Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rambo Maung Maung Khin's Fighting-Peacock (1)

(Maung Maung Khin originally was a student warrior from the Battalion-701 of notorious ABSDF-North and he acted in 2008 Sylvester Stallone’s overly-exaggerated anti-Burmese movie Rambo-4 as ridiculously-sadist Burmese-Army's Colonel Tint. This post is the translation of his article from KOZAN Blog.) 

Date was 8 August 1992. The fourth anniversary of 8-8-88 Uprising. Place was Pajau Headquarters of Students Army (Northern) in Liseng Hills on Chinese border. We were inside the Mother-Peacock Hall for the anniversary celebrations.  

(Translator’s notes: It was just 5 months after all the brutal tortures and murders of about 100 fellow students at the same camp.)

I was silently squatting in a back corner of the hall when the MC called out to stand up for our Fighting-peacock Flag as the guests from all revolutionary organizations were once seated inside the hall.

“A-Ten-Hut, All salute the Battle-Figthting-Peacock Flag of All Burma Students’ Democratic Front!” Commanded the MC.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

IMF 2011 Article IV Mission Statement

Statement at the Conclusion of the Article IV Mission to Myanmar

Press Release No. 12/25
January 25, 2012

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Ms. Meral Karasulu visited Nay Pyi Taw and Yangon during January 9–25, 2012 for the 2011 Article IV Consultation. The team met with the authorities and other key counterparts to discuss recent economic developments and the outlook for Myanmar. At the conclusion of the mission, Ms. Karasulu issued the following statement today in Nay Pyi Taw:

“We would like to thank the authorities and other counterparts for their close cooperation, open engagement and warm hospitality.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Is ABSDF one of MIS Khin Nyunt's strategic creations?

MIS General Khin Nyunt.
In late 1972 or early 1973 when I was a 16 year-old boy soldier in a rifle battalion of Burmese Army Northern Command in Myitkyinar I had a rather unsettling encounter with a MIS captain.

It was the last few days of our boot camp and he, as the commanding-captain of MIS (Military Intelligence Service) unit attached to our battalion, was teaching us the one-day-course appropriately titled “Information Retrieval from Captured Enemies” or Torture 101 as a couple of college students among us later re-named it.

The MIS Captain was teaching us how to force the information out of a captured or wounded enemy combatant by a systematic torture. That day all 60 of us the green-grunts were sitting cross-legged on the hard ground in a wide semi-circle around him standing in front of his little office-shed near the battalion armoury and stockade.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Dr. Nay Zin Latt: President's Political Adviser

Dr. Nay Zin Latt.
Dr. Nay Zin Latt, the most-spoken member among three presidential political advisers, was interviewed by DVB (Democratic Voice of Burma) in April 2011 and the first part of this post is the translation of that interview about the recently-established Presidential Advisory Board of Burma’s newly-elected President Thein Sein, a former army general and the last Prime Minister of now-defunct SPDC Government.

(Q)       Dr. Nay Zin Latt, Good day! When did you first learn about the formation of   Presidential Advisory Board?
(A)       I first knew of it in 22 April.

(Q)       How is the Advisory Board formed and who are the advisors?
(A)       Basically three teams. Economics, Politics, and Legal Affairs. Dr. U Myint is in Economics Team. U Set Aung and U Sein Hla Bo are in the Economics Team too. The Politics is U Ko Ko Hlaing. Then me. And U Ye Tint too. In Legal Team is Police Colonel Sit Aye (Retired). Daw Khin Myo Myint and U Than Kyaw are in the Legal Team too.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

President Thein Sein's Interview Full Script?

On 3 pm 17 January 2012 Burma’s President Thein Sein officially received the team of journalists led by Senior-Editor Elizabeth Graham Weymouth from the Washington Post. The meeting was reported in the Burmese Government mouthpiece Myanmah Ahlin on January 18.

Then on January 19 the Washington Post released and published the meeting script as a scoop as the first ever interview with a foreign journalist for a Burmese president for at least last 50 years. And the shit immediately hit the fan in Nay-pyi-daw for a very obvious reason.

Friday, January 20, 2012

President Thein Sein's Interview with Washington Post

              (This article by Lally Weymouth is direct from Washington Post Newspaper.)

Since Thein Sein took office as Burma’s president nine months ago, the country’s famous opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has been freed from house arrest, political prisoners have been released and the United States has normalized bilateral relations with Burma, also known as Myanmar. This week, Sein granted The Post’s Lally Weymouth his first interview with a foreign journalist. Excerpts:

President Thein Sein at UN General Assembly.
President Sein: I would like to welcome you to our capital and I know The Washington Post is a renowned newspaper in America. This is the first time to meet with the foreign media. This is our foreign minister, our minister of information and our minister of labor.

Q: The West has been watching the changes you have brought about in your country — the freeing of political prisoners, enabling Aung San Suu Kyi’s party to run in the upcoming April election and the cease-fires you’ve declared with some of the ethnic groups. You have made extraordinary changes in a short time. What motivated you to want to change your country and to start this reform process?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Lord of The Flies: ABSDF Student Army went brutally wild?

Like many failed uprisings against the seemingly never-ending military rule in Burma the 1988 Uprising popularly known as 8-8-88 Uprising left many tens of thousands of paranoid student revolutionaries in its wake.

In my time as an excited student rebel during 1974 U Thant Uprising was not that different from the later student-led uprisings in Burma. We students fled our homes and took refuge in the rural towns and villages till the whole thing died down and the peoples’ lives back in the cities were back to normal and the universities were reopened. And we all came back homes to go back to schools and universities.

But the aftermath of 1988 Uprising was starkly different as those rebelling students didn’t just flee from the chasing MIS (Military Intelligence Services) agents. They ran so fast and so far deep into the jungle that they ended up on the Eastern border line and met up with a variety of ethnic insurgents then active on the border like KNU, CPB, KIA, and other clandestine groups.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

U.S. On the Verge of Lifting Burma Sanctions!

“We have 700 member companies in the AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce) in Singapore,” says Kevin Thieneman, a regional manager for Caterpillar and a board member of AmCham Singapore. “The interest in Myanmar spans every segment of business.”

Above was what John Bussey wrote in his article “The new dance with Myanmar” in the Wall Street Journal. He then continued on with his observation of American businessman and managers in Singapore ready to parachute into Burma the country resembling a decrepit living museum virtually frozen since 1962 the year late General Ne Win seized power.

Burma is a place of aging cars, crumbling buildings, and millions of farmers still working the ploughs behind water buffalo. All this spell opportunities to US companies. They see Burma as one large green field with a population of over 54 millions needing construction and mining equipment, seeds and tractors, consumer goods, transportation, power, and services.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Burmese Honor-bashing in Malaysia?

Burmese Girls in Malaysia.
When I was in Singapore in early 1990s I was greatly amazed by the massive number of Filipino women and girls working there. According to the newspaper articles, there were close to 100,000 Filipinos working in Singapore back then.

Thousands and thousands of Filipinos said to be working in Singapore as domestic maids gathering on every Sunday at Lucky Plaza shopping center on Orchard Road alone was an awesome sight as I had never seen such a scene before.

At that time not many Burmese except a few hundred professional men mainly the RIT graduates and some doctors were working in Singapore. And these Burmese men looked down on the Pinoy maids as they themselves had employed them in their households.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dr. Nay Win Maung's obituary in The Independent

       (Obituary by former British ambassador to Burma Vicky Bowman in The Independent.)

Dr. Nay Win Maung (1962-2012)
The death from a heart attack of Dr Nay Win Maung has robbed Burma of an intellectual and public policy analyst of great integrity. It is a particular loss given that Burma's politics are beginning to show positive signs, and the main protagonists – the military leaders and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi – are both adopting the more conciliatory approach which Nay Win Maung had advocated. The pace of reform is accelerating, and the US-led economic sanctions which he opposed are gradually being unwound.

Born in 1962 to parents on the faculty of the élite Defence Services Academy, Nay Win Maung eschewed what might have been a natural step towards a military career, and studied medicine, graduating in 1988 just before the pro-democracy demonstrations which led to the long closure of Burmese universities. However, as with many steered by high grades into medicine, he chose to take advantage of Burma's initial market economy opening in the early 1990s.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Australia Eases Sanctions against Burma!

                 (This good news came through AP Associated Press today 9 Jan 2012)

Kevin Rudd & Thein Sein
Australia said Monday it is easing some restrictions on members of Myanmar's ruling elite in response to political reforms by its military-backed government.

The decision came as the party of Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi began gearing up to contest by-elections on April 1. Her National League for Democracy party has cautiously endorsed reforms instituted by President Thein Sein that include legalizing labor unions and freeing some political prisoners.

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd announced the easing of sanctions during a visit to Indonesia, Australia's Foreign Affairs Department said.

"The changes to the sanctions list are an acknowledgment that Burma is taking a number of important steps toward a more open democracy and greater engagement with the region," the department said a statement, using the name for Myanmar preferred by the country's democracy movement.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Suicide of A Burmese Maid in Singapore

(Following true stories are documented-sufferings of Burmese working in Singapore.)

Suicide of a Runaway Maid

11 Dec 2011: A young Burmese woman working here in Singapore had attempted to commit suicide by jumping down from a fly-over bridge onto the busy freeway below. She is now being treated in Tan-tock-seng hospital.

She jumped down 4.5 meter from the fly-over at the intersection of Kalang-paya Lebar Expressway and the Pan-Island Expressway. She was said to be a domestic worker from Burma and seen running out of the offices of a domestic maid employment agency in Katong Shopping Centre.

According to the eye-witnesses she was standing on the flower beds on the edge of expressway with her arms stretched wide just before she threw herself over.

Luckily she fell into a tree before she hit the road and the broken tree branch had absorbed much of the impact.  Only her right arm and right leg were broken and the taxi coming along just after her body hit the road had stopped the traffic and the driver called the police.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We need Food & Clothing but KIA gives us Mines to lay!

(Translation of articles in Burmese from Kachin Daily News & Myanmar Ahlin.)

The bomb-destroyed KIA safe-house in Myitkyinar.
I was born in 1968 in a village not far from the Ho-pin Town. I am a native Kachin woman of Christian faith. As far back as I can still remember my native village and the surrounding area were tightly controlled and brutally dominated by the KIA, the so-called Kachin Independence Army.

We were so scared of KIA my father didn’t even dare to openly tell my mother how much he’d earned. Because he was so afraid if KIA had found out about the money he had saved they would come and take it by force from him as the Protection Money (Set-kyay).