Law amending three sections of Political Party Registration Law approved

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Burma’s state-run TV announced on Friday that President Thein Sein has signed a law that amends three key areas of the Political Party Registration Law.

Both houses of the Burmese Parliament had previously approved the amendments.

There was a change in the wording that all political parties must “protect” the country’s Constitution. It was amended to “respect” the Constitution.

The new law cancelled two clauses: a clause that restricted serving prisoners from being a member of a political party and a clause that said a political party needs to contest in at least three parliamentary seats in an election. 

Last week, Mizzima reported that political observers said the amendments were designed to pave the way for the main opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), to re-register as a political party. The NLD decided not to re-register to run in the 2010 election, saying there were elements in the 2008 Constitution that were not democratic.

KWAT:”The Burma Army must immediately release four women held as sex slaves near Kachin-China border”

The Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) is gravely concerned for the lives of four women being held as sex slaves at a frontline post near Loije at the Kachin-China border, and calls for the Burma Army to immediately free them, and for foreign envoys in Burma to demand their immediate release.

According to porters who escaped on November 1 from Mu Bum mountain outpost, where about 50 troops from Light Infantry Battalion 321 are based, the four women were being made to clean and cook for the soldiers during the day, and were gang-raped by them at night.

The porters identified one of the women as Sumlut Roi Ja, aged 28, from the nearby village of Hkai Bang. She was last seen by her husband and father-in-law on October 28, when they were forced to carry corn to Mu Bum army post. The three had run away from the camp, but she had been too slow and was recaptured.

On November 1, Sumlut Roi Ja’s family members met with Lt. Col. Zaw Myo Htut, the Burma Army commander at the Loi Je military base, and begged for her release. He told them that she would be released on November 2, but they waited the whole day at the foot of Mu Bum mountain and she did not appear.

A KWAT documentor reported seeing Sumlut Roi Ja  through a zoom lens at the Mu Bum camp from a nearby hilltop on October 31. The next day, on November 1, she was able to see a woman being dragged by four soldiers into a bunker at the camp, but could not clearly identify her. Since then, she has not been able to see any women at the camp.

KWAT is gravely concerned at the fate of the four women and demands that the Burma Army immediately releases them. KWAT also urgently requests all foreign envoys in Burma to call for their immediate unconditional release.

“Silence about the Burma Army’s blatant systematic sexual violence is placing the lives of all women and girls in the conflict zones at risk,” said KWAT coordinator Moon Nay Li.

The Burma Army has reinforced troops between Bhamo and Loije since mid-October, fuelling fears of an imminent offensive against the nearby KIA stronghold of Maijayang, where thousands of displaced Kachin villagers are sheltering.

Contact persons:      Moon Nay Li  + 66 85- 6251- 912
Email:    /

Thailand: Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha denies 9 military officers had “surrendered” to the police connected with killing 13 Chinese on Mekong

3.november 2011    Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, army commander, denies 9 military officers had “surrendered” to the police on 28 October in connection with the killing of 13 Chinese crewmen on the Mekong. He said they were just meeting the police investigation team to demonstrate their innocence. (Khom Chad Leuk)

KIO power cable serving Myitkyina cut since Tuesday

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – A power cable at the Mali Stream Hydropower Station owned by the Kachin Independence Organization [KIO] has been cut since Tuesday and could take a week to repair, according to an official of the Buga Company.

The cable provides electricity to Myitkyina and Waimaw.

The KIO alleged that the government was responsible for the severed cable, and that it could have occurred during a recent movement of troops and supplies.

“They cut the power line by bullets,” said La Nang, a KIO spokesperson. “And the power line was cut at Lonzak Hill which is controlled by the government. Then they sent troops to the front. They deployed extra troops within a short time.”

The KIO’s Buga company has provided electricity to Myitkyina and Waimaw since 2006. The Tabak Stream Hydropower Station generates 9.8 megawatts of electricity.

On Wednesday, the government deployed extra troops from Brigade No. 88 to Myitkyina, crossing the Irrawaddy River during the evening, La Nang said.

On June 12, the KIO recalled its employees from the liaison office in Myitkyina and the Buga Company for security reasons, but it continued to provide electricity to Myitkyina and Waimaw.