KIO’s power supply lines to Myitkyina destroyed by Burmese Army

 Kachin News Group   7.November 2011
KIO’s Buga Company had supplied power to Myitkyina, the captital of Kachin State since July, 2006.

People in Kachin state capital Myitkyina in northern Burma are going without electricity for a week now because power supply lines to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) territory was destroyed by the Burmese Army, said KIO officials.

The power supply cables were destroyed deliberately by artillery fire in Ga Ra Yang village on Nov. 1 at about 4 p.m. local time by Burmese Army troops during their military offensive against the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) under the KIO, said KIO officials.

La Gun, an eyewitness and People’s Army commander under the KIA in Ga Ra Yang battle zone told Kachin News Group, “They (Burmese troops) intentionally damaged power poles between Lung Zep Kawng and Ga Ra Yang with artillery fire. They pretended as though the power poles were destroyed, while fighting the KIA, when actually it was deliberate”.

The government has branded KIO a terrorist group, added La Gun.

On June 12, the KIO ordered the complete closure of its liaison office in Myitkyina and the Buga Co. Ltd. for reasons of security, but the power supply was unaffected to Myitkyina and Waingmaw.

Operated by KIO’s Buga Co. Ltd., the Mali power plant has been supplying 2.4 MW of electricity daily to Myitkyina and Wiangmaw towns since July, 2006, according to a KIO report.

When the plant is fully operational, it can produce 10.5 MW of electricity, said the KIO report.

The Buga Company has not been able to repair the damaged electric poles yet because fighting continues.

Kachin church razed, pastor detained by Burmese Army

A Kachin church was razed and the pastor was detained for hours together by Burmese Army troops in the unabated civil war in Burma’s northern Kachin State, said eyewitnesses.
The soldiers entered the Church of Assembly of God in ward No. 1 in Muk Chyik village, six miles from Waingmaw town and detained Pastor Yelawng Lum Hkawng. Hpalawng Lum Hkawng, who was in the church compound, was shot in the leg, according to eyewitnesses.

“The entire church, the inside stage and the ‘Offering Box’ were hit and destroyed by Burmese soldiers. There were no covered wooden planks in the front of the building,” an eyewitness told Kachin News Group.

Four villagers, who were suspected to be aiding the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), were also arrested by Burmese soldiers, said villagers.

“The detainees Lahawng Hkawng Hawng and Shayu Lum Hawng were severely tortured by Burmese soldiers after their hands, legs and necks were tied with ropes,” an eyewitness recounted.

The pastor and three other villagers were taken to the nearby military base located near Washawng Dam. However, Maung Maung, the owner of a rice grinder machine was taken to the Infantry Battalion No. 58 based in Waingmaw town, eyewitnesses said.

During the army operation in ward no. 1 of the village, the soldiers burnt down the house of Jum Hpawk’s family. The soldiers also looted money from the Tithe box and micro credit boxes of two NGOs— the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Metta Development Foundation, villagers said.
The heinous acts by the Burmese soldiers were carried out after clashes with the KIA in areas near the villages from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. local time. The government troops were from Magway-based Light Infantry Division No. 88, added villagers.

The clashes occurred between the two sides when over 100 Burmese troops headed for Washawng from Waingmaw at 8 a.m., said eyewitnesses.

At least seven Burmese Army soldiers were killed in the two hour skirmish, confirmed KIA officers in Waingmaw battle zone.

The pastor was freed in the evening after being interrogated by the Burmese Army soldiers, said sources close to the pastor.

“13 corpses” Thai officers likely to be acquitted in Mekong Killing

MONDAY, 07 NOVEMBER 2011 16:15 S.H.A.N.

Like it or not, 9 Thai military officers charged by the police on 28 October killing 13 Chinese crewmen and women on 5 October in the Golden Triangle where Burma, Laos and Thailand meet, are almost certain to be acquitted by the end of the trial, according to Thai military and business sources.

The said 9 officers, 2 commissioned and 7 non-commissioned, are being detained under two charges: premeditated murder of 13 people and removal of their remains.

The officers claim that they had been fired upon by a gunman from one of two Chinese cargo ships near Chiang Saen, a Thai port on the Mekong on 5 October. They had returned the fire and, after boarding the ships, found one dead gunman and 920,000 speed pills.

The Phamueng Force, presided over by their commander Maj Gen Prakarn Cholayuth, held a press conference on the next day, 6 October.

Things seemed to be going well until the following day, when 11 (some say 12) corpses were seen floating down to near Chiang Saen, many of them handcuffed, tied behind their backs, blindfolded and shot to death.

China that had recalled its more than 100 boats plying the river expressed satisfaction with the turnout of the case. The Mekong however remains close to Chinese ships.

“To charge us with the murder is one thing,” said an angry Thai border a security officer. “But to prove that we did it is another. One think piece, had our people been the real culprits, the corpses should have been found further downstream two days after the shooting took place. For another, why should we let it float near Chiang Saen to implicate ourselves?”

Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha also appears to believe in his own men when he told Matichon Online on 3 November 2011 that the officers had not “surrendered themselves” to the police but only gone to meet them “to demonstrate their innocence.”

The corpses must have drifted down from upstream, part of the river belonging to Burma and Laos, the source said. “Of course, we are not accusing Burma or Laos. But it’s an open secret that Naw Kham is operating in that area.”

Naw Kham, a former Burma Army-backed militia leader, has been active in the Golden Triangle collecting protection money from businesses, both legal and illegal, along the river.

A businessman in Chiang Saen agreed. “Everyone of us would gladly pay to know why Naw Kham can operate there when bigger and more well-armed groups like MTA (Mong Tai Army of the late Khun Sa), UWSA (United Wa State Army) and SSA (Shan State Army) are being kept out,” he said.

Sources believe Naw Kham is more or less responsible for the killing. SHAN so far is unable to reach him. One local source (usually reliable) say he is taking refuge in an area under the command of the Burma Armys Mongphyak-based Military Operations Command #18. “Unless he says something,” he worried, “I’m afraid he will be getting all the blame for the killing.”

Meanwhile, other sources are pointing fingers at Zhao Wei, owner of the Kings Romans Casino in Laos, opposite Burma’s Golden Triangle Paradise Resort Hotel in Tachilek, as one of the likely suspects. Kings Romans is incidentally located at 1967 battlefield between Khun Sa and the Kuomintang.