New Delhi (Mizzima) – A pro-democracy activist in Twante Township in Rangoon urged the Burmese government to release all political prisoners by holding a placard and walking down Twante’s main road from 9 to 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday.
Aung Pe, wearing a blue prison uniform and holding a 2-by-3-foot placard which said “Releasing political prisoners exercises the most fundamental human right [in blue text],” walked from the Independence Column to downtown Twante.
“I want to raise public awareness. At that particular time, it [downtown] was crowded. Initially, I went in front of a police station. Then, I made a turn and walked along Bogyoke Road. Bogyoke Road is the main road in Twante. Especially, it is very crowded near the market. I attracted a lot of public attention when they read my placard,” Aung Pe told Mizzima.
Aung Pe, a well-known private teacher in Twante, has been arrested at least six times for his political protests, he said. On Tuesday, the authorities took his photograph but did nothing to block his protest, he said.
“I want all the political prisoners released. Political prisoners have suffered the most serious violations of their human rights. I am a former political prisoner so I sympathize with them,” he said.
“I selected a time to protest when Quintana [the UN envoy] had arrived in Burma. He is a rapporteur for human rights, and he observes which human rights have been violated in Burma.”
Aung Pe’s teaching license was revoked and since his release from prison, he has not been allowed to teach. He was imprisoned for pro-democracy activities in 2005, 2008 and 2009, he said.
Meanwhile in other protests, pro-democracy activists led by UK-based 88-generation Burmese students staged a 24-hour hunger strike in front of the Burmese embassy in London on Sunday to honour 88-generation student leaders Min Ko Naing and his colleagues who were arrested four years ago, on August 21, 2007.
Ten Burmese students in London and two foreigners took part in the hunger strike.
“The current Burmese government led by President Thein Sein said they were holding a dialogue with Aung San Suu Kyi. Does the government really want to have a dialogue?” asked Htet Khaung, the organizer of the hunger strike. “When they say they are a democratic government, they need to release more than 2,000 political prisoners have been unlawfully imprisoned.”
The UK-based 88-generation student group distributed pamphlets containing Suu Kyi quotations and brief biographies of political prisoners to onlookers. During the hunger strike, they shouted slogans such as “Release political prisoners immediately! Release Min Ko Naing immediately! May Thein Sein’s government fall from power!”
PLEASE UNDERSTAND FOLLOWING TWO IMPORTANT FACTORS ABOUT 6P 1)ANY REFUGEES LIKE TO RETURN BACK TO THEIR HOME COUNTRY PLEASE REGISTER 6P PROGRAM AND GO TO YOUR COUNTRY 2) ANY REFUGEES CAN NOT TO RETURN BACK TO THEIR HOME COUNTRY BECAUSE OF FEAR, DO NOT REGISTER 6P PROGRAM 3) PLEASE ADVICE ALL REFUGEES THESE TWO FACTORS
A Burmese refugee, Kyaw Htoo Aung, was quoted as saying that the UNHCR tricked them [refugees] in a bid to clear corruption dealings with refugee processes.
Yante Ismail, External Relations Officer at the UNHCR in Kuala Lumpur, said: “UNHCR has received confirmation that the Government of Malaysia has no intentions of deporting UNHCR document holders who register under the 6P programme.”
23.August 2011 KIC
The Karen National Union issued a statement claiming more than 80 Border Guard Force soldiers had joined their forces in 1st and 7th Brigade in recent weeks.
The BGF was a strategy used by the Burma government to unarm, reduce the number of soldiers in the armed ceasefire groups and bring them under the direct control of the Burma Army. The recent high numbers of BGF soldiers deserting means the strategy has backfired on the government. There is now armed conflict in Kachin, Shan and Karen States. Many of the armed ceasefire groups are reluctant to surrender their arms and ethnic identities to the Burma Army.
The Karen National Liberation Army, Brigade 7, office manager, Major General Saw Eh Hser Hser confirmed to Karen News that in early August 10 BGF soldiers, including a major deserted. The BGF soldiers also brought weapons and ammunition with them.
“10 soldiers including Major Saw Ta Bawh from BGF battalion 1014 joined us at KNLA Brigade 7 headquarter. The weapons they brought with them include a 9mm, 2 carbine rifles, 1 AR, 1 HK, 2 MA, 1 AK and 1075 bullets.”
BGF battalion 1014 is based and operates in Hlaingbwe Township and the soldiers said they joined the KNLA they didn’t want to fight their own people. They said they joined the KNLA to fight together against their common enemy – the Burma Army. Continue reading “BGF in chaos – another 80 join Karen army”
Rumors are circulating that the trade crossing between Mae Sot on the Thai side and Myawaddy on the Burma side is about to officially open after 13 months of closure. Myawaddy residents are convinced the Friendship Bridge linking the two countries will reopen in a matter of days.
A Myawaddy resident told Karen News that there has been discussion between Thai and Burma official’s media hints the Bridge will be opening.
“The authorities here are saying the bridge will open in a few days. They are cleaning up the bridge on the Burma side, but we haven’t seen anything been done on the Thai side yet. Police are also guarding the gate at the bridge.”
Myawaddy residents say rumors have been circulating for months.
“Yes, I’ve heard it from other town resident that the bridge will open, but nobody is sure when will it be. This week senior authorities are expected to come to Myawaddy. Maybe they will open it when they’re here.”
A Myawaddy trader said it is good news hearing the bridge will be opening, as it has been a hard on traders to do business through the unofficial crossings.
Before the bridge closure Asia Highway Number 1 saw a constant stream of cargo laden lorries and pick-up trucks make their way to Burma with drums of petrol, cooking oil, second hand cars, gas bottles, textiles, shoes, everyday consumer goods, medicines, motorbikes, televisions, electronic goods, computers and diesel.
Since July 18, 2010, Burma’s military regime has closed the Myawaddy-Mae Sot border in retaliation, for what it claims was the unofficial construction of a concrete embankment on the Thai side.
In 2010, before the [border] closure the Tak Chamber of Commerce estimated exports through the Myawaddy Mae Sot crossing would earn Thailand more than 30 billion baht – traders are losing as much as 100 million baht a day.
|Thailand-Burma Township Border Committee (TBC) meeting #68 held at Dusit Island Hotel, Chiangrai. Thailand is represented by Col Jiradej Kamolphet from Phamueng Force and Burma by Lt-Col Zeya Win, Commander of Light Infantry Battalion 331. While Thailand requests more cooperation in drug trafficking, Burma again demands the return of Doilang (Loilang). The area was held by Thailand since 9 March 1987.(ASTV/SHAN) 24.August 2011|