KIA attack in Muse kills 2 government personnel, 3 injured

30.12.2011 kachin news


kia-soldier-301211A KIA’s 4th Brigade soldier.

One soldier from Burma’s army and a police officer were killed yesterday following an attack by the Kachin resistance in Muse township in northern Shan State, witnesses report.  The attack by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) also injured three other government troops.



The guerrilla ambush took place at noon near Namtau village, close to Burma’s ‘105th Mile Border Trade Zone’, an area responsible for more than 70% of Burma’s trade with China.  According to KIA sources the assault was carried out by members of Battalion 36 under the KIA’s 4th Brigade.

Despite President Thein Sein’s recent public declaration that Burma’s army must cease its offensive against the KIA, the armed forces known as the Tatmadaw, has during the past week sent an additional 500 troops to crush the 8th Battalion of the KIA’s 4th Brigade.  Over the last few days fighting between the 8th Battalion and government forces has been particularly fierce along a strech of territory slated to be the route of the Shwe gas pipeline project.

A roadway connecting the ‘105th Mile Border Trade Zone’ to the rest of Burma, the Mandalay-Muse route, has sustained repeated attacks by the Kachin resistance since a ceasefire between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and the central government ended this past June.


Burma Army fights KIO to secure Shwe pipeline route in Shan State

30.12.2011 kachin news


shwe-gas-pipelineA Chinese pipeline truck headed to Burmese border town Muse from Chinese border town Jegao.

For the fourth consecutive day parts of Northern Shan State saw heavy fighting between the Burmese army and troops from the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), along the proposed route of the Shwe gas pipeline project.

Since December 25th KIO troops have resisted a sustained Burmese army advance near Namtu and Nam Kham (or Nam Hkam), two towns that lie in the path of the twin oil and gas pipelines.

The proposed pipeline route cuts directly through territory controlled by the 4th brigade of Kachin Independence Army’s (KIA) 8th battalion.  Earlier this year the Burmese army fought against the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) to seize territory the group controlled that also lies along the path of the pipelines.

When completed the Shwe gas project will send oil and natural gas from Burma’s Arakan coast to China’s southern Yunnan province.  The twin pipelines are expected to give Burma’s central government significantly large annual royalties.

Burmese army alleged to use chemical agents against KIO
Du Zawng, an officer from the the KIA’s 4th brigade told the Kachin News Group (KNG) on Wednesday that over the past 24 hours the Burmese army has again used an unknown chemical weapon against the Kachin resistance.
shwe-gas-kiaDu Zawng reported that more than 10 KIA soldiers near Kutkhai in Northern Shan State became ill after coming in contact with a strong chemical smell that accompanied a series of mortar shell fired by the Burmese side.  After inhaling the fumes the affected troops began to vomit uncontrollably and some became unconsciousness.

The Burmese army has reportedly repeatedly used chemical agents against the Kachin resistance after fighting broke out between the two sides in June this year.  Due to the remote location of the fighting it remains unclear what chemicals the Burmese army has been using.

Burma Army deserters claim abuse continues-KIC newsw

29.12.2011  After being abused by a senior officer, Aung Ko Lat, 21, deserted from his Burma Army Light Infantry Battalion 230 that was operating in Hlaingbwe Township in Karen State. Aung Ko Lat explained to Karen News that he deserted his unit on December 12, 2011 and turned himself in to the Karen National Union after alleged continue abuse by his Company Commander, Captain Win Htite.

“I was sick, but I had to do sentry duty. Then he [Captain Win Htite] caught me when I was sleeping during my sentry duty. He punched me and beat me. It was not the first time. I have been punched and beaten by him four or five time before – I couldn’t stand it anymore. I didn’t even want to be soldier anymore, that’s why I ran away.”

aung-koTo verify his story, Aug Ko Lat offered Karen News his Burma Army Identity Number. Aung Ko Lat admitted that he stole 270,000 Kyat from Captain Win Htite pockets and used the money to make his the way to area under the control of the Karen National Liberation Army’s 7th Brigade.

Major Saw Eh Hser Hser, from the KNLA’s 7th Brigade office said they offer safety to deserters. “Depending on what he [Aung Ko Lat] wants. Our understanding is that he deserted because of abuses he suffered. He also said that he doesn’t want to hold a gun anymore. Aung Ko Lat said he wants to work as an ordinary civilian. It’s up to him; we will help him as much as we can.” Continue reading “Burma Army deserters claim abuse continues-KIC newsw”

KNU ‘peace talks’ gives voice to Karen organizations

The Karen National Union have appealed for Karen civil society groups based inside Burma and oversea to voice their thoughts before the official ‘peace talks’ between the KNU and the Burma government takes place on January 12.


Naw Zipporah Sein, general secretary of KNU told Karen News that the KNU meeting with the government is critically important to all Karen people and it is vital for the KNU to get the opinions and views from a wide range of Karen organizations.

“We’ve sent out an invitation letter have had a good response from both inside and oversea Karen organisations. Most agree that it is good to have real political dialogue with the government, but all say the KNU should be cautious and to be careful not to make the wrong decision. All the Karen urged the KNU to analyze deeply the government’s attitude and agenda.”  Continue reading “KNU ‘peace talks’ gives voice to Karen organizations”

Burma Army officers using HIV patients to avoid frontline duty

To avoid being sent to the frontline, Burma Army officers are allegedly paying people who are HIV/AIDS positive to be tested and admitted to Mingaladon Military Hospital under the officer’s names in order to be excused military duty.

A HIV/AIDS positive person who had been paid to be tested and admitted to hospital under a Burma Army captain’s name spoke to Karen News and explained how the scam worked.

“The agent paid me 200,000kyat. I don’t know how much the agent got. I have to stay in the hospital for 15 days. My blood, saliva and immunity system were tested, just like I was tested the first time it was found I was HIV positive. The hospital ward and food were good because I was admitted under the captain’s name.”

Karen News asked a worker at an organizations working with HIV positive people who said that the patients are doing this because they are poor.

The relative of a Warrant Officer Class Two who doesn’t want to be named explained to Karen News how his family paid a HIV positive person in order to get sick leave for his uncle who did not want to be sent to the frontline.

“My uncle is a Warrant Officer Class Two. He was supposed to go to the fighting in Kachin State. My grandmother doesn’t want him to be sent to frontline. So, the family paid a HIV positive person to be admitted to hospital under my uncle’s name. They [family] also had to pay many people at the hospital – it cost about 700,000 Kyat to get the necessary papers.”

The army officer’s family not only had to pay the HIV positive person, but also had to pay nurses, doctors and other workers at the hospital.

Karen News contacted Mingaladon Military Hospital for a response to the accusations and a health worker denied the practice.

Karen News spoke with army officers, people with HIV and agents who all confirmed the deception. The said the cases involved mainly army officers’ ranked from Warrant Officer Class Two to Captains – in some cases close friends acted as agent to find a HIV positive person and negotiate the costs.

A source close to an agent involved in the above case said that there is money to be made.

“My friend was the agent on this. She has been an agent on three cases. The agent has to find the patient [HIV positive] and negotiate the cost. She got 50,000 Kyat per person. The patients do it because they also get money.”

It is thought the practice has been ongoing for about four months and is on the increase. A member of a community based organization, from inside Burma, working on drug related HIV/AIDS issues said that many army officers are trying to avoid the intense fighting in Kachin State.