Friday, July 31, 2009

26 Dissidents Detained in Rangoon: AAPP

The Irrawaddy News

The Burmese military authorities arrested 26 pro-democracy activists on Thursday night in a move to pre-empt any public outrage concerning the postponement of a verdict against Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, said a Burmese human rights group.

Tate Naing, secretary of the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP), a Burmese human rights group based on the Thai-Burmese border, told The Irrawaddy on Friday that Burmese authorities had arrested 26 dissidents since Thursday evening.

“We have learned that 28 people were arrested and that two activists among them were later released,” he said. “But the other 26 remain under arrest. Most of them are former political prisoners.”

The following morning (Friday), the Burmese judiciary postponed the verdict on Suu Kyi to August 11.

Later that day, Suu Kyi’s lawyer, Nyan Win, said at a press conference at the headquarters of the National League for Democracy (NLD) that the Rangoon Northern District Court had said that it decided to postpone the verdict because it is “reviewing the law.”

Among the 28 who were allegedly arrested during the overnight operation are elected representatives from the 1990 elections, including Tha Aung from Myothit Township and Nyunt Hlaing from Aunglan Township, as well as a well-known woman activist, Naw Ohn Hla.

Tate Naing said Naw Ohn Hla and Nyunt Hlaing were later released. However, he added that the number of arrests could rise as tensions increase among Suu Kyi’s supporters and security forces around Insein Prison, where the opposition leader has been detained since May 14.

“These arbitrary arrests show that the junta is scared of public outrage over the unjust trial of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi,” Tate Naing said.

The detention of the 26 dissidents adds to the more than 2,100 political prisoners already being held in Burma’s prisons. According to AAPP and other human rights groups, the number of political prisoners in Burma has doubled in the last two years.

The arrests came following calls from the international community for the junta to release Suu Kyi and all other political prisoners in Burma.

READ MORE---> 26 Dissidents Detained in Rangoon: AAPP...

Verdict on Hold

The Irrawaddy News

Did astrologers advise Snr-Gen Than Shwe to postpone the verdict in the trial of opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi? Or was it a ploy by Than Shwe, a former psychological warfare officer, to buy more time? Or did Chinese leaders tell the Burmese to postpone the ruling?

Whatever the reason, the delay is part of the twists and turns of politics in military-ruled Burma and more drama is likely to follow.

The delay should not be taken as a sign of weakness on the part of the stubborn military regime, however. It is likely that the regime is just buying time to deflect both domestic and international pressure.

The postponement of the verdict shows that the regime leaders who are prepared to impose a prison sentence on Suu Kyi wish to avoid unpleasant consequences: the outrage from the international community and more pressure from the West and neighboring countries.

The regime has no control over the sustained international pressure—UN chief Ban Ki-moon and international leaders appealed for the release of Suu Kyi and more than 2,100 political prisoners. The US, EU and Asean nations are keeping to a unified stance: free Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners.

The domestic factor may also have played a part.

Security has been beefed up in Rangoon and the countryside where small protests may occur. More riot police are deployed and more military trucks and police have moved into Rangoon.

The generals don’t want to take risks at this time, and it is perhaps a smart move to postpone the court decision.

The fact is the case is political: the regime wants to exclude Suu Kyi from politics and especially from the coming 2010 election.

However, as her supporters say, Suu Kyi is no coward, and she is ready to face reality in the military-ruled country. Suu Kyi is prepared for the worst—her lawyers said that she was stockpiling books and medicines.

Though behind bars, Suu Kyi recently commented on the regime’s planned election. Knowing that Ban had made a high level visit to Burma to discuss political issues and her release, Suu Kyi’s lawyer said she had one important message for Ban.

The message is that the UN should be prepared to denounce the upcoming elections in Burma as illegitimate if the regime does not implement national reconciliation beforehand.

Her stance on the election alone sends a strong message to the UN and the international community. She wants the generals to embrace national reconciliation.

But the generals like to talk tough, as the state-run newspapers testify. The editorials reflecting the opinion of ruling general Than Shwe and his hardliners clearly demonstrate their uncompromising stance.

“Myanmar [Burma] is an independent, sovereign county with the rights to formulate and prescribe appropriate law, and to form a government with suitable administrative machinery,” The New Light of Myanmar thundered on Wednesday.

The same newspaper said that Burma has no political prisoners, and it asked the international community not to interfere in the court ruling, saying that Burma [junta] has its own judicial system.

The paper stated there are “external interferences” in the case, and that while the Suu Kyi trial is going on in “accord with the law,” no one should call for the release of political prisoners, including Suu Kyi.

The more they talk tough in The New Light of Myanmar the more it shows the generals’ level of paranoia.

“Threatening and unnecessarily attempting to influence the trial should be avoided. Anyone should not be involved [sic] in such acts as favoring the defendant, favoring the plaintiff and using influence,” it said.

But why did they postpone the verdict?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise if the regime continues to postpone the verdict in the coming months. The generals are good at buying time and manipulating domestic and international opinion.

READ MORE---> Verdict on Hold...

Burmese Regime Deliberately Depresses Economy

The Irrawaddy News

Burma is ranked as one of the world’s most undeveloped countries because of intentional mismanagement by its own leaders, says a leading regional activist, Debbie Stothard, the coordinator of the Alternative Asean Network on Burma (Altsean).

Many developing countries in Southeast Asia such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand lack the abundant natural resources of Burma, Stothard noted. However, Burma is poorer than each of these neighboring countries.

Many Burma observers say the country has become the poorest country in region because the military regime lacks any interest in a plan to develop the economy and to integrate with the international community. One result is that almost all of Burma’s natural resources are sold to neighboring countries, say observers.

Stothard and economic specialist Sean Turnell of McQuarie University in Australia said Burma’s generals have completely lost touch with economic reality, making the country a “very, very high-risk environment” for potential foreign investors.

In the past, Burma was at the top of Southeast Asian countries in terms of economic development and natural resources and had one of the region’s best education systems, Stothard noted.

“People wanted to go to Burma to study because of its universities,” she said. “Think about that. But, in a few decades the Burmese regime has turned the situation completely around.”

Stothard said Burmese people are among the poorest in the world due to the military government’s policy of preventing the development of a functioning economy and a professional education system.

“The regime intentionally twists the education system and squeezes the ordinary people,” she said.

Due to the broken education system, many of the brightest young Burmese leave the country and many never return.

Stothard noted that many regional businesspeople would not dare to set up a business in Burma.

“The only companies that dare go into Burma are the ones who are going to export the natural resources. They just go in, grab the natural resources and run,” said Stothard.

Turnell said that the regime’s economic policies have done far more damage to the country’s economic prospects than global economic sanctions, put in place because of the regime’s anti-democratic policies and human rights abuses.

“The biggest sanction on Burma is the Burmese regime itself,” said Turnell, who added that the regime’s “determined mismanagement” of the country’s economy, including its refusal to respect property rights, is the main obstacle to Burma’s economic development.

Stothard said, “Singaporean businessmen have told me, those generals don’t know anything.

They don’t want to know anything. It is not about the generals being stupid. It is about generals who refuse to listen to the advice of their own technocrats.”

Burma has been designated one of the world’s least developed countries by the United Nations for more than 20 years. On a UN Web site, Burma is described as “a resource-rich country that suffers from government controls and abject rural poverty.”

A former Burmese intelligence official in exile, Maj Aung Lynn Htut, wrote in a recent assessment of the country that the junta’s chief, Snr-Gen Than Shwe, is adept at using dirty tricks as a result of his background in psychological warfare.

Aung Lynn Htut wrote, “He [Than Shwe] understands very well that if the public is allowed to have a better life it will gain a progressive outlook and become interested in politics.”

In the Human Development Index 2008 Update, Burma’s per capita GDP (US$881 in 2006) was ranked 163rd out of 178 countries in the world.

READ MORE---> Burmese Regime Deliberately Depresses Economy...

Thailand to setup pilot project for refugees

by Usa Pichai

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Thailand’s Ministry of Labour has initiated a dialogue with businessmen on a pilot project that envisages Burmese refugees, living in camps along the border, an opportunity to work outside their camps in the day and return by nightfall.

Labour Minister Phaitoon Kaewthong, during a meeting with the United States Committee for Refugees and Immigration (USCRI) on Thursday said the ministry plans to setup a pilot project in Mae Sot, the Thai-Burma border town, to allow refugees in the camps to work on a daily basis.

Weerawit Tienchainan, Director of USCRI, Thailand office, on Thursday urged Phaitoon to review Thailand’s labour policy and to create opportunities for Burmese refugees to work outside the camp.

“Currently, an estimated 40,000 refugees are of workable age but the government prohibits them from seeking jobs outside the camps. We are taking this opportunity to discuss and urge the ministry to consider this proposal,” Weerawit said.

While the minister said that the overall refugee policy depends on the Ministry of Interior, responsible for refugees in Thailand, authorities are toying with the idea of setting up a pilot project in Mae Sot to allow refugees to work in the day and return to their camps by nightfall on a daily basis, Weerawit said.

“We also held discussions with the business sector such as Tak Province Chamber of Commerce and some entrepreneurs. They said they are willing to hire refugees. Besides, the situation in Burma is not conducive for them to return. We should work towards a solution so that they can fend for their families,” Weerawit added.

Currently, an estimated of 140,000 Burmese refugees are living in nine camps along the Thai-Burma border. Some of them have lived in Thailand for more than 30 years.

Phaitoon said that the Ministry of Labour is concerned about the unemployment situation of Thai people and the issue of allowing registration of migrant workers that may lead to the unemployment rate going up.

“However, we will wait for the result of the migrant workers registration. In case, there is labour shortage, we will reconsider this proposal,” the minister was quoted as saying by a local Thai newspaper, Krungthep Turakij.

The Thai government expects that there will be about 1,000,000 migrant workers from neighbouring countries including Burma, who will register with Thai authorities.

Statistics of the Ministry of Labour suggest that the number of migrants registered as workers for the July 1 to 26 period is 848,328.

Registration for sectors other than fisheries will be concluded on July 30. Because the number of workers, who have registered in the fishery sector is not too significant, the Thai cabinet on Tuesday agreed to extend the registration period for migrant workers in fisheries from the end of July to September 30.

Weerawit had said earlier that refugees are at risk and can become victims of human traffickers with some of them persuaded to work illegally in dangerous places, including on fishing boats or forced to work in the sex industry or even as beggars.

“These problems have led the US government to keep a watch over Thailand regarding human trafficking, that may affect international relations in the future,” Weerawit said.

READ MORE---> Thailand to setup pilot project for refugees...

Ministry orders checks on “black listed” tourists

by Nem Davies

New Delhi (Mizzima) – Tour agencies have been directed by Burma’s Ministry of Hotel and Tourism to check tourists applying for ‘Arrival Visa’ with the list of people banned from entering the country.

“The people banned are among those ‘black listed’ and the list is with the Immigration Department,” Ohn Myint, Deputy Director at Ministry of Hotel and Tourism in Naypyitaw, told Mizzima.

The notice states that persons included in the ‘black list’ will not be issued ‘Arrival Visa’. Tour agencies as such are required to submit one of three forms to the Immigration Department in Rangoon six days in advance, in order to provide time for checking the list.

A director of a popular tour agency in Rangoon said the screening of ‘Arrival Visa’ is being done mainly to check people involved in politics.

“We have to submit the bio-data of tourists, who apply for ‘Arrival Visa’ to the Immigration Department. They [immigration] mainly check tourist’s into politics. The “black list” is with them and it is confidential,” the director told Mizzima.

Though tourists can apply for normal visas at respective Burmese embassies abroad, it is mandatory for tourists, who face time limits in applying for normal visas, to connect with tour agencies in Burma to apply for the ‘Arrival Visa’.

“For people, who do not have time to obtain a normal visa, authorities issue ‘Arrival Visa’ but they need to get in touch with tour companies before they come. Every tour agent takes care of his guests,” a director at another tour agency in Rangoon told Mizzima.

The ministry’s order on Thursday states that tour agents can enquire whether the list of their guests has been cleared by the Immigration Department. They have no right to question the decision of the Immigration rejecting a guest.

The order also said that the ‘Arrival Visa’ system has been introduced in order to make travelling to Burma easier and to provide maximum service to tourists. It is also to check that tour companies do not charge tourists extra for their services and prevent the companies from evading tax payment to the government, which is seven per cent.

“Tour agencies must understand that a country has the right to reject or welcome particular tourists, without giving any reason,” the order adds.

READ MORE---> Ministry orders checks on “black listed” tourists...

Northern Commander meets KIO in Laiza

by Myo Gyi

Ruili (Mizzima) – The Commander of the Northern Military Command Maj-Gen Soe Win, along with leaders of the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO), the largest ceasefire ethnic armed group in Kachin state, on Friday arrived in the Sino-Burma border town of Laiza, the KIO headquarters, for a meeting.

Soe Win and the KIO leaders arrived in the border town after the commander held talks with Kachin Church leaders in Myitkyina on July 29.

Eyewitnesses said the commander and KIO leaders were in a meeting in Laiza Hotel from 7 a.m. (local time) to 2 p.m.

“At about 6:10 a.m. two vehicles arrived in town. Later at about 7:15 a.m. the commander came in his Prado car escorted by a 4-wheel vehicle. At about 10 a.m. seven 4-wheel vehicles came with boxes,” the eyewitness said.

The KIO has rejected the junta’s proposal of transforming its armed wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) into a Border Guard Force but told Soe Win that they are keen on converting the KIA into a Kachin Regional Guard Force (KRGF) during their meeting on July 8 to 11 in Myitkyina.

After the meeting with the KIO leaders today, Soe Win visited a hospital run by the KIO and left Laiza at about 3 p.m.

The KIO is the largest Kachin armed group fighting for self-determination. It entered into a ceasefire pact with the ruling junta in 1994.

READ MORE---> Northern Commander meets KIO in Laiza...

Six NLD members freed

by Phanida

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – Six members of the opposition National League for Democracy, arrested on Thursday evening, were freed by authorities on Friday. (JEG's: Out of 30?)

Thet Thet Aung of Rangoon’s Dagon Myothit Township,
Htein Win and
Khin Win Kyi of South Dagon Township,
Nyunt Hlaing of San Chuang Township, who is an elected member of Parliament in the 1990 elections,
Naw Ohn Hla and
Khin Myat Thu
were released after being detained for several hours since Thursday evening, according to NLD spokesperson, Ohn Kyaing.

On Thursday the authorities rounded up at least 30 people, mostly young supporters and members of the NLD, across the country, in a move to pre-empt anti-government protests on Friday, the day the court had earlier fixed to pronounce the verdict on the trial of Aung San Suu Kyi.

The court, however, postponed delivering the verdict on Aung San Suu Kyi to August 11, saying it is facing legal problems and needs time to decide.

Htein Win, youth in-charge of the NLD from South Dagon Township told Mizzima, “I arrived home at noon after being released. I was interrogated and asked what we will be doing on July 31. They asked whether we had plans to hold demonstrations and also wanted to know our plans for the 8.8.88 anniversary. They also asked what we will do if Aung San Suu Kyi is sentenced to a prison term.”

He said, the chairman of the ward, police from the special branch and several other officials came to his house at about midnight and asked him to come to the police station saying they needed to ask a few questions.

He was later taken to the office of the Ministry of Home and interrogated for two hours.

Htein Win said Khin Win Kyi was also brought to the same office for interrogation.

He was also reportedly made to sign a pledge not to say anything about the interrogations to the media.

READ MORE---> Six NLD members freed...

End of the old man

by Mizzima News

The kangaroo court pretends there’s no problem in tackling the case of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi but it had to postpone hearing dates without coming up with a sound reason. This reveals, though they have the upper hand, they are in a crisis as well.

The court fixed July 31 for pronouncing its judgment on the ‘National League for Democracy’ (NLD) party General Secretary Aung San Suu Kyi’s case in which she has been charged with violating her house arrest term by the police as the prosecutor. However, they had to postpone the hearing again on the orders of Naypyitaw, fixing the date for August 11.

The special court inside the Insein prison made similar postponements without prior notice four times since the trial started on May 18. The judges themselves might not know the reason behind these postponements.

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had to intervene in this case, compelling him to visit Burma. Moreover, there has been a chorus of calls for the release of the Nobel Laureate globally. Though there is a debate on the effectiveness of international pressure these days, as for the isolated, self-conceited and aggressive junta leaders, such intervention is unbearable and intolerable.

It is not a coincidence that the junta requested Thailand’s Prime Minister to postpone his planned visit to Burma on July 31, on the pretext of dealing with internal politics, to two or three weeks later, through its ambassador in Bangkok.

The State Peace and Development Council is all too aware that supporters of Suu Kyi and hardcore activists will not stay passive with folded hands. They are not averse to arresting all of them, if necessary, over and above the 2100 political prisoners already languishing across jails in Burma, since it contrasts with the junta’s so-called seven-step roadmap to democracy.

In the meantime, the deterioration of the current situation for the paranoid and skeptical junta, ensconced behind the iron curtain, the classified report with the word ‘Secret’ on top of the paper, is being circulated wildly on the internet, which reveals there are loopholes in their inner security circle. These reports range from the visit of the third strongman of the junta’s military hierarchy Gen. Shwe Mann to communist North Korea, which is defying the international community with its nuclear arms race, to the meeting minutes between leaders of the junta and foreign countries.

In a quick response to these leaks, the junta retaliated with a combing operation in the Defence and Foreign Ministries besides resorting to cyber tracking and counter espionage.

On the other hand, the junta’s plan to transform ceasefire ethnic armed groups into the Border Guard Force (BGF) under the total control of their Armed Forces and disarming them is facing serious resistance and has been unsuccessful so far, as this plan lacks political guarantee and lack of mutual confidence.

The country’s economy is on the collapse mode in the face of the global economic crisis and the devastating Cyclone Nargis which left over 130,000 people dead. The economists estimate the country’s growth rate at zero percent.

Most of the generals in the top echelons of the junta whisper that dear leader Senior Gen. Than Shwe’s days are numbered and his fate is at its lowest ebb. To the superstitious and black magic believers among the generals, the collapse of ‘Danoke’ pagoda in Dala Township, which was repaired by first lady Kyaing Kyaing and her family, is a bad omen for this family.

The ‘Grand Strategy’ of transition to a puppet mixed administration of civilian and the military from the current military regime is uncertain and insecure.

It will be interesting to see how the psychological warfare savvy old man Than Shwe copes with the challenges faced on all fronts.

READ MORE---> End of the old man...

With all deliberate delay

by Francis Wade

(DVB)–A collective, but all-too familiar, sigh accompanied the announcement this morning that the verdict in Burma's trial of Aung San Suu Kyi has been postponed until mid-August.

It is a trial that has twisted and turned over the course of nearly three months, besieged by delays and digressions from the courtroom and flecked with the odd concession from the judges. It has successfully shouldered a visit by the UN Secretary General, brushed off fierce condemnation from world leaders and trampled over Burma’s own domestic laws.

Given the likelihood of the outcome, the trial could have been wrapped up in a matter of days. The verdict was likely drawn up the moment John Yettaw arrived back on the shores of Lake Inya in early May, but instead the old tactic of delay has reared its head again. Seasoned observers of the Burmese legal system are used to this sort of behaviour from the junta – some may see it as a tactical manouvre, while others point to a sadistic means of further punishing Suu Kyi, with the agony of the unknown still stretching out before her.

One hopes, however, that the lady who recently passed 5,000 days in detention is inured to such practices - indeed her lawyer Nyan Win said this morning that she was “not surprised” by the decision, and reports have said she is already choosing her reading list for the likely prison sentence.

But there is another reason for delaying the decision. The junta, in its desperate attempt to justify why Suu Kyi should be kept out of sight, has scoured the Burmese political and legal landscape for any pretext that would add weight to their case. They have spent the last three months looking for loopholes in their own laws that they can exploit to maintain the status quo, even if that means doctoring the constitution they carelessly rushed through last year. That the trial was a sham in the first place is not disputed; the junta knows that Yettaw’s visit was beyond Suu Kyi’s control. Indeed the sight of guards merely throwing stones at Yettaw as he approached the compound shows how far they were willing to go to deter someone heading towards incriminating Suu Kyi.

But the Burmese regime is fully aware that the eyes of the world are fixed firmly upon it, and this international attention is far from welcome. Outcry has reached fever pitch, and the junta now has to look towards dampening the impact of the final verdict. The US-based legal counsel for Suu Kyi, Jared Genser, believes that the delay could be “a smart move” by the government to cushion the blow, and extend the decision until the middle of August “when a lot of government and UN officials are going to be on vacation.” In this case, he said, it will remain to be seen whether, given that August is a slow news month, they’ll actually heighten expectations by the lack of other news, “or whether in fact they will succeed in driving this to some extent from the headlines”.

Another factor for the regime to contend with is the tricky question of what to do with Suu Kyi once the verdict is given. It is perhaps no coincidence that the house in which she has been kept in detention for 14 of the last 20 years, which she shared with her two caretakers and in which she was allowed room for meditation and a semblance of normality, is suddenly the subject of a legal battle over ownership. Suu Kyi’s adopted cousin, a retired military officer, claims ownership of a portion of the land, and has put it up for sale.

This follows an attempt by her estranged brother, who has been described by various Burmese opposition groups as a surrogate of the junta, to claim half-ownership of the home, with speculation that he would then sell this to the government. Thus it could be that the decision of Suu Kyi’s verdict is extended until the dispute is settled, leaving the court ostensibly no choice but to place her behind bars. In this outcome, the site that has become almost revered throughout Burma could fall to another vindictive court decision.

It’s all speculation, but that’s the best we can do at this moment. Who knows what the reclusive regime is hatching? Only last month there were rumours that she could be held in a military base outside of Rangoon, while other people have floated the prospect of a lengthy sentence behind bars. According to senior National League for Democracy member Win Tin, the junta’s posturing over the past three months means that the only conclusion will be a “prison outcome”.

Either way, Suu Kyi is said to be prepared for the worst, and so must we be. The junta are not concerned with alleviating her agony, which is excruciatingly protracted and intensified by the delay, but placating their demons, which leaves her at the mercy of whichever tactic comes next.

READ MORE---> With all deliberate delay...

Dhaka Delegation in Naypyidaw for Border Talks

The Irrawaddy News

A delegation of Bangladeshi experts on border issues met with Burma’s foreign minister in Naypyidaw on Friday to discuss an territorial dispute between the two countries, according to Burma’s state-run media.

The Burmese-language Myanma Alin newspaper reported that talks with the Dhaka delegation focused on efforts to reach an agreement on disputed maritime boundaries. The delegation, led by retired commodore Khurshed Alam, an expert on maritime affairs, arrived in Naypyidaw on July 29.

The meeting comes as rival claims to offshore deposits of natural gas have raised tensions between the neighboring countries. Earlier this month, Bangladesh raised the stakes of the conflict when it granted nine offshore gas blocks in the Bay of Bengal to two foreign oil firms, ConocoPhillips and Tullow Oil.

Tin Soe, an editor with the Bangladesh-based Kaladan News Network, said that the Burmese military regime told Dhaka that three of the offshore gas blocks belong to Burma.

“The delegation has to go Burma because they are worried about a disagreement with the Burmese government over the offshore exploration contracts,” he said.

Dhaka has said that it wants to discuss multiple issues with Burma, including the border dispute and the repatriation of Rohingya refugees. It has recently sent four delegations to Burma, but has made little progress on either issue.

In October 2008, the junta’s No 2, Vice Snr-Gen Maung Aye, also visited Bangladesh to discuss maritime boundaries, trade and economic ties between the two nations.

After the trip, however, tensions between the two nations grew over the issue of maritime boundaries, prompting both countries to step up their military defenses in the Bay of Bengal.

In March of this year, Burma set up a 200-km fence along the border, claiming that it was to prevent human trafficking of Rohingya people.

There are nearly 30,000 Rohingya refugees from Burma’s Arakan State living in two makeshift camps in Cox’s Bazar District in Bangladesh, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Many more are believed to live outside the camps.

In early July, about 400 crude dwellings belonging to Rohingyas living near the Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar were destroyed or relocated, and an estimated 1,000 people were forcibly evicted by Bangladeshi police and camp management, said the UNHCR.

The Rohingya are a stateless Muslim minority who face severe discrimination in Burma. Many have fled the country to escape human rights abuses, including forced labor by the Burmese army. They also face abuses in Bangladesh. Right groups say that many Rohingya have died while traveling by boat to Thailand or Malaysia in search of work.

In June, the Burmese regime agreed to allow the Bangladesh government to repatriate Rohingya refugees. However, Dhaka said it fears the Rohingya will return if there is no improvement in the human rights situation in Burma.

READ MORE---> Dhaka Delegation in Naypyidaw for Border Talks...

Leaflets exhorting war against junta distributed

Rangoon (Mizzima) - Activists on Thursday evening distributed leaflets in Rangoon’s Tharmwe Township urging the people to wage war against the military junta if the verdict on Friday finds opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi guilty and sentences her to a prison term, eyewitnesses said.

The letters, signed by the ‘Committee leading peoples’ movement to destroy military rule and to restore democracy,’ says that “As Aung San Suu Kyi will be sentenced to a prison term on July 31, we urge everybody to take up the war in their respective capacities.”

Though it is still not clear who distributed the pamphlets, eyewitnesses said police later cleared about 20 that were distributed.

The distribution of the leaflets came despite authorities maintaining tight security in and around Rangoon to prevent any form of movement prior to the day the Insein prison court is to pronounce a verdict on Aung San Suu Kyi.

READ MORE---> Leaflets exhorting war against junta distributed...

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