Some women were put in front of the government troops in order to avoid attack by the KNU

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – One day after two people were killed by masked gunmen in Three Pagoda Pass in Mon State on the Thai-Burmese border, Burmese government troops have reportedly forced villagers to serve as human shields and porters, according to local residents.

KNU soldiers assemble for inspection in this file photo. Photo: MizzimaKNU soldiers assemble for inspection in this file photo. Photo: Mizzima

On June 6, government troops of Infantry Unit No. 373 arrested 10 villagers from Myaingtharyar village located 16 miles (25.75 km) northwest of Three Pagoda Pass, and 24 villagers from Apalone village, forcing some villagers including women to serve as human shields and others to work as porters, according to villagers.

‘Some women were put in front of the government troops in order to avoid attack by the KNU (Karen National Union). They used women as human shields’, said a member of the Apalone village administrative committee.

An officer in the New Mon State Party who is based in the area said that he had heard reports that some villagers were arrested to serve as porters, but he could not confirm the reports. Mizzima contacted the relevant authorities in the area, but they declined to comment.

According to an unconfirmed source close to the KNU, its troops carried out an ambush on a column of government troops, killing an army captain and six soldiers. The source said a female villager, Naw Moe Moe Aye, 32, was forced to  serve as a porter, and she sustained an injury to her left arm.

On June 5, an attack by masked gunmen on two separate locations in Three Pagoda Pass killed one Burmese soldier and a 13-year-old girl, and injured three people.

McCain Cold to Warmer U.S.-Burma Ties-IPS

BANGKOK, Jun 6, 2011 (IPS) – If Burma’s quasi-civilian government was hoping for warmer ties with the U.S. government, Senator John McCain’s visit to this South-east Asian nation has placed such hopes on ice.

By the end of his three-day visit to the country, also known as Myanmar, the U.S. foreign policy heavyweight dropped hints he was giving Burma a failing grade over its supposed reforms toward democracy.

“Without concrete actions by this government that signal a deeper commitment towards democratic change, there should be no easing or lifting of sanctions,” the leading member of the Republican Party, who lost to President Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race, told an audience in the former Burmese capital Rangoon.

McCain’s warning on the last day of his visit to Burma from Jun.1-3, targeted the government of President Thein Sein, a retired general whose administration took power in March following a flawed general election last November that ended half a century’s rule by a military junta.

McCain’s trip to Burma followed a visit last month by senior U.S. diplomat Joseph Yun and comes ahead of the Senate hearings to confirm Derek Mitchell, poised to become the first U.S. special envoy to Burma.  Continue reading “McCain Cold to Warmer U.S.-Burma Ties-IPS”

Dozens of Villagers Forced to Porter in Three Pagodas Pass

June 8th, 2011

By Independent Mon News Agency – Dozens of ethnic Karen from Aplon and Myaing Thayar villages in Three Pagodas Pass were forced to porter on June 6th by Burmese government troops.

The government troops are using prisoners for portering at their military column in Karen State ( Photo: FBR )The government troops are using prisoners for portering at their military column in Karen State ( Photo: FBR )

These government troops, from the Light Infantry Battalion No. 373, commanded by the Western Command in Arakan State, took 10 villagers from Myaing Thayar village and forced these villagers to carry backpacks and baskets to Aplon village.

Explained by an Aplon villager by phone to the Independent Mon News Agency on Tuesday, once the troops and porters arrived in Aplon village, the [LIB No. 373] troops took 24 more porters in order to send them to Mae Sa Lee village.

The Aplon villager further explained that some porters were forced to walk ahead of the troops [as human land mine triggers], while some porters, including women and older men were placed in the middle of the battalion.

Villagers were released from portering in Mae Sa Lee village at 6 pm on June 6th.

The Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) Brigade 6 ambushed the LIB No. 373 on June 6th between the villages of Myaing Thayar and Thet-Kae, killing a captain from the LIB No. 373, whose name has not been confirmed yet.

“We used a mine to kill him,” said a captain from KNLA Brigade 6. In fact, the KNLA used a trip wire that set off the mine when the troops touched it.

The LIB No. 373 had been commanded to crackdown on KNLA troops after the Three Pagodas Pass Military Intelligence office was bombed on June 5th, killing one military intelligence officer, one nine-year old girl, and wounding four people. Continue reading “Dozens of Villagers Forced to Porter in Three Pagodas Pass”

WAR:3 villagers shot by Burma Army soldiers


Three villagers, a father and two sons from Kali sub-township, Kunhing Township, Shan State South, where military junta are expanding the newly installed ‘Middle East’ regional command, were shot by a Burma Army patrol on Monday night, killing the father and wounding the two sons, according to local sources.

The father was identified as Sai Ti, 44, and the sons were 20 and 18 respectively. According to a local source, the three men were said to have been shot around 21:00 on 6 June, while they were on their way to fish in a distant village.

The soldiers were said to be from a patrol from the locally based Infantry Battalion (IB) # 296.

“The soldiers knew that they were villagers because they [the soldiers] challenged them first before shooting,” the source quoted the sons as saying.

“They were shot as soon as they responded they were villagers. Their father died instantly and one of the sons was critically wounded on his left cheek and back.” Continue reading “WAR:3 villagers shot by Burma Army soldiers”

Falang: Khun Sa’s stooge or puppet master?

WEDNESDAY, 08 JUNE 2011 15:30 S.H.A.N.

The wiry Manchurian must have been thinking about the Japanese officer who had adopted the Burmese name “Moejo” meaning ‘Thunder’ while working with the young Burmese activists (later to be known as the Thirty Comrades) fighting for Independence, when he took up the Shan name “Falang” (or Hpalang to the Southern Shan) also meaning “Thunder” when he decided to work with Khun Sa for Shan freedom.


falangZhang Suquan aka Falang

But on 3 June, he died a bitter and angry old man (84) for ever taking that decision in the early 1960s, according to a source close to him. 

Falang, who was born Zhang Suquan, a native of Manchuria and an ex-officer in the Kuomintang Army before he joined Khun Sa, was, like his late boss Khun Sa (1934-2007), a controversy among the Shans.

Khun Sa aka Zhang Qifu died nearly 4 years ago, but every time his name pops up in a discussion, there are two opposing sides: one maintaining he was a fifth columnist sent by the late Gen Ne Win to sabotage the Shan resistance and the other saying he was a patriot misunderstood and betrayed by the people in whose interests he was working for. Continue reading “Falang: Khun Sa’s stooge or puppet master?”