April 2010


Top Myanmar officials resigned from their military posts this week and created their own political party in a likely bid to contest upcoming elections later this year, raising new skepticism about the prospects for a valid vote. (more…)

Burmese Prime Minister Thein Sein and his government colleagues who formed the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) on Thursday may be in violation of junta election laws stating that persons forming a political party may not hold government positions. (more…)

The main opposition party, the National League for Democracy, will carry out social work among the people by officially registered with the authority concerned, but not in the party’s name, the party’s vice-chairman says. (more…)

At the 17th meeting between Burmese junta brass and ethnic Kachin leaders, concluded yesterday, the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) made it clear it will not accept the Border Guard Force.
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Rangoon municipal authorities have given the go-ahead for renovations on the house-cum-prison of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
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A Burma Army unit was reportedly attacked by an unknown group yesterday 29 April, killing one and wounding one while it was on the way to reinforce troops in Shan State North’s Tangyan Township, west of the United Wa State Army (UWSA) controlled territory, according to sources from the Sino-Burma border. (more…)

China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has recently deployed more troops along its southwestern border with Burma, where tension remains high between Burmese government forces and the ethnic Wa army over the ethnic group’s refusal to join the military junta’s border guard force (BGF).
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Six Burmese child beggars in Malaysia have been kept in an immigration detention camp for more than nine months as the Burmese embassy continues to deny them assistance. (more…)

In the wake of its drive against Northeast India insurgent groups, the Indian Army has blocked all the foot roads on the Indo-Myanmar border from April 20. The rebels are expected to be flushed out from Burma by the military junta.
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Rangoon – Turnout at the “Lifestyle and IT 2010” exhibition, which started on Wednesday at the Tatmadaw (Armed Forces) Hall in Rangoon, has seen an 80 per cent drop in visitor numbers compared with other trade fairs held this year, organisers say. (more…)

Total foreign direct investment in Myanmar from China hit US$1.85 billion by the end of 2009-2010 financial year, with significant expenditures in hydropower, oil and gas and mining, official figures show.

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Mae Ai, Thailand—Thai border rangers clashed with drug traffickers on the Thai-Burmese border about 30 kilometers from Mai Ai District in Chiang Mai Province on Wednesday, killing three suspected drug traffickers and seizing amphetamine pills, according to Thai military sources. (more…)

Chiang Mai – Burma is still included on the list of the 10 worst countries for violating media freedom and the military regime tightened such restrictions last year, a report from US democracy and rights watchdog Freedom House said.
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The five tribal militias that were supposed to turn themselves over to government control yesterday, refused to. So the government has to decide if there will be another military campaign to persuade the tribes to obey. The tribes have been saying “no” for decades. While the tribes are outnumbered about ten to one by the 400,000 troops in the Burmese army, what counts is how many fighters you can put into the rugged hills of northern Burma. (more…)

Bangkok – Yet another deadline has passed for ethnic ceasefire groups in Myanmar to join the military as part of a new government-controlled Border Guard Force (BGF). With the rainy season approaching and a transition from military to civilian rule underway, opportunities are dwindling for the ruling junta to force the groups to agree before elections are held later this year. (more…)

A tale of catastrophe and compassion: Everything is Broken: A Tale of Catastrophe in Burma. By Emma Larkin. Penguin Press; 271 pages; $25.95. To be published in Britain by Granta in July as “Everything is Broken: The Untold Story of Life Under Burma’s Military Regime”; £12.99. Buy from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk (more…)

Yangon – Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi filed a lawsuit with Myanmar’s Supreme Court Thursday in an attempt to prevent the dissolution of her party under a controversial new election law. (more…)

Yangon – Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein on Thursday registered a new political party to contest a general election scheduled at an unspecified date this year, state media reports said. (more…)

Chiang Mai – A reporter for a non-profit media organisation lost her appeal in the Magway Division Court against a jail term of more than a quarter of a century handed down in Pakokku, her lawyer said yesterday. (more…)

Fang, Thailand – Hundreds of ethnic Shan, Lahu, Chinese and Thai businesspeople, including some families of United Wa State Army (UWSA) personnel, have moved to the Thai-Burmese border area because they fear a serious flare-up of fighting between Burmese government troops and UWSA units based in southern Shan State. (more…)

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