Saturday, January 10, 2009

Senior SPDC officers and Western Command Commander visit Buthidaung

Buthidaung, Arakan State - (KaladanPress): Six high level SPDC officers and the Western Command Commander Major General Thanug Aye arrived today morning at about 10:45 am in a helicopter in Buthidaung Township, said a military source.

The names of six senior officers were not mentioned but people hoped that the transport minister General Tint Shew and other officers had come to inspect the situation of the border area and business opportunities where the junta wants to develop marine products in the area, said a school teacher in Buthidaung.

On the eve of the officers' arrival to Buthidaung, curfew was imposed in the town at night and there was tight security, with armed personnel coming from Maungdaw, he added.

Nobody has a clue to why the officers have come.

READ MORE---> Senior SPDC officers and Western Command Commander visit Buthidaung...

Villagers forced to supply free timber and firewood to Burmese army in Ye Township

Arka (MonNews)- Residents in southern Ye Township are being forced to provide free timber and firewood to Infantry Battalion (IB) No. 31, say local sources.

On December 10th, residents of Toe Thet Ywa Thit who own chain saws were each ordered to provide one ton of timber to IB No. 31. The timber is to be used for the construction of a new Dhamma hall at the battalion headquarters.

Toe Thet Ywa Thit is only home to four chain saws. According to a local source, the four men must travel far from the village to find timber and pay for all their expenses, including fuel.

“The machine owners are still cutting wood according to the order from the battalion,” the source told IMNA in early January. “It is difficult to get wood near the village because of deforestation. And the Burmese army doesn’t give any money to the owners. The owners need to fill gasoline for cutting the trees.”

A few kilometers to the south, villagers in Yin-Ye are being required to provide 30 large piles of firewood for a brick factory operated by IB No. 31. Each pile must be carefully organized into square stacks 6 feet long, 6 feet wide and 3 feet tall.

“The battalion gave the order on January 2nd,” said a source in the area. “The total is about 30 piles. Our villagers are still working to provide for that amount.”

Last year, every four households in Khaw –za (Khaw Zar) were required to provide similar, though larger, stacks of wood for the brick factory. The piles had to be 6 feet long, 6 feet wide and 6 feet tall. Most vehicle owners were subsequently ordered to transport the wood to the factory. No one was paid for their labor, though some vehicle owners were reimbursed for their fuel costs.

READ MORE---> Villagers forced to supply free timber and firewood to Burmese army in Ye Township...

Thailand’s Burma policies may be more proactive on human rights

CMM Reporters

During a recent series of interviews, Thailand’s Prime Minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, has given indications that he would be speaking to representatives of other ASEAN nations regarding the importance in the international community of due regard to human rights.

He considers that unless a believable stance worldwide is taken by ASEAN member countries, the group may have problems achieving its stated objectives, and that both the West and Asia should unite to bring change to Burma.

Meanwhile, it has been reported that a group of armed Burmese nationals who were arrested in Mae Sot, on the Thai-Burmese border, are claiming that they were working under the orders of the military Junta.

Sources in the area have confirmed that, in the past, prominent opposition leaders in exile have been targeted for assassination by the Junta, as have leaders of ethnic groups and human rights organisations working in the border area.

Opposition sources have also stated that armed undercover agents have been deployed by the Burmese government in assassination attempts.

Vol. VIII No. 1 - Tuesday
January 6 - January 12, 2009

READ MORE---> Thailand’s Burma policies may be more proactive on human rights...

Meikhtila local official sells off communal land

(DVB)–Residents of Meikhtila's Yadanar Maung ward have complained that a local Peace and Development Council official has been selling unregistered land near a local creek for his own profit.

A local from Meikhtila in Mandalay division told DVB that Yadanar Maung ward PDC member Win Myint was selling off land on the banks of Sithu creek to locals for between two and three hundred thousand kyat for each plot.

He is also reportedly renting out plots of land for 3000 kyat a month.

"He is selling the land around the creek, including one stretch owned by the local community hall [for] around 300,000 kyat," the Meikhtila resident said.

"There have been a few problems because he sold some stretches of land to new buyers when others had already paid him for the land, and he refused to give them their money back," he said.

"A lot of people want to report what Win Myint has been doing to senior government officials but they don't know how to go about it."

The resident said Win Myint had recently evicted a couple who were living in a house on the land, which they had bought a long time before from previous WPDC officials.

"The house owner agreed but he couldn't move out immediately as he was having trouble finding a new place," the local resident said.

"Win Myint was disappointed and sent his relatives to ransack the house," he said.

"His brother-in-law went into the house and broke the owner's possessions while his mother and his sisters beat up the man's wife. She was in hospital for about a month."

The resident said Win Myint's sisters were also running a gambling business in the ward, which had led to an increase in crime in the neighbourhood, particularly burglaries.

Meikhtila police station and Yadanar Maung WPDC were unavailable for comment

. Reporting by Naw Say Phaw

READ MORE---> Meikhtila local official sells off communal land...

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