MEKONG: situation has become worse since Naw Kham’s arrest


A top drug fighter from Naypyitaw recently challenged Beijing’s claim that “frequent occurrence of drug-related crimes on the Mekong River has been effectively contained,” as reported by Xinhua last May.

“In fact, the situation has become worse since Naw Kham’s arrest (on 24 April 2012),” said the official who asked his identity be withheld. “And Naw Kham was but a small link in the drug chain.”

Naw Kham, known as the Mekong godfather, who since 2006 was the boss over the cross-border drug trade in the Golden Triangle area, was executed in Kunming by lethal injection on 1 March. He was convicted on several charges including the killing of 13 Chinese sailors, on the Mekong on 5 October 2011.


A veteran businessman in eastern Shan State supported the drug warrior’s statement. “The only people who are taking a back seat nowadays are those without independent networks of their own,” he explained. “But to those who have their own networks Naw Kham, who was collecting protection on the fruits of their labor, was a great nuisance. The news of his capture was therefore most welcomed by these people.”

The drug fighter also scoffed at the much-vaunted joint 4-nation patrol on the Mekong. “Cooperation? Yes,” he told SHAN. “But joint operation? No.”

A ceremony to mark the opening of the office to control what Xinhua reported as “joint anti-drugs operations” on the Mekong was held in Xixuangbanna, Yunnan Province on 19 April. Myanmar and Thai police have arrested more than 1,100 suspects and seized more than 2.97 tons of drugs announced China’s Ministry of Public Security on 29 May. Continue reading “MEKONG: situation has become worse since Naw Kham’s arrest”

Mekong River anti-drug campaign starts April

china news 28.march 2013

China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand announced Thursday that they will conduct a two-month joint campaign against drug-related crimes on the Mekong River starting April 20.

Representatives from the four nations attended a launch event held in Beijing on Thursday.

With the upcoming joint campaign, law enforcers will aim to crack a series of major cases of trans-region drug-related crimes, break major narcotics production chains and transport networks, and hunt drug-related fugitives.

The four nations also intend to improve mutual trust and boost trans-region capabilities in fighting drug-related crimes.

Though the overall security situation on the Mekong River has improved, narcotics crimes continue to rage there partly due to the regions lagging in terms of economic and social development, according to the representatives.

Strengthening the fight against drugs on the river is necessary for ensuring the safety of this major trading route in Southeast Asia, they said.

FRANCE 24 Report : South East Asian countries unhappy with Chinese investment-video

Published on 13 Mar 2013

In counties like Burma and Laos residents are upset with the influx of investment and workers from neighbouring China. In northern Laos, Chinese stores offer cheaper goods and have forced out many local businesses. Political scientist Kraisak Choonhavan says Beijing used to take care not to upset its neighbours, but today freewheeling capitalist investment has taken over.

Work on Laos-Myanmar friendship bridge to start soon

Laos and Myanmar will begin building a friendship bridge across the Mekong River next month, providing the first road link between the two neighbouring countries with the aim of boosting trade, investment and travel in the region.

Minister of Public Works and Transport Mr Sommad Pholsena led a Lao delegation to Myanmar for talks on January 8-10 to discuss the bridge construction project with Myanmar officials.

It was decided that a ground-breaking ceremony for the bridge will take place next month, linking the Xiengkok river port in Luang Namtha province in Laos with Kainglap in Myanmar.

The bridge will be 660 metres in length and 9 metres wide excluding sidewalks, but it is unclear how much the project will cost or when it will be completed as the bidding process is yet to be concluded.

During bilateral talks which took place on January 9, the two sides discussed and agreed upon various technical aspects of the bridge.

The Lao border with Myanmar is defined by the Mekong River, which flows from southern China to the Mekong Delta in southern Vietnam.

The two countries established diplomatic ties in July, 1955, but the volume of trade between Laos and Myanmar is small compared to that with Laos’ other neighbours.

The leaders of the two countries agreed that the bridge will help to boost the volume of commodity flows between Laos and Myanmar and facilitate business and tourism activities in the area.

In fact, the leaders of Laos and Myanmar have been planning a friendship bridge for a decade or so , to allow their peoples to trade and make visits. Continue reading “Work on Laos-Myanmar friendship bridge to start soon”

MAP Foundation-MAP STUDY “REGULAR RIGHTS – Do Documents Improve Migrants’ Lives?” ENGLISH/THAI/BURMESE

MAP FOUNDATION Questionnaires of Regular Rights -burmese


ALERT: Document on Procedure after 14 December 2012 Migrant Workers from Myanmar

Document on
Procedure after 14 December 2012 (Migrant Workers from Myanmar)

1) – Employers collect migrant workers profiles into a list
    – Employers draft request to import migrant workers including demand letter and employment contract

2) – Employers submit migrant worker profile list
    – Employers submit request to import migrant workers including demand letter and employment contract

3) Department of Employment submit the migrant worker profile list, request to import migrant workers including demand letter and employment contract to the government of Myanmar (through 2 centers located in Thailand) for primary screening

4) 2 Myanmar centers in Thailand submit migrant worker profile list including demand letter and employment contract to Myanmar (3 employment centers in Kawthaung, Tachilek and Myawaddy) in order to issue temporary passport and send migrant workers back to work legally according to the MoU.

5) 3 employment centers (in Kawthaung, Tachilek and Myawaddy) inform department of employment name lists of migrant workers who will be issued temporary passport and sent back to work according to MoU

6) – Department of Employment informs employers to confirm the employment and to pick up migrant workers at 3 employment centers
    – Department of Employment informs immigration office for visa stamp and allow migrant workers to come into the country
    – Department of Employment confirm the employment with 3 employment centers

7) – Employers pick up migrant workers at 3 employment centers (in Kawthaung, Tachilek and Myawaddy)
    – Employers take migrant workers into the country through immigration

8) Immigration Officer stamp visa which allow migrant workers to stay in the country

9) Migrant workers submit request for work permit at work permit issuance center along the border

10) Work permit issuance center along the border issue work permit for migrant workers

Andy Hall, who has been working with/for migrants, says since “this process assumes that all irregular migrant workers are in Myanmar / Laos for legal re-entry process, a mass deportation apparently still seems likely — 

China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand began a new joint patrol on the Mekong River in the Golden Triangle Region

KUNMING, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) — China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand on Sunday began a new joint patrol on the Mekong River in the Golden Triangle Region as trade and transportation returns to normal after an attack last year in which 13 Chinese sailors were killed on the river.

The fleet of four patrol ships set sail at 7:30 a.m. from Guanlei Port, which is located in Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture in southwest China’s Yunnan Province.

The five-day police patrol, the seventh since last December, will include a two-day inspection of the Laos-managed sections of the river, said Wang Bing, an officer in the Yunnan Provincial Border Control Corps.

The two-day patrol will send police to check ships, passengers and goods for drugs, weapons and stowaways travelling on the river, according to Wang.

“The joint patrols have been hailed by countries in the region for ensuring transportation safety and deterring criminals on the Mekong River,” the official said, adding, “Thanks to the patrols, navigation on the river has returned to the level before last year’s deadly attack.”

The four-country joint patrol started in October 2011 to tackle safety concerns raised after a gang hijacked two cargo ships and killed 13 Chinese sailors on board in the waters of Thailand on Oct. 5, 2011.

Statistics showed only 10 Chinese ships were navigating the river when the first such patrol was launched. That number had increased to 59 when the fifth patrol was conducted in August.

Thailand ALERT:MIGRANT WORKERS (ILLEGAL FOREIGN WORKERS)nationality verification process is due to expire on Dec. 14

About 200,000 illegal Burmese migrant workers are among some 400,000 illegal foreign workers who are due to be deported back to their respected countries in December this year, according to a report by the Bangkok Post, a Thailand-based newspaper.There are eight verification centers in Thailand: in Bangkok, Samut Sakorn, Samut Prakan, Surat Thani, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Tak and Ranong.

Some 400,000 illegal migrant workers face the prospect of being deported after failing to undergo the nationality verification process, which expires on Dec 14.

Some 1.3 million out of 1.7 million migrant workers in the country have completed nationality verification, Labour Minister Padermchai Sasomsap said yesterday.

The remaining 400,000 migrant workers will be deported to their home countries if they fail to complete the verification process by the deadline, the minister said.

The ministry found that about 99,000 Lao migrant workers applying for nationality verification had not been approved to enter the process by Lao authorities.

“National verification requires cooperation from all sides, including Thai employers and origin countries,” Mr Padermchai said.

“Unless cooperation is given, the Labour Ministry will have to deport migrant workers who have not yet entered the process.” Continue reading “Thailand ALERT:MIGRANT WORKERS (ILLEGAL FOREIGN WORKERS)nationality verification process is due to expire on Dec. 14”