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.

Burma: INDONESIAN contractor Gunanusa wins Yadana contract

28.12.2011 Cilegon-based fabricator, Gunanusa has won a contract worth $99 million from France’s Total for a replacement living quarters structure to be installed at the Yadana gas complex off Burma.

The contract is for the fabrication, hook-up and commissioning of the living quarters topsides and a jacket to replace the existing structure, which is understood to be sinking off Burma.

Delivery from the yard is scheduled to take place in phases through the first quarter of 2014.

Separate bids were invited for the transportation and installation, which is understood to have been scheduled for two seasonal windows during the second quarters of 2013 and 2014.

The Yadana production complex comprises two wellhead platforms, a production platform, a living quarters platform and a manifold compression platform. Commercial production began in early 2000, with output averaging 760 million cubic feet per day in 2007.

Burma: Invitation opening ceremony of the Music Concert and Fund-Raising Fair for the Education for Ethnic Regions

Dear Sir/ Madam,

You are cordially invited to our opening ceremony of the Music Concert
and Fund-Raising Fair for the Education for Ethnic Regions in Burma

Date : 30.12.2011
Time : 3.00 PM
Venue: MCC , Min Da Ma Gone , Ward 4 , Mayangone Township

To Contact : 09 730 21874 ( U Myo Yan Naung Thein )
09 731 66269 ( Ma Cho Cho Aung ) ,09 730
96887 ( Ko Htet Paing Aung )

RSVP ( Respondez Si Vous Plaat ) , ( Pls, Reply that we have to
arrange the seat )

Burma Democratic Concern