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Inteltrends: Burma Report 22-FEB-2011

February 22, 2011 Comments off

Compiled by Inteltrends.
 

KIO, preparing for war, urges people to join militia
Mizzima, 22.Feb.2011
Lt-Gen. Gam Shawng Gunhtang, the chief of staff of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), told a gathering in Laiza ‘the KIO will launch offensives against the junta and all Kachin people need to participate in the revolution’, according to a KIA officer.

Burma’s report to U.N.’‘is fictional’
DVB, 22.Feb.2011
Hong Kong-based legal group says Universal Periodic Review is a collection of fabrications aimed at garnering respect from U.N.

Army seizes 30,000 acres of farmland
DVB, 22.Feb.2011
Farmers in central Burma have filed a complaint to the U.N.’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) after troops there confiscated more than 30,000 acres of arable land. The reasoning behind the seizure in May last year was that the land was needed to expand on an ordinance production factory, said Than Soe, one of the affected farmers. Now, however, those behind the confiscation are preparing the land to grow wet-season crops.

China Tops Thailand as Biggest Investor in Burma  (No link)
The Irrawaddy, 22.Feb.2011
[Full text:] – China, already Burma’s closest diplomatic ally, is now also the country’s largest foreign investor, a report said on Monday. The Burmese-language Weekly Eleven said that China poured more than US$3 billion into the country from November last year through January this year, bringing its cumulative investment since 1988 to $9.6 billion, compared to Thailand’s $9.56 billion. Thailand had been the largest investor for the past seven years, mostly in the energy sector. Hong Kong is the third biggest investor, with $5.9 billion.

Could Burma’s Next Uprising Begin on the Internet?
The Irrawaddy, 22.Feb.2011
“Since last year, we have trained over 120 laborers from the countryside on how to use the Internet,” said Ko Win, a middle-aged political activist in Rangoon. “I taught them how to use Gmail and Gtalk, though I myself have yet to learn how to use Facebook and Twitter.” Ko Win said that he hopes some of these students will become politically active and revolt against Burma’s military rulers.

Wa, Shan disclaim responsibility for shelling junta border base
S.H.A.N., 22.Feb.2011
Plan for the inauguration of the new sub-township in Mongton township, opposite Chiangmai’s Wiang Haeng district, today has been postponed following shelling by an unknown armed group on Friday night (18 February), according to sources from the border. The shelling between 21:00-22:00 local time had killed and injured an unspecified number of Burma Army soldiers. The United Wa State Army’s 171st Military Region, whose transport line between 772nd Brigade in Mongjawd in the east and 778th Brigade in Khailong in the west, has been threatened by the Burma Army base in the middle, has denied any responsibility outright. The other [regional force] the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’, whose main base Loi Taileng lies further west was also vehement in its denial. “It’s not our communication links that have been severed,” responded Lt-Gen Yawdserk, the SSA South leader, to SHAN’s query.

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Inteltrends: Burma Report 18-FEB-2011

February 18, 2011 Comments off

Compiled by Inteltrends.
 

Ethnic armies agree on ‘ring of resistance’
DVB, 18.Feb.2011
Twelve ethnic armed groups in Burma have agreed to an alliance they claim will see them collaborate in their struggle against the Burmese junta. Around 50 representatives from a dozen groups, including several ceasefire armies, were present at the four-day talks along the Thai-Burma border this week.
– – – RELATED – – –
Politics taking side seat to military in new alliance
S.H.A.N., 17.Feb.2011
By choosing a bona fide military man, General Mutu Saypo of the embattled Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the Karen National Union (KNU), to head the Central Executive Committee of the newest alliance, the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) yesterday, it seems abundantly clear the main concern of Burma’s non-Burman ethnic armed movements is the countrywide offensive expected to be launched by Naypyitaw, following the setting up of a “civilianized” government there.

Burmese troops offer to protect opium fields
Kachin, 17.Feb.2011
Burmese troops arrived recently in Sadung Region, in Waingmaw Township, which is controlled by the Burmese Army’s Border Guard Force (BGF). It is the largest opium cultivating area in Kachin State, locals said.

4 People Killed in 10 Days by Landmines in Burma
Narinjara, 17.Feb.2011
Four people were killed by landmines within the first ten days of February in Burma, reported a state-run newspaper on 16 February.

Leaked ‘Statement’ Adds to Dunkley Intrigue
The Irrawaddy, 17.Feb.2011
While Australian Ross Dunkley – who up until this week was the CEO and editor-in-chief of The Myanmar Times newspaper – sits somewhere inside Insein Prison, unverified reports and rumors about the reasons for his incarceration swirl around Rangoon.

Burma army ‘masquerading as civilians’
DVB, 16.Feb.2011
Civilians have been warned against travelling between three towns in eastern Burma by Karen rebels who claim Burmese troops are donning plain clothes to avoid being ambushed.

[End.]
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Burma army ‘masquerading as civilians’

February 16, 2011 Comments off

The following article is reprinted with permission from Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB), Oslo.
 

Burma army ‘masquerading as civilians’
©  DVB
By Naw Noreen
February 16, 2011

Civilians have been warned against travelling between three towns in eastern Burma by Karen rebels who claim Burmese troops are donning plain clothes to avoid being ambushed.

Major San Aung from the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), which is engaged in battle against the ruling Burmese junta, told DVB that troops were “blending themselves in among civilians and we worry that we will hit the real civilians by accident”.

It follows rumours that a Karen force opened fire on a convoy of plain-clothed men whom it suspected were Burmese army, killing three. This has not however been confirmed.

San Aung said that civilians were being warned not to travel on roads connecting the Karen state towns of Myawaddy, Kawkareit and Hpa-an, which lie close to the Thai border.

Fighitng began in the region in November last year and has fluctuated in intensity. The initial flux of refugees into Thailand has slowed, but stability along the Thai-Burma border remains fragile.

Brig-Gen Na Kham Mwe, leader of the DKBA, said that Burmese troops had also been using civilian vehicles to transport injured troops back to Kawkareit.

If true, the practice would be in breach of international law, said Aung Myo Min, director of the Thailand-based Human Rights Education Institute of Burma (HREIB).

“According to the Geneva Convention, soldiers are not to blend in with civilians to prevent unwanted collateral damage,” he said.

“The rules of engagement prohibit shooting at ambulances that are marked [as such]. Disguising as civilians while not using these markings is a violation of the basics of the Geneva Convention designed to protect civilians in conflict.”

Calls for the Burmese junta to be investigated by the U.N. for possible war crimes and crimes against humanity have increased in the past year. Much the emphasis has been placed on human rights violations in the volatile border regions, where the military government has fought decades-long conflict with multiple armed ethnic groups.

[End.]

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Inteltrends: Burma Report 15-FEB-2011

February 15, 2011 Comments off

Compiled by Inteltrends.
 

Junta’s appointment of Chief Minister not welcome in Kachin State
Kachin, 15.Feb.2011
The appointment of Lajawn Ngan Seng, a native Kachin and a Buddhist, who was approved as Chief Minister of Kachin State by Burma’s military-dominated parliament on February 11, is not being welcomed by the Kachin people, according the sources in Kachin State… An official at Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) headquarters told the Thailand based Kachin News Group on the condition of anonymity, “The selection of the Buddhist, Ngan Seng, for a post giving him authority over the majority Christian Kachin society shows the continued imposition of Buddhism on the Christian minority by the new government.”

Land grab for new regional command triggers mass exodus
S.H.A.N., 15.Feb.2011
Confiscation of land without compensation in Namzang and Kunhing townships, where the latest regional command “Middle East” is being set up since last month, has led to thousands of people fleeing to the Thai-Burma border, according to social workers on the border and sources inside. The military has already seized some 6 square miles of cultivated land north of Kholam, Namzang township alone, where farmers had been growing corn, peanuts and sesame. More than 20 rice paddy fields have also been impounded northwest of the town.

Allegations fly as Myanmar Times makes changes
DVB, 15.Feb.2011
Burma’s only newspaper with foreign investment has announced that a new editor-in-chief will take over the position held by Ross Dunkley, who was detained last week in Rangoon. It comes as rumours about the reasons for the Australian citizen’s arrest swirl, with alleged charges ranging from possession of marijuana to violation of immigration laws.

Natural gas discovered in Sagaing Division
Mizzima, 15.Feb.2011
A natural gas well with a production capacity of 2.1 million cubic feet per day has been found in Pale Township in Monywa District, Sagaing Division, the state-run newspaper The Mirror reported on Monday. Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise and its partner Sinopec International Exploration and Production Corporation (SIPC) found natural gas at Thingadon Test-well No. (1), which is located about 10 miles to the east of Kyaw Village in Pale Township in the Mahutaung Region.

“Today Shan State is already a separate country”
Mizzima, 14.Feb.2011
INTERVIEW with Lt-Gen Yawd Serk, the leader of the Shan State Army (SSA)-South. Mizzima’s Jai Wan Mai asks him about his split with drug trafficker Kun Sa, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA), how to stop the drug trade, if the SSA is preparing for war, the importance of ethnic independence and drug trafficking among cease-fire groups, etc.

Prices for Gold, U.S. Dollar Rise Following Announcement of New Cabinet
The Irrawaddy, 14.Feb.2011
The market price for gold and the U.S. dollar rose in Rangoon when a sudden flurry of buy orders were placed after the state-run media announced the list of cabinet ministers in the new government to be led by President-elect Thein Sein, according to market sources.

Global Campaign for Release of Burmese Freedom Fighters
Narinjara, 12.Feb.2011
Arakanese exiled in Bangladesh staged a demonstration on Friday in the southeastern sea resort of Cox’s Bazar on the Burmese border as part of a global campaign for the release of 34 freedom fighters being jailed in India.

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Inteltrends: Burma Report 11-FEB-2011

February 11, 2011 Comments off

Compiled by Inteltrends.
 

DKBA Changes Tactics, More Civilians at Risk
The Irrawaddy, 11.Feb.2011
According to sources on the border, the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) has changed its military tactics to target urban areas where government offices and buildings are located rather than fighting in the jungle. Maj San Aung of DKBA Brigade 5 said the brigade changed tactics because it has fewer fighters than the regime, so urban guerrilla warfare is a more effective way to hurt the junta. [Emphasis added.]

Burma Army deploys more tanks to Shan army’s territory
S.H.A.N., 10.Feb.2011
Burma Army is reinforcing more troops and tanks to military front line areas in Shan State South’s Mongnawng township, opposite Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’s controlled territory, according to local sources. On 9 February morning, about 6 tanks were sent from Taunggyi and arrived in Mongnawng, southeast of SSA’s First Brigade HQ. And over 20 tanks more are expected to arrive in the next few days, according to local sources. During the same day, 6 military trucks carrying about 200 men and supplies were reportedly heading to Mongnawng as well, an eye witness said. “All soldiers were armed and in full uniforms.”

Two killed in Myawaddy bomb blast
DVB, 10.Feb.2011
A man and a woman have died after several explosions occurred yesterday in the Burmese border town of Myawaddy, close to Thailand.

Myint Aung rejects defense minister job; reportedly under arrest
Mizzima, 10.Feb.2011
Lt-Gen Myint Aung, who was on a list to be appointed defense minister on Friday has reportedly declined the cabinet post and was placed under house arrest in Naypidaw on Thursday.

UWSA supports KIA’s military response to Burmese Army
Kachin, 09.Feb.2011
The United Wa State Army (UWSA), Burma’s strongest ethnic Wa armed group, supports the Kachin Independence Army’s (KIA) military response to an intrusion by the Burmese Army into its controlled area on Monday, Wa sources said. A Wa official said Wa leaders see the KIA’s attack on Burmese troops as an appropriate response and said the Wa Army will help the KIA if the large numbers of Burmese troops take offensive action against the Kachin armed group. [Emphasis added.]

[End.]
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Inteltrends: Burma Report 08-FEB-2011

February 8, 2011 Comments off

Compiled by Inteltrends.
 

Burma army retreats and says no order given to enter KIA territory
Kachin, 08.Feb.2011
Burmese troops have retreated after being attacked by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) last evening in Kachin State, northern Burma, sources from the front said. The Burmese troops are from four battalions under the Northern Regional Command – Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) No. 437, based in N’Mawk (Momauk) , LIB No. 319, based in Man Je (Mansi), the Mohnyin-based Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 15 and Myitkyina-based IB No. 21, according to local KIA sources.
– – – RELATED / BACKGROUND – – –
Fighting begins between Kachin and Burmese Armies in Northern Burma
Kachin, 07.Feb.2011
A seventeen year ceasefire ended this morning when fighting started between Kachin and Burmese troops in Kachin State, Northern Burma. KIA officials said soldiers of Battalion No. 27, led by Major Yaw Htung, opened fire when a truckload of Burmese troops from Infantry Battalion No. 15, based in Mohnyin, entered the KIA restricted area in Man Win in Bhamo (Manmaw) district, at 10:30 a.m. local time. A Burmese battalion commander, Lt-Col Yin Htwe, was killed and seven Burmese soldiers – including a military doctor – were injured in the fighting, according to KIA sources.

Succession Rumors Swirl in Naypyidaw
The Irrawaddy, 08.Feb.2011
Burmese junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe has reportedly lined up two former commanders from the Sino-Burmese border, Lt-Gen Min Aung Hlaing and Maj-Gen Soe Win, to succeed him and Vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye in the top two military posts if they decide to step down, military sources said. The information, which was leaked from the War Office on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s session of Burma’s new parliament, contradicts previous rumors that had Than Shwe and Maung Aye being replaced by the former adjutant general, Lt-Gen Myint Aung, and the former Bureau of Special Operations (BSO) 3 chief, Lt-Gen Ko Ko.

Police force in new command attacked
S.H.A.N., 08.Feb.2011
Police force in Kali sub-township of Shan State South’s Kunhing township, was attacked by an unknown gunman on Sunday night, wounding at least 2 on the police side, according to local reports.

Egypt demonstrations heavily censored in Burma
Mizzima, 08.Feb.2011
News relating to the people’s uprising in Egypt against Hosni Mubarak has been heavily censored in Burma’s state-run and private media.

[End.]
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Inteltrends: Burma Report 04-FEB-2011

February 4, 2011 Comments off

Compiled by Inteltrends.
 

Thein Sein chosen as regime’s new President
Mizzima, 04.Feb.2011
Burma’s new Parliament (Pyidaungsu Hluttaw) meeting in Napyidaw today elected the ruling junta’s Prime Minister Thein Sein to serve as national President. Thein Sein, a 65 year old retired general, is also head of the military backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). With 408 votes, Thein Sein was chosen with a wide margin over two other candidates put forward by the USDP, the SPDC’ First Secretary Thiha Thura Tin Aung Myint Oo and Dr. Sai Mauk Kham.

Burmese Fend for Themselves in Cairo
The Irrawaddy, 04.Feb.2010
Less than 100 Burmese citizens are known to be working and living in Cairo, but despite the ongoing riots and violence in the city, the Burmese embassy has made no effort to contact or repatriate its nationals, sources in Egypt said. There was no reply at the Burmese Embassy in Cairo when The Irrawaddy called for comment.

Militia recruitment begins in northeastern command
S.H.A.N., 04.Feb.2011
Village headmen in area under Northeastern Region Command in Shan State North have been instructed to recruit people in their area concerned and send them to its command’s HQ based in Lashio within a week, according to local sources… Elderly people in the villages shared their views on this new recruitment that the military junta is likely to rush to block the movements of rebel groups, especially the Shan State Army (SSA) ‘North’s First Brigade.

Burmese junta disrupts KIO’s drug eradication mission
Kachin, 01.Feb.2011
Obstacles are being placed to stop the drug eradication mission launched by the Kachin ethnic group, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) by the Burmese junta, said a KIO official. Burmese Army in Northern Regional Command (Ma-Pa-Kha) warned the KIO on January 30 to stop the drug eradication programme, begun on October 1, 2010 in areas controlled by former New Democratic Army-Kachin (NDA-K), the armed group which transformed into the Border Guard Force (BGF) under the junta’s control in 2009. “They (junta) made it clear that we are not to carry out the programme in BGF controlled areas or else they will take severe action,” Naw Bu the spokesman of KIO’s Central Drug Eradication Committee (DEC) told Thailand-based Kachin News Group.

[End.]
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