Government peace negotiator Aung Min wearing traditional Karen clothes after talks with the Karen National Union in Pa-an, capital of Karen State, on Jan. 11, 2012.
A top government negotiator and a senior leader of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) held informal talks in northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai Province on Monday, meeting for the first time since the formation of a new government peace committee on May 3.
According to both government and KIA sources, Aung Min, a vice chairman of Naypyidaw’s Union Peace-making Working Committee, met with the KIA’s vice chief of staff, Maj-Gen Sumlut Gun Maw, on Monday morning to exchange views on the ongoing conflict in Kachin State.
“It was just an informal meeting that lasted the whole morning until lunch time. It was just a beginning for possible meetings in the future. So both sides just agreed to meet again,” said Gun Maw after the talks.
A government source who said that discussions also took place over dinner on Sunday evening described the encounter as “frank” and “positive” for both sides.
Aung Min previously met a Kachin delegation led by N’Ban La, the vice chairman of the KIA’s political wing, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), in November of last year. Today’s meeting was his first with Gun Maw, who is the KIA’s second highest ranking commander. Continue reading “Govt Negotiator Meets KIA Leader”
Burmese army truck carrying artillery
On May 18, Burmese army soldiers of 320th LIR under MOC-21, who are currently stationed at Tapaing bridge on Bahmo-Laiza road, asked passenger cars crossing on the bridge whether there is any Kachin inside the car. The soldiers said Kachin women should be raped and all Kachin men should be killed because they think Kachin State is theirs, said a passenger. Passengers said Burmese soldiers who are providing security along Bahmo-Laiza road repeatedly asked that question.
Burmese Army’s 438th LIR under MOC – 21 has forced Kachin villagers in Numlang village to carry ammunition and food rations to frontline areas. Numlang village is located on Laiza-Bhamo road and villagers are ethnic Shan and Kachin. Local sources say that Burmese Army discriminates against Kachin villagers to serve as porters while most Shan villagers are not forced to do so.
KIO Chairman Lanyaw Zawng Hra mentioned in a letter sent to UN Secretary General on May 15 that the Burmese Army is not only waging war against the KIO/KIA but also against the Kachin population as a whole and the government’s Army is now engaged in ethnic cleansing and conflict has now turned from one of political to racial in nature.
Fighting between the two sides show no signs of abating. Kaw Mai, an IDP at Jeyang camp, told KLN that if Burmese government really wants ceasefire, all they have to do is stop offensive and withdraw their troops as KIA is not engaged in an offensive war.
UN and international community shower Burmese government with praises for on-going reforms but government’s soldiers blatantly commit many heinous crimes in the Kachinland and Shan State in the eyes of governments and observers.
OSLO — Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will accept her 1991 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on June 16, the Norwegian committee announced Monday.
The 66-year-old also will make a belated acceptance speech, first given on her behalf by son Alexander Aris more than two decades ago.
The democracy icon’s first trip abroad in more than two decades will take her also to the UK, where will give a speech to both houses of Britain’s parliament.
British Prime Minister David Cameron invited Suu Kyi to visit London during a visit to Burma in April. She is due to arrive in Britain on June 18 and will receive an honorary degree at Oxford University, where she studied in the 1960s.
The border at Three Pagodas Pass remains closed despite residents asking Zaw Min, the Chief Minister of Karen state, to open it during his trip to the town last week.
Kayin State Chief Minister U Zaw Min sprinkles water during a foundation-laying ceremony at the Hpa-an Industrial Zone. (Pic: Juliet Shwe Gaung)
Border businessmen described to Minister Zaw Min the difficulty the closure causes for people needing to travel to Thailand for medical treatment.
The Minister responded by asking the businessmen how trucks delivering furniture and antimony can cross the border, but infirm people cannot.
Zaw Min did not say when the border will open, and reported on finding corruption between Burmese border authorities and the border businessmen for goods crossing illegally.
The Burmese government closed the border in 2007 after a Karen armed group, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, abducted two Thai border guard forces and tension intensified in the area.
The border closure hit hard for Three Pagodas Pass residents who receive medical treatment in Thailand. Currently, those seeking treatment have to liaise with a volunteer health worker team called “Mitta Ye” that is based in Three Pagodas Pass. The team negotiates with Thai border authorities and then transports the patient to the treatment facility.
Railway Minister and chief Naypyidaw peace negotiator Aung Min recently announced that the World War II era “Death Railway” will be reconstructed.
The project would be a boon for Three Pagodas Pass residents, as the railway links their town to Rangoon and Bangkok. The Railway Minister also proposed opening a special industry zone in Three Pagodas Pass for local development.
Following the invitation of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, seven parliamentarians from Myanmar travelled to Germany, which was the first time ever, parliamentarians of government , opposition and ethnic minorities together as one group.
The delegation was compromised of three representatives from the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), two representatives from the National League for Democracy (NLD) as well as the respective chairmen of the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP) and the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party (RNDP).
In Berlin, the parliamentarians were familiarized with the political system of the Federal Republic of Germany, while in Dresden; they had the chance to gain insights into German politics at the federal state level.
During a meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Berlin, the group met Mr Dirk Niebel, Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Ms Cornelia Pieper – State Minister of the Foreign Ministers Office, Vice President of the German Bundestag Dr Otto Solms as well as other high-ranking German politicians.
Another highlight was a public discussion in the building of the “Tagesspiegel”, one of Germany’s leading daily newspapers, where the 150 participants had the chance to raise their questions to the delegates. When a question regarding the bloody government-crackdown on peaceful demonstrators 2007 in Yangon was raised, lower house MP Win Oo (USDP) said: ” We apologize. We, the new parliament, have the responsibility to make sure it never happens again”. Asked about the possibility of a NLD victory in the 2015 election, all panelists said they would welcome Aung San Suu Kyi as President. Continue reading “Delegation of Parlamentarians from Myanmar visits Germany”
|By: Staff Correspondent|
|Monday, 21 May 2012 11:24|
| Translated and Edited by Aung Khin
After frequent electricity cut-off in Mandalay city for several days, people in this former kingdom city protested against power shortage and demanded 24-hour electricity supply every day.Mandalaynites started the protest at 7p.m on 20 May by lighting up the candles in front of Regional Office of Myanma Electrical Power Corporation situated at 77st road between 26th and 27th streets, as well as in front of Swan Hotel.“The cut-off of electricity started in April. Power shortages become gradually more severe later. There are many consequences of this problem. While day and night temperatures are getting high, people have been suffering a lot of miseries for months. However, the government officials did not solve the problems. So we are now asking peacefully to relieve our sufferings,” said a resident in
With regard to this demand, Mandalay Region Minister for Electricity and Industry Dr. Myint Kyu and responsible engineer Daw Aye Aye Min of Electricity Power Corporation hold a press conference at 9a.m on the same evening.
“We understand the problems of people. We are not neglecting them. While we are drawing plans to tackle them, we have to experience this protest,” said the minister.
“We have asked for generators from our regional headquarters to supply electricity in Mandalay city. Although we want to fully distribute electricity, we have no enough power supply. So we are just to ask the electricity from Heaven Spirit for shower,” said the engineer of EPC.
The responsible persons said at the press that electricity will be distributed in central Myanmar city with five- hour rotational basis by dividing three areas.