KACHIN: Burmese Army uses chemical weapons again

Local frontline sources reported that Burmese Army again resorts to using artillery shells filled with chemical agents in the latest encounter near Pang Hkawn Yang on March 12. About 400 Burmese soldiers advanced towards KIA’s 5th Battalion territory. After inhaling smoke from artillery shell, 10 KIA soldiers suffered from symptoms such as nausea, dizziness and itchiness associated with chemical weapons, said source.

On another front, Burmese Army troops under 389th and 390th battalions stationed at Mali Yang reportedly fired heavy artillery shells to Gang Dau Yang village office and KIA’s Hka Mut post on March 12. Newly reinforced and replenished Burmese troops arrived at Burmese Army’s Gang Dau Yang post with 5 trucks and 50 horses loaded with food packages and military equipment.

Though both sides have met recently and said troops in conflict areas will be reduced, the movements on the ground suggest otherwise, said a local observer.


MONGKOE, Burma — Armed clashes between the Burmese army and troops belonging to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) resumed in northern Burma on Monday after both sides failed to reach an agreement during the latest round of peace talks in China.

Kachin land news


On 13 March, 1988 Ko Phone maw, a fifth-year student at Rangoon Institute of Technology was killed by government riot police. This could be considered the event which sparked off the historic 1988 pro-democracy uprising. During this uprising, many political leaders remembered Ko Phone Maw’s death, and planned to commemorate the day as Burma Human Rights day.
Aung Myo Min, a human rights activist who was a close friend of Ko Phone Maw, said the day deserved to be named as Human Rights day because the BSPP military-backed government committed many human rights violations over 26 years. People had acquiesced in their oppression because they lacked enough awareness to fight the BSPP government for their rights. However, when people heard Ko Phone Maw had been killed by the BSPP, people got a shock and came to realize the brutality of the government. This increased awareness of the lack of democracy and determined people to fight against for their rights and the event led to the “Four Eights Affair”, which tried to restore democracy, human rights, peace, and justice to Burma. Aung Myo Min also said March 13 is one of the greatest events for the Burmese democracy movement, and is named as a human rights day, but it should not be only related to one student, Ko Phone Maw, who was killed by the government. There were many people who were killed or imprisoned for long-term over human rights, so we should hold Human Rights Day for all those fighting and making sacrifices for democracy and human rights in Burma, both now and in the past. The first Burma Human Rights Day was held in the compound of the Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT) on the 13th of March, 1989. Many political leaders joined it, including Aung San Suu Kyi, U Nu , U Tin Oo, and U Khin Maung Myint from the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), U Tha Ban, U Thu Wai, etc.
Ko Tate, was one of the members of the organizing committee for Ko Phone Maw’s day. The committee was formed of 13 people including Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, Ko Aung Pwint (RIT), Saw Win Shein (RIT) and other activists. Ko Tate recalled his experience. He said he is not quite sure whose initiative it was to hold the day. Some people said it was inspired by Aung San Suu Kyi, and some said it was motivated by U Nu. During the ceremony, no politician or any student activists declared the day to be Burma Human Rights Day – however, he saw many placards which mentioned “Burma Human Rights Day”. For this reason it can still be considered the first celebration of Burma Human Rights Day.
On that day, many students who planned to join it were detained for a while at the Thamyaing Junction. When some students arrived at RIT and prepared for the commemoration, the RIT complex was enclosed by military trucks which seemed intended to intimidate the people who were coming to join the ceremony. However, the crowd got bigger and the grounds filled with people.
All the participants agreed that the 13th of March, 1988 was the most important day of the “Four Eights Affair”. Although students also resented the government’s irresponsible action of demonetization in 1987, if Ko Phone Maw had not been killed, the 1988 pro-democracy uprising is very unlikely to have happened. Anyhow, the first Burmese Human Rights Day ended successfully.
So far, it is the first and last Burmese Human Rights Day to be held in Burma. Student activists tried to hold a second anniversary of Burmese Human Rights Day, and formed an organizing committee of 13 people including Mar Gi, Kyaw Kyaw Soe, and Mg Mg Kyaw and other students. SLORC took pre-emptive action and arrested many students on the 12th of March, 1990, including Ko Bo Kyi, Toe Kyaw Hlaing , Ko Mya Aye and other students. They were imprisoned for three years, and other students were also arrested.
In Burma, students can’t publicly hold Burmese Human Rights Day, but every 13th of March students put a black piece cloth on their shirt as a symbol of sorrowful memory of Ko Phone Maw’s death. They also distribute leaflets, so as not to forget him as a martyr, and to remind themselves of the fight for human rights, democracy, peace and justice. Burma Human Rights Day is not only observed for the memory of Ko Phone Maw, but also to draw attention to all forms of human rights violation in Burma. It should inspire the fight for human rights regardless of sex, gender, race, status or background, so that our people are treated with human dignity in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Burma Human Rights Day by Myint Zaw

KNU ႏွင့္ ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္ၾကား တိုက္ပြဲျဖစ္၍ ႏွစ္ဦးႏွစ္ဖက္ ထိခိုက္ေသဆံုး။ မတ္လ ၁၂ရက္၊ ၂၀၁၂ခုႏွစ္။ ေစာခါးစူးညား (ေကအိုင္စီ)

KNU ႏွင့္ ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္ၾကား တိုက္ပြဲျဖစ္၍ ႏွစ္ဦးႏွစ္ဖက္ ထိခိုက္ေသဆံုး။
မတ္လ ၁၂ရက္၊ ၂၀၁၂ခုႏွစ္။ ေစာခါးစူးညား (ေကအိုင္စီ)

ကရင္ျပည္နယ္၊ ဖာပြန္ၿမိဳ႕နယ္အတြင္း ကရင္အမ်ဳိးသားအစည္းအ႐ံုး-KNU ထိန္းခ်ဳပ္နယ္ေျမ တပ္မဟာ(၅)တြင္ KNU ႏွင့္ ျမန္မာအစိုးရ စစ္တပ္အၾကား ယခုရက္ပိုင္းတြင္ တိုက္ပြဲျဖစ္ပြား၍ ႏွစ္ဖက္တပ္ဖြဲ႕မွ တစ္ဦးစီ က်ဆံုးသြားခဲ့သည္။

ထိုေဒသရွိ ျမန္မာအစိုးရ၏ တပ္မ(၆၆)လက္ေအာက္ခံတပ္ရင္းမ်ားသည္ ၎တို႔ေရွ႕တန္းစခန္း ေခါ့ေသာခို႔သို႔ ရိကၡာပို႔ေဆာင္ရာတြင္ KNU သတ္မွတ္နယ္ေျမထက္ ေက်ာ္လြန္သြားလာေသာေၾကာင့္ ေခးပူေက်းနယ္အုပ္စုအတြင္း မတ္လ ၄ရက္ေန႔၊ မနက္ ၇နာရီတြင္ ရင္ဆိုင္ တိုက္ပြဲ ျဖစ္ပြားခဲ့ ၿပီး မတ္လ ၉ရက္ေန႔၊ မနက္ ၉း၄၅နာရီတြင္ အစိုးရတပ္မွ ေကအဲန္ယူကို လာေရာက္ပစ္ခတ္ခဲ့ျခင္း ျဖစ္သည္။

KNU တပ္မဟာ(၅) ႐ံုးထိုင္မႉး ဗိုလ္မႉးကလယ္ဒို႔က “မတ္လ ၄ရက္ေန႔မွာ ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္က တေယာက္ေသတယ္။ သူတို႔ရဲ႕ MA-1 ေသနတ္တစ္လက္ က်ေနာ္တို႔ ရတယ္။ ၉ရက္ေန႔မွာေတာ့ က်ေနာ္တို႔ဘက္က တေယာက္ေသ၊ တေယာက္ ဒဏ္ရာရၿပီး က်ေနာ္တို႔ သိမ္း ခဲ့တဲ့ MA-1 ေသနတ္တလက္ကို သူတို႔ ျပန္ရသြားတယ္။”ဟု ေကအိုင္စီသို႔ ေျပာသည္။

ျမန္မာအစိုးရတပ္ႏွင့္ KNU လက္ေအာက္ခံတပ္တို႔အၾကား ျဖစ္ပြားခဲ့သည့္ တိုက္ပြဲေနရာသည္ ေခါ့ေသာခို႔ ျမန္မာတပ္စခန္းႏွင့္ ကိုက္ ၂၀၀ အကြာတြင္ တည္ရွိၿပီး အစိုးရတပ္အေနျဖင့္ တပ္ရိကၡာပို႔ေဆာင္ရာတြင္ ကားလမ္းမႀကီး၏ တဖက္တခ်က္ ကိုက္ ၂၀၀ထက္ မေက်ာ္လြန္ ရန္ ေကအဲန္ယူမွ ထုတ္ျပန္ထားၿပီးျဖစ္သည္။ Continue reading “KNU ႏွင့္ ျမန္မာစစ္တပ္ၾကား တိုက္ပြဲျဖစ္၍ ႏွစ္ဦးႏွစ္ဖက္ ထိခိုက္ေသဆံုး။ မတ္လ ၁၂ရက္၊ ၂၀၁၂ခုႏွစ္။ ေစာခါးစူးညား (ေကအိုင္စီ)”

Karen National Union (KNU) leader Mahn Nyein Maung was sentenced to life imprisonment plus three years

Former underground activist and Karen National Union (KNU) leader Mahn Nyein Maung was sentenced to life imprisonment plus three years by a special court in Insein Prison in Rangoon.

“Mahn Nyein Maung got a life sentence after being found guilty of participating in acts of war against the country and the ruling government, and an additional three years for having connections to an illegal organization. The sentences are to be served consecutively,” said his lawyer Kyee Myint.

“It seems to me that he has been mentally affected by all this,” his lawyer said. “He should see a psychologist and needs medical attention.”

David Takapaw, the vice-president of the KNU, urged the government to release the Karen veteran. He said such a move would help create trust between the two parties [the KNU and the Burmese government], and could play a part in affecting the process of peace and national reconciliation.

“The government promised they would release Mahn Nyein Maung to create trust,” he said. “If not, it will be impossible to reconcile.

“We will wait and see whether they release him in a presidential amnesty,” said Takapaw.

He added that, in the meantime, the KNU would file an appeal against the court decision.

According to the KNU vice-president, a promise was made by government negotiator and Railways Minister Aung Min that Mahn Nyein Maung would be released after sentencing through a presidential amnesty.

During ceasefire discussions in the second week of January, Aung Min said President Thein Sein would make this gesture as a sign of goodwill and a step toward making a peace deal with the Karen rebels, said Takapaw.

Mahn Nyein Maung is a prominent KNU leader and a central committee member of the United Nationalities Federal Council ethnic armed alliance.

He was arrested in July 2011 by Chinese immigration officials in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, after being denied entry to Thailand where he was living in exile. He was then deported from China to Burma where he was taken into custody.

He was originally sentenced to one year imprisonment for breaking immigration laws and possessing a fake passport—later reduced to six months when the prison term had already been served.

Mahn Nyein Maung is a former underground activist who conducted operations on behalf of the KNU inside Burma. In 1960, he was arrested and was sent to the Coco Islands, an infamous detention center for political prisoners located some 300 km off the Burmese mainland in the Indian Ocean.

Mahn Nyein Maung and two other political prisoners, Mahn Aung Kyi and Aung Ngwe, managed to escape from the island in 1970 by floating across the water clutching driftwood. However, they were rearrested when they reached the Burmese mainland. It is the only known escape from the prison, located on what is commonly referred to as “Burma’s Devil’s Island.”

Due to his extraordinary escape, Mahn Nyein Maung is frequently likened to the famous French prisoner Henri Charrière, nicknamed “Papillon” [butterfly], who escaped a penal colony in French Guyana. Like Charrière, Mahn Nyein Maung wrote a book about his experiences inside prison and his subsequent escape Irrawaddy news


Mawhtaung border trade point in southern Tanintharyi Region in Burma will become the fifth with Thailand


Passengers ride on three-wheel vehicles at a market area in Myawaddy, Burma, in this file photo. Thai and Burmese goods move daily over the Friendship Bridge linking the two countries. Photo: AFPPassengers ride on three-wheel vehicles at a market area in Myawaddy, Burma, in this file photo. Thai and Burmese goods move daily over the Friendship Bridge linking the two countries. Photo: AFP

The Mawhtaung border trade point in southern Tanintharyi Region in Burma will become the fifth with Thailand, according the Xinhua news agency, which quotedGlobal News. China is No. 1 in border trade with Burma followed by Thailand, India and Bangladesh.

Burma’s border trade with Thailand amounted to US$ 274 million in fiscal year 2009-10, according to official figures.

Burma now has a total of 12 border trade points: four links with China, four with Thailand, two with India and two with Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, work on a highway linking Bangkok and the Dawei deep-sea port and industrial zone in Tanintharyi Region is under and scheduled to be finished in one and a half years.

According to official statistics, Burma’s border trade amounted to over US$ 3.046 billion in fiscal year 2011-12, up about 60 per cent from more than $1.9 billion in 2010-11.

In 2010, Mizzima reported that Thailand’s Deputy Commerce Minister Alongkorn Ponlabutr made a trip to Burma, which resulted in two significant trade outcomes.

The first was that Thailand and Burma agreed to resume trade relationship and investment by organizing the fifth Thai-Myanmar Joint Trade Committee, or JTC meeting during the first quarter of 2010, where Thailand served as the host. The JTC meeting was suspended for over five years. The JTC meeting included discussions on various issues such as offering account trade services for the two countries, as well as setting up wholesale and export markets around the Thai-Burma border, in order to increase border trade standards.

Second, a Thai-Burma Business Council will be set up to operate with the cooperation of the Thai Chamber of Commerce and Myanmar Industries with three private institutes from Thailand, the Federation of Thai Industries, and the Thai Bankers’ Association.