I haven’t put news up for a while, so here’s a collective post.
The Myitsone villagers from Kachin have said they plan to sue CPI, the Chinese company that’s evicted them from their homes for the sake of building the Myitsone Dam. There had been a massive uproar against the project and in 2001 president Thein Sein had issued an order to stop construction but despite the order, the work continued. Bawk Jar, “chairwoman of the Kachin State National Democratic Force (NDF) and the founder of an NGO called Vision of Peace” has said “said that hundreds of people from the Myitsone area were forced to relocate miles away to new villages where they have faced many difficulties, not least of which is a lack of food and jobs, and high levels of disease and depression.” There’s no environmental laws in Burma to protect the villagers, but they can certainly sue the company for forcing them off their homes. Keep Reading.
Thousands of displaced people in Kachin State receive only four percent of their basic food needs from international relief groups, according to a new report.The report, published by Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT) detailing what refugees are enduring “calls on the Naypyidaw government to allow international aid organizations access to the 60,000 or so vulnerable displaced people living in around two dozen camps controlled by the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) along the Sino-Burmese border.” Child malnutrition and malaria outbreaks caused by lack of access to food, water and medicine, as well as 60 cases of sexual abuse have been recorded in the last 15 months. Despite all this, the government still blocks access to basic necessities to refugees, accusing displaced civilians to be KIA (Kachin Independence Army) supporters, perhaps in part because of the 100,000 people displaced by fighting, 60% seek refugee in KIA controlled refugee camps. Keep Reading.
In better news, “One of Burma’s most respected senior monks, U Nyanithara, will present a donation of 100 sacks of rice to people in Putao, a district in the northernmost part of Kachin State where people have been facing shortages for several months.” Keep Reading.
“Authorities in Bangladesh order security officials to remain alert around Rohingya refugee camps following weekend attacks on minority Buddhists and their temples in the area.” There is no clear evidence of who did it, and I can’t go into specifics in this post so Keep Reading here.
Down south, “Thousands of Burmese migrant workers have been prevented from leaving the Thai border town of Mae Sot despite having legal documentation, according to rights groups.” Most of it is because “police started blocking workers six months ago in response to complaints from employers who said that they were facing labor shortages. According to official figures, there are around 40,000 Burmese migrant workers in Mae Sot who are legally registered to work in Thailand.” Under Thai law, Burmese with the legal documents may both work and travel as they choose, and the restrictions have only been in Mae Sot, a place that’s been recorded as “one of systematic and carefully planned and orchestrated migrant labor rights violations and has been for a long time.” Keep Reading.
“An alliance of 12 civil society groups in Burma have called for the suspension of the Shwe Gas pipelines until the project has been properly assessed and the existing problems have been solved. In its Oct. 1 statement, the alliance, known as Myanmar-China Pipeline Watch Committee, called on the Burmese government to ensure transparency in the project’s affairs, and for environmental and social impact assessments to be conducted before the remaining 20 percent of the construction is completed.” That, and the land taken from owners was never properly compensated for. Keep Reading.
“The Karen National Liberation Army’s Commander-in-Chief Gen. Mutu Say Poe and two other central committee members were dismissed on Wednesday by the Karen National Union (KNU) for allegedly violating KNU protocol. Ethnic Karen leaders Mutu Say Poe, David Taw and Roger Khin were dismissed for visiting Pa-an last week where they set up a liaison office in collusion with the Burmese government, according to KNU sources. Current commander at KNLA Brigade 5, Baw Kyaw Heh, is expected to take over the post of commander-in-chief, said the sources.” [Source] “The sacking of Gen. Mutu Say Poe raises fears that the rebel army is about to fracture into two rival factions.” Keep Reading. And here, too.
“Forty-three of the 85 Rohingya boatpeople who were sentenced to one year in prison for illegally entering Burma were on Wednesday released under a presidential pardon, with the remaining 42 due to be released on Thursday, according to sources in Mon State.” They’d been caught when their boat, escaping to Malaysia, had broken down. The Rohingya are some of the most persecuted people in the world, and often try to flee to other countries seeking refugee. Keep reading.