Saturday, November 26, 2011

More reported chemical weapon use in areas of Kachin State with high density of civilians and IDP's

Dear All,::Last night we received a renewed appeal from our local partner in an

indigenous NGO on the Kachin border in which she says the following:

" The “Yellow Rain” continuing in many places again. Last night nearby MJY at Prang Ngawn village “yellow and white rain” drop again last midnight.
Last night around 11 Pm one villager hears the plane noise and looked at the sky and saw the plane flied over Prang Ngawn village. After 10 later she hears sound and drops the liquid. This morning all the leaves from
vegetable farm have yellow drop and the hole on leaves. The leaves where the white liquid drop areas have a hole and burnt the comer. Please see the photos.

All the area of Eastern Bamaw where the fighting has use Chemical weapon.The air come from that area and now many places have drop “Yellow rain”.All the MJY people using the water from the pipe and it are from the water shear. Now many water shear have might polluted the yellow sport.

Can you please find out the immediately impact for this toxin and how can
we protect?"

The attached map and photos were sent along with this message.

It is agreed that the information, although now mentioned by an increasing number of sources remains unproven and circumstantial, and it is a
challenge to verify.

To date no country, major international media group or other official organisation appears to have taken up the implicit responsibility to check,

confirm or report on this important issue.

I think it should be a priority to press the UK and US governments to make strong efforts to verify this, as without the credibility of government backed analysis it will remain in the "alleged" and "unsubstantiated" box and will be given no importance.

Over the years there have been many assertions of chemical weapon use,including testimonies from deserting soldiers who claimed to have had to carry ammunition for them. None have been given credence by organisations such as the one cited here;

*Biological Weapons*

Upon independence in 1948, Myanmar became a party to the 1925 Geneva
Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous
or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare. It has also
signed the 1972 Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxic Weapons Convention.
Despite numerous claims made since 1993 by ethnic minorities and insurgent
groups to the effect that the Tatmadaw has used Biological Weapons (BW)
against them, BW use by Myanmar has never been confirmed.

*Chemical Weapons*

In addition to being a party to the 1925 Geneva Protocol, Myanmar signed
the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993. Despite this, there have been
repeated claims of Chemical Weapons (CW) use by the Tatmadaw dating back to
the early 1980s, when a clandestine chemical weapons plant was apparently
built by the Ne Win regime. These reports, however, have yet to be

Myanmar (Burma) is thought to have produced chemical weapons. Its program,
under development in 1983, may or may not be active today. U.S.
intelligence officials told Congress in 1988 and 1991 that Burma was
developing or had developed chemical weapons. According to the 1992 Defense
Intelligence Agency survey produced for the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence, Burma has "chemical weapons and artillery for delivering
chemical agents." On the other hand, the 1993 edition of the DIA report
indicates that Burma is no longer developing chemical weapons. The current
status of the chemical weapons program in Myanmar is unknown, though it is
believed the country still holds a stockpile. Myanmar has signed the CWC
treaty but has yet to ratify it.

It is past time that the use or otherwise of these weapons was clearly

Unfortunately with the current rapprochement efforts it seems unlikely that
either government would wish to risk the embarrassment of admitting that
the acceptance of the Thein Sein government's sincerity may have been
premature. Nevertheless it should be pressed for.

China's denial of refuge to civilians fleeing this conflict which was at
least in part sparked by energy development projects carried out without
consent of affected communities also needs to be accounted for. With areas
immediately adjacent to the Chinese border being affected by the "yellow
rain" it is highly likely that it is also falling on Chinese soil, possibly
affecting Chinese citizens and wildlife as well.

It is certainly time that the current intense conflict in Kachin State, its
consequences for large numbers of innocent civilians, and both the apparent
and the deeper reasons for the resumption of war in this exceptionally
resource rich area were closely examined and brought to light.


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