Wednesday 27 August 2008

Angry Reaction to Samak’s 'Suu Kyi is a Tool' Remark

Source from Irrawaddy news, 26 Aug 2008

Burmese opposition politicians and some political observers and commentators have strongly rejected Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej’s description of  Aung San Suu Kyi as a “political tool” of the West.

Samak made the controversial comment to UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari when the two met in Bangkok as the Nigerian diplomat was returning from his latest failed mission to Burma.
Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej. (Photo: Reuters)
“Europe uses Aung San Suu Kyi as a political tool,” Samak told Gambari. “If it's not related to Aung San Suu Kyi, you can have deeper discussions with Myanmar [Burma].”Samak also told reporters after meeting Gambari: “Efforts to engage the military regime would be more productive if Aung San Suu Kyi was left off the agenda.”

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) rejected the Thai premier’s comments as inappropriate.
“As the leader of a country, he should not give such comments about the political affairs of other countries,” said NLD Spokesman Nyan Win.
Nyan Win accused Samak of favoring the Burmese regime and ignoring the Burmese people.

Kavi Chongkittavorn, senior editor of the Bangkok English-language daily newspaper The Nation said, “I think Samak’s comment is ridiculous. And he has tarnished Thailand’s reputation as the chairman of the Asean (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations). 

“He [Samak] doesn’t even understand the situation in Burma. He has a very sadistic attitude in attacking whoever disagrees with him. Look at the manner he attacks the Thai media everyday.”  
A Burmese ethnic leader, Cin Sian Thang, chairman of the Zomi National Congress in Rangoon, accused Samak of “insulting Burmese people.”

Cin Sian Thang charged that Samak “doesn’t support the formation of democracy in Burma.”
A well-known Burmese politician and former ambassador to China in the 1970s, Thakin Chan Htun, said in Rangoon that Samak’s remarks were based on Thailand’s business interests in Burma, which were more important to him than democratic reform.
Although Gambari failed to meet any top Burmese leader or Aung San Suu Kyi on his latest visit, the UN denied the mission was a failure.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s deputy spokeswoman,
Marie Okabe, said in New York on Monday: “One should not make a judgment on the process based on each individual visit.”
During his Bangkok stopover, Gambari urged Samak to continue his support for the UN mission to break the political deadlock in Burma.
Gambari is scheduled to visit Indonesia before returning to New York, where Okabe said he would report to Ban Ki-moon on his latest visit to Burma.

Friday 22 August 2008

Myanmar Mayaka seizes 280 acres of land in Buthidaung

source from kaladan Press, 21  Aug 2008 ,

Buthidaung, Arakan State: The Township Peace and Development Council (TPDC), or Mayaka of Buthidaung Township confiscated about 280 acres of paddy fields from farmers of Ngaran Chaung village tract recently. The confiscation was made on the allegation that the farmers did not comply with the order to grow paddy again, said a schoolteacher on condition of anonymity.   

Earlier, the TPDC authorities had ordered farmers to grow paddy again as part of the summer cultivation. Some farmers complied where natural water was available but some did not because water was not available. The ruling junta did not make any arrangements to supply water to villagers.

Farmers of the Ngaran Chang village and Kyinutthi villages have to give 15 Tans (one Tan=40.9 kg) or Kyat 3,000 per acre to TPDC officials and another 15 Tans of paddy or Kyat 6,000 per acre to the land-surveying department by the end of January 2009.  The farmers have to give paddy following the summer paddy cultivation.  As a result, a farmer has to pay 30 Tans or Kyat 9,000 per acre to the authorities at a time. If any farmer fails to give paddy or money, their farm lands would be confiscated.

The authorities have also said that if farmers give the paddy or money in time, they will be allowed to grow paddy in their fields.

The Tactical Operation Commander (TOC) of Buthidaung Town has been apprised but the Commander has referred the matter back to the TPDC office in Buthidaung.  An officer of the TPDC told villagers that the problem will be solved in the near future. But, authorities are not allowing villagers to grow paddy in the seized land during the paddy season. The paddy season will end shortly.

It is a strategy to seize land belonging to Rohingyas indirectly by demanding at a time   huge money from villagers, said a village elder requesting not to be named.

Meanwhile, some Rakhine men came to the villages from Kyauktaw and Maruk U townships and demanded Kyat 200,000 to 250,000 per Khani (0.40 acre) claiming the lands were owned by their grandfathers. They are being encouraged by U Aung Mya, the Village Peace and Development Council (VPDC) Chairman of Ywar Thaya village of Ngaran Chang village tract, said a local trader. ##

Tuesday 19 August 2008

Rohingya shot dead in Maungdaw, Arakan

source from Kaladan Press , 18 Aug 2008

Maungdaw, Arakan State: A Rohingya was shot dead by a gang of unidentified miscreants when he was sleeping at home on August 11, at about 1:30 pm.  The gang fired on him from a window.

The victim was identified as Hafez Ahmed (42), son of Ali Ahmed from Mizzali Para of Fokira Bazaar in Maungdaw Township, Arakan State. He was an informer of Nasaka, Burma’s border security force.
After the incident, the police brought the body to Bawli Bazaar clinic for autopsy. In the evening, the body was buried in the local grave yard.  The following day, Md Ayas (35), son of Mohamudur Rahaman including two others from the same village were arrested by Nasaka personnel of Nasaka area No.2 in Maungdaw Township.

Some villagers said that he was killed by his rival because he was jealous of his wealth while some said he was killed for his proximity to Nasaka.
The arrested were sent to the Nasaka camp where they are being detained and interrogated.
Some people from the village said that he was a good man while some said that he was notorious who harassed villagers.

On August 16, some policemen went to the village from the Bawli Bazaar police station to search for the killers and arrested some villagers on suspicion but later released them after taking money.
Similarly, an informer Murtaza of Maung Nama village of Nasaka Director of Kawarbill was killed in June.

Tuesday 12 August 2008

3 Nasaka Deserters Arrive in Bangladesh

soure from Kaldan Press, 11 Aug 2008
Dhaka: Three men arrived on Friday in Bangladesh after deserting their posts with Nasaka, the infamous border security force based in western Burma.The three were identified as Thwe Naing, Private No. TA 360757, Zaw Myo Tun, Private No. 360756, and Aung Than Win, Private No. 353584. They were serving at Nasaka headquarters in Kyi Kan Byint in Maungdaw. Ko Zaw Myo Tun said, “We were tortured by officials in Nasaka and the officials also urged us to oppress the local people. We do not want to oppress people, so we deserted from Nasaka.”

The three men are now sheltering in Bangladesh and are preparing to apply as refugees with the UNHCR office there.
“We are preparing to seek safety as refugees with UNHCR if we have the chance, because we are worried about our security here,” he said.

According to a local source, most Nasaka men ranked as privates are facing hunger as their salaries are insufficient for their survival, and many men have deserted Nasaka due to this hardship.

He said, “The monthly salary is only 21,000 kyat for a Nasaka man, but in Maungdaw, the price of ordinary rice is 25,000 kyat a [50-kilogram] sack. All private Nasaka men are facing hunger due to their salary being inadequate for their daily survival.”
“[Hunger] is also another reason for us to desert from the law enforcement of Nasaka,” another deserter Ko Thwe Naing added.

Many Nasaka men on the western border are now involved in many sectors of corruption in order to get extra money from outside their jobs to maintain their daily life. #