Burma:All Burmese prisoners’ sentences reduced by one year

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – High hopes that all political prisoners would be granted amnesty by the new Burmese government were dashed on Monday, when it announced that it would subtract one year from the sentences of all prisoners.

Last week, family members went to Insein Prison, shown in this file photo, on rumours that political prisoners would be released. Hope was extinguished on Monday when the newly elected government announced that all prisoners would receive a one-year reduction in their sentences. Photo: MizzimaLast week, family members went to Insein Prison, shown in this file photo, on rumours that political prisoners would be released. Hope was extinguished on Monday when the newly elected government announced that all prisoners would receive a one-year reduction in their sentences. Photo: Mizzima

During an evening broadcast, the army-run Myawaddy TV station announced that the reduction of prison sentences and a commutation of all death sentences to life imprisonment would start on Tuesday, May 17, known in Burma as Kasone Full Moon Day, a religious holiday.

‘This is not an amnesty. It’s just a shortening of the prison sentences, and it’s not a gesture toward national reconciliation’, said Ohn Kyaing, a spokesman for the National League for Democracy.

In recent months, dozens of pro-democracy political parties and ethnic groups have called on the newly elected government to release all political prisoners as a gesture of national reconciliation, noting that past governments that have come to power have made similar moves. Western governments including the United States and the European Union have called for the release of all political prisoners as a step toward the removal of economic sanctions against Burma

Under the former military junta led by former Senior General Than Shwe, death sentences were sometimes commuted to life imprisonment.

The move is not entirely unexpected. Recently, when newly elected President Thein Sein made his inaugural remarks in Parliament, he failed to mention the issue of political prisoners.

When Vijay Nambiar, the special Burma envoy of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, visited Burma last week he was told by Dr. Nay Zin Latt, a member of the political affairs committee, that Burma did not have any political prisoners.


what do you want?? 1 Year Amnesty for All is enough to show you we will cooperate,hehe

Thailand Proposes New Border Routes with Burma

Thailand Proposes New Border Routes with Burma

Thailand is pushing for the opening of new border routes with Burma to boost two-way trade, tourism, fishery and logistics, Thai News Agency (TNA) reported. Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlaboot said that Thailand is first encouraging for the opening of the Singkorn Checkpoint, which connects the Andaman Sea, through Burma’s Mergui Town, with the Gulf of Thailand, through the Thailand’s southern Prachuap Khiri Khan Province and the Ranong Port. Alongkorn will soon lead a Thai delegation to the Singkorn border checkpoint to inspect its readiness to be developed into a permanent border pass.

Village Administrator Fired by Ex-Home Minister for Missing Rally

Maungdaw: A village administrator has been fired from his position by the former home minister because he did not join a rally for the government-backed USDP that was held in a village of Maungdaw Township in western Burma on 13 May, said a government official on the condition of anonymity.

Ex-Home-minister-Maung-OoEx-Home minister Maung Oo

U Aung Than Oo, who was converted to administrator of the village from his former position as chairman of Alay Than Kyaw Village in Maungdaw Township, was fired suddenly by former home minister, Maung Oo, who planned the rally in the village.

“U Aung Than Oo was absent from the rally because he had not been invited nor given information about it. Because of this he thought the rally was not his concern, so he did not join it. Former home minister Maung Oo was angered with his absence and ordered the district authority to fire him for it,” said a relative.

The district authority removed U Aung Than Oo from his position the day after the order came down from Maung Oo. Former home minister Maung Oo is now undertaking an organizing trip to Arakan State after he was appointed to be in charge of the state USDP.

“Former home minister Maung Oo arrived in Maungdaw on 10 May. Since then, he has been meeting with people in many villages in Maungdaw Township one after the other. On 13 May, he arrived at Alay Than Kyaw, where he fired a village administrator without any investigation about his absence at the rally,” the source added.

The incident took place at the same time President Thein Sein’s new government has been publicizing itself as building clean government in Burma.

“This behavior is military style. We can say the high authority still uses such tactics after this incident. If the high authority wants to fire a government servant, they should investigate the case about him. But the high authority fired him by sending down orders,” he added.

It was learned that many villagers do not understand why their village administrator was fired suddenly from his job by the former home minister over such an ordinary issue as missing a rally.


Aquatic Creatures Killed in Dynamite Blast for Gas Pipeline Construction

12.05. Narinjara news

Kyauk Pru: Aquatic creatures have been killed and the environment damaged for the gas pipeline construction off the coast of Arakan after the construction company dynamited rock masses in the water along the path of the future pipeline, said witnesses.

Kill-&-Dynamite-Blast-for-Gas-Pipeline-ConstructionThe ship that dynamites rock masses in the water

Throughout the path of the gas pipeline, there are rocks and rock masses in the water that have impeded laying pipe, so the company has been blasting the rock with dynamite to remove it.

“We saw a ship that had dynamited the rock every day. But we can not provide details because the authorities did not allow local people to approach near the ship during the work,” a witness said on the condition of anonymity.

The sea life hit hardest in the dynamite blasts are fish and shrimp. “We sometimes found fish dying in the water when we went to the area for fishing. We believe the fish died from the dynamite that was used to blast space for the gas pipeline through the sea,” he added.

The gas pipeline is now being laid down off the Arakan coast near Kyaukpru Township, where it will be connected to the pipeline on land. The gas pipeline is being constructed in Arakan and Burma proper to send gas from Arakan to China beginning in 2013.

Maj-Gen Hso Ten of Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’,Imprisoned Shan army leader in need of urgent health treatment

12 october 2011 Maj-Gen Hso Ten of Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North released today!!!!!!! welcome back!!!!

One of the most prominent Shan political prisoners Maj-Gen Hso Ten of Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’ that is fighting against the Burma Army since March,  is in urgent need to receive medical treatment due to his failing health condition, according to Sai Leik, spokesperson of the defunct Shan  Nationalities League for Democracy (SNLD).

Sao Hso Ten (Photo: S.H.A.N.)

“We were informed that he is seriously suffering from high blood pressure with 180 up and 80 down when his family visited him,” said Sai Leik. “This time the authorities have reportedly made a medical checkup.”

Gen Hso Ten has been suffering from high blood pressure and an eye problem as he is almost losing his eyesight since 2008, three years after his arrest. But authorities have mentioned nothing about his health problems.

“We believe his eye problem will also be considered if his high blood pressure condition becomes normal,” Sai Leik added.

But he is expected to be treated only in Sittwe hospital while his family wants to bring him to Rangoon.

He had been serving a 106 year term since 2005 along with Khun Htun Oo, chairman of SNLD the second winning party in 1990 and 7 other Shan politicians for defamation of the state, association with illegal parties and conspiracy against the state.

But they were separately imprisoned. In August, Gen Hso had been transferred from Khamti prison in Kachin State to Rakhaing State’s Sittwe, western part of Burma and is also one of the remotest areas.

Among the said 8 leaders, two were also reportedly seriously in poor health. Khun Htun Oo is reported to have been suffering bladder distention, peptic ulcer and arthritis both hands and knees and legs swelling due to lack adequate exercise and regular medical treatment while another one Sai Myo Win Tun, who is serving 79 years imprison in proper Burma’s Myingyan prison, is reportedly suffering from mental illness.

The 9th detainee “Math” Than Myint died in prison in 2006.

WAR:Junta army employs more militias against Shan rebels

MONDAY, 16 MAY 2011 13:22 S.H.A.N.

Having suffered at least 300 casualties and the offensive drawing out from planned one week to two months, the Burma Army is using more and more local People’s Militias against the Shan State Progress Party / Shan State Army (SSPP / SSA), better known as the SSA North, according to both local and rebel sources.

On 10 May, Col Khaing Zaw, area commander of Tangyan township, summoned all militias to mobilize all their troops and weapons available. “They were to leave only skeleton troops to guard their rear bases,” said an informed source.

Among them are 100 plus strong Mong Ha militia led by Ma Guowen and 400 plus strong Manpang militia led by Bo Mon, both of whom are ex-officers from the defunct Mong Tai Army (MTA) of the late Khun Sa.

“We don’t want to fight them,” said an SSA commander. “This is what we call using carp oil to fry carp fish. But sometimes the fight is unavoidable.” Continue reading “WAR:Junta army employs more militias against Shan rebels”