Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rights report highlights Burma ethnic abuses


Burma's army raped, tortured and killed civilians in ethnic minority conflict zones last year, Human Rights Watch said Sunday, despite the government's recent political reforms.

Soldiers from the United Wa State Army patrol the streets of Nandeng in the Wa region of Myanmar in 2009. Myanmar's army raped, tortured and killed civilians in ethnic minority conflict zones last year, Human Rights Watch has said.

Bloody battles have raged since June in Kachin State in the far north, marring the progress of a new regime that has surprised observers with a series of positive reforms in the isolated nation, also known as Burma.

"The Burmese military continues to violate international humanitarian law through the use of anti-personnel landmines, extrajudicial killings, forced labor, torture, beatings, and pillaging of property," HRW said.

Its report on the country -- part of a worldwide review of human rights in 2011 -- also said sexual violence against women and girls "remains a serious problem", while the army "continues to actively recruit and use child soldiers".

Ethnic minority rebels were also accused of abuses, including using landmines near civilian areas.

HRW said over 50,000 civilians had been internally displaced by fighting in Kachin State, which shattered a 17-year ceasefire, while around 500,000 people were internally displaced due to conflict in the country's eastern border areas last year.

Burma's government, still largely dominated by former junta generals, has reached peace deals with Shan and Karen rebels in eastern states in recent weeks as part of efforts to end civil war that has gripped parts of Burma since independence in 1948.

In December, a presidential order was issued for the military to cease attacks against guerrillas from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), but it failed to stop heavy fighting in the region, according to the rebels.

On Friday, Burma state media reported that the government and Kachin rebels had agreed to hold further ceasefire negotiations.

Resolution of the conflicts is a demand of Western nations which impose sanctions on the regime.

The government has made progress on other key areas including holding talks with democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been allowed to stand in an April by-election, and released hundreds of political prisoners.





January (22) Laban,
Jinghpaw Mung Htingnai Ginwang, Hopin mare Wanleng daru makau na lu sha seng kaw myen hpyen du langai kawn mare masha langai hpe January (20) shana hkying (10:30pm) ten sinat gadun hte gap sat kau lai wa sai lam na chye lu ai. Hopin Thida lawk na Zaw Zaw Aung hpe hka-la-ya (388) dap na hpyen du Soe Aung Htet kawn lahtan kaw nan sinat hte gap ya ai re lam shiga na chye lu ai.

One of Burmese army Lieutenant Colonel shot and killed one civilian in Hopin village, Kachin State. The killing took placed at 10:30pm local time on 20 Jan 20 January 2012 in the food stall near Hopin, Kachin State train station brutally with no reason, and any investigation as though he Burmese soldier has license to kill any civilian in Kachin State. According to eye witness report villager Zaw Zaw Aung was shot brutally at this forehead by by Burmese army Lieutenant Colonel Soe Aung Htet without any reasons.


January (21) bat Kru,
Wunpawng Mungdan Shanglawt Asuya Dap Ba (3) Ginra rai nga ai Wa Yaw Kahtawng de January (20) shana maga de myen hpyen la (10) jan shang wa ai hpe KIA myu tsaw share shagan ni kawn myen hpyen la ni yawng hpe lu gap kau sai lam shiga na chye lu ai. Jinghpaw Mung maga de myen hpyen asuya a tat-ma ni bai htu lung wa na nga shiga na chye lu ai. N kau hpyen dap ni gaw Jinghpaw Mung maga de lung wa nga sai lam hpe mung na chye lu ai.

There was another fierce fighting due to Burmese army intrusion into KIA 3th Brigade intrusion in Wa village on 20 January 2012. Fortunately KIA forces have successfully defeated Burmese army intrusion and killed all 10 soldiers. According to frontline report, Burmese army continue to build up more soldiers and weapons into the KIA control areas and Kachin State to reinforce the civil war against Kachin people in spite regime government peace talk with KIA recently. Burmese army fierce attacked and intrusion against KIA cited that the peace talk or discussion called by Burmese regime government is not honest and truthful intention for ethnic reconciliation.

Monday, January 23, 2012



Text of the Agreement signed at Panglong on the 12th February, 1947 by Shan, Kachin and Chin leaders, and by representatives of the Executive Council of the Governor of Burma


A conference having been held at Panglong, attended by certain Members of the Executive Council of the Governor of Burma, all Saohpas and representatives of the Shan States, the Kachin Hills and the Chin Hills, the members of the conference, believing that freedom will be more speedily achieved by the Shans, the Kachins and the Chins by their immediate co-operation with the Interim Burmese Government, have accordingly, and without dissentients, agreed as follows:

(I) A representative of the Hill peoples, selected by the Governor on the recommendation of representatives of the Supreme Council of the United Hill Peoples, shall be appointed a Counsellor to the Governor to deal with the Frontier Areas.

(II) The said Counsellor shall also be appointed a member of the Governor's Executive Council without portfolio, and the subject of Frontier Areas brought within the purview of the Executive Council by constitutional convention as in the case of Defence and External Affairs. The Counsellor for Frontier Areas shall be given executive authority by similar means.

(III) The said Counsellor shall be assisted by two Deputy Counsellors representing races of which he is not a member. While the two Deputy Counsellors should deal in the first instance with the affairs of the respective areas and the Counsellor with all the remaining parts of the Frontier Areas, they should by Constitutional Convention act on the principle of joint responsibility.

(IV) While the Counsellor in his capacity of Member of the Executive Council will be the only representative of the Frontier Areas on the Council, the Deputy Counsellor(s) shall be entitled to attend meetings of the Council when subjects pertaining to the Frontier Areas are discussed.

(V) Though the Governor's Executive Council will be augmented as agreed above, it will not operate in respect of the Frontier Areas in any manner which would deprive any portion of these Areas of the autonomy which it now enjoys in internal administration. Full autonomy in internal administration for the Frontier Areas is accepted in principle.

(VI) Though the question of demarcating and establishing a separate Kachin State within a Unified Burma is one which must be relegated for decision by the Constituent Assembly, it is agreed that such a State is desirable. As first step towards this end, the Counsellor for Frontier Areas and the Deputy Counsellors shall be consulted in the administration of such areas in the Myitkyina and the Bhamo District as are Part 2 Scheduled Areas under the Government of Burma Act of 1935.

(VII) Citizens of the Frontier Areas shall enjoy rights and privileges which are regarded as fundamental in democratic countries.

(VIII) The arrangements accepted in this Agreement are without prejudice to the financial autonomy now vested in the Federated Shan States.

(IX) The arrangements accepted in this Agreement are without prejudice to the financial assistance which the Kachin Hills and the Chin Hills are entitled to receive from the revenues of Burma and the Executive Council will examine with the Frontier Areas Counsellor and Deputy Counsellor(s) the feasibility of adopting for the Kachin Hills and the Chin Hills financial arrangements similar to those between Burma and the Federated Shan States.


For the Shan Committee:
Sawbwas: Tawnpeng, Yawnghwei, North Hsenwi, Laika, Mong Pawn, Hsamonghkam
and representative of Pawnglawng.
Shan people: Tin E, Kya Bu, Sao Yapa Hpa, Htun Myint, Hkun Saw, Hkun Htee

For the Kachin Committee:
Myitkyina: Sinwa Nawng, Zau Rip, Dinra Tang
Bhamo: Zau La, Zau Lawn, Labang Grong

For the Chin Committee:
U Hlur Hmung, U Thawng Za Khup, U Kio Mang

For the Burmese Government:
Aung San

[This text is taken from pp404-405 of Hugh Tinker's Burma: The Struggle for Independence 1944-1948 (Vol. II) London, HMSO 1984]

Sunday, January 22, 2012

We Are One In Our Struggle For Freedom ( kachinland.com )

The common goal of ethnic armed struggle is to achieve the autonomy from the burman regime. The blood, sweat and tears we have been shedding over 60 years are not for the economic opportunities but for the cause of the freedom. If we get derailed from the track before reaching our goal, the sacrifices our fore father, comrade and friends have been making will be in vain. Since we have been ignored and marginalized by Burman regime from mainstream politic for decades, this is the time we must revive the promise of Panglong agreement. Without solving the root cause of the ethnic problems, there will be no lasting peace and genuine democracy in diverse country of Burma. After all, the desperate efforts being made by the current regime to impose its self defined democracy and peace in the country will go nowhere but into the dustbin of history.

History taught us to be extra cautious in term of dealing with cunning Burman regime. There is a saying that states, “Blame other if you get cheated for the first time, the situation for the second time but yourself for the third time.” Once again, regime is trying to deceive the ethnic armed group by using the same old tactics. Rhetoric of economic development will actually lead to benefit regime cronies and regime backed militia groups by plundering natural resources at all cost. It is not only a façade to lure ethnic leaders but also a powerful weapon to disintegrate the unity among ethnic armed group. Proposed political dialogue, under the condition of 2008 constitution which paved the way to the domination of Burman over all other ethnic people, is a trap for ethnic people. We must remember the fact that current quasi civilian rulers are the same one that nurtured 2008 constitution, which give no fundamental right and equality for the ethnic nationalities.

17 years period of KIA/O peace agreement with Burman regime proved that peace without a political freedom was a nightmare and economic development without of individual right and economic freedom was a disaster for the kachin public. Kachin people are still enduring the dire consequences in many aspects of their lives as a result of 17 years peace and development. Well documented case of mass killing, land confiscation, forced labor, forced relocation, ganged rapes and religious persecution committed by Burman regime all across the ethnic land, in the pretext of peace and development during cease fire period, indicated the regime’s true intention toward all ethnic people. One of the American civil right leaders Malcolm X once said “you cannot separate peace from the freedom, no one can be at peace unless he/she has freedom”.

Although, we ethnic people lived parallel to the Burman people with a distinct culture, language and history, we joined our hand with them in order to gain independence from British. Since we had inked historic Panlong agreement, which guaranteed equality and self-determination, with Burman leaders, led by independence hero general Aung San, in 1947, every successive regime failed to implement the promise they made. Rather, ethnic people sustained the systematic discrimination and the brutal oppression by Burman regime. We should not rush to translate the current dramatic reforms being carried out by regime as a positive and sincere one until it abolish the constitution, or make the constitutional amendment regarding ethnic right. Becoming a democratic country will not automatically solve ethnic issue unless Burman dominated regime fulfills the promise of Panglong agreement.

This is the crucial time for us to show our solidarity, work collectively and speak in harmony. If one make mistake, the rest will suffer. If one down, the rest will follow. If we cannot hold fast the pillar of our principles, then the so called wind of change will wipe out our cause. Here is what founding father of America, Bejamin Franklin said, “those who would give up essential freedom/ liberty to purchase a little temporary safety do not deserve freedom/liberty.”

As one of ethnic Kachin, I believe we have just reached the crossroad of the journey, not the vintage point. If we are not able to make the prudent decision and move the right step in this moment, then we will inevitably fall into the bondage of evil forever, and the generation to come will pay the heavy price for the mistake we now make. As we, all ethnic people, are marching the same destination, we are one in our struggle of freedom. So let stay the course, do our job.




Friday, January 20, 2012

Thein Sein's orders for Burma army to halt Kachin offensive are worthless


thein-seinBurma's armed forces continued today to attack positions held by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Kachin and northern Shan state, this despite claims from President Thein Sein's government that an order has again been re-issued commanding a halt to the army's Kachin offensive.

Fighting between government forces and the Kachin resistance was particularly fierce today in an area of northern Shan state slated to be the route of the Burma to China Shwe pipeline project. The KIA's Battalion 8 endured heavy shelling in three Shan townships that lie in the path of the pipeline, Namtu, Mandong and Kutkai according to sources on the ground. A key Battalion 8 base in Mandong stayed in KIA hands despite a strong push from government forces, which included a continuous three hour long bombardment using heavy mortars, KIA officials said.

Originally the twin oil and gas pipelines that will deliver fuel from Burma's Arakan coast to the Chinese city of Kunming were supposed to miss most of the KIA controlled territory, however in 2011 the official pipeline route in Shan state was shifted westward making a near 90 degree turn at Hsipaw where the pipeline route now heads north into KIA territory. Previously the pipeline was slated to continue east at Hsipaw and reach Lashio before heading north to Kunming, a route that would have passed through much less of the KIA's territory.

Peace talks reach without out agreement
While the fighting continues, discussions in China between the Burmese government officials and representatives of the KIA's political wing the Kachin Independence Organization ended today without a ceasefire being reached. A brief statement jointly issued by both negotiating teams said that both parties agreed to meet again for further talks however no date was given for when these talks would be held.

Thein Sein's "worthless" orders
During the past two months, on December 10 and again last week, Burma's retired General turned President Thein Sein has twice made public orders that the Burmese army cease its Kachin offensive.

The Burmese army however has continued to wage its aggressive campaign against the KIA and Kachin civilians.

French news service AFP quoted Burma's minister of immigration and population, Khin Yi that the latest order to halt hostilities "covers the whole country". Khin Yi, who previously served as national police chief claimed that the reason fighting was still taking place, is because the army was unintentionally coming into contact with the resistance. "Some of the grassroots level units, when on patrolling duty, unexpectedly met each other and exchanged fire. Sometimes, the order (not to attack) did not reach to the grassroots level," Khin Yi said AFP.

Khin Yi's claim that conflict is only happening sporadically because of unexpected encounters is in sharp contrast to reports from the frontlines. KIA officials and others with knowledge of the Burmese army say that the heavy artillery fired today in Shan state against the KIA are only used with permission from the army's central command. It’s abundantly clear that President Thein Sein's public directives that the offensive stop are effectively worthless statements issued to please the international community.

Burmese army buildup around KIO's Laiza headquarters continues
The Kachin News Group has also learned that on Tuesday, one day before peace talks were set to begin in China, the Burmese army moved troops, artillery shells and armored vehicles to an area within firing range of the KIO's Laiza headquarters. The equipment and troop reinforcements that arrived are now stationed in Ga Ra Yang village less than 30 miles from Laiza, according to eyewitnesses in the area.

On January 15, a convey of 25 trucks containing government troops arrived at a Burmese army base in Dawhpumyang sub-township on the Myitkyina-Manmaw road, about 10 miles from Laiza, said local military observers.

Reached for comment Lah Nan, the KIO's Deputy General Secretary No.2 based at the groups Laiza headquarters told the Kachin News Group that about 160 Burmese army battalions from around the country are either currently deployed in the Kachin campaign or are on their way to frontlines of Kachin and northern Shan state.

Update on Burmese army killing of Chinese civilian in Yunnan

Body of Lahpai Zau Lawn, who was brutally killed on Jan. 12 by Burmese soldiers of LIB No. 321.
On Thursday January 12 soldiers from the Burmese army stationed along the border with China, shot and killed a Chinese civilian despite the fact that he was on the Yunnan side of the Sino-Burmese border, according to the man's relatives and eyewitnesses from the man's village, Loi Lung Bum.

An examination of Lahpai Zau Lawn's body shows that the ethnic Kachin (Jingpo) farmer was shot at close range in the abdomen and twice in head, his relatives say. A photo of Lahpai Zau Lawn's corpse provided by his family supports their conclusion that he was struck in the face with a butt of a gun before being killed.

The Kachin News Group has learned that Chinese authorities found blood stains and bullet cartridges on the Chinese side of the border, at the place where the 53 year old appears to have been summarily executed. Lahpai Zau Lawn's relatives say the man did not cross the border and was captured in China.

Zau Lawn's body was found a short distance away from where he appears to have been killed. In an apparent message to his fellow villagers, Burmese soldiers also planted two mines, one at the place where the blood stains were found and another mine where his body was found, according to a source familiar with the Chinese investigation.

The soldiers who carried out the attack on Zau Lawn are said to be from the Mu Bum base located on the Burmese side of the border and are part of the Shwenyaungpyin-based Light Infantry Battalion No. 321 under the Northern Regional Command, according to sources on the ground.

Villagers in the area say that Zaul Lawn's killing was likely in retaliation for a December 22 incident in which two Burmese soldiers from Battalion No. 321, who crossed into China, were detained by local residents from the deceased man's village of Loi Lung Bum, located four miles inside China.

According to villagers familiar with the incident, the stray Burmese soldiers were hungry and crossed into China to steal food from a local farm. After capturing the two Burmese conscripts, villagers handed them over to Chinese authorities, prompting the Burmese army to seek revenge.
ID card of Zau Lawn

According to sources familiar with the Chinese investigation in Zau Lawn's killing, Chinese authorities are reluctant to pursue the matter with Burma's government despite an overwhelming amount of evidence indicating that an innocent Chinese citizen was murdered on Chinese territory by Burmese troops.

According to villagers, in 1992 when the Burmese army was previously fighting the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) in the area, a Chinese citizen from Loi Lung was also captured by the Burmese army inside Chinese territory. Maru Lagyung an ethnic Kachin, was seen being detained by Burmese soldiers shortly after the KIO's base at Mu Bum had fallen to the Burmese army. Following his capture, Maru Lagyung was heard from again and is believed to have died at the hands of his captors.

Photo caption: The body of Lahpai Zau Lawn, an ethnic Kachin of Chinese Citizenship. The dead man's relatives allege that Zau Lawn was executed on January 12 by Burmese soldiers who crossed into Chinese territory to get revenge against his village.

Update on conflict in Kachin state Burma


An interview with Shirley Seng of the Kachin Women's Association of Thailand about the latest conflict and human rights abuses in Kachin areas of Burma

Thursday, January 19, 2012