Saturday, October 24, 2009

Press Conference by Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar (UN)

The human rights situation in Myanmar remained alarming, with a pattern of widespread and systematic violations that prevailing impunity allowed to continue, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar said today.
During a Headquarters press conference today, Tomás Ojea Quintana described the findings and recommendations on a range of critical human rights issues in Myanmar. Mandated by the Human Rights Council, Special Rapporteurs are independent, but work under the auspices of the United Nations.
Mr. Quintana noted that his report to the Assembly’s Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) addressed the continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and other prisoners of conscience, fair trial and detention conditions, issues of free assembly and association, as well as situation of civilians affected by armed conflict in some areas of the country. (See Press Release GA/SHC/3957.) Read more

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

KNU adopts new doctrine on front line - Mizzima

Bangkok (Mizzima) - When two explosions rocked the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army compound in the middle of the night, destroying a bulldozer and excavator, the Karen National Liberation Army’s Special Warfare Branch headed for the hills.
It was a rude post-midnight awakening for the DKBA soldiers of Brigade 999, but they quickly assembled a pursuit team.
And they struck out from Ta-ah Tah village, straight up into unforgiving terrain of the Dawna Mountain Range.
They had been hit by a KNLA strike deep behind the lines, a tactic favoured by Karen National Union Vice President David Thackrabaw, and they knew there would be hell to pay for destruction of such expensive machinery. Read More

DKBA Takes Aim at Brigade 5 - Irrawaddy

About 2,000 Karen villagers have been forced to relocate by the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) since May, as the pro-junta ethnic army takes up position to move into northern Karen State where the Karen National Union’s (KNU) Brigade 5 is based, according to Karen sources. Read More

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beijing & Burma no longer the best of friends - Bangkok Post

Burma is increasingly disillusioned with China as an ally and may be looking to the West to balance its dependence on Beijing. There are increasing signs there is a growing rift between the two neighbours, especially over problems along the border. The junta has snubbed China publicly on several occasions recently, while Beijing has also shown signs of their dissatisfaction with their ally. More

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC) chair clarifies group's position

Tuesday, 06 October 2009

New Delhi (Mizzima) – The Chairman of the Ethnic Nationalities Council in exile, a coalition of ethnic political organisations, on Monday made it abundantly clear that the Council’s position does not support the Burmese military junta’s 2010 elections plans.

The clarification by Khu Hte Bu Phe, Chairman of the ENC, came days after a letter sent in the name of the Council to US Senator James Webb, a strong advocate of engagement with the Burmese regime, before hosting of a Congressional hearing on Burma.

The letter, signed by the Secretary General of the ENC and dated September 28, explained to the US Senator of ENC’s position on the Burmese junta’s 2010 election plans saying, in principle the ethnics in Burma do not accept the 2008 constitution and the forthcoming 2010 elections. Read more

KNU Response to ENC Statement

The Karen National Union (KNU) made the statement in reaction to a letter sent by the umbrella Ethnic Nationalities Council (ENC) to US senator Jim Webb, suggesting that elections might herald change in Burma.

Oct 6, 2009 (DVB)–Burma’s elections next year are not a sign of progress towards democratization, according to a prominent ethnic opposition group who said that repression will continue beyond 2010. More

Monday, October 5, 2009

KNU Leaders on Assassination List

October 5, 2009

Leaders of KNU and Burmese democracy activists based in Mae Sot, Thailand are on the alert because of news that the DKBA is plotting to assassinate high ranking officials among them.

According to one of the KNU Leaders, who requested anonymity, since early September they received information that SPDC has assigned the DKBA to assassinate leaders of KNU and Pro Democracy groups.

The source said that DKBA sent 12 of it's agents to work together with Thai businessmen in planning the assassinations. The plan includes assassinating 4 top KNU leaders, 4 Federation of Trade Unions - Burma (FTUB) leaders and other Pro Democracy Leaders based in Thailand.

The source also mentioned that KNU Leaders and brigade & battalion commanders from other areas traveling back and forth to Thai border are also put on alert.

The above is a translation from a news article in Karen which appeared on Kwekalu