AP – WikiLeaks: Myanmar leader wanted football league
AFP – Suu Kyi urges aid to boost civil society in Europe message
AFP – Myanmar voter turnout 77%: state media
Asian Correspondent – Burmese junta abuses nation’s natural resources to hold on power
Asian Correspondent – Burma’s junta blames on the coming of second Panglong Conference
Press TV – Myanmar rebels warn of violence
The Malaysian Insider – Myanmar junta accuses Suu Kyi of ‘cheap stunt’
Malaysian Digest – Suu Kyi for More Active Role by India for Democracy in Myanmar
EarthTimes – Aung San Suu Kyi gives robes to monks, nuns in Buddhist rite
EarthTimes – Aung San Suu Kyi bio-pic wraps shooting in Thailand
MCOT – Myanmar reopens Three Pagodas border crossing at Kanchanaburi to celebrate Thai king’s birthday
Allvoices – Three Myanmar male killed in murder
AI – Case study: Nian Vung, a refugee caned in Malaysia after fleeing Myanmar
The Irrawaddy – Than Shwe’s Granddaughter Celebrates 4th Birthday with Rangoon Elite
The Irrawaddy – Suu Kyi to Sell Postcards of Own Paintings for Social Work
The Irrawaddy – Second Panglong Would Do ‘More Harm than Good’: State Media
Mizzima News – Suu Kyi dedicates monk-robe ceremony to political prisoners
Mizzima News – Suu Kyi urges independents to join NLD in social work
Mizzima News – US envoy meets parties that won seats
DVB News – Ukraine ‘ceases’ arms sales to Burma
DVB News – ‘Hacked’ corpses of Karen troops found
WikiLeaks: Myanmar leader wanted football league
Wed Dec 8, 6:14 am ET

BANGKOK (AP) – Myanmar established its own professional football league last year at the behest of its ruling general after his grandson suggested he buy England’s Manchester United, according to a U.S. Embassy cable released Wednesday by WikiLeaks.

Several Myanmar businessmen speculated that the ruling junta wanted to establish the Myanmar National Football League to distract people from the country’s political and economic problems, said the cable from the embassy in Yangon. Myanmar is one of the region’s poorest countries and has been under military rule since 1962.

The June 2009 cable said local tycoons were pressured into funding the venture, but were also given incentives such as construction contracts, new gem mines and import permits.

It said a “well-connected source” reported that Senior Gen. Than Shwe’s grandson wanted him to offer $1 billion for Manchester United, but that the junta chief “thought that sort of expenditure could look bad, so he opted to create for Burma a league of its own.” The U.S. government uses Myanmar’s old name, Burma.

Myanmar officials could not immediately be reached Wednesday for comment.

The cable said another top junta official informed several local tycoons that Than Shwe had chosen them to be the owners of the new football teams, with responsibility for all costs, including the construction of expensive new stadiums.

A source, whose name was deleted from the cable, explained that “When the Senior General asks someone to do something, you do it with no complaints,” but added that the incentives offered to several businessmen would more than offset their costs.

The cable said several of the embassy’s contacts had commented that the new league “may be a way for the regime to distract the people from ongoing political and economic problems, or to divert their attention from criticism of the upcoming 2010 elections.”

Myanmar held its first general elections in two decades on Nov. 7. Critics charged the polls were manipulated to ensure that a pro-military party won.

Suu Kyi urges aid to boost civil society in Europe message
Tue Dec 7, 2:24 pm ET

BRUSSELS (AFP) – Myanmar democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi called for foreign aid policies that strengthen civil society in a video message to a European development forum on Tuesday.

Suu Kyi, who was freed last month after spending most of the last 20 years under house arrest, made her plea at the closing ceremony of the two-day European Development Days, which gathered leaders of developing nations.

“If development policies could be linked as strongly to the strengthening of civil society as to the improvement of the economy, it would create a strong impetus towards good governance,” she said.

“Financial and intellectual investment in civil society would have rich returns that include accountability and transparency, not just in the economic sector but also in the political arena,” she said.

European development commissioner Andris Pielbags introduced Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize laureate, as the “most famous woman of this planet, or at least one of the bravest.”

“We who are trying to establish a democratic society in Burma do not have an unrealistic vision of an earthly paradise,” Suu Kyi said, standing in front of a white wall.

“We are simply trying to create a society in which the people will be allowed to work freely and responsibly towards their own betterment,” she said.

The leader of the National League for Democracy spent 15 of the last 21 years locked up until her release on November 13.

Myanmar voter turnout 77%: state media
Wed Dec 8, 5:31 am ET

YANGON (AFP) – Turnout in Myanmar’s first election in 20 years was about 77 percent, state media in the military-ruled country reported on Wednesday, despite muted activity seen at polling stations.

More than 22 million of Myanmar’s roughly 29 million eligible voters cast ballots for national candidates in the November 7 poll, according to the New Light of Myanmar, a mouthpiece for the junta.

The authorities have not yet announced a final overall tally of the results, but the main army-backed party has claimed an overwhelming victory with about 80 percent of available seats.

One quarter of the places in parliament were already reserved for the military, which together with its political proxy looks set to have a comfortable majority for passing laws and electing the president.

The poll was widely criticised by democracy activists and Western governments owing to allegations of fraud and intimidation as well as the exclusion of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) party was disbanded for boycotting the November 7 vote in response to rules that seemed designed to bar the Nobel Peace Prize winner from taking part.

The democracy icon has spent most of the past 20 years locked up but was freed from her latest seven-year stretch of confinement just days after the election.

Asian Correspondent – Burmese junta abuses nation’s natural resources to hold on power
Dec. 08 2010 – 02:16 pm
Zin Linn

Burma produces more than 90 percent of the world’s rubies and fine-quality jade. Most of Burma’s jade and gem mines are managed by the junta’s mines ministry and businessmen who are cronies so close to the generals. Gemstones are a lucrative source of income for Burma’s military regime, even though Western sanctions imposed on the resource-rich country.

Burma is one of the world’s biggest producers of dear stones. It took in a record 1.08 billion Euros ($1.44 billion) at a 13-day emporium last month as per a government official on Tuesday (7 December), Reuters reported.

The emporium in the capital, Naypyitaw, engrossed some 6,700 traders, 4,000 of them from overseas, with 9,157 lots of jade, 273 lots of gems and 237 lots of pearls sold in auctions, said the official, who requested anonymity, according to Reuters.

Concurrently, the Burma’s military junta has a dreadful human rights record. The junta has incessantly made lots of horrible bad-names for its incarceration of political dissenters, use of forced-labor, conscription of child soldiers, discrimination of ethnic minorities, use of rape as weapon, protect drug lords and other abuses of law.

International pressures tighten up on Burma’s gem business increased following the SPDC’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy citizens and monks since fuel-price hike in August and September 2007. Human Rights Watch was among civil society groups that called on governments to adopt strict sanctions on Burma’s gem trade and urged traders to stop buying gems from Burma.

The United States Congress passed a bill in October 2007 to expand sanctions barring the domestic sale of rubies, jade and other gems routed through Burma’s neighbours. Experts say this has had only a limited impact on the junta because most buyers are from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The 13-day emporium in the capital, Naypyitaw is the first time in five years that the regime has indicated how much money has been generated from the jade-and-gem auction which is usually held in the biggest city, Rangoon or Yangon.

Officials said trade fairs held in March and October generated 400 million and 700 million Euros respectively. Many analysts consider the regime is promoting its natural resources, mainly natural gas energy, to attract foreign awareness and pressure second look of trade restrictions. The incomes from such natural resources are helping the strong military to procure better sophisticated arms.

People accused of political involvements are arrested without warrants and put on trials without legal representation where verdicts are predestined, given lengthy punishments, and confined far from their families. Without new trials sentences often are extended and prisoners are held for indefinite periods of time. Inside prison they are maltreated – bad room, bad food, unhygienic water and left without sufficient health care.

The UN, International Labor Organization (ILO), Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International Asian Human Rights Commission and other international organizations have reported the abuses and violations of human rights violations by the junta for decades. The UN General Assembly has passed consecutive resolutions condemning the behavior of Burmese military regime, and several individual nations have adopted measures to pressure dictators to change, but the rulers of Burma have ignored all such guiding principle.

In 2009, a report on Nargis Cyclone victims drafted by the UN and ASEAN estimates that 700 million dollars will be needed over the next three years to guarantee reconstruction work in the areas hit by Nargis. The cyclone caused the death of about 140,000 people, but it is estimated that more than 2.4 million Burmese suffered damages of various kinds, and the devastating effects of the cyclone are still being felt.

However, the military regime transfers most of the money that flowed into its coffer by selling country’s natural resources into its defense budget and never spent a dollar in order to help the Nargis victims or the Giri victims. On October 22, Cyclone Giri swept through Burma’s central and western region, killing at least 150 people and affecting more than 400,000. In Burma’s far-off Rhakine State where most of Giri’s destruction occurred, very little humanitarian assistance has reached the isolated villages where tens of thousands have been left homeless and displaced by the storm.

Asian Correspondent – Burma’s junta blames on the coming of second Panglong Conference
Dec. 08 2010 – 10:55 pm
Zin Linn

On 8 December (Wednesday), the junta’s two mouthpiece newspapers blame dissident politicians who believe genuine national reconciliation and support Aung San Suu Kyi.

Burma’s military rulers dismissed plans by democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi who tries to revive the spirit of Panglong Agreement providing self-reliance to ethnic nationalities as a “cheap political stunt”.

The idea of Panglong Agreement is no longer suitable to current country’s situation and that stance even threatened peace and stability, the commentaries in the junta’s papers said. It even ridicules the persons who suggest to hold online conference using the Internet.

Mouthpiece newspapers did not criticize Suu Kyi by name, but they said an arrangement making a pact with armed ethnic groups without the military regime’s participation was unofficial. The papers even recommended that those behind the idea should not boycott the political development. It said that calls by Aung San Suu Kyi and other ethnic dissidents to restore the “Panglong spirit” would likely challenge the junta’s current seven-step political roadmap and “bring more harm than good.”

Father of pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi and person in charge of independence Aung San showed the way to the 1947Panglong Conference, finally getting a contract with ethnic leaders that put an end to colonial rule the next year. The agreement guaranteed ethnic nationalities the right to self-determination or autonomy within the framework of a federal union, but was made into pieces by Burma’s military junta that made coup d’état for power in 1962.

The commentary entitled “Don’t think of politics easily” published in the New Light of Myanmar(Burmese) said nation’s political circumstances was very responsive and fragile and if there was any challenge to follow a new deal, the whole nation will break into pieces completely.

“If someone truly wants to engage in politics with the aim of supporting the state’s interest, one should proceed plainly, officially and candidly within the structure of the constitution,” the article said.

Recently, Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party, which has been officially shutdown by the junta, have declared carrying out a “second Pinlong Agreement,” with the backing of some key ethnic groups that have disagreed with the regime’s 2008 constitution.

Several analysts state the military regime is not likely to make settlement with the major armed ethnic groups. The scenario looks like heading toward a series of offensives by the junta. The regime is trying to have full power over of the country for the first time in its five-decade rule.

Such a situation would make trouble the region, especially Thailand and China, Burma’s major investors and key political partners, which has to face spillover effect of refugees and illegal migrants. Besides, if war breaks out, border trade will be stopped.

The commentaries in the junta’s mouthpiece papers on 8 December were the first public criticism of Suu Kyi since her release from seven years and six months of house arrest on November 13.

The NLD, SNLD and some ethnic political parties turned down to play a part in 7-November election and are regarded as unlawful associations by the regime. The election was won by a landslide by junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party which declared seizing 882 out of 1154 seats in parliaments.

However, The Asian Network For Free Elections (ANFREL) released a statement dated November 9 calling attention to an important point from November 7- 8 ballot counting activities that require the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) and the Union Election Commission (UEC) to clarify immediately why the counting process was not made transparent to the public and the media beginning with the first advance voting period.

The USDP has been accused of tampering with advance ballots, and bribing or menacing voters.

Spokespersons for the National Democratic Force (NDF), the Democratic Party (Myanmar) and the All Mon Region Democracy Party (AMRDP) have alleged that the vote-counting was seriously out of order. Several said their members had witnessed ballot boxes full of advance votes being brought into polling stations for counting after the polls had closed.

As key ethnic armed organizations opposed the 2008 constitution and 7-November ballot results, the military junta’s final stage of its seven-step roadmap seems to face severe challenges in advance on the horizon.

Press TV – Myanmar rebels warn of violence
Wed Dec 8, 2010 5:35PM

SSA is one of the strongest rebel groups in the ethnically diverse Myanmar.

Myanmar’s most powerful rebel group Shan State Army (SSA) has warned that its battle will intensify if the government does not open dialogue with minority groups.

“If we unify every state and every group to fight against the Burmese government, we will have equal size of forces to the government’s forces. Even though the government may have more weapons and equipment, the government forces will not be able to beat us, because their soldiers don’t have destination, but we fight with our ideals,” Reuters quoted SSA Chairman Yawd Serk as saying.

Serk also warned that fighting could spread to border areas if government excluded minority groups from the decision-making process.

“If the new Burmese government doesn’t want to open up for the ethnic minority groups to take part to solve problems, but using their armed forces to oppress these groups, then the fighting will spread out to broader areas more than what it is now,” he said.

Myanmar’s junta is set to form a government from representatives that were elected during the November 7 polls.

The military barred election in parts of the country despite an autonomy agreement in place.

Rebel groups have trained thousands of soldiers and have threatened to fight against the government’s 400,000-strong army, which is the largest in South East Asia.

The Malaysian Insider – Myanmar junta accuses Suu Kyi of ‘cheap stunt’
December 08, 2010

YANGON, Dec 8 – Myanmar’s military rulers today dismissed plans by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to revive an agreement to give autonomy to ethnic groups as a “cheap political stunt” that threatened peace.

Commentaries carried by state newspapers did not refer to the recently released Suu Kyi by name, but they said a move to strike a deal with armed ethnic groups without the military’s involvement was unconstitutional and suggested those behind it should not have boycotted the political process.

A commentary entitled “Don’t rock the boat” carried in the New Light of Myanmar, one of the junta’s mouthpieces, said Myanmar’s political situation was “very sensitive and delicate” and if there was any attempt to pursue a new agreement “the whole boat will break into pieces and sink completely”.

“If one really wants to engage in politics in order to serve the state’s interest, one should act simply, legally and honestly within the framework of the constitution,” it said.

Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD) party – which has been formally disbanded by the junta – have pledged to work towards a “second Pinlong Agreement”, with the backing of ethnic groups that have long been in conflict with the regime.

The Pinlong Agreement was drafted in 1947 and backed by Suu Kyi’s late father, General Aung San, who was instrumental in securing the former Burma’s independence from Britain a year later.

It prescribed regional autonomy for three ethnic groups within a federal republic. The agreement was never put into effect.

The NLD and most ethnic political organisations refused to take part in a November 7 election and are regarded as “unlawful associations” by the government. The election was won by a landslide by an army-backed party.

Many analysts say the regime is unlikely to make peace with the armed ethnic groups and expect the army to launch a series of offensives to try to take full control of the country for the first time in its five-decade rule.

Such a scenario would trouble neighbours Thailand and China, Myanmar’s biggest investors and key political allies, which face a deluge of refugees and disruption to border trade if fighting breaks out.

The commentaries were the first public criticism of Suu Kyi since her release from seven years of house arrest on November 13.

“Without the participation of the military, which is leading today’s transition process, and political parties elected in the 2010 election, this would be nothing more than a cheap political stunt,” said another commentary in Burmese-language dailies.

08 December 2010 | Wednesday
Malaysian Digest – Suu Kyi for More Active Role by India for Democracy in Myanmar

NEW DELHI, 8 DECEMBER, 2010: Myanmar’s democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi wants India to play a “more active” role in  democratisation of her country and to “engage more” with her opposition party, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported Wednesday.

The 65-year-old Suu Kyi in an interview to PTI also said that India must live up to the reputation of being the biggest democracy in the world and not be dictated by its commercial interests in Myanmar.

Commenting on India’s growing economic-driven engagement with the military regime, the opposition leader said she was not against India’s engagement with Than Shwe’s ruling military regime but wanted India to play an active role in democratisation of Myanmar and have parleys with her National league for Democracy party.

“We would like India to play a more active role in trying to help in the process of democratisation of Burma and I would like the Indian government to engage more with us… who are working more with democracy,” the Nobel peace laureate said in the interview on phone from Yangon.

“India’s role in previous decades has been aided firmly by its reputation as the biggest democracy and it has taken pride in this, but, perhaps, more attention has turned towards the commercial side,” she said.

Suu Kyi said she expected the Indian government “to look beyond this commercial kind of view when it comes to Myanmar.”

Suu Kyi, who lived in India in the 1980s, was released in Yangon on November 13 after spending more than seven consecutive years in detention.

Once a strong supporter of Suu Kyi, India began engaging the Myanmar’s military ruler in the mid-1990s as security, energy and strategic needs appeared to override concerns over democracy and human rights.

India is eager to boost its investment in gas and hydro-electricity projects in Myanmar and is eyeing oil and gas fields and fears losing out to China in the race for strategic space in Asia. It also counted on the military junta’s help to counter ethnic separatists operating along their remote eastern common border.

In July this year, India welcomed Myanmar’s reclusive military leader General Than Shwe for a state visit and offered a grant of US$60 million to build a road connecting Myanmar with Mizoram and pledged 10 million dollars for the purchase of modern agricultural equipment.

US President Barack Obama, during his trip to New Delhi in November, criticised India for failing to condemn human rights abuses in Myanmar but India justified its policy as being governed by “strategic interest” and “political compulsion” in the region.

The daughter of Myanmar’s assassinated reforms hero General Aung San was released less than a week after the first election in 20 years, dismissed by many as a sham for cementing the military regime’s grip on power.

Suu Kyi was critical of the recent election process in Myanmar conducted by the military regime and stated that “she was disillusioned over the form of

“General Than shwe did not contest elections. So, he has not been elected as a leader.  Elections have much to be desired in Myanmar. The most optimistic people have said that the election process was deeply flawed and there are many many questions on the outcome of the elections”.

Underscoring the importance of the military junta holding a dialogue with her party, she said, “Once they start a dialogue, we can exchange views and
discuss ahead.”

Suu Kyi, who became the torch bearer of Myanmar’s democratic struggle in 1988 and has been forcefully confined to her estate several times since then, added that freedom had a different meaning to her.

“Being released and being free are two different things. We still have many political prisoners who have to be freed and there are too many restrictions on our people. All this has to change before saying that yes, we are free,” She said.

One of the tasks she has been fervently involved in since her release has been to expand the network of her party, declared illegal, and get on the dialogue table with other pro-freedom groups in Myanmar.

“First of all, we are trying to expand the network of our party and for that we need to also secure the freedom of numerous other political prisoners. We
will need to work with other pro-freedom groups too. What I see around me is a lot of suffering among the people of Myanmar,” she said outlining her action plan.

With Myanmar having no other pro-democratic face but Suu Kyi’s for over two decades, she indicated that the next in command would be someone from within the party but clearly ruled out that her son Kim Aris, 33, would follow her footsteps.

“I do not believe in family hierarchy in politics and I think I have many many heirs within the party and other democratic forces. My son is not involved in politics”, Suu Kyi said.

After depending largely on the radio to listen to the happenings around her for many years, Suu Kyi is now keen on using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to spread her word across.

During her detention, Suu Kyi had no telephone or Internet access and only limited contact with the outside world. “I have applied for a Internet link and
I am keen that this application is granted”, she said.

EarthTimes – Aung San Suu Kyi gives robes to monks, nuns in Buddhist rite
Posted : Wed, 08 Dec 2010 05:45:42 GMT

Yangon – Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi on Wednesday took part in public religious services for the first time since her release from house arrest.

Suu Kyi offered donations of robes to about 700 Buddhist monks and 200 nuns gathered in front of the headquarters of her National League for Democracy (NLD).

“We (usually) make this activity every Tuesday, but we moved it to Wednesday this week because Daw Suu (Aunt Suu) was not free on Tuesday because she was sending her son off to the airport,” an NLD member said.

Suu Kyi’s youngest son Kim Aris, 33, returned to Bangkok on Tuesday after a two-week visit to his mother in Yangon.

Aris, who lives in Britain, was allowed to visit his mother for the first time in a decade following her release from house arrest on November 13.

“I saw an old monk dropping tears from his eyes when she offered a robe to him. Then the monk gave back jasmine flowers to her,” a witness told German Press Agency dpa after Wednesday’s rite.

Suu Kyi, 65, enjoys wide support among the Myanmar population although she has been kept from public view under house arrest for 15 of the past 21 years.

Since her release, she has kept up a busy schedule of meetings with supporters, friends and family.

She spent Monday with Malaysian-born Hollywood actress Michelle Yeoh, who portraying her in a French film, Dans La Lumiere (Into the Light), due for release next year.

On Tuesday, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Joseph Yon met with political party and non-government organization leaders.

He was the first high-ranking US official to visit Myanmar since the country’s first elections in two decades on November 7, which the ruling junta won amid accusations of restricting the opposition’s participation.

Yon was scheduled to meet with junta’s officials in the administrative capital Naypyitaw later Wednesday and was due to meet Suu Kyi on Friday before departing.

EarthTimes – Aung San Suu Kyi bio-pic wraps shooting in Thailand
Posted : Wed, 08 Dec 2010 03:28:21 GMT

Bangkok – Location shooting for a biographical movie about democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi is wrapping up this week as French filmmakers use Thailand to stand in for Myanmar, news reports said Wednesday.

Malaysian-born actress Michelle Yeoh, who won worldwide fame starring in the James-Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies and the kung-fu movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, plays Suu Kyi and follows her more than two-decade-long struggle against Myanmar’s military regime.

While location shooting was underway in Thailand, Yeoh, 48, travelled to neighbouring Myanmar, also known as Burma, and visited Suu Kyi, 65, and members of her National League for Democracy (NLD), according to Radio Free Asia’s (RFA’s) Burmese service.

“Michelle Yeoh spent all day with Aung San Suu Kyi (on Monday) discussing the film … They met and had a light-hearted discussion, even joking around a bit,” the radio service quoted NLD spokesman Nyan Win as saying.

“She showed us some production stills on her camera from the movie in which she had dressed like Aung San Suu Kyi. The two of them look very much alike and have a similar build.”

The Bangkok Post said the meeting in Yangon was organized by Suu Kyi’s son Kim Aris, 33, who returned to Bangkok on Tuesday after a two-week visit with her mother.

Aris, who lives in Britain, was allowed to visit his mother for the first time in a decade following her release from house arrest on November 13.

Nobel laureate Suu Kyi has spent 15 of the past 21 years under house arrest at her lake-side residence in Yangon.

The new bio-pic, entitled Dans La Lumiere (Into the Light), is directed by French director Luc Besson and is scheduled to premiere in France next year.

Thai News Agency MCOT
Myanmar reopens Three Pagodas border crossing at Kanchanaburi to celebrate Thai king’s birthday

KANCHANABURI, Dec 8 – Myanmar has reopened the Three Pagodas border crossing, connecting Thailand’s Kanchanaburi and Myanmar’s Payathonzu in Kayin State to celebrate the Thai king’s 83rd birthday Dec 5 after a two-year closure.

Myanmar closed the border at Three Pagodas pass two years ago, citing internal security reasons despite Thailand’s negotiation for border reopening for trade.

The Myanmar authorities said they reopened the border to allow tourists to cross as the fighting between the Myanmar army, and the Democratic Buddhist Karen Army in the area has ended.

Sangkhlaburi district chief Chamrat Kangnoi said the reopening of the border is temporarily open for tourists daily from 6am to 6pm.

Small traders are prepared to reopen their shops at the border market on the Thai side.

The Kanchanaburi governor ordered local Thai authorities to be vigilant regarding contraband goods and illegal workers who may flow into Thailand.

Allvoices – Three Myanmar male killed in murder
Ayer Itam : Malaysia | Dec 07, 2010

Three male from Myanmar were found dead with multiple stab wounds in the body after involved in a fight in Block 1C, Bandar Baru Desa Delima in Ayer Itam, here today.

In the incident at about 9 am, the three victims in their 20s were seriously injured after being attacked with a knife cutting the meat and vegetables.

It is understood that the three victims lived there for over 10 years and is known as the Dragon, Tin Maung Htoo Lwin and Kyau.

Northeast District police chief Assistant Commissioner Gan Kong Meng said he rushed to the scene after receiving calls from residents at 9:25 am.

He said on arrival, police found three corpses in bloodied victims.

“The two victims were found lying dead in the kitchen while another is believed to be suffering from asthma was found in the bedroom with his hands holding the drugs for the disease.

“We believe the victim was transferred after the bodies were killed in addition also found effects of a struggle,” he told reporters when met at the scene today.

He said police found two results of the knife blade with blood stains near the victims.

He said a friend of the victim who was renting the house arrested by the police to assist investigations under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder.

Document – Case study: Nian Vung, a refugee caned in Malaysia after fleeing Myanmar
AI index: ASA 28/015/2010
Strictly embargoed until 0230 GMT on 6 December 2010
Case study: Nian Vung, a refugee caned in Malaysia after fleeing Myanmar

Nian Vung, 23, fled to Malaysia in 2008 to escape forced labour and other human rights violations by the military in Myanmar’s North West Chin state.

After secretly crossing into Malaysia by land, he went to register as a refugee at the mobile registration unit of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the southern city of Melaka.

Outside a church hosting the mobile registration unit, the authorities were waiting. Nian Vung was arrested and taken to an immigration detention centre.

Under Malaysian law, Nian Vung was considered to be an illegal immigrant, because Malaysia has not ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention and refugees have no legal status.

Nian Vung was tried for illegally entering Malaysia. Like most refugees from Chin state, however, he had no access to a passport before fleeing his country.

He went on trial at a court set up directly inside the detention centre. In violation of basic standards for fair trials, he was not given an interpreter who could translate the proceedings into a language he understood.

“They read out my sentence. I didn’t understand it. I knew that ‘satu’ means ‘one’…. I asked another inmate to interpret it. It was written on a card: 3 months, 1 stroke of the cane,” he recalled.

Nian Vung explained the reason: “They said it was because I was ‘kosong.’ The Malay word ‘kosong’ is slang for ‘undocumented’; literally, it means ‘blank’ or ‘bare’.

In September 2008, Nian Vung was taken to Johor Keluga Prison, where he was forced to strip nearly naked and stand in a queue of other prisoners. A doctor examined his chest and blood pressure, and certified him to be caned.

Caning is a brutal form of judicial corporal punishment that causes severe pain and suffering.

Specially-trained caning officers tear into victims’ bodies with a metre-long cane swung with both hands at high speed. The cane rips into the victim’s naked skin, pulps the fatty tissue below, and leaves scars that extend to muscle fibre. The pain is so severe that victims often lose consciousness.

Caning is imposed for more than 60 offenses in Malaysia. Since 2002, these offenses include immigration violations like illegal entry.

“There were four or five officers [in the caning room]. Behind the glass I could see about 10 men, very big, very strong. They were looking at us, giving us a stare. Some were holding their canes,” he said.

“The cane felt very hot. A very severe pain on my buttocks,” Nian Vung recalled. “Not just the physical pain, the mental pain is worse. I felt deserted, that even God had deserted me.”

Under international law, severe pain and suffering that is intentionally inflicted by an official as punishment constitutes torture. Since 2002, when Parliament made immigration violations such as illegal entry subject to caning, tens of thousands of refugees and migrant workers have been caned.

Many of the victims are refugees from Myanmar or migrant workers from countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines. Indonesian migrant workers are caned and deported en masse. In Indonesia, Amnesty International met migrant workers deported by boat from Malaysia; 63 of the men had been caned.

Nian Vung was eventually recognized by UNHCR after his release from prison. Malaysia decided not to deport him back to Myanmar.

Torture is also against international law. But Nian Vung has no guarantee that the Malaysian authorities won’t subject him to torture by caning once again. Several refugees told Amnesty International they had been caned not just once, but repeatedly.

“I’m afraid I’ll be arrested again even with my UNHCR card,” said Nian Vung. “If I get arrested, I’ll get the cane again. So I live in fear.”

The Irrawaddy – Than Shwe’s Granddaughter Celebrates 4th Birthday with Rangoon Elite
By WAI MOE Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Burmese junta supremo Than Shwe’s daughter Thandar Shwe held a birthday party for her 4 year-old daughter on Saturday in Rangoon which was attended by several leading figures from the city’s high society and military elite. Than Shwe and his wife Kyaing Kyaing did not attend.

Thandar Shwe achieved notoriety in 2006 when a video clip of her wedding to Maj. Zaw Phyo Win surfaced on the Internet showing an ostentatious wedding reception and lavish wedding gifts of diamonds and other jewels.

Sources in Naypyidaw said that the birthday party for Than Shwe’s granddaughter was held at Zayar Thiri Baikman, an exclusive hall in the former capital, and was paid for by US-sanctioned crony Khin Shwe who is an elected representative of the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party for the Upper House.

“Kyel Phyo Thandar Shwe’s fourth birthday party was a pretty big event with about 160 relatives and associates attending,” said one source who was at the party. “Family members of other top generals also made appearances.”

He said that Khin Shwe, who runs Zay Gabar Co Ltd, provided the catering. Notable military cronies such as Tay Za of the Htoo Group of Companies, Zaw Zaw of the Max Myanmar Group of Companies, and Nay Win Tun of Ruby Dragon Jade & Gems Co Ltd presented gifts to the child.

Burma observers have frequently said that the ruling generals’ family celebrations are more than just society events, but are avenues for them to accept large bribes in the form of “gifts.”

Thandar Shwe is Than Shwe’s youngest daughter. She was married in 2006 at the same venue, the Zayar Thiri Baikman. At the time, the BBC reported: “The newly-weds were reportedly given [US] $50 million-worth of wedding gifts, including cars, jewels and houses.”

Currently, Thandar Shwe and her husband are attachés at the Burmese consulate in Kunming, the capital of China’s southwest province of Yunnan.

Although no more than an infant, Kyel Phyo Thandar Shwe is said to be the Burmese dictator’s second favorite grandchild after Nay Shwe Thway Aung ,also known as Phoe La Pyae Thwe, who many say is being groomed to succeed his grandfather.

Kyel Phyo Thandar Shwe has been nicknamed “Moe Paw Ka Kyel Ka Lay,” meaning “small star from the sky,” according to sources close to military officials in Naypyidaw.

Close connections to the ruling generals are necessary for doing business in Burma. A relationship with Than Shwe’s family is seen as the most important stepping stone toward concessions and favorable contracts for lackeys and cronies.

The Irrawaddy – Suu Kyi to Sell Postcards of Own Paintings for Social Work
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

RANGOON — Burma’s pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi will sell postcards of seven paintings she drew while in detention to raise funds for social welfare activities, according to party sources.

Phyu Phyu Thin, an HIV/AIDS activist and youth-in-charge of Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD), told The Irrawaddy that the pro-democracy leader will sell postcards of her art work to raise funds for the party’s social activities including helping HIV/AIDS patients who are under the care of the NLD.

“Aunty [Suu Kyi] will make seven paintings postcards for sale. They are what she drew on her computer while under house arrest. The postcards will be sold widely both inside and outside the country,” said Phyu Phyu Thin.

She said some of the paintings are about the weather and named “Spring, Summer and Winter.” Suu Kyi will sign the postcards as well, she said.

The NLD’s care centers for HIV/AIDS patients, located in Rangoon’s South and North Dagon townships, which host more than 100 patients on a regular basis, reportedly needs a million kyat [US $1,143] per month in operating expenses.

An NLD youth member at the South Dagon center said the center struggles to meet its expenses each month.

“Those who have received medicine or felt better go home and others arrive so we have more than 100 patients regularly. Many of them come from other parts of the country,” she said.

Since 2002, the NLD has reportedly been able to take care of more than 3,000 HIV/AIDS patients.

An NLD Social Welfare Committee member said the party cannot accept financial assistance from international donors because its a political organization and has to depend on self-funding in order to take care of HIV/AIDS patients. He said, however, that the antiretroviral drug (ARV) for patients has been provided free of charge by INGOs and local NGOs while the NLD helps them with counseling and sheltering.

After her release from house arrest, Suu Kyi visited HIV/AIDS patients living in the NLD’s care center in South Dagotn Township. Local authorities tried to evict the patients from the center following her visit.

A number of celebrities also visited the center later were banned by the authorities from future performances on State-own TVs and radios.

The Irrawaddy – Second Panglong Would Do ‘More Harm than Good’: State Media
By HTET AUNG Wednesday, December 8, 2010

In the first official response to recent calls for talks to address Burma’s ethnic divisions—billed as a “second Panglong Conference”—the country’s state-run media warned that such moves risk putting the opposition on a collision course with the ruling regime.

In an article published on Wednesday, the Burmese-language Myanmar Ahlin newspaper said that calls by pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and others to revive the “Panglong spirit” would go against the junta’s current seven-step political road map and “bring more harm than good.”

Suu Kyi’s father, independence leader Aung San, led the original Panglong Conference in 1947, eventually reaching an agreement with Burma’s ethnic leaders that set the stage for an end to colonial rule the following year.

The agreement guaranteed ethnic nationalities the right to self-determination within the framework of a federal union, but was scrapped by Burma’s military when it seized power in 1962.

“Parliament is the best place to strengthen the already gained national unity,” the article said. “If they [the opposition] choose to follow this idealistic way while ignoring the best way [parliament], they should be aware that that it will bring more harm than good to the country.”

The article also warned that “without the Tatmadaw [armed forces], a conference like the Panglong Conference will be manipulated by organizations that oppose the government and its seven-step political road map, even if it is carried out with good will.”

However, ethnic leaders denied that they are trying to exclude the Burmese military from the process.

“The Panglong spirit is about achieving national unity, and this can’t be done without the Tatmadaw,” said Pu Cin Sian Thang, a spokesman for the United Nationalities Alliance, a group consisting of ethnic representatives who were elected in 1990 but never allowed to claim their seats in parliament.

“From the time we first started discussing the idea of holding a second Panglong Conference, we have never said that we wanted to exclude the military from the process. The article is merely trying to distort our message,” said Pu Cin Sian Thang, speaking to The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

Although the article doesn’t refer to Suu Kyi by name, she is widely seen as a key figure in efforts to revive talks aimed at resolving Burma’s ethnic divisions.

Late last month, she agreed to work together with ethnic leaders after they gave her a copy of the Kale Declaration, a document signed by 109 democratically elected politicians, including both Burmans and ethnic minorities, that calls for what Suu Kyi described as “an ethnic conference in conformity with the 21st century.”

Analysts say that the Burmese regime often uses the state-run media to warn its opponents against following a course of action it disapproves of. They said the article probably signaled that a crackdown is likely if opposition leaders continue to pursue their plans to hold a Panglong-type meeting.

Suu Kyi dedicates monk-robe ceremony to political prisoners
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 23:56
Khaing Suu

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Aung San Suu Kyi donated robes and provisions to a total of 885 monks, novices and nuns in front of her National League for Democracy party’s head office in Rangoon today, dedicating the merit-making to the release of all political prisoners.

She offered 330 pairs of robes, 100 towels, umbrellas, footwear and funds to 766 monks and novices and 119 nuns between 8 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. this morning in a ceremony that went smoothly, without hiccups or harassment from authorities.

“Besides local monks, some from other provinces and Rangoon suburbs Thanlyin and Hlaingtharya, and Pegu, also came … to receive the offerings. Some even discharged themselves from hospital to receive the donations from Daw Suu,” NLD Rangoon Division branch Women’s Organisation chief Dr. May Win Myint told Mizzima, referring to Suu Kyi with the Burmese honorific.

Alms have been offered to about 150 monks every Tuesday, Suu Kyi’s birthday, but today other monks came long distances to receive the offerings. Along with Suu Kyi, NLD leaders Tin Oo, Win Tin and Than Tun made similar donations to the monks and nuns.

“The monks came in order. Auntie [Suu Kyi] paid respect … by putting her hands at her chest and offered the donations to them. The monks gave her their blessings and best wishes for her health and well-being. Apart from NLD members, many people were present to witness the offerings,” NLD central women’s organisation member Aye Aye Mar said.

At 10:45 a.m., three of the monks – from Rangoon, Natmauk and Kyaunggon in Irrawaddy Division – preached sermons to the laity present and were also offered alms. The meritorious deeds today were coupled with other Buddhist rites.
About 800 people attended the ceremonies and were served lunch by NLD members.

The NLD has for the past week invited monks to receive the offerings yesterday by placing notices at its head office and near Shwedagon Pagoda. Suu Kyi however had to postpone the date until this morning as she was seeing off her visiting son Kim Aris, aka Htein Lin, at Rangoon International Airport yesterday.

The party started its “Every Tuesday alms offering” dedicated to the release of all political prisoners on June 26, 2007, in Suu Kyi’s fourth year of a total seven years in her most recent term under house arrest.

On 22 September that year, Agence France-Presse, The Guardian and Mizzima reported that around 2,000 monks marched through Rangoon and 10,000 through Mandalay, with other demonstrations in five townships across Burma. Those moving through the former capital chanted Buddha’s writings on loving kindness and marched through a military barricade on University Avenue in front of Suu Kyi’s home. Although still under house arrest, Suu Kyi made a brief appearance outside the gate of her home to accept the blessings of the Buddhist monks, despite the heavy presence of security personnel in riot gear with shields.

The Assistance Association to Political Prisoners – Burma said 2,203 political prisoners remained languishing in notoriously miserable prisons across Burma.

Suu Kyi urges independents to join NLD in social work
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 19:45
Khaing Suu

New Delhi (Mizzima) – National League for Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday urged three independent candidates who failed to win seats in national elections on November 7 to collaborate with the NLD in its social work.

She met with Kaung Myint Htut, a candidate for the People’s Assembly seat of South Okkalapa Township in Rangoon; Dr. Saw Naing, who stood for the States and Divisions Assembly seat of South Okkalapa; and Zaw Min Thein, who contested the States and Divisions Assembly seat of Lemyethna Township in Irrawaddy Division; at NLD headquarters in Bahan Township, on Tuesday morning

“Aung San Suu Kyi said what the NLD would do for national reconciliation and urged the ethnic minorities to participate in establishing a political network and the individual candidates to co-operate in doing social work,” NLD spokesman Ohn Kyaing said.

He added that dentist Saw Naing was interested in providing the poor with medical treatment free of charge in co-operation with the NLD and that Kaung Myint Htut said he was ready to work with the party.

Suu Kyi on November 19 had met the other 11 of 14 independent candidates who stood for elections last month, during which they agreed to co-operate with the NLD to help people living with HIV.

She also met two leaders of an ethnic Palaung political party, Ohn Kyaing said.

However, the National Democratic Force (NDF), a faction that broke away from the NLD to contest the elections, was having less success gaining access to the pro-democracy leader.

NDF leader Khin Maung Swe said his party had tried twice in vain to meet Suu Kyi.
“We have sent two request letters to meet Aung San Suu Kyi but the NLD said it had not received the letters. I think there are some people who intervened to prevent us from meeting her,” he said.

But Thein Oo, responsible for arranging Aung San Suu Kyi’s agenda, said: “We did not receive their letters. If we’d received them, they would have a chance to meet [her] … I don’t know where the letters were sent.”

Suu Kyi also received Polish journalists at party headquarters yesterday and diplomats from Denmark and Thailand at her University Avenue home last night.

While meeting Thailand’s ambassador to Burma, Apirath Vienravi, Suu Kyi received a friendly call from Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Ohn Kyaing said.

US envoy meets parties that won seats
Wednesday, 08 December 2010 00:06
Ko Wild

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – US deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs Joseph Yun met political parties that won seats in November 7 elections, in Rangoon yesterday.

The senior US diplomat was starting a four-day visit to Burma that will take in the first high-level talks between the two countries since the junta released pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s from house arrest.

Yun was to meet junta Foreign Minister Nyan Win and he will meet Suu Kyi on Friday.

He met leaders from at least eight political parties for more than an hour yesterday, Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein, secretariat of Democratic Party (Myanmar), who attended the meeting, told Mizzima.

“He wanted to know about the current political situation and asked us for our opinions on the Kalay Myo Declaration, which will be implemented by Daw Suu,” she said. Though withholding further details, she said Yun would discuss these same issues when he met Suu Kyi.

The Zomi National Congress (ZNC), an erstwhile ethnic minority political party that competed in the 1990 elections, at its 22nd founding day ceremony in late October in Kalay Myo (Town), Sagaing Division issued its “Kalay [Myo] Declaration” calling for the convening of a second Panglong conference to restore national reconciliation and establish an inclusive federal union.

More than 50 people including National League for Democracy vice-chairman Tin Oo and central executive committee member Win Tin, Committee Representing the People’s Parliament (CRPP) secretary Aye Tha Aung, Mon leaders Nai Ngwe Thein and Naing Tun Thein, prominent politicians Thakhin Thein Maung, Ohn Maung and Nyunt Thein, and student leaders, signed the declaration. Some political parties that contested in the election on November 7 also expressed their support for the goal of the declaration.

Suu Kyi was under house arrest when the declaration was made but she has joined calls for such a conference and the ZNC has handed over its implementation to her and her party, the NLD.

The Panglong Agreement was reached between the Burmese government under Aung San, Suu Kyi’s father, and the Shan, Kachin and Chin peoples on February 12, 1947. Signatories accepted in principle “Full autonomy in internal administration for the Frontier Areas” and envisioned the creation of a Kachin State by the Constituent Assembly (the first post-independence parliament). The deal came a year after the First Panglong Conference was held in the town of the same name in the south of Shan State.

Since 1948, the ethnic minorities have had their rights and self-determination in traditional areas of control denied, leading many of the groups to armed struggle against the Burmese military junta. Clashes in many areas have raged for more than 60 years.

Khin Maung Swe, leader of the National Democratic Force (NDF), an offshoot of Suu Kyi’s NLD, also attended the meeting with Yun, telling Agence France-Presse that: “He asked about the election and we explained to him about the advanced voting.”

The elections, which handed a landslide majority to the military and its political proxy, the Union Solidarity and Development Party, was marred by extensive allegations of vote rigging, ballot stuffing, pressure on all military, police and other civil servants to vote for the USDP, coercion to vote in advance, and dozens of other methods used by the party and the junta’s Union Election Commission (UEC) to ensure the party’s success.

Also meeting the US envoy were, party sources said, Khin Maung Gyi, joint general secretary of the National Unity Party, which won the second highest number of seats in the recent general election, NDF chairman Dr. Than Nyein, Karen People’s Party vice-chairman Dr. Simon Thar, and Rakhine Nationalities Development Party general secretary Hla Saw. Leaders from the Chin Progressive Party, Chin National Party, All Mon Region Democracy Party also attended.

The junta’s USDP party failed to show up despite also being invited.

Some delegates expressed the wish to Yun for the United States to lift its sanctions agains the junta, Cho Cho Kyaw Nyein said. “They … gave the reason that it [sanctions] affected only the people, not the targeted [ruling military junta] generals,” she said.

US assistant secretary of state Dr. Kurt Campbell also visited Burma in May this year under a new two-pronged policy adopted by the administration of President Barack Obama that added limited engagement to the sanctions. He also met junta leaders, election commission officials, USDP party leaders and Suu Kyi.

Campbell, at a press conference in Bangkok ahead of his trip, called for the junta to release all political prisoners and for inclusion of all political actors in Burma’s general election.

Nevertheless, the junta failed to listen, and without the NLD participating, the USDP won 882 seats out of total 1,154 candidates fielded in national elections November 7.

An opposition leader said that Yun would meet the NLD and CRPP on Friday, the final day of his visit.

The US diplomat had left for Naypyidaw to meet junta officials including Nyan Win, Reuters reported from Rangoon yesterday afternoon.

According to a diplomatic source, the senior diplomat would likely face questions over information leaked worldwide from cables sent out of the US embassy in Rangoon and posted on the WikiLeaks whistle-blower website, in a bid to control damage to the US-Burma relationship.

The Guardian of London reported late on Monday that the cable said Nay Shwe Thway Aung, grandson of junta leader Than Shwe, had in 2008 pressured his grandfather to buy English Premier League football club Manchester United. The message said Than Shwe had considered the bid at the price tag of US$1 billion but had thought such a plan untenable amid international condemnation of the junta’s slowness to act following the devastation of Cyclone Nargis.

The junta leader instead ordered crony businessmen to form a professional football league in Burma. The cable detailed how the regime was thought to be using football to distract its population from continuing political and economic problems, the report said.

“The mooted price tag for Manchester United was exactly the same as the aid bill to cover the most urgent food, agriculture and housing for the three years after the cyclone, as estimated by international agencies including the UN,” The Guardian reported, quoting the cable. “The proposal revealed that the regime, which is increasingly exploiting its oil and gas reserves, felt confident of finding such a sum.”

DVB News – Ukraine ‘ceases’ arms sales to Burma
Published: 8 December 2010

A leaked 2009 cable from the US embassy in Kiev says that Washington successfully petitioned the Ukrainian government to stop selling arms to the Burmese military.

“[The Ukraine] had received the US demarche and was no longer exporting weapons to Burma”, said the 11 September 2009 cable, released on Monday by the whistleblower website, Wikileaks.

The Ukrainians have had a solid arms dealing history with Burma, described in the cable as “deliberate Ukrainian government actions that are contrary to US philosophy on exports”, despite the US being the world’s largest arms dealer.

Ukrainian weapons assistance for the pariah Southeast Asian state includes help for the Myanmar Integrated Air Defence System (MIADS), which has also been aided by Chinese and Russian input.

According to Amnesty International, Kiev signed a $US500 million contract in 2004 to supply some 1000 BTR-3U light-armoured personnel carriers (APC) to Burma, the same year that state-owned UkrSpetsExport set up office in a Rangoon hotel.

The APCs compliment an alleged 2003 deal for a consignment of Soviet T-72 battle tanks, which the cable claims the Ukrainians have stopped selling to southern Sudan “despite US satellite photos to the contrary.”

Benjamin Zawacki, Burma researcher at Amnesty International, told DVB that “there is no way of verifying whether or not the Ukrainians have indeed ceased selling arms…and we certainly have anecdotal evidence that that this hasn’t happened”.

Amnesty also alleges that Ukraine assisted in the construction of a small arms-producing factory in Burma, while the cable expresses concern about Ukrainian “specialty steel” exports to Iran for missile technology.

It reports however that Kiev told the US in 2008 that “Ukrainian exports to Burma were ‘as good as zero’ in part due to previous US warnings, and Ukraine had not signed any new contracts with Burma in the last two and a half years. Current exports were just spare parts. The remaining business was so small that the company involved had recalled all of its workers from Burma”.

Amnesty indicates however that Ukraine is, along with China, Russia, Serbia and Singapore, one of the top five arms dealers to the Burmese junta. But this is by no means an exclusive group, as countries such as Israel, Pakistan and India all add to the list.

“We certainly welcome it if it were true but I greet it with some scepticism,” Zawacki says. “But I would love to see some sort of official statement to that effect.”

DVB News – ‘Hacked’ corpses of Karen troops found
Published: 8 December 2010

The grisly remains of six Karen ceasefire troops who were captured by the Burmese army last week have been found close to the Thai border.

The discovery was made at 9am today close to Hpalu village in Karen state, once home to an outpost belonging to the KNU/KNLA Peace Council ceasefire group which came under attack on 30 November.

“They were found in a bush at the end of a maize plantation,” said Dr Timothy Laklem, head of foreign relations in the Peace Council. “They were not shot dead; they were brutally hacked to death with machetes. Peace Council badges remain with them.”

Burmese army officials had reportedly told the group that the six had been detained and were under interrogation. Suspicions that the men had been killed surfaced when the army failed to return them.

The ceasefire deal struck between the Peace Council and the ruling junta in 2007 now appears to be in jeopardy. Laklem said that the group will discuss “how to take action on the commander who gave the order [to kill the men]”.

The Peace Council is known to be close to a breakaway faction of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) which is involved in heavy fighting against the Burmese army around Karen state’s Myawaddy township.

Clashes broke out yesterday morning and continued today after Burmese troops surrounded a DKBA unit near to Hpalu. “It has been going on the whole day and it is not finished yet,” said the DKBA’s Major Kyaw Thet, who is leading the Hpalu attacks. “They suffered losses. Nothing happened on our side.”

He added that four truckloads of around 100 Burmese troops had arrived yesterday and were reinforcing already substantial Burmese army units. The Burmese junta is looking to rout the DKBA and its newly-allied Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), whom it has fought a decades-long conflict against.

Karen refugees continue to move back and forth across the border with Thailand as hopes for calm in Burma’s volatile eastern state appear distant.


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Editor - The Myanmar Gazette || First Amendment – Religion and Expression - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.