Sweden probes how its arms ended up in Myanmar-Burma

12 December 2012, 11:58 CET  credit eubusiness.(STOCKHOLM) – Sweden’s export control agency said Wednesday it was investigating how Swedish-made weapons ended up in the hands of Myanmar soldiers in breach of European Union sanctions.

Pictures taken by a Myanmar freelance photographer and published in the Swedish media this week show a Carl Gustaf M3 anti-tank rifle and ammunition left behind by Myanmar government soldiers and recovered by Kachin rebels after recent clashes.


The weapon’s serial number is clearly visible in one of the photographs.

The European Union has had a weapons embargo against Myanmar since 1996.

“There is an investigation underway. We have the photographs and the serial number,” a spokeswoman for the Swedish Agency for Non-Profileration and Export Controls (ISP), Diana Malm, told AFP.

Swedish defence group Saab, which manufactures the weapon, has said it did not sell the rifle to Myanmar and suggested its military must have obtained it from a third party.

Saab said it was cooperating with ISP to determine which country it had sold the weapon to, and to try to trace it. Continue reading “Sweden probes how its arms ended up in Myanmar-Burma”

BURMA: Four Myanmar gold mine protesters denied bail


Local people staging a peaceful protest in Yedarshay. (Photo-EMG)

Yedarshay Township Court rejected four Myanmar gold mine protesters’ request for bail for the fourth time yesterday.

The four defendants—Yint Tun, Nay Aung Htet, Naing Win, and Saw Naung—were charged with violating the 505 (b) and section (18) of the Penal Court.

They were arrested at Minhla Town for staging a rally from Yangon to Nay Pyi Taw recently. They led a group of mine worker during the rally.

For Lawyer San San Hla confirmed that the four were not granted bail as the section 505 (b) does not allow the court to grant bail for defendants.

Myint Than, the father of defendant Nay Aung, said: “The court did not granted them bail for the fourth time.”

“We will not try anymore,” he added. “We [friends and relatives] come from outside the Myohla Town; our efforts are a waste of time.”

Deputy Police Major Myint Wai from Yedarshay Township Police Station refused to comment on the case.



EU Burma to grant Generalised System of Preferences

11.12.2012 credit EMG

European Union agrees to grant Myanmar Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), the EU’s tariff preferences granted to the developing countries.

The system will take effect early next year for Myanmar exports to Europe, said a representative from the Ministry of Commerce (MOC) at the workshop of Cut-Manufacture-Produce last week.

Granting GSP to Myanmar is a decision made by the European Commission, but it is still pending approval by the European Parliament.

Myanmar will benefit from the GSP once it obtains the approval.

People who have registered as import and export entrepreneurs at the Ministry of Commerce can obtain the export licences and apply for GSP if the country, to which the products are exported allows GSP benefits.

The MOC has also discussed with EU about establishing an easy trade route for fisheries, forestry products and garments.

Since the new government took office in 2011, the European Union has adopted a constructive attitude towards Myanmar and has lifted its sanctions on trade and investment.

Last September, EU announced that it would grant all made-in-Myanmar products duty-free and quota-free access to the European except for arms and ammunitions.

THAILAND Govt ‘unaware’ of Thaksin broadcast-Critics in uproar over Channel 11 address

Critics in uproar over Channel 11 address

 11.12.2012 BANGKOK POST

The government is on the defence and says it was unaware that deposed prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra would be appearing during the state-run Channel 11 kickboxing broadcast on Sunday.

The claim follows severe criticism from Thaksin’s critics, who have threatened to initiate probes against the government and its Public Relations Department (PRD).

The opposition Democrat Party said it would ask the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate who gave the broadcast the go-ahead while the Green Politics group plans to take the matter to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).

Thaksin’s foes said they found it hard to believe the government had no prior knowledge about Thaksin showing up for Muay Thai Warriors, a Thai kick-boxing event on Sunday that was broadcast live on Channel 11.

The deposed prime minister presided over the tournament which was organised in Macau to commemorate His Majesty the King’s 85th birthday.

Thaksin delivered a speech lashing out at the 2006 coup-makers and defending himself against allegations against him after leading the audience to light candles and sing in honour of the King.

Democrat deputy spokesman Mallika Boonmeetrakul said yesterday those who authorised the broadcast should be held accountable for allowing Thaksin, a convicted fugitive on the run, to use the state-run media outlet for his benefit.

Democrat MP for Songkhla Wirat Kallayasiri said Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and PM’s Office Minister Sansanee Nakpong, who oversees the PRD, could not deny responsibility.

They are supposed to ask and know who will preside over a tournament marking an occasion as important as the King’s birthday, he said.

Mr Wirat called Thaksin’s’s appearance unethical and unlawful.

Suriyasai Katasila, coordinator of Green Politics group, called on PRD chief and Channel 11 director Thirapong Sodasri to resign for failing to properly administer the station.

He said the Green Politics group would file a petition with the NACC over the broadcast within the week.

Mr Suriyasai said Thaksin’s appearance did not happen by chance.

‘I think that a political group and Channel 11 executives have colluded,” he said. “This is definitely not a coincidence. It hurts and disgusts many Thais.”

Mr Thirapong distanced himself from the matter, saying Way Beyond 55 _ a private company _ had leased the airtime.

Ms Sansanee yesterday denied that she had anything to do with the broadcast and had no prior knowledge about Thaksin’s appearance.

She said she has asked Channel 11 executives to clarify the matter and hand over time-leasing contracts with the event organiser, the World Professional Muay Thai Federation (WPMF).

She noted that the federation had previously leased time from Channel 11 to broadcast the boxing tournament.

“I never interfere in the PRD’s affairs. I am in charge of policy,” she said.

Gen Chaisit Shinawatra, the WPMF’s president _ who is also Thaksin’s cousin _ said Thaksin was informed about the boxing event but he did not confirm if he would show up. However, he admitted that some preparations were in place for Thaksin if he did show.

“There is no hidden agenda. He is a former prime minister and we give him respect,” he said. “I paid Channel 11 for the airtime and I had the right to use it [as I saw fit],” he said.

Thaksin’s close aide Noppadon Pattama said the broadcast was being politicised by Thaksin’s political opponents. The appearance only showed Thaksin’s “loyalty”, he said.

He called the allegations against the former premier “painful”, adding that Thaksin deserves to defend himself.

Deputy Interior Minister Pracha Prasopdee said there was nothing wrong with Thaksin’s appearance and he lashed out at the Democrats for demanding an apology from Ms Yingluck.

“This is getting ridiculous,” he said, suggesting the appearance “wouldn’t have been a hot issue” if not for the Democrat Party.


Joint Statement by UNODC Country Manager and UNDP Country Director on the International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December, 2012”

UNODC Executive Director Meets Daw Aung San Suu KyiIn his first ever official visit to Southeast Asia, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov met today with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Member of Parliament, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Rule of Law and Tranquility, and Nobel laureate, at her residence in Nay Pyi Taw.

Mr. Fedotov congratulated Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on her election and recent

 appointment and pledged UNODC’s support and technical expertise in support of Myanmar’s reforms – particularly in anti-corruption and in establishing the rule of law, in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and in contributing to the development of peace by providing alternative development support in drug-conflict areas and by promoting dialogue between all parties in the conflict.After noting Myanmar’s efforts to resolve ethnic conflicts and create the peace and stability necessary to create sustainable, licit jobs and markets, and the country’s steps to strengthen rule of law institutions, Mr. Fedotov urged the international community to find the courage to act in support of Myanmar’s future.

“There is much to be done and, as Daw Suu noted, this difficult time of transition is not the time to be complacent,” said Mr. Fedotov. “We must have the courage to sustainably invest in Myanmar’s present for the sake of its people’s future, or else this future, now shining with so much hope, will not be realized.”

“Daw Suu and I agree that clean, effective, trustworthy governance institutions are critical to the sustainable development of peace and security in Myanmar,” said Mr. Fedotov. “Without an investment in rule of law institutions, the economic and social development which Myanmar citizens so desperately crave can not easily be achieved. A key step in this process is Myanmar ratifying the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).”

“Reform is real,” said Mr. Fedotov, “and the courage which enabled these reforms needs to be supported. More needs to be done – now – for these changes to be durable.”


Myanmar signed the UNCAC in 2005 but is the only country in ASEAN yet to ratify it. The government

has made its intention to ratify and implement the UNCAC clear. Myanmar is also in the process of

adopting a new Anti-Corruption Law

think they already passed the law in parliament. Think they are trying to clear it.

Twelve illegal migrants sent back to Bangladesh- remaining illegal immigrants are still in Myanmar.

Monday, 10 December 2012  credit EMG

Twelve Bangladeshis released from prison were repatriated to their country on December 2, according to the Immigration and Manpower Department of Maungdaw district.

They had been imprisoned at the Thandwe prison for violating the Myanmar Immigration law.

They were sent back to their country through No 1 harbour gate of Maungdaw border.

The 12 illegal immigrants were received by H Kunsul Hasan, the official rank of captain from No 42 Border Guard Battalion of Bangladesh.

The actual number of illegal immigrants released from Thandwe prison under the president’s amnesty order was 86 Bangladeshis.

Although Myanmar had asked Bangladesh to receive all of them back, Bangladesh took back only 12. 
The remaining illegal immigrants are still in Myanmar.

Burma Myanmar monks demonstrate against police crackdown on Letpadaungtuang protest camps

12.12.2012 source credit EMG

b5 37 01

Monks staging a peace rally in Yangon (Photo – EMG)

Buddhist monks in Myanmar on December 12 staged demonstration in major cities against the brutal crackdown of riot police on the sit-in protest at the China backed copper mine in central Myanmar.

In Yangon over 100 monks started a peace rally in Kyaythone Buddha Image at 2 pm. People guarded the monks along the way marching to the Sule Pagoda of the downtown.

b5 37 02

Monks staging a peace rally in Mandalay (Photo – EMG)

In Mandalay, the protest against the same issue was staged by 3,000 persons, including monks and people.

b5 37 05

Monks staging a peace rally in Monywa (Photo – EMG)

In Monywa township where the project area is located, the protest of monks started at Shwezigone Pagoda 12 noon on December 12.

b5 37 03

Monks staging a peace rally in Pakokku (Photo – EMG)

In Pakokku, over 1,000 Buddhist monks rallied along the main roads by reciting Metta Sutta to object the crackdown of police on copper mine project.

b5 37 04

Monks praying for the dead and injured person in Sittwe (Photo – EMG)

However, monks in Sittwe township of Rakhine State gathered in the compound of Atula Mara Zain Pyilone Chantha Pagoda for prayer to the dead and injured persons in the crackdown of riot police.

္ေအာင္ေဆာင္ရြက္ေပးျခင္းမရွိ၍ မုံရြာျမိဳ႔ရွိ သံဃာေတာ္မ်ား ယေန႔ ၁၂-၁၂-၁၂ ရက္ေန႔ ၁၂ နာရီအခ်ိန္ တြင္ ဆႏၵထုတ္ေဖာ္မွဳ စတင္ခဲ့ေၾကာင္းသိရသည္။

မုံရြာျမိဳ႕ရွိေက်ာင္းတုိက္ အသီးသီးမွ သံဃာေတာ္မ်ားသည္ မုံရြာ ျမိဳ႕ေရႊစ

စုေ၀း၍သံဃာေတာ္အပါး ၈၀၀ ခန္႕ႏွင္႕မုံရြာခရုိင္ဗကသေက်ာင္းသား မ်ား ျမိဳ႕ခံလူထုမ်ားႏွင္႕စုစုေပါငး္အင္အား ၁၀၀၀ ေက်ာ္ခန္႕သည္ ဘုရားၾကီးေျမာက္ဘက္ေစာင္းတန္း ဘူတာ လမ္းမွ တဆင္႕သာစည္လမ္း ေက်ာက္ကာလမ္းႏွင္႕ေရြစည္းခုံဘုရားၾကိးသုိ႕ျပန္လည္ၾကြ ခ်ီ ၍မိမိ တုိ႕ေက်ာင္းတုိက္အသိီးသီးသုိ႕ျပန္ၾကမည္ျဖစ္သည္။  Monywa times
monywa times 12.12.2012 monks protest copper mining project Letpadaung
monywa times 12.12.2012 monks protest copper mining project Letpadaung

Myanmar: ICRC ready to resume detention visits-Interview Head of ICRC operations

Myanmar: ICRC ready to resume detention visits


11-12-2012 Interview

Following the Myanmar government’s announcement that the ICRC is to resume prison visits, Alain Aeschlimann, head of ICRC operations for East and South East Asia and the Pacific, explains what this decision means.

In November, the Myanmar government issued a press release stating that the ICRC was to resume prison visits in the country. Is that correct?

Yes. The Myanmar authorities announced their decision at a bilateral meeting in Nay Pyi Taw. Naturally, we are very pleased about this, and we look forward to visiting prisons and other places of detention. During those visits, the ICRC will assess the welfare and living conditions of the inmates and work on various issues related to prison management, in particular the prison health system.

How are you going to put this decision into practice?

We intend to start detention visits as soon as possible, rather than sitting in offices discussing the subject. We agreed with the authorities that we would start with a pilot visit, during which we would follow the standard working methods and procedures that we use all over the world. We intend this pilot visit to enhance mutual understanding between the Myanmar government and the ICRC on the benefits of ICRC detention visits. After the pilot visit, we will plan how to expand our prison visits to the rest of the country. This planning operation will include determining the human and financial resources required for this important task.

Does that mean the ICRC is going to adapt its procedures to the situation in Myanmar?

No. The procedures for ICRC detention visits are the same everywhere. However, we always adapt our response and our services to the real needs in each context, so that we can work with the authorities and help them improve the treatment of detainees and conditions of detention.

Have you been working in Myanmar prisons over the last few months?

We did carry out a number of infrastructure projects during 2011 and 2012. This is not the same as conducting our normal visits, during which we would talk to inmates in private and assess the overall functioning of a place of detention. During this period, the ICRC has replaced the water and sewerage systems in seven places of detention, which represented a major improvement in conditions for the inmates.

And even while the ICRC was not undertaking conventional prison visits, we continued to facilitate visits by families to their relatives detained far from home.

What are you doing in the rest of the country, especially in Rakhine State?

The ICRC set up a permanent presence in Sittwe in June 2012, right after the outbreak of violence in the area. Together with the Myanmar Red Cross Society, we are providing basic but vital assistance to the sick, wounded and displaced, regardless of their origins. Both organizations are evacuating patients who cannot get to health facilities on their own and giving first aid to the injured. In addition, we are renovating sanitation facilities and supplying water in camps for displaced persons. Following the last outbreak of violence, in October, we are considering a significant increase in our involvement.

In other parts of the country, we are supporting four rehabilitation workshops for amputees run by the Myanmar Red Cross or the Ministry of Health. We are also waiting for authorization to carry out assessment missions in the border areas of Kahin and Kayin and would be ready to conduct medical activities in these conflict-affected areas.