Saturday, December 31, 2011

George Soros in Burma!

American Billionaire George Soros.
Legendary hedge fund manager and the once destroyer of mighty British Pound Mr. George Soros is in Burma!

Instead of destroying the once-useless Burmese Kyat his visit definitely has caused the kyat to roar and I’m making a handsome profit, at least on paper, since I’ve been holding onto my kyats with the knowledge that it will go through roof very soon.

According to Mizzima News Site, George Soros, the founder of the Open Society Foundation, which works to promote democracy, human rights and freedom in the world, visited Inle Lake in Shan State on Wednesday.

He appears to be visiting Burma as an ordinary tourist. Even the Mizzima quoted Win Myint the National Race Affairs Minister from the Shan State Government in saying that they (the Government officials) would meet with Soros only if he invited them.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Reliving 1973 Kachin Christmas Eve in New York City!

New York City's Skyline.
The Big Apple or the New York City is a wholesomely overwhelming town for a simple jungle boy like me. Especially the enormous Romanesque facades of century old skyscrapers. And it hurts my neck so much that I’ve stopped trying to look up at their distinctive tops.

Like many other wide-eyed tourists from the Australian fringe of the mighty empire of USA I ended up wandering on the wide avenues leading to the Times Square brightly lit and filled to the rims by the excited crowd on the Christmas Eve.

I walked and walked and walked aimlessly on the near-zero freezing but still unbelievably crowded Fifth Avenue and ended up, fortunately of course as I wasn’t really looking for it, right in front of a beautifully grand Gothic-revival church. I walked in and realized this is the historic St.Patrick’s Cathedral   and the traditional Midnight Mass was just a few hours away.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

No more 10% Income Tax to the Burmese Embassy?

What a good news?

Now we don't need to pay that compulsory 10% tax to the Burmese Embassy whenever we need something official from our own embassy.

I still remember paying that dreadful 10% whenever I tried to renew my Burmese passport at the Bangkok embassy in Thailand. I've refused to continue paying that stupid tax in Australia since I was paying almost 45% income tax there.

And the unfortunate result is I've lost my Burmese passport along with my Burmese citizenship. But I've still hanged on to my old Burmese passport, of course, expired twenty five years ago.

So I am wondering what is the next step our new, so-called, semi-democratic Government of Burma will take? Will a wholesale general amnesty for all self-exiled Burmese abroad be too difficult legally?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ma Thein Shin - Chapter Four

(Direct translation of late Naing Win Swe’s “Ma Thein Shi Si Pote Pay Bar”.)

(On 6 January 1966 General Ne Win’s Revolutionary Socialist Government stupidly prohibited the civilian populace from transporting, storing, distributing, and trading of 460 basic commodities including the staples such as rice, peanut-oil, and salt. Hta-nyet (jaggery) was one of those restricted commodities and a large scale smuggling trade of Hta-nyet had developed overnight in Middle Burma where most of it is produced.)

Year 1969

As a train clerk I used to do the day-to-day jobs of selling tickets and checking tickets on the train for the passengers and their cargo only. But now I was forced to do the horrible jobs of searching and arresting people and their cargo if they were transporting the general commodities strictly prohibited by the military-controlled Socialist government.

I also had to work with many train conductors. Whenever the alcoholic conductors San Yee or Mya Ohn or Chit Swe were on the trains the smell of hard liquor was unavoidable in the Guard Car. Especially the days with Conductor San Yee happily went through real quick.

“Hey, Yin Maung, listen to me! Actually, we should all be living like that three monkeys on the match box. Have you ever seen Three-monkey match box before? Nope, how could you have seen it? You must be only a baby back then. Like that three monkeys from the match box, one closing its eyes and another one blocking its ears and the last one shutting its mouth, we should behave. Aren’t we? I say, what you know?”
“Say it in Burmese?”
“I’m a bit drunk and I want to say by English. Can’t you know?”

He then almost fell asleep sitting while kept on saying Can’t you know …… Can’t you know. The train jolted and I fell on him. I tried to take a sip out of my glass as I leaned on him.

“But we have on our shoulders the duty to search and arrest the smugglers on the train. On our shoulders, isn’t it right? Okay, you have to remember that! If we work harder we will get more rewards. Isn’t it right? Now, today, how much we got today?

As he asked I handed him his share of ten kyats.

“What? Only ten! I am really sorry now. Yin Maung, you are breaking my heart. My little brother, I give you the whole train to work. And like that three monkeys I shut my eyes and my ears and mouth so that you can do whatever you want on this train, my train. So many smuggler bitches on my train and you are the king of this train and, bloody hell, you give me only ten. Only ten kyats and I am the king of this whole train. Hey you bastard Yin Maung, my little brother, are you double-crossing me? Say it. Nope, I want to kiss you, please.”

He then held me by the shoulders and tried to kiss me on my cheeks. Then he tried to hit me with his loose fists, but he was too drunk to do that and finally he gave up and started crying with tears coming down on his cheeks.

“Hey, you want to box me? Little motherfucker, you don’t dare! That’s good. Just remember this. Money, money, money, and money is everything. If you have money your mother-in-law will love you. And your wife will love you. Even if you are blind drunk and swearing on the middle of the road she will take you to home. Right into the bed. But you don’t know how to make money. What are you? A future Buddha? Yeah you are a Buddha!”

“Hey, rain has to come down, come down heavy. This rain now is our rain, loving rain, like that song, gold rain, silver rain. Hey get up, let’s dance, gold and silver are raining down on us soon!”

So we danced holding hands and circling inside the narrow space of the guard compartment. We sang together too as the train was grinding Jaung Jaung Jaung Jaung on the track. Our uniforms’ green neckties were flying as we danced.


In reality we knew very well our happiness was just a short-lived one. The fear that the train could be held at the coming station long enough so that the cops could do a thorough search was always in our mind. That fear had immediately driven away my little drunkenness.

In reality we sometimes forgot we were travelling in the stark darkness and we never could guess there would be an abyss on our way right ahead somewhere. But one thing I surely knew was that just before dawn at the shadowy edges of Taung-dwin-gyi Station there were so many Hta-nyet smugglers waiting eagerly for the train. Despite the pre-dawn darkness I could see them clearly in my mind as the train slowed down and stopped completely.

There was Ma Aye Myint a married middle age woman but got more fucked by countless men than a well-used prostitute. There was well-fucked Ma Aye Shwe claiming still to be a virgin. Also there were two very young women Thin Thin and Nu Nu who normally slept on the train with I didn’t know how many men. All Hta-nyet smugglers. Also there was 200-pound-heavy Ma Nyunt Yee who always waited for me between two carriages.

As part of my job I had to scare them enough just to squeeze measly bribe money out of them but I had never stopped them from smuggling Hta-nyet they were carrying. They were my so-called victims but they were loyal to me and never gave me any trouble. If they got arrested by cops for smuggling they would go straight to jail without dobbing me in.

As I jumped down onto the platform and walked towards the station-house fatty Ma Nyunt Yee quietly called out, “Ko Yin Maung?”

“Who is this? Are you Ma Shwe U (Golden-egg)?”
“Don’t joke, who is the conductor today?”
“The ex-monk.”
“Oh U Aung Gyi, whew, I’m glad, I was afraid it was Chit Swe!”

She was relieved. Despite being a smuggler she had pride and decency and unlike many other women Hta-nyet smugglers she would not let cops and conductors touch her. Especially if that drunckard-womanizer  Chit Swe was on the train she wouldn’t board that train.

She was not even twenty yet and her little face was so young and pretty it din’t really match her massively obese body. I stood beside her a little while as she calmed down from breathing heavily with fear. I then remembered U Paw Lar with broken front teeth as I always teased her with him.
“Who else in your usual group today, is U Paw Lar there too?”
“Yeah, your big step-father is here today!”
“Ha, don’t pretend, you’ve been with him all the times.”
“Stop it, we have Ah May Nyunt and Ma Nyunt Tin today, also Ko Pike.”
“They are no important, but with your massive body everyone knows you are here. You should be moving like a cat. What a bad smuggler you’re!”
“Yeah I know, someone told me to drink lemon juice to lose weight and I drank 5 lemons a day but getting fatter. People also told me to cut sleeping and I slept less and it made me eat more, nothing seems to be working for me?”
“But you look better nowadays.”
“Oh, you’re not gonna say I have a pretty face too. Don’t lie to me. If your girlfriend hear this I’ll be in trouble. Oh don’t you know, she is coming along today. She is carrying Pineapples!”
“Oh, Nyo Nyo is coming along today?”
“Yes, Nyo Nyo is, your golden egg!”
“If that so, I’d better go see her.”
“Yes, yes, go please!”

I left her while laughing with delight. One of them would always let me know if Nyo Nyo is among them. Nyo Nyo didn’t do carrying prohibited goods like Hta-nyet yet. But she was coming along to Kyauk-pan-doung together with Thin Thin and Nu Nu. Those two notorious girls used to buy tickets but now since they knew me well through Nyo Nyo they stopped buying tickets by giving me some cash.


Whenever Nyo Nyo was on the train I walked down to their carriage and sat at the empty seat beside her to see her pretty little face. Thin Thin and Nu Nu smiled at me and greeted happily. But not young Nyo Nyo, she was obviously shy and tried to ignore me deliberately. She looked away from me as if she was deeply absorbed in the passing scenery she saw every time she was on this train. 

For me, the way she was shyly ignoring me deliberately was kind of more heart-pleasing. So just to tease her I ignored her also and only talked to Thin Thin and Nu Nu. She knew my tease and sometimes she would smile as if she couldn’t control herself. I could see only half of her face but her shy smiles were so lovingly attractive.

“I really want to say that. Thin Thin and Nu Nu, I really like you two, you know. You both are friendly. But someone here who I really like and love wouldn’t like and love me back. She is incredibly rude. I’ll not say who. I just have to accept my unfortunate fate. Maybe I did something bad previous life. Just my bad Karma. Look, she just turned her face away only when I came to see her. She just shut up tight. But I know if she wanted to talk she would talk so much she will bore anyone to death. Just unfair!”

Both Thin Thin and Nu Nu were now laughing without opening their mouths. I felt like holding Nyo Nyo’s shoulder and turned her back to face me as I now really wanted to see her pretty little round face. But I held myself and continue to tease her by asking if Hta-nyet were hidden underneath the pineapples in their huge baskets.

“Yes we have Hta-nyets. We already told you so,” replied both Thin Thin and Nu Nu.
“How about inside other girl’s basket?”
“That we don’t know. Why don’t you ask that girl direct?”
“That girl is deaf. She doesn’t know how to speak too, I guess.”

Nyo Nyo didn’t turn back but started laughing quietly. Then said, “That girl might be Ma Aye Thwe.”

Her friends were now strangely smiling and staring at me. So I tried to laugh off at Nyo Nyo too, but I couldn’t too long as I knew very well what a loose woman Ma Aye Thwe was and that my hidden fear of my Nyo Nyo eventually becoming like Ma Aye Thwe had been growing daily inside of me.

I looked at Thin Thin’s young face while remembering that horrible gossip of the orgy she and three railway policemen had just a couple of nights ago on this same train. Same gossips of Ma Aye Thwe and Ma Aye Myint and even Nu Nu were all over the place too.

Suddenly I felt nauseated by the ugly decent to hell of those young smugglers trying to survive in this man-made Socialist hellhole called Burma. I had to get up and slowly walk to the quiet corner by the carriage door. I stood at the doorway of slow-moving train while staring meaninglessly at the passing hills at the distance.

Together with dried hillocks and parched farmyards a little stream was also following the train beside it. They were frequently alternating between moving away and then closing on as the train drove past them. I asked myself silently why did I love her. Why was she so deeply inside my heart? When did my river of love towards her start flowing?

For many days and weeks now my mind had been overwhelmed by the growing worries for Nyo Nyo. I even prayed to Lord Buddha that those horrible gossips about her friends Thin Thin and Nu Nu were just fake news.

But thinking of it, there was nothing strange of those smuggler girls sleeping with cops and conductors just to survive. They had to pay for their way with either cash or their young bodies. Like I took cash from them some cops took their bodies, nothing so difficult to believe.

A decent girl slowly being turned into a whore is nothing strange in this hellhole. I had seen it with my own eyes. And it had pained me deeply to accept that reality of harsh life here. Now I had to worry about my young Nyo Nyo becoming a Hta-nyet smuggler like her dear friends and eventually a lowly whore forced into sleeping with cops on the train.

Her little business of selling vegetables was earning her less than half she used to earn as so many other girls are doing it to survive the economic ruins brought by Socialism. And the general prices were rising too fast to ten times more than last year. Nyo Nyo’s whole family had been relying on her measly income and she needed to earn more cash and fast.

She has to choose which way to go. I was so afraid that she would have to abandon decency just to feed her family eventually. Just worrying about her there I couldn’t breathe as if I was drowning in my own imaginary sea. I looked up at the vast blue sky following the train and I thought it was a vast blue sea from my imagination.

There in my vast blue sea I could imagine the stormy waves crashing one after another. Enormous waves seemed to be crushing everyone and everything on their way. I my horrid imagination I could vividly hear the cries of drowning people shouting out for help. I had to warn Nyo Nyo before too late, I reminded myself again there on the moving train.


The day I was warning Nyo Nyo not to smuggle Hta-nyet my words wouldn’t come out of my mouth for a while as if they were being blocked in my emotionally choking throat. It hurt me so much. That day Nyo Nyo was waiting for me underneath a Koke-ko tree near Kyauh-pan-daung Station. Time was too early for train passengers to arrive.

As I sat down besides her sitting on the bench she quickly looked up at me and smiled and then looked down at the ground. Her face was blushed as if she was shyly expecting me to say that I loved her, again. On the same bench but we were clearly apart from each other. I could see the falling leaves on her shoulder.

When I looked away from her the faraway mountain ranges in the west appeared to be peaceful and calm unlike me. A giant cotton-wool-like cloud was slowly drifting far above us. “What do you want to tell me today?” Nyo Nyo slowly started the conversation.

“What I want to say is I want to ask you if you’re already carrying Hta-nyet. I know you’re not carrying hidden Hta-nyet in your pineapple baskets, yet. You know I love you and I will take care of you all your life. You know that we will be married once time and situation are right. Anyway that is not the main reason I wanted to warn you today.

You do know that I do not want you to carry Hta-nyet on the trains. You do know what could happen once a young girl starts carrying Hta-nyet and becoming a serious smuggler. She has to be nice to anyone who has authority to catch her, arrest her, and jail her. She has to surrender her body to them just to save her goods and herself. I know she has no choice but to surrender to avoid starvation and also her family to survive. I know that truth.

But I do not want you to do that. You must not do that smuggling. You will think that is unfair to prohibit you from doing that. Let me say something serious. You must not do smuggling Hta-nyet. If one day you are forced to do it because you have no other choice that day will be the day I will kill someone. That’s it, I’m so tired of worrying about you all the time. You will not and you must not carry Hta-nyet on the trains.”

The train had arrived. I could now hear the sounds of horse carriages by the station as the Hta-nyet smugglers were arriving earlier than usual. I could see Ko Shwe Youk and his three sons loading their Hta-nyet baskets onto the train. On the passenger train the railway policemen were pretending to be asleep as they had already been well greased with hard cold cash by the usual group of Hta-nyet smugglers.

Nyo Nyo’s eyes were now filled with sad tears. She then said to me, “I’ll not do Hta-nyet. If you don’t want me to do I won’t do it.” Now I felt as if I was totally unfair to her and deeply felt sorry for her. I held her hands tightly in my hands and repeatedly whispered, “Nyo Nyo, Nyo Nyo,” without saying anything else at all.


(Prominent Burmese writer and poet Naing Win Swe (1940-1995) was killed in a jungle on Thai Border in 1995 by Burmese Army after he took to the jungle in the aftermath of failed 8-8-88 Uprising.

The legend is that, as he lay dead on the battleground his comrades picked wild flowers and covered his remains with the flowers before they retreated as they didn’t have enough time to bury him.

This fictionalized semi-autobiographical novel vividly depicts the utter sufferings of a society under the brutal Socialist System as both the rulers and the ruled become the hapless victims of that Evil Satanist Ideology called Socialism where State Controls almost everything and People Starve.)

Ma Thein Shin –Chapter 5

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Burmese Days by Shashi Tharoo

General Than Shwe in India (2010)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent visit to Myanmar (Burma), noted largely for a memorable photo opportunity with a wan but smiling Aung San Suu Kyi, signaled a significant change in the geopolitics surrounding a land that has faced decades of isolation, sanctions, and widespread condemnation for its human-rights violations.

Twenty-one years ago, after Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) swept a general election, the results were annulled, the party’s leaders and workers were incarcerated or exiled, and two decades of ruthless – and remarkably opaque – military rule followed. This year has witnessed political opening, the release of several prominent political prisoners, and evidence of self-assertion by the nominally civilian government (headed by a former general, Thien Sein). Suu Kyi’s announcement of her intention to contest a by-election to the new parliament offers a glimmer of hope that democrats could use the fledgling political process to create something resembling genuine representative government.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Reinstate Maung Htaw Lay and Maung Khaing Streets!

Hilary Clinton at Shwe Dagaon Pagoda.
In September 1988 just after the bloodiest coup in Burmese history the new military Government led by then-slowly-going-mad General Saw Maung (now deceased) stupidly changed the name of our country to Myanmar from 200-year-old Burma and our people into Myanmarese or something horrible like that from Burmese.

And the brutish, uneducated and unbelievably ignorant General also defiled our Mon ancestors by replacing the names of the two oldest streets in Rangoon from Sitke Maung Htaw Lay and Sitke Maung Khaing to Bo Sun Pet and Bo Ywe, respectively.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Briefing on Hilary Clinton's Meetings in Burma

Hilary Clinton meets the President of Burma
Special Briefing
Senior State Department Official
Rangoon, Burma
December 2, 2011

MODERATOR: We are in Rangoon. The Secretary has had a full day of meetings today with Aung San Suu Kyi, with representatives of civil societies of the ethnic minority groups, and we thought we’d just give you a sense of how some of those went, with [Senior State Department Official], hereafter known as Senior State Department Official.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Burma: Can Daw Suu trust the Army?

(This Gwynne Dyer’s article is from London Free Press Comment Section.)

Daw Suu meets the President.
Burma is the second poorest country in Asia (after North Korea), although fifty years ago it was the second richest. It is the second most repressive dictatorship in Asia, outdone again only by North Korea. It is third from the bottom on Transparency International's list of the world's most corrupt countries. And the credit for all these distinctions goes to the Burmese army, which has ruled the country with an iron hand for the past half-century.

So what should pro-democracy leaders in Burma do when the army shows signs of wanting to make a deal and withdraw from direct control over the country. Do you hold out for more, or do you co-operate with the generals in the hope that they can be persuaded to go further later on?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dr. Thant Myint Oo's Testimony before US Senate

(This prepared testimony on 30 Sept 2009 was before the US Senate.)

Dr. Thant Myint Oo.
The policies of the United States and other Western governments over the past twenty years towards Burma have failed. They have not been helpful in moving the country towards meaningful democratic change and at the same time have largely neglected the country's multiple ethnic and armed conflicts as well as its pressing humanitarian challenges.

As we move towards a very welcome review and adjustment of American policy, I think it's important to reflect on the history behind today's challenges, appreciate the critical and complex watershed Burma now faces, and try to identify pragmatic ways forward.

War and state-building

There is a myth that Burma emerged from British rule in 1948 as a peaceful democracy with all the attributes necessary for later success, only to fall mysteriously into dictatorship and extreme poverty. Burma in 1948 was actually already at civil war, its economy in ruins. And this civil war has continued until today. It is the longest running set of armed conflicts anywhere in the world, setting the Burmese army against an amazing array of battlefield opponents - from the Mujahedeen along the former East Pakistan/Bangladesh border, to remnants of Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist Army, to drug-lords, to Beijing-backed communist rebels, to Christian-led ethnic Karen insurgents in the jungles near Thailand.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Karen Warrior-Mum, now in Australia or United States?

She was once a Karen refugee on Thai Border with Burma. She, her KNLA (Karen National Liberation Army) fighter husband, and their four young children have  already been resettled probably in  either Australia or United States under UN-sponsored generous refugee-settlement-programs.

I just hope she hasn't brought  her extremely-lethal M79 40mm grenade-rocket-launcher along with her. Otherwise those pushy Aussie or aggressive American soccer mums are to watch out on the field at Saturday children soccer matches. Karens naturally do not take shit from no one and they are quite lethal especially the mothers with young kids.

Thousands and thousands of  KNLA fighters are being resettled as  genuine refugees in the developed countries like Australia and United States since mid 1990s.

All these battle-hardened former-guerrilla-turned-refugees from the war-torn countries like Burma and Sri Lanka etc should be forced to join Australian Army reserves or US National Guards so that their  valuable battlefield experiences are fully utilized for the benefits of their new homelands such as Australia and United States.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Islamic Genocide of Native Buddhists in Maungdaw?

(This is direct translation of former Burmese Immigration Officer Maung Maung’s article.)

Last of the Buddhist Arakans of Maungdaw.
This article is mainly for the so-called Burmese human-rights activists now re-settling in a Third Country like USA or Australia or one of rich European countries.

If you are one of those activists who are now wildly hollering on the World Wide Web for the human rights of so-called Rohingyas without really knowing the facts I would like to ask you to take your Rohingyas into your homes.

I am neither a racist nor do I wear the cloak of a democracy/human-rights activist. But if any of you do feel pity for those illegal Bengali Muslims being without their own separate territory you should put them up on your own houses and you will eventually learn about them.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Burmese of Prantalay-12 captured by Somali Pirates

(Some of this post is from Myanmar Times’s article on 11 November 2011.)

Released Burmese Sailors. (Photo Myanmar Times)
Freed 13 Burmese sailors/fishermen working on the Thai PT Interfishery’s fishing boat P.V. Prantalay-12 taken for ransom by Somali Pirates more than a year ago in April last year have been back in Rangoon since First October this year.

“We were forced to stay in pirates’ hands for about one year and three months. Our boat was taken on 18 April 2010 by Somali pirates in the Indian Waters on our way from Ranong in Thailand to Djibouti.

There were 25 Africans in camouflage uniforms on two speed boats when they pointed their heavy-weapons at our boat and stopped us. First we thought they were patrolling soldiers. Only when they were on our boat we knew they were mother-fucking Somalis.

But we couldn’t do anything as they were heavily armed. Three boats from our Company, Boats 11 and 12 and 14, were taken altogether almost at the same time.”

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rohingyas and Al Qaeda: Islamic Terrorists

ARNO Chairman Nurul Islam (L) and VAHU's Dr. Zaw Oo (R).

Arakan Rohingya National Organization Contacts With Al Qaeda And With Burmese Insurgent Groups On The Thai Border
Cable time
Thu, 10 Oct 2002 05:01 UTC
First published on Thu, 1 Sep 2011 23:24 UTC
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ma Thein Shin - Chapter Three

(On 6 January 1966 General Ne Win’s Revolutionary Council's Socialist Government stupidly prohibited the civilian populace from transporting, storing, distributing, and trading of 460 basic commodities including the staples such as rice, peanut-oil, and salt. Hta-nyet (jaggery) was one of those restricted commodities and a large scale smuggling trade of Hta-nyet had developed overnight in Middle Burma where most of it is produced.)

Year 1968

Next days I would find her at her usual waiting place underneath the big Banyan tree.

She would sit at the seat by U Kaung Zone’s Shop and look out for me as the train came in. Even in the blurry-dawn I could detect the shadows of smiles on her happy round face. But once she was on the train she wouldn’t wait for me at the doorway. Instead she would avoid me by disappearing inside where the passengers were once I came up to her car.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Michael Posner: The Beginning of A Transition in Burma

Michael Posner the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor is Former President of New York-based Human Rights First. He has a long history of doing good and noble things, according to the, like helping torture victims and refugees and promoting “corporate accountability for working conditions in the apparel industry.”

Posner’s organization works with activists in countries including Guatemala, Russia, Zimbabwe, and Indonesia. He drafted and campaigned for a 1992 US law called the Torture Victim Protection Act, designed to give victims of most serious abuses a remedy in US courts, according to the Human Rights First Web Site.

Michael Posner, the State Department’s top human rights Official, and Derek Mitchell, Washington’s new special envoy for Burma, just wrapped up a trip to Rangoon and Naypyidaw this week. And following is the text of their press conference released by the US State Department at the end of their Burma trip.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Min Aung Hlaing meets Derek Mitchell

(This press release was from The New Light of Myanmar on 4 November 2011.)

Nay Pyi Taw, 3 Nov – Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services General Min Aung Hliang received US Special Representative and Policy Coordinator for Myanmar Mr. Derek Mitchell and party at Zeyathiri Beikman, here, this afternoon.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Ban Ki-moon's Chief-of-Staff Nambiar in Burma

(This 31 October press release is from UN News Centre.)

UNSG's Special Adviser on Myanmar Vijay Nambiar.
31 October 2011 -   A top United Nations official arrived today in Myanmar for a five-day visit during which he will meet with a number of Government officials and other key actors.

The visit by Vijay Nambiar is at the invitation of the Government, according to a statement issued by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s spokesperson.

“The Special Advisor to the Secretary-General for Myanmar, Mr. Vijay Nambiar, arrived today in Myanmar today for a five-day visit at the invitation of the Government. The Special Advisor will hold meetings in Naypyitaw and Yangon with the Government of Myanmar, political parties, civil society organizations and other key interlocutors, in the implementations of the Secretary-General’s good offices mandate.”

IMF Article VIII Mission to Burma

External Relations Department

Press Release
November 1, 2011

Statement at the Conclusion of the Article VIII Mission to Myanmar

The following statement was issued today in Nay Pyi Taw, after the conclusion of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) Article VIII mission to Myanmar:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Harn Yawnghwe's Fruitful Burma Trip?

                                       (This article is from the Shan Herald News Site.)

Harn Yawnghwe and Daughter at Rangoon Airport.
He regarded his 8-day visit to Burma, 20-28 October, as a fruitful eye-opener, said Harn Yawnghwe, director of Brussels-based Euro-Burma Office (EBO) and youngest son of the late first President of Burma who went into exile with his mother in 1963.

The only problem he faced was when he applied for his visa. Despite being invited by three ministers, he was technically still a persona non grata, the embassy told him. It was finally issued, only after he had put down a minister’s name as his guarantor.

If there were any more misgivings, he was discouraged from them when he arrived there.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rohingyas, Harn Yawnghwe, and Fraudulent Claims?

(Direct translation of Aung Than Oo’s article “Human Rights and Self Interest”.)

EBO-OIC Signing in Saudi Arabia for Rohingya Claims?
The topics I’m going to write about in this article basing on my past experiences and what I could intellectually think of are the dishonest land claims of foreign-born Bengalis illegally entering Burma from the neighboring Bangladesh.

In this article I tried my best to avoid the two common prejudices of race and religion even though my aim is to prolong our race Burmese and our religion Buddhism, and at the same time I am extremely careful not to attack or insult other races and other religions.

Principally I am going to write about the so-called Rohingyas who under the cover of human-rights issues in Burma are recently and presently claiming that they are an authentic ethnic race of Burma while hiding their original Bengali roots, especially now that they are making so much noise and attracting undeserving international attentions and Arab money generously as Muslims.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tha-din-gyut in Mawgyun & Buddhist Crocodiles

October is the Burmese month of Tha-din-gyut, the seventh month of Burmese Lunar Calendar and the end of Buddhist Lent.

During the month of Tha-din-gyut we Burmese have the Festival of Lights celebrating the return of Lord Buddha from the celestial abode (Heaven) where he had spent the Lent while teaching Dama (Buddhism) to the celestial beings including his mother who was reborn as an angel in the Tar-wa-dein-tha (Another name of Burmese Heaven).

We Buddhist Burmese traditionally have a religious festival for every month of our Lunar Calendar, mostly carried out under the patronage of a temple or pagoda. During the festivals every town and village in the Delta region of lower Burma comes out alive with the burst of colors and celebrations.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Giant Python Killed at Myit-sone Dam Site

(This article is partly from the Kachin News Group Web site.)

In the photo the dead giant snake was being lifted by a backhoe arm at Jum Bum hill in Irrawaddy Myitsone dam site, 27 miles north of Kachin capital Myitkyina, Northern Burma.

Burmese President Thein Sein’s announcement of a halt to construction of the controversial Irrawaddy Myitsone Dam was after the killing of a giant snake by Chinese workers on Sept. 22 at a road construction site at the dam in Kachin State, eyewitnesses said.

The snake was 48.5 feet long and 5 feet in circumference and it was found in a hole on Jum Bum hill while workers were digging, said eye witnesses.

It was killed when workers from the Chinese state-owned China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) struck its head with a backhoe bucket, eyewitnesses said.

CPI workers brought the dead snake to China, according to eye witnesses.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Ma Thein Shin - Chapter Two

(On 6 January 1966 General Ne Win’s Revolutionary Socialist Government stupidly prohibited the civilian populace from transporting, storing, distributing, and trading of 460 basic commodities including the staples such as rice, peanut-oil, and salt. Hta-nyet (jaggery) was one of those restricted commodities and a large scale smuggling trade of Hta-nyet had developed overnight in Middle Burma where most of it is produced.)

Year 1967 

It was dawn and still the thin mist had shrouded the early morning. I was standing at the doorway of a passenger car and looking for Nyo Nyo at her usual waiting place by U Kaung Zon’s Shop as the big train slowly entered Myo-lu-lin Station drowned in the mixture of pale darkness and bright light.

Back then I myself even didn’t notice the strong attachments started forming in my heart. Some days if I didn’t find her in that usual spot underneath the big banyan tree I always felt something missing inside of me.

She also would stand up from the seat underneath the banyan tree and look up at the train as if she was searching for me as the train came. And whenever she saw me her little round face would lighten up as if she was really happy even though she tried to hide that once she noticed I was happily looking at her too.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Yingluck (Yin Hla) Capturing Burmese Hearts and Minds?

(Direct translation of Master Sedo’s Fashion of Thai PM from Moemakha Site.)

I was thinking once Thai PM Daw Yin Hla (Ms Yingluck Shinawat) arrived in Burma as the final leg of her five ASEAN countries Tour I should write about her fashion sense.

(Translator notes: Daw Yin Hla means Lady(Daw) and Classy(Yin) and beautiful(Hla) in Burmese.)

For a man as the leader of a country he doesn’t need to worry too much about what he is wearing. Just a black jacket will do. Though he needs to buy many neckties and keep them in the drawer. But for our Daw Yin Hla she isn’t a man and thus the black jacket alone will not do for her.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Harn Yawnghwe & NCGUB: Ali Baba and Forty Thieves?

(Direct translation of Htun Aung Gyaw’s Ali Baba and Forty Thieves.)

The large-scale embezzlement of donors’ funds by the senior staff of DVB (Democratic Voice of Burma) basically highlighted the fact that a major house-cleaning for our community of Burmese democracy exile activists is urgently needed.

What DVB Board had done (The removal of Executive Director Aye Chan Naing and Deputy Executive Director Khin Maung Win, and the appointment of Harn Yawnghwe as Acting Executive Director) was akin to appointing the great robber Harn Yawnghwe in the place of the petty thief Khin Maung Win so that they will keep on stealing the donor funds off DVB.

This democratic struggle for Burma is quickly becoming a great opportunity to make a lot of money for a select group of Burmese Exiles who have been making a very good living out of our revolution.