News Update GoldenTriangle-Mekong killing

12 November 2011
Sunai chulaphongsathorn, Chairman of House Foreign Relations Committee, says he has invited Mr Guan Mu, Chinese ambassador, to lunch on 16 November at The Emerald Hotel. On the next day, he will submit the killing of 13 Chinese crewmen as a topic to be discussed in the ongoing session of the House of Representatives. (Matichon)

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14 November 2011
Naw Kham, “Golden Triangle Godfather”, has denied involvement in the killing of 13 Chinese crewmen on 5 October, according to a source who is close to him living in Thailand. He also claims to have no information on who the culprits are. Naw Kham however refuses to elaborate on his statements. The report came on Saturday, 12 November. (SHAN)

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Yawdserk offers assistance for peace in the Triangle

A month after the brutal killing of 13 Chinese crewmen took place in the Golden Triangle, where Burma, Laos and Thailand meet, Lt-Gen Yawdserk, leader of the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’, that operates in Shan State East, has offered to lend a hand in the long term solution of the maritime security issue on the Mekong.

 

Lt-Gen Yawdserk (Photo: S.H.A.N.)

“Security on the Mekong rests upon law and order in the three Triangle countries,” he told SHAN during a telephone interview. “If one looks carefully, it is not hard to find that the Burmese side is the weakest link due to instability since Independence (in 1948).”

 

The failure of successive Burmese rulers to honor the 1947 Panglong Agreement which guarantees self rule, democracy and human rights and their refusal to back off from the military solution, he said, had left no choice for the people of Shan State but to engage in an armed struggle. “What happened in the Golden Triangle (on 5 October) was the consequence of the resulting anarchy,” he explained.

President Thein Sein, the head of the new government, had called for peace talks with the armed movement on 18 August 2011. So far it has achieved success with three of the groups: United Wa State Army (6 September), National Democratic Alliance Army (7 September) and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (3 November).

It has however yet to meet the leaders of the SSA, whose troops are active in Mongyawng township, north of the Golden Triangle.

Arrangements are still in process before the two sides meet, according to inside sources.

“If both sides can reach a mutually acceptable political agreement, it will pave the way for end to anarchy in the area,” he predicted.

China has bought 5 ships that will be refitted for the patrolling of the Mekong, according to Bangkok Post, 10 November issue, quoting a Chinese Ship-owners Association. Beijing however has said the plan needs to be discussed with its downstream neighbors first.

shanland news

Thailand: Gen Yutthasak Sasripprapha, defense minister Mekong Killing in neighboring country and guilty party is Godfather Naw Kham.

Gen Yutthasak Sasripprapha, defense minister, says the 5 October killings in the Golden Triangle took place in the waters of the neighboring country and the guilty party is Godfather Naw Kham. There are some Thai soldiers who are also involved that has nothing to do with the Phamuang Task Force. Officials already have sufficient evidence to take action: photographs and electronic recording of communications between parties concerned. (SHAN)

China and several neighbouring countries will provide armed escorts to ships

วันพุธ ที่ 09 พ.ย. 2554    China and several neighbouring countries will provide armed escorts to ships navigating the Mekong River after 13 Chinese sailors were killed on key waterway last month
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Xinhua News Agency says the Mekong will be re-opened for shipping beginning 25 November. Earlier, Thailand’s ASTV, quoting CCTV, said the reopening would be on 10 December. (SHAN)

“13 corpses” Thai officers likely to be acquitted in Mekong Killing

MONDAY, 07 NOVEMBER 2011 16:15 S.H.A.N.

Like it or not, 9 Thai military officers charged by the police on 28 October killing 13 Chinese crewmen and women on 5 October in the Golden Triangle where Burma, Laos and Thailand meet, are almost certain to be acquitted by the end of the trial, according to Thai military and business sources.

The said 9 officers, 2 commissioned and 7 non-commissioned, are being detained under two charges: premeditated murder of 13 people and removal of their remains.

The officers claim that they had been fired upon by a gunman from one of two Chinese cargo ships near Chiang Saen, a Thai port on the Mekong on 5 October. They had returned the fire and, after boarding the ships, found one dead gunman and 920,000 speed pills.

The Phamueng Force, presided over by their commander Maj Gen Prakarn Cholayuth, held a press conference on the next day, 6 October.

Things seemed to be going well until the following day, when 11 (some say 12) corpses were seen floating down to near Chiang Saen, many of them handcuffed, tied behind their backs, blindfolded and shot to death.

China that had recalled its more than 100 boats plying the river expressed satisfaction with the turnout of the case. The Mekong however remains close to Chinese ships.

“To charge us with the murder is one thing,” said an angry Thai border a security officer. “But to prove that we did it is another. One think piece, had our people been the real culprits, the corpses should have been found further downstream two days after the shooting took place. For another, why should we let it float near Chiang Saen to implicate ourselves?”

Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha also appears to believe in his own men when he told Matichon Online on 3 November 2011 that the officers had not “surrendered themselves” to the police but only gone to meet them “to demonstrate their innocence.”

The corpses must have drifted down from upstream, part of the river belonging to Burma and Laos, the source said. “Of course, we are not accusing Burma or Laos. But it’s an open secret that Naw Kham is operating in that area.”

Naw Kham, a former Burma Army-backed militia leader, has been active in the Golden Triangle collecting protection money from businesses, both legal and illegal, along the river.

A businessman in Chiang Saen agreed. “Everyone of us would gladly pay to know why Naw Kham can operate there when bigger and more well-armed groups like MTA (Mong Tai Army of the late Khun Sa), UWSA (United Wa State Army) and SSA (Shan State Army) are being kept out,” he said.

Sources believe Naw Kham is more or less responsible for the killing. SHAN so far is unable to reach him. One local source (usually reliable) say he is taking refuge in an area under the command of the Burma Armys Mongphyak-based Military Operations Command #18. “Unless he says something,” he worried, “I’m afraid he will be getting all the blame for the killing.”

Meanwhile, other sources are pointing fingers at Zhao Wei, owner of the Kings Romans Casino in Laos, opposite Burma’s Golden Triangle Paradise Resort Hotel in Tachilek, as one of the likely suspects. Kings Romans is incidentally located at 1967 battlefield between Khun Sa and the Kuomintang.

Thailand: Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha denies 9 military officers had “surrendered” to the police connected with killing 13 Chinese on Mekong

3.november 2011    Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, army commander, denies 9 military officers had “surrendered” to the police on 28 October in connection with the killing of 13 Chinese crewmen on the Mekong. He said they were just meeting the police investigation team to demonstrate their innocence. (Khom Chad Leuk)