Karen BGF official shot dead in Three Pagodas Pass TPP

Min Thu Tha – An official of the Karen Border Guard Force (BGF) was shot dead last night, north of U Daung (Peacock) Lake in the border town of Three Pagodas Pass (TPP).

According to eyewitnesses, around 9pm last night, members of the Karen BGF were arguing in a field by U Daung Lake when Major Ye Naing of the Karen BGF was shot.

A TPP police officer who asked not to reveal his/her name said, “I don’t want to make any comment because this is the armed ethnic group’s issue. They must solve their own case.”

A local official of Karen National Union (KNU) surmised that the controversial shooting may have been drug related.

“They [the arguing soldiers] used to be followers of Saw Naw Tayar [of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA)]. We know that they were expelled from the army, and they are rumored to deal drugs.”

In the areas surrounding TPP, the KNU, DKBA, New Mon State Party (NMSP), BGFs, and Karen National Union/Karen National Liberation Army Peace Council (KNU/KNLA-PC) are all currently active.

A kidnapping group led by Nai Tun is also active in the region. Since February of this year, two kidnapping cases have occurred in TPP.

The Three Pagodas Pass-Thai border is considered to be a route for drug importation, and Thai authorities are strict on border crossings there.

imna news

Burmese Army reportedly fired several rounds of 105 mm shells from its Hkangkai hill base to Na Lung and Laja Yang villages beginning 6 am on May 17

 

former Burmese Army post seized by KIA on April 27

KLN frontline sources reported that heavy battles are raging around Laja-yang and Nalung villages located near Kachin administrative capital Laiza. KIA’s capital security forces and Burmese Army soldiers from 388th LIR under MOC (3) and Momauk-based 320th LIR under MOC (21) have been fighting for the whole day on May 17.

A combined force of KIA troops and All Burmese Student Democratic Force (Northern) overrun strategic Burmese Army post in Laja-yang on April 27. Burmese Army soldiers have moved to a nearby higher mountain since their base has been seized. A series of fierce battles took place as more reinforcements came to aid those soldiers left on the mountain and try to recapture former post in Laja-yang. Continue reading “Burmese Army reportedly fired several rounds of 105 mm shells from its Hkangkai hill base to Na Lung and Laja Yang villages beginning 6 am on May 17”

Resettle Karen refugees from Thailand in DKBA area

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On Thursday 19 April 2012, government officials from 14 government departments including Myawaddy district administer U Myint Tin visited and observed Wall Lay and Chu Ka Li, where under control by Kalo Htu Baw strategy command in Karen National Organization (KKO), in Myawaddy Township in Karen State for resettlement of people who live along the Myanmar-Thai border, according to KKO’s spokesperson.

“The important thing is to resettle the refugees living in Thailand. They visited Wall Lay and Chu Ka Li area by that reason. This is one of the agendas of Prime Minister of Karen State,” KKO spokesperson said.

“The places, where they observed, are not under controlled by them and have no authority. Those places are fully controlled by the KNU and KRC. So they have to discuss about it,” the spokesperson added.

After government officials discussed with KKO, government officials would stay in Myawaddy for two days. KKO has assumed that government officials have objectives of resettling the Burmese refugees living in Thai refugee camps. Under the current political situation in Myanmar, it would be early for refugees going back to their villages. It is impossible to go back home if there is no genuine reconciliation in the country, according to an officer in charge in Noe Phoe refugee camp.

Protest Noe(Nu)  Poe Camp

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“The government wants to close refugee camps but they do not solve real problems. After Myanmar government agreed ceasefire agreement with ethnic armed groups, some government officials has travelled to foreign countries and some officials have been busy with resettlement for refugees and displaced people. What do you think what they are going to do after all these thing have done? They will send their troops to control those people. Then they will torture the people. These kinds of things they have done in the past” the officer in charge in Noe Phoe refugee camp explained.

Thailand also has desire of the resettlement for Myanmar refugees. In a few months ago, Thai authorities visited refugee camps and urged people going back to their home villages, according to the camp officer. According to the TBBC’s refugee statistic, there are about 150,000 refugees living in Thai refugee camps. Thus, Thailand wants the settlement program can be successfully solved in a short time.

Burma: Railway to Transform Relationship between KNU and Burmese Government

17.may 2012

The Burmese government will implement a plan to restart construction on the railway spanning from Thailand to Burma that was built by the Empire of Japan during World War II. This was addressed in a speech given by the Railway Minister, Aung Min, during the opening ceremony for the liaison office of Karen National Union (KNU)  at Three Pagodas Pass 15 May, 2012.

Aung Min who is a peace negotiator from the Burmese government said that his government has already spoken with the Thai government about the project. Plans to restart construction are expected to begin soon.

Aung Min who is a peace negotiator from the Burmese government spoke at the opening liaison office for KNU in Three Pagodas Pass. (Photo: Kaowao)

The construction is intended to boost bilateral trade between Burma and Thailand. Locals of Three Pagodas Pass will benefit from increased trade, said Aung Min.

The railway stretches 415 kilometers (258 mi.) between Bangkok and Rangoon. In 1943 thousands of allied Prisoners of War (POW) and Asian laborers worked on the construction of the Death Railway under the imperial Japanese army. About 1,740 people were killed and buried at the war cemetery in Kanchanaburi. Among the victims were many British.

The railway was abandoned over the past six decades during the fighting between KNU and government troops. During that time local drivers traveling from Three Pagodas Pass to Thanbyuzayat Township, Mon State, Kyar Inn Seik Gyi Township or Karen State used the railway as a road for their cars.

Aung Min said that the government will restart construction of the abandoned railway and will no longer allow cars to drive on the tracks. However, the government will be accommodating local drivers by building a new road for use by cars. Continue reading “Burma: Railway to Transform Relationship between KNU and Burmese Government”

3rd round of peace talks with the Union-level Peacemaking Working Committee will take place in Kengtung on Saturday, 19 May.

  • 17 May 2012
    According to Restoration Council of Shan State / Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) spokesman Maj Lao Hseng, the third round of peace talks with the Union-level Peacemaking Working Committee will take place in Kengtung on Saturday, 19 May. Main topics will include cooperation against drugs, establishment of administrative offices in Homong and Monghta sub-townships, resettlement of IDPs and release of detained SSA members. (SHAN)
  • 7 May 2012
    Shan State Army (SSA) South meeting appoints

    • Anti-narcotics committee
    • Negotiating team for the second union-level meeting

    (SHAN)

    Union Peace Central-Working Committee

Obama Administration declares Burma open to U.S. mining investment

U.S. mining and exploration companies can now officially join their Australian, Canadian, Chinese, European, French, Thai and Korean counterparts in the rush to develop Burma’s mineral riches.

The Obama Administration Thursday announced that it will suspend sanctions against Burma (Myanmar), including restrictions on U.S. investment in the country’s mining industry.

During joint remarks Thursday with Burma’s Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, “First, let me say that our presumption is that our companies will be able to deal in every sector of the economy with any business. …The presumption is that our oil and gas companies, our mining companies, our financial services companies are all now free to look for investments that can be mutually benefits to Burma and them.”

However, the policy change also include safeguards that will prevent U.S. companies from doing business with individuals who have engaged in human rights abuses and with companies with ties to Burma’s military. The country’s gem mining is believed to be tied to or directly benefitting the powerful Burmese military.

“We will keep our eyes wide open to try to ensure that anyone who abuses human rights or obstructs reforms or engaged in corruption do not benefit financially from increased trade and investment with the United States,” Clinton stressed, “including companies owned or operated by the military.”

A senior administration official said U.S. officials will determine what requirements will be placed on American companies going into Burma and how strictly they will be bound by those rules.

The White House also nominated Derek Mitchell, who serves as the U.S. special enjoy to Burma, to be the first American ambassador to Burma in 22 years. Continue reading “Obama Administration declares Burma open to U.S. mining investment”