Thursday, August 6, 2009

Russia taking raw Uranium from Burma since 2007

by KNG

A Russian firm has been taking raw Uranium from Hpakant areas in Burma's northern Kachin State since 2007, said reliable local sources.

Victorious Glory International Private Ltd. of Russia is taking the raw Uranium from the company's Uranium mines in Tarmakhan, Hongpa near Katai Taung, under tight security provided by the ruling junta, said eyewitnesses.

A local eyewitness told KNG today, the company's mining areas are fenced off with opaque covers and the Uranium is mined inside the mountain with sophisticated digging machines.

The raw Uranium is specially packed in sacks, which look like cement sacks. It is then transported to Hopin railway station in large trucks. Then the Uranium is transported to Rangoon sea port by trains for delivery to Russia, said sources close to the company and eyewitnesses.

According to eyewitnesses in Hpakant, the company has been excavating the raw Uranium from these areas since 2007.

The company signed an agreement with the ruling junta in Naypyitaw on February 15, 2007 for exploration of gold and associated minerals along Uru Hka River (or Uru Hka in Kachin) between Hpakant in Kachin State and Homalin in Sagaing Division.

One year before the two sides reached an agreement, Russian Uranium explorers arrived in the area, said residents of Hpakant. The movements of Russian miners are specially secured in the mines and outside by security forces of the junta, said residents of Hpakant.

The junta is constructing a nuclear plant in caves after tunneling into a mountain in Naung Laing in northern Burma, some 600 kilometres north of Rangoon. Five North Koreans worked there, according to South Korean media reports. A nuclear reactor from which plutonium can be extracted is also allegedly being built.

Two defectors from the Burmese Army testified recently that the junta has a secret nuclear weapons programme, which is being supported by North Korea and Russia.

READ MORE---> Russia taking raw Uranium from Burma since 2007...

Veteran politician refutes state’s interpretation of federalism

by Nem Davies

New Delhi (Mizzima) – A veteran politician from Shan State, Shwe Ohn, who attended the historic Panglong Conference in 1947, has strongly protested against an article appearing in the ‘New Light of Myanmar’, which says federalism means instigating for disunity among the people.

Mizzima received a copy of his protest letter, sent to the editor of the paper.

I have not yet received a response from them. This article is wrong. It’s not true. I want this article to get corrected,” Shwe Ohn told Mizzima.

In the article, entitled ‘With care and with conscience’, written under the pseudonym ‘Ko Thar Yar’ and appearing in the 26th July issue of the ‘New Light of Myanmar’, the federal principle is assessed as a means of sowing disunity among the people.

“They are trying to reincarnate federalism with the intention of disintegrating the state, and they are sowing dissension among the ethnic people. If we start with this federal principle [according to the paper], our country will disintegrate into tiny states, all of whom will certainly become prey to the tiger,” explained Shwe Ohn.

The article goes on to argue, “The precedence of other big sates contains obvious lessons and examples which cannot be denied by anyone. So we should take care of federalism, which has seeds that can disintegrate our union.”

U Shwe Ohn, however, said the article’s premise was impossible and that author Ko Thar Yar was ignorant about federal principles. He further suspects, though it could well be the author’s own opinion, that some external influence was behind the essay.

In his letter to editor he explained federalism in its historical background, stating, “It is very clear that union means the states are integrated and constituted on an equal basis. But in 1948, in the Union of Burma, there was no Burman State and thus it must be a bogus Union.”

He also sent copies of his letter to the daily ‘The Mirror’ as well as Rangoon-based weekly news journals.

In his letter he contends that all ethnic representatives who attended the Panglong Conference seriously discussed the formation of a Federal Union on the basis of equality in politics, self-determination and the right to secession, as they did not want a unitary system.

“The problems of a union cannot be resolved as long as the problems of ethnic people, who are almost 40 percent of the total population, are not solved,” stipulates Shwe Ohn.

In his 311-page, 17 chapter book entitled ‘Let’s build an unbreakable Union’, Shwe Ohn chronicled the migration of ethnic people now living in Burma, the emergence of the Pagan kingdom, the historic Panglong Agreement and finally his views on the constitutions of Burma.

While the work was widely distributed among political activists in 2008, he has not yet received permission from the Censor Board to publish his work inside Burma.

Similarly, the 86-year old veteran politician wrote and published ‘How about a Third Union?’ in 1993 in addition to presenting his ‘8-States Federal Union principle’ to the junta sponsored National Convention, for which he was greeted with a one-year prison sentence.

He has since established the ‘Federal Democracy Alliance’ party, based on democratic and federal principles, in early 2008 in order to contest the forthcoming 2010 general election.

READ MORE---> Veteran politician refutes state’s interpretation of federalism...

Burma Army beheads woman

by Hseng Khio Fah

(Shanland) -A local woman in Mongkeung Township, southern Shan State was beheaded by the Burma Army troops that have been launching a four-cut campaign since 27 July , according to villagers who recently fled to Thailand.

In the morning of 3 August, Nang Hsoi, 29, from Wan Kart village, Ho Khai village tract was arrested in her village by soldiers from Mongkeung based Light Infantry Battalion (LIB)#514 after falsely accusing her as the wife of a Shan State Army (SSA) ‘South’ fighter and collaboration with the SSA, said a local villager who asked not to be named.
“In the evening they [soldiers] took her to a bridge nearby the village, cut her head down and threw it into the creek,” he said.

Two days before her death, over 10 villagers from Wan Kart, Wan Kawng and Wan Long village were detained on suspicion of being SSA spies at the army base.

The Burma Army that has been the four-cut campaign (cutting food, funds, intelligence and recruits to the armed resistance by local populace) had ordered villagers in Mongkeung, Kehsi and Laikha townships to leave their homes within 5 days, from 1 to 5 August.

Since then, at least 300 houses in the three townships were razed to the ground and more than 300 villagers were forcibly relocated to the town, said a source.

The campaign drive was led by the Mongnawng – based Military Operations Command (MOC) #2 command: Loilem based IB#9,
and #12,
Laikha based IB#64 and
Namzang based IB#66 ,
#247 and
Mongnai based IB#248 and LIB#518,
Panglong based LIB#513,
Mongkeung based LIB#514 and
Mongpawn based LIB#517.

To date, 21 villages from Panghsang village tract and 9 villages from Wan Htee village tract in Laikha township alone were forced to resettle in Marklang quarter of the town.

During the drive some were beaten and some were reportedly killed, forcing many others to hide in the jungle, said another villager who is seeking asylum on the Thai-Burma border.

“There were some people who are hiding in the jungle preparing to seek refuge in Thailand,” she said, “Many people will be coming soon.”

Currently, about 10 people are seeking asylum in areas near Thailand.

During the last engagement on 15 July, the Burma Army’s LIB 515 suffered 11 killed, 1 captured and 5 assorted weapons lost.

During the 1996-98 campaign against the SSA, 1,500 villages were destroyed and more than 300,000 in southern and eastern Shan State were forcibly relocated, a third of which had escaped into Thailand.

READ MORE---> Burma Army beheads woman...

USDA Card More Useful Than National ID When Traveling

Maungdaw (Narinjara): An USDA card is more useful than national ID cards when traveling around Arakan State, and many youths in Arakan State have joined the USDA in order to get a membership card, said one student from Maungdaw.

"In Maungdaw Township, to get a national ID card is very difficult for township people. More than 10,000 kyat has to be payed out as bribes for a national ID card, but it is no guarantee that you'll get the ID card in time. So many youths and students join the USDA for the organization's member card," she said.

In Arakan State, authorities do not allow a person to travel without a national ID card. Every traveler needs to show their identification to authorities when buying ferries and bus tickets.

There are also many checkpoints stationed along major roads around Arakan State and people can be arrested if they are unable to show their national ID cards whenever requested by the authorities.

"The national ID card is very useful in our country, but now the card is not as powerful as the USDA membership cards. In our state, anyone can travel anywhere with a USDA card," the student added.

Buthidaung and Maungdaw Township are more restrictive of travel than other places in Arakan, and most people are traveling with USDA cards.

A teacher from Maungdaw said, "If anyone has a USDA card, they can more easily get a national ID card. The immigration department issues the national ID cards to those people who are members of the USDA. Without the USDA card, a person can not apply for government jobs in Burma."

Many students at the Maungdaw government high school have joined the USDA for these benefits rather than for political reasons. However, the government still prohibits Muslim students from joining the USDA.

The USDA, or Union Solidarity and Development Association, is an organization backed by the Burmese military government and is intended to be transformed into a political party whenever the government needs it.

According to the organization, there are over twenty four million members in the USDA throughout Burma.

READ MORE---> USDA Card More Useful Than National ID When Traveling...

On the Run

Most of the refugees at Mae Usu temporary refugee camp are children.
(Photo by Yeni/The Irrawaddy News)

The Irrawaddy News

MAE USU, Thailand — "If there is peace again, we will go back to our village," says the 60-year-old Karen woman, Bi Mae, as she holds her 4-month-old grandson in her arms in a makeshift bamboo hut.

But she knows well that she may never see some members of her family again or return to her village in Karen State, which has experienced a brutal civil war for more than 60 years.

Just two weeks ago, Bi Mae and four of her grandchildren crossed into Thailand with more than 500 other Karen refugees, as gun fire echoed in the hills and news spread that the junta’s army was rounding up villagers for forced labor.

Since the beginning of June, fierce clashes between a joint force of the junta’s army and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) engaged the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), forcing some 4,000 Karen villagers and internally displaced persons from Ler Per Her camp in Burma to flee to Tha Song Yang in Thailand’s Tak Province for safety. Many refugees are also secretly living with friends along the border, but the exact number is impossible to determine.

Refugees are living at six sites. The Irrawaddy interviewed refugees crowded into the grounds behind a Thai ecotourism site at Mae Usu cave, only a few kilometers inside the Burmese-Thai border.

"Right now 1,998 people are on the list here. Most of them are women and children,” says Chaklo, a member of the Karen Youth Organization (KYO), one of the community-based organizations helping refugees.

To help support the refugees, the Thai Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), an alliance of NGOs working for humanitarian relief, has distributed rice, beans, fish paste and salt, while the French NGO, Solidarit?s, provided water and sanitary facilities. The UNHCR has provided plastic sheets and tarpaulins for the shelter.

However, torrential rains have been falling for many days, making life even more difficult. At the camp’s makeshift clinic—supported by Dr. Cynthia Maung, and her Backpack Health Workers Team—many patients receive treatment for serious gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea and dysentery that are common ailments in the rainy season. Children in the camp are particularly at risk, according to the medics. Some children sleep in the bamboo huts while others play on the muddy ground of the green fields.

"They need to learn,” said Chaklo. “We also are ready to do that. But the Thai authorities don’t want us to set up a school here because the site is temporary."

Traditionally, the Thai policy is to start out with a short-term solution to aid new Karen refugees. While there is fighting on Burmese soil, the authorities grant the civilians permission to cross the border. But if there is no fighting, the refugees will be sent back to Burma. Presently, there have been no further reports of fighting after the withdrawal of KNLA troops from their military bases.

But there are ongoing reports of abuses by DKBA forces—forced recruitment, forced labor and money/food/livestock extortion—causing more people to flee and cross into Thailand. As a result, the refugees, for now, have been allowed to remain.

On July 9, Tassana Vichaithanapat, the director of the Foreign Affairs Division of the Operations Centre for Displaced Persons in the Ministry of Interior, visited one of the new sites, Nuh Bo.

During his visit, he met with refugee representatives, Thai district-level authorities and military officials and urged the authorities and international agencies to continue to provide humanitarian support while the Thai government tries to find a durable solution or until the displaced people are able to return to their homes, according to the TBBC.

Also, the Tha Song Yang district committee, which includes military, border police and UNHCR representatives, met on July 15 to consider possible solutions: an immediate return to Burma, relocation to Mae La refugee camp, or to open a new refugee camp at the site where the refugees are currently staying.

"Finally, they agreed that the refugees should stay where they are until the end of the rainy season. At that time, the security and humanitarian situation will be reviewed again to determine the next steps," said Angelina Sakic, a TBBC Program coordinator. "But the most likely outcome is that if the situation has not improved, they will be moved to Mae La camp."

In the meantime, most refugees hope to return to their village as soon as possible. Many are traumatized, thinking of their crops and the livestock they left behind and how it could all be destroyed or confiscated by the junta’s soldiers or DKBA troops.

Some men have left their family in the camp and crossed back to their village to determine if their possessions are intact. Their lives are at risk because Burmese soldiers and DKBA troops control the area.

"If they see them, they will shoot,” says Chaklo. “They think maybe they are KNLA men burying landmines. We hear the sound of gun fire everyday."

READ MORE---> On the Run...

Security Beefed Up on University Ave

The Irrawaddy News

The Burmese military authorities on Thursday began beefing up security around the lakeside home of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, sources in Rangoon said.

“This morning, security personnel surrounded Daw Aung San Suu Kyi’s house,” said a journalist in Rangoon who spoke on condition of anonymity.

University Avenue—where the Nobel Peace Prize laureate’s house stands—was open to traffic on Thursday morning, the sources said, but riot police blocked the road in the afternoon.

“At about 2 pm, the police stopped all motorists from driving down University Avenue. We had to divert to other roads,” a taxi driver in the city said.

Security forces were withdrawn from University Avenue in May after Suu Kyi was taken to Insein Prison to face trial for allegedly harboring American intruder John W Yettaw.

Thursday’s activity around University Avenue has fueled speculation that preparations are under way to bring the pro-democracy leader back safely to her home after the trial, the verdict on which is due on August 11.

Commenting on the security surrounding Suu Kyi’s house, her lawyer Kyi Win said, “In Burma, everything happens in unexpected ways.”

Meanwhile, reporters in the former capital have been notified of a press conference at the Narcotics Museum in Rangoon at 2 p.m. On Friday. The subject of the press conference is expected to be related to Suu Kyi, journalists said.

Suu Kyi’s lawyers, Kyi Win and Nyan Win, were allowed to meet with their client at Insein Prison on Thursday afternoon.

READ MORE---> Security Beefed Up on University Ave...

Recent Posts from Burma Wants Freedom and Democracy

Recent posts from WHO is WHO in Burma


The Nuke Light of Myanmar Fan Box
The Nuke Light of Myanmar on Facebook
Promote your Page too