26 September 2011

Four days of heavy fighting in Northern Burma


THE civil war in northern Burma intensified over the last four days as heavy fighting between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) raged across northern Shan State from Friday morning.

The Burmese military reportedly used 17 battalions and an artillery regiment—totaling 1,000 troops in all—to attack KIA strongholds in areas near the towns of Kutkai, Muse, Hseni, Kunglong and Namtu in regions by the Chinese border.

“Intense fighting is still going on and the government is using heavy artillery. We were forced to evacuate some of our controlled areas,” said Col Zau Raw, the military commander of KIA forces in Shan State. He added that more than a 1,000 of his troops have been engaged in defensive guerrilla warfare against government attacks.

The official claimed that the government army has suffered more than 100 casualties while a KIA officer was killed and a few others wounded during the latest fighting. He also revealed that another local armed ethnic group, the Shan State Army, also fought alongside the KIA against the government's military offensive.

The recent fighting has been the most intense since clashes first broke out near the Chinese-built hydropower plants in Bhamo Township, Kachin State, in June which ended a 17-year ceasefire, according to KIA officials.

Efforts by both sides to renew the ceasefire agreement have failed with the government rejecting KIA demands for an all-inclusive political dialogue between ethnic armed groups and Naypyidaw.

The military objective of the offensive remains unclear, but KIA spokesman La Nan believes that the government intends to weaken Kachin forces to get an upper hand in future rounds of negotiations. Full story at The Irrawaddy

22 September 2011

Myitsone Dam Outrage Turns Toward China


Amidst growing tension between the Burmese public and government related to the controversial Myitsone Dam construction project, which is moving ahead despite the possibility of an enormous social and environmental impact, the focus of public anger is apparently shifting towards China.

On Monday, a rumor spread that public protests against the dam project were about to be held in front of the Chinese embassy in Rangoon. Burmese authorities increased security in the area, which apparently foiled the planned protest. But on Tuesday, a Burmese man was arrested for staging a solo protest against the dam project near the Chinese government's cultural office in Rangoon, according to an AFP report.

These incidents reflect what observers say is a growing level of anti-Chinese sentiment in Burma, stemming primarily from major Chinese investments in the country such as the Myitsone Dam project and a strategic oil pipeline being constructed from the Bay of Bengal to Yunnan Province through Central Burma. Each of these investment deals were made by the authoritarian rulers of Burma’s previous junta without taking into account the opinion of the general population.

“This Myitsone project will destroy the flow of the Irrawaddy River and will further intensify the public outrage over it,” said Chan Tun, a former ambassador of Burma to China. “On the other hand, if the Chinese government continues this project, I suspect that it could result in anti-Chinese riots like those in the 1960s in our country.”

China, a staunch defender of the oppressive junta and major arms supplier for the Burmese military, has long been seen as a nemesis by the Burmese public. But the 6,000 mega watt Myitsone Dam, being built on the Irrawaddy River, Burma’s largest and most important waterway, has inflamed anti-Chinese sentiment among the Burmese public more than any issue since 1967, when anti-Chinese riots broke out in Burma. Full story at The Irrawaddy

05 August 2011

Why the hurry to reach a ceasefire?

Saw Yan Naing

TWO months after fighting broke out between Burmese government troops and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), ending a 16-year ceasefire, Naypyidaw is redoubling its efforts to end hostilities in Kachin State, even suggesting that it might be open to nationwide talks aimed at easing ethnic tensions elsewhere in the country.

La Nan, the joint-secretary of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), the political wing of the KIA, said that an agreement has not yet been reached, but noted that in the latest round of negotiations, held earlier this week in Lajayang, Kachin State, the government delegation, led by Col Than Aung, seemed uncharacteristically ready to compromise.

Naypyidaw still hasn't agreed to announce a nationwide political dialogue within 15 days of the ceasefire coming into effect, as demanded by the leaders of the KIO, but there has been a notable change in the government's willingness to at least discuss the idea.

In one recent letter, the Burmese government said that it agreed to attempt to reach a temporary ceasefire, to be followed by further dialogue aimed at achieving long-term peace in the country.

“We've never heard this tone from the government before. They've always avoided this sort of thing in the past. But this time, they're not just talking about a ceasefire, but also long-term peace and political dialogue,” said La Nan.

However, it remained unclear why Naypyidaw is suddenly pushing for an early ceasefire with the KIO.

“They seem to be trying to come closer to our position. The way they are speaking now makes us more inclined to accept their call for a ceasefire. But we want to proceed slowly, and they seem to be in a hurry to sign a deal and continue further talks in the future,” said La Nan.

To further encourage the KIO to agree to a ceasefire, Naypyidaw said it would bring 58 witnesses, including Kachin elders from social and religious organizations, to attend the signing of an agreement between the government and the KIO leaders.

However, the sticking point remains the KIO's insistence on a nationwide dialogue that includes other ethnic armies. Under the current agreement proposed by the government, both sides would stop fighting within 48 hours of signing a deal.

Clashes between government and KIA troops first broke out on June 9, after months of tensions over the KIA's refusal to join a proposed Border Guard Force (BGF) established by the Burmese Army.

Almost every other ceasefire ethnic army similarly balked at the BGF proposal, setting the stage for a showdown with the newly installed government formed in March by the winners of last year's heavily rigged election.

Some observers said that Naypyidaw's efforts to avert any worsening of the situation in Kachin State could be related to its bid to assume the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in 2014—a move that would go far toward legitimizing the outcome of the Nov 7 election.

The biggest obstacle to winning the chairmanship is opposition by the regional grouping's Western trade and strategic partners, particularly the US.

In June, the US raised concerns over the renewed violence in Kachin State and other regions of the country and called on Naypyidaw to halt hostilities with ethnic armed groups. It also said the conflicts underscore the need for an inclusive dialogue between the Burmese government and opposition and ethnic minority groups to begin a process of genuine national reconciliation.

Other observers have suggested that the government's sudden eagerness to end the conflict could be a result of its desire to preempt any attempt by the democratic opposition, led by Aung San Suu Kyi, to get involved.

On July 28, three days after a rare meeting with a senior government minister, Suu Kyi sent an open letter to President Thein Sein and leaders of ethnic armed groups calling for a ceasefire and offering to play a role in efforts to achieve a lasting political solution to the country's ethnic divisions.

It was not clear if Suu Kyi and minister Aung Kyi, discussed the situation in Kachin State, but some have suggested that they may have agreed to cooperate on the issue during their talks, adding that Naypyidaw may be prepared to allow Suu Kyi to participate in ceasefire efforts in order to improve its international image.

It seems far more likely, however, that the government is hoping to head off any talk of Suu Kyi's involvement in this highly sensitive matter by resolving it before her offer wins any further support from ethnic armed groups, many of whom say they would welcome her participation.

Zipporah Sein, the general-secretary of the Karen National Union, said that if the government really wanted to achieve ethnic reconciliation with Suu Kyi's help, it would probably succeed.

However, she said she doubted that Naypyidaw is interested in achieving genuine peace.

“If they want a ceasefire, all they have to do is stop attacking ethnic people. Ethnic armed groups don't go into the cities to attack them; they come into the ethnic areas to attack us. If they stopped, there would be peace across the country,” she said.

Some, however, believe that Thein Sein's government is sincere about wanting to bring peace to Burma. Nay Zin Latt, a member of the Burmese president’s political advisory board, told The Irrawaddy that Thein Sein has a plan to end conflict with ethnic armed groups, but it would take a long time to achieve lasting results.

Meanwhile, in Kachin State, the government appears to be keen not to waste any more time.

“I don’t know what they will do if we sign the agreement. But they seem to really want it soon,” said La Nan. -- The Irrawaddy

19 July 2011

UN calls for ‘restraint’ in Burma’s Kachin State

Thomas Maung Shwe

CHIANG MAI: The United Nations is calling for restraint to be exercised in Kachin State as the conflict between the Burmese army and Kachin fighters shows no sign of ending.

“In light of recent significant developments in Myanmar [Burma], the United Nations strongly encourages all stakeholders to make every effort to avoid raising tensions that could damage the prospects of the country’s implementation of its political and economic reforms,” Farhan Haq, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Mizzima.

Haq was responding to questions from Mizzima about the UN stance on the recent fighting in Kachin State between the Burmese central government and the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO).

Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson said in a reply sent on Friday: “The Secretary-General and his special adviser have been following the evolving situation in Myanmar with attention, including recent reports on the activities of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the NLD and on the situation in Kachin State.”

The UN call for restraint from all sides was met with heavy skepticism from Burma opposition activists.

Reached for comment, Mark Farmaner of the Burma campaign UK told Mizzima: “By calling on all stakeholders to avoid raising tensions, Ban Ki-moon appears to be blaming Kachin women for being gang-raped by the Burmese Army, and blaming Aung San Suu Kyi for being threatened by the dictatorship. The statement is a classic example of how the United Nations panders to the dictatorship instead of standing up for its victims.”

According to Farmaner, “Ban Ki-moon says he wants implementation of political reforms, but the main political reform currently being implemented by the dictatorship is enforcing a new Constitution which is plunging the country into civil war, and leading to an escalation in human rights violations which break international law.”

Ban Ki-moon’s UN special envoy to Burma Vijay Nambiar has come under criticism by Burma activists for not being forceful enough with the new Burmese government. Nambiar, who also serves as Ban Ki-moon’s chief of staff, has filled in on an interim basis as special envoy since January 2010 and has only been involved with the Burma file part-time. The UN told Mizzima last month that a full-time replacement will be appointed in “due time,” however the UN has not given a date for when the new appointment will happen. -- Mizzima

18 July 2011

Burmese officials captured by Kachin army

TWO Burmese army officials and three soldiers have been captured by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) following two days of heavy fighting in northern Burma.

At the weekend a key highway linking Bhamo town to the Kachin state capital of Mytikyina was engulfed in a series of fire-fights after a truck carrying Burmese soldiers was stopped by Kachin troops.

The fight continued into Sunday when the KIA captured the five during an ambush. “They were found hiding in a drain after being pinned down in the [16 July] fight,” said a KIA source. “They were three privates and two officials – a sergeant and a captain.”

They are now in the group’s headquarters in Laiza, and no details have been given on their identity.

The capturing of troops has been a common tactic of both sides since heavy fighting broke out in Kachin state in June, but sometimes with grisly results: on 12 June the corpse of a captured KIA solider was returned displaying signs of torture, despite what the group had claimed was an agreement to exchange hostages unharmed.

The KIA claims the five men are being treated well in Laiza, but no independent verification of their condition can be obtained.

Thousands of ethnic Kachin have been forced to flee their homes since the beginning of fighting, which was triggered by the KIA’s refusal to transform into a government-controlled Border Guard Force.

Large areas of Kachin state have also been brought to a standstill – buses are refusing to travel along the Bhamo-Myitkyina highway, and locals report of being stranded away from their homes. -- DVB

15 July 2011

Burma's Vice-President implicated in Kachin massacres


Burma's Vice President Tin Aung Myint Oo should be investigated by a United Nations' Commission of Inquiry for his role as regional commander during a series of brutal massacres in Shan State, says the leadership of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).

In interviews conducted last week with The Irrawaddy at their military headquarters in Laiza, Kachin State, three of the influential leaders of the KIA—retired Col. James Lum Dung, Brig-Gen Gun Maw, and Col. Zau Raw—laid out detailed reports with maps and photographs that they said proves conclusively that the Burmese army committed atrocities against Kachin soldiers and civilians over the past 10 years.

The first and second of these massacres, according to the KIA, came in 2001 under the watch of Burma's new vice-president who was Northeast Regional Commander at that time.

Asked why evidence of such atrocities had never before been reported, the KIA leaders said that they had not publicized the massacres to avoid destroying the fragile political process during the 17-year ceasefire and while the constitution was being drafted. Full story at The Irrawaddy

14 July 2011

Ethnic leaders present ceasefire proposal to EU


SEVERAL ethnic leaders reported to EU officials about the ongoing conflicts in eastern Burma at a July 9 meeting in Bangkok at which they also called for the EU to broker political dialogue between Burma's government and its ethnic groups.

Leaders of an umbrella group of ethnic parties, the United Nationalities Federation Council (UNFC), told the European delegation that Burmese government forces had attacked the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in northern Burma last month in a bid to protect Naypyidaw's business interests with China, said Nai Hang Thar, the secretary of the UNFC.

Nai Hang Thar, who is also secretary of the New Mon State Party, said the UNFC representatives had told the EU that thousands of refugees have been created as a result of the armed conflict.

“The ethnic leaders requested the EU to help them find solutions to the problems in Burma through political dialogue,” he said.

The KIA’s political wing, the Kachin Independence Organization, which is a member of the UNFC, has proposed—via the UNFC—a ceasefire to the new government.

“The KIO wants the UNFC to lead peace talks,” said Nai Hang Thar.

According to a KIO draft of a proposed ceasefire agreement, the KIA will only agree to a six-month ceasefire if Naypyidaw commits to a political dialogue in which the UNFC plays a leading role. Full story at The Irrawaddy

13 July 2011

From jailhouse to minefield


BANGKOK: “The soldiers told us if we were alive tomorrow we would be lucky,” said Tun Tun Aung, a prisoner originally from a town near Mandalay who was press-ganged into front-line duty by the Burmese Army along with 29 other convicts from Meiktila prison in December 2010.

He said there were about 1,000 prisoners in Karen State when his group arrived there, whereupon they were divided up into groups to carry bombs for the army. “We were never given food or water,” he said, recounting the arduous daily trek up mountains and through jungle, in the ever-dangerous region where Karen rebels have fought the Burmese Army since 1948.

His story is one of 58 separate accounts by Burmese convicts recorded by Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) in a new report, “Dead Men Walking: Convict Porters on the Front Lines in Eastern Burma,” which was released today at a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand. The document, based on accounts given by convict porters who were reportedly coerced into duty but later managed to escape, outlines cases of torture, beatings and summary executions.

Since elections held on Nov 7, 2010, fighting between the Burmese Army and ethnic militias in Karen, Shan and Kachin states, which are home to sizable ethnic minorities, has increased, making it likely that the numbers of convict porters has gone up as the army engages in more fighting with the militias. Full story at The Irrawaddy

12 July 2011

Government compromise needed to avert all-out civil war: KIA


THE phrase “independence for Kachin State” is popular these days among residents of Laiza, the headquarters of the rebel Kachin Independence Army (KIA), whose ongoing clashes with government troops continued until Monday, when artillery fire from the Burmese army side reportedly fell on Chinese territory.

Although KIA leaders do not use this phrase and only call for more political rights from the central government, they are now hinting at the inevitability of a major all-out war with the Burmese army, which could eventually force them to separate from Burma, if the Burmese government does not make any move to respond to the KIA's calls for autonomy, which it has been fighting for since 1963.

“We want a true federal state, but if the government uses force to deal with us, we will be unavoidably pushed behind the lines of 1948,” said Brig-Gen Gun Maw, the KIA deputy military chief who is playing the principal role in current discussions with the Burmese government aimed at ending the armed clashes between the two sides

By referring to 1948—the year Burma regained its independence from Britain—he was suggesting that the country could once again be divided into two parts: central Burma, or Burma proper, and the mountainous regions predominantly populated by ethnic minorities such as the Kachin and the Shan, which were administered separately under the British. -- Full story at The Irrawaddy

11 July 2011

Kachins in Malaysia prayed for peace in Burma’s northern Kachin State

MORE than three hundreds of Kachins in Malaysia who are from Burma’s northern Kachin State participated in a mass prayer meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday 10 July 2011. It is learned that the prayer meeting is aimed for peace and security in Kachin State, Burma.

According to La Nu, one of the participants, there has been more than a month old civil war between the Burmese army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Kachin State. “That is why, regardless of our denominations, we Kachins in Malaysia gathered and prayed together for peace and security in Kachin State” said La Nu.

It is also learned that the Kachin communities around the world have been praying for peace and security in Kachin State since the fighting between the Burmese army and the KIA broke out. -- KBG

09 July 2011

Kachin army ambush leaves 30 dead

AROUND 30 Burmese troops are presumed dead after an ambush by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) on a convoy in Kachin state’s Momauk township yesterday afternoon.

Two trucks carrying government soldiers along the Bhamo-to-Myitkyina highway were damaged in the attack; one of the two carrying more than two dozen troops was blown to pieces, according to the spokesperson of the KIA’s political wing, the Kachin Independence Organisation (KIO).

The attack came as government representatives were holding talks with the KIA at its headquarters in Laiza. The two sides have been engaged in heavy fighting over the past two months in various regions of Kachin state, forcing the displacement of some 20,000 people.

Government newspapers yesterday reported that the KIA had destroyed a number of roads and bridges in Kachin state. The reasons behind the outbreak in violence focus largely on attempts by Naypyidaw to gain control over swathes of Kachin state and neighbouring Shan state, where the KIA has territory. The campaign has also been taken to Karen and Karenni state bordering Thailand, where various insurgent groups are based. Full story at Democratic Voice of Burma

04 July 2011

Burmese diplomat seeks asylum in US

THE second highest-ranking diplomat at the Burmese embassy in Washington has defected, just three months after the formation of a new military-backed government that promised to usher in democratic reforms.

In a letter addressed to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Kyaw Win, the deputy chief of mission at the embassy, said he was seeking asylum because he had been “deemed dangerous” by the new regime for suggesting “actions to improve bilateral relations between Burma and the US.”

He also dismissed suggestions that the new government, formed after an election held last November, was trying to move the country closer to democracy.

“Senior military officials are consolidating their grip on power and seeking to stamp out the voices of those seeking democracy,” wrote Kyaw Win in the letter, adding that recent fighting between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army near the border with China made this obvious.

He also warned that threats made by the Burmese government regarding pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is now visiting the ancient city of Pagan in Upper Burma, “must be taken seriously.”

Kyaw Win, 59, is a career diplomat who has worked for the Burmese Foreign Ministry for 31 years, with postings in Madrid, Geneva, New Delhi, Brasilia and Washington. He has been serving in his current post at the Burmese embassy in Washington since 2008. Read full story at The Irrawaddy

29 June 2011

KIA Doubts Burmese Army Will Attack Through China


LAIZA: Kachin Independence Army (KIA) leaders said on Monday that they do not believe the Chinese government would allow the Burmese army to launch offensives against the KIA headquarters in Laiza, Kachin State from Chinese territory.

In an interview with The Irrawaddy in Laiza, the KIA’s deputy military chief, Gen. Gun Maw, said that the Burmese army might have asked the Chinese government for such help during a recent meeting of Chinese and Burmese government officials in Mungshi City, Yunnan Province.

But while not completely ruling out the scenario of China-based attacks by the Burmese army, he did not believe the Chinese government would allow such a move because it would have a substantial negative impact on border stability.

Gun Maw said that one reason he doubts the Chinese government will let the Burmese army use the main trading route between Laiza and Yunnan Province to launch military offensives against the KIA is the fact that an estimated 300,000 Kachin people are living on the Chinese side of the border.

“If the Burmese army wants to attack us from China, they can do so without the Chinese government’s permission. They can use the border pass cards to send commandos,” said Gun Maw. “But I think the Chinese government will not want to have problems with the Kachin community in China.”

Ringed by rugged mountains, Laiza used to serve as one of the main trading points between Burma and China before the KIA and the Burmese army became engaged in deadly clashes more than two weeks ago. The current conflict has been centered mainly on control of Momauk Township, Kachin State, where the Chinese government has built hydropower plants.

Since the fighting began, the previously busy road between Laiza and Yunnan Province has been mostly silent. Gun Maw said that if the Burmese army troops tried to enter Laiza using this road, it would find itself in “a killing field.” Full story at The Irrawaddy

24 June 2011

Kachins in Malaysia held anti-war protest in Kuala Lumpur

KUALA LUMPUR: More than four hundreds of Kachins in Malaysia, who are from Burma’s northern Kachin State, on Friday 24 June 2011 held a peaceful demonstration in front of the Burmese Embassy to condemn the Burmese government’s military offensive in Kachin State, Burma.

La Nan, one of the protest leaders, said they held a brief demonstration and submitted their demands in writing to an official from the embassy. They also made their demands public by reading both in Burmese and English.

“Our prime demands to the Burmese government are

(i) STOP military offensive in Kachin State immediately

(ii) STOP raping, torturing and killing innocent civilians immediately

(ii) FIND a peaceful political solution through a meaningful dialogue,”

said La Nan.

It is also learned that a similar protest against war in Kachin State will be held on the same day by Kachin people around the world. --KBG

Border wars risk turning back the clock 20 years

By Brian McCartan

FIERCE fighting in Kachin state adds to speculation that widespread civil war may not be far off in Burma. Three separate insurgencies and the potential for more to break out threaten the country’s internal and border security. Also at risk are the small gains in economic and social development in the country’s border regions that have been made since the beginning of the ceasefires two decades ago.

The spiral toward civil war began on election day on 7 November last year when troops from the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) revolted against joining the government’s Border Guard Force (BGF) plan. After briefly seizing two border towns, the group allied itself with the still insurgent Karen National Union (KNU) from which it split in 1994.

Government pressure against the 1st Brigade of the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N) resulted in skirmishes that progressed to an army offensive in early March. Opposed to joining the BGF, the 1st Brigade resumed guerrilla warfare and spread its operations from its central Shan state base area into northern Shan state. By 21 May it had joined forces with the insurgent Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) along the border with Thailand to become the Shan State Army (SSA).

The largest fighting to date began on 9 June when army moves into territory of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) were resisted with force. Much of the hostilities are centered around the sites of two hydropower dams being built by the China Datang Corporation on the Taping River, leading some analysts to speculate the army’s aims are to secure the dam sites, perhaps with tacit Chinese approval. However limited the army’s aims may or may not be, KIA units to the west and south of the fighting have taken steps to prevent army reinforcements and resupply, moves that threaten to spread the conflict to other areas. Read full story at Democratic voice of Burma

22 June 2011

Burmese army accused of raping Kachin civilians

A Kachin human rights group has accused Burmese government troops of multiple cases of rape during the recent armed conflict with the Kachin Independence Army in Kachin State, northern Burma.

In the statement released on Tuesday, Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) claims that at least 18 female Kachins—aged between 15 and 50 years old—were gang-raped by five different Burmese Army battalions in four different townships of Bhamo District from June 10-18.

Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) 437 and Infantry Battalions (IB) 237, 141, 142, 139 and 437 committed the rapes in Momauk, Monyin, Mansi and Bhamo townships, KWAT alleges.

The statement also highlights evidence that IB 437 soldiers detained three families in Dum Bung Village of Momauk Township, gang-raped six women and girls and killed seven small children. The group also accuses soldiers from IB 139 of murdering a seven-year-old girl in Je Sawn Village of Man Si Township before gang-raping and killing her grandmother. Read full story at The Irrawaddy

21 June 2011

High spirits at the KIO headquarters

IN Laiza spirits are high. There is a vibrancy in the air and the leadership of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) and its armed wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), talk of their options with optimism. Many civilians have huddled into churches and makeshift refugee camps just meters from the Chinese border. They have chosen this spot because they don't trust the central government not to order an attack on civilians, but know that Naypyidaw is concerned about shelling China by accident. Those left in the city don't look scared.

The Kachin are in the honeymoon stage of war. If this turns into a full-scale prolonged war, this honeymoon will fade as the realities of war and refugees grow. However, the celebratory atmosphere in Laiza is not without warrant. I have personally seen many factors, some of which are still unknown even to specialists on the topic, that give the Kachin reason to be optimistic about their position and enable them to bargain with the central government with authority. The Burmese army has no chance of quickly wiping out the KIA as they did the Kokang in 2009.

The Kachin are known to be fierce fighters, but they are not warmongers. Even now, in the excitement of renewed fighting, one of the most frequently spoken words I hear during the long civil debates among the leaders and elders is “simsa,” which means peace in their native Jinghpaw language. The Kachin are the most peace-loving, kind and tolerant people I have ever come across. Read full story at The Irrawaddy

17 June 2011

More and more Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (1)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (2)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (3)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (4)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (5)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (6)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (7)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (8)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (9)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (10)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (11)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (12)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (13)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (14)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in Burma (15)

Kachin refugees flee fighting in northern Burma

15,000 Kachin refugees flee to the Sino-Burmese border

Kachin refugees fleeing fighting in Burma (Myanmar).

Kachin refugees fleeing fighting in Burma (Myanmar).

Kachin refugees fleeing fighting in Burma (Myanmar).

Kachin refugees fleeing fighting in Burma (Myanmar).

Kachin refugees fleeing fighting in Burma.

15 June 2011

New level of civil war in Burma

WITH the outbreak of fresh military confrontations in both Kachin and Shan states, the Burmese government has initiated a new level of civil war against its own people. After all, the political ideology of the Burmese government has yet to change. Their true intention was finally exposed. They are still holding onto the iron-coated concept called ‘military solutions to political problems’.

By initiating the offensive military campaigns against the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) from 09 June 2011 onwards, and its subsequent false promise on POW exchange program, the Burmese government has not only breached the terms of ceasefire agreement with the KIO, but also breached the international law on codes of conduct in war. (Picture: A KIO fighter who was captured by the Burmese army was tortured to dead. Burmese army gave back a dead body to KIO) For more horrible images, visit jinghpawkasa.blogspot.com

Therefore, the international community should strongly condemn the Burmese government for such a barbaric act against its own people. -- KBG

13 June 2011

KIA 'Loses Patience' with Burmese Govt

THE Kachin Independence Army (KIA) said it has lost all patience with the Burmese government and is ready to resist any troop incursions into its territory.

Months of tension between the KIA and government troops finally snapped at the weekend when armed clashes broke out in Momauk Township in Kachin State, causing some 500 residents to flee their homes to the Chinese border.

“The fighting is ongoing on and is set to spread," said KIA spokesman La Na. "We have finally lost patience [with the Burmese army]. It's now a 'zero tolerance' policy."

The KIA signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in 1994. But tension mounted last year after the KIA refused to transform its battalions into a state militia under Burmese army command.

Clashes erupted on Thursday after negotiations broke down over a hostage situation. Fighting escalated further after government troops returned the dead body of the hostage, a captured KIA soldier, to the Kachin army.

Government forces have reinforced their positions in Momauk, bringing in several additional battalions. Sources said the government is preparing for a major military operation.

KIA sources claimed about 60 government soldiers were injured in clashes over the weekend, and were hospitalized in Bhamo.

Seng Aung, a resident in Laiza, the headquarters of the KIA, said he believed the fighting would escalate and that Chinese construction workers and engineers at Tapai dam near the Sino-Burmese border have returned home to escape the hostilities.

He said that prisoners from Bhamo were sent to Momauk to serve as porters for government troops.

Government forces took over a KIA liaison office in Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, on Saturday night.

Lapai Naw Din, the editor of the Thailand-based Kachin News Group, said that government authorities warned local residents in Momauk not to go out at nighttime.

Some residents have moved to safer towns while others have gone to stay with their relatives in China, said Lapai Naw Din. Many Momauk residents fled after government troops began forcefully recruiting locals to serve as porters, carrying munitions and supplies toward the theaters of battle.

During last week's clashes, at least three government soldiers were killed, including a captain, and six were injured, while two KIA soldiers were wounded, according to Kachin sources.

No further details of casualties have been released since. -- The Irrawaddy

11 June 2011

Explosion in Myanmar's capital wounds 3

YANGON: Myanmar's government says a bomb planted in a market has wounded three people in the capital.

A government official speaking on condition of anonymity says the bomb ripped through a public toilet in a market in the administrative capital Naypyitaw on Friday night.

With no clearance to speak to the media, the official declined to be identified.

It was unclear who carried out the attack. The explosion came two days after the government blamed ethnic Karen rebels for killing two people in a train bombing last month.

Bombings are rare but not unknown in Myanmar, where pro-democracy activists and ethnic groups are at odds with the military-backed regime. -- The Straits Times

10 June 2011

KIA on High Alert after Overnight Fighting

KACHIN Independence Army (KIA) troops stationed in eastern Kachin State's Momauk Township are on high alert following several hours of fighting with Burmese government troops on Thursday, as sources report that both sides appear to be bracing for further hostilities.

The fighting broke out early Thursday morning before dawn and continued until noon, according to sources in the area. The fighting involved Battalion 15 of the KIA's Brigade 3 and Burmese Battalion 437.

More government troops have been deployed as reinforcements along a route connecting Bhamo and the state capital of Myitkyina, as well as in Momauk and areas near the KIA headquarters of Laiza since late last night, according to Laiza resident Seng Aung, speaking to The Irrawaddy on Friday.

A resident of Maijaya, a village in Bhamo District, where Momauk Township is also located, said: “Almost all the Kachin men in the village have gone to the area where the fighting broke out yesterday. Now there are mostly only women, children and few men remaining in the village.”

The male residents were likely summoned by the KIA as reinforcements, as they serve as members of a paramilitary militia under KIA command, said the resident.

“If government troops continue to cross KIA-controlled areas, majors fighting is expected. If they withdraw their troops, the situation will return to normal,” said Seng Aung.

Lapai Naw Din, the editor of the Thailand-based Kachin News Group, said that the clashes on Thursday were serious because tension has been mounting between the KIA and the government over the KIA's refusal to become a border guard force under Burmese army control.

Some 500 troops were involved in the fighting—which included mortar shelling—on Thursday. At least three government soldiers were killed and six injured, while two KIA soldiers were wounded, said Lapai Naw Din.

The KIA, which has an estimated 10,000 troops, signed a ceasefire agreement with the government in 1994. However, the ceasefire informally broke down following skirmishes between the two sides late last year.

On Feb. 7, an armed clash between government troops and the KIA occurred just southeast of Bhamo, another area that is under the control of KIA Brigade 3.

On Oct. 18 of last year, an office of the KIA’s political wing, the Kachin Independence Organization, was raided by government troops who arrested two KIO officials. A few days later, government newspapers referred to the KIA as “insurgents” for the first time in more than a decade and a half. -- The Irrawaddy

03 June 2011

McCain warns Myanmar risks Arab-style uprising

YANGON - US SENATOR John McCain warned on Friday that Myanmar could face a Middle East-style revolution if the new army-backed government fails to implement democratic reform and improve human rights.

'The winds of change are now blowing, and they will not be confined to the Arab world,' the senior Republican told reporters at the end of a three-day visit to the military-dominated nation. 'Governments that shun evolutionary reforms now will eventually face revolutionary change later.'

Mr McCain was in Myanmar to assess the new political landscape after the junta handed power to a nominally civilian but army-backed government in March following the country's first election in 20 years.

The November vote, won by the military's political proxies, was marred by widespread complaints of cheating and the exclusion of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released from house arrest shortly afterwards.

Mr McCain urged the government to ensure the safety of Ms Suu Kyi, who said this week she hoped to soon conduct a political tour around the country that will be a key test of her freedom following her release.

'Aung San Suu Kyi's last attempt to travel freely was marred by violence, and the new government's ability and willingness to prevent a similar outcome this time will be an important test of their desire for change,' Mr McCain said. -- The Straits Times

23 May 2011

UN envoy: Myanmar does little to stop rights abuse

BANGKOK - The United Nations' human rights envoy to Myanmar said on Monday that the country's nascent civilian government has done little to address widespread abuses, including forced labour and extrajudicial killings, since replacing the ruling junta in March.

Elections last year for a new parliament and the installation of civilian leaders this spring were supposed to be the final steps of what Myanmar's military leaders had hailed as their 'roadmap to democracy.' But UN envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana told reporters in Bangkok that 'democracy requires much more.'

Myanmar's government is currently refusing to allow Mr Quintana to visit the Southeast Asian nation. The envoy spoke after a weeklong trip to Thailand to talk with refugees from Myanmar. Thailand is home to more than 100,000 people who have fled the neighbouring country.

Mr Quintana said violence continues along Myanmar's eastern border region, and ethnic minority groups there are victims of 'land confiscation, forced labour, internal displacement, extrajudicial killings and sexual violence.'

These abuses 'are widespread, they continue today, and they remain essentially unaddressed by the authorities,' Mr Quintana said.

In Myanmar's eastern Kayah state, for example, both men and women have fled out of fear of being conscripted into the military, he said. There is such a deficit of schools there that some parents send their children to refugee camps in Thailand for basic education, he added. -- The Straits Times

21 May 2011

Locals Fear 'Four Cuts' in Kachin State

VILLAGERS in Bahmo and Momauk townships in Kachin State are frightened that more clashes will take place after Burmese government troops fired a number of mortar shells into Kachin Independence Army (KIA) territory and the KIA was put on alert, according to local residents.

Recently, small clashes between government troops and the KIA have taken place across Kachin State, escalating tension between the KIA and the Burmese army. In addition, Burmese troops have been questioning villagers living in the area.

“The government troops scold the villagers and interrogate the farmers who are working in the fields. They also question the villagers who work in town,” said a resident of Bahmo Township.

Naw Din, the editor of the Kachin News Group (KNG), told The Irrawaddy that part of the government strategy to defeat the KIA is to drive villagers away from the KIA territory to the border.

“I see these are the signals of the Burmese army, to divide the KIA and the villagers using the “four cuts” strategy. Moving villages is in fact the strategy,” said Naw Din.

The “four cuts” strategy means cutting off access to food, funds, information and recruitment, often with devastating consequences.
In its fight with the Shan State Army, the Burmese army also used the “four-cuts” strategy, along with a military build-up, to drive many villagers in southern Shan State from their homes and land.
As a result, many villagers from Shan State Army territory in Shan State left for the border to find safer and better places to live.
The KIA attempted to negotiate with the new government, but the effort failed, said a KIA official on condition of anonymity.

“We have to fight back if they attack us. We are also ready,” he said.

“They said they should negotiate, if not the local residents will suffer with the escalating of tension. I don't know why the circumstances changed,” said Guan Sai, a member of the Kachin State Progressive Party (KSPP).

In 1994, the Burmese army agreed to a ceasefire with the KIA. However, tension between Naypyidaw and the KIA escalated after after the KIA refused the Burmese army order to transform into a Border Guard Force.

A Burmese army battalion commander was reportedly killed during an armed clash between government troops and the KIA on February. In addition, late last year Burma's state-run media referred to the KIA as “rebels” for the first time since the ceasefire was signed. -- The Irrawaddy

19 May 2011

Bomb kills two near Myanmar capital: Official

YANGON - A bomb blast on a train near Myanmar's capital left at least two people dead on Wednesday during a visit by a US envoy for talks with the new government, a Myanmar official said.

'It was a time bomb. We assume KNU insurgents plotted it,' said the government official, referring to the Karen National Union whose armed wing has been fighting the government in a decades-old ethnic insurgency.

'Two people including a woman were killed and seven others were injured in the bomb blast,' which occurred in the early evening in Tatkone township in the Naypyidaw area, said the official, who did not want to be named.

The explosion came shortly after Joseph Yun, the deputy US assistant secretary for East Asia and Pacific affairs, arrived in Myanmar for talks with officials including Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin in Naypyidaw. Mr Yun is also expected to meet with democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi during his four-day visit to the military-dominated country.

US President Barack Obama's administration in 2009 launched a drive to engage with Myanmar's junta, which in March this year made way for a nominally civilian government after the first election in 20 years.

Washington has voiced disappointment with the results of the dialogue and refused to ease sanctions after the November poll, which was marred by complaints of intimidation and fraud. -- The Straits Times

18 May 2011

Top US official to visit Myanmar

WASHINGTON - A top diplomat from Washington will visit Myanmar for the highest-level US talks there since the junta's dissolution and the appointment of a nominally civilian government, the State Department said on Tuesday.

Mr Joseph Yun, the deputy US assistant secretary for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Bureau, is scheduled to leave on Wednesday for Myanmar, also known as Burma, and stay until May 21, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

'Yun will hold introductory meetings with senior government officials in Burma,' Mr Toner told reporters, confirming the talks will be the highest since the new government was installed in March.

'He'll also consult a variety of stakeholders, including representatives of political parties, non-governmental organisations, ethnic minorities, as well as the business community,' Mr Toner added.

A State Department official said later on condition of anonymity that Mr Yun will also try to meet opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, 65, who was released in November after spending most of the past 20 years under house arrest.

Her release came a few days after elections marred by accusations of cheating and intimidation. In March the military junta made way for a nominally civilian government after almost half a century in power and Mr Than Shwe, the general who ruled Myanmar with an iron fist for 19 years, retired as head of the military. Last month a friend of Ms Suu Kyi, Mr U Myint, was appointed as an adviser to Myanmar's president. -- The Straits Times

15 May 2011

Google Talk hta jai lang mai ai lam ni

GOOGLE Talk hpe jai lang ai shaloi, tinang ra ai laika hkrang ni hpe tatut jai lang lu na matu, lawu de na lam ni hpe tang madun dat nngai.

1. Line Break hpe bang mayu ai rai yang: SHIFT hpe dip da nna ENTER galaw

2. Laika hkum htat htat (Bold) galaw mayu ai rai yang: asterisk (*) kumla hpe laika a npawt hte ndung hta bang shalawm dat (ga shadawn *bold*)

3. Laika hkum yawn yawn (Italic) galaw mayu ai rai yang: asterisk (_) kumla hpe laika a npawt hte ndung hta bang shalawm dat (ga shadawn _Italic_)

4. Ga shaga/laika ka nga ai aten hta Font size galai mayu ai rai yang: CTRL + Mousewheel hpe UP/DOWN galaw

5. CTRL + E: Center text

6. CTRL + R: Right justify text

7. CTRL + L: Left justify text

8. F11: Start a call

9. F12: Stop the call

10. ESC: Close the current window

12 May 2011

No 'meaningful change' in Myanmar: Suu Kyi

BERLIN - No 'meaningful change' has taken place since Myanmar's first elections in 20 years in November, recently released opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi said in comments due to be broadcast this week.

'So far I haven't seen any meaningful change,' Ms Suu Kyi said in a phone-in with German broadcaster DW-TV and students at the Hertie School of Management in Berlin recorded on Tuesday.

'I know there have been elections but the government that has taken over since the elections are the same as those who were in place before the elections ... We are still waiting to see whether there has been real change.'

Ms Suu Kyi, 65, was released in November after spending most of the past 20 years under house arrest in Myanmar, also known as Burma. Her release came a few days after elections marred by accusations of cheating and intimidation.

In March the military junta made way for a nominally civilian government after almost half a century in power and Than Shwe, the general who ruled Myanmar with an iron fist for 19 years, retired as head of the military.

Last month a friend of Ms Suu Kyi, Mr U Myint, was appointed as an adviser to Myanmar's president. But the army hierarchy retains a firm grip on power. Ms Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy party was disbanded for opting to boycott the election because the rules seemed designed to bar her from participating. -- The Straits Times

19 March 2011

Google Talk lahkawng masum hpe arau sha hpaw da mai nga ai

GOOGLE Mail account lahkawng masum lu da ai lam a marang e, dai ni yawng hpe Google Talk langai hpra hta arau sha hpaw da mayu ai rai yang, nau wa mi lak lak lai lai galaw la ra ai lam nnga nga ai. Lawu de matsun da ai lam ni hpe loi mi galaw jahtuk la ra na lam sha rai nga ai.

(i) Google Talk shortcut hpe "right click" galaw nna Properties hpe matut "click",

(ii) Dai hpang Shortcut Tab kata na Target mying ai shara kaw "c:\program files\google\google talk\googletalk.exe" /nomutex ngu nna bai galai ka bang la,

(iii) "Apply" hte "OK" hpe bai matut dip la dat sha rai nga ai.

Dai ni yawng hpe galaw la ngut sai rai yang, shawoi na hte maren Google Talk shortcut hpe tinang ra ai made mi "click" galaw la nna "sign in" matut galaw mat wa na lam sha rai nga sai rai.-- PC Hacks

08 March 2011

Manu n-hkrat ra ai sha download galaw la mai ai "Clip Art" ni

MANU jahpu n-hkrat ra ai hta sha n-ga, download galaw la mung loi dik ai "Clip Art" ni hpe Open Clip Art Library kaw mahkawng da nga ai lam hpe mu lu ai.

Dai "Clip Art" ni law malawng hpe SNG format hte PNG format ni hku nna download galaw la mai nga ai lam gaw, website ni matu sha n-ga, dip shapraw jai lang ai baw sumla hte laili laika ni a matu mung, akyu rawt dik nga ai lam rai nga ai.

Ra sharawng ai hpu nau ni a matu Free Clipart Download

05 March 2011

Naypyidaw Orders New “Four Cuts” Campaign

THE War Office in Naypyidaw has ordered Burmese government forces based in ethnic areas to relaunch their infamous “Four Cuts” strategy against the ethnic cease-fire groups that continue to resist the junta's Border Guard Force (BGF) plan.

The Burmese army's “Four Cuts” policy was developed in the 1970s during the former regime of the Burmese Socialist Programme Party with the intention of undermining ethnic militias by cutting off access to food, funds, information and recruitment, often with devastating consequences.

According to military sources, the War Office recently ordered regional commanders to reimpose the strategy in areas including Kachin State, Shan State, Karenni State , Karen State , Mon State and Tenasserim Division.

Military sources said the renewed campaign would include an additional “cut”—a policy of severing communication routes between allied ethnic groups.--Full story at The Irrawaddy

03 March 2011

iPad 2 bai pru sai

APPLE Inc. kaw na nnan bai shapraw dat ai iPad 2 tablet computer hpe, gat-lawk de shachyen dat ya sai lam, mu chye lu ai. Ndai iPad 2 gaw 2010 ning hta e shapraw dat ai iPad version hta grau tsang nna, grau mung hpa ai lam rai nga ai.

Dai hta sha n-ga, video chat mai galaw na matu shawng e mung, hpang e mung camera bang da ya ai lam rai nga ai. Rai timung, shi a manu hpe chyawm gaw, mi shawng na manu hte maren $499-$826 lapran hta sha matut rai nga na lam hpe, chief executive Steve Jobs hpe lakap nna chye lu ai.

Apple Inc. kaw nna galaw shapraw ai gunrai ni hta Macintosh computers, iPod, iPhone hte iPad ni gaw, mungkan hta mying gumhkawng dik ai gunrai ni nan rai nga ai rai.-- BBC News

27 February 2011

Windows 7 hpe sharin hka ja lam

Windows 7 gaw Microsoft Windows Operating System a hpang jahtum na version re ai majaw, shi a shawng na version ni hte shingdaw yu ga nga yang, grau lawan nna grau mung lang loi, lang manu, ai operating system rai nga ai. Dai re ai majaw, Windows 7 hpe mari lang da nna, dai hpe atsawm sha hkau chyap, chye chyang, ai hku nna jai lang mayu ai rai yang, WINDOWS 7 TUTORIALS kaw e, sharin hka ja la yang mai nga ai.

Windows a lam hpe ningpawt ninghpang hku nna sharin hka ja la mayu ai hpu nau ni a matu, kaga tatut jai lang mai ai baw - ga shadawn, PC Maintenance, Windows Basics, Skins and Themes, Backup, etc. - lam ni hpe mung hka ja la mai ai shara rai nga ai.

Myit lawm ai hpu nau ni a matu Top-Windows-Tutorials.com.

25 February 2011

Num ni grau hpaji madang tsaw wa nga sai American mungdan

AMERICAN mungdan hta shayi num ni a hpaji chye chyang wa ai madang gaw, shadang la ni a madang hta grau law wa nga sai lam hpe ‘the US Census Bureay’ a jahpan hta mu lu nga ai. Master janmau, PhD janmau hte kaga kanbau bungli lam hpaji janmau ni hpe gup da lu sai hkawn-ram ni a jahpan gaw, tsalam shadang (9) rai nga ai rai tim, brang-ram ni a jahpan chyawm gaw tsalam shadang (6) sha naw rai nga ai lam hpe, dai Census Bureay gaw madi madun nga ai. Lam mi hku nna tsun ga nga yang, hpungjat hpaji janmau ni hpe gup da lu sai masha marai (10) hta na marai (6) grupyin ngu na gaw, shayi num ni re, ngu ai lachyam rai nga ai.

Maga mi de, numbat langai janmau (shing nrai B.A/B.Sc janmau) ni hpe gup da lu sai, asak (25) ning hte (29) ning lapran na shayi num ni hte shadang la ni a jahpan hta mung, num ni a jahpan gaw tsalam shadang (35) rai nga ai rai nna, la ni a jahpan chyawm gaw tsalam shadang (27) sha naw rai nga ai lam hpe mu ai. Ndai zawn, American la ni hta American num ni a hpaji madang grau tsaw wa nga ai lam gaw, ahkyak madung kanbau bungli lam ni rai nga ai hkamja lam, tara upadi lam hte kaga hpaji ningli lam ni hpe, lani mi na nhtoi hta num ni mahtang she ka-up madu da ai baw lam ni, byin wa shangun chye ai lam rai nga ai.

American mungdan de du sa wa ai kaga amyu bawsang ni a lapran hta chyawm gaw, Asha dan de na htawt du sa wa ai myusha ni hpaji grau lu shakut la nga ai lam hpe, dan dan leng leng mu lu nga ai. Jahpan hku nga yang, numbat langai janmau hpe gup da lu sai Asha rusai masha ni gaw tsalam shadang (53) rai nga ai rai nna, Spanish rusai n-re ai kaga shanhpraw masha ni a jahpan gaw tsalam shadang (33), shanchyang rusai masha ni gaw tsalam shadang (19) hte Spanish rusai masha ni gaw tsalam shadang (13) rai nga ma ai rai.-- AFP

23 February 2011

Tay Za rescue effort in progress

A rescue team has located Tay Za, a Burmese Tycoon with close ties to the military junta, whose helicopter went down on Fukanrazi Mountain in a remote area of Burma’s northern Kachin State on Monday. Rescuers are now trying to get him and his group off the ice-covered mountain but will not be able to reach them today, sources said.

The helicopter and its crew and passengers are stranded at an elevation of about 12,000 feet and the rescue team trying to reach them is at about 10,000 feet, a source said.

The MI 17 military helicopter previously assisting the operation was not able to fly high enough to reach Tay Za and his group. The tycoon's company has now hired a private helicopter based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which has landed in Mandalay for refueling and will join the rescue efforts later today, a source said.--Full story at The Irrawaddy

11 February 2011

Than Shwe Blamed for Monk Killings: Wikileaks

According to a recent dispatch by Wikileaks, two cables from the US embassy in Rangoon accuse Burma's junta chief Snr-Gen Than Shwe of ordering troops to crack down on Buddhist monks during the mass demonstrations in September 2007; and refusing to allow the army to respond to the Cyclone Nargis disaster.

The first cable, dated Nov. 28, 2007, and signed by former US Chargé d'Affaires Shari Villarosa, was published in a leading Norwegian newspaper, Aftenposten, on Feb 4. In it, Villarosa attributed information to military sources who said: “Both Than Shwe and Maung Aye gave the orders to crackdown on the monks, including shooting them if necessary.”

The cable added that junta No.3 ex-Gen Shwe Mann, the new Lower House Speaker, disagreed with the decision, but carried it out, “quietly advising regional commanders to do so with minimal bloodshed.”--Full story at The Irrawaddy

05 February 2011

Politics in Myanmar: Forwarding or retrospecting?


Mr. Thein Sein’s (a former general and outgoing prime minister) appointment as Myanmar’s first civilian president after nearly five decades of military rule has led many critics to re-analyse the future of the country. Because it was almost the opposite of what the majority of the people have wished for. One think is for sure that the majority of the people of Myanmar are still wishing for major changes rather than changes in a person’s attires (i.e., from military into civilian).

In fact, they have had some bad memories about how the previous - general turned civilian - leaders have failed to govern the country effectively. In other words, it was during that era that the country has become one of the poorest countries in the world until now. So it is not wrong to say that the whole process is just a re-run of the policies that the previous military leaders have adopted since the 1962 coup de’tat.

But what can the majority of the people of Myanmar do? Sadly to say that there is no clear cut solution to that because they are helpless. What is more, neither the international communities nor regional communities have yet to make effective engagements in Myanmar’s so-called ‘road map to democracy’.

As for the ethnic groups in Myanmar, it was the then prime minister Mr. Thein Sein who was quoted as saying that the military government would firstly crash the entire Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in their effort to turn Myanmar into so-called ‘ethnic groups free nation-state'. In fact, the majority of Kachin people could not even have a chance to vote during the November 7, 2010 election. Indeed, it was a voting free election i.e., nobody could vote since there was no public election.--KBG

Myanmar picks junta insider as president

YANGON - Myanmar named a key retired general as president on Friday, as the military hierarchy retained its stranglehold on power in the country's new political system.

Mr Thein Sein, who shed his army uniform to contest controversial elections last year, received 408 votes out of a potential 659 from a committee of lawmakers.

The prime minister and former junta number four had been tipped for the post even before the vote, supporting fears that the regime has engineered the political process to hide military power behind a civilian facade.

A key ally of junta strongman Than Shwe, the 65-year-old became a civilian to contest the November election as head of the junta-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which claimed an overwhelming majority in the poll. One of the president's first jobs will be to appoint a government, and he can be confident of little resistance from a parliament controlled by the military and its cronies, analysts said.

Sources said he was likely to retain his position as prime minister in addition to his new role. A select committee on Friday chose the president from three candidates, all of them members of the USDP, as Myanmar's military, which has ruled the country for nearly half a century, continued its domination.

The two vice-presidents are Tin Aung Myint Oo, another retired top general and Than Shwe ally, and an ethnic Shan, Sai Mouk Kham.--The Straits Times

28 January 2011

Myanmar approves investment law

YANGON - Myanmar's military government has enacted a law on foreign investment in a move to attract much-needed foreign capital to an economy held back by decades of sanctions and mismanagement.

A 'Special Economic Zone Law' was passed on Thursday by the junta, four days before a new parliament convenes for the first time, outlining privileges for investors and regulations regarding banking and insurance firms.

State-controlled media carried vague details about the new law on Friday and said full information would be published at a later date.

The country is on a drive to attract investment, promoting tourism, timber, gemstones and its vast oil and gas reserves, which are already being tapped by China and Thailand, its neighbours and biggest trade partners.

Regional foreign ministers and some small political parties plan to petition Western governments to lift sanctions, and the party of Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, who was released from seven years' house arrest on Nov 13, is expected to complete a review of the issue soon.

The new investment law follows a series of reforms undertaken over the past year, including the privatisation of hundreds of state assets, and plans to expand banking, telecommunications, shipping and agricultural sectors.--The Straits Times

16 January 2011

Myanmar ethnic parties call for sanctions lift

YANGON - Myanmar's main ethnic political parties called on Sunday for Western nations to lift economic sanctions on the country as its new parliament prepares to convene for the first time.

A joint declaration said sanctions imposed by the United States and European countries 'are causing many difficulties in the important areas of trade, investment and modern technologies for the development of ethnic regions'. 'We ethnic parties together request that the United States and European countries lift sanctions,' the minority parties said.

The declaration was signed by the Shan Nationalities Democratic Party (SNDP), the Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, the Chin National Party, the All Mon Region Democracy Party and the Phalon-Sawaw Democratic Party.

All five groups won seats in Myanmar's controversial elections last year, with the largest ethnic winner being the SNDP, which will take a total of 57 seats when parliament and regional legislatures convene on Jan 31.

The government-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party claimed an overwhelming majority in the polls, winning 882 seats amid allegations of fraud and intimidation, plus the exclusion of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. -- The Straits Times

12 January 2011

Majan hte amyusha shawng lam

Layang U Ra

Shinggyim masha ni gaw, moi chyaloi nhkoi prat kaw nna nan, tinang lu da ai lamu ga ginra hte sut-ring sut-rai ni hpe makawp maga na matu sha n-ga, bai kahtap shalaw jat la lu na matu mung, tinang a amyusha, amyu rusai, uhpung uhpawng, htunghking, makam masham hte mungdaw mungdan ni hpe makawp maga ra ai ngu nna hkap la ai lam ni a majaw mung, majan ni law law hpe gasat gala galaw hkrat lai wa sai lam rai nga ai. Ndai hpe yu yang, mungkan ga na htunghking laimasa (civilization) ni zawn, asak aprat galu galang rai nga sai bawhpan ni hta, ‘majan’ ngu ai mung langai mi rai nga ai. Dai ni na prat hta mungkan mungdan ni law law wa mung, shada da a lapran hta majan ni n-byin wa hkra, koi yen shakut nga ai lam hpe yu yang, majan byin wa na lam hpe n-ra sharawng ai prat nan rai nga sai ngu yang, n-shut nga ai. ‘Majan ngu ai gaw prat nan nrai nga sai (war is obsolete)’ ngu nna pyi nkau hpaji ninghkring ni tsun kajai nga ai aten nan rai nga sai.

Rai timung, maga mi de mungkan mungdan ni kanoi yawng gaw, lama wa majan byin wa yang na matu, ngu nna tinang a hpyen dap hte hpyen arung arai ni hpe galoi mung prat madang adep nga hkra, ja ji jahting shajin da da re ai lam ni hpe yu yang, majan ngu ai gaw - tinang ra tim, n-ra tim - tinang kaw byin hkrum hkra wa chye ai baw lam yan langai mi nan rai nga ai hpe mu ai. Dai re ai majaw, anhte Jinghpaw Wunpawng amyusha ni hta mung majan hte seng ai machye machyang ni hpe hkau chyap chye chyang da lu na matu gaw, ahkyak ai lam rai nga ai.

Majan ngu ai hpa rai ta?

Dai ni na prat hta majan ngu ai a lachyum hpe amyu myu nga nna tsun shaleng da ai laika ni law law rai nga sai rai tim, Carl von Clausewitz mying ai German hpyen hpaji ninghkring wa a ga lachyum hpyan ai lam hpe gaw, mungmasa hte hpyen masa hpaji ninghkring ni galoi mung atek jum da nga ai lam rai nga ai. Clausewitz a On War ngu ai laika buk hta majan ngu ai gaw ‘mungmasa lam hpe kaga lai ladat langai mi hte matut galaw nga ai lam re (a continuation of political activities by other means)’ ngu nna lachyum shaleng da ai lam rai nga ai. Mungmasa bawngban jahkrup nmai wa ai aten hta e, lai ladat kaga langai mi hte matut shachyen shaja sa wa ai lam hpe, tsun ai lam rai nga ai.

Dai re ai majaw Clausewitz gaw majan ngu ai hpe gamu hkat shingjawng poi (wrestling match) hte ga shadawn tsun da nga ai. Tinang a hpyen-wa hpe dang manga kau lu na matu, lahkawng yan gaw tinang hta nga manga n-gun atsam yawng hpe jai lang nna shingjawng hkat ai ni hkrai rai nga ai. Majan ngu ai mung dai hte maren sha rai nga ai. Majan byin nga ai mugdan ni a lapran hta, ‘hpyen-wa a hkrat sum ai lam ngu ai gaw, tinang a matu akyu hkam la lam kaba nan rai nga ai’ ngu ai masing hte majan gasat ai ni hkrai rai nga ai. Manang wa a lata kaw na tinang hkam la mayu ai lam hte ahkaw ahkang, shing nrai arung arai, ni hpe tinang hta nga manga n-gun atsam hpe jai lang let hkan gajau di la ai lam nan rai nga ai. Dai majaw majan ngu dat ai shaloi e, langai wa ai hkrat sum mat ai lam chyu sha, kaga langai wa a matu padang ninglaw lam rai nga ai.

Majan a yaw shada lam
Majan ni langai hte langai a majan lapyin (intensity) hte hten byak lam (destructiveness) ni gaw, shai hkat nga ai lam hpe mu ai. De a majaw, majan byin nga ai uhpung uhpawng ni a yaw shatawng shada ai lam ni hta lakap nna, majan ni hpe mung hpan garan ginhka da mai nga ai. Grau nna chye na loi na hku tsun ga nga yang, myit mada lam langai ngai a majaw sha majan gasat sat re ai lam rai nga ai zawn, dai myit mada da ai bandung ngu ai gaw shadawn shadang nga ai, shing nrai shadawn shadang nnga ai, ngu ai lam hta lakap nna she, majan lapyin hte hten byak lam ni mung shai hkat nga ai lam rai nga ai.

Lam mi hku nna tsun ga nga yang, majan a sat lawat (character) ngu ai gaw, tinang yaw shatawng shada da ai bandung mahtai de du lu na matu, tinang tatut jai lang sa wa ai majan gasat lai ladat ni hta madung nga ai lam rai nga ai. Dai re ai majaw, majan gasat nga ai uhpung uhpawng ni a yaw shada ai lam ni wa mi shai hkat chye nga ai rai tim, shanhte yawng du dep wa mayu ai bandung ngu na gaw, shadawn shadang nga ai baw, shing nrai shadawn shadang nnga ai sha yawng tsep kawp re ai baw, bandung mahtai ni nan rai nga ai. De a majaw majan ngu ai hpe Masat Shadang Nga Majan (Limited War) hte Yawng Hpawn Majan (Total War) ngu nna hpan lahkawng garan da ai lam rai nga ai.

Masat Shadang Nga Majan
Masat Shadang Nga Majan ngu ai gaw, tinang yaw shatawng shada da ai mungmasa bandung langai mi san san a matu sha, gasat gala galaw ai majan hpe tsun ai lam rai nga ai. Tinang a hpyen wa hpe tsep kawp gasat shamyit kau na daram du hkra myit da ai lam nnga ai sha, tinang byin mayu ai lam langai mi hpe hkrang shapraw la lu ai shaloi ‘ram sai’ ngu ai yaw shada lam rai nga ai. 1982 ning hta byin ai Falklands Majan (Falklands War) gaw ga shadawn kaja langai mi rai nga ai. Falklands zinlawng hpe gan shang zing madu da ai Argentina hpyen hpung ni bai htingnut mat hkra, ngu ai British asuya a shadawn sharam nga ai yaw shada lam hpe mu lu nga ai.

Mungdan gadaga tara ritkawp ni hpe hkan nang hkan sa ai hku nna gasat gala galaw ai majan re ai, n-re ai, ngu ai lam hpe madung tawn nna mung, Masat Shadang Nga Majan ngu ai hpe masat ai lam rai nga ai. Lam mi hku nna tsun ga nga yang, majan a majaw hten wa za wa ai madang hpe lakap nna tsun ai lam n-rai nga ai. Mungdan gadaga uhpung uhpawng ni hku nna masat jahkrat da ai, majan aten hta e hkan nang hkan sa ra na tara ritkawp ni hpe tatut jai lang akyu jashawn ai majan rai yang, dai majan hpe Masat Shadang Nga Majan ngu ai lam rai nga ai. Ga shadawn tsun ga nga yang, laknak hpai ai hkyenla shada da sha gap hkat sat hkat ra na lam rai nna, mungmasha ni hpe gap hkra shalawm nmai ai baw tara shatup nna gasat gala galaw ai lam hpe, tsun ai lam rai nga ai.

Yawng Hpawn Majan
Yawng Hpawn Majan ngu dat ai hte rau gaw, hpyen wa hpe tsep kawp gasat dang kau lu hkra, shing nrai hpyen wa tsep kawp asum jaw kau ra mat ai kaw du hkra, ngu ai myit yaw shada lam hte rau, lu malu n-gun atsam ni mahkra hpe jai lang let, n-dut n-dang re ai hku nna gasat gala galaw ai lam hpe, ngu ai lam rai nga ai. Majan a matu ngu nna tinang hta nga manga hpyen luksuk n-gun hte sut-ring sut-rai ni yawng hpe jai lang akyu jashawn sa wa ai lam hta sha n-ga, hpyenla hte mungmasha ngu nna kaga mi garan ginhka ai lam nnga ai sha gap hkat sat hkat galaw ai lam rai nga ai. Lam mi hku nna tsun ga nga yang, mu mamu hpyen amyu masha ni yawng hpe sat na nat na ngu ai majan gaw, Yawng Hpawn Majan majing nan rai nga ai. American hpyenla ni hku nna mai byin ai daram mungmasha ni hpe n-gap hkra kau hkrup hkra, hpyenhking dagraw da ai masha ni hpe sha lata nna sat ai nat ai lam galaw lai wa ai Vietnam Majan gaw, Masat Shadang Nga Majan amyu hpan hta lawm nga ai rai tim, Numbat 1 Mungkan Majan (N1MM) hte Numbat 2 Mungkan Majan (N2MM) ni hpe chyawm gaw, Yawng Hpawn Majan a sakse ni hku nna masat da ai lam rai nga ai.

Majan a majaw hten za ai lam
Majan a marang e hten wa za wa ai lam ni grau grau nna laja lana byin wa shangun ai lam ni gaw (i) jak hpaji lam hta rawt jat kung kyang wa ai lam, (ii) Masat Shadang Nga Majan kaw nna Yawng Hpawn Majan de gale wa ai lam, hte (iii) majan hpe grau mazut ai lai ladat hte gasat wa ai lam, ni hta madung nga ai lam rai nga ai.

(i) Jak hpaji lam hta rawt jat kung kyang wa ai lam
Ningpawt ninghpang daw na majan ni chyawm gaw, n-htu, n-hkyi hte kaga jak-rung jak-rai ni hpe jai lang nna gasat ai majan ni rai nga ai hte maren, ni ni htep htep re ai hku nna gasat hkat ai majan ni nan mung rai nga ai. Rai timung, tsa ban 13 hte 14 grup-yin kaw nna gaw sanat laknak ni hpe galaw shapraw jai lang hpang wa nga sai hte maren, tsa ban 18 grup-yin kaw nna gaw grau grau nna tup hkrak re ai baw sanat laknak ni, wan-tsi (gunpowder) ni hte laknak kaba (artillery) ni hpe galaw shapraw jai lang hpang wa ai lam rai nga ai. Dai hpang tsa ban 19 du ai kaw nna gaw, dai ni du hkra lang nga dingyang rai nga ai, lahpa kaw shakap nna gap ai baw, Rifle sanat ni gaw ahkyak madung laknak ni byin tai wa nga ai lam rai nga ai.

Ndai zawn, jak hpaji lam hte hpungtang hpaji lam ni hta rawt jat kung kyang wa ai lam ni a marang e, grau grau nna madang tsaw ai laknak ni hpe galaw shapraw jai lang sa wa lu ai lam gaw, hpyen hpung ni a n-gun hte laknak gunrai n-gun ni hpe mung, grau grau nna jahkik ya ai lam nan rai nga ai. Jak sinat ni, hte lamu ganghkau de nna bawm jahkrat bun ai baw lam ni gaw, ndai prat na majan gasat lam lai ladat ni hpe galai shai wa shangun ai, jak hpaji rawt jat kung kyang wa ai lam hte seng ai ahkyak madung ga shadawn ni nan rai nga ai.

(ii) Masat Shadang Nga Majan kaw nna Yawng Hpawn Majan de gale wa ai lam
Majan byin ai nhtoi aten ni na wa ai hte hpawn, hkam sharang mung jin wa ai lam ni a marang e, Masat Shadang Nga Majan madang kaw nna Yawng Hpawn Majan madang de galai shai mat wa shangun ai lam gaw, majan a tsin-yam tsin-dam ni hpe mung grau nna sawng wa shangun ai lam rai nga ai. Majan aten galu wa ai hte rau majan hte seng ai tara ritkawp ni hpe koi yen ai lam ni mung yawm wa shangun ai lam rai nga ai. Dai majaw maga mi de hkala n-ba hkrum hkra ai mungmasha ni a jahpan hpe mung, law wa jat wa shangun ai lam rai nga ai. Majan a lai ladat ni galai shai wa ai lam a marang e N2MM aten hta, mungshawa shingte masat (civilian target) ni rai nga ai London, Coventry, Rotterdam hte Hiroshima zawn re ai mare kaba ni hpe laja lana re ai hku bawm jahkrat bun ai lam ni gaw, Masat Shadang Nga Majan madang kaw nna Yawng Hpawn Majan madang de gale mat wa shangun ai lam a sakse ni nan rai nga ai.

Ndai zawn rai mungshawa ni shanu nga ai mare kaba ni hpe shingte masat galaw ai lam a madung yaw shada ai lam gaw, mungshawa a myit masa lam (morale) ni hpe, n-gun shakya kau ya mayu ai majaw nan rai nga ai. N1MM a majaw asak sum mat ai hpyenla hte mungshawa ni a shadang gaw 90:10 grup-yin hta e sha rai nga ai lam rai tim, Yawm Hpawn Majan madang de gale mat wa ai N2MM a marang e, asak sum mat ai hpyenla hte mungshawa ni a shadang gaw 10:67 grup-yin hta nan rai nga ai. ‘Hpyenla marai 10 si hkrum ai rai yang, si hkrum ai mungshawa a jahpan gaw 67 re’ ngu ai lam rai nga ai.

(iii) Majan hpe grau nna mazut ai lai ladat hte gasat wa ai lam
Mungmasa bandung de du wa lu na matu, ndai prat na majan gasat ai lam ni hta mung, grau nna mazut ai lai ladat ni hpe jai lang akyu jashawn sa wa ai lam rai nga ai. N2MM aten hta German hte Japan hpyen hpung ni a lata de du mat ai bawngmasha (prisoners) ni hpe, dusat dumyeng ni hpe zawn rai zing-ri zing-rat galaw lai wa ai lam ni gaw, prat dep majan ni a zai mazut wa ai lam a kumla ni nan rai nga ai. Labau ninghkring langai mi a sawk maram da ai lam hku nga yang, Nazi hpyen hpung ni a lata de du mat ai Soviet bawngmasha ni marai wan (5) daram re ai hta na, marai wan (3) jan ngu na ni gaw dai zai mazut ai zing-ri zing-rat lam ni a majaw asak si hkrum ai lam re, ngu ai lam hpe mu lu nga ai.

Jinghpaw Wunpawng amyusha shawng lam
Majan ngu ai gaw anhte Jinghpaw Wunpawng amyusha ni a matu mung, kanoi htunghking langai mi ngu na zawn byin lai wa yu sai lam rai nga ai. Grai maja ra ai, grai hkrit tsang ra ai, hku nna nga lai wa ra ai aten ni mung law law rai lai wa yu saga ai zawn, majan byin wa yang na matu galoi mung jin jin re ai hku nna, sak hkrung hkawm sa lai wa sai aten ni mung law law rai lai wa yu saga ai. Simsa lam gan la dat ai lam a majaw, majan a shingran gan katsi mat ai lam sha rai nga ai. Tsep kawp hkoi mat ai lam gaw nrai nga ai. Dai re ai majaw, hpyen wa e ‘kasu kabrawng masha ni’ ngu nna bai tsun shamying hkrum ai 15 October 2010 shani kaw nna gaw, galoi rai na re n-chye tawn lu ai rai tim, ‘majan bai byin wa na rai sai’ ngu ai majan a sama hpe, amyusha ni yawng kalang mi bai marawp hkrup nga sai lam rai nga ai.

Dai ni na prat ndai gaw, moi na hte tsep kawp shai mat sai aten nan rai nga ai. Jak hpaji hte kaga hpungtang hpaji lam ni, hte hpyen laknak arung arai galaw shapraw jai lang ai lam ni hta, moi aten na hte wa shakap shai rai nga sai aten majing nan rai nga ai. Dai re ai majaw, mung-up asuya hpyen hpung ni a hpyen n-gun ngu ai hte, asuya nre ai hpyen hpung ni a hpyen n-gun ngu na mung, shingdaw hkat pyi nmai wa sai aten rai nga ai. Dai lam ni a majaw dai ni na aten hta asuya hpyen hpung ni hpe laknak hpai nna ninghkap gasat nga ai uhpung uhpawng ni malawng ngu na gaw, myit masa lam majan hpe mahtang padang ninglaw lu na lam hpe, shakut shaja nga ai lam hpe mu ai. Lam mi hku nna tsun ga nga yang, laknak arung arai madang hta gawngkya ai uhpung uhpawng ni hku nna gaw, mungshawa shingte masat hpe mahtang n-gun shadat gasat nna, mungmasha ni a myit masa lam ni gawngkya mat na hpe, shakut nga ai lam rai nga ai. Mungmasha ni a myit masa lam ni gawngkya mat ai rai yang, asuya hpyen hpung ni a n-gun mung hten agrawp mat na lam re, ngu nna myit mada hkam la ai lam rai nga ai.

Mungkan ntsa hta Jinghpaw Wunpawng amyusha ni a-grin nga dingsa gaw, shing nrai amyusha lawt lam ngu ai hpe anhte Jinghpaw Wunpawng amyusha ni atam nga dingsa gaw, majan ngu ai mung anhte ra tim, n-ra tim, anhte hta du hkrum hkra wa na baw lam langai mi rai nga ai. Dai re ai majaw, amyusha ni a shawng lam ngu nna tsun dat ai shaloi, majan ngu ai mung hkyen lajang shajin shalawm da ra na lam langai mi rai nga ai. Sut su nna n-gun atsam rawng ai ni a matu chyawm gaw, majan a matu hkyen lajang ai lam ngu ai gaw, hpa yak hkak na lam nrai nga ai. Rai timung, sut mung n-su, n-gun atsam mung n-rawng re ai ‘matsan ma’ a matu chyawm gaw, shi a chye chyang ai lam hte zai ladat hta chyu sha madung nga ai lam rai nga ai. Lam mi hku nna tsun ga nga yang, matsan ma wa hku nna gaw, jahpu manu mung law law n-hkrat ra ai baw rai nna, masha law law hpe mung kalang ta hkala n-ba jahkrum kau shangun lu ai baw, laknak ni hpe chyu sha, kam hpa ra na lam rai nga ai. Dai lam ni a majaw, ndai prat hta e gaw mare kaba ni mahtang she ‘majan pa’ ni byin wa wa rai nga sai lam rai nga ai.

Ndai prat na majan ngu dat ai shaloi, malawng gaw mung-up asuya hpyen hpung ni hte asuya n-re ai hpyen hpung ni a lapran hta byin ai majan ni rai nga ai. Dai re ai majaw, asuya n-re ai lam a majaw, ja gumhpraw sut gan hte hpyen arung arai lam ni hta gawngkya nga ai uhpung uhpawng ni hpe ‘matsan ma’ ngu nna ga shadawn tsun ai lam rai nga ai. Maga mi de anhte Jinghpaw Wunpawng amyusha ni a hpyen n-gun ngu ai hpe mung, anhte nan chye nga ga ai zawn, hpyen wa mung chye da nga ai ngu yang n-shut na ga ai. Ja gumhpraw hte laknak arung arai lam ni hta mi anhte Jinghpaw Wunpawng amyusha ni, hpyen wa a lahkam hpe n-dep lu nga ga ai rai tim, tinang a zai hpaji byeng-ya hte hpawn, byin mai ai baw lai ladat ni yawng hpe jai lang akyu jashawn let, hpyen wa hpe, shing nrai hpyen amyusha ni a myit masa lam ni hpe, jahten agrawp kau ya lu na lam chyu sha, ahkyak madung rai nga ai.

Chyum Laika masa hku nna yu ga nga yang mung, Ningpawt Ninghpang Laika 4:8 kaw nna gaw, shinggyim masha ni a gasat gala lam ni n-pawt hpang wa nga sai. Dai ni na aten hta mungkan mungdan ni yawng mung, majan a matu jin jin re ai madang kaw du hkra, galoi mung hkyen lajang shajin da da rai nga masai. Shawng lam hta byin hkrum hkra wa chye ai majan ni a matu, anhte Jinghpaw Wunpawng amyusha ni mung, tatut byin mai ai baw lai ladat ni mahkra hte hkyen lajang shajin da ra nga sai rai.

Shamyet shanat da ai laika ni
Amstutz, Mark R. 1999. International conflict and cooperation: An introduction to world politics (2nd Edition). London: McGraw Hill.
Papp, Daniel S. 2002. Contemporary international relations: Frameworks for understanding (6th Edition). New York: Longman.

10 January 2011

Burma's new parliament to convene on 31 January

Burma's new parliament is to meet for the first time on 31 January, three months after the military-ruled nation's first elections in 20 years. State television said the two-chamber parliament would convene in the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, citing an order from junta leader Gen Than Shwe.

The main junta-linked party said it won almost 80% of available seats. A quarter were reserved for the military. Western nations said that the polls, on 7 November, were neither free nor fair. Final election results have not yet been released.

The official first sitting will mark the implementation of the new constitution and see the transfer of power from the military government to a parliament and president. -- Full story at BBC News