastructure, the tourism minister has stated.

The announcement dashes hopes of a reintroduction of the popular scheme that saw tourism numbers to the isolated country hit record highs last year, despite it only being active for four months.

A businessman who attended a recent meeting with Hotel and Tourism Minister Tint Hsan said it would instead be a step by step process.

“He [Tint Hsan] said it would be embarrassing if we open the visa on arrival when our country is not yet ready [to service tourists],” he said. “Last year, big crowds of tourists came in and it got out of control. We need to prepare a lot.”

Hotel and tourism business owners also reportedly urged the minister to appoint a ‘Visit Myanmar Year’ as it did in 1996, although that was roundly seen as a failure.

Burma remains Southeast Asia’s least travelled country, largely due to the controversy surrounding much of the tourism industry: rights groups claim that the money spent by tourists lines the pockets of the ruling regime, which has been known to use slave labour in the development of tourism infrastructure.

Numbers of visitors are rising however, with figures for last year showing a 33 percent increase on 2009. Still, however, the 300,000-odd that visited in 2010 pale ni comparison to the roughly 14 million that hit Thailand each year.

The visa scheme was halted in September last year after managing to attract 80,000 visitors in the four months of its existence. Observers speculated that it had been stopped to prevent journalists entering under the guise of tourists to cover the November elections.

Mon Political Prisoner Hopes To Be Given Amnesty

May 9th, 2011By NAI MARN – Family members of Nai Yakkha, a Mon political prisoner, who had previously been sentenced to life imprisonment, announced that he will be released with other political prisoners once the new government offers amnesty.

Mi Chit Khin, Nai Yakkha’s wife, who visited her husband last week in Insein Prison, said,  “He told me he will be released with other prisoners when amnesty is given from the government.”

“After he is released, he said that he will join the Mon political party, the official one [The All Mon Regions Democracy Party],” said his wife.

 Nai Yakkha and his wife's Mi Chit KhinNai Yakkha and his wife’s Mi Chit Khin

On May 2nd, Agency France Press quoted a government official who announced the government’s preparation to grant amnesty to some prisoners. Yet, the Burmese government has not yet set a date for if and when these prisoners will be released. Nor has this announcement made clear whether the amnesty would include political dissidents. Continue reading “Mon Political Prisoner Hopes To Be Given Amnesty”