Thursday, August 13, 2009

Indonesian Government Attempts to Stop Burma Democracy Meeting

By Katie Hamann

(VOA) -Burmese democracy leaders have successfully concluded a meeting in the Indonesian capital Jakarta to push a plan for transition to democracy in Burma. The Indonesian government earlier attempted to prevent the conference from taking place, dispatching local police to the hotel where the delegations had planned to meet.

Members of the Burmese government in exile and a coalition of pro-democracy groups and ethnic leaders came to Jakarta to officially launch their 'Proposal for National Reconciliation' in Burma, an alternative to the current regime's so-called "roadmap to democracy."

Indonesian Parliamentary member Eva Kusuma Sunardi was among those who lent their support to the conference. She says the department of foreign affairs was given several weeks notice of the conference and made no objections, until a letter arrived from the embassy of Burma, which now calls itself Myanmar.

"On the 4th of August the foreign ministry accepted a letter, the objection letter from the embassy of Myanmar, asking the foreign ministry to stop this event on the argument that this is illegal and it will potentially damage the relationship between the two countries," Eva Kusuma Sunardi. "So the foreign ministry asked the police actually using the letter from the Myanmar embassy."

But Indonesian foreign affairs spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said his government's objections had nothing to do with the letter from Burma.

"As a matter of principle the Indonesian government cannot allow its territory to be used for activities by the so-called government in exile while Indonesia and other ASEAN countries as well as the members of the United Nations recognize Myanmar as well as the government of Myanmar. So it's not in our tradition to allow such political activities, political campaigns in our territory," the spokesman said. (JEG's: this is to show next meeting has to be kept under wraps until is completed like any ordinary meeting away from nosy ears)

Despite police threats to lock the delegation out of their hotel meeting room, the Burmese delegation continued their program at alternative venues in the capital Jakarta, including Indonesia's House of Representatives.

They met with Indonesian political leaders, diplomats and civil society groups to share their 'Proposal for National Reconciliation'.

Presented as an alternative to the Burmese regime's so-called roadmap to democracy, their plan demands the immediate release of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and other political prisoners, a nationwide ceasefire with rebel groups and a review of the 2008 constitution.

Burma's Prime Minister in exile Sein Winn was asked about the demands and said they must be met and a dialogue begun before next year's elections. "This election is tied to the constitution. And this constitution making process as well as the results are so biased and screwed [up] that according to this constitution, we will never get democracy," he said.

VOA: Assuming the regime or if the regime doesn't yield to your demands in this transition plan, will you participate in the elections in some capacity?

Sein Winn: "No, no, we will not participate as it is. That is why we are saying we have to review the constitution; you have to release the political prisoners. This is the bottom line."

But Jason Abbott, a specialist on Southeast Asian politics at Britain's University of Surrey, says the refusal of leaders of Burma's democracy movement to negotiate on certain points, particularly the question of Aung San Suu Kyi's participation is also thwarting progress.

"While it may be significant that so many groups are coming together for this meeting this week, until there is a change in their demands that shows a willingness to compromise with the regime, then it's only going to continue to be ignored by the junta. There will be no dialogue until there is movement from one side, the junta doesn't need to revise the constitution, the junta doesn't need to change the rules of the election, it will go ahead," he said. (JEG's: if the constitution is cutting democracy-freedoms then what is to compromise?)

The exiled leaders conceded that the military junta is unlikely to yield to their demands. They urged the United Nations Security Council to draft a binding resolution on Burma and for partners at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to exert more pressure on the Burmese leadership.

READ MORE---> Indonesian Government Attempts to Stop Burma Democracy Meeting...

Bangladesh to compile list of Rohingyas for repatriation: UNHCR

Dhaka, Bangladesh (Kaladan): The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), South and Southeast Asian representative, based in Bangkok, Kitty McKinsey has said it is necessary for Bangladesh to have a list of the Rohingyas living in the country, unregistered, otherwise Burma, may object to repatriating the Rohingyas who are not registered.

UNHCR Regional Representative, Raymond Hall, said an initiative should be taken to resolve the Rohingya issue, but cautioned that Burma may raise objections in repatriating the Rohingyas living in Bangladesh, if they were not registered by August 9.

“Burma has allowed UNHCR to work there. The UN body has taken initiatives to improve the residential areas of the Rohingyas,” Hall told Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque.

On other hand, Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni thanked the UNHCR representative for their support to Bangladesh, regarding the Burmese refugees living in Bangladesh, on August 9 at the Foreign Ministry Office. She mentioned that more than 28,000 registered refugees were living in two camps and nearly 4,00,000 unregistered refugees living outside the camps, were a heavy burden on Bangladesh economically, socially, environmentally and also in terms of law and order.

Bangladesh has called on the Burmese regime to improve living conditions for Burma’s Rohingyas in order to stem the flow of refugees. Both Dipu Moni and Hall agreed that Burma must improve its internal environment to stop the influx of Rohingya refugees, into Bangladesh, according to the Bangladesh Foreign Minister’s statement after the meeting.

“They are a heavy burden economically, socially, environmentally on Bangladesh,” Moni said. “Burma has to improve its environment to stop the influx of Rohingya people into Bangladesh,” she emphasized.

A total of 236,599 Rohingyas have been repatriated since 1992, when an influx of the community began from Arakan in Burma, following religious and political persecution. But, their repatriation came to a halt since July 2005, raising concerns for the government.

During the meeting, Dr Dipu Moni and Dr Razzaque said repatriation and rehabilitation of the Rohingyas in their homeland, Burma, is the permanent solution, and this must be done without delay. Bangladesh will take a bilateral initiative to address the problem and sought UNHCR assistance in this regard.

Regarding registering the Rohingyas, the minister said whenever any initiative was taken to register them, they infiltrated into Bangladesh in more numbers.

“Bangladesh has provided shelter to the Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds, but they are spreading to different areas of the country and creating pressure on the limited resources here and creating social problems as well,” the Minister told the UNHCR representative.

“If the Rohingyas are registered, they will get international organization assistance, and they would be able to go to any developed country for permanent residence,” said the Minister.

However, the UNHCR representative said the Rohingyas enter Bangladesh because Burma restricts their movements, marriages and sends them to jails for violation of the restrictions.

READ MORE---> Bangladesh to compile list of Rohingyas for repatriation: UNHCR...

Indonesia Bans Meeting of Exiled Burmese Activists

The Irrawaddy News

JAKARTA — Indonesia's government has stopped a group of exiled Burmese opposition activists from holding a conference in the country, officials said Thursday, a day after the president voiced support for "credible" elections in the military dictatorship.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said police had prevented the conference from taking place Wednesday because it was inappropriate.

"We will not allow a group claiming to be a government-in-exile from whatever country to hold their activities in Indonesia," Faizasyah said, noting that Burma is a legal state recognized by Indonesia and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

On Tuesday, a Burmese court found pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi guilty of breaching the terms of her house arrest. She was sentenced to 18 months of further confinement.

In response, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono issued a statement on Wednesday saying Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party should be allowed to take part in "inclusive and credible" elections in Burma.

Suu Kyi's detention will keep her from participating in the junta's planned elections next year, the first polls since 1990, when her party won overwhelmingly but was barred from taking power.

The Jakarta conference was organized by a group called The Movement for Democracy and Rights for Ethnic Nationalities, an alliance of ethnic and pro-democracy parties, both exiled and within Burma, who say on their Web site that they want to push for quicker democratic reform.

The conference delegates included exiled parliamentarians from Suu Kyi's party and six other organizations dedicated to the rights of woman, youth and ethnic minorities.

Bo Hla Tint, a member of Suu Kyi's party living in exile, accused Burma's military rulers of exerting behind-the-scenes pressure on Indonesia to scrap the conference.

"This shows the real interference of the military junta. They don't want interference from other Asean members," he said in a telephone interview Thursday, referring to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Bo Hla Tint accused Burma's neighbors of "double standards" by supporting the international community's calls for democratic elections while at the same time turning a blind eye to human rights abuses.

Suu Kyi's conviction drew sharp criticism from world leaders and human rights groups, as well as promises of new European Union sanctions against Burma.

"There is a clear and stark contrast between the public statements of the Indonesia government with its actions," said Roshan Jason, a conference organizer and executive director of the Asean Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar (Burma) Caucus.

READ MORE---> Indonesia Bans Meeting of Exiled Burmese Activists...

Suu Kyi Verdict: Reaction Divided

The Irrawaddy News

As Aung San Suu Kyi returns to face another 18 months of house arrest, regional and global reactions have followed, highlighting a lack of international unity on her conviction and return to house arrest.

In somewhat of a surprise and perhaps indicating a difference in tone between US President Barack Obama's foreign policy and that of his predecessor, the European Union (EU) reacted with the most vigor.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy specifically mentioned targeting Burma's timber and gemstone exports for increased sanctions, while the European Parliamentary caucus on Burma said there should be a global arms embargo against the junta.

While President Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both denounced the verdict, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters in Washington that it was “premature” to consider UN sanctions against Burma, perhaps awaiting some consensus at the UN Security Council. However, the US had already renewed its sanctions against the junta some weeks ago, a hardball counter to Secretary Clinton's offer to relax sanctions should Suu Kyi be released, as the UN Security Council originally requested in May.

A UNSC meeting called by the French on the matter ended in uncertainty on Tuesday, as China, Russia and Asean-member Vietnam sought more time to deliberate on a draft proposal circulated by the US.

China, perhaps Burma’s strongest ally, had earlier said that the world should respect the sovereign right of the junta to rule on internal matters, while India, which competes with Beijing for trade and investment links with the junta, has not made any official comment on the verdict at the time of writing.

With Burma being an Asean-member state, it was unclear how strongly the regional bloc would officially react to the verdict.

Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, told The Irrawaddy: “I think Asean should take a lead, but Asean itself is put in a difficult position. It cannot kick Burma out because it would demonstrate that Asean, too, has failed. Asean should come up with a new “regional policy” which should be the right mix between sanction and engagement.”

Beating the UN to the punch, Asean released a statement on Burma on Wednesday, through Thailand, which holds the current chair. It reacted with what some international media summarized as “regrets,” “disappointment” and “condemnation.”

The statement was released after some regional states had announced their own reactions to the verdict. The Malaysian foreign minister said, “I think there is a need for Asean foreign ministers to have an urgent meeting to discuss this issue, which is of grave concern."

Perhaps the most telling aspect of the Asean statement, however, was its affirmation that, “We stand ready to cooperate with the Myanmar [Burma] Government in its efforts to realize the seven steps to democracy and remain constructively engaged with Myanmar in order to build the Asean Community together.”

Earlier Asean had said that Suu Kyi should be released as part of the “free, fair and inclusive general elections [in 2010] that will then pave the way for Myanmar’s full integration into the international community.”

The junta has already ruled that Suu Kyi cannot participate in elections, due to her marriage to a British academic. Her continued detention will mean she cannot appear in public during the electoral period.

Given that many Asean states have close economic links with Burma—with Thailand dependent on the country for gas imports—it remains unlikely that regional consensus on economic sanctions is likely.

As an alternative, "Asean could declare support for a UN arms embargo. It avoids controversial economic sanctions, and as far as we know, they don’t sell arms to Burma anyway," told Mark Farmaner, the head of the Burma UK Campaign group.

Individually, some Asean states have taken a more defined unilateral approach.

“The government of Indonesia is strongly disappointed with the verdict handed down to Aung San Suu Kyi,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah, who added, “The length of the sentence was apparently aimed at preventing Suu Kyi from taking part in next year’s elections. The verdict leads to suspicions that the coming election will not be inclusive and far from credible.”

NGOs and human rights groups in Indonesia reacted strongly to the verdict, and if Indonesia's democracy is functioning as well as many analysts believe, this could translate into a more decisive and forthright Indonesian policy on Burma.

However, other Asean states have been more circumspect, notably Singapore, whose foreign minister was quoted as saying: “What can we do? Can we use force? Can we use trade sanctions? The Europeans and the Americans have done their worst, it has not worked.”

Perhaps Asean states with close links to the junta could do just that. Sunny Tanuwidjaja of Jakarta's Center for Strategic and International Studies criticized Asean’s unflinchingly incremental approach to Burma.

He told The Irrawaddy: “The best thing Asean can do is two things: put Burma's Asean membership and their economic links to Burma at stake.”

Burma specialist Sean Turnell of the Burma Economic Watch in Sydney said Asean states could look more closely at their own economic links to the junta, if they are serious about pushing for change in Burma.

“Asean must be getting sick and tired of the junta, which is tarnishing the regional brand,” he said. “Activists and NGOs would be better-off focusing on Asean and on the other trading partners, notably China and India.”

READ MORE---> Suu Kyi Verdict: Reaction Divided...

Did Black Magic Play a Role in Suu Kyi Trial Verdict?


Reporters and some diplomats who followed the Aung San Suu Kyi trial and attended the final session are asking—and not only in jest— whether the ruling generals used voodoo or black magic to influence the verdict.

The trial was repeatedly adjourned until it was suddenly wrapped up in one morning session on August 11.

Burmese are asking themselves whether the superstitious Burmese military leaders chose to end the trial on August 11 on the advice of astrologers. And reporters and some diplomats who attended the final session appear to be considering the possibility, too.

The court proceedings had been scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. but got underway at 10:45 a.m., when John W Yettaw, who has been receiving medical treatment recently for a stroke, was led into the court wearing a blue and white long-sleeved shirt and off-white trousers.

Aung San Suu Kyi entered the court at 10:50 a.m.

Exactly at 11 a.m., the judges began reading out the case history of John W Yettaw and later turned to address the case of Suu Kyi. A local reporter who attended the session said some foreign diplomats with knowledge of the regime’s superstitious ways smiled at the timing and asked why the judgment appeared to have been delayed until 11 a.m.

Yadaya, Burma’s form of voodoo, is said to rule the lives of junta leader Snr-Gen Than Shwe and his family and to influence his policy decisions. He and other top generals, together with members of their families, are known to regularly consult astrologers.

In Burmese Buddhist tradition, there are “eleven fires”— greed, hatred, delusion, birth, aging, death, grief, lamentation, pain, sorrow and despair—which, in a spiritual context, are fueled by sentient attachment.

Some astrologers within Burma ask whether the generals are trying to prevent the “eleven fires” from befalling them by turning to yadaya.

Many observers inside and outside the country are amused to discern what appears to be the appearance of a new number—11—in the code of superstitions adopted by the generals.

In September 2008, the regime released 9,002 prisoners. Add the numerals together and what do you get? Eleven!

During the dictatorship of Gen Ne Win, the number 9 became the satanic mark of the regime. Even the national currency was altered to denominations of nine, with 45-kyat and 90-kyat notes, which suddenly and without warning replaced the existing currency.

When he was in power, one of his aides, Sein Lwin, who was president of Burma for two weeks during the turbulent summer of 1988, regularly consulted astrologers in an attempt to foresee the future.

READ MORE---> Did Black Magic Play a Role in Suu Kyi Trial Verdict?...

China tough with junta on Kokang

Kokang leader Peng Jiasheng

S.H.A.N - China may be backing Naypyitaw when it comes to democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi and the over 2,000 political prisoners, but it has taken a tough stance twice in a week when the Burma Army tried to force its will upon one of former communist armies, according to sources on the Sino-Burma border.

On 8 August, it had successfully convinced the Burma Army force that had entered the Kokang territory “without our permission” to carry out inspection on a location suspected to have an arms factory. “Due to China’s intercession, the Burma Army had pulled out,” said a local source.

Three days later on 11 August, Maj-Gen Aung Than Tut, Commander of the Lashio-based Northeastern Region Command, summoned 5 Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), as the Kokang ceasefire group prefers to call itself, to his headquarters. Two were later dispatched to Laogai, the Kokang capital, to persuade its top leader Peng Jiasheng to have an audience with him.

Peng, who had already refused to meet Aung Than Tut on 8 August, did not show up. As a result, the situation that had almost returned to normal on 9 August had tensed up again, triggering people the flee across the border once more.

They were however stopped by the Chinese. “We are doing what we can to ease up the situation,” one border official was quoted as saying. “Of course, we will not refuse admission if bullets start flying. But in the meanwhile, you should trust us and go back.”

Only Chinese citizens were allowed to cross the border, said a source from the border.

The remaining three were allowed to return on the next day, thus somewhat cooling things off. “There isn’t any doubt why the junta backs down,” said a knowledgeable source. “There could even have been a trade-off between Naypyitaw and China: Ditching Suu Kyi in exchange for peace along the border.”

China was the only country that supported Naypyitaw’s decision to continue Aung San Suu Kyi’s house arrest on 11 August.

The situation nevertheless is still worrisome, according to a Thai-Burma watcher. “The release of the Kokang officials did not resolve the issues between the two sides,” he said. “Naypyitaw still wants Kokang and their allies to become border security battalions under the control of the Burma Army and they keep saying No to it.”

In addition, according to several sources, any fight with Kokang will certainly lead to a full-scale war with its allies, Kachin Independence Army (KIA), United Wa State Army (UWSA), National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA) and the Shan State Army (SSA) “North”, which amounts to a grand total of 45,000-50,000 strong well armed opposition.

Naypyitaw has fixed October as the deadline for the ceasefire groups to transform themselves into what it terms as Border Guard Forces (BGFs).

READ MORE---> China tough with junta on Kokang...

Rights groups to regime: Stop atrocities

By Hseng Khio Fah

(Shanland) -Again, overseas Shan rights groups are on calling the Burmese military immediately stop its atrocities and also on the international and regional communities to end their silence and set up an investation team on the regime’s crimes against humanity.

Since 27 July, Burma Army units under the command of the Mongnawng based Military Operations Command (MOC) #2, Shan State South, have burned down over 500 houses, more than 200 granaries, and forcibly relocated an estimated 10,000 villagers from almost 40 villages in Mongkeung, Laikha and Kehsi townships, according to the rights groups.

“We are therefore demanding the regime immediately stop their atrocities against people the and allow all relocated villagers to return to their homes,” said Nang Charm Tong from Shan Women Action’s Network (SWAN) at a press conference held today on the Thai-Burma border.

“On the other hand, we would like to call on the international communities such as the United Nations Security Council, ASEAN and Burma’s neighbors to pressure Burma to stop its oppression on the people. They should not let Burma continue abusing the people,” she added.

According to her, the current forced relocation campaign is the largest forced relocation since 1996-1998, when over 300,000 villagers were uprooted in southern and central Shan State, most of whom have since fled to Thailand.

“This is another attempt to uproot the ethnic people,” she said.

During the 1996-98 campaign against the SSA, almost 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.

“The troops were ordered by their headquarters to burn down the houses, as they repeatedly radioed to their headquarters as the buildings went up in flames,” said Shan Human Rights Foundation’s Director Kham Harn Fah.

"This campaign has been carried out cold-bloodedly and systematically,” he added.

The Burma Army earlier retaliated the Pa-O National Liberation Organization (PNLO) that had wiped out a 12-men patrol on 3 May by killing two village headmen, torturing more than 80 villagers and gangraped a 15-year old girl in Hsihseng, another southern Shan State township, according to several exile news groups.

READ MORE---> Rights groups to regime: Stop atrocities...

Four ethnic ceasefire groups to take on junta in event of war

(Taifreedom) -Four ethnic ceasefire groups in Burma’s north have got together and decided to retaliate against the ruling junta, if it starts any offensive against any member of the alliance, said local sources.

The groups in the military alliance are the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) based in Kachin State and Northeast Shan State, Mongla-based National Democratic Alliance Army-Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS), Kokang ceasefire group and United Wa State Army (UWSA), said KIO sources.

KIO officials in Laiza headquarters on the Sino-Burma border said, the groups in the military alliance have decided to wage against the Burmese Army in their territories if the latter launches an offensive against any group in the alliance.

As tension builds up, an increasing number of Burmese troops are being deployed around the KIO headquarters in Laiza and the controlled areas of the other three groups--- UWSA, NDAA-ESS and Kokang ceasefire group, said Sino-Burma border sources.

Maj-Gen Soe Win, the junta's negotiator with the KIO and Commander of the junta's Northern Regional Command based in Kachin State's capital Myitkyina visited Laiza on July 31. He tried to ensure that the ceasefire continues and the problems between the two sides are resolved through discussions in the coming days, said KIO officials in Laiza.

Sources in the military-wing of KIO, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) said, KIA soldiers are patrolling the frontlines where the Burmese troops are active in Kachin State and northeast Shan Sate.

On the other hand, Thai authorities are checking their nationals in villages on the Thai-Burma, connecting the UWSA's territories because the UWSA is going ahead and preparing for war with the ruling junta, said residents on the Thai-Burma border.

The junta's No. 2 strongman, Vice-Senior-General Maung Aye had informed to the Chinese government during his China visit in June 15 to 20 that the junta is going to wage war on ethnic ceasefire groups along the two countries' border, said Sino-Burma border sources.

Till now, the Chinese government has not mounted pressure on the ethnic armed groups along the border to accept the Burmese Army-controlled Border Guard Force (BGF), said sources close to ethnic armed groups.

READ MORE---> Four ethnic ceasefire groups to take on junta in event of war...

Indonesia meeting pressured by Burma junta

(DVB)–An “historic” meeting of Burmese opposition groups in Indonesia was yesterday forced to relocate following pressure from the Burmese junta on the Indonesian government to block the meeting from going ahead.

Yesterday delegates from the Movement for Democracy and Rights for Ethnic Nationalities (MDREN), a coalition of Burmese opposition groups, were due to meet at the Sari Pan Pacific Hotel in Jakarta.

According to the participants, the Burmese government reportedly asked the Indonesia government to ban the meeting, so it was relocated yesterday midday to the Indonesian parliament building .

“The meeting was attended by foreign diplomats, representatives from activist groups and members of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus,” said Thaung Htun, spokesperson for the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma (NCGUB).

Yesterday’s move to the parliament building reportedly brought more delegates and media officials.

“We had a big support from the Indonesian parliament members and we managed to discuss a lot on what to do next following the sentencing of Daw Ang San Suu Kyi,” said Thaung Htun.

The prime minister of the NCGUB, Sein Win, had previously said that the convention was “history being made”.

“The proposal envisages opening a process of dialogue with the junta, effectively offering a sustainable exit-strategy for the military rulers,” said a statement on the MDREN website.

According to Khin Omar, chairperson of the Network for Democracy and Development, the meeting will cover a wide range of issues.

“We proposed [suggestions] regarding national reconciliation, particularly what kind of changes we need to make in the 2008 constitution, how to bring changes to the economy and security issues in Burma.”

The meeting will continue today at the Human Rights Commission Office in Jakarta.

Reporting by Aye Nai

READ MORE---> Indonesia meeting pressured by Burma junta...

Burma Weapons: Mutant M-16s In Burma

Murphy;s Law : Pictures of Myanmar (Burma) soldiers show them carrying familiar weapons of an unknown, but new, design. Until recently, most Burmese soldiers carried locally manufactured copies of the AK-47 or the German G-3. But over the last six years, these older weapons have been replaced by a new design is that has been variously described as "Chinese" or "Israeli."

Closer examination of these weapons indicates that they are apparently illegal copies of Chinese QBZ-95 (pictured on the left) and Israeli Tavor assault rifles. Manufacturing machinery was illegally obtained from Singapore (which manufactures a local design similar to the U.S. M-16).

Burmese troops have been seen carrying a large variety of weapons, from World War II era stuff, to very modern items like the QBZ-95 and various variations on the M-16 (like the Israeli Tavor). Some of these weapons were obtained via the arms black market, which Burma has long been a major part of. But other weapons were obtained via government-to-government purchase.

For example, several years ago, it became apparent that China had apparently sold some of its new assault rifles (the Type 95) to Myanmar. Troops in that country have been seen carrying the Chinese weapon. The QBZ-95 (Type 95) is bullpup design (the magazine is behind the trigger) that uses China’s proprietary 5.8x42mm cartridge, which is a little wider than the 5.56 NATO, but shorter in overall length. The Type 95 uses a 30-round magazine, similar to the M-16. The Type 95 fires single shots or bursts. China is still in the process of replacing its own Type 81 (improved AK-47) rifles with the new rifle The Type 95 is about ten percent lighter than the older rifle, and has apparently been well received by the troops.

The Type 95 was first seen in Hong Kong when China took over in 1997. The Type 95 comes in a variety of styles (a compact version, an automatic rifle, and a sniper rifle). An export version (the Type 97 'pictured on the left), using the standard 5.56mm NATO round is available, and is apparently what Myanmar is using. But the "new" Burmese military rifle does not appear to be based solely on the Type 95, as it has elements similar to the Singapore version of the M-16 and Israeli Tavor as well. It's a mutant, turned out in a Burmese factory.

China's Type 97
(NOTE: if anybody finds pictures of the Tav M-16 either Sin, US or Israel please share with me... thanks)

READ MORE---> Burma Weapons: Mutant M-16s In Burma...

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