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IN THE UPPER TRIBUNAL OF THE IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM CENTRE AA/02803/2009

TS
-v-
UK BORDER AGENCY

INDEX OF COUNTRY BUNDLE 3



Page Description Foot note to
Dr Zarnis
Report
1-27 Report of Marcia Robiou 22.1.13
28-54 Report of Dr Maung Zarni 16.11.11
55-67 Transcript of Conference Call with Dr Maung Zarni 11.2.13
68-70 Burma: Halt Indiscriminate Attacks on Kachin State 17.1.13 1
71-73 Press TV: Rohinga Muslims in Myanmars Rakine state face genocide: OIC 17.11.12 2
74-76 Burmese Pipeline to China Under Construction, Despite Criticism 6.9.11 3
77-78 The Telegraph: Burma Copper Mine Protest Broken up by Riot Police 19.2.13 4
79-94 Land Grabbing in Dawei September 2012 5
95 Monks Protest in Burmese Cities over Mine Crackdown 12.12.12 6
96-98 Burma: Riot Police Move in to Break up Copper Mine Protests 29.11.12 6
99-102 List of Injured in Copper Mine Protest 7
103 Kachin Rebels in Burma Lose Key Hilltop 26.1.13 8
104 Myanmar Launches Cyberspace Attacks 20.9.08 9
105-107 E-Mails of Reporters in Myanmar are Hacked 10.2.13 9
108 UN: Myanmar Tortured Kachin 17.2.13 10
109-111 Torture and Ill Treatment in Burma 31.5.12 10
112-113 Burma Initiates Committee Scrutinizing the Political Prisoners Left Behind 7.2.13 10
114-117 Google and Facebook Remain Tentative in Myanmar 11.2.13 11
118-119 Govt Slams US Kachin Statement 28.1.13 12
120 Voice of America: Burma Protests US Embassy Criticism 26.1.13 13
121-133 Air War in Kachinland: Burma Military Air Attacks on Kachin Territory 4.12.12 14
134-135 Video Shows Burma Military Targeting Kachin Rebels 2.1.13 15
136-137 Myanmar Military Admits to Airstrikes on Kachin Rebels 2.1.13 16
138-140 Burma Observers Participate in US Led Military Exercises in Thailand 10.2.13 17
141-142 Burma Blogger Jailed for 20 Years 11.11.08 18
143-144 Burma: In Memoriam: Phyo Wai Aung, a Courageous Fighter Against Inhuman Abuse 6.1.13 19


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Expert Report Prepared for: Gillman-Smith Lee Solicitors
By: Ms. Marcia Robiou
EXPERT REPORT FOR THE COUNTRY GUIDANCE CASE OF TS
Reference:
Annex A (attached): Ms. Marcia Robiou biographic information
Introduction
You requested an Expert Report in relation to the Burma Test Case of TS. I have read through the
following documents that you provided:
a) Statement of Facts
b) Ambit of Burma Country Guidance Case and list of questions to the Expert
Ambit of Burma Country Guidance Case
1. What is the risk to a Burmese citizen who has taken part in demonstrations in the UK against the
current Burmese regime, upon his return to Burma?
2. What is the relevance to the assessment in (1) above of someone who came to the adverse
attention of the authorities before leaving Burma but was nevertheless able to travel out of the
country on a valid Burmese passport?
3. To what extent do the Burmese Authorities distinguish between returnees from the UK who
have no real political commitment but attend demonstrations to bolster a claim and those who
attend demonstrations but have a genuine commitment to the opposition cause?
4. Taking account of answers of 1-3 above, to what extent is the country guidance given in TL still
valid as an assessment of risks to Burmese failed asylum seekers returned after making a
protection claim based as oppositionists whether in Burma or during their stay in the UK?
5. Do the Burmese authorities distinguish between those who are perceived to have no real political
or oppositionist commitment but who attend demonstrations to bolster a claim to asylum and
those who attend political demonstrations out of a genuine commitment to the anti-regime
cause?
6. If the answer to (3) above is yes what impact does this have on the risk on return?
The following are my answers to the questions for Experts:
1. Please characterise the mind set of the Burmese regime, in particular its attitude to (i)
criticism of the regime (ii) displays of opposition or defiance (iii) the opposition in exile;
(iv) foreign influences generally.
1.1 The current Burmese regime headed by President Thein Sein is a quasi-civilian regime at its
best and a military authoritarian regime at its worst. Burma is dominated by an authoritarian
mindset in that there is no respect for the rule of law crime is simply what the authorities

2
say it is. The retention of political power within the small circle of the military elite is crucial
for the Thein Sein administration.
1.2 Characteristics commonly exhibited in authoritarian regimes remain. This includes state
control over media, heavy-handed policing and arbitrary detention, and deep ethnocentrism.
1.3 The military regime in Burma, which held absolute power for 5 decades, appears to be slowly
opening, giving rise to what appears to be soft authoritarianism. Even though one party
remains in control, small-scale reforms such as legalizing protests and increased space for
political parties to operate have taken place under TheinSein. The people of Burma have
been testing the limits of these reforms by calling attention to social injustices and problems
through public processions or the Internet. As a result, there is a greater sense of freedom
that was not existent under the previous military regimes.
1.4 Even so, there is still no guarantee or respect for basic human rights. People are arrested and
tortured whenever they are deemed a threat to the state. Genuine free and fair elections have
yet to take place in Burma. The court and judicial system are apparatuses of the ruling party.
According to Freedom Houses 2012 Burma report, Burma remained one of the most
repressive countries in Asia
1
. Committee to Protect Journalists has ranked Burma as
number 7 in their top 10 most censored countries report from May 2012
2
.
1.4.1 Criticism of the regime is not tolerated.
1.4.1.1 Any legal reforms that appear to protect and promote freedom of
expression and assembly are undermined by vague and broad
provisions that make it clear criticism of the regime is off limits. For
example, the Law Relating to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful
Procession allows up to 6 months imprisonment if a protestor gives
speeches that contains false information or says anything that could
hurt the state or Union
3
. This punishment is applicable to those who
have already been granted a permit to protest.
1.4.1.2 Nyi Nyi Lwin (formerly known as U Gambira), a dissident monk who
recently disrobed, was detained shortly after voicing criticism of the
regime in March 2012
4
. He was taken from his monastery in the
middle of the night without any explanation of what laws he had
breached. He was re-arrested in early December 2012
5
. Such examples
cast serious doubt over whether the Thein Sein administration is
serious about implementing genuine political reform.
1.4.1.3 Only 6 years ago the military regime viewed humanitarian aid and
charity workers as domestic critics. In the wake of Cyclone Nargis,
one of the worlds worst natural disasters that killed more than
140,000 people, Burma authorities arrested aid workers, giving them
harsh sentences. Six volunteers received sentences ranging from 10 to

1
Freedom of the Press: Burma
2
10 Most Censored Countries, Special Report, Committee to Protect Journalists, 2 May 2012
3
For a legal analysis on the assembly bill, please visit Myanmar: The Decree on the Right to Peaceful Assembly and Peaceful
Procession, Article 19, 2012.
4
Burmese protest leader monk Gambira taken away. BBC News. 10 February 2012.
5
AAPP Condemns the Re-Arrest of AshinGambira (aka) NyiNyiLwin, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
(Burma), 3 December 2012

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35 years for activities ranging from delivering aid to the victims, for
reporting on the cyclone, and even for burying the dead
6
.
1.4.2 Displays of opposition or defiance are not tolerated.
1.4.2.1 I believe my response under (i) covers this section as well.
1.4.3. The Thein Sein administration treats the opposition in exile with scepticism.
1.4.3.1 They are aware that extending an olive branch to activists in exile
would allow them to gain much needed political capital in the eyes of
the international community, and have thus acted accordingly. In
March 2011, the President publicly invited exiles to come home, but
did not put in place any official policy or procedures that would make
exiles feel safe in returning home
7
. In addition, the President claimed
exiles with no criminal records are welcome, making it unclear
whether those who have been imprisoned for their political activism
and spuriously charged with criminal offenses would fall under this
category. Overall, the invitation was seen as weak among the
opposition in exile given the absence of concrete actions that would
ensure the safety of exiles.
1.4.3.2 These fears were not unfounded. Human rights lawyer Saw Kyaw
Kyaw Min became the first former exile to be prosecuted upon his
return to Burma
8
. He was convicted to six months imprisonment for
an outstanding contempt of court while representing democracy
activists in 2007. His clients were arrested during a march calling for
the release of democracy icon Aung San SuuKyi. He was sentenced in
absentia. Upon his return to Burma, he was arrested and sent to prison
to serve his sentence.
1.4.3.3 The Office of the President removed the names of 2,082 people from
the states infamous blacklist and made those names public in August
2012
9
. The list is comprised of foreign and Burmese nationals seen as
threats to peace and stability, and includes Burmese journalists,
dissidents, foreign activists, historians, etc.

6
Cyclone Nargis: One year on, 21 people imprisoned for helping victims.Amnesty International. 4 May 2009
7
Cautious welcome for return home offer.Kyaw Su Mon, Myanmar Times, 22-28 August 2011
8
Burma: Overturn 6 month sentence of human rights defender and lawyer Saw KyawKyawMin.Assistance Association for
Political Prisoners (Burma), 30 August 2012.
9
Black-listed Myanmar citizens get green light, New Light of Myanmar, p. 16, 27 August 2012. The New Light of
Myanmar is the state of Burmas media mouthpiece and is where the previous military regimes would normally publish their
official government decrees, amnesties, etc. The current U Thein Sein administration now has a user-friendly website for the
Office of the President both in English and Burmese. Official government announcements can now be found on the
President website. Please all refer to the Burma government press release 2/2012, which states The Government of
Myanmar has already eliminated a "blacklist" of persons barred from entering or leaving the country based on their suspected
political activity. The Government of Myanmar has also established a point of contact in the Office of the President to
provide timely response to citizens and foreigners inquiring about their status. Press Release No. 2/2012, President Office,
The Republic of the Union of Myanmar, 19 November 2012.


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1.4.3.4 However, more than 4,000 names remain on the blacklist. No one
knows who is on the list except President Thein Sein. In order for
exiles to feel safe returning home, the president should grant an official
amnesty to exiles and refugees rather than an informal oral invitation.
The amnesty should include all those convicted of political crimes and
crimes related to internal conflict.
1.4.4 The Thein Sein administration is generally warm to foreign influences insofar as it
relates to economic affairs and development projects. Over the year the
administration has shown itself to be responsive to foreign pressure when there
are concrete concessions involved, such as the lifting of economic sanctions. The
administration is not tolerant, however, of foreign agents critical of the
government and especially of what is seen as domestic matters such as human
rights issues.
2. The Tribunal accepted in TL that photographs are taken by Burmese Embassy staff of
demonstrations against the regime outside Burma, Does this practice continue? What is
or was the purpose of these photographs? To what extent is the regime concerned with
the motives of participants on these demonstrations?

2.1 I am not familiar with how Burmese Embassy staff operates outside Burma so I cannot
comment on that part of the question.
2.2 However, it is well known that the succession of military regimes have a sophisticated
network of spies throughout the country who monitor the activities of those believed to be
dissidents. Military intelligence often go undercover and infiltrate protests, student unions,
etc. to gather information. The purpose of photographing in particular and monitoring in
general, in Burma at least, is three-fold: to build evidence against an individual in case
authorities want to make an arrest; to better understand how activists or oppositionist
organizations operate so as to suppress their activities; and to pre-empt any activities that are
seen as injurious to the State from taking place.
2.3 I do not think the regime is concerned with motives of participants as much as the act taking
place.
3. The Tribunal makes reference in TL to a network of spies in the UK being able to
provide information on those who are genuine opponents and those who are not. What is
known about these networks of spies? How sophisticated an operation is this?
3.1 I can only comment generally on this question.
3.2 The government of Burma has an institutionalized and sophisticated spy network
throughout the world. Burmese embassies around the world are staffed by Military
Intelligence. These staff members, in conjunction with the spy network, monitor and
document information on individuals involved in the oppositionist movement.
3.3 Needless to say the information is very detailed and includes where oppositionist
organizations receive funding, who activists associate with, their family history, places of
employment, current whereabouts of, educational background, etc. It is common for
Military Intelligence to go undercover and infiltrate protests, student unions, known

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hangouts for dissidents, etc. Any criticism of the regime, including public
demonstrations, is dutifully documented. Each month the information is compiled into a
report and sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Military Strategic Command
Center.
4. Please can you comment on how the Burmese regime would treat persons returned to
Burma who have demonstrated outside the Burmese embassy but in respect of which it
has no records of opposition activity in Burma. What factors, if any, would either
exacerbate or decrease the risk to this group? For example would demonstrators who are
members of any of the following be more at risk:
4.1 It is difficult to comment on how a returning exile in Burma would be treated upon their
return given the unpredictable nature of the regime and the potential rolling back of any
reforms to date. I would venture to say the exile in question would most likely be
monitored and followed during the initial stages of his/her return and/or interrogated at
the airport.
4.2 A number of highly outspoken activists with foreign passports have returned to Burma
on visas with no incidences of arrest or major harassment. These include senior officials
of Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) Bo Kyi and Tate Naing, chief
coordinator of Burma Partnership Khin Ohmar
1011
, student leader Moe Thee Zun, and
many more. Many of these returned exiles have been able to meet formally with
government officials, sectors of civil society, and representatives of foreign institutions
such as the ICRC.
4.3 There have been accounts of returning exiles being forced to sign a form pledging they
will not partake in any activities or engage in criticism that will harm the state. This
form of harassment appears to be unsystematic and indicative of the messy top-down
nature of reforms in Burma. NLD member Nyo Ohn Myint refused to sign the form and
was allowed to receive a visa after a government official intervened
12
.
4.4 Factors that would exacerbate risk would include outstanding grave criminal charges
such as rape or murder and a long line of visible and outspoken political activism against
the regime in Burma.
4.5 There are steps that can be taken to better assess the risk posed to the individual in
question. This includes asking for an official invitation from the government of Burma to
visit the country.
4.6 Being a member of an ethnic minority group does not necessarily put an individual at risk
of arrest, torture, etc. Their risk increases depending on where they are in Burma. Ethnic
minorities living in ethnic minority states such as Chin or Kachin State are at higher risk
than those residing in urban Bamar-dominated areas such as Rangoon or Mandalay.
Needless to say those living near conflict zones (southern Shan State, Arakan State, etc.)
or developments projects where soldiers act as security forces (along Shwe Gas pipeline
corridor) are more vulnerable to human rights abuses including forced labor, forcible
relocations, and restriction of movement among others.

10
For KhinOhmars assessment of Burma at the end of her trip please visit: KhinOhmars Burma Trip Conclusion. Burma
Partnership, 23 November 2012.
11
Update: Khin Ohmar is currently on her second trip to Burma and has mentioned she is being followed more heavily than
on her first visit.
12
Burmas exiles can return if they promise to be good. Andrew Buncombe, The Independent, 19 October 2012.

6
4.7.a Ethnic Kachins? In particular the UN Special Rapporteur reports of arrests of
ethnic Kachins suspected of having links with the Kachin Independence
Organisation and Kachin Independence Army. Furthermore the Special
Rapporteur records attacks against civilian populations, extrajudicial killings,
sexual violence and internal displacement. Will ethnic Kachins be at risk of
imprisonment, torture or serious physical harm merely by virtue of their ethnic
origin or return?
4.7.a.i Ethnic Kachins living near areas of open conflict and regions controlled by
ethnic resistance groups such as the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), or
controlled by the Tatmadaw, are at serious risk of arbitrary detention, torture,
enforced disappearance, and rape as evidenced in the UN Special Rapporteur
report you mention. A Kachin living in an urban area such as Rangoon does not
generally face any risk to their security or safety. An ethnic Kachin living in an
internally displaced camp or near a KIA controlled region is at risk, however.
4.7.a.ii After the conflict broke out in Kachin State in June 2011, there has been a surge
in civilians being accused of involvement with the KIA. They are often arrested,
kept in detention, and severely tortured
13
to extract false confessions. The
majority are innocent civilians including civilians residing in IDP camps.
4.7.a.iii If the government or military wanted to assess whether an individual was a KIA
soldier or not, all they have to do is refer to KIAs list of recorded soldiers. Their
refusal to do so shows that arresting those suspected to be involved with the
KIA is just a veil to repress ethnic Kachins in a widespread manner. For legal
briefings on 36 Kachins accused of KIA involvement and their treatment in
detention and in court, please refer to the Asian Human Rights Commission and
Asian Legal Resource Centers special dossier, Cases under the Unlawful
Associations Act 1908 brought against people accused of contact with the
Kachin Independence Army from January 2013.
4.7.b Ethnic Karen?
4.7.c Ethnic Karenni?
4.7.d Ethnic Chin,
4.7.e Ethnic Shan,
4.7.f Ethnic Mon;
4.7.g Ethnic Rakhine Rohinga;
4.7.h Ethnic Ghurkas;
4.7.i Members of Kachin National Organisation;

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Please refer to the case of Lahtaw Brang Shawng, a Kachin IDP camp resident severely tortured on accusations of being
involved with the KIA. He was tied up with ropes, his cheeks were burned with hot knives, his thighs were heavily carved,
and the skin on his calves shows extensive signs of peeling. Read more here: Burma: Allow Torture Victim Medical
Treatment and Prosecute Security Forces Responsible for Torture, Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma),
13 July 2012.

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4.7.j Members of NLD-LA UK;
4.7.k Members of 88 New Generation Students UK (88 NGS);
4.7.l Any other groups known?
5. Would a person who is not an ethnic minority who demonstrates in support of an ethnic
group such as Kachin, Karen, Rakhine Rohinga or Chin, place himself or herself at risk.
5.1 Yes. Anyone who publicly demonstrates in Burma, regardless of their ethnic origin, puts
themselves at a real risk.
5.2 Burma authorities arrested 13 activists who led a peaceful march of approximately 1,000
people to commemorate International Peace Day and call for an end to civil war both in
Kachin State and around the country in September 2012. The activists are being
prosecuted under section 18 of the peaceful assembly law. If prosecuted and charged,
they face up to one year in prison and a 30,000 kyat fine. The activists may be charged in
every township they marched through, meaning they potentially face up to 10 years jail
terms.
5.3. The 13 activists represent a network of about 20 civil society organizations known as the
Peace Network. Not all of those arrested for leading the peace protest are Kachin.
5.6 Below is an excerpt from a Human Rights Watch press release that explains the
treatment of the 2 Kachin activists who were arrested in association with the peace day
protests
14
:
5.7 On September 28, the Dagon township court in Rangoon summoned two of the Kachin
Peace Network organizers, Jaw Gun and May Sabae Phyu. The court accepted the case
against them for violating the peaceful assembly law, ordered them to face trial on
October 10, and released them on their own recognizance. The Sanchaung township
court also summoned Jaw Gun and May Sabae Phyu on October 1.
6. What is the regime' s attitude to those who merely associate with known or suspected
opponents? Would the regime have any interest in questioning such an associate if they
were returned to Burma and if so for what purpose? What would any such questioning
involve and how would they be treated?
6.1 The regime regards those who associate with suspected opponents with the same level of
suspicion it regards genuine dissidents and activists. The regime authorities follow an
unofficial policy of detain first and ask questions later. Therefore, anyone who associates
with known activists or dissidents is subject to harassment by authorities. Depending on
the perceived risk of the person in question, the authorities usually take any number of
actions, including:
6.1.1 Following and monitoring the suspect. While this was common under the
previous military regime, I have only noticed this practice continue for
prominent activists. For example, an outspoken critic of the regime who
works in exile along the Thai-Burma border has recently returned to
Burma twice, both on official visits. She has complained about being
followed by plain-clothed authorities even outside Rangoon and having

14
Burma: Peaceful Protest Organizers Charged. Human Rights Watch. 1 October 2012.

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her mobile phone tapped. In addition, after meeting with a prominent
member of 88 Generation group, the 88 member received death threats
from an unknown source. I am not familiar of any recent (as in post-
Thein Sein) cases where an individual who merely associates with activists
is questioned, though it may have very well just not have been brought to
my attention.
6.1.2 Visiting the suspect at his/her place of residence to conduct a (usually
unwarranted) search of their home. Under the previous military regime, it
is common practice that these visits take place late at night to further
intimidate and disorient the suspect. Now under the TheinSein
administration, this practice does not happen as often or I am not
aware of them happening often. One example I can point to is the case of
Nyi Nyi Lwin (formally known as U Gambira), a dissident monk (who
has now resigned his monkhood) who was taken away from his
monastery in the middle of the night for questioning after vocally
criticizing the Thein Sein administration.

6.2 Follow and monitor those closest to the suspect, including family members,
friends, and colleagues in order to learn more about the potentially dissident
activities the suspect is involved in. These individuals may also be subject to
questioning.
6.3 Apprehending the suspect and bringing him/her to a detention center for
questioning.
6.3.1 The questioning process is usually as follows: plainclothes authorities
(either military or police) place the suspect into an unmarked vehicle. It
was common to hood the suspect but I have not heard of such
incidences recently. The suspect is brought to a nearby detention center
where he/she is placed in an interrogation room for questioning. If
authorities have reason to believe the suspect has credible information
that is valuable to them (such as whereabouts of a high-profile activist or
the structure of an underground activist network) or are eager to find a
scapegoat for a particular crime (a recent bombing for example) they will
use a wide range of tactics. This includes incessant questioning for hours,
degradation, placement in solitary confinement, fear tactics, stress
positions, etc. Often, suspects are not told why they are being detained,
how long they will be detained for, are prohibited access to a lawyer and
family members, and are not told where they are being taken.
6.4 Please refer to the case of Nang Wo Phan, a young Shan woman who fell to her
death in the detention center after being interrogated for hours on end in
Kyauktada Township in March 2012
15
. It is believed the aggressive interrogation
led to her death. Nang Wo Phan is an ethnic Shan woman with no known history
of political activism.

15
My Wife Died from Police Abuse, Says Husband.The Irrawaddy. 29 March 2012.

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6.5 Former political prisoners who have been released under Thein Seins presidential
orders have complained of being monitored
16
.
6.6 To understand why associates of activists are monitored it is important to understand
that the regime of Burma, like any dictatorship, is characterized by paranoia of
losing their hold on power. This has given rise to a network of spies throughout
the country who monitor the activities of dissidents and their associates and report
their findings back to relevant police/military authorities.
6.7 More concretely, associates of activists are monitored to: gather information on the
activist/network in question in an effort to either pre-empt something from
happening, such as a large protest; force a false confession; intimidate and suppress
a certain sector of the population; and gather information to frame an individual.
6.8 Activists and ethnic minorities are often subject to being framed for a grievous crime
in order to degrade them and their cause or suppress the ethnic minority
population. Political prisoners are often charged under rape, murder, and other
serious criminal offenses. Phyo Wai Aung, a Muslim with no known history of
activism, was arrested in 2010 in conjunction with a water festival bombing. He
was severely tortured in an effort to extract a false confession. The torture had
lasting impacts on his health and is believed to have led to his death in January
2013, despite numerous pleas from the international community requesting his
early release based on humanitarian concerns. To read more about his case please
visit here
17
, here
18
, and here
19
.
7. The Tribunal considered it reasonable to draw a distinction between demonstrations in
Burma, where it is inconceivable that a person would demonstrate unless he opposedthe
regime and demonstrations in the United Kingdom, in which a hanger on with noreal
commitment to the oppositionist cause might participate in the hope of creating a false
entitlement to refugee status? Do you think that the Burmese authorities would seek to
draw a similar distinction, and if so, how would they do so in practice?
7.1 No, I do not think the Burmese authorities would seek to draw a similar distinction.
First, the risks of demonstrating in Burma are real and high making it unreasonable for
someone to demonstrate if they are not committed to the oppositionist cause. Indeed,
there are thousands in Burma who agree with the values of the democracy and human
rights movement will not publicly proclaim their support for fear of arrest and
harassment.
8. Do you agree with the Tribunal' s assessment in TL that the regime would not
persecute someone whom they knew to be a hanger-on with no real commitment to the
oppositionist cause who was demonstrating merely in order to enhance a false claim for

16
Burma: Former political prisoners persecuted, Human Rights Watch, 17 September 2012
17
Burma: Allow early release of 3 political prisoners facing imminent threats to life due to critical health conditions, Press
Statement by Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), 23 May 2012.
18
PhyoWaiAung: catalogue of human rights abuses stain the lawfulness of his trial, Press Statement by Assistance
Association for Political Prisoners (Burma), 7 May 2012
19
Burma: Investigate death of former political prisoner, Press Statement by Assistance Association for Political Prisoners
(Burma), 5 January 2013

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asylum? Are you aware of any way in which the Burmese authorities would ' know' what
a person' s motivation was for demonstrating? If they were interested in this, how would
they seek to find out either before or after such a person returned to Burma?
8.1 I do not know of any way in which the Burmese authorities would know what a persons
motivation was for demonstrating, or even if they are interested in seeking this
information.
8.2 I do not know if Burmese authorities would be able to distinguish between a person who
is a hanger-on or not. To find out if an individual is a threat to their hold on power or
not, they may seek to temporarily detain and question the individual, or have the
individual monitored. However, if the individual is not a prominent activist, nor has a
history of oppositionist activity in Burma, then I think the person is at low risk of serious
harassment. However, if he/she continues demonstrating in Burma, then they will be
putting themselves at risk.
8.3 The Burmese regime is currently making a real effort to court exiles in order to gain
legitimacy with the international community. I think they have learned through the cases
of Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min and Nyi Nyi Aung
20
(Burma-born American citizen and activist
who was arrested upon his return)that arresting exiles upon their return tarnishes the
administrations reputation. Therefore, it would not be in their interest to arrest a
returned exile from the UK.
9. How would someone who is assessed to have no real commitment to the oppositionist
cause be processed on return to Burma at the /airport and/or thereafter? Please set out
any interview process you are aware of the types of question and techniques used.
9.1 A tourist who is visiting Burma with no history of oppositionist activity generally will not
be questioned at the airport. High-level activists are normally not questioned either,
though as I mentioned previously they are subject to heavy monitoring during their time
in Burma. The only harassment I am aware of is forcing activists/dissidents seeking a
Burma visa to sign a form confirming they will not participate in any activities that will
harm the State or criticize the State.
10. Please comment on the quotations from correspondence from the FCO at 15.28-15.31
of the Home Office' s Country of Origin Information Service report dated 2
nd
February
2012.
10.1 15:28 correspondence:
10.1.1 I also am unaware of a returning exile being arrested for their activism in their
UK. Leaders in the international spotlight who return to Burma are often
protected by their prominence from overt forms of harassment such as arrest.
The government of Burma is careful not to upset members of the international
community, especially those who have the power to re-impose sanctions and roll
back financial aid/grants. Prominent leaders are subject to more silent and veiled
forms of harassment such as phone tapping, restrictions on their freedom of
movement, denial of permission to hold a ceremony/fundraiser, etc.

20
Burmese-American awaits verdict in Myanmar case, Thomas Fuller, NY Times, 8 February 2010

11
10.1.2 Activists known only in certain geographic areas are harassed openly and are
subject to arrest, mistreatment during detention, etc. Please refer to cases of Nyi
Nyi Lwin (U Gambira), who has been arrested and harassed several times since
his release on January 2012. Harassment includes monitoring, public humiliation,
and middle of the night visits by authorities. He is relatively well known as a
dissident (former) monk in Burma but not in the international sphere.
10.2 15:29 correspondence:
10.2.1 I agree with this assessment.
10.3 15:30 correspondence:
10.3.1 I agree with points 1-2. However it is hard to judge whether a returning individual
will be persecuted or not given the haphazard nature of authorities in Burma. Also, I am
not personally aware of any returning exile being arrested since the Thein Sein
administration.
10.4 15:31 correspondence:
10.5 I agree with the assessment that the arrest of returning activist appears to have lowered.
The risk of persecution and prosecution remains very high however if the returnee
continues to engage in oppositionist activity in Burma.
11. Are there any other factors of which you are aware which would increase or decrease any risk
to Mr San on return to Burma?
11.1 Mr San will be at risk if he continues his oppositionist activity in Burma or travels to
ethnic minority regions where there is open conflict, such as areas of Kachin and Arakan
State.
11.2 If Mr. San is genuine about working towards democracy in Burma, I would suggest he
request an official invitation to Burma from the Office of the President or the Ministry
of Home Affairs where he details why he is coming back and what work he would like to
do in regards to democracy/human rights. Other high level activists have received
official invitations from the government to return which provides them with security
from arrest and other forms of harassment.
12. In relation to the recent changes in Burma please answer the following:

12.a According to the Special Rapporteurs report dated 25
th
September 2012 the release
of political prisoners was subject to conditions and those released received no assistance
and are barred from certain employment possibilities. To what extent to the conditions
of release point to a risk that the amnesty is only temporary and is likely to be withdrawn
in the near future?
12.a.i I think it is important to note that political prisoners were not released under an
amnesty. Political prisoners are released with their spurious criminal records
intact, without recognition of their political status, and under conditions. These
conditions include Article 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedures, which

12
effectively grants the President wide powers to cancel the suspension of the
sentence, and order for the person to be re-arrested by a police officer without
any warrant and remanded to complete the un-expired portion of the
sentence
21
.
12.a.ii Therefore, political prisoners who have been released under presidential order are
still not really free and vulnerable to re-arrest at any time. Democratic Voice of
Burma journalist Sithu Zeya, who was released from prison under the celebrated
13 January 2012 presidential order, explained, Its like we are being freed with
leashes still attached to our necks
22
.
12.a.iii The conditions attached to the releases point to the limiting and potentially
temporary nature of the releases. Former political prisoners are subject to
harassment including having their professional licenses revoked
23
, denial of
passports effectively restricting their freedom of movement
24
, being barred from
employment opportunities due to their outstanding criminal records, and denial
of educational opportunities for the above-mentioned reason
25
.
12.a.iv Whether the so-called amnesty is withdrawn or not in the near future is not the
main issue for many of the former political prisoners. The larger issue is the fact
that they have been released in an open prison where their basic freedoms
continue to be suppressed.
12.a.v The image below shows how a much higher proportion of criminal offenders were
consistently released alongside political prisoners, suggesting releases were more
about extracting key international concessions than emptying Burmas prisons of
all political prisoners. (All months from 2012).


21
Article 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedures
22
Released Burma Dissident: Were on a leash. UN Watch. 15 January 2012.
23
Please refer to UN Special Rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintanas 7 March 2012 progress report, page 5, as well as Asian Legal
Resource Centers appeal on behalf of lawyers in Burma who have had their licenses revoked here.
24
Free Last Political Prisoners: Lift Travel Ban. The Irrawaddy. 17 September 2012
25
Burma: Former Political Prisoners Persecuted. Human Rights Watch. 27 September 2012.
0
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
January July September November
Release of Political Prisoners
under Presidential Order
Political Prisoner
Criminal Offender

13

12.b How many politically motivated arrests have been made since the releases on 17
th

September 2012 including internal arrests and arrests of exiled activists returning to
Burma from abroad? Please inform us of the suspected reason for any such arrests and
include any information you have about their ethnic background and political
affiliation/activities. What has happened to the individuals concerned?
12.b.i I am not aware of any arrests of exiled activists since 17 September 2012.
12.b.ii My numbers show that there have been at least 52 politically motivated arrests
since 17 September 2012. In November and December, many of the arrests are
of Kachin ethnic minorities and members of the All Burma Student Federation
Union. I have attached a table to the e-mail detailing the information we know
regarding those arrested in November and December. When I return to the
office I can send information about September and October. The list is just for
those who are currently in prison. In the 52, some may have been released on
bond but still face court proceedings.


12.c How many political prisoners remain inside Burmese prisons? Why have
they not been released? What bearing does their continued imprisonment have on the
risk of return from abroad for perceived opponents of the regime?
12.c.i There are currently 222 political prisoners still behind bars
26
. Critics of
the government believe they have not been released yet because political
prisoners are valuable bargaining chips that can be used to extract
concessions from the international community. For example, one of the
key benchmarks for foreign governments to lift economic sanctions was
for Burma to release political prisoners. Economic sanctions were eased a

26
Please see the attached excel file entitled Copy of update all PP list for a list of all the political prisoners.
0
20
40
60
80
100
120
140
160
Arrested Sentenced Pending Trial
Arrested, Sentenced, and Pending
Trial
Political Prisoner Situation in
2012

14
few months after the 13 January 2012 release where many prominent
activists such as Min Ko Naing, Ko Ko Gyi, and Khun Htun Oo were
released.
12.c.ii The government continues to officially deny the existence of political
prisoners in Burma, a position maintained in the previous military
regimes. More, the current administration holds that those remaining
behind bars are dangerous criminals such as terrorists, rapists, and
bombers. This is an attempt by the administration to degrade the
democracy and human rights movement as well as confuse the identity of
genuine political prisoners with common criminals. On February 12,
2012, when Lower House Speaker Shwe Mann reportedly said, The
remaining political prisoners are those who have committed criminal
activities in this country. Those who are on that list, if they have been
involved in terrorist activities or harmed the public, they will not be
included
27
.
12.c.iii Their continued imprisonment is an important sign to exiles wishing to
return home that it is still not safe for they may too become a political
prisoner. In addition, the unconditional and immediate release of all
political prisoners in Burma is a common precondition for exiles or exile
groups when debating whether it is safe for them to return home.
13. Would a person who demonstrates in Burma still be liable to arrest and arbitrary
detention? If so, for what period is that person likely to be held for?
13.1 Yes, a person who demonstrates in Burma is at very high risk of being arrested and
placed in arbitrary detention. The length of time a person will be placed in detention
varies widely and appears to depend on the whim of the arresting officer. Individuals can
be detained for one hour to an indefinite amount of time (or their court proceedings
begin).
13.2 The past year saw a dramatic increase in the number of public demonstrations and
peaceful protests as eager citizens tested the limits of the protest bill that was signed into
effect by President U Thein Sein on 2 December 2011. The bill, which superficially
legalized protests, quickly turned out to be a tool to repress freedom of expression and
assembly rather than a means to promote and protect these fundamental rights.
13.3. The government of Burma has a long history of repressing public demonstrations and
processions, often with extreme measures. Unfortunately, this trend has not changed
even though Burma now superficially legalized peaceful assemblies. Leaders of an anti-
copper mine prayer protest in Sagaing Division were subject to physical punishment
during their unlawful detention. Ma San SanHla, one of 9 women arrested, had her hair
pulled and was brutally assaulted by police officers while in detention. Others had their
arms twisted and were pushed to the ground, while one was taken to an unknown

27
Burmas Political Prisoners and U.S. Sanctions. Michael F. Martin. Congressional Research Service. 19 October 2012. P.5.
For more information please refer to AAPP publications The Name Game: What You Should Know about Burmas
Political Prisoners, and The recognition of political prisoners: essential to democratic and national reconciliation process.

15
location in a truck. About 1,500 people were protested against the copper mine in an
effort to halt unlawful land confiscations carried out by the copper mine.
13.4 Repression of demonstrators is often unseen. Protestors are quietly taken to a detention
center and forced to sign an official form agreeing to never partake in public protests or
political activity again. This happened to five farmers who led a demonstration asking for
their confiscated lands to be returned to them in July. Or they are treated in a degrading
manner. U Aung Myint, a solo protestor who drew attention to the lack of freedoms in
Burma by wearing a prison uniform with shackles in public, was arrested alongside his
daughter and sent to a mental asylum for a week in March.
13.5 That the protest bill is quickly becoming one of the main tools of repression was evident
in the Letpadaung copper mine protests. During the protests, the police were responsible
for a range of abuses including arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions, and inhumane
treatment that span from water cannons, tear gas, and fire hoses to unleashing fire
bombs into the crowd, according to witnesses at the protest.
13.6 At least 70 protestors were sent to hospital for treatment caused by police-led abuse
during the protest with 8 seeking emergency care. A seriously wounded monk, U
Thaikkha Nyana, from Than Ne Taw Monastery, Monywa district, was sent to Mandalay
Public Hospital to seek specialist treatment. Six monks from Phaung-Kar monastery are
suffering from extreme wounds. Hundreds of protestors have been injured, with many
facing burns throughout their body.
13.7 The protests also resulted in indiscriminate arrests. Six were imprisoned in Insein prison
under section 505 (b) of the penal code, for making a rumor conducive to public
mischief. Several monks and other peaceful demonstrators were also arrested in the
wake of the violence.
13.8 These examples show that by arresting and prosecuting peaceful protestors, the so-called
reformist government of Burma is acting the same as the previous military dictatorship.
14. Would a person who has taken part in demonstrations in the UK and whose identity was
known to the authorities in Burma by virtue of being photographed during his protests,
be more at risk of arrest for attending demonstrations in Burma than a Burmese citizen
who had not been involved in protests abroad?
14.1 If by Burmese citizen you mean of the dominant Bamar ethnic group, and the person
lives in an urban area, then yes I believe the person would be more at risk of arrest or
monitoring by the authorities.
15. To what extent does bribery play a role in life in Burma particularly in dealings with
government officials including those concerned with the issue of passports and exit
documentation as well as immigration officers at the points of entry and departure?
15.1 Bribery is endemic in Burma but I am not familiar with immigration procedures.
16. Does bribery have any role in police and security matters involving the arrest, detention
and release of those seen as political opponents?

16
16.1 Yes but I do not know details. I can only comment on bribery in order to receive an
upgrade in prison conditions. However, I can consult with my colleagues on this.
16.2 Update:
16.2.1 In the Asian Legal Resource Centers 2010 Burma submission to the Universal
Periodic Review, it stated that the profound level of corruption throughout the
entire State apparatus, including the courts and police is one of the two major
obstacles to the implementation of human rights in Burma
28
. The submission
notes that while there are copious amounts of information narrating the extent of
abuses such as corruption, there is practically no information that sheds light on
the institutional arrangements that enable corruption and the extent to which
these practices are embedded in the institutions.
16.3 The ALRC UPR submission includes 3 case narratives which I am including here for
ease of reference
29
:
16.3.a. In 2007 a police special drug squad arrested a notorious dealer in
possession of a small amount of amphetamines. The local police
nominated a defence lawyer for him: a common practice in which there is
a 30 per cent kickback to the police station chief. After being hired, the
lawyer went to meet with the judge and prosecutor handling the case. The
judge explained to the lawyer that the problem was because of the
notoriety of his client, there was local and official interest in the case and
the judge could not just let the client off without risking accusations of
corruption and loosing face. So they arranged the case in a way that
would get the client off, give the judge credibility and make everyone
money. Payments were made both to the judge and the prosecutor.
During the hearings, they deliberately botched the case. The judge
admitted evidence that cast doubt on the allegations, and the prosecutor
asked questions that supported the defence. Some prosecution witnesses
were made hostile and their evidence recorded fully in the judgement.
The judge convicted the accused, and public interest in the case ceased.
The case was appealed to the district court. Here there were no public
hearings and no knowledge of what was going on. The judge in the court
of first instance had already contacted the judge in the higher court, and
had given money to him. The higher court acquitted the accused, who
moved to another locality after his release.
16.3.b. A government car driver a few years from retirement was in 2007
approached by a group of men, who asked to rent his house. The amount
they offered was far above the market value. The occupant consulted
with local government administrators whom he knew as friends. They
advised him that the group apparently wanted the house for gambling,
but that there was nothing to worry about and that he should do it. He
rented the house and received a years payment in advance. After two
months a group of special vice squad police arrested the gang. The
manager of the gambling operation used his contacts with the police to

28
Diagnosing the un-rule of law in Burma: A submission to the UN Human Rights Councils Universal Periodic Review, Asian Legal Resource Center,
June 2010, p. 4.
29
P. 24

17
have the house owner pose as the key accused, securing bail for himself
and his men. He told the owner that if he went along with the scheme
then he wouldnt have to repay the years rent, and that he would also get
him released after a short time. He also threatened him that if he didnt
cooperate then the gang would implicate his son. In the end, the house
owner and two junior members of the gang faced court, with the owner
in jail and the others on remand. In 2008 the court convicted the owner
and freed the other two for lack of evidence. On appeal the elderly man
was conditionally released, taking into account time served, but without
his knowing the prosecutor appealed to a higher court and the original
sentence was re-imposed; the police again arrested him and he is serving
the remaining time. The gang has moved elsewhere.
16.3.c. The son of an army officer posted to a regional command in 2008
allegedly attempted to rape a classmate together with a companion. The
family of the victim took the unusual step of strongly supporting her
complaint against the two accused. The case attracted local interest
because of the status of the alleged perpetrator as a family member of the
ruling military class. At first the charge against the two was attempted
rape. They were held as VIP detainees in a room next to the police
station chiefs own office that the police normally use for playing cards
and drinking. The army officers son received bail on the basis of a
supposed health problem that required medical treatment; his companion
was held in remand, but in the same room as before. After preliminary
hearings and payment of money, the judge ordered that the charge be
altered to assault on a woman, which is a much lower offence for which
bail is habitually given, and the second accused also was released. Finally
both accused were acquitted of that charge on the benefit of the doubt,
the judge implying that the victim had misled the two accused and at first
had consented to sex.
17. Response to questions posed in e-mail from Siew Lee dating 16 January 2013

17.1. Page 2: When you state that criticism is not tolerated in page 2 are you confining
your opinion to comments made in Burma alone? Are you able to comment about
the regimes view of comments made abroad, for example, outside the Burmese
Embassy in London?

17.1.1 Yes, in regards to question 2 I am confining my opinion to comments made in
Burma alone.

17.1.2 I cannot comment on the regimes view of comments made outside the Burmese
Embassy in London.

17.2 You mention that TS should request an official invitation from the government of
Burma to visit the country:

17.2.a Do you mean an invitation to return to the country permanently or visit on
a temporary basis?

17.2.a.i TS can request an invitation for both scenarios (return permanently or
visit on a temporary basis).

18

17.2.a.ii If he is interested in assessing the scale of reform or returning to Burma
permanently to work on furthering the reform process, he can contact
the Myanmar Peace Center, which reports directly to the Office of the
President. The Myanmar Peace Center coordinates all peace initiatives
and acts as a one-stop service centre for donor governments and
international NGOs.

17.2.b. In 1(iii) (p3) you mention the need for an amnesty to cover all those
convicted or political crimes and crimes related to internal conflict in order
for returning exiles to feel safe. In the absence of such an amnesty what
confidence could TS have that he would not at some stage be arrested for
his activities either in the UK or the activities he intends to undertake in
Burma?

17.2.b.i I would say there would be low confidence that TS would not be
arrested for any dissident activities he intends to undertake in Burma. I
am not certain TS would be arrested simply for his activities in the UK
since I am not aware of arrests of returning exiles under the TheinSein
administration, except for the case of human rights lawyer Saw
KyawKyaw Min.

17.2.b.ii There is still a possibility that the reform process in Burma may be
reversed. This view is shared with many in the opposition, including
Human Rights Watch
30
and democracy icon Aung San SuuKyi
31
. In
addition, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in
Burma, Tomas Ojea Quintana, referred to the persistence of long
standing concerns that continue to pose risks to the reform process in
his most recent report on Burma
32
.

17.2.b.iii Exiles debating whether it is safe to return to Burma point to a
number of things that can trigger a reversal of the reform process
and/or the insincerity of the government in implementing a genuine
democracy. These include:

17.2.b.iv The continued imprisonment of political prisoners, the refusal of the
government to officially recognize the existence of political prisoners,
and the conditional nature of prison releases for political prisoners.

30
Deputy Director (Asia Division) Phil Robertson stated, But despite the potential for a reversal of reforms, especially given
the Myanmar Armys historical role and the power the 2008 Constitution vests in the military to remain beyond the control of
an ostensibly civilian government, TheinSeins government appears to have largely satisfied the international community
about its democratic intentions. Race to the bottom: Burma and Vietnam head in opposite directions on human rights.
Human Rights Watch, 7 November 2012.

31
Aung San SuuKyi stated Many people are beginning to say that the democratization process here is irreversible. It's not
so, while speaking to students at Carleton University via video link in February 2012. Myanmars SuuKyis says reforms
could be reversed. David Ljunggren, Reuters, 29 February 2012.
32
Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar (A/67/383), 25 September 2012, presented
to UN General Assembly.


19

17.2.b.v Nay MyoZin, a charity worker, was re-arrested the day after his release
under the 13 January presidential order. His crime was to possess a t-
shirt and a key-ring with General Aung Sans image in Insein Prison. He
was not optimistic about the verdict, Given that they are seriously
building this case with accounts from prosecution witnesses, police and
the [police intelligence], I guess they plan to make sure that I go down
he told DVB. He was released from detention on bail.

17.2.b.vi Nay MyoZin has the dubious distinction of being the 1st political
prisoner under the nominally civilian regime. In good health upon his
initial arrest in 2011, he has suffered from a broken hip bone and was in
danger of becoming permanently paralyzed as the prison authorities
refused to give him adequate medical treatment. His lawyer, AungHla,
said the charges against Nay MyoZin are unclear given that possessing a
t-shirt with an image of Aung San is not illegal
33
.
17.2.b.vii NyiNyiLwin (formerly known as U Gambira) was arrested at least twice
after his release from prison in January 2012. On December 1st, 2012,
NyiNyiLwin was re-arrested by Burmese authorities whilst staying at his
brother-in-law NyiNyiZaws house in Thingangyun Township,
Rangoon. On December 2nd, he was sent to Insein prison where he
was incarcerated. He has been indicted by Thingangyun, Bahan and
Tanyin courts with the following three charges:
Section 448 of house-trespassing

Section 427 of mischief causing damage to the amount of
fifty
rupees

Section 454 of lurking house-trespass or house-breaking in
order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment

17.2.b.viii NyiNyiLwin was detained in Insein Prison for over a week and
was released on bail (of 4 million kyat) on December 10. While
in prison, he was questioned by police about several monasteries
suspected of dissident activities. NyiNyiLwin believes he was
detained to prevent him from protesting against Novembers
Letpadaung Copper Mine crackdown. His trial is set for
December 14.

17.2.b.ix NyiNyiLwin still suffers from headaches, memory loss and
vision problems that resulted from his time in prison. In his
most recent detention, he was placed in solitary confinement,

33
Ex-army captain facing T-shirt charge, Aye Nai, Democratic Voice of Burma, 30 January 2012

20
had to buy his own meals and could only see his brother and
sister.

17.2.b.x The governments non-respect of fragile cease-fire agreements
with ethnic groups.
17.2.b.xi Peace negotiations between the Kachin Independence
Organization and the government have stalled since June 2011
when armed clashes erupted. Even though preliminary
agreements for peace talks were signed between the
government and Shan State Army South on 2 December 2011,
the Burma Army initiated an exchange of gunfire on 20
December 2011
34
.For an up to date guide on the status of
clashes please visit Myanmar Peace Monitor: Conflict Alerts
here: http://www.mmpeacemonitor.org/#!Conflict/c2t8.

17.2.b.xii At page 4 you mention that exiles are forced to sign a form
pledging they will not partake in any activities or engage in
criticism that will harm the state. If TS were to be invited to
return would he not be required to sign such a pledge which
would then preclude him from participating in the very activities
he has indicated he wishes to pursue?

17.2.b.xiii Not all exiles are forced to sign a pledge. It is an arbitrary
procedure that is seen as a tactic to create divisions within the
oppositionist movement.

17.2.b.xiv I am only aware of two persons that were forced to sign.
NLD member of Thailand office NyoOhnMyint, who refused to
sign and was still able to return after government intervention,
and U ZawMyint, head of the NLD-LA office in Malaysia and
former political prisoner. U ZawMyint signed the pledge and
resigned from his post at NLD-LA before returning to Burma.
He decided to go back to Burma (it seems definitively) after
hearing President TheinSeins invitation to all exiles. He visited
the Burma embassy in Malaysia and informed them of his interest
to return home. The embassy arranged all the documents, which
included the loyalty pledge
35
.

17.2.b.xv I do not know the extent of this practice because
returning exiles may be told by Burma authorities to keep quiet
about signing such a pledge. Generally, those who return on
official invitations for meetings are not required to sign such a
pledge.

17.3 What could happen if he refuses to sign this form; and could this also bring harm
upon his family members in Burma? How reliable is the invitation, e.g. that the
person will not face any risk upon his return?

34
Burmas ethnic ceasefire agreements, Paul Keenan, Burma Center for Ethnic Studies: Peace and Reconciliation, Briefing
Paper No.1, January 2012
35
Head of NLD-LA Malaysia office returns, Kyaw Hsu Mon, Myanmar Times, 9-15 July 2012.

21

17.3.1 He will be denied entry into Burma. At this point he can try to have higher
government officials intervene. An official invitation from the government to an
individual/organization is pretty reliable in ensuring the person will not face risk
upon return. The terms of a persons return on official invitation are usually
negotiated with the inviting government official prior to the return. Therefore, an
invitee is aware and usually agrees to the fact that he/she will be monitored while
in Burma.

17.3.2 The nine-member ABSDF delegation that visited Burma in December 2012 were
escorted and monitored by Burma authorities for the entire length of their trip.
One delegate asked not to be followed when visiting his family in Mon State his
wishes were respected. The delegation agreed to being escorted and monitored
prior to their arrival in Burma.

17.4 Please identify the individuals that have returned on an official invitation? Have
they had to sign pledges of loyalty?

17.4.1 It is mainly exiled organizations, not individuals, that are extended official
invitations to return to Burma. These exiled organizations then send delegations
to Burma to attend meetings with government officials and sectors of civil
society to assess the extent of reforms.

17.4.2 Officially invited exiles generally are not forced to sign a loyalty pledge (I have
not heard of any cases).

17.4.3 Those who returned to Burma under an official invitation extended by the
government of Burma:

17.4.3.1 The All Burma Student Democratic Front, an outlawed resistance group
comprised of students in exile along the Thai-Burma border, received an
official invitation
36
from U AungThaung, Lower House MP and USDP
member. A nine-member delegation comprised of ABSDF members
recently visited Burma in December 8 2012 until 3 January 2013. The
delegation included ABSDF chairperson Than Ke, Secretary of Foreign
Affairs KyawThura, and Central Committee Member Ma Lay Lone. I do
not know the other members of the delegation.

17.4.3.2 AungZaw, senior editor of the exiled media outlet The Irrawaddy based
in Chiang Mai, reached out to government officials
37
about returning to
Burma to assess the changes in the country. He was able to go on a 5-day
government sponsored visa.

17.4.3.3 Womens League of Burma delegation included General Secretary
Daw Tin TinNyi and Joint Secretary Saw San Nyein Thu
38
.

17.4.3.4 Shwe Gas Movement included senior official Wong Aung.

36
All Burma Student Democratic Front, 13 January 2013, Shan Herald.
37
After years, a Myanmar exile returns, Patrick Barta, Wall Street Journal, 10 February 2012.
38
For information on their press conference during this visit in Burma, please refer to: Myanmar womens group calls for
more female MPs. EiEi Toe Lwin, Myanmar Times, 24 December 2012.

22

17.4.3.5 Dr.NaingAungs (senior official of ABSDF) first visit to Burma
was under an official invitation by the government.

17.4.3.6 Members of Karen National Union in exile returned to Burma for
meetings with government officials. The delegation included
MahnMahn (Joint Secretary) and General Mutu Say Poe
(Chairman
39
).

17.4.4 Those who returned to Burma without an official invitation, instead
applied for a visa:

17.4.4.1 Bo Kyi and Tate Naing - senior officials of Assistance
Association for Political Prisoners (Burma) visit from 5 January
2013 to early February 2013.

17.4.4.2 KhinOhmar - senior official of Burma Partnership has gone twice
so far.

17.4.4.3 Dr.Naing Aung - senior official of ABSDF on his second visit to
Burma applied for a visa.

17.4.5 Those who returned to Burma only on Burmese passport

At least 2 of my colleagues, former political prisoners, have returned to Burma
permanently with their Burmese passports, without an official invitation. One is
working on a mental health project for former political prisoners and another is
working for an exiled organization that documents human rights abuses in
Burma. Neither have faced any harassment or monitoring from authorities.

17.5 At page 5 you only comment on ethnic Kachins. You indicate that those having
links with KIO and KIA are at risk but what is your opinion of KNO (UK), which
is fighting the similar cause as KIO and KIA albeit an unarmed and an exiled
organisation?

17.5.1 I would need more information to comment on the risk posed by members of
the KNO (UK). Risks may vary depending on whether it is a relatively unknown
or prominent KNO member returning to Burma and continuing oppositionist
activity, whether the member is part of a KNO (UK) delegation officially visiting
Burma or not, etc.

17.5.2 The Burma authorities arrest those who have links with KIO/KIA partially as a
pretext to justify sweeping arrests of people in Kachin State. The arrests are part
of their broader unofficial policy of repressing ethnic minorities in Burma by any
means necessary. According to human rights lawyer U Mar Khar in Kachin State,
during the battles between the KIA and Burmese troops over the last year,
seventy residents and refugees from Kachin and Shan State were arrested under
the Unlawful Association Act and Explosives Act. Thirty of them have been
sentenced and forty still face trial.

39
PadohMahnMahn discusses KNU meeting with Burma government. Karen News, 14 January 2013.

23

17.5.3 Recent case that may be of interest:

Eleventh grade student MaungZawSaiAung from Kachin State was arrested by
police after sending a letter to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO).
His court hearing was December 5 at the Township court. On December 4,
ZawSaiAung went to the Romei and Brothers machinery equipment shop to send
a letter. The shop owners accused him of theft and had him arrested by the
police. He was taken to trial during which he confessed to being a KIO corporal,
already suspected by Ye Lwin, the police prosecutor. ZawSaiAungs lawyer
strongly doubts the truth of the confession explaining, "He was forced to
confess. He is just a student. As he is only 18 years old, it is impossible he is a
corporal". KoKo, another member of the KIO, who was with ZawSaiAung at
the time of arrest, managed to escape. KoKo's twin brother, NyiNyi, was
mistakenly arrested by the police instead. The detainees have not been permitted
to see their families. Their next court hearing will be on December 18.

17.6 Are you able to comment on the other ethnic minorities?

17.6.1 Only generally. The Rohingya are without a doubt the most persecuted minority
group in Burma. Simply being Rohingya is enough to be arrested as the
authorities of Burma will grab any flimsy excuse to put Rohingya behind bars.
There is ongoing conflict and clashes in areas of Kachin, Shan, Karen, Karenni
State individuals living in these areas are very vulnerable to indiscriminate
detention and harassment by military authorities.
17.6.2 Forced labor is rampant in Chin State one of the poorest areas of Burma. In
the report Life Under the Junta
40
, Physicians for Human Rights documented that
91% of households in Chin State have at least one family member that was
forced to build roads, sweep for mines, porter military supplies, or do other hard
labor. In 2011, the Chin Human Rights Organization documented that the Chief
Minister of Chin State was forcing citizens to work for no pay. The Chief
Minister ordered civil servants to spend their Saturdays cleaning areas of the
capital city of Hakha, threatening to cut their salaries if they refused. He also
forced 100 other people to work, threatening them with a fine if they did not
comply. The civil servants cleaned the construction site of a government guest
house and a road leading to a military base. An affected Chin told CHRO, They
called us for forced laborwhen we should be working for our own survival. I had
to miss out on work for my livelihood that day because of the forced labour
41
.
17.7 At page 6 (2nd para) you mention the 13 activists who led a peaceful march of
approximately 1000 people. Did anything happen to the demonstrators
themselves?

17.7.1 Thirteen of the leaders of the peace day demonstration are facing criminal
charges under section 18 of the peaceful assembly bill. Eleven of the activists face

40
Life Under the Junta, Physicians for Human Rights, January 2011.
41
Burmas Chief Minister of Chin State Orders Forced Labor, Chin Human Rights Organization, 7 September 2011.

24
up to one year in each of the 10 townships through which the peace march
passed.

17.7.2 On 22 and 23 September, the 13 leaders received a written summons to appear at
a Rangoon court along with 2 guarantors. The leaders and guarantors were made
to sign a document stating they would agree to appear in court if formal charges
were brought or face a $1,160 USD fine.

17.7.3 On 28 September, two of the organizers from Kachin Peace Network, Jaw Gun
42

and May SabaePhyu, were summoned to a Dagon township court. The court
accepted the case against them under the peaceful assembly bill and ordered
them to face trial on 10 October. They were also summoned by the Sanchuang
Township Court on 1 October. Jaw Gun states in an interview with the
Irrawaddy, As human being, I am afraid of being arrested, as treatment by the
police during interrogation, and in the prisons, can be so cruel and brutal, he
said. But I would like to exchange that risk for peace [in Burma]. I believe the
truth will set me free even though my body might die in prison
43
.
17.7.4 Later in October, U MaranJawgone and a dozen others leaders of the Kachin
Peace Network, who held a peace protest on International Peace Day, were
tracked down and arrested. Authorities argue that the activists were not granted
permission to protest, and have consequently leveled individual charges against U
MaranJawgone for each of the six Rangoon townships that he protested in
Dagon, Sanchaung, Tamwe, MingalarTaungNyunt, Botahtaung and PazunTaung.
October 3, 2012, was set as the date of their initial hearing of the trial.

17.7.5 Two of the 13 being charged claim since September they have had to appear at
over 30 court hearings in various townships around Rangoon. One states, Its
been two and half months and we have visited the courts more than 30 times
already, said one activist. There are costs involved, like transportation, but the
delaying of our day to-day lives and work impacts us more than money. There is
a lot of stress and tension. I have to balance my work, the court schedules, and
my family life, and it is very difficult
44
."
17.7.6 So far one court, the Dagon township court, has rejected the demonstrators
requests to consolidate the charges into one court proceeding but were denied.
They are awaiting responses from 2 other district courses. Subjecting the activists
to a court hearing process that forces them to miss work, travel long distances,
and spend money, is a form of harassment.


17.8 At page 7 you refer to Nang WoPhan do you have further details why she was
arrested in the first place?


42
After the protest, Jaw Gun was summoned to a teashop in Rangoon where he was told he would be handed a letter. Upon
arrival, he was arrested by the police.
43
Peace day activist prepares for the worst, Francis Wade, The Irrawaddy, 9 October 2012.
44
Burma: Drop charges against peaceful protestors, Human Rights Watch, 13 January 2013.

25
Yes. Nang WoPhan's husband, a Japanese national, purchased land worth a large amount
of money - approximately 3 million dollars. He used Nang WoPhan's name to make the
purchase. An acquaintance of the family claimed the land actually began to him. Nang
WoPhan went to the HlaingTharya Township police station to complain. Instead of
following up on her complaint, the police officers arrested and interrogated her about
where she found the money to buy land. She was interrogated for 3 days straight until her
death.

17.9.a At page 8 you state:
However, if the individual is not a prominent activist, nor has a history of
oppositionist activity in Burma, then I think the person is at low risk of serious
harassment. However, if he/she continues demonstrating in Burma, then they
will be putting themselves at risk.

17.9.b You do not appear to answer question 7 on page 8. You do not address whether
the Burmese authorities would draw a distinction between those who demonstrate
in Burma on the basis that they would be committed to the oppositionist cause
and those who demonstrate in the UK without a real commitment to the
oppositionist cause.

17.9.1 I agree with the Tribunal's assessment that it is reasonable to draw a distinction
between demonstrations in Burma, where it is inconceivable that an individual
would demonstrate without any commitment to the cause given real risk of
persecution, and demonstrations in the UK, where demonstrators run very low
risk of being arrested.

17.9.2 The Burma authorities do not make distinctions about the level of commitment a
demonstrator has to a cause. Anyone who engages in oppositionist activity is
viewed with mistrust and seen as the opposition. There are recent examples of
individuals being arrested who affiliate with activists but may not be activists
themselves. For example, Dr.TunAung, a minority Muslim and chairman of the
Islamic Religious Affairs Council, was arrested in the aftermath of the clashes in
Arakan State on 11 June 2012 and has since been held in incommunicado. He is
accused of inciting riots even though eyewitnesses attest that his help was
summoned by the police to quell the riots given his respected stature in the
community. He was sentenced to 11 years imprisonment in Sittwe prison. His
family members, including his daughter, son, and 2 year old grandson, were also
arrested for no apparent reason. The son is not related in any activist activities.
The daughter is an employee at the UNHCR. They have both since been
released. I am attaching information of their case to this e-mail.

17.9.3 Other cases that may be of interest:

17.9.3 In December 2012, a man named Aung San Htay was sentenced
to six months in jail for inciting public unrest under section
505(b) of the Penal Code. He was arrested in November for
helping MoehtiMoemi gold mine protesters distribute leaflets. He
will serve his sentence in Taungoo prison.


26
17.9.4 In early December 2012, a woman named Daw Nyo Aye, held a solo-
protest condemning the Letpadaung Copper Mine protest crackdown in
ArakanStates capital of Sittwe. She was taken to the police station and
warned not to protest without a permit. She did not break any laws,
however, because she was protesting alone.

17.9.5 U HlaMaungThwe from Ramree Township, Arakan state was sentenced to
one-year imprisonment on December 19 and sent to Kyaukpyu prison.
In October 29, U Han Shwe was shot and killed by the authorities during
a riot in Kyauk-ne-maw village. U HlaMaungThwe gave financial
assistance of 800,000 kyat to the family members of the deceased and was
arrested by the authorities in the morning of December 18. He was
charged under section 505 (b) and tried at Ramree Township court. His
family members were not permitted to see him at his court hearing and he
was not allowed to hire a defense lawyer.

17.10 Would you say that a returnee who has no history of oppositionist activity in Burma
would be at higher risk than a returnee who is well known in the international activity for
his or her political activities against the regime?

17.10.1 Yes, it is conceivable that a returning exile not well known either on the
domestic or international scene for his/her oppositionist activity is at higher risk
than a more prominent returning exile.

17.10.2 The TheinSein administration carefully calculates what steps need to be taken in
order to ease pressure from the international community and then extract certain
concessions, such as the opportunity to chair ASEAN, a lifting of economic
sanctions, etc. One of the key demands from the international community is
allowing a safe space in the political sphere for the oppositionist movement. The
government is appearing to do this by officially inviting exiles to return, holding
Parliamentary by-elections, allowing Aung San SuuKyi to sit on Parliament, etc. If
government authorities persecuted prominent activists known on an international
level, it would severely tarnish the current administrations reputation of being
reform-minded and potentially result in rollbacks of concessions granted by
international actors, such as a re-imposition of sanctions.

17.10.3 A couple examples are the re-arrest of the relatively unknown Human Rights
lawyer Saw KyawKyaw Min, the granting of passports to only internationally-
known former political prisoners such as Min KoNaing (88 Generation member)
or Zarganar (satirist) but not others. Min KoNaing refused to accept the passport
to highlight the governments denial of passports to other 88 Generation
members and former political prisoners.

Statement of Truth Declaration

I confirm that insofar as the facts stated in my report are within my own knowledge I have made
clear which they are and I believe them to be true, and that the opinions I have expressed
represent my true and complete professional opinion.



27

______________________
Marcia Robiou

Date: 22 January 2013




230ct. 2012 17:38
Gi I I man S m i t ~ Lee
No. 3481 p 2
Re; Thaung San v SSHD
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:' : > ' !. , :' . , judicial syitem, Jarfi;r,lm 'of justice, is used , ''' .. . :
' the regime as i:m instrumimt ofr'epressiqn to sllence disseilt:, Not only is there an ... ,
. of tlie rul1;o/laW, butin the ie!Jai s.vstem is t'he
peopie. ...
Not only do the SPDC den/the existence of political prisoners .
. but it refutes claims of torture and ill-treatment in places of detention.
- --- ., '
32
I .i:
j,'
23. Oct. 2012 17:43
Gi I I man Lee
No. 3481 p 7
There are 42 prisons in Burma, 109labour camps and an unknown number of
interrogation centres. The deplorable in these places are well"
documented; incommunicado detention, poor diet, and d.enial of adequate medical
attertl()n and torture .. The of detention, are appalling and
arguably qualifY as crue4 inhumii.neand degrading, am qunting to torture.'' (see
.. TJriiir:e
1
Poiltical oha,w:

Securit;y and
. HumallRight.> in Burma, presented at the First Internationai Col)ference on '
, ;". :Y; .. ..:'.: .... :., . .. .\ _,... . ! :::.."11'': :'.: ... .'_., '::,,,: ....... _,''., ..', :' ,', ': ,. 1 ': ,
.. H\lmall.Rigpt;;inSoutheastAsia: :{< .... ,.. . ...... . >.. ., .... ..
.,.,_ .. .... ,_,'.::..".;,.:':, .... ,: ,: ...:}.:'.'.'.',"'':. .. ... : , ', ' ', ,.',.,:.;.' :,,.,,.:. . . ...... :'' ,' ,. "
.,: '
. po!Jt:ical and the yii'rule of laW. pdf I
.. ' ... ;::. >>t:Y' ...,,.':: .. :.'/ .... :.. .. .,, . ,,.. ... \'.;:
18 .. : to treatment ; .1.
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. ! !i:i!'[[ii '!;, ,,'{ :,''\:: .. .: '!Oi: of.thel:et al'''roi::edi.ifei/!'ei:!; are radican. iffererit from the wa ..::'" :\'\:':{:;'':' :;.::
. ..:.J,I/\:i\f\.1',::.:r:i }:
I!' I:' .. '.:"'' ... .>'' . :.:' ,. basedjudl(:ial SY:l>tems Eastol" :West;;A.gam'theAstan:Human Rights.,,. : ... . ,:,. .. ,,,,,,,., . ,,.,."''''''''''
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fewye,ars, Whereas the ofla\f cJepends upqn a mnumum degree of certamf;JI '
by whi;h cil:t;ens can organize their lives, the un-rule ojid_V., dep'i/nds upori
.. Whereas rule of law depends upon consistency in how state
institutiOns and theirpersonneloperate, the un-rule oflav;idepenrls upon
arbitrari11ess. Jrllhereas ofla\vis intimately connected to the protection of
' ' . ' : . ' ' ' .
33
(
-
23 Oct. 2012 17:44
Gi I I man Smith lee
No. 3481
p 8
. .
human rights, the unrule of law is associateci with the denir;t/ ofrlghts, and with
the ahsence of norms upon which rights can even be nominally established. In this
. annualreport, the AHRC points more explicitly to the links this operating
principle andthe un-rule of law" (p.Si). .. . ..
,'I' '' .: .. :,;: .. '
. 20. Further, the of an 1ndependentj\ldiciarJF and the denial of fair
.. .. . . P1lPl!c. tri<tl in Unfted States $iate l)eparblle)1t Human .
fepot-t) thus: . . .. . ... . . . \ : ..... ;, . .. ... ... .. ...
. ,:\'.'- ;' .. .'.,;,:; . ' ' '' ., :,
' .... ' '.,, .' .:.,':;/ ... \'> ...... ,,,, .."., .. : .. ,' : ... ..... ,.',/!:.::_, .... .'....... '.''. .
.. .. fucilc;iaryis . SfPC and
ouniiiafipoints Justices to :;upreme co!!rt. wllidh. in wrn .....
: SPDC I; ..
,,,';1,_,.:;--.',: , .:' .. .. : .. ,'::,;.: .:'. .. : . ... ;.:: 1'.'"1"'',,,: .. )'' ... :'.: .'" .. ,,,:
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:. , verd1cl$m polmcally,.sens!tive. trialsofqvawns"(p.10).
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! I '': '; , , ,\;'_:,1.:\\"i,).i '";: (. WOUld begin; aridDCCaS(Onafly Were riot a/lowed tO.attend trfa/s.: ,'',.,','. :. ' .'
,',>'' ,',.q,': ",' J \ 1,\ 111,\', "'\I) \;',,;.,,[:I <[, \,11 l'l''l"" 1',1;\ ','I'' ,\,\ \
' ..... '. :" Reliable reports indicated senior government authorities dictated verdicts in/ '. ' , ...
'' \I \' .' \ ),, I ',I I L ,; " I I .' "I ,, - \ I\' ' ' ' I.
,,;.,' . i . \ ',:;;,' .::':: ..., <:.. ' ., .. :
' .:;,, (See United States State Department Human Rights report.2010. .'.I'':: . . .. ,
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21. There are SigUS that Burma, with one ofthe worstrecords of pervasive human .
rights abuses, may be "at a point where change has become possible;', as Aung
34
. .
'.i
(
23. Oct. 2012 17:45
Gi I I man Smith lee
!'' ,.
No. 3481 p 9
' ' '
' ' ' '
San SuuKy! herself pui: it recently. However, until such tangiblebenchmarks
occur as there! ease of an estimated jailed servinglengthy prison
of 20 tO 6,5 years With hard labor, and significant Changes for the .
'' in pollee, ipterrogatozy practices, as well aschangesto
..the human.-._ .
. aiJd. oflaw andlaw should be treated
,, r,i':.' i .. .'<.r ... . ..... .. ' : .. ,. ,_. :, ''.' , ,'I
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11
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. , 22. 1-!0VJeVel", any expecta't:ibris thatBurma'sh\lrpal,l right,s coridit:joJ;is were going to .
. o11tz ..... ..
. _ .. .;. . .
cnticalstatementas .an 1111mediate response to the extremely low number of
.'' ' ' ':'" . '::' '': ' '' ,,,:. '; : : ', '' , ': ... '\' ',':' !.t, :: ' ... ::.;\: '': ' .. , ' : .. ' i ,', '," ': ,' :. ' ... ', '', ' .. ., :.',, \,,' ' : '. '' ' \ l .;: '.' :: .' ............. ;, . ':, : .. 1 '.' ' : ' '' ' ' :,:
i:m Amn.estf . .
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:: . , . .. \
.. . ., ...

.. ) .\.
..... ,:.,.'_,!_,'., .. .:..: ... . , .'., ' . ; refoi- this ri'iust blioril'' the fir:stste a release :\lfall 6litkal ,; :,::, : ;, . ;
. . .. ... .. .F : ,: " '.::: ... f:.,iiii


'I': , , , , , ... ... ,,,., 1\ 'i'1' ... ,... i ......... 1 .. \:> >\: .. :. .... ... ..... ... . -: .... ., . ._ ............ ::: . ... :,..-:' ::. ........... ,.,;:.,.: ... ,, ,. ;..,.m,\."; .;:.,, .. , ... : : : .. :: ..: ..!: .... ,.h . .
' ' ' ,., .. ' ': ' ' <.should riot\:zythem on spui:)ous charges or ho)d'thern indefinitely,. Releasing" ',;;I .
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.-,
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''II'' '''' 'L '', ''',t,,\1,,1 )\t, ,1(, 1';.,1'1 tlli"''.' \\,\', ,' ,.
: ,' : '' ;. i ' ( .. , ..... ' \; , is,long overdue.':, [See ,:'.( : < '
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,'B - a: National ReconclliaHoJ:I'through (dated 17 October .. ' ,.:.\
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::;,:;;,:;_,: .. ' .. , ' ::, ';, :; '. po)i prisoners 'total\:lfover 6000 detainees Hit'bi.Jt of Burma's prisons; : ,:,1._:.
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:\ " " \ \ , ... l .., >,1 1\ ' i, < ', ,,!, \, d\ ;: ." , '' ." .', ,'.'
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release. Asked ab6\1tt)iedainis ofthe country's president,foi:inergeneral Thein I .,
.. , '. ' , :' ' ., : ' ' ':., ... ' ., ., .', '.' i' ': ':. ,.\. .':.li .. \ ( : ..:.' ...:.:: :: ', :' ::' '' ' ': ' ' ' '' '''; .. : \' ' .;, '. , ... . :. ;; ,' ,.' '. . ... ' .. :'; ' : .," , :. ' .... .....: :::. .!.' \:. '.. '
... Sein, ; r i > .
Zarganar laughinglyli}l;eneclt\llsfonri ofriational reconciliation to putting. .
on a w6inan and taking he rout on the town. He also
said that he and other detainees like hostages, being released at a.
trickle in exchange i6rdealsheill.g struckwith various parties at home and
. ' ' '
35
23. Oct. 2012 17:46
Gi I I man Smith lee
' '
''
, :
(
'' '' ..
:_,i . ." .' , .
. '\ ..> !, ' .: ' '
,,::
No. 3481
P I 0
abrqad." [See AHRC (17 Oct2011) "Burma: National Reconciliation through
Hostage httP: //www.humailrigbts.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-
zo11) . r . . . . .
. :, .:
''''
.PROTESTS
'' ' '
28. \!Vhi!ealawfulpeaceful protestdemonstration in a democratic political system
with citizens' rights and human rights normsisnothing more than public
!.
,,' '
'" '.
36
.(
23 Oct. 2012 17:47
Gi I I man Lee
No. 3481
P II .
expression ofcitize!ls'discontent, belief, and views, the Burmese militaryndl'lrs
attach significance to protesU by Burmese. . , .
expatriates, exile sane! in front of Burmese emhf1ssie.s around the "fori d ..
The significancewhichttie Bupnese attach to these forms disse,nfcan.
only be throl.\gh consideration of the mental)psychological rriakeup ... ,
. .. :. . . , ' . .. .. . < ''; , ., '\ ', ...
' ':.: :\. .::.;::..:\ ,''
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29. niy With '
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.. , . (lfficials, notljiri,ited to, l,.tGerieralMyip.t Swe, the then head ...
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. . . .. Milii:ary,Affaifs Security{MAS); or the military intelligerie ofthe .. .\ I i. ... ..
' ' ' .' ' ' .. :.,,.. '' ,: ' ''' :.:' .. ':1::.!,. ','i, '.'' '1.. :.' ' 1.- )': ' ..... '' :", ,\. .... : , , .. :.: ,, : : . .:.,., :: '. '.: !:: ...-:.:
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. Ministry of D.iifense,' arid Brigadier Mya Tun. Oo, thlitheri head ofthe '{. :;: .
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, , , : ,'', :, .', ' . :r::(,, ha'{e S\J.!l)e frorn nonm}l,ltazy segme).lts o(/1:, ' /, . : .: ..
: ..:.ii .. .. .. ..: .. .. .. .. .. ... ... .. ....:::.:\.!.:;..:i:"i,:.:..i: ..
:,:;;;.,;: OJiticaJ 0 ,_ OS!tlon.anCJ defiance has CQme;tQ .. ei:Varleal :as' ectS 0hhe state;:::: .: \.1, '<' '' .
. '.\'':'''\:;:,:::
.. ; : .. : ' .:\ ::. 32; ::Through the protest:Sare :Se!!n notas norrnal :; .. I. ' ..
" , .:.. :. ' ', l, ' :' .. ,',.'y.:, ,', :, , '. ", ., '.\ii.'''' ;:1,:., \,,,,.; i)';', .. \';,a:.,. '. L: :::':'',:. .. :' ':. .'\.:.':: :'\' .'.'. . ' .. :":: .:',: ..':;, ', '.''i V: . . .'',', ,'.:; .. ; .':;\,::,"i'("(
1
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. ';: c ! 4nla):lifuJacts .
.. '.' ... . :' \.. " ' ', ,, ': \ . : '' ' ' : .. \ :' \ ,.,:,: .; .\' .. ' .., ' '' : ' . : , .'i' ' ' ' ... ' '' ';.' . ' '.' : ' ' ...... : . . ' ' ': . .. . ... ' .' . ...... .' ' ' . ' ' ': ' ' ' .... ' :' ' , . . . ' ' .... ' ' ' '
, .. . . defiance and disloyajtyto the Nation,.The official. which. the military.
'': \ ,' .. ',.,. , ,. ' ... : ' ........ ::,.:;.:.. ...... ,J '' ' ' .. .'",, '.' . .. ; : ,, :' ,',' ., "': ' ;: '' .... '.::::;1,:
govei'nmentuses iri reference to Burmese qppositiop. activists in exile is . .
"external destructive''.eiements and of the alieri (powers)". {See ''The.
E;glish language trariscript of the keYriote speech by Thein the
theri Secretary Numl:ler of the ruling military junta now The
'. ' '.' ' '
.. ,
.... _-
37
23 Oct. 2012 17:48
Gi I I man Lee
No. 3481 p 12
state-run New Light of Myanmar, 16 October 2006 .
htt;p:/lmyanmargeneva.ril'g/NLM2006/eng{lOoct,lnQQ1016.pdf Accessed 6 Oct
' ' . ''', ' ' ' . \ '' " ' '
2011} ..
,, , .'.,' ',
. ..... ''
DIFFERENCE IN DEGREE, NOT rill Riiom: PROTESTERS AND THEIR "ACTS oF
.... . NA'fiONAL BETMYAL'' ' . . . . . . . ........ . i i . . .
' ' ' ' ' ' ' ':' ' ., . ' ' .., ' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' \ '
<.''.\'. ',''', i ,.., .": ...<\:.::. ::\,':::;; .,: .. .i , .... :',I . ...... '' ::',.. i .. :. .,. '
,::(;';,'/':).:::':'<\ :.-.:-.. ;! ......... ... .... , :,': .. ::'.''::;,: .. ,.: ... : .: .. ::' . '' .. 'i,:. ::. ...):"..: :.::.:-.' .. .... 'i:: .. :,.' :.,' '.\,., .. .
. the militazy goyernment!nakes rioiliaterii!l djstitiction Qt ........ .
. . . betleen orgiJniz!ifs and those whom join those ant(
demonstrations. either at home or au trying to . .....
'' '.: '," . :,-, ' : " :. . ,' '. . : ,.,' .' ' ' ',' ".''.'.' : . ' ' II .. ' . ,' I' ' . ' , . " .. ' .. . , ' .. , : '." . .': ; .. .' " ; :. " ':'' :. ' ' ' . ' .' .' .. .' '.': '
. .. destroy the aspirations to build "one nation, lna)l.y races ail united in.
:' .' .': ".::.' 'I : ', ' ' . . ' '
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cine national view and one. national voice", (See The English language transcript
.. PX Thein Sein, " . . :y
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: .. . .. .. .. .

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, ., ): i , . , , ' ', .. ... ,',, ,\, ; ..:.' .;;\,'ill, ,', 1 ';,.:.:1 ,",', :, ,'.' ,' :: ,,'' , , 1 ;.:,,I 1\; ...'\l,l '),'. ',<',',\:: ".\; .,,'' ,,: "' .::; .. ; , ; , ' :.:,:.,!,,, ::::, ., , :".':::/;I:\ :,; .,,,,':. .. : '.''.!.: .. >,1_1_: .',, , ' : ',, ',' :, ' .. : ,. , ,
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, : ..... : : .. . .... :.:;: ..

.... :;, ... .


"'' " .; . .. >< /:'': . .differe11t networkS qf exiles;::'f.here .are most certainly . :: '
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:: :, ,\ ,,, ' informers, both nationals anclforelgn a keen professional' '. , .. i\ ', "
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. . .: . ,'\!;, .. :.
1:.: :', :, . . :.,.,.,;.::about dissident actiVlt1es a vanety ofre11sons Inc uding, but not limited to,' :.'. : i
;', '\ ,,' 1 '", '', ',,;'
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: , .. . ,; :/:.,. ent;ry VIS<\ out of personal disapproval of certam actiVISts': ::: : '
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.i:' ),: :\ \' ., . ';!! ;"i, ':' ,.' 'i!nd activism, Ojlt 0( desire to CUfiJY. favor With the g'over,iunent officials, 'etc.' 1."
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i' :.. . : \ 351\. In.myV:iewthe military: regime,re)ies heavily .on human intelligence ll). 1 \' \
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':;; 'i . ,, \,: ' . I . ,:,)t' 8. \; rithnltoring opposition' both inside imd Burma .. If someone' who ,., . .;',\ '' '.: ;, :,'
' I t , I \ I I 'o '' , "'' ',\ ill '1' \ I '' i \' 11' , t 1 ' 1 , 1 '' t '' '! ' ' ' 1 I , '' '
1 1

' . , ': 'tiad bad contact with 'i:lppositi6n in exile were 'retur'n'ed to Burma:;the. '' ' :; 'i.':. : :
.. ..... .. <:i: : ' :.: ' r:>::i :,. <J
torwre IS thi:J notm during the mterrogatjoi). penod when. confess!9ns
::;::o'',',':,' .. ' ,. ' , : . ' ,. \J,I,\>i' \'.li
1
,','\''.', , ,;., . ,.. .. : .. .: :,:..,.,;: ', .c: .. ,. ':!" :;, ..... ... " .. : ' '' .; .,: , .' , ;(.,
are forcibly extracted, Agairi the qs State DepartirientHl!manRightii Report ..
. *bio sheds light the arbitrary nature and physical
. assault on detainees. Underthe subheading "Arrest hocedures.and Treatment
While in Detention", the report illustrates clearly t)le risk oftorture under .
<
....
Interrogation:
38
23 Oct. 2012 17:49
Gi I I man Lee
No. 3481
'-':,'
p 13
"Laws prohibit torttirei of the securitY forcesreportedly .
beat, an4 otherwise ab)lsedprisoners, and other citizens.
Secur,it}' subj!)cted ,det<linees to harsh interrogation techniques
to and As In prevlws years: authorities took little
.

t11e .. . .... .
1 '.'. , :.' ,' ,': : :' '::::!':: .: , ' .: , .:..i: ,.. ;: ::: ...: , ..... ', ,',,':': .":' ' ' ' ' . .'.' ' ' : ,':'' : :.' :,_...::' ::.\': ;.:... :,' ._..', . :::.; .:.. :.: ,: ,: , ,' '. .' ... ,:..:.:: ' ' , , .: ". , :i ,' . ') ' :: ' ... 1' ....: .' ,: ;,:, .. .,.:' :.';" .\ .: .... ; ::.,:: :.:: i:'' '. ' ' '
. 36, ;,v)lat "a 'real be 9ver a
.. , ofthne, . To seim waves of P9licit:<!l6'ppo sitlon .. . .
. , .. ,. . ..
in a' ..
.

e .. ,.. ... . .. . . ' .


. .. .. :.' .,
I'/'< : ; ...... c.. .
, ci.r. a. 'riiz.a.tio. ns. .. al.on.. s ..ln. o.. - In.do ..' and Order a.re.as.: TJ1.e. r. 'ef. ore." .. . ..:.
:\ ::"+;: ,,, ''11 ', . ,
,',h.,, ',.,,
' : ' '' ,; \ \ ' ' ' .. '' '; . '
, . \ ' .;
..... :; s,
.. .. . ' ' 3 7 T b . b B . . . .. . . d I i fr .. :i,::.. .'.::;.:... ::,,::.;:.

;.:
. ; .. ... ::.,i .... : ..: ... : .. .... '; :..i.:,:;: ..,J.: ;.;;:;:.:;: .. ... .... \ --.-.. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. }, .. .. .. .. .... .. ..... .
: :: ':.''' "'.::::.: ''itt!'):,'!. the Burmese i'loriCI:lc <nit osts, iiiBaii ko){, Loi\dori;Tozyo or' ' . .,


,!;( .. :. .!;,, ,, , . !\ii ',:ii':'o'i.''.iateins '(for instance'Aun:gsariSuii. Iii. June\ilhichls considered,,;-,,, , ;-,:,,,/' ' ''.'
..


,,.,, : [jl!i'l,. ' . ,, .,,,,,,,,, .,,.,. :,, :. ,urmese ,rogram,. e VOICe q ; mer! can .a.ur:mese, .erYICe, t e. ':. '..' .. ; ... , '<'
' > ' . propag:mdaii)'lpact among the B!!rmese public
'. i . . ' . ' '' ..
N
rl
,
"i,''l, .. -:. ',' \..,: ...:;."'' : ..... ,-:: .'' .. ,.i,\1''':.''.''; .. .... ' ........ .'.' ..... ,,,, .. ;.!: . .. ,. ........ : ...... -.
transmitted pews of protests il1frontof.its embassies abroad and other direct
; .. , J.:.' .,., :, .' ... .",. ',, ." ' , ' . 1.",' : ':'.:,:'".'I'", .. .>.I ,', o , :> '; .':. .' , . ' ,
acts of political instigation as having contagious Impact A glance at one .
headline of.theregirne's mouthpiece)'heNew Light ofMyanmar suffices to show
the authorities; attitude to foreign influences: "External,
lackeys of aliens, instilling wrong thoughts in youth thatpatrlotisn1
. ' ' '' ' ' ' .
:
39
230ct. 2012 17:50
Gi I I man Smith lee
No. 3481
p 14
40
230ct. 2012 17:51
Gi I I man Smith lee
43.
No. 3481
Whilethe come to negative news of their militacy
and si;\ce April ZOll, constihitional military rule, as a given they remain
. ' ' ' .
p 15
41
(
230ct. 2012 17:52
Gi I I man Lee
No. 3481
'or',
. eXtreme)ysens!tive to Burmese nartorials, either inside or outside Burma,
negativl! views about the its rule
lliEMII..I:rAgY'S Of
',,',
',II
p 16
42
230ct. 2012 17:53
Gi I I man Lee
No. 3481 p 17
. ' ' ' ' ' '
46 .... It is important to note t)lat unlike most including one-party
. . nominally comml,mist states such as Vietnam and Burma's Ministry of
For(iign are aUmilitarypr ex-military officers,fi()m the highest
minister to lower officers: Of the 30-p\us embassies around the
... world, with a feVv ambassadorial postS are routinely held byex- ..
. offlcers. in addition to. military officers .v.rith non-intelligence . :
militii)r personnel from the Ministry of Defense. .
, . ,'-.:, ':.' .. " ...;, :,-: ,, .' _"'.. ... . , . , . ,-. : \ ',, :. . .. ..:: '' . '. ': c:_.,". .' . , .': . \: " '' ' 'I .: , , , ''' ' ,' ' . . , . .. ., . :.' : :\', .. '.. '
. . lntel)igerice directorate are typically attached to all these embassi!ois. {for the
:.,,1 ,' :.:::.... ::,' :.. "'''' .. ., . :"/ .. '.'.' .. '. '' ' ' .:,; ........ .,,. .. , .... ,,.: .. ,;:: "' ,' .' '' ' ..... ':.:' '.1,'::. '.,.::' , .. "._ ' ' .
; . . .. tre,J.?feign, Mipi$p-y ..
.. . ..
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' .. \ 'i : ..: 66ct zoH: Aiso .:
.i ... \ ... .. . ..>'(..< .. '. ,, . ......... ;.. ...
:r .. /)i .'> hti;p:(/Voa!Jurmese:wordptess.coril/2011/0Z/13Jk,YaW-wins:exch.isive; \..
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I' 11 '' ,,1, :11\:' I'

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' .. ' \ '' protestS both inside and outside of Burma, for the purpose ofestablishlng
, :." .: . ,; i; :. ' 1 \ . ,,'.": . : ' . .'" '.\i!r, :. : ,:, ), .. .' \ ',' .:. ,' ':."' . ; ,,. .. .:: :' " : ' : : , : : : .. : : .. ,'. ,, ::. :;;' . ' ...... ' .' .'::: .. .:. . .": ', . .':' ' .'' ': .' .
< ... identities of those, pot just protest organizers and key paitldpants but also .. .
' ' ' I ' : ' ' ' , '. , .; .. '.", , :' I ; . " , .' ." ' . , : , , , , ' ', . .. , ' .'.' : . : .'.': " ' , ' , , , . ... : "" I , , '.'' ,' :' , : , ' '.' , ' .. I . . ' '
. .. . hangers-on arid onclookers is a well-known lntel!igencefpolice practice by the .
Burmese sectirity orga!lization's. . .. .. .. . . . ..
..
.
50. When I stayed as ''guest of the government" in military guest houses in Rangoon
and Mandalay attached to military intelligence depots ill Oct and Nov Of2005 .
43
...
b.ll

23. Oct. 2012 17:54
Gi I I man Lee
No.3481
p 18
. . '
. . ' ' '
' ' .. '
and june 2006, I saw with my own eyes young, plainclothes intelligence agents,
these military with cotton shoulder bags each containing
only a, notebook, a pen and a digital cameraevery morning for their daily
. operations in urban areas. . . . . .
' ' ,': : ... ' ', ' ' ,.,':.' ' ' .''
44
' (
23 Oct. 2012 17:55
Gi I I man Smith l,,
; .. ,' ,: .
No. 3481
. 54. Moreover, their prominence may have afforded these well known activists a
degree of protection. Arresting and maltreating returning famous dissidents is
. not In t})e Interest of the military gover)llllent; especiallyata time when the
l.atter trJ?ngto project a .asabenevqlent .. . : .
p 19
' ' .. ; :'
..... '
,' ''
gqvermnent. Speciflcally, It is engaged III. 11 major international diplomatic
and fh:st to vrll chair ofthe ..
of 2Ql4 and to get develol'me11tlo;n1s and .
Fuhdand the
. . WorldBI!nk Inmyjudgment, the miutary gqvernment is trjring to a
. image as .. a constitutiimai ratherthan to .
.. . In .. .
''::. ,': : ':,: ; '.\" ..',' .,,. : ' ,,I .. , ;:.:,:,'. ', :.. ' . .... ' -: .. , ' . ' . .' , :'''' '".. : ''.' '':' ': , .. ' ..... ' '' . .,: '' ,.' :.''' '' :: . . ": . :' '' "!' '' '
.. . . . .. .
. . Burma's besfkliown coinedlan Zaga.ml.rstressed the farclcaLnafure.ofthe.. ' .
;,
o:,
' ... I \\, . I in In ,;.]

'in these .. .
: : ... ..... ' .... ... < .
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Although ids notj.1ossible tci be certain, thei:efoi'E!, I am ofthe vieWthat the : '1 .. <f ..
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autho)'itjes iilBurma Will 'not make <my d.isti,nction those With "if real
to Ji.a and
may be in order to get asylum abroad. The Burmese saying
"your mouth smeHs ate only a clove of garlic or the whole b1-1lb''
sums authorities' attitude towards anyoppositional activities, The.
concept of has absolutely no .meaning for the Burmese authorities.
' ,,. ' . ' .
45
230ct. 2012 17:56
Gi I I man Lee
No. 3481 p 2 0
Interm.s of political psychology of the authorities,nothreat Is to be tolerated
andnoamount of challenge to their authority is insignificant
. 57; .. Tilthebestofmy knowledge; no westernorganization,I)'fGOorgavernment,
.. .. . .. hum'an rights concer11s,abolit. abuses by the .. ..
. :.. 'mBitllcygoverl}menthas devoted any Or otherresourcestomonitor ... ' .
. ' ' . . . .. . thejr lri RangDOJ1 ..
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..58. !do not think that could orwould cogceiyably inonitor ..
, , ., . .. the Burmese securit,v agencies; .
: . . . to thei[ in antl'-goyen\ruent prOtestsln front of Burmese . . ' ..
... ' ... '. . in'Londiiii (or Washington, Berlin: Pads', BrllsSel!i. etc), . . . i .

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ilrganizations;3r increased riliJitary Witharmt;!d eth.nii: minorities .. .: .
organizations countries
such as the United Kingdom, USA, Canada mid so on; and 4). rumors and
tipoff exile groups are planning andinstigating popular
unrests in the country arotuid certain important anniversaries and historically
' . . ' ' '
46
230ct. 2012 17:57
Gillman Smitn Lee
No. 3481 p 21
' . .
. important dates (for instance, the anniversary of the militaryeoups in 2 March
' 1962 and 18 September 1988 and the greatest uprising on 8 August
1988}; These are occasions the military and police Intelligence
' servipes.will worldngroupdthe clock to flush 01.!t activists pr former actiyJsts
who theythinkare likely to be behind various types of subver$ive activities; In
'.'":. .... i.'"';:",',li''. -,:. . .. . . ...: . .' .. .', '! . .'' ', .' .. ... .. :.-::,' .... . :.. ' .
. .. is there
has been Wlthhi Burma, or a bomq eXplosion urbari center etc)the .
.. . .. . .... .. !.:..:.<.:. .. . ..
:: '<'\',.,:.Y/(: ... ::.; .. :i;: .. ::, ...: . ':- .. .. ,::, .:.:::.:. }: ,. ... :::: :-.:: ..: ..:,. .. ::::. ' ...... .... . i..... . '. ':, . . ,..i.::-_;.. .. . .'... ..:::. .. .:. ''> ..: . ... , . ,. . .
. 61. 1t )IV.?uld not be risk
might it would outline some anrnialandrecurl'il1g ... . . .. . .. ' .
" ' ,'
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, .... \''
Q;llich in this parkgraph, of . ' '
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. :

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. ' '..<> .. ''1;::: .. :.:. ''1 'I g' ,: ., . ..,, .. .. .....!'' .., ... '"' ',..;,.;\ ,',\ .. I "\,: ' ';:: .' 'lii'' .,,.), i" 'e ..... i \"'' a.g ' ,' . '' '' I ' '
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... . _. . . . . ,, :': .. ,
"''i '.' ,, , ,, '' , '.., ,, 'them to call specially set-up immediately. should they spot'anything ... ",'. ,' . ; ...
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.. 1:1:'.' ,,.,,.,.,.:';,\: .: '." ,,,,, . ::.natlonhl!DcardS.whichev:eryone;is.renuired to. carry w.thth.fi'm.at.alltimes, or'.' ;' ':Yii.:, , .'!'.
,'
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''"'''\.! '. suspicious/nervous behavior Will attract immediate attention to activists upon ..1''
0
N
63. And even if they encounter no troubles at security arid immigration booths upon
the fact that their identities established arid in the
govermnent's clata base of per'scml1 non grata the security agencies are in a
position to track them down should they feel a stricter sui"Veillance is called for
. the afonimentioned occasions: . .. . .
47
230ct. 2012 17:58
Gi I I man Lee
No. 3481 p 2 2
64, Should a so-called "hanger-on" be upon or at a subsequentdate,
he. orshe will be subject tparbitrary and i1Hreatme)1t at the hands of the
security agencies. State observed "Laws
. , , prohibit torture; of the .. .
., . . . , forces
, , . fOutinely s!fb/ected ,ha,rsh , , . , .
...... ::. . . .. and disorienl:i4$1n prevfi:wsyecir$; authqr,!tiiistobk little or no action to.
of ,... ..... .. . . , , . .
' htciVJwvJW.si:ate:gov/g/drllrls/hrrpt/2010/eapllS4380.htm . . .
.. , OCt 2.0.1.1 }: '.: ' , ' : ;\ .. _;::::(: . . : ::.,' ' :.:-:... : :.,:.:.;, ........ ..... "' ,1, :'I
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, .. . ' . ,, ' .c.1. fpr pro/Qnged periQ(is tQ ."- cturmg ;,;: :.\i': ', .. .
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.:! . : .::': . ,::iii!!::.::.;(.: Oct2011).' fro.in aiiyoll.e de6iiried bY.'' ':. .. . . .
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:', :. :: . !, ;i; ,:!1 r lr 'i.;';.\'3,:(:n\{.;(')i ;, i\(',i::. , i,' i.'\)i!;::}/';'1.', ''' '., .. ';: .. 1\: ..'if''!;;'.i:; !(\:\, !2i \::''?i ?! : !,;;, ,,\\,;:\) ;,d .;'.,,(:.; ;.' '";;:,\\::(\: ,<;( ; :\!:;: ,
i :' !:>'\' . 66;.-.:: 'bistructlveto quote:at ength the co uri try of Origin Inforrii:atiori :report' :.' . :.:,; , : \ : .
:;: ,

.. ..

..

.. . i
,!::: r ::'.:.';,,.y,J.:,\;'(!;:''i'''":t' ,,,,.,. :25 A Response to, n ormation Request Issue ytoe Imm gration an :; ,,;.'( :,,:.< :. /.: .
. ; .. ./::.'' ' ' officer with i;h{Asian Legal Resource Centre(ALRC), an n:on:i i' i '. :,... .
.'}\:: .. ' ,.
. : ',:. i : human ..
. . rights cases in Myanrilar ... provided the folloWing!Mol'mation tp the Rese.arch
Directorate in correspondence dated 30 july io07: .. . . . . .
' . . : . . ' ' . ' ' .
. . . '"It is important to that the nature of the state in Myamilaris highly
arbitrary, and therefore any decisions made concerning repatriations to that
48
N
N
"'

Q.
230ct. 2012 17:59
Gi I I man Lee
No. 3481 p 2 3
cou11try from Canada should be done with extreme cau);ion, Two persons with
similar may be treated completely differently by the .
Myanmar authorities, which do not operate according to the rational methods .
. maybef\)und !.n and organised it should not
.. be imputed from one case- Le, someon is able to return home without'
. threats .:_ tbat rm happen in another, or at another time'/' ... .. . . '
,' :: .. :,,I ,,, I , ' ,: ' ,I : . ,:,;"::;;,\<:::\'::::,:, ,',. , , ',' .. ,' , l.', ' ''' ' ' '' ' :, ... , ::, :: '.\ ,'
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. , $URMA (MYANM/J.R), COUNTRY O.F. ORIGININFbRMATION (co!) REPORT,..
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:: FCO.officials in Burma Will kiiowwhere, when; why and how arbitrary.
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' I''' ' I',L"''''' .. , '' ',,, .-,r:, ,l.r'll,,', ',' ',;,lo,\1','::,_1'
'' :v-, and arrests Of Bii'rm'ese deportees and returning nationals from ' . :.,, : ;\-
.:,' , j: I J,r,\.: ;'\ ..: .r :'>.'I'. ;i ., , ..-_ .'-':, '; . .\.. ..:-.. \,\ );,:;i),,,i ... '.: '''J .. ' ' ,, ";y.:,:.' ;,,I''<".:, ';, \: ... , ... ' ' , i, "; . .; ,, .," :; ' .... , . , .. :\I' i,. , , ":i .. , '
' place'as. thl.l.Se ai're$tstake pJace,;:tt'internationa) airports at.:, ::;:<;!/)'} :;.:f.'.
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... \ Mandalay and Rangoon, border immigration check-points and seaports, as ,well.::,'',\
1
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_ .. ' as
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in the residential in,div.!du,als. In other wordS,.:\':_.
", 'd' 1 "' . , , . , " .. : : ,, . .\:: .. .: '.::.. . . .. ' ... ..: ' ,, , '.; 1,.: . ... : . , . ,' .. .. ,,. . l1 '\
...... the.FCOis in 1).0 to jl.\dgniemt as to whether it is Olily .. ::; i
'. : I,", i. ':' .' .. , : , .. , ', ', . ' . ... . ', : .. ,, ,. > ':_, .,,, \ .' : :' : ... ', , ., : .. : , ., i :. ;, , , . , .... ,.. , ., .:: , . . . . . ,' . .. , .' .. , .. , , , :;
or W)}() alsq hist.oriEis lnsi.de be
. at risk'', as it done so Wit:h6utJ;llaterial evidence or ..
of monitoring in place Jri order to be able to inake that assessment It is
important to stress that FCO letter does use the word 'particularly', so even
.... ' ' "' ' . . '
'\:.
49
230ct. 2012 18:00
Gi I I man Lee
No. 3481 p 24
:;. : ( 'I'
.(
, :' ,'
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' ' .
, ..... :
taken at its highest, it doesn't rule out the possibility of risk to people who do
not fall within the main categories identified (ra)ly key organizers etc) .
. 69.. In the Burmese authoritieshave a long securityarln. In the
fCQletter, itrepeats the well-docuinentedfact about
the BurJl1esemilitary have setup andhsec\ t(lJdentlfY all
, , , in The Fco 4
. . , Febiuixi;zoi1 obse,ved: ''1)A partlcipationin '. \.
... . th
. [sic] !Jurma, .

whp reglllii,./y pa[tfqipate 'in such d.emonstratlims. : . . '


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. very .to andfrlentlfied by ehe};lurmese authorities '.
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. trigge?the attention (if the autbor;ities, there is a f-r:iilllisk ofpiwsecution,
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\ ' .. political prisoners and theuri-'rule Of laW,pdf .
. ,'. ' I potes: sedrch, 'arfliit anli'\' ! ' . ." . .
. , pfovtfipristn the
BuriJ:Iese Criminal Procedure for juaicialovlwsight of arrestS and detentions;
political interviewed by AAPP were hiM Iongerthan 48 .hours
without warrant and without being brought before a judicial authorit,y. Basic .
rights of due process, including the.right to a public trial and to by
a defense law.yer, are denied in political cases. In many cases, the accused are kept
50
(
230ct. 2012 18:01 Gi I I man Lee
No. 3481
: ' . ', ' . . ' ' . ' ' ,' : ... ,
section oflawwuJ.er which they are charged, There are reported
instances where Military Intelligence has orally at the tir11e of
any trial had /)lace. The State Protection Law azipws for .
d,eteptiol1 crya,rge or tria/for up to five years dnd is frequentiy used to ..
. . exiimd aireadjlarPflflli;v ariil.ynjust detention." .. l'
,::' ..:: .... ,, ' ''l:i, ,, i' ,: '
.' 7i Jt is a fairly' for keep an eye o11.
. . . . of , ..
.. <informers

(Gj)R) .... ..... ..
. . : a.enqi. : 'i .. .... .
p 2 5
successfully relied oll netwcir).: ofinformei:s .. During itS 40 year$ in' .. :
: .. ':; ' :.' ': ...... ,.\ .... ' ..... '\' ' . >" ,.;,:, :.::'': :.:. 'i ', :\ .,.; \. ..::, ...::. <' .,. ,,.,' ,, ', . .. ' " ... :' :. :.'' \'': , .:.:. ' ..... ,, ' .''. ::' .'". '<,.::.,': h' ' ..... ;::: .. : '.'.' '.:: :. : .: :. '' , . '. .. :::. : '. : , :. :: '.:. :<:.': ' , :.
. . ... ... ..
rahon (lfthis I:ast Germafl Secret Pohct:lWilS far gre;;tter
.:' ,, :': .. ,,.., .., ... ,., . ! .: , .......;:.: '' ', :I :'.\)., ,.':>< ,!.:.":<'.:" '(:.:' "\': .,. i(,;, 1''.:;. .: 1''." :,:..., ': ,," ', .,. ,, '::.: '': , .... :, .......,..... :,: '::.:. '' ., :
. . . ' than the SoViet KGB, 1t$ creator: DfKe!ly Higllett; Swansea UniversitY specialist
. r : .... , . ' \ . . \: ' .
> . " ' . t ;i,L;i/ theBi!fllri Wiill diJct:Cqmmiinism iiJ E(i!lt Germany crimii to an 'erid,ifiS . ': . i

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. . :!Iii::: .. .. ,: . . ... ,,\,Til.' .. :{ .. .. ::. .. '.;,.: .., .. ..... 1::l : .. : . ... ... .. .. a .\' .. . l.:k:, ..)'li ky'jg 1t\ .:z .. a _o .. 7-,. .. :. \ :; ......... : .. Yi.li. L: ......,f t:iil '-\ .L .... ,
n.:::,:.: ' ..... ...<;' .. w.':o,'.:c. mot y arton:n.su ew or eVJewo oo s ... T"' . , ... :.'. ,.:..:.>:\' ... .; .. ::.o:..
iii;:).! \ ::,(;:.:; i.:'(:(.j:':i\:: :. .. ..''''i ':.- ..: ;: ::,; \. .. . .. .' :: .{:,'''-}:): ..\,'';. , ....... . .. . ,
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"i''':i ',.:. , .. ,:: : . _ 74: :The regJroe, which used to send its hi.telligence agents to East , '. ' . . . ,
II . " "' ,.,..,.,\1(\l\.' .. ,. - - ,!'\ ,,., ' ... : .,,, ',':!(,', <1: ,,,,',l ' '.'' \ I, "' '' I ,1, '"l , I I
,:,(i? : . : ... .. tra.i.J1ing, \tf. ::,. . . . ..
. :!:::.:'., :'- ''i:\ :. \ :,,,. .: .. : .East Be.rhl'!, .An.d it, to upe .. .
, o
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. : ...: .. ; ... ... .... .. .. .. ... .. ....
.. ,.. ... . . ' i> .u::>'. itSJoreign myown. firfit,harid'interac'tioris i\' < , ..
' ' , ' , : \ " I,' ,' '\ " {I o;. 1 , ' 'r , ' , ' '; ."' .' '' ... ," \,i 0 ( ,'1 ' '' o \ ' '' '; 1: . '1' ' '.' " i' ' 'i; ' .' , < ' , ', '' 1, ' ' '; , I, i' , l', ' '" , o ' .... ' ,' , , , " :: ' , ', ' ',' ' , ' '' 1 ' , , .. : ,'' 'i; '\ ' ' ' . . .
' . '
, .. ' with Burmese intelligence apd diplomatic officials in the United States and.:\
.. tJn!ted kingdom .11nd 2008, Ihi!\ie ... .. . ...
. .. Burineseinteiligend(personn.el the diplomatic
have very few operations, if any,regarding their host. . . .
governments such as US and UK either in terms of commercial, technological
and military espionage. For the military is almost exclusively .
to non-Western ;md economies $UCh as. India, Japan, Thailand., .
. . ...
'',' .
51
'. 1,
c
230ct. 2012 18:02 Gi I I man Lee
No. 3481 p 2 6
.. Russia, Pakistan, Barigla(iesh and so on. Hencetheir focus energies are
directedat monitoringvarious anti-government activities of Burmese political
e)(iles and Among 9ther venues and channel.s, the intelligence officials
. recruit informers through a few B11ddhlst Iilonasteiies where Burmese.
'\': ,, :,:,..; .;:,' ':,, .. .,, ... i' '' '' :. .. : .:' ' '.' : .. . ',': .. . .:... : .
exiles, expatriates and on religious, family and commin1al
. .. . .. occasioris. acadelilks, and . .. . .
. . . say, .. . ..
. , may 2onstcler alltHI9yerh.inent . .. . .. . . . , .
', activities .. .The intelllgence'gathering about BurnleSe exiles arid 'activists' doesn't.
, . .:. :: .'' : .'., j'' '(,' ',',!,',,. ',' ,',I , .:, <i , ' ' . , .. , :.\ , }. . :...', ' .. 1.:."' \' .< ', .. r:. . '. .
1
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.. :. .. !Jetwprk Qf B\\tlnf!S!lSPies !!114infoJmers are ablfto pr9vidE; on.\. .
.. i is,,;..,!lo
. :: 'f6.''r60de.tate 'ii.tiM', )(,, :;
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. : h\.foflnat:Hii\ to the Intelligence Mad U.arters biickiri Biifmiitcorisidertnat it
'i'.i.!. :.' ... .. .. : ..::..... .... \. i;t .. i;;.,
. ... .. , ..,., ..:::.:., . . . .

::;,,: .'.:':' ;:-... ..


' "''' . : '.', :;1': :. hence inflict ii.ribn the ruling generals the !'loss oHace'linterriationally,'\: '''\',,'..'': ' , ,: i,!{';;'i !i.
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", . ' . ' ,.. , In than 30 demonstrations m.London, mcludmg m front of., ; ... '.u '
,'!H:;i: .. , .. ' .: .\. .:. ;:: .. ,
;!.:!,'.iii i::! , , ., : in.o'nastew vkelih .. . ..... , " . ., : ... , : .
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55


IN THE UPPER TRIBUNAL OF THE
IMMIGRATION AND ASYLUM CENTRE
AA/02803/2009
BETWEEN:
TS Appellant
and
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME
DEPARTMENT
Respondent

TRANSCRIPT OF CONFERENCE CALL WITH
DR MAUNG ZARNI ON 12
th
FEBRUARY 2013



Introduction

The Upper Tribunal directed that Dr Maung Zarni be contacted by the parties and asked to participate
in a Skype/telephone conference with TLs representatives and Mr Avery from UKBA in order to ask
him further questions to update his report of 14
th
November 2011 in the light of recent developments in
Burma. A conference call took place by Skype on 12
th
February 2013 between 9 and 10.30am.

Questions

1. The Tribunal accepted in TL that photographs are taken by Burmese Embassy staff of
demonstrations against the regime outside Burma, Does this practice continue? What is or
was the purpose of these photographs? To what extent is the regime concerned with the
motives of participants on these demonstrations?
1.1. Response: There is no other evidence to believe or to say that the regime has modified or
changed its activities since it launched its reform a year and a half ago. I would consider that the
Home Office acceptance of the regimes activities as valid. I think the Foreign Office wrote a
letter back in 2011 indicating that the Burmese Embassies around the world record by video and
photographically the activities especially anti-government activities outside of the Embassies and
transmit them back to their headquarters in Naypyidaw or Rangoon for further investigation.
So I think that there is no other counter evidence that that exercise or those activities have
changed.
1.2. Subsidiary Question: With the new government has the Governments priorities in terms
of intelligence gathering changed?
1.2.1. Response: No I dont think so. I am giving you the evidence coming straight from the
horses mouth, the Union Minister for Peace Negotiations out of President Thein Seins
office, by the name of Aung Min, he is an ex Major General is himself a former Intelligence
Officer, he said on a Youtube clip which is in the public domain that the regimes no.1
priority remains national security. He was referring to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that
56

actually controls the Foreign Ministry. The Foreign Ministry does not have power of its
own. The MoD can override any other line ministries that actually include the Presidents
office because the constitution of the country grants the military to come in the country at
any time to stage a coup. That is considered legal and constitutional. The MoDs and its
priorities have not changed despite the reform efforts by its Military Officers. Therefore the
highest level of intelligence organization is named Military Affairs Security Council (MAS).
There are different branches of intelligence e.g. special branch, plain clothes and military
intelligence. MAS have ultimate authority to override different intelligence agencies. That
includes foreign intelligence gathering done by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They have
thirty plus missions around the world. 90% of the operations are organised and led by
MAS. The Burmese Ambassadors around the world, nine out of ten Ambassadors are ex-
military intelligence officers. The short answer is that the Myanmar government policy and
priorities are very much driven by security concerns: that is the security of the regime and
the security which they consider is national security.
1.2.2. The new government itself is made up entirely of ex-generals, so we are talking about ex-
generals and the power holders that are generals still in service. When push comes to shaft
it is the generals and MoD that has the ultimate and final say over policy matters. That is
background against which we have to look at the new government policies and their
priorities.
1.3. Question - To what extent is the regime concerned with the motives of participants on
these demonstrations?
1.3.1. The main concern is what they consider how these demonstrations will tarnish the good
name of the country and government especially in light of the fact that they have been
welcomed back in the international community. There is a renewed sense of importance
attached to demonstrations around the world outside Burmese embassies coming
essentially from two major different communities, ethnic communities particularly the
Kachin Christian minorities which are subject to major internal military offensives. This is
the community that is just below the southern China border on the Burmese side. This is
because of breakdown of the ceasefire that was in place for 17 years, we have in Northern
Burma a full blown civil war involving the Burmese military troops using, both air and
naval power as well as basically over 20,000 strong troops from the Burmese military side
engaging in major combat with the Kachin
1
. So the Kachin communities have been
demonstrating in front of Burmese Embassy in London as recent as last week there was a
major demonstration there as well as coordinated with demonstrations in front of the
Burmese Embassies around the world where the Kachins are in residence.
1.3.2. Also we have from Western Burma, the ethnic cleansing of Rohinja Muslim minority that
has caused the worlds headlines and attention. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
characterised what is going in Western Burma with the Rohinja minority as genocide
2
.
When the reform effort got under way the significance of political demonstrations outside

1
http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/01/17/burma-halt-indiscriminate-attacks-kachin-state
2
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/17/272845/myanmar-muslims-face-genocide-oic/
57

the embassies around the world and the frequencies of them declined but because of these
two major events that is unfolding still, there is renewed importance is being attached to
these demonstrations outside the country. There is a connection between what is going on
in country: this is not related to either the war against the Kachin minorities or the ethnic
cleansing of the Muslim Rohinjas but this is in direct relation to the land grab or the
confiscation of poor farmers land in central Burma. There have been a new wave of
dissidents and activists in the country that were little known let alone to the outside world,
but to the Burmese public that they are protesting inside the country like monks, farmers
and workers, so there are protests against this regime and its policies of land grab and land
confiscation in the country. There are waves of protests in front of the Embassies around
world for the first two former reasons I have given you.
1.3.3. Clarification You mentioned that there were demonstrations in central Burma
by monks, farmers and workers. Can you give us some examples of those
demonstrations.
1.3.3.1. Response: One example: Burmese military has three different major economic
projects. One is natural gas and petroleum pipelines construction. They are very long
pipelines within country: the total length pipeline is over 1000km transporting oil
from the Middle East across the Burmese coastland and then overland to on to the
Southern Chinese province of Yunnan.
3
The second pipe line is the natural gas
pipelines that will transport Burmese natural gas offshore from western coast of
Burma into China. That is one project. When you have massive a gas and oil pipeline
construction projects, any communities, rural communities especially that happen to
be along the pipeline project are forcibly relocated for pipeline construction and the
security of the pipelines when they are completed. That leads to one type of land
confiscation and forced relocation of rural communities across the country.
1.3.3.2. The second type of activity, a massive activity that is going on there is the natural
resource extraction especially mining of gold and copper; these projects are joint
economic ventures between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in Burma and a Chinese
mining company which is a subsidiary of the Chinese national arms manufacturer
named NORINCO
4
. Norinco owns the mining company that is in full partnership
with the Burmese Ministry of Defence. The Ministry of Defence controls most of the
Burmese economic activities, mining, hydro power construction and dam
construction.
1.3.3.3. The third economic activity is that has led to land confiscation is the special
economic zone projects; there are currently two special economic zones on the model
of the Chinese Economic zones and that are in Southern and Western Burma. Just to
give you the volume and the vastness of these projects, one project is estimated to

3
http://www.voanews.com/content/burmese-pipeline-to-china-under-construction-despite-criticism-
129369198/167959.html
4
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/burmamyanmar/9711747/Burma-copper-mine-protest-broken-up-by-
riot-police.html
58

cost US$53bn. This one project alone, we are not talking about the sum of US$5
billion but US$50 plus billion
5
.
1.3.3.4. So what happens with the demonstrations was the farmers and local communities
numbering 26 villages in central Burma that happen to live in the designated area of
copper mining project between the Burmese military and the Chinese weapons
manufacturer, so 26 villages were forcibly relocated. There have been rural protests by
the farmers, many of them are housewives and farmers, and the urban monks joined
the demonstrations. They came out basically to picket the mining project, camping
outside the Chinese Burmese military or companies joint ventures mining
headquarters in Central Burma and the Burmese military used the internationally
banned white phosphorous. This is all researchable in the Guardian, the BBC has
been covered it extensively
6
. They raided a protest camp that was exclusive for monks
because monks and other villagers cannot mingle, especially women and monk cannot
be in the same protest camp, so the monks were in one particular camp. The security
troops from the Burmese military came in at 2.30am and used fire engines to wake the
monks up; they used the water cannon, and then the police came in and launched
several rounds of canisters of white phosphorous that burned nearly 100 monks
7
.
That is the way the Burmese government handle dissidents and dissident activities
within the country. The Chinese provided them with these canisters and it is
documented that the Burmese police were actually given daily wages by Chinese
mining companies in addition to regular salaries to crack down on the demonstrations
against the Chinese and Burmese military mining project. So there is another element
here. The protests are no longer handled solely by Burmese security forces. The
Chinese government and the Chinese companies are themselves involved to ensure
that their core economic interests do not come under public pressure. It raises the
concerns of the Burmese military authority for regime security and well as the
civilianise aged military government for the regimes security especially when you have
waves of protests in front of the Burmese Embassies around the world and waves of
popular protest inside of the country. Mind you in these protests very well known
dissidents such as Aung San Suu Kyi or student leaders are not involved at all. These
were done by all unknown quantities that had become known only for the last three
to six months.
2. In your opinion, is it likely that the Burmese government will continue to monitor subversive
activities abroad [ as a contingency measure] and if so, how will they do this (e.g. taking
photographs of protestors, which means that the practice persists); and if so, what is the
prevailing mindset of the Burmese authorities?
2.1. Response: The mind-set is the security first, security second and security third. Mindset
remains virtually unchanged effectively unchanged. It is one of the top three factors that would

5
http://www.tni.org/sites/www.tni.org/files/download/dawei_land_grab.pdf
6 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20695156, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/29/burma-riot-police-
mine-protest/print,
7
http://www.aappb.org/Injure_List_of_brutally_crack_down_in_Latt_Pa_Daung_Mountain_Copper_Mine.pdf

59

be considered in any policy discussions whether is Whitehall or Whitehouse or anywhere in the
world. Even in areas that are considered not directly related to national security like economic
reforms: security mindset dominates the way the Burmese leaders think and the way they
behave.
2.2. In terms of how they will continue or where or how they will continue to monitor the
dissidents activities, they will actually intensify human intelligence in light of the fact that the
recent ceasefire negotiations with one of the strongest and staunchest ethnic opponent, the
Kachins, basically has resulted in no concrete ceasefire. The Kachins has actually come out and
said that if they lost this positional war they are fighting against the regime they will turn to
urban and guerrilla warfare activities
8
. There is a very strong and scattered Kachin community
around the world. So these Kachin communities send money and go there to provide moral
support, participate in medical activities for their wounded guerrillas fighters. So the Burmese
military is going to increase not decrease the extent of their intelligence activities. Primarily they
use human intelligence, using extensive formal and informal informer networks, using migrant
workers, expatriate professionals in London and other places that want to have easy access to
the regime or to get a smooth application process. They continue and they do continue to rely
on these extensive formal and informal networks of voluntary informants. They also have an
extensive network of professional trained human intelligence agents.
2.3. Secondly, they have now between 5-10,000 Burmese military officers that has received technical
training in places like Pakistan, Russia, China and India. These intelligence officers and military
officers are known to be expert at hacking email accounts of journalists, the dissidents and as
well as other prominent figures both inside and outside the country.
9
So they will monitor cyber
space and thirdly, they will continue to video record and take photographs of any
demonstrations. As the FCO noted in their letter of February 2011, these pictures not taken
with a purpose of keeping them in respective embassies around the world but transmitting them
now electronically to their intelligence headquarters and branch offices within Burma for further
investigation and ID identification purposes.
3. What is known about the network of spies in the UK being able to provide information on
those who are genuine opponents and those who are not?
3.1. Response: The main problem here is that we dont have a crystal clear definition of what are
genuinely subversive anti-government activities and what is phoney subversive activities that is
designed to establish ones status as a dissident when they apply for asylum in the UK, US or
other countries. In a situation such as Burma where things are not spelt out or even where the
laws are clearly spelt out the application of these laws concerning subversive activities is
reportedly of elastic in the sense that individual officers retain a large degree of discretion or
discretionary power to deem a particular person genuine dissident or a phoney dissident that
poses no threat what so ever to the regime. I cannot give you a clear cut answer whether a

8
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21214406
9
http://www.bt.com.bn/asia_news/2008/09/20/myanmar_launches_cyberspace_attacks,
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/world/asia/journalists-e-mail-accounts-targeted-in-myanmar.html?_r=0


60

person is genuine or not is contingent upon which officer or which Burmese official/law
enforcement agency is doing interpretation.
3.2. Against that back drop for example a Kachin national with a British residency in London
returning to Burma before the ceasefire broke down would be perfectly safe because the regime
was not attentive to one this particular community of Kachins might be doing but fast forward
today, a Kachin coming back from London to visit a relative in Rangoon or Myitkina, the capital
of Kachin state would be subject to very, very, close surveillance. So what I am saying different
context different timing so it is difficult to say definitively who is and who is not a genuine
opponent.
4. Does the Burmese military regime still rely heavily on human intelligence in monitoring
opposition activists both inside and outside Burma (p11, para 35)?
4.1. Response: Absolutely. Its intelligence activity on its ability to gather human intelligence has
been drastically improved because of the fact that it has build-up of the cyber-intelligence
networks with very well trained computer hackers and other social media experts trained in
especially in Russia, Russia maybe a poor country but it is very advanced in terms of its
electronic surveillance. So if anything the regimes ability to monitor the dissidents has been
enhanced.
5. Do the Burmese authorities still use torture during periods of interrogation? Does your
conclusion at p21, para 64-5 still stand, namely that a so-called hanger-on arrested on
arrival or at a subsequent date would be subject to ill-treatment at the hands of the security
agencies?
5.1. Response: Yes, they use various forms of torture and do they still use torture, yes.
10
There may
be especially in urban interrogation centres. I recently interviewed a few Special Branch officers
who were on English language training in Brunei where I was a visiting Professor last year and
they told me that as recent as 2012 they would have to pack up and go and be in the
interrogation centre for say two straight weeks. They themselves locked up along with the
detainees whom they would be interrogating. One of the most common method they use is the
psychological torture and sleep deprivation. That turns out to be extremely effective. Sleep
deprivation - the detainees do not suffer physical damage, physical injury. There is nothing to
show on ones body. One officer would come in every 2 hours at night and wake you up asking
you the same question, every two hours, one hour. They watch you. As soon as they notice you
are about to fall asleep someone will come and wake you up. That is extreme sleep deprivation
and if you are subject to that kind of sleep deprivation for 5 straight days you would break
down. Five days with absolutely no sleep, no more than half an hour or less.
5.2. The other method is psychological torture: what will happen to your family or what will happen
to your children, that kind of thing.

10
http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/336328/myanmar-army-torture-kachin-rebel-suspects-un,
http://uscampaignforburma.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/torture-and-ill-treatment-in-burma/,
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Burma-initiates-a-committe-by-Zin-Linn-130207-670.html


61

5.3. In terms of physical torture I cannot say whether they continue to beat up the detainees during
interrogations because if detainees are let out within a short period and now they go to the press
and tell what the intelligence has done to them and how they are being tortured. In that sense
physical torture, the use of physical torture maybe in decline. But they have other methods in
their torture arsenal. So I wouldnt say they have stopped torturing detainees especially political
detainees.
6. Do the Burmese authorities still view transmitted news protests in front of its embassies
abroad as having a contagious impact at home?
6.1. Response: Yes, they do because of the electronic and social media. As soon as the
demonstration is over, sometimes even when the demonstrations is still going on in Bangkok,
London or Washington there would be images downloaded or uploaded on Facebook,
especially Facebook now. We have inside Burma out of 50 plus million people in the country, 3-
4 million people are known to be internet users. They may not have computers of their own but
they go to cyber cafes. Facebook is the most popular medium as far as the news information
technology are successful in the country
11
. So these images get picked up, retransmitted among
different groups - dissident groups, activist groups within the country dissident groups, church
groups and even monks are using Facebook and other social media websites. The images of
basically political defiance towards the military regime are treated seriously by the regime
authorities.
6.2. The Burmese military regime has announced the end of official censorship in terms of press and
publication in the country and that has been welcome by the international community. That has
made the headlines in newspapers in Britain and other countries. But what is not yet covered is
that there is an array of different laws that are designed to restrict the flow of information and
the freedom of press like computer science laws, electronic laws, the use of a fax machine and
still to date in Burma if you own a fax machine you are supposed to have government
permission from the Postal and Telecommunication office. That is all under the control of the
military intelligence.
7. A glance at one headline of the regime' s mouthpiece the New Light of Myanmar suffices to
show the authorities attitude to foreign influences: " External, internal destructive elements,
lackeys of aliens, instilling wrong thoughts in youth that patriotism and nationalistic spirit
are out of date, instigating youth to entertain tendencies of confrontation, violence in their
mind. If this danger is overlooked, the nationalistic spirit will become extinct, so prevention
needed (see p13-14 of report): is this still the attitude of the authorities?
7.1. Response: Their attitude is very much the same. They had toned down their language when
they were engaged in neutral political courtship especially with Washington but that has even
changed after President Obamas visit to Rangoon for 6 hours because for two reasons. Obama
has touched raw nerve when he mentioned especially and emphatically the word Rohinja, that
is no, no, word for the Burmese regime, their attempts to deny this particular ethnic minority
Muslim group ever existed as an official ethnic group of Burma. So Obama publicly in a

11
http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/special-features/159-digital-communications/4094-google-and-facebook-remain-
tentative-in-myanmar.html
62

televised speech used the word Rohinja and called on the Burmese regime and the Burmese
society to recognise them and to treat them with basic respect.
7.2. Secondly, after the Kachin, after the Burmese regime began using air force for a civil war in the
country, the use of air-force to go after rebellious minority group in a limited civil war is
considered against Geneva Convention. That was what Gaddafi did, that is what President
Assad is doing and so the Americans, especially the US Embassy officially issued a statement
condemning the Burmese regimes disproportionate us of violence against the ethnic Kachin
Christians, so the regime came out with a very, very, strong denunciation of the United States
12
,
saying the US should use the official name of the country which is Myanmar and not the old
name Burma which is what Aung San Suu Kyi and the dissidents insist on calling the
country
13
. So I think it just shows how fragile the rhetorical change that the military government
has adopted even in the mist of its attempts to be accepted or re-accepted within the
international community.
7.3. Clarification: Obama touched a raw nerve when he mentioned Rohinja. What was the
Burmese governments reaction?
7.3.1. The speech was initially simultaneously broadcast on national TV but because he was in
Rangoon giving the speech at the Rangoon University, his speech, the simultaneous
translation stopped immediately because although Burma was a former British colony. 99%
of the Burmese people do not understand or speak English: so only taxi drivers and a
handful of urban educated people know English language. So the Burmese generals and ex-
general, the government and Ministry of Defence officials who watched Obamas speech
themselves essentially decided to stop the Burmese language translations so that the public
in Burma could not understand what Obama was saying. This was picked up by the urban
educated Burmese population as well as dissidents who speak some degree of English, the
international press or media but not rank or file of the army or by the Burmese public. So
that was their reaction.
7.3.2. Against the Kachin they initially denied that they used air-craft, Russian made
helicopters
14
. When the news broke, it was actually the BBC who broke the news saying
that the Burmese government was using both gunship helicopters and Chinese made
fighter jets to bomb the Kachin positions
15
. When that news broke by the BBC they said
Well we were only doing the administrative runs and dropping supplies. But when the
Youtube clips of Burmese fighter jets and helicopter gunships firing went viral, the military
stopped denying that they were using the air-force
16
and saying that We had an air-force
and we dont use the air-force then what is the point of having an air-force and we dont
know anything about that kind of Geneva Convention that bars government from using
air-force from going after rebellious minority group. That was their later position.

12
http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/3918-govt-slams-us-kachin-statement.html
13
http://www.voanews.com/content/burma-protests-us-embassy-criticism/1591569.html
14
http://www.projectmaje.org/airwar.htm
15
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20886377

16
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/world/asia/myanmar-military-admits-air-raids-on-kachin-rebels.html
63

8. Does the Burmese Embassy still have two military intelligence officials secretly attached to
their London Embassy (in breach of the European Common position on Burma which
explicitly bars EU governments to either keep their military attach operations in Burma or
to allow the Burmese military government to send military attaches to EU capitals where the
Burmese have embassies? Is there any evidence they have been removed? (p15, para 44-5).
8.1. Response: To the best of my knowledge the military is not decreasing or removing their
military intelligence officials who are under the guise of a civilian diplomat. The British FCO is
fully aware of the fact that these certain individuals within the Burmese Embassy in London are
basically military intelligence. My understanding is the FCO did not want to make a fuss about it
because at the time they wanted to make sure that when the FCO diplomats go to Rangoon,
they have to apply for a visa. If the make a sting about this issue, the Burmese can get nasty in
other words refusing to issue the FCO officials who are going to be seconded in Rangoon or
who are going to go to Rangoon or other places in Burma for investigations and what not.
Actually, if anything, the Burmese government has become very, very, confident and
emboldened by the fact that the West is bending over backwards to try to woo the Burmese
government away from the China. Even the Americans are now inviting the Burmese military to
come and be an observer at the largest military exercise in Asia
17
. It is called Cobra Gold
based out of Bangkok. They do annual military exercises involving about 10 to 15 different
countries including countries like UK and France. If anything there will be an increase in the
number of Burmese military intelligence and agents in London Embassy, not decrease let alone
remove completely.
9. Would you still conclude that there is always a risk of detention and arrest for Burmese
nationals politically active abroad when they return to Burma, regardless of whether they
have a recorded and known history of political involvement inside Burma (p19, para 59)?
9.1. Response: Yes, absolutely. Last June 19
th
, Aung San Suu Kyi, had a public meeting with
Burmese community at Royal Theatre near Waterloo. There were around 3000 plus Burmese
present with journalist and others. She was asked specifically from the audience whether she
considered it safe and secure for the Burmese expatriates and exiles to return now that she is
working with the Burmese regime, she is the MP inside the Parliament and she is no longer
opposing the government. Her response, which is again in the public domain and it was also
recorded, the Foreign Office officials were present, the Home Office provided her with a head
of state protection, so there will be records of what she said. She said essentially this: You have
to make your own judgment. I would not say that it is completely safe for Burmese to return
home. It depends on individual cases. You assess your own situation. There is always a risk of
being detained. She did not say there is a risk of being detained. What she said was that: assess
your own situation and make your own decision. I would not encourage you to return without
considering the risk. those were her words. I was actually in that audience hall so I heard it
with my own ears.
10. Does your conclusion at p20, para 63, still stand?

17
http://www.voanews.com/content/burma-observers-participate-in-us-led-military-exercies-in-thailand/1601193.html
64

And even if they encounter no troubles at security and immigration booths upon
arrival the fact that their identities are established and maintained in the
government' s data base of persona non grata the security agencies are in a
position to track them down should they feel a stricter surveillance is called for on
the aforementioned occasions:
10.1. Response: Yes, the crucial thing here is the element of unpredictability. You never know what
will trigger suspicion in the minds of local and national security officials. This is one issue:
because the countries have written restrictive laws about what citizens can say, write, do or
express in terms of their thoughts and ideas, they are not uniformly enforced. The problem is
when there is no uniformity even with repressive laws; when laws are enforced uniformly and
consistently according to the written words, then even dissidents can know when they might be
courting troubles but because the enforcement is so unpredictable that you will never know
when certain activity will be deemed a threat to national security. Sending around a cartoon
political caricature of a general could get you into serious trouble. This is not an exaggeration. If
you send around a picture or even if you post is on the Facebook, if it gets picked up by the
intelligence, if it catches the attention of the higher authority and they feel this is an insult
personally to them, then that can trigger close scrutiny while you are in the country or that can
essentially trigger off an arrest
18
.
10.2. Still the intelligence officers both in uniform and plain clothes, they go around taking
pictures of visiting well known dissidents. In the case of little known activists who may have
participated in demonstration in front of the Burmese Embassy, they will have no way of
knowing where their pictures end and who might be viewing them. The crucial thing is that (a)
law is enforced elastically and (b) one can never be sure what will trigger ones arrest especially if
you have been involved in some kind of protest or demonstration. A protest itself does not
pose any security threat other than maybe at best reputational damage to the Burmese
government. But protest as a clear indicator of where your sentiments are then protest becomes
very crucial. There is a world of difference between people who would openly join the
demonstrations, risk being video recorded or photographed and those who do not go anywhere
near the protest in front of the Embassy for fear that their identity might go into intelligence
records. Protest like in the country like UK, you dont have to worry of having participated in
marches at Hyde Park and other places, you carry on with your business, no one fires at you but
for the Burmese government they see it as clear indicator of either hard core dissident or
potentially hard core dissident. That is a crucial point.
11. At p22, para 68 you conclude that the FCO is in no position to make a definite judgment as
to whether it is only really leaders or individuals who also have histories inside Burma who
would be particularly at risk, as it appears to have done so without material evidence or
system of monitoring in place in order to be able to make that assessment. Does this
assessment still stand and do you believe that individuals without a public profile would be
at risk of arrest/detention and torture for their activities abroad?

18
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7721271.stm
65

11.1. Response: Yes because there are two things the Foreign and Commonwealth Office do not
know or they are not equipped to know. Firstly these individuals in question are not well
known and not known to the British Government. If you dont know which Burmese citizens
abroad are doing what below the radar then you cant say with certainty that so and so cannot at
risk of being picked up by intelligence. Secondly the main mission of the British Embassy in
Burma is to promote the British national interest - commercial, diplomatic, political, ideological,
educational, cultural and what have you. The British Embassy in Rangoon is not set up to watch
Burmese dissidents and what happen to them especially the little known ones. The British
Embassy knows every single important dissident but that is not the population we are concern
about here. We are concern about ordinary Burmese living abroad, who may be involved in
various types of dissident and subversive activities. So I will still argue that the British Embassy
in Rangoon is in no position to know with certainty that little known dissidents are free of any
risk vis a vis a well known dissident. Actually if you look at the current political development the
big activists from Aung San Suu Kyi down to the next five hundred or one hundred dissidents
with recognisable names, they are no longer on a high risk as they were before. The risk is with
little known but up and coming activists who had basically picked up where the big famous
dissidents left off. The best known dissidents, some of them are openly working with the
government, some are trying to find basic clear happy medium between them and their own
political interest and the Burmese generals essentially. Thats why people like Aung San Suu Kyi
no longer take any initiative or discusses any issues that would displease the Burmese military
generals because from their perspective making sure the Burmese military feels comfortable
with their entry into parliamentary and official politics. The concern should be is not what
happen to the big dissidents. The big dissidents are pursuing a policy of accommodation with
the Burmese government. Where else in fact it is the little known activists coming from small
communities or unknown quarters taking up the cause of pushing for greater change.
12. The FCOs letter dated 4
th
February 2011 observed (see p23, para 69): (1) a nationals
participation in demonstrations outside the Burmese Embassy is very likely to be recorded
and we strongly believe these records are sent to the Burmese immigration authorities in
Burma. (2) Burmese nationals who regularly participate in such demonstrations are very
likely to have been photographed and identified by the Burmese authorities (3) if such a
person is returned and there are additional factors that would trigger the attention of the
Burmese authorities there is a real risk of persecution, imprisonment and possibly ill
treatment on return. Do you believe these observations continue to be valid? Do you believe
that Mr TS, if considered as a protest hanger on would still face the risk of arbitrary arrest,
detention, interrogation and torture upon return as you conclude at p23, para 70?
12.1. Response: I cannot with certainty say that this individual, your client, will most likely be
arrested at Rangoon airport or other ports of entry or whilst he is in the country. What I can say
is I cannot know whether he will be arrested and tortured, or whether they will let him come
and go without harming him. So my answer will be I cannot know is that I cannot know
whether he will be safe or not. I have no evidence to determine that he will be safe or unsafe.
13. Is there still a risk to returning failed asylum seekers who have demonstrated outside the
Burmese Embassy in London?
66

13.1. Response: I do not know and I defer to FCO letter of February 2011.
14. At paragraph 75 you conclude that it would be unlikely to make a difference in the eyes of
the Burmese authorities whether a person is categorised as a genuine opponent or hanger-
on (assuming the Burmese spies/informers are able to provide this information). They
would still be viewed as traitors to Burma. Does your conclusion remain in the light of
recent developments?
14.1. Response: Yes, absolutely. One of the things that happen routinely is that if a person gets
picked up especially in times of urban unrest or minor bomb explosion, in order to cover their
back, intelligence officers reportedly pick up innocent, torture them, extract confession from
them under duress and then put them on trial and jail them. They would then say we have
captured the culprit, so we have done our job. Recently a young Muslim married man, who was
not even an activist, died due to dubious circumstances in jail
19
. He was actually picked up,
wrongly accused of having masterminded a bombing about two years ago during the Burmese
new year festival in Rangoon. He and his entire family maintained innocence until his death. Just
go to any news websites, there is a story about a young man who was wrongly convicted and he
had to confess to a crime which he did not commit because he could no longer bear the torture.
This has nothing to do with the policy. This is actually done at the level of the operational
offices who felt that if we could not find the real culprit, we should at least get somebody and
accuse him of crime which he did not commit so that we may keep our job. It is not like one
vast bureaucratic evil machine, like coordinated from the very top down to the grass roots.
There are different layers of officers and non officers who are pursuing their own interest like
keeping their jobs. That is why it makes it so difficult in the context where the rule of law is not
clearly established nor is it clearly or uniformly enforced. That is why in some of the specific
questions it is very, very, difficult to answer with certainty.
15. How confident are you that the reform progress will not go into reverse? Are there any
ominous signs that concern you?
15.1. Response: The most ominous sign is the Ministry of Defence and its economic conglomerate
under Chinese pressure: resorting to the use of canisters that contain white phosphorous,
meaning low grade chemical weapons, usually tear gas are used to quall demonstrations or to
break up any type of mass gatherings, that is done in so many different countries. Tear gas does
not burn your skin. But when you fire white phosphorous in a canister, that was provided by the
Chinese mining company and encourage for its use, it shows that the military has a very clear
mind in terms of where its core interests lies, regime, security and its major economic stakes.
Where that line is and anyone attempts to rock the boat is going to get that treatment. The
reform process there, we are not talking about post-apartheid scenario where Mandela came
into power and the white apartheid government yielded in a deal that was struck between the
ANC and the Africanas. What we are talking about the same generals swapping their military
attire for civilian clothing and dropping the language authoritarian and speaking the language of
democracy and civil society. But their interest and their mind set, their way of operation, modus
operandi, remains exactly unchanged. Aung San Suu Kyi and dissidents are not running the

19
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-005-2013,
67

government. They do not even have a say in what type of reforms packages is being debated or
discussed. Aung San Suu Kyi herself said We are not government. We are on the sideline and
we do not have a say in how significant reforms are or how fast these reforms should move
forward. The British government knows and every government that is paying attention to
Burma knows that reform process remains fragile and remains reversible primary because
reforms are not about genuine democratisation for genuine transfer of power from the
entrenched military to popular dissidents. Reforms are about reinventing the Burmese military
in a way that is acceptable to the western government, international lending agencies such as
World Bank or International Monetary Fund or international investors. So they are realigning
and reinventing their interest in the face of the changing international environment. That is why
I am sceptical of the change that is going to come from the reform process because reforms
carried out with the self-interest of the military as an institution and the ex-generals and generals
and their interests. The most obvious thing is that the military indicated it is fully prepared,
despite the international community welcoming it back into the international community,
throwing in hundreds and millions of loans, development aid and foreign assistance, they are
prepared to use white phosphorous when it feels its core commercial interest maybe under
threat from popular oppositional forces. There are two other issues as well. The ethnic cleansing
of Rohinjas Muslims that is fully backed by the Burmese government and there is a civil war
against the Kachins. Post apartheid in South Africa you do not see the retaliation and reprisal
against white minority Africanas. You do not see different ethnic groups going after each other.
You do not see religious minority targeted for mass slaughter or mass expulsions from the
country. But those are exactly the things we are seeing against a backdrop of reforms in Burma.
Burma: Halt Indiscriminate Attacks in Kachin State | Human Rights Watch
http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/01/17/burma-halt-indiscriminate-attacks-kachin-state[19/02/2013 21:56:35]
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The KIAs proclaimed capital, Laiza, which is directly split in half
by the border with Chinas Yunnan province in the background.
2011 Human Rights Watch
Burmese President Thein Sein needs to
order his army commanders to respect
the laws of war and end unlawful attacks
on civilians. Both the Burmese army and
the KIA should take all necessary
precautions to keep the tens of thousands
of civilians in and around Laiza from
harms way.
Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director
Burma: Halt Indiscriminate Attacks in Kachin State
Allow Humanitarian Aid to Reach Population at Risk
JANUARY 17, 2013
Like 134 EMAIL
(Bangkok) The Burmese army appears to have
indiscriminately shelled the town of Laiza in northern
Burmas Kachin State in violation of the laws of war,
Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights
Watch urged the government to allow humanitarian
agencies access to tens of thousands of ethnic Kachin
displaced by the fighting.
On January 14, 2013, at about 8:30 a.m. and 10:30
p.m., the Burmese army fired several 105 mm howitzer
shells into Laiza, the administrative center of the rebel
Kachin Independence Organization. The first attack
struck the center of town, killing three civilians an
elderly Christian pastor, a 46-year-old displaced man,
and a 14-year-old boy and wounding several others.
In the nighttime attack, two shells struck property in a
populated residential area but did not cause any
casualties.
The shells in the first attack struck about one-half
kilometer from a Kachin Independence Army (KIA)
military command center on the top floor of a hotel
near the towns border with China. Although the
command center is a valid military target, Burmese
government statements denying that the army shelled
Laiza raise doubts that this was an intended target.
Burmese President Thein Sein needs to order his army commanders to respect the laws of war and end
unlawful attacks on civilians, said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. Both the Burmese army and the KIA
should take all necessary precautions to keep the tens of thousands of civilians in and around Laiza from
harms way.
International humanitarian law, or the laws of war, which are applicable to both sides in the fighting in
Kachin State, prohibits attacks targeting civilians and civilian structures. The law also prohibits attacks that
do not or cannot be directed at a specific military objective, and thus put civilians at risk. Bombardments
subjecting an entire town to attack because of the presence of military targets are likewise indiscriminate. The
Burmese armys firing of howitzer shells with a large blast radius in a populated area also may have violated
the prohibition against indiscriminate attacks.
The laws of war also require all parties to a conflict to avoid, to the extent feasible, deploying military forces
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Burma: Halt Indiscriminate Attacks in Kachin State | Human Rights Watch
http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/01/17/burma-halt-indiscriminate-attacks-kachin-state[19/02/2013 21:56:35]
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within or near densely populated areas. The KIAs placing of a command center within Laiza put civilians at
unnecessary risk of attack.
Human Rights Watch urged the Burmese government and the KIA to take all necessary precautions to
minimize loss of civilian life and property during military operations.
There are approximately 15,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) sheltering in camps established by the
Kachin Independence Organization and Kachin civil society groups in Laiza. The town has approximately
20,000 permanent residents.
On January 14, government spokesman Ye Thut denied that government shells struck Laiza. The previous
week, the Office of the President publicly denied that the army conducted any airstrikes against the KIA with
helicopters and fighter jets, but then later backtracked when news reports showed video footage of the
attacks.
In December 2011, President Thein Sein sent a letter to the army chief of staff and military commands in
northern Burma, requesting the army cease attacks in Kachin State unless acting in self-defense, yet there is
little evidence the military is following that directive.
Background on the conflict
The Burmese government renewed hostilities against the KIA in June 2011 in a contested area surrounding a
Chinese-owned hydropower dam, ending a 17-year ceasefire between the government and the Kachin
Independence Organization.
In Untold Miseries: Wartime Abuses and Forced Displacement in Burmas Kachin State, Human Rights
Watch described how the Burmese army attacked Kachin villages, shot and killed fleeing civilians, used torture
during interrogations, committed rape, and pillaged properties. As a result, tens of thousands of people have
been displaced. The army also used antipersonnel mines and conscripted forced laborers on the front lines,
including children as young as 14. The KIA has also used antipersonnel landmines and deployed child
soldiers.
Continuing abuses by the Burmese army in Kachin State should come as a sobering corrective to governments
who believe that the changes going on in Burma are reaching the entire country, Robertson said.
There are approximately 90,000 IDPs in Kachin State, with approximately 60,000 residing in sizable camps
in KIA-controlled territory along the border with Chinas Yunnan province. The Burmese government has
repeatedly denied humanitarian access to the United Nations and international aid groups seeking access to
displaced people in KIA territory, creating a humanitarian emergency and leaving those displaced to rely on
minimum amounts of assistance from the Kachin Independence Organization and local civil society and
community groups. Now displaced for months and, in some cases, over a year, many of these displaced people
are desperately in need of food, medicine, and medical attention, warm clothing and cooking materials, and
adequate shelter, local aid workers told Human Rights Watch.
International humanitarian law holds parties to the conflict responsible for ensuring that the humanitarian
needs of the war-affected populations are met. If the government is unable to meet this obligation fully, it
must allow impartial humanitarian agencies to do so on its behalf. The Burmese government should
immediately ensure the freedom of movement of humanitarian relief personnel, with temporary restrictions
allowed only in cases of military necessity.
President Thein Sein should get the message that deliberately denying aid to tens of thousands of war-
ravaged people in need is completely at odds with his governments self-appointed image as champions of
rights and reforms, Robertson said. Concerned governments should demand an immediate end to Burmas
systematic denial of humanitarian assistance in Kachin State.
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Burma: Halt Indiscriminate Attacks in Kachin State | Human Rights Watch
http://www.hrw.org/news/2013/01/17/burma-halt-indiscriminate-attacks-kachin-state[19/02/2013 21:56:35]
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70
PressTV - Rohingya Muslims in Myanmars Rakine state face genocide: OIC
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/17/272845/myanmar-muslims-face-genocide-oic/[19/02/2013 21:58:18]
text only version Breaking News U Report
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Home News Programs Documentaries US DESK
Saturday Nov 17, 2012 11:26 AM GMT T
Home >Asia-Pacific >More From Asia-Pacific Email Print
Rohingya Muslims in Myanmars Rakine
state face genocide: OIC
A Muslim Rohingya woman cleans her pots by her burnt house at a village in Minpyar in Rakhine state on October 28,
2012. (file photo)
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) says
Rohingya Muslims face 'genocide' in Myanmars western
state of Rakhine as violence against the ethnic minority
rages on.
"We expect from the United states to convey a strong
message to the government of Burma so they protect that
minority, what is going on there is a genocide," Djibouti
Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, who is the acting
OIC chairman, said on Saturday.
"We are telling things how they are, we believe that the
United States and other ... countries ... should act quickly to
save that minority which is submitted to an oppressive policy
and a genocide," he said.
Some 800,000 Rohingyas are deprived of citizenship rights
and suffer most from the policy of discrimination that has
denied them the right of naturalization, and made them
vulnerable to acts of violence and persecution, expulsion and
displacement.
The Myanmar government has so far refused to lift stateless
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PressTV - Rohingya Muslims in Myanmars Rakine state face genocide: OIC
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/17/272845/myanmar-muslims-face-genocide-oic/[19/02/2013 21:58:18]
US eases imports ban on Myanmar Myanmar to free 452 political prisoners
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Rohingyas in the western state of Rakhine from citizenship
limbo, despite international pressure to give them a legal
status.
Rohingya Muslims have faced torture, neglect and
repression in Myanmar since it achieved
independence in 1948.
Hundreds of Rohingyas are believed to have been killed and
thousands displaced in recent attacks by Buddhist extremists.
Buddhist extremists frequently attack Rohingyas and have set
fire to their homes in several villages in the troubled region.
Myanmar army forces allegedly provided the Buddhists with
containers of petrol to set ablaze the houses of Muslim
villagers and force them out of their houses.
Myanmars government has been accused of failing to protect
the Muslim minority.
Myanmars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has also
come under fire for her stance on the violence. The Nobel
Peace laureate has refused to speak out against abuses
committed by Myanmars military on Rohingyas.
Rohingyas are said to be Muslim descendants of Persian,
Turkish, Bengali, and Pathan origin, who migrated to
Myanmar as early as the 8th century.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued
separate statements, calling for Myanmar to take action to
protect the Rohingya Muslim population against extremist
Buddhists.
MP/MA
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PressTV - Rohingya Muslims in Myanmars Rakine state face genocide: OIC
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73
Burmese Pipeline to China Under Construction, Despite Criticism
http://www.voanews.com/content/burmese-pipeline-to-china-under-construction-despite-criticism-129369198/167959.html[19/02/2013 21:59:38]
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News / Asia
Burmese Pipeline to China Under Construction,
Despite Criticism
Burmese residents in Malaysia hold banners and shouts slogan while protesting the Shwe Gas Project outside the South Korea embassy in
Kuala Lumpur, April. 18, 2006. (file photo)
Last updated on: September 06, 2011 8:00 PM
A group of exiled Burmese environmentalists is
warning the construction of a gas and oil pipeline
from Burma's Arakan State to China could displace
up to 30,000 people and deprive scores of local
communities of badly needed development funds.
The $1.5-billion project, backed by China, faces
criticism for a lack of accountability to the
communities in its path.
The environmentalists say since construction on
Burma's Shwe Gas pipeline began in June, there have been reports of
human rights abuses and the displacement of thousands of people.
The combined 3,900 kilometer pipeline is being overseen by Chinas
National Petroleum Corporation along with South Korean and Indian
investors. When it becomes fully operational by 2013, it is expected to be
the largest foreign-exchange asset for Burmas government, with annual
earnings estimated at $1 billion a year over three decades.
But activists complain the development is being carried out without much
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74
Burmese Pipeline to China Under Construction, Despite Criticism
http://www.voanews.com/content/burmese-pipeline-to-china-under-construction-despite-criticism-129369198/167959.html[19/02/2013 21:59:38]
regard for local communities. Shwe Gas Movement spokesman Wong
Aung says the impact reaches across Burma.
Displacement and forced relocation at least 8,000 directly. We can
imagine that there are more than 21,000 along the [pipelines] route. So
we believe there are thousands of other people will be displaced directly
affected by this project, says Wong.
The Shwe Gas Movement, made of up Burmese exiles in Thailand, India
and Bangladesh, say local communities are likely to see little in
development spending from the billions of dollars in revenue.
A Palaung Women's Organization spokeswoman, Lway Aye Nang, says
corruption by local Burmese authorities has also hit local landholders forced
to sell their land.
The local authority will be the one to find the land here," she says. "So the
Chinese company, some may also give some compensation to the villager.
But that money does not go to the villager, the local authority actually grabs
that, they take the money. So the villagers lose their land and lose their
livelihood and its causing more people in the area to migrate.
Twelve-million cubic meters of Burmese natural gas will be transported
along a 2,800 kilometer pipeline to Chinas Yunnan province. Another
1,100 kilometer part of the pipeline will carry 22-million tons of oil from
tankers hauling crude from the Middle East and Africa docked in Burmas
ports.
China signed an exclusive agreement for the pipeline in 2009.
At the time, Chinese media reported the Burmese government would
ensure the pipelines safety. Lway Aye Nang says Burma has deployed
more than 6,000 troops to increase security and prevent protests by local
communities.
The pipeline is considered important for Chinas growing energy needs, by
importing more of Burmas natural gas, and opening an overland shortcut
for oil from the Middle East and Africa to the Chinas southwest.
Ian Storey, a fellow at the Institute for Southeast Asian Studies in
Singapore, says China, by focusing on its economic needs, is overlooking
the rights abuses by Burmas military.
I have seen the allegations of human rights abuses in connection with the
pipeline and indeed other Chinese investment projects in Burma; especially
the dams the Chinese companies are building," Storey says. "The Burmese
government clearly does not care for the human rights of its citizens, and I
suppose China is willing to turn a blind eye to those abuses because of the
economic pay off that it gets.
Chinas government largely follows an official policy of noninterference in
foreign countries domestic affairs and argues each country should be
allowed to follow its own timetable on improving human rights.

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Burmese Pipeline to China Under Construction, Despite Criticism
http://www.voanews.com/content/burmese-pipeline-to-china-under-construction-despite-criticism-129369198/167959.html[19/02/2013 21:59:38]
Western sanctions against Burma for the governments human-rights
abuses have largely shut-out Western companies from doing business
there. But companies from China, Thailand and other neighboring
countries continue to operate.
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76
Burma copper mine protest broken up by riot police - Telegraph
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/burmamyanmar/9711747/Burma-copper-mine-protest-broken-up-by-riot-police.html[19/02/2013 22:01:13]
Tuesday 19 February 2013
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HOME NEWS WORLD NEWS ASIA BURMA MYANMAR
By Nik Simon
3:33PM GMT 29 Nov 2012
Activists claim that at least 50 people were injured and 23 hospitalised
after suffering burns when police hurled devices described as
"phosphorous bombs" into their camps.
Demonstrations against the $1 billion expansion, which is a joint project
between the Burmese military and Chinese weapons manufacturer
Norinco, reflect a growing resentment towards Chinese companies in the
region.
Following years of oppression under Burma's military junta, the long-term
remonstration became a yardstick for the government's progress towards
allowing public protests, one of their main democratic reforms introduced
in July this year.
"This is an example of the skin-deep nature of Burma's reforms," said
News World News
Asia
Burma Myanmar
In Burma Myanmar
Burma copper mine protest broken up by riot police
Burmese riot police used tear gas, water cannons and incendiary devices to break up a
three-month protest against a copper mine expansion in the country's Sagaing region
on Thursday.
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Flames engulf an encampment occupied by protesters at the Letpadaung mine following a crackdown by security forces near
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77
Burma copper mine protest broken up by riot police - Telegraph
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/burmamyanmar/9711747/Burma-copper-mine-protest-broken-up-by-riot-police.html[19/02/2013 22:01:13]
Mark Farmaner of Burma Campaign UK. "The new right-to-protest law
was hailed as a major reform but it is clear there is still no right to protest
in Burma."
Demonstrators have been unhappy at what they describe as the
"unlawful confiscation" of more than 7,800 acres of land, showing
discontent towards the large number of forced evictions to pave way for
the mine's expansion.
Shin Oattama, a local Buddhist monk described police setting fire to
camps at around 3am on Thursday morning, while other witnesses have
said that they turned up to the site in "truckloads".
"They shot some sort of canisters that caused fire at the camp," said Mr
Oattama. "We just don't know what sort of weapon it was." "We are now
seeking refuge at a nearby village. There's no ambulance, no doctor to
take care of the injured."
Contrary to evidence and witness reports, the Burmese authorities claim
that no chemical weapons were used by the police.
The incident came just hours before Aung San Suu Kyi's proposed visit
to the site. The General Secretary for the National League for
Democracy had planned to speak with protesters about their grievances
on Thursday afternoon.
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78
Land Grabbing
in Dawei
(
MyanmarI Burma
)
:
a
(
Inter
)
National
Human Rights Concern
Land grabbing is an urgent concern for people in Tanintharyi Division, and
ultimately one of national and international concern, as tens of thousands of people are being displaced
for the Dawei Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Dawei lies within Myanmars (Burma) southernmost
region, the Tanintharyi Division, which borders Mon State to the North, and Thailand to the East, on
territory that connects the Malay Peninsula with mainland Asia. This highly populated and prosperous
region is significant because of its ecologically-diversity and strategic position along the Andaman coast.
Since 2008 the area has been at risk of massive expulsion of people and unprecedented environmental
costs, when a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Thai and Myanmar governments,
followed by a MoU between Thai investor Italian-Thai Development Corporation (ITD) (see Box 1) and
Myanma Port Authority, granted ITD access to the Dawei region to build Asias newest regional hub.
1

Thai interest in Dawei is strategic for two reasons. First, the small city happens to be Bangkoks
nearest gateway to the Andaman Sea, and ultimately to India and the Middle East.
2
Second, the project
links with a broader regional development plan, strategically plugging into the Asian Development
Banks (ADB) East-West Economic Corridor, a massive transport and trade network connecting
Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam; the Southern Economic Corridor (connecting to Cambodia);
and the North-South Economic Corridor, with rail links to Kunming, China. If all goes as planned,
the Dawei SEZ project, with an estimated infrastructural investment of over USD $50 billion
3
will be
Southeast Asias largest industrial complex, complete with a deep seaport, industrial estate (including
large petrochemical industrial complex, heavy industry zone, oil and gas industry, as well as medium
and light industries), and a road/pipeline/rail link that will extend 350 kilometers to Bangkok (via
Kanchanaburi).
4
The project even has its own legal framework, the Dawei Special Economic Zone Law,
drafted in 2011 to ensure the industrial estate is attractive to potential investors.
5
79
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
2
Box 1. About Italian-Thai Development Corporation (ITD)
The Italian-Thai Development Public Company Limited (ITD) was established in 1954 by Thai business-
man Dr. Chaijudh Karnasuta and Italian businessman Mr. Giorgio Berlingieri. Based in Bangkok, and
listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand since 1994, ITD is Thailands largest infrastructure construc-
tion company and one of the countrys largest corporations.
1
In 2011 the Companys reported revenue
was over Baht 44,000 million (USD $1.4 billion), a 22.6 per cent increase from 2010.2 The company
expects, by the end of 2012, to have over Baht 200 billion (USD $6.4 billion) worth of investments.
3

According to the Dawei Development Company website (2012), ITD has completed more than 1,500
projects both in Thailand and internationally in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Maldives,
Madagascar, Myanmar, Philippines and Taiwan. Construction projects include: buildings; industrial
plants; pipelines and utility works; highways, railways, bridges and expressways; airports, ports and
marine works; dams, tunnels and power plants; mining; steel structures; and telecommunications.
In regards to the Dawei Industrial Estate and SEZ, the company initially committed a 75 per cent in-
vestment, with possible renewal. However, there has been speculation that the company will announce
its withdrawal of 50 per cent of the total project investment due to financial constraints.
5
In any case,
ITD will remain the primary stakeholder in the project, as it seeks Japanese and other potential inves-
tors to step in to assist in the projects development. This does not change the scope of the existing
project though, it remains that ITD was granted access by the Myanmar Government a total of 250
square kilometers for which they will pay USD $37.5 million for 60 years (according the companys an-
nual report, the stated 204.9 square kilometers will be developed, however the remaining 44.9 square
kilometers have not been accounted for).
6
Dawei is not ITDs only interest in Myanmar; in 2007 ITD, under the name Myanmar ITD Co. Ltd.,
gave a USD $3.79 million loan to the Defense Ministry of the Union of Myanmar for the construction
of a steel mill.
7
In Tanintharyi division, near Myeik (south of Dawei), ITD together with Windfall
Energy Services Ltd. (Singapore) signed an MoU in 2008 to construct a hydroelectric project on the
Tenasserim River.
8
Nearby, in Shan State, the company has signed a tariff MoU with the Electricity
Generating Authority of Thailand, in relation to a coal mining project in Mhai Kok for the exportation of
coal and electricity (369 megawatts) to Thailand,
9
and has conducted a feasibility study in Nam Kok for
a hydropower dam.
10

1. Italian Thai Development (2011) Annual Report 2011: The Leading
Contractor in South East Asia. Bangkok, Thailand.
2. ibid.
3. ibid.
4. Italian Thai Development (2010) Annual Report 2010. Bangkok,
Thailand.
5. Anonymous (A2), Dawei Community Activist, Personal
Communication [email], 14.09.2012.
6. Italian Thai Development (2011) Annual Report 2011: The Leading
Contractor in South East Asia. Bangkok, Thailand.
7. Thakhin, T. (2012) Dawei Development Project is Creating the
Negative Impacts of Land Confiscation, Changing Lifestyles, and
Lack of Livelihoods for Local People East and West of Dawei
in Where the Change has Yet to Reach: Exposing Ongoing Earth
Rights Abuses in Myanmar. Thailand: EarthRights International.
8. Italian Thai Development (2011) Annual Report 2011: The Leading
Contractor in South East Asia. Bangkok, Thailand.
9. Thakhin, T. (2012) Dawei Development Project is Creating the
Negative Impacts of Land Confiscation, Changing Lifestyles, and
Lack of Livelihoods for Local People East and West of Dawei
in Where the Change has Yet to Reach: Exposing Ongoing Earth
Rights Abuses in Myanmar. Thailand: EarthRights International.
10. Anonymous (A2), Dawei Community Activist, Personal
Interview, Dawei, 14.08.12.
80
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
3
Upon completion, the Dawei project will be ten
times larger than a similar petrochemical industrial
estate in Map Ta Phut in neighbouring Thailand.
Map Ta Phut is currently the fifth largest of this
type in the world, and has raised alarm over human
rights and ecological abuses.
6
As former Thai
Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was infamously
quoted in January 2011, (s)ome Industries are
not suitable to be located in Thailand. This is why
they decided to set up there in Dawei.
7
One could
argue that the nexus of private and public actors
can no longer get away with new catastrophic
industrial developments of this kind anymore
on Thai territory, because of an increasingly
progressive human rights and environmental legal
framework. Alternatively, Myanmardespite the
recent parliamentary approval of two land laws
(the Farmland law and Vacant, Fallow and Virgin
Land Management Law), and the imminent passing
of the Foreign Investment Lawremains relatively
attractive for investors wanting to develop projects
that come at social and environmental costs (see
Box 2).
8

Direct displacement and rural dispossession
have the potential to double initial official survey
estimates as speculation of an economic boom is
on the rise. Land grabs are a concern as a whole
region falls under threat: the locals are left with
no choice but to relinquish control over their land,
often under pressure by local authorities, which
ends up in the hands of more powerful elites (both
local, from upper and lower Myanmar, and foreign).
What is at stake? Concerns about the quality of
health, livelihood, and environmental consequences
associated with the proposed petrochemical
industrial development are being raised by the
Dawei Development Association (DDA), a network
of individuals and organizations opposed to the
Dawei SEZ. There is an urgent need for enquiry
and systematic research into the scope and scale
of land grabbing, which is potentially at the heart
of the other threats linked to the SEZ. While initial
research on land grabs directly resulting from
the expansion of the Dawei SEZ project has been
conducted by key stakeholders, no attention has
been given to the wave of land grabs resulting
from the speculation of economic growth in the
region. Indirect land grabs are certainly land grabs,
as they are also resulting in the change of control
over land,
9
and its concentration into the hands of a
more powerful class of foreign and domestic elites.
Cause for Concern Land in Dawei
has extensive historical and ecological importance.
Archeological findings suggest that the area was
inhabited up to 4,000 years ago (around 2,000BC).
Buddhist relics and ancient artifacts dating back to
the 6
th
century (Pyu era) suggest that Dawei was
home to an ancient civilization, which flourished
from regional trade.
10
According to oral tradition
and local belief, Buddha himself is said to have
left a footprint in Nabule (which lies directly within
the SEZ area), the only left-foot footprint in the
country, making this site one of religious pilgrimage
for some of Myanmars Buddhists.
11
Today, the
area hosts both rural and urban populations,
with total population estimates in the city and
surrounding region reaching as high as 500,000.
12

Both highland and lowland farmers have cultivated
and prospered along the mountains and valleys
for generations,
13
while urban centers like Dawei
also thrive off of small agriculture processing
industries, such as cashew nut processing and
rubber processing and trading. An estimated 85
per cent of local livelihoods rely on plantation
agriculture.
14

81
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
4
Box 2. The Current Legal Climate: Farmland and Vacant Land Laws
Prior to the political transition of March 30 2011, and the inauguration of President Thein Sein,
the previous military government last implemented new land laws in 1991, with the creation of the
Cultivable Land, Fallow Land and Waste Land Law and a new Central Committee whose responsibility
was to oversee the laws implementation. This law permitted private (domestic and foreign) business
investors to lease land (for up to 30 years) from the government, so long as the land was classified
as wasteland or fallow land. Officially, the law sought to encourage development in so-called
wastelands by enlisting the private sector.
1
Despite its classification as non-productive on paper, in
reality, the land was often occupied by smallholder farmers. Corruption was rampant, and with the
right connections, land control could easily be classified and transferred to any entity considered to be
more productive. This was all despite the 1963 Protection of Peasants Rights Law (Peasant Law),
in place since the countrys socialist era, which was supposed to support the tillers rights to the land.
What transpired was the facilitation of (primarily domestic) political and economic elite land control,
as the Foreign Investment Law (including export restrictions and taxation) and foreign trade sanctions
due to the status of the government discouraged foreign investors from entering the country. Only a
few countries, like China and Thailand, took advantage the opportunities to invest during Myanmars
politically repressive era.
One year after President Thein Seins inauguration, The Pyidaungsu Hluttaw (the Assembly of the
Union of Myanmar, i.e. the joint Lower and Upper Houses of Parliament), on the 30
th
of March, 2012,
approved the revision of two land laws: The Farmland Law and The Vacant, Fallow and Virgin Lands
Management Law (Vacant Land Law). Following their approval, and the repeal of the 1963 Peasant
Law, reports of land confiscation and ownership disputes have been on the rise.
2
According to the
Farmland Law, the state remains the sole owner of land in the country, and retains the right to decide
upon its use. The law also defines farmland as mainly for the growth of agricultural production, which
limits smallholders to cultivate what is deemed as productive by the government.
3
If the government
disapproves a smallholders land use, they can claim confiscation rights to the land. The Vacant Land
Law compliments the Farmland law, by affirming that the government has the right to lease land
(up to 50,000 acres) to a private entity (for up to 30 years, renewable) based on the classification
of land (much like in the 1991 Wastelands Law).
4
Just as in 1991, it remains the Central Committees
responsibility to decide upon who has the right to use land, so long as it is in accordance with the
Foreign Investment Law (FIL). Despite a recent amendment in the FIL, which allowed 100 per cent
foreign-owned companies to invest in Myanmar,
5
entirely-foreign ventures are rare: most continue
to operate in agreements (official and unofficial) with Myanmar businesses. A new and revised FIL is
currently pending approval by the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.
1. Burma Environmental Working Group (BEWG) (2011). Burmas
Environment: People, Problems, Policies. Chiang Mai: Wanida
Press/Burma Environmental Working Group.
2. Lwin, S. (2012) Farmland Laws Should be Amended: Commit-
tee in Myanmar Times [online] http://www.mmtimes.com/2012/
news/632/news63201.html [Accessed 11 September 2012].
3. Human Rights Foundation of Monland (2012) Examination
and Critique of the 2012 Farmland Bill in Rehmonnya [online]
http://rehmonnya.org/archives/2238#more-2238 [Accessed 12
September 2012].
4. ibid.
5. Kramer, T. & K. Woods (2012) Financing Dispossession: Chinas
Opium Substitution Programme in Northern Burma. Amsterdam:
Transnational Institute.
82
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
5
Every individual here is linked to the regions
rich ecology, whether through livelihood or by
heritage. For example, the ethnic Karen living
in the road link area do not associate their
heritage closely with the land they currently
occupy a result of having been displaced
multiple times due to decades conflict between
the Karen National Union and successive military
governments. But land-based-livelihoods are
the key to their current survival, and people do
not want to move for they are deeply attached
to their land and the homes they have built
themselves.
15
Consequently, the direct and
indirect land grabs associated with the Dawei
SEZ will forever alter and ultimately erase the
mainly Karen and Dawei peoples livelihoods,
and their cultural, spiritual, historic, and personal
affiliations with the land.
Land Grabs No universal definition exists
of land grabs, as the character of global land
grabbing is changing quickly, and rarely transpires
the same twice. It can be suggested however,
that when a farmer loses control over their land
to a domestic or foreign individual, corporation,
or state, without fair participation in the transfer
process, and if the land is then used for a different
purpose, then it can be considered a land grab. At
first glance, it is easy to associate land grabbing
in Myanmar today with similar waves of land-
control-change that have occurred throughout the
countrys history. The difference in the current
wave of land grabs is the nature, direction, pace
and extent in the way they are occurring.
16
A rise
in global crises (food, fuel and financial), has led
to the displacement of farmers around the world
from the control or access to their land, commonly
through economic and political means, though it
can also include physical or violent means as well.
Such an economic and political squeeze is what
is occurring in Tanintharyi division: while formally
the central government remains the legal owner
of all land, farmers are facing dispossession by
losing access and control over their land to a more
powerful elite, resulting in a change in how the
land is being used. The land deals are marked
by secrecy and corruption, making it difficult to
obtain a clear picture of the scope and scale of
the land deals. In the Dawei case, the hunger to
accumulate capital by the Myanmar state, the Thai
state and ITD is a principal incentive for the land
grab. On the side of the farmers however, many
are unsure about what their future will bring, and
sometimes do not even receive compensation.
What is concerning and most urgent is the pace
and frequency of the transactions.
Two kinds of land grabs occurring in Dawei: direct
land grabs and indirect land grabs (see Box 3).
Some of the land grabbing that is happening is
directly associated with the SEZ project through
the transfer of access and land-use to ITD and
other SEZ-affiliated companies for the industrial
zone, deep sea port, road link, and dam reserve.
Apart from these direct land grabs, additional land
grabbing is happening because of speculation and
large-scale financial investment in the region, as
an indirect ripple effect of the establishment of the
SEZ project. With the proposed multi-billion dollar
SEZ underway, land is being grabbed by local
and foreign elites even for projects not directly
associated with the SEZ. Land-rights are being
sold because of a speculative surge in land prices
that is squeezing out (primarily) Dawei and Karen
83
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
6
farmers and rural dwellers. A recent report on land
grabbing in Shan and Kachin state highlighted a
similar dynamic, stating that (l)and grabbing as a
form of land speculation is tantamount to stealing
the countrys greatest and most valuable asset.
17

This latter speculative type of land grabbing, is
still linked to the SEZ project, albeit indirectly, and
therefore should not be overlooked.
Box 3. Dawei SEZ Land Grabs At a Glance
Direct Land Grabs
Officially Reported: 32,274 people to be relocated by ITD in SEZ area (50,631 acres or 204,9 km2).
Additional preliminary estimates of 182 households in the proposed Dam Reserve area (1,730 acres
or 7km2). Official (i.e. published) data is currently unavailable for the road link area and (the potential)
four relocation sites.
Unofficial Estimates/Research Findings: ITD data fails to recognize the number of SEZ, dam, road link,
and relocation area residents who are internally displaced, and those who migrate to Thailand for
employment, many of whom, given the opportunity would return to their homes and agricultural land in
the Dawei Region. Therefore, an exact affected-population estimate is not possible, however the total
calculated acreage of the direct land grabs is potentially 63,768 acres.
Indirect Land Grabs
Officially Reported: No ITD or Myanmar government reports have linked an indirect wave of land
grabbing to the SEZ project.
Unofficial Estimates/Research Findings: Potentially 500,000 people from the region surrounding Dawei
will be directly and indirectly affected by massive land grabs, economic speculation, and the decimation
of the current rural economy. Already, total land confiscation from only four insider-reported projects
is 153,919 acres (see case list).
84
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
7
Direct Land Grabs Initial official
figures suggest that 32,274 people in at least
nineteen villages (or twenty-one in unofficial
reports, ) will ultimately be displaced as a result
of the 204.5 km industrial estate (i.e. the SEZ
project).
18
Hundreds more in Kalone Htar village
may be displaced as a result of a 7km dam
construction along the Kalone Htar Stream.
19

The total area of these two sites is 52,361 acres
(50,631 acres for the SEZ and 1,730 for the dam
reservoir), with well over 32,000 people affected.
Key informants suggest that massive relocation
will commence as early as November 2012, and
ITD stated in their 2011 financial report, that
relocation for the industrial estate area will be
completed by 2012.
20

At least 100 people have already been
dispossessed due to an 80 meter-wide, 160
kilometer-long access road near the Myitta sub-
township, from the project area to Kachanaburi in
Thailand. Even more people will lose their land as
the road link expands an additional 120 meters,
to include a highway, rail link, power, and gas
pipeline (which excludes the additional service
roads that will be built provisionally during the
construction phase). The total road link land grab,
which will affect primarly ethnic Karen relying on
cashew and betel nut plantations, could total 7,907
acres. One Dawei native and DDA activist warns
that the total displaced population from the road
link related development could reach up to 50,000
people.
21
Most are already internally displaced
peoples (IDP) having been forced to leave their
land at least twice already, because of conflict
once in 1982 and another in 1997 resulting in
the migration of many of their family members
to Thailand. In one interview, a farmer and local
activist highlighted that many of the houses and
lands have been abandoned, as their owners are
seeking peace and prosperity in nearby Thailand.
Lacking accurate data, we may never know exactly
how many people have already left their homes in
hopes of returning one day, while everyone who
is left will also migrate to Thailand because of the
(ITD) land grab anyway.
22

Ironically, the relocation sites are also sites of
dispossession, as the projects main financial
stakeholder, ITD hurriedly constructs relocation
homes.
23
The relocation sites have displaced
farmers from their livelihoods farmers who
apparently stand in the way of national and
regional development strategies. An additional
3,233 acres may be converted for relocation sites,
which is a fraction of the amount of land its future
residents had occupied prior to the Dawei SEZ
project. Despite these shocking numbers, what
remains hidden from reports and ITD project land
surveys, is perhaps just as alarming (if not more).
85
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
8
DIRECT
Proposed Project Location (Villages affected) Size and # affected
Dawei SEZ Nabule Area (19 Villages, including: Ka
Maung Chaung, Pu Gaw Zun, Ya Laing,
Thit To Thaunt, Kya Khat Ta, Pein Shaung,
Ka Myaing Swea, Mu Du (West), Mu Du
(East), Pan Det Inn, Na Bu Lel, Le Shaung,
Pa Ra Dat, Nyaungbin Hseik, Ma Yin Gyi,
Htain Gyi, Hlaine,etcl) [1]
50,631 acres (204.9km2) Total
Population: 32,274 (3,977 house-
holds). [2]
SEZ Dam Reserve Kalone Htar 1,730 acres (7km2) Population:
200 households. [4]
SEZ Road Link From Nat Taung to the Thai Border. (At least
35 Villages affected: Nat Taung, Kah Yua,
Lan Gra Ya, Dauk Tauk, Dauk Lauk, Ta Liang
ya, Myauk Pu, 198, 476, Bo Lin Taung, Kha
Maung Thaw, 448, 407, 434, 529, 591, 211,
268, 187, 256, Myitta, 451, 539, 487,428,Taese
Chaung, 405, Pa Thi C, 679, Sin Byi Daing,
Naw Law Khao, 397, 431, 291, 517) 51]
Access road link: 160km*80m
(12.8km2 or 3,163 acres) Total
Proposed Highway Project:
160km*200m (32km2 or 7,907
acres) [6]
SEZ Relocation Site 1 Bawar 333 acres (completed), 800 acres
total (expected)
SEZ Relocation Site 2 Htwet Wa [7] 300 acres [8]
SEZ Relocation Site 3 Wazwam Taw [9] 1,500 acres [10]
SEZ Relocation Site 4 ~3km (2 miles) south of Kalone Htar 300 acres + 600 acres (for a
sample garden by ITDs corporate
social responsibility team).
TOTAL ACRES: 63768
86
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
9
Company (local, foreign, mix) Status References
Italian Thai Development 2008, Ongoing with
expected completion
in 2012. [3]
[1] Thant Zin (14.08.2012) Current Situation of
Dawei Project, Presentation, Dawei.; [2] Dawei:
Points of Concerns (2012) Thailand: Ecological
Alert and Recovery (EARTH), Healthy Public
Policy Foundation, and Towards Ecological
Recovery and Regional Alliance (TERRA).;
[3] Italian Thai Development (2011) Annual
Report 2011: The Leading Contractor in South
East Asia. Bangkok, Thailand.
Italian Thai Development Expected 2012
[4] Thabchumpon, N., Middleton, C., Aung, Z.
(2012) Development, Democracy, and Human
Security in Myanmar: A Case Study of the
Dawei Special Economic Zone ICIRD
Conference Paper, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Italian Thai Development 2011, Ongoing
[5] This data was collected from the
unpublished ITD Road Link Maps, acquired by
an anonymous source in Dawei.Where numbers
are listed, village names are unknown, but are
as they appear on the ITD road link maps;
[6] Dawei Development Company Limited
(2012) Dawei Project Presentation June 2012.
Accessed 1.10.2012: http://daweidevelopment.
com/index.php/en/downloads/cat_view/74-
dawei-project-
Italian Thai Development 2011
Anonymous (A2), Dawei Community Activist,
Personal Interview, Dawei, 14.08.12.
Italian Thai Development Proposed
[7] Ko Wild (2011) 21 Villages to be relocated
for Dawei Project Mizzima News. Accessed
1.10.2012: http://www.mizzima.com/news/
inside-burma/6311-21-villages-to-be-
relocated-for-dawei-project.html;
[8] Anonymous (A2), Dawei Community Activist,
Personal Interview, Dawei, 14.08.12.
Italian Thai Development Proposed
[9] Ko Wild (2011) 21 Villages to be relocated
for Dawei Project Mizzima News. Accessed
1.10.2012: http://www.mizzima.com/news/
inside-burma/6311-21-villages-to-be-
relocated-for-dawei-project.html;
[10] Anonymous (A2), Dawei Community
Activist, Personal Interview, Dawei, 14.08.12.
Italian Thai Development Proposed
Anonymous (A2), Dawei Community Activist,
Personal Interview, Dawei, 14.08.12.
87
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
10
INDIRECT
Proposed Project Location (Villages affected) Size (acres) and # affected
Land Price Speculation Near Road Link
(Kalone Htar, Myitta sub-townships)
Complete Data Unavailable.
For Sale to ITD for 4th
relocation site
2 Miles South of Kalone Htar 300 acres
Taninthayi Hydropower
Project (1000MW)
Between Kaw Thaung and Myeik Total size unknown.
Coal-fired Power plant Palaw Township (Nan Taung Village) 1,000 acres
Rubber and Oil Palm
Plantation
Near Tanantharyi Township 150,000 acres
Oil Refinery Laung Lon 2,619 acres (1,235 acre extension
area, 889 acre port area, 350
acre dam area, 90 acre gas
pipeline area, 55 acre access
road area)
TOTAL (calculable) ACRES: 153919
Indirect Land Grabs As noted
earlier, also emerging in Dawei since the birth
of the project in 2008, is an indirect land grab
phenomenon that is fueling human righs violations
against the primarily ethnic Dawei and Karen
living in this region. A rush of speculators and
investors, both foreign and local (both from
Dawei and more recently, upper Burma, including
government officials), are keen to cash in on
promises of an economic boom in the area, and
have already begun pouring over regional land
registry maps.
24
In an interview, one Dawei
land broker suggested that the local prices of
farmland have multiplied up to fifteen times the
pre-SEZ price, effectively squeezing farmers out
of the nearby countryside.
25
In one case, a Max
Myanmar director acquired 300 acres just near
the Kalone Htar (in the SEZ dam reservation
zone), in hopes of making a windfall profit by
re-selling it to ITD for a relocation site for Kalone
Htar.
26
Investors like these offer quick cash to
a rural population that is both frightened and
uncertain of what the future will bring. Reports
on the ground suggest that business-elites with
strong ties to the military-backed government are
easily securing hundreds of acres for eventual
re-sale and to develop smaller industries (e.g.
coal mines, gas refineries, etc), while foreigners
are keen to cash-in on a potential boom in the
hotel and hospitality industry near relatively
88
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
11
Company Status
Companies from Dawei and Upper
Myanmar.
2008, Ongoing
Anonymous (A2), Dawei Community Activist,
Personal Interview, Dawei, 14.08.12.
Max Myanmar (Myanmar) Director 2012
Anonymous (A2), Dawei Community Activist,
Personal Interview, Dawei, 14.08.12.
ITD (Thailand) and Wind Fall Energy
Services (Singapore)
2008
Anonymous (A2), Dawei Community Activist,
Personal Interview, Dawei, 14.08.12.
Htoo Trading Company (Myanmar) 2012
Anonymous (A5), NGO Representative,
Personal Interview, Yangon, 08.09.2012.
Vantage Myanmar Company Limited
(Myanmar)
2012
Anonymous (A5), NGO Representative,
Personal Interview, Yangon, 08.09.2012.
Guangdong Zhenrong (China),
Htoo Group (Myanmar) and Union
of Myanmar Economic Holdings
Limited (Myanmar)
Expected 2015
Anonymous (A5), NGO Representative,
Personal Interview, Yangon, 08.09.2012.
undevelopedbut occupiedcoastal areas.
This year, for example, Htoo Trading Company
owned by U Tay Za, believed to be Burmas
wealthiest businessmanbegan investment for
a 1,000-acre coal-fired power plant in Palaw
Township.
27
The Htoo Group (Htoo Trading
Companys parent corporation) has also teamed
up with Guangdong Zhenrong of China (one
of Chinas top four state petroleum traders)
and Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings
Limited, to build a USD $2.5 billion, 2,619-
acre oil refinery in Launglon (22 kilometers
South of Dawei).
28
One villager also reported
businessmen were buying land in the road link
due to speculation of rising land prices.
29
Indirect land grabs have occurred within
the SEZ project areas and have extended
to the surrounding landscape as well. Every
day, land-rights are being sold-off at an
unprecedented pace as property prices reach
up to fifteen times their pre-2008 value.
Meanwhile, the local people often remain in
the dark about the price tag placed on their
land, and often fear future consequences
if they resist.
30
Sometimes people receive
compensation, often delayed and always
below market value, while in many cases, they
receive no compensation. Compensation, or
no compensation, corruption is rampant and
transparency is lacking.
89
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
12
Resistance or Ressettlement?
Indirect land grabs are a big challenge for
resistance, because it is difficult to pinpoint who
is to blame. According to one activist interviewed
for this paper, with ITD at least we can directly
oppose the land grabs, they are more visible to
us, but it is impossible to trace all of the indirect
land grabs especially with the secrecy and pace
in which they are occurring.
31
Indeed, indirect
land deals are happening behind closed doors,
in effect making local land administration offices
out of bounds for the local people who have held
both formal and informal land access rights in
the area for generations. Villagers are confused
about who they should approach during land
disputes because while the land is owned by the
central government, it is the regional government
authorities who ultimately decide who gets what.
32

One recent report highlighted that because of the
land grabbing, local people worry there will be no
land, or no land they can afford, for them to resettle
on or to purchase.
33
For the moment, the regional government,
34
as well
as most of the appointed village heads, express
support for ITD and the project, maintaining that it
will help to bring infrastructure and employment
to the region. This is their idea of sustainable
development: a model that sees no place for
the rich ecology, culture, history, and livelihoods
that have sustained the regions residents for
hundreds, and even thousands of years. What
is clear is that both ITD and the Government of
Myanmar have no future plan for local livelihood
opportunities: relocation sites will isolate formerly
fishing and farming communities from any means
of subsistence. Those being excluded from
this regional development plan have said that
they have little choice but to leave, and join the
thousands of displaced refugees and migrant
workers already living in Thailand, where they can
still attempt to secure enough land to sustain their
families. This is rather ironic: while ITD is financing
land grabbing in Dawei, the dispossessed rural and
coastal populations of Dawei will ultimately seek
land and livelihood security in Thailand.
90
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
13
Is there still hope? In July, the
government publicly announced its decision
to assign parliamentary members to a land
confiscation committee whose responsibility will
be to assess current land grab cases as they occur
across the country. More recently, Mi Myint Than,
a Lower House Member of Parliament, announced
that she would soon lead a team to investigate
the land grab allegations in Dawei.
35
While this
announcement demonstrates the governments
official commitment to an increasing problem in
the country, some civil society groups are claiming
that members of this committee have direct
financial stakes in the Dawei SEZ and industrial
development project, creating cause for concern
that any engagement with this committee could be
tainted by conflict of interest.
36

Despite this, there is an urgent need for all levels of
government to consider the serious consequences
of the project. Changes at the national level are
happening fast, with revisions being made to
existing land bills, and the pending introduction
of a new foreign investment law. Changes in
policy do not stand alone, on the ground changes
in control over rural spaces are happening even
faster, as a country in transition falls deeper into
the hands of a few who see little room for the
countrys predominantly rural population (up to
80% of the countrys total population) in their
development ambitions. Dawei is no exception:
massive relocation ongoing, it is urgent that all
of the stakeholders in the Dawei SEZ take a
step back and re-evaluate the scale and scope
of the development plan for one of the most
ecologically-diverse, historically significant, and
productive lands in all of Myanmar. If not, the
region will continue to fall prey to widespread
land grabbing, both directly and indirectly linked to
the Dawei SEZ. Land grabbing, resettlement, and
migration will not only reconfigure livelihoods in
the region, but there are additional concerns being
raised. The repercussions from the proposed toxic
industries include ecological degradation such as
air and water pollution, as well as the degradation
of coastal areas: all of which can be lessons
learned from the similar, though smaller Map Ta
Phut Industrial Estate and Sea Port in Rayong
Province, Thailand.
37

In order to address these concerns, there needs
to be balanced and fair engagement, conducted
openly, which must include all of the voices of
the Tanintharyi division. Right now, though, there
is a lack of political space for communities and
organisations that represent them to oppose
the project, beyond a few village-level meetings
with ITD, despite strong opposition coming
from those living in affected areas: We do not
need this project, we have everything, argues
one Dawei resident.
38
The activists opposing
the project, including the DDA, are calling for a
different development plan for the regions forested
mountains, rushing waterfalls, rivers which flow
with rich aqualife, and the pristine Andaman beach
surrounded by nearby islands. Urgent enquiry
should thus raise questions about who are the
true beneficiaries of the project, and what is the
vision of development for the people and land of
Dawei. The answers can, and should, reflect upon
the overarching vision of development that policy-
makers have for all people (regardless of class or
ethnicity) and land in Myanmar.
91
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
14
1. In Myanmar, ITD operates under the name Dawei
Development Company Limited (DDC) Myanmar.
2. A 623 kilometer-drive from Yangon, Dawei
SEZ sits much closer to Thailand, and will
ultimately serve Bangkok as it seeks to become
the economic gateway of the region (ITD
presentation, date unknown).
3. Italian Thai Development (2011) Annual Report
2011: The Leading Contractor in South East Asia,
Bangkok, Thailand.
4. (http://www.daweidevelopment.com/index.
php/en/dawei-project/project-overview-)
5. Italian Thai Development (2011) Annual Report
2011: The Leading Contractor in South East Asia,
Bangkok, Thailand.
6. Over two decades ago, ITD helped to build the
infrastructure for the Map Ta Phut Industrial
Estate in Rayong Province, Thailand.
7. International Herald Tribune, November 26, 2010.
8. According to the Burma Environmental Working
Group (BEWG), Burma has some laws and
policies related to protecting people and the
environment, but the country lacks the necessary
administrative and legal structures, standards,
safeguards and political will to enforce such
provisions [BEWG(2011) Burmas Environment:
People, Problems, Policies: 8]. Furthermore, (t)
he majority of Burmas income comes from
selling off natural resources, including billions of
dollars from gas and hydropower development.
Investment comes from countries within the
region most significantly China, India and
Thailand. Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam
and Korea are also key investors looking to
increase investments after the elections. These
resource extractive investments damage the
environment and threaten local resource-based
livelihoods, particularly in ethnic areas (BEWG
2011: 51)
9. Often companies are giving farmers no choice
but to relinquish their control over land, with the
support of local authorities, or else they may face
uncertain consequences.
10. Anonymous (A1), Community Activist &
University Teacher, Personal Interview, Dawei,
14.08.12.
11. Anonymous (A1), Community Activist &
University Teacher, Personal Interview, Dawei,
14.08.12. Though actual documentation of
Buddhas visit to Nabule cannot be traced, it is
important to nevertheless recognize the value of
this exact land for the regions local values and
belief systems.
12. Anonymous (A2), Dawei Community Activist,
Personal Interview, Dawei, 14.08.12.
13. Farmers harvest betel, cashew, and rubber in
plantations along the hillsides, and in the valleys,
rice, and seasonal fruits. (Anonymous [A2],
Dawei Community Activist, Personal Interview,
Dawei, 14.08.12).
14. Anonymous (A2), Dawei Community Activist,
Personal Interview, Dawei, 14.08.12.
15. Anonymous (A3), Road Link Area Community
Activist, Personal Interview, Dawei, 16.08.12.
16. Borras, S.M. Jr. and J. Franco (2010) Towards a
Broader View of the Politics of Global Land Grab:
Rethinking Land Issues, Reframing Resistance
ICAS Working Paper Series No. 001, Amsterdam:
Initiatives in Critical Agrarian Studies, Land Deal
Politics Initiative and Transnational Institute.
17. Kramer, T. & K. Woods (2012) Financing
Dispossession: Chinas Opium Substitution
Programme in Northern Burma, Amsterdam:
Transnational Institute. (Page 34).
18. Dawei: Points of Concerns (2012) Thailand:
Ecological Alert and Recovery (EARTH), Healthy
Public Policy Foundation, and Towards Ecological
Recovery and Regional Alliance (TERRA).
However, unofficial reports suggest that due to
high incidence of migration (on average 1 person
in every household), this could be much higher.
Local fishermen will also lose their livelihoods
due to ecological degradation and the destruction
of mangroves. (Anonymous [A2], Dawei
Community Activist, Personal Interview, Dawei,
14.08.12).
19. Villagers have rejected all relocation plans offered
by ITD (Anonymous [A4], Personal Interview,
Kalone Htar, 15.08.2012).
20. According to Article 34 of the Dawei Special
Economic Zone Law, the developer or investor
is responsible for household and farmland
compensation. In this case, it is Italian Thai who
must take full responsibility for compensation,
something it is currently finding challenging
because of local resistance.
21. Anonymous (A5), NGO Representative, Personal
Interview, Yangon, 08.09.2012.
92
Land Grabbing in Dawei (MyanmarIBurma): a (Inter)National Human Rights Concern
15
22. Anonymous (A3), Road Link Area Community
Activist, Personal Interview, Dawei, 16.08.12.
23. Though still uninhabited, two of the new homes
have already deteriorated due to what is
considered normal seasonal weather patterns.
24. Land Broker, Personal Interview, Dawei,
18.08.2012.
25. Land Broker, Personal Interview, Dawei,
18.08.2012.
26. Anonymous (A2), Dawei Community Activist,
Personal Interview, Dawei, 14.08.12.
27. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/690f437c-
b8dc-11e0-bd87-00144feabdc0.
html#axzz26AhEqys0
28. Aizhu, C. (2012) China Energy trader
eyes 2.5 billion Myanmar refinery in
Reuters [online] http://www.reuters.com/
article/2012/01/12/china-myanmar-refinery-
idUSL3E8CB7B220120112 [Accessed 12
September 2012].
29. Anonymous (A3), Road Link Area Community
Activist, Personal Interview, Dawei, 16.08.12.
30. Land disputes are consequently on the rise:
between villagers and businessmen; villagers and
other villagers; between businessmen and ITD,
and between ITD and the villagers.
31. Anonymous (A5), NGO Representative, Personal
Interview, Yangon, 08.09.2012.
32. Anonymous (A6), Cashew Processor, Personal
Interview, Dawei, 08.09.2012..
33. Southern Society Network, Dawei Development
Association, Loka Ahlinn, and TroCaire (March
2012). Local Peoples Understanding of the Dawei
Special Economic Zone.
34. Admin (2012) Dawei company to construct
power plant in Dawei in Tavoyan Voice
[online] http://www.tavoyanvoice.com/
eng/2012/06/20/thai-company-to-construct-
power-plant-in-dawei/ [Accessed 25 September
2012)
35. Weng, L. (2012) Land Grabs Probe Travels
Across Burma in The Irrawaddy [online] http://
www.irrawaddy.org/archives/14968 [Accessed
2 October 2012].
36. Anonymous (A5), NGO Representative, Personal
Interview, Yangon, 08.09.2012.
37. Dawei: Points of Concerns (2012) Thailand:
Ecological Alert and Recovery (EARTH), Healthy
Public Policy Foundation, and Towards Ecological
Recovery and Regional Alliance (TERRA).
38. Anonymous (A1), Community Activist &
University Teacher, Personal Interview, Dawei,
14.08.12
TNI AGRARIAN JUSTICE PROGRAMME
In recent years, various actors, from big foreign and domestic corporate business and finance
to governments, have initiated a large-scale worldwide enclosure of agricultural lands, mostly in
the Global South but also elsewhere. This is done for large-scale industrial and industrial agriculture
ventures and often packaged as large-scale investment for rural development. But rather than being
investment that is going to benefit the majority of rural people, especially the poorest and most
vulnerable, this process constitutes a new wave of land and water grabbing. It is a global phenomenon
whereby the access, use and right to land and other closely associated natural resources is being taken
over - on a large-scale and/or by large-scale capital resulting in a cascade of negative impacts on
rural livelihoods and ecologies, human rights, and local food security.
In this context TNI aims to contribute to strengthening the campaigns by agrarian social movements
in order to make them more effective in resisting land and water grabbing; and in developing and
advancing alternatives such as land/food/water sovereignty
and agro-ecological farming systems.
93
September 2012
Text: Elizabeth Loewen based on research
and interviews with many people in Myanmar
Design: Ricardo Santos
Print: PrimaveraQuint
Published by Paung Ku
and Transnational Institute
Paung Ku is a Myanmar civil society strengthening
project that provides funding and capacity building to local
civil society organisations across a range of sectors for
service delivery (in particular to poor and marginalised
people), networking, and advocacy projects.
www.facebook.com/pages/Paung-Ku/240532326018147
The Transnational Institute (TNI) was established in 1974 as an
international network of activist researchers committed to critical
analyses of the global problems of today and tomorrow. It aims to provide
intellectual support to movements struggling for a more democratic,
equitable and environmentally sustainable world. The Agrarian Justice
Programme of TNI brings together research and analysis on political
struggles in rural areas around access, control and ownership of
resources and land, as well as on international agrarian movements
struggling against dispossession and working to construct alternatives
www.tni.org
For more information contact:
tni@tni.org
94
BBC News - Monks protest in Burmese cities over mine crackdown
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20695156[19/02/2013 22:03:46]
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Buddhist monks have held rallies across Burma to demand further
apologies from the authorities over a crackdown last month against
a copper mine protest.
Large crowds came out to support the monks as they marched in
Rangoon, Mandalay and other major cities.
About 100 people, many of them monks, were injured when police broke
up protests at the Monywa mine.
The police action was the toughest since the nominally civilian
government came to power last year.
The case is seen as a test of how the new government handles growing
protests over projects begun under the military.
Burma's government has already expressed regret to senior clerics that
monks were injured in the crackdown at the mine on 29 November.
Members of the police also apologised to a group of monks at Monywa.
The monks had backed protesters who oppose the expansion of the giant
Chinese-backed copper mine in the north-west.
Injuries suffered by demonstrators included burns, which activists blame
on incendiary devices they say were thrown by police.
Earlier this week, eight people arrested and charged in connection with
the protests were released on bail in Rangoon.
Hundreds of local people are alleged to have been forced from their land
to make way for a $1bn (620m) expansion of the mine, a joint venture
between Chinese arms manufacturer Norinco and the Burmese military.
The company has said that the deal was voluntary, and that only a small
minority of farmers rejected it.
An official inquiry into the crackdown and the mine expansion plan is
being led by opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has called for
compromise.
Monks protest in Burmese cities over mine
crackdown
Monks took to the streets to protest in Rangoon
Perils of embracing
Burma
Displaced and
divided in Rakhine
Ex-general rides
wave of change
Slow progress on
ethnic conflicts
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95
Burma: riot police move in to break up copper mine protest | World news | guardian.co.uk
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/29/burma-riot-police-mine-protest/print[19/02/2013 22:05:03]
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A monk receives treatment after police fired water cannon and teargas during a crackdown on protests against the
copper mine in Monywa, Burma. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
Riot police in Burma used incendiary phosphorus shells along with teargas and water
cannon in an overnight operation to disperse thousands of villagers protesting against
a vast copper mining project, activists claimed on Thursday.
After decades of repressive military rule, the demonstrations at the Monywa mine in
the north-west, run by the military and a subsidiary of a Chinese arms manufacturer,
have become a test of the Burma's commitment to reform, as protesters explore
newfound freedoms, including a relaxation of laws on protests that took effect in July.
The crackdown will embarrass Washington. Barack Obama visited Burma earlier this
month, the first serving US president to do so, to encourage reforms.
Activists said at least 50 people had been injured, many by incendiary devices hurled
into their camps by the police. Local media described the devices as "phosphorus
bombs". According to a doctor at the hospital in Monywa, 28 Buddhist monks had
received treatment for burns.
Witnesses said truckloads of police arrived at six camps near the mine in the Sagaing
region in Burma's north-west, where thousands have demonstrated against a $1bn
expansion of the project, which will displace dozens of villages. "We prepared to form
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Burma: riot police move in to break up
copper mine protest
Activists say at least 50 people were injured in protest which has
become test of Burma's commitment to democratic reforms
Jason Burke and Swe Win in Monywa
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 29 November 2012 14.40 GMT
96
Burma: riot police move in to break up copper mine protest | World news | guardian.co.uk
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/29/burma-riot-police-mine-protest/print[19/02/2013 22:05:03]
ranks as the police came in. But when firebombs exploded, we fled," said Ashin
Zawana, one of the monks protesting at the site.
Myo Thant, a member of the 88 Generation Students Group that has long opposed
military rule, said 22 monks and one other person were in hospital. He said police had
turned water cannon on the protesters with some officers using "strange weapons".
"The stuff from these canisters got caught on the clothes and bodies of the victims.
When they shook their robes to remove this stuff, fire started," he said.
U Eidaka, 45, a monk who told the Guardian he sustained minor burns on his back,
said that "whatever confidence" demonstrators once had in the new government in
Burma was gone.
Zaw Htay, a government spokesman, told Reuters the police had used only water
cannon, teargas and smoke bombs.
The protests are not just a test for the reformist president, Thein Sein, whose efforts to
bring a form of democracy to Burma were praised by Obama during his visit, but also
for human rights campaigner and Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
The mine protest also illustrates growing resentment towards Chinese firms that have
invested heavily in Burma over recent years.
Burma, which has vast natural resources, is the focus of fierce competition for
influence between China, which was able to build tight economic and political ties with
the junta during long years of western sanctions, India and western countries led by
the US.
The crackdown at the mine will dismay optimists and may embarrass Washington,
where officials justified Obama's controversial trip as a step that would encourage
further reform. "This is like the crackdown on monks in 2007," Zawana the monk said,
referring to the brutal repression of peaceful protests five years ago. "We find it hard to
believe now whether the new civilian government is any different from the previous
military regime at that time."
When the Guardian visited Monywa earlier this week, the air around the plant was
filled with the acrid stench of sulphuric acid. Local people said farmland around the
plant could no longer be worked and mounting numbers of local children were being
born blind. The cause, they claimed, was emissions from the mine's sulphuric acid
factory as well as outflow from mountains of rust-red waste, dumped over 15 years
with little concern for the environment. Huge chunks of the hills had been scraped
away and swaths of woodland felled.
"These mountains belong to the public but they are being destroyed for copper. This
project must stop if the new government believes its own slogans about good
governance and clean government and is truly sympathetic to the sufferings of the
villagers here," said U Tiloka, a monk demonstrating alongside the villagers.
Though the protests started three months ago, they had gathered pace in recent weeks.
Hundreds of villagers, joined by monks, had blockaded the gates of the acid plant.
Posters reading "General Strike" written in red Burmese letters were hung from its
perimeter fence. Despite the presence of security forces, villagers blocked heavy
bulldozers and trucks. Such open dissent was inconceivable only 18 months ago.
97
Burma: riot police move in to break up copper mine protest | World news | guardian.co.uk
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/29/burma-riot-police-mine-protest/print[19/02/2013 22:05:03]
Organisers have given fiery speeches directed at China. "Driving out [the Chinese]
company is our aim," Thwe Thwe Win, 24, a vegetable seller from the village of Wat
Hmei, threatened by the expansion plans, shouted into the hand-held loudspeaker
outside the plant last week. "No Chinese on our soil. No Chinese here near our village,"
the crowd shouted back.
Win, who was briefly detained in September, said her family had already lost land
where they once grew vegetables. "The project officials said they would hire our land
for three years. And they paid us some money for three years' losses of our crops. But
we cannot reclaim these lands again now. We were cheated," she said.
A crackdown was long feared. Activists at the mine earlier this week said the authorities
were simply waiting for the publicity around the visit of the US president to die down.
Aung Min, a top government minister, has visited the protest site and spoke of Burma's
"debt of gratitude" to China. Suspending the project would further damage relations
already strained in by the new quasi-civilian government's decision last year to halt the
$3.6bn Myitsone hydropower project constructed and financed by the Chinese
government in the north of the country, following a public outcry about the project's
potential environmental effects. Most of the energy generated by the Myitsone project
would have gone to China.
"You minister owe gratitude to the Chinese. We the people owe none to the Chinese,"
the minister was told by one local woman, a reference to the vast riches earned by
senior military generals and their cronies from business deals over recent decades.
The Global Times, an influential tabloid published by China's Communist Party
mouthpiece, the People's Daily, said in an editorial on Thursday it would be a "lose-
lose situation for China and Myanmar if the project is halted".
"Only third parties, including some Western forces, will be glad to see this result," it
said, blaming "some Westerners" and non-government organizations for instigating the
protests.
A sign that the authorities were losing patience with the protesters came on Monday
when nearly a hundred people gathered to demand the suspension of the Monywa
project. At least six organisers were detained in the notorious Insein prison on charges
of defaming the nation, activists said. To the disappointment of many, Aung San Suu
Kyi has said that simply suspending production at the plant could damage the
country's image in the international community.
In recent days, local officials had given villagers and monks a series of deadlines to end
their protest and riot police were reinforced. The demonstrators remained defiant. "We
will not leave here. If the authorities arrest us, we will let them arrest us," said Zawana.
Twenty four hours later the security forces moved in.
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98
At Hospital (70-Patients)
Mandalay General Hospital (35- Patients)
Mandalay General Hospital (Emergency Cases)
No. Name Father Name Address Age R/N No.
1 U Damma Pe Ya New Ma Soe Rein Kyaung, Mandalay 22
2 U San Daw Bar Tha Middle Kyaungtaike, Pakokku 28
3 Shin Zar Rain Da Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 18
4 Shin Pyin Nyar Da Za Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 16
5 U Thu Saike Ta Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 21
6 U Taik Kha Nyan Na
Khaw Than Ni Taw Ya Kyaung , Min Tie Pin Village Group
,Sar Lin Gyi 64
Operation
Ward (3)
Mandalay General Hospital (Operation Ward (3))
No. Name Father Name Address Age R/N No.
7 U War Ka Thein Da Chan Thar Gyi Kyaung Taike, Monywa
8 Shin Pa Nyi Tha Ya Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
9 Shin Thet Za Na
Myo Ma Shwe Gu Kyaung, Monywa
10 Shin Set Kain Da Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
11 Shin Taik Kha Nyan Na Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
12 Shin Thu Ri Ya Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
13 U Par Ka Hta Pha Yar Gyi Kyaung Taike, Mandalay
14 U Vi Thote Da Pha Yar Gyi Kyaung Taike (Yay Taw Taike), Mandalay
15 Ko Kyaw Swar Watt Hmay Village, Monywa
99
No. Name Father Name Address Age R/N No.
16 Ma Phyu Phy Win Watt Hmay Village, Monywa
17 Ma San Myint Aye Shwe Hlay Village, Monywa
18 Ma Myint Sin Tae Village , Monywa
19 U Ar Thike Sin Tae Village , Monywa
Mandalay General Hospital (Upstair Sangga Ward)
No. Name Father Name Address Age R/N No.
20 Shin Tate Kha Sar Ya Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
21 Shin Vi Thu Ta Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
22 U Thu Saike Ta Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
23 Shin Gan Da Ta Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
24 Shin Pyin Nyar Nanda Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
25 Shin Zaw Ta
Myo Ma Shwe Gu Kyaung, Monywa
26 Shin Thaw Ba Na
Myo Ma Shwe Gu Kyaung, Monywa
27 U Nanda Won Tha
Myo Ma Shwe Gu Kyaung, Monywa
28 Shin Pyin Nyar Sar Ya Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
29 Shin Kay Lar Tha Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
30 Shin Ar Sar Ya
Baw Di Man Tai Kyaung Taike , pakokku
31 Shin Nyar Na Da Za Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
32 Shin Gan Da Thar Ya Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
33 Shin Vi Saike Ta Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
100
No. Name Father Name Address Age R/N No.
34 U Dan Mar Nanda Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
35 U Vi Ma La Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa
Mandalay (Kan Daw Na Di Hoapital) (35-Patients)
No. Name Father Name Address Age R/N No.
36 Shin Nyanna Thiha U Pho Zaw Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 17 44121
37 U Pyin Nyar Nanda U Win Cho Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 20 44119
38 Shin Thu Sitta U Htay Linn Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 17 44031
39 U Nanda Malar U Aung Thit Myo Ma Gatt Kyaung , Monywa 26 44132
40 U San Di Mar U Pauk New Ma Soe Rein Kyaung, Mandalay 24 44040
41 U Ar Sar Ya U Hlaing Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 25 44118
42 Shin Thaw Bi Ta U Ba Kywe Middle Myo Ma Kyaung, Monywa 19 44181
43 Shin Pyin Nyar Nanda U Ba Oo Middle Kyaung Taike, Pakokku 27 44034
44 Shin Pyin Nyar Nanda U Aung Lwin
Myo Ma Shwe Gu Kyaung, Monywa
14 44131
45 U Zar Gar Ya U San Win Maung Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 25 44126
46 Shin Ar Sar Ya U Ko Myint Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 14 44120
47 U Nyarna Tharmi U Pe Hlaing Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 20 44250
48 U Pon Nya U Ba Pyae
Myo Ma Shwe Gu Kyaung, Monywa
30 44123
49 U Wai Pon La U Kyi Win Maung Myo Ma Gatt Kyaung , Monywa 25 44125
50 U Zaw Ga Di Ya U Aung Win Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 22 44254
51 Shin Kay Mar Won Tha U Kan Nyint Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 20 44258
101
No. Name Father Name Address Age R/N No.
52 U Pyinnyar Thar Mi U Tun Myint Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 21 44257
53 U Satt Ka Thar Ra U Kyaw Htwe Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 19 44255
54 Shin Vi Thu Tha U Kan Pyae Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 22 44259
55 U Thar Tha Na U Mya Aung Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 26 44256
56 Shin Thilar Sar Ra U Hla Aye Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 16 44261
57 Shin Pyinnar Thar Ra U Kyi Aye Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 21 44263
58 Shin Nandar Thiri U San Aye Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 18 44262
59 U Ar Ri Ra Damma U Myint Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 20 44368
60 Shin Thi Rain Da U Maung Win Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 26 44252
61 Shin Nanda Thar Mi U Win Zaw Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 16 44253
62 Shin Za Wan Na U Win Myint Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 15 44246
63 Shin Oak Ta Ma Thar Ra U Sai San Lu Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 17 44367
64 Ashin Vi Thoke Da U Paw Kuu Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 15 44370
65 Shin Thu Ma Na U Hmuk Tin Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 24 44247
66 Shin Pyinnar Thiyi U Myint Sein Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 16 44248
67 Shin Gar Ra Wa U Hmuk Tin Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 17 44251
68 Shin Thiyi Damma U Tun Shwe Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 16 44372
69 Shin Ray Wa Ta U San Shwe Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 16 44244
70 Shin Pannyar Thiri U Kyaw Nyine Zaw Ti Ka Kyaung Taike, Monywa 19 44371
102
BBC News - Kachin rebels in Burma lose key hilltop
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-21214406[19/02/2013 22:11:27]
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26 January 2013 Last updated at 16:00
Ethnic Kachin rebels in northern Burma have been forced to
withdraw from a key fortified outpost in their battle with the
Burmese army.
The fighters have abandoned Hka Ya hilltop, the last line of defence
before the Kachin capital of Laiza, where the rebels are headquartered.
It is not clear whether Burmese forces will now advance on the town.
The Kachin Independence Army has been fighting for greater autonomy
against the Burmese forces for 50 years.
The army had been trying to take Hka Ya for more than a week, after the
latest ceasefire in the long-running conflict broke down.
Outgunned
The BBC's Jonathan Head, who had just returned from Laiza, says
hundreds of Burmese troops have been involved in the attacks, backed
by heavy artillery barrages.
He says rebel fighters were heavily outgunned and have now been forced
to pull back.
The army advance means government troops are now just 3km away
from Laiza, with no more lines of defence in front of them.
Burmese president Thein Sein has previously promised that troops will
not take the town, but our correspondent says Kachin people are
reluctant to believe him.
Tens of thousands of civilians displaced by the fighting are preparing to
flee across the nearby border with China, while the rebel fighter's
leadership says it will retreat into the jungle to wage a guerrilla-style war
should Laiza fall.
Kachin rebels in Burma lose key hilltop
Kachin rebels were dug in around the Hka Ya hilltop, but have been forced
back by government advances
Related Stories
Kachin rebels seek
political solution
Burma profile
Kachin rebels defiant
on Burma's northern
front line
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103
Myanmar launches cyberspace attacks | The Brunei Times
http://www.bt.com.bn/asia_news/2008/09/20/myanmar_launches_cyberspace_attacks[19/02/2013 22:08:36]
HOME NEWS BUSINESS OPINION FEATURES SPORT VIDEOS EVENTS
Myanmar launches cyberspace attacks
BANGKOK
Saturday, September 20, 2008
MYANMAR'S military junta has launched a series of crippling cyberspace attacks on dissident web sites
on the first anniversary of major protest marches by Buddhist monks, the sites said yesterday.
The Irrawaddy, a Thailand-based weekly journal and web site www.irrawaddy.org covering the
former Burma, described the online assault as persistent and "very sophisticated".
In a posting on a temporary site hosted on a back-up server, it also made a direct connection between
the start of the cyber-attack on Wednesday and the monk-led protests that began in Yangon on Sept
18 last year.
"Burma's military authorities obviously did not want any similar sentiments this year and, once again,
shot down their enemies," Irrawaddy editor Aung Zaw said.
There were similar outages at the Burmese-language New Era Journal and the Democratic Voice of
Burma (DVB) www.dvb.no, an Olso-based news outlet that aired footage and images of the 2007
protests and the ensuing crackdown, in which at least 31 people were killed.
Irrawaddy said Thai web host I-NET had confirmed on Wednesday its site had been under "distributed
denial-of-service" assault.
In "denial-of-service" attacks a web site is bombarded with so much traffic it grinds to a halt.
DVB's Thailand bureau chief, Toe Zaw Latt, said the agency's web site was only a small part of its
reporting operations, and its radio and satellite television stations, both major sources of news inside
Myanmar, remained up and running.
"They can't block our short-wave radio and satellite signals," he told Reuters.
The DVB attacks, which also started on Wednesday, appeared to come from sites in Russia and China,
Toe Zaw Latt said, corroborating reports of the junta getting Internet training from Beijing and Moscow,
its main diplomatic backers.
The Internet inside Myanmar had also been running even slower than its normal snail's pace this week
and Internet cafes had come under unusually tight surveillance, the Irrawaddy said, suggesting junta
unease at the protest anniversary.
Security was also tight on the streets of Yangon, with some vehicle checkpoints, one diplomat said.
The protests started in August 2007 with small demonstrations against declining living standards, but
soon sucked in the revered Buddhist monkhood and snowballed into the biggest challenge to military
rule since a 1988 uprising.
Most the organisers of the initial marches, members of the "88 Generation Students" who survived the
brutally crushed 1988 revolt, were arrested a year ago and have been behind bars ever since.
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104
Journalists E-Mail Accounts Targeted in Myanmar - NYTimes.com
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/world/asia/journalists-e-mail-accounts-targeted-in-myanmar.html?_r=3&[19/02/2013 22:10:30]
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Twitter List: Reporters and Editors
E-Mails of Reporters in Myanmar Are Hacked
By THOMAS FULLER
Published: February 10, 2013
BANGKOK Several journalists who cover Myanmar said Sunday
that they had received warnings from Google that their e-mail
accounts might have been hacked by state-sponsored attackers.
The warnings began appearing last
week, said the journalists, who
included employees of Eleven Media,
one Myanmars leading news
organizations; Bertil Lintner, a
Thailand-based author and expert on
Myanmars ethnic groups; and a
Burmese correspondent for The
Associated Press.
Taj Meadows, a Google spokesman in Tokyo, said that he could not immediately provide
specifics about the warnings, but said that Google had begun the policy of notifying users
of suspicious activity in June.
I can certainly confirm that we send these types of notices to accounts that we suspect
are the targets of state-sponsored attacks, Mr. Meadows said.
Google has not said how it determines whether an attack is state sponsored and does
not identify which government may be leading the attacks. Mr. Meadows referred a
reporter to an announcement in June by Eric Grosse, the vice president for security
engineering at Google, that said that the company could not provide details of its
warnings without giving away information that would be helpful to these bad actors.
Ye Htut, a Myanmar government spokesman, and Zaw Htay, a director in the presidents
office, could not be reached for comment on Sunday.
The news media in Myanmar were highly censored and restricted during five decades of
military rule, but the government has lifted many of those restrictions since President
Thein Sein came to power nearly two years ago.
The country, formerly known as Burma, now has thriving weekly publications that are
beginning to report on subjects that were once considered taboo, like government
corruption and the militarys battles with ethnic rebels.
But at least two leading private publications, Eleven Media and The Voice Weekly, a
news journal, have suffered cyberattacks. Eleven Medias Web site and Facebook page
were shut down by hackers several times in the past month, said U Than Htut Aung, the
chairman and chief executive of the group.
This is a direct attack on the media and a step backward for democracy, he said.
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105
Journalists E-Mail Accounts Targeted in Myanmar - NYTimes.com
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/world/asia/journalists-e-mail-accounts-targeted-in-myanmar.html?_r=3&[19/02/2013 22:10:30]
A version of this article appeared in print on February 11, 2013, on page A5 of the New York edition with the headline:
E-Mails Of Reporters In Myanmar Are Hacked.
Myanmar
E-Mail
Get Free E-mail Alerts on These Topics
News and News Media
Cyberattacks and Hackers
Eleven Media Group posted an article over the weekend saying that the editor of The
Voice Weekly and the correspondent for the Japanese news agency Kyodo had
also received warnings from Google.
Some journalists speculated that attempts to hack into e-mail accounts might be linked
to the conflict in northern Myanmar, where ethnic Kachin rebels have engaged in fierce
fighting with government troops in recent weeks for control over territory near the
Chinese border.
Eleven Media was among the first publications to report that the Myanmar military was
deploying aircraft to attack the Kachin rebels, a policy that the government denied until
reports and photographs appeared in Eleven Media.
Its their most sensitive state security issue, said Mr. Lintner, the expert on ethnic
groups.
Mr. Than Htut Aung of Eleven Media said that he had heard reports from his staff that
members of the Myanmar military were very angry with their reporting on the Kachin
conflict, but he added that it was too early to say whether the military had a role in the
cyberattacks.
The Myanmar military has received training on cyberwarfare from Russia, Mr. Lintner
said.
Cyberattacks are not new to the Burmese news media. During military rule, news Web
sites run by exiled Burmese activists in Thailand and elsewhere were attacked numerous
times by hackers.
Wai Moe contributed reporting from Laiza, Myanmar.
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106
Myanmar launches cyberspace attacks | The Brunei Times
http://www.bt.com.bn/asia_news/2008/09/20/myanmar_launches_cyberspace_attacks[19/02/2013 22:08:36]
As such, any repeat outbreak of dissent looks extremely unlikely. Other underground democracy
activists were keeping their powder dry for a general election slated for 2010 and could not afford to
get arrested, Toe Zaw Latt said. Reuters
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107
UN: Myanmar tortured Kachin | Bangkok Post: breakingnews
http://www.bangkokpost.com/breakingnews/336328/myanmar-army-torture-kachin-rebel-suspects-un[19/02/2013 22:12:47]
Local news Politics Security Crimes Transport Health Sports Asia World Investigative report Election
UN: Myanmar tortured Kachin
Breakingnews >
UNITED NATIONS - The UN on Saturday raised concern over the Myanmar army's "arbitrary arrest and torture" of men
accused of being Kachin rebels, and urged further efforts to end hostilities in the far north.
UN special rapporteur on rights in Myanmar Tomas Ojea
Quintana welcomed recent talks in China aimed at stopping the
unrest in Kachin state that has undermined wider political
improvements in the former pariah nation.
But he stressed the impact on local communities of the heavy
fighting, which has displaced tens of thousands since a 17-year
ceasefire between the army and rebel Kachin Independence Army
(KIA) in broke down in June 2011.
Following a visit to the prison in state capital Myitkyina, Quintana
said he was "concerned about the ongoing practice of arbitrary
arrest and torture during interrogation by the military of Kachin
men accused of belonging" to the KIA.
The envoy, who was speaking as he concluded a wide-ranging visit to Myanmar Saturday, said a large military presence
in Kachin has meant that "serious human rights violations" continue.
The Myanmar government last month announced a unilateral ceasefire but the violence went on, with government troops
capturing a key outpost and edging closer to the rebels' headquarters near the Chinese border.
Talks in China earlier this month were seen as only a limited step by the Kachin, who are fighting for greater autonomy
and want negotiations to address their demands for more political rights.
A further round of talks involving other Myanmar ethnic groups are set to begin in northern Thailand in the coming days.
The government of reformist President Thein Sein, which took power following the end of decades of junta rule in 2011,
has reached tentative ceasefires with most major ethnic rebel groups.
But around a dozen rounds of talks with the Kachin have failed to quell the violence.
Quintana said camps for thousands of people forced to flee their homes were becoming "permanent as the conflict goes
unresolved", adding humanitarian access remained a "challenge" despite a recent government decision to allow a UN
convoy to deliver relief to rebel-held areas.
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108
Torture and Ill Treatment in Burma U.S. Campaign for Burma's Blog
http://uscampaignforburma.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/torture-and-ill-treatment-in-burma/[19/02/2013 22:13:35]
May 31, 2012
By uscampaignforburma
Read the Network for Human Rights Documentation-Burma (ND-Burma)s
new report Extreme Measures which was launched today.
In July of last year, a young man in Burma tried to use his MP4 player to
record government-backed troops seizing his sisters rubber farm. The troops
took him and threatened him not to report the incident to the international
media. The sister explained to fieldworkers of the human rights
documentation organization ND-Burma what happened to her brother,
My younger brother was beaten. My brother got injuries on his head and
right side of [his] forehead. They also beat on the back of my brother. He is
taking medical treatment in my village. We are arranging for [him to leave]
and work in Thailand after he recovers again. If he continues to live in our
village, he may lose his life.
Today, despite international legislation and norms, the Burmese military
continues to use torture and ill treatment on political prisoners and ethnic
minorities. From January to December 2011 alone, Network for Human Rights
Documentation-Burma (ND-Burma) gathered 371 documented cases of
human rights violations, 22 percent of which constituted torture and ill
treatment.
Torture and ill treatment predominantly takes place under two distinct
contexts: within prisons and ethnic nationality areas. For prisoners, torture
occurs within the interrogation period and can last up to months or even years.
Methods of torture include severe daily beatings, water and sleep deprivation,
solitary confinement and sexual abuse. Prisoners are forced to endure
extremely painful and dehumanizing treatment, such as being forced to kneel
on stones, being beaten for hours on end, and being sexually abused. Unlike
political prisoners, those who face torture and ill treatment in ethnic
nationality areas usually face these abuses within the context of other human
rights violations such as forced labor, forced portering, rape and sexual abuse
and restriction of movement. Young women are often beaten and held captives
as sex slaves by Burmese soldiers in these rural areas. Regardless of context,
the victims and families of victims of torture and ill treatment are left with
Home About the blog Act Now! Learn about Burma
The movement for democracy and
human rights in Burma is a vibrant
active community of people. This
blog highlights the efforts of those
in the US, in Burma, and around
the world.
www.uscampaignforburma.org
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109
Torture and Ill Treatment in Burma U.S. Campaign for Burma's Blog
http://uscampaignforburma.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/torture-and-ill-treatment-in-burma/[19/02/2013 22:13:35]
enduring and crippling psychological and physical issues.
The use of torture and ill treatment by the Burmese government is in direct
violation of globally accepted international laws and treaties including the
Geneva Conventions, the Rome Statute, Convention on the Rights of the Child
and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a declaration Burma
supported and voted in favor of in 1948. Despite this global legislation
prohibiting the use of torture, several structural problems within Burmas legal
system allows for the continued instances of torture and ill treatment against
prisoners and ethnic minorities.
Perhaps the most glaring of these structural issues within the Burmese legal
system is the fact that neither the Burmese Constitution nor current Burmese
legislation specifically prohibits the use of torture. Furthermore, the presence
of laws that allow for the immediate imprisonment of political opponents
creates a climate in which human rights violations are far more likely to occur.
Beyond a lack of legislation, Burmas judiciary system, which rarely holds
military and former military personnel accountable for human rights
violations, allows for the continued usage of torture on political prisoners and
ethnic minorities. The Myanmar Human Rights Commission (MHRC) which
was established in September 2011 in order to investigate human rights
violations across the nation has remained largely ineffective in protecting
citizens from torture. Due to a 15 member staff with loyalties to the former
military government and a lack of a budget to fund any real change, the MHRC
remains unable to fulfill its purpose.
Torture is carried out with three main goals: to extract information, punish
and instill fear. The effects of torture and ill treatment are felt by more than
just the victims of these crimes, sending rippling effects that effect broader
society. The use of such inhumane tactics by the Burmese government to
suppress opposition cultivates a climate of fear and distrust that ultimately
cripples and silences its citizens.
The road towards establishing a sense of trust will be long and arduous but if
the Burmese government truly works towards addressing and rectifying the
crimes against humanity theyve committed, it is not impossible.
ND-Burma also did a video about the problems of torture and ill treatment in
Burma:
bit.ly/14WYQ9Y 4 days ago
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110
Torture and Ill Treatment in Burma U.S. Campaign for Burma's Blog
http://uscampaignforburma.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/torture-and-ill-treatment-in-burma/[19/02/2013 22:13:35]
Share this:
Like this:
The United States Campaign for Burma is a U.S. based membership
organization dedicated to empowering grassroots activists around the
world to rally for human rights and to bring an end to the military
dictatorship in Burma. USCBlogoThrough public education, leadership
development initiatives, conferences, and advocacy campaigns at local,
national and international levels, USCB partners with our global
supporters including thousands of Burmese dissidents-in-exile to
promote freedom, democracy, and human rights in Burma and raise
awareness about the egregious human rights violations committed by
Burmas military regime. The leadership of USCB is comprised of
seasoned human rights advocates, with experience both inside and
outside the U.S. government. The board and staff, which include former
Congressional staff, former Burmese political prisoners, and
experienced advocates, are dedicated to increasing the public profile of
Burma and rallying with our global supporters for a free Burma.
View all posts by uscampaignforburma
About ND-Burma:
ND-Burma formed in 2003 in order to provide a way for Burma human
rights organizations to collaborate on the human rights documentation
process. The 13 ND-Burma member organizations seek to collectively use the
truth of what communities in Burma have endured to challenge the regimes
power through present-day advocacy as well as prepare for justice and
accountability measures in a potential transition.
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111
OpEdNews - Article: Burma initiates a committee scrutinizing the political prisoners left behind
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Burma-initiates-a-committe-by-Zin-Linn-130207-670.html[19/02/2013 22:14:59]
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Headlined to H3 2/7/13
Burma initiates a committee scrutinizing the
political prisoners left behind
By Zin Linn (about the author) Permalink (Page 1 of 1 pages)
OpEdNews Op Eds 2/7/2013 at 03:37:45 Become a Fan
(1 fan)
Related Topic(s): Amnesty; Burma; Democracy; Freedom; Political Asylum; Political Change; Political Parties;
Political Prisoners; Prison; Prisoners; (more...) Add to My Group(s)
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The President Office of Myanmar (Burma) has
released an instruction Wednesday to form a
committee to scrutinize the remaining political
prisoners serving their terms in prisons
throughout the country so as to grant them
liberty, the New Light of Myanmar newspaper
said today.
Government of Burma has been granting
amnesty to prisoners of conscience serving
their terms in prisons across the nation, with a
view to ensuring peace and stability and lasting
peace of the State, national reconciliation,
inclusiveness in political process, the state-run
newspaper said. The government has been
turning the prisoners to ones who take their
fair shares in State building realizing fair-
mindedness of the government, the newspaper added.
According to the NLM, the scrutinizing committee for remaining political prisoners is reportedly
to be chaired by Union Minister at the President Office U Soe Thane and to be constituted with
representatives from government ministries, civil society organizations and some political
parties.
The committee will define the meaning of prisoners of conscience and coordinate for a set of
framework for releasing and scrutinize the remaining political prisoners and report the findings
to the President.
Taik Naing (General-Secretary) and Bo Kyi (Joint-Secretary) of Assistance Association for
Political Prisoners (Burma) based in Thailand have visited Yangon since 5 January so as to
cooperate with other civil based organizations and political parties all for release of the
remaining political prisoners as well as their rehabilitation, according to media reports.
They planned to meet up the government authorities, politicians and members of 88
Generation Students Group during their visit.
Before the trip, Bo Kyi explained about AAPP's
purpose concerning freedom of the prisoners of
conscience and to do away with repressive laws
still in force. The Association would go together
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OpEdNews - Article: Burma initiates a committee scrutinizing the political prisoners left behind
http://www.opednews.com/articles/Burma-initiates-a-committe-by-Zin-Linn-130207-670.html[19/02/2013 22:14:59]
with the 88 Student Generation group to reach
its objective, Bo Kyi added. Although the
President Thein Sein government released
several political prisoners, he said, there are as
many as 200 left behind bars.
According to AAPP, "Torture in Burma's
interrogation centres and prisons is brutal and
systematic. Political prisoners are subject to
extreme physical assaults resulting in internal
bleeding and unconsciousness. In Burma,
torture is not limited to physical assaults, but
extends to the authorities maintenance of
general prison conditions and the ineptness of
the prison health care system. Prison
authorities routinely and deliberately aggravate prison conditions and deny medical care to
political prisoners, causing a level of suffering that amounts to torture." (Eight seconds of
silence, The Death of Democracy Activists behind Bars, AAPP, May 2006.)
AAPP has documented numerous cases of torture of political prisoners occurred since 1988.
The organization warns that this work is by no means exhaustive, as most former political
prisoners remain inside Burma, unable to speak about their torture for fear of repercussions.
According to AAPP, "political prisoners are deprived of food, water, sleep, light, and use of the
toilet during interrogation and punishment. ["] Political prisoners are punched, kicked, slapped,
kneed, and beaten with a variety of [instruments], including rubber or wooden batons,
truncheons, rifle butts, rubber cords, bamboo sticks and plastic pipes." AAPP describes various
positions in which prisoners are placed, "In one form, a political prisoner is strung up by their
feet and then spun around repeatedly. Another form is when a prisoner is made to assume the
position of an "airplane.' ["] In some cases, the prisoners' faces are covered with cloth as
water is poured over them making it impossible to breath. ["] Electric shocks have been
administered to political prisoners, and are generally applied to the most sensitive parts of a
person's body, including the genitals." AAPP reported that the use of psychological torture has
increased over the years in Burma. The Darkness We See, Torture in Burma's Interrogation
Centers and Prisons, AAPP, December 2005.)
The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP) is a human rights organization based
in Mae Sot, Thailand that works for the release of all political prisoners and for the
improvement of prison conditions inside Burma. Set up in 2000, AAPP is entirely run by former
political prisoners.
It carries out a range of activities on behalf of Burma's political prisoners. AAPP is widely
recognized as a reliable and credible source of information on political prisoner issues in
Burma, by the United Nations, governments, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and
respected media outlets around the world.

Take action -- click here to contact your local newspaper or congress people:
Free all prisoners of conscience in Burma!
Click here to see the most recent messages sent to congressional reps and local newspapers
Zin Linn was born on February 9, 1947 in a small town in Mandalay Division. He began writing
poems in 1960 and received a B.A (Philosophy) in 1976. He became an activist in the High
School Union after the students' massacre on 7th July 1962. He (more...)


The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do
not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
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Political Prisoners; Prison; Prisoners; (more...)
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113
Google and Facebook remain tentative in Myanmar
http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/special-features/159-digital-communications/4094-google-and-facebook-remain-tentative-in-myanmar.html[19/02/2013 22:16:18]
Like 4 Tweet
Google and Facebook remain
tentative in Myanmar
By Chris Myers | Monday, 11 February 2013
Credit: AFP
Google and Facebook are proving hesitant to make efforts to expand their
audience in Myanmar, despite government measures to ease access to
communications technology especially the internet.
The internet has been available in Myanmar since 2000, though it
remained heavily censored until 2011. Although Facebook and Google
were never banned, several websites were, including Twitter, CNN, BBC
and exile media organisations such as Democratic Voice of Burma.
Patrons at internet cafes which didnt exist in Myanmar until 2004,
were required to provide personal details before logging on, which
included their home address, the name of their school and a teacher, as
well as spoken languages.
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114
Google and Facebook remain tentative in Myanmar
http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/special-features/159-digital-communications/4094-google-and-facebook-remain-tentative-in-myanmar.html[19/02/2013 22:16:18]
Yet todays Myanmar is embracing everything the internet has to offer;
particularly social networking sites. It is not uncommon for high profile
politicians, such as U Ye Htut, the Deputy Information Minister and
spokesperson for President U Thein Sein, to post political views on
personal Facebook pages, which are then regularly quoted in newspapers.
However the draft Myanmar Telecommunications law could result in a
step backward for internet freedom and act as a further disincentive to
communications firms looking to enter the market. Among other things,
the law which is currently being reviewed in parliament mandates 7-
15 years imprisonment for committing an offence which may offend
community peace and tranquillity, and up to three years for sending or
distributing indecent or undesirable information.
Googles Head of Communications and Public Affairs for Asia Pacific, Amy
Kunrojpanya, noted that such broadly-defined offences could be used to
stifle free and open public debate.
Myanmar needs to build an internet system rapidly, but this is unlikely to
happen if people dont know what they can and cant say online, while
those who host content online arent clear on how much they are
responsible for comments posted on their sites, she said.
According to the state-run internet provider, Myanmar Post and
Telecoms, Myanmar has around 400,000 internet users, representing
about 0.8 percent of the population. The vast majority of these users are
in Yangon and Mandalay, with only 10,000 located in other cities. These
numbers are slowly increasing, as are the numbers of internet service
providers, which currently stands at five. The cost of setting up an
internet connection is lower than in the past but remains steep at (a
minimum) of about US$600 which is why internet cafes now number in
the thousands.
While anecdotal evidence suggests that Facebook is the most popular
social networking site in Myanmar, Google and Facebook were unwilling
to divulge any statistics of searches or users from Myanmar, and no other
reliable source of data is currently available.
Yemoe Aung, 15, goes to an internet cafe every day.
115
Google and Facebook remain tentative in Myanmar
http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/special-features/159-digital-communications/4094-google-and-facebook-remain-tentative-in-myanmar.html[19/02/2013 22:16:18]
I always come here after school for an hour, and for two hours on
Saturdays and Sundays, he said.
He splits that time evenly between Facebook and video games.
Tinoo, 63, uses an internet cafe daily for his work at a shipping company,
but says he only browses Facebook casually.
Although Facebook has Myanmar language settings, ethnic minority
languages which number approximately 100 and include some 3 million
Shan speakers are unavailable.
Facebooks regional spokeswoman, Charlene Chian told The Myanmar
Times that while Facebook is interested in the country, there are
currently no plans to expand services by opening a local office. The
closest regional office is located in Singapore, which is a major regional
hub and thus allows Facebook to facilitate advertising deals with local
businesses, which are targeted at specific users using data gathered from
likes and other Facebook interactions.
Google is yet to provide a Myanmar-language search engine, which means
that although some results are in Myanmar, the search term itself must be
entered in English. In 2009, a bilingual Myanmar-English language
search engine powered by Google was set up. The site is called myanmar-
myanmar.com and according to a Myanmar Times report, the site was
receiving an average of 4000 hits a day almost immediately after its
launch. Whilst it also offers a directory containing 2000 Myanmar
websites, it cannot rival a behemoth such as Google.
Googles representative, Ms Kunrojpanya, told The Myanmar Times that
while Google is always exploring opportunities to expand our services,
making them available in new locations and in as many languages as
possible, we have nothing to announce at this time regarding Myanmar.
Perhaps the biggest deterrent for giants such as Google and Facebook is
Myanmars subdued online advertising market.
Jon Burke, the ads lead at Automattic, which owns and operates the
blogging service Wordpress, told The Myanmar Times: There is no set
price for an ad impression in online advertising. It operates just as a stock
market, with prices rising and falling in real time and with prices for
visitors from different countries being dramatically different. Thats why
in regions like this, prices can be low because there is little competition [to
place an advertisement].
Follow The Myan
Follow
116
Google and Facebook remain tentative in Myanmar
http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/special-features/159-digital-communications/4094-google-and-facebook-remain-tentative-in-myanmar.html[19/02/2013 22:16:18]
Home National News Regional News Business Lifestyle Sports Opinion Special Features
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Nonetheless, with a population of about 48 million, locally targeted
advertising could soon represent a significant income stream in a country
whose growth is set to explode in the coming years.
Myanmars low rates of internet penetration could also offer a significant
opportunity, particularly for Google. In 2012, Google constructed a fibre
optic broadband network in parts of the United States that offers speeds
of up to 1Gbps, or 100 times the current standard download speed.
Myanmars internet infrastructure will undoubtedly need to be upgraded
in the future, so entering the country early and establishing relationships
with the government and local business should be high on the agenda if
Google wants to succeed in this untapped market, whether in building
infrastructure or expanding its search engine audience.
With the passage of an as-yet unfinished foreign direct investment (FDI)
law, international investment is expected to pour into Myanmar, and the
communications sector arguably stands to gain the most. Myanmar has
already shown that its desperate to get on the internet but are Google
and Facebook as keen to build a strong base in Myanmar? For now at
least, it appears to be a case unrequited love.
Copyright 2013 The Myanmar Times. All rights reserved.
117
Govt slams US Kachin statement
http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/3918-govt-slams-us-kachin-statement.html[19/02/2013 22:17:15]
Like 0 Tweet
Govt slams US Kachin statement
By Kyaw Hsu Mon | Monday, 28 January 2013
Deputy Information Minister and spokesperson for the president U Ye
Htut has labelled a United States embassy statement on the Kachin
conflict as unfair, saying it ignores recent attacks by the Kachin
Independence Army.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also criticised the statement, saying it
could cause misunderstanding in the international community as it did
not mention anything about terrorist actions and atrocities committed by
the KIA.
The January 24 statement issued by the embassy in Yangon said the US is
deeply concerned by the continued violence in Kachin State. The
statement referred to media reports that indicated the Tatmadaw had
continued to launch military offensives in the vicinity of the KIA
headquarters at Laiza, despite the government announcing that a ceasefire
would take effect from January 19.
The statement said the US strongly opposes the fighting, which it said has
resulted in civilian casualties and undermined efforts to advance national
reconciliation.
It also expressed concern for the safety of civilians in conflict areas and
urged the government to allow United Nations and international
humanitarian agencies access to areas where assistance is needed.
The US also called for both sides to take all necessary steps to undertake
dialogue that can lead to a sustainable peace in Kachin State.
U Ye Htut said on his Facebook page that the statement was not balanced
because it did not make mention of the Tatmadaw soldiers, police and
civilians who had been attacked by the KIA in Kachin State.
He said the government understands the concerns about the Kachin
fighting but said the US should be careful to not only condemn the
government. He said the statement should have criticised both sides for
their role in the conflict.
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118
Govt slams US Kachin statement
http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/3918-govt-slams-us-kachin-statement.html[19/02/2013 22:17:15]
In a press release published in state-run media on January 26, the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs echoed these concerns, saying the statement
gave the impression that only the Myanmar government and the
Tatmadaw launched the offensive following a recent failed ceasefire.
The statement said the KIA had violated the ceasefire and the Tatmadaw
had responded just to protect and safeguard the peace and tranquility of
the community and for the prevalence of law and order.
119
Burma Protests US Embassy Criticism
http://www.voanews.com/content/burma-protests-us-embassy-criticism/1591569.html[19/02/2013 22:18:22]
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Breaking News
Burma Protests US Embassy Criticism
January 26, 2013
Burma issued a protest to the U.S. embassy in
Rangoon Saturday for releasing a statement earlier
this week condemning the ongoing military offensive
against rebels in the northern state of Kachin.
The Burmese Foreign Ministry said the U.S.
statement, issued Thursday, presented only one side of the bloody conflict,
which continues despite a January 19 cease-fire order by President Thein
Sein. The ministry condemned the embassy for not mentioning terrorist
acts committed by the Kachin Independence Army.
The government went on to say that it is offended that the U.S. still calls
the country "Burma" rather than "Myanmar," which is the name the military
dictatorship made official in 1989. Opponents of military rule, such as Aung
San Suu Kyi, have made a political point of calling the country Burma.
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120
Air War in Kachinland: Burma Military Air Attacks on Kachin Territory
http://www.projectmaje.org/airwar.htm[19/02/2013 22:18:55]
Home Documents Books Links Site Map Search
Air War in Kachinland: Burma Military Air Attacks on Kachin Territory, December 4, 2012 - January
18, 2013
This Project Maje report provides a summary of current (as
of January 18, 2013) information on the use of aircraft in the
North War. For background on the origins of the conflict, and
maps, see Project Maje's reports The North War: A Kachin
Conflict Compilation Report (August 2011) and The North
War, Part II: The Kachin Conflict Continues (December
2011.) This update report is intended as convenient
background information for journalists, military analysts, and
others interested in the situation in Kachinland. Project Maje
is not responsible for the content of any the news articles
and opinions cited in this report and does not vouch for the
accuracy of any of them. Journalists and other researchers
needing further information and advice regarding northern
Burma issues can contact Project Maje.
Project Maje is an independent information project on
Burma's human rights and environmental issues, founded in
1986. The founder/director of Project Maje, Edith Mirante,
visited KIO-controlled areas of Kachin State in 1991, 1995,
2002 and 2011. Front line photos of KIA (2011 and 1991)
are by Edith Mirante.
Thanks to C., J., KF list members and to Bruce for this
website.
Contents:
Introduction
Air War Hardware
Responses to the Air War
Chronology of the Air War -- News Items
INTRODUCTION
The sustained use of aircraft by the government of Burma (aka Myanmar) in attacks on Kachin
Independence Army (KIA, the armed wing of the federalist Kachin Independence Organization, KIO)
positions is a new, if not entirely surprising development. Throughout military rule, Burma rarely used
military aircraft against the ethnic resistance. With a record of crashes of military and civilian aircraft,
involving substandard training and maintenance, and low ground-to-air communications capabilities,
perhaps the regime was reluctant to risk such expensive (equipment.) The military jets purchased may have
been outdated models without proper equipment. However, the fixed positions and urbanized territory of the
KIA have been perceived as vulnerable to air attack throughout the current warfare ("North War") which
began in June 2011.
As the KIA has inflicted enormous casualties on the Tatmadaw (government military) ground troops
throughout the conflict, without ceding any significant territory and the KIA seemed possibly poised to
retake the prize of the Hpakant jade mines at some points during the North War, the decision was
apparently made at some level in Burma's government/military to deploy both attack helicopters (described
as "fearsome" by an observer on the scene) and jet aircraft. KIA spokesperson La Nan reportedly "believed
orders for the attack may have come from defense officials at the national government level, as lower
ranking officials could not authorize the use of jet fighters in civil wars on their own." (Irrawaddy, December
28, 2012.)
121
Air War in Kachinland: Burma Military Air Attacks on Kachin Territory
http://www.projectmaje.org/airwar.htm[19/02/2013 22:18:55]
During December 2012 - January 2013 the aircraft have been deployed mainly against KIA bases guarding
the town of Laiza on the border of China, notably around Lajayang to the south, although they have
attacked other locations in Kachin State as well. The Burma government has explained the attacks as an
effort to secure supply lines to its own forward bases, after the KIA refused a government ultimatum to
withdraw from a road in the vicinity of Lajayang by Christmas. But the government/military appear to have
launched an all out offensive prior to that, in early December with the goal of taking over high ground from
which to aim heavy artillery at Laiza, with its KIA command center and civilian population (including
thousands of internal refugees.) The December/January air attacks have been conducted in conjunction with
major ground-based artillery bombardments and fierce infantry assaults. A frontline KIA officer, Lt. Minh
Ladin, commented, "Usually, when the Burmese army attacks my post the artillery is used first, then ground
forces, and occasionally air support in the form of jet fighters and helicopter strafing." (Irrawaddy, January
18, 2013.)
This report includes a summary of responses by the international community, as well as Burma's
government and other groups, to the use of air attacks against the KIA. While the use of air power has
added a deadly new element to the Tatmadaw (Burma's armed forces) assaults on a string of KIA bases
protecting Laiza, enabling the placement of artillery with clear lines into the town, it has had political effects
which may be to the immense disadvantage of Burma's government.
As of January 18, 2013, the air war (called "the most expensive battle in [Burmese] history" by military
analyst Aung Kyaw Zaw, quoted in Shan Herald Agency for News, January 10, 2013) and related artillery
deployment has resulted in:
"deep concern" from the United States government
a threat of revived sanctions in the United Kingdom's Parliament
threats of revoking ceasefires from an array of ethnic armies
strong rebukes and a call for an immediate end to the attacks from China
a demonstration by Chinese citizens against the attacks
severe damage to Burma's new reformist image
President Thein Sein appearing weak vs. his army
President Thein Sein being accused of being a duplicitous figurehead
Burma's Parliament calling for an end to the attacks
The air attacks have also terrorized the
thousands of civilians in and around
Laiza, many of whom had fled there
from other areas in hopes of a safe
haven. The use of helicopters and jets
in an all out "Operation Lightning"
offensive against Laiza was apparently
meant to force the KIA to surrender, or
as an observer put it, "They want to
see the Kachin kneel down at the
peace table prepared by Thein Sein
and others." (DVB, January 15, 2013.)
As of January 18, 2013, it had not had
that effect.
"It was difficult during the first fortnight
because the KIA was not used to air
attacks at first," KIA Lt. Minh Ladin told
a reporter (Irrawaddy, January 18,
2013.) The use of air power in counter-
insurgency against forces without any air capabilities may initially have a "shock and awe" effect, but in
some cases, guerrilla forces have a quick learning curve for dealing with attacks from above. Throughout
the North War, the KIA has shown itself to be a truly extraordinary fighting army, killing and wounding
massive numbers of Tatmadaw troops while operating with flexible tactics.
The KIA's "prize" of the town of Laiza may be a vulnerability, but the proximity of Laiza to the Chinese
border could prove to be the ultimate protection, as China's irate call for an immediate ceasefire following
repeated cross-border spillover of Burma's artillery apparently resulted within 24 hours in a unilateral
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ceasefire (for the Lajayang area) announcement by Burma's government on state television on January 18,
2013. Even if that announcement is a sham, or is ignored by the Tatamadaw, it shows that Burma's
government is aware that it is losing the war of international opinion (having bathed in the glow of praise for
over a year) along with losing any trust placed in it by other ethnic nationalities.
The situation in Kachinland will continue to develop day by day, hour by hour. While this report provides
background, news updates, including photos and video can be found at these websites, among others:
Kachinland News: http://kachinlandnews.com/
Jinghpaw Kasa: http://jinghpawkasa.blogspot.com/
Myu Tsaw Kasa (in Jinghpaw language): http://myutsawkasa.blogbaker.com/
Kachin News Group (features map of the conflict area): http://www.kachinnews.com/
The Irrawaddy: http://www.irrawaddy.org
Mizzima News: http://www.mizzima.com
AIR WAR HARDWARE
Russian Choppers
According to Jane's Information Group (Sentinel Security Assessment - Southeast Asia, March 16, 2012)
"Since 2009, Myanmar [Burma] has taken a number of steps to significantly bolster its air arm through the
acquisition of MiG-29 'Fulcrum' combat aircraft, Mi-35 'Hind' attack helicopters and K-8 Karakorum jet
trainers." Longtime Burma analyst Bertil Lintner wrote,
"Judging from photographs taken in Kachin State, the planes used appear to be Hongdu JL-8, or
Karakorum-8, light attack aircraft that Myanmar acquired from China years ago. The helicopter gunships are
Russian-made Mi-35, the export version of the Mi-24 Hind that were used extensively in the Afghan war in
the 1980s. Myanmar bought its first Mi-35s in September 2010, when even the KIA had a ceasefire
agreement with the government."
(Lintner, Al Jazeera, January 10, 2013.)
Although helicopters had been used for transport in 2011 and occasionally in attacks on the KIA during
2012 (for instance, "Govt Helicopter Reportedly Shells KIO Bases" Irrawaddy, May 3, 2012) and "Kachins in
Fight to Defend Mountain Base" Irrawaddy, January 4, 2012), their sustained deployment reportedly began
on December 4, 2012, with attacks described as by Russian-made Mi-24 attack helicopters in groups of 2
(most often), 3 or 4. The helicopters have sometimes been described as Mi-35, which is the Mi-24's export
designation. A helicopter which was shot down by KIA on January 11, 2013 (or, according to Burma's
government, made an "emergency landing" due to engine failure) was identified as an Mi-35 by a Burma
government official.
The Mi-24/Mi-35 ("Hind") is world-famous as an attack helicopter, built for speed and armored to the point
of near-total invulnerability from small-arms fire. Its weapons options include "23 mm automatic cannon, 16
anti-tank missiles or up to 80 unguided rockets" (Strategypage.com) It has little capacity for carrying troops
(only about 8 passengers) or supplies. Burma's Air Force reportedly purchased 50 combat-capable Mi-
24/Mi-35 helicopters as well as 12 Mi-2 transport helicopters from Russia "for counter-insurgency" in 2010
("Burma Buys 50 Combat Helicopters" Irrawaddy, September 8, 2010.) There were also accounts of an Mi-8
medevac helicopter being damaged during a battle on December 14, 2013. The Mi-8 is a multi-role
transport helicopter with gunship capabilities.
Chinese Jet Fighters
Starting Dec. 28, 2012, the use of jet fighter planes has been reported, in groups of 2 to 5. Zaw Htay
(director of Burma President Thein Sein's office) stated that the jets were "KB training aircraft not fighter
jets" (BBC, January 2, 2013.) This was disingenuous as they are trainer-classified 2-seater fighter jets, fully
capable of an attack role (and certainly not suitable for "resupply" of ground troops, as Zaw Htay may have
claimed at the time.) According to Airforce-technology.com "The K-8 was designed to execute pilot training
as well as light attack missions in all weather conditions." (http://tinyurl.com/awyune5.) The attacking jets
have also been described in news reports as Chinese-made Hongdu JL-8 fighter jets (Kachinland News,
January 4, 2013); they are essentially the same aircraft -- the K-8 is described as "the export version of
China's JL-8" in an article in Defense Industry Daily ("China's K-8 jets: A Killer for Myanmar" June 30,
2010.) The Defense Industry Daily article also states that [Burma's purchase of the K-8 jets, estimated at 5
to 10 million US dollars each] "make sense only if many of these aircraft are dedicated to a
counterinsurgency role, where slower 2-seat aircraft are often more effective than high-speed interceptors."
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The full article, at http://tinyurl.com/by9cz4s connects the acquisition of the jets, brokered by timber and
aviation tycoon Tayza, to security for the Burma/China petroleum pipeline now under construction.
Jane's Information Group commented on March 16, 2012 that Burma's Air Force lacked "experienced pilots,
proven combat skills and adequate ground facilities." When the jet attacks first started, Maj. Min Htay, an
officer with the KIA ally All Burma Students Democratic Force, in the combat area, commented, "We heard
they [the government's army] hired professionals to come and shoot the KIA bases by jet fighters. But, we
don't know who they hired." (Irrawaddy, Dec. 28.) The possible use of outside contractor jet pilots, perhaps
from another country, seems not to have been covered or investigated further in news stories accessed for
this report.
According to Sinodefence.com, "The K-8 doesn't have a fixed weapon. There are four under-wing pylons to
carry up to 1,000 kg payload, each rated at 250 kg. The stations can carry drop tanks, 23 mm cannon pods,
unguided rockets, 250 kg bombs, short-range air-to-air missiles (e.g. Magic R550)."
(http://tinyurl.com/a7v8phh) Helicopters and jets have been reported to have strafed (by "machine gun"),
fired rockets, and dropped bombs, as well as possible chemical agents. There have been a few news
reports of civilian casualties and damage from the air attacks, but details are lacking about KIA (or
Tatmadaw "friendly fire") casualties specifically from the air attacks. In contrast, the Tatmadaw's ground
artillery emplacements have caused well-reported civilian casualties, even in Laiza as of January 14, 2013.
Some reports have noted that the aircraft have entered Chinese airspace, possibly deliberately while on the
attack. There have also been reports of "shelling" by aircraft hitting the China side of the border.
An additional jet fighter may have been used in the attacks on the KIA: the Yugoslavia-made Soko G-4
Super Galeb, which like the K-8 (JL-8) is a two-seater trainer-type fighter plane with ground attack
capabilities. A few Super Galebs were acquired by Burma in the early 1990s; they were reportedly
grounded for lack of spare parts (and at least one crashed) but at least two of them were revived more
recently. On January 3, ABSDF's Hla Seng observed, "They used two fighter jets yesterday and [the jets]
seemed bigger and faster than before." (Irrawaddy, January 4.) This might have refered to use of the
Yugoslavian jets, although the size and speed of the Super Galebs is very similar to that of the K-8 (JL-8.)
RESPONSES TO THE AIR WAR
Burma
The Burma government's commentary on the air offensive has been dominated by two spokespersons, Zaw
Htay, director of the President's office and avid Facebooker Ye Htut, Deputy Information Minister. Their
initial mode of response to allegations of air attacks was blanket denial with apparent ignorance of the
capabilities of the aircraft in use, sometimes to a degree reminiscent of the obvious prevarications of
Saddam Hussein's spokesman Mohammad Saeed al -Sahhaf ("Comical Ali.")
The Burma military "didn't use helicopters to shoot the KIA. It's not their nature to use helicopter gunships
in a civil war" Zaw Htay insisted in mid-December [The Irrawaddy, December 17, 2012.] Zaw Htay also
stated that "the military has given assurances that they are not launching an offensive against the KIA
headquarters at Laiza. The aircraft activities are mainly to send supplies to troops in Lajayang military
camp, which has run out of food supplies." [AP, December 31, 2012.] According to the BBC, in early
January, Zaw Htay "said the situation was complex, and that the military had told them they were only
using planes to resupply its troops. 'The aircraft being used are K8 training aircraft not fighter jets - that is
the information I got from the military. I have no information on the use of helicopters.'" [BBC News,
January 2, 2013.]
The air offensive was officially admitted in early when, according to CNN, Zaw Htay said that the "the
military carried out 'air attacks'" on December 30 and 31." [CNN, January 3, 2013.] The government
military's Myawaddy News reportedly said that a KIA base was seized "with the help of air strikes in the
region" on December 30 [The Telegraph UK, January 2, 2013.] The Telegraph UK also quoted Presidential
advisor Hla Maung Swe: "We heard the military used helicopters and training jets while trying to get their
camp back."
On January 2, 2012, the government's New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported "The Tatmadaw offered
air lift and provided security with the state government in transporting foodstuffs and consumer goods to
Putao District and Public Works in repairing damaged roads and bridges due to the mine attacks of KIA."
Putao is far north of the air attack area near Laiza, so that report was not directly relevant to the air
offensive. Later that week, a government statement reportedly sought to justify airstrikes as necessary
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because of KIA infrastructure sabotage: "Due to these circumstances, the Tatmadaw had to take military
action as self-defence and in order to protect the safety of lives and properties of the people, safe and
smooth transportation and peace and tranquility of the region... Even though Tatmadaw had to take this
action, it has exercised maximum restraint in using force." [AFP, January 4, 2013.]
In mid-January, an interviewer from The Irrawaddy asked Ye Htut why airstrikes were necessary "against
KIA outposts" and he replied, "It's not the first time we used airstrikes. It was based on military necessity. It
is something we do depending on the fighting situation." He also insisted that
"the air attacks are not aimed at civilians. When we shoot, we are not shooting towards Laiza, but behind
Laiza. The planes just fly over Laiza, so there is less impact on the people there." [Irrawaddy, January 17,
2013.]
Opposition leader and Parliament member Aung San Suu Kyi had not been reported to have commented
directly on the air offensive by mid-January, and had shown little inclination to be publicly involved in efforts
to stop the war, but did reportedly say on January 16 that fighting should "stop immediately." [Irrawaddy,
January 16, 2013.] The air war and overall escalation appears to have inspired some new activism by the
peace movement within Burma. On January 2, there was reportedly an anti-war protest with hundreds of
participants in Rangoon [Irrawaddy, January 2, 2013] and in mid-January plans were announced for a "long
march" to Laiza by Burma's peace activists. Kachin exiles and supporters (including Chin, Shan and
Burman exiles) organized demonstrations protesting the Burma government offensive and air attacks, in
Washington DC, Bangkok, Australia and other locations in December and January. Participants called for
Aung San Suu Kyi (criticized with "Silence = Violence" signs) and the international community to work to
end the attacks.
The United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC), is a group of armed ethnic organizations, with members
(other than KIO) in various stages of ceasefire agreements with the government. Plans have been in place
for the UNFC to meet as a bloc with a government negotiating team at the end of January 2013, in order to
press for a wide-ranging political solution for ethnic issues, with an eventual goal of a federal system,
instead of the piecemeal group-by-group arrangements that produced current ceasefires with members
including the Karen National Union, Shan State Progress Party (SSPP), Chin National Front (CNF) and
New Mon State Party (NMSP). With the escalation of the war on the KIA, the UNFC bloc negotiation
became a significant pressure point in what was at the very least a show of ethnic solidarity. On January 1
the UNFC issued a statement demanding that the government stop the offensive in Kachin State. UNFC
General Secretary Nai Hongsa warned on January 11 that if the attacks around Laiza did not stop by the
time of the late month negotiation session, "We will meet, but it will be to demand immediate cessation of
hostilities, and nothing else." (Shan Herald Agency for News, January 11, 2013.) According to a January 14
Karen News story, UNFC Joint Secretary Khun Ohkka "We are meeting Union Minister U Aung Min by the
end of this month and we will demand him the stop to the fighting in Kachin State. After that, if the fighting
doesn't stop, we will take action according to what we've prepared." The threat of broken ceasefires in a
wide range of ethnic areas was implicit in his comment.
In an unusual example of pan-ethnic solidarity, a "Joint Statement on the Warfare Escalation in Kachin
State" was issued on January 15 by three armed groups in ceasefire whose territories border the conflict
zone: the formidable United Wa State Army, the National Democratic Alliance Army (Kokang - Mongla), and
the Shan State Army - North. The joint statement cited the situation in which "Burmese Army assigned
fighters and armed helicopters bombed KIA as a signal of complete escalation for the warfare in Kachin
State, which causes wider concerns for domestic and international societies," and appeared to contain an
implied threat of breaking ceasefires, for which the groups would hold the Burma government responsible.
UWSA relations with the KIA have ranged from somewhat friendly over the years to badly strained (as of
September 2012), but if the two large armies entered into an active military support alliance, this could
have significant effects, conceivably including access to UWSA's known arsenal of surface-to-air missiles.
Following a strong rebuke by China for a border violation, with a demand for an immediate ceasefire, two
apparent attempts to but the brakes on the offensive occurred in Burma's capital, Naypyidaw. On January
18, the Lower House of Parliament unanimously approved through an urgent voice vote without debate, a
motion proposed by a Kachin Member of Parliament, Daw Dwe Bu, with the endorsement of Lower House
Speaker Shwe Mann, calling for an immediate Burma government and KIO ceasefire and resumption of
peace talks. On the evening of January 18, Burma's state television broadcast an announcement from the
State Information Committee that President Thein Sein had issued an order for a unilateral ceasefire by the
Tatmadaw in the Lajayang area, to go into effect from 6:00 AM on January 19. The announcement
reportedly claimed that the government had "concluded its conditional mission" but admitted that the
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Tatmadaw had suffered "many casualties" during the numerous battles during the offensive. (NY Times,
January 18, 2013.)
China
In earlier phases of the current North War, observers speculated that Laiza's proximity to China helped to
protect it from air attacks by Burma's military. Even though some of the attack aircraft is Chinese-made, the
possibility of air strikes accidentally falling on locations in Yunnan (the province of China neighboring Kachin
State) seemed to be something the Chinese government would find intolerable. During the present
offensive, however, a KIO-sympathetic news source, Kachinland News [KLN], reported that Chinese
officials might have given a go-ahead signal for the use of jets in late December. According to a KLN
report: "Officials from Chinese and Burmese government met at Yurui Hot Spring Garden Hotel in Ruili city
in Yunnan/China on Dec 27. 'They spent overnight at the same hotel with entertainments,' said a local
source. Air strikes on KIO positions in Pangwa areas and KIO administrative capital Laiza area dramatically
increased with the use of fighter jets painted with red stripes on their body the day after the two sides met
at Ruili. 'I think Chinese showed green light for air strikes at the meeting, Burmese army escalated its use of
fighter jets and bombers after the meeting,' said a local businessman with knowledge of Chinese officials"
[Kachinland News, January 4, 2013.] This "green light" scenario has not been verified elsewhere.
Whether or not China's government tacitly was prepared to tolerate Burma's air strikes against the KIA,
when the inevitable cross-border strikes occurred, there was a firm, public high-level response. In a press
briefing on January 4,
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying took part in this exchange:
Q: "The Myanmar military reportedly staged military actions including air strikes against Kachin. What is
China's comment? Please confirm reports that Myanmar military's bombs dropped on the Chinese side of
the border."
A: "During the armed clashes between Myanmar government forces and the Kachin Independence Army on
the night of December 30, 2012, three bombs landed on the Chinese side of the border without causing
casualties. China has already lodged representations with Myanmar, requiring the latter to take immediate
and effective measures to avoid repetition of similar incidents. The issue in northern Myanmar is Myanmar's
internal affair. China hopes that the Myanmar government and relevant parties could properly solve the
issue through peaceful negotiation, so as to maintain tranquility and stability of the China-Myanmar border."
Following the January 4 warning note sounded by the Foreign Ministry, China's Air Force sought to deny
that there had been any violation of Chinese air space by Burma's jet fighters. According to China's official
news agency, Xinhua, China's Air Force issued a statement on January 5 "saying no Myanmarese jets
have entered Chinese territory. The statement came in response to reports that Myanmarese fighter jets
had mistakenly entered China after armed conflict broke out in northern Myanmar. According to the
statement, China's air force has tightened surveillance over territorial air across the China-Myanmar border
since the conflict began. The closest Myanmarese jets are five kilometers away from the border." [Xinhua,
January 6, 2013.] But accounts of Burma's fighter jets intruding over Yunnan seemed to have enough
credibility for some Chinese policy experts to mull the question of why it had been allowed to happen. A
Voice of America story said that Du Jifeng of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences commented "that
China could also use less restraint when the Burmese government infringes on its airspace and territorial
rights." January 16, 2013]
The air war and overall escalation around Laiza appeared to have neighboring areas of Yunnan on high
alert in January, with the state-owned Global Times reporting flight cancellations at Yunnan's Tengchong
Airport on January 9, "due to air traffic control concerns over the ongoing military conflict in the neighboring
country." [Global Times, January 11, 2013.] Global Times also covered the preparation of refugee camps in
Yunnan in a story on January 14, which also contained information about the loss of a Burma government
helicopter "which made the [Burma] government 'lose face' before international society."
In one of the most extraordinary incidents since the North War began in June 2011, on January 10, 2013
an estimated 1,500 Chinese citizens of the Kachin-related Jingpo ethnicity, marched through the streets of
the Yunnan city of Yingjiang in peaceful protest of Burma's attacks on KIA territory, then convoyed to
Nabang, the town on the China side of the border with Laiza, for an enthusiastic show of cross-border
solidarity. They were allowed to march over to Laiza, where they joined thousands of residents and internal
refugees in a joint protest against the Burma government's air and ground attacks.
"A bomb" landing across the border mid-month provoked a vigorous rebuke of Burma and call for an
immediate ceasefire, by China's Foreign Ministry on January 17. It is probably not a coincidence that a
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unilateral ceasefire for the region of Kachin State near China was announced by Burma's government the
next day. In the January 17 press briefing the question and the answer by Foreign Ministry spokesperson
Hong Lei were:
Q: It is reported that during the continued armed clashes between the Myanmar government forces and the
Kachin Independence Army, another bomb landed in China's Yunnan province on January 15, please
confirm.
A: It is learnt that at about 4 pm on the afternoon of January 15 during the armed clashes between the
Myanmar government forces and the Kachin Independence Army, a bomb landed in the Chinese side about
500 meters away from the borderline without causing casualties. China has lodged urgent representations
with Myanmar, expressing deep concern and dissatisfaction and requiring the latter to carry out serious
investigation and take all necessary measures to avoid repetition of similar incidents. China calls on both
sides of the conflict to exercise maximum restraint, immediately cease fire and solve the dispute through
dialogue so as to earnestly maintain peace and stability in the China-Myanmar border areas.
United Nations
The United Nations expressed concern at the highest level with a January 2 statement by the
spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "On the Air Strikes in Kachin State in Myanmar": "
The Secretary-General has taken serious note of the most recent reports indicating air strikes against
targets in Kachin state. While details of these reports are still emerging and being closely followed, the
Secretary-General calls upon the Myanmar authorities to desist from any action that could endanger the
lives of civilians living in the area or further intensify the conflict in the region.
The on-going hostilities have already caused large-scale displacement of civilians who continue to be in
need of humanitarian assistance. It is vital that timely access be provided for the delivery of aid to
vulnerable communities. The Secretary-General urges all concerned parties to work toward political
reconciliation in order to build the basis for a fair and durable outcome for all."
United States, United Kingdom and European Union
Burma's air war was addressed in a US State Department press briefing on
January 2, 2013, when spokesperson Victoria Nuland commented, "Well, obviously we note that the
government did today admit that they have been using aerial weapons in Kachin State. We're obviously
deeply troubled by the increased violence." She continued, "So it's very concerning obviously that these
weapons are in use, and we will continue our discussion with the government about it." A follow up
question, "Have you taken up with the Burmese Government not to use aerial power against the Kachin
rebels?" received this reply from Ms. Nuland: "Again, we are just today getting confirmation that this has
happened. I am sure that we will be formally expressing our concern about that kind of weaponry." A
second follow up question, "And you said that you are deeply troubled by the increase in violence. You are
not troubled with the use of aerial power?" was replied to by Nuland: "As I said, we are troubled by the use
of air power. We were not in a position to confirm it until the government confirmed it itself, and it's
extremely troubling."
In a press briefing on January 14, US State Department spokesperson Nuland replied again to questioning
on the Kachin situation (not specifically mentioning the air attacks); her reply included: "We are troubled by
the increased violence in Kachin State. We have been working both with the Government of Burma and
with the Kachin Independence Organization to encourage both sides to halt the violence, to get into
dialogue with each other. As you know, in a number of these other separatist areas, the Government of
Burma has had success in getting into a dialogue about grievances and working things politically. That's
what we want to see in Kachin as well." Her response to follow up questions included, "we've been urging
an end to the violence on both sides."
During early to mid January, the United Kingdom's Foreign Office twice publicly expressed concern about
the escalation of conflict. A statement by Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister, Hugo Swire, issued
on January 4 included: "I am deeply concerned by the ongoing conflict between the Burmese Army and
Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in Burma's Kachin State, including recent reports of air strikes in the
state. An escalation in hostilities would put at risk the chance of a lasting peace in Burma. It is imperative
that military commanders in Burma heed their President's calls for an end to hostilities." In response to a
question in Parliament on January 14, Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt stated, "The British Government
is deeply concerned by reports emerging from Kachin State of an escalation in hostilities, including the use
of Burmese military helicopters and aircraft against Kachin Independence Army positions in areas around
the state capital and Laiza. These tactics represent a marked escalation, and pose a significant risk of
civilian casualties." A motion. "War in Kachin State, Burma" was offered in Parliament on January 14, with
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text beginning: "That this House condemns the Burma Army's military offensive against the ethnic Kachin;
expresses grave concern over the recent use of aerial bombardment in the offensive;" and ending with a
threat to "work within the EU to halt relaxation of economic sanctions and new trade and investments in
Burma if there is not an immediate cessation of attacks."
A statement of concern about the escalation, without specific mention of air attacks, was issued by a
spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs on
January 15, "The High Representative is deeply concerned about the continuous fighting in the Kachin
State, putting at risk the nation-wide peace process and the gains already made. The latest reports of the
shelling of Laiza and the resulting deaths of innocent civilians are particularly troubling. They point to a
dangerous escalation of the conflict leading to more suffering for the people in Kachin. The High
Representative urges all sides to end the hostilities and to engage in dialogue towards a settlement in
earnest immediately. The EU also continues to stress the urgency of providing unhindered access for
humanitarian relief to the displaced population."
CHRONOLOGY OF THE AIR WAR -- NEWS ITEMS DEC. 4, 2012 TO JAN. 18, 2013
Dec. 4:
Attack launched with helicopters in Pannwar Township, eastern Kachin State. 5 helicopters used for
transport, 2 "shot 2 rounds at KIA positions" according to KIA spokesperson La Nan.
[Phophtaw News Assoc., Dec. 7]
"A series of battle took place between the two sides at border post no. 6 near Pang Wa in recent days.
Burmese army reportedly fired rockets from two Russian-made Mi-24 attack helicopters on KIA's positions
during battles between KIA's 33rd Battalion under 1st Brigade and a combined force of Burmese army's
88th LID and Northern Regional Command on Dec 10."
[Kachinland News, Dec. 14]
Dec. 10-11:
"Burmese army fired rockets from two Russian-made Mi-24 attack helicopters on KIA's positions during
battles between KIA's 33rd Battalion under 1st Brigade and a combined force of Burmese army's 88th LID
and Northern Regional Command at border post no. 6 near Pang Wa."
[Kachinland News, Jan. 5]
"Prior to launching its offensive in Lajayang, on 10 and 11 December 2012, the Burma Army used
helicopters in an air strike in Lu Pi village, Pangwa Township, near the China-Burma border. LIB 37, 40
and 260, and Border Guard Forces carried out the attacked on Lu Pi. Attacks increased as the hours wore
on, with 4 rounds of firing taking place on 10 December, followed by 8 airstrikes on 11 December."
[Free Burma Rangers, Dec. 26]
Dec. `14:
Major battle in vicinity of Lajayang village, Dawphoneyan sub-township, south of Laiza.
La Nan: "They sent in two MI-24 helicopter gunships which fired at us. This is the first time helicopter
gunships have attacked us so close to Laiza."
[Mizzima, Dec. 14]
Helicopters seen from Laiza. La Nan: "It is the first time they came to fire at our bases near Laiza by using
aircrafts." 3 Russian-made Mi 24 helicopter gunships.
[The Irrawaddy, Dec. 14]
Medevac helicopter hit by KIA fire and flew away trailing smoke, during La Ja Yang and Ja Pu battle.
[Jinghpaw Kasa, Dec. 14]
"According to local sources, as Burmese army suffered increasing combat casualties, three helicopters
came to aid ground troops and fired rockets on KIA's positions for two times at 11 am and 2 pm on Dec
14. Local residents described helicopters as Russian-made Mi-24s as they can see two mounted stub
wings capable of carrying rockets and automatic cannons. One helicopter was being shot by KIA and seen
flew away with spewing black smoke."
[Kachinland News, Dec. 14]
"Three helicopters came to aid ground troops and fired rockets on KIA's positions near Laja-yang. Local
residents described helicopters as Russian-made Mi-24s as they can see two mounted stub wings capable
of carrying rockets and automatic cannons. One helicopter was being shot by KIA and seen flew away with
spewing black smoke."
[Kachinland News, Jan. 5]
"Senior officials with the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) claim that a Mi-8 helicopter belonging to the
army was damaged considerably after being shot at by the KIA on Friday. The Russian built helicopter was
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Air War in Kachinland: Burma Military Air Attacks on Kachin Territory
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last seen heading in the direction of Myitkyina with plumes of smoke bellowing out of it after having
receiving sustained fire from KIA troops on the ground in Lajayang."
Kachin News Group, Dec. 17]
"Houses in some abandoned villages were destroyed by rocket fire during the government offensive,
according to ABSDF troops on the frontlines."
[The Irrawaddy, Dec. 17]
"At 10:00 AM, and again at 2:00 PM on 14 December 2012, Burma Army troops used helicopters to launch
rockets in their attack upon the KIA. Around 11:00 PM, Burma Army helicopters incorporated the use of
both multi-rocket attacks and gunfire in their assault upon KIA troops, and then returned to their base.
Villagers and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in and around Laiza could hear nonstop firing during the
offensive.'
[Free Burma Rangers, Dec. 26]
Dec. 23:
"They made four passes with the helicopter yesterday [in Gang Dau Yang village]-that's the word from the
frontline," says one KIA soldier.
[The Irrawaddy, Dec. 24]
Dec. 28:
Government attacks on KIA bases in Lajayang include deployment of 2 helicopter gunships and 5 jet
planes. "Jet fighters" reported by Min Htay ABSDF to fly out of Myitkyina, "The jet fighters came at 9 am
and fired countless rockets... It took about an hour... The jet fighters were very fast. They were red and
white." The jets "shot at every KIA base in Lajayang." Min Htay: "We heard they [the government's army]
hired professionals to come and shoot the KIA bases by jet fighters. But, we don't know who they hired."
[The Irrawaddy, Dec. 28]
According to La Nan, "Four aircraft attacked KIO positions in Laja Yang. The fighter planes began attacking
at 9 am. Recently, they have used helicopter gunships, but this time it was fighter planes. They flew into
Chinese airspace, then came round and fired on our troops at Laja Yang." Jet attack was "followed by
helicopter gunships" according to La Sai of ABSDF.
[Mizzima, Dec. 28]
"Two attack helicopters first came at around 9:30 am and then another three helicopters came, said a Laiza
resident. Russian-made attack helicopters fired rockets and machine guns on KIA positions near Laiza. A
Laiza resident says the latest round of airstrikes is so close to civilians' areas as he can even see
helicopters firing machine guns. The impact of the rocket is so strong that even a tree that has a person's
waist size falls down after being hit, said a KIA frontline officer."
[Kachinland News, Dec. 28]
"Four fighter jets and two helicopters took part in an air assault on rebel positions near Laiza, the Kachin
Independence Organization's de facto capital, on Friday morning. Throughout the morning military planes
struck KIO positions in Lajayang, a key town located less than 10 miles south of Laiza."
[Kachin News Group, Dec. 28]
Min Htay: Government forces "launched an assault on Kum Shawng post, close to [the KIO-run] Mali
hydropower plant. They were attacking with helicopters so the [KIA] had to withdraw. The power plant was
damaged in the fight so it can no longer provide electricity to Myitkyina and Waingmaw."
Civilians in camps for Internally Displaced People (IDPs) around Laiza were advised to dig trenches to
shelter in during helicopter attacks or artillery fire.
[Democratic Voice of Burma, Dec. 28]
"At 09:20 hrs, two fighter jets strafed the Kachin (KIA) positions in Lajaiyang with machine guns, dropped
bombs, and fired rockets. They strafed the Kachin positions 11 times." "At 09:45 hrs two MI24 helicopters
came and shot rockets and machineguns, the guns making two passes. The helicopters left and then came
back with three helicopters at 10:10 and they attacked again for 30 minutes. During these attacks the
Burma Air Force jets and MI24 attack helicopters also bombed, rocketed and strafed Kachin positions at
Nam Sang Yang. During these attacks, the Burma Army dropped over 400 rounds of 120mm heavy mortar
shells in and around Lajaiyang. and Nam Sam Yang." Report included photos of a jet, an Mi24 helicopter
"firing rockets at Kachin positions," and houses burning/destroyed after helicopter attack.
[Free Burma Rangers, Dec. 29]
"On 28 December 2012 the Burma Army used 3 helicopters in an attack near Laiza. While dropping bombs
and rockets upon villages in the area, the Burma Army destroyed the bridge that connects Myint Gyi Nah,
Ba Maw and Laiza. This has crippled the transportation for locals. However, the Burma Army is not taking
responsibility for the destruction of this bridge, alleging that the KIA (Kachin Independence Army) is
responsible for the destruction of the bridge."
[Free Burma Rangers, Jan. 11]
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Air War in Kachinland: Burma Military Air Attacks on Kachin Territory
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Dec. 30:
"On December 30, the Burmese air force carried out an air strike against the KIA's military unit 771 based
near Laja Yang Village, forcing some Kachin troops to retreat to fresh positions, according to ABSDF's Maj.
Min Htay, adding that the rebel forces still have control of Laja Yang despite Burmese claims that they
overran the base."
[Mizzima, Jan. 2]
"Burmese Government military air force shot [2] times of missile to the Laiza, KIO head quarter at 5:15 PM
on 30th December according to KIA
officer report. But it was [meant to] hit to Laiza, but [instead] exploded at
the China teak farm. [Jinghpaw Kasa, Dec. 30]
Dec. 31:
"Speaking from the frontlines on Wednesday, Burmese war photographer John Sanlin said two rocket
shellings landed Monday evening on the border with China's Yunnan Province, just opposite the town of
Laiza in northern Kachin State... Hla Seng, a soldier from the All Burma Students' Democratic Front
(ABSDF), an armed group fighting alongside Kachin rebels, confirmed that the shelling had landed on
Chinese soil on Monday."
[The Irrawaddy, Jan. 2]
"12:45 pm the Burma military uses two Fighter jets - shooting machine guns, dropping bombs and using
chemical munitions (possibly HC CS - or some form of tear gas/riot agent - we are not sure what it is but
have found the containers... and so far no deaths from this). These attacks are in the La Ja Yang area;
Bum Re and north west at Nam San Yang. Air attacks occurred 8 times."
[Free Burma Rangers, Jan. 3]
Jan. 1:
Battle "between KIA's Padang Sector troops and Burmese army's Mogaung-based 74th LIB near border
post no. 6 on January 1 at 10 am. KIA source says Burmese army later reinforced its troops with infantry
units from 13th LIB, 77th LIB and 301st LIR under 88th LID during the fighting with KIA's Padang Sector
troops. At about 10:30 am, 5 government's fighter jets fired rockets and machine guns on KIA's Padang
Sector troops."
"KIA's capital [Laiza] security forces fought against Burmese army's 317th LIR, 415th LIR, 416th LIR under
Magway-based 88th LID near Laiza on Jan 1. During the ground battles, 2 Burmese army's fighter jets
fired rockets and dropped bombs on KIA's positions at Bum-re hill, Laja-yang and Hka-ya villages at 9:30
am."
"Two helicopters again fired rockets and dropped bombs on KIA's positions near Laiza at 1:45 pm, reported
KIA frontline source."
[Kachinland News, Jan. 2]
Min Htay: "Hostilities broke out this morning [Wednesday] when the Burmese army launched an assault
from the direction of Nam Sang Yawng. The fighting started at about 8 am. Then at 11:30, the aircraft
attacked. Later, two helicopter gunships came and fired on us." Laiza resident observed jets overhead and
heard them attack. Myitkyina resident observed "Burmese military planes and helicopters" flying "almost
every day for the past week."
[Mizzima, Jan. 2]
"On Tuesday, [Hla Seng] said, jet fighters and helicopters attacked KIA bases in Lajayang and Nasam Yang
regions three times."
[The Irrawaddy, Jan. 2]
"At 10:10 am, one Mi24 Attack Helicopter Shoots rockets, machine guns and drop bombs at Pang Wa area.
Pang Wa is north of Laiza in the KIO/KIA first brigade and Fifth Brigade area near the China border."
"At 1:40 pm two helicopters shoot rockets, machine guns and drop bombs on the Kachin positions there. At
5 pm, two fighter jets shoot machine guns and drop bombs eight times on eight passes."
[Free Burma Rangers, Jan. 3]
"China's air force issued a statement on Saturday saying no Myanmarese jets have entered Chinese
territory. The statement came in response to reports that Myanmarese fighter jets had mistakenly entered
China after armed conflict broke out in northern Myanmar. According to the statement, China's air force has
tightened surveillance over territorial air across the China-Myanmar border since the conflict began. The
closest Myanmarese jets are five kilometers away from the border."
[Xinhua, Jan. 6]
Jan. 2:
"[Hla Seng] said the fighting was continuing on Wednesday morning, with the government army sending
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four helicopter gunships, including Mi-24s, to fire on KIA bases at about 11 am in Lajayang"
Hla Seng: "They [the government army] have been attacking us non-stop by using the planes for six days.
Now, they're heating up the war by using jet fighters, helicopter gunships, artillery weapons and chemical
weapons."
[The Irrawaddy, Jan. 2]
"On Jan 2, two Burmese army's Russian-made attack helicopters fired rockets and dropped bombs on KIA
camps for two rounds during a battle against KIA's capital security forces at an area between Bumre hill
and Hka-ya hill."
[Kachinland News, Jan. 5]
"At 11:45 in La Ja Yang-Laiza-Nam Sang Yang areas, two Burma Airforce fighter jets shoot machine guns
and drop bombs three times. On the same day three Mi 24 Attack Helicopters shoot rockets and drop
bombs and shoot machine guns four times."
"A total of 3 helicopters and 2 jets rocketed and machine-gunned KIO/KIA positions in La Ja Yang (10 km
South West of Laiza) and Nam Sang Yang (13 km North West of Laiza). Air attacks started on 14 Dec but
have increased in tempo from 23 Dec 2012 through 2 Jan 2013."
"Grid coordinates of some of the areas the Burma military is attacking near Laiza:
Bum Re(N-24' 45'27.1"E-97'29'28.5"), Nam San(N-24'52'30.9"E-97'29'52.1"), HKa Ya(N-24'46'10.3" E-
97'30'36.4"), La Ja Yang(N-24'43'55.5"E-97'29'32.0").
Burma Army units in this area: Divisions 88 and MOC 21"
[Free Burma Rangers, Jan. 3]
Jan. 3:
"Heavy airstrikes" against KIA "for the seventh consecutive day."
Hla Seng: "They used two fighter jets yesterday and [the jets] seemed bigger and faster than before. They
dropped bombs and rockets in [the areas of] Lajayang, Namsam Yang and around KIA's headquarters in
Laiza, on the Sino-Burma border."
[The Irrawaddy, Jan. 4]
According to La Nan, "two government fighter planes launched rocket attacks on Thursday, following
several days of strafing and bombing by fighter planes and helicopters."
[Associated Press, Jan. 4]
"Two Burmese army fighter jets reportedly fired on KIA positions during a battle between KIA's 23rd
Battalion and an unknown Burmese army infantry unit at Bumre hill near Namsan-yang on Jan 3, said a
front line source."
[Kachinland News, Jan. 5]
"Point 771, a KIA outpost... seized by the Burmese government army on Jan. 3 following airstrikes on KIA
targets."
[The Irrawaddy, Jan. 8]
Jan. 4:
"Two Burmese army's fighter jets fired KIA positions on Friday during a battle with KIA's 3rd Brigade at
Gung Ding Man Win in Gara-yang area. The fierce battle lasted for about 4 hours. A local source says both
sides suffered high casualties in this battle. The exact number of casualties has not yet reported by either
side."
[Kachinland News, Jan. 5]
Jan. 6:
"On 6 January 2013, the Burma Army attacked Nam San Yang village, where there is no KIA presence.
KIA troops near the area estimate that approximately 300 Burma Army troops came to the village, and
burned many homes. The number of people who have been injured because of these attacks is unknown,
but sources on the ground recently reported news of a fatality and several injuries sustained during an air
strike." [note: unclear from report if civilian casualties from airstrike were on Jan. 6 or at another time.]
[Free Burma Rangers, Jan. 11]
Jan. 7-8:
Min Htay "reaffirmed claims that government forces gave close air support to ground troops during the
battle at Laja Yang from December 28 to January 3, but that no air support was evident between January 4
and January 6. He said that three helicopter gunships resumed attacks on KIO positions on January 7 at
3:30 pm. 'Three helicopter gunships hovered above Hillock 771,' he told Mizzima. 'Two gunships fired from
the air while one landed. It rearmed with ammunition and fired on nearby KIO troops from the air.'"
[Mizzima, Jan. 8]
"..two KIA outposts on the hills of In Ta Bum and Hpun Pyan Bum, within the area controlled by KIA
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Air War in Kachinland: Burma Military Air Attacks on Kachin Territory
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Brigade No. 5, have borne the brunt of Tuesday's [Jan. 8] offensive, which has included aerial attacks that
began on Monday [Jan. 7] afternoon." "According to Min Htay, two fighter jets and three helicopter gunships
attacked Lajayang again on Tuesday, in a half-hour assault that began at around 2 pm. Several houses
had reportedly burned down after being hit by rockets, he said."
[The Irrawaddy, Jan. 8]
"On Jan 7, two government fighter jets and three helicopters fired with rockets and machine guns and
dropped bombs on KIA positions around Hpunpyen hill, N-tap hill and Hka-ya for two times at around 4:30
pm."
"Two Burmese army helicopters fired with rockets and machine guns on KIA's capital security forces
currently stationed at Hpunpyen hill and Laja-yang area on Jan 8 at 3:30 pm. Burmese army's rockets from
helicopters reportedly hit Marau La Nan's temporary house." Owner was an IDP who
had "a small makeshift tent shop near Laja-yang gate selling food and other items to local travelers."
[Kachinland News, Jan. 9]
Clashes "between KIA's capital security forces and Burmese army troops under Mong Nawng-based MOC-
2 at Dung Hkung and Hpunpyen hill on Jan 8. The two sides engaged in fierce fighting for two times
beginning 5:45 am. Burmese army's fighter jets supported ground troops for four times during the battles by
firing rockets and dropping bombs from air. Hpunpyen hill is a strategically located near Dawhpum-yang
and important for security of KIO administrative capital Laiza."
[Kachinland News, Jan. 9]
"There was a dreadfully battle between KIA patriotic soldiers and intruder Burmese Government troops on
Hpun Pyen mountain, it is KIA (24) battalion region and which is under (5th) brigade area Eastern Kachin
state, since last three days ago according to the KIA front line officer report. Not only the huge ground
troops but also military air force of (5) jet fighter attacking, KIA released (24) battalion's out post, La Kang
mountain, on 08 January. But this morning [Jan. 9], KIA fought severely to get back of La Kang Mountain
and now the Burmese Government troops are trapped on the La Kang Mountain..."
[Jinghpaw Kasa, Jan. 9]
"...attacks have occurred in Hpum Pyen Bum, a KIA camp in Ba Maw
District, Daw Hpung Yang Township (Located at: N 24 41' 40.1" E 97 28' 59.4"). 300 Burma Army soldiers
from Divisions 88 and 101 began attacking the camp with mortar fire at 4:00 AM on 7 January 2013 and
took over the camp on 8 January 2013 at 4:30 PM. Three Mi24 helicopters and 4 fixed-wing aircraft
supported the operation with direct fire. KIA troops retreated when the air strikes began, and are
maintaining a nearby position. From Hpum Pyen Bum, the Burma Army have a view of Laiza and the
surrounding area."
[Free Burma Rangers, Jan. 11]
Jan. 11:
KIA claims shot down a helicopter; Government presidential spokesman, Ye Htut, says engine failure
caused an "emergency landing" 20 miles (48 kilometers) south of Myitkyina." "Another senior official...
identified the helicopter as an Mi-35, which is a Soviet-made gunship. He said two pilots were on board."
[Associated Press, Jan. 11]
"KIA shot down one of the Burmese Government's helicopter on 11st January. According to KIA front line
officer report, one of the military helicopter, that especially for offensive from air, sending the soldiers to the
front line area, and carrying for military weapons, was shot down by Ba Tawng, KIA's patriotic soldier, at
03:00 PM on that day, and that helicopter was MI-35 and pilot was from the DSA (38) batch and the
military helicopter was crashed down in KIA controlled area." DSA = Defense Services Academy
[Jinhgpaw Kasa, Jan. 11]
"On Friday, Kachin rebels claimed they shot down one of the army's Russian-made Mi-35 helicopter
gunships. The government confirmed that the helicopter had crashed but said the accident had occurred
due to engine failure. Three soldiers on board were reportedly killed. Following the crash, Kachin rebels
feared the government might prepare heavy, retaliatory strikes."
[The Irrawaddy, Jan. 14]
"Two pilots and a flight sergeant died when an MI-35 helicopter gunship crashed near Talawgyi, about 20
miles south of Myitkyina, the capital of Kachin State, on January 11. Burmese state-run media reported that
the military helicopter crashed when it tried to make an emergency landing due to engine failure. The state-
run newspaper New Light of Myanmar said on Sunday that the military helicopter left Myitkyina Airbase on
a "security and administrative mission" and made an emergency landing in the forest south of Myitkyina.
However, sources close to the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO) claim that the Kachin army shot
down the helicopter."
[Mizzima, Jan. 14]
Jan. 13:
132
Air War in Kachinland: Burma Military Air Attacks on Kachin Territory
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"Burmese Government troops, from Sing Lung, shelled continuously with heavy artillery weapon of 105MM
and 120 MM, to the Jang Mai and La Gat mountain post, which is KIA (21) battalion area and KIA (3rd)
brigade region from last three days according to KIA frontline officer report. Moreover, Burmese military air
force jet fighter fired with missiles and machine gun to the KIA posts on the noon and evening time on 13rd
January."
[Jinghpaw Kasa, Jan. 14]
Jan. 14:
"Fighter jets" "spotted flying over the city, as well as over the town of Mai Ja Yang and the IDP camps at
Je Yang and Hpung Lum Yang, though no air strikes have been reported."
[Mizzima, Jan. 14]
Jan. 15:
Tatmadaw ground troops attack KIA hilltop posts, Kha Rha and Lim Bum; Min Htay "said in the course of
the fighting the Burmese army called in airstrikes to hit the two positions, which are located less than 10
kilometers northwest of Laiza..." Min Htay: "At 2:30 pm, two fighter jets dropped bombs at the Kha Ra hill
post and Lim Bum hill post."
[The Irrawaddy, Jan. 15]
La Nan: "At 2:15 p.m. two jets launched an air strike at Hka Ya Bum... After the jets left the area, a ground
battle broke out again." "The government's military jets were spotted by the KIO's third brigade again on
[Jan. 15] but they did not another launch air strike, the spokesman said." Min Htay: "The two aircrafts
carried out a military offensive near Hka Ya Bum in support of [the Burmese army troops]. At 4 p.m., they
came back [to Hka Ya Bum] and carried out an air strike."
[Mizzima, Jan. 16]
Jan. 17:
"At 4:19 pm, the Burmese army could be seen launching a combined aerial, artillery and troop assault on
Hwkya Bhum mountaintop. Soon after, Burmese army artillery units began a prolonged barrage on KIA
positions at Upper Lajayang."
[The Irrawaddy, January 18, 2013]
"On Jan 17, KIA's 23rd Battalion under 5th Brigade fought against a combined force of Burmese army's
infantry units from 10 mobile battalions and other light infantry units at Hkaya hill, a strategic hill near Laiza.
Two government's fighter jets dropped bombs on KIA positions at Hkaya hill for half an hour beginning 4:15
pm. Two other fighter jets again fired on KIA positions at 4:45 pm, said a local source."
"Burmese army has continuously re-enforced its frontline units and transported military equipment to area
close to Laiza town. Burmese army's helicopters transported 105mm hotwizer mortars from their base in
Hkangkai hill to Manmau hill where government troops currently occupied beginning 2 pm on Jan 17."
[Kachinland News, January 18, 2013]

January 18, 2013
Project Maje
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133
BBC News - Video shows Burma military 'targeting Kachin rebels'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20886377[19/02/2013 22:20:04]
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World
Asia
2 January 2013 Last updated at 16:27
Military aircraft have been targeting rebel areas in Burma's northern
Kachin state over the last five days, video obtained by the BBC
shows.
The footage, shot by the humanitarian group Free Burma Rangers, shows
attack helicopters firing on the ground and jets flying close to the trenches
of the rebel Kachin Independence Army.
A government official said the army had not informed them of any air
attacks.
Fighting with the Kachin rebels resumed in 2011, after a 17-year truce.
The presence of jets and attack helicopters in recent days was also
confirmed by witnesses in the area.
It is not clear how many casualties have been caused by five days of air
attacks. Many of the people who live in the conflict areas have already
fled into camps, both in Kachin and across the border in China.
Asked to comment on the video, the director of the president's office, Zaw
Htay, said the situation was complex, and that the military had told them
they were only using planes to re-supply its troops.
"The aircraft being used are K8 training aircraft
not fighter jets - that is the information I got from
the military," he said.
"I have no information on the use of helicopters.
There is a very difficult situation in Kachin
state."
He added that they wanted to hold peace talks
with the rebels as soon as possible.
Beyond self-defence
The witness accounts, along with the video footage, suggest that the
army is going beyond Thein Sein's public instructions to only fight in self-
defence, says the BBC's Jonah Fisher in Bangkok.
At present, it appears that the military could be
making preparations for a full-blown offensive
on the rebel headquarters of Laiza, our
correspondent adds.
The Free Burma Rangers filmed the footage
while in rebel trenches.
Video shows Burma military 'targeting
Kachin rebels'
The BBC's Jonah Fisher on the video, shot by aid group Free Burma
Rangers
Perils of embracing
Burma
Displaced and
divided in Rakhine
Ex-general rides
wave of change
Slow progress on
ethnic conflicts
The aid group Free Burma Rangers provided the
video footage
Analysis
Under the constitution, the military retains a
Tin Htar Swe
Editor, BBC Burmese
Burma's
Transition
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134
BBC News - Video shows Burma military 'targeting Kachin rebels'
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20886377[19/02/2013 22:20:04]
The group describes itself as "a multi-ethnic
humanitarian service movement", according to
its website. The group works to provide aid in
Burma's troubled border regions.
An estimated 75,000 people have been
displaced by fighting in resource-rich Kachin
since the conflict re-started in 2011 after the
end of a 17-year-old ceasefire between the
rebels and the Burmese military.
Despite appeals from the international aid
community, the Burmese government has
allowed only a handful of convoys to deliver
supplies to those sheltering in rebel areas.
Burma has seen a series of dramatic reforms
since the nominally civilian government under
Thein Sein came to power last year.
But rights groups have also urged caution,
pointing to violent unrest through 2012 in parts
of the country like western Rakhine state, which
has displaced more than a hundred thousand
people.
More Asia stories
dominant role in politics and Burma's army chief is
possibly the most powerful figure in the new
political system. It guarantees the military 25% of
seats in parliament.
The president has repeatedly said that he would
like to solve the Kachin conflict by peaceful means,
but the latest attacks by the army make one
wonder if he is losing his control over the army.
The president's growing popularity with the people
may have caused some concerns among the
generals.
The Kachin Independence Army is regarded as one
of the best equipped and trained forces among the
armed rebel groups. The Burmese military has
increased militarisation in almost all ethnic areas,
putting pressure on the civilian population.
Kachin state is also strategically important for the
Burmese military as it is sandwiched between
Burma's two giant neighbours, China and India.
The Burmese army would like to see the rebels
weakened, but they may not attempt to take over
their headquarters at the moment because the
army needs internal conflicts to justify their crucial
role as a defender of the nation.
More on This Story
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites
Related Internet links
The BBC's Jonathan Head examines the reasons
behind US President Barack Obama's trip to
Burma, a first by a sitting American president.
Perils of embracing Burma
Displaced and divided in Rakhine
Ex-general rides wave of change
Slow progress on ethnic conflicts
Background
Profile: Thein Sein
Profile: Aung San Suu Kyi
Timeline: Reforms in Burma
Burma profile
Watch/Listen
Suu Kyi makes landmark
broadcast
What now for Burma's '88
Generation?
FBR Free Burma Rangers
A secretive branch of China's military is probably
one of the world's "most prolific cyber espionage
groups", a US cyber security firm has said.
China military unit 'behind hacking'
Burma's Transition
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135
Myanmar Military Admits Air Raids on Kachin Rebels - NYTimes.com
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/world/asia/myanmar-military-admits-air-raids-on-kachin-rebels.html?_r=0[19/02/2013 22:21:07]
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Myanmar Military Admits to Airstrikes on Kachin
Rebels
By THOMAS FULLER
Published: January 2, 2013
BANGKOK Myanmar admitted on Wednesday that it was using
aircraft to attack rebels near the border with China, a development
that the United States described as an extremely troubling
escalation of the conflict.
Ethnic Kachin rebels, who are battling
the government for control over the
northern areas of the country, have in
recent days reported being attacked
by helicopters and other aircraft, but
until Wednesday the government
denied using such tactics.
A report by the state-run Myanmar News Agency on
Wednesday, which was published on Thursday in the state
newspaper, New Light of Myanmar, said the military used
aircraft to clear rebels from a hilltop not far from the
Chinese border.
Air cover was used in the attack, the report said. Weapons and ammunition were
seized.
The Myanmar Armys goal was to keep supply lines open, the report said, adding that
the army did not launch offensives.
Fighting between government troops and the Kachin Independence Army has tarnished
the reform efforts of President Thein Sein, who is leading the countrys transition from a
military dictatorship to a democracy.
The Kachin, like Myanmars other ethnic minorities, have long sought greater autonomy
from the central government. They are the only major ethnic rebel group that has not
reached a cease-fire agreement with Mr. Thein Seins government, which came to power
in March 2011 after almost five decades of military rule.
His government has been praised for instituting changes that include liberalizing the
economy, abolishing most media censorship and opening the once-isolated country to
foreign investment. He has also led reconciliation efforts with the political opposition,
led by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the countrys leading democracy advocate.
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Myanmar Military Admits Air Raids on Kachin Rebels - NYTimes.com
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/03/world/asia/myanmar-military-admits-air-raids-on-kachin-rebels.html?_r=0[19/02/2013 22:21:07]
A version of this article appeared in print on January 3, 2013, on page A7 of the New York edition with the headline:
Myanmar Military Admits to Airstrikes on Kachin Rebels.
Myanmar
Thein Sein
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Kachin State (Myanmar)
Defense and Military Forces
But friction with ethnic minorities is seen as a danger to the fledgling democracy.
Although Mr. Thein Sein is a former general himself, his public appeals for an end to the
armys offensive in the borderland areas have gone unheeded, leading diplomats to voice
concerns about a possible rift between the military and his civilian government. Peace
talks between government negotiators and the rebels have foundered.
The militarys objective appears to be the capture of the rebel base at Laiza, a town on
the border with China. Tens of thousands of refugees have fled the fighting, some to
China. The current round of fighting began in June 2011 when a 17-year cease-fire
ended.
Capturing the rebel base at Laiza would be a victory for the military of Myanmar,
formerly Burma, but it is unlikely that it would stop the fighting. The Kachin specialize
in guerrilla tactics honed over decades: their warriors were allies of British and
American troops against Japanese soldiers during World War II.
Myanmars state news media have given few details about the fighting and until now
rarely offered casualty tallies. The Myanmar News Agencys report listed a series of
clashes in which soldiers were injured and lost their lives.
A State Department spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland, called the use of air power
extremely troubling.
At a briefing in Washington on Wednesday Ms. Nuland said, We are continuing to urge
the government of Burma and the Kachin Independence Organization to cease this
conflict.
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137
Burma Observers Participate in US-Led Military Exercises in Thailand
http://www.voanews.com/content/burma-observers-participate-in-us-led-military-exercies-in-thailand/1601193.html[19/02/2013 22:22:15]
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Burma Observers Participate in US-Led Military
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U.S. Marines jump off an amphibious assault vehicle after hitting the ground at a joint military exercise on Hat Yao beach in Chonburi
province eastern, Thailand, February 10, 2012.
Daniel Schearf
February 11, 2013
BANGKOK Burmas armed forces are for the first
time participating in a United States-led military
exercise in Thailand. Known as "Cobra Gold", it is
the largest annual multi-national exercise in Asia and
the U.S. hopes Burma's participation will promote
professionalism in its troubled ranks.
The annual U.S.-led military exercises bring together seven nations to
exchange military know-how and strengthen regional cooperation.
The full participants include militaries from Indonesia, Japan, Korea,
Malaysia and Singapore. Other militaries send representatives to watch
portions of the exercises including, for the first time, two officers from
Burma's military.
Host Thailand invited Burma. The joint maneuvers include an amphibious
assault with attack jets, helicopters and boats as well as evacuation, jungle
warfare training and live fire exercises.
U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Kristin Kneedler says Burma's participation in









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138
Burma Observers Participate in US-Led Military Exercises in Thailand
http://www.voanews.com/content/burma-observers-participate-in-us-led-military-exercies-in-thailand/1601193.html[19/02/2013 22:22:15]
the 10 days of training exercises will be limited, but the U.S. supports the
engagement, which she calls significant.
"The Burmese will observe the staff planning process and the military
medical portions of this year's Cobra Gold. You know, the United States,
we're pursuing a whole of government approach to advancing reform in
Burma," Kneedler stated. "And, this includes engaging the Burmese
military as an important stakeholder in and a potential contributor to the
reform processes."
Burma's military ran the government for decades, suppressing democracy,
destroying the economy and committing widespread human rights abuses.
But in 2010 it allowed the first election in 20 years as part of a military-
drafted "road map to democracy."
It controversially sidelined the main opposition, the National League for
Democracy, and brought a military-backed party to power.
But President Thein Sein, himself a former general, surprised critics by
ushering in a series of dramatic political and economic reforms.
The United States and others responded by suspending most economic
sanctions and engaging in high-level dialogue.
President Barack Obama in November became the first sitting U.S.
president to visit Burma.
Despite the reforms, Kneedler says the U.S. is still cautious when it comes
to Burma's military. But, she notes the military exercises have a positive
effect on participants.
"Well, the United States, we were supportive of a cautious and calibrated
approached to the engagement with the Burmese military. And, you know,
events like Cobra Gold really encourage armed forces to institutionalize
civilian control, accountability and the protection of human rights."
The Cobra Gold military exercises are being held for the 32nd time in
Thailand.
Kneedler says this year they will focus on strengthening response to crises
such as humanitarian disasters.
Burma's military is still criticized by rights groups for abuses and excessive
use of force.
Since December, the military has used fighter jets and helicopters to attack
ethnic Kachin rebels in northern Burma, on the border with China. The
heavy fighting has displaced more than 80,000 people and prompted
international calls for a cease-fire and Beijing-brokered peace talks this
month.
And, despite political reforms, the military-drafted constitution guarantees
the armed forces a quarter of all seats in parliament, ensuring it maintains
a large degree of power.

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139
Burma Observers Participate in US-Led Military Exercises in Thailand
http://www.voanews.com/content/burma-observers-participate-in-us-led-military-exercies-in-thailand/1601193.html[19/02/2013 22:22:15]
Thai and Burmese officials were not immediately available for comment on
the military exercises or Burma's participation.
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BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Burma blogger jailed for 20 years
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7721271.stm[19/02/2013 22:23:41]
BBC NEWS CHANNEL
Than Shwe: "Foolish with power", says
Nay Phone Latt
A Burmese blogger has been
sentenced to 20 years in jail
for posting a cartoon of the
military leader Than Shwe.
Nay Phone Latt, 28, was
sentenced by a court in Rangoon's
Insein prison, said his mother,
Aye Than.
Nay Phone Latt's colleague Thin
July Kyaw was sentenced to two
years imprisonment, Aye Than
reported.
Another dissident, Saw Wai, was sentenced to two years in jail for
publishing a poem mocking Than Shwe in the weekly Love Journal.
The first words of each line of the Burmese language poem spelled
out the message "Senior General Than Shwe is foolish with power".
Nay Phone Latt was arrested in January; the sentence delivered on
Monday included 15 years for offences under the Electronics Act, two
years for "creating public alarm" and three and a half years for
offences under the Video Act, his mother said.
One of his offences was apparently the possession of a banned
video.
His blogs during the September 2007 uprising provided invaluable
information about events within the locked-down country.
Aye Than said she was not allowed to attend the trial and Nay
Phone Latt was not represented by his defence lawyer, Aung Thein,
who began serving a four-month prison sentence for contempt of
court last Friday.
"My son is a computer expert and he has not violated any criminal
law. It is very unfair that he was given 15 years' imprisonment
under the Electronics Law for a crime he did not commit," said Aye
Than.
A spokesman for the opposition National League for Democracy
party, Nyan Win, described Nay Phone Latt, a former party member,
as "a young and intelligent blogger and computer expert."
Spreading arrests
"The government is expediting the trials of political prisoners and
many have been given lengthy prison sentences," said Nyan Win.
Nyan Win said party youth member Tun Tun Naing, who was
arrested last year, was given 19 years in prison on Friday.
Tun Tun Naing and Khin Maung Aye, of the privately-owned weekly
News Watch, were arrested on 5 November and are being detained
in Insein prison.
The media rights organisations Reporters Without Borders and Burma
Media Association have demanded their immediate release, adding
this brings to 10 the number of journalists arrested so far this year.
Irrawaddy magazine, an exile Burmese news organisation, said the
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BURMA: BATTLE FOR DEMOCRACY
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141
BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Burma blogger jailed for 20 years
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7721271.stm[19/02/2013 22:23:41]
current crackdown is also aimed at silencing legal attempts to ensure
fair trials for dissidents now appearing before judges in closed court
sessions.
Two weeks ago, three defence lawyers, Nyi Nyi Htwe, Aung Thein
and Khin Maung Shein were imprisoned for between four and six
months for contempt of court after complaining of unfair treatment.
Four other defence lawyers, Kyaw Hoe, Maung Maung Latt, Myint
Thaung and Khin Htay Kyew have been barred from representing
their clients, who include members of the 88 Generation Students
group.
The US State Department has criticised the imprisonment of the four
defence lawyers and urged the Burmese regime to drop all charges
and release them.
President Bush announced that he will nominate one of his former
senior Asia advisers as special representative for Burma.
'No legitimacy'
The European Union said on Monday that multiparty elections
scheduled for 2010 in Burma will be seen as illegitimate unless the
ruling military junta frees all political prisoners - particularly Nobel
laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
The 27 EU foreign ministers deplored the lack of progress in Burma
since the violent repression of peaceful protests.
Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, has been under house arrest
for more than 12 of the past 19 years.
The junta has announced general elections in 2010 as part of its
"roadmap to democracy".
The junta came to power in 1988 after crushing a nationwide pro-
democracy uprising, killing as many as 3,000 people. It organised
multiparty elections in 1990 but refused to honour the results after
Suu Kyi's party won overwhelmingly.
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142
BURMA: In memoriam: Phyo Wai Aung, a courageous fighter against inhuman abuse Asian Human Rights Commission
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-005-2013[19/02/2013 22:24:37]
Home / News / AHRC News / BURMA: In Memoriam: Phyo Wai Aung, A Courageous Fighter Against Inhuman Abuse
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BURMA: In memoriam: Phyo Wai Aung, a
courageous fighter against inhuman abuse
January 5, 2013
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is greatly aggrieved to learn of the tragic
death of Phyo Wai Aung in Rangoon, Burma during the early morning hours of 4 January
2013.
Phyo Wai Aung was an aspiring
young electrical engineer with a
loving family when in April 2010
police arrested him at home late
one night for alleged
involvement in a bomb attack at
a crowded festival. They
tortured him brutally for weeks
to force him to confess to the
crime, for which they had been
unable to arrest the actual
suspects. In a farcical trial held
within the central prison, he
recounted the torture in detail. After pointlessly drawn out proceedings, the court convicted
him of all charges and sentenced him to death in May 2012. In August, the government
granted him clemency--tacit recognition of his innocence unaccompanied by a willingness
to admit to this fact--and ordered his release. Full details are on the campaign page that
the AHRC established on this case: www.humanrights.asia/countries/burma/phyo-wai -
aung
The torture and atrocious ill treatment of Phyo Wai Aung took their toll. While in custody
he was repeatedly denied medical attention for the damage caused to him physically, to
say nothing of the psychological impact. In May 2012 the AHRC had already noted that
Phyo Wai Aung was critically ill due to denial of medical treatment while in custody.
According to doctors then, on the basis of a CT scan he would have only a few months to
live. His brother writing to the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar
(Burma) at the time said that it seemed that Phyo Wai Aung would have to pay with his
life to show how bad the authorities in his country are. Sadly, both he and the doctors
were correct.
When two directors of the AHRC, Bijo Francis and Basil Fernando visited Phyo Wai Aung
and his family in December, they found a young man who was paralyzed from the waist
down and unable to walk. But they also met a young man who was still full of life and
despite everything that he had suffered was determined to go on and make the best of
things. He remained hopeful that he would recover, and talked about how he would want
to be able to provide for his daughters education, just as any father would want.
Phyo Wai Aung also hoped to pursue his case, clear his name, and one day bring to
account those responsible for his torture. Unlike many victims of torture in Burma who
relieved at the end of custody are too fearful to try to do anything to obtain redress, Phyo
Wai Aung had a strong determination to fight back. The AHRC directors promised him that
they would do whatever they could to assist in these goals. Unfortunately, his physical
strength did not match that of his spirit. Nonetheless, the Asian Human Rights
Commission stands firm in its commitment to continue to fight for justice and call for the
perpetrators of Phyo Wai Aung's torture to be prosecuted, and for his family to obtain the
redress that it deserves.
The case of Phyo Wai Aung was at the centre of the AHRC's work on Burma in the last
few years, and for this reason his loss is felt especially strongly in our organization today.
However, we are under no illusions that the incidence of maltreatment and torture in
Burma's police stations and prisons is diminishing as a result of changing political
conditions, as some would like to believe. Just last month at a programme held in Hong
Kong with Burmese colleagues we heard of many harrowing recent cases of torture that
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143
BURMA: In memoriam: Phyo Wai Aung, a courageous fighter against inhuman abuse Asian Human Rights Commission
http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AHRC-STM-005-2013[19/02/2013 22:24:37]
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Document Type : Statement
Document ID : AHRC-STM-005-2013
Countries : Burma (Myanmar)
Campaigns : Phyo Wai Aung
Issues : Administration of justice, Democracy, Fabrication of charges,
Freedom of assembly, Freedom of association, Freedom of
expression, Impunity, Military, Minorities, Right to fair trial,
Right to food, Right to health, Right to life, Right to redress,
Right to remedy, Rule of law, Torture
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have also left victims dead or severely damaged.
Every day there are more and more people forced to suffer like Phyo Wai Aung.
Therefore in remembering Phyo Wai Aung today we are also remembering all those who
have suffered similarly, who are suffering similarly in his country. In Phyo Wai Aung's
name we say: stop torture now!
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144