Thursday, October 28, 2010

After Burma Poll, Conflict Looms - The Diplomat

While the election may provide the basis for the creation of regional parliaments that could allow some degree of ethnic representation, observers say that most of the ethnically-affiliated parties have close links to the regime and will do little to advance minority interests.

MAE LA CAMP, THAILAND—Aside from the checkpoints, it could be any village in Thailand. The bamboo houses, bisected by dirt lanes and picturesque streams, are well-tended and strung with brightly-coloured laundry; in dirt-floored cafes, men in Burmese longyi (sarongs) chat over shots of sugary tea and chew betel nut, while nearby stalls stock the latest Thai cosmetics and DVDs. Children, their cheeks daubed with swirls of traditional thanaka face paint, chant lessons in Burmese and English in well-equipped bamboo classrooms. Read more

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Burma's Nuclear Adventure—The Real Threat - Irrawaddy

 For several years reports have been emerging from Burma about its nuclear ambitions, supported by claims of varying provenance about equipment purchases and overt attempts to buy nuclear technology from Russia.

Now a brave military officer, who defected from the secretive state, has provided photographs of specialized machine shops building chemical equipment that is almost certainly designed for processing uranium chemical compounds to enrich uranium.

The only reason for Burma to be taking this secretive path is to embark on a weapons program. There is no other logical fit for the pieces.

The good news is that the technology is far too complex for Burma to master easily. The photos and information provided by the defector show a dysfunctional program. It has made terrible technology choices and the quality of the workmanship we can observe is primitive.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

FBR REPORT: DKBA Continue to Forcibly Recruit Villagers while the Karen Peace Force Joins the Burma Army Border Guard Force

DKBA - The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army broke away from the Karen National Union in 1995 and have been fighting alongside the Burma Army ever since.

BGF - The SPDC has issued an ultimatum to various cease-fire and proxy groups stating that they have to join a "Border Guard Force." This involves the groups giving up operational control to Burma Army officers under threat of dissolution.

Karen Peace Force - The Karen Peace Force was created 1997 after a battalion split off from the Karen National Liberation Army (the military arm of the Karen National Union).
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FBR Training Report: Graduation of New Ranger Teams in Southern Karen State

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your love and support. We have just finished training seven Karen relief teams in Southern Karen State, including three completely new teams. These teams successfully completed Leadership and Relief Team Training in Karen State. They are now on their way to relief missions to help people displaced by the attacks of the Burma Army. The teams received training in different subject areas, which will improve their ability to help their people and to put a light on the situation in Burma. (See the list of Subject Areas below.)
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